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Author Topic: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions  (Read 1825 times)

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Offline Imazi

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What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« on: 06/22/17, 10:05:22 AM »
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Given that the devs are in listening mode, I think now would be a great time to give them a heads up about game directions that blindside the RP community, so that can avoid it in the future. My main forum privileges shouldn't run out until the 27th  when they do there maintenance, so I think I have time to get out a thread if I can nail down some issues.

So what do you think was disruptive to RP about the last two expansions?

From what I can tell:
  • It split the community. It put area barriers between the haves and have nots, so to speak.
  • The 5 year time skip forced a splintering of group stories and loss of general cohesion because some weren't ready to rush that far ahead so fast and some wanted to stay apace of the story. People didn't have enough time to tie loose ends.
  • The story was so much about the Outlander that it was hard to tell where a character that was not the Outlander fit in.

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Online SquigglyV

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #1 on: 06/22/17, 11:07:38 AM »
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One of the major things that makes it hard to RP is the lack of background information about Zakuul and the Alliance. That's always been an issue in SWTOR in my opinion, but it's even more prevalent in KOTFE/KOTET because they introduced two completely new factions unrelated to anything previously.

The fact that they're terribly written and don't fit the Star Wars aesthetic at all is also an issue, especially for roleplay. The extreme focus on Iokath shows that Bioware still doesn't understand completely, though the fact that they realized we want more Republic vs Imperial fighting and less shitty third factions gives me hope that they will eventually.

I think another thing that helped split the community is the fact that most people really really did not want yet another third faction. Especially not one that has no relation to anything else in the story previously. So many people got angry over various issues with KOTFE, the only reason that anger has died down since is because most of them left after realizing that Bioware wouldn't listen I think.

Some minor things include the lack of new maps/areas accessible to groups and the complete removal of RP server designations (still confused about why that happened). There are some other minor ones but they're not new to KOTFE or KOTET so I don't know if they count here.

I will say that we could have worked around most of those issues as a community (at least in my opinion), but that's a different issue. And really, we shouldn't have to.

Offline Ela

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #2 on: 06/22/17, 12:51:55 PM »
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Great points you two :)

For me, @Imazi 's point about the five-year time-jump was the one that messed with my head-canon the most. The Elariel's backstory is based on a conflict with the Dread Masters, and they have two Imperial enemies who aren't stereotypical evil-doers. In a nutshell, if the Alliance happened, the two "enemies" probably would've joined the Alliance, along with Alex, Meagan and Medley, and set their differences aside. That kinda killed my story...

My creative little brain found a way around it, but needless to say the solution eliminated the permanence of the potential conflict :/

What I struggle with now, and I've had chats with a few of you on /rebublicooc about it, is reconciling the variances in the pre- and post-KotFE/KotET worlds. I know there's not much open-world RP any more, but running around the worlds that were supposedly ravaged by the Eternal Empire (especially Voss) just feels...I dunno...wrong. It's like time-travel, I guess.
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Offline Noth

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #3 on: 06/22/17, 01:28:22 PM »
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Speaking from the Jedi side of things, the lack of information about what's going on with the Order also put a huge wrench in Jedi RP. We've had to make up our own canon for Tython and the Jedi, and we shouldn't have to do that. That the Jedi still haven't rebuilt and returned to the Temple on Coruscant is also starting to reeeeally stretch suspension of disbelief...

Double agreement on it not feeling Star Wars
We're here for a Star Wars game, not a ME game or original universe.

And for the love of the Force, no more time skips.
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Offline Maryck

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #4 on: 06/22/17, 02:09:56 PM »
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Speaking from the Jedi side of things, the lack of information about what's going on with the Order also put a huge wrench in Jedi RP. We've had to make up our own canon for Tython and the Jedi, and we shouldn't have to do that. That the Jedi still haven't rebuilt and returned to the Temple on Coruscant is also starting to reeeeally stretch suspension of disbelief...


