It’s Friday and that means it is time for one of my favorite new things BioWare is doing these days, Community Q&A. They managed to go over 10 questions again this week, another trend I would like to see continued, and answered a range of questions from implementing a LFG tool, improving end game usefulness of crafting skills, and even touched briefly on the chance the players will be able to customize their current ships or get new ones. (Hint: Don’t expect it anytime soon.)
You can find all the questions answered this week after the jump. If you have a question you would like to ask the development team post it over at the official forums in this weeks Official Q&A Thread.
Chyp: Can we expect to see any animation/damage timing consistency changes between factions?
Georg Zoeller (Principal Lead Combat Designer): Yes. The animation team has been working on a new set of animations for abilities like the Trooper’s Mortar Volley to provide closer matching of animation timings and improved combat responsiveness. We expect to roll these changes out with Game Update 1.2.
Zennis: Has there been any discussion to streamlining the Space Port process? Perhaps allowing speeders in the Space Ports besides the Fleet?
Brian Audette (Senior Designer): We’ve absolutely heard what the fans are saying and have been exploring options to address these issues. While we are still investigating allowing speeder use in Space Ports, we’ve also been looking for other ways to get people from point A to point B with greater haste. One such feature will specifically affect planets that have Orbital Stations instead of Space Ports such as: Tython, Korriban, Hoth, and Belsavis. We’ll be adding an option for players to go directly to their ships from the surface shuttles as opposed to having them run through the Orbital Station to their airlocks. This feature and some additional tweaks will start showing up in Game Update 1.2.
deusBAAL: Will you be providing a LFG tool? What will be its features? How will it be intended to work and when can we expect it to go live?
Daniel Erickson (Lead Writer): We are hard at work on a much more robust LFG functionality that will quickly help put groups together while still offering the flexibility to decide how you group and what sort of people you want to be grouped with. We’ll release more details as we get closer to release.
LthalSavy: Will there be any way to implement a quick travel to your ship?
Georg Zoeller: Not in the short term, but it’s something we’ve been discussing on and off. Currently, given how easily available fleet travel passes are on the Security Vendor, we don’t think adding this is necessary.
IsACoolGuy: Will any new emotes be added to the game? The Jedi/Sith meditation thing that NPCs do looks pretty cool, will emotes of that nature become available to players?
Damion Schubert (Principal Lead Systems Designer): We do have some new emotes planned. Even cooler, we now have tech that allows us to grant emotes as rewards for various game systems. In Game Update 1.2, we have several emotes planned as unlocked rewards of the Legacy System. My favorite is the special dance that is so inspiring that your companion feels the urge to boogie down with you.
TrueDND: Currently, the incentive to choose other Crew Crafting Skills outside of Biochem is minimal due to the fact that, once you reach max level, all gear that is acquired through PvE and PvP is better than all crafted equipment and mods (mostly through the Commendation and token vendors). Is this being looked in to?
Georg Zoeller: Absolutely. With the upcoming Game Update 1.2, we are adding endgame crafting for all professions. This includes augment crafting, the ability to crit-craft custom (orange) gear with augment slots, new endgame schematics, new color crystals, expanded and improved research and reverse engineering and much more (we’re up to 4 pages of crew skill related patch notes in 1.2. alone)
Combined with new features such as the ability to extract base-mods from purple items (including the set bonus) and the improved color matching feature, crafters of all professions will find themselves in a lot of demand once the update hits.
Toxin_Polaris: Do you plan to have mini-games like swoop races or pazaak? And if so what is the priority for this? Can we expect them this year?
Damion Schubert: We love mini-games, especially the ones that speak to the heritage of KOTOR. When would something like pazaak make its way to you? Hard to say – it’s not on our immediate horizon, and we’d most likely do it at a point where we want to make a large splash.
Twaggy: I find it troublesome to compare mods/enhancements/armoring/hilts/crystals that are installed in my armor or lightsaber. Will you be implementing something that lets you see the stats of what you have (like the comparability you can do of the boots – boots or jacket – jacket)?
Georg Zoeller: This is a convenience feature on our list of things to look at once the higher priority UI features and community requests have been addressed. We definitely think it’s a good idea, but where it falls in terms of prioritization makes it impossible to give you an ETA at this point.
TheJestersHat: What is BioWare planning to do about performance issues that people get with Warzone, open world PVP, and general FPS issues?
Damion Schubert: We have an internal strike team that is fully devoted to ensuring that the game runs better and faster, especially on low end machines, and we consider this team’s work to be a crucial internal initiative. You should see evidence of this work as soon as Patch 1.1.5, when we will be introducing a new ‘very low’ setting to shader quality, which should drastically increase the number of mid-to-low machines the game can run well on, especially in Warzones and Operations.
Frung: Have you considered adding a “companion” loot roll option?
Damion Schubert: We’ve discussed it and have a design for it – when we do this, we will make it so you can only roll ‘need’ on items that your advanced class is meant to use in one of its specs. I do not currently have an ETA on this feature.
Belthazaar: I like my ships but, I was wondering if or when we will be able to purchase, make, or steal a new and different ship beyond the one that we currently get from our class quest?
Damion Schubert: Unfortunately, the nature of our ships as central story areas for all of our class content, and all of the associated triggers and cinematics that must therefore be done on the ships, means that giving players new ship models, particularly interiors, is very, very hard for us. We will probably look at addressing this instead by providing a greater sense of ship customization at some point well in the future. But it’s someplace we definitely want to go!