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Sereneth's Avatar

12.28.2011 , 05:35 PM | #1
Greetings my fellow TORers, I've been playing since early access and have slowly been leveling while taking care of many real-life events, but during my time playing I have noticed the brilliance of this game but also several areas where it could be vastly expanded not just to make it a more enjoyable player experience but also a game that has a longer life, too.

While none of these suggestions are desperately required, I feel as though they are merely a collection of nice none-essential but possibly game enhancing ideas.

And so, without further a due, here are my suggestions for improving TOR as a whole:

A Suggestions Forum

Sadly we do not appear to have a suggestions forum here on the site, which is a shame as thus far I've noticed Bioware are listening to player suggestions for in game features then contemplating introducing them, guild ships being an example, so my first suggestion is simple, a suggestion forum!

Improved Space Flight

Currently the space flight feels a bit rickety, which is fine because TOR has just launched and space isn't exactly a major part of the main story, at least not yet. However I would still like to give my suggestions on how space flight can be improved to make it a whole end-game experience of it's own, plus give more depth to flight.

When we get our ships for the first time we hear a rather wonderful tune, the sight of our ship and off we go into the galaxy, for the first time with independence, except we're not really. We actually end up floating in space with the only options of flight being "press a button to warp" or "do an on-rails minigame" which, given the fact they didn't have to include a great deal of space flight on launch is brilliant however it could do with more.

I suggest we stick with the same landing/taking off styles, the only way hangers can work is instanced however I also suggest once we are up floating happily in space we can go and sit in our wonderful captain's chair and instead of just warping, we instantly get the choice to free-fly around a zone in space about the size of the imperial fleet above the planet, want to land? Fly on down toward the world! Want to go somewhere else? That's simple too, use the hyperdrive as you would per normal.

So what's the point to this? Well besides immersion I feel it could open a huge variety of content, perhaps allow us to actually visit orbital stations for repairs after a dangerous mission or allow us to go out and investigate asteroids, perhaps even give us warp points to contested areas of space, essentially it just makes the space aspect feel less like a simplistic singleplayer RPG and more like a vast open-world MMO where you are literally allowed to fly your ship however and where ever you want, keep the on rails missions but perhaps only as mini-games.

Instantly with this addition we have a whole host of new end game content, perhaps include more ships to purchase, visible upgrades, gear you can get from taking part in world pvp in space.

Player Housing

Surely we have this already with our ships? In a way we do, but it's far too limited, while it's true we do all have our own nice little home in the stars, the problem is it lacks individuality and purpose, I feel like my Fury Class ship is "Sith Warrior #27891's Ship" instead of "My Ship."

The problem being, every other player of my class has a carbon clone of my ship, some may not see a problem with this and that's fine but we're all different, personally the major part of an RPG of any type is making it as much mine as I can and if I were able to purchase a wider variety of ships, perhaps move furniture around or even buy new furnishings and decor as well as change the style it's self then I'd definatly feel that it was mine. Imagine inviting your friends to your brand new ship that's twice the size of your last one, freshly furnished and decorated exactly how you want.

But why stop there? Guild Ships have been heavily hinted at already, something that started out as a suggestion that was too good to ignore, I'd imagine every crew member would want their own individual quarters, they'd want to decorate their ship based on their style, for example a guild mainly made for bounty hunters wouldn't be sitting inside an imperial starship, nor would they want their ship to look exactly like the next guild on.

This brings me to the idea of expanding end game even more, perhaps being able to trade certain currency in for furniture and decorations, maybe even equipment, I'd sure love to make my own conference room with the holoterminal in the center of the room, so if I wanted to decorate my on-purchase-bare guild ship then my and my guild could all start amassing this currency then cash it in to buy some new furniture, be it rare and expensive or cheap and common, hell even expansion rooms would be fun.

Another part I want to mention with this is physical housing, but instanced. Physical housing in an MMO is something I've rarely seen done properly, perhaps instead of cluttering a map with homes we could instead fly up into space with our shiny new ship, then return down but chose to land in a different area, an instanced area where you have a home or maybe even an instanced zone where you and your friends have homes, allowing you to build a small community, I've always loved the idea of a guild of sith arriving upon their lavished private palaces in purpose built cities, so why not allow us to? We could purchase different home types and even customize them to our hearts content following the above "grind to make your home better and more unique" style.