I will never gripe about the game ever again if they give us the Temple on Coruscant back.
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Offline Joshmaul

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #5 on: 06/22/17, 02:48:26 PM »
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I will never gripe about the game ever again if they give us the Temple on Coruscant back.

Heard and witnessed, folks! We got it on record!
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Offline Niarra

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #6 on: 06/22/17, 02:52:28 PM »
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I have plenty of thoughts on this that I would love to add to your post on the official forums, if you ever do put it up, Imazi. Link to it if/when you do! I would want to put a lot of that in my own words, but for some quick and general bullet points I would contribute:

  • A lack of new shared open world areas to play in, that aren't tiny and crowded mission hubs (like Odessen and Iokath are). The only thing remotely close is some of the Zakuul streets, but that area is so uninspired that no one is ever there except to run to your next chapter phase and then leave. A new Nar Shaddaa or Voss (as counter examples) is sorely missed. And Iokath is a mob fest, meant for PVE/PVP and not for play environment. I feel like they missed an opportunity to create a new shared space with Manaan. Maybe they could be encouraged to add one around Umbara, with the new FP.
  • I second what Noth said, about the total lack of game canon clarity around the Jedi, and even (although to a much lesser extent) around the Sith. There is a wider world beyond the Outlander, and just ignoring it makes the game feel very bizarre.
  • They really need to avoid Schroedinger's Galactic Affairs, especially if they're playing with major NPCs like the Sith Empress and the Supreme Commander.
  • The time skips are definitely tough.
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Offline Imazi

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #7 on: 06/22/17, 03:10:32 PM »
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"Schroedinger's Galactic Affairs" ... You got me. :lol:

Looks like I got most of the underlying principles so far, with the exception of Schroedinger's Galactic Affairs. *snicker* I'll see what I can do about compiling a thread... and I'm using that term @Niarra. :lol:
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Offline Sebrik

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #8 on: 06/22/17, 03:39:32 PM »
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Time skips was one of my biggest issues.  It's just lazy writing.  It makes creating new characters for RP more difficult and it's annoying adding on so many years to a characters I created at launch, that I wanted to RP around a certain age, but now they have to skip ahead so much.

This thread is just about RP right, not how the last two expacs destroyed PVE and PVP? 

Offline Imazi

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #9 on: 06/22/17, 03:42:31 PM »
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Yeah just RP. There's already a lot of threads on the main forums about what it did to the other two areas but not much talk about what it did to the RP community.
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Offline Joshmaul

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #10 on: 06/22/17, 03:43:11 PM »
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I feel like they missed an opportunity to create a new shared space with Manaan.

Which is probably why they're throwing the (no doubt expensive, more so than Yavin) stronghold at us, to give Manaan more use. And if the rumors from datamining are true, we're getting one on Zakuul eventually, too. Both of which, like Yavin, make no sense...why would the Selkath let aliens have a base on their planet, especially considering the Sith bombed the last attempt they made at making nice with air-breathers? And it's bad enough Zakuul has to submit to one Outlander - how would they feel about letting a whole horde of them move in?

I am forced to wonder what the future will hold for this game, considering that (like WoW has with Legion, though not nearly as egregiously - at least we get to keep our own class as the Big Damn Heroes, more or less) the narrative has focused so much on shoehorning us into one big Savior/Conqueror of the Known Universe role, with no real regard for class narrative or anything of that sort. We haven't had any real class-oriented questing - and the KotFE chapters where certain classes get shoutouts don't count, as all classes can do them - since Rishi. Rishi, for the love of God. The piratical bird-people planet was the last place I can recall getting anything really class-related (the side mission you get at the same time as the quest for Blood Hunt).
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Offline Imazi

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #11 on: 06/22/17, 03:56:33 PM »
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Perhaps they can reduce the scale of future stories and bring them back to their class stories. I mean for how long was the smuggler's story just about getting their ship back? Giving each class a smaller point of inquiry might let them ease back into that.
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Offline Orell

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #12 on: 06/22/17, 03:59:18 PM »
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One big thing in my eyes?

