Georg Zoeller talks about the use of line of sight and funneling when taking on larger sized groups of enemies.
It's definitely possible to bite off a lot more than you can chew, even intentionally.
That said, the AI on ranged enemies will probably make a point of taking cover, flanking you or generally not running after you unless you break line of sight, so herding a large number of creatures is a bit more challenging in this game.
Georg Zoeller follows up on last week's question of what a normal day at the BioWare Austin studio is like in a clever fashion.
One thing about working in game design is that there is little 'routine'. Every day is different. It is both awesome and stressful at the times, and certainly not for everyone.
Here's a random sample day from the life of the Principal Lead Combat Designer on The Old Republic.
0900. (+/-2h) I pull my landspeeder up in front of the office, cursing the already almost unbearable heat before remembering my time on Echo Base Alpha at BioWare Hoth (aka Edmonton).
My sights quickly acquire a prime parking spot within line of sight of the main door, but just as I am about to zoom in, William Wallace rides past me with his trained bear and claims it. Remembering the last time my speeder argued with his hipster bear, I withdraw and make a mental note to leak William's character name to the test server to the people that complain most about his classes, so they can 'ask him for advice'.
0915. After stopping at the concentrated Jawa liquid dispenser (They say it's unhealthy, but I say the only unhealthy part about them is inhaling the smoke from the Jawa bonfires behind the office where they roast the stuff), I make my way to my office, a nice property in the center of a building surrounded by a construct of heavy, blaster safe whiteboards.
0930. Quickly scan incoming communiques, mails, spam, alternating between the 'delete' and 'remember to look at later' options. How is it that I can search the internet faster than my inbox?
0945. Design Leads Meeting with Emperor Ohlen and Darth Lusinchi. Senators Amatangelo and Erickson are in attendance, along with various ambassadors from the Engineering, Quality Assurance and Production departments.
After going over the usual deliverables and pressing issues (Apparently the fansites are at the gate, demanding entrace), Moff Schubert complains about how his team got slaughtered trying to finish their group quests on Tatooine last night and how that is somehow my fault. After unsuccessfully trying to deflect the issue by shouting 'story' and pointing at Senator Erickson, I concede that intelligence reports indeed confirm that those Jawas somehow got their hands on rocket launchers that were marked as 'Task Force JT, Coruscant' and that there's increasing pile of dead testers in on Tatooine - enough to stop regular traffic to Alderaan apparently. I claim to have one of my guys call Schubert's guys (who all died on Tatooine anyway) and manage to escape the meeting.
1030. Another meeting. The Minister of Live Production, Blaine Christine wants everyone to be up to date on the latest developments from testing. Apparently there's been limited testing traffic on Alderaan since the last patch while intercepted forum communication shows an extremely increased volume of the words 'Jawa', 'Frack', and 'moisture farming'. I feign ignorance about these things and suggest we should send the community team with a white flag onto the hostile forums to identify the cause of the disturbance. Sadly, the suggestion is deflected - the community team apparently is herding around fansites in our building today, which is described as 'similar to nerf herding'.
1100. I pull up the defect tracking holonet and study the latest issue, broadly organizing them in 'fix now', 'fix by end of day', 'fix by end of week' and 'will not fix' - the latter one being my favorite, they need to increase the size of that button. I also scan the holo projections of vital metrics for various planets, including Tatooine.
1145. I briefly assemble my combat team for status updates on tools, work assignments, deadlines and casually mention that the introduction of high tech weaponry on Tatooine is a great success so far, almost no tester has made it past them. However, I had noticed earlier that Smugglers and Imperial Agents somehow seemed to be able outwit the Jawas and demand it fixed.
1200 - Lunch. On the way out, I nearly get trampled to death by a horde of fansite nerfs charging for the catered BBQ. Well, at least Texas found a good use for otherwise unproductive animals. Nothing bad ever happened from feeding animals to other animals.
1300. Ambassador Reid informs me that I am to be interviewed by some of the fansite people in an hour and scolds me for wearing a Republic shirt today. Something about 'The forums', 'favorite factions' and 'Jedi bias'. Not really sure what this is all about, but I tell him I'll wear an 'Empublic' shirt once we make one.
