Dear BioWare

I’ve been a fan of your games since you made Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic back in 2003.  Mass Effect got my creative juices flowing to the point I wrote over two dozen fan fiction involving my canon FemShep and her love, Liara.  They had those little blue children mentioned in the Shadow Broker DLC.  I’m hoping Andromeda does the same the trilogy did and gets me writing about my Ryder like I did with my Shepard.   For some reason, I doubt it because of what you’ll do with the story telling.

Story telling is what BioWare is known for but the last two games I’ve played, the Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion for The Old Republic and Dragon Age: Inquisition has very poor story telling.  Both Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age: Inquisition had uneven romances between the two sexes.  A female Shepard loses two of the three romances from the 2nd game.  Male Shepard can continue all three romances from 2.  The best part of Jacob Taylor’s romance arc is this…

 

While Mass Effect 3 had plenty of feels depending on your actions in the two previous games.  Especially if you save the genophage cure data in 2 and shoot Mordin from using it in 3 with Wrex and Eve still alive.  Lots of drama there.  But that’s the last game you’ve made or content you’ve made for your MMO that has consequences to your choices.

I’m not going to go into too much about how you treated the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 users as a money grab without following through to support those consoles when it came to DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition.  Let me put it this way, Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 2 and 3 all looked better on the Xbox 360 than Dragon Age: Inquistion.  Because of the poor graphic quality, honestly, that game should not have been released on the old gen.  The support for those consoles was lacking and out of three story based DLC, only one of those was released on the old gen.

 

To get to the actual reason why I’m posting this, Star Wars: The Old Republic-The Knights of the Fallen Empire.  I’ve been playing the game since late March/early April 2013.  Right before Rise of the Hutt Cartel was released.  I rarely play without being a subscriber.  Mostly because of the gates the game has in place for free-to-play players plus I felt the game was worth my money.   I really enjoyed the class stories, which ended after the end of chapter 3 quest once you finished off Coreilla.  I enjoyed the Hutt Cartel story line only on the Imperial side, the Republic side was only okay, but I can say that about a lot of the Republic in general.   I have 19 characters on the Shadowlands with most of them being created on The Bastion and moved them over.  I ran 10 of them through the first nine chapters, but only two of them through chapter 16.

Knights of the Fallen Empire expansion has been and is an utter failure.  The marketing team promoted Choices Matter and they didn’t matter at all.  The story is the worst I’ve ever seen BioWare write.  I’m extremely embarrassed Drew Karpyshyn is listed on the credits.  First project with his name as a writer that the story utterly sucked, especially chapters 10-16 with chapter 12 being the worst in way how I felt after I was done playing it.  I unsubbed, that’s how I felt.  This was April, I’ve not subbed since.  I’ve been waiting for chapter 16 to come back.

I wish I had kept my $15 and bought a single player indie game with that money after I resubbed over the weekend and finished up the story as through chapter 16.  I feel lied to, my choices didn’t matter at all.  I ran my dark side sniper and my light side commando through all 16 chapters and I can’t bring myself to run another class through it, why bother?  It’s the same no matter which faction I am in or what I do.    I made a list of choices during the chapters, I’m sure I’ve missed some and the consequences of those choices.

Choices that should matter but don’t

Chapter 1-Save a few soldiers or not.   Changes dialogue in chapter 6 for 1 NPC

Sound the alarm to get the crew to the escape pods or jam ship   Changes dialogue in chapter 6 for 1 NPC

Kneel to Valkorion or not   Changed dialogue with Valkorian in chapter 12. Dictates what Arcann does to attack his father

Chapter 2-None

Chapter 3-Save the reactor from exploding or not   Makes Koth happy and Senya Annoyes Lana if you save it, nothing comes of this later

Show mercy to the Zakuul Knight or allow Lana to kill him.   Matters not, Valyiln kills him anyway for failure if you let him live.

Chapter 4-Save refugees in swamp or not   Koth is happy if you save them, nothing else comes of this

Can tell Lana about Valkorion being part of you or not   Nothing comes of this, Lana is grateful you told her, that’s it

Chapter 5-Use Valkorion’s power to save Lana or not.   Not equals Lana only getting hurt because Koth saves her.

Chapter 6-Kill Tanno Vik or not. Even Tropper loses this companion because he’s not coming back, period.  He shows up to fight in chapter 8.

