Monday, 14 September 2015

On kneejerk reactions

When I first found out that BioWare was going to do away with the four character class main stat system in SW:ToR (in favour of one main combat stat across all classes) I was a little stunned.
That system has been a cornerstone of gameplay since the game launched. It's informed pretty much every decision and all aspects of play (except GSF) so deeply that it's hard to think about it not being a factor.

After my bewilderment lessened a bit, I moved on to anger. I was mad that BioWare was about to render months and months of work, grinding and very carefully selecting gear in order to cover all classes, obsolete. Not only had I built a Legacy PvE set for each class (one for each of the four stats), I'd also ground out the same for PvP (another four sets), and for all my toons' companions (another eight, across two possible roles for each stat-using companion) AND a wardrobe of levelling sets, at four-level increments for each of the four stats.

So all told, the four-stat system has influenced the building of about five dozen gear sets in my Legacy. That's a lot of work and expense to have rendered useless.

So yeah, I was mad.


I've since realised that with this shift BioWare has actually done me a favour. Take for example those PvE sets. Not a single one of them was completely at raid-level. Each of them had some raid drops in it, but the nature of group compositions meant that I'd as often as not, be taking a different toon into an instance than I had the last time. But now, since all of the sets will be just as effective no matter what character class I put it on, I can mix and match to make one set that uses the best of all of them. It's quite likely that this new uber-set will be either at, or very near, raid-level in all slots. Saving me having to grind out the rest of the Willpower set, for example.

The same thing goes for the PvP sets. Not all were tier 2 in all slots, much less fully min-maxed. But some of the pieces were. And soon I'll be able to consolidate those pieces into one set. That's awesome!

And while I can't consolidate the many sets of companion gear that I've collected, I can just vendor them now. Companions won't need stats of their own in this new system. So there's an easy couple hundred thousand credits just waiting to be had.

So yeah, all in all and on more relaxed reflection, I'm actually seeing the benefits coming out of this change. Very real benefits that more than make up for some imagined slight of having had months of grinding thrown out the window!

Postscript: Also, I've been enjoying a similar system in Wildstar which is moving to a two-stat system in its transition to F2P; all gear will have  'Assault' (damage) and 'Support' (healing and maybe some tanking benefit). So you only need to check if any gear drop has more of the role-appropriate stat than the item you currently have, rather than having to remember to grab Moxie, or Grit gear. It's much more fun this way.

If you want to check out Star Wars: The Old Republic, you can play for free by downloading the game from and earn some free swag if you decided to subscribe!

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