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open letter to the Game development team at Bioware

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
open letter to the Game development team at Bioware

Cwild's Avatar


Cwild
01.29.2013 , 11:52 AM | #11
Quote: Originally Posted by Frog_brains View Post
First of all let me preface my comments by starting with a little introduction. I've been playing this game since basically launch (1.05) and now have 6/8 classes at lvl 50, and active (missing smuggler, and inquisitor). I have all the crafting proffesions, I enjoy space missions (when they work) and i never, ever, ever pvp. I've always maintained an active subscription and have tried to stay active and involved in the community through the forums. I generally enjoy the game especially the story lines. The direction that the game seems to be heading in is starting to concern me a bit and I'd just like to share MY OPINIONS, on what's happening in the game.

Firstly Bioware please stop trying to micromanage the game. You can not be going back and forth changing this and modding that and buffing this guy and nerfing that guy. I know that a lot of these changes are happening because of balance issues (percieved or real) in the pvp areanas. As a PVE only player it is really annoying to have to periodically have to re skill and re tree my characters, just because pvp'ers are complaining they cant faceroll and win. Please Bioware do not pander to people who are unwilling to learn to play either their role, or their class properly. Please let them know that the same playstyle that they use on one character may not be successful with another character, and that they will have to get used to and learn how to play with it. Not just make all the characters play the same way.

I have 2 characters i tank with, a consular, and a jugg, they both have the same role but both play differently and i'm glad they do, im glad that I have to 'learn" to tank with one character then re learn with the next one.

I also have 4 dps that I use and even more than the tanks i'm glad that they all play differently, even between damage types ranged /melee. I enjoy the challenge of adapting the different playing styles of the different characters to get maximum damage out of them.

The healing classes I can't speak to as i haven't levelled any of them to end game yet, but from what i've heard from guild mates is that they play different from class to class and i'm glad of that as well.

I hope that when you are reading the "complaints" on the forums for example of "smuggler/operative dps isn't viable" or "shadows /sins can't hold aggro as tanks" or other gripes like this you can have access to the actual metrics of the people making these accusations before just going ahead and changing things willy nilly and not just taking their word for it! Please tell me you can look at their gear, and see how they set up their skill tree, can you see what their rotation is like. I would hate to think that character attribute changes are being made without some research first and just made to appease poor players.

The second point I'd like to address is please give us some consistency in the gameplay and combat mechanics. What I mean by this is let the same reaction happen to the same action everywhere in the game.

First example I'd like to bring up is the aggro and evading mechanic in the game. Can we kite or can we not! you have some NPC's in certain situations that will follow you around once you have aggro no matter what and others that you run 20 metres away and they completely forget about you. Could you please make this consistent!

This also comes into making use of terrain as a tactic, can we or can't we? in some situations it seems like we can and are encouraged to make use of the terrain to either hide behind for LOS ( maelstrom prison comes to mind) or to give us time to chanel abilites or self heal, and other times now where we are being punished for taking advatage of terrain (false emeperor, and KOS come to mind here). What I want to know is simply this:

A) yes they will keep aggro on you, and follow you around the entire map until 1) you kill them, 2) they kill you or 3) you use a get out of combat ability, and yes if you can find some terrain/spot on the map that you can take advantage of to kill that npc then go ahead. i,e yes you can aggro this gold or silver npc and make him follow you to a bridge or cliff then push him off to help defeat them. or

B) no they will not follow you once you are out of a certain area. If you leave (x radius area of that target) they will evade and return back to their spot and get back to full health always. ie we put that group of npc's or that gold precisely their for a reason and that's where we want you to kill them and not anywhere else.


With the above i'm not saying you can't have your debuffs for certain classes of boss's and such, you can make however many characters immune to pushbacks or interupts or whatever you'd like but please give us some consitency in the rest of the game play. Which ever way you do it please stick to one, sure in the short term you may upset one playstyle or the other, but at least they'll know what to expect going forward. As long as we as a player base know that the answer to the above is "yes" or "no" we can modify our play styles, and maybe even the classes we play to suit the situation.

