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Star Wars: The Old Republic State of the Game

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Star Wars: The Old Republic State of the Game
First BioWare Post First BioWare Post

Uluain's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 07:50 PM | #121
Quote: Originally Posted by Jeff Hickman
Im hoping to use these postings as a direct way to address some of the top unresolved issues that most concern our community. I wont get to everything all at once, but Ill try to hit some of the big ones, and talk about these topics as openly as I can. Its my hope that youll respond with more comments, questions and concerns.
Hello, Jeff. Thanks for doing these. It really is nice to see.

To introduce myself, I am a long-time roleplayer (and only slightly less long than I have been a Star Wars fan), starting my move from table-top to online, game-based roleplaying with BioWare's Neverwinter Nights as a player and later a designer and dungeon master on various "persistent worlds". I have played many MMOs since and find that far from being a "WoW clone", the game you have produced really does still have the distinctive BioWare touch of amazingly broad and intricate storylines and memorable characters. I like the game a great deal and, while there will always be room to improve, I think you are off to a fine start.

That said, I do have a concern. It is one shared by many other players, one we have been actively pursuing here since launch and which has never been addressed on these forums at all. That is:

What is the status of the promised same-gender romantic content and how will it be implemented?"

Particular concerns center on whether options will exist for all or only some classes, or particular character genders within classes. Another is that this content would only be available as an optional unlock bought through the cash shop. Finally, there is the question of whether same-gender content will ever be introduced beyond the rather limited scope of companion character romance to include the [Flirt] options encountered in conversation with regular mission NPCs.

I know this topic is controversial. Regardless, we have been waiting to hear anything for a long while. The only information we do have came from folks who are no longer with the studio, and was made either pre-launch or before significant changes to the direction of the game. We have asked, but not been told whether those statements are still current.

TalkingDinosaur's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 07:51 PM | #122
Quote: Originally Posted by Urael View Post
Ah the meme continues. No Mr. Hickman, it wasn't "the price" of the subscription, it was "the quality of the service" for the price of the subscription that drove people away. In fact, your patch 1.4 "quality of life fixes" forced me back to World of Warcraft. Fix your game and tell us the truth.

EDIT: You know keeping legitimate complaints from your management only keeps them in the dark. SWTOR is not in the state they think it is. If you continue to delete posts that describe problems (like the graphics issues which make it near impossible for me to play your game since patch 1.4) they will continue to write fluff and spin pieces. You are fooling no one.
I've never seen a patch where it "forces" someone back to WoW. Must be a bug, it'll probably be fixed in the next patch.

But while you're over there why don't you take your QQ to WoW's forums for a bit?

Xenith's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 07:51 PM | #123
You got the big issues wrong IMO. Well, most of it. Most people didn't leave because it was a sub based MMORPG, they left because of the following: PvP content (open world/planetary control, etc.) Most people will agree to End Game content not being pumped out fast enough but I think it's fine. So I'll add it for them, and finally one for me personally is the rehash of ****** looking armor. For example, all of the Legacy armor. Yes, it looks like crap and it's impossible to get.
Peace is a lie... and so is your Order.


11.06.2012 , 07:51 PM | #124
is pazaak and swoop racing coming in the future?


11.06.2012 , 07:52 PM | #125
are we allowed to decorate our ships in the future? i would pay with cartel coins that

jrcantwell's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 07:54 PM | #126
Might as well put in my two cents as well.

1. This is for the players... For those of you still experiencing 1.4 Update woes, try uninstalling (and i mean completely wiping the game from your system...programs files, AppData files, registry, everything,) and then start fresh. I'm a computer technician so this may be easier for some than others to do. The reason I am stating to do this is because I was still having to play in Windowed mode after the "fixes" but recently I completely wiped my hard drive, reformatted, and installed Windows 8 (up from Windows 7) and now I have no issues playing Full Screen with maxed out setting. Doing a wipe-and-load just to see if you and improve performance on a game is a bit extreme but if nothing else has worked for you this might. Besides, a wipe-and-load generally improves performance of your entire system so it might be worth it. Just remember to backup your data (don't backup the star wars stuff...start fresh with it).

