BioWare revealed many key features for Patch 1.2.
Here are some of the notable takeaways from the livestream. My comments in italics.
Quality of Life Improvements
- Sprint (out-of-combat movement buff) will be available at level 1. Thank. Freaking. Goodness.
- You can move / re-position elements
- You can resize individual elements or the entire UI
- You can export your UI settings (XML file format), so you can share them with other players. Unfortunately you can not export keybindings
- They are adding Target of Target as a UI element
- Companion bar will be separate instead of an overlay
- Mouseover targeting is not making it into 1.2
- No ETA on macros. What they are ruling out are macros that affect combat directly
- No ETA on API for addons
- No plan on adding a separate bar for Stealth, just as there is in Cover
- Valor Rank will not be a gate / requirement for gear – it’s merely a measure of how long you have been PVP’ing. Unarmed Brawling combat will be unlocked at higher ranks. It appears it will be more for Prestige and for fun
- Stats on PVP gear are getting re-worked. My hope is that with the changes PVP gear will be the best option for PVP for each slot, which is not the case now. Right now the DR cap is too low for Expertise, which makes slotting all PVP gear a waste
- Tab targeting is being worked on. So many people have complained about this, so it’s good that BioWare is looking at it
- You can target players by clicking on their nameplate. BRB need to rename character to “Tau” and guild to “Mvn”
- You have two options for queueing for Rated Warzones
- solo for 8v8. I think having solo queues for Rated Warzones will be hilariously fun. People in the chat over on GAMEBREAKER speculate that this will be a lot of Assassin/Shadow and Operative/Scoundrel, and I’d throw in Sentinel / Marauder as well. Those 3 classes are the strongest for soloing and most difficult to shutdown in terms of their DPS. Regardless, it will be an entertaining option while you are waited for guildees / friends
- 8-person group for 8v8. Finally, we can run full 8-person groups! The catch of course for smaller guilds is having 8 players available and online that make for a functional comp. As Leiralei tweeted, it would also be great for smaller guilds if you could queue as a 4-person team, and get paired up with another same-size team.
- There will be a “pre-season” for Rated Warzones at the start of 1.2, and the the “regular” season will begin. What this means exactly is not clear, but some people are speculating that pre-season will be used to bracket people at the start of the regular season. TBD.
- Rating will be at the individual level, as opposed to the team level. Prior to this announcement, I was concerned that Rank warzone teams would have a fixed roster, a la WoW’s Arena. The issue here is that creating teams with fixed rosters can create schisms within guilds and you need the same team members online to be able to run. Having the rating at the individual level will allow for much more flexibility
- Best-in-Slot PVP gear will come from Rated Warzones. I have mixed feelings about this. IMO titles / bragging rights are sufficient reward for the cream of the crop. Giving them a gear advantage will make PVP even more faceroll, especially against lesser-ranked opponents in whatever context. When Blizzard largely removed the Arena Rating requirements for epic PVP gear in Cataclysm, it created a much more level playing field, where outcomes were determined based on skillful play and coordination (and composition)
- They are targeting Dual Spec shortly after 1.2
- You have to manually click gear to swap sets, i.e. no predefined gear sets
- Normal Mode is being replaced by Story Mode
- Nightmare Mode Operations will drop different loot and have additional mechanics compared to Hard Mode Operations
- Regarding same-gender relationships
- They don’t want to just take the existing storylines / voiceovers and re-work them – that isn’t storytelling
- They did have some romance relationships that did not make the cut due to budget reasons
- They will come out with same-gender relationships with the Story Updates later this year
Population / Distribution Numbers
- Overall population breakdown across all server types
- 57% Empire
- 43% Republic
- The population is more lopsided on PVP servers, but Georg did not say by how much
- Not surprisingly, Sith Inquisitor is the most popular class, with almost one-fifth of the entire game population
GAMEBREAKER Host for “The Republic” SWTOR show: http://www.gamebreaker.tv/category/the-republic/