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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

SWTOR Guild Summit Day 1

Posted by SBFord Monday March 5 2012 at 10:16AM
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And the rest...

The auction house is "about 80% less stupid already" but the team isn't ready to reveal exactly what that means yet. :)

PvE:

Currently:

  • Levelling is in good shape
  • Need more story
Update 1.2
  • Unify to chest option is back
  • New daily missions on Corellia: Any piece can be toggled on/off
  • Higher resolution textures
Future
  • Dual and multi-spec: Switch between skill tree builds and, later, switching changes gear loadout too
  • When do we get more story? This year. :)
  •  

User Interface

  • The UI will be totally editable.
  • Colors display in blue and green. Blue is not turned on, green is.
  • Everything can be moved around anywhere on the screen.
  • Every element is scalable.
  • Mission tracker depth can be adjusted
  • Move secondary windows wherever you want in whatever size you want
  • Some preset templates will be included
  • Custom UI configurations can be saved as XML files so you can swap configurations with other players

Guild Features

"Guilds are incredibly important to our organization as a whole."

Current state:

  • Bare bones: UI is functional but could use more features
  • Guilds want tools to make coordination easier
  • Guilds want to show off how awesome they are
In 1.2
  • Guild banks: Shared bank for members, 7 bank tabs in escallating price, detailed control for guild leaders (who can access tabs, some even requiring authenticators to access)
Future
  • Guild calendar: create events, share with non-guildmates
  • Guild emblems to show on armor in certian hot spots
  • Guild advertising: set up flags for finding guilds inside the game space
  • Guild progression
  • Guild capital ships design exists (a long way off!) "We will do it when we can do it right."

Roleplaying

Asking for what RP guilds need in terms of tools to facilitate RP.

Current State:

  • More ambience and life on worlds
  • Legacy features
Future:
  • Character recustomization
  • Chat bubbles
  • More orange gear with viability at end game: where what you want, whenever you want
  • Events team - not talking about it :)
  • Improving spawning tech will address feeling of static worlds, more ambient creatures, more moving parts everywhere, "sittable" chairs

Economy and Crew Skills

57% to 42% Empire to Republic across all servers

Leveling curve is amazingly smooth in upward progression

  • 80% of level 50s have <1M credits
  • Repair costs seen as too high
  • Exploits
    • Ilum chest looking -- implementing measures in 1.2
    • Track down bots quickly and remove
    • Credit spam in-game is fairly minor compared to other MMOs, almost instantaneous removal of spammers
Crew Skills
  • System overall is well received
In 1.2
  • Legacy upgrades
  • Endgame mods from Reverse Engineering (better reverse engineering returns, more can be reversed engineered, etcl), craft operations gear with critical augments slots
  • Every crew skill is being given an endgame purpose

Legacy System

20,000 checking out the Live Stream!

MULTI SPEC is coming that will probably be tied to the Legacy System.

Shortcomings

  • Essentially, a very pretty experience bar
  • The bar has a function

What's coming in 1.2

  • Family tree is automatically updated with characters and how they fit into your legacy
  • Reach level 50 with a species to unlock that species for all future Legacy characters
  • Reach level 50 with a human, gain presence increase for all existing and new Legacy chars
  • Legacy Global Unocks: Complete chapter 2, unlock unique class emote, unlock current class's buff for all other Legacy characters
  • Complete chapter 3: Unlock current class's "Heroic Ability" for all other Legacy characters. EX: Finish Chapt 3 with a Sith Warrior, unlock Heroic Ability: Force Choke. Can use Force Choke on all Legacy chars during heroic moments.
  • Complete all missions for a companion "type" unlocks shorter cooldown and longer duration for heroic moment for the first companion of each "type" (ranges, etc), unlock a small stat boost for first companion of each type and a Presence buff for each companion completed.
  • Global Unlocks: Alignment Abilities: Reach level 50 and gain Dark V, Lioght V or neutral alignment unlocks active abilities for all Legacy chars (jab, uppercut, etc.)
  • Social Rank unlocks: Dance with companion, new emotes (RP emotes)
  • Purchaseable Legacy Rewards: Most rewards can be unlocked OR purchased. They are expensive and retroactive.
  • Cooldown reductions: Emergency fleet pass, quick travel, JETPACKS (short duration sprint, not free flight)
  • Sprint moved to level 1
  • Items for ships including training dummies, operations/warzone dummies (ops dummy takes damage like a boss, wz dummies take damagej like a player)
  • Ship Repair droid: repair or buy items, sells upgrades for ship droids that improve specifiic crafting abilities
  • Ship board mailbox!
  • Ship board auction house (way up the legacy to keep fleets active)
  • Bound to Legacy: Full mailing options, can trade within Legacy if not other players
  • Legacy Appearances

