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TOR: Item Mod Changes Explained


Guest Draconis
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Guest Draconis

In a very rare, in my experience unique for BW, forum post direct from a dev, we get an insight into what the item mod changes are meant to accomplish, and a little about how the system works atm.

 

Maybe it's time to see if we can't coordinate our crafting, if nothing else. in TOR. :)

 

From the post:

So, it turns out some of the patch notes regarding our modding system were probably poorly written (by me, I must add) and generated quite a lot of concern. I’ll try to explain the changes better and, while I'm at it, explain the logic for those changes.

 

To start with, we’ve introduced a new color and item type: the Custom items. Those are shown with an orange border and are fully moddable. This change is purely cosmetic. What we have done is take all fully moddable Prototype items (blue) and simply changed their icon color. This helps us create a better and more unique identity for fully moddable gear.

 

...

Custom gear is actually pretty common: it can be obtained through class quests around level 8, as social gear, as space quest rewards and as light side / dark side gear. It is also the typical gear found in Flashpoints and as rewards for Heroic missions. Several pieces can be acquired using planetary commendations.

 

The second change introduced in the latest build is the locking down of the base mods (Armoring, Barrel, Hilt) and color crystal mod on the Artifact items (purple). To explain this change, I need to also explain the history of the the modding system...

 

...

So, to summarize: in the old system, you could not take any piece of gear, fit it with the best mods and keep it all the way to the end levels: a lot of the green gear did not have all the slots, the mods that could be obtained were for the most part... not good, and you could not extract better one from existing gear.

 

...

So, the changes we made are:

 

- Item modding can now be done anywhere at anytime. No workbench required.

 

- Crafters can now reverse engineer mods and create blue and purple mods.

 

- A new Custom quality (orange) was introduced to legitimize moddable items as their own quality and type. This isn’t a big deal but does clarify things a little.

 

- Mods can now be extracted from a Custom item. This is the single most important change and has many, many consequences. However, we feel that being able to slot a mod and then extract it back truly opens up the system and makes it a lot more fun, easy and safe to experiment with. I’m not 100% happy about how the system interface and GUI works today (it is still a bit clunky) but at least it is functional.

 

- Rather than have a whole bunch of unique mod types, some mods are now common to all items. This greatly helps players who are 'going the mod route’ to stay relevant and competitive as they now have a much higher chance to find exactly the mods they need, level after level, be it from a crafter, at a planetary commendation vendor or by extracting it from another item.

 

- Partially moddable premium (green) items were removed as they essentially lied to the players: an item missing a mod slot would never be able to match a high end non-moddable item. Instead, to compensate for the loss of diversity, orange versions of all green armors was created and given to the crafters. So, yes, if you see a green armor you really like, you still can have that appearance until end level. It does take a bit of work - you either need to become a crafter yourself, befriend one or trawl the GTN.

 

(Note: recipes for those orange appearances are discovered through Underworld Trading missions.This allows us to have a truly large number of those recipes without overwhelming the crafting trainer inventory. As a side effect, this opens up class quest green armor appearances from other classes as well as long as you fulfill the armor requirements.)

 

- End game artifact quality (purple) gear is now partially moddable. Why moddable? Because that allows the players to customize stats such as critical, etc. to their exact desire. Why only partially? Because mods are now extractable... Think of it this way: it is easier to defeat the first boss from an Operation than the last boss. So we want to reward the players with the best possible loot for defeating the last boss and that loot is typically the Chest piece of a set. The first boss drops less interesting stuff, say boots. This may sound old school, and it is. But by doing so, we ensure that both players that get rewarded by looks and those rewarded by stats are properly rewarded for taking on the most difficult challenges.

 

...

Now, with those changes, we are closer to an actual implementation of our modding philosophy than ever before. Is it perfect? No, not yet. There are still some imbalances here and there (and I trust this community to let us know loud and clear if we miss any) but it is close and the remaining issues are on their way to be fixed. Of course, it would help to clarify what that philosophy is:

 

To put it simply, we want moddable items to offer an alternate and optional loot system that allows players to customize their look and their stats with more freedom and without penalty for doing so.

 

However there are many times where it will be easier for a player to just put on whatever stuff they just looted and not care about the way it looks. Keeping a specific outfit or weapon “up to date†or obtaining a specific look may require additional time and dedication, such as finding a crafter that can create that specific smuggler shirt or that rare color crystal.

 

...

Emmanuel Lusinchi

Associate Lead Designer

Star Wars - The Old Republic

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