Mar 7, 2012

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Guild Summit: Roundup!

We thought it was time to make a “roundup” post as we usually do after an important event for Star Wars: The Old Republic, and the Guild Summit certainly qualified!

Not only did we learn what to expect in Game Update 1.2: Legacy, the developers seemed more open than in the past about things that they might be working on but not announced – a very different posture from the pre-release chatter.

So what follows is a roundup of content here on Ask A Jedi, but also things from around the web. If you find something you think should be added, by all means let me know!

Ask A Jedi


Darth Hater


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Mar 6, 2012

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BioWare Launches Friends Of TOR Free Trial Program

Do you have several gamer friends who you’ve been trying to talk into playing Star Wars: The Old REpublic, but they’re hesitant to plunk down the cash without trying it first? Well, they don’t have that excuse anymore!

Today BioWare is releasing the Friends of Star Wars: The Old Republic Trial. This program allows any current active subscriber to invite up to 3 of their friends to try the game – for free – for 7 days:

You’ve helped make The Old Republic™ a success and to show our appreciation we are giving all active subscribers the opportunity to invite up to three of your closest friends for a 7-day free trial.* To get started, just log into your account and choose “Friends Trial” in the right navigation.


There is also an extensive FAQ about the program which you should check out.

Curiously, there is no incentive for subscribers to actually do this, other than to hopefully get their friends hooked on the game they love. I’m sure BioWare simply wants to make sure there’s always plenty of players available as that’s critical to delivering a true MMO feel and readily available multi-player content.

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Mar 6, 2012

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Patch Notes: 1.1.5 – Roll Away! Plus, Performance Improvements

Today, BioWare pushed Patch 1.1.5 to the live servers, bringing many welcome fixes to players of Star Wars: The Old Republic. While it may pale compared to the shiny that is Patch 1.2 as detailed during the Guild Summit, it’a great to see constant forward movement on a weekly basis from the gang in Austin!

You can find these as well as all previous patch notes at BioWare’s official Patch Notes page on

Patch Notes – 1.1.5 – 3/6/2012


  • Players can now use the command /roll or /random to generate a random number between 1 and 100. This command will also accept a range (example: /roll 20-40) or a die value (example: 2d6).

Classes and Combat

  • Moving while channeling an ability (such as Telekinetic Throw and Force Lightning) will no longer cancel the Global Cooldown, which would allow those abilities to deal more damage than intended.

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Mar 5, 2012

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PVP Panel Discussion and Q&A!

Lady R has again come through with some extensive notes for the PVP-minded out there.

  • Warzones are extremely popular. More than 50%of players play warzones daily.
  • Concerns about faction imbalance on servers
  • No ability to queue for specific warzones
  • Players going afk and leaving
  • New warzone in 1.2, Novare Coast, going to involve same faction vs same faction gameplay. Majority control-type objective. Need 2/3 shield control to be able to damage the objective. It’s been tested really well, we look forward to getting player feedback on it as well.
  • Ranked PvP – will be added in 1.2. We do know this is something people have wanted. Players will be able to queue up solo or as part of a group up to 8. Wins and losses will adjust their ranking.
  • 1.2 wil also introduce new warzone dailies. Daily missions will require winning a certain number of medals rather than wins. Winning and losing both award medals. Removes incentives to quit early. Going to be introducing a lot more medals – scoring in Huttball, catching the ball, being the first to do things.
  • 18 new medals – including objective based. We don’t want people to be farming medals. More medals for completing a warzone faster. Medal rewards will be capped to prevent farming. You will get cumulative medals – so for instance if there is a medal for completing a warzone in 10 minutes and 5 minutes and you complete in 5 minutes, you will earn both medals. Goal is to encourage people to win matches quickly rather than dragging them out.
  • Vote to Kick – players can vote inactive players out of a warzone. (Much applause.) We are working on ways to watch whether people are truly AFK and not being voted out based on levels, etc – measures to prevent abuse.
  • 1.2 – New tier of PVP gear, War Hero. Greater set difference from PvE gear, we want to reduce the amount of cross-over between PvP and PvE gear. More leaning on expertise, more stats that are PvP focused.

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Mar 5, 2012

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Flashpoint and Operations Panel Highlights and Q&A!

Lady R was kind enough to report in with the latest from the PVE-centric panel.

Afternoon Panel

• James Ohlen
• Daniel Erickson
• Gabe Amantangelo
• Georg Zoeller
• Damion Schubert
• Emmanuel Lusinchi

