Interview: BioWare’s Gabe Amatangelo on PvP, Server Transfers

As part of the local launch festivities, I had the opportunity for a one-on-one with Gabe Amatangelo, SWTOR’s Lead PvP designer. We had a bunch of great questions from the Oceanic community, and we managed to ask pretty much all of them. We also threw in a question about the delay with free server transfers.

Gabe was a friendly guy and it shows in his answers, so without further ado, here’s the interview:

If you had difficulty hearing all of the questions, the legends over at Torboard have done a nice summary:

Gear/Warzone/Commendation Changes

  • Lesser end-game commendations (Champion, Centurion, etc.) will not be exchangable.
  • There will be two levels of warzones. Regular and Ranked warzones.
  • Regular warzones will give out regular WZ commendations, and Ranked warzones will give out ranked WZ commendations.
  • New intro PVP set for new level 50 players to fill gap in gear.
  • There will be some “fun” uses for commendations you dont need anymore.

Ranked PVP

  • Phase one will be server specific.
  • Phase two (coming in the future) will have cross-server queuing.

General/UI Changes

  • Combat log coming soon.
  • DPS meters/Parsers will be done by 3rd party addons via combat log.
  • Free/Paid Server transfers are being worked on but no date provided. They want to make sure the process is perfect before releasing this.

Cross-Server Queuing

  • Coming in phase two of pvp changes (later than 1.2)
  • Priority is on playing with people from your own server.
  • As soon as you start choosing certain things (which warzone, ranked, etc.). It becomes more difficult for you to get a WZ with server players so you go into the cross-server queue.
Also – if you’re an RP’er or want a wider perspective on stuff from Gabe – definitely check out this brilliant piece from Ganden over at SWTOR-RP, which was completed yesterday as well. Some excellent info in there to say the least!
And for the record, here are the questions that were asked:

Are there any plans to allow lesser PVP tokens (Centurion etc) to be traded in for higher tokens (Champion etc) at a ratio? (Like Warzone tokens into Mercenary Commendations).
What is the outlook for Bioware’s rated pvp, are you aiming for an e-sport paradigm or something more casual.

When, when, when are dps meters coming out?!?!?!?

What are your impressions on the current PvP Warzones and what have you learned going forward for their future?

Are there any plans to allow trading up of Planetary Commendations like Daily’s or higher level planet commendations, I don’t think im ever going to use my 56 Tattooine Commendations anytime soon.

I heard we maybe going cross-server for warzones. How is that going to be handled? Are we going to be using battlegroups, or preferably RvR (realm vs realm)? With RvR, it’d at least keep that sense of community with your server.

Any chance we will see a larger scale instanced objective based Warzone? (Something along the lines of the epicness of Vanilla WoW Alterac Valley)

As I see it, the single biggest problem with Ilum PvP is the large scale kill trading. Why aren’t the organisers of KT (if not all participants of KT ops) banned for boosting / exploiting?

With the announcement of server transfers now not occurring until late April, there’s been some griping giving the assumption was made it’d be earlier. Is the delay due to the free transfers being part of the wider roll-out of transfers throughout the game?

Over to you: what did you think of Gabe’s answers?

Also a big thanks to Jodie at EA for videoing the interview.

  • Linkage Ayexe

    Good set of questions and some decent answers. 

    • David H

      Thank you sir ;)

  • Glorion

    Awesome, some good Q/A  there. Looking forward to the ranked WZs. 

    • David H

      Thanks Glorion and agree, should be fun ;)

  • TorBoard

    Hey guys, great interview. It is a bit hard to hear the questions, so I summarized the results of this interview:

    Hope this helps, keep up the good work.

  • Tester

    Too difficult to understand.. please post question and answers.  Thx

  • Pandar

    Cheers, David. Appreciate the interview, and thanks for asking my question. I had chills running down my spine, when you read it out loud. o;

    • David H

      My pleasure – the only reason the interview was as interesting as it was, was due to the community questions ;)

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  • Bob

    Was that just a pile of gold coins sitting on the table?

    • David H

      Well if there were, I didn’t receive any and nor did I bring any. Just wish I’d been more observant, maybe I could have ‘borrowed’ them ;)

  • Roonerspism

    Great interview Dave.
    Really good to see BW send someone of Gabe’s callibre here for the launch, and that Gabe was open and direct in answering questions.

    • David H

      Thanks mate glad you liked it!

  • Alphazen

    Gabe sounds like a stand-up guy with a finger on the pulse of what needs to be done in SWTOR PvP. Of course, the community is demanding a lot, a lot faster than it probably  can be done. Was good to hear though that there is some vision for making PvP better.

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