One of the remaining sort-of mysterious features of Star Wars: The Old Republic is the game’s heavily touted item modification system. Despite the upwards of 20,000 posts on the game’s official forums clamoring for an ‘Appearance Tab’ a’la most contemporary MMOs, BioWare has often stated that the game’s item modification system made such a tab basically needless, which is why they are not planning on implementing one. Even so, outside of some infrequent but illuminating remarks from the game’s developers, the system remains overall mysterious.
As early as this summer, BioWare got a bit more specific, using the example of a Tusken Raider outfit to illustrate the versatility of the system. Using the item modification system, players would basically be able to keep their items (such as some random Tusken Raider outfit) up to snuff all the way to level cap, and perhaps beyond. However, in the absence of concrete specifics (such as a detailed write-up/section on the official TOR website), most fans have been divided on how confident they are this system would adequately replace the much desired appearance tab, and this void has obviously left room for a lot of rampant speculation.
This is why the game’s official forums light ablaze when one of Daniel Erickson’s many interviews is auto-translated from French to English and features remarks that fuel those doubts. Recently, when Daniel spoke with the folks over at Jeuxvideo he supposedly made some comments (again, translated) stating that “most items in the game aren’t moddable” and that there are basically a few items without stats that provide players with the ability to achieve an “iconic look” e.g. Obi Wan Kenobi’s outfit and basically wear those for an extended period of time through the modification system. While I’m sure some players might appreciate this sort of thing in addition to the robust individuality offered by a mod system that allows all items to be customized this way, the notion of replacing that design did not go over well with fans of the game.
The reason for the inconsistency in BioWare’s comments on the Item Modification system has to do with the fact that the system is actually in flux at the moment, which is apparently why we don’t have concrete details on it just yet. In an effort to provide some clarity, BioWare’s Allison Berryman jumped in on the forums to caution users regarding the accuracy of translated comments and noted that BioWare is actually using their Game Testing program to you know, test the game, and this means they will sometimes test radical changes in the program. This means it is likely that Daniel Erickson was referring to the item modification as it is currently implemented in Game Testing, not necessarily the final version of the system.
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