Kirk Sigmon

“TORtanic” – Star Wars: The Old Republic sinking fast

The relatively new Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game “Star Wars: The Old Republic” is getting bad fast.  In fact, the game is screwing up so badly due to a new update that the slowly dying MMO has been dubbed “TORtanic” by many of the players.

So what happened?

From what I can gather, it all began with the mediocre game being updated with a 1.1 patch.  The long story short, as perhaps best illustrated by this video, is that the 1.1 broke the game by making it possible for one set of players (those playing for the Empire) to basically massacre an entire other set of players (those playing for the Republic).  In fact, the Empire can kill the Republic at spawn points, basically meaning that players on the side of the Republic cannot play the game, and are in effect stuck in a constant loop where they do nothing but die.  For some reason, TOR developer Bioware is “investigating” rather than simply “fixing” this issue, despite the fact that the problem is pretty self-evident and game-destroying.

So, as one might guess, a lot of Republic players got pissed off about this and decided to suspend their subscription to the game.  This is a pretty logical choice to make: after all, it makes no sense to pay for a game you cannot play.  The problem?  Bioware removed the “cancel subscription” button and is hiding the mechanisms by which players can stop paying for the gameBioware has not only hidden the “cancel subscription” button, but some players are complaining that customer service is hanging up on them.  Thus, most players are forced to pay for a game they cannot play.

They seem to be pretending it’s a browser issue:

Of course, as a former web developer/programmer, I can assure you that buttons don’t disappear.  Website designs can cause all sorts of hell, but of the many things that can happen, buttons do not conveniently disappear because someone uses a special web browser.

Thinking this whole affair was unfair, user “Kraiten” decided to help his fellow gamers by providing them the following link to unsubsribe from TOR:

https://account.swtor.com/user/subscription/Cancel

But what did Bioware do?  Hide the post and punish Kraiten for posting it:

For those of you keeping score at home, this means that Bioware has not only massively screwed up their game, but that they are actively trying to lock players into subscriptions for their game in order to make it profitable for as long as possible.  The company is even trying to bribe players to stay on the game by providing a “Founder’s Medal”  to all players who maintain their subscription to the broken game.

The company has also seemingly threatened players “taking advantage” of the broken game (presumably, by killing Republic players or something), but it seems somewhat ludicrous for them to purport to punish people for playing the game in a way they designed it.  Of course, Bioware refuses to actually roll the game back and fix the issue so that everyone is on an equal level — rather, they seem to want to just find a scapegoat and punish them to avoid discussing their horrible game.

It appears that Bioware is in trouble.  If this game — and the behavior of their staffers — in any way indicates their standard for good business, then they are going to die off quickly.  Stuff like this doesn’t go unpunished.

Edit:
To hell with my law degree, mommy, I’m a budding games journalist because people are quoting me:

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32 Responses to ““TORtanic” – Star Wars: The Old Republic sinking fast”

  1. asd says:

    Newfags ragequit, L2 a little of MMO’s.

  2. sleazy says:

    “Stuff like this doesn’t go unpunished.”

    Yes it does. Bioware has been getting away with its sleazy business practices for a couple years now, and the industry marketing complex is mostly happy to take their cut and oblige their shady behavior.

  3. lorja says:

    Ilum is shit. We all know that. And the fucked up in the patch. let’s see how they solve it.

    cancel button is there. if you can’t see it is your problem.

    and bribe… i call it a gift…

    just point of views.

  4. 大トロル says:

    When an item is given to prevent a normal course of action, it’s a bribe.

  5. Ven says:

    Bioware took a hit with Dragon Age 2, this though is much more serious and severe for them. The game was pretty polarizing already now it’s hitting Warhammer Online level.

  6. PointOfView says:

    1.1.0a Patch Notes – 1/19/2012
    Operations
    Karagga’s Palace
    Fixed an issue that caused assigned loot bags in Karagga’s Palace to distribute items with class inappropriate stats.

