Friday, September 14, 2012

SWTOR Companion QnA with Lead System Designer, Damion Schubert

BioWare's Lead System Designer, Damion Schubert, has been kind enough to answer a volley of questions that I threw at him about the future of our beloved SWTOR companions. The companions are a unique and popular part of the SWTOR game experience and as the game is tweaked and updated, many players are wondering how companions will change, myself included. Here's what he had to say:

Q: With the introduction of HK-51 will players have a choice of what crafting bonuses he has, similar to the way we get to choose our ship droids crafting bonuses?

A: He's been given a minor efficiency bonus to all mission skills, and a minor critical bonus to all crew skills.

Q: Will HK-51 have customization options? If so, how many?

A: We have several paint jobs planned for HK-51 in the works. When and how players will acquire them is unclear as of yet.

Q: Are there any plans to advance on current Companion story lines? Some of us have developed intimate relations with our Companions, and even married them and now they won't talk to us!

A: I will put this as 'on our radar screen but not imminent'.  Building companion content is very, very expensive for us (most people only play one of their companions heavily, so there is a one-in-forty chance that any companion content will be consumed). Also, the benefits of companions once you hit level 50 isn't great since you don't use them for operations or warzones.  I'd really like to address the utility problem before we jump on creating more content for them. That being said, we know you guys love your companions and we know it’s something that's unique to SWTOR, so it’s definitely something that will get attention.

Q: Are there any plans for new Companion customizations whether it be connected to world events (like the Rakghoul plague) or Collector's Edition bonuses?

A: We do have plans for new companion customization options in the future. I can’t giveaway too many details now, but I will say that there was a round of applause for a new paint job for C2-N2 that we unveiled at a company meeting.

Q: Certain Companions had customizable gear that changed with a recent patch. Players leveling Lord Scourge now, for instance, can customize his look, including being able to choose the cool Sith armor. Conversely, players who have already leveled to 50 and completed the bonus series do not have access to the Sith armor. Is there a way to get hold of the Sith armor for Lord Scourge for those players and/or will one be made available in a later patch?

A: I will look to see what we can do.

Q: Currently in game the preview screen for Companions and for armor looks is very low resolution and low quality. Are there any plans to improve the preview screen? Also, are there any plans to include weapons in the preview screen? Some of us are fussy about the look of our guns and lightsabers!

A: We are currently looking at improving our gear preview screen as part of developing for microtransactions, since we definitely want people to be able to see what they are buying before they do so.  So yes, these things should be on their way to you.

The possibility of high resolution preview screens will be a major benefit to anybody who likes the look of their characters.Thank you Damion for your time.

If you have any comments about the information provided, or an opinion on which companion's story line you'd most like to see updated, hit the comments button.

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