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  1. #1

    [SWTOR] 11/29/2012 Livestream Q&A

    Originally Posted by SWTOR
    How is the transition to F2P going? I think I noticed more players on the Euro servers because of the move to FTP. Do your numbers show this to be true?

    Jeff: I wish I could give you the specifics numbers to answer your question. I think I can say this without getting into trouble: all of our numbers, no matter which number you look at, are on the rise. Everything looks really good. You should, in most cases, notice a significant increase in people on servers playing with you. You can look at how many people are on the fleet, how many are on the origin worlds. All signs points to very positive.

    Damion: Almost every conceivable metric is better for us and for you guys playing the game. We had expectations for what we thought this would do and so far it has blown away all of them. That just means good things for the team and for the game.

    As a community managers, I noticed that a lot of returning players that have started playing again noticed a lot of new restrictions on their accounts. Are there plans to open up F2P more? I heard and read a lot of complaints that it is way to restrictive to entice people to try the game.

    Jeff: Let me take my business approach to that. From a business standpoint, the number of F2P players we being getting in the game is great. I wish I could give you a real number. If you are a brand new players to our game and you look at the restrictions as a F2Per, it is actually not too limiting because you don’t know what the non-restrictive players actually looks like, you are not used to something else. . As a brand new F2Per, it feels pretty good but we are definitely listening from a design standpoint to everything you guys are saying – we are seeing the same thing: people are complaining about certain restrictions and how some are too restrictive.

    Damion: From a design perspective there is a balance you want to achieve. You want to be sure that the F2P options is compelling and attractive but at the same time it is really important to us that our subscribers feel like they are getting their money’s worth with their subscription fee. Finding that balance point is really really crucial. We will continue to massage that as we get feedbacks from the fans and look at our metrics. We are already starting to make adjustments: we will go to six character slots for our preferred players instead of two and four quick bars for our prefered players instead of two. We haven’t announced that (character slots) but this is the first revel of allowing preferred players to get six character slots. You heard it first in the livestream!
    Once we come in and enforcing the character slots that you have, that will come in the same patch that allow players to buy more character slots and preferred players will be able to activate up to six character slots.

    Jeff: As we see things that seems too restrictive too us, we will continue to modify our offerings as we need to. Please keep give us our feedback.
    Joveth: It is certainly not static,. we increased the number of quickbars for players due to PTS feedback, we did a whole bunch of different changes, including shortening the binding timers for Cartel Market items.


    Damion: In an earlier draft of F2P, we had it so that F2Pers couldn’t use spacebar inside cutscenes and we almost had a riot inside this building. So we being listening to feedbacks the whole way.

    What new things can we expect for PvP after the launch of 1.6?

    Jeff: Damion and I are big pvpers. We love PvP overall. I think the broad answer we have lots of interesting plans for PvP and it is something we pay lots of close attention to. I don’t know if there is anything we can talk specifically about. There is that thing that is coming like. that one thing that we can’t talk about. Isn’t it February-March? Anyways, we can’t talk about the details of that thing but can you tell them what it has to do with?

    Are there any plans to reboot Ilum or institute another open world PvP option in a near update?

    Damion: Well, there is that thing.

    Jeff: Tell them about it, at least a little bit.

    Damion: What you will see in Ilum is we are going to revisit it. It is not going to be a full blown reboot of the scenario that was on Ilum before because that just didn’t work out. We really want to invigorate PvP and give players, especially on PvP servers,a place to encounter each other. We are going to shake up Ilum a little bit but it is going to be more than just a PvP thing. There is more going on and it is going to be good.

    Jeff: It is fantastic stuff, I just saw it last week and I think you guys will really like it.

    Damion: it is got some of the most amazing world building I have ever seen, you come over the hill and there is woah.

    With the recent introduction of a new tier of PvE gear and the upcoming restructuring of the PvP set. What is the general stance towards an ever escalating item spiral. Can we expect to see things to go ape over time or is the game going to do some horizontal scaling which is minor balance changes for the long time.

    Damion: There are a couple parts to this question. One thing that is important to us is keeping the gap, especially for entry level and top end PvP players under control. They are going to update that to be sure that people coming into PvP games don’t get slaughtered.
    That is also important on the PvE side as well because in order to run operations you need a rich recruiting pool of people to pull from.
    Overall though, we are going to go through a slight philosophical restructuring of how our itemization is done with the Mekab patch that is going to make the itemization more sustainable in the long run. Adjustments will happen in that patch.


