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Star Wars: The Old Republic Launch Date Announced

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the fully-operational dept.

Role Playing (Games) 125

BioWare announced today that their upcoming MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, will launch on December 20 in North America, and December 22 in Europe. They've released a new trailer for the game, and reiterated that they'll be throttling logins early on to prevent server instability. Gamasutra recently spoke with SW:TOR project lead James Ohlen about finishing up the game and preparing it for launch. He said, "We're also focused on game balance for combat, for itemization, for the social systems. We've been running a lot of tests, we're getting a lot of feedback on the game. And when we get that feedback, we use it to make tweaks and changes. We're not making major changes now, we're just making changes that we can."

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125 comments

See you there? (1)

Cheney (1547621) | about 2 years ago | (#37502694)

It looks like on the twentieth of December, though we might not be on the same server, we'll be battling the force of our $enemy. I look forward to it, ladies and gents!

Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37502700)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you ever knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Re:Golden Girls! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37504994)

Personally, I prefer the "cosmonaut" version.

It adds that little bit of needed absurdity.

Eh (1)

Niris (1443675) | about 2 years ago | (#37502710)

It looks cool, but I still can't convince myself to pay a monthly fee for a game that I've already purchased. Plus DC Universe Online will be free to play by then, and I'd really rather do the microtransaction bit.

Re:Eh (-1, Troll)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#37502800)

Interesting. Id much rather pay a monthly flat fee then be constantly reminded in game that there is a meter attached to my wallet. Nice A+ cert there. You actually paid someone to issue you a certificate saying that you are slightly above a monkey's skill level....

Re:Eh (3, Informative)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 2 years ago | (#37502820)

It's real simple. You've bought the game client with the understanding that the game requires a service to play. It takes money to maintain the service...therefore a monthly fee. Why do people have such a hard time with this? Do you think Ultima Online would still be around it you just spent $20 on the game client 15 years ago and had been using the service daily ever since? No. The money to maintain the service based on the sales of the initial game client would have dried up a long long time ago. And most of that money went to paying back the initial development costs anyway.

Re:Eh (2)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 2 years ago | (#37503910)

That being the case, imho, they shouldn't charge for the client. Either charge once for the application *OR* a monthly fee.

Re:Eh (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 2 years ago | (#37504138)

Dude! It's a business. They make it as cheap as they can while still allowing for a decent profit. It takes a lot of money to make and maintain an MMO. They're not all just sitting around laughing about how badly they screwed their customers while drinking cognac and lighting Cuban cigars with twenties.

Re:Eh (1)

Stormtrooper42 (1850242) | about 2 years ago | (#37504354)

As cheap as they can?
$60 upfront (cheapest version) and then a monthly fee?
By the way, they also announced the amount of the monthly fees: http://www.swtor.com/news/news-article/20110924 [swtor.com]

- 1 Month Subscription: $14.99 (£8.99/€12.99)
- 3 Month Subscription: $13.99 per month (one-time charge of $41.97/£25.17/€35.97)
- 6 Month Subscription: $12.99 per month (one-time charge of $77.94/£46.14/€65.94)

Re:Eh (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 2 years ago | (#37504574)

Do you have any reason to believe this is too expensive? Given the enormous development costs...and no guarantee of sales or number of subscriptions? What makes you think they'll even get back their investment?

Re:Eh (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#37505206)

"Do you have any reason to believe this is too expensive? Given the enormous development costs...and no guarantee of sales or number of subscriptions? What makes you think they'll even get back their investment?"

No kidding.

How much would it cost to go out with a gf to AppleBees for dinner and drinks? Jokes aside about slashdotters not having a gf ... I am guesing $85 right there.

That is for 2 meals, a few drinks, and a few hours of entertainment right? That is not even a fancy restaurant either.

You can play the game for a whole month for that price! That includes the cost of the game and the gameplay. If the grandposter thinks $85 is too expensive then get a job. Or quit McDonalds and go to school to get a better one shoot. Things in life cost money and times are hard right now but that price is very very cheap compared to the hours of entertainment you get if you like to game. If you are that broke or cheap go by a book ... better yet go to a library and get one for free.

World of warcraft cost $100,000,000 to make! They need to make money somehow to make up for the development and like I said above you pay more for eating out once a month or for your IPhone and get access to all the expensive content. It sounds like a steal to me so seriously either you are very very broke and need to be working and not playing or get a book if you do not want to play and be cheap.

If you eat out once a week you exceed the cost of the game several times over.

