It’s that time again! Time for another role playing article. This week I have an easy and simple topic since it’s still the first month of the year and the latest state of the game was severely lacking on role playing specific content. This, coupled with a disturbing lack of comments from BioWare about role play in general (shading and tree shadows where so not important to me from a role plays immersion perspective), prompts me to try and get the discussion started in hopes that, like SGRAs, it will get enough attention to warrant comments and eventual changes from BioWare.
To start with I think the two most important things that we role players want are chat bubbles (class specific or customizable would be amazing, but any form at this stage would be good too) and interactive chairs and furniture. We have some really well designed and robust cantina’s but they do not get used nearly as much as they could be if we could actually interact with the environment. The ships suffer from this too, though I will go into that more in detail further down the list here.
By proxy of interactive environments though comes something that I feel should have been in the game at launch, mini games. Not only are they usually mindless fun, they also are great for role playing because they could become the focal point, the cause of a fight, or any numerous things as simply giving a pick up role play some depth, making it more realistic and allowing more immersion. I think this should probably be the most important thing they should focus on, giving its dual interest from both players and regular players who would like and use it, but it probably would be the most difficult to accomplish as well. I think they could even make money off of this. BioWare could design it where F2P members have to either buy a weekly pass or if there was more than one game maybe buy a lifetime account unlock, or even make it unlock-able by character, either way they could make money that way as well. However, if BioWare where to charge subscribers for mini-games by themselves, that would not go over well with me at all, unless it was combined in with an expansion. That I could see, because they could then sell them as a new mechanic, though we would all still know that it was planned in the original launch of the game.
So with my top three out of the way, this is what I would call the best of the rest, in no particular order. Beginning with something that has been hinted at, but still needs to be confirmed, is the ability to dye your wardrobe to whatever color you want. I think the best way to do this is to make the ability to do it free for subscribers, give them a basic color palate (I figure five or six basic solid colors) and then charge Cartel Coins for more colors, and charge F2P for the ability to use the system and basic colors (just once, account wide, let’s not get to greedy BioWare). This would a) help distinguish and personalize the classes from each other, especially in the endgame gear (both PVE and PVP) and b) help us ignore the fact the eighty percent of the available gear is gaudy and atrocious (IMO). Of course, the flip side to that would be BioWare, please please please create some NEW gear designs at least, and preferably listen to the community and make it more like we want (realistically functional for females; more like the concept/game art for males).
Next on my list would once again be multi-functionality (is this even a word? I don’t know but I like it, it stays). I feel like role players would get the most out of this and it would help all other players as well, and that is ship functionality. By this I mean not only what I said before, with it being more interactive (sleeping/sitting on the bed, sitting in the other chairs besides the ones in the cockpit, actually using that giant ass table outside of story) but by also making that essentially our in game house, which would mean giving us the ability to decorate it.
Now, personally I think we should be able to decorate it with in-game achievements memento’s (artifacts, datacrons we have found, flashpoint and operation mementos to signify that we beat it and on varying difficulty levels) and dropped/bought/crafted items, but anything would be nice at this stage. Also, expand legacy to include expansions to the ship, maybe a room that houses all of your pets so that they can be seen all at once and shown off to visitors who come aboard, which would play into the trophy room idea as some pets only drop from raid and world bosses. Another offshoot of this would be whenever you enter your ships docking bay (whether on the fleet or at a world space station or dock) that you would walk by a little fenced off area with all of the speeders you have earned as well. This stuff may be a little whimsical and is not nearly as important even for role players as some things, but this would just make my day and, as I have said time and time again this article, add to the overall depth and immersion of the game.
The final subject I have is something that has been talked about a lot lately, and that is guild tools and functionality. Instead of beating a dead horse, I would like to show you why this would be helpful from a role players stand point, especially as a guild leader. The first thing is the need for more rank availability. This allows more flexibility in ranking members and giving appropriate titles for guild leaders, another immersion thing for me and other role players, but one I am sure all guild leaders, not just RP guilds, would appreciate. Another thing that would help with scheduling events is a guild calendar with a sign up ability, so that members can let the event creator know if they will be attending any in-game functions. Guild rankings and achievements would also be nice, as well as some kind of in-guild achievement system for leaders to delegate awards to members, whether it be an Ops team downing a boss for the first time or a well plotted out and executed RP event. And finally, even if it is within some kind of guild ranking system the cap level really needs to be raised higher, or it needs to be easier to manage old inactive accounts.
Those are the only things I have suggestions and fixes for, but I would love to hear your suggestions. Last week I threw the question out on twitter (you can follow me here), and now I ask you this week as well, if you have any ideas or different applications of mine please leave a comment below and if there is enough feedback I will write an article on it, or at least mention them.
And until we meet again, Stay Frosty.