Georg Zoeller

How BioWare Built Enough Content to Fill The Old Republic

We know it’s not easy creating and operating a massively multiplayer online game like SWTOR. That said, it can be equally as difficult to keep it filled with enough content on a regular basis so that players do not get bored. Have you ever wondered how BioWare built enough content to fill The Old Republic and how they continue to give us great content again and again. Some of you might remember back in 2011 when BioWare designer Georg Zoeller did a talk at GDC Online about Star Wars: The Old Republic and explained how spatial analysis can be used to support a rapid content iteration process during the late stages of MMO development. For those of you who heard the talk, he goes on to explain how BioWare’s homegrown ‘HoloProjector’ spatial visualization toolkit was used in the day to day development of the game. It also helped the BioWare devs with decision making, content validation and…

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Georg Zoeller leaves BioWare

Georg Zoeller just updated his google+ about him departing BioWare It’s time to say goodbye…. Friday marked my last day in the office at BioWare. After almost a decade and spending almost quarter of our lives in Canada and the US, my wife and I have decided to take on an exciting new adventure on the other side of the world – Singapore. It’s been an honor to work on so many amazing games with so many talented people and good friends, you will be greatly missed. If you’ve circled me because of my involvement with SWTOR, please understand that I will not be providing any more information regarding the game from this point forward and uncircle appropriately. If you stay, don’t complain about getting hit with pictures from the other part of the world from time to time. To Adventure! I kinda guessed this was coming, Georg Zoeller was one…

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Georg Zoeller, you show dem Forums!

Georg Zoeller is a funny guy. We’re not laughing at him, we’re laughing with him on this post in the official forums where some players seem to have complaints about the guild summit, 1.2 and what is and is not coming in the future of the game. Originally Posted by Coldin One thing that I was really hoping would come out of the Guild Summit was more information on what class balances would be taking place in 1.2. There’s been some hints here and there that changes are coming. IGN even reported that Jedi Knights will be receiving some new skills, while Bounty Hunters will be receiving a nerf. In fact, entire skill trees are changing so greatly they’re actually refunding our skill points for free. However we have yet to see any details about this. With 1.2 being pushed out to early April, it’s becoming more difficult for me…

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Georg Zoeller Talks Economic Changes in Patch 1.1.5

If you missed his blog post on the official forums, Principle Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller had a very interesting post that talks about the changes in Patch 1.1.5. Basically, he gives the players a look into changes to the economy coming soon and how this will affect us. He provides it in-context and also with some lore. (He’s always been great at the story-telling.) Here is a piece of what he said in the blog post about colorcrystal changes: It’sbeen reported that Operatives of the Republic Strategic Intelligence Servicehave recovered several new variations of color crystal prototypes during adaring raid on a cutting edge Imperial Science Bureau outpost on Ilum. Amongthe items recovered are a number of rare, purple-hued color crystals, usuallyexclusive to Imperial-held worlds. Republicscientists are confident that they will be able to reverse-engineer andpotentially replicate the captured Imperial technology, including the colorcrystals, in a matter of weeks….

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Crafting Changes Live on Test Server

Developer commentary on crafting changes that just went live on the test server, as well as hints at what to expect from patch 1.2 can now be found on the forums. Georg Zoeller popped in to explain a few things about crafting, upcoming changes to the crafting systems and more. I wanted to drop some notes on the changes made to the BioChem profession in the patch (1.1.2) that just went onto the Public Test Server, how they fit in the big picture and how we are proceeding forward with crafting professions in endgame in general. Zoeller adds: It is our intention to gradually, over multiple patches, reduce the impact of situational consumables on endgame combat resolution and shift the factors which determine the outcome of combat more towards personal skill. As part of this effort, specifically for PvP, we are also working on changes that will reduce the gear…

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Rakata Weapons to be fixed in future patch – Not 1.1.1

As the original poster explained, there has been an issue with Rakata weapons for some time now. Players can raid hard mode EV for weeks and get Rakata weapons that are rank 126 when they would already have much better weapons at that point. The Rakata weapons should be level 140. They look cool with their black-red lightsaber crystals btu it doesn’t change the fact that they are basically useless at that level. So plenty of players complained and at first, it didn’t seem like BioWare was listening. Then they came in to say it would be fixed in 1.1.1. But alas… it is still not fixed. So what’s the deal? Well, the weapons will be fixed in an upcoming patch instead. Sorry to those who have them or were working towards them who are not benefitting from it right now. If you already have them, they will be upgraded…

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Georg Zoeller Answers Player Asking for Ship Droid Weapons

