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A Message from the Community Manager

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
A Message from the Community Manager
First BioWare Post First BioWare Post

Styxx's Avatar


Styxx
08.13.2012 , 08:19 AM | #211
I will add the definition of content. Like, specifics, rather than a too broad of a term - Operation, Warzone, Flashpoint, new race, new planet, new story, Cash Shop content (which should be fluff, if I am to believe them), instead of "Content".

And "Soon" would really need to be replaced with a fixed date, an interval, or a fixed unit - previously 4 weeks, now 6 weeks.

Because, when you say "Soon" in April and you still didn`t give ANYTHING in August... that`s not soon.. that`s insulting our intelligence.
Quote: Originally Posted by John Riccitiello View Post
When you are six hours into playing Battlefield and you run out of ammo in your clip, and we ask you for a dollar to reload, you're really not very price sensitive at that point in time...We're not gouging, but we're charging.

Kioma's Avatar


Kioma
08.13.2012 , 08:32 AM | #212
Quote: Originally Posted by Styxx View Post
And "Soon" would really need to be replaced with a fixed date, an interval, or a fixed unit - previously 4 weeks, now 6 weeks.
I particularly like this suggestion.
::Please Stand By, Signature Assessment Probe Commencing Analysis::

Darknessinme's Avatar


Darknessinme
08.13.2012 , 09:44 AM | #213
SWTOR may be the best MMO game I personally have played. I love Role Play and the community on my RP Server is amazing. It totally makes the game fun for me. I like the F2P, think it is a good thing for the game. I only have two things to ask and any response would be appreciated from those in the know.

1. When will they introduce paid transfers to desired servers? I have some characters I would love transfer from the server they are on to the RP-Server I currently play on.

2. Paid character alterations to character after creation.......skin color, body type, gender, hair styles, etc.? In my opinion, this would help keep the game fresh for those of us that do RP.

Thanks!

Kioma's Avatar


Kioma
08.13.2012 , 09:46 AM | #214
Quote: Originally Posted by Darknessinme View Post
SWTOR may be the best MMO game I personally have played. I love Role Play and the community on my RP Server is amazing. It totally makes the game fun for me. I like the F2P, think it is a good thing for the game. I only have two things to ask and any response would be appreciated from those in the know.

1. When will they introduce paid transfers to desired servers? I have some characters I would love transfer from the server they are on to the RP-Server I currently play on.

2. Paid character alterations to character after creation.......skin color, body type, gender, hair styles, etc.? In my opinion, this would help keep the game fresh for those of us that do RP.

Thanks!
Totally agree on both points.
::Please Stand By, Signature Assessment Probe Commencing Analysis::

HiKTB's Avatar


HiKTB
08.13.2012 , 02:53 PM | #215
Hey Joveth, how's the upcoming new armor going to look? As a Bounty Hunter, I am extremely disappointed with all of the endgame armor. I want to play The Old Republic. Seems like the majority of the endgame armor design jobs were outsourced to India with the only direction being "Make it look like WoW".

Jedi Guardian plate metal samurai armor? Seriously?

Calcifur's Avatar


Calcifur
08.13.2012 , 03:59 PM | #216
Quote: Originally Posted by HiKTB View Post
Hey Joveth, how's the upcoming new armor going to look? As a Bounty Hunter, I am extremely disappointed with all of the endgame armor. I want to play The Old Republic. Seems like the majority of the endgame armor design jobs were outsourced to India with the only direction being "Make it look like WoW".

Jedi Guardian plate metal samurai armor? Seriously?

When I started to read your post I thought to myself "did he even look at the JG gear??" Then I read your last sentence LOL The gear looks awful. I know they have a huge wall of concept art for the armor. (Morgan Webbs interview) They need to have the community vote on looks maybe.

JovethGonzalez's Avatar


JovethGonzalez
08.13.2012 , 04:15 PM | #217 This is the last staff post in this thread.  
Quote: Originally Posted by Dansu View Post
Hey Joveth thanks for answering some questions today.

