Despite its unprecedented focus on story and character development, Star Wars: The Old Republic is at its heart, still an MMORPG. That means, beyond all the storytelling, decisions and emotional moments there are stats to push higher, equipment to enforce, and weapons to make more deadly. Following in the mold of more traditional MMO titles, SWTOR puts the most straightforward path to this goal through large group encounters, but that is not the only way to achieve the goal of gearing up at endgame. Read on as we discuss the various methods of acquiring “the best” gear available to players who, for whatever reason, cannot participate in Operations.
While Open World PvP in Star Wars: The Old Republic’s may be…no longer in the game beyond Outlaw’s Den. At the Guild Summit, BioWare admitted that they were going back to the drawing board on Open World PvP. Now that we have had a fair amount of time to think about the issues with the initial concept, we want to get a frank assessment of what the community wants to see from Open World PvP. What do you want from Open World PvP? Does it have to be rewarding? Should BioWare actively encourage it through server announcements and other means? Should it include vehicles, turrets, encampments or purely a mass player versus player zerg? If you have any feedback that does not fit the above questions, feel free to include it here as well in the comments section of this post.
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Star Wars: The Old Republic is now three months old, and many players have reached maximum level on at least one character. During the leveling process, the story component of the game takes center stage, leading players through the galaxy as they fulfill their destiny and play the lead role in what is often a very compelling experience. However, what happens once players reach level 50 and the story is over? Aside from the obvious activities (such as PvP and Operations), we explore other things people can do to keep themselves entertained at max level. In addition, with the highly anticipated 1.2 update now available on the Public Test Server, we will look at how some of these things will change once that update is live.
Ilum issues persist after patch 1.1.2. Players are flooding the Official Forums with accounts that kills in Ilum are not registering towards Daily and Weekly Quests. Associate Online Community Manager Joveth Gonzalez acknowledged the issue, saying the following:
I wanted to give you all a quick update. The dev team has been investigating the cause of this issue and they're closer to figuring out a solution. As mentioned before, we'll keep you updated with any new developments. Thanks again for your patience on this.
As always, Darth Hater will provide updates on this issue as more information becomes available.
UPDATE - 02/08/2011 4:45pm ET: Joveth Gonzalez has posted on the official forums that the issue will be addressed in a patch tomorrow:
I wanted to let you know that we will be deploying a patch tomorrow (details coming very soon) with the following resolutions:
Killing players on Ilum will now consistently grant Valor and mission credit as intended.
Once again, thank you for your patience.
Executive Producer of Live Servers Jeff Hickman posted an update concerning the Ilum issues that have taken place over the last several days since patch 1.1, Rise of the Rakghouls. Hickman explains that contrary to the belief of many players, they will not be implemented a mass rollback for those who took advantage of the valor gains. Instead, they will be reviewing each case and take action if deemed necessary to those might have gained an unfair advantage. You can read the full blog post below.
After Game Update 1.1 went live, we discovered that the Open World PvP area on Ilum was not working as our PvP design team intended. As many of you know, large groups of players began capturing the Ilum control points, then 'camping' at the enemy's base. This led to a very frustrating experience for a number of players who were unable to leave their base and fight back against their attackers. It was not a fair gameplay experience. In addition, some players on the attacking side gained more Valor points than designed for the time they spent in PvP.
The amount of Valor granted from these activities was significantly more than intended and we are now carefully investigating players who were on Ilum during this period, and present at some of these 'camping' events. I can reassure you that those who were involved and who gained an unfair advantage over other players inappropriately will be carefully reviewed and action will be taken to restore game balance. This could include Valor adjustments or account actions in accordance with the severity of the issue.
We have made the decision not to enact a mass 'rollback' of Valor points for all players in the game, or even on Ilum. This would unfairly penalize some players who may not have been present during this event. Rest assured though, anyone and everyone who is found to have exploited the situation to an unreasonable degree will be investigated and actions taken as needed. Our in-game metrics are able to give us precise details on where players were, what they were doing and what rewards they gained.
