Nov 15, 2011

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Halls Of Healing: The Social Side Of Healing

Each week or thereabouts here at Ask A Jedi, we’ll meditate on the finer points of the healer’s role in Star Wars: The Old Republic. No matter where your allegiance lies, you’re sure to find guidance here in the Halls Of Healing!

In previous articles we’ve covered topics on game mechanics, advanced classes and the user interface. This week we will take a look at the social side of being a healer.

I’m sure most of you who are reading this will have some form of connection to healing. You’re either planning to play one, have played a healer before or played with a healer on some occasion.

Healing in Groups

In groups the healer’s job is to keep yourself and your group members alive. This can often be mistaken by the majority of players that it’s solely the healer’s job to keep the group alive, not a group effort.

I’m sure many of you will disagree with this and say that, “Everyone needs to be a team player.” I agree that this is highly preferred, but it’s not the case in a majority of groups I’ve played with (I’m generally talking pick up groups here. Not guild runs with people you know. However this is also the case for a vast majority of players inside guilds).

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Oct 16, 2011

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Blue Milk & Cereal: How Many Operations Should TOR Have At Launch?

No day would be complete without the breakfast of Jedi: Blue Milk & Cereal.  Every morning, the team at Ask A Jedi will get Force-induced thoughts coursing through your head with delicious issues from around the galaxy! Join in the discussion below to make your voice heard!

One of the most important parts of an MMO is the end-game. It’s that time period after your character reaches the level cap (in the case of TOR, level 50) and the normal leveling, questing and storyline are over – or at least on hold until a contnet patch or expansion. The quality and quantity of this end-game content is what holds a large majority of subscribers and becomes the climax of the MMO experience. As we recently learned on the new Operations page, BioWare is not going to let us down in this department. One particular quote stands out:

Please note, that even though the Eternity Vault is featured prominently here, it is not the only high-level Operation for you to experience in Star Wars: The Old Republic. More will be revealed…

Clearly, we’re going to see more than the Eternity Vault, and if you look at the picture on that page that follows this quote – we can see that it hints at an Operation linked to the Hutts. This is great news for those who were a bit worried that there wouldn’t be enought raid content to start. As a compariosn, inudstry leader World of Warcraft had just two true raids when it launched (Molten Core and Onyxia.)

Personally, I think having 2 or 3 full-size Operations at launch is ideal. It would provide enough variety for those players who make it to end-game ahead of others, and give BioWare enough time to ease into their content patch cycle. It is going to be very interesting to see what BioWare has in store for us. Luckily, we don’t have to wait much longer!

How many Operations should TOR have at launch?

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Oct 14, 2011

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NYCC: Star Wars: The Old Republic Panel Wrap-Up

The official New York Comic Con panel for Star Wars: The Old Republic has just ended, so we thought we’d wrap up all of the highlights right here in one place for you!

The panel consisted of Game Director James Ohlen, Writing Director Daniel Erickson, Live Producer Cory Butler and Senior Community Manager Stephen Reid. All in all, between the panel and the Q&A it was a good showing!

Credit goes out to the guys and gals at TORWars and Corellian Run Radio for their Tweets to help compile this info in real time! Here are the highlights:

  • Random: 200,000 posts per week on official forums
  • 15 Flashpoints at launch – all the way through the leveling experience
  • Only 1 game, no secret game in the background (dig @Blizzaard)
  • New Operation involving the Hutts!
  • The 3 confirmed Warzones are Alderaan, Huttball and Voidstar
  • Collector’s Edition has access to VIP club at the respective fleets
  • Expansion is already under way (via comment by Daniel Erickson)
  • No “dungeon finder” re-confirmed
  • Extreme light/dark side points will affect appearance, but not abilities – for now
  • No player bounties, but has been discussed
  • Global release date is December 20th
  • New Gameplay Trailer – Signs of War

The gameplay trailer is obviously part of the Friday update, and I must say is impressive. We start to see a lot of the cinematic characters in-game besides Malgus, and the very end showcases what appears to be Ilum, and some incredible PvP combat with walkers and everything! It’s a must-watch!

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Oct 13, 2011

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G4 MMO Report: Companion In Raids?

If we somehow missed this news, I’ll be the first one to apologize.

I scoured the dev tracker and perused recent interviews, but nowhere did I find hints of the news that Casey Schreiner delivered in today’s MMO Report on G4 TV: Companions can “hold a place” in Operations.

Now, the way he made the comment was a little ambiguous, considering I don’t know the source, but if it’s remotely true then BioWare is going against a stance they promoted just a few short months ago – that high level content such as Operations should be won or lost by the player, not by AI.

So, we need more information on this one, which I’ll be working to get. In the mean time, you can watch it for yourself right here and let us know your thoughts. Or if I missed something along the way… perhaps I was unconscious for the past few weeks without my knowledge.

[UPDATE] The good people in the comments section below are on the right track I believe…

[UPDATE 2] Senior Community Manager Stephen Reid replied to us on Twitter with the clarity we were looking for:

@Rockjaw: Nope.

So that puts that to rest!

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Oct 4, 2011

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Blue Milk & Cereal: What Kind Of Raider Will You Be?

No day would be complete without the breakfast of Jedi: Blue Milk & Cereal.  Every morning, the team at Ask A Jedi will get Force-induced thoughts coursing through your head with delicious issues from around the galaxy! Join in the discussion below to make your voice heard!

Raiding is a staple of the MMO genre. Over time, it has evolved to become the premiere form of end-game content, where players can band together to take on the greatest foes a particular game has to offer. With Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare seems to be looking to add more to end-game, but raiding is still present in the form of Operations, the first of which is the Eternity Vault.

The multi-player component of MMOs is important, and raiding serves to bring players together in a big way. Not only is it a catalyst for joining a guild, but there is almost a “meta-community” that has formed around this aspect of gameplay. There are “rock star” guilds and players, and sites dedicated to tracking guild progression as well as assisting players in optimizing for this style of gameplay. It’s only a matter of time before these elements emerge in the TOR community as well.

The notion of raiding has always brought with it the perception that large chunks of time were required to progress and be successful, because mostly it’s true. Blizzard has achieved some success in making raiding more accessible by introducing smaller groups and harder challenges for those with more skill and time. It’s yet to be seen how BioWare will handle this, but it’s safe to assume they’ll work hard on accessibility as well.

So the question today is – are you a raider, and if so, how would you classify yourself? Let us know!

What kind of raider would you classify yourself as?

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