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Default SWtOR release

December 21st, 2011, 16:46
Not exactly "new" (Guild Wars does something similar, GW2 will too), but really underused.
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December 21st, 2011, 21:06
So what exactly is the bolster system then.
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December 21st, 2011, 21:48
The way it does it is new.

Bolster scales ALL stats based on your gear FOR YOUR LEVEL. Meaning, if you have the best gear at level 20 - you will scale your stats to be superior to a level 50 with bad level 50 gear.

This effectively means that there's ALWAYS a reason to upgrade your gear, and it means that - beyond not having high level abilities - everyone is on a level playing field.

AFAIK, there is no other game out there that scales stats based on current gear level.

I could be wrong, though.
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December 21st, 2011, 23:18
That's interesting, is that just for pvp?
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December 21st, 2011, 23:21
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
That's interesting, is that just for pvp?
Yes, it's only for balance in PvP.
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December 21st, 2011, 23:27
Seems pretty fair for world PVP. For instanced PVP I'd still prefer that things be segregated by level range, though that could balance out the individual levels within the range a great deal.
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December 22nd, 2011, 11:03
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
Seems pretty fair for world PVP. For instanced PVP I'd still prefer that things be segregated by level range, though that could balance out the individual levels within the range a great deal.
I prefer they don't introduce tier structures, for several reasons. Well, I DO want them to eventually introduce 2 tiers: 1-49 and 50.

But if you have too many tiers, you separate the community - and it won't be long until the queue times are WAY too long for the lower levels. Beyond that, you tend to get tiered gear - which actually does the reverse of what you'd think. You make people upgrade way too often, which diminishes the impact of getting new stuff.

WoW totally ruined the gear progression sensation by making a zillion tiers and a ton of brackets. Meaning that every piece of gear you get is something you KNOW you will exchange VERY soon. So you never get the attachment required for a decent sensation.

Sprinkling toys like snowflakes is not a wise design - and that's something Blizzard brought upon themselves by not thinking clearly.

Bioware has done the right think here, I feel. By staying away from cross-server technology and the like. It means that when you see a name in combat, it MEANS something. It's the right thing for the community.

I can only hope they stick to their guns and keep most of the Bolster/non-tiered system intact. But, unfortunately, it's all too common to let the whining short-term oriented playerbase guide your direction.

Blizzard took the instant gratification route - and SWtOR emulates it close enough to make me worry.
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December 22nd, 2011, 19:58
I could see a 1-49/50 system working. I have to imagine that lower levels will still be at a pretty major disadvantage to 49s though because of their lack of abilities. But I haven't played the game so maybe I'm wrong.

50s will eventually start to have different tiers of gear though, I don't think there is any way around that. I'm sure there is already instance tier level 50 gear and raid tier level 50 gear. Eventually there will be a harder raid and they will have to release tier 2 raid level 50 gear.
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December 22nd, 2011, 20:20
I just hope they temper it a bit. I'm sick of the gear race.
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December 22nd, 2011, 23:06
The game is new so they can probably temper it for awhile. People will be busy exploring the game and the classes and their mechanics for a long time. The push for new content and new raid tiers should not start for awhile.

I decided to pick the game up and give it a try myself. Even if I don't play it long term I figured I'd at least got enough fun out of it to justify the initial purchase.
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December 23rd, 2011, 02:04
One of the first things I'm noticing is that the game does not run smoothly on my system at all. I'm still figuring out if this is the result of high system requirements, or from the lag of a heavily populated server.
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December 23rd, 2011, 11:28
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
One of the first things I'm noticing is that the game does not run smoothly on my system at all. I'm still figuring out if this is the result of high system requirements, or from the lag of a heavily populated server.
If you're talking about frames per second, then I doubt it has to do with population. The starter areas are crammed pretty much regardless, at this point. It doesn't seem to affect FPS much - though, strangely enough, PvP is very affected by multiple participants. I guess it's because of the combat animations and intricate particle effects going on.

