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SOE Also Making a New Star Wars MMOG?

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the empire-strikes-back dept.

PC Games (Games) 49

Hand Solo writes 'Ten Ton Hammer has an inside scoop on SOE making a new browser-based MMOG based on Star Wars. Rumor is that it will be run on the Free Realms platform. This is generating a lot of buzz around the net. Quoting: 'Former and current Star Wars Galaxies players can still remember the sting of the 'New Game Experience' that changed the face of that game for everyone. SOE has repeatedly said that they have learned from their mistakes, and plan to not repeat them. If SOE isn't expressly targeting the hardcore segment this time around, they (unlike BioWare) won't have quite the same initial level of expectations to deal with. Don't let us give you the impression that SOE plans to take on BioWare, and their highly anticipated MMOG debut, The Old Republic, particularly given the engine the game is rumored to be based on. More plausible is that it will be based off the Clone Wars CGI animated film, offering a more stylized approach to the universe. "

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Browser Based? (4, Insightful)

kupan787 (916252) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320271)

I just don't see how a browser based MMO would ever succeed. There would have to be so many limitations, its like handicapping yourself out of the gate!

Re:Browser Based? (5, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320305)

You mean browser based MMOs like Runescape or Kingdom of Loathing? Or all the social-networking MMOs? Or what about kids games with MMO-like themes like Neopets or other virtual pet sites or Adventure Quest All you are really limited by is A) Connection speed and B) Graphics. However its -far- more convenient for your users. For one is the ability to play it on almost any computer, from a netbook to a Core i7, to your old Pentium III stored in your basement. Its also OS independent, if you stick to Flash, Java, server-side code and Javascript. Another is portability, its unfeasible to install WoW on a library computer or a locked-down internet cafe computer, but most computers have Flash, a browser and Java and so you could play a browser-based MMO quite easily.

Re:Browser Based? (-1, Offtopic)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320899)

Got to love dicks with mod points. 5 posts of mine modded troll (including this one which even the /. reader with a low IQ can tell its not a troll) for no reason. Quite sad that someone would want to censor someone so badly that they would mod down all posts by them.

Re:Browser Based? (-1, Troll)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29321767)

Why are you so obsessed with mod points?

Re:Browser Based? (5, Informative)

negRo_slim (636783) | more than 4 years ago | (#29321491)

And let us not forget Quake Live, pretty impressive for a browser plug-in. And once you run in full screen the whole 'browser based' part has less and less meaning.

Re:Browser Based? (1)

vikstar (615372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29328397)

Depends on how you define "browser based". Quake Live really just uses the browser as a launch platform, it's not as if the game is written in JavaScript. The question is whether this MMOG will be purely run inside the browser, with 2D graphics using GWT style libraries, or will it be like Quake Live which i'd conjecture isn't really browser based.

Re:Browser Based? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320369)

It's something these days, isn't it? How a man can misuse two idioms from horse racing to make a totally different meaning. Not even in the same sentence, but the same clause!

Re:Browser Based? (1)

flydpnkrtn (114575) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320575)

Rocco: "Hey, Doc, I've gotta buy you, like, a proverb book or something. This mix and match shit's gotta go."

Re:Browser Based? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29320613)

It's something these days, isn't it? How a man can misuse two idioms from horse racing to make a totally different meaning. Not even in the same sentence, but the same clause!

Maybe he's black. Then getting it right would mean being "too white" and we can't have that.

Re:Browser Based? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29320597)

Because FreeRealms (mentioned above) and its 5 million subscribers within weeks is a failure.

Sony nailed it with FreeRealms. Free to play, but subscribers get all the best bits, and with microtransactions for addons, they've got a gold mine on their hands.

Re:Browser Based? (4, Funny)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320951)

They mention Freerealms, which basically just uses the browser as a character/server selection lobby and executable launcher.

The Cartoon Network's FusionFall MMO is more accurately browser-based, since it uses a Flash-like rich-media plugin.

SOE? (2, Funny)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320275)

Sony... of... Europe? Seriously, I can understand not expanding the acronym in the title, but maybe something in the summary? I have no idea what SOE expands to in this particular context.

