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Further Details On the Star Wars MMO

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the +1-lightsaber-of-smiting dept.

Role Playing (Games) 129

Now that the recent announcement about Star Wars: The Old Republic has had time to sink in, specific details about the game are beginning to come to light. Massively, in particular, has a variety of interviews and in-depth looks at the classes, the combat, and the setting of the game. "When you play like a Jedi from 1 to max, and then decide to start as a Sith, you won't see any content that will be the same." They also discuss the leveling, questing and companion characters. "We want you to think of them as actual companions on your journeys throughout the game. Your actions are going to change how your companion characters develop." Eurogamer is running a preview of the game, and a wiki has sprung up to catalog all of the new information. Other tidbits: support for Star Wars Galaxies will continue; the new game will be PC only; and LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the World of Warcraft customer base.

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SWG? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25506775)

Does anyone still play SWG?

Re:SWG? (4, Insightful)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 5 years ago | (#25506815)

Yeah, just as some of us still log into EverQuest from time to time. The key thing to remember about a Star Wars MMO is a large chunk of the market cares not for anything SW related. I would assume something like a Dune MMO would garner far more interest from fans and the unacquainted alike.

Maybe current play mechanics can't do a SW game justice... or maybe... just maybe... it's the fact it's a shallow and convoluted universe that's been raped by it's creator an anyone else with enough time to pen a novel to be sold at the local supermarket... Maybe...

Re:SWG? (1)

ZeroFactorial (1025676) | more than 5 years ago | (#25506873)

If they add the ability to play as LoneStar with Barf as your companion character, I am SO there.

Re:SWG? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507237)

If I can be Dark Helmet then me too :D

Re:SWG? (1)

Molochi (555357) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507423)

I prefer Chode with 6 of 9.

Re:SWG? (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507989)

Although I would probably buy a Dune MMO as soon as it launches I don't think I want it to exist because most of the movies and games didn't keep the story straight. (That 2000 movie seemed quite good though, pretty close to the real thing. Maybe it's just because of the small quantity of content you can put in a movie compared to a book, and that movie was very long)

Anyway, an MMO might do the Dune books justice (or in SW, the lore because half the movies sucked) because they can put a lot more content in it. Still these are worlds where few people make a huge difference and that doesn't cope very well with balancing in an MMO. If you put a Jedi and a simple Trooper in the SW MMO you get either a big unbalance or the Jedi and/or Trooper will be weaker/stronger than they should be.

Re:SWG? (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509833)

A dune MMO would be awesome. The story is practically built for an MMO. Multiple houses to choose from, a common currency (spice) and according to imdb there's even a new movie coming out in 2010. If someone started now they might get it out while the movie comes out in the cinema.

You might be a Republican if... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25506777)

* You think debasing currency strengthens it.
* You start fires only to put them out and proclaim yourself a hero.
* Changing your mind when presented new information is considered flip-flopping.
* You think Ron Paul is a better candidate than the guy who won the Republican primary, but you're voting straight Rep anyhow.
* You think bolstering the economy at any cost is more important than treating other people the way you'd treat yourself.
* You are considering buying a personal tank or a fighter jet to protect yourself should the little people rise up against you.
* You took advantage of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make yourself some dough and it's, of course, their fault this all happened.
* You think there's an Osama around every corner.
* You think your wealth is soley due to your Ayn Randian self-sufficient everyman philosophy of life.
* Socialism is only for your cronies.
* You think electing Obama as President will end in Armageddon.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot:
* You think we'll miss you when you leave the country for having imposed regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley and capital gains taxes. Have fun wrecking the economies and societies of other people's countries! In other countries where you think you'll have free reign without oversight, you will almost certainly be hunted down and executed without a jury without a bailout should fuck up.

Serious question though probably OT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25506917)

You think your wealth is soley due to your Ayn Randian self-sufficient everyman philosophy of life.

I would appreciate it very much if someone could explain or outline the reasons why this fails to explain the many examples of wealth that is neither inherited or gained by winning the lottery. I am not so familiar with Ayn Rand so just generally I'd like to know why a realistic degree of self-sufficiency coupled with good decision-making on the part of an individual does not, alone, explain why that individual is wealthy. Assume for the sake of argument that we are talking about people who started from a relatively poor to lower-middle class backgrounds and worked to pay for their own education, etc. Serious question -- I am more ignorant about this than I would like to be and I need exposure to different views before I can decide what I believe.

I'll also add that unlike the parent post, I am not interested in whether my question has anything to do with Republicans, Democrats, or what any political party believes or does not believe, so responses along those lines won't really answer my question. Likewise, if you read "realistic degree of self-sufficiency" and tell me that you can't very well expect someone to get a car by first mining and smelting ore and other raw materials and eventually making the whole thing himself start-to-finish, you will have succeeded in babbling inanities that have nothing to do with my question. It's a shame I feel a need to point that out but at least the person or the people who can give me a good answer won't need to have that pointed out.

where, exactly do you work? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25506979)

and do they know you are on some serious, heavy drugs?

Re:Serious question though probably OT (-1, Offtopic)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507035)

If you really want to know, the best answers are found in reading her novels.

Re:Serious question though probably OT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507121)

We are brought into this world by our parents and our lives shaped by the people around us. None of us lives alone in a vacuum. Some of us can overcome our environment and become the stereotypical poor boy who grows into an influential business man. Some people perish trying to escape from their conditions. Regardless, there is no way we could survive all by ourselves.

The Randian ideal of a man alone with a loaded semi-automatic weapon, with food supplies, and fighting skills ready to protect himself at a moment's notice is a bit overblown. It is good to be prepared, but we cannot be expected to overcome all the problems we face by ourselves.

Even rich people like Michael Dell and McCain's financial adviser Carly Fiorina, owe their worth to the people underneath them. Without employees they're worth nothing.

When CEOs treat their employees as interchangeable parts to be grinded up and thrown out when used up, it hurts us all. When government officials debase our money system, they hurt the savings of people who worked hard to save up for their old age. These sort of behaviors have been romanticized by the Republican party. They have ceased acting as conservatives and have become apathetic and spiteful against the lower class, much like the late Russian Czar Nicholas II.

The Republican party is for all intents and purposes dead. I say this as a former Republican.

Re:Serious question though probably OT (-1, Offtopic)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507473)

Probably OT? Try definitely.

Here's what you should do, though. Find similarly disenchanted Republicans, hopefully ones that are local party leaders, convince them to secede and form Republican Party B ("the party we used to have").

I would love to see a third party with prospects out there!

Re:Serious question though probably OT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507949)

Probably OT? Try definitely.

Here's what you should do, though. Find similarly disenchanted Republicans, hopefully ones that are local party leaders, convince them to secede and form Republican Party B ("the party we used to have").

I would love to see a third party with prospects out there!

In my original post I said "I'll also add that unlike the parent post, I am not interested in whether my question has anything to do with Republicans, Democrats, or what any political party believes or does not believe, so responses along those lines won't really answer my question."

Please identify the part of that sentence that was difficult for you to understand.

Re:Serious question though probably OT (-1, Offtopic)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508265)

I think you are confusing yourself with another Anonymous Coward. I was replying to post #25507121 [slashdot.org] . There was no question in that post. It read like a reason why the author abandoned the Republican party, and my response was related to that.

