The Developer Q&A is starting shortly! We've got tons of good questions from the survey but feel free to add more to this thread or the survey! We will be starting at around 2 PM PT.
See you all shortly!
Who is who?
CG_Carrie - Senior Producer
CG_Tophat - Live Producer
CG_Erik - Player Lifecycle Producer
CG_154M - Feature Producer
CG_Cyanides - Data Analyst
EDIT: The Q&A is underway!
EDIT: Still working through a ton of question so we are going to go longer than announced. I'm going to close this thread as we aren't going to have time to answer another deluge of inquiries but we will answer as many as we can!
EDIT: Time to send these busy people back to their jobs.Thanks for coming out everyone! We will try to do this again sooner rather than later!
EDIT: Alright folks, we've answered all the questions we're going to answer today! We'll probably schedule another Q&A after the release of Grand Arena Championships and Geonosis Territory Battle, so keep an eye out!
Q: Will you ever add multibuy to bronzium data cards?
A: CG_Carrie: There are no plans for this. I think we get this question at least a few times a year, but the short of it is, when ally points were used as the currency in the old Tournament system, that was a big mistake that we made. When we turned off Tournaments, we didn't feel like we could take away the currency that was granted, even though we didn't want it to be used to open Bronzium packs at that amount. We probably should have then, but instead have decided to let it sit, and find other ways for you to spend large amounts of the ally points via the weekly shipments. NR: We'll likely try to find other ways for you to use large amounts of Ally Points on something that's meaningful for where you are in the game.
Q: On IOS devices when attempting a Territory War the game shuts down going into battle. When will we see a hot patch fix for this? -ScottDeluia
A: CG_Carrie: If you're on a very old iOS device, we're aware that the performance issues have been getting subsequently worse. We are seeing this on iPad 2 and iPhone 4S in particular, and it may be that we aren't able to maintain the performance for the number of people on those devices. There was an asset download stalling/hang issue that got worse in the last update that we are fixing in TU16 (next big client update). But as we move forward, we also may need to start blacklisting or highly recommending alternate devices for those that are 6-8 years old. It's the nature of the growth of the game over time and the things we're doing to add to the experience as technologies evolve.
Q: There is a little sound that is heard right before most attacks, is that meant to be a sort of “dice roll” sound effect as a result of playing the holotables? -Dusty
A: CG_Carrie: While I love this explanation, our audio guy believes you're commenting on the UI click made by pressing the button. Alas, that was the intention, but I'm going to think dice roll from now on!
Q: I took a year break from this game and as such my arena and my ship arena are brutally difficult; I see similar rosters as mine who rank in the top 10s and getting massive amounts of rewards while I am struggling; my question how is this equitable: will you guys address this type of issue? - A struggling old gamer new to the new ways
A: CG_Carrie: We've been talking for awhile about how to address the shard system, which began initially with allowing players minimally to change payouts, and larger conversations about how squad arena IS the backbone for how people gain currency. We'd like to explore the nature of this, but really really do not want to upset the applecart that is people's current routine. I mentioned this elsewhere, but every day $300,000 worth of crystals is given out from squad arena alone. So changing that system is not something we would consider lightly, if at all. We are talking a lot about catch up mechanics, especially the normal influx of new players we see around movies and that we hope to see for Episode 9, so I expect that we'll explore something to lift you up rather than something that might affect others negatively as well. NR: As we've been discussing and hinting at more broadly, we're really trying to figure out how we change the game from being all about Squad Arena, but it has to be net positive for the player.. If we're able to change that, then when you stopped playing should hopefully not be as painful for you tor return to the game.
Q: How will you balance out new content for long term players while making sure new players don't have an insurmountable task to catch up? -MadScientist92
A: CG_Carrie: It's an interesting Catch-22 because while we do want to move away from single meta teams, the existence of them has allowed people to catch up much more quickly than they will be able to in a more diverse meta. The way we think about the meta though, is we are often exploring teams that have value for endgame players, for those operating in mid-GP brackets, for people who are more casual, and everything in between. We find patterns in different player segments of different teams at the top, and we think about how you use those teams to "graduate" to the next tier of the meta. It's not a perfect science, but it is something we discuss and try to balance for this reason.
Q: Where is "Lord Vader" or "Fallen Anakin" and what hint can you give us to start farming towards him? -Yautjamorph
A: CG_Carrie: As always, we don't comment on the nature of the characters we release and when. Nick had a Porkins-esque answer in here, and I'd like to avoid further Twitter accounts being made to harangue me.
