Community Q&A June 8th 2012: Group Finder and Crew Skills

This week’s Community Q&A is a mixed batch of answers covering everything from the group finder to augments. Read on below to see if some long-standing question has been answered for you:

Stubacca: Will the new Group Finder only work for solo players to find random group members, or will two or three friends that are already grouped together manually be able to still play together and fill the open spots in the group with random group members with it?

Damion Schubert (Principal Lead Systems Designer):  The Group Finder has absolutely been designed to allow 2- or 3-person groups to find the missing players to complete that group. It also has functionality allowing players to easily backfill a group if, for example, you start running a Flashpoint and lose a player.

Elperzon: Will we ever be given the chance to ‘forget’ schematics we know? For example, I can make the base item, the 3 upgraded version (crit, power, def), and some of their upgraded versions (alacrity, surge, etc). That makes for a ton of schematics for a single item. I would love to be able to forget the base item schematic if I have the upgraded version I like/want.

Damion: This is, in fact, something that we’ve thought about and might implement at some point. However, it’s mostly a nice cleanup thing and is behind other priorities at the moment.

Goldenstar: Daniel Erickson mentioned in the last Q&A that social points will now be awarded for boss kills in HM FPs/OPs. What about PvPers? Are there any plans to add methods of acquiring social points to PvP?

Damion: At this time, players won’t be able to gain social points by participating in PvP. In the future, it’s possible that we’ll evaluate more ways to earn social points and how that system compares to other reward systems in the game.

CiKaidom: You mentioned “pre-made teams” in your answer to Lymain (link), but what did you mean exactly? Are you saying that to increase our ranking we’ll need to always be with the same group of 8, or will we be allowed to change one or more players? Is this ranking common to all team warzones fought or is it specific to a team, and changes whenever one or more members of this team change?

Rob Hinkle (Senior PvP Designer): Our apologies for the lack of clarity. A “pre-made team” in the context of Ranked Warzones simply means any full 8-man operation. You do not need to always queue with the same group of 8, just a full group of 8. Each individual player keeps his own ranking, and when a team is formed and queued we generate the team value based on all of the rankings of the members of that specific team.

Ghoppa: Can Force/tech attacks (for example a Scoundrel’s Back Blast) actually ever miss (excluding any special abilities players have)? Do Accuracy and Defense play any role with these attacks, or does Accuracy/Defense only affect melee/ranged attacks? Can Force/tech attacks be shielded?

Austin Peckenpaugh (Senior Designer): Yes, but the flytext you’ll see is “Resist” instead of “Miss.” Typically, Force/tech Accuracy is higher than melee/ranged Accuracy and melee/ranged Defense is higher than Force/tech Defense, but Accuracy and Defense work the same with all attack types. Currently Force/tech attacks cannot be shielded.


Alxandria: Can we get a detailed breakdown of the affect of Presence on our companions? I’m specifically targeting info that would explain if the bonuses are weighted or static.

Jason Attard (Senior Game Designer): Your companion gets a fixed amount of damage, healing, and health per point of Presence on your character, and that amount does not change as you level up. This is the exact same sort of scaling done for Endurance and Power. In fact, putting 100 points of Presence on your main character is equivalent to putting 50 points of Endurance and ~85 points of Power on your companion, so if you’re playing solo or 2-player content where you have your companion out it’s mathematically the most effective thing you can do. This is offset by the fact that it’s split between offense and defense (making your companion less role-specialized) and that you’re sacrificing your personal effectiveness to increase the effectiveness of an AI.

As for how it scales as you level up, characters get lots of Endurance and Power on their gear, but typically don’t get much Presence. This means that, early on, Presence tends to be a bigger proportion of your overall stat budget (and thus plays a bigger role in your companion’s effectiveness) than it does in the late game. In theory, you could make Presence more important by seeking it out for your gear, but in practice we found most players prefer to increase the power of their own character instead, so we made Presence have more of a niche role, and balanced the PvE game assuming players do not itemize towards it at all.


Shintorg: Can you explain the reasoning behind making the BIS consumables, Exotech Stims and Adrendals, drop so rarely and seemingly only on Hard Mod EV&KP? Why isn’t there a way to purchase these? Why don’t they drop in Explosive Conflict? Or off bosses?

David Hunt (Systems Designer): These schematics are split between the Black Hole and Daily Commendation vendors in Game Update 1.3. This isn’t in the version of Game Update 1.3 that’s currently on the public test server, but it will make it into Game Update 1.3 before it reaches live servers.

RCcarroll: I play characters of a multitude of levels regularly and haven’t gotten one Legacy Item drop. Would you mind saying how often these are supposed to drop and on what kind of enemies?

David Hunt: Legacy items do not have a specific drop location. Inheritance can drop from any random loot of level 34 or higher. That usually means killing NPCs at level 34 or above, but it’s possible for an NPC to drop loot slightly above its level. Birthright items drop from level 46+ (Inheritance can still drop from 46-50). It is difficult to state their precise drop rates because most random drop rates vary significantly depending on what you’re killing. Normal bosses throughout the world have a substantially higher chance of dropping these than regular NPCs.

