SWTOR Gamescom Cantina Tour Q&A
A selection of the Gamescom Cantina Q&A gathered from around the web. Updated August 9 with new Q&A
The following Q&A were obtained from Bureau of Research on Progenitor
From lead designer :
- GSF : was a guildmate of mine asking it at first and indeed we talked with him later. He said that we will see new things in a year. No news for now, too much work for KOTFE
- New statistics : primary stats will be removed ( strength etc ) and a new stats will take place to represent the main stats for every class, called "mastery". Didn’t asked about the secondary stats unfortunately. Moreover, they are going to adjust all the stats mechanics and stats forms gear.
- All class are going to receive new skill and stats. I think he intended more likely ROTHC than SOR ( he smiled at me nodding)
- Nightmare operations will NEVER exist anymore. Only story and hard, forever. (Note: this refers to ToS/Ravagers and any upcoming new operations after the release of KotFE)
- All the gear from companion that will die or disappear for long time will return automatically in your inventory.
- Old planets will have no changes from KOTFE. It would be too much work.
Story SPOILERS from lead writer
From Not Dripeas
- Q: As the Combat Team is one of the many that report everything to you, do you have any Information on the Madness Sorc | Balance Sage’s ‘broken’ Wrath Proc and the overall Force Management.
- A: I think we fixed that one with 3.3 (Wrath), but if it wasn’t patched I’ll definitely take care of it. So if it’ll be patched with the coming Patch you’ll know it’s because of you.
- #1 – Training Dummy Decorations are still WIP. No ETA.
- #2 – PVP Nexu Mount was not given out randomly, but to those players that performed best in Ranked PVP AND/OR UNRANKED PVP.
- #3 – It’s a Bug that not all decorations can be donated to the guild (i.e. Trophy – Lance Squadron Command Unit) Looking into it.
James Ohlen talks to Christiane Imdahl
James Ohlen talks to host Christiane Imdahl recorded by Jerba
Christiane: Nice to have you here on stage. How are you doing? What do you say to our crowd?
James Ohlen: It’s great to be here at Gamescom! Love Star Wars!
Christiane: It’s amazing, it’s amazing. So many people are really into it, it’s fantastic here. So we would like to know a bit more about SWTOR. So maybe we could start with that you could tell me why the Gameplay is Evolving. Like you’re going back to the Roots of BioWare. Why is that?
James Ohlen: Well, I think the roots of BioWare is Storytelling, and SWTOR has always put Storytelling at the forefront. The dream of SWTOR was to create the endless BioWare Story set in the Star Wars Universe. And it’s something that we’ve always been aiming to do. And over the years, we’ve, as a team, we’ve been coming together, we’ve been developing the tools, and we’ve really been focussing ourselves. Last year, we revealed an Expansion called Shadow of Revan which was much more Story-focused but this year, we wanted to take it to the next level, and KotFE is the best storytelling that we’ve ever done in SWTOR. It really is a loveletter to fans of KotOR and Mass Effect; people who love that style of gameplay in The Old Republic universe.
Christiane: So what does it really mean for the gameplay? So what’s so special about it?
James Ohlen: Well, BioWare Storytelling, that’s the, that’s what makes it different. And when I talk about BioWare Storytelling, I think I would define it as Cinematic Storytelling, Storytelling where you’re the Hero in an Epic Saga Struggling against a Great Evil. Storytelling where you get to make Choices, and those Choices Impact how the Story unfolds. Also, great Characters, Companion Characters, just Characters who you love. If you think about Star Wars and BioWare, it’s all about having great companions. In Star Wars, you have, you know, Chewbacca and Artoo, C-3PO and Han Solo. And in BioWare games, you always have, you know, a collected bunch of Companion Characters that adventure with the main Hero.
Christiane: So there’s also Episodic Storytelling. What does it mean, episodic?
James Ohlen: So, we want to release KotFE with nine chapters, and then after that, about a monthly cadence, we want to release a new chapter like every month, so chapter 10, 11, 12, and our inspiration for that, that kind of Storytelling, is, it came from a lot of different sources. And one of them is Star Wars itself. So Star Wars was an episodic movie series, you know. When George Lucas first was thinking of it, he wanted to do a 12-episode series; he was going to do 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; then he decided to end it at Return of the Jedi, and now it’s resurrected again with Episode 7. But he was also inspired by the serials from the 40s and 50s: Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. So there’s always been– Star Wars has always been about that serialized Storytelling format. And from a more modern perspective, you know, we look at the great shows that can be told on HBO and Netflix, and you can tell some amazing stories when you do that kind of Episodic Storytelling.
