There were a couple of surprises in Fernando’s video interview. First, he is a gamer geek just like the rest of is. I guess I expected something more exotic with a name like that :). I hope next interview he dresses in a lot of gold lame, takes on a heavy accent, and adopts some other personality quirk, for example an ivory-topped walking stick that he waves around for emphasis. That my friends would be a proper Fernando!
But I also heard a lot of information about guild airships that no one is mentioning.
Yes, he said that there will be half-orcs this year and UI changes to inventory (you will be able to unlock two bank bags, whatever that means) and auctions (String searches? Hopefully?) . But “The big features for this summer are all guild features”.
Here is what he said. Quote marks indicate what you would expect, direct quotes.
What are Guild Airships?
- They are customizable meeting spaces
- Like other games, you can place amenities and features in the meeting space
- There will be more than one type of airship and more than one model “Players will be able to earn different-size airships that hold amenities and crew”
- Even the appearance is customizable: some (especially the most expensive ones, see below) are “the most unique looking ones, where you can customize the look and feel”
How do they travel?
- Initially they are only able to move you around town “they let you go from different parts of Stormreach to different parts by default”
- Guilds can earn the ability to go “different places as well, if you unlock that”
- You (hire or earn?) “NPC navigators that can take you there”
- The airship doesn’t move everyone at once “for convenience with differing levels the players are able to go to different places”
What is in the airship?
- “You can essentially build your own custom mini Ward in the guild airship”
- Townie functions will be in your guild space – he specifically mentioned the auctioneer
- There is an implication that all of the townie functions (vendors, banks, repair, etc) will be available too: “we don’t want town to feel empty – you need to go for quest entrances, and you need to find airship towers if nothing else to get you up into your airship”
- But it is possible that we can’t fit everything we might want: guilds have slots, which “they can fill with NPCs and amenities”. “You have to slot them. Your guild has to choose to place them there”
How do you get this stuff?
- There will be something similar to the Favor system but totally different where you gain Status for your guild”
- Status is tracked in points or levels that unlock things: “There are points you have to earn in terms of Status”
- “You earn different levels of Status and then you are able to slot the NPCS or amenities into the ship”
- Size matters – apparently you get more slots by buying a larger airship: “If you earn more Status you will be able to earn the biggest airships”
How does the DDO Store fit in?
- Slots are purchasable in the DDO Store
- Some features are available only in the store, but they are not functional features – maybe decorations? “most of them, all the functionality, can be slotted just with in-game gold. This isn’t a store-only feature”
- There is some contradiction about this “There will be store exclusives, and upgrades, and options to pay for things with store points but you always have the option to pay for it with gold”. So one can buy store exclusives without the store too? Seems a little sketchy on this one point.
What about existing guilds?
- Existing Status will factor in, somehow: “Large guilds of players that have already attained great status and wealth inside of our world of Eberron will be able to apply that to the guild airships”
- “They won’t have to go and spend DDO Store points unless they choose to”
It seems likely to me that you will have to choose whether to optimize your guild for travel or amenities, or try to get a balance of both. Especially early, when only a small number of slots have been earned.
It seems reasonable to assume that tiny guilds and one-person guilds will still get some coolness, but only a limited amount, as Status seems likely to be designed to be achievable by groups more easily than by individuals.
The full interview is available here.