Monday, 10 September 2012

1.4 Gear Preview of the Jedi Sentinal and Commando!

This is an early picture of the new tier, Dread Guard set of the Jedi Sentinel and Commando!



SWTOR 1.4 NOW ON THE PTS!

Patch 1.4 is now on the test servers! People can test the new operation, Terror from Beyond and try the new features that are added. Unfortunately, some changes that were promised for patch 1.4 are in the current state absent, p.ex. dual-spec, Explosive Conflict Nightmare Mode.

HITTING PTS TODAY, 09/10 I WOULD TRY TO GUESS THAT 1.4 WOULD COME LIVE IN 3 WEEKS, THAT MEANS IN THE 2ND OF OCTOBER!

Check the Patch notes here: 

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=523625



The Trailer for Terror from Beyond



Sunday, 2 September 2012

Blog Update

Hey guys, what's up? Sorry for being inactive during last month but I was in vacations and I didn't have an easy access to the internet.
Anyway, I'm back to my HQ and I'm ready to roll once more. To be honest, SWTOR isn't at its best right now and there aren't really any news going on. Things are the same for the past months and we're all waiting for news about new content.
What troubles me the most are the secresive about the stuff they are working on. They have announced an expansion and we really haven't got nothing more than a ridiculous small trailer.
I'm still planning to play the game, I'm enjoying it but I have already accepted that it's prime is gone. Let's hope that F2P would bring a fresh wave of players back to game.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

SWTOR Free to Play Plans!

Coming this fall, the first 50 levels of SWTOR are free to play. The game will be on sale and can be purchased for 15 USD and a free month. A subscription fee would still be required for the full experience of the game. The new patch that would introduce Makeb and would also increase the level cap would be out of limits for gamers and only specific content would be allowed. Stay tuned for more news!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Individual server forums are coming

Individual server forums will be implemented later this summer once they have completed automatic transfers. That means, old servers will close, as for now, you can't create a new character in an origin server if you don't have one already there. Another step towards the mega servers is done.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Rewards for Server Transfers

New pet Gannifari
Bioware keeps rewarding their subscribers for playing the game. This time they are going to give a new non combat pet, the Gannifari as well as 25 Black Hole Commendations. It should be noted that all subscribers that had their characters either on an original or a destination server would be rewarded.

Your character(s) must be on a qualifying server (which includes destination servers) and your account must be active by July 30, 2012 at 11:59 PM CDT / July 31, 2012 at 4:59AM GMT.

The new pet it's just a bonus where as 25 BH Commendations is the really gift. It seems that BW gives something to new players that were left behind on their PvE progression as before transfers, most servers were dead and groups for FP and Operations were impossible to be formed.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

1.3 Changes, Buffs and Nerfs and my Verdict!

1.3 patch is right now on the PTS and as always, it brings changes in classes. Not a lot of changes like 1.2 did but still...


I would also want to add those are MY OPINION. You are free to disagree and comment. My reason for posting this is to summarize the incoming changes. This post summarizes the patch notes up to the 06/25.




TL;DR

Tanks dps and PvP performance has decreased a lot and some hybrid tank specs are now required to a viable PvP performance as their cap abilities are almost useless. Tanking in PvE situation has been made a lot more easier. Gunslingers/Snipers and Commandos/Mercenaries have had their dps and resource management improved greatly.





TANKS




AoE threat was certainly a big issue for tanking specs and has gotten fixed. Overall, threat generated has been increased by 50%. That would be most welcomed for the group finder as I believe, tanks would be in high demand. Making tanking easier would surely encourages more players to try this role and would in long terms help the community. For even more convenience, they introduced 'smart' AoEs. Now, most of the tanks main AoE attacks that helped them increase their threat, doesn't hit enemies that are in any form of Crowd Control. Another downgrade for tanking difficulty.




KNIGHT/WARRIOR




SENTINEL/MARAUDER


Only Combat/Carnage 21-points ability Precision Slash/Gore has changed. It now costs 1 focus/rage and lasts 1.5sec less. It's duration is still the same as it's now out of the GCD and it's cost was reduced by 2 focus/rage. IT'S A BUFF!




GUARDIAN/JUGGERNAUT

Biggest change for all three specs is the redesign of Single Saber Mastery on the Vigilance/Vengeance tree: 
Single Saber Mastery now applies different effects based on your current Form. Shii-Cho Form now increases all Force damage dealt by 2% per point. Shien Form now increases all melee damage dealt by 2% per point. Soresu Form now increases melee and ranged defense by 1% per point and increases the threat generated by Smash and Sweeping Slash by 10% per point.
This is what this talent should have been from the start. Instead of a plain damage increase, it benefits each spec on their perspective field. Those changes really improve and polish the game.
There's no reason to get into details about the changes the made to the Defense/Immortal tree. Overall, they have based the spec's gameplay to stacking armor debuffs and accuracy debuffs. Their damage overall has decreased. The changes on Guardian Slash/Crushing Blow, their big hitter, have decreased their damage a lot and decrease their performance in 1v1 PvP situations.


