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An Open Letter to BioWare: Improving the Overall State of SWTOR.


FriendReferral

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Dear BioWare Austin,

 

The signers of this petition of the Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ community are imploring you for an improvement in the overall state of the game.

 

Before I begin and elaborate, by no means do we mean any disrespect to BioWare Austin with this petition. In the Rules of Conduct, it’s stated that petitions of any form are not allowed, but with the introduction of the new Community Manager (Eric Musco) of the forums, he made it clear that forum moderation, for the most part, was going to be more lenient—and because of that we feel comfortable with presenting a formal written request to implement certain changes that will make for a healthier, happier and growing player-base.

 

We would like to see these changes happen within the year of this date. This should be a very fair and lenient time frame, but we hope you can execute these changes as soon as possible (and please, no soon™!). We understand that you possibly lack the manpower to make these changes asap, but as long as you can acknowledge this petition and can give us some meaningful and elaborate updates then I think the supporters of this petition will be content.

 

Ranked Warzones – Removing PvP content is NOT the answer. The PvP community was told in a previous “Summer of SWTOR” update that Ranked would receive recognition. There was not much to it, but that little tidbit of Ranked recognition was something the PvP community desperately needed. Unfortunately, approximately 2 months later you announce in this update that you’d be pulling the plug on Ranked WZs 8v8.

 

You guys never comprehended why RWZs failed at all. Season 1 never began, nor was it ever even hinted of an approximate release. We never got matchmaking—which was said that would be implemented when Season 1 would begin—and that’s a system that was crucial for this PvP system to expand and improve.

 

Outside that “Summer of SWTOR” update, there was really no interaction with the community on the development of RWZs. Anything asked related to RWZs was always brushed off and avoided, and that wasn’t what the PvP community needed, nor was it appropriate at all.

 

Additionally, you announced the removal of RWZs a bit after you implement server transfers. Your PvP customers spent a lot of money transferring their characters to servers where competitive PvP was more prevalent and healthy, and once they heard this there were a lot of players that left the game and guilds that disbanded indefinitely or for good.

 

These drastic changes just kept piling up, and unfortunately it got more and more PvP’ers and PvP guilds to unsubscribe and quit the game.

 

Although we’re getting the new Warzone Arena system in place, being an avid PvP’er, more of us were concerned with the development of WZs (both Ranked and the system itself) and additional PvP class balance. During the time I’ve spent browsing the PvP forums, I never really saw anything related to Arenas shine.

 

Overall, the timeline of PvP has been a very rough one to say the least, and it seems like more PvP’ers are unsubscribing and quitting left and right due to these drastic changes that are being made. I think it’s a huge mistake you guys are making taking more PvP systems away and not even improving the ones that you possibly can. For example, World PvP would be understandable, you’ve made it clear on that before, but as for something smaller like RWZs, it just doesn’t make sense.

 

At this moment, there is a petition to stop the removal of RWZs. This system has loads of potential and is still able to work. Concerning PvP patches, maybe one PvP patch can solely focus on the system of 8v8 WZs, while the next PvP patch can focus solely on the Arenas system. RWZs just shouldn’t be removed. Let us have more content. As said previously, many players and guilds have unsubscribed and quit but if there were PvP patches that solely focused on the 8-man system then PvP overall in SWTOR could definitely be improved.

 

Our first request is that we implore you to read that petition, respond to it and hopefully have a change of heart of RWZs.

 

PvE Operations and Bosses – Our second request is that we implore you to adjust the difficulty of Operations and its individual bosses. With a lot of the new content, guilds will return to SWTOR, complete the Op a few times and leave due to boredom. There are minimal changes between each of the difficulty levels of each Operation. Furthermore, some bosses have a difficulty so incredibly easy or hard, that it makes the operation no longer fun.

