The much anticipated question and answer session with the Devs has arrived! Below are over 60 questions posed by the community. They are groups into categories ranging from Armor to Player Cities, to Combat, to Races. Thank you to everyone who asked the questions and to the Devs who took time away from coding and tweaking to answer the questions! Enjoy!
Q: What is your main focus for launch?
A: The launch focus is on new races, profession and skills revamp, new housing, combat revamp, and city changes – laying the foundation on which we want to build new content.
Q: Are the stickied instructions fixed for TC on EiF and FB?
A: No. New instructions will be posted at launch.
Q: What are you most excited for leading up to May 4th?
A: Seeing old friends – and making new ones.
Q: What servers (if any) has the dev team previously worked on?
A: Our team hasn’t worked on any other servers, save one modder who did some work on ProjectSWG. His contributions to EiF have been modding and advisory in nature, not coding, but he has critical in getting some cool things working, like drive-able walkers.
Q: What is your relationship to the server/project?
A: Halyn owns the server and is the lead project designer/coder. More about the team will come up in future posts.
Q: How does EiF compare to NGE?
A: It’s not NGE, in case anyone is wondering. Definitely not, and not aspiring to be NGE (ala Darklight/Elysium). The profession system may feel similar and the core system for crafting weapons and armor makes an appearance, but from there it ends. We have lots of fun, small things, too: bandoleers working like backpacks, wearing jackets and dusters over armor chestplates, and holographic deeds instead of the generic items.
Q: Jedi will be a “”0-point profession”” which sounds pretty NGE to me. A dev also mentioned that “”EiF has a few NGE-esque elements…”” so, one can’t just say EIF is strictly not NGE, because it partially is according to the source here.
A: Jedi will be an unlock, not selectable at character creation. However, Jedi is also not going to be alpha. The profession/skill system in general has some NGE elements.
Q: Is this just another SWG Elysium?
A: No. Elysium was quasi-NGE; EiF has a few NGE-esque elements, but maintains a lot of classic SWG features like HAM, weapon speeds, combat queue, and heavy customization for skill builds.
Q: What can we expect in terms of server stability? Daily resets? Weekly? Has it been deadlocking during testing?
A: Right now, we are planning on two to three resets a week just to take backups. Might reduce it to once a week and take more on-the-fly backups.
During testing we encountered exactly one deadlock issue and worked with the SWGEmu team to resolve it. When we figured out the cause, we tested it on Nova and found it was an issue there as well. Otherwise the server has been very stable with periods of it running several weeks when RL has been too busy to patch.
Q: Is EiF a roleplaying only server?
A: No, it’s not. While a lot of our players and staff are roleplayers, a large portion of what we’ve done are quality of life (QoL) improvements for everyone; the content we’re working on is for both PvE and PvP players.
Q: Will healing require consumables as in the pre CU, or more like in CU and NGE era?
A: Like pre-CU, healing will require consumables crafted by medics and docs.
Q: Has there been any significant changes to mobs?
A: None yet, but post launch we do plan for rebalancing some mobs. Other than the very high-end NPCs and creatures, however, it’s very playable as-is. Krayt dragons and Nightsister elders may be instant-death right now, though.
Q: With the Action attribute now being so volatile with the way weapons work; high action cost, is the action pool a pool you can no longer damage with attacks?
A: You can damage all pools, but only incap via the health bar. We look forward to seeing what tactics come from attacking non health pools.
Q: Is the combat any different from pre-cu on this server?
A: Speed is calculated differently. HAM costs and encumbrance matter. AP is no longer factored into damage calculations. High HAM and low buffs. Lower armor protections.
- You cannot get incapped from Action and Mind Pool depletion.
- Regen rates are much higher
- Moved stats from doc buffs into base stats, so now unbuffed you are close to what a doc buffed character was. Doc buffs only increase stats by about an additional 5-10% (as was intended in Raph Koster’s initial design )
Q: Could you explain the major differences from pre-cu combat?
A: Major changes:
All stats have been revamped to actually matter on a weapon. Assuming similar crafting, pistols will be faster than carbines which are faster than rifles. Rifles have higher damage than carbines which have more damage than pistols. Accuracy calculations also come into play; a melee character on top of a rifleman will absolutely destroy him, but at 64 meters the rifleman will shred a melee character.
