Exclusive Interview with Stieg Hedlund


Stieg Hedlund is the famed Design Director behind Gods and Heroes: Rome Rising, the upcoming mythological MMORPG from Perpetual Entertainment. The Q&A looks over a range of core topics most MMO fans want to know about.

WarCry Q&A: Gods and Heroes
Answers by Stieg Hedlund (G&H Design Director)
Questions by Matt Lowery

Squad vs. Hippocampus (Exclusive)

Squad vs. Hippocampus (Exclusive)

WarCry: You have said there will be some instancing, like in Archimedes Island, where large groups of players will have to work together to fight an overwhelming force. Will there be instances like that for all player levels, or only once you reach the higher levels?

Stieg Hedlund: At the higher levels there will be instances where you will need to group and form a small army of players and minions in order to handle everything that will be thrown at you. But we’re making the grouping experience enjoyable and rewarding at every level, if not strictly necessary. Most of levels 1 through 15 or 20 will be solo-able, though, again, grouping will still have its advantages.

WarCry: Speaking of Instancing, could you give us an idea of how often it will be used in Gods & Heroes, and what kind of missions they will be?

Stieg Hedlund: Instancing is being used whenever we’re trying to convey a key plot point of the story, or whenever the player is sent on a key quest, where the value could be decreased by the interference of other players. That means that an instance is used any time there are triggers or scripts that are integral to the flow of the epic storyline of the game or in a situation where it is vital that each player gets the full reward for completing a certain quest. Accordingly, there are no mission types that we are exclusively using in instanced zones.

Archimedes Isle (Exclusive)

Archimedes Isle (Exclusive)

WarCry: It has been hinted at, that raids in the traditional sense will not be in Gods & Heroes. You will not be taking huge numbers to go out and kill a main boss, but instead will face lots of weaker mobs. Can you elaborate on what we can expect, and why?

Stieg Hedlund: Some of the god quests will most definitely pit you against larger boss enemies. There will also most definitely be raids in G&H, but instead of unwieldy twenty-player raids, which can be a nightmare to organize and execute, our minion system makes it so that even with a large-scale raid you only need 5 party members. If each party member has 4 minions in their active squad, that right there gives you 25 pairs of sandals on the ground. It’s much more manageable but will still give players the opportunity to participate in some truly massive combat engagements.

Charge! (Exclusive)

Charge! (Exclusive)

WarCry: The Feat Tree system in Gods & Heroes is very unique. I can take 2 soldiers, and have them come out very differently. Will there be any way to reverse a Feat choice if you aren’t happy with the Feat?

Stieg Hedlund: We’re going to do this for sure-we don’t want people to feel like they have to reroll if they’ve built a character and aren’t happy with all of the Feats they’ve chosen. Some of these will essentially be free at given levels, but after a point there’ll be some work you’ll have to do-just so people aren’t always changing their builds.

WarCry: Speaking of Feats, when can we get a look at the list of feats we will be able to choose from?

Stieg Hedlund: Up-to-date Feat Trees for each class will be released as features through several different fan sites and community sites. We’ve already released levels one through 20 for each class through, but all of those have been re-spec’ed and redesigned, so look for new Feat Trees coming soon.

Squad vs. Empusas (Exclusive)

Squad vs. Empusas (Exclusive)

WarCry: The art in the game is breath taking, yet the systems it’s been tested on, are far from top end. Can you tell us how you have managed this?

Stieg Hedlund: Our engineers and artists are wizards.

WarCry: In Gods & Heroes you have static treasure chests laying out in the open, as a reward for exploring certain areas. How do you plan to prevent chest camping?

Stieg Hedlund: There are definitely some valuable items to be found in the chests, but they are not integral to the larger story arc. If and when there are unique or rare items to be found in a static treasure chest, they will not be given out frequently or predictably. Most often the items in these chests will be consumables or potions. In other words, stuff that’s cool to have, but not the kinds of things you’d want to wait for a re-spawn just to get multiple times.

WarCry: Guilds are a huge part of MMOs. Talk to us about your plans for guilds in Gods and Heroes?

Stieg Hedlund: We call them Tribes in G&H and they are going to play a big role in the game. We are still working on exactly what role they’ll have, however, so not much can be said at this point.

Mystic vs. Tribesman (Exclusive)

Mystic vs. Tribesman (Exclusive)

WarCry: Is there any way in Gods & Heroes to group with my friend who just started, and may be several levels below me?

Stieg Hedlund: You can group with whomever you like, but, as far as XP distribution and leveling, we certainly won’t be providing the newer player with any unfair advantages. XP distribution in these types of situations is another aspect of the game that is still under construction, so I can’t tell you too much about that, either. But I can tell you that, just as with any other game, we are working diligently to head-off any potential exploits of this type.

WarCry: Can you tell us how the beta is going, and when can we expect the flood gates to open so we can play… err test the game?

Stieg Hedlund: The Core Beta Test is going really, really well. We’ve received an amazing amount of feedback from our core testers — who are completely awesome — and have made a lot of changes and performed many internal audits as a result of their responses to the game. We expect to begin the Closed Beta at the beginning of summer, and Open Beta will follow that.

Now tell us what you think!

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