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No mention of GSF in roadmap for all of 2015?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Galactic Starfighter
No mention of GSF in roadmap for all of 2015?

Verain's Avatar


Verain
01.29.2015 , 05:20 PM | #21
I could be down for a private forum or honestly even an email chain. However, I think it doesn't matter too much. The normal way of communicating- a player makes a thread, other players comment- actually has been working pretty well. We have a serious amount of agreement about certain issues already, a bunch of independent players who main entirely different ships agreeing on a whole huge swaths of pvp balance.

Yes, there's still some noise, but if a dev cared he'd read over that stuff way easier than we do. Pick a class forum, or the pvp forum, and try to find that level of agreement- nowhere close.


So I don't think it's a lack of consensus, or a lack of good phrasing, or a lack of editing, I just think that they were pulled away from GSF. My thinking has been, have some good stuff whenever they come back.
"The most despicable person on the GSF forum."

MaximilianPower's Avatar


MaximilianPower
01.29.2015 , 06:33 PM | #22
@nyghtrunner - I would be down for a reddit thread or whatever, but I'm largely pessimistic about BW's stance on GSF (as you know). Might help, couldn't hurt.

Personally, I think the most impact I can have is to act as an advocate for GSF wherever I can - whether that's in my guild(s), fleet chat, post-match dialogue with fellow pilots...whatever. And I'm trying to do more of that these days. "Ambassador" is the right word - GSF needs folks like us to dispel misconceptions and extol its virtues. I have no idea if I can ultimately impact BW's roadmap (or lack thereof) this way, but people do seem to appreciate it, and at least on that level I feel like maybe I can make a difference.

Maybe not.

But damned if I won't try.

Zuckerkorn Zuckernaut Spiderzuck Tensorcide Zuck-srw'i
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Star Forge / Satele Shan / Darth Malgus


Self-Inflicted / Shadowlands Reconnaisance Wing / Retrocide / Imperial Entanglements

Nemarus's Avatar


Nemarus
01.29.2015 , 06:36 PM | #23
Quote: Originally Posted by Verain View Post
I could be down for a private forum or honestly even an email chain. However, I think it doesn't matter too much. The normal way of communicating- a player makes a thread, other players comment- actually has been working pretty well. We have a serious amount of agreement about certain issues already, a bunch of independent players who main entirely different ships agreeing on a whole huge swaths of pvp balance.

Yes, there's still some noise, but if a dev cared he'd read over that stuff way easier than we do. Pick a class forum, or the pvp forum, and try to find that level of agreement- nowhere close.


So I don't think it's a lack of consensus, or a lack of good phrasing, or a lack of editing, I just think that they were pulled away from GSF. My thinking has been, have some good stuff whenever they come back.
Last week, I got an e-mail from Tait when she mass-emailed guild leaders. I used that as an opportunity to e-mail her back this in response:

Quote:
Hi Tait!

I run the largest GSF-focused guild (yes, they do exist). And more than that, the GSF community across all servers itself is very close knit--much like a large meta guild. Many of us hop server to server to fly together in scheduled events.

We know that the GSF population is smaller than BioWare hoped, but we remain passionate advocates and evangelists for the game.

I created a thread on the SWTOR subreddit to discuss GSF, and it quickly took off. It is full of thoughtful opinions and insights from GSF lovers and haters alike. Have a look! It may contain useful information for the devs.
http://www.reddit.com/r/swtor/commen...c_starfighter/

You can see that many people want to play GSF, but would like a better tutorial experience, or more connection to ground game rewards (such as cosmetics and decorations).

Unfortunately the recent producer letter left us feeling a bit discouraged, as there was no mention of GSF at all. This was very surprising, since Bruce himself spoke of a "multi-phase plan to revitalize GSF" in the Cantina event in New York in October. What happened to that plan?

