During the first day of GamesCom, we had the opportunity to get a quick interview with BioWare’s Gabe Amatangelo. For this interview, we focused on a few of the key areas BioWare showed off at the event including the Ancient Hypergates Warzone, future Operation content, and more. To read the interview in full, hit the jump.
Following today's maintenance, Principal Lead PvP Designer Gabe Amatangelo posted a short blog posting regarding the Ranked Warzone feature being introduced in update 1.3. In the blog, Gabe explains how the system is setup, how the rankings operate, and goes on to talk a bit about the future of Ranked Warzones.
Check out the blog post for his comments in full and if you're interested in seeing Ranked Warzones before the patch goes live, be sure to check out the PTS.
This week's Q&A Session from BioWare is out and covers a broad range of topics including classes, mechanics and design decisions. This time around rather than centering on speculation over future plans, the Q&A was tailored to address current aspects of the game and explanations for why things were done as they were. So let's go behind the Emerald Curtain, to see what this week's Q&A offers.
An important note - there will be no Q&A session next week in order to get as many questions as possible into the following post on May 25th. Head on over to the current Q&A Thread to submit any questions you may have for this month's final installment.
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.
During the Asia Pacific launch event held in Australia, TOROZ had the chance to interview Gabe Amatangelo on the subject of PVP, UI, Cross-Server Queuing, and more. The biggest thing to come out of the interview is the news that a combat log is coming. Yes! Hallelujah! The video of the interview is available after the jump but thanks to the people at TORBoard, notes are now available of the discussion.Quote from TORBoard
- Lesser end-game commendations (Champion, Centurion, etc.) will not be exchangable.
- There will be two levels of warzones. Regular and Ranked warzones.
- Regular warzones will give out regular WZ commendations, and Ranked warzones will give out ranked WZ commendations.
- New intro PVP set for new level 50 players to fill gap in gear.
- There will be some "fun" uses for commendations you dont need anymore.
- Phase one will be server specific.
- Phase two (coming in the future) will have cross-server queuing.
- Combat log coming soon.
- DPS meters/Parsers will be done by 3rd party addons via combat log.
- Free/Paid Server transfers are being worked on but no date provided. They want to make sure the process is perfect before releasing this.
- Coming in phase two of pvp changes (later than 1.2)
- Priority is on playing with people from your own server.
- As soon as you start choosing certain things (which warzone, ranked, etc.). It becomes more difficult for you to get a WZ with server players so you go into the cross-server queue.
Miracle patch indeed.
Update: To clarify the notes above, Gabe was referencing third party sources (programs, web apps, etc) for parsing the log from there and not saying in-game addons are coming in 1.2. The quote is at about two minutes in if you're looking for it.
Over the years through innovation, game developers gave us a plethora of fun and unique gametypes. A few even stood the test of time to become mainstays in the industry in not only first person shooter games but also transcended genres. Though Star Wars: The Old Republic is still a young game compared to other massively multiplayer games, Gabe Amatangelo and the developers at BioWare promise that more is to come in the realm of Warzones. With that being the case, I decided it is as good a time as any to look back at past gametypes in the hope that future content might employ the best of them.
Grab your lightsaber as this week’s DevTracker Highlights is all about PvP. Associate Online Community Manager Joveth Gonzalez hints at future updates to game’s launcher. Senior Online Community Manager Stephen Reid addresses concerns about stifling the community’s voice during server maintenance and patching. Senior Community Coordinator David Bass assures players that discussions at the Guild Summit will be in-depth, unlike those at conventions. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller talks PvP bags and the rate at which players acquire PvP gear. Lead PvP, Operations & Flashpoints Designer Gabe Amatangelo follows up and attests that players will see a less sporadic rate at which gear is acquired. Hit the jump to dig in and see all the highlights.
BioWare's Gabe Amatangelo took to the public test server forums today to clarify some upcoming changes for PvP bag rewards. He also hinted at further changes when a ranked Warzone system debuts, slated for Game Update 1.2.
Champion Bags now always contain 15 Centurion Commendations AND 7 Champion Commendations. Battlemaster Bags now always contain 15 Champion Commendations. So Centurion gearing up progression for new level 50s is increased significantly and Champion gearing up progression will be steady.
