Monday, 28 May 2012

Community Q&A: May 25th, 2012

Last Friday BioWare posted another Community Q&A, this time about Game Update 1.3. Here's an excerpt:

Mallorik: What is your philosophy on cross server LFG tools? Are we getting a same server tool just to hold us over while you work on cross server tech or is this just a test to see if a same server tool will do the job? 

Daniel: Although we’re certainly willing to entertain the idea of cross-server LFG tools if the need arises, it’s a last resort for us. We firmly believe for cooperative play it is important to have a community and social responsibility that you simply can’t have with players appearing and disappearing from your reality. Instead we are pushing hard on servers that are massive compared to the ones we launched with. Early tests show we’ll be able to raise the peak concurrent user cap above what it was at launch. Combining that with server transfers to enable players to move to these new servers and fill them to the brim, we should see some fantastic, vibrant communities develop where Group Finder will always be able to find someone for your content.  

There has been some speculation on what exactly they mean with these super servers, but I think that regardless it's absolutely vital for the health of the game to ensure that the general server populations seem healthy again. Though I also fear that any talk of server merges will likely just add fuel to the fire of the perception that the game is 'dying', so they have to be careful. I'm betting the impression that they're going with the spin that they've increased the capacity of the servers and that is why they're merging. Though I think that the only way to really pull that off if by doing away with 'servers' altogether and just go for a single one (per territory). We'll see.

The post also promised more detailed blog articles in the near future about Game Update 1.3, so looking forward to read those.

After the break a new TOR novel and another interview. No developer quotes this time (since it has only been a few days since the previous post there haven't been much of any new developer posts to quote).

Last week BioWare also showed the cover for the next The Old Republic novel, written by Drew Karpyshyn and titled "Annihilation", and had a brief interview with Mr Karphyshyn. Here's an excerpt from the full article:

Drew, can you tell us what Star Wars: The Old Republic fans can look forward to in your new book?

Annihilation gives readers a closer look at several characters that will play important roles in future updates for Star Wars: The Old Republic. Satele Shan, head of the Jedi Order; Jace Malcom, the Supreme Commander of the Republic military and Darth Marr, senior ranking member on the Dark Council are all featured in the novel, along with Jedi Master Gnost-Dural and of course Theron Shan, Satele's secret son.

To be honest, beyond the first one I haven't read any of the TOR novels so I'm not sure if I'll pick this one up. I might if it becomes available on Kindle; seem that the other three are as of November last year (here in the UK anyway) so there's a good chance. But we'll see.

The last bit I have is an interview with Daniel Erickson on Game Update 1.3 over at Since it got posted just after my previous post it missed out on that one. Here's an excerpt from the interview:

MMORPG:  Guild banks were introduced with Update 1.2. What other guild related features can players expect to see in 2012?

Daniel Erickson: The overwhelming feedback from the Guild Summit we held earlier this year was the need for a way to have mirror-guilds across faction lines in a game that was so alt-friendly. So that’s the top of the list. We also have plans on the table for Guild Advertising, Guild Logos, better communication tools for guildmasters and much more. The order they come out will largely be a case of looking at how the community is developing and what tools they need the most.

I'm not in a guild, and doubt I'll join one in TOR, but for those that are (which should be the majority of dedicated players) I think that the above sounds like good news.

And that's it for now.

[link] to interview with Daniel Erickson at MMORPG.


Jarr said...

"’s a last resort for us. We firmly believe for cooperative play it is important to have a community and social responsibility that you simply can’t have with players appearing and disappearing from your reality." Groups are not being formed because these communities that they are banking on are failing already. Look at the succesful LFG tools from WoW and RIFT -- both cross-server. People are calling for LFG finder to RUN CONTENT not build communities. Communities are built around entertaining team based experiences. Plus cross-server adds much needed life to some of the quieter and lesser populated servers. These statements from Bio are very disappointing and frankly show a lack of insight IMO.

Ayane said...

Sorry for the late reply.

I've never really understood the idea of "server based communities" to begin with. I don't think you form healthy, strong communities by forcing people in the same place. You get them by encouraging people to be together and form bonds over mutual interests.

As such the decision to have multiple servers, instead of trying to go for one mega server (think Champions Online or The Secret World) was probably one of the biggest disappointments with TOR even before launch (it's my biggest disappointment with Guild Wars 2 as well).

In my opinion people's "realities" aren't based on who happen to inhabit the same space, but who they make connections with. Who is in their friends list, their guild, their... other things that TOR could have had if they had focused on community building.

In short, I don't agree with BioWare on this either and pretty much agree with you. :)