1315. I meet with the combat engineering team to triage work on game features for the next two weeks. It looks like we've made great progress and some parts of the new Emergency Protocols feature that is designed to make testers less frustrated after defeat. I decide on a few other features and a number of fixes we want prioritized for swift delivery and get dragged off by Ambassador Reid's minions to the fansite interview rooms.
1400. Interviews. Apparently we just let fansites ask almost any question these days. The topic of swimming comes up and I recall the tale of when our office got flooded years ago (apparently having a giant parking lot drain into the entrance of your building is a common design feature in modern Texas infrastructure) and how that left the Artists traumatized and unable to work with deep water.
1415. More interviews. Those Correlian Run Radio people. They seem nice, but try to trick me by saying 'answer these questions fast, just yes or no'. I can't remember what I told them, some kind of Jedi Mind trick. Curse you Kathy.
1430. More interviews. That Musco guy from that podcast, I think I remember the voice. Auto facing. Auto Attack. Companions. Tons of hard hitting questions. Maybe I should bring Mr. Wallace's bear next time to answer those questions. Cornered, I have no choice of telling them the truth about these things. I just hope we have some assassin Droids...
1445. More interviews. SWTOR-EU. They try to make me speak German, but it makes Mr. Reid uncomfortable. I suggest everyone get to their chopper instead, but am rebuffed. More questions I have to answer. Where will it end.
1500. Phew, this is done. I catch some breath behind the secure whiteboards of my office, and work through a long list of emails and requests. The lead technical artist jumps me to discuss 'optimization efforts', which is an euphemism for 'Do you guys really have to use all these visual effects?'. I manage to appease him by getting my data analyst to create a report on visual effect usage.
1600. Another meeting. Animation Sync. My guys show the animators how their work is being incorporated in various high level abilities.
1630. I briefly talk to my designer in charge of creature combat and casually mention that it'd be great if R2 units could be fit with a flamethrower. Surprisingly, he agrees. I then find spawning team leads to discuss several new heroic quests that have been added to Hutta and identify how we're going to approach those.
1700 - PvP Test. Testing that fancy new scenario about [bleeeeep]. I chose to not play today but observe my guys play. Notes are taken and converted into issue reports and requests for investigation.
1730. Pete, the class designer on the Bounty Hunter and Trooper classes informs me that the latest iteration of the class with changes from testing and internal feedback is ready. I get a short demo and we send the changes off for more QA testing and into the server publish pipeline.
1800. More emails. Reminders to review people, invites to attend interviews for prospective hires, technical discussions about issues with various game systems, mock ups for new UI screens and heated discussions about Jawas.
1900. Just as I am about to leave, an email from Lord Muzyka himself, containing the words 'Jawa' and 'Rocket Launcher'. I agree to investigate and escape the building.
2000. I get home. My phone tells me there's about 30 new emails that need attention, including one from Mr. Reid pointing to interesting comments on our forums. I decide to jump in and address a bunch of them before turning off the phone.
Georg Zoeller answers a question regarding the number of characters available per server.
Yes, you will be able to have multiple characters per account per server. 8 seems like a good number, but that's not definite yet.
Georg Zoeller talks about the frequency that players learn new skills as they advance their character.
This is a misunderstanding. The author only saw the base class ability progression on the trainer. After getting your Advanced Class, your character gets abilities from 3 sources:
- Base Class, every few levels
- Advanced Class, every few levels
- Skill Points (player distributed), 1 point each level.
At level 14, the average character will have a wide range of abilities, many of which will be active combat abilities. The number of abilities you have and when you learn them is still being examined and is likely to change as we continue development.
But you don't have to take my written word for it, here's some exchange I had with the people from the fansites on that very topic this week: link
Hope that takes care of your fears!
Damion Schubert reveals the ability to use four action bars simultaneously and reaffirms that keybinding modifiers are available.
Based on recent artical about User Interface - I've proposed the below some time ago and I see this implemented in every MMO. Why SWTOR decided to only give us one shortcut bar?The player can have up to four bars. Only one is seen by default. You can view two at once, and switch between all four.Please advise if we will have multiple ability bars available with and Option to use ALT and SHIFT as additional key combinations.Keybindings are in, and they support modifier keys like ALT and SHIFT.
Georg Zoeller illustrates how big of a role companions play in both combat and crew skills.
