Developer Blogs

09.20.2012

Quality of Life Improvements in Game Update 1.4

On top of the major features that we work on and deliver to the fans, we also try to work in smaller features to improve the overall quality of life for our players. Game update 1.4 has several of these features, and it’s worth calling these out.

Group Finder Teleport Back – The top complaint about the Group Finder when we shipped it was that it did not send you back to where you were originally adventuring when you completed the content.

After much discussion, design came up with a compromise that we think will work pretty well. Starting in Game update 1.4, when you leave the Flashpoint by any means, you will be offered a teleport back to your adventuring location IF you have killed at least one boss in that Flashpoint (or in some cases, hit a significant checkpoint). This will be presented in a menu – players can choose instead to jump to the entry of the Flashpoint (in case you want to just jump to the Fleet to repair, for example).

Delayed Binding – Ever accidentally roll greed by mistake? Ever spend your commendations on the wrong item at the token vendor? In Game Update 1.4, players will be able to address this issue. Bind on Pickup and Bind on Legacy items will now have a 2 hour limit in which they can be exchanged. If they were a loot item, you can freely give the item to any party member who was in on the kill and therefore eligible to loot the item. Similarly, if you buy something from a commendation vendor, you will have 2 hours to return the item to any vendor and get a full refund of commendations.

There are limitations. This does not apply to stackable items or mission items. Adding or removing mods and augment slots will permanently bind the item (prematurely ending the timer), as will opening a lockbox. If the item is a Bind on Equip item you get from a vendor, then mailing, trading, listing the item on the GTN, or placing in the guild bank will also prematurely end the timer.

Moods – Here’s something fun: in Game Update 1.4, you can set your character’s mood – i.e. his facial expression. As an example of this, try typing /alarmed or /cheery. This will set your character’s facial expression permanently (although it will be overwritten in conversations when the dialogue calls for a specific animation there). The full list of moods you can choose will appear in the emote browser attached to your chat window.

Companion Customization Improvements – Finally, starting in Game Update 1.4 players will be able to hide the helmet, or unify colors to chest, for their companion’s gear (see the screenshot at the top of this article). No more mismatched, silly outfits (unless you like them that way)!

These are, of course, small improvements, but in these cases, a little bit of programming and design work go a long way towards making players happy and improving quality of life. We’re always on the lookout for small wins like these, and there will be more of them in the future.

Thanks!

Damion Schubert, Principle Lead Systems Designer