We have pragmatic expectations--we know GSF is not a focus for development right now. But we were hoping to at least get the modest balance pass that was said to be in the works last year. Even a few small numerical tweaks to existing components, such as those listed below, could make the game more accessible.

http://www.swtor.com/community/showp...62&postcount=1

Simple changes like these would serve as an olive branch to the GSF community, which has felt extremely slighted due to the recent spat of almost casual regressions introduced into GSF with 3.0+. I am happy these were fixed with relative haste, though it seemed like the issues were not even acknowledged until the GSF community pooled together to spam the general forums. Our own forum seems to be rarely visited by devs anymore.

I know we are a small community, and that our pet feature is not in line with SWTOR's renewed focus on story content. And I understand if that is why GSF was not mentioned in the producer's letter. But it would really help us to know exactly what to expect this year, in terms of the balance pass, better connection between GSF and ground game rewards, any "better than cross server" matchmaking solutions, potential new ships or maps, and of course Bruce's "multi-phase plan to revitalize GSF".

Thank you for your time!
I view Verain's recent @Devs thread as the closet thing we have to a consensus of a modest list of low-cost, low-risk changes that would improve GSF. I hope that my e-mail, by some chance, will call Dev attention to that post. Note that I linked to the OP only, excluding the replies :P

I have yet to hear back, though I suspect the entire CS team has been busy with 3.1.1 and Exploit Action.

I may ping her again in a few weeks. Honestly I'm not sure what else we can do though. I am fairly certain that at this point, this forum is a fandom forum for us only. It is not a conduit to the devs. I can only hope Tait takes notice of my e-mail among the many she gets.

I'll let you all know.
Shayd / Callem / RK-4X / "Trynt" - Leader of <Eclipse Squadron>, The Ebon Hawk
http://EclipseSquadron.enjin.com Imperial GSF-focused guild

"Serve the Emperor above all others."

Pietrastor's Avatar


Pietrastor
01.29.2015 , 07:34 PM | #24
Quote: Originally Posted by Nemarus View Post
As much as I love GSF (and I do love it), I think this forum is a little bit delusional in its expectations. I say this as as a veteran project manager of the gaming industry who has to make hard cuts all the time.

Recent events have shown that GSF is casually butchered by lapses in version control. That means it likely has no regression test process. The dev team for GSF, which used to play it at lunch and analyze telemetry, has likely been scattered to the wind to work on other features or games.

Bugs are only acknowledged and addressed when we shout loud enough (in general forums and /bug reports, not this forum which is unread by BioWare). And then, we likely get maybe one junior dev assigned to unfrak the version control bugs and get GSF back to something resembling its "normal" state.

We are a niche community on a niche game that is fighting to maintain its relevance and revenue in a dying genre. Moreover, our pet feature is the most divorced from the game's central pillar--story driven ground content. We are more eccentric and "off message" than Operations, than Ranked Warzones, than general Warzones.

GSF has enormous headwinds against broader adoption. Unlike Warzones, we have no bolster mechanic. We have no PvE practice areas. GSF is a wondrous, amazing, but super-intimidating masterpiece duct-taped onto a theme-park choose-your-own-adventure story that 90% of players barely manage to muddle through.

With SoR, BioWare announced they were returning to their core strength--story based ground content. They discovered with the x12 experiment, and SoR itself, that story content is what moves the needle on getting people back to the game.

We should not expect any new GSF content ... perhaps ever. We should not expect any major component or ship redesigns ... ever. At best, we can hope for a slight tweak of the numbers, as Verain proposed in his other thread. The changes to GSF have to be so minor and safe that an intern can do them by tweaking some XML and data files.

I have been clinging to the hope that the "balance pass" which was mentioned half a year ago, in which they acknowledged that certain components and combos were too bursty, is still on a backlog somewhere, somewhen, and that it has not been marked "Cut".

I have been clinging to the hope that the "better than cross server" thing is still going to happen for Warzones, and that when it does, we can scream loud enough for BioWare to make it apply to GSF too.

Then, and only then, if those two things both happen, does the GSF population have a chance of growing large enough to warrant real new content like a map or ship.