    PvP
    Ilum
    Players can no longer enter the opposing faction’s safe base area, thus preventing players from continually “camping” the other faction’s base.
    Turrets inside faction bases were not intended to be destroyed and are now immune to damage.
    The population cap for instances of Ilum has been reduced to improve performance.
    Implemented optimizations to improve performance on Ilum.

    Miscellaneous Bug Fixes
    Loading screens no longer appear when other players spawn nearby.

  7. BLof says:

    LOL thats what you get for buying EA shit.

  8. J.A. says:

    This game has been an absolute trainwreck from the start – the choice to use an engine that was a PROTOTYPE is one of the larger reasons. Because of this, the game CANNOT get rolled back becase the engine does not support it. It’s impossible. Bioware are punishing players who are trying to be proactive, and removing threads that openly criticize the games many, many flaws. What’s more, the desperate removal of the Cancel button is bordering on illegal activity, becaue a consumer should always have the option to cancel his subscription to his service for whatever reason, whenever he sees fit. The customer support shenanigans are just more of the same, because these guys obviously have no idea how to run an MMORPG. They get orders to do whatever it takes to keep the passengers on this sinking ship. I sincerely hope this game will be the death knell for EA.

  9. Risto says:

    Seriously? The game is fine. There’s bugs and every game has bugs and every patch comes with new things to exploit. The game is no where near dying. WoW has nothing to offer anyone right now, so people have no reason to quit this and go back to wow like they usually do.

    “From what I can gather, it all began with the mediocre game being updated with a 1.1 patch.”

    Sounds like you didn’t even know this problem happened, much like the rest of the world, excluding the exploiters, who are getting their rewards revoked. Get off the internet.

  10. Linuxliam says:

    I find it interesting that no-where is it mentioned how the changes have effected the Republic’s Warzone effectiveness. We’ve been watching for a while now how much of a difference it is when playing Huttball where you’re against your own faction sometimes and playing the other “field mechanism warzones”. The scores are predominantly biased toward Republic. Not only are they harder to kill, but their classes tend to do more damage than Empire at level 50.

    With this last patch and a few 6/0 matches where Republics had kill ratios of more than 10:1. I basically gave up on warzones and moved to leveling alts. PvP in general is utterly broken and needs to be fixed bad. That’s why I play the game. I like the story, but I’m mostly in it for the pvp.

    I agree that the change with the Republic base on ilum was stupid. I saw the carnage first hand. The entire mechanism of that pvp world is broken and pointless, IMO. It not only detracts from the immersion but makes the pvp world part more of a grind than an enjoyable endeavor.

  11. niggrfggt says:

    even biodrones are leaving now.

  12. erin says:

    this is the dumbest article i’ve ever read..

  13. Bill says:

    This is the trolliest post I have ever read. What a waste of everyone’s time. Play it or don’t play it. It’s pretty simple.

  14. ggg says:

    “In fact, the Empire can kill the Republic at spawn points, basically meaning that players on the side of the Republic cannot play the game, and are in effect stuck in a constant loop where they do nothing but die.”

    Unless of course they were playing PVE on the other dozen planets or in one of several flashpoints or PvP via Warzones. In other words, unless they were playing the remaining 98% of the game that had nothing to do with the problem on Ilum.

  15. LordKain says:

    Well, this “Biodrone” as you morons put it is going nowhere. I love the game and will continue to sub.

    It’s kinda pathetic to waste so much time on hating a company for their product. You don’t like it…..move on. It’s as simple as that.

  16. Mike says:

    So why did they remove the cancel button for some players but not for others?

    Did they go through the forums chat logs and just remove it for people who said they might cancel?

    I mean we all know it just couldn’t have been a bug, especially in such an unbiased well researched blog post as this…

  17. Kirk Sigmon says:

    Mike,

    Newer information seems to indicate that it disappears depending on the subscription type you have. I think it only disappeared for those not using game cards or other pre-paid forms of payment, but I can’t be sure, as the information is understandably muddled. In any event, Bioware claims the problem is fixed.

