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Author Topic: San Diego Community Cantina Night!  (Read 1290 times)

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Offline Calibis

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San Diego Community Cantina Night!
« on: 07/19/13, 01:17:44 PM »
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As many of you may know, Thursday night Jace and I had the opportunity to attend a Cantina night with the Devs, complete with an open Q&A session and some time mingling with them and our peers.  I was unable to ask any questions during the open forum, as there were quite a few people there, and they had limited time for the Q&A portion of their visit.  I was disappointed, but I persevered with my mission and managed to steal quite a bit of Damion Schubert's time.  I would like to share with you what I learned Thursday night, both from the Open Q&A and from my intimate interview with the Lead Designer of the game.  Keep in mind everything to follow is paraphrased.  I made the decision to not directly quote anyone, as I may not remember the wording correctly, and would hate to misrepresent anyone I spoke to.  They are all amazing people and deserve my respect in this matter.

In attendance Thursday night were Eric Musco, Courtney Woods, Bruce Maclean, Damion Schubert, and a few other personnel whose names I was not fortunate enough to catch.  I feel like their answers, when looked at with an understanding that they are running a business, were well worded and as forthcoming as they could be.  Thank you to the Developer team who came out to San Diego for this event.  It was a blast and I look forward to next year!


1: Will there be another grind for PvP gear?
     If you feel like playing a lot of PvP is a grind, then yes.  If you play PvP just to have fun with it, nope.  Currently only 1.7 % of all PvP pops in game are Ranked PvP matches.  The goal is to make Ranked PvP accessible no matter when you play.  This is something they are working on so that they may make our PvP experience more fun/worthwhile.

2: I didn't actually hear this question, as the room was crowded and noisy, but I have the answer!
   The Devs feel that the overall story content of the game has been successful, and they are striving to continue with this theme.  The goal in the future is to make the planetary stories even /more/ epic!

3: Will you be making more planets with more content?
     The answer to this was a disclaimer.  If you think the answer is a given, it probably is.  Yes, they probably will.

4: When are you bringing Revan back?
     This sparked a conversation regarding Revan, and a question posed to the Audience.  “Would you like to see Revan back?”  which was answered with a resounding cheer from the crowd.  The Devs nodded and simply replied that they would take that under consideration.....

5: Are you working on Companion gift giving on personal ships?
     The current system of Gift Giving does not require you to have a target.  Instead, you click on the item you wish to give, and the code checks to see if you have a companion active.  On your ship, you cannot have a companion active, as they are all available at once.  In order to fix this particular problem it would require many man hours, and changing the code for the system.  In the grand scheme of things this is a low priority issue.

 6: Tell me about Arenas and why I should be excited for them.
     If you're a PvPer, be excited. If you're a Ranked PvPer, be very excited!  Read the notes on the forums for more information.

7: Will you be adding classes?
     This is a difficult thing to do.  It is easier to add advanced classes than an entirely new one from scratch.  If this does happen, it will be far in the future.

8: More space combat?
     This response was a big surprise.  We asked for more than the usual non-committal response, and we got 'Space combat is currently in testing in early playable form.'  There is a Super Secret Space Project, and that is the biggest hint we got all night as to what they are working on.

9: Once again, I didn't catch the question clearly, but it appears there is an issue with Vibrosword barrels and transferring them to other weapons or to a companion’s weapon.  They are aware of the issue and are working to fix it. (Also, Amber is the bug queen, and would have a more detailed answer.)

10: The last question of the night was regarding Bolster and some gear.  I am not aware of the issue, but it seems that some items are not playing well with the Bolster system.
     Every item they produce in game has a stack budget, (Budget of 10 = 5 cunning, 2 endurance, 3 willpower).  Some reverse engineered items go outside of that stack budget system, and thus can cause problems.  They are working on producing new gear and phasing out the items with the issue.

They ended the Q&A with a statement that what they want is for PvP to be about Skill, not about who has the better gear, or bug exploiting.  That is what the Bolster system was designed for, and they are working out the kinks as fast as they can (budget permitting, of course.)

