What about quest story arcs? Will several smaller quests combine into one story arc?
Yes. One of the things the game director (Pål Frogner Hansen) wanted from the very start was that the player should just be able to log in, play half an hour to an hour and really accomplish something.
So, we have smaller quests that you can finish in half an hour/an hour, and they have their own small story. But then, that story of that quest is part of a bigger quest chain, which in itself tells another story, then those quest chains tell the story of the whole area. And together, of course, they tell the story of the whole game. But, we have a story for the whole game, and that conflict is reflected in nearly each and every area.
What is the global conflict in the world of Age of Conan, then?
What a difficult question. Well, you have Thoth-Amon, and Thoth-Amon has many factions that support him. Then you have simple wars. You have areas where there's a war between two peoples, and you can help one side conquer the other. So, you have a lot of different factions, but the major conflict, that's Thoth-Amon and his people against Aqualonia.
Sticking with the story, how important do you see the license as being? You've got 'Conan' in big letters in the game's title, but you're only going to see him for a small portion of the game...
We wanted to save Conan as a reward, actually. So, you have to play until level 60, and then you get to meet him, as you saw in the presentation. You might have noticed that after that he had a question mark over his head. After that, he becomes one of the quest givers, so you're going to quest for Conan himself.
But, I don't think that the most important part... Conan is very important, but it's also very important ? the world that Howard wrote and created ? Hyborea. And I think that's
as much of the license as Conan. And we have taken that very seriously.
In terms of the look of the game, was there any past medium that Conan appeared in which was an important touchstone for the game? The comics? The film? There was even a cartoon at one point...
Yes. Frazetta, I think his name is (Frank Frazetta actually. Ed again)
. One of the artists. He had a big impact on our art. And our art director, Didrik Tellefsen, based a lot of our look on that. And what he aimed for was not realism, but hyper-realism. It's so realistic, it's crisp.
In player-versus-player, will there be something to deter players from killing someone many levels below them in the open world PvP servers?
No, not really.
Do you have something to avoid money-selling from China and so on?
I know that they have plans, but it's not really what I work with. That's the kind of stuff that they don't really want to explain to people ? how to circumvent our security.
What will be the differences between how the classes play?
The main difference, of course, will be between levels one to 20 where you have four different storylines intertwining with each other. We try to show a little of that with the start-up, city stuff ? how they affect each other and how you're actually in the Resistance against the tyrant of Totage. How you play different roles depending... it's not every class, it's the four different archetypes. You have four different quest lines. So, you play different roles in that story.
And after level 20 it gets streamlined? Every archetype gets the same play?
It's more like that, yes. There are some quests (for specific archetypes) but the majority of quests are open to everyone.