SWTOR 4.0 KOTFE Dev Stream 30.09.2015 Overview

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The 2 hour long SWTOR 4.0 KOTFE Dev Stream ended, time for a recap & overview

My SHORT(er) Video Overview

The video linked here is my short(er) overview of the event. In it I went over my notes (listed below, in the article) and explained what we saw, what Musco told us and how things were presented in general. Don’t forget to LIKE it! :)

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Intro by Musco

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► Eric Musco is hosting the event, Tait and Nick are in the chat. The stream has cool new background, for a change – infront of a green screen.

► Today is the last day to get Nico Okkar’s Duster Coat

► Stream started on time and there were not technical difficulties, which was… strange. Musco showed his 3 lists of notes and script to talk about.

Chapter 1 of KOTFE – same demo as shown on Twitch Con

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► Musco did a bit of Chapter 1 Live Gameplay Demo, similar to what Bioware did on TwitchCon. The demo gameplay lasted ~40-50 min from the start of the stream

► He started the demo with creating a fresh lvl 60 character and played through the same part of Chapter 1, starting with Character creation. Difference was that Musco was talking more details more suitable for veterans and active players, compared to the new player friendly dialogue from TwitchCon

► He made a Bounty Hunter Mercenary and skipped all the origin story in the game, jumping right into Fallen Empire. The character had only 1 class buff and no stim ^^

► If you are an experienced player, you can use the advanced option in the character creation menu (bottom left). There is a recommended discipline spec for all classes and that mode allows you to pick whatever discipline you prefer. Apparently the default character creation does not allow you to choose?!

► After the creation, the introduction “Sacrifice” trailer begins, after that you are thrown into the real action of Chapter 1 of Fallen Empire. That’s right. We watched it ONE MORE TIME :)))

► By the way, did I mention their new green screen and better stream UI/design? I may mention it a few more times in the article. It was about time they make something more pro, Right!

► The stream was on very low bitrate and resolution. Very friendly for all kinds of internet connection, but incredibly hard to pick on details on screen

► Eric was not certain, but the new cap for characters PER SERVER will be 40 or 50. More likely 40, because it is the number that has been around for a long time now as a rumor

► Musco’s main character (kind of a main) is Merc Arsenal – he answered to a fan question from chat

► When you create a fresh lvl 60, you receive new bound to legacy blue gear set, except for the 2 relics.

► The top stat is now called Mastery. It is officially the new stat for all classes. No more Aim, Willpower, Strength, Cunning. Crit has also received a massive change. Surge was added into Crit and no such stat as Surge exists any more. Mods have also been altered, many mods have been removed from the game as a result of this stats balancing change. The reason for it is streamlining. Bioware wants new players to feel more welcomed. That’s why the whole Chapter 1 is in the form of an introduction with multiple tutorials poping up

► As we already saw on TwitchCon, small design changes have been maid to the cutscenes UI

► Disciplines, as explained in my videos and the Dev blogs from past weeks, have been altered a bit. The design of the window is the same, but on the right side the utilities are now 8 per tier

► You do NOT need to complete old content to jump to Fallen Empire. Once you start KOTFE, you will NOT be able to turn back and finish your primary class story any more

► No official cost for the fresh lvl 60 character token. At this moment its price is still undecided

► The Fallen Empire story for higher level character (not a fresh one) begins on the Fleet

► Musco confirmed once again that chapters 1 to 9 will be available on 20th and 27th October. Rest will be released periodically (he refused to mention a more exact time schedule) in 2016

► As a fresh new lvl 60, Bioware will give you automatically 3 crew skills they believe are default or good for the class. More crafting changes, later on in the stream (and the notes)

► Darth Marr is your first active companion in chapter 1. His mask still doesn’t go off. He is a healer by default, but you can change his active role to tank or DPS via a right click on his avatar (new mini menu). His active role will be displayed in a small icon on the lower left of the companion avatar. While in combat, you CANNOT change the companion’s role as in you can’t turn Marr from a healer into a tank if you have aggro from someone/something

► In 4.0 you can dictate the appearance of your companion, but the gear stats will not matter for them. Companions’ strength and abilities grow with the character’s level. The power of the companion also depends on the character’s influence (renamed old affection stat, but Bioware also claims it is a bit different than the old one too)

► The companions’ original gear will not be available at launch of KOTFE, but the team is awake of the players’ wish and wants to add this later on. The gear he talks about is the original green crap our companions come with when they join

► Musco drinks a transparent liquid during the stream. My guess is Vodka. My apologies… trying to break the mood with some silly jokes

SPOILER! (select to read)
Valkorion’s eyes give him away – who he is. Marr recognized the Emperor behind the new face and voice. In this final cinematic before the character was given the epic and well known already option “Will you kneel?”, Marr is asked the same question. He refuses and is killed by Valkorion with Lightning after a poor attempt of an attack.

► The Demo ended exactly where it did for the guest streamers during TwitchCon. No new gameplay was shown from Fallen Empire during the stream.

Main Character Window

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► On the left side they are now following the number of class stories you have completed. If you have done all 8 stories, you can get some “Legendary status” and rewards. Wasn’t very clear what he meant, my apologies. This legendary status is ONLY granted if you have completed the original story of the game, regardless of your level, which means – you need to defeat the main bosses in each class story (after Corellia)

► Musco switched to a lvl 17 Jedi Guardian and showed his new Akk Dog companion pet (looks like the trash mobs from EV right before 2nd boss). This Akk Dog is not a real companion in the sence that it cannot be sent to sell your inventory trash, like T7, for example

UI Editor Changes

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► The designers finally aded a grid to the UI Editor. Until now I was recommending to everyone who asked me Clovis Grid (a nice tool from SWTORUI.com). What this allows you to do is arange UI elements by snapping them to the grid

► Keybinds transfer tool! You can now export and even share them with other players.

► Once you start the main story of Fallen Empire, you will NOT be able to go back and finish SOR and Ziost any more, but you can still do the dailies on these planets and areas

Temporary Toolbars – a new tool

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► Temporary Ability Bars! They will pop up when needed, example given was with the Huttball ability

► Heroic Moment Changes: 10 min CD, 2% heal. It pops a new temp toolbar with all abilities that you can use twice before they go away. All this only during the Heroic Moment only!


Companions UI

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► T7 has no armor slots any more, because they are unique, they can still use weapons and customization slot

► Normal and old classic companions have armor slots, but again they are only for outfit and looks, because the stats on the gear don’t impact the companion’s power any more. Musco gave an example with Mako, the BH companion. She also has the Customization option available, as before

Crafting Changes

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► No new cap – 500!

► No more tiers

► Crafting window looks exactly the same as before. Minor default changes inside the orders of the categories of items available to craft. You always start the lists with blue quality items

► New things to craft – Bonded Attachments – they are required to craft better items, kind of a new ingredient

► Augments are now from Tier 1 to Tier 8 – simplified

► All crew skills now have 8 grades

► Everything old recipes are going into the archived sections, because they wont be relevant any more according to Bioware. They consider this a streamlined change for good

► Gathering: The higher the crew skill (caps at 500), the more materials you will be able to get from low grade gathering crew skills

► Missions: All of them are available per grade now. No need to wait for good ones to spawn any more. You can send companions to missions freely now

► If you have old craft materials that will be removed in Patch 4.0, the same materials will be converted into usable materials! Either automatically or via a vendor exchange. Musco was not sure which one it will be.

Groupfinder, Toolbars, Maps and Inventory Changes

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► New design of the group finder!

► New way to sign up for FPs and Ops, check back old blog of FPs and Ops changes (rescaled for different levels, solo mode etc)

► As mentioned in my video and dev blog, only renames of the comms, nothing is lost of transferred

► No more weekly cap on Commendations! There is, however, still a global cap you can own

► Now you can right-click and whisper to people inside the guild window!!! Finally!

► The Legacy Datacrons are here!!! As rumored, they made it into 4.0! You can not track them all – which have been earned already. Including the Fleet one. Musco was 99% sure that they will be retro active, meaning we will not have to jump like mad for the same Datacrons we have done already years ago

► Speeder piloting changes! Lowest is lvl 1, if you have Legacy level 2 (which is easy to get even as a new player)

► 2 new abilities, completely free to everybody! Available day 1. Summon Random Pet and Summon Random Mount. We knew about these coming, now they are confirmed. The icons are bluish smoked shadows of a per/speeder with a white question mark in the middle

► Bioware finally made an attempt to fix the mount clipping of armor sets, mainly the capes. Not on all mounts, but almost all (still working on it)

► New icons for different types of missions are available on the map and mini map. That’s why during the demo of Chapter 1 we saw the story quest in Purple colour

► Main planetary missions, main class missions and heroics have their icons changed to make them easier to recognize

► What you need to play to get from 1 to 50 the normal way in Fallen Empire is the Class Missions and the Main Planetary missions. That was, I guess, the reason why they changed their icons on the map

► In the Group Finder every day there will be a new ops. The window shows you duration until reset and what the next SM ops will be. Level range is 50-65. I guess there will be a boost of some sort. Bolster, my 0ld friend, welcome back to my life

► For the Fallen Empire story, it will always display in the top right corner the current latest chapter you are on and you can jump right to it at any time via the new “Play” button next to the quest in the tracker

Collections Changes

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► First of all – everything in categories is now collapsed. Wohoo!

► New tracker indicator in top right telling you how many you have

► SEARCH and FILTER options are now available for the Collections

► No need to switch characters to unlock things from collections. You can do it from any character now

Event Vendors on Fleet

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► All events vendors are now in the same section on the fleet, easier to reach and trade

► One special new vendor to help you get old rewards that have been removed from the game. A big celection of rewards. All tradable for various event tokens. The original Containment gear from the very first Rakhghoul event on Tatooine is now avaialble on this vendor! Finally! I have been wanting to complete my set for ~3.5 years

Level Scaling Down and Heroic Mission Changes

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► New window and design for all heroics available to you in the week. Left side is the quests, right side is the description and reward

► The lock boxes will give you a reward based on your current level now, making them (in theory) always useful

► Level Syncing! When doing a lower level quest, on the UI, you are notified that your current level is downgraded. You will NOT lose abilities or utilities, but their powers have been lowered. Simply put – you will not be able to 1-shot a gold mob while doing “Friends of Old” H2 onDromund Kaas (the example Musco gave us). This should give the casual player a lot more activities – more quests to farm and more ways to obtain comms, gear and money. Once more – no abilities will be removed, they will just be reverted to do less damage or heals

► The experience will still be relevant, meaning you will earn decent XP by doing an old quest while your level is downscaled

In the very end of the stream Musco said a few words about the performance changes Devs included in 3.3.2. He explained what AA is and how it was changes. I did the same in my Performance Test #01 and #02 videos, so I wont repeat it here again

The next Cantina event will be at Comicon New Your

Q & A

Q: Why is the stream quality so low?
A: Due to the tech issues, they have lowered everything significantly

Q: What about PvP?
A: New abilities and balancing. No new content for the near future.

Q: Is 12x Going away?
A: Yes, In Fallen Empire it will be replaced with Class Quests + Main Planet Quests

Q: XP from Exploration missions?
A: Yes. They may not be a part of the Main Story now, but you will still get decent XP

Q: Legacy storage for currency?
A: As of now, there is no such thing as a legacy walleT

Q: Incfuence?
A: It is what affection was before, but also boosts companion’s powers, not just crew skills

Q: Open World PvP plans?
A: No, all will remain as it is now. No new plans for specific events as of now

Q: Are Legacy Datacrons retro active?
A: Musco is 99% sure they ARE, but will verify and post on forums later

Q: Is new story solo or can you group up?
A: Much like it is now, you can team up, but you will be leading the choices, rest are spectators

Stream lasted exactly 2 hours and Musco again split the second on the 120th minute.

More blogs coming next few days and weeks, detailing more the changes about UI, Crafting and everything else explained during the stream.

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