Photo-Receptor Focus on: Legacy – The Bad
There’s been a lot said about all the wonderful things that came out with Legacy 1.2. Yet, I’ve heard from quite a few people that it’s too little, too late. I’m seeing a lot of my friends slowly leave the game. Some say they’ll check back in six months or a year and see if TOR has managed to “grow up”. This makes me sad and I hope Bioware is able to find a way to engage these folks again. This week, let’s look at some of the things that are failing to keep players engaged.
More after the jump…
First up, is the obvious – PVP. I’ll be honest. I haven’t PVPed much in TOR. I did some in the beginning. Usually I like PVP. I had arena gear in WoW, the entire set. So why didn’t PVP grab me in TOR? I mean, I enjoyed Huttball and the other games. I think, in the early days, I was simply too busy leveling my Sorc. Also, I like a set team for PVP. Our hardcore PVPers had their teams and by the time I was ready, they were too far ahead. There didn’t seem to be enough interest/time by others to get anything off the ground.
There was grumbling coming from the PVP crowd and they started to drop off one by one. Bioware has acknowledged they had major problems with Ilum and are working to fix that. Again, this is a company that isn’t afraid to say they blew it. They listen to their player base and they take steps to fix the problems.
As I’ve said before, this is awesome that Bioware will do this. However, will they be able to do it before the PVP crowd defects to Guild Wars 2? I’m not convinced they can, but I sure hope they do. I know they have lost a lot of players to GW2 and it isn’t even out yet. How much of this is attrition to another new game remains to be seen. Others have returned to their former games.
The other problem I hear about is crafting. I think it was improved quite a bit in 1.2, but I’m still hearing rumbling about it being boring. Frankly, I like having my companions do the crafting part.
However, I do miss the gathering I used to do in other games. I’m not sure why gathering didn’t engage me in SWTOR. I don’t spend hours going from node to node, listening to the radio and chatting with friends. Instead, I don’t’ even log in. While I do have the radio going and I chat with friends, I’m doing it as I surf the net or write or catch up on mod duties. Thing is I’m not in game at times of the day that I used to be. Telling? Or simply a phase I’m going through?
I’ve heard from others that they feel endgame is light. I don’t agree with this one, though. There is plenty to do, if you really want to. Ops, space missions, flashpoints, crafting and PVP provide plenty of content. Plus, you can always level alts for your legacy buffs. I think that some of the endgame comments are because people are expecting too much from a game that is not even six months old, yet.
We have plenty of time to grow and I hope Bioware stays on top of the issues. So far, their ability to change to meet the needs of their player base bodes very well for them. I plan to stick around to see it. Besides, I’m still waiting to get my money’s worth for my Collector’s Edition, so I’ll be around for quite some time.
That’s my two credits. What’s yours?
To be honest I am enjoying PvP immensely. It is the sole reason I am spending hours in game instead of minutes. I have been PvP-ing for 2 months now and I see that there are several people that have been PvP-ing with (and against) me this whole time as well. I believe they did a great thing with PvP, even if Ilum is Failum. I think they should have made Ilum a lot lot smaller and it should have been an instance that you can queue up for. It should be a cross realm PvP zone – similar to that big 40v40 battleground in early WoW days (can;t remember the name right now – Alterac valley perhaps?) Still, the 3 warzones are a lot of fun and can be very engaging with the right group and opponents. I had matches that were 15 minutes of epic fighting on a rather small server.
While Ilum is pretty much a universally-accepted failure at this point, I don’t think that this means that a large portion of the PvP community is necessarily going to defect to GW2. I think that the Warzone system present in SWTOR is quite good and fairly balanced with a tactical pace.
Crafting is one of those things which is hard to get right. Currently, you’re right, there’s not a lot of motivation to go out and collect materials yourself. I have no doubt that they are watching the situation and are working on it.
I agree on endgame: there’s lots to do, and arguably more than any other 5-month-old MMO out there ever had.
Oh, good, Serge. I’m very glad to hear you’re enjoying PVP. maybe there’s still hope then. Thanks for sharing.
Great article Maer!
I have not done much PVP if any besides at the Jawa vendor during the Rakghoul event lol.
