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I'm holding fast as a TOR player. - 5 Things I could use to make it last.


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I try very hard to see things from the developer's point of view. I feel like the developers try hard to see things from the player's point of view, so it makes sense for me to afford them my consideration.


I'm very happy with what BioWare has given my peer group with TOR so far. Thanks to story we've enjoyed the leveling process which I typically do not enjoy, no matter how much I have enjoyed the overall MMO title. I've enjoyed crew skills because it makes so much sense and is so very efficient. I've enjoyed running flashpoints and operations, normal mode through nightmare mode. While I feel that a lot of fights were not worthy of being called "hard mode" or "nightmare mode" fights, I feel that every single fight in operations were fun. I feel that class design is very well done. I play an Inquisitor/Sorcerer healer as my main. I was just fine with and agreed with our "nerf" (not having infinite resources) and felt that it made the class more interesting. I'm a master of my class because the class was created masterfully. It's easy to play because everything makes sense to me and the tools I am given are such that they allow me to manage the situations my class is balanced against.


With all that said, that is why I am staying with TOR. I played World Of Warcraft for years; from day one actually. And I stayed with WoW, from day one, even though it was rife with problems in it's first year or so. And not just technical problems but actual gameplay issues and lack of content. I stayed with WoW because, like millions of others throughout the years, I felt WoW was a super high quality game. I feel strongly that TOR is the same kind of game. However it's in it's first year and is just bound to have some sort of issue. It's the natural progression for an MMO title. I am happy to stick it out with TOR. I'm not excited about TOR like I once was, but I am committed.


While I intend to stay and to keep on investing my time and a negligible amount of money into TOR, I could sure use some things from BioWare to not only keep me excited but to hopefully regain lost ground with the MMO gamer community. I believe excitement about a game matters. D3 has clearly taken attention away from TOR. Playtime has shifted from TOR to D3 among my peer group. I strongly believe that this is due to a combination of a loss of excitement about TOR and the excitement over D3 manifesting at this moment in TOR's life cycle. So what is it exactly that I'm asking for?


1 - More Story


When I was waiting for TOR, all I heard was "This game has story." I could care less about BioWare's puny story. "Show me the game," I said. As it turns out, they showed me a great game. And the story was a huge part of that. I was so wrong about story. It really does change everything and it matters very much to me now. It would however be really nice if with each content patch, I got a continuation to my class story. It seemed like my story stopped just when it got good. It's like reading Game of Thrones but only getting a few chapters and not the whole book. The story has just begun and I want to see it evolve. I'm unhappy with the idea that for my story to continue I have to wait for an expansion. That won't do. Even if all of the other parts of the game were "fixed", I would still be very excited about story if it was available. As it is now I have to play other classes to experience story. And that's fun to see, but I am still anxious to see what happens in my main's story. Potentially, I am just going to be equally frustrated about the stories ending for any other character I level to 50. Giving us more story for the classes would go a long way to excite my peer group and myself.


I know it's a huge deal to produce story content. I know I am asking for thousands of man hours and a process that is long and difficult. However it's really one of the best things about TOR and it causes me to be invested into the game that much more. I think for the common MMO gamer it would keep them coming back if anything else.


2 - More Grind


As MMO gamers, we complain about things being too grindy, yet remove the grind and we complain about the lack of content. It's the type of grind that is key. I'm a hardcore player. I farm, I grind, I level and I raid for hours and hours beyond what is called for. However I feel that my casual counterparts also grind their fair share. Both my peer group and our casual friends benefit from the right sort of grind. In TOR we have dailies. It's sort of grindy. We can grind out dailies for commendations to get gear. And that's fine but it sort of falls into the gear treadmill grind. And that's great. WoW did this and I appreciated it on behalf of my casual friends. It afforded them a way to get geared. I got the added benefit of being recognized for "earning" the gear through raiding rather than "welfare." But it worked out for everyone in the end. In TOR, we don't have content that is hard enough to warrant an alternative "welfare" grind option. So while I appreciate the current daily grind, I could really use more and varied grinds. Rep grinds are conspicuously absent from TOR. I would like to grind for vanity items (remember the Party Bomb?), very *different* mounts (not just the same mount with a different color scheme), gadgets that do fun things (again, like the Party Bomb in our game or like the light of elune in WoW) and access to schematics for the professions.


I know there is a sort of grind for mounts. However it's not quite right, or at least, not enough. Remember bear mounts in WoW? Or trying to get the Baron mount in WoW? How about the Gladiator mount? Or specific achievement mounts? That is a very complete mount grind. Right now we just have a very weak grind for mounts. All we have to do is run flashpoints and operations in various modes to obtain the mounts. And they are merely just different color schemes. And don't get me wrong, different color schemes are just fine. However we could use more varied mount models and flair for each model. The problem with that is that right now one of the easiest mount grinds requires one to complete flashpoints that nobody ever runs. Directive 7 is extremely difficult to get a group for right now, let alone complete successfully with a random sample of the current player base. Try to get into a Lost Island group as a ranged tank or DPS.


