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Patching, scheduled maintenance and forum policies of these forums.


Zilvafein

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Hello there everyone,

 

Firstly, I would like to ask kindly ask that we keep a good clean tone and try to keep constructive debate in this topic, secondly that the thread is moved rather than closed if Bioware finds that this is posted in the wrong forum. (This is picked as it is in the same forum as the alleged “discussion topic” of the maintenance. Sadly, this topic was locked, despite being the topic where the player was referred to, to discuss the topic, as seen here:

http://www.swtor.com/blog/upcoming-patch-scheduled-maintenance-january-31st-2012 (note the “discuss this article” link if you would be so kind).

 

I, as a european player, have a few concerns over this game and the long term viability of playing this game. Simply put I am not sure that I am treated as a valued customer in the same way that American players do.

Firstly, there is the matter of the time a maintenance is applies, this always seems to be in the day hours in a period where European players are, mostly, free and free to play. Like today, a Saturday from 8 in the morning to 12.00 (noon), and then extended. Had this been a weekday then many players would be off to work, and the damage would not be so bad.

However, it was put on a day where most European players have a day off and that makes me question the truth in previous statements concerning that downtime of the servers are placed at a time where they do the least possible effect on our gameplay.

In addition to this there seems to be some communication problems between the company and the player base. I do not know if the cause is internal or due to external factors but to be quite honest I do not care much as the result is the same: poor customer service. Allow me but two examples:

During a patch or maintenance there is created a topic on the entrance of the site, it has a reference to “discuss it here (link)” only the link refers a page where the player cannot discuss it, because the topic is closed. Now, let us pretend it was not for a moment? It would still not be of any help for the by now likely irritated player, as there is a policy to take down the forums while maintenance occurs. Or that is, forum posting is at least.

The second example, that the “discussion topic link” refers to a post that does not say anything new at all, nor do the other links show anything new. Add to this that the forums are closed and you have a really good example of really poor communication.

 

All this really frustrates me as a player, I like this game, and I want to see it succeed. However I cannot help but fear that with this rate of poor communication and mistreatment of the non-american playerbase that we are in a risk of players leaving the game, something that will lead to less subscription money, closing/merging of servers and firing of staff to reduce cost of running the operation and maintain a viable profit.

 

And this is where American players should be concerned as well, I have many friends on American servers who also play on EU servers, and I am, on occasion, to be found on an American server as well. (And for the record: The ease of going back and forth between European and American servers are really positive I find) and the American players will, as we all share the same forums, be affected by the negativity of the European players, if the very worst case scenario occurs, that a mass of European players leave the game, then this will lead to the proverbial storm of brown matters on the forums, and this will undoubtly have a negative enough impact that some American players are likely to leave as well.

 

My concern in that is that the way that Bioware handles the present patching is in short that it is hurting the community, I do not care enough for my money to “demand” time back because maintenance and patching always occurs in my primetime, as some might do, but I do wonder what I can do to have my concerns taken seriously.

 

Other than making a forum topic like this, and raising the concerns. What is there to do? Short of closing my account with the message “Closing my account due to EU customer service, I would love to re-open it if this changes for the better as I love the game.” that is.

 

I would really appreciate the opinion of other players in this, but I kindly ask that we keep a good clean tone and try to keep constructive debate.

 

Yours sincerely

Lars

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I'll just quote another players post, which I could not help but agree with:

 

First of all I'd like to point out, that it's me paying you not the other way around. Therefore my feedback can be as much as "this system sucks. Fix it". Negative feedback of this sort is all a company can expect. I don't have to tell you how to fix your game. It's your job to fix it then and come up with ideas, that actually make sense. Which you so far often fail to do.

 

Second of all you really need to tone down your expectations. From day one you disregard any constructive feedback whatsoever, literally [self-censored] your customers in the face. The rage, insults and rude behaviour is the effect of your doings, so deal with it. Dealing with it by deleting posts and closing threads will only hurt you, as people need to vent their rage somewhere. They'll either unsubscribe or start venting on other forums, which are read not only by your current customers, but also the potential ones. That's how black PR works.

 

Third of all there is no constructive feedback to give in the subject of the maintenance system. It's obviously and carefully planned to cater your american customers disregarding Europe entirely. Server statistics show, that EU servers are a couple times busier during maintenance hours than the american ones. You could at least have the balls to admit it instead of feeding us with your worthless [self-censored] about "performing maintenance in off-peak hours". There's nothing worse than lying to your customers in the dumbest possible way and expecting them to believe it. We feel like you think we're [self-censored]. We are not. Therefore stop pissing us off with your pathetic lies and admit, that you don't give a flying [self-censored] about your european customers, which are basically half of your playerbase (based on server stat graphs). We'd have a clear view then, unsubscribe and watch your pathetic game crumble to dust while playing something we can actually play whenver we want.

