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adormitul's Avatar


adormitul
06.23.2017 , 03:02 AM | #311
The companions where what made the smuggler better then the consular. Its no fun without them no so much without what the consular had because there all very boring.

Estelindis's Avatar


Estelindis
06.23.2017 , 03:10 AM | #312
Quote: Originally Posted by adormitul View Post
The companions where what made the smuggler better then the consular. Its no fun without them no so much without what the consular had because there all very boring.
In your opinion. I happen to like the consular companions and am looking forward to their return - admittedly some more than others, but I like some smuggler companions more than others too.

Sorry, but it's not reasonable to apply your subjective opinions wholesale as if that makes smuggler worst off for everyone. All sets of companions have some fans and some detractors. Putting aside those subjective views, and working with a standard that's the same for everyone, objectively we can say that consular is worst off because they're the only class to receive just one lone companion back - and even that one via alliance alert. Smuggler is second worst off, because their two companions are also back via alert. (Arguably Inquisitors are just as badly off as smugglers - depends on how one views the dashade companion.)

Hichitsuki-hime's Avatar


Hichitsuki-hime
06.23.2017 , 03:24 AM | #313
hei by the way, there's a 20 pages worth of feedback on the sorc nerf =) we could use some opinion there. thank you.
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MikeCobalt's Avatar


MikeCobalt
06.23.2017 , 04:29 AM | #314
It seems I was right, unfortunately. There were parts of the story discarded, that's the Holes. Also some of those were our Companions parts; also not good. Our companions were pushed back probably more then once and now its at Flashover for many players. I played through the Knights story to get past it and at times it was interesting just never more then a means to an end. I'm trying to believe were close to that now. I know I'm getting close to stop looking for the light at the end and it'll take longer then I'm willing to wait. It just no longer seems like the same game I liked instantly some years ago. Some of that Dev. Post I wish I didn't read but its honesty so that's good and I appreciate that.
There are new threads and posts everyday from all kinds of players what they like, not so much, want, favorite scenes and events. I just don't see how a lot of this two years could have came from these forums or what part of this last two years has lead this game to what it is now. Having a character in what I liked to believe was a part of the Star Wars story was good. The Comps to me made this game unique and their personalities. My Subscription has gone on for years however and I haven't had really either for a long time now.

FixerFortyKay's Avatar


FixerFortyKay
06.23.2017 , 04:47 AM | #315
@Charles.

Can I make some suggestions for the next big story content release? Knowing in advance that you've probably already gotten half your next story content done and I have no idea if your resources can cover

The current state of the Galaxy is of three Super Powers. The Alliance, the Republic and the Empire. Each are in ruins, fighting over resources and vying for control. Make the next story about how the Commander/Emperor tries to bring peace, or Order to the Galaxy. With the option to support the Republic, Empire or maintain neutrality as a choice.

I don't think a linear list of chapters is the way to go here as at this point, the player is supposed to be a leader who's making decisions on a galactic scale, let's go back to the classic KOTOR and Mass Effect style of letting you pick your missions. Each of these missions feeding into an overall endgame. Having companions turn up in these separate conflicts feels less forced than them turning up as part of a linear progression.

Make there be hard choices with no true ideal outcome in each situation and old decisions coming back to haunt you such as keeping Arcann alive despite his many war-crimes will make factions opposed to you. Having bombed Zakuul in the past makes oppressing them easier should you chose to become Emperor. Having third or fourth options instead of binary choices as well with favourable or unfavourable compromises. Tuchunka and Rannoch from ME3 are pretty much my ideals for this.

Added bonus thought. Make each conflict class based in some way. Such as Inquisitor Vs. Consular, so we can get some nostalgia for the past or unique choices for that scenario.

Allow us to have multiple companion options for missions, or even have two companions on a mission of our choice so we can have some interesting back and forth. I figure this will be extra handy considering the death tolls some DS players have racked up

Finally, have the endgame complex like the ME2 suicide mission, with actual failure results. Forces and allies available depending on your previous mission choices. Something that really varies on the type of character and choices you've made.

