Recently, I was given the chance to interview a couple of the fine folks from gPotato. My first set of interview questions concerned the future of the game, server types, mounts and the like, unfortunately many of them could not be answered. Kate (InaraKatt from the official forums) found that she was unable to provide complete answers to some of them or, if she did answer, would have to tread around the question with “marketing-speak”, which she did not want to do.
This was understandable and I appreciate the honesty. I submitted another list of questions and she got back to me today with the answers. Take a look and I hope you enjoy! I added my thoughts in bold.
1. How do you plan to address faction balances on release? What plans do you have to prevent Empire or League from completely outnumbering the opposing side?
This was a concern we had at the start of the Closed Beta process, however, as the CBs progressed we notice that there was a freakishly even split between the two factions, without any input from us. As with most MMORPGs I think the game will naturally work itself out to have an even balance, without the need for us to step in and mediate. If we see that it becomes a problem, we will address it then.
(Thoughts: I have noticed the same actually.)
2. Any chance we see an “Armory” like website that allows us to view our characters and stats out of game?
Currently we are focused on getting the game as polished as possible and making sure that everything is running smoothly. Perhaps in the future this is something that we can consider developing, as it is definitely a handy tool that I myself have utilized many a time when play WoW.
(Thoughts: An Armory function would be fantastic, but I suppose they have bigger fish to fry at the moment!)
3. Do you see raiding (multiple groups instanced) as a big end game activity? How big are the largest raid instances in terms of number of people needed to complete them. I miss the old 40 man raids in WoW.
We have one end-game raid in the game already and we encourage teams to use the full 24-man raid group. Our team tried it once with just us and our 40’s and we got rocked. Hard.
(Thoughts: I may be in the minority here but I enjoy the occasional raid. I hope to see more of them.)
4. Some of the rumors about Perfume effect say that it is possible to get a buff that reduces DoT effects to 20 seconds between “ticks”. Is this correct? It seems that that would vastly reduce the effectivness of Summoners. Is the 20 seconds rumor true or is it a mistranslation?
It’s more of a misunderstanding than a mistranslation. As of right now, the Perfumes are only affecting two spells: Icy Grave and Hypnosis. Perfumes will have no effect on a Summoner’s DoTs.
(Thoughts: Best news so far! Another mark against the Gloom and Doomers)
5. Allods Online has been steadily growing in popularity, largely due to positive word of mouth on blogs and the like, any chance we see a bigger advertising push as release draws near?
Definitely! Right now we have been focusing our attention on grassroots efforts, but now that the game is in Open Beta you will definitely see a bigger advertising push in the near future!
(Thoughts: The word of mouth is great but an actual advertising campaign would do wonders. But add more servers first….please?)
6. The in-game sound, both music and combat, seems underwhelming at times. However, some of the videos I have seen from the Russian client seem much more robust. Is this because of incomplete translations? Will we see (hear!) those sound effects in the NA Allods Online soon?
The missing sounds in the Closed Beta tests were mainly caused by bugs and, yes, incomplete translations. Keep your eyes (or ears) peeled for new sounds coming in Open Beta!
(Thoughts: The new client has added a lot of the sound back in but there is still some missing. Hopefully this will be soon rectified.)
7. Will Allods Online have 24 hour in-game GMs, to deal with gold spammers, bugs and exploiters? Will there be an in-game report function?
This is something that we will address on an as needed basis. Currently we do not have the manpower to support 24 hour GM support, however if we find we need this, it may be something that we consider getting. In the meantime we have our devoted group of volunteer moderators, known as Astral Scholars, who act as the eyes and ears of the community and let us know when anything is going a bit crazy!
(Thoughts: The Astral Scholars are great and are doing a fine job but, eventually, the game is going to need GMs. Hopefully this does not become a problem.)
8. Are the Gpotato team gamers themselves? What games do they find themselves playing a lot? Any other MMOs?
Of course! Everyone on the team is an avid gamer and we play everything from MMOs to RTSs, rhythm games to first-person shooters, and fighting games to platformers. We’ve pretty much got all our bases covered. The current favorites in the office are Street Fighter 4, Smash Brothers, and Rock Band.
(Thoughts: What? No MMOs? Come on!!)
9. Any chance we get the Orc “toothbrush” mustache back? It was in Beta 3 but removed for Beta 4 and I miss it!
As of right now, there is no plan to bring it back, as players abused that particular look, however you never know in the future!
(Thoughts: I am a sad Panda….)
10. What is your favorite Allods class? Race? Faction?
It varies for each team member. Some of us enjoy the Gibberlings and the League while others prefer playing the Xadaganians on the Empire. But the team class favorites probably come down to the Psionicists and Scouts.
(Thoughts: Gotta love the Psionicist love! Any chance they could remove Mental Overload?)
11. Has there been any thought at all to a possible “Premium” subscription based server?
Honestly, no, we have not given thought to this as it is our goal and our business model to offer subscriptionless games, for life. A player will never have to pay money to enjoy all that the game has to offer and we would like to keep it this way.
(Thoughts: I assumed this but I sure would like to see a Premium Sub server. Disappointing but expected.)
12. So, while browsing Wikipedia, I noticed that there is absolutely NO article on Allods Online! This is a travesty! Any chance one of you folks fix that?
It’s usually looked down upon for developers and publishers to edit and create their own articles, but we’d be happy to provide information to users that wish to help! For Wikipedia and any other wikis out there!
(Thoughts: Anyone know how to edit Wikipedia?)