STAR WARS: The Old Republic - Guild Summit Guilds Panel

Uploaded by swtheoldrepublic on 03.04.2012

Damion Schubert: Alright. So hi, I'm Damion. I'm the Lead Systems Designer for it and I
just want to start off by saying that Guilds are incredibly important not just to me but
to everybody at BioWare as an organization. One of the key innovations that we did in
this space pre-launch was to do the guild seeding program that sort of helped to build
some communities before the game went live and then, of course, the first major event
that we did was talk to the fans after live was this one where we came and asked your
opinions. We think that guilds are very important to
building structures and communities inside of the space and that a lot of people log
on every day largely because the social connections they make inside the game. Guilds are really
important to us and we have a very, very structured plan, a roadmap for continuing to improve
the guild experience going forward. That being said one of the places that I'm very sensitive
about is -- and I'm more than happy for you guys to come to me and talk because you are
exactly the people I need to hear it to. To me being a guild leader is one of the hardest,
most thankless jobs inside of the games and in many respects you guys are doing the Lord's
work for us in the sense of keeping other players into the game, getting invested into
the game, and keeping them interested and engaged and so please come and tell me what
is annoying, difficult, frustrating about managing your peeps. And I can't say that
we'll get them all and I can't say when we'll get them but we want to know those things
so that we can make it - Star Wars the single best game to run a guild in all of gaming.
Alright, let's go ahead and start. So Guilds, the current state of guilds is we're kind
of bare bones. Most of our innovation on the guild front was really focused on the pre-guild
program which - don't get me wrong, we consider it a qualified success, it was very good at
what we wanted it to do - but we really want to be sure that we do a good job of giving
you guys the tools to run Guilds better and a UI that makes it easier for everybody inside
of a guild to actually take part in the guild and to build that sense of community inside
the space. And yeah, we really don't have enough e-peen waving going on, so....
One of the things that we have is we have a team right now that is dedicated to expanding
guild functionality and they've got sort of a roadmap of where they're going to go and
we have a full team devoted to giving you guys the features you want. And the first
thing that they're working on is Guild Banks and I have a rule which is: I hate announcing
features until I've seen them work. Guild Banks works and they're awesome. Guild Bank
is a shared bank for guild members to use and it has up to seven tabs that you can buy.
Those tabs have an escalating price so the first one's pretty cheap and the seventh one
is going to be a little work for you to get your very large guild to pay for.
We have detail control for the guild leaders to… actually determine who can access every
single tab. We do have the ability for guild leaders to set some tabs to require authenticators
to access those tabs. And in related news we have already - it's probably not up here
- we have already been working as part of delivery of the feature being sure that we
have good logging on the backend for CSRs to be able to identify what happened with
any transactions so that hopefully people don't get screwed. Guilds are – like…
Legacy is probably the sexiest feature we did; Guild Banks is the hardest feature that
we've done for one-two, and the team that did it deserves a round of applause for just
doing it and doing it very well. Here you can see some of the Guild Banks going on;
the ability to actually set the tabs at the icons from an icon browser. You can set how
many credits each rank can take out, so you can decide that lieutenants get a larger allowance
than other players. This is just an example of a Guild Bank in action and this here is
the Guild Ledger. One of the things that we didn't like is that our initial version of
the Guild Log which we do have -- we noticed that the entire Guild Log was being pushed
out by all of the credit transactions, of people getting repaired from the bank and
other things like that. Yes, you can repair directly from your Guild Bank up to your allowance.
So what we did is we just took all the money transactions and put it on a ledger so you
can see for each guild member how much money are they putting in there every week, how
much money are they taking out every week, and you see both this week and previous weeks
for you - this all works, it's really cool. And there's your Guild Log. Hey, this is a
really not very useful screenshot at all now that I actually see it. That column that says
V10 is supposed to have a hyperlink of the item that was actually added or removed from
the guild. But that's Guild Banks, we're still looking at how we're going to move forward,
and I want to stress everything I'm about to tell you is post 1-2 and what order it
comes in we're still actually figuring out but this is sort of what we're looking at
on the horizon for guilds. And the first is the ability for you guys
to create events inside of a Guild Calendar, have it… have the ability to show us events even with non-guild
mates, have the ability for CSRs to drop our handy cool events that anyone who wants to
keep secret on those calendars as well. The idea of being able to drop a Guild Emblem
onto your armor, so this will be the ability for you to choose from some shapes and combine
them and choose a color and then if you choose to display this emblem which will be a toggle
you'll be able to turn it on and off. It will actually display on certain hot spots on your
armor so if you're wearing the bikini it will be tastefully placed on the breast whereas
if you've got a cape on the back it might be planted on the back so the artist will
choose where it will choose to display. And then Guild Advertising - this is the ability
for you guys to actually set up some flags that make it easier for you guys to find the
perfect guild and for you guys as guild leaders and guild masters to advertise your guild
inside the game space. Players will be able to open up their guild page and actually say
"Hey I'm going to look for a large raiding guild that is not very hard core and speaks
and let's just call it family friendly ways" and hopefully you'll be able to find the guild
that's right for you. I'm personally a believer that if you find the right guild inside of
any massively multiplayer game the experience is so much better. If you find yourself in
a guild full of elite speaking twits and you aren't one then it doesn't matter how awesome
the game is, you're going to think it's the worst thing you've ever seen. And on the other
hand if that's the kind of player you are, you want to be with other people like yourself.
