GamesRadar Interview with Jon Warner

By Oh_Gaz

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This evening Game Director Jonathan Warner was interviewed by GamesRadar at their Gamescom After Dark event.

Responding with his usual lively tact and enthusiasm, Jon covered several topics – most of which have been explored in previous releases and trailer conversations.

The Interview however was also an opportunity for gamers that may not have been following the game as closely, to observe and engage. And whilst PAX West will clearly be providing us with more new Anthem news, the Interview did cover some ground worth visiting for the masses.

In particular, we have confirmation that Haluk is a little crazy ;), that there are No “stealth kills”, discussions around how flora and fauna is placed less randomly and more around it’s relevant environment/scenario, a reminder of the epic Rip-Stream that prevents the populace from ever leaving the planet and finally, reaffirmation that our friendly Interceptor’s focus is agility and gadgets. Question: Does this then make our  beloved Inty less of a “stealth/ninja” build and more of an engineer build potentially? It is “speedy” after-all, according to Jon. So…can we have both? Time will tell… 

Following is a full summary and key-points discussed:

What is Anthem?

  • We fly around…and fight things. 😉

Haluk is “a little crazy”

  • Confirmed.

How do you make sure it is an ever-changing world?

  • We built an eco-system that allows us to re-populate flora and fauna. 
  • These elements are not just “planted there”, they are relevant to their scenario.
  • Dynamic day, night and weather cycle to randomise the world
  • For example – randomised rescue missions, Ash Titans etc.

How does the eco-system work?

  • Mathematics and sciency stuff!
  • Associations of certain creature types to their relevant environments

What kind of person would want to run around in a Colossus?

  • Some one who wants to have fun 🙂
  • Can be out-fitted as a tanky role and shield.

Tell us about STORM.

  • Elemental attacks apply status effects that setup combos for the rest of the team.
  • Storm has no armour and therefore you are vulnerable
  • Limited armour, slim suit.
  • You get a damage mitigating shield in the air. No shield available on the ground.

Tell us about Interceptor.

  • Is about Agility and Interesting gadgets.
  • Interceptor’s provide relief, particularly with mob crews
  • It is a speedy Javelin.
  • We’re going to talk about the Interceptor A LOT later on.

Flying. Was it difficult to incorporate the verticality into the world?

  • The verticality alone wasn’t difficult., but the challenging part was getting it to be “simple and approachable”
  • We’ve tested thousands of control schemes and configuration. 
  • We wanted to FEEL like a superhero.

Tell us about the Titan

  • The Ash Titan in the demo was a dynamic world event
  • It’s hard to take these out at low levels, and by yourself.
  • If you have common/uncommon/rare gear – fugheddaboutit!

What brough Javelins into being?

  • The gods that created the world, were mid-way through the process, when they mysteriously vanished. With the world now left in an unfinished state with the machines they were using (relics) left around for us to discover.
  • Titans are a remnant of what the shapers were doing. They were part of the shapers scheme. We don’t know what their purpose is. But they hit. HARD. 

Is there a height-cap on flying? 

  • Yes. In the World of Anthem, there is no such thing as space travel.
  • No one has tried to leave this planet.
  • Because there is a Rip-stream above the planet. Which tears you apart at certain heights.

If you are down and not revived by team-mates, do you miss out on end of match rewards?

  • No you won’t miss out
  • Incentives to revive: challenge medals and achievements will help to drive this behaviour

Is there a date for a demo?

  • We’ll be talking about that VERY SOON. 

What post-launch plans do you have?

  • We have good post-launch plans.
  • We’re not quite ready to talk about the details.
  • We have been playing close to attention to making a great live service. And we want to create a service that will be engaging, fulfilling and a lot of fun

How does weather affect the world?

  • Weather affects via applying status effects to yorur Javelins
  • It of course affects visibility in-game and makes the world gorgeous

Are there special or rare mobs with rare loot that solo or groups can tackle?

  • Yes there are elite, bosses, and lieutenants that roam the world.
  • Outcomes based on your: skill, level of the pilot and rarity of your gear.

What are some of those status effects?

  • Ice
  • Fire
  • Electrical attacks
  • Acid attacks
  • Hazards – Effects that certain enemies especially end-bosses will deploy.

What kind of effects does weather apply to the characters?

  • Still working on that. To be decided.

     

You mentioned that this is not an MMO. How much more difficult is it to play single player vs co-op?

  • We do damage scaling when playing in a smaller group
  • Impacted by your skill, gear and level.
  • Playing solo is available throughout the main campaign and story missions.
  • And then onto Strongholds – the 4-player-esque activities that we have seen till this point

Crafting. What can we craft and how does it work with a loot ranking?

  • Oooh! THAT is a specific question! 🙂I don’t want to get into those details just yet.
  • Everything that you pick up in the world loot-wise, has a secondary value. You can break it down which results in materials.
  • You can unlock blueprints (through various means!).
  • Crafting is a useful way in early game to higher status, but will also be used in the elder game

Tips for players just starting out in Anthem?

  • Fly a lot and BE MOBILE.
  • Even in a Colossus. Move move move.

Can you explain what Strongholds are about?

  • Meant to be a challenging piece of repeatable content
  • Can crank up the difficulty to go for the best rewards.
  • Takes from 35-45mins depending on your skills et. al.

When can we see some NEW Footage?

  • We are going to be showing new stuff at PAX next week!
  • Then rolling out new stuff as we roll into the Fall.

How did you create the Strongholds?

  • The philosophy: thinking about what keeps a mission great on the “40th play through”
  • Focus has to been on the fun, to encourage that interest in repeatability of a mission

     

Will there be any hostile creatures under the water trying to attack us?

  • We do have some “hostile creatures” underwater, though UNDERWATER COMBAT is not a thing

Can you tell me a bit about the HUB world?

  • Fort Tarsis is the centre of Freelancer activity
  • Location for: Personal story moments, NPC and crew.
  • Customise and Personalise Javelins.
  • Purchase items
  • Store gear
  • Do your crafting
  • Acquire Missions

     

How can you customise your Javelin?

  • Different paint, materials
  • In future game: cosmetics grow around helmets, breastplates and decals.

     

What is the essence of Anthem?

  • Go out and be a hero. Not everyone can wear a Javelin exo-suit. Not everyone has one.
  • Each suit is hand-crafted. They are rare and precious.
  • This is why we are going out to shut down these rogue shaper relics.
  • For players? You need to build up your piloy, exo-suits, rarer items and gear-score.
  • There is an element of celebrity to being a Freelancer.

     

Are there such a thing as Stealth Kills in Anthem?

  • No. You’re big. In an exo-suit. So…No.

By Oh_Gaz

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