Wednesday, 30 May 2012

1.2.5 Patch Notes

Here are today's patch notes:

1.2.5 Patch Notes



  • Optimizations have been implemented that decrease instances of crashing to desktop.
  • Any players required to change a character's name due to Customer Support request must now make all name changes before logging in with any characters on a server.

Classes and Combat


    • "Heroic Moment" abilities no longer persist after players log out or transition areas.

Companion Characters


    • Corrected an issue that could cause Companion Characters to appear without a head when wearing certain headgear.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Community Q&A: May 25th, 2012

Last Friday BioWare posted another Community Q&A, this time about Game Update 1.3. Here's an excerpt:

Mallorik: What is your philosophy on cross server LFG tools? Are we getting a same server tool just to hold us over while you work on cross server tech or is this just a test to see if a same server tool will do the job? 

Daniel: Although we’re certainly willing to entertain the idea of cross-server LFG tools if the need arises, it’s a last resort for us. We firmly believe for cooperative play it is important to have a community and social responsibility that you simply can’t have with players appearing and disappearing from your reality. Instead we are pushing hard on servers that are massive compared to the ones we launched with. Early tests show we’ll be able to raise the peak concurrent user cap above what it was at launch. Combining that with server transfers to enable players to move to these new servers and fill them to the brim, we should see some fantastic, vibrant communities develop where Group Finder will always be able to find someone for your content.  

There has been some speculation on what exactly they mean with these super servers, but I think that regardless it's absolutely vital for the health of the game to ensure that the general server populations seem healthy again. Though I also fear that any talk of server merges will likely just add fuel to the fire of the perception that the game is 'dying', so they have to be careful. I'm betting the impression that they're going with the spin that they've increased the capacity of the servers and that is why they're merging. Though I think that the only way to really pull that off if by doing away with 'servers' altogether and just go for a single one (per territory). We'll see.

The post also promised more detailed blog articles in the near future about Game Update 1.3, so looking forward to read those.

After the break a new TOR novel and another interview. No developer quotes this time (since it has only been a few days since the previous post there haven't been much of any new developer posts to quote).

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Coming in Game Update 1.3

I've been out of the country the last number of days, so this update is a bit later than usual. The main thing to report is that BioWare released another "Coming Soon to Star Wars: The Old Republic" video, this one for the upcoming Game Update 1.3. Here is the official news:

See what the future holds for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, as Game Director James Ohlen highlights some of the new game systems coming in Game Update 1.3, as well as some of the playable content that will be released in the coming months. In this ‘Coming Up’ video, you will learn about the new Group Finder and Character Transfer systems, as well as new Legacy Perks and other features that are coming in the next Game Update, Allies.

The group finder sounds good. Character transfer is good as well, though I wonder about the details of how it works (for example: do we have to pay real money for a character transfer). The Legacy Perks they've pretty much talked about since they started talking about the Legacy System; maybe they'll convince me to start paying any attention at all to the Legacy system. And I also quite like the adaptive gear even if pretty much all of the social gear is way out of my league since I've got hardly any social points. Either way, it sounds like it'll be a decent update.

After the break some interviews, some bad news for BioWare and the developer quotes.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

1.2.4 Patch Notes

Here are today's patch notes.

1.2.4 Patch Notes


Classes and Combat


    • The Guard ability can now be reapplied if the player dies with it activated. Previously, players sometimes received an error indicating that their target was already guarded.

    Sith Inquisitor

      • Lightsaber Charge's audio effects no longer loop indefinitely.

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.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

TOR Official Podcast Episode 1

BioWare released episode 1 of their official podcast, and no Jar Jar Binks in sight. Here is the official news:

Hello everyone! My name is Eric Musco and I, along with Brooks Guthrie are happy to bring you episode one of the official Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ podcast, “Rocket Boots”. You can listen by using the embedded player, by downloading and listening on your preferred MP3 player, or check it out on our YouTube channel.

In this episode, we sit down with Daniel Erickson and Damion Schubert to talk about what we saw in Game Update 1.2 and what we can expect as we look forward to Game Update 1.3. Also, David Bass stops by to tell us about how things went at PAX East and share some of our convention plans for the rest of the year. If you have any questions or comments about the show, feel free to let us know in this forum thread.

Thanks for listening!

Download the MP3 of this podcast by right-clicking this link and saving.

