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On Tacos and Tattoos


TaitWatson

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Hey everyone,

 

There have been two forum posts in my time at BioWare that have been difficult to write: my introduction, and this one. For those who prefer brevity, I won’t bury the lead: February will be my final month on the SWTOR team and, in fact, with BioWare. I have had an amazing few years here, but it is time to sail different seas. I will go ahead and nip a few things in the bud because I know they will come up:

 

  1. I haven’t been fired, and I haven’t been laid off.
  2. I am leaving BioWare to move to California.

 

Okay, that out of the way, moving on.

 

"What are you doing now, Tait?"

 

An excellent question, me. For now, nothing I can disclose career-wise, but if you follow me on Twitter, I'm sure you'll see soon (It's @pariahloki. Shameless plug). However, I am leaving Austin and moving to San Diego, where I imagine I will spend a lot of time eating tacos*, playing Frank Turner songs on an acoustic guitar, wishing I could afford more tattoos, and generally trying to be more like I was in 2006 - which is basically just skinnier and more emo. Just kidding. Same amount of emo. That never really went away. Have I ever told you the story about the time I saw Fear Before The March of Flames play on a sheet of plywood in a guy's backyard in my hometown? There were like 10 people there--- you know what? Maybe we'll cross paths again someday, and I can tell you all about it over some tacos.

 

People often ask me what I do, and when I say I work for BioWare the natural follow up is "what do you do at BioWare," and that is a deceptively difficult question to answer. Everyone here sees what I do publicly - primarily maintenance messaging, these days - but the sheer diversity of the things I do behind the scenes is hard to explain. That said, one thing has remained consist between the job titles (three!) I have worn here: advocating for players on a daily basis.

 

For now, however, I just want to say that, even though there have been rough times, I have never once dreaded coming into work. Not one time in the time I've worked here, and a huge part of that is all of you. Yes, you. If you have somehow come across these words on the internet, I am talking to you. You are the beating heart that keeps this vibrant and unabashedly passionate community going, and for that you don't get enough credit. But I assure you, every single day people come into work and strive to show you just how important you are to us.

 

And I will miss that the most.

 

-Tait.

 

*Okay, but, for real. There is this restaurant/bar in San Diego that has the best fish tacos I've ever had and I can't remember what it is called. Send help. It's on 3rd, 4th, or 5th within a few blocks of Market. I think it had a small stage in it? I went during SDCC one year.

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*Okay, but, for real. There is this restaurant/bar in San Diego that has the best fish tacos I've ever had and I can't remember what it is called. Send help. It's on 3rd, 4th, or 5th within a few blocks of Market. I think it had a small stage in it? I went during SDCC one year.

 

Could it be La Puerta?

Good luck in your new pursuits, and welcome to sunny San Diego!

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In honor of Tait leaving, let me share with you my favorite Tait story from his time here. It's the time that we convinced Tait we were letting him go when we were actually hiring him.

 

When Tait got hired into his current role, he was hired on as a contractor with the intent we would convert him to be a full-time EA employee in the future. Well when we got approval to "flip" him to full-time, me and Keith (my boss) decided to have a little bit of fun with him.

 

We brought him into a room and we made sure to both seem pretty somber as we pulled him in. We had to ensure he was on edge thinking something bad was happening. Keith starts the meeting by going into this whole speech about how things are changing around BioWare (they weren't) and that because of that some changes need to be made (they also weren't). Keith then ended this speech with three words, "you've been impacted."

 

Now, this is the part where I was supposed to jump in and be like "surprise, your hired!" However, I was concentrating so hard on not laughing that I didn't react as fast as I was supposed to. This meant poor Tait was sitting there for like 20 seconds in a dead silent room thinking he just got let go.

 

Then I handed the folder with his paperwork to him and said "welcome to the team." Tait reacted by turning red and saying lots of four letter words at us while laughing. It was pretty awesome.

 

TLDR - That one time we convinced Tait we were letting him go while we were hiring him and it was great.

