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Interview with D.E. from mos eisley radio at pax

http://moseisleyradio.com/2011/03/19/open-bounty-004-daniel-erickson/

 

Dont expect a bunch of new info or anything.  I just personally enjoyed it and think D.E. tends to make for a good interview so figured i would share. enjoy image

Comments

  • artemisentr4artemisentr4 Member UncommonPosts: 1,431

    Thanks for the link.

    I don't know if I am excited or discuraged by the fact that game testers have so much power to change the game before it even sees the light of day. The game directer tells all the devs thanks for your hard work. But now the testers are in charge and most of what you did is now wrong. So change it and fix it. That can really change things for the better or make it worse. I guess it has worked so far with KOTOR, ME and DA:O. But reading imput from so many gamers on so many sights scares me a bit. Listening too much can be a mistake sometimes.

    And it sounds like a full PvP update is close. Close could be months, but it sounds like it might be soon.

    “How many people long for that "past, simpler, and better world," I wonder, without ever recognizing the truth that perhaps it was they who were simpler and better, and not the world about them?”
    R.A.Salvatore

  • CalibanvovCalibanvov Member UncommonPosts: 192

    That was actually a great interview!

  • MMO.MaverickMMO.Maverick Member CommonPosts: 7,619

    Originally posted by artemisentr4

    Thanks for the link.

    I don't know if I am excited or discuraged by the fact that game testers have so much power to change the game before it even sees the light of day. The game directer tells all the devs thanks for your hard work. But now the testers are in charge and most of what you did is now wrong. So change it and fix it. That can really change things for the better or make it worse. I guess it has worked so far with KOTOR, ME and DA:O. But reading imput from so many gamers on so many sights scares me a bit. Listening too much can be a mistake sometimes.

    I dislike most the Companions possibly being cut from all the dungeons. Tey should try making it work, instead of cutting them out if a number of the testers doesn't like them. Companions would break hard trinity requirements like definitely needing a healer or tank.

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  • GMan3GMan3 Member CommonPosts: 2,127

        Personally, I have never had a problem with the "Holy Trinity" but at the same time I was looking forward to Companions breaking that mold as well.  I hope they take a second and third look at that idea as well.  Maybe the option they should be looking at is making the companions optional in dungeons.  Just a thought.

    "If half of what you tell me is a lie, how can I believe any of it?"

  • DarkPonyDarkPony Member Posts: 5,566

    Originally posted by MMO.Maverick

    Originally posted by artemisentr4

    Thanks for the link.

    I don't know if I am excited or discuraged by the fact that game testers have so much power to change the game before it even sees the light of day. The game directer tells all the devs thanks for your hard work. But now the testers are in charge and most of what you did is now wrong. So change it and fix it. That can really change things for the better or make it worse. I guess it has worked so far with KOTOR, ME and DA:O. But reading imput from so many gamers on so many sights scares me a bit. Listening too much can be a mistake sometimes.

    I dislike most the Companions possibly being cut from all the dungeons. Tey should try making it work, instead of cutting them out if a number of the testers doesn't like them. Companions would break hard trinity requirements like definitely needing a healer or tank.

    It opens a can of worms though:

    - Social: more people getting substituted for npc's in group content: not desirable.

    - Balance: If you really want to fine tune a 4 man flashpoint to be a challenge for a full player group, companions need to be as powerful and useful as player characters (with a 4 max group count). If they would opt for a 4 man + certain amount of weaker companions (so a higher max group count), the dungeons would probably become less of a challenge.

    - AI: Boss encounters where stuff like positioning matters, or interacting with objects, etc, would be very hard to implement without 'dumb' companions causing a lot of wipes.

  • PhryPhry Member LegendaryPosts: 11,004

    Originally posted by DarkPony

    Originally posted by MMO.Maverick


    Originally posted by artemisentr4

    Thanks for the link.

    I don't know if I am excited or discuraged by the fact that game testers have so much power to change the game before it even sees the light of day. The game directer tells all the devs thanks for your hard work. But now the testers are in charge and most of what you did is now wrong. So change it and fix it. That can really change things for the better or make it worse. I guess it has worked so far with KOTOR, ME and DA:O. But reading imput from so many gamers on so many sights scares me a bit. Listening too much can be a mistake sometimes.

    I dislike most the Companions possibly being cut from all the dungeons. Tey should try making it work, instead of cutting them out if a number of the testers doesn't like them. Companions would break hard trinity requirements like definitely needing a healer or tank.

