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If SWTOR is losing players, how can Bioware turn things around?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
If SWTOR is losing players, how can Bioware turn things around?

Jdast's Avatar


Jdast
01.02.2018 , 07:03 PM | #91
Quote: Originally Posted by olagatonjedi View Post
The negativity will be there regardless of the intended future map
Those words are operative. I treat the negativity as a constant, not a variable. As it is, you and I can both rattle off about 10 names of posters here who are so aggressively negative that when we see their names there is little to no point in reading what they wrote -- we already know. The word nuance completely escapes them. I have no doubt some would level that criticism in the opposite direction against the two of us.

What some are questioning, though, is not whether the future is brighter, but whether or not there is a future. But to the extent the Davy and Debbie Downers are going to complain -- no matter what -- I think it behooves Keith and Co. to extend the horizon a bit in revealing what they have planned, even if those exact plans are vague and subject to change.

At risk of getting all annoying and Biz Schoolish on people -- I consider what is going to happen in next the 2 to 3 months an Action Plan. I consider what they have planned over the course of the next year a Roadmap. What I can tell you is that it would help me help them if a Roadmap was presented, however vague, because it would help me recruit friends. And, frankly,I couldn't give a rat's behind what people think about EA's corporate culture -- they are going to post their inanity regardless.

Regards,

Dasty

olagatonjedi's Avatar


olagatonjedi
01.02.2018 , 07:19 PM | #92
Quote: Originally Posted by Jdast View Post
Those words are operative. I treat the negativity as a constant, not a variable. As it is, you and I can both rattle off about 10 names of posters here who are so aggressively negative that when we see their names there is little to no point in reading what they wrote -- we already know. The word nuance completely escapes them. I have no doubt some would level that criticism in the opposite direction against the two of us.

What some are questioning, though, is not whether the future is brighter, but whether or not there is a future. But to the extent the Davy and Debbie Downers are going to complain -- no matter what -- I think it behooves Keith and Co. to extend the horizon a bit in revealing what they have planned, even if those exact plans are vague and subject to change.

At risk of getting all annoying and Biz Schoolish on people -- I consider what is going to happen in next the 2 to 3 months an Action Plan. I consider what they have planned over the course of the next year a Roadmap. What I can tell you is that it would help me help them if a Roadmap was presented, however vague, because it would help me recruit friends. And, frankly,I couldn't give a rat's behind what people think about EA's corporate culture -- they are going to post their inanity regardless.

Regards,

Dasty
Fair enough.

As for the future of the game, I, personally, feel the game is alive and working until it isnt, at all. I have played most of my time during off hours (non-peak), and still continue to do so at times. Having seen the game function just fine during non-peak hours recently leads me to believe that the doom and gloom is overblown. I can log in during off hours and still get flashpoint/pvp pops with reasonable regularity. Are there slow times? Sure, but not all the time, as people state. Is it as optimal as I would like it to be? No, but thats unrealistic, and always has been even before it launched, given MMORPG trends in the past.

As for roadmaps and action plans, they would make no difference to me because I will evaluate the content that actually makes it to the game. No sense in building hopes for content or additions that are stated with positive intentions, but fall through production. Anyone who knows anything about production and development understands ideas arent always able to be fully implemented as hoped. Video games are no different. My momma always told me to "dont count your chickens before they hatch," and I guess it stuck with me. I can certainly understand your personal investment to having roadmaps or action plans related to recruiting friends, but it leaves not only bioware, but you too, exposed when things dont pan out.

