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Chat Transcript - 11/11/05

Guest DarthMaulUK

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Guest DarthMaulUK

Thanks to all who attended. it was great fun both Petroglyph and Lucasarts had a lot of fun!


Thanks to Little B from empireatwar.pexgames for the German translation



Starmark2k: How will multiplayer skirmishes be handled when there’s more than 2 player battles? Can you have rebels vs rebels for example and will teams be able to have one of each faction on their side (reb+imperial vs rebel/rebel)

Petroglyph-Chris: For EaW we wanted to focus on Rebel Vs Empire which allows us to create some very unique situations and scenarios for multiplayer. We also cater to team game-play so expect so to some very unique ways to play the game.


Jan Gaarni: We've heard rumours that the tech tree ends at A New Hope. Is this true?

Petroglyph-Joe: The tech tree builds up to the end of A New Hope but since the game doesn't follow the Movies exactly, the player can mix things up a bit. There are a couple of units seen in later movies that you can research in EaW.


Darth Alec: How do you research technologies?

Petroglyph-Adam: Each side has their own ways of aquiring new tech. The Empire is more straightforward with their tech research, relying on tech centers and expansion. The rebels, true to their nature, get technology through more devious means, utilizing a pair of droids I think you're all familiar with...


Popcorn2008: Can the Death Star take out capitol ships during combat?

Petroglyph-Joe: The first Death Star took about 24 hours to charge up and didn't have the targeting ability to fire on single ships, so in keeping with Lore, it cannot hit individual ships.


Darth Windu: Why aren't the Republic and Seperatist included in the game?

Petroglyph-Joe: The game covers the classic Star Wars movies and thus covers the epic struggle between The Empire and the Rebellion.


Thrawn: Will units gain veterancy over time? If so, how will this be applied to both ground and space forces?

Petroglyph-Adam: Since the battles rage fast and furious, the likelyhood of forces surviving for a long period of time makes veterancy moot. However, heroes will persist, and since they offer such a dramatic shift in power when in battles, they act as your veterans, so-to speak.


Naja: You’ve said in an interview that planets can be 'rebel'. How does this work exactly? Do all planets have a population loyalty measure for each faction? If so, how will this work on neutral planets?

Petroglyph-Adam: In campaign, during certain situations, planets can rebel and throw off their controllers, resulting in some challenging situations if you thought that planet was "locked down". On a galactic level, you don't have to worry about rebellion as much, but in the story campaign, you should be able to feel when a planet may throw off its shackles.


Frozticles: Do you think EaW will counter balance between casual gamers and hardcore RTS players?

Petroglyph-Joe: The game is designed to appeal to the casual player by not having the "chore" parts of a old-school RTS type game, yet can appeal to the more advanced player due to the layered strategies and each map and force composition can change the nature of the battles. The advanced player will be able leverage this depth of strategy to a degree familiar to the hard core RTS player.


FFDmh2223: Can you train soldiers to become more effective and will soldiers gain experience?

Petroglyph-Chris: You can upgrade soldiers with unique offensive and defensive abilities. But they will not gain experience overtime, they will persist though.


GodZilla: Is This game based or at least similar to an old star wars game called "Star Wars: Rebellion"?

LEC-Rogue: It is somewhat similar to Rebellion but it is not based off of Rebellion.


THEredGERBAL: Will the Galaxy map be in realtime?

Petroglyph-Adam: The galaxy is running in real time, yes. You will see both enemy and friendly fleets moving around, your ordered units being produced, etc. When tactical combat occurs that you have to deal with, galactic activity suspends, so you don't have to worry about being attacked on multiple fronts simultaneously.


Cobra848: Will there be a PetroGlyph Online Support? Like WOL. What kind of features will it have?

Petroglyph-Chris: Post launch you can expect to see the Petro team very active listening to fans and responding to feedback. I’d also like to point out we will have a unique tournament system that caters to all three unique game modes as well ass an expanded profiling system.

Petroglyph-Mike: No profanity, Chris. :-)

Petroglyph-Chris: DOH!


