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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?

Costello's Avatar


Costello
01.04.2018 , 02:31 AM | #111
Changing free to play only works if they can get people interested in playing the game in the first place. Secondly they would then have to make the subscription model or micro transaction model much better.

Currently subscription isn't about value for money month on month, its about avoiding the limitation placed on f2p or preferred. Want to buy something for more than 350k then subscribe, want to equip that purple gear then subscribe, want to craft more than 3 things then subscribe. If you remove these limitations there is very very little that subscription brings to the table.

Now I'm not against better F2P experience and the cost of a subscription is nothing. Seriously think about how much it costs it is absolutely nothing, the issue is feeling like a chump if your paying for a sub par experience. So if your paying for something and you don't know why then your likely to stop.

Which I think is the bigger issue, it doesn't matter if its free or 30 bucks a month, if the experience is tired, dated and dull then who is going to stick around for it. Now maybe people don't stick around because their initial f2p experience is so bad and that needs work but equally if you put out almost no content for a year, people generally don't stick around for that either.

DarthSpuds's Avatar


DarthSpuds
01.04.2018 , 04:21 AM | #112
Quote: Originally Posted by Costello View Post
Changing free to play only works if they can get people interested in playing the game in the first place. Secondly they would then have to make the subscription model or micro transaction model much better.
Both of which are in desperate need of an overhaul anyway.

Quote: Originally Posted by Costello View Post
Currently subscription isn't about value for money month on month, its about avoiding the limitation placed on f2p or preferred. Want to buy something for more than 350k then subscribe, want to equip that purple gear then subscribe, want to craft more than 3 things then subscribe. If you remove these limitations there is very very little that subscription brings to the table.
Well, given that "end-game" is now nothing more than an ever increasing grind just to "stand still" gear wise, then a 25% or even 50% Bonus to XP/CXP/Reputation would be a good place to start as a Subscriber Bonus. Throw in removing Jawa Scrap from the CXP Loot Chests, and so bump up the chance of getting something good/useful and we are getting somewhere.

That 350k limit may have worked back when the game started, but now if there has to be a credit cap on F2P players ( and I see no valid reason why their should) it needs to be set at a level that gives a player a functional credit pool - something like 5 Million.

Here's the main issue: Bioware punishes players for being F2P, when they should be properly rewarding players for being Subscribers.

Bioware, almost typically, is doing it just about as wrong as it is possible to do it.

Quote: Originally Posted by Costello View Post
Now I'm not against better F2P experience and the cost of a subscription is nothing. Seriously think about how much it costs it is absolutely nothing, the issue is feeling like a chump if your paying for a sub par experience. So if your paying for something and you don't know why then your likely to stop.
And what are end-game Subscribers paying for now? The privilege to have to engage with the very worst grind-fest in the Western MMORPG market?
Hell, yeah, that'll keep players subbing.
Oh, no it won't, and no it hasn't.

Quote: Originally Posted by Costello View Post
Which I think is the bigger issue, it doesn't matter if its free or 30 bucks a month, if the experience is tired, dated and dull then who is going to stick around for it. Now maybe people don't stick around because their initial f2p experience is so bad and that needs work but equally if you put out almost no content for a year, people generally don't stick around for that either.
Agreed.


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LordArtemis's Avatar


LordArtemis
01.04.2018 , 04:45 AM | #113
Well, here is my quick list....I still have to add other folks suggestions to the OP, which I will likely do in the next few days after compiling them.

Some of these items are fleshed out, others are just quick suggestions for OTHERS to flesh out since other players likely know more about these features than I do.

Before I begin, I think the game needs a new expansion of course. I will not add that to the list, as I have no idea what they could or should do other than closing out the KotFE/ET storyline.

1) New Operations

a. One operation similar to KDY, in that the objectives and environment constantly change.
b. One operation that has a PVP element to it...two player teams from opposing factions que to join the Operation, and at different points in the mission they have to fight each other while still working mechanics and fighting bosses. I would suggest the PVP is GSF related, as that could tie in nicely with the Operation.

2) Redesign F2P

Remove some of the more annoying restrictions, restore passes for Ops, add more perks to subs to make it more appealing. I will let others flesh this out a bit.

I also think a new access tier should be added with removal of most of the endgame restrictions, more credits allowed, and other barriers to play removed for a high amount of cash, say 500.00 spent on the Cartel Market.

3) Return ACTUAL armor drops to hard content, like high level Ops and Ranked PVP

You can still have the Command drops, just add in actual gear drops like the old days. Bring back real gear progression to hard content, even if that means you have to add a higher tier that is above anything that is available at present.

