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Jedi Covenant Guild Summit #4 Audio & Summary ft. Eric Musco

The 4th monthly Jedi Covenant Guild Summit was held on Saturday, May 30th, 2015. GMs and officers from guilds on Jedi Covenant were joined by special guest Eric Musco (Bioware Community Manager) to discuss game improvements, suggestions, bug fixes, and more for SWTOR.

Over 23 guilds were represented at the summit by over 60 GMs and officers.

Part 1: Roll Call (Guilds Present)

Part 2: Brainstorming Game Improvements, Feature Requests, and Suggestions

Part 3: Eric Musco's Comments and Q&A

Summary of Suggestions

PvP and GSF Suggestions
  • Add the ability to do "friendly warzone matches" - form a group of 4 or an ops group of 8, and then Right Click > Challenge another group of 4 or 8 to a friendly arena or warzone match. No rewards would be given, but these could be used to practice strategies, play classic 8v8 kickball, organize tournaments, or fight other guilds.
  • Add "Queue Status Indicators" to show how many players are in queue for Warzones, Ranked Warzones, and GSF matches (can be expanded to Group Finder as well), including their roles (tank/healer/dps), and faction.
  • Make select abilities have slightly different output values in PvE versus PvP to better balance the game.
  • Fix the PvP Achievements that are not currently obtainable (such as damage taken or deaths in certain warzones). These have been broken since the launch of the achievement system...
Chat Channel Suggestions
  • Fix the many chat commands that are not working, such as /clist (list all users in a channel).
  • Fix channel passwords - right now as soon as you log out the channel gets "released" and the password is removed. If you /create channelname channelpassword it should keep that password even after logout.
  • Add support for multi-guild channels (with a 500 or X user simultaneous limit)
General User Interface Suggestions
  • Add a "Right Click > Invite to Guild" option in the chat window.
  • Add a "Right Click > Whisper" option in the guild window.
  • Add an "Ignore + Report Spam" option in the chat window.
  • Increase the ignore list limit, make it account-wide, or automatically remove banned players (credit sellers) from the ignore list.
  • Add a "status" column to the /who list to denote what activity you are currently doing (e.g. PvP, GSF, Flashpoints, Ops, etc.)
  • Add a sort option for the Bronze/Silver/Gold key management interface for strongholds and flagships.
  • Add a search option to the /who window for "Arenas" to filter by ALL arenas or "Warzones" for ALL warzones, or "GSF" for ALL GSF matches, etc.
Guild Suggestions
  • Add options to differentiate what credit withdrawals were used for (repairs, flagship summons, or personal use) in the ledger.
  • Add logging for when a user joins or leaves a guild.
  • Separate "flagship summon" costs from "can withdraw credits from guild." Option should be available for members to be able to summon, but NOT be able to withdraw credits for personal use.
  • Allow flagship summons to be paid for using personal funds.
  • Add a metric for days someone has been a guild member.
  • Add a "Guild Perks" system to reward people for doing content as part of a guild.
  • Add a * or other symbol in the /who listing next to members who are an officer or guildmaster of a guild.
  • Add an optional way to collect credits for your guild on a weekly basis (e.g. "Guild Tax").
  • Automatically send a percentage of looted credits directly to guild bank.
  • Track lifetime guild credit desposits/withdrawals.
  • Add optional "system message alerts" that guild officers can send to members, such as event reminders (limit X per hour/day/week).
  • Add a way to "mass in-game mail" guild members (limited to X times per day/week/month) a newsletter or sumamry of upcoming events, important info, etc.
  • Increase character limit/size of Message of the Day, increase the size of Message of the Day and Guild Description boxes (perhaps move to their own window).
  • Increase the guild member limit, or change it to be account-based instead of character-based. Limit the number of users that can be in a guild chat channel simultaneously if needed, but allow more members/alts to be in a guild.
  • Allow guilds to link their guild chat to their alt guild (shared chat channel).
Conquest Suggestions
  • Split planets into small and large guild tiers, so smaller guilds (under X members) can conquer a planet without having to compete with larger guilds (over X members).
Miscellaneous Suggestions
  • Make datacrons legacy unlockable (across all characters), or at least give the stat bonuses across all characters in your legacy.
  • Add Combat Training Dummies to the fleet that are capable of receiving the HP and Armor debuffs.
  • Add a "Party Finder" system where you can join "parties" that are all doing a particular activity, such as Ranked Warzones, Group Finder, GSF, Regular Warzones, etc. Parties could be as simple as window with a list of all players doing that activity.

Summary of Eric Musco's Comments and Q&A

Cross-Faction Chat: The decision that cross-faction chat dosen't exist is less a technical decision and more of a "lore" one in that the Republic and Empire weren't meant to be able to communicate with each other directly.

Guild Features: Guild features that you would pay Cartel Coins for will never be added to the game (e.g. cartel coin costs are kept separate from anything related to guilds) since it could add a lot of potential drama or problems if someone or a group of people purchased a feature for a guild and were subsequently removed from that guild.