Teradyn: Are we able to use characters to perform diplomacy to affect a neutral or our own planets faction standing to bring them into our side or more into our side?

Petroglyph-Adam: There are circumstances within the campaign where your actions can sway certain key planets to joining your side, so depending on how you do in certain missions, you can give yourself a huge advantage in combat situations. If you miss your opportunity to sway those planets, there are other ways to get them, but they require a lot more work.


katostk: What are the system requirements?

LEC-Rogue: We're still working on the system specs but we are trying to hit as broad an audience as possible.


bradhammer: I was wondering what the population limit is, and how it works.

Petroglyph-Joe: The population limit is controlled by the system you own and the infrastructure you build. To support a large fleet and mobile invasion force, it takes appropriately large investment into the systems you already own. The best player accomplished victory with the fewest forces necessary. The Galaxy is large, so even if you could muster a large army, you need to keep existing conquests protected.


GodZilla: How will ground battles work? Is the only objective to eliminate enemy forces?

Petroglyph-Chris: Players will have multiple objectives on maps that have been built with unique tactical situations. It will be extremely important for the player to capture reinforcement points and gain territory in order to eliminate their foe. So, don’t expect to mob a defending player as it will require a variety of units to handle multiple strategic situations.


Kushan: How will the replayability of EaW differ from previous "dynamic" mission RTS games like Empire: Battle for Dune?

Petroglyph-Adam: The great thing about EaW is that how you play dictates how the galaxy develops. We have multiple "sandbox" scenarios that are very open-ended in how you can tackle them. Since you can encounter a planet early in one game, and later in another, the dynamics of how that combat will play out will vary radically depending on the power of the defender and their tech vs. that of the attacker. Even the same planet can feel very different.


Pfalzer: Will units be sold in squads of 6?

Petroglyph-Joe: Units (we like to call them "Companies") come in various quantities. A company of Stormtroopers might contain several squads of many troopers each. A company of light tanks might contain 5 or 6 tanks. A 'company' for an AT-AT would be a single AT-AT with it's transported soldiers.


THEredGERBAL: How will the trench run work with the death star?

Petroglyph-Chris: "Stay on Target!!! Stay on Target!!!"


FoshJedi2004): Are there set Fleet Formations that we can set the fleets to?? EG: Flanking/Hammer and Anvil.

Petroglyph-Adam: Fleets will automatically arrange themselves by power and ability based on what you select in any group. You can override this behavior by grouping individually, or just double-clicking any orders, which tells units to use individual behavior logic rather than formation logic.


THEredGERBAL: Is there an upkeep cost for troops, or once you build them they are effectively free?

Petroglyph-Joe: There is no upkeep "cost" in a traditional sense, but there is the concept of a maximum number of units/ships you can have. The player can control this cap by investing in their systems. This adds a strategy to use against the enemy in that you can invade to destroy the infrastructure he is using to upkeep his large force in play.


JediIgor: How many engine methods are exposed through the Lua interface? That is, just exactly how much can we change the gameplay? So how much things are hardcoded (the # of factions, # of planets, # of vehicles..?) Would we be able to add new things such as Diplomacy in Lua?

Petroglyph-Adam: Mike must be all excited!

Petroglyph-Mike: The entire game engine is full data driven with LUA and XML for data and scripting. For who wants to, they'll have as much flexibility in changing the game as the designers here do, aside from specific technology.

Petroglyph-Adam: He loves these kinds of questions =)

Petroglyph-Mike: You'll also need art and sound if you really want to get fancy.

LFN|DarthMaulUK: Can someone explain what Lua is please?

Petroglyph-Adam: LUA is a scripting language that we use to do all our design scenario creation and handle all the AI for EaW. It is very friendly for anyone that understands basic programming logic and is incredibly flexible.

Petroglyph-Mike: Also check out Lua.Org


Thrawn: You mentioned reinforcement points. What are they and how do they work?

Petroglyph-Chris: They are strategic points scattered around the map. They are crucial for the attacking player as they allow you to hold positions and bring down reinforcement from space. Also, reinforcement points can only be captured by infantry, so it is vital to protect troops as they advance through the battlefield.


