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Galaxies To Beat World of Warcraft?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the only-in-bizarro-world dept.

Role Playing (Games) 164

We reported previously on an interview with John Smedley being run by Gamespot. They've put up the second part of the interview, and in the closing paragraph John takes the gloves off. From the article: "One thing that I love about our company is that there is no 'quit' in this company. It's about making sure that we have pride in what we do. People within the company feel so much pride in this game that they want it to beat the crap out of World of Warcraft. That's something we feel very passionate about. We know we are capable of making the best stuff out there, and I'm proud to say that with the changes we're making in Galaxies, I think we're headed in the right direction."

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But... (5, Funny)

ral315 (741081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269474)

Galaxies doesn't have LeeRoy Jenkins!

Re:But... (4, Funny)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269658)


"Dammit, Han, are you high?"

"You nerfherder!"

"At least I have a power converter."

Re:But... (1)

Khyl'Dran (673292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269732)

Star Wars sure does...Han totally pulled a Leeroy Jenkins move in Episode IV when he ran towards those stormtroopers...

Re:But... (1)

Alex9er (211930) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270821)

That Smedley guy is dreaming...

SWG is so dead since few days. Ok, since we have second char slot on server, many people are moving in this newbie area around Tatooine, but all other zones are... dead. *sigh*

I really hope SWG will turn a break and subscriber numbers are going to go up, but i don't think i'll see that.


Re:But... (1)

xoff00 (594043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14272841)

Oh, and *second* slot!! I mean, who would have thought!

IMHO, having such a stupid number of character slots compaired to every other MMORPG around was one of the reasons for its lack of staying power.

I've played EQ, AO, DAOC, E&B, WOW...In every one, I've gotten bored with a character for a while and played another. Having to do that on a completely different *server* sucked beyond belief.

Aiming too high? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14269490)

People within the company feel so much pride in this game that they want it to beat the crap out of World of Warcraft. That's something we feel very passionate about.

Most eastern countries don't care about Star wars or western type MMORPGS. Blizzard has done the impossible with its World of Warcraft, and I doubt it could be achieved elsewhere.

Even if they could make SWG as interesting and accessible as WOW, it still wouldn't appeal to half the people that WOW appeals too.

Re:Aiming too high? (2, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269922)

The SWG NGE is also a desperate last-ditch effort to save a dying game, keep that in mind. I highly doubt that it can take the game from dying to millions of customers, especially after they drove away all the core fans that used to play the game. I think that, if anything, it will only hasten the death of SWG. And I've never even played the game, so it isn't like I'm biased against the NGE off the bat.

Re:Aiming too high? (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14272264)

Keep in mind that Blizzard has a huge Asian market with it's other games. Just imagine if they produced an MMO based on Starcraft...

Re:Aiming too high? (1)

Prophet of Nixon (842081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14272325)

If they did that, I might just bother to play it a bit, just to see it. I've been pretty disappointed with their new "lets make MMORPGs instead of games" agenda so far though.

Re:Aiming too high? (1)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14272443)

They haven't halted game development. They still put out news for Starcraft: Ghost occasionally, and over the summer, Infoceptor (Blizzard-only game news site) had a short interview about their next unannounced project.

Give them a break: They spent $150 million last year taking WoW gold, not to mention that it was THE unannounced project that'd been in the works since Brood War was released. Even without WoW, it was years between games.

Anti-Sanbox MMO? (4, Interesting)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269507)

That straight sandbox games don't work. And that we needed to focus much more on the Star Wars experience. I think in the past, what we probably made was the Uncle Owen experience as opposed to the Luke experience. We needed to deliver more of the Star Wars heroic and epic feeling to the game. I think we missed there. That's what I think we really brought to the game [with the update].

No, that is what makes Battlefront 2 works, what makes JK2 work. No one will pay month after month for that same experience, which is the premise of the MMO revenue model. What people pay month after month for is the sandbox with complicated options and roles to explore. I was playing Eve for a while - which is in a Star Wars-like atmosphere - and I was trying (and failing, that's another story) to become a manufacturer. Not a space pirate or Luke Skywalker - a Manufacturer/Industrialist. I sold the cheapest ammo in several solar systems. I would play a more economic game in SWG if I could have.

Even Battlefield 2 seems to have more depth than SWG does now.

Re:Anti-Sanbox MMO? (1)

Khyl'Dran (673292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269722)

That's one thing I've seen as a problem with SWG since the beggining, though. It works with Eve because Eve isn't based on an established story, they can make it as they go. With an MMO based on such an established license and such an established storyline, people come to expect certain things from it...

There is no "Eve feeling" to that game because what makes that feeling is the game and the players...There is a "Star Wars Feeling", though, that anyone playing a game based on that license comes to expect.

I much prefer an MMO (or as the folks at Terra Nova like to call them, Virtual World) that I play to be freeform and sandbox, but that will probably never work on a world based on an established license (like star wars, lord of the rings, etc), because people will approach that sandbox with their own ideas and preconceptions about the story, and they will come in conflict with other people's approaches. It's a sandbox that's being messed with by thousands of different people, and while it's an amazing experience to create a story like that, how can that happen when everyone seems to already "know" the story and expect things from it?

Re:Anti-Sanbox MMO? (1)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269768)

Which is why I think something like a Harvest Moon Online could work well. I'm thinking something with small communities, maybe set a certain distance apart in a world, so people could move or visit, but it would take a while for their train or bus or whatever to get to a different communtiy. I think the main idea with a game like that would be building it around a lasting community of players, like a MySpace, so people would want to keep subscribing to attend holiday festivals and talk with their friends and play mini games. Plus you could have crops and a working economy. Maybe buildable houses, buyable land, or something.
I think that would be interesting.

Re:Anti-Sanbox MMO? (1)

JVert (578547) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270231)

If there was a game where I could go out and kill stuff while my wife stayed home and grew flowers and raised animals I think we'd be on to something.

Re:Anti-Sanbox MMO? (2, Insightful)

NexusTw1n (580394) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270687)

Not sure if you were being sarcastic, but I agree.

I want to play a MMORPG with my wife, and that means someone needs to offer a game with interesting combat for me, and a complex crafting system for my wife - one where she can get ingredients by exploring the massive world without needing to kill mobs in the process.

WoW was great fun for me until I quit at 60, 3-5 hour raids are not my idea of a good time, and the crafting in WoW stinks which means my wife never became interested in playing with me.

There is a huge mature market out there for a MMORPG that appeals to both men and women. Basically WoW with a better more open end game and a more complex and more player valuable crafting system, perhaps even with a crafting class, that can explore but is immune to mob attacks.

