SWTOR Guild Summit 2012 Operations/Flashpoints Discussion

For those who enjoy PvE, the Operations/Flashpoints discussion was one of the most interesting.

  • 38% of level 50 players have played in an operation
  • We know there are lots of bugs – particularly in Eternity Vault
  • With game testing and feedback, things go a lot smoother 
  • Looting system in normal needs improvements – we wanted to make it PuG-friendly so you don’t have to yield to masterloot – we will deviate from this a bit in the next update. Another thing we want to do is allow you to trade destined loot.
  • Existing operations are pretty easy – we want Hardmodes and Nightmare to be more challenging than they are right now.
  • Explosive conflict: harder than current operations. Needs a whole new level of coordinate rather than more gear and more stats. We want to focus on coordination and execution.
  • Takes place on Denova, it will be tier 2 raid (KP and EV are tier 1 raids)
  • Nightmare mode will be a more serious channeling
  • Nightmare mode of explosive conflict not launched with 1.2
  • Changing normal mode to story difficulty mode to reflect the difficulty.
  • Story mode of new raid is not too gear dependent
  • Orange gear viability – in 1.2 you can extract all the mods and set bonuses
  • Can reverse engineer (RE) Operation gear for appearances
  • Nightmare mode for Explosive conflict will have a different gear tier than hardmode
  • Future of operations: bug fixing is the highest priority
  • Fight the boss not the game – more in-game animations to give you clue on boss abilities
  • Flashpoints: they are enjoyable but we need better endgame progression via Flashpoints. We want to smooth the curve to Operations.
  • Difficult to find group: “we are addressing that”
  • Lost Island – Finish the story started in patch 1.1
  • Group finder: introduced in game-update 1.3 – also for heroic quests and flashpoints. Single server only. 

They said the biggest reason they do not want cross-server PvE queuing is that it encourages trolls. When your reputation is at stake, you are more likely to behave for the betterment of the group.

Q&A Section

Q: Trash drop credits on operations to help pay repair bill? Also what initiatives to allow high level players to help lower level players (reverse mentoring system)?

A: With 1.2 we don’t anticipate changes to the repair costs. We need to bring additional sinks in place if we want to change the repair costs. No ETA on reverse mentoring system
Q: Will we see separate lockouts for hardmodes and Nightmare with 1.2.
A: No, hardmodes and Nightmares are progression raids while story mode is more for socializing.
Q: 16m and 8m loot?
A: We want them to have a relative difficulty, we will lower some of the stats on 16m bosses to counter the coordination issue of 16m. More loot in 16m, more bonus loots (mounts, recipes) but same tier of loot. 16m and 8m will have the same content for now.
Q: Timestamp achievement for boss kills to help foster competition?
A: Yes that is something we very much do. We love achievements. We want to reward server first kills, etc. These are long-term plans, however, not something in the immediate horizon.
Q: Threat meters/DPS meters – are they coming? What is BioWare’s stance?
A: We want reliance on in-game visual cues but that is not we say we won’t give you DPS and threat meters. We will have them in but just not in 1.2. We you to have control over what other see about your character – we went for the middle ground. In 1.2, you will be able to use a simple input in the chat system to see what defeated you. We also have a very detailed combat log you can write to your disk – someone enterprising guilds  can use it for their guild to see their performance but it will be out of game (3rd party).
Q: Is craft-able gear comparable to endgame PvP/PvE gear?
A: Yes but we will defer it to another panel.
Q: Space missions – interesting but any plans to implant them into flashpoints/operations?
A: We have a secret project for space missions in the works right now – can’t give you more details.
Q: Enrage mechanics – is that something we will see across the board? It limits the standard build you can take and have guaranteed success.
A: Intention is that in 8-man you have 2 tanks but that didn’t work out too well. With 1.2 you’re going need a lot more coordination and tank –trading. You will need 2 tanks for 1.2 content.
Q: 16m intended to be harder than 8m?
A: The idea is to keep the difficulty level between the two as close as possible – we will make 16m bosses a bit easier to compensate for the raid coordination in 16m.
Q: As an ops leader, are we going to get more tools to shift people around in ops groups?
A: On the UI panel, there is more discussion but yes, we want to have more options.
Q: Ready check system for flashpoints and operations?
A: “We don’t have a ready check? I am going back to the office and get that in.”
Q: Are we going to implement hardmodes for Flashpoints that currently do not have them?
A: Yes eventually we will be. Can’t say when exactly.
Q: You can reverse eng ops gear – can you get schematics from that?
A: Yes, we will talk about it later.
Q: Flashpoints – another difficulty added to flashpoints
A: Not in the near future. We will keep adding new flashpoints and the flashpoints are going to get harder.
Q: Dynamic style operations? i.e. more open world
A: Yes in 1.2, we will have open world bosses.

Lisa Mason

Lisa has been an avid gamer since she was old enough to hold her first controller and a game writer for more than a decade. A child of the Nintendo generation, she believes they just don’t make games like they used to but sometimes, they make them even better! While consoles will always be her first love, Lisa spends most of her gaming time on the PC these days- on MMOs and first-person shooters in particular.