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Archive for the 'Game Mechanics' Category

I’m Still Not Sold On Crew Skills

Published by under Crafting,Game Mechanics,Skills on May. 25. 2011.

With the hands on time in Austin it went a long way to settle many of the nagging concerns that I have about TOR. I’ve also got to the point that I no longer threat about space combat. Sure it’s not what I was hoping for, but I do not see with the utter contempt that I once used to view it with.


Though the crafting system still has me very worried. This may be due to the fact that I’m somewhat of a traditionalist when it comes to crafting. I cut my teeth in Ulitima, then continued on in SWG and Eve.

Think what you will of these games, but I’m sure everyone will agree that these had and continue to have the best crafting you can still find out there atm.


TOR is heading from taking the player out of the crafting. You get to have a say at what you want then pass it on to your minions.

Many will see this as a great leap forward. Crafting after all is not for everyone. It takes real-time to gain your skills, and as such you forgo some of the other activities. You will have to cut back on raids and scale down on PvP when you want to be the best crafters.

This in turn sees many a player having to choose what they like to do more.

Continue Reading »

11 responses so far

On Cover and Gunslinging

Published by under Class,Game Mechanics,gameplay,Imperial Agent,PvP,Skills,Smuggler on May. 25. 2011.

Continuing his streak of highly informative posts on the main SWTOR forums, Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller, voted most likely in his class to scream out “Mein Luftkissenfahrzeug ist voller Aale!” at inappropriate times,  stopped by once more to enlighten us about Smugglers and their Cover mechanics.


Georg Zoeller - The Wookiee Whisperer

Continue Reading »

3 responses so far

Macro-roni and Cheese? Not at Launch, But…

Published by under Blog,Bounty Hunter,Breaking News,Game Mechanics,news on May. 23. 2011.

One of our favorite forum do-gooders, Georg Zoeller, dropped by the main forums today to wish us a Happy Rapt… no, my apologies!  He wanted to clear up a few things about auto-attacking, and whether or not there would be macro functionality in SWTOR at launch:

Macros are a pretty broad term for certain convenience and advanced user functions at this time. Some of those features are present as possible key binds in the game, others are not.

We’re not opposed to macros, we don’t hate them, in fact we will probably add them, but probably not for launch.

So what does this mean for us?

Continue Reading »

8 responses so far

O’ bounties where art thou?

Published by under Bounty Hunter,Class,Crafting,Editorial,Game Mechanics,humor on May. 03. 2011.

First off let me start off this little article with the props so due to SWTORCRAFTER and SERGE for the awesome interviews and hands-on reports from the fan summit.   I was as happy as a Sarlacc full of Boba when I got all those articles and reports.  Well done guys. Remind me to send you both a nice can of nuts, and a $50 space hooker for Festivus this year.


Today’s topic of whine:   Game systems.   That’s right. You read it right. I’m gonna go off on a tangent about something I have absolutely no clue about, have never heard about, and have never seen.   Why you ask in a perplexed and angry tone?  Simple: I have way to much time on my hands and very little to do.  I also enjoy bitching about crap for no good reason.

Need moar epic SWTOR rant? Click here to read the full article

5 responses so far

Familiar Roles… with a Twist?

Published by under Class,Game Mechanics,speculation on Apr. 10. 2011.

I fall firmly into the category of players who were greatly intrigued by Friday’s Dev. Update, as much for what it didn’t say for what it did.  We learned that the Sith Inquisitor will have an Advanced Class that will be fully capable of Tanking, for example, which came as a pleasant surprise to many (myself included).

At this stage, the tanking rogue has now been done before, breaking from the “Tanks must wear plate” paradigm, so the Assassin tank will not necessarily be groundbreaking.  We know that the Sith Inquisitor wears light armor also, which has led to a number of speculations.  Will the Assassin be a completely avoidance-based tank, utilizing high Dodge and/or Parry rates to minimize incoming damage (rather than mitigating it outright through high armor rates)?  I  initially also thought of the Swordmaster class from Warhammer Online, which also fulfilled the tanking role without the usage of a shield.  It was from looking at the Inquisitor’s mirror class, the Jedi Consular, that the picture became somewhat less fuzzy.

