Most gamers already know about the upcoming World of Warcraft, but can you give us the general facts of the game for people that are still unfamiliar with the MMORPG concept.
"MMORPG" stands for "Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game”. Massively Multiplayer games tend to be "persistent worlds". You know how with Diablo II, you create a game that a few other people can join? With a Persistent World, the game is always open, with hundreds to thousands of players joining, playing, and leaving at any given time. MMO games tend to be "Pay to Play", with no single player aspect in the traditional sense of the term. (In an MMO you can do things by yourself if you want, but you still have to connect to the MMO's server to play.)
Please give a brief explanation into how the creation of character for the game. What different possibilities are available when it comes to classes, abilities, appearance etc ?
We have already announced that Player Character races feature Humans, Orcs, and Tauren. There will be additional races in the game, but they have not yet been announced. You can visit our World of Warcraft website at www.blizzard.com/wow for future announcements regarding additional races.
Each race in the game will have access to racial skills, abilities and equipment. We feel that one of the most important features in World of Warcraft will be character customization. Therefore, we are committed to giving players a wide variety of character modification options including hairstyle, hair color, skin color, tattoos and faces.
Can you give us some specifics on the skill and combat system implemented? What kinds of rewards/penalties are given for victory/defeat in combat, in regards to the character.
Unfortunately, I can not give you any specifics. :( Our goal is to incorporate the best elements of both skill-based and level-based systems. This means that players will be able to gain levels and gain abilities based on their class as they level up through the game. Players will also be able to acquire additional skills through other gameplay methods such as seeking mentors or by completing quests. These extra skills may not always be related to the player's class.
Is the game purely combat based, or will there be other options like becoming a trader primarily spending his time traveling between cities, or a thief relying more on the cover of darkness, caves and ruins ?
World of Warcraft will feature a wide variety of trade skills giving players the ability to interact with the world and the opportunity to create numerous unique items. Announcements regarding specific trade skills will be released during the course of development. Additionally, our quest system will provide an enormous variety of captivating quests with story elements, dynamic events, and flexible reward systems.
Approximately, what number of different weapons are there to equip and how many creatures will be present around the release. How many participants will be able to play the game when it's up and running ?
To be honest, I wouldn't want to try and estimate how many different items there will be at release other then to say "quite a few".
Players will be divided into several Realms, each realm comprising a complete version of the game world. The development team is currently finalizing the number of players that will occupy a Realm. Our plan is to create a solution that fosters a sense of community and helps to prevent overcrowding. We understand fully that the number of players on a server directly impacts this and will be working closely with the community during the beta test program to fine tune this number.
Can you give us some hints about the map size, and the number of towns spread out across it ?
World of Warcraft will be vastly larger than any other universe found in previous Blizzard games. In World of Warcraft, players can expect to journey through the familiar lands of Azeroth, Khaz Modan, and Lordaeron, to name a few. The game will also feature several uncharted and exotic new lands. We are expanding the Warcraft universe because we believe that a critical part of the MMORPG experience is the ability to journey through robust new lands. Our goal is to create a vast new world filled with adventure and excitement, while keeping the game fully populated to support a strong sense of community.
World of Warcraft will not feature "zones" in the traditional sense denoting loading screens between each area of gameplay. Our plan is to incorporate different regions of the world for players to explore, each with their own distinct look and theme. Questing through the majority of these regions will be seamless, however, certain regions may require a short load time.
WoW is coming around when this genre of games has been available for quite a while. What about it, do you think will appeal gamers the most, apart from general blizzard brand of quality.
Well, as you already pointed out, one of our main goals is to ensure that players can enjoy World of Warcraft without having to invest huge amounts of playtime. Players will be able to complete quests and experience the world at their own pace-whether it be a few hours here and there, or week-long adventuring marathons. We are also working on several unique features, which we'll disclose throughout the course of development.
Blizzard employees are gamers first and foremost, and we have played more than our fair share of existing Massively Multiplayer games. We tend to agree with MMORPG gamers on the strengths and weaknesses of the genre to date. We will strive to advance the genre by both building on its positives and improving its negatives.
What kind of day and night simulation will be present and what about general weather conditions? Will this affect the characters abilities ?
There is day and night in WoW, if you seen any of the game play footage or screenshots you can get an idea of the beautiful night sky there is in this game. Players will experience numerous changes in weather throughout the world. The game features dynamic skies and clouds giving players the ability to actually see clouds begin to form and coalesce into stormy weather. Snow, rain, and fog are just some of many additional weather effects players can expect to find in the game.
Is the production on route, and can we look forward to throwing ourselves onto the mystical world before the second half of 2003 ?
We have not yet announced a release date for World of Warcraft. MMORPGs are vast and complex; we want to make sure that we take the time necessary to develop a game that will meet the high standards that our developers and fans have come to expect from Blizzard games.
How many people will continue working on WoW, after its release, and what kind of add-ons can we expect ?
We are completely dedicated to evolving the world with additional content after the game ships. Our plan is to keep an active in-house development team dedicated to providing new content on a regular basis. Our plans include opening new lands, introducing new monsters and items along with incorporating new quests and ultimately evolving the overall story of the World of Warcraft.
Could it be that you are planning something similar when it comes to the Starcraft universe in the distant future ?
Only time will tell.
Thanks for talking with us, and good luck further on toward release.
Einar Lende, ToTheGame
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