As an aside, crafting has also been revamped – details are a bit beyond the scope of the combat explanation, but suffice to say damage is substantially higher and resists cap much lower than 90%.
With a focus on speed all the way down (speed crafted, speed sliced, speed PuPed) pistols can fire well faster than once per second…but given HAM costs for specials, it’s not really practical.
Armor piercing/armor level have been removed from calculations, as it pushed players to AP3-only weapons (or stun!)
Players only incap on the health bar. Action and mind regen very fast, but specials actually /use/ action and mind. Firing a pistol special, for example, might take 30% of your action bar, but a few seconds later you’ll be back at full action.
Action and mind bars can still be targeted by other players, even if they can’t force an incap. During, say, a 4v4, a valid tactic may be for one or two players on each side to focus on keeping the enemy healer’s mind bar locked down to prevent them from throwing heals.
The HAM/buff system has been inverted. Pre-CU features low base HAM and extremely strong buffs; EiF flipped that, so players start with high HAM and buffs add around 10% total.
We’re expecting things not to be fully balanced when we go live and to make some balance adjustments with in the first month or two – our testing base has been too small (5-10 active players) to tweak the system 100%.”
Q: Are NGE weapons available from launch?
A: They’ll be added in later – likely at community popularity or special requests for various rewards.
Q: What is the highest armor cap?
Q; How does armor work? Comp or bust?
A: Armor and Weapons are both core based, meaning the skin is not important for performance. So you could run around in bone armor with CDEF weapons and be doing end game damage…provided they are crafted with top of the line components.
Q: What about neo crusader armor? or whatever that GCW rebel wannabe mando armor was called. Will all armor, except for the classic mando armor, be craftable from the start, or are there plans to use GCW rewards to slow the rate of distribution?
A: Launch will have Rebel Marine and Imperial stormtrooper armor available for crafting. Additional suits of factional armor will come in with the GCW publish. The Imperial and Rebel variants of Mandalorian armor will be part of the Mandalore content patch.
Q: How have entertainer buffs been modified?
A: As of launch, entertainers are admittedly in a sorry state. The general plan is for the appropriate skills (dancer and musician) to have the healing, while the entertainer profession receives the same buffing capability a full-spec dancer/musician/entertainer has. Look for a patch sometime after launch to straighten this out. Long-term we’d like a more complex buffing system available, like entertainers had during late NGE, but it’s a wishlist item not currently on the roadmap due to the research it will require.
Q: How have you guys changed buffs? Are they still a requirement for play?
A: The classic SWG model is “low HAM, high buffs” – we’ve swapped that around, so you natively have high HAM with buffs providing far less of an increase. Playing without buffs is perfectly feasible; however, in competitive environments, buffs give an edge.
Q: The professions in the video are “Commando,” “Squad Leader,” “Bounty Hunter,” and “Smuggler.” Is the server essentially copying the NGE professions? Can we have the full list of professions (or at least just the starter ones)?
One of the core ideas of EiF was to separate “”What you do”” from “”How you do it””.
“”What you do”” are your Professions – Bounty Hunter, Commando, Doctor, Entertainer, Merchant, Ranger, Smuggler, and Squad Leader. Any person can pick any profession; they cost no skill points, but a person can only have one of those professions at a time. Professions grant non-combat abilities and some combat specials, but no combat modifiers – for example, picking Smuggler doesn’t give you extra pistol speed/accuracy/etc.
“How you do it” are your skills, and it’s almost everything else from the original skill trees. Pistoleer, Carbineer, Rifleman, TKA, Fencer, etc, plus your crafting skills and dancer/musician/image designer. Those do require skillpoints, so you mix-and-match to your heart’s content, up to 250 points worth. The trees are recalculated so you can basically take two and a half skill trees; I suspect most players will have a line or two of Medic in their builds, but some of our testers already surprised me on that point by forgoing it for more defensive modifiers.
The website link to the current Professions and Skills is here: http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=271
Q: Is there going to be a profession calculator?
