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Discussion Topic: Game Update 5.4 and the Next Roadmap

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Discussion Topic: Game Update 5.4 and the Next Roadmap
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FlavivsAetivs's Avatar


FlavivsAetivs
07.29.2017 , 07:47 AM | #721
Quote: Originally Posted by KeithKanneg View Post
As of right now, it is not a Legacy currency. But, I know exactly what you're thinking, so let me pre-announce something which I suspect will make you smile, while at the same time, irritate you because I won't tell you when until I update the Roadmap.

We are working to change currencies to be Legacy based. This includes unassembled components, credits, the Umbara currency, and more. I'm not aware of any major obstacles preventing this from happening, and doing so will help with a number of changes we are planning for the future.

I know that doesn't solve the concern about having to run the Flashpoint multiple times on one character, but once you have the Key to open the Stronghold, you can use the currency for other items on the vendor.

Have a good weekend,

-Keith--
Hey Keith,

How will this affect credit caps? Will all the players' individual caps be combined?

I ask because I know a few people that have hit the 4.3 billion cap on most, or all of their toons, and also am wondering how this will affect free to play and preferred. 350K isn't enough for players to buy things anymore, not even basic supplies for crafting, stims, adrenals, medpacks, etc. The preferred cap really needs to be increased to probably 10 million, as this will also open up the market (I regularly play and understand the market, and somewhere around 5 to 10 million is really the optimal point for F2P/Preferred).

Thanks!

(P.S. If you're one of those people with dozens of billions and they reduce the cap so you're going to loose credits, I will gladly take them. :P )
A.K.A. Magister Militum Flavius Aetius
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Jerba's Avatar


Jerba
07.29.2017 , 08:21 AM | #722
Quote: Originally Posted by KeithKanneg View Post
We did read the whole thread and remember we didn't offer that as an option as progression is still part of PvP. Moving Bolster to 250 virtually eliminates the need to get gear and reduces the value for those who have earned Tier 4 pieces.

The right answer is we need to resolve the PvP gearing issues, so Bolster gets removed as a central issue.

Keith---
As much as I appreciate the increased communication, I need to read between the lines and still don't fully understand your intentions. For example, you write:
"it is our design intent that players in all gameplay have some form of gear progression"
"[P]rogression is still part of PvP. Moving Bolster to 250 virtually eliminates the need to get gear and reduces the value for those who have earned Tier 4 pieces."

I just can't understand your thought process. I did not study game design, but in the past 5+ years of playing this game, I learned a lot about MMOs, and your posts show me that I have a completely different understanding about it than you do. In my opinion, gear progression is required for PvE, but it is counter-productive for PvP.
You requested that we should always include details on why we dislike something, so I'll keep my post as reasoned and objective as possible.

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Gear is the best reward you can offer in an MMO. Putting out higher numbers feels very rewarding, and will cause your players to do whatever is necessary to get the gear - assuming the grind is not too long, or they'd lose interest and quit the game entirely.

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For PvE, gear progression is needed because the content is very repetitive. By offering loot, you encourage players to keep killing the same bosses over and over again without it becoming boring.

An exception can be made for the very hardest content (nightmare/Master Mode), which is tuned to such a high level that you'll have variances in daily player performance and RNG, which makes the content interesting for a long time. But for the average PvE player who can't run that content (instead doing e.g. flashpoints and SM operations), the content grows old very fast, and needs to offer gear as a reward.
Ideally, it should take everyone 3-6 months to get the full gear, then you can have another 3-6 months where everyone is BiS before resetting the gear and introducing a new grind, ideally together with new content so that players won't feel they need to regrind to get back to where they were before.

The traditional gear progression (locking gear behind the hardest content), as it is used in WoW, and was used in SWTOR pre-4.0, works if and only if that content becomes easier over time. When a new raid is added, you have trouble beating it not just because you need to learn the mechanics, but also because you need to acquire gear. As you get more and more gear, the bosses become easier. And with the next expansion and level increase, you'll be 5 levels higher and a group that can usually only do VM bosses can take a shot at the MM bosses from the previous expansion, prolonging their amount of content.

Unfortunately, since the 4.0 changes this is no longer possible. All content stays on-level, and players are stuck running their content. A VM raid group is stuck running VM, they'll never meet the DPS checks required to advance into MM because their player skill is lower, they will always play at e.g. 80% efficiency, and they need better gear to advance into higher content.
This is worsened by the fact that the learning curve is too steep. New players can no longer learn their class when leveling up because the content is too easy, and SM operations had so many mechanics taken out that the transition to VM is too difficult.

