The trading card game based on the world of Everquest, Legends of Norrath, is celebrating it's 5th anniversary. We had a chance to have chat with the Executive Producer of the game, Mark Tuttle, about hitting the landmark. Check out our interview about the game's past, present, and future, and get a sneak peek at the book in the gallery.
To enter for a chance to win the Legends of Norrath Five Year Treasury book, check out the details below the gallery.
GamesRadar: Legends of Norrath is celebrating its five-year anniversary; thats quite an accomplishment! Can you give us a few details on the games success; how it is received by EverQuest fans?
Mark Tuttle: Big question. Legends of Norrath offers different things to different fans of the EverQuest franchise. We have the Trading Card Game fans that enjoy that style of gameplay set in the broader world of EverQuest. There are those that like to browse the world-class (and award winning) original art that we produce for each set. And finally, we have players that love to chase and get the cool LoN-specific loot that we offer in each set. Its so much more than just a TCG in these aspects.
GR: What are some of the challenges youve had to overcome in the last five years?
MT: Trading Card Games are inherently difficult types of games to develop and its especially challenging when youre making a TCG based on another game, that being EQ and EQII. The original design brilliantly used the MMO tropes of solving quests, creating avatars, fighting monsters and bosses, and earning cool rewards. With each expansion, were faced with the challenge of how to keep that gameplay fresh and new. Its also tough to balance our storyline between the two games, since EQ and EQII are slightly different worlds. Set 15, Debt of the Ratonga, was a strictly EQII storyline so for Set 16, were turning our attention to some interesting new things happening in EQ for our tale.
GR: What makes the fifth anniversary special for you?
MT: Ive been making TCGs since 1994 and very, very few make it to the five year point so that alone is terrific. Weve released over 4,000 cards for Legends of Norrath and over 600 loot cards. Thats a tremendous amount of work that a lot of very talented people have contributed. Its nice to see that our fans still appreciate and support that body of work. At our fan event, SOE Live, this last October, we had a large group of LoN fans meet with us and share their thoughts and ideas on where they would like to see the game go from here. Its always good to hear their thoughts but to also realize that, as TCG players ourselves, were on the same page as them.
GR: Whats in the book, Legends of Norrath Five Year Treasury, and why should fans be excited for it?
MT: Several years ago we released a book called The Art of Legends of Norrath, Volume One. We didnt print very many so there are very few in existence. At our fan events and in our forums, wed often have players ask us when Volume 2 was coming out. We dug up the original files and decided that instead of a second volume, wed update it, call it The Five Year Treasury, and showcase the best art and story from the fourteen sets of the first five years worth of LoN. Partnering with our friends at HP MagCloud, we were also able to offer the book in two flavors, digital and printed, so that fans of the work weve done could experience in the way they preferred. The book itself is cool because it gives you a chance to see larger (or scalable if youre in digital) versions of the artwork that you previously only saw in tiny, on-screen card images.
GR: Where do you see Legends of Norrath going in the future? What plans do you have for future content and what should players keep their eyes out for?
MT:We have a lot of plans for Legends of Norrath in 2013. Weve already announced that well be doing work on the new player experience. TCGs can be very difficult to approach so were planning on some new video tutorials to help new or returning players get into the game. Were also doing some clean-up work in the client. Were streamlining the lobbies, dialogues, overall flow and some of the back-end code. Of course, we have several full sets planned for the year and were working on an overhaul of the tournament formats and prizing. Lastly, theres one really big, new surprise that we have that were working diligently on right now.