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Reader Comments (59)

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 2:52PM goatfoam said

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I think it's fine, too.

How many games got an update - even if some were just fluff - every week for THREE YEARS? Hell, BioWare even asked the community back when it was forming "Do you want weekly updates, or would you prefer to wait longer to hear something but for it to have a lot of meat when you do hear about it?" The community chose weekly.

I mean, there's nothing stopping people from just waiting a few weeks and getting like a triple dose of the update.

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 3:12PM KaTing said

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I really don't mind BioWare's slow release of info, and I do intend to try the game once it comes out.

If this is seriously a problem for their community, though, they need to manage it better--an area that is not one of BioWare's strengths. See http://brokentoys.org/2011/01/04/great-moments-in-customer-service-pt-xci-bioware-hates-you/ and http://borderhouseblog.com/?p=3920 for examples of their foot-in-mouth syndrome.

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 4:05PM Brockobama321 said

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Yes. If a bunch of idiots overreact over something in pre release, then they're just that, idiots. And idiots don't deserve attention. Let them go off to their special forums to cry and whine, who cares? Stupid people will be stupid, so just ignore them and only deal with the smart people.

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 4:08PM (Unverified) said

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People who have already spent money are privvy to much more than "When it's ready it'll be ready"
Yeah...That really works!
In a realistic business world if you tell your investors that they'll demand their money back and blacklist you
Welcome to the 21st century of Online Gaming it's starting to work the SAME Way
Most players are investing in the game as a form of long term entertainment a way to have fun and unwind or have something time consuming to do but not Black Hole consuming of time.
When we get tight lipped responses, very little feedback, and suggestions met with huge amounts of hostility we want to take our moneys elsewhere to other companies.
Some people would like to have their hands in the bottom of the cookie jar but that just won't happen as per NDAs and EULAs You don't get to see how deep the rabbit hole goes just that there's a rabbit hole
Now the Rabbits WOULD like to know what generally to expect from the Rabbit hole diggers but all the devs these days are SO Tight lipped you even have to KNOW someone to find out about beta signups to help them Polish a game for public audiences...In the case of some you have to pre-buy the game to even help test. That imho is kinda wrong on so many levels but that's a discussion for another day

This is the big part of the Information Age we're well in swing to being interconnected to information at our fingertips and when Devs just come across as tight lipped on this game and the Devs on a similar game are just letting everyone in their beta know what's what and how its going generally I bet they'll get the bigger crowd leaving the other Development house wondering what just happened

So at the end of it all...Share information with us but keep your secrets to yourself and don't promise ANY dates you can't deliver on because you will most definitely get called out on it.

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 5:25PM cray said

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I don't think a shred of information should be released until the game is 99% done, because it serves no purpose having to explain every little piece of information. It gets over-analyzed by impatient consumers, Developers like Bioware have to spend time clarifying their perspective on whatever tidbit was released. Things gets mis-communicated and delibrately twisted by other developers, and it becomes a giant media war with the consumers and rival developers.

Its unnecessary and counterproductive. It becomes a game of which one was better marketed.

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 6:06PM (Unverified) said

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BY OPENING THE OFFICIAL FORUMS THREE YEARS PRIOR TO LAUNCH, BIO OPENED THEMSELVES UP TO THIS CRITICISM.



simple as that.....3 years before launch.....give me a fkng break....Thats borderline cruel to Star Wars fans...

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 6:15PM Greyhame said

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It's a good thing in that the developers don't reveal things that may not make it into game (Warhammer Online had this problem). It prevents the fans of X feature from being disappointed because it didn't make it into the game.

It's also a bad thing. While there are a number of dedicated fans and other people looking for information, there are some who have lost interest because you haven't released any information. Personally, I'm following this game as a "Might be interesting, but not enough information to actually know if it's something worth actually getting". And based on the current information, my personal feeling is no while I was much more interested when they announced it.

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 6:21PM Averice said

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I can understand why some fans would be upset. I'm not a fan of the star wars universe, just MMO's, so I don't mind being patient and waiting until the information happens to appear in front of me before deciding whether or not I'm going to be interested in playing this game.

As it is, there really is so much unknown that buying this game doesn't look like a good prospect to me. But then that's how most companies work, end game isn't known until post release, not even beta testers get to see it since they're only allowed access to the first half of the levels usually, if that many.

It's the same way with all MMO's, you don't find out the information you want to know until post release. Take DCUO for example, that 2nd interview post with the comment "5-7 hours a week" would have been awesome to know 2 months ago, but games developers don't want to tell you things like that because in order to make initial sales they have to keep things hidden. Which just means gamers like me Won't buy things until after they've been released awhile, but so many gamers still will there's no reason not to keep the wraps on dev philosophy until post release.

