SWTOR Weekly: Misunderstood

Hey everyone,

First off, I apologise for not doing one of these last week. With all the excitement for Star Wars Celebration and the disappointment from the SWTOR Cantina, I figured I’d written enough other blog posts for the week. I decided to take a break from writing to try and find some enjoyment in SWTOR but you’ll hear more about that in a second.

But in any case, this week was pretty quiet on the Bioware front up until Friday when they made a few dev posts about various things like PTS changes, bugs and a new story blog. I’ll cover those briefly, then, I’m going to discuss something that’s been slowly making a dent in parts of the SWTOR Community.

Maintenance for Game Update 3.2 excited cat

Scheduled Maintenance is happening for Game Update 3.2 on Tuesday 3am-9am PST / Tuesday 10am – 4pm GMT / Tuesday 8pm – Wednesday 2am AEST. You can read the Patch Notes here.

The Golden Legion of Posts *cough splutter*

So the main gold posts this week were to do with class changes and Game Update 3.2.1 which is now live on the PTS. They’ve introduced new class changes for all healing classes and for Marauders/Sentinels. You’ll be able to read more on what I think of the Mercenary/Commando healing changes soon when I finish the blog post. They also added more gold to talk about Game Update 3.2.

Another Story Line

They released another story blog, The Sixth Line: Part One. It’s about a group of Jedi who will be introduced in Game Update 3.2. They’re like spy Jedi I suppose.. It’s an intriguing start and depicts the fine line this particular group of Jedi walk.

What did I get up to?

I took the time to play SWTOR some more this week PvPing on my Mercenary and Commando Heals almost everyday. I did premades with my guildies and I hung out with TankMikeGolf a couple of times on his stream and PvPed with him. It did feel good to take some time to enjoy playing SWTOR and I did have fun socialising and PvPing with guildies and friends. But I’ll be honest with you guys, I’ve been struggling to play SWTOR and am undecided on what I’ll be doing after 3.2. But anyway there’s something I want to discuss…

seacwet toony moony

Community Misunderstanding

It is becoming increasingly clear that there a quite a few people in the community who are not happy with SWTOR. On the same token, it also seems that there are others in the community who are happy with SWTOR and are either oblivious to community concerns or who don’t understand why some people in the community are pissed off. So they get annoyed at the negativity or tell those of us who are still playing to stop playing if we don’t like SWTOR. So, I’m going to attempt to explain why some of us are getting increasingly frustrated and/or pissed off with SWTOR and also, why many of us might still play despite our frustration.

So why are some people unhappy with SWTOR?

There are of course many reasons one could be unhappy about SWTOR. But the main reasons I want to highlight are to do with, you guessed it, PvP. What is wrong with PvP?

Well a few things; there’s been no new content (as in new maps) for over a year now, population is an issue for most servers (cross-server), ranked is completely fucked (primarily due to population) I’ll elaborate further in a bit, class balancing screw up’s (it’s complicated) and the lack of attention, development time and care the Devs put into PvP. So let’s  talk about these points a bit more.

The lack of new PvP content, for many, gives Star-Wars-Cats1off the message that the devs simply don’t care or can’t be bothered to put the time and effort into developing more PvP content. Throwing fluff rewards at us for ranked arenas seems to be content enough for them. They’re too lazy to do anything else. This is the perception most PvPers get based on the lack of communication and lack of content. Another explanation for the lack of PvP attention could be the lack of funds, but we don’t know enough about what is happening inside Bioware Austin’s walls to know what’s up.

Population. I don’t know how many fucking years people have been asking for cross server, or something similar, to help solve the population issues with PvP. It’s ridiculous. If we’d had cross server tools in place even 1 year ago, PvP would be in a better state then it is now. As it stands those who really want to PvP have to pay to transfer to more populated servers. Most people who don’t have the funds or don’t want to pay for transfers just stop playing.

kc0r1
Let’s be real Bioware.