Play nice with the Scions or be a jerk Nothing comes of this.

Chapter 7-Stop Senya from hurting informant   Nothing comes from this

Choice to have either Senya or Koth with you.   Other is pissed

Chapter 8-Use Valkorian’s power or not.   If not, get stabbed with Arcann’s lightsaber or deal with Valkorion’s power overwhelming your body  You are dying either way and Valkorion is why the character is still alive.

Chapter 9-None, fluffy wrap-up chapter with busy work.   Nothing comes from getting the Alliance specialists to level 20

Chapter 10-Allow Kaliyo to blow up the city.   Koth leaves if Kalyio blows stuff up Koth steals Gravestone at the end of chapter 16

Chapter 11- None

Chapter 12-Who to send on mission with Commander, Catdude or Kaliyo.   The one you didn’t send disobeys your order.  Can exile them from the Alliance in chapter 13

Pick how you assemble your new weapon   Don’t even need the weapon in the end when 60% of the fight is with a shield lying on the ground in chapter 16.

Chapter 13-None

Chapter 14-Tell the Mandos about the info Theron gave you or not. Gets a lot of people killed if you don’t.

Undermining Manalore’s authority with the other clans, especially Khotto Fett or not    Nothing comes of this outside a letter from Fett.

Chapter 15-Can save two of the three groups, Imp, Pub, Zakull.   Nothing comes of this outside of a few comments from NPC at the end of the chapter.

Chapter 16-Nothing in the previous chapters made a difference here outside of Koth taking the Gravestone at the end of the chapter, which means nothing we did for 15 chapters meant a damn thing.

I promise you this, if the next expansion is released monthly, I’ll wait until all of it released, play through it once with my sniper and unsub again.   There is no replay value to it, none.   This started with Shadow of Revan.  That too had very little replay value to it.  The story is the same for both factions.  Stop doing that.  I’m a solo player and I absolutely hate the personal instances.  It makes being in a group to do quest harder than it needs to be.  Stop thinking a few different lines of dialogue is going to placate the players desire for their class to have meaning.  You gave us one in Shadow of Revan.  I enjoyed that very much, but it was one quest.  Please test the game better.  Honestly, the broken state the game is released in and EA has a lot of games released that way is also turning me off on The Old Republic.

I have plenty of hours invested into the game, I love story, but stop promoting things you can’t follow through on.  Stop saying how exciting things are coming down the line and then when we get it, it’s broken and lackluster at best.   The personal instance on Odessen is broken when you are in a group because the entire group gets dropped into the same instance.  Please get rid of the personal instance.  Allow people to group together to get stuff done, not just help them with it then having to do it again for yourself.  Forced solo play is as bad as forced group play.  Players want choice.  I’m a solo player 90% of the time, but the 10% is enough to turn me off on the stuff since Shadow of Revan and especially the stuff on Odessen

Do better BioWare, do better because I know you can do better.  BioWare is known for their stories and the stories the past few years have been lacking.  I just finished playing Knights of the Old Republic again on PC, which was a first on PC.  I also own it on Xbox.  The story was more engaging, the choices felt they mattered.  Being dark was very different from being light.  The Old Republic isn’t giving me that.  Light/dark, it’s all the same in the end.

I want nothing more than to enjoy your future games as much as I do the older ones.   I’m a small streamer on Twitch and I play Mass Effect every Monday.  Once I finish 3, I create a new Shepard.  I’ve also been playing Knights of the Old Republic on stream.  Showing these games off.  But I won’t stream The Old Republic again.  Last time I did that, I raged quit after PvPing while being at the end of chapter 11 and having the color switches to lower the force shield down glitched out forcing me to restart the instance.

While I’m just a baby streamer, I do bring people in to watch your games.  Hell, I tell people they need to read the three books by Drew Karpyshyn when it comes to Mass Effect because they give good background to things in the game.  Like why is Tali and the quarians are so pissed off and mistrusting of Cerberus at the beginning of Mass Effect 2.  I want to be able to give glowing reviews on your games and Mass Effect 3 is the last game I can give a glowing review about.

I know you can do better, so please do so this fan begs you.  Do better at story telling.  Make choices actually matter and have ending that differ from each other.  Which hasn’t happened since Knights of the Old Republic.

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