Re:SOE? (4, Informative)

Xocet_00 (635069) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320289)

Sony Online Entertainment

Re:SOE? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29320727)

They didn't expand it because they assumed people knew what the acronym meant. I.e., no one says "North American Free Trade Organization".

(That example is relevant because most people _should_ know what NAFTA is, but they don't. :-p. Similarly, SoE is kind of a big deal?) /gamer-geek
By the way, excuse my OCD on this topic.

NAFTO?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29321173)

NAFTO?!?

Re:SOE? (1)

SBrach (1073190) | more than 4 years ago | (#29321201)

What is gdiya(Google Down In Your Area). YPB (You Poor Bastard). Good thing others were able to gtfy (Google That For You). HAND.

Slashdot -- Marketing For Cheap (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320349)

It's like a press release about an alleged apple product that may or may not have past the point of "thought experiment". Only this time, it's for Sony. Please tell me you charged them to post this article, otherwise it's just really, really sad...

Re:Slashdot -- Marketing For Cheap (2, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320513)

Sure, but its still "News for Nerds" (perhaps not "stuff that matters"). It involves A) MMORPGs and B) Star Wars, both of which nerds tend to like.

Re:Slashdot -- Marketing For Cheap (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320579)

Sure, but its still "News for Nerds" (perhaps not "stuff that matters"). It involves A) MMORPGs and B) Star Wars, both of which nerds tend to like.

Correction it involves a MMOG, MMORPG would be expected to have RPG elements while a MMOG doesn't have to.

Re:Slashdot -- Marketing For Cheap (4, Funny)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320975)

Correction it involves a MMOG, MMORPG would be expected to have RPG elements while a MMOG doesn't have to.

By contrast, a MMOG has elements of both Mman and Dog. They are, allegedly, their own best friend.

_MORE_ stylized? (1)

thegsusfreek (769912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320677)

offering a more stylized approach to the universe

TOR is already stylized!

Re:_MORE_ stylized? (1)

clem (5683) | more than 4 years ago | (#29323543)

Well, yes, but in the SOE version each character will be visualized as a weeble-wobble.

SOE... (1)

el_tedward (1612093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320705)

I might be interested in the game, but... after all the crap SOE pulled with Star Wars Galaxies, I view them in pretty much the same evil-corporation-making-a-crappy-product-and-shafting-their-users way that I do Microsoft.

I wish them the best... (1)

Erinnys Tisiphone (1627695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320753)

SOE has a pretty weak line up of MMOs these days. I believe Matrix Online finally closed its doors last week. Perhaps they will do better in the browser-based market - its mostly occupied by start-ups and the APAC developers. I wonder how they've managed to make so many bad business decisions after Everquest. Perhaps too much bureaucracy. Still, it doesn't look like the right game for me.

NGE... Never Forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29320859)

Not giving SOE (or Sony, if I can help it) another cent of my income.

Ever

Re:NGE... Never Forget (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 4 years ago | (#29321051)

And what travesty did Sony Online Entertainment commit towards Neon Genesis Evangelion?

Re:NGE... Never Forget (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29321807)

CU = Combat Upgrade. [wikipedia.org]
NGE = New Game Enhancement. [about.com]

With these two changes, Sony Online Entertainment completely fucked the Star Wars Galaxies that a couple hundred thousand people knew and loved. They DESTROYED the gameplay experience that made SWG worth playing instead of a dozen other EQ-like games. Not only that, they released the NGE with no warning, about a week after a paid expansion pack for the *old* version of the game. So a large percentage of their players had bought the expansion pack and then a week later, some of the content in it was not even part of SWG anymore.

Raph Koster (the creative director of the original SWG) told the upper management point-blank: "If you do this, you will lose all of your existing playerbase. Not some of them, all of them." They did it anyway, because they didn't think the old game was successful enough, and they wanted SWG to be WoW. They gambled that they would be able to attract more new players than they lost old players (they were wrong.)

