Why scour the official forums when you can get this week's DevTracker Highlights right here. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller talks about the Jedi Consular's Project ability, naming policies for roleplay servers, Force Leap tactics, global cooldowns, and class design. Senior Community Manager Stephen Reid announces RP-PvP servers for launch. Senior Writer Alexander Freed discusses planet locations in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Writer Drew Karpyshyn explains some decisions he made with the upcoming novel Revan. Hit the jump to see all the highlights.
Georg Zoeller gives a rough estimate on how many different items the Jedi Consular's Project ability uses.
We've seen a box, a droid, and the "septic tank"...are there more? I'm not complaining, i'm just curious about how long this random list is?10 right now.
Stephen Reid confirms Star Wars: The Old Republic will have RP-PvP servers.
Quote from Stephen ReidI, and 14 other guildmates, really want to plan on rolling on an rp-pvp server. It's such a trivial game feature to confirm for us, I don't understand why they wouldn't just mention it and be done with it.Hello all. As I said before, it wasn't such a trivial decision, which is why it took a while to make. However, we have good news: RP-PvP servers are going to be a part of Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Please speak out if you'd at least like to know before launch, whether or not these servers will exist!
Please note, the 'RP' part of the RP-PvP designation will be a suggested style of play, not a mandatory one. What that means is, if you feel someone isn't roleplaying, reporting them to Customer Service will not ensure action on their account. We will also not be enforcing naming policies or similar.
For a game with a projected player base as high as The Old Republic, it's simply not practical for CS to be watching over this. If you want to fully immerse yourself in roleplaying, we suggest you find a likeminded group or guild to do that with.
You probably have questions - throw them out and we'll try to answer.
Georg Zoeller shares an example of names that guilds or players cannot use.
So my question is based on the bold statement. Back when the guild area launched, we could not use the word Revan as part of our guild name. I know naming policies are not going to be enforced, but if we decide to go to a RP-PvP server, can we use the term Revan? Why enforce the guild name then? It's an RP standpoint.There's an extensive list of names that are not available to guilds and players. Revan is one such name.
Maybe it's just late and I am not comprehending the statement clearly. I am sure there are other reasons for it, but I would just want some clarification on this.
Georg Zoeller illustrates various tactics to use for and against the Jedi Knight's Force Leap ability.
Yep this looks good. Only thing that scares me is force leap being able to jump gaps etc gonna be a pain to deal with.Just stand at the edge of the acid pit, let them jump to you and then kick/slap/stun them in the spot, that'll teach em. Or, as a Bounty Hunter, pull them into the fire with your grapple.
There's also that beautiful moment when a Knight with the ball realizes he doesn't have to wait for the fire to go out to force leap through the flames on the enemies behind them.
Alexander Freed addresses concerns about locations of planets within the galaxy map.
Quote from Alexander Freed
The planet locations on the galaxy map were taken directly from Star Wars: The Essential Atlas (and were, of course, closely vetted by the folks at LucasArts). We may have established coordinates for a handful of new systems (I'd need to check my records), but only a very few--the Atlas is extremely thorough.
As for the distance between Korriban and Dromund Kaas--keep in mind a few things:
First, there are HUGE distances even between neighboring star systems; while it's one thing to have a clearly mapped route and a powerful hyperdrive, creeping through uncharted territory at relatively slow speeds without "flying right through a star or bouncing too close to a supernova" is another thing entirely.
Second, the galactic map doesn't show a Z-axis--space is three-dimensional and just because two systems are (relatively) close on the X and Y grid, there can still be a vast separation "up" or "down."
In other words, if you're desperately wandering into territory off your charted portion of the galactic plane... you can spend quite a while before you find a new home.
Hope this addresses your concerns.
Drew Karpyshyn comments on his upcoming novel Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan.
Quote from Drew Karpyshyn
Wow. A lot of people jumping to (somewhat misinformed) conclusions without actually reading the book. I guess I shouldn't be shocked - it happened with the first and third Bane novels, too. Must be human nature.
I'm not going to post a long, elaborate defense of what I did and why - too many spoilers. But I will say I don't feel I trampled on the KOTOR2 continuity in any way. I put in a lot of time and effort to make sure I was respectful and accurate to the source material. The Exile is a very complex and nuanced character, and there are multiple theories offered in the game to explain what she is and what she does... and some of these theories actually contradict each other. I believe this was intentional, as the KOTOR2 writing team wanted to preserve a sense of mystery about her. (The ongoing debate in this thread about the Exile clearly illustrates they succeeded.)
I was very careful not to put anything in my novel that would directly contradict any of the offered theories, partly to preserve KOTOR2's original intent, and partly because those elements were central to the KOTOR2 story, but not to the story of the Revan novel. I also believe the Exile comes across as a very strong and capable character, and I would caution people about taking small excerpts out of context, because they don't tell the whole story.
Anyway, I'd urge people to read the novel with an open mind before they condemn me. Or at least read the latest post on my website to get my side of the story: http://drewkarpyshyn.com/c/?p=302#more-302
Georg Zoeller discusses one of the reasons for a global cooldown.
The GCD is set, so you can see all the "pretty" animations BW made for the game.Correct. We pride ourselves with a very polished and good looking combat system, and that means you get to see actual combat animations along with the floating numbers that indicate damage.