4) Increased XP mechanic added to Legacy that is set up like the CXP system

The current bonuses are far too small. Either boost them, or simply add an XP mechanic like the Legacy CXP boost you have in place now.

5) Group summon

This really needs to be done yesterday IMO....the game is really not friendly to group play and needs to be. Right now the only quick solution is to allow players to fix the instancing issues by giving them a group summon ability. This way folks can pull players into their instance.

6) If you can find a way, make all of the expansions and content added since KotFE group capable

This is another big one. You need to be able to play this with friends. Even if you have to add another mode that allows group play, I think you guys need to do it.

7) Remove the companion removal mechanic from KotFE, and instead give players a choice

Players can choose to keep all their companions (though the story will still treat them as if they left) or lose them and get them back through story. You should also give players the option to have ALL companions they should have return right now if they wish.

Note: As far as I know, you can choose to have Shae Visla as a companion and still run the mission for her. You can also have her as a companion and still do all of the content from SoR up through current content...so....players having companions before they get them in the story should not be a problem, especially if they are original story companions.

8) Have all dyes and character options obtainable in game, give first character design slot completely free

Character appearance is important. The very first character design slot should be entirely free, including the cost of adding pieces to the slots. Also having dyes and character appearance options for sale puts them out of reach for F2P players. All dyes should be REable, and all character appearance options should be obtainable in game as some kind of content reward.

9) Open up all planets past starter planets to war between factions

Have periodic invasions, where players can fight with allied NPCs to fight off factional enemies periodically for special rewards. PVE would be NPC invasions, PVP would be NPCs and players.

In PVP phases players could actually travel to enemy faction cities and join the fight.

10) Allow players to craft droids and train creatures for use as companions

This should be something that anyone can do, like crafting for conquests, kits or strongholds. Companions would not be like current ones you can purchase, in that once they die they are gone.

11) Allow players to replay chapters of their class story, much like KotFE/ET is set up

The replay would not change anything, but it could offer rewards similar to dailies.

12) Allow players to change their Advanced Class

I have made this suggestion in the past....it should be a legacy unlock for a huge amount of credits or CC, then a moderate amount for the actual change, and only two changes allowed per character. The character should be at least level 50 and have its class story completed.

Thats it for now, probably more to follow, but I want to focus on what other players have mentioned in this thread first.

olagatonjedi's Avatar


olagatonjedi
01.04.2018 , 09:57 AM | #114
Quote: Originally Posted by Costello View Post
Aside from attacking negative posts, even those supporting the state of the game have little that is positive to say about anything recently done by the development team. While the critical posts go ignored leading people to become more frustrated by what seems to be ignorance of the issues or any plan to fix them. Such as despite almost 2 years of being told that they understand how important companions are there has been no explanation why only 3 were returned in all of 2017. Or what the reason for so very little content in 2017 was, we all assume that its because the development team is 4 people strong and they spend their time reskining stuff for the CM. So as people watch their friends and guilds move on they become more and more cynical and tired of running the same dated content with nothing from the dev team to make it look like anything will improve.
Personally, I dont believe they need to come out with more than they have within a given year. As long as they put out 1 update/content per year, it is sufficient enough (and should be, honestly) to allow people time to get through it multiple times with more than one toon. Not everyone logs in daily. Not everyone rushes through content. Not everyone is seeking frequently released new content. Peoples playstyles and playtimes are all different, so they need to please the bulk of their population, not the vocal minoroty. MMOs arent supposed to maintain full populations every single day. It is an ebb and flow system (outliers not included). Its unrealistic to expect multiple massive updates each year, because you will likely be disappointed.

TUXs's Avatar


TUXs
01.04.2018 , 10:03 AM | #115
Quote: Originally Posted by olagatonjedi View Post
Personally, I dont believe they need to come out with more than they have within a given year. As long as they put out 1 update/content per year, it is sufficient enough (and should be, honestly) to allow people time to get through it multiple times with more than one toon. Not everyone logs in daily. Not everyone rushes through content. Not everyone is seeking frequently released new content. Peoples playstyles and playtimes are all different, so they need to please the bulk of their population, not the vocal minoroty. MMOs arent supposed to maintain full populations every single day. It is an ebb and flow system (outliers not included). Its unrealistic to expect multiple massive updates each year, because you will likely be disappointed.
What's unrealistic about paying $180 per year and expecting multiple updates? At that rate, I expect a full game of content to be released every 4-months. I'd be happy with every 6-months, but we haven't gotten a full expansion in over a full year...which is far too slow to even maintain the game.
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olagatonjedi's Avatar


olagatonjedi
01.04.2018 , 10:08 AM | #116
Quote: Originally Posted by DarthSpuds View Post
That 350k limit may have worked back when the game started, but now if there has to be a credit cap on F2P players ( and I see no valid reason why their should) it needs to be set at a level that gives a player a functional credit pool - something like 5 Million.
Lol, how much money do you think the average subscriber has? Id venture to say much less than 5 million.

