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MeNaCe-NZ's Avatar


MeNaCe-NZ
06.22.2017 , 03:27 PM | #231
Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
[color=#f9d648]
Companion returns had to be put on the backburner to achieve these changes, and my original plan to do entire chapters for each of them just aren't feasible at this point, so we're currently working on plans to get them back as expediently as possible. (If I sound a little sad about that part in particular, I am, but I think it's perfectly reasonable that folks are out of patience on that one )
Now this is the sort of feedback the community needs to see (feedback should be give and take yes?)- not just what I quoted but all of it, I appreciate this and the insight it provides.

Now to the quoted part ... would it really be so bad just to do something really lame story wise and return all companions in one hit? Don't worry about it making too much sense in regards to KoTFE/KoTeT - sounds like you've somewhat wrote yourself into a corner once you had to scrap the other plans.
At this stage people will be more appreciative of just getting their companions back than they would be of it being "crap writing" and then you can move forward from there at least.
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Foxfirerose's Avatar


Foxfirerose
06.22.2017 , 03:33 PM | #232
Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
This is a great chance to talk about story, and how folks' feedback on story is integrated. Let's use KOTFE, the monthly chapters, and KOTET as the example.

A) The original plan was that we would have a trilogy of "Knights of" expansions focused on dealing with Valkorion and his Eternal Empire, with episodic chapters between them. The major story beats would occur in the expansions, while the episodic chapters would be just that: episodic, mostly stand-alone beats focused on returning companions and side stories.
[/LIST]
C) Changes that were made as a result of that feedback:
  1. We compressed the story such that it would be completed in Knights of the Eternal Throne.
  2. Later monthly chapters were modified to focus more on the core storyline, and less on companion returns.
  3. The writers constructed the storyline of KOTET specifically to offer bigger choices that would pay off in visible and interesting ways.
  4. This was the core creative vision of the entire thing, so there wasn't much changed here - it wouldn't really be feasible. That's not to say that we ignored this feedback or don't take it seriously; it's just that any creative endeavor has some core concept at its heart that can't be changed without scrapping everything. This was the story direction that excited us as creators and fans, so it's the one we pursued even as we made the above changes along the way.

D) The end result: the overall storyline was cut down by more than a third so that it would play out more quickly, while simultaneously introducing more choices and consequences. Companion returns had to be put on the backburner to achieve these changes, and my original plan to do entire chapters for each of them just aren't feasible at this point, so we're currently working on plans to get them back as expediently as possible. (If I sound a little sad about that part in particular, I am, but I think it's perfectly reasonable that folks are out of patience on that one )

Overall, story is one of the most difficult areas to implement feedback, since we've usually constructed the next several beats by the time players see any of it and provide feedback. But hopefully this post helps to demonstrate that we still try very hard to implement feedback-driven changes into story regardless of the challenges.

Keep the great posts and thoughts - and especially feedback! - coming
After reading this post, I feel sad too. I'm only one person with one opinion but I really really wish you guys had stuck with the original plan. We would probably have all our companions back, and back in a meaningful way if you had. If your plans for the ongoing story had been communicated to the players ahead of time, the feedback might have been different. Players were giving feedback but doing it "blind" without all the information. But maybe with the new rules of communication this sort of thing won't happen again *fingers crossed*

My other concern is how do you know that the people who post on these forums are actually the "majority of players"? It may be that the majority of players don't post on forums, and had totally different opinions from the ones who do. I'm not saying this IS the case, just "what if" it was. I'd rather you had sent out a survey to all players before making drastic changes, but maybe for reasons I'm not aware of, that wasn't a viable option.

I do appreciate how hard you guys are trying, but in the case of KOTFE/KOTET I wish you had turned a deaf ear
Charles, please have more confidence in your own creativity and ideas. People love to complain and you know you can't please everyone, unfortunately. Just my 2 cents.

Ylliarus's Avatar


Ylliarus
06.22.2017 , 03:33 PM | #233
Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
This is a great chance to talk about story, and how folks' feedback on story is integrated. Let's use KOTFE, the monthly chapters, and KOTET as the example.

