This week has been super busy on the forums. The devs (Georg Zoeller, Principal Lead Combat Designer in particular), responded to tons of posts about the information that came out of the Guild Summit. Here are some choice posts I found most interesting:
There was a little confusion on the forums about the future of Ilum and open-world PvP in general. Some people thought that it was being thrown out entirely because of how bad it has been. However, the exact phrase the Devs used during the PvP presentation at the Guild Summit was that they are taking Ilum “back to the drawing board”. Stephen Reid, Senior Online Community Manager has a lot of further information to give about Ilum:
Ilum is being deprecated in Game Update 1.2. The Open World PvP area on Ilum will still be present in 1.2, but rewards previously gained in Ilum will be available in Warzones and that’s where we expect the bulk of PvP to take place for now.
As we said during the Guild Summit, the PvP team is ‘going back to the drawing board’ with Ilum. That means they want to rework it to be fun and engaging. We accept there are issues with the current design and want to ensure that what we end up with is enjoyable for PvP fans. We have no ETA on when a redesigned Ilum might be available, but when we do have more news, we’ll share it.
The PvP team definitely monitors these Forums and would love to see constructive feedback on Open World PvP and how you feel it could be improved. They have their own ideas, of course, and they’ve read many of the posts here but more feedback is always welcome.
Anyone want a Mac version of SWTOR? Pencilvania sure does. The short answer is: don’t hold your breath. Mr. Reid has a slightly longer answer and does not completely rule it out, but a Mac client is also not being actively worked on:
There are no current development efforts to create a Mac OS client for Star Wars: The Old Republic (or indeed, for any other operating system or platform).
No-one here hates Macs (in fact, many of us quite like them ) but development efforts are currently focused on expanding and improving the game for PC/Windows.
Ranked Warzones are coming in Game Update 1.2 and with that, the ability to queue with a pre-made 8-man Operation group is also coming. Stephen Reid clarifies some information about this from the PvP presentation:
David [Bass, Senior Community Coordinator] was trying to clarify the ‘Future of Warzones’ section of the PvP presentation, but that’s caused a bit more confusion; apologies. I huddled with Gabe Amatangelo about this question and got a definitive answer.
You can queue as an eight-man Operations group in Game Update 1.2, for ranked Warzones only.
In the future, whenever cross-server Warzone queuing is possible, the plan is to allow people to create teams of eight which can be named, etc.
The PvP team is aware of the importance of ranked Warzones and PvP rankings in general, hence allowing eight-man queuing. Apologies again for the confusion. We hope everyone’s going to enjoy the feature!
Here is some really good information about the future of Macros in TOR. If you really want to be able to use Macros, it sounds like the developers want to make changes to the default interface that would remove the necessity for most Macros, and they are downright opposed to Macros that automate combat. Here is what Georg Zoeller had to say about Macros:
If you’re invoking the Guild Summit, let’s be a bit more precise about what we’ve said:
A) Macros are a possibility in the future. We don’t hate them.
B) I am opposed to macros that automate combat (shouldn’t be a surprise). I’d rather take tedious things (such as sprint turning off after death) and modify the design than to rely on people to create macros to deal with these things – which creates unnecessary barriers of entry in my opinion.
C) We don’t consider interface improvements and quality of life features (e.g. mouse over healing) to be macros (so 2 does not apply)
D) Macros for social behaviors, etc are definitely a possibility too.
Finally, just to clarify, only a small subset of Legacy abilities are going to be able to be used on other classes (i.e. Flame Thrower on a Sith Warrior) and you won’t be able to pick and choose which abilities to take from other classes. As Stephen Reid says, that would be pretty game breaking:
The Heroic Ability Legacy unlock doesn’t allow you to pick any ability you like; that would indeed lead to some balancing nightmares.
There was very careful consideration over which abilities to allow as unlocks. With the limitations of the ability only being usable during your Heroic Moment (requiring an active Companion) and the cooldown on that, you shouldn’t see too much ‘Heroic Ability spam’. We see the unlock as a fun, limited ability that many players will enjoy. It wasn’t designed to unbalance the game.
Ever wanted to send an in-game mail to a member of the opposing faction? Even if you have two characters, one Republic and one Empire, you still couldn’t send a mail between those two characters. Geeluc wanted to know why this restriction exists in his post “No Interfactional Emails”. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller answered to tell us that this restriction is being removed in the future:
It’s a restriction we’re working to lift soon.
