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Star Wars: The Old Republic – State of the Game

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Star Wars: The Old Republic – State of the Game
First BioWare Post First BioWare Post

Nyla's Avatar


Nyla
11.07.2012 , 07:33 AM | #191
Talking generally about the state of the game, here's my 2 cents:

#1 No clear direction/lack of coherence:

Imo, one of the biggest problem with SWTOR is the lack of a clear direction for the game, instead of trying to being great at least in some parts of the game, it seems to me it just tries to be ok everywhere.

At first, it was hammered that SWTOR was a different MMO focused on story. While it's true for the leveling part, it completely ends when people reach 50. Even more so, there's still no update on stories, Makeb is not in 1.5 and there's time only for another update before the end of the year. So no story is not really a focus for SWTOR.

As for PvE endgame, there's some updates but here again, direction is not clear. Too easy at launch, with now different difficulty modes, it's still not clear what are the devs intents. Progression between flashpoints and operations is not clear, gear progression is not clear.

About PvP, I don't even know why you made PvP servers when at same time, each planet was build to avoid as much as possible interactions between factions and when there's no system to promote open world PvP.
And Ilum ? I don't think I have to talk much here, it was made, got some fixes then closed. What about it now ?
About warzones, again what is the direction ? Ranked warzones seem a move toward more hardcores PvPers but at same you give them almost no reason to do thoses. Is it really your intent to have people with low experience and gear be farmed by premades of people with Elite War Hero gear and 5k more HP ?

I could go on with many other aspects of the game, crafting, codex, art, .... but it serves no purpose, YOU have to choose what direction, what flavor you want for the game and build all the features in coherence with thoses goals because right now, the game is just ok in many directions but doesn't shine anywhere.


#2 Bugs/Development:

Being a developer myself and even if I never worked on a game, I think I got a good grasp at the difficulty to make such a big software. That said, there's still a lof of things I don't understand when I look at the state of the game.
Sure, unexpected things happen and changes sometimes create problems outside of their own scope but still, while we are gettting close to the first anniversary, there's still tons of unresolved problems.

As a few examples that exist since launch, here it is:
  • Ashara/Kira: still moving around showing their lightsabers.
  • Weapons: when combat ends, animation goes back to normal but weapons are still unsheathed, most noticeable with lightsabers, characters use normal running animations with lightsabers unsheathed instead of the special animations made for running with weapons unsheathed.
  • Crew skill trainer window: when you go see your crew skill trainer and check the schematics you can or could learn, depending on the filters and what is/was expanded/collapsed, the window doesn't show anything when it should or schematics are superimposed.
  • Mail: it costs 5 credits but when you had an item to the mail, it shows 10 credits but it still costs 5 credits.
  • Crew skills: missing schematics for some class/spec, multiple items or mods with different names but same stats.

Again I could go on and I understand that thoses bugs don't stop people from playing the game but it just shows you are doing something wrong. It annoys people that still play, it baffles new players that simple things are still not sorted out and it shows people that come back to the game that you haven't handle much since they left.
Sure, there might be critical problems like CTDs, PC freezes or extreme performance/lag issues but everything has to resolved and old bugs too, especially when they are so easily reproductible.

That's where I want to move to development, it seems really strange from the outside. Again, it shows a lack of a clear direction for the future of the game and a lack of coherence between the different parts. Designs of features once presented to us don't seem fully thought and/or taking into account players, how we play or why we use this or that features. Thoses features are released half finished, with bugs after a long wait.

Just as an example I will take the ranked warzones. From an abstract point of view, there's not much difference between normal and ranked warzones, you queue (in a group) for warzones, you play the warzone chosen for you, at the end you get rewarded for the win/loss. It's almost exactly the same process as for normal warzones and the little tweaks necessary shouldn't have been much trouble to do. Despite that, it had to be delayed to a further update.
Furthermore, the lack of difference, of incentives lead to the small amount of ranked warzones played. The designs of the normal/ranked should be different, it's a failure to have teams of experienced players in Elite War hero gear with around 20k hp fight against fresh lvl 50 solo players that may not even know about recruit gear.