 

-eric

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Dangit now I want Tacos.

 

There was a restaraunt on 14th in Manhattan that had great Tacos, big chunky vegetables and chicken in it. Can't remember what it was called, might have started with a "G"? They did authentic Mexican too.

 

I'll miss you Tait. Your witty humor was refreshing.

 

~ Eudoxia

Edited by FlavivsAetivs
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Oh great now *I'm* in the mood for a taco and a tattoo.

 

Good luck to you, take care~

Well, I already have all the tattoos I'll ever want (famous last words)(1), and I'm not really a big fan of tacos, but I, too, would like to wish Tait all the best

 

(1) The number is not zero, but because of the reason I had it done (and the theme), I see no reason to have another.

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I'm very sad to see you leave Tait. You've been an amazing guy and one hell of a positive face for Bioware...your sense of humor and consistent communication will absolutely be missed.

 

I wish you nothing but the best in your move, and in life...your shoes here will never be filled.

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Hey everyone,

 

SNIP....

You are the beating heart that keeps this vibrant and unabashedly passionate community going, and for that you don't get enough credit. But I assure you, every single day people come into work and strive to show you just how important you are to us.

 

SNIP....

 

Good luck to you and I hope you land somewhere on your feet but if this community, the gamers were really the heart. I hate you didn't take better care of the heart the past number of years.

 

Maybe the game would be healthier.

Edited by Quraswren
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In honor of Tait leaving, let me share with you my favorite Tait story from his time here. It's the time that we convinced Tait we were letting him go when we were actually hiring him.

 

When Tait got hired into his current role, he was hired on as a contractor with the intent we would convert him to be a full-time EA employee in the future. Well when we got approval to "flip" him to full-time, me and Keith (my boss) decided to have a little bit of fun with him.

 

We brought him into a room and we made sure to both seem pretty somber as we pulled him in. We had to ensure he was on edge thinking something bad was happening. Keith starts the meeting by going into this whole speech about how things are changing around BioWare (they weren't) and that because of that some changes need to be made (they also weren't). Keith then ended this speech with three words, "you've been impacted."

 

Now, this is the part where I was supposed to jump in and be like "surprise, your hired!" However, I was concentrating so hard on not laughing that I didn't react as fast as I was supposed to. This meant poor Tait was sitting there for like 20 seconds in a dead silent room thinking he just got let go.

 

Then I handed the folder with his paperwork to him and said "welcome to the team." Tait reacted by turning red and saying lots of four letter words at us while laughing. It was pretty awesome.

 

TLDR - That one time we convinced Tait we were letting him go while we were hiring him and it was great.

 

-eric

And he stayed this long? Mean lol...:p

Edited by TUXs
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OK.. someone has to say it, and I will try to be constructive yet pragmatic about it .....

 

I wish Tait well in his future adventures.

 

What matters here however is who will fill the producer position left vacant in Tait's departure, and what tone they will set with players.

 

In the context of this game and the general levels of anxiety and dissatisfaction with the state of the game by some players .... making a departure post and not making a concurrent post as to who is replacing Tait ... is inappropriate.

 

I don't really buy in to the broad accusations of "skeleton crew" and "maintenance mode" at the studio that some players prosecute, but it has been clear for years now that the customer facing roles for SWTOR ...... ARE a skeleton crew effect, at least to those of us outside the studio. We have Eric part time, we have Tait even smaller part time, and we have an occasional drive by from Ben. Much of the ongoing festering in the forum, fan sites, twitter, etc is the outcome of this and in my view is short sighted by the studio.

 

To Ben Irving, better yet.. to Eric's direct reporting manager: Are you really going to continue to run the customer facing roles with a one or two person sporadic interface?

Edited by Andryah
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Wow, that's unexpected. It's been nice meeting you at the cantina tours and playing with you on the livestreams! Sadly we haven't heard too much from you recently outside of maintenance posts and patch notes. I do hope that you leaving will have no negative impact on the game, and wish you all the best for the future!
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