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Chapter 16 Discussion

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I personally feel like your entire bullet list just sort of ignores many things in favor of supporting personal bias of dislike, but I will try to address some of them anyway--

There is a difference between bias and opinion. It is possible to be objective and to debate rationally, your opinion. And see other point of views. He is expressing his frustrations, to which are very valid. I read through his list. I read through yours. None of yours answers anything, to the problems and inconsistencies of the story. You can't defend bad writing in the justification of the thinly-veiled 'it will be continued' -- Good writers don't leave more holes open then they close, during a story.

Knights of the Fallen Empire, unfortunately, suffers from the issue of the fact that they did not set out to deliver on their promises. They contradicted the idea of the open-ended scripts, that is all that KOTFE had to do. Was respect the choices the Outlander made.
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Posted Aug 9, 16 · OP
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wrote:
You can't defend bad writing in the justification of the thinly-veiled 'it will be continued' -- Good writers don't leave more holes open then they close, during a story.


I don't agree with this statement at all, because you are not reading a finished product in this case. If you only read 4 chapters of an 8 chapter book, and expect everything to make sense to you that is not exactly a reasonable expectation. This is essentially the midpoint of the total story not the end or even the beginning of the end. We are not even in the climax stage of the story process of the entire plotline, we are still in the Rising Action phase. Tying up loose ends comes after the Climax before the resolution.
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Posted Aug 9, 16 · Last edited Aug 9, 16
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wrote:
You can't defend bad writing in the justification of the thinly-veiled 'it will be continued' -- Good writers don't leave more holes open then they close, during a story.


I don't agree with this statement at all, because you are not reading a finished product in this case. If you only read 4 chapters of an 8 chapter book, and expect everything to make sense to you that is not exactly a reasonable expectation. This is essentially the midpoint of the total story not the end or even the beginning of the end. We are not even in the climax stage of the story process of the entire plotline, we are still in the Rising Action phase. Tying up loose ends comes after the Climax before the resolution.


Except KOTFE was marketed as an entire expansion. A single product. If we're using a book analogy, it would be its own book. Yes, I know cliffhangers are used when there's going to be a sequel, but even when that's the case, major arcs are wrapped up. That did not happen here. Not even remotely.
Posted Aug 9, 16 · Last edited Aug 9, 16
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wrote:
You can't defend bad writing in the justification of the thinly-veiled 'it will be continued' -- Good writers don't leave more holes open then they close, during a story.


I don't agree with this statement at all, because you are not reading a finished product in this case. If you only read 4 chapters of an 8 chapter book, and expect everything to make sense to you that is not exactly a reasonable expectation. This is essentially the midpoint of the total story not the end or even the beginning of the end. We are not even in the climax stage of the story process of the entire plotline, we are still in the Rising Action phase. Tying up loose ends comes after the Climax before the resolution.


while that's a fair argument

a whole expansion is a whole expansion

i dont know about you but we've all done chapter 1-3 of every class story; all raised far more question then answered, multiple times across the board-- there is still far more unwrapped and unfinished that bioware will never visit

it is responsible, as writers, to continue the content but at the same time give resolution to the issues in that certain story and setting

This doesn't stop me from loving Bioware stories, do mind. I am just, less then disillusioned when peering through and looking analytically at the details given. We may learn more with KOTET, but given what we know and can speculate, I am confident it will not reasonably explain every plot hole or tie up every loose-end adequately in ways that we need.
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Posted Aug 9, 16 · OP
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I actually liked it quite a bit. But I've enjoyed KotFE on the whole since the release, save for the few months when we got nothing at all.

I say this in the context as follows though. I don't believe KotFE to be some grand thing. It's not the greatest thing I've ever played in terms of storytelling, not even close, and it's definitely not BioWare's best work. But for what it is? I've enjoyed it. I also enjoy the works of TellTale for similar reasons.

