Nov 242014

SOR graphic1Join Jason and Heather as they share their experiences in SWTOR. This episode we are joined by fellow SWTOR Community member SWTORista. She and Heather both were in attendance at the EA Press Event 2014 for Shadow of Revan. Besides learning how the event went, we also have the Q&A recorded in its entirety. Sit back and enjoy this special episode!

Listen to the EA Press Event Q&A in this week’s podcast…







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Special Report from EA Press Event

Transcription from Q&A courtesy of SWTORista:


Please do not assume these are direct quotes. I attempted to catch the spirit and the phrasing of the questions and answers as accurately as possible, but I am not a professional stenographer or even a particularly good writer. You are welcome to quote some of these questions for your own analysis, please just source back!



Dev: Whatever you guys want to talk about, instead of the formal 101s we did with the other folks. What do you guys want to talk about? What burning questions haven’t we answered yet?



Heather: What’s going on with GSF?

Dev: There’s nothing really going on right now. We are working on some stuff for it next year but we can’t talk about it yet.

Michael: [offers a suggestion to make the rewards more worth it, “credits aren’t enough” for incentives, as he’s mastered all his ships]

Dev: The reward scheme is definitely the target for us.



Legacy Friends/Ignore

Heather: I heard privacy issues are the reason legacy wide friends/ignore can’t be implemented. Can we make it work?

Michael: I don’t want someone to friend me one character and be able to talk to me on another.

Heather: Can we make ignore happen, but friends not?

Dev: Anything you talk about account-wide anything, it’s always been a privacy issue. We had that one time where you whispered one character and it would go to another of their person’s – that was a huge privacy issue.



Spam Ignore + Report

Swtorista: Related, one of the suggestions I have seen is an “ignore and report” button without a popup that disrupts gameplay.

Devs: [general agreement] Some other games have that functionality and it is GREAT.



Ability Proc Light-up

Heather: The thing where the abilities light up, can we have that as an option?

Dev: [Needs to speak to someone else, will probably happen.] That’s a good idea. [Also speaks about wanting more toggle choices, for example for 12x XP, they just ran out of time.]



Better than cross-server qing

Heather: Can you talk about now the thing you were talking about with queue issues?

Dev: Still working on it. We are talking about what to talk about. Something was promised a couple weeks ago, but no promises other than that. We’ll try before the end of the year to announce something. At the very least we can give a date. To be clear, what you’re going to get is not “here’s what we’re gonna do”. What you’re gonna get is “we know there’s a problem, we know there is a concern from player’s about this” and we are actively working on a solution. We’re not trying to be coy – but we want to be able to explain it in full detail. It’s a highly technical issue.

Swtorista: Are you aware the most commonly guessed solution is to allow F2P to queue? For everything? Ranked?

Dev: We looked at those numbers, and it would be trivial. For example F2P players can do 5 warzones a week – the amount of players hitting that restriction are less than 2%, around 1.4% of players who have that restriction. And that’s from the pool of F2P players that play warzones at all. It would not even make a difference. We have better solutions – we’re working on it.



Resolution to Revan

Lulaboo: Will we see a resolution to Revan in this expansion? Will we see a resolution to his story, to his character?

Dev: Yes. This is the final chapter that we’ve been wanting to tell. There is some cool stuff there, but you will feel closure. [Kephess joke by Michael, Musco in]



Lack of Recent Operations

Michael: This has been the longest [operation] valley in the content cycle in the game’s history. Is this an anomaly?

Dev: Yes. The reason why is we took a break effectively to build Galactic Starfighter and strongholds.



Minor Expansions

Heather: Is there going to be any other content-expansions before the next big expansion? Like Galactic Starfighter?

Dev: It’s safe to say that there are a finite number of core Star Wars fantasies. Piloting for GSF, being on the flagship and conquering planets is another. Those are very much filling the need that we are asked about at Community Cantinas. Fulfilling a need that we felt and our community felt. Unless you think of something… nothing to that scope. We’re doubling down on our BioWare cinematic storytelling.




