submitted by lifebane on Mar 8th, 2007
Tags: avair, interview, michael mann
VGNECRO EXCLUSIVE! OMG!
Vgnecro.com was able to pull Avair (aka Michael Mann, Sigil Game Designer Supreme) away from his busy schedule long enough to answer some very necro questions that our community had been focusing on. He was very friendly and when not running about in his daily efforts to fix the world he had some great info to share regarding necromancers now and what our future may hold in the world of Telon.
I first wanted to thank you for taking the time to take part in this interview for vgnecro.com’s necromancer community. So far the community is very happy with the world you all have put together and appreciate the long hours you all put in to make our “new world” as interesting as it is. Enough with the formalities, on with the questions!!!
Question # 1:
vgnecro.com: The graft system has been well received and is an interesting change from other MMO’s with pet classes. There are many new grafts popping up and the necromancer community is excited about it in general. Almost every necromancer I talk with says having more unique looking abominations are one of their biggest desires. Perhaps having their appearance modified based on the grafts they are given. What plans do you guys have in this direction?
Avair: We do have plans for grafts to adjust the way your abomination looks. These adjustments won’t come by way of adding more armor or different flesh to your abomination, but by way of changing the appearance altogether. As an example, imagine going to The Tomb of Lord Tsang and killing the Generals. When you finally get Dread Lord Rax'Taroj dead, the necromancer necropsies and has a chance to get his skin (these will be very rare). When you equip your abomination with the newly gained skin, it will appear as the freshly killed Dread Lord. This is just one example of what we could do to adjust the appearance of your abomination; we can also change his color scheme and size. Over time these things will be added as options through the skin graft slot.
Question # 2:
vgnecro.com: What kind of graphical changes can we expect in regards to our Forms? As it is our Undead Forms do not change graphically when the spell upgrades. Today we have 2 lines of forms and both of them upgrade at level 30, 40 and 50. Are there any plans to make the appearance of the three levels of each form noticeably different from each other?
Avair: Currently the Lich form changes your appearance as it upgrades. First you start as a normal skeleton, then you become a darker skeleton that has glowing green eyes and a faint magical aura around you and finally you transcend your body and become a demilich with just a floating head that has purple glowing eyes accompanied by the same faint aura. Unfortunately the current wraith form does not upgrade. After we get some bugs fixed up we may be able to go back and adjust some of the models for the wraith and try to spice them up. Currently there are just higher priority bugs to fix.
Question # 3:
vgnecro.com: Although for most necromancers it is a bit early to be debating the end game content, the fact still remains that necromancers are concerned over what their role is to be in raid situations later in their careers. What is the envisioned role that a necromancer will be playing in Raid environments?
Avair: Necromancers will have many roles in a raid. As an offensive caster the necromancer’s main role will be dealing massive amounts of damage. When using his many dots and the abomination he will be the most efficient caster in a raid situation. With the added strategy of counterspelling, debuffing and a moderate amount of crowd control, he will have plenty of jobs to keep him busy. Of course this doesn’t even mention roles that the necromancer may play in specific raid content that is geared toward making certain classes stand out more than others.
Question # 4:
vgnecro.com: Right now to awaken a minion you need to target the selected corpse then once it awakes, you need to target your designated target then send the pet in to attack. It had been discussed in beta that a different method might be implemented, something along the lines of just keep your mob targeted, cast the spell (e.g. Ritual Animatus) and then nearest corpse is used and a minion appears and auto-attacks your target. We necromancers are very busy happily pushing buttons all the time, changing the target in order to awake a corpse is most annoying. Was this change something that would be done or are there reasons not to implement it?
Avair: This change is slated for the future, but there is no time line on it yet. We are currently occupied with fixing larger bugs. This is some functionality we would like to see in game because it brings a lot of convenience to the necromancer and we believe it will make the gaming experience for them much more enjoyable.
Question # 5:
vgnecro.com: Pets are a great deal of fun but are currently suffering from a bug or two. The pet loss or pet duplication at Chunk crossing and the need to reload all grafts when you login each day are two prime examples. When might these problems be resolved?
Avair: We are currently aware of these issues and are working to resolve them, unfortunately there are many high priority bugs that need to be taken care of first. These issues are known and being looked in to. I wish I could give a time, but at this moment, it is unknown.