Beyond all the issues about Schroedinger's Galactic Affairs or Time Skips or not saying what's going on in the galaxy, all of which people have mentioned for good reason, one of the big flaws is that it just made things too big, especially in KotFE.

The SWTOR engine is old, somewhat ailing and designed to do what it does. One character directly controlled, one character following along with AI controls, abilities to influence the world, stuff like that. It puts you into the action, which is nice, but it's not something designed for big epics.

The game makes the Outlander one of the most important people in the galaxy, and then has to try to justify reasons for them to head to the front lines to fight. Suspension of disbelief can take it to an extent, but it's a poor crutch to lean on, especially when it gets leaned on for every episode.

SWTOR has been a long, long history of making big, huge attempts at doing something amazing, coming a bit short or a lot short, and then spending the next few years paying for it.

The individual class stories? It means that every new story update with player voices has to bring back 16 voice actors just for one character's dialog. Also means that everyone's nostalgic for the class stories, when that creates a ton of work for not much gameplay content for the first run-through.

Nearly every quest fully voiced? Sets a precedent that makes quests introduced and completed only by text or one way conversations feel cheap instead of the routine.

SoR and Ziost? Rezzing the Emperor and showing his absurd power creates a character that simply cannot be fought in a conventional means, hence the Valkorion stuff to turn him into a threat that can be defeated in some manner.

KOTFE? Broke the status quo in a nigh-irreversible manner, requiring KOTET to rush in and try to get back to a new status quo as quickly as possible so they could tell other stories.

KOTET? Made the Outlander the most important person in the galaxy by giving them the Eternal Throne, compounding issues regarding telling a story with that character's importance.

They need to go small. Break up the Eternal Alliance, put the Outlander on the run or just not the most important person in the galaxy anymore and focus on telling smaller stories.

And hell, they have a course available. People care a fuck-ton more about what happened to Kira or Andronikous than they care about whatever BS is going on with Iokath. The small-scale spy/espionage/intrigue stuff has always been where the post-class-story content has worked best, focus on the characters because they're what we really care about now, just make some new, mysterious, maybe eldricht-ish threat that the Outlander goes off to deal with instead of playing galactic politics.
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Offline Imazi

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #13 on: 06/22/17, 06:01:28 PM »
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While the scale was a definite problem for the story, I don't think it hurt the community much... beside the lack of smaller details.

After thought: However, I think Charles' last post makes it clear that we got the story we got because these were the stories the writers were interested in exploring. Unfortunately, it was an experiment that didn't go so hot.
« Last Edit: 06/22/17, 06:08:08 PM by Imazi »
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Offline Zmaj

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Re: What Was Disruptive about the Last Expansions
« Reply #14 on: 06/22/17, 06:59:12 PM »
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Speaking from the Jedi side of things, the lack of information about what's going on with the Order also put a huge wrench in Jedi RP. We've had to make up our own canon for Tython and the Jedi, and we shouldn't have to do that. That the Jedi still haven't rebuilt and returned to the Temple on Coruscant is also starting to reeeeally stretch suspension of disbelief...

I echo this.

Also we still know approximately zero about what is happening with the Chiss Ascendency. The Ascendency is an ally of the Empire (a begrudged one, but an ally no less). They should've gotten at least a little involved. Coming up with explanations has been entertaining at the very least and a real exercise about politics, and I have enjoyed that. But pulling everything out of thin air where the story should have been is a little tiring. And after all the promotion of Zakuul being this big bad superpower with advanced tech, how would they have not found the Ascendency? Like...I'm helluh biased but seriouslyyyyy, narrative-wise this is a plot hole that's been glaring out of the corner of my eye. I've just thrown my hands up in the air at this point.
« Last Edit: 06/22/17, 07:02:07 PM by Zmaj »
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