VERDICT:
TANKING PvE: BUFFED
TANKING PvP: NERFED




CONSULAR/INQUISITOR


No changes for Sages/Sorceres.


SHADOW/ASSASSIN

They decrease the cost of their Ambush ability (Spinning Kick/Spike) by 10 force points and increased their AoE threat generation. Also, they decreased the self-healing of their tanking tree by 4%.
Overall, Shadows/Assassins tanks were OVERPOWERED both for PvE and PvP. Even though the nerf was much needed, we can't say that they were thrown into abyss. It was time and knocked off their Superman socks.


VERDICT:
TANKING PvE: NERFED
TANKING PvP: NERFED


SMUGGLER/IMPERIAL AGENT

Best change for both AC? The amount absorbed by Shield Probe/Defense Screen now scales properly based on character stats. As they are both classes with very few defensive cooldown, this is a major buff for their survivability. We don't yet know on which stat it scales (hopefully endurance), buffing a short cooldown (45 sec) it's definitely going to increase their performance, especially on PvP.


SCOUNDREL/OPERATIVE


Survivor's Scars/Survival Training healing received increase has lowered from 3% to 1%. Even though this is a minor nerf all classes with similar talents has been affected. I don't believe it would affect the class' gameplay.


GUNSLINGER/SNIPER



Lot's of changes in the Gunslinger/Sniper trees. First of all, the change to the cap abilities are mostly done to prevent a hybrid spec. Rapid Fire has now become a passive ability providing a 1-second CD reduction per point on bot Ambush/Aimed Shots and Series of Shots/Speed shot, certainly a buff here. Also, casting will be taking a bit of a hit with Target Acquired/Illegal Mod’s switch from Alacrity to Accuracy and Armor Penetration, but Rapid Fire and Sniper/Burst Volleys new traits should help make up for it, as they're effect is enhanced even though their cd has increased. Enginneering/Saboteur has also their DoT's damage increased.



VERDICT:
PvE: BUFFFED
PvP: BUFFED





TROOPER/BOUNTY HUNTER



COMMANDO/MERCENARY






Most Commando/Mercenary changes were made to the Gunnery/Arsenal talent trees. In addition to some talents being shifted to depend on other talents, sustained damage received buffs. Changes to Armor Piercing Cell/High-velocity Gas Cylinder would buff Commando/Mercenary sustained resource management by making energy cell generation and heat ventilation less reliant on critical hits. Sustained damage has been buffed through changes to the Gravity Surge/Light 'em Up  skill, which now applies an extra stack of Charged Barrel/Tracer Lock and Charged Barrier/Power Barrier with each Grav Round/Tracer Missile. Overall, more predictable resource generation is a good change and should help with the resource management difficulty many Commandos/Mercenaries and stacking debuff problens they've experienced after patch 1.2.



VERDICT:
PvE DPS: BUFFFED
PvP DPS: BUFFED



VANGUARD/POWERTECH





Powertech/Tanguard tanks gained a 50% threat generation increase but tank burst has been significantly decreased due to the flame shield and static shield skills changes. The critical chance bonus from these talents now gives 8% critical chance to Stockstrike/Rocket Punch and Explosive Surge/Flame Sweep.
The Flame surge skill has been redesigned so that it provides a free Flame Sweep, to provide Vanguards/Powertechs with more AoE damage even though that decreased their damage against single target fights. 
Overall, they nerfed the crit rate of the classes basic attacks (16% bonus , down from 30%) and cancelled the surge bonus (0% bonus, down from 30%). 
This patch decreased the burst dps and this is why this spec is heavily nerfed for PvP while probably buffed for PvE with the AoE changes.



VERDICT:
TANKING PvE: NERFED
TANKING PvP: NERFED

Thursday, 21 June 2012

The Art of Trolling #3!!!

Hey guys, as I wait for 1.3 I play as more WZs as I get. Having free time and frapsing almost all of my matches. I have some interesting footage and I decided to do another addition to the The Art of Trolling series. I hope you enjoy this! :D



Sunday, 17 June 2012

2 New Videos!

I have 2 new videos to share with you guys.


The first of all is a "romancing a companion" video and shows what happens if you try to romance 2 of your companions at the same time.


The second one is a Scoundrel PvP montage, the first of the series. Even it would not be the best PvP you'll ever seen, I hope you'll enjoy it!


See you around!



Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Additional Servers for Transfers! 06/13 UPDATE!