Heather: What about mini-games? Podracing? Gambling?

Dev: We are aware of these ideas. We love them.

Dev: We are all fans of gambling. [laughter]

Scya: It was mentioned on one of the podcasts that you couldn’t do podracing due to graphical issues because you’d see yourself as ahead of someone else.

Dev: It’s not so much graphical issues, it’s how the servers work. On your screen, you won, server says no, sorry, they won. That’s not very fun. It’s just a natural client-server problem. There are tricky little ways you can get around it, LOTRO has the horse racing, where it’s just you doing a timed race, but that’s not really the spirit of podracing.

Michael: Did you ever get collision to work out?

Dev: That’s another thing. Our collision is not built for a moving physical race, two moving parts. You would just go right through each other, takes some of the excitement out. Turns out we didn’t build a racing game… so… yeah.

Michael: In the movies there was no winner… everyone else just died.

Dev: We could do that – everybody else just dies. [laughter]



After Expansion

Lulaboo: Talking about next year… are you guys allowed to talk about what’s coming up after this expansion?

Dev: Not yet. Only that we are doubling-down on BioWare cinematics. You’ll probably have a few hints when you get to the end of this one.

MMOBOMB: When you’ve mentioned this before you’ve said you were working on it all the way back since 2006. Why now? Why Revan 3 years after launch?

Dev: The story just kind of had to develop to that place. It’s partly with new releases, which characters do we need to get into the story, and it’s not really “right now.” We created this story a year ago, starting with the Forged Alliances flashpoints. We didn’t sit down in 2006 and write everything, lots has changed.

Dev: Forged alliances was really cool, but what I didn’t like is that it forced us into a spoiler-free silence. A very difficult year for us. We couldn’t talk about the next expansion ’til the last Forged Alliances flashpoint came out.

Dev: It’s a funny year for us. We had Galactic Strongholds come out in August, then BOOM we announce Shadow of Revan, a big expansion. We would normally not do that, but Galactic Strongholds was important and we wanted to reorganize everything.



End of SoR

Michael: [Michael asks a question about the end of SoR which he has seen, and that it’s been a long time coming.]

Dev: Yeah, it’s been building up. If anything I feel like it’s been a long time since we touched on that particular thing. It’s not gonna get wrapped up in the next patch or anything. Charles is not going to write us out of business.



Windows Mobile Authenticator

Heather: When will there be a mobile authenticator for Windows? (Only one for IOS and Android right now)

Dev: Good question. Any time we add an authenticator to a phone we have to constantly keep it updated. There has to be a market. They cost us a lot of time and break with updates. I’ll talk to our platform guys.



New Character Customizations

Heather: Are there new character customizations in the works like hair, eyes? For beyond 3.0?

Dev: There are some in the works.



Legacy Gear and NMM Content

Michael: [Soap box! Speaking about how players in endgame funnel gear back and forth between characters to subvert the weekly lockout. He thinks legacy gear and that ability is bad for the game. He acknowledges it is difficult and nuanced to argue.]

Dev: The problem is we have to be very careful in pulling it out [Note: Legacy gear was meant to originally be for fun sharing gear looks between characters, not to share statistical gear.]

Michael: I’m not saying pull it out – just for Nightmare gear. You already can’t craft it, ever. You still can’t craft Kell Dragon gear.

Dev: It’s a valid point. Jesse wants to overhaul how the legacy gear system works in general. I’m pretty sure that’s the only thing people use it for. It’s not really serving its purpose right now. It’s something we are looking at to alter but we don’t know how yet.



Token Gear

Michael: [Michael explains that token gear should never be badly optimized. He should never have to buy 14 pairs of boots to get optimized gear. It’s also a barrier to entry to the casual player who is poorly optimized and has no idea.] There’s a couple solutions – bosses could drop enhancements instead of full gear pieces, because the system’s already modular anyway. I don’t know if you want it to be that quick.

Dev: That’s definitely interesting, it’s something we will talk about for next year. [Devs ask if they can ask him for more info! Kidnap him a black can lol.]



