I am waiting for one more week before I pronounce it as official, but it seems that Bioware is starting their pre-release information flood. Friday updates are becoming more informational and we’re starting to see mid-week updates as well. Coupled with the events season it promises to be an information filled summer for SWTOR fans. What this Friday update talks about specifically is how the design of advanced classes changed since they were first talked about and what Bioware based those changes on. There is a detailed rundown of all the advanced classes in their current state, given by Georg Zoeller, Principal Lead Combat Designer. We now fully see 3 healing and 3 tanking builds present. Very interesting thing to see is the choice they made with the Jedi Consular and Sith Inquisitor. These classes can spec so they can be healers or tanks (tanking abilities have been added in the meantime; since the last AC info was released). Since both these classes were basically cloth users I wonder how they made them tanks. High evasion plus heals to get aggro? I don’t see them as paladins either. I must admit I am curious to see how this works out.
What I have a feeling Bioware did is incorporate your classic trinity roles into the most commonly used classes; Jedi Knight and Consular and Sith Warrior and Inquisitor (or as you’d call them – force users). The other classes are getting non standard trinity options or what some would call soft trinity classes. So we get a ranged tank, healing rogue and a healing “hunter” (ranged rogue). Just the prospect of discovering how these “new” roles function is exciting for me.
Friday update also goes over the decision making process through showing two images created through metrics Bioware gets from test servers and game testers. The images show a three-dimensional map with all the spots gamers died at and a smaller two-dimensional map showing where people thread the most and what places are fatal for their adventure. That image alone helped Bioware determine that Smugglers were having problems in the areas of their primary class story and were able to tweak the difficulty. I must add that the 3D image looks like what is known among game programmers as representation of geodata. Geodata is map data of X, Y and Z coordinates of the game level that determines what players and other level stuff (foliage, buildings, NPCs, etc.) stand on and can’t “fall through”.
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