Here are two specific issues that I think are examples that have been a let down despite official responses given from BW:

1. Initially noted Jan 7, http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=144521
Community post on May 9.
http://www.swtor.com/community/showt...=144521&page=5
This is a known issue

2. Ready Check. Mentioned at guild summit 5 months ago.
http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=516154
Still nothing.
For #1: Thanks for this, I've pinged some folks to see what's going on there and will update as soon as I hear back.

#2: Here is thelatest from Matt Boudreaux, one of our gameplay programmers.


Quote: Originally Posted by Moriganno View Post
Enough promises. Pls deliver
OK! We started on Friday by posting the beginning of more consistent developer responses (via Allison Berryman). Let us know what you think.

Quote: Originally Posted by Costello View Post
When?

So far after a 4 month draught of information we are told there will be better communication.

Then rather than better communication or useful information we are told the Q&A will be better and there will be better information. When will there be better information, cause while its nice to see more yellow text if all it says is yeah there will be more yellow text its not really new information.
You should start seeing improvements as of Friday.
Quote: Originally Posted by Glower View Post
Communition? Very hard to believe... You have once promised this and then dissapear for a couple months.

Someone bite you in Bioware offices?
No biting! We just had a bit of a walkabout as we found our grounding again. During this time, we spent time thinking about community strategy as things settled here.

Quote: Originally Posted by Nothematic View Post
Hey, good to know a community team does exist.

I was wondering, for each bug on the known bug list could we get like a stats next to it? Eg, being investigated, cause identified, fix in next patch? I think this would stop many people asking about testament bug over and over again and t would also make it a lot easier to get information.

Thanks Joveth!
The Known Issues are meant to be high visibility issues that affect a large number of players. You can assume that all of the Known Issues are being worked on if they've made it onto the list. I'm not saying that yours is a bad idea, it'd just be a bit redundant since all of them would be "currently being worked on".

Quote: Originally Posted by Elfindreams View Post
A couple of points.

1. The Known Issues thread has been a joke. It is seldom updated and when it is bugs that have been known for some time by many people and reported frequently that happen to a large number of people are frequently omitted. In addition we have seen bugs disappear from that list that aren't fixed with no explanation. Plus it has no status... no "We can't seem to reproduce this, can someone give us more information?" or "We have identified what the problem is but it is a tricky one and we are working on fixing it."

2. I am going to hope against all hope you are being imprecise when you state that a "document" is managed internally. If you have (like most of the software development houses out there) a bug tracking system, it should be relatively uncomplicated prospect to generate a weekly report from that of open bugs, descriptions and their current status (minus things like dev name/etc) and post it. The only trick is someone has to be vigilant about making sure the description is something that is actually descriptive and safe for public consumption.

If you do not use a bug tracking system... I worry. The reason such systems exist and are so widely adopted across the software development industry is that without them bugs get lost/forgotten and fall through the cracks. Since what we the users have been observing is bugs being lost/forgotten and falling through the cracks (often from as far back as beta), perhaps you should rethink your internal processes and bring them in line with modern programming practices. They also have the added benefit of taking less time to maintain and use than manually maintaining a bugs list and can often be used to create/populate patch notes (do a report on all bugs fixed in a given release and their descriptions and boom, patch notes.)

There are many free and easy to maintain bug tracking systems out there if you don't have one, there are also many commercial issue/bug tracking systems if you want to spend the money and have corporate support behind the product. Either way something is better than nothing.

3. The generic form people get saying "Thanks for the bug report, but don't expect to hear back from us..." is frankly inappropriate customer support. In every software house I have worked over the years, cases are attached to bugs and once a bug is fixed the customers who logged the bug get notified (sometimes even automatically) that their bug is fixed in a given release. What you do is frankly dismissive and rude, it makes it seem like our concerns are not important and that your customer service people have more important problems to deal with than deal with customers. Combine that with a tendancy for some of your customer service people to be dismissive makes for a very hostile customer service experience frequently.

For a concrete example of what I mean by support being dismissive, recently I logged a case that I just finished a random operation (again) and didn't get black hole comms. They replied with something to the effect of "make sure you are using the system right and if not log a case with these many pieces of information that you don't likely have access to anymore and in the mean time I am closing this case.

