Archives for February 2012

Asia-Pacific SWTOR Players: Post Your Ping

The local servers are live and from hanging out in general chat on the PvE server Dalborra, the bulk of people are more than happy with their ping times compared to US servers.

Although ping times can be impacted by dozens of different things, I thought it’d still be interesting to get people to post their ping times, particularly those outside of NSW/Victoria in Australia.

We’d particularly love to hear from any Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesian, Japanese or Malaysian players on whether the Asia-Pacific servers are any better for you. Please post your ping and geographical location in comments!

Kevin Rudd’s new hobby: SWTOR

Now that Australia’s former Prime Minister has some more time on his hands, it’s become obvious what he’s doing:

It’s proof that a lot of people were waiting for local servers before committing to the game 😉

SWTOR Free Server Transfers: ‘Late April’

UPDATE: 18th April 2012 – The actual transfer date and conditions have been announced.

The FAQ for the Asia-Specific launch has now been updated, and it clarifies to some extent when the free server transfers will occur.  The quote in full is:

Qualified players in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, or Singapore, will be offered one-time free character transfers to Asia Pacific servers for a limited time period in late April. No specific date has been confirmed at this time. We will be sending an email to all qualified players by early March with more details. Stay tuned to for more information.

So for those hoping to transfer their primary toon in the next week or so, you have a bit of a wait yet. My guess is that the transfers may be part of a wider implementation of server transfers for the game as a whole. So I suppose you’ll just need to start levelling up an alt – I know I am.

Asia-Pacific SWTOR servers are live

And here’s the proof of local players in the Ord Mantell starting area:



General chat is full of Australian people rapt with ping times, so good omens so far there though some from Singapore are claiming less than optimal ping times. We look forward to continuing to bring you all the latest news and views from SWTOR, now available locally!

Launch Day Eve: servers and live blogs

As you may have heard by now, the local servers for SWTOR come on board this evening, so expect lots of people rolling alts or their first character on the three servers available initially. For those meeting the free transfer criteria, you’ll receive an email in the next few days telling you how to do that.

Which leads to the launch event tomorrow for media in Sydney. We’ll be live blogging it from around 2pm AEDT so just keep an eye on the front page and watch the information flow in. Unfortunately the live blog will be a normal post updated minute to minute, so you will need to refresh the page to see the updates – sorry. If you’re really keen you can also hang out in our Flash Point chat room – if the wireless reception at the event is up to scratch we’ll join you there as well.

Otherwise, enjoy your last evening as an official red zoner – that’s history as of late tonight.

SWTOR Asia-Pacific Server Details Announced

March the 1st isn’t just about SWTOR making a PR splash locally. For both veteran and new players, the availability of servers is the biggest news of the lot locally.

BioWare / EA have ‘announced’ the details of the local servers in that they’ve appeared on the Server Status page. This fact was picked up by the eagle-eyed Orin (thanks Orin!). BioWare’s Stephen Reid has also posted all the details (see below).

The names of the servers are:

PvP server: Master Dar’Nala

PvE server: Dalborra

RP-PvE server: Gav Daragon

Here’s a shot from the server status page:

And Stephen Reid’s announcement:

Good morning, or to those of you on the other side of the world, good morning… for tomorrow.

This week we officially launch Star Wars: The Old Republic in several new territories, including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Lots of more information on all aspects of the launch will be released tomorrow in an update to our official FAQ, but as we’ve heard requests for server names and timing, we thought we’d give you those details a little earlier.

Here’s our official launch timing. All servers will be online simultaneously at approx 5:01AM CST (Austin time), but with timezones straddling a date:

New Zealand: 12:01am NZDT (March 1st)
Australia: 10:01pm EDT (February 29th)
Singapore: 7:01pm SGT (February 29th)
Hong Kong: 7:01pm HKT (February 29th)

We’ll be launching with three initial servers dedicated to these territories. As previously mentioned, these servers are physically located in Australia:

Dalborra (PvE)
Master Dar’Nala (PvP)
Gav Daragon (RP PvE)

If demand requires we open additional servers, we have the hardware ready to go. Our Live Production team will be carefully monitoring server population and potential queues to ensure the best possible experience for players.