You are quoting yourself from post #25506917 [slashdot.org] . I didn't even read that one, and wasn't trying to answer the question in it.

But having read #25506917, I think I can answer the question you posed. The parent post to #25506917 (#25506777 [slashdot.org] ) implied that Republicans are wealthy for reasons other than "an Ayn Randian self-sufficient everyman philosophy of life." You want to know "why a realistic degree of self-sufficiency coupled with good decision-making on the part of an individual does not, alone, explain why that individual is wealthy."

Simple enough. How do people get wealthy? You exclude inheritance and lottery. I bet the author of #25506777 thinks many Republicans are, in fact, wealthy through inheritance or family but believe they are wealthy through self-sufficiency and good sense. But let's set them aside. Other ways to get wealthy are through starting a successful business, owning stock in a successful business, playing the stock market well, making very profitable deals of one sort or another, or by being absolutely the best at what you do and having people pay you obscene sums to do it.

See, the thing is, all those ways depend on partnering with other people, either as customers, co-owners, lenders, or buyers. A person can only get wealthy with the intentional or unintentional assistance of others. No man is an island. In other words, a rich man cannot have gotten that way through self-sufficiency. He must have interacted with and relied on others to hold up their end of the bargain.

You can live a comfortable life without doing much of that. You can build a cabin in the woods and only deal with others for the bare necessities, working just enough to get by, but that obviously won't get you wealthy.

The whole Ayn Rand thing is a red herring. From what I understand, her point is that there is an elite, and the common man either leeches off of them or holds them back from their full potential, and that the elite should really be running things, or at least be left alone to do what they do. Some of her heroes were rich, but not all of them. If they voted at all, they'd probably vote Libertarian.

Re:Serious question though probably OT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25509357)

Because it's entirely possible to work hard and be self-sufficient and make good decisions, and still get screwed over in the end. It's pot luck whether you actually make it, the hard work just changes the odds a little.

Re:You might be a Republican if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507127)

If the top 10% who pay 80% of the nation's taxes leave, where will you get your services?

Re:You might be a Republican if... (0, Offtopic)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507151)

You do realize that the top 10% of America gets something on the order of 30-40%, right?

gets 40% of what now? (0, Offtopic)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507539)

In 2005, The top 10% paid a little under 70% of the income tax burden. If they receive only 30-40% of the benefits, then they're getting a raw deal. If they earned only 30-40% of the income, they'd be getting an even raw-er deal, though their actual income share of 47% is not much better.

And, I find it really, really unlikely that they would be getting that much benefit. At least, directly. Sure, schools and such benefit everyone, not just the students, in some way, but it's a bit disingenuous to double-count the benefit that way, don't you think?

And besides, if income tax really was a good proxy for the cost of services, it would make even more sense to just do away with it entirely and charge fees for those services directly.

Re:gets 40% of what now? (0, Offtopic)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507831)

Income tax is not a proxy for service. The rich pay way more than the poor, but the rich have a lot more control over the whole of society in return. You will never see a poor president of the USA. Obama spent close to a billion dollars in his current campain.

What the rich get as immediate benefit of their financial contribution to society is a much more peaceful society. In past centuries selfish oligarchies mostly ended up in revolutions.

Go back to your toilette and bob for niggaz (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507303)

I distinctly remember about a gay nigger on welfare patronizing his local library restroom only to meet the inspiration of all toilette humor itself: Barrack Obamma visiting these United States, having no citizenship thereof but to Kenya where his pathetic drunk father got a trashy crack addict white trash girl to lay down with his nigga cock.

The resulting transfers between ass and clamwhich spawned a creature no different in color and texture of the peanutty turd scratching down his mother's intestine, hatched from meals brought to him by Red Cross and Christian Ministries (the same that send you a photo of so and so little girl about to die if only it weren't for 0.50 cents a week).

This post brought to you by The Church of Scientology, 'cause niggaz don't need to waste education, computers, and voting to decide on diggin' ditches fo' a livin'.

Sweet! I've been waiting for this a long time. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25506781)

Can't tell you all how much pleased I am to not have to gestate on the thrilling teaser. [anonymouse.org]

Uh-huh (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25506787)

From TFA

Plus, since you're adventuring with your buddies that are playing other classes, they'll be telling you some of the exciting stuff they're doing. You're going to get tidbits that might really get you interested in playing one of those other classes. It's probably going to make you excited to try things out.

Wrong, we just want to choke underlings with the force.

Re:Uh-huh (2, Insightful)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 5 years ago | (#25506849)

Not to mention that spoiler sites like Thottbot will crop up as fast as content is uncovered. Story is very, very secondary in an MMO, when you get down to it-- it's the differences in the ways that classes play, that make them compelling.

Re:Uh-huh (2, Interesting)

ajs (35943) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507337)

Story is very, very secondary in an MMO

I think the scary lesson that most new MMOs learn too late is that everything is secondary in an MMO. Large chunks of your audience won't care about or will be annoyed by trade skills, but you really have to have them and do them well in order to keep certain segments of your user-base interested.

Same goes for PvP, raiding, grouping, the economy, etc.

In the end, there are dozens of aspects of the game that the average gamer simply expects to be there. If it's not, then they'll walk away from your game.

Re:Uh-huh (2, Funny)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509767)

Wow, I'm in the minority then.

This sucks.

Most people seem to want a multiplayer dungeon crawler, but I want a virtual universe populated with players...

I'll never be happy in my virtual life :(

"LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the WoW...." (1)

ip_freely_2000 (577249) | more than 5 years ago | (#25506877)

"LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the World of Warcraft customer base. "

Ya, good luck with that.

Re:"LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the WoW.. (5, Funny)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507171)

>Ya, good luck with that.

Sniping WoW customers isnt that hard, heck I used to bullseye womp rats in my t-16 back home, and they werent much larger than most WoW players.

Re:"LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the WoW.. (1)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507411)

Hah, wish I had mod points!

Re:"LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the WoW.. (0, Troll)

gowen (141411) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508337)

Yeah, but Womp Rats occasionally emerge from their burrows into the sunlight.
WoW players are nocturnal, only emerging briefly to pay the pizza guy.

Re:"LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the WoW.. (0, Troll)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509403)

WTF. Goes to show you don't know what you are talking about.

Their mother pays the delivery guy. Then, she slides the pizza pie under the door.

That way, she doesn't have to see her 30something naked in front of his 4 computer screens. (one with WOW, one with web browser, one with AIM / Yahoo IM / ICQ / Gtalk / insert_IM_here and one with pr0n.

Just a guess on my part, though. Not that I'd ever engage in such lamesauce.

--Toll_Free

Re:"LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the WoW.. (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507301)

Questions I ask of every new-kid-on-the-block MMO:

  • What language can I write my user-interface mods in? How much of the UI can I re-write using that language?
  • How extensive is the end-game content?
  • Once players reach max level, what is there to do besides raiding? Does grouping-friendly content go away at max level? Does questing?
  • If I have a friend who wants to start playing, but I'm already max-level, what are our options?
  • What's there to do in the game that's just fun and not a grind?
  • If I just like PvP what's in this game for me?
  • If I don't like PvP what can I not do in this game?

That first one is really the show-stopper for most games.

Re:"LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the WoW.. (3, Funny)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507883)

What language can I write my user-interface mods in? How much of the UI can I re-write using that language? ...