Companions are not pets. Pet class mechanics in MMOs traditionally require you to micro manage (tell them who to attack, control ability use, etc.) your pet closely to be able to overcome the challenges of the game.
The main concern I hear is that there is a need to micro control your companion's actions in order to be able to play the game.
While it is definitely beneficial and a player that does it will be able to take on harder challenges than a player that doesn't, it is not required that you micro manage your companion to play or enjoy The Old Republic.
That said, ignoring your companion completely (e.g. not giving them equipment updates, leaving them on the ship, etc.) is not advised - unless you are grouped with other players to compensate.
Companions are an integral part of the SWTOR experience, so that won't change. They assist in combat, they are important to the Crew Skills system and they fill various roles in story and progression. They are full characters with equipment slots.
It's something that hasn't been done in this fashion in other MMOs so it might be hard to accept for people that it isn't just 'everyone is a pet class' (since that's the only frame of reference they have from previous games), but that doesn't concern me much. People quickly understand after they get their hands on the game.
Daniel Erickson clarifies that playing Star Wars: The Old Republic without a companion is possible, but very slow and difficult.
Sometimes quotes are taken out of context (this one was not, but thanks to everyone who tried to give me the benefit of the doubt!) and sometimes people (read: me) just say things poorly when answering live Q and A.
Companions do represent a sizable amount of your power and The Old Republic is not balanced to play without them. That said, I was attempting to talk about people's likely styles of play, not what was possible. It is totally possible to play solo. You simply put your companion away. It is an extremely hard way to play and you'll likely be destroyed unless you're crazy-uber-elite guy - and even then you'll be going very slow.
Randy, our Bounty Hunter writer, booted up Dragon Age: Origins the first time we got it, put it on "Nightmare" difficulty and declared he would never take any party members with him. He's that kinda guy. Doesn't mean most people would want to attempt it. I certainly got obliterated trying to do the same thing.
Similarly, playing solo with no CCs in SWTOR isn't for everyone. Or most people. You're making the game much more difficult and choosing to miss all the companion content. But it is certainly possible.
You could also play in a two person team with no CCs, do all the solo content that way and you'd be stronger than one person with a CC. There are lots of possible scenarios but that doesn't mean the game is designed with them in mind. The solo player who is playing PvE content is expected by game design to have a CC and the game is balanced accordingly.
I did not say CCs would have to be micro-managed - at least if I did I certainly don't remember and didn't mean to. CCs have continually changed from build to build and we're always looking for that perfect solution. The goal always has been to let players who want to personally control their CCs have a meaningful amount of ways to do so and to give those people who don't wish to control them a robust enough AI that they can let them act as independent party members.
I hope that helps!
Writer Randy Begel follows up on his experiment through Dragon Age: Origins with no party members.
Quote from Randy BegelBut how far did he get into the game?Far.
I must know!
Basically, the only thing I haven't been able to take down with a rogue and enough preparation is a dragon.
The hardest parts are easily in the beginning of the game when you're dirt poor and you don't have a lot of abilities to fall back on for strategy. I spent more than my fair share of time assassinating Genlocks, throwing down caltrops and running until I could get out of combat to stealth again.
I'd say my most surprising discovery was how easily you can kill those Revnants (you know the ones I'm talking about) without ever raising a dagger. Bear traps FTW.
And now, back to your regularly scheduled discussion of The Old Republic.
Damion Schubert describes the placement and usage of the four possible action bars.
Thanks for the prompt replies today Damion (and the rest of the staff). Just had a question regarding your answer here. Are you saying that currently players can only see two hotbars at the same time? This might be a concern for raiders (like myself) who use, say, 2 bars for abilities/buffs, then a side bar to easily click consumables, etc. In a great number of WoW raiding videos, often you'll see 5+ bars just stacked at the center-bottom area. Will this ability to add bars as we see fit not be in?Apparently, my brain shut off a little - a danger of posting first thing in the morning. Let me clarify my own post.
Thanks again, have a great day!
P.s. This update blew my socks off. Just sayin'.
There are four possible quickslot bars, two central and one each on the left and right side. By default, only action slot bar 1 is up - that's the lower central one. A player can certainly turn on all four if he chooses.
If you prefer to access your additional bars by paging through bars, you can instead page through all four bars on a 'spinner' attached to your main bar. This is pretty much industry standard.
