Interview Part 2We already heard about the PvP itemization really trying to make PvPers feel like they're accomplished and better because they focused on it, while not excluding non-PvPers from being able to compete. Is the same thing in there with raids? How is itemization right now in Operations? What sort of information do we have about who gets what gear, how does that gear scale, and how many raids do I have to run before I can go run this raid?
Daniel Erickson: So today at E3 we introduced the very first idea that we had Operations! And there's a very cool movie and it shows a little teaser and it is like "Look! Operations!" It is going to be a long time until we get all the nitty-gritty stuff. And again, really going to come from all the testing, and it probably won't come out of me as a mouthpiece.
We also saw a lot about Tatooine. For players who haven't experienced Tatooine, could you give them an idea of what they should expect from Tatooine, who are the main factions, etc.?
Tatooine is really fun because it is level 26 or so. It is the first world where there is no real government enforcement and both factions are there. If you're on a PvP world, the Dune Sea is just a murder field. It is huge and wide open, and many of the quests that the world designers put together cross each other on purpose. You're going right through the road that the other people are using. I ran to the wrong taxi stand before, which is a hilarious, well... very quick death, as the other players are like "who is that guy? Let's just kill him!" Tatooine is fun because it is sort of a little break from the Empire-Republic conflict. Any PvP you're doing is really because it is fun.
From what we're seeing from the quests here, people are trying to find out what the secrets of Tatooine were. Czerka was there for a very long time spending a lot of money, doing something that they then buried under the sand, tried to erase all memory of, and then left the planet. That's what players are getting to check out.
They are also getting to check out our awesome speeders. They are not scooty-puff juniors. They're very fast, and they're very sexy. We tried to do full size speeder bikes, but they took up way too much room in the cities, so we compacted them down, made you really sit back on them, and really gave them a sexy little look. They're fast, and they're fun. There are a bunch of them. We are only showing the one right now, there will be more. We don't like to say they're faction specific because they're tuned for one faction, but if you work very hard you can steal a speeder from the other side.
What sort of level range are we looking at for this first mount?
Right now it is in the 20s. But again, you know your results may vary. Tuning will change all things -- none of this is true!
The Tatooine stuff we got to see earlier... only 20 minutes. Wish we could spend 20 hours there, but we only had 20 minutes. Very wide open, very much like what you guys were talking about at PAX East.
Did you click your world map and see how much bigger it was than the little hub you were in?
It was very large. The sparseness and how the groups seemed positioned around key instances, but there were large swathes of empty space. Is testing increasing mob count, decreasing mob count? How is that affecting large open areas? Is that just ambience?
One of the things that was really important when we were doing Tatooine and Hoth... they actually have sort of the same issue. When they were very heavily populated, they didn't feel like Tatooine and Hoth. You're not going to move through that space. Right now, the aggro is turned way down because you've got people wanting to see high-level stuff, so we've got level 26 game play for people who don't know the powers or anything. We get a lot of people dying, so we wanted people to be able to speeder around pretty safely.
What basically happens is you want population pockets and those are the places you have to go to complete your quest. So you're pushing through. There is also just a lot of nice scenery. You're going to take some nice rides, and we want to randomly have a whole bunch of droids hanging out, having a party where they're completely inappropriate. So there are planets that are extremely heavily populated like Corellia, as you might guess. It is a war in the middle of a city. Then there are places that are less populated, but still have as much to do, it is just spread out a lot further. There is a reason it is the first place we like to give you a speeder.