Episode 2 – Rumors? What rumors?

Posted: March 10, 2012 by BloodEagle in Podcast
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(Released March 10th 2012)
BioWare and LucasArts Do Cosplay for Star Wars...

BioWare and LucasArts Do Cosplay for Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO (Photo credit: Colony of Gamers)

This week we saw the GDC happen, which made it a somewhat quiet week for gaming news. Nothing amazing happened at the GDC, but we did get to see an updated graphics engine by Unreal, some screenshots of MechWarrior Online, and Skyrim won the game of the year. Chaelura found herself engrossed in Mass Effect 3, Galvion could not keep his potty mouth shut, and enjoyed some old school portable gaming, and BloodEagle is rediscovering a love for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Don’t forget to send us some feedback. All of the ways to contact us can be found on our aptly named “Contact us” page.

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Episode 2

Listen on iTunes Link Dead Gaming

On this episode Bioshock gives us the date it will drop from the sky, Counter Strike: Global will not cross the streams, SimCity goes multiplayer, Valve wants to know where you get your rumors, MLG wants you to fight, Diablo III might be just around the corner, We get Unreal, and SWTOR has breached the summit. We also help you install your new RAM […]

This weeks Gaming News

Game Developer Confrence happened March 7-9th: Skyrim wins Game of the Year [Source] [Source]

Bioshock: infinite coming to store shelves October 16th [Source]

Counter Strike: Global Offensive will not be cross play [Source]

SimCity coming 2013, featuring multiplayer and co-op [Source]
Almost 10 years since the last proper SimCity release, but the wait for another will be over before too long.
SimCity, as the new game is simply called, is developed by Maxis and seems to feature the same core gameplay the series is known for, with a load of new stuff thrown on top.
Among the highlights: up to 16-person multiplayer and co-op, in which you can collaborate or compete through regional and global challenges.

Constructible World

  • Creative and customizable world that offers unique gameplay benefits, all with a fun tactile interface.

Sims Matter

  • The Sims in your city speak to you directly and it’s up to you to respond to their needs. Will you listen and be the toast of the town? Or abuse your power for fame and fortune?

Specialize in What You Love

  • Mold your city as a casino resort, manufacturing hub, educational enclave, and more, and then watch as a unique look and feel spread throughout your city.


  • Build a region with friends for the first time! Collaborate or compete in regional and global challenges and make decisions that impact the greater SimCity World.

GlassBox Engine

  • SimCity introduces GlassBox, the revolutionary simulation technology that gives you the power to impact individual Sims lives, manage city level simulation, and balance multiple city simulations at once.

Valve says “What is this gaming console you speak of?” [Source]

Major League Gaming announces addition of three fighting games [Source]

Rumor: Diablo III expected to release April 17th [Source]

Unreal Engine 3 on Nvidia’s Next-Gen Kepler GPU
This is a tech demo entitled “Samatrian”, and is a showcase of what can be done with Unreals updated Engine UE3. It now features Direct X11 with Shader Model 5, for the very latest graphics cards as well as MS Antialiasing, Brokeh filter and several other visual treats.

Current Games Discussion

Chaelura spoke to us about Mass Effect 3, and her thoughts on how she did not like ME1, but loved ME2

Galvion told us he is playing Pokemon: Red and is waiting for an old-fashioned dungeon crawler coming out in April

Legend of Grimrock

BloodEagle spoke about his rekindling passion for Star Wars: The Old Republic, and how he was starting to really enjoy his Sith Inquisitor again.

Tech News

Installing your new RAM
Last week we helped you learn how to determine what type of RAM you had installed in your computer to help it run smoother and play games better. This week we are going to take you through the steps of installing that new RAM. You may very well need a Phillips screwdriver in order to perform this, so have one handy just in case.

