Dec 19, 2011

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Fully Operational: The Super Mega Ultimo DPS AC Guide (Warriors and Knights)

“Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!” — There is no better example of damage in the Star Wars galaxy than the scene attached to that quote. Each week in Fully Operational, join Kray as he takes a look at the damage dealing role in Star Wars: The Old Republic. And yes, we’ll blow up a planet if we get the chance.

Wow. WOW. Guys and gals, it’s finally here. My Marauder is level 22 right now, due to the fact that I keep having to “work” to make “money” so I can pay “rent.” It all seems like some stupid fad to me, but they keep giving me paychecks so I’ll keep surfing Reddit from the office. Anyway, joking aside, I’ve got a gigantic present for you today in honor of the impending launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic! Below you’ll find a general guide including spec concepts, playstyles, and rough skill priority lists for the first set of Advanced Classes in the wonderful world of TOR.

I am going to give a disclaimer here, I’ll be writing these posts from an Empire perspective due to me knowing those skillsets the best, but you’ll see a link at the top of each AC with a convenient ‘mirror terminology list’ from our buddies over at sithwarrior.com. Check it out, and be sure to browse them for specific theorycrafting info! A disclaimer, though, I’m going to be linking specs that are purely focused towards damaging abilities.

Yes, some survivability or utility is given up typically, but this is a DPS column, and I expect everyone to ignore their own safety in order to obliterate things. I am not the end-all-be-all of DPS gurus on the internet, I can and will be wrong about certain things, so please correct me if you see something off!

Yes, this sign exists, and it's on my way home from work.

Before we start, a few housekeeping things. First, this song is awesome. Feel free to put it on repeat while you read. Second, here’s a table of contents for you. Click to be taken away to your wildest dreams.

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Dec 10, 2011

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Fully Operational: All Of The Stats, All The Time!

“Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!” — There is no better example of damage in the Star Wars galaxy than the scene attached to that quote. Each week in Fully Operational, join Kray as he takes a look at the damage dealing role in Star Wars: The Old Republic. And yes, we’ll blow up a planet if we get the chance.

Folks, we’ve got a lot to talk about today, so I’m just going to leave this here and get right to it.

Star Wars: The Old Republic will begin early access next week (woo!), and as people begin to roll new characters in a new game they’ll be wondering exactly how they should be gearing up. This guide will explain the functions of all of the different stats in TOR (and there are a lot.) As far as what specs want what, that’s a bit murkier, but by reading through today’s post you should be able to get a basic handle on things. I’m not going to get too heavy into what the stats are, take this as a quick reference sheet.

The Primary Stats

There are six primary stats that you’ll find on gear and weaponry which  affect your characters the most. These stats provide multiple bonuses instead of a single increase, and (depending on spec) may have up to 5 different effects for a single point. To sum it up, each stat has multiple effects, and certain ACs and classes get additional bonus effects.

Strength – Increases Melee Damage + Melee Crit
Jedi Knight/Sith Warrior Bonus – Force Damage + Force Crit

Willpower – Increases Force Damage + Force Crit
Jedi Shadow/Sith Assassin Bonus – Melee Damage + Melee Crit
Jedi Sage/Sith Sorcerer 
Bonus  –  Healing Power

Aim - Increases Ranged Damage + Ranged Crit
Vanguard/Powertech Bonus - Tech Damage + Tech Crit
Commando/Mercenary Bonus -  Tech Damage + Tech Crit + Healing Power

Cunning – Increases Tech Damage + Tech Crit
Gunslinger/Sniper Bonus – Ranged Damage + Ranged Crit
Scoundrel/Operative Bonus – Ranged Damage + Ranged Crit + Healing Power

Endurance –  Increases health

Presence – Increases companion damage, companion health, and companion healing

One hat has better stats than the other!

