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Is it wrong that, revisiting SoR, made me think what the hell went wrong w KotFE?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Is it wrong that, revisiting SoR, made me think what the hell went wrong w KotFE?
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KeithKanneg's Avatar


KeithKanneg
07.01.2017 , 09:10 AM | #151 Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread. Next  
Quote: Originally Posted by ZionHalcyon View Post
I'm not the only one who read it the way I said - and there are more. Whatever Keith meant, it reads how it reads when viewed plainly. And that is a huge gaffe.
Actually, when you view it plainly, it says dumping over anyone with a different viewpoint is not OK. But, I was attempting to course correct the thread, not hijack it.

As I stated in the Roadmap, part of opening dialog requires that we set expectations to ensure our conversations and debates remain productive. I should have already communicated the following to everyone: I completely agree with discourse, debates, and telling us about your utter dissatisfaction about something we've implemented in the game, or the way we told a story. In return, I ask for civility, commentary without the insults, and when possible, for actionable feedback.

This isn't about hiding behind a defensive wall, it's about treating others (not just the Dev Team), with respect and allowing them to provide their viewpoints without being mocked and mistreated. Not everyone likes to be bashed around and for many, they simply don't participate which narrows the view to just a few players. That's not healthy for our game, either.

I do apologize for jumping into this thread and derailing the conversation. If possible, let's agree to stop any further comments about this and get back to the purpose of the thread. How about we start up a new thread about forum decorum (yah, I know, but it rhymed) where I'll be happy to participate.
Keith Kanneg | Game Producer
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Eshvara's Avatar


Eshvara
07.01.2017 , 09:14 AM | #152
Quote: Originally Posted by KeithKanneg View Post
Actually, when you view it plainly, it says dumping over anyone with a different viewpoint is not OK. But, I was attempting to course correct the thread, not hijack it.

As I stated in the Roadmap, part of opening dialog requires that we set expectations to ensure our conversations and debates remain productive. I should have already communicated the following to everyone: I completely agree with discourse, debates, and telling us about your utter dissatisfaction about something we've implemented in the game, or the way we told a story. In return, I ask for civility, commentary without the insults, and when possible, for actionable feedback.

This isn't about hiding behind a defensive wall, it's about treating others (not just the Dev Team), with respect and allowing them to provide their viewpoints without being mocked and mistreated. Not everyone likes to be bashed around and for many, they simply don't participate which narrows the view to just a few players. That's not healthy for our game, either.

I do apologize for jumping into this thread and derailing the conversation. If possible, let's agree to stop any further comments about this and get back to the purpose of the thread. How about we start up a new thread about forum decorum (yah, I know, but it rhymed) where I'll be happy to participate.
Please don't ever leave us, we need you here!! I'm glad you don't mind speaking up towards to community rather than staying quiet. I can learn from behaviour like this as I sometimes have a hard time too with self control and staying civil, and I should try a lot harder when going into discussions and dealing with people I do not agree with! This is a good direction for everyone. And a new thread doesn't seem like a bad idea!
#Arcannite
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💫Darth Malgus💫

light_senshi's Avatar


light_senshi
07.01.2017 , 09:21 AM | #153
I often feel that 5.0 is much like watching a train wreck: You know it's coming...you know it's going to be bad....but you just can't look away.

ZionHalcyon's Avatar


ZionHalcyon
07.01.2017 , 09:27 AM | #154
Quote: Originally Posted by KeithKanneg View Post
Actually, when you view it plainly, it says dumping over anyone with a different viewpoint is not OK. But, I was attempting to course correct the thread, not hijack it.

As I stated in the Roadmap, part of opening dialog requires that we set expectations to ensure our conversations and debates remain productive. I should have already communicated the following to everyone: I completely agree with discourse, debates, and telling us about your utter dissatisfaction about something we've implemented in the game, or the way we told a story. In return, I ask for civility, commentary without the insults, and when possible, for actionable feedback.

This isn't about hiding behind a defensive wall, it's about treating others (not just the Dev Team), with respect and allowing them to provide their viewpoints without being mocked and mistreated. Not everyone likes to be bashed around and for many, they simply don't participate which narrows the view to just a few players. That's not healthy for our game, either.

I do apologize for jumping into this thread and derailing the conversation. If possible, let's agree to stop any further comments about this and get back to the purpose of the thread. How about we start up a new thread about forum decorum (yah, I know, but it rhymed) where I'll be happy to participate.
Keith, you didn't notice that I wasn't the only one who read it that way I said it didn you?