Hopefully this will allow us to also send credits and items to members of the opposing faction. If that functionality is just limited to characters on the same account, that would be fine too.
A rather large post popped up from melsione titled “Australian server transfer in LATE April!” the purpose being to complain that free server transfers from US/Europe servers to the new Asia/Australia servers are going live in late April, almost two months after the launch of the Asia/Australia servers themselves. While it’s awesome that BioWare is providing free character transfers for these customers, it sucks that it wasn’t ready in time for launch. However, creating a character transfer system is not easy and Stephen Reid, Senior Online Community Manager, responded with a lengthy post to try and explain what the devs are doing and why it is taking so long:
Hello everyone. I can absolutely understand the frustrations expressed here, and I appreciate that for the most part, you’re being constructive in your comments. Here’s a little more insight into the situation.
The character transfer system is being actively worked on by the development team. It’s a large, complex project, made more complicated by the Legacy System – and it has to work perfectly. As always, it is not the only task the team as a whole is undertaking, but it’s a priority. It has not been deliberately delayed, nor is it being ‘held back’ for any reason. As you know, the first stage of the system will be a one-off, optional transfer for those who are based in the regions defined in our FAQ. At some point after that, we’ll bring a more fully-featured character transfer system online for all to use.
I can understand the frustration of those of you who have been playing on the US servers and waiting for transfers. We know your enthusiasm and excitement for the game – you wouldn’t have taken the steps you did to get the game earlier than the official launch if you weren’t enthusiastic. We’re working as hard as we can to get the system in place. If we could have brought it online earlier, we would have. However, priorities post-launch had to be directed towards the game itself. The team’s been working flat-out to improve the game, including bug fixes and additional content.
When we announced our launch territories last year we knew many more fans were excited to play The Old Republic. That’s why we moved quickly to launch in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore, with more territories being lined up for future launches. Our primary focus when launching in any new territory has to be to reach more players. Ultimately, that’s best for the continuing success of the game. We want everyone who wishes to play on the new servers to be able to do so, hence character transfer being offered. With that said, in this case we felt it was important to get the game into the hands of new players as soon as possible. That, combined with our post-launch development priorities, meant that character transfer did not make our launch date for these territories.
The development team remains committed to delivering a robust character transfer system for all, with our first priority being for Asia-Pacific players. If we can bring the system to you earlier than expected, we will, but for now we’re aiming towards late April.
The final, and long, dev post of the week also comes from Stephen Reid, responding to the thread “What happens to my legacy levels if I character transfer?” created by jakedamus and expanded upon by Palathas. Basically, these players want to know what happens to their Legacy points and levels if they character transfer to an Asia/Australia server. Unfortunately, the devs haven’t quite worked out that part yet, but it sounds like their goal is to keep the Legacy points intact, they just aren’t making any promises yet. Stephen Reid explains further and answers a couple more questions about character transfers:
Originally Posted by Palathas
1) As above about legacy levels.
2) Is it just the one character or is it a server full of characters?
3) Are all items carried over from the characters personal hold and what they are wearing? (More of a confirmation)
I’m not creating any Asia-Pacific characters at the moment due to the uncertainty of what’s exactly happening with the transfers.
We’ll have more information about Legacy levels and experience a little closer to the window for character transfer. The system is still in development, and I don’t want to promise anything that may not happen for whatever reason.
With that said, the development team is being very careful to ensure that the experience is as smooth as possible. We don’t want to penalize anyone’s progression just because they transferred their character.
On question (2), you will be able to transfer multiple characters, although there will be some limitations (eg available slots on a server). Again, more details will come closer to the time, but you will not be limited to one character.
On question (3) the only current restrictions are listed in the FAQ. After transfer:
The character will no longer be a part of its guild – Guilds and guild membership will not be transferred to your new server. You will need to create or join a new guild on your new server.
Your Friends list will be reset – Friend lists are server specific, so you will need to repopulate your list with players from your new server.
Before you transfer your character, it is important to ensure the following:
The character has no items listed on the Galactic Trade Network (auction house) – active Galactic Trade Network listings will not be transferred to your new server.
The character has no items or credits in their mailbox – In-game mail will not be transferred to your new server. Make sure you have removed everything in your mailbox before initiating the transfer. Otherwise, the contents will be lost.
Hope that helps clarify a little!Read More
It’s a bit of a bittersweet moment for TOR players in the Asia-Pacific region of the world.
