Flashpoints sound fun. There’s mildly informative interview from Gamespot and a little more informative page up on the SWTOR site about these, for lack of a better word, instances. Here’s what I got out of the two sources of info:
2) 90 min – 2+ hours based upon your desire for completion.
3) Story driven augment by…
4) Choice driven ~ your choices make it play out differently.
5) Low, middle, and high levels.
6) Good loot
I found the length of time for completion most interesting. A good story-driven level of any game can pass the time without you realizing it’s 3am and you forgot to eat two meals. A poorly designed one will have you shifting in your seat and glancing at the clock wondering how much longer you have to endure before you can go get a snack. 90 minutes as an average length is pretty long for anything but a really well designed level — let’s hope.
The idea of them being different based upon choices could be a nice quasi-long term design choice. We can’t expect it to be a totally dynamic experience since it’s obvious that eventually you’ll figure out the 3-4 different ways it can play out, but it sure beat a 100% linear path. If nothing else, it will hopefully be a more cinematic way of presenting the instance idea. Anything to change it up, if not get rid of instances completely, is okay with me. I’m also in favor of anything that adds to the journey, especially when SWTOR sounds like it won’t be much of a destination game.
SWTOR looks like it wants to cater well to the individual. It’s been discussed here at length how companions and content design are making the game a singleplayer experience in a multiplayer world, but Flashpoints are balanced for four player groups which contrasts nicely with everything else we’ve learned so far.