These drops are included in the Artifact quality loot table. As with everything on that table, the best way to find it is through Artifact quality lockboxes anywhere in the level range. Tough bosses that drop random loot are another option. However, I would not recommend purchasing these boxes with the expectation of finding lots of Legacy gear – there are tons of competing items in those loot tables.

Whenever dealing with any drop rate that’s low and random from a large selection, the individual experience ends up varying wildly. The overall drop chance for these is increasing in an upcoming update, and we’re looking at other ways to normalize the acquisition rate of these items.

SNOperaghost: Which crafting skills will be able to make which specific types of augment kits?

David White (Systems Designer): Armormech, Synthweaving, & Armstech can all craft Augment Kits. The kits are the same regardless of Crew Skill.

StagehandMERC: Can you talk about efficiency bonuses for Crew Skills? Are they a percent reduction to the time it takes to complete tasks, or is there more to it than that? Also, is there an efficiency bonus granted by companion affection? How does it scale from 0 affection through to full?

David White: The efficiency bonus reduces the amount of time it takes to run Crew Skill missions and crafting. Certain companions have innate bonuses to the efficiency of specific Crew Skills but all companions will become more efficient as your Affection with them goes up. It is possible to get as much as a 15% efficiency bonus when you are at max Affection.

SWTOR Video News: MCM Expo and Layoffs

Asher’s back with another quality roundup of the week that was! Notes below the vid as always. Enjoy!



MCM Expo Stream

Bioware Response on Lay Offs…

Community Q&A

Next Weeks Q&A

Patch Notes 1.2.5

Patch Notes 1.2.5 Addendum

Maintenance June 5th

Server Transfer Testing…

Community Team Update

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Deceived…


Double Ended Lightsaber Hilts


Community Q&A 1st June: Augments, Downtime and PvP

BioWare are back with a bunch more answers to SWTOR community questions.

After last week’s 1.3-fest, it’s onto a more wider ranging discussion including an answer on what actually happens during that 4-hour downtime we experience each Tuesday.

The full Q&A is here for you below, enjoy:

Lymain: You announced that Ranked Warzones are still on track for Game Update 1.3 in the May 25th Q&A. Is the plan still to implement this feature incrementally, starting with only pre-made teams of eight? Will queues be cross-server initially? Or will cross-server queues be implemented at some point after the first stage of Ranked Warzones makes it live?

Daniel Erickson (Lead Game Designer): That is correct. First implementation (pre-season) will be pre-made teams of eight and will not be cross-server.

JimG: For the new augment slots for Game Update 1.3, will the tier of augment slot raise the level required to equip the gear? For example, if I have a level 11 piece of orange gear and add the highest tier augment slot to it, can I still equip it at level 11 assuming I don’t put an augment in it that exceeds my level?

Daniel: You can still equip the item so long as you don’t put mods that exceed your level into the augment slot. In addition, the high tier augment slot can use any augment of a lower tier as well so you can steadily upgrade with level-appropriate augments without having to worry about upgrading the slot itself since you put the highest tier slot on to start.

Dzeiger: With the changes to make social gear “adaptive” and augmentable and thus more desirable, are there any plans to revise the social points system? For example, making it per-Legacy rather than per-character, and/or expanding options for social point gathering at endgame that doesn’t involve endless Esseles and Black Talon runs.

Daniel: Yes, the social point system will be getting a major revamp in the future and many of our systems will be going Legacy-wide, though whether social is one of them is still under discussion. In the meantime, Game Update 1.3 will bring social points to all Flashpoint and Operation boss kills, meaning far more social points just for being social and playing with friends.

Iracaelestis: Currently, crafting missions have a chance to drop schematics from the opposite faction. Given the uselessness of these schematics for the crafting player’s faction, combined with a cumbersome and intentionally difficult means of trading with the opposite faction that’s not being used, what is the justification for this and are there any planned changes for the future?

Daniel: They are an intended part of the system and are there to cause cross-faction interaction which will soon be much easier as we finish out the last few steps and the Hutts formally take over all of the GTN terminals in the galaxy.

Anastre: The Legacy system currently allows you to create ties with perks and unlocks using your own characters on the same server. The thought crossed my mind that it would be cool if you could add the characters of another player to a ‘joined’ Legacy. This way, you could gain Legacy levels a bit faster if you work together. It also gives you a reason to befriend other players. Did this idea cross the mind of the developers?

Daniel: It definitely has. People want to marry other players officially, build family groups, share histories and last names, and much more and it’s all in the queue for the future of Legacy.

LKaras: What will you be doing to keep guilds and server communities together once server transfer is implemented?

Joveth Gonzalez (Online Community Manager): Once server transfers are implemented, we will re-evaluate our server group forums and make any changes that are necessary. We also have Community Coordinator Eric Musco as the liaison to guilds and he has a lot of good ideas on how to work with them. Finally, we’re going to begin to highlight server community events on the Community Blog section of our site to make sure that they get proper attention. Rest assured that guilds and server communities are part of our overall focus within the community team.

Tuk-Teufti : Endgame crafted items are bind on pick up. It’s alright when they come from a drop, but when they come from crafting the system feels limited. What’s the point of crafting armor you can’t sell? Biochem seems once again the way to go for PvP players, along with a little of Cybertech for grenades. Are you going to give other crew skills exclusive features to rival Biochem?

