We recently sat down with BioWare Austin's Bruce Maclean (senior producer), Ben Irving (lead producer), and Charles Boyd (lead designer) to chat about the state of Star Wars: The Old Republic now that Knights of the Fallen Empire has been out for a few months.
MMORPG.com: What plans do you have to build on the alliance system? Will there be deeper interactions with the companions in terms of additional companion quests for companions that return to us as part of the KotFE story?
Charles Boyd: What a wonderful question! It’s always going to vary, depending on, some characters in any story are going to end up being more important than others, from character to character, there’s not like an average, but using Kaliyo as an example, she comes back in Chapter X, but that’s not the last you’ll see of her or anything like that. She’ll continue to be important in the story and the chapters that follow up. Essentially that is what the future of the alliance system, at least in the near future, is. We really want it to feel like you’re building up this alliance, this organization full of interesting and conflicting characters ,with different personalities and different skills, and you’re kind of choosing who you feel belongs in there and who you want fighting by your side. So, that’s really where it’s going to be going in the coming chapters.
Bruce Maclean: And in the story of Knights of the Fallen Empire, you’re building this alliance to challenge the might of the Eternal Throne. Without giving away the plot of Chapter X too much, you don’t defeat the Eternal Throne in Chapter X. Your alliance will continue to grow and you’ll continue to have things to do. As we go through the chapters leading to the incredible conclusion finale of Chapter XVI. But yeah, there’s more, is the short answer.
MMORPG.com: Can you talk a bit more about the subscriber rewards program you recently announced?
Ben Irving: So, first of all, for all of our subscribers who subscribe on January 11 of next year, you receive HK-55 as a permanent companion that comes out with Chapter X, that’s available to players on February 11. There will be a short alliance recruitment mission, where you’ll do a bunch of things, I don’t want to ruin what it is, then bring HK-55 back for you permanently and he joins your alliance.
If you subscribe from January 11 all the way through to August 1, you’ll receive the bonus chapter where you get to play as HK-55, which Charles talked about just before.
Bruce Maclean: There is a break for the holidays, but once these chapters get rolling, every month there’s a new chapter and you’re going to continue growing your alliance, so this isn’t the only reason to be subscribed.
Debbie Sue: As the chapters continue to release, if you are subscribed at the beginning of each month, then you’ll get early access to the chapter and an in-game item, and they’ll all be themed to a set of gear related to HK-55, so it’s a lot of fun for the player to get him, and then be able to collect various weapons and gear, and then eventually if you stay subscribed through the rest of the series, you get to play the bonus chapter as HK. It’s a lot of fun and something pretty new that we’ve never done before that really came from players themselves. The idea came from the players.