Hyperspace Beacon: Three things SWTOR’s Eternal Championship needs

    
10
Hello BioWare,

It’s me again, your average Star Wars: The Old Republic fan. You remember when I complained about Chapter 10 of Knights of the Fallen Empire not being entertaining enough for the average MMO player? Yes, well, I’m back again, and I just spent the weekend playing through your latest bit of content on the Public Test Server: the Eternal Championship. And I’m having mixed emotions about this; I’m not sure how to feel. I want to say that you’re on the right track because I see a few things that are spot on, and I don’t think that you could have done them better. But then I look at other parts of the Championship and think that maybe it could have been improved on.

I don’t want to be that guy who complains about everything unless it fits into his little bubble of perfection. I believe that my version of perfection is clearly not the same as everyone else. However, I would like to take a reasonable approach to some of the items that could take the Eternal Championship from good to great. A couple of them would be time consuming to create, and it’s clearly too late to implement them if you’re launching the Championship in a month. However, you might be able to drop these ideas into the content later.

So without further ado, here are my three changes that I believe you should add to the Eternal Championship.

hsb-mop-2016-eternal-champion-02

Gear stats

Let’s start with this thread on Reddit. Now, don’t get me wrong; the only place more full of complaints about SWTOR than Reddit is the official forums, and no one wants to comb through that mess. However, one thread specifically asks a question I asked myself: Whom are the gear drops for?

I understand the problem. You can’t have the Eternal Championship drop top raid-level gear, or the few raiders that you have left will complain that you’re complete negating anything that raids have to offer. Although I would argue that would not be the case if some of my other suggestions were put into place, I’ll concede the point in the present situation. But the current gear drops are not beneficial to the player who can actually defeat the boss they drop from.

Many players will complain about the difficulty of the Championship bosses. To those players I ask, “Isn’t it about time there was something challenging in the game?” However, I will point out that the 204 blues that drop from most of the champions will be completely worthless to anyone who is having difficulty beating the bosses in the first place, and there is little to no chance that those same players would be able to complete any of the weeklies to get the Championship Trophies. If they are lucky, they will be able to get two trophies from the Lanos weekly quest, but forget about their being able to get past Nocturno and Drake Raven.

(On a completely unrelated note, I love the Batman and Robin reference in Nocturno and Drake Raven. Raven even drops a utility belt. Good one, BioWare.)

hsb-mop-2016-eternal-champion-01Achievements and leaderboards

I really don’t really have an issue with the achievements in the Eternal Championship. They are logical, and they flow really well with the Eternal Championship itself. But I wonder if there shouldn’t be more.

Disregarding any achievements that might be hidden — although the points don’t suggest that there are hidden achievements — I can see there are the basic achievements for killing each of the bosses, then there are achievements for killing all the bosses on each class, and then there two extreme achievements: killing all the bosses in under 15 minutes and killing all the bosses without dying. And I love all of them. There is a clear progression for each. They build off each other.

However, I’ve seen some people on test center who already had all the achievements. I’m sure that’s an edge case, but 52% of the achievements are gained just by doing the Championship once. I believe you can make some achievements that are possible, but not done easily. For instance, I’d like to see an achievement for killing all the bosses without a companion. Or maybe you can make an achievement for clearing it in a non-DPS class. Here’s a silly one: an achievement for dying to every boss or your companion dying in every fight when you win anyway.

Taking the achievements a step further, I think you also need to add a leaderboard. You can base it on the fastest time per Advanced Class and overall fastest. You can also break that down into the speed for each fight. I’d love to see that, and I think that Bartle’s Killer-type player would love to see that, too.

hsb-mop-2016-eternal-champion-04

Hard modes

I think you know this one was coming. I honestly don’t know why you haven’t mentioned them yet. So I’m going to say it for you: The Eternal Championship needs hard modes. As I said, we already have players who have blown through the content. I understand that this is way less than 5% of the overall population, but the truth of the matter is that this 5% is very vocal. And if you have people who are already saying that it’s easy and that no one should subscribe to it, then that ultimately hurts the bottom line more than just the 5%.

