April 7th, 2006
- For this publish (Publish 29) we’re going to develop the framework for the expertise system. The portion being developed for this publish will not be visible to players when the publish goes live. This initiative is strictly to build the supporting framework for the Expertise system.
- With this system, players will gain new stats and abilities based on how they spend their Expertise points, which are earned as they progress in level. The first professions to have their Expertise trees deployed will be Bounty Hunter and Jedi. This will happen in Publish 30. We're targeting 2 professions every publish after that. 
April 14th, 2006
Once again, R5 is traveling and unable to personally deliver his Comlink. As such, I'll once more transmit for R5 this week. As you may have heard, we are soon introducing a new character advancement mechanic into the game we are calling the "Expertise System". In a nutshell the Expertise System will allow players the ability to differentiate their characters from others of the same class by allowing specialization in certain aspects related to that class.
As a character gains levels, they will earn Expertise Points that may be spent in a number of different trees. Each class will have access to at least three different trees. Some examples of these are a Class Specific tree, a Weapon Specialization tree and a Galactic Warfare tree.
Each tree is comprised of a number of different boxes that when purchased will allow access to brand new skills and abilities or modifiers that dramatically improve existing skills and abilities. Through the Expertise System players within the same class can be quite different from one another.
Advancement within a tree is based on tier. You must spend a number of points per tier in order to purchase boxes in the next and so on. Some higher tier boxes may have one or more prerequisites that must be purchased first. The current plan is to structure trees such that you can afford to purchase every box in a single tree and perhaps have a little left over to dabble a little in another tree. You don't need to do this however and will have the ability to go up a few lines in all of the trees if you'd like.
For example, you might decide to only pursue expertise that increases your damage output to make character specialize in "DPS" (Damage Per Second). There are a number of ways you might do that. You might choose to make a character that specializes in large bursts of offense over a short period of time or a character that does more damage over the long haul. Or maybe you only focus on one special attack and enhance it to the point that its use is almost innate to your character.
Alternatively, you might choose to make a character that is extremely defensive and has access to abilities such as special shields that absorb damage, enhanced healing abilities, increased damage mitigation and the ability to dodge attacks altogether. You could also build your character solely around combat against other players and gain powerful PvP only abilities that give you and your allies a distinct edge over your opponents on the battlefield. Of course, you can always make a character that is a generalist, picking and choosing abilities from a number of different trees.
The Expertise System will bring plenty of variety to the classes in SWG. It will give individuals a new path of advancement to explore, the ability to customize their characters as they choose and allow you greater control of your own destiny!
-Lead Designer, SWG
"I find your lack of faith...disturbing." 
April 21st, 2006
- Expertise System Back-End – By the end of Publish 29 we will have the technology in place for our new expertise system. In upcoming publishes we will start adding this system to each of the professions.
- Jedi Profession Enhancements – This will integrate the new expertise system into the Jedi profession.
- Bounty Hunter Profession Enhancements – This will integrate the new expertise system into the Bounty Hunter profession.
- Smuggler Profession Enhancements – This will integrate the new expertise system into the Smuggler profession.
- Officer Profession Enhancements – This will integrate the new expertise system into the Officer profession.
- Trader Profession Enhancements – This will integrate the new expertise system into the Trader profession.
- Commando Profession Enhancements – This will integrate the new expertise system into the Commando profession.
- Medic Profession Enhancements – This will integrate the new expertise system into the Medic profession.
- Entertainer Profession Enhancements – This will integrate the new expertise system into the Entertainer profession.
- Spy Profession Enhancements – This will integrate the new expertise system into the Spy profession. 
Non-Combat As Second Skill Set?
What follows is an excerpt from the opening post of Star Wars Galaxies >> Galactic Insider >> Game Play Discussion >> Discussion:Non-Combat As Second Skill Set? Part 2 by Lead Designer Helios Titan in the official forums on 15 April 2006. That link is now defunct, so a transcript of the full post can be found in swg.gamona.de's Discussion: Non-Combat As Second Skill Set? Part 2. topic.
This is Part 2 of the discussion about how non-combat skills could be earned in SWG. Please read & fully consider every point made before responding.
Things We Know
- Trader & Entertainer profession revamps are happening with all the other profession enhancements. Both play styles will have new content added for them. For crafting, this specifically means that the crafting game will be brought into harmony with the looting game. There is a large percentage of players who would rather loot things, & there is a large percentage of people who would rather craft things. Both play styles will be supported. The 2, however, are currently competing against one another. To bring the 2 systems into congruence, there will likely be some interaction between crafting & combat (looting). This interaction could either happen on 1 character, or between 2 characters (since everyone can have 2 characters, however, I expect some of this interaction to still be on 1 account - i.e 1e player). More on this below in the “hypothetical” section of this post.
- An expertise system is coming. This system will allow you specialize your character in various ways. Essentially, you will have the opportunity to choose from at least 3 “buckets” or “trees” of new skills/mods/abilities, etc. You’ll be able to pick up about 1 full bucket of skills or so with the amount of points you’ll earn through leveling to max level.
- All profession enhancements, including non-combat ones, are getting their enhancements through the expertise system. This means the “revamp” skills & gameplay will be in expertise trees, just like they are for every other profession. See the “hypothetical scenarios” section of this post for conjecture on who might have these expertise trees.
- Non-combat professions are special case components of SWG. This is true not only of their playstyle but also how they are handled “under the hood.” This makes it very difficult to add new content for these play styles because none of our standard tools or processes can be used. They are unmaintainable in their current state. This point will have to be considered when executing the revamps for these professions. This by no means explicitly dictates that combat will need to be a part of these professions, but we do want to be able to add new content & mechanics to these styles in the same manner as everything else.
At 20:58, 25 April 2006 (PDT) this discussion was 65 pages long ZenLhaso