NGE now stands as a cautionary tale to MMO game designers. Once you give players a certain gameplay experience at launch, you can add new things to it, but you cannot take things away. If you rip the guts out of your game and build a new one in its place, your paying customers will get totally pissed at you and will cancel their subscriptions.

There are tens of thousands of people who will never, ever play a Sony MMORPG again because of how badly SoE fucked them with Star Wars Galaxies. I had already quit the game long before these things happened, but I will never play a Sony MMORPG again either, because its just not worth the risk.

Re:NGE... Never Forget (1)

Erinnys Tisiphone (1627695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29325319)

Ironically, I hear an epic NGE was made upon the release of Champions Online. Its even made news articles - guess the developers did not learn, after all.

SOE has repeatedly said that (3, Interesting)

yerktoader (413167) | more than 4 years ago | (#29320921)

"they have learned from their mistakes, and plan to not repeat them.......Again."
FTFY.

They've said it before, and they might just say it again. This company is near the top of awful companies I've worked for - promoting some terrible people into management, and promoting terrible business practices. I played SWG the night before it came out, and TWO of ten quests worked...Good luck, you'll need it!

Tsk, obvious troll (0, Flamebait)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#29321415)

SWG didn't have quests.

Better luck trolling next time.

Re:Tsk, obvious troll (2, Insightful)

yerktoader (413167) | more than 4 years ago | (#29321627)

Whatever you want to call them, missions, doesn't matter. They had them in the beginning.

Re:Tsk, obvious troll (1)

Erinnys Tisiphone (1627695) | more than 4 years ago | (#29325381)

Yeah, verk's right: I remember those "mission terminal" dealies - they gave you very generic MMO delivery quests. Its been a while! I left SWG rapidly and angrily, too. Also played Matrix Online, but it was another brilliant concept that had the same dreadful problems. It always felt like too much bureaucracy and mismanagement.

lawl (1)

tengeta (1594989) | more than 4 years ago | (#29321027)

So what happened, they couldn't find any more ways to screw up Star Wars Galaxies?

Since when is Bioware going hardcore? (4, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#29321595)

The poster seems to claim that Star Wars The Old Republic is going hardcore, but that just seems to be a wish from a lot of WoW players, there is little indication this will be true.

For those who are lost, hardcore has become term in the MMO market to describe those players who like World of Warcrafts end-game raiding system. In this system there are a series of dungeons populated by though bosses you fight with a group that drop 1 piece of armour each time. You need said armour piece to stand a chance in the next dungeon. Since only one piece drops for a group, you either got to be very lucky or repeat the dungeon multiple times. Say it is a 24 man raid, then you need to do the raid 24 times for everyone to get it. To support this, complex point systems have been created (Suicide kings and others) to arrange who can win what and when.

Some would call this a grind, doing the same thing over and over for a piece of gear that will just enable you to do the same again in another dungeon. Other call this hard. The idea is that hard and a lot of work are the same thing. Hardcore for some means "though challenge" for others it is closer to "spending lots and lots of effort". Gear in WoW is "special" because it would have either cost you a lot of time or you been very lucky on the rolls. Sadly, for some, this is translated into skill.

The debate on hardcore vs "easymode" then becomes that certain gamers who are willing to spend a lot of time into a game get upset if EVERYONE gets that special item just by completing a quest. It is not the thougness of the quest that is the issue but that in quest mode EVERYONE gets the reward, not just one person. There for in quest mode if a special item is rewarded, you only need to do it once.

Some people (like me) claim that the people who can sink a lot of time into a game are kids with little else happening in their lifes. They get upset when normal people with jobs and responsibilties can get as far in the game as them. If everyone can achieve the same, then they are no longer special.

For an MMO developer it is a though choice. There are a LOT of kiddies out there (and please note, being a kiddie has NOTHING to do with your real age) but there are also a lot of carebears out there. Ideally, you want both to pay for your game but that is unlikely to happen. So, you got to make a choice and it doesn't matter what choice you make, the other side will claim that you are failing because of that choice. Yes, some people claim WoW has failed because it only attracts the "kiddies". I wish I had a failure like that.