UPDATE 10:00AM CDT June 13th, 2012


Origin Server --> Destination Server 


NA Server
The Defenestrator --> Jedi Covenant 
Krayiss Obelisk --> Canderous Ordo 
Shien --> The Ebon Hawk 
Rwookrrorro --> The Fatman 
Ajunta Pall --> Jung Ma
Krath --> The Harbinger 
Darth Xedrix --> Drooga's Pleasure Barge 
Vrook Lamar --> Begeren Colony 
Nadd's Sarcophagus --> The Bastion
Sedyn Kyne --> Jedi Covenant
Whitebeam Run --> Canderous Ordo
Sanctum of the Exalted --> The Ebon Hawk
Cho Mai --> The Fatman
Empress Teta --> The Harbinger
Perlemian Trade Route --> Drooga's Pleasure Barge
The Crucible Pits --> The Bastion 


European Server (German)
Handmaidens of Atris --> The Jedi Tower
Cassus Fett --> Vanjervalis Chain
Gnawer's Roost --> Jar'Kai Sword
Dreypa's Oubliette --> The Jedi Tower
The Krath Enchanter --> Jar'Kai Sword


European Server (English)
Ludo Kressh --> The Red Eclipse
Trask Ulgo --> The Progenitor
Senator Contispex --> Tomb of Freedon Nadd
Goluud Corridor --> The Red Eclipse
The Kumumgah --> Tomb of Freedon Nadd


European Server (French)
Kissai Caste --> Mantle of the Force
Dol Grenn --> Darth Nihilus
Vodo-Siosk Baas --> Mantle of the Force
Princess Galia --> Darth Nihilus

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

More Server Pairings for the Transfers!





AS FOR NOW, 06/13


East


Keller’s Void -----> Jedi Covenant (PVE) 
Hedarr Soongh -----> The Fatman (PVP)
The Courageous  -----> Canderous Ordo (PVE) 
Kath Hound  -----> The Ebon Hawk (RP-PVE) 
Ven Zallow  -----> Jung Ma (RP-PVP) 




West


Soresu  ----->  The Harbinger (PVE) 
Rakata Mind Prison  ----->  The Bastion (PVP) 
Fa'athra  -----> Drooga's Pleasure Barge (PVE)
Lord Ieldis  -----> Begeren Colony (RP-PVE)





English


Eye of Ashlanae -----> The Red Eclipse (PVE)
The Shadow Runner  -----> Tomb of Freedon Nadd (PVP)
Shaltin Tunnels  -----> The Progenitor (RP-PVE)
French


Mecrosa Order ----->  Darth Nihilus (PVP)
Phateem Halls of Knowledge  ----->  Mantle of the Force (PVE)
Kessel Run  ----->  Battle Meditation (RP-PVE)
German


Stereb Cities  ----->  The Jedi Tower (PVE)
The Restoration Zone  ----->  Jar’Kai Sword (PVP)
Zayne Carrick  ----->  Vanjervalis Chain (RP-PVE)




MORE SERVER PAIRINGS WILL COME TOMORROW. A BRIEF MAINTENANCE TONIGHT!

Server Transfer List!!!

Character transfers are final here! This is the list for the eligible server transfers.



Certain transfers are complimentary at this time:


Between the following servers:

The Shadow Runner to Tomb of Freedon Nadd

Stereb Cities to The Jedi Tower 


The Restoration Zone to Jar'Kai Sword

Phateem Halls of Knowledge to Mantle of the Force 


Mecrosa Order to Darth Nihilus 


Rakata Mind Prison to The Bastion 


Hedarr Soongh to The Fatman 


Eye of Ashlanae to The Red Eclipse 


Keller's Void to Jedi Covenant 


Soresu to The Harbinger 

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Group Finder Preview and Scoundrel PvP Video!

A new video, a Scoundrel PvP Video as I talk about Group Finder


ENJOY! :)


1.3 Group Finder, Details, Feedback and Bugs.

PREVIEW

Group Finder is a new tool that would help you find a group to do most of your PvE activities. You can queue for Story Mode Operations, Heroic FP, Normal FP and Planet Heroic Quests. You can select your role: Tank, Healer, Damage Dealer and when your group is assembled you'll be teleported to the field. Daily Quests would award Black Hole Commendations and to be honest, this tool will make gearing up a piece of cake.


QUEUEING, LOSING A PLAYER, VOTE TO KICK AND FINDING A REPLACEMENT
To begin with, queueing in a group is bugged. Even 3 people in a group cannot find a fourth member to do a run. This a highly disappointing. Right now, if you lose a player during a run QQ. Even though you are supposed to find a replacement if you requeue. this feature is hardly ever working. I know that some people say that it work for them but I have seen it work once, when we were at the begining of a FP and we hadn't killed a mob or a boss. Vote to kick is something that is needed in a group finder but right now, there is no protection to undergeared/new players. There is no restriction to kicks and I can see it being abused. A solution would be if BW makes it as to not be able to begin a vote for the first 10 minute in the run and only allow a kick 2-3 times per run, with this limit being raised after a couple of wipes. I don't want to be unabled to kick when I'm at the final boss boss of Lost Island and my healer for example is underperforming. Also, Make it so that people that are overusing it, that they use it too many times in a row be prevented to start a vote for the next 30 minutes for example. Finally, 2 or more people would group up and would start kicking people mostly because they are trolling. That's why people in an original group should not be able to kick by themselves an extra player.


LOOTING AND LOCKOUTS


Need before Greed looting system for FP is fine. Things should change for Operations. Right now there are no restriction on looting. A Juggernaut can need an Agent item etc. Either make a restriction to class loots or make system closer to the original looting system from the begging of the game. If you are eligible to loot that boss, you'll all get a bag that would have commendations and either a piece of the boss' loot table or some credits, adrenals or stims. That way they'll be no whining about other people wining an item over you and we won't have people grouping together to win rolls for their friends. It would be like a slot machine, where after killing a boss all 8 people could win something or only 1 or 2 gets some loot. Finally, remove the lockouts from Story Mode Ops, even if you can only loot each boss once, it allows those who couldn't complete a raid due to group disband, still have the chance to play from the start, and doesn't punish those who join you because you already killed off some of the bosses.


