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Harry Potter, Helm's Deep, and Early Game Access

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Harry Potter, Helm's Deep, and Early Game Access

Bouncy_Hunter's Avatar

12.14.2011 , 01:26 AM | #111
best thread of the day
Rattataki Mandalorian Bexxah

Zeldias's Avatar

12.14.2011 , 01:38 AM | #112
I appreciate the point the OP is making. I guess I'm failing to understand why everyone is so upset in the first place. There's other games to play in the meantime, you know? But I'm not the type to get myself that hyped up about most things in general.

Go pick up Howard Zinn's a "A People's History of the United States" or something from Ishmael Reed or Affinity Konar or Joe Amator or Kass Fleisher. Play Terraria or some other game. **********. Grade papers (if you're me).

I understand disappoint, but ya gotta roll with the punches. Just put it out of your mind and get better at playing KoF13.

Chilliboy's Avatar

12.14.2011 , 01:41 AM | #113
I don't necessarily agree with everything the OP said but it's a refreshing change to see a well constructed post in here.

CalebG's Avatar

12.14.2011 , 01:42 AM | #114
Great post.

I'm not as concerned about getting in as much as how I feel and am treated throughout the waiting process. The waiting process can be easy and relatively pain-free.

However at this point, every time I enter for more information, I get more frustrated at the lack of information about when I can enter, which is then emphasized. i.e. server status showing light/standard status for most servers.

Simply put, treat us, the people who put faith in your game and invested in it even before it is released, as your valued customers.

The Developer Chat is the first of many things that could keep us distracted, so keep such things coming!

dkslae's Avatar

12.14.2011 , 01:43 AM | #115
let me in

Kabloosh's Avatar

12.14.2011 , 01:48 AM | #116
Quote: Originally Posted by illgot View Post
this is what the smart people did...

they went to Walmart and stood around the book bens READING harry potter until they got rung up at midnight... surrounded by the other 20 people that were there ready to pick up the book.

for TOR, I'm living vicariously through Sake and his live stream
Yeah I always go to walmart for midnight releases. I bought wrath and cata there. I got there at 11:55 and left around 12:05 with no issue and I didn't even need to wait in the cold like all those suckers across the street at gamestop.

While I am being patient about this and know I will be playing eventually the anticipation and lack of knowing when it happens is a bit unnerving. I definitely would feel at ease if they just told me what day I should be expected an invite instead of reading speculation posts and just hoping that they work ahead of schedule and aim to get us in for the weekend at the very least. But to be honest I would be fine if they just told me I wasn't playing until the 19th instead of all this jazz.

Clark_CDA's Avatar

12.14.2011 , 01:48 AM | #117
Quote: Originally Posted by CBGB View Post
Early Game Access at Barnes & Noble

Two hours before release of the last Harry Potter book, I looked through the locked doors of Barnes & Noble at the crowd outside. There were three or four hundred people already. We expected 150.

One of them bumped against the door, pressed by the mob behind him. A fellow employee looked at me and asked, 'Did you see Lord of the Rings?'

'Yeah,' I said.

'Remember when the orcs arrive at Helm's Deep?'

'Yeah,' I sighed.

He went back to his register. We had five. Management decided to open two.

The doors opened a few minutes later and the orcs massed around the registers to purchase red raffle-style tickets to be used to get their books at midnight. The lines were slow and people streamed into the store, past our one manager on duty, who stood on a chair.

I brought out the first box of books. People stared. Our manager called out numbers, which no one could hear, and the crowd moved in. Miraculously, they did not grab or push, but I handed out books to any outstretched hand without regard to purchase order. Other employees did the same at two other stations, but we had to pause to get each new box. By the time we locked up, it was after 3am.

The next day, I talked with an employee at another Barnes & Noble, 40 minutes away. They had six registers open - they converted the cafe into a distribution point - and had organized their lines before the doors opened, so everyone knew which of the six places to go for their books They hired a magician for entertainment and had black plastic glasses for kids. They had more customers than we did, and they were done in an hour.

