Developer Interview 3

OK Guys, here it is! The famed interview I’ve been talking about. Keep in mind that some of these questions are outdated, as I sent them in some time ago. Enjoy!

Hello, I am Stravos (Real name: Dylan) from Nox Haven. I would like to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.

  1. First off, could you identify yourself and the role you had in Nox (Please tell us a little about yourself)?
    JH: John Hight, Executive Producer and Director of Design
    MB: Michael S. Booth, Technical Director and Original Creator of Nox. Mike is also the project lead for the add-on.
    CD: Colin Day, Programmer and Software Lead for the Nox live team and add-on
  2. Now that the weekly maps have stopped, are there any plans of releasing a map editor?
    JH: Not currently.
  3. There have also been rumors of Nox 2. You have apparently registered www.nox2.com. Are there any plans or current development for Nox2?
    JH: We’re quite busy completing the add-on, but we’re also taking time to discuss our next project. We probably won’t be re-using the Nox engine, instead we’ll be working with new technology. I can’t release any details but we want our next game to be truly revolutionary.
    When will the development start or the game be released?
    JH: We’ve already started design discussions. We won’t set a release date until we’ve fully scoped out the game and convinced ourselves that it’s fun.
    What new features will be added?
    JH: No details to release yet, but we’re taking into account advances in 3D technology and we’ve been listening to the requests for more cooperative game play.
  4. There have been many pleadings for Co-op missions. Why did you not put this in the game?
    JH: We had plans for a cooperative mode. We thought this would detract from the action and competitive nature of multiplay. So we concentrated on creating a deep multiplayer experience with a variety of game modes and server options.
    What were your reactions when you saw all the posts asking for this in the message board?
    JH: At first we thought people were just trying to compare us to Diablo and not looking past it. Over time, we decided to give people co-op, but with a distinctly Nox spin. Michael Booth will reveal our plans…
    Is there any possibility of this being added in a future patch?
    MB: We are working hard on a new game mode for Nox – multiplayer cooperative Quest. This new Quest mode allows up to 6 players to adventure together through a number of brand-new, very large, hand-crafted adventure maps, fighting hordes of evil monsters and collecting spells, weapons, and armor along the way. A Quest game never ends, but each successive map is harder than the last one, with monsters that deal more damage and are harder to kill. There will also be a separate ladder for the Quest game, to keep track of the highest scoring Questers. Best of all, Nox Quest will be a free download from www.westwood.com!
  5. There have been rumors of a Nox add-on, even some appearing in well-known magazines, can you confirm these?
    MB: Yes
    Is there a release date set for that yet?
    MB: Nox Quest should be available sometime in July.
    Will there be a new class, or more levels or both?
    MB: The Quest game has many new, very large, levels created specifically for this game mode.
    Will the use of Co-op missions be used?
    MB: Players can play cooperatively in Nox Quest, yes.
    It’s rumored that the map editor will be released with the expansion pack. Is this true, and will it be available to download for free?
    MB: We don’t have any plans for releasing a map editor for Nox.
    Will the classes be more balanced? (its no coincidence warriors dominate the servers)
    MB: I have no problems taking out Warriors as a Wizard… heh heh.
    However, I understand your concern, and I will look into it.
  6. Can you give us any estimation on when the next patch will be released? 2 Months? Weeks? Real Soon?
    MB: A patch will be released at the same time as the release of Nox Quest – sometime in July.
  7. Can you shed some light on how partial or non-direct kills work? For example sometimes when I chase a wizard, or break their force field and they die a while after I get a kill, but not always.
    JH: This is a good question for Colin Day, our lead engineer on Nox Quest-on and a top Wizard player.
    CD: When you damage another player, or hit them with some spells, an accomplice “mark” is set that lasts for about 30 seconds. If that target dies within that time, you will get a point for assisting in the kill of that player. There cannot be multiple accomplices to a kill, only one primary attacker and one accomplice.
  8. I’ve read that you were going to include more spells in the original release, but lacked the time to do so. Can you give us some info on the missing spells you had planned?
    CD: The entire Nox team has had a lot of great ideas for spells and I think we all would have loved to see more of them make it into the game. A couple of spells that I think would have been really cool to see were Possession and Decoy. Possession would allow you to take control of existing creatures in the game. Imagine how much fun it would be to see an enemy summon a Stone Golem, possessing that Golem and turning it on its master, not to mention how cool it would be just to walk around as a Stone Golem and bash things. Decoy was going to create a duplicate of your player to confuse your enemies, it would be so cool to play it right and trick your enemies to attack the decoy while you strike from behind.
  9. How does lock work exactly? How long does it last, and is it the more locks you have, they shorter they each last?
    CD: The lock spell will lock a single door (or a set of double doors) for about one minute. The caster can freely move through the door, while others must wait for the lock to expire.
  10. Force Field is a great ability but in the spell book it says, “Absorbs half of damage…” Is this a misinterpretation or is it a bug? Will this be subject to change in the expansion?
    CD: Force Field is one of the most useful spells for the wizard. Incoming damage is split up, half is absorbed by the force field and the other half continues through to the target until all of the Force Field health points are used up. In addition, the force field will not allow a wizard to be killed in one shot. For instance, a Fist of Vengeance will certainly kill a wizard in one shot. Even if they have a Force Field up the Fist does enough damage to destroy the Force Field AND kill the wizard. However, the Force Field will protect the caster and keep them alive with 1 health. It has been discovered that there are some inconsistent situations with the Force Field, these issues will be addressed in the next update and the Force Field will work as advertised.
  11. Many other games have supported “mods” to enhance the replay value. A great example is Half-Life and the mod Counter-Strike, I, for one bought Half-Life for the sole reason that it has Counter-Strike. Is there any possibility that there will be code released to aid people that seek to create mods?
    JH: We don’t have any current plans to release a mod kit.
  12. There haven’t been any Westwood games that support mods that I know of. Can you enlighten us as to why they have not been supported?
    JH: We’ve concentrated our efforts on crafting each game and supporting it. We think mods are cool too. Let me ask your readers, what sort of mod would they like to see for Nox? [post your suggestions in our forums!]
  13. Will there be any new items in future patches just to add to the replay value before you release Nox II? (We know you are planning it… WE’RE ON TO YOU!)
    JH: As in the past, the team will continue to make refinements. We’re all eager to see how the community reacts to our Quest add-on.
    MB: We do listen to the Nox community, and try to respond to their wishes. The single most asked-for feature was a cooperative multiplayer mode. So, I hope everyone has a great time with Nox Quest!