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


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

 

 

 

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?

 

You are off topic, and I'm putting you on /ignore. I encourage others to consider doing the same.

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May I suggest that you change the polls to be a ranking on a point by point basis. On some points I strongly agree with you, others I strongly disagree and others I'm indifferent on. I was someone who was competely turned off by the tone of the last post so thank you for reconsidering because you do have some valid opinions and hopefully this way people will focus on the points made in the post and not its tone.
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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.

I'm happy to see you pretty neutral on this, Andryah. I appreciate the post and support.

 

With that being said, is there anything I can do to make this feel more viable of a response for each of the key points? There's probably some responses we won't like more than others, but I'm prepared for that. My wallet is next to me for when I'm ready to resubscribe, and I think what'll truly get me to is if I see a major comeback for a PvP response. More specifically – Ranked WZs 8v8.

 

I'm emotionally invested in that the most since I never got the chance to regularly run RWZs. :(

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May I suggest that you change the polls to be a ranking on a point by point basis. On some points I strongly agree with you, others I strongly disagree and others I'm indifferent on. I was someone who was competely turned off by the tone of the last post so thank you for reconsidering because you do have some valid opinions and hopefully this way people will focus on the points made in the post and not its tone.

Can you give me an example? Not sure if it's possible, but if the polls can be improved in one way or another I'll do it.

 

Edit: Here you go.

Edited by FriendReferral
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Can you give me an example? Not sure if it's possible, but it the polls can be improved in one way or another I'll do it.

 

There are certain polling systems that allow you to select the order of the options from what matters most to what matters least. This usually involves clicking an arrow to raise one option above another until you have them all in your preferred order. This allows people to not have to pick only one option, but put every option in their own preferred order of priority.

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Much better. I'm very hopeful this thread won't turn into mess of spam the other one had because of lack of tact and tone within the original post of the other. Even as a casual PVP player, i think do have a vested interest in making the PVP experience better. I probably would be more into it if it was in fact better.

 

I'll give it a sign.

 

/signed.

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Bravo! I am really shocked at how well revised this rewrite is. The previous one was not liked by myself simply because I felt it was far too aggressive in its language and intent and I felt it was coming from more of a place of anger then of genuine concern for the game. This rewrite I feel still retains the core points brought up in the prior petition, but takes a more neutral and understanding approach. One I believe most if not all can fall behind.

 

/signed!!!!!!!

 

Now for those who were trolling the last thread due to personal reasons please please do not continue here. MrJurgens has really shown how far he is willing to go to pull in the whole community in this effort and I feel he has earned respect regardless of past posts and threads he has made. I really feel like supporting something like this as one united body instead of fragmented pieces will really show Bioware that for once their customers are sure of what they want!

 

As for SithEBM and other supporters of the original petition, I can understand why you may not back this fully. It is not worded too strongly. That I can agree with in some areas. I don't think we need to seem meek by saying if possible or things like that. At the same time giving them a time table and being unmoving wouldn't work either. When has Bioware changed their plans for the future publicly due to player demand. I don't want to ask for another rewrite though just to appear more strongly. At this point we should stick to a cause and fight for it. This is one many more can get behind in my opinion.

 

The most important thing we should ask for is for Eric to enter this thread and have a dialogue with us. To speak with us about our concerns as a community since he is community manager. We all have pet projects we want pushed forward, but I think our focus as a community should be on how to better the major components of the game first. So PvP and PvE. And since PvE is in a pretty good shape I'd imagine PvP would be a major focus.

 

People will unsub. That is inevitable, but I believe we still need that dialogue. We all need to see where the game is going. The future of the game for the next few months. If the devs don't feel PvP should be the main focus let us know through whatever PR speak you can muster. If they do want to improve PvP, but either have that planned later or can't due to other priorities let us know. My hope is that 2.4 is the start of them building a strong PvP foundation, but really it is pure speculation.

