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Thoughts on 5.1 Gearing, and a separate note on companions


Shwarzchild

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I've had a lot rattling around in the old cage so I wanted to put it down in writing to hopefully provide feedback that's worthwhile to be passed along to the developers. I know it's a long shot, but there's always the chance that this ends up being meaningful. If it isn't, well then it isn't and at least I got the thoughts out of my head.

 

First: Galactic Command gearing, and 5.1:

 

Initially when I saw the livestream explaining what was to come I thought to myself "That seems pretty legit. I've always been fighting for a universal currency of sorts, and in my opinion it's the only way to make this galactic command system work as it relates to gearing." After yesterday, I feel that the changes are a step in the right direction.

 

Pros: I can work towards the gear that I want, and if I so choose I can basically skip the galactic command gearing RNG crates with this. The drop rates for operations seem decent. After running two operations last night only the two first bosses didn't drop unassembled components. So a 8 of 10 bosses dropped a piece. Everyone got a piece of gear, some multiple pieces since each boss dropped two unassembleds which was nice.

 

Cons: It feels sloppy and all over the place. The location of the vendors feels smushed together and things get lost in the space provided. It's annoying to have to bounce from one cubby to the other. It's also a lot less clear than I originally thought. You also can not turn in the gear you already have acquired, but must acquire the unassembled piece from the previous tier to get to the level you're already at no matter what (example: I have a 236 earpiece. I can not use that ear piece combined with command tokens to upgrade my gear to 242). I think that's an issue that is easily solvable.

 

Feedback: I believe the cost of the unassembled gear pieces to be bought with gear components is slightly too high. I would say, for now, the starting point to make the pieces more equitable is to lower their prices by 25 components each. Or, go the other way and raise the amount of gear components received from pvp (gsf seems in a really nice place with the 8 and 3 mix). I can't say the prices are TOO high though. I was able to buy a 230 belt that I then converted into a 236 belt yesterday from getting about 190 gear components on my character (thanks GSF bonus day!). None the less, the cost is slightly too high.

 

In regards to making the system more alt friendly: it's almost a 1 step forwards two steps back scenario. The legacy perks are good and seemingly priced correctly. The command token boosts are decent enough. The ability to buy a piece of gear on one character, and send it to another via legacy rip is good. Actual command tokens being legacy is good. But, the two steps back part relates to gear components. By not making them legacy bound, in reality the alt friendly issue has been simply shifted to another part of galactic command. Previously it was you could only get gear from the RNG crates that were only for your spec as well as command rank only being character specific which meant you focus more on one character since the transferable benefit was non existent. Now, the transfer benefit has been raised slightly, but overall the new additions simply further the alt unfriendliness because players won't play another character due to the gear component numbers. If I'm working towards a piece of gear it makes no sense to spread my time across different characters since only one will have the amount of components required. If these were legacy based I could see it being a lot more beneficial to alt play.

 

Now, I want to change gears and talk about my feelings regarding companions in this game and bioware games as a whole.

 

Bioware games have a signature when it comes to companions which I think this game has confused. Bioware companions become so beloved because the companion experience is outside of the actual main story. In Mass Effect you finished a mission, then said man I just finished that let me go check up on my crew see what's new there! Even here, you'd finish a planet or get the companion influence to a certain level...see they wanted to talk to you...and you went fast traveling to your ship or to the cantina, to find out what's going on. They weren't central parts of your story, but they had a story themselves that made them important to you. That "side quest" structure is what gave them a soul. In KOTET and KOTFE the companions themselves are too involved in the story and have no "side quest" nature to them which means they are basically NPCs, and not part of your crew or your alliance. They have no value to the player. Additionally, there's too many. When you water down the field, and then by extension remove the grass, it loses the beauty that originally was associated with said field.

 

So when they say they tell a bioware story I want them to remember what the signature is that got Bioware so far in the game world. Not only was it a mature-ish well written story. But, it was also the companions that created the reputation of the company. And, it's not because we saw them more in main story cut scenes, but rather that we go to experience something outside of the story with them, and had the feeling that they were growing along side of us as the story went on. The alliance alerts that were provided are simply not acceptable as a way to "create the soul" of the companion. They are too short, and are "one shots". With no prolonged exposure to the companion's story it gets lost, and their soul destroyed.

 

That's my feedback. Hopefully it means something to more than just me. But, if those are only my opinions welp so be it!

 

Edit: After experiencing the gear component grind for the second day, the experience is the opposite from yesterday. The grind to get the components yields too little components, and the cost is definitely too high. Especially when considering the player has to go backwards to go forwards.

Edited by Shwarzchild
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I believe the cost of the unassembled gear pieces to be bought with gear components is slightly too high.

 

Slightly? I would say grossly overpriced. They would have to either cut the cost by about 2000% or make the command rate for rewards at least 20 times of what it is now.

 

The cost of even tier 1 gear much less tier 3 gear is so out of whack it is hard to even fairly comment on it without sounding crazy. It is a total disaster and a little fix is not needed a HUGE one is.

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My addition to companions are that they are all the same and kinda boring. only diff is, force and tech, melee and range. Otherwise they are all the same. Inn the old days they were abitt more unik, with diff skills and animations. But thats just my Thoughts about it.
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So this is the statement from PvE'er who didn't notice how much the PvP'ers got screwed!

 

"Unassembled component cost slightly too high" you are out of your mind. It's stupidly high.

Those of us that pvp have to win 226 warzones to afford a set of T1. More than double that if you loose your warzones. Arenas which don't reward equally. On average (unless you are favored by the RNG Gods) you will have to do around 300-400 warzones to get your gear. Which (if we say 300 wins <-- very lucky) will round up to a min. of 100+ hours of non stop warzones on a average of 20min.

