Community Q&A: March 2nd 2012
Hello and welcome to this week’s Community Q&A blog! This past week we asked for your questions and today, our developers have answers for you. Please note in some cases we’ve combined multiple questions into one, and we have edited some questions for clarity.
This week is a bit short on answers, but we’ll definitely make up for it with the upcoming Guild Summit, which is going to be packed full of information! So much, in fact, that we’re going to postpone our next Community Q&A blog until March 16th in order to allow for all of the new information to sink in. We’ll open up the official forum thread for the March 16th Q&A on Tuesday afternoon (CST).
So, don’t forget to check out the Livestream for the Guild Summit on Monday (more information will be coming very soon) and we’ll see you all here again on March 16th!
Be sure to discuss this blog here.
JediCarve - Will our ships ever get upgraded to include mailboxes and the Galactic Trade Network so that we will be able to access those without having to go through the process of load screens and Orbital Stations/Spaceports?
Damion Schubert (Principal Lead Systems Designer): On one hand, we really like making the ships richer and more useful, and on the other hand, we also want to be sure that the fleets feel like vibrant centers of the game community. So the answer is... Yes! And this feature is coming as soon as Game Update 1.2 ... as ship features you can unlock as part of the Legacy system. Watch for more information about Legacy unlocks coming in Game Update 1.2 - we should be dropping that Real Soon Now.
spcdog - When will we be able to add people to our Friends List who are not online? The main point of the Friends List is to let you know when friends are online. Right now, I have to already know when friends are online to add them, which kind of defeats the purpose.
Damion Schubert: This is a bug - thanks for calling my attention to it (this issue is somewhat sporadic, so it fell through the cracks). We are getting this into the pipe to get fixed, most likely for Game Update 1.2.
ThtreLady - Can we get character achievement announcements in the guild chat channels? I.E. Krysari is now level 39, etc? I'd love to be able to congratulate my fellow guildies, but I have no way of seeing when they level up or kill something spectacular.
Damion Schubert: This is a good idea - cheap but effective features like this are, as a designer, among my favorites. I'll bring this to the Guild Team, but no telling when they will prioritize it compared to the other guild love they are working on.
Arodin - Characters with a neutral or "grey" alignment are at a disadvantage because there are almost no Relics that they can equip until endgame. This forces players to stick with either light side or dark side dialogue options exclusively, limiting freedom and roleplaying. Will Relics be added that can be equipped by neutral-aligned characters, and are there any other plans for neutral gear?
Damion Schubert: Grey alignment is in the pipe - we have a design, and that design includes a plan to make the itemization fair for light, dark, and grey. I do not have an ETA for this feature at this time, but can't wait to announce one.
Damion Schubert: The ability to turn off smart camera is in Game Update 1.2 (this is what makes the camera swing behind you when you start to move).
Blaine Christine (Sr. Producer, Live Services): At this time there are no plans to implement separate maintenance times by region. Star Wars: The Old Republic is a global service with no restrictions on a player’s server choice.
Unfortunately the trade-off is that we have to maintain a single service environment, which leads to global maintenance periods. We are very sensitive to the fact that we are limiting play time once per week with a global scheduled maintenance.
We have carefully examined global peak times and the number of players affected by our planned downtime. Those of you that have been with us since launch may have noticed that the first few patches were scheduled at 4 AM CST; we very quickly adjusted to 2 AM CST. The reason for this adjustment was an analysis of the peak time play patterns by region that resulted in the current start time.
We understand that this is especially concerning to players in the European and newly opened Asia/Pacific server regions. We will always do our best to minimize the downtime, but it is the only way that we can perform critical service updates on the game client and on the game’s network infrastructure, underlying platform systems and so on.
Thank you for bringing your concerns to us – we will always listen and do our best to make adjustments when possible, but at this time, we have to move forward with a single global maintenance period.
Georg Zoeller (Principal Lead Combat Designer): Accuracy counters your target's ability to defend (dodge, deflect, etc.) against your attacks. You are correct about the accuracy budget on the current end game gear being too generous for most scenarios - unless you are a dedicated tank killer in PvP, you probably do not need as much as you get from Rakata gear at the moment and you should consider swapping out some mods to support your preferred playstyle.
For the upcoming tier of new gear, we have an improved distribution of stats for both PvP and PvE gear.
Gidoru - In last week’s Q&A, you detailed upcoming changes to the Crafting System with crit crafting orange gear and removing base mods from purple gear. I think that this issue needs some clarification, as what was stated essentially suggests that orange crit crafted gear will always be superior to either PvP or PvE gear. This is because players will be able to simply remove the mods in their PvP or PvE gear and place it in a piece of crit crafted orange gear that will additionally provide extra stats as a result of the augment slot. Is it your intention to make crafted gear superior to gear obtained in other ways?
Emannuel Lusinchi (Technical Design Director): Yes, for Game Update 1.2, this is correct. Crafted gear is, in theory, superior to endgame gear obtained in other ways. However, it is worth pointing out that putting together crit crafted gear, including item modifications, requires more effort, not less. Now, the reason I specifically mention Game Update 1.2 is that we will introduce new mechanics in a future update that, without diminishing the usefulness of crit crafted items, will bring some interesting changes and that’s all I will say about that!