David Hunt (Systems Designer): While the initial endgame schematics were all bound, that hasn’t carried over to some of the newer endgame crafted items. In Game Update 1.2, there are many reverse engineering schematics that are not bound. In general, we’re opening the restrictions on some of these kinds of distribution channels. There are some changes in Game Update 1.3 that impact the interactions between Biochem and PvP, and you can expect more general changes to level out crafting skill viability in future game updates.

Murshawursha: What was the logic behind choosing which Crew Skills get to craft Augment Kits? In Game Update 1.2 and before, if a player wanted, for example, an augmented Lightsaber, they HAD to buy it from an Artifice. Post-Game Update 1.3, if a player wants an augmented Lightsaber, they choose a Lightsaber that they already own (probably acquired through raiding or questing), and buy an Augment Kit from an Armstech, Armormech, or Synthweaver. This effectively cuts out the Artificer completely out of the market for augmented Lightsabers. Why was it done this way, rather than simply allowing Artificers to make Augment Kits that could only be applied to Lightsabers or Relics, Synthweavers to make Augment Kits that can only be used on force armor, Cybertech on earpieces, etc?

David: There are two primary reasons that Augment Kits are limited to Armstech, Armormech and Synthweaving: 1) They are the augment crafters, and Augment Kits extend that service. 2) Prior to crafted augments, they did not have a substantial input into the item mod game and we want to open that up to more players.

We did not want to have lots different Augment Kits, because that would make finding the right item and kit combination substantially more difficult. Augment tables are intended to make it relatively simple to get any item to the same power cap, and lots of kit variation introduces the possibility that it would be hard to get some items to hit the same potential. While this is how augment tables work now, all Crew Skills will continue to evolve based on player feedback and game data.

Insomniel: Is it possible to make tiny adjustments to crafting dialog? Namely, could you save schematics filter settings per character or even per account – I like my schematics sorted by level and it is rather irritating to sort them this way almost every time I open the dialog after changing locations or relogging. It would also be nice to start with collapsed schematics trees .

Damion Schubert (Principal Lead Systems Designer):  This is a good idea.  I will pass it on to the GUI team.

Monkgryphon: Can you break down the Random Flashpoint daily and explain how it will work and what sort of rewards it will grant?

Damion: With the Group Finder, we will be adding the concept of a Random Flashpoint. If you do the Random Flashpoint with a Group Finder assembled group, you will earn a reward. Currently, this reward is in the form of level-appropriate commendations which may be exchanged for equipment at a vendor. At level 50, there are there are separate daily rewards for normal and hard mode Flashpoints, as well as story mode Operations. These rewards escalate with the difficulty of the content.

Ashivauto: There are quite a few threads on wanting open world PvP and a lot of good ideas on open world PvP content. My question is: are there any plans to implement something that would encourage open world PvP such as faction points for factional items, or planetary control. Maybe even rewards or commendations for open world kills?

Gabe Amantangelo (PvP & Endgame Designer): Yes.  We have open world PvP content and incentive systems in the works.  We will update you as soon as we can.  They will likely come in parts, as opposed to all at once.  For example, a proper incentive system for defeating players in open world PvP may come in first.

Lord_Franklin: This may be a bit off-topic, but oh well: I have recently been wondering what actually happens during that 4 hour or so window once a week when you take the servers down for maintenance. What’s happening typically on your side when I’m sitting there refreshing the server status page?

Blaine Christine (Sr. Producer, Live Services): Many things happen in that precious four hour window and it varies from week to week.  Typically, we have a patch deployment for the game along with possible web, network, infrastructure, hardware, and/or platform maintenance, just to name a few possibilities.  Taking the game patch as an individual item, the full process takes several hours, beginning with that lovely in-game message that you all get fifteen minutes prior to the actual kick from the game.  At the T-15 mark, we start in-game messaging and put the servers in Maintenance Mode so that no one else can enter the game.  At 2:00 AM CDT, we kick everyone out and start the shutdown process for all of the servers which takes another ~15 minutes.  Then there are several steps to the actual deployment of the patch which can take an hour or more, depending on complexity.  After the deploy, we have to start the servers back up and have CS perform spot checks of the servers while they are in Maintenance Mode (so they still appear offline to the players).  In some cases, we may detect issues with the spot checks that need to be resolved or at least double-checked before we open to the public.  After all of that, we finally open the gates again and notify all of you via the Forums and Launcher that the game is once again ready for play.

We certainly strive very hard to ensure that we condense this process down as much as possible to reduce the impact on playtime for you, our customers.  Most of the time, we manage to get the game back up earlier than we projected, but occasionally an unforeseen issue with the maintenance causes us to go over the projected timing.  As we get closer to the end of the maintenance, there is a lot of hectic activity if things aren’t going well, because everyone here takes their responsibility seriously and wants to ensure the best possible experience for all of you.  If we go over time, it constitutes a hair on fire emergency that requires all hands on deck to resolve as quickly as possible.

