SWTOR Bugs and Launch Day Disruption: Give the Developers a Break

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SWTOR Bugs: Give the Devs a BreakIn 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 really

Considering 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.

I’ve stopped reading replies when official game accounts announce issues on launch days. As a former web developer, launch days either work perfectly or the universe implodes. It’s just the nature of the job. So when Jedi Under Siege official went live in December 2018, SWTOR had to take the servers down very quickly. This was because something major kicked off (or might have kicked off).


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.

Pro Tip

And also before you complain about something, check to see if it’s not on the current issues list already!


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2 thoughts on “SWTOR Bugs and Launch Day Disruption: Give the Developers a Break

  1. I usually do complain when bugs are bad, but that’s when they’re bad in the sense of breaking, damaging or corrupting my file, character and so on.

    Take for instance the Romance Letter bug. My Imperial Agent was a jerk. A biiig jerk. The kind that would kill a friendly Jedi SIS guy just because he can. Those of you that have played Chapter 2 of the Agent can probably guess why his brain is so messed up.
    Anyhow, his romance with Ensign Temple changed that. She softened him up, made him want to be a better person.

    Well, according to the game, that romance I spent time, and resources on does not exist. At all. That’s rather jarring. Not to the point that I’ll raise a stink about it all the time, but I did vent about it a few months back.

    The other time I’ll complain is when the developers seem rather unmotivated to deal with a major bug. There have been a few minor instances of this in SWTOR, but nothing too terrible, especially compared to other major games I play/have played.

    All in all, I have to agree that Bioware does need some slack. They’ve had their work force gouged for use in other projects, which certainly isn’t helping their efficiency any. That said, they might want to avoid hyping and advertising for content before it’s actually ready to be released (I’m looking at you, Eternal Championship). Just my ten cents on the matter, by no means is this me saying this *has* to be how people react. =)

    1. People will react the way they want to react. If Ensign Temple, when she is returned Canonically doesn’t recognise your previous relationship, that could be tricky unless the KotFE or post-KotFE story allows you to re-romance her. My Agent just got his letter for Kaliyo which was entitled “Don’t Come Back”. Pretty harsh reading. He might not even want her back when they reunite!

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