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Spoils of War Changes PTS Phase 2

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Public Test Server
Spoils of War Changes PTS Phase 2
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EricMusco's Avatar


EricMusco
09.04.2019 , 01:29 PM | #1 Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. Next  
Hey folks,

This is going to be a fairly lengthy post, so strap in. We really appreciate all of the feedback you have shared with us about loot acquisition. The majority of it has been highly detailed and very constructive so keep that coming! We mean what we said at the start of this process, we want to get everything on PTS and in your hands so that we can get your feedback and ensure that we have the time to make the necessary changes. Today’s set of changes may not cover everything or get it to perfection just yet, but we hope that you see it as a step in the right direction.

This thread’s format will cover a topic, the feedback we are hearing from you, and then what we are (or aren’t) changing, and why! Let’s dive in…

TLDR - Based on your feedback we are increasing loot drops, giving more mods and moddable gear, increasing tech fragments earned, and increasing the likelihood of side-grades and upgrades on drops.

The Quantity of Item Ratings / Tiers
We have seen concerns about the total number of item ratings that there are from the start of the expansion to best-in-slot. Although the quantity is high, that is not where the focus should ultimately lie. Our intention here is simple: you should be able to go from the start of level cap to max item rating fairly quickly. The goal is to make sure the speed of progression feels rapid and constant, regardless of the item ratings you need to go through to get there.

For now, we are not making any changes directly to the amount of item ratings, but we expect that due to the other changes we are making below you will find yourself progressing quicker than you did at the start of Phase 2.

Progression Through Item Ratings
Since the system now looks at your current item rating when determining loot drops, this is creating a friction point where you may be getting held back by one piece of gear. Ex: You are wearing full 270 except for one or two pieces which brings your avg iRating below that to 268. This situation will cause a lot of the gear that drops to be 270 instead of something higher, meaning a lot of drops aren’t actually upgrades.

We agree this can be a frustrating experience and so we are addressing this in two ways. We are adjusting the item ratings that can be dropped in some content so that you are more likely to get a side-grade or upgrade than you did previously. We also agree that you’re not getting enough loot to begin with, so we’re going to be increasing the number of drops you get from all content (so more chances for upgrades and more tech fragments).

Non-moddable items
We have seen a number of concerns around the amount of items that are dropping that are both non-moddable and/or do not contain mods. Since many players rely on mods for their current gearing we are making a few changes here.

In the short term we are making three changes. Moddable gear can already drop but it is pretty rare overall. We are increasing the drop rate for that gear across the board. Second, we are greatly increasing the frequency of mods dropping and the quantity that you will receive over time. Third, random mods can now be purchased from the random Tech Fragment vendor.

One additional change we are looking into (not in this build) is to convert more of the expansion gear to be moddable instead of the static gear it is today.

Higher Difficulty Content Not Rewarding Enough
That feedback is pretty self-explanatory so no need for extra detail here. We are making two changes to address this. First, as mentioned above, we are going to start dropping more gear across the board. Second, we are going to make sure there is a larger difference in the number of drops between the difficulties so that running Veteran, for example, feels more rewarding than Story.

Too Many Drops Not for Me!
In general we are seeing a lot of feedback that there is too much gear that is not dropping specifically for you. For example, you may feel like you’re seeing more tank drops than you would like to given that you are playing DPS. Or that the group drop at the end of your Flashpoint dropped for a Powertech and you were a group of four Sorcerers.

Some of this was intentional. In a system that can only look at exactly what you are playing we had concerns that it may really limit a players ability to gear for an alt. To alleviate that we set a % of all your personal loot drops that should not be tailored to your spec; while non-personal group drops don’t take the group composition into account at all. From your feedback, it sounds like we leaned too far in that direction…

Two changes for this PTS update. First, we have increased the % of personal items that are tailored to your character. You can still get items that are not for you as we do want some amount of items available for alts, but that % is quite a bit lower now. Second, the group loot drops will now look at your base class to determine what drops. This may mean you won’t get something for your currently assigned spec, but it will be relevant for someone in the group.

