This is OpsCom, where we bring you a weekly dose of Operations-related content from the world of Star Wars: The Old Republic. This column will serve as an inside scoop on new content, developer feedback and community gossip. Stay tuned in the coming weeks, and we will keep you up to date on all the news you need to stay on the cutting edge.
In this week's OpsCom, we're going to hear from player reactions to the appearance of possible gear appearing in Game Update 1.7: Return of the Gree. Also, we'll check in with different people to see what it is that keeps them playing the game. For these, your Community Spotlight, and more, hit the jump.
Weekly News Roundup
Over on the official forums, Thylbanus made a post discussing a couple of screenshots from the recent Game Update 1.7 page. One of the things that players find themselves most caught up in is the appearance of their character, and many players prefer a certain aesthetic. Not all of the recent armor and weapon additions have been popular, but there tends to be something for just about everyone. To check out this thread and weigh in with your opinion, follow the link here.
Everyone has a particular reason that they play SWTOR. Doing operations with a closely knit group of friends; competing in PVP; or just experiencing a story set in your favorite universe, the list goes on. Josewales on the official forums made a thread to discuss exactly what keeps players hanging around, and coming back for more. Check out the thread here and let them know what you think.
As more and more players are tackling Nightmare Explosive Conflict, a few bugs are bound to pop up here and there. One such possible bug, or undocumented change to the fight, was noticed by Vishnell on the official forums. For those of you who might be more experienced with this encounter, head over and see what's up.
In a previous iteration of OpsCom, we highlighted a guild in the Community Spotlight that had taken an interesting approach to Ops night. Hosting a series of "themed" Operations, they've used this as a way to make fresh and entertaining events for the guild as a whole. Themes include the previously featured "All Stealth SM EC", as well as Naked SM EV", and more. This is simply fantastic, head over to the thread and show your approval.
In this week's Community Spotlight, we're going to be taking a look at the guild Corruptive Minds, over on the Shadowlands. CM is an Imperial Guild that are currently 5/5 TFB HM and 3/4 EC NiM. At present they've only given Kephess one attempt because of real life obligations, but rest assured that he'll fall soon enough. In their message to me, they also shared an interesting strategy for Toth and Zorn which I will quote here:
Quote from Bawoni - Corruptive Minds
Found an interesting strategy that my guild has done about twice a week upon release of 1.6 for Toth and Zorn Nightmare Mode. Basically we keep Toth in berserk phase for the entire fight. Must have top-notch dps but the fight is very clean if done correctly and considerably easier for each role.
Thanks for the strategy folks, and keep up the good work. Great job, and thanks for the correspondence!
As an added bonus, Corruptive Minds provided us with this YouTube video of the encounter. Please enjoy.
Are you interested in having your guild featured here? Send a PM to me, and give me a general run down. Submissions should include Guild Name, Faction, Server and how far your guild has progressed. Bonus points for a YouTube video of any boss kills that we can feature in this section.
Op-Ed: Return of the Gree
This week I wanted to touch on some of the features, and subsequent concerns, that are going to mix things up a bit with the release of Game Update 1.7 . As is always the case with a new content patch, hopes are high, but there's also an air of trepidation surrounding it's imminent release. Some players hoist all their expectations upon the forthcoming content, waiting for it to breathe new life back into the game; to give them something to do, a new goal to focus on. Other players are simply looking to stay on the cutting edge when it comes to gear, and many will be expected to do whatever it takes to acquire that gear in order to stay ahead in the Ops scene. And still, other players are interested in furthering the story along. With hints of World PvP making a tumultuous return, many players have expressed a wide variety of emotions, from exultation to woe. Fears of ganking and bullying, and of not being allowed access to content because they don't PvP are on the minds of many players. But, let's break it down a bit more.
For those players that are simply becoming bored with the game, this patch may or may not give them new content to experience, depending upon their interests. Many releases attempt to feature a wide variety of activities and objectives to suit the very wide margin of expectations and likes of the player base at large. Attempting to please everyone at once can be a good strategy, but it can also make the content that's released feel a bit stretched and underwhelming overall. In an all PvP patch, for instance, PvE-centric players may lose interest, as the next update may not come for months, and vice-versa. So, with the release of Game Update 1.7, we can see two very prominent and advertised features making an appearance:
- Relics of the Gree: This event occurs on or around the contested area on Ilum's Western Ice shelf, and seems to contain a World Boss, or something comparable to one. The fact that a PvE-type fight is located in a PvP area has ruffled a few feathers, but I'm not convinced that it's all bad. World of Warcraft did something similar with Tol Barad, whereby a PvP fight commenced, and the victors had access to a raid boss for the remainder of their control over the island itself. I personally enjoyed the feature, and it was a great way to introduce players to some PvP, and give them to chance to try it out. However, some players view participation in anything that rewards gear as a mandatory activity, feeling the need to stay ahead of the curve, stat wise. In my opinion, both arguments in this case are valid. PvE-centric players may feel out of their comfort zone operating in a PvP environment, and may feel forced to enter an area they aren't comfortable with out of necessity. On the other hand, to the victor go the spoils, right? We are at war, after all, so there's bound to be some kind of conflict from those wishing to plumb the mysterious depths of the Gray Secant. Keeping these points in mind, controlling this area may be key to PvE progression, assuming that the encounter at the heart of the ship rewards gear that is pertinent to PvE players. In the end, I say no harm done. This could very well encourage cooperation between PvE guilds and PvP guilds; making a pact whereby the PvP guild gets the glory of the kill, and the PvE guild gets to fight the boss at the center. There are some definitely interesting possibilities there, and I can't wait to see how it plays out.
- Galactic Reputation: Reputations systems are nothing new to the MMO market. Most games feature some sort of reputation system as a key and integral part of the gameplay. Working from the point of an effective narrative, obtaining a favorable standing with the people you most help out makes sense. Your deeds would become famous, or infamous, and as a result you would be privy to the more selective privileges of renown. Reputation grinds have given many players things to focus on in the past, in the form of daily quests, as well as reputation from group activities, such as the equivalent to Flashpoints and Operations. Several players have voiced their support of this system, welcoming it as something new to do. Other players, however, are not so jubilant at the arrival of the Reputation system. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, many players feel obligated, or even a compulsion, to pursue the best gear possible. While we don't know exactly what rewards will come with increases in reputation, we do know that titles will be offered at the very least. It's reasonable to assume that gear would be purchasable at a certain level, validating the concerns of many players. I've personally never really enjoyed reputation grinds, and felt that they were kind of a chore. They were necessary to achieve a certain level of gear for a character; but when you're repeating the same activity day after day, it can become monotonous, and you really stop caring about what you're doing. If a variety of missions were added in random rotation, or different missions offered at higher reputation, this could mix it up a bit. As it stands, I hope it's more than simply another treadmill upon which we can run.
Having said that, as players of the game and inhabitants of the virtual space, all of our concerns are warranted and matter. I've stuck with this game because I have a high amount of faith in those that produce the content, so I have to believe that they're trying to please as many people as they can by including as many features and as much content as they're able. There are obviously those that will disagree with me, but this is the reason I've stuck around. I decided some time ago to see this game through, and give it a chance, and with updates like 1.7, I may very well be rewarded for that effort. I already feel as though the journey has been worth it, and I'm excited at what's to come. All in all, finding that perfect niche that you enjoy in the game does require work, and only you can determine whether or not the juice is worth the squeeze. What do you all think about the possible changes? What would make the update worth it, to you? Please let me know in the comments section below, and thanks for reading.