Guild Functionality

Heather: Is there any way we can have more functionality to help organize guilds like officer message of the day, guild mail…

Dev: Yeah. We’ve been talking about guild functionality. We love guild mail. There are technical limitations we have to overcome. Anything can be overcome with enough time and resources, but it’s a question of it being worth it. With conquests and flagships, it’s more worth it now than it has ever been.

Dev: That’s something that is more commonly asked for. These tweaks… overhauls… we realise it too. Now that we’ve “checked the box” with player housing, it won’t be asked for as much.



Equal Classes

Heather: The combat system has changed significantly with 3.0. Can all players expect to produce equal damage regardless of what class they choose?

Dev: I would say we have been trying to do behind the scenes is investing time into our developer tools. When the game was first launched it was a massive undertaking, 500+ people working on it around launch, so we brut forced a lot of things. We don’t have ideal developer tools in some areas, and one of those areas is combat balance. I kid you not, and I hate to be recorded on this, but our measure of DPS a year ago, is we’d get the rotation we wanted to measure, and we’d get a stopwatch, and actually do damage against it. And that’s what our developers do. Since then we’ve built automated testing tools that just do it. And measure the output. Our class designers are much more confident but are never perfect. If people are complaining about class balance, then that’s the only problem we got [laughter]. But we take it very seriously, and they have better tools now than they ever had before. That being said, we just raised the level cap, just released disciplines, there’s new abilities, so the target is “I want everyone to be within 5% assuming the perfect player.” Everyone should be within 5% of each other. That’s the goal. Whether we hit it or not, we’ll see. We’re ready to see how it plays out. Those guys, more than anybody else, have just been working their hearts out. Since we went to public test, they’ve been every weekend, we didn’t say they needed to, they wanted to every weekend work late nights, crawling the forums, and they think they got it. They set those +/- goals and last week they said “yep, we’re good.”

Dev: It’s one of the unspoken things we had when we were doing the Class Rep system that I couldn’t tell people unfortunately, that I couldn’t tell them at the time, was that a lot of the suggestions that people didn’t think we were listening to literally was injected directly into the changes for 3.0. Things like “Sorcs don’t have a defensive cooldown” – now they have 2 if you pick the right abilities in 3.0. I couldn’t tell you that a year ago – yeah, they’re working on a class expansion, we couldn’t get those changes in a year ago we couldn’t say that a year ago we were working on an expansion.

Dev: In Rise of the Hutt Cartel [last expansion] with the level cap going up and new abilities, we had to take the talent trees back to zero and rebuild them up. And we’re face with the prospect of having to do that – and that makes balancing difficult as well. One of the advantages to the disciplines system, including the player-facing advantages, you can’t mess up not having the right skills. We have data on what our players pick and it is surprising. You’d be surprised. Actually you wouldn’t. [laughter] It is much easier for our developers to work with balancing with the disciplines system. We know the core damage abilities that each person, there’s no magical spec, there’s no hybrids like scoundrels that can heal and make damage. Disciplines also help them in their confidence in achieving better balance.



Testing Gear

Michael: When the Devs are testing specs, what gear are they wearing? If it’s stock, then you’re not going to get accurate numbers.

Dev: Absolutely. I can’t remember what they actually use. Whatever it is, it’s not what you want.

Michael: Is that the reason we do too much damage?

Dev: I can answer that. The way we measure DPS against bosses was scored incorrectly internally, it’s one of the reasons we are making the changes in 3.0. We were off by about 2%, that’s a HUGE deal.



Legendary Gear

Heather: Legendary gear is a searchable option on the GTN and was mentioned at launch. Will we ever see legendary weapons and or armor?

Dev: I don’t think we can say anything about that yet. But talk has been happening about things that are related about that. We haven’t forgotten about it.



Legacy Credit Bank

Heather: What’s the status on legacy banks? All your credits pooled together on all your characters. OR at least having legacy bank access in the cargo hold.

Swtorista: GW2 added it and it works out really, really well.

Dev: I imagine something like that would eventually get rolled out if we alter collections.



