As expected since BioWare’s big panel for TOR isn’t until mid-afternoon of Day 3 (which is today), there were not any big reveals yesterday.
The BioWare sponsored Community meet and greet was last night, and there appears to have been a Q&A session as part of that. Darth Hater has a recap of that up over here.
During the day, there were two Q&As, just like on Day 1.. and there was no livestreaming of either day’s Q&A sessions. BioWare TV’s live stream has pretty much been only covering Mass Effect stuff (which is great for ME fans, we did get to see the official Female Shepard reveal).
It does seem that we’re getting fewer questions that have already been answered in the Q&A this time.. which is good.
I’ve scoured the internet, and here’s what I found for the 2 Q&A sessions held on day 2:
Tomorrow we’llbe talking about open world pvp. Fully featured, and you can PvP from beginning to end.
A: It is very visual. You don’t have to look at a combat log. You see it happening. Very Star Wars-y.
A: You get commendations which are good for the last tier of gear.
A: It is the inspriation for us. You will learn what happened to Revan and The Exile. And meet companions from the games like HK-47.
A: Mostly cosmetic.
A: You also have artifacts in the world that require Light or Dark side.
A: It is always a concern, but so far we haven’t had a problem. If that changes, then we’ll look into it.
A: Not currently announced.
A: Sure. Operatives/Scoundrels specialize more in HoTs.
A: Less than City of Heroes, more than the game we’re not supposed to be compared to.
We have fully featured endgame, including planets that solo players will enjoy. Perpetual high end solo content.
Flashpoints are dynamic, story driven 4 player content. Crew skills unlock new options in Flashpoints. Operations are multigroup combat.
Q: So to start off with, The Old Republic fans have really been asking a lot about balance with the classes, as far as different classes in the game, how do you guys keep them balanced and, I don’t know, like the Sith Warrior Juggernaut is that an overpowered class?
A: Well the way we look at it is if you have a lightsaber, you win. No, I’m just kidding. Everyone has a role, everyone has a distinct role, and everyone has that unique Star Wars theme that places in a role. And of course, you’ve got Vanguard Trooper that’s very defensive to ensure he defends other people. How we approach balance is we want everyone to feel important in what they’re doing as well as in end-game and PvP. And again, if you go check it out, you can see where it’s at. The players are level 14 because we don’t want to throw too much at you because you only have like 20 minutes in a session, but they can try it out over there.
Q: Release date?
A: We’re targeting release later this year, holiday, that’s our target. And of course you can pre-order now. We have testing on-going, you can sign up for testing on the website, and we’re continuing to expand and open it up to more testers.
Q: We’ve been playing WoW for five or six years, and it’s a pretty robust world we’ve been a part of. We’re getting kind of bored with the game cause we have Star Wars. What is guild functionality like, is there going to be some kind of guild dynamics?
A: We have the basic guild functionality in there now and we’re continuing to expand upon it. We’ll see how much we get by launch and we’ll continue to grown it because obviously guilds are very important to the MMO community, we’re fully aware of that and we’re continuing to expand on the functionality of guilds.
A: One of the things for anybody that doesn’t know obviously is that the guild registrations and all that stuff is actually up already online, so you can go now, you can build your TOR guild, you can get your friends, you can get everyone together, the goal is to try to bring you guys in, in mass, all together when we get on so we can organize servers and do all that stuff.
Q: So I was wondering what you’re doing to ensure the RPG elements in this game that will differentiate from other MMOs in Flashpoints and everyone, cause that one last video has me a little worried that you’re not doing about.
A: So Flashpoints, there’s several different kind of choice moments that you and the group have. Do you flush everyone out of the airlock for the greater good of everyone? Or do you try to find different means to spare them? Light side, dark side points affect your progression and also affects how the action unfolds. And we hearken back the old-school BioWare stuff like, you find hidden chest here, hidden puzzles, hidden levels, depending on your crew skills like Archeology like I was saying earlier, or if you’re bio-analysis, there might be a poison hallway, and bio-analysis to figure out how to get across it. Not necessary, but optional type stuff, old-school RPG where objectives must be on the other side of the wall.
A: If he’s answering RPG questions, I’m taking that PvP one.
Q: Knowing the size of the game is going to be huge at launch, what kind of plans do you have after launch for expansions?
A: All I can say here is that I still have a job, which is good, and we are actually going to be addressing a little bit about that stuff on our panel on Sunday.
Q: Just wondering, several of my friends are either playing Jedi or Sith classes, what are you doing to balance the non-Jedi against the actual Jedi classes and Sith classes so they don’t go in there and just get worked every time they get on there.
A: Well this is a little bit like Gabe was talking about, making all classes functional, all I can say if you got to see any of the Huttball footage from Germany, what you can see is one kick in the nuts can change every fight.
