Now that people have had the chance to get comfortable with 1.3 I decided that it was time to call upon the community of The Shadowlands for another SoC. Most of us had high expectations for the group finder, the augment system, and the new character legacy perks.
Though the group finder still seems to be a favorite it still has its flaws. It is riddled with bugs and people who aren’t geared for HM Flashpoints and SM Operations. Totenhelfen stated,
“I have a feeling it was rushed. There were, and still are multiple problems with the group finder. The role menu is buggy, and you might enter a group as a role you are not specced for… Queuing for level 50 FP’s and Ops is another issue, there should have been some sort for item limiter to create stable groups.”
Lairdon also speaks to item levels being one of the missing components,
“This isn’t to exclude anyone but rather to protect the group and those who would have otherwise queued for such FP’d and Ops when not of gear level to complete it successfully while in a PuG. Also,The min/max level for which it determines the FP’s you are able to queue for is too restricted.”
I experienced this on my commando that I have recently leveled to 50. The night before 1.3 I went and did Red Reaper just fine at level 43… The night of 1.3 I was not allowed to Q for it until I was level 45.
The augment system has its advantage by allowing those of us that want the four piece bonus from operation tier gear to have the best-in-slot stats. Lairdon pointed out the flaws he noticed to me in our interview,
“I think that the money/component for the augment kits with both creation and application is too expensive. The cost of generating 10 kit components just to create a single kit with the added cost of 30k credits just to apply the kit is too much. They need to either reduce the number of components required to make a single kit, or remove the cost to apply them.”
I haven’t spent much time on alternate characters since the patch, but after my interview with Tigercat I found out there are a few things to consider when buying character perks. Tigercat regretfully reported his issue with the space combat EXP bonus,
“The worst of all the changes in the space mission experience boost, 150k credits for a 30% boost to space mission experience doesn’t mean much when most space missions only give 5 experience because they’re low level. Maybe if those lower missions offered a better XP reward it’d be more worthwhile, I picked up all the space mission bonuses on my level 42 gunslinger and they’re nearly worthless it turns out.”
The favored change in 1.3 seems to be the augment slot kits. Though as Lairdon stated, they are costly (especially for casual players with day jobs that follow you home), but they offer amazing stats in the end.
“I think they did an excellent job,” stated Handrew, “It was exciting to see the market place explode with new items and ideas, I love seeing a person’s new looks also. I wish they could do something about the set bonuses… that would be the final piece to the customization puzzle. It’s nice to see how they designed the augment system to incorporate several skills, it requires trading in the community.”
Totenhelfen stated that,
“As a commando, it felt as though we had no chance for having an Aug slot in our offhand before 1.3.”
With the lack of an item level system aside, Lairdon loves the group finder,
“My favorite change so far, I think, is the LFG tool and the opportunities it opens up for all levels and classes.”
Class Changes… Good and Bad:
Though most healers like Lairdon’s sage didn’t see to many changes, all tanks and commando DPS builds have seen some improvements. When speaking to my experience as a tank post 1.3 I can see an immense change for the better. As most of you know, if you have read some of my past stuff, my main character is a guardian tank. The guardian was riddled with subpar threat, and AE tanking was hysterical. After the patch I have noticed a great deal of change in my mitigation and threat inside Denova SM and HM. Having a constant 3% added to my defense at all times has made it easier to cap my other mitigation stats, and I have been able to throw quite a bit of endurance on to my gear. Things are not good for all tanks though. Handrew is a shadow tank and the main progression tank in our guild and the 1.3 changes has left a sour taste in his mouth. Handrew stated in our interview,
“I have been a shadow kinetic spec since day 1 prerelease. There were two major changes to my class. The nerfs to self-healing and armor after some testing seem to have been heavy handed, especially at lower gear levels. On my healer alt I have seen Columi geared shadow tanks struggle with HM Ops where they shouldn’t, most notably when they engage large amounts of weak and strong enemies. This causes out stacks of Kinetic Ward to run out and our defense drops significantly, where before 1.3 our self-healing could sustain use for those few seconds when we cannot have KW up. That being said, I believe they nailed the threat increase… It is the perfect balance between challenge and not being annoying. I have found I struggle less on single targets and even less on multiple targets.”
The most significant thing that Tigercat pointed out for gunnery commandos is the Cell Charger talent,
“it’s been a nice boost to ammo efficiency.”
Totenhelfen goes on to explain,
“The change to Cell Charger is a positive change to gunnery DPS. A guaranteed 1 ammo every 6 seconds is very nice. This makes it so that critical is no longer a factor in getting extra ammo.”
Totenhelfen also pointed out,
“The change to Gravity Surge is another improvement to dps. The ability to stack 2 Gravity Rounds, Charged Barrel, and Charged Barrier (if specced), is great. This allows the ability to use Charged Bolts, and not “spam” Grav Round in order to get stacks.”
I can’t personally speak to any of this because my commando is a medic, but I can say things do seem to die faster in Operations!
As in my previous SoC I like to add something off topic to get a general opinion on current or future patches, and because 1.4 is so far off I thought I would bring up server stability. This has been a sore subject for the progression team that I am part of in my guild because of the bugs that locked us out of Denova last week.
“Right now, the servers are still showing serious signs of lag, Totenhelfen points out, Sometimes it is hard to even work in HM FP’s and Ops because of the lag. I will give Bioware some credit, as the lag is lower than when 1.3 launched, but it is still a big issue.”
Lairdon spoke from his professional experience,
“The server lag which is apparent with graphical reliance upon NPC spells/abilities creates and extra layer of difficulty when it comes to learning a new encounter in operations which is unnecessary. As a software professional with 15+ years of experience it is quite apparent to me that the Q-A team did not complete their regression level of testing before the 1.3 patch was released to the live servers.”
Correct me if I’m wrong TOROcast community, but didn’t they fire several Q-A people before 1.3 was announced? I wonder if this is an example of things to come… The thing we do need to keep in mind when being critical is that games fix things with patches and break other things at the same time.
I would like to close by thanking the people involved in this process. These were people who took time out of their day and game time to inform the community in a calm non-trollish way for TOROcast. All comments and rebuttals are welcome!
This has been Ragorik… That is all