Star Wars: The Old Republic Patch 1.3: Allies Blog and Adaptive Gear Trailer

BioWare Austin has shared two newsworthy items for their forthcoming Game Update 1.3: Allies content patch today, including a lengthy blog entry penned by senior designer Austin Peckenpaugh and a new minute-long trailer highlighting the new adaptive gear. Now you can run, walk, kill, and dance, all while looking your most stylish:

Class and damage-related changes incoming:
I think it's important to first communicate that not all class changes are meant to address balance. In fact, I try and treat usability, quality of life, and balance all as equal parts of good class design. To that end, when class changes come to a server near you, it doesn't necessarily mean that your class was (too good) or (too bad) prior to the patch. In fact, it's just as likely that these changes are meant to address kinks or even pains in your day-to-day play, ability functionality, and rotations.

However, many changes are made with the express purpose of changing balance. This is an ongoing process, but that doesn't mean that we're locked in a never-ending tug-of-war between the classes. In actuality, many components of classes are balanced against (hard targets.)

For example, some components of class balance have a (give and take) quality that is directly related to what other classes can do. If we lowered the cooldown of a Guardian's Force Leap, the kiting and anti-kiting dynamic with ranged classes will have shifted. If, however, we increase the damage Vigilance and Focus Guardians deal, that moves them closer to or further away from our targets the same targets shared by all DPS specs.

These targets are rigid in that all specs must hit them, but these same targets are also flexible that once a spec is within range of them, there's some flexibility as to where that spec ultimately ends up. Is being 2% above target acceptable given how immobile you are? Is being 2% below target acceptable considering your off-healing and control capabilities? This is where our balance gets subjective and why, in spite of any mathematical accuracy, we're constantly reevaluating class balance. It's through this iterative process that we test our assumptions, using our own experiences and those of our players to identify the issues and, more importantly, identify non-invasive fixes.