PVP has issues, that even one on the sideline can see…Let players pick which Warzone they want to play and also let players form teams (Ranked Warzones should address this, hopefully soon)
Guild Achievements, even Faction Achievements – unlocks certain rare materials for crafting etc. for controlling points on Ilum, PVP matches one vs opposing faction. and maybe bring PVE progression into Faction Achievements…just random ideas
I love the game, but like Maer, I find myself not logging on as much. Now, is that because I’m writing, researching, etc…possibly but with Legacy in-game I am looking forward to unlocking the Family Tree and various Legacy benefits. Along those line Character Transfers would be greatly welcomed by me and I’m sure many more!
What are your thoughts?
I’ve seen many players in the forum comparing SWTOR to WoW. If you do that, you’ll be so deceived. It’s just pointless. WoW changed the gaming industry, maybe we’ll never see such another tremendously popular mmo in our lifetime. WoW was a singularity in the history of mmos.
Also, right now there’re so many mmos. The list on MmoHut is staggering. Most mmos have a really hard time surviving and attracting many players. The competition is so intense and fierce.
So I’m not surprised that some players quit the game. The expectations seemed to be so unrealistic and very high.
Actually, I don’t think games should necessarily derail development plans or scramble to re-capture those that are being fickle. The fickle will be that way no matter what you do.
I do like to see games make some changes and improvements based on player experiences and feedback, but I would hate for them to work hard to bring back the bored, only to find them bored again quickly. Instead, maybe they should be working to make the experience as fun as possible for those who are a more balanced mix?
I love end game, don’t get me wrong. I find raiding to be an excellent motivator to push my character’s limits and I really enjoy the team dynamics involved. I know that end game is not enough yet and the game has to mature a lot more. But unlike most of the rest of my guild, I’m willing to do some other things in the meantime.
I have little patience for those who have to gallop as fast as possible to the end game, knowing that there isn’t a lot of it yet, then complain because they are bored. There are some things that I think would help those who bore easily and don’t like questing or leveling a lot of alts, but even those things (custom distributed XP gains) create their own problems. They make it so people can more easily tolerate seeing all the stories, but they will consume the content a lot faster and then what? Will the game development be able to keep up with them?
Maybe I’m just easy to please, but I’m pretty happy with what I see in 1.2. And that’s coming from a guy who is pretty unhappy because there’s no LFG tool. (I just can’t sit on the fleet. I waited 35 years to swing a lightsaber and if I’m logged in, that’s what I’m gonna do.)
I did a lot of PvP before 1.2, but haven’t had much time to do much since, but there was nothing particularly wrong with it. Well, Sages are OP, but other than that…
Yeah, it’s disappointing that rated matches and team play didn’t make the cut, but considering how bloody negative anyone with a blog or podcast is, I think it’s best the let the thing bake until it’s done. I also understand folks wanting to pick their WZ, and why BW has not allowed this. For my part, it doesn’t matter. I’ve always just queued up for everything and took whatever popped first. I’m here to play, not show everyone how refined my tastes are.
I do kinda resonate with the whole gathering thing. Back in the day, while I was waiting for my raid to fill up, I’d make circles around various zones and just mine ore nodes to keep my brain operational. Of course, back then, all I could do was blacksmith the ore into stuff for my disenchanter to melt, which ain’t exactly the sort of thing that gives you a lot of pride of craftsmanship. I only bother with farming nodes I come across while questing now. I suppose if I had a good market for my Biochem stuff I’d put in more time, but it’s kinda nice not to have to worry about my money and just enjoy swinging my lightsaber. Now that I think about it, why the heck do I miss farming?
The “Endgame is light” crowd, I suspect, are drawn from the, “I pay $15/mo just so I can complain about stuff,” crowd. Is it normal for MMOs to have 3 raids, how many flashpoints?, and 4 PvP maps operational within the first 5 months of go-live? I don’t know. I’m trying to think of one and coming up blank. DCUO had a lot of endgame after it went F2P, but I don’t know what was there at launch.
For my part, I just joined a _big_ guild over the weekend and got to run through EV for the very first time. I’ve got a lot of endgame ahead of me, now that I’ve finally found folks to play with.
