Foliage is going to be a lot more beautiful and realistic. Instead of looking solid and therefore unnaturally dark when viewed against the sun, players with their Shader Complexity set to High will notice that leaves and grass will be moderately translucent, allowing sunlight to filter through them. While this may be but one small step for graphics, it’s joined by “some even better improvements in the pipe,” according to Cloward.
Star Wars: The Old Republic has been making a move toward fewer servers with higher populations for a while, but tomorrow’s maintenance is the final step. After character transfers earlier in the year and the higher-population technology rollout, the server lists are being fully merged as of tomorrow. If you still have characters on a locked server, they will be transferred over to their new home tomorrow whether you like it or not.
For those players curious about their new destination or the ever-present naming issue, the team has created an FAQ to answer any obvious questions. The character limit on the destination servers has also been raised to 12. Players who have more than 12 total characters after consolidation will still have access to all of their characters but cannot create any new characters until they delete a few (although all of the characters will be available for play). As with any sort of transfer, there’s still some ambiguity about how smoothly everything will run, so players will have to keep their eyes peeled, log in tomorrow, and see what happens after the dust settles.
The 1.4 update features the new Terror from Beyond operation as well as new weapons and armor, group finder tweaks, and facial emotes and associated slash commands. You’ll need a pre-existing PTS character, and you can leave your testing feedback on the official forums. Head past the break for the latest developer dispatch video that looks at the new operation.
As Game Update 1.4 is getting closer, BioWare devs share their plans concerning class changes and balance. In a comprehensive Developer Update Blog post, Senior Designer Austin Peckenpaugh explains how several adjustments in key areas of class gameplay such as resolve & crowd control but also class changes are meant to bring players a more non-frustrating, balanced combat experience:
For Game Update 1.4, we wanted to address several key issues with class gameplay usability and balance. Foremost among these are adjustments to crowd control and the Resolve system, the subsequent class changes made to harmonize with those control adjustments, and a reevaluation of stealth spec gameplay.
Posted by: Patch Notes 1.3.0a – 6/28/2012
- Leaving a Group Finder group where all other members have disconnected will no longer cause players to be temporarily locked out of Group Finder.
- Flashpoints and Operations will no longer occasionally reset and eject players who have recently used Group Finder for a replacement member.
- Ballistic and Knockback effects no longer occasionally de-sync the character’s location, which could cause characters to not interact properly with the world (such as being able to be hit by melee attacks when the character appeared to be out of range).
Are you looking forward to playing a Cathar in Star Wars: The Old Republic? Or are you looking forward to playing a different species? According to the latest round of community answers for the game, the Cathar might be one of many new species unlocked if they perform well once players get their hands on the new race. Certainly there are some other species that players are clamoring for as well, and the team is investigating other options.
The answers also go into the details regarding how a tiebreaker is determined in the game’s Voidstar matches; a tie goes to whichever team cleared the most objectives in the least amount of time. If none of this round of answers puts your burning questions to rest, there’s always hope for next week; head on over to the official question thread and post it for next week’s questions.
The newest patch for Star Wars: The Old Republic is just around the corner. Specifically, it’s aimed at next Tuesday, following an extended maintenance period on the servers. So with the fruits of the design team’s labor on the close horizon, it might be interesting to get a better insight into the design process with this week’s community question-and-answer session, which includes a walkthrough of the process leading to the design of a new armor set.
For those wondering about how loot is randomly rolled, the answers also contain a detailed breakdown of the process for determining what an enemy will drop. There’s also confirmation that players can expect more character slots in the future, which is certainly good news for any players already feeling the pinch from recent character transfers. Take a look at the full list of answers, and as always, you can submit your questions for next week on the official thread.
The latest community question-and-answer session for Star Wars: The Old Republic doesn’t answer any questions you may have about the server change kerfluffle. It does, however, answer a large variety of questions about mechanical changes and upcoming improvements to the game. If you’re wondering about acquiring your very own HK droid, for instance, you should know that the designers are currently thinking it’s going to involve a galaxy-wide quest, a level-50 character on one faction, a mid-level character on the other faction, and some different approaches to the game as a whole.
Most of the other answers are somewhat less far-reaching, such as the rationale behind limiting group finder flashpoints to instances within a player’s level range to avoid abuse. Players wondering about the fact that you can’t find certain sister stats on the same Enhancements (such as Critical Rating and Power) can also find an answer which breaks down how stats are grouped together and why obviously linked stats are kept separate. Players should take the time to examine the full list of answers, and add any new questions they may have to the official thread for next week.
Game Update 1.3 brings some improvements to PvP, aswell as new items, schematics and vanity pets.
New PvP Mission (Free Recruit Gear)
With the Game Update 1.3, as soon as you get to level 50, you will have a new PvP mission called New Technology available at the Mission Terminal on the Imperial and Republic Fleets located in the Combat Training Quarter. The mission is not repeatable, it can only be done one time.