Our only solace to be had from the producer's letter is that GSF was treated with the same general crappiness as Warzones. At least we can then maintain the delusion that PvP content in general is not the focus of BioWare's "message" at the moment, and thus there may yet be some secret GSF content in the backlog.

But I'd rather face the likely reality and come to terms with it, rather than cling to unreasonable delusions.
One thing is preplexing me though. Why are they not doing PVE Starfighter-like sections in new expansions/story arc. They have the base already. Games score almost "automatic" review points for gameplay diversity. That's why people want "vehicle" sections even if they suck (Mass Effect 1 anyone). Bioware got the base ready and they could utilize it in story-driven context not only as a practice for GSF but also to diversify gameplay experience of an expansion/new story arcs. They're not adding new Seeker Droid/Macrobinocular missions or dig sites, but at least they used the mechanics in some Rishi/Yavin content which helps make the standard daily/fedex quest a bit more diverse.

Verain's Avatar


Verain
01.29.2015 , 08:50 PM | #25
Holy crap Nemarus, that's amazing. Thanks man.

I was surprised that the reddit thread did as well as it did, but it certainly was a good thread. I think that a lot of the discussion in here is pretty high signal to noise as well. The potential benefit of a "player council" is that the devs could see, at a glance, the stuff that is just accepted as true by the community, without some guy coming in and screaming about how seeker mine is too powerful or whatever. The cost would be silencing a lot of other voices, a heavy price to pay just to keep a thread or forum clean.

"Why are they not doing PVE Starfighter-like sections in new expansions/story arc. "

Presumably because this is very expensive. If you mean on-rails content (using the space pve engine), then yea, they could do that. I think that the space missions, as cool as they are, were not as easy to design long term- while they had meaningful rewards they were botted, and after they lost those it was a lot of work for a reasonably similar experience. We could see more of that, and that's fine, but I'd want GSF focused things instead personally.
"The most despicable person on the GSF forum."

nyghtrunner's Avatar


nyghtrunner
01.30.2015 , 01:55 PM | #26
Quote: Originally Posted by Verain View Post
The potential benefit of a "player council" is that the devs could see, at a glance, the stuff that is just accepted as true by the community, without some guy coming in and screaming about how seeker mine is too powerful or whatever. The cost would be silencing a lot of other voices, a heavy price to pay just to keep a thread or forum clean.
In large part, this was my thought. Any potential devs trying to figure out what we might want for GSF by digging through the forums would need to dig through countless useless posts in order to actually get any idea what our little community might actually like to see, or any kind of priority.

If we could sort of centralize several of the best ideas, and come up with some kind of priority list for things we'd love to see, it might be a way to help them help us. We'd be tasked with coming up with a solid, organized list of wants that we could then hand to BW. It's absolutely doing some of their work for them, but it's also showing that we care enough to actually do some of that work. Hell, I'd love to dev GSF stuff for them, but that's never going to happen for a variety of reasons (Not the least of which is that I've never developed anything even remotely like this... And they'd never release the codebase to no-name programmer who wants to extend one of their modules).

This idea is the closest thing I could think of to meeting them halfway, and trying to show them that there's at the very least, a passionate set of fans for this particular module who is willing to donate some amount of work/time to improving GSF.

And there's kind of a part of me that thinks it might carry more weight if people like Drak are involved, since those people already do a lot for the community on their own time. I know you, Verain, have made some very good posts backed with numbers and theory. Drak obviously does everything he does with organizing events, streaming, and trying to post helpful vids. I've seen Tommmsunb doing some really good vids and offering good advice to people lately. Scrabs has too, although I haven't seen him in ages. Nem's big on TEH's community, as leader of Eclipse, but he also posts reasonable ideas and such here in the forums. In some ways, a lot of you are kind of de facto Representatives of the community whether you've realized it or not.

