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Interview With Star Wars: The Old Republic Devs

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the new-information-there-is dept.

PC Games (Games) 55

Kheldon points out a lengthy interview at MMO Gamer with developers from BioWare Austin about their upcoming MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. They provide details about the game's method of storytelling, and discuss how they divide up the scenes and conversations such that one player may not always see what the player next to him does. Lead writer Daniel Erickson said, "What we wanted to do was be able to separate out people just long enough for the parts that were important for it. If you're going to go have a discussion with your dad Darth Vader, you probably want to go do that by yourself. Or, with your party, you can bring your friends with you. But you probably don't want a thousand people there, especially if a fight's gonna break out, because it wouldn't really make sense." Bioware also recently showed off the Smuggler class, and revealed that the game has hundreds of voice actors performing "hundreds of thousands of lines of dialogue."

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I dont care about star wars (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325223)

but i made my first comment for once:)

Bioware (0)

johncandale (1430587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325227)

Each successive Bioware product this decade has gotten a little worse. They started amazing, and ever release took them to great, pretty great, to good, to decent. I expect this trend to continue as the last great minds leave

But where will ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325241)

But where will

Smuggler class (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325261)

can you shoot first with these characters ?

Re:Smuggler class (0)

Firefalcon (7323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325283)

Where's my mod points when I need them? LOL...

Re:Smuggler class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28325377)

Only if ...

it's a trap!

Re:Smuggler class (1)

mattsgotredhair (945945) | more than 5 years ago | (#28331065)

its a tarp!

Re:Smuggler class (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326159)

I think you are confusing the Smuggler class with the Scruffy-looking-nerf-herder class.

Re:Smuggler class (1)

seeker_1us (1203072) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326345)

The true question is, "Can I shoot Jar Jar Binks first with these characters?"

Re:Smuggler class (1)

Wilvis (1557761) | more than 5 years ago | (#28332485)

Can you ship a complete product this time is the question? KOTOR2 was a good game but was lacking a little polish... another month in development would've gone a long way.

Re:Smuggler class (1)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28333625)

It wasn't bioware though. Thats why.

the most important question (4, Interesting)

omgarthas (1372603) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325287)

Can I be a Jedi?

Re:the most important question (4, Interesting)

Bios_Hakr (68586) | more than 5 years ago | (#28327601)

I would think that everyone in the SW universe would want to be a Jedi. They are kind-of an uber-ninja class with no real shortcomings.

So, the question isn't "can I be a jedi", the question should be "how do we make everyone not want to be a jedi."

SWG had a pretty fucked way of doing it. Especially in light of the fact that in the movies, you were either born with it or you weren't. Maybe this time around, every new character you create will have a 2% chance of getting Jedi powers. Maybe cap this in a way to keep people from just creating 50 characters to get a Jedi. Like the char must reach level 10 to know for sure and you can only find out if another, higher ranking, jedi encounters you. Maybe an aura or something that only master jedis can see...

Re:the most important question (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28328647)

I think the Jedi question is a pretty fundamental problem in any Star Wars MMO. I don't think arbitrarily limiting how many people can play a class would fly, though.

I suppose they could require you to reach max level in another class first, then begin training as a level one Jedi. Or, they could make Jedi a much tougher grind than other classes (they get 1/2 XP that other classes do). Or even combine these two ideas - only the dedicated go the Jedi route.

Of course, they'll probably won't do something like that. I think the way they'll likely do this is to try to figure out ways of making other classes as appealing - give them things to do that Jedi can't do (or wouldn't do). And of course, people won't care, and half the population of the game will be Jedi anyhow.

Re:the most important question (1)

Sasayaki (1096761) | more than 5 years ago | (#28330245)

*sigh* Jedi will be the "Night Elf Hunter" (or more recently, Night Elf Death Knight) of TOR then.

Re:the most important question (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338115)

*sigh*. Yet another level 1 Twileck Jedi dancing nekkid on the mailbox in Coriscant...

Re:the most important question (1)

T.E.D. (34228) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338081)

There is no problem with letting anyone who wants be a Jedi/Sith in SW:TOR because the lore for that era of the Star Wars Universe has lots of both running around.

I can see where they will have trouble with relatively few people wanting to play the other classes though. Being a Storm...er..Clonetrooper, even a supposedly badass one, just doesn't have the same panache.

