Monday, 14 May 2012

Community Q&A: May 11th, 2012

Last Friday BioWare posted another Community Q&A. Here's an excerpt:

Freeborne: Alacrity as a stat seems to be encouraged in "Energy Based' classes (Troopers/Smugglers) through our talent trees. However, Alacrity seems to be a terrible secondary stat for us. The faster we use abilities, the faster we lose our energy - and the less energy we have, the less energy we regenerate. Are there any plans to review Alacrity, or at least its place in some class talent trees?

Austin: I agree. We're exploring ways of improving Alacrity that we hope to get working for a future Game Update. As much as I'd like to, I can't provide details on this plan yet. It's possible that we'll address passive Alacrity boosts in the skill trees, but those changes need to be solid and work for the long haul; it would be unacceptable to have a ‘temporary’ skill in place that we planned on removing at a later date.

I'm not a min-maxer by any stretch of the imagination, but I've never been quite certain of the use of Alacrity. Then when I read a blog post somewhere making an argument that anything that lets you use your skills faster is basically a poor choice as it also burns through your energy faster that made a lot of sense to me. As such I've kind of been ignoring Alacrity in my characters even if it sounds like a cool thing, making you faster. So it's welcome to hear that they're looking at approaching that differently.

After the break the developer quotes and a quick reply by EA on investors losing a bit of faith in The Old Republic.

When news hit that subscription numbers had dropped from 1.7 million to 1.3 million you got the predictable sounds of 'doom' across the industry. Investors too seemed to panic a bit as shares dropped for EA. But as I said last week that seems... a bit premature. And it seems, as reported by VG247, that EA's John Riccitiello agrees:

EA’s stock took a bit of a beating in the wake of its financial briefing earlier this week, but CEO John Riccitiello says investors are behind the times.

“I think investors are eventually going to catch up with the company,” he told CNBC’s Mad Money.

“We’ve beat our guidance on the top line, came in at the every high end on APS, and guided a 38% APS growth in the coming year, after launching a whole bunch of blockbusters.

“So: Nothing to apologise for. I think it’s good now; [when] it gets better, investors are gonna see it.”

Host Jim Craner suggested investors had become more excited about the success of Star Wars: The Old Republic than was justified, and are disappointed as a result, a sentiment Riccitiello agreed with.

“When we originally started the franchise, our plan was to break 1 million subscribers. Our investment case was 1.2 million. We told the street yesterday we’re at 1.3 million,” he said.

“We happened to have an earnings call right in the launch period, where we hit 1.7 million,” he added, ruefully. “We have an obligation to tell them the facts. Realistically, I think it’s a solid success.”

Riccitiello reiterated comments from his the investor briefing in which he stressed that EA never planned for The Old Republic to ourperform its top five franchises, like FIFA and Madden.

“Some people are treating it like it’s the only thing that matters. For what it’s worth, it’s a solid, successful, profitable franchise,” he concluded.

Of course one could argue that this is just EA trying to save their bacon, but as I said pretty much the exact same thing last week I have to agree. That's not to say that TOR's numbers won't plummet after all, it'll face some stiff competition for players' time from a number of games in the coming months, but right now it seems to be holding steady.

And that just leaves us the developer quotes.

Developer Quotes

  • [link] to David Hunt on augment slots.
  • [link] to David Hunt on augment slots, part 2.
  • [link] to Allison Berryman on PTS and patches.
  • [link] to Allison Berryman on PTS and patches, part 2.
  • [link] to Allison Berryman on PTS and patches, part 3.
  • [link] to Joveth Gonzalez on Community Q&A frequency.

With no quotes I felt worth lifting out here that's all for now.

[link] to EA calls TOR profitable at VG247.

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