I really like gadgets in an MMO. I liked the little lantern in WoW that produced the little orbs that were used to cast a light down from above, the "Light of Elune" I believe it was called. I liked the little RC tanks and all the various little pets. My peer group would often go out and grind this stuff out because it was not only a different grind (it was not the loot treadmill grind), it was for a really run reward.


I know there are a few schematics in games from daily vendors. And that's a good start. However we could really use more and varied schematics and not just from daily vendors. But to further explain this I need to move on to my next ask....



3 - Achievements


I feel that achievements can solve a lot of problems for the missing grindy content. It could also reward activities that people partake in currently which are not rewarded or yield any sort of perk other than spending time in TOR. Things like exploration, profession mastery, completing specific feats of skill in game, gaining a reputation level with a faction in game (rep grinds) and so on, can open up a lot of possibilities. Achievements can yield some great vanity rewards as well as open up access to useful schematics and even, as far as TOR is concerned, unique looking orange gear. For example, the orange gear to make our characters to appear as Sand People is available via a social vendor. I think this should be available as a reward from the Sand People themselves after completing tasks for them and completing a short Sand People story arc. And other things should be available from a Sand People rep grind. Perhaps a special emote (You know the Sand People iconic raised weapon yell?). Maybe a unique orange gear rifle for snipers and troopers. There could be a Womp Rat pet. The possibilities are many - and this is just for Sand People.


I know we have titles in game for completing some hard modes within particular time constraints. However it would have been nice if there was a unique vanity reward for it. A "Minesweeper" title should have came with a "lay mine" emote or even a little mine layer pet.


We all have our own factions, Republic and Sith Empire. It would be fairly easy to complete tasks for our factions and grind out rep within our own faction. However the rewards for such could be so awesome that it would stimulate activity. What if a top level faction rep reward as an additional, but not overpowerd, companion. I would like an Imperial Battle Droid. You know the little tri legged and quadraped walkers that look like Droidekas? How fun would that be?


4 - Profession Gadgets and Profession Reconsideration


This one is silly but within my circle of friends it seems to yield a lot of satisfaction. We really liked the little gadgets from past MMOs. Consumables that caused your character to look like a ninja, smoke bombs and so on. Little toys really make a profession fun. And as it is right now from the perspective of my peer group, many professions are boring.


Aside from augmented items, which take quite a bit of investment and are arguably not worth the investment versus the potential profit (after the long process of trying to sell the item), there is no real viable money maker for professions. For my more casual friends, investing the resources to attempt to proc an augment is just not viable. I think that additional consideration needs to be paid to professions. I think it's unfortunate that some of the past best-in-slot items, from Artifice for example, were restricted to the creator via a Bind on Pickup restriction. One the one hand it makes a lot of sense to have some items be restricted to the character that created them, infinite use med packs for example. However relics from Artifice would have been nice had they been BoE. It would be really exciting if more best in slot or even really fun gadgets items were BoE. The schematics could drop of bosses, trash, come from rep grinds and social points. Reconsidering the professions would go a long way to exciting myself, my peer group and my casual friends.


5 - Arenas and Group Space Combat


I know that ranked warzones are coming and I'm optimistic about it. However I feel like it falls just a tiny bit short of what PvP needs to be fun again. Right now PvP pretty much dies at level 50 unless one was among the few people who exploited on Ilum and are now reaping the benefits. If you are on a server like mine where one faction drastically overshadows the other, PvP can be very painful - and not in the way one would probably guess. Being on the majority faction, I find it hard to queue with decent players or players who can stand a chance against the minority faction which, statistically speaking, has a better chance at being filled with better and more accomplished PvPers. No matter how "good" I am at PvP and regardless of my gear, I will nearly always take a loss because my peers and I can not carry the whole team.


Arenas would be great and would allow advanced players like myself to congregate and form a team. It would also allow less "skilled" players a chance no to be locked out of advancement due to the fact that they could also form a team and because they would play together regularly they could form a strategy. As it stands currently, even if you queue with your friends, you are still not able to fill out an entire team in most cases and are still at the mercy of the rest of the Warzone team - people quitting before or during the match, AFKers and poor players all contribute to the pain of current Warzone PvP.


I would also be very excited about group space combat. Space combat ceases to be fun when one has beaten the new level difficulty of the same mission. Adding the group aspect to the Space Combat featured content would be very welcomed by my peer group as well as by the rest of my friends.


I know all of this is a lot to ask for. It's very "wall of crazy" heavy. I could have asked for a number of other things like Pazzak, Pod/Swoop racing, Guild Capitol Ships, Fleet Based Player Housing, and so on. But I chose to focus on the things that would be the most effective in generating excitement and cause my peer group to invest the most time and therefore potentially yield the most retention of that group.


