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GameSpy Arcade Chat Log (September 5, 2003)

NOTE: The log was edited for spelling/grammar by Tal, and most pointless comments were removed to enable easier reading.

TimCain waves
<Jops> Just give us a try Cobby
<Xombie> would everyone saying "hi tim" in unison be misbehaving?
<EoT|Jesse> Hi Tim!!
<Michael_Wolf> Hi, Tim!
<EoT|Whipporowill> Greets Tim
<Xombie> hi tim
<Wormwood> TIMMY!!!
<Xerophyte> Evenin', Tim. Proper job on the Gold-ing
<Jops> Hi Tim
<Dadman> Hi Tim!
<glensterror> hi
<Gaybrush_Threepchoad> Hello tim!
<TimCain> Good evening everyone.
<Executor> Congratulations on going gold
<smokebreak> man I am so excited about this game comming out
<NathanJamesH> will there be a demo?
<TimCain> We were happy to go gold as well.
<Michael_Wolf> Congratulations!
<Executor> Tell us something we don't already know
<[Admin]Cobby> I will moderate for a tiny second while we do introductions....
<TimCain> The team is working on the demo as I speak
<NathanJamesH> very good
<[Admin]Cobby> Hang on for just a second please
<smokebreak> TOEE was the first game I ever DMed
<[GSI]WolfBlade> Hello everyone! and Welcome to todays Chat with Troika's "Tim Cain" about their upcoming release of Greyhawk: Temple of Elemental Evil, which goes GOLD this week!
<[GSI]WolfBlade> Welcome Tim!
<TimCain> Thanks! Hello everyone!
<[Admin]Cobby> *EoT|Jesse* What will we get to see the demo? Will we be able to use the character generator?
<TimCain> We will be finishing the demo today or tomorrow, so it will be available as soon as Atari
releases it.
<TimCain> The character generator is not available. You will start at the moathouse with a
pregenerated party of 2nd and 3rd level characters
<EoT|Whipporowill> What's the full official name for the game, as there has been some debate on it?
<TimCain> Official name is Dungeons & Dragons: The Temple of Elemental Evil: A Classic Greyhawk
Adventure
<TimCain> I read it right off the box to my right :)
<Blink> thats a long name lol
<EoT|Whipporowill> Teaser
<Blink> for a game that is
<Xombie> that's even longer than Arcanum's O_o
<Michael_Wolf> Apropos names... will we able to name our party?
<FuzzySilk> Can you use terrain (ie a chair, bed, desk) to move to your advantage in a fight. Like what was promised in PoR: Ruins of Myth Drannor but never came about.
<Timurlane> D&DTTOEEACGA
<TimCain> You cannot name your party, unfortunately. We thought of that too late. You can name your
pets and your created weapons.
<Jops> What about giving names and surnames separately (like NWN)
<Poseidon_DL> im gona name my weapon...hmm...oscar
<TimCain> Yes, terrain provides cover, like moving behind a pillar. And corners are great ways to
avoid being flanked.
<Mr_X714_DL> lol
<WhItE11> LOL
<TimCain> Nope. Your character just has the one name.
<FuzzySilk> OK but can you move the terrain?
<NathanJamesH> will the game be more single player or multiplayer?
<TimCain> Nope. You cannot move the terrain.
<Xombie> How many pets will be available to us? and what ones?
<FuzzySilk> OK Thanks
<Gaybrush_Threepchoad> SP only
<TimCain> No multiplayer at all.
<Wolverine> I'd like to know about the system requirements for this game ...
<TimCain> You can summon a variety of animal companions. Each player can have one, if he can summon
it. So you can have up to five
<Jops> Er... Tim, not a very important question, but i still care: is the evil yellow fog still on the box or was it removed?
<smokebreak> Did prestiege classes ever make it off the "cool stuff list" and into the game?
<Poseidon_DL> sorta like nox eh
<Mr_X714_DL> TimCain what have i stumbled on here =}
<TimCain> Yellow fog is still there.
<FuzzySilk> Is the release date still the 23rd?
<chaos407> What would you say is going to be the limiting factor regarding performance on a high-end (read current DirectX 9 compliant) system - Is it more likely to be CPU, GPU or PS/VS performance limited?
<TimCain> Prestige classes were removed several months ago, when we switched to 3.5
<Xombie> :(
<smokebreak> ahhh ok
<TimCain> Your GPU is the limiting factor. High fill rate is the best
<Sarkile> Are we going to see a list of changes this game has from pnp D&D online before the game's release, and if so when?
<EoT|Whipporowill> What features do you most regret not having time for putting in the game?
<Dadman> Will the game be real time or turn based?
<Xombie> dadman- turn based
<tiefling> it's TB
<TimCain> Atari controls the release date. We are done with the game though.
<tiefling> and single player only, for those of you that missed that
<Poseidon_DL> timothy, if i use my current modem and connection ( basically a brick with a string attatched to it) will I be able to play this game?
<Mr_X714_DL> lol
<TimCain> I wish we had had time for prestige classes and for more magic items.
<Xerophyte> Yes, as it is not an online game :)
<Sniipe> Are all enemies set or will some be scaled to the party level?
<Xombie> poseidon, there's no mp
<Poseidon_DL> sh
<Poseidon_DL> *ah
<Mr_X714_DL> :)
<smokebreak> Tim, will we see rules posted on the official site before the game is relesed?
<TimCain> The enemies are set. However, I do cull out overwhelming monster for world map
encounters. it was no fun to encounter 4 ettin with your level 1 bard.
<Timurlane> how many spells are in the game?
<Jops> One more little but cool thing: Will we enounter any other adventuring party in the game to interact with?
<FuzzySilk> Arcanum was an awesome game. I know you used the same engine and there were complaints about the fighting engine of Arcanum... How does Temple's fighting engine compare to Arcanums?
<Xombie> tim, if we decide that we want to kill everyone in town, will there be immortal characters, like children in NWN?
<TimCain> There are no immortal characters. Please kill everyone, including some critters that you
may think cannot be killed. They can be.
<TimCain> <d>
<[Admin]Cobby> *EoT|Whipporowill* - Atari has Troika on a support contract for the game, does that include eventual extra content of just sweeping up the bugs? How soon do you start on the sequel? ;)
<TimCain> No, Atari does not have Troika on any kind of additional contract, nor have they
requested a sequel at this time.
<TimCain> We will finish the demo and the localized versions, and then we are done.

