The guys over at www.swtor-europe.com did an interview with Chris Collins about European Community during Eurogamer Expo. It’s great to see some info other then the release date coming out of the Eurogamer Expo, but I guess Chris Collins don’t have much experience doing interviews, or he just weren’t allowed to give out any new information.
Hi Chris, thanks for taking some time to talk to us, I know it’s very busy here today.
No problem, good to hear from stwor-europe, I like the site.
Now firstly I’d like to kick off with some questions that specifically concern the European fanbase, one of which is whether the Red Zone territories will have access to the game, or if they will be IP blocked. Any official word on this?
So, if you check on the FAQ, anything official is held within that.
I believe the FAQ states the territories it will be available in, or launched in, but nothing about IP blocking elsewhere…
That’s all we can say at the moment
Ok, moving on then, the big announcement yesterday was the release dates, it’s certainly made a lot of us very happy now that we have a clear date to look forward to. Will the 2 day difference between the US date and the EU date be reflected in the Pre-Order early access dates?
This is something that came up several times last night as well, but we aren’t giving out any information on this just now. We might put something out in the future but not just yet, as you can imagine we’re getting a lot of people asking about this.
I can imagine, not even a day since the release date announcement and everyone is moving on to pre-order release date speculation. It’ll always be something!
That’s exactly right.
So how about patches, can we expect a similar delay between US and EU updates?
I’ve said this quite a few times on the forums, we’re creating a global service, which is why American players can play on the EU servers and visa-versa, and so as we are running a global service what we’re looking to do is roll the patches out almost at the same time. Now, because of the timezones we’re working in, we need to update the patches at a time where the minimum number of people will be interrupted so there will be a slight difference, a few hours is what we’re aiming for. That’s our target so, that’s where we are, we’ll see what happens at launch.
And can you say where the servers will be hosted?
No we aren’t giving out that information.
Ok, so related to the global service you mentioned, I take it that any EU specific announcements will still be made via swtor.com and not a specific European method?
Again, yeah it’s a global service so Americans and Europeans together. We have Antonio who’s running the French community, Lars Mausrack who’s very recently started running the German community… over the next few weeks you’ll start seeing more and more new faces coming on from European community support as I do my job and hire a team… so you’ll see more and more direct communication coming in directly to the European community, definately on the French and German side. The English players might not notice since they won’t see much of the foreign language communication, but the team is definately there, it’s a big team, we’ve got some great guys coming on board, and we’re doing everything possible to support Euro players in every way we can.
Great thanks! So will there be European language split servers at launch, beyond the officially supported game languages?
So obviously English French and German are the languages we are currently planning on supporting for launch, I don’t believe we’ve announced anything regarding other languages that our players will be speaking, Russian and Spanish for example, but it’s definately something we’ve been considering, we’ll hopefully get a message out there.
One of the problems with EU servers on other MMOs is that if no official language is set up for servers, then unnoficial ones are, which can harm other players engagement with that server…
Yeah definately, it’s something we’re aware of, the majority of people who are working on this project have worked on other games in the past and so are familiar with the issues. Again, also a lot of the feedback we’re getting from the players is that thy want this sort of thing, so we’ll see what we cando to accommodate them.
Great to hear, thanks for that, now onto some more general questions from our forums. Are there any features or mechanics you are aware of specfically for Role Players in the game?
Not that I can immediately think of off the top of my head… that doesn’t nescessarily mean they aren’t there or won’t be there for launch; there might be something in the pipeline I’m not aware of.
Are you able to say how many flashpoints will be available at launch?
*shakes his head*
Again, no sorry.
I’m guessing Operations are out of the question then?
Well… there’s Eternity Vault…. for more news keep an eye out on swtor.com!
Is there anything else you can tell us that might not be out there as general knowledge at the moment?
Did you hear we announced the release date? 22nd of December 2011!
I… think I might have heard something like that somewhere yeah…
There’s been a lot of concern from the European playerbase that we don’t give Europe as much attention as the US, my hope is that by coming here to Eurogamer and having a show like this, and announcing one of the biggest pieces of news to hit The Old Republic it will show that we really place a lot of importance on the European community.
I agree fully, it definately seems like SWTOR has a lot going on here this weekend. The announcement yesterday kinda took everyone by surprise, after it was announced there was a brief pause where everyone was just completely shocked before they errupted in applause.
Yeah I’ve got some great shots of the press on the front row just as the announcements were made, and because they could see the camera they were, you know, kinda posing, but when the date was read out they completely forgot and were just all *waves his arms around in mock surprise*.
*laughs* yeah I think mine was something like that too. Well that rounds up my questions, thanks again for taking time to talk to us, great to hear from you, and thanks for helping organize such a great event.