That first one is really the show-stopper for most games.

You and the 3 other people who care more about what language they write UI mods in than actually playing the game.

Re:"LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the WoW.. (1)

hvm2hvm (1208954) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508035)

I tried many MMOs but I didn't like most of them because of the interface which is sometimes too simple, sometimes too complex. In WoW which has in IMO the best interface, you can just scale it up as you get new content. Also, it's probably the most intuitive of all. But I don't use most of the initial interface anymore, instead I use addons which enable me to have a lot more buttons and organize them more easily. In what games can you have so much customization that none of the default interface objects will appear when playing?

Re:"LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the WoW.. (1)

Grant_Watson (312705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507339)

"LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the World of Warcraft customer base. "

Ya, good luck with that.

That of course depends on their timing, but WoW is several years old now-- it will be older yet when The Old Republic comes out-- and has expanded the MMO market dramatically. Any game that wants to succeed [warhammeronline.com] wants to poach WoW players, and that's a very reasonable goal.

Now if they'd said, "We want to be the next World of Warcraft"-- that might be a little overambitious, especially this early. But to say that they want WoW players to give them a shot? Totally reasonable.

Re:"LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the WoW.. (1)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509409)

I'll be fairly loyal to WoW until more companies start putting out native clients for OS X. I've looked at some of the new MMORPGs that are emerging, looking quite good in some cases, but if I have to run it through VMWare or boot into Boot Camp, then I probably won't be trying it out. And I know the Mac audience is fairly small, but it still is frustrating.

Re:"LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the WoW.. (1)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509515)

It doesn't seem like it would be so difficult to get a percentage of the WOW base, if the game is good enough. A crappy game wouldn't pull anyone let alone get some WOW players. There are probably a good amount of WOW players waiting to switch to something else.

Story, yes... (4, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25506959)

..but a story alone can't carry a game. Look at all the other MMOs and their quests. OK, so much of the story in MMOs is more background than anything else, but generally the quests, the actions you need to complete the quests, are rather dull and uninspiring (which is why I like that in WAR you can level up completely via PVP). Kill beavers until they drop a single beaver testicle until you have 10. Fight a spell caster that's AI amounts to casting the same spell on you over and over again. Go to some stupid place in the environment where you need to right click the object. And so on. Questing in MMOs by itself, IMO, is very, very boring. The real question is, will the gameplay be fresh and exciting enough to justify the expansiveness and the story line, and if so, how well will it interact in PVP?

Additionally, endgame: someone might not care to play the other classes, even if the story and game experience is different. They have a top-level character, they don't want to just give him up. Will there be good endgame? No good endgame can kill an MMO, just look at Age of Conan.

Re:Story, yes... (1)

angrydotnerd (1377713) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507133)

Obviously, Funcom ran out of money, coupled with some poor design choices (heavy-instancing,lack of seamlessness, graphics requirements). Age of Conan had lots of good stuff and even more bad ones. The story though through the early levels was quite good and refreshing for an MMO and I think BioWare will innovate this element way futher.

Re:Story, yes... (3, Interesting)

bm_luethke (253362) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507147)

One of the main reasons I do not play most MMO's is that I find I am paying a company for *me* to produce content.

I also tend to note that, yes the world is huge, but it is the same 50 tile sets spread out over huge area with the same 50 creatures randomly placed in it. It may take me two full days real time to get from one of the continent to the other and you may see 2000 different enemies to fight, but after the first thirty to sixty minutes you've pretty much seen everything you are going to - the only thing that changes is now instead of level 5 wolves you are seeing level 20 dire wolves with red eyes.

Of course in any story driven game there will come a point where you have no more story. The so called "end game" has nothing, you are done with the story - for a game that depends on a monthly subscription fee that is bad. But then the people who want grind do not want the story bits at the front (after all, the only thing that counts is high end raids and such) and the people who want story do not care about raiding the same place over and over. So, most MMO's go the way of the grinder simply because that is where their revenue stream is.

I'm on the story end of the spectrum. For my self the best "MMO" I've played is Guild Wars. I put MMO in quotes because it is only loosely one - but then that is why I like it so much. It suffers badly from no end game - after all once you complete the story all you have is grind. It also doesn't depend on a subscription model - I got the content I payed for and now if the players create extra then great (sorta an odd take on Open Source - it would be the equivalent of requiring a normal fee for a piece of software - along with a mostly normal EULA - but getting the code and rights to change it along with that price).

It's not that I do not enjoy "end game grind" (I really wish GW did better on that end) and such - it's that I feel ripped off paying someone a monthly fee for me to make the game good.

Re:Story, yes... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507381)

"after all once you complete the story all you have is grind"

You could go around helping noobs :). They're annoying sometimes though, fortunately you can often leave them dead and still complete the mission.

In Guild Wars players don't really create much extra content.

There are more private/3rd party WoW servers, with player created content. Of course Blizzard keeps trying to shut those down...

I'm wondering if Guild Wars PvP might take off bigger time if Guild Wars just only required the account authentication and license verification to go via their servers, and then users can play on their own servers with hopefully lower ping.

The other thing is Anet keep changing the Guild Wars skills every two weeks or so, often very drastically. People don't change the rules of counterstrike, starcraft every two weeks, or pro tennis. How can you take PvP seriously if they do that? It's like playing Calvinball.

...Nothing to see here (5, Insightful)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25506977)

The moment I saw there were kill quests, levels and caps I decided this wasn't the game for me. People continually say "levels are the only way". You know what, the reason Gygax and Arneson are seen as development genius' isn't because they gave up and went "but this is how it always is". They developed levels. It was a unique and innovative system for creating characters that can advance beyond their initial stats (or beyond a single enormous transformation, like a pawn into a queen).
But the days of the level are coming to an end (or so I pray). More and more RPG players grow tired of levels--most now see them as other gamers see installation time. "We can't start playing the REAL game until max level." But there are alternatives!
Games like Tri-Stat use character points instead of levels. Upon completing portions of a story, and as bonus points based on how well you played a character or any other number of things, you receive Character Points with which to buy customizable skills and gear. Some say they are like "levels", but the fact you start with 350 of them and they go into your stats, gear and skill acquisition make them a clearly different beast.
A lot of games have abandoned even that and just started pooling experience points directly into stats. Games like Pokemon (yes, its a child's game, but innovative never the less) used levels, but behind the scenes gave each stat a different experience bar that rose depending on your race and the opponent's you beat.
Some games have abandoned levels and abilities altogether, instead focusing on gaming skill. A lot of people just call these "fighters" or "FPS" + MMORPG mixes, but really they can become quite fun.
But the big problem I have with Star Wars having levels based on quests is simply that too many quests just don't make sense given the setting. Jedi weren't supposed to go forth and kill. They were supposed to negotiate first and try to avoid battle. Unfortunately, there's no good way of mass-diplomacy aside from needlessly complicated (and frankly lame) sets of dialogue choices that lead to a predictable (and, if you have something like Thottbot) reliable outcome.
Now if they could make a living and breathing game with characters to interact with that are controlled by GMs and other players who can actually make a difference in the world...
Unfortunately MMORPGs are scared of idiots willing to run around blowing up random planets just for fun. Leading me to another point. Actions should have consequences, the final knife in the corpse of this game (for me, of course). This is another WoW/EQ/MUD style game where nothing you do accounts for anything other than leveling and gear mongering. They claim you can change companion's, but lets face it. In the end your not changing the world around you. Your not really talking with other characters. Your a hamster in a wheel clicking away to get to the "next stage of power" to access more content that millions of others have or will access themselves.

