As many of you will remember, I asked you earlier in the month of March for questions that you would like addressed by the developers. For this round of Q&A, I had the pleasure of hearing from Bruce Maclean, Lead Designer for Rise of the Hutt Cartel. Keep in mind that this is only the first of what will be a few rounds, so if you don't see your questions right away, then keep checking future installments. Given the amount of work that the development team is doing at the moment, they only had time to answer a set number of questions at a time. For the full Q&A, as well as to discuss the information revealed. hit the jump.
Developer Q&A with Bruce Maclean
- Where does the development team stand with regards to individual class stories? Are these still a priority for upcoming content?
Great question. The way you choose to overcome your own personal villains is a crucial part of what defines your character, and once you’ve gotten closure on your personal story, you’re ready to be a key player in the larger conflicts that threaten the Empire and the Republic. Moving forward, we’re focusing on those stories – conflicts that decide the fate of the entire Galaxy and demand the attention of other living legends like yourself. You can still put your personal touch on these stories, and you’ll develop relationships just like before, but now the stakes are higher, and the experience can be shared with your friends.
- Players are very curious about the decision to make Cathar the next playable race, as opposed to seemingly more popular choices such as Ithorians, Wookies, or even Droids. How did the development team arrive at the decision to choose Cathar, and what other kinds of races can we expect in the future?
What do you mean, a lot of folks love the Cathar! You’ve got a great point though – the popularity of different races varies wildly from player to player. My personal favorite is Mon Calamari! They are decidedly not very Imperial though. We think Cathar is a great start and equitable for both factions. Future races are definitely a possibility and community popularity will be a huge deciding factor if and when we do pick them.
- Are there currently any plans, even in the long run, of introducing new classes, or further specializing an advanced class?
There are no current plans along these lines. We are very excited to share the new post-level 50 abilities we have added to classes, and our reworking of the talent trees to respond to community feedback and help improve balance. After Rise of the Hutt Cartel we want our class designers working on continued engagement with the community and addressing balance and support of our 16 advanced classes.
- Generally speaking, players are mostly concerned about seeing new game modes, or new maps for existing game modes; the example here would be Huttball. Will we see the addition of more Huttball maps in the future? Also, will more PvP content in general be rolled out in the near future?
Ahh, PvP! This is a topic near and dear to my heart. We have an outstanding PvP community and are committed to making them happy. There is a lot of interest in the community and on our team around a new Huttball map. We definitely have this on the list of things we want to do. But! Before adding a new warzone we have a couple more pressing things to do first though. First, our PvP gear progression and PvE gear progression are stepping all over each other’s toes. This is resolved in Game Update 2.0 and Rise of the Hutt Cartel. Secondly, our Ranked Warzones are still in “Pre-Season” and getting Ranked Warzones to pop is just too difficult right now. Third, there are PvP features in the works to allow the consummate PvP professional to really stretch their muscles. A new Warzone is behind all these initiatives and so likely not going to happen anytime soon.
- Are there any plans in the near future to further implement light side and dark side ranks, with respect to rewards, unlocks, and even consequences?
Not in the near future. A higher priority on our list is a ‘grey Jedi’ option for role-players (like me) who want to balance out their Light and Dark side choices.
- Will we see the inclusion of future companions, related to class stories or otherwise?
Yes! Adding new companions to class stories is harder than it sounds though, so new companions will more likely have their own storylines like HK-51.
- Many players that are interested in Role Playing are curious about the following features: Chat Bubbles, the ability to sit on all forms of furniture, being able to enter their own backstory prior to the start of their class story (in the form of a paragraph that could be read upon inspection), or just updates in general that will support the ability to Role Play.
We’re always looking to add things that enhance and support roleplaying, but we have to weigh the impact some of these new features might have on performance or other quality-of-life improvements. There may be room for us to create specific social spaces with sittable furniture, for example, but converting all furniture in the game would be a monumental task.
- What do the developers think of introducing dual-spec, and if it's being considered, how likely or close is it to being implemented?
We developers are also players ourselves, so the answer to that is easy. We love the idea! Given that it would make our players very happy too, it’s pretty high on the list of things we want to tackle sometime soon.
- More than half of the requests I received all wanted to know the status of the "Secret Space Project". Any light you can shed on this one?
<puts pinky finger to corner of mouth and grins> Not at this time.
- Small mini-games, such as Pazaak, Swoop Racing, etc, would be very popular with the playerbase; many have even suggested a Hutt-run Casino. Thoughts on this?
Yes! One thing you have seen with our events is that they are all very unique. Introducing mini-games is definitely on the table among all the neat ideas we are swirling around for future events.
- By and large the most requested question had to be improvements to the recipe book. At present, finding the correct enhancement means wading through more than 100 possible options to get just the right one. Any plans to refine the book by offering filtering or search options?
We’ll make sure that’s on our list of future quality-of-life improvements.
- As far as settings and environments go, let's look beyond Makeb. Are the developers already working on the "next big thing"? And, if so, will we see some of the more famous Star Wars locations?
Yes! And Yes! <Starts to tell you, then gets smacked by our publicist and gets back on message>
But enough about that, we are here to talk about Rise of the Hutt Cartel! We are very excited for our players to see what we’ve been working on! Go play Double XP weekends on Live right now, and pre-order Rise of the Hutt Cartel to get the cool pre-order items! I’ll see you on Makeb! (I’ll be the dashing cyborg smuggler)