With recent interviews mostly focusing on the single player portion of the game, we thought it was time to do an interview that is all about Elite Force II's multiplayer. We managed to pull lead programmer Steven Peeler and lead level designer Jerry Keehan away from the game long enough to answer our questions.
What's the current status of multiplayer development?
The EF2 multiplayer component is essentially finished. At this time, we’re only adding last minute polish and balancing. All of our multiplayer modes are still being played constantly to make sure they’re as fun and balanced as possible, and feedback from this testing may result in small changes here and there before the game ships.
What general feel are you going for? Fast-paced a la Quake III Arena or realistic like Medal of Honor: Allied Assault?
The pace of Elite Force II multiplayer is more comparable to the Quake 3 style of play. With that said, Elite Force II gameplay has its own unique feel, thanks in part to the wide variety of weaponry available to the player.
What gameplay modes will be featured in the game?
Many of the familiar multiplayer game modes will be included in the game at launch. Elite Force II features Holomatch, Team Holomatch, Capture the Flag, and One Flag CTF. In addition, we plan to include unique modes such as Control Points, Domination, Power Struggle, and Bomb Diffusal.
Can you tell us more about the Plasma Bomb Diffusal mode?
The goal of EF2’s Bomb Diffusal mode is simple: destroy the other team's base and make sure that they don't do the same to yours. This mode is very fast paced and requires good teamwork and cooperation to beat your opponents.
There are also gameplay modifiers, like Power Struggle and Auto Handicap. How are they going to work?
In Power Struggle, your team is attempting to destroy the opposing team’s power source “singularity” while keeping yours intact. In order to destroy a singularity, your team has to do enough damage to it. This isn't quite as easy as it sounds, as not only will the opposing team be defending their singularity, they’ll be able to repair it with their Tricorders. The Auto Handicap feature allows the server to handicap players who are performing above and beyond the rest of the field by lowering their damage yield. Of course, this setting is entirely optional.
Will players be able to play against bots?
Absolutely! Elite Force II features numerous fun and challenging bots, each with various levels of difficulty.
Let's talk about the multiplayer arenas. How many will the game ship with?
There will be approximately 13 multiplayer maps shipping with the final game, all supporting various modes of gameplay. As always, this number may change as we tweak the ga me.
Are these mostly converted single player environments or original maps?
All Elite Force II multiplayer maps are specifically designed for the multiplayer aspect of the game.
Will the Tricorder be available in multiplayer? If so, what function(s) will it serve?
The Tricorder will see use in some of EF2’s unique multiplayer modes. The player will be able to arm and diffuse bombs in Bomb Diffusal with it, as well as repair their team’s singularity in Power Struggle.
Are you incorporating Punkbuster or a similar software to combat cheating?
We have not yet decided what measures we’ll be taking to reduce online cheating with Elite Force II. As our testing progresses, we’ll be addressing this issue further.
That's all for now, folks. We would like to thank lead level designer Jerry Keehan and lead programmer Steven Peeler for taking the time to answer our questions, as well as Chris Stockman and Activision's PR cyborg Mike Larson for making this interview possible.
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