09/04/2014

Patch Day Joy

Content patch days are always happy days, but this one was particularly good from my point of view as 2.7 is chock-full of additions that are relevant to me personally and make me very happy.

I've run the new flashpoints once on both factions so far and will definitely have to make a full post about the experience. One thing I can already say is that I really enjoyed both of them and liked them better than either of Bioware's more recent flashpoint offerings (that is to say KDY and the Czerka ones).

I think it's good that they temporarily adjusted the warzone queue to make the new Huttball map pop more often, as after a patch like this, many people will queue up specifically just to see the new map: both to learn how it works and to see whether it's any fun. The learning part in particular can be quite difficult however when it only has a very small chance to come up in rotation. In fact, even with the supposedly increased percentage, I only got Quesh Huttball once in the nine matches I played. (The rest was normal Huttball x2, Voidstar x2, one Ancient Hypergates and three arenas.)

Ranked season one rewards were given out and I saw a lot of rancor mounts in the PvP area of the fleet. It was almost comical how common they were. Myself, I "only" got a title, a pet and a character-bound set of gear that looks just like Obroan with a bit of extra bling added. Not amazing, but definitely a good payout for the small effort of playing a total of twelve ranked games or however many I did (not a lot).

The changes to how AoE targeting works are amazing, especially in the aforementioned Huttball. The biggest challenge in getting a pass off under pressure has always been the problem of repeatedly having your cast cancelled just because your placement of the targeting circle was ever so slightly off. Now you can just target the person you want to pass to and double tap your keybind to pass the Huttball, which makes things so much easier. In PvE I wasn't immediately convinced that the new way of AoEing would be useful, but I was quickly converted. It's especially nice since your target's allegiance doesn't matter, so you can target your friendly tank for example and double tap to unleash AoE damage right over his head. It actually feels significantly faster than messing around with manually placing the targeting circle most of the time.

I have mixed feelings about the change to how mod levels are displayed. To be honest I never understood why items needed to have both an item level and an item rating anyway. What's the difference and what purpose does it serve? So in the long run this will be useful as it'll make things more consistent and easier to understand. (For example I always struggled to convert the item rating recommendations for certain operations to the corresponding mod levels.) In the short term however I'm very confused, as I see items drop and can't remember which of the new numbers corresponds to which tier of gear. I also kind of wish that they had kept the smaller numbers and got rid of the bigger ones instead, as the bigger numbers make gear inflation look worse than it is in my opinion. (My gear has a rating of 180? Really?!)

A small change that nonetheless made me squee is that they reduced the prices of the weapons from the CZ-198 reputation vendors to less than half of what they used to be. Arkanian level weapons are hardly anything to write home about at this point, but main hand weapons in general are hard to come by since they aren't available from the regular commendation vendors, so the reputation vendors are a nice way of gearing up alts and companions. And if you have a main who runs ops, you'll have more Elite Commendations than you'll know what to do with anyway. Now I just need the Gree to come back so I can buy a legacy saber for hilt transfers. (I have dozens of Gray Helix Components lying around, but they are all bound to different characters, so I'll need to do some dailies to actually be able to buy something on at least one character.)

11 comments :

  1. Is that AoE change why I logged in and found my Inquisitor's skill points refunded? I couldn't tell offhand what might have changed in resulting in a full on refund, so I just reloaded with Lightning again.

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    1. No, that reset was done because they changed the order of some talents.

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    2. I guess it makes sense if you're still leveling, but if you're at max level I doubt you need the refund. Unless they can't specify in that great a detail, I suppose.

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    3. Actually it's more needed at max level since you're more than likely spending points high up in the tree where talents either changed in purpose, cost, or position (moved from rank 4 to 5 or 5 to 4). It doesn't require you be in the tree(s) that changed which could eliminate some refunds, but I don't see a problem with it in general. Doesn't take long to re-talent and reading new tooltips might be the only way some people realize something changed (my guild doesn't follow news or patch notes).

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    4. Hmm, maybe, but I guess I'm from the school of you select a talent tree and follow it all the way through, rather than trying to pick and choose the optimal build.

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    5. That's a horrible school.

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  2. I *love* so very much how the aoe targeting works. It will also be super-useful for healing, as you can target the boss and then the aoe will splash the tanks in front and the melee behind. I will probably never place a circle manually again.

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  3. That aoe thing is interesting. Now if the target you use for the cast moves from where you originally started the aoe, does it land on its new location or original?

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    1. It lands at your target's location at the time when you hit your AoE for the second time to actually activate it.

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  4. I Love how so many people are bitching about the new Huttball map.
    I think it just takes time to get used to.
    But I have to say this update has a lot of bugs. While I haven't been playing MMOs for that long and can't remember an SWTOR Patch I was part of as big as this one it's kinda ridiculous.
    Korriban makes me DC every time at the beginning.
    The elevator in Korriban has a bugged platform (it's visible but you fall through).
    In the new Huttball people will be on your team but not show up in the Operations-window, making it pretty hard for healers.

    But I like what they did, the two flashpoints are fun for me.

    Just one question:
    Can somebody explain the idea behind "Tactical" flashpoints to me?
    I mean just like other flashpoints they are easier if you have a healer and a tank. So basically they're just easy FPs, no? Nothing wrong with that, but imho the name suggests the exact opposite of what they actually are :).

    Salutations,
    Tundarak

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    1. Hehe, I haven't seen any complaints about the new Huttball map yet. Personally I love it.

      I haven't really encountered any bugs other than the incorporeal platform on Korriban, which struck me as amusing more than anything else. The "people not showing up in ops frames" thing is something I've occasionally experienced before this patch, so that's not new.

      And I agree that "Tactical" flashpoints are a misnomer, regardless of whether one likes the concept or not.

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