Here is this week’s Q&A Community Response, where we take some of last week’s questions and corresponding answers, and provide some of the feedback straight from the community. Make sure and check out the full Q&A posts for all of the questions, because we’re only going to be covering some of the highlights.
This week’s Q&A, which can be found here, consisted of five questions. A couple questions generated some feedback, but this week we saw an interesting shift– most of the player feedback was actually based off the questions BioWare chose not to respond to. It seems that according to many players, the community Q&A is definitely losing some steam. Keep reading to find out more, and make sure and check out the complete community thread where this feedback is taken from.
First, feedback on some questions and answers. Here’s one answer that actually provided some positive feedback:
LNSSnorkle: We know players that don’t migrate by themselves will have their chars automatically moved. The thing is, how can we know where they will end up?
Damion Schubert (Principal Lead Systems Designer): Once we do automatic transfers, we will be doing everything possible in order to maintain the basics of the current ruleset as possible – PvE vs PvP, regional choice, language (for Europe); so in many cases, you should have a good idea of which populations you are likely to end up with. Another top concern is trying to help the populations that result have a good factional balance. We will give out a specific list once we are closer to implementation of this plan – watch for more info soon!
“The question seems like it would be answered by the Character Transfer, Server Populations, and You (Part II) blog (i.e., you’re automatically transferred to the destination server you were originally assigned to), but Damion Schubert’s answer seems to imply they’re looking at the populations on the destination servers to see where to best fit the people remaining on the origin servers.
The last part is especially intriguing. Does it mean that they might, for example, automatically transfer all the Republic characters on an EC PVP origin server to the EC PVP destination server that has the lowest Republic population in order to balance the factions on that server better?”
That’s kind of what it sounds like, which is intriguing, because is has potential of being a solution to any faction server imbalances that remain.
Next up, the server stability question:
MayoJar: Lately you have been implementing “Server stability” fixes. Can you explain what exactly that is? I keep visualizing some intern sliding napkin shims under a corner of the server. Is this to fix lag issues, log in times, or transition screen load times?
Damion: I can see how this might be confusing to some players – SW:TOR servers, since launch, have enjoyed a reliability of greater than 99%, and since 1.3 went live, we’ve actually improved that to be greater than 99.97%, which means our servers pretty much never crash. However, Game Update 1.3 introduced a server bug that resulted in some players disconnecting randomly from the game, and the server team worked diligently after 1.3 went live to find this issue and stamp it out. This patch note refers (in vague terms, admittedly) to those fixes.
One player’s thoughts:
“This is a nice way of spinning the truth. The problem isn’t that servers crash a lot. The problem is that they stutter with lag spikes that affect everyone in the instance whether that’s a PvP WZ, an operation raid, or on the fleet.”
Unfortunately, lag does seem to be an issue on some servers, and a few of the oceanic servers have experienced recent log-in issues. It’s nice to know that our servers don’t crash very often, but that wasn’t exactly what the question referred to.
SWTOR’s official forums, especially the General forum, have a reputation for being overwhelmingly negative at times, but there was an uncharacteristically large amount of players disappointed in this week’s entire Q&A. Here are some thoughts behind the disappointment:
“I like the fact you answered the DNA question – but overall the Q&A this week is very, very meager. There’s still some burning questions about mechanics, about things that have been asked countless of times and haven’t been answered.”
“None of these question really fit into what I would expect from a weekly Q and A. Some of these questions have been asked in regular forum posts, and answering them there seems much more suitable.”
“So in summary then:
1. Question on a legacy perk (which at no time was available for purpose)
2. Story/lore question (I’m sure maybe a handul of people cared about this)
3. Question on an event (that finished weeks and weeks ago, and we already knew the answer)
4. Server migration question (honestly, like that won’t be answered somewhere else closer to the time)
5. Server tech question (not an interesting question and an even less interesting answer)
Bioware if you actually communicated with us, this is the kind of stuff that would have been answered in normal forum posts. All fluff, avoiding any serious issues.”
“Another Q&A with light fluffy questions picked. Nothing specific about the future of the game or real gameplay changes that are needed/wanted. No mention of the glaring class balance issues that are starting to kill PvP.
Meager. Fluffy. Both very apt descriptions of some of the questions that received answers this week. In fact, the last few Q&A sessions haven’t really told us much of anything new. Granted, the notes proceeding every Q&A specifically state that Q&A answers aren’t intended to reveal new information about future features, but they should reveal new information about current features, at least part of the time. The answers should reveal bits of information that can’t easily be found while searching, for example.
Some players were so disappointed by this week’s Q&A, they even made a few new threads about the lack of quality questions being answered during them. Here is one thread, which was closed after it reached 14 pages. Many players feel that since BioWare’s most recent layoff streak, the company has been far too quiet about news in general, and isn’t offering the playerbase any reassurance of the game’s future. These “light” Q&A sessions aren’t alleviating those feelings at all.