As mentioned many more details about the Oceanic launch will be forthcoming in tomorrow’s FAQ update, so look out for it!

In the same thread, Stephen Reid confirms in regard to the free server transfers:

Those emails are planned to be sent later this week, not long after official launch timing

Over to you: will you be transferring and if so to which server? If you’re a guild master and want to notify people which server you’re going to, feel free to post away in the comments!

The Order: Your Guide to Guilds and Progression

We’re really pleased to introduce another new member of the TOROZ team. Rick Duff is a self-confessed stealer of Stormtroopers and he’ll be writing on guilds and raid progression. Welcome Rick!

In our game, SWTOR, and the countless other MMO genres out there, guilds are an integral and core part of the game. Can you imagine an MMO without organized groups? Unheard of! A guild can make or break the game for you. It can help you progress as a player, it can keep you motivated, it can even bring you closer socially to others who you would not usually associate with in real life.

Without a doubt, guilds are a driving factor and are important to everyone. Unless of course you want to be like Yoda and exile yourself in the Dagobah System. Still, without association or people, we would not have MMOs. So it then makes sense that for such an important part of our game, we created a section here on TOROZ dedicated to Guild Management and Progression. As we are imperfect human beings (well maybe not me…) we must remember that associating and co-operating with other individuals will have its own pitfalls and its rewards too.

My name is Rick. I am the Co-Founder and Co-Creator of a successful End Game Raiding Guild which I will refer to as “The Order” in this column. This name however, is not our actual guild name as this section is not about drawing attention to my own guild but rather, sharing and discussing management and progression tactics with the Oceanic Community.

“The Order” dates back to the MUD days and followed onto EQ, WoW and today, is alive and thriving on the US SWTOR Server called Krath. At the time of writing this, we have a total squad of 42 fulltime and casual core raiders made up of Australians and Americans. “The Order” has always been a non hardcore guild. Rather, we stand for being ‘Social Serious’ – a genre which is socially accommodating  yet when it comes to Operations, is serious enough not to be called casual.

I am no expert at all the facets of guild life, but I would hope I have a little bit of freedom to speak about the common principles and experiences of guilds in general.

Guild: n.

  1. 1.     An association of persons of the same trade or pursuits, formed to protect mutual interests and maintain standards.
  2. 2.     an organization, club, or fellowship
  3. 3.     an association of men or women belonging to the same class or engaged in the same industry, profession, interested in the same leisure, literary, or other pursuit, etc.

As our common dictionary defines above; guilds, clans, squads, groups, chapters etc are a systematic and organized way of socializing and progressing in a game. There are hundreds of non-MMO games out there which have systems in place to accommodate groups of people with like-minded pursuits.

It must be known however, that there is no right or wrong way to run a guild. There is no handbook and there is no specific way to create and run a successful clan. Rather, we will be sharing the positive and trending ways that are successful when it comes to managing and progressing with a goal of hopefully creating a richer experience for all people out there who play SWTOR.

Many people have asked me in the past, “What does it take to run a successful guild?”. To be honest, there is no simple answer, however it can be summarised and will no doubt be covered in more detail here on “The Order” as time goes on. If I had a gun to my head and had to answer quickly, these are the main things which come to mind:

The Guild Cycle of Success

  1. A Dedicated Leader
    Julius Caesar was not a part-time Commander of the 13th Legion. He lived it. He was involved with it and he fought with it. Although this may sound over-dramatic, there are some principles we can learn here. The success of a guild starts with the vision and investment of its GM. Just like any corporation in the world today, if you start it up and then not invest time and effort into it, it will fail. Which leads to the next point:
  2. Planning and Organisation 
    This is the single most important key to running a guild, especially end-game progression guilds. The level of planning and organisation will obviously be dependent upon the size and needs of a guild (common sense) but just like any group or body of people, a form of organisation and a vision or direction is needed to progress and manage expectations. Unfortunately, you can’t wing it:
  3. Motivation
    Ahhh.. why are these people even bothering to be in your guild? Is it because they like the fancy name plate they gain above their head? Well, it could be, but you can be assured that novelty will wear off very fast in the end-game if you do not have a common purpose or vision. Guild members are human after all – they have needs and wants and a desire to succeed. Having a clear direction and a plan of action will motivate people to work together towards the common goal and keep them in your guild and not leave to somebody else’s. It is the feeling of success through commitment to achieve these things, whatever you set them to be, which encourages  the next point:
  4. Loyalty
    Ultimately, nobody wants to create a fantastic organisation and have nobody to share it with. To what benefit is it, if all your members leave you? Loyalty is important for your guild’s survival and sometimes a GM can forget that his/her guild is pointless and useless unless it has a happy, successful body of members who believe in what the guild stands for. Which brings us back to the first point and the cycle repeats. How can a person be committed and loyal to something when the person/people running it are not dedicated and focused themselves? If you are not a dedicated GM fully committed  to your guild, you cannot expect your members to be.

And so, as time goes on, this column will discuss the many different and successful ways to build and maintain and address issues in guild management. The slant will no doubt hinge on end-game progression but the principles can be applied to other types of guilds too.

There will also be a monthly Guild Interview which will showcase a chosen Oceanic Guild, their Leaders and Officers and discuss their successes and motivations. If you are a Guild Leader yourself and need some advice or would like to have an issue or principle discussed in “The Order”, or if you would like to apply for your Guild to be interviewed in front of the whole Oceanic Community, please contact us at contact AT or use our contact form.

Ultimately, the greatest benefit of a guild is: if you aren’t in one, you are only experiencing a fraction of what the game is. And after all, we’re here to experience the game in its entirety.

Heavy Damage: Tanking The Esseles

Heavy Damage is our weekly Tanking column – if you have suggestions of what you’d like covered, drop our resident Tank, Alec Bailey a line.

The Esseles is the first flashpoint you encounter after leaving your starting planet. Upon entering The Esseles you’ll meet Ambassador Assara in disguise as a common ship passenger – an Explosion rocks the ship and you rush off to see what can be done. The explosion was caused by the Imperials, demanding that Ambassador Assara be turned over. You refuse and this is where the fun begins.

As you leave the command deck heading for the docking bay, you’ll run into some standard and gold mobs, with a group of four they should be no trouble. As you arrive at your destination you find a Mon Cal issuing orders to a squad of Republic troopers, when the blast door is blown open and the first Boss of The Esseles comes running in. Lieutenant Isric is a level 10 boss and he spawns trash mobs that tend to attack the healer so be ready to burn them down. Isric has a cone AoE blaster attack and a knock down ability so be ready for it.

After your defeat of Isric you head back to the Command deck that has been captured by Mandalorian mercenaries. Their leader is known as Iron Fist and will be your second boss encounter. Before you can fight Iron Fist you must first unlock the blast door. To unlock the doors you are faced with the option of sacrificing the crew or taking the long road and manually resetting the reactors.  This is your first Lightside or Darkside choice of the Flashpoint. Sacrificing the crew grants 150 Darkside points, and manually resetting the conduits, 150 Lightside points. Taking the Lightside option also grants you the chance to get a chest – it’s sitting behind the middle conduit.

After your decision with the engineering crew, you’re ready to fight Iron Fist. Like Isric, Iron Fist will spawn adds throughout the encounter. The best way to handle Iron Fist is to tank him, let your damage dealers burn the adds, and once the adds are down everyone gang up on Iron Fist. Iron Fist has three abilities that he’ll use during the fight: a Rocket Punch used as a gap closer, an AoE knock back, and Missile Salvo, which launches rockets onto a blue reticle (this can be avoided so try to keep an eye out for the reticle and move.)