Ranked sucks. For many reasons. The TLDR version is the ELO system is inadequate for the small population pools on the majority of servers. Cross server would help to make the ELO system work more effectively making it more likely that you’ll be matched with and against people of similar skill/rating to you. Also the ranking system, especially for solo ranked is pointless as it is impossible to measure who is the best at what class across the game. People on more populated servers have the advantage over those on low population servers who find it difficult if not impossible to get ranked to pop. So it will never be a true reflection of who the skilled players are unless it is possible to play against everyone regardless of server; like cross server would allow.

Class balancing. This is a little bit more of a complicated issue to deal with as many have differing opinions on how things should be done according to whatever their main or favourite class is. Popular consensus in the community, it seems is that Marauders/Sentinels aren’t much good for anything. Also if the healing changes they’re making in 3.2.1 go through there will be many unhappy people on that front too. But in any case balancing classes, especially around ranked isn’t doing the game any favours.

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Keep in mind that my thought’s on the state of PvP may not be shared by everyone. But that’s the general gist of what’s up. Other people have different idea’s on how they’d fix things or want Bioware to to focus on different things. For example, there are many who’d like to see the PvP gearing system changed or to get rid of PvP gear entirely. There’s lots of idea’s floating around about gearing but I’m not going to elaborate on it further as it’s hardly the biggest issue with PvP in my view.

Some other things..

What are some other reasons people are unhappy with the game? SWTOR’s lack of communication skills, including social media skills which are ridiculously inadequate compared to other MMO’s. Seriously, go have a look at other MMO’s Twitter Pages (ESO, WildStar etc.) if you don’t believe me. The increasingly slow content cycles leave long term players bored whether PvE or PvP oriented. This could be due to lack of funds but that’s just speculation. It also feels like, to some players, that their efforts are half assed in some area’s of development. The latest example being the costume design system being introduced in Game Update 3.2. There are of course other things to be unhappy about but there’s too many to list or they’re not really as important as the stuff I’ve already listed.

One thing I will say is that if Bioware wants to have a resurgence in population they need to create the content (PvP and PvE) and the tools to sustain the population (cross server). That is what will bring the players back. The increasingly slow development time and lack of content in updates is becoming increasingly concerning. As is there obliviousness to the game as demonstrated by Musco at the recent Cantina with him being shocked at the prospect of so many people being Legacy 50.

Why do people in the community who hate on SWTOR still play or stay connected with the community?

Well I can’t speak for everyone who is unhappy but still plays. But for me, I keep playing for a couple of reasons. The first reason, up until recently anyway, was because I still had hope that they might announce something to do with PvP like new content or cross server. Now, of course, I’ve all but given up hope that anything new will be announced or developed for PvP ever.

Secondly I still play because I have friends and guildies (well, sometimes) who still play and I enjoy hanging out with them. So SWTOR is becoming increasingly more of a social tool for me. And finally, I’m enjoying engaging with and creating content for the SWTOR community through this blog and my YouTube channel the quality of which is debatable but meh.

Also, one thing I’d really like to point out is you can still enjoy some parts of a medium whilst recognising that there are issues with said medium. So for me, I still log in and enjoy PvPing but I’m also unhappy with PvP because I see not just the issues, but how ‘straightforward’ (perhaps not from a development standpoint I don’t know much about that) the solutions are to the issues. It is very frustrating at times when you want something you love to be improved, and how simple the solutions seem, but they just don’t listen, talk about it or acknowledge it. For the uninitiated this has been happening to PvPer’s for years. PvPer’s have had to put up with being sidelined for years.

Yavin GUild Event group shot

Yes, I know what some of you will say. PvP is a secondary concern to SWTOR. Just get the fuck over it and move on. Well no, I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to sit on the sidelines and be steamrolled. I’m going to fight for the part of the game I love the most even though I know it’s not going to get me anywhere. Maybe if enough people raise they’re voices they might at least hear us? Because they seem completely oblivious to most of the communities concerns, it seems, to some of us anyway.

