Date: May 23, 2012  |  Written by Jason Dodge  |  Posted Under: News  |  DISQUS With Us: 12 comments

With update 1.3 looming over our heads, the biggest feature people are looking forward to is the LFG feature. In a recent interview conducted by Darth Hater we get the following quote:

DH: One of 1.3′s biggest features is the Looking For Group tool. Can you explain how it will work and what areas of the game players can use it (i.e. Flashpoints, Heroic Quests, Operations, etc.)? If not initially in 1.3, will a future release make it cross-server too?

Damion Schubert, Lead Systems Designer: At the launch of this feature (Game Update 1.3), we will not be doing cross-server flashpoints. There are a couple of reasons – first off, it’s a significant technical achievement, and we felt that pursuing it would not allow us to get the feature to you guys as quickly as it needs to happen. Secondly, most of the design team thinks that it’s not necessarily good for the community. When the odds are very low that you will never group with another player again, there is very little social pressure to not be a complete jerk to that person, which is not a particularly positive game experience. We may revisit this decision in the future if our metrics show that flashpoint queues are not firing enough, but in general, queue firing should be more about distribution of key roles (tank, healer, DPS) than about overall population.

For us, this is a big failure in the system. If Bioware’s main reason for not launching a full cross-server LFG system is technical, we can understand that since the systems needed are quiet complicated. However, Damion’s second reason, emphasized above, is a pretty ignorant of the genre as a whole. With SWTOR losing subscriptions and now after a round of layoffs, they need all the positive gameplay elements they can get.

Date: May 22, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: Buzz  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

Every so often, we’re going to be using this space to highlight some of the other awesome Star Wars: The Old Republic fan and community sites out there. This week, we’re showcasing a fantastic site brought to you by Dulfy, creator of Dulfy’s Healing Corner and Zoopercat, creator of Ask Mr. Robot: TOR Fashion!

TOR Fashion is a site dedicated to helping SWTOR players plan and pick out the perfect set of orange gear. Ever wanted to know what the various outfits look like when paired together? Now’s your chance. TOR Fashion contains over 191 unique armor sets and 2100 images, and it’s only been around for a couple weeks now. That means there’s a whole lot more to come.

Date: May 21, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: Buzz  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

Developers have been quiet on the SWTOR official forums these last couple of weeks. Besides the weekly scheduled Q&A sessions and a few augment questions that were addressed, BioWare’s Dev Tracker has remained fairly empty.

Players have been awaiting more details about Game Update 1.3, especially information regarding the two features that are considered extremely needed by most of the community– a group finder tool and server transfers. Simply put, many of SWTOR’s servers are becoming rather threadbare due to the absence of both features. Instead of being rewarded with a detailed blog post, video, or a new PTS update, the community has been left with a handful of vague “coming soon” and “in the process of” statements, along with a very noticeable lack of forum updates.

Date: May 21, 2012  |  Written by Jason Dodge  |  Posted Under: News  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

With game update 1.2 now in the past, the community is already looking forward to 1.3. IGN brings us a preview of the update along with an interview with James Ohlen. Here are a few highlights of that interview:

IGN: The group finder has been a requested feature since The Old Republic’s launch, though there seemed to be some initial resistance against the idea because it would disrupt the flow of exploration. Why is now the right time to implement it? And does it support cross-server play?

Daniel Erickson: In the early days post-launch we wanted players to be discovering the game for the first time and forming natural social groups. A huge wave of players come in all at once in the beginning and finding a group is never really a problem for the bulk of players. Now players have spread all across the leveling curve and the Legacy system is causing players to roll new characters like never before which means we need a simple, flexible system to put players together with other players in their level band. We still want to respect the communities that have developed on servers so it does not support cross-server play.

While I think many players would disagree with Daniel’s statement for waiting on a dungeon finder, it is a most welcome addition to the game. From my point of view, I couldn’t find one dungeon group easily while leveling up at launch. Hopefully this helps new and old players alike.

Read the rest of the interview over at IGN and watch the included video. One of the other major features of the game update is crafting and augment slots.

Date: May 21, 2012  |  Written by Laura Hardgrave  |  Posted Under: Article  |  DISQUS With Us: 17 comments

By now, we all are probably familiar with the rumors spreading mass amounts of doom and gloom about SWTOR across the MMORPG community. Practically every forum and review site has at least a handful of negative opinions regarding the game. The term “TOR-tanic” is often used, comparing SWTOR to both a legendary disaster and a sinking ship. And then there’s this article, and others like it that seem to support these disastrous claims.

As if all the sinking ship images aren’t enough, EA has to throw us this iceberg. Now folks out there are really spreading doom and gloom about SWTOR, and it’s difficult to even avoid it over on the official forums. And I know– you’re wondering why I’m wasting my time discussing the negativity here, where actual fans of the game want to read about cool stuff, and not leaky framework hulls and wildfire-filled articles. Sometimes, I think it’s important to embrace a portion of negativity– a bit of the storm– because it lets us look at our games objectively, and discover what really matters to us in an MMO.