Re:Anti-Sanbox MMO? (1)

JVert (578547) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270910)

I'm thinking maybe a PVE flag similar to wow's PVP flag. You go out there you can't attack or get attacked untill you go back to base and reset your flag. Need some other penalties otherwise it would be unfair to those who gather while wanting to fight mobs. But hey, if the animal loot was worth something, that could balance it. Need something for these girls to do while gathering though, mere looting is not nearly interactive enough for fulltime playing. Maybe a gathering action that is as intense as mob fighting with a chance to spoil your plants.

Puzzle pirates was a great oposite end of the spectrum but a little too far to keep yourself in the world.

Re:Anti-Sanbox MMO? (1)

Baddas (243852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271967)

Yeah, it's called real life. Get an elk tag for yourself and a couple bags of potting soil and some seeds for your wife.

Everybody wins (except the elk)

Re:Anti-Sanbox MMO? (1)

JVert (578547) | more than 8 years ago | (#14272938)

I've heard good things about it but from the screen shots the interface seems a little klugey. You make a good point, maybe i'll try it.

Re:Anti-Sanbox MMO? (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269778)

Perhaps this way:

WoW occurs in a place where there IS a story, as told through the original two games. There is probably some liscenced fiction out there, too. But the game occurs in a time/place apart from this story.

Similarly, there is a LOT of time between Ep 3 and 4. This is when SWG is suppose to occur. And I think it works as a time/place/theme. Trying to turn the game into a non-Sand Box is where they have a problem.

Re:Anti-Sanbox MMO? (1)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269788)

"Similarly, there is a LOT of time between Ep 3 and 4. This is when SWG is suppose to occur. And I think it works as a time/place/theme. Trying to turn the game into a non-Sand Box is where they have a problem."

SWG takes place between EP4 and EP5.

Not that you'd know it by the fact that the last two expansions have been adding EP3 content to the game, and the fact that you can't throw a rock without hitting a Jedi, in the open, with saber glowing.

Re:Anti-Sanbox MMO? (1)

Khyl'Dran (673292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269992)

WoW is in no way a sandbox game though, so this argument doesn't apply to it ...

And even though there is story between episode IV and V, people come to expect a lot from the whole "Star Wars" feel, so it makes it harder for the game to be truly freeform...

A TRUE sandbox game would enable both (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270240)

In a true sandbox I can be whatever I want. I can be the builder of a beautifull down and next godzilla stomping it flat.

The real problem with SWG was not that it never seemed able to make up its mind about what it wanted to be. In its attempt to be everything to everybody it ends up pissing off everyone. Instead of fixing the bugs they kept redesigning it and introducing even more bugs. I remember after the combat revamp (the first) that you would sometimes drive across places so fucking teeming with live that it was insane. Lairs with 30-40 critters around the entire horizon filled with prey. Granted it was amazing the game did not grind to a halt displaying it all but geez that bug should never have made it past testing.

This guy just doesn't seem to have a clue and if he thinks SWG can in this form compete with WoW he should have himself committed. This is no longer marketing speech this signals a severe mental disorder.

It may amaze some people but in MMO land some people LIKE being an entertainer, yes even a hairdresser. Some people really do enjoy being a cheff or general crafter. Other enjoy going out hunting not for money or xp or leet loot but to find the supplies that the crafters need.

But such a game is not for everybody and would need to be very clearly targetted. An open sandbox style game simply requires a different kind of player then well a fps linear story game.

You know what is odd? The game Guild Wars is advertised as a PvP game yet its quests are actually bloody intresting, with some nice stories and scripted quests that actually are a lot better then the typical EQ2 "go kill ten bears for the next page in a book" quests. GW has NPC's fighting along side you, a central story that actually advances, and in general is very suprising especialy when you consider that it is not a quest game at its heart.

Worse GW is better then EQ2 because you can far more create your own character, you have a maximum of 8 spells from a wide section and while there are only 5 jobs available they have a massive spell selection and 3 specilisations and you have to select a second job as well giving you a huge amount of choice as to how to build your character. Compared to EQ2 where everyone uses the same spells it is a breath of fresh air.

In fact it is a bit like SWG. Well SWG BEFORE Sony made it clear that anyone not adopting the one template to rule them all would just not be able to play with the higher level content. When Sony's idea of a good high level dungeon is filling it with critters that all but the most specced out combat classes can't handle then it becomes clear that Sony decided that the sandbox was not what they wanted.

Remember KOTOR? Nice game but hardly "open". Just try to make all your characters ranged weapon fighters. It was suicide. Jedi was you path and you would damn well take it.

SWG slowly rotted, partly because of bugs, partly because sony either encouraged or failed to discourage the use of quick paths to victory and partly because to many of the players allowed themselves to be drawn in by the lure of the xp grind.

In a recent /. article I put up a post about how SWG was fun before the doc buff and I describe a hunt on dathomir. Perhaps I should also write about how live was AFTER the doc buff became wide spread.

My Sabrak(?) was now an elite TKM/Sword Specialist. Sword being used to do the big damage, TKM for its fantastic healing and for the cheap damage that vibro knuckles give (top sword cost a million, top vibro knuckle a few thousand, your choice). The day would start with unloading your inventory of the previous day loot and checking your armour. Depending on how much you cared about looks your outfit would be the select pieces of armour that critters actually hit with the non-hitted parts of your body wrapped in clothes. If you could be bothered, many couldn't and fighting in your undies was perfectly acceptedle in the SWG universe.

Weapon check to see it had not deterioted to far. Then it was time to crank out a new bottle of brandy (mind buff) and some pastry (emergency mind buff) from the crates so they would be available during combat. Next to the cantina to heal the old mind wounds. Only wounds a TKM couldn't heal themselves. Luckily there is always a bot up at coronet on my server. I never bothered with the entertainer mind buffs. To much hazzle and the brandy was cheap enough and was easily renewed in battle.

Next to the starport and to find a doc. Balk at the prices and find one offering a good one, bank tip the 12.000 to 25.000 credits and wait inline for the player doc to give you your buff. If you were lucky there was a doc playing if not, well the entire game crashed to a halt and everybody would wander around waiting for a doc to show up.

If you were smart while waiting inline you would be looking for a solo group to join. Sony in its wisdom had decided that the highest paying missions could only be offered to a group of 5-6 players. Even if those players could easily tackle them alone, in fact the missions were so easy that if you went to do them with a group you had to move fast to get a hit in before the first guy to arrive had already completed it. Anyway if you payed attention you would soon be invited to a solo group. Sometimes there was some banter going on between the people on various planets but mostly it was all quiet on the star wars front. Grinding is a lonely business.