 

WHO THE HELL HAS TIME FOR THAT???

 

This system favors:

 

- The kiddos who can play 6 hours after school every day

- Those without a job

- Those without a girlfriend/kids/wife

- Those without a life

 

^ Perhaps the developers fall into some of those categories, but the fact is that the average casual player isn't ever gonna get any set within a few months. They will achieve that in maybe a year. Which is good for you nerdy types since it puts you way above everyone else, but it does make the casual player suffer for it. And the casuals are the ones who subscribe, those no-lifers have everything unlocked already after 5 years of SWTOR.

 

I can't believe after seeing the livestream I actually thought that some good might come from this. God, I was naive and stupid but it's my own damn fault that I for a second had doubts about something that comes out with a EA stamp.

 

Story line is great Bioware, keep up the good work. EA marketing department, go **** yourselves!

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Feedback: I can't say the prices are TOO high though. I was able to buy a 230 belt that I then converted into a 236 belt yesterday from getting about 190 gear components on my character (thanks GSF bonus day!). None the less, the cost is slightly too high.

 

Your opinion of the cost of gearing via components is obviously different from mine. I received 26 gear components from PvP with a 4-6 win loss ratio for a couple of hours in unranked. I spent some of my evening running some new Incursions with friends so I could have collected more but wanted to see some of the new fights.

 

For non-raider PvE players that want to gear up in order to try harder content such as Master mode chapters/Incursions I don't see a lot of hope out of this patch. I am lucky in that I enjoy PvP but it is not the only thing I want to do day after day, every day for the next year to get T3 gear.

 

Even a system allowing us to turn in duplicate Set piece drops from the GC reward boxes for 1/2 the component cost of the piece would be a good step forward or a slightly smarter drop that won't drop an item you already have equipped when you open a box and replaces it with a different set piece would be a step forward.

 

Ath

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My raid team stayed on late last night and ran two HMs (EV and KP since those are what we can do in the gear most of us have.) Only the last bosses dropped anything. No gear from the others. For those who say you can easily do ops in under an hour, most of us have been working together for over a year now and the two easiest ops take about an hour and a half each. We usually have 2 hours to play - 9:30 to 11:30 Eastern.)

 

5.1 is no better than 5.0 and did nothing to convince any of us to stay. My guild is still averaging a loss of about 1 qualifying account per day. (Down to 75 now.) The little tiny guild I am GM of went from 4 to 2 in 2 days. The big one I am a member of an Harbinger lost 9 between Sunday and Tuesday. I think the writing is on the wall. It's a shame BW can't read it (or more correctly, won't read it.)

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I'd agree with the people such as you all who've posted in this thread that the prices are too high. Whether I use the word slightly or otherwise the point remains that we all agree that the prices are too high in one form or another. I can support a larger downsizing of gear component cost without an issue.

 

As I'm not a simple "pve only" player, I can understand all points of contention, and the gripes (while most of the time worded in fits of emotion) are valid.

 

I also understand that Galactic Command gearing, and by extension the 5.1 update, are not perfect. What I hope to achieve by placing my feedback here is to potentially add something to the discussion, or raise some points of concern to the developers. While I have no idea if they ever will see this thread, it's there for them to look at it they get to such a point.

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I

 

Pros: I can work towards the gear that I want, and if I so choose I can basically skip the galactic command gearing RNG crates with this. The drop rates for operations seem decent. !

 

I'm glad that you got lucky because the Op I ran last night none of the bosses dropped any unassembled armor tokens except for the last boss. That's RNG for you and I'll be interested in if you change your mind the longer you play with the new band aid system.

 

Personally I think we should skip all of these half measures and just restore the old 4.0 Operations gearing system, even if that means that Operations give zero CXP since we're getting unassembled tokens from every boss. Right now, even in 5.1 gearing is so excruciatingly slow and inefficient that end game players have no real idea when we can get back to end game beyond story mode. And forget about gearing an offspec or alts with this system. At least in 4.0 we could supplement any unlucky nights of gear rolls with 216 or 220 commendation gear, but that isn't even an option. Either grind GC and hope for the best from RNGesus or craft...but then you need to run ops and get lucky again with schematics to craft good gear. The player has relatively little control over "hope for the best" with 5.x gearing.

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I'm glad that you got lucky because the Op I ran last night none of the bosses dropped any unassembled armor tokens except for the last boss. That's RNG for you and I'll be interested in if you change your mind the longer you play with the new band aid system.

 

Personally I think we should skip all of these half measures and just restore the old 4.0 Operations gearing system, even if that means that Operations give zero CXP since we're getting unassembled tokens from every boss. Right now, even in 5.1 gearing is so excruciatingly slow and inefficient that end game players have no real idea when we can get back to end game beyond story mode. And forget about gearing an offspec or alts with this system. At least in 4.0 we could supplement any unlucky nights of gear rolls with 216 or 220 commendation gear, but that isn't even an option. Either grind GC and hope for the best from RNGesus or craft...but then you need to run ops and get lucky again with schematics to craft good gear. The player has relatively little control over "hope for the best" with 5.x gearing.

 

You are right in that the sample size I was basing my assumption on regarding the gear from operations is too small to really say much outside of my group got pretty lucky. No doubt about it. If it ends up being the reverse of what happened last night I'll definitely change my attitude towards it.

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Another suggestion that came to mind is that the dailies and weeklies for PvP should award gear components in much the same vein as the weeklies and dailies did for pvp pre 5.0. The weeklies (please correct me if I'm wrong here I dont remember the totals as clearly as I thought I did) awarded 100 warzone comms. That should still happen (obviously not warzone comms, but insert gear components instead). That would go a good way to stabilizing the acquisition of components.
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