Re:the most important question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28328657)

That's pretty stupid. Why would I pay to play a game where a serious class defining power up is given out on chance, and there's nothing you can do to obtain it, ever.

Re:the most important question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28328811)

They could do it just like they did with the first two KOTOR games. You don't start as a Jedi, you have to spend a great deal of time with guns, swords and vibroblades before you get your first lightsaber or any interesting force powers.

Even after I got the lightsaber, I preferred using a pair of vibroblades that I had modified to be just as powerful as a lightsaber with the best crystals. I would also switch to guns often to pick off enemies from a distance. One of the benefits to this was having a few more upgrade points to spend because you sink them into melee weapons and guns from the beginning and don't worry about spending more for the lightsaber abilities later on. It was also pretty cool to take out dark jedi with a "normal" sword.

Re:the most important question (2, Informative)

aztektum (170569) | more than 5 years ago | (#28330023)

You obviously are not following this game.

You will be able to choose Jedi/Sith from the start in SW:TOR just like SWG. Two key differences being that in the SW:TOR, a lot of Jedi/Sith fits with the era and they're making the classes balanced against each other - there will be no uber-class.

Re:the most important question (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28334221)

You could charge players with non-jedi chracters $10 a month and those with jedi $30 a month. You might also have strict requirements for jedi to perform a bunch of crap in-game duties to maintain their jedi's (taking regular mini's from the "jedi council"/"sith council" or face expulsion). That would allow those who REALLY want to play as jedi to do it, while at the same time having a little balance. Personally I wouldn't want to be a jedi anyway. I always found them to be douchebags in the movies (with the exception of Luke). I would take a sumggler or bounty hunter role any day over that.

Re:the most important question (1)

_32nHz (1572893) | more than 5 years ago | (#28374127)

Actually the would be a way of implementing Jedi that make sense both from the story and game points of view. Make them uber beings, but unable to own land, bank, trade etc (either declaring it against their creed or just have even more powerful Sith NPC's always gank it). This would allow 'casual' gamers that can't invest the time to develop an MMRPG character to play the game. I don't have enough experience to know if this would work for core player, (Last time I had enough time to play these games they were still called MUDs), but could have fun joining in on raids (even if I couldn't share the loot) if I didn't have to first spend days grinding.

YAMMO? (2, Funny)

haeger (85819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325371)

Yet Another MMO?

Zero Punctuation did a fair analysis about MMOs in general in this [escapistmagazine.com] review. At about 2:30.

I never got into these kind of games so I might be biased.

What's wrong with that? (4, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325593)

In any other area of games there are plenty. There isn't a single real time strategy game, a single first person shooter, etc. Why should MMOs be any different?

For that matter, we've seen very little in terms of what MMOs can potentially be. There hasn't been a whole lot of variety. Eve Online is one of the few that is really different, unfortunately it sucks. There is a whole lot of significant variation that could be done.

Even withing the typical "hack and slash" type of MMO, there's no reason there can't be more than one. Different people like different things and no one MMO will focus on all of them. A simple example might be difficulty. Some MMOs, World of Warcraft would be a great example, are very forgiving. While there are things in the game that take a good deal of skill to do, the over all game has a very low barrier for entry and doesn't punish you. This is one of the reasons its popular. Ok but not everyone wants that. Some people want a game with a much steeper difficulty curve, where failure is punished. Such a game won't see the player base WoW will, but it doesn't mean that there aren't some who want to play.

So I see nothing wrong with another MMO coming to market, so long as it is done well. It isn't as though a game "wins" and we no longer need to produce any more games of that type.

Personally, I'm hopeful for this one. I like sci fi, and Star Wars in particular. Sony made a total hash of Galaxies, so another one is needed. Bioware is a company I have a great deal of respect for, they've produce many awesome RPGs. Also, though I'm not a huge EA fan (who now owns Bioware), they have a few successful MMOs to their name, so they know a bit about running them. Thus I'm hopeful that this may prove to be a fun game to play.

Because really, that's all it's about. People like to whine and bitch about all kinds of things related to games in general and MMOs in particular as to what they "should" be but none of it is relevant if it doesn't relate to fun. Ultimately, the game needs to provide good enjoyment for the money. If it does that, it is a success. I don't care if it isn't "innovative", I care if I am entertained when I play it.