Legacy Family Tree Decoration

Heather: Is there any chance of getting a Legacy family tree decoration? You can see the portraits in the tree.

Dev: We love that idea. Corey knows about that idea, we’ve been talking about ways to make that happen and other cooler stuff that would allow to happen without saying too much.



Achievement Decorations

Heather: I know a lot of achievement people would like more decorations for achievements.

Dev: We are going to continue to add decorations to the game for sure and across all content.



Expanded Mission Log

Heather: Since we have so many new daily areas, can we have an expanded mission log? Even 30 would be nice.

Dev: That’s tough. We’ve talked about that before. No one is against it philosophically – it’ll come up every once in a while and we’ll ask “Why do we have this cap?” and we’ll go the engineering and be like “oh right.”




Dev: In combination with strongholds, we have a love-hate relationship with our engine, and in some ways it’s a bear.

Heather: Any plans on updating the engine?

Dev: [resounding No] It’s what we got.



Conquest Motivation

Michael: May I offer some criticism on conquests. It’s impossible to motivate my guild [Heather interrupts and informs everyone that she’s in Despair and has been at #1 for two months, laughter] – we have roughly 15 members who play actively. We are among the top PvE guild but I can’t get them to care. We go up against guilds with 500 Republic characters, 500 Imperial characters AND reserve guilds. It’s impossible to compete.

Dev: [Suggest that they try different planets. Michael says that doesn’t work. Suggest they try Total Galactic War. Michaels says not even then.]

Michael: There are guilds with a lot more people who care more, and the harder objectives give little to no points, example there’s nothing for clearing nightmare. There’s nothing for hitting a threshold ranking in Ranked PvP.

Dev: We’ve only just begun to dip our toes into what’s possible with that system. We’ve been very careful to set it up and give ourselves powerful tools so we can do some different types of conquests.

Dev: That concern you brought up was in conversation for a while. We’re aware of it.

Michael: My members that care at all for achievements, what they do is they put an alt IN the big guild, and then they hit the conquest, and then they hit the achievement.



New Operation Entry Barrier

Swtorista: Once we hit 60, will we be able to hop right into the new operations? OR will we have to go back and re-gear.

Dev: You will be able to hop right into them. The storymodes of course. The storyline actually leads you into the Temple of Sacrifice operation. You can bypass it, you can do the solo option to get to the finale. The storymodes are meant to be seen and done – they are meant to be seen. The Hardmodes are really, really hard.

Michael: They actually are. [laughter] I’m not so enthused by that line – I think the average hardmode guy is going to be pretty frustrated.




Swtorista: Someone at one of the cantinas was speaking to Gaddock Teeg of the Unknown SWTOR Podcast and with a little bit of alcohol involve happened to mention a costume system.  Is that anything you can talk about?

Dev: [intakes of breathe, partially mocking] Who did that!?!

Dev: [Bruce] That was not me. [laughter]

Heather: That was in New York.

Dev: Bruce!

Swtorista: [grinning and doing finger pistols at Bruce. Devs seem well aware of this leak already, much joking]

Dev: We are taking a look into that.

Swtorista: And have you look at the GW2 costume system? Because I feel they are one of the ones doing it very well.

Dev: [Bruce, very enthusiastic] They have an outstanding costume system. We’re a whole studio full of serious MMO gamers. Every game we go “OHHHHHHHHHHH I want that!”

Dev: [enthusiastic, amused, good-humored] Bruce literally went to the event in New York going “I’m just going to tell people everything. I’m going to tell them all kinds of stuff.” People have made the joke that Bruce was just drunk and revealing information [Dev interrupts and claims it was his fault Bruce got drunk] – but Bruce was literally quite frustrated we were holding in and our communication was light and we were holding information in [due to the expansion]

Dev: [Bruce interrupting] I was sooooo frustrated this year with our – our whole approach has been “just tell them what we’re working on, tell them dates, tell them we missed the dates” says sorry when we missed them, but that’s the approach we wanted. So I had a catharsis moment in New York. [much laughter]

Michael: If I may, I think that approach would be better. As a player, I’ve been frustrated with how opaque everything’s been.

