HoloNet Links #178
We are getting ready to wrap up January. However, before we move on we need to look back at this past week. It has been one week since the Community Cantina event at PAX South. If you haven’t heard what came out from the event, we did finally get the new “roadmap” letter, well in a way. The letter from Bruce MacLean was actually read by another developer. It was stated that the actual letter will be posted some time before February 6th, approximately. There were a few thing we did learn.
Let’s look at this & more after the Jump…
Before we get into the roadmap or talk about latest update on the Public Test Server, here is the latest news that has to do with a post concerning the Ravager Operation exploit. Below is the post by Eric Musco:
Action For The Ravager’s Exploit | 01.29.2015, 10:23 AM
As I talked about in my previous post we needed to finalize our data and ensure that we were ready to move on appropriate actions for those players who abused the Ravager’s Exploit. Since we have been a bit more open in our process regarding this particular exploit, we thought it would be best to bring it full circle and tell you specifically what we are doing to those players. As of this post, our actions against players has begun. Here are the types of actions we are taking based on the severity of their exploits:
- Received a warning along with anywhere between 1-7 days of in-game suspension time.
- Anyone who received an in-game suspension will also lose their forum privileges for the same period of time.
- For our most egregious offenders, they will have received a suspension up to a permanent suspension.
Inside of those categories of player’s it is also possible they could have very specific additional actions taken against them including:
- Removal of inappropriately obtained high-end gear and crafting materials
- Removal of credits and commendations
We know that one of the gameplay impacts from this exploit was an influx of crafters being able to make items which they reverse engineered from ill-gotten gains. Any player who exploited (regardless of severity) and gained a crafting pattern is likely to see that pattern removed.
We didn’t take these actions lightly and reviewed every account to determine where we could be lenient. From our end, this was a no win situation. We feel responsible for allowing the exploit to occur and remain in the game for an unreasonable length of time, but we also cannot and will not condone cheating. Thankfully, a large majority of our players didn’t exploit at all, but unfortunately, some of those who did have been with us for a long time, even all the way back to launch. It breaks our hearts to see a few of those loyal players partake in the exploit. Still, it would be unfair to not punish those players, and so we had to take action.
We have all learned some valuable lessons this past month or so, and we’re hopeful to catch these types of situations long before they get released or very quickly thereafter. Please continue to do what you can to notify us quickly should we create another situation where someone can benefit by exploiting a bug in the game.
We appreciate your understanding of our position and hope you’ll continue to enjoy your time with us. We have a lot of great additions coming to SWTOR this year and we look forward to sharing them with you.
It has taken awhile for BioWare to address this issue. As they have been gathering data on this exploit. BioWare has been deciding how to handle those who participated in this exploit. It appears that there will be some actual “teeth” to the punishments that are being handed out. Besides the bans and suspensions, in the post the gear, credits, commendations and high-end crafting materials would be taken from those accounts who participated in the exploit. As to how many accounts actually get banned or suspended is anyone’s guess.
I liked how this post went into more depth on explaining their point-of-view and what their thinking was when making the decisions on this matter. The other aspect is how the post explains they are going to try and catch these before being released. Now, I know that this a huge PR thing; but I am hoping that this has made BioWare aware of the need to communicate and address these issues.
What do you think about this post concerning the punishments for participating in the exploit? Do you think the punishments fit the “crime?” Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
- PAX South Community Cantina 2015
If you didn’t know or maybe you have been avoiding the forums etc. you might have missed the mentions of the Community Cantina event being at PAX South last Friday. As I mentioned in the intro, there were not any major announcements. I did like the “roadmap” letter, but I would have liked it being the official one and followed up by a Developer blog on the SWTOR website. It has been a good while since there has been a new post there, hint, hint.
Yet, despite all that we did learn a few things. BioWare, according to the roadmap,” is planning on two expansions this calendar year. The major theme seems to be story. That is where BioWare shines with this game compared to other MMOs. Is this focus on story a continuing effort or coming at the cost of other gameplay features, i.e. – PVP, Galactic Starfighter, etc.? The story will probably get a major chunk when the planet Ziost is released to the game. As you can watch in the video below, the developers talk bit more about the planet Ziost, after the official Q&A. You can see that part by fast-forwarding to the 13:47 mark of the video.
We also learned from the “roadmap” the Torgruta will be the next playable species in-game. I guess this is the official announcement after the other non-official official announcement. Either way it is good they are adding a new species for players to use as they play in SWTOR. New species adds re-playability to the game. Is this the species you wanted added to the game?
All in all, I gave the announcements at PAX South a C+. They did read Bruce MacLean’s letter and that is a plus. I will be glad when we get to read it on the SWTOR website. I also liked the announcement about the Costume Designer, but not any real details, so hard to say yay or nay to it. The flash drive did not contain any images of new armors, mounts etc. It did not even contain any concept art about Ziost or the Torgruta, two things they did announce. I understand that things have been hectic dealing with issues from bugs, the exploit situation and the wildfire that surrounds the contraband slot machines. I don’t think it would have been that hard to come up with concept artwork for a male and female Torgruta, and add one concept visual for the planet Ziost. Those three concept visuals would have been huge as a good gesture to the SWTOR community.
