Okay, so it’s a little late.. I’ve been busy! 😛
First, on a totally personal note I want to publicly thank the BioWare team that went to the Cantina (Courtney, Cory, Blain, and Ben). You folks were awesome. I can’t express how thankful I am to you guys for treating my son (who accompanied me) as an adult, and taking his questions/suggestions/opinions as seriously as you took anyone else’s. I know I mentioned it on Twitter, but y’all were so awesome to him, it deserves to be mentioned some more. It meant a TON to us (he loves the game), and I think it helped confirm his desire to work in the Video Games industry when he gets older. Now, if I could just get him to pay more attention to his math and science…. 😛
Now that the mushy stuff is taken care of…
March 22nd, BioWare hosted a Community Cantina event here in CO (Boulder to be precise). Four brave BioWare Austin team members braved a spring snow shower here to field a whole bunch of questions from SWTOR fans. I took my ‘assistant’ (A.K.A, my 10 year old son) with me, and good times were had by all. See Dulfy’s site for all the pics off the thumb drive we got.
During the official Q&A section of the event, the team took some questions from the gathered crowd (I’d guess about 200 people were in attendance). Since the Galactic Strongholds expansion had been announced days before, they did explain that they’d be unable to answer most Stronghold related questions, except to try and clarify what was in the announcement.
Here’s the notes I took during the official Q&A (questions, and answers are paraphrased a bit..I can only type so fast on my phone).
Q: What will we be able store in our Legacy Holds, particularly with regards to ‘Bound’ equipment?
A: Anything you can put in a cargo hold now, but the specifics around Bound equipment are still being worked on.
Q: Cross Server PvP?
A: Not planned for any time soon.
Q: With Galactic Starfighter out, and the announcement of Guild Flagships..does this mean Guild vs Guild PvP?
A: No current plans.
Q: Are there plans for “open” space PvP?
A: It’s on the Wall of Crazy
Q: Will the Guild Ships have practice dummies, GTN access, etc..?
A: Good idea
Q: Will we get space PvE content, based on GSF?
A: No plans currently
Q: More class story coming?
A: No plans at moment. Patch 2.7 starts a story arc that will last throughout the year.
Q: Mac Client?
A: (Interesting tidbit, apparently, both Blain, and Cory used to work for Aspyr!). No current plans, for a variety of reasons. Bootcamp works though. (I do wonder if they’d consider doing a Cider wrapper, instead of a native OS X client though).
Q: Distribution via Steam?
A: No plans.
Q: More Galactic Starfighter maps?
A: Coming in 2.7
A: Wall of Crazy since before launch
Q: How are the buffs on the buff bar organized?
A: Not 100% sure of technical specifics off the top of his head, but there is ongoing discussion internally on how to improve it.
Q: Incentives coming for world PvP?
A: No plans on further incentivizing world PvP. Gree/Rakghoul type events are probably going to be it.
Q: Performance based rewards for world PvP?
A: Working on something like that, that isn’t that. Open world PvP events/experiments haven’t always worked well (probably won’t see another Illum type area).
Q: More planets from KOTOR (specifically, sanctuary worlds like Manaan)?
A: Really good idea.
Q: Additional rewards for completing achievements?
Q: Level Cap increase (asked by a little girl wearing a cool, hand-made, crocheted Twi’lek Lekku hat!)
A: Fantastic idea
Q: Lifting weapon proficiency restrictions?
After the official Q&A Segment was over, the BioWare team began to mingle, and answer questions from people in smaller groups. At this point, I let my trusty assistant (the previously mentioned son who accompanied me) take charge, and he wandered around asking questions/making suggestions to anyone that would listen to him. After the event, I made him write down the questions he asked, and the answers he was given… here are some of them:
Q: Are you going to make KOTOR 3?
A: EA has a 10 year license from Disney to make games, that one comes up a lot in internal discussions.
Q: Are you going to add anything from Lost Tribe of the Sith?
A: No current plans
Q: Will I be able to move my house from planet to planet?
A: No, you’ll need to unlock a house on each planet.
Q: Can you add a place for people to create their own missions?
A: It’d be difficult, due to Disney, and Lucas needing to approve everything.
Q: Can you make a Huttball map, where you go up ramps over a Sarlacc to get the ball?
A: Try the new one on Quesh, it’s vertical…but no Sarlacc.
Q: Can you make a special quest, that awards Cartel Packs?
A: Neat idea, I’d like to.
Not to be outdone by my kid (I was though, he had way better questions than I did). I did get a chance to ask Cory about how much of the Strongholds stuff was going to be in the Market (I did preface my question, with that I’m not a fan of the market, I’m old school ‘my sub should give me everything’). I had assumed that because of all the bonus Cartel Coins subscribers are going to be getting, that the majority of the Stronghold stuff, would be on the market. I was pleasantly surprised when Cory let me know my assumption was wrong, and that they plan to have a lot of Stronghold stuff available via in-game methods.
After Saturday night, my excitement for SWTOR is re-kindled. Between the way BioWare treated my son, the obvious enthusiasm the BioWare folks have for the game, and the answers I heard them giving questions.. I definitely need to get more SWTOR playing in my gaming time again.
My son, posing with who he hopes are future co-workers