That being said, this is where I feel like the increased communication is paying off. I do not disagree with your opinion whatsoever that those who hold an opinion should not be mocked or made to feel less than. People enjoy what they enjoy. I do think that the players need to understand this cuts across always. That means that those who are not happy with the direction of the story also should not be mocked or made to feel less than by those who disagree as well.

Criticism often reaches a fever pitch when there are many voices yet they feel like no one is listening. I appreciate your efforts at clarification. However I think what people want to hear is just something simple such as:


" we have heard from both the people who love and the people who strongly disliked the Knights of the Fallen Empire storyline and understand some of the concerns about the inconsistencies with the previous stories. While we cannot comment on what direction we will take our game, I want to assure the players that we will continue to absorb feedback regarding our story and make the necessary changes based on that feedback going forward to allow players to more thoroughly enjoy Star Wars the Old Republic."

Simple and to the point. And no deflecting whatsoever in that statement. And given the increased communication from the development team a statement like that would easily win you guys over the benefit of the doubt.

As far as Forum decorum goes (and yes that is fun to say), I wholly endorse your idea to start a thread and trying to get the community in a more positive direction. One of the many MMO's that I have played was Dungeons and Dragons online and I can tell you that it is the best FML Community I was ever a part of. What made it so was everyone talked to each other like adults and people were allowed to have different opinions without being made fun of or mocked. Communication from the development team there was a key to this as they would be active and also letting people know that all signs were being considered for feedback although that did not guarantee necessarily they would be put into the game.

That letter to an amazing Community atmosphere and the forums where if you did have someone who was behaving in an uncouth manner people from both sides of an argument which shout those people down and then get back to their debate. It led to Atmosphere where no debate was ever so divisive that both sides couldn't put down their arguments for a minute to call out and shot down someone who is behaving in an unprofessional and bullying manner.

What I will say is the Keystone for that was indeed the developers who again let everyone know repeatedly over time that all opinions on all facets of the game were considered and that just because people were debating two different things doesn't mean that ideas from either side wouldn't be considered. It led to a ceiling where there was less of one side is right in the other side is wrong deal and more of a we see both sides and there's good points to be taken from each deal.

Therefore neither side felt like they lost in terms of developer attention but both sides felt listen to too. It's almost an art form how those developers were able to do that.

If that is what you want to bring to this game then I fully encourage it. But realize that you developers will be the anchor for that and how you reply in your posts will matter greatly in terms of influencing Community feedback and mood. I hope you are up for that challenge but I will say you seem like you are and I am rooting for you if that's where you want to take this game.

RudbekAlliance's Avatar


RudbekAlliance
07.01.2017 , 09:48 AM | #155
When we switch from Vitiate to Valkorian, the name changes, the appearance changes, the personality changes. At some point, you change so much the characters may as well cease to be the same person, no matter how much logic you believe there to be between the transition.

Even assuming that 100% of complaints would be removed in the post explaining the reasoning between the character's evolution between the two, I can't help but wonder whether the story would have changed much, if at all, were Valkorian to not be Vitiate but a separate character altogether.

Who instead of continuing on some master plan, simply noticed the destruction of Ziost from his seat on the Eternal Throne and finally decided to see what this backwater part of the Universe was up to. How much more interesting it would've seemed to me if we were tempted not by the same being who wanted to destroy all life in the universe moments before, and who we constantly expected betrayal from, but someone who was a legitimate ruler of a peaceful nation, who felt that the best way to deal with the mess of a democracy in the Republic and the harsh Autocracy and backstabbing environment of the Empire was to simply conquer them with military might so that they might know the same measure of peace and stability of Zakuul.

Better to me is of course not better to someone else. And looking at KotFE and KOTET as standalone story I enjoyed when I played it. As a continuation of the story I'd invested myself when I started playing a few days before the Makeb expansion, it did feel disjointed, and to my taste needlessly so.

ZionHalcyon's Avatar


ZionHalcyon
07.01.2017 , 09:57 AM | #156
Quote: Originally Posted by RudbekAlliance View Post
When we switch from Vitiate to Valkorian, the name changes, the appearance changes, the personality changes. At some point, you change so much the characters may as well cease to be the same person, no matter how much logic you believe there to be between the transition.

