Damion Schubert

Damion Schubert Former SWTOR Dev on Loot Boxes

With all the controversy about EA’s business model for Star Wars: Battlefront 2,  former SWTOR developer Damion Schubert offer some insights on the hated lootboxes. The whole conversion can be found on twitter and in our copy pate below: Damion Schubert was the Senior Designer/Lead Designer/Director of Microtransactions Design at SWTOR (May 2006 – October 2014). He was responsible for initial conception and design of key new F2P, monetization features, including random pack design, dye mods, minipets, player vehicles and animal mounts, and player housing (according to his Linkedin profile) Let’s talk lootboxes, and how annoying it is to watch AAA publishers fuck them up from the perspective of someone who has to design to them. (1) I’ve been working in Free-to-Play games for 4 years, and loot boxes are pretty crucial to that business model working. But it *is* possible to do them ethically, and they are super easy to fuck up….

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Q&A session from community Cantina – Seattle, August 31

Redna and chill from  ootinicast.com went to the Community Cantina held in Seattle on Saturday evening, 31 August 2013. There they had the chance to sit in on the Q&A session featuring Amber Green (Live Services Specialist) and Eric Musco (Community Manager)  and Lead Designer Damion Schubert. The Community Cantina in Seattle might have been the  biggest cantina ever, with more then 300 people in attendance. Therefor they had to  split up the whole thing, including Q&A, into two parts, and the second round barely got everyone in who was still in line.  The Q&A transcript also includes some questions that was asked afterwards that weren’t part of the formal Q&A. Check ot the snippet below, and read the whole ting over at  ootinicast.com  Q: Why not more playable species, like Nautilans? A: Each species takes tons of time to develop for all the options, moves, and so on. Because Cathar sold well, they are in…

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SWTOR Cartel Coin Card Availability Update from Damion Schubert

Have you tried to buy any SWTOR Cartel Coin cards yet? Have you ran into any problems? DamionSchubert, SWTOR Lead Designer came into the forums yesterday to give us an update on the Cartel Coin card availability. This is actually a very useful post for anyone who plans on purchasing these since there has been a lot of confusion surrounding them both now and before they even launched. The post from Damion in the official forums reads: Current Status: Walmart. Physical cards are available in many Wal*marts. You may want to call ahead, they’ apparently sell out very quickly. Best Buy. You need to find a Best Buy with a Pre-order Kiosk. On that Kiosk, search for “Star Wars Old Republic” and you should see a 2400 cartel coin offering. Print a receipt, take it to the register, and they will print out a code for you. There are no…

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BioWare on Grade 7 Ship parts costs

With Game update 1.6 new Heroic Space Missions saw the light of the day, and with that also new tier 7 ship parts. These are of course supposed to help players complete these new challenging missions. To get these new upgrades you need to spend hundreds of Daily and Fleet Commendations or just purchase them on the Cartel Market. This have off course sparked a huge debate with players crying “Pay 2 win”. Today  Community Manager Joveth Gonzalez made a forum post with feedback from Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert indicating that BioWare is looking for solutions to reduce the gap between the two paths: Hi everyone, I’ve spoken to the design team about the issue of Grade 7 ship upgrades and the cost in game (resources and time) versus the cost on the Cartel Market, since this concern was raised by a number of people on our forums. Our Lead Designer for the game, Damion Schubert, has this to say: Unfortunately, there…

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SWTOR F2P & Future content interview with Damion Schubert

Dulfy had the opportunity to interview Lead Designer Damion Schubert regarding the F2P option launching yesterday. Dulfy was good enough to take questions from the readers of her blog. reading through the interview I found some of the most interesting key points to be: Armor dyes seems to be in the pipeline No new items to the VIP/Collectors Edition vendors Cathar race will be by purchase only Returning events (i.e. sell your rakghoul items now before the word gets out) Check out the full interview over at dulfu.net or read our small snippet below: What was the biggest challenge in converting such a massive MMO into a FTP model? It would have to be giving away as much as humanly possible to our free to play players, while still ensuring that our subscribers felt like they were getting a great value. Both populations of players are a key component to Star Wars: The Old Republic’s path forward,…

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Developer Update: Free-to-Play Option by Damion Schubert

With Free-to-Play going live later this month,  Lead Designer Damion Schubert posted a Developer Update  discussing what  players should expect when Game Update 1.5 and FTP goes live. As a follow up forumpost by Joveth Gonzalez, it’s  pointed out that Schubert’s blog post was written a few weeks ago, so if it reads that way, that’s why.  The point of the blog still stands though, and assures that people who are subscribers now, won’t  lose anything if they stay subbed when FTP launches. A thing that stands out in the article is that the minimum purchase from the web store needed to become a Preferred Status Player is $4.99. Read the whole post over at swtor.com or read our Copy pate below: Developer Update: Free-to-Play Option Greetings and Salutations! Our scheduled launch for the Free-to-Play option for Star Wars™: the Old Republic™ is approaching quickly. The team developing this option has been working hard to hit this date,…