Although I’m sure that I would never be able to beat it, I would like to see hard modes that are on the bleeding edge of the DPS race. Of course, you might have to adjust the mechanics slightly for each fight, but they should be extremely tough — so tough that it is frustrating for even the top 5%.

The rewards should not be raid gear, either. In fact, I don’t think that stat gear should be the reward at all. But titles, pets, non-stat gear, and mounts should be the rewards. If you’re still looking for a way to keep the Arbiter’s saber cool and rare, this could be your outlet.

I’ve said my piece, and I appreciate your listening. I do like the Eternal Championship, but if it’s left the way it is, I will forget about it a couple of weeks after it releases. I look forward to seeing yours thoughts. And I also would like to see what other players think about the Eternal Championship.

May the Force be with you,

Larry

hsb-mop-2016-eternal-champion-03

Every other week, Larry Everett jumps into his T-16 back home, rides through the hypergates of BioWare‘s Star Wars: The Old Republic, and posts his adventures in the Hyperspace Beacon. Drop him a holocom on Twitter @Shaddoe or send him a transmission at larry@massivelyop.com. Now strap yourself in, kid — we gotta make the jump to hyperspace!
Advertisement

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Woetoo
Guest
Woetoo

Another solution for introducing a new raider into a team could be that raid bosses can drop schematics for low level crafted raid gear and maybe a material used to craft it.
Nobody in the raid team would want that gear, so guilds would just put it in the bank until such time as “Tom’s brother wants to join a raid”.
By having the schematics/materials dropped by bosses would mean that during the early raiding cycle, players would need to actually raid to get raid gear too. Perhaps throw a few “raiding gear materials” into non-raiding activities (like dailies), so new players can contribute to their starter gear rather than just having it handed to them (and in the process introduce the repetitive style of raiding by exposing them to the repetitive nature of some other PvE aspect of the game). Or introduce a universal “time sink” currency into the game, which players can accumulate over time served. Then use that currency to buy materials. Those materials being used to craft gear for specific areas of the game.
Another advantage in my eyes of this would be that a “new raider” would need to speak to the guild’s leadership/crafters before joining a raid. It works on both a social introduction level and a vetting process for zealous raiders.
And yes, I realise the reasoning here is exactly the same thing that games have gotten rid of in things like PvP gear to make those aspects of the game more accessible to someone who just wants to “dip in to try it”. I think that logic is flawed. People don’t have to work to earn their rewards/places within a team. But then I’ve never understood the rationality of non-raiders wanting full 220/224 gear for story content which is tuned around the 190/200 mark. Or perhaps, what I mean is that I don’t understand why someone should be rewarded for not participating.

Woetoo
Guest
Woetoo

As an aside, and in support of a horizontal progression idea…
I wonder if the whole gearing issue could be solved by having raiding gear include something like “fire resistance”. Raiding gear would be worse than story gear stats wise, but still BiS for actual raiding. Anyone who didn’t raid wouldn’t need it, nor want it. Anyone who did, would have a reason to work for it.
Yes, it would re-introduce a barrier to entry for new raiders who start to gear up towards the middle or end of a raiding cycle. But that could be solved in any number of ways. A simple one being to have starter raid gear as rewards for stuff like dailies. Again, anyone who’s not interested in raiding could pick the higher stat non-raid reward and someone who is interested in raiding could build a starter raid set pretty quickly by just putting a bit of effort it.