Dev: Agreed. This year has been supppperrrr tough for that. Mostly because of strongholds and Shadow of Revan. We truly believe, and Bruce has shown over and over, if you think about it, in January, we were like we have an expansion, then another expansion, then another expansion, and Bruce was like “yeah”. [missed some audio, unsure what they were getting at sorry] And that’s why Bruce is not allowed to go to the cantinas anymore. [laughter]

Dev: We created our own perfect storm where we really just worked in a vacuum. We’re totally a studio of “let’s be transparent.” My manager is like that, these guys are like that, we wanna tell people everything. We just created this weird situation where we put ourselves in a vacuum of silence on accident. It just happened that way. And it was kinda a horrible situation we were in.

Dev: [Bruce] It was such a great crrrooowd. Ughh just such a great group!

Dev: People were really excited. [when Bruce told them, laughter] APIs and Tools

Swtorista: Quite a few other MMOs have actual online – online on the internet, not online ingame – resources. APIs that can be sent to fansites, armory’s like WoW’s where you can look up your character, places where you can share and advertise your guild online, things you can look up what you can buy form the Cartel Market. What are you guys doing with this, anything?

Dev: Yes. We are look at all of the things you just said. We are having fresh look. We haven’t been doing anything for a long while, we haven’t pursued those things, literally within the last month, let’s have a re-assess.

Heather: Is that what you were touching on when someone asked about the crew skills offline on at the Cantina?

Dev: As we look at that stuff, that’s naturally one of the things we’d consider rolling into it. It’s one of the things we re-asses.



12x XP

Swtorista: A while back you guys said everything about 12X XP was a big experiment. Do people paly more? play less? Did it ruin the game because they don’t have any more characters to level? [laughter] Obviously we still have to wait a while and it will be a while till afterwards once they actually have all their characters, but what have you seen so far that has been interesting?

Dev: First of all, it’s been AWESOME. We love it. Everybody that we’ve talked to loves it. It’s great fun. It’s like we have 8 KOTORs in our game – right?  We found a way to kind of bring those up to the top. I think it’s gone perfect – it would have been great to toggle it off if you didn’t want to do that – we saw how much travel time was annoying where normally there would be other filler – gear which we’re gonna look into. Very good and we’re talking about several different possibilities. I think it’s safe to say we haven’t seen the last of it.

Dev: It’s a net positive.

MMOBomb: Would one of the possibilities be less filler, more cool stuff?

Dev: Yes. Shadow of Revan was designed in a different way from ROTHC and especially pre-launch. The quest focuses on the core story. The filler, as you might say, is pushed off, we put our time into the cool stuff. Put in a lot of time to make sure everything is meaningful, not just there to make you spend time.



Conquest Activity

Swtorista: Now that conquest has been out for a while, have you seen a noticeable decline in guilds participating? or do you track those numbers?

Dev: We ABSOLUTELY track those numbers. We are obsessive data trackers. Seriously. We have a report that comes back with those numbers and plenty more every week. Actually the percentage of guilds that own a flagship and are participating in conquests has gone up. We weren’t sure what was going to happen – but at least in the numbers – it is sticking around. But as I said we haven’t started to experiment with conquests. We built it in a very robust way that we could do some [stuff].

Heather: I have a suggestion for conquests. Maybe um a faction-based competition. Have all the Imps together against all the Republic? [Acknowledges balance problems]

Dev: The population check-

Dev: [interrupting] Well you know war is not about fairness. [laughter]




Swtorista: So there’s been a lot of talk about datamining. You might not want to talk about it at all. It’s brought some really positive things for example the conquest list on Dulfy’s site brought by swtor_miner that allowed guilds to talk about it before invasion day, there’s also been some really negative things where datamined items or perks had been found but weren’t actually released in the game. Even little things like seeing items on the PTS but not having them carry over makes people really upset. [hesitant] Do you feel that in any way datamining should be allowed in certain cases? or not at all?

