Star Wars: The Old Republic 1.3 PTS !

Sign up to playtest Game Update 1.3

Game Update 1.3 is almost ready for deployment onto the Public Test Server. We still need to finalize a few things, but we wanted to let you know that the Public Test Server will be coming down soon so that we can prep Game Update 1.3 for PTS deployment. You can expect the Public Test Server to come back up with Game Update 1.3 in the next few weeks.

Game Update 1.3 is focused around the new Group Finder function, which will help you find other players to group up with for Flashpoints and Operations easily. In addition, the Legacy System has been updated with purchasable character perks. Leveling a new Legacy character can now be customized to your preferred play style.

Our Character Copy tool is still in testing, so we are again using a manual process to copy characters from our Live servers to our Public Test Server. We have streamlined this process to ensure we can get as many players as possible copied to the PTS if they choose to help test our new systems.

If you would like to help us out in testing Game Update 1.3, please visit the following link and follow the directions within:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PTSCopySWTOR

We cannot guarantee that every character will copy to the PTS successfully, however we can assure you that characters on Live servers will not be affected in any way should the tool fail.

Please do not contact Customer Support with questions regarding PTS Character Copies, as they will be unable to assist you at this time.

Thanks in advance!

Star Wars: The Old Republic | News, Updates, Developer Blogs.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic | Game Systems Flashpoints !

Team up for epic adventure

Band together with your most trusted allies to undertake some of the most dangerous missions in the galaxy! Flashpoints are action-packed, story-driven adventures that test a group of players to their limits, putting them up against difficult foes in volatile situations. You and your group need your wits, your skills, and all your resources to emerge victorious. Every Flashpoint begins with an exciting story and contains difficult decisions – choose carefully, because your group’s choices have a meaningful impact on the challenges you’ll face, the enemies you’ll fight, and the outcome of the story! All the danger is certainly worthwhile; the rewards from Flashpoints are some of the most powerful you’ll find.

Star Wars: The Old Republic | Game Systems.

TORWars Interview: SWTOR’s Damion Schubert Reveals New Game Details

BioWare and LucasArts Do Cosplay for Star Wars...

Image by Colony of Gamers via Flickr

TORWars Exclusive Interview with Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s Principal Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert

Damion Schubert – Gaming the System for well over a decade (Pic from AskAJedi video)

Gather round one and all. It’s time for another exclusive TORWars chat with the developers who are hard at work creating Star Wars: The Old Republic. Today, we’ve dragged Principal Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert away from his holo-desk and asked him some burning questions about the game. We received a few of the expected “Not talking about that” responses but we also got some hot, new reveals on just-added features. Read on!

TORWars:
Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Damion. What system are you most looking forward to watching a million players get their hands on and why?

Damion Schubert:
By far, Crew Skills. Making the crafting system take advantage of the existence of your companions has been an extraordinary success, and allowed us to do some neat things under the hood. Also, we have a couple of twists that we’re pretty sure are going to surprise people in the amount of depth and extensibility they bring to crafting.

TORWars:
What game system has been the most challenging to get just right? Did any system come together more easily than you expected?

Schubert:
I had no idea when I signed up to do the maps how major an enterprise they would be – or for that matter how important they would be for the game to play well. Our world designers are fiendish geniuses who do awe-inspiring work, but a lot of the stuff that makes these worlds so cool make them difficult to map using a traditional map system. Being sure that a player can still figure out where they need to go on a world map when Alderaan is several times the size of maps from other games was one that took constant iteration to get right.

As for easy successes, there are so many small ideas that had large impacts. The story-so-far text sums up your story as you’re logging into the game, making it easier to catch up with the flow off things after a long period not playing. The codex is a staple of all BioWare games, but ended up being an incredibly powerful and flexible tool for us, both for encouraging explorer gameplay but also helping explain lore and game mechanics that are otherwise obtuse. My favorite might be the holocalls, which allow players to take part in group conversations with NPCs even if they are on the other side of the planet.

TORWars:
Could we get some more information/clarification on the way the individualized loot bags work in Flashpoints and Operations? Is there going to be any sort of a no-trade system or is everything (barring story items) going to be tradable?

Schubert:
Not ready to talk about this yet.

You’ll thank Schubert and his team every time you open a map

TORWars:
Can you touch on any of the end-game activities (aka money sinks) that will be available to players other than crafting? Will we see any “Daily” quests that are geared towards earning credits and/or factional favor?

Schubert:
More news on endgame crafting is coming soon!

TORWars:
Any update on the Twi’leks as armor-wearing classes? We heard about issues with lekku and helmets. Is creative lekku tucking being implemented? What’s the verdict?

Schubert:
The artists are still determining the best way to address this.

TORWars:
Are you considering any built-in functions for Twitter, Facebook or other social media?

Schubert:
Not ready to talk about this yet.

TORWars:
Will there be naming rules and will they be enforced? Will we be playing alongside “IPwnzJoo,” “Drizzt666” and “XplaguesX”?

Schubert:
There will definitely be naming rules that will be automatically enforced (first letter only capitalization, no numbers, for example). Profanity will be weeded out, and our customer service staff will also be working to weed out offensive names that manage to get by our automated filter. That being said, everyone has a different idea on what constitutes a cool, stupid and/or roleplaying-appropriate name, and so we probably won’t try too far to make judgment calls beyond ‘offensive’. My advice for players of any MMO is, if naming standards are important to you, find or form a guild with likeminded people who share your standards.

Schubert in the Fan Summit spotlight (Pic TORWars)

TORWars:
Have any fabulous ideas been moved from the “Wall of Crazy” recently and made their way into the final game? If so, please do tell!

Schubert:
Well, sure. To give some background, the ‘wall of crazy’ is a wall full of post-it notes where we put up features that we are considering adding to the game – sometimes for launch, sometimes in our post-launch patch schedule, and sometimes for expansion or beyond. It’s important to realize that these games have a life far beyond the ship date, and that we’re already planning on how to grow and evolve the game.

That being said, some of the ideas that were planned for post-launch got raised in priority, based on feedback and metrics from our testing. Nothing’s set in stone until we hit launch day, obviously, but we’re aiming to get more into launch now. Of particular note, the dressing room made it in (alt-rightclick to preview an equipment piece’s appearance on you or your companion). The ability for group leaders to mark targets with symbols his party members can see just went in. We also have a couple of minor features we’re putting in designed to make it easier for players to find and form groups – features I’m more willing to talk about once we’ve vetted them as improvements to the game in general.

As the game barrels towards shipping, additional features that come in are going to be extremely targeted towards having maximum impact for a minimum expenditure of programming time. It’s really an exciting time as a systems designer to determine what those big bang features are going to be, but at the same time, our top priority above all else right now is getting this experience into the hands of the players.

TORWars:
Great to know helpful features like Dressing Rooms and marking targets are now in the game. And anything that makes grouping easier will be most welcome. Thanks very much, Damion!

***

(Top, D. Schubert photo source)

TORWars.