Woetoo
Guest
Woetoo

I whole heartedly agree with the idea of leader boards. It’s exactly the sort of horizontal progression system that needs to be added to a game with only a notional vertical progression these days. I’d have weekly and monthly server wide viewable scorecards. Quickest kills, highest single hit, bracketed by class and/or gear scale. But then I’d have the same thing for raids too. Something to introduce a bit of competition to make the repetition interesting. Hell, I’d introduce a system that scales the boss’s abilities and health pool according to your previous weekly “score”. Then add a leader board for whoever managed to push that number the highest.
I’m confused by the risk / reward elements here. I haven’t tried the championship on the PTS, but if it’s tuned at a level that 204 gear is an upgrade – then it’s going to be ridiculously easy. I appreciate that Bioware need to keep the story content tuned at a level where someone new, levelling a brand new character 2 years from now without doing flashpoints or raids – will still be able to level their character. But this isn’t levelling content, this is a repeatable event. Entirely optional, even now. And honestly, I hit level 65 by Chapter 7 or 8 on most of my characters… this will be Chapter 13. Plus current players aren’t in levelling gear. It’s hard to imagine anyone who still semi active not being in full 220 gear by now. Even full 224 was common when I stopped actively playing 5 months ago.
I’d be fine with a final boss that dropped 220 gear that was HARD to kill in full 224 gear. Even if only 5% of the population were capable of killing it. Because being part of that 5% would be awesome. But being part of the group that managed to kill the 2nd to last boss would be awesome too, for those who know they really worked hard to beat it. I’m a casual raider. I know from about 15 years of playing MMO’s that I’m not all that good. I’ll never top someone DPS meter and I’m fine with that. But SWTOR’s story difficulty bores me – so I’m looking for content that I feel I’ve earned my progress. I hope an optional event that someone levelling in a couple of years will probably never do is going to deliver some of that. I doubt it though. Sadly, I’m expecting more Valkorion / Arcann style fight, where the difficult is purely the boss’s hit points – and therefore just makes the fights long, not challenging.

sray155
Guest
sray155

I’m in pretty much the same place myself at this point: I have almost zero reason to log in after I run the new chapter a few times. Except for nightmare mode gear, anything else can be purchased for credits leaving power progression a mess, and companion affection can also be blown through by buying gifts. Non-raid group content is also a mess: most tacticals aren’t properly tuned for non-trinity groups nor for sub-50 players; and too many hard mode flashpoints take upwards of 45 minutes or more under ideal circumstances (call me a jerk, but I don’t like committing more than 20 to 25 minutes at a time to other people when I can get called away at any moment for an extended period of time). So seeing the current state of the EC is very disheartening to me as well.

Qarran
Guest
Qarran

Hey… I’m just glad to have a new game “mode”.  I’ll be in there mixing it up.  Yes, the difficulty needs to amp up as you move torward that final boss.  And it should be more enjoyable for groups as you progress forward too.  That final boss should be soloable for those geared and skilled enough to do it, but it should be good fun for groups too.

As for the drops?  Meh… I get my relevant drops from raiding.  I think top tier drops should remain there.  Now what Arena should drop is unique items in terms of outfit boxes and mounts.  Rare and unique.  That will keep people farming.

Yea…. the fun factor is key to making people stay to farm Arenas.  We will see…

TheDonDude
Guest
TheDonDude

Theodrax I would have thought that “solo/duo player with decent but not great gear” would be the target demo for the EC, no?

Theodrax
Guest
Theodrax

All I know is that these days I log in after the new patch, play through it, bum around for an evening or two and then am done for another month.  If they don’t come up with something to hold my attention for a bit longer then I’ll probably drop my subscription all together here soon.  I had hopes that the Championship might be that fun thing to keep me going, but as a largely solo/duo player with decent but not great gear, this is starting to have me worried.

sray155
Guest
sray155

Fun is the thing still lacking. I got through the first 5 fights and said “bleh”. Then I logged out because I know that if I complete it on the test server and what is there gets pushed live, I won’t play it live. It is lacking any anf all fun, and if they want players playing it in its current condition, they’re going to have to significantly beef up the rewards to make players ignore the grind of just completing it once, let alone multiple times.
The EC has the same problem that all the post level 60 combat does: it’s a monotonous slog. Not just the ridiculously scripted boss fights (I prefer randomized, brief fights that test player skill over long fights that test the player’s ability to memorize and regurgitate a script), but even fighting minions in KotFE is terrible. I don’t know exactly what does it, but I suspect the global nerf to player damage potential in 3.0 combined with buffing hitpoints in 4.0 plays a large part in it.

camelotcrusade
Guest
camelotcrusade

Nice.  If those are the major complaints then I will probably enjoy this when I jump back in.  Those aren’t issues that matter to me.

TheDonDude
Guest
TheDonDude

My favorite murderous robot and I are looking forward to tackling this this new content.  As a raider I’m very curious to see how the challenge stacks up.

(I mean SCORPIO, of course).