Last of all, a big reset button that allows you to do everything again from scratch.
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EarlWhiteHaven's Avatar


EarlWhiteHaven
06.23.2017 , 05:39 AM | #316
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
I am disappointed about the changes to how you introduce companions. I really liked how each companion had a chapter devoted to them. Especially considering how terribly Elara and Quin were introduced. When I first played the Iokath story line I completely forgot that Quinn was recruited cause he disappeared after the choice was made. This is especially disappointing since most of the still to be returned comps are the romance ones I was really looking forward to seeing reunions with. Plus I am now afraid to continue the story with toons whose romance hasn't returned since we now know how if they don't like something they will end the romance.

Also what about an update sometime that focuses on small companions stories. I'd like to do a few quests or have a conversations with Lana that are more personnel. In general the more references in the story to how your relationship is with the companions (Love/hate) the better.

One more thing can you make the Iokath story repeatable like the other chapters?

Jerba's Avatar


Jerba
06.23.2017 , 05:52 AM | #317
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
Great question! The most important thing you can ever put in feedback is why. Saying that you do or don't like something is helpful, telling us why is invaluable. This way when I am passing feedback on to the team I can highlight not only just sentiment (positive or negative) but also give supporting context for that feeling.

-eric
That is so true, and I fall into the trap myself too often. It is easy to write "nerf this class" or "buff that class" but this is not helpful to the devs. I often forget to state the reasons for why I don't like something, and sometimes I remember it and edit my posts to add it.

Unfortunately, this also opens me up for criticism. Like when I don't like something, players will write "You just don't like it because X and that's not a valid reason".
Whereas when I don't provide a reason, other players have a much harder time trying to argue against my point.

I spend a lot of time to formulate my posts correctly and include the reasons for how I feel about the topic. But then seeing some other poster come along and disqualify my post because "my thinking is wrong", and me thinking devs will just ignore my post because other player dislike it, just demotivates me from including reasons in my post.
So while including reasons may be a noble cause, it's not as simple as you may think.

Quote: Originally Posted by KeithKanneg View Post
Timing is everything, but sometimes it will depend on implementation and whether we can truly do an about face or simply have to go forward and plan/prepare for changes along the way. Galactic Command is a perfect example. It was so integral to everything with Knights of the Eternal Throne (KOTET), that we were not in a position to make the changes everyone requested. We had to go forward or delay KOTET an unknown number of months. That wasn't possible, and as a result, we have made GC changes with every patch since that time.
Thanks Keith! BWA finally admitting that Galactic Command was a failure is very welcomed by me.
While the original intentions are good (you can do whatever you want and still get gear), it turned out to be the worst gearing system ever and caused many veteran players who hadn't quit during 4.0 to quit then.
The main problem was that the balancing was wrong (e.g. NiM operations did not provide the most CXP), that the system was too reliant on RNG, that PvP and PvE gearing was merged, and that the grind was too long. That forced progression players to adjust their whole playstyle around getting gear, while before they could gear during raid nights and play freely the rest of the week.
While I'm sure the PvP and GSF players welcomed the increased participation, you should never force players into a playstyle they don't like. It is terrible when upgrading gear is only possible via PvP, while the goal of GC was supposed to be "play anything you want".
It is impossible to fairly balance PvP gearing with PvE gearing, the playstyles are just too different. You should just remove gear in PvP entirely (and grant static stats, maybe with some bonus depending on Valor rank), and leave gearing for PvE only. GSF is an entirely independent system and it doesn't make sense for it to grant gear toward PvE.

In my opinion, there is no more point trying to salvage it at this point. Progression players are in full 248 gear already (like in my group, 6 are BiS, the others are not as active so they have 246 crafted gear), and everyone else lacks behind. The best solution would be to just reduce the cost and time investment required for 248 gear.
With the next gear reset or level increase, you can implement a better gearing system.

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. [...]
Thanks for the openness, Charles! I had assumed for a while that the story told in KotET was meant to be longer and was shortened to focus on group content, but reading it from the devs certainly helps connect the dots on what's been going on at BWA from 4.0 onwards.