One of my favourite games still is Civilization 4. It's a great game, and I say that having played Civ 3, Civ 2 and the original Civ, as well as a host of other strategy games that are related. No, it isn't original, and it's title indicates that. It is "Yet another turn based strategy game." However, it's a good one and I enjoy it.

Re:What's wrong with that? (1)

Jarnin (925269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325977)

Sony made a total hash of Galaxies, so another one is needed.

It was a combination of LucasArts and SOE that borked galaxies. They decided to make a game set during the time of the original trilogy when they had the prequels coming out in theaters. Then there was the decision to have the Jedi archetype in a period when the Jedi were supposed to be extinct or in hiding. Had they placed Galaxies during the Clone Wars, the games release would have followed Attack of the Clones, which would have had cross-marketing working for it and there wouldn't be an issue with Jedi being all over the place. Of course I think they figured this out all too late.
After they finally got space into the game in 2004, the follow-up expansions are all from the prequel movies: Rage of the Wookies added Kashyyyk, a planet featured in Return of the Sith. Then there was Trials of Obi-Wan, which added Mustafar to the game, another planet in Return of the Sith.

Star Wars Galaxies failed because LucasArts and SOE had know idea what they wanted to create. They just wanted a box on the MMORPG shelf as soon as possible. Now it seems that LucasArts has figured out it's mistake and is trying to do it right this time. I'd love to play a game like Mass Effect as a MMO and if it comes with a Star Wars wrapper, even better.

Oh it failed long before that (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326921)

I played SWG from the first day it came out. I, and many others, were gone long before the big changes where they let everyone be a Jedi and so on. That was, in fact, the reason for those changes. They'd been losing people left and right and they were trying to figure out what to do. For some reason they thought "IF we make it more like the movies people will like it." No, sorry, that was never the problem.

Galaxies had two major problems that sunk it:

1) Bugs, bugs, bugs. Man was that game awful, especially from a company who allegedly knew what they were doing. After all, SOE ran Everquest, they know MMOs right? YA, not so much. The problem wasn't so much that the game had bugs, as all MMOs seem to, but that they never fixed them. They obviously had a split development environment where the "new content" people didn't talk to the "bug fix" people. Bugs would get patched, and patched and so on and the game would be pretty reasonable. Then a big patch with new content would come out and everything would be broken again. We aren't talking problems with the new stuff, we are talking bugs that were already fixed were reintroduced. They were using a old code tree and shit got broke all over again. It would then take a few weeks of patches before things were really playable again.

2) Sony's anti-fun team. I swear, they had a team of people who were dedicated to finding everything fun in the game, and taking it out. If people enjoyed something, they went after it. If something was hurting the game, it stayed in. As an example when cities came out one important feature was the militia. These were people who policed the city. If someone was acting like a jackass, the militia could warn them off, and then if they didn't leave, shoot their ass. It allowed players to regulate their cities. Well, someone found some exploit with it, that allowed them to gain combat experience. Ok, who cares right? That was so easy to get in the game. Nope, Sony went apeshit and disabled the militia's abilities. Of course as soon as this happened, the jackasses flooded in to cities and caused trouble, which the CSRs wouldn't deal with. They never fixed it and brought it back, at least not before I quit.

Now on the flip side of that was multi-splicing. People figured out a way to hack weapons and armor and make them waaaaaaaaay more powerful than they should be. Major imbalancing thing. So fixed right away right? Hell no. For over a month Sony denied it existed, then they said they were working on it but didn't do anything. Eventually they fixed the exploit, but didn't remove the hacked items, or ban players. I believe they did eventually remove the items, but the players didn't get banned.

What it came down to was that the game was extremely poorly run. In its original state the game probably with the Jedis being a hidden rarity (once we had all the Jedis on our server in our city for a meeting/show off, there were 3 total) it would have worked fine. Game needed some balance issues fixed and so on but over all, it was a solid idea. Hell it was the first MMO I ever saw where player housing was useful. The whole player cities were a neat idea.

However it was run by idiots. They didn't care to try and make it bug free, and they seemed to have no concern for what was fun. Thus people started leaving and then they REALLY screwed it up in a misguided attempt to fix it.

Re:Oh it failed long before that (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 5 years ago | (#28329847)

I haven't played SWG for more than a few hours, but I've played Everquest 2 for years, and recognise many of the issues you talk about. Like extremely slow bug fixes, and screwing up the game when removing exploits. I can also add abyssmal communication with their customers - servers could go down unexpectedly, and the SoE staff wouldn't deign to comment it on the web site. Fortunately, many of the issues have slowly improved during the last two years.

