Druids Grove interview with Darren McPherson

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Druids Grove interview with Darren McPherson

Post by Nadia » Mon Aug 08, 2005 7:46 AM

http://van.forums.thedruidsgrove.org/sh ... hp?t=11813
1) Who is the person or persons most involved with designing the druid class? What class features are they most excited about?

Myself, Darrin McPherson. Originally the Druid was a member of our healer archetype. Following traditional MMO convention was that the Druid was a nature healer. We reached a point in our planning not too long ago when we needed to make a change. One of our senior designers suggested that the Druid be moved to the arcane damage dealer archetype…and I really liked that. I have always loved the primal, natural disaster side of the Druid and that is the direction we are taking him. My favorite feature? That is still a secret…for awhile longer at least.

2) Where do you see druids fitting into the world? Do you consider them a specialist class or a generalist similar to the original EQ?

All of our classes fall into both of those categories. Without a lengthy explanation of our class structure (which has been talked about in many different places) the Druid’s primary task is dealing damage. In this they are generalists, as all the other members of the arcane damage dealer archetype deal in spell damage. The Druid will specialize in some types of damage (Lightning, etc.) and he will also have many spells that are unique to him. In addition to this all of our classes have different ways that they interact with the game.

3) How attuned to nature are they? By this I mean are they able to actually affect the weather, influence the animals around them, etc? How about skills such as tracking and foraging?

Despite the change from the traditional Druid, the Vanguard Druid is still closely bonded to nature. He will be able to affect the weather, summon natural allies, cause earthquakes and generally create havoc amongst his opponents. He will also have skills that you would associate with a class that spends much of its time communing with nature.

4) We know that Vanguard will have combat abilities such as sympathetic moves and counter-spells that make combat more interesting and strategic for melee and caster classes. Is there something similar planned for the priest/healer classes?

Well, since the Druid is now a member of a new archetype, he does indeed gain counter spells. All casters will have the ability to be sympathetic to some extent. Working together with certain classes the Druid can aid in create some pretty amazing effects.

5) Many people at The Grove are hardcore raiders and one of the questions they asked me to get an answer to is do you have a planned role for druids in a raid situation? If so can you give us a few details?

Druids will bring their own brand of savagery to a raid. They will be desired for their unique damage and buffing spells as well as their ability to counter-spell. I cannot go into details at this time, because spoiling secrets is nasty, nasty business. 

6) Do you have anything similar to WoW's shape-changing in store for Vanguard druids?

Some limited shapechanging has not been ruled out, but that will most likely be the realm of another of our classes.

7) The original druids in EQ were excellent solo choices. Will druids in Vanguard have similar solo options or do you envision them being more of a group oriented class this time around?

It is our goal that each class in Vanguard will have the same opportunity to solo. Vanguard will support both casual and group play, but our focus is on groups.

8) Almost all fantasy games have a druid class one kind or another. What new twist does Sigil feel they bring to the class? What makes playing the Vanguard druid different from playing druids in other MMORPG games such as EQ, EQ2 and Wow

Well, as explained earlier, Vanguard’s Druid is heavily offensive. This in itself is quite a departure from the rest of the MMOs out there.

9) How effective will druids be in a dungeon environment? Will they have indoor/outdoor only spells for example?

They will be just as powerful in or out of doors. Not to say that they won’t have abilities that depend on this criteria. We have a lot of dungeons in Vanguard and we certainly don’t want to reduce the Druids power while adventuring indoors.

10) Many role players from the Druid community say they would love to find a way to earn experience as a druid by protecting animals and nature in general instead of just slaughtering every living thing they come across...maybe even incurring some kind of penalty for betraying nature, possibly in the form of faction. Any chance of something along those lines in V:SoH?

This can be and will be accomplished through the use of factions. It is part of our faction system, so there is no reason that you, as a Druid, wouldn’t be punished for slaughtering animals, or rewarded for the defense of nature. This has been done to a limited extent in other games. Was it ever a good idea to attack animal near the North Karana druid ring? 

11) How does Sigil intend to a keep the lines of communication open with each class community? For example, SOE's use of the Class Correspondent and community summits, regular dev posts in the various class forums, etc.

We plan to keep in close contact with established and well run fan sites, including class specific sites. We will also continue to host events such as Fanguards and Community Summits. And we will continue to read what you have to say on forums… both yours and ours. We have tried to establish and atmosphere of open communication with our community all through the development process and we intend for that to continue through Beta and release.

12) What kind of unique things can we look forward to in the druids class from a PvP perspective?

With so much of the druid shrouded in secrecy, it is impossible to elaborate on these details as this time.

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