This was the first part of the evening. There will be more to come as I have not gotten to my direct conversation with Damion, which was enlightening and fun!

Offline Kezie

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Re: San Diego Community Cantina Night!
« Reply #1 on: 07/19/13, 03:05:12 PM »
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Thanks for putting this up Cal.
May the force serve us well!!!

Offline Colton

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Re: San Diego Community Cantina Night!
« Reply #2 on: 07/19/13, 04:40:01 PM »
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And while we're waiting on the next installment of Cali's notes from last night, let me just say that the Community Cantina meetup was awesome! There were so many of our fellow RPers in attendance, some from all over the country, some from outside the country, and we bantered with many of them from the moment we got in line to enter the bar to the moment we called it a night.

The Commons Bar itself was well prepared to welcome so many gamers. There were appetizers, drinks (and I wish I could remember the name/ingredients of the signature SWTOR drink that the bar created for the event) and lots of cool music and a looping video of classic games. I ended up having two of those signature drinks, they were so good. (And Republic blue - eat that, Empire!)

The devs were all friendly and fun, and led us through a Q&A (which was already posted by Cali) followed by a trivia-filled giveaway. After that, the devs split up to wander through the bar so they could interact with fans who still had questions. As she mentioned, we managed to get a very sizable amount of Lead Designer Damion Schubert's time to bombard him with our questions. He was very gracious and more than happy to answer everything he could and directed us to those who could better address certain concerns we had. I have the utmost respect for him.

Beyond that, we spent the rest of the evening chatting with our fellow gamers and name-dropped BC.org to anyone who seemed interested in joining our RP community. So many cool people there, some of them in costume!

If there's ever one of these Community Cantinas in your area, I highly recommend making the effort to attend. Such a great time!
Saura Colton - Former Republic slicer/spy
Jace Colton - Captain of the Second Star (retired)
Drexa Nahir - Akar Enclave Master (deceased)

Offline Calibis

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Re: San Diego Community Cantina Night!
« Reply #3 on: 07/20/13, 11:39:42 AM »
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Part 2

First, thank you all for your interest in my little adventure.  I have been giddy with excitement for the last few days over this, and have been itching for the time to type it up for you.  My conversation with Damion was wonderful.  He is a very intelligent and well spoken man, with a quirky sense of humor.  If any of you have the chance to meet him, take it!  Buy him a beer and ask him about his Magic card collection!  You will not be disappointed.
And now for the part you all have been waiting for, Part 2 of my post: Q&A with Damion Schubert.

1: For those of you wondering about a Ladylike sit, or a new emote, or new gear graphics, or new dye colors.  The overall response to non-technical requests throughout the night was this:
   There is a thread on the main Forums monitored by Courtney.  Anything that you can think of that you would pay to have, post it there and they will look into adding it to the Cartel Market for us.  The more detailed you are, the better, and if you provide screen shots or images, the artists will have something to work with.  Anything that is a request that comes straight from the movies is likely to be approved, especially if an image is posted showing the scene it came from.

2: Moving on, The Chair Sit:
   …Is jankey as shit.  Apparently there isn’t a way to code it into the game without them going chair by chair and adding the code in.  The man hours that would take to do something so large scale, not to mention the money that would cost, is immense.  The difficulties here are compounded by the fact that the seating in the game was not designed well for humanoid bodies initially.  With that said, they are working on a way to do a Global Sit, it may just take some time, and we’ll have to be patient.

3: Any of you wondering about Pod Racing or Swoop Racing:
If you recall the races we’ve done in game, you will understand the initial problem with racing.  There is currently no way to make everyone’s screen show exactly the same position in a racing scenario.  This doesn’t look to be coming any time soon.

4: Cross Faction emoting:
Damion knew there was a reason, though he was not entirely sure what that reason was.  There is the possibility that cross faction emoting was removed during beta due to excessive tea-bagging or other nonsense.  He recommended we contact Courtney or Amber on the forums and put in our request to have it brought back.

5: Hood Toggle:
Ok, this one has been looked at.  It’s on the list of things to do in game, but not very high on the priority list.  Mid-priority, to be more precise.  Sorry guys, you’ll just have to wait.