Take a look at a screen grab of this talent, called Kinetic Ward, which I believe sheds some light onto how this mechanic may function:

Kinetic Ward - Consular's Shield TalentAs a mirror class, I’d say it’s probably safe to assume that the Assassin will be using something similar.  This fits in with the description of the Consular (specifically, the Jedi Shadow) using “Lightsaber defense and Force powers.”

And as an aside, we knew that the Inquisitor/Consular were going to have access to some degree of Stealth, but take a look at the last line in this tooltip.  I hadn’t anticipated the playstyle of “Stealth Tank” but that is exactly what it seems to suggest.  We can probably also count on seeing the Imperial Agent and Smuggler healers making use of Stealth in some way as well.  That has the potential to be a really interesting mechanic – I’m most curious to see how it plays out in PvP though.

So as it stands, while SWTOR may not be rewriting the rules of the Holy Trinity, they are at the very least, providing these tools to a number of different classes.  It remains to be seen whether or not the developers will give in and allow Advance Class respecs or not.  While this may not be the most popular stance to take, I’m actually kind of hoping that they don’t.  I can imagine this feature being a popular “Paid Service” feature if they ever offered it.

All in all, I can safely say that I am completely stoked to play this beast!

One response so far

SWTOR’s Mini Games And Titles

Published by under Blog,Game Mechanics,humor,speculation on Apr. 06. 2011.

I’m so glad the SWTORGB event went ahead, and we got some tips of information from it, for I was kind of stumped on this weeks article.

The announcement that Darth and Lord Titles, would indeed be used in-game got me thinking about, well, mini games and other titles that could be available.


Of course, these titles are down to the individual players to choose, Darth Chocolate and Lord Of-The-Dance, would turn most of us into a crazy nerd rage, and rightly so. But lets think about the non player generated titles that  may be available.

First and foremost, in-game titles can come from a number of events as you play through the game.

For instance, killing 200 Womp rats may give you the option of using a “Womp Rat Slayer” Title.  Ok, this may not be the greatest title to have, but it’s a start at least. Killing X amount of mobs as well as players is one of the most common in-game title achievements, that MMO’s have used over the years. Continue Reading »

6 responses so far

Yoda was a Combat Rogue…

Published by under Class,Editorial,Game Mechanics,gameplay on Apr. 05. 2011.

Hello gentle readers. Let’s step into the way-back machine and journey all the way back in history to the golden age of  2002.  Lets re-live a moment of Star Wars mythology that to me at least, was so awesome and anticipated, I have to say it was my single favorite scene in the movie.  In case there was any doubt in anyone’s mind about which piece of awesome I refer to, it is: The minute Yoda went all Toshiro Mifune on Dooku.  If there was such a thing as getting pimp slapped by the force, that would have been the definitive example.


Yoda was a Rogue you see.  Seriously.   He was fast, used little shoto saber(s), did lots of spinny, flippy shit, and tried to basically turn Dooku into some force inspired origami meat-swan. That’s what rogues do, right? Fast agile attacks meant to inflict maximum damage with minimum exposure?  I’m pretty sure that is right, and if not, Sorry.  I’m rusty.  I just couldn’t help but think “WoW, that’s how I fight with my rogue in WoW!”  Are mmo’s borrowing from the movies and lore, or are the movies and modules borrowing from mmo’s these days?  Can all my Iconic Star-Wars Classes be broken down and classified with mmo standards?


There was a great disturbance in the force when BioWare announced the classes and some of the advanced classes that all but confirmed we would be seeing a “Trinity-like” setup for grouping and endgame.   One of the big worries was the newly verified scientific law called “WoW in space” or simply “Whiner’s law”, which states:

Part 1

With all games being equal, World of Warcraft will always rank exponentially lower on the innovative scale, and higher on the casual fanboy scale than any other game it is paired with.  Therefore, any game who makes any decisions based on the success of WoW or it’s business model is doomed to utter failure as it will be too similar and / or too different than WoW, and as no two identical / opposite things can occupy the same mmo-sphere, the larger of the two (Being wow) will consume the smaller of the two (being everyone and everything else) and eventually remove it from the time stream as well. If it is like WoW it is a horrible idea, only because WoW was so successful. We love WoW so much it’s like Diabetes.

Part 2 of the law states:

Bibbity bibbity boo.  There is a God and his name is Celery.