That being said, the current interim 'gearing up' system will change significantly when we introduce Ranked Warzones (aiming for Game Update 1.2). Stay tuned for more details on that.
For the full text of Gabe's quote, read after the jump.
Lead PvP, Operations & Flashpoints Designer Gabe Amatangelo posted on update concerning Ilum issues and the resolution. An emergency patch will be pushed to servers tomorrow, January 19, at 5AM CST. The patch will prevent players from entering the opposite faction's base and prevent them from leaving. Population caps on Ilum will also be descresed to help improve client performance. You can read the update in full below.
Hello everyone; I wanted to update you on the issues we’ve been seeing today on the live servers, specifically within the Open World PvP area on Ilum. We’re aware that on some servers, either Republic or Empire groups have been capturing the Ilum control points, entering the enemy’s base and ‘camping’ the medcenters, preventing the opposite faction from leaving their base to recapture control points. This is not a fair or balanced gameplay experience and can also severely affect client performance, so we’re taking steps to address this.
Our intended design for Ilum Open World PvP is that players are instantly killed when entering the enemy’s base safe area, just like in Warzones, and that the defending faction can take taxis to other points within the zone. As of Game Update 1.1, this is not working as intended. We have found the issue preventing this from happening under server load and will be publishing an Emergency Patch to address the issue. We’re aiming to have this patch published early tomorrow morning (January 19th, 5 AM US CST).
In addition to these changes, we’ll be reducing the population cap on Ilum. This should help increase performance by requiring your client to render fewer characters on-screen at once.
Regarding Valor gains, with the 1.1 update, players now receive a base reward of 20 Valor per unique enemy player defeated in a short time, and this base reward is modified by the number of objectives that the player’s faction owns. The gains are rate limited per player killed, encouraging players to attack unique players, not to pursue vendettas. The Valor gains players can see over time will vary greatly depending on the activity level in the zone. This is expected.
To dispel a couple of rumors that have been seen today – there is no Valor gain from destroying turrets within enemy bases, and none from killing NPCs.
We encourage players to avoid Ilum until our patch is deployed. As a temporary measure we will be disabling taxi services which would normally take players into the Open World PvP area. However, players will still be able to taxi out of the area.
We will continue to monitor Ilum across all servers and will make further changes to gameplay if required. We welcome your feedback here on the Forums, but please ensure your feedback is constructive and specific. Feedback based on rumor does not help us isolate potential issues.
UPDATE: Associate Online Community Manager Joveth Gonzalez added to the thread noting they will be evaluating and tracking individuals taking advantage of the Ilum situation.Quote from Joveth Gonzalez
Hi everyone,I just wanted to be clear and let you all know that we’re definitely aware of individuals who took extreme advantage of this situation and we will be carefully evaluating and taking action as necessary.
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.Quote from Massively"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.Quote from James Ohlen
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.
Principal Lead PvP, Operations & Flashpoints Designer Gabe Amatangelo posted a new community blog on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic noting some changes coming to Player vs. Player combat. Specifically, he mentions the introduction of a level 50 bracket for Warzones, ranked PvP Warzone matches, stat tracking, and additional medals for objectives in Warzones. You can read the blog in whole below.
Fellow PvPers, thank you for taking on the challenge of player vs player combat in The Old Republic!
In the first week after launch there were over a million Warzone matches played, with nearly half of all players participating in Warzones. Bad news for Republic players, though - the Empire currently leads overall, having won 53% of all Alderaan Civil War and Voidstar matches (across all servers). Huttball has been played the most, accounting for 39% of all matches – and yes, we’ll be adding a new same faction vs. same faction enabled Warzone in the future.
We are all really excited at the tremendous volume of participation we’ve seen in PvP thus far. Your interest and demand dictates what we’ll be delivering in the near future. I wanted to give you some insight into where we are with PvP development and where we are going.
First and foremost here is what we are addressing as a top priority:
Level 50 Bracket Warzones: Level 50 players will have a bracket of their own, playing in separate Warzone matches to lower level players. This is something we have wanted to do for some time and now that there is an increasing number of level 50 players we will be implementing the feature in January.
