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MER Episode 25: Scrappers and Sawbones

MER Episode 25 - Scrappers and Sawbones

It’s been a great month of post-conference updates from Bioware, and we were incredibly excited to sit down and get to the heart of the Smuggler overhaul and trailer, the Light Side developer dispatch, a deeper look into the Advanced Class system, and the addition of Corellia as the fifteenth playable planet. We also had another great response from the community on the discussion topic of racial abilities. Thanks to everyone who sent us your thoughts, especially since the stance most everyone took was very unexpected. If you haven’t yet seen it, Zach posted an update about what to expect for the next month of MER, and we also touch on it at the end of the episode. We’re very excited to take some time and implement some of the new ideas we’ve had rolling around for some time now.

We want to offer a big thanks to MrGutts and John Spicer for taking the time to leave us reviews on iTunes.

Music for this show was provided by General Fuzz. Check out more of his work at generalfuzz.net

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News from the Galactic Republic
9/10 – Corellia announced as 15th playable planet
– Corellia at SWTOR.com
– Corellia at Wookiepedia

9/17 – Designing the Light Side developer dispatch
– Dispatch at SWTOR.com
– Darth Hater’s Dissection
– “A lot of the effects … look as if they’re coming from the character, instead of making magic between their hands.” – Bryan Erck, Lead Visual Effects Artist
– “If you want to get the complete Jedi experience from TOR … you need to go through both classes and experience different pieces of the puzzle. If you’ve been playing classes on the same side and go through and play them again, you may make some different decisions.” – Jo Berry, Writer

9/24 – Smuggler Holonet update and trailer
– Update at SWTOR.com
– Darth Hater’s Dissection of the trailer

10/1 – Designing the Advanced Class System dev blog
Dev Blog at SWTOR.com
-Written by Georg Zoeller, Principal Lead Systems Designer

Community Discussion
Racial abilities
-Majority of folks were extremely weary of racials. Either felt that they imbalanced the game or were completely useless.

I remember in WoW that the troll and tauren were the ‘best’ for warriors because of their racial abilities. I hated that. If they give racial abilities, it better not sway towards which is race/species is better for class ‘x’. – Acaulescent (from The Imperial Guard)

Rodians and Mon Calamari were given bonuses to crafting and penalties to toughness or something along that line. Zabrak had combat and endurance … While there still were a lot of humans, it was more typical to see Zabrak Teras Kasi masters and Rodian Weaponsmiths. Now playing as a human Weaponsmith, I never had the success as my non-human competition. I constantly had to lower prices because my merchandise just wasn’t as good, and never could be because I was human. – Ben Nighthawk
(Adaram brought up a possible situation almost just like this, but Ben’s point about the inability for Humans to be viable top-end crafters seems to go against Bioware’s previous decisions)

Blackferne has a GREAT breakdown from a theorycrafting standpoint as to why racials are a bad idea. “So overall I’m against racials because I’d prefer racial diversity based on player preference, not because of theorycraft.”

-Some interesting ideas…
Perhaps there can be racials that are attached to your companions. Assuming players generally have access to several races as companions, this would be a way of implementing the concept without inspiring a player to choose a race based on racial alone. – Adaram
(Mixtrate also brought this up, specifically in regards to KOTORII companions. For example, Visas Marr, the Miraluka, had “Force Sight”, and eventually passed that ability on to you. Also, the Wookie Hanharr had a “Rage” ability that would make him more powerful every time he killed an enemy.)

Kalak had a great way to evolve the Biographies system based off what was done with Neverwinter Nights 2
-After you choose your race and class, pick a ‘package’ of stat bonuses that increase a stat in one area, and detract from another
-Related to what your character’s early days/childhood was like.
-If your character was Rowdy as a child, he might have increased Strength and Constitution, but a negative of the same value to Intelligence and Wisdom.
-Depending on how crafting and professions are done, you could pick a second package that would give you a bonus to a specific profession because, as a child or in your early years, you showed skill in that field

AxeFaktor had a great point that racials could be implemented in different ways for each specific class.
“For example let’s say as a trooper you can play as a human, a zabrak, a mon calamari, or a trandoshan. As a Zabrak you get better ranged damage. As a mon cal you get bonuses to crafting/upgrading weapons, armor, grenades, etc, like you get an additional upgrade slot to every weapon/armor or something. As a trando you get strictly better damage absorbtion/resistance abilities (due to your natural scaly armor) making you a much more effective tank. As a human, you get more skills/abilities to start, and more frequent opportunities to rank them up.”

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