Following a discounted TOR weekend, thanks to Star Wars Day, we were left without an update to the main section of SWTOR.com. Of course, while the latest new section remained quiet, the Community area provided the goods...
First up, the Friday Q&A was back with a new round of fan questions and official responses. See a sample below and then click here for the full rundown which, among other things, touches on social armor, customization-related schematics, class companions, and fleet dueling.
"DarthZaul: Other than the planned Hutt takeover of all GTNs (which will make them all neutral), do you have further plans to improve the economy? Below level 49 it is almost nonexistent. The crafting changes in 1.2 were supposed to improve it but instead they just gave people more incentive to RE everything they make instead of put it on the GTN. I had to make enough characters with different crew skills to create a self-sufficient Legacy economy, making all my own armor, mods, and stims/medpacks because there are none available to buy.
Damion Schubert (Principal Lead Systems Designer): It sounds like there is a legitimate hole in the economy that someone who has a whole bunch of crew skills could be taking advantage of (hint hint). In all seriousness, a key part of selling your wares in any MMO is understanding supply and demand. In most MMOs, the economy flattens out because all the crafters take the 500 pairs of boots that they craft and plop them on the auction house, which drives the supply wildly way above demand, which pushes the prices down to be below the cost of materials and makes it so that selling stuff isn't economically worthwhile - which kind of destroys the 'I'm a successful shop owner' vibe that aspiring crafters are hoping for. A huge part of the reverse-engineering feature is that it encourages players to remove these excess goods from the economy, which hopefully will bring supply and demand closer to what they actually should be, and should create more space in the GTN without lots of competition. That being said, we can always do better, and I'm sure this will be something we will tweak further in the future."
In a bit of house cleaning, SWTOR.com has announced that they are taking steps to avoid fraudulent payments...
"We want to clarify our policy regarding fraudulent payment activity as it is unfortunately common in online games and we do take action against it. One thing to be aware of is that criminal organizations use stolen credit cards to purchase digital game access codes and then re-sell them, often at a discount from the original retail price. For customers who are looking for a bargain on a game, these cheap game access codes can seem like a good deal and are in fact too good to be true; these are fraudulent transactions that we and our partners cannot support.
We understand that some customers are unaware they are purchasing 'stolen goods' when they buy these codes, usually from online retailers and auction sites. For that reason we have not taken action against customers using these codes in the past, as despite not gaining revenue from their purchase, we still value them as a customer. Over time however, the number of legitimate customers using these codes has dropped, and the number of gold farmers using them has risen to a level where we can no longer ignore these illegal sales.
As a result, we are changing our policies to limit the practice of using fraudulently obtained codes. From May 2nd, 2012 any account created using a fraudulently obtained game access code (ie, one that was bought using a stolen credit card) will be banned from the game service."
Click here for the full announcement and make sure you are purchasing your codes from official sources.
It's been a while, but Fan Fridays have now made their triumphant return to the official site of Star Wars: The Old Republic. The latest installment includes a new Community Art Spotlight, a Community Member Spotlight, and some new Forum Emoticons.