Some people enjoy that. I personally don't. I wish I could diplomatically barter with another player for control over a star system's spice flow that we've worked hard to get control of. And I don't want that player to just be able to kill me (or have some other random player run up and kill one or both of us) without consequence. In some zones in WoW you can kill someone who attacked you without the local guards attacking you due to high reputation with that faction. But lets face it, if you just ran around killing people, eventually even a faction your considered a hero in would start viewing you differently.
But I'm a spoiled Tabletop nerd who has been given the ultimate game system--a living breathing human being who can flesh out a world custom tailored to the needs of me and my friends. That's a real GM. Current GMs in MMORPGs are no more than tech support and referees.

Re:...Nothing to see here (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507041)

Start playing Progress Guest and leave all that annoying leveling behind. http://www.progressquest.com/

Re:...Nothing to see here (2, Insightful)

kv9 (697238) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508333)

thanks, but I aready play EVE.

Re:...Nothing to see here (0)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507089)

I wish I had mod points as I'd mod that.

Post of the year, certainly on games.slashdot.org.

Your sig is awesome too:)

Re:...Nothing to see here (3, Interesting)

Aeonite (263338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507145)

You might want to check out Hellas. Sci-fi RPG with a Classical Greek twist. No levels, epic storyline, custom worlds. Uses the Omni System (from Talislanta).

http://www.hellasrpg.com/ [hellasrpg.com]

Re:...Nothing to see here (2, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507157)

More and more RPG players grow tired of levels--most now see them as other gamers see installation time.

A bold claim, and I daresay quite false. I sincerely doubt that the RPG players who don't like levels are anything but a minority.

Levels, despite you apparently not liking them, work well, and more importantly, are fun. It's rewarding to gain a new level and become more powerful. You say that designers should be pushing the boundaries, I disagree. I say that designers shouldn't waste their time trying to improve an aspect of RPGs that works amazingly well.

Re:...Nothing to see here (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507387)

There are more ways of measuring power than single numerics. As long as we are exploiting computers to do our math and databasing for us, why not stir things up a bit and try to make things more dynamic? Pokemon, to use an often under-rated example, allowed for dynamic stat levelling. Although this isn't exactly what I mean by "level-less", it is a start to a new idea. Essentially each character in the game has their stats dependent not on their level or class/race alone, but also on who they fought and what they did.

Alternatives to levels include build points, reward points, skill based, item based and even some games that abandoned levels to allow for manipulation of your experience points into stats and abilities. Some games abandon all of that and just have you run around using your wits and diplomatic abilities to solve problems, while still allowing you to have a sword just in case. I realise, however, that these aren't for everyone.

But the point still stands that I never said that MOST RPG players hate levels. I just said that more and more are becoming tired of them. The ever increasing number of systems being released that don't rely on levels agrees with me. DnD is the only tabletop RPG that still uses a level and class based system (which makes sense, as it was also the first to use this system). Most use either alternatives or have features that make levels anything but the final word in determining your power.

Re:...Nothing to see here (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507873)

It's rewarding to gain a new level and become more powerful.

Really? In most videogame RPGs I don't even notice I got a level up besides a big display stating so, it takes several of them before I notice any change (well, outside of milestone levels where something is hard-limited to certain levels or stat values and you can start doing it now).

Re:...Nothing to see here (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507205)

But the days of the level are coming to an end (or so I pray). More and more RPG players grow tired of levels--most now see them as other gamers see installation time. "We can't start playing the REAL game until max level." But there are alternatives!

I flat out think you're wrong with the growing tide against leveling but putting that aside for a moment, it's blatantly obvious when you get to the "endgame" that your time leveling was the most entertaining aspect of the game. At that time, the content and the full extent of the landmass was used appropriately. Once the endgame is reached, most of the land is irrelevant and the experience is diluted.

There isn't any way to say to players to "slow down" and enjoy the experience rather than powering through the actual content-rich, fun game but I don't think many people are blaming leveling as boring parts of the game after doing so. I think most people are realising the absolute opposite of what you are claiming.

Leveling in WOW was actually GREAT fun if you took a moment to enjoy it. If you smashed through all that content as fast as you could, you missed out and you eventually knew it, soon into your max level experience. You know it now because when you look back to when you played that game, you're not thinking about endless raids. If you're like me, you remember the first time you visited ironforge or the difficult times you spent trying to quest in horde controlled areas.

Re:...Nothing to see here (4, Insightful)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507349)

When I first started playing WoW, I took everything in. I read every quest and even (although I'm a bit embarrassed to say it) pretended I was making a difference as I hunted down that mountain lion blood or helped fend off the town from random marauders. However I, like everyone I know who plays the game, joined to play with a friend. He even stopped playing his max-level character to play a low level character like me. Unfortunately, the experience was lost on him as he already did that himself ages before. So he went ahead and leveled without me--a problem I experience (from both sides) in almost every level based multiplayer videogame I play. I found myself losing every friend who joined my party in WoW as they were either alts and just trying to get to the end-game, or didn't take everything in as I did. Mind you I was a slow player (I literally spent an average of a week on every level after 30; if not longer if that level had a particular mini-game like fishing or gurubashi arena). Towards the end though, my friends all pressured me into getting to end game. Whenever we played together I would be ignored as the rest of them would raid together in their guild. Everyone would look at the moniter of the higher level character, and as a result leave me without anyone to talk to.

By the time I got to max level, he changed servers due to a mixture of guild drama, having grown tired of his class and wanting to try a new faction.

But I tried to experience the "world of warcraft", as well as several other MMORPGs. The problem is I play games to play with people. I'd rather play a game I hate with friends I love than a game I love alone. My friends aren't horrible people--I can't expect them to share the same schedule as me or play at the same pace as me. Its just the set up and major flaw behind leveling to gamers such as myself. It may work fine for some people, but it doesn't work for me.

When you combine that with the fact your limited to a single class (amoung 8-16 options), its even worse for me. I like to stand out in a game and be more than a grunt (although I'll admit that is kinda the point of warcraft given the setting; your a soldier after all). And I don't mean "I want to be a hero and kill great evils." I mean "I want to be a character, not a role." Build points encourage characters. Levels encourage roles.

Re:...Nothing to see here (3, Interesting)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507687)

I think he's trying to say that leveling is kind of a cop-out. You get some of the benefits of an improvement system, but the resource overhead (in programmer time, designer time, etc.) is pretty small. It's basically "get points for clicking something" -> points reach threshold, advance level by 1. It's like playing a several months long game of freakin' space invaders, and you're playing as the invaders...

If you're weak enough that you have to be clever to kill something in WoW, at least, you end up having to have a lot of recovery time between kills, which makes your XP/S rate go down. You're actually rewarded for NOT being clever...

Now, if you do away with levels and instead had some kind of zero-sum XP game where.. say.. if you spend all your time sitting around town "crafting" you get better at it, but your character gets fat and can't run very fast, or you learn magic, but your muscles get weak from using magic fr everything, etc...