    Jeff: it is in between item spiral and complete flattening. We believe strongly that itemization and high end item sets are an interesting way for some players to play the game so we will keep investing in that to a certain level but kinda change up how we are going to be doing it.

    Is there any plans to have separate warzones for non-elite Level 50 players.

    Jeff: I don’t think so. not that I know of. Damion?

    Damion: They are planning to adjust the queueing system to pair up elites and other elites and non-elites with non-elites. I think that will come in one of the PvP patches in the future. I don’t have a timeframe for that. So we are addressing that problem without using that exact solution.
    The other part of it is really being sure that we get that better at giving out those “bootstrap” gear so that when you hit 50, most of the differentiation is actually from player skills and less from gear. Player skills still matters an awful a lot in SWTOR PvP
    .

    What is the status on Mekab and when can we expect it.

    We just went through a playthrough of the Imperial story this week. So it is far enough along that we are seriously playing it, viewing it, and say what it needs to do to be at Bioware level. That is all we can say. It is important that this thing is as perfect as we can be. I wish I can give you a timeframe on this but you guys should be looking for some details on this in the near future – pretty darn soon.

    Can you please ease our minds about the current team. Since the restructuring of Bioware, the bugs seem to have gotten worse and we had several downtimes.

    Jeff: There is a couple of pieces to the question and I tried to address that in my State of the Game 3 weeks ago. Of course there has being a lot of changes in the studio but I can tell you for sure that we have a lot of very dedicated people, same people who helped to build and launch this game, who are here caring about this game every single day. It is what we are focused on.
    There is so much support in the studio, within EA, for what we are doing and for the future of the product. I want to reassure you that there is no negative news along those fronts here. As far as bugs, that is a very tough question. If you look at all the versions of the game we had done since we launched the game, every one of those had issues, downtimes, and multiple bug fixes after the fact. If you look at the data, 1.4 and 1.5 are actually better overall and they continue to get better along those lines.
    You are seeing some heinous bugs, that are in your face as a player, in 1.4 and 1.5 specifically that really made it look bad. We fixed those things as quickly as we could. So it is not the number, it is that one or two bugs that really hit you.


    Damion: The whole nature of bugs is that if you have a crash bug, it makes the whole game feel buggier. If you look at the emergency patch notes for 1.4.1 and compare it to 1.1, 1.1 had over 100 bug fixes. We are getting better at finding bugs, fixing bugs and releasing the patches in a solid state. This is an incredibly complicated game, everyone now and then something will sneak through.

    Jeff: We take bugs seriously. We have a large community organization that doesn’t just include Q&A professionals but include everybody in the studio that pays attention to what our game is like and the quality of our game. We take it very seriously and we want to provide a quality experience to you guys. You deserve it and the game deserve it.

    Damion: It is important to note that we have a ton of people that play the game in the studio everyday. We actually have leaderboards and monthly competitions within the studio . A lot of time we are really fast at finding the bugs ourselves as we find them playing on our home machines that may not be obvious when playing internally. Often those who find the bug fixes the bug.

    How is the Super Space Project doing? Does it exist?

    Jeff: They should name it “That Super Space Project”. It is so hard being a part of the development team sometimes as there are things that we are really excited about that I so wish we could talk about. I was actually playing what you are talking about yesterday – we run through the prototype demo (Damion: together). and together. I wish I could give you details. It is great, it is something that is a departure from our normal space game. It is something that we have a team right now dedicated to building and working on. It is also something that is pretty far out in the future. We are talking far out.. Not so far that you are not going to see it within the scope of game time. It is so great, I wish I could tell you more. You are probably not going to hear about it for a while also.

    Damion: It is going to be under wraps but it is definitely moving along. It is a lot of fun. It is definitely not what we shipping in the original product.

    With the Holidays coming up, how often will the Cartel Market update changes the gear that is available for purchase.

    Jeff: Our intent right now is to update the Cartel Market weekly. We can do more often if we want to. You saw an update just 2 days ago. We put 1-2 new items on, changed some prices . We are experimenting with what works and what people are expecting. You should see another update next week.
    Before the holidays, I don’t want to give you an exact date, we got a really big cool update coming.


    Damion: We are currently slated for the immediate future a new Cartel Pack every month for the next few months with all new super rare items inside the packs.

    Jeff: Oh ya and the stuff we are doing for Life Day, again which you will see before the holidays, are absolutely amazing. Do you have a list of items?

    Joveth: I have a list of items right here. Czerka LV-1 Celebrator.

    Jeff: That is the one, I am super excited about it. You guys are going to die when you see it.