Future

  • Character specific rewards, buffs to help speed early game progression, purchaseable items/abilities for new characters

Will be bringing in rewards, in the form of valor or something (their words not mine) for "running around the world killin gpeople".

18,000 people watching the Live Stream of the Guild Summit. That's just awesome! :)

Player vs Player

Warzone

Issues

  • Lots playing
  • Medal system not balanced across classes
  • No ability to queue for specific warzones
  • Players AFKing
Warzones in Patch 1.2:
  • New Warzone: Novare Coast
  • Same Faction vs Same Faction game play
  • Majority control type objective
  • Ranked PvP pre-season will debut with 1.2
    • Character ratings for both solo and group play
    • ELO rating system
  • New dailies
  • Removing incentives to quit early
  • 18 new medals including objective based
  • Warzone rewards based on earning medals
    • Discouraging farming: More medals for completing a warzone faster
    • Medal rewards capped.
  • VOTE TO KICK with measures to prevent abuse
  • Efforts to combat AFK: Minimal participation to earn the medal. Don't do anything, don't get anything.
  • New tier of PvP gear: War Hero, greater stat differences from PvE gear, new lightsaber colors, new PvP crafting,
  • Existing warzones will allow same faction vs same faction matches. No timeline announced.
  • Cross server Warzone queuing: Incentives for and devs will try matching same-server opponents.
  • 8-person queuing, formalize it later with "teams". Persistent groups across warzones will be forthcoming.
OPEN WORLD PVP
 
Not terribly popular, Ilum has some problems (LOL!)
 
In 1.2
 
  • Going back to drawing board on Ilum (BIG applause)
  • Redesigning Ilum to be more fun and engaging
  • Removing Ilum PvP quests
  • Rewards being moved to Warzones
  • Less random rewards for PvP progression
FUTURE Open World PvP
  • Ilum redesign
  • Minor changes to Outlaw's Den
  • Mirror class imbalances, ongoing effort to address all issues
  • Team working on hacking/exploiting issues

The response from the assembled guild leaders is very positive about the answers they've been given to the questions they''ve asked.

Flashpoints and Operations that don't currently have them will have a hard mode added to them at some point.

The team is definitely working on splitting operations teams with some taking on ground combat, some in space combat, etc. James Ohlen confirmed that this is something the team is very interested in and will be working on in the future.

James Ohlen: We have a secret project with regard to space but that's all I can say for now.

Operations & Flashpoints

James Ohlen, Daniel Erickson (now Lead Game Designer), Gabe Amatangelo, Georg Zoeller, Damion Schubert, Emmanel Lusinchi are the panelists

Operations (Gabe):

  • 38% level 50 players have played an Operation
  • Bugs in Eternity Vault
  • More frustrating than other areas
  • High priority on fixing operations
  • Looting system in Normal needs improvements, switching to regular loot mode in the near future
  • Existing operations are relatively easy
  • Hard & nightmare modes give same loot
In 1.2
  • New operation, Explosive Conflict, considered Tier 2
    • Harder than current operations
    • Nightmare mode to be a more serious challenge
    • Needs serious testing and balancing, will not launch in 1.2
  • New "Story" difficulty mode for all Operations
  • Overarching story arcs should be exerienced by everyone
  • Story mode can be played without having to "gear up"
  • To compensate, hard mode being made more challenging
  • Wear what you want in Operations with extraction of mods and set bonuses
  • Nightmoare mode will be only way to get top tier gear
The team is focused on bug fixing and working with extensive guild testing of new features. They are hoping to make character copies to PTS.
 
