E3 brought news of 15 free-to-play Star Wars: The Old Republic levels and a preview of what's to come in the not-too-distant future. Joining in the revealing fun is SWTOR.com, which has been updated with news, video, screenshots and more!
We begin with news that Game Update 1.3: Allies has emerged on the Public Test Server. Fans can expect a new Group Finder tool, an expanded Legacy System with new Character Perks, and Adaptive Gear. Click here for the full details.
Speaking of Adaptive Gear, the official TOR site provides us with a preview video for the new feature.
From there, take a stop on over at the SWTOR.com Media page for a variety of new screenshots. Of course, all of the latest preview videos (such as the one above) can be viewed there as well.
"Hello everyone. My name is Austin Peckenpaugh, and Iím a Senior Designer on Star Warsô: The Old Republicô. My job here is to create, maintain, and balance class gameplay in The Old Republic. As such, Iím here to shed some light on the upcoming changes to classes in Game Update 1.3 to give you all a sense of whatís to come and why itís coming.
Like with any major patch, Game Update 1.3 will bring with it an array of class updates. Before I go into detail on any specific changes, I wanted to use this opportunity to share our philosophy as to why classes need to change at all."
The preparation for Game Update 1.3 continues with a detailed post regarding character transfers and server populations. Again, we've got the intro excerpt for you below...
"In a previous Community Q&A we talked about character transfers, and announced that they were coming in early summer. Character transfers are a complex process, but we're almost ready to go. Starting next week on June 12th, 2012, weíre allowing character transfers to occur between selected servers in order to provide a better gameplay experience for our players by ensuring population balance across the service.
Game Update 1.3 is focused around group content, with the Group Finder designed to help you enjoy Flashpoints, Operations and Heroic Missions in groups. However, we know that a Group Finder can only work when there is a large pool of players to draw from on a server. That's why the new Character Transfer Service is important: it will improve the overall player experience by facilitating maximized server populations across the service."
The latest Friday Community Q&A can't help but touch on Game Update 1.3, but also includes the usual variety of topics such as companion Presence as seen in the excerpt below. Click here for the full post.
"Alxandria: Can we get a detailed breakdown of the affect of Presence on our companions? I'm specifically targeting info that would explain if the bonuses are weighted or static.
Jason Attard (Senior Game Designer): Your companion gets a fixed amount of damage, healing, and health per point of Presence on your character, and that amount does not change as you level up. This is the exact same sort of scaling done for Endurance and Power. In fact, putting 100 points of Presence on your main character is equivalent to putting 50 points of Endurance and ~85 points of Power on your companion, so if youíre playing solo or 2-player content where you have your companion out itís mathematically the most effective thing you can do. This is offset by the fact that itís split between offense and defense (making your companion less role-specialized) and that youíre sacrificing your personal effectiveness to increase the effectiveness of an AI.
As for how it scales as you level up, characters get lots of Endurance and Power on their gear, but typically donít get much Presence. This means that, early on, Presence tends to be a bigger proportion of your overall stat budget (and thus plays a bigger role in your companionís effectiveness) than it does in the late game. In theory, you could make Presence more important by seeking it out for your gear, but in practice we found most players prefer to increase the power of their own character instead, so we made Presence have more of a niche role, and balanced the PvE game assuming players do not itemize towards it at all."