bioware

Major MMO studio owned by EA, famous for its RPG franchises and particularly to MMO players for Star Wars: The Old Republic

SWTOR’s Update 5.4 will add a new flashpoint and player housing on a moving train

Now that Star Wars: The Old Republic players have mastered their emotions and the 5.3 update, it is time to gaze to the galaxy and prepare for what’s coming. BioWare realized that it had been a little vague on what August’s Update 5.4 would contain and rectified this with more elaboration on the patch’s contents in a forum post.

Update 5.4 will kick off with a completely new flashpoint called Crisis on Umbara. With three difficulty levels (including master), players will need to bring their A-game (and A-gear) to whip this instance. If players beat the flashpoint a few times, they can gain access to the Umbara stronghold, which is held on a moving train.

The update will also contain more companion customization, the ability to summon companions while moving, higher graphics settings, and the end of Season 8. Discipline balance tuning is scheduled to continue with changes to Lethality, Ruffian, Concealment, Scrapper, Medicine, Sawbones, Fury, Concentration, Carnage, and Combat.

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Hyperspace Beacon: The sexual harassment problem in SWTOR

As most of our readers probably know, I consider myself a member of the roleplay community in Star Wars: The Old Republic. I have been a part of MMO roleplay communities since 2004, and there isn’t a lot that I haven’t seen. However, there is a problem in the online communities, in general, that I have been quiet about, but I feel that something needs to be said about it before it hits a breaking point. And the gamemasters of the SWTOR world are stretched too thin and have to take extreme action — an action that will likely limit those who are innocently trying to have fun. The problem is harassment against women.

In my community, we have some very strong women, and I don’t want to call them out because I don’t what to make them targets. But I do want to thank them for their effort, and I would like them to know that their extra work has not gone unnoticed.

I myself merely play female characters sometimes, and many times when I’m on those characters, people assume that I am a woman in real life. Although I know that my experience only scratches the surface of what a woman gamer goes through, even I can see that it’s a problem. So I would like to touch on what I’ve seen and why I see it as a growing issue.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 127: EVE walks no more

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree recount the odd history of Walking in Stations, debate the Mordor pre-order, tackle a trio of MMO updates, talk with ARK’s soundtrack composer, and more!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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How to find the right MMORPG as a couple

People seemed to quite like my piece last week about how my wife and I wound up married in no small part due to World of Warcraft. Of course, I also alluded in the column to the fact that World of Warcraft was hardly our final destination, and we’re currently playing Final Fantasy XIV quite happily together. We’ve also gone into Final Fantasy XI, City of Heroes, Guild Wars, Fallen Earth, Star Trek Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic… a lot of different games, in other words. And I’m just counting the ones we’ve tried together.

I don’t think that there’s any one surefire way to always find the right game for a couple to enjoy, but I have had a fair amount of experience with it now, and it’s helped that we’ve both spent a lot of time working on finding what works and what doesn’t in this field. So here’s some (hopefully) helpful tips about finding a game that you and your romantic partner of choice can enjoy together.

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Massively Overthinking: Consumer protections in the MMORPG industry

Veteran Massively OP reader Miol says he’s exhausted by a recent string of stories in which MMO companies screw gamers over, one after another: ARK Survival Evolved, Albion Online, Skyforge, and now Black Desert all figure into his list, just from the last week.

“I want to ask what more can gamers do to protect themselves and everyone else as consumers than speak up? It feels exhausting to always stay vigilant and feel upset all the time, since games, as an everchanging medium, give devs so many opportunities to screw us over with every single patch or update. And the worst immediate consequence seems many times a meek apology for what they’ve done, only for them to try out something different that maybe could go over unnoticed.

“You guys have reported about this UK watchdog group ASA, who investigated No Man’s Sky, but even they dismissed the tons of complaints about false advertising. Steam did declare some changes to advertising on their platform, but I still don’t see them taken place. If even those big negative stories don’t have that much of an impact, what hope is there for all the smaller communities, spread thin globally? There was a recent wave of gamers imploring each other to not pre-order, but that ebbed away fast enough, when the next shiny pre-order advantages over other players were presented. But even so, this still can’t protect you from what may happen after the launch!

“As said by Bree many times: Merely quitting won’t help either, as the studio will never know why most of the times. But also sending feedback for nine whole days didn’t help Skyforge players to make its devs to scramble! So what else could we do? Or should we just take rotating shifts to call them out?”

We’ll take the first shift right here in Overthinking.

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The Stream Team: Diving into SWTOR’s new Manaan stronghold

SWTOR just introduced a new stronghold, and this one will help Massively OP’s Larry and MJ cool off a bit in the summer heat. Well, it could if it were real! Manaan, the home of the Selith, is a water planet, and the duo will be diving in to show it off. After that, they’ll return to their Choose My Alignment adventures in KOTFE. Join us live at 2:00 p.m. to decide the Chiss Agent’s fate as the war against Arkann continues.

What: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Who: Larry Everett & MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

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Hyperspace Beacon: Star Wars The Old Republic’s mid-term report card

You would probably expect me to cover the new Star Wars: The Old Republic Manaan stronghold because it just released yesterday, and indeed, I will be covering that in my livestream with MJ this afternoon. But if you came here for my elevator-pitch impressions of the new stronghold, I can only say that it is mixed. There are some really great things about the new stronghold and some really bad things about the new stronghold; the base would have a bigger impact if there were visuals connected with it. I will lay that all out in the livestream with MJ.

