Jan 18, 2012

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[UPDATED] Ilum PvP Update – Gabe Amatangelo Responds

[UPDATE] Principle Lead PvP, Flashpoints and Operations Designer Gabe Amatangelo has delivered an explanation of some of the problems cropping op on Ilum, along with what BioWare plans to do in the near term. In a nutshell, enemy player death isn’t working as intended, they’re patching tomorrow, and allowing fewer players into Ilum:

Our intended design for Ilum Open World PvP is that players are instantly killed when entering the enemy’s base safe area, just like in Warzones, and that the defending faction can take taxis to other points within the zone. As of Game Update 1.1, this is not working as intended. We have found the issue preventing this from happening under server load and will be publishing an Emergency Patch to address the issue. We’re aiming to have this patch published early tomorrow morning (January 19th, 5 AM US CST).

Be sure to head over to his thread and leave feedback on this important issue! Thanks to @FtenEQ for the heads up!

BioWare is well aware of the discussion surrounding changes and potential exploits to the Ilum open world PvP area that Game Update 1.1 brought with it in the patch. They opened a thread earlier for players to provide feedback in an official manner, and now Associate Online Community Manager Joveth Gonzalez has followed up with a promise:

Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you know that we are currently working on an official response to these issues and we will be posting it soon. Please understand that these issues require some time to investigate and we are making sure that we provide you all with the most updated information in our official response. 

We understand that some of you may be frustrated, but we ask for your patience on this to give us time to respond with thorough developer input. 

Thank you to those of you that have been posting constructively in this thread.

We will have a response shortly.

If you are experiencing issues, head on over to the thread and make sure your input is accounted for!

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Jan 15, 2012

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Wild Space: Patch 1.1 Roundup, Jedi Knight Armor, and “Pro Tips”

It’s a big galaxy out there, and Wild Space can be a dangerous place. Worry not, explorer – each week we’ll navigate you safely through the lost hyperspace routes of the Deep Core and track down the great articles and entertainment from around the SW:TOR fan community, all in less than 12 parsecs, of course!

Our first major content patch, Rise of the Rakghouls, is only days away! A ton of minor updates and changes are being made to the game in addition to a new Flashpoint and Operation. The good folks over on SWTOR Arena have a great roundup of all the changes in the forthcoming update. As you would expect from a round up, all of the interviews that James Ohlen, Game Director, gave to other major gaming publications as well as choice patch notes and RP “fluff text” are included. For anyone that is looking to find out exactly what is being added in the upcoming patch, definitely check out SWTOR Arena for the details.

On the official forums, a thread has popped up about the end-game PvP gear for Jedi Knights and how it looks. More specifically, the OP, Alexious, doesn’t like the look of the armor at all. Since the post has grown to 21 pages, SWTOR Face decided to weigh in and posted screenshots of the armor in question. To me, the armor looks similar to that worn by Obi-Wan in the 2003 Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series (sans cape, obviously) which is awesome! Is the armor flashy or avant garde? No, but neither are Jedi (at least, they aren’t “supposed” to be). To me, the armor perfectly describes the Jedi Knight from a story sense: someone who is supposed to get in quickly, get the job done with the least amount of violence possible, and get out. What do you guys think? Check out the article on SWTOR Face and let us know!

Lastly this week, I wanted to make you guys aware, if you weren’t already about an awesome recurring feature on Force Junkies. “FJ Pro-Tip” is a short feature where the Force Junkie crew offers up one tip that they feel the community can benefit from. Personally, I have learned some great tips from this column, including this one from January 11 about refreshing your crew skill missions:

Quick tip today for those who might get frustrated by not having the Crew Skill missions that you want. When you board and exit your ship, the missions available to you are reshuffled and different ones are available. So if you see missions you don’t want and don’t feel like waiting for them to shuffle back in, just walk in and out of your ship and.. Voila! You will have a new set of missions to choose from. 

I will definitely be doing that once I get back online! Check out Force Junkies for even more FJ Pro-Tips.

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Jan 10, 2012

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Breakdown: Warzones And You

Breakdown is designed to to fill that stressful void while Star Wars: The Old Republic is down for maintenance. Each Tuesday morning, we’ll look at a topic and try to break it down to the basics. In the end, we hope to educate, entertain, and prevent you from having your own Breakdown!

If you follow the official TOR forums at all, you will see more than a few threads repeating themselves trying to clarify some of the basic features of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Here in Breakdown, we’ll try to present all the currently known facts about how the game works in an easy to read format. Hopefully, we can clear up a few misconceptions, and answer a few questions; maybe we will even fill you in on something you didn’t know.
This week’s Breakdown is all about Warzones! In this article I’m going to tell you the basic ins and outs of how each one operates. No strategy here, but if you don’t want to look like a noob when you first set foot in your first PvP match, you’ll want to read what’s below. You may even learn something that will give you an edge over your friends and enemies!

