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Developer Tracker

Star Wars: The Old Republic > English > Developer Tracker


EricMusco
Maintenance: June 27th, 2017 | 06.23.2017, 12:15 PM
Hey everyone!

We will be taking the servers offline on Tuesday, June 27th in order to perform back end updates. As there are no client-side changes, there won’t be a version number or download associated with this maintenance. SWTOR.com will also be down during this time.

Details:
DATE: 27 June 2017
TIME: 5:00AM - 8:00AM PDT (1200 - 1500 GMT)
VERSION: N/A

Thank you for your patience as we maintain Star Wars™: The Old Republic™!


CharlesBoyd
How does our feedback work | 06.23.2017, 10:10 AM
So as you can all see from reading this thread, opinions tend to vary, which makes assessing story feedback very difficult

Story is a personal and emotional experience by design, so feelings about it run high and can be polarizing. It is impossible to change an experience like that retroactively through arguments or debates, so I would urge everyone to be respectful, share your thoughts, and not make it about being "right" or "wrong".

As a point of clarification, when I mentioned that we condensed the story based on feedback, it was not that we felt the overall story of KOTFE/monthly chapters were received poorly at large (quite the opposite, really) it was that the pacing of the story was widely seen as too slow/drawn out. We took that feedback, assessed our plans, ultimately agreed, and made a change.

One last note about numbers: it's commonly asked how we balance feedback against data and metrics, so this is a great place to use as an example. Numerically speaking, KOTFE and KOTET were our most successful expansions by a very significant margin. We didn't change anything in the story based on numbers (the numbers would've said to keep doing exactly what we were doing), we changed them based on the passionate feedback we received from y'all.

So keep it up! But, y'know, be cool to each other in the process


CharlesBoyd
Idea: Players' Player Codex | 06.23.2017, 08:02 AM
I've definitely taken advantage of similar features in other MMOs, so I'm a fan for sure Suggestion noted!


KeithKanneg
Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ - Road Map 2017 | 06.23.2017, 07:02 AM
Quote: Originally Posted by Icykill_ View Post
Addons only open up the game to more hacks. No thank you !!!.
Agreed, plus the amount of coordination it would take with any 3rd party developers could be horrifying. And, if they coded it wrong, it breaks the game. I think we do well enough on our own there. But, definitely interested with improving the UI to make it easier for us healers...I mean for everyone.


KeithKanneg
Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ - Road Map 2017 | 06.23.2017, 06:54 AM
Quote: Originally Posted by LtGeneralGezlin View Post
Hey, Keith. Has there ever been talk about adding some of the retired or unavailable Cartel Card minipets to the Cartel Coin Card Concierge vendor on the fleet? I know of at least one that was only available if you bought the Origin bundle, but now that specific bundle is no longer available that would be great to own, or some of those country specific pets those of us in the US (Or the other way around) can't get. Some of us have an addiction to getting these pets, so... :P
Good question. I'll have someone look into it, but certain exclusive pets will unlikely be made available.


KeithKanneg
Suggestions for swtor and things to add | 06.22.2017, 07:57 PM
I'll ask Charles to review and get back to you.


KeithKanneg
New Packs: Personnel Packs and Ambiance Packs | 06.22.2017, 07:52 PM
Hey, thanks for pointing me to your thread. These are awesome suggestions. I'll send over to the Art and Cartel Market teams for review. No promises, of course, but ya never know!!!

Keith---


CharlesBoyd
How does our feedback work | 06.22.2017, 02:37 PM
Quote: Originally Posted by DarthSpuds View Post
Would it be possible for us to have a genuine example of that, even if it is from something a few years back.

So we can see a) what was planned, b) what feedback was received, c) how that feedback led to changes, d) what was actually released.
This is a great chance to talk about story, and how folks' feedback on story is integrated. Let's use KOTFE, the monthly chapters, and KOTET as the example.

A) The original plan was that we would have a trilogy of "Knights of" expansions focused on dealing with Valkorion and his Eternal Empire, with episodic chapters between them. The major story beats would occur in the expansions, while the episodic chapters would be just that: episodic, mostly stand-alone beats focused on returning companions and side stories.

