Sep 1, 2011

Posted by in Blue Milk & Cereal | 42 Comments

Blue Milk & Cereal: Will You Miss A “Reputation” System In TOR?

No day would be complete without the breakfast of Jedi: Blue Milk & Cereal.  Every morning, the team at Ask A Jedi will get Force-induced thoughts coursing through your head with delicious issues from around the galaxy! Join in the discussion below to make your voice heard!

During our interview with Gabe Amatangelo at PAX, we confirmed that there isn’t any sort of “reputation” system in the game. It’s possible this was stated somewhere before, but it was news to me. As a matter of fact, this page has been on the Holonet since the site launched in 2008. It looked ripe for expansion, but nothing ever came of it.

This came as a bit of a surprise, since this type of system has been an MMO staple almost since the beginning of time. The ability to gain (or lose) favor with a given group of NPCs to unlock content or rewards presents an opportunity for interesting dynamics, especially in the Star Wars galaxy where political undertones play such a big part in the story.

On the down side, the implementation of these reputations or factions in other games tended to lean toward the “grindy” side of available activities, and we know BioWare is interested in removing that aspect of the genre as much as possible.

Still, I think with a little creativity and ingenuity, a reputation system could work in a game like The Old Republic. What if it were called “diplomacy” as opposed to reputation? It suddenly takes on a whole new life.

Perhaps this is something that BioWare would add to the game through an expansion, or maybe we’ll never see it at all. Personally, I’m a little disappointed.

How about you? What do you think of the absence of a reputation system in TOR? Will you miss it? What ideas do you have to make one that isn’t so “grindy”? Let’s hear ’em!

Will you miss a having a "reputation" system in The Old Republic?

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  1. This makes no sense… why would they not have a system like that? Yes, everything you would expect in a AAA MMO..

    – flying mounts
    – swimming
    – sitting in a chair
    – reputation/factions

    what’s next?

    • ScytheNoire says:

      You are missing all the important ones:

      Guild Advancement System
      Guild Bank
      Item Comparison
      Item Linking in Chat
      Movable, Resizable, Customizable UI
      UI Modding
      Threat Meters
      Damage Meters

      All of those are more important. None of the stuff you listed are actually important. They are fluff or simply not needed.

    • I really don’t like swimming in MMO’s. It’s slow and uneventful. For those that do need infinite mobility, I’m sure they will add the extra stuff soon.

  2. To everyone voting no, you don’t even have a clue. Think outside of the box for a minute as to what a system like this COULD be. Then ask why after 7 years of development, it doesn’t even exist.

    • Why do they need a Reputation system, when NPCs “remember” how you treated them? Some for a short while, and some for a very long while? Isn’t that sort of a “hidden Reputation System” – only based on actual actions and not a number bar? If I kill “Fred the Rodian”, and 5 years later I meet his wife, Betty, and she hates me…doesn’t that stand to reason? Why should she, or her friends, like me simply because I did a few good deeds?

      • WoW did that as well. Depending on how “favored” you were, the NPC chatter would reflect that. So, I wouldn’t consider that a “game system”, just something that happens naturally during the course of playing the game.

        I’m looking for a true system that can play off of the politics and diplomacy of the Star Wars universe. I’m extremely disappointed in the decision to not do anything with this kind of dynamic system.

      • Frankly, I think the LS/DS system and social points are meant to replace reputation.

        In an RPG, it seems incongruous that someone who was the hero of multiple battles being fought in a great war would start as “neutral” to a faction. Take the Ashen Verdict – it was a fusing of two organizations that you probably were at or near exalted with when you started (Argent Crusade/Dawn and Knights of the Ebon Blade), with the same leaders and characters – and you didn’t even start at Friendly.

        With the LS/DS system, you, over time, accrue notoriety/faction with everyone, either through (from the Republic lens) being a hero and solving problems as best you can, or being a hardass who takes no prisoners and will do anything to see the Empire brought down. There being a neutral objective (one geared towards staying even in these decisions) adds another layer that a simple faction meter doesn’t touch.

        Also, it should be noted that reputation grinds represent the worst kind of grind possible. You have to have some way of doling it out (and as someone who got Argent Dawn exalted prior to Naxxaramas @ level 60, I think I know what I’m talking about), and it encourages the mindless grinding that Bioware is trying to avoid – players will band together and do things you didn’t intend (such as farming trash prior to the first boss, then resetting – hi Marrowgar).

        What do reputation factions even mean? It’s usually a method for gating a few pieces of gear – it makes it impossible for you to get the highest level ring right away, for example. Sometimes it would add fun perks, but there are other ways to do it – and the social points system, heretofore ignored by many, might also serve that purpose.