2. Now for the subscriptions... I don't think the $15/mo is why most users are leaving. Like most here the issues are mainly content. Whether there isn't enough or it's issues with new content (bugs). 1.4 Update was a complete FAIL. Everyone knows it and you said it. Thank you for admitting that. As for myself the reason I've let my subscription lapse from time to time is basically because I get bored with the game. That's's content again. The game is basically the same thing for hours on end just in different environments. Hack and slash your enemies with the only real break from that being the space missions which I enjoy for this reason. As of right now I don't play Operations, Flashpoints, etc's just more hack and slash. Eventually I just get so bored that I let my subscription lapse for 2-3 months and play more other games. (Currently I'm very engrossed in Assassin's Creed 3)
To fix this for me I would agree with more content but also completely agree with a previous poster...make the stories and content more dynamic would make SWTOR leaps and bonds more fun to play. Being stuck in a storyline and just replaying the same thing over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again is just boring and repetitive. (see how that "and over" just bored you... yeah, that's the stories in STWOR) Make the content dynamic and change the path according to the choices you make.

3. This leads me to content. The content need to be more. I like the 4-6 week release schedule. That means new content every month to month and a half. BUT this content is still more hack and slash. It's just new environments to do it in. So in all reality, it's not so much as new content as it's just new environments. It's the same things with new layouts and new skins. How am I suppose to get excited about this? The point is, I don't.
What can be done? Like I said above, making the storylines dynamic instead of on rails would be the biggest and best change.
Secondly, include more roles and mini-quests in the game that DOESN'T include hacking and slashing. For example: mission to resolve conflicts politically (Jedi aren't just warriors. In fact they resort to conflict as a last option. SWTOR has this backwards for the Jedi where killing is the first and only choice on missions), maybe missions to collect resources, or solve mysteries.
Thirdly, include more mini-games. Pazaak and swoop racing are a popular choices among the players. I'll admit that I often played Pazaak for hours as I did with the card game in FFVII. Provide some games with ranks so players would have something to compete at to get to the top of the lists in rank.
Lastly, make the space missions...different. I get you made them more challenging by adding shields and whatnot but I'd like to see space missions that aren't just the same missions over and over again with simply added difficulty and a name change.

It's all content content content.

On another note, I do enjoy the improvement (especially when they don't impact performance) that have been made to make the game more real. Shadows and the upcoming translucent grass and leaves for example. I'll be expecting more of these improvements as the game goes forward include updating textures with more detail and/or realism.

Oh, PS... you're overseas server issue... umm, any idiot with any common sense can tell you the simplest solution is to add another server few a few thousand bucks at most which to EA and Bioware is chump change. Let certain players have to choice to port over to the new server and BAM! Issue resolved.
"Jedi seek to improve themselves through knowledge and training."
~ Grand Master Luke Skywalker

Kelbun's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 08:32 PM | #127
Quote: Originally Posted by lucascasadeis View Post
is bioware make something for legacy 50? Maybe we could get legacy bank in legacy level 50

EDIT: It will cost 70 million credits though, so you will have to grind dailies for weeks on end. This is the time sink aspect of the game which we will getting more of under the viel of 'new content'.

Deewe's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 08:52 PM | #128
Quote: Originally Posted by Jeff Hickman View Post
1. Our game is awesome. People love it and want to play it.

2. The subscription requirement was driving away huge numbers of people who do not want to commit to paying monthly.

3. The frequency of our Game Updates was way too slow. People were leaving because we were not releasing new content fast enough to keep up with the pace at which it was being consumed.
Hello Sir,

first thanks for stepping in.

Then if I had to write one sentence about your whole blog, you are either delusional, misinformed or have no clue at all at what makes a good MMO and what are the players expectations. Regarding your position I tend to think you are fully aware of all the above but voluntarily forgetting it.

Now specifically about your three main points. As mentioned by others:
  1. The game in it's actual state isn't awesome. From the low performance of the engine to the lack of basic and commonly expected MMO features, to major design flaws, SWTOR has a lower standard than others available MMO and isn't evenly polished.
  2. We all know the subscription fee was and still will be driving away people, because the quality isn't up to the asked price. BTW your F2P model is broken in its fundations.
  3. The frequency of the game update is indeed too slow especially compared to others studios like Trion. Sadly you already failed at keeping up to your promise to deliver new content every 4-6 weeks. Furthermore the size of the content looks very thin compared to games like DDO, LotRo, Rift and so on.