  1. Turn off the computer and unplug it from everything.
  2. Open your computer case. There is often a latch on the back of the computer that has a screw in it, so you may need a screwdriver (probably Phillips). Some computers have a latch on the top (Dells). It will be easier to install the RAM if your computer is on a solid surface on its side, with the motherboard facing up toward you.
  3. Ensure that you do not have static built up on your body. Static can damage computer internals. Do not wear a wool sweater, do not drag your feet on carpet, and do not rub a balloon on your head unless it’s absolutely necessary. If necessary, you can purchase a small wrist band that can connect to a ground to prevent static discharge. For our purposes, use your hand and take a firm grip on the metal part of the case to discharge any static you have built up. Be careful of any sharp edges.
  4. Once you have the case open and are free of static, you need to locate the RAM slots on your motherboard. Most of the motherboards in computers have 2 or 4 RAM memory slots. Most RAM slots are located on the top of the motherboard, on the right-hand side. You should see something in the computer that is similar to what you purchased.
  5. Remove the old memory if you are replacing it. To do so, push the clamps open to release the chip. The clamps are on the side and are typically white. Push them away from the stick of memory and you should see the stick lift slightly. There is one clamp on each end of the RAM chip. Remove old memory. Hold RAM by the ends, and do not touch the chips or metal connectors. The old memory may be kept or sold.
  6. Look at any instructions that came with the new RAM as well as the manual for your motherboard. There may be something specific about the RAM that you need to know. Some motherboard manufactures have RAM slots setup in different configurations. Some require multiple sticks to be side by side, whereas other have you skip a slot.
  7. Look at the new memory and survey the motherboard memory slots. The RAM ports should have a notch at the bottom of each memory slot. Hold the RAM chip carefully by the ends or plastic parts. Do not touch the metal or chips. Line up the notch on the motherboard with the notch on the new memory.
  8. Press gently but firmly until the clamps close completely (you can usually hear a click). You may need to push the clamps in toward the chip, but do so very gently. If the chip does not fit, do not force it. Try putting it in the other way.
  9. Repeat the previous steps for installing RAM if you have another chip. Additional chips may be more difficult to install because other chips reduce the amount of room for your fingers. Be careful.
  10. Remove dust from the computer, if it’s dusty, using a bottle of compressed air. These are available at any office supply store. Do not blow air too closely at the computer. While you have the computer open, now is a good time to do this.
  11. Close the computer and reattach all of the cords to the computer, including the screen and power cord. Turn on the screen and turn the computer on. The computer should present a screen that shows a message about detecting new memory and the amount of the new memory, although some manufacturers may not use this feature. The size displayed may not be exactly how much you purchased. Operating systems calculate memory differently and some computers dedicate a certain amount of RAM to specific functions (e.g., video), decreasing the amount available. For example, you may have purchased 1 Gigabyte of RAM. The operating system may only display 0.99 Gigabytes.
  12. If your computer runs faster, it worked! RAM will help with opening and closing programs as well as gaming. You should notice that programs start faster now. If not, there may be a problem with the RAM or you have too much RAM.
  13. As a last check, check the system settings to make sure the RAM is okay. You can use the tools we provided on our Pilot Episode to determine if the new RAm you installed is there.
  14. Now go out and frag some n00bs!
Normally email and questions, but since we do not have people sending us feedback yet, this week we covered the SWTOR Guild Summit.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Guild Summit Info breakdown
First up was the Operations and Flashpoints panel

  • 38% of level 50 players have participated in an Operation.
  • Eternity Vault had bugs. Karagga’s Palace launched a bit more smoothly, and they hope future Operations will be more polished.
  • Normal Operation mode may be considered a bit too easy. Loot mode in normal may be improved.
  • The 1.2 Operation “Explosive Conflict” will be the first “Tier 2” raid instance.
  • Nightmare mode will be made harder, but needs a lot of testing and will not launch with 1.2 update.
  • “Normal” mode will be renamed to “Story” mode.
  • Orange gear will become more viable as end-game gear in the 1.2 update.
  • At least two more Operations in development. Will be included in future major updates.
  • Planning on better end game progression via Flashpoints.
  • Lost Island is the new 1.2 Flashpoint. Continues where Kaon Under Siege left off.
  • A “group finder” feature will be introduced in the 1.3 game update. Single server only to focus on community.
  • They don’t plan on making mobs drop more cash in 1.2 but they do have plans to distribute money a bit differently.
  • There are no plans for Damage and Threat meters, however you will have the ability to enable a chat log feature to parse everything that happened to your character and be able to look at it out of game.
  • They have a secret Space project coming but were not able to comment further on it.
  • They intended all Operations to require two tanks, but realize that most groups currently only take One. They plan on fixing that going towards 1.2
  • They want to add split goal operations to the list
  • They realize the game is missing some staples like a ready check, and plan on getting those in
  • They hope to add hardmodes later for those Flashpoints that do not have them.
  • Update 1.2 will have more open world Raid bosses.