BioWare announce Community Team changes

SWTOR’s Online Community Manager Joveth Gonzalez has posted an update introducing the revamped Community Team. That full post is recreated for you below, but the obvious change aside from allocation of specific responsibilities is the lack of a stated role for David Bass.

We have an unconfirmed report that David has decided to leave the team of his own accord. If that’s the case, then like Stephen Reid we wish him mightily well and thank him for the friendly approach he’s taken with us throughout!

The full post:

Hi everyone,

Last week, we mentioned that changes were coming to the Community Team and I wanted to take some time to go over them. I’m going to briefly outline one of our new initiatives, discuss a new shift in responsibilities for one of our main team members, and introduce the rest of the team.

The aforementioned initiative is intended to improve communication between the fans, the Community Team, and the development team by creating focused specializations. In short, going forward, each Community Team member will be specifically focused on a particular aspect of our game (PvP, Crew Skills, Operations, etc) and paired up with the appropriate developer so that they can respond to players more efficiently. We’re still finalizing details internally, but as soon as every aspect of this project is in place, we will let you all know. We’re all very excited about this and can’t wait to share more.

As many of you may already know, Community Coordinator Eric Musco will be taking over for Sr. Community Coordinator David Bass as the community liaison to fan sites and guilds. Eric and David have been working closely together over the past few weeks to ensure a smooth hand off. While we’re sad to see David leave, we wish him all the best in his new endeavor.

Finally, one of the very first things that we wanted to do with these new changes was to introduce ourselves. We’ll be giving you a very brief introduction this week, but you’ll be seeing more in-depth profiles from each of us in the upcoming weeks.

I’ll go ahead and start. My name is Joveth Gonzalez and I’m the Online Community Manager. I’m currently overseeing the development of our new community initiatives, wrangling up blog posts for the community blog, and handling various general day to day community issues. Oh, and I play as a Scoundrel because I love sneaking around.

Sr. Community Coordinator Allison Berryman is heavily involved in writing all of the Patch Notes and in managing the Community Representatives on our forum (they’re the people that help moderate our forums and keep them clean—we’ll be introducing you to them soon). Allison is also active in the forums, so you may have already seen her pop up in various threads. She currently switches between playing a Sage, Operative, and a Juggernaut.

Community Production Coordinator Alyson Bridge, along with Assistant Community Production Coordinator Courtney Woods, prepares and publishes content on, and coordinates the localization of the website in French and German. Courtney also assists with writing and developing blogs for the Community Blog section of our site. Alyson plays as a Marauder while Courtney plays as a Sniper and Commando.

Community Coordinator Eric Musco, as mentioned above, will act as the community liaison to fan sites and guilds. In addition to that, he will be coordinating our presence at any upcoming shows. He is currently playing as a Trooper.

Community Coordinator Eric Campbell helps Allison with managing our Community Representatives. In addition to that, he handles our social media presence and manages our Social Media Representatives. Eric plays on the dark side as a Sith Inquisitor.

Live Community Coordinator Amber Green makes sure that any issues that develop get escalated to the Live Services team and gets messages out to the community accordingly. She is also on point for handling any community messaging for each maintenance window. Amber currently plays a Jedi Sage.

Finally, we have our European Community Manager Chris Collins and his incredible Community Team over in Ireland. I’ll let them introduce themselves properly in a future post, but they take care of the European community, including the German and French communities. They also help us with the localization of community blogs and other various documents.

And there you go. That’s a very brief intro to our team, and as I mentioned earlier, we’re going to be going more in-depth with each Community Team member in the upcoming weeks.

We’re excited about these new changes, and we hope that you are as well. We are committed to working with the community and we will continue to do so through Game Update 1.3, Character Transfers, and beyond.

Thank you,
The SWTOR Community Team


Over to you: do these changes make you feel more confident in regards to the SWTOR community?

The Spirit World Part 4: Attacking Bioware – A Help Guide

(This is the final part of a community-driven story – check out Part 1 herecheck out Part 2 herecheck out Part 3 here)

So, you are crawling through a sewer about to attack Bioware.

Yep that about sums up my current situation.

What are you trying to achieve from this help guide?

Honestly I have no idea. You haven’t been much help so far.

Then why did you summon me?

I’m crawling through a sewer, I want someone to talk to.

You summoned me just to talk? Great. Is my help so under-appreciated?

Please, you give the least helpful advice I have ever heard.

Oh, is that what you think? In that case, I’ll be off.

I summoned you, you need to stay untill I’m are done.

No, I only need to stay until you complete what you told me you were trying to achieve. And this time you set no conditions.

In that case, I am trying to free BioWare from the control of EA and the reapers.

What’s Kendra and her gang doing?

They are going to create a distraction in the street so that nobody interrupts me.

What about furry red yoda?

Apparently he is an informant for the underground resistance.

Underground resistance?

Can we focus on me?

Fine, if you are in the sewers, keep an eye out for pipes leading to Bioware.

What do they look like?

How should I know? You are in a sewer, they don’t exactly label them for your convenience.

Damn it, this feels like where I should move up. I’m cutting a hole with the lightsaber.

Make sure the hole you cut doesn’t fall on you.

It’s cut, I don’t think anyone above saw.

What does it look like?

I think it’s a car park.

Pull yourself up, but try and remain undetected.