Because it’s like WoW it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Doesn’t mean it’s a brilliant idea either.  My concern personally (other than dying before the game actually launches) is that I will be playing a rogue with a lightsaber, or a paladin with a lightsaber or a hunter…. with a lightsaber.  Will my Jedi, I have waited so long for, play like every other button spamming raid donkey or will it be a unique and new play style.  Do I want that comfortable feel of long played and tested mechanics or that totally new type immersion?  At this time I have to say I just don’t know.  I trust BioWare to make great games, but this idea of going further than imitation into flat out cloning of another game’s mechanics is something I didn’t expect.  I’m not sure if it is going to turn out well for them along a critical reception point of view. Until some widespread people get more hands on time with the game, we just don’t know. An hour here or 15 minutes there is nowhere near enough time to form an opinion.    Just remember folks,  If it looks like a rogue, and stabs like a rogue, well hell….  It might be a Jedi, and I think i’m ok with that.



2 responses so far

Lightside, Darkside And That Thing Called Story

Published by under Blog,Game Mechanics,PvP,speculation on Mar. 23. 2011.

All of us have played single player games at some point, and in games produced by BioWare, we all know how choice matters to your overall playing experience.

This is all well and good in that single player game, but how does this effect us in the MMO space. Not having to think past the end boss in these games, is something we’ll be very weary of in the MMO world. After this end boss (1-max in an mmo), some will say, that the real game begins.


Lets say that you know a little about TOR, and that you have not just clicked on a random page on the interwebs. You will all know that SWTOR will have story driving it forward. This is the major difference along with the Voice Over (VO) that sets TOR above all those other games out there.

Now, I am not going to suggest that story is a bad thing, and I’ll say right now, that “I, MrWarlock, do say that TOR will be the best playing experience from start to max level” and you can quote me on that.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

One response so far

Overview of Instance Mechanics in SWTOR

Published by under Falshpoint,Game Mechanics on Feb. 16. 2011.

Past two official Friday updates concentrated on the group content in the Old Republic. Bioware decided to call its small group content Flashpoints, but if you hear people saying instances or dungeons they are talking about the same thing. Here is all the information I could gather up about this game mechanic so you, our readers, can know what to expect.

We first were introduced to flashpoint content back in 2009 at E3 and Gamescom. The next big group content was revealed last year as a multiplayer demo that was played by Bioware staff (at E3) and fansite members at Pax. At Pax 2010 we also saw a video called “Mysteries of Knights of the Old Republic” showcasing a late game flashpoint/dungeon that hints at an old enemy – Darth Malak – known as the villain in the KOTOR game. With the addition of the two Friday updates solely dedicated to the flashpoint mechanic we now have enough information on what to expect from small group content in SWTOR.

Important Flashpoint Information

  • Maximum number of players that can enter is four (plus companions).
  • Flashpoints are repeatable.
  • Flashpoints are much more challenging than single-player missions, but they offer valuable loot and rewards.
  • There might be choices associated with a flashpoint (save the captain/kill the captain). When running multiple runs of a flashpoint it is still not 100% clear whether the last choice you made counts, or the first choice you made counts. This feature is being fine tuned in the game testing.
  • Based on your dialog choices and bonus objectives you perform, the flashpoint can change so that you get access to more bosses or more ways of beating the dungeon.
  • Types of enemies, AI and mob abilities are connected to the story the flashpoint is trying to tell.
  • You will be able to take companions into the flashpoint, which means that if your group has no healer you can have 4 healing companions to compensate.
  • There will be heroic versions of Flashpoints

Flashpoints that are known to be in the game so far

  • The Esseles – Republic Only, early level
  • The Black Talon – Empire Only, early level
  • Taral V – Republic Only, mid game, ~90 to 120mins for completion, Level 32+
  • Boarding Party – Empire Only, mid game
  • Directive 7 – Both, late game
  • (unofficial) Darth Revan’s Complex – higher level flashpoint

Important Links

Flashpoint gallery

Taral V The Esseles The Black Talon A Sith Inquisitor and Imperial Agent battle mutinous Droids, seeking the source of their mass malfun Sith Warrior launches himself at a group of ill-prepared Republic defenders
Directive 7 Boarding Party An elite Imperial strike team defends the Black Talon from a Republic assault.

2 responses so far

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