    It opens a can of worms though:

    - Social: more people getting substituted for npc's in group content: not desirable.

    - Balance: If you really want to fine tune a 4 man flashpoint to be a challenge for a full player group, companions need to be as powerful and useful as player characters (with a 4 max group count). If they would opt for a 4 man + certain amount of weaker companions (so a higher max group count), the dungeons would probably become less of a challenge.

    - AI: Boss encounters where stuff like positioning matters, or interacting with objects, etc, would be very hard to implement without 'dumb' companions causing a lot of wipes.

    totally agree, though i'd limit companions to just being a crafting accessory, in terms of gameplay i don't think they really belong there.image

  • AvatarBladeAvatarBlade Member UncommonPosts: 757

    Considering 3 of each 4 faction classes will be able to heal and 2 out of 4 will be able to tank, hopefully it won't be a problem finding people for needed roles even without companions in flashpoints. 

  • FdzzaiglFdzzaigl Member UncommonPosts: 2,433

    Originally posted by DarkPony

     

    It opens a can of worms though:

    - Social: more people getting substituted for npc's in group content: not desirable.

    - Balance: If you really want to fine tune a 4 man flashpoint to be a challenge for a full player group, companions need to be as powerful and useful as player characters (with a 4 max group count). If they would opt for a 4 man + certain amount of weaker companions (so a higher max group count), the dungeons would probably become less of a challenge.

    - AI: Boss encounters where stuff like positioning matters, or interacting with objects, etc, would be very hard to implement without 'dumb' companions causing a lot of wipes.

    The problem is that they're not prepared to give players more control over these companions.

    I know some people don't like the idea of managing a companion character besides their own char but I honestly feel this cheapens the use for companions a lot.

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  • DarkPonyDarkPony Member Posts: 5,566

    Originally posted by Fdzzaigl

    Originally posted by DarkPony


     

    It opens a can of worms though:

    - Social: more people getting substituted for npc's in group content: not desirable.

    - Balance: If you really want to fine tune a 4 man flashpoint to be a challenge for a full player group, companions need to be as powerful and useful as player characters (with a 4 max group count). If they would opt for a 4 man + certain amount of weaker companions (so a higher max group count), the dungeons would probably become less of a challenge.

    - AI: Boss encounters where stuff like positioning matters, or interacting with objects, etc, would be very hard to implement without 'dumb' companions causing a lot of wipes.

    The problem is that they're not prepared to give players more control over these companions.

    I know some people don't like the idea of managing a companion character besides their own char but I honestly feel this cheapens the use for companions a lot.

    But how would giving more control solve those three issues I mentioned?

  • GormokGormok Member Posts: 379

    Originally posted by DarkPony

    Originally posted by Fdzzaigl


    Originally posted by DarkPony


     

    It opens a can of worms though:

    - Social: more people getting substituted for npc's in group content: not desirable.

    - Balance: If you really want to fine tune a 4 man flashpoint to be a challenge for a full player group, companions need to be as powerful and useful as player characters (with a 4 max group count). If they would opt for a 4 man + certain amount of weaker companions (so a higher max group count), the dungeons would probably become less of a challenge.

    - AI: Boss encounters where stuff like positioning matters, or interacting with objects, etc, would be very hard to implement without 'dumb' companions causing a lot of wipes.

    The problem is that they're not prepared to give players more control over these companions.

    I know some people don't like the idea of managing a companion character besides their own char but I honestly feel this cheapens the use for companions a lot.

    But how would giving more control solve those three issues I mentioned?

    Use them or don't use them problem solved. I tend to play pet classes in all mmos that i play, and i have never had any issues in dungeons with them. Heck i have even used them in raids as well as many other players. The problem isn't the companions themselves, it's the players. Some figure that since they don't won't to use them other players shouldn't use them as well.

    It's funny how in games like WoW and Rift that see more people with pet classes than non pet class users. Yet somehow these two games seems to make it work for both dungeon running and raiding. I think BW needs to rethink that decision, because the game testers are a small number of the MMO community.

    It's funny how these testers will complain about little features, but something major like caster classes still using an outdate system like standing still while casting a 2 sec spell is cool. That's something that i think devs need to cut out of MMOs since the genra has become so pvp centric.

  • NazgolNazgol Member Posts: 864

    My guess was trying to balance the various companions with the different make ups of groups was why they disallowed them in flashpoints.

    In Bioware we trust!