I can’t even see anyone in the car park.

It would be wise to go quietly.

I thought my main problem would be smell.

Oh right. In that case I would recommend you just run for it.

And this time I’m taking the elevator.

Again, I’m going to recommend against it.

And what was your excellent logic for that again?

They would be expecting it.

Look, I’m going up there to kick some ass, you can either complain or help me.

Does it seem like I want to help you?

I thought so. Ok, I’m in the elevator. Top floor, same as last time.

Don’t you think it strange that nobody has tried to stop you yet?

Shut up, I need to ready myself.

Ok, two points. First, you have no idea what to ready yourself for and second, now you want me to be quiet, after telling me you only want me here to talk to you…


I’m telling you, those doors open and you are either fucked, or the luckiest person alive.

How lucky do you think I need to be?

The only way you are going to survive is if nobody up here has any idea you are coming and nobody has any weapons.

You think I have that little chance?

Oh no, I think even if that’s exactly what happens, you will still figure out a way of hurting yourself.

Some help you are…

Just tell me when the doors open.

They are opening now.

What’s happening, what do you see?

The floor is entirely deserted apart from someone sitting in a chair on the other side of the room.

Who is it?

I think it’s Stephen Reid.

Told you so.

When? When did you tell me?

Just before.

No you didn’t, the only thing you told me was that I was going to die!

Stop talking to yourself.

No, you stop talking to yourself.

Lame, real lame.

BioWare have fired all their staff who ever fought against EA. I don’t think it was BioWare’s decision, more pressure from EA.

Sucks to be him.

What now?

Now, I’ve been thinking about that. I think the best thing for me would be to join the resistance, help them for a while. You should probably get back to your own life. This world is soon to see war.

But can’t I help?

There is nothing you can do. You can’t fight, you talk to yourself and you smell like a sewer. Your purpose was to keep my lightsaber safe from BioWare so it wouldn’t be destroyed when this day came.

Ask him what happens to BioWare now.

What happens to BioWare now?

Bioware is now but a shadow of its former self. With a decent chunk of the staff joining the resistance, the resistance now knows exactly how they work. There won’t be anything they can do to help EA other than continue to make games.

This concludes “Attack Bioware Via The Spirit World Help Guide”.

Well, here is the lightsaber back.

Thank you.

In order to return to the real world click your heels together three times.

Farewell strange world.

Did everything go as expected?

With the idiot, yes. Everything went mostly as planned.

Is the resistance in place?

Downstairs waiting for you.

You did well guide, I dismiss you.

This concludes the “Joining the EA resistance in the Spirit World, a help guide”.

I said I dismiss you!

An original Ken Clark / TOROZ production

SWTOR Video News #7

Asher’s back with another great roundup of the week that was. Show notes below, enjoy the broadcast!




Server Restarts


Scheduled Maintenance


SWTOR Encyclopedia…


Community Q&A…

Next Weeks Q&A…

IGN Interview…

PC Gamer Interview…

1.3 PTR Sign Up


2 Man Hardmode Flashpoints

PVP Guide

Race Around The Worlds

Fan Art

Community Q&A 25th May: SWTOR 1.3 Special

This week’s Community Q&A from BioWare is dedicated to 1.3. For mine, 1.3 has been covered pretty extensively and there doesn’t seem anything ground-breakingly new here, but it’s a great summary of some key areas around ranked Warzones, the LFG tool (which won’t be cross-server) and gear. Read the full Q&A below:


llesna: Can you please tell us why the upcoming Legacy additions for Game Update 1.3 are character-specific rather than Legacy-wide?

Daniel Erickson (Lead Game Designer): Legacy Perks have a different purpose than global unlocks and are specifically designed to enable players to customize each individual character. Since you may not care about Space XP or running the Bonus Series missions on one character it is important that you’re not paying a premium that is calculated at the expense of 8 or more characters all gaining this benefit. This also means the Legacy Perks will, as a rule, be more affordable than the global unlocks.

Ixum: Daniel Erickson said in his interview that there will be no new gear sets in Game Update 1.3. Does this mean there will not be any new orange gear as well?

Daniel: Although there are no new gear sets, the addition of Adaptive Gear opens up a range of new options for characters, especially those wearing medium and heavy armor. Now any of the social gear sets can be used by any class and they will automatically change stats to be the correct armor level. With the addition of the Augment Tables, players can additionally take that social gear and get Augment slots added that will make it competitive with any gear in the game—once the right mods and augments are gathered, of course.

Mindspore: Any update on Ranked Warzones in 1.3?

Daniel: Ranked Warzones is on track for 1.3. All the heavy lifting (ratings, group persistence exiting warzones, etc) is done and right now we are working through some emergent conflicts with Group Finder and the process of queuing for multiple activities at once with multiple temporary groups.

Mallorik: What is your philosophy on cross server LFG tools? Are we getting a same server tool just to hold us over while you work on cross server tech or is this just a test to see if a same server tool will do the job? 