Operations and Flashpoint Panel

  • 38% of level 50 players have played an Operation
  • There are bugs, especially in Etenity Vault – more frustrating than other areas due to time invested, level of reward, and repeatable content
  • Putting a high priority on fixing Ops bugs
  • KP launched more smoothly – had the help of select guilds for testing and feedback, which really helped improve
  • Looting system in normal difficulty needs improvements. Only got part of what they had wanted into it – wanted to make the loot system PuG friendly, but with destined loot, you sometimes get repeats of what you already have. So in the next patch, it’s going to work more like normal loot rather than destined loot. Want to eventually make destined loot tradeable for the short term, but not there yet. So until they are – going back to the regular loot system
  • Existing operations are relatively easy. Hard and nightmare are much more challenging. Hard and nightmare modes give same loot, which is currently problematic. Currently, nightmare modes give achievements, but not different loot.
  • New Op, Explosive Conflict will be harder than current Operations, designed to require more coordination. Want to really focus on the coordination and execution between the players for the emphasis of EC. This will be considered the first of the Tier 2 operations.
  • Nightmare mode for EC will not launch in 1.2, mostly because it still needs serious testing and debugging before it is ready.
  • New ‘Story’ difficulty mode for all Operations. Story mode will replace normal difficulty mode – overarching story arcs should be experienced by everyone. Story mode can be played without having to gear up. To compensate, hard mode is being made more challenging.
  • Orange gear viability in end game – tiered modifications available from Operations. Can RE operation gear for appearances. You’ll be able to wear what you want in Opertions with the extraction of mods and set bonuses.
  • Pre-destined loot in normal mode going away in 1.2.
  • Future of Ops – bug fixing is the highest priority for Ops, longer time period to test and gather feedback for major content patches, goal is to have better end game testing.
  • Character copy to PTS is in progress, so there are more people on the public test server.
  • More operations coming – at least two more are currently in development.
  • Want players to fight the boss, not the game – more info given onscreen and through boss animations. Less given through buffs.
  • Flashpoints are enjoyable, need better endgame progression in flashpoint.
  • They are aware of the difficulties in finding groups and are working on a solution.
  • New Flashpoint – Lost Island, will finish the Kaon under Siege story.
  • Future of flashpoints – more flashpoints are coming.
  • Group Finder: They will be introducing Group Finder in 1.3. This will work for missions, flashpoints, and operations. It will be single server only. Community is very important, and they don’t want random pug dude who goes AFK And doesn’t care about his reputation – you avoid that when more people know each other.

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Mar 5, 2012

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Livestream Notes

  • Fast growing subscription game in North America
  • Sold through 2 million copies
  • Players average 5 hours per day in game
  • 3.8 million characters created
  • Game Update 1.1 introduced Rise of the Rakghouls
  • New Flashpoint and Operation less than a month after launch
  • March 1, opened servers in the Asia Pacific region
  • Weekly maintenance – focused on fixing bugs
What’s Next?

Friends of Star Wars: The Old Republic – launches March 6 – allows you to invite 3 of your friends to play for free for a week.

Game Update 1.2: Legacy

  • New Warzone – Novarre Coast
  • Operation – Explosive Conflict
  • FP: The Lost Island
  • Expanded Legacy system
  • Family tree
  • Legacy abilities
  • Legacy species unlock – chiss smugglers!
  • New Corellia dallies
  • Guild Banks
  • In game limited time events, created by a dedicated team – full team dedicated to making the SW universe feel like a living, breathing place
  • Guild Banks – coming in 1.2, shared bank guild members can use – can unlock up to 7 separate tabs, monetary based. Detailed controls for guild leaders – more on that to follow later today.
  • Timeline for 1.2 – legacy system is designed to help encourage you to play other characters
  • Exact date is “Soon”. J. Ohlen – exact dates are not given bc they want to make sure they’ve done all the appropriate testing so that all bugs are worked out. Aim is early April, but that’s as close as they can say for now.

Over 9,000 watching people on the live stream from the guild summit.

Join the conversation by Twitter, #SWTORSummit.

Livestream returns at 2pm Central!

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Mar 5, 2012

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Guild Summit Day 1 Summary

We know many of you will be excited to see the livestream of the first-ever Guild Summit for Star Wars: The Old Republic™. However, yesterday was the start of the first official Guild Summit in Austin, Texas. Over the weekend people have been checking in to the DoubleTree Hotel. Towards the late afternoon the lounge was filled with hundreds of excited fans waiting to see what the BioWare team have planned for them.

The official event started at a local cinema called the Alamo Drafthouse where Stephen Reid started the introduction speech with an anecdote about the first time he saw Episode 1: The Phantom Menace back in 1999, after which it was clear that he was one of the more dedicated Star Wars fans in the room.

Following his speech we received a visit from the 501st Legion showing off Revan, Stormtroopers, and R2-D2 himself. We were also able to witness a proposal up on the stage by Brian and Amanda from the guild No Sleep Till Kessel (she said yes!).

During the introduction speech and before the main movie they had one of the coolest fan-made projects that has ever been made from the Star Wars fans playing in the background, Star Wars Uncut. If you haven’t watched it yet, do that right now!

Sadly, we didn’t get to see the whole Star Wars Uncut but we got the next best thing: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, in 3d. It was a very incredible experince, especially with so high concentration of Star Wars fans in the same room. There were more than one quote relating to The Old Republic shouted during the movie. My favourite (and probably others’ as well) was when someone yelled “SPACEBAR!” during one of Jar Jar Binks’ conversations.

The evening ended with a combined podcast featuring Corellian Run, Darth Hater, Mos Eisley Radio, Massively, Old Republic Dads and our very own Lady Republic; additionally, as a special guest on the podcast, David Bass stopped in as well. Give it a listen when you can!