That's my thoughts about this feature,
See you around, PEACE!

1.3 Loot Changes: Better Loot from Flashpoints!

Apparently, with the introduction of Group Finder, FP runs would be more common and Bioware decided to change the loot that each FP drops, mostly to lure people to play them.
Early today, 06/10 I did a fast run of Heroic Black Talon and I found out that most bosses drop far better loot than the current live patch.




First boss (We kill the droid) dropped a random TIONESE headgear when it used to drop tionese belt. Second boss, Commander Ghuli dropped a random COLUMNI ear piece when he used to drop energized legs. The final boss dropped the same loot than live, a token for COLUMNI bracers.








Obviously this is a rather welcome change, as people would gear up easier and faster. With Black Hole commendations as daily rewards, people would have lot's of reasons to run HM Flashpoints. Finally people would easier participate on Story Mode Operations and experience more of the end game content, faster and without the painful grind. If they manage to introduce more content in a faster pace, subscribers would always have something to do, something that would make this game bounce back.

Group Finder Level Recommendation for Normal Flashpoints!

Black Talon/The Esseles: 10-12
Hammer Station: 15-21
Athiss: 19-25
Mandalorian Raiders: 23-29
Cademimu: 27-33
Boarding Paty/Taral V: 31-37
Foundry/Maelstrom Prison: 35-42
Colicoid War Game: 39-45
The Red Reaper: 43-48
Directive 7: 47-50
The Battle for Ilum: 48-50
The False Emperor: 48-50
Kaon Under Siege: 50
Lost Island: 50


This doesn't mean that you are forced to that level range as those are recommendations for each normal mode flashpoint. For example, my level 47 character on the PTR was allowed to queue for Colicoid War Games, The Read Reaper and Directive 7. The daily reward for Normal FP is 5 Daily Commendations.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Server transfers starting on June 12th! Details!

FINALLY! Server transfers are coming on June 12th! A lot of people are waiting for this (myself including) and today we learnt some new informations about this service.


First of all. Server transfer would be TARGETED! That means that transfers would be allowed from a selected number of servers to selected servers! Servers would be chosen and would have a specific destination that would be allowed to transfer a character. By the time, more options would be available and when the free server transfers would be about to end, we will be informed beforehand. In the future, server transfer would allow more options in the choice of server destination and would require a transfer fee. 


That way, Bioware will try to create servers that would be highly populated and balanced, than having one or two overpopulated servers (like Fatman or Tomb of Freedon Nadd). More informations would come in a upcoming FAQ so stay tuned!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

1.3 PTS would come live at 06/06

It was announced that 1.3 would come on the PTS tommorrow (06/06). Stay tuned as I would try the addition that'll come in the next patch. Videos and photos would be posted as soon as possible.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Ranked Warzones are coming at 1.3!

Good news everyone! Rated Warzones are officially announced for 1.3!




Mindspore: Any update on Ranked Warzones in 1.3?

Daniel: Ranked Warzones is on track for 1.3. All the heavy lifting (ratings, group persistence exiting warzones, etc) is done and right now we are working through some emergent conflicts with Group Finder and the process of queuing for multiple activities at once with multiple temporary groups.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

1.3 Group Finder Rewards

To recap the details we know so far for group finder (SERVER ONLY):


You can queue for:
-Normal and Heroic Flashpoints
-Story Mode Operations
-Planet's Heroic Quests


You can select the role you can fill. The roles are limited from you Advance Class.


It would teleport you to the Flashpoint when your group is assembled.


You can select the specific content you want to do or you can select a random queue.


DAILY REWARDS FOR RANDOM QUEUES:



Mode
Rewards
Normal Flashpoints
5 Daily Commendations
HM Tier 1 Flashpoints
5 Black Hole Commendations
HM Tier 2 Flashpoints
5 Black Hole Commendations
Story Mode Operations
5 Black Hole Commendations

Monday, 21 May 2012

Preview of group finder for 1.3!

Here we got a preview of the group finder UI that would be introduced on patch 1.3.

As you can see, on the left side are the role that you can fill and on the right the different modes that you can experience. The most interesting part is that the list of the HM Flashpoints that you'll get a group for are, is different from what is now on Live. You can only play Lost Island, The Battle of Ilum, The False Emperor, Directive 7, Kaon Under Siege. As they are only 5 HM Flashpoints that you can queue for, I wouldn't be surprised if the change the loots that you'll obtain from the final bosses and just give a different set piece from each one. Finally we can see that only Denova Story Mode would be on the LFG.
1.3 is going to hit the PTS servers soon, so stay tuned for more infos and insights for the upcoming patch.



Friday, 18 May 2012

Server transfers next week?

