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Reaching the end of the road with Auto Assault

Q&A with Scott Brown of NetDevil

Wednesday 21 September 2005/... NCsoft Europe has made available an interview with Scott Brown, President of NetDevil, the developers behind Auto Assault - the fastest, most destructive MMO ever. In this, the fifth and final part of the interview, Scott talks about how to keep players enthused and involved up to and through the endgame.

"The End of the Road"

Q: Massively-multiplayer game fans often talk about the endgame and what happens there. In the case of Auto Assault, what does happen when players reach the maximum level?

A: There are four different activities you can do once you reach the maximum level in Auto Assault. The first is Arena combat. You can continue to compete for ranking and fame in the Arena's long after you max your level. The second activity would be capturing outposts. You can continue to fight with your friends and clan mates over the various outposts. The third activity would be loot farming. Since the loot system in Auto Assault is completely dynamic you will always need to be out hunting for that perfect combination of statistics and abilities of all of the items you can equip. Finally, there is crafting. Because of the crafting systems use of the dynamic loot generation you will want to keep trying to invent items that only you will be create and sell. Of course with new content and level caps coming in expansions there will always be something new on the way as well.

Q: Perhaps, by opting for a more dextrous angle than the average massively-multiplayer game, you feel that people will still be able to improve their skills over time and that this will help keep the game alive and in their thoughts? To bring the whole thing full-circle, would you say that played a part in your original design?

A: Exactly, and with the introduction of new weapons to the game over time players will constantly be forced to learn new tactics in order to succeed in battle. The original design was to combine fast paced gaming requiring player skill with long term statistical character growth.

Q: Indeed, with that in mind, what kinds of lessons have you drawn from other massively-multiplayer endgames?

A: Certainly great first person shooters like Tribes, Unreal Tournament and Battle Field 1942 have influenced us as great examples of really fun action games. Obviously other MMOs have shown that if you have fun and interesting PvP that you can give your players something great to do long after they have reached the maximum level in game.

A: Besides all that, how do you expect to keep people interested in Auto Assault above and beyond a certain level?

A: We'll have hundreds of hours of content in place from the moment we ship, and we aim to keep the experience as fresh as possible with updated content and the aforementioned features for the hardcore players. Beyond that obvious commitment that anyone making an MMO has to make in the current climate, we also have an online game unlike any other. Hopefully, when people experience our faster paced play they'll realise that pulling one enemy at a time and tip-toeing your way through a world is not the only way it can be.

Q: Finally, to change tack a little, what will the Auto Assault team be doing when they hit their development endgame? Is there ever any rest when it comes to a persistent game like this, or is it just non-stop for those of you working on it?

A: Really for us the work starts when we ship, we will be working on new content and balancing existing content from day one. Our longest days are still ahead but we can not wait to get the game out to everyone and show off what we have been building for so long.

Interview originally appeared on https://www.eurogamer.net on 21st September.

For more information, please visit the official European website at: http://eu.autoassault.com

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About NCsoft Europe

NCsoft Europe (NC-E) is headquartered in Brighton, England and is part of Korea-based NCsoft Corporation, the world's leading developer and publisher of online games. NCsoft has already successfully established itself in North America, Japan, Taiwan, China and Thailand. NC-E began operations on 1st September 2004 and serves as a central hub for all NCsoft sales, marketing and distribution operations in Europe, via its European distribution network. NC-E launched Lineage® II in November 2004, City of HeroesTM on 4th February 2005 and Guild Wars® on 28th April 2005. More information about NCsoft Europe can be found at http://www.plaync.com.

About NetDevil

NetDevil was founded in 1997 under the inspiration of JumpgateTM, the world's first massively multiplayer space simulator universe. NetDevil is an independent game development company dedicated to the construction of massively multiplayer universes. NetDevil is committed to creating immersive, interactive virtual worlds in unique settings outside the typical fantasy genre. For more information, please visit http://www.netdevil.com.

NCsoft, the interlocking NC logo, Auto Assault, NetDevil, and all associated NCsoft logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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