The other issue dealing with consitency in the game is the application of alacrity to certain aspects of the game play and not to others. This is the big one that really got me to scribe this letter. Either it speeds up all activation times and channels or it doesn't period! that includes terminals, spells, and the lot. not just one thing and not the other. I don't want to hear about people complaining well that's not fair. he can click the terminal faster than i can its not fair. So what?! Just because if we both get to the terminal at the same time i can activate it faster than the other guy, doesn't mean that I can get to the terminal at the same time!!! there are other attributes that aren't tied to alacrity that can give one player or the other an advantage to getting to click a terminal faster than another player.

I can use rocket boots, or force speed if im a jedi, i can roll to cover to a place right beside the terminal if i'm a smuggler or IA then get up and click the terminal. Just because i've found a gear or environmental advantage in a game does not make me a cheat. Now what if now i'm a commando? I don't have a distance closing ability to use like a jedi does, so i only get to the terminal 0.5 or 0.7 seconds slower than the jedi at the same distance away, what's wrong with me stacking alacrity augments or equipment to get back that time? am i gaining an advantage in clicking the terminal? Maybe i am and maybe i'm not. What about his ability to use force speed to get to the terminal quicker than me? Am I gaining an advantage in combat? No i'm probably not at least not in a prolonged fight. Sure it'll give me a little bit quicker burst of dps but it's also going to deplete my ammo faster. But that's a choce that I made to sacrifice some attribute in favour of alacrity. I made the choice that clicking that terminal faster in that situation was a priority for me. I made the choice to stack an attribute that may hamper my ability to be effective in a long fight, but I made that choice. I didn't get that choice taken away from me or impossed on me by someone else. Furthermore to that i'm not keeping anyone else from doing the exact same thing as me.

Part of the attraction to this game is the fact that you have a huge variety of characters to play with. With that comes a variety of gear choices, and skill choices, and playstyle choices that will affect how you interact with the environment, and with other players. Some combinations of choices will result in outstanding results others will result in epic and utter failure. If you go around chopping people legs out from under them just because they were creative/inventive enough to find a combination of things in the game, skillwise, gearwise and tactics wise, that other weren't able to find you will kill the game, pure and simple.

If you wanted a game that was completely fair where no one would complain about "Balance" the game should have consisted of only 2 classes ( one imperial and one republic) everyone has the same gear and the same skills and everyone had to follow the same path (on rails like the space combat) then you wouldn't have all this issues. of course you'd also wouldn't have a game because no one would play it.

The fact is you have a game that is wide open and you have given people choices. With choices you'll have people make good ones and others make bad ones. Just because there are people who make poor choices in the game doesn't mean you have to, bring the rest of us down to their level. This happened with the elder game gear. you used to have to 'earn' your gear to get into Hard modes and ops, by grinding dailies by crafting gear, by getting your butt kicked by the boss'. Through this process which took time you learned your rotation, you develped tactics and by the time you geared up to be able to do the ops and the hard modes you knew what you were doing. Now by giving people the gear right away when reaching 50 what have you done? You've destroyed the gear value of "normal" lvl 50 gear, made the drops from boss's vendor trash, and worst of all you've given the people who started with the game a big middle finger, for all the work they needed to do to get where they are now!

I guess what i'm saying with all of this is please give us choices and please stop changing the rules on us just because there are a group of players who can't figure out the intricacies of the game, and begrudge the rest of us for figuring out easier way's to do things. Please don't screw up my PVE' build because a pvp'er things they're standing around to long. (make a pvp only skill tree then if its' that important) and please please, please do not continue to 'dumb' the game down! let us work for our rewards, don't just give us stuff.

i apologize for the length of this, but i felt i needed to express my thoughts on this matter. I don't know if i'm in the majority or in the minority on the point of view i'm expressing, but i do know i'm not the only one that thinks this way. Thank you for taking your time to read this and i hope that it has some value.