We take any sort of situation where one group of players gains an unexpected or unintended advantage over other players very seriously and will act to ensure that all players can have a fair and fun game experience.
Thanks for your patience while we worked to resolve this issue. Our team worked diligently to get a patch ready to address this and other issues, and we're already seeing the results in improved battles on Ilum. As always we welcome your feedback and will continue to improve moving forward!Jeff Hickman,
Executive Producer – Live Services
Many good changes went into patch 1.1, Rise of the Rakghouls. The patch added a new flashpoint, implemented anti-aliasing, and expanded Karagga’s Palace to a full-size Operation. However, as the title of this article implies, Ilum is still a hell of a mess.
Lead PvP, Operations & Flashpoints Designer Gabe Amatangelo posted on update concerning Ilum issues and the resolution. An emergency patch will be pushed to servers tomorrow, January 19, at 5AM CST. The patch will prevent players from entering the opposite faction's base and prevent them from leaving. Population caps on Ilum will also be descresed to help improve client performance. You can read the update in full below.
Hello everyone; I wanted to update you on the issues we’ve been seeing today on the live servers, specifically within the Open World PvP area on Ilum. We’re aware that on some servers, either Republic or Empire groups have been capturing the Ilum control points, entering the enemy’s base and ‘camping’ the medcenters, preventing the opposite faction from leaving their base to recapture control points. This is not a fair or balanced gameplay experience and can also severely affect client performance, so we’re taking steps to address this.
Our intended design for Ilum Open World PvP is that players are instantly killed when entering the enemy’s base safe area, just like in Warzones, and that the defending faction can take taxis to other points within the zone. As of Game Update 1.1, this is not working as intended. We have found the issue preventing this from happening under server load and will be publishing an Emergency Patch to address the issue. We’re aiming to have this patch published early tomorrow morning (January 19th, 5 AM US CST).
In addition to these changes, we’ll be reducing the population cap on Ilum. This should help increase performance by requiring your client to render fewer characters on-screen at once.
Regarding Valor gains, with the 1.1 update, players now receive a base reward of 20 Valor per unique enemy player defeated in a short time, and this base reward is modified by the number of objectives that the player’s faction owns. The gains are rate limited per player killed, encouraging players to attack unique players, not to pursue vendettas. The Valor gains players can see over time will vary greatly depending on the activity level in the zone. This is expected.
To dispel a couple of rumors that have been seen today – there is no Valor gain from destroying turrets within enemy bases, and none from killing NPCs.
We encourage players to avoid Ilum until our patch is deployed. As a temporary measure we will be disabling taxi services which would normally take players into the Open World PvP area. However, players will still be able to taxi out of the area.
We will continue to monitor Ilum across all servers and will make further changes to gameplay if required. We welcome your feedback here on the Forums, but please ensure your feedback is constructive and specific. Feedback based on rumor does not help us isolate potential issues.
UPDATE: Associate Online Community Manager Joveth Gonzalez added to the thread noting they will be evaluating and tracking individuals taking advantage of the Ilum situation.
Hi everyone,I just wanted to be clear and let you all know that we’re definitely aware of individuals who took extreme advantage of this situation and we will be carefully evaluating and taking action as necessary.
In an exclusive interview at Massively, Larry Everett sat down with Lead Game Designer Gabe Amatangelo to discuss the new level 50 flashpoint for the upcoming 1.1 patch release – Rise of the Rakghouls. Included as part of the interview are screenshots and a video trailer of the flashpoint along with details regarding its denizens. As a side converstion, Gabe also went into detail on Ilum, BioWare's plans for Open World PVP for future releases and the release date for patch 1.1 as January 17th."The objectives on Ilum were supposed to be on timers, and the timers were supposed to be locked down," says Amatangelo. "But in the 11th hour, the timers weren't working. So we knew what kind of behavior was going to evolve there. It's not like we were going to delay launch to fix that. But with 1.1, we are going to be handling a lot of those issue with a bunch of improvements there, like focusing on killing players. The objectives give you buffs, but ultimately you have to kill the players to get the rewards. We've included new spawn points as well as some optimization with the turrets.
