Apr 25, 2011

Posted by in News | 1 Comment

Yellow Posts: Playing Favorites

With the fan site summit getting underway this week, as well as having a major holiday one would expect developer posts to be slow.  Lucky for us, this was not the case over the week.

Damion Schubert had a somewhat lengthy post addressing a few key points about grouping and how conversations will work:

We’ve put a lot of time and effort into making sure that group play and playing with a partner is important.  To answer some of the individual questions: 
1. No, Republic and Imperial players cannot meaningfully group or play with each other.  For the most part, they have entirely different content and progression paths through their planets.
2. If you’re on the same side, once you leave your Origin World, your class stories will tend to take you to roughly the same planets, areas and quest hubs at the same time (even if you are not the same class).  This has proven pretty vital to keeping groups together and happy.  There are quest areas that the class stories do not drive you towards, where play is more freeform.
3. Most of the key moments of a class story happen in a class phase.  You can enter the class phases of party members (to, for example, help out with combat events).  Many players choose to, but many also choose not to, instead choosing to craft, farm xp, or do their own class quest if it happens to be nearby.
4. There are moments where the class quests send you to largely divergent locations (for example, a Jedi might be sent back to Tython to report in to the council, whereas another class is sent to an abandoned asteroid facility).  These tend to be relatively obvious and relatively synchronized with each other.  In most of my own playthroughs, the group typically chooses to do these events on their own time.
This is, obviously, an area of great importance to us, and one we continue to iterate on, but it is one area of the game where we’ve made a lot of progress, design-wise.  It’s quite fun, right now, to play the game with a steady group.


This should relieve some fears that if grouped together, one person would not have any of their class quests or have any real quests to do.  From what Damion said, if you group and do those quests you will arrive and leave planets around the same time.

Damion also gave us some insight in response to a question about which faction the developers will be playing:

Having worked in the industry for many years, I can tell you the answer is “whichever one you’re not playing — whatever that is.”

Wiser words have never been spoken.

With the next issue of PC Gamer hitting store shelves in Europe, a few lucky subscribers had a copy early and tried to translate the articles and interviews.  Translation is always tricky and Georg Zoeller was on the case when it came to a bad translation.

I think the translation makes it sound like I’m avoiding something there, which isn’t the case. First, we fully understand why dual spec is a popular topic.  Currently, we do not see the need to allow for dual spec at release. It’s something that we’ll definitely monitor over time, but we do think there is enough flexibility in the class system to keep people occupied well past launch.

Not a big shock here, knowing that you cannot change your advanced class (as of right now), it would only make scene that one cannot dual spec.  I do not see a dual spec coming to TOR, since it can really change the dynamic of the class on a dime.  While this may work for groups that are short on a certain class type, it may not bode well for the game in the long run and hardly changes any class shortages.

The big news for the community was not the Friday update on Drew Karpyshyn’s book, but on the closure of the Off-Topic and Visitor Wall sections of the forums.  With only a post saying each section would no longer be available after April 22, some members were very upset.

Stephen Reid jokingly responded to Soulgazer who was asking if the update would contain any explanation as to why each area was closed:

Conspiracy theories! The perfect solution for those times when the world just doesn’t make sense. 
Sorry, the closing of Off-Topic and wall posts has zero to do with tomorrow’s update.
Better luck next time, Soulgazer! Thanks for playing.

Stephen also addressed a thread about the non-serious tone of posts that had been made, only to reply with more witty banter:

Fun fact: Office Space was partially filmed literally half-a-mile from our offices. Truth! 
Pro tip: if you want to imitate a troll, make sure you don’t put in subtle references like that. (Don’t worry, I knew you were kidding. :))
Did we mention we’ll be at E3 in June? I can give you directions if you like. ;)
I’d actually say that Damion’s response was very deliberately neutral. In fact now I think on it, he may actually be one of those dirty neutral types 
After all, if we ever suggest we actually play a faction – any faction – we get accused of bias. Imagine!
We actually got eggs today. And these strange things called ‘peeps’. Many peeps. And R2-D2 
Busy devs are busy. Not much more to it than that, folks. :)

Busy developers are busy hopefully working on the game and not playing games to see who can eat the most peeps in an hour.

David Bass (When not playing Portal 2), had time to tease us about a possible embargo for the Fan Site Summit being lifted at the same time as the U.K. event.

The press have a months embargo because some of it comes out in paper form. Fan sites post on their respective sites + podcast, so we could see the embargo being lifted around the same time as the press embargo!

That sounds entirely plausible.

Back on the topic of Advanced Classes, Georg again confirmed that BioWare has no plans for a dual spec system.

Correct. The ability to respec your skill point distribution is still in the game.
Summary, since this is a confusing topic: You can change your skill point distribution by paying credits at a vendor on your capital world. That has not changed. 
You may or may not be able to change your Advanced Class, we haven’t decided on this one yet. If you can, the cost would be significant. That has not changed. 
There is currently no plan to add dual spec (the ability to swap almost instantly between two skill point configurations) for launch. At this point, it seems not necessary for us, but we’re not opposed to add it at a later point / patch should we feel that the game would benefit from it. 
Hope that helps.

  1. I really wish Georg would have revisted the Buffed magazine article and clarified the statements on PvP regarding all levels in a single warzone. I don’t think anyone actually knew what that meant.

Leave a Reply