Question # 6:
vgnecro.com: Right now it is uncertain if player buffs work on our abominations. Buffs are cast with the pet as the target but there is no buff window for the pet to identify any active buffs. So assuming that the buffs are in fact sticking to the abomination, can we get an enhanced pet stat window for our abominations that show the base stats and the buffs currently possessed?
Avair: This is a feature we have talked about and would love to get in. This will likely be expansion material as it is completely new functionality. Ideally, it would be a new character screen like the one for your player character, but focused on your abomination. No details have been set in stone yet, but it is something we would like to get out to the necromancer community because we see the abomination as a very large part of the necromancer and we know the players would enjoy being able to have more information about it.
Question # 7:
vgnecro.com: Necromancer specific quests seem to be lacking and those necromancer styled quests really add flavor to the class, it’s all about the creepy factor you know. Are there plans for more class specific quests in the near future with appropriate class specific rewards? My poor necromancer will scream if another NPC thanks him for his efforts and hands him another Axe or Sword!!
Avair: There are definitely plans for this. We have plans for many class quests and soon we will have a designer working mostly on class quests. I feel this will greatly improve uniqueness and flavor for the classes. These quests will probably include quests for items, exp, story, and possibly new abilities.
Question # 8:
vgnecro.com: Well necromancers love their little dead buddies (aka pets) and can’t get enough of them. So the obvious question on many necromancers’ minds is what are the future plans for new pets? What plans do you have in regards to Different appearances, situational uses, etc.?
Avair: We will continue to add new pets with expansions patch updates. Currently what we have are the core pets with added utility and some flavor. There will likely be some flavor and utility pets added at a later date. One of such pets is a Carrion Master or what we call the corpse dropper. As our nickname for it suggests, this minion follows you around and drops corpses periodically for you to explode, consume with Vile Ritual or animate. This is an example of something we can do with pets in the future.
Question # 9:
vgnecro.com: We are all at least somewhat resistant to change, more so when the change is an unexpected one. In order to alleviate future necromancer stress levels due to spontaneous-change-itis, what is currently on your list of things to fix, change, modify, and dare I say… nerf?
Avair: The biggest thing we have slated that will affect necromancers (and most classes in fact) is a large pass on buff and debuff stacking. Currently many buffs and debuffs stack when they aren’t supposed to. This allows characters to do things that they shouldn’t be able to. As always, we will continue to adjust the abomination and minions to make sure they are useful, but not overpowered. I continuously go through abomination grafts to make sure they work and fix bugs. Although there still seem to be many bugs, this is improving and will continue to improve.
Question # 10:
vgnecro.com: The future is always of interest, even for the class that plays with dead things. Can you give us any hints of interesting things coming in the near or even distant future for necromancers?
Avair: The biggest thing will be the new incoming grafts. As mentioned earlier there will be grafts that allow your abomination to appear differently. I will also be doing a pass on hearts, brains, souls and faces. Along with this pass I am going to set up a method so that those who make content can easily throw in grafts so that we can get ultra rare and even legendary grafts into the game. These will be quite rare but will be pretty potent and very cool.
The new grafts combined with class quests should give the necromancer quite a bit more flavor and interesting aspects while leveling him up.
The Forbidden Question # 11…eeep
vgnecro.com: When will you all stop by vgnecro.com and say hi to the cult of dark necromancers who reside there… We don’t bite, we may try to turn you into a zombie or some such but that doesn’t happen… often.
Avair: I have signed up for a forum name at VGNecro.com. It is AvairSGO. I will stop by occasionally and answer questions when I can. I try and keep up on the happenings of all the class communities. I am grateful for the great community that the necromancers have put together. It is definitely helpful to have a place to go to find concerns and issues specific to a class.
vgnecro.com: Thanks again for your time and for sharing some of your insight into the inner workings of the necromancer class, which of course is the best class in Vanguard by far… okay so I am a little bit biased.
Avair: Hey, no problem. It’s always a pleasure to hear from the community and be able to answer some questions. I know often times a player base feels alienated when game designers make changes that affect their class or character. We try to answer questions about changes when we can and take input. Hopefully this was helpful for insight as to what we are thinking and where we are going with the necromancer.
There you have it folks... Straight from Avair's mouth. Good things of all kinds to come in the future, just hang on and wait while the bugs are taken care of and we get to see some new necro related content thrown our way.
Stop by the forums and check out the Ongoing Discussion about this Interview.