And so it's is really, really important - I mean one of the things about the role-playing
symposium that we had before - the most important thing for a role-playing guild is to find
other people who want to role play about the same amount, and people who actually have
the same ideas of what role playing means. We want to help people find the right guild
for them, that's very important to us, and we did a good job of that pre-launch with
the guild finding program and we want to extend that and bring it actually inside the game
space with this feature here. We're working on this and it will probably
be tied to working on this. We think it might be kind of cool. As soon as we are willing
to talk about timing and when, where, and how, we will do so but this is a long ways
off but it is my pet project right now. It's worth noting that we are really - especially
for this feature here - we're really devoted to doing this feature right, we want this
to be something that is big and epic and attention-getting when we do it.
And I'm just going to put these up and I'm not going to read them aloud because so far
they've been pretty silly. So does anybody have any question or ideas they want to talk
about the guild stuff? Daniel Erickson: Is anybody interested in
talking about guilds? Allen: Oh, hello. Allen from the Mos Eisley
Radio Community. One of the things I'd like to see - is there any plans for possibly having
a guild mail system implemented where we could communicate maybe on a weekly basis, almost
a newsletter or update within the guild that we can communicate with our guild and kinda…
It would kind of I guess work in conjunction with the calendar that we could plan events
and things like that but just a way that we could interact from a guild leader perspective
to a larger guild without having to go through copy and paste 400 mail messages.
Damion Schubert: We've talked about it. We're hoping that the Guild Calendar and I'm also
looking at improving some of the MOTD functionality as well will help to alleviate some of that.
And part of the problem with features that involve free-form text is that there's a lot
of storage on the backend that can get really, really abusive and ugly if everybody decides
to use it 500 times. And once you start talking about "Hey, I have the ability to spam 500
people at a whim" naturally we have to put some pretty strict constraints on how often
it can be used on who could send it, etc, etc but it is definitely something that we've
talked about and no ETA. Male Speaker: [inaudible 11:40]
Damion Schubert: Well you have to be able to track who's read it and who hasn't read
it, who's deleted and not doing it as a single individual as a change to the mail paradigm
effectively - that's by having a calendar where everybody can read it and you don't
have to track all of that stuff might be a better way to handle it.
Male Speaker: What kind of guild interface improvements do you have planned? For example
you can't have a lot of people on a list, you can't even mouse scroll down, you have
to click and you can't invite people to a group directly from the guild interface. What
kind of improvements do you have planned? Damion Schubert: Well we're going to fix both
of those, I'm not sure when, but I'm pretty sure I think both of those are in 1-2 but
I'm not sure. We're going to go on a more global path of cleaning up the Guild-GUI and
especially beefing up the larger Guild-GUI in general in a patch after 1-2. It's definitely
a place where we want to focus on. Daniel Erickson: Hey Damion, somebody came
up in between and asked me - they said they really would like to be able to look at their
Guild List and then check people's crafting skills from them.
Damion Schubert: That is part of the aforementioned re-factor that is happening sometime after
1-2 but it's definitely actually near the top of the list because we see it as a cheap
win that we can probably get out to you guys pretty fast.
Male Speaker: Is there a plan for a taxation system?
Damion Schubert: So that's in the category of well-duh moments, very similar to the well
duh, we don't have a ready check moment that I had earlier today. I just realized that
we didn't have that a couple of weeks ago and I'm trying to figure out a design for
it now. Yes, we need to get one of those in and now that we have a Guild Bank - no ETA.
Palau: Thanks, I'm Palau from AIE. We've got a lot of people that we invite to our guild,
we're pretty huge, and you guys had for pre-launch the approval for getting new members in. Are
you guys going to bring that back? Because it's very convenient to approve these people
that aren't online at the time and then when they log in, boom, they're already in the
guild, they don't have to look for an officer per se or something like that.