Re:Eh (1)

Stormtrooper42 (1850242) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506732)

You are correct in that video games are cheap compared to other forms of entertainment.
I'm just surprised with the pricing difference between MMOs (especially this one) and other games.
The monthly fees are supposed to pay for the development of new content, and the cost of running the servers, but:
- then, why do you have to pay for expansion packs, if you already paid for new content?
- I'm pretty sure their servers do not cost $15 per player to run.

Re:Eh (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506580)

EVE Online, that old standard, provides the client for free (including free upgrades whenever they launch an expansion pack), and charge ever so slightly less than those monthly costs. And unlike this new Star Wars game, they have niche gameplay and lacked a ready-made franchise fan base.

I've nothing against MMO pricing in general, but Star Wars: TOR prices aren't exactly cheap.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37506102)

You obviously haven't been to Buzzard's head offices in recent years lol!

What service? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505784)

This would be the case for an MMO but this looks like just a singleplayer RPG with maybe a few cooperative missions. This is not the game you are looking for.

Re:What service? (1)

WyzrdX (1390963) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505870)

You really need to do more investigating before you make assumptions. From what I have experienced in the Beta, this is every bit an MMO. Even more so than many of the ones available today.

Re:Eh (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506734)

Other MMOs have gone free to play, only WoW seems to be able to keep people subscribing in the long run. Is this game really $15 a month better than Lord of the Rings Online?

And from what I understand, most of this game is single-player RPG content with lots of cut-scenes off the DVD, you're not actually getting much from the server anyway.

Well though luck for you then (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#37502860)

And good luck with not paying road-tax for your newly bought car or having to keep filling it up with fuel.

As for your TV, what a rip-off, 8000 euro I payed for mine and now they expect me to pay a license fee AND the cable company AND for blu-ray movies.

You are perfectly correct in demanding for for about 40 euro a company keep a massive server farm running for years on end AND keep customer support on line every time you can't figure out a quest, all payed from the same 40 euro's.

What makes people so detached from reality that they think games like this can be run for free? Are they so in capable of doing any basic accounting that they truly can't see that a product with ongoing costs must have ongoing income?

Maybe to some its sound amazingly insightful that you are to cheap to pay 15 bucks for a piece of entertainment per month, to me it just says you are amazingly cheap. For most gamers it comes down to less then a buck an hour and quickly far far less. Only the internet is cheaper. Are you upset that when you payed for your modem the telephone company still wanted more money from you each month?

Re:Well though luck for you then (1)

seibai (1805884) | about 2 years ago | (#37503300)

I think people think you can run a game like this without a monthly fee because Guild Wars did it, and Guild Wars 2 is going to do it.

Guild Wars made plenty of money with that model too. The idea that you need montly fees in order to maintain servers is a useful one to the people who want to make more money on their MMO by charging you rent to play it. Please don't promote it. The reality is that maintaining servers doesn't cost that much in light of the margins on software.

Oh, and "tough". Sorry, it was bothering me.

Re:Well though luck for you then (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 2 years ago | (#37503668)

Yeah, but Guild Wars isn't an MMORPG. They made a lot of decisions in their game design to keep server costs to a minimum. Those were some great decisions for what they wanted to accomplish, but it's a different type of game...

Re:Well though luck for you then (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 2 years ago | (#37503766)

I think people think you can run a game like this without a monthly fee because Guild Wars did it,

Guild Wars did NOT do it, because Guild Wars is a completely different kind of game. Most of it is instanced. Meaning, the game client can do most of the work. There's very little server CPU usage, and little bandwidth taken up. You can't compare the two.

Re:Well though luck for you then (1)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505384)

Guild Wars did NOT do it, because Guild Wars is a completely different kind of game. Most of it is instanced. Meaning, the game client can do most of the work. There's very little server CPU usage, and little bandwidth taken up. You can't compare the two.

Interview with Jeff Strain, founding member of ArenaNet
PC Games: "How do you plan to do this? Building such a complex world which is shared by all players without having monthly fees?"
Strain: (laughing) "A very good question! Interestingly many people believe that the completely instantiated world was the reason for Guild Wars 1 to not need monthly fees. This is completely wrong! The existence or lack of a persistent world is totally unrelated to the running expenses which are needed to maintain an online roleplaying game."
PC Games: "What do you mean by that?"
Strain: "Really important are the innovative technologies which we developed for Guild Wars 1. They allow us to keep the running costs very low which then results in the huge advantage for the player: the absence of fees. We continue with that principle for Guild Wars 2: as soon as the game is available, we will begin our work on new content. Such content for which the player is free to decide if he wants to have it or not. Maybe that will be add-ons or complete campaigns or online-extensions with costs, we don't know. But one thing is very certain: we will again have in Guild Wars 2 the comprehensive support our fans are already familiar with!" (source: gw2 wiki)

Re:Well though luck for you then (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505958)

I think I have to call bullshit on this. They may claim they have some "innovative technology" that enables them to reduce running costs, but that doesn't change the fact that the architecture of their game requires very little in terms of server side infrastructure. Because of this they spend a fraction of what the other MMO's do on servers.

