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The Temple of Elemental Evil Interview, Part 1 (07/04/2003)
you be implementing any subraces?
We plan to implement several, at least the ones that are not ECL, like
drow. I like the idea of adding variation, primarily through stat adjustment.
It gives the player more choices.
many feats & skills are you implementing? We know jumping, climbing
and riding are out. What about swimming or diving?
have implemented 55 feats and 22 skills. They are:
Craft Magic Arms and Armor
Craft Wonderous Item
Exotic Weapon Prof.
Improved Bull Rush
Improved Two-Weapon Fighting
Improved Unarmed Strike
Martial Weapon Prof.
Point Blank Shot
Shot on the Run
Simple Weapon Prof.
Use Magic Device
We have removed all
of the feats and skills that are not possible in the game, either due
to interface or engine constraints.
gameplay differ significantly (aside from it being turn-based) from previous
D&D CRPGs, like the Baldur's Gate series, for example?
just by being 3rd edition, we should differ quite a bit. The addition
of several talk skills (like Diplomacy and Bluff) makes our dialogs much
richer. And we are adding quite a bit of non-linearity, to make the game
as varied as the kinds of parties you can make.
our characters be given a past or will they be free to make their own
histories? How about the henchmen's histories and motives for joining
player characters are your own, although your choice of party alignment
will determine the exact reason that you are in Hommlet, the starting
village. Henchmen, on the other hand, often have their own motives, and
may choose to disobey, leave or even attack the party, as the case may
hard a time are good vs. evil players going to have playing ToEE? Is either
path more difficult or rewarding, or are they equally balanced?
like to think that evil is easier but less rewarding, compared to good.
But that's only because choosing to kill is always the simplest, most
direct route to completion. Therefore, some of the evil endings are easier
to get, but not quite as satisfying.
does the party creation work in ToEE? How many followers will be able
to join us?
can create up to five player characters, and when you return to the inn,
you can remove them and replace them with new ones. However, you can never
pick up more than three followers at any given time. Additional followers
will either not be given the chance to join or will ask you to come back
when you are less crowded.
the followers going to be a set level, or will they adjust to the level
of the party they will be joining? How much is alignment going to affect
the possibility of a certain follower joining our party?
are a set level, but they will gain xp after they join the group. The
way experience works, lower level NPC's will gain experience faster, and
eventually they will catch up to your level. Some followers will refuse
to join based on your alignment, and you will also refuse to work with
some NPC's because of their alignment. But some are secretive, and will
join your group regardless of alignment, and may turn on you later.
the music and atmosphere... Who is doing the music? Are you working closely
with the musician?
are using a musician selected by the Infogrames music director. He has
been down to our offices several times to see the game, and I have given
him samples from my music library as examples of what I like to hear.
I am pleased with the music we have received so far - it's very dark and
ambient. And when Steve Moret (the lead programmer) wasn't looking, I
recoded the sound engine to let us play different combat music based on
location, so combat will have a different feel in the depths of the temple,
as compared to say, a random encounter.
is item creation going to work? Similarly, will we be able to recharge
wands we already own?
you use an item creation feat, an interface opens that shows all of the
items you can potentially make with that feat. Any item you currently
cannot make, due to level or money restrictions, will be greyed out. You
can pick any non-greyed item on the list, and you've made it. Money and
xp costs will be paid by the character.
armor work a little differently, since you can add magical enhancements
to existing magic weapons and armor. So if you find a +1 longsword, for
example, you can make it a flaming longsword and only pay for the flaming
be recharged in 3rd edition. They are charged at the time of creation.
there be a level cap?
the game is capped at level 10. Part of this is to balance the game (it's
not much of a challenge to level 20 characters) and part is due to the
development time limitations. We didn't have time to add all of the class
abilities and spells available above level 10.
your time Tim, and we're eagerly expecting the second part of this interview!
(Update: now available here.)