<[Admin]Cobby> *spigunk* how high will the pc's level go to by the end of the game?
<TimCain> Level 10 is the maximum
<[Admin]Cobby> *Jops* One more little but cool thing (at least for me, i love roleplaying parts): Will we enounter any other adventuring party in the game to interact with?
<TimCain> Yes, Jops, you will encounter other groups. You are not the only adventurers out there...
<[Admin]Cobby> *tiefling* How many spells are in the game?
<TimCain> For the players, 242. Monsters have access to some that the players don't, so almost 300.
<[Admin]Cobby> *smokebreak* Will we see the rules as they are in the game posted on the official website before game release? Also, how much will rule documentation will be included in game?
<TimCain> I don't think there are plans for posting the rules, as there are so many. However, I made a list in the manual of all of the chnages we implemented to existing rules, either for balance or because the engine could not support it.
<TimCain> We are very 3.5 compliant.

<[Admin]Cobby> *FuzzySilk* Can you explain Iron Man mode and has anyone including yourself finished the game yet in Iron Man?
<TimCain> Ah...Iron Man
<TimCain> Iron Man is played like the normal game, except you cannot reroll your stats and you
cannot save the game.
<TimCain> When you quit, your game is saved automatically. And you can load that game, and be playing Iron Man again, but the save is removed after loading, so you cannot creep and save.
<TimCain> It's just like paper and pencil. If you die, you're dead. No saying "Well, I won't open that door"
<TimCain> It's HARD. No one here has manged it yet. We have tried.

<[Admin]Cobby> *Sarcen* how big a dialougue tree can we expect..and how much if any will it effect the game's progesion..and will alignment change changes occur in game?
<TimCain> We have some large dialog trees, some with a hundred NPC nodes or more. Some quests are only available by reaching certain dialog nodes, and you will need dialog skills (like Diplomacy) to do that, or be well -liked, or of a certain alignment
<TimCain> Alignment change does not occur, but paladins CAN fall, if they behave badly. Then they
must get atoned or switch classes to progress.
<TimCain> <d>

<[Admin]Cobby> *Michael_Wolf* I have seen all those cool cloaks and robes and hats in the screenshots released, will there be tailors in the game where we can buy clothes?
<TimCain> Yes, there is a tailor in Hommlet, and he has a variety of cloaks, robes, hats, village
garb and monk outfits.
<TimCain> Some of the really cool stuff youhave to find however, or kill someone over.
<TimCain> We support fashion-oriented genocide.