Next up was the PvP panel

  • Medals are not currently balanced across classes. Healers are at a disadvantage.
  • Faction imbalance is something they want to address.
  • People leaving Warzones in the middle of the game is also something they want to handle.
  • New Warzone: Majority 3-point control objective. Need to have two out of the three objectives to “do damage” to the objective.
  • Update 1.2 will include ranked Warzones.
  • Will use ELO ranking system for both solo and group play in ranked Warzones. This is considered “pre-season” and ratings will sort themselves out.
  • New PvP Warzone dailies will be introduced in the 1.2 update.
  • Objectives scores currently do not work quite right because not all the medals are in the game. 18 new medals to be introduced.
  • Medal rewards will be capped to try to prevent medal farming.
  • There will be medals for winning matches fast as opposed to dragging them out and trying to farm other medals.
  • Losing team will be encouraged to stick it out to try to earn more rewards.
  • Vote to kick system will be in for 1.2 update. Players can vote for inactive players to be kicked from the match. They are working on ways to prevent abuse of kicking people who don’t deserve it.
  • Medal count will be a modified on overall rewards. Someone who doesn’t do anything in a Warzone will not see much reward. This should discourage AFK players.
  • There will be more emphasis on Expertise and PvP oriented stats on new PvP gear to make it not as powerful in PvE.
  • Adding new entry-level PvP gear for new level 50s to bridge the gear gap between new level 50s and people in higher tier PvP gear.
  • Existing Warzones will be made same faction. Targetted for the 1.2 or 1.3 update.
  • Future updates will include cross server matches. Ranked matches will be more likely to go cross server to find a more even match.
  • Want to introduce the ability to create tournament brackets to allow for mini-tournaments between PvP teams.
  • Will be able to queue with a full 8-person group for Warzones. Will also allow groups to persist between Warzones so you don’t have to re-form every time.
  • Open world PvP is less popular than Warzones. Three times more level 50s are playing Warzones than participating in Ilum.
  • Some organized PvP events are happening in Outlaw’s Den, which is good and will be supported. Minor changes to make it more accessible.
  • Ilum was a bit too ambitious and had some technical difficulties. They will be pulling it back a bit, won’t be incentivized as much while it undergoes some redesign to make it more fun.
  • New tier of PvP gear called “War Hero” will be obtained through ranked Warzone PvP.
  • Less randomness will be involved in gearing up PvP gear.
  • Some issues to be addressed: Mirror class imbalances, speed hacking and exploits. They hope to get all the exploits taken care of by the time ranked season one starts, another reason to have the pre-season first.
  • The caps and numbers for PvP stats are being adjusted for the new tier
  • They admit that when ilum went live, they experienced some technical things they did not expect
  • The new plan for Ilum will bring back objective based goals
  • No plans for player bounties currently.
  • There are plans to be able to que team vs team in warzones.
  • They would like to do larger warzones in the future.
  • They plan on m aking improvements to tab targeting, as well as larger hit boxes.
  • Auto facing will not be added to PvP
  • The best PvP gear will come from Ranked Warzones.
  • They will be putting in a type of reward/badge drop for world PvP kills.

