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, had a special free-to-play focus, and will be the last weekly Community Q&A BioWare will hold. In it, a few answers generated some heavy feedback. It seems that some questions raised more additional questions than answers, which is understandable given the fact that BioWare is releasing more F2P information in the months ahead. Keep reading to find out more, and make sure and check out the complete community thread where this feedback is taken from.
The question regarding the availability of Cartel Coins through other means generated some interesting feedback:
Samohnat: Will Cartel Coins be available via in-game mechanics?
Damion Schubert: Not initially. We may expand this in the future, but it’s not a goal for launch of the system.
“Now this is a good question.”
“In my opinion this is a mistake, while Cartel Coins will be one of their sources of revenue, there should be some mechanic that allow people to earn a minimum amount.
If we take League of Legends for example, they make money by selling two things, Champions and Skins, but you have the chance of getting all the champions for free if you just play a lot, and that’s something that kept me hooked with LoL since I started playing it like 2 years ago.”
Many players responded with a similar sentiment. Guild Wars 2′s (I know, I know, elephant in the room!) version of the cash shop allows players to purchase shop currency with in-game gold and real money, as well as sell shop currency to other players. Flexible systems like GW2′s and LoL’s are ideal in a number of ways, and it is a little disappointing that BioWare decided not to expand on their system. However, SWTOR’s F2P system itself seems like it offers quite a bit of flexibility, so that’s one positive.
A large number of players were disappointed in general with the Q&A, which is a feeling that definitely mirrored player responses from the last few weekly Q&As, especially the one before this. Players were also frustrated by the couple of chosen questions that had some relatively obvious answers:
Tatile: It’s said that content will continue to come, but will it be like the content we’ve already seen (Operations and Flashpoints in patches with class balancing and new gear) or will the content only be fluffy happy stuff, like speeders and mini-pets?
Damion Schubert: We definitely have plans in the works for more Flashpoints, Operations, Space Missions, and Warzones. Generally, we will have more frequent updates for the game.
And a response:
“Really. I must say I would have expected this answer. I don’t mean to say the question was bad, I just mean that an answer say we plan to have more updates was kinda lame. They said this before launch that an MMO only lives if the release high quality updates. However as they said we would get them monthly and we have had 2! 2 updates and one was group finder clearly what we are promised and what we get may not be the same.
I have read in between the lines on this Q&A and they are all vague answers that could mean anything.”
Unfortunately, BioWare’s team is pretty talented at sounding vague when they feel the need to. We’ve heard the “more frequent game updates” line before. I think many of us would really love some type of rough content timeline about now, especially with the F2P plan in mind, but I’m not sure we’ll see anything of that nature anytime soon.
Some more thoughts on the same subject, including some responses on the discontinuation of the Q&A sessions in general:
“Mostly useless Q&A again.
This whole discontinuing-the-Q&A-based-on-player-feedback thing is a really nasty, passive-aggressive move, particularly since you’re blaming us for it and acting like this is what we wanted.
The real answer would be to actually improve the Q&A. This is a cop-out.”
Many players are understandably frustrated at the overwhelming number of vague, non-committal answers and questions chosen during the Q&As. BioWare saw this feedback, and instead of improving the Q&As and their quality of answers, they decided to get rid of them altogether. I suppose both serve the same purpose in one respect– to dispose of some of the negativity on the forums. That is definitely currently one of the team’s goals, which is a good goal, but there are multiple ways of going about achieving it, too.
“Personally, I’d want Bioware to treat me like an adult – let me know unfiltered feedback, plans, hopes, tentative schedules and as an adult, accept that those things are subject to change and compromise. But if we as a community behave like spoilt children, then any hope of being treated as an adult goes out of the window. In my view, if there was a flood of information coming out of Austin with constant updates, revisions and corrections – maybe the community would accept the reality of “things change” more readily. Or maybe it would just become more ammunition for a hostile crowd.”
Exactly. Community responses can be unpredictable, and as a result BioWare has always, and will probably always, take the safe route when it comes to community interaction. Not all MMO companies go this route. Some try and be more honest and upfront, yet find themselves issuing apologies later on when things don’t quite go as planned. Different companies have different approaches, unfortunately.
On the plus side, the BioWare Community Team has actually increased their level of interaction with the community here lately.
“I have to hand it to the community team, they’ve gone a solid 3 days with answers as real as I expect them to be able to come up with. Heck, a couple were even above and beyond what I expected they could get. (This QA aside, of course, because it’s pretty weak.)”
We may not have found out a ton of info from this Q&A, which is unfortunate, but in the months to come we assuredly will.