6: Guild Ships:
The short answer is “Not Soon,” and the reason may surprise you.  Damion told me flat out that this is important to him, and when they come onto the scene, he wants them to be done right.  They are taking care with them, and making sure that the guild ships will be what the players both want and need.  It will accompany a major update, or expansion.  They currently have a design in the works.

7: Personalized ships:
The biggest hindrance to incorporating this feature is the ships themselves.  Every ship comes equipped with many points that trigger story scenes.  They are so jam-packed with story and companion interactions that placing anything new on the ships could block a point and prevent a scene from showing correctly.  That being said, I will reveal that I received the second largest hint of the night… This may be something that the Super Secret Space Project is working on…

8: Places to Roleplay:
I’m going to be very honest here, and I want you all to read this with an open mind and remember that we are a very small percentage of the players in not just this game, but most games.  Building new areas and adding in rooms to the game itself is a very complex and time-consuming process.  The spaces we have found to RP in were originally designed to allow areas for the designers to use to allow for game expansion and not originally designed for us.  The fact that we found them first and have been using them was something they had not anticipated.  With that in mind, Damion feels that though we are not even close to the majority, we are important to them.  He recommended we start a thread on the main forums as a place to voice roleplayers' needs in a civil fashion, so that they might better understand and take into account what we want in the game.  We can use this forum to bring up things they might not have thought about, such as open areas to RP in. 

All in all I felt that his responses to my questions were positive, and he really made an effort to make sure I understood the reasons why certain things may not happen, or are difficult to accomplish.  He also made me feel like I was really listened to, and I am sure our requests have been heard and are being considered.  Please, if you have the chance, take the time on the Main Forums to thank him and all the Devs who were at the Cantina.

Part 3: a look into the future!  Jace and I received a small thumb drive from the event.  Content and discussion will be my next post!

Offline Colton

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Re: San Diego Community Cantina Night!
« Reply #4 on: 07/21/13, 03:58:02 PM »
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As per Semah's request, all discussion regarding this thread's posts have their own thread to continue the commentary over here so we can keep this post chock full of info gleaned from the event. After this post, I'll be locking this thread up, so be sure to head over there to comment and speculate!

And now...

Part 3

Aside from the Q&A/meet-and-greet chat, we all walked out with a USB flash drive with images and a video of upcoming stuff. Some of this is already online, but it's altogether different to see those images pop up as files on your own computer.

First, let me just say that, even for a plastic USB drive, it's kinda cool to have a free something with the SWTOR logo emblazoned on it.

Among the five file folders is a PDF summary of the contents of the “FIRST LOOK” Inside Scoop flash drive and a thanks for all the support. Divided up by folders, they are: Czerka, KOTOR 10 Year, TaunTaun, Treek, and WarzoneArenas.

Czerka folder contains a Quicktime video tour of Czerka Industries site CZ-198 and provides a sneak peek at the Titans of Industry game update. It's a neat little video, if a bit short, but provides a fine teaser for the update.

KOTOR 10 Year folder contains a wallpaper of Malak and Bastila, lightsabers ignited, and looks pretty cool.

TaunTaun is not about the TaunFawn you get for attending the event, but a trio of images showing the new TaunTaun mount that will be added to the game! Hopefully this will mean the first of many mounts like it. (WTB Bantha mount, or Nexu mount!)

Treek folder is another wallpaper, this time of the upcoming companion to be introduced with the new content, Treek! Of note, the wallpaper has Treek holding a bowcaster high in the air...

Finally, WarzoneArenas folder has nine images, three each of a different warzone. If one is to judge by the image titles, the three arenas are Makeb, Tatooine, and "Space Garage." They look pretty cool, and the Space Garage arena makes me think of the ROTJ scene with Luke and Vader battling on and around walkways in the second Death Star.

And that closes out our wrap up of the Community Cantina event! It was a blast, and I look forward to what future Cantina events will bring to our community.
Saura Colton - Former Republic slicer/spy
Jace Colton - Captain of the Second Star (retired)
Drexa Nahir - Akar Enclave Master (deceased)