 

I really am happy to see how this whole petition war has turned out and hope we can unite on this issue. We'll look back on this day and remember that this was the first time we united as a forum community.

Edited by Rasen
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We didn't want to seem meek at all and we wanted to merge things from the other petition in. I honestly was trying to compromise with EBM by adding his time frames, but broadening the range to what I feel is a more reasonable time frame for each update, as well as mention there are SOME signers who would indeed quit if these time frames were not adhered to (as not to sound so meek as presented). I have experience with what goes into making a game and felt I could present a reasonable end time frame if we were going to have timeframes.

 

Unfortunately, EBM disagreed with extending these time frames for his own reasons, so we removed them altogether. This is also why EBM is not a part of this letter, nor will he support it. People will unsub if they feel like unsubbing. There is nothing we can do to control that.

Edited by SenaZane
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As for SithEBM and other supporters of the original petition, I can understand why you may not back this fully. It is not worded too strongly. That I can agree with in some areas. I don't think we need to seem meek by saying if possible or things like that. At the same time giving them a time table and being unmoving wouldn't work either. When has Bioware changed their plans for the future publicly due to player demand. I don't want to ask for another rewrite though just to appear more strongly. At this point we should stick to a cause and fight for it. This is one many more can get behind in my opinion.

 

People will unsub. That is inevitable, but I believe we still need that dialogue. We all need to see where the game is going. The future of the game for the next few months. If the devs don't feel PvP should be the main focus let us know through whatever PR speak you can muster. If they do want to improve PvP, but either have that planned later or can't due to other priorities let us know. My hope is that 2.4 is the start of them building a strong PvP foundation, but really it is pure speculation.

.

 

We mainly cared about the Class balance portion/Ranked 8v8. Without Class balance, there is zero incentive to play this game(At this point, bringing back 8v8 won't do a thing).

 

Most people are either:

A). Currently unsubbing/not resubbing

B). Playing other games (Mainly FF 14/going to play wildstar) - I'm going to tryout FF 14(The Competitive PvPers love the PvE over there).

 

We agree with every other section and it's not the fact that this petition isn't "Worded strongly", it's just that without class balance, there is no point in continuing to play this game. Without the competitive PvPers, the PvP in this game will die.

 

Want to know who faces the devs on the test servers? Competitive PvPers. Want to know who goes on the test servers? The competitive PvPers/Competitive PvErs and Dulfy(Iwipe).

 

When I argued with Jurgens/Sena, they brought up valid points, however they don't seem to understand that there is no need for Ranked 8v8 to be in the game if there are no people playing it(Competitive PvPers). They tried to tell me that they wanted to say the max wait time for balance should be "1 year" and I seriously laughed my *** off at first because I thought they were trolling me, but when I realized they were serious, I was just pissed.

 

Besides buffing PvP rewards, everything PvP-related should be removed from this petition because if BioWare can't balance the classes for Arena and PvE by 2.5(I was trying to reason and actually said 2.6, however 2.5 would save this game), then this game has no chance.

 

Am I saying that Competitive PvPers make or break this game? Absolutely not, this game is PvE centric and the competitive PvErs will keep that alive.

 

However the PvP portion will soon bleed out(Starting on PoT5).

 

To BioWare: I understand that your team is small, but unless you rework this game from the ground up and get a new engine(Which won't happen), then you need to communicate more, you need to treasure your PvE community, you need to treasure your PvP community, you need to treasure your costumers, you need to give PvPers/PvErs the chance to better your game.

 

It's clear that you have no idea how to play your own game or balance classes and that's fine. But when you start telling players to "heal to full" or "Run away from fights as scrappers" or L2P, then you're being hypocritical because you're terrible at this game.