Michael Voigt points out that players can unlock and move their chat channels to anywhere they'd like in the new user interface.
I'm going to assume it's like all the other modern games and we can move UI elements around. All they did was flip some stuff vertically, should be able to fix that though. Here's a hint guys, the chatbox goes on the bottom because that's where your eyes are at. I don't want to glance way up at the top of my 32" screen away from the action to check out my chatbox.Thanks to Sizzlelean and everyone else for taking taking a look at my blog. We appreciate it.
Sizzlelean, we have great feedback, we definitely thought about eye-travel while laying the elements out. One of our goals was to reduce the amount of eye-travel needed to perform basic combat actions. Having the companion and party members near the ability buttons and health bars helped to reduce this.
We have put the chat top-left by default. However, it is quite easy to drag and undock your chat channels and place them wherever you would like. So you could easily place your main chat channel down towards the combat area. The chat channels can also be resized by dragging the sizing icon located bottom-left.
Georg Zoeller reminds players that this is Star Wars: The Old Republic, and that lightsabers and the Force are something you won't find in other games.
I wonder if it'll be enough for me, especially at endgame. Damion Schubert confirmed in the Dev Tracker recently that we'll be able to have a total of 4 hotbars, 2 stacked in the bottom middle of the screen and the other 2 on the left and right side of the screen."Health Potions. Mana Potions? Meesa not understand."
Now I don't know if TOR's UI sports the standard MMO feature where each of their 4 hotbars toggles from 1-12, making the total count of individual slots in TOR's hotbars 576, so this is why I ask.
If it is only 48 individual slots, I think I may have a problem with that. Besides just putting skills in the hotbar slots I also like to put health and mana potions in them, I like to put emotes in them, non-combat actions like /sit, many different types of weapons my character has picked up along the way, vehicles and mounts and then the bulk of my hotbar slots I would fill up with tons of my favorite armor, outfit and vanity clothing pieces. Having 576 or so individual hotbar slots would be more than adequate for my needs.
Can anyone that's had some hands-on time playing the game or A BioWare dev please help me with an answer on this? I was looking at this new picture of the latest iteration of the UI and I'm just not sure if that "1" with arrows above and below it on the far right end of the hotbar is the standard MMO feature toggle that goes from 1-12 like I hope it might be.
Thanks to anyone that can help me on this.
Seriously guys. We are making Star Wars: The Old Republic, not some other game that has mana potions. (No, we don't have 'Force Potions' or Midichlorian infusions, that'd be rather weird.)
I know it's easy to compare this game to other MMOs you know, but still, we're making a different game, not a clone of another MMO.
There are different mechanics (such as companions with their own bars or cover), different numbers of abilities, skills, usable items, different UI mechanics and options, etc - so taking a number of slots on quickbars from one game and translating it onto our game without taking these factors into account is a bit premature at best.
In short: We'll give you enough hotbar space to play Star Wars: The Old Republic, but we can't guarantee you'll have enough space to put your leftover healing and mana potions from another game onto it.
Georg Zoeller clears up confusion of the word heroic.
There is a reason it's called heroic. Only about 1% of the community is supposed to clear it. Challenging = fun for some people.Uhm... no.
Let me make this clear since there is apparently some confusion around this topic. 'Heroic' quests in SWTOR require a group of players to beat ... but we certainly don't design them to be so hard that only 1 in 100 players can beat them.
Georg Zoeller illustrates what can and can't be put on a player's action bar.
48 does seem like a very very limited number for an MMO. This is not necessarily from a powergaming perspective - there are usually many things one might want to keep on the HUD, including:Just to answer a few of these.
- Macros (assuming this game has them, of course)
- Crafting skills
- Fun or silly items (for example, fireworks or snowballs)
- Combat utility items (assuming they are in the game, but I would imagine there will be some)
This is all in addition to all your class/advanced class skills. I also sometimes prefer to leave gaps between groups of items or abilities so they are segmented visually.
I can definitely understand the desire to keep the interface clean and compact, but it's always nice to have the option to organize everything you want right there on your HUD, rather than have to go fishing through your inventory or various menus to find items/skills.
- Emotes have a quick access menu near the chat panel.
