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Risen 2: Dark Waters Community Q & A


Risen 2

With 2012 and Risen 2: Dark Waters on the horizon, Deep Silver's Daniel Oberlercher, was nice enough to offer to answer some questions about the game from the RPGamer community. We sent out the call for questions and TG Barighm, an active member on our forum, answered. With out futher ado, here are some interesting and naunced questions from someone who spent a lot of time with the first Risen.

Is Risen 2 designed from the ground up to be a PC or console game or do they have separate teams dedicated to the development of both?
Daniel Oberlercher: Risen 2 is being developed for PC and consoles in parallel by two teams. Piranha Bytes is focusing on the PC, game content and design whereas WizarBox is working on Xbox 360 as well as Playstation 3. We made sure that we have proper controls for PC and consoles in place - so PC players will have their trusty quick bar with drag'n drop support while console players will get a quick wheel to which they can assign skills or items, much like the wheel in Mass Effect.

In an era of elaborate loot systems, talent trees, and morality systems, Risen had a pretty narrow focus on basic loot and skill progression (i.e. nearly all weapons improved in damage output alone with no bells and whistles even though there were items out there with additional traits such as bonuses to STR, DEX, etc.; most skills and spells got stronger with no real perks or unique differences in them. Quite a contrast compared to the weapons skills).

Also, the character's personality, despite the use of dialogue choices, was pretty consistent with no real good/bad guy choices. All of this is somewhat counter to the usual amount of choice seen in open world games. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, I just want to know if this was a design decision, a result of a lack of resources, and whether or not that style will still be in place in Risen 2?

DO: The range of skills in Risen 2 has dramatically increased in their broadness. Although there are still straightforward skills to increase your damage, we also introduced a host of new skills e.g. the dirty tricks which offer you a varied toolbox of mischievous pirate themed attacks. You will also be able to distract foes with a trained parrot or control a small monkey to ransack the villages in the night. The choices in Risen 2 will have an impact on what skills you can learn and who will cooperate with you. The personality of the hero character however will be quite neutral in order for you, the player, to make judgments without bias. With Risen 2 we want to open up a window into another world and we didn't want to have the glass rose-colored in any way.

The whole spell seals thing in the first Risen was interesting, but ultimately a little awkward. How will spells work in Risen 2?
DO: Risen 2 will features a different kind of magic that fits the new pirate setting. We don't believe that fire-ball-wielding pirates would be authentic, so we made sure that the magic in Risen 2 feels more natural than it did in the original Risen. We don't want to spoil too much about the special kind of magic we have in the game but what we can reveal is that you will not have to manage another resource (aka. mana) because many skills in the game are working with cool downs.

Was it my imagination or were enemies with weapons occasionally one-shotting me in Risen 1 regardless of my health or their low level?
DO: One-hits are very rare and may only occur when you encounter what we call "gate-keeper creatures" with a tremendously higher level than your player character. We don't like invisible walls to limit the player and have to come up with an explanation every time so more difficult areas are warded off by creatures (e.g. a very hairy and disgusting spider in a pitch black tunnel) to signal the player that he is not powerful enough. Normally those creatures would have to hit you two or three times to kill you though, so one-hit death is a very unlucky way to die. In Risen 2, we made sure that you won't encounter such creatures on the first two islands, so the risk to die a premature death is very low.

Speaking of premature death, we made sure that there are deadly traps in the jungle which kill you instantly - we never want to lure you into a false sense of security *insert big grin*

And finally, please, please, PLEASE tell me they reduced the length of the incredibly long and tedious digging animations.
DO: Yep, the animation is shorter than in the original Risen. I just used a stopwatch to time it and while the digging animation in Risen clocked in at 35 seconds, it only takes 20 seconds to dig up a treasure in Risen 2. Twenty seconds still sounds like a lot but you also need to allow some time for the digging animation to happen. We don't want the chest to spawn in front of your eyes out of thin air.

RPGamer would like to thank Daniel Oberlercher for taking time out to candidly answer some questions from the RPGamer community. We would also like to thank TG Barighm for the great questions. RPGamers can look forward to checking out Risen 2: Dark Waters in 2012.

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