@RabbiShekky I think this is by far the biggest problem with SWTOR. Let me quote you:
The community is fragmented among planets and the stupid fleet hub (you do dailies on planets while ppl wait for flashpoints on the fleet). They provided sub-ar tools for you to find guilds/groups. It is all very basic in nature and games have evolved in that regard in the past 8 years. You have to have your players be able to get into groups much easier and not rely on them to use text chat commands and form friendships. Also – summon spell anyone? How hard could it have been to implement a shuttle to group leader spell? Why not provide that awesome functionality. It was proven that it is a must have in any MMO, easpecially one like this where you have to exchange several instances before you get from one place to another.
Tl;DR version – no grouping and community building tools in game – everything is left to players.
First time commenter, but long time reader/listener.
While I think 1.2 did a lot to improve the game, these are things that should have been in from launch. (I mean c’mon….. guild banks….). While I admire Bioware for understanding what people want and doing their best to get it in the game, they can’t expect to give us stuff that should have been in from day 1, and then turn around and say ‘What you guys aren’t happy now???? You must be content locusts.”
The argument can be made that this game is less than 6 months old, but that is not a strong argument. We are in a new age of MMOs. This is not 2004 anymore, if you want your mmo to succede, and you want to keep players you have to AT LEAST match the competition if not provide more. That is why a lot of my guild members, and other guilds, have entirely left the game. I’ve talked to numerous people who have said that 1.2 left a sour taste in their mouth. (No ranked PvP, No Nightmare Mode EC, Minimal crafting improvements, shallow legacy system, the list goes on and on).
I would also like to comment that I applaud bioware for making the new operation one in which you must gear up in the first two before having a good chance at success. I hope it stays this way, because it gives new 50s a sense of progression, and does not just let them jump in to the highest level of raiding.
Thank you for taking the time to hear my comments. I run a replublic raiding guild on Kaas City called “A Jill Sandwich” (Resident Evil reference, not sexual innuendo). I love this game and will be sticking around for the long haul, and I am always up for a good discussion.
@Christian: If any new MMO coming out today has to be functionally complete the day it rolls out in order to be successful, we simply won’t have any new MMOs. The function set that we as a community expect has grown so large that nobody can bear the up-front expense of developing such a thing. It looks like a car designed in Washington D.C. You have to release a game that meets the minimum requirements (plus any bells and whistles that you have budget for) and then hurry up and add the rest in once you’re making money. Angry people can say what they want on the Internet, but business is business.
My biggest problem is about the Legacy Gear. As it stands, the gear is mostly useless, almost more of a smack in the face than it is useful. Spending hundreds upon hundreds of daily commendations on level 16 or 32 gear that isn’t even impressive for its level… why would anyone do it? If Legacy Gear is going to work, it either needs to be cheaper AND far stronger than other gear of its level requirement, or it needs to constantly level alongside the character (or otherwise improve over time).
@rabbishekky I respectfully disagree. IF business is business, then in what other business can a company launch a product into a competitive environment and expect consumers to pay for an unfinished product. If your theory was correct, there would only be one or two car manufacturers. Can you really imagine buying a KIA only to find out it has no radio, cruise control, or seat adjustments, or buying a microwave with no timer, or a new tv that just did not have time to get a remote ready for ship date? It is totally ridiculous. Business is business, and according to Bioware financials, they have already earrned back their inital development costs. Which again blows holes in the theory that it just isnt possible to deliver a finished product. If they can recoup 5 yrs of development cost in 6 months, then another year to deliver a finished product is not to much to ask.
FInally, my issue with TOR is simple. They marketed features that they did not deliver. I bought TOR to pvp, specifically open-world pvp. You can only play so many games of Huttball after all. If business is business, please tell me what other company you have done business with that markets a feature, then has consumers test it AFTER release, then admits that it is broken, then gives no timeline on resolving the issue.
If business is business, then TOR is guilty of making many terrible business decisions in 6 months, and I surmise that the 30 days of free play and the newly reduced purchase price of the game reflect that alot of customers feel exactly as I do.