With the doc buff ticking slowly through its 2-3 hour charge you headed to your planet of choice. Coronet had some easy missions and had the advantage of not taking you to far from the hub of player activity BUT could also lead to lair stealing and other griefing. Plus payout was minimal. I forgot the planets name but basically Coronet offered you safe low pay medium xp misisons. Another offered high pay medium risk low xp missions against primitive humans (good jedi can slaughter anyone in the name of becoming master apparently) and dathomir offered high pay high xp but at some risk of actually being killed (although only to the terminally stupid).

At the planet of your choice you would find a mission terminal select two missions (the max) in the same direction and bike out. Jump off at the lair, target lair and do your area attack until finshed, off to the next lair and then back to the mission terminal for more. If you worked fast you could garner about half a million credits to a million. If you had some scout skill you would also be loaded with crafter resources. Even if it was crap I usually managed to find a taker for it for a few more credits (usually enough to pay for the doc buff leaving the mission pay outs as pure profit).

In fact the doc buff was so powerfull that I soon was fighting without even bothering with armour. While it meant I had to pay some attention to the fight it also saved me a bundle in armour replacements and in a few days I had a few million and I stopped.

What was the point? There wasn't any challenge and what was I going to do with the money? Buy an even better sword? For what? I could own a lair just as good with a vibro knuckle at a fraction of the price.

Luckily I had a guild who had leaders who knew how to setup up some fun events but basically it became clear the game encouraged the grind when it removed the holo grind for the straight XP grind. Even a master would still gather XP with a maximum of 900.000 points. To become a jedi you could trade that XP at a ratio of 30:1 or something for jedi xp. This meant that no longer were people just grinding for money they needed to do so if they wanted to be a jedi. All that was added was a 20 minute round trip to dathomir to exchange your xp, and then get more xp. If you were good you could fill your 900.000 points 1-2 times per doc buff.

This totally ruined the game. Dathomir became a place heavily travelled by fucking entertainers exchanging their xp for jedi xp and the idea of a group hunt forever disappeared. Sony tried to counter the solo group by only giving you a fraction of the mission payout if you were the only one at a lair when it went down (before you got it all if you were alone) but by that time people needed to get so much XP that even a tenfold reduction in mission payout was still leaving people rolling in cash. Anyway you didn't have a choice. Either you group soloed or you just didn't get the missions that gave the big XP and driving around looking for wild spawns took to much time (plus the risk you attacked someone's mission lair)

Argh, anothe long rambling story. Perhaps you can tell that I still have a lot of attachement to the game but at one point after the combat revamp I realized that Sony was determined to ruin the game for everyone. My guildmates left for WoW and EQ2 and I just left as well.

It was a fun game but for every bug fix sony seemed determined to add in 2 more plus at least 3 undesired improvements.

I left EQ2 recently, a recent improvement there? Increased movement speed. Nice in princeple except the bloody run animation now makes you look like the game is stuck in fast forward. It looks stupid and in a game were you do an awfull lot of running LOOKS are important.

Guildwars Nitpick (2, Informative)

MoriaOrc (822758) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270889)

Sorry to be nitpicky but, a few corrections about the guildwars bit (And I love Guildwars, it's a great game that I've spent far to much time playing).

First off, there are 6 classes (Warrior, Ranger, Necromancer, Mesmer, Elementalist, Monk).

Second, if by "specializations" you are refering to atributes, each class has 4 (or in the elementalist's case, 5) attributes, one of which you only get when you have that class as your primary class (So characters have 4 primary + 3 secondary attributes, + 1 to one of those if they are an elementalist primary or secondary).

And finally, each class has ~75-80 skills the effect of which is based on your attributes. And there aren't any "primary class only" skills.

Also, the way I see guildwars is as basically two almost entirely seperate games you can play, PvM and PvP Guildwars. A quick explanation for anyone interested! (Everything after this is a plug for what is IMO a great game, not intended as a reply to the parent)

The PvP half of the game can be played entirely without the PvM and quest/story. PvP only occurs in one of the games arenas (4v4 Random Teams, 4v4 Arranged Teams, 8v8 Arranged Teams, 8v8 Guild Ladder). Also, players can make pre-leveled PvP characters using any skills and weapon/armor mods they've "unlocked" by either finding them in the PvM parts of the game, or unlocking them through the "faction" system (think XP, except global for your account and gained for PvP kills). That aspect of PvP is great because it means you can test out character builds (granted, not for PvM) without having to spend hours/days leveling only to find out your idea won't work. PvP on the whole is very self-contained (although going straight to PvP with a new account means you don't have much unlocked) and the random-matching means you can always get a quick game in if you don't have much time.

On the other hand, the PvM half of the game is also very well self-contained. Players level like in a normal RPG (althoug, max level is 20 and you usually hit that anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through the game). As you progress, you find better equipment, new skills, get more attribute points, ect. However, the kinds of things that constitute "phat loot" in Guildwars do so mainly because they make your character look better (atleast in theory). It's not immune to grinding, but atleast all the grinders get is cooler looking armor and maybe an extra +1 or 2% damage/armor (where as in the SWG story above, where grinding is the only way to compete [note: token on-topic sentance]). The story is decent enough, and most of the quests are interesting. PvM definetly a great way to play if you love exploring, collecting things, or the social aspects of MMOs

Re:A TRUE sandbox game would enable both (1)

v3c7r0n (924749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271016)

it's sad that your description of SWG is so accurate...and how they say jedi is "too easy" (they just leave out the fact that you have to do the same easy crap over and over for about 6 months if you push hard)

Re:A TRUE sandbox game would enable both (4, Funny)

ultranova (717540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271473)

SWG slowly rotted, partly because of bugs, partly because sony either encouraged or failed to discourage the use of quick paths to victory and partly because to many of the players allowed themselves to be drawn in by the lure of the xp grind.

Well, isn't being seduced by the quick and easy road to power a very fitting theme for a Star Wars game ?-)

Re:A TRUE sandbox game would enable both (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271718)

> It may amaze some people but in MMO land some people LIKE being an entertainer

SWG was my primary MMORPG for about 6 months. It was precisely because I could be a dancer.

The combat portion was completely ludicrous -- you felt very weak, and worse, much of your time was spent killing llama-giraffes to level while "grinding".

To stand there in a group of 8 surrounding a dog thing, with 7 shooting laser blasts at it, and the 8th hosing it continuously with a friggin' flamethrower and this wild animal doggie takes thirty seconds to die?!?!?

Say it with me:




That's as far from Star Wars as you can get.

