We’re back from the Guild Summit and BioWare is ready to follow-up with a few clarifications and answers in this week’s DevTracker highlights. Senior Online Community Manager Stephen Reid covers the possibility of eight-man groups in ranked Warzones, and the value of Ilum after patch 1.2. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller talks about balance changes, reusable items, reverse engineering, legacy unlocks, new additions in patch 1.2, and much more. Hit the jump to see all the highlights.
Stephen Reid assures players that eight-man Operation groups are possible for ranked Warzones in patch 1.2.
Quote from cnosyt8-man queuing is essential. The fact you cannot make a group of all guild-mates/friends to do ranked war-zones is absurd. If this patch is released without full premade capabilities you will see a LOT of backlash. Terrible idea, no reason not to have 8-mans implemented now.
Quote from Stephen Reid
David was trying to clarify the ‘Future of Warzones’ section of the PvP presentation, but that’s caused a bit more confusion; apologies. I huddled with Gabe Amatangelo about this question and got a definitive answer.
You can queue as an eight-man Operations group in Game Update 1.2, for ranked Warzones only.
In the future, whenever cross-server Warzone queuing is possible, the plan is to allow people to create teams of eight which can be named, etc.The PvP team is aware of the importance of ranked Warzones and PvP rankings in general, hence allowing eight-man queuing. Apologies again for the confusion. We hope everyone’s going to enjoy the feature!
Stephen Reid posits that Ilum and open world PvP will become less relevant in patch 1.2.
Quote from hargraveThe majority of people myself included up to the guild summit believe ilum and open world pvp is being thrown out the window permanently. Based on what i heard at the guild summit and seeing this http://www.theimperialnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/ilum.jpg and people still thinking ilum/open world pvp is bieng phased out permanently you really need to make a sticky or at least make it known on here.
Quote from Stephen Reid
Ilum is being deprecated in Game Update 1.2. The Open World PvP area on Ilum will still be present in 1.2, but rewards previously gained in Ilum will be available in Warzones and that’s where we expect the bulk of PvP to take place for now.
As we said during the Guild Summit, the PvP team is ‘going back to the drawing board’ with Ilum. That means they want to rework it to be fun and engaging. We accept there are issues with the current design and want to ensure that what we end up with is enjoyable for PvP fans. We have no ETA on when a redesigned Ilum might be available, but when we do have more news, we’ll share it.The PvP team definitely monitors these Forums and would love to see constructive feedback on Open World PvP and how you feel it could be improved. They have their own ideas, of course, and they’ve read many of the posts here but more feedback is always welcome.
Georg Zoeller reiterates that some of the ideas proposed for class changes are merely examples, nothing more.
Quote from silky_soft_so you are saying that sent/maur are getting focus/rage ‘buff’ (/nerf) and some lame skillpoint that gives more range or less cooldown? you know we take this spec that just for the alpha stirke. I don’t want to go back to dot dot choke spec
Georg Zoeller explains that more information on balance changes will come once the changes are finalized.
Quote from Coldin
One thing that I was really hoping would come out of the Guild Summit was more information on what class balances would be taking place in 1.2. There’s been some hints here and there that changes are coming. IGN even reported that Jedi Knights will be receiving some new skills, while Bounty Hunters will be receiving a nerf. In fact, entire skill trees are changing so greatly they’re actually refunding our skill points for free.
However we have yet to see any details about this. With 1.2 being pushed out to early April, it’s becoming more difficult for me to remain patient. In particular with the reduction to damage to Scoundrel Scrapper damage, and the relative silence of Bioware to concerns about the classes effectiveness in Operations and PVP. I’m not eager to have to wait another month to find out how classes will be changing to become more balanced, and I’m sure many others are becoming impatient as well.All of the other 1.2 changes and additions sound great so far, but they won’t mean much to me if certain classes are still inherently better than others. Let’s hear some information about what 1.2 will be doing to classes in particular, and don’t skimp on the details.