I love respectful disagreements 🙂
OK, for starters, I think you and I have different definitions of what constitutes a “finished product”. I do not think that SWTOR was a three-wheeled car when I logged in last December. The feature set I would like is not completely there, but it had everything necessary for me to play and enjoy the game. My car, by comparison, does not have jet boosters, a gatling gun, or the ability to fly, all features I strongly believe a car should have. But, most folks who bought the same model can use it to get from point A to B and back again, and I suspect they consider it a finished product despite my anguished cries about the complete lack of world-killing power. Take THAT, Chrysler corporation!
I get your comment on world PvP. I wouldn’t know what good, balanced world PvP looked like if it ganked me and teabagged my rapidly-cooling corpse, so I’ll withhold comment.
So, let’s talk about money. Yes, the up-front investment has been made good by sales and subscriptions. But, up until that point, all the money spent on development constitutes a capital expenditure that can’t be depreciated. So, every nickel of spent is coming off the bottom line. Once it goes live, all that money becomes a depreciable asset (if the project failed it would have to be written off as an expense), which gets spread out over some period of time, probably 5 years, and evens out their balance sheet. So, any decision to extend the development cycle for another year would result in a big hit to the bottom line, reduction in next years revenue numbers, and a higher risk that investors would get cold feet and bail out. If that happens, there’s a big risk that the project would fail and the company would just take the write-off.
On the other hand, you release it and start pumping out the unfinished features. Revenue is coming in, pressure on the bottom line is eased, investors are seeing a return, and if you can come up with the unfinished features, you might hang on to your customers.
I could go on, but I gotta get to a meeting. GL HF
Again I respectfully reject your argument:)
Allow me to quote you…
“My car, by comparison, does not have jet boosters, a gatling gun, or the ability to fly, all features I strongly believe a car should have.”
The fact is that the competitors do not have those features either. My point is that TOR was released without a feature set that its competitors DO have. Guild banks may not be important to you unless YOU are the one trying to manage guild items, LFG may not be important unless YOU dont have time to wait looking for a group, and PVP may not be important to YOU unless it is the main reason you play. IF you fall into any of those three examples, then I believe you would agree that TOR is an unfinished product.(I could give alot more examples)
Lets talk about money. Have you seen the “$25 off cost of the game if you buy now” ads? Have you considered the cost associated with giving a free month to everyone with a lvl 50? The only logical explanation for such drastic steps is that TOR is bleeding subs. Perhaps if they had delivered a more finished product, they would have a larger, more sustainable player base which would generate a lot more money over time. Bottom line….it cost $59 to buy the game and $180 a year to play it, the optimum business plan is the one where you deliver a product that people will pay to play for years, not months.
Ah, I’m back and I just wanted to finish my thought (such as it is).
“If business is business, please tell me what other company you have done business with that markets a feature, then has consumers test it AFTER release, then admits that it is broken, then gives no timeline on resolving the issue.”
OK, let’s start with the Entertainment industry and move on from there.
Movies: I’ve seen lots of movies that promised X but delivered Y. Oh the other hand, George Lucas keeps fixing his movies and I’m pretty sure we’re not that happy about it…
TV: How many shows have you gotten interested in that were cancelled before the payoff? Heck, I won’t even watch a show nowadays until it finishes its run and shows up on Netflix.
Oh, and X-Files had plot holes you could drive a freighter through. Fix it, TV guys!
Books: I know a lot of people were disappointed by that 4th George Martin book. And Jim Butcher needs to add more staff to get me another Harry Dresden right freakin’ now. But, it doesn’t work that way, does it.
Games: Ah, games. Should I just save time and say, “All of ’em?”
Software: Microso…do I even need to go on?
Enterprise Software: A much better track record, here, but customer expectations are often overblown (encouraged by the vendor’s sales team) and that leads to too much stuff being packed into a product as it grows. Then the customer usually goes and destroys the software by adding their own features, so it’s all good.
Financial Advisors, Banks, et. al: Apparently 99% of the people are getting screwed over by these guys. (That number may come down upon contact with reality)
Government, Politics, Community Organizers: Seriously? Are we having this discussion?
I guess my point is that this is not as rare as you seem to think. We are almost always sold one thing and take delivery on something else. In the particular case of SWTOR, I feel I got pretty much what I paid for, and the main thing I want (LFG Tool) should be in by summer, so I am fairly Zen on the whole thing.