Almost every new MMO forums will be overrun by basically two groups. On the one hand the people who think the sandbox MMO's like Ultima Online and (especially in this case) SWG should make a comeback and on the other hand the WoW kiddies who think WoW is so great every game should be a carbon copy.

Bioware has "competed" against Blizzard before. Baldur's gate vs Diablo. Yeah really, both are RPG's so obviously they compete against each other. Read some players posts on the subject. Plenty a diablo player slams the heavy talking in Bioware games and many a Bioware player calls Diablo gameplay an endless boring hack&slash. In reality, the games are of course completly different and will generally appeal to different people. Only the true gamer, the totally cool and fantastic (like me) will play both games and enjoy them for what they are and not for what they are not. Yes, I am that good, worship me.

But when Kotor came out, many a diablo player posted that it should have less talking and more slashing.

And the exact same thing is happening right now with SWTOR.

Bioware has not been extremely clear on exactly what the gameplay is going to be like in SWTOR. But what they have told so far is that there is going to be a LOT of story and the you make choices similar to the ones we have come to expect from Biowares single player RPG's. Raiding often forms the endgame in an MMORPG (well, it does in WoW and WoW is all MMORPG's) so there is heavy speculation on PvP and PvE gear and raid bosses. That the game might not have raids the same as WoW is something a lot of commentators can't even conceive. WoW does it like that, so every MMO must do it like that and Bioware could surely have no other goal then to be a WoW-killer and get all the WoW players to join them (something by the way that many a game has tried and failed to do).

However so far, there are no real indications from Bioware they actually intend to be hardcore, they repeated often that the game will be very casual/solo friendly. They haven't outright said that hardcore players will find nothing for them but we might actually get the first "big" mmo that does NOT try to follow the WoW route (sorry lotro players, with the expansion Moria, lotro has gone the whole raid gear set as well).

This is what we do know. Bioware is producing a MMO with heavy story telling and decision making, with a relativly light-weight engine and trying to give casual players a chance. Nothing in this says to me they are going hardcore like the original poster seems to suggest.

If Lucasarts is crazy enough to launch two MMO's on the same license at the same time then a browser based MMO is going to have to appeal to an every more casual audience then SWTOR seems to be aimed at.

It might be possible. What I objected against is the suggestion that Bioware's game is going to be "hardcore".

Trust me, if you follow MMO debates (yes I know, silly thing to do) then that is about the worsed insult you can hurl at a game.

Re:Since when is Bioware going hardcore? (0, Troll)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29321839)

Man, that's extremely fucked up. I don't think I ever want to play an MMO again, after reading that (not that I had a very strong desire to in the first place, but I'm sometimes tempted).

Re:Since when is Bioware going hardcore? (2, Informative)

Morlark (814687) | more than 4 years ago | (#29326055)

Just in case anyone reads the original comment and thinks it's accurate, it's not. I'm not sure if the poster dislikes WoW and just likes to trash talk it, or if he's never played WoW and is speaking out of ignorance, but basically the comment couldn't be more wrong.

The term "hardcore" does not have anything to do with absurdly grindy loot rules, or anything of the sort. Hardcore refers to the game mechanics, and to how tightly tuned the boss encounters in the game are. A "hardcore" MMO is one that would require to min-max your character to get the most damage/healing/whatever out of it, to get the best gear available to you, and would give you very little margin for error during the boss fights. It is this last point which people usually point to as an example of player skill. I think it would be fairly self-evident that overcoming whatever challenge the boss encounter throws at you while not making any mistakes must surely require some manner of skill, no? At the end of the day, you're playing for the challenge. If there's little challenge to the boss fights, they're less fun.