They don't have magical software that suddenly erases all of their monthly server expenses. They have almost no server expenses to begin with.

Re:Well though luck for you then (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506004)

And frankly this is all beginning to sound a little tinfoil hatish. There is no conspiracy to hide this "innovative technology" so that the non-F2P MMOs can continue to screw you out of a monthly service fee. It really does cost money to continue running a business after the initial development costs.

Re:Well though luck for you then (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506742)

How much infrastructure is required to sit through a cut-scene in TOR, or go through the single-player campaign against a couple of enemies with minimal AI? You could probably host 99% of the game on the player's computer. You're paying for nothing.

Did you play Guild Wars? (4, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#37503904)

Guild wars does not have a persistent world, it has a few chat room areas that are instanced to hell and back and then when you enter the game world itself you are in your own little instance with just your own people.

(To those who do not understand this, an ordinary PC is perfectly capable of running a game world for a FPS. Even sharing that world with a few other people is not impossible, see all the self-hosted FPS games the PC was famous for). But start upping the number of people in the same game world and performance takes a nosedive. Years ago there was a FPS game that was supposed to support 256 players at once. Massive battles BUT also massive costs, because where previous FPS companies relied for online play on customer supplying the hardware and bandwidth, this company had to do it themselves. It is the reason there are virtually no massive FPS games out there, nobody can afford to run the server for free.

GW runs a large farm of cheap cheerfull servers, each time a player or small group leaves the instanced chat room area, they enter their own small area that can be handled by ordinary cheap commodity PC hardware. Think off not just the CPU but also memory. Memory has a sweet point for price, if you can outfit your servers with 4gb at 50 or 8gb at 150 then if your server can make do with 4gb you save a LOT of money. And the memory difference for a full size persistent game world is far greater. Try 32-64 GB. Now look at your PC specs. Can it handle that? No. It can't. You need to go to server grade hardware and pay the price.

Each GW instance is much cheaper to run then a persistent world for say WoW because the hardware itself is cheaper. GW can also re-use its hardware far more efficiently, each server does not care what instance it runs, if all of GW's player base wanted to play the same instance, all its servers would run the same instance for all the individual groups. Very efficient BUT not a proper persistent world as western style MMO's know it.

Their customer support is also crap and they have no such thing as moderation.

Comparing Guild Wars with say WoW is like comparing McD drive through with a full service restaurant.And before any GW fans bite my head off, I am not saying McD is bad because it is cheap, I am saying that because of the different style, its low price cannot be compared to a restaurant offering a different service level

MMO's like AoC that use instancing are always slammed for it because people want to play in a big world, not their own little corner. Guild Wars took it to extremes. You can't run into another player during a quest or even socialize and meet up in the game world. No 100 man gatherings in GW.

Your english is better then mine, your understanding of MMO's is a lot worse.

If you want a clear example of costs, I played Lotro the most. I have had a number of encounters with customer support, all good to be honest BUT they each took about 5-10 minutes to resolve. Not a lot of time you might say BUT together they amount to a bit over an hour at least. How much does it cost to have a person spend 1 hour on a customer? Saleries vary a lot BUT it will come awfully close to 40-50 euro's even at the absolute lowest rates.

So... how is the company supposed to fund the development of the game, pay for bug fixes and new content, server costs AND support when just my support needs alone cost more then the game cost? And that is even supposing that the full box price goes to the game company, which it doesn't.

Really, when you claim you can run WoW and now SWTOR of the small sum a company gets for a box sales for years on end... you got to know that you are missing something.

Play Guild Wars and play WoW, you will see they are VERY different games. Why then does GW charge a price when there are games I can play online for free by running them on my own machine! THIEFS!

Margins on software in gaming... please, grow up. The 40 euro in the shop includes money that goes to the retailer, the massive license fee for the Star Wars license, EA wanting profit back on its investment, development cost of the largest amount of fully voiced content ever produced. And you want to game for free for years to come...

