Jan 20, 2012

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Ability Delay Update From Principle Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller

When Georg says things on the forums, people listen. It was with great intent this afternoon when Mr. Zoeller popped onto the official Community Blog to offer players an update on the “Ability Delay” issue, specifically what might be causing it and steps to fixing it. Hint: there is more than one thing!

Thanks to constructive feedback from the community, including some great videos, we were able to identify an issue that could cause abilities on global cooldown to appear available to the player, resulting in unresponsive/ignored player input. A fix for the issue is currently scheduled to go to the public test server with our next update.

Additionally, we have located an issue that would cause player input for certain instant abilities to fail in frantic combat situations, resulting in unpredictable and frustrating gameplay issues for the affected player. A fix for the issue is currently scheduled to go to the public test server with our next update.

This without a doubt is the most critical issue in the mind of many players. After all, combat is what you spend better than 80% of your gameplay time doing, and it has to not only feel right – but be right. Kudos to Georg and his team for tackling this head-on and not keeping players in the dark.

Head over to SWTOR.com for the rest of Georg’s words!

Georg Zoeller

Principal Lead Combat Designer showing us how it's done in Austin.

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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 13, 2012

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Game Update 1.1 Introduces BioChem And Cybertech Nerf – No More “Golden Ticket”

The most hardcore of PVP and PVE players will have noticed, by now, that BioChem and Cybertech were very good professions, largely because of a handful of items in each: the BioChem-only medpacs and the Cybertech grenades. However, they were too good in the eyes of BioWare, and were nerfed accordingly in 1.1 (this coming Tuesday).

It says, "You picked BioChem as your profession - you win until it gets nerfed!"

Georg Zoeller shared with us the thought process behind the nerf.

As some of you may have already noticed from our patch notes for Game Update 1.1, we’ve made adjustments to several high-end, purple, player crafted items on the BioChem and Cybertech professions. Simply put, we reduced their overall impact on gameplay and I wanted to explain why it was necessary.

BioChem crafted medical kits were too good. In fact, they were too good both in the amount of healing they provided (often more than half a character’s health) and the frequency they could be used (every 90 seconds!). This was negatively impacting the game for everyone else. We’ve seen significant chatter both in and out of game about how players not picking up the BioChem professions would be ‘stupid’ and ‘gimping themselves’. This indicates that a small number of competitive players have been denying access to high end content based on whether a player has the BioChem Crew Skill.

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Jan 6, 2012

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Blasters, Beggars & Credits: Missions, Gathering and Crafting!

Some players do it for glory. Some do it for infamy. Some like to accumulate the most points, or explore the far reaches of the worlds they inhabit. This, however, is not a column for those people. This is a column for those people who, quietly or not, enjoy making money so that their digital avatar can sleep on large piles of cash.

Today is a day where we talk about relative value. I will actually use some basic math, so if that turns you off, let me get you hot and bothered in another way: some people do not think things through when pricing their sales on the GTN.

Some of that has to do with not understanding how things work. In the interest of promoting a healthy server economy, let me show you something us robber barons have known for some time.

Underworld Trading produces, without a doubt, the highest demand items on the GTN. The reason? Three professions (Cybertech, Armormech, and Synthweaving) pull from its materials, and all three use the Underworld Trading metals. So the metals are used by three of the six main professions, and it serves all the crafted armor and the crafted armoring and mods to everyone.

That’s a lot of people it’s going to need to go to. Unsurprisingly, the material demand is quite high. There are two metals in particular, the artifact-quality of the 300 and 340 level, that you should pay attention to – these are Promethium and Mandalorian Iron.

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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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