So to sum up. I’ve been frustrated with PvP for a long time (and long before I started this blog) in SWTOR for the reasons I mentioned above. But, I have kept playing because of my social connections with my guild and in the community. I’m not sure how long my social connections will sustain me playing SWTOR though. I guess that remains to be seen.

So what did you get up to this week? Are you looking forward to Game Update 3.2? Why are you happy or unhappy about SWTOR?

 

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  • Menzaladoc

    Tell you one thing. As a non-PvPer, it’s hard to have sympathy for the PvP crowd when there’s an entirely too much punk ass attitude therein. Saw it again in the comments during the live stream of Cantina. Comments like “PvEers are people too lame for PvP” and such things. As if clicking a goddamn mouse makes one bad ass. It’s like I tell my roommate, ‘You want to Pvp with me, we’ll find a boxing gym and get in the ring. We’ll see who’s still standing and who needs to crawl out of there.’ I am not impressed by how fast or how cleverly somebody can click a mouse, nor am I impressed at speed at which one can calculate DPS. It’s a GAME. And if people can’t leave those kinds of attitude behind, then they should move on to another game like GTA where that sort of thing should be expected. Yes, damn it, some of us actually play an mmoRPG like an RPG. We don’t care if people can “pwn noobz”.

    • In my experience, not all PvPer’s are like this. Some are quite nice and enjoy it just for the fun of it and don’t take it too seriously. But in saying that, there are plenty of people who do exhibit the attitudes you described, especially in ranked. Typically I find it quite easy to ignore those types of people. If people want to have a go and are willing to put the effort in to learn then I am happy to teach them. As an experienced PvPer I do get angry quite easily at people and tend to express it on the rare occasion (well in a visible way anynway :P) But only in max level PvP and I’m not abusive. In lowbie PvP I just chillax and have fun and go with the flow and understand people are stil trying to learn in those brackets. But if you PvP in the max level bracket I expect you to know what you’re doing.

      Sorry for the little rant lol but I certainly do understand your point of view. 🙂

  • Maebeebuzz (@Maebeebuzz)

    As a PvEr, it’s all the same stuff. It’s looking like its going to be a year (or 11 months) in between content cycles….something they SWORE would never happen again.

    Add to that the way they balance is crazy, rendering classes useless and in turn making FotM the way the game is played.

    My guild and I were talking about this topic the other day too, and one thing a lot of us kept saying was “SWTOR is a cheap addiction.” $15 a month is change compared to how much some of my IRL friend on going to the bars 3 nights a week. But on that fact, I pay my sub, which means i get to complain. SWTOR is a product, and if you don’t like it, it’s your prerogative to let them no.

    (Plus I think people who don’t complain just don’t understand the game, changes, environment to formulate a complaint. But this attitude is why noone like me and Musco doesn’t follow me on Twitter, lol.)

    • Yep the content cycle keep getting longer and longer… I’ve also had that same discussion with my guildies as well lol.

      No one on the community team follows me… Oh well they mustn’t know I exist or not like me haha… (Prob the later. I’d like to think that by now they know I exist… But meh who cares).

      • Goldeye

        Yep that discussion still goes on today, I touched on other MMO’s and all I see is that there’s always something to complain about and that’s content. Recently I had times where I felt like they rather fix the current then to add new stuff since they have too much issues already but other times when i’m grinding for something, just want something fresh and new without the need to grind. Our guild is a social guild and pretty much like every other social guild out there in the gaming world always find a way to create “fun” and I believe that’s how you should play the game even when the game life cycle is not going too well especially for end game content (PVP and PVE).

