Q&A with BioWare's Brian Arndt
For the last few hours of E3 2010, LucasArts opened its doors to all the fans who were unable to see Star Wars: The Old Republic earlier in the show. Even though I had an opportunity for a previous viewing, I had more questions for the developers, and this was the perfect opportunity to get some face time with the amazing team at BioWare once again.
This time, I had a chance to meet with Brian Arndt, Media Designer at BioWare. He took some time out of his hectic schedule on this closing day of E3 to answer a few last questions for me.
Matt Jarbo: Since player ships are being billed as a sort of “housing”, where you might go relax after adventuring, how will you avoid the problem of players not frequenting social hubs for commerce and other activities that require other players? How will the game world still feel “alive” if everyone is hanging out in their ships?
Brian Arndt: The player ship is a lot like the Normandy from Mass Effect. Players will use it to talk with NPC’s and their companions between missions. The ship will mainly be used a storage unit.
Editor’s Note: This is a misquote of what Brian actually said about player ships. He came to the official forums to clear it up. There obviously is no “saving” in an MMO… here’s a link to his response on the community forums (and we apologize profusely for the inaccuracy of the transcription!):
Think i was a little miss-quoted on that one. The player ships are a base of operations (simliar to the Normandy in ME) where you companions will hang out and you can talk to them. It is a place to bring your friends and do a few other things that we aren’t quite ready to talk about just yet! Saving is definitely not something you would do in our MMO.
MJ: There have been a lot of mixed feelings from the fans about the announcement of companions for TOR. Why should players be excited about the sidekicks?
BA: I don’t see why they aren’t excited. The companions are like your squad mates in Mass Effect. You bring them in to battle with you, and they help add to the intensity of the battle. There are several abilities we haven’t announced yet for the companions that are going to be amazing. Plus, no one has seen them in action yet, and once they do, they’ll be sold.
MJ: Will there be in-game social activities that revolve around world events or holidays like Christmas, New Years, etc…?
BA: If you see them in other MMO’s, they will most likely be in TOR.
MJ: In regards to Warzones, are these pure PvP areas, or is there a mix of PvE objectives and enemies within them? Some might call this PvPvE.
BA: I can’t say at this time.
MJ: We saw the Bounty Hunter Progression video, which looked great. Is there only one armor progression style per class?
BA: No, there are several armor types per class. In fact, new items are being added all the time. We chose to show these four armor types to show the drastic changes between them.
MJ: Will you have cross-sever play for PvE or PvP at the launch to lessen the wait time to participate in specific events or content?
BA: Not at the moment.
MJ: Thank you for your time.
BA: You’re welcome.