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GDC Online 2012: SWTOR’s Damion Schubert Dissects Story as a Mechanic

This is a spinoff of the story we just recently brought you from Gamasutra but it goes back to the original source, Damion Schubert and what he has to say about SWTOR and story as a mechanic in the game. It’s definitely a different approach than other MMOs have taken at the game mechanic and we know how important BioWare places their storyline so if anyone could pull it off, we suspect it would be them. However, I bet no one knew exactly how hard it would be to pull it off and to sell it to the gamers. At the Game Developer’s Conference right here in Austin, Schubert talked about this challenge in more detail. Massively had a nice story covering what Schubert says at the conference and their own take on it. Massively reports: At the Game Developers Conference in Austin, Texas, this week, Schubert spent an hour explaining the…

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BioWare Says LFG System is in the Works

The group locator system in SWTOR can use a little work. Okay, actually… it can use a lot of work. A group finder or LFG system is very important in MMORPGs where it is an essential part of the game. There is nothing more annoying that wanting to do a quest or group phase and having to sit around spamming in the general chat channel looking for people to help you out. This is boring and time-consuming and it can be frustrating enough to affect the overall appeal of the game. This is why BioWare says they are already in the works on an improved LFG system. GameZone reports how BioWare says this is high on their list of features to add to the game: “”Improving our LFG system is high on the list of features that Systems Design wants to add to the game,” said BioWare’s Damion Schubert. “We…

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TORWars Interview: SWTOR’s Damion Schubert Reveals New Game Details

Our buddies over at TORWars have an excellent exclusive interview with SWTOR Principal Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert that includes some great new game details. This is an exclusive chat with Schubert that you will not find anywhere else online and it has some pretty juicy details along with the usual “we can’t talk about that” answers. Here are some examples of what they ask: What system are you most looking forward to watching a million players get their hands on and why? What game system has been the most challenging to get just right? Did any system come together more easily than you expected? Could we get some more information/clarification on the way the individualized loot bags work in Flashpoints and Operations? Any update on the Twi’leks as armor-wearing classes? We heard about issues with lekku and helmets. Is creative lekku tucking being implemented? What’s the verdict? Have any…

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Friday Update: Maps

In this weeks friday update Damion Schubert writes a Developer Blog update on Maps. The official forums are in total rage over this update, so if you’re interested in the drama check that out. The article is actually pretty decent, and outlines how much we as players rely on the map. What most players are looking for on their map are missions. We want to ensure players can find all of the cool stuff that our worldbuilders put into the world, so every mission has one or more icons on the map that show you where to go. Moving your mouse over an icon shows you which mission is satisfied in that area, your progress in that mission, and a rough area where mission objectives can be found. FTWBroadcasting also made an awesome video about the update, check it out below: Join the forum discussion on this post

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Can SWTOR Be Farmed with Companions and Alts?

People are pumped up about SWTOR and while we wait for the anticipated MMORPG to finally be released, people are talking about what it will be like- both positive and negative. Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert talks out in the SWTOR forums about the Companion Character mission system and how they will work with alts as well as while you are actively playing the game. One forum poster asks if he was logging in playing one character, if he could have another character’s companions out collecting resources at the same time. Schubert’s answer was yes, which stirred up some more questions about farming and exploitation of Crew Skills. Is it possible that people could farm with their Crew Skills and exploit the economy of the game? Schubert answers this by saying: “There are some preconceptions about the missions system, such as that it’s an infinite money machine. Quite the opposite:…

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Moral Issues in SWTOR and more Tidbits from the Forums

The Star Wars: The Old Republic official forums were abuzz yesterday with talk about dark/light side morals and choices, rumors of a release date and more. Damion Schubert stepped in to add more insight to the topic as well. Zoeller talked about questing and how it will operate within SWTOR and explaining that there will be some repeatable quests/content within the game but that the game won’t rely on it completely.   Zoeller also discussed where we will be able to fly within the game: “Once you have your ship, every planet in the galaxy can be flown to. Of course, flying to a level 40 planet at level 12 might not be the greatest idea, but still, you can do that.”   Then Stephen Reid also talks about morals and light side/dark side choices: “The Light Side / Dark Side symbols only appear when using a mouse to hover…

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Damion Schubert: Story Does Not Kill Community

Damion Schubert takes some time out for a long post on the official forums about community and how story does not kill it. The TLDR version: “What is going to be good for any particular MMO’s community is going to be wildly divergent between MMOs, depending on each MMO’s focus and feature set. We’re continually keeping an eye on our community to be sure that they remain healthy, but for the most part, there are some really neat interactions going on.” This is a great post to read over although commenters have varying opinions on how they feel about the topic. Some people feel the forum moderators and staff do not have the interest of community as a top priority but others feel strongly about the positive SWTOR community, stating it as a big reason they want to purchase and play the game. Schubert says they want it to be…

