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What should the focus be for profits?


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I think it's hardly a radical concept that games are about profits. This game makes money through subs and through the cartel market. These two income streams are not exclusive, since many subscribers also spend extra through the CM. However, people will not subscribe or buy items through the CM if they don't like the game. In order for either one (and hopefully both) of these income streams to be successful, you have to have players playing the game and engaged enough to spend their money.


I'm curious to see what people think the focus should be in order for this game to be profitable for a long time to come.


In my opinion, increasing the amount of attachment players have with their characters is one way, as players are less likely to abandon a character they have sunk time, money, and creativity into. This can be done by extending the storyline including companion story arcs, adding more options for character customization, and adding customization items to items such as ships.


Another, even better, IMO, way is to increase the connections players have with each other, since most players stay because of the other people. Giving guilds more robust tools, improving roleplaying items (which are fun even for non-roleplayers), including social mini-games, and so forth, would improve this aspect.


YMMV, and I hope it does. Curious to see what others think they should focus on in order to become/stay profitable.


Your premise is incorrect. You're assuming that BioWare's (or any game company) focus SHOULD be on profits. As this is in fact the case, no IF needed, all they simply need to do to increase profits is put more stuff on the Cartel Market while adding a little more content here a little more there.


However any game company SHOULD NOT be focused on profit, this is the wrong direction to go. Any game company, especially when considering an MMO, will ultimately fail with their product if how to make more money is their concern. BioWare is a business, and businesses are in the business of making money sure; but SWTOR is not a business so don't treat it like an extension of it.


SWTOR will be much more profitable in the end if their focus is on making a good fun quality game for everyone. That said what should they focus on to achieve said good fun quality stuff that will happen to make them more money? Honestly I say less content raid and daily mission wise and more recreational stuff. Add some Mario Kart style podracing.

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All new games with any backing have a lot of PR going around to bring new customers in and try out the game. MMOs, WoW aside perhaps, have not been able to keep most of the customers however.


It's easy to bring in new customers really. Put some hot looking characters on the cover, make some wild promises and wait for more than half of the population to go away within 3 months of the game going live. You could wonder what game companies have learned from this, but so far they haven't. They still try to fight the symptoms instead of the actual causes.


Now there's a little thing called customer retention and that's linked to the point that it's easier to invest in keeping customers than it is to gain them back. This where we get into the realm of understanding how people work and how to interpret what they want.


Customer care is a factor in this, but so is the communication from the company to the customers and building the game in a way that works for a large enough audience and keep them interested.


So, for me, these are the 3 focus points that BW/EA need to look into and actually invest into. It's a long term approach instead of fighting fires every step along the way, hoping the ship won't sink on the way.


I may not like WoW graphically, and admittedly that is a big issue to me, but I think that it's safe to state that they are the only ones capable of creating a more solid, stable experience that people feel they can rely on. Even after so many years WoW is still the no. 1 MMO. From a business point of view, it's really strange that no other company really has even come close in all those years. The problem is not subs, but the value of subs. People have expectations that come with paying monthly for a game and most games do not deliver on the 3 points I mentioned.


So customers service needs to be a lot better. I am not even talking about speed but real communication with real people that get real solutions. If that happens I'm ok if it takes a bit longer because I can trust them to fix it. Currently I have some unresolved issues that were resolved for guildies of mine. Why? Because I got sick of bot replies and they never really read my complaint and they just sent it through to some department that doesn't communicate. And too often I've seen the text that they can't help me with a certain issue. That is not good customer service. Also there is a big difference in whether you send an in-game ticket, go to the CS forum here or complain on twitter. It's not a good thing that there are such big differences. They should be at least close to give the customer confidence in the company.


Communication in general. Now this is an area that has improved I must say. I am so happy that they have started explaining what's coming and when. I understand the delays, I just feel more informed. There is room for improvement still as there are issues that come up on the forum that can really use more communication and something more than "we've seen it and are working on it". That's a good start but often there is nothing beyond that. Still, overall it is better than it was.


The game appeal itself. Now I like the game and I like logging in and being in the Star Wars univers. This has been a successful rendition of the SW universe in that sense for me. But when it comes to the activities within the game, I do see some real issues with the variety in activities and major issues in the reward system. It is of course hard to escape the kill x mobs, escort, defend quests etc. but the game does lack more variety and even though there's a lot to do within the game a lot of things are skipped by people because it is tedious.


We are getting a new dailies area in August. Well, I already stopped doing most of them. I can still stomach Ilum and occasionally the BH ones but we can hope this new group of dailies will be more fun... I'd rather have player housing, customisable ships for pvp with ships, more scavenger hunts (a bit less tedious than the current ones not needing Heroic 4s at the end), jumping puzzles etc. Just for more exciting variation.


The reward system is another thing. Most people skip Heroics because it's hard to find groups. Now let me ask you this. If you do a Heroic 4 and get a purple mod from it, that could be considered nice. But with moddable gear requiring a total of 25 mods and the Heroic being a daily, why would anyone bother? The reward itself is not a bad one, but you can't really gear up with them, you can't collect a full set together before you outlevel those mods. This is an inherent mistake in the reward system. At endgame, flashpoints and ops really focus around the main drops (tokens) but if you do SM ops for 69 gear, how long before you have your set bonuses together? if you are 8 people, you need 8 weeks to get everybody geared up basically, but no that's incorrect, because people have alts.

And here we see another problem. You can collect commendations but that gear is poorly itemised, so you need to get mostly enhancements from the gtn...well at current prices for 69 gear it's not in comparison to the effort it takes to get similar gear in fp's...except most drops in fp's and ops (non token gear) is crit gear or tank gear with alacrity, which we all know by now is useless. And I find myself often after playing a character through SV and TFB that I have nothing left to work towards for that particular character.


These examples all add up to the following: you can't really clearly work towards something on any level without being stopped by artificial limits and the reward system doesn't really entice people to do a lot of activities. Like it or not MMOs are about progression and rewards. These are elements that counter repetition/boredom to some extent.



I could go on but in the end, customer service needs to be better, communication can still improve and within the game the reward system is still far from optimal and we need more variety in content that can keep people busy progressing in different ways. 'The instant gratification of the cartel shop, will not hold people. Things that you get easily, can also be abandoned easily. I am not against the cartel shop but there does need to be a shift in focus now that there is more income being generated.

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PvE satisfies ME for a day.

PvP satisfies ME for a lifetime.


PvP development is cheaper and lasts longer for ME, so forget everybody else and focus on this to make me happy.


There fixed it for you.


If what you originally said was actually true, I am sure that MMOs would've done that. Truth is that there are PvP games like that and they don't do so well over here. Maybe in Asia, but not here.

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