The next boss is a large Guardian Battledroid named ISS-7. This fight is a very simple tank and spank although he will occasionally drop aggro and pick up a new target. Just watch for this and you’ll be fine. Immediately after your fight with ISS-7 you’ll have the opportunity to fight another boss if you hit the switches on either side of the room. The second boss in this area is much tougher, named ISS-994 Power Droid and he’s a force to be reckoned with. Starting out, he’s your standard Tank and Spank encounter, but he’ll use an ability that causes him to turn purple and crackle with lightning, so start kiting him. His damage is highly buffed during this phase, but his speed is lowered. He will do a lot of damage if he gets a hold of you, so watch what your doing when he has the damage buff up.

The final boss of The Esseles is a Sith named Vokk. Vokk is hard to tank because he’ll use Saber Throw and Force Choke on a random party member , both of which are unblockable. His third ability is Lightning Storm, and can be avoided by staying away from the purple reticle it leaves on the ground before activation. He also possesses an AoE knock back, so watch for that. Vokk is difficult because he has a lot of non-tankable damage, so this is a boss where you need a decent healer to pull off.

After Vokk’s defeat you’ll be faced with your second Lightside/Darkside choice – leaving Assara behind. If she’s left you’ll gain 100 Darkside points and if not 100 Lightside.

The Esseles is not a hard Flashpoint with a full group of level 10 players. I will be doing all the Flashpoints in order of level (at least the order I tanked them in),  so if you have any input or suggestions about the Flashpoints, leave a comment and I’ll look into it!

As always Stay Frosty and may the Force be with you!

Server maintenance: Tuesday 28th February

This week’s maintenance is a standard four-hour, Tuesday night one. The local time conversions are:

AEDT: 7pm-11pm
AWST: 4pm-8pm
NZDT: 9pm-1am

The official details:

Date: Tuesday, February 28th, 2012


All game servers and will be offline during this period. This maintenance is expected to take no more than four hours.

Flash Point 27: Launch ruminations and purse snatchers

We’re back with a more standard SWTOR chinwag, with a focus on the imminent local launch.

Points of discussion:
– Stephen Reid Q&A: the post-mortem
– Oceanic servers: transfer or not?
Patch 1.1.4 and Patch 1.1.5 and the upcoming Jesus Patch (1.2)
– SWTOR Oceanic launch event on March 1st
– Cross-server LFG tool
– Welcoming the new writers on the TOROZ team: Tim, Tim and Rick!
– Talking 3D Phantom Menace, Game of Thrones, Megamind and Scott Pilgrim vs the World
– Mass Effect 3 discussion
– Drew Karpyshyn leaves BioWare
– Shout outs for our forums, Facebook page, Oceanic Guild listing, Google Plus page and Twitter account

Listen via iTunes or right here:

Fleet Pass: SWTOR weekly roundup

Time to introduce our third new member of the TOROZ team this week: Tim Gow – welcome!

Fleet Pass is a weekly review of the SWTOR community, a small and non-comprehensive collection of the funny, the insightful, the controversial and any other interesting picks found anywhere but generally in the SWTOR Forums.  Have a suggestion?  Send it in to us with a source link if available, and the name you’d like to be credited with.

Warning:  Article may or may not contain spoilers relating to SWTOR, or any of its variants.


Ashes_Arizona – SWTOR Roleplay Sub-Forum:

Formal Apology to the Galactic Republic

It has come to our attention that in the years following the sacking of Coruscant that you have had struggles and economic disturbances which have put great strain on the once great Galactic Republic and as such a massive issue with population migration and overall strains on your operational capability are evident.

It is with our sincerest apologies that we must say the heroes and combatants of your glorious Republic just, simply, are not cool, in any way. They are, unfortunately, so not cool, that to be any less cool they would become cool for being so uncool. This is not something we have any direct control over, and if we did, Imperial Intelligence would already be hard at work behind the scenes on many Republic worlds, doing our best to make your heroes cooler, simply because fighting badly dressed, ill trained, cliche spouting stereo-types is a horrible waste of the time of our Empire’s best and brightest, who are, without a doubt, far cooler than any cream of the crop the Republic appears to be able to offer.