 

The following are changes that we wish to see:

 

  • Regarding Difficulty: Adjust the difficulty levels for each Operation. Story Mode SHOULD be able to be completed with the proper gear of any level. Hard Mode SHOULD be significantly harder—not just a tiny bit—and you should not be able to complete Hard Mode until you are at least 50% in whatever tier gear that is dropped in Hard Mode. Nightmare Mode SHOULD be significantly harder than Hard Mode and should be near impossible to complete without almost full top tier gear. This will make things more challenging for those who enjoy PvE and they will clear and get tired of content as quickly.
  • Regarding Individual Boss Fights: Some bosses are WAY harder than others. For example, there were those who at the release of TFB NiM that were able to defeat everyone but the Dread Guards. It is our opinion that the difficulty of bosses should be around the same as the others, with a slight upward scale of difficulty until you reach the final boss (which should be the hardest). We know there are some bosses that are considered a “DPS check” of a sort, but in the aforementioned example, the hardest boss was the second boss. The first boss should be the “DPS check” for an Operation, not some boss in the middle.

 

PvP Rewards and MissionsThis petition, about PvP rewards, has received a good amount of support, and our third request is that we implore you to read that petition, respond to it and hopefully implement improved rewards/features (such as something like this). It’s ridiculous how PvP returns very measly rewards, with only 2 (lowbie PvP) or 3 (endgame PvP) PvP missions to work with.

 

Many of us feel like you are trying to force us to enter a play style we loathe with a fiery passion (e.g. dailies, FPs, etc.), and as for crafting, it costs us credits to advance which can be detrimental to the little we already earn.

 

Some players have brought up the issue of “Chinese credit sellers” trying to exploit the rewards if they were buffed, but with a vote-to-kick option in place and an automatic boot for 1 minute of inactivity at the spawn area it makes it a lot harder for anyone to try and exploit the rewards.

 

I know many PvE’ers and crafters will not understand where we’re coming from, but I hope you can support this petition in whole with the troubles of “PvP Rewards” being included. We would never want this to be inflicted upon you guys if you were enticed to PvP for the best rewards.

 

Additionally, the PvP community is very bothered by the fact we’ll get no credit whatsoever for the daily and weekly missions for Ranked Arenas. You’re making it to where there’s even less of an incentive to participate in Ranked Arenas.

 

Players who participate in Ranked PvP should be getting more rewards and incentives for doing them, not less; and the incentives shouldn’t be slashed when participating in them. That being said, our fourth request is that we implore you to adjust the credit given and allow the dailies and weeklies to count for Arenas.

 

Rejoining a PvP Match – Our fifth request is that we implore you to address the suggestion of rejoining a PvP match after disconnecting.

 

In PvE, players who disconnect have a period of time of being able to get back into the group they were in. This should at least work with Ranked PvP matches. Once one team loses a player due to a disconnect in their match, they automatically lose.

 

This is probably one of the biggest gripes the PvP community has, after the removal of RWZs.

 

Friends of SWTOR – Our sixth request is that we implore you to fix the issues with the referral program and to try and compensate those who didn’t receive the rewards they're entitled to.

 

I was one of the subscribers who utilized this feature and followed every direction on the Friends of SWTOR page, only to never receive the rewards. Some of us who never received our rewards have also provided proof; such as pictures, our friends’ account information, etc. to show Customer Service that we should have gotten the rewards.

 

The program is obviously bugged, but BioWare, we’re respectfully requesting that you can look into this so those who’ve had issues with the program can receive their benefits.

 

There are already two major threads surrounding the issue.

 

Subscriber Benefits – Our seventh request is that we implore you to improve subscriber benefits IF POSSIBLE. Even if discounted, paying with real life money/CC to utilize the Collections feature and the Appearance Designer shouldn’t be the only option.

 

Not every benefit should be handed to us, but I think you’d be doing loyal subscribers a HUGE favor to utilize credits as well. Maybe have it revolve around the subscription payment method too, where subscribers who pay for a 6-month recurring subscription have the best benefits.

 

At the moment, it seems like most of the benefit rewards have been titles. This request can be debated with good points raised on both sides, but surely there’s room for improvement somewhere!

 

Class Balance and Bugs – Warzone Arenas are dropping soon when they shouldn’t be. The way classes are right now, there are many specs that are just not ready for it. I can guarantee there will be many teams running with 2 Op/Scoun healer or 1 Op/Scound healer and 1 Tank, and 2 Knight/Warrior Smashers.

 

Class balance updates happen every 5 to 6 months and that makes class specs feel like they're FOTY.

 

Our eighth request is that we implore you to work on more classes and specs if possible. It’s just really slow at this point overall, and if possible this area of development should be expedited with the introduction of Arenas and new harder difficulty Operations.