Re:What's wrong with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28326307)

"Eve Online is one of the few that is really different, unfortunately it sucks."

Of course it sucks, its an MMO. All MMO's suck because the entire genre sucks. Theres nothing you can do to fix it. No matter what you do, MMO's will always feel like youre walking around in a lame simulation of six-flags texting some people you call friends and waiting in line to kill the next foozle.

We already have a starwars MMO and it sucks. When this old republic MMO comes out there will be two starwars MMOs that suck.

Its a shame all the game companies are wasting their time making these MMO's while the single-player RPG genre withers away.

I would MUCH rather see a modernized KOTOR than yet another boring MMO.

Re:What's wrong with that? (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326609)

"Bioware is a company I have a great deal of respect for, they've produce many awesome RPGs."

Bioware has mostly been a second rate game developer. Outside of baldur's gate franchise and the original Kotor, everything from them has been middlingly average at best. I never was interested in mass effect or jade empire. When they moved to making 3D games the people who were responsible for Baldurs gate 1 and 2 seemed to have lost their focus or those developers moved on.

I was originally excited about neverwinter nights but it was such and underwhelming disappointment, the sequel was also a huge disappointment. The gameplay generally too heavily focused on a single character and what was frustrating was the lack of anything to do because the game was too focused on in terms of control on a main character, if NWN had more action RPG elements it would have made for a better game, NWN couldn't decide where it belonged in the RPG spectrum and ended up being mediocre.

I will give NWN team credit for building a tool to build neat custom games within NWN that were far better then anything Bioware released. But in my opinion the whole idea of the toolset is from hindsight just too talent and money intensive, it's remarkable the did release a halfway decent toolset but it was nowhere near as easy to creat mods for NWN as they let on, it was still a "developers toolset".

Thing is as graphics have advanced pre-fabricated stuff becomes more and more of an issue of necessity or the fact that you need better tools that are easy to use for the average user.

Truth be told gaming on the PC in terms of user modification needs to undergo a significant renaissance, too much diddling around without having stuff handled for you automatically.

Even after decades, all PC games, NWN, and even newer games like Supreme commander still haven't thought thoroughly enough about making GREAT tools so users who don't have a lot of technical programming or art ability can still make cool user made stuff that people want to use.

Re:What's wrong with that? (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326827)

Sorry I disagree. BG1 really reset the standard for PC D&D RPGs, and BG2 was just a perfection of that. Great story, great art, great music, just wonderful games all around.

NWN I was not as big a fan of, but in part because I was expecting another Baldur's Gate. Once getting used to the different gameplay, I enjoyed it quite a bit. As a toolset it is just amazing, equaled only perhaps by the Elder Scrolls Construction Kit, however it also has great multi-player. It allowed people to really do a CRPG version of pen and paper D&D adventures. For that matter it has been used to make what are in essence MMOs. Persistent worlds of multiple linked servers. That is an amazing achievement as an engine/tool.

Now in terms of classic RPG gaming/story, well they got back to that with the two expansions. NWN was the introduction of their tool, the game really picked up with the expansions. Good story, good gameplay and so on.

KOTOR, well that was just downright amazing. D&D 3rd edition made in to Star Wars. I loved it. Great voice acting, great story, great graphics, just an all around great game. The only downside was that they didn't do a sequel (Obsidian made KOTOR 2, not Bioware). Perhaps the reason for that was they were starting on this MMO. These things take a LONG time to develop.

Jade Empire, ya that one was a miss in general. The problem was mostly the combat system and game mechanics. It just didn't work well. The story was actually quite good over all, however the gameplay really got in the way. I didn't buy it when it came out at full price and I'm glad. It is an ok game, but a miss overall.

Mass Effect... Epic, that's all I can say. Is has replaced BG2 as what I consider to be the best RPG full stop. Any era, any platform, any time, I'd say Mass Effect is the top of the heap. Wonderful writing, the best voice acting I've ever heard in a game, great graphics, and a realtime/action engine that really works. It just doesn't get any better than this.

Now I'm not saying you have to agree, but that's my opinion. I think Bioware has an amazing record on games. Of their RPGs, Jade Empire is the only one I'm not a fan of and I didn't hate it, it just should have been better.