Most MMO companies are struggling and their is no way to be certain yet that SWTOR is going to ever recoup its investment let alone make an investment.

Yes, WoW hit it big but all the other companies are struggling and the alternative for proper persistent world MMO's is to either start with micro transactions which are far more expensive not least because the few paying customers have to pay for all the free loaders.

I sincerely hope you never start your own business because you would be stupid enough to offer life time support on a one time fee for the hours spend on creating the product and totally disregard the support cost.

MMO players have been paying about 14,99 for two decades, no adjustment for inflation. Customers that buy 800 dollar phones and drink 5 dollar cups of coffee are complaining that a MMO that comes down to a few pennies per played hour is to expensive while demanding that a real human being sits with them through a raid.

Really, the idea that you think that server and support costs are not just the only costs but that they are so trivial a company can run them for years on end with no income is just insane.

And I am very much intrested to see just how GW2 is going to pull it all off. GW added extra income with rather frequent expansions, a lot of your type tend to forget that. Free to play is not exactly the same as pay a bit more to continue playing.

Just how many years of free play and a support do you think is reasonable for a 40 dollar game? And just how much do you think support costs anyway?

Re:Did you play Guild Wars? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505238)

All of what you said makes sense, apart from I think you vastly overestimated what a support worker will get paid.. try more like 10 euros an hour :p

Re:Did you play Guild Wars? (1)

damnbunni (1215350) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506670)

It's not the salaries that kill support, it's the costs. Where I work (I do phone support) our typical call is three or four minutes. Divide up all the calls we take by all the costs of the building, power, computers, software, training, etc. and those calls run about $7 each for us to take.

A couple hundred bucks an hour per person on the phones is about average when you figure in all the costs.

Re:Well though luck for you then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37503806)

I bought a TV and never paid any license fee, cable company or blu-ray movies.
Seems like the non-pirates are seriously missing out on life.

More seriously, most people that have problems with monthly fees are really angry that there is no way to pirate them and play the game for free, like you can do for non-online games. The rest is just afraid to feel compelled to play all the time and become a no-lifer to make the most of it.
Thankfully, there are private servers, but it's not quite the same experience.

Re:Well though luck for you then (1)

dbet (1607261) | about 2 years ago | (#37503986)

Games with a monthly fee tend to have frequent additions of new content and a more robust multi-player experience. There are lots of games that have a multi-player component that is free.

Re:Well though luck for you then (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506780)

MMOs with a monthly fee still expect you to pay for expansions to get that content though. How many full games would you be able to buy off Steam with the subscriptions WoW players paid during ICC?

Once you're at max level, assuming three months per raid tier, you're paying $45 for a handful of bosses. Is that really equivalent in content to a normal game?

Re:Well though luck for you then (1)

Suddenly_Dead (656421) | about 2 years ago | (#37504120)

8000 Euro? I know you folks pay significantly more for electronics, but really? What type of TV is this and when did you buy it?

Re:Well though luck for you then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37504674)

8000 Euro? I know you folks pay significantly more for electronics, but really? What type of TV is this and when did you buy it?

That's fairly typical for a television in the EU. You mean that not everyone in America has one of these babies?! [google.co.uk]

Oh MAN! I bet some of you guys are still watching on sub-50" screen. We got rid of them here years ago because we were hurting our eyes straining to see the detail on such a small display.

I think I still have some of them in my attic. If you want them just ask, I'll have them sent over in my private jet- though you might have to wait, as I'm having its gold-plated exterior covering replaced. (Nothing wrong with it, it's just that plain gold is a little passe, so I'm getting it done with green gold instead. I'll reuse the old gold plating the next time I'm oven-cooking a roast pheasant and running short on foil. Waste not, want not, etc.

Er, no, we generally *don't* spend 8000 Euros on a telly. :-)

Re:Well though luck for you then (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505292)

Except your examples are not relevant.
They could have chosen other solutions.

Re:Well though luck for you then (1)

DThorne (21879) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506928)

This is more about whiney, cheap internet bitching than a serious business discussion. Just look at the games industry, it's like movies or writing - you invest years of blood and sweat and either you come out the other end virtually bankrupt (most common), or you rarely get a hit and actually get a decent profit. This doesn't mean the monster distributors don't gobble up much of it, but then without them, you're highly unlikely to be a hit. The Minecrafts are the exception to the rule.

