BioWare released today the first of a weekly Community Q&A feature comprised of questions from the official forums. Highlights of the Q&A feature include info on the upcoming 1.2 patch, specifically Legacy system, a new Warzone, the color matching feature, new guild features, and the possibility of choosing which Warzones to queue up for. BioWare also released information on the recent global cooldown UI changes and how players will soon have the choice to customize the look of their global cooldowns. For the full Q&A session and info on global cooldown UI changes, hit the jump.
BioWare anounced they plan on addressing players' complaints about the global cooldown UI implemented in patch 1.1.2. Coming in patch, 1.1.4, the new changes will allow players to customize the global cooldown UI to their liking. Some of the new options, which will be added to the User Interface section of the Preferences menu, include:
- Show Ready Flash: Will show a bright flash when an ability finishes cooldown.
- Show Global Cooldown Ready Flash: Will show a bright flash when an ability finishes its global cooldown.
- Show Cooldown Text: Will show the time remaining on a cooldown as an overlay on the ability icon.
- Cooldown/Global Cooldown Style: Will allow you to select from four different art styles for the cooldown and global cooldown graphics.
- Cooldown Text Size: Will adjust the font size of the cooldown text that is used as an overlay on the ability icon.
- Show Tenths of a Second: Will adjust the threshold for when the game starts to show tenths of a second on the cooldown overlay text.
Of course, all of this is completely optional and you can leave the global cooldown UI as is, if you prefer it that way. To preview these options for yourself, they will be added to the Public Test Server soon. You can also expect more changes to come when patch 1.2 goes live as well. For more info and visual examples of the changes, check out the full article here.
The complete transcript of the Q&A session is as follows:
Alkapwn: Could you elaborate about what specific benefits the Legacy will offer? I know that I am not alone in the fact of putting off making an alt (and hence losing out on gameplay) because I wish to know what kind of character creation options will be available. All we have to go on now is "The legacy system will unlock new character creation options, including new species." Does this mean species that have been unavailable for that specific class, or that have been unavailable to play in the game as a whole?
Game Update 1.2 will bring you the first big step in the Legacy System but it’s important to understand that the Legacy System will continue to grow, bringing new options to new characters (alts) and some fun options for elder game players as well. Legacy is definitely not just for new characters! The species that will be unlocked in Game Update 1.2 are species currently in the game that will become available to classes and factions where you haven’t seen them before. New species are in consideration for the future but we don’t have any details to share right now. Look for more specific details in the near future as we head toward Game Update 1.2.
Jeunedorsk: What will happen in the future for PvP (Ilum, new Warzones ?)
We’ve been pleasantly surprised at how popular PvP is in The Old Republic and we’ve been doubling down on our efforts to bring exciting new content and systems to the PvP community. Right now there’s a new Warzone planned for Game Update 1.2 which we’re already testing internally and really enjoying. We can say it’s enabled for same faction vs. same faction play, so if you’ve been playing a lot of Huttball, expect some variety soon! Also coming in 1.2 is the pre-season of our Warzone ranking system, bringing better matchmaking which means better PvP. In the future expect a ton more PvP news as we expand and polish what has proven to be one of the most popular aspects of The Old Republic. We’ve got big plans.
AeonKwiz: Are you planning on adding Social Gear for Medium and Heavy Armor characters?
Yes! Expect to see the first new gear coming in Game Update 1.2 and some dramatic changes to the social gear system just around the corner afterward.
MrGerbz: What kind of measures will you take to improve the community, population, and faction balance of each server?
Faction balance is always a concern and something we watch carefully across all servers. It’s also something you can never fully account for programmatically as it is different on each server. We have many servers where the differences are small enough to be negligible and then others where either the Empire or the Republic has a huge numbers advantage. The Legacy System will take some first steps towards incentivizing players to look at what the other side has to offer and we will continue watching the most extreme servers to see if additional steps are needed.
Shotgun-clavy: When are character transfers going to become available? And are server transfers a real possibility?
Character transfers between servers are definitely going to be available in the future and we’ll announce details as soon as we have firm dates.
DarthNhiilus: Are you going to implement housing and guild features (like guild banks, guild ships)?