And, it was almost impossible to become a Jedi. While I acknowledge the conceptual problem of a Jedi on every corner when they're supposed to be rare, nevertheless that's the draw to the franchise. Being a "bounty hunter", or a dancer in a fishnet outfit are OK, but they're not the core experience. (This is why the Battlefront game thrilled me not, btw.)

Ooooh! A racing game! Ok, I'll be...the guy who empties the trash cans after the race. Or the guy sitting in the bathroom handing out towels and waiting for tips. But to be a racer, you must grind through emptying, literally, seven million trash cans.

Uhhhh, no thanks.

And I understand the new, easy Jedi is no more powerful than any other melee class. Nice, stupid solution. Like making the above racing game where you can start as a racer, but your car goes no faster than the zamboni or the trash guy's golf cart.

Nice solution, Smed.

SWG vs Wow (2, Insightful)

Thomas A. Anderson (114614) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269569)

I didn't want to like WoW. I waited until September to play it (even though I had it in March). I played for 2 hours and bam, I was a goner. I don't play every moment of every day, but it is my favorite MMORPG by far (and the most popular one in my internet cafe - CoV/CoH is a reasonably close second)

This guy make think they are going in the right direction, but they have *so* far to go to catch up it would take a meltdown of Chernobyl proportions on blizzards part for SWG to even have a chance, and probably not even then....

The only MMORPG that I know of that might challenge the dominance of WoW is the new D&D game coming out.

Re:SWG vs Wow (3, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269721)

I played WoW for about a month when it first came out (two days after released) and haven't touched it since. It's probably about the best MMORPG I've ever played, but it's stil just a level-treadmill. Nothing much exciting happens in it - even on a PvP server.

Re:SWG vs Wow (1)

LearningHard (612455) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270196)

I was thinking the same thing in regards to WoW and the new DND game. I got in on the public stress test and I must say that WoW has nothing to feel. While the character creation, progression, and enemies are very dndish. The game as a whole completely failed to be enjoyable for me. This comes from someone who is a huge DND fan by the way. The UI sucks completely, the quests are pretty retarded, the functions for finding a party are an abortion, zoning is incredibly annoying and constant. Also one of the biggest problems I had with it was I felt like I was playing Guild Wars but I was going to have to pay a monthly fee.

Re:SWG vs Wow (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270219)

The only MMORPG that I know of that might challenge the dominance of WoW is the new D&D game coming out.

Well, there are a ton of MMOs in the pipeline. And Korean companies are starting to try and get into the US market. So I would expect lots of competition for Blizzard in the coming year or so. And we never know which one could become a hit.

Re:SWG vs Wow (2, Insightful)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270335)

I didn't want to like WoW. I waited until September to play it (even though I had it in March). I played for 2 hours and bam, I was a goner. I don't play every moment of every day, but it is my favorite MMORPG by far (and the most popular one in my internet cafe - CoV/CoH is a reasonably close second)

It hooked me for a month or two, mainly due to the worlds being so well made. Honestly, I had an awesome time just wandering around, seeing all there was to see and enjoying the environments.

The reason I quit was that most of the content to be played was given by NPC's. NPC's would ask me to collect 100 bear asses, and I'd farm 100 bear asses...then turn them in...yay 10 silver. Or, I would go into a X place and kill Y evil gay. Those were more fun, but they got repetative after a while. Or, I could go into one of the many lower level instance dungeons. Unfortuniatly the lower level dungeons very rarely had decent groups going through them, getting into a group was hard enough, and the people who played in them were usually pretty terrible because of the negligable penalty for death. Also, because they were instanced, you couldn't wander into a dungeon and randomly meet another group going through the same one. PvP was battlegrounds and random ganking only, and the way it was divided meant that you could almost predict who won every battle based on what level and what gear they had. Were you level 24? Good luck doing anything but sucking in a battleground.

However, WoW did entice me enough to want to try other MMO's. I tried a few Everquest knockoffs, but I quickly found that level treadmilling was not what I was looking for. So I went in the other direction. Currently, my favorites are Eve Online and Ultima Online Pre-Rennisance freeshards...their lack of reliance on questing was a refreshing change of pace. Unfortuniatly, EVE Online has the personality of a spreadsheet, and UO's interface is very archaic, plus UO's skill grind, while managable due to macros, is still what I feel is an unnecissary pain in the butt.

What would be my ideal MMO? World of Warcraft with Ultima Online's gameplay and EVE's economy and skill gain.

Re:SWG vs Wow (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271681)

Honestly, I had an awesome time just wandering around, seeing all there was to see and enjoying the environments.

Some people do this outside. I hear the air there is nice.

Re:SWG vs Wow (1)

Shads (4567) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271494)

> The only MMORPG that I know of that might challenge the dominance of WoW is the new D&D game coming out.

I'm in the beta, it has no hope. Not even an inkling.

My goal (0, Redundant)

dcapel (913969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269598)

My goal is to single-handedly take over the free world. But that doesn't mean I will, as the title implies.

Star Wars Fallacies (1)

W2577 (74466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269615)

I thought the whole point of Star Wars Galaxies was to give the player the experience of living in the Star Wars Universe. At least, that's what they were saying during the years they spent putting this game together. Now Sony's pissed that EQ2 lost the war against WoW so they're trying to change this game, lame.

Re:Star Wars Fallacies (1)

lightblade (938965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269705)

The problem with setting a game in a movie-based world is that it's hard to sell such a game when there's very little in the way of 'plot' advancement. The Star Wars movies had antagonists that the main characters are trying to defeat (Vader, etc..). In an MMORPG after you defeat this main foe they just there's no feeling of 'plot' advancement. This is, of course, my personal opinion and why I'll never play an MMORPG based in a movie world.

For how much longer.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14269710)

..can VP's of marketing trick people into thinking hyperbole is news?

Delusions of grandieur (5, Insightful)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269727)

John Smedley is obviously getting his crack from the same source that supplies Darl McBride.

I have played WoW. It's an ok game, but I didn't like it all that much. It's not my style. I consider WoW to be a game that appeals to the lowest common denominator. It's pure hack and slash play with cartoony graphics and shallow, repetitive "kill foozle" gameplay. Star Wars never has been lowest common denominator, and neither should SWG be.

I have played SWG for a year and a half now. I have FOUR accounts. I have mastered almost every combat profession that the game ever had, including full template Jedi, which prior to the NGE, took months to do, and rewarded you with a character that, if played right was the most powerful in the game.

SWG is the only game that I have EVER played constantly for a very long period., mainly because there was always SOMETHING ELSE to go do!

And SWG never was a failure. We have (had) 200-300K subs, which made us a solid top 10 US MMO, a number 90% of the MMO's out there would die for.

Instead they chose to nuke the game, because they decided that those who made it what it was are now undesirable and they want the lowest common denominator crowd.