LordArtemis's Avatar


LordArtemis
01.02.2018 , 10:25 PM | #93
I'm not sure that the roadmap would have that much of an effect on pulling back in players, perhaps it might help retain current players (which is not a bad thing naturally)

soulseekerr's Avatar


soulseekerr
01.02.2018 , 11:26 PM | #94
As a player who has left and come back several times (and is strongly considering leaving again), here's the things that have made me quit and come back:

Story content stagnation/droughts: The flow of new story content has been very feast/famine since I started a few months before RotHC. Right now feels like famine. KotET felt too short, the ending too abrupt. Iokath is terrible in its design and the story there feels largely unfinished. Then we get two horrible flashpoints trying to tell a story that would be so much better if told on the actual planets, like back in the old days. KotFE was great when it was first introduced, but I'm well past ready to be done with the entire story arc (which still feels unfinished, to me). And can we please get the rest of our old companions back soon? I mean ALL of them except the ones that have been killed off already (good riddance, Skadge!). If this new method of telling the story through flashpoints is how things are going to be done going forward, I'm not going to stick around.

Ops: SWTOR is one of the few MMO's where I enjoy doing Ops (raids). Boss fights are well designed. In the vast majority of cases they aren't overly complex or difficult, but still reasonably challenging on Veteran/Master. Unfortunately we haven't gotten a full-length new op in quite a long time. Now we're getting bosses for a new op at a pace of about one every 6 months? On top of this I can't help but feel like there's very few (if any) guilds running ops on a regular basis these days. I suspect this is due to fewer players around in general.

Loot system: Up until KotFE, I felt that SWTOR had one of the best loot systems of all the major MMO's around (at the time). I really can't say that any more. Sure the conversion to Mastery and Adaptive armor made getting geared much easier, but it sucked a lot of flavor out of the system. Then, to make things worse, the CXP crates were added, and Ops boss loot tables were randomized. Thankfully it's slowly getting put right, but the CXP grind should never have been added in the first place (imho).

So what would get me to stick around? Here's a quick list:
1. New set of chapters released (preferably all at once) wrapping up the entire Eternal Empire/Alliance storyline and reuniting us with ALL of our lost companions.
2. The remaining bosses in the new Ops released all at once. Vet and Master mode don't have to be included right away, but soon (within a few months at most) thereafter.
3. Removal of the CXP grind. Raise the level cap to 80. Raise the Legacy cap to 100.
4. Addition of new playable races/classes to the game.

Sorry about the wall-of-text, but it felt necessary.

Ignobull's Avatar


Ignobull
01.03.2018 , 12:28 AM | #95
Go with the League of Legend model. Open up all area's of the game to F2P, but limit rewards like credits received, valor gained, lightside points earned. Make all area's of the game accessible to F2P but keep them wanting more by creating time benefits to being a sub. As it is now, F2P is driven away from the game. Those people you drive away missed out on new friendships, learning new ways to have fun in game, and will never become subs. Let people have fun, more will sub and less will leave.

Also clean up the game... your classes have too many buttons that do basically the same things. More buttons is not more depth, but a 4 button rotation can be fun if you give the player interesting situational buttons. (I'm not saying reduce it to four, but just as an example)

Last, selfishly for myself and a few others, give us an option to turn off screenshake in the game. I love this game, but some classes and story chapters make me feel like I'm going to puke.
Please add a "Toggle Screenshake" option. http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=939560

Mournblood's Avatar


Mournblood
01.03.2018 , 12:40 AM | #96
Cross-server queue system.

That one change could make a massively positive impact on this game and avoid a lot of problems down the road, many of which we've already seen and will likely see again.
Mourne, Executor, Grim Determination (SS)

"Now witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational guild!"

LordArtemis's Avatar


LordArtemis
01.03.2018 , 06:16 AM | #97
I wondered why they decided to merge the servers yet again instead of doing some kind of cross server deal...perhaps it is a financial decision, perhaps they lacked the expertise to enable cross server play.

It is a shame, because cross server, IMO, would be a big boost to the game.

Jdast's Avatar


Jdast
01.03.2018 , 06:35 AM | #98
Quote: Originally Posted by LordArtemis View Post
I'm not sure that the roadmap would have that much of an effect on pulling back in players, perhaps it might help retain current players (which is not a bad thing naturally)
Oh, I agree it would only help on the margins. Ultimately, to me it's not very complicated -- if 6.0 is decent -- people will stay, and some will come back to at least go through the storyline and evaluate end-game at that point. If it's really, really good -- word of mouth will spread and may even attract new players.