    Joveth: We are also going to have Life day robes, Life Day orbs, Life Day Holo Tree and a tensil bomb. We are also going to have them all available in a Life Day Cartel pack.

    Jeff: I think that is just the short list, I think there is a bunch more. The Czerka LV-1 Celebrator “laughs”. Let me put it this way, it is red, it is festive, you can ride it, and it is super amazing. It will help with your celebrator..ing.

    Damion: To go back a little to the question, we plan to put up a lot of gear on the store and update the gear selection at a fairly frequent pace. The plan will depends primarily on how well the gear does. The next thing we have targeted, I don’t know if it is will be in the next patch, over the next month or so, we are adding in stuff that are more archetypical. Stuff that really look like core Jedi Knight stuff. The mod system opened up a lot of stuff for us.

    Earlier this year we had the guild summit. Guild capital ships, Guild calenders, Guild progression, chat bubbles, ability to sit in chairs, ready chat, and chat channel customizations were mentioned. When is this coming?

    Jeff: From my standpoint, these are all great things. I want to be frank with everybody as I can. The studio has undergone a lot of change since those conversations. You can see, we are busy working on a lot of things. We havn’t stepped back on what we are working on but we changed some of the things that we are working on. While some of these things and some of these things are still on the list to happen in the future. Some of them are backburner list. I just don’t want anybody to think we have forgotten about them but I also don’t want people to think they are coming next week. Those are things that have being pushed out quite abit due to the studio changes. I love the idea of Capital ships and that is a big pet project of yours (Damion). I just want to make sure that everybody knows that these things a bit further out.

    Damion: At the guild summit I introduced everybody to the wall of crazy, which is a big list of features that we have on the wall that we want to do. All the features are on the list but it is a prioritized list that is competing with the things the game needs, things we had to do to get the F2P stuff happen, things that the content guys need in order to make content more reliable. The smaller things on that list have a much greater chance to happen sooner – every now and then programmers have a bit free time and you can hand them stuff like that. As an example there, inventory sorting that is coming soon. I had a programmer that had a day and that was the thing at the top of the list that fit in the bucket of time we had.

    Is there going to be any method for copying live characters to PTS.

    Jeff: yes

    Damion: Super important to us. In order to test ingame content with natural characters playing their natural way, it is critical to have characters the way you like to play the character and that you can do it at will.

    Jeff: You should see it before we launch Mekab. it is critically important to test Mekab. We had character copies in the past. The way we put it together was not allowing you guys to do it whenever you want – i.e. manual copies. We got a system that we are actively working on right now. It is super important to us as it is to you. It will come before Mekab.

    Will legacy perk prices ever be lowered and any possibly of the character perks being made legacy wide.

    Damion: I don’t know, I havn’t thought about it in a while. Legacy is probably going for a minor revamp because legacy needs to be made more important in general. I don’t know when it is going to happen but it is on the list of stuff to think about.

    When we are going to see more mini games.

    Damion: The Mekab patch has a couple of things, I don’t know if I would call them minigames. They are definitely new gameplay activities and entirely new ways for you to encounter and explore the world. They are a lot of fun.

    Jeff: But if you are talking about sitting down and able to play cards or something, again those are things on the list but havn’t risen to the top.

    CE Vendor, are there any plans to update or make the items or access available through the Cartel Market.

    Jeff: We had that convo a couple weeks. We backburnered it to talk about it in January. No plans as of right now.

    When is Cathar coming out? Are we planning on any races beyond that.

    Damion: Cathar race is coming in the months timeframe not the years timeframe.

    Jeff: Probably, yes.

    Damion: I want it out as soon as it is feasible because we want to see how everything does on the market. The answer to the second question is how well is the Cathar doing on the marketplace. Doing a race and all the customization options is very very expensive but if it is something popular, that is something we will do more.

    How are we holding to our six week promise for game updates?

    Jeff: I think it is going great right now. If you have being watching in the past 4-5 months we talked pretty aggressively about keeping to a 6-8 weeks schedule for updates and I think we hit that pretty darn good. It is diffcult, let me just put it that way. The development process to stay at quality can be very diffcult in that short amount of time.
    We might have a 9 week over the holidays just because we actually let our guys spend a little time because last year we were all here. I think we will have a 9 week between the next update before the holidays and the update after that. But we should be back to 6-8 week updates after that. I see no reasons in the future that we won’t stay on that. We will keep trying to 6 but for the sake of quality go to 8 if we need to.
    We will be doing another one of these closer to our next Game update so we will be back!





    source


    Thanks to Dulfy for compiling the information!
    Last edited by Forsedar; 2012-11-30 at 01:42 AM.