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Introduces the Codex

This week BioWare’s Principal Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert  introduced the Codex. If you’ve played some of BioWare’s other projects like Dragon Age or Mass Effect, you’re probably familiar with the Codex system, which allows players to discover key bits of lore throughout the game by exploring or accomplishing different tasks. This story can help enhance the lore of the world or offer additional narrative to a player’s chosen profession. This feature isn’t just about being another way to deliver story to the player. As Lead Systems Designer, I’m mostly concerned about bringing the fun. Delivering story and context isn’t enough for me – I also want to be sure that we add new activities for players to do and goals for him to achieve. In particular, we saw the codex as a way to reward exploration Here are some more of the highlights: The team had two design goals:…

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Group Q&A Sessions with Developers Recaps

    The embargo has been lifted from the Austin Fan Site Summit and people are talking!   The Q&A session with developers is one of the most interesting pieces of revealed content so far. If you wanted to know more about SWTOR, then this is a don’t miss. The question and answer sessions covered a range of topics relevant to the developer answering questions at the time. Blaine Christine & Daniel Erickson are always fun to listen to and get you really excited about the game.   Damion Schubert answers some other important questions but brings possible disappointment regarding some guild features. As part of a guild that is registered for SW:TOR I agree with others who were a little bummed that a guild leveling system (a-la WoW and LOTRO) doesn’t seem to be a top priority and instead is on the “board of cool things we’d like to…

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Unofficial Q&A with Damion Schubert

Many of us assumed the thread would go unanswered but much to our surprised, Damion Schubert decided to answer in full, thorough details what a typical day is like for him. In case you missed the thread, here are some highlights of the impromptu “interview”: So I was wondering, at this stage in development, what’s a typical day in the life at Bioware Studios? “The answer to this question is going to vary wildly and dramatically based on who you ask, so I’ll answer only for me – keep in mind that my role and position is pretty unique in the team, as I both manage a team of systems designers who do itemization, maps, crew skills and other features, as well as act as a primary liaison from design to several programming teams (yes, that’s plural). So for me, my day is usually a combination of: Meetings, and lots of…

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Damion Schubert On Designing For Loners

Jef Reahard from Massively have made a very detailed writeup of Damion Schubert‘s recent talk at GDC 2011, entitled “The Loner: Why Some People Play MMOs Alone:” One of the seeming paradoxes of MMO design is that there is a large contingent of players who would prefer to play these games alone. Gamers who want to play this way are often derided by other players and sometimes even designers for their playstyle, but it isn’t as odd or exotic as it seems. This talk discusses the rationale for this playstyle, the necessity to cater to this playstyle from a business point of view, and the design intricacies of providing solo play without invalidating the ‘massive’ parts of your game design. Jef Reahard has made a great rundown of Damion Schubert’s points in his speach, and extracts some interesting quotes from the talk as well: Schubert states that MMOs feature “hardcore…

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What Is The Max Level?

A lot of people are wondering, what is the level cap to the SWTOR? Before people believed that the level cap could be between 36 to 71 in Star Wars: The old republic but, stated by Damion Schubert the level cap is indeed level 50.  Who knows if that will be the case when the game is actually is released. I guess it will leave much for expansions and it will be easier to reach that level, I’m guessing and I will play through a lot more character. And here is Gabe talking about multiple level 50 PvP: Join the forum discussion on this post

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Damion Schubert On The Death Penalty

The death penalty of various MMORPGs is a topic of interest to many people – I’ve seen a number of thought provoking posts, and what is a more cheerful topic than death of your virtual avatar. Yesterday Damien Schubert made a great post about this issue on the official Star Wars: the old republic forums. In summary, the death penalty of a game is a powerful tool which strongly influences how much risk the players are willing to take. Theoretically you could make a game with permadeath, where when your character dies, you need to roll a new one. Obviously in such a game you would see people not even daring to attack to bunny without a group. Given how many fights you do in a MMORPG, even a 1 in 1000 chance to die would be far too dangerous. In games with corpse runs and lots of xp loss,…

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Damion Schubert talks game narrative in this month Game Developer Magazine

In the latest edition of Game Developer Magazine, Damion Schubert, Lead Systems Designer for Star Wars: The Old Republic, is once again discussing game narrative. As we all know this is one of the key issues  in SWTOR – the fifth pillar as they call it. Here is a short excerpt: The deepest backstories in games come from licenced ones. ARKHAM ASYLUM and FORCE: UNLEASHED have decades of material to draw from and, in both cases, designers worked hard to ensure that they drew on commonly recognized elements recognized by casual fans as well as Easter eggs to cater to the hardcore. In a licensed project, perhaps no application of story is more important, and when reviwers state ARKHAM ASYLUM really brings Batman’s world to life, or that FORCE UNLEASHED captures the far reaches of the Star Wars universe, you have a good understanding why these games succeeded. Schubert goes on to look…

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