But the game is kinda sluggish for how it looks. It runs smoothly on my rig pretty much everywhere - but I'd be very disappointed if it didn't. Even so, there are slowdowns during PvP matches and sometimes on the Republic Fleet. The game just doesn't look good enough to justify it, so I'm hoping for some eventual improvements.
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December 23rd, 2011, 14:50
It does seem to like quad-core systems. I've had it running on a dual XP and quad W7 and the dual core system didn't cope too well, especially the bike rides.
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December 23rd, 2011, 21:21
Yeah I've narrowed it down to system performance issues. I have it playing on low settings and on a lower resolution in windowed mode and it works decently now but still has issues when there is a lot going on. As a last resort I can try setting it to 800x600.

This is going to be a big problem for them if they don't improve optimization. It's ok if a game like The Witcher requires a ton of resources. But I'm guessing that a large percentage of their target market has an even worse machine then mine (mine is only a year old and I've even upgraded it's video card).
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December 23rd, 2011, 23:26
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
This effectively means that there's ALWAYS a reason to upgrade your gear, and it means that - beyond not having high level abilities - everyone is on a level playing field.
Ohmyfuckinggod! That could mean, together with your comments about open world PvP, that they might manage to pull of some large-scale, DAoC-like, Realm vs. Realm kind of thing. Right? Well probably not.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
The game just doesn't look good enough to justify it, so I'm hoping for some eventual improvements.
Interesting comment, because I've often wondered about the "this looks good" vs. "this takes a lot of GPU power" thing. Something that you think does not look good might well be very heavy on the hardware. Is it lack of creative design? Bad engine? Unoptimized mess? I think many people misjudge the strains on hardware based on what they see. That is, your mind does not work with polygon counts and shader complexity, but rather some sort of undefined wow-factor.

Which possible means that designers could use hardware more efficiently to create things people actually go "woaah! that's cool" over. (I mean, this could be done on PSX, mostly by Square Enix…)

——

Okay, so I'm officially interested in this game. I want to know about font sizes now. WoW is very, VERY good with addons and its UI. It's probably the most moddable UI ever created for a game. But how does TOR play on LCD TVs? Too small fonts kill games for me. Is it configurable? Is the biggest font size big enough, or can you mod the UI at all?

Yes, I play exclusively on the livingroom TV.
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December 23rd, 2011, 23:59
Certainly there seems to be some technique involved in making your game run on the least number of resources and it's something that I think more companies should focus on. One of the reasons often given for Blizzard's success (in both WoW and other games) is their focus on optimization to ensure that anyone who wants to play their games can. This seems especially important for a MMO.

In terms of SWTOR pvp, I haven't had a chance to try it yet, but the initial reviews I've seen suggest that despite the bolster system higher level characters tend to completely dominate in instanced PVP.
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December 24th, 2011, 00:58
There are level 50 pvpers grinding pvp gear already so that system is already out of the window really for competitive play.

Single play, Balmorra is a dull soulless world, yawn right now.
Last edited by woges; December 24th, 2011 at 04:23.
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December 24th, 2011, 02:14
Items are scaled with level in Everquest 2 as well.
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December 24th, 2011, 10:47
After researching my performance problems online, I found that they could be solved by setting my performance settings to high, and then back to low. It worked like a charm and the game runs so much more smoothly now. Apparently it's related to some kind of bug with the initial settings.
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December 28th, 2011, 18:22
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
After researching my performance problems online, I found that they could be solved by setting my performance settings to high, and then back to low. It worked like a charm and the game runs so much more smoothly now. Apparently it's related to some kind of bug with the initial settings.
It's possible. In beta the 3d vision didn't work after you installed the game, but if you changed a setting (full screen exclusive to 'off' I think), apply, change it back to 'on' and apply again, 3d would work forever after.

In my case, I have it as 'mostly' high, but reduced shadows to low, and works fine (considering using 3d vision reduces FPS, and having anti-alias on reduces it more)
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