Well, I should stop here, while it's nice to see some more communications from Bioware, you lost the trust of some people and without increased efforts towards the clear and defined goal to make a better, well thought, coherent game, not just a more profitable one, I doubt F2P and the months to come will improve things much.
“When 900 years old, you reach… Look as good, you will not.”

KakeWaffo's Avatar


KakeWaffo
11.07.2012 , 07:48 AM | #192
As it has been stated before, story is what is supposed to set this game apart from others of its ilk. What update do you have for us folks looking for Chapters 4, 5, 6, etc. of the class stories? Is this still a priority or is focusing on endgame content like WZ, FP, Ops, etc. the priority? When can we expect to see more story content?

Master_Elhan's Avatar


Master_Elhan
11.07.2012 , 07:56 AM | #193
As a professional working in the softwasre industry, I can positively say that if any of our products had such horrible performance issues I would loose my job.

I do understand that bugs creep in every now and then. But SWtoR at present has near game-breaking issues (constant lag for example, amongst many others). I love this game and will keep on playing until Christmass at least, but unless at east the really big, obvious technical issues are solved I may not continue to do so.

In a nutshell:

1. Sort the big technical issues. Fire your developers and hire better ones if need be.
2. Start adding more content.

P.S. damage meters would be nice, but this one is just a personal preference.

Nemmar's Avatar


Nemmar
11.07.2012 , 08:02 AM | #194
Hello Jeff.

I apologise because i dont have time to read the whole thread and i dont know if this issue has been brought up.

I love SWTOR, i plan to play it for years to come but there is one issue i consider completely vital in the game's core that isnt fixed to this day. Many call it combat delay, i dont know the specifics. What i do know is that there is an issue in combat with the GCD's flickering and triggering but no skill triggering when you're spamming your skills in an effort to get the best possible performace DPS/TPS/HPS wise. This is very frustrating as it makes you lose 1.5 seconds of the combat everytime it happens. It chips away your enjoyment of the combat bit by bit and it really needs to be completely fixed. I had hope that the new servers would do that, but it wasnt the case.

I do believe the issue is related to lag as it seems to occur more often when theres more people in the servers, and even more common on operations. Please fix the issue as i believe it will plague the game and prevent it to ever achieve a bigger sucess than it already has. Its a core element of the game. Or, at least explain to us what is preventing it from beeing fixed.

A second major issue in my opinion are the loading times. They can get atrocious at times. It needs optimisation or at least news that optimisation will come in the future. The loading bar itself does not help the situation as it seems to get stuck on 1/4 for quite a long time and the game loads up when it hits half. Maybe it would ease up the frustration if it had a more realistic fill, but also obviously by reducing the load times altogether since we have to do alot of traveling to get around in the galaxy.

Ah... also i have a sugestion. James Ohlen seems to be beeing held in captivity or something. Bring him out, let him speak about the game. He always sounded excited about it, and i always believed he loved the game as we do. He is the link to the original team that remains and we must see that he is on board.

Let me add another sugestion that will add many hours of gameplay to the game: An achievement system. It is very important, and while at it add reputation factions aswell. These both help retention of players.

sumuji's Avatar


sumuji
11.07.2012 , 08:02 AM | #195
I can tell you myself and most of the community apprecaites the time taken to do this as it's no mystery that we've been finding the communication to be severely lacking compared to most games.

Dasgruberg's Avatar


Dasgruberg
11.07.2012 , 08:12 AM | #196
Just FYI : November is the last official month of "fall". No seriously though, i love that you guys are publicly testing changes and making sure quality beats release time whining. If you rush a patch, the public will only remember the bugs and what was wrong. If you delay something, but release it polished, they wont remember the wait, theyll remember the quality of the patch. Keep it up! Cant wait to play a polished version of HK-51 content!

Much love, Thomas.
Maekor - 55 Juggernaut
Andrine - 55 shadow
Kintara - 55 Powertech
Zaekor - 55 Sniper

anstalt's Avatar


anstalt
11.07.2012 , 08:18 AM | #197
Quote: Originally Posted by Ifrica View Post
by this analogy, not a single PS3 or XBOX game is worth paying 50 euros for.
The hours of fun I already had for that 12 euro per month outweighs the 50 euros i'd have to pay per game after i finish it in 10ish hours (or even less)
Everybody has their own definition and limits as to what they'll pay.

