Diplomatic Investigations: Patch 1.2 for Inquisitors and Consulars

Welcome to our weekly column dedicated to everything Consular and Inquisitor. If you have a suggestion for a topic you’d like covered in this column, drop Tim a line!

This week I want to talk a little about the changes coming in Patch 1.2 for SWTOR, and specifically how they apply to Jedi Consulars and Sith Inquisitors.  This patch is currently available to play on the Public Test Server (PTS), but it should be noted that the functionality for this patch is not yet finalised.  In other words, some features they have reported in the patch notes may not end up in the final 1.2 that is deployed to live servers.  So keep this in mind when reading below!

I expect it will be several weeks before the change is rolled out, so for the next few weeks I’ll focus on some of the benefits (and drawbacks) to the patch, with an emphasis on how it affects Sith Inquisitors and Jedi Consulars. Do you find it amusing like I do when people are getting upset about how nerfed “XYZ” class is with the 1.2 patch?   All I can say is at least wait until it has been finalized!

Not possessing much patience, I decided I would try out the new changes now, and connected back to the PTS (Public Test Server) and gave the patch (in its current state) a run. If you decide to use the PTS, you have to start your character from scratch again, and due to time constraints I ran out of time to get my newly created Sith Inquisitor off Korriban and to their advanced training, so I’ll report more on that next week.  At this stage I am thinking it’s time for an assassin as I’ve played the Inquisitor and its Jedi equivalent quite a bit.

As an aside, if you are considering using the public test servers, note that characters are NOT deleted, but rather remain.  They will have things happen to them (like reseting of advanced skills when required, etc) but the point is, you don’t have to continually start from level 1 with every patch version.  Yes, it’s relatively safe to create a character and leave it there, and just login and try out new patches from time to time.   Famous last words I know – I’ll probably login and find my characters gone!

Interestingly enough, I actually joined a guild on the test server, and saw a level 37 guy running around. There were a surprisingly high number of people online actually and I was in heaven because there was no trolling in general chat !    If it wasn’t for the aussie swtor lag issue, I’d consider making this my main server!

I did notice some a cool new interface editor for SWTOR where you can now customize your interface (see picture below), a nice target of target option, and some nice animation sequence fixed.  The more I played it, the more I liked it, quite honestly it almost felt like a new game again.

My frame rate seemed to be notably quicker as well.  So this is quite a major patch that Bioware have put together.

On the down side, there was a lot of problems with sound chopping in and out, and I had a bugged quest when I had to defeat someone and I couldn’t due to faulty line of sight indications. But it is a test server after all, so you have to expect that, and they will no doubt fix it before it goes mainstream.

Moving on, lets talk about some useful features for light saber wielding classes in 1.2. Color Crystals are being revamped in this update – Bioware’s thinking was to allow players to not have to be stressed by the numbers (stats) when choosing.  As a result all colour crystals will have top end crystals which eliminates a big problem. The ability to create Magenta crystal is also being added as is an entire activity chain which is cool.

The “mandatory crew skill” award for Jedi Consulars and Sith Inquisitors goes to…..


*drumroll* …   🙂


Artifice.  At least I think so because of what they have changed in the 1.2 patch. You can now do dedicated PvP Crafting with Artifice.   You can earn crystal schematics of various colours in PvP, as well as the required materials, and with the 1.2 patch Artifice is the only crew skill that offers a permanent expertise bonus! This adds another cool element for those of you who only do PvP, but the benefits are also there if you, like me, only do PvP some of the time.

I’ve usually chosen Artifice as one of my three crew skills anyway, but with these changes I’d have to say for Inquisitors or Consulars this should be mandatory once the patch comes out. One other cool thing I’d like to add is that s an artificer you can make willpower-based shields for the Sith Assassin/Jedi Shadow tanks – a welcome addition.

Ok thats it for me for another week – I’ll be back next week and thanks for watching!


Diplomatic Investigations: Melee or Ranged – What’s Your Poison?

Welcome to our weekly column dedicated to everything Consular and Inquisitor. If you have a suggestion for a topic you’d like covered in this column, drop Tim a line!

Both the Sith Inquisitor and Jedi Consular offer you the choice of a melee character or a ranged one. The melee classes are close up action where you are fighting alongside your companion or other players in a group, whereas the ranged characters fight from a distance.

