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@BioWare - Suggestions to Improve Republic Appeal / Faction Balance

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion > Suggestion Box
@BioWare - Suggestions to Improve Republic Appeal / Faction Balance

Sagarys's Avatar


Sagarys
01.21.2012 , 08:55 PM | #1
Hello everyone! I'm making this thread to serve as a place to compile as many constructive suggestions regarding how to increase the appeal of the Republic in an attempt to help out the currently significant faction imbalance. Whenever I see threads discussing faction imbalance, I always see people discussing World PVP. This is definitely part of it, but what many are forgetting is that extremely low Republic numbers means very difficult times getting groups together for anything. So, what follows is my attempt to help BioWare out a bit. If any of you have helpful suggestions, I will add them to this post as I see them.

1) The Jedi classes lack proper Jedi flavor (Jedi dialogue feels robotic): As a writer and fan of sci-fi/fantasy fiction, I tend to pay more attention than most to the narrative aspects of this game. For the most part, the overall stories for all of the classes are, at the very least, interesting -- some being stronger than others. But I think where the writing staff missed the mark is in the dialogue for the Jedi's. Let's be honest, it's easy to write stereotypical evil (i.e. the Sith). You could remove the Sith Warrior from his story and replace him with almost any insatiably evil villain, and the lines would work. The difficult part is writing a "Good" character that is still interesting. To me, it seems that the writers went for stereotypical "Good" which translates to "Dull." It took me a while to figure it out, but I finally realized what the Jedi's dialogue lines are missing. Star Wars has always prided itself on its witty, deadpan, sometimes out-of-place humor even in very dire situations. For example, in an episode of the Clone Wars a character mentions something about Anakin doing something that is going to make him and Mace potentially fall to their deaths. Instead of panicking, Obi Wan says something along the lines of "That's Anakin." Then Rex chimes in with, "Most of the General's plans involve falling, sir." It's that sort of snarky banter that the Jedi and their allies are famous for. Sadly, the Jedi's in SWTOR are the more cut and dry, "I'm going to do the right thing now because it's right" sort of "Good" which like I said, I feel really lacks the proper flavor and personality that actually make the Jedi's cool rather than robotic. All that said, I do feel that that sort of personality was captured in the Smuggler's lines.

A caveat to this point - I am well aware of the fact that it is highly unlikely that BioWare will be devoting the immense amounts of time and resources that it would take to go back, rewrite, recode, and rerecord of all the dialogue scenes. This point is more wishful thinking, but it is definitely something that could be improved upon in future content.

2) The Republic needs more cool alien races (making this one green because it seems to be the most popular idea by far): This was said in another thread somewhere, and I agreed with it. The Sith are the racists. The Republic are open to alien relations. There should be many more race options available to the Republic that AREN'T (<---this is key) available to the Sith. This would give an incentive to roll Republic. Examples of races that could be included are the Kel Dor (Master Plo Koon), the Nautolan (Master Kit Fisto), Togruta (Ahsoka Tano), Wookies! (for Smugglers!), the Voss, etc. These are races that I've already seen in game, so the models are already there. They just need to be playable. This would definitely draw players that are more interested in aesthetics to the Republic.

3) Not every Jedi wears a brown hooded robe: The amount of variety that the Empire has in terms of gear compared to the Republic is absurd. They have many more aesthetic options to choose from, and most of them are MUCH cooler and MUCH more intricate than the Republic's options. The next time the gear design team sits down to create some Jedi gear, they may want to look at some pictures of the armor Obi Wan wears in the Clone Wars or the outfit Anakin wears. Heck, even Luke in the Return of the Jedi had some sweet black gear. Just remember this -- when someone who isn't super-versed in Star Wars looks at a picture of the Jedi Knight PvP gear (the Samurai) then looks at the Sith Juggernaut PvP or PvE gear (the massive cyborg mech thing), most people are going to pick the Sith. If the aesthetics are their only concern, the Republic is doomed.

4) Include faction population numbers on the character creation screen (making this one red because there are several theories refuting its effectiveness): It may serve as a deterrent for some players if they see a massive imbalance. They may rethink their initial choice and either go to a more balanced server, or roll on the underdog side. This doesn't take away people's ability to play what they want, it just allows them to make a more informed decision. It is inevitable that some players will see the imbalance and intentionally join the zerg. But most of those players already know the Sith outnumber the Republic anyway, so that isn't likely to make much of a difference in their choice.

5) BioWare's marketers need to go out of their way to make the Republic look as bad *** as the Empire: It's no surprise that the average player is drawn to the Empire. If a player is deciding what faction to play based on the cinematics and trailers that have been released, why wouldn't they choose the Sith? In nearly every video (with the exception of Satele going to town in the forest) the Sith are portrayed as... well, awesome. That's the only way to put it. They're big, they're cool looking, and they kill Jedi in droves. Meanwhile, most of the Jedi and Troopers in the videos look very generic. There is nothing new and exciting that make them stand out. They aren't any different than any other Jedi that people are used to. Conversely, to people that aren't super familiar with the Star Wars franchise, all of these super awesome looking Sith that aren't Darth Vader or Darth Maul are totally new to them and as such are more appealing.

