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Lords Of EverQuest

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: Rapid Eye Entertainment
Release Date: Dec. 12, 2003


Interview With 'Lords of EverQuest' Producer

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on May 11, 2003 @ 1:56 a.m. PDT

Lords of EverQuest brings the best elements of the real-time strategy world together with the epic storyline and depth of the legendary EverQuest fantasy roleplaying game.

Q : Who has the honor to talk to us? State your name, rank and occupation!

JP : Vehemence Belaern First Class Assassin of the Ebon Mask. Hehe really, it’s James Parker Producer on Lords of EverQuest.

Q : Seeing as Lords of EverQuest has just been announced, can you give us any kind of a time frame on when it will be released, and what is the current status of it?

JP : Well you can expect it to be this fall. We are currently about 60% done with all of the content and art. Another 85% done with engineering.

Q : What sparked Rapid Eye to create a RTS game based on the EverQuest series? Do employees play regular EverQuest?

JP : Well one day this guy walks into a bar. . No actually these guys are strategy lovers and it seemed a natural evolution to talk about the war periods in EverQuest via the vehicle of an RTS. The people at Rapid Eye are very well in touch with the aspects of EverQuest and play on a variety of servers.

Q : Has any other RTS helped influence your decisions while you are creating this game? After the initial announcement, several people mentioned WarCraft3, do you take offense to that, or does it flatter you?

JP : We have been influenced by several different Strategy games, TA, C&C, Warcraft, Starcraft, the Age series, Warlords, Heroes of Might and Magic and so many other great strategy games. Am I flattered by the comparison to Warcraft 3? Certainly, that is a great game that has helped raise the bar in the strategy realm as far as the strategies and the use of a central figure to propel the story further.

Q : What type of graphics engine are you using? Is it in house or licensed? And why that particular choice?

JP : Well we wanted to make sure we had something that everyone was comfortable with using and something that had complete freedom for editing, so of course we opted to build our own engine.

Q : Are there any plans to package an editor of some type with Lords of EverQuest?

JP : I am unable to neither confirm nor deny that vicious rumor.

Q : Will the story be affected by each faction as you play through them?

JP : The story is set based upon the actions of the Lord you pick and what he does through the campaign. Will you see the effects of what you did in the previous faction when moving on to another? Currently we do not have it so open ended as to change each individual faction based on previous factions completed.

Q : Will there be some open ended parts in the story where you can choose a different action, resulting in a different ending, or will it totally be scripted?

JP : We use a very open ended scripting language that will give a different ending based upon the actions of the user, but the end result will be one of two things. You live or you die ?

Q : Can you give us some info on each of the factions?

JP : I am unable to confirm or deny the fact that there may or may not be a couple other factions you can play, although the Shadowrealm has been announced.

Q : How many unit races will you have?

JP : We have adopted the strategy of lets make sure every unit has a purpose and with that included about every character class in the game from the EQ mythos as well as a few more.

Q : Since your units will be able to level and gain new abilities, will you have unit classes such as bard, warrior, monk etc?

JP : Oh we have monks and they gain feign death, and special attacks. Rogues gain sneak and hide, backstab, poison, traps, etc.

Q : Will there be a unit limit that is governed by (for lack of a better description) farms?

JP : We are currently assessing which system we will have in place, but we have plans to have something similar to this.

Q : Any idea on how many units you will be able to carry over to the next battle? Will you have a limit to the amount of units you can select at once?

JP : Right now I have to be a little tight-lipped or the engineers will string me up. We will allow carryover but the exact amount has to be balanced on a map by map basis and we do not have a concrete answer yet.

Q : How will the new unit abilities/spells/armor/weapons be acquired? By purchase or by just gaining levels?

JP : A combination of leveling and upgrades. Items and weapons can be attained from merchants and off of fallen foes.

Q : Can you give us some info on the Lords? For example what makes each one different?

JP : Well we have a total of 15 different lords to choose from each having their own strength’s and weaknesses. One of the largest things is their battle aura. Each lord has an aura which grants beneficial affects to all surrounding allies and adversely hurts the nearby enemies.

Q : How about the maps. How large will maps be? Will they vary from mission to mission? Will we see any “indoor” settings, or will everything be outdoors’.

JP : You will be able to see . . .*looks around* umm I am unable to comment. There will be a lot of maps and they will be big. I think that’s all I can say at this time.

Q : What different types of terrain will you traverse in your quest?

You will see snow, forest, desert, and a couple more that I am unable to talk about for fear a member of the Ebon Mask will come find me and drive a dagger in my back.

Q : Will the maps be inhabited by other creatures besides you and the enemy?

JP : Oh yes. We have several different types of NPC type bad guys. Gnolls, Goblins, and Ogres, and that’s just to name a few.

Q : Can you give us any info on the AI? Will it have a difficulty setting?

JP : There will be a variable slider that you can swing back and forth to make the game more difficult or easier depending on your mood that day.

Q : Will it be given any sort bonuses such as reduced build time etc?

JP : Not decided yet, but hey if I told you everything it wouldn’t be a surprise would it. ?

Q : Will the AI utilize tactics? Or will it just send units at you till you die or you kill it?

JP : The AI is very, very sneaky you have to be really, really careful or it will get ya. Actually the AI we have is very smart it will actually get smarter as a battle wages on. So if you like to rush the next time you face it, it may just learn your tactics and the rush may not be so successful.

Q : Since LOE will be using Sony’s matching making service, will it be supporting any other multiplayer protocol such direct play TCP/IP, or LAN?

JP : We will be supporting LAN play. All other methods are still being discussed.

Q : Can you give us any info on what kind of multiplayer game types will be included?

JP : Now you know I would if I could.

Q : For the players that have played EverQuest, will we see any familiar faces such as cameo NPCs or familiar places?

JP : Well you probably won’t see any familiar faces since this game is set 10,000 years in the past of the EverQuest mythos, but hey you never know about them elves they are a sneaky lot.

Q : Will we see a demo before or after game launch and are you planning any type of (public) beta test?

JP : We have plans to do a Beta of sorts look for more information keep checking

Q : Finally is there anything you would like to add? Perhaps something I missed?

JP : No I have already said too much. I will more than likely get beat up from someone in PR for having too large of a mouth.

Thanks for taking the time to answer our annoying questions.

No, Thank you for asking them.

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