29/01/2020

Mini Road Map

A couple of weeks ago, Eric Musco gave us a brief "what's next" update on the forums, which (among other things) clarified that they were going to move away from giving us full road maps, without giving any reason why. I thought that was a bit of a shame, considering that I've always enjoyed Keith's road maps... we can only speculate as to why they decided that the time and effort put into writing these things wasn't worth the reward. Or maybe they are simply too uncertain right now about when they can deliver what content in the near future.


Maybe just a hint of a dirt path then?

Anyway, Keith did take to the forums yesterday to provide us with a few morsels at least. I think it's fair to describe the reception he received as lukewarm. It's not that people took issue with anything he said, but there just wasn't enough meat in those paragraphs to provide people with anything to latch on to. Lots of vague phrases about "exciting things" and such, but without any real specifications.

Personally I also thought that the tone of the original post sounded oddly defensive, in the introduction at least. "Thank You to everyone who has stayed with us" - should I have left? Are there people saying everyone's left? Because I haven't seen anyone be down on the game in the last few months, not even the usual Negative Nanciess. "I continue to play the game a lot as I believe it’s vitally important to have the same type of experiences as our players" - again, nothing wrong with the message, but it kind of sounds like he's responding to someone accusing him of not playing the game anymore.

Then there was a point about "updated stories" which confused several people with its ambiguity, as they decided to interpret it as some sort of overhaul of existing content. On re-reading I think it was just an odd choice of words though, and he simply meant "story updates" as in new additions to existing storylines.

Still, there were a few tangible reveals in there:

- February will feature our first subscriber reward in a while, a tauntaun mount. I don't really need another one of those, but as a loyal subscriber I do appreciate them giving us a little extra nod like that for the first time in many months.

- Patch 6.1, featuring the Alderaan stronghold and a small story update about the size of Hearts and Minds, is currently scheduled to launch on February 11th.

- 6.1.1 and 6.1.2 are supposed to come "pretty quick on the heels of 6.1" but this was then further specified as "in the next couple of months after 6.1 is live". I guess we'll see what Bioware considers "quick"... I could well see it being June by the time the second of these patches lands.

- Content in 6.1.1 and 2 is supposed to include "new quality of life changes for Conquests, more class changes, Master Mode Dxun, and more". Well, my guildies and I sure are ready for master mode Dxun now! Except... not really. If it's anything like MM Gods from the Machine, we'll only have a look at the first boss at best. But I guess it's nice to see that they are trying to release it quickly instead of endlessly delaying it the way Gods' master mode was.

Quality of life changes for Conquest could be anything really - I've seen people guess that it will likely involve yet more tweaking of point values and objectives, which I kind of hope it won't be, as I actually feel that these things are in a great place at the moment. Now if they fixed the bugs with the Conquest point display in the guild window and generally made it easier to tally up points to reward people, that would be a huge quality of life change for me.

- The line about what else is coming in 2020 is the one that's super vague, except that it includes "PvP improvements". You know the one PvP improvement I'm holding out for...

- Finally he notes that they'll be at Star Wars Celebration again this year and mentions again that they are already thinking about the game's tenth anniversary. Both of these are good things, but not really of immediate interest to most players, I suspect.

All in all, good things are supposed to be coming, but as usual we're light on details. One thing I liked though was that after some people complained about the lack of references to story content, Charles Boyd jumped into the thread to give some great teases about what's to come story-wise. Now that man knows how to get people excited! Or maybe I just find it ridiculously easy to get excited about even slight hints of what's to come story-wise. I won't put any of that here for people who are super sensitive about spoilers, but if you've played through Onslaught there shouldn't be any dramatic reveals among his comments, just some intriguing teases of what's to come.

5 comments :

  1. It feels like they are trying to avoid the situation where they state a release date and then have to change it. I also wonder if they are trying to setup some big story beats and don't want anything accidentally given away/figured out. We'll see. :)

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    1. Oh, I can understand not giving specific release dates for anything but the next patch. What I don't get is the extreme vagueness when it comes to things like improvements or quality if life. Surely those must be specific things they are working on? Why not mention one or two? Unless most if them are items like "fixed a bug", which won't sound exciting... but that's the crux of the matter: too much vagueness and people start suspecting that the team is lacking good stuff to talk about.

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    2. I _want_ to believe they have something really cool or desired coming up, but don't want to waste the excitement. I'm also afraid they are trying to do something difficult and aren't sure they can make it work well or even happen.

      Either way, communication is always going to be an issue for them until/unless they can lay out definite things and hit those marks. I don't even them trying to overcome some of their self-inflicted wounds, communication-wise, but I try to tell myself that they are trying.

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  2. I can't say I disagreed with the "Wait? What?" response to Keith’s initial post. It seems too early to be hyping 2021 when we still don't know where 2020 is going. At this point I’m basically done with most of Onslaught's content, and I'm ready for something new, but that update was short on much to get excited about. In the past BW would just press on and maybe let Musco take a bullet on the forums with his usual non-answers. "That's a great question!" “I’ll pass your comments onto the team." But I have to give credit to Keith for reading the room and coming back today with more clarity from him and Charles Boyd. Like you, I fear we might be in 6.1.x territory for a while, but I am feeling better about things today.

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    1. I'm not too worried about long waits actually as I'm not lacking in personal goals. Still haven't even looked at where those new datacrons are for example! I just thought it seemed a bit weird to take to the forums to post about not having much to say yet, if you get what I mean...

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