B) The most common issues that we saw from the community feedback after KOTFE and the first few monthly chapters were:
  1. The story felt dragged out (monthly chapters in particular)
  2. At least partly due to #1, the companion-focused chapters were not as well-received as the KOTFE ones (although desire to get companions back remained high).
  3. Many players felt that there weren't enough choices in the storyline with big enough impacts/consequences, or that those impacts/consequences were delayed so far that they didn't feel meaningful or connected.
  4. Some folks simply didn't like the core premise. Introducing a new empire, expanding on Vitiate/Valkorion, players frozen in carbonite for five years, missing companions, etc.

C) Changes that were made as a result of that feedback:
  1. We compressed the story such that it would be completed in Knights of the Eternal Throne.
  2. Later monthly chapters were modified to focus more on the core storyline, and less on companion returns.
  3. The writers constructed the storyline of KOTET specifically to offer bigger choices that would pay off in visible and interesting ways.
  4. This was the core creative vision of the entire thing, so there wasn't much changed here - it wouldn't really be feasible. That's not to say that we ignored this feedback or don't take it seriously; it's just that any creative endeavor has some core concept at its heart that can't be changed without scrapping everything. This was the story direction that excited us as creators and fans, so it's the one we pursued even as we made the above changes along the way.

D) The end result: the overall storyline was cut down by more than a third so that it would play out more quickly, while simultaneously introducing more choices and consequences. Companion returns had to be put on the backburner to achieve these changes, and my original plan to do entire chapters for each of them just aren't feasible at this point, so we're currently working on plans to get them back as expediently as possible. (If I sound a little sad about that part in particular, I am, but I think it's perfectly reasonable that folks are out of patience on that one )

Overall, story is one of the most difficult areas to implement feedback, since we've usually constructed the next several beats by the time players see any of it and provide feedback. But hopefully this post helps to demonstrate that we still try very hard to implement feedback-driven changes into story regardless of the challenges.

Keep the great posts and thoughts - and especially feedback! - coming


EricMusco
Class Changes: Corruption Sorcerer / Seer Consular | 06.22.2017, 02:21 PM
Hey folks,

Below you will find the upcoming changes for Corruption and Seer Disciplines coming in 5.3.

Quote:
These changes will undoubtedly look and feel harsh to players who have been healing on their Sorcerers / Sages for a long time. The healing changes for Sorcerers / Sages pull the Corruption / Seer discipline down to the target HPS. We say the target HPS instead of their target HPS because all three healers have the same target HPS. In future balance patches, the other healers can expect to see changes to their healing capabilities as well to ensure they are in line with the target.

Note: All changes below are currently in development and are subject to change before being released.

Sorcerer
  • Reduced the amount of healing done by Dark Heal by 4.86%
  • Increased the base Force cost of Resurgence from 40 to 50 and the amount of healing done by its initial heal by 10.59%, but reduced the amount of healing done by its heal-over-time by 14.29%
  • Reduced the amount of damage absorbed by Static Barrier by 5.3%
Corruption
  • Increased the base Force cost of Dark Infusion from 45 to 50 and the amount of healing it does by 3.38%
  • Reduced the amount of healing done by Innervate by 8.74%
  • Reduced the amount of healing done by Revivification by 10%
  • Increased the base Force cost of Roaming Mend from 65 to 70 and reduced the amount of healing it does by 25.22%
  • Force Bending now reduces the activation time of Dark Infusion by 0.25 seconds (down from 0.5 seconds) and the Force cost of Revivification by 20% (down from 30%); all other Force Bending effects remain unchanged
  • Reduced the amount of healing done by Renewal by 14.29%
  • Secrets of the Dark Side no longer increases the healing done by Roaming Mend by 5%, but still reduces its Force cost
  • Reduced the healing done by Sustaining Darkness by 5.3%
  • Twisted Force now makes Innervate channel 10% faster (down from 20%)