    Also, haha, someone’s pissy about someone on the Internet insulting his game.

  18. sam says:

    Guess i missed something.. been running this game on a computer that barely ran WoW 6 years ago with little to no problem for a few weeks now. Guess I’m not in that 1% that reached 50 2 weeks ago where bugs are more numerous or whatever.. Game needs work and apparently Bio will punish exploiters somehow. game goes on.

  19. Alasdair says:

    On the issue of the missing button, has anyone looked at the source code for the page where its supposed to see if there is anything at all in there? I’m not a subscriber so I can’t access it, but anyone could look at it, or post a copy of the web page somewhere for other people to read

  20. PvPLosers says:

    Heh suck it pvp losers. PvP is for fat, virginal pigs who got bullied in school because of their tiny little penises. So in their own minds, they need to compensate for their little tiny penis by engaging in PvP.

    So all you people who love PvP, SUCK IT and I hope you drown in your online serial killing habits, pussy faggots who can’t fight in real life.

  21. […] if TOR sucks or not. Funny story last week. Apparently BioWare unloaded a shitty update for TOR, or Tortanic as some people are calling it. The patch unbalanced the game drastically according to Kirk Sigmon, and as a result many decided […]

  22. Anon says:

    Judging by the comments section of this page (which was the first hit for “tortanic” in google search”) Bioware can’t stand criticism. The hostility and similar writing patterns of several of the comments is pretty telling.

  23. AlexP says:

    I can’t believe this is real. Why would anyone use such underhanded tactics to try and save their game? Players are n’t just going to fail to notice something like this. In the end, everyone just gets pissed off, and no one will want to buy any more games from them.

  24. Luke Jenkinson says:

    This is ridiculous and blown way out of proportion. That bug the article claims was “gamebreaking” only affected ONE planet at the very end of the level range, and the bug was fixed in a matter of days, as you can see by the patch notes somebody posted. I agree that their customer support kind of blows, but I think people are seeing conspiracies where there are none.

  25. keet says:

    server imbalance is 100% biowares fault. it was them who told you what faction to choose, not yourself.

  26. A.D. says:

    I don’t know why one PvP instance with issues makes the game completely unplayable for Republic players. Just don’t do it until it is fixed (which it has been). There are a lot of other things one can be doing in the meantime.

  27. […] not going to go into finer points of detail as this did it perfectly. Just take the time and read through that before you continue on, you will be shocked and […]

  28. Cody says:

    So, all you kids whining and complaining about a simple “exploit” that was fixed, btw, are pretty ignorant. ALL games have glitches and problems that need to be fixed. If you don’t like the game then don’t play it, it’s as simple as that. I can also guarantee 99% of you people have NEVER experienced any of these problems for yourself. So before you start complaining about an exploit you should at least know how it affects players. Of course spawn killing isn’t fun but this post is pointless and the writer of it is as ignorant as can be.

  29. […] it is often called "TORtanic" for a reason. It's actually supposed to absolutely horrid. http://kirksigmon.com/2012/01/tortan…-sinking-fast/ […]

  30. el nigro says:

    lol dumb bioniggers keep bleeting furious sheepanustears as your EA overseers rape your dollarcolons clean

  31. dBLOOD says:

    LOL Finallythe Republic gets what it wants!
    But seriously…
    Mark my words, nothing will happen! A few people will cancel their subscriptions, but no heads will fall (as it should happen in a decent company).
    Bioware and EA making a habit of f*cking up games now, and nothing ever happens. They can do anything it seems, people won’t stop giving them money in a grand scale. Now what does this say about the gaming community? :D

  32. Telanis says:

    Oh my god, you fucking ignorant douchebag. First, if you know nothing about what you’re talking about then why are you talking about it? Second, the banned-for-helping-people cancel screenshot is FAKE. Idiot.

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