Re:Eh (1)

Snaller (147050) | about 2 years ago | (#37503448)

Statistically most people end up paying a lot more on the microtransaction ones.

Re:Eh (1)

Fjandr (66656) | about 2 years ago | (#37503762)

Some people pay a lot more. A small fraction pay enormous amounts, subsidizing those of us who feel no need to pay hundreds or thousands a month to play a game.

Re:Eh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37503814)

What on earth are you talking about?

Re:Eh (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505246)

I paid for that stuff before simply as a thankyou for making the game free to play.. slightly perverse yes, but true.

Re:Eh (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#37503950)

You pay monthly for all your utilities do you not? If not, what strange utility company do you have that gives you unlimited service for one lump payment?

Re:Eh (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#37504544)

Sure I did but I didn't have a connection payment up front (though If you screw up enough to get things disconnected there would be I guess). So that's all monthly fees which doesn't qualify for the "I've already purchased" part in what you are replying to.

As a member of Squadron 1020 (first beta weekend) (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | about 2 years ago | (#37502732)

I cannot wait for this bloody game to finally release....

Re:As a member of Squadron 1020 (first beta weeken (1)

joocemann (1273720) | about 2 years ago | (#37502856)

I agree. Not everyone likes dragons and swords and spells and faeries... fantasy is crap to some... space western and post apocqalypse are my fav themes. SWG was nice but I've learned to avoid MMORPG... it will be nice to watch others play, though.

Re:As a member of Squadron 1020 (first beta weeken (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37503320)

I understand what you're trying to say, but claiming "fantasy is crap" and then saying your can't wait for a Star Wars based MMO is a little bit of a ludicrous statement.

Re:As a member of Squadron 1020 (first beta weeken (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505424)

Traditional fantasy is what I meant, and it of course is opinion. Traditional fantasy is LOTR type themes... dragons... elves... spells.

Re:As a member of Squadron 1020 (first beta weeken (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506790)

TOR has all those things, although they may be reskinned as something else.

Meh. (4, Interesting)

taxman_10m (41083) | about 2 years ago | (#37502738)

Would have rathered KOTR III.

I'm curious as to how big a game this will be. Is it fair to compare it with WOW or Star Trek Online?

But can we sue them? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37502784)

Will this game include EA's new TOS provision that requires you to give up your right to engage in a class action lawsuit against them if they do something illegal?

Re:Meh. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37502990)

Would have rathered KOTR III.

The Lucas does not care, moneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoneymoney.

Re:Meh. (3, Insightful)

taxman_10m (41083) | about 2 years ago | (#37503150)

Guess that explains all the Jedi too. Would be hard to make an MMO where being a Jedi was rare.

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37503406)

It wouldn't have been difficult, if the SWG team had had balls. TOR doesn't even attempt to follow Star Wars. Jedi aren't Jedi in TOR, they're healers, wizards, or tanks now. Not supernatural and not especially strong. Booooring.

Re:Meh. (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | about 2 years ago | (#37503496)

I was looking over the classes and they basically named one Tank.
http://www.swtor.com/info/holonet/classes/sith-warrior [swtor.com]

Sith who train in the stalwart arts of the Juggernaut boast unrivaled stamina in battle. Through diligence and clarity, the Juggernaut shapes the Force to his will to become nearly invulnerable. Damage that would destroy others is shrugged off, and futility fills the Juggernaut's foes with doubt and despair. Protecting their allies and punishing their adversaries, they charge into the thick of any fray, and take the brunt of the assault and are even able to drain the energy of their enemies to further strengthen their resolve

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37503954)

Amen, Brother.

Re:Meh. (1)

smurfs187 (2464812) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505740)

True to that. KOTOR III would me the greatest thing ever since KOTOR I.

Re:Meh. (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505888)

I was thinking, was KOTOR the last great Star Wars game? There have been plenty games since but they all seem to range from poor to mediocre.

Re:Meh. (2)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506332)

I thought KOTORII was better than the first, because it focused more on character development rather than the typical Star Wars style action/I-am-your-father revelation moments. The first game was about Revan's quest to find the Star Forge. The second game was about the Exile's quest to find him/herself. Not to mention, both games had HK-47.

Also, I can't be the only one who wished they could have had a teacher like Kreia in real life.

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37506804)

Would have rathered KOTR III.

I'm curious as to how big a game this will be. Is it fair to compare it with WOW or Star Trek Online?