Sage
  • Reduced the amount of healing done by Benevolence by 4.86%
  • Increased the base Force cost of Rejuvenate from 40 to 50 and the amount of healing done by its initial heal by 10.59%, but reduced the amount of healing done by its heal-over-time by 14.29%
  • Reduced the amount of damage absorbed by Force Armor by 5.3%
Seer
  • Increased the base Force cost of Deliverance from 45 to 50 and the amount of healing it does by 3.38%
  • Reduced the amount of healing done by Healing Trance by 8.74%
  • Reduced the amount of healing done by Salvation by 10%
  • Increased the base Force cost of Wandering Mend from 65 to 70 and reduced the amount of healing it does by 25.22%
  • Conveyance now reduces the activation time of Deliverance by 0.25 seconds (down from 0.5 seconds) and the Force cost of Salvation by 20% (down from 30%); all other Conveyance effects remain unchanged
  • Reduced the amount of healing done by Renewal by 14.29%
  • Erudite Mender no longer increases the healing done by Wandering Mend by 5%, but still reduces its Force cost
  • Reduced the healing done by Soothing Protection by 5.3%
  • Force Warden now makes Healing Trance channel 10% faster (down from 20%)

DevNotes: The slight Force cost increases for Resurgence / Rejuvenate and Dark Infusion / Deliverance and the reducing of the cost reduction for Revivification / Salvation provided by Force Bending / Conveyance were necessary to keep Force management from being completely trivial at low levels of Force. These cost increases allowed an anomaly for Dark Infusion / Deliverance and Resurgence / Rejuvenate in that they both saw at least partial increases to their healing output while all other healing abilities saw a decrease.

The changes to Roaming Mend / Wandering Mend remove it from normal single-target healing usage. It still remains a valuable heal when more than one target requires healing, or when combined with Force Bending / Conveyance in single-target healing situations where the target simply will not survive if forced to wait for a heal with an activation time.

The rest of the changes for Corruption Sorcerers / Seer Sages all have one singular goal: wrangling their HPS down to the healing target while maintaining the Corruption / Seer playstyle with which players have become familiar.


KeithKanneg
How does our feedback work | 06.22.2017, 07:22 AM
Quote: Originally Posted by QuinlanSaathis View Post
I didn't know that about the PM's and I took it on good faith that when CS told me to "PM a Dev on the forums" to escalate my issue that it was a legitimate means of communication.

This was and still is a very big deal to me, I do not have need for assistance often except to report spam mail in game and I felt strongly enough about this to actually call CS from outside the country and pay the charges.

Would you like me to resend that PM or is there some other way we can communicate, although I fear this substantial delay has ruined any chance I might have had for a resolution.
Hey, I found your PM and I read the original post about the issue, too. Yah, I get your frustration. I will discuss with customer service and follow up with you.


KeithKanneg
How does our feedback work | 06.22.2017, 12:34 AM
Quote: Originally Posted by QuinlanSaathis View Post
So you read and replied to the post directly under mine and once again ignore me completely.
Let me jog your memory since it seems so short.

And too add to this

I have no idea if you passed along my message or not but I can tell you it was NOT dealt with, I wasn't expecting the earth, just an answer, I had already resigned myself to getting the wrong one.

Now I care more about the fact I could NOT follow CS advice because you or yours would not engage than I did about the original issue, that is not to say I do not care about it because I do, the snub has annoyed me far more however.
It bothers me you feel I have singled you out and am purposely ignoring you. But, I suspect that will happen if our interaction causes either of us to feel insulted. So, I'll do my best to answer everyone's questions, but please understand I will miss some along the way.

Since I don't quite understand what you were objecting to, I'm going to presume you sent me a PM some time ago and that you didn't get a response. As I stated last week, I had no idea about PMs, and after reviewing a few of them, I realized it was going to take me weeks to read and potentially respond to all of them. After discussion with Musco, we decided, that's not possible and the best way to handle was to pass along the information. I have not gone through every PM, yet.


KeithKanneg
Server Merge Discussion Thread | 06.21.2017, 11:56 PM
Hey all,

Someone indicated we haven't posted in this thread since we kicked it off. As we stated in the opening post, we are not ready to discuss anything, yet, The purpose of the thread was to consolidate all the various posts about the topic so it's all contained in one place. All of your comments will absolutely have an impact on how and what we decide with respect to server populations.

Keith---


KeithKanneg
How does our feedback work | 06.21.2017, 11:28 PM
Quote: Originally Posted by Icykill_ View Post
Hi Keith,

I know it's late and I appreciate you posting outside of work hours. But no one has yet answered the questions I posed in my original post.

