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Interview

Horizons Interview Part 2

What character races will be playable in the initial release of Horizons and do you expect to add different races later on?David:
Humans
Humans are available in male, female, young, old, thin, fat, muscular, and also have varied facial structures based on a wide range of ethnic diversity.Fiends
Fiends are available in male, female, young, old, thin, fat and muscular. They are a young race and haven’t evolved much regional diversity.Dragons
Dragons begin life as juveniles. As they become more experienced in life, they can choose to transform to the next level of development and become adults, and later ancients. Each stage of life brings new abilities.I’ll try to sum it up briefly. We’ve used Humans, Fiends and Dragons to define our race production pipeline. We’ve matured the technology to the point where designers can spell out a race and the artists know all of the a*ets (character models, textures, sounds, animations, equipment, structures, environments etc…) that they need to create to put a new race into the world. The tools to a*ist them in creating these a*ets continue to improve and the rate at which all of the a*ets can be produced increases. We will continue to introduce new races into the world for the life of Horizons that is central to the design of the game. The current list of proposed character races includes but is not limited to and in no particular order:Elves
Dwarves
Goblins
Gnomes
Orcs
Giants
Dryads
Saris
Sslik
Satyr
Ogres
Angels
Demons
Welgers
Centaurs
Halflings
Werewolves… and more will be added while some are postponed.Players are able to build structures in Horizons. What type of structures are we talking about (shops, inns, taverns, etc.) and does the player require unique skills such as carpentry to build such structures? Also, can a group of players pitch in together to build huge structure such as a castle, for instance?David:
All structures are available for players to build. We are using a modified world builder interface to allow players to choose the locations for their structures on their property. When they have decided on the location, they then commit to the building of that structure. They can contribute directly to the construction by applying their own trade skills (this can include carpentry, masonry or joining) and resources to the job; or they can place gold into the project and have any other player with such skills and resources apply them to the task and be automatically paid for their efforts. Massive structures will require massive amounts of resources and will most probably be the result of a coordinated effort on the part of a group. This group could be a guild, friends, or a player-organized trade union… that will be up to the players.Examples of current structures include: homes, shops, schools, statues, gardens, vendor kiosks, walls, roads, amphitheaters and guildhalls. This is not the complete list and we will continue to add through the life of Horizons.In the official Horizons FAQ, it states that a player does not have to start a new game if they want to play as a new character. How will this work? Can they just change into a new character and retain the same level and goods in their inventory?David:
I a*ume you are referring to this quote from our site: “It will not be necessary for you to start over as a new character if you decide to explore a different role in the game.” Unlike other products that force you to play only one role, Horizons allows you to play as a Warrior (or whichever school you first decide to join) for as long as you like, and trying a different role merely requires you to go to one of the many schools in the world and join that school. You might decide to become a Healer, Scout or Wizard. It does not require you to abandon a character that you have spent much time and thought creating and growing. It is also possible for you to join one of the many tradecraft schools and be a warrior/smith or a wizard/alchemist or to be a pure crafter if you so choose.Can you explain how a player’s death will be handled in the game, especially in the area of status of inventory after a player dies?David:
When your character dies, you have a choice of staying as a corpse in hopes of your friends resurrecting you or of releasing to be resurrected at your hometown. Your death results in a death point being added to your character. Death points accumulate but can be reduced through quests or interactions with Shrines. If too many death points accumulate, character abilities will begin to be impacted. At no time will death result in the loss of an item or experience gained.Initially the game will only have players being killed by computer-controlled characters. Can you give us any hints on how player vs. player fighting will be structured?Steve:
It is more accurate to say that there will be no non-consensual player-character fighting player-character interaction. The implementation of consensual forms of player-character fighting are still to be developed and are not yet ready to be discussed. We are also actively designing a non-consensual player-character fighting player-character product that will be considered for future production.The main point that we all feel very strongly about is that these experiences are two very different game play environments. Our plan is to design and develop a different product that supports the PvP environment very well. Just this week we have made some major inroads on the decisions in this area and are quite pleased. When we let everyone know I am quite sure you will be as well.What is the current schedule for Beta and is there a target date set for the final release?Steve:
We don’t want to be held to specific dates on things so I will be general. We are launching our Alpha in the fall. In the New Year we will begin the closed beta with the open beta soon following in the spring. Summer 2003 is our launch.Artifact will be letting everyone know of the beta test sign-up phase that is just around the corner. Everyone will be able to sign up for their chances to participate.

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