Even assuming that 100% of complaints would be removed in the post explaining the reasoning between the character's evolution between the two, I can't help but wonder whether the story would have changed much, if at all, were Valkorian to not be Vitiate but a separate character altogether.

Who instead of continuing on some master plan, simply noticed the destruction of Ziost from his seat on the Eternal Throne and finally decided to see what this backwater part of the Universe was up to. How much more interesting it would've seemed to me if we were tempted not by the same being who wanted to destroy all life in the universe moments before, and who we constantly expected betrayal from, but someone who was a legitimate ruler of a peaceful nation, who felt that the best way to deal with the mess of a democracy in the Republic and the harsh Autocracy and backstabbing environment of the Empire was to simply conquer them with military might so that they might know the same measure of peace and stability of Zakuul.

Better to me is of course not better to someone else. And looking at KotFE and KOTET as standalone story I enjoyed when I played it. As a continuation of the story I'd invested myself when I started playing a few days before the Makeb expansion, it did feel disjointed, and to my taste needlessly so.
I agree wholeheartedly with this. Nothing Charles said removes the disjointed nature of going from the story up through Ziost, and then jumping to Knights of the Fallen Empires storyline.

If this is what they want to commit to, then they need to fully commit 100% and go back into the vanilla story and make tweaks and additions and drop hints and clues that this is what's going on overall to make the transition seem far less disjointed.

AlrikFassbauer's Avatar


AlrikFassbauer
07.01.2017 , 09:57 AM | #157
Quote: Originally Posted by ravenpersona View Post
I think it's mostly the older audience not getting what Star Wars has become..
Could be. I'm belonging to that older generation. I'm just not used to a story like the story of KOTFE (didn't get into KOTFE still because of that).


My really personal problem is that, that the SWTOR story begins small - but turns out to become an more and more BIGGER THAN LIFE story over the years (and the class stories as well).

I do know that BIGGER THAN LIFE is an very, very, very important rule of american ( ! ) proper storytelling.
However, I do not know whether people outside of the american culture want this, too.
Take Superheroes, for example. Okay, many other Star Wars fans I know of like them very much, but I never liked them - even as a child. I them just far too much extrovert. There was nothing serious and nother silent about them.
They were just nothing but BIGGER THAN LIFE. And therefore not believable. For me, at least.

I'm sure these days that I'm not the norm. Not at all. I was just too much intellectual and art oriented. I wanted serious stories for escapism - believable stories. I just can't believe Superheroes, because they feel so much alien to me. Not believable in a normal citizen's town.
I was for more interested in the iconic "Reluctant Hero". The "hero against will". The people who don't want to be heroes.

KOTFE very much plays like BIGGER THAN LIFE. Everywhere. It has a great story, but around any corner it screems THIS IS BIGGER THAN LIFE into my face. I don't want that. I want a silent, a believabvle story. A story I can resonate with. And, since I'm not a Superhero, I can't resonate with it.

Luke Skywalker was at first the iconic Reluctant Hero. He later became a bigger her than he wanted to be - because he was the only one capable of that (and, of course, because of the way George Lucas wrote the story).
What I could resonate with was his dpth as a character, I could deeply resonate with his wounds. His inner wounds. He was kind of a "broken hero", and I liked it : He became a hero ALTHOUGH his wings were broken ( after a pop song : "Take / these broken wings / and learn to fly with them [...] " ) .
Darth Vader was an even more broken hero - so much broken he could almost never return at all. His breath became mechanical, and only Emotions helped him to become the hero - back - again ...

The original Star Wars movies were to me a mixture of :
- Wonders
- new, non-human creatures ( Greedo's first speech, anyone ? )
- adventures
- character development.

Unfortuinatzely, KOTFE has nothing of that. Although the story became more believable in some points (the Asylum), it became more unbelievable in other points. And more unbelievable especially in those BIGGER THAN LIFE points.

I always wanted a more slow approach in SWTOR. Advanbcing to the top was a bit too fast for my taste even in the class stories. I didn't want my character to *himself* become BIGGER THAN LIFE that fast. I wanted more minor Flashpoints like Hammerstation and Athiss and Mando Raiders - showing what was going on in that galaxy elsewhere. Being at the end and doing Hammerstation ? NO, that wouldn't fit together, because my character would be much too much over-qualified for that. Hammerstation is very clearly a "beginner's course". Everyone can feel it, I assume.

