Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Community Q&A: April 20th 2012

The Rakghoul plague is pretty much over. I thought that it was a great event, a lot of fun (even if I ended up not having that much time for it... at least I got myself one of the red mini ghouls). Now it's back to business as usual in The Old Republic, and that includes another Community Q&A posted by BioWare last Friday. Here's an excerpt from the full Community Q&A:

Irouven: What is the idea behind the selection at the equipment vendor for planetary commendations? Sometimes you get boots, sometimes chest-armor, never a potential "full" outfit.

Damion: We don't want you to get all of the pieces of an armor set from any one source of gear.  We want you to do multiple activities in the game to build out a full set of gear.  This is a conscious decision on our part to encourage and reward playing multiple facets of the game.  So you should do other things -- heroics, check the GTN, etc -- the full set of gear is out there.

I'm not entirely sure I like that. I think I'd prefer to get a full, different, set per gameplay activity. But I can understand why they did it like this. In the end I don't really care that much about gear, as look as my character looks nice.

After the break some more news, a few articles from across the web, and the developer quotes.

One bit of news I completely forgot to post previously is that you can win a live-size Darth Malgus statue. Here's the news:

Throughout the Great Galactic War, the ruthless Sith Lord Malgus spread chaos and destruction across the galaxy. With his hulking figure and piercing gaze, Darth Malgus struck fear in the hearts of even the most hardened of Republic troopers. Now you will have the chance to stand before the legendary Sith Lord within your very own home. We are proud to announce that Sideshow Collectibles, in partnership with BioWare and LucasArts, is giving away one seven-foot figure of Darth Malgus, to one lucky fan of Star Wars™: The Old Republic!

Starting today and continuing until May 11th, 2012, individuals who have registered accounts with www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com will be able to enter for a chance to win a life-sized figure of Darth Malgus, valued at nearly $6,000. To enter, make your way to the Sideshow Collectible’s contest page, and fill out their general contest form with your name, address, phone number and email. Remember to use the same email address that you used to register your Star Wars: The Old Republic account! If you do not yet have an account on www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com, you can create one by clicking the “Sign Up” button at the upper-right corner of the browser window and following the simple steps that follow.

Once the contest has closed on May 11, 2012 a winner will be chosen at random and notified via email on May 14th, 2012. The winner will also be announced on the official contest page on Sideshow Collectible’s website. This contest is only open to residents of the United States (including the District of Columbia), who are at least 18 years of age and who are registered users of the StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com website. The winner is responsible for any taxes applied to the cost of shipping. For the official rules, as well as the terms and conditions, please refer to the Sideshow Collectibles contest page.

I... can't say that I have any interest in having that statue. I think it'd just get in the way (my apartment isn't that big). Even so I'm sure that the statue can make someone happy.

Another bit of news is some good news for the Asia Pacific players as character transfer to the Asia Pacific servers is now available for them. Here is the news:

Today we are excited to announce that from now until April 24, 2012, 2:01PM AEST, 4:01PM NZST, 12:01PM HKT, 12:01PM SGT, qualifying players in the Asia Pacific territories who purchased Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ prior to the game’s official launch in their region will be able to transfer their characters, for free, to a locally-hosted server!

To qualify for character transfer to an Asia Pacific server, players in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore must have purchased their game, redeemed a Game Product Registration Code and either have or have had entered valid billing information or a Pre-Paid Game Time Card prior to 5:01PM AEDT / 7:01PM NZDT / 2:01PM HKT / 2:01PM SGT on Tuesday, February 28, 2012. Only characters created before this time qualify for transfers. You can check to see if you qualify by going to your “My Account” screen on www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com and clicking the “Asia Pacific Transfers” link on the right-side menu.

If you qualify, you can request character transfers to an Asia Pacific server by filling out and submitting the information on the Asia Pacific Transfers page. You will have until 2:01PM AEST / 4:01PM NZST / 12:01PM HKT / 12:01PM SGT on April 24th, 2012 to finalize your information and place your request.

Character transfers will begin processing on April 24, 2012, 8:00PM AEST, 10:00PM NZST, 6:00PM HKT, 6:00PM SGT and may take upwards of seven days to complete all transfer requests. Once your character has been transferred to your new Asia Pacific server, an email will be sent to the address tied to your Star Wars: The Old Republic account informing you that your request has been processed.