This morning, BioWare launched brand new servers in their region hat should greatly improve gameplay performance for the majority of players currently playing but on North American servers. This is great news… but what if you’ve already got an accomplished character on a different server you’d like to bring over to the new Oceanic servers? BioWare has you covered, but unfortunately not until late April.
In an update to the official FAQ this morning, it was clarified that server transfers for those that qualify will occur in “late April”:
Qualified players in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, or Singapore, will be offered one-time free character transfers to Asia Pacific servers for a limited time period in late April. No specific date has been confirmed at this time. We will be sending an email to all qualified players by early March with more details.
What makes you a qualified player? We have the details for that as well:
- You specified that your country is Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, or Singapore during your account registration process.
- Redeemed an Official Game Production Registration Code on www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com Code Redemption Center.
- Have had or currently have entered a valid recurring payment method or redeemed a Pre-Paid Game Time Code.
- Only characters created on The Old Republic servers by February 28, 2012, 5:01PM EDT, 7:01PM NZDT, 2:01PM HKT, 2:01PM SGT qualify for transfers.
Characters created by qualified players on a non-Asia Pacific server after the February 28th deadline will not qualify for transfers to Asia Pacific servers. We will be sending an email to all qualified players by early March with more details.
On a separate but related note, some players are actually reporting much worse latency on these servers than they were seeing on the North American servers. We’ll follow this development as we learn more!
For now, head on over to the FAQ for all of the details of the Asia-Pacific launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic!Read More
Fearless Community Leader Stepehen Reid just took to the official forums with a post that should be of great interest to TOR players in the Oceanic region of the world… launch details and server names just for you! The biggest advantage here is of course that these servers are located regionally, and game performance should be markedly better.
BioWare had previously announced that they would be launching the game in Oceana on March 1st, and now we have details… and in fact, depending where you are, the launch of these servers might even be as soon as tomorrow!
Here’s our official launch timing. All servers will be online simultaneously at approx 5:01AM CST (Austin time), but with timezones straddling a date
New Zealand: 12:01am NZDT (March 1st)
Australia: 10:01pm EDT (February 29th)
Singapore: 7:01pm SGT (February 29th)
Hong Kong: 7:01pm HKT (February 29th)
Of further interest are the server names and types – crucial for MMO fans to rally their friends and all get on the same page:
We’ll be launching with three initial servers dedicated to these territories. As previously mentioned, these servers are physically located in Australia:
Master Dar’Nala (PvP)
Gav Daragon (RP PvE)
Not covered yet is the clarity on character transfers for players that have already started them on North American or European realms. Reid mentions that an FAQ will be coming out tomorrow, and perhaps we’ll know more about it then.
In the mean time, head over and check out Mr. Reid’s entire post!Read More
Easily the biggest thread of the week was started by Joveth Gonzalez, Associate Online Community Manager, titled “Poll: What do you think about the new changes made to global cooldown UI in 1.1.2?”. The poll has since been closed with 57% responding “They’re terrible!”, 31% responding “They’re good!”, and 12% responding “I don’t care”.
BioWare’s Stephen Reid, Senior Online Community Manager, wants to stress that the developer’s have heard the feedback from the community and changes are coming. If you saw the community blog post on Friday, then you know that you are going to have a lot more flexibility with how your cooldown animations are displayed. So when exactly are these changes coming? According to Mr. Reid, sometime within the next couple of weeks:
…tentatively scheduled for deployment in the week beginning Monday 20th.
Personally, I am really excited for the cooldown text functionality. That was one of the first mods I installed when I played WoW so I can’t wait to have the same functionality as a standard feature in TOR. It’s also really nice to see the devs respond so quickly to issues like this. The cooldown animation changes were not received very well by a lot of players, but the devs saw the feedback and are making quite a few changes to improve the animations.
This gives me a lot of hope for the future of TOR if the devs are willing to listen to feedback and make changes quickly.
User Priam created a thread to ask “Is RE [Reverse Engineering] Broken?” He reverse engineered quite a few items and never got a blue upgrade schematic. So, he wanted to know if the “drop” rate was stealth-nerfed in the most recent patch. Turns out that it is just a bug and will soon be fixed. Here is Patrick Malott, Systems Designer, with the details:
The reverse engineering return rate is not currently working as intended. In an upcoming patch, we are improving the reverse engineering rates – especially for the higher-level items.Read More