04/06/2017

SWTOR and EA's Play To Give

This weekend SWTOR players had the chance to take part in EA's Play To Give event. Here's its official page, but if you can't be bothered to click, it's basically EA pledging to donate money to three different charities supporting inclusivity: one dedicated to promoting gender equality and two anti-bullying charities. Because being inclusive means interacting with other people, you could also earn in-game rewards in several of EA's multiplayer games over the weekend, SWTOR being one of them.

Looking at the coverage of this event once again served to highlight that Dulfy really might as well get rid of her comment section, considering what a wretched hive of scum and villainy it has become - the comments in response to her post about the event were filled with people complaining about the "evil SJW-ness" of it all, with some of them even pledging to not play this weekend because they didn't want to support such horrible causes. Yeah, really.

Anyway, I'm generally in favour of businesses giving to charity, though I suspect that it's going to take a lot more than that for a company that was voted "worst in America" twice to improve its image. (Not that I personally think that particular award was justified. This post sums it up well I think.)

However, I also found it interesting to see SWTOR featured in this line-up just because EA generally hasn't really been very proud of the game or happy to mention it anywhere at all for quite some time, so them actually bothering to give it this sort of cross-promotion was good to see. With the event being focused on playing with other people, seeing SWTOR make a point of promoting just that was also yet another sign of Bioware's dramatic shift in focus back to the game's MMO parts. I wonder if Keith had a hand in getting SWTOR on this event's featured games list too?

All that said, I have to admit that I found the event's actual implementation somewhat lacklustre. Announcing it literally only one day in advance was too short of a notice to allow the community to generate much buzz. Also, the connection between the charitable cause and the games was just too tenuous. Yes, "having a good time with lots of different people" was a theme but that was literally it. They could have made it a lot more interactive by for example having "stretch goals" of sorts, pledging to increase their donation if people hit the presented gaming goals instead of just tying them to in-game rewards.

Finally, there was literally no sign of it in game or on the website other than the news article, meaning that many people still probably didn't even know about it, but even those who did had no way of tracking what was going on. I initially went into the weekend with a bit of a plan to devote extra time to SWTOR, but in the end my enthusiasm quickly fizzled out simply because I didn't know if what I was doing was "working". It would have been great to have some sort of live tracker to show how close people were to hitting the goal of one million group content runs completed, to encourage everyone to give it that extra push if needed. With no feedback whatsoever, there simply wasn't much incentive to try harder.

We'll find out on Tuesday/Wednesday whether we succeeded - but to be honest, since we never saw any numbers, Bioware could just say "good job", pat us on the head and give us the rewards anyway. It's not like we'd know.

10 comments :

  1. This is indeed a crazy kind of "event". I read about it on the swtor-twitter-account, searched for more information, didn't find any.

    I hoped, that it will be enough to just use the groupfinder to qualify for the reward.

    You write something about "one million group content runs"...first time i hear something about this.

    I really don't know what is going on.

    P.S. nice videos, Shintar. I like this series.

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    1. The official news post about it with all the details was posted here; I linked it in the main post too. Group findering should have counted just fine, as both queued and non-queued activities were listed.

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  2. The short amount of time that they gave makes me wonder if Swtor was a last addition to the event. That said, having small events like this, one day, or weekend, would be a nice little way of boost player activity.

    (Nothing like forgetting you cleared your browser logins before you post to a site. -.- A dupe may show up as Anonymous.)

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    1. The "last minute addition" explanation occurred to me too. I can just picture it: "Hey, we're promoting SWTOR as a multiplayer game again! Can we add it to the line-up?" "Uh, sure..."

      I wouldn't mind more events like this either, but they better announce them a bit sooner.

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    2. A quality of life option I would like to see would be an in-game calendar displaying when various events are occurring. Allowing guilds to use such calendar to schedule things would be even better, but that's an "I wish" item.

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  3. All I can think of is that the people who shit on anti-bullying campaigns aren't being ironic, aren't being hipster, and aren't being "manly". They're showing how petty and mean they are. And believe me, that sort of crap ends up leaking out into their real lives. People who behave that badly will end up having that behavior slip while at work or at school or out with friends. I've seen it happen quite a few times over my decades working, and those same people are the ones who have the gall to claim that "everybody is picking on MEEEEE!!!"

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    1. I'm just amazed by how it seems to be considered trendy in certain circles to be openly horrible.

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  4. I logged in only to see if I'll get the pet. The guild I am now in , is dormant, not a lot of people on, and well the toxic ones were in full swing when I logged in today, so I just went over to my jedi knight alt, and played his class story. Denied bout 50 blind guild invites.

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  5. I hope this is just the start of SWTOR getting involved with some in-game charity events and maybe they will get their footing. As far as the revolting wastes of mass that write hateful comments on the Internet, scared little fingers are always quick to type because they know how powerless and small they really are. They will never matter. Great article!

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  6. I agree with your points, but especially with the late announcement. I had my weekend planned well ahead and as much as I wanted to participate and promote SWTOR's participation in the event, I had no time to react at all.

    Noticed some extra group-related activity on my server (TRE). Was able to catch a group even in the early mornings. Had fun with some GF and PUG runs and am glad Bioware supported this. As you said, it should have been better organized, more advertised and present InGame in some form.

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