Web Designer for BioWare on SWTOR, Alyssa Gobelle, drops a hint on a new feature coming soon to the Official Forum:
Quote from Alyssa Gobelle
I agree! This would be a nice feature to have and is already in the 'queue' to be addressed in a future iteration of the forums.
Principal Lead Systems Designer, Georg Zoeller, comments on BioWare's approach to a long standing problem in MMOs -- Wife Aggro:
Quote from Georg Zoeller
In a group conversation, there is a short timer that ticks down as every group member makes their choice. The conversation moves forward when the timer runs out or everyone has made their choice, whichever happens first.
In a solo conversation, there is no time pressure. We may ship with some kind of limiter (e.g. when you go AFK, we may cancel the conversation), but reasonably you should have the time to deal with a short external interruption while the system waits for you.
Lead System Designer, Damion Schubert, gives more details on the Mission and Crafting systems:
Missions have... highly variable rewards. We're still defining exactly what that means in terms of balance, but that's a key part of the difference between missions and crafting - no gathering lots of rare resources, but no certainty either. The most extreme examples you can think of, while fun to contemplate (i.e. companions getting captured and requiring rescue), are at least not in v 1.0 of the system.
Crafting will not have out-and-out critical crafting failures. It really sucks, from a social point of view, to give someone all your crafting resources and have them all be destroyed by a bad roll, and really makes it hard for up-and-coming crafters to get any business at all.
Damion Schubert gives BioWare's take on Death in SWTOR:
We intentionally keep it vague. You don't 'die'. You 'are defeated'. Other group members can revive you, but only out of combat. If no one is around, you wake up at a med center near town. Some classes can revive you in combat.
Explicitly calling it death is hard to reconcile with the fiction. On the flip side, saying that all the bad guys just knock you unconscious makes them seem seem a lot more trivial. And doing a classic 'you go unconscious unless someone lands a deathblow' in other PVP games brings back the whole 'rezzing isn't realistic' issue, and just moves it after the deathblow. Ultimately, we did what worked best with the flow of the game we wanted to make.
That being said, no matter what we name it, people will probably say 'I died' if you ask them what happened to them.
Community Manager, Stephen Reid, offers clarity on a misunderstanding on BioWare's Austin Studio:
Quote from Stephen ReidOriginally Posted by ProfessorWalsh
After the merger the company BioWare created BioWare Mythic which is making this game. The people in charge of BioWare Mythic are Mythic employees not BioWare ones. This was why when the Dr's BioWare were talked to they said, "We know those guys" as the Dr's are not in charge over there.
This is also why BioWare is not BioWare working with Mythic.
The company is actually named: BioWare Mythic now.
In the interests of clarity, let's clear this up.
BioWare Austin, where Star Wars: The Old Republic is being developed, was founded in 2006 the official press release is here. There are now five studios in total in the BioWare group; Edmonton, Austin, Montreal, Galway (Ireland) and Fairfax (AKA Mythic). You can apply to work at all five locations on the main BioWare site.
All studios in the group are under the overall brand of BioWare', which is run by Dr. Ray Muzyka. BioWare itself is part of the EA Games label.
Damion Schubert explains how the hangar system works in SWTOR:
On most planets, there are hangars for each class, with an elevator leading to each one. The phase door is at the elevator entrance, meaning there might be a stream of other troopers heading to your elevator, but your hangar is your own.
Lead Writer Daniel Erickson offers new details on the way implants work and clarifies what community members are seeing on player characters:
Quote from Daniel Erickson
Just to clear up any confusion. Implants in SWTOR, much like in KOTOR, are not visible and can be changed out. They are a way to give more loot and stat options to characters without covering them in random art pieces. Except for the flavor name given to them, they function the same as rings or amulets might in a fantasy game.
They are not the same as the visible cybernetics you're occasionally seeing on player characters. Being a cyborg is different and a very specific choice that, as posters have pointed out, is not undertaken lightly nor commonly done in the SW universe.
Hope that helps!
In the last highlight of the week, Damion Schubert clears up a bit of confusion over crew skills:
To confirm, your character/crew has three skills total, of which only one of them can be a crafting skill. Your companions can only use one of those three skills. Thus, if your character has the Armormech crew skills, your companions can only craft Armormech items (i.e. mostly armor). That being said, you can have up to five companions all crafting armor simultaneously, assuming you have the resources and space to do so.
I've been playing a build all week, and I know it's tooting our own horn a bit, but its quite awesome. Checking up on crafting is a great 'downtime' activity to do, say, while you're resting, waiting on a groupmate to do one of his quests or while traveling. And the harvesting is wicked fun. Ordering your companion to gather something while you're fighting has just an awesome feel of "I got this".
To answer another question I've seen elsewhere, no, companions will not be crafting lightsabers. Happy Friday, everyone!