Finally as to your issue of modding: Well, there's really only so easy it CAN be made. Sorry, but that's life. The game engine can't read your mind. All that can be done is for good tools to be provided for you to work with. There's still going to be a lot of complicated shit that goes in to a complicated game. There's also no way that a tool can make you talented. If you want to make new graphics, I'm afraid you have to have art ability. You can't ask for a program to handle that for you. Likewise if you wish to modify the game's logic, you have to understand programming, it can't accept English as a command set, it isn't precise enough.

In general, I find that modern games which are designed to be modded are usually quite good. Civ 4 would be a good example. All the data is stored in XML, and most of the game logic is done in LUA. Makes it real easy to modify.

To me it sounds like you want something that will make you have talent you don't, which just can't happen. When you look at the things released for moddable games, the levels for UT3, the graphics for Oblivion, etc, etc you see that talented amateurs have no problem modding the games. However, you've got to have the talent in whatever area you are doing. No tool can save you from the burden of having to be able to develop and express your ideas. No matter how sophisticated a level editor is, you still have to be good at design to make an interesting, playable level. If you are bad at it, the result will be bad.

Re:What's wrong with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28327153)

Opinions cannot be wrong, but calling Mass Effect an RPG is factually incorrect. An RPG has choices that affect the game, ME had choices that affected the story only (and only in the final "cinematic"). Will the sequel take those choices into account? They claim they do but the console crowd is too kiddy for someone to get their hopes up.

Also RPG's have statistically defined systems, avoiding twitch as much as possible to maximize building up a character as opposed to measuring your skills and reflexes.

Lastly the story is a bit cliched, Babylon 5 and all, that said the universe was fantastic, just reading the "hidden" console texts they really figured out how space combat could realistically be fought, better than Freespace, Wing Commander, Homeworld, B5, nu-BSG, Star Trek, etc. All from text with absolutely no relation to the game itself. It is a real shame they did not make a game about suicidal wild weasel runs vs perfectly accurate laser batteries (intensity dropping off 1/r^2), in order to overheat the target ship, and later finish it off with mass drivers from a nearby (ie 1000's of Km away) capital ship.

Re:What's wrong with that? (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 5 years ago | (#28329877)

Opinions can't be wrong, but they can be stupid ;-) (No offense to any of the previous posters)

Re:What's wrong with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28331037)

It's not factually incorrect... its an RPG. Thats what they say it is, thats what you do in the game, you play the Role of a Character. You level up, your accuracy increases. Its just not traditional, and the way your looking at it, if its not traditional then its wrong? If that were the case we would never get anywhere. Face it its an RPG albiet a new generation RPG. And they damn well tried their best with a game that is already 15gb
without adding forks and advanced decision making.

Re:What's wrong with that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28332005)

The definition of an RPG is very universal, from acting to shooters, to books can all be classified as "playing" another role. But CRPGs are different they have a history defining the genre, Mass Effect is not part of that for the simple reason that it breaks the conventions, but not for gameplay or inovation, but to dumb it down for the console kiddies.

Re:What's wrong with that? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338077)

No, you are an idiot. Like every word in any language, it evolves over time. RPGs do not have to give you choices that change the game. JRPGs generally put you along rails from beginning to end (like final fantasy) where western RPGs tend to be more open and free (like oblivion).

Really, to be an RPG all you need is to have a level based system where each level increases your statistics. You don't have to avoid twitch skills. Games like the Tales series allow you to jump around/move/swing your weapon in real time.

RPGs have been evolving for awhile now picking up and combining things from other genres. FPS's these days are taking from RPGs giving you experience that allow you to evolve your character. Genres are all blurring together so nothing is as clear cut. But your rigid definition of RPGs doesn't even include games from the past that are very obviously regarded as RPGs.

Re:YAMMO? (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325683)

RTFA, as they say. While it might just be marketing bullshit, they do claim that they want to get away from the "you and 1 enemy take turns whacking each other for 60 seconds" combat model.

Re:YAMMO? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28334273)

As a console gamer (you know, one of the guys who helped make KOTOR a big success in the first place), I'm most disappointed that Bioware chose to basically turn their backs on us with a PC-only MMO sequel to the KOTOR series. Bioware has a strange way of saying "thank you."

I hope this isn't... (1)

DreamsAreOkToo (1414963) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325457)

I hope this isn't just another MMO.