  2. #2
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    5 and 9 are troubling. 10 sounds pretty cool and very much needed.

    The rest is overall a much better communication and positive note than a lot of their releases. As the leader of the Communication Dissection and Criticism Club, I give this one high marks.

    Possibly the first since the game launched.

  3. #3
    Edited post to make it actually look appealing and easy to read.

    Also, I believe this QA was only 30min long? I could be wrong but I think I heard them say that towards the end. They really didn't waste any time in answering questions and getting their point across.
    Last edited by Forsedar; 2012-11-29 at 10:05 PM.

  4. #4
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    Ready check is now on the wall of crazy? Its not important but its not crazy!

  5. #5
    why does it seem that their every statement is ALWAYS ....thats a bit further out or we cant discuss......

    i mean DAMN PEOPLE you have this game out for a YEAR and your STILL working of stuff and its ALWAYS a bit further out...... I finally give up on this game. a WHOLE YEAR and all we get still is we cant discuss or its a bit further out.

    but we get a shiney new F2P market that is shit and some background scenery fixes BW just give it up.........

  6. #6
    6 character slots and 4 quickbars are enough for me to come back occasionally. Glad to see the changes, now if they just let the initial story mode operations included in preferred even better. I not going to pay for a pass to have the group disband without finishing an operation.

  7. #7
    How is the super space project going? Does it exist? It is so hard being part of the development team is because there are things we really want to talk about but can’t. I just played it, it is a departure from our normal space game but it is also something that is pretty far in the future. We are talking about far out. I wish I could tell you more but you won’t hear it for a while.
    It's been "sooo so so so far out man, just wait!" since what, March?

    How are we holding to our six week schedule? It is going great right now. We hit that pretty darn well. We might have a 9 week over the holiday to let our guys enjoy the holiday since last year everyone was here. 9 week between the update prior to the holidays and after and then maintain a 6-8 schedule after the holidays.
    Haha. "It's going great! ...but we're not gonna make it." Kinda funny how they worded that one.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsedar View Post
    Edited post to make it actually look appealing and easy to read.

    Also, I believe this QA was only 30min long? I could be wrong but I think I heard them say that towards the end. They really didn't waste any time in answering questions and getting their point across.
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  9. #9
    Now updated for the FULL transcript. Excuse the coloring... the BBCode didn't work properly so I manually did it and used yellow instead of gold... don't hurt me.

  10. #10
    This teasing about the space shit has to stop. FFS man. It's a massive development I'm sure but it's such a fucking huge nerd cock block.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyIommi View Post
    This teasing about the space shit has to stop. FFS man. It's a massive development I'm sure but it's such a fucking huge nerd cock block.
    I agree but I think it has stopped as 'You are probably not going to hear about it for a while' seems clear we won't be teased again for a while

    It sounds like it's a huge project and while what they said implies 'off rails' to me they specifically avoided mentioning the nature of it and why it would take over 1 year to implement (first mentioned it was being worked on last Dec/Jan iirc).

    Would it really have been too much for them to have said 'It's off rails, huge and therefore won't be ready until 2014'?

    I'm happy the project is still alive though.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WoWGoneBad View Post
    why does it seem that their every statement is ALWAYS ....thats a bit further out or we cant discuss......

    i mean DAMN PEOPLE you have this game out for a YEAR and your STILL working of stuff and its ALWAYS a bit further out...... I finally give up on this game. a WHOLE YEAR and all we get still is we cant discuss or its a bit further out.

    but we get a shiney new F2P market that is shit and some background scenery fixes BW just give it up.........
    On one hand I hate how closely they protect their future projects and release schedule and everything. It's all very secret. As a customer and a big fan I want to know just a little bit more. Just a little more. Feed me that crack-- err, I mean delicious information.

    On the other hand, I know if they give too much and have a very open presentation then they risk involving the players too much, turning it into a dialog, losing sight of a cohesive vision for the game, and basically destroying it. There's a tendency in MMO communities to latch onto a particular mechanic or change and throw little forum tantrums and draft petitions to get the developer to do it another way, even when it's not the best direction for the game or not in the players' best interests long-term. The customer is not always right. The customer is very often an idiot.

    There must be some sort of balance. They must have some things they could tell us about their space project and about the Cathar progress - things they're doing now or maybe want to do; a general direction - without stirring up the fickle playerbase. A really good community manager should be able to strike that balance.
    ^ The above should be taken with two grains of salt and a fistful of "chill the F* out".

