Dungeon Siege 2 Interview 4 by Gareth Von Kallenbach
Recently, I had the chance to conduct an Interview with the creative talents behind the game, Dungeon Siege 2, which is one of this years most anticipated titles. in this exclusive for Skewed and Reviewed, we covered all things related to the game and I wanted to thank the team for taking time from their hectic schedules to do this.
1. What is the background and setting of the game and how does it follow up the events of the first game?
[Sarah Boulian] Dungeon Siege II takes place around 100 years after Dungeon Siege on the continent of Aranna. While both games are part of the same universe, they are each stand-alone stories with unique characters and events. Even if you missed out on Dungeon Siege, you can easily get into Dungeon Siege II.
2. What new weapons and abilities can players use in the game?
[Daniel Achterman] There are several new weapon types in Dungeon Siege II. Characters can dual wield two melee weapons simultaneously. There are many new thrown weapons, and mages can wear cestuses, which are magical hand weapons that magnify their spellcasting abilities.
Plus, each of the four classes in Dungeon Siege II has a skill tree that lets players define their characters' strengths. As they advance their skills, characters learn new special powers. Powers let characters call down balls of fire, shoot arrows through giant crowds of enemies, turn invincible, and more, but they can only be used infrequently.
3. How will character leveling be handled?
[Daniel Achterman] Dungeon Siege II has the same simple, easy-to-understand character leveling scheme as Dungeon Siege did. Characters gain experience in the weapons that they use, so using melee weapons will make a character stronger with melee weapons. One welcome change is that Dungeon Siege II shares experience evenly between all characters in a party, so a character who focuses on healing will not fall behind offensive characters in level.
4. What sort of missions will players face and what are some of the enemies they will encounter?
[Sarah Boulian] Dungeon Siege II contains a wide variety of quests that propel the player through the story and motivate him to fully explore the world. These range from unraveling a kidnapping mystery to speaking with ghostly spirits to joining a town in a full-fledged rebellion against their oppressors.
Along with the rich and varied quests, there are a myriad of enemies the player will face, including a number of evil races with memorable cultures and personalities.
5. The inclusion of pets is sure to delight gamers. Can you tell the readers what are some of the pet options and what they will add to a character aside from companionship?
[Daniel Achterman] There are all kinds of pets, each specializing in different abilities. There are ranged pets, healing pets, defensive pets, damage pets, and more. Pets are less flexible than normal characters, but nothing can beat a pet in its specialty. Pets are also the only characters with emanations that power up any nearby allies.
Pets start out weaker than normal characters, so players have to mature them by feeding them items they find in the field. Fortunately, the types of items players feed their pets determine what maturity bonuses they get. For example, feeding pets armor will increase their defense. That lets players control how their pets grow.
6. What are some of the character classes and the strengths and weaknesses of them?
[Daniel Achterman] There are four major classes, though characters are free to mix and match classes. Fighters can take more punishment than any class. Rangers can deal lots of damage from a distance and have good damage avoidance skills.
Combat Mages deal more damage than any other class, but are fragile. Nature Mages have excellent healing, enchantment, and summoning spells, but they deal less damage than Combat Mages.
7. What multiplay modes and features will be included?
[Sarah Boulian] Dungeon Siege II's multiplayer experience has been enhanced since Dungeon Siege. Players can now choose to find people to play with over GameSpy, which includes a character vaulting feature. Also new for DSII is the ability to play with multiple party members in multiplayer.
8. What can you tell the readers about the enhanced combat system and A.I. of D.S. II as it looks as if there have been quite a few changes here?
[Erik Johnson] Heroes and monsters both have improved Combat and A.I. in Dungeon Siege II. On the Hero side, players can organize their party in the form of discrete Party Orders such as Mirror and Rampage. Mirror mode keeps the group under tight control, doing only what the player tells them. Rampage permits the heroes to unleash destruction on their own, while still following along with the player’s main Hero.
Monsters can now become angry with a hero based on our Aggro system, which changes the target of a monster based on Hero actions (and gives some enhanced attack abilities). “Coach A.I.” keeps the monsters interesting in both movement and spatial interaction. Special Abilities such as Buffs, Debuffs, Resurrection, and Healing give monsters the same set of tactics as the heroes. Resistances and Vulnerabilities provide strategic depth to combat by changing how the player attacks a specific monster.
9. How has the game interface changed from the first release?
[Daniel Achterman] The interface for Dungeon Siege II is gorgeous, and it's been simplified a lot. The focus of the interface is to make it easy to control a party of adventurers simultaneously, so the entire party remains selected at all times, and it's possible to select weapons or spells for multiple characters by pressing a single hotkey.