The Sith Assassin is the Melee character, and the Sith Sorcerer is the ranged class.  For the Republic side the Jedi Shadow is the Melee class and the Jedi Sage the ranged one. The classes on opposing sides are very similar in their abilities (albeit it with different names) so after a period of familiarisation either should feel comfortable to you.

So how do you make the decision on which way to go?

Firstly from a faction viewpoint, you will likely have an opinion on which side you will want to start playing – I rushed to create a Sith Inquisitor for the “dark side” experience (although of course you can make “dark side decisions” as a republic player) and then moved to the Sith Sorcerer because I like the ranged attacks more than melee.

Another decision which can play a factor in melee vs ranged is server location. Aussie SWTOR players in general have until recently suffered a disadvantage compared to their overseas opponents, mostly due to our physical location. Most SWTOR servers reside in other countries and as the game has to send and receive information to and from the servers you can see that in theory the further away you are from the action the more you could suffer a disadvantage.   Even though the time is measured in milliseconds these differences count.

SWTOR does a good job generally of trying to even things up to a degree, but with PVP in particular things can get very hectic.  Play SWTOR for any period of time and you will hear about lag. This becomes an issue because every single key-press or mouse-click has to be transmitted.  And of course information on your surrounding areas (opposing players movements, NPCs, and anything else that moves or does something) has to be updated. The reality is if other players reside in the same country as the server, then it takes much less time for their key-press or mouse click to be sent and received as well as the other game state updates. We are still talking milliseconds here, but in a PVP situation milliseconds can count. Depending on the lag you might find the opposing player has time to issue several commands to your single one – And from their point of view, you seem to be very “slow” and  easy to defeat as a result and he/she seems almost invulnerable because every time you go to attack he/she beats you to the punch.

The reason the melee vs ranged decision is a problem on overseas servers is how the classes operate.  The up- close melee classes can suffer more with lag in my experience than ranged classes.  One example is a “from behind” attack (Jedi Shadow and Sith Assassin).  If you have lag issues it’s going to be harder as a rule to position yourself quickly as it’s more about co-ordinating movements and attacks at the right time versus just issuing attacks as a ranged class.

So yes we Aussies and New Zealanders have a good excuse of why we are not good at PVP.  Well maybe not!  While there is not doubt lag plays a part a good player can work within these limits. In any event, the good news is that all of this has changed with the recent introduction of local servers in Australia.

So when it’s available, make sure you move your characters to the Australian servers to eliminate this lag problem, because most of the players on these servers will be Aussies meaning that lag should generally be a non-event.  And if we find some overseas players on the servers then it’s our chance to use their lag to our advantage.  I’ve already had some interesting discussions with some overseas players complaining about the lag on Aussie servers  🙂

Out of interest you can hover your mouse in game over the latency button to get a general idea of your speed.  Also known as your ping.  As you can see in the two pictures, I have shown you my ping on an American server and an Aussie server . As you can see with the exact same Internet connection the American server has about four or fives times high latency than the Aussie server.  This can make a big difference.


Nasty, evil overseas lag

Ahh, that's more like it











In case you are wondering, I am with Bigpond Cable on their Ultimate package and loving the 33 ms latency. I moved there because it is the fastest possible Internet access in my area.  Add local servers to the mix and I am in heaven!

With lag being taken out of the equation, other factors in deciding which advanced class apart from the melee or ranged questions are, whether you wish to focus on healing, whether you like the benefits of invisibility, if you want to be a tank in game, to name three common ones.

Make sure you choose carefully though because once you choose between melee and ranged, it can never be changed for that character.  That said, the thing to remember is that you only need to level up a character to around level 10 and leaving your first planet, to get access to the advanced classes. So there is nothing stopping you from leveling up a few characters and trying both sides before deciding where to put your focus in the long term.

Thanks for reading and I’ll be back next week!


Jedi Consular Progression: Sneaky Shadows

If the mega-beta test weekend wasn’t enough activity for you, Bioware have released the Jedi Consular progression video for your digestion.

I had decided on rolling a Consular months ago and there’s nothing in this video that’s made me change my mind. Interestingly, our latest poll shows the Consular to be the second-most popular choice as a primary toon, although less than a hundred people have voted so far.

