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SWTOR Dallas Dickinson Interview at SDCC 2011

Discussion in 'The OMG Archives' started by The Bioware Beacon, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. The Bioware Beacon

    The Bioware Beacon Bioware RSS Newsbot

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    Star Wars: The Old Republic's Dallas Dickinson, Director of Production, took time out of his San Diego Comic-Con schedule to speak with Darth Hater earlier today. Dickinson clarified and expanded some statements made during the panel and Q&A sessions so far, including aspects of personal transportation and companion customization.


    What prompted the class design change from choosing a permanent Advanced Class to having the ability to switch?


    Dallas Dickinson: I think we just decided that it is just such a significant choice that you make. We try to give you as much information as possible so you make a good one, but we know that there are some people who choose to play as a Juggernaut, play for three levels, and are like "aww man!" We want to make it so that the first time you choose to respec your Advanced Class, it is relatively painless; it is going to cost some credits, but it is not going to cost a ton. Though after that, we want to make it very difficult. We don't want people to hot swap their Advanced Class willy-nilly; we want to make sure it is something you don't do all the time.


    How does your Light and Dark side points affect your combat and can you give some examples of this?


    I can't give you examples. However, something we talked about all along is that as you progress very far down the light side path or very far down the Dark side path, you're actually going to unlock some abilities that are only available to that side of the Force.


    You touched on re-roll incentives yesterday. Can you speak a bit about this system, and if it is available to those who have a tendency to stick with one main class?


    Dallas Dickinson: I can't actually talk about unlocking new species. That was a little teaser dropped by Mr. Ohlen that we aren't going to talk about any time soon.


    Can you explain what you meant when you stated "we have an entire world that is devoted to the elder game for players who are not grouped up?" What can the solo endgame player expect?


    We have an endgame planet that is very much something you go to after you've completed your class quest. We wanted to make sure we're supporting both the endgame players who are very much into Operations, Flashpoints, and PvP, but also those people who like to play in a more solo way. So there is content on that planet that is specifically for the people who like to play solo. You can play it as a group, but you can have something that is fun to do as a solo player.

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    Can you share any further specifics?


    Ilum is the the name of the planet.


    Can you describe the scope of Operations (raids) that will be available at release?


    Thus far we are only promising one Operation. It will be playable at multiple party sizes. It is called the Eternity Vault, and you probably saw a video of it. We haven't allowed hands-on on it yet, but we probably will sometime soon.


    We heard a tidbit about open world PvP and designed areas for these activities. Can you elaborate this?


    We aren't elaborating on it beyond saying that we have PvE and PvP servers, and therefore on the PvP (servers) there will be open world PvP. There may be some more we'll say on that pretty soon.

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    You received a very huge response from the crowd when you showed the screen with the four different customized Vettes yesterday at the panel. Can you talk about that a bit more in depth? Can we customize more than just the color, maybe hair length, something like that?


    It was a raging debate within the company, and within the design group for quite a while. How much of that we want to allow, and how much of that is appropriate. I think we heard loud and clear what the community wants -- and I think they're right -- is to have the ability to customize the look of your companion so my Vette looks different from your Vette. I can't give you the details right now about the exact ways in which each one can be customized. Suffice to say that you're going to have a lot of choices. You're going to be able to make your companion as unique as you can make yourself. You'll be able to customize that part of your story as well.


    Another thing you showed yesterday was a speeder that could potentially have two people. Can you have another player or a companion ride in that speeder?





    Dallas Dickinson: That is on the 'no comment' side of things. What I can say about speeders is that we're testing the game, we're letting players test it out, we're listening to their feedback, and the change that we're going to there is based on the feedback.


    We heard people loud and clear that having a slow-moving speeder is not that exciting, and it just makes sense. This is Star Wars -- you expect speeders to speed. Not only are we going to up the speed of base speeder you saw at E3, but we're actually adding some that are very much the speeder bike. The models look very much like what you'd see on the forest moon of Endor, as well as actual land speeders.


    Those are the changes people have to look forward too. It is the higher level ones that are going to have those abilities and look like that, but it is something to look forward too.

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    Are you able to customize the armor of both you and your companions?



    Certainly; that was already one of the ways you could customize your companion, but we added in this actual base physical customization to give people even more opportunity to customize them. I think you saw during the presentation. You can certainly change the color of the skin, and I think there are going to be a couple of other options that are going to be available to you.


    What we aren't allowing you to do is change their gender or change their body type -- so you aren't going to be able to turn Vette into a giant fat dude. The story would be a little bit weird, as would the voice. Those are some of the limitations. Other than that, we are going to allow some pretty good customization.


    What about changing the armor on some of the vehicles... like the speeders?


    One of the things when were determining how we were going to have progression work within speeders, within your personal vehicle... the reason we started so slow is we wanted to have a traditional MMO thing where you start out and you're a little bit faster, you get a better speeder. And you're a little bit faster, and then we sort of realized that it was counter to Star Wars. You want to be pretty darn fast.


    So there are going to be speed upgrades as you get the higher level speeders, but in addition (to that), we're going to be upgrading the armor so you get knocked off your speeder less frequently. Right now as you drive around Tatooine, if you get too close to somebody, they can do enough damage and pop you off your speeder. If you're on a more highly armored one, you're going to have a lot more capacity to take damage without being knocked off, which again is a boon to the player who is trying to get from point A to point B.

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    This is probably the most important question you will face during your entire time at Comic-Con. Which is more powerful: your beard or Daniel's abs?


    It really depends on whether or not you're a fan of the Extended Universe. In the Extended Universe, abs trump beard. But everyone who watches The Clone Wars... you understand Obi-Wan is rocking a beard, and that is some powerful stuff there. So I go beard. Although I don't have it right now, and you found me powerless.


    Thank you so much for your time!


    You're welcome. Thank you guys -- I appreciate it.


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