In twitter, Stephen Reid the Community Manager of SWTOR answered a question from a player and said that server transfers are coming BEFORE 1.3 and would expect more news next week. I would probably been expecting an update to the transfers like details about the procedure and even applies for a server transfer.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Next patch name: "Allies"

Apparently during Q4 financial report Bioware announced that the 2 next patch would be introduced in the next quarter and would be named "Legacy" and "Allies". I would say "Legacy" is patch 1.2 and I would add 1.3 as the incoming patch is mostly a tool's patch than a continuation to PvE and PvP endgame. "Allies" would probably be the new tier of operations and etc so let's see what else would be added in summer.

SWTOR's James Ohlen shares the formula behind PvP nerfs


Massively: A forum post states that the expertise stat is now a lot more valuable in PvP than it used to be. The slope on the diminishing returns appears to be less steep now, and PvPers definitely seem to like that concept a lot more than when they would mix other armor types together in order to level out their stats. Can you explain the reason behind the changes, and specifically, what that means to players stepping into PvP with a fresh level 50?


James Ohlen: One of the functions expertise serves is to divide our PvP gear and PvE gear. For example, we don't want a situation where you want to play the PvE operations endgame, but the best way to do that is to spend several weeks playing warzones in order to get a PvP gear set. Thus, a PvP set will have significantly lower raw stats than a PvE set of the same level and will receive a budget of expertise to compensate. The bonuses you get from that expertise in PvP should effectively reverse the situation, so a player in a PvE set will be at an equivalent disadvantage if he jumps into PvP without earning the lower-level PvP gear set first.


What we found prior to patch 1.2 is that because the PvP endgame was much more accessible than the PvE endgame, many PvE guilds were using warzones to get endgame gear instead of playing through the flashpoints and normal-mode operations. In addition, the original PvP gear only had expertise on the armoring, hilt, and barrel, which made the modifications and enhancements in that gear more effective than intended in PvE.


To address these issues in patch 1.2, we increased the gap between PvE and PvP on the new War Hero gear, sacrificing a greater percentage of stats and giving more expertise in return. We also extended this to the modification and enhancement item mods, introducing expertise there and further increasing the total expertise budget. In fact, the final expertise budget on War Hero was so high that we had to retroactively add some "bonus" expertise to the existing PvP gear in order to avoid creating too much of a gap between the top and bottom end PvP players.


Unfortunately, this also meant that players stepping into PvP with a fresh level 50 who has no expertise will be destroyed by players with expertise, leading to a very frustrating experience (and this experience was already pretty rough prior to patch 1.2). To address this, we introduced a relatively cheap "recruit" set of PvP gear designed to give them enough expertise to get into the PvP game and allow them to starting earning the good stuff. As PvP gear continues to advance in future seasons, new "recruit" sets will be introduced to ensure fresh 50s always start at a reasonable point.




Prior to 1.2, the stat bonuses to damage, damage reduction, and healing from expertise were fairly even across the board. Now we are seeing pretty significant differences between those three bonuses. I understand the expertise stat is designed so that changes like that can be made fairly easily without disrupting the PvE game. What were you seeing prior to 1.2 that prompted that type of significant change?


Expertise was designed so that the damage bonus and the damage reduction effectively cancel out for two players with the same amount of expertise, and this should remain true in patch 1.2 as well. However, the way the damage bonus and damage reduction are applied changed in patch 1.2, and this resulted in the two values no longer being the same on the character
sheet.


Prior to patch 1.2, these values were additive, like so: Damage * (1 + Attacker_Exp – Target_Exp)


This system was simple and worked for players with similar amounts of expertise but breaks down for large differences in expertise values. For example, consider player A with 50% expertise fighting player B with 0% Expertise. When A attacks B, he does 150% damage, and when B attacks A, he does 50% damage. This means Player A gets a 50% damage boost as intended, but that 50% DR boost means he gained 100% survivability (player B is doing 50% damage, so he now must deal twice as much damage to kill player A).


In patch 1.2, this formula was changed so that these values are now multiplicative, like so: Damage * (1 + Attacker_Exp) / (1 + Target_Exp)


So using our 50% expertise example again: When A attacks B, he still does 150% damage, but now when B attacks A, he does 1 / (1 + 0.5) ~= 67% damage. On player A's character sheet, this shows up as 50.00% damage boost and 33.33% damage reduction, which are inverses of each other (player A deals 50% more damage to player B, and player B must deal 50% more damage to order to kill player A). Note that they'll still cancel out for two people with the same Expertise value, just as they did pre-patch 1.2.


Healing is on a completely separate balance axis, where we use expertise vs. trauma to get the healing rate we want in PvP. We were pretty happy with the healing rates before patch 1.2, but the expertise budgets on the PvP items increased dramatically, and that in turn increased the healing bonus to unacceptable levels. We considered increasing trauma to compensate but didn't like how much this penalized healers without expertise, so instead we decided to reduce the percentage of healing boost per point of expertise. The goal was that a player in full Battlemaster should end up with approximately the same percentage of healing boost before and after patch 1.2, despite the increased amount of expertise on his gear.