Damion Schubert: Maybe - we've talked about it, personally just from a marketing perspective
I like anything that makes our game viral and that "Hey buy the game and you're going
to like have an instant community of people who want to give you stuff." It's pretty viral
but it's not on our immediate list of initiatives. Palau: Well we had it at the beginning though.
Is it that difficult to bring back I guess? Daniel Erickson: We have a lot of discussions
like "But that's so easy" and it's - Palau: I'm not presuming to say that it's
easy. Daniel Erickson: No, no, no, what I'm saying
is not that you're misunderstanding the concept, it's that we have like 300 things that are
also easy and small before it, so we're all into the idea, it just becomes prioritization.
Damion Schubert: Yes, if you think about for example like the guild team that I'm talking
about that I'm sitting here and just taxing their future by saying "Hey, we're going to
do all of these things that you guys are telling me about." You can imagine they just have
this river of things that they're going to do and the order they're going to do them.
if you frontload the easy stuff and the big stuff like the guild capital ships get pushed
out, right, and so we're constantly playing this prioritization game of doing stuff and
we try to mix enough of the easy stuff with enough of the big stuff so you guys constantly
see progress. A lot of the things that are annoying about the game gets taken care of
but at a certain point you have to say "Yeah, that's going to be an immediate good, we should
bang that out right now" and on the flipside "Yeah we really, really, really like to capital
ships at some point." It's that constant balancing act that is my immediate bosses - like he's
hair is all falling out, it's gone. Male Speaker: You mentioned allowances by
rank and guild. If guild repairs are turned on does that take away from the allowance
for the member? Damion Schubert: Right now it does I believe.
Male Speaker: Okay, that's my question. Damion Schubert: I believe you can also respec
from the bank as well. Who's next? Male Speaker: I've got a quick question. We
say the Guild Log for the Guild Banks - that was really cool - is there any plan to implement
a Guild Log so we can see G invites, kicks, inactivity, things like that?
Damion Schubert: There is a plan, yes. We want to do that and we also want to make it
both visible inside the game and outside the game. I'm not sure when that's going to happen
off the top of my head. Male Speaker: And what about the concept of
guild rivals where you could queue eight-man warzones versus your rivals or if you see
them in the open world you automatically flag over the PvP and can attack each other?
Damion Schuber: I've ripped our adversaries earlier when you guys mentioned it.
Daniel Erickson: For anyone who didn't understand that muttering he said earlier we talked about
the PvP and yes that's coming when we've got teams.
Male Speaker: Could we get the ability to actually invite people from the Guild List?
That would just be kind of nice. Damion Schubert: Yes, I think that that is
already done for 1-2 and if not I'm sure that somebody's frantically coding it in right
now as we speak because they probably are watching a live stream.
Female Speaker: Hi, one of the things that I do a lot of is get groups together for other
people - I'm over here, see - okay, I'm short. Damion Schubert: I don't know if - there are
two spotlights directly in our face and it's actually kind of disorienting after a while.
Female Speaker: So one of the things that I do a lot of is they come to me and say “I've
got a DPS, I've got a healer, I've got a tank but I need one more DPS as anybody out there”.
Guild Chat doesn't necessarily get it. They may say it, looking for DPS, but everybody
thinks somebody else has already responded. So if I could get something in the Guild Window,
some symbol that says this person is already grouped so that I can see who to ask because
they're not in a group even if they're not necessarily in the guild group would be good.
Also if the group is already full if that symbol would change colors so that I could
tell. Damion Schubert: That's an interesting idea.
Female Speaker: Thank you. Damion Schubert: If I had my iPad I would
write it down. Female Speaker: Do you want me to send it
to you? Damion Schubert: Sure.
Daniel Erickson: I think this is being recorded for posterity.
Stephen Reid: So we are of course running a little late here. I want to give you an
option here. So Damion is going to do a user interface presentation, we can have him rip
through that in like 15 minutes and it will just be a show but you wouldn't get to ask
any questions and that way we can continue taking your questions about Guild features
and we can still have some time at the end to talk about other stuff and have a discussion
or we can cut this short right now, he can spend more time in the UI, you can ask more
questions. Option A would be less questions, more guild features questions' option B would
be - option A or B? More UI or more guilds? UI? Okay. We are going to -
Daniel Erickson: I did not see that coming. Stephen Reid: Just bear in mind this is really
for the 200 people here in the room but you will get some hands-on time tomorrow where
you can play with the UI as much as you like. But I understand there's a lot of people still
watching on the live stream and we want to show you the UI, the customization that the
team's been working on so we'll switch over to that. We're going to take a very brief
break, like three or four minutes, while we get things set up and then we'll be back and
then we'll show you the UI customization again.