For the good of the industry, and for everyone who is a customer of MMO's, I hope SWG fails so horribly that it closes by Feb. For SOE/LA to do what they have done to everyone who ever gave them a red cent and get away with it, and to be REWARDED with larger sub numbers for it would be the doom of EVERYONE who is a customer of a MMO. They will ALL start doing the exact same thing TO YOU.

Even WoW...

Re:Delusions of grandieur (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269770)

Star Wars never has been lowest common denominator

You're kidding me, right? It doesn't get more "lowest common denominator" than Star Wars! It's Star Trek - in a Movie format and that's pretty day "lowest common denominator".

Re:Delusions of grandieur (3, Funny)

yammosk (861527) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269895)

It's Star Trek - in a Movie format

Isn't Star Trek, "Star Trek - in a Movie format"?

Re:Delusions of grandieur (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270496)

Uh. "Star Wars" was "Star Trek in movie format" before there were Star Trek movies.

Re:Delusions of grandieur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14269880)

The cartoony graphics are a good thing, because realistic graphics are not possible yet for MMOs. I see something that tries to look real but doesn't, and it takes me out of the game. I see something that tries to be something seperate from reality, and it doesn't matter that it doesn't look real. The atmosphere of the game is probably the best part of WoW.

Re:Delusions of grandieur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14269914)

The Cartoony graphics are good because of the Hardware limitations of Most MMORPGS.

MMORPGS shouldn't require the latest and greatest hardware just to run. Not if you expect the players to have battles of any decent size, or encounters of any sort of epicness.

Now if WOW could only fix their server problems (they'd own the world, thats how hard the challenge is).

Re:Delusions of grandieur (1)

Rayin (901745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269948)

Unfortuntately, Verant has never surprised me with their marketing moves. And by marketing moves, I mean "game-related decisions." Honestly when I played EQ it felt like every move they made was catered towards making money. They were the uber timesink, lvl=power game, a fading genre which I feel is better off dead. Their EQ2 decision to allow for real-money transactions, and this SWG decision have only reinforced what I have long known to be true. Even Planetside, which had the ability to be an awesome niche game, was destroyed by their desire to make it more "fair", "playable", "newb-friendly", in a word "profitable."

Re:Delusions of grandieur (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270167)

You do know that Stationexchange (items/plat for USD) is limited to only two servers, don't you?

How does it effect those who do not play on those two servers?

Re:Delusions of grandieur (1)

Rayin (901745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14273456)

It doesn't, which is why I never made that claim.

Re:Delusions of grandieur (2, Funny)

blood_rose (144241) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270603)

Star Wars never has been lowest common denominator, and neither should SWG be.

Sorta like Episodes I, II, and III, right?

Re:Delusions of grandieur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14272844)

I imagine there must be something....(gulp)... lower

Re:Delusions of grandieur (1)

Rakarra (112805) | more than 8 years ago | (#14273453)

I imagine there must be something....(gulp)... lower

Like the Star Wars Holiday Special?

Re:Delusions of grandieur (1)

Rhys (96510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14273039)

So you grind and grind and grind in galaxies but can't stand the warcraft grind. Sounds to me like you can't stand PvP and were trying to run on a PvP server in warcraft. There's pleny of skill required there.

The missions are a lot more varied than you imply. Sure there's kill X. There is also recover item X (clickable on landscape), recover items X (dropped from mobs), recover items X (crafted), escort NPC quests, explore quests, use item on other item (kinda like clickable on landscape quest), courier quests, and all the instance quests (like the above but in a private setting for you and friends, or you and a PUG if you lack friends. Hint: have friends.)

There's class specific quests at (most of) your landmark levels which are usually different and unique, as well as in-theme for the class in question.

didn't he get the memo? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269747)

When you fuck up a MMORPG and fail your customers, THEY DON'T COME BACK. No matter what. Once you lose momentum against a competitor, that's it, game over.

Re:didn't he get the memo? (4, Insightful)

Southpaw018 (793465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269767)

Disclaimer: I'm a WoW addict. This is written from that perspective, but I feel my point about the companies' histories remains valid.

Put a different way, I think what parent means is that in the land of MMOs, you're buying the expectation of content as well as what's currently there. WoW's strength, even despite the very long gap between the 1.1 and 1.2 patches, is that Blizzard has done "the little things" to keep the game at least somewhat fresh. They've made mistakes, sure - like ignoring midlevels and gearing too much new content to level 60 (maximum) - but they haven't actually done anything that could or would be perceived by the community as malicious.

SoE has. Time and time again. I think that speaks more toward the futures of the two MMOs than even the strengths of the games.

Re:didn't he get the memo? (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270230)

they haven't actually done anything that could or would be perceived by the community as malicious.

Really? []

Re:didn't he get the memo? (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271141)

He was referring to Blizzard. And SoE might as well be a different company than SonyBMG. You think [if SBMG] actually made a decent amount of money and wasn't whining about sales declining, they'd throw money at SoE if they needed it? I highly doubt it.

Re:didn't he get the memo? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271210)

Apparently you don't read the WoW forums, as even in such a wretched hive of flame wars and Blizzard-bashing, every thread about Warden gets lambasted and ridiculed by nearly every reply post.

Besides, the article you linked was written by someone with a financial incentive to having Blizzard discontinue using Warden, and even he couldn't find evidence of a breach of privacy, which you would have noticed if you'd read that linked article more carefully.

Oh? Try this for evil (2, Funny)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270275)

Are you an american? See many europeans on your servers? No?

Well that is because the european retail version is for the european servers only. A pretty nasty move as it means that I would be forced to play on servers along side the FRENCH and GERMANS!

If that isn't evil I don't know what is.

Oh you don't get what is so evil about it. Well how would you like a game server where 50% of the people talk in a foreign language spamming the chat channels in non-english begging for X repeatadly because nobody will answer them in their language? At least Sony allows me to play were I please. Remember that the people speaking in german or french are doing it because their command of english is even worse then mine. The only people in europe who do not speak english are 10 yr olds. German 10yr olds. ARGH

Re:Oh? Try this for evil (1)

MacroRex (548024) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270373)

Well that is because the european retail version is for the european servers only. A pretty nasty move as it means that I would be forced to play on servers along side the FRENCH and GERMANS!

I play WoW in the european servers, and I don't speak german/french/spanish, and guess what: it's not a problem at all.

There are distinct german and french servers that you can play with localized clients, and so people using those languages play on those servers. Other languages that don't have dedicated servers can be seen used occasionally, but it's so rare that it's not even a minor annoyance. Practically everyone uses English in the English servers.