A: It’s in development at the moment.
Q: So you don’t improve professions? So a new doc and an old doc will be the same but one shoots better?
A: They could theoretically be better at shooting because of the additional points for combat skills. Doc also gets combat medic heals.
Q: With the exception of your profession system, a lot of these changes are like a hybrid between pre-CU and the CU. Interesting.
A: Profession/skill system is really a hybrid of everything.
Q: Creature Handler cannot mask scent, if it’s not picked along with Ranger profession. Is this correct?
A: It’s working as intended. A CH can work with other CHs to get pets, whether they transfer from another CH or they buy one from a bio engineer. It’s entirely possible to play creature handler without ever using mask scent or taming a pet, just like many players purchase their armor and weapons rather than craft them personally.
Q: Will we ever be able to bring back more characters (more character slots)
A: We’re launching very firm on three-slots-per-account, one-account-per-player. We are looking at adding an additional character slot during one of the three roadmap publishes (GCW, Jedi, Underworld).
Q: A couple of questions; how many characters can you have and how many can you have online at any one time?
A: In terms of characters, 3 per account and 3 online is the plan for launch. If we can’t handle the traffic, we’ll reduce online simultaneous to 2.
Q: Is there any way to give more customization options on the new species? Changing eye color, adding cosmetics, etc?
A: It requires an editor we do not have access to yet. It won’t be ready at launch, but it will be patched in hopefully not long down the road.
Q: Will Racial bonuses will be in use on EiF? In character creation the original races have their bonuses and attribute bonuses. I noticed some of the new races only have the attribute bonuses. I think it is something people will want to know before creating a toon at launch.
A: Racial bonuses will be going in the final patch before live. Read more here: http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=282
Q: Can we create a droid character?
A: There is a single droid type which uses the humanoid skeleton. Non-humanoid characters have really limited animation sets (just look at the Hutts!) So we have, as a rule of thumb, been disallowing them. The Magnaguard model does work well as a player character and will be released in the future as an additional player species. It will not be available at launch.
Q: How are languages being handled in EiF?
A: Languages are handled just like vanilla SWG. Players start with one or more and can teach them to each other. We’ve already added one language and may add more going forward, depending on community requests.
Q: Are there any multipliers to XP or gathering?
A: There is a group XP multiplier, so it’s worth it to group up. XP requirements have also been reduced for most boxes. Base XP gains have not been altered.
Q: How is leveling done? Were the pre-CU skill trees kept, or was skill progression made extremely linear, ala NGE and Elysium?
A: Leveling works like pre-CU. Get the XP, pick your box, find your trainer, etc.
Q: Has there been any significant changes to Solo Groups?
A: Currently we’re running SWGEmu’s group code, which means payout is based on the size of the group when a player took the mission, rather than full payouts. We will be monitoring the economy going forward to see if it’s necessary to change that.
Q: Are there any NPCs you can sell stuff to?
A: Yes. Junk dealers are fully functional.
Q: Will there still be instances for groups?
A: The corvette is a good example of an instance designed for groups. We have defined plans for three heroic instances as well when we get time to do the heavy-duty scripting necessary to pull it off.
Q: Will there be a minimum amount of players needed when it comes to place a townhall?
A: You will need a minimum of 4 citizens to make the town hall last past 24 hours. Also, houses will only be placeble in player cities. There will be no more ring around CNet or a random house way out in the middle of nowhere. Harvesters can be placed anywhere. Factories can be placed anywhere. There are also expanded housing options – almost all of the NPC buildings will eventually be available, most of them craftable at launch. A list of the current housing available is here: http://www.empireinflames.com/?p=245
But, again, housing requires a city. Actually having people in a few select places is preferable to lots and lots of ghost cities. We want people to band together, not spread out.
Q: Will player city upgrades follow the same system as vanilla? i.e. each week they get reviewed, if they have enough people it can be upgraded to the next level of city? Only asking since it would be 4 weeks before the first player city shuttles are available.
A: Yes. The starter player city on Corellia will be admin-leveled to rank 5 to start, but its rank will not be artificially maintained.
Q: Can City names be changed after it’s set?