Nobody outside the building has seen the patch notes for 1.2 yet. So whoever is reporting anything regarding the class changes in 1.2 is likely doing so based on second or third hand commentary from someone who might – or might not – have seen the patch notes.
I got asked some questions regarding individual classes by people at the Guild Summit and have answered all of them. When / if these people decide to divulge those answers is up to them.
In regards to comments about ‘relative silence about class X’: We generally do not comment on balance related plans or findings on the Forums, for any class, until we have made a firm decision to change something and the patch that does so is on the Public Test Server. Doing anything else would limit options and create unreasonable expectations.
We do, at rare occasions, hint at upcoming changes (e.g. in a Q&A), but these cases are exceptions.
Yes, you may say ‘Georg, then give us the real information’. That’s fair, we totally appreciate that you guys are impatient. However, giving you that information requires it to be final, and it is not. It will be final enough for initial public consumption when patch 1.2 is on PTS.
It’s tempting to give snippets and hints about these changes here, now, to calm people down – but all that will accomplish is everyone who isn’t getting their information will cry foul. It’s happening already based on the article you are referencing (“Why are you nerfing X but not Y”), which is completely void of any details. On the internet, saying X means that everyone else hears ‘Not Y’.
Yes, I want you to have that information, but I want everyone to get it at the same time, when it is ready, and I want you to get the full picture. Thus, you will all get it with the full patch notes on PTS. Once that information is there, you can test the changes on the server and voice your feedback as usual and yes, some people will be happy, some won’t.If we ever reach the point where every class thinks they are completely balanced and everything is great, I’ll take the red pill and unplug from the matrix.
However, Georg Zoeller confirmed that Operative healing could use some improvements.
We are generally not talking about upcoming balance information, for any class, until we have finalized the changes enough to be certain, which usually means when changes are about to hit PTS. This avoids confusion and wrong expectations, but understandably causes people to be impatient.
I have acknowledged, when asked at the Guild Summit, that we determined healing on Operative can use some improvements and have made changes in 1.2 (along with changes to almost every other aspect of the game).
For details, you will have to wait until the patch hits PTS (which should be soon) for the reasons stated. Even then, I would advise you to actually test the changes on the server rather than relying on theory crafting based on patch notes, as some of the underlying rules for the game (e.g. diminishing returns for certain stats) have changed at the same time.Disclaimer: When I state ‘we changed X’, it does not preclude changes to Y and Z. I did not say ‘we did not change Y and Z’ but neither did I say ‘we changed Y and Z’. I merely made a singular statement about X, which is not to be constructed as a statement about Y or Z. Even though I just said ‘we changed X’, the statistical probability for the immediate appearance of threads decrying the lack of change to Y and Z has significantly increased by this statement about X. This puzzling effect is why the first rule of partial class balance discussion is that you do not discuss partial class balance.
Georg Zoeller clarifies that reusable stims will remain and not removed, however, they will become an outdated source of healing.
Just a clarification, since I’m seeing a bit of misinformation around it.We do not plan to remove the reusable stims. What we said at the Guild Summit is that we’re going to phase them out – meaning while the itemization stat budget increases and new tiers of items are introduced, we’re not intending to grow the reusable stims along with that at this time.
Georg Zoeller adds that players will be able to reverse engineer more items in patch 1.2.
Georg Zoeller clarifies an intended design of the Galactic Trade Network.
Quote from poobacca
I pulled some items off the GTN to relist them. I did not get my deposit back. I actually lost a good chunk of change in the process. (over 50k).
I think you get the deposit back if it expires.Warning. Don’t do it. Just wait till expiration. Or they need to fix this.
Georg Zoeller hints at more protective schematics coming for Jedi Consulars and Sith Inquisitors in patch 1.2.
Quote from CalimwulfSir, do you know or can you say if JC/SI tank shield recipes will be in 1.2 as well? Thank you for the information that you have given.