From http://www.videogamesblogger.com/2008/10/26/kotor-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-are-in-star-wars-the-old-republic-says-bioware.htm

“One of the things we like to joke about this game is just the sheer amount of content we’re doing and the fact that when our fans ask ‘Why aren’t you doing Knight of the Old Republic 3?’ we’re really doing KOTOR 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12+. We have THAT much content, that many stories, and we really get to do a lot of the things that we wouldn’t have been able to do in KOTOR 3"

Server stability (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 2 years ago | (#37502740)

As far as server stability goes this is a really bad time for a game release. More people will be off work and home and able to play at 'off peak' hours on launch day and they will quickly find their infrastructure overwhelmed. I bet a lot of people who buy this game on launch won't be able to play it the day they get it from all the down times and such.

Re:Server stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37502796)

All the more reason to throttle logins.

You can either have throttled logins or crashed servers. The former is better than the latter.

Re:Server stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37502894)

GP was making a point about the release date, not against the throttling.

Re:Server stability (2)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 2 years ago | (#37503060)

All the servers would get hammered in the evening anyway regardless of whether or not everyone is on vacation.

Now that I think about, having people on vacation might actually be a good thing. People will have a chance to try it throughout the day and night that entire week. The load will actually be more distributed throughout the day and not just during prime time.

Re:Server stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37503452)

As far as server stability goes this is a really bad time for a game release. More people will be off work and home and able to play at 'off peak' hours on launch day and they will quickly find their infrastructure overwhelmed. I bet a lot of people who buy this game on launch won't be able to play it the day they get it from all the down times and such.

This is actually the BEST time. Servers don't have a concept of 'off peak', a server is as functional at 2 AM as it is at 5 PM. having people set to a schedule creates peak hours, where a bunch of users are on at one time, and servers are doing nothing at another. If they remove the schedule aspects (students don't have to go back to school in the morning,) then you are smoothing out the ripples.

That, or you'll just have people playing all day instead of for a few hours ...

Actually no. (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about 2 years ago | (#37503958)

During the holidays, people got other obligations AND when they login it will be spread over the entire day not a massive spike after work hours.

There may or may not be problems but people often forget just how much time normal people, not slashdotters, spend during weekends and holidays on social stuff. I know plenty of people who have more time off during the week then the weekend as it is all used to visit families or attend parties. Thank god I am a nerd so I get the entire weekend to myself... all alone... doing exactly as I please with nobody getting in my way...

WAAAAH

Not a Coincidence (2)

jdpars (1480913) | about 2 years ago | (#37502760)

Right after Diablo III gets a delay until at least January. I didn't believe the people saying there was a connection, but the timing here is more than a coincidence.

Re:Not a Coincidence (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37502802)

More likely they're trying to avoid Skyrim. While not an MMO, it will still draw many of the same type of gamers, and many other types, into it's seemingly endless gameplay.

I've never finished the main story of an Elder Scrolls game, and I've played everyone since the Original (Including Redguard and Battlespire!)

Skip (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37502774)

Looks like more of the same, slightly different graphics slightly different characters. This time with Chewbacca. Meh.

Re:Skip (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 2 years ago | (#37502870)

More of what? SWG? WOW? What? ....adding more text because of: Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like YELLING.

It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (2)

Gavin Scott (15916) | about 2 years ago | (#37502822)

Honestly when I read about this game it sounds like the developers have exactly the same mindset that Blizzard does, so apart from new scenery and stuff, SWTOR hardly sounds revolutionary in any way.

Quests, leveling, getting to max-level, raiding, limits on end-game content at launch, devs didn't want to allow talent respecs so that "player decisions will mean something" then later change their mind, attempts to encourage/force people to group up in order to do leveling content "because it's a social game and we think people should be social", battlegrounds, $15/month, etc.

G.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (2)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 2 years ago | (#37502980)

the only MMO in the future that will do anything new is likely to be the World of Darkness MMO CCP is working on. As far as game studios goes they seem to be the only ones willing to take risks and try to innovate, even if what they do doesn't always work.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | about 2 years ago | (#37503136)

There is Blizzard's Titan MMO. I think that is supposed to be scifi.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 2 years ago | (#37503396)

I doubt we'll see anything revolutionary from Blizzard. Places like that play it safe. That means a WOW clone with slightly different game mechanics and lots of pretty new scenery. They've also said it's going to be "casual". Casual means themepark.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505602)

I used to think that way, but nope! Wrong! Blizz innovates and keeps on innovating. Proof is how all RPGs copied Diablo right down to the T and then D2 came out and it also got copied. And then the 2 RTS games. I'll agree that there was some prior art for RTS before Warcraft came out in the form of Dune and a host of other strategy games, but still, it did competitive RTS'ing right. Not even going to get into SC to any depth. Let's just say, that that's how any competitive game should be done regardless of whether it's video game, board game or any other medium; razor's edge balance and tons of fun regardless of play style. Then there's WoW. It innovated on so many different levels. Arguably, it hurt the genre. I could list a host of enjoyable things that died a painful death to WoW. But that's not the point. WoW innovated on other fronts, most discernibly in gathering and maintain a HUGE and loyal player base.

