Jan 30, 2012

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Yellow Posts: More FPS Tips (Soon), PvP Flags, And Bug Fixes

Yesterday, I wrote about some suggestions from the Red Rancor guys on how to improve your FPS in TOR. Well, in addition to those suggestions, BioWare is going to post some official tips on how to improve your FPS in the near future. From Joveth Gonzalez, Associate Online Community Manager, we have this post:

Hi folks, I apologize for the delay in updates on this issue, but as I mentioned before, we needed time to gather data and put all of our information together in one digestible format. 

We just finished editing a document that we hope to be able to publish as a forum post here in the CS forums as early as tomorrow. [Ed. Note: This release estimate was revised to today, Monday, Jan. 3o]

I can tell you that it’s going to be a guide on optimization performance (which includes FPS) for your PCs. 

Thank you all for sharing your experiences here and for your patience as we work to continually improve your gaming experience.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on the Dev Tracker for when this post comes.

Forum poster _Darkstar, created a post called “Why oh why can I hurt other players if I am not PvP flagged?”. In it, he notes that he rolled on a PvE server to avoid PvP but some other players on his server have been playing an old MMO trick on him. An enemy player will PvP flag himself, run up to Darkstar and wait for him to use an AOE ability which then causes Darkstar to become PvP flagged and subsequently caught unaware and killed. The thread has grown to 94 pages of posts.

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Jan 23, 2012

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Yellow Posts: Ability Delay, Companion Crafting, And Bugs

You may have already heard about the ability delay problems with the game and what BioWare is doing about it. What you may not have realized (like I didn’t) is when those fixes are getting applied: soon. Like, really soon. Like, next patch? Per Georg Zoeller, Principal Lead Combat Designer, and messenger of ability delay problems:

Correct. Nobody said 1.2. The improvements mentioned in the blog post are urgent and there is no reason for us to wait for a major content release to roll them out.

Please note that we are very deliberate and careful when using the words ‘soon’ or ‘very soon’. We don’t use them lightly.

Honestly, when the noise about the ability delay problem started gaining traction a couple of weeks ago, I had a hunch that this problem would be nearly impossible to resolve. But thanks to lots of player feedback and hard work by BioWare, my intuition is once again proven moot. It’s really nice to see BioWare deal with issues like this in such a short amount of time, especially when these issues deal with such a core gameplay feature and affect such a large amount of players. I probably sound like such a fan boy, but it sure makes it easier to pay that monthly subscription fee when stuff gets improved this quickly.

Did you think that affection points just got you a couple of extra quests and conversations with your companion? Well, think again! Forum poster Sendotux wanted to know how affection affects crew skill efficiency and crit rating. Systems Designer David Hunt explains that affection points actually improve your crafting crit chance and efficiency. Pretty cool, huh?

Companion affection improves your crafting efficiency and crit chance.

Forum poster SunwindIon noticed that after the most recent patch, the cooldown animation for ability icons on the quickslot bar has been changed. Most notably, icons are not greyed out (or are only sometimes greyed out) when they go on cooldown. This makes it quite hard to determine when an ability is on or off cooldown. Thankfully, Georg Zoeller and the whole team are aware of the issue and are investigating:

We hear your feedback and are working on adjustments to increase the readability of the cooldown UI in an upcoming patch.

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Jan 16, 2012

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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.

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Jan 9, 2012

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Yellow Posts: A Patching-We-Will-Go!

Lots of bugs are being discussed on the forums. It seems that this week, BioWare has been doing lots of information gathering and communication about bugs and what they are doing to fix them. For instance, if you find yourself in need of doing a Repair install on the TOR game files, you will probably notice that the launcher looks like it is downloading a huge amount of data (about 12GB). Forum poster BouncerPup noticed this and wanted to know why this happened on what should have been a minor repair install. Joveth Gonzalez, Associate Online Community Manager, got an unnamed developer to post about this, which turns out to be just a display problem with the launcher:

Hi everyone, I wanted to pass along this message from one of our developers:

Many of you have expressed concern that when performing a Repair the entire game is downloaded again. While the Launcher messaging does seem to indicate this, that’s not actually what is going on.

When the Launcher detects a corrupted file, it will attempt to restore that file from Version 1. In the Launcher it will appear that, for example, all of Main Assets 1 (12GB) is being downloaded, but in actuality, only the patch files which contain the corrupted file are being downloaded. Typically, this is a single patch file. Now, that said, those files can be very large (up to 2GB), but unless a large number of files are corrupted it will not download the entire 12GB (or in the case of English/French/German Assets 1, 7GB).

For those of you who are experiencing repeated corruption of files and are not having success with Repair, we urge you to try the Launcher Troubleshooting Guide. We’ve discovered new issues (CAS Latency and memory voltage settings) that when corrected have solved the corruption issue for several users. We recognize that this continues to be a vexing issue for some of you and we are continuing to investigate, but as of yet no common thread discovered. We will report any verifiable fixes to the forums.

Thank you

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Jan 2, 2012

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Yellow Posts: Speeder, Armor, And High Level Planets

Forum poster benefit was baffled as to why the cost to purchase the level two speeder upgrade (210,000 credits) is so high for what appears to be a small speed increase (only 10% more speed). However, he did not realize that you get one additional benefit for your money: your chance to be knocked off of your speeder by a mob is significantly reduced. This is what responder Nicely noticed and Georg Zoeller, Principal Lead Combat Designer, confirmed:

Originally Posted by Nicely
I don’t know if this counts for anything, but I’ve noticed that I can take more damage before I am knocked off with the higher level mounts.

Georg Zoeller
That is correct.

Forum poster nezroy started a thread because he wasn’t sure how the armor rating on orange (i.e. moddable) armor is calculated. In short, it is determind by the armoring mod that you add to the piece of armor. As explained by Georg Zoeller:

Orange Armor gets it’s armor value from the ‘armoring’ mod you slot in. If you exchange it for something better, the armor value increases along with the stats.

It’s always the first mod in the list that determines the intrinsic properties of the orange items (e.g. armoring on armor, barrel on guns, etc.)

Hope that helps.

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Dec 26, 2011

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Yellow Posts: Community Questions, In-Game Purchasing, Future Content, And Respecing

Forum user Spankyjnco posted a list of eight questions (expanded to ten) about various things in the game that probably a lot of players would like answered from BioWare. Stephen Reid, Senior Online Community Manager, took the time to respond to all of the questions and let us know where they stand on the issues. Here are a couple highlights:

Q: Is there a plan to fix the graphic settings? Right now there is no real difference between medium/high graphics and it’s apparent that we are all stuck with the medium textures. What’s the reasoning for this, and do you guys have a fix planned?

A: It’s a bug, and we are working on rolling out a fix.

Q: A easier way to find groups. Having to spam in /1 is quite annoying to everyone in the zone, let alone those looking for a group. And noobdy seems to use that actual “Flag yourself for group” option because it’s not very successful. I would like to do flashpoints, but I’m not going to waste 30 minutes sitting in the fleet spamming /1 that I am looking for a group. Some kind of way to have a global search/group finder would be nice.

A: We’re aware of this desire, but we actually believe that finding others on the same planet as you encourages social interaction a bit more than a general ‘group finder’. We’re not saying it’ll never, ever happen but again, not high priority right now.

The post is pretty extensive, so I would encourage all of you to check it out for some valuable information.

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