Kai Zykken Vendor
Some of the concerns we are seeing is that the Tech Fragment cost is too high, a desire to have expanded inventory to include left side gear and weapons, more items in general, or even a static inventory for purchase. Our intention is that Kai is meant exclusively as a supplementary system. If you feel like you need to look to Kai as a primary mechanism to get gear then we believe there are clear problems we need to work out in the rest of Spoils of War. That said, we are absolutely exploring a number of the great suggestions we have seen for Kai improvements.

For now, we are going to hold off on any changes to him. We want to see how he feels in a world where the rest of the system is being more generous with more loot drops, more Tech Fragments, and better odds at upgrades. We will keep monitoring though and may still make changes to Kai in a future PTS update so keep the feedback coming.

Random Tech Fragment Gear Vendors / Renown Crates
A lot of the feedback here was pretty similar to Kai (and our response is similar as well). However, one additional thing that was raised is that too often you would buy an item from the vendor only for it to not even be for you. We have greatly increased the likelihood that an item purchased from the vendor will be tailored to you. Also, as mentioned above, this vendor now has a much better chance of any item purchased from it being a side-grade or upgrade instead of being below your item rating (Renown is receiving this same update as well).

Amplifiers
We are hearing concerns around the randomness of the system and its cost being prohibitive. One clarification is that part of the design assumes that you may not get one single item and hold onto it forever (if you care about amps). Ex: if you get the set chest that you want, we would expect you spend some time and credits to reroll the amp until you feel it becomes too expensive. The system is going to give you a tremendous amount of loot over time which can likely include another copy of that same chest. That would give you a “reset” ability to roll amplifiers if you chose.

We do hear these concerns though and so we are going to monitor them along with the other changes we are making as we are completely open to making changes to all things Amplifiers. Keep in mind that amplifiers are also still working on being fully implemented and so we want to ensure that is the case before we make too many substantial changes.

PvP Rewards
We are increasing the rewards earned from playing PvP, details will be posted in the PvP Rewards feedback thread.

That should cover most or all of the changes coming in this next PTS patch. We hope that this shows our willingness to make changes to the system as a whole and your feedback is instrumental in getting us to the best place it can be! Stick with us on PTS and keep your feedback coming. Keep in mind that this in no way a comprehensive list of everything we are exploring. We know there are a number of changes we can make beyond what is listed above that we are actively exploring, just not for this PTS build.

Look for this PTS patch tomorrow or Friday. I will let you know when it is live.

Thanks!

-eric

PS - In "patch note" form
  • You are now more likely to receive a side-grade or upgrade from Renown Crates and the Tech Fragment vendor.
  • Increase the number of loot drops received.
  • Players should see an increase in Tech Fragments earned overall.
  • Increased the chances of receiving mods from loot drops.
  • Increased the overall quantity of mods that drop.
  • Higher chance to get rare, moddable gear.
  • Random mods can now be purchased from the random Tech Fragment vendor.
  • Players will notice a larger quantity of loot at higher difficulties.
  • Personal loot now has a higher chance to drop for your current character.
  • Group loot will now take the current group composition into account.
  • Added completion rewards for winning an Unranked Warzone and playing Solo/Group Ranked.
  • Increased the Renown and Tech Fragments earned from completing a Warzone.
Eric Musco | Community Manager
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ZionHalcyon's Avatar


ZionHalcyon
09.04.2019 , 02:13 PM | #2
Thank you for explaining more of that, and I think we will need to see more before I can judge.

2 things:

1) I understand the idea with amplifiers is that you wouldn't hold onto a piece forever, so maybe you wait until you get the same loot drop with the amplifier you want on it - but is that "fun"? I think for the player, it would be more fun to have even temporary gear with the amplifiers you want, and then as you upgrade, you spend to upgrade that new piece.

To me, that makes amplifiers a more fun system I want to play with, and a credit cap of 50k would be an absolute necessity for that. It may not be how amplifiers was initially conceptualized, but I think this is how players would have the most fun with it. And it would drive more people to do heroics to make money to reroll amplifiers, as it being capped at 50k feels "reasonable", whereas once it starts getting to 100k+, I bet the system will end up being hated and players just won't even bother.

2) Crafting. You didn't address crafting, which feels horribly ridiculous right now in terms of cost. This was a huge beef many of us had, and we couldn't even make anything other than subcomponents because of the ridiculous requirements. Why no feedback on the crafting complaints?

