Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR Night Life and PvP changes coming soon
Second, Alex Modny and Eric Musco talked to Bad Feeling Podcast about some very important changes that are coming to the PvP reward system that might entice some players to jump into PvP, especially ranked PvP. Let’s dive in.
The night life
A year ago, the event on the floating Star Cluster Casino and Club Vertigo seemed to be a way for BioWare to sink some of the players’ loose credits back into the system. As I said on Massively-of-old, I am not a fan of gambling events in general because they set the expectation of winning high when the truth of the matter is that it’s designed to take your money. But we aren’t here to discuss the philosophy of gambling. We want to discuss ways to actually get the most of what you’re putting into the event.
Even though the event is only next week, we have no idea what the prizes actually are. But we do know what was offered up last year, so we can assume that there might be different prizes even if the mechanics are unlikely to change. I hate to brag, especially because it’s all about luck, but I was able to win a Rancor and gain all the achievements in fewer than 400k credits. I was very lucky, but I also played it smart.
If this year’s numbers are the same as they were last year, then we can extrapolate the chances of winning each prize.
There are two kind of tokens and two kinds of slot machines. The Smuggler’s Luck machines give smaller prizes and have a lower chance of winning, and the Kingpin Machines have a higher chance of losing, but also give bigger prizes. But the Smuggler’s Luck machines have a 10% chance of giving you a “Feeling Lucky” buff, which increases your chances of winning on the Kingpin machines.
The numbers behind gambling
Last year, the numbers looked like a bit of algebraic nonsense, but they should give you an idea of how things will work this year. On the Smuggler’s Luck machines, you have a 29.68% chance of losing, a 50% chance to get your token back, a 10% chance to get the “Feeling Lucky” buff, a 5% chance to double your token or get a Kingpin Token, a .3% of getting a Golden Certificate used to buy things off the vendor, and a .02% chance that the machine will blow up.
Do not go to the Kingpin machines without a “Feeling Lucky” buff because you’re almost guaranteed to lose. But with the buff you have only a 29.59% chance of losing. You also have a 64.81% chance of playing again, a 5.18% chance of getting a Golden Certificate, a .298% chance of getting a Vectron Opus, a .07% chance to get the rancor, and a .02% chance that the machine will explode.
Last year, I ran a couple of slots at once to maximize the cooldown. You cannot hit more than two additional machines before the first one is off cooldown, so don’t be a jerk and hog four. In fact, I’d say just do two if there are a lot of people around. I did, and I spent only 400k. I would play through a stack of Smuggler’s Luck tokens, hopefully gaining a good stack of Kingpin tokens in the process. Then I would hop onto the Kingpin machines after gaining a “Feeling Lucky” buff on the second stack. Protip: Watch your buff; don’t listen to the machines. Once you’ve won something other than a free turn on the Kingpin machines, the buff will drop off. The buff will drop off at least a full second before you hear the jackpot noise.
The Nightlife event will start on June 9th and run until August 5th. Participation does not require a subscription of any kind, but do remember that there is a credit limit for players who aren’t subscribed. Happy gambling!
The PvP reward adjustments
Normally, the topic of this second point of interest would have me groaning because it’s about PvP, and as I’m sure most of you are aware, I just don’t like the way that BioWare handles PvP. But I am slightly optimistic about the upcoming changes. Don’t get me wrong; I still think the game’s PvP development is craptastic. But when I heard that BioWare is planning on completely removing ranked comms and reducing the cost of PvP gear overall, I thought I was dreaming.
The current plan (which is subject to change) is to convert all ranked comms 1:1 to regular warzone comms in Update 3.3. As for the cost reduction, the current 168 mods cost 400 WZ comms and the 174 mods cost 800 ranked comms and 400 WZ comms. Look for the new mods to cost only 150 WZ comms and 400 WZ comms respectively. That’s about a 33% reduction on the lower tier and 81% on the higher tier. I know one person who has two thumbs and will actually get a full set of high-tier PvP gear for the first time in forever: this guy. (You can’t see it, but I’m pointing to myself.)
Additionally, you will not be able to solo queue for ranked warzones without an expertise rating of 2018. All solo-ranked players thanked the PvP gods for that one. It will reduce win-trading, and frankly, the number of people who have no clue what ranked PvP is about. Unfortunately, this will not apply to grouped ranked warzones.
Of course, it wouldn’t be BioWare PvP if it didn’t take two steps forward and one step back. Players will no longer be able to interrupt the node capture cast with an AoE. Hey, you know that mechanic that has been working fine in PvP for four years? You know that mechanic that can help you sidestep the knockback of other players? You know that mechanic that helped counter the terribly developed targeting system for SWTOR? You can forget that because of… reasons.
I’m not really sure why the developers decided that now is the time to address an AoE channel blocking issue that wasn’t really an issue, but there you have it.
We don’t have a date for update 3.3 yet. [Update: BioWare announced yesterday that 3.3 is tentatively scheduled for July 21st.] But if you’re interested in jumping into the game to find out what ranked PvP is like for your server, I do have a refer-a-friend link that will give you 7 days of subscription service (among other things) if you haven’t been subbed for over 90 days. If you do end up subscribing, I get 600 Cartel Coins that I end up using for giveaways on our livestreams. Sweet deal all around.