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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » KoA: Reckoning - Answers from the Team

Default KoA: Reckoning - Answers from the Team

October 19th, 2011, 22:53
Time for the latest Reckoning Answers from the Team. A "meaty" answer:
Meaty content and special "epic" events, found in hidden spaces and far corners of the world is very rewarding and exciting for most RPG-players but one could think that spending a lot of resources on this kind of hidden-away content would be very unrewarding for the developers. A lot of people might not even find this content because they are not interested in exploring. Is this something that you think about? Do you have to find a good balance when it comes to how much resources you put into something that to some will be awesome, whilst others might not find this content at all. – By Goatrek
A: Actually, creating special areas for hidden content was one of my favorite things to do when creating the world. When we're handed new exploration reward items that we need to find homes for, it's like a field day for the world design crew. Crafting secret areas and visual stories relevant to that item really give us a chance to come up with ideas that no one has thought of yet and lets us give context to the world in our own way.
True, it's a fairly involved process to come up with some of this stuff. Often the idea starts in design, gets passed to concept, then to character or environment art, maybe even animation and then to us (world designers) to integrate into the world. For art, it's a chance for them to flex their muscles and come up with their own ideas that aren't dependent on quests. On our end, it means sculpting out passages in mountains, setting up particular encounters and traps, locking the treasure away behind hidden doors and using a whole slew of other devious toys at our disposal to make you really work to find the content.
When I found out that our Lead Designer, Ian Frazier, was designing a set of unique armor to be hidden throughout the world, I was super excited to start working on their hidden locations – because, with Ian being our D&D group's DM, each of the five armor pieces of the set were named after our characters. We had free creative reign for these one-off moments and somehow they all turned into the area where they either died or were laid to rest with varying degrees of brutality and serenity (it's surprisingly fun to kill your beloved D&D character – don't tell the DM!). I was even able to work with one of the narrative designers so that when you wear my character's helm, you’ll find that some NPCs have commentary for it. At that point, when you're having so much fun with the project, it's all about the time you want to put into it to make it really special.
We know that there is the possibility that some folks will never find the things we've hidden away, but when people do, it's extremely exciting and gratifying. One of my favorite moments was hearing that one of the Narrative Designers stopped play-testing quests when he discovered a piece of the unique set we had hidden away, and spent hours searching the rest of the world to obtain the rest of the armor set. – By Jessica "Meridian" Hara Campell, Principal World Designer
More information.
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October 19th, 2011, 22:53
As usual, every weekly Q&A of this game makes my hope growing a little more I really want this to be an enjoying game! But I have to remain skeptical about main story (altough I like Salvatore's books), dungeons and exploration.
Let's wait and see…

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October 19th, 2011, 23:54
I have to agree. There were two things I liked in this Q&A. First is the housing, which I somehow missed before. I know many folks look down on this … but when I am getting immersed in a game I just love that aspect. Even in BG2 I loved being a Ranger who got his own cottage.

What sort of Player Housing can we expect? Are there multiple options of houses and/or upgrades? – By KazeeSiH

A: The world of Amalur boasts a wide array of player housing options. Player homes will be full of variety and fun; some will offer unique things others will not. All of the player housing will offer at least a stash box to store your items, a mirror to customize your appearance, and a bed to sleep and heal in.

In addition to those basic features, you may also find that when you upgrade some of the homes, you'll unlock certain types of workbenches to craft at as well. This makes working with different crafting systems, such as Alchemy or Blacksmithing, more convenient for those who invest in player home upgrades. A player home will often change its physical layout as you upgrade it. This could mean additional rooms with new areas to explore, new services, or even house guests added to the experience.

One of the player homes you can unlock via questing also comes with its own underground mines. This means as you upgrade the property, not only the home interior will change, but the underground mines will expand and grow too. This allows you even more expanded layouts to explore, both above ground and below. Player housing has been one of my favorite things to work on in Reckoning, as it offers such a diverse mix of rewards. It's a wonderful feeling when you unlock a place that is all your own for the first time. Have fun exploring! – By Kitty "Neko" Hughes, Level Designer
I also found this intriguing … weapons that change damage depending on the time of day.

What types of "unique" loot will be in game? We've heard about the magical daggers that do ice damage during the day and fire at night, and I think someone mentioned about a sword with an eyeball that swirled around the blade, is there any hope for sentient weapons, special armor, or trinkets that may be considered engineered marvels of wonder? – By Falkon

A: There is a great breadth of unique items that you can find throughout Amalur, many of which were "lored" by Internationally Celebrated Game Designer and visionary Ken Rolston, himself! Some of them, like the Warsworn Commander Ballegar’s claymore, named "Fortune" are famed for bringing riches to the wielder (one of the buffs increases the amount of gold you find). Others, such as the Faeblades, are manifestations of magic.

Much like the Fae themselves, each unique pair of Faeblades embodies an aspect of nature; more specifically, they represent the natural categories of animal. As a sneak peak of these weapons, here are the Fae proverbs associated with a few pairs:

"Treachery is a poison."

"The greatest danger is barely seen."

"Fire separates, and renews."

You'll have to explore the world of Amalur to discover the rest of the Faeblade proverbs yourself. – By Narrative Designer Alex "xael" Horn
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October 20th, 2011, 00:20
Very intriguing. I hope the effort in hiding away parts of the game is not merely centered around loot though. As much as I enjoy a good breastplate, discovering a lost city and the reasons for its demise is even more gratifying
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October 20th, 2011, 02:35
They seem to have the right mentality to create and RPG and I'm liking what I hear from the interviews, but then I see the game and it's mario and god of war.
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October 20th, 2011, 12:58
Player housing *drool*
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October 20th, 2011, 13:40
I like feeling "connected" to various places in games. It doesn't have to be an actual house, but a place my character considers home. Over the years I've greatly enjoyed places like:
- Harmondale Castle in MM7. I think this was the first game I played where I felt attached to a specific place.
- The class "houses" in BG2. I loved them. Added replay value too!
- The three possible houses in Morrowind. Excellent feature.
- The camps in Gothic and the Monastery in Gothic 2.
- The castle in NWN2.

And so on and so forth. Bottom line: I like such features, especially if there are people or some sort of story related to it. I'm not a huge fan of having to always move on, without any reason to ever look back. I like being attached to certain people and places in games.

Hopefully, KoA will offer such a feature and not just a place with no purpose. That would be great news. At least for me.
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October 20th, 2011, 16:55
I loved the fixer upper in Harmondale and the haunted house you could by in Anvil, in Oblivion. I like having a reason for owning a property, other than just paying for it. Oh! 2W2 has a house your earn if you do enough quests for a town's political leader. That was cool too, though the house was a letdown compared to the one in Hatmandor.

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