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SW:TOR London Q&A

Stephen Reid: Any Questions about SW:TOR? Everyone too tired; I understand!

Question: Any capture the base type missions in PvP?

Gabe Amatangelo: So the reason Stephen’s laughing is because its a popular question and… soon we’ll be talking about this stuff; but we wont be talking about it now.

Stephen Reid: Anyone else? Anyone else?

Daniel Erickson: Anyone else got any questions that we wont answer? Questions that we wont answer? I’m willing to not answer any questions.. Oh hes got.. you got a question for me not to answer?

Question: Yeah;

Daniel Erickson: How old is that SW:TOR Dreamcast Shirt!

Question: Erm; why are all the Empire characters British?

Daniel Erickson: That was actually my decision; really early on I wanted too evoke really my memory of the original trilogy and in the original trilogy – although there are a couple of exceptions..

Stephen Reid: Some really weird exceptions;

sw:tor PVP

Daniel Erickson: Yeah; you know Kenobi from SW:TOR and that sort of thing but all of the officers that are evil have that great sort of upper-class British accent and one of the things we wanted to do at the beginning was – we always have to look at the fact that we know where the history goes; so we know at some point that the Sith Empire that we’ve got here and the Galactic Republic are going to sort of form together so we took particular things from each side do they actually come – one or the other and so what I decided was the British accent comes into the StarWars universe via the Sith Empire. So it gives it a very distinct instantly recognizable thing – it also gives a feel of the singularity versus <…> so the Republic are not just the Americans, the Republic is everybody else we got Spanish people in there, we have French accents, we got people coming from all over the world… just no British.. British are the Sith and so it gives good a… it also means; you know one of the great things as soon as I told the staff they were like “oh yeah, we’re going to London; we’re going to get you know, the best British actors- we’re going to make sure; you guys that have played the Agent; you noticed that your accent switches allot when you’re playing the Agent? Because your keeper tells you “hey, loose the accent” so we had too to get a really good pair of British actors that could do an American accents; because a British actor doing a bad American accent doesn’t bother Americans- But an American actor doing a bad British accent; Ohhh Boy! We’d hear about that one very, very quickly. Yeah, so; that is why the British accent, it represents… not evil remember; Faction is different; it just happens to represent a particular culture – a very Imperial culture.


Stephen Reid: … Anymore Questions?

Question: So.. the games been in development for what 6years.. so a while.. so presumably Story, was something that happened fairly early on in the game.. So what are you doing at the moment now? Are you working on expansions?

Stephen Reid: You know what the funny thing about SW:TOR is? You know when people say to you like “hey you work in games, Right? What do you do? Do you just play games all day?” – Thats what Dan does! Thats what Dan does!

Daniel Erickson: So, first of all.. you guys probably noticed if you’ve watched any of the website stuff; I am officially marketings bitch; I am dragged across the world to do these sort of things. One of the things Im working on right now is a Creative Directors role like I am playing every moment of the game everyday and making huge extensive notes saying “hey you guys didn’t understand” the thing is the game is so big the writing department needs to sift through with the only person who can see every single piece of content; so knows “hey, thats actually the art those guys use”.. “hey, that doesn’t actually make sense for these aliens to be in this area” so my notes and notes and notes and notes that go out to all the departments; then allot of that. I’ll change working on that or on the make the game run and come out. So the split duties.

Stephen Reid: Anyone else have a question?

Question: Maybe you can answer this one; no it’s not about PvP

Daniel Erickson: So the question was.. dont you be making fun of peoples accents.. he would make a perfectly acceptable Twi’lek.. The question was how much of the game is grinding to level vs things that are actually done for questing and its 100% Zero. The game is actually balanced out so that if you’re doing 100% content you never ever ever have to grind and if your skipping some of the content, the great part is; there will be Rest XP thats not in now, so that’ll help you out..

Stephen Reid: What!?!

Daniel Erickson: Yes, we’ve talked about that..

Stephen Reid: Oh yeah.. Ok..

Daniel Erickson: So.. there will be XP for SW:TOR Warzones, there will be XP for the Space Game so if you dont want to do every quest in every place you don’t have too. But there is never a time where you will have quests open and you’re going to need to go kill some critters in the woods. You get bonus quests! and those help too and usually thats like “hey, kill two of those birds if you wouldn’t normally anyway.. you guys got to see some of the bonus quests; yeah; do they feel like..; yeah; like you just gotta pick it up as you go “hey, this ones for..” its a funny particular thing about MMO’s, that now I’m kinda bothered if I’m something and I don’t have a quest for it, like I’m probably going to skirt around people if I’m like “you’re not worth anything to me” you completely forget that you’re still getting XP for it; so the bonus quests make you feel that you’re always making progress with whatever you’re actually doing out there.

Question: So as I understand it, the decisions you make, they’re not reversible are they? I know that you were talking about your Advanced Classes that you may possibly give the option in the future to change that if you’re going to make a mistake. In your story options, where you’re… I don’t know.. Good or Bad, what if you’re half asleep one night and you accidentally pressed the wrong button and killed a guy.. that you quite liked is there anyway for coming back from that? and how do think people will react?

