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My gearing comparison pre/post 6.0 (as it sits on PTS) - long post

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
My gearing comparison pre/post 6.0 (as it sits on PTS) - long post

Darev's Avatar


Darev
09.15.2019 , 10:33 AM | #1
I've seen a few posts from people asking what the big deal is with the change to a RNG based gearing system that we currently see in PTS. So I wrote out a 4 page document comparing the system we have now and the system that's in place on PTS. At the end of it are just 4 reasons I see the change as a bad design.

This might be seen as a redundant post but I don't feel it is given there seems to be some general confusing about what "bad" RNG is vs. the normal RNG we've always had vs "targeted" RNG.

Hopefully this post doesn't muddy the waters any further.

Here goes:


At this point, RNG has been in the game since the beginning. It isn’t anything new.
However, what is new with the proposed 6.0 expansion is having RNG as THE primary method of gearing to endgame. This is bad for the game as a whole.
So first, let’s define RNG. In effect it is where you kill a mob and it drops a random piece of loot/gear.
At the very basic level, there are three spots where RNG matters:
1) Can you even equip the item
2) Does the item match your class/role (DPS vs Tank)
3) Are the stats “optimized” (at lower levels, far less important than at endgame)

Prior to Ossus, the top end of gear was 248. Well, was this type of RNG used to gear up to 248?

No it wasn’t.

You could gear up to 248 playing entirely solo. Playing any way you wanted.

Once you got to level 70 you started earning GC points, which got you Command Crates every so often. That could drop gear specifically for your toon. It was RNG, but a different kind of RNG…targeted RNG…targeted to your character. Yes you could get a weapon, or a chest pieces, or even 3 in a row, but you never got tank gear if you were spec’d as a DPS…or vice versa.

Pre-Ossus path to gearing starting at 230.
1) Group content – operations
A) Run story mode ops to get 236 gear/token drops from bosses. Each boss drops specific tokens which you can turn into a vendor for the gear that matches your character’s class/spec.
B) Veteran Mode ops get you 242 gear.
C) Master Mode ops get you 248 gear.

No RNG involved as specific bosses dropped specific items. If you wanted a 248 chest, you killed the boss that dropped the chest token and took it to the vendor to exchange it.

2) Solo content – anything and everything in the game. Truly “play your way”
A) Get to level 70
B) Start accumulating UCs and Command Coins
C) Buy 230 gear direct from vendor on fleet with Command Coins
D) Buy 236 gear tokens direct from vendor on fleet with UCs – trade into gear vendor
E) Exchange 236 shell and purchase 242 token with UCs – trade into gear vendor
F) Rinse/repeat to get up to 248.

3) Targeted RNG – specific to your toon – via command crates
Each command crate COULD contain a piece of gear specific to your toon. It was random, you could get 3 relics in a row, or none at all, but you wouldn’t get tank gear if your toon was DPS. Targeted RNG.



The gear from the command crates were also moddable. This meant you could rip out the mods and put them in legacy gear, or cartel market gear, to let you toon look however you wanted. Both armor and weapons.

Yes, you could always use the “appearance” slots to make your toon look how you want, and that meant the moddable aspect of gear was less important specifically regarding how your toon looks. However, you can’t do that for weapons. What you put in your character’s hands is what everyone sees. There’s currently no way around that.

So after 248 we have Ossus, which steps away from this system and uses about 50% Targeted RNG and 50% grind for crystals.
Targeted RNG on Ossus:
You play through the Weekly “daily” mission on Ossus and get to choose from 3 different crates. Each crate contains specific slots for gear. If you want a chance to get a weapon, you choose the crate that gives you a chance to get a weapon. You may not get the weapon, but if you do, it WILL be a weapon you can use. Hence…Targeted RNG.

You can also take quests / group content to earn crystals to buy gear from a vendor.
2-3 crystals gets you a 252 item you choose direct from a vendor. No RNG involved.
Get 3-4 more crystals and get a 258 item (trade in your 252 shell). Once again, no RNG involved.

Thus concludes the refresher on current gearing in SWTOR

Here’s what 6.0 on PTS deployed with at first.
RNG world drops (completely normal game design)
RNG boss drops (completely different system than we’ve had in recent years)
RNG vendor for set bonus shells (moddable armor where the components were RNG…3 levels of RNG here)
RNG gear/crate vendor (you could buy a crate for a specific slot, but it was RNG what came out of it…semi targeted RNG)

::added from feedback:::
for each boss, each player has some personal loot. A guarantee that you will loot a piece of gear is a step up from previous. Not sure if the piece of gear is chosen via RNG, or if different bosses drop specific things. Would be nice to be the latter, I suspect it's the former.
********************

No more operation tokens
No more vendor with direct purchases for the new equivalent of Command Coins

Here was the initial gear/path design for 6.0 as seen on PTS

Get to level 75.
RNG gear starts dropping at item rating 270.
Get a FULL SET of 270 gear. All 14 slots.
Once your average item rating is 270, you’ll start to see 272 drops.
Once your average item rating is 272, you’ll start to see 274.
Rinse/repeat for 276 – 278 – 280 – 282….all the way up to 306.