On the one hand they should have all the information they need in that case to look at it: the character I logged it from, the time I logged the case and the logs should be sufficient to search on. On the other how difficult is it to update a case with "can you reply with the following information" and /leave the case open/ since the issue is obviously not resolved yet instead of just dismissing the person as not worth the support person's time.

Hopefully the above is constructive and specific enough to make my feelings known. To be clear, I love the game and it has been relatively bug free compared to other MMO's first years but the lack of appropriate communication both on bugs and support issues make it feel to people like the game has no attention paid to it and makes people feel like there are more problems with it than there might actually be.
1. Everything in the Known Issues list that is removed should have a corresponding patch note when it is fixed. Occasionally, we have missed a few when the patches went live, but we've historically added the patch note when this is discovered. We're working on improving this with every deployment.

2. I should have been a bit more clear here. There is an internal document (used by us on the Community team) that is used in ADDITION to company bug tracking software. Our entire bug tracking system is not an excel spreadsheet (trust me).

3. Thank you very much for this. Yes, this is constructive and thorough. I will make sure that this is investigated and looked into.


Quote: Originally Posted by aristein View Post
I am going to be blunt. You sound like a politician. You use a lot of words to say very little and commit to nothing specific that you can be held to. Communication is good, hot air is not.
Sorry you feel that way. I'm hoping our actions will speak louder than words and win you over eventually.

Quote: Originally Posted by JattaGin View Post
I read ALL 19 pages of this thread now in a row and was especially focussing on Mr. Gonzales' responses and how they relate to his promises at the beginning of the thread.

It is disheartening to see that he only gave one real answer in all his replies: Daniel and this other guy are still working for Bioware.

Everything else we got was the usual banter: We will try. We will do. We hope. Soon.

I am sorry to say it, but as of now, Mr. Gonzales has proven all our concerns as being right. As someone already said: hot air like from a politician. Every further word of him will make things just worse. Maybe this is why he seems to have abandoned this thread already.

As someone else also wrote (actually several): Mr. Gonzales' next repsonse better have some REAL INFORMATION in it. To me, this is a very urgent matter. I need to know if they are actually doing something at Bioware and/or if they at least know what they are doing. I really don't know if they do. And seriously, if you fail to believe that such a company has a clue, this is a bad sign. We are are not talking about a little local company with 2 employees who lost track of their stuff.

I am on high alert. Something is going very wrong. And yes, I am sure that Mr. Gonzales is capable of doing his job properly. This leads to only one conclusion: He is NOT ALLOWED to give out any real information. There is no reason why he should not WANT to, at the end, he chose this job (I guess), so he must have an interest in it. Thinking that he is only giving us hollow banter, because he has to... this is the actual scary thing.

These 19 pages totally disillusioned me (even further). I will still play the game though, because I still enjoy it. But really... something has to be done. Quickly.
That's two politician mentions back to back. Look, we're trying something different and the changes will be gradual (starting with more frequent dev reponses) in the upcoming weeks. I hope that you give us a chance to prove ourselves. Rest assured, I aim to deliver.

Quote: Originally Posted by Kioma View Post
I'm seeing a whole heap of cynicism (and worse) here. I posted this in another thread but I'm going to go ahead and repost it here because I firmly believe it's true:
__
I understand where the cynicism is coming from. I get the reasons behind it, I comprehend people's ongoing frustration and I can see how Mr Gonzales's words - very obviously, to my mind, illustrating that he's in a very awkward position caught between developers who won't tell him much of anything and a player base that's sick of not hearing more - might not inspire much confidence in some.

But do I think the cynicism, derision, ridicule and outright hostility levelled at the Community Manager actually helps? Most certainly, I do not believe it helps in the slightest.

Considering his position Mr Gonzales is, in my opinion, a damn brave man. He's contacted the community knowing he's going to cop it in the face for matters that he has limited control over and he hasn't flinched. There was no way that announcement wouldn't raise ire and yet he's in there talking, trying to reason, giving us what he can even though he knows the majority of people won't be satisfied with it.