 

Our ninth request is that we implore you to look into certain class bugs that severely need to be fixed (Knight/Warrior leap bug; Sage/Sorc Force Regen bug). They’re detrimental to a player’s performance and it’s just pretty unacceptable to have the bugs stay unfixed for several weeks+. When I was playing SWTOR, I played my Guardian and Sentinel less and less due to that annoying leap bug. It wasn’t helpful at all in PvP and it was just plain old annoying.

 

In conclusion, we just want the severe class bugs and class balancing not to negatively impact difficult PvE instances or Arenas.

 

Public Test Server – Our tenth request is that we implore you to listen to your players on the PTS more often and try to interact more frequently. These testers take hours of their time out of the normal playtime to help test the game for you, and provide invaluable feedback so you can greatly improve an upcoming patch.

 

I don’t mean this with any disrespect, but from what I’ve witnessed you guys are guilty of ignoring past feedback (like the whole bolster debacle before 2.0 was released) and that really didn’t help the PvP community at all. It took you guys several weeks to get bolster working as intended.

 

Overall, we hope you can improve in this area.

 

Ability Delay, Frames Per Second and Lag Issues – Our eleventh request is that we implore you to keep making noticeable improvements to engine performance, and to hopefully note these improvements in future patch notes:

 

The heavily modified pre-alpha engine must be an extremely difficult task to code and improve, but we hope these improvements keep coming because it’s annoying how the ability delay resurfaces, and FPS decrease for certain customers with random patches again and again.

 

Forum Interaction – The moderation of these forums has always been pretty strict, and many of us are guilty of resorting to flaming and trolling and the like, but by no means do we visit these boards to purposely flame and troll, etc.

 

From my experience, I’ve had a pretty rough time with the moderation here. I just don’t think it’s fulfilling its goal of being friendly and welcoming if it’s so easy to be slapped with a warning or infraction for those who are more pessimistic of the game, BW/EA, etc.

 

As you can see, previous moderation was far stricter, and with that being said, our twelfth request is that we implore you to do something for those who had sanctions imposed on in the past. Allison and Joveth really made it hard to start any pessimistic topics and discussions, but it feels the same way with the current and new infraction system in place.

 

Additionally, with our twelfth request (as it pertains to the forums), I hope interaction on the forums can be increased in other areas. As an avid PvP’er, it’s extremely rare to get a yellow post in the PvP forums. I think most of us who avidly visit the PvP forums can say the PvE forums (FPs, Operations and Heroics) get more responses, but I hope the CMs can see how ignoring other parts of the forum isn’t very helpful and we hope that activity can be increased around the board.

 

Polls – Although both online petitions and polls can be rigged pretty easily, I am adding a few polls to this petition just to give BioWare some information on this thread. I think providing this information will help the growth of this petition, and will give BioWare some invaluable statistics concerning this petition and its participators overall.

 

 

 

Finale – BioWare, I have compiled all of the main concerns that many subscribers and former customers have raised. Whether you’re a PvP’er, PvE’er, or feel like you haven’t been appreciated as a loyal subscriber, etc., I hope this petition warrants a signature from you, and that you can support it, and give any and all amount of constructive feedback and criticism.

 

This won’t be the final iteration of this petition. It still needs to be updated here and there and improved, but for the most part, I hope that you can sympathize with the concerns raised here and can change your direction as soon as you can to keep your current subscribers and bring back old ones.

 

If you want to sign the petition and support it, please do so by posting in this thread (e.g. "/sign" or "/support")!

 

If you have read the full petition and answered each of the polls, please add a ":D" at the bottom of your post!

 

Yours truly,

 

MrJurgens (FriendReferral) and SenaZane;

 

The signers of this petition

Edited by FriendReferral
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OP's Notes

 

My objective here is to make sure everyone who participates in this thread has flexibility in their choices and what they believe. I hope this approach will be more welcoming and well-received, and that others will be comfortable of giving their 2 :sy_auction: no matter if it's for or against this petition, whether they're unsubbing or staying subbed, etc., etc.

 

In my opinion, PvP is my area of most concern since that is my only play style. I hope no one doesn't mind that, but I am happy to have included several other topics so others can easily relate to this open letter to BioWare.