Now, you won’t see random world drops above a certain level. Not sure what level actually, but you won’t, nor shouldn’t, see endgame 306 gear drop from random mobs while doing heroics, or whatever.

However, the operation bosses will follow this gearing path too. No more tokens to trade in at a vendor.
The harder content will get you the higher level gear, but as to WHAT gear items actually drop, that’s still determined via RNG.

There is a planned 100% RNG free vendor being implanted soon on PTS that will have a direct purchase of shells with set bonuses. They didn’t say the components would have set values, so those are probably going to still be RNG…but at least a vendor that we can get the set bonus shells that we want is a start. Not a great start…but a start.


There is NO method of gearing free from RNG at this time on PTS.
Except crafting, which has its own set of issues as currently seen on PTS.

So…here’s why I see this as a really bad design choice.
1) From what we see on the forums, now and for previous game updates, people hate RNG. Maybe not 100% of people, but I think it’s safe to say more people hate it, especially for higher level loot drops, than there are those who like it.
2) The RNG random world drops are a majority unmoddable items. You can’t pull components out of what you get and put it in the CM market items you paid real world cash for, or lots of in game credits for. That COULD diminish the amount spent for CM items. While not a great concern for me, I do recognize the problem this COULD present to Bioware/EA
3) There is no current 100% non RNG path for gearing. There always has been. Now there isn’t. A vendor for set bonus shells doesn’t change that. The shells won’t improve our item rating.
4) The item rating / upgrade mechanism is horrible. Needing to get your average item rating up to a certain level before you start to see the next level of gear is a crazy long and tedious grind. Doing this on PTS when we had unlimited currency, vai the RNG vendors, took HOURS. And that was getting gear in seconds. Can you imagine how long it will take trying to gear up a single toon that way?

I’m just going to stop there. I’m writing this is Word and this is the 4th page already. I’m getting mentally worn out about it.

There are going to be people who say they like the change because they want to oppose the general consensus of the forum. That’s what they do.

There are going to be people who hate the changes because they hate change. That’s how some people are.

There are also people who can see that this is truly a bad design change that was completely unnecessary and will likely cause a player exodus when the masses really see what’s going on.

I like to think that I’m in that 3rd category. I am not the most eloquent on the forum, but I try to be honest about my rationale.

This was just the first time I’ve tried to spell it out.

Have fun, enjoy, debate, or don’t.

Download PTS, try it out for yourself.
If you choose to fight in the sewer you can no longer claim to have the moral high ground.

phalczen's Avatar


phalczen
09.15.2019 , 10:47 AM | #2
The only difference worth mentioning is that for each boss, each player has some personal loot. A guarantee that you will loot a piece of gear is a step up from previous. Even the CXP pack from an ops boss wasn’t usually enough for a Command crate by itself.

Your other descriptive points are fairly accurate.
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Darev's Avatar


Darev
09.15.2019 , 10:55 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by phalczen View Post
The only difference worth mentioning is that for each boss, each player has some personal loot. A guarantee that you will loot a piece of gear is a step up from previous. Even the CXP pack from an ops boss wasn’t usually enough for a Command crate by itself.

Your other descriptive points are fairly accurate.
I'll add that. Thanks
If you choose to fight in the sewer you can no longer claim to have the moral high ground.

Damask_Rose's Avatar


Damask_Rose
09.15.2019 , 05:45 PM | #4
I have read that world drops are bol and can't be sold on the GTN, but I haven't tested it out myself. If that is correct there will no longer be cheap, entry level gear to buy when we first hit 75.

Darev's Avatar


Darev
09.15.2019 , 07:28 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Damask_Rose View Post
I have read that world drops are bol and can't be sold on the GTN, but I haven't tested it out myself. If that is correct there will no longer be cheap, entry level gear to buy when we first hit 75.
That is correct. I tested it out the last time I was on PTS
If you choose to fight in the sewer you can no longer claim to have the moral high ground.

DarthSealth's Avatar


DarthSealth
09.15.2019 , 07:54 PM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by Darev View Post
Trimed.
Honestly i hate RNG, I like loot drops but they're not my favourite either but my preferred to CXP or Loot Boxes.