Re:I hope this isn't... (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326363)

Well technically it is another MMO. Its also another Star Wars themed MMO. I think the elaboration you missed is that we hope this isn't just another cookie-cutter-boring-grinding-game made for people who have nothing better to do than spend countless hours of their dull lives trying to get armor and weapons that were 1.2% better than what they had before.

Re:I hope this isn't... (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28327159)

That would be why he said "I hope this isn't just another MMO". He knows it's going to be another MMO, but he hopes it will be more than another cast from the same mold.

Re:I hope this isn't... (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338187)

If you take away the grinding for slightly better statistics then it won't be an MMO. I know you may think that is stupid, but what else is a MMO supposed to do? You remove that parts of the game and you just have a regular RPG. If you make it a multiplayer RPG, why bother going in to hard dungeons with your friends? The challenge of it? Then once you beat it, you are done. Might as well just be playing single player games.

You might not find MMOs fun, but millions do. It's like you are complaining that Vegas came up with a new slot machine but it still requires you to out money in, watch something spin that you have no control over, and then you either win money or your money is consumed. So let's remove grinding for levels...you are max level. Let's remove grinding for gear, everyone has the best stuff. Now, what do you do? You kill each other. Oh wait, you just created a Star Wars version of Team Fortress 2. The things that people complain about MMOs for, are the things that make them MMO and make the people who like MMOs to keep playing them. So yes, it is going to be another cookie-cutter-grinding-game that you will find boring. Just like a new FPS will be another game where you get different types of weapons to shoot people.

having read the thing... (2, Interesting)

Fuzzlekits (909093) | more than 5 years ago | (#28325623)

It certainly seems like Bioware might be *the* people to revolutionize the MMO. I mean, they've pretty much put out some of the best RPG's in the last five years, maybe arguably decade. Allowing them to take their storytelling onto the MMO stage, and given what's in this interview... I'm hopeful this will be something different.

Got my doubts (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326155)

They claim to want to make a cinematic experience, hundreds of hours long. A story that you create. Where you are in charge of your own Star Wars Saga.

A lofty goal, but this is Bioware and they NEVER done this.

In fact, the newer the Bioware game, the more it has been on rails, with little reflection on what your actions meant in the world at large. Fallout was the game were you changed the world.

Knight of the Old Republic really only had two paths both of which you could switch from instantly at the end. The planescape:torment team would be better. The Fallout team would be best but Bioware? Unless they had a massive rethink, this ain't going to work. I hope it does, but got serious doubts.

If few companies are already capable of making a user created story in just a few hours of gameplay how are they going to do it with hundreds of hours?

And just what are they going to do with the WoW kiddies who only care about the path that gives them the phat loot and are going to spam every chat channel with "which has better stats, killing my father or not?".

Ambitious project, but so far, I see only concept art that look intresting, while the actual game mechanics are still the same old MMO. The cinematic trailer is amazing, but the motion capture so far doesn't look anything like it.

Re:Got my doubts (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28326241)

Knight of the Old Republic really only had two paths both of which you could switch from instantly at the end.

KOTOR 2 was even worse, and it had a lot of boring dialogue to boot.

Looks like the best SW game is still Tie Fighter. I only wish I knew whatever happened to my CD :(

Re:Got my doubts (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 5 years ago | (#28330113)

KOTOR 2 was even worse

And was made by Obsidian, not Bioware.

Re:Got my doubts (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 5 years ago | (#28334217)

Looks like the best SW game is still Tie Fighter. I only wish I knew whatever happened to my CD :(

I just open the box and look at my 3.5" discs, wondering whether or not it's worth it to go find a floppy drive from a used computer store somewhere.

It doesn't sound *that* new, sadly. (1)

cfalcon (779563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28327019)

The part that sounds new is that you'll (in theory) have a reasonably personalized and cinematic experience the entire time. Whether you and the smuggler next to you will have essentially experienced the same plot? I don't know. I'd be tempted to say it doesn't matter because for sure every rogue in WoW has had the exact same plot and hasn't had any choices at all, plot-wise speaking, but that point is at the clutch of the single player claims that they make.

The interviewer asks them a hard question: what happens when the smuggler has a plot point, and you don't? And they were like, well, if you let Han Solo go off to talk to the Hutt on his own then the story diverges at that point. But the player will be asking questions like, if I help the smuggler do his thing, is he gaining XP while I'm not? Do we have to all help each other in a cycle, and what about the fact that the healer (not that there are really healers in the Star Wars universe in the MMO-style, but given it is an MMO, what do you think will happen?) has to go in 15 minutes?