Dunno what's the situation in other games (though I've heard horror stories about EQ and spanish) but this aspect is one of the many that Blizzard has handled superbly.

Boy, did that sound fanboyish or what? I have my pet peeves about Blizzard, but I still have to admit they have gotten a frighteningly many things right.

Re:didn't he get the memo? (4, Insightful)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269780)

Actually, this is the crux of the problem... SWG is THE test that will set the course of the future of the MMO industry:

Do you remain loyal to your customers, listen to them, make the game for them?


Do you commit yourself to those who ARENT your customers, listen to them, try to make a game for them, and ignore those who have paid for 2.5 years of development?

Most MMO's do not do radical change for fear of alienating their base and closing down.

If SOE gets away with what they have done to us, prepare to see EVERY MMO vendor, including Blizzard, walking all over their base.

Of course, I believe that SOE has no chance at all of making this a go. I lived through the original radical (it seemed so at the time) change, the Combat Upgrade of April `05, and that reaction was a mild protest compared to what I have seen with the NGE.

Re:didn't he get the memo? (2, Interesting)

adamwright (536224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270933)

Well, this sort of "test" has already happened, albeit not on the scale of SWG. Turbines "Asheron's Call" was one of the first handleful of MMORPGs on the market (and is still my favorite). It didn't do as well as EQ, but at it's peak had plenty of subscribers (over 20,000 playing concurrently).

It was pretty complex, with deep monthly storylines, a difficult research based spell system, non class based (you could choose your skills and XP spend from a list of dozens of "skills" to make your own class) and a *huge* world (bigger than anything I've seen since). Some people loved it, some people didn't.

So, when it came time to make the sequel, what did they do? Entirely dropped the complexity and "difficulty", and made an EQ clone, but not as well as EQ. Replaced the "build your own class" with fixed classes, XP spend replaced by skill points - hell, you couldn't even go inside the buildings, and there were no real NPCs!

Result? It tanked. Virtually noone who liked AC liked AC2, and so they didn't get many players (and indeed, insulted the customers they already had in the franchise). Noone who didn't like AC would look at AC2 because, well, it was AC! The last time I checked, the game was scheduled to be shut down this Christmas, whilst the original is still going (if not really going "strong", due to age).

The moral of the story seems to be - once you have a customer base, you have to listen to them. If you don't like what they're telling you, rather than ignore them and carry on anyway, create *an entirely new franchise and game* and so build a new customer base. Anything else leads to distrust and failure.

Fear and Loathing at SOE (3, Insightful)

Somatic (888514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269893)

The whole thing hints at some serious panic at Sony Online Entertainment. It didn't start with SWG, but SWG is going to suffer the most for it. There was the decline of Everquest, the underperformance of EQII (which some people believed would do better than WoW at one point), the total indifference to Planetside, and the flopping of SWG. Is there any SoE game that is doing well, in the eyes of gamers?

Smed is taking heat for all of them, so I guess it's understandable that he's taking serious amounts of Valium (or gin) to get him through interviews.

Re:Fear and Loathing at SOE (2, Insightful)

sgant (178166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270537)

You know what? I would totally go back to playing the original EQ if they brought out a server that was everything pre Luclin.

I mean it. Just have the game that had content for the original game, and the first two expansions and THAT'S IT! No moon, no portals. Yes, have it still be a pain in the ass to get anywhere in the game. Have people in the tunnel in East Commonlands doing auctions. Have people gathered around the druid ring in West Commonlands looking for ports out of there.

I know, it was a huge pain in the ass...but you know what? It was fun! It was a huge community that totally died away when the portal stones came into being. The old world of EQ became a total ghost town.

It was an adventure if you were a barbarian in Halas having to fight and run your way to Freeport. I mean, the world of EQ seemed so much bigger back then! If you were in Qeynos, Freeport seemed to be SO far away and the only way of really getting there is to either find a kind Wizard to port you, or just run it.

Anyway, that's my take on it. Those days are gone forever and they will never ever return and now it's just not the game I remember at all. I haven't played EQ in about a year and a half now. It's dead as far as I'm concerned.

Re:Fear and Loathing at SOE (1)

tuzzyfoad (685628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14272255)

Same thing would happen with SWG.

If SOE were to put a pre-CU(and pre-village) server up, players would flock to it. People would renew their accounts.

Prior to the CU, *all* the players wanted were some glaring combat bugs fixed, which was what the CU was supposed to be, not a revamp of the whole game with the introduction of levels on top of a skill-based system. Not fantasy MMO Icons or particle Spell effects everytime you puch someone. Not doctors and medics waving thier hands in the air casting heal spells.

Seriously, they open a pre-CU server and I know at least 35,000 people who would immediately re-up their accounts.

yeah! :) (1)

BitterAndDrunk (799378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14272258)

Funny thing - I played EQ back in the early days (when we'd just discovered spawn points, and DOTs still were bugged to hell but necros were still bad asses).

It was a grind, but the thing that kept me playing for a LONG freakin' time was the run from Qeynos to Freport.

Long as hell and scary, to boot. That had me hooked for a while. Going splat! when a giant smacked me up, griffins killing me in the Commonlands, you name it.

Loved it all, until I grew bored with the level treadmill. I couldn't even imagine portal stones and the like; a lot of the flavor of EQ IMO was that early discovery and the difficulty to travel.

Re:Fear and Loathing at SOE (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14272281)

I'd go back if they'd get rid of crafting and trading entirely. Open a server with the old world and that's it, and you either got your loot in the field, or bought the lame stuff from the store, and that's it. Change looting so people got individual loot from a kill, rather than fighting for it (no more wizards rolling for that breastplate so they can sell it at the store -- can't sell it to other players already), and you're golden.

If they had half a brain, they could do this, and re-open new servers every 6 months, Diablo-II "ladder" style, which is still going strong, IIRC.

I never had so much fun as I was standing there on the beaches of Ro in friggin' store-bought chain. Hell, I remember rolling and winning the bronze 2-hander. AND ACTUALLY USED IT.

Yeah, a game where a level 1 newb can waltz to the auction house, beg 10 plat, and walk out with a sword and breastplate better than what dropped off the gods in the initial game, sure seems busted to me.

Why? No excitement whatsoever from "drops" (except the end game) because you will never, ever fight anything that drops something better than what you bought at the store for 5 plat because swords from monsters far too high for you to fight, even in a group, are dirt cheap at the auction.

And the only reason the end game has this excitement is because there are no higher monsters thousands have killed months ago, with tradeable loot flooding the market.

WoW somewhat gets back to that, with the soulbound concept, but even there 9 of 10 items you have on you come from the auction house rather than loot you actually earned.