Guild banks are coming in Game Update 1.2 and like PvP, guild features are a priority for the development team with a strike team focused on nothing but top guild concerns and requests. Guild capital ships are a huge undertaking, though, so expect to see more quality of life style guild features roll out before you and your allies start building your destroyer....
Seltron: What is the preferred method for providing feedback to the development team, and why (e.g. In-game tickets, forums, firstname.lastname@example.org)?
Every method of feedback you mention will ultimately make its way to the development team; we get feedback from everywhere (including off-site sources such as Twitter, Facebook, fansites, podcasts and the like). In-game metrics are also always being gathered and analyzed, so that essentially ‘passive feedback’ is given by players every time they log in. With that said, the Forums are always a good starting place for feedback; everything is read (even if we don’t always immediately respond to threads) and the Community team regularly reports out player concerns and thoughts. As always, the more constructive your feedback is, the better for the development team.
Venomlash: I was excited as anyone about the Magenta Adegan crystals, but I'm not a huge fan of magenta. Will there be more rare items of this nature?
Absolutely. In the near future expect to see not just rare items but limited availability items, more treasure hunts and some big surprises for the community to discover and work together to figure out.
Buddytonto: When you made the blog post about the balancing act of what to fix, what to balance, and when; got me thinking about how the items are prioritized, as it didn't really explain that?
How we prioritize bugs is a complicated question and one that can be maddening from a player point of view. The answer is as complicated as the question but I can give a high level view. First comes anything that blocks the critical path of a class story for any reason. If you can’t progress, your game comes to a screeching halt so that always takes precedence. Next is the question: how many people are being affected and what is the damage being done? Half the population being slightly irritated loses in priority to ten percent of the population having their game crippled, for example. The last consideration, and the most opaque to players, is how hard the bug is to fix. There are fixes that look complicated and are nothing more than a database entry that went rogue. There are fixes that look easy and take months of untangling code. What we can promise is that we never ignore bugs or decide something is good enough as-is.
Aurozia: Will there be a dual specialization system in the future? Will there be a possibility of changing advance classes as well?
We have no plans for switching advanced classes - which we see as fundamentally different class designs- but dual spec is in the works and coming soon.
NommNomm: Are you still planning on giving us an option to make our chest item colors match the rest of our armor?
The new and vastly improved ‘Hue to Chest’ system launches with Game Update 1.2 and there are more customization and quality of life improvements along those lines hot on its heels.
USLeatherneck: Will Bioware implement Target of Target (including a visible cast bar above the portraits) in the new UI?
Yes. Target of Target on primary target and party frames will be part of Game Update 1.2. Primary target already has a visible casting bar on live right now. In Game Update 1.2 target of target frames will have visible casting bars as well. Additionally, there will be various customization features in all of those frames (e.g. repositioning).
Annexes: In the EU our keyboards are a little different than in the US, and I´m wondering if you guys are going to make the "bug report" shortcut key unbindable?
Yes! This will be addressed in a weekly patch in the very near future.
Simoon: Will you be adding the option to choose what Warzone you enter a queue for?
Not until we introduce cross server queuing. If we were to allow players to choose their Warzone before they could queue across servers, then it would negatively affect how often every player would see a Warzone – and for every player that loves a certain Warzone there is another player that hates it. The population would end up divided by their Warzone choice, negatively affecting the time it would take for a specific Warzone to become available for anyone. With cross server queuing we will still have a preference to match players of the same server, but those players who choose specific preferences such as these will likely end up in a match with players in the larger Wargroup.
Many people asked: How are you planning on expanding the endgame experience?
We are going to continue to introduce new Flashpoints, Warzones, and Operations on a regular basis. The story line will continue with all of the above as well as in solo-able missions. We will continue to evolve Crew Skills and crafting. We’ll be introducing the Legacy System soon, as Daniel mentioned. Additionally, we have exciting PvP features planned, the first of which includes pre-season Ranked Warzones in Game Update 1.2.
To ask a question for next week's Q&A session click here. The thread will close February 14th 2pm CST (8pm GMT/9pm CET).