But if you guys are already on the path, do you ever stop and say, "wow, look, the overwhelming feedback says we are going in the wrong direction, should we turn around or just ignore it?".

Where along the journey is the point of no return. Is it before the bus starts moving, before the bus approaches the corner, before the cliff, as you drive go off the cliff or when you crash?

Do you ever swerve, turn or put the brakes on?

.....if all our feedback does is "nudge" the steering a little, you'll still drive off the cliff and there was really no point in us giving it.
Maybe not directly, but so it's clear:

"wow, look, the overwhelming feedback says we are going in the wrong direction, should we turn around or just ignore it?".
That's not easy to answer, as it really depends on the actual topic and the timing of it. Perhaps an example would help illustrate - Operation Boss fight - let's say it was a couple months from release and we placed it on PTS and the feedback said it wasn't fun, fight was too easy (or too hard), they didn't like the mechanics, or something similar. We absolutely review the feedback, reach out to the players, openly discuss what's up, what is causing them pain, and we make adjustments. Anyone who has participated in Tyth or the Aivela and Esne fights can probably back me up, but they are under NDA!

Where along the journey is the point of no return. Is it before the bus starts moving, before the bus approaches the corner, before the cliff, as you drive go off the cliff or when you crash?
Timing is everything, but sometimes it will depend on implementation and whether we can truly do an about face or simply have to go forward and plan/prepare for changes along the way. Galactic Command is a perfect example. It was so integral to everything with Knights of the Eternal Throne (KOTET), that we were not in a position to make the changes everyone requested. We had to go forward or delay KOTET an unknown number of months. That wasn't possible, and as a result, we have made GC changes with every patch since that time.

Even though it's not perfect, it is no longer the primary means of gearing up, but the changes we implemented allow every level 70 character to obtain BiS gear without doing Operations. I disagree with the notion we should rip it out now, but I do agree we can still improve upon it and will continue to do so.

Do you ever swerve, turn or put the brakes on?
That happens all the time, but you may never notice. I can tell you this though, and I know it's not fair because you don't know what was planned, but the end of the year changes are very different today than they were just a few weeks ago. We did that based on various internal discussions, feedback from sources Musco listed, determining what was a priority, and the impact to schedule based on what we could/wanted to deliver.

Does that help?

---Keith


KeithKanneg
How does our feedback work | 06.21.2017, 09:57 PM
Wellll...I was just going to sit back and read all the discourse, but both Eric and Charles committed me to posting tonight about feedback, so with it getting late here in Texas, I figured OK, stop reading and start typing.

Since Eric already explained where we get feedback and essentially how we use it, let me provide some perspective about what I look for and what's important to me.

• Specific ideas about gameplay improvements
• Ideas on how we can enhance existing game features
• Conversations about Gearing, Class Balance
• Details about likes and dislikes about an area or type of content
• How we can improve communication and provide better insight
• Kudos for the team when we do something right
• Constructive criticism when we don't do things right. Note I tend to read everything, while disregarding rants or dumping on the dev team as I don't find it helpful
• Virtually all of the comments in our discussion threads

You get the idea...truth be told, I don't have time to read everything, but I also get messages from a variety of people using social media, email, LinkedIn, forums, and PMs. With the exception of PMs I try to to personally respond back to every one of them in a timely matter (sometimes right away). PMs - honestly, I have so many I can't possibly answer them. What I've decided to do with those is simply read and pass them along to someone on my team to review and decide how to handle. You won't get direct response, but the details will be communicated to the team, and hopefully, you'll notice something you've suggested has been implemented.

I like how Xo-Lara put it about minor changes can get added in quickly, but major changes need to be worked into our pipeline. Yep, that's exactly right!

From all the messages I have received and reading many posts here on the forums, it's quite apparent the change in communication has been greatly appreciated. Internally, there's also an increased willingness to provide you with better insight about how and why we made a decision and to ask your opinions. Personally, I like seeing this happen and look forward to fostering even more communication.

So, what does any of that have to do with "How does our feedback work"? Everything. Specifically, I leverage all the feedback you provide, I personalize it by blending it into how I play the game, then I communicate it to the Dev Team, and I follow up to see how best to respond, determine the priority of the request, add it to the backlog, or adjust the schedule to incorporate the change into the game. But, we all know talk is cheap and until there's action behind our words, skepticism remains. I'm OK with that!