- Crew Skills (AKA crafting) have a dedicated UI, you can't map them to the quickbar (when you see more details on the Crew Skills, you'll understand)
- Companions have their own bar for their abilities. Additional utility is available by clicking their portrait (e.g. selling junk/greys)
- Certain functionality (target of target, etc.) are accessible via user definable keybinds, roll into cover, etc.
As a general philosophy, we have full UI support for all game functions. We try to avoid using slash commands as the single point of entry into functionality.
Georg Zoeller covers questions about in game marriages, multiple ships, and helping new players.
Hallo groe Freunde der VorfreudeEN:
Obwohl ich eigentlich versuche das Forum gut zu verfolgen versuche, entgehen mir doch viele kleine News und andere Dinge die hier passieren aufgrund dessen das mir oft die Zeit fehlt nachzulesen.
Nun dachte ich mir, einfach mal die Fragen stellen die mich interessieren wrden zu dem Spiel hier, teils habe ich schon andeutungen gesehen - vielleicht wei jemand sogar direkte Anworten.
1. Ich habe schon anschnitte gelesen "bzgl Hochzeit?" - wird sowas bereits Enginetechnisch im Spiel mglich sein oder muss man das "spielen".
Sollte es mglich sein, wre da nicht eine gewisse Spannung... Aufgaben etc einbaubar wie zB. 2 Jedi... oder 1 Soldat/1 Jedi - eben die Kombinationen lsen mssten um die "Genehmigung" zu bekommen?
Das Jedi zu der Zeit Ehen eingehen konnten stand soweit ich wei irgendwo, jedoch nur wenn der Orden dies zulie.
2. Ist schon bekannt ob man auch zu 2. ein Schiff nutzen kann, natrlich mssen beide eines besitzen, aber wre so etwas mglich?
3. Ich lese oft das man viele Dinge im Spiel alleine bestreitet... nun "kann" man auch zu 2. oder mehrere diese Dinge (Aufgaben zB. direkt am Anfang sogar?) meistern, oder kann ein spieler wo schon lnger spielt (hheres level) einem "jungen Spieler" der erst anfngt im "Startgebiet" helfen?
Ihr seht mir drngen sich viele Fragen auf, die fr euch sicher schnell zu beantworten sind.
Ja ich habe die Suchfunktion genutzt, soweit mir passende Begriffe einfielen - jedoch fand ich keine Antworten.
So, ich werde so oft ich kann hier rein sehen (lege es mir extra in die Favoriten dafr).
1 (regarding whether or not there would be in game systems to support 'in game marriages'): No Comment
2. (regarding whether your character can have more than one ship). No.
3. (if it is possible for an elder player to help a new character in their starting experience or if they have to play it alone). Yes, it is absolutely possible for higher level characters to fly to the origin worlds of their lower level friends, provided you are on the same faction.
Georg Zoeller discusses players facing each other and what situations can break that focus.
I made it through 15 pages of debate on the word "bunny hop" before I finally gave up.There's a check upon ability activation to verify you can see your target (front facing).
Has anyone addressed the issue of casters in PVP? Is this going to be a 'casts for 2 seconds, enemy walks behind you, cast is cancelled, player beats the hell out of you' senario now? I sure hope not...
After that, your character will be tracking the target - jumping through you, bunny hopping, running in circles won't break the ability channeling. The only things that can break the channel after initial activation is:
a) Use an ability that interrupts channeling (such as Force push, stuns, etc.)
b) Break line of sight (360 degree) with the character, e.g. by running behind a wall or jumping down a pit.
This applies both in PvP and PvE.
Michael Voigt reveals that the user interface was designed with color-blind players in mind.
1. Recognize that about 8% of all males have a color vision problem, usually red/green. This means that reds and greens looked brownish or even grayed out, depending on the severity of the problem. It would be wise to allow color customization for those who have red/green problems, and to run the UI by people who identify themselves as having a red/green color vision problem to get their opinions on visibility.JaeOnasi,
We have definitely been over the accessibility needs for color-blind players. We do a color-blind check on the UI during production, and at times we do use the sensitive colors to indicate information. Where this was an issue, we used placement and/or icons in conjunction with the colors.
When we were not able to remove the usage of these colors, we have tool-tips to indicate the information that the sensitive colors were showing.
Michael Voigt also reveals that the user interface was created to be usable with a more than one monitor set-up.