Blizzard is not dumb. They have a ton of metrics tools at their disposal and they use them. LOOK at how Diablo 3 is turning out and you'll see even more innovation. There's a lot that I hate to see go away, but at the same time I understand that it's almost impossible to make something old new again without getting rid of some of the old stuff! Blizzard isn't scared to throw away old systems in favor of something entirely new, or at least something that seems new. That takes guts. Keeping three triple-A titles under it's belt and not letting one of them slip is an accomplishment enough on it's own. But keeping those monsters in check while making each iteration feel completely different from anything you've ever played previously from any developer... that there's an astounding accomplishment!

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37505980)

What was innovative about Diablo? Or WoW? They were very successful games, but I can't think of anything especially innovative. You make a lot of wild claims but don't point at anything specific.

Actually, I take it back. Wow was the first MMO to cater exclusively to carebears.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (1)

Datamonstar (845886) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506290)

Diablo pioneered procedural generation and made it mainstream. I know it wasn't new at the time, but the game centered around Crafting a game around the random hadn't been done as a "feature" before that. It was also very free form with gamplay possibilities. You could do pretty much anything you wanted. Learn all the spells, wield any armor/weapon. D2 featured the same thing and turned it up a notch with item generation and customization via the Horodric cube. It got turned down a notch on the characterization side since spells were regulated to a tree instead learned from books. Which brings us to the most copied feature of Diablo, the skill tree. Blessing or curse, it continues to DOMINATE MMO gameplay to this day after it's use as the primary character advancement mechanism in WoW. Have you played a recent MMO? Everything is carbon-copied from WoW right down to the color-coding of item qualities. Even free to play Asian MMOS have implemented skill tree systems because it's the standard now. It's all about the illusion of choice and as of right now there's nothing better in existence, so that's what everyone uses.

Mock WoW all you want. I will agree on most points, as I am a former hardcore EQ1 player who is aware that even more hardcore games existed even prior to that, but you have to agree that WoW just took over MMOs for the past 8 years.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (2)

xhrit (915936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506436)

There were hundreds of successful commercial dungeon exploration games that used procedural generation before Diablo. For example TSR's Dungeon Hack, a graphical roguelike which won game of the year from several publications in 1994, two years before Diablo was released.

The rest of your statements are also wrong. Dune II is the first RTS game to feature a tech tree in 1992, two years before Warcraft. Dune II's tech tree was copied by Blizzard for Warcraft and used in Diablo 2 when Blizzard began looking at merging its RTS and RPG settings; World of Warcraft is the result.

So the most innovative feature of Diablo was something Blizzard copied off a game of the year release, and the most innovative feature of Warcraft was something blizzard copied off a different game of the year release.

Seems to me the only thing Blizzard innovates is copying other games well...

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506492)

Well, a skill tree is hardly revolutionary. And I'm not sure if I can give you procedural generation either as Elder Scrolls was well known for it too. And both Diablo and WoW were written a long time ago now. Yes, I realize all MMOs these days are basically WoW clones (and kind of boring), but that's not because WoW is innovative, that's because WoW is an absurdly popular game.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37503848)

So since EVE Online is basically a spreadsheet with built-in chat, the most I'd expect from CCP is an MMO starring Clippy.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 2 years ago | (#37504206)

As far as game studios goes they seem to be the only ones willing to take risks and try to innovate

Success tempers risk taking.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505300)

Greed tempers risk taking

FTFY. If anything, success enables risk taking by giving you some funds to work with. Not everyone will take risks just because they have money, but it will make them feel more comfortable about doing so.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37504028)

I think it's become clear that TOR's management is a disaster of epic proportions. It's almost like Bioware/TOR have no fucking idea what kind of game they want. TOR's gameplay trailers are confused, they show nothing of the game itself. Do you remember when pre-release SWG would awe you (the future subscriber) with exploration and scenery? TOR now seems to advertise copied WoW features in a last-effort attempt to save face.

