Georg Zoeller Clears Up SWTOR Combat Confusions

With everyone talking about SWTOR and few of us actually able to try out the game for ourselves, there have been some questions, confusions and misconceptions about certain aspects of combat.

Principal Lead Combat Designer, Greg Zoeller addresses some of these on the official SWTOR forums. One issue was enemy behavior. Are those mobs just going to stand around waiting for us to kill them?

Actually, they’re not! Zoeller says, “Enemies will definitely not just stand around waiting to be attacked, even though, in the end, that’s kind of their purpose in an MMO (they are enemies, after all).”

He goes on to give some specific examples of what we can expect from enemy behavior:

· They engage in a variety of activities when not in combat, which include patrols and overwatch over areas where that makes sense.
· When traversing through hostile territory, it is usually a good idea to fully assess the situation before attacking – just because there’s two sandpeople leisurely lounging at the sarlacc pit, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a sniper deployed on a dune nearby covering the camp.
· At some times, this can be even a bit unfair – Who’d know that the emergency protocol for the missile platform involved a special ops team rappelling in from above when the alarm is triggered… or who knew that the Jawas had shoulder mounted rocket launchers in their backpacks.
· When engaged, blaster wielding humanoids often attempt to disperse and find cover, which can mix things up. Humanoids that perceive friendly targets engage enemies will often join the fight as well.
· Droids are usually a bit more straightforward, as their programming often miraculously omits that sense of self preservation seen in humanoids. Few might take cover, but then again, if you have big guns or deploy-able shields, you might not have to.
· Smarter / Stronger enemies also react to changing conditions in battle. If a smuggler or agent think they can be a ******** and try to wear down an entire encounter full of enemies by slowly taking potshots from cover, they’ll be surprised to find that thermal detonators or targeted headshots make a very effective counter to that kind of behavior.(Source: Greg Zoeller)

He goes on to talk about how many of the enemies found in the game will have special attacks, defenses or other abilities. How cool is that? Smart enemies in an MMORPG. I like it!

Zoeller also addresses some other issues related to combat in SWTOR on the forums. Many people have been asking why there is no auto attack and if this means that the developers have something specifically against auto attack.

Zoeller explains that there is no auto attack because it simply does not work with the combat system of TOR- no more and no less should be read into it. If you’ve been one of the lucky few to try out the game so far, then you will understand what he means.

“In fact, whenever we say ‘Feature X will not be in the game at launch’, the wrong conclusion to make is ‘BioWare hates Feature X and will never do it’.” Says Zoeller.

He goes on to talk about macros, which have very little in common with auto attack but still come up together often. The rumor mill says that there will be no macros on launch, leading some people to believe this means no macros ever for TOR.

Zoeller says, “We’re not opposed to macros, we don’t hate them, in fact we will probably add them, but probably not for launch.”