 

Fourth of all today's maintenance was a bad joke. There are no critical updates in your patchnotes, I can see no fixes like "fixed an exploit, which allowed the attacking side to leave their spawn area before the game begins" or "fixed an exploit, which allowed players to run with the speed of light carrying the ball in huttball games". All I see are quest fixes and some class balancing changes. This could have been done any other day, but you had to pick saturday, which is, for a lot of us, the main part of the week we can play the game.

 

Last but not least you will not tell me how to give you feedback and I'd strongly advise you (trying to be constructive here) not to control the community on your forums like that, because that will only cause people to create unofficial forums, where they can flame you any time they feel like they need to do it. Accept the fact, that forum is a place you can actually check how the playerbase feels. In case you can't see it alread I'm going to give you a clear message: We're pissed off.

 

Shame I bought 60 days in advance.

 

Regards,

Kalantris

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Hello everyone,

 

We value any and all feedback that is offered by the community on moderation and encourage you to send it to us using the e-mail address communitysupport@swtor.com. Consolidating all feedback, both good and bad, in this manner ensures that we can serve the community to the best of our ability. This thread will now be closed as discussion of moderation is not an appropriate game related topic for these forums, but feel free to utilize that resource!

 

 

Waiting for this thread to get it.

 

 

I 100% agree with you though OP. Bioware is new the mmo scene so they're having trouble realizing what they're doing isn't acceptable.

Edited by Ulivious
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only a matter of time trying to silence there player base

 

I would rephrase what you said or you'll get warned. But it's pretty sad what bioware has done to these forums really. If it's not "constructive" they lock it. If it is "constructive" they lock it and suggest posting in threads that're either locked or never read.

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Ok, I do have this point to make.

 

I understand the frustration of not being able to access a game at your appropriate time zone due to maintenance times. I get that with some free time that you have that you want to play the game.

 

However, if this is the system that Bioware has seen to work then it likely won't change for some time, also if you would like it to change then give them some time to change it. let them optimize the process.

 

For the time being, is not being able to play this game due to Bioware patching in fixes and content really such a bad sacrifice? I'm sure you can find some other activity to do. ***? Watch some movies? Hang out with friends (The ones who aren't on the internet)? Pay attention to your girlfriend/boyfriend?

 

Don't whine and moan about something about a game that at this point in time is still a baby in the game world. One month is nothing. I get the frustration, but it honestly isn't as huge of a deal as people make it out to be. The only reason it is seen as such is because that is the impression you give off.

 

Be patient. Be understanding. I doubt that is a very difficult thing to do. Personally, if I was faced with said time zone issues, I would suck it up. Acknowledge the fact that "Hey, they do this for a reason. If I have to sacrifice a few hours of playtime then so be it. It is worth it in the long run because they are optimizing the game that I enjoy playing."

 

Seriously. Don't act like all of you know their world among the gaming industry more than they do. You don't work in it (Unless some of you do, in which case you have a stronger standing).

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Since it's not gone to 2 pages yet, here's my "Amen, brother" to the sentiments the OP expresses. It's Saturday. I've been looking forward all week to a whole day frittered away on the game.

 

Bioware, you have to come up with some good and righteous reasons for denying us our fix, and not treat us like we're stupid sycophants. Locking the board while you're doing maintenance is counterproductive. Sticking in extra maintenances for non-critical patch work is irritating and erodes your playerbase's goodwill, which you will need all of when the Next Big Thing comes along. Aggravate enough players often enough and your game will stumble. Aggravating half your playerbase is pretty close to 'enough'.

 

I can see that to create seamless interplayability between EU and US servers, you have to take all the servers down at once (else the EU client gets upgraded first, and until the US servers catch up, those who've pulled the EU upgrade from this side of the Pond won't be able to access US servers, but really, unless it's game-breaking (serious exploits, security issues, major incompatibilites with OS changes etc) leave it until Tuesday. We can live without the game on a regular basis, at a low usage time, but really, Saturday morning? Unannounced? We can live with it, but we don't have to, and many won't if it happens more than once in a blue moon.

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However, if this is the system that Bioware has seen to work then it likely won't change for some time, also if you would like it to change then give them some time to change it. let them optimize the process.

 

 

 

Let them optimize the process?

 

There's no excuse for them having released a product in this state. They already have our money there's no excuse for them to keep taking it for a product in this condition.. This game should of been a single player game, or take Guild Wars response to an MMORPG. Just pay once and enjoy the game forever.

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i couldn't agree more.

 

As a european player, i can live whit the servers being down on tuesdays. Its even fully acceptable to take the servers down on a saturday morning/afternoon, if a valid reason was given.

 

For this though,they gave no reason in the official post, nothing in the thread they linked too,and a one line patch note.