Christiane: What is your favorite Star Wars character then?
James Ohlen: My favorite Star Wars character? Well, it’s kind of an obvious one. My favorite Star Wars movie is Empire Strikes Back, and the hero of that movie in my mind was Darth Vader. So, I’ve always loved Darth Vader as a character. He’s very iconic; I love the image of him, I love him as a villain. He, in my mind, is the greatest villain of the 20th century. So, love that guy, although I really him because he is a villain, but I love the concept of him.
Christiane: Yeah, he’s a great character. So I heard that the game will start at level 60, so what’s for players that have never played the game before?
James Ohlen: So, with KotFE we wanted to make sure that people who were returning to the game, or people who had never tried out the game, were able to jump right in. So– But at the same time, we don’t want our existing fans to feel like they’re being left out. So, the Story revolves around the Outlander, who is a Veteran of the wars from the main game, and if you are a person who has already been playing the game, you have a veteran of the wars because you have your main character. And several years passed, and that character becomes the Outlander. But if you are a new player, you can create a brand-new Outlander; choose whether it’s going to be male or female, the appearance, what class they are going to be, and then that Outlander becomes your main character in the game. So you can jump right in as an old fan but you can also jump in as a totally new player.
Christiane: So great choice for all players, that’s fantastic. So it’s free for subscribers, that’s amazing. Why is that?
James Ohlen: You know, that wasn’t entirely altruistic reasons. Obviously, we’re a business. But the main reason we wanted to do that, the game, it comes to our inspiration, right? Like, when you look at a TV series, an episodic series, you want the audience to be enjoying the most recent episode together. And we felt that if we had another kind of scheme, where you had to pay for episodes, that we might divide the audience. We want them to all be able to subscribe, and then just play through all the content, and get to the latest episode, and talk about it, with a friend. So that’s one of the major reasons why we decided to go free with subscription.
Christiane: That sounds just fantastic. Thank you very much for all the information, about Star Wars: The Old Republic.
August 7 Q&A
Audio of the August 7 Q&A provided by Nolifecrew
New August 7 Q&A from Aries_CZ
- How long will Season 2 of KotFE be?
- Not willing to answer, it might, and it might not
- New stuff for Starfighter?
- Backus loves GSF.Not everything about KotFE has been announced. Would love to do a lot of stuff with GSF. Come to talk later when head of Marketing is not around
- Different class content?
- One story, but with differences based on classes, some classes may run into something other will not
- Will KOTFE bring graphical update?
- All new content has better graphics, not improving engine
- New PvP maps?
- Point of 3.3 was to fix population of PvP. Constantly prototyping new WZs internally. Nothing to announce on timing, but always working on new stuff. Same goes for Ops and FPs
- More Seeker and Macrobinocular stuff?
- Story would be spoiler. Original quests were tied to Dread Master. More stuff "might" happen
- Guild transfers?
- Working on a stuff that might make it easier for guilds to move (not losing ship, decos, etc)
- Cross server?
- Not ignoring the issue, something awesome in the works
- DX12/x64 version of client
- Have discussed it, no decision so far. Goal is to allow more people to play regardless of hardware
- Where are Republic characters in trailers
- Musco killed them all, because Charles likes them 🙂 There is a lot more of the expansions that hasn’t been shown yet. Nobody is better than Ky Zyken 🙂
- Will there be 50-55 modes for Operations
- We are in for a treat. Level-syncing, whatever level operation opened at, it will sync you to minumum level it originally existed. Or maybe boost people to highest level player? Not sure…
- Some flashpoints are important to the story, and have been given SOLO modes
- More Strongholds?
- Come talk to us later
- More OPS?
- Not this year, because shitload of work
- Will Operation gear tiers be removed?
- Enitre game reitemized, changed almost every quest
- Will bonus bosses in Ops scaled?
- If Operation is scaled, so will the bosses
- Does /bug report location?
- When will mercs get a PvP boost?
- Changes are coming
- New Fleet where the Imps / Pubs actually can talk and interact.
- Yes, similar to Ziost but imagine it being the "new" hub of the expansion. It is close to the size of the current fleets, main level
- What happens to companion armor currently equipped if we may lose some of them in the expansion
- Don’t worry we will tell everyone beforehand what to do
- What about GSF?
- Will reveal soon
- What about lvl 50 space missions?
- He smiled and then said, "Don’t worry, we have something up sleeve for that
- I asked Eric about the male Togruta, and it’s unlikely that there will be a change – that’s how it sounded to me.
- In a small group we talked to one of the designers (sorry I forgot his name) about Grimtooth, the Rancor of Makeb. The conclusion there is, that if there is an Legacy achievement, then it must be doable, and therefore he will look into it.
