In the world of software, bugs happen all the time. We live in an imperfect world and not everything goes to plan. When your car’s light goes out, you don’t take the whole car back and demand a refund, you take it to the garage and get it fixed. So it is with SWTOR Bugs – they will happen but they don’t wreck your entire experience of the game.
The Commitment Bias and Loud Complainers
I find it strange that those who seem to complain the loudest are those that continue paying their subscription and keep playing SWTOR. If your local restaurant gave you food poisoning, the logical reaction would be to eat out someplace else. Of course the likelihood of you getting food poisoning on your next visit is very low, but we tend to overreact to bad experiences.
I think the reason that players of SWTOR who complain loudly but do not cease playing is down to a psychological issue we have as human beings called the Commitment Bias. We have invested so much time in missions, in gearing, in increasing our credit balances, in friendships developed, in characters created and stories written.
To lose all that is a huge step for anyone to take and it’s likely that BioWare count on this bias in order to sustain subscriptions. Not that I personally mind. The risk of losing all that freedom seems too big a sacrifice compared to the cost of £8.99 a month.
It’s called bias because it can prevent us making logical, rational decisions on the data/information to hand. Even if we should give up, we don’t due to the perceived loss or uncertainty that may result from it.
So my problem with people who yell too loudly about SWTOR bugs is that they don’t take the step in unsubscribing, or playing other games. Instead they play, encounter more bugs, complain about them, until they’re fixed and new bugs arise and then they complain about them. It’s an endless cycle.
Yes we pay, but it’s not much reallyConsidering that most play-once kind of games retail at the £40-50 mark here in the UK and if you’re a dedicated gamer you might finish it in a month or two. Then you have to buy a new game. This does assume you buy games new, rather than pre-owned of course. But every time Bioware add new features, or way back when Knights of the Fallen Empire was released, essentially a new game, we got it for our regular subscription.
I know that non-subs pay through the nose for this and yes I think that the one-off fees per chapter are too high, but it’s not the pay-as-you-go folks who seem to complain the loudest. Compared to buying other new games, our subscription is cheap. That means, although we should report bugs to help the developers, we have limited sway in our influence with them.
And I suspect with new members being on-boarded, if those that complained the loudest left, BioWare would still be fine as a business.
Patch Day Disruption
When new expansions and patches are released, people can get really, really impatient. The irony of this is that added stress can make the devs less efficient, not more.
Sure it’s disruptive, but not anywhere near as disruptive as it is for the hardware and software team and the bosses and marketing departments over at BioWare. Cut them some slack.
Get Some Perspective on SWTOR Bugs
A scratch on a wall does not spoil the whole house. So a bug which affects me for maybe a few minutes out of several hours of gameplay does not spoil the overall game. As someone who used to produce web-based software (although not within the gaming sector, sadly), new features can give rise to new bugs, even in old features. This happens because you’re changing things, very often system-wide.
So maybe we should give the developers at SWTOR a break and not let our overall enjoyment of playing this awesome game be overshadowed by relatively minor issues. After all, BioWare know they need to keep the majority of people satisfied to keep their business running. If you’re unhappy, play something you enjoy. But if you enjoy SWTOR, then don’t let the bugs spoil that, and don’t complain so often and so loud that you spoil others’ enjoyment of it.
And also before you complain about something, check to see if it’s not on the current issues list already!
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