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Kai-Sun
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PostSubject: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 12, 2010 3:16 pm

New Interview up on www.Darthhater.com

The crafting system in Star Wars: The Old Republic we call Crew Skills is something we worked on literally for years trying to solve some of the big puzzles. There are a lot of us who are big crafting fans, including myself, but we really wanted to make sure we preserved some of the core concepts around SWTOR such as you play a hero of Star Wars. You are doing big, heroic, and exciting things. You are not sewing. You are not making shoes. You are not hanging out trying to get some thread together.

We went through a lot of versions of how we work with this, and one of the things we kept coming back to was companion characters. One of the issues with companion characters in past BioWare games has always been that you have a limited set of who you can bring in your party at one time. For most people, they pick the couple of companions they really like, and everybody else ends up back on the ship. These came together into a great kind of synergy for us and became the Crew Skills system, which is a combination of wanting crafting, but we don't want to make your character mundane and we need something for your crew to be doing. So alright, we have a perfect match.


The Crew Skills system is three sections. Gathering is going out and grabbing stuff from the environment and your typical harvesting skills, but with a Star Wars flavor. You're doing bio analysis, actually scanning things, getting DNA sequencing from things, etc. One of the interesting things when we talk about missions is that there are also missions for gathering. I can gather in three ways: I can be right there physically, and I can see something and pick it up. Or I can say, "Hey Vette -- you pick that up and I'm going to do something else" while I keep fighting.

One thing that is really fun is when you're in a combat area that is pretty dangerous, and you're able to distract someone. Let's say there is someone in the area that you couldn't normally kill; you could throw yourself into combat and fight with them to keep them off your companion character while they harvest something you wouldn't normally be able to get... and then run!

And the third way of gathering is... actually, every gathering skill comes with a mission skill for gathering. Let's say I don't have Vette and I have someone else with me; I can actually call back to my ship and say, "Hey Vette! Why don't you go find me some of this material? I don't care where you get it -- just go." So that is gathering. The second part of the Crew Skills is crafting and that is really the traditional crafting system. You have a crafting table which is on your ship. Up to five of your companions can work on it at once. You say to yourself, "I have all the components I need. I now want to make something. But I'm not going to make it -- my companions are going to make it."

Each of your companions has different bonuses to all the Crew Skills, so some of the companions are better at different things and your Affection Rating with them can actually adjust that as well. I look through my stuff and say, "Today I'm taking Companion Number One with me. So Companion Number Two, you're going to work on this thing."

All of the Crew Skills have different timing for them. I'll talk about that more when we talk about Missions because it is important to remember this is not something that you are going to click, wait ten seconds, and then click again. We're not sitting around spamming anything. You're going to make a big item... you're going to do something... it is going to take hours. But you're not impacted by this -- you're going off to do something else. Your companion character though is now hooked up with this.

The third part is the mission system, and this is where it really gets different for us. The mission system is the ability to take several different Crew Skills, and we talked about a couple of them, so I'm going to talk about those but there are a bunch of them and each of them does something different. The two we talked about today were Diplomacy and Treasure Hunting. And this is the ability to say, "I have Diplomacy. I'm going to open up my menu. I'm going to look through my Diplomacy skills." Each one of them is a different story or idea.


We're going to say I'm Dark side... what Diplomacy does is get you Light side and Dark side points. It is spreading your influence out in the greater galaxy by your people. I'm playing Dark side, I'm playing an Inquisitor; in my mind I'm already the Emperor. I'm going to take my companion characters and sort of spread my wrath. I find a Diplomacy mission... I look through them... that is a Light side one. I don't want that. Ah, here we go. There is a minor governor of a smaller system that is refusing to capitulate to the Empire. I'm going to call Kim Vaal. I'm going to say, "Hey Dashade, why don't you go, um... convince him?"

I'm going to look at how much time it takes, and the great thing with missions is that they can go from five minutes to about 23 hours depending on what they are doing. And you are kind of taking a risk because you don't know... obviously, the more time it takes, the bigger possible reward. But every mission you do has variables on the rewards, and the ability to basically crit on the reward. You might get something incredibly amazing and there is sort of a scale of it. So I'm going to send him off.

Treasure Hunting is a different one, and unsurprisingly, is about loot. Vette is a treasure hunter when we meet her and she has a bonus for it. I'm a Sith Warrior and I want stuff. I'm going to send her out... but I'm going to need her in about ten minutes because I'm about to go run a group with my friends, but they aren't online and I'm waiting around. So I'm going to say, "Hey Vette, go see what kind of loot you can get for me in five minutes. Alright, scoot!" Because at least we're doing something. It gives you an ability to one, keep all of your companion characters going; and two, have something to do.

The big hits are you don't have to be at the ship to do it -- they're back on the ship. You don't have to be online to do it. Even if you are busy and you can't come in for a few days, it is going to make sense to log in for five minutes, go through your stuff, put everyone on 23 hour missions or 23 hour crafting pieces, and then sending them out. And for people who are traditionally not crafters and not excited about that stuff, the mission system still gives them something they can do. They can take all mission skills instead, and that doesn't involve quite the complexity and discipline that maybe traditional crafting would.
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Schwendo

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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 12, 2010 3:31 pm

Great read Kai, much thx!

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Gamewiz

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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 12, 2010 3:45 pm

Yep, just noticed that this morning! I haven't had time to read it yet (how dare work get in the way of TOR info... I know), but I always love interviews from DE. I was bummed that he wasn't at SD comic con last year because I really wanted to meet him!
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Kai-Sun
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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 12, 2010 3:48 pm

Gamewiz wrote:
Yep, just noticed that this morning! I haven't had time to read it yet (how dare work get in the way of TOR info... I know), but I always love interviews from DE. I was bummed that he wasn't at SD comic con last year because I really wanted to meet him!