A) The original plan was that we would have a trilogy of "Knights of" expansions focused on dealing with Valkorion and his Eternal Empire, with episodic chapters between them. The major story beats would occur in the expansions, while the episodic chapters would be just that: episodic, mostly stand-alone beats focused on returning companions and side stories.

B) The most common issues that we saw from the community feedback after KOTFE and the first few monthly chapters were:
  1. The story felt dragged out (monthly chapters in particular)
  2. At least partly due to #1, the companion-focused chapters were not as well-received as the KOTFE ones (although desire to get companions back remained high).
  3. Many players felt that there weren't enough choices in the storyline with big enough impacts/consequences, or that those impacts/consequences were delayed so far that they didn't feel meaningful or connected.
  4. Some folks simply didn't like the core premise. Introducing a new empire, expanding on Vitiate/Valkorion, players frozen in carbonite for five years, missing companions, etc.

C) Changes that were made as a result of that feedback:
  1. We compressed the story such that it would be completed in Knights of the Eternal Throne.
  2. Later monthly chapters were modified to focus more on the core storyline, and less on companion returns.
  3. The writers constructed the storyline of KOTET specifically to offer bigger choices that would pay off in visible and interesting ways.
  4. This was the core creative vision of the entire thing, so there wasn't much changed here - it wouldn't really be feasible. That's not to say that we ignored this feedback or don't take it seriously; it's just that any creative endeavor has some core concept at its heart that can't be changed without scrapping everything. This was the story direction that excited us as creators and fans, so it's the one we pursued even as we made the above changes along the way.

D) The end result: the overall storyline was cut down by more than a third so that it would play out more quickly, while simultaneously introducing more choices and consequences. Companion returns had to be put on the backburner to achieve these changes, and my original plan to do entire chapters for each of them just aren't feasible at this point, so we're currently working on plans to get them back as expediently as possible. (If I sound a little sad about that part in particular, I am, but I think it's perfectly reasonable that folks are out of patience on that one )

Overall, story is one of the most difficult areas to implement feedback, since we've usually constructed the next several beats by the time players see any of it and provide feedback. But hopefully this post helps to demonstrate that we still try very hard to implement feedback-driven changes into story regardless of the challenges.

Keep the great posts and thoughts - and especially feedback! - coming
Thank you for the elaborate post on your view on the story as well as how feedback works with it, it is very much appreciated

What I always wanted to ask regarding KotFE and KotET however is this: why weren't we given the opportunity to truly rejoin our original factions? The story could have still played out very much the same in main lines, but from the perspective of the Sith Empire or Galactic Republic. If I may ask, what was the motivation to force our characters into the role of the Outlander/Commander and to create this Alliance? It is an interesting concept, surely, but as you have noticed in the feedback since then there is a huge call for the return of Empire vs Republic, Jedi vs Sith themes.

Is there a possibility for the future to return to our original factions? Or will our character remain locked within the Alliance-narrative and have to stay the Commander? I really miss being able to fight for the Sith Empire, but not as an ally like Iokath introduced but because I am a part of it. If I may be honest, I enjoy replaying the original class stories of the 8 classes more than I enjoy replaying KotFE and KotET. They're great stories, but they don't allow me to be part of the faction that I wanted to be a part of or fight for the Sith Order like I always wanted to. I really miss that in the newer expansions and story additions
For too long have we been forced to remain away from our glorious Sith Empire or beloved Galactic Republic. It's therefore imperative that in the near future we get the choice to return to our original factions and abandon the abomination that is the Eternal Alliance.
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SebastianII's Avatar


SebastianII
06.22.2017 , 03:33 PM | #234
Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
This is a great chance to talk about story, and how folks' feedback on story is integrated. Let's use KOTFE, the monthly chapters, and KOTET as the example.

A) The original plan was that we would have a trilogy of "Knights of" expansions focused on dealing with Valkorion and his Eternal Empire, with episodic chapters between them. The major story beats would occur in the expansions, while the episodic chapters would be just that: episodic, mostly stand-alone beats focused on returning companions and side stories.

