Mar 1, 2012

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Gabe Amatangelo Interview: Add-ons, Combat Log, Cross-Server, Ranked PvP & More!

The fine folks over at long-time Australian fan site TOROZ have just posted a brand new video interview with Lead End-game Designer Gabe Amatangelo. Apparenlty, Gabe was down under for the launch festivities taking place over the past few days, and took some time to meet with fans and fan sites.

There are definitely some interesting tidbits to come out of this, which are compiled below. I don’t know about you, but these changes look pretty exciting! We’ll keep an eye out for more coverage from the Asia-Pacific launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic. In the mean time, enjoy!

Thanks to TorBoard for the notes compilation!

Gear/Warzone/Commendation Changes

  • Lesser end-game commendations (Champion, Centurion, etc.) will not be exchangable.
  • There will be two levels of warzones. Regular and Ranked warzones.
  • Regular warzones will give out regular WZ commendations, and Ranked warzones will give out ranked WZ commendations.
  • New intro PVP set for new level 50 players to fill gap in gear.
  • There will be some “fun” uses for commendations you dont need anymore.

Ranked PVP

  • Phase one will be server specific.
  • Phase two (coming in the future) will have cross-server queuing.

General/UI Changes

  • Combat log coming soon.
  • DPS meters/Parsers will be done by 3rd party addons via combat log.
  • Free/Paid Server transfers are being worked on but no date provided. They want to make sure the process is perfect before releasing this.

Cross-Server Queuing

  • Coming in phase two of pvp changes (later than 1.2)
  • Priority is on playing with people from your own server.
  • As soon as you start choosing certain things (which warzone, ranked, etc.). It becomes more difficult for you to get a WZ with server players so you go into the cross-server


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Feb 11, 2012

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Friday Q&A #1 – Dual-Spec Incoming, Cross-Server Warzone Queuing & More

BioWare has a whole new kind of Friday Update in store for players of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and they kicked it off yesterday with a bang!

Each Tuesday, BioWare will open an official Q&A thread on the forums, and 10 questions will be answered and posted on Friday. This week we got a bonus, as there were 15 questions answered, and some of them hit on some hot topics.

One of the biggest was arguably about dual spec:

Aurozia: Will there be a dual specialization system in the future? Will there be a possibility of changing advance classes as well?

Daniel Erickson: We have no plans for switching advanced classes – which we see as fundamentally different class designs- but dual spec is in the works and coming soon.

Glad to hear they aren’t even considering advanced class switching, but dual spec is certainly even a departure from previous design stances.

Another one started out with Warzones, but ended up being about cross-server queueing:

Simoon: Will you be adding the option to choose what Warzone you enter a queue for?

Gabe Amatangelo: Not until we introduce cross server queuing. If we were to allow players to choose their Warzone before they could queue across servers, then it would negatively affect how often every player would see a Warzone – and for every player that loves a certain Warzone there is another player that hates it. The population would end up divided by their Warzone choice, negatively affecting the time it would take for a specific Warzone to become available for anyone. With cross server queuing we will still have a preference to match players of the same server, but those players who choose specific preferences such as these will likely end up in a match with players in the larger Wargroup.

What do you guys think about these changes? Good or bad? As someone who has been following the game since before day one of the announcement well over 3 years ago, things like dual spec and cross-server play were dismissed for one reason or another, at one time or another. I am curious as to the change in philosophy that would prompt these.

There are a few other notable questions in there, so you should pop over and have a read. And don’t forget to check the forums Tuesday when the new thread is opened, and you have a chance to ask your own!

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Jan 25, 2012

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Gabe Amatangelo Talks PvP, Faction Balance, Mods And More With Total Biscuit

The Cynical Brit is back, and this time he brought with him a nice audio interview with BioWare’s Lead End-game Designer Gabe Amatangelo!

Fans of Star Wars: The Old Republic will enjoy the entire interview, but the portion about mods and add-ons was particularly interesting to me. TotalBiscuit also doesn’t pull any punches when asking about how end-game shinies reconcile with a story-driven RPG.

Have a listen, and make sure to always check out the Cynical Brit for fun of all sorts!

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Jan 16, 2012

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Yellow Posts: High Rez Update, LFG System, Crew Skills, And The GTN

Hopefully this week will be much more informative than the last, especially since the devs have been crazy active on the forums this week. By now, you’ve probably heard about the “high resolution texture problem” in SWTOR. Basically, high resolution textures are only available for in-conversation cutscenes and when you are playing out in the game normally the texture quality is lowered. One of the responses that Stephen Reid, Senior Online Community Coordinator, posted in the official thread actually states in which update we will see more graphics options: 1.2.

…The first major changes will be in our next major Game Update, which will have the version number of 1.2. Those changes will bring greater visual fidelity to your character and those around you, but will still allow for good performance in situations where a lot of characters are on-screen at once. In other words, for those screenshots of your character in their best gear, you should see a marked improvement…

The game has been officially out for less than a month and we are getting our first major content patch. Hopefully, it will only take about another month to see these changes implemented!

Responding to a post by Obi-Wun, Damion Schubert, Principal Lead Systems Designer, talks a little bit about BioWare’s plans for a “looking for group” tool. What it boils down to is that, at this moment in time, most players are still confined to a few areas in the game, the fleet, mid-to-low-level planets, etc…and an official tool to automatically find groups for flashpoints and heroic quests is not needed currently. However, Mr. Schubert and the whole BioWare staff are quite aware that as players continue to reach the end game and more content becomes available a true LFG tool will become necessary. Given that, they are going to be implementing a true LFG tool soon™:

Improving our LFG system is high on the list of features that Systems Design wants to add to the game. We want this to be good not just for helping people find Flashpoints and Operations to run, but also other multiplayer content like heroic missions. A key emphasis will be on advertising for specific role needs (healer, tank, DPS). This feature is currently in the design stage, and once this feature has moved beyond this to a development stage and has a firm ETA, I’ll be coming back to you guys to give more details.

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Jan 12, 2012

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James Ohlen And Gabe Amatangelo Drop Some Deets On Legacy, Guilds, Warzones

Some of the press coverage surrounding Rise of the Rakghouls – the first content patch for Star Wars: The Old Republic – has revealed some interesting tidbits on the Legacy System. In two separate interviews, BioWrare developers tease players with thoughts that went into the system, as well as features they might expect.

First up, GameSpot spoke to James Ohlen, Game Director for Star Wars: The Old Republic. In the talk, Ohlen elaborates on the intentions of the Legacy System:

We wanted to have a system that encouraged players to create alts and to play the game through the different story paths. So the legacy system is meant to do that. 

As an added bonus, Ohlen reveals that the next game update, coming in March, will be when they release guild banks, PvP rankings, and more including something that intrigues me greatly – the events system:

In addition to that we have a team we’re calling the events team, and I can’t go into too much detail, but we’ll be talking more about it in the future. We have a team that is focused essentially on providing content and events throughout the galaxy that make the Star Wars: The Old Republic galaxy a living, breathing galaxy where things are changing. 

Next, PC Gamer talked with Lead Endgame and PvP Designer Gabe Amatangelo about the Legacy System as well. He expanded on the family tree concept, and revealed that your future login screen might look a tad different than it does now:

You’ll be able to use the system to create specific relationships between all of your characters, turning the jumbled pile of characters on your login screen into an organized family tree of fathers, daughters, wives, and brothers.

There’s actually some heavy new info dropped here and should get players of Star Wars: The Old Republic players pretty pumped. So if you were one of those ready to abandon the game for one of any number of minor reasons, you may want to hold out just a little longer…

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