HoloNet Links #91
Patch 2.0 was released April 9th and along with it came Early Access to the new expansion – Rise of the Hutt Cartel. On the SWTOR website, they posted a news release talking about the new update and Early Access. Those players that pre-ordered the expansion before the January 7th deadline were rewarded with the ability to travel to the new planet of Makeb and also begin to level-up to the new cap of 55.
More on Early Access & Update 2.0 after the Jump…
I am one if those who pre-ordered and was able to venture off to the new planet of Makeb. For me, it is that same feeling of I had when the game first launched…being able to see the new content full of new enemies, storylines, new areas to explore and even some familiar areas changed. What is behind the change to some of these areas? No spoilers here…you will just have to go “seek” out the answers for yourself.
Okay, now most of you know me as a very positive guy, but I will say that I’m seeing a few things that have me concerned. Players reaching level cap in a single day, new story content is being “swallowed-up” at an alarming rate etc. Now, I know that there are those players that will always push the limits of any game or content, but James Ohlen, in an article on Massively by Larry Everett, talks specifically about how BioWare underestimated how many hours players were putting into the game. Not to be a naysayer, but has BioWare done it again? There is a fine line of making leveling a tedious grind or making it an acceptable challenge.
- Guild Rewards in SWTOR
In the patch notes for Rise of the Hutt Cartel, it mentions about guild rewards, but we all know not many of us read all of those so on the SWTOR website there is an article that talks specifically about the reward for being a part of a guild.
As of now, the current benefit for being in a guild is an extra 5% bonus XP for any type of gameplay in SWTOR. The great news in the article is there seems to be more to come, as far as being a member in a guild. To keep track of future rewards for guild membership, the article mentions a website, www.StarWarsTheOldRepublic.com/guildrewards for more information.
This is great news to see BioWare finally reward guilds and their members. One item I noticed yesterday while playing, is in the chat window there will be a dark green text when you or a fellow guild member reaches any achievement in the game. This might seem a trivial item, but it is nice to see how your fellow guild members are doing and then you can give them a shout-out for reaching one of their achievements!
What are some ideas for guild rewards that you have in mind? Please let us know in the comment section below.
- Update 2.0 Trailer and New Features
Earlier this week BioWare posted an article and a new trailer that focuses on the new level 55 Operation – Legions of Scum and Villainy. The video also showcases some of the new abilities players can learn at level 51. It briefly highlights the new Legacy Achievement system and new level 55 Hardmode Flashpoints. If you have not seen it yet, it is embedded below for your viewing pleasure.
BioWare also wrote up a great article that not only highlights the new storyline surrounding the planet Makeb, but also gives some great descriptions of all the new features found in Update 2.0 Rise of the Hutt Cartel. The article talks about the new achievement system, Macrobinoculars and Seeker Droid, new level cap plus lots of changes to everyone’s skill trees, and not to mention a new bracket system for PVP Warzones: 10-29, 30-54 and ranked PVP at level 55. Speaking of PVP Warzones, there is also a new bolster system, which is intended to encourage more players to try PVP without feeling like they are going to die instantly. The new bolster system is a good idea and I am the first to admit that PVP is not my area of expertise (see what I did there? lol), however anything that can encourage players to try new types of gameplay is a good thing. However like any new system there are going to be bugs and unintended issues, but hopefully it will be cleared up soon.
- Dev notes
I was able to spend a bit of time today talking to Rob Hinkle and Alex Modny about the PvP changes and although they are busy right now working on getting solutions to some of these issues, I wanted to pass on some explanations on what is going on.
What is the purpose of “naked” bolster? So I want to clarify why Naked Bolster exists. For Bolster we need to have a system that impacts Warzone players from level 10 to level 55. To do this we want to make sure characters are on as even a playing field as possible. However, when you were leveling up your main, when did you get your first helmet, implant, or relic? In the level up game we have certain points where characters have not yet received certain items and we don’t want to punish these characters because they don’t have access to certain items while higher level characters have plentiful access, so they both get bolstered up to the same level to create a more equal playing field.
Ex: We want to make sure your level 11 without a helmet is getting some stats for their head slot to be equal to the level 25 with a helmet.
With that being said, we do not intend for naked Bolster to be better than wearing gear of any type. This is a bug with the system that we are adamant on fixing and attempted to fix on PTS. The truth is that when we fixed one aspect of the system we opened up another edge case. Last night when it became apparent we had not done enough to fix the issue we started an investigation (yes at 3am CDT in the morning) and have been working all day on a plan of attack to shore up this system so that it is fun and balanced for all parties.