There appears to be some trend where your design team wants to make the new content as challenging as possible. We saw that with Rav/ToS/Monolith, with the Forged Alliance flashpoints and especially Blood Hunt/Battle of Rishi, and now with the new GotM raid. Umbara promises to be no different since you say it will require 242 gear.
Right now, GotM VM is tuned too difficult. Raid groups that can kill all other VM content (except for maybe Revan/M&B/Styrak VM), have difficulty beating Tyth. I can understand that with the operation spread across a full year, it should be tuned more difficult, but then it must be nerfed eventually. I was very sad to not see any nerfs for Tyth with 5.2 - in fact, because of the class changes, it is now much harder to beat the DPS checks. Any group who is still progressing on Tyth 3 months after release should now see a nerf for Tyth so that they have a chance to beat it. And if Tyth is nerfed, any group who already killed Tyth before will be able to get the Tyth lockout much faster (instead of spending 1+ hours on it), and can spend more time on the new boss.

I advocate for reverting the 4.0 changes. It should once again be possible to outgear and outlevel content. Without doubt, EV/KP/EC were too easy during 4.0, so you should never be 10 levels above the content. But I'd be fine with having current content on-level, and any previous content 5 levels lower. Alternatively, you could just nerf DPS/HPs checks to have the same effect. Ideally, you would offer a button for top PvE players to scale the content back to on-level difficulty; then they can still challenge themselves if they want.

A major problem is legacy gear. Usually, the purpose of lockouts is to prevent players from farming gear too quickly. By now, most veteran players have 5+ characters at max level, and they'd be able to farm a full gear set within 1-2 weeks. This must be prevented, as it unbalances any gear progression you intend.
One solution could be legacy-wide lockouts. For example, players could still kill the same boss on multiple characters, but they'd only receive loot on the first kill. But I'm sure you can come up with plenty of other solutions to prevent players from farming gear too quickly.

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For PvP, a gear progression is not needed. Because of matchmaking, every match is different. A PvP player will be occupied in playing PvP for a long time even if there's no gear progression. As long as you offer a new map from time to time, and do some class changes throughout the year to keep the meta from becoming stale, PvP players are happy.

If you look at any bolster discussion thread, the consensus is that in PvP, everyone should be on equal footing and that the 4.0 period was the best time for PvP. There can be room for some player variance, e.g. the amount of Crit and Alacrity enhancements, but other than that, everyone should have the same stats.

The problem is that PvP is a very hostile environment, and the player retention there is much lower than in PvE. (This is easily proven if you look at any MMO, the PvP servers are always the first to die out.)
To some degree, this is because of bad player behaviour since PvP brings out the worst in people, but it's also because in PvP, there is always a winning and a losing side.
Good players in good gear who win every match will of course feel happy, but on the other end of the spectrum, you have the new player in bad gear. If he sees how much PvP he needs to play to get gear and become competitive, he will more than likely give up instead of trying to improve.

Close matches can be very fun for both sides. For example, a 5:6 defeat in Huttball doesn't feel as bad as a 0:6 defeat. And for the winning side, a close victory has more suspense than an easy victory. And these types of situations can be created by giving everyone the same gear. (Of course, the matchmaking should also be good so that you don't have two premades fighting against 8 random players.)

I realize that the server populations have gone down, and you need to encourage players to PvP so that queue times are short, but it should not come at the expense of the PvE players. Since 5.0, there has been a decrease in the amount of flashpoints and operations being run because PvE players are forced to PvP to upgrade gear.
I'm confident that PvP will survive if you add 248+ bolster. Already, PvP is the best source of conquest points, and you have succeeded in converting many PvE players into doing PvP; I'm confident that they'll continue doing PvP. Maybe not as much as now, but still queue 1-2 matches a day for fun, even if they don't get gear from it.

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For myself, I'm mostly a PvE player and only play PvP when I'm in the mood for it. I got full 242 gear before 5.2, so when 5.2 launched, I was forced to play tons of PvP to upgrade it to 248.

I have a full 248 gear set now (and reached Valor 100 and completed the 1000 warzones achievement in the process), but I hated every second of it. Nearly everyone in my raid group has full 248 gear by now, except for the 1-2 players who don't play SWTOR as much (and we crafted 246 gear for them).

However, I would not be angry if the gear grind was nerfed and 248 gear became more easily available. From what I can tell, Galactic Command and the huge gear grind is the main reason why many veteran players left post-5.0, and it's the main deterrent preventing previous players to return to the game. Putting in DPS nerfs in 5.2 only helped some players with their decision in unsubscribing.

Right now, even though we got a new operation, I do not see a big uptick in PvE players. To some part, this is because during summer, it is always less busy in MMOs, but I'm confident that it's also because of the gear grind.
I already forgot most of my frustration with the forced PvP, and would rather have more people to play with, than sit on my 248 gear because it took so much time to get it. I do hope my long post could convince you that the current gearing system is flawed. The grind should have been nerfed months ago, and any week it goes on longer is wrong.