IF any of the examples provided were of products and services that were similar to TOR, I might have conceded a point. However, IMO, citing dissapointment in a tv series or the ending of a book, or a failed politician in no way references our previous discussion. I do enjoy a debate, but apples vs oranges is not a debate.
I challenge you to cite examples in which customers paid and upfront cost for a product, did not receive the features they were promised, then have to pay a service fee to continue using a product that has less features than a competitive product.
While the above challenge is loaded, it is also accurate.
You didn’t state in the initial thing it had to be similar to TOR. I was looking for real-world examples. I disagree with your throwing my argument out. But, if you want something similar to TOR, here ya go:
WoW, Burning Crusade (or maybe Wrath, I forget) promised Dance Studio. Still doesn’t. I’m doubting it ever will.
Early iPhone users. Locked into AT&T and the network couldn’t handle the traffic, IIRC.
I have been enjoying the discussion 🙂
I would like to ask something about your challenge Elearic.
What were you or any of us “promised” in SWTOR and did not receive?
My question is also loaded, because there was nothing promised at all. Did we, the gamers, have expectations that may not have met our needs? I would say yes, but in this day and age everyone wants everything now, if not sooner. Honestly, there is not a product, service, etc. that will please or satisfy everyone.
Cable TV, satellite TV etc all have examples of paying for services and not getting everything a competitor offers and in fact they have the right to change the pay rate also.
I am enjoying all the fascinating viewpoints. Lots of food for thought! Carry on!
I was “promised” PVP, specifically, I was promised open world PVP. I can remember videos about Illum pre launch. I can remember being on voice comms with my guildies and all of the PVP’ers being so excited about open world PVP. Truth be told, I purchased TOR PRIMARILY to play open world PVP. I have been there done that with MMO’s and PVP is the only thing that really holds my interest past level cap.
As it seems I am the only hardcore PVP’er in this discussion, here are a few things you might not know, that drove away everyone that I PVP’ed with:
1.Illum went thru several changes on how to complete the daily and weekly quests there, the final iteration being riding around in a circle picking up armaments out of crates. There were so many people trying to farm so few crates that it could take 30 -90 minutes to pick up 30 of them. Sadly, not one of those crates ever fought back!!!
2. SOMEHOW….they apparently never thought to test how many players ILLum would support. They actually sent out a request months after launch and asked people to meet there in mass on a certain day. Althought they marketed “massive open world battles” it turns out Illum could only support roughtly 120 people on the entire planet. To make matters even worse, it was so poorly designed that any fight involving more than 20 players DROPPED everyones FPS to 2-5 FPS(this is not an exxageration). In this alone, I was promised one thing, and delivered an unplayable disaster. How you can spend years in development and marketing and not test this feature prior to launch is incomprehensible to me. Truthfully, I think they had to know it didnt work prior to launch.
In closing, I realize that if you are not PVP’er, then its easy to write this off, however, It was undeniably a FEATURE of the game that was promised and highly marketed. It was not delivered, and while in some small way, I can admire them for admitting its broken, that doesnt excuse promising a feature, failing to test it, and then failing to deliver it.
P.S. The final nail in the coffin for me was the Ranked Warzone debacle. Yet again they promise and market a PVP FEATURE to the masses, then the night before the patch,(THE NIGHT BEFORE) they release a statement that it will not be in the patch. I knew several people, myself included, that unsubbed as soon as they heard it. Maybe we PVP’ers are the redheaded step children of TOR, but most of us have spoken loudly with the click of the “unsubscribe” button..
P.S.S. Can you imagine if you were a “crafter” and that was your biggest focus of the game. You buy the game and crafting is broken. You continue to play for months, they change crafting several times and it is still broken, Most of your crafting friends leave, but hear about a new patch and they agree to come back. OH NO!!! They remove the crafting component of the patch the night before it releases. Goodbye crafting community.
@Jason Taylor “Cable TV, satellite TV etc all have examples of paying for services and not getting everything a competitor offers and in fact they have the right to change the pay rate also.”