LFN|DarthMaulUK: What will be done about heroes and bounty hunters to make sure that they are not too overpowered? Is it possible to outright KILL major heroes like Darth Vader, Palpatine, or Obi-Wan?

Petroglyph-Joe: Bounty hunters' role is to "neutralize" heroes. Just like Boba Fett 'neutralized' Han Solo, he didn't actually kill him. Heroes in Star Wars and in Empire at War have an uncanny ability to "come back to fight another day". There are exceptions of course and neutralizing a hero for a period of time can easily swing the tide of battle.


LFN|DarthMaulUK: Is there a way to prioritize a particular hardpoint attack order? For example: Enact an order for a group of bombers to take out weapons, then engines, then main shields, etc in that order at the beginning of the attack to be executed automatically like a disable priority, disarm, etc?

Petroglyph-Adam: Currently, you manually target hardpoints with your bombers, but we're investigating ways to make this more managable. Honestly, because we use custom icons to represent the different hardpoints, it's not very hard to manage at the moment and see at-a-glance what's still up and what's not.


PFF_substance: If there is water planets how will we take them over?

Petroglyph-Adam: There are floating platforms on the water worlds that allow combat to occur on them.


LFN|DarthMaulUK: Can we manoeuver around in the galactic and/or space maps while a ground battle is occuring? (An enemy force shows up in space while ground battle goes on for example?)

Petroglyph-Joe: When a ground battle or space tactical battle is in progress, the galactic level aspect of the game is paused. The player can concentrate on the battle at hand. However, bombardment from ships in orbit or firing up from the surface can occur in battle.


JavaUser2: Can you tell us more about what species will be in the game?

Petroglyph-Adam: There is a multitude of creatures scattered over the planets. There's over 12 different species represented, each with their own allegiances.

Petroglyph-Adam: not to mention chaotic creatures, like Rancors. =)


katostk: Will we be able to rename our ships?

Petroglyph-Joe: Yes, you can rename your ships. The official names for ships of every type are provided so you can enjoy the ships as named in the official Star Wars galaxy if you wish to leave the name as is.


ebs|Mandalor: Can we see our enemies movements on the Galaxy Map, or can I use spies to find it out?

Petroglyph-Chris: Sure, each side has their own unique way to spy on the enemy, so expect probe droids and unique heroes for this task.


EaWde|LittleB|PFF: Will we be able to intercept enemy fleets (if so how to we detect them) or are battles restricted to attacking/defending a planet?

Petroglyph-Chris: Units don’t fight in hyper space. Battles will be restricted to space and planetary engagements.


Grompie: Will modders like myself be able to put new units ingame, and will there be vehicles like boats?

Petroglyph-Mike: Yes, you will have the ability to create new units for the game, and some can go in/on/above water. The game engine is very mod friendly, in our opinion.


Haegemonia: How will the Rebellion acquire the X-Wing?

Petroglyph-Adam: Hehe. With great difficulty! Acquiring the X-wings is a major event for the rebellion, and we certainly didn't want to leave that to a cut-scene! You'll be very hands-on in stealing the X-wings when playing the Alliance! =)


LoW|PFF|Juggernaut1985: Can we be in a tactical battle and go to the galactic map and move a fleet to the battle we are currently fighting without having to auto resolve the battle we were fighting?

Petroglyph-Adam: No. We didn't want to distract you from your tactical battles with other things to worry about, so you won't be attacked concurrent to any tactical combat you may already be engaged in.


LFN|DarthMaulUK: Can you guys briefly fill us in, what you do in your spare time, if any....

Petroglyph-Mike: Currently, we have very little free time. But, we like to eat out alot, play lots of games, and get together for movies. We're also having a ton of fun playing the game now that the code bugs ar all getting cleaned up.

Petroglyph-Adam: And Guitar Hero... that's just too much fun.

Petroglyph-Chris: I play a lot of RTS multiplayer games and World of Warcraft.

Petroglyph-Adam: Yeah, WoW junkie here too hehe

LFN|StarWarsPhreak: uh oh, better watch out

LFN|StarWarsPhreak: they'll hunt you guys down

Petroglyph-Mike: Thanks everyone for coming! We appreciate all the support!