Next up was the Legacy presentation

  • Legacy system was designed to touch almost every system in the game, but was too risky for launch.
  • Current state of legacy system: very pretty experience bar.
  • Game Update 1.2 will introduce Family Tree, automatically updated with all of your characters in a Legacy.
  • Reach level 50 with a species will unlock other species for other classes.
  • Level 50 with a species and you unlock all variations of that species across both factions.
  • Complete Chapter 2 and unlock class emote and apply that to your buffs.
  • Complete Chapter 3 and unlock Heroic abilities.
  • Example: complete Chapter 3 with Sith Warrior and unlock Force Choke on your other characters.
  • Complete all misions for companion type (ranged tank), unlock shorter cooldown and longer duration on Heroic for first companion of each type, in addition to stat boosts and Presence buffs.
  • Alignment abilities including Dark, Light, and Grey.
  • Social rank unlocks including dancing with companions and emotes.
  • Most rewards can be purchased with in-game credits or unlocked.
  • All unlocks and rewards are retroactive.
  • Cooldown reductions for emergency fleet pass and quick travel pass.
  • Jetpack unlockable as a short duration sprint for Bounty Hunter, other classes receive rocket boots.
  • Sprint moved to level 1.
  • Training dummies on Ships, including Operation and Warzone versions.
  • Repair Astromech will repair items, buy items, sell upgrade items for Ship droids.
  • Mailboxes and Galactic Trade Network on ships.
  • Legacy weapons and armor as tokens, usable for alt. characters. Legacy items do not scale. New item type: Bound-to-Legacy.
  • Customizing your alt. character experience: boosting PvP experience, lowering level required for Speeder license.
  • When character transfers come, the higher of the two legacies will take priorities.
  • Players will still not be able to share a legacy name
  • Your republic character will be able to use the heroic ability force choke.
  • New unlocked species will only be available to newly created characters.
  • In the “short-term,” there is no plan to allow players to customize their characters post-creation.
  • Your legacy buffs will extend to your entire party/Op
  • No legacy character shared banks at this time
  • No plan for additional character slots currently.
  • Dual spec is coming soon, with multi spec to follow later
  • Changing your legacy name is in the works for later.
  • Current legacy level cap is 50
  • Companion characters cannot be added to your family tree
  • Cosmetic ship upgrades will be added later
  • Because of the legacy system, every player in SWTOR is force sensitive, hence the reason they can force choke
  • Heroic abilities will make open world PvP more like the wild, wild west.

Next up was the Economy and Crew Skills discussion

  • Game economy doing well, despite the GTN. Analyzed Gross Domestic Product has surpassed Germany.
  • Biochem is not the most used skill. Archaelology and Scavenging are high, most popular crafting skill is Artifice, followed by Biochem, Underworld Trading is most used mission skill. Bio-analysis is the lowest used skill.
  • 80% of level 50 players have less than 400,000 credits. Less than 1% have 10 million credits.
  • Majority of credits spent are on ability training. Container purchases rising. Quest rewards are very lucrative.
  • Inflation rate currently at 12%. Spent vs. Sinks are relatively close.
  • Official population count 57% vs. 42% faction balance, Empire led. Empire players like PvP.
  • Character genders are 70% male, 30% female.
  • Sith Inquisitor is the most played class. Early in beta, Jedi Knight was the most played. Smuggler and Imperial Agent are lowest played classes.
  • Leveling curve is a near-perfect curve.
  • 84% of level 50 players have less than 1 million credits, repair costs are considered too high.
  • Not seeing a huge amount of chest looting in terms of credit exploiting and farming. Team of 30 people devoted to taking care of credit farmers. Takeaway is if you see a spammer, report them.
  • Crew Skills are well received, currently only BioChem is useful at endgame.
  • Game Update 1.2 will include crafting mods for ship droids, getting endgame mods from reverse engineering.
  • Every crew skill will get an endgame benefit. Players will be able to craft Augments through Crew Skills.
  • Speeder costs going up, training costs going down, overall cost will be less. Cybertech speeders will become BoE.
  • Shorter cooldown on Cybertech grenades. Artifice will receive new color crystals previously not available.
  • According to Bioware, the average crafter is richer, looks better, and plays better.
  • The cost to remove mods will not change if you are that crew skill
  • They are removing the Biochem requirement on Biochem items to facilitate trading
  • They are considering a kolto grenade for Cybertechs
  • They are considering making even longer crew skill missions to give players a reason to log in daily.
  • Specialty crew skill missions that you buy from the GTN will no longer be failable.

Next up was the Roleplayer discussion

  • Current state of roleplaying, simply the world needs more features.
  • Legacy features include social unlocks, alignment unlocks, and family tree.
  • Possible future customization includes chat bubbles, character re-customization, more orange gear viable in endgame. Wear what you want, whenever you want.
  • Improving spawning tech, will address the static feel of the world, more ambient creatures.
  • Future chairs will always be sit-able.
  • Animal mounts will be added in the future
  • Social gear for all armor types is being addressed
  • A male slave outfit is coming
  • New areas for RP will be introduced
  • There will be more ways to adjust what you see, such as remove seeing other player’s guild names.
  • You will be able to add allies, step children, adopted children, etc to your legacy
  • In the future you will be able to add other players to your legacy
  • More roleplayer emotes will include lined dialogue.
  • You will not be able to kill off your companions
  • A character biography page is not feasible now
  • A two person mount is way down the road.