 

Let me give you a hint BW. Information is the key to customer relations. Most people will accept anything from a company, if a reason is provide. Likewise most people will be annoyed if none is provided.

Edited by zaolin
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Ok, I do have this point to make.

 

I understand the frustration of not being able to access a game at your appropriate time zone due to maintenance times. I get that with some free time that you have that you want to play the game.

 

However, if this is the system that Bioware has seen to work then it likely won't change for some time, also if you would like it to change then give them some time to change it. let them optimize the process.

 

For the time being, is not being able to play this game due to Bioware patching in fixes and content really such a bad sacrifice? I'm sure you can find some other activity to do. ***? Watch some movies? Hang out with friends (The ones who aren't on the internet)? Pay attention to your girlfriend/boyfriend?

 

Don't whine and moan about something about a game that at this point in time is still a baby in the game world. One month is nothing. I get the frustration, but it honestly isn't as huge of a deal as people make it out to be. The only reason it is seen as such is because that is the impression you give off.

 

Be patient. Be understanding. I doubt that is a very difficult thing to do. Personally, if I was faced with said time zone issues, I would suck it up. Acknowledge the fact that "Hey, they do this for a reason. If I have to sacrifice a few hours of playtime then so be it. It is worth it in the long run because they are optimizing the game that I enjoy playing."

 

Seriously. Don't act like all of you know their world among the gaming industry more than they do. You don't work in it (Unless some of you do, in which case you have a stronger standing).

 

Ofc we an be hugely understanding if Bioware makes the monthly subscription in EU 34 days instead of 30 because of the 4 days we can't play. But as we see no understanding on their part why should we be patient and understanding?

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I'm not quite sure why anyone *****s about down times for patchs and so on. 4 hours is nothing. If anything, thats Fast for a patch.

 

Say like, Eve online, Their server goes down every day at the same time for 1 hour, no one *****s about it, cause, its needed. Then, when they want to patch the game, the server comes down for 24 hours. Yes, thats right a FULL day, yet no one *****s about it. Why? cause its needed. So in short, get over a 4 hour patch time.

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It'd be cool and really, really helpful to see more said about what servers are going down for and what they do with that time.

 

Frankly, just some plain-language information could be helpful in offsetting a lot of dissatisfaction, even if a maintenance period saw nothing change or happen except some network and server optimizations, some tweaks made to this or that or whatever; a little bit of the technical info that, no, we don't need to know.

 

You know, the kind of thing that could put all of it into perspective for pretty much anyone with a reasonable interest in why their weekend day to play's been cancelled.

 

"Down for maintenance" is just so much white noise. It says nothing that means anything to most people, and leaving people to assume the purposes of things that are causing them annoyance will tend not to find them assuming reasonable, fair-minded things.

 

Just some pennies for the thought-pile.

Edited by Uruare
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Ok, I do have this point to make.

 

I understand the frustration of not being able to access a game at your appropriate time zone due to maintenance times. I get that with some free time that you have that you want to play the game.

 

However, if this is the system that Bioware has seen to work then it likely won't change for some time, also if you would like it to change then give them some time to change it. let them optimize the process.

 

I am a firm believer in allowing people to improve the progress, and as I see it the first three months are always a trial and error process. However, that being said there are still concerns to be raised, in particulair on the period of patching as well as on the rather lacking communication.

 

For the time being, is not being able to play this game due to Bioware patching in fixes and content really such a bad sacrifice? I'm sure you can find some other activity to do. ***? Watch some movies? Hang out with friends (The ones who aren't on the internet)? Pay attention to your girlfriend/boyfriend?

 

As you read my post I am sure you will note that I am concerned that this form of action will drive away european players, which will lead to less funding of the game, and a poorer scene for us all.

 

Don't whine and moan about something about a game that at this point in time is still a baby in the game world. One month is nothing. I get the frustration, but it honestly isn't as huge of a deal as people make it out to be. The only reason it is seen as such is because that is the impression you give off.

 

I am a firm believer in constructive but critical debate when trying to improve a game. I do also disagree with whining and moaning, that is why I have made a point out of asking for a constructive debate. Please keep to this, claiming that I "whine and moan" or putting off problems as just this, will not lead to a constructive debate.

 

You may not agree, and this is indeed your perogative and I have to respect your opinion, even if I disagree with it. But please let us keep it constructive.

 

Be patient. Be understanding. I doubt that is a very difficult thing to do. Personally, if I was faced with said time zone issues, I would suck it up.

 

This is not a constructive comment my friend, and you cannot express yourself on this beyoind theory. If you want to experience the same thing, that you say european players should just "suck up" then I recommend taking your primetime, once per week (at a time where you would otherwise enjoy the game) and then don't do it. Just to experience "sucking it up".