Contrary to the assertions of the OP, the prestige associated with certain hard-to-get gear is not the fact that you have "be very lucky on the rolls", but in the challenge associated with the boss fights. In fact, as far as I can tell, the first five paragraphs of that post are literally flat-out lies. I have no idea how it's been modded +5 interesting, since it seems to be pretty much entirely a troll to me. Bosses in WoW have never dropped only one piece of loot, even at release, when the game was considerably more hardcore than it is now. As others have already pointed out, WoW was never as hardcore as some oldskool MMOs like Everquest, and it has been made considerably more friendly to casual players over time. New boss encounters have consistently been tuned to be easier, and are considerably more forgiving of mistakes. WoW has actually done an excellent job of catering to both the casual and hardcore crowds. There are still some boss fights that are quite challenging, and beyond that there are even optional hard-modes that give extra rewards.

As to the OP's claim of "[The hardcore crowd] get upset when normal people with jobs and responsibilties can get as far in the game as them. If everyone can achieve the same, then they are no longer special." This has never been true. And I'm speaking here as a non-hardcore player. It took me the better part of two years to get my character to level 60, for example. The argument has never been about "getting as far" or "achieving the same". In an ideal game, everybody with the skill to succeed would be able to make the same progress, see the same content, get the same loot, regardless of if they have a busy schedule and only have a few hours a week to put into the game. The complaint that was made comes about because the players themselves (and I mean pretty much all the players, not just "hardcore" players or whatever) use the level of gear as a measure of the players progress. The problem was that a few years back, it was possible to obtain the top quality gear without possessing any skill, and in fact without any input of effort in the slightest. If you need to group with some people to accomplish something in the game, it helps to know if they're competent, right? Well, there are few enough ways to tell this in a game like WoW. Previously, gear could be used as a sort of check for that. But if everyone is wearing top of the line gear, you might bring along someone on the assumption that they're competent, only to spend hours fruitlessly banging your head against a wall. Thankfully that situation was eventually remedied, and the complaints have been significantly quieter since.

The OP has gone to significant lengths to try to portray the hardcore crowd as nothing but whiny kids. In fact, some of the more hardcore players I've known have been adults in their late 20s and early 30s with lives and even kids of their own. These people have never said that "WoW has failed because it only attracts the kiddies". Why would kids complain about WoW attracting kids? Another lie by the OP, methinks. In fact, the hardcore players merely said that WoW was not the game that they wanted. It's a perfectly valid opinion. And it's undeniable that WoW has been courting the more casual players. Different games for different people. It's never about the loot or the in-game rewards. It's about the challenge of playing, and having fun. Some people like a game with a little challenge.

Re:Since when is Bioware going hardcore? (1)

blanck (1458239) | more than 4 years ago | (#29327655)

Interesting points, but I think you downplay the role of role of playing time in the 'hardcore' mentality.
The challenge in raid content is getting the entire raid force to work cohesively together as a group. In a 'hardcore'-leaning game, this cohesion needs to be very tight for the group to succeed. In a casual-leaning game, a more rag-tag group of players is often able to succeed.
Hardcore groups of players rely on their members to consistently show up for raid times and to pay attention during raids. Both of these points correspond to play-time - hardcore players are both more likely to be playing on a given night and less likely to need to AFK at a critical time.

Re:Since when is Bioware going hardcore? (1)

Yuuki Dasu (1416345) | more than 4 years ago | (#29328399)

Interesting points, but I think you downplay the role of role of playing time in the 'hardcore' mentality.

The challenge in raid content is getting the entire raid force to work cohesively together as a group. In a 'hardcore'-leaning game, this cohesion needs to be very tight for the group to succeed. In a casual-leaning game, a more rag-tag group of players is often able to succeed.

Hardcore groups of players rely on their members to consistently show up for raid times and to pay attention during raids. Both of these points correspond to play-time - hardcore players are both more likely to be playing on a given night and less likely to need to AFK at a critical time.

I've played on both sides of the fence, in race-to-the-top guilds and yeah-we'll-do-that-if-we-get-around-to-it-next-year guilds, and I'd say that play-time is given more attention than it deserves.