Here, I would like to give my impressions of where Star Wars: The Old Republic sits in the middle of the year. As always, I like to use the Bartle Taxonomy to see how it appeals to different types of players. Bartle’s archetypes are Socializers, Achievers, Explorers, and Killers. I’ll get more into the details of what that all means in a bit. No one will fit any one of these archetypes 100%, but people will tend to lean heavily into one category or another.

Massively OP writers took a test based on Bartle’s Taxonomy a while back, and although it doesn’t cover everything that players are interested in, I believe it gives a good impression of what players of MMORPGs are looking for. Below, I have pulled apart the key features that each archetype is looking for in SWTOR and measured them with a letter grade scale.

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SWTOR addresses legacy weapon tuning exploit

In a rare example of informing the community about the details of an exploit, Star Wars: The Old Republic put up a post on the forums to inform players about a “loophole” allowing for players to circumvent the cartel market and legitimate gameplay to copy weapon tunings and crystals across accounts.

“What happened is some players would add the tuning to a legacy weapon, send to an alt, remove it on that alt, re-add it to the weapon, which would then incorrectly unlock it in collections on that toon,” the devs explained. “They would then send that weapon to all of their toons and perform the same process, thus circumventing the entire collection system and obtaining weapon tunings for their legacy without having to pay for it. As everyone has pointed out, crystals sold via the cartel market could also be collection unlocked this way, and in fact, as players have clearly stated in this thread, they’ve been doing that for a very long time.”

The exploit was fixed yesterday and can no longer be used in this fashion. However, with August’s Update 5.4, the team is including a change that will allow players to transfer crystals and tunings using legacy weapons at no cost.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic’s 5.3 is live today with Sisters of Carnage, class updates, and new housing

Star Wars: The Old Republic’s 5.3 patch is rolling out today, bringing with it the new underwater Manaan Stronghold home, the Sisters of Carnage raid bosses, and Lana and Koth companion visual appearance customizations. Already have too many homes? No biggie; now you can have a total of six of ’em, so you can squeeze in the Manaan Retreat too.

Pretty much every class has received a balancing pass this round too, as teased rather ominously over the past month.

Plus? “Tanno Vik has been convinced to put clothes on and will no longer appear naked in Knights of the Fallen Empire cutscenes.” So there’s that.

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SWTOR team explains the need for ‘sweeping and severe’ class changes

Is there anything more dread-inducing for an MMORPG player than hearing that massive class changes are incoming? You never know if you’re going to come out of such an event unscathed, buffed, or nerfed to the ground.

The SWTOR team took to the forums for a lengthy explanation post about the “sweeping and severe” class changes coming in Update 5.3 and 5.4 this summer. While the devs say that they are “very sensitive” to the effects of nerfs, sometimes such decisions are needed to improve the game as a whole. And apparently SWTOR’s health isn’t the best right now, as much-needed balance adjustments were held off following Knights of the Eternal Throne until now.

“We had quite a few big changes to make, and that’s what you’ve been reading the last few weeks,” the team posted. “It is going to be rough for some disciplines as they are way over target, but it is important that we bring them in line. Additionally, we may have missed the mark with some of the changes and if we went too far or not far enough, you can expect to see additional adjustments in the future.”

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Massively Overthinking: MMO ragequitting

Ragequitting. Most of us have probably done it once or twice from groups or single-player games or even MMO sessions in our time. My husband ragequit (disgustquit?) an Overwatch match the other night where his own teammates were spewing toxic slurs in voice chat, leading to a rating hit for him rather than the people poisoning the game (another problem for another column).

But what about ragequitting an MMORPG altogether? A game where you have time and money and friends and loot and achievements, sometimes years’ worth? Have you ever up and just walked out on an MMORPG? If so, what prompted it, and did you ever regret it or change your mind? I posed these questions to the Massively OP team for this week’s Overthinking roundtable!

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SWTOR teases next week’s raid bosses, seeks Galactic Starfighter feedback

Next week on July 11th, Star Wars: The Old Republic is going to unleash carnage with Update 5.3. The summer content patch will  change up many of their classes and pit them against the robotic “Sisters of Carnage,” Ivela and Esne.

It also looks as if the development team is thinking about working on its Galactic Starfighter system in the future. On the forums, the team solicited player feedback for the system in three specific areas: ship balance, itemization, and friction points.

“Galactic Starfighter, like all group content, is a system that we want to see being used by as many players as possible,” the team said. “This thread is to discuss the friction points that you see in GSF. Whether it stops you from playing frequently, or from playing at all, we want to understand that friction.”

Get a quick glimpse of Update 5.3’s Sisters of Carnage raid boss after the jump!

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Star Wars: The Old Republic explains the changes coming to Engineer and Saboteur

Engineer Snipers and Saboteur Gunslingers are getting tuned down a bit in the next major patch for Star Wars: The Old Republic. The official post on the matter states the reasoning pretty simply: The spec was swimming in energy and was dealing more damage than intended, so damage on both Plasma Probe/Incendiary Grenade and Electrified Railgun/Blazing Speed was tuned down while the number of Cluster Bombs/Contingency Charges generated were also tuned down. It shouldn’t cripple the playstyle, but it should make for a more balanced level of DPS.

On the bright side, players will get a mild quality of life buff by adding Quickdraw/Takedown to the list of abilities which add or extend the duration of Electrified Railgun/Blazing Speed, thus avoiding some uncomfortable bits of the spec rotation. No one likes being made weaker, obviously, but hopefully the change won’t be seen as the worst thing ever by dedicated players.

Source: Official Site via Dulfy

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