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March 16th Community Q&A

Published by under community news on Mar. 17. 2012.

After a short hiatus last week (due to the Guild Summit), the weekly Q&A session between developers and the community is back this week.


As you might expect there are more than a few questions about the game features discussed during the Guild Summit, including the chances of getting an in-combat revive for the Trooper/Bounty Hunter healers (it is something that may be included in the future), increasing the amount of character spots players have on a server, and how changes to the crafting system will affect mats. There was also talk of pop up blockers for crew skills, adding more Quickbars, and upgrading the achievement system.


For all of this week’s questions and answers check after the jump, and let us know what you think of this week’s session in the comments below.


Ziko: Already having 8 characters on my server…will I be forced to delete characters in order to take advantage of the Legacy system or will I be able to change race & new Legacy customization features on pre-existing characters and will there be more character slots added?

Georg Zoeller (Principal Lead Combat Designer): We have heard at the Guild Summit that there’s interest in being able to acquire additional character slots on the servers. We are in the process of determining the requirements for such a step and will update the community when such a feature has moved past the planning state.



aivedoir: Any chance we’ll get a pop up blocker for crews returning from missions?

Damion Schubert (Principal Lead Systems Designer): This should be fixed in Game Update 1.2. We also are adding an option to disable Crew Skill reward pop ups entirely in Warzones (since the definition of when you are in combat is fuzzier there).



SpaniardInfinity: At the Guild Summit, the question was asked whether or not Commando/Mercenary would receive an in-combat revive (at least in the near-future); to which the answer was no. I am curious, however: what is the rationale behind this design choice? As it stands, Commandos/Mercenaries can overcome their weaknesses (AoE and mobility) with practice, effort, and smart skill/ammo use; none of that will help us work around being the only healer unable to raise an ally, however.

Georg: The answer at the Guild Summit pertained to Game Update v1.2 for the most part. While different classes have different utility in the game (by design), we feel, based on feedback from our top end guild testers, that with the increased usefulness of in-combat revives coming in Game Update 1.2 (we increased the amount of health players come back with), it is necessary to re-evaluate this topic. We’re not categorically opposed to adding an in-combat revive to the class in the long term, most likely around the same time we add another Quickslot Bar to the game.



DinesenDK: Will it be possible to exchange lower level planet commendations for higher level commendations in the future?

Georg: It’s something we had in testing but took out as it lead to a majority of players not spending any commendations and just uptrading them, which defeats the purpose of the commendation system. I can see us re-opening this topic a while down the road, maybe in context of discussing something like the much requested Legacy Bank.



Loreki: Will the new crafting items coming in Game Update 1.2 have their own grade of materials and if so; how will you fit the nodes into the existing end-game areas?

Georg: The majority of Game Update 1.2 crafting content will seamlessly integrate with the existing system, meaning they will make use of existing endgame materials. The newly craftable augments will use new materials supplied by Slicing missions, while the newly created PvP crystals will use new materials bought by PvP commendations. We did add additional nodes for high-end materials to the daily areas and changed some of the operations materials to be Bind on Equip….



Khoreal: Will you add extra Quickbars? 4 is a bit short when you want to use your character to its full extent.

Damion: We plan to do this, but no ETA. This will not be in Game Update 1.2, I’m afraid.



Urtog: Say I get a Chiss to level 50, now that species is unlocked for all other classes. So if I make a Chiss on the republic side then delete the level 50 Chiss what would happen to my republic version? Or if I delete it before making another character of that species, does it become permanently unlocked even if the level 50 species is deleted?

Damion: You keep your Chiss, and you also keep the ability to create new Chiss. This ability is now permanently unlocked on that server.



ClayManiac: Will there be an overhaul to the achievement system? Currently there is no way to track progress towards them and most of them seem to just happen. Maybe even add more objectives? Survey a planet’s map, etc. Reasons to do stuff other than sit in the fleet all day.

Damion: We are just starting an initial design document for this system now. I don’t want to talk about it yet, but I can say that we have some twists planned that should make it no ordinary achievement system…



captainfrankie: Do you have any plans to upgrade the Razer Green/Black Color crystal (SE Black Green Color Crystal) as you did the pre-order Yellow/Black?

Georg: Yes. It will involve uptrading your existing crystal for a new one (along with paying a modest credit fee to the vendor), so don’t throw out the old one just yet



YuvalZiv – Are there any plans to add a barber shop anytime soon, or a feature that will allow existing characters to enjoy additional customization options, unlocked through the Legacy system?

Damion: “Are there plans?” – the answer is yes. “Anytime soon” — the answer is no. It’s not that we don’t want to do it, it’s just a little further down in the priority queue, and so I don’t want everyone to have any expectations that are unrealistic in terms of when it will get into your hands.

Because this sort of answer happens what I am sure is too often in these weekly Q&As, I thought I’d pause and give an idea of how we sort and prioritize issues like this. Right now, my primary role on the project is to design and help guide prioritization for most of the new features that are in consideration for the next year. Designing them is easy and fun – my dream job, really. Prioritizing them is a lot trickier, and a lot of factors go into those decisions. Quick features (such as the ability to toggle off receiving mission rewards in Warzones, mentioned earlier) are cheap wins – easy to program, easy to QA, and useful or important to a large segment of the audience. The barber shop is harder — not hard, mind you, but it requires multiple development groups, really needs new art to do very well, and has implications for existing characters in the world. For the cost of a well-done barber shop, we can do six or eight things the size of the Warzone toggle, or last week’s Smart Camera Toggle (and sometimes more)!

This doesn’t mean that we won’t do larger features — indeed, in the next patch we have multiple very large features, including Guild Banks and Legacy, that were big money features, and that we think are going to have huge impacts overall on the quality of the game. But we tend to pair a relatively smaller number of those big features with a lot of these smaller feature additions, because that sort of approach seems to offer us the largest bang for the buck. And to be honest, having looked at our most recent version of patch notes for Game Update 1.2 today — well, let’s just say that this patch is astonishing in the amount of new stuff, big and small, that is coming your way.

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