If every gain had a trade-off, there might be some interesting effects. Do you dry your darndest to stay average at everything? Do you spend all your time in the library reading spellbooks until you're an epic caster but you have to pay someone to carry you around?

WoW is a good game, especially all the little jokes. (it's a lot like Futurama in that respect: layers of jokes that you might not even realize were there the first time around) But the great thing about WoW was that they didn't set out to steal users from Everquest. Their plan was to grow the market. And grow it they did.

Re:...Nothing to see here (2, Interesting)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508187)

Well, WoW won because they were simple. They have some pretty interesting concepts in their game, but if it wasn't a successful game you wouldn't see anything they did in any record books after 20 or 30 years. It was an amalgam of base western fantasy with a splash of pop-culture and a clean, customizable UI that came out into the market at the perfect time, riding the back of a successful franchise. It has set no precedents in game design, but is a great example of a successful game. Much like Counter-Strike, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Starcraft, it stands only as a testament to marketing, graphical interface, intellectual property management, public relations and peer pressure/friend reviews/unintentional viral marketing.

But each of these examples did as you said: they expanded the market, not stole users. A minority of Counter-Strike players were hardcore Doom or Unreal Tournament players. Same goes for Starcraft players being ex Dune II players or Yu-Gi-Oh! players being ex-Magic players. Try logging into WoW and talking about Dungeons and Dragons in general chat. I've been outright flamed for it, despite the impact of my hobby on their own. When I try to defend myself, I get remarks like "someone would have thought of it eventually". Yeah sure, someone probably would have thought of levels, potions, oozes, dungeon crawling, playing as a single character instead of an army in a fantasy setting, roleplaying under a set of rules for combat, armor classes, seperate stats, experience points and a good number of mythological monsters that we only see in modern fantasy games because they were in the 1st edition monster manual...but they didn't. Someone else did. And we aren't using build points and fighting Quezcoatls, recovering our hit points with magic tablets as we brandish our .22s.

Anyways, while I was trying to say levelling is a bit of a cop-out (that is, its easy to do and you should use it in tabletop RPGs as calculating separate stats based on previous encounters is too much for a human in a short amount of time), I was also trying to say that people in the modern tabletop RPG design world are dropping the level concept. And what happens in tabletop games usually finds its way into video games given a few years.

Re:...Nothing to see here (2, Interesting)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507323)

Lots of games do use skill trees (for example the talents in WoW) - I think levels exist for a couple reasons:

1. They allow people to raise base stats as they level without thinking "I'll need more health" and allocating points to it. This makes it easier for developers to scale content.

2. A generalized skill systems makes it much harder to balance the game. Inevitably people figure out the "ultimate" builds for given game play styles (PVP, ranged damage, tank etc.). This tends to result in some players becoming overbalanced at which point in comes the nerf bat, players get annoyed at being nerfed etc.

I'm not against skill point systems if done well. I think that developers shy away from them because of the difficulty in getting them right.

Re:...Nothing to see here (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507421)

"Builds" will always exist--however a game that rewards ingenuity in builds that exists outside of sheer power and combat-based (or even non-combat based) sustainability and roles can also come into play.

For example, lets say Joe the Warrior becomes the strongest at using his long sword upon discovering that out of the thousands of abilities out there, long swords do the most damage per second. Right away I'd be concerned with the game--why does a long sword do the same to a dragon than an ooze? Yes, armor (damage reduction, or whatever you will call it) plays a role, but adding in extraordinarily complex design points BEHIND THE CURTAIN (i.e. in a place where the average user won't see it)

Right now WoW is no more complicated than DnD--even if you remove the human element and make the DnD game all "by the core rule book". There are more complicated equations, but in the end determining how much damage your dagger does in both systems is simply a random variable set to equations based on character modifiers vs. a set of equations based on your opponent's modifiers (plus the modifiers of the knife and the action taken, such as special attacks). Why should such a simple system be in place for something as complex as a computer game? There's no GM having to plug away at the numbers to ensure everything is added correctly--spice things up. Include more variables than simply "Hit", "Armor", "Resiliance", "Damage", "Parry", "Dodge" and "Resist". And don't be afraid to hide them.

Re:...Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25507599)

If there's one thing I've learned about a star system's spice flow, is that you have to be one hell of a Fremen.

Still, the spice must flow. At all times.

Re:...Nothing to see here (1)

SEE (7681) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507921)

Thing is, there already was a level-less Star Wars MMO, with a player-oriented economy, player-built cities with actual politics, etc. And it didn't do very well.

Now, you can argue that pre-NGE Star Wars Galaxies wasn't a good enough implementation . . . but it's a bit much to expect Lucas would try it again.

Re:...Nothing to see here (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508123)

Indeed; SWG was a game I was very proud to see developed. Unfortunately, most of the games I love so much due to advances in design tend to fall a little short when it comes to advertising and building hype. SWG had a ton of hype a while before its release...unfortunately its hard to for any online game not made by Blizzard or Sierra to break through the market and become enough of a success to get a big following in the US. Mind you in foreign countries little games are released every week that all players flock towards with the complete intention of leaving when the next big thing comes out. Also note that free games are rarely listed as a statistic despite their popularity...and for some reason Tabletop Games and Video Games are seen as different by the populace as Television Ratings and Agricultural Processing Yields. I had hopes for spore until the DRM...

Re:...Nothing to see here (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508465)

You need a Second Life, I think.

No levels, but then no skill points either. You can actually acquire a skill like scripting or building and get respect and even money for it. Want to try your diplomacy skills? Well, that's what all the other users are for. You can play games but can never be really killed. Find enough similar people and you could probably organize an in-world roleplay session, with GM and all.

Re:...Nothing to see here (1)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509655)

I wish I could diplomatically barter with another player for control over a star system's spice flow that we've worked hard to get control of. And I don't want that player to just be able to kill me (or have some other random player run up and kill one or both of us) without consequence.

Sounds a lot like EVE Online.

Hey, Lucasarts (1)

LegionKK (1298769) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507007)

No one cares, if it's not Grim Fandango 2.

Re:Hey, Lucasarts (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507045)

Or Maniac Mansion 3 / Day of the Tentacle 2

Re:Hey, Lucasarts (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509977)

Or Monkey Island 5.

Ugh (2, Funny)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507091)

Rich: You have to understand too, that all the players are heroic. When you play as a non-Jedi class, you're playing a heroic version of that class.

So instead of making the Jedi and other players on an equal ground by, say, making the Jedi untrained-in-combat Padawans or something, everyone gets to be their own special snowflake with tens of thousands of legendary bounty hunters running around at once. Brilliant.

It worked for City Of Heroes (3, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507315)

It worked well for City Of Heroes. Every player in COH is, at least in the design guideline, equal to three minions _and_ a lieutenant. That's what's needed for a fight against a hero to be a 50-50 chance, you know, better have a potion (ok, "inspiration") ready.

But that's ok, because the NPCs are also generated in packs of 3 for a solo mission, or pretty much in platoons for an 8 player group.

And yes, nobody seems to have a problem with being in a city with a thousand super-heroes roaming the streets at any given time.