<[Admin]Cobby> *Executor* Question: Could the manual or a few chapters of it be released online prior to the game being shipped? It'd be nice to have something to read and it would help us plan our parties.
<TimCain> That's a good idea. I can ask Atari to post some on the site.
<TimCain> It's a big manual.
<TimCain> But I got a recipe into it anyway. :)

<[Admin]Cobby> *Sniipe* Will we be able to control NPCs in the party? If not, can we tweak their AI?
<TimCain> You can control NPC's that you pick up along the way, but you cannot control summoned
creatures, like animals or demons or the like. They simply attack whatever you attack.
<[Admin]Cobby> *Sarkile* Will there be a reason to travel back to Hommlet besides resting and selling loot? Will additional quests and events be opened as we progress through the Temple?
<TimCain> Hommlet is great fro resting and selling. There are quests that are hard to do at low
levels, and you may want to do them for the extra xp.
<TimCain> I went back to Hommlet once because my character were 7 xp from leveling. I did one quest and bink! Leveled!
<TimCain> Also, you will need a safe place to craft magic items.
<TimCain> And you need masterwork weapons to enchant as well, and some can be purchased rather than found.

<[Admin]Cobby> *Michael_Wolf* We all know that ToEE will be combat-heavy, but will high-charisma characters be able to solve problems by diplomacy? Perhaps to avoid fights...
<TimCain> Yes, there are many places where Diplomacy, Intimidate and Bluff will get you out of a
fight, and sometimes even gain you an item or a follower.
<TimCain> But at its heart, D&D is about combat. You cannot avoid it entirely.

<[Admin]Cobby> *chaos407* What sort of sound engine does D&D have? Is it a 5.1 system and what technology does it support? EAX etc
<TimCain> We have added EAX support, and if you have multiple speakers, our ambient sound effects
will play in a spatialized manner. So the birds in Hommlet chirp all around you.
<TimCain> It's preety nice, really.
<TimCain> <d>

<[Admin]Cobby> *Timurlane* How long is the game approximately?
<TimCain> No one here did it in under 20 hours, and that was knowing exactly what to do and where to go, and doing the fastest ending available. I'd say 30-40 hours for most people. More if you do every side quest.
<TimCain> IronMan games tend to be short, though. :)

<[Admin]Cobby> *Jops* Well, Tim, you guys did a great job on ToEE, and now it's over (or almost over). Do you already have some plans for your next work? (a part from Bloodlines)
<TimCain> We have several offers to consider. We'll see what happens. It's hard to predict these
things.
<[Admin]Cobby> *Panza* will the first couple levels be given to you easily like most other games? or will you have to work for them like your later levels
<TimCain> Good question. That depends on two things - party alignment and party size. Some of the opening vignettes give more experience than others (we made no attempt to balance them equally, in other words).
<TimCain> And small parties will level faster than bigger ones. One person here played solo, and leveled at the end of the opening vignette!
<TimCain> But solo parties are harder (much much harder), so you will have to decide what to do.
<TimCain> Bear in mind that followers will get a share of XP. High level followers will increase the party's average level, and reduce the XP gain as well
<TimCain> So to answer your question...maybe. There are a lot of factors.

<[Admin]Cobby> *FuzzySilk* I know you use radial menus like NWN and PoR. Are there keyboard shortcuts? And can you redefine them?
<TimCain> Yes, you can assign a hotkey to any radial menu entry. This makes it easy to access an ability like Lay on Hands quickly.
<[Admin]Cobby> *tiefling* Do you have a favorite battle in the game, that is especially challenging and/or fun?
<TimCain> I like the frogs at the beginning, because of their tongues. But my favorite battle so far has been with the hill giants, since they shake the screen as they smash you. And they have so many hit points, the battle lasts a long time and is freakin HARD!
<[Admin]Cobby> *Kaotic_Krash* will it be possible to win the game without a single wizard or sorcerer
<TimCain> It is possible to win with any class/race combo. There are no required items either. You could win with just a bard or a monk or a rogue, if you wanted to.
<[Admin]Cobby> *Executor* Could you list some of the more powerful spells in the game, such as those available only to monsters?
<TimCain> Well, demons and some outsides (like salamanders) have spell like effects.
<TimCain> They summon beasties, or do fireballs.
<TimCain> These spells are different and unavailable to PC's.
<TimCain> We also added some spells higher than 5th level, like Chain Lightning, which may be found in the game by the PC's (or used against them by bad guys).
<TimCain> <d>

