MMORPG.com was fortunate enough to host one of the last standing panels that the Star Wars: The Old Republic staff had before launch at New York Comicon this past weekend. In case you missed the Q&A we’ll try to explain a brief write up of the highlights. Gathered on the panel was: our own Community manager, Mike Bitton, and from Bioware: James Ohlen, Corey Butler, Daniel Erickson, and Stephen Reid. The team took the full hour to answer fan questions and here is a brief write up of what was covered.
The fans came out right away asking for specifics of PvP which has been only touched upon slightly in the news. Unfortunately, Gabe Amantangelo was not on hand to answer specifics. Still the team explained that PvP continues to be a prime focus in the game and players will have plenty of options to go and battle it out in the galaxy. The open zone world PvP is the most anticipated topic right now and hopefully we will get more information as we get closer to launch. They did say there would be dedicated PvP servers out there. So prepare for battle.
There were a lot of questions going back to the KOTOR games of old and how they impacted the new game coming. Daniel answered most of the lore questions and made sure to point out that the time line is original but there are some throw backs to the past linked into the game, however nothing major was included.
One of the coolest topics that was discussed was the item modification system that we have yet to see in the game. Players will have a lot of options to customize their gear and there will be a lot of mods out there to help players stay competitive while still wearing the gear they want. James Ohlen pointed out that if you want to play a robed Jedi vs. one in armor, you can accomplish your goal, though it would not be easy. You can find the right robe that you love and still have to look for the mods to keep it high level. The mods may be tough to get, but they want players to have the chance to modify their appearance.
Also, crafting and role playing were both mentioned. The team assured players that crafting will play a major part in the game and players can expect some great systems to build their weapons, gear, armor and even work in their star ship. When the topic of player housing was mentioned, the team quickly pointed out that the star ships would be a place of storage, and act similar to player housing in most respects. This also led to the role playing question which the team said there would be plenty of chances to role play, yet nothing specific was added into the game yet. Although, they expect the role playing community to be a big part of the game and will monitor the activity closely.
One of the highlights of the panel was when a younger audience member asked the question about light side, dark side decisions when it came to the romantic interest in the game. Players who are Jedi and want to pursue the highest light side path would have to give up some of their choices in order to be the ultimate Jedi. The rest of the team did point out that many of the Jedi who have fallen from grace did so because of emotional ties and romance. The question and answer was met with applause as well as cheers for such a tough question coming from such a young member of the fan base.
Of course the majority of questions centered around story and choice which the team was more than happy to discuss. There are so many choices in the game and players will have a lot to look forward to, especially when the group dynamics come into play. Players will be able to roll for the response to NPCs on a quest and the group will follow. The choice falls on that player specifically and the team must go forward. This element to the game is quite tricky and they expect a lot of feedback from players.
Also, the species were talked about in depth and the team had to explain why some of the more wild alien races would not be in the game. Even though everyone are fans of Wookiees, the voice acting and depth of the story just made it impossible to include some of these races in the game. That being said, there is a wookiee companion in the game and also there are a lot of aliens that players interact with. They did say that there was a Sith pure blood as a player species in the game (tied to the Inquisitor class).
The panel ended up very well and I highly recommend watching the panel (linked below) if you hope to find the answers to some burning questions you may have. We want to thank the Star Wars team for taking time to meet with fans at our MMORPG.com panels and look forward to bringing you the best coverage leading up to launch. See you all on December 20th. I will definitely be there. For the Empire!