Sorcerers and Sages were hit pretty hard in the update. Some players have said, "Good, they needed to be nerfed," because there have been instances of Operatives and Mercenaries being passed up for flashpoints and operations because Sorcerers could "do a better job." However -- and I'm sure you've heard it -- Sorcs and Sages are complaining that their viability in PvP has been greatly reduced because when they face, for instance, a Sentinel, he can literally prevent them from ever being able to drop their major heal. Did this change accomplish what you'd hoped, and why do you think players are having these reactions?


We've actually answered this question publicly several times, but it seems when players don't like the answer, they keep asking hoping it will change. The fact is, Sorcerer and Sage healers were in a position where they could completely bypass resource management, which is intended to be a large factor of successful healing gameplay. In PvE, they're right where we want them. In PvP, there are ways to counter the health hit you take in managing your resources, and short of telling players what to do and when to do it, we're comfortable with how things are playing right now. That's not to say that we're "done," and things won't change again. But healers are actually closer to target than they've ever been in the past.


In PvP specifically, I think it would be a fine argument to make that we've increased the minimum skill required to play a Sorcerer or Sage healer, but currently we're not buying that they are ineffective or have less potential than other healers. What I am concerned about and have my eyes on, specifically, is that this skill requirement is too high for comfort. The difficulty in addressing this issue comes from finding just the right way to improve ease of use and accessibility without affecting throughput and resource management. Again, we're never "done," and it's likely that future changes to Sorcerer and Sage healers will aim at addressing this specific issue, but it's extremely unlikely that we'll go "whoops, we went too far" and undo what we've already done. So don't keep asking if that's what you're hoping to hear.




The post says, "We will likely take some minor to moderate action about the overall DPS being higher in the near future by adjustments to the magnitude and duration of offensive relics." Can you elaborate on what some of those changes are going to be?


In PvP, we've found that the combination of relics, adrenals, and powerful, short-duration buff abilities have led to more burst damage and shorter kill times than we originally intended. However, we are happy with the amount of sustained damage the relics offer, and our PvE content has been balanced around those values. Our current plan is to reduce the magnitude of the relic buffs but increase the duration. So they'll contribute less burst damage to a short PvP fight, but their damage contribution to a flashpoint or operation boss fight will remain approximately the same. However, this plan has not been finalized yet, and we are looking at other ways to reduce burst damage as well. So this plan may differ significantly from what eventually goes live.


Also, the post mentioned an issue with stacking debuffs. Do we have an update for that yet?


We're actually in the midst of finalizing and verifying the code that prevents like debuffs from stacking with one another. If we like what we see, we'll have this fix live "soon."


I love the overall vision for PvP in general, and it's been said that SWTOR has some of the most balanced PvP in MMOs. Where do you feel you sit with that balance currently? And what provisions have you taken to help maintain that balance or improve on it?


Balance is hard to quantify on paper but relatively easy to qualify with first-hand play experience. That means that everyone has an opinion, but those opinions are very difficult to validate. Like I've said before, all of our math comes with a great big coefficient in front of it called "assumptions," and it has a massive effect on the end result of that math. Such a massive effect, in fact, that so far whenever we find an imbalance, it's our assumptions that change and our formulas that stay the same.


Currently, we're "happy" with where we sit balance-wise in a global aspect of the game, but all that really means is that we're not up all hours of the night pulling out our hair screaming, "How do we fix this?!" Instead, we're coming in to work each day calmly asking, "How do we fix this?" That's the job, after all.


Balance going forward just means keeping up our vigilance and staying aware of current issues and coming up with valid ways to address them. Everyone has an opinion on ways to address the various balance issues that surface, but the truth is we spend the vast majority of our time finding and addressing issues that we hope to never allow to surface. The rest of the job is figuring out which fix works for the game and doesn't mess anything else up. I'm not sure it's possible to install balancing provisions (at least not any players would welcome), but we are being as proactive as possible.


Thanks, James for speaking with us. We'll talk again soon!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

1.3 patch and what is coming

A small list as to what we should expect for 1.3.




SERVER ONLY GROUP FINDER for:


1) Flashpoints
2) Heroic Flashpoints
3) Operations (Story Mode only)
4) Planet Content (Group Quests)


LEGACY PERKS


The legacy perks that can be already found on the Future tab of Legacy


ADAPTIVE GEAR


Social gear would adapt to the armor type of user. Bikini tanks!


AUGMENT TABLES


Augment tables would be added to the game where players would be able to add an augment slot to any piece of wearable gear armor. No more need of crit crafting. All of end game gear would be finally equivalent.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Group Finder for Operations coming in 1.3!

Amazing news for all of you that liked the LFR in WoW and wanted that feature on SWTOR. In the latest official podcast, Damion Schubert said that in the upcoming 1.3, group finder would be used for Flaspoints, Heroic Mode Flashpoints, Group Missions and STORY MODE OPERATIONS!




Expect 1.3 to hit really really soon the live servers and let's hope that Bioware will continue to give more alpha quality content!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Critical and Surge caps!

After parsing as much as I could and while I was trying to adjust my stats to optimal. I decide to post the results of my research and the things that I find in the internet.