It's a nice podcast, talking a bit about how update 1.2 came together with the UI customization and the legacy stuff. And What we can expect in update 1.3 (namely primarily the group finder but also changes to crafting like adding augment slots and being able to tank in social outfits). Worth a listen to. Besides, where else are you going to hear Mr. Daniel Erickson's radio voice?

After the break I'll embed the YouTube version and copy the full transcript.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

1.2.3 Patch Notes

Here are today's patch notes:

1.2.3 Patch Notes


Classes and Combat


    • Corrected an issue that prevented Smugglers and Imperial Agents from taking cover in place while moving
    • Channeled abilities now fully complete if a buff providing an Alacrity bonus wears off while the ability is being channeled.

Flashpoints and Operations


      Boarding Party
      • This Flashpoint's Hard Mode no longer has a daily limitation.

Community Q&A: May 4th, 2012

Here in the UK we just had a bank holiday weekend, which for me meant spending the day running around Quesh and Hoth with my Consular (instead of working on my brother's website like I was probably supposed to). But now that that has passed it's time for rounding up the updates for TOR.

There's a the (temporary) return of Fan Friday and there's BioWare taking action against fraudulent payments. There's also news on subscription numbers coming from EA's earnings call and the developer quotes. But all that is after the break, first let's take a look at the Community Q&A BioWare posted last Friday; here's an excerpt:

Lorroc: Are there any plans to introduce a mentoring system in SWTOR? In some other MMOs, this mentoring system lowers the stats and armor of high level characters and grays out abilities that they didn't have during lower levels so that they can help their lower level friends.

Damion: I'm a big fan of ‘down leveling,’ and I've been pushing to add something like this for a long, LONG time.  Plus, you just can't ignore the master/apprentice relationship as being a core part of the Star Wars experience.  So yeah, this is coming -- someday.  And, as always, it will have a couple of unique twists that I think people will enjoy. 

Ooh, I'm definitely a fan of 'down leveling' as well; anything to make it easier for people to play together despite level difference. And I'm curious what twists they'll add. I hope it includes participating in your low-level friend's quests instead of just tagging along as they do their quests). We'll see.

Read on after the break for all the other stuff I mentioned above.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Guild Wars 2 Preview

Carefully the young woman makes her way into the cave. She is supposed to meet up with some friends to learn the fate of her long lost parents. But the lure of adventure is too strong and that cave-mouth beckons to be explored. Her past can wait a bit longer.

In the distance looms an imposing figure, a giant who clearly has made the cave his home. Careful not to draw his attention she works her way around him, trying to keep from stepping on any of the grubs scrawling across the floor. More used to being the center of attention than to slinking through the shadows her efforts are in vain and soon she notices him staring at her with a bemused smile. Thankfully for her he turns out to be friendly and he introduces himself as Gort. But no sooner had they exchanged pleasantries or in marches a band of ettins appearing set on violence. This looks like trouble...

Monastery, Cathriana standing on the roof of a monastery.

Last weekend was the first public Guild Wars 2 beta. It wasn't open as such and it wasn't the first beta weekend the game had, but it was the first time that those who had pre-purchased the game could join. So it was the first time that people other than those selected by ArenaNet could experience the game in comfort. And with Guild Wars 2 being consistently one of the, if not the, most anticipated MMOs in development this was a big deal.

Having spent those two days experiencing the game myself I thought that it might be interesting to write up some of my experiences and views of the game.

This article wasn't that easy to write. You see, I've fallen a bit in love with Guild Wars 2. That makes it very hard to remain objective. And it makes it hard to shut up about it, leading to a very long article. Still, I tried. But the first draft not only turned out to be massively long (probably two or three times the length it is now), I also realized that what I was doing was explaining how the game worked much more than what I thought of it. Since my opinion is the whole point, and there are already plenty of places to learn how the game works, I decided to scrap most everything and start fresh, focusing on my opinions and experiences. The resulting article is still very long (I'm not one known for brevity anyway), but hopefully more easily digestible.

Read on after the break for my preview based on the beta weekend.


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

1.2.2 Patch Notes

Here are today's patch notes:

1.2.2 Patch Notes


Classes and Combat


    • Corrected an issue that prevented damage shields (such as Force Armor) from re-applying properly when activated before the current damage shield expired has been addressed.


      • Plasma Cell now correctly deals its damage 3 times per application.