First off I actually legitimately like the chapter design as a method of content delivery. For the same reason I like how TellTale does episodes. Mind you the writing in TellTale games is better (but they have less they have to work with as well, mind), but I liked KotFE for the same reason. It's short. It's a one to two hour chunk of my time where I get to click off for a story to be told to me.

As for the chapter itself, while I do have my criticisms of it, on the whole I did enjoy it. Maybe it's because I've tossed the notion out that my choices matter, or that there's some massive overarching plot here that I'm meant to be so invested in. It's simple enough that I can click back in, and the characters are sharp enough that I can swiftly remember who they are and where they were. If I had to give my biggest criticism overall of the expansion it's that it's a bit too disconnected in how it plays. It plays like much of the things going on are distinct and separate when it should have flowed better.

The chapter on its own was probably some of the better work they've done up to this point as well. Especially with the boss fight mechanics. The boss fights certainly aren't anything extreme, but they keep you moving. With Arcann the most they seem to be really toying with what they can do with SWTOR, and it's nice to see them play with that.

The story in the chapter isn't anything amazing. Arcann shows up. Stop him. There's not much choice to be made here (we obviously don't know how the stuff with Senya and Arcann will play out but probably best to err on the side of 'nothing different) but the cutscenes were nicely done (something they've at least decently improved with this 'expansion' or whatever you want to call it). I actually did like the parts with Senya and kids near the end, because I've always loved the idea of Valkorian's whole family dynamic. It does fall a bit flat of course since they did absolutely nothing to build up to it thus far, though.

On the whole the chapter doesn't move the story forward much, which is something of a let down, but with how the GEMINI Deception ended there didn't seem to be much room to move. They weren't likely to continue things too much, lest they start at an odd point with Knights of the Eternal Throne or whatever. I will totally give that it is far too cliffhanger filled though. They should have done a better job of wrapping things up (though to give them some credit I actually fully expected them to just not show what happened to Arcann and Vaylin and Senya and make you wait for months).


...that's my word vomit-esque thoughts.

Edit: Also. Valkorian shouldn't have been featured here. At all.

Like there's no reason for him to be in that final cutscene. That's just nonsensical.
Posted Aug 9, 16 · Last edited Aug 9, 16
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wrote:


while that's a fair argument

a whole expansion is a whole expansion

i dont know about you but we've all done chapter 1-3 of every class story; all raised far more question then answered, multiple times across the board-- there is still far more unwrapped and unfinished that bioware will never visit

it is responsible, as writers, to continue the content but at the same time give resolution to the issues in that certain story and setting

This doesn't stop me from loving Bioware stories, do mind. I am just, less then disillusioned when peering through and looking analytically at the details given. We may learn more with KOTET, but given what we know and can speculate, I am confident it will not reasonably explain every plot hole or tie up every loose-end adequately in ways that we need.

This is true 100% I will admit from the simple standpoint of the writing itself, but as far as the making of a game it's also a matter of economics that people I think fail to take into account quite often. Sure it's nice to think the writers can explore and wrap up every single possible story line and side arc, but the reality is every single time they do that it costs more $.

Games in general cost increasingly more and more $ to make even simple plot lines without any choice involved, you can talk about how all they had to do is make every choice matter, but would you be willing to pay 2 or 3 times as much a month for a sub to fund the increase in cost that multiple divergent plot lines based on choices that actually do something cost? Maybe you would but the market data shows most gamers wouldn't. If companies thought gamers would pay more for games they would be charging them more for games. Video games have not increased in price significantly in over 15 years (longer than that really) despite the fact that the value of a $ has decreased, games in fact if you account for inflation cost less today than they did in the past, and yet now instead of costing 10 or 15 million to make an A list game it costs you 80 or 100.