Dev: We all we can’t stop it. Our policy is: they’re gonna datamine. We tell everyone – this is going out. It’s gonna get datamined. Just know that.

Dev: The client’s in the player’s hands, and if the player wants to dig through the client, they can.

Dev: Makes Eric’s life miserable. [laughter] But I think overall I don’t think it’s a problem. If people get upset about it, all we can say is “you weren’t promised anything” – we make a lot of stuff we don’t put out.

Dev: [Eric] I can speak about the community – I think at least the last couple months datamining especially has been a thing. There was a really strange perspective in the community that we were waging a war against datamining, and I think that happened because we told TOROcast that I wouldn’t do an interview with them because they were talking about datamining and EXPLOITING.

Dev: That was actually the thing.

Dev: [Eric] What spun this all up is that they had a show where they were specifically talking about datamining – which I do need to say although we know it’s going to happen it IS against our rules – but they were specifically talking about how to EXPLOIT content. And because of that, I just couldn’t draw attention to it. It spiraled into that “we hate datamining.” You can look – we’ve never asked Reddit to take down datamining posts, even fansites that post datamined content, we never ask anyone to take any of it down. It’s not that we’re against datamining – it’s just that we can’t be FOR it.

Dev: [multiple people speaking]… it’s technically against our ToS so we can’t go “Yeayyyyyy!” [positive excitement] on the other hand there’s nothing we can do about it. If you look at Dulfy’s site I think that’s incredibly useful. That’s the kind of information we talked about before by extracting this kinda stuff out of the game and putting it on the web. We’d love to do that, it’s a lot of work, to make it right and make it useful and meaningful. We don’t have it yet, we like Dulfy, we like her site.

Dev: I also think what helped cause that problem is that we were in that silence vacuum. Normally we have this weird harmony with dataminers – we talk about what’s coming, we make sure we get our announcements out, we’re well ahead of dataminers, normally the stuff that’s in the game client is nothing new. Normal BioWare would be transparent and would tell you what’s coming. This situation wasn’t that. So we didn’t have that thing where datamining happens, that’s fine, we normally ahead of things. That created strain and friction that wasn’t helping. We’re not really sure how it happened, but it did.

Dev: It’s also a weird thing because as developers we can’t message the Dataminers and be like “look guys we’re totally fine.” It’s weird because we’re not against it, but we can’t be for it. And so us being like “datamining is great guys, go out there and do it” we can’t do that at all.

Swtorista: As you’re being recorded. [laughter]

Dev: [tripped up a bit] I’m being genuinely honest – it’s one of those things that’s a weird situation because it created a problem that genuinely there was no way for us to solve.

* Commentary: This was a really interesting one. I’m glad they answered as much as they did, it was one I was worried about asking. I’d been wondering about their stance ever since the whole “Miner’s Twitch stream got shut down” thing happened. I wish they had made a more public statement sooner, but I guess they explained why they couldn’t too.



Yavin 4 Ghost [Spoilers]

Michael: If I may, a lore nerd question. On Yavin 4, there’s an elephant in the room, I’m pretty sure he’s not going to be addressed. There’s a ghost there, like a really powerful one, who’s not “the other one,” but it’s from… 400-500 years before the game? Exar Kun’s ghost is there, he should be zipping’ around doing stuff-

Dev: This is not our first Exar Kun question!

Michael: It is not actually.

Dev: Go on! Tell us! [interested]

Michael: Honestly I wouldn’t of put the expansion there. Consider that he’s there.

Dev: A ) that was partly, it was there because that was something we had be going towards for a long time. When I mention things form 2006, that was one of them. We wanted that part of the story to happen there for a variety of reasons. I don’t know if you’ve been on there recently, are you on the PTS? There’s a little bit of stuff touching on that. And it’s something I’d like to explore more later. The trick is, all of that stuff, would take a whole nother expansion to explain to people who don’t know about it. If you put Exar Kun in into a major part of the story, – and you’re right, he deserves to have a major part, yeah, he ties into all that, and there’s other things that we’ve talked about, things we haven’t really put out yet.