The most striking part of the video not surprisingly was the comparison of advanced classes – it’s going to be a difficult choice deciding Sage vs Shadow to say the least.

Anyway, if you haven’t already, have a look for yourself:

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Consular update: Force Quakes!

The Consular update is here! Bioware released the updated Consular page along with a new class video, a Companion, Mirialan race update, and the Corellian  Defender Consular ship.

The main part of the update is the Consular’s new class video. The video starts on Coruscant with the Consular meditating, when some Imperials try to get the jump on him. The first is killed with a lightsaber attack. The second Imperial is killed with an unknown move that looks like a single target nuke/knock back. The third Imperial is killed with a new single target nuke move. The Consular is then shown on a ship overlooking a planet when attacked by their Imperial troops and a Sith. The Consular uses an unknown AoE knock back/nuke.

In the next scene, the Consular is in a large gun fight on an unidentified planet, when what appears to be a NPC trooper goes down. The Consular uses a rez spell to revive the downed NPC.  The Consular then uses what appears to be a buff. The buff is followed by force quake, an AoE move that has a chance of knockdown.

Towards the end of the video several clips are cut together, showing the Consular using several more unknown abilities. One ability shown is an AoE nuke that kills two Imperials but leaves the strongest, or mini boss, standing. The consular then uses a single target nuke to kill the remaining Imp. The last scene in the Consulars’ video is a duel between a Sith and the Jedi. The Consular is shown using a buff that looks very similar to the Knight’s Saber Ward ability. The Saber ward is followed by “Pebble Storm” that doesn’t seem to slow down the Sith, so the Consular throws out one more single target CC ability then finishes off the Sith. Be sure to watch the full video here.

The Consular’s new companion is Qyzen Fess, a Trandoshan hunter and tracker. He follows the traditional path to appease the scorekeeper, the Trandoshan goddess, by earning his jagganath points through killing savage beasts instead of being a gun-for-hire. His appearance is marked by his missing eye. This one-eyed killer has been traveling the galaxy for years and has had run-ins with all types making him very cautious, but once his loyalty is gained he will defend his friends to the death. Here is Qyzen Fess’s Holonet Page

The Consulars ship will be the same ship as the Jedi Knight’s, a Corellian Defender-Class Light Corvette. The Defender is a double-decker designed ship and has a very smooth layout. Check it out here on Star Wars: The Old Republic’s official site

The Miralian race was also added to the Holonet under the inhabitants tab:

Renowned in all corners of  the galaxy for their spirituality and strong connection to the Force, the Mirialan endure rigorous mental and physical training rituals to become both formidable warriors and skilled negotiators.- Holonet

The Mirialan are deeply spiritual and believe the actions of one do not just affect his fate but the fate of the race as a whole. The geometric tattoos covering the Mirialan’s face denotes their deeds and accomplishments, and upon death are used to determine the worth of that individual to the Mirialan race.  Be sure to take a look at their addition to the Holonet.

Flash Point 13: Whiny Teen Darth Vaders and The Gonch

Another big episode with our confirmed third co-host and lots of discussion of everything SWTOR and more.

Points of discussion:

– Esseles Flashpoint walkthrough
– Consular update
– Pre-orders / ‘Red Zoners’ discussion
– SWTOR for the over 40’s
– Killing companions
– Loot containers
Big Babies on YouTube
– Third-party info sites
– Shout outs for our forums, Facebook page, Oceanic Guild listing, and Twitter account.

Listen via iTunes or right here:

Bioware ask for community input: Jedi Consular

Bioware have opened voting to the SWTOR community on naming one of the advanced classes for the Jedi Consular. You have the choice of the status quo (Jedi Wizard), otherwise it’s Jedi Sage, Jedi Seer or Jedi Adept.

For what it’s worth (which is not much), I’ve voted for Seer. That said, I’ll be happy with any outcome that isn’t wizard. To me that title is one of the most non-Star Wars labels you could possibly come up with. Encouragingly, the vote so far reflects that attitude, with Wizard garnering less than 3% of the vote, with Sage leading at 55% and Adept next on 22%.

Anyway, the main thing is, jump in and vote down the Wizard or make a hopefully feeble attempt to save it 😉