SWTOR New York Comic Con Cosplay contest and Cantina Livestream coverage. Updated with more Q&A from the cantina.
Watch live at http://www.twitch.tv/swtor
Very General Q&A from the livestream
- Q: Describe Level Sync for us
- A: Be able to revisit old worlds, play with friends but still feel powerful. You will have all your abilities, passives.
- Q: You can change the role of your companions in Fallen Empire. How does that work?
- A: Right click their portrait to change their role instantly while out of combat. You get to play with whichever companion you like rather be forced due to the their role. They get a different set of abilities depending on if they are healer/tank/dps but the visuals are slightly different between the companions.
Special thanks to ObiWanBaikonur on the forums who provided me with an extensive write up of the Q&A at the cantina tour.
Group Q&A from ObiWanBaikonur
- Q: "Last year at NY ComiCon, you said that there was something ‘better than cross-server’ coming. What is it? Where/when is it?"
- Musco- I did say that, and I’m going to give you the Community Manager answer that we see cross-server queuing as really addressing a symptom, rather than the actual problem. The real problem is that Group Finder pops aren’t happening as fast as we or you would like. That’s for Warzones, Flashpoints, Operations, all of it. So, we that is the problem we are trying to resolve.
- Backus- I will probably lose my job for this, but I can say that there are two things that we are actively working on to address your concerns here and what you describe as ‘better than cross-server’. I can’t say much more than that, except that you will see an announcement and implementation before next New York ComiCon.
- Musco- *with a wink* Subject to change!
- Q: "What’s the next stronghold?"
- Backus- The next one? Well, I can’t say much, but I know that there have been a lot of requests and a strong desire for a more beautiful location for a stronghold. So our team is working on a bunch of new things for strongholds and is looking into some of the more beautiful or interesting locations: Manaan, Alderaan…
- Q: "Why is there a clickable Sabacc table in the Esseles???"
- Backus- Honestly? We were f*cking with you. No, but more seriously, when it comes to mini-games, they’re not as easy to implement as you might think. It takes a lot of development time and we have to balance that against the value added. Some of the games are essentially blackjack and really how much fun would blackjack be in SWTOR? Others would take significant time and I would rather give you, say, ten more chapters, then focus intensely on a mini-game. That said, we’re always thinking about it and we love to hear suggestions from our fans, so if you have an idea that you think would be awesome, write it down!
- Q: "Space PVE?"
- Backus- Nope.
Private Q&A with Michael Backus from ObiWanBaikonur
- Q: "Improvements to appearance customization options?"
- Backus- I want to do a lot more with the montrails and I know there are lots of ideas on the team for new looks for purebloods. We have lots going on that we want to give you guys, so that’s definitely something we’re working on.
- Q: "We want freedom to use whatever weapon. Like a sage with a double-bladed lightsaber."
- Backus- That’s something that we’re really not considering. We love the amount of customization that we’ve been able to give you all so far, but we’re really satisfied with the weaponry being more class or advanced class specific. It helps the feel of the character and as an added benefit, you can readily tell what kind of opponent you’re coming up against in PVP. Maybe you won’t know the role, per se, but you already have some expectations based on their weapon.
- Q: "Back-handed lightsaber stance?"
- Backus- That would be cool, but it would require a lot of work. We would have to re-animate all the movesets and the hit-patterns on targets. It’s not that we couldn’t do it, it’s just that I’d rather we spent our time creating more exciting content, rather than new animations for all the moves.
- "What about for an NPC? Backus- Well, if I created it for an NPC, I could use it for players. Once it’s made, it’s made, but it’s just a lot of work
- Q: "Plans for a new class?"
- Backus- There’s a lot of reasons that this is not really going to happen. For one, we’ve already tapped the most iconic roles in the Star Wars universe and it’s hard to find one that would appeal to enough people to justify the amount of work creating it. When I ask players about their favorite class and why, the overwhelming response centers on the personality of the characters, the persona. Creating that for a new class would involve hundreds or thousands of hours of VO, writing, development. I have so many good ideas and get even greater ones from the fans for what would be really cool, but it comes down to practicality.
- Q: "Will the Macrobinoculars and Seeker Droid quests be reset or locked if you start 4.0?"
- Backus- They should not be, no.
- "Are they part of the general overhaul that Heroics are receiving? Will we be able to choose them and teleport to their entrances?"
- Backus- You know, I really love those quests and think that there are such great mechanics involved, but I think we did it wrong. It feels like too much to ask a player to get a full raid group just to complete the questchain. It’s something that I really want to fix and something that I think we could improve. There are lots of ideas on how to do it–keep it hard, but make it at least mechanically soloable–and I want to include an update to those as a patch sometime a little down the road, but I really do want to fix those so that they are more accessible.
- Q: "I’m concerned that this is going to be like the NGE for Star Wars: Galaxies"
- Backus- I worked with a lot of the guys over at Galaxies, both in the lead up to the launch of SWTOR, and since–great guys, really. The thing about Galaxies is that it had such a small, tight core of dedicated players that really loved the game and the environment that was created there. But the player base was not very large. In a well-intentioned effort to make the game more accessible, the team brought out the NGE to entice more players in. It was such a dramatic change to the entire nature of the game, however, that it really alienated their core players–their biggest fans. They had anticipated this, but figured that the NGE would bring in more people, revitalizing the game and drawing back players who left. Unfortunately, in their case, people had already made up their mind if they liked the game or not and really didn’t end up coming back.
- That’s why we’re not looking to do any major overhaul of the combat system. You’re not going to suddenly, for example, lose a dozen abilities. We make changes here or there and tweak or improve things, but we aren’t going to dramatically change the playing experience like what happened on Galaxies.
- Q: "Will you upgrade SWTOR’s engine?"
- Backus- Short answer? Not in my lifetime.
- When we started out we were using [one system], then we moved to C++ for a while, and eventually we migrated to a proprietary platform that we licensed. It is not the right platform for the game we want, unfortunately. That’s what makes some of the work more difficult than it should be. I’m not going to name names because I don’t want to badmouth the guys who built our engine–they worked really hard and they did a very good job, so I don’t want to say anything bad about them–but we do have certain limitations that I wish we didn’t.
- Q: "Suggestion: Action Photo Booth, because it can be hard to get a cool action shot when you have to be fighting to use a move."
- Backus- That is a really great idea! I see a lot of ways we could make that work. I’m going to write that down!
Costumes will be rated on 4 criteria.
- Cohesive Theme
- Overall Presentation
- Michael Backus (Lead Designer)
- Tait Watson (Community manager)
- Taras Harkavyi (prop maker)
Top 3 based on Judge scores (in no particular order)
- Jedi Sentinel
- Malaena Keiran
- Arcann (41%)
- Jedi Sentinel (22%)
1. Darth Malgus cosplayed by Alberto M.
2. Jedi Sentinel
3. Jedi Consular
5. Sith Acolyte
6. Jedi Walker
7. Malaena Keiran
Some more cosplays that are NOT part of the contest