In a game like SWTOR especially where the sub income is but a fraction of its actual income, the motivation to spend more money to expand the subscription specific content to cover all these things is probably not there, I doubt the money they make off the people who sub for the chapters themselves each month would even cover the development of that month's chapter. Each chapter I'm sure also has a specific budget, that limits how much each chapter can reasonable cover or resolve within a single chapter. Even if bioware delivered an amazing story and solved every plot hole, the number of people who actually sub to play the game is unlikely to increase significantly, due to the niche market of MMOs.

Unresolved plot lines and questions is far from a unique aspect to bioware games and is found throughout the game industry simply because of how game development works, and because the companies making the games are first and foremost in it to make money not to fulfill our desire to have our every question answered. I will not argue that the story we are given does not match what was marketed, but that is hardly uncommon either, and likely has very little to actually do with Bioware. Marketing departments are usually part of the publisher not the developer.

I agree with you that there is a lot of things about how the story is delivered that COULD be better in an ideal world, but I think it's also a good idea to remember that the game is a product made by other people as their livelihood, and it's financial success is far more important to them than making it a perfect product, because their jobs and the ability to feed and shelter themselves and their families are tied to that success.

TL:DR = It's very easy to criticize and rant about something when you have never had to go through the process and difficulties that the people making it had to go through. And while in an Ideal world we would all like to have everything resolved and every option possible explored the reality is that this isn't an ideal world and there are many factors that can prevent such things from happening other than simply "The writers are bad".
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I don't think it's an entirely fair response to dismiss and invalidate someone's concerns or issues with content simply because they haven't gone through the process themselves. I have actually voice-acted for two indie-game projects and contributed ideas, (that are on Steam no I won't give you the names)

The bottomline is, I pay money. So does everyone else. If we don't like the content offered, we have the right to be critical of it. Performances like this, beg for it.

besides, there are games and other triple AAA games that have less options to work with what they have that have done wonders with the script and story. And as unfortunate as it is, all of these issues come down to a few reasons--- Poor communication between staff, writers, project developers. Opinion of writing, is well-- An opinion. It's subjective. Whatever floats your boat, whatever is your cup of tea. Nobody can really dismiss that Game of Thrones is notoriously successful and well received. Or the Witcher, or Elder Scrolls Online.

In reviews of comparison, Knights of the Fallen Empire doesn't share those numbers or those facts.
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Posted Aug 9, 16 · OP
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I'm really disappointed by everything I've read about the ending. I was a huge Valkorion fangirl from the start and was hoping they'd explain something, anything. What a huge let down.
wrote:
You can't defend bad writing in the justification of the thinly-veiled 'it will be continued' -- Good writers don't leave more holes open then they close, during a story.


I don't agree with this statement at all, because you are not reading a finished product in this case. If you only read 4 chapters of an 8 chapter book, and expect everything to make sense to you that is not exactly a reasonable expectation. This is essentially the midpoint of the total story not the end or even the beginning of the end. We are not even in the climax stage of the story process of the entire plotline, we are still in the Rising Action phase. Tying up loose ends comes after the Climax before the resolution.

You don't write a good series or trilogy of movies or whatever by relying on "to be continued" with massive cliffhangers. It can work sometimes, but more often than not it is an incredibly lazy way to write something.

A New Hope is its own standalone story.
Empire Strikes Back picks up where it left off, and has a cliffhanger at the end, but it also is a standalone story.
Return of the Jedi makes a lot more sense if you've seen the first two, but you can also watch it by itself, as a standalone story.

They are undeniably in a series and when viewed as a whole you get the entire story, but each is still its own story. That's what KOTFE should have been. Resolve some stuff, then have a new crisis in season 2. Not just go "well, still don't know anything, to be continued!"

Or to just compare it to TOR itself, imagine if Makeb had ended without us knowing who got the Isotope 5, or if Shadow of Revan ended with Revan escaping to be emo another day.
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Posted Aug 9, 16 · Last edited Aug 9, 16
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As a person who plays a Sith Assassin, I found that even the graphic and cutscene design was, sadly, lazy.