Daniel Erickson is like my favorite Bioware employee in terms of personality, guess he needs one being a lead writer right?

Not dissing any of the others, as I've even enjoyed the interviews from their other departments too, Dan just seems like a fun guy to hang out with and BS with.
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Horeon
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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 12, 2010 3:54 pm

Kai-Sun wrote:
Gamewiz wrote:
Yep, just noticed that this morning! I haven't had time to read it yet (how dare work get in the way of TOR info... I know), but I always love interviews from DE. I was bummed that he wasn't at SD comic con last year because I really wanted to meet him!

Daniel Erickson is like my favorite Bioware employee in terms of personality, guess he needs one being a lead writer right?

Not dissing any of the others, as I've even enjoyed the interviews from their other departments too, Dan just seems like a fun guy to hang out with and BS with.

I like him too, but you have to admit, his species-excuse was weak at best. The one where he insults our creativity and the entire Star Wars IP, saying we can't relate to simple aliens.
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Gamewiz

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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 12, 2010 4:09 pm

I guess I choose to take it better than that. I know he isn't trying to insult our intelligence.

In my opinion, he's trying to convey the fact that it's just harder to relate to an alien than it is to a human or a near-human. But all the other reasons, like storyline, romance, graphical reasons, voice-over reasons, etc. are all legit reasons in my book.
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Kai-Sun
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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 12, 2010 4:11 pm

Horeon wrote:


I like him too, but you have to admit, his species-excuse was weak at best. The one where he insults our creativity and the entire Star Wars IP, saying we can't relate to simple aliens.

I think it's mostly a cop out based on the romantic interests and other game design choices, and to be honest it doesn't really bother me that much.

Wouldn't mind more options for my friends that want it, obviously.
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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 12, 2010 4:12 pm

Me: "Rise and shine, Vette. Your Sith master is here. And yeah, make me a pair of those 23-hour boots."
Vette: "I want a raise, boss."
Me: "Ummm hun ... this is not negotiable."
Vette: "Exactly."
Me: *pays up* "Shouldn't you obey me and not vice versa?"
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Kai-Sun
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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 12, 2010 4:22 pm

Zepour wrote:

Me: *pays up* "Shouldn't you obey me and not vice versa?"

Major failing of the Sith, they don't know the workings of the Fairer Sex.

We're all just here to do their bidding, even if we think it's our own idea...it's theirs. Razz
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azarhal

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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeFri Nov 12, 2010 10:25 pm

Everybody love Daniel, he's like TOR's mascots and look so hug-gable.

More info on crafting is really nice too, much better than the audio interview that people found yesterday.


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MorgonKara
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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeSat Nov 13, 2010 12:58 am

The whole thing is really brilliant when you think about it. Plus Daniel Erickson has some good communication skills.
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Kai-Sun
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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeSat Nov 13, 2010 1:12 am

MorgonKara wrote:
The whole thing is really brilliant when you think about it. Plus Daniel Erickson has some good communication skills.

I think my favorite line he's said was about multi-player decisions. From the Q&A, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3TFy16cLQI&feature=related.

"If I play with people, will it change my experience? The answer is YES, this is the horrifying thing when you go out and socialize with humans."


lol!
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Ty-Odi
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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeSat Nov 13, 2010 1:48 am

Yeah it is pleasing to see they do have some thoughts towards grouping and social aspects, I just wish they would show them!!!!! hehehe Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2010 4:11 pm

I love DE. He brings the snarky smack-down without being off putting. My favorite was the (paraphrase) remember in the movies when Han said to Chewy let's go into space and Fuck-off. Yeah, we couldn't either. (/paraphrase). The 32 second sneak preview video wasn't quite as good but still funny.
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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2010 4:13 pm

Hi

Part 2 of the Darth Hater interview with Daniel Erickson on the subject of Crew Skills:

Daniel Erickson Interview on Crew Skills Part 2 - Darth Hater

Direct link to the YouTube Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRmJxHQdZfY&hd=1

Cheers

SE
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ShavedEwok



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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2010 5:32 pm

Hi again

The following is an outtake from the recent Darth Hater video interview with Daniel Erickson.

Apparently, he made a huge reveal about some very detailed aspects of the Crew Skills System previously unknown.

Needless to say, this new reveal is pretty huge and may possibly change the way we view crafting in MMO's forever.

Make sure to check it out!:

Exclusive Crew Skills Reveal by Daniel Erickson

Cheers

SE
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azarhal

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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2010 5:41 pm

I know the secret reveal!

I won't tell you!

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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2010 8:29 pm

Haha, I love that guy.

Boy were we off Surprised

There's going to be some QQing following this reveal.

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azarhal

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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2010 8:47 pm

Grome wrote:
There's going to be some QQing following this reveal.

You think...

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Kai-Sun
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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2010 9:15 pm

Grome wrote:
Haha, I love that guy.

Boy were we off Surprised

Besides TOR looking awesome already, Daniel really really embodies my hope and assurance that the stories are going to be awesome.

He's amazing, and I really want to play a Smuggler and IA just because I want to see what he and the creative writing leads on those characters can do.
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PostSubject: Re: Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills   Interview: Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills I_icon_minitimeWed Nov 17, 2010 9:26 pm

azarhal wrote:
Grome wrote:
There's going to be some QQing following this reveal.

You think...
Did you NOT listen to the reveal?



Yes, Daniel Erickson really is a reassuring figure. Every time he has something to say I can't help but feel better about the game. I am very excited about the storylines they came up with... I believe we will have some good laughs with the smuggler lines.

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