First of all, I'll have to determine what cap is. One rating is caped when it has reached the maximum number/percentage. For example reach 100% critical chance, when all of your attacks are critical. As you already know most of the rating have a diminishing scaling when you stack them. What I'm going talk now is soft cap. Soft cap is the point where a stat suddenly becomes less useful and another stat becomes more valuable.


Here is the graph that I found on mmo-mechanics:










As you can see, from a point and further, stats like surge and critical etc have a breakpoint, when if it reached, it stops to be optimal. Here:


SOFT CAP


Surge: 300 rating
Critical: 450 rating




An example to what soft cap, is surge rating. At 200 rating, you have 72% critical multiplier whereas 250 rating rise it to 76%. That means that the 50 rating that is spend to surge could be another stat that would benefit you more.




A general small guide to gear up is:


Accuracy, up until 100% cap
Surge, up until 300
Crit, up until 450
Power




Power on the other hand has no cap. In general you should know that power boost your baseline attack/heal and is a stat that increase your performance directly. I would just healer to focus more to power than surge/critical as they should be depended on RNG critical heals.




Finally, a small tip. You can get critical not only from your critical rating and your main stat but also from some of the base stats of other classes.


WARRIOR/KNIGHT: Strength AND Willpower
BOUNTY HUNTER/TROOPER: Aim AND Cunning
INQUISITOR/CONSULAR: Willpower AND Strength
IMPERIAL AGENT/SMUGGLER: Cunning AND Aim


So, if you are a min-maxer, don't forget to add some more datacrons to your hunting!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

New Abilities Suggestion



Bioware has done a good job with classes’ abilities. They've created interesting rotations and playstyles. For me, the addition of cover classes is revolutionary and something closer to modern warfare. The feeling I have thought is that they could do better in some things. Most classes don't have enough utilities or I think they should have a more dynamic playstyles. I have some abilities I would suggest. I know that they cannot changes classes midgame but they could surely change some with an expansion.


For Warriors/Knights both AC:


     Disarm. 90sec CD. Cho mai is used a lot by both Jedi and Sith. It would last for 12sec and it would prevent abilities that require a weapon.
     Force Deflection. 30sec CD, last for 6 secs, the Jedi/Sith uses the Force to defend an attack and reflect it back to the attacker.


For Juggernauts/Guardians:


     Battle Prowess. 120sec CD. For 12sec you deal and receive 20% more damage, you are allowed to use Vicious Throw/Dispatch during the duration and you are immune to slows and throwbacks.


For Marauders/Sentinels:


     Cower in Fear. 60sec CD. Incapacitate your opponent for 60sec/8scs in PvP. Effect breaks if any damage is dealt after 2secs.
     Chasing Throw. 20sec CD. Throws your main hand lighsaber, doing little damage, increase your speed by 30% for 4secs.


 Both classes should have disarm abilities that are popular in SW universe and movies. Plus, the reflect ability is something that is also used by the Jedi in the movies when they deflect back their enemies weapon blasts. Now, a big dps CD is missing in Juggernauts/Knights dps rotation that's why I believe Battle Prowess will come in hand. Finally, a Marauder/Sentinel has enough dps but lack in Crowd Controls. Another stun will help them kite and survive better than what they have now. As Juggernauts/Knights have more mobility I believe Marauders could get a small sprint.




For Inquisitors/Consulars both AC:


     Battle Meditation. 180sec CD. Increases the party's damage and healing done by 15%. For me, Battle Meditation is the most iconic Force ability in the Old Republic era and would make many people happy if it's implanted.
     
For Sorcerers/Sages:


     Force Mark. 120sec CD. Marks an opponent for 30sec. Every time that the marked opponent receives damage from the Sorcerer/Sage, heals up to 3 allies standing in 15meters for 30% of the damage from the marked opponent takes. If an ally is marked then any heal he receives from Sorcerer/Sage, damage up to 3 enemies standing in 15 meters for 30% of the healing done to the marked ally.
     Force Slow. 40sec CD. Any enemy inflicted by this ability has his next channeled or casting ability used after 6sec to have it's time to activate increased by 100%.
     Dreadmaster. Strikes fear in the enemy, causing him to cower in fear for up to 20 sec.  Damage caused may interrupt the effect.  Only 1 target can be feared at a time.


For Assassins/Shadows:


     Shatterpoint. 240sec CD. Increase your abilities critical chance by 40% for 12sec.
    Precognition. 180sec CD. You are immune to all damage for 8sec. You also do 50% less damage.


Battle meditation is an ability that I was surprised that didn't make it to the game. Especially when there's only one advance class with the ability to increase the performance of a group. For me, Inquisitors/Consulars are the most polished and all-around class and they don't need a big change. Force Mark is a very interesting ability as it’ll give a twist that is needed in a mmo. Force Slow gives a strong weapon against healers and other ranged dps. Assassins/Shadows are in need of a big dps CD. Also, fear fits into sorcs/sages. Shatterpoint is also a very interesting Force Power in the SW universe that could fit in the Assassins/Shadows story, as the seeker of Force knowledge. Same goes for Precognition. A strong defensive CD, mostly for the assassins dpsers than the tank. In general, the SW universe has very interesting Force Powers that could spice up the force users gameplay.