Daniel Erickson: So the question is.. is there any coming back from decisions you make in SW:TOR story; are they permanent? The answer is, absolutely yes. We are flying by the seat of our hands/pants, we have no safe button and its very <…> in testing; you guys can play this a little bit differently seeing as your only playing for 45minutes you go.. when you watch people testing with their permanent characters, when people are in the closed testing and they’ve got you know, they’ve got a month or whatever to play. You can actually see, through our telemetry the places where people stopped touching the keyboard and its very often in a very big choice moment and we’ll see that somebody sat in that conversation for 30 minutes. When somebody just stops; its very often on those big choices. It is possible to do things; for instance it is possible in the game to kill a companion character.. Ten years later, if you’re still playing SW:TOR. He’s still dead, so you gotta think loong and hard about this stuff; Now even if there is a way to come back from it.. that one.. No.. he’s dead. But light side/dark side theres always chances for light side/dark side points; right so you can always go out into the world and try to make it a better place, one of the things we actually did, infact one of the Crew Skills is diplomacy and one of the things you can do with diplomacy is send your people out to do good or bad things in your name; so its sort of the. So you think the rich robber Baron that got all his money by doing really bad things and now he’s giving it all to charity; because he’s heading towards the end of his life. You know, you can try some last minute redemption, if you want too.

Stephen Reid: I’m going to give you a 5minute warning here.

Question: When it comes too player retention long-term is the goal for you guys to have PvP and continuous releases of additional content or is the focus more around getting players play different classes; restart on new characters each time.

Daniel Erickson: Steve you want to take this one?

Stephen Reid: Theres a couple of different things in there; In terms of are we planning to make additional content to SW:TOR…

Daniel Erickon: We’re talking about this game right now and we’re going to get this game out. We’ll talk about new things later.

Stephen Reid: As Dan said before.. we all want to keep our jobs, so yeah, thats probably going to happen. In terms of your questions, its essentially what the SW:TOR endgame is?

Question: Sort of, its about what your idea is. Do you want people to be trying all the classes or will there be a PvP/Endgame feature so you dont have too

Daniel Erickson: Yeah ok, I guess I can talk to that. So.. we started talking about, You know.. you’ve got completely different content on one side from the other, of course nobody is going to try it all out; but its 100% different between the Republic and the Empire. You can play all the way through and then all the way through again and experience a completely different MMO and we started talking about this and everyone was saying “oh my god they expect us to play every single class” we understand that allot of players really like to keep their character and allot of those people are raiding and endgame players. So the answer to this is, people who are big RPG guys right, people who are coming here from more a BioWare class RPG side are here for the story and that stuff its very likely that they’re going to get to the end of their trilogy and they’re going to start again. People who are more like classic MMO fans who love their raids and they love the endgame content; we’re going to have a full structure and a full support for them to do their thing. But they’re one small percentage community and then the guys who want to do the RPG are another small percentage so you gotta take all of those guys into account right and then there are the “hey, I’m going to log off and come back to the game when an expansion comes out”

sw:tor release

Question: Is there anything that you can tell us about. That noone questions you about?

Stephen Reid: Well luckily everybody asks about the Release Date..

Daniel Erickson: Is there anything I can talk about that nobody ever asks me about? Yeah I got a thousand pages of backstory on SW:TOR. I was going to say nobody ever asks me about Republic and Imperial wedding rituals but I had to write a whole post on the forums about it. So.. very few people have talked to me about art. I dont think theres really anything that hasn’t already been pretty thoroughly covered.. our forums are very active and theres allot of very interesting questions in there; the one that I will say I sort of wince at, is… so many of the guys are big lore guys and will ask lore questions and I get in an answer those, because I can answer those and theres always one guy who will come up and post on the forum and be like “oh sure, the devs will talk about this!” well I’m like well I’m the lead writer! Like, this is exactly my bread and butter. So if anybody wants to talk about why Sith art is the way it is; we’ve got several pages of documentation on it – and it seems like a joke, but it is actually true; one of the things that people really don’t get about a game like this is that we have thousands of pages of stuff that has nothing to do with quests. Its for the Writers, the writers come in first, the writers figure out what the world is and that informs the actual Concept Artists and stuff their doing and then that informs the World design. The reason things feel like a complete living world, where things fit together is because of all that stuff. People then say “are we ever going to be able to see that document?” It is not actually very interesting. These are things that the writers should know and hopefully the players will never ever be exposed too.


Question: Which version of SW:TOR game are we playing? Like how recent is it?

Stephen Reid: This version is… 1.. There have been some minor upgrades in the newest version from this one

Question: Because we can see you have bugs, and would that give us a possible look at how far the game is from release?

Stephen Reid: Yes. We have Bugs on SW:TOR!
Daniel Erickson: Update on SW:TOR. Not Bug free! I will say that the version that I have as a different UI in it.

Stephen Reid: Yeah. I mean No. Yeah there are bugs. I said this in the last thing, I’ll say it again. The game is actually.. its colossal. Think of the very very, most biggest thing you’ve ever seen and the multiply it by five. It’s huge. So <…> the thing is most of the bugs in this game are what we would call, there are several classifications, but they are very low priority ones. The main ones, the ones that we really freak out about are what we call path-blockers which means “your class quest is broken, you cannot progress through the game, because your class quest is broken” <…> and that sort of stuff we work out first. Other major ones are “this breaks the game!”. But stuff like this is a graphical error or whatever those type of things will be addressed.

Question: Will it run on Mac?

Stephen Reid: We are currently developing for the Windows platform, which incidentally runs on the Mac through bootcamp.

Question: What is your social rank and valour. and What do they do?

Stephen Reid: Someone looked at the Character Sheet! Daniel you talk about Social and I’ll ask Gabe about Valour..

Daniel Erickson: So whats your valour and your social rank? So your social rank is, er.. how many of you guys were playing multiplayer dialogue together, anybody, ok. So you guys were gaining Social points. You get social points when you win multiplayer dialogue stuff. You’ll get them in flashpoints, there things that say “hey, I’m a social guy. I talk to other players.” You can then use those social points, to do things! Which I’m apparently not allowed to say, but the things you can buy with your social points are thing you can use to socialize with and then theres Valour which is…

Gabe Amatangelo: .. It has something to do with PvP. Unfortunately, that’s all I can say, because I just checked with marketing and thats all I can say right now. So stay tooned!