--Keith-


CharlesBoyd
How does our feedback work | 06.21.2017, 04:58 PM
Hey everyone!

Thanks for all the great feedback and thoughts in this thread! I believe Keith is working on his post to put up later this evening, after which I'll see how much thunder he's stolen before I make my own

If he and Eric have got the "how" of feedback pretty well covered, I may just dive into some of the more specific questions I'm seeing here in the thread. Sound good?


EricMusco
How does our feedback work | 06.21.2017, 02:47 PM
Quote: Originally Posted by Xo-Lara View Post
Great. Now can we get some guidelines on how to make our feedback more helpful/understandable to the team?
Great question! The most important thing you can ever put in feedback is why. Saying that you do or don't like something is helpful, telling us why is invaluable. This way when I am passing feedback on to the team I can highlight not only just sentiment (positive or negative) but also give supporting context for that feeling.

-eric


EricMusco
Class Changes: Pyrotech Powertech / Plasmatech Vanguard | 06.21.2017, 02:06 PM
Hey folks,

Here are the changes that are planned for Game Update 5.3 for Pyrotech and Plasmatech:

Quote:
Note: All changes below are currently in development and are subject to change before being released.

Powertech
Pyrotech
  • Increased the Searing Wave damage bonus given by Superheated Flamethrower from 20% to 50%
  • Reduced the burn damage of Incendiary Missile by 10%
  • In addition to its previous effects, Rain of Fire now increases the damage dealt by Incendiary Missile by 10%
  • Increased the critical damage bonus given by Firebug from 10% to 15%

Vanguard
Plasmatech
  • Increased the Ion Squall damage bonus given by Pulse Generator from 20% to 50%
  • Reduced the burn damage of Incendiary Round by 10%
  • In addition to its previous effects, Rain of Fire now increases the damage dealt by Incendiary Round by 10%
  • Increased the critical damage bonus given by Plasmatic Assault from 10% to 15%

DevNotes: The changes to Pyrotech / Plasmatech are aimed at bringing the discipline up to its intended target DPS. With the change to Superheated Flamethrower / Pulse Generator, we wanted to make Searing Wave / Ion Squall more than just an ability used to buff the next Immolate / Plasma Flare. It can now pack quite a punch of its own.

We reduced the damage dealt by Incendiary Missile / Incendiary Round as part of our changes to bring the Innovative Ordnance Mercenary / Assault Specialist Commando down to its target DPS, but the Pyrotech Powertech / Plasmatech Vanguard did not need this change, so we offset it with the change to Rain of Fire.

Finally, we wanted to give the all-too-predictable Pyrotech / Plasmatech a little more variability with their damage, so we increased the critical damage bonus slightly for some of their abilities with the change to Firebug / Plasmatic Assault. On the whole, Pyrotechs / Plasmatechs should see a significant DPS increase and parse in the realm of the new Hatred Assassins / Serenity Shadows.


EricMusco
How does our feedback work | 06.21.2017, 01:16 PM
Hey folks,

As mentioned above, Keith, Charles, and I will make posts in this thread about how we manage/use player feedback in our roles. This is a pretty extensive topic so these posts may be a bit long! I’ll kick this party off.

Let’s start by talking about my role as Community Manager. Understanding and using player feedback is a critical part of my job. I participate in a fair amount of business, design, and leadership meetings and my role is to act as a litmus test for the players. Will players like the changes, not like the changes, where will the challenges be, how do we message it, will it impact all players or only a subset, and more. I help ensure the decision makers (such as Keith and Charles) understand the impact their decisions will have on the playerbase.

With that as a backdrop, let me talk about where and how we gather feedback. One of the main reasons we gather feedback from so many sources is to ensure we are covering as many types of players as possible. Players come from all walks of life and playstyles and so it is extremely important we understand and consider everyone in our discussions. An example would be these very forums. Those of you who post here represent a small percentage of the overall player-base, are all subscribers, and lean towards a handful of specific, highly engaged playstyles. If we only looked at the forums, it would cover a narrow band of feedback. This in no way diminishes the immense value we garner from your participation here, so please don’t take that as a slight. Now let’s talk about some of the various places we get feedback!