I only left WoW because I knew TOR was coming. Now that I'm here I'm going to stay and stick it out as long as I can. I did it for WoW and it turned out to be a great gamble for me as an MMO gamer. It's far too early to judge TOR such that the call needs to be made to leave or not. However that's my own feeling. I think a lot of people have left TOR for sure, but I think it's just temporarily. I feel that this game just lacks a few things to generate every day excitement. I know flashpoints are being tuned up a bit and will hopefully become more difficult. However at this point there is no magic bullet for TOR to win back the players it lost. I feel it needs to be a small magazine of magic bullets fired in rapid succession. I think it's totally possible for TOR to win people back if it locks and loads accordingly.


I will close with a thank you to BioWare for a really fun game. This post is not about me making demands or trying to tell you how to produce your product. I'm just a gamer. I have very little idea of what it takes to produce a monster like TOR. I merely have a desire to see my favorite game become a little more of what it already is and to regain lost ground so that I have more people to share it with and so that I am not forced to abandon what could potentially be the best MMO ever created, simply so that can play the game everyone else I know is playing. I just reluctantly ordered D3 online. When it arrives at my home I will install it and play it. It will take time from my TOR playtime. I don't like that. However if I want to play a game with my friends instead of doing dailies by myself or waiting for the raid that never happens, I will need to install and play D3 or whatever flavor of the month game is in fashion. I'm not ready to give up on TOR. All I have to offer is 15 USD per month and my thanks. I ask for a lot in return. So I understand if the things I ask for don't happen.


Thanks for the best Star Wars experience I've had outside the films and for validating my decision to leave WoW. I'm holding on as long as I can.


- Thanks for reading -



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Hi Kimiko:


Yeah, most of that stuff sounds pretty good.


Counter-point... they just laid off a bunch of folks, AND they are struggling to retain the subscribers they currently have.


Everything you mentioned requires some pretty serious developer hours.


Even the simplest to implement of what you want, while neat-sounding, would not happen for months, at least.

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Everything you mentioned requires some pretty serious developer hours.


Even the simplest to implement of what you want, while neat-sounding, would not happen for months, at least.


I know. You're are absolutely right. And that's what makes me feel like I'm "holding fast" and not simply being patient. I think being patient would be the posture to take if I knew this stuff was on it's way , firing those golden bullets in rapid succession. However I just don't see that fire mission coming down.


As it stands right now I feel like I'm holding fast until the game falls down around me. TOR will never "fail." But my friends will leave and I will become some kind of raid logger for raids that may or may not happen. Then that shiny new game comes along and I'm the moron for not playing it because "OMG IT'S SO FUN, KIMI." It's like that right now with Diablo 3. I don't even own it yet. But I ordered it this morning. That's how it starts.


I appreciate your comment.

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Just going to counter some arguments for discussions sake. I agree with most of your points btw.


1. Story

No matter what book/show/game you're into at a particular moment, the story eventually ends. It's, imo, unreasonable to expect a sequel so soon after the first one came through. I would love to see my Merc and Sin again doing what they do best, but I know that I should appreciate what story I have seen as most companys don't put as much emphasis on it as bioware does.



This is an iffy point for me. I enjoy most aspects of the game. But the reason people are leaving is because they can log on once or twice a week, raid two ops and gain a decent amount of gear and not have to log back on until lockouts reset. Would Bioware be better if they decreased the amount of gear gained while also decreasing lockout time? I.E. Having a single token drop of each boss, but allowing players to do the ops every other night?


Mounts aren't to bad. At least they were added at all. I agree that there needs to be more than just a color change though.



I like the title system of Tor and I agree that there should be an emote or something attached to the title. Adding more titles to get would go along way to helping players find things to do.



Imo crafting as a whole needs to be reworked. But I'm not sure what the best way to do it would be.



This is something else that is iffy for me. I don't pvp a lot in this game and when I do it's almost exclusively in the 1-49 bracket. I already have to grind gear in pve on my 50's, I don't want to have to grind gear for pvp. Especially when that gear gives such an advantage over fresh 50's. Now a good player will most of the time win over a bad player in gear. But if I wanted to pvp right now in recruit gear I would be giving my team a disadvantage.


Another problem is warzone that Bioware can't fix is what I call the "COD mentality." These people only play for the kills and not the objectives. Having one or two on your team is almost a gaureenteed lose. You know these people. There the ones on the other side of the map when you're trying to run in a huttball, fighting away from the doors in voidstar, and chasing after people in alderaan letting a stealther cap.


Ranked WZ's will (hopefully) fix the issues of getting bads on your team. PVP in the genre is always going to have problems just because of gear req's.