As for why? It gives people something to do beyond the normal "grind for gear", after all it's the same concept but with rewards that you can share with others be it just visually or in actuality, don't want to get furniture as a reward? You don't have to, let everyone do their own thing, be it decorating their character or their home/guild ship.

Neutral Rewards

This is something I've noticed has been heavily requested, dark side and light side characters get all the rewards they want, including things that only they can use, as such those in the middle are often left out, although being in the middle may be the only way they wish to play their character.

How could this system possibly work though? Surely you have to tip the scale at some point, well we do have measurements of Light Side and Dark Side points, plus the scale to show how far overall we are going, so Neutral Level 1 could require say 300 - 500 points in light and dark each, giving some leeway, so if I had 700 light points but only 500 dark side points I'd still be what ever grade of neutral I am, however if I fall to 400 dark side then obviously light side will take control.

Social Improvements

Perhaps not the most vital thing to the games survival but honestly it adds a lot, the reason I favor MMO's to other games is because it's a community, however currently the community is in a very odd grey spot.

While the instanced zones are being merged to allow us to share our experiences with other players, we still lack simple social interactions, pretty much all of the emotes in the chat list are basically pre-written /me commands with no animation or sound at all.

To make this worse speaking in public chat is clouded and muddled, it appears in the chat box and the chat box only, there's no chat header above us nor even an indication via animation that we've just said something aloud, which often makes communication with those around you as pointless as whispering in a parade.

More Variation Of Pets/Companions

When I first heard we'd have class based companions I instantly felt a sense of dread, I saw players running around with the exact same companions as everyone else trailing behind them, however Bioware really did something smart by giving us aesthetic choices, such as simply changing the colour of T7 to re-inventing an entire characters race and style, plus the ability to clothe them as we wish.

However, I still feel this could be built upon by allowing more drastic changes, nothing over the top such as changing species but rather changing the models, so Khem could become less gigantic or your marvelous battle droid could change it's appearance to be a sleeker style build.

This also tags along with the idea of more decently sized vanity pets, sure miniature pets are cute but I much rather prefer those that are at least the size of an astromech with much greater variety too.

Why? Once again: expand the playtime of the game by giving you more to get.

More Reason To Go To Cities

The fleet has nearly everything we require, hell it's crafting bench is only a taxi ride away and as such it's drained away the cities populace, perhaps it's time to move a few flashpoints into cities along with some specialty vendors.

Enhanced Crew Skills Quests

I LOVE the way TOR has handled professions, it allows me to keep playing the game without having to stop every five minutes to mine or fight with my friends over who gets which resource, it also allows me to get the resources I need while socializing with friends, allowing me to still make progress in the game while sitting back and relaxing.

However an interesting thought popped into my head... what if we could actually see the quests our companions go on and have an effect on them? Perhaps with the bonus of doing a crew skill mission yourself you can speed up the collection time from 12 minutes to 4 minutes and have a way to keep yourself entertained if you're waiting for parts to mod your weapons and/or armour before heading off to a Flashpoint.

Player Moderators

Always a sketchy territory, being a player moderator and such is true in any game, however they can prove extremely valuable if picked properly, although I highly doubt TOR needs any player moderators it would certainly help greater enforcement of server rules (If/When RP servers finally gain RP-Specific Rules) and even give customer service a break if a player moderator is able to assist a player nearby.

As I said, I doubt this will ever be neccisary let alone implemented, but it's still something to think about, especially if a refined enough system of choosing player moderators is put in place, it could greatly help cut the costs of customer service and allowing Bioware to put that money into more in-game content.

Final Thoughts

Well, there you have it, a bunch of ideas that have been buzzing about in my brain for the past few days, some I favor more than others but all of them I think have a fair chance to help increase the enjoyment and longevity of this wonderful game!

So, do you support my suggestions? If so which ones and why? If you have an opinion then please voice it, feedback is key! If you like the ideas here or the ideas of any of the posters then please share this thread in your signature or by showing it to friends, the more the merrier! Also please feel free to share your own ideas and suggestions, after all Bioware are listening to us, so let's tell them what we want.