Daniel: Although we’re certainly willing to entertain the idea of cross-server LFG tools if the need arises, it’s a last resort for us. We firmly believe for cooperative play it is important to have a community and social responsibility that you simply can’t have with players appearing and disappearing from your reality. Instead we are pushing hard on servers that are massive compared to the ones we launched with. Early tests show we’ll be able to raise the peak concurrent user cap above what it was at launch. Combining that with server transfers to enable players to move to these new servers and fill them to the brim, we should see some fantastic, vibrant communities develop where Group Finder will always be able to find someone for your content.

CompassRose: Many players are concerned about the upcoming character transfer feature. One question frequently being voiced in the forums is that of retaining their legacy surname. Is there a mechanic in the transfer feature that will notify a player if the destination server they choose already has their surname locked by another player?

Daniel: We’re not quite (almost!) ready to talk about the specifics but rest assured we are doing everything we can to make the process as easy and low-impact to the greatest majority of players as possible. We should have better specifics soon.

BlazingShadow: Will we see the return of our favorite droid HK in some form?

Daniel: The great thing about droids is that they can be rebuilt. Of course, HK-47 wasn’t the only HK model ever built…

Asturias: Are you guys looking to let players incorporate a Bio for each character so others can read it. I always loved how some MMOs had this option for others to read a quick Bio of my character that I created and I could read theirs.

Daniel: Unfortunately because of our intricate mission systems we are carrying a massive amount of variables for each character already so we are forced to be a bit stingy with things like customizable text. That said, we’re already researching solutions for making this content lighter to drag around with each character and I’d love to see it. Nothing soon, though.

Ximix: Are there any plans to revisit ability animation issues between mirror classes? For example, several “instant” Sage abilities actually have 1-2 second activations while Sorcerer abilities activate and deal damage instantly. Just like the Commando vs Bounty Hunter animations, in PvP these discrepancies can be huge.

Austin Peckenpaugh (Senior Designer): Whenever you use an “instant” ability, the server receives and process that action without any animation dependency (read: instantly), but the impact VFX and flytext are synced to the attack animation on your client. This is done to make the game look good and give attacks a sense of weight and impact without affecting timing or balance.

There are some notable exceptions to this that are real delays and real discrepancies that we’re aware of and are addressing. In the case of Shock and Project, there is a real delay (on the server) before Project deals its damage, and that’s something we’re fixing in 1.3. The other real delays that we’re aware of are in Smash and Force Sweep, but we don’t yet have a fix for those.

If you believe additional abilities have delays or are not mirrored, you’d have to point them out specifically. With the exception of the abilities I’ve already mentioned, so far our investigations have shown that the discrepancies being reported are the intentional ones that make the game look good and feel right and, to reiterate, do not impact timing or balance.

gabarooni: As a long time tank (nearly 10 years), I’ve come to the conclusion that holding Aggro is not fun. Tanks already have to watch their survivability, cooldowns, position mobs, watch their groups position and health, and fight the mobs—all of which I enjoy. Are there any plans in Game Update 1.3 to increase threat generation for tanks? Especially for Guardians and Juggernauts?

Austin: Actually, yes. We’ll have more detailed information for you soon, but you can expect some improvements in threat generation, AOE threat, and quality of life.

Hargan: Will the Commando Gunnery spec be rebalanced after the changes in Game Update 1.2 so that we are back on par with the DPS output of similarly geared Sages/Gunslingers/Sentinels in Operations?

Austin: I think I’ll confirm a lot of suspicions with this answer, but the bugfix that addressed Demolition Round scaling had a large enough impact on Gunnery DPS that it surprised us, too. Although Gunnery and Arsenal had been hitting our targets, it became harder to do so than we were comfortable with. Another way to say that is that the “low end” of our test results was hit too frequently by too many people. The changes you’re going to see are mostly in resource management and usability, which will make it easier for you to deliver the considerable damage you already wield. We’ll have more detailed information for you soon.

Brutalos: What class balances can we expect from Game Update 1.3 and will it undo some of the changes done in 1.2?

Austin: Game Update 1.2 brought damage dealing and healing roles closer to target than they had previously been. If for you and your class that meant a reduction in performance, that can be a hard thing for me to justify to you. I think it’s fair to say that some of those changes were made by reducing usability instead of just reducing numbers, and it’s these usability issues that we want to correct and negative changes to usability that we don’t want to repeat in the future. Like I said before, we’ll have more detailed information for you soon, but if I had to identify a motif for class changes in future updates, it’d be “improved usability.”


Supaaq: I am extremely excited to see a Group Finder being added to SWTOR in Game Update 1.3. I would say of all the features I wish the game could have ASAP, that definitely tops my list. What else can you tell us about the specific implementation of this most welcome improvement? Will it automatically teleport group members to the entrance when the group forms?

Damion Schubert (Principal Lead Systems Designer): We are very, very close to releasing the full design of the feature in an imminent blog post written by yours truly. That being said, highlights do include that it can be used for flashpoints, heroic flashpoints, ops and planetary content. For the instanced combat, it will give you a free teleport to the content location once all group members agree to the group.

Gangawolf: I am curious about the cost of repairing gear, particularly in the end-game. When I die, I find that the cost to repair my Bounty Hunter’s gear is just under half what if costs my Jedi Consular (and they are similarly geared in terms of level of gear). Likewise, my Smuggler falls somewhere in between the two. Again, not a scientific sampling, but it seems like heavy armor sets are cheaper to repair than medium armor sets which in turn are cheaper than light armor sets. Why wouldn’t repair costs be the same across the board for similar level gear?