A quick fix would be to increase component rewards from PvP by 5x, and add components to all PvE content (operations, flashpoints, uprisings), with the amount depending on the difficulty. Then, you have some breathing room to get a better gearing system in place for 6.0.

Sefeki's Avatar


Sefeki
07.29.2017 , 08:30 AM | #723
Quote: Originally Posted by MeNaCe-NZ View Post
Those players don't NEED more credits so there is little reason for this.
I know a fair number of people who are F2P or Preferred who would disagree with you on that.

Jeweledleah's Avatar


Jeweledleah
07.29.2017 , 08:37 AM | #724
Quote: Originally Posted by casirabit View Post
Credits too? (Cover your ears so you don't hear the scream) YAY!
I'm actualy worried about the credits part. preferred/f2p credit limits are low as it is. making credits legacywide will mean that your entire stable of characters has 200k/350k between them, unless credit limits are changed. and before people come along and engage in shadenfreude - you do NOT want to push even more people from this game with this. trust me.

Quote: Originally Posted by KeithKanneg View Post
Actually, we do care about all of our players. That's why we will address currencies and content access for all players this year, too.

---Keith
I'm hoping that this means non subscribers will actualy be able to afford to participate in content/market along with subscribers.

that said, the burning question in my mind is.... will the character transfer cost remain at it current number after the 5.4? or will it go up before the patch?

Dak_fireraker's Avatar


Dak_fireraker
07.29.2017 , 09:09 AM | #725
Quote: Originally Posted by Seelvir View Post
Please ... please tell me that we'll have to defend our trains from masked bandits mounted on steeds of some biological or mechanical variety. We need a whole mini game where we ride Collicoid-Games-Esque turrets mounted on the tops of our Stronghold-Trains, and when we get overwhlemed and the masked bandits board, we dismount and defend the train with our sabers and blasters.

Rewards? I think a weekly crate with a guaranteed 248 sounds about right. A SELECTABLE 248.

Also, please PvP this too.

I don't think that's asking too much. That's like, what? A few days of development? At MOST?

Oh, almost forgot, guild stronghold trains can be used for guild-v-guild PvP for like a dozen crates of 248 gear per winner per week. That's like, a few extra hours of dev time.

I'm looking forward to this content. Thank you!

EDIT: ALSO, the reward crates should be delivered by a swooning companion of the player's choice. This needs a whole unboxing interface of epic companion swoonage, like the new unboxing interface you guys unveiled a while back. That's like another few hours dev time. Totally.
Now I realize this was mostly a joke post; however, I wanted to throw out the idea that having a PVP option for our stronghold would be an EPIC idea. For those that are so inclined it could have an option to "Allow PVP," "Open for PVP," "Allow Invasions?" etc. just like there is an option to make a stronghold open to the public so others can tour & admire our decorating skills. I've actually given this idea quite a lot of thought & rather than post all the ideas here in this thread I've started a new one Here I'd love to hear from some Devs about this.
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ZionHalcyon's Avatar


ZionHalcyon
07.29.2017 , 09:23 AM | #726
Quote: Originally Posted by KeithKanneg View Post
As of right now, it is not a Legacy currency. But, I know exactly what you're thinking, so let me pre-announce something which I suspect will make you smile, while at the same time, irritate you because I won't tell you when until I update the Roadmap.

We are working to change currencies to be Legacy based. This includes unassembled components, credits, the Umbara currency, and more. I'm not aware of any major obstacles preventing this from happening, and doing so will help with a number of changes we are planning for the future.

I know that doesn't solve the concern about having to run the Flashpoint multiple times on one character, but once you have the Key to open the Stronghold, you can use the currency for other items on the vendor.

Have a good weekend,

-Keith--
Does this mean a cap raise (or removal of) the credit cap for premium/ftp players?

Given that you are touching every currency anyway, maybe cap everything BUT credits for FTP?

Tsillah's Avatar


Tsillah
07.29.2017 , 09:51 AM | #727
Quote: Originally Posted by ZionHalcyon View Post
Does this mean a cap raise (or removal of) the credit cap for premium/ftp players?

Given that you are touching every currency anyway, maybe cap everything BUT credits for FTP?
Well it's a good question you ask.

From my point of view they can go a few different ways. The assumption is that as indicated credits will be shared between a legacy.

So what options reasonably exist?

1) Remove the credit cap. But this will make subbing a lot less attractive as it is a big one between f2p and subbing.
2) Raise the legacy credit cap either to a new amount. Let's say they raise it to 1 million credits for f2p and 2 million for preferred. Then add 500k to the cap for each character slot added beyond the standard.
3) Raise the legacy credit cap to a new fixed amount regardless of character slots bought. Preferred get a higher cap.
4) Legacy credit storage is for subs only and f2p stays the same with perhaps a raised level cap.

