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New Combat Annoucement : Star Wars Galaxies Discussions

Posted: November 1st, 2004, 1:51 am

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know there are many of you that are eager to know what's going on with our plans to upgrade the combat system and here is the first glimpse at what we are planning, how we plan do it and how we will make you a part of this big change to the Star Wars Galaxies combat system.

Our High Level Goals

Star Wars Galaxies is making bold changes to its extensive in-game combat system. The goal of this all-encompassing set of changes is to make game play more strategic, more interactive and ultimately more engaging and fun for players of all levels. And with the completion of these changes, every player will have the freedom to re-allocate their character’s skill points as they wish to take advantage of the new, enhanced combat system.

What's Been Happening?

Since the end of Publish 9 we have been focusing on the in-game combat system, though the design groundwork was done months earlier. Not too long before the initial beta for Jump to Lightspeed began, we had a team meeting and talked about the ongoing development of the Star Wars Galaxies combat system, the community's expectations and the needs of the game to be more strategic, more fun and more interactive for our customers.

As a result of this team meeting, we realized that to meet both our goals and the expectations of the community, just "balancing" the existing combat system wasn't enough. We have expanded the scope of development, with combat balance becoming just one part of the overall project that we're now calling the Combat Upgrade.

The Combat Upgrade is our overall effort to improve our player combat experience, including:

* Combat Balance - tuning all our numbers and the combat professions.

* Core Combat Changes - HAM improvements, Incapacitation & Death changes, Armor and more.

* Combat Additions - more special moves, new counter moves, new armors, new weapons and new crafting options.

Now that Jump to Lightspeed has launched, the Combat Upgrade is our next major milestone in the advancement of the Star Wars Galaxies experience.

We have been working to complete the alpha version of Combat Upgrade since Publish 9. Initial alpha testing will start in a few weeks. We are inviting correspondents, former correspondents and five people each current correspondent has chosen to do this initial testing. We expect alpha testing to take several weeks. When we reach the point where the implementation is complete but some tuning and debugging is needed, we will begin beta testing. At this time, we will begin inviting community members in who have signed up for beta testing. The closed beta testing will probably not start until after the Holidays, dependent on how quickly the alpha testing period has progressed.

You can register for the Combat Upgrade closed beta test here.

The final phase of testing will be the open beta testing period we typically do before any major publish. We will put the Combat Upgrade publish on our Test Center so all customers have access to it prior to it being published to the Live service.

We are committed to ensuring that the Combat Upgrade is extremely high quality. This means the Combat Upgrade's publish pacing is not dictated by the calendar, but by how it evolves in the testing and tuning process.

Combat Upgrade is something no other major Live game has ever attempted, but we want to push Star Wars Galaxies to a new level.

While testing and deploying the Combat Upgrade we will also be instituting numerous small publishes of fixes and enhancements to the Live game. Once Combat Upgrade is done, we will immediately work on upgrading all the non-combat professions in another series of publishes. Once all the professions have been through the upgrade process we will focus on expanding and enhancing the Galactic Civil War. Our promise to our players is that Star Wars Galaxies will become an even more amazing experience each month, truly a place to "live the saga" that is Star Wars Galaxies.

Thank you for your continued patronage, and the feedback you give us on how we can improve your gaming experience.

Message Edited by Tiggs on 10-28-2004 10:04 PM

Kurt "Thunderheart" Stangl
Community Relations Manager

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