It was a great pleasure to sit down with the guy that has most likely got the biggest amount of flame retardant suits on per-order over at BioWare Austin.
Story aside this guy was well and truly in the hot seat.
It was none other that Gabe Amatangelo. Even in this short meeting I came away with the feeling that PvP is in good hands. Half picked and half voluntarily appointed to this post, that many would just crumble at the scale of what is about to come.
Normally when you look over Dev interviews. You get the sense that they will only give you a small insight into what questions you have asked. The nifty footwork they have acquired in the time spent in Austin, at manoeuvring out of the way of those somewhat awkward questions. Would have Fred Astaire green with envy.
Well this time it seemed different.
I was quite taken back by the openness of it all. So much so I did not even get through half the questions I had planned. Though I have to admit this was all a breath of fresh-air.
I was shown to the most sparsely decorated room in the whole of BioWare Austin. Maybe just stripped clean for are own sake (prying eyes and all) or just to keep us focused on the task in hand. What ever the reason I was glad not to have the temptation to look at more classy art works that littered every part of that epic building.
I thought I would start out easy but it soon became apparent that Gabe was more than willing to talk about almost everything PvP
Now off to the Q and A
Q- At which level will players be able to enter Warzones ?
A- Each player can enter Warezones at level 10 no matter what server type/faction or class.
That morning Serge From Swtor-Life told me of this little thing called Guard and pressed me to ask about it. So be it.
Q- So I hear (lying trough my teeth) there is a new guard ability. Would you like to explain how this works ?
A- Sure. It's an ability that all tank classes have at there disposal. You pick a player and cast guard on them. This is an instant cast skill with no cool down. The cast range is 30m but only becomes effective when you and your target player is within 15m. You as the tank take 50% of the damage you targeted ally receives. You and others see it as a buff and its clear to everyone that player is guarded. You can at any time cast this on anyone else in your group. But no more than 1 player may be Guarded at a time.
Q- Is there other areas out side of Warzones that will be contested over by players that are none instanced ?
A - Yes and with regards to PvE servers. There will be zones in place around some of the worlds that will instantly flag you for PvP. Regardless if you have already flagged yourself or not.
This will come as a very welcome surprise to those in limbo of picking a server type. Now knowing that PvE Servers have PvP zones will give some that PvP fix, and still get to access the content without getting ganked all the time. This is a win, win for PvE servers if you ask me.
Q- At which level can a player on a PvE Server flag themselves for PvP.
A - A player can flag themselves at level 1. Though they will not come into contact with the opposite faction for some time. There is no restrictions for self flagging in place.
Q- Will any of the AC's have a skill to detect stealth ?
A- No. There is no skill in place "yet" that will allow you to detect stealth.
Q- So no stealth detection what so ever ?
A- Not at this time. Though you could got around and use your AOE ability's and get lucky, this would force players out of stealth.
(well at least some players already play like this)
Q- Will players get access to PvP titles ?
A- Yes you will be able to use titles that you have gained from PvP.
Q- Can guilds war against same faction guilds ?
A- No, there is no plans to have same faction guilds to war each other.
Q- Is there any restrictions where are where you duel another player ?
A- Well you can't duel in a Warzone for instance. Flashpoints and quest hubs are also out when your in dialogue. Other than that there is no other restrictions in place.
Q- Will you be able to spot a player who have PvP gear on ?
A- Yes you will. They will stand out and you will quickly learn who is geared for PvP just by looking at them.
Q- What benefits does PvP gear have over PvE gear, for those that want to PvP. ?
A- Well we want to make those who are trying PvP for the first time not to be overwhelmed by fully geared PvP players. As such the benefits you will gain for a full set of PvP gear is around 10%.
This will will players trying PvP for the first time, not to to feel to underpowered and still give those those geared right, an advantage.
Q- With crafting. Can a player decide if an item they are making will gain a bonus for PvP or PvE. ?
A- Although some items will have stats that will lend themselves to PvP. There is no plans in letting the player decide to make PvP gear over PvE gear.
Q- With the new info on the AC's what will make the DPS specs, of say the trooper different from one another other. ?
A- Well your AC choice will determine what armor and weapons a player has. The tank spec Vanguard for instance will have the heavy armors. The healing commando will obtain the larger weapons and forfeit the best armor sets.
So tanks will have best armors for that class and healing will get the best weapons. This does not say which is best suited for PvP. But you may also take as a given that the healing side of the AC's you pick will have greater DPS when you are in a raid setting.
This interview was way too short to get the all of questions that I took from the forums and twitter answered. At one point Gabe even started sketching out the AC arc's of the trooper to get his point across. So if I missed something you wanted asked, well time did not allow me to get through them all. I did try to consolidate as may questions as I could to get most of the content covered.
Sitting down with Gabe and talking all things PvP was just brilliant. Event though just moments before I had to be forced pushed away from the BH I was playing at the time.
Only one question did not get answered in those 15 min's. And that was can you roll on both factions on a PvP server.
Hope we get an answer to this questions soon as it is highly important. Or it could of been just a case of it being overlooked as Gabe, put all on the line in explaining what he had planned for TOR's PvP system.