Jason Attard (Senior Game Balance Designer): Repair costs are tied to the percentage of durability your items have lost (in addition to item level and quality). Currently heavy armor has a higher durability score than medium or light armor, so it degrades more slowly in combat and it is thus cheaper to repair over time. This was put in place fairly early in development to give tanks a bit of a break on their repair costs (back before we had lightly-armored Shadow/Assassin tanks). With the introduction of Adaptive Armor in Game Update 1.3 this design decision is definitely getting dated, so there’s a good chance we will normalize the durability of all armor types in a future update.

tkinnunzero: In Game Update 1.3, can you briefly summarize what is the endgame Operation gear progression, i.e. what is the path a fresh level 50 is intended to be following that will see him/her eventually conquer the highest difficulties and end up fully decked in Best-in-Slot gear in every slot?

Jason: We expect a fresh level 50 character to start with a mixture of high level Premium and Prototype gear from missions, crafting and planetary commendations. For players interested in Group PvE end-game content the first step would be to use Group Finder to go through the Normal Mode Flashpoints until you acquire a full set of Prototype gear, probably mixed with several Artifact/Tionese items or mods. Next up would be hard mode Flashpoints (starting with tier 1 then moving on to the harder tier 2 Rakghoul Flashpoints) and story-mode Operations (starting with Eternity Vault then moving on to Karraga’s Palace) where you pick up your Columi/Energized gear. Finally you’d get into story mode Explosive Conflict to pick up your Rakata gear, and use the Black Hole commendations to start picking up Black Hole gear. To progress past this point you’ll need a guild at your back capable of doing Hard Mode and Nightmare Mode Operations. Starting into hard modes immediately after story mode Eternity Vault will let your dramatically accelerate your Columi and Rakata gearing, and Hard Mode Explosive Conflict lets you rapidly pick up Black Hole gear and is the only way to pick up the top-of-the-line Campaign gear set.

Once you have good gear that you feel you’re going to hold on to for a while you can improve it by adding Augments through crafting and Item Modification Tables. You can also optimize it by extracting mods from duplicate pieces of Operation gear to get the perfect balance of stats for your character build. Crafting also has a role to play, especially if your guild has a lot of extra Operation gear they can reverse engineer. It allows you to augment your gear more quickly and cheaply, customize the look of your gear, and help gear up your new guild-mates with powerful crafted mods and items.

If you enjoy solo content playing the daily mission hubs on Ilum, Belsavis and Corellia can help rack up the credits and accelerate your early end-game gear progression. The Galactic Trade Network provides opportunities to buy powerful mods and items with all those credits, while providing a decent income for the end-game crafters.

Our plan for future Operation game updates is to have Group Finder players to progress from Story mode to Story mode, while Operation guilds move into Hard Mode of the new operation (possibly dropping back into Story Mode to learn fight mechanics or gear up new players) then progress into Nightmare Mode. We intend to introduce Hard Mode and Nightmare Mode in the same update (Nightmare Explosive Conflict was delayed to allow us get some exciting new Nightmare Mode tech into the game which we should have more details on soon). We’re also planning on having Hard Mode Flashpoint rewards continue to progress as we introduce new tiers of content, allowing new players to skip past some of the earlier Operations (if their guild has already completed them and doesn’t wish to go back, for example).

Over to you: any info in here that’s new for you or got you excited?

Fleet Pass: SWTOR Weekly Roundup

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.


((Hello Bioware devs/forum moderators.  Glad to see you read TOROZ =P))
JoventhGonzalez – General Discussion
Weekly Forum Thread Round-Up Discussion: May 17th, 2012
Discuss this week’s Forum Thread Round-Up blog and nominate discussions for next week in this thread!

Swtor confusing. Bonus missions, heroics, flashpoints. I’m stressed. Suggestions ; )
I originally posted this on MMORPG.Com, about Bonus Missions and though it might be useful here.
I want to say ahead of time I think this game is amazing, and will keep getting better and better. This is probably
my biggest problem with the game, and with RPG’S in general and that’s why I posted it.

Cutting confusion/ organization is one major things that could help the game survive longer……..Please forgive me if I’m a little bit cynical/angry/bitter/mean. I’m really not this is just rooted out of the stress from playing the game deeply

Please, Please Read



Lets say you had to kill The Blob. Well that sould take forever, his Blobness is all over everything. He covers half your city. You don’t even know where to start.

That is how it feels to play SWTOR.

But what if The Blob and his trail of mess you had to kill was divided into sections? Maybe he had five kids, and wasn’t as big. Also you have an I-Phone app that locates each Blob Child ; ). Problem is with SWTOR….the “I-Phone” App is confusing and a little messy….

Here is how you eliminate The SWTOR Blob… (again no offense to creators, game is great)

Yoomazir – General Discussion

Will Bioware bring playable races that doesn’t look like colored humans?
I’ll be honest, I played Star Wars Galaxies for like 1 month (the game was like 10 bucks with 1 month free) and there was something I really enjoyed: Playing as an Ithorian bounty hunter.