Which is why I somewhat disagree with the assessment of the price being silencing the community at large (or some number of voices within the community). I look at it as more of trying to filter out the good from the bad when it comes to forum posts. An organizational effort. Kind of setting up a middle-man, or set of community Representatives, so that BW doesn't need to bother reading all the posts out there that are effectively:

"ZOMG! Battlescouts needz nerf-bat because Gunsheeps are grossly OP'd because they can't killz bombers because battlescouts are OP'd and bombers blow up satellites and ion rail suxxorz when I shoot someone and they don't blow up because battlescouts and bombers! Fix now! RAWR! ANGER-MOUSE!!!"

You all are some of the most identifiable entities tied to this module, and I can't help but think that an organized community effort with you all at the head might carry more weight than another series of posts on the forums. Might make no difference at all, but it's the best solution I could come up with given the circumstances. And I try to be an optimist sometimes anyway.
Master, I marked the best escape pod for your use. I of course, will go down with the ship.
Graendahl / Semírhage : Hawkë / Mierín

Ramalina's Avatar


Ramalina
01.30.2015 , 08:59 PM | #27
I was under the impression that they have people whose job it is to read through the forums and sift out the promising nuggets from all the chaff, and then pass that on to the people who might be able to act on it.

Certainly there were strong hints when there was active development on GSF going on that the devs were either getting a filtered version of forum feedback, or possibly even reading some of the more promising threads themselves.

Where we're at now feels like there was a big effort to make GSF, but interest at higher levels waned when there wasn't a corresponding increase in revenue. This might potentially be solved, but I'm not sure that the folks writing the checks are interesting in writing another to cover what would be needed to take GSF from playable to: "marketable* within SWTOR's existing business model."

*As in removing the current barriers** in it's implementation that make it very difficult to make money off of GSF via subscriptions and CC purchases, but without any guarantee that after having had those barriers in place for 13 months a vast swarm of players will suddenly come by to throw money at Bioware.

**New player experience for GSF sucks, GSF related CC art assets and other rewards are mostly only (poorly) visible in the hangar interface and not impressive and easily displayed in public.

Maybe they should offer "GSF developer time" tokens in the cartel market or in the SWTOR store.
"A padawan's master sets their Jedi trial, Rajivari set mine."
- Zhe Lian, Sage.

Twitch

CommanderOtto's Avatar


CommanderOtto
02.02.2015 , 01:15 AM | #28
well, not long ago, I had absolutely no interest in starfighter...but I started playing it again, and I wish I had played more often.

However, these are the things that stopped me from playing GSF in the first place:

1. After playing Star Wars Galaxies, I felt that it was pretty stupid that SWTOR couldn't make GSF as fun (and complete) as space combat in a game that was more than a decade old. In Star Wars Galaxies, we had a variety of quests in various planets, and several schematics that allowed players to craft and/or obtain an endless list of ships. You could find anything from a TIE Fighter to the Millenium Falcon. Hell, you could even buy a space yatch that had no combat capabilities, but had some huge windows with a nice view and an internal bar to entertain friends. The ships could be decorated any way you wanted, you could add trophies, posters, chairs, sofas and all sorts of things inside your ship. You could also invite friends and they could man turrets to increase damage while you piloted the ship. You could also fly your ship within the atmosphere for transportation and land it on a platform. And of course, space was a free to explore zone. There were dangerous zones and low level zones.... you could fight players and non-players alike. It was just a thousand times better than GSF.

2. GSF has a major issue: new players are destroyed on sight. As a more experienced player, I did much better when I created new toons, but it is still a very difficult for people who are just starting and have zero requisition. Additionally, this makes a very unbalanced game and ALSO HURTS EXPERIENCED PLAYERS. If we have only 3 people with bombers and 10 people with only the basics (Starfighter, Scout, Gunship) and no upgrades, then we loose, simple as that. It is unfair for both new players, and for experienced players. Please, add a bolster system similar to Warzones, based primarily on the amount of requisition. Low level total requisition goes in one group, higher level requisition goes in another group, OR, bolster the kids so they stand a chance, and so the team can also stand a chance. Sometimes I can't blame people for exiting the battle before it is over... because sometimes it is obvious the match will be a waste of your time.

