Is there a size limit for guild vs. guild, could you theoretically be in a party of, a couple hundred if you have a big guild against a couple hundred, if you're all in parties?
Gabe Amatangelo: No. Right now, it is the Operations group limit which is going to be 24. We're going back and forth on that, but it's 24 right now.
In the open world zones, how are you doing population balance? For example, one side is really outnumbered than the other.
So that's why the mechanics is what it is. We went through and tested a bunch of different mechanics. It's five captures so you have to keep all five. If you're 100 vs 20, that 20 is going to get in somewhere. You have to spread out to keep them off, and the sort of war effort buff that you get. You get stacks and it gradually increases. How much you get for killing and how much you can get out of Warzones happens from defending at a place that you have and you can keep stacking it when you take new ones. So if there is a group of 20 vs. 100, they're sitting at one, they're keeping one, and if that whole 100 decides, hey, they're at the northern assault, they all start moving there, you guys can move elsewhere, so keep it spread out. But obviously we want to keep killing players because that's where the Valor is coming from.
More after the jump.
Can you tell us anything more about Warzone sizes besides what we already saw?
It's always going to be 8v8.
For all warzones?
The three warzones we have right now, 8v8.
Warzones are only pulling from your own server correct?
Currently yes, they only pull from your own server.
In Voidstar, you're doing the attack and defend, what happens if the defenders keep them off, do you go to a round two, or do you just...
It goes to a round two, once the time's up. And it gauges how far your progress was, and then it compares the progress. If someone made it to room 2 and you only made it to room 1, obviously the other team wins cause they got all the way through there. If they got through the barrier of room 2 versus planting the bomb in room 2, it gauges the progress.
Is there a cap on players in Ilum?
No. Well, there is a limit, but I don't imagine people are going to hit it.
So you could essentially have hundreds on each side -- is that an accurate estimate?
I can't say any numbers, but it's going to be lots, yes.
As far Ilum goes, did you say it was going to be persistent like constant?
It's constant. It's not a timer. It's always going on. The timer is when you destroy the other vehicles, and your vehicles are able to fly in, it's five minutes before your vehicles are vulnerable to attack, that's the only timer. But other than that, if you want to wake up at 3 AM and take it from the Empire, who seems to be dominating it, and you're Republic, by all means you can do that.
One of the challenges of open world PvP is two factions -- what if one is not populated versus the other? Is there any sort of incentive or anything, any mechanics built in to help balance two faction populations.
That is the challenge with open-world PvP, and as soon as you start introducing systems, then it stops becoming open-world PvP to an extent. So what we decided to lean on, and of course we'll be moderating and we might adjust stuff afterwards, but we we're leaning on right now is the mechanics. And like I was saying is that there is five different objectives and you've got to keep all five to have control. If they're 100, they've got them all and they spread like 20 to each objective, and there's only 20 of you, then you're greatly outnumbered.
You can go have a fight at one of those objectives and you can have, theoretically, a fair fight at one of those objectives. As soon as they all start to shift over there, they're leaving some other place so you can go for that point, one of the other assaults, or another base or something to that effect. Now the war activity you have throughout, you keep stacking these war effort buffs, the war buffs enhance how much Valor you get from kills but it also enhances how much Valor you get in a bonus at the end of Warzones as well. So if you're there at 4 AM, and no one is in there, you're like, "Ah, I'm going to go in and take a couple objectives and then run some Warzones." It's like you can build up that buff regardless, so you have a purpose to go there whether there's people there or not.
Does it change the alignment of the planet, like when you go on to Ilum does it say, hey it's now Sith and everyone on there is flagged, or if it's Republic...?
It doesn't change the alignment for the planet. It doesn't affect the PvE. The thing that it affects is that the players who control it do have -- I hovered over it briefly -- an icon (indicating) that they have an additional bonus.
Did I hear you say Operations can be 24?
Operation groups can be 24, but it's 16 in the larger mode of the Operation content, if you follow what I'm saying.
So you're not talking about like Eternity Vault?
The content is 8 and 16.
Pre-mades... we still can't go in with a full group of 8 to the Warzones?
And you were talking about maybe later you may allow that. What kind of queues are you looking for that?
Once you start doing the 8... There's a certain amount of people who want to participate in those teams, so I would say at that point we'd be looking at cross-servering if we're going 8v8. Within the community, everyone participating including the people who queue solo, the people who queue with a couple buddies. Then you have things like Huttball where it could be the same vs. same, so you're going to keep having pops. You have a tight knit community within PvP there, so thats what we're striving for with that. But once we start exploring those other things, like the 8v8, the tournaments, that kind of stuff, that's when we'll start looking into just getting people in warzones.
How long would it take to maybe go through one Operation if you have a successful run?
How do people transition from Flashpoints to Operations if they haven't operated a raid?
They've got a pathway. For example, Black Talon and Essles, they (adds) keep coming in, but two people can handle it. And there's this one guy in Black Talon... he basically drops a plasma probe that keeps pulsing out. But immediately after he drops that on you, he elbows you to knock you out of it. It's like, dude you don't want to stand in a void zone, get away from the fire. So we kind of do baby steps with the mechanics to try get people familiar.
But in terms of a new approach to enrage timers, is there anything in particular you want to show off?
Actually in the normal mode flashpoints there's not enrage timers, we're not doing enrage timers there because thats more of an advanced feature. It's definately in hard mode Flashpoints and definately in the Operations. But in the normal modes of flashpoints as you're leveling up, no enrage timers there.