Jan 12, 2012

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Rise Of The Rakghouls: Game Update 1.1 Launches January 17th (Video & Screenshots)

Massively’s Larry Everett got a nice scoop on the first content patch for Star Wars: The Old Republic called Rise Of The Rakghouls! Larry had a chance to chat with Gabe Amatangelo about the new content, as well as other fixes and improvements.

Dynamic lighting - YES PLEASE!

Dynamic lighting - YES PLEASE!

First is the new Flashpoint, Rise Of The Rakghouls. I have to say after reading this paragraph, it got me excited. Every player holds a flashlight so they can see their way around? I’ve been waiting for YEARS for an MMO to implement some sort of lighting into gameplay:

Amatangelo says it’s his personal favorite flashpoint: “The setting is awesome. It’s dark with huge shadows, and everyone has flashlights they’ve got use to see their way through it. One of the first boss encounters puts your back up against the wall, and things are coming out from all different directions. Rakghouls have all the different kinds of mechanics.

Further down the page, Amatangelo talks about the state of Ilum, and some of the problems that lead to some of the problems! BioWare was aware of the behavior that would emerge due to some broken timers, but you can read why they made the decision to go as they did:

“The objectives on Ilum were supposed to be on timers, and the timers were supposed to be locked down,” says Amatangelo. “But in the 11th hour, the timers weren’t working. So we knew what kind of behavior was going to evolve there. It’s not like we were going to delay launch to fix that. But with 1.1, we are going to be handling a lot of those issue with a bunch of improvements there, like focusing on killing players.

They go on to talk about the expanded Karagga’s Palace operation and other PvP such as outlaws den. Head on over to Massively for the full read, or enjoy the content trailer for Rise Of The Rakghouls below!

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Jan 4, 2012

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Community Blog: Gabe Amatangelo On PvP – Level 50 Brackets, Ilum

BioWare’s Gabe Amatangelo, otherwise known as Principal Lead PvP, Operations & Flashpoints Designer for Star Wars: The Old Republic, took the Community Blog today to give players an update on the state of PvP in the game.

Gabe touches on a few important points, including brackets for level 50 Warzone players and the conditions on Ilum:

Level 50 Bracket Warzones: Level 50 players will have a bracket of their own, playing in separate Warzone matches to lower level players. This is something we have wanted to do for some time and now that there is an increasing number of level 50 players we will be implementing the feature in January.

Open World PvP on Ilum: The planet of Ilum currently allows for open world PvP even on a PvE server, but the mechanics and incentives of the planet are not in as intended yet. We’re working on longer term goals for the planet and for other PvP areas, but expect to see some interim adjustments in January – such as more respawn points to focus conflicts, restricting Companion Characters from the area, and revisions to rewards.

We also have other exciting features coming in the near future including Ranked Warzone Matches, PvP Stat Tracking, Open World PvP Loot Drops, more Warzone medals for different objectives, Guard Optimizations and Target Optimizations.

No doubt this is welcome news for players who enjoy PvP in The Old Republic. It shows BioWare has an ear to the track of the community. Hopefully, Gabe will make these updates a regular habit! Head over for Gabe’s full note.

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Dec 13, 2011

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Early Access Developer Chat With Best Buy

Big-box electronics retailer Best Buy has recently been trying to reach out to the gaming community more than ever. This turns out to be very good news for fans of Star Wars: The Old Republic today :)

To celebrate the beginning of Early Game Access, Best Buy will be hosting a developer chat with Game Director James Ohlen, Writing Director Daniel Erickson and Lead End-game Designer Gabe Amatangelo. The talk will take place today, December 13th at 7PM Austin time (Central Standard Time) over  on Best Buy’s site.

Personally, I’m going to be knee-deep in my Smuggler story by then, but drop by if you can, it’s bound to be great! Let us know if they drop any juice info :)

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Nov 9, 2011

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Fan Site Summit: Gabe Amatangelo Q&A (Audio)

One of the biggest highlights of the Fan Site Summit for me personally was getting to watch Lead End-game Designer Gabe Amatangelo present some things that his team is working on. Being an MMO, many players are waiting for concrete information on both the PvE and PvP end-game, and Gabe delivered some of that that with details on how the world PvP works on the planet Ilum.

But he didn’t stop there. He fielded many questions from all of the fan site representatives – never an easy task – and provided everyone with a glimpse into the future! And to that point, I will say there that this isn’t his complete presentation… some of what Gabe said is under embargo for a period of time. But the Q&A that is here is most worthy of a listen if you are a member of the TOR faithful, as I know you all are. Enjoy!


Gabe Amatangelo, Lead End-game Designer

Gabe Amatangelo, Lead End-game Designer

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Sep 1, 2011

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PAX 2011: A Conversation With Gabe Amatangelo

One of the highlights of running a fan site is going to all of these conventions and having the privilege to be able to interview some of the developers, designers, writers and artists that are working on our favorite upcoming game.

During PAX last weekend, I was excited to have a chance to speak with Lead End-game Designer Gabe Amatangelo. While I first met Gabe at the Fan Site Summit in April, we never had a chance to do a one-on-one interview with him.

I sat down with Gabe to talk about some end-game Operation topics, as well as some reader-submitted questions. The interview went great, Gabe was able to provide some answers, and I left the booth happy, headed off to the hotel room to edit some video!

And then it happened.

I discovered that I had not one but TWO equipment malfunctions! Not only did the video camera shut off about halfway through, the lapel mic that Gabe was using wasn’t ever turned on! So, without any of that backup, I can only recall parts of our conversation from memory.

But that’s ok, because some of them really stick out, and I feel are some important points of clarification! Read on for a quick recap of my conversation with Gabe…

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