SWTOR Dev Blog Looks At The State of the Game

BioWare exec talks personnel changes, buggy updates and server populations.

BioWare's Jeff Hickman, Executive Producer of Star Wars: The Old
Republic, launched his first "State Of The Game" blog to look at how the
game is doing and where it is headed. He addresses three major topics in
this post: the recent departure of some of the team's big name developers,
Patch 1.4's persistent bugs, and concerns over Oceanic server populations.

Topic #1: Staff: Why are some developers leaving
The Old Republic™? How will the game be affected?

Answer: People leave for a lot of reasons. Some have
worked on the project for 6+ years and are simply tired and want to go
work on something else. Others may not agree with the direction that the
game is heading – Free-to-Play is not for everyone and requires a big
shift in thinking and culture within the studio. Still others do not have
the right skills for the roles that we have as the studio evolves and
changes. When any single person leaves, whether we make the decision or
they do, it is difficult, but the studio and game live on and thrive as we
change, actually thrive because we change. The core of what makes the game
and studio great are still here; quality in our game and in our workplace,
people that are passionate about both, a camaraderie with each other that
helps us support one another, and key people like James Ohlen (who was at
BioWare from the very start) who continue to help us carry the banner of
BioWare and who are dedicated to help evolve and improve Star Wars: The
Old Republic.

Topic #2: Bugs: How does testing work? Why do
bugs get through? Why did Game Update 1.4 have so many of them? What
are we doing to improve the process?
Answer: MMOs
are undoubtedly one of the most complex games on Earth. We employ hundreds
of QA professionals to ensure that our game is high quality, but sometimes
bugs get through. We test every step of the way as we develop the game or
change to the game. We have many, many development environments that work
in a sequence to push updates from initial construction, to code and
content integration, to internal end-to-end testing, to player facing
testing on Public Test Servers and then on to the Live servers. Sometimes
(like in Game Update 1.4) we make changes that have unintended (and
undiscovered) consequences on completely different parts of the game (the
performance issues that showed up in the update are a great example of
this). These unintended changes happen more often than you would think (or
we would like), though we usually catch them before they go live. We have
recently put new measures in place both on the development teams and in
QA, as well on Public Test Server (where we should find many of these
types of issues), to catch things like this in the future. I am not saying
it will not happen again – bugs will always happen – but we will strive to
give you the best, high quality, bug-free experience that we can. As a
side note, we finally got a lock on the last of the major issues from Game
Update 1.4 and appreciate your patience with that one.

Topic #3: Oceanic populations. Are we doing anything about

Answer: We are very aware of the concerns with the
population levels on the Oceanic servers. The problem is pretty complex,
as the solutions we have either split the populations further (like
allowing Oceanic players to move to North American servers), or would
force players to go to server types (PvP or RP, etc…) that they do not
want to be on. Our current plan is to wait for Free-to-Play to launch and
see what the influx of new players does to the populations of these
servers. We will give it a little time and if we do not see significant
improvement, then we will move ahead with the solution that offers the
best playing experience for the Oceanic community.

Hickman promises that this is the first of many State-of-the-Game blog
posts to come.

Source: SWTOR.com community blog

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Star Wars: The Old Republic Game Page.

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