04/01/2019

Buggy New Year

So, after singing Bioware's praises for the Jedi Under Siege patch in four posts in a row, there is one negative thing that I've got to get off my chest: the bugs. I wouldn't say that 5.10 has been the buggiest release they've ever had, but I guess the actual content being so great causes the technical issues to stand out in even greater contrast than usual.

First there were the odd bugs related to the new content. While these did cause me to miss out on a masterwork data crystal on some alts in the first week, I honestly thought that these were funny more than anything else. Like, how does it even happen that a certain quest can only be picked up on Tuesdays? Limited time missions aren't even a functionality anywhere! Well, I guess there is that new limited time quest now, but that wasn't the one that was bugged... anyway, I remember feeling like a right idiot running around on that first Wednesday on my Marauder and asking everyone and their mother where to pick up the weekly quest on Imperial side because I was apparently too dumb to find it. I was so glad when I found out that it wasn't just me! And at least some of the ensuing general chat conversations were pretty amusing. "Where do I pick up the weekly mission?" - "On Tuesday," sounded like something out of bizarre comedy skit.

Then of course there was the fact that this same mission to kill the two world bosses wouldn't actually give people credit for their kills most of the time... unless they made sure to leave the group just before the boss's death. Again, so counter-intuitive! I wonder who was the first person to find out about that workaround? But again, there was something humorous about seeing a whole ops group disband frantically just before achieving the kill. I'll have to remember to try that next time I kill the Colossal on Iokath, since that also still seems to have the problem of only giving credit to people in an ops group erratically. Either way, both of these bugs related to the new mission were patched out just before the team at Bioware went on holiday.

You do have to wonder why they insisted on dropping such a big content patch just before the holidays though. They did that with Shadow of Revan too, and it didn't work well then either. I guess they really needed to boost their Q4 numbers at all costs? Even if they aren't selling boxes, I have no doubt that a big story update like this causes a noticeable surge in subscriptions and cash shop purchases.

Anyway, unfortunately the few bugs they managed to fix just before going on holiday aren't the end of things. One of the new dailies for example is often hard or impossible to complete because the objectives you're supposed to click on the ground are bugging out somehow, and once an instance is bugged nobody else can do the quest in it anymore. If you're lucky and get a fresh one you can still do the mission, but it's very hit and miss.

Aside from the new stuff, there are also some weird bugs affecting basic game systems that make you wonder what exactly they changed to break those things. A good example is quest sharing, which suddenly doesn't work anymore. Or as a guildie would clarify: the sharing works, just the accepting doesn't. What did they change to affect that?

Or take companions: Most of them have been behaving very erratically since the patch. Ranged companions in particular have suddenly developed a habit of freezing in their tracks the moment you enter combat - so if you move even one step out of their range, you might suddenly find yourself fighting without support while they simply stare at you from a distance. I've got to admit that I see one upside to this one as it forces me to pay a bit more attention in combat and micro-manage my companion a bit if needed, which is engaging. Still annoying when you don't notice it in time though.

Companions in general seem to have lots of issues, and it's not clear whether the emergency fix Bioware applied for the companion bug on patch day really fixed the original issue in its entirety. There are still a lot of reports about missing companions, but we can at least hope that most of these are UI-based and not your character's actual history being overwritten.

My own Sorcerer has unfortunately fallen victim to one such bug that definitely goes deeper. I had jumped into Jedi Under Siege all excited, eager to replay the Imperial story after how much I enjoyed it on my Marauder, but about halfway through I suddenly ran into Khem Val, which made me escape out of the cut scene faster than you can say "skip please" because this particular Sorcerer chose Zash over Khem in her class story, which means that as per the Nathema Conspiracy Khem is dead. So I have the opposite problem of the missing companion people in that I have a dead companion having come back to life and suddenly wanting to be my friend. I haven't dared to advance the story any further since the interaction with Khem is baked right into the storyline. I did raise a CS ticket, but the person who replied clearly hadn't even read it properly, so I'm now just waiting for the devs to come back and hopefully read about this bug on either the forums or in their internal bug report tool (I've submitted it in both). At least for me my inquisitor is only one of many alts, so having to put the story on hold on her isn't a game breaker, but I can still see this kind of thing really souring the experience for people. Here's hoping that the team will get to bug-fixing asap now that they seem to be back from their Christmas break.

2 comments :

  1. Yeah, this is pretty much why I prefer to wait at least a couple of months before diving into new content. :/

    It's similar to how the new Paxton Rall companion is constantly stuck on saying "not my finest hour" for practically everything. While some other people have experienced loosing Hexid after unlocking him.

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  2. Ah good to know the mission sharing was a known bug, we were so confused over trying to share flashpoint missions before we did a run on Directive-7 this week. And yes, the daily bug on Ossus is a pain.

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