#SWTOR news – Daniel Erickson’s post to the community

Hey Folks,

First of all, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who came out for the event. I was running on four hours sleep, jet-lagged and we had just finished an all-day press event. The energy and enthusiasm you folks brought woke me up and kept me energized throughout. Like PAX, any time we get a chance to share the game with our fans it turns into an amazing time. Now, let me see if I can clear some stuff up that there seemed to be questions on:

– Party size in the game right now is four, which includes CCs. This is also true in Flashpoints. This does not mean having two people and their CCs is the same as having four people. CCs are powerful but they are not the same as having smart humans nor are they equal in power. So on a less difficult Flashpoint with amazing players or players that had a couple extra levels it’s likely possible to two man or three man them but I will say that when Alex and I tried to two-man the Heroics on Dromund Kaas with our CCs we got stomped flat. And, you know, I’ve been playing this game a while. Most important to remember: All of these rules can and likely will change in the future. And yes sometimes they’ll change week to week if there’s a new build during that time. This is what testing is about.

– I referred to “ten plus hour worlds”. It’s my short hand in the office for “big worlds.” It’s not a concrete number for play time. Some of them are bigger than that. Some are much bigger. And obviously, your time spent on them may vary, especially if you like looking at our gorgeous landscapes.

-There are light side and dark side icons on the dialogue wheel if you are using the mouse. If you are using number keys to pick dialogue options, you’ll never see them. So if you hate the idea of choosing wrong, you’re going to be a mouse user for dialogue. If you hate the idea of hand holding you’ll be a number key player. Best of both worlds.

-Swimming will not be in TOR for ship. It is not a ‘free feature’ we turned off and is actually a huge amount of animation, pathfinding and AI work. Either every creature in the game needs to have water moving/fighting animations and AI to handle 3D movement or combat has to stop in the water with all the AI craziness that having safe zones you can jump in and out of entails. We have nothing against swimming but it’s never going to outrank improving combat, Companion AI or any of our other core features.

-Dark Side / Light Side is working even though most people didn’t see a difference in their bar on the terribly ugly placeholder Character Screen. The bar doesn’t move much per decision because it’s a long game. Highlighting the bar shows the point value which makes it easier to tell quest by quest progress.

– Class quest answers are not arranged by DS/LS but by class appropriateness. So the most “Boba Fett” response (curt, professional, all business) goes on the top of the Bounty Hunter. The most “Vader” on top of the Sith Warrior etc. So if you’re playing purely to your class fantasy you can just keep moving along easily. So in similar situations a Sith Warrior might have a “[Kill Him]” option as a first response but an Inquisitor might have it second and the first response might be trying to look deeper at the situation and discover what’s really going on.

-Darths do outrank Lords in our time period and both are official titles in this Sith Empire. The honorific, however, is always “my lord” when speaking to a Sith who outranks you whether they are officially a lord or not. So all soldiers in the Imperial military of normal rank (not moffs and generals, etc) will call you “my lord” as soon as you achieve Sith status. This doesn’t mean you’re actually a Lord by title yet. The Sith themselves have a complex sense of rank and will often try to test others with their forms of address.

-There was an odd bug that was causing cover points to appear for Troopers and Bounty Hunters. These have not become cover classes.

-Training abilities does cost credits.

-Datacrons are, in fact, spread all over TOR in hard to reach places, do appear on your map if you’re close enough, have some awesome history pieces for your codex, are very hard to get (I’ve only gotten a couple ever in playing) and do permanently increase your stats. Kudos to Kandycane for being the first person I’ve ever seen to get one at an event. Explorer badge!

Hope that helps,
Daniel Erickson

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