In between the Guild Summit and PAX East this weekend, Darth Hater had the opportunity to talk with BioWare's Gabe Amatangelo about the current state of PvP and Operations in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Because the magnitude of forthcoming changes in 1.2 Game Update and beyond seem to grow each day, we felt it was important to the game's community to comprehensively cover all endgame and PvP areas with SWTOR's lead designer, so this interview is sectioned appropriately.
Why did you choose a quasi-Domination objective for the new Warzone?
Gabe Amatangelo: Huttball comes at a close second, but overall Domination is the most popular one. Obviously we’re really proud and excited about Huttball being a close second because it is a new take on an existing type of mode. How does Novare Coast differ? I mean, how does Domination differ from game to game? Level design has something to do with it. I’m sure people that are on the PTS already know the specifics of mechanics. It is a majority one, so you have to have two out of three to at least start accruing some points or doing some damage to the enemy base. Also, it is sort of a tug of war, channel-type objective control. You channel in, and you’re able to build some control-like points before you actually control the objective. Your progress is saved going back and forth between enemies, or coming back to resume after clearing some enemies out. It is definitely different from Alderaan. Of course I can’t say that three-point domination is different from anything else in the genre ever, but it is different from Alderaan, and it has its own sort of unique level design layer as well.
Can you explain what your vision is for the rated Warzone pre-season?
The first season we’re doing in 1.2 is pre-season because we don’t have the cross-server queuing in yet. Cross-server queuing is definitely important for an Elo-based type of rating system for matching people up with people of similar rating skill on a frequent basis. This first preseason introduces the competitive measure because we think that is an important aspect to complete PvP experience, but also to collect data and refine the system before getting into the official season one.
Is the regular season going to have a fixed length every time and then it resets?
A lot of factors are going to come into play with that... in the pre-season, we’ll collect data, and that will be a factor. Also the development cycle and updates schedules will become a factor for it. But generally speaking, when we introduce a new tier of gear, our target is to introduce a new season within PvP.
Can you explain how the system behind the team Elo rating and individual Elo rating works for the upcoming season?
Your group rating is affected any time you queue with a group. And anytime you queue solo, that’s going to affect your solo rating. There are two separate ratings altogether.
Is there a way you can sign up for a constant group rating? Is there a way to say, "this is my team," or is that done outside of the rating system? Do you sign up and make a team, or are you going to have your team group rating fluctuate with other people who are in there with you?
Your group rating is what you own yourself, and any time you queue as a group, the result of that match will affect your group rating. Now next time you can queue with an entirely different group, and your group rating does not change. The sort of collective group ratings within everyone you queued with along with your opponents all factors into the Elo calculation. But your group rating has your individual adjustment at the end of it, so you don’t define a team -- it’s your group rating. Now obviously you can queue with the same group of people and sort of define the team on your own, but in this pre-season version, it’s just your group rating that will adjust anytime you queue up with a group for ranked Warzones. We want to expand on that to introduce a team concept and defining team but that would be in a future update.
Can you explain the gear and achievement differences between the unrated and rated Warzones?
The unrated Warzones you’ll have your Warzone commendations that you get that will enable you to purchase a certain set of PvP gear. Then in ranked Warzones, you’ll getranked Warzone commendations that will allow you to purchase a different set of PvP gear. If you have a high Elo rating, group or solo, you can then trade in the gear that you got through ranked Warzone commendations for a more, sort of prestigious version of it.
Can you elaborate on what you mean by "prestigious?"
Color, some attachments on the gear, and things of that nature. The stats will be the same but it’ll be a more prestigious appearance. It’s cosmetic.
- Page 1 of 3
- Open World PvP