        • you knocked it out of the park. this is the winning analysis.

          • Well said, Momus. Glad you typed all that and not me ;)

            I think the function of the traditional reputation system is antiquated and unnecessary. I never found myself enjoying the grind for rep. Even after I was able to obtain whatever it was I was working towards, once I got it, I never found myself feeling very satisfied about it. I believe this rolls up into one of BioWare’s core philosophies to avoid creating game mechanics that drives players towards ‘grindy’ practices. Or perhaps better said, to encourage them to participate in ways that are more ‘fun’. Recognizing that fun is subjective and there are some people out there actually enjoy tasks like raking dirt (thanks mom and dad) and manual data entry, it seems BioWare perceives the general consensus to be that activities thought of as traditional grinding will not be encouraged or rewarded.

            Bottom line, I don’t like back fondly on any of my reputation grinding exploits. Seems about 70% of the respondents agree on some level.

        • I really need to get these forums implemented :)

          The hero thing is overplayed. For a simple example, in The Clone Wars, when Obi-Wan travels to various worlds and meets indigenous peoples, is he immediately adored? He’s not even recognized in most cases!

          So there is plenty of room for interesting gameplay like this to tie into the story and learn about the lore and history of planets and species, etc.

          We have a huge Codex to fill up and unlock, why not attach it to a game system where those people you meet can play a greater role in your story one way or another?

          • Yeah get on those forums! I call the first banhammer.

            Definitely grant that on the hero part. However, if I’m the trusted Republic diplomat or the Imperial Inquisitor come to dispense my particular brand of twisted justice, people know what I stand for – reputation was one way to measure that, in previous games (after all, that’s what “reputation” means in the world according to Oxford). I think the other point Daelda was alluding to was that, since choices represent permanent fluctuations to the story (and help or hinder you in that progression) they also represent a form of faction.

            Some people really did like the rep grinds. I didn’t mind them as much myself, though I never did the really heinous ones. If there are other ways to implement them that promote gameplay over killing 3,000 tauntauns to get rep with the Hoth Wampa Hunters faction, I am all for it.

            I also acknowledge that rep grinding gave players something to do at max level other than raid/pvp – my hope is that TOR introduces other things people can do that aren’t as “grindy” but satisfy that need all the same.

  3. I hate rep grinds. I am absolutely fine with there not being a rep system in TOR. I hated how in WoW some top quality gear and items were obtained this way. I do not have infinite gaming hours to invest in such content. If rep just gave vanity items or mounts or whatever that is fine, but having to grind rep to get gear to stay competitive is lame.

    • You only hate them because you identify them as rep grinds. They don’t have to be that way.

      BioWare could have attacked this problem from the get-go with removing the grind and making it a part of the story. Just like they have with several other MMO systems.

      And they’ve always, always been optional anyway.

      • If it were not a grind I would be totally cool with it. My only experience is with WoW, and it was definately a grind in that one. I did not find fun in going to a certain zone and killing mobs over and over and over. Or doing the same set of quests everyday. I despised grinding rep for the head or shoulder enchants. And although it was optional, a good raiding guild demanded you have them.

  4. Not really disappointed in general the reputation grinding is nothing more then padding, and time fill to avoid giving players real content. If they could work reputation in a meaningful way I wouldn’t mind seeing it down the road.

    I don’t really see it as a lose. As matter fact after having to grind rep in LOTRO where it plays heavily I am really glad to be honest.

  5. I thought they said that NPCs might interact with you differently depending on you LS/DS points. That’s a kind of reputation. If they would also act differently depending on the choices that you made (killing everyone in the room is Esseles, for instance), then that is a kind of reputation as well, and would be pretty nifty.

    It’s one thing to have a reputation to have to grind. It’s something else to have reputation because you are known (through choices) for being {honesty, dishonesty}, {merciless, merciful}, or other things that can show through what you’ve done, not due to performing x amount of daily quest to gain rep with a particular faction.

    So, for them to say there’s no reputation/faction in the game, isn’t to say there isn’t a way that NPCs will act differently toward you.

  6. It seems to me that your Light Side / Dark Side points serve the purpose of a reputation system.

  7. I have never been a big person on defined reputations, if I every gained on it was a non-defined through crafting/gathering efforts as the guy that always had hard to find mats, etc. My hope is the crew system in SWTOR gives us the ability to differentiate ourselves in our efforts, but needing a tag line to let the average person see it is not really as important to me.

  8. In my opinion TOR already has a reputation system in the light-side/dark-side point system.

  9. Missing it or not very much depends on how they implemented their decision, it depends on BioWare. If they made it in a way that the absence of such a system is felt then they didn’t do good job.
    I think we shouldn’t presume too much before we see how it works in game.

