WIZARDS: Love the title. How far from table-top are we? Is this a full-on strategy based game, where coordination of a team is required, or are we talking hack and slash with RPG elements?
BEDLAM: Daggerdale combines high intensity “hack n’ slash” action and deep character development and customization. We support the core systems with an intricate looting system, fuelling the player with micro rewards, and keeping progression forward. We believe that having great touch and feel in our core mechanics is the hallmark of all great action-RPG experiences. All of the systems are firmly rooted in the 4th Edition rules; then we tweak and tune the game to fit the feel of an action RPG.
W: Who is our main protagonist? Do we get a choice of classes?
B: In Daggerdale, players can take on the role of the tanker-style Human Fighter, the range expert Elven Rogue, the mystical Halfling Wizard, and the devout Dwarven Cleric. Each of these characters has their own playstyle and strategies that players will need to master. The key to success when playing in a party with friends is choosing the right character to compliment the group’s playstyle.
W: Will players get a more rewarding experience playing online? Some games of this nature seem to lack in the solo department...
B: Dungeons & Dragons at its core is about social interaction, getting together with friends to play. With more players in the adventuring party, more combat strategies can be employed and rare items, weapons and equipment can be traded. That said, Daggerdale supports a number of play modes and players can play the campaign solo, with a friend locally, or online where players can create adventuring parties with up to 4 characters. Players are able to drop in and out of online multiplayer as they see fit, and the game will dynamically scale the difficulty.
W: Rezlus...sounds like a bad bad man...
B: He’s definitely an evil guy. The appearance of Rezlus marks the return of one of the most feared factions in Daggerdale’s blood-soaked history, the Zhentarim.
W: The main concern for any RPG game is that eventually you’ll hit a plateau, and then it’s all over; how easy is it to level up? Did you find it hard to strike a balance between maintaining difficulty and player progression?
B: That’s correct, hitting the plateau too quickly is a concern, but what is great about Daggerdale is that it is an action RPG. The action portion will always be fun and challenging, even when the player has maximized his abilities. As players gain levels, and the RPG portion of the game broadens out, their characters develop and are able to do more. These new moves and abilities support the action side of the game. The fights are all played out in real time, much like a brawling game, and no matter how powerful your character becomes, you still need to be proficient with the combat system in order to do well. The character levelling system is based on Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition rules, and we scale the difficulty of the enemies and bosses according to the character’s level so that the challenge is sustained.
W: How involved were Wizards of the Coast, the writers and publishers of D&D?
B: We have been working with both Wizards of the Coast and Atari extremely closely to ensure that we develop the best game we can and that the D&D franchise is represented and supported the right way. We go back and forth with each build tuning and tweaking to get things just right.
W: Daggerdale... sandbox-style RPG? Or something more structured...
B: A bit of both actually. Players will be able to choose how they approach the content in Daggerdale, and players can freely explore any of the environments available to them. There is a main narrative that is told through a series of critical quests, but there are also optional quests that players can take on in the game.
W: When can we expect it?
B: Summer 2011. So wear shorts when playing.
W: Any surprises or Easter Eggs in there for longtime D&D fans?
B: ...Ohh yeah. There’s a number of cool surprises in there and it’s difficult to talk about them without ruining the surprise. Here’s a hint for one of them – make sure you watch the credits all the way through...
W: Finally, come on... Warrior, Mage, or Rogue?
B: Actually, its Fighter, Wizard (plus Cleric!) and Rogue. Totally go ‘rogue’ dude.