Georg Zoeller confirms the absence of a dual-spec system at release.
Quote from Georg ZoellerSeems obvious that he avoided the question, probably because they won't have dual spec at release.
I think the translation makes it sound like I'm avoiding something there, which isn't the case.
First, we fully understand why dual spec is a popular topic.
Currently, we do not see the need to allow for dual spec at release. It's something that we'll definitely monitor over time, but we do think there is enough flexibility in the class system to keep people occupied well past launch.
Georg Zoeller clears up any confusion about changing skill trees within an Advanced Class and the ability to have two different specs simultaneously.
Quote from Georg ZoellerWhat it doesn't say is "you can longer pay to reset your tree points and re-do them",which being able to was confirmed a long time ago.
Correct. The ability to respec your skill point distribution is still in the game.
Summary, since this is a confusing topic:
You can change your skill point distribution by paying credits at a vendor on your capital world. That has not changed.
You may or may not be able to change your Advanced Class, we haven't decided on this one yet. If you can, the cost would be significant. That has not changed.
There is currently no plan to add dual spec (the ability to swap almost instantly between two skill point configurations) for launch. At this point, it seems not necessary for us, but we're not opposed to add it at a later point / patch should we feel that the game would benefit from it.
Hope that helps.
Damion Schubert takes us on a verbal tour of the BioWare Austin studio and shares what a day in the life of a BioWare developer is like.
Quote from Damion SchubertSo I was wondering, at this stage in development, what's a typical day in the life at Bioware Studios?
The answer to this question is going to vary wildly and dramatically based on who you ask, so I'll answer only for me - keep in mind that my role and position is pretty unique in the team, as I both manage a team of systems designers who do itemization, maps, crew skills and other features, as well as act as a primary liaison from design to several programming teams (yes, that's plural).
So for me, my day is usually a combination of:
- Meetings, and lots of them. Some days, even my lunches are meetings. A project this size takes a lot of communication to keep things rolling smoothly.
- Triaging issues and design changes
- Managing my team (who are, thankfully, excellent, and take little handholding).
- Writing an occasional design document for a feature or tweak that slipped through the cracks, or needs redesign based on stats and feedback.
When I can sneak in a moment, I try to pop onto the boards and answer a question or two. As you might imagine, though, that time is more limited than I would like.Is this stage of development stressful or fun?
Can't it be both? I'm currently playing a build very nearly nightly, and it's amazing to see it all coming together so nicely. That being said, it's also incredibly frustrating because we're all perfectionists, and we are constantly pushing to take it to the next level.Is everyone putting in long hours? More than 1 shift? Get weekends off?
That'll depend on the week and the team - especially if an important imminent build is coming. That being said, even when we take the weekend 'off', we're playing the game a lot - a couple members of my team and I spent Saturday playtesting the group content on Alderaan, which was great fun, but also resulted in several pages of notes for me to fix this week at work.
One of the things that's probably not incredibly obvious to people outside the building is that this project is so big, and has so much content to do, that you can constantly be surprised by work other groups is doing. Usually, this is a good thing. =)What do you guys do at the office to blow off steam and have fun?
On a team this size, there are a lot of different subcultures that do their own thing. We have a fitness group who prefers to go running instead of take lunch. We have a large weekly poker game, and more than one D&D campaign floating around. We have a large subculture of Magic the Gathering players who I keep intending to go lose to. I tend to hang out with the people who like board games. League of Legends is popular, and you can naturally find players of almost any major MMO you can think of, if you try.
Also, sarcasm. In general, we use sarcasm the way a French chef uses butter - liberally and on everything.How do you think the intensity of the next few months will affect your work or personal lives?
This late stage a project is always hard, and frequently involves long hours. Fortunately, most of us with spouses are patient and understanding about our career and our passion. In many respects, though, its easier to put the extra oomph on the project now than it was, say, three years ago. Back then, the project was, you know, largely non-existent, amorphous, theoretical. We were still trying to have the fun.
Now we can see what we're building, and what needs to be fixed, tweaked and changed. The game is tangible, and fun. There are issues and flaws, no doubt, and still enormous challenges to take on before this thing gets into your hands. But for the most part, the sense is one of finally seeing everything I've been working on for years finally come to fruition, and as you imagine, its extremely gratifying to watch it happen.Are you guys living on frozen burritos?
Bioware treats us very well, thank you. Our founders, Ray and Greg, are very proud of the fact that the studio they founded in Edmonton has won numerous 'best places to work' awards for Canada, and they've done their best to import that culture down to Austin where we work.
As for EA - they've largely left things alone, and in general they're very eager for this team and this project to do well.Is the Bioware janitor really as talented as people say?
Which one? We have a whole cleaning crew. Sadly, most of my interaction with them is 'is that the sound of vacuuming? Is it really that late?'
Emmanuel Lusinchi recounts BioWare's experiment in item colorization, and talks about the evolution of the item binding system in the game. The post is roughly translated below.
About the quality of the objects we have so far shown the following: Low quality (gray), standard (bronze, a sort of dull orange), premium (green), prototype (blue) and artifact (purple).
Here's a little info: Initially we used a schematic of metallic colors (bronze - silver - gold - platinum) because everyone is familiar with the values of these metals. It was a good theory, but in practice it ended with a variation of gray and yellow, one that did not really so great! After many trials and some errors, we ended up using more or less like the standard MMO players are already familiar with it.
About linked objects, we showed "Bind on Equip" and "Bind on Pickup" We had some discussion about the mechanics of the binding of objects and how this could work in our settings the game we ended up use these two types of binding because even if these concepts are somewhat artificial, they are very useful to keep a balanced economy game. We also ended up creating a new system, about which we are confident that gamers will really enjoy and they will find appropriate in the Star Wars universe. This is something we are not yet ready to discuss.
Emmanuel Lusinchi also fields questions about how Sith are able to heal and the absence of a Sith soldier class. The post is roughly translated below.
The Sith inquisitor healing methods that follow a theme really dark and sinister, with skills like "Black Infusion, "Consumption" etc. Despite this, in principle, the game mechanics in care of the Inquisitor is similar to the Jedi Consular, purely for reasons of balance.
Now, about having a class of soldiers on the side of the Empire ... We thought it would be too much duplication with the history of Secret Agent (who is a member of the imperial elite military forces) and too much duplication with the gameplay of the Bounty Hunter (long range, based on technology, combined with damage heavy armor). This is a good idea that we discussed at length at the beginning of the project.
Emmanuel Lusinchi explains his sudden entrance to the official forums. The post is roughly translated below.
We finally dug up a French-speaking developer? Welcome!
Well, actually I'm from the very beginning of the project (and even a little before ...).
But I have lots of excuses! Like: a lot of work, and ... uh ... lot of work.
Oh, and typing in French on a QWERTY keyboard is not ideal.