If you’ve played SWTOR long enough to get your ship then you have met your ship companion. These lovable droids live to please their master but C2-N2 (and 2V-R8) do not have weapons and they tell you when you meet them that they are not armed for combat. One player asked a question in the forums: I have got alot of weapons and cant see a weapon I can equip for C2N2. I tried looking on the web but no answers could someone help me plz. Thanks And while other players attempted to explain that C2-N2 is a non-combat companion best suited to going on missions for you, the real fun began when Georg Zoeller came in with an official explanation. The official response: Dear Sir, I am writing to you in response to your complaint about our product, the C2-N2 droid. We regret that you are experiencing difficulties with…

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Georg Zoeller on the Ability Delay Situation

As many of you may have already discovered, there were some issues with SWTOR causing abilities on cooldown to appear like they were available to the player but without actually being usable to the player. This bug was reported by many and BioWare has an official response for us today. Georg Zoeller reports: Hi everyone; I wanted to give you all an update on the ability delay situation. Thanks to constructive feedback from the community, including some great videos, we were able to identify an issue that could cause abilities on global cooldown to appear available to the player, resulting in unresponsive/ignored player input. A fix for the issue is currently scheduled to go to the public test server with our next update. Additionally, we have located an issue that would cause player input for certain instant abilities to fail in frantic combat situations, resulting in unpredictable and frustrating gameplay…

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How to Find a Magenta Adegan Crystal: BioWare Explains

Adegan crystals were commonly used by Jedi as a main component of a lightsaber. Also known as “Ilum crystals””. BioWare tells us How to Find a Magenta Adegan Crystal for yourself, if you can figure it out, that is. Georg “Observer” Zoeller posts on the official forums: It’s actually not difficult at all. There is no RNG element involved, nor do you need to be running around in endgame gear to obtain it, nor do you need an Operation to do so. You may need a bit of time, but not a crazy amount either. All classes are capable of obtaining it. Think of it as something like a datacron. Of course you also need to find an Artifice capable crafter with the recipe to turn the raw crystal it into a Lightsaber crystal, but for the right price, I’m sure they’ll help you out. Honestly, I was a bit…

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Republic Trooper interviews Georg Zoeller about Trooper Combat

If you want to learn more about the Trooper in SWTOR, the guys over at Republic Trooper have hooked you up. They have an exclusive interview with Georg Zoeller about Trooper combat and other class aspects and they are kind enough to share it with the rest of the Trooper fans out there. They’ve asked him some great questions and really know how to get to the root of what the players want to know and they have some brand new Trooper intel you haven’t likely seen anywhere else. It’s more than 1,00 words of communication with Zoeller. Some samples of the questions the Republic Trooper guys ask in their interview: What were some of the challenges of developing ranged tanking for the Vanguard Advanced Class? We’ve spoken with some large guilds that are intending on running exclusively with Troopers. How viable would it be to attempt Flashpoints and Operations…

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Interview with SWTOR’s Georg Zoeller

The guys over at TORWars are famous for giving us good interviews on SWTOR from time to time. They recently posted an exclusive interview with Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller. It’s not the first interview we’ve seen with him but this one is really in-depth- 1,500 words worth, actually. Zoeller is full of information and knowledge about SWTOR, game design and the industry in general. This is one of the many reasons why fans love to read his interviews. He’s a class act and this interview with TORWars is direct and full of great juicy details and not your typical boring answers to the same old questions again and again. Here’s a snippet: TORWars: How do you go about designing a combat system that will keep players excited and motivated for numerous hours a day, potentially over a number of years? Zoeller: Options. The…

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Georg Zoeller Clarifies Cross-Faction Communication

Georg “Observer” Zoeller, Principal Lead Combat Designer for SWTOR pops into the forums to clarify some things about cross-faction communication. There has been a lot of talk and debate over the issue and as with all things that get over-talked online, there was some confusion. Zoeller says: “Guys, Let’s back up for a minute and clarify what’s going on here. Nothing has changed since San Diego Comic Con. As discussed at SDCC, the decision was made to separate the general chat channels by faction. However, this decision ONLY affects the planet-wide chat channels such as “General Chat.” If you’re standing next to another player (local chat), you can talk to them regardless of what faction you’re part of. The only thing we removed, as already mentioned at Comic-Con, was the ability to communicate with the opposing faction across the entirety of a planet to avoid the issues (like griefing, abuse,…

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IA and Smuggler to get the ability to put your entire group in stealth

SWTOR Smuggler art by superhawkins Every now and then you hear something about a game or a class in a game that is so awesome, you just cannot wait to try it out for yourself. This was the case when I read that the IA and Smuggler in SWTOR would get the ability to put the entire group in stealth. Georg Zoeller dropped this piece of golden information on the forums today after talks about the Smuggler not getting enough love as a class in the game. So Zoeller posts: “As a non force user class, the smuggler is definitely a bit of a renegade / rogue – something a lot of players won’t try for a while as they explore their Force & Lightsaber wielding Star Wars fantasy. That said, it’s one of the most versatile classes… and that was before we gave the Smuggler the ability to ‘Smuggle’…

