SWTOR Update 1.4 will address several issues with class gameplay usability and balance when it launches for the MMO. According to a new developer post from senior designer Austin Peckenpaugh, foremost among the changes will be an adjustment to crowd control and the Resolve system, and a “reevaluation of stealth spec gameplay.”
According to Peckenpaugh, changes in crowd control will provide abilities which will allow the player to “take control of a fight, turn the tables, and feel great for taking charge.”
“Prior to Game Update 1.4, it was simple to control a target from a great distance and do so instantly, often as a surprise opener or from an unseen location off-screen,” he wrote. “The way control abilities were designed encouraged this behavior, and the resulting gameplay could be frustrating.
“In Game Update 1.4, we’ve made adjustments to the range of control abilities under a new philosophy. We want control to be something more readable, more predictable, and less chaotic in effect.”
The following changes will be applied to crowd control:
- Electro Dart and Cryo Grenade now have a 10-meter range.
- Electrocute and Force Stun now have a 10-meter range.
- Whirlwind and Force Lift still have an activation time and still have a 30-meter range.
- Plasma Probe and Incendiary Grenade still require an effect and still have a 30-meter range. Mind Trap, Mind Maze, Sleep Dart, and Tranquilizer still require stealth and still have a 10-meter range.
- Dirty Kick and Debilitate still have a 4-meter range and still have the shortest stun cooldown in the game.
- Flash Bang and Flash Grenade still have a 30-meter range and are exceptions to this philosophy, as they provide essential gameplay for the Sniper and Gunslinger.
In addition, tweaks to Overload and Force Wave as well as Jet Boost and Concussion Charge will give Advanced Classes a better way to play as well as a stronger ability on a longer cooldown.
Changes to the Resolve system are also coming with Update 1.4, such such as an adjustment to the gain logic of Resolve, and once applied, “unorganized teams will no longer pay huge penalties for overlapping control effects at critical moments.”
“Holes” introduced to existing class gameplay will be addressed as well, with ability changes in PvP. Peckenpaugh listed various class changes for: Scoundrels, Operatives, Mercenaries,Commandos, Sorcerers and Sages.
Future game updates will “be similar in scope and purpose,” to address usability issues, improve “quality of life,” and make the most non-invasive changes to correct emerging balance issues.
Update 1.4 will also include the Terror From Beyond operation when it’s released.