 

You don't have to be good at this game either, or balance classes every patch. Just give players instant-level 55 on the PTS, give them the best gear/free augments/kits to min/max and LISTEN TO THEIR FEEDBACK. Keep putting balance changes on the PTS and keep changing them. Who cares if it affects PvE negatively if it's on the PTS. That is what the PTS is for.... testing and changing. You won't ever achieve perfect balance but you'll definitely be able to find a way to make most classes viable for Arena and NM Operations.

 

If you think that milking subscribers is going to last forever, you're wrong. Once you lose your core players, you're done.

 

You can quote this on the front page if you want to, because even though we don't support this petition without Balancing Classes being due by 2.5-2.6, we want BioWare to know why this game failed and that they had a chance to fix it.

 

This will be my last post in this thread and I wish you all the best of luck. Unless BioWare balances most of the classes and makes them viable for Arena, I am either going to stop playing MMOs all together or play FF14.

Edited by SithEBM
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My opinions on each subject:

1. Ranked Warzones: I agree with this point and I made that clear in several of my early podcasts. People still PvPing in this game are doing so for the 8v8 and removing ranked and shifting focus to 4v4 is a huge risk. I think they started working on arenas over a year ago when it was a more in demand feature. They got to a point where they couldn't afford to let it die and thought it would work better than the current 8v8 ranked which, like it or not, was a failure. You can site all the circumstantial evidence you want about getting tons of ranked match pops but BW talked about that stats and the average queue times were abysmal. Will this be any better? No one knows but this is a high risk, high reward move by BW and they obviously think it will be a smashing success.

2. PvE Operations and Bosses: I agree with some of these points. Nightmare needs to be harder, but should have a progression curve also. Boss 3 harder than boss 2 harder than boss 1 etc. I also think you're putting way too much stock into what gear you have versus what bosses you should be able to complete. While gear should be a factor, I think skill should have a much larger influence. Setting arbitrary gear levels for bosses is silly. Hardmodes probably should be a little harder, Styrak was a very well done fight, hard mode ec was pretty awesome. They can do exceptional fight design, they just need more of it. I think it's more important for BW to keep its ops progression for hard modes. Stories should all be on one level, hard modes should progress from Tier 1 to 2 to 3 and Nightmare modes should be the achievement/title/epeen boosting mode.

3. PvP Rewards and Missions: The daily and weekly rewards should have some decently large credit rewards. PvPers do nit have repair bills though which needs to be taken into consideration. 20k for a daily and 100k for a weekly maybe? I was initially put off by the no quest rewards for arenas but the more I thought about it the more I agree with BW. Ranked should be a place where players compete to the best of their ability, not a place players go for quick losses to get the their PvP quests done. That being said BW needs stop going halfway. If you wan to give ranked coms for wins that's one thing, but ranked losses should not be reward. This is why I'm in favor of a three com system over the current two com one and ranked coms need to be renamed. I did a whole podcast on that two if you're interested.

4. Rejoining a PvP Match: this would be nice, but may be a technical limitation of PvP instances only being accessible while you're in them or some. Would like a BW response to that end.

5. Friends of SWTOR: I was unaware of this issue so I was happy (unhappy) to find out that this has been happening. Agree with the post 100%.

6. Subscriber Benefits: I believe when you subscribe you are paying your money knowing exactly what you are signing up for. You can hope for more, but expecting any more is ridiculous. If you do not think you are getting value for your sub then don't continue to sub. This does come with a few caveats, if BW says they are on an 8 week content cycle and they go over you have the right to be upset. If servers are down for an inordinate period of time you also should be upset. Other than things like that, I pay 15$ for everything BW lay outs and nothing more. Extras are nice, but far from required.

7. Class Balance and Bugs: I agree, BW needs to do smaller, more frequent class balance changes.

8. Public Test Server: I agree BW needs to improve how they handle the PTS. Right now it feels more like a preview patch. Plenty of bugs that were widely and explicitly reported have gone live with zero acknowledgement. I actually suggested to Amber Green via twitter that they post a final Known Issues post when the PTS goes down so we know what is being worked on, she said she'd kick the idea around.

