Bioware’s Falling Star

Why am I still playing Star Wars the Old Republic?
This article is over 11 years old and may contain outdated information

With the recent launch of Bioware’s digital expansion, “Rise of the Hutt Cartel”, many loyal fans and players are left asking themselves a rather important question:  Why am I still playing Star Wars the Old Republic?

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No, it is nothing the game has done to force players to flee in stolen space ships while dodging blaster fire.  But instead it is the actions of Bioware Studio’s itself that has caused many players to decide to cut ties with what was once considered to be the brightest star in online gaming.

We Can’t Even Log In!

As with many companies new to online gaming Bioware encountered its share of issues but after having been around for over a year we would expect, at the very least, to not see such gigantic customer service problems as have recently arisen.  After the launch of patch 1.7.3a, which was designed to take care of a long standing memory leak in the game, thousands of players found themselves unable to log into The Old Republic.

Players either encountered an “Only a single instance of this application can run” error, a launcher update hang-up, or (the most common) a crash to desktop issue in the swtor.exe file.  This caused players attempting to launch Star Wars the Old Republic to crash back to their desktop upon hitting the “play” button on the launcher.

The Subpar Response.

What was Bioware’s response to this problem? Thousands unable to play their game!  They would take swift action to rectify this issue right?  Wrong.  There was no server roll back.  There was no hot fix.  The issue persisted for 8 days while players in the Star Wars community worked together to create work-around strategies to allow others to play the game they enjoyed.  Even after today’s patch reports of players still unable to log in exist.

Rather than focus on fixing the problem Bioware chose to simply take the work of its community, place it in yellow text, and post it as if to appear that they were working on the situation.  It is unknown if they expected the release of their 2.0 patch (Rise of the Hutt Cartel) to resolve the issue or not.  This problem persisted through the launch of Bioware’s digital expansion causing many to miss the final Double Experience weekend and costing pre-order players their early access time. 

Frustration Takes It’s Toll.

Even beyond this frustration many players have begun to cut ties with the company over customer service issues. Reports from players having to wait for 2, 3, or even 4 hours on hold to speak with a customer service representative are common.  Those requesting refunds for their lost game time or pre-ordered expansion have reported reactions ranging from being laughed at by customer service representatives to being transferred to departments which no longer exist.  Some players are finding themselves charged multiple times by the company for the expansion they already pre-ordered!

And There’s More!

And these issues are simply the most recent issues to come to light.  The sad fact is the list of known bugs and in-game issues stretches on longer than the patch notes for even the major updates to Star Wars the Old Republic.  Some of these are known bugs since the launch of the game.  This and the recent log-in and launcher problems have caused many players to rethink their stance as customers of Bioware Studio’s. 

Players of Star Wars the Old Republic are an impressive community banding together to help each other work around the issues currently existing in the game.  We can only hope that Bioware realizes this and works to fix many of these issues in existence so they do not lose such a wonderful community.

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