In the MMO market, there is a generally accepted minimum amount of functionality that players expect in a game. Everyone has their own limits, but basically if an MMO doesn't meet a players minimum expectations then they will deem it "not worth paying for".

This is why people aren't willing to pay £8.99 for SW:TOR each month: it doesn't stand up to their expectations of what the game should be. Whether those expectations are justified or not is an entirely different matter but the point is that hundreds of thousands of people have judged SW:TOR to be an inferior product in the market place and have taken their money elsewhere.

Rather than address the root cause of people leaving (TOR being an inferior product) the management (Jeff Hickman) have decided to lower the cost of the game in order to attract more people. They are essentially putting SW:TOR in the bargin bin in order to squeeze as much money out of it as possible before it gets canned.



(For the record, I also don't think many console games are worth buying for 50 euros. Console games have focused too much on pretty graphics and not enough on actual gameplay since the 360 came out. This has resulted in 100s of very beautiful but ultimately bland console games that fail to hold my attention. I now no longer purchase console games until they are reduced to £20 or less because I don't think they are worth the full price any more.)
Anstalt - lvl 50 valor 81 Shadow Consular

Currently retired due to poor design decisions within the game that have killed its longevity. Get rid of Hickman before he ruins the game completely!

Inzuher's Avatar


Inzuher
11.07.2012 , 08:21 AM | #198
Is it still the plan to eventually expand on the class stories, or have that project been dropped?

Quote: Originally Posted by KakeWaffo View Post
As it has been stated before, story is what is supposed to set this game apart from others of its ilk. What update do you have for us folks looking for Chapters 4, 5, 6, etc. of the class stories? Is this still a priority or is focusing on endgame content like WZ, FP, Ops, etc. the priority? When can we expect to see more story content?
^^this.

Screw the PVE and PVP you can't do better than wow there anyways, we need some more story!
"I am that which grips the heart in fright, hearkens night, and silences the light.".

tarkkonis's Avatar


tarkkonis
11.07.2012 , 08:29 AM | #199
Quote: Originally Posted by Inzuher View Post
Is it still the plan to eventually expand on the class stories, or have that project been dropped?
Having already spent the best part of $300 million on developing (mostly) the voiceovers, I don't really believe that the game will reccieve that kind of funding to create a fully voiced class voice over expansion in the future.

Aubrac's Avatar


Aubrac
11.07.2012 , 08:32 AM | #200
There are some excellent responses to the state of the game so I won't rehash what's already been said.

I've been a subscriber since pre-launch and for most of that time, I really enjoyed the game. I haven't played much in the last couple of months because most of my friends left for the exact same reasons stated above. We had/have a relatively large guild in WoW that raided regularly. When we started playing SW:TOR, we couldn't ever get enough people interested to even attempt the Operations here. I kept telling myself to "give it time" and Bioware will get it right and everyone will come back. About the time when everyone left is when Bioware decided to "clam up" and we had no feedback for many weeks. My hope for the future of the game started to wane then. Soon afterwards, the announcement came that the game would be going F2P. I've been monitoring the sparse communication about F2P and other content and the future looks bleaker and bleaker. The limitations placed on F2P/Preferred players don't encourage subscription, they practically require it in order to achieve a pleasant playing experience. I think most players may give the game a try but when they see how restrictive the game really is, they won't think about purchasing from the cash shop or subscribing, they'll just turn the game off and never look back.

The one main content update that is not specifically targeted at raiders or PvP'ers (i.e. HK-51) currently requires players to purchase a part that is only available in a free-for-all PvP area. Really? Players who chose to play on a PvE server chose so because they didn't want to PvP or wanted consensual PvP. I was pretty turned off by the idea of the "Gambling Boxes" and had thought about cancelling my subscription over it but I thought I'd give it the benefit of the doubt and try before making a decision. The issue about the HK-51 vendor is over the line though. The fact that you disregard another's players server preference and gate their content with a playstyle they don't enjoy just to provide content to another segment of the playerbase was really the last straw. If the vendor goes live in a PvP zone then you will have made my decision quite simple for me and I'll not be subscribing anymore.