I would like to thank Mr. Daniel Erickson for his time and giving us this great interview. We were honored to bring the community questions to him and are happy that we were able to get most of them answered. You can check out this thread on the official forums to see what were all the questions that were asked and which ones did get answers.
SL: Hi, I’m Derek Green reporting with SWTOR Life and I’m here today with
Daniel Erickson: Daniel Erickson
SL: and we’re gonna do a quick interview
SL: The first thing I want to ask you is: “Will there be a character creator pre-release like Dragon Age and Mass Effect did?”
Daniel Erickson: Very highly doubtful. It is really hard in MMO to actually separate the software out like that. My guess is no, but you can’t be … My guess is that there will be too many other things we will have to work to get into the game.
SL: That was the most popular question that we had that the community wanted to hear in the interview. That was the no. 1 question.
SL: What sizes will the raids be and will there be different sizes for different difficulties like a 10-man and 25-man raids in WoW.
Daniel Erickson: There will be different sizes for different difficulties. We don’t know what the cap is yet. We’re still doing gameplay experiments with it. So, there’s the 8 man and than there’s bigger than that, but what that bigger is we won’t know for a while.
SL: Will there be any dynamic content like rifts in Rift? Are you guys planning on doing anything like that with dynamic content?
Daniel Erickson: No, not at that sport of level. One of the things we’re doing, we’re doing a lot of, it’s like the bonus quests that appear in the areas, like the area quests and things like that, but we’re not in there changing the world, doing those pieces. That stuff happens in more in your class quests and sort of your more intimate stuff. So, the world for you is going to change a lot, but you’re not going to go through the streets and watch the ground rip open and things like that.
SL: Have the number of characters a player can have per account been finalized yet?
Daniel Erickson: It has not. It’s a bunch. My guess, it’s probably going to be so you can play every class on a server and I don’t think; we normally don’t limit it by account, it is by server.
SL: I was hoping we see a bunch because there are so many different options I want to try and I would hate to have my character slots locked up and than not be able to try dark or light side.
Daniel Erickson: We would never go the “Hey, here’s one character” route, never!
SL: They were talking the other day about being able to punt characters. Is that going to be possible in a PvP type situation?
Daniel Erickson: What do you mean punt characters?
SL: Knock back off a cliff type of thing.
Daniel Erickson: Oh yeah.
SL: Will you be able to do that in a PvP situation
Daniel Erickson: Oh yeah, and there’s … OH … sorry Gabe (Gabe Amatangelo, lead PvP designer for SWTOR). There’s been some teases about it, about a third warzone coming and let me tel you… Oh Yeah!
SL: Something on the character customization side, this is something a lot of our fans wanted to know. Will the player be able to change the look of their character after creation? Like, maybe going to a barber shop type of thing?
Daniel Erickson: Probably not at ship. It is something we are fully in support of, but it is on a list of things that tech wise will probably not be able to make ship.
SL: Is that on the wall of crazy?
Daniel Erickson: It is less on the wall of crazy and more on the wall of almost.
SL: I am also known as SWTORCrafter on Twitter and I gotta get some crafting questions in. What kind of crafter would I be if I didn’t at least try. Lets say you have your main character on a server, what about your alts? Will they be able to pursue different crafting specialties?
Daniel Erickson: Of course, in fact, one of the things that works really well with that is when you get into hyper-crafting, and that is, I’m the same way, it is very possible you’ll end up with support crafters. In fact, if you are moving money around … one of the things that is interesting … because the mission systems on your crafting lets you run gathering missions, although the gathering missions are expensive, you are not always sure what you’re gonna get from them. It actually means you can have somebody running these sorts of missions without actually being with you out in the open world. So, people who tend to run big sort of “all of my alts are supporting my factory” it actually works pretty well for them. I am somebody that back in the Dark Age of Camelot days was actually a dedicated crafter. That’s all I would do. I am actually a big supporter of the idea that you don’t always have to be in the combat .. if I want to do that, like, let me do that, let me play that game (referring to crafting game). You gotta get up high enough to get your crafting. You got to get your ship, but after that – here – go craft.
SL: Well, the way the system is designed now, the way it looks, it looks it can get really complex, like with the offline skill queue. Is that going to be possible that your alts can run the offline skill queue also for crew skills? I mean, or is that something that is just tied to your main account. Will you be able to access that on all characters?
Daniel Erickson: You can have up to, I believe that the crafting stations support five, so you can have five companion characters on each one of your characters all running offline missions. You can be the guy that logs in every day just to go through all your characters, give everybody jobs and than go away.
SL: I’m glad to hear that because, the offline skill queue system is very similar to a mechanic we had in Eve and that was very addictive. I loved it. I would log in just to check my skills and then log back out. I would pay for the account just to do that, that’s how addictive it is and I really think that something like that is going to be a big hit.
SL: We’ve heard from different sources here lately talking about the quality of items that you can get from crafting versus raiding. We’ve heard things like “raiding will be best in slot items, crafting will be secondary” and than I also heard from a different source that crafting would have some of the best in slot items also. What’s the story on that? Do each ability to get an item like raiding and crafting both have best in slot items that they can fill?
Daniel Erickson: In a very general sense, the philosophy is: best in best in best in slot in the whole universe is probably going to come from your raids, because that is what drives people. The one, and it is not secondary, it is the one right under that. The thing you are going to want to put on your whole guild in order to run the n-level raid is going to be the crafted stuff. That said, you know that guy that speaks really fast : “All these things may change, everything may go. None of this store stuff has to do what may ship in the final game.” Nobody knows what it actually might be because we’ve got a thousand plus people testing it and things changes constantly. Damion is (Damion Schubert, lead systems designer), that man is overloaded. I was bugging him the other day. I was like “what happened to the missions” and he explained to me and, oh okay, that makes sense.
SL: He sounds like he has a lot on his plate. That is my hero by the way, I just want to get that in there.
Daniel Erickson: His team works very, very hard.
SL: I love the work they do with itemization and stuff. That looks right on target.
SL: Lets go with something for our last question that a lot of people have been asking, that is kind of fluff, but that we’re gonna ask anyway. Will we be able to get a vanity pet? Can I have like my own Kowakian Monkey Lizard running around following me or is that the role designed for the companion?
Daniel Erickson: Companions are definitely not vanity pets and we like vanity pets. That’s all I can say.
SL: Daniel, I appreciate the time.
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