For Imperial Agents/Smugglers both AC:


     Carefull Shot. 90sec CD. Disarms the opponent for 12secs. A really, really good ability that is missing right now.
     Duty Calls. 180sec CD. Whenever you are attacked by an enemy your moving speed is increased by 4% for 12sec. It can stack up to 5 times.


For Operatives/Scoundrels:


     Erradicate. 180sec CD. Attempts to break the damage reduction shields and all invulnerabilities. Needs to be in cover.
    Tactital Superiority. 120sec CD. For the next 6sec all of your abilities don't consume the Tactical Advantage buff.
    Cloaking Area. 180sec CD. Creates a an Invisible Area in 10m around the Operative/Scoundrel for 6sec. Enemies are confused and can't target into or out of the cloaking area.


For Snipers/Gunslingers:


     Emergency Countermeasures. 180sec CD. Decrease the CD of all of your abilities by 50%.
     Sniper's Patience. After remaining stationary for 4sec you get sniper's patience that increases your next Snipe or Ambush critical chance by 3%. Stacks up to 5 times.
     Master Marksman. 120sec CD. For the next 20sec it allows the Sniper to shoot Snipe out of cover and while you are moving. Every Snipe that is shot consumes a Sniper's Patience buff. Any melee attack you receive has a 50% chance to restore a Sniper's Patience buff. This effect cannot occur more than once every 6sec.




IA/Smuggler should have a Disarm ability, a defensive CD needed in game. As class with no sprint, no charge and with little mobility a small moving speed buff is needed. Operatives/Scoundrels got nerf when their burst was reduced. Right now it's a class that has little chance in a head on against most melees and ranged. Eradicate will break the defense of their opponent, forcing them against a wall. Tactical Superiority will help them hit harder against kiting opponents. Snipers/Gunslingers are a class of area denial, where they can protect their spot pretty easily. The problem is when they'll get force to battle in close quarters. Sniper's Patience and Master Marksman will give Snipers/Gunslingers the chance to kite, to maintain their range against melee. Also, a stationary covered Sniper that is an upper level, cannot be charged, cannot get countered from Warriors/Knights. Give Snipers mobility and give Warriors the chance to land on them.






For Bounty Hunters/Trooper both AC:


     Gravity Generator. 30sec CD. Places a gravity generator that pulls all enemies up to 15m to its center. Then it slows them for 50% until they leave the generator’s range.
     Carbonite Shell. 180sec CD. You create a carbonite shell around you that makes you invulnerable to any damage. Lasts for 6sec.
      Repelling Shield. 45sec CD. You use your shield to absorb an attack of an enemy and in the next 6sec you can unleash it back to an opponent.




For Mercenaries/Commandos:


     Matter Transmitter. Place at your feet the exit of a matter transmitter device. After that, every 40sec you can use a second matter transmitter and enter into the hoop that it's created and be transmitted to the exit.
     Warmachine. 21sec CD. 20m range. Fires a barrage of missiles that explode on contact, doing high damage and increasing all damage dealt for 15% for the next 9sec. The missiles can hit the target even if the enemy is not in line of sight.


For Powertechs/Vanguards:


     Armor of Retribution. 60sec CD. The heat of your armor burns every enemy that attacks you in melee range for 30sec.
     Cold Blood. 60 sec CD. Powertech gains his calm and rally his allies removing all Fear and Disorient effects from party and ops member. This ability can be used even when the user is afflicted with such effects.


Bounty Hunters/Troopers are in a very interesting spot in my opinion. Heavy geared, can take a beating... Really, really like them. They still need some more dynamic playstyle. Gravity Generator is a nice crowd control ability that can be follow by Death from Above/Mortar Volley. Carbonite Shell will give a big defensive CD that would mostly help the dps than healers or tanks. Mercs and Commandos are quite good right now. They lack mobility as Arsenal/Gunnery and even though they get some in Pyrotech/Assault Specialist, they lose some dps. Instead of giving more instant abilities I suggest Matter Transmitter. Same goes for Warmachine that would be a nice and unique ability. Totally worth against fleeing enemies that try to hide behind a crate to heal themselves up. Right now, mercs/commandos feel like a stationary turret. Even if it's intended, I believe that it would be fun to give them some kite ability. Powertechs on the other hand are extremely well designed. Great mobility, lots and lots of abilities the only thing I came up with is a dot against melee and a CD to remove fear to give them some more fast paced action.


OVERALL


In general there are many interesting abilities but are not equally scattered. For example Marauders/Sentinels seem to be more interesting than Juggernauts/Guardians dps, especially in PvP. Marauders/Sentinels get a healing debuff, a sort vanish and stealth, a health regeneration and finally a major dps increase, whereas Juggs/Guardians only have an extra charge to their allies, a temporary increase of health and a defensive cooldown. I hope my suggestion would mostly instigate of a more all around abilities, with more mobility and versability. DPS rotations are mostly fine and with the changes in AoE heals I'm mostly happy with the healer experiences so far.