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.