What did you think of the PAX South Community Cantina event? What grade would you give it? Give us you report card for BioWare on this event in the comment section.
Here is the Q&A video from the event.
- Update 3.1.1 is on PTS
Today we are going to be releasing Game Update 3.1.1 on the PTS! A follow up thread will be posted with exact maintenance times, but we wanted to get the Class Changes that will be present on the server available to you ASAP.
We look forward to your feedback!
Powertech / Vanguard Thread
Sentinel / Marauder Thread
I am able to admit when I jump to conclusions. Last week I did jump to conclusions upon hearing about the PTS closing. Tait Watson posted that there is a new update being tested on the Public Test Server. It is good to see that the testing again is opened up. I do hope they continue to keep utilizing the PTS. It would be nice to see BioWare promote the PTS better and maybe bring back the testing titles or possibly some other reward for those willing to help test.
As far as the changes being tested, be sure to read through the patch notes. Almost as important as the changes are the explanations as to why. A perfect example is from the post concerning changes coming to Powertech/Vanguard Advance classes by Eric Musco:
We have said in the past that we do not typically remove or add abilities between major updates. However, due to the over-performance of the Powertech/Vanguard, we have decided to forgo our typical procedures and remove Unload/Full Auto from the Powertech/Vanguard Advanced Class. We want to take this opportunity to explain the reasoning behind this atypical action.
First of all, we made Unload/Full Auto a more functional ability in 3.0 for Mercenaries/Commandos. Unfortunately, these changes also made Unload/Full Auto a viable part of the Powertech’s/Vanguard’s basic damage rotation. While we did intend to make the ability better for Mercenaries/Commandos, the benefit to Powertechs/Vanguards was not intended.
Sustained damage output for the Powertech/Vanguard is currently over for all Disciplines. The Shieldtech/Shield Specialist is particularly high. The best way to lower this over-performance without damaging our intended ability rotations is to remove Unload/Full Auto from the Powertech/Vanguard class. Additionally, removing Unload/Full Auto reinforces the playstyle we intend for the class. The Powertech/Vanguard was designed to play optimally in the 4 to 10 meter range, and this change promotes that ideal. Furthermore, we tend to avoid implementing too many channeled abilities for melee classes (which we consider the Powertech and Vanguard). Since Flame Thrower/Pulse Cannon satisfies any requirement that the Powertech/Vanguard may have for a channeled ability, and with Rapid Shots/Hammer Shot, Missile Blast/Explosive Round, Explosive Dart/Sticky Grenade, Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt, Death from Above/Mortar Volley, Neural Dart/Neural Jolt, Sonic Missile/Sonic Round, Grapple/Harpoon, Jet Charge/Storm, Incendiary Missile/Incendiary Round, and Thermal Detonator/Assault Plastique, we feel that Powertechs/Vanguards already have plenty of long range options and do not require Unload/Full Auto.
This is the type of communication I am looking for from BioWare when it comes to changes or issues happening with SWTOR. Does a post like that make everyone happy? No, but it doesn’t appear to be hiding anything. It tells the community specifically what is being changed and why. This type of transparency is exactly what people want from the developers and community. Thank you BioWare for this post.
What do you think of the changes coming in update 3.1.1? What did you think of this explanation or the one relating to Sentinel/Marauder changes? Let us know in the comment section below.
Star Wars Community News & Events
- Corellian Run Radio’s Weekly Nav Coordinates
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01/20 Episode 136: PVP Philosophy with Drew – podcast
01/16 HoloNet Links #177 by Jason Taylor
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- SWTOR Community highlight
While listening to my share of SWTOR podcasts and reading related articles, I came across a new one to me, called Xam Xam Says. There are many talented writers among the many fansites in the community and this one is no exception. Xam Xam Says is written by an Aussie gamer named Rachel. Rachel, if you didn’t guess, happens to be a female. She has a great style of writing that doesn’t pull any punches. This isn’t a bash blog either, Xam Xam offers her own constructive suggestions or those she has seen in the community.
Enough about what I think, head over to her blog and see what you think. The two most recent posts about the slot machine, are excellent reads.Rachel will be making a guest appearance on our next podcast that will be streaming live February 1st!
If you have a blog or know of one that covers SWTOR, please send us an email with the link and a brief description. We look forward to reading your blog suggestions.
- SWTOR music video
This week’s video is all about fun. YouTube user, TeddyNGP has posted a video titled “Getting Water Montage.” The video highlights ways of getting water, but that isn’t what I found great about the video. The quality of the audio, and video editing is good. I’m sure many are wondering, why pick this video? I liked go short story intro, but the best part is how the video screams the 80s. The music, “Push It To the Limit,” and even the spontaneous dancing reminds me of many movies from the 1980s. This video may not be ground breaking, but it is fun and for me there needs to always be fun, whether in videos or video games. Sit back and check out this video. Let us know what you thought about the video. Does it remind you of the 80s?
Please let us know 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 email@example.com, or you can also leave any link suggestions in the comments below, or in Corellian Run Radio’s Facebook group. See you next week!