SWTOR’s Charles Boyd on new gearing and character progression in Onslaught

    
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Hopefully, you’ve seen our other coverage of the Star Wars: The Old Republic community cantina that took place this past weekend. If not, you will want to read that before we jump into what BioWare Creative Director Charles Boyd told Massively OP friend and Bothan spy Eliot W. during Star Wars Celebration. Boyd gave our Cypher Nine extensive details on the Tactical gear slot, what it means for defining your personal playstyle, and how it impacts the current systems.

The biggest thing that Boyd wanted to get across to all new and returning players is that the new gear progression system will contain multiple paths to earn good gear and that it wouldn’t be “just like what you had before but with bigger numbers.” In fact, the developers wanted to avoid that kind of power-creep with the new system, although that will likely be impossible to eliminate completely because the new expansion Onslaught increases the level cap by five levels.

Based on Boyd’s statements intercepted by the MOPIA (Massively OP Intelligence Agency), players with similar classes and disciplines will seek out the same stats as they always have, but the new set bonuses will reflect the player’s style or gameplay preferences. Although Boyd didn’t announce all the different types of bonuses, he did mention that one of the bonuses might be a movement-speed enhancement. He emphasized that the reason certain bonuses fail would be because they didn’t work in that situation not because the other team had a bigger gear score. There will be bonuses that focus on PvP, endgame PvE, and crafting. Yes, there will be Tactical bonuses that will improve crafting.

The ways to earn these bonuses will practically be unchanged. Of course, Onslaught introduces new content, but the means of earning gear remains the same. PvE, PvP, Galactic Command, Conquests, and crafting remain the different paths for acquiring gear and Tactical bonuses. For players that might be new to acquiring gear, Boyd said that there would be clear and valid ways for players to earn the bonuses they are looking for.

In the future, perhaps in update 6.2 or higher, Boyd wants to give players a better understanding of what the Discipline Utilities do. Although he didn’t give any specifics on what he will do, he explained that he wants to avoid a situation where there is a rigid grid of icons and players pick a few of them. But that’s well past the Onslaught launch at this point.

Watch for the Hyperspace Beacon later this week for a roundup of things that might have gone unnoticed from the Onslaught announcement. And a big shout out goes to our embedded operative Eliot for getting us the scoop from Star Wars Celebration. Don’t give away his position; we don’t want him captured, or worse, turned to the Light Side.

Source: MOP friend and Bothan spy Eliot W. Thanks, Eliot!
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IronSalamander8 .

The gearing in the game has been a mess for a long time now. The idea that you can get great gear by playing the type of content you like is a really nice idea, but it never has actually worked out well in SWTOR, and became an insane grind thanks to the galactic command system. Will this be better? Maybe, but I doubt it.

John Artemus
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John Artemus

So, does this mean Galactic Command is going away? Seems like it was already made useless by the Ossus update.

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Richard de Leon III

I hope not, as a solo casual it was a godsend. The only thing bad about it was that it replaced raiding loot rather than supplementing it imho.

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mysecretid

As a friend of mine used to say, “Interesting, if true”.

I’m not suggesting that Charles Boyd is lying, only that game development often changes as it goes, so — while I’m happy for the “sneak peek” here — I prefer to play a game myself before I decide if a new system or feature is actually all it’s cracked up to be.

I’m genuinely looking forward to the new expansion; curious to see how it will all play out.

Cheers,

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Venomlicious

All the good tmog is locked behind the cash shop with gambling like ESO and that’s with a sub.

I just wish Disney would make a new mmorpg and let this one fade away.

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Richard de Leon III

I doubt disney will ever get back into software development, especially an MMO. And who’s to say any new rpg wouldnt be worse. Monetization is hard to get right when a lot of people arent willing to pay any amount of money and want to get everything.

If any mmo in todays market charges a the standard sub, their numbers wouldnt justify significant content additions at least enough to satisfy hardcore players. And if they went free to play they have to find ways to get people to spend money, at least as much as they would have if they were subbing per month. Most of the current crop of MMOs have settled into an accepted medium and swtor is prolly one of the better ones (if you include asian mmos).

PlasmaJohn
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PlasmaJohn

Monetization is hard to get right when a lot of people arent willing to pay any amount of money and want to get everything.

In less insane implementations the F2P model works because those players are effectively employees who are compensated with access. MMO’s require a critical mass of players for group content queues to work. TOR’s population bled out because too many servers became ghost towns and even the “populated” ones were looking super anemic.

There were many factors that caused people to abandon the game. Excluding Preferred tier players was a significant part of that. It might not have caused as much rage as the 5.0 gearing disaster but it hurt a bunch of statics. Instead of encouraging a sub conversion (that was never going to happen) it cost them the subs of those team members left behind.

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PanagiotisLial1

Actually most people are looking to play games and pay a certain amount, zero

Shortly after if the game starts to bleed devs etc due to lack of funds the same people wonder why their game is so close to shutting down. At the same time they spend just for their weekly coffees 5x the amount of a monthly sub.

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cursedseishi

Technically, Disney only has the rights to pull the IP licensing as well as hand it out to other studios. Star Wars Galaxy was shut down because they decided not to renew the contract giving SOE the rights to operate the game, and a big part of that reasoning was because Electronic Arts had paid heftily to get sole rights to produce games for the Star Wars franchise, and Lucas Arts (as well as SOE) saw no reason to try and operate an aging MMO against the new hotness that was SW:ToR.

So to get a new MMO, EA would either have to decide to dump Bioware’s current one and form an internal studio or bring another in to start work on it, or EA loses the sole rights portion of their contract somehow and another studio decides they are crazy enough to try and make an MMO.

xpsync
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xpsync

So short story short;

You can play the best mmorpg sandbox ever made right now, why wait for never to arrive. SWG:Legends!

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PanagiotisLial1

They are both good but different games. I generally avoid comparing a sandbox with a themepark because they are so much different. However I love sandboxes more, so SWG would win if I had to do it

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rosieposie

While SWTOR has it’s share of issues, I would never choose SWG over it. SWG visually just looks like something my dog throws up after having sneakily eaten another roadkill.

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Bruno Brito

Some people like pretty and shallow, nothing wrong with that.