MMOsite Interview with Scott Shicoff, Lead Designer for Neverwinter
ByDate: Oct 31 2015 Views:
As we have reported before, Neverwinter: Underdark, the 8th expansion of the action MMORPG is going to be launched soon. We're honored to have an interview with the lead designer of this game to talk about this highly-anticipated expansion. Read on below to get the information you may be interested in:
1. Thank you for taking the time for this interview. First, would you like to introduce yourself to our MMOsiters?
Sure! My name is Scott Shicoff and I'm the lead designer on Neverwinter. I came onto the project when Cryptic Studios decided to release the game onto Xbox One. Once that went live, I joined the team for both platforms.
2. Neverwinter's next expansion: Underdark is coming soon. Can you give us a brief introduction on this expansion? What new content will be added?
As you might guess, this upcoming expansion takes players deep underground, into the cavernous and largely unexplored world below the surface. As with the tabletop expansion, Out of the Abyss, from Wizards of the Coast, swarms of demonic spawn have been released and it's up to adventurers to defeat them.
For Underdark, we're introducing nine new themed quests written by R.A. Salvatore, a large-scale battle against the Demon Lord, Demogorgon, and a massive rework of the Tarmalune Tradebar Store. This expansion will also include new gear, the markets of Mantol-Derith, as well as a new plot location and PvP tower for Strongholds.
3. When will you launch this expansion for both PC and Xbox One? Will it be free to play?
Neverwinter Underdark will be available on PC in Fall 2015. The expansion will be released on Xbox One in 2016. No exact dates yet, but it's important for us to get this out to players as soon as possible. And, as with all content available for Neverwinter, this expansion will be free to play.
4. In previous news you mentioned a new 10-player battle. Can you explain it in more detail?
Players can choose to face off against the dreaded two-headed Demogorgon in two modes, Normal and Epic. The normal version of the fight is only available at the top of every hour.Players will queue up in Mantol-Derith for a chance to fight the Demon Lord with the help of Drizzt, Regis, Bruenor, and Grazzilax, a Mindflayer who is a member of the Society of Brilliance and featured in the new module, Out of the Abyss. This 10-person battle is broken up into three phases, and rewards will vary according to how well each player does in the fight. Each phase will have variation that requires players to assess the situation before attacking.
5. Which new feature in this expansion are you most proud of, and why?
It was a thrill to work with R.A. Salvatore in developing the quest line involving his iconic characters. These are characters that fans have been friends with for 28 years. To be able to bring that to Neverwinter is very special to me. We hope that players enjoy experiencing these quests that he put together for us.
6. Are there any new items that will be added?
We'll be introducing two new sets of armor, Dusk and Drowcraft. Both sets of armor are Item Level 135 and available in different locations. Dusk Armor is available from a number of locations, including the Trade Bar Store andin lockboxes and a companion bundle. Drowcraft Armor can be earned through the new Underdark campaign content and canbe upgraded through elemental infusion to Item Level 140. Dusk Armor is designed to improve solo survivability and party performance, while Drowcraft Armor helps players fight demons and Demogorgon. We're also adding five new pairs of artifact weapons for each class. One set will only be available from Epic Demogorgon.The others are elementally themed and will involve heroic encounters in Elemental Evil zones. This module will also bring new rings with uniquely designed bonuses that exist in different power levels (up to +5).
7. Will you hold any exciting events to celebrate the launch of this expansion?
Absolutely. Adventurers who aren't afraid of the dark can take part in our Hide and Seek Event for a possible server-wide reward on Monday, October 26 at 4:00 pm (PST). We'll also be hosting a Dev Stream to give players a sneak peek at Underdark very soon. Check our blog for details.
8. Would you mind telling us some of your future plans?
Right now we're focused on finishing up Underdark. We'll be talking about upcoming modules before you know it. I will say that the stories told with Salvatore's iconic characters are not finished. There's more we want to do with them in future modules.
9. Will you open a suggestion thread in the forum to allow players to give their feedback about this expansion?
Players are always encouraged to post feedback in the forums. They don't need a special thread to communicate their thoughts to us.
10. We're really glad we could do this interview. To conclude it, is there anything else you would like to say to our readers?? And thanks again for your time.
My pleasure! We're really excited to have players experience the new content in the upcoming module. We hope they enjoy fighting side-by-side with Pwent and others, and are looking forward to seeing them help drive back the demonic spawns escaping from the Abyss!