Signed a valued subsriber
The problem with this whole post is you only raid. So who are you to ask bioware to not make changes for balance when you are not playing a whole different side of the game. Some of these changes have to take place because guess what, just because you don't pvp, doesn't mean other people don't. Yes, it stinks to get nerfed or when your class rotation may change in a pve setting but that is the nature of MMOS and because this is your first one, you will just have to get use to it. It happens in every mmo I have ever played, and probably always will.

CaptRavenous's Avatar


CaptRavenous
01.29.2013 , 11:58 AM | #12
Quote: Originally Posted by Frog_brains View Post
Signed a valued subsriber
That's the dream, isn't it?
THE GREYWALKER CONCLAVE- Master Zarchon Greywalker
HOUSE OF XARDOX - Darth Xardox

BEGEREN COLONY ROLE PLAY SERVER - west coast

Frog_brains's Avatar


Frog_brains
01.29.2013 , 12:11 PM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by Cwild View Post
The problem with this whole post is you only raid. So who are you to ask bioware to not make changes for balance when you are not playing a whole different side of the game. Some of these changes have to take place because guess what, just because you don't pvp, doesn't mean other people don't. Yes, it stinks to get nerfed or when your class rotation may change in a pve setting but that is the nature of MMOS and because this is your first one, you will just have to get use to it. It happens in every mmo I have ever played, and probably always will.
So why should i have to take a backseat? This is a story driven MMORPG isn't it? it's not a pvp first game or did i miss something? Is this Star Wars (call of duty) , or is this star wars (unreal tournament)? I have no problem with people who want to pvp, they have entire servers decicated to them. If they wanted to make this game that way that would have been fine as well, I wouldn't ever play it but that would make the pvp'ers happy if that's even possible.

If as you say this is the "nature of MMO's" then maybe i'm just speaking to a brick wall here. I'd still like to voice my opinion of the situation. maybe if enough of us speak up they'll actually listen.

anstalt's Avatar


anstalt
01.29.2013 , 12:20 PM | #14
Quote: Originally Posted by Frog_brains View Post
I know that a lot of these changes are happening because of balance issues (percieved or real) in the pvp areanas. As a PVE only player it is really annoying to have to periodically have to re skill and re tree my characters, just because pvp'ers are complaining they cant faceroll and win. Please Bioware do not pander to people who are unwilling to learn to play either their role, or their class properly. Please let them know that the same playstyle that they use on one character may not be successful with another character, and that they will have to get used to and learn how to play with it. Not just make all the characters play the same way.
If you were a PvPer, you're complaint here would be the other way around, that classes keep getting nerfed or buffed based on PvE.

I can tell you that, as someone who PvEs at endgame and PvPs a lot, that most "balancing" happens because of PvE, not because of PvP!

Generally what happens is the devs set a class / spec up to be overpowered. Some people might notice it in PvE, but generally it gets overlooked because you are fighting NPCs and no1 cares! However, in PvP, because you are fighting real people, those people complain when they see something they perceive as overpowered.

From there, the devs will investigate and use proper metrics and base their balances on that. For example, the shadow class originally had it's self healing in tank spec nerfed. This was sparked by the PvP community who complained that a self-healing tank was too overpowered in PvP. So, the devs investigated the issue, especially with respect to endgame raiding, and discovered that the self-healing made the shadow tank the best choice in 95% of scenarios. That is not balanced, and so shadow self-healing got nerfed.

It was a PvE nerf for PvE balance but was investigated due to the PvP whining. The self-healing was never overpowered in PvP because it is so easy to beat in a 1v1 (cc/kb) once you know how and in a group setting the self-healing was too low to be worth anything.


The same goes for the majority of nerfs: things get highlighted by the community (usually the pvp community), investigated by the devs using proper metrics (both in pvp and pve), a decision is made as to whether something needs to be done, and if it does need to be done they look at the implications.


