Co-Optimus: In an IGN preview it was noted “you're free to jump in and out of as many different games at any time, regardless of how far you are in your own adventure.” Will the joining player’s quest progression be tied to the hosts’ progression, meaning that he or she will either miss out on some aspects of the story if the host is far ahead, or wait for the host to catch up?
Maxx: If the player decides they would like to jump into someone else's game that is further along in the story, we allow them to do so. We also allow them to jump into someone's game that is not as far along. All of the gold and crystal progress that the player makes, in addition to what they've achieved in their single player game, can be taken with them, if they choose to do so. This will allow players to use the experience they gained in their single player campaign.
Co-Optimus: In that same preview, it was stated, “nothing is randomized (the grounds are not covered in random loot after every battle) in Hunted.” Does this just mean that loot isn’t doled out on a random basis, but the kind of weapons/gear you do find is random, or is everything set? If the latter is true, what’s being done to keep the game interesting through multiple playthroughs?
Maxx: Loot that enemies drop is randomized to some extent. Enemies will drop items like weapons, shields, gold, crystals, various health and mana pickups and occasionally rare items. We want to keep playthroughs exciting for players and random drops helps to keep that slot machine jackpot feeling.
Co-Optimus: A lot of our readers enjoy playing these kinds of games with their friends, significant others, or kids on the couch through splitscreen or system link play. What lead to the decision to have this game be on-line co-op only?
Maxx: We made the decision early on that graphical fidelity was one of our major areas of focus. In order achieve the level of detail we wanted, we had make some tough decisions. We hope that people will really enjoy the environments and atmospheric detail we have in our world.
Co-Optimus: Will the loot and experience you earn in the first playthrough of the game carry over into a second?
Maxx: Yes, you will have all of your gold and your character will have his full experience and powers on the second play through.
Co-Optimus: How much of an exclusive support class is E'laara going to be? I appreciate a good ranged character, but I like that range to be able to hand out some pretty mean damage, too. To go with that, will Caddoc be exclusively a fighter, or will they still balance out fairly well being able to support each other when the need arises?
Maxx: Our core design focuses on making sure the two heroes support each other. E'lara's strength is her bow, but also can deal out magic damage and use her sword when needed. Caddoc is an expert with melee weapons, but he has a crossbow ready when the situation warrants it. While both characters have a definite strength, they will still be able to use their secondary weapons when needed. E'lara and Caddoc can also gain additional skills in their main class and their magic class as well as co-op focused skills that can be combined to deal massive amounts of damage. The co-op skills were designed so the players can assess the enemy distribution and together use a skill that is best suited to exploit the different enemies’ weaknesses.
Co-Optimus: What's one of the coolest things you've seen happen in co-op that couldn't happen if the game was single player?
Maxx: I think the coolest things are the reactions different people have playing with a friend. I remember playing the game with Matt one night; we were in a really dark area of the game. He was using lightning and shooting enemies that were coming towards me when out of the darkness a skeleton jumped him from behind it was freaky and cool all at the same time. Seeing that enemy totally surprise both of us and listening to his reaction was great.
Thanks Maxx and Brian from inXile for their time, and thanks Tracey from Bethesda for helping get this Q&A together!