If you're going to do something for many many hours over the course of the game, and combat is likely the thing many players might do the most, it'd better be more interesting than a single whack animation and a floating number.
For example, your attack animation might consist of shooting a stream of blaster bolts that do damage on impact rather than a single bolt or single sword swing.
Georg Zoeller posts a long explanation of class design philosophy and class roles.
Because the Dev Tracker is a bit wonky again and doesn't show my post, and because translating my English post to German and then back to English isn't producing the most reliable results (Oh god, they did what???), here's the Class Design Philosophy post again, in original source:
"Just to chime in about our class design philosophy here. We've explained this a number of times already during development, but now that we've been running large scale testing for a while and have solidified a lot of the design, I think it's time to explain what we're doing and why.
In regards to class roles, we do things differently than some other games which people might be used to. That creates some anxiety and questions, so let me explain.
Of Class, Advanced Class, Roles.
Unlike other games where you pick a class and that defines your role, class in Star Wars: The Old Republic defines your overall story, your possible roles and your visual style / gameplay style (e.g. Force user vs. Tech user).
Due to the nature of the Advanced Class system, every character starts out in a DPS role at the start of the game, and they're about equally good at it.
By the time you reach level 10, you get to make your choice for Advanced Class, which narrows down which roles you could play, and yes, some Advanced Classes (Gunslinger / Sniper / Marauder / Sentinel) only have damage type roles available, while other Advanced Classes have access to two roles (e.g damage or healing).
What actually defines your role in our game, in terms of traditional MMO gaming, is how you distribute points in your skill trees. Specialize in the 'Combat Medic' tree and become a healer, specialize in the 'Vengeance tree' and become a DPS character.
By spending that first skill point at level 10, you start developing your character into whatever role you want them to play in the long term. Since it's your skill choices that define your role, it is a gradual process. You don't become a healer at level 10 or 11, you're growing into becoming a healer over many levels.
Our content is designed around that. The first Flashpoint assumes the group has only DPS roles. Even if you bring a healer, he'll have only a single heal available at that level as he has just begun his journey into his role, so there isn't too much of a spread in balance.
Over time, the game becomes more firm in the roles it requires for content like Flashpoints, but additional tools like companions still make it more flexible than many other MMOs in regards to what group mix can run group content.
That progression is quite different from how your characters work in other games, and we've certainly seen our share of people being surprised by it in testing ("I just took the Sage Advanced Class, but I don't feel like I'm a great healer").
Ultimately we don't do hybrid roles. You can do them (by mixing different skill trees), but by design, all our classes are meant to be fully capable in the roles they fill. The 'hybrid' tax would be the fact that you won't be able to get the top tier talents in one skill tree if you spread yourself too thin into others.
At high level, all roles have the same capabilities, in our game all healers are 'main healers' provided they are specced accordingly, etc.
So, what's the point of playing an AC that has only DPS options available?
That is a question you have to answer for yourself.
In a traditional fantasy MMO, if you play a thief or a wizard, you're locked to one role as well, so it's the added role flexibility that SWTOR brings to the table that is giving you second thoughts. I would look at it like this:
- If you really like the flexibility of non DPS roles and feel comfortable with taking on other roles, you might want to play an AC that has that option available.
- If you know you only enjoy DPS roles in a game (and based on our research, a sizable faction of players falls under that umbrella), a DPS only AC means you will get a three different styles of dps gameplay to select from.
So why do we do this? Why not go for a 'this Advanced Class only can DPS and therefore they are the best at it' approach?
- Because we want people to pick the class they want to play and reduce the likelihood of them getting told 'sorry, can't participate in this group because we want only the best DPS in game - that is a Gunslinger'.
- Likewise, we don't want the fact that a specific tank or healer AC is not available at a time from becoming a stopping point for getting on with your group content.
The truth is, not everyone is comfortable playing every role and shouldn't be expected to.
Players, as they get more familiar with the game, will no doubt find interesting ways of proving the superiority of a specific specialization in a specific situation, that's expected. With different gameplay styles and utility come different strength and weaknesses.
Should things outside our comfort zone be discovered in testing or after launch (e.g. Operations ending up requiring that one specific healer AC because they are deemed 'the absolute best and a must'), we will adjust the game accordingly. We want player skill to be deciding factor in your choices, not which class they picked hundreds of hours ago. That's pretty standard for MMOs.
Q: 'Why would I play a DPS only Advanced Class if I can play an Advanced Class that can respec to fill other roles?'
A: If that is your main concern, you shouldn't play that Advanced Class, because you are going to be unhappy about the fact that you cannot switch roles.
Q: Since I can only fill a DPS role, I should do the absolute best damage in the game!
A: Not in SWTOR. We give you get more variety in your DPS gameplay. We maintain balance between all ACs that can fill a role.
Q: What ever happened to being 5% better thing for pure DPS classes?
A: Given class utility and other considerations of why you might want to have someone in your group, 5% is not considered 'significant' for the purpose of this conversation.
I hope this clears things up a bit. I'm sure there'll be plenty of different and, of course, dissenting opinions on this topic, but at least everyone will be on the same page as what our design goals are in this situation and how we approach balancing classes."