SWTOR Interview: Achievements, UI Mods, Cross-Server
What about high-resolution textures? It’s something that was used in the advertising for the game, that people were looking forward to seeing, and it hasn’t appeared. Will they ever become available to people who feel confident that they have the hardware to run them?
We have a client team that’s always working on adding more graphical features to the game. Mainly, they’re working on optimization, but they’re also working on things like shaders and shadows and other stuff. You will see improvements to the graphics engine over the course of the next year.
How about a Looking For Group option? It’s something that I think people have gotten used to in other games.
Groupfind is actually our number one priority past update 2. It’s something that’s very important for the endgame, because players get a little bit frustrated basically waiting in the Fleet trying to get a group together to do an Operation or a Flashpoint.
What we’re seeing, or what our telemetry tells us, is because of that, a lot of people are playing PVP, because it’s so much easier to get into. So we want to make our PVE content easier to get into, and Groupfinder’s the best way to do that. Update 3 is essentially the Groupfinder update.
Is there a possibility for some sort of server-wide system?
We have worked on cross-server Warzones. Once you have a large population to draw on for PVP, you can do a lot more PVP features. When you only have 2000 people on a shard to draw from, you have to kind of limit the amount of things you’re going to do, because you’re weighing the speeds for a Warzone to pop versus how much a player can customize his experience. The more a player customizes his experience, the smaller he makes the group of players he draws upon to get into that experience. When you have 200,000 people to draw on, suddenly that open things up. We’re going to definitely do that with PVP – not with the PVE content with dungeon-finder, not for Update 2. We really want to see how Groupfinder works before we get into that.
That’s a good segue to get into PVP. Can you talk about plans for Ilum?
Right now, we’re taking the spotlight that was on Ilum, and we’re moving it elsewhere. We know the players are big fans of open-world PVP, so were working on that. But it does require some tech that we don’t have right now to deal with the biggest problem, which is faction imbalance. When you’re on a faction imbalanced server, that can really take all the fun out of open-world PVP. Once we get that technology, and once we’ve done a lot of work on it, and some general balancing, we’re going to reintroduce open-world PVP in a big way to the game. Ilum’s not going away, but we’re not making it a focus of your itemization game. You can go and do Ilum for fun, but the problem was, it wasn’t balanced for the faction imbalance, and because you had to do it, it wasn’t a great experience.
Can you talk about the changes to the Valor system, which some players are a little confused by? After removing the Valor requirements for PVP gear, are there any plans to introduce items that go beyond cosmetic when it comes to valor?
The thing with our itemization system is that we’re always looking at how players are gearing up, how the itemization system is working – is it working? Is it not working? Are the players having fun with it? Are they not?
All the changes that are coming through in 1.2 are based off of feedback from our community, and telemetry, and making adjustments. We will continue to mess with itemization throughout the history of the game, based off how things are going, just like how we’re going to be messing with the economy. We’re constantly looking at how players are playing the game, and using the itemization, and using the economy, and what works and what doesn’t.
So was there something in that data, in that telemetry, that suggested a change? A negative thing that you wanted to course-correct?
Yes. I couldn’t give you a specific answer on that now, though.
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