  10. When you remove all the “grindy” bits of a game there is only less to do when you are Max level. They don’t even need to award anything that special, or at all really. They give your character more flavor just like volunteering for Habitat for Humanity gives you more flavor whether you get a t-shirt or not. Some of the most fun I’ve had in other MMO’s was when I was bored at max lvl with full BIS gear and decided to earn rep with some factions from a previous x-pac. Sometimes I earned a title other times I didn’t get a thing other than the satisfaction of mission accomplished. They are great ways for adding story to the game and adding definition to your character. Just imagine all the conflict in the SW universe where every thing you do to help one group pisses off another. This makes for choice, and we all talk about how we like choices. Maxing out one would leave you hated with another like in other games but maybe then opens up another branching faction c vs faction d choice only available to people who are chaps of faction a. If you maxed out B you would have a choice between e and f? There are so many possibilities.

    I tried really hard not to directly bring up WOW but reputation grind is something that is sorely missing in Cataclysm. The rep grinds can all be done just by wearing a tabard and running any 5 man dungeon. I have friends who are max lvl and are have maxed every new reputation and couldn’t tell you one thing about a single Cataclysm faction. The only time they ever interacted with the faction was showing up to buy stuff off their vendor and being like, “Yeah, you don’t know me, but I’m a Bad Ass Dungeon Hero and have been wearing this shirt while killing lots of dragons that never did anything to you. Can’t u just smell it? (toss bloody sweat stained and reeking tabard at vendors face) Now lemme at them epics for a tiny bag of gold.”

    But hell even if they offered no story, no flavor, no definition, no customization, no choice… am I the only one who would love to kill a bazillion Ewoks? I could cut off their ears, and after turning in literally thousands of ewok ears my Bounty Hunter becomes a hero of the Gand tribe who operate the Ewok Ear Cup o’ Noodle factory. I get a never ending Ewok Cup o’ Noodle Soup that gives me a buff that puts blood on my hands AND every time I come anywhere near an Ewok they either attack or run screaming “BUTCHER!” “MURDERER!” “AIEEEE! RUN!” Or you could have the choice to help the Ewoks and kill the people collecting the Ewok Ears if to kill Ewoks you needed to be flagged for pvp. OMG I just solved openworld PVP too.

    I <3 GRINDING and will kill thousands of Ewoks for hours even if the developer fails to implement the systems I describe but would people really complain about "having" to mass murder Ewoks for a month to get their bloody hands costume or endlessly defend Ewoks in pvp combat to get the exclusive Ewok companion?

    • This. Exactly this. Please let me turn in a million ewok ears. “Grinding” rep in WoW was one of my favorite things to do, topped only by farming vanity pets. I mean, who wouldn’t want to run around on their Winterspring Frostsaber wearing their Bloodsail Admiral’s Hat with a Timbermaw Ancestor by their side? I’m sure SWTOR could make some rewards just as great and useless as those lol.

  11. No matter what you change reputations to, it’s always going to be a grind and one of the goals for SWTOR is to not have grinds. I don’t expect that we’ll ever see them, and I’m extremely pleased with that.

    I’m playing the game to have fun. Not to see the same stinking quests and kill the same stupid monsters for hours/days/weeks/months at a time.

    • Leveling is a grind.

      There is no way to “eliminate” a grind in a progression oriented game where there can’t possibly be enough story content produced quickly enough to satisfy players.

      BioWare will try to mask them as best they can, however they’ll be there. And I feel they could have done the same thing with reputation.

  12. reputation = time suck + no fun

  13. At first, I was with you: reputation systems are pretty much grind-fests, but it adds more depth and sometimes opens up cool new stuff. Besides, isn’t that like a BioWare tenant, choosing one side or another, earning both rewards and consequences, and having to live with that choice for the rest of the game? Wait a second…BioWare has been putting all the good stuff about Reputation into games for years, except…without the grind…well played, BioWare, well played sir.

  14. I will to a certain extent. I will NOT miss the grind. But the whole “exclusive” items/mounts thing was kind of cool. If it wasn’t such a long, drawn out process.

  15. i voted yes, but i kinda think that rep will still be there one way or another.. traditional rep rules could mess with the character stories, i would think. what if your story has you go put an end to some gangsta sand-fools and you instead choose to befriend them in such a way that they want to bare your children. you cant really finish your story then right.?.. because the rest of your story requires you to hate sand-people..