As long as all UI elements are moveable and independantly scalable, I'm fine with no 3rd party addonsRaewin,
I will play the game at 5760x1080 resolution, I'm pretty sure the UI wont be optimised for this relolution
Being able to move all of the UI elements around is a must.
I'm not particularly fussed about "advanced" UI customisation options like those you can find in many great addons for WOW (at least not at release). I'm also not fussed about colouration options, I very much like the colour scheme as it is.
Just let me move all the pieces to where I want them.
I actually did a specific map mock-up to tailor the map experience for players that play the game across three monitors. We actually have a designer that prefers to play the game at a similar resolution!
The game looks spectacular with this type of setup, quite immersive.
Michael Voigt reaffirms that keybinding is available and functional.
Speaking of mouse/keyboard, UI must have ability to allow for keybindings since those WSAD keys will not work for me and need to rebind keys to fit my play style and vision problems. I consider any MMO worthless and unplayable if there is no rebinding of keyboard and/or mouse.Falonarion,
We have extensive key-binding preferences. We also have a cool way to record the key-binding.
This is one of the systems that we were able to greatly improve with our visual pass.
Michael Voigt notes that even though the new user interface was revealed, elements of it can still change and it is still in a work-in-progress state.
oh god why is the menu bar at the top of the screen, it looks terrible, remove it or make it one button to open the menu. seriously you think you have made this minimal? that menu is screaming at me. not impressed yet sorry.Auai,
We are currently doing testing on this element, we have definitely had discussions of offering a method for more advanced players to disable this. Hitting the bound key 'I' for your inventory is the preferred method for some players, and those players might not want that UI element hindering the immersive qualities of the game.
Pretty much everything posted on this update is a work-in-progress and might change for launch and beyond.
Michael Voigt indicates that chat channels are able to be modified and can be moved to separate windows.
I do have a question for the chat window. Are options available in it to separate the distinct chats? For example, having only guild chat show up in one window pane while only party shows up on another.Pranth,
You most certainly can separate the different chat channels into windows and place those where you would like.
Georg Zoeller breaks down the myth of immersion in a game like Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Combat works differently based on whether you're fighting players or NPCs?The word 'immersion' tends to be thrown around a lot. It's a very generic word, so you can use it in almost every context.
Immersion breaking. Not a good idea.
The fact is - players immediately know they are fighting a human due to different nameplates. One could argue that because everyone has a name plate over their head that is immersion breaking. After all, people don't seem to carry nameplates above their heads in real life.
Players are also going to notice if targets behave predictably (AI) or not (player). They will notice a wild array of abilities used against them (player) vs. a small subset (AI).
There is no illusion here that can be dispelled, no disbelief that is suspended. At any time, you know when you're dealing with a player. We accept that we can chat with players or /dance at them and that they may react, and we accept that NPCs usually don't.
As such, the 'immersion breaking' argument, for me, is often an empty one. The term has a different meaning for different situation and different people and in my experience usually is a different way to say 'I don't like it'.
One could argue that it might be a good goal to minimize and hide the difference between NPCs and PCs - but that's not the kind of game we are making, we have no interest in trying to beat the Turing Test with our NPCs
Personally, for me, it's the RPG equivalent of invoking Godwin's Law - it pretty much kills any need to further discuss a topic.
Georg Zoeller reaffirms that addons will not be available at launch and to not construe his statement as anything more.
No, dude. Bioware isn't allowing addons. Period.No.
I'm sorry to call you out, but we've never said anything like that. We didn't say "a week after launch" either though, just to be fair.
Let's stick with the facts.
What we've said is, regarding the question 'Will there be addons at launch' is "no, not at launch".
This statement indicates nothing more than that there will not be addons at launch. Nothing more, nothing less.
Georg Zoeller reminds us that rumors and experiences in past games should not be the basis for speculation.
but bioware has made no concessions for proffesions that are ranged for an escape mechanism. All of the ranged proffessions attacks and kd's are offensive in nature, no defensive skills what so ever other than shields. The circle straffers just run around you because you cant spin with your mouse as fast as they can circle straff with their controllers so without an auto attack feature which in short means you get hacked to death because you cant target your opponent and get a shot off.OK, this is apparently the day where I have to call people out on these issues. Makes me sad, I don't like to do that, but maybe doing it enough times will discourage such things.