9. Ability Delay, Frames Per Second and Lag Issue: Not much to be said, may be an engine issue that won't ever go away but I'm holding out hope.

10. Forum Interaction: Moderation is always in the eye of the beholder. When you have negative opinions it's easy to cross the line into an infraction, this is usually why it seems like infractions are being given out for negative views when really it's for other reasons. Maybe more examples would be helpful.

Edited by KingofGob
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The game is fine.

 

You have a gaming community that posts threads everyday that indicates otherwise and you have a population that is no where near the population it used to have.

 

But I guess we will just have to take you at your word, won't we.

 

"Hey guys, Bran says the game is fine! Abandon your opinions, if it ain't broke don't fix it!" :rolleyes:

Edited by ObiJuanShenobi
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@ EBM And we stated to you that what you are asking is unreasonable as far as time frames go. We state clearly that classes should be worked on more than just once every 6 months and that ALL classes should be addressed at those times. We told you on Facebook that their reasoning for not saying much apart from aiming for changes to classes in 2.5 is because of arenas. I believe I also stated repeatedly that the classes will never be truly balanced to make both PVErs and PVPers happy. Look at WoW. They change classes more frequently and have been for how long? And they are STILL doing it. And that my friend is my point.

 

We ask that Bioware works on class balancing more frequently which I believe is the best that they can give us. Let's face it, there will always be some classes less than optimal for PVP just as there will be less than optimal classes in PVE. I mean look at rage. While it is viable for PVE in most settings it isn't "optimal" for DPS in PVE apart from maybe clearing trash. Put it in WZs and BAM OP as a mother fudgecake. Powertechs in 8v8 WZs LOL! Powertechs in PVE MORE LOL... In Arenas: DONGZAPPER (need I say more)

Edited by SenaZane
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And we stated to you that what you are asking is unreasonable as far as time frames go.

 

Anything past 2.5 is just laughable. As if it wasn't already laughable that they launched Arena without balancing classes.

 

Take into consideration other games, competition. The only reason PvPers are playing this game is because it's star wars.

Edited by SithEBM
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Anything past 2.5 is just laughable. As if it wasn't already laughable that they launched Arena without balancing classes.

 

Take into consideration other games, competition. The only reason PvPers are playing this game is because it's star wars.

 

Yes EBM they are doing that so that they can properly balance classes instead of doing so blindly.

Edited by SenaZane
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*This is seriously my last post*

 

I'm not discrediting this petition. IMO, it's a good thing that BioWare fixes all of these issues, however for class balancing, "you need a reasonable time frame". I believe that PvP should be removed all together from this petition if BioWare can't balance the classes.

 

If I'm not being reasonable, then that's on BioWare and not me. They should have focused less on the CM and focused more on balancing classes, communicating more, learning how to play their own game, and not telling people who are better than them to L2P.

 

IMHO, the BioWare developer team would get crushed by Brazil Force.(Off topic, I know)

 

However if EA is unwilling to let BioWare borrow money to hire people to work on PvP/balancing classes, then they should just relocate this poor individual doing all of this work for nothing or let PvP die all together.

 

Sena, Competitive PvP will be dead if BioWare doesn't balance all of the classes by 2.5, or 2.6(The ABSOLUTE latest). The absolute and that's not on us because we put up with their lies and crap since launch.

 

If you truly believe that BioWare can't balance the classes by 2.5-2.6, then remove it from your petition, along with Ranked WZs because no competitive PvPer will stay around with Wildstar/FF14 around and there are still no balance changes by that time. If FF14's PvP is good(Just like the rest of that game from what I hear(That's right, competitive PvPers LOVE THE PvE)), then this game is done(PvP wise at least)

 

tl;dr without class balance changes - PvP is pointless in this petition(Except for credit buffs for lowbies who are unable to pay for class skills)

Edited by SithEBM
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