Eurogamer: I read online Dungeon Siege III has over 15,000 pieces of equipment. Is that true?
Rich Taylor: It is true. But you could say the same thing about other action RPGs that have procedural equipment generation systems. We didn't have someone sit here and hand pick 15,000 pieces of equipment. But we have a loot generation system with a ton of combinations and a ton of variety of loot so players can customise and pick up the items that emphasise the stats or abilities they're most interested in.
And of course with multiple player characters we do have equipment that is unique to the different player characters. That also builds up in terms of the sheer number of items the player could come across in the game.
We also have multiple tiers of quality. The player might get really lucky and find an item early on that's a little bit stronger than what they would normally find in that region. So there are a lot of tiers. There are unique items for the different characters, and then there's randomly generated loot.
So there are a mixture of items we have handcrafted we want to be rewards for the player: they defeated this specific boss, or they completed a specific quest, or they discovered a secret chest where we hid something very specific. But also when the player is chopping down the monsters, they're going to see a lot of random loot generated they can decide if it's an upgrade for them or it needs to go straight to the store.
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Ehb and flow.
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Eurogamer: The game is multiplatform. Is the PC version different in any way?
Rich Taylor: Yeah. There are certain things that are more PC-centric. The input and the controls lean more towards the PC. On the console it controls like a console game. You control your character with the analogue stick and the camera with the other analogue stick, much like most other single-player controlled games are when they come out on the consoles.
On the PC, though, players expect to be able to click and move their character around with the mouse and click on enemies. We'll certainly have it control that way. The interfaces will be mostly the same. The stat comparison available on the console will also be there on the PC. And of course the PC lends itself to higher-resolution textures and visual presentation that we're happy to take advantage of where we can.
Eurogamer: Can you give us an example of the strategy a four-player co-op group will need to employ to take down a powerful enemy?
Rich Taylor: That goes back to the player characters themselves and what they're good at. Some of them are designed as more of a ranged fighter, and some of them are designed as more of a frontline melee fighter. As players get together and encounter the different bosses and challenges, they'll find certain tactics work better if they work together.
The ranged person stands back and avoids the projectile shots coming their way. The melee fighter gets in there and tries to keep the boss looking at them, and they're able to do most effective damage in close. That's the area players will find the most variety in how they can play together and work as a team.
Eurogamer: Comparisons with Diablo III are inevitable, but are they fair?
Rich Taylor: People will find they're two completely different games. With Dungeon Siege you're going to feel like you're playing an Obsidian RPG in terms of story. You're going to meet NPCs that have quests for you. You're going to have branching dialogues. You're going to have influence with your AI-controlled companions, similar to what we've seen in out other games. So you're going to see a lot of the Obsidian-style RPG mechanics present in Dungeon Siege. It's going to feel more like that.
So while we do have some similar mechanics to Diablo – we have the randomly generated loot – that's really about where the similarities stop. Outside of being a game where you can get a lot of loot and level up and kill monsters, they don't have a lot in common, and people will see that when the game comes out.
Rich Taylor is project director of Dungeon Siege III at Obsidian.