  • can't remember if this has been posted on this forum before but here is georg zoeller on companions:

     

    GeorgZoeller's Avatar

    GeorgZoeller


    Joined: May 2010


    03.12.2011 , 08:32 PM



    Report Post


     





    Quote:


    Originally Posted by MelissaUK


    This news it a bit disconcerting. Sure I'm one of those that never liked the idea of companions for group stuff anyway but this must have been a major setback for BioWare.


    Not really, no.



    Everyone who is familiar with raid type mechanics understands that they are about human coordination. AI mobs have little place in such scenarios and we always wanted companions to not be management heavy (they are not pets in that sense - pet classes in other games are required to micro manage their pets for equal efficiency with non pet closses, we purposely avoid that). We don't want you to micro manage your companion, and that is exactly what you would end up doing in a raid.



    We could spend tremendous resources on trying to make companion AI able to handle raid scenarios, but frankly, most scenarios in game would probably end up with players taking matters in their own hand ("Raid Forming, no companions") - so we decided to make companions polished and great in the areas of the game where they really matter and not force them onto areas where they would end up conflicting with the rest of the design.



    Companions are available in the overwhelming majority of content in the game, but we are very careful to make the feature feel right and not become an annoyance.



     



    Georg "Observer" Zoeller

    Principal Lead Combat Designer


     


    GeorgZoeller

    General Discussion -> Companions currently not allowed in flashpoints and raids (Part 2)


    You guys are again getting way ahead of yourself.



    There are still companions in the game, we still think they are important, we are still looking at their role in endgame and we are, as James mentioned in the same sentence that now has everyone terribly excited, actively testing them.



    We appreciate all your feedback - pros and cons - in this matter, but we would like to respectfully ask that you keep it civil with each other and don't get too far off track (no, we are not reducing the number of companions, no, companions are still an integral part of your character, no, we haven't said that there is no endgame content at all for companions).



    We'll have further details on this topic as we conclude our tests on the matter and are confident that the decisions we make are final for launch.


     
  • SwampRobSwampRob Member UncommonPosts: 1,003

    My preference would be for them to let us use all our companions at once, if we chose, in all the content.   I would love that.

    Since that's not what they're doing, I will use my companion to it's utmost, and strive to solo (duo with companion) every bit of content I can.

  • sJenksFTWsJenksFTW Member Posts: 63

    Originally posted by Nazgol

    My guess was trying to balance the various companions with the different make ups of groups was why they disallowed them in flashpoints.

      Pretty much this ^. If people have to control their companions throughout the flashpoint I would expect it to be how a lot of dungeons went in WoW with the warlock or hunter forgetting to set their pet to passive, and oh look we've pulled a ton of crap we can't handle. Plus a companion would be hard to program to understand that your damage dealers don't need a complete top off of health all the time which would essentially waste mana.

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  • FdzzaiglFdzzaigl Member UncommonPosts: 2,433

    Originally posted by DarkPony

    Originally posted by Fdzzaigl


    Originally posted by DarkPony


     

    It opens a can of worms though:

    - Social: more people getting substituted for npc's in group content: not desirable.

    - Balance: If you really want to fine tune a 4 man flashpoint to be a challenge for a full player group, companions need to be as powerful and useful as player characters (with a 4 max group count). If they would opt for a 4 man + certain amount of weaker companions (so a higher max group count), the dungeons would probably become less of a challenge.

    - AI: Boss encounters where stuff like positioning matters, or interacting with objects, etc, would be very hard to implement without 'dumb' companions causing a lot of wipes.

    The problem is that they're not prepared to give players more control over these companions.

    I know some people don't like the idea of managing a companion character besides their own char but I honestly feel this cheapens the use for companions a lot.

    But how would giving more control solve those three issues I mentioned?

    I don't see the issues that you described as that much of a problem, there seems to be a slight misunderstanding on your part.

    - Social: people don't get substituted for NPC's, the original plan was to have 4 players in an instance with each also bringing their companion with them. No one would get replaced: you'd still need 4 players.

    - Balance: idem ditto except the idea was to make grouping easier with healing companions etc, challenge always depends on design, it's not set in stone that companions or pets make dungeons easier (sometimes it's the other way around).

    - AI: This is the real problem. But if you give more control to people (so that they can determine who gets healed/DPS'd when and where) and give players the opportunity to position them much like pets this would be solved.

     

    BioWare wanted to fix this issue not by making them controllable pets but by giving them specific AI sets, obviously this didn't work out the way they thought it would as they're changing this rather dramatically.