- We also talked to him about the "Sharp Dresser" title or how it is called. He said he would at least look into it as well.
- If you arrive in the new expansion, there will be a double warning that you cannot go back and finish any of your quests which are still open ! Especially class quests !
- We stood up in a group and talked to Ben Scott. Not sure whether this was mentioned before, but he was asked whether the collection will get a search function. His answer was that he is not allowed to answer this now, but there will be changes. He hinted to the collection when getting asked for more cargo bay spaces.
- In addition he said that you will be asked twice before starting the KotFE quest. Every unfinished class story, companion story and the other storylike quest lines (like Rishi/Yavin, Ziost) will disappear and cannot be finished anymore. Nevertheless he confirmed that you will still have access to all planets you could visit before as well as the fleet. The known planets will look as they ever did.
August 6 Q&A
From jedipedia twitter
- No new fleet planned but there is a central hub you can travel to during the expansion
- There are big changes to crafting coming which they will explain later in a blog post.
- To add to that, someone mentioned that apparently they are planning to make gathering nodes adaptive, give you mats based on your crew skill level and the planet you are on (source)
- Very early designs for SWTOR had a free roam space where you can drive your ship around and AT-AT walkers you could drive.
- Companions are being changed so you choose them based on their story aspect (i.e. who you like) rather than what they can do abilities wise. More details on this later.
- Nico Okarr is only available as a sub reward right now, not sure if it will be on cartel market later. (Eric Musco confirmed that you can either sub by July 31 or August 10 to get it, not sure if referrals 7 day sub work or not).
- Base game has been modified to reduce the time it takes to reach 1-60 (150-200 hrs) to the time it takes to finish KOTOR for example.
From RA_Rashia (General QA)
Watch the video for full experience as I skipped/paraphrased some of the answers.
- Q: Will Colicoid War Games and Directive 7 get upscaled to level 65?
- Have to talk to George Smith, they are meant to be on the list of FPs to be upscaled.
- Q: Has the core vision of the game changed?
- Originally we had a concept of the galaxy being low tech and sort of post-apocalyptic but ultimately we decided it wasn’t feeling iconic star wars. The core vision of the game is a story driven exciting adventure you can share with your friends.
- Where we are now is what we should have been. With SOR we raised the bar with storytelling. Choices/dialogues got better but Fallen Empire will blow it away.
- Free flight space – getting on a ship and fly anywhere you wanted to, AT-ST/AT-ATs you could actually drive around were originally on the list of things to do. This was the old wall of crazy we originally had.
- Q: What about choices that matter globally or world changing?
- This is not a single player game so it is hard to do these things. It is something we have struggled with for 7 years. With Fallen Empire you will see decisions you made with companions and events that will have ramifications far down the road. It is hard with our technology to do world changing events.
- Q: With restructuring of the companions, what does it mean for crafting?
- No comment at this time. There are some big changes coming with crafting that I am not going to get into it as that is something we will announce later on. Companions play into that so you can expect some changes.
- Q: No new operations, how do you see that going in the future?
- We are scaling all the FPs/OPs to max level. Some story important flashpoints turned into solo mode. Our goal is to make all flashpoints/operations relevant no matter the level. So even when we add in more levels later, they will always be relevant. By doing this rescaling now, we are paving the road to add future ops/flashpoints.
- Q: Do you have any insider trading info to give out for someone who is trying to max/max crafting for Fallen Empire right now?
- We are restructuring all of the crafting. Low level players can get useable mats from high level nodes and vice versa. You not going to hurt yourself no mater what you do.
- Q: Chat bubbles/hood toggle?
- There is a performance issue with chat bubbles and we are working to solve that as it is something we really want. It is not a promise though. Once we get around the performance issue we will make a big announcement about it.
- Q: Melee feels worthless in current operations
- It was completely unintentional that bosses were getting really melee unfriendly. I went to the QA and said when you test bosses you have a group full of melee and a group full of ranged. If the full melee group can’t beat the boss we will go back to the drawing board. We now have a way to test this so melee classes are not constantly feeling screwed. The Ziost operation boss is very ranged unfriendly for example because we felt sorry for the melee.
- From a design perspective, it is very easy to fall into the trap to make it punishing for melees, we are not trying to do it intentionally.
- Q: Fleet
- No significant change to fleet in Fallen Empire but that doesn’t mean you will always be on the fleet. There is another location that will have supplemental activities.
From RA_Rashia (Q&A with the Voice Actor)
If you went to the Gamescom cantina and have more Q&A feel free to let me know in the comments and I will add them in.