A: Well stated Daniel. Everything is balanced to have a role, we’re not favoring one class over all the others, but we are focusing on all of them having a Star Wars thematic in all the various interactions. Again, check it out over there, play for yourself, see what we’re talking about.
Q: Can I go over to my Sith Juggernaut buddy’s ship and hang out, talk with his companions and what-not, have dance parties?
A: Yeah, absolutely, you can travel on each other’s ship, the nice thing is, so we assume that your crew flies your ship so you don’t get stranded, but yeah you can go see his ship, see what he’s done, see what companion characters he’s got, invite everybody over and have a party.
A: See which companion characters he made cry.
Q: How customizable are the ships?
A: The ships are very customizable as far as abilities, so for the space game you can upgrade rockets, you can upgrade your lasers, your shields, you can all do that stuff, actual physical customization is moving to a post-launch feature.
A: Cosmetic stuff.
Q: World of Warcraft, everybody is competing to get to the top. You have arenas, you also have high-end raiding, and everybody’s focus against one spot. Are you guys going to be just story-driven completely or is it going to be a zenith or pinnacle where you can say, I’m the best guild in the world, or I’m the best 2v2 or 5v5, or anything like that?
A: As far as the competition goes, so combat in The Old Republic is very visual, that’s a good building block for e-sports. So it’s a big focus for us to foster that competition. At launch we’re going to have battle rings and stuff like that that shows how much you’re in to PvP, but we’re expanding on that, we’re exploring more stuff in the future for competition. Now obviously, you’ve got the PvE, you’ve got the PvP, we’ve set it up such that there’s only 10% differential with the equipment, so we allow people to try out different things, not like go into PvP from PvE and get one-shot, so we’re encouraging players to do a lot of that stuff. And, the story culminates in eventual conflicts and stuff like that and Daniel you can take it from there.
A: All of that comes back to basic, does this have the basic MMO elements to it, and it absolutely does. The MMO has always sort of been missing the RPG element right, and as a story guy, as an explorer, I wandered around for a bit, I saw it until I felt like everything was there, and then I left. We’re bringing that to the MMO environment, we’re not taking anything away from the MMO environment. You guys that are killers, if that’s your type, you want to walk around the server and be like, look at me, I’m the baddest assed man in the galaxy and I will skunk you. We are very aware of that player type and he is a very large piece of our game design group in fact.
A: And you’ll recognize, there will be specific looks for those people who accomplish those feats.
A: Yeah as the guy who’s roleplaying right now when I’m playing and doing the story stuff, I usually see that guy and I’m like, what, how did you? The guy in the death mask is walking around he’s like full PvP gear, and I’m like, you’re level 15!
Q: I wanted to ask a little bit about loot distribution or end-game or the high-end Operations, I know there’s been a little bit of talk about the loot bags so that way everybody gets something, but what I’m more curious about is what type of game mechanics will be in-game to allow guilds to use their own DKP system, gDKP, different type of distribution systems, is there a way to integrate them?
A: So the idea of the easiest mode in the Operation, is that it’s for casual players who aren’t that familiar with MMOs and that kind of stuff, and so the loot container serves well for that purpose. Now the harder modes is more, the hard-core players, probably most of you in the audience here and most of the people at PAX, now that we’re testing and we’re exploring different loot options for that. Loot containers are specifically easy-mode because it’s not required for everyone to be on Vent and talking and stuff like that. It’s about getting together with a few of your friends, making some more friends, and saying, hey, let’s go on this epic Star Wars themed adventure together, let’s enjoy it, but the better rewards are in the harder modes.
Q: Alright so my question is, if I roll [ed. note: I believe he said 'Sith' here] on one server, and if I roll a Jedi on the same server, can I send stuff between the two?
Q: How much effort is being put into ensuring the story in The Old Republic is faithful to Star Wars canon, including the Expanded Universe?
A: An incredible amount. We’ve got the Holocron, we’ve got the Star Wars bible, we got all that stuff. We also have pretty much every reference that’s been out there anywhere, that doesn’t mean we’ve been to everything. Everything goes through Lucas, they’ve got some core guys that say, this is ok, this is not. One of the things that’s interesting, when this game comes out, we will become the single largest piece of Star Wars fiction in history. We are canon, which means if there is tiny things that were written in the 1970s comics that said on this one planet this very, very strange thing happened, and people used time-travel to power their ship, we might roll over that. But all the important stuff, all the stuff fans really care about, we care about too. What we want to do is we want to expand that we want to actually get to show you guys some of the stuff you’ve read about and seen, but not that at that moment. Everybody’s got little things, some people have asked me, are there Kiliks in the game, yeah, and we do our research and we do our homework.