Writer Randy Begel clears up a bug concerning the Bounty Hunter companion Skadge that should be fixed in patch 1.2.
Quote from NaizgrelMy skadge is repeating the same line over, and over and over and over, ’’You’ve got somethin’ to kill or what?’’ every time i talk to him. Anyone else experiencing same bug ?
Quote from Randy BegelThat should be fixed pending the 1.2 update, so Skadge should be back to spewing his usual colorful vitriol soon.
Georg Zoeller clears up confusion over the idea that balance changes are based on average damage and Warzone metrics.
Quote from Macroecon
By Georg Zoeller. Can be seen here:
Uh no. I did not state in that interview that we use aggregate damage/wz statistics to guide our class balance efforts.Damage statistics in Warzones would be a rather crude tool to build class balance on.
Georg Zoeller explains that legacy unlocks can be acquired through either reaching certain legacy levels, or buy purchasing the unlock with in-game credits.
Quote from TrolltarI’m not in love with needing hundreds of thousands of credits and legacy levels. If you earned your legacy levels by playing lots of lower level toons, say all in the 20-30 range, you can get the legacy levels without having the credits. And since legacy is supposed to encourage you to play alts and not just run a toon to max and grind dailies all day I think it’s a little to contrary of that vision to have the credit requirement too.
You’re not likely to have any significant legacy levels if you just play characters in the 20 to 30 range. You only unlock legacy levels once you finish chapter 1 ( ~ level 30) with a character in the first place.
And let me make this clear, since there’s some confusion about it:
The system allows you to unlock things EITHER via achieving the unlock condition (e.g. reaching chapter 2 in a specific class, reaching a specific PvP rank, etc) OR by paying credits. It is not both.
The credit option exists so players can enjoy content that they know they would never unlock in regular play (e.g. ’I’d love a pureblood Smuggler, but no way I’ll level a Sith Warrior just for that’).Some things (like legacy class abilities) cannot be purchased with credits while other things can only be purchased (not unlocked) but are gated by legacy level (e.g. the GTN for your ship requires you to have a high legacy level before you can purchase it).
Georg Zoeller advises players not to reverse engineer items in a set hoping to learn schematics for that set, such as the Battlelord set.
Don’t do anything right nowWe will offer some more insights into the Crew Skill changes in the near future.
Georg Zoeller mentions the addition of new weapons for companions in patch 1.2.
Georg Zoeller discusses augment slots and how they will fit into the design of crafted items in patch 1.2
Quote from RhaphaelAFAIK it is currently not known if they will make a mechanic to create augment slots on existing orange gear. But if they don't, most vendor/quest oranges will become useless....
With Game Update 1.2, we will enable the creation of augment slotted items through various crafting professions.
You will not be able to retrofit existing items with augment slots, but this is something we're discussing internally as 'we probably want to add this', so any of your feedback is worthwhile to us. If/when we offer that option, it will be added in a way that does not devalue the crafter community.
Regarding augments in general, we are NOT increasing the power level of augments. The current top level augments in the game will, for 1.2. at least, remain the most powerful augments in the game. Reverse engineering for augments will be added as well (for the appropriate professions), so any augments already obtained before 1.2. should retain their value.Georg Zoeller answers the question if legacy unlocks will be shared across characters, or be locked to a single character.
Georg Zoeller answers the question if legacy unlocks will be shared across characters, or be locked to a single character.
Quote from BlackMink
Now THIS is what has me worried about Legacy. I am personally aproaching 41, and just started my fourth character on their way to level 50. I am cool with legacy unlocking stuff. I am cool with paying some credits to obtain it. But I REALLY don’t want to pay more than once for something. I am worried that I will have to pay 5 million credits on each and every character to obtain my ship mailbox.Is that the case, or can I just buy the ship mailbox once and have it appear on every one of my ships. Legacy benefits are supposed to span all my characters.