Star Wars: The Old Republic Interview

Ten Ton Hammer caught up with Star Wars: The Old Republic creative director James Ohlen at The Syndicate Guild's "Syndcon" this past weekend for a Q&A about the highly anticipated MMORPG's companion system, bank/mail systems, planned mini-games, and more. Some of what was talked about:
Ten Ton Hammer: We are also curious about the banking system. Will players be able to share items between their own characters through the bank on the same server, or even across factions so long as it's on the same account?

James: Currently no, you have to do it the old fashioned way through the mailbox, but only if they're the same faction. There are multiple reasons why we don't want the different factions to communicate with each other.

We had the big argument that this isn't like Horde and Alliance, we all speak Galactic Standard so we should just allow it. So we actually did allow it for a little while. The argument against it was that, what happens is people start saying inappropriate things to the other side. That's just the way it is when you're on a different side and you gank each other, people tend to say inappropriate things.

So we thought that maybe it won't be so bad, but then when we started doing testing with external people, and then we'd look at the chat logs and say, OK, that's gone. And it wasn't the swear words that were bad, let's just say that lots of inappropriate things get said. Usually our testers are more mature, and if this is what was happening with them, imagine what will happen when we go out into the wild.

We just wanted to get rid of that, so that's another reason why you can't mail your incredibly dirty messages to members of the opposite faction. The unfortunate thing is that's just human nature. Suddenly Empire players would start sending horrific messages and I mean horrific so that's what we want to avoid.


Ten Ton Hammer: Can you maybe tell us a little bit about other mini-game activities that players can find in-game?

James: We have the most advanced mini-game of any BioWare game which is the space mini-game. So that's our '˜big' mini-game, and it is our most in-depth and interesting mini-game we've ever done. There's the whole upgrade mechanic on your ship, the actual space game itself has a lot of tactics within it, and there are a bunch of different space levels and they look really beautiful.

Out of all the mini-games we've done, I think it's the one players will enjoy the most. However, we have looked at all of the other possible mini-games, like in KotOR there was pazaak but currently we're not planning on having that for ships. Not because we don't want it; we can't put everything in the game since we don't have unlimited resources.