This is OpsCom, where we bring you a weekly dose of Operations-related content from the world of Star Wars: The Old Republic. This column will serve as an inside scoop on new content, developer feedback and community gossip. Stay tuned in the coming weeks, and we will keep you up to date on all the news you need to stay on the cutting edge.
In this week's OpsCom, we'll look at a request to lift some of the group size requirements from less challenging content. Also, we'll have a look at a discussion of strategy related to Explosive Conflict HM, as well as advice for players entering the group finder. For these, your Community Spotlight, and more, hit the jump.
*Editor's Note: I would like to apologize for the post going up kind of late; I've been dealing with a bit of the flu that seems to be going around, so I'll do my best this week to keep up. Thanks for your continued patronage and patience.
Weekly News Round-Up
Not much news has come out in recent days regarding the upcoming expansion, but this is just to remind you folks that I'm staying on top of it and will report anything as soon as it's announced. For a reminder of the pre-order incentives, please visit this link for a look at the items, and keep checking our front page for news as it's available.
In a thread over on the official forums, Lymain makes a request to BioWare to remove some of the group limits for the majority of the less challenging content. For their opinion on the matter, and to weigh in with your own, head on over and take a look.
I always enjoy seeing the Community at-large sharing information and strategy on boss encounters; as such, TripleMe on the official forums has made a post inquiring about strategies specific to EC HM. Why not skip over there and give them some advice yourself?
Tolerance and patience are two virtues that you really can never see enough in online gaming, particularly in the MMO community. Mercathode on the official forums made a post detailing exactly this, giving tips for new players to avoid being removed from a group for simple mistakes, as well as tips for veteran players on how to remain cool and calm under the pressure of a less experienced player. Have a look at the official thread and let them know how you feel.
In this week's Community Spotlight, we'll highlight a video of <Select Few> on The Harbinger taking on Toth and Zorn in the 16-man version of NiM Explosive Conflict. Hats off to you folks for a good video, and bonus points for a great song!
Are you interested in having your guild featured here? Send me a PM here on the site and give us a general run down. Submissions should include Guild Name, Faction, Server and how far your guild has progressed. Bonus points for a YouTube video of any boss kills that we can feature in this section.
Op-Ed: Patience is a Virtue
One of our news items this week touched on this subject, but I wanted to go a bit more in-depth on it since it's near and dear to me. As is often the case in PvP queues, there are players who are displeased with the relative skill level of those on their team; the PvE group finder is no different at all. Given the scope of an MMO, you're bound to come across all manner of players, with a wide variety of skill and ability. My personal experience has largely been a positive one, with a few bad examples sprinkled in every so often. I'm a big supporter of giving someone a fair shake before using the game's vote kicking feature, because I believe it's a big red button that has a variety of uses, most of which I view as a "last resort" type option. But, let's examine this issue from each side of the field and take it from there, shall we?
For those of you who are new to the game, or new to MMO's in general, you're probably wondering why someone would get so upset over a game, particularly because this is generally viewed as a fun activity. Or maybe you can understand why they'd get upset, but you still think the should pump the brakes a bit. Largely I would say that you're correct; I've never been a big fan of someone who prefers to scream at people across a virtual environment because things aren't going their way. However, it's also important to note a few things. Given the game's recent arrival as a free to play environment, there has been a large influx of players, and many of them have never played an MMO before. As such, they lack some of the more basic or requisite skills needed in order to do well in this game. Keeping that in mind, you never know that the "angry" person has been through previous to your arrival, especially if you're showing up halfway through a Flashpoint. Patience is indeed a virtue, but only when both sides choose to exercise it. So, keeping that in mind, make sure you know what you're getting into; there are great guides available on the internet, as well as YouTube guides, covering all of the Flashpoints, with detailed strategies from every point of view. You owe it to your group-mates to know the fights going in, and to at least give it your best effort. For me, personally, a little effort will go a long way; and if I can recognize that someone is putting in a ton of effort, I'm bound to give them a lot more slack with regards to stupid mistakes, particularly mispulls or standing in circles that don't benefit you. So, keep your wits about you, be aware, be honest about your experience level, and have some compassion for a group that might've just been through a hellish experience prior to your arrival.
As for those of us who are seasoned veterans of the game; we need to foster the newcomers to the game and show them that this is a fun and exciting environment to play in, not a hellish landscape filled with unsympathetic rageaholics and generally unpleasant people. You're definitely in the right expecting a player to come into a Flashpoint or Operation knowing the fight, at the very least. They should also have a fair grasp of their class and role, particularly because their solo exploit now involves the time and energy of other players. Still, try to exercise some patience here; if someone makes a stupid mistake, give them the benefit of the doubt and ask them if they understand what went wrong, and help them understand what they can do to fix it. I know that it will require some effort on your part, and that they should've known these things to begin with, but you'd be surprised at how capable someone can be, given the opportunity. I mean, let's face it; some people are just here to play a game and have a good time, and haven't done some of the research that many of us have. And there will always be multiple arguments from both sides of the aisle on this one, but I'm definitely a proponent of giving people a chance. That being said, the vote kick option is there for a reason, and sometimes the harshest lessons are the best. If you find that a player is unable or unwilling to step it up, then use the kick and be done with it. There's no reason to scream at them, insult them personally, or anything in between. Just kick them, and voila.
In conclusion, and to tie both points together, do yourselves a favor, folks, and try to get along well with one another. It's a really good feeling when you're willing to take someone under your wing and show them the ropes, and guide them into becoming a better player overall. And there's absolutely no shame in asking your fellow players for help, so don't hesitate. Whether or not they're willing to do so is, of course, entirely up to them; but you can't be faulted for seeking help or advice.
Thanks once again for reading, everyone, and please let me know how you feel about this issue, or the article in general, in the comments section below. And, as always, take care and we'll see you again later in the week.