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Mar 3, 2012

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Guild Summit Schedule & Live Stream Details Announced!

As you may be aware, BioWare is hosting the first-ever Star Wars: The Old Republic Guild Summit in Austin starting this Monday. They’ve invited over 150 guild leaders from around the world to come and discuss the state of the game directly with BioWare, and learn what’s next for TOR! Ask A Jedi will be there to cover the festivities as well, so it should be exciting!

Up until now, we weren’t sure what coverage BioWare would be able to provide for players that couldn’t make it to Austin, but now we know – a full day of streaming of all of the main events! Starting this Monday at 11:00AM EST (10:00AM Austin Time), players around the globe will be treated to the following schedule of events (times are listed CST/Austin Time):

  • 10:00am – Welcome & Introductions
  • 10:30am – State of the Game and Game Update 1.2 Presentation
  • 11:00am – Break (Livestream offline from 11:00am to 2:00pm)
  • 2:00pm – Operations/Flashpoints Discussion
  • 2:45pm – Player vs. Player Discussion
  • 3:30pm – Legacy Presentation
  • 4:00pm – Economy/Crew Skills Discussion
  • 4:30pm – Roleplayer’s Discussion
  • 5:00pm – Guild Features Discussion
  • 5:30pm – User Interface Presentation
  • 6:00pm – “…And The Rest”
Players will also have the opportunity to ask questions via the Cover It Live service. There’s a link listed for a forum dedicated to the Guild Summit, however it only points to the main community page currently.
It should be an exciting start to the week for players of Star Wars: The Old Republic!

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Mar 3, 2012

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Community Q&A For March 2nd: Legacy Unlocks Include Mailbox & GTN; Crafted Gear Rules All

While there were fewer questions than usual answered in this week’s community Q&A, there were definitely some interesting ones. For example, we learned from Damion Schubert that part of the Legacy system will unlock things like a mailbox and GTN terminal on your ship:

JediCarve – Will our ships ever get upgraded to include mailboxes and the Galactic Trade Network so that we will be able to access those without having to go through the process of load screens and Orbital Stations/Spaceports?

Damion Schubert (Principal Lead Systems Designer): On one hand, we really like making the ships richer and more useful, and on the other hand, we also want to be sure that the fleets feel like vibrant centers of the game community. So the answer is… Yes! And this feature is coming as soon as Game Update 1.2 … as ship features you can unlock as part of the Legacy system. Watch for more information about Legacy unlocks coming in Game Update 1.2 – we should be dropping that Real Soon Now.

This is an interesting decision, as those are the 2 primary functions you would need to go to the fleet for. Would be interesting to hear more of an explanation on how this reconciles with the idea the fleets are supposed to be commerce and social hubs.

Technical Design Director Emannuel Lusinchi also provided some insight into the idea that, at least in the near term, crafted gear should be superior to endgame gear obtained in other ways:

Gidoru – In last week’s Q&A, you detailed upcoming changes to the Crafting System with crit crafting orange gear and removing base mods from purple gear. I think that this issue needs some clarification, as what was stated essentially suggests that orange crit crafted gear will always be superior to either PvP or PvE gear. This is because players will be able to simply remove the mods in their PvP or PvE gear and place it in a piece of crit crafted orange gear that will additionally provide extra stats as a result of the augment slot. Is it your intention to make crafted gear superior to gear obtained in other ways?

Emannuel Lusinchi (Technical Design Director): Yes, for Game Update 1.2, this is correct. Crafted gear is, in theory, superior to endgame gear obtained in other ways. However, it is worth pointing out that putting together crit crafted gear, including item modifications, requires more effort, not less. Now, the reason I specifically mention Game Update 1.2 is that we will introduce new mechanics in a future update that, without diminishing the usefulness of crit crafted items, will bring some interesting changes and that’s all I will say about that!

It sounds like Game Update 1.2 is shaping up to be a pretty interesting patch, and with the guild summit starting on Monday, we’re no doubt about to learn more! Ask A Jedi will be at the summit and will report back with any news!

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Mar 2, 2012

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United We Stand: Drop Everything and Start It All Over, Remember More Than You’d Like to Forget

Don’t quit. That’s the thesis of this post. If you are a guild officer, don’t do it, don’t give up. Don’t quit your guild, don’t ask to step down, and absolutely do not just disappear. Burnout has always been a danger for leaders everywhere, not just in gaming guilds but in every volunteer leadership position. I know that you might feel tired of the responsibilities, but honestly: just keep playing, just keep logging on. You’ll thank me later.

I am an optimist, I believe in the best in everything. Every problem has a bright side, and no matter how bad things might get one should always remember all the good things that one takes for granted. I will always remember the smiling faces around me as we downed our first boss, cleared our first operation, or got our first piece of Rakata. I remember the energy that I felt at every new member and every small achievement. I remind myself of all the time and energy that we put into building a great guild and no matter how tired I might get, I’ll always rather have this than nothing at all. I just keep playing, and I just keep logging in.

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