I would have preferred a new system such as a token/currency based drop on boss and on completion of WZ's/Ranked to turn in for gear. I like the idea of choice, you earn, you choose what you want and you spend.

Having RNG such CXP as a supplementary system that you'll earn stuff in the background for general EXP earned is great but shouldn't be a dependant system like current where you can only go through that to gear up in group content but at least you would not be leaving the solo players behind.
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OlBuzzard's Avatar


OlBuzzard
09.15.2019 , 09:11 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Darev View Post

[/ reduced for space … etc]
There is NO method of gearing free from RNG at this time on PTS.
Except crafting, which has its own set of issues as currently seen on PTS.

So…here’s why I see this as a really bad design choice.
1) From what we see on the forums, now and for previous game updates, people hate RNG. Maybe not 100% of people, but I think it’s safe to say more people hate it, especially for higher level loot drops, than there are those who like it.
2) The RNG random world drops are a majority unmoddable items. You can’t pull components out of what you get and put it in the CM market items you paid real world cash for, or lots of in game credits for. That COULD diminish the amount spent for CM items. While not a great concern for me, I do recognize the problem this COULD present to Bioware/EA
3) There is no current 100% non RNG path for gearing. There always has been. Now there isn’t. A vendor for set bonus shells doesn’t change that. The shells won’t improve our item rating.
4) The item rating / upgrade mechanism is horrible. Needing to get your average item rating up to a certain level before you start to see the next level of gear is a crazy long and tedious grind. Doing this on PTS when we had unlimited currency, vai the RNG vendors, took HOURS. And that was getting gear in seconds. Can you imagine how long it will take trying to gear up a single toon that way?

I’m just going to stop there. I’m writing this is Word and this is the 4th page already. I’m getting mentally worn out about it.

There are going to be people who say they like the change because they want to oppose the general consensus of the forum. That’s what they do.

There are going to be people who hate the changes because they hate change. That’s how some people are.

There are also people who can see that this is truly a bad design change that was completely unnecessary and will likely cause a player exodus when the masses really see what’s going on.

I like to think that I’m in that 3rd category. I am not the most eloquent on the forum, but I try to be honest about my rationale.

This was just the first time I’ve tried to spell it out.

Have fun, enjoy, debate, or don’t.

Download PTS, try it out for yourself.
Post is long … but one of the best I've read on this subject. Even if others disagree with your statements and or conclusions … there is no denying how well done this post is !

I personally applaud this post !!

VERY WELL DONE !!

I agree with a great deal of what you have said. There is no question that you have put a great deal of thought in to this.... and it shows !!

I've said it before … I'll say it again ! I will be on the PTS next week and be watching for the update that is coming.

BTW... don't give up ! Even after 6.0 drops !
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Totemdancer's Avatar


Totemdancer
09.16.2019 , 02:09 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Darev View Post
Spoiler
Great post and well presented. I’m in the third category myself and I think you’ve touched on all the reasons why I feel that way.
Bioware are on a path to no where with this gearing setup. I can’t believe they have taken this route after all the back lash of 5.0 and the push back from a small increase of RNG in 5.10.
How can they not understand that a vast number of players don’t like RNG and having such a system drives people away from the game. Do they not look at past systems and failures vs successes?
Without being overly dramatic, I can see this having a net negative affect of player numbers and retention, not a positive one. That is the last thing this game needs.
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Darev's Avatar


Darev
09.16.2019 , 04:17 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Totemdancer View Post
Great post and well presented. I’m in the third category myself and I think you’ve touched on all the reasons why I feel that way.
Bioware are on a path to no where with this gearing setup. I can’t believe they have taken this route after all the back lash of 5.0 and the push back from a small increase of RNG in 5.10.
How can they not understand that a vast number of players don’t like RNG and having such a system drives people away from the game. Do they not look at past systems and failures vs successes?
Without being overly dramatic, I can see this having a net negative affect of player numbers and retention, not a positive one. That is the last thing this game needs.
Maybe they have bosses above them forcing it on them and we have to be diligent so they can prove to their bosses that the players really don't like it.

Maybe it's something else entirely.

I just find it difficult (not impossible) that it's the devs who have been here a long time just up and changing stuff for no reason, which is certainly how it seems with no explanation as to WHY these changes are coming with 6.0.
If you choose to fight in the sewer you can no longer claim to have the moral high ground.

RookStryfe's Avatar


RookStryfe
09.16.2019 , 05:07 PM | #10
Worst thing I've read about the new changes is requiring a full set of low tier gear before u can get high tier loot drops.

Sounds like countless hours of receiving guaranteed worthless trash until you get close to having a top tier set.

Reminds me of the tier 1 - tier 4 command crate grind.