 

:cool:

Edited by FriendReferral
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The game is fine. Not perfect, but more than good enough to pay for. If you disagree, why continue playing?

 

Anything is worth what something is willing to pay for it you know im sure a homeless person living in the park would pay for a dirty blanket but does that make it valuable to everyone else? No

Why would yu argue against wanting a better game

/signed

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I'm confused. The same people who were bashing polls in other threads, saying they were rigged and meaningless, are now claiming they are useful to Bioware?

 

These folks took the time to basically rewrite the entire petition based off feedback from the original thread. Do you think that maybe...we could try not to carry the drama over into this one?

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I'm confused. The same people who were bashing polls in other threads, saying they were rigged and meaningless, are now claiming they are useful to Bioware?

They were being bashed due to the fact it was just to fuel your own agenda. That's why you thread got shot down and died off.

 

:rolleyes:

Edited by FriendReferral
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These folks took the time to basically rewrite the entire petition based off feedback from the original thread. Do you think that maybe...we could try not to carry the drama over into this one?

Just leave him be. He never has anything constructive to say. I suggest that his "Do you agree with the 'Redemption'" thread also be reported.

 

It's just spam and just screams that he wants attention. Let's not give him more than what he's already received.

 

:cool:

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I'm confused. The same people who were bashing polls in other threads, saying they were rigged and meaningless, are now claiming they are useful to Bioware?

 

You're right.

 

There are multiple reasons why I didn't support this petition and this was one of them.

 

http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc340/the_grand_nagus/PollsPic.jpg

 

Why the PM? Why not just reply in this thread?

 

But anyway, apparently SithEBM doesnt even support this new petition. Go figure :confused:

Edited by The_Grand_Nagus
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You said there were multiple reasons you didnt support this petition. Polling is obviously one of them, but what are the others?

 

I agree with every point of his. Don't get me wrong, each point helps improve this game however no competitive PvPer is going to play without balance changes.

 

That's the main reason i don't support this thread.

 

If anybody can relate to these issues "Friend referral/other stuff" go for it.

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I agree with every point of his. Don't get me wrong, each point helps improve this game however no competitive PvPer is going to play without balance changes.

 

That's the main reason i don't support this thread.

 

If anybody can relate to these issues "Friend referral/other stuff" go for it.

And Balance is posted in the OP...

 

So what's the problem?

 

:confused:

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And Balance is posted in the OP...

 

So what's the problem?

 

:confused:

 

I know why you quoted me even though we're talking on facebook so this will be my last and final post in this thread since I can't fully support it as a PvPer.

 

"Our eighth request is that we implore you to work on more classes and specs if possible. It’s just really slow at this point overall, and if possible this area of development should be expedited with the introduction of Arenas and new harder difficulty Operations."

 

Without setting a due date in the near future for class balancing, there is absolutely no reason to continue PvPing in this game as a competitive PvPer. Even if they add in/keep ranked warzones(Which would be the thing that they should do), it will still remain as the boring same old system that a select number of people play.

 

So basically, if possible will generate the response "2.5" which actually means a few tweaks that will barely impact PvP. It could also generate "Next Expansion" which means this entire "Class Balancing" section is pointless as very few competitive PvPers(On PoT5 at least) will remain here.

 

You may gain the "Casuals/PvErs", however the competitive PvPers/competitive PvErs are the core foundation for every game. Without them, there would be no testing and feedback which would cause this game's progress to slowly decline.

 

I support your other sections, but competitive PvPers have been shafted here.

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So the contents of this open letter are pretty wide reaching and varied. While I cannot say that I agree with every element of it, I support it because of the care and attention it has been given by the author. I don't have to agree with all of it, but I certainly agree with the theme and spirit of what is being done here.

 

Specifically to Eric's attention: I feel you need to find a way Eric to provide a Bioware response to each of the key points presented here. It has been done in a respectful manner and represents a broad consensus of the player base that is active in the forum. It is a fair representation IMO, and it deserves an active dialog from Bioware in response. The OP has endeavored to represent a range of key issues of interest to the community with as little bias and as much objectivity as possible IMO. It deserves thoughtful and timely response in my opinion. I'm sure Grant will read it as well.. please Grant... take this open letter seriously.

