Welcome to our Wednesday Community Q&A! Your answers to this week's questions are by Narrative Designer Thomas "Bentaporst" Murphy, Producer Andrew "Andre" Frederiksen, and Systems Designer Justin "perezidente" Perez.
Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed to our Questions for the Reckoning Team thread. We couldn't hold this Q&A without you – keep those questions coming!
Read on for this week's questions and answers!
While watching the Fate and Destinies video, I noticed that Will Miller mentioned that one of the perks in the Jack of all Trades Destiny is a reduction of requirements for armors and items. I searched the forums but couldn't find anything that stated we have stats in this game. If this is the case, are stats linked to the three Destiny trees? And if so how do requirements on items work? – By dreamnexus
A: Weapons all have a required character level before you can equip them, so you can use any weapon regardless of how you've spent your ability points as long as you meet the level requirements. This means that someone who has fully invested in Sorcery can still use a big hammer as long as they're the right level, but you'll have to put points in to the Might tree if you want to unlock the hammer specials or bonus damage from it. Armor works a little differently – it has requirements based on how many points you have invested into the ability trees. For example Steel armor requires points in the Might tree, and Troll Hide gear requires points in the Finesse tree. The Jack of All Trades perks will lower the level requirement for weapons and the ability tree requirements for armor. – By Andrew "Andre" Frederiksen, Producer
People relate this to a mmo...are the quests mmo-like too? Go kill some wolves. Go kill x more creatures? Or will there be legitimate immersive quests that draw you in like Dragon Age, The Witcher, Final Fantasy, etc. Will there be elements of choice in the quests that will affect the outcomes? – By Bluebullets
A: Our quests are too legit to quit. Given R.A.'s and Ken's presence on the team, quests and narrative are key features of Reckoning. Because we have such a detailed combat system, you are going to find a few "kill something" quests scattered throughout the Faelands. But we have a huge fiction that we need to communicate -- and as quests are one of the best ways of doing so, you'll find that the scope and presentation of quests ratchet up pretty darn quickly. In Reckoning, you'll see quests covering a wide range – you can encounter a mini-questline about stopping a doomsday cult from waking evil incarnate, and you can help a lonely fisherman make contact with a mermaid he caught a fleeting glimpse of.
We have factions which present stories that span 6-10 quests, dealing with different locations, personalities and activities. Similarly, the majority of our Narrative Zones have overarching stories that are presented in a series of related quests. In many instances, you're given the opportunity to choose what’s going to happen to these organizations and these areas – but I don't want to give too much away. – By Thomas "Bentaporst" Murphy, Narrative Designer
Can we get clarification on the enemy level-scaling system? We're aware there's a range once you enter a given zone, but when you come back later at a higher level, will the zone reset according to your new level or is it forever locked into the level it set to when you first entered that zone? – By Pelirow
A: A quick refresher for anyone that doesn't know how the space levels in Reckoning work: Once the player enters an area, the level of that space is set based on the current level of the player, and enemies/encounters in the space are leveled accordingly. Now, this doesn't mean that you could run through the entire world as soon as you start the game and make everything in the game scale to level 1. Each space has a range of valid levels, which we've decided for game balance purposes, and it takes the level within that range that is closest to the player's level. Example: the area around Gorhart (this will be the first village you encounter in the game, for most players) is set to be level 1-5. So if you went there right away it'd be a 1. If you fought some enemies and did a side quest and gained a level, it would get set to 2. But if you completely went off and did your own thing for 10 levels, when you got there it'd still be just a 5.
Pelirow, to answer your question, once you set the level of a zone in the world, that level is set for the remainder of your game. We did that specifically so that if/when you do return to a previous zone, you will notice that fights in that area have gotten easier. That leveling of the player relative to the rest of the world – being able to noticeably experience how much your character has improved over time – is one of the things that makes an RPG's progression interesting to us on the Reckoning design team.
Also as a side note, it's not just enemy level that is affected. The other big one is our loot system that gets (at least partially) driven by space level. So if you go back to a lower level space you'll find the fights appropriately easier, but the rewards you get from killing those enemies will be lower on the awesomeness-scale as well. – By Justin "perezidente" Perez, Systems Designer
Part of what I like in RPG is dialogue, may it be between the NPCs and the player, or just simply between NPCs. So far, I've only been able to see limited dialogue in the videos for Reckoning and they are quest related conversations which have serious tone in them. I like a little bit of non-serious moments too because they can give more depth and variety to the characters in the game world that makes me care more about them. Are there reasonable amount of non-serious dialogues involved in Reckoning? Could you please show us some? From the Q&A answer about the hide helmet back then, I know that the staff has a good sense of humor. I hope humor is also included in Reckoning. – By Shozo
A: I agree with your sentiments entirely. Humorous moments can definitely bring out the flavor of a fantasy setting – it's just a question of knowing when and how to use it. The Amalur universe is full of epic conflicts and large-scale battles. These moments can quickly lose their significance if the tone of the game isn't balanced correctly. One of the things we decided pretty early on was humor in the universe should be driven by context and coherence – we weren't going to have two NPCs start running through the Dead Parrot sketch ("This boggart is no more! It has ceased to be!"). That said, I think that the humorous moments of Reckoning all contribute to the deeper themes of Amalur – the diversity of races and differences of their culture, the rise of magic and the hazards of living in these vibrant and dangerous lands. – By Thomas "Bentaporst" Murphy, Narrative Designer
Do any of the Jack of all Trades Destinies allow the hero to use the blink teleport ability? – By TheAgarrar
A: No, the blink teleport ability is only found on Destinies that have some explicit Sorcery focus. There are a number of bonuses that Jack of all Trades Destinies will have, but the one that is special throughout that particular Destiny line is a reduction to the equip requirements for the armor that you find in the world. Only a Jack of all Trades type of player would be able to use any item they find in the world, regardless of its intended class, so they could always keep the best armor in their inventory equipped. – By Justin "perezidente" Perez, Systems Designer