PTS Adventures

I don't recall ever seeing as much excitement about the PTS as I've been seeing in the run-up to Onslaught. I don't know if it's just that I'm being exposed to more people talking about it now or whether is really is getting that much more attention, but the 6.0 PTS definitely feels different to previous public tests. I finally logged in myself the other night and was awed by the number of people just hanging out and messing around with the new gear on Odessen. It's not even like there was a special event going on or anything!

As none of the trooper/bounty hunter stuff was up for testing yet, I made do with a Sorcerer since I still consider my Sage my "main alt" and all the things we were being asked to test were Imperial only. From a healing point of view I wasn't sure what to make of the new set bonuses; the one I tried didn't really feel like it was affecting my play in any way. Of the three tactical items I saw for healing Sorcs so far, two unfortunately seemed pretty worthless due to how weak their effects were, but I made sure to say as much in the feedback thread on the PTS forum and am hopeful that Bioware will still tweak those numbers.

My guildies and I ran a master mode Hammer Station together since Bioware is apparently also changing the way level-syncing endgame content works. It did feel hard enough (the giant lobel Asteroid Beast wiped us twice as a certain someone spent way too much time goofing off), but apparently there's still a lot of tuning to be done on veteran mode and operations. Ajay on Twitter posted about suddenly being able to complete master mode Scum & Villainy in a pug in 25 minutes! Sounds scarily out of whack, but then again being able to take part in this kind of nonsense is precisely what makes it fun to play in a testing environment.

That said, I sure hope that Bioware will be able to gather enough data and take appropriate follow-up actions before Onslaught launches. We still haven't got an official release date for the expansion, but if they stick to their original September target, it's less than two months away now and public testing has only just started. Chuck and Brian said as much in the most recent episode of the Bad Feeling Podcast as well. I almost find myself hoping that the expansion will end up being delayed just to make sure that the devs actually have enough time to iron out all the kinks - looking at the current state of the PTS and thinking that this is what's supposed to go live in about six weeks or so doesn't inspire a lot of confidence.

Anyway, if you're interested in giving the public test server a try yourself, here's the official article on how it all works and what to look out for. Once the next phase goes live, there'll even be rewards you can earn for the live game by participating in testing, something that Bioware hasn't done in years and that I definitely wouldn't want to miss this time around. What can I say? Sometimes, bribery simply does work.

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