Petroglyph-Mike: Have a fabulous weekend!

Petroglyph-Adam: Thanks for all the questions! we hope you love the game as much as we do!


Petroglyph-Mike: May the Force be with you - Always.

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Guest DarthMaulUK

A big thanks to everyone who attended. Sorry if your question wasnt asked/answered but Lucasarts are still keeping some surprises up their sleeves!



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I had a feeling the Death Star couldnt fire upon Captial Ships. It just didnt seem too plausable, considering you dont target what you fire at when using the Death Star. Oh well, something to look foward to in an expansion.'


Also I bet we can take it that the recharge rate will be one in-game day.

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Whoops. I completely forgot about that, good thing my question was (sort of) answered though.


One thing though strikes me as odd. From previous reports I've seen, we're told that units go from one battle to the next, so you need to take care of them, but then in the chat they say "the likelyhood of forces surviving for a long period of time makes veterancy moot".



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I think what they mean is that overall you should look after your forces and not waste them as they will be needed later, however due to each unit having a counter unit the likelyhood of a single unit being able to survive is unlikely and would be rather pointless to follow those few units who do. Eg You have five units of stormtroopers, you would want to lookafter them because you get to keep what survives, however the likelyhood that single units will survive is rather small an so no veterancy.

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You know Im happy we got are chat but it wasnt worth the biuld up. I spent like the past two months waiting for and it didnt answer all my questions. I definetly think we should have more, because if Lucas arts dosnt start releasing more info Im going die I mean really how much of this game do we really know.(not just rumors)

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gamefreak, i totqlly agree, the questions wernt that good. I think when they said that the units wont last long so veterancy isnt worth it, i think its more of them trying to please us as a crowd prob knowing we wanted it, There not gonna say yea its not in but a great idea! That will just upset us


worth question in the chat:


Do you think EaW will counter balance between casual gamers and hardcore RTS players?



what the? Ofcoarse we already know this answer and deff something we didnt want to know

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That is mainly because people expected more. In the beginning everyone thought the game would go from ANH to ROTJ since most if not all OT games went that way. Not only that but many other things people expected to do can't. For example I thought originaly that you could ambush people going through hyperspace or during a space battle move some fleets from a nearby planet to the battle to assist you. The worst part of this all is that we get misinformed and rumors begin. Like what happened not to long ago with almost everyone thinking there would be 80 planets.

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It does make me wonder though, why did they put the Interdictor in it's primary use was to enable hyperspace ambushes. Few people often bother to retreat in games so it's use in that role seems somewhat well gone.

Few people have ever played an RTS where you have the option to retreat. :)


But even so, any person who doesn't retreat when up against overwhelming odds, and is given the chance to, is a fool.

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Good to get those questions out of the way... But any idea when another chat will happen. I believe the demo may be coming soon... It is about half way in November now.

I agree with your opinion as well Gaarni.

What else may end up coming up, such as I wonder if they could have eventually made a mod program as a side/optional program to get when your installing the game.

I still have other questions in store of course for when the next chat comes along

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So Like I said Jan the Interdictor is useless in this, since we can't do Hyperspace Ambushes so it's got no use there and since next to no-one realistically retreats it has no use there either. I'm starting to worry since Petroglyph is putting in units that are used to fill a role and nothing else and not allowing for that role to actually be in the game.


After all Interdictors wern't used in frontline fleet combat, they were usually in the rear and heavily defended.

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So Like I said Jan the Interdictor is useless in this, since we can't do Hyperspace Ambushes so it's got no use there and since next to no-one realistically retreats it has no use there either. I'm starting to worry since Petroglyph is putting in units that are used to fill a role and nothing else and not allowing for that role to actually be in the game.


After all Interdictors wern't used in frontline fleet combat, they were usually in the rear and heavily defended.


Indeed. I wonder at what role the interdictors will play other than the one used in rebellion which was just to make sure the enemy fleet couldn't retreat so that you could massacre them all...or so they would be inclined to fight to the death and inflict the most loses possible on your fleet.

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