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Forsedar View Post
    Now updated for the FULL transcript. Excuse the coloring... the BBCode didn't work properly so I manually did it and used yellow instead of gold... don't hurt me.
    Problem with the BBCode? o.O You probably did something wrong

    But I'll try and figure it out

  14. #14
    When we are going to see more mini games.
    Mind blown, why would anyone ask this or want this, luckily the response was somewhat soothing.
    "there n point in arguing coz everyone has there own opinion" - WoW/Alterac Valley - Random guy

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Rabid View Post
    Mind blown, why would anyone ask this or want this, luckily the response was somewhat soothing.
    You know, sometimes people like to do other things then play a combat simulator in an mmo.

  16. #16
    The word "exciting", and the phrase "we can't discuss right now" are being used way too much.

  17. #17
    Titan Kelimbror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabid View Post
    Mind blown, why would anyone ask this or want this, luckily the response was somewhat soothing.
    Because it was used to great effect in their other SW RPG titles, so naturally a lot of people want that. In addition, there's not a whole lot to do in this iteration of the game. A lot of people would like something else to do than do dailies and log off. Then raid and log off. There's only so much of doing nothing that can justify paying for the game. Even bigger competitors (like wow and rift) realized this and started adding numerous other things to do.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyIommi View Post
    This teasing about the space shit has to stop. FFS man. It's a massive development I'm sure but it's such a fucking huge nerd cock block.
    I hope it is the SWG ship system..

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyvicious View Post
    Because it was used to great effect in their other SW RPG titles, so naturally a lot of people want that. In addition, there's not a whole lot to do in this iteration of the game. A lot of people would like something else to do than do dailies and log off. Then raid and log off. There's only so much of doing nothing that can justify paying for the game. Even bigger competitors (like wow and rift) realized this and started adding numerous other things to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doozerjun View Post
    You know, sometimes people like to do other things then play a combat simulator in an mmo.
    I would prefer they actually use their limited development resources for actually making the game more re-playable and refining/fixing the current issues with the game, not using it to develop some random card game/chess simulators or pet battles, people want all sorts of things, like one guy who insisted on having Darth Vader and Obi-Wan present in SWTOR, doesn't mean it should be implemented.
    To compare with WoW, Blizzard has unlimited resources compared to EA with SWTOR, to ask for mini-games in SWTOR is to ask presumably anything else planned to put on hold, do you guys really want that?

    I understand you guys want to do everything in-game but it only results in the same thing that happened in WoW, it can do everything now, yet it still lacks the actual theme of the game, Orcs vs. Humans, the only remotely successful part is Alterac valley and they are not expanding on the actual theme but only adding more fluff and mini-games.
    I really want Empire vs. Republic to be the theme of the game, I couldn't care less about card games until I get that.

    Most if not all complaints concerning the SWTOR are related to the rigid design philosophy WoW uses, WoW is designed to be pumped/altered and messed around with to keep players thinking worth while changes are being applied whilst they play mini-games and grind stuff and pay a subscription as long as possible; EA luckily doesn't do that to the same degree(disregarding smasher FOTM) so SWTOR becomes stagnant as a result due to that and the hamsters leave, which is good and bad at the same time, since it puts pressure on EA, the content being pushed is possibly around the same amount yet SWTOR isn't "worth" a subscription to many players so there needs to be a new direction.

    Re-playability and greater scope of the game would solve some of the major issues, to break free from the WoW "stir it up with FOTM until expansion" design is the only solution for SWTOR if there is one, to expand on world combat and objectives, having consequences and faction ownership of worlds/cities; it might seem like much to ask for but I believe it is the only real solution to the game concerning PvP or even PvE as those can be easily linked in such a system if basic steps are taken.
    When realising that, asking for mini-games is just putting nails in the SWTOR coffin, mini-games do nothing to the game but add time-wasting potential within areas completely separate from the theme of the game as a whole, when the focus should be to with all effort strengthen the actual theme and push for the actual underlying theme of Starwars, good vs. bad, not hearts vs. spades in solitude.

    If mini-games is what you actually want then I don't know what to say.
    Last edited by Rabid; 2012-11-30 at 07:26 PM.
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  20. #20
    Once we come in and enforcing the character slots that you have, that will come in the same patch that allow players to buy more character slots and preferred players will be able to activate up to six character slots.
    Haven't seen anybody mention this part anywhere yet. It's going to fun if (and probably when) people expecting to have six character slots find out they have to buy the other four.

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