Those of you who had been wating for PvE side of HEX information spoiler, they are here finally. HEXVault have Design Panel recording from the DragonCon 2013 as well as short interview with Chris Woods, AI designer/PvE lead system designer, afterwards.
Interview with Chris Wood
If you don’t have a time to listen to the entire audio or perhaps your device don’t support it, below are the summarized version from the official forum (thanks goes to the CodexReaper)
- The Dungeon Maps we see are very zoomed out – they will look very different in game (Cory mentioned something about Parallax-style graphics within the Dungeon?)
- Each node can be a battle, a conversation, or other event
- There are 400-500 NPC/AI *ONLY* Cards that players cannot obtain
- “Dungeon Reward Cards” – PvE cards only found by completing Dungeon runs
- PvE cards/scenarios are designed to be used only against AI, not other players. Thus, player cards will have ridiculous & otherwise unfair mechanics designed to win against the computer.
- Some Dungeons (like Scrapyard) will be largely combat-based, but Dungeons will incorporate everything from combat to conversations to puzzles – they’re designed to be incredibly varied & dynamic across the board.
- There’s an example of a new Dungeon we haven’t seen – a “Windego Dungeon” – focused more on NPC interaction & puzzle solving.
- *Related Note – it sounds like there will be PvE “Encounters” that are neither Dungeons nor Raids. No word yet on what exactly those are.
- All raids are unique, there are no re-used assets (except for the very first raid, which is designed as a tutorial for raiding & uses familiar cards & decks to teach players how to raid in Hex.)
- Raids can be done solo, but will be RIDICULOUSLY hard to do!
- Raid mechanics are designed to be crazy & “bizzarely difficult problems.” Chris mentioned a “Insanity Meter” during a boss fight with a Chuthulu-like beast.
- There’s a Huge Emphasis on being On-Point & working together as a Team.
- Raid Rewards: “The Purples” – The most powerful PvE items in the game. Sounds like Cards & Gear.
- PROGRESSION. There will be a system of raid progression in Hex!
- There are 72 Raid Rewards for Entire Progression Scene.
- All raid encounters are built around the typical 3-Stage Format. Some are all-out fights, others involve storytelling/exploration (ie, one raid’s Phase 1 is sailing to the location on a ship & using your cards to “Man the Sails”)
- There will be 10-11 Raids at release.
- All Cards have 2 pieces of Equipment
- Characters have 6 Gear Slots
- Rare & Legendary gear will radically transform the way cards function. You may decide you want to restructure decks around a single piece on a key card.
- Designed to be one of the chasiest things in the game – Rare & Legendary will be hard to get.
- All copies of a card are affected by Gear – technically, it’s your character wearing it, not the card itself.
- Sets & Set Bonuses are all over the place…not much talked about at D*C, but they involve far more than special cards. Charge powers mentioned as something that can be affected.
- Gear Titles – “Master of Time,” “Master of Chaos” – players will be left to figure out what that means; deduce from in-game occurances.
MERCENARIES / CLASSES
- Mercenaries will level up similar to Player Champions, but in a more streamlined way
- Doesn’t seem like they can be used in Raids. Dungeons & Quests, yes – but not raids.
- They each have a very unique, distinct moveset – best used with specific deck types (in contrast to Classes, which are more freeform)
- Classes have more detailed Talent Trees & Speccing
- PvE Champions will have multiple charge powers (PvP have just one)
WORLD & EXPLORATION
- HOLY CRAP THIS WORLD IS HUUUUGGGGEEEE!!!
- Sounds like the Green Outlined Zone is the entirety of the map at lauch. 8 races, 50 levels, 50 dungeons, 10 raids. All in there. WOW.
- The screenshot is the Far-Out view. It’s a rotatable, 3D model of the planet. You can zoom into the map at various levels – after World comes Section, then Region, then Cities/Dungeons/Explorable World.
- It’s designed to feel as as if you were living in a TCG world. Parallax Movement Screens currently seem to be in Cities (sounds like Dungeons, too), but we don’t yet know how the rest of the world will be designed.