I expect this is why smash spec hasn't yet been nerfed: it is only overpowered when the person has massively stacked power and is in a group setting and is playing pvp - every other situation the spec sucks. So, to nerf smash spec means destroying the reason to ever use it. So, the implications are far reaching and mean a wider overhaul of the guardian class is needed, and that takes time and effort and money, three things Bioware doesn't have 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!

uziforyou's Avatar


uziforyou
01.29.2013 , 12:21 PM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by opriv View Post
Since this is your first MMORPG, I will share my thoughts. Most devs never stop tweaking "unbalances." Yes, these unbalances seem to ALWAYS be PVP related. Many a good game has been ruined for the sake of balance.

What is ironic about pvp, is that you almost never have a true 1v1/ neither side having an advantage or disadvantaged fight.
In fact, no "real" PvP'er is looking for a fair fight. They are constantly on the lookout for those already at some disadvantage, they're already at half health, they're already engaged in a fight etc.

This is why I always find complaints about PvP balance amusing because the truth is PvP'ers want their character to have advantages over the enemy or the enemy to have disadvantages with regards to them. Because of this mindset PvP will never, ever be balanced in everyone's eyes and therefore is always an exercise in chasing the tail of the tiger.
"When you're bleeding out in a ditch on some muckball planet it's not headquarters that comes to save you, it's the guy next to you."

kevlarto's Avatar


kevlarto
01.29.2013 , 12:25 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by Frog_brains

Signed a valued subsriber


Quote: Originally Posted by CaptRavenous View Post
That's the dream, isn't it?
Sure is I was thinking the same thing, they don't give a rats butt about us or what we think.just like any large company.. /sigh
Do not dwell in the past, do not not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.

Expectations lead to suffering

Screaming_Ziva's Avatar


Screaming_Ziva
01.29.2013 , 01:53 PM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by anstalt View Post
If you were a PvPer, you're complaint here would be the other way around, that classes keep getting nerfed or buffed based on PvE.
This is why Guild Wars finally split skills and had different versions of each depending if you were playing PvE or PvP. Bioware should do the same here.

Cwild's Avatar


Cwild
01.29.2013 , 02:40 PM | #18
Quote: Originally Posted by Frog_brains View Post
So why should i have to take a backseat? This is a story driven MMORPG isn't it? it's not a pvp first game or did i miss something? Is this Star Wars (call of duty) , or is this star wars (unreal tournament)? I have no problem with people who want to pvp, they have entire servers decicated to them. If they wanted to make this game that way that would have been fine as well, I wouldn't ever play it but that would make the pvp'ers happy if that's even possible.

If as you say this is the "nature of MMO's" then maybe i'm just speaking to a brick wall here. I'd still like to voice my opinion of the situation. maybe if enough of us speak up they'll actually listen.
There are much more pve options in this game then pvp, so how are you taking the back seat? Seems to me you are just being selfish towards a different type of player base. I like to do both, it is what it is...get over it.

JustTed's Avatar


JustTed
01.29.2013 , 03:19 PM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by Frog_brains View Post
So why should i have to take a backseat? This is a story driven MMORPG isn't it?
Over emphasis on story is why there were no resources left over to make a decent MMO.

How many games have you designed in the past? I mean, titles that have actually shipped? Based on your post, it's clear it's zero.

CaptRavenous's Avatar


CaptRavenous
01.29.2013 , 07:25 PM | #20
Quote: Originally Posted by Screaming_Ziva View Post
This is why Guild Wars finally split skills and had different versions of each depending if you were playing PvE or PvP. Bioware should do the same here.
Yeah, PvPers don't want PvE, for the most part, and vice-versa. They're already two seperate games in most MMOs, and should be treated as such here. I hate when PvP changes affect PvE, and I'm sure the PvPers hate it when tweaks to PvE change things in PvP.
THE GREYWALKER CONCLAVE- Master Zarchon Greywalker
HOUSE OF XARDOX - Darth Xardox

BEGEREN COLONY ROLE PLAY SERVER - west coast