More specifically the issues we have discovered are how the Bolster system handles Relics and diminishing returns. Currently on live, Bolster is giving too many stats to the Relic slot, meaning if you don’t use a Relic (naked Bolster) you will get more stats than the Relic itself would give. Actually different stats entirely since most Relics have Endurance and a proc effect. This means that taking off Relics will give you more primary damage stat and secondary stats and you will probably lose Endurance. How Bolster looks at Relic slots needs to be redone so that stats it assumes are present or should be present are more in-line with Relics that are present and we are working on that currently.
The other issue we found in our investigation is that Bolster’s diminishing returns are too generous and giving out too many stats over the course of a set. Our item system uses a diminishing returns formula on each individual stat on a mod, so that putting more and more of a stat on a single mod costs more “item budget.” The Bolster system follows the same formulas, but because it gives more frequent smaller values that are added together, each stat takes a less harsh diminishing returns hit. Taken over the course of an entire set, the result is that a fully Bolstered character tends to have gained some small values in each stat and rating over actual items. To fix this we need to massage some numbers to make diminishing returns affect Bolster stat gains more drastically.
It is important to note that “naked Bolster” is never intended to be better than wearing gear, this is a bug and is going to be fixed.
How does this affect level 55? Bolster will bolster characters up to right below Partisan gear, the new level 55 PvP set gear. This is working correctly from what we can see and means that the Elder Game will not have this issue of “naked Bolster.” Partisan and Conquer gear are still highly valuable and give better stats than Bolster so that max level PvP should be intact as we designed, it is just unfortunate that the system has bugs in it that make getting to that point frustrating.
Because of the bolster changes and general changes to 2.0 combat math you will see larger numbers during combat. We have given out more health with levels which means more damage to counter it. Also, in 2.0 the gear gap has been closed significantly. In pre-2.0 the gap was roughly (very roughly!) 80% difference between Recruit and fully augmented Elite War Hero gear. Closing this gap means that PvP battles will be on a more equal footing but you might be experiencing damage and heal numbers you hadn’t seen before the patch.
Hopefully this post has addressed some of your concerns about the current state of PvP following Game Update 2.0. Again, naked Bolster being as strong as it is right now is a bug and is not intended design. We have outlined above what our current plan is for addressing it but this is always subject to change. I will do my best to keep you all updated on how and when these changes will happen. Thank you all for your questions and feedback.
Yes, that is a big wall-of-text, but I felt it relevant to paste the entire post from Eric Musco on the bugs related to the new bolster system. It is frustrating to come across these bugs in any game you are playing, but the it is good to know they are working on it and sounds like it could be fairly soon for the fix. Let’s keep our fingers crossed it doesn’t take long to get it fixed properly.
Hmm although no armor warzone brackets might be fun, but I digress.
Star Wars Community News & Events
- Corellian Run Radio’s Weekly Nav Coordinates
As you read through our writers’ articles or listen to the podcast, please take a moment and submit your feedback and suggestions in the comment sections. We love to hear from you. Thanks and enjoy the links below.
03/29 Operation: Information – Anniversary and Article Schedule Change by Ti’kory
04/01 Community Checkpoint featuring the Republic University by Jason Taylor
04/06 Episode 92: March Writers’ Roundtable – podcast
04/09 My Two Credits: Makeb or Bust! by Maer
- SWTOR Class videos
I’m sure many of you have seen the class videos by BioWare, however the videos I’m talking about were edited by a Youtube user Gabriel Deleon. The videos, so far cover the Trooper, Smuggler and Jedi Knight Classes. These videos do contain a few spoilers, but they are kept to a minimum and still convey briefly what is going on in the storylines of the classes. If you liked the videos please be sure to comment below and also let the creator know your thoughts by visiting his Youtube channel and leave him a comment. Thanks to Drew aka Geldarion for sending the links for these very well made videos.
Jedi Knight Class
That’s it for this week’s article. If you have a particular link, story, video, or topic related to SWTOR we would love to hear about it! You can send those to us here at Corellian Run Radio and we can place it in a future article. Just email us the links and/or the details for the event at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can also leave any link suggestions in the comments below, or in Corellian Run Radio’s Facebook group. See you all next week!