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by Isabelle



Dark and Light is the forthcoming MMORPG from developer NP Cube. The game is notable for having possibly the largest world size in an online RPG, with 15, 000 square miles of terrain. Across this medieval game world, players will do battle against monsters, as well as against players from the opposing faction.

These two different factions are the kingdoms of Dark and Light. Players will start out in a “safe” Kingdom, based on their initial choice of faction, and will have the opportunity to move on and help conquer other Kingdoms in cooperation with other players.

With many varied gameplay options, including the ability for each player to advance in the fields of fighting, crafting, exploration and politics, the game promises to be innovative and absorbing.

Estimated Release: Fall 2004

We will soon publish an in-depth preview of the game. In the meantime, read on to learn more about the game world and player vs player (PvP) combat in Dark and Light.



DARK AND LIGHT INTERVIEW WITH NP CUBE'S STEPHANE QUILICHINI



JustRPG: First of all, thank you very much for agreeing to answer our questions on Dark and Light. We, at JustRPG, are very much looking forward to learning more about this ambitious game and sharing your answers with our readers.

NP Cube, Stephane Quilichini: My name is Stephane QUILICHINI, one of the lead Game Designers of Dark and Light.



GAME WORLD AND COMMUNICATIONS

JustRPG: Your game will have 213 main cities, and many more villages. With such a huge world, and so many places to go, will players be spread out over the whole world, or will there be one or two central cities that are more popular than the others?

SQ: Yes, we do say a great number of fortresses are potentially there, activated accordingly to the density of player in Ganareth. We have three main cities: the great Dark city, the great Light city, and Al Drifa. Al Drifa will probably be the most popular of all, as it permits all gamers to be there together (Dark and Light). At the start, there exists villages from the main races of the game in the Dark and Light kingdoms plus one big city. Then gamers will most probably go to Al Drifa to begin to conquer kingdom ONE and TWO, in which only main cities and some fortresses will be available to conquer. And according to the number of gamers, GM’s will decide to create (in fact activate) the other fortresses of the kingdom. This permits keeping a permanent challenge for the fight of fortresses and other place of interest. The size of our world is an advantage in this case. Concerning the higher level kingdoms, the same rule will apply even if we should have fewer players in them. But at the start of the game all the future fortresses position (geographical) are set.

JustRPG: What kind of chat functions will there be in the game? For instance, will there be chat channels covering large areas, or only chat covering the immediate vicinity?

SQ: Two dedicated channels for guilds or groups of friends enable the chat with all its members on the all of the territory. A common channel will have a reduced radius. As there are many clans, there are many channels for communication, with dedicated channels for politics or different levels for army command.

JustRPG: With a game of this nature, tactics and coordination are obviously very important. How will communication be limited between people of different alignments?

SQ: There is one channel for the Dark and one for the Light. But also one channel for trading for everyone, this only on a very limited area. There is also a channel for language in relation to the race, and we are not sure if this will be included in the first release of the game as it will be really usable in the role play and in some high level quests.

JustRPG: Will there be some sort of facility for helping people to find a group, such as a separate chat channel? And once partners have been found, how easy will it be for players in different parts of your impressively large world to find each other and meet up?

SQ: The notion of group and team search is a prime necessity to us. A powerful tool is at the player’s disposal enabling to register each one easily in a list of people available for a specific mission (list with the level and class of the player). A group leader looking for someone will chose from this list wherever he may be in the world, and once validated, could have the other members teleported to him. But of course there are rules to follow not to have the system abused: a player as to be registered in a teleportation area to be able to be teleported, and if that group was formed for a set attack, that attack cannot be cancelled without loosing XPs.



PvP

JustRPG: Will Player vs. Player combat be mandatory, or will people be able to stay away from it if they choose?

SQ: PvP in DnL follow rules linked to the Gods of Ganareth. Attacking a lower level player out of a declared fight is usually not well appreciated by the Gods. Such player may then have to face divine thunder and can also be on the “WANTED” list with every head hunter after him. As you can see, a player in DnL can easily stay out of combat zone and live is life as he or she chooses.

JustRPG: No players of the opposite alignment will be allowed in either the Dark or the Light Kingdom. Will it be possible for players to live out their entire game life just in these "safe" kingdoms?

SQ: Yes, a player can decide to stay in these territories to do PVE . Very high level monsters as well as beasts for newbies exist in these territories. But then, this type of player will miss out on the social and politic side of his development. We strongly recommend trying to conquer other kingdoms to have at least the pleasure of discovering territories if you do not like PvP combat. To our knowledge, DnL is the only game in its category to offer that type of choice; our beta tester are unanimous on that thought.

JustRPG: You have said that there will be penalties for higher-level characters who choose to kill lower-levels. How will this work, and will the levels be based on both combat and social experience?

SQ: As said before, gods drive the combat rules in DnL. Each player will have to develop his divine faction to be “helped” by his god especially in case of an unprovoked attack. Players are warned not to provoke gods as whatever your power it will be quite ridiculous in comparison of the one of a god in Ganareth J . In combat only FXP is taken in consideration, but generally a player’s level is given by the MAX (Level FXP, level SXP).

JustRPG: Many thanks for your time, and we look forward to watching the development of Dark and Light over the next few months.

SQ: Thanks again for your interest in Dark and Light. It’s always with great pleasure answering your questions.


Stay tuned for the second part of our Q&A with NP Cube coming soon...



Dark and Light Screenshots






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