While I myself hope to get the remaining companions back, especially Risha, I'm perfectly fine with using the terminal, in fact I already picked up Risha from the terminal.
When I saw Guss Tuno returning and he now uses a lightsaber instead of a blaster (and he DPSes/tanks even though he's a healer in my mind), and he no longer stands around on my player ship, I'd rather Risha stay in her original form and not be updated.

JennyFlynn's Avatar


JennyFlynn
06.23.2017 , 06:08 AM | #318
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 this Charles. I will admit in the past when I've heard you say you were sad about how you've had to rearrange things in terms of returning companions, I've rolled my eyes at it. Now though with the explanation of how and why I find myself far more sympathetic and understanding so I appreciate you making this post.

I'm guessing that finding feedback to story before it goes live is a little trickier than having people test an Operation and then tweak it. I do have to say I am one of those people who didn't fully enjoy the premise of FE/ET... initially it was alright "ooh what's all this, wow I'm stuck in carbonite?" but what gutted me most was the loss of my old companions and suddenly feeling rather detached from 'who I was'. From my class and faction, and all those people my character had 'grown up with'. -- Do you have any ambition to go back to a model where at least faction wise we receive different stories like we did on Makeb? Also still wanting to know the following;

For Charles; Will we soon hear more about returning companions (and/or LIs), any who may be involved in the 'Crisis on Umbara' update coming in August? I'd love even the tiniest tease or a "Yes, two more will return in August", or whichever is appropriate along those lines. -- And thank you for taking note in the "Male Force User Companion" thread, really an unexpected and welcome surprise!

For Keith; As a player my main focus lies with story content, personally. Can you say whether the 'one story fits all' is now officially the way this game moves forward, story wise, or was that more for the KOTFE/KOTET expansion itself? And will we get another actual expansion (as in brand new story away from -) in the future or will we from now on continue to receive quarterly(?) updates/continuations to existing material?
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Khaleijo's Avatar


Khaleijo
06.23.2017 , 06:42 AM | #319
First I have to say the flow of feedback and information since Keith took over is just awesome. Keep it up

Though i wonder, as some others also asked in this thread, why nor use surveys for direct feedback. To be answered at login for example, short, with up to three questions.
Not for big/difficult things, but a lot of the stuff asked on twitter (neither I nor many of players around me use FB or twitter) could easily be presented to the whole playerbase with the difference, that it would reach and represent all players playing the game.
As an example you certainly know the raw data what the players do with their time ingame, but it is much harder to tell, why they are doing what they are doing exactly.
Even if someone is doing a lot of H2 quests, that doesn't mean it's his favourite sort of content he wants to see more of. It is just what he spends most of his time with, for whatever reason, credits, crates, achievements, CXP grind.
Asking players to rank their two or three most favourite aspects of the game could help to put the raw data into more context.
With the overkill being to present those results afterwards, so that maybe the silent/vocal majority/minority arguments finally end, hard facts being there, and we can concentrate on making the game better for all players instead of only seeing one's own little niche.


Concerning the story feedback, it is difficult because naturally what someone likes or not is highly individual. But to me a good story has to be consistent foremost. Not too many plotlines at the same time and not introducing them without ever solving. Not to contradict stuff told earlier (even only looking at KOTFE/KOTET there are things that just don't fit, though after what Charles wrote that may be the result of reducing the story)

For me the story of 4.0 and 5.0 was mixed, there were some really great ideas, but those were mostly drowned by too many incidents, that just didn't make much sense to me.
As an example the dream sequence. I really liked it, but the execution just left me sitting there thinking, now is this intended, an oversight or a bug (played it a few days after release)?
I first played with the agent and dear Valkorion tells me how crowded it is in my head , when it is my inquisitor who has a bunch of force ghosts bound and the agent even made sure that no one ever should get into his head again during class story the only one maybe being there is Watcher X?
So the chapter more or less started with a huge question mark over my head and it made me more and more sceptical/negative towards the plotline the more of those little hickups I met.