6) Make the Republic examples on the website more appealing looking: Biggest example here, go to the classes section of the main website, look at the trooper picture, then look at the bounty hunter. Already you can see which is more visually appealing. The trooper is in the silly green goggles helmet. At the very least, change that picture and the live 3D model to the awesome red trooper in the PvP gear. It's little oversights like this that went unnoticed (and no one can blame BioWare, this isn't something you'd normally think of) but result in a much less appealing Republic, even if it's just subconscious.

7) Spotlight Videos: Make some sort of videos showcasing the cool aspects of the Republic. Leave out the ugly gear, include the awesome stuff. Choose cutscenes that make the Jedis look like bad asses. Include some of the hilarious Smuggler lines. And whatever you do, DON'T do this for the Empire!!!! I hate to be biased, but they have enough players!

8) Republic Propaganda!: Create a picture of a trooper in the biggest, meanest, sickest looking armor possible (like that one with the missiles on the shoulder). Have him point like Uncle Sam with the caption "Uncle <Trooper's Name> Wants You To Join the Republic!" Post this on the website, the patcher, and loading screens!

9) Free faction swaps for the extremely overpopulated side: Read this one in another thread. Pretty straight forward! In conjunction with some of the above incentives, this could help a lot as I'm sure not everyone wants to roll 1-50 again.

10) The Republic needs a more edgy and appealing, rebellious Jedi "Face" for the faction to draw new players -- Satele isn't cutting it (making this one green because it is fairly popular as well): Someone in this thread (TheRealDestian on page 3) suggested that the Republic needed a renegade Jedi to represent them. Then he went on to describe a cinematic. This got me thinking. Currently, with the exception of Satele, the Jedi Order is full of a bunch of no-name, generic "Masters" who you hardly ever see and certainly aren't cool enough to make anyone want to join the Republic. Heck, even Satele is only one step above these guys. What the Republic really needs is a bad-@ss, smart-@ss, rugged, rebellious Jedi to star in some cinematics to make the Republic look more awesome. Think something like Anakin from the Clone Wars, or Starkiller from Force Unleashed (when you play him light side), or Dash Rendar with a lightsaber -- or perhaps all three smashed into one. This will be a character that plays by his own rules, skirts the line between light and dark, but is 100% loyal to the Jedi Order and to the Republic. As the poster mentioned, the Order doesn't necessarily approve of his tactics, but they tend to overlook them as they ultimately get results. A character like this will help battle the "Good is Dumb" attitude that many players have and will serve to draw more players to the Republic by his sheer awesomeness. I think a more edgy, aggressive character like this will help dispel the sissy pacifistic stigma that the Republic has somehow ended up with.

11) Purple lightsaber shouldn't be "evil": OK, I admit, this one won't do anything for faction imbalance at all because of the current Light/Dark system, but this just irks me. The only person to ever use a purple saber was Mace Windu... a JEDI Master. Why is the purple crystal stuffed into all of the Sith PvP gear? Someone mentioned that making the purple crystal Republic only might bring some people over. I'm going to have to agree, though I'll admit it's fairly trivial compared to the other ideas. At the very least, it should be a Lightside III+ crystal since I'm pretty sure Mace wasn't a Sith Lord!

************************************************** ************************

This is all I can think of for now. If I think of more or if any of you come up with good suggestions, I'll add them to this post at a later date.

TL;DR - No one thing is going to make people drift to the Republic. Many little things, however, over time can accomplish that.

P.S. I play Republic and refuse to join the zerg, so this isn't from an outside POV.

Discuss!

Sagarys's Avatar


Sagarys
01.21.2012 , 09:08 PM | #2
Man that first page goes by fast!

Daroax's Avatar


Daroax
01.21.2012 , 09:14 PM | #3
I agree, the current state of gear is terrible. They really need to include fully mod-able gear.
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Gurdbud's Avatar


Gurdbud
01.21.2012 , 09:19 PM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Sagarys View Post
2) The Republic needs more cool alien races: This was said in another thread somewhere, and I agreed with it. The Sith are the racists. The Republic are open to alien relations. There should be many more race options available to the Republic that AREN'T (<---this is key) available to the Sith. This would give an incentive to roll Republic. Examples of races that could be included are the Kel Dor (Master Plo Koon), the Nautolan (Master Kit Fisto), etc. These are races that I've already seen in game, so the models are already there. They just need to be playable. This would definitely draw players that are more interested in aesthetics to the Republic.
Best idea to address this issue I have heard so far. I suspect though to be fair to players the races would have to be cosmetic only and not giving any real incentive to get players to re-roll a republic character. Still want a Nautolan though.

