The world of Dereth is constantly changing, and offers players vast opportunities to experience life as they wish. In order to understand some of the future and past changes that have been made within Dereth we were able to ask Andy "Frelorn" Cataldo some questions!
GamersInfo.net: Andy, first of all, a huge congrats to the entire Turbine team who's worked so hard to make AC a success for so many players over the last 7 and a half years! How excited are you to be involved with this community?
Andy Cataldo: Thank you. Everyone who has worked on this game deserves a ton of credit. There are many folks out there who have poured their heart and soul in to this game to get us here.
Working with this community is great. Having been an AC player for years before I got this position, gave me a unique opportunity to know what it was like to be on both sides. It was really an exciting day for me when I was told that I would have the opportunity to be a part of something as special as Asheron's Call. In my opinion there is no better gaming community than the players of Asheron's Call. Their passion for the game is unmatched by any other community I have been a part of.
GamersInfo.net: Can you tell us if there are any plans for new advertising campaigns?
Andy Cataldo: We are always looking for ways to spread the word about Asheron's Call to new and old players alike. You should be seeing some new things in the coming months.
GamersInfo.net: Will there be any rewards or discounts for players who are trying other Turbine games such as Dungeons and Dragons Online or Lord of the Rings Online?
Andy Cataldo: It has been discussed. If we do move forward with something like this we will be sure to let everyone know as soon as possible.
Grenades were recently introduced, in game. Can you tell us how the development of these items came about?
The team was discussing ideas on how to improve the Alchemy skill in the game. One of the developer's, Kintani started thinking about what Alchemists did in AC2 and the idea expanded from there. To us it made sense and it was a natural progression of the alchemists in AC1. After that it was just a matter of making the tech work the way we wanted it to. There of course were a few bumps in the road along the way, but they have turned out great and the players seem to really enjoy them.
GamersInfo.net: Also introduced, though a little farther back were harmless pets, and more recently some crafting golems. Are there any plans for combat pets?
Andy Cataldo: We have nothing concrete right now, but with any addition to combat you have to be very careful about how you balance things out. We do not want to rush in to something like that without making sure we consider absolutely everything. All that being said, I would think players may still see some interesting new pets and functionality at some point in the future. For now though, we are going to take things slowly and make sure we get it right rather than rushing something out the door for a quick hoorah.
GamersInfo.net: How's the Quest Tracker coming along?
Andy Cataldo: Good. I know the groundwork has been completed and we will reveal more about this in the future.
GamersInfo.net: You gave a teaser about 'elder game', back in April. Has there been any progress in developing this?
Andy Cataldo: Absolutely! One of the first pieces of this was the introduction and continuing development of The Colosseum. This is something that everyone can take part in that has rewards that players can immediately see as well as some that they have yet to discover. This is the kind of system we like where things can be very open ended and allow us to adapt and change as the players give us feedback. I would expect to see more cool and exciting things along these lines in the coming months.
GamersInfo.net: The PK/PKL event that was hosted at the beginning of July certainly cause quite a stir in the community! Are there plans for other such events in the near future?
Andy Cataldo: Definitely, the folks we have working on these events really enjoy what they do, nearly as much as the players seem to be enjoying them. The whole tournament idea came from a member of the staff who has also been an AC player for many years. We would like to tweak a few things here and there for future events, but overall they seem to be going really well and I would expect to see more unique events like this in the future.
GamersInfo.net: The hubbub over the rare rules in the event also caused controversy. Do you think that the event was any more or less fun because of the rares that were allowed in?
Andy Cataldo: Based on what I have seen it probably would have been a better event if we could have somehow found a way to limit people from using Rares. This is something we are looking at being able to do for future events, though it may take a little magic from the Dev team to make something like that happen. Overall I still think the events have been a great success thus far and they have been really fun for everyone involved.
GamersInfo.net: Are there any plans for account services such as character and account transfers?
Andy Cataldo: This question has come up many times and it is something we have been investigating. As of right now we have nothing more concrete other than it is being discussed.
Tweaking and balancing is such a constant for any MMO, and in particular any MMO with PvP aspects. Are there any plans in the immediate future for any exact changes to any particular class?
As of right now we have no immediate plans for any major class changes. Doing something like that is no small task. Especially considering the delicate balance we are trying to achieve when it comes to PvP. It falls back to your earlier question about combat pets. Anything that can change the balance of the game must be done very carefully and with as much testing as we can possibly do. If we were to do any major class changes, we would be sure that we gathered as much feedback as possible from the players before we went ahead with any changes.
GamersInfo.net: One of the most unique things about the game is the ongoing storylines! Can you tell us what we're likely to see in the next few months as far as story arcs?
Andy Cataldo: Right now we are in the early stages of the next major story arc in the game. Some of Dereth's better know creatures have been going through some changes lately. Drudges have been appearing to have a goal and a purpose, and Monouga's have been showing up in greater numbers, and there are all sorts of turmoil among many other creatures. This is only the beginning of what should be one of our most memorable storylines.
And of course we cannot forget somewhere, the reason behind all of this strange behavior is lurking in the darkness, waiting to appear and reveal why all of this is happening. I personally cannot wait for the story to get further along. I think the players will be pleased with what we have in store for them in the coming months.
GamersInfo.net: Has there been positive feedback and player satisfaction since the free trials were put in place?
Andy Cataldo: The response has been great so far. We have seen many old players come back as well as new players who for whatever reason never played before come in and discover what a magical place Dereth can be. It really is a testament to the game, the developer's and everyone else involved in Asheron's Call. At the end of the day there really is no other place like Dereth.