Personally the second option would make the most sense to me and the third might be the case. The first and last option in my list would not be desirable I think. Option 1 really would make subbing less attractive and option 4 would create two systems within the game, which will create issues particularly for people who drop their subs but keep playing.

I think option 2 is the best idea because it takes into account that people have more characters that they used to be able to store 350k credits on each. So to have a base amount that gets expanded with adding character slots OR to have a new escrow option that permanently raises the legacy credit cap for each additional character token/slot used would keep it interesting for BW as well. This could be a fair service in the CM for non subs. It also makes it more interesting to sub at least for a month or buy something since preferred status would have a raised base cap.

That's my ideas on the topic.
Don't freak out, I'm just here by the grace of a referal. Nothing more.

Deewe's Avatar


Deewe
07.29.2017 , 09:56 AM | #728
Quote: Originally Posted by KeithKanneg View Post
We did read the whole thread and remember we didn't offer that as an option as progression is still part of PvP. Moving Bolster to 250 virtually eliminates the need to get gear and reduces the value for those who have earned Tier 4 pieces.

The right answer is we need to resolve the PvP gearing issues, so Bolster gets removed as a central issue.

Keith---
Keith,

respectfully, you guys keep shooting yourselves in the foot.
PvP should never ever be about gear power progression.
That is a poor way to keep players hooked to the game.

Again PvP should be about skill, coordination and momentum. The thrill of epic fights against as geared and eventually more skilled opponents.

I don't have any good memory of fights I won because I had better gear. Even I still have very bad flashbacks of the countless of times I've been ganked because of sub-par gear.
Now I'm still fond of the times when we were being crushed by the opponent team for long, till we were finally able to act as a team and turn around the outcome. It is even more rewarding when you know your team is way less skilled than the opponent's one but as supporting each others you are able to survive long enough to win.

You do have to turn PvP around, making it about the combat not the gear.

Now as incentive, do as all other PvP game do: make it about gear look, make it about getting cosmetic rewards, pets, mounts, decorations. Anything that a player would be proud to display without giving an edge over someone else and so hindering the fun of them.

Finally to be totally honest, the highlighted sentence totally points BioWare issue since launch: you do not listen to your player base. The dices were rigged from start. You have an idea and apart slight adjustments you stick to it, whatever the players feedback.

Your predecessor did the same with the Galactic Command and there we are months later still trying to patch it.
I wonder how much BioWare wasted on the GC so far and how much more you're going to keep wasting.
The GC was indded a great feature (on paper,) the implementation is another story.

Would you have truly listened to the players not only you would not have lost so many subs, (especially the vets,) but also all the spent money could have been invested into new content.

But again you are the captain, you can keep digging into what you think is good for the game. Sadly, in the end pretty sure you'll keep loosing more players.

P.S.: BTW if you want to make the combat more interesting drastically reduce the STUNs. One should never ever feel like somebody took his keyboard away to easily kill him.
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IoNonSoEVero's Avatar


IoNonSoEVero
07.29.2017 , 10:15 AM | #729
Quote: Originally Posted by Jerba View Post
I realize that the server populations have gone down, and you need to encourage players to PvP so that queue times are short, but it should not come at the expense of the PvE players.
This.

casirabit's Avatar


casirabit
07.29.2017 , 10:23 AM | #730
I keep hearing ask the players, especially the vets but each player is different, even vets. I been here since launch and frankly I do like the way the Galactic Command works for those that don't do operations, pvp.

I suggest once that we make all gear available to all players and what did I get, go do operations then you can get the gear, and that is a bunch of crap. I did some operations and frankly got sick of the attitudes of some of the raiders.

I tried to bring in a friend to do some healing for one, and even though she had good gear and augmented gear just because she didn't do any operations yet they said no. Right then and there I said hell with it. I am tired of players being left out of things just because they don't the same thing I do. I don't demand them to do what I do. I have seen it too many times in the past where people say the only right way is to do what they think is right.

I am tired of watching "vets" downgrade other players because they don't do what the deem is the right way to play. When in the world did you become the boss of another player and tell them how they should or shouldn't play.

Sure GC could do to be a little better, operations should have gear drop better and so should pvp but this attitude do it my way and hell with anyone else that disagrees or doesn't play my way, is wrong. I don't demand people to play my way, hell I don't even demand them to roleplay but some of you do think your way is the only way and that is wrong.

Understand not everyone likes your style of play and that is not wrong and stop downgrading other players because of it. The game needs everyone not just one style of play.
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