Another thing just a short time later: While i understand the need for the whole sun reactor incident, to me it doesn't make sense that my character is able to repair something, the whole bunch of fleeing engineers and scients couldn't. Before when similiar tasks were given via quests to our characters there always was someone telling us how to do things, plant bomb there, destroy this, put that spike in and so on.
This time, my character has a karbonite poisoning after being 5 years out of the loop and in need to be supported by Lana to just move, having neither an idea where he is nor about Zakuulan technology at all. But he can easily repair the equivalent of a nuclear reactor? Especially he is doing it just because a guy he knows for like five minutes whines at him (Even if my Jedi is about saving people, he is not keen on commiting suicide just because.
Especially if all other "experts" of this technology run for their lives).
It would have made much more sense, if not Koth had been the one to cry for help, but one guy near the reactor with then talking us through the repair and maybe Koth arguing for helping instead of running/saving myself. Not much difference in the amount of content in the chapter or the greater details, but a huge differrence when it comes to logic of events and immersion.

Examples like this happen along the whole way of KOTFE and just killed it for me. KOTET wasn't as bad but at some point I also just didn't bother anymore to care enough about the story and just played on to get through. So the finer details that may have been there also could just have escaped my notice.

Though a huge plus was, KOTET felt much more like really playing my character again instead of just watching things from the side line.

After what Charles wrote, I can't tell if my gripe with the other (bigger) plot or logic holes are there, because of the cutting of the story, or if there would be things left I would feel not being thought through or forgotten, when having the full story.

For the future:
I don't know if it would have been possible with the programming side of a chained quest, but through the whole story I am constantly told I am THE leader, though i can't decide anything concerning tactic or plans.
Especially the Jorgan/Kaliyo or Torian /Vette chapters could easily have changed place in the chronology in my opinion. Like giving the player the option to decide which one to do first.
Lana telling about plunder stuff, Theron suggesting *I have found this guy on Zakuul* and the player decides, *Lana/Theron yours first then the other*. Tadaa, THE leader gets to decide something.


On a side note, why giving the player all these new companions, especially with so many that do not appear in the story again (or was this cut out too?). Most had nothing special about them except maybe their species.
I now have a horde of companions cause most of the time a can't say 'no i don't want you'. Though I have almost no emotional connection to them at all. They don't talk to my character nor react to what it does, nor are there conversations to give them personality. They just clutter the crafting/allies window.

The old companions were liked because we had a history with them, they joined us on many missions, gave their opinion about things.
Being forced to use specific companions during all KOT... chapters was of course due to the storyline, but on the other hand except of a handful occasions we never were that restricted before. Most of the time we could take with us who we wanted.
A little more freedom there could have worked wonders, even if it's only the decision between Lana or Theron or any other cast of two fitting into the chapter. And it is another decision we as players can make without making the story too complicated by different end results. It even invites to replay, as things may be a little different with the other guy/girl having a different opinion.

I understand that real class stories like vanilla are probably way too much work, but I hope that at least different faction stories like Makeb make a comeback. I loved how the two quest chains showed the two sides of the medal, only giving the whole picture of what is happening and why, if you played both.
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menofhorror's Avatar


menofhorror
06.23.2017 , 06:43 AM | #320
Here would be my suggestion: You can still have companion-focused plots without an overarching big bad.

We have to face the facts. No matter how much you try to do an "epic" storyline, it will always be below the vanilla class stories because of the smaller budget now. So my suggestion would be: Don't try it. Don't try to make an "epic, super, uber, duper" plot and instead have smaller and shorter focused storylines on companions. You can still have chapter companion-centric story updates without wasting time on an overarching plot. The way it's been done in vanilla with your first companion and sort of like Mass Effect-like loyalty missions.

If you handle popular companions like Kira the way you handled Dorne and Malavai then I can guarantee you that people won't be happy at all. Nobody will be happy because the way Dorne and Quinn came back was very lackluster. They didn't receive enough attention on the Iokath update, you still only had Lana and Theron as active companions when it should be Quinn and Elara that should have gotten the attention (more dialogue options, more romance lines)