'The Ravaging 2015'

Three weeks ago, I vaguely described the Ravagers Exploit, and voiced my opinions on whether or not there should be repercussions (the answer was a "yes" but nothing very specific; mainly just waffling on and on as per usual). Yesterday, BioWare came out and formally announced what actions they would be taking against those who had undergone this activity.

I must admit that I am impressed with the rigorous actions which they promised to take, which ranged from a one-day ban to a possible permanent suspension depending on the severity of your own actions. Also included in the deal was the intention to remove all schematics and even gear in the worst cases, which does seem to imply that they were going about this as seriously as they could do. I also like the fact that they claimed full responsibility for this exploit.


A Touch of Class

3.0 brought in something which a lot of people have been clamouring for ever since before 2.0: actual unique missions for each individual class. For 2.0, the only time we got to see our classes engaging in wholly unique scenarios was aboard their spaceships when flying to Makeb, so these are the first wholly "new" missions pertaining to our classes since the game came out.

Admittedly, these missions are annoyingly limited - the larger story was still the exact same, barring the snippets in conversation where your character's title was read out - in that each mission was placed in the exact same time window and was only seemingly a means to re-accessing the Old Town area of Rishi to turn in the Dailies which you still had remaining before heading to Blood Hunt.

That said, they all had several factors which were interesting. I'm going to try to avoid spoilers here, but I will briefly touch on each and every single mission.


Hints at 3.2 and Beyond: A Good Feeling

In the most recent Cantina Event at PAX South, aspects of 3.2 and beyond were revealed and conveyed to the community, most of which sounded really rather promising.

In summary, these aspects include a brand new planet, two expansions "major game updates", a new playable race, a new Stronghold, and a new cosmetic system.


Ode to the Slots

Nearly everyone who's been in the game for the last two weeks will have heard by now of the blessing/curse (delete as applicable) that was the Contraband Slot Machine.

For those who don't know, this is a decoration which one can receive from the latest Cartel Pack, the Acolyte's Shadow. Unlike the other slot machine decorations - which notably did not drop from the Constable packs as intended and was added to the Binary Star vendor for 1 credit apiece - this one is fully interactive, making all the same bleeps and accompanying Jackpot fanfare as those during the Nar Shaddaa Nightlife. It wasn't just a flashy toy, though; it actually yielded results, which included Contraband Cartel reputation tokens - which you could otherwise only attain from the second shipment of packs - Cartel Certificates, and all three kinds of Jawa Scrap.


Yavin 4, Turn and Face the Ch-ch-cha-changes.

Yavin 4 has seen quite a decent chunk of changes since it was first released in 3.0, from reducing the lag - although this could be said about the game as a whole - to finally fixing the Revan fight. 3.0.2 brought in yet further changes, and they're really quite fun.


Of Certain Activities, Vague Descriptions, and Appropriate Responses

Foreword: Vague descriptions are a necessity in this post, so apologies if people take a disliking to them.

People will always take advantage of windows of opportunity. It's a fact of life.

In an MMO, a window of opportunity is often something which the Developers never wanted to happen, and such is the case with an ongoing activity which BioWare have come out and promised to tackle this coming Tuesday.

I'm not going to directly state what people are actually doing in-game (although doubtless people 'in the know' will mindlessly flock to quickly experience it this week one last time with BioWare's announcement in mind), but it was something that can be defined easily as 'game-breaking' due to it bypassing established systems in MMOs across the board.

Unfortunately for BioWare, this endeavour can easily be accomplished by anyone at level 60 under the correct circumstances, meaning that isolation is going to be nigh-impossible; any repercussions - and there should be some for this, in my opinion - would need to be blanket. I don't know how they can check on who did what how many times, so I don't know if a blanket 'minor' punishment is possible for the majority whilst a 'major' punishment can be reserved for those who were more frivolous.

Certainly any blanket punishment is going to draw unworthy criticism from those involved, but punishment was not meted out for similar endeavours over the last two years, and it's high-time BioWare confronted them as this particular one is easily the worst of the lot.

Considering that this particular endeavour has been in-game since 3.0 began - I don't know if it persisted through Closed Beta or not - people will have been doing this week-after-week in multiple cases; the question here is "What counts as 'major/minor' or 'abusing' in this light?", and my answer would be nothing more than drawing a blank. I'm sure BioWare have a system under their belt, though, and I look forward to seeing it implemented.

Another rant post, but I am really quite disgusted that this slipped into Live in the first place and that so many have debased themselves by undertaking the activity. I for one don't see the fun of it, but maybe I'm becoming too old-fashioned for stuff like this...