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Nov 11, 2011

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Fully Operational: The First Steps To Max DPS

“Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!” — There is no better example of damage in the Star Wars galaxy than the scene attached to that quote. Each week in Fully Operational, join Kray as he takes a look at the damage dealing role in Star Wars: The Old Republic. And yes, we’ll blow up a planet if we get the chance.

Good morning, good afternoon, and good night Ask A Jedi readers! Kray here with another episode of Fully Operational. I’ll be honest with you, there’s not a whole lot of really pertinent DPS-related information that got released this week, despite the AAJ team spending a ton of time with BioWare at the Fan Site Summit. Over the next few weeks before launch expect a lot of specifics around classes and gameplay to be revealed, but as for right now let’s take a look at things from a more general standpoint. No listening music today, but take a look at this absolutely stupid and awesome video from one of the guys at R2-DB for your entertainment needs.

The Old Republic isn’t quite out yet (less than 40 days!), and the beta is unfortunately still under NDA for most of the people who got their hands on it. What does this mean for you? Well, simply put, when you fire up the game for the first time and start playing your class of choice, it’s going to be an extremely fresh, new experience. Games like Everquest, Warhammer, World of Warcraft, Rift, etc have the advantage of millions of subscribers who have played the game for years, compiling all their experiences into guide posts on forums and theorycrafting websites. With TOR, on the other hand, it’s going to take a while for people to get to max level and start crunching numbers. So let’s take a look at what you can do to maximize your own effectiveness before the spreadsheets and simulators start popping up.

Step One: How Hard Does it Hit?

The first and probably most important step to figuring out what abilities you’ll want to prioritize is determining exactly how much damage it’s going to do. In order to calculate this relatively complex amount, there’s a few things you’ll want to consider.

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Nov 4, 2011

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Fully Operational: The New Hotness

“Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!” — There is no better example of damage in the Star Wars galaxy than the scene attached to that quote. Each week in Fully Operational, join Kray as he takes a look at the damage dealing role in Star Wars: The Old Republic. And yes, we’ll blow up a planet if we get the chance.

Hello again, dear readers. I do apologize deeply for the long period in between Fully Operational posts as of late, I unfortunately had medical issues keeping me away from Ask A Jedi. But worry not, I have returned! If you don’t understand the column’s title, you are required to visit this video and stare in amazement at the new hotness that is Will Smith. After you’re done with that, keep on the Jiggy train and open up today’s listening music.

“What is this new hotness Kray keeps referring to?”, you might be asking yourself. Well, this article is a bit of a follow up to an Off TOR-pic I did with Momus earlier this week discussing the general state of the MMO industry, and the importance of innovation in any new releases that hope to be successful. With all those business buzzwords rolling around in my head, I figured it’s time to take a look at some new (or at least new-ish) gameplay mechanics we as dealers of damage will be armed with in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

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Nov 2, 2011

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Off-TORpic: The State Of The Modern MMO

The folks over at Massively recently posted a Soapbox editorial referencing sci-fi author Neal Stephenson. In a nutshell, Stephenson recently published an essay condemning the current state of the aerospace industry, chastising the field for falling into “innovation starvation”, that is, slipping into a routine of comfortable engineering concepts and being too scared to push out any hot new ideas into the world. More or less, Stephenson says that the aerospace industry is in a rut.

In September, Stephenson went further in an interview with Forbes, touching on a few concepts of the MMO genre and gold farming. Massively expands on the writings of the author and brings it all together in a though-provoking piece. From the article:

Well, like aerospace industry projects, MMOs are expensive endeavors, and as the latter have grown more popular (and more costly to produce), the spark of creative madness that infused early titles has largely been extinguished in favor of safer, more homogenous design.

It’s certainly a polarizing topic, and one sure to create a lot of discussion. So, today we’re going to be trying something new with a Point/Counterpoint article discussing the opinions presented by Jef Reahard in the Massively article. Kray from Fully Operational will take the supporting viewpoint, and Momus of Blasters, Beggars & Credits fame will take the opposing viewpoint.

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