B) The most common issues that we saw from the community feedback after KOTFE and the first few monthly chapters were:
  1. The story felt dragged out (monthly chapters in particular)
  2. At least partly due to #1, the companion-focused chapters were not as well-received as the KOTFE ones (although desire to get companions back remained high).
  3. Many players felt that there weren't enough choices in the storyline with big enough impacts/consequences, or that those impacts/consequences were delayed so far that they didn't feel meaningful or connected.
  4. Some folks simply didn't like the core premise. Introducing a new empire, expanding on Vitiate/Valkorion, players frozen in carbonite for five years, missing companions, etc.

C) Changes that were made as a result of that feedback:
  1. We compressed the story such that it would be completed in Knights of the Eternal Throne.
  2. Later monthly chapters were modified to focus more on the core storyline, and less on companion returns.
  3. The writers constructed the storyline of KOTET specifically to offer bigger choices that would pay off in visible and interesting ways.
  4. This was the core creative vision of the entire thing, so there wasn't much changed here - it wouldn't really be feasible. That's not to say that we ignored this feedback or don't take it seriously; it's just that any creative endeavor has some core concept at its heart that can't be changed without scrapping everything. This was the story direction that excited us as creators and fans, so it's the one we pursued even as we made the above changes along the way.

D) The end result: the overall storyline was cut down by more than a third so that it would play out more quickly, while simultaneously introducing more choices and consequences. Companion returns had to be put on the backburner to achieve these changes, and my original plan to do entire chapters for each of them just aren't feasible at this point, so we're currently working on plans to get them back as expediently as possible. (If I sound a little sad about that part in particular, I am, but I think it's perfectly reasonable that folks are out of patience on that one )

Overall, story is one of the most difficult areas to implement feedback, since we've usually constructed the next several beats by the time players see any of it and provide feedback. But hopefully this post helps to demonstrate that we still try very hard to implement feedback-driven changes into story regardless of the challenges.

Keep the great posts and thoughts - and especially feedback! - coming
Charles, I agree that the monthly chapter plan did not succeed as was originally planned. That said, I feel the result from a creative story point of view of "cutting corners" to fit the audience is just an excuse to do less work.

I'd like to point out with the Iokath companion returns
Spoiler
As you explained the express need to return companions has superseded the need to justify it in the text of the story. Essentially trivializing the returns.
Spoiler
Its these kind of details that matter in story telling.

Furthermore, its game mechanics that are getting in the way of storytelling. In an effort to give each class companions capable of each role (tank, heals, dps) you've flooded the cast. Personality that was possible in the individual class stories has slowly diminished to the point I don't know the difference between a warrior outlander and an inquisitor outlander. Alliance alerts are tacked on content that let you have more companions, only to have them be passive bystanders.
Spoiler

I for one, would have welcomed a whole trilogy of chapters and important companions returns, but that is not to be. At the very least, make it look like the story means as much to you as it does to the audience. You are in a great position (a dream job if you will. I have an MFA in creative writing and I have to work at a newspaper. Lets just say creativity is frowned on.) to tell the story, to innovate, fulfill the story obligation to your audience. Unlike Keith and Eric's post on feedback, I feel like you are just justifying poor writing to your biggest fans.
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Imperials: Hatrad~Hatrea~ Hatrion~Burstz~Syntactic~Salter
Republic: Kesey~Kesea~Kezey~Literature~Thesis~Tarif

Evolixe's Avatar


Evolixe
06.22.2017 , 03:37 PM | #235
Quote: Originally Posted by CharlesBoyd View Post
Companion returns had to be put on the backburner to achieve these changes, and my original plan to do entire chapters for each of them just aren't feasible at this point, so we're currently working on plans to get them back as expediently as possible.
Oh dude, that really is too bad...

I was really looking forward to having them return in a grand fashion.
I was really dissapointed with Quinn and Dorne tbh, I really hope that none of my Assassins companions return in a way like that.

SebastianII's Avatar


SebastianII
06.22.2017 , 03:42 PM | #236
Quote: Originally Posted by Deewe View Post

Being THE hero
It gets old and no, not every player can be THE hero especially in a MMO.
SWG proved players can have fun being a simple crafter, Image designer, even a dancer
LOTRO played the character as riding on a side line of the main characters and it worked like a charm.

