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
UPDATE (2012/03/07): Dulfy took in-depth notes from the livestream, so check out her post. She has a kick-ass blog, so make sure to follow her on Twitter.
GAMEBREAKER Host for “The Republic” SWTOR show: http://www.gamebreaker.tv/category/the-republic/
You missed the most important point, the announcement that overshadowed the whole summit. Level 1 sprint!
Thank. Freaking. Goodness.
And good catch :)
They also mentioned that the level 14 Sprint ability is being turned into a short-duration speed boost. So Sprint becomes level 1 and everyone gets “a sprint” spell at level 14, meaning Consular/Inquisitor won’t be the only sprinters out there anymore.
Unless they slap a non-combat requirement or something on it, of course.
I’ve got a couple of other blogs I’m looking at this morning that are talking about this change in particular, and both of them are quoting this change differently than the one I got it from yesterday.
What I’m reading today sounds more like they’re simply describing how they’re going to justify level 1 Sprint, where the ones reporting yesterday were worded as though the level 14 ability was going to turn into a short-duration sprint.
Right now I’m not sure which to believe.
My impression was that BioWare is simply moving the level requirement for the out-of-combat Sprint from level 14 to 1, as a quality of life improvement.
We’ll see though.
It was a both thing. The normal sprint will now be at level 1. You will unlock through the Legacy system a short term “rocket boost” type of sprint. Don’t remember if that was specific to 14 or just part of the legacy system.
If sprint is now level 1, I’m not clear on what the relevance of the new sprint being an ability is anymore. It’s just an unnecessary icon on the player bar now.
I can’t imagine any reason for needing to toggle sprint other than RP.
All this assuming they keep the icon.
Torathin, a lot of the movements you need to make in order to maneuver through the Datacron obstacles require a nice medium between Sprint and Walk :) It’s rare, yes, but you also hit on a good point with the Roleplaying – for SWTOR, Roleplayers make up a significant part of their dedicated fans
The point in toggling off sprint is a thing we like to call Datacrons. If you’re always sprinting some of them are significantly harder to land your jumps.
“Prior to 1.2 launching there will be a “pre-season” for Rated Warzones where you queue as 4-person teams for 8v8”
Pre-Season will be 1.2. They also said that you could queue up to a full 8 person group. Sounds like you can queue up with 1, 2, 8… whatever you want.
Are you sure partial premades can queue? The people I talked to had the impression it’s either solo or 8.
Unable to make out the breakdown by advanced class. Any chance you could note which AC is top/bottom of each bar?
I can’t tell either, it’s not legible.
Dulfy added overlay text to the chart – not intended as an advertisement
Thanks for posting the image.
Dulfy has some really good SWTOR content.
I’m also really worried about the best gear coming from rated WZs. Just makes warzones even less balanced, and I tend to enjoy close fights the most. Hopefully they backtrack on that design, and just give faster gear progression for ranking (or titles / mounts).
This is not saying that you have to be rated to get the gear. They said there was no requirement on the War Hero gear other than the comms to purchase them. The difference is the comms only come from Rated Warzones. This is the PVP’s tiered system much like PVE’s. Battlemaster will now be purchased with Warzone Comms with no requirement other than lvl 50 and War Hero will be from Ranked Warzone Comms with no requirement other than lvl 50. The gear that will require having a certain ranking will only differ in color from the War Hero set and is only to show prestige.
They also talked like Centurion and Champion would be phased out. They said there would be a blue set purchasable at 50 that was somewhat equivalent to Champ that would be the bridge to get you into pvp and earn the comms for Battlemaster/War Hero.
If what you were saying is true, I think BioWare would have stated that “the best PVP gear is purchaseable from XXX Commendations”
I was listening to the Live Stream yesterday. They specifically said that the Battlemaster and War Hero gear would be purchasable by WZ Comms and RWZ Comms respectively and that no other requirement would be there for them, other than level 50 of course. They specifically said that the gear with rating requirements would be purely a cosmetic change.
“BRB need to rename character to “Tau” and guild to “Mvn”” – hehe
I missed the part about population imbalance but leading up to that it seemed as if Bioware were pretty much admitting defeat. With the ‘closing/reworking’ of Illum and making ALL warzones playable same faction it’s seems as if they’ve realised that they cannot fix this particular problem.
There are two separate issues:
1. significant faction imbalance on most servers
2. Ilum design is lame, the objectives are lame. The game is missing fortress fights which made World PVP in other games (e.g. WAR, LOTRO, etc) so much fun
To be fair, the terrain of Ilum is awesome :) ice bridges, tunnels, wide paths that stretch from base to base with several ambush spots along the way – on our server, we’re sporting close to a 1:1 ratio on Ilum now, with all of the Imp re-rolls to Republic side. It’s pretty consistent to have evening battles where both factions sport similar-sized ops. The best part is that the focus isn’t even on objectives or valor farming, both factions seek to out-maneuver the other army, because whoever can choose the time and place of the next fight usually wins. I’m a little bit sad that our server finally seemed to achieve the intended Ilum PvP design only to have 1.1.5 cripple the average player’s desire to go there for Daily Quests. However, I understand the need for an area re-work and still support the move in general.
I agree that Ilum’s terrain is fantastic – plenty of places to set ambushes and such.
On Ajunta Pall the ratio is pretty even as well.
But that isn’t the case on most servers.
They also address the fact that the current state of Ilum was never really their intent. It was originally objective based wtih objectives becoming locked for a time period before being able to be taken again. They had a bug they still haven’t been able to track down that made the objectives occasionally become perma-locked. So they had to take the lock off and then it became objective trading and no real pvp. So as a last minute effort to have SOMETHING for launch they made it kill based. They know its messed up but they were just trying to get something. As Gabe said at the summit, its “Back to the drawing board” for Ilum. The planet will still be there, but there are no longer incentives to force people to go there and pvp.
They also mentioned drop tables for killing players in the world to encourage more random world pvp, and give you incentives to attack that Imp who just passed by rather than /wave. We’re fighting a war here people! :-P
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