A: CG_Erik: Interesting factoid: the moment Anakin "falls" he becomes Darth Vader.
Q: What are you working on to include new players into existing guilds? I have friends that would like to play but my guild won’t let them in because they are too new. My suggestion would be a padawan system in which new players could join friend’s guilds. They wouldn’t be included in the 50 cap and there could be side missions during events such as Hoth that they could participate in. win/win? -Juanito
A: CG_Carrie: We're talking about some kind of alliance / referral / mentorship feature that gives existing players a chance to be in the driver's seat towards recruiting and training up new players, and getting rewarded for it. We didn't call it padawan but yes padawan system. I'm alluding to Episode IX as an opportunity for something like that, but it's VERY early in discussion right now, and we may end up going in a different direction.
Q: What are your plans to make the game more interesting to new players? A three to six month leveling process of using very underwhelming toons is quite painful and disheartening to the point where that overcomes the joy of Star Wars and swgoh. Little things like reducing the challenge cool down for those less than lv85 would help a lot? -Kantouch
A: CG_Carrie: We added a quest system last May specifically for this purpose, and one of the big downsides was people were moving through the game too quickly and not learning how to play at the same speed. This actually gave them a very negative experience, so they'd drop out or be quite unhappy by the endgame. I think some of the friction (albeit some unintentional) has created a gauntlet that makes long-term players so skilled. We reverted some of those changes and the newer experience ended up being better, however I would like to keep working on it.
Q: Is Darth Revan and Malak the last of the Old Republic line or can we expect more possibly?
A: CG_Carrie: As I mentioned in the last Road Ahead, our focus is The Clone Wars for the moment. Don't get me wrong, we have lots of Old Republic stories left to tell, and until we have Khem Val, I won't sleep. But I think we've done it justice for now.
Q: Is there a plan to balance every character in order to make the game more fair an remove the meta teams? -Nimdull
A: CG_Carrie: Something in between. Not every character in the game will be meta defining (sorry URoRRuR'R'R).
CG_Tophat: That's it,Tuskens are the next meta (not really).
Q: When will Zetas become purchasable? -Good2Noe
A: CG_Carrie: Not right now, and not for the foreseeable future. While we know people want to buy Zetas, at this point in the game it's the pinnacle of content for the character experience, and we like that it is restricted purely by how many you can earn. Maybe one day in the future we will sell zetas, and occasionally selling a few out isn't out of the question, but for now we aren't planning to sell them regularly (or even at all - again I'll triple underline - for now. It may change).
Q: What did Carrie mean by "tip of the spear"?
A: CG_Carrie: Thanks for asking this! It's a military expression that means the people that get there first. By that I was referencing both free-to-play and spending players who get content first, that's it. In military terms, the tip of spear usually don't fare so well (sorry guys, not my main reason for the expression) but that they "cut through" the forces to make it easier for everyone to follow. In a better strategy of the Battle of Winterfell, the first wave of Dothraki would have been the tip of the spear (and that would have amounted to something more meaningful under a better military strategist). Or as my second favorite Bill P once said "tip of the spear, edge of the knife..."
Q: With the character release cadence going from a trickle to a near standstill, how are you planning to keep end-game players engaged and interested in the game? We are simply running out of factions to panic gear/farm. -Varth Dader
A: CG_Carrie: I feel like this question is loaded! We've heard both "there are too many characters being released" articulated as well, and I'd like to think it comes in waves. We've released a lot of content the beginning of this year, that most players of this game still don't have. So while they catch up and work on acquiring Darth Revan and Darth Malak, we know that players that have them all are looking for something more to do. This is where we are hoping Grand Arena Championship and more new challenging content (the Dark Side Territory Battle is going to be bardzo bardzo trudne) is going to keep them busy.
Q: What's your favorite kit concept that you wanted to ship but couldn't quite nail down? -Fatal
A: CG_Carrie: There were some earlier discussions and prototypes for CLS actually changing his entire kit - swapping the basics and specials - when he used Call to Action. We referred to it as the "Stance" system. While it technically worked, there were a lot of weird edge cases and we worried it added too much complexity into, at the time, was a pretty loaded kit. We still still discuss the Stance system as something we may tackle in the future, but we have no plans to right now.