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Zoeller says No Killing Companions in SWTOR

If you were getting excited about the opportunity to kill your companions in SWTOR, then prepare to have your bubble busted. Georg Zoeller has been speaking out lately about companion characters, how they will interact with us within the game as well as on the removal of the permanent death system. What original sounded like a good idea now seems impractical. There will be now be no killing of companions in SWTOR, according to Zoeller on the official forums. He explains this decision in full detail in his post. It seems a few things have happened to make this feature not practical. Zoeller says: “A number of things happened: Companions, since that feature was created, have become even more integral to the game: They run your crafting missions. They are vital to your PVE combat performance. They allow you to substitute for missing roles in flashpoints. They are at your…

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Absolutely No Fishing in SWTOR

Many players are asking whether or not there will be fishing in SWTOR. It’s a reasonable request since many MMORPGs have fishing implemented as a profession in the game. Georg Zoeller addresses the topic on the official SWTOR forums and explains why there should be absolutely no fishing in SWTOR. Zoeller explains why it is not really possible to fish in this galaxy by breaking down the various worlds and areas: “Hutta – Poisonous swamp, all fish are horribly mutated creatures that would eat you on sight. Better not go fishing. Ord Mantell – Wartorn world, full of Separatists and men of fortune. Overabundance of unexploded ordnance polluting landscape and the ocean. Better avoid fishing there. Tython – Lush landscape, so peaceful, except for those Flesh Raider guys. Who look like Sharks (at least according to Tython chat on the test servers). Just think about it. Sharks that walk. Better…

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Georg Zoeller to speak about SWTOR at GDC

BioWare’s Georg Zoeller will speak at the Game Developers Conference 2011 about SWTOR. His 60-minute lecture is advertised for a still-determined day and time at GDC but you can bet that TOR fans are excited to hear what he has to say and we’ll be sure to bring you all the juicy info as soon as we have it as well. GDC website says “The talk will show a selection of interesting 2D and 3D visualizations, discuss lessons learned and provide information on how to get started with the topic on your own project.” And: Idea Takeaway: Attendees will learn how BioWare leverages spatial analysis on user generated playtest data to contextualize and better understand user feedback and behavior and how this can be used to rapidly iterate and improve game content. Intended Audience: Attendees should be familiar with the topic of metrics and telemetry in online games. Familiarity with…

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Georg Zoeller Q&A raises some concern about the DPS balancing act among ACs

 Interesting conversation was happening in the SWTOR forums today as Georg Zoeller addresses what he said might be a “resurrection of an old topic”. He talks about DPS in relation to classes and the class balance. Zoeller says you might a small amount more damage from a class that does not wear heavy armor but it really isn’t that simple at all because there are so many different variables that go into play when discussing DPS in the game. Zoeller says: “Different DPS specs have different amounts of CC, utility, etc. and that will reflect in their maximum DPS output. There’s consideration about damage being applied over time, ‘bursty’ or ‘not bursty’ damage, critical damage, damage tied to other effects like snares, the fact that damage can interrupt Warzone objectives, damage potential that can be purged or neutralized, the cost of energy/heat/Force/focus to create that damage, the ability to deal…

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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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Replayability of SWTOR

Georg Zoeller spoke on the official SWTOR forums this weekend about the replayability of SWTOR and same class replay. Many have questioned this and the issue of mob grinding in relation to SWTOR.        MMORPGs are famous for grinding and mindless quests telling you to go here and kill x number of ___. This mindless, repetitive gameplay is what BioWare says they are trying to avoid in SWTOR. The discussion that ensued on the forums was an interesting one on this topic.   Orcron posted: “Well thanks for clearing that up. But why is it you made the class quest far more richer with goodies so to speak then taking side routes to level up? Such as flash point running or random mob killing an so on.”   Zoeller came in to answer the question: “I wouldn’t say richer – after all Flashpoints, PvP and other activities have…

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Self-Rez in SWTOR: The Great Debate

Ever since the topic of self-rez was introduced for SWTOR, there has been debate over how it will impact the game.       Georg Zoeller popped into several posts on the official forums to talk about the concept, answer questions and clear up confusions. He says:   “Let’s give you some details, since it’s E3 and we’re being generous The reason we added this system is that the worlds in The Old Republic are huge and a travel death penalty turned out to be much more punishing than initially planned. Our testers were quite vocal about that. Our testers also commented that they liked the more challenging content compared to other MMOs (no, Daniel’s demo wasn’t showing that, since running harder content and talking and answering interview questions is a bit much to ask of a writer).”   He goes on to describe that the system was added to…

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