The Old Republic needs someone like Todd Howard, I think. Or Casey Hudson (director of the fantastic ME team). Instead they bring us this guy: Dallas Dickinson [youtube.com] ... someone who could make sex with Natalie Portman sound boring. Thanks, Dallas. You've killed my leftover enthusiasm for TOR.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (4, Interesting)

Rinnon (1474161) | about 2 years ago | (#37504082)

For the most part you are correct, but from what I played in the Beta, story plays a MUCH larger part in the game than in WoW. Every quest has voiced dialogue that is specific to your class, along with dialogue options, etc. The Dialogue wheel from Mass Effect shows up when you can select a dialogue. Sometimes you'll say things that get you Darkside or Lightside points. Will this matter hugely? No, not really, though apparently your LS / DS points will change some skills you can use.. Does the dialogue let you change the quests you'll be doing? No. Does it make accepting quests more fun? Absolutely. Skipping quest dialogue in this game isn't like skipping it in WoW, it would be like skipping it in Mass Effect. For me, this is a big enough difference to make TOR worth playing. Plus, they really took the dialogue seriously, which makes me take it seriously too. I found myself being on vent and saying "Okay, AFK, taking a quest." and muting vent, so I would be able to pay attention to what was going on. Of course, if when you play Mass Effect you just blast through the dialogue so you can get on with it, none of this will make any difference.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (1, Insightful)

Swanktastic (109747) | about 2 years ago | (#37504092)

Who cares? The same thing could be said of WoW and Everquest. Heck, If we travel back in time, there's probably some holier-than-thou nerd complaining that UO is just a MUD with graphics . The fact that SWTOR follows many of the coventions of the MMORPG genre is hardly an argument for (or against) whether it will be a bad game.
   

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37504880)

Typical. Certain dumb ideas get picked up in MMO forums and especially loud, annoying, and influential kids cry about them long and loud enough that everyone starts doing it:

- Wizards with dragon-anus staves have too many hitpoints...nerf it or else I'm canceling!
- Riflemen/Commando hybrids with telekinetic parakeet pets get the awesome tanking buffs and my Ranger/Hunter hybrid with reactive plate armor piercing evaporator pistols should be able to pwn him according to the lore...nerf it or I'm canceling.
- I can't find anyone to do some quest with me...i'm canceling and taking my guild with me.
- Guild Wars is f2p...make this game F2P or I'm canceling and killing my dog and my whole family.

The forums of any given MMO are just filled with this drivel. It just gets more and more pathetic every year. Sadly, this is the kind of crap that ruined UO (Trammel) and SWG's NGE. Developer's need to stop listening to these guys.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (2)

Z34107 (925136) | about 2 years ago | (#37504132)

The NDA keeps me from saying anything interesting, but you're wrong on just about all accounts. TOR has more in common with KOTOR than WoW, and has done some pretty interesting things so far.

I know "it's a secret" isn't all that convincing, but give 'em a chance to release it before judging too harshly.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (1)

Mike610544 (578872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505294)

Not paying attention to WoW would be dumb, but it's like they just copied it exactly and decided to tweak a few things.

Judging from some of the videos, combat consists of standing a couple of feet in front of a guy and repeatedly shooting him in the face until he's dead.

Maybe that's a bit lame in sword/sorcery games too, but for some reason it seems to really stick out more in this case (and I guess all gun based MMOs).

I'd rather play T'Rain

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (1)

xhrit (915936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37506458)

Try Global Agenda. It is a sci fi mmo but it uses shooter mechanics where you have to aim your weapon at the enemy and dodge fire, not tab target nonsense where you facetank things.

Re:It's like WoW... in SPAAAAAAAACE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37505934)

Not to mention, the whole good-guys versus bad-guys thing was a truly bad design decision even the first time around.

Closed-source proprietary TRASH (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37504168)

If it does not run on an open-source OS, I am not interested.

If I can't have the source code, I am not interested.

If I can't choose how much or little I am going to pay, I am not interested.

Wait till January (1)

danbuter (2019760) | more than 2 years ago | (#37505840)

I'll be signing up and playing a Jedi of some type. I will wait a month or so after release before bothering, though. I have yet to see an MMO worth messing with during it's first month of release. After the first month, there will be less lag, less crashes, more bugs fixed, and probably more content. Let others be the guinea pigs.

Re:Wait till January (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37506246)

LOTRO was perfectly stable & playable from *before* open beta. No queues, no crashes, all base content accessible. Suck it Blizztard & Buy-o-ware! :)

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