<[Admin]Cobby> *EoT|Whipporowill* Are you pleased with the music in the game? Any name for that composer?
<TimCain> The composer is named Ron Fish. The music is very good, and I especially like the darker stuff he did.
<TimCain> We used his best piece for the end. :)

<[Admin]Cobby> *|BC|Guner{Gen5|MS|* question how good are the graphics
<TimCain> Really good.
<[Admin]Cobby> *Gaybrush_Threepchoad* Does choosing a certain party alignment mean that the ending is set in stone from that moment, or is it flexible enough to turn out as it would for a party with a similar but not identical alignment?
<TimCain> Choosing a certain party alignment does NOT set the ending in stone. However, some are only POSSIBLE for certain party alignments. Obviously an evil party will have options not available to a good one, for instance. But there is no single ending forced upon a particular alignment
<[Admin]Cobby> *EoT|Whipporowill* Did you add something extra if/when someone manages to go through the game in Ironman, or do we have to make do with the honour of it?
<TimCain> I think we added a slide into the end game for it. Maybe not. But you will have to do IronMan because you want to. It's a personal glory thing. Like why people rock climb or bungie jump.
<[Admin]Cobby> *|BC|Guner{Gen5|MS|* question where could i get screen shots of the game
<TimCain> I believe there are some fine screenshots available right here at GameSpy. :)
<[Admin]Cobby> *Jops* Will NPCs and monsters use advanced tactics (if they're smart enough): like trying to distract you while their rogue picks down your buddies? And will they use environment items at their advantage (you said that you can, but do they)?
<TimCain> Yes, enemies understand flanking rules and will try to surround you. Ones that use ranged weapons will take 5-foot steps to avoid attacks of opportunity. And some will pay attention to spell casters and attempt to take them out first (poor, low-AC wizzie).
<[Admin]Cobby> *EoT|Jesse* In case there is a sequel to ToEE, what sort of modifications would you like to do to the engine? Or would you build a new engine? Perhaps 3D that allow for climb and swim and mounts?
<TimCain> *If* we do a sequel, I want to expand the rules up to level 20 and add prestige classes. We probably won't make a new engine for the sequel, though.
<TimCain> <D>

<[Admin]Cobby> *Sovelior* How about easter eggs, are there any?
<TimCain> Yes. You don't want spoilers, do you?
<[Admin]Cobby> *Gaybrush_Threepchoad* Did you take D&D cliches and twist them around like you did in Arcanum with Kerghan?
<TimCain> We have several places in the game where we poke a little fun at D&D stereotypes, yes.
<TimCain> Especially in dialogs and in quests.
<TimCain> I think we don't hold anything in reverance (kinda like the Simpson's).
<TimCain> <d>

<[Admin]Cobby> *Executor* Some monsters, especially fiends, received major boosts in power in 3.5E compared to 3E. Have you nerfed monsters, such as the balor, in order to make them easily beatable by 10th-level parties?
<TimCain> We had to nerf a few monsters, mostly banshee and juggernaughts, which are CRAZY in 3.5
<TimCain> The balor got nerfed a little, but not much. Remember, you don't have to attack him, and
if you do, you don't have to do it alone.
<TimCain> But you can, if you are crazy.

<[Admin]Cobby> *Timurlane* I know you used the same engine for Arcanum, and there were complaints about the fighting engine of Arcanum... How does Temple's fighting engine compare to Arcanums?
<TimCain> Temple uses the D&D rules and is turn-based only. There is really no comparison. The
fighting system was the first thing we ripped out and replaced.
<[GSI]WolfBlade> Well it looks like we're going to wrap things up here
<[GSI]WolfBlade> A big thanks to TimCain for being here and a huge thanks to all the fans in the lobby for coming!
<[GSI]WolfBlade> Eccellent job!
<[Admin]Cobby> Thanks Tim - You did great! Quick typist! :)
<TimCain> Thanks. My fingers ache now.
<[GSI]WolfBlade> hehe
<TimCain> I cannot touch type. :)
<TimCain> Thanks everyone! Good questions!
TimCain waves
<TimCain> Good night.

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