In Fantasy RPGs, I love Drakensang 2 partly because it is so much UNLIKE the old system of High Fantssy (A)D&D. It doesn't give me gazillions of Experience Points, it doesn't have prices of 100 Gold Coins even for a bottle of simple Beer ... It has only a little bit of money for the character, so that he hast to more or less fight for his living - and even do "fed exquersts" to get some money at all. It doesn't give me lots of Experience Points, either.
TL;DR : Everything in Drakensang is so much more *believable* because it is Low Fantasy.

But most american Fantasy (Dragon Age) and Sci-Fi (ME) storytelling seems to be based on the culture of extrovert storytelling :
- It must be for Extroverts.
- The story in itseldf must be Extrovert; an introvert story is stupid, hollow and dumb, because there never happens an really interesting thing.
- It must give LOTS of money, because hgetting only a few coins andto actually have to work for a living is sdtupid, hollow and dumb.
- The amount of Experience points must be in the thousandfs even better even in the ten thousands , because getting only a few hundred is stupid, hollow and dumb.

KOTFE and late game SWTOR actually feels to me like that. And that is why I don't like it.
I'm not playing Hello Kitty instead, because that's a game I wouldn't want to play.
Instead, I'm playing Stardew Valley instead, bought Undertale recently, and as having fun playing Tropico 1 last night. And of course Drakensang 2 : The River Of Time - an introvert game for intriovert players.

I'm getting old, and my taste has changed. That's why I believe that I don't belong to the norm at all in these forums.
Complex minds
will create
Complex problems.

Juliani's Avatar


Juliani
07.01.2017 , 10:09 AM | #158
Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post


Then, Vitiate abruptly stops the war, proposes a treaty claiming seemingly-random planets, and starts the Cold War. An obscure step in his plan to complete the ritual? Makes sense, though if we look at how old Valkorion's children appear to be, they'd be getting born right around this time... coincidence?

So, all of this leads to a perfectly reasonable question: why didn't we just come out and say this in the game?
  • First, we only have so much room to tell a story, so we have to pick what seems most crucial. If a detail isn't vital to understanding the plot or really entertaining or personal, then we don't have time to spend talking about it. Maybe we assessed things wrong, or aimed to cover too much ground in too little time so too much was left out - perfectly fair feedback, and something I would certainly take moving forward. But in principle, there will always be details we don't explain purely because we don't have time to do so.
  • Beyond that, I don't like explaining every single detail of everything anyway. I think it's boring. It's boring to write, and it's (almost always) boring to experience as a player. It's fun to read in a Wookieepedia article sometimes! But I don't think it's the job of the story to lay out every single thing (the movies certainly don't do so). Plus...
  • Mysteries are fun, and I like leaving at least a few things up to players to work out, theorize, or decide for themselves. Surely it's more fun to leave some things to the imagination?
  • Selfishly, it's good for us as writers to leave some things vague so that we can expand or change them later. For example, I never said anything about Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion's original body anywhere up above, because I think it'd be a pretty cool plot element to explore someday. Maybe we won't get around to it, maybe we will, but if it's something that we can't give a lot of love now and want to do later, I won't hesitate to leave it out so that we have room to do so. Plus, as this thread plainly demonstrates, people don't like it when you retcon past details, so if those details aren't there to retcon...
  • Lastly, and this is specific to this particular situation, but the only real source that could give the player all of this information directly is Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion himself. There's clearly no reason he would tell someone about a lot of these things if his goal is to seduce and destroy them, so we used more indirect means to reference them where it made sense.

So, there's my giant post about Tenebrae/Vitiate/Valkorion and our reasons for going about it as we did. Having a reason to do something doesn't make it the right thing to do, of course, so I'm happy to hear everyone's feedback and take it in mind going forward. But, as usual, please be cool about it and be respectful to one another


It's treason, then!
Though as others have clarified, I haven't been the Lead Writer since late 2015

Thanks for this short story on Valkorian. You should upload it to his Wookipedia profile (if it isn't already there with all details)!

I have a few comments and questions regarding the story:
- Revan states more than once (on the Malestrom Prison flahspoint and on the Revan book), that he tried to convince the Emperor against invading the Republic over the centuries.
The book shows that, while Valkorian probed his mind, he fed him back with fear from the Republic, making he believe that a new war would bring the Empire to the same end of the Great Hyperspace War. This made Valkorian work on improving the empire forces and delayed the war for some centuries.
On the Malestrom Prison flahspoing, he once again states that he tried to convince the Emperor that "peace was in his best interest".
Here is the question: Does these facts still hold in the story? Why didn't Valkorian never mention Revan our their past disputes?

