Jan 16, 2012

Posted by in Yellow Posts | 11 Comments

Yellow Posts: High Rez Update, LFG System, Crew Skills, And The GTN

Hopefully this week will be much more informative than the last, especially since the devs have been crazy active on the forums this week. By now, you’ve probably heard about the “high resolution texture problem” in SWTOR. Basically, high resolution textures are only available for in-conversation cutscenes and when you are playing out in the game normally the texture quality is lowered. One of the responses that Stephen Reid, Senior Online Community Coordinator, posted in the official thread actually states in which update we will see more graphics options: 1.2.

…The first major changes will be in our next major Game Update, which will have the version number of 1.2. Those changes will bring greater visual fidelity to your character and those around you, but will still allow for good performance in situations where a lot of characters are on-screen at once. In other words, for those screenshots of your character in their best gear, you should see a marked improvement…

The game has been officially out for less than a month and we are getting our first major content patch. Hopefully, it will only take about another month to see these changes implemented!

Responding to a post by Obi-Wun, Damion Schubert, Principal Lead Systems Designer, talks a little bit about BioWare’s plans for a “looking for group” tool. What it boils down to is that, at this moment in time, most players are still confined to a few areas in the game, the fleet, mid-to-low-level planets, etc…and an official tool to automatically find groups for flashpoints and heroic quests is not needed currently. However, Mr. Schubert and the whole BioWare staff are quite aware that as players continue to reach the end game and more content becomes available a true LFG tool will become necessary. Given that, they are going to be implementing a true LFG tool soon™:

Improving our LFG system is high on the list of features that Systems Design wants to add to the game. We want this to be good not just for helping people find Flashpoints and Operations to run, but also other multiplayer content like heroic missions. A key emphasis will be on advertising for specific role needs (healer, tank, DPS). This feature is currently in the design stage, and once this feature has moved beyond this to a development stage and has a firm ETA, I’ll be coming back to you guys to give more details.

We’ve known we would need to revisit this feature for a while. In the level-up game, finding players isn’t too rough because, with few exceptions, everyone in that level band is either on your planet or on the fleet. Once more and more players hit endgame, and are spending their time in more places, the need for this feature is going to increase. Note that right now, high level players have the opposite problem – there aren’t enough other players up there to group with. This problem will dissipate as the game ages, and more players reach the later levels.

That being said, our design team doesn’t philosophically believe that cross-server Flashpoints are good for the game at this stage in the game’s lifespan. There is huge social pressure to not be a jerk that goes away when the odds that you will never see these people again is high. I’m not saying never – there may come a time in the future where we reevaluate this – but at least in the short term, we believe this will cause more damage to the community than good.

You all may have seen the post by Georg Zoeller, Principal Lead Combat Designer, about the Cybertech and Biochem nerfs in patch 1.1. In a follow-up to that post, Gabe Amantangelo (Principal Lead PvP, Flashpoints and Operations Designer) reiterates that the changes to those crew skills were made because they were beginning to be considered mandatory for Operations and PvP:

Hello all,

Quick addendum to Georg’s post.

PvP overcharge consumable was meant to share a cooldown with adrenals and not stack with the power ups you can run over to pick up in Warzone maps. So players stacking all three were reaching combat numbers higher than intended, which is why we will be changing that in 1.1.

Additionally, we will continue to monitor and tune crafting professions to ensure they are in line with combat targets and toward the goal of keeping them viable in end game but not mandatory for participation. Currently there are several Armormech, Armstech, Synthweaving and Artifice recipes that can be found in end game content. We will be adding more in future updates. 


Forum user Necrosia posted that he doesn’t understand why the Galactic Trade Network centers (i.e. the auction house) aren’t linked together. This means that Republic and Empire players cannot trade with each other on the GTN nor they trade between the GTN located on the fleet and Nar Shaddaa. Well, they sort of are, according to Georg Zoeller:

The GTN in Nar Shaddaa is linked between factions, but not with the one on the Fleet. This allows you to sell various items of interest for the opposite faction such as companion gifts, weapon and armor schematics and some other items that can only be found by one or the other faction (as well as take advantage of faction based price deviations and commodity shortages).

  1. DozingDawg says:

    So there is Three GTN? One(1) for the Republic, one(2) for the Empire and one(3) for the the Hutts? So if I post in Nar Shaddaa that is not posted in the GTN for the Republic? Or is there just one?

  2. ScytheNoire says:

    What about the GTN in Tattoines PvP zone? There is one there, which I’m assuming is cross-faction.

  3. Planerunner says:

    I’m wondering why a true LFG system wasn’t implemented at launch? That’s a fairly standard MMO feature at this stage in the MMO game.

    • Many many players feel that it negatively effects the server community.

      • I see this argument all the time, but it is never expanded upon. I agree that having a cross-server LFG queue leads to negative effects on the server community. However, I’ve never seen an argument about having server specific LFG queues. This way the players are all still being pulled from the same server, and theoretically they should still have to watch their behavior.

        The queue times wouldn’t be as good as they would be for a cross-server type LFG, but implementing a server specific LFG queue would be a step up from the current situation of sitting on the fleet spamming general looking for a group.

        The biggest bonus of having a LFG queue system is that I’d be able to continue questing while waiting for the queue to pop.

        • I would like a LFG system. You wouldn’t even have to make it cross-server — just same server would be fine with me.

          I really have trouble finding groups during off peak times and when locations of players are often quite isolated — it makes finding players of the appropriate level difficult.

    • I am not sure this game needs a queue yet, but it is certainly getting close. I think the next step would be to include a LFG channel that works across the entire server. Right now the chat channel only works for the planet you are on. I think having a LFG channel would help players find groups much faster while still being able to level. However, I think we will likely see a lfg queue soon as this game is extremely difficult to get groups for.

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