Let’s begin by defining a few things:

Warzone Commendations: The currency you get for completing Warzones which can be used to purchase PvP items and gear.

Valor: Valor is like your PvP experience, or perhaps it’s better to think of it like social points. As you get Valor, your Valor Rank (like your Social Level) will increase. This will earn you titles, (Skirmisher at valor rank 10, and Duelist at 20) as well as the person with the highest Valor Rank being the Ops leader in the Warzone. Also there is PvP gear which requires you have a certain Valor Rank to use.

Badges: Badges are what you get for accomplishing certain things within a Warzone match (more on this later). Each badge you earn increases your reward by 50 Valor and 5 commendations.

Resolve: Resolve is the system that BioWare has implemented to help with chain CC. It is represented as a white/gray bar around your target’s picture (by their health bar), or around your own by your health bar. The bar fills up when you’re CC’ed and when it’s full, you become immune. It can be a tricky system to use, and I can’t explain it as well as forum poster Felnadir can here.

MVP: When a match ends, you will be shown a window that has all the players on the match, and their various different metrics. Next to each person’s name is a button that looks like a plus sign, and a trophy. Clicking this for a player will give them an MVP vote, and reveal to you who gave them to you. Each MVP vote gives you an extra commendation, and (in beta) could unlock special achievement titles (Such as the “Warzone Hero” title). These titles have not been seen in game since release, but it could be that their requirement was increased. Voting MVP can only help your faction, so remember to do it every match!

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Jan 7, 2012

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Blue Milk & Cereal: What’s Your Favorite Warzone?

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!

It’s hard to believe that Star Wars: The Old Republic has been out for over 3 weeks, pushing a month if you count Early Game Access. So far, much of that time for most players has been spent leveling through their class stories. But one of the nice things about TOR are some of the diversions you can take along the way without slowing down your leveling progress. One of these side-activities is Space Combat. Once you get your starship, you can fly space missions for rewards and experience (and quite a lot, I might add!) But the other biggie is Warzones.

You can begin queueing up for PvP Warzones as early as level 10, and thanks to the assistance of the Bolster mechanic, players of all levels can be pitted against each other with relative competitiveness to one another. That’s not to say it’s always fair, and BioWare is recognizing that by creating a separate level 50 bracket for Warzones in an upcoming patch.

Right now, you can queue for a Warzone as a group, or you can queue solo and be matched with other players. But one choice you can’t make for some reason is WHICH Warzone you want to play. Each of the 3 currently available offer different gameplay styles: Alderaan offers a classic control point match, Voidstar is a great assault-style match and Huttball… well, it’s kind of like capture the flag. But you can throw the flag to other players. With acid and flames thrown in for good measure.

So at this stage of the game, we’re just curious which Warzone you prefer the most? Would you like to see more variety? Or at least pick which one you want to queue for? Let us know!

What's your favorite Warzone currently in Star Wars: The Old Republic

View Results

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Jan 4, 2012

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Community Blog: Gabe Amatangelo On PvP – Level 50 Brackets, Ilum

BioWare’s Gabe Amatangelo, otherwise known as Principal Lead PvP, Operations & Flashpoints Designer for Star Wars: The Old Republic, took the Community Blog today to give players an update on the state of PvP in the game.

Gabe touches on a few important points, including brackets for level 50 Warzone players and the conditions on Ilum:

Level 50 Bracket Warzones: Level 50 players will have a bracket of their own, playing in separate Warzone matches to lower level players. This is something we have wanted to do for some time and now that there is an increasing number of level 50 players we will be implementing the feature in January.

Open World PvP on Ilum: The planet of Ilum currently allows for open world PvP even on a PvE server, but the mechanics and incentives of the planet are not in as intended yet. We’re working on longer term goals for the planet and for other PvP areas, but expect to see some interim adjustments in January – such as more respawn points to focus conflicts, restricting Companion Characters from the area, and revisions to rewards.

We also have other exciting features coming in the near future including Ranked Warzone Matches, PvP Stat Tracking, Open World PvP Loot Drops, more Warzone medals for different objectives, Guard Optimizations and Target Optimizations.

No doubt this is welcome news for players who enjoy PvP in The Old Republic. It shows BioWare has an ear to the track of the community. Hopefully, Gabe will make these updates a regular habit! Head over for Gabe’s full note.

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