Sagarys's Avatar


Sagarys
01.21.2012 , 09:26 PM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Gurdbud View Post
Best idea to address this issue I have heard so far. I suspect though to be fair to players the races would have to be cosmetic only and not giving any real incentive to get players to re-roll a republic character. Still want a Nautolan though.
I agree. Currently the races have no utility aside from aesthetics. It should stay that way. I just think more variety would do big things to aid the Republic's numbers.

Rackward's Avatar


Rackward
01.21.2012 , 09:38 PM | #6
I totally agree with you about the jedi knight story. It was so boring in places and it really didnt feel like i was a jedi at all. I actually felt more like a trooper or a soldier or something. Just because you're being hounded by a sith doesnt make you a jedi, anyone can do that.

I feel like the jedi story should have more to do with the force, as it stands at the moment i was a little let down

Zou_Li_Jing's Avatar


Zou_Li_Jing
01.21.2012 , 09:41 PM | #7
Discuss![/QUOTE]

Play republic have 1 of each of the main classes on Thendys Noori (NA, East Coast) server that gets into Standard pop, usually is light pop though. Best character is level 24
Trooper Vanguard.

1) Out of the 2 starter planets and 4 starter stories I liked the Jedi Knight the best and the world of Tython. My Jedi Knight is still a low level (11) but enjoyed it, but yeah the dialogue for Jedi seems kinda, meh (best way to describe it) at times. Although it is a different time then the Clone Wars where the Jedi havent been in war and lost so much, yet.

2) Would be nice to see more alien races for both factions, especially the Republic, but I mainly have gone with human, nothing against the other races. Just like playing as human, but have tried other races on 2 other servers (test server and then Anchorhead).

3) Haven't seen all the armour available to the republic, but have heard a lot of people on the forums, game chat, guild chat, etc talk about the armour differences. Yeah, it would be nice for variety, but then that leaves out the military uniform aspect for 3 of the 4 classes (Knight, Consular and Trooper). Which I know people like to have choices, but I do like see other people wearing the same or close to the same armour for the Republic. Sense of unity

4) Yeah, I would like to see numbers on the servers. Also would like to see active numbers and non-active numbers. Numbers for those who have been active in say, the last 3 days and those who havent been active in 3 days.

5) This one, I actually like how we look ordinary. It shows ordinary men, women, creature, droids stepping up and doing their part and things they wouldn't think they could do until pushed to the edge and no other choice but to. I do agree the Sith look cooler, more awesome, etc. But that is because they go for that. Showing their power, strength, tenacity, cunning, etc. to intimidate their foes from the get go.

Kinda like the Romans facing Celtic tribes in different places in Europe in a good portion of Roman history. Celts were more varied, looked more fierce, etc than the Romans who adopted a more uniformed approach to war (classic Julius Caesar Army, which is the look most people recognize the Roman Republic/Empire as).

So, while variety is nice, same/close to same uniforms do give a sense of Unity even if it isnt truly shared by each individual. Its still there though, regardless when I see others in republic uniforms be they Jedi or not.
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Isende's Avatar


Isende
01.21.2012 , 09:47 PM | #8
In my half-witted way, I also attempted to address this (http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=212664). You did so far more eloquently, and included features that I chose to disregard. I chose to disregard them simply because, if the "STORY STORY STORY" were there, the rest of the things would be a little less glaring.

So ... consider this response a "bump." I, like you, believe they're not going to devote the time/effort/money into cleaning up lame dialog, but one can wish, eh?
I heal for you. You kill for me. Seems a workable solution.

Sagarys's Avatar


Sagarys
01.21.2012 , 09:50 PM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by Isende View Post
In my half-witted way, I also attempted to address this (http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=212664). You did so far more eloquently, and included features that I chose to disregard. I chose to disregard them simply because, if the "STORY STORY STORY" were there, the rest of the things would be a little less glaring.

So ... consider this response a "bump." I, like you, believe they're not going to devote the time/effort/money into cleaning up lame dialog, but one can wish, eh?
Ah your avatar is another race I forgot to mention! Asoka!!

Thank you for the bump.

To the post above you, I agree that some players may appreciate the more "ordinary" aspect of the Republic, but I would say that BioWare doesn't need to remove that. Rather, they could keep it, but add some more visually, artistically appealing characters and VICTORIES (for Christ sake!) to the marketing videos! Just because the Republic is losing the war doesn't mean they can't win a battle or two! Once again, Satele obliterating Malgus excepted.

The goal isn't to make the Republic look over the top, it is simply to make the side look more appealing to people rolling new characters. Currently, a large majority of new players are being drawn to the Empire. I'm just trying to offer suggestions of ways to help stem the bleeding!

Sagarys's Avatar


Sagarys
01.21.2012 , 10:28 PM | #10
Togruta! That's what that race is called. It escaped me!