 

Specifically to the Forum Members: While it is unrealistic to expect a complex property like an MMO to "turn on a dime" to every need/want/desire of a broad playerbase, this is the way to share broad player concerns to the developers. And now we must do our part to help FriendReferral and Bioware create a meaningful dialog. Please please please don't go all nasty and medieval in the thread and toward the devs and community support staff with your response to the thread. FriendReferral did his part and did it well. Let's respect that and build upon it rather then tear things apart out of selfish self-interest.

 

Overall, Bioware IMO has a pretty good track record of listening and adjusting the game to player feedback. Sure, not exactly the way everyone wants, and not as fast as everyone wants... but they have done pretty well in the last year listening and adjusting content to player feedback. And I am sure they are more in agreement with players then we realize as to things that still need care and attention to improve the overall game experience. With that in mind, I encourage everyone to "play nice" here.....to encourage even more of this approach to discussion with the devs... and have respectful dialog with them. No drive-bys or snark is required (on any side of any of these elements of the OP), and in fact it is counter-productive.

 

Frustrations are real, and need to be expressed I am sure.. but how about we do that elsewhere in the forum and help make this particular open letter neutral ground for once. See what comes form it. :)

 

TL;DR /Signed. Now let's not muck it up.. give it time to grow and provide results.

Edited by Andryah
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I know why you quoted me even though we're talking on facebook so this will be my last and final post in this thread since I can't fully support it as a PvPer.

 

"Our eighth request is that we implore you to work on more classes and specs if possible. It’s just really slow at this point overall, and if possible this area of development should be expedited with the introduction of Arenas and new harder difficulty Operations."

 

Without setting a due date in the near future for class balancing, there is absolutely no reason to continue PvPing in this game as a competitive PvPer. Even if they add in/keep ranked warzones(Which would be the thing that they should do), it will still remain as the boring same old system that a select number of people play.

 

So basically, if possible will generate the response "2.5" which actually means a few tweaks that will barely impact PvP. It could also generate "Next Expansion" which means this entire "Class Balancing" section is pointless as very few competitive PvPers(On PoT5 at least) will remain here.

 

You may gain the "Casuals/PvErs", however the competitive PvPers/competitive PvErs are the core foundation for every game. Without them, there would be no testing and feedback which would cause this game's progress to slowly decline.

 

I support your other sections, but competitive PvPers have been shafted here.

I've been on and off the grid in FB for the most part.

 

I don't understand how not having due dates will not make this work out, or how it is detrimental to the competitive PvP'ers. Not only have I included like 3 PvP topics, but I reworded the petition for it to sound more friendly and welcoming to players of other play styles and those who just couldn't bring to sign the previous petition.

 

Class balance in this game is extremely sporadic, and it's best if we just err on the side of caution and use the time frame "within the year" so when BW reads this, they know we're not demanding some unrealistic due date that they'll possibly never achieve—no matter how much you want them to.

 

Additionally, the game's heavily modified pre-alpha engine just makes it worse that they can't implement additions, changes and removal as fast as they may want to.

Edited by FriendReferral
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Could someone please clarify something? The previous version of this petition stated:

 

You have until October 1st, 2013 to give us at least a response or else we’re gone.

 

I'm not sure how many people signed that, but it was over 100 wasnt it? Are those people still going to honor that commitment?

Edited by The_Grand_Nagus
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I think the points in this thread are fair, constructive and representative of the concerns a large number of SWTOR players have about the game in its current state. I think a dialog with the dev team (through the community team if that makes it easier) about these issues would be positive for both players and developers.

 

As someone who enjoys the current game but believes it needs to get better, and as a subscriber since launch and a community member since Oct. 2008, I /sign.

 

:D

Edited by ebado
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Mrjurgens this version of your petition is really well done and I appreciate the care that went into it. The pvper in me says that this game really needs a carrot for this playstyle in terms of rewards and content.

 

I also want to say that I do believe pvp has been shafted in the past and this thread very eloquently describes the situation. Finally, even though I disagree about forum moderation still the way you presented here is better so I can overlook it. Also I agree with you that making dates is uncessary as in the end it's the higher ups who make the calls.

Therefore I am happy to say that I support you.

 

/signed

 

Edit: I have done all the polls as well :D

Edited by theUndead
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