Michael: Well you can’t kill him, because he is supposed to show up in 3,500 years.

Dev: Right right, you can’t destroy him, there’s limitations what you can do with him, there’s limitations on how much information we can convey in an expansion. An expansion is like a TV shoe, it’s 40 minutes, we have this amount of time. We have to decide, do we want to spend it on these characters, who are cool and we like, but a lot of people aren’t familiar with, and haven’t seen much of yet, or do we focus on Revan, the stuff we have been talking about, and find a way to wedge them in when we can.

Michael: It’s very self-contained, but you are going to get a ton of questions about that.



Cartel Decorations vs Other Decorations

Swtorista: Do you guys make a conscious effort to balance Cartel Decorations and ones you earn ingame?

Dev: Absolutely. Constant struggle. It’s a negotiation between two parties. Yeah, we don’t wanna take all the cool stuff and throw it on the market it. We want a balance.



Oricon Lessons

Swtorista: Oricon was received pretty well by the community, it was done pretty differently with the daily areas leading into the operations. What are somethings you learned form that planet and are taking forward into Shadows of Revan?

Dev: Great question. Shadow of Revan definitely draws on all of our learnings – it draws almost as much on RotHC as Oricon – RoTHC there were some opportunities for improvement there. So we learned a lot. Like… dense, mission-packed, make it worth the player’s time, like Oricon is very worth your time. And that we took into Shadow of Revan is to make sure “Is this worth the player’s time?” Make sure that it’s rewarding. One of the things that happened with RotHC is that many players leveled without ever going there. We spend so much time building these cool worlds and these cool stories so we made a big effort to draw on the last expansion to make it very worth player’s time.

Dev: I think as well, doing a solo story leading to the operation, it had its pleasant ideas – we really wanted to get solo players more aware of how cool an operation can be, give them something that’s like “no, really!” Like you said the Dreadmaster story, there’s cool stuff happening here that maybe they weren’t familiar with or didn’t even realize existed. So you know. That’s what we’ve tried to do with SoR is have the story lead into an operation. Downside to that was [in Oricon] you couldn’t see the very end of that story unless you played an operation and so I think learning form that was, we always need to try and make sure there’s a solo way to experience the coolness, the main parts of the story, the story of SoR.



Guild Crests

Swtorista: One of the cool questions my guildmates had is in GW2 and Wildstar we can have guild crests. Will we ever have these in TOR?

Dev: Possibly. Can’t tell you never. It’s one of the features we’ve talked on and off about forever. We love TOR, as long as people keep playing we’d love to add stuff to it. So that’s entirely possible. I can’t think of some more challenges there, it would have to fit into Star Wars lore, those aren’t challenges we can overcome [easily].




Michael: If you ever do a Gree-centric thing I’m gonna expect Kephess to pop out of a hypergate. [laughter]




**Additionally answers on damage, from Rob**


“The combat system has changed significantly with 3.0. Can all players expect to produce equal damage regardless of what class they choose?”


Rob: The answer is yes, mostly. We have a range of target DPS numbers that we want all of the DPS Disciplines to fall into. Where you fall in that range has to do with things like if you are a burst or sustained spec, or if you are a ranged vs melee spec. Our goal is that no class is more than about 5% off the middle of that range.



Michael: When the Devs are testing specs, what gear are they wearing? If it’s stock, then you’re not going to get accurate numbers.


Dev: Absolutely. I can’t remember what they actually use. Whatever it is, it’s not what you want.


Michael: Is that the reason we do too much damage?


Dev: I can answer that. The way we measure DPS against bosses was scored incorrectly internally, it’s one of the reasons we are making the changes in 3.0. We were off by about 2%, that’s a HUGE deal.

Rob: It depends on what we are doing. For pure DPS test runs (like against a dummy), we tend to wear the highest level gear available to the players, fully augmented, stemmed, and with all of the legacy/companion buffs. We do our best to select the same stats players tend to wear, but that process isn’t as rock solid as it should be.





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