Not hard to do... (0, Redundant)

gear02 (621135) | more than 8 years ago | (#14269974)

when you copy every innovation from WoW.

Re:Not hard to do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14270125)

I'm curious as to what innovations you speak of? WoW is as derivative as they come, and it hinges its success on the success of other games that have come before it.

World of Warcraft took many of the strengths of its forefathers and put them into one pretty package.

Galaxies vs WOW (1)

QAChaos (793637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270039)

of course then Galaxies will have to create a board game that beats WOW the boardgame ( which is suppose to be really good) QAK

17 new game stories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14270143)

anyone (or everyone?) else always have "17 more" game stories from the front page

Simply put. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14270263)

Galaxies is going to beat World of Warcraft like I beat my wife.

Which means it isn't going to beat World of Warcraft. ...and that I don't beat my wife.

No, seriously...I love her.

(awkward silence) bout that crazy weather?

Re:Simply put. (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271173)


Re:Simply put. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14272813)

Thanks Ollie.

Does anyone still play SWG and if so why? (2, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270327)

I quit after the combat upgrade earlier this year as a game that was bugged just turned into a complete and utter farce. It resembled nothing of the original, had that bug were lairs would be swamped with critters, the combat looked stupid and was boring and it just showed to me that SOE was never going to just fix the damn game and let us play.

Either smedley is insane or people out there are still playing it in big enough numbers to make him think that the players actually like the NGE and other stuff.

Are there any SWG players on /. or even more amazing have any of you recently joined the game?

From everything I hear including the other responses here on /. SWG is rapidly being deserted so what gives this smedley the idea that they have they are heading in the right direction? Could it actually be true that wile the hardcore gamers are leaving there is an influx of new gamers?

Re:Does anyone still play SWG and if so why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14270646)

I've been playing SWG for 2 years, and still play at least a couple of hours a day. I thought that the first CU was a good thing (and I was a Teras Kasi monk - we got hit hardest by the nerf bat that time round). A lot of people complained about the CU, and out of the 150 people on my friends list at the time, about 5 left directly because of it. Most that stayed, agreed (after a while in some cases) that it was a Good Thing, and did actually make the game more exciting, balanced and fun.

Now with the NGE, I still play - but it's more a case of waiting until I find something better before I move. The parts of SWG that I loved (player housing, player cities, the detailed crafting system) most are almost entirely gone (or certainly on the way out), but the remnants of what is left is still better, for me, than any other game that I've looked at. I briefly tried combat since the NGE, but it's messy, dumb and frustrating - a bastard child of FPS and MMO, somehow managing to capture the worst of both*. Most of my time is now spent in cantinas socialising and crafting.

Oh, and I now have 200 people on my friends list, of which, on any given night there may be 4-5 online (as opposed to 25-40 before the NGE). I also have yet to meet anyone who purchased SWG game *after* the NGE.

* The innacuraccy and repetition of MMO combat, with the lack of strategy - point and shoot - of an FPS.

Re:Does anyone still play SWG and if so why? (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271567)

Could it actually be true that wile the hardcore gamers are leaving there is an influx of new gamers?

The problem I see with this is that the majority of anyone who was going to paly SWG has already played it.

Personally, I have never played it and all of a sudden I am not going to feel compelled to play it because it is more like an FPS. If I wanted to play an FPS I would play it online for free. Although, had I been a Star Wars fan/nut/Okatu I would have already at least given it a go to see what it was all about when it was originally release a few years ago. If someone did not like it then what makes it so that someone would like it now?

I'd speculate that the Star Wars craze isn't a craze must have thing like it was in the 80's. I don't think people are going to see a new add or box on the store shelf spontaneously go "OMG Star Wars Online! Must... buy... IT!!!"

Re:Does anyone still play SWG and if so why? (1)

tuzzyfoad (685628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14272150)

I played up until about a month after the CU. It destroyed all of my non-combat characters. And I couldn't stand the magic/fantasy based Icons we were forced to use.

Smedley is obviously delusional. Remember just before the CU? When he posted all that crap about the "vast majority" of players loving the CU, despite the enormous amount of criticism on the forums, the negative results of both the in-game and forum polls(which they reset multiple times per day), and the rejection to his speech given at the convention.

The gamestop near my house has a printout of the NY Times article and a brief explanation of what has been going on in SWG posted on the wall under the SWG display box. The manager there told me he warns customers who are buying it about what's been going on.

I've also warned friends/family who were interested in the game after seeing the new commercials. I find it hard to believe that others like me aren't doing the same.

Like someone else mentioned, I hope the game fails miserably now and has to shut down. If it doesn't, other MMOs will attempt the same tactic and destroy their games for the millions that love them.

Wizkids did the same with Mechwarrior (3, Interesting)

fujiman (912957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270420)

Watching Sony abandon loyal fans in an effort to get more people in reminds me of a recent fleecing that I (and other Mechwarrior fans) got when they retired the set of miniatures.

For those who don't know, Mechwarrior (MW) was a really cool minatures game put out by WizKids (of MageKnight fame... and yes, I know the FASA MW game before it....) So I bought a crapload of minatures, played the game, loved it, and then the hammer dropped. They basically said "We're changing everything, dear players, but we're doing it FOR YOU!... By the way, you know all those minatures you've collected? Yeah, they're being retired."

So they came out with new rules, new minatures, whatever. I suppose they just expected me to run out and drop another couple hundred on new minis. Needless to say, I boxed it all up in the garage and haven't played since.

Screw you, Wizkids.

and screw you too, SOE

Practice what you preach (5, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270427)

John Smedley needs to do homework on the game that his company produces before he opens his trap.

For instance, there's several things I saw in his responses that bugged me.

Well, first of all I would have to say that in Asia, the subscription model is definitely, by far, the number one model. Revenue wise, it's about 75 percent of the market. Look at World of Warcraft, Legend of Mir, Legend of MU...all are very high-priced subscriptions, by the way.

I don't know about in Asia, but in the US, the subscription prices for Star Wars Galaxies, Everquest II, and World of Warcraft are all about the same. So, why aren't they listed there, too?

With EverQuest 1, we learned an important lesson. We put it out in Korea and it didn't do very well. Why? Because it wasn't a Korean game. And we didn't make any effort whatsoever, beyond basic translation, to make it adaptable to that market.

Take something simple: for example, mouse control. When you're playing in a PC Bang, there are people that want to play with one hand--holding a cigarette in one hand and controlling the mouse in the other. They want to play the entire game that way; touching the keyboard rarely.

Obviously, you haven't learned it as well as you thought. SWG used to be close to one hand playable, but you removed the "hold right mouse button to run" feature from SWG in the NGE upgrade. That means, you can turn and shoot with one hand, but you can't actually move.