I actually went and checked to make sure you are not someone in our playtest. Since you are not - and therefore you haven't actually had any exposure to our current PvP and no exposure to the full ability set for classes (which hasn't been revealed), I am a bit baffled that you would make such statements on our forums.
I suggest everyone in this thread take a deep breath and save your concerns for a short time and then ask the people that actually got to play PvP last week (about 30 individuals from the Fan Site Summit) when they are allowed to talk about it (as soon as the second embargo expires).
That way, at least the information given isn't based on speculation but personal experience. I'm sure it will still be subjective and I can't guarantee they all liked it, but I'm also sure people appreciate hearing about the opinions and experiences of people that had the benefits of some hands on time with the game.
Daniel Erickson explains that besides combat, crafting, PvP, and space, Star Wars: The Old Republic has a lot of story.
So I was listening to all those interviews from the fan site summit, and there was something the lead writer said that I wanted to clarify.Hey Folks,
He was talking about how each class (8) has 3 chapters each. And in his example of the bounty hunter, he said the "great hunt" (chap 1) was 2 times as long as all the story in KOTOR.
Making several assumptions, can we presume that:
8 classes * 3 chapters each * 2x length of KOTOR = 48 times more story then KOTOR?
I think it's reasonably safe to assume that the chapters for each class are fairly close in length to other classes. The only thing I don't know is if Chapter 1 is roughly the same length as Chapter 2 and Chapter 3.
Or, I could have taken it out of context and what he meant was that chapter 1 for all the classes was two times as long as Kotor. Which would mean roughly 6 times more story.
What say you?
Glad to clarify. Please bear with me, though, as it can be hard when we're talking about story and story length. So let's start with a few rules for how we tend to talk about it at Bioware:
First: the whole critical path of the game is the length. The walking, the combat, the travel on your ship, world quests, everything you'd have to do to come out the other end the right level. When we say the story of Chapter 1 is X long we do not mean if you somehow took all the conversations and ran them together. Sneaking through the Death Star and shooting stormtroopers was just as much of Luke's story as talking about going and saving the princess. So all the content you're expected to do goes in there. What doesn't go in? Warzones, crafting, socializing, auction house, space game, etc (yes, you could skip world quests and do Warzone or space game quests or Heroics for XP instead but swaps like that tend to more or less even out). Anything not required to level up is outside the estimate.
Second: Your mileage may vary. When we talk about the length of the game at all, we keep it vague for the important reason that people burn through content at different rates. The numbers we're using today are based on best case estimates from hundreds of people playing through Chapter 1. Some people were faster, some people were much, much, much slower as they apparently not just stopped to smell the flowers but had their CCs pick some, studied them, made adrenals out of them and then decided to sit by the roadside and consider what they'd done.
Third: This may change somewhat before ship. Difficulty has been going up in the mid and late leveling game to create real, RPG-style combat challenges. This makes the game longer. Death penalties have been going down. This makes the game shorter. But we have a general idea where we want it to end up and I think it's safe now to make some broad statements.
Okay, with all that out of the way, let me clarify. I was speaking of the a single average first time playthrough of a single class's Chapter 1 being more than twice the length of a single average first time playthrough of the entirety of the original Knights of the Old Republic. Chapter 2 and 3 are each somewhat shorter than Chapter 1 (which are extended by the Origin and Capitol worlds experience) but still pretty darn big.
If we are talking about playthroughs of all the classes we're well into four digit hours but even one class is in the plural hundreds. Anything more specific is going to get me into trouble and honestly will just make me look silly when one guild makes it their all encompassing mission to beat the leveling game in a single marathon session then Photoshop their completion time onto a shocked looking picture of my face and spread it all over the interwebs.
Hope that helps!
Daniel Erickson asks for feedback regarding Twi'lek Sith Inquisitors.
I've seen a lot of talk lately that acts like Twi'leks is a confirmed playable race for the SI class however I cannot find any proof to this. From what I known, only Humans, Zarbrak, and the Rattaki(sp?)Hey folks,
As for Twi'leks, I thought they were limited to Smugglers and JC classes.
So can someone point me to a link that confirms that Twi'leks would be a playable race for the SI class?