They also talk all about the single player game, but then also talk about the same weekly raids WoW has, being designed by WoW raiders. This tells me that anything new is not really on the table. You will have tanks, healers, and dpsers. You will have big bosses, and need a guild and a weekly schedule, and if you don't do this, whatever pvp will wind up in the game will be horrible for you.

Re:It doesn't sound *that* new, sadly. (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28327171)

They also talk all about the single player game, but then also talk about the same weekly raids WoW has, being designed by WoW raiders. This tells me that anything new is not really on the table. You will have tanks, healers, and dpsers. You will have big bosses, and need a guild and a weekly schedule, and if you don't do this, whatever pvp will wind up in the game will be horrible for you.

That doesn't follow. They're demonstrating that they understand some people want that kind of gameplay, and will try to provide it to them. They're not saying that's all there will be, not in the least. You're reading far too much into what they said.

Re:It doesn't sound *that* new, sadly. (1)

cfalcon (779563) | more than 5 years ago | (#28327377)

"That doesn't follow. They're demonstrating that they understand some people want that kind of gameplay, and will try to provide it to them. "

Oh, I agree with that. But the carrot for raiding is usually "able to crush all those before you", or at least "have a character with gear levels that doesn't get you ignored or never grouped with".

The fact that they don't address it leaves that as the default conclusion.

"They're not saying that's all there will be, not in the least. You're reading far too much into what they said."

Really I'm not. Many wow players who can't or won't raid level a bunch of characters to max level and then never log them in- not because they feel that they completed the story, but because they feel that their characters are no longer of any use to have fun with.

Re:It doesn't sound *that* new, sadly. (1)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#28328925)

Of course most players within a class will experience a similar story. Every true branch in plotline dramatically increases the cost of production for the rest of the story arc. Unless they expect players to choose the same class multiple times, it's really not worth branching off in too many different directions. The cost of development would be astronomical.

Essentially, the first "true" branches are when the player chooses a class, from what it sounds like. From there, it's all about the *illusion* of choice, while providing just a few minor branches that typically intertwine back with others a little ways on. At that point, the "choice" you made can be reflected in small choices of dialogue, whether or not a particular character is alive or not, etc...

So, yeah, I'd guess the actual divergence of the plot between characters of the same class will be sort of minor. But so what? I'm not complaining about this - just pointing out the reality of it. It's simply too expensive and time-consuming to allow a player total freedom - that is, unless you don't care about telling a cinematic story. Even the "sandbox" games out there, such as Fallout 3, end up reverting back to a scripted storyline which every branch in the game ends up meeting back up with.

Re:It doesn't sound *that* new, sadly. (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 5 years ago | (#28338277)

Your PvP complaint isn't even true in WoW. If you raid in PvE you can get really great gear...for PvE. Take that gear and PvP with it, and you will be destroyed. If you PvP a lot, you get honor points/arena points which you can exchange for better gear that is good for PvP and horrible for PvE. So you can take whatever route you want. Yeah, if you want to experience the raid content that takes hours to get through, then you need to have the time to do that. But just because some people can't participate in it doesn't mean they shouldn't create it.

Hmmm ... (2, Insightful)

Xaemyl (88001) | more than 5 years ago | (#28328633)

I dunno. They seem to be painting themselves into a corner.

On the one hand, they can make it where no one can be a Jedi (and who wants to play Star Wars where you CANT be a Jedi?), or they can make it where you can play Jedi (and who wants to play those other classes when you can be a ZOMGuberJediNinjaGankingn00bs)

I forsee bad things happening with this game either way they go.

Fuck That (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28332745)

Raise your hand if you'd rather have Kotor 3 instead of sending bioware money every month

Re:Fuck That (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#28335627)

I would raise both hands and my legs too.

end game? pvp? (1)

mr good (1377129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28336133)

i assume that at some point this main quest will end. at that point, what will motivate players to continue paying a monthly charge to play the mmo? will the game segue into WOW style raids? or, will the devs take a more WAR-like PVP approach to solving the endgame issue? as a matter of fact, i haven't heard anything about whether or not PVP will actually be in this game-- i assume there will be something since the game takes place during some kind of epic struggle between light and dark jedi. any information?
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