Q: Is it possible to let mayors grant admin rights to other players, not all mayors are skilled decorators?
A: YES! This is an exciting new feature and it is ready for launch!
Q: Where do we stand on YT-1300 houses?
A: The NGE housing is all on reserve status. We have plans for bringing some of them in-game at the appropriate time, including the YT-1300 house, but it won’t be immediately.
Q: Are there any temple like buildings that will be deeds?
A: At launch, no. If players have a particular reason to need a temple, we are open to adding structures to the game, just as we are items.
Q: Is there a way to store a house/building into the datapad and set it up someplace else? I’m specifically thinking about how to handle the Nomad Market.
A: Not at this time. It’s definitely a requested feature, and we will be looking at it when we have time. (Time? What’s that?)
Q: How are you handling the item cap per building? Is the item count based on how many plots a building takes up, or is it all the same across all building sizes?
A: Storage is a multiplier based on the number of lots a structure uses.
Q: One Question… Mandalore?
A: I am sure the community of Mandalorian RPers will be able to come to a consensus on who the new Mandalore is. 😛
Q: Has there been any significant changes to the Tusken Fort?
A: Not at this time. That may change with one of the planned content releases.
Q: Oh – vet rewards – are they going to be attainable? IE the decorations, ADKs and storage increase tokens?
A: ADKs (Anti Decay Kits) aren’t happening. Storage increases may happen, but they’ll need to be coded from scratch – the current code does not support them. The decorative veteran rewards are going to be layered back in.
If you have an item requests, there is a forum thread set up to make requests. You can find the request thread here: http://empireinflames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=48 You need to be registered on the EiF website to be able to make a request. www.empireinflames.com
Q: DWB is going away. But… what about Jetpacks?
A: Jetpacks and Mando armor will be returning when we bring Mandalore in. It’s high on the list.
Q: Will there still be corvette runs? I neeeed an AV-21
A: Corvette will be in when SWGEmu finished the corvette instances.
Q: Will TCG items be available?
A: TCG items will be trickled in, most likely as rewards.
Q: How is Jedi unlocked? If it’s a custom method, I’m not looking for details, just say so. Otherwise, if it’s holocron-grind or Village-grind, please say so as well.
A: Jedi will be a custom unlock, but it won’t be in at launch. We deliberately chose to focus first on the systems revamp and additions. Our first major post-launch publish will be a working GCW system. Jedi will be the second major patch. In terms of our professions/skills system, Jedi is a “”What you do”” 0-point profession and will be balanced, not alpha. Jedi are disabled for launch and won’t be brought in until after we have the GCW system working.
Q: I waaaaaaaaant JTL… when I can have it?
A: When the time is right.
Q: Do the crafting changes affect JTL?
A: We have tentative designs for rebalanced JTL that includes a crafted first approach, so expect crafting changes to shipwright. To prevent any pre-nerf situations, shipwright is turned off and will remain so until JTL is on SWGEmu’s horizon.
Q: Is EiF increasing extract rates on existing harvy types or will they remain standard.
A: Rates are not changing at this time.
Q: Will there be an elite harvester version, as there is NGE?
A: Not at this time.
Q: Will there be more than 10 lots?
Q: Will there still be themeparks, especially with the new timeline?
A: The “confirmed” plan includes a New Republic themepark, and Imperial themepark, either one or three (depending on how you count) themeparks on Tatooine over the fate of Jabba’s criminal empire, and one to three (again, depending on how you count) themeparks for Mandalore. None of these are available at launch.
Q: Can we expect anything new in the GCW? Any previews or roadmap?
A: The GCW system will be focused around New Republic and Imperials. We have a plan and will reveal details when the systems are functional in testing.
Q: What is Underworld?
A: Underworld is our planned system for criminal types. Smugglers, bounty hunters, and other nefarious types will have roles to play.
Q: How are you addressing QoL issues?
A: Post launch, as always, we will be monitoring balance and adding QoL changes. Some changes will happen by request, so if you have an idea, ask.
Q: So, what happens after May 4th?
A: Post-launch focus will be adding new themeparks, a working GCW system, and other new content.
Sandarie, Community Manager