  • 1) The experience of getting a product matters as much as the product itself.
Big events are a chance to gain a lot of customer goodwill. Or lose it.
  • 2) Communication goes a long way.
Waiting is easier when you know what to expect.
  • 3) Invest in your best customers.
The other store had more employees for the shift, but they finished faster and processed fewer complaints (they did have one, from a guy who wanted the cafe to be open). They even got a nice spot on the local news - good PR, lots of satisfied customers

Launch and Early Game Access at Bioware
It's a little late to worry about lesson 1). My heart goes out the product managers for SWTOR (my wife was a product manager for Sierra/Vivendi), but there's nothing so inherently challenging about launch that can't be a time to gain goodwill from players. Rely on lessons 2 and 3.

Lesson 2: communicate, even about delays. That doesn't mean Tweeting/Posting that you just sent more invites, since that doesn't help anyone know when to take off time from work or arrange to meet a friend in-game.
Announce the days for the next blocks of early game access. We'll wait, without wondering how much more we have to wait.

And how about Lesson 3, treating your customers well? That one is as simple as ever: reinstate the grace period.
While it's no grand tragedy to wait out a week, those waiting for physical delivery of the game, including all Collector's Edition players, naturally want to play with others they know who can.
The problem is so easy to avoid. Don't require game codes until Dec 30th.

Show your customers you respect not only their purchases but their time. We're not orcs - tell us exactly when we can play, and we'll be there.
You know, I've been pretty consistent in blasting some of the whiners. But I have to admit, this is a well thought out post. I'm not sure the fact that BioWare could have done it better means that the whiners are entitled to whine. But your post does give me something to think about.

kagespartan's Avatar

12.14.2011 , 02:11 AM | #118
Honestly, I'm not sure that they know right now what dates they're going to admit when. The more the servers can handle, and the better they've been run in, the more they can admit the next wave. They're like as not being ambiguous so they don't get the whining of 'You suck, you activated me a day early and I missed some of my playtime!' They'd rather have the incessant questions of 'When am I going to get' rather than the threats whining that accompanies earliness.

They got a lesson with the 2-day expansion of the EGA. If I was them, I'd shut up too. In the Beta forums, there was some guy that had taken the 15th to the 20th+ off from work so he could play, and threw a fit when he found out it might be seven days rather than five. So much so, that at one point, he threatened to sue.

Therefore, two working scenarios: One, they're going to zip people along (Bonus wave yesterday), and people will get in sooner than they expect. Once given a date, people get hacked if they get to start early.

The other is that they start getting people in, the servers destabilize, and they need longer to work out. If they present even a tentative schedule in those cases, they get slammed in the Forums and other places even worse when people don't get in when even a tentative schedule says they should.

You think it's bad now, imagine what it would be then.

After that, ask yourself why they might want to exercise their right to remain silent.

As for the 'grace' period, they're working with everyone to get them all out ahead of time, so there are minimal interruptions. They got it sorted with Amazon, they'll get it sorted with everyone else, too. More than 99% likelihood there is that the lawyers are still billing for their cut of the contract modifications.

Xzardas's Avatar

12.14.2011 , 02:29 AM | #119
There is no such thing as to much communication. Clearly state what you are doing and why and repeat, ad in new information as it becomes available. Grease those wheals and everything goes smother. Some people will always complain, and when you decide to launch in this way ofc there will be tensions. I think they chose a good launch strategy, if not the best way to communicate it. But then again it's always easy to point fingers when you don't have all the facts.
However if you like some posters here think it's a good idea to be silent, your'e only inviting wild speculations and for seeds of mistrust to be sown. That's what politicians whit something to hide do.

Scrillazilla's Avatar

12.14.2011 , 02:38 AM | #120
What a wonderful read. Thank you OP that was refreshing considering the rage fest that is going on right now.

+ over 9000