Generally, when it comes to MMOs, probably the only sane option is to just accept what works and is proven to work, and not think much about what would be "realistic". Starting from the original idea waay back that it would be unrealistic to have quests, because it would be unrealistic if 1000 people saved the same princess or killed the same arch-villain. It turns out that people actually get used quite easily to situations along the lines of,

"Ok, did everyone get Van Cleef's head?"
"Yep, I did."
"Wait, I've got to junk something and then I'll take it too."
"I killed him yesterday, thanks"
"Crap, my buddy disconnected. Guess we'll have to come tomorrow so he can get VC's head too."

Same here. Even when logically it would make little sense to have 10,000 legendary bounty hunters, the players invariably can wrap their mind around that concept just fine anyway.

And, in the end, is it that illogical? How good do you have to be, to be a heroic version of whatever you're doing. One in a million? Being one in a million sounds pretty special to me. Well, a planet like Earth has some 6000 people who are one-in-a-million, and a planet like Coruscant could have 100,000 by itself, or more than enough for any server's population by itself. And there's a whole galaxy out there in Star Wars. There are probably trillions of trillions of sentient humanoids across the galaxy, and taking the best-of-the best, the one-in-a-million people would still mean more players than WoW has total or even than the Earth's total population.

I still think you could do it better (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508007)

The above "works", where ALL collect the head. Raids where only ONE collects the head get annoying. But how trivial would it be to re-write the quest so that you don't collect the head but get the proof of your deed some other way.

Or even, introduce a GROUP inventory and the quest item goes in there and the GROUP turns it in?

Other solutions:

  • A group quest doesn't end until it is turned in, so no splitting the moment the boss dies, the group has to return it together. MMO's LOVE time sinks.
  • Leader obtains the item, the engine tags all the players that assisted the leader and when the leader turns it in, their logs are updated.
  • Only one person gets the quest and hires other players to assist him. Maybe by promising them a share of the spoils, a reward or outright paying for their services.

Just copying the methods from single player computer RPG's does not work.

No pen&paper RPG does this stupid "A head for every group member" OR "only 1 person gets a reward for this quest" thing.

Re:I still think you could do it better (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508193)

Warhammer just prints a message across the screen that you killed the dragon, or whatever, with no quest item looting pretty much ever.

It was just an example (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508349)

Well, I'm certainly not saying it's the only way. It's just an example of something which logically makes no sense, but the players wrap their head around anyway.

Re:Ugh (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507881)

Aren't PCs always heroic in RPGs? The problem is that usually NPCs outnumber them and not just by counting the mooks.

X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter MMO (5, Interesting)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507095)

Lucasarts: What were your most popular games? X-Wing? Tie Fighter? Hmm... Make what everyone's wanted for a Looooong time, a MMO Star Wars starfighter game.

Load 128 players into a 100(Tie) versus 28(xwing) battle with a little briefing ahead of time as to the goals, maybe even include capital ship piloting and hyperspace buoys for tactics. Racing the Kessel Run, Speeder races, Blasting a womp-rat in your T-16; these things are fun, even more fun against other human-level intelligences. A Star Wars RPG? I've got old West End books [wikipedia.org] for that, and it's sooo much better than what a computer could ever provide.

Re:X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter MMO (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507277)

Make what everyone's wanted for a Looooong time, a MMO Star Wars starfighter game.

I'm pretty sure if this ever got made, I'd quit my job, school, and just play this game for the rest of my life.

Also, it isn't Star Wars, but look into Jumpgate Evolution. It seems like it might have some promise on scratching the "MMO space fighter game" itch.

Lock S-Foils in attack position! (2, Interesting)

nephridium (928664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507575)

Exactly! I just wanted to post this very message.

We could test different strategies attacking the first and second Death star - of course in both cases in the movies the rebels were just extremely lucky and in a real simulation the coordinators of the imperial forces will not be as "over-confident". Still it would be interesting to have the rebels figure out what kind of weaknesses could be exploited. There are definitely strategic design flaws at least in the first Death star and the imperial battle plan.

The films give us many scenarios to replay, such as the imperial attack on Hoth with the AT-ATs, maybe even mix in a little infantry action... Though I'm not sure if I wanted to play an Ewok in the Battle of Endor. ;)

There is such a host of details in the movies that the game could use - this is what so many Star Wars fans are longing for! Not the ability to play Wookie's third removed step-brother's cousin..

Been done: X-wing vs Tie Fighter. (1)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508015)

X-Wing vs Tie fighter [wikipedia.org] has been out for years and allows online multiplayer.

X-wing vs Tie Fighter? Not really.. (1)

nephridium (928664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508759)

That was what, 8 players max? - We need this on a massive scale! 8-16 players per squadron, 5-10 squadrons per wave, dozens of Calamari cruisers, Star Destroyers, each of them with players sitting in there having special functions like ship defense, reconnaissance, mission briefing, fighter deployment etc.

Hell, X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter didn't even let two or three players sit together in bigger ships like the Millennium Falcon (one pilot, two gunners as seen in the movies) - a total let down of a multiplayer game!

We are still waiting for a real simulation of the Star Wars space battles. While I really liked all of the Lucas Arts simulations for the PC to date one thing that nagged me was the excruciatingly slow burst rate, nothing like the movies! (The only game that kind of got it right was Rebel Assault, but that was more like an interactive movie than a simulation.)

Some devs might say players nowadays don't play games with joysticks anymore, but bring out a good space simulator and people will go out in droves and buy joysticks just for this game, even more so if it's Star Wars (tm).

Re:X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter MMO (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508419)

I remember their older work, Eidolon on Atari 800XL for example. Lucas arts was a very risk taking and adventurous company which invents things just like its founder has been once upon a time.

Check it to see what I mean
http://www.answers.com/topic/the-eidolon [answers.com]

Also look at how many platforms they supported before they became a MS DirectX puppet. Supporting that number of platforms in pure ASM (mostly) wasn't a trivial task.

Re:X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter MMO (2, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508825)

A Star Wars RPG? I've got old West End books for that, and it's sooo much better than what a computer could ever provide.

World of Warcraft? I've got old D&D books for a fantasy rpg and it's soooo much better than what a computer could ever provide.

Oh. Wait. A computer can provide better graphics. More people to play with. People to play with any time of day (or night). A computer can provide ready-built stories or just mindless killing, depending on the mood I'm in. To name just a few things. So, maybe those D&D books do provide some very cool stuff that I still enjoy so I won't get rid of them but that computer game certainly provides a lot of things that the books don't even remotely provide.

I'm just sayin'.

Re:X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter MMO (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509943)

Dude!

I just want to say ME TOO, just in case anyone from Lucas Arts is reading this thread (hey, it might happen!), and because I don't have any mod points.

If an MMO could recreate something like the battle of Yavin or Endor - with hundreds (thousands) of starfighters, all with human pilots, I would sell my soul to play.

Unfortunately I don't know if we are there yet technologically. Lets face it, hardly any other MOVIES have been able to approach those levels, let alone a networked simulation with pathing for all those fighters.

I know what class i'm rolling... (2, Funny)

erik umenhofer (782) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507187)

"If you think about it, though, Jedi get popped by people who aren't Jedi all the time. Not everybody's fantasy is to be a Jedi, believe it or not."

I'm rolling Bantha as soon as this comes out. Look out sand dunes! i'm so gonna be role playing all over your ass! Single file bitches!

Re:I know what class i'm rolling... (1)

xant (99438) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507491)

I'm rolling Womp Rat. At 3 meters, they'll be one of the better damage races, and Luke Skywalker is the only person who can kill one.