- In-Depth work & details – ex., a flock of flying birds. No skimping on these cities, apparently.
- There WILL be Cross-Faction co-op in raids. Guilds will be limited to Ardent/Underworld, but raid groups can be mixed.
- Each raider has their own, individual loot drops.
- Story-Progress is saved by Faction, not Class. You can change your class during the story, and then pick it right back up where you left it.
- However, each Faction has its own unique story arc. You’ll need a champion on each faction to get both stories.
- The Top-Level of the account is your Keep. Your Keep houses all your champions & mercenaries, and all have access to your entire card collection.
- Players can have Keeps for both the Ardent & Underworld.
- Daily Quests/Activities exist, but they are designed more as rewards. NO FARMVILLE IN HEX.
- The idea of something like Daily Quests is to get you to try new parts of the game, & fun ways to reward you for simple activities, like logging in. (An extension of the Lotus Garden system?)
- There will be a matchmaking system for raids.
- You will not see the hands of teammates during a raid or encounter. You can look at cards they’ve played (including the Double-Back), but not their deck or hand.
- Raids do have an action timer, but all three players can elect to pause the game as a group. No one-person griefing.
- Every card you collect can be used in PvE. Restrictions will only apply to PvP play.
- Cards will level up via General Useage & Completing Achievements.
- Leveling a Card to full unlocks its Foil Version. Completing its Achievements unlocks the Extended Art. Neither will be obtained as drops.
- Gear pieces are mutually-exclusive. One of each slot allowed on a character.
- Dual-Spec (or Dual-Class) is a future design goal.
- CZE is very aware of ensuring that the raid system neither rewards griefers, nor punishes good players.
- Raids will not have a lockout system (ala World of Warcraft), but there will be unique, time-specific encounters that players will have to figure out. Those are deliberately being kept secret at this time, and the community will have to solve the mystery!
- CZE is not worried about card farming (particularly in raids, given their difficulty). However, they are looking at potential limiters for items posted on the AH.
- Really in-depth AI opponents. There will be no cheat-mechanics, but AI opponents will dynamically react to the cards you play like a normal person would in a PvP game – some may adjust their decks!
- There will be a Dungeon that has a “Draft-like” playstyle, apparently called “Scrolls (Squirrels?) vs Dinosaurs”
- You cannot change out Decks mid-Dungeon (but some will allow for Sideboarding)
- YOU WILL HAVE LOADOUTS – you can save Cards, Gear, & Talents into a single Loadout that you choose at the start of an encounter.
- Content will be generally released in a gradual, piece-by-piece fashion – though there will be much larger, major content updates as well.
- Slow Updates will tease upcoming Set Themes & Storylines. The story will not simply be told within a single set of cards.
- No real “Twitch” mechanics or gameplay, but there will be unique variants. For example, an encounter could have a Bomb Card with a timer – play too slow, it blows up, and you lose the match.
- CZE expects to have a minimal oversight of Game Economy – they really want to have a “Hands-Off” approach.
- Apparently, they’ve hired a Professional Economist that’s helping them develop the in-game economic system!
- There will be many things to buy with Gold/Platinum. Many different sinks, but not mundane ones like Equipment Repairs.
- The PvE content will be designed such that a player can completely progress having only bought a Starter Deck. No “Money Walls.”
- However, players that put more time, money, & energy into their Card Collection will be accordingly rewarded with Hard Modes & Better Rewards.
CHRIS WOODS INTERVIEW W/ GWAER
- Cards will not be changed, but Dungeon content may be revamped over time.
- There may be a Block-Rotation system, but it would revolve around Dungeons, not Cards/Card Sets.
- Raiders will have Independent Health Pools.
- Certain Raids may have other Win Conditions in addition to player health.
- There will be Cards specifically designed to affect your teammates (and it was inferred specific Classes will also matter in this regard)
- No plans for Bind-on-Equip (BoE) or Bind-to-Account (BoA) items except for Mercenaries.
- There are about 5 Dungeons related to every Raid. They’re designed in a sequence, but they don’t serve as required “Gates” for their Raid.