Two operations in development that are more challenging and rewarding. Fight the boss, not the game. More info on screens with "visceral" cues.
 
Flashpoints
  • Flashpoints are enjoyable
  • Need better endgame progression via FP
  • Difficulty in finding groups
Update 1.2
 
New Flashpoint, Lost Island
 
Future:
 
More FP coming, Group Finder (coming in 1.3) that will be all purpose for missions, Flashpoints etc. SINGLE SERVER ONLY!

GUILD SUMMIT: 2:00 pm CST

POKKET'S HERE! Whoot! :)

The Summit is now ready to kick into high gear now that studio tours and lunch are over with. Everybody's pumped and ready to go.

The afternoon sessions are going to be Bioware's version of speed dating with six panel discussions coming in the next four hours. It should be fascinating as guild reps will get to ask their questions and provide feedback directly to the dev team.

On an unrelated side note: I have never been around a more committed group of players before. Most will freely admit that there are things they want to see changed and are hopeful that this week's summit will bring about changes to the game. We'll keep in touch with some of them over the coming weeks and months and let you know how they perceive their voices were heard.

Next upcoming: Bioware studio tour but no pictures inside dang it. :(

Everyone is running around in groovy guild summit tshirts. The crowd is overwhelmingly male, 30+. No one so far is in costume though there are some wicked tshirts from various guilds. There are guilds representatives from around the world and they're an enthusiastic group they are.

I will refrain from nerd convention jokes, however. They're simply such happy folks I can't do it to them. :)

Game Update 1.2 - Bioware showing off new features in a new video.

  • new flashpoint: lost Island
  • Expanded legacy system: wicked new interface
  • Advanced options in customization of the UI
  • Imrpoved character models and customization
  • new mini pets
  • guild banks
  • new gear
  • new light sabre colors
  • Lost Island Flashpoint
  • User Interface customization: BIG round of applause
  • Warzone rankings: Can play ranked matches
  • New ranked gear tiers
  • In game events to be introduced: Limited time events created by a dedicated team. Few details forthcoming to keep it surprising for players
  • Guild banks coming to the excitement of the crowd. Shared bank, can unlock up to 7 tabs, detailed controls for leaders
  • Will deploy to PTS "soon" and hit live servers "when testing is complete"
  • "We're aiming for early April"
BillMurphy writes:

Overwhelmingly male?  Or JUST AWESOMELY MALE? Breathe in the sweet aroma of man-musk, Suzie.

Mon Mar 05 2012 10:41AM Report
DarkPony writes:

*looks at Suzie, looks at Bill, then slowly backs out of this topic*

Just leave me out of this, u gusy ...

Mon Mar 05 2012 12:00PM Report
BadSpock writes:

I'll take "Features that should have been in at launch" for 1,000 Alex.

Kind of makes you wonder if the whole "big evil EA forcing it out the door for the holidays" thing was/is true or not?

Mon Mar 05 2012 1:22PM Report
Samhael writes:

ouch, pushed back to April so early this month? No mention of dual specs for 1.2?  My guess is subs are going to take a hit. I may hold off as well and check it out when that stuff is in game.

Mon Mar 05 2012 2:16PM Report
Sylviodrood writes:

Too little tooo late for all these features for me.

Mon Mar 05 2012 2:17PM Report
holifeet writes:

It's a bit of a shame that they don't think they can get it in before the next one month sub renewal date (around 20th March). Whilst I like the game, it was clear that they lost a huge slab of people in February. Maybe that was the last of those people in two minds, but I can't see that sadly.

Mon Mar 05 2012 2:37PM Report
Fuel68 writes:

All of this is just lost opportunity.  Would-of, could-of, should-of,... at the time of release with ALL of the features mentioned above.  Half-assed completed game at release and now theyre pushing back v1.2 to April '12?!  *shakes head* Sheesh... come on, seriously?  As stated previously, too little, too late--cancelled subscription.

