Yesterday, BioWare released a video detailing some of the features being added to Game Update 1.3, which is being called Allies:
The video doesn’t contain either an estimated release date or any type of announcement regarding its arrival on the PTS. It is nice, however, to finally be able to view some of the in-game images of features in development, like the group finder UI and the server transfer window.
After the community viewed the video, some important questions were raised on the official SWTOR forums. Here is the official community response thread. Here is another thread that immediately popped up, questioning the group finder tool and the UI that is shown. In it, a few keen-eyed players noticed that in the UI shown in the video, there doesn’t seem to be any type of gear-based restrictions for choosing which hardmode flashpoints players can queue up for.
Here is the first post in the thread:
The pictures Bioware released of the LFG tool didn’t seem to include a gear check of any kind. What is preventing a level 50 in all green gear from queuing up for Devona or HM Lost Island?
The last thing we need is spending an hour in a queue for a group only to get stuck in a group that doesn’t even have the gear required to complete it and having to start over.
A gear check is very important or you will have many frustrated and annoyed players.
Clarification: I want a built in feature incorporated into the LFG tool that restricts what you can queue for based on level and gear rating. I do NOT want the restrictions players generated (like they CURRENTLY are in the game). Since the devs have created a gear gated game (enrage timers, tiered content, etc…) then it is obvious to me that they need a way to enforce such gating, which the preview of the LFG tool failed to show.
Many MMO gamers automatically reject any mention of the words “gear” and “check” placed together, but the simple fact is, there does need to be some type of natural gear-based checklist of sorts in place, ideally built straight into the system. Not all hardmode flashpoints are ideal for players very new to level 50, and the system needs to account for this. The easiest way? Gear requirements. RIFT, for example, has a built-in gear requirement system for their LFG system, and while not perfect, it does the job nicely without a large portion of the raging players recall regarding World of Warcraft’s gearscore system.
At this point, however, it’s very possible that an internal gear requirement system is in place, but it isn’t ready to be showcased. It’s also possible that in the video shown, the staff members who made the video were plenty geared for the content, and the system thus allowed full access. Until we hear the specifics from BioWare, we don’t know for sure.