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BioWare switches SWTOR team around to create more PvP, end game content

Wednesday, 2nd May 2012 16:36 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

SWTOR lead designer Daniel Erickson has said the team at BioWare has realized how large the PvP community is, so it has “turned a huge amount of resources” towards creating more content. He also told RPS that more team members have been assigned to create end game content as players are approaching the current cap faster than previously thought.

According to Erickson, more events like the Rakghoul Outbreak are also on the way. Like the Corrupted Blood Plague from World of Warcraft, the Rakghoul virus went from player-to-player providing not only a “mid-storyline surprise” for players, but a chance to explode as well.

“Part of the magic of doing something like this is that it feels organic and gives you a sense that the world is changing,” Erickson said. “A surprise you’re warned about ahead of time isn’t much of a surprise.”

“We definitely learned a lot of cautionary lessons [from World of Warcraft] about what to watch out for and protect against if you let your players loose with a contagion. We had a pretty good idea players would spread it no matter how hard we tried to stop them, so instead we encouraged it with rewards and quests and then ran every possible scenario we could think of to make sure it didn’t create any unintended consequences.

“There were two things we actively tried to encourage with the event, and those were community involvement in solving the mystery and free-roaming PVP on the PVP servers. Both were successes.”

Erickson said the team learned “two big lessons coming out of not just launch but beta testing,” when it came to development direction, one of which was not to underestimate the popularity of PvP among MMO players.

“Although we had not originally planned the game to be heavily PVP-focused, the ease of getting in and playing the Warzones combined with their fun design gave us the highest PvP participation of any modern triple-A MMO,” he said. “At that point we turned a huge amount of our resources to PVP development, but we’re still playing a bit of catch-up, and that is understandably frustrating to our most advanced PVP users.

“The second [lesson] was that the better your leveling content, the longer people would play in single sessions, and that when people are playing an average of five-or-six-hours-a-pop, they devour your content at an amazing pace. That meant moving more teams to end game content earlier than we had expected.”

You can read the full interview through the link.

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3 Comments

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  1. viralshag

    I think it’s a little bit late to realise this to be honest. Nowadays PvP is a huge part of any MMO if you do it right considering this is one part of end game that is easy to access, completely unrestricted and fits best with many peoples time constraints.

    I really do worry that there seems to be a lack of higher level MMO production and planning experience working on TOR. The game is ok, I’m not debating that and they do treat their customers pretty well with free time etc but a lot of that seems to be on the back of mistakes.

    I logged in for the first time yesterday since the free week ended and the population has taken a noticeable dip from reasonably busy to near empty. I just don’t think this game will retain the number to make many huge advantages, which is a shame. Maybe things will turn around but the current MMO is only as good and popular until the next “big MMO” comes out. WoW being the exception, as usual.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Hunam

    Yeah, everyone kinda stopped playing in march saying they would return for 1.2 and never actually did. My server was a pre-launch server, so one of the first up and running and was filled with a lot of pretty hardcore players, but most of them have now gone to other games and most of the guilds, basically the top 10 guilds on the server (including mine) just collapsed.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    Yeah more hot air. All this basically means is ‘when Guild Wars 2 arrives, we are fucked in terms of pvp and we will lose even MORE players’.

    Although I did find the pvp COMBAT to be enjoyable the way they simply handle it with so many limited ‘choices’ and the last minute removal of ranked pvp really shows they didnt and probably still dont care.

    Hot air until they prove otherwise and offer a valid reason why those who quit should come back

    *Note all my comments are about PvP and not PvE

    #3 2 years ago