Community Q&A: Feb 10th 2012
Last week we asked for your questions and this week we have some answers! We had planned on answering 10 questions but in the end, got 15 answered by various members of the team. Please note in some cases we’ve combined multiple questions into one, and we have edited some questions for clarity.
We have now opened an official thread for next week’s Q&A, which will stay open until 2pm CST on February 14th (8pm GMT/9pm CET). We welcome your questions in that thread and hope you enjoy the answers below. If you want to discuss any of the answers given, please use this Forum thread!
(For those of you wondering where the Dev Tracker Summary blog is, we decided to move it out to Mondays going forward. Look for it then!)
Alkapwn: Could you elaborate about what specific benefits the Legacy will offer? I know that I am not alone in the fact of putting off making an alt (and hence losing out on gameplay) because I wish to know what kind of character creation options will be available. All we have to go on now is "The legacy system will unlock new character creation options, including new species." Does this mean species that have been unavailable for that specific class, or that have been unavailable to play in the game as a whole?
Daniel Erickson: Game Update 1.2 will bring you the first big step in the Legacy System but it’s important to understand that the Legacy System will continue to grow, bringing new options to new characters (alts) and some fun options for elder game players as well. Legacy is definitely not just for new characters! The species that will be unlocked in Game Update 1.2 are species currently in the game that will become available to classes and factions where you haven’t seen them before. New species are in consideration for the future but we don’t have any details to share right now. Look for more specific details in the near future as we head toward Game Update 1.2.
Daniel Erickson: We’ve been pleasantly surprised at how popular PvP is in The Old Republic and we’ve been doubling down on our efforts to bring exciting new content and systems to the PvP community. Right now there’s a new Warzone planned for Game Update 1.2 which we’re already testing internally and really enjoying. We can say it’s enabled for same faction vs. same faction play, so if you’ve been playing a lot of Huttball, expect some variety soon! Also coming in 1.2 is the pre-season of our Warzone ranking system, bringing better matchmaking which means better PvP. In the future expect a ton more PvP news as we expand and polish what has proven to be one of the most popular aspects of The Old Republic. We’ve got big plans.
Daniel Erickson: Yes! Expect to see the first new gear coming in Game Update 1.2 and some dramatic changes to the social gear system just around the corner afterward.
Daniel Erickson: Faction balance is always a concern and something we watch carefully across all servers. It’s also something you can never fully account for programmatically as it is different on each server. We have many servers where the differences are small enough to be negligible and then others where either the Empire or the Republic has a huge numbers advantage. The Legacy System will take some first steps towards incentivizing players to look at what the other side has to offer and we will continue watching the most extreme servers to see if additional steps are needed.
Daniel Erickson: Character transfers between servers are definitely going to be available in the future and we’ll announce details as soon as we have firm dates.
Daniel Erickson: Guild banks are coming in Game Update 1.2 and like PvP, guild features are a priority for the development team with a strike team focused on nothing but top guild concerns and requests. Guild capital ships are a huge undertaking, though, so expect to see more quality of life style guild features roll out before you and your allies start building your destroyer....
Stephen Reid: Every method of feedback you mention will ultimately make its way to the development team; we get feedback from everywhere (including off-site sources such as Twitter, Facebook, fansites, podcasts and the like). In-game metrics are also always being gathered and analyzed, so that essentially ‘passive feedback’ is given by players every time they log in. With that said, the Forums are always a good starting place for feedback; everything is read (even if we don’t always immediately respond to threads) and the Community team regularly reports out player concerns and thoughts. As always, the more constructive your feedback is, the better for the development team.
Daniel Erickson: Absolutely. In the near future expect to see not just rare items but limited availability items, more treasure hunts and some big surprises for the community to discover and work together to figure out.
Daniel Erickson: How we prioritize bugs is a complicated question and one that can be maddening from a player point of view. The answer is as complicated as the question but I can give a high level view. First comes anything that blocks the critical path of a class story for any reason. If you can’t progress, your game comes to a screeching halt so that always takes precedence. Next is the question: how many people are being affected and what is the damage being done? Half the population being slightly irritated loses in priority to ten percent of the population having their game crippled, for example. The last consideration, and the most opaque to players, is how hard the bug is to fix. There are fixes that look complicated and are nothing more than a database entry that went rogue. There are fixes that look easy and take months of untangling code. What we can promise is that we never ignore bugs or decide something is good enough as-is.
Daniel Erickson: We have no plans for switching advanced classes - which we see as fundamentally different class designs- but dual spec is in the works and coming soon.
Daniel Erickson: The new and vastly improved ‘Hue to Chest’ system launches with Game Update 1.2 and there are more customization and quality of life improvements along those lines hot on its heels.
Gabe Amatangelo: Yes. Target of Target on primary target and party frames will be part of Game Update 1.2. Primary target already has a visible casting bar on live right now. In Game Update 1.2 target of target frames will have visible casting bars as well. Additionally, there will be various customization features in all of those frames (e.g. repositioning).
Daniel Erickson: Yes! This will be addressed in a weekly patch in the very near future.
Gabe Amatangelo: Not until we introduce cross server queuing. If we were to allow players to choose their Warzone before they could queue across servers, then it would negatively affect how often every player would see a Warzone – and for every player that loves a certain Warzone there is another player that hates it. The population would end up divided by their Warzone choice, negatively affecting the time it would take for a specific Warzone to become available for anyone. With cross server queuing we will still have a preference to match players of the same server, but those players who choose specific preferences such as these will likely end up in a match with players in the larger Wargroup.
Gabe Amatangelo: We are going to continue to introduce new Flashpoints, Warzones, and Operations on a regular basis. The story line will continue with all of the above as well as in solo-able missions. We will continue to evolve Crew Skills and crafting. We’ll be introducing the Legacy System soon, as Daniel mentioned. Additionally, we have exciting PvP features planned, the first of which includes pre-season Ranked Warzones in Game Update 1.2.
Thanks for all of your questions, and thanks to Daniel and Gabe for answering them. If you’d like to put forward a question for next week’s Q&A, please visit this Forums thread!