Quote:
Here's the main issue: Bioware punishes players for being F2P, when they should be properly rewarding players for being Subscribers.
The fundamental problem with this statement is that F2P cant be punished for something that is free. They are not entitled to anything except free access in the first place, by their decision, ao they arent missing out on anything that is available for 100% of the possible population.

Quote:
And what are end-game Subscribers paying for now? The privilege to have to engage with the very worst grind-fest in the Western MMORPG market?
Hell, yeah, that'll keep players subbing.
Not sure about you, but Im paying for the content that have created already, in addition to content they release each year. Its more than enough for me, and many others. Perhaps the problem you have is in the perception of what you are paying for. Im paying for the world to stay open to enjoy Star Wars in the setting they have created, and im paying for them to slowly add in new content so that it doesnt minimize what is already in place. It sounds like you are paying strictly for new content, so I would encourage you to look at single player games or elsewhere where the company wants to spend the money to rush out content.

TUXs's Avatar


TUXs
01.04.2018 , 10:10 AM | #117
Quote: Originally Posted by olagatonjedi View Post
Not sure about you, but Im paying for the content that have created already, in addition to content they release each year. Its more than enough for me, and many others.
Clearly it's not enough for most people since we've gone from 218 servers to 5. We're not even in maintenance mode these days.
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DarthSpuds's Avatar


DarthSpuds
01.04.2018 , 10:14 AM | #118
Quote: Originally Posted by olagatonjedi View Post
Lol, how much money do you think the average subscriber has? Id venture to say much less than 5 million.
I am a super casual player who subs for roughly 6 months of the year, and that plays something else for the other half of the year - I have roughly 65 Million credits across my toons.

5 million is nothing these days.

Over the last week I've played around 15 -18 hours and the only thing I have done is play Planetary Heroics, and I'm up just over 1.5 Million credits from doing that.

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olagatonjedi's Avatar


olagatonjedi
01.04.2018 , 10:21 AM | #119
Quote: Originally Posted by TUXs View Post
What's unrealistic about paying $180 per year and expecting multiple updates? At that rate, I expect a full game of content to be released every 4-months. I'd be happy with every 6-months, but we haven't gotten a full expansion in over a full year...which is far too slow to even maintain the game.
As I said in my another post, your perception of what you are paying for is where you develop that attitude.

But....let me ask you.

Did you have to purchase the vanilla game?
When brand newly released, were people required to purchase any of the full expansions?
In most MMOs, is there a seperate cost associated with full expansion content?

From personal experiences in the past, the answer is yes to all of those questions. So what am I paying the monthly service fee for? Unlimited access to the servers and content I paid for. The monthly fee isnt the cost associated with new expansions. Its the cost to access the game and content you have purchased seperately (or been given free by the company) It always has been. Sounds as though this may be news to you, and many others, even after 6 years.

If you dont want to spend money to access some content, you can do F2P. The F2P system completely validates what that monthly fee is actually paying for too. Its not fhat hard to understand, imo.

Is it unreasonable to ask for new content? Not at all. Ask away. But understand that they are not obligated to come out with new content (or come out with new content within a specific time frame) simply because you are paying to log in to their servers. People pay for VPN servers and dont always get new bells and whistles added. People pay for access to the service it initially provided.

Costello's Avatar


Costello
01.04.2018 , 10:21 AM | #120
Quote: Originally Posted by olagatonjedi View Post
Personally, I dont believe they need to come out with more than they have within a given year. As long as they put out 1 update/content per year, it is sufficient enough (and should be, honestly) to allow people time to get through it multiple times with more than one toon. Not everyone logs in daily. Not everyone rushes through content. Not everyone is seeking frequently released new content. Peoples playstyles and playtimes are all different, so they need to please the bulk of their population, not the vocal minoroty. MMOs arent supposed to maintain full populations every single day. It is an ebb and flow system (outliers not included). Its unrealistic to expect multiple massive updates each year, because you will likely be disappointed.
Not everyone rushes through content, thats a bit of a joke given how little content has been released in the last year. You don't have to rush it or even play more than an hour a week to complete it all long before the next update.

As for the bulk of the population, they have quit. The vocal minority are the people saying things are fine and this game is producing more than enough content. Go look at Elder Scrolls online, they have just released their next quarter preview and produced 4 significant updates last year. Oh and they have just reported 10 million units sold, seems the bulk of players are looking for content, and do want multiple massive updates each year.