SWTOR AIEGuild 4th Anniversary Party

Pics, because it did happen…

Group photo:
AIEGuild 4th Anniversary

Kicking things off on the guild ship:
swtor 2016-01-26 20-09-39-48

Unlocking a ship hangar:
swtor 2016-01-26 20-17-50-23

Great hunt contest turn-in:
swtor 2016-01-26 21-38-42-15

Picture time:
swtor 2016-01-26 21-56-58-08

This isn’t what it looks like… I wouldn’t line them up and shoot them (probably wouldn’t):
swtor 2016-01-26 21-58-03-35

SWTOR KotFE 4.0 Patch Notes

(Reposted here at least while is offline.)


Game Update 4.0: Knights of the Fallen Empire Early Access

Knights of the Fallen Empire*

*Knights of the Fallen Empire content is only available to players who are eligible for the four Knights of the Fallen Empire subscriber rewards by having been a subscriber on August 10th, August 31st, September 30th, and October 19th, 2015. All other subscribers will be able to access the content on October 27th, 2015.

All classes can now reach Level 65!

New Ongoing Storyline! Knights of the Fallen Empire begins an epic, new storyline at level 60, with nine, action-packed Chapters. Regular Chapter releases continue the story starting in Early 2016. (Subscription Required)

Start at Level 60! Jump right into the action of Knights of the Fallen Empire with the option to begin the game at level 60! (Subscription Required)

New Player Tutorial! Chapter I introduces you to your class’s abilities and eases you into combat while the story unfolds. Veteran players can disable the Tutorial via the Menu.

New Planet: Zakuul! The new seat of power in the galaxy! Skyscrapers reach toward the stars while surrounded by a vast and savage swamp.

New Companions! Unlock new Companions over the course of the first nine Chapters of Knights of the Fallen Empire.

Begin your Alliance! Continue your adventure after Chapter IX by recruiting Companions to grow your Alliance.

New Flashpoint: Star Fortress! Conquer the new Flashpoint and liberate the Galaxy from the grasp of the Eternal Empire!


New 1-60 Leveling Experience! Leveling from level 1 has never been more exciting! You can now reach Level 60 by doing Main Story Arc Missions and Planetary Arc Missions.

Reworked Primary Stats! The four primary stats Strength, Willpower, Cunning, and Aim have all been replaced by a single stat called Mastery. For this and other stat changes, see the Classes + Combat section below.

New System: Level Sync! Adventure with other players with Level Sync! Get level appropriate Experience and Mission rewards while grouping with other players on the core worlds, while retaining all of your abilities! Those womp rats won’t know what hit them!

Legacy-Wide Datacrons Now Live! Found Datacrons now grant stat bonuses to every character in your Legacy! You can track your Datacron progress in the Legacy window.

Flashpoint and Operation Revamp! Flashpoints and Operations have been revisited and updated! New Modes are now available for many older Flashpoints, and many others are now available at max Level. See the Flashpoints + Operations section for full details!

Ranked Arena Season 6 has come to an end! Season 6 has come to a glorious conclusion! You can use your Season 6 Tokens to purchase rewards from the vendor in the Combat section of either Fleet.


  • Players will now achieve Legendary Status if they complete every class story in the game. You can track your Legendary Status progress at Character Select where a new GUI element is found. In game, players who have achieved Legendary Status will have a new icon next to their name on their nameplate. Gaining Legendary Status will also grant the player a significant amount of Presence to their companions.
  • All Subscribers have been granted an additional two Character Slots per server.
  • The Subscriber Character limit is now 40 per server.
  • Datacrons are now shared between all characters within your Legacy. You can track your Datacron collection progress on your Legacy window under Global Unlocks.
  • Added Whisper and Add/Remove friend to the Guild window right-click context menu.
  • Players are now able to unlock the “Random Mount” and “Random Pet” abilities from the Legacy panel under Global Unlocks/Other. These abilities select a random mount or pet from all mounts or pets available on the character activating the ability.
  • In most cases, capes no longer clip through Vehicles and Mounts.
  • Added a new key binding option (Ctrl+E by default) for entering Edit Mode in Galactic Strongholds.
  • Added a new key binding option (N by default) for the new Companions & Contacts interface. The default keybinding for Crew Skills has been changed to “B.”
  • The levels in which you can gain Speeder Piloting 1/2/3 have been adjusted:
    • For Subscribers:
      • Rank 1: Level 10
      • Rank 2: Level 25
      • Rank 3: Level 35
    • For Non-subscribers:
      • Rank 1: Level 20
      • Rank 2: Level 35
      • Rank 3: Level 45
    • With the Legacy Purchase:
      • Rank 1: Level 1
      • Rank 2: Level 10
      • Rank 3: Level 25
  • Fixed an issue where Exploration achievements were not granted if the last region discovered only had one Fog of War area on the map.

Companion System Changes
The current Affection system has been replaced with Influence. Companion characters react to your conversation options by displaying their reaction when the choice is made (e.g. Vette approves your decision, M1-4X will remember this, etc.). Whether a companion agrees or disagrees with your decision, you will still build influence with them depending on their reaction and severity of the action. We want to reward you for spending time with your companions and not worry about losing progression or standing by making decisions the way you think your character should.

As you gain Influence, you’ll increase your Influence Rank with that companion. Increasing your Influence Rank with a companion directly increases that companion’s combat and crafting performance in the form of a bonus to Presence, Crafting Speed, and Crafting Critical. Each point of Presence now provides a percentage bonus to a companion’s performance, rather than flat numerical bonuses. This means Presence will scale better at higher levels. Additionally, Crafting bonuses are now entirely driven by Influence rank. As such, the inherent Companion Crafting Bonuses for specific Crew Skills have been removed (e.g. “+5 Armormech Critical”).

All players’ Affection totals will be converted directly into Influence at a 1:1 ratio, so you keep the points that you’ve gained thus far; however, Influence goes beyond the previous 10,000 limit for Affection. You’ll be able to gain even more Influence with each of your companions!

Additional Companion-related changes:

  • New Rank 6 Companion gifts have been introduced!
  • Class Companion conversations will now unlock based upon class story progression, rather than affection/influence thresholds.
  • All companions are now capable of performing all three combat roles (Tank, DPS, Healing), and can be freely switched between roles (so long as they’re not currently in combat). No need to worry if you love M1-4X but really need a healer!
  • Companion gear is now purely aesthetic. Players no longer need to worry about companions underperforming because of their outdated gear. While equipment will still change the visual appearance of companions just as it did before (it’s important to look your best when you’re adventuring across the galaxy!), companions will no longer gain combat stats from their gear. Due to this change, any gear slots which have no effect on a given companion’s appearance will be removed from that companion. Any gear in those slots will be returned to players via In-Game Mail.

Planet Level Sync
We have added a new system to the game called Level Sync. This system automatically lowers your Character’s level to slightly higher than that planet’s maximum level. For example, if you are Level 60 and return to Alderaan to do some Missions, your character will be scaled down to be Level 34.

While you are under Level Sync, the following things are adjusted on your character:

  • Stats
  • Armor
  • Weapon Damage

However, while under Level Sync we do not take away any abilities or passive effects that you have.

Also, while under Level Sync, you will earn scaled experience. If you are a level 60, killing Level 30 mobs, you will gain experience appropriate for being a Level 60. This enables a player to go play any of the content in The Old Republic and get rewarded appropriately for their time investment.

Cartel Market

  • Start a New Character at Level 60! All subscribers will be granted one Start at 60 character unlock on October 27th (Subscribers with Early Access will receive their unlock on October 20th). Additional level 60 character unlocks can be purchased from the Cartel Market at a later date.
  • Packs have been completely reworked based on player feedback. All previous Cartel Market items will be available for purchase with the Bronze, Silver, and Gold packs. Read more here!
  • Collections has been updated with a lot of Quality of Life changes to help users navigate it more easily:
    • You can now filter items in Collections.
    • The Collections interface now starts out automatically collapsed.
    • The number of Outfit pieces that you have unlocked is displayed on the set’s Collections icon.
    • You can now purchase collection unlocks on the character that originally unlocked the item.

Classes + Combat

We have reworked some of our stats with the goal of helping in itemization as well as cleaning up some lingering imbalance between stats. These changes will reduce the amount of items that you find in game which simply don’t apply to your character. No more throwing items away because it has the wrong main stat, or hating that you have to get both Critical Hit Rating and Surge just to make the stats effective. These changes include:

  • The four primary stats Strength, Willpower, Cunning, and Aim have all been replaced by a single stat called Mastery. For all intents and purposes, Mastery acts identically to the primary stat it replaced.
  • Endurance now gives slightly more health per point once you hit level 65. We felt that health totals were a little low compared to offensive output.
  • The stat Surge has been removed. Surge has now been rolled into the Critical Rating stat. This means that Critical Rating now determines both your chance to critically hit, and the damage bonus you receive when you critically hit. Due to this change we have tweaked the values that this rating converts into. Generally an equal rating prior to Fallen Empire will result in less critical hit chance and damage from before, but this is simplified by only having one rating.
  • To ensure that Critical Hit Chance is never a wasted stat, any abilities that automatically critically hit now convert any Critical Hit beyond 100% into additional critical damage.
  • Base weapon accuracy has been increased from 90% to 100%. All non-basic attacks already had 100% Accuracy, so this change brings basic attacks up to par.
  • Lastly, we have rearranged how we distribute ratings on items. Now, Power and defense share the first rating slot on modifications, while the rest of the stats (Accuracy, Alacrity, Critical, Absorb, and Shield) will share the second rating slot.

Sith Warrior/Jedi Knight

  • New Active Ability: Mad Dash/Blade Blitz! Dash forward 20 meters, dealing weapon damage to enemies in your path and increasing your defense chance by 100% while dashing. Cannot be used while immobilized or hindered. Has a 45 second cooldown, and can be attained at level 61.
  • Master Strike has been renamed Blade Dance. The Jedi Knight’s Master Strike ability has been renamed “Blade Dance” because Soresu Form reduces the Focus gained by “Strike” abilities (Strike, Sundering Strike, and Warding Strike), but Master Strike does not generate or cost Focus—so its name is out of place with the conventions of the rest of the class. No change needs to be made for Sith Warriors who gain Rage with “Assault” abilities (as Ravage does not contain the word “Assault” in it).


  • New Passive Skill: Devious Wounds/Smoldering Burns! Annihilate/Merciless Slash makes your bleeds/burns deal 5% more damage for 4.5 seconds after you activate it.


  • New Passive Skill: Bloody Slashes/Burning Slices! Ravage/Blade Dance stacks a bleed/burn on the target (stacks up to 3 times). Each time Ravage/Blade Dance deals damage it will add a new stack to the bleed/burn. Deals damage when applied, each time a stack is added, and every 3 seconds for 9 seconds after Ravage/Blade Dance finishes adding stacks.


  • New Passive Skill: Furious Rage/Centered Focus! Furious Strike/Concentrated Slice make your next Raging Burst/Focused Burst or Smash/Force Sweep deal 15% more critical damage.

Tier 1 – Skillful

  • New Utility: Unflinching Determination/Unwavering Resolve! Saber Ward grants immunity to stuns and incapacitating effects (fear, sleep, blind, etc.) for 6 seconds after you activate it.

Tier 2 – Masterful

  • New Utility: Thirst for Rage/Inspired Focus! Bloodthirst/Inspiration instantly grants 12 Rage/Focus when used.

Tier 3 – Heroic

  • New Utility: Through Victory/Cut Loose! Mad Dash/Blade Blitz can be used while immobilized and purges immobilization and slow effects when activated.


  • New Passive Skill: Defensive Slashes/Defensive Swings! Ravage/Blade Dance grants a stacking increase to defense chance with each hit (stacks up to 3 times). Each stack increases defense chance by 2% (up to 6% with 3 stacks). This effect lasts for 6 seconds (and each hit refreshes the duration – so it lasts 8.7 seconds total while scaling up to full strength, with no alacrity – and the full strength portion lasts a full 6 seconds)


  • New Passive Skill: Bloodmaster/Burnmaster! Each bleed/burn you have active on an enemy target increases the damage you deal with bleeds/burns by 3%. This effect only stacks once per bleed/burn type (up to 3 times). For example, you can only get one from Shatter/Plasma Brand, one from Eviscerate/Burning Purpose, and one from Draining Scream/Burning Blade, so you would not benefit 8 times if you had Shatter/Plasma Brand on 8 different targets
  • Bloodmaster Ability tooltip for clarity: For each of your bleeding effects active on an enemy target, you deal 3% more bleed damage, up to a maximum of 9% more bleed damage while Shatter, Draining Scream, and Eviscerate are each bleeding a target.


  • New Passive Skill: Enveloping Rage/Protective Focus! Raging Burst/Focused Burst and Smash/Force Sweep grant 5% damage reduction for 6 seconds.

Tier 1 – Skillful

  • New Utility: Unshackling Rage/Focused Freedom! When activated, Enrage/Combat Focus removes movement-impairing effects (immobilizes and slows) and increases the Juggernaut’s/Guardian’s movement speed by 50% for the next 6 seconds.

Tier 2 – Masterful

  • New Utility: War Bringer/Ardent Advocate! Force Charge/Leap enables your next Vicious Throw/Dispatch to be used on a target with any health level for 15 seconds after activation.

Tier 3 – Heroic

  • New Utility: Through Victory/Cut Loose! Mad Dash/Blade Blitz can be used while immobilized and purges immobilization and slow effects when activated.

Sith Inquisitor/Jedi Consular

  • Phase Walk has moved into the Inquisitor/Consular base class, granting its use to Sorcerers/Sages as well. It can be trained/granted at level 61.


  • New Ability: Phantom Stride/Shadow Stride! 30 meter range, no Global Cooldown (GCD). 30 second cooldown. Use the Force to move through time and space, appearing at your enemy target and increasing your movement speed by 75% for 3 seconds. Does not break Stealth. Cannot be used against targets in cover. Requires a Double-Bladed Lightsaber or Electrostaff.

Darkness/Kinetic Combat

  • New Passive Skill: Dark Bastion/Kinetic Bastion! Reduces the cooldown of Dark Ward/Kinetic Ward by 5 seconds and increases the shield chance it provides by an additional 3%. Shielding an attack while Dark Ward/Kinetic Ward is active has a 20% chance to restore a charge and increase its active duration by 1 second. In addition, Dark Bulwark/Kinetic Bulwark can build 2 additional stacks.


  • New Passive Skill: Amped Voltage/Fracturing Force! Increases the damage dealt by Surging Charge’s/Shadow Technique’s Discharge/Force Breach by 5%. Additionally, activating Phantom/Shadow Stride while Surging Charge/Shadow Technique is active builds 3 Static Charges/Breaching Shadows.


  • New Passive Skill: Languishing Lashes/Atrophying Attacks! Dealing melee damage increases the critical chance of your damaging periodic effects by 10% for 10 seconds.

Tier 1 – Skillful

  • New Utility: Snaring Slashes/Strikes! Thrash/Double Strike, Voltaic Slash/Clairvoyant Strike, and Lacerate/Whirling Blow reduce the movement speed of the targets they damage by 30% for 6 seconds.

Tier 2 – Masterful

  • New Utility: Speed Surge/Kinetic Acceleration! Shock/Project, Ball Lightning/Psychokinetic Blast, Crushing Darkness/Mind Crush, or Demolish/Vanquish increase your movement speed by 50% for 9 seconds. This cannot occur more than once every 18 seconds.

Tier 3 – Heroic

  • New Utility: Phasing Phantasm/One with the Shadows! You can use Phantom/Shadow Stride while immobilized, and it purges immobilizing and slowing effects when used.


  • New Passive Skill: Secrets of the Dark Side/Erudite Mender! Increases the healing done by Roaming/Wandering Mend by 5% and reduces the Force it consumes by 10.


  • New Passive Skill: Fulgurous Fortification/Telekinetic Refuge! Lightning Bolt/Telekinetic Burst stacks damage reduction on the Sorcerer, stacks up to 3 times lasting 10 seconds. Each stack provides 3% damage reduction.


  • New Passive Skill: Fulminating Current/Psychokinetic Torrent! Force Lightning/Telekinetic Throw stacks up to 4 stacks of an effect that increases the Critical chance of your periodic effects by 2% per stack.

Tier 1 – Skillful

  • New Utility: Dark Speed/Benevolent Haste! A completed Dark Heal activation increases your target’s movement speed by 50% for 6 seconds. This cannot occur more than once every 12 seconds.

Tier 2 – Masterful

  • New Utility: Dizzying Force! When Whirlwind/Force Lift ends, target’s accuracy is reduced by 20% for 8 seconds.
  • Backlash/Kinetic Collapse has been moved from Tier 2 up to Tier 3.

Tier 3 – Heroic

  • New Utility: Shifting Silhouette/Ethereal Entity! Reduces all area of effect damage taken by 30%. In addition, using Phase Walk to return to its marked location grants Shifting Silhouette/Ethereal Entity, keeping you from being leapt to or pulled and making you immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback for the next 6 seconds.
  • Conspiring Force/Confound has been moved from Tier 3 down to Tier 2.

Imperial Agent/Smuggler

  • New Ability: Holotraverse/Trick Move! Supercharge your stealth generator, quickly moving you to a friendly or enemy target and increasing your movement speed by 75% for 3 seconds. Does not break stealth, cannot be used against enemy targets in cover, has a 45 second cooldown, and is off of the Global Cooldown.


  • New Passive Skill: Enduring Kolto/Prolonged Prescription! Increases the duration of Kolto Probe/Slow-release Medpac by 3 seconds (granting one extra activation of healing before it needs to be refreshed or falls off), and makes Stim Boost/Pugnacity grant a 15-second-long buff that causes your next Kolto Infusion/Pack or Kolto Injection/Underworld Medicine to activate instantly (it gets consumed when you use Kolto Infusion/Pack or Kolto Injection/Underworld Medicine).


  • New Passive Skill: Prey on the Weak/Pierce and Batter! Laceration/Sucker Punch deals 5% more damage to targets affected by your Acid Blade/Flechette Round. You get this new passive earlier than usual (at level 48), because we want the levelling experience to be better for Concealment/Scrapper. Additionally, we are granting Volatile Substance/Blood Boiler earlier, and replacing Shiv/Blaster Whip with Veiled Strike/Bludgeon later, as we needed to move two passive skills that buff Veiled Strike/Bludgeon to the end of the Discipline path for these changes to all make sense together.


  • New Passive Skill: Acidic Compounds/Sharpened Materials! Corrosive Grenade/Shrap Bomb gets a 10% chance to explode twice, and Toxic Blast/Sanguinary Shot deals 5% more damage.

Tier 1 – Skillful

  • New Utility: Curbing Shots! Overload Shot/Quick Shot and Carbine Burst/Blaster Volley slow the targets they damage by 40% for 6 seconds.

Tier 2 – Masterful

  • New Utility: Fortified Kolto/Supplemented Medpac! Each stack of your Kolto Probe/Slow-release Medpac increases your damage reduction by 3%, stacking up to 6%. This damage reduction is not conveyed to the target of your Kolto Probe/Slow-release Medpac.

Tier 3 – Heroic

  • New Utility: Circumvention/Sleight of Foot! Allows Holotraverse/Trick Move to be used while immobilized, and it removes immobilizing and slowing effects when used.


  • New Ability: Imperial Preparation/Bag of Tricks! Resets the active cooldown on Evasion/Dodge, Countermeasures/Surrender, Shield Probe/Defense Screen, Cover Pulse/Pulse Detonator, Entrench/Hunker Down, and Covered Escape/Hightail It. This ability has a base cooldown of 3 minutes and is off of the Global Cooldown.


  • New Passive Skill: Marksman’s Finesse/Sharpshooter’s Touch! Snipe/Charged Burst grants Marksman’s Finesse/Sharpshooter’s Touch, increasing the armor penetration and damage dealt by your next Followthrough/Trickshot by 10%. Stacks up to 2 times.


  • New Passive Skill: Field Command/Conflagration! Increases the critical chance of your Area of Effect abilities by 15%.

Virulence/Dirty Fighting

  • New Passive Skill: Caustic Substances/Gushing Wounds! Weakening Blast/Hemorrhaging Blast deals 5% more damage and Corrosive Grenade/Shrap Bomb has a 10% chance to deal its damage twice whenever it harms a target.

Tier 1 – Skillful

  • New Utility: Pulse Screen! Cover Pulse/Pulse Detonator increases your chance to resist Force and tech attacks by 20% for 6 seconds.
  • Calculated/Hot Pursuit is now Tier 1 (instead of Tier 2).

Tier 2 – Masterful

  • New Utility: Lumbering Impact! Shatter/Flourish Shot slows the target by 50% for the duration of the trauma effect (meaning the duration can be increased by other skills that boost the Trauma duration).
  • Reestablish Range/Reset Engagement is now Tier 2 (instead of Tier 1).

Tier 3 – Heroic

  • New Utility: Over-prepared/Perfect Scheme! Reduces the cooldown of Imperial Preparation/Bag of Tricks by 30 seconds (from 3 minutes down to 2 min 30 sec), and when you activate Imperial Preparation/Bag of Tricks, your damage reduction is increased by 10% for 10 seconds.

Bounty Hunter/Trooper

  • Hydraulic Overrides/Hold the Line’s cooldown has been increased to 45 seconds (up from 30). With Jet Charge/Storm becoming baseline for Powertechs/Vanguards and the addition of Rocket Out/Propulsion Round for Mercenaries/Commandos, Bounty Hunters/Troopers will no longer rely so heavily on Hydraulic Overrides/Hold the Line for their mobility needs.


  • Jet Charge/Storm is now trainable by all Powertechs/Vanguards at level 22. Jet Speed/Blitz has been removed from the baseline version of this ability, and has been added as a utility choice instead.

Shield Tech/Shield Specialist

  • New Ability: Translocate/Transpose! Swap places with a group member and bestow a benign presence upon them for up to 6 seconds. Targets with a benign presence are ignored by most enemies, cannot be leapt to or pulled, and are immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback until they use an aggressive or healing ability. This has a 1.5 second activation time and a 90 second cooldown.
  • New Passive Skill: Heated Absorbers/Energized Absorbers! Heat Blast/Energy Blast increases Shield Absorption by an additional 5% (making it a total of 30%, once you get this skill)
  • Jet Charge/Storm is no longer specific to Shield Techs/Specialists; instead, all Powertechs/Vanguards will get it at level 22.


  • New Passive Skill: Perilous Flames/Hazardous Heat! Increases the critical chance of Immolate/Fire Pulse by 10%.

Advanced Prototype/Tactics

  • New Passive Skill: Energy Burn/Cell Burn! When Energy/Cell Burst damages a target, it leaves them burning for elemental damage over 3 seconds.

Tier 1 – Skillful

  • New Utility: Neural Delay! Neural Dart slows the target by 50% for 6 seconds (allowing for a 30 meter range utility that slows the target, should the player choose to take it).
  • Iron Will now reduces the cooldown of Hydraulic Overrides/Hold the Line by 10 seconds (up from 5 seconds), due in part to the increase of the base cooldown of Hydraulic Overrides/Hold the Line.

Tier 2 – Masterful

  • New Utility: Explored Area/Surveyed Terrain! Stealth Scan increases the movement speed of all allies within the scan area, excluding yourself, by 50% for as long as they remain within it and for 6 seconds after it expires or they leave the area.

Tier 3 – Heroic

  • New Utility: Jet Speed/Blitz! Activating Jet Charge/Storm grants Jet Speed/Blitz, increasing movement speed by 30% for 4 seconds. The duration of Jet Speed/Blitz is refreshed if attacked while it is active.


  • New Ability: Rocket Out/Propulsion Round! Jet/Fire a specially designed propulsion round to launch yourself backward 20 meters, gaining immunity to controlling effects while jetting/launched. Cannot be used while immobilized or hindered. This ability has a 20 second cooldown.

Bodyguard/Combat Medic

  • New Passive Skill: Peacekeeper/Frontline Medic! Increases the healing done by Kolto Missile/Bomb and Progressive Scan/Successive Treatment by 5% each.


  • New Passive Skill: Honed Lock/Supercharged Barrel! Each stack of Tracer Lock/Charged Barrel now also increases the critical chance of the next Rail Shot/High Impact Bolt or Rapid Scan/Medical Probe by 3%.

Innovative Ordnance/Assault Specialist

  • New Passive Skill: Surging Shots/Boosted Bolts! Each time you deal periodic damage, you gain 1 charge of Surging Shots/Boosted Bolts, which increases the damage dealt by your next Power Shot/Charged Bolts or Sweeping Blasters/Hail of Bolts by 1% per stack. Stacks up to 10 times. Power Shot/Charged Bolts consumes all charges when it deals damage and Sweeping Blasters/Hail of Bolts consumes the stacks when the channel ends.

Tier 1 – Skillful

  • New Utility: Adhesive Supplements/Sticky Mods! Power Shot/Charged Bolts and Tracer Missile/Grav Round slow their target by 40% for 6 seconds.

Tier 2 – Masterful

  • New Utility: Supercharged Defense! Activating Supercharged Gas/Cell increases the Merc’s/Commando’s defense chance by 15% for 10 seconds (affects melee, ranged, Force, and tech attacks)

Tier 3 – Heroic

  • New Utility: Smoke Screen! Rocket Out/Propulsion Round generates a Smoke Screen when used, keeping you from being leapt to or pulled and making you immune to interrupts and ability activation pushback for the next 4 seconds.

Crew Skills

General Crew Skill Changes

  • The Crafting skill “groups” have been removed and are no longer needed to improve your Crafting skill. Example: when you hit 400 Crafting skill, you do not need to visit the trainer to move the cap up to 450.
  • All Crafting has been organized into 8 Grades. All existing Items and Missions have been adjusted to fit into these Grades. Here is a detailed breakdown:
    • Grade 1: Level 10-16: 0-80
    • Grade 2: Level 16-24: 80-160
    • Grade 3: Level 24-32: 160-240
    • Grade 4: Level 32-40: 240-300
    • Grade 5: Level 40-46: 300-350
    • Grade 6: Level 46-51: 350-400
    • Grade 7: Level 51-55: 400-450
    • Grade 8: Level 55+: 450-500

Crafting Skill Changes

  • Every Crafting Skill has received new patterns that will fall into one of the 8 Grades. With this change, all existing Schematics that are not part of Fallen Empire have been moved to the “Archives” category in your crafting window.
  • Nearly all schematics require a new Premium (green) crafting material called a Component. This new Component is made by combining two existing crafting materials along with two vendor purchased materials, all of which are of the same Grade as the component. A unique Component exists for each skill and each Grade.
  • There are no longer any Premium (green) items to craft. All craftable items now start as Prototype (blue) quality.
  • Training costs for all schematics have been greatly reduced.
  • Material requirements for nearly all craftable items have been changed.
  • Reverse Engineering items no longer gives a random item. Instead, the item reverse engineered will give an improved version of that item.
  • The chance to get an improved item from Reverse Engineering has been increased.
  • All crafted armor is now Adaptive.
  • In most cases, Crafting times have been greatly reduced.
  • Augments have been reduced to 8 tiers. The MK8 Augment Kit is now the highest Augment Kit. Existing MK9 and MK11 Kits have been turned into MK8 Augment Kits.
  • Armorings can no longer be crafted by Cybertechs.
  • New Resistive Armorings (Endurance) are now exclusive to Armormech.
  • New Versatile Armorings (Mastery) are now exclusive to Synthweaving.
  • Enhancements can no longer be crafted by Artificers, and are now exclusive to Cybertechs.
  • Due to the Primary Stats being converted to the Mastery Stat, the following changes have been made to Augments:
    • Armormechs can now craft Shield, Absorb, and Mastery Augments.
    • Synthweavers can now craft Alacrity, Defense, and Critical Augments.
    • Armstechs can now craft Accuracy, Endurance, and Power Augments.
    • All previously reusable Biochem Consumables are no longer reusable.
  • All low level Biochem stimulants have been improved! Their duration is increased to 8 hours and they are now made in batches of 6-8 depending on the type.
  • Droid Armor has been removed from the game, as all companion armor is now strictly for appearances, and droid appearances are not modified by their armor.
  • All previously reusable Cybertech grenades are no longer reusable. They are now more powerful than their Prototype equivalent.

Elder Game Crafting

  • All Modifications acquired from Operations can be Reverse Engineered for their Schematics.
  • Operation Gear can no longer be Reverse Engineered.
  • Crafters can now make gear equivalent to Story and Hard Mode Operations gear:
    • This gear can be acquired from their respective Trainer.
    • This crafted gear, when Reverse Engineered is equivalent to Story Mode Operations gear.
    • When this Story Mode equivalent gear is Reverse Engineered, a player can acquire the schematic to craft Hard Mode Operations equivalent gear.
    • This new gear has a guaranteed Reverse Engineer chance.
    • This new gear is sellable & tradable.
    • This new gear requires a new Crafting material that can only be acquired by completing your personal Conquest goals.
    • This gear does not have set bonuses.
    • Relics cannot be crafted in this method.

Harvesting and Mission Skill Changes

  • All unlocked Crew Skill Missions are now fully visible and no longer randomized.
  • Crew Skill Mission unlocks have been aligned with the new Grade system from above.
  • Crew Skill Missions will now grant slightly more materials than they did previously.
  • Harvesting Nodes can now be harvested regardless of your skill level.
  • Harvesting Nodes will now grant Skill Increases regardless of the Node or your skill level.
  • Harvesting Nodes grant different amounts of materials based on the player’s skill level. Players that are below the skill level of the node will receive fewer materials, and those higher than the node will receive more.
  • All Harvesting Nodes now have a chance to grant both sets of materials for their respective Grade.
  • Archaeology Crystals now grant Fragments and Crystals in addition to Color Crystals.
  • The completion time for Crew Skill Missions has been greatly reduced.

Crafting Material Removal
The following materials have been removed from the game. Any removed material in a players’ possession has been replaced with its equivalent counterpart.

  • Advanced Power Implant Processor
  • Alien Artifact Fragment
  • Alien Data Cube
  • Aluminum
  • Amorphous Carbonite
  • Augmentation Kit MK-10
  • Augmentation Kit MK-9
  • Augmentation Slot Component MK-10
  • Augmentation Slot Component MK-9
  • Bacterial Strain
  • Biological Compounding Chemical
  • Biometric Crystal Alloy
  • Blue Goo
  • Bondar Crystal
  • Chanlon
  • Cosmic Trace Particle
  • Diatium
  • Double-Pulse Implant Processor
  • D-Package Implant Processor
  • Enriched Durasteel
  • Eralam Crystal
  • Exonium
  • Exotic Element Equalizer
  • Exquisite Yellow Crystal
  • Flawless Yellow Crystal
  • Immaculate Yellow Crystal
  • Impeccable Orange Crystal
  • Impeccable Yellow Crystal
  • Inert Virus
  • Laminoid
  • Luminescent Cell Culture
  • Mass Manipulation Generator
  • Matter Transubstantiator
  • Medicinal Fluid
  • Molecular Stabilizer
  • Neurochemical Extract
  • Neutronium
  • Obsolete Crafting Material
  • Perfect Orange Crystal
  • Perfect Upari Crystal
  • Perfect Yellow Crystal
  • Phond Crystal
  • Plasteel
  • Precious Yellow Crystal
  • Prehistoric Artifact Fragment
  • Pristine Yellow Crystal
  • Psychoactive Compound
  • Quick-Growth Agent
  • Rakata Energy Node
  • Red Goo
  • Resinite
  • Rybcoarse Implant Processor
  • Self-Perpetuating Power Cell
  • Single-Pulse Implant Processor
  • Synthetic Energy Matrix
  • Synth-net Implant Processor
  • Toxic Extract
  • Universal Catalyst
  • Unknown Microorganism
  • Vial of Stabilized Isotope-5
  • Viral Residue

Flashpoints +Operations


  • All Flashpoints and Operations have been level adjusted and have their rewards updated.
  • Nightmare Eternity Vault and Karagga’s Palace have been removed from the game.
  • Companions are less likely to follow Valk and Jos Beroya up to their perches in the Blood Hunt Flashpoint.

Solo Mode
The following flashpoints are available in Solo Mode at the indicated level. All solo mode Flashpoints can now be repeated as often as you’d like per day. The Flashpoints prior to Assault on Tython are available in solo mode for the first time!

  • Black Talon (Level 10)
  • Esseles (Level 10)
  • Boarding Party (Level 29)
  • Taral V (Level 29)
  • The Foundry (Level 29)
  • Maelstrom Prison (Level 29)
  • Directive 7 (Level 45)
  • Battle of Ilum (Level 48)
  • The False Emperor (Level 50)
  • Assault on Tython (Level 53)
  • Korriban Incursion (Level 53)
  • Manaan Research Facility (Level 53)
  • Legacy of the Rakata (Level 53)
  • Blood Hunt (Level 55)
  • Battle of Rishi (Level 55)

Tactical Mode
The following Flashpoints are also available in Tactical Mode starting at Level 10. The Flashpoints prior to Kuat Drive Yards are available in Tactical Mode for the first time!

  • Black Talon
  • Esseles
  • Boarding Party
  • Taral V
  • The Foundry
  • Maelstrom Prison
  • Battle of Ilum
  • The False Emperor
  • Hammer Station
  • Athiss
  • Mandalorian Raiders
  • Red Reaper
  • Cademimu
  • Kuat Drive Yards
  • Czerka Labs
  • Czerka Core Meltdown
  • Korriban Incursion
  • Assault on Tython
  • Depths of Manaan
  • Legacy of the Rakata
  • Blood Hunt
  • Battle of Rishi

Hard Mode
The below flashpoints are available in Hard Mode starting at Level 50, and will require a balanced group of 4 Players to succeed. The flashpoint Red Reaper is available in Hard Mode for the first time!

  • Black Talon
  • Esseles
  • Boarding Party
  • Taral V
  • The Foundry
  • Maelstrom Prison
  • Kaon Under Siege
  • Lost Island
  • Battle of Ilum
  • The False Emperor
  • Hammer Station
  • Athiss
  • Mandalorian Raiders
  • Red Reaper
  • Cademimu
  • Kuat Drive Yards
  • Czerka Labs
  • Czerka Core Meltdown
  • Korriban Incursion
  • Assault on Tython
  • Depths of Manaan
  • Legacy of the Rakata
  • Blood Hunt
  • Battle of Rishi

Story Mode Operations are now available for all players starting at Level 50, and the Bolster previously applied through Group Finder is now be available in all Story Mode Operations. Hard Mode and Nightmare Mode Operations (where applicable) are available for Level 65 players. Below is a list of all the now available Operation content:

  • Eternity Vault
  • Karagga’s Palace
  • Explosive Conflict
  • Terror From Beyond
  • Scum and Villainy
  • Golden Fury
  • Dread Fortress
  • Dread Palace
  • Ravagers
  • Temple of Sacrifice
  • Colossal Monolith

High-Priority Target Hard Mode Operation

  • Every week, a different Hard Mode Operation will be selected as a High-Priority Target, and grant greater rewards. To see which Operation is designated, check the Target Analysis Computer on the Gav Daragon and the Ziost Shadow.

Group Finder

  • Tactical Flashpoints – Starting at level 10, players will be able to queue for the Esseles and Black Talon, and then from level 15 will be able to queue for any of the above flashpoints up to level 65.
  • Hard Mode Flashpoints – Starting at level 50, players will be able to queue for all of the above Hard Mode Flashpoints.
  • Story Mode Operations – Starting at level 50, players will be able to queue for one selected Story Mode Operation that will change daily.

Star Fortress
Unlock a brand new Flashpoint after Chapter IX! Liberate the occupied worlds of Alderaan, Belsavis, Hoth, Nar Shaddaa, Tatooine, and Voss by assaulting the Eternal Empire battlestation orbiting each planet and stem Zakuul’s far-reaching grasp around the galaxy!

  • Coordinate with the local contacts on each world to build your Alliance’s strength.
  • Each Star Fortress features 2 Difficulty Modes – [Solo] and [Heroic 2+].
    • [Heroic 2+] Mode is unlocked by destroying a planet’s Shield Bunker.
    • Build influence with Alliance Specialists to unlock unique combat-enhancing buffs and abilities during [Heroic 2+] Mode.
  • Earn new decorations, mounts, achievements, and more!

Graphics + UI

  • Made art and layout polish and improvements on the Character Select and Character Creation screens.
  • A new “Legendary Status” widget showing which class stories you have completed has been added to the Character Select screen.
  • The camera on the Character Select screen has been pulled back to show more of the selected character.
  • Players can now choose to create a brand new level 1 character or a boosted level 60 character from the Character Creation UI.
  • Redesigned the UI Editor frames and text to be cleaner, sharper, and more translucent.
  • Added “show grid” functionality with customizable x/y axis scaling to the UI Editor.
  • Added “snap to grid” functionality to the UI Editor.
  • Created a new default UI layout (“Advanced”), which is assigned to new Level 60 characters.
  • Made tweaks to existing default UI layouts.
  • The Companion bar has been updated to reflect simplified Companion design, and no longer expands into a secondary toolbar.
  • The Group Finder window has been visually redesigned to be cleaner and more visually organized.
  • Players may now save/load their keybinds from the Preferences window.
  • Keybinds can now be previewed in-line, so you can compare different profiles without having to load them first.
  • Added a new “Companions & Contacts” window, which may be accessed via the mighty fist on the main toolbar.
  • The Companions & Contacts window can be collapsed into a “compact” view that shows only your Contact list.
  • From the Companions & Contacts window, players can:
    • Manage alerts
    • Manage your Companions and Contacts
    • Summon Companions
    • Change any companion’s current role (even if not currently summoned)
    • View a character bios for your Companions and Contacts as well as your interaction history with them
    • Travel to a Contact’s location by clicking the “Travel to Alert Location” button
  • The Crew Skills window has been changed to function solely as a Crew Mission queue; summoning is now done via the Companions & Contacts window
  • Clicking “play” on a Chapter in the Mission Log or Mission Tracker now bring up the Chapter Launcher, which gives you an overview of the Chapter and lets you select which Companion to bring along (if applicable) before starting.
  • A countdown timer can be viewed for next month’s Chapter by viewing it in the Mission Log or tracking it in the Mission Tracker.
  • Inventory and Ability icons now have a mouseover pulse to improve visibility of your current selection.
  • Added an animation that highlights newly unlocked abilities.
  • Fixed an issue on multiple menus that caused the close (“X”) button to appear misaligned with the window frame.
  • Fixed incorrect compression settings that resulted in many UI textures appearing overly compressed and low-res.
  • Cinematic captions are now centered.
  • Fixed mouseover hotspots on the conversation response wheel to be more accurate.
  • Added soft shadows to captions and response text to improve legibility against bright and high-contrast scenes.
  • Added a new “classic” cinematic system for Alliance NPC conversations.
  • There are now separate mission icons for different mission types. See the Missions + NPCs section for full overview:
    • Class story / World arc / Chapters (purple triangle)
    • Repeatable Missions / Heroics (arrow triangle)
    • Exploration Missions (star triangle)
    • Side Missions / Other (gold triangle)
  • Added a checkbox to the map that allows players to show/hide Exploration Missions.
  • Updated map legend to show all new mission types and their associated icons.
  • When under the effects of Level Sync, the level bar in the character display will change colors and show two values: your actual level, and your temporarily-adjusted level.

Items + Economy

  • Basic Commendations are now called Common Data Crystals.
  • Elite Commendations are now called Glowing Data Crystals.
  • Ultimate Commendations are now called Radiant Data Crystals.
  • Existing Commendations have been converted to the appropriate Data Crystal at a 1:1 rate.
  • Items purchased with Commendations have had their timers cancelled and are now Bound.
  • A new pet, the Cyberglow Mewvorr, and a new Decoration, the Statue of Mandalore the Ultimate, have been added to the Collector’s Edition Vendor in the VIP area of each Faction Fleet.
  • All existing Modification required levels have been reduced to match the required levels of newly implemented Modifications.
  • The Revan Holostatue vendor has been updated and now sells Class-specific Level 65 items for Common Data Crystals.
  • The amount of credits dropped from defeated NPCs has been greatly reduced.
  • Gift Fragments can now be used to purchase Gifts at the Companion Gift Vendor on either Fleet. These Fragments are no longer available from Missions.
  • All Droid Gear have been changed into a “Valuable Droid Part” which sells for a decent amount of Credits to vendors.
  • All old Operation Gear tokens have been changed into a Lockbox that contains Glowing Data Crystals (Old Elite Commendations).

Missions + NPCs

Knights of the Fallen Empire: Experience the epic new storyline at level 60! Travel to your ship and pick up the mission “Chapter I: The Hunt” to begin.

Your mission starts with the explosive first chapter in the Knights of the Fallen Empire story arc. You’ll pick up where the story left off after Ziost, delivered in all new episodic story Chapters. Each chapter can be completed solo or with a group of friends. There are a total of 9 chapters at launch and more chapters will be released in the following months.

New Feature: Summon Group for Story Quest! We’ve made it even easier for you and your friends to play Knights of the Fallen Empire together. Once your group is formed and you are in a story phase, right-click on your player portrait and select “Summon Group for Story Quest “. Your group members will get a pop up informing them that they have been invited to your story. As soon as they accept the invite they will be teleported directly to your story phase. You still have full control over your story and all the choices made only affect your story.

Mission Changes
Story Missions
Class Missions, planet story arcs, and certain Flashpoint Missions are now classified as Story Missions. Story Missions are easily identified in the world, on the map, and in your Mission Log by their purple Mission icons and text. With the Leveling Adjustments made in Game Update 4.0, Story Missions are the bare minimum that you need to complete in order to level from 1-60.

Heroic Missions
Nearly all Heroic Missions have been adjusted to be completed by groups of 2+. This means that most former [Heroic 4] missions have had their difficulties reduced. Barring a few exceptions, Heroic Missions no longer need to be turned in at an NPC or Mission Dropbox. On completion of the final step of a Heroic Mission, the completion dialog will appear immediately.

The first step of each Heroic Mission gives you a Heroic Transport item. Using this item (from your Mission Items inventory or the icon next to the task in the tracker) will transport you to a safe location near the site of the mission.

While Heroic Missions may still be acquired from NPCs in the field, you will also find a new Weekly Heroic Mission Terminal just outside of the spaceports of all planets up through Makeb. Accessing this terminal will allow you to easily acquire all the Heroic Missions for that planet. In addition, both the Republic and Imperial Fleets have a Weekly Heroic Mission Terminal that offers Heroic Missions for all planets.

Additional Changes:

  • Heroic Missions are now repeatable weekly.
  • All repeatable Missions including Heroic Missions now have their own Mission icon: a gold triangle with arrows on it.
  • [HEROIC] The Aurora Cannon is no longer as well shielded and does not require 4 Players to complete, however some assistance may be required to defeat the guardian of the core.

Exploration Missions
Most non-Story Missions have been reclassified as Exploration Missions and use a gold triangle mission icon with a star next to it. Visibility and acquisition of Exploration Missions is disabled by default, but can be easily toggled via a checkbox on the top right of the map screen.

Exploration Missions still provide experience, Credits, and rewards, but they are not required to advance your story or to provide necessary leveling experience.

Area Missions
Area Missions have been converted into regular missions acquired by interacting with an object or NPC in the field.

Daily Area Missions

  • Missions in the daily areas (Black Hole, Section X, etc.) remain the same as before and are repeatable daily.
  • Heroic Missions found in the daily areas remain repeatable daily. The quest steps and difficulty of these missions are unchanged.

General Mission Changes
Changes have been made to a number of existing missions to improve quality and facilitate other changes where necessary including:

  • Task completion count adjustments.
  • Bonus mission addition, removal, or adjustment.
  • Map updates/changes.
  • Location changes.

Note: Due to the number and type of changes made, a majority of existing missions will be automatically reset to their starting step when this update goes live.

Alliance System
Work with famous heroes from across the galaxy to grow your Alliance and prepare to take on the Eternal Throne.

  • Build Your Alliance – Work with Alliance Specialists like Hylo Visz, Doctor Oggurobb, and others to build and strengthen your Alliance, whose power will impact options elsewhere in the story.
  • Cross-class Companions – Undertake Missions to find and recruit a variety of characters across the galaxy, including formerly exclusive class companion characters, with even more recruitment missions releasing alongside new Chapters.
  • Choices that Matter – Based upon your decisions in recruitment Missions, many Companions may be refused, or even killed. Occasionally, your actions may even offend potential recruits such that they refuse you.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue that was causing assets to render in total darkness during the “Use an Escape Pod” step of the Bounty Hunter Class Mission “Number One with a Bullet.”
  • Players starting the Shadow of Revan Mission chain on their ship now see their companions react more specifically to their relationship status.

NPC Changes
Some companions can now equip multiple weapon types:

  • Gault Rennow now uses Blaster Rifles and Sniper Rifles.
  • Kaliyo Djannis now uses Blaster Rifles and Sniper Rifles.
  • Lieutenant Felix Iresso now uses Blaster Rifles and Sniper Rifles.
  • Qyzen Fess now only uses Techblades.
  • Zenith now uses Blaster Rifles and Sniper Rifles.
  • T7-01 now only uses Blaster Rifles.
  • Lieutenant Pierce now uses Blaster Rifles and Sniper Rifles.
  • Corso Riggs now uses Blaster Rifles and Sniper Rifles.
  • Risha now uses Blaster Rifles and Sniper Rifles.
  • Aric Jorgan now uses Blaster Rifles and Sniper Rifles.
  • Yuun now only uses Techblades.
  • C2-N2 now only uses a single Blaster Pistol.
  • 2V-R8 now only uses a single Blaster Pistol.

SWTOR Escape Pod Cast – Two Year Anniversary

SWTOR Escape Pod Cast-ArtworkApparently today, 8/26/2015, is the two year anniversary of the show (actually recorded on 8/25/2013, published 8/26/2013.) We aren’t so good at tracking those kinds of things but thankfully we have awesome friends that reminded us. It’s been a really fun two years and we are very thankful for everyone that’s participated in any way.

We were recently gifted a SWTOR Cartel Hypercrate in honor of this anniversary by an anonymous donor. This might be a crazy way to handle it but we are going to pop that crate open and hand out a pack each to 24 people chosen at random at the end of next week’s show. It might take a week or two for us to figure out how to get everyone their crate but I’d rather spread it around to everyone. No guarantees, but hopefully this will work out.

So either show up in the live stream chat room for the show on Monday 8/31/2015 or shoot us an email between now and then with a character name, faction and server and I’ll put your name on the list of possible winners. Only do one per person or it will get messy:

Thanks for listening and supporting the show for two years!

SWTOR Shadow of Revan Expansion and 12x XP!

SWTOR - Revan ReturnsComing on the heels of AIE:SWTOR launching our Guild Flagships, Strongholds and engaging in some epic guild versus guild Conquest, BioWare has introduced the next game-changerTM and announced the Shadow of Revan Digital Expansion. Shadow of Revan will launch the first week in December. In order to prepare players for the new content and a level cap increase from 55 to 60, BioWare has enabled special perks for subscribers who have pre-ordered the $19.99 expansion. In addition to early access at launch, an experience bonus of 12x has been enabled for all class story missions. This has been heartily embraced by our guild and an altapalooza is in progress with new 55s popping up on a constant basis.

If you have any old alts you’ve been itching to get to 55 now is a great time to jump in and enjoy the story. If you need a guild invite, drop in on the Jedi Covenant server and “/cjoin aielfo” on either the Republic or Imperial sides and we’ll get you set up. As always, check the forums for more information and check out things like our open Operations on Tuesday’s Mandatory Fun Night (attendance is optional but the fun is mandatory), Friday Flashpoints and Galactic Starfighter fights, our own SWTOR Escape Podcast, and a few Operations teams always keeping an eye out for subs and new members!

EQNL – Tower of Orthanc – Isengard


A dark overlord commanded that a certain tower be constructed… an so it has been done!

At the launch of the new biomes about a week ago I took the opportunity to find a new spot on a Tundra styled zone. I cleared the claims from the last ‘Castle on a Cloud’ project and started in on this one. It took quite a bit longer than I expected but the exterior model is now complete and the project is likely wrapped up for me at this point.


This is mostly based on the Lord of the Rings movie version of the tower model. It’s about 344 voxels high and spans much of two claims high. The base is about 108×108 voxels. With those dimensions it’s technically between a 50% and 80% scale model but still looks scaled reasonably when you walk in, stand on the balcony above the entrance or stand up top.

I built one of the four columns and mostly copied from there to create the rest of the tower. Some of the stitching of the four pieces together and some detail work had to be done separately. Much of the cap was done all at once.

I did have a problem after first building about 80% of one of the towers and then trying to copy, not realizing that the entire column needs to slope toward the center as well as diminish in cross-section as it rose. That forced some rework.

Took about twice as long as I would have expected but I’m pretty happy with the results. Let me know if you have any questions or comments. It’s on Liberation – Tunnel, north east of the hub if you’d like to visit. Enjoy!

EQNL – Castle for Cossette

EQNL - Cloud Castle 3I wanted to take the next steps in working with stone and some traditional castle type shapes. With cylinders, domes and arches worked out I decided to put together a small castle/keep arrangement and try a few of them together.

I also was looking for a unique location for the castle and after some playing with the “stucco” texture came up with something that looked like a piece of a cloud. Putting the two together I decided to put up a “Castle on a Cloud” (thanks Les Misérables.) The final piece was some sort of connector to the ground and what better way to climb up into the clouds than a beanstalk!

Here’s where it stands, rough structure, all dirt/stone:

EQNL - Cloud Castle 8 EQNL - Cloud Castle 7 EQNL - Cloud Castle 6 EQNL - Cloud Castle 5 EQNL - Cloud Castle 4 EQNL - Cloud Castle 3 EQNL - Cloud Castle 2 EQNL - Cloud Castle 1

This is probably as far as I’ll take it at this point and will likely be resetting the claim and going after some other brainstorm in the next day or two. If anyone would like a quick tour before demolition or has any questions let me know here or on Twitter. (Claim is on Serenity – Ravine @ 1:00 from hub and 40% of the way toward the rim.)

Keep Calm and Build On

EQN Landmark – Foundations

EQNL-Founder logoLearning more about the select, smooth and paint tools I decided to reset my claim and start some further experimentation. I was envisioning something more fantastic and the smoothed pillar towers seemed like a fun next step. Here’s the foundation I’m going to start experimenting on. However, I’m pausing here for the moment until I get the line tool to clean up those jagged edges and make the ramps more of what I’m looking for.

EverQuestNextLandmark64 2014-02-12 17-53-05-68 EverQuestNextLandmark64 2014-02-12 17-54-46-45 EverQuestNextLandmark64 2014-02-12 17-55-27-30

I’m on Serenity – Ravine still, about here:

EverQuestNextLandmark64 2014-02-12 17-58-40-70

EQN Landmark – New Voxel Overlords

EQNL-Founder logoEverQuest Next Landmark has recently reached “alpha”, an early non-feature complete testing stage, and has opened to player testers that have either been invited to test via sign-up and limited selection, or that have purchased a pre-release game package.

Having done the latter, I spent some time in the past couple days checking it out. I’ll post in the future on my evolving review. For now, I’ll say that despite evolving features and plenty of bugs I got a kick out of getting in and trying out some building. I also wanted to post some pictures of a first building project I used to get acquainted with the tools and environment.

Finding “claim” or area in the landscape that you get to own and build on is a bit of a challenge, since space is limited while they open a limited set of servers and “islands” for testing. I managed to get some space on a mountainside and decided that for my first project I’d experiment with using the landscape rather than flattening the entire plot and building from there (not uncommon from what I’ve seen from players so far.)


I started at the top and cleared the area for the upper tower and laid the upper floor and surrounding crenellation.

Then, in a strategy I would not recommend necessarily, I went to the base of the mountain and built the lower, two floor crafting area shown here. From there, I carved out into the mountain base and then went back to the top and started carving down into the mountain, hoping that the two would meet in a roughly usable way.

I ended up with a four floor tower carved into the mountain with windows carved out on each floor. This overlooks a two floor crafting terrace, where I can keep my forges and crafting tables for now.

All in all it took a couple hours to craft with the very simple materials I used. I found it pretty compelling, though I don’t know if I’ll actually finish it from here or reset and try out a couple other ideas I have.

Let me know if you have any questions or want to hear more about EQNL!

(Oh… a “voxel” is a 3D pixel or a fancy name for the building block model that EQNL uses.)

EQNL-test1-2 EQNL-test1-4 EQNL-test1-3

SWTOR Galactic Starfighter – First Thoughts

NO-gs ship 1I certainly welcome our new startfighting overlords! I did get a chance to try out the Galactic Starfighter expansion in the close beta over the past couple weekends. With the NDA lifting this morning I figured I’d take this opportunity, along with everyone else that was in the beta, to write up my initial thoughts.

Here are the key ideas and impressions that I think are useful when looking forward to what we have coming:

  1. GS is Fun: Just to kick it off, let me say that GS was certainly quite a bit of fun. I’ll talk next about how this is certainly PvP, but that said, I think the appeal and fun factor will be a bit more broad than typical PvP. There are some extra twists with ship collection, customization and leveling that extend the fun a bit in those directions as well.
  2. GS is PvP: The core of GS is certainly PvP. There is a PvE tutorial space where you can get used to flying a ship around and shooting a couple stationary targets, but all the actual gameplay is based around shooting other people. The couple maps we have seen so far roughly equate to an in-depth version of the Alderan Civil War PvP warzone. Inexperienced players may find some frustration in getting in there and getting blown up quite a bit but the ramp-up isn’t that long in getting used to the controls and the fun of flying a ship around freely softens that ramp-up time.
  3. 3D is a whole new dimension: I really appreciate the lack of “up” in the control scheme but it will be a challenge for new players to wrap their head around at first, especially since you are locked into pretty much a 1st person view, close up on the tail of your ship. Rotating 180 degrees in a barrel roll, for example, will have you flying around in effect upside down. Took me a bit to get used to it and once you embrace the 3D space, you’ll gain more control. Think “the enemy gate is down” as a concept and you’ll be a step ahead.
  4. Control: The controls nearly feel like they should be joystick/controller based but there are some nuances, especially with regard to targeting enemy ships and needing to lead them, that will make it difficult to support those control schemes. It takes some getting used to but isn’t overly complex.
  5. Customization: With different ship types (small and fast, bigger and more powerful, special use (minelayers), etc.) as well as different possible weapons, different abilities depending on which “crew members” you select, and the leveling system to build out the skill tree for various ship components, there will be plenty of opportunity to mess with that meta game in a meaningful way.
  6. Strategy: I think this is something we will see develop over time. 12v12, free for all, “go control some points” will be the starting “strategy” but there are many nuances to various ship abilities (defensive/offensive mines and drones, abilities to drop respawn locations, ship roles working in concert) that have the potential to allow some very interesting fleet mechanics. It will take some team practice and expertise in strategy to see these emerge but I think this could be very interesting in the long term.

That’s plenty for initial impressions. I’ll see about adding notes on specific topics over time and am certainly happy to answer any questions I can on what I’ve seen so far. I’m sure we’ll cover it on the SWTOR Escape Pod Cast as well.

Looking forward to it!

The Weeping Angel Boss Fight Concept

CC chinny_chin_chin00 via Flickr

This is a design concept being floated to the Bioware development team for SWTOR (though would work in pretty much any MMO, I think.) We have clear and obvious reason to believe that it may be the most awesome boss fight idea ever conceived.

One of our guild members, Sferics, came up with the core of this idea earlier this evening and we decided this needed to be written up and submitted to the highest of development authorities for immediate implementation in future content!

I give you the “Weeping Angel” boss fight mechanic!


The scenario can vary but in a SWTOR context, Flash Point or Operation, something like the force ghost of an ancient Sith Lord trapped in a vault lined with statues would set the stage well. The boss can be at the head of the room represented by a large statue. The key to the mechanic would be the series of human sized status around the perimeter of the room initially positioned with their hands covering their eyes!

Key Elements

  • Darkness – The entire fight would need to take place in near dark for the mechanic to make sense with what you’d expect from “Weeping Angel” behavior. We’ve already seen this in other flash points in SWTOR and works well.
  • Flashlights – At the entrance, each ops team member would be able to pick up a light of some kind. These would light only for a short period on activation, say 10 seconds, with something like a 30 second cool down. This would force the need for coordination between team members for the lighting mechanic to have full coverage. Again, these already exist in some form in SWTOR content.
  • Weeping Angels – The key mechanic and I imagine you can already guess how these work. The statues surrounding the room are fixed and immune to damage while “observed.” The light from the flashlights when swept over them would serve to quantum-lock the angels for a period of a few seconds. Once this timer is up, if they have not been re-locked with a flashlight they move toward the nearest player.
  • Feeding – If a player is reached by an angel that player is removed from the fight and “lost in time.” At this point, the angel is no longer immune to damage and must be DPSed down to return the missing player to the fight.
  • Quantum-Lock – With only 10 seconds of light and a 30 second cooldown it would take at least 4 players rotating turns running a circuit of the room to keep light on the statues. This would be the key coordination mechanic and would need to be tightly timed enough to make angel movement likely.
  • Boss Mechanics – To increase pressure on the group and the likelihood that angels will be moving, various boss mechanics can be introduced as well. As only one possible example, high damage energy beams that divide the room for a few seconds might prevent the current flashlight runner from reaching some angels. This would either need to be compensated for by players spread on the opposite side or cause the need for the team to be in motion, kiting the moving angels.

As mentioned, this is obviously one of the most awesome fight concepts ever proposed and as such should be implemented immediately. I also think naming the boss after Sferics would be nice, and maybe throw in a little lore object that credits the Lords of Light (LOL) operations team of Alea Iacta Est as well.

Thanks for your time! (Which I will, of course, consume.)

* Thanks to machernucha via Flickr for the creative commons photo.