PTS Success (Sorta)

Yesterday the official SWTOR Twitter account helpfully reminded me that the Onslaught PTS is scheduled to shut down tomorrow on Friday, so I decided to finally sit down and get those PTS achievements done that I started working on over a month ago.
I returned to my level 73 Guardian tank on the PTS, queued up for all the group content (which is when I noticed that they added the one-boss operations like Toborro's Courtyard and the Colossal Monolith to the group finder, which is nice) and for unranked PvP and went off to do some heroics while I waited for the queue to pop.

I had only completed two by the time I got bored of waiting and figured that there clearly weren't enough people queuing for PvE group content to make anything happen on Republic side. That I wasn't getting any pops in the sub-75 PvP bracket was hardly a surprise either, so I returned to Odessen to use the terminal there to level up to 75.

When I re-queued after dinging, I got a warzone pop almost instantly, so that's how I then ended up spending most of my evening. I would have preferred to have a look at some of the newly re-tuned flashpoints to be honest but when you need to get your achievement credit now you take what you can get.

The gear rewards from PvP were really lackluster. While PvE content apparently showers you in loot right now, I only got a little loot box every other PvP match, which usually contained some crafting mats, some warzone adrenals and a green piece of gear. Half a dozen greens wasn't exactly a fantastic payout for a whole evening of PvPing.

I also couldn't quite figure out what was needed to qualify for a reward box, whether you simply needed to win a match or what. I'll admit that this was at least partially my own fault though as my inventory was a huge mess, meaning that I didn't always notice the appearance of a new box right away.

Some more changes had been made to the UI since my last PTS play session, such as an updated character window, which I didn't mind nearly as much as the new item tooltips. The only annoying thing about it was that it was not yet implemented/broken for other characters, so if I tried to inspect another player the result was only a blank window with an alignment bar in it.

Also, the little person icon on the very left of the top navigation bar kept flashing (like the icon for proficiencies does if you have unspent points) but I couldn't figure out what it was that it wanted me to do so it kept flashing away all evening.

The biggest point of interest was the amplifier system/UI though, which we were supposed to actively give feedback about. Initially I mostly found it very unintuitive - for example it required a double click to open the re-roll window. What the hell? Nothing else in the entire game requires double-clicking! I only really figured it out by accidental rage-clicking. (Why isn't this working...)

All the different effects and the process of re-rolling are kind of intriguing right now, but also overwhelming. Remember when they got rid of Aim, Cunning, Strength and Willpower two expansions ago because it was considered too complicated for players to figure out which of these four stats mapped onto which base class? Why do they now give us something like twenty new stats, many of which have weird and ambiguous names? What do you think "Aural Rejuvenation" does? Something to do with hearing? Shouts? (Nope, it increases AoE healing apparently.)

Seeing all of that on the PTS and knowing that Onslaught's launch is less than two weeks away now, I honestly can't help but feel slightly nervous about this whole gearing revamp. Unlike others, I'm not getting any Galactic Command 2.0 vibes here - Galactic Command's initial implementation wasn't at all complicated, just an obviously bad idea.

Spoils of War, at least from what little I've seen, just feels slightly overwhelming and confusing instead, which I suppose could go either way. Either I'll figure it out and enjoy the newly added complexity, or I'll freeze like a deer in the headlights as my inventory gets filled up with green items with two dozen different amplifiers on them, because I can't decide what to keep and throw away as I can't tell what's good anymore.

Oh well, I guess I'll focus on the new story to start with and then take it from there. At least I got my titles and silly log mount for my public testing duties! I had no idea it was going to look this phallic by the way.


  1. I plan on just equipping whatever I get until I hit 306. After that I'll worry about doing some min/maxing and collecting proper gear for the spec my character is using. Hopefully by then there'll be some decent suggestions about what is actually useful with the tacticals and amplifiers.

    I too had the flashing person icon. It went away when I checked out my discipline selections, though if you opened the menu you could still see a highlighted Character icon. It will drive me nuts if the same thing happens when all of this goes live -- I really hate "look at me! look at me!" UI elements I can't turn off.

    As far as the mount goes, I hope to eventually see a parade of them (slowly) circling fleet. :)

    1. My worry is that if I get for example a shell with a useful-looking (?) purple or gold stat on it I'll be like: I should hold on to that because if it's good it would probably cost millions of credits to re-roll another one to that later! Especially with everything becoming legacy-bound, so there is the extra concern of it being useful to an alt...


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