Tuesday, December 12, 2017

SWTOR Rant - Pet Peeves and Changes I'd Love to See

SWTOR (Star Wars: The Old Republic) just got its 5.6.1 update today and again things are newly broken or still broken. Such as no Conquest rewards -- again.
Time for a rant. Things I'd love to see happen, and not just bugfixes.

  • Bug fixes.
    • It's painfully obvious that there are more and more bugs, of increasing severity, as time goes by. I really feel that instead of crushing out new content in the hopes that the ever-complaining subscriber base will actually like something, they should take a long time out and fix every bug they can find, both big and small.
    • The Prince teaches us that, human nature being what it is, people will remember bad things longer than they remember the good. So do all bad things at once and spread out the good. Right now, SWTOR is letting a seemingly never-ending schedule of bad things overshadow any good they are doing.
    • Take Action:
      • Have a long time out on new content. Systematically fix bugs till the game is stable and updates ship out bug-free.
      • In the meantime, give out little, safe, recognition rewards for persevering through this period such as legacy-wide Titles, Achievements, or Character Flairs for staying in the game. For example, just completing one quest everyday on any character, and do so for increasing periods of time to earn more and more recognition. At the highest tier, give a 7-day subscription code redeemable any time.
  • Credit Spammers
    • Apparently it's hard work to stop them, but a simple action that could be taken is to protect new players, who are naive and vulnerable, as evidenced by the relentless chat-spamming on starting planets.
    • Take Action:
      • No player can trade, e-mail, use the Galactic Trade Network, or join a Guild with any of their characters until they have a Legacy on the server. By then they should have played enough to understand that excessive credits at the start is really not necessary. This applies whether they are subscribers or free-to-play.
      • Anyone posting a credits-for-sale link has their account immediately suspended for 7 days and 100 Cartel Coins taken out of their balance. If the account turned out to be one that was hacked, then they should have secured it with a Security Key.
    • Another reason Credit Spammers have success is because of inflation on the Galactic Trade Network. Cartel Market items cost a lot not just because they are the product of chance drops, but because players with enormous amounts of credits can control the market on these limited items.
    • Take Action:
      • Make all Cartel Market items Bound to Legacy.
      • Make the only Cartel Market item that can be traded (directly or through the Galactic Trade Network) be 100-Cartel-Coin vouchers. This removes the possibility of putting a price premium on chance.
        • This has the additional effect of making credit exploits easier to trace since Cartel Coin usage is logged, so they cannot be used to launder credits from exploits.
        • This flexible-use item could also encourage even more purchases on the Cartel Market.
  • Referral Links
    • Just as bad as credit spammers and sometimes even more devious by hiding the fact that it is a referral link.
    • Also, the rewards stack into so many Cartel Market Coins that the game is basically giving far too much of the Cartel Market away for free.
    • Take Action:
      • Discontinue the program immediately. No reason really needs to be given but abuse by having non-friends and total strangers use your link is reason enough.
      • If players really want to support others (for example, fan sites that previously had referral links), allow them to gift Cartel Coins to each other by buying certificates in denominations of, say, 100 CC. As a little reward and incentive, let the buyer have 1 CC free at time of purchase.
  • Cartel Market and Credit spend limits
    • Recognize that the game has become so inflated in credits and take advantage of it! Cartel Market goods cost millions of credits so no one in their right mind would subscribe or use Cartel Coins to access Escrow just to buy it with credits.
    • Once effectively-free Cartel Market items start to dry up because referral link abuse (see above) ends, goods on the GTN will come from real money being spent on the Cartel Market. At that point, we won't care that they are re-sold on the GTN because ultimately credit flow means real money entering the game through the Cartel Market.
    • Take Action:
      • Some time after Referral Links are discontinued, stop the system of Escrow and let all players, including free-to-play and Preferred, spend their credits directly from the Legacy Bank and in unlimited quantities.
      • Make the Cartel Coin certificates (see above) tradeable on the Galactic Trade Network to further encourage in-game credit-generating activity to lead to sales in the Cartel Market.

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