Big thinks to Pacov for putting this together.
Q: Demigod has been out 6 months. What would you say are it’s biggest strengths at this point?
A: The game mechanics are extremely good. I would say it is the strategy game to beat when it comes to setting up a weekend LAN game with friends. Any other game I’d want to play would take hours of explaining the ins and outs to friends to get them to be remotely competitive. In Demigod, you can get people together quickly who can play the game.
At the same time, the game still allows for a huge difference between skilled players and new players. The big thing for me though is that someone can play Demigod with only a few minutes to practice.
Q: What are its weakest areas? What areas are you most disappointed?
A: I’m a glass is half empty kind of guy. So I tend to always be the dark cloud on this kind of thing. For me, the most annoying thing is playing online. It’s an age old problem though that is really brought out in Demigod because it’s so multiplayer centric.
Specifically, you get online and into a game only to realize someone has Bit torrent running in the background making the game lag for everyone because the game has to be in sync.
Then you have the people who blame P2P for that problem. No, it has nothing to do with that. It has to do with the game needing to be in sync. If the units were all projectile based (like TA/SupCom/Starcraft) you wouldn’t necessarily need to be in perfect sync. But in a melee centric game, you do or else you get into all kinds of other trouble.
Lesson I’ve learned is that every strategy game in the future that has MP needs to have not just ping but a quickly throughput rating so that people who have stuff running in the background can be ejected. Sorry, just something that drives me crazy about playing online with random strangers.
Q: What is happening with balance suggestions?"
A: I send them over to Mike Marr at GPG to evaluate. They are implementing some of them.
My list of things includes:
1. Queen of Thorns needs to be made more powerful.
2. Some of the items need to be made better (I’ve sent the threads over to Gas Powered Games to look at).
3. There need to be more game options for dealing with the AI (that’s in our internal build so hooray!).
Q: Why do pantheon players get experience when playing against AI.
A: The whole pantheon experience is something that is a challenge because on the one hand, you want people to only play against people but on the other hand, you don’t want people to have to wait 10 minutes for a game to start and there are times when there aren’t that many people playing online on pantheon. We don’t really have a good solution here.
Q: What is the top priority at the moment?
A: Getting the new Demigods integrated with the v1.19 code-base so we can begin testing.
Q: When will the 2 new Demigods be released?
A: I am hoping that the beta for them will start this week. It’s a matter of integrating them into people’s accounts seamlessly so that we can potentially sell demigods in the future if we eventually wanted to migrate the game to a LoL or HoN style model for certain markets.
Q: What sorts of minion UI enhancements do you see happening?
A: I know I’d like to be able to bind minions to hot keys (so I can move my monks independently for instance). I would have to talk to GPG to find out how hard that would be to implement at this stage.
Q: You’ve mentioned that Demigod wasn’t designed to be a hard-core competitive game. Why was that decision made?
A: It was a technical decision more than anything. For instance, as a former PGL player I can tell you right now that if Demigod wanted to be a serious online competitive game it would need to have its LUA scripts secured some that griefers and cheaters couldn’t potentially hack it in real-time. To me, that’s a fundamental requirement.
The other issue is that the game would need to have had a much bigger budget in order to make both the single player and online more expansive. For instance, last night I played a game where I quit because it was so laggy. If this were a competitive game, I would have been compelled (and aggravated) to play through a laggy game.
Without tools to penalize or control people who make playing online a horrible experience, the entire system is open to abuse.
Q: Is Voice Chat coming to Demigod?
A: Not directly. It would come via Impulse: Ready to Play and the built in overlay and that’s not going to happen until next Spring so it’ll be awhile.
Q: Will Torch Bearer get a fire on move animation so it can fire and move in fire mode?
A: That would have to be answered by GPG.
Q: How can the community become more involved in future updates?
A: Modding. Demigod itself is largely programmed via mods. v1.2 has a mod manager that will let people install their own mods. I would like to see it so that future updates bundle in third-party mods.
Then, if you don’t like our values for items or whatever then you guys can just pick a mod that you guys agree on.
Q: The ladder system penalizes people who play because people who never play start with 1000 points.
A: This is indeed a problem. For Epoch 3 I think we’re going to have to revisit the entire ranking system further because as someone who wins most of the time but has an experience rating of 300, I’m (understandably I think) annoyed that my rating is lower than someone who has never played.
Q: Will the dodge cap be removed?
A: I hope so. I’m going to lobby that it either be removed or raised dramatically given how fun that ability is.
Q: Is it possible for German users to update the game with a different text found in http://nokthra.impulsedriven.net/article/347922/A_new_german_translation_for_Demigod_hits_the_ground
A: I wish but Atari has made it clear that we are not to do something like that. Believe it or not, Atari, not Stardock is the worldwide retail publisher for Demigod except for North America. If you bought the game in a box outside North America and you’re posting here, please keep that in mind.
Q: So when will Demigod v1.2 come out?
A: Quick answer: When it’s done. Longer answer – we are still pursuing the strategy of releasing updates for it in pieces rather than one huge update.
Q: But originally you said you’d release v1.2 in September. It’s November! What’s the deal?!
A: Our estimates were made back during the time when we had planned on having public betas of features. But there has been such an outcry of “splitting the community” that we had to eliminate the public beta process which in turn has greatly increased the internal QA resources required which, naturally, increases the time to release. As a result, the release had to be broken into bite-sized chunks that could pass through QA one piece at a time.
It draws things out but on the other hand it keeps the MP community as one cohesive entity. It’s a trade-off that we think most users prefer.
Q: How can I tell what problems GPG knows about?
A: Sorian has a thread that discusses just that: