Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Your Fiftieth Assignment: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Where've you been, agent?

Out and about.  Why Kaliyo, do you miss me?

Oh please, you should be so lucky.  I've just not seen you around.  Found some new friends?

You could say that; that's them on the holocomm.  Looks like I'm needed.  Be a dear and clean up while I'm away?

Don't make me shoot you, Cipher.

Lock and load, agents!  Well, today is the big day ... Patch 1.3 has dropped.  Now, I've gotten limited experience with it so far, but from what I surmise this patch is WHAT THE FUCK good.  I plan on delving even deeper in tonight to get a feel for the game systems and whatnot, but I'll tell you this: this patch is rock-damn solid.  It was solid on the PTS, suprisingly solid, and the deployment today (minus the couple hours of extended maintenance) was smooth as butter.  The fleet is performing admirably - you can tell they improved the engine to handle higher population.  Load times even seem to be shorter, but I'll have to travel to Alderaan or Corellia to truly test that out.  The group finder tool is intuitive and easy, with simple controls.  Reports say that PVP grouping is easy as pie.  Even the legacy costs for character convenience are pretty relaxed this time around.  Around 125K or so credits will get you the maximum experience benefit from one of these categories: PVP, flashpoints, class quests, space, or exploration.  There's also a whole bevy of crafting-related changes that N'jessi has chronicled.  This is a game systems patch and they absolutely delivered in spades.

I logged on shortly over my lunch to see what it was like; I only had about 45 minutes to do stuff so I really only got to glance at the LFG tool and Ranked Warzone UI, but they were the same from the PTS.  I posted some stuff on the GTN (boy, was THAT place hoppin'), tooled around on the fleet, checked out the Legacy perks, and logged off.  But I simply cannot wait to get back home and kill some Pubs with my agent.

But ... let's talk about the elephant in the room.

How long will this enthusiasm last?

Let's be frank, folks.  This is a systems patch only.  This provides next to no content.  It just provides access to said content and variations on the same content.  How long can this content keep us ... content?  I'm afraid the answer is 'not long.'  I'd be shocked if we by next week we didn't start hearing whispers of Patch 1.4, HK-51, the planet Makeb, and the level increase.  The sheen on this patch will wear off quickly as folks realize 'Hey, this is the same stuff I've been doing, I just have a new way of accessing it.'  And don't misinterpret this as me baggin' on 1.3 ... this patch was desperately needed and I thoroughly applaud Bioware on both the speed with which they delivered it and the stability it seems to have.  I'm just saying, MMO gamers are a fickle bunch and they like their toys ... these new features may get old quickly for some and they'll be looking forward to the next patch for more story content.  I don't blame them really ... for me, these features, being released over 6 months after the game launched, needed to be in since the get-go.  It was really a no-brainer and I despair to think about how many subs were lost because BioWare was unable to act quickly enough to get these systems in place.  But, them's the breaks and we gotta deal with what we have.

And what we have here is a failure to commun ... wait, wrong quote.

And what we have here is a rock-solid patch that delivers rock-solid features.  Good job, guys.  Now, where's Makeb?

Fly safe, shoot straight.  For the glory of the Empire!

PS - Congratulations on reaching your fiftieth assignment, agent!  You've served the Empire well.  I hope you get fifty more.

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