Betrayals
Enough of them especially as we can't really react to those betrayals in an appropriate manner.

One fits all classes story
It makes your story bland eventually cliche and most certainly not fitting every classes.
Just write and deliver one or two class story at a time and move the the next one.
Players will rotate through their characters and will start coming back
This I feel plays into another issue, I find with Bioware games in general, is the player as hero doesn't allow for a proper character arc because you can't have the events in the story actually change the player perception and feelings. If the player character (ie main character) can't reach a point of no return within themselves, then they've been shorted on the bill of goods in the narrative promise. Betrayals, revelations, and surprises will not hide this--which is the familiar trope here.
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Imperials: Hatrad~Hatrea~ Hatrion~Burstz~Syntactic~Salter
Republic: Kesey~Kesea~Kezey~Literature~Thesis~Tarif

SebastianII's Avatar


SebastianII
06.22.2017 , 03:51 PM | #237
Quote: Originally Posted by Foxfirerose View Post
After reading this post, I feel sad too. I'm only one person with one opinion but I really really wish you guys had stuck with the original plan. We would probably have all our companions back, and back in a meaningful way if you had. If your plans for the ongoing story had been communicated to the players ahead of time, the feedback might have been different. Players were giving feedback but doing it "blind" without all the information. But maybe with the new rules of communication this sort of thing won't happen again *fingers crossed*
This 100%. You let the unpopularity of monthly chapters kill companion stories. Say for example, if Kotet had 12 chapters on release and returned 3 more old companions telling a story that is meaningful to the companions, while also giving the story follow its dues because all the chapters would be together. In other words, Kotfe 10-16 would have been better if you just released them all at once and gave us the whole story in this way.
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Imperials: Hatrad~Hatrea~ Hatrion~Burstz~Syntactic~Salter
Republic: Kesey~Kesea~Kezey~Literature~Thesis~Tarif

LtGeneralGezlin's Avatar


LtGeneralGezlin
06.22.2017 , 03:54 PM | #238
I have a question that maybe Keith or Eric can answer, and if not, I just want this to be out there, since this seems to be the popular threat. Once upon a time, if you bought an item from one of the Cartel Reputation vendors on the fleet, once you equipped it or used it, it would unlock in Collections (That is how I unlocked Mira's and the Hazardous Physician Armor Set.) However, sometime in the last few years, this was changed so that the items from those vendors no longer unlock in collections (Which is frustrating for those of us that would rather buy an armor set like Marka Ragnos's set without having to spend an extravagant amount of credits on the GTN). Was there a reason for this change, and is there a possiblity that we may be able to unlock those Rep vendor armors in collections again?


Also, would there ever be an opportunity to bring back those Cartel Packs that had reputation paths (Bounty Packs, Stronghold Packs, Shadow Packs, ect) so those of us who were not able to max out Reputation could make those out? I know it was tried with the Slot Machine Deco, but the feedback was less that stellar, but maybe there might be an alternative that players and BWA like (Short of just auto granting everyone Legend status for those Reputation paths?)

PS: Sorry if this is worded weirdly, I just got home from my summer math class... Smart move, me! haha
CE Owner - The Gallifreyan Legacy - Squad 238 Tester
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IntegrationArch's Avatar


IntegrationArch
06.22.2017 , 03:58 PM | #239
i think I may understand your question and a guy did a nice video on it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxJwLJSH7FE

LtGeneralGezlin's Avatar


LtGeneralGezlin
06.22.2017 , 04:07 PM | #240
Quote: Originally Posted by IntegrationArch View Post
i think I may understand your question and a guy did a nice video on it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxJwLJSH7FE
I think there might be some confusion, which is my fault, (well my math classes fault. lol ). This thread actually talks about it better than I can.

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=821052
CE Owner - The Gallifreyan Legacy - Squad 238 Tester
65 Gunslinger, 65 Commando, 60 Sentinel, 65 Shadow.
53 Operative, 54 Mercenary, 65 Marauder, 63 Juggernaut, 54 Sorcerer.