Please allow me to go further. Whatever good is James Ohlen at managing projects, regarding how poorly he did in all the interviews and isn't regarded as the most talented producer, (from a player perspective), you might want not to mention him.

In your 3 chosen topics I saw none addressing the most important one being the communication between the players and the devs. Let me mention that as long as you'll keep with your actual way you're not going to deliver.
You have to implement a two way communication. Have the devs step in into the suggestion/PvP/Class... forums and discuss in a two way direction with the players. Don't forget there are also very talented people playing this game.

The best advice you should follow is simply fix your communication. And if you don't have any ideas about it, just copy what Trion is doing. Then proceed to the game issues.

Let's talk about the F2P model we're seeing on the PTS server, mind you?

In short, if you go live as is you're going to dig deeper SWTOR grave and write your name on the tombstone on top of it.

What you guys are thinking when doing things like making people pay for:
  • More slot bars: when others F2P MMO have UI addons for free
  • Unify gear color: when others F2P MMO have gear dyes for free
  • Hide head slot: F2P MMO have hide back, shoulder, gloves... for free
  • Prevent basic features like /who, emotes, use recall features...

Do you really think you're going to milk 3 million of players with that?
I can assure you, even the TOR vets won't come back when they'll see how limited they are.
Especially when they'll realise there's so few new content!
You are pretty well versed in the NGE fiasco and let's be realistic here: you won't earn more paying customers than what you had before with this F2P model. Don't make the same mistake twice, please.

Actually the main issue with your F2P model is that you request people not to pay for the content but for the tools required to enjoy it. Seems to me you are aiming sideways...

BTW I heard when you stated about delivering content faster and focusing less on V.O. content.
It's understandable but MMO wide, the V.O. story is what makes your game different than others.
And in the other fields you have less than them.

Anyway best luck to making the game better.
As a player it's all that matters.

[HOW_TO] Mouse look toogle

iSoldat's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 08:54 PM | #129
I'm up in the air on the F2P thing. I'll most likely leave as I've seen what type of player it brings to the game. Eventually, F2P means Pay 2 Win and has been like that in several mmo cases.

I'm happy to pay 15 a month for the franchise. However, the state of the game is not in a good place. You went from how many servers to how many servers in less than a year? The general consensus; lack of CS, Lack of end game content, pvp content and balance, bugs, features, etc. That is why people don't want to pay a subscription and they won't be back just because it's F2P when the same issues are still in play.

As a software developer, I understand that some issues take time to debug. However, being a developer in the b2b world, we wouldn't have any clients if our software was in a similar state, not to mention the SLAs we have to follow as a vendor. What are your SLA's with the players? What is your mission statement?

  1. Myself have tickets queued that are easily 2 weeks old for missing BH coms after completing GF missions.
  2. The ops available can be completed before the weekend with the current reset on tuesday, leaving those that can't log in until weekeds due to family, work or school to be skipped or end up pugging with a group of unknowns who don't understand the mechanics of a raid.
  3. PVP? Just read the forums. There are tons of examples.
  4. Bugs that have been around a while or released with "new" content or "unintended consequences" of existing bug fixes.
  5. Features, what can I say, you released on an engine that doesn't really support features that were available in first gen mmos like EQ (you know like water you could swim or raid in with a water breathing buff) that I played using dial-up. And some of the ops and pvp issues could have been resolved by including VoIP like DDO, which is only a few years old. You used to be able to petition a GM (IN GAME in some MMOs) that had the authority to check logs and resolve issues on the spot. Even SWG had a better Space game and it was released how long ago before they pulled the plug.
  6. EDIT: and btw where are the perks for reaching legacy 50?

BTW, I played EQ1 for almost 6 years paying a sub and the first 2 years on a modem. Your game lacks that type depth to keep players, the only thing you have at the moment is the Star Wars franchise, no real innovation (except crafting), missing common features available in first gen MMOs and some forward thinking like VoIP.

StagehandMERC's Avatar

11.06.2012 , 09:14 PM | #130
hey jeff,

loved the article. thanks for telling us a bit of what's in your heads down there in TX.

also, one question: any progress on this?
(are any players reading this thread still who are having this particular flavor of graphical gagging?

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