Exclusive Champions of the Force Convention Interview - More Details from Darla Freeze

Questions by Cody “Micajah” Bye, Managing Editor Answers by Darla Freeze, Associate Producer at SOE – Denver.
Questions by Cody “Micajah” Bye, Managing Editor
Answers by Darla Freeze, Associate Producer at SOE – Denver.

Just a few weeks ago, the Ten Ton Hammer team had the fantastic opportunity to chat with Darla Freeze, an associate producer at SOE – Denver and the woman with the info when it comes to SOE – Denver’s latest project, Champions of the Force. While the first interview was full of fun facts, many questions were still hanging in the air, so we got in contact with Darla one more time to quiz her on the details of CotF.

Over the next few months, you can expect to see many articles popping up about this online card game, and Ten Ton Hammer will be there to give you all the latest information! Also, make sure you check out our two sets of exclusive screenshots – one of loot and the other of actual in-game cards. Enjoy!

Champions of the Force is playable at Gen Con and Fan Faire.

Ten Ton Hammer: To start, what sort of Champions of the Force information is being distributed to fans and the press during Fan Faire and Gen Con? Will they be seeing playable demos? What do you really hope to show off to people at these shows?

Darla Freeze: Attendees at Gen Con and SOE’s Fan Faire will get to demo the Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game during the day in our expo areas. On Saturday evening at Fan Faire we’re hosting a larger play session for All-Access badge holders where they can spend even more time playing the game and browsing through the cards.  We’re also holding several panel sessions where we’ll talk about the game design, plans for the future, and even show off some of the SWG in-game items available from loot cards.

Ten Ton Hammer: In our previous interview you mentioned that there will be several single player campaigns that players will be able to participate in and enjoy without getting into the multiplayer matches. Will these differ from the single player campaigns we’ve seen in Legends of Norrath?

Darla: Like Legends of Norrath, there will be three difficulty settings and the story will define specific win conditions for each scenario. In some you’ll need to be more aggressive, while in others you’ll need to focus on questing. So you’ll be required to use different strategies throughout the campaign. A big difference is that in Legends of Norrath you can use any archetype you want in the scenarios. In Champions of the Force however, there are two campaigns, one for the light side faction and one for dark side faction. You'll have to play Jedi or Rebel decks in the light side campaign, and Imperial or Sith decks in the dark side campaign.

Ten Ton Hammer: Although we’ve talked about several aspects of Champions of the Force, one element we haven’t touched on is raiding. Will there be multiplayer raids in CotF? If so, can you give us an example of a raid boss players might encounter?

Darla: Just like in Star Wars Galaxies there are ways to form a party to take on an NPC in the trading card game. They’re called Heroic Encounters and you will join up with other players, who must all play decks on the same side of the Force as you, and go up against a powerful computer opponent. If you succeed, each player in your group will earn a special promo card. And with each new card set we plan to release more Heroic Encounters.

The Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game will have a form of raiding.

Ten Ton Hammer: What kind of avatars will players have in Champions of the Force? Will they be creatable characters like what we see in Legends of Norrath? Or are you going to use characters like Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader as the main avatars?

Darla: Players will create their own avatar cards, but they can have Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader as units in their deck. The created avatars are ones that players create through the Deck Builder by selecting an archetype, gender and race, and then determine their gametext and stats through a series of questions about your avatar. Your avatar cards have unique names and you can save up to 100 different avatar cards at a time. In Champions of the Force we’re also introducing four new characters, one from each archetype (Jedi, Rebel, Imperial and Sith) and these will be your avatar cards in the starter decks.

Ten Ton Hammer: Can you give us a nice little example of some of the combat characters that players will use to defeat their opponents? Will we see any of the really interesting characters like Jabba the Hutt or Prince Xizor or those sorts?

Darla: In the first set, some of the recognizable characters you'll see featured on unit cards are Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa and Maximillan Veers. Darth Vader is pretty powerful in the game (and he makes a really cool sound effect when you play him).

Ten Ton Hammer: How do you handle card rarity in Champions of the Force? Do players always receive a rare card in a pack? Or is it a little bit harder to get cards like Darth Vader or Yoda in this game?

Darla: There are three basic levels of rarity, not including foils or loot cards, and all cards at the same level have the same rarity. Each booster pack contains 1 Rare, 3 Uncommons and 11 Commons. If you find a loot card, it replaces an Uncommon, and a foil card replaces a Common.

Ten Ton Hammer: In our previous interview, you make mention that the card game follows the SWG timeline. Exactly what does that entail? Will we be seeing characters from the expanded universe like the Dathomir witches, Grand Admiral Thrawn, or any of those characters?

Darla: The SWG timeline takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back so we'll see Darth Vader, but we won't see Anakin Skywalker. However we're not limited to what is just in the films. Star Wars Galaxies is a rich game and has characters from the expanded universe. Characters and creatures found in SWG could appear in the trading card game.

Interested players will need to be SWG or former SWG players to enjoy Champions of the Force.

Ten Ton Hammer: What kind of options are there for characters to build “theme” decks. Are we going to see class-based cards like we did in Legends of Norrath? Like bounty hunter decks or Jedi decks?

Darla: There are four archetypes in the game: Jedi, Rebel, Imperial and Sith. Within those archetypes you will be able to create class-themed decks, like officer, medic, commando and spy decks for example. Your deck begins with your created avatar card, and each new set will feature more options for your created avatars.

Ten Ton Hammer: Will there be a beta testing period for Champions of the Force like there was for Legends of Norrath? When would that begin? How can players get involved?

Darla: There will be a limited, closed beta period starting this week where SOE Fan Faire attendees will get a chance to play it first.

Ten Ton Hammer: Is there anything else you can tell the Ten Ton Hammer readers and Champions of the Force fans?

Darla: Look for the official launch date announcement later this month! The stand-alone Star Wars Galaxies: Trading Card Game client is free to download. While an active or former subscription to Star Wars Galaxies is required to purchase cards and unlock all of the game features, the tutorials and 1v1 Practice Games are available to everyone. If you’re a fan of Star Wars I hope you’ll come check it out.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Star Wars Galaxies: Champions of the Force Online Trading Card Game Game Page.

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