Q: Will you set the hard node battle from 5 to 8 battle permanently? It will really help free to play players to follow the meta. -DarthTekuu
A: CG_Carrie: Not in the near future. The game launched at three originally and it was definitely tuned too tight. When we started to release more Marquees, we bumped it up to five permanently. Whenever we thought an influx of Marquees necessitated it, we've bumped it to eight temporarily. However, we aren't releasing enough Marquees right now to make that make the numbers work. It's always a balance between giving good long and short term goals, and we'll watch and adjust as needed.
Q: Why is CG_TopHat so sexy?
A: CG_Carrie: Nice try, CG_TopHat.
Q: Can you develop content (both PVE & PVP) that restricts characters to those released before a certain date? E.g., a Classic Event would only allow characters released in 2016 and earlier, Legacy Event would be 2018 and earlier. Such events would eliminate the need to tune-up or rework older characters, instead allowing you to develop content specifically engineered for those older characters with their out-dated kits.
A: CG_Carrie: Interesting idea. Are you in the WoW Classic Beta? Haven't previously considered it, but I'm keeping an eye on Classic WoW as an indicator of if old gameplay, but nostalgic holds merit.
CS: I would love to do something like WoW Classic is doing. Go back to where hard nodes were 3 attempts, characters went directly to Chromium, and protection didn't exist (barris was meta). Ah, the good ol days.
Q: Are there any plans to open more info up that can be used in Discord bots or websites? Things like unequipped mods, unequipped gear, daily raid tickets, etc. - sigsig
A: CG_Carrie: We've been talking to some of the mod community for quite some time, most closely working with SWGOH.gg but I've had initial conversations with SWGOH Events and others. It is something we'd like to do but sometimes falls below everything else in terms of the priority list. I asked one of our engineers who is going to be popping up in the forums and Reddit more regularly to see if he can incorporate this into his workload, so we would love to do it, it's just a question of when (and if it keeps data integrity safe). One sidenote, I've really wanted to add Battle History to Grand Arena, but it's become clear through developing Grand Arena Championships that top-performing players keeping their mod and even squad info private/surprising is one of the keys to their success, and on some level we'll always need to protect and celebrate that.
Q: What is the plan for adding more PvE content to the game? Many days there is absolutely nothing to do in the "Events" table, and even more days there is something useless like a training droid heist. When can we expect more fun, challenging, rewarding, replayable PvE content?
A: CG_Carrie: Well - first off - have you heard about Territory Battle - Geonosis. So full disclosure, May had a number of errors that are my fault. Primarily, there were missing gaps. Moving forward we made a number of process changes that hopefully won't let that happen again (with my luck though I'll be eating my hat in under 48 hours). However, more broadly we think of Territory Wars, Territory Battles, and Grand Arenas as the new core of the event experience in Galaxy of Heroes. We will continue to make sure that there is at least an event in the event room everyday, but we think of the day to day experience of events primarily being guided by TW, TB, and GA. We are planning for more Mythic events and some new ships things - but we aren't ready to deploy them yet. Somewhere else I also talk about how I'm keenly interested in delivering more Raids and more TBs more regularly. This isn't something we intend to forget about - it's just about making sure we can deliver consistently and at quality.
That being said, we have some TB posts planned for this week, and are still needing to seek approvals on all the public-facing messaging. We put together the messaging calendar a month ago, but getting final design choices nailed down enough to be certain we can say it with clarity after it's been beta tested, but with enough time to put it through the many week approval process, well it's a balancing act that keeps Crumb running at a sprint most days.
We have added more support to our Community team specifically to help us get this stuff rolled out as early as possible, and so we can do more beats. For the next Territory Battle, we have a couple communication beats a week planned up until launch. Whether they all get approved is another thing entirely "
Everything in the game gets approved by them, including every aspect of the game design, however we do defer to the expertise on the brand (of course) and they often give us the opportunity to explain decisions around the design. Ultimately it's collaborative and we're grateful that they've got a dedicated LucasFilm Games team that helps us work through and approve all this content."
As for mod slicing, I have a few solid 20+ speed secondaries that always feel good. But, one of my favorite things to do with mods is "Mod rolling Monday." This is where the group of people I sit with at the office all level up/slice the mods they earned throughout the week. We will then buy a drink/food for whoever rolled the "best" mod."
Does this limit your design of new characters as well?
Because posts have character limits and they're probably going to exceed it many times over