For more information on transferring characters to an Asia Pacific server, please visit our Asia Pacific Launch FAQ. If you have any questions that aren’t answered in the Launch FAQ, we encourage you to contact our 24-hour Customer Service. You can also keep up to date on the latest news and updates about Star Wars: The Old Republic by visiting www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com, as well as joining us on Twitter and Facebook.

This is good news for Asia Pacific players who started out on other servers, but it's not just good news for them. This gives some indication of the future character transfers facilities BioWare will provide to everyone at some point as well. On the forums BioWare have confirmed to definitely be working on a transfer system as a high priority task.

Over on Facebook BioWare released a couple of Wallpapers:

GameSpot (Australia) has a video taking a look at Game Update 1.2:

I get the impression that they're showing a fairly typical spread of players in the video, from someone who hasn't played all that much yet up to someone why seems to be more into the endgame side of things. It's a nice video, though I'm sure most players can make up their own mind regarding what they think of the content patch.

More interesting perhaps is the article by PCGamer about their chat with Daniel Erickson. Here's an excerpt:

It’s exactly the kind of the scenario that breeds speculation, most of it of the “sky is falling” variety. We spoke to BioWare’s Daniel Erickson about the future of the game and the challenges of responding to the community while sticking to the established content plan.

BioWare claim that subscriber numbers haven’t dropped, but concurrent users at peak times have. This, Erickson says, is the reason why players are noticing a lot of ‘light’ server populations – and also why mergers are on the cards, but not a priority. According to Erickson, they’re doing “anything and everything” to bring that concurrent users number up. “Nothing is off the table when it comes to making sure our communities are strong and active on each server.”

I'm not sure if server merges would be a good thing... it's a bit of a catch-22. On the one hand it'll increase server population and thus make it easier to find groups and all. But on the other it also sends a signal that will be interpreted as "the game is dying" and in MMOs often perception is nine-tenths of the law. Probably a better course is to overcome the server limitations to begin with (I'm thinking cross-server group finder for Flashpoints and such). Maybe even doing something similar to what Guild Wars 2 is going to do and allow players to 'visit' other servers. Though not sure how feasible that is in TOR.

Either way, though I haven't played much last week, I'm still enjoying the game quite a bit. I just tend to avoid all group content (which, in fairness, has little to do with server population beyond the fact that there's not a lot of people asking to do the heroics). And I fear that by the time I reach the end of my Consular's story I'll quickly tire of the game; maybe playing some alts on-and-off for a bit.

Anyway, that leaves the developer quotes.

Developer Quotes

  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on plague event timer.
  • [link] to Daniel Erickson on Warzone scoring and rewards.
  • [link] to Joveth Gonzalez on Rakghoul Plague Event end.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on black-green crystals.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on color crystals.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on James Ohlen's Group Finder Feedback Request.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on Asia Pacific character transfers.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on Asia Pacific character transfers, part 2.
  • [link] to A Peckenpaugh on free respecs.
  • [link] to A Peckenpaugh on training dummies.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on Asia Pacific character transfers, part 3.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on researching jerky.
  • [link] to David White on social items.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on unusual egg spawns.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on PvP TTK.
  • [link] to Georg Zoeller on PvP TTK, part 2.
  • [link] to David Hunt on set bonus.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on Asia Pacific character transfers, part 4.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on Asia Pacific character transfers, part 5.
  • [link] to David Hunt on crafted techstaffs.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on Asia Pacific character transfers, part 6.
  • [link] to Joveth Gonzalez on Rakghoul Plague Event end, part 2.
  • [link] to David Hunt on base mod stats.
  • [link] to Stephen Reid on character transfer.
  • [link] to Joveth Gonzalez on Rakghoul Plague Event end, part 3.

If you're interested in the server transfer (particularly if you're an Asia Pacific player) then I can recommend looking at those links above. For the rest there's some nice things (such as Georg Zoeller's talk on TTK if you're into PvP), but nothing I felt like repeating here. So that's it for now.

[link] to Game Update 1.2 video at GameSpot.
[link] to interview with Daniel Erickson at PCGamer.

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