Thursday, January 19, 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic - Patch 1.1 and a "Preview" video

Lets be real. SWTOR has problems. And many players are pretty vocal about it. So yesterday they released a "content" patch. This patch was 1.1 "Rise of the Rakghouls"(I think that's how you spell it.). It wasn't quite what the players had hoped for.

First of all, I almost had to choke a bitch to find the 1.1 patch notes the night of patch. The notes used to exist on the PTR forums, but they took it down and didn't put it back up till the next day. Now that's just me griping that "Bawwww I can't read up on patches *pouty face*" I know I was being a little absurd. But would it really be so bad to have a centralized location where patch notes are listed, including future and PTR patch notes? Now i'm just being a bitch. I'll stop. I'll stop. It's just a web page on the internet. That's all....

Going over the contents of the patch(Here), there are... A few improvements. A bunch of bug fixes. I think the dungeon ones are more critical, but that's because I've run into a bunch of them. What's this? PVP revamp in Illium? OH BOY!

Yeahhhhhh.... Maybe... I think.... I think it's broke Jim... See, this is the kind of shit World of Warcraft had to deal with when world PVP was a big thing. Server population imbalance causing a massively unfair advantage for one side through shear volume. Ahhh... Reminds me of those old Tauren Mill days. Anyway!

There has been massive bitching on the forums about this PVP imbalance (Among the billions of other things people are complaining about). Some players demanding a rollback on Valor exp points on all players to compensate for the unfairness. Others just want it fixed with better protection for players in spawn zones. Others are saying "LOOOOL I LUV PVP." In anycase, the community is seething with anger. Yes..... yes... Gooood... give in to your anger... Wait no. Sorry. Happens when you play Empire. The dev team at Bioware unfortunately had to withstand this assault of nerd rage. From angry forum posts to emails to account cancellation threats, the guys there have been a little stressed to say the least. In hopes of appeasing some of their player base, they just released this video detailing what they have planned for the future of SWTOR.

I would have to call this "Massive damage control." The fan base has been pretty upset with a number of things in the game, and they never were directly addressed from the Bioware team. Many of these players are coming from World of Warcraft. I'd say Blizzard's community managers are probably the best in the industry. They have forum moderators that are active and post regularly in the forums. And they really try to interact with the community as much as they can without overstepping their bounds. And they too enjoy to banter and converse with the community. Their GM's are personal and somehow try to keep a level head in the face of massive hissy fits thrown by players. It's that kind of customer service that these former World of Warcraft players are used to. To suddenly have that all taken away and replaced with impersonal, corporate type of correspondence will just infuriate them. It makes them feel like they're talking to a machine. A machine that eats their money and dispenses cookies with bits of turd on them. And you gotta think. How much do I want that cookie? Sure it's got shit on it. But... It's a cookie... Wait. What was I talking about again?

Customer Service at it's finest

Now lets be fair to Bioware. Blizzard's community managers and system for connecting the players with the developers to ensure that they get some kind of feedback was not built in a day. There have been rocky patches all the time. However, I think Blizzard learned some things over the years that Bioware will need to adapt and learn in order to appease the community and prevent these massive flare-ups. They did do a decent job of trying to release a patch ASAP to deal with the PVP issues in Illium(new patch notes). But is it enough? Probably not. There's still a huge list of gripes and inconveniences that the players would like to see implemented. But it will have to do... For now... For some...


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