Are you looking to learn more about what goes on behind the scenes at SWTOR and what is coming up with the new Game Update 1.4 then you need to check out the SWTOR Livestream Q&A with Community Manager Joveth Gonzalez, Senior Producer Blaine Christine and Senior Designer George took place on September 21 – 4 to 4:30 PM CST. If you missed it, there is now a video and a transcript up to help you catch up. There’s no mention of dual-spec, something a lot of people have been asking a lot about but they do cover a great deal of information about operations, 1.4, free to play, PvP and much more.
You can see the video yourself here:
If you would rather read than see the video, Dulfy has a full transcript available as well. Here’s part of it. To see the transcript in full, visit Dulfy’s site.
George talks about himself @Bioware and operation Terror from Beyond.
I am a designer on the operations team here at Bioware Austin. We are really excited about the new operation TFB which is going live in 1.4. TFB continues the story which started with Karagga’s Palace operation about the Dread Masters. This one focus on the Gree species, which if you are a Republic player you probably played the quest on Coruscant with the four droids – Black Bisector and all that. This time you will actually get to meet a Gree and interact with them.
Black Bisectors – there are something unique about them in the operation that involves the puzzle right?
Yes, as you know in every one of our operations we have a puzzle fight (it has became our hallmark). For this operation, since we have access to the Gree and the unique way they speak we really wanted to focus on that, especially with the colors and such. The puzzle fight for this operation is you actually enter into a Gree computer and play a Simon says type game with your different color signatures and black parallels green scalars.
We did tease in one of our community blogs that someone is going to be returning in this operation. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Some of our more acute players who have being paying attention to cinematics and such realized that the end of Explosive Conflict the Dread Masters actually resurrect Kephess. Kephess is back, he is big, angry and upset that you killed him.
Q: What sort of content do you have planned for players who don’t enjoy PvPing or endgame PvE content like operations.
We are very aware that operations are not for everyone. As part of our more frequent updates that we are producing now, we are definitely focused on giving the sections of players who don’t enjoy operations more endgame content that they can do beyond questing.
We already have a few those that we have announced – new daily questing area that is coming out, Ancient Hypergates warzone, and lots of stuff we are cooking that we can’t talk about yet.
Q: It was mentioned that along with the free transfers we would be offered paid transfers for characters who like to move from one server to another. Is this still in the works?
Certainly we want to offer people the option to do character transfer as a paid service. We got a little bit of additional work that is going to need to go in before we can actually offer it as a paid service but that is coming in the near future.
Q: When can we look forward to the expanded storyline? Please just give me a month to look forward to.
We teased the planet of Mekab which is going to be the location of the expanded storyline. In a future update when we release Mekab there will be continuation of where the story left off.
Q: Will Cartel Coin shop be in before the FTP crossover so that any bugs can be resolved
Our current plan is the same thing we do to any new content we introduce to the game – you will see that a couple weeks before we launch the FTP option players can go into the PTS and our intent is for anybody that logs into PTS to get some Cartel Coins that they can play with only on PTS – those don’t xfer to the live game! We will have items for sale on PTS that people can go in, make purchase and give us feedback.
Q: With the coming new 1.4 Update, what is the reason behind relics that cost 400 Daily Commendations but only marginally better or new Black Hole gear that costs 350 Black Hole Commendations
The side effect of PTS is that occasionally items that are not intended for live made it up there and unfortunately that specific item was the case of that. So that item in particular is going to be removed, reviewed, and hopefully a better version will come out in a future update.
Q: Are FTP, 1.4, and CC all hitting the same time?
1.4 is already on the PTS and will be coming very very soon. CC coins and the market are not PTS so they are dissociated – November timeframe.
Q: When are we going to see Nightmare mode for Denova and TFB
Nightmare mode EC will be first, and will be coming very soon. Some point after that we will see Nightmare TFB. We realize that this is something for the very hardcore operation players so we want to make sure we do it right. Nightmare mode now is not going to be like Nightmare mode in Karagga’s Palace or EV. It is not a fully fledged mode – differences from hardmode and it is going to be very difficult.
Q: XP Boosts and rocket boots have being mentioned for the Cartel Shop (they are also available as legacy perks). How much overlap will there be between ingame legacy perks and cartel coins.
I don’t know if we are prepared to go into details about that yet. We will have to reserve that one for future interview.
Q: What is the current design intent for PVE gear progression for high end PVE groups. Having BiS except set armorings available BOE through the crafting system in 1.4 and beyond.
We want there be multiple vectors and options for players to their character’s power. We don’t want to always be a drop from an operation boss. Having a mix of craftable items and operation drops will be more fulfilling for players.
Obviously operations will be always the be focus but having some variety is good.
Q: Has there being any discussion on allowing cartel coins to be used for purchase race unlocks instead of credits options we use now.
The intent would be players would be able to use Cartel Coins to purchase Cathar as the first race to be unlocked when they becomes available. We are certainly more than open to exploring other species option depending on how popular Cathar become.
Q: How do you think the gear progression is affected that TFB is now dropping Rakata gear and not Campaign gear.
TFB storymode drops Rakata. When EV and KP normal modes were released, they were meant as a progression into hardmode. We now changed that into storymode – for players who want to experience the story so now there is not so much gear progresion in storymodes.
TFB hardmode will drop the new Dread Guard gear, which we just changed the colors recently. The colors we originally put on the PTS were less than desirable – ketchup mustard, banana sage were some of the words describing them.
Q: Will we ever seen (operation) content downscaled for groups who solo playing.
Operation bosses are some of the most complicated content that we have created – they require a lot of testing and scripting. Taking an operation boss and make it into four players content is not as easy as it sounds and require us to remake it from the ground up.
While that won’t be an option, we are definitely considering other ways to create more content that is not part of operation for smaller groups of players.
Q: Are you happy with the current HM TFB difficulty, do you expect guilds to clear it within a couple days of release or find more of a challenge.
We are very happy seeing the challenges players have run to on the PTS. I think it is inevitable that some guilds will clear it in the first couple days but I don’t think that will be the majority of players.Majority of players who go in to attempt the hardmode will take a while – you might be able to kill the first couple bosses.
Blaine anything else you want to talk about?
One thing we havn’t mentioned is the ongoing loyalty program for players who subscribes beyond the FTP launch. As part of your subscription, you will be receiving a monthly grant of cartel coins that you can go and purchase cool items from the store (this is in addition to the large amount of CC you will get when we launch the FTP option for active subscribers).
One of our goals when designing the FTP experience is making sure that players really get a chance to experience the entire game. Despite the fact that there are restrictions in place, players will be able to experience the story in its entirety as a free to play experience.
George anything you like to add?
I like to thank anybody who were on the PTS to help us test 1.4 TFB operation. Operations are very hard to test, we could see here 24 hr/day play it and not find all the bugs.