What's going on over at LucasArts/SOE?
I was met by Jason Ryan, the Events Manager for SWG, and was told that I would be taking a look at the second part of a two-part event called “Battle for Restuss”. The first part of the event, I was told, had players stockpiling weapons and equipment for the upcoming second half.
This world event is taking place on Rori, in a city called Restuss. It seems though, that Restuss as players have known it since the launch of the game, may not be much longer for that world.
At a later point in the battle, players will experience some kind of an accident that sets off a huge explosion, bathing the screen in bright light which quickly gives way to the smoke and devastation of the aftermath. The NPC Imperial and Rebel forces, who have gathered, lay dead on the ground.
The resulting devastation goes beyond the initial sight of a number of dead bodies. The city, which was pristine when players arrive, will lay in ruin, its look completely changed (the change having been masked by the smoke of the explosion). The change, we are told, will be permanent. Lasting long after the event is over.
NPCs will be populating the area in the future, handing out quests, but the real appeal of the destroyed area will be that it will serve as a PvP and PvE battleground, giving players a place to just go and fight.
I also had a chance to talk to Jason about the game in general. First of all, he told me that there would be no new expansions this year. Instead, they’re planning to release a lot of free content. First on their list though, is to “polish, improve, and expand” on the current game. “There have been lots of changes in the couple of months,” said Jason. “We want to make sure that the current game is polished to give us a solid base to work from.”
When I asked why the game had been through such drastic and sweeping changes already, Jason told us that “there are millions of Star Wars fans out there. We’re trying to make a game that appeals to as many of them as possible.” He says that they are looking to make “changes that will be best for everyone in the long-run, even if it causes short-term pain.”
The changes to combat have been made in order to speed the game up and make it more accessible to players. I also asked about the possibility of releasing pre-CU or pre-NGE servers and was told that it was “not going to happen. It’s not something we’re even talking about doing”.
For players looking for more information on the future of the game should take a look at the game’s publish plan. “We put out our publish plan to the end of the year to inform players of what we’re going to be doing. We think that it’s realistic, fun and straight-forward.” He was also quick to point out that the publish plan is not a wish-list, but a comprehensive list of what will happen.
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