WoW, on the other hand, lets me:

  1. Turn the camera by holding down the left mouse button.
  2. Turn my character by holding down the right mouse button.
  3. Move forward by holding down both mouse buttons.
  4. Click targets and buttons when no mouse buttons are held down.
  5. Click group member portraits to target them.
  6. Click the icons in the lower right to open up different parts of the interface.
With the exception of chat and logging in, there's nothing I can't do using just the mouse. That's something I don't remember being able to do in SWG or EQ2, both of which came out after EQ1. SWG's switching cursor modes made this particularly impossible.

Now, having commented on John's comments above, I also have to say this: Word of mouth is a powerful thing. I know 10 people that myself and my brother convinced to buy World of Warcraft, after we played it in Open Beta. These people closed their various Everquest, Everquest 2, and City of Heroes accounts to play WoW.

SWG, on the other hand, is getting disrecommended by people, because, quite frankly, you ruined the experience for them.

While we're on the subject of ruining SWG, Julio Torres, SWG's Producer at LucasArts, said

After receiving feedback from members of the community, conducting extensive focus tests, and evaluating the combat systems of other games in the genre, we are confident this new fast-action combat truly delivers what players, fans, and gamers have come to expect from a Star Wars experience.
This is pure, unadulterated bullshit. Your changes blind-sided everyone, even your own Player Correspondants, who are your main "focus group," and the people who you "officially" asked for opinions on fixing the game. They're the people you should be listening to. They're the people who, the day that the NGE was unveiled, said "we didn't know about this in advance." (I can't find the exact quote, as the NGE boards are hidden on the SWG Forums [] .)

In fact, you willfully withheld information from them and the community about the changes that you were about to make to the game, until the very day the changes went up on the test servers, the day after you shipped pre-orders for the latest expansion, even advertising things [] like this:

Will we be getting tamable (creature) babies on Mustafar?

Yes, there will be tamable babies on Mustafar.

No, no there won't. Because you pulled Creature Handler from the game two weeks later, thus nothing is the game is tameable any more.

So, if you wonder why your subscribers are leaking faster than ever, it's because, in your greed for money, you over looked one important thing: The human factor.

lol in his dreams... (1)

kendoka (473386) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270709)

there's being ambitious and then there's just being delusional. I think they better dig themselves out of the hole they're in before they talk about climbing WoW's mountain of customers.

Development Schizophrenia (3, Insightful)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270719)

Does SWG compare with World of Warcraft? I sure as hell don't know as I haven't played either game; I must be the only City of Heroes player in this discussion. But I do try to keep up with the MMO world. And....

Okay, someone correct me if I'm wrong on my facts here.

Item 1: They release the Trials of Obi-Wan expansion. A full, buy-it-at-the-store update to the game, so it took a while to ship. Available in boxes, which take a while to print. Containing loads of new content for a number of classes, and that couldn't have been quick to develop.

Item 2: Two days after its release, they implement NGE. Entire thrust of the game changes. Over half the character classes evaporate into the ether. Some of those classes were the same ones for which new content were created for under Trials of Obi-Wan.

Hopefully NGE, which affected the entire game, took more time and sweat to implement than Trials of Obi-Wan, which was a standard new content expansion, did.

So logically, BOTH projects must have been in development at the same time. Logically people on the Obi-Wan team must have known what was coming down the pike. And they had to have been super demoralized to see what was coming, right? Or maybe they didn't believe it would really happen?

But working on two wide-ranging, world-changing events at once? That's a lot of wasted developer muscle and energy, and I don't think that a sane development process can account for it. I think, more likely, that some schizophrenia was involved, so I present these two possible scenarios:

1. NGE was slapped together at the last second, as a result of some unseen-from-outside pressure, either from Sony or Lucasarts. Someone didn't meet a quota, and judging from Smedley's comments it must be a damn big quota, so someone panicked. A bad, bad situation.

2. There was some kind of internal upheaval at Sony, or Dilbertesque maneuverings prevented communication between teams, or a power struggle between old guard and rising stars took place resulting in a fulcrum shift in the teetertotter of SOE office politics. One power bloc was responsible for Obi-Wan, the other, NGE. An even worse situation than scenario 1.

Either way, something is happening there that is causing them to make drastic, ill-considered changes in their game. And any smart player should be able to see that the risk that it'll happen again is exceedingly great.

Even if the NGE produced the Metaverse, I would think that Sony has now destroyed the customer base of Star Wars Galaxies completely. And such is the depth of the incompetence displayed here that I would be surprised it if didn't wash over into their other online properties.

This is SOE's Edsel.

Re:Development Schizophrenia (1)

sugarman (33437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271518)

Even if the NGE produced the Metaverse, I would think that Sony has now destroyed the customer base of Star Wars Galaxies completely. And such is the depth of the incompetence displayed here that I would be surprised it if didn't wash over into their other online properties

I think you hit the nail on the head here. After the 'revamp' to EQ2 in Septemeber, which changed a colorful game with some sandbox qualities and a lot of potential to a bland, grey game with no obvious future, I realized how little foresight they actually had.

Of course, during the mandatory exit questionairre when closing my account, being forced to answer questions as to why I'm leaving, I get the final "but don't leave, we have x,y,z, which of course are based on the questions I gave. No attempt to actually find out what was wrong, just another attempt at marketing. The level of arrogance and hubris in this company is amazing, but that is going to be their downfall.

WoW and SWG (1)

thebdj (768618) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270865)

I was part of one of the SWG beta tests, and as I recall I was pretty excited at first to begin playing. I created a couple of characters and would do a few quests, but I would eventually get bored. Of course this was in the days of the beta and getting around took forever and there is something to be said for having actual character levels and not whatever the hell it was we had.

After the poor experience in the beta, I had absolutely no wish to continue playing the game, especially if I was going to have to pay. Later on, WoW came along. I once again found myself with free time and began to play with several friends. I actually found many of the experiences entertaining and Battlegrounds came around at just the right time to keep me intersted. At present I have two characters on an RP server, a mid-50s Tauren Warrior and a low-30s Troll Priest. My main problem began with the fact that I can hardly do anything in the game with my Tauren Warrior without having to find a large group or raid. I actually enjoyed spending some time questing and fighting in certain areas for levelling, but the experience is greatly lowered.

Many of my friends began spending less time on the servers, and I found myself more entrapped by the real world that comes along after college. I want to be able to sign on and go straight to fighting creatures and doings quests, now that I have less free time then in school; however, the at the higher levels this is almost impossible. I am finding a similar problem with my priest who is sitting a this strange gray area level where I am a bit