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Flying-Brian
09.04.2019 , 02:15 PM | #3
While I feel that some of these changes are in the right direction, I really feel you have missed the core point of all of the feedback.

WE DO NOT WANT MORE RNG.

There needs to be a direct path for players to get set bonus gear, as well as the mods that are needed. The only way to get the set bonus gear needed right now is from Kai Zykken, and with that you are limited to 2 pieces per week, only on weekends, and only if the set you need happens to be available. That is not acceptable.

Out of the very few set bonus pieces that I had drop from gearing from Irating 270-290 from the spoils of war vendor, every single one of them was for the wrong class for the alt I was trying to gear. Then from Kai Zykken, I would have to buy/return/rebuy the same piece 50 - 200 times in order to get 1 mod that was usable and had the correct stats due to excessive amount of RNG that each mod (armor/mod/enhancement) has. Since not only is there RNG on the rating of the mod, there are at least 3 different versions of every mod, with only 1 (or for the adept mod, 2, for the B version) that is usable by players.

Adding in a new random mod vendor has has even more RNG is pointless, due to the large stat variation seen in the gear that is available.

Medullah's Avatar


Medullah
09.04.2019 , 02:17 PM | #4
Any chance the Neverending Arenas of Death* will be fixed so we can, y'know, test PvP?

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CaptRogue
09.04.2019 , 02:22 PM | #5
Please address the Crafting Eric!
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ZionHalcyon's Avatar


ZionHalcyon
09.04.2019 , 02:24 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Flying-Brian View Post
While I feel that some of these changes are in the right direction, I really feel you have missed the core point of all of the feedback.

WE DO NOT WANT MORE RNG.

There needs to be a direct path for players to get set bonus gear, as well as the mods that are needed.

Adding in a new random mod vendor has has even more RNG is pointless, due to the large stat variation seen in the gear that is available.
I want to wait until we see how this plays out.

I am curious though, why they no longer want to go with the direct method of gearing (tokens, etc).

Players seemed happier with it.

sifudies's Avatar


sifudies
09.04.2019 , 02:25 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
Third, random mods can now be purchased from the random Tech Fragment vendor.
This is a problem. We don't want random mods, if you're going to make mods purchasable make bring back the old vendors we had for pvp in 2.0 where we had every type of mod and we could choose which ones we want. We don't want more RNG, please just stop with it.

Also as somebody else already stated you didn't address anything about crafting which is in a terrible state right now and should really be looked into.
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orangenkaiser's Avatar


orangenkaiser
09.04.2019 , 02:26 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post


The Quantity of Item Ratings / Tiers
We have seen concerns about the total number of item ratings that there are from the start of the expansion to best-in-slot. Although the quantity is high, that is not where the focus should ultimately lie. Our intention here is simple: you should be able to go from the start of level cap to max item rating fairly quickly. The goal is to make sure the speed of progression feels rapid and constant, regardless of the item ratings you need to go through to get there.

For now, we are not making any changes directly to the amount of item ratings, but we expect that due to the other changes we are making below you will find yourself progressing quicker than you did at the start of Phase 2.


"Although the quantity is high, that is not where the focus should ultimately lie."

And this right here is the biggest problem. We don't want to focus on climbing through 19 tiers of gear to get to our preferred content, but that's what you all have done by introducing 19 tiers of gear. Our primary focus as players is experiencing our preferred method of game play (PvE, PvP, Story, RP, etc.) but with so many different tiers of gear we're forced to put focus on it. Especially if our preferred game play mode requires better gear to complete (HM/NiM Ops and R-PvP) Grinding gear should never be considered content, but that's where we are with this. "Spend the next few months grinding gear out of 19 tiers that's completely RNG".

To be completely honest with you, I thought we moved past RNG gearing after the fiasco that was Galactic Command. It took 8 months to finally get it to the point that it was a decent system and now we're going back in the wrong direction with gearing. As is, this system will be far worse than Galactic Command ever was.

And what about the concerns raised over crafting? Crafting was supposed to be an integral part of the gearing process and the cost of crafting is ridiculously high. Is there any comment on that?
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ultimarb's Avatar


ultimarb
09.04.2019 , 02:29 PM | #9
rng ist not exciting.

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UnP_RIP
09.04.2019 , 02:30 PM | #10
We do not want RNG AT ALL for our gearing.