The Official Forums and SWTOR Subreddit
I will put the two of these together since they are treated fairly similar. We all read them every day, multiple times a day. It is extremely common that we will link threads to each other in email or internal chats. We will use these threads as conversation points in meetings and I will include them in various reports that I send up to the team. Bug reports come from both of those sources which is incredibly valuable to us. Lastly, I use both the forums and Reddit to have private conversations with folks about various issues including harassment, exploit reports, etc.

Social Media
Most of the feedback we receive here comes from Twitter, and it tends to be a bit more broad in the information we are getting. That is, we don’t commonly receive “this specific thing has an issue,” and instead will receive “I think this new XXX is really good/bad because of YYY.” Twitter is also a great resource for service level feedback, such as when we have server/web issues. Social media is also a great source of sharing user-generated content and things from our Influencers and various content creators!

Influencers
As many of you know, we have a collection of content creators who are part of our Influencer Program. We gather feedback from them through multiple means. First, we watch/read/listen to their content. Whether it is a blog, livestream, or podcast we try to catch as much of their great content as we can. Second, I am in fairly constant communication with them through multiple means: email, forums, skype, twitter, etc. Lastly, the Influencer group is under NDA with us and so that provides some other unique opportunities to work with them and gather feedback!

Focus Groups
We host focus groups for a range of topics and we do it at all stages of development. As early as when things are in the “idea phase” all the way up to playable. Focus groups allow us to get feedback in a controlled manner and more importantly, allow us to ensure we are getting feedback from a very diverse set of players. From the most hardcore to the most casual, we are able to capture all playstyles.

There are many more places where feedback comes from such as PTS, data analytics, etc. I hope the above examples outline that we gather feedback from multiple places to get a full picture of player opinion. Again, I wanted to really focus in on my role and how feedback is used, which is to help inform me on player opinion and reactions. I will let Keith and Charles talk more about what impact it has on development.

-eric


EricMusco
Class changes: Nerf vs. Buff | 06.20.2017, 02:13 PM
Hey folks,

Any time that nerfs happen during Class balance, there is a common question we receive “Instead of nerfing <insert Class>, why not buff all of the other Classes up to their performance?” This is a really good question and we want to try to explain to you why we handle balance this way. For starters, if you haven’t read our detailed breakdown of how we balance Classes, please start there. From that thread, the main point you need to understand is that we balance Classes/Disciplines based on specific DPS, HPS, and DTPS targets.

Now, those balance targets not only dictate Class/Discipline balance, but they dictate balance across all combat in the entire game. Every Mission, Operation boss, piece of gear, and more is all factored around those balance targets. Let’s say that our hypothetical target for Ranged Burst is 1000 DPS and that Arsenal Mercs are currently performing at 1,200 DPS. This means that they are killing everything in the game 20% faster than we intended them to. Again, that’s every boss and every Mission. The inverse is true of Classes that have lower than desired DPS.

If we took every Class and moved it so that it was equal to the highest performing one, now everyone would be way stronger than we intended based on our balance targets. PvE content in general would become too easy, the “time to kill” in PvP would go down quite a bit making for less counter-play. The only way we would be able to “move everyone up to the best Class” is if we simultaneously rebalanced the entire game to be equal to that new target. That kind of thing typically only happens when we increase the level cap, as it is a massive undertaking.

TLDR – The entire game’s combat revolves around balance targets. To keep things in-line we have to move Classes up or down to be around that target or it throws things off greatly from their intended balance.

-eric


KeithKanneg
How does our feedback work | 06.20.2017, 12:27 PM
Quote: Originally Posted by Kyuuu View Post
Are yous gona acknowlage that 246 crafter relics have the same click/proc stats as 240 crafted it should have the same click/proc stats as the 246 command crate relics. cause all previous crafted relices mirrored there command crates counter part click/proc stats.

I reported this multiple times I know other have reported this too. ALL 246 relics are bugged and waste of mats cause of this !
I saw your message the other day, but needed to follow up with the design team. Definitely a bug as the crafted relics are using the wrong stats. I confirmed we'll fix them in Patch 5.3. Also note you will not need to remake your relics, so hang on to them and we'll apply the proper stats.

---Keith
Star Wars: The Old Republic > English > Developer Tracker