Date: May 18, 2012  |  Written by Jason Dodge  |  Posted Under: News  |  DISQUS With Us: 1 comment

UPDATE:

Originally posted by DavidHunt (Source)


For Game Update 1.3, augment kit creation is limited to the classes that can currently make augments. This is necessary for the introduction of the system; it allows us to distribute the components at a steady rate, because each augmentable item you RE results in a portion of the augment slot. The items created by the other crew skills don’t fit in with this progression as cleanly – if we decide to allow Artifice or Cybertech to acquire the kits through their commonly created items, under our current systems they would produce kits substantially faster than the other skills. It is safer to open augment kits to a limited set of crew skills.

Augment tables are an important part of the plan for crafting and items in general, and we’re committed to continually integrating re-evaluating the feature and integrating it into future. Our intent is to provide a system that utilizes crafting to give all gear the same statistical potential while we monitor economic data and gather player feedback to determine what other changes or additions to make. Adding augment kits to additional crew skills is on the list of possibilities, but it is by no means guaranteed. We’re working on other updates to how some of the systems work – both internally and externally – that may improve the viability of including augment kits in other skills without creating a substantial imbalance. Along with the economic data and feedback, that will determine whether augment kits expand to other crew skills.

Long term, we have economic plans that involve continually refreshing crew skills with new content. Since we are early in those stages, every time we make an update it will make the most recently changed crew skills seem superior. If we included major additions for every crew skill each update at our current pace, it would likely create a result that is incomplete and devalues the system as a whole. As each crew skill gets a wider range of viable items/services, the impact of an individual addition should decrease, and we’ll see a smoother cadence between the crew skills.

Date: May 17, 2012  |  Written by Jason Dodge  |  Posted Under: Article  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

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Date: May 17, 2012  |  Written by Jason Dodge  |  Posted Under: News  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

The fine people over at Inquisitor’s Roadhouse had a chance to ask some questions of Systems Designers David Hunt and Patrick Malott about the upcoming changes to Crew Skills in patch 1.3. Here’s a quick quote, but make sure you read the full interview so you can get prepared for all the upcoming changes.

Q: Can you share with us your thoughts on gear itemization and how that was actually playing out in game versus what you intended that lead to this change?

A: Although the details weren’t decided until recently, all the post-launch itemization systems in SWTOR have been things I’ve wanted for months. Especially with 1.2, I wanted something like augment tables but we didn’t manage to get a system in to go along with the changes to open up mods in the endgame. It sucks when you have an expansive stat customization system and then we throw out caveats like, “Oh, it only works on this small subset of items.” The more freedom and consistency, the better. Player feedback to Public Test for 1.2 indicated to us that there would be strong support for a system that opened up more viable gear, and we felt that augment tables aligned with both our goals and the needs of the playerbase. That feedback helps us get it expedited to try to get it ready ASAP. It might have been cool to get this out between Public Test 1.2 and live 1.2, but the scope of the system meant it would need much more time to do it right.

Along with the feedback we’ve received, the way itemization has played out on live has encouraged us that embracing the full mod route is the right decision. While it may not be apparent, many of the complaints players have had about itemization are concerns we share and are working on addressing. While item mods existed in beta for quite a while, some of the fundamental tech pieces didn’t exist until shortly before launch. Internally, mods make our items inordinately more data-complex and intensive than the items in the average item heavy game, and those complexities are compounded by a live environment.

Source: Patch 1.3 Crew Skills Changes: Q&A with SWTOR Systems Designers David Hunt and Patrick Malott

Date: May 16, 2012  |  Written by Sam Tabrizi  |  Posted Under: Editorial  |  DISQUS With Us: 8 comments

With Patch 1.2 out and Patch 1.3 on the way, “soon” the much toted Group Finder will be upon us. Whether it will be a success or just a stepping stone for cross-server is yet to be determined.

To be same-sever or not to be, that is the question.
Bioware initially was not a fan of an LFG queue system, but in 1.3 they will be adding a LFG queue system. Although details are scarce, Bioware has stated that it will be same-server, following in the footsteps of Rift. When Rift first introduced its LFG system it was same-server; unfortunately, players had to wait hours for the queue to pop up, and eventually Trion, Rift’s developer, expanded it to cross-server.

Date: May 15, 2012  |  Written by Er Moonanite  |  Posted Under: Article  |  DISQUS With Us: 9 comments

Bioware is encouraging all players to PvP at least a little and it’s best to have some practice under your belt before you hit 50. I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what to do with all those warzone commendations that alts rack up so I thought I’d give everyone the lowdown on pre-50 PvP. How to gear, what to do between queues, a secret bonus objective, and why to ignore objectives.

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