Guild Ledger: Separating how you are able to move your guild flagship and/or summon (via personal expense or guild funds) and expanding functionality of sorting by credit usage (summon costs, repair costs, personal withdrawals) in the ledger is a good idea that hasn't been suggested yet and will be passed along.

Key Sorting: It's been passed along before, but will "poke them on it," especially to get ready for the new Yavin 4 stronghold.

Legacy Datacrons: This is currently the most-requested feature for Bioware. The reason that they haven't done it yet is because in order to make datacrons and their stat bonuses legacy-wide, they would have to remake/rebuild every datacron in the game, which is a considerable undertaking.

Guild Member Limit: The most suggested feature for this is to base it on # of accounts versus # of characters. The reason that the member limitation exists right now is not based on conquests, guild power, or anything like that, but rather is because of the chat system. There are concerns that having too many characters in a chat at one time would cause a large amount of problems, so the guild cap is a function of chat rather than guilds itself. He will check with the dev team if there are any options to get around this.

PvE Versus PvP Balance: The combat team has weekly data and design review meetings, and they happen on an even footing for both PvE and PvP. PvPers may be more vocal sometimes with regards to class balance, but both are treated equally. As Hayward said, it is highly unlikely they will do separate abilities for PvE versus PvP due to the difficulty in creating and maintaining such a system.

Bug Fixes: The most helpful aspect of reporting bugs to Bioware is not only reporting WHAT is broken, but also reporting HOW you found that it is broken. Example: "Leap Bug". Reporting that it happens "only when used directly after activating ability X, but not after ability Y and only in area Z" is much more useful than simply saying "leap is broken."

The people working on bug fixes are often also the same people that work on new content, so sometimes they have to make a hard choice of whether to fix a bug or continue working on the new content release schedule as the top priority. Sometimes it may look like nothing is being done because the content they are working on hasn't been announced yet.

Example Scenario: Let's say you notice Tracer Missile is doing half damage that the tooltip says, but only when it's used immediately following Heat Seeker Missile. A lot of people just report that "Tracer Missile is only doing half damage." If you can instead report that "Tracer Missile is only doing half damage, immediately following Heat Seeker Missile," then that is even better.

Chat Channels: It appears they have gotten worse and are more broken than before - Eric will pass it on to the devs ASAP to see if some of the functionality can be restored.

Message of the Day: Adding more guild features and functionality is high on the priority list, but he is unsure about any improvements in the works for MotD.

Guild Taxes: Some of the developers at Bioware were actually the ones who came up with the "Guild Tax" systems for other games like Dark Age or Warhammer. One of the reasons we don't have it right now is because it would require building an entire new system. Don't expect it to come any time soon as it's not currently being worked on.

Datamined Info like the Conquest Schedule We tend to not comment on datamined info and would recommend you take any information obtained in that way with a grain of salt.

Q: How exactly does Bioware deal with bots and credit spammers? A: The best thing you can do is "report the living daylights out of them." A lot of times the response is "well I report them all the time but they are still there..." The reason for this is Bioware is focusing on the bigger picture - if they take down 1 or 2 of them in a given spot, then they realize that Bioware has figured out the specific way they are botting and thus they know what they need to change. By taking them out in large groups the botters aren't tipped off to how they were caught. It's like the Hydra - if they cut off one head it will grow back, they need to kill the whole beast.

Reporting does quite a bit these days, there are automated systems in place as well as manual "case by case reviews" so the "Report Spam" button is very important.

Q: Ever considered implementing a "player moderator" system?
A: Bioware talked about implementing a system similar to games like RuneScape to employ "player moderators" to temporarily mute credit spammers, however it was decided against due to the difficult "vetting" process required to setup such a system.

Q: Any comments on nightmare raids and Wookiiee costumes?
A: "Nightmares raids are hard and I would love a Wookiiee Costume."

Q: Any chance of moving world bosses off timers and replacing with summoning buttons so groups that want to kill a world boss can always do so at will?
A: I don't know, I will pass it on.

Q: Any plans for Dual Spec?
A: No plans in the short term, but it's high on our "list of things we would love to have." "I know a lot of people, when we brought out Costume Designer, were sad that it didn't also have "gear sets" (e.g. PvP and PvE gear set swaps) - we might theoretically be able to turn the technology from Costume Designer into a gear set swap, but not entirely sure.

Q: Can we get Mainhands/Offhands added to Costume Designer?
A: "I have no update on that at this moment."

Q: Any chance of adding the "GSF Battlerecord Stats" to PvP Regular Warzones?
A: "Interesting. I suspect they are different systems and that's why they are not there, but I will ask - you never know, I'll have to ask, I'm not sure."

Q: What is the best way to get the info from these meetings (feedback, suggestions, bug fixes, etc.) to Bioware?
A: Brevity is important - the more succcint it is, the better chance that it will be reviewed by Bioware. You can compile these suggestions on the Jedi Covenant Guild Summit forums and then email them in summary form directly.

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