Friday, June 29, 2012

Your Fifty-first Assignment: One Week In

There's definitely a different atmosphere, agent.  You can feel it.

Agreed, Kaliyo.  I guess we're finally getting what we wanted.

Oh, not everything we want, agent.

Would you stop staring at my ass?

Lock and load, agents!  Well, the first week of patch 1.3 (aka, the WUB WUB PATCH cuz I wubs it so much) went off fairly well.  We had two emergency patches (on Wednesday and Friday mornings, plus an extended maintenance on patch day), but this is to be expected for an MMO TOR's size.  BioWare, so far, has been pretty good about releasing stable(ish) patches that don't cause too many problems (we'll conveniently forget all the sound issues, companion problems, and disappearing augments).  All in all, deployment came off decently and there weren't too many problems that caused game-breaking errors or heart-breaking downtime.

DEPLOYMENT GRADE: B-

While the deployment (so far) was merely decent, the content released in this patch couldn't get a more enthusiastic thumbs-up from me if it tried.  Look, we know it was light on story content (and by light, I mean nonexistent) but this was, and was billed as, a systems patch only.  The LFG tool runs perfectly.  It's server-only, which means you can't sit in Fleet all day at low levels and expect your queue to pop incessantly.  It's designed to be turned on while questing and used to see content and get upgrades.  Minor points off for the annoyance of being returned to the fleet when the flashpoint is done, but I can sorta see why they did that.  No, wait, I can't really see that at all.  It disrupts the flow of the game for me, and even though it makes sense that the 'shuttle' would drop you off at the fleet after your mission, especially since most flashpoints require you to interact with the console at the mission departure console, it still is annoying to have my questing mojo interrupted.  One thing they failed to address was the ability for four guildmates to queue together and get the 'random' reward.  I guess they viewed the random reward in terms of a random group rather than completing a random dungeon.  I know, a nitpick, but hey, it matters to me.  Another feature added was the ranked warzone feature ... and this is nice.  The ranked warzone queue also fixed the extremely irritating 'cannot group after a pvp match was done' error.  So nice.  And apparently the 'dual queuing' system employed by the pvp queue is uber nice (being queued for both ranked and normal warzones at the same time; the ranked warzone popping and reserving your spot).  Couple that with the augment changes, new crafting schematics, and the server transfers, and that makes for a pretty hoppin' server community!

FEATURES GRADE: A
Unfortunately, there's no real new content in this patch.  Crafting, game systems, and ranked warzones carry no additional story, but some enterprising forumites have uncovered a possible new world event.  I suspect they'll unleash it on us in the coming weeks to sate our content thirst.  Other than that, there's no real content to speak of.  I'm expecting great things in 1.4 however; HK-51, a new raid (Terror from Beyooooooond!), and other goodies!

CONTENT GRADE: F

Overall, I couldn't really be more pleased with this patch.  It's provided accessibility and convenience features that the game sorely needed (and should have been in since launch).  Combine that with bug fixes, legacy perks, and the promise of a world event and this patch is easily shaping up to be the best of the bunch.  BioWare still has a long way to go, though.  1.3 really brings TOR even with other MMOs out there and nothing more.  These features are a no-brainer for any MMO that's launching, further reinforcing the idea that TOR released 6 months early.  But, that can't be helped now ... TOR's 1.3 patch is a homerun.

OVERALL GRADE: A-

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

2 comments:

  1. One thing they failed to address was the ability for four guildmates to queue together and get the 'random' reward.

    I did several randoms with a full guild group tonight and everyone always got the random reward.

    And I love popping right out the flashpoint door and being able to hand in the quest for it. :P

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  2. To be honest, I was a bit wary of the LFG tool because I witnessed what a tool like this did to grouping in WoW - cross-server anonymity at its worst. So, IMHO it is a good thing that SWTORs LFG tool isn't cross-server. I have yet to try it out, because I am not that big on pugs, though.

    Still, I cannot wait for a story-content update. :)

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