Next up was the Guild Features discussion

  • Guilds are important and in-line with a road plan to the future.
  • The Guild UI functions, but could use more features. There is a team dedicated to expanding guild functionality, including Guild Banks that are coming in 1.2. Shared bank for guild members to use, up to seven tabs with escalating costs. Guild leaders have detailed control for guild banks, and backlogging for CSR follow-up.
  • Can set how much each rank can take out of bank. You can repair directly from your guild bank. Guild Banks have a ledger feature that shows how much each member is taking out.
  • Most guild features are coming after 1.2, including Guild calendar, using guild emblems on armor, and guild advertising to help recruit/join guilds.
  • Guild progression in the works, including guild capital ships. No timeline for these features.
  • Guild window scrolling and the ability to invite from the guild screen coming
  • Ability for guild members to be taxed will be added later
  • Equipment repairs will be taken from member allowances
  • Guild log showing invites, kicks, etc to be added later
  • They like the idea of something showing if a member is already grouped.

Next up was the User Interface presentation

  • Damion Schubert says only about half the changes being shown at the summit will make it into 1.2 update, but the UI team was very passionate about the changes and wanted them shown.
  • “Edit Mode” shows all UI components available that can be moved. Color coding indicates pieces that are always visible and pieces that are only visible sometimes.
  • Still only four quickslot bars available, for now.
  • The UI components are scalable.
  • Target of target confirmed to be in the 1.2 update.
  • Map axis can be flipped around.
  • Secondary windows can be moved around to anywhere on the screen. More than one window can be open at a time.
  • Can save UI configurations as XML files that can be shared between players.
  • Some Operation frame customization available as well, but have to be in an Operation to see it.
  • No click to cast for 1.2, maybe 1.3 or 1.4
  • No ETA for macros, mouse over healing not considered a macro
  • More viable and audible indicators of procs coming in the future
  • They want to get another ability bar in down the road
  • With 1.2 UI customization, companion bar is its own bar now
  • 1.2 will bring UI changes to the GTN, they were quoted as saying “It will be 80% less stupid”
  • No stealth bar planned
  • Color blind friendly UI mode in the works

And finally

  • Need more story.
  • New daily quests on Corellia in 1.2 update.
  • Color matching is back in and improved for 1.2 update. Will be toggleable for any piece of armor. New pieces of gear are set to “off” when first equipped. So when new loot is acquired, you see it’s “true” appearance first and then can choose to make it match.
  • Color matching won’t just turn everything the same color, but will make the overall theme look good together. It won’t turn you into a Power Ranger by making all your armor the same color.
  • Better graphical textures will be available with the 1.2 update. Can be made available now that they have a better idea of what kind of machines people are running. So people who can handle higher graphics will be able to turn them on see them.
  • Dual spec coming in the future. Two parts: First, is two skill sets. Not in 1.2 release. Second part will include full gear load-outs. So for part one you’ll have to manually swap gear.
  • New story is coming “this year” and will be the usual expected quality BioWare type story.
  • Nightmare mode will be tweaked to be a nightmare with the new Op
  • Story mode is for seeing the story, hard and nightmare for gearing up
  • Bounty hunters and Troopers do not get a battle rez…..yet
  • Mini games perhaps after they get more mainline stuff in
  • They hope that the legacy system will help with imbalance
  • Heroic abilities will be the most popular ones, i.e. ball kick for smugglers and orbital strike for operatives
  • Same gender romance will be coming this year
  • More daily hubs are coming
  • Possible epic armor and weapon quests in the future

That concluded the information part of the SWTOR Guild Summit.

In Closing

Shout Outs

Neither Chaelura nor Galvion had any projects going this week, but both said stay tuned in upcoming weeks.

We closed by listing all of the ways you can get ahold of us, which can be found here with the wish that you join us next week.


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