We have Twi'leks for the Imperial side. They even get some cool custom options. And we have aliens in the SI class since the story starts you as a slave, one of the first to try your hand at being a Sith. So it's definitely something we could do. But the SI has a lot of hoods and a lot of awesome full face masks.
How do people feel about your Lekku actually disappearing when you put on that full face mask? Are having Twi'lek SI with all the cool gear options worth assuming you are doing some artful stuffing? Or should we just say you can be a Twi'lek SI but not wear anything that wouldn't fit on your big crazy head?
Georg Zoeller shoots down the speculation of cross server queuing for Flashpoints.
I thought I should clarify this, since there's a bit of speculation around.
We won't have cross server queuing for Flashpoints. We do think it's bad for building the server specific community, but that shouldn't be taken as some kind of of dogmatic approach to isolating servers from each other.
It has much to do with the age of the game and its community - if you start a new server and a community forms, having players create natural relationships during play is preferable over synthetic, short term relationships through a quick to use tool.
Once a game has so much content that it easily fragments the player base and local community so that it will cause long wait times for players to access such content, then the question of giving players the right tools to find other players becomes pressing again - and we'll worry about it at that time and see what the right approach will be.
As for PvP: The goal is obviously to keep queue times low. We'll do anything to ensure that people that want to play a match get a match. Features such as bolstering are a direct result of that approach. At this point there is no cross server queuing - but that does not mean we wouldn't entertain it as a measure to improve queue times if we feel it is necessary. As said, we're just practical about these things, not dogmatic.
Hope that clarifies, and, as always, interested to hear your thoughts.
Daniel Erickson explains why some screenshots of different species and class combinations should not be considered confirmation.
As some of you may have seen on the list that incorrectly got out with species/class combos last month, right now character creation is set to "dev mode" and allows all combinations.
Some are much funnier and wrong than this--Pureblood Knight anyone? That doesn't mean they will be shipping. In this case, in a rush to get a screenshot done, someone goofed and made an illegal class-species combo. There is no confirmation of Pureblood SIs at this time.
Hope that helps,
Georg Zoeller exhibits the idea that exploration rewards are designed to benefit players, not punish them.
We are rewarding exploration, yes. You will notice this to be a constant theme in the game - a tremendous amount of work goes into creating these beautiful planets, and we reward people that go out and see it.
Does that punish people who don't like to explore? I don't think so. They'll spend their time differently and get benefits from whatever other activities they pursue in the time that explorers spend exploring.
Senior Writer Alexander Freed talks about the Republic's intelligence agency and its appearance in the upcoming comic Star Wars: The Old Republic The Lost Suns.
Quote from Alexander Freed
In TOR, the Republic's covert intelligence agency is the Strategic Information Service (SIS), and--as you surmise--it has its hands full dealing with the galactic cold war. The SIS turns up in a number of class stories throughout the game, as well as in several faction-wide quests.
The SIS is a very different beast from Imperial Intelligence--it's a much smaller and a much newer organization, without the enormous network and arcane bureaucracy of its Imperial counterpart. Until the Empire returned, the Republic didn't need a gigantic intelligence apparatus, as the galaxy was at peace and the Senate prefers not to spy on its own people.
Of course, that doesn't mean the SIS isn't very good at what it does--especially given that it still abides by legal and ethical restraints that the Empire doesn't much worry about. (Which isn't to say that SIS operations don't skirt certain lines, at times... but those are exceptions.)
(If you're curious, you can get a peak inside the SIS in the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic - The Lost Suns comic, which features a Republic spy as its lead. The SIS isn't the focus of the story, but it has a role to play. Here ends my plug.)
Damion Schubert discusses logical Datacron placement in regards to cross-factional planets.
Thing I've been thinking about is this:Each holocron is limited as to who can interact with it, in some cases due to access but in other cases due to the level of potential suck. Thus, the Sith don't need to go to a Jedi homeworld to find them, but Korriban has several.
How exactly will players of the other faction (let's pick Sith as an example) be able to collect all the datacrons ?
For instance, I won't be able to visit Coruscant as Sith & subsequently complete the missing codex entries & remaining datacrons.
So will they be scattered all over the neutral planets, then ? :S
We never put holocrons in places where you can miss them and be unable to go back and get them. For example, we wouldn't put them in a phase that can't be repeated, or on a temporary location on your galaxy map (and yes, we have some of those).