AGSThomas – SWTOR General Discussion Sub-Forum:

My server’s population went from heavy to light within one month

Over the last few weeks I have noticed that there are less and less people online during peak hours. Rwookrorro is an eastern server and we peak around 8 and 9 pm. Over the weekend I hadn’t noticed more then 45 people on the fleet. People from my guild have not signed as much too. People that were playing 3 or 4 times a week now play once or twice.

This was sorely disappointing, not in a QQ kinda way, but all I wanted to do was play the game and I couldn’t because my server is dying/dead. I sat there contemplating what to do next when I realized my pvp queue still hadnt popped! I disbanded the “group”, logged off and watched TV for the rest of the night.

Elexier – SWTOR Story & Lore Subforum:

Same gender relationships clarifications?

There will not be a quote on this one.  It’s just an incredibly interesting discussion that has become a mainstay of the S&L Subforum.



Back & Forth – SWTOR Story & Lore Subforum:

Once you marry your companion that’s it?


Tittle says it all, after you marry your companion, in my case Nadia Grell, thats it?, she doesn’t talk to me ever again?


Yeah, sounds like marriage to me!

Anagnostics – SWTOR Roleplay Subforum:

To Sith

[Dirty Kick]

From your everyday smuggler


Explosive_Lasers – SWTOR Story & Lore Subforum:

The Empire is a totalitarian government that endorses slavery, noble houses, and reveres the Force-users among them. They are generally very harsh, unforgiving, and ruthless. They are also fairly racist, and hold much more respect for Purebloods and Humans. While they aren’t all Dark or Evil, many may be considered as such, because the Sith tend to interpret their Code as endorsing anger and hatred, which lead to the Darkside. The citizens and soldiers that aren’t Force-sensitive are subservient to the Sith, so generally follow their lead.

The Republic is a democratic-republic, with elected representatives for each planet under its rule. Equality is endorsed, and slavery is mostly illegal. The Force-users among the Republic are trained to be disciplined and act more as guardians or servants, instead of rulers. Most of the races are treated equally, but humans are still slightly better off, in many cases. While they may seem Light or Good, corruption, greed, and other darker aspects live in the Republic. The Jedi are generally trained to be leaders, while serving the greater good of the galaxy, the Order, or the Republic.

So, neither side is Darkside or Lightside, just like Light and Dark are not always black and white in the sense of morality. The Empire and Republic have vastly different governments and regulations, just like the Jedi and Sith are far different than Light/Dark.


Other Stuff

Brisk – Brisk Youtube Channel


Unknown – Gamers Lobby UK Youtube Channel

Weekly Q&A: companion loot rolls and new emotes

BioWare have posted their latest community Q&A and there’s quite a bit of meat in there. All the detail is shown below but the standouts for me are acknowledgement of future improvements such as companion loot rolls, new emotes and my favourite: quicker travel options back to your ship.

Here’s the full list if questions and answers:


Chyp: Can we expect to see any animation/damage timing consistency changes between factions?

Georg Zoeller (Principal Lead Combat Designer): Yes. The animation team has been working on a new set of animations for abilities like the Trooper’s Mortar Volley to provide closer matching of animation timings and improved combat responsiveness. We expect to roll these changes out with Game Update 1.2.

Zennis: Has there been any discussion to streamlining the Space Port process? Perhaps allowing speeders in the Space Ports besides the Fleet?

Brian Audette (Senior Designer): We’ve absolutely heard what the fans are saying and have been exploring options to address these issues. While we are still investigating allowing speeder use in Space Ports, we’ve also been looking for other ways to get people from point A to point B with greater haste. One such feature will specifically affect planets that have Orbital Stations instead of Space Ports such as: Tython, Korriban, Hoth, and Belsavis. We’ll be adding an option for players to go directly to their ships from the surface shuttles as opposed to having them run through the Orbital Station to their airlocks. This feature and some additional tweaks will start showing up in Game Update 1.2.

deusBAAL: Will you be providing a LFG tool? What will be its features? How will it be intended to work and when can we expect it to go live?