3. Add more rewards!! Only rewards for starfighter are those damned Republic/Imperial Scout decoration models..... I feel Bioware has cheated us by adding our rewards as prizes for the cartel market (Gunships, Strikers).
The only good lizard is a dead lizard - Republic Commando

Bryanseven's Avatar


Bryanseven
02.02.2015 , 01:45 AM | #29
I tried galactic starfighter, found the tutorial lacking, the imp side (my preferred faction) ships butt ugly and the most importantly, the game had ZERO tie in with my characters.

I wanted to like it I really did, but since I feel no attachment to it because it is so disconnected from the rest of the game and unappealing artistically for me I ignore it. I think most players probably feel the same.

Sorry.

If they had tied the ship to other game modes ie made it a part of a conquest style pvp game that has you boarding or landing in it, or let me choose from more diverse and appealing skins I might have stuck with it but none of these things happened.

Verain's Avatar


Verain
02.02.2015 , 10:12 AM | #30
Quote: Originally Posted by Bryanseven View Post
I tried galactic starfighter, found the tutorial lacking, the imp side (my preferred faction) ships butt ugly and the most importantly, the game had ZERO tie in with my characters.
While a lot of us are fans of the imperial bombers, gunships, and especially scouts, the ship diversity is very low, the cosmetic choices poor, and the strikes awful to gaze upon. No one will disagree that the tutorial is poor- the best thing you can say about it is that "at least it exists".

Quote:
I wanted to like it I really did, but since I feel no attachment to it because it is so disconnected from the rest of the game and unappealing artistically for me I ignore it. I think most players probably feel the same.
You should not generally assume "most players probably feel the same". I actually suspect that you are correct about the disconnection, and I also strongly suspect that the lack of a pve module does hurt player interest. Adding a bit of connection (especially cosmetic elements) would be possible, but a pve module would likely gain support commensurate to a high amount of dev time spent.

Quote:
If they had tied the ship to other game modes ie made it a part of a conquest style pvp game that has you boarding or landing in it
I just sort of doubt this was ever in the cards. If you need Star Wars: Battlefront (and many other players pop in saying they need X-Wing versus TIE Fighter), or any OTHER game, the space pvp just isn't going to hook you period.




It is interesting to speculate on ways they could make it more POPULAR or more PROFITABLE in addition to making it BETTER, or MORE COMPETITIVE or MORE FUN. The first two don't get that much attention- usually it's someone coming in and saying "I hate this part about the game balance, everyone else is just like me, so I'm rage quitting and so did everyone else". That isn't helpful or accurate, but pointing out systemic limitations as you do likely is a big deal.

I will point out that the game doesn't seem like it has a large amount of population difference on faction, so the cosmetics of the ships being notably worse on empire is likely not a big factor. But the lack of pve, the lack of tying it to the rest of the game, those generally do. The fact that new players will often zone in and get rolled isn't a big deal, but the fact that they will often get rolled without understand the context of said rolling probably IS a bigger deal. Without the expert knowledge of a ton of previous games, they often don't understand what is going on, and the ones that bother to come here and complain often talk about being one shot (meaning that the UI isn't intuitive enough for them, as they are missing all the shots preceding their destruction), complain about gear difference, often citing ludicrous numbers like "triple damage" or "unkillable enemies" (meaning that the actual numbers and effects of the upgrades are not visible or obvious, allowing the player to dismiss his poor play as being a gear issue).

Without the ability to look at a combat log, replay the match from third person (and other player's perspectives), or have a UI that does not require expertise and experience to parse, much of the information is left occult. That triangle that is wiggling left and right at the lower left of your targeting circle and getting imperceptibly brighter is a scout that has swapped to you... he is boosting towards you from off screen. Do you see that? If you've played a few hundred games, of course you have. If you are new, it's just more noise. The UI communicates a lot of information, but has a really damned long learning curve, and a few minor improvements would really help.
"The most despicable person on the GSF forum."