If you order ESPN, you get ESPN, while the competitor may offer ESPN Desportes and your cable company does not, you do not pay for ESPN Desportes, the only time you do not get what you pay for is if the cable company and ESPN argue about a rate hike, and while they are arguing you do not have to pay for ESPN.
Both you and Rabbi are trying to use wide vagaries to agrue on a focused point, while the attempt is admirable your both missing the mark, the usage of a horse and buggy, while it may get you to your destination, will always take you longer than driving, and while it is faster than walking, its pointless in derailing the dominance of the automobile. Now if you understand why i just wrote that comparison that way, you will see the fallacies in your own arguments that you have presented.
@darqueness Thanks for the comments! It is great to see so many passionate about this game 🙂
Now on your reply to me, yes ESPN has many different channels, but as a person who pays for ESPN on Direct TV…I get ESPN Desportes all packaged together. My payment is figured into that channel. ESPN (actually Disney) takes part of my payment to pay for a channel I do not use. I appreciate that they offer it, but I do not get any real value back.
The point I was making, is you will not ever get everything that you want. That is why the saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side,” is true. We all look and compare everything, most of time unfairly. Does this mean Bioware has made the right call or decision every time? No not by a long shot, they have made mistakes. Personally, Bioware has admitted more than most company for mistakes they have made…for an example see Ilum and what they said during the Guild Summit. Gabe stood up before the audience and online viewers and said they made mistakes and were working to fix it.
I have already read other replies complaining about Bioware pulling the plug and not releasing Ranked Warzones and in the next breath upset about how Ilum was released. How can you make that argument? It is far better to wait to release something, no matter hat it is, than to release and it not work as intended. Do I think the last minute announcement of pulling Ranked Warzones was poor judgment?…yes! Again I will say if they had released Ranked Warzones and they were bugged or did not work, it would be Ilum uproar all over again.
This game is by far the smoothest and best release of an MMO that I can recall. SWTOR is not even a full 6 months old. If we all maybe take a deep breathe and enjoy how much we do have in a game and how much more in the next 6 months will be fixed and added too. Patience is a good thing.
Thanks for all the great discussion and comments! This is the best and most passionate community there is 🙂
Yes, thank you all very much for your comments! I love the diversity we have in this community and the willingness to share your opinions. This debate is fascinating. As a non-active PVPer, I can only take everything being said and try to relate to it. There are so many good points being offered on both sides of this topic. Excellent discussion!
This will be my final post on this topic.
I, too, appreciate the debate.
In my previous posts, I illustrated game features that were promised and not delivered ( see Illum and “massive open world battles”)
I illustrated examples of TOR (an MMO) having an incomplete feature set vs its other (MMO) competitors (ex. guild banks, lfg tool, cross server pvp, robust Auction House, a decent guild interface, and the list goes on and on…. )
IMO, it comes down to love. If you love the game, your willing to excuse or see past its many flaws, and if you do not love it, your less likely to be forgiving. it seems that like satisfaction, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
While I enjoy a good debate, it seems to me that neither side will ever sway the other, and that is fine. So I thank you all for your diverse view points that allowed me engage in a friendly, intellectual debate concerning my favorite hobby.
Yeah, I’m with E in that it’s probably time to wrap this up. I have to recuse myself from a PvP discussion, because I enjoy a WZ now and again, I have never been able to understand why a serious PvPer would play an MMO. I’ll just say that my perception of the Illum thing is that, excluding performance issues (for which there’s no excuse), players broke Illum through gaming any system that BW tried to put in place. Now, I know gamers are gonna do what gamers are gonna do, but had people worked within the system a little less creatively, Illum would probably still be a place to go get bloody. I could be wrong, I wasn’t there myself, but that’s my perception.
I will join a previous poster on calling shenannigans on the Ranked Warzone complaint. We beat BW with a stick because the released Ilum in an imperfect condition, and now we’re going to beat them up because they _didn’t_ do the same with RW? There are humans behind all those lines of code, and sometimes things don’t get done on time.
Still, I stick to my position that the breadth of functionality we expect from a game like this is probably not something that can be delivered in a budget/timeframe that is attractive to investors. Therefore, I predict that any such game will be similarly lacking in one or more areas in the interest of getting the product out the door.
As for everything else: GG folks. This discussion was a gas.