It's true that to be successful, you have to have a schedule. A lot of people balk at this, because they aren't accustomed to it with video games. But MMOs aren't like other games. Persistent teamwork is required to make anything happen. Is someone a hardcore thespian if they go to mandatory rehearsals for their community theatre troupe twice a week? Are they a hardcore musician if each week they play together a few hours a couple times? I wouldn't think so, it's just a hobby. The stereotypical hobbies here on /. are frequently solo-oriented hobbies like tinkering with tech and code, but plenty here also do things regularly that they don't think are particularly odd.

Next, someone will raise the claim that "hardcore" means you get together at least four or five times a week. That's not needed to see all the content in WOW, though. It's all about attitude and preparation.

If you read up on the new things you'll be trying beforehand (akin to practicing your music outside rehearsal, I suppose), you can get through all the content in the game getting together only twice a week. If you want to race to be first, you'll be gathering considerably more often than this, but typically only when new areas are released; otherwise, you can get through everything quite quickly, if you are focused. A lot of groups will make only three or four attempts an hour; if you're focused, you can bring that number up to six or more, and make less repetitive mistakes. The misconception comes from when more social-based guilds want to get "serious" about things by adding more time to their raids. Almost invariably, I've seen that this only leads to more screwing around, stretching the same amount of effort and attention (and hence, success) over a larger period of time.

Re:Since when is Bioware going hardcore? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29327769)

As others have already pointed out, WoW was never as hardcore as some oldskool MMOs like Everquest,

See, I used to play Everquest, and I would have never used the word "hardcore" to describe it. It seemed a lot like a simplistic kids' game to me. It was enjoyable in parts, but the only thing that would differentiate the "hardcore" player from the casual would be the amount of time spent playing the game. That seems like a fairly useless metric to me.

I guess I just don't get this whole "hardcore" thing. There's nothing hardcore about playing a video game. A better word might be "obsessive." I think this is all just about people's egos getting wrapped up in a game.

Re:Since when is Bioware going hardcore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29322141)

This model you attribute to WoW was originated by Everquest.

Re:Since when is Bioware going hardcore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29323451)

> For those who are lost, hardcore has become term in the MMO market to describe
> those players who like World of Warcrafts end-game raiding system.

Strange...
In EvE we use 'Easy Mode' to describe all things WoW related.

I guess 'hardcore' is a relative term.

Re:Since when is Bioware going hardcore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29324521)

I just thought I would provide a bit of updated info on what path WoW is taking these days.
Disclaimer: I am not a huge fan of WoW's current system, but I know the non-WoW community has a pretty dark picture of the game. I'd just like to play devil's advocate on this, to maybe clear up some misconceptions.
In short: raiding, while time consuming, is not the hellish grind you paint it as.

-While it's true that currently gear acquisition is most of what there is to character development in WoW's end-game raiding, it isn't as bleak as described. Most fights drop a decent amount of gear, and it isn't critical that you acquire any given piece of gear. Skillful play can overcome a great deal of the difficulty. As evidence, a guild recently defeated the final boss of the previous raid dungeon wearing only gear you can acquire in non-raid dungeons.

-The majority of content repetition is more a factor of the limited pace of content development. WoW's dungeons are generally very high quality, so they can't churn them out very quickly. This may not be ideal, but I haven't seen any other games do any better on this front.

-The recent trend in WoW dungeons has been to develop different difficulty settings for dungeons. This is a bit similar to the old 'hard mode unlocked!' kind of gameplay seen in many games, Diablo included. However, it's typically more related to individual encounters. These often test your skill much more strictly than the rest of the content. This has also enabled Blizzard to allow more casual players access to the bulk of content, seeing even the end-game bosses, while simultaneously providing something for the hardcore players to challenge themselves with.

-Being 'hardcore' is now determined by which of these fights your group can complete. It has very little to do with what gear you have, though the gear rewards for those encounters are higher.

-Also, periodically WoW has "catch-up" mechanics added to allow casual players to skip a lot of the raiding normally required, so that the difference in gear between casual players and hardcore players is never that vast.

Anyways... Blizzard certainly is trying to find ways to enhance the end-game experience. It isn't as though they believe "Hey, let's make people run this dungeon 200 times before unlocking the next one!" would be a fun game design. However, MMORPGs are traditionally hamstrung by the pace of content development, and WoW is no exception. They do alright, considering, but there's certainly room for improvement.

