Today, we are pleased to announce the first ever Star Wars: The Old Republic Guild Summit, being hosted in Austin, TX in March. Over the course of a few days, guild leaders from around the world will gather together to discuss the state of the game with the developers from BioWare Austin. Guild leaders (or a designated officer in the event of a guild leader being unable to attend) will participate in Q&A sessions with developers, roundtable feedback discussions, and will get a preview of some upcoming game features.
Those of you who are concerned about hotels: We've been working very closely with the DoubleTree to get a great rate for the event, and we've got a block of rooms being held for those who are coming. In addition, we're working with hotels in the immediate area to get a variety of rates for anyone who wishes to come. No one needs to worry about having to wait until the last minute to book hotels, as that's something we've already taken care of. If your guild's application is accepted, we'll be in touch with all the options we've put together in the Austin area.
If you have more questions about the event, I encourage you to email email@example.com and I'll be happy to provide more information.
Quote:Originally Posted by rhirneOHHH.. you mean the ones where the only questions that are "answered" are those that have been asked and answered 3412139418 times via forums, official posts, videos, etc...
In this case, we're specifically inviting guild leaders who are actively playing the game. While we're inviting guilds from all walks of life, the application process is there because we want to be able to raise the level of discourse we hold with the leaders, and so we can have serious, in-depth discussions about the state of the game. This event isn't just a Q&A like we've done previously, this is a two-way conversation between the people making the game and the people playing the game, and I think that makes a huge difference with this event vs. conventions we've visited in the past.
Hello everyone, thanks for your comments so far. I wanted to address a few things that have come up.
Quote:Originally Posted by LorekiAgain, some effort to include European players would be nice. A separate summit session would be ideal - a small number (5 or 10?) funded places for Europeans to travel over would perhaps wind up being a cheaper alternative.
That said, if the event is a success, a future European summit isn't out of the question. For this event, we have already invited a number of EU guild leaders.
Quote:Originally Posted by LiberateGreat, so the mega guilds will be the only ones to get a say.
Quote:Originally Posted by FettAfter all, given this is an online game, isn't everyone's opinion valid and isn't the web the best medium for presenting material like this?
With that said, we're aware that some might not be able to attend and are looking for alternative ways to participate. We'll have more information on how you'll be able to contribute soon.
Quote:Originally Posted by ManiacZXDoes the person applying for this have to be the "Guild Leader" in terms of the top position in the structure of the guild or merely part of the Guild Leadership?
Last thing; there's been a certain amount of concern in this thread that we're 'expecting' or 'forcing' people to attend the summit. To give you some background, when we held our last Fan Site Summit, at which we invited a number of SWTOR fan sites out to Austin, we heard from a lot of other fan sites that they would have been interested in coming if they were able to pay their own way.
When we started planning the Guild Summit, we decided we would invite a select number of guild leaders to Austin at our expense, just like the Fan Site Summit. In addition, we decided to open applications to all guild leaders who were interested in attending at their own expense. So far, judging by the pile of applications we've received today, plenty of people are interested in joining us in Austin and we're looking forward to welcoming everyone.
We're building this event to gather a broad spectrum of opinions, both from those attending in person and those of you in the wider community. We're not excluding anyone, even if they can't make it to Austin.
Quote:Originally Posted by FiachsidheHow are you not excluding people, if only a tiny sliver of your player base can even apply, and then you have to be selected? You're excluding most of your players before applications even begin!
Naturally, we can't host a summit and invite the entire population of the game to attend; it's physically not possible. I can understand your feelings that those 'in the room' have a stronger voice than those out of it, but we're taking that into account in our planning.
Quote:Originally Posted by BregahAlso, like someone else said, this announcement gives the impression they'll start ASKING what people want in March, and then start coding/implementing it.
We are certainly not holding back on development of these features until the summit happens, although we do hope that during the summit when we talk about future development, we'll get some validation from the community as a whole (and not just those attending) that we're on the right track. (And why are we waiting until the summit? Well, the development team isn't quite ready to talk about many of these features yet, but we've challenged them to ensure they are by the summit.)
Finally, I appreciate the feedback in this thread, but I'd ask you to remain constructive in your comments.
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Quote:Originally Posted by JadarraIt also makes sense to choose 'representatives', and the best representatives for the masses are the guild leaders. If you disagree, explain how you would choose 'representatives' from millions of people? Who can provide not only 'individual' feedback, but 'collective' feedback from more than one viewpoint? If you're saying a lottery system accomplishes this, I fail to see the logic. Individuals would provide feedback from one viewpoint, theirs. Guild leaders have collective viewpoints, have heard various complaints and ideas from more than one person and can provide much more in terms of quality than an individual member.
The only part of this that makes me say, 'that sucks' is the lack of compensation. BW should cover the costs.
While I understand everyone's opinions here, apparently we're stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one. Previously (for the Fan Site Summits) we invited a select group; we got complaints that it should have been open to others even if they paid for themselves. In this case we invite a select group and in addition open up attendance to anyone who wishes to apply, and some are frustrated that we're asking people to attend at their own expense. Like I said, we understand people's reactions, but we won't be able to please everyone.
Quote:Originally Posted by limenutpenIs good but I hope a European summit will take place in a later stage, somewhere around Europe.
By the servers looks like Europe is 40% of the numbers of this game. So Bioware, EA should start to check us as well.
Quote:Originally Posted by TarkaAlso, what about those who weren't invited by Bioware, and didn't get one of the limited available spots?
Once again, I'd like to ask for comments to remain constructive in this thread. We are proceeding with the summit and would love to hear your comments about how we can make it a success.
Quote:Originally Posted by Residentx_NAAny one want split a room with me at the Marriott? 119.00 is the nightly rate. PM me when they get send out the invites.
that way it's 60.00/night per person.
As some of you have been asking about our criteria for the selection of guilds who we've already invited to the Guild Summit, here's some insight.
Guilds were selected with the ultimate aim of ensuring we had a broad representative mixture of guild sizes, playstyles and geographical locations at the summit (with the assumption that no-one might turn up of their own accord). We have guilds from all types of playstyles, large guilds (2,000+ members), small guilds (20 members) and guilds from across North America and Europe. (Note: many guilds are multi-national; our invites were for guild leaders, who were mostly located in NA/EU.) Guilds were also selected because of their constructive and critical feedback during testing of The Old Republic, both pre-launch and post-launch.
Beyond that, we won't be commenting further on our selection criteria. We've invited a large number of guild leaders, but naturally we could not invite everyone - hence our decision to allow interested guild leaders to attend if they chose to. Further dissection of the selection criteria will only lead to speculation and argument. I can assure you that no guild leader is being invited to Austin because they are 'friends with a developer' or anything similar.
It should also be noted that none of the criteria detailed above are exact guidelines on the selection of guild leaders who apply to attend the summit, beyond the general idea that we still want to have a mix of playstyles, guild sizes and locations. (Please note, we did not ask for a guild membership number as part of the application process.)
The initial aim of this thread was to announce the Guild Summit and to answer any questions regarding it. While I can appreciate people's varying opinions on the summit, turning this thread into a continuous argument about the summit's existence or our potential motives is not productive.
Everyone's views have now been clearly stated and noted. We'll be happy to answer further questions about the summit itself, but back and forth arguments have no place here.