- The story details are very nicely told through the chapters! And they definitively leaves many topics open new EU content, such as books, comics, RPG stories,... I do hope to see more of them soon, the Old Republic was the best story era for many of us here.

- A third party coming into the story once in a while is always nice to shake things a bit and introduce a fast growth in the known galaxy. KOTFE and KOTET did this very elegantly.
I do agree with the many players that Republic vs Empire is still the core of the Star Wars universe and things should always come back to that.
Iokath started doing that very nicely, keep up the good story coming! (And, please, don't let the evil minds over there keep poisoning the great story with mindless grinds for paid dailies that made some many people hate it before knowing it!
Active player since game launch and #BuildYourAlliance top-10 runner up!

Rheshalea's Avatar


Rheshalea
07.01.2017 , 10:39 AM | #159
For me, KotFEET didn't work. Not because of the lore behind it, because I'm one of those people who don't care much about that.
I DO care about what happens to my characters. ALL my characters and their stories and their companions.
KotFEET doesn't work for most of my characters. Light or dark or die-hard Empire or goody two-shoes Jedi... very few of them ever wanted to be even close to the kind of power the Outlander-Commander-Empress should wield. Not even in name with Lana and Theron actually running things.

If I look past that, KotFEET still didn't work for me. There was too little actual gameplay where we could have seen just how evil (or not!) Valkorion or Arcann or Vaylinn were considered by both Zakuulans and afflicted Rep/Emp citizens. Instead time and effort and money was spent on cutscene after cutscene featuring this dysfunctional family--which our characters had no ingame excuse for knowing.

And the companions... The reason for them disappearing made sense, sure. But there should have been a solid plan in place for how they were going to be brought back before they were sent away. ALL of them. 80% less Arcann/Vaylin squabble again-cutscenes in exchange for more companions coming back and sidequests that show just how crazy Vaylin has become? That would have worked so much better for me.

So for me, the background lore, while somewhat interesting, doesn't matter nearly as much as how it is told together with gameplay and player agency. KotFEET just didn't hit most of those notes for me, and even if it could have for a couple of playthroughs, the storytelling was way too linear for me to want to repeat it.

Deewe's Avatar


Deewe
07.01.2017 , 10:41 AM | #160
Hi Keith,

I think you did great in supporting Charles, especially from some nasty attacks. Though as mentioned by others guess it should have been done in a more private way. Still I respect your choice and I certainly get why you did it. Personally I would have been way less tolerant towards some players. But I guess different temper...

A good PR agent would have told you to write something along: Guys we truly appreciate your feedback and rest assured every single bit of detailed input will be dissected and took into account to make the game better. Now as I personally work with Charles on a daily basis I can assure you there's no more dedicated person to SW and SWTOR than him. Am I always amazed by not only his wast knowledge of SW but also his ability to deliver high quality story in regards of all the constraints and last minute shifts he and his team has to cope with.

We all know story is a matter of personal perspective and preference. Now on the interned we tend to forget there are people behind words. As such I'd please ask you to consider this when answering on the forums, refraining from harsh comments. Again your feedback is appreciated and our aim is to deliver content you love and bring as many more players as possibly we can!

May the force be with you!

.

Now we all know people do appreciate the increase in communication and all the details, so back to the basis if you don't mind.
.
Why do people react like this? Why the negative comments?
.
Players still posting are frustrated..
Years of wrong decisions, sometimes backed up by half backed explanations or poor statements eroded the players patience.
In the last X-Pack I personally saw a shift and a new paradigm. Many players that have been subscribed continually since launch posted for the first time on the forums to mention they are done with the game.
Also I noticed people that continually supported the game whatever bad the decisions started criticizing it.

Then Charles post can feels like an attempt to justify elements and shifts that makes no sense in many players mind. In a game with happy players, it would have been fine. Though here it mostly added some fuel to the fire. To me the biggest error was mentioning to keeping things unexplained and that it's not fun writing details.

Finally players are passionate, especially true with MMO ones that spent way too more time in the virtual world.
Look, I saw players cry when they removed the Creature Handler in SWG with the NGE.
I mean people get that attached to their virtual characters and pets.

All in all if the story, the quantity and quality of the content answered the players expectations, you would see way less negative comments.It's the past that brought you here, now the climb will be harder than ever. Would be way easier to make a new game than fixing this one for sure.
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