My character was wielding her double bladed lightsaber continually as if it was a single blade, and thus, would often be -holding onto- her plasma sword.... but the plasma... And blocking attacks with the hilt of her weapon. I was not a happy camper.

Oh, and the story was lackluster. I'm waiting for more information on the Sith Empire and Empress Acina... still. :-|.. nearly a year later.

Not even a damn codex.
Report all crimes to the Ministry of Laws and Justice for due processing. It is not only your responsibility, but your moral and legal obligation to ensure the safety and security of our sovereign territories. Failure to notify Imperial authorities of unlawful elements is a punishable offense, resulting in appropriate sanctions.
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I don't think it's an entirely fair response to dismiss and invalidate someone's concerns or issues with content simply because they haven't gone through the process themselves. I have actually voice-acted for two indie-game projects and contributed ideas, (that are on Steam no I won't give you the names)

The bottomline is, I pay money. So does everyone else. If we don't like the content offered, we have the right to be critical of it. Performances like this, beg for it.

besides, there are games and other triple AAA games that have less options to work with what they have that have done wonders with the script and story. And as unfortunate as it is, all of these issues come down to a few reasons--- Poor communication between staff, writers, project developers. Opinion of writing, is well-- An opinion. It's subjective. Whatever floats your boat, whatever is your cup of tea. Nobody can really dismiss that Game of Thrones is notoriously successful and well received. Or the Witcher, or Elder Scrolls Online.

In reviews of comparison, Knights of the Fallen Empire doesn't share those numbers or those facts.


Yet people make the same arguments about Elder Scrolls games having terrible story or being full of holes and unresolved things, not to mention being bug ridden, yet they are still massively successful games. You have a right to be critical sure, but at the same time I do entirely stand by my belief that if unless you are willing to go prove that you can do the same thing and do it better your criticism should be sparing. People find it very easy to criticize yet often when you ask them how they would do it better they have no actual responses. I'm in no way saying that your concerns or issues should be invalidated, I'm simply saying that sometimes it helps to step back and remember that you are not the one who is making the game, you don't know what challenges they faced or how many things they had in that ended up cut for whatever reason, and that keeping that in mind is helpful when looking at the bigger picture.

You pay money yes, and you get what you pay for, if you want MORE and better content then you should be willing to pay more for it, the problem is most people aren't. They want more for less, and this is a huge reason that the game industry has moved in the direction it has as far as decrease in depth of content. You do still have some out liers like Witcher, (usually in cases where the studio is itself the publisher) but even there you can see the trend of your choices mattering less than they may have in games in the past. The witcher is also a setting that has significant background and depth to draw on from novels that it is based on. Star Wars does too of course, but in the case of the Witcher the characters themselves have been heavily developed already before the games were even created.

Single player RPGs have it much easier also, because the story can be written all at once, mmo's have to continuously produce new content, in relatively short periods of time, compared the development cycle time that is spent on initial writing of a single player game. MMO's also have aspect that take funding away from development of story content, though in the case of KOTFE I doubt this is true as Bioware hasn't really released enough other content to have spent much on non story content during the same development period as KOTFE.

It's not even just a matter of Money it's also a matter of time spent, how long are you willing to wait between chapters for them to make the chapters longer, better and explain more? They went like 3 months between the release of 1-9 and 10 and by the end of the break people were ranting everywhere about how long it was taking. It is far more than just an issue of poor communication between each other on the part of the developers, the customers who demand content NOW NOW NOW, are just as much to blame for the release of lower quality content. This is another issue that developers face with modern games, they either take the time required to release higher quality content and people complain about how long it is taking, (not to mention the longer you go without releasing content the harder it is to keep getting money for more), or they release it at lower quality and people complain about the quality.

Clearly Bioware feels that releasing mediocre content quickly is a better business plan, and you can argue if that is true or not I suppose but their profits have been up in general since KOTFE has released so clearly they are doing something right.
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