So I started playing this game like 1 week ago and I was kinda disappointed to see that the only playables races basically look like your average human with flashy colors and “alien” appendices.
There is also something else that kinda felt awkward to me, there aren’t enough alien npcs wandering around, the whole game feels kinda “humans in space only” .

I haven’t followed much what Bioware has in stock for the future, but I would really like to think they will bring a little more fantasy content instead of the 90% human population/10% “alien” races in this game lorewise, along with having the possibility of having an ithorian bounty hunter

Anyway, that was just my 2 cents, overall I’m having fun with this game, not the ultimate mmorpg, but fun nontheless.


Back & Forth – PvP

Just wondering for those that are FOTM Rerollers if you ever feel kind of guilty or ashamed that instead of staying loyal to the class your originally leveled you choose to instead level a FOTM class instead. I’m just trying to understand the mentality of a FOTM reroller.

Oh hey i found the answer to your question. It was in another thread created by you titled “Will be rerolling Marauder in 1.2 need help.”

You can find the link here

so you can refresh you memory or just see the copy and paste job below( it’s in red for easier reading). I see you already answered your own question. Hope i helped out


Sup everyone, so as we all know sorcs and BHs are getting nerfed hard, and Marauder is looking like the new OP class next patch. Is there anything I should know about the class before I start leveling? How does it play in pvp and pve? And are you overall happy with the class?


DecanAnderson – Fan Art

The ”Glitch/Cool/Funny Screen Shots” Official Thread

SWTOR Video News: Augments and Transfers

Asher’s back with another episode of SWTOR video news, again covering all the bases for the week. The full links below the video. Enjoy! [Read more…]

SWTOR Community Q&A summary

BioWare’s community team have done a nice summary post of all the community Q&A’s to date. We’ve reproduced it below and will update it regularly as well. Enjoy!

Welcome to the weekly Q&A Archive, a convenient place where we have collected all of the questions and answers from our Q&A blog series for your perusal.

Before posting a question for an upcoming Q&A, we urge you to check this archive to see if it has already been answered.

To read all Weekly Q&As, go here.


Crew Skills
Dailies, Missions
Flashpoints, Operations
Future Content
Mods, Augments, Crystals
Nuts & Bolts
Grab Bag




Advanced Classes

Smuggler/Imperial Agent

Trooper/Bounty Hunter




Schematics, Reverse Engineering






(See also Mods, Augments, Crystals)



Mods(See also Mods, Augments, Crystals)
























Population, Factions




Oceanic Guild Spotlight: Rogue Squadron

If you’d like your guild spotlighted, just use our contact form to let us know. Or if you like, respond to the questions shown below and send them in – we love to profile guilds and the work they’re doing. The only requirement is that you’re an active oceanic guild. Please be patient if you don’t hear back from us immediately – we will only be spotlighting a guild every week or so.

Name of guild

Rogue Squadron (Mirror Guild: Renegade Squadron)

Guild website

History of your guild’s name?

Rogue Squadron was selected by our Guild Leader Arctorro when the Pre-Launch Guild program was setup. Obviously it is drawn from the movies and particularly the books which Arc quite enjoyed. It also fits in with our philosophy which is to not be bound to any strict regimen. Renegade Squadron was setup some time later after the Game when live. To allow an output to explore the game from the other side.

What sort of guild are you? 

We are a casual guild with members taking part in both PvE and PvP. We have been dipping our toes into Operations. Our aim is to try and experience as much of the content that the game has to offer but at our own pace.

What are the achievements that your guild is most proud of?

We have completed both Eternity Vault and Karagga’s Palace on normal mode. Including Karagga’s Palace on the first serious attempt.

Why did you choose to be Republic?

Since the guild didn’t come across as a whole from another MMO, for us it was a personal choice that would have many different answers. We each chose it for one reason or another and found a friendly home in Rogue Squadron.

You have one minute to convince someone they should be in your guild – what would you say to them?

If you want a guild with a mature group of players who are still able to be silly and have fun. And you want to experience the game as a part of a group without making yourself feel like you’re being tied into a daily chore, then this is the guild for you.

Are you recruiting at the moment and if so what classes / type of players are you looking for?

Yes, we are looking to expand now that we have made it across to Dalborra. We are looking at all classes but primarily we need a couple of healers plus some more ranged DPS, preferably Smugglers and Troopers. Check out the website for details.

What are your predictions for the next 6 months for the guild?

Expanding and progressing steadily through the content, moving onto the Hard Mode ops and into Explosive Conflict.

SWTOR Video News: Patch 1.3 Speculation

Asher releases Episode 5 of his video news and it’s another great roundup – notes supporting it are below:

Episode 5 off SWTOR News. All news in this video is from the week starting 06/05/2012. Please remember to share, comment and subscribe!

Links for this weeks articles:

Dev Q&A

Next Weeks Dev Q&A question submition

Offical Star Wars: The Old Republic Podcast

SWTOR News Special Edition

EA Blames the casual gamers…

Patch Notes for 1.2.3

Patch Notes for 1.2.3a

Star Wars 1313

Crew Skills Tutorial


Lencorp Facebook

Fan Art