Re:I know what class i'm rolling... (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507671)

In that case, you're so fucked, there's going to be thousands of Lukes running around.

Re:I know what class i'm rolling... (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509911)

And just wait till you can drop some serious high-level poodo...

Crafting ... its a loot based game. (1)

rezalas (1227518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507207)

From TFA:

Gordon: We will definitely have crafting.

Great! I'm looking forward to a new starwars game with an amazing crafting system! What kind of system will it be? Can I expect a crafter based economy, something the original SWG had but every single other MMO out there has failed at doing?

From TFA:

James Olen, Studio Creative Director: Yeah, our game is about loot.

You lying son of a bitch... it only took you to paragraphs to turn around and plant that light saber right between by shoulder blades.

Re:Crafting ... its a loot based game. (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507273)

Not living up to your expectations is neither lying, nor stabbing you in the back. Also, take anything that they say with a huge grain of salt at this point: it sounds like they haven't even figured out how they want some parts of the game to work yet, so it's a bit early to be getting out the tar and feathers.

Re:Crafting ... its a loot based game. (1)

rezalas (1227518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507363)

read the article. He says there will be crafting, then goes on to day later that the game is based on loot drops and they don't think crafting matters and is below what a hero should do. Knife + spine.

Re:Crafting ... its a loot based game. (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507399)

I did read the article. I think you're seriously misreading it.

Re:Crafting ... its a loot based game. (1)

Rennt (582550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509973)

Crafting should NOT be beneath a hero. After all, a true Jedi crafts his own lightsaber.

I don't see how that's lying (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507477)

I don't see how that's lying. He said they'll _have_ crafting, not that crafting will be the only thing or the alpha and omega. There are a lot of games which have both crafting and loot. WoW is probably the most visible example, though you could take EQ2, LOTRO or WAR as equally good examples. It's the norm.

There are even games where you use the loot _for_ crafting. E.g., the seeds in WAR or the "invention" system in COH/COV.

Anyway, it sounds to me like you wanted the whole game to revolve around crafted stuff. It probably won't. But he didn't say it would. He only said there would _be_ crafting.

And I can also see why they wouldn't want a crafting-centric game. Invariably crafting produces inflation. That's why everything in WoW costs gold at the AH, when quests and mobs of that level pay copper coins. You don't want a game where soon newbies discover they have to farm and grind for months to afford any good item, so there has to be _some_ other source of decent equipment for those of us who hate farming and grinding. You want loot and quest rewards too. That's a lesson that most games and designers had to discover the hard way, after letting crafting create a hyper-inflation comparable to inter-war Germany and drive newbies away.

In fact, no offense, my wish would be the exact opposite than yours: I wish there would be at least one fucking MMO without crafting at all. I don't want my game tainted by a screwed up economy, just to catter to those who want to pretend they have a second job. If you want to pretend you're a baker or miner, there are plenty of games who let you be one. Heck, there's A Tale In The Desert, which is all about that. It's not that much to ask that at least _one_ fucking game lets me concentrate on the actual quests and adventure, instead of making me farm and hammer for hours to be able to afford some other retard's armours. The system is essentially punishing people like me, to reward people like you. And I'm getting sick and tired of that.

I don't want to play a Ferengi, spending hours at the AH, trying to get the best deals on cath-hound balls and goat horns, so I can afford a decent blaster. Ferengi are that-a-way in Star Treck. Different universe.

It's not even "realistic" for those who cling to that notion. Boba Fett earned his money by being a bounty hunter, not by having a main job in herding and skinning nerfs to support his bounty-hunting hobby. And for medieval MMOs, they had this idea of the 3 estates of society back then: those who fight, those who tend the God(s), and those who work. And they were supposed to stay separate. If you were a mercenary you'd get paid, and if you were a knight you'd have an estate. The last time when one had to use his day job to pay for his armour to defend his country was, oh, before the Marian reforms in Rome in 107 BC.

Re:I don't see how that's lying (1)

rezalas (1227518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509877)

You seem to be a bit confused, there aren't any games out right now where crafting is required including your big example world of warcraft. Infact, WoW is so raid centric that people in crafted gear replace it by the first 10 man raid they participate in. You say there aren't any games where you don't have to craft but you are completely wrong, there are NO games where you must craft to get places left worth a damn. Its all a bunch of hack and slashers.
Now, I'm not bashing hack and slash, I'm simply saying that yeah if you want to hack and slash? thats cool! Let me make the swords instead of a vendor because supporting the power gamers is more fun to me and rewarding than sitting in a raid for 5 hours a day 3 days a week. I'd rather be crafting new items.

Re:I don't see how that's lying (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509953)

You seem to be a bit confused, there aren't any games out right now where crafting is required including your big example world of warcraft. Infact, WoW is so raid centric that people in crafted gear replace it by the first 10 man raid they participate in. You say there aren't any games where you don't have to craft but you are completely wrong, there are NO games where you must craft to get places left worth a damn.

No, you seem to be the confused one. He didn't say anywhere that it would be crafting-centric, he merely said that they'll have crafting. Same as a car can be advertised as having a radio, without it being the central and most important bit in there.

So the accusation that he's a lying bastard just doesn't stick, anyway I want to look at it.

Now, I'm not bashing hack and slash, I'm simply saying that yeah if you want to hack and slash? thats cool! Let me make the swords instead of a vendor because supporting the power gamers is more fun to me and rewarding than sitting in a raid for 5 hours a day 3 days a week. I'd rather be crafting new items.

And I'm saying that it's been tried, and it screwed up the game for everyone else. Suddenly those "power gamer" newbies (*) can't even buy a toothpick, much less a weapon, without paying millions for it. Which they don't even _have_. That kind of game very quickly catters only to those who have a top-level alt with lots of money, or to those willing to sink months of their own into hammering stuff. Because there's no freaking way a new player can even compete with those for anything worth using.

You _have_ to check it by having loot and vendor stuff too, because otherwise the prices shoot through the roof, and you get a few people who get their boner out of being teh virtual uber-smith... but at the expense of having a million newbies who get tired of not being able to afford anything, and leave the game.

It's simply a bad trade-off. In fact, it's a way for any game to shoot itself in the foot. Because old players get bored and go away all the time, and if you turn off your newbies you end up without a replacement for them.

_That_ is why all games so far nerfed crafting. Because it's something that fucks up your whole game if you let it run amok.

And, hey, you want to craft? That's cool. But I'm not willing to sacrifice _my_ enjoyment for it. That's the kind of selfish guy I am ;)

(*) ... actually, just normal people who just want to do the quests and see the story, not get a simulation of taking a second job

Re:Crafting ... its a loot based game. (2, Interesting)

Clanked (1156473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507587)

That was the thing that made SWG(original) the best MMO made IMHO.
The crafting system was just amazing. Everything you used, was made by someone else. The way they did loot was a great idea as well, EPIC's were actually rare. Maybe one or two per big guild. Legendarys were just that, Legendary. These items were WAY better than anything that could be made, but they were extremely rare. I remember PVPing and when the opposing guy pulled out his Legendary T-21, and it was game over. Your normal loot (tapes), was items that you placed into player crafted items to make them much better. But again, required PLAYER made items.

