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Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller wrapped up the Summit with an intimate Q&A session with the few fansites that remained Tuesday afternoon. Our favorite reveals:
- Metrics are mostly used to follow up on player feedback, rather than as the starting ground for figuring things out.
- Metrics help figure out the right balance for difficulty. Devs look to see if players are challenged and learning, but “we’re not afraid of death as part of the game experience.”
- Whereas players in other MMOs may use only two to three primary abilities, SWTOR is designed so that players will use four to five.
- Right now Bounty Hunters level faster because their first companion is Mako, a healer. This results in less downtime. Devs are trending toward making everyone’s first companion more of a jack-of-all-trades.
- More Imperial Agent love: Georg says, “I actually think that some of the best story in the game is on the Agent class, some of the best characters you encounter is on that class.”
- It is natural that some classes are more popular than others. Devs will not buff or nerf classes just to artificially achieve equal representation of all classes.
- In solo play, relying completely on companion AI is sufficient. Flashpoints and open world PvP requires more micro-managing for optimal play. AI-wise, companions are about 60% effective when compared to an actual player.