If the content is there, they stay. If not, they either quit or rotate out until the next tranche of content is released (and in the case of this forum, they will do so in Tolstoy-esque fashion with multiple posts announcing the date about them quitting forever).

I don't think tweaking F2P vs. Subscriber incentives will matter in the grand scheme of things in comparison to quality content. But nothing wrong with teasing the player base to get them talking about the new release. (On this point, Olag and I just flat out disagree).

Dasty

Andryah's Avatar


Andryah
01.03.2018 , 11:34 AM | #99
Quote: Originally Posted by Jdast View Post
At risk of getting all annoying and Biz Schoolish on people -- I consider what is going to happen in next the 2 to 3 months an Action Plan. I consider what they have planned over the course of the next year a Roadmap.
I agree with Jdast on this.. very much so.

It has been a complaint of mine since Keith took over that the roadmaps they release are not actually roadmaps... because of their short time frame of context and very tactical nature of the information. So yeah.... what they call a roadmap is actually a short term action plan (as in one quarter, give or take).

People who actually are in the business of producing and maintaining roadmaps in corporations cover a one to two year period typically, with quarterly review and update as required. In fact.. they often produce two forms.... an "operational roadmap" and a "strategic roadmap". The main difference being that strategic roadmaps are meant to be a multi-year high level statement of direction and focus, with operational roadmaps being more on the order of one year in duration and represent more detail as this represents actual implementation that is approved, rather then long term strategy.

Not that I think roadmaps actually serve much of a constructive purpose with the ever complaining special interest groups that plow the forum.... so maybe what Keith has been publishing is all this audience can really embrace and absorb (despite claims by some of wanting to see the longer term future for the game).

At the end of the day though... maybe it simply does not matter really. When they release information, they get raked and railed for it and whatever they release gets interpreted/distorted by special interest groups. When they do not release any information, they get raked and railed for it and the special interests simply continue to interpret/distort with pure fiction. In other words.. the outcome with the forum, the broader player base, in game chat, etc.... is pretty much the same whether they provide information or don't.

And, to actually address the topic of this thread.... I doubt there is anything the studio (or any MMO studio actually) can do to "retain players" and "attract old players back". Why? Because players of MMOs these days are much more nomadic and with the selection of MMOs available today... they are more like roaming grazers then persistent players. Which is one reason why the flexible access models common for most MMOs these days works so well. Personally, I see no issue with as I think it is actually healthy for MMO players to change up which MMO they play from time to time as all MMOs end up stale when over played. We have guild members rolling in and out of subscription all the time....... but we do have continuity with them as the guild maintains an organized presence across multiple MMOs... so it's not like we lose track of them, and most of them return after a few months.. so the net effect on our guild over time has been negligible in SWTOR (and the other MMOs we are present in).
When you find yourself surrounded by hostile Clowns... always go for the "Juggler" first.

dscount's Avatar


dscount
01.03.2018 , 11:58 AM | #100
Well - Since I had like a day left - I just provided all these details in un-sub feedback so I hope it helps.

Readers Digest Version:
  1. Communications - lacking, vague and misleading sometimes
  2. Content - Nice new boss, but not enough to get people playing longer
  3. More Subs - rewards program needs a refresh and boost
  4. Account Wide Unlocks (Rare Mounts/Pets) - Money opportunity for obtained mounts only
  5. Double CXP - Still bad we have this system (Notice Players gone day after events)
  6. In game moderators - Toxic Chat's when people are bored
  7. Roadmap - Ties back to communications or lack of them
  8. Conquest - Yeah...

Best of luck my friends! I hope to return when things look better, but my New Years resolution was NOT paying another month SUB if it appears we have no future for this game beyond maintenance mode.
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