Georg Zoeller

TORWars Interview: SWTOR’s Georg Zoeller

The guys over at TORWars are famous for giving us good interviews on SWTOR from time to time. They recently posted an exclusive interview with Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller. It’s not the first interview we’ve seen with him but this one is really in-depth- 1,500 words worth, actually. Zoeller is full of information and knowledge about SWTOR, game design and the industry in general. This is one of the many reasons why fans love to read his interviews. He’s a class act and this interview with TORWars is direct and full of great juicy details and not your typical boring answers to the same old questions again and again. Here’s a snippet: TORWars: How do you go about designing a combat system that will keep players excited and motivated for numerous hours a day, potentially over a number of years? Zoeller: Options. The…

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Georg Zoeller Clarifies Cross-Faction Communication

Georg “Observer” Zoeller, Principal Lead Combat Designer for SWTOR pops into the forums to clarify some things about cross-faction communication. There has been a lot of talk and debate over the issue and as with all things that get over-talked online, there was some confusion. Zoeller says: “Guys, Let’s back up for a minute and clarify what’s going on here. Nothing has changed since San Diego Comic Con. As discussed at SDCC, the decision was made to separate the general chat channels by faction. However, this decision ONLY affects the planet-wide chat channels such as “General Chat.” If you’re standing next to another player (local chat), you can talk to them regardless of what faction you’re part of. The only thing we removed, as already mentioned at Comic-Con, was the ability to communicate with the opposing faction across the entirety of a planet to avoid the issues (like griefing, abuse,…

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IA and Smuggler to get the ability to put your entire group in stealth

SWTOR Smuggler art by superhawkins Every now and then you hear something about a game or a class in a game that is so awesome, you just cannot wait to try it out for yourself. This was the case when I read that the IA and Smuggler in SWTOR would get the ability to put the entire group in stealth. Georg Zoeller dropped this piece of golden information on the forums today after talks about the Smuggler not getting enough love as a class in the game. So Zoeller posts: “As a non force user class, the smuggler is definitely a bit of a renegade / rogue – something a lot of players won’t try for a while as they explore their Force & Lightsaber wielding Star Wars fantasy. That said, it’s one of the most versatile classes… and that was before we gave the Smuggler the ability to ‘Smuggle’…

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Zoeller says No Killing Companions in SWTOR

If you were getting excited about the opportunity to kill your companions in SWTOR, then prepare to have your bubble busted. Georg Zoeller has been speaking out lately about companion characters, how they will interact with us within the game as well as on the removal of the permanent death system. What original sounded like a good idea now seems impractical. There will be now be no killing of companions in SWTOR, according to Zoeller on the official forums. He explains this decision in full detail in his post. It seems a few things have happened to make this feature not practical. Zoeller says: “A number of things happened: Companions, since that feature was created, have become even more integral to the game: They run your crafting missions. They are vital to your PVE combat performance. They allow you to substitute for missing roles in flashpoints. They are at your…

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Absolutely No Fishing in SWTOR

Many players are asking whether or not there will be fishing in SWTOR. It’s a reasonable request since many MMORPGs have fishing implemented as a profession in the game. Georg Zoeller addresses the topic on the official SWTOR forums and explains why there should be absolutely no fishing in SWTOR. Zoeller explains why it is not really possible to fish in this galaxy by breaking down the various worlds and areas: “Hutta – Poisonous swamp, all fish are horribly mutated creatures that would eat you on sight. Better not go fishing. Ord Mantell – Wartorn world, full of Separatists and men of fortune. Overabundance of unexploded ordnance polluting landscape and the ocean. Better avoid fishing there.Tython – Lush landscape, so peaceful, except for those Flesh Raider guys. Who look like Sharks (at least according to Tython chat on the test servers). Just think about it. Sharks that walk. Better don’t…

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Georg Zoeller to speak about SWTOR at GDC

BioWare’s Georg Zoeller will speak at the Game Developers Conference 2011 about SWTOR. His 60-minute lecture is advertised for a still-determined day and time at GDC but you can bet that TOR fans are excited to hear what he has to say and we’ll be sure to bring you all the juicy info as soon as we have it as well.  GDC website says “The talk will show a selection of interesting 2D and 3D visualizations, discuss lessons learned and provide information on how to get started with the topic on your own project.” And: Idea Takeaway: Attendees will learn how BioWare leverages spatial analysis on user generated playtest data to contextualize and better understand user feedback and behavior and how this can be used to rapidly iterate and improve game content.Intended Audience: Attendees should be familiar with the topic of metrics and telemetry in online games. Familiarity with the…

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Georg Zoeller Q&A raises some concern about the DPS balancing act among ACs

 Interesting conversation was happening in the SWTOR forums today as Georg Zoeller addresses what he said might be a “resurrection of an old topic”. He talks about DPS in relation to classes and the class balance. Zoeller says you might a small amount more damage from a class that does not wear heavy armor but it really isn’t that simple at all because there are so many different variables that go into play when discussing DPS in the game.  Zoeller says: “Different DPS specs have different amounts of CC, utility, etc. and that will reflect in their maximum DPS output. There’s consideration about damage being applied over time, ‘bursty’ or ‘not bursty’ damage, critical damage, damage tied to other effects like snares, the fact that damage can interrupt Warzone objectives, damage potential that can be purged or neutralized, the cost of energy/heat/Force/focus to create that damage, the ability to deal…

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Moral Issues in SWTOR and more Tidbits from the Forums

The Star Wars: The Old Republic official forums were abuzz yesterday with talk about dark/light side morals and choices, rumors of a release date and more. Damion Schubert stepped in to add more insight to the topic as well. Zoeller talked about questing and how it will operate within SWTOR and explaining that there will be some repeatable quests/content within the game but that the game won’t rely on it completely. Zoeller also discussed where we will be able to fly within the game: “Once you have your ship, every planet in the galaxy can be flown to. Of course, flying to a level 40 planet at level 12 might not be the greatest idea, but still, you can do that.” Then Stephen Reid also talks about morals and light side/dark side choices: “The Light Side / Dark Side symbols only appear when using a mouse to hover over the…

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Replayability of SWTOR

Georg Zoeller spoke on the official SWTOR forums this weekend about the replayability of SWTOR and same class replay. Many have questioned this and the issue of mob grinding in relation to SWTOR.  MMORPGs are famous for grinding and mindless quests telling you to go here and kill x number of ___. This mindless, repetitive gameplay is what BioWare says they are trying to avoid in SWTOR. The discussion that ensued on the forums was an interesting one on this topic. Orcron posted: “Well thanks for clearing that up. But why is it you made the class quest far more richer with goodies so to speak then taking side routes to level up? Such as flash point running or random mob killing an so on.” Zoeller came in to answer the question: “I wouldn’t say richer – after all Flashpoints, PvP and other activities have great rewards as well… just…

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Self-Rez in SWTOR: The Great Debate

Ever since the topic of self-rez was introduced for SWTOR, there has been debate over how it will impact the game. Georg Zoeller popped into several posts on the official forums to talk about the concept, answer questions and clear up confusions. He says: “Let’s give you some details, since it’s E3 and we’re being generous The reason we added this system is that the worlds in The Old Republic are huge and a travel death penalty turned out to be much more punishing than initially planned. Our testers were quite vocal about that. Our testers also commented that they liked the more challenging content compared to other MMOs (no, Daniel’s demo wasn’t showing that, since running harder content and talking and answering interview questions is a bit much to ask of a writer).” He goes on to describe that the system was added to help fix the death issue…

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