Mon Mar 05 2012 2:50PM Report
Tardcore writes:

Great. So if they had just pushed back launch couple of more months they wouldn't have so much egg on their faces.

Mon Mar 05 2012 3:36PM Report
Butch808 writes:

I've cancelled my sub and nothing in 1.2 looks intresting to me, i guess when they release the space expansion  i will check the game out again.

Mon Mar 05 2012 4:08PM Report
Mors.Magne writes: Running battles should be happening on all planets - not just the last one. Basically, there is not much new happening, but I think everyone here has sort of known this for a while. Mon Mar 05 2012 4:32PM Report
hikaru77 writes:

 1.2 looks awesome, and is just the beginning they are even talking about how they will make the worlds more ¨alive¨ and not so static like they are now. So much for the future of this game, good thing i have the patient to see this game grow with everysingle update. in 6 months swtor will be just huge.

Mon Mar 05 2012 5:31PM Report
iceman00 writes:

As Spock said, around 90% of the things mentioned really really really needed to be in at launch.

I like some of these things.  Though one gripe.

How can they say on one hand that the crew skill section was "overall well received", and then on the other state that the changes will make every crew skill feel like it has a purpose for the endgame?

As to whether or not it will actually work, well, time to wait and see.  TOR had a really short window to keep me (around 6 months as it was when I was a fan of the game), and that window is for all intents and purposes done.  Yet still wish it well.

Mon Mar 05 2012 6:49PM Report
newbo writes:

Whatever, patch looks good enough to keep me for another month. I'll be sure to enjoy it for what it is, as I'm pretty sure based off watching the whole livestream that its going in a direction I can live with.

Mon Mar 05 2012 7:17PM Report
Dredphyre writes:

So they've got the Guild Summit underway...when have they scheduled the Solo Player Summit? 

Tue Mar 06 2012 1:22AM Report
jeremyjodes writes:

I don't play this game. but I do wish them the best of luck.

Tue Mar 06 2012 4:37AM Report
monoth writes:

To all you guys who keep saying it should of been in a at launch.... It's funny how short term peoples memories are, I remember thousands of posts by people begging Bioware to release the game and that they would even put up with bugs and wait for features just as long as they could play it sooner then later....

Now you guys are criticizing them because they pushed back the 1.2 patch to April instead of releasing it now...  (sigh)

 

 

Tue Mar 06 2012 5:17AM Report
Crackbone writes:

We are criticizing them for pushing the patch back to April, because it more than likely a "subscription retention" move rather than a "testing" related one. 

This will also come back to bite them in the a**.  There's way too much competition releasing this year, and their window is quickly closing.  

Tue Mar 06 2012 7:21AM Report
SomeOldBloke writes:

I'm not continuing to pay $15/mth to wait for them to eventually get it right. As others have said this should have been at launch.

Tue Mar 06 2012 2:03PM Report
Suraknar writes:

Hmm...Albeit not playing this game, nor my Guildmates (we are all fedum of Themparks), I think Bioware did something good here, that few if any other companies have ever done.

Seems like somone is reading our conversations here and understood how an important role Guilds play in MMO's.

Impressive. :)

Tue Mar 06 2012 2:34PM Report
iceman00 writes:

@Monoth

And there were equally "thousands" (yay hypberole?!) that told them to take its time.

In the end, EA\Bioware\whoever wanted to cash in on the holiday season launch. 

Tue Mar 06 2012 8:03PM Report
maccajnr writes:

There's nothing much in 1.2.

There need to be much much more. More for guilds to have a reason to meet in one place. More in specialization to have a good reason to keep leveling  then just cosmetic stuff. Space revamp is so much needed too.

Basically we'll just get small patch which won't improve much in game.

Wed Mar 07 2012 4:12AM Report
baddog66 writes:

I couldn't find groups and my server  was considered heavy when i started. They have server numbers way too low to sustain any longevity.

Mon Mar 12 2012 8:33AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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