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Today I already got up at 8 o'clock. On a Saturday morning with my sleeping habits you can confidently call this early. But this hectic pace had a good reason: Michael Hoge is expected to arrive at 2 pm to give a speech in the public library of Bremen. So I went to the city center by bike in order to find out how the land lies. I quickly found the hall. On a moveable wall I noticed some excerpts from the official Piranha Bytes website which showed the description of waypoints etc. Unfortunately I wasn't able to photograph them because of some problems with my memory card. I watched a show fight with a couple of spectators before I returned home to get a new memory card. I used this stop in order to write a short status report for WoG. On the way back to the hall I met Revolvermann who represents the Jowood-Forum and Gothic3.net.

About quarter to two o'clock we went into the hall and watched the second show fight which should have been the introduction of the speech. But Michael Hoge still hasn't arrived after 2 pm went by. So the two adversaries made an effort in entertaining the spectators. Even though their weapons were blunt one of the two got hurt. They continued with padded weapons and also invited members of the audience who dared to enter the arena.

After some time Michael Hoge finally arrives and raises a cheer. At the beginning he explains the aim of the Gothic series to create an authentic and agile world, which is reached by special methods like the daily routines of the NPCs. In the beginning, he describes that they had to reduce their fantastic ideas and the size of the world because they reached the limits of their technical capabilities and had to meet deadlines. They had to cancel the multiplayer and the graphic restricted facial expresses of the NPCs in dialogues. There still will not be time for implementing a multiplayer mode in G3 because the team is already working to their full capacity, but the second thing will be improved by the new engine of Gothic 3. The new engine will be mainly self developed but it will also contain some elements of other engines (especially concerning the physics). Motion Capturing will only be used in a very limited way because it's mainly not matching the requirements. The main features of Gothic will remain and its strengths will be expanded. The AI of animals, which partly prefer carrion to the player is one of these things.

The philosophy of giving as much freedom to the player as possible had to be balanced with the need of retelling the story. To get on with the story they concentrated on dialogues the player had to "work off". In Gothic3 they want to break with this system and let the player choose how he wants to play the game. There won't be a defined way of upcoming meetings. Hoge used an example from Gothic2: You won't need to join a guild to get to Lord Hagen, it would be one out of many ways to reach your target. If you meet Lord Hagen it doesn't mean that he listens to you willingly, you'll maybe have to do some favours for him. The system doesn't only require different solutions but also results in different endings.

Also, they don't want to make it extra difficult for the player by forcing him to eat, sleep and supplying other wants regularly or by limiting the inventory. If somebody wants to sleep regularly or doesn't want to take too many items with him, he can do it. But the game will not force the player to sleep regularly or punish acquisitiveness. The redoubtable statement that you can defeat enemies by "clicking them to death" was explained by the comment that this is only possible in a lower degree of difficulty and you can confront an Ork at the beginning of the game instead of being defeated by a wolf. The levelling of your character will remain in the game of course, you just start on a higher level and there will be harder enemies.

This is the point where I had to pause for a moment in order to cope with the flood of information. At the same time I noticed that I wasn't the only would-be poet in here. In the row behind me there was Creonator who is also from WoG. Revolvermann who is sitting next to me also follows Michael's details on Gothic III and he seems to enjoy our division of work. He is in charge of all visual things and I'm taking notes.

When Michael Hoge agreed to answer further questions another flood of information hit us. He said the PC version of Gothic III has still priority but they are also thinking about a console version. He didn't give clear answers to questions concerning innovations like bucklers, fighting with two one-handed weapons or mounts because they still weigh up the pros and cons. If some features really entertain and make sense they will surely be integrated. But if a feature could be a threat for the game balance it's better to leave it out. There was no one who didn't laugh when the question about the release date occurred. Like everyone expected the response to this question was that they couldn't say anything to it at the moment. Members of Mod-teams could look forward to tools from the developers. Whether there will be a special edition or not when Gothic III is released depends on the publisher. We all should keep the Valley of Mines and our beloved island Khorinis in memory because we won't see them anymore in part three. On the continent there will be three types of climate: desert, temperate zone and high mountains which could already be seen on the earlier artworks.

When somebody asked about gore in computer games and its effects, Mike's view fixes the ground, then the wall and he places a morning star, which is leaning on the wall, on his shoulder. He thinks that the people are not destroyed by the medias but by the society, and the crowd honours him with applause.

How the trilogy will be continued is not clear yet, but there will be a sequel that plays in the well known world of Gothic.

After honest applause in the end when we almost reached the exit, I asked Revolverman if we should ask Mike for a photo with us. We had a cup of coffee with him and then we showed the city to him and the two LARP players. It ended in a meal and some drinks. We said good bye and thanked him for the nice time.

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