There really is just too much unknown in MMO released to buy a game that you're not intrinsically interested in imo. Unless something about it pulls at the ol heart strings, it's very hard to justify forking over cash until you actually get told what it is you're buying.

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 6:40PM Taawa said

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Bioware has a troubling approach to customer service and communication. This story does not surprise me. From Dragon Age to Warhammer, to, now SWTOR, you can find representatives of Bioware making asses of themselves and delivering bad customer service in their online forums. It'd be better to shut them down. But as a customer I am electing to stay away from that company now.

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 6:49PM Pojoh said

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Good job Bioware. Keep up the work, look forward to the game when it comes out. Really don't care to hear anything about it before it comes out.

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 7:50PM Vendayn said

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The thing is...Guild Wars 2 has released not only screenshots, but TWO gameplay videos. One of the gameplay videos was almost an hour long.

That tells me Anet knows they have a good game and want people to see their work and not hide it.

And then there are companies that release very little info, or even having the NDA stay up all the way to release (and occasionally even past release)...tells me they are afraid of information getting out that their game sucks.

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 9:41PM Rayne26 said

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Every company that holds their secrets away from the gamers is bad.
I know they do it for other competitor companies but this has as a result to desatisfy gamers.

Posted: Jan 16th 2011 10:03PM beskar said

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Reid is either towing the company line or, if he actually believes what he wrote, is an idiot. Because it boiled down to: "We can't tell you what's coming in the game, because it might change and you'd freakout... but hey, having said that, there are also things we've told you about that have changed, anyway..." It's a real cluster**** of a message.

Posted: Jan 17th 2011 2:29AM AyAitch said

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To modify a line from Neil Gaiman -- Bioware isn't your bitch, at least not yet.

Posted: Jan 17th 2011 4:27AM Haldurson said

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Honestly, the main purpose for pre-release info is marketing. As a consumer, it's probably in our best interests to try to get into any betas, read everything you can find about the game, and then do one of the following:
1. Wait until nearly the last minute to preorder the game, because that gives you all the advantages of preordering, with the maximum information about what you are getting, before you decide to purchase
2. Wait until the game is out to find out what people are saying who are actually playing the live game before you decide to purchase
3. Wait until the game has been out for a while and most of the bugs are gone to decide to purchase

Any strategy short of these is sub-optimal, because regardless of how companies release information about their games, there will always be the potential that something is not to your liking.

Given these 3 options, it really doesn't matter HOW the information is released or when the information is released, so long as it is out there.

Posted: Jan 17th 2011 9:41AM Ripper McGee said

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Irrespective of the fact that I genuinely don't care about TOR, I don't think they're doing a bad job at all.

Where I take issue with developer communication--in general--is when they're in closed alpha or beta and don't communicate with their testers regarding feedback, suggestions or bugs. I have no idea whether or not this is the case with TOR.

Posted: Jan 17th 2011 11:02AM Rimeshade said

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Information regarding how the game plays, how classes play would be appreciated. For example releasing gameplay trailers for each class, for group play etc. and constantly updating said videos as the game becomes more complex or polished (although they should only begin showing said videos once the game is up to a certain level of polish).

I'm sure most people wouldn't mind not having much info on classes if there was at least some official info on how each class played and a few example abilities e.g. The Jedi Shadow plays like X, fullfilling the role of burst dps by typically doing Y, Z, P and Q then topping it off by including rough frameworks of abilities (that are constantly refined a la the videos) for example Project / costs force points to use / deals moderate burst damage / short cast time / short cooldown then once certain features get nailed down it can be refined into concrete cast times and cooldowns etc.

For me end game info is not important until after the games release as I won't be hitting it for a good while, what's more important is a good, firm explaination of how classes play accompanied by example abilities and progression trees, typically because I like picking a single class to play and RP on that will occupy my time in the game. I'm making a time-investment in levelling them, developing them and enhancing them, I don't want to pick a class that's "wrong" for what I want to do.

Admittedly though, Darth Hater has done more good than Bioware proper on this as after reading through his blog I've pretty much picked my SWTOR class due to his reveals of the Jedi abilities, but it really should have been Bioware's job to reveal them officially under the class pages so the information is available easily to anyone and has a modicum of officialness (?) about it.

Posted: Jan 17th 2011 12:02PM Sinnix said

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Why is Bioware catching flack for this at all? EA is responsible for the marketing and PR. Even if it's Bioware dishing out the information, EA is telling them when to do it.

On top of that, announcing that they've (EA) got a Star Wars MMO being made by freaking Bioware can only do wonders for their stock price. If I were them I would have started up the ol' PR engine just as early, if not earlier.

Posted: Jan 17th 2011 3:51PM (Unverified) said

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It's no doubt very annoying for the fanbase, but Bioware is doing the right thing in holding their cards close to their chest.

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