In an exclusive interview at Massively, Larry Everett sat down with Lead Game Designer Gabe Amatangelo to discuss the new level 50 flashpoint for the upcoming 1.1 patch release – Rise of the Rakghouls. Included as part of the interview are screenshots and a video trailer of the flashpoint along with details regarding its denizens. As a side converstion, Gabe also went into detail on Ilum, BioWare's plans for Open World PVP for future releases and the release date for patch 1.1 as January 17th.
"The objectives on Ilum were supposed to be on timers, and the timers were supposed to be locked down," says Amatangelo. "But in the 11th hour, the timers weren't working. So we knew what kind of behavior was going to evolve there. It's not like we were going to delay launch to fix that. But with 1.1, we are going to be handling a lot of those issue with a bunch of improvements there, like focusing on killing players. The objectives give you buffs, but ultimately you have to kill the players to get the rewards. We've included new spawn points as well as some optimization with the turrets.
"We do have longer-term plans for open-world PvP. It is open-world PvP; it's not an RvR system. I kept trying to throw that out there. I'm not saying that it's not something we don't want to do."
Due to the spoiler territory nature of the information, we hid the pull quote and trailer after the jump. For the interview and screenshots in full, visit Massively.
Update: In an interview with GameSpot, Creative Director James Ohlen revealed some interesting options about what the Legacy system will enable in the future, including the ability to add relationships between alternate characters on the same server, such as brother and sister, or father and son.
So the legacy system, it's kind of inspired by the fact that the family dynamic is so important in the Star Wars movies. You have Luke being Anakin's son, the most famous father-son relationship in movies. We wanted to have a system that encouraged players to create alts and to play the game through the different story paths. So the legacy system is meant to do that. It essentially allows you to, instead of just having a bunch of alts that have no relation to each other, you can actually create a family tree where your alts can be related to your main character, either as, you know, a sibling, a son, a father, a family friend, or a husband and wife.
You can actually choose the relationship your characters will have with each other. And then you gain legacy experience points and legacy levels, and with legacy experience points and levels, that gives you--that allows you to unlock abilities, perks, a whole slew of different advantages, essentially, that all the members of your legacy tree will be able to enjoy.
So it's pretty tight, I think people are going to really like it, and it's something we want to push towards players who enjoy the level-up game. It'll also be beneficial to the end game, but it really is going to have a lot of abilities that make leveling up even more enjoyable and allow you to customize your leveling experience.
From the press release:
Just one month after launching the fastest growing subscription MMO in history, EA, BioWare and LucasArts are prepared to release the first game update for the critically-acclaimed Star Wars™: The Old Republic™. . Launching next week on Tuesday, January 17, Rise of the Rakghouls will introduce new, higher level group content, game feature additions and continued balancing and bug fixes. As part of the commitment to the community, BioWare will continue to release game updates to subscribers throughout the year on a regular cadence. The next update is planned for March 2012 and will include new Flashpoints, Operations, WarZones and new game systems.
“A month ago when we launched the Early Game Access program for Star Wars: The Old Republic, we promised our fans that this would just be the beginning of our journey together,” said Dr. Greg Zeschuk, General Manager of the BioWare Label’s MMO Business Unit and Co-Founder of BioWare. “Rise of the Rakghouls adds a lot of the things our community has been asking for – additional higher level group content, features like anti-aliasing, PvP bracketing and more. In the future, game updates will be even more substantial, as we promise to continue to not only add to The Old Republic, but to also improve and refine the experience with the full Legacy System and new Guild features.”
Rise of the Rakghouls features a new Flashpoint and a new Operation as well as a number of changes made throughout the entire game, including level 50 bracketing for PvP WarZones, the addition of anti-aliasing and changes to Open World PvP on Ilum.
Flashpoint: Kaon Under Siege is a completely new and unique group combat experience located on Kaon, a planet in the Tion Hegemony, a strategically important sector of the galaxy that has remained neutral, Groups of up to four Republic or Imperial players must race to Kaon to eliminate the Rakghouls outbreak, securing the allegiance of the Tion Hegemony for their respective sides. This Flashpoint will be available for level 50 characters only and will feature Normal and Heroic modes.
Operation: Karagga’s Palace, is a continuation of the game’s second launch Operation. In the Operation, teams of 8 or 16 players will face off against Karagga and the Hutt Cartel after the Hutts abandon their famous neutrality and breach agreements with both the Republic and Empire. Concerned by the threat of another combatant in the war for galactic control, both factions send teams of their most powerful heroes to confront Karagga and determine his intentions. This Operation will feature Normal, Heroic and Nightmare difficulty modes.