SDCC 2011: Interview With Dallas Dickinson
Star Wars: The Old Republic's Dallas Dickinson, Director of Production, took time out of his San Diego Comic-Con schedule to speak with Darth Hater earlier today. Dickinson clarified and expanded some statements made during the panel and Q&A sessions so far, including aspects of personal transportation and companion customization.
What prompted the class design change from choosing a permanent Advanced Class to having the ability to switch?
Dallas Dickinson: I think we just decided that it is just such a significant choice that you make. We try to give you as much information as possible so you make a good one, but we know that there are some people who choose to play as a Juggernaut, play for three levels, and are like "aww man!" We want to make it so that the first time you choose to respec your Advanced Class, it is relatively painless; it is going to cost some credits, but it is not going to cost a ton. Though after that, we want to make it very difficult. We don't want people to hot swap their Advanced Class willy-nilly; we want to make sure it is something you don't do all the time.
How does your Light and Dark side points affect your combat and can you give some examples of this?
I can't give you examples. However, something we talked about all along is that as you progress very far down the light side path or very far down the Dark side path, you're actually going to unlock some abilities that are only available to that side of the Force.
You touched on re-roll incentives yesterday. Can you speak a bit about this system, and if it is available to those who have a tendency to stick with one main class?
Dallas Dickinson: I can't actually talk about unlocking new species. That was a little teaser dropped by Mr. Ohlen that we aren't going to talk about any time soon.
Can you explain what you meant when you stated "we have an entire world that is devoted to the elder game for players who are not grouped up?" What can the solo endgame player expect?
We have an endgame planet that is very much something you go to after you've completed your class quest. We wanted to make sure we're supporting both the endgame players who are very much into Operations, Flashpoints, and PvP, but also those people who like to play in a more solo way. So there is content on that planet that is specifically for the people who like to play solo. You can play it as a group, but you can have something that is fun to do as a solo player.
Can you share any further specifics?
Ilum is the the name of the planet.
Can you describe the scope of Operations (raids) that will be available at release?
Thus far we are only promising one Operation. It will be playable at multiple party sizes. It is called the Eternity Vault, and you probably saw a video of it. We haven't allowed hands-on on it yet, but we probably will sometime soon.
We heard a tidbit about open world PvP and designed areas for these activities. Can you elaborate this?
We aren't elaborating on it beyond saying that we have PvE and PvP servers, and therefore on the PvP (servers) there will be open world PvP. There may be some more we'll say on that pretty soon.
You received a very huge response from the crowd when you showed the screen with the four different customized Vettes yesterday at the panel. Can you talk about that a bit more in depth? Can we customize more than just the color, maybe hair length, something like that?
It was a raging debate within the company, and within the design group for quite a while. How much of that we want to allow, and how much of that is appropriate. I think we heard loud and clear what the community wants -- and I think they're right -- is to have the ability to customize the look of your companion so my Vette looks different from your Vette. I can't give you the details right now about the exact ways in which each one can be customized. Suffice to say that you're going to have a lot of choices. You're going to be able to make your companion as unique as you can make yourself. You'll be able to customize that part of your story as well.
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- Interview Part 2