Everything was about what players could make. People played that game just to craft, and had a lot of fun doing it. You had to choose between crafting and fighting (most of us had crafter alts). The BEST part about it, was better crafters with better resources created better items. A cheaply thrown together weapon, would have less than half the power of a top quality player made. People became famous for what they could produce. I still remember Chik's armor, and Fengo's buff packs on Bloodfin. That was years ago.

The other aspect that really helped this, was decay. Everything would eventually break. So that guy with the Legendary rifle, can't just run around using it all day long. He had to pick and choose when to pull it out, because each time he did it lost a little "life"

The economy drove content. Doctors would pay multiple groups of 10+ people to go hunt some meat for them. Being a doctor/crafter, they couldn't go kill things themselves. So they hire hunters to grab some. Instead of getting said meat for an NPC, and then it just dissapears, it would find its way into the economy.

Break the norms (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507263)

Loot. Crafted. Healer. Tank. Nuker.

Let's actively try to move away from the stereotypes. When people play MMOs they want escapism...these days, they want to escape from the real world shackles as well as the typical MMO trappings. Sure, let us shoot people and create wonderful items. But let us TRIP someone for god's sake and make a run for it instead of standing toe-to-toe, 6-on-1, swinging our sabers into empty air while some giant creature makes "Ow!" sounds.

All this technology...I can't even tackle someone properly, or swing from a rope across a giant air shaft carrying a cute if not stunning princess.

Re:Break the norms (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507573)

Well you can "kind of" do stuff like that in Guild Wars.

http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/%22You_Move_Like_a_Dwarf!%22 [guildwars.com]

http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Slippery_Ground [guildwars.com]

There also used to be this:

http://wiki.guildwars.com/index.php?title=Tease&oldid=935123 [guildwars.com]

But I guess it wasn't popular (or was too annoying, or both ;) ), so it got changed.

And this is funny (and useful):

http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/%22I_Meant_to_Do_That!%22 [guildwars.com]

Hope it pans out (1)

freyyr890 (1019088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507413)

I understand that a whole ton of SWG fans are upset over this, but I kinda like the direction this is taking. Balancing jedi is a good thing - it makes the class less attractive and allows the ability to play other classes without penalty. A lot of the SWG fans need to cool it and remember that this is not SWG 2 - this is a KOTOR title.

I was a huge fan of the original KOTOR (not the sequel). If this has instanced dungeons or something similar (for me, one of the only reasons the pick WoW over other MMOs) I'll definitely pick up a copy and fork over the monthly fee.

Harsh, man. (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#25507719)

the new game will be PC only, and LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the World of Warcraft customer base.

I already knew that corporations had almost unbridled powers, but murdering customers of a competing product? That seems rather mean-spirited, even for LucasArts.

Oh dear. The WoW customer base? (2, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508073)

If you ever played WoW, you would know that its customer base is rather... well... yucky.

WoW is the 12yr olds paradise who need desperatly an E-penis. Of course there are exceptions but WoW attracts its customers because it is an extremely simple game to grind rather then master or enjoy.

Don't get me wrong. You CAN master and/or enjoy WoW, but that is not what the majority of its 10 million subscribers do. They grind. They are not intrested in story, character development, immersion. They want to grind XP, get fat loot and show of their "rares".

Age of Conan had a LOT of problems but one "new" thing it did was introduce dialog trees in its quests. Not that advanced but leading to the following complaint from a player who went back to WoW:

"Why can't the dialog trees default the best options to 1 or provide a popup to confirm if you are making an important choice because I just press 1 to skip through all of them as I want to get on with the quest without reading".

If I was a little bit lazy I would find the original post. AoC at some points gave you the choice of your quest reward be in the dialog. If I remember correctly, it was the epic quest chain.

So the developers introduced a story, a background and the WoW player base just wanted to get it over with to grind loot.

AoC also had other problems, it had no loot, no armour. The game was supposed to be skill based, not based on what loot you had on you. The forums were filled with endless complaints that the armour from lvl 10 wasn't that different from lvl 40. IT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO BE! This way, a hardcore player and a casual player would have similar stats, very important in a PvP game that doesn't want to cater only to the most hardcore grinders.

Further problem, items weren't bind on equip, meaning you could pass them on easily once you no longer had a use for them. This meant there were no rare items to begin with, nothing special about them if there were rare and in plenty supply for low low prices. Again, no end of complaints despite the fact that this was how the game was designed. on purpose.

The complaints of course all were from the people who wanted AoC to be WoW. AoC had lots of problems but not being WoW was not one of them.

Going deliberatly after the WoW market means you HAVE TO be WoW. And not the WoW some ppl play, but the WoW 10 million people play. That is a very risky market to enter. First, Blizzard has shown they are the best at making WoW and nobody else has even come close. In fact everyone else has had to make a living by NOT being WoW and attracting customers who do NOT WANT WOW! If you introduce the perfect WoW clone, then why would people come to you? They already invested lots of money and time in WoW, so why would they switch?

if you change the smallest bit, the WoW fans will complain till you change things, but they will go back to WoW anyway and you will loose all those who hated WoW and wanted something different. If only there was an example of an MMORPG that attracted people who didn't like WoW style but the game went ahead and changed to attract WoW players, failed to attract them but repulsed its old players. Anyone? Maybe some Sci-Fi movie based MMORPG. *cough*SWG NGE*cough*

AoC showed on thing, the MMORPG market is huge. You can attract a MILLION customers at launch. You do NOT have to be a WoW clone but you have to very clear about WHAT you game is going to be like from the start (DEMO) and have it WORK.

new game will be PC only (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508405)

new game will be PC only (must be directx) and also "LucasArts is hoping to snipe some of the World of Warcraft customer base.". Somehow, they also need to re-assure the support of older title will continue.

I am just saying Blizzard still ships updates (even converting them to Intel) to 5-6 year old games and they use technologies like OpenGL as far as possible. They can easily ship a PS3 version for example. As they also have a CPU independent version, even iPhone version is possible.

Lucas arts should wake up and see the light, get off from Microsoft train and look the amazing possibilities once you try to stick with standards.

Now lets hope they won't buy that Cider thing after this message and claim they got OS X binary.

Summary (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#25508775)

Here's the summary for anyone who doesn't have time to read the articles: "Cool stuff coming but we can't discuss it yet."

Star Wars is boring (2, Insightful)

SystematicPsycho (456042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509015)

Star Wars used to be cool, but after the episode I,II and III flop (except the last 20 mins of III) most of us have given up.

WTF, we just got told something different. (1)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509377)

And just a couple days ago, some other gaming vidiot was telling us Lucas doesn't release games worth a shit on the PC platform.

Just goes to show you, one man's shit is another man's treasure... Or that people in power don't know what they are talking about.

Either way, good to see a new game coming out, and the AI (or programming, if you will) sounds kinda cool on this one. I always hated the fact (and it turned me off of gaming, actually, back in the late 80s / early 90s) that if you finished a game, chose a new / different character, you already knew how to beat the system, because the only thing that changed where the clothing on your character, basically.

When can I download this one :) lol.

--Toll_Free

Abandoning the consoles--a huge mistake (2)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25509527)

KOTOR sold 2-3x more copies on the Xbox than the PC. Now they're abandoning the console in favor of the WAY oversaturated PC-only MMO market?!? wtf? Very dumb move. They've abandoned a guaranteed cash-cow for another Star Wars Galaxies flop.
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