 

Acknowledge the fact that "Hey, they do this for a reason. If I have to sacrifice a few hours of playtime then so be it. It is worth it in the long run because they are optimizing the game that I enjoy playing."

 

I would love to do this, however as you undoubtly read my original post (I will be polite and assume you did), the issue is that there is a poor communication. Accepting the bug fixes on a saturday is easy to do, provided we know what issues have been fixed and dealth with. Having to guess about the issues leaves us frustrated.

 

Seriously. Don't act like all of you know their world among the gaming industry more than they do. You don't work in it (Unless some of you do, in which case you have a stronger standing).

 

I don't make this claim, I make the claim that the communication so far is rather poor. I do this from the standpoint not of working in the gaming industry, but from working with communication (albeit in a different language, I apologize in advance for my poor grammar).

 

Thank you for your comment.

Lars

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Suprised they haven't closed this yet, I replied on a post from Aldacar about censorships in forums and it got suprisingly closed down. But then again the moderator would probarly having a hard time closing down like a gazilion posts a minute with complaints.
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I cancelled my sub half an hour ago.

 

this is the message i saw when i cancelled: You have 20 days of play time remaining. When your play time runs out, you will no longer be able to play. Please sign up for a recurring subscription plan or redeem a Game Time Code.

 

So, basically that means you have 20 days to convince me to keep playing.

I suggest the rest of you who are dissatisfied with the service, graphics, maintenance times, bugs etc. do the same.

Show Bioware that you won't stand for it. Make them work to keep you, instead of letting them leech off your bankaccount just because you were too lazy to do something about it.

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I cancelled my sub half an hour ago.

 

this is the message i saw when i cancelled: You have 20 days of play time remaining. When your play time runs out, you will no longer be able to play. Please sign up for a recurring subscription plan or redeem a Game Time Code.

 

So, basically that means you have 20 days to convince me to keep playing.

I suggest the rest of you who are dissatisfied with the service, graphics, maintenance times, bugs etc. do the same.

Show Bioware that you won't stand for it. Make them work to keep you, instead of letting them leech off your bankaccount just because you were too lazy to do something about it.

 

I hope it was possible for you to give them a reason as to why you cancelled your subscription? It is important that they recieve custemor feedback so that they may improve on the game.

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I hope it was possible for you to give them a reason as to why you cancelled your subscription? It is important that they recieve custemor feedback so that they may improve on the game.

 

it is.

 

you get to give both a written reason and chose from a few overall reasons

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As our Game Director, James Ohlen, mentioned in his blog post, fixing issues is our priority and we will be making regular fixes on a consistent basis and emergency fixes as needed.

 

Thats....pretty much all I think I have to put here now (Pertaining to the Saturday downtime).

 

Sooooooooo......

 

Done.

 

Also, try not to over-dramatize the situation, guys. You act like this is some world ending travesty and your lives are forfeit because of it.

 

Chill out.

 

As I said, is it really that big of a deal if you guys can't play a video game for a few hours because they are applying content updates and fixes to their game?

 

Seriously, it's like most of you do nothing -but- complain just to complain simply because your entire life (maybe) revolves around being able to log in on a tuesday afternoon to play a MMO. At least I hope that isn't the case.

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Also, try not to over-dramatize the situation, guys. You act like this is some world ending travesty and your lives are forfeit because of it.

 

Thank you for your input, you are however not really contributing to the debate here. It is intented to be constructive, it does not help to say "chill out" or to make claims on what others are saying.

 

Let us not overdramatise it either, what I intented with this topic is to have a calm and rational debate on how to address the concerns there is around patching and server downtime. Specifically its an issue when maintenance is set in the middle of primetime.

 

Sure, I can understand patches coming out needing to be applied ASAP, thats fine really. Just tell us what they are fixing and we can also lean back and be relieved and say "oh, glad thats solved now"

 

Only, that is not what is happening. The downtime is just occuring in the middle of the european primetime, consistently, so its not applied "as soon as the solution has been found" it is applied in a set timeframe. Which means its not an ad-hoc fix, but rather a fix that has been applied with an intented timing.

 

Seriously, it's like most of you do nothing -but- complain just to complain simply because your entire life (maybe) revolves around being able to log in on a tuesday afternoon to play a MMO. At least I hope that isn't the case.

 

Now, now. Please note that a constructive debate, where we granted are critical, is not the same thing as having no life outside an MMO. (and on a sidenote: Its a saturday the servers where down this time, not a tuesday).

 

Had it been american servers I believe you would see the exact same reaction. It would be american players complaining that its in primetime, and european players claiming that the american players should just "chill, its no big deal" etc.

 

In fact, I would believe that the people who right now tell EU players to chilll would be amongst the loudest, while the players who are most dramatic about this on the EU side might in a similair fashion be loud about telling others to "chill".

 

Regards

Lars

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