  • rachmat soegiharto

    hi xami
    pvp one time you and your guild the other night , you are good healer :P, i am on pub side and you are on imp side
    i play swtor so much even with current pvp state because i still enjoy it , i now do most reg but i did some rank season 2,3,4 , but i take this as a form of entertaintment and i play now still everyday but i play other games also while playing swtor . for ranked my main drive is the weapons and luckily i manage to get season 3 and season 4 weapons but maybe i wont join season 5 coz i want to level alt some more and enjoy the casual side of swtor
    so usually i just do 3-5 wz and finished , so take it easy xam xam it is a game no need to get frustated over
    trust me , meanwhile you still play other games while play swtor to aleviate the stress and still enjoy the social aspect of the game

    • Well thanks 🙂

      I haven’t given up on SWTOR yet. Having friends and guildies to play with helps me to have fun in SWTOR for now. 🙂

  • Random

    PVPers complain the most and the loudest but they are actually the happiest with the game.

    If hardcore raiders don’t get nightmare modes they complain and leave the game.
    If story mode raiders don’t get new raids they complain and leave the game.
    If story people don’t get more story often enough they complain and leave the game.
    If PVPers don’t get content or class balance they complain and keep playing the game for years and years. They complain endlessly but they never even consider quitting so Bioware have no reason to give them anything.

    • Maebeebuzz (@Maebeebuzz)

      Except, you know, everyone who played Ranked 8s and were the top players in Season 1,2,3 are all gone….

      • ^ This a lot of PvPer’s have left over the years.

  • I play pvp, pve and gsf. I enjoy them all for what they are. PvP and GSF team are games where you are only as good as your team. PVE for the fun to be had taking down ops bosses, storylines etc and i am completely addicted to decoration hunting for my stronghold (currently topping the prestige chart on the Progenitor and in the top 5 for overall achievement)

    The people that regularly complain about balance issues in Pvp need to do what i do. Make sure you have enough characters of all classes to cope with any imbalances. If sage is epic after a patch…use a sage, If marauder has the juice after a patch….use a marauder. Its a very simple answer.
    The Lack of content for PvP is however a different kettle of fish. Bioware have a lot on their hands right now. Screw up after screw up with the last expansion, game stopping bugs, never ending server lag issues. The list is endless. The vast majority of people that play Swtor are pve’rs, It is only to be expected that they will concentrate most resources in that area.

    I have to agree with one of the posters above though, Pvp has always been a harsh environment to play in.
    Trolls abound! I did some ranked a couple of months ago and actually witnessed a pugjug on my team rage against the healer (was his first time healing in ranked) “You ****** ****, you should ******** give up this game and never come the **** back” the verbal abuse lasted until the healer left the arena midway thru. We all probably can tell similar stories of the more vile behavior in pvp, but as long as it continues I do not think it will ever become a main part of Swtor for the majority.

  • I was wondering why your blog hadn’t updated in three weeks (on my blogroll); it seems the change to your own domain killed the old RSS feed…

    I’m all for being honest and critical about the game, but I have to admit that I find most PvP complaints tedious because they always go round in circles. E.g. Bioware has stated outright ages ago that cross-server PvP isn’t happening due to technical reasons, yet people keep bringing it up as a supposedly simple solution. There’s fighting for what you believe in and there is being the guy who doesn’t listen and can’t take “no” for an answer. Nobody likes that guy.

    Werit said it best in my opinion.

    • I realise that part of that sounded like it was directed at you directly, just clarify that it’s not. I’m talking about PvP complaints as I see them all over the place.

    • Miss Defied

      “While the exact details of which features will make Game Update 2.4 are still being hardened I can definitely say that Cross-Server Queueing is not in the plan for it. We’ve taken a hard look at Cross Server Queuing in the past and accomplishing it is a *significant* challenge that would take a lot of time away from other things we are working on. Emphasis on significant. It’s not forever off the table but it’s not in the plan right now.”

      “It’s not forever off the table” is not the same as “not happening, ever.” And no one thinks it’s a simple solution, it’s just one that is necessary in a modern PvP environment.

      If the answer was “never,” that last line would simply not be there.