Daniel Erickson (Lead Writer): We are hard at work on a much more robust LFG functionality that will quickly help put groups together while still offering the flexibility to decide how you group and what sort of people you want to be grouped with. We’ll release more details as we get closer to release.

LthalSavy: Will there be any way to implement a quick travel to your ship?

Georg Zoeller: Not in the short term, but it’s something we’ve been discussing on and off. Currently, given how easily available fleet travel passes are on the Security Vendor, we don’t think adding this is necessary.

IsACoolGuy: Will any new emotes be added to the game? The Jedi/Sith meditation thing that NPCs do looks pretty cool, will emotes of that nature become available to players?

Damion Schubert (Principal Lead Systems Designer): We do have some new emotes planned. Even cooler, we now have tech that allows us to grant emotes as rewards for various game systems. In Game Update 1.2, we have several emotes planned as unlocked rewards of the Legacy System. My favorite is the special dance that is so inspiring that your companion feels the urge to boogie down with you.

TrueDND: Currently, the incentive to choose other Crew Crafting Skills outside of Biochem is minimal due to the fact that, once you reach max level, all gear that is acquired through PvE and PvP is better than all crafted equipment and mods (mostly through the Commendation and token vendors). Is this being looked in to?

Georg Zoeller: Absolutely. With the upcoming Game Update 1.2, we are adding endgame crafting for all professions. This includes augment crafting, the ability to crit-craft custom (orange) gear with augment slots, new endgame schematics, new color crystals, expanded and improved research and reverse engineering and much more (we’re up to 4 pages of crew skill related patch notes in 1.2. alone)

Combined with new features such as the ability to extract base-mods from purple items (including the set bonus) and the improved color matching feature, crafters of all professions will find themselves in a lot of demand once the update hits.

Toxin_Polaris: Do you plan to have mini-games like swoop races or pazaak? And if so what is the priority for this? Can we expect them this year?

Damion Schubert: We love mini-games, especially the ones that speak to the heritage of KOTOR. When would something like pazaak make its way to you? Hard to say – it’s not on our immediate horizon, and we’d most likely do it at a point where we want to make a large splash.

Twaggy: I find it troublesome to compare mods/enhancements/armoring/hilts/crystals that are installed in my armor or lightsaber. Will you be implementing something that lets you see the stats of what you have (like the comparability you can do of the boots – boots or jacket – jacket)?

Georg Zoeller: This is a convenience feature on our list of things to look at once the higher priority UI features and community requests have been addressed. We definitely think it’s a good idea, but where it falls in terms of prioritization makes it impossible to give you an ETA at this point.

TheJestersHat: What is BioWare planning to do about performance issues that people get with Warzone, open world PVP, and general FPS issues?

Damion Schubert: We have an internal strike team that is fully devoted to ensuring that the game runs better and faster, especially on low end machines, and we consider this team’s work to be a crucial internal initiative. You should see evidence of this work as soon as Patch 1.1.5, when we will be introducing a new ‘very low’ setting to shader quality, which should drastically increase the number of mid-to-low machines the game can run well on, especially in Warzones and Operations.

Frung: Have you considered adding a “companion” loot roll option?

Damion Schubert: We’ve discussed it and have a design for it – when we do this, we will make it so you can only roll ‘need’ on items that your advanced class is meant to use in one of its specs. I do not currently have an ETA on this feature.

Belthazaar: I like my ships but, I was wondering if or when we will be able to purchase, make, or steal a new and different ship beyond the one that we currently get from our class quest?

Damion Schubert: Unfortunately, the nature of our ships as central story areas for all of our class content, and all of the associated triggers and cinematics that must therefore be done on the ships, means that giving players new ship models, particularly interiors, is very, very hard for us. We will probably look at addressing this instead by providing a greater sense of ship customization at some point well in the future. But it’s someplace we definitely want to go!


Is there anything in there that’s piqued your interest?