Open World PvP on Ilum: The planet of Ilum currently allows for open world PvP even on a PvE server, but the mechanics and incentives of the planet are not in as intended yet. We’re working on longer term goals for the planet and for other PvP areas, but expect to see some interim adjustments in January - such as more respawn points to focus conflicts, restricting Companion Characters from the area, and revisions to rewards. Ilum will also become a major source of Valor. Valor buffs will increase and decrease based on the objectives your faction owns. These buffs increase the amount of Valor you receive per player kill. However they do not give anything in and of themselves, so players will still need to defeat other players for significant Valor rewards. Additionally, daily and weekly missions will require player kills to complete. Player kills for quests and Valor credit will have diminishing returns per player killed. So, the more players that are fighting other players, the better it is for everyone.
Combat Gameplay: You’ll see several optimizations come online in January, and we are going to continue to tune this as time goes on.
We also have other exciting features coming in the near future including Ranked Warzone Matches, PvP Stat Tracking, Open World PvP Loot Drops, more Warzone medals for different objectives, Guard Optimizations and Target Optimizations.
Additionally we’re looking at ways to enable team vs. team, more level brackets and the ability to choose which Warzone you want to play in.
This is not a complete list of everything we’re working on that’s PvP related, but we have to keep some surprises for later! Thanks again for all your feedback and please keep it coming. We read as much as we can then cross reference with metrics to take action on features and tuning the game to ensure an enjoyable and competitive PvP community.Gabe Amatangelo Principal Lead PvP, Operations & Flashpoints Designer
Several key members of the Star Wars: The Old Republic development team participated in a recent live chat event on the BestBuy.com website. Creative Director James Ohlen, Lead Writer Daniel Erickson and Lead Flashpoints/PvP and Operations Designer Gabe Amatangelo answered several questions from fans regarding general post-release plans, Operation lockout schedules, UI improvements, Ewok companions and Operation tiers.Quote from Best Buy ChatQuestion: Why are there no ewok companions? =[ I know they’re not supposed to be discovered for years…but seriously. Ewoks are totally worth a bit of lore-bending. Also, any chance that the original cantina song from episode 4 will make an appearance in one of the cantinas?
James Ohlen: We have a lot of fans that think the Ewok’s are cute and would make a cuddly companion. We agree that they’re cuddly and cute, perhaps you’ll see them in the future.
Question: What drove me away from all other MMOs was the constantly doing the same raid over and over with no options to switch things up. In SWtoR are there going to be multiple raids per tier or can we expect to be face-rolling them one at a time with months in between each new one releasing?
Gabe Amatangelo: We currently have two different Operations in the same tier (Eternity Vault & Karagga’s Palace) and we will be expanding on this tier as well as releasing other tiers.
A full transcript of the chat is available on the Best Buy site.
During this week's Fan Site Summit, BioWare held several Q&As with the community there at the event. Developers such as Gabe Amatangelo, Georg Zoeller and James Ohlen all gave their own unique Q&As. Thanks to BioWare, we now have some very swanky audio to listen to and enjoy. The Q&As are consolidated on this page for your convience.
The full presentation of Georg Zoeller's GDC panel is available via his personal site.
BioWare's Gabe Amatangelo finished off the first day of the Fan Site Summit with a presentation of Star Wars: The Old Republic's PVP aspects such as the Voidstar Warzone and the Ilum open world PVP zone. In an effort to convey a few of the highlights, we consolidated our impressions of the talk after the jump.
During the first day of the Fan Site Summit, Gabe Amatangelo answered questions about Ilum's Open World PvP zone, Voidstar, Flashpoints, and Operations. We include a transcript below in the order of the questions asked; there are some repeated questions with expanded answers as well as follow-ups out of immediate order.
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.
Over at German fansite The-Force.eu, Star Wars: The Old Republic's Gabe Amatangelo speaks about PvP, crafting, and the size of the Eternity Vault:
The-Fource.eu: How many bosses can you typically expect in a typical Operation?
Gabe Amatangelo: The Eternity Vault has five. It has five encounters. "Bosses" is such a loose term. One of them, you have to hack this puzzle. You've got to split up the group, and you've got to fight back a bunch of different waves while people are trying to solve a puzzle in tandem.
Watch the full 15-minute interview over at The-Force.eu.