"We do have longer-term plans for open-world PvP. It is open-world PvP; it's not an RvR system. I kept trying to throw that out there. I'm not saying that it's not something we don't want to do."
Due to the spoiler territory nature of the information, we hid the pull quote and trailer after the jump. For the interview and screenshots in full, visit Massively.
Update: In an interview with GameSpot, Creative Director James Ohlen revealed some interesting options about what the Legacy system will enable in the future, including the ability to add relationships between alternate characters on the same server, such as brother and sister, or father and son.
So the legacy system, it's kind of inspired by the fact that the family dynamic is so important in the Star Wars movies. You have Luke being Anakin's son, the most famous father-son relationship in movies. We wanted to have a system that encouraged players to create alts and to play the game through the different story paths. So the legacy system is meant to do that. It essentially allows you to, instead of just having a bunch of alts that have no relation to each other, you can actually create a family tree where your alts can be related to your main character, either as, you know, a sibling, a son, a father, a family friend, or a husband and wife.
You can actually choose the relationship your characters will have with each other. And then you gain legacy experience points and legacy levels, and with legacy experience points and levels, that gives you--that allows you to unlock abilities, perks, a whole slew of different advantages, essentially, that all the members of your legacy tree will be able to enjoy.
So it's pretty tight, I think people are going to really like it, and it's something we want to push towards players who enjoy the level-up game. It'll also be beneficial to the end game, but it really is going to have a lot of abilities that make leveling up even more enjoyable and allow you to customize your leveling experience.
With the rumors circulating about BioWare banning people for visiting Ilum below the recommended level, many on Reddit and the official forums wondered if it was actually true. Now we have official confirmation from Senior Online Community Manager Stephen Reid that yes, they are banning people, but not for what the rumors might make you think.
Second, a smaller number of accounts were warned or temporarily suspended for exploiting loot containers on Ilum. To be completely clear, while players may choose to travel to Ilum earlier than the recommended level (40+) and may loot containers if they can get to them, in the cases of those customers that were warned or temporarily suspended, they were systematically and repeatedly looting containers in very high numbers resulting in the game economy becoming unbalanced.
None of these accounts were banned for their actions and no accounts have been banned for travelling to Ilum while still relatively low level. By comparison, the number of accounts that were warned or temporarily suspended was considerably lower than the number of accounts banned for 'credit farming'.
Hit the jump for the post in full.
BioWare's Gabe Amatangelo finished off the first day of the Fan Site Summit with a presentation of Star Wars: The Old Republic's PVP aspects such as the Voidstar Warzone and the Ilum open world PVP zone. In an effort to convey a few of the highlights, we consolidated our impressions of the talk after the jump.
During the first day of the Fan Site Summit, Gabe Amatangelo answered questions about Ilum's Open World PvP zone, Voidstar, Flashpoints, and Operations. We include a transcript below in the order of the questions asked; there are some repeated questions with expanded answers as well as follow-ups out of immediate order.
Is there a size limit for guild vs. guild, could you theoretically be in a party of, a couple hundred if you have a big guild against a couple hundred, if you're all in parties?
Gabe Amatangelo: No. Right now, it is the Operations group limit which is going to be 24. We're going back and forth on that, but it's 24 right now.
In the open world zones, how are you doing population balance? For example, one side is really outnumbered than the other.