After you accept the mission, simply turn it in, at the same terminal and you will have to chose between the following rewards:
- Recruit Gear Box
- Recruit Credit Redemption Token
The Recruit Gear Box option depends on the class your character is. For example if you are a Juggernaut you can choose between Recruit War Leader’s Gear box and Recruit Vindicator’s Gear box.
These boxes contain the FULL set of Recruit Gear, and that means you have all items for example: weapon, ofhand, relics, ears, implants, etc.
It’s time for yet another Star Wars: The Old Republic community Q&A. This time around, the devs asked players to move away from asking about far-future content (which often garners unspecific, uninformative answers) and instead ask about current features and the philosophy behind certain design decisions. As a result, there are a number of questions about the additions of the upcoming patch 1.3, such as the group finder and ranked warzones.
In addition, game designer Jason Attard takes the time to explain exactly what Presence does and the benefits and detriments to its use. Efficiency bonuses for crew skills are also mentioned, with the dev clarifying that efficiency, which grants a speed bonus when crafting items, increases in proportion with that crewmate’s affection for you, up to a max of 15% efficiency. For the full Q&A session and all the juicy details therein, head on over to the game’s official site.
- 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.
- Corrected an issue that could cause Companion Characters to appear without a head when wearing certain headgear.
Flashpoints and Operations
- Boss encounters no longer drop rewards until the entire encounter has been cleared of enemies.
- Corrected an issue that could prevent Flashpoint mission steps from updating properly if players were disconnected during a Flashpoint.
- Players can no longer bypass the lockout timer for some boss encounters.
- Corrected an issue that could prevent players from receiving mission credit upon defeating Soa.
- After defeating Firebrand and Stormcaller, players now collect rewards from the Firebrand Battle Tank rather than a loot chest.
Missions and NPCs
This week’s Community Q&A continues to focus on questions about features and systems already present in-game. Also, the next Q&A, with an emphasis on Game Update 1.3, has been scheduled for May 25th. The devs felt it’s appropriate to allow more time for questions to accumulate and avoid answering to the same ones repeatedly.
As a result of the unforseen issues that appeared post patch 1.2.3 (more info here), BioWare will deploy a patch on May 9th:
Posted by: BioWare
We will be deploying a patch and performing an unscheduled maintenance this Wednesday, May 9th, 2012. Patch notes will be made available shortly after the servers come back up.
The servers will be down for four hours on Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 from 2AM CDT (12AM PDT/3AM EDT/8AM BST/9AM CEST/5PM AEST) until 6AM CDT (4AM PDT/7AM EDT/12PM BST/1PM CEST/9PM AEST). All game servers will be offline during this period. This maintenance is expected to take no more than four hours, but could be extended.
After the maintenance, please login via the launcher to download the latest patch. If your launcher was open during the maintenance, you must close and reopen it for a fresh login.
Date: Thursday, May 9th, 2012
Time: 2AM CDT (12AM PDT/3AM EDT/8AM BST/9AM CEST/5PM AEST) until 6AM CDT (4AM PDT/7AM EDT/12PM BST/1PM CEST/9PM AEST).
All game servers will be offline during this period. This game maintenance is expected to take no more than four hours.
Thank you for your patience as we maintain service for Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.
Update: It seems the maintenance has been postponed.
Posted by: Bioware
Update: This maintenance period has been postponed and the servers will NOT be taken offline tonight. We’ll post more information about the rescheduled time in this thread as soon as it is available. Thank you for your patience.
Amidst all the other news from Star Wars: The Old Republic, it’s easy to overlook the fact that the game’s staff has been at work on an official podcast for fans. The first episode of that podcast is now available. Hosts Brooks Guthrie and Eric Musco have made the podcast available for listeners on YouTube, and the inaugural episode features plenty for fans to enjoy, starting with an interview about the recently released patch 1.2 as well as future content for patch 1.3.
The interview covers a number of topics regarding both the present and future patch, including elements such as the refinements to the guild bank system and some of the unexpected additions to the Legacy system (including rocket boots and the brawling system). Community coordinator David Bass also talks about the team’s presence at PAX East 2012 as well as the team’s convention plans for the rest of the year
BioWare has often stated that fans are central Star Wars: The Old Republic’s development. Decisions ranging from the weapon design to ranked warzones have been influenced by direct feedback from fans. So this week, the SWTOR community team has shifted its focus back on the fans by highlighting some of the extraordinary players of the game in the triumphant return of Fan Friday, which highlights (among others) the image above by Spartanash and others that display player characters in powerful poses and ornate outfits.
The community team says that player Iwipe is an “incredible asset” to the community because of her helpful community guides. Specifically, her 1.2 Dailies and PvE Gear Guide, Hardmode Flashpoint Loot List, and Rakghoul Outbreak Guide top the list of her most impressive pieces. When asked why she writes these guides, she explained, “Forums are a great source of information but it takes time to dig through and find relevant info so I started writing guides and such to help the community out.”
The team has also posted this week’s Community Q&A, which covers purple lightsaber crystals, guild mail, mentoring systems, cross-server legacy implementation, and more. And if that weren’t enough, EA has put the whole game on sale for the weekend for just $34.44.