Star Wars: The Old Republic designer Gabe Amatangelo took some time during Gamescom to answer some questions about Operations and Warzones. He even dropped a few nuggets about what types of RPG elements we can expect inside Flashpoints, and possibly something to look forward to at PAX.
Hit the jump for more, as maybe three times asking the same question is the charm...
Yesterday, we reported on the GameStar magazine issue of Star Wars: The Old Republic involving Operations, Warzones, and more. Now we have PC Gamer UK's August issue that discusses the points in more detail and confirms some of the items mentioned in GameStar magazine.
The items that do not drop for you (or do not appear in your loot bag) from boss kills can all be bought from the commendation vendor.
To access new flashpoints you have to clear beginner ones.
There will be no pre-raid armor grind. You will enter low-level raids in the armor you finished your story in.
Loot bags can contain upgrades for weapons and armor.
SWTOR's landscapes have had a graphical overhaul.
We will update you if any more items of note come in from the issue. Thanks to Shrivenx for the tip and the points from the article. Make sure to pick up PC Gamer UK on news stands for the article in full.
Update: Stephen Reid responded to the thread with some extra detail.Quote from Stephen Reid
'Loot containers' (name is still a work in progress!) do indeed exist and are designed to alleviate the frustration some feel around high-level loot drops.
As it's currently implemented, at the end of a key encounter within an Operation, upon looting a high-level opponent, everyone in the Operations group will get an individual container which has a chance to give you a random piece of loot that's specific to your class. It could be part of an armor set, a weapon, and so on. If you don't get loot, you'll get commendations which can be used to purchase gear.
Please note, this feature is currently in Game Testing and may well be modified before launch.
In this month's issue of GameStar magazine, there is an interview with Gabe Amatangelo on operations, PVP, and more. As part of the interview, Gabe Amatangelo gives us some new insight on the operation sizes players will have a chance to take part in The Old Republic.
Each Raid has 2 sizes, for 8 and 16 heros, as well as ajustable [sic] difficulty levels. The quality of the loot is based on the difficulty setting of the instance." After every bossfight EACH player gets a bag of Rewards", says Lead designer Gabe Amatangelo. "Inside that Bag you can find class specific Items, or Badges which can be used to buy items. You don't have to fight for your rewards."
Credit on the quote goes to Cebo and his thread on the official forum. We'll alert you on any translation updates regarding the magazine as they happen.
Update: More translated for the article on PVP:
There will be no companion characters in PvP fights, at least not in the Warzones, where teams of both factions battle each other. The game modes in pvp will be along the lines of classical pvp variants such as capturing and holding control points and Capture the flag. Thus far we have seen four and eight player warzones.Although there are tests for mass pvp fight going on Georg Zoeller didn't comment on mass pvp fights at that moment.
Furthermore BioWare is working on a warzone where players from the same faction can fight faction each other, but only as a backup solution in case the enemy can't provide enough players. There will also be open world pvp fights in which each faction can pursue missions objectives. Several planets will offer special pvp assignments, which could be something like capturing enemy buildings or eliminating enemy leaders.According to Zoeller this ensures that pvp oriented players can focus on certain areas and it gives them a bit more structure. The question concerning armed combat vehicles, Georg Zoeller answers with a promising maybe... So, chances are the players might be able to ride into combat in vehicles, maybe not in open world pvp but in Warzones. Apart from this, players will be able to fight against other players during some of their regular quests, similar to Warhammer Online, where some quests lead intro enemy territory making an pvp encounter more likely.
Credit to Shellcracker on the translation. There are also three new exclusive images from GameStar - one showing off combat in the Eternity Vault, another showing the inner walls of the Eternity Vault, and an active lava flow area.
Player-versus-player gameplay is an integral part of most modern MMORPGs. However, even some of the most experienced MMORPG players may have reservations when it comes to participating in this facet of the game. There are several factors that make PvP an entirely different (and sometimes very intimidating) experience, and in some of the worst cases, players who traditionally focus on PvE may feel completely alienated by a game's PvP mechanics. By examining some of these dynamics and BioWare's proposals regarding how they will be handled, perhaps we can make PvP in Star Wars: The Old Republic a little less intimidating and a lot more appealing for players who typically wouldn't participate otherwise.
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