  16. Starshaker says:

    I mean as long as there is some way that people I wrong and people I help will remember that its ok. However, I think it would be really cool if you don’t live like a good jedi the council will not trust you with certain information. If you aren’t evil like a sith should be then they will not trust you with certain top secret missions. However, you would also have to find a middle ground like more would have to open up in like say the underground with the Huts. Here is why, if you take content away you have to make up for it somewhere else. So I think this is the main reason Bioware doesn’t do this. I would love there to be like senate voting in the game for say diplomacy… It would then peg your character how you voted so other players would see how you voted and that would change and cause a lot of debates so that would be cool.

  17. I’m going to start by answering the above question, “Will you miss a having a ‘reputation’ system in The Old Republic?” by saying no.

    This question isn’t the same as “Do you think TOR should have a reputation system in it?” which seems to be what many of these comments are about.

    I’m all for a less grindy feel, and like many who have already commented, I did plenty of reputation grinds in WoW. It was something I had to do to reach my goal of 100 mounts. (A goal I had set before achievements were implemented…)

    When I finally reached my goal, I did feel accomplished. But I also realized how painful it was to finish the 30 + reputations I had to grind all the way up as part of my hunt for more mounts. On the other hand, it did give me something to do for a quite a while when my friends were off doing other things.

    Now, if there was a way to mask this grind to the point where it no longer felt like one, then I’d be all for implementing a reputation system.

    There are numerous possible factions in a galaxy as large as the Star Wars galaxy. The possibilities are endless, especially when you have the imagination of BioWare. What BioWare decides to do with their game now may not always hold true in the game’s future though, and perhaps someday reputations will be on their “board of crazy.”

    I still want to see a shirt with a “board of crazy” on it…I’d buy that…

    This is BioWare’s first MMO. I’m sure they are going to learn (and have already learned) a lot from this experience. Too, the players are all going to enjoy this experience as much as they are learning from it. (Heck, most of us are already enjoying hunting down every scrap of information we can find and speculating.)

    *chuckles* Does that make us easy to please?

  18. I`m Glad we wont have to be grinding for reputation. Why does everyone keep bringing up WoW? if you like what WoW does THEN GO PLAY WOW!!!> This is swtor, it has nothing to do with wow. Except the fact that it is an MMO everything about it is diffrent, like millions of others i played WoW for many years. I did my fair share of reputation grinds. Was it fun? maybe the first year, but after years and years of doing daily quests, i can honestly say i wont be missing them. Why try to implement a system from another game when they can do something totally new?.

    Reputation WILL be in the game, what wont be in the game will be GRINDING. I rather spend my time doing PVP, flashpoints, operations and crafting, then do the same quests everyday just so i can buy a tabard or a head/shoulder enhancer. I for one wont be missing THE GRIND aspect of it, so like i said earlier if you like what WoW does with reputation then GO PLAY WOW. nuff said.

    • First of all, please read the interview. I explicitly asked and they said “no, there will be no reputation system.”

      Second of all, tone it down. If you can’t respect other opinions and discuss them rationally, then you won’t post here.

  19. I’m pretty disappointed by this. Like you said Lethality, a good faction/reputation system could really help shine light on all of the political happenings in the world. It could help add scope to the game by involving you in more than the republic/empire war that dominates the story. I think Bioware is missing out on what could have been a great addition to the game.

  20. Personally, I love BioWare. They’ve always been able to provide awesome games and I’m sure they made a sick ass MMO with TOR. No Reputations? Wonder what they put in the game instead?

    Can’t Wait!

  21. I dont have to think about this more than 1 sec..hell no i dont want a reputation system,no more grinding!
    I really cant see how reputation system cant be grinding,makes me sick when i remember what i had to do to get to exalted with a faction in WoW,and i got the exalted title.I dont want to see that in TOR.

  22. Although I like the idea of reputation in theory, I’ve yet to see it executed in a way that hasn’t felt like an annoying grind — especially when you play more than one character. Doing the third rep grind for a specialty recipe or item is anything but fun.

  23. I very seldom join in but usually love to read all the posts about some topics. This one of those times to chime in. While there are no rep grinds as we know it, there is a rep system in play imho. I read one place that there will be titles. Some of these will be class storylines. It also said not every one who completes all the quest will get the titles. The way I read that is, you will not get the jedi master title if you have more ds points then Darth Malgus. Nor will be get to be called Darth if you have more ls points then Obi-wan. So every decision you make has consequences to it and that is how others npc or even pc toons will react to you, after all isn’t that what a rep is all about?


  1. Quelques infos de la PAX | Guide pour Star Wars : The Old Republic - [...] AskAJedi revient sur une information étonnante que Gabe Amatangelo, Lead End-game Designer, a donné lors d’une interview. En effet, au…

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