    I understand why they did this and respect their decisions based on feedback, but I still don't like the loss of a pretty interesting new feature.

    They could have reacted to this earlier, or at least have found some way to implement them into small group encounters (for example, by giving slightly more control) so that the "easy grouping" idea remains intact.

     

    Still, as Georg said, changes might still happen.

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  • ktanner3ktanner3 Member UncommonPosts: 4,063

    I understand some of the concerns with companions being eliminated from dungeons, but being someone that dealt with this in STO, I can see why Bioware is doing this. Trying to control companions in a major fight in a crowded space is a royal pain. Many times the companion would get stuck and I'd have to run all the way back to him and work to unstick him. Other times they wouldn't do what I asked them to and would get killed quickly, leaving me to take on the mob. Plus this is an MMO and we should be encouraging group play whenever possible. 

    Currently Playing: World of Warcraft

  • maskedweaselmaskedweasel Member EpicPosts: 11,896

    The way I always figured it,  Companions were set as backup characters for the most part,  or additions to your character, not entirely like a pet class, but similar in that the way you spec your companion changes the way your character behaves.

     

    When taking into account dungeons,  normally you'd have 4 player characters,  but in the even you only had 3 player characters,  it would have been nice to have the option to have 3 companions stand in as a fourth character.

     

    If that were your two options,  4 PCs or 3 PCs and 3 companions,   I think it could work.  Not having a 4th person is a choice and though it might be tougher,  I don't think it would be completely undo-able, even if you didnt' necessarily micromanage your companion.  You would essentially have 3 more players able to take aggro,  heal, or help with DPS, and that in itself could be just enough to get through some areas.  Not to mention starting a dungeon like that is an active choice players will make, so if they decided to do that and failed miserably, they could always try it again with a 4th person and no companions.



  • ElikalElikal Member UncommonPosts: 7,912

    I was always staring at his shining head. :O

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  • artemisentr4artemisentr4 Member UncommonPosts: 1,431
    The way companions were explained originally is that they count as 1/4 of a player. So you would have to have 4 players regardless of companions in a flashpoint. But if you had a tank and 3 DPS, you could each have a healer companion to try and fill the role of the healer. But you could never replace a player with a companion all together. Only a trinity role. Looks like it isn't working so they are out until it does.

    “How many people long for that "past, simpler, and better world," I wonder, without ever recognizing the truth that perhaps it was they who were simpler and better, and not the world about them?”
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  • IsaneIsane Member UncommonPosts: 2,630

    Originally posted by Phry

    Originally posted by DarkPony


    Originally posted by MMO.Maverick


    Originally posted by artemisentr4

    Thanks for the link.

    I don't know if I am excited or discuraged by the fact that game testers have so much power to change the game before it even sees the light of day. The game directer tells all the devs thanks for your hard work. But now the testers are in charge and most of what you did is now wrong. So change it and fix it. That can really change things for the better or make it worse. I guess it has worked so far with KOTOR, ME and DA:O. But reading imput from so many gamers on so many sights scares me a bit. Listening too much can be a mistake sometimes.

    I dislike most the Companions possibly being cut from all the dungeons. Tey should try making it work, instead of cutting them out if a number of the testers doesn't like them. Companions would break hard trinity requirements like definitely needing a healer or tank.

    It opens a can of worms though:

    - Social: more people getting substituted for npc's in group content: not desirable.

    - Balance: If you really want to fine tune a 4 man flashpoint to be a challenge for a full player group, companions need to be as powerful and useful as player characters (with a 4 max group count). If they would opt for a 4 man + certain amount of weaker companions (so a higher max group count), the dungeons would probably become less of a challenge.

    - AI: Boss encounters where stuff like positioning matters, or interacting with objects, etc, would be very hard to implement without 'dumb' companions causing a lot of wipes.

    totally agree, though i'd limit companions to just being a crafting accessory, in terms of gameplay i don't think they really belong there.image

    They belong and will most likely have an higher IQ than the average player in game which will help a lot with choice. It is all about choice and as long as you can play with and without I see no issues.

    ________________________________________________________
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  • jeremyjodesjeremyjodes Member, Newbie CommonPosts: 679

    you guys know as well as I do that the crys of whiners will get them added to FP's. It can be argued all year but it will happen. look what Wow whiners get done each patch. they get entire classes nerfed or changed. I tend to agree with most of you on not having them BTW.

     

    Good for quest or world stuff in raids nope.

    image

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