Group space combat seems like it would be hard to implement without adding a new expansion to the game. Maybe adding a capital ship type heroic on rails would work. One person is the pilot, while a couple of others take turrets would probably be the easiest way to incorporate this in the games current state.



I really like this game too, and I try hard to keep my guild together. Right now most are playing D3, but I have a feeling they'll be back when they realize that D3 wont get content patches like an mmo would.

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I appreciate your points and your views, Trooper. I think one thing is clear to us all, no matter what angle we approach this conversation from - something needs to be done. Sooner rather than later, mind you.


Thanks for posting.

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That is a great post Kimiko!


I especially agree with the class story line. This NEEDS to be updated way more than just during an expansion, IMO.


In LOTRO (when I was playing it awhile back), the main story quest line was updated 3 to 4 times a year! They were just little updates to the story, but I loved it! Granted here, they need to update more than one story line, but they have far more subscribers than LOTRO, and hence resouces, I hope.


I know this takes time and money to do, but other MMO's manage it... can't Bioware?

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I definitely agree with Achievements.


Hell, I’ve played Xbox games that I hated, just to get some of the achievements…and I LIKE this game…


It would be a great thing to have to make the lull between content patches more bearable.

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I would also be very excited about group space combat. Space combat ceases to be fun when one has beaten the new level difficulty of the same mission. Adding the group aspect to the Space Combat featured content would be very welcomed by my peer group as well as by the rest of my friends.


I don't think adding the ability to group with friends in the current space game would add anything to the experience, and indeed would require resources which could be better utilised doing what is really required to improve space combat. That is nothing short of a total revamp. It is absolutely critical that space is taken off rails, if it isn't then they may as well not even bother. As it stands the space combat game is not only bland it actually damages the Star Wars brand by being so uninspiring. People associate exciting space combat with Star Wars, this 'mini-game' is just not good enough and a poor excuse for space being nothing but an afterthought.

Edited by Cordelia
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I don't think adding the ability to group with friends in the current space game would add anything to the experience, and indeed would require resources which could be better utilised doing what is really required to improve space combat. That is nothing short of a total revamp. It is absolutely critical that space is taken off rails, if it isn't then they may as well not even bother. As it stands the space combat game is not only bland it actually damages the Star Wars brand by being so uninspiring. People associate exciting space combat with Star Wars, this 'mini-game' is just not good enough and a poor excuse for space being nothing but an afterthought.


And the space combat is exactly the way they designed it. Could it be better? Of course, but there have been several other threads on the subject and the fact of the matter is that unless we wanted to double the development time of the game, certain design decisions had to be made. IMO, BW made the right choice in launching the game with the focus on story and character development. If that was lacking, it wouldn't matter how good the space component of the game was - it would not survive. As it is now, Space is an enjoyable mini-game with the potential to become fleshed out in it's own expansion after the current game matures a bit.


Kimiko's list is quite good. I plan on sticking with the game as long as the servers are up because I am having fun with it now and it (hopefully) will only get better from here on out. If there was a wishlist of 4 things I would like to see (aside from the obvious space combat):

1 - Better implementation of PvP. I am a PvE player, and my first experience with PvP came from GW1. I found that there implementation was quite enjoyable at the non-competitive levels and the PvPvE arenas. I did some of the warzone testing for 1.2 on the PTS and enjoyed the maps (once I got acclimated to SWTOR PvP) and would like to see these expanded upon and would hope ranked comes with 1.3 for the dedicated PvP crowd. I would also like to see the game offer more of an incentive for open world PvP encounters.


2 - See the choices we make have more of an impact in the game. This seems to be a sticking point with many players. It doesn't matter much to me in the long run as I enjoy the game currently, but it would be nice to be able to have some sandboxing here where my Knight could go back to Tython to romance the Twi'lek NPCs he helped, or have Bengal Morr become a companion if we choose to let him go. I would like to see our actions in game also help determine our Light/Dark alignment outside of conversation wheel choices. If my characters slaughter neutral NPCs or creatures, they should be getting dark points for each kill.


3 - Revamp crafting - I haven't gotten to far in depth using RE or Crew Skills at this point, but from what I understand, the system is pretty simple compared to crafting in other games, which is a good thing, but it seems to hard to be able to maintain a consistent leveling curve for crew skill points without having to spend too much money early on on missions. Plus it seems REing is not worth the effort for most items - I can get more value selling an item to a vendor than the mats returned from RE. It also seems I have to waste a lot of time crafting usless items to be able to get leveled for schematics for better items only not to be able to craft them because they require mats that I cannot currently get.


4 - Freedom to explore phased areas after completing the class story for them. There have been a couple of instances where there bosses in phases I wanted to beat, but could not at the level I was at. It would be nice to be able to revisit these areas, once I complete the story quest involving them, when I level up enough to take them solo or finally find a friend to help me out with them.



Edited by BJWyler
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