Hope this letter finds you all well. Here we are roughly three months after unveiling some significant changes to Star Wars Galaxies geared towards delivering the ultimate immersive Star Wars experience. Though not all elements of the new direction were welcomed by all players with open arms, we still see that the majority (~80%) of players still in the game were playing before the changes were unveiled and implemented. We also continue to have more and more players enter the galaxy daily through the demo, almost 200,000 players to date.
First, we'd like to thank everyone who has been posting their feedback and that we want to keep hearing from you in an effort to improve the game experience. We appreciate your passion and your involvement in the community. Towards the end of last year, the team made many of the changes, adjustments, and fixes you were asking for and we're going to continue to try and do this in an effort to improve Galaxies for current players as well as new players.
Refining, Fixing, & Improving The Existing Game
Our number-one priority is on improving the existing game. We are dedicating significant development resources to polish the existing experience. One of the biggest facets the new game enhancements got knocked for was that many elements were broken. Quests would break halfway-through or not trigger at all, quest NPC's and enemies wouldn't be where they were supposed-to, as well as other issues that literally made portions of the game unplayable or simply not fun to play. Our main goal of this top priority is to fix all existing issues to the highest standard of quality, not just-enough to where they are playable. There are a lot of annoying bugs out there and we want to knock ‘em out for good!
One of the key efforts of our focus on existing game improvement will be to give all publishes extensive time on Test Center so that you all can have time to evaluate and share your feedback with us so we can make any necessary adjustments before we push them to the live game.
We certainly want to see as many new features and improvements to Galaxies as possible, but we're focusing on the quality over the quantity of features going-forward. As we mentioned, this will also include addressing the issues that already exist in the game. O ur approach is to make sure that as much attention is paid to addressing bugs as is to implementing new features. This approach will also affect the frequency of publishes this year. However, this does not mean we have reduced efforts to fix bugs and issues via hotfixes. We are confident our approach in terms of frequency of publishes will allow us to deliver better, cleaner, and more fun Star Wars content. The end result is that everything new and that is fixed in the game is going to undergo a lot more scrutiny, both internally and from the community. We know this will result in a much higher-quality experience for everyone.
As I mentioned, our goals aren't limited to refining and fixing the existing game. In an effort to improve it as well, we are focusing heavily on giving players the opportunity to differentiate themselves within their chosen profession from others within the same profession. The first you will see of these efforts is in tomorrow's Publish 27 in which we are introducing new abilities to the Jedi profession. We plan to do the same for all nine of our iconic professions across the board. In addition to adding new abilities, we eventually will be introducing new skills for each profession to give players further opportunity to differentiate themselves. Look for information on these skills to be popping-up on the boards in the coming months. Remember, your feedback on these abilities and skills is essential to their successful implementation.
Increasing Interaction With Community
Community is an important part of the Star Wars Galaxies experience – it is as important as the game's design itself. We're going to be listening to your feedback and posting much more about the issues and features that are important to everyone. Moving forward we will make sure we have a much stronger dev presence on the boards. Though we may not always be posting, we are always listening.
As part of this effort, we'll be posting more details about upcoming features on the forums so we can get your feedback before any of these features are set in stone. We'll start by posting information, publishing the features to Test Center , and getting your feedback on how each of these features plays. We will then be able to more effectively polish the overall experience before anything makes it to the live game.
As all things develop, we'll be letting everyone know what's going on with more frequent letters from the producers and other members of the development team in addition to our more frequent interaction with you all on the boards.
Until next time – may the Force be with you!
Julio Torres, Producer – LucasArts