So that's why the mechanics is what it is. We went through and tested a bunch of different mechanics. It's five captures so you have to keep all five. If you're 100 vs 20, that 20 is going to get in somewhere. You have to spread out to keep them off, and the sort of war effort buff that you get. You get stacks and it gradually increases. How much you get for killing and how much you can get out of Warzones happens from defending at a place that you have and you can keep stacking it when you take new ones. So if there is a group of 20 vs. 100, they're sitting at one, they're keeping one, and if that whole 100 decides, hey, they're at the northern assault, they all start moving there, you guys can move elsewhere, so keep it spread out. But obviously we want to keep killing players because that's where the Valor is coming from.
More after the jump.
This week's Star Wars: The Old Republic Friday update is quite a huge one and can best be described as a four parter. The first two have us drooling over a new trailer named "Signs of War" and Operations Game Systems page.
In the Signs of War trailer, the Trooper that most prominently received a facelift from Malgus in the Hope trailer is seen for the first time in-game. The trailer, narrated by Satele Shan, features several locals from the game that players can expect to visit when they get their hands on the game. The new Operations Game Systems page contains information on all of the current Operations along with images and video. On a side note but almost just as important, originally first revealed during the main panel at New York Comic Con, the global launch date is now December 20. BioWare also reminds fans to attend Paris Games Week, which they will be in attendance of in full force.
Our dissection is now available in the media gallery below. As with all of our dissections, things mentioned in prior dissections will not be mentioned unless otherwise needed for context. Feel free to mention stuff that you see in the comments section of this post and we will credit you with the find.
Hit the jump for the Signs of War embed trailer and official DevTracker posts.
PAX Prime 2011 is officially done, but we still have some things to share. Darth Hater filmed the final day's panel, Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Force is Strong with This One. The full panel video follows the jump. Enjoy.
The Star Wars galaxy is filled with thousands of planets, from barren wastelands to thriving city-planets. The announced planets for Star Wars: The Old Republic are a well-chosen cross section of this diverse spectrum. While some planets are more politically important than others, each will play its role in terms of both gameplay and story. In this overview, you will find a listing of each planet, its faction allegiance, its terrain, relevant , and a brief look at its history and how the planet connects to the Old Republic timeline.
We gathered a great deal of information about the Jedi Classes at last month's Jedi Immersion Day for Star Wars: The Old Republic. In addition to playing both the Jedi Knight and Jedi Consular, we were allotted interview time with a couple of the developers. We shared the first of these interviews last month and now we can finally show you the rest. Without further ado, here is our interview with BioWare's Daniel Erickson on the Jedi Classes.
Revealed to be in-game last month, Ilum is the sixteenth announced planet in Star Wars: The Old Republic. The HoloNet reveals that a recent Imperial surprise attack displaced the Jedi from Ilum, leaving players to discover the how and why. But what do we currently know about this mysterious planet the Jedi kept off the star charts for thousands of years? Read on after the jump to find out.
This week's update is a planetary one by the name of Ilum. Those who are familiar with the EU should recognize the name as it has been featured in Star Wars: Clone Wars, Star Wars: Empire at War, and the Jedi Quest comic series to name a few. For more info on the background of Ilum, check out the Wookieepedia entry. Relevant information about the planet including an Aurebesh Holonet Translation, Screenshots, and Concept Art can be found after the jump:
With the final outcome of the war between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic still undecided, the icy planet Ilum sits squarely in the cross-hairs. The crystals that grow here in abundance are the source of incredible power and possibility. Jedi and Sith alike have long sought them for their Lightsabers, but the ramifications may go much deeper.
Recently the Empire launched a major assault against the Jedi on Ilum, destroyed the Orders sanctuaries, and initiated an ambitious operation of unknown intent. With its forces already spread thin, the Republic has been unable to strike back in such a remote region, but what price might they pay for losing this valuable resource?
Access the HoloNet to learn more about Ilum. Check out this video to see images of the icy terrain, as well as the crystals themselves. Also, dont forget to visit the media section for never-before-seen screenshots, concept art, and wallpapers showing the scene from every angle.