Cut him - and all the community team - some damn slack. It's not their fault the developers are giving them breadcrumbs at best. Having us howling for blood sure isn't going to help anyone's case.
___
I'll also add:

For my own part I'm very encouraged by the renewal of communication. It's true that the community has heard a great deal of Soon(tm) and is quite tired of it, but if this is a reboot of communication then it's very early days.

The best thing we can do is not jump down anyone's throat, to wait and to give Mr Gonzales a solid chance at getting us what info he has - while at the same time remembering that if he can't that's not necessarily his fault, and yelling at him isn't going to change the situation.
Not too much slack, to be sure. In order to have any sort of dialogue, there needs to be two sides to anything. Yes, there has been a lot of skepticism here, but there have also been signs of trust. I welcome constructive dialogue, as it only helps to push us forward. If I wasn't consistently challenged, then there would be little motivation to do better. Thank you all for your feedback, and for your words. They mean a lot.

Quote: Originally Posted by dynamofan View Post
Joveth,

I have two questions regarding your post.

1) What are the changes you mention at the beginning of your post. Be specific.

2) What are the new things in community info outreach and updates that you mention. Again, be specific.

None of this is even pertinent to gameplay, so none of it should be highly classified. Just tell us all the truth please!
The public changes started last Friday. We heard your feedback about the weekly Q&A so we decided to morph into a more dynamic model. Developers will now be responding more frequently to questions on the forums (which you can follow on Dev Tracker).

Most often, Allison will be posting on their behalf. In the upcoming weeks, you'll see more community projects that we think that you'll enjoy.

Internally, the community team has specialized and there are more interactions with the developers (hence the increase in communication).

Stay tuned for more.

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
08.13.2012 , 04:36 PM | #218
Mr. Gonzalez, is there any chance of getting ANY word on SGRA's, other than the obligatory "get back in your hole so we can ignore you some more"?

Yndras's Avatar


Yndras
08.13.2012 , 04:51 PM | #219
Jonothan, I like you. You have balls and character. Im sorry people are giving you a hard time in this thread, but to me it shows that you have great character. To come into a hostile environment such as this and stand here with a white flag saying, hey guys im here to help......

I appluad you! You are a champion!

Dont let the complaints get you down, these people have obviously wanted to complain for a long time and can't see the changes or difficulties you and your team have faced in the past months.

P.S I like your style more the Mr Reids. Not that he was a bad guy, he had a tough job and he did it well under the circumstances, ive just got alot of respect for you and think you are doing great job
Layda, Sentinel - Hoarus, Scoundrel
Bandeeto, Mercenary

Kellour's Avatar


Kellour
08.13.2012 , 05:05 PM | #220
I'm frankly disappointed that it took this long to get a fire lit, and it's one of the main reasons why I've decided to play less, or none at all. To me it has honestly felt all along like the Developers looked down their noses at their playerbase.

I attended PAX East and the Meet n Greet and listened the the Devs condescend to entire rooms of their players, and when I had the chance to actually ask them my own personal question (with regard to PVP Healing just before 1.2 came out) the answer I got was a more democratic version of "Too bad, so sad." You can't give your players the middle finger and then expect to engender a positive, healthy relationship with those players.

You can't make promises and then never deliver. Well, you can, but you can't expect players to stick around - and clearly, whether you love the idea of F2P or hate it, the game is suffering from dwindling subscriptions/players.

It just all feels to me like "too little, too late" and while I think it's great that there are players who can get past it all and will continue to play well into F2P and beyond, I'm just not one of those people. I don't wish the game any ill-will, but I DO wish the game hit more "high notes" for me personally. I wish I didn't get angry when I hear words like "Soon" and "Metrics." Most of all, I wish I were still having fun with the game.. but between a whole barrel full of "Soons" and a serious lack of actual information, I'm just not.

I'd love to have confidence in the game, but tell me this, if you couldn't manage to accomplish all the things you're promising here in this thread in the first 8 months of the game's release, why should I be confident you'll be able to do so now that the company has been gutted of so many employees and have shifted the focus to F2P? How many months do you expect your customers to wait before they bail?