Re:Since when is Bioware going hardcore? (1)

vikstar (615372) | more than 4 years ago | (#29328435)

I agree with your points, but it's difficult to read when you mix these two words:
tough = resilient
though = despite the fact

Re:Since when is Bioware going hardcore? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 4 years ago | (#29353883)

Your description of WoW end game reminds me of a journalist writing in a newspaper about something tech related. You kind of have the general idea, but miss a few things and have some inaccuracies.

First off, hardcore is one of those terms that is in the eye of the beholder. To many, nothing in WoW is hardcore (including end game). Hardcore really just tends to be the type of person who schedules times to do raids with their guild.

Next, inaccuracies. Each boss (in raids) drops multiple items, not just one. They also drop tokens so that if you get unlucky on a lot of rolls or the loot system, you can trade those tokens for better gear. Yes, you still run the same areas over and over again. But if you are doing it right, it is fun since you like the people you are doing it with.

Also, there is more to it than just gear. Gear is important, but strategy is way more important. Even some of the more casual raids (ones that take less than an hour) will destroy a group if they can not work together and implement a strategy. It can take just a few people out of 25 to not know what they are doing and it will make you fail.

This has nothing to do with children. Plenty of adults sink a lot of time in to these things. Quite frankly, this is how WoW keeps subscribers. You can not create content faster than people complete it. By having you run thing multiple times to improve your character, it keeps people busy. This is just the nature of MMOs. If there isn't some sort of mechanism like this, people won't play the game.

Disclaimer: I play WoW when the expansions come out. I do the raids once or twice and quit because it takes up too much time. The game is fun, but I enjoy other things in life.

Based on Free Realms platform? (1)

michaelleung (1335645) | more than 4 years ago | (#29321835)

Using the Free Realms base for a Star Wars game? They HAVE gone insane.

Yeah right (2, Interesting)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 4 years ago | (#29322959)

"SOE has repeatedly said that they have learned from their mistakes, and plan to not repeat them."
That is a blatant lie and should not be spread.

If they had learned from their mistakes they would REVERT the NGE and restore SWG to its former glory, but they're ashamed of doing what the customer wants.
Does anyone have any stats on the number of people still playing versus the number of people playing prior?
It's a huge difference.

Re:Yeah right (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 4 years ago | (#29324695)

No figures to back this up, just my recollection of numbers from reading various posts on the subject, but I believe the game reached a peak of about 350k prior to the NGE (although I have no idea what that was at when the NGE hit), and it has about 50k right now across all servers. For its time it was immensely popular, but the constant inept shifts made by management and designers who really were completely ignorant on the subject of MMO design, decimated the population.
The NGE was the single biggest mistake ever made by anyone in MMO design I think. Its the poster child for how to screw your customers, how to alienate them, and how to gain the worst reputation of any company in the industry (probably worse than the folks who failed with Horizons).

All that said, the NGE version is playable, and has improved, and some elements the current dev team have added are truly well designed and implemented. Its still not the game it used to be, but its not bad. And UO aside, its the only Sandbox game on the market I can think of. SWG still has some features that no other game on the market has.

I am not sure I will like SWTOR, as I prefer sandbox style games over having an endless series of quests shoved down my throat like it sounds Bioware is intending, and I am not into the massive raid/loot item scene which I consider a complete waste of time, but I do hope they have the cojones to break with the WOW model and pursue a different game. WOW is poorly designed IMHO (yes, its popular, but primarily because easy is popular to most inexperienced players), and I want to see diversity in design, rather than every company out there "findlandizing" to Blizzard and creating exactly the same game with different art.

It looks good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29325207)

I saw an early version of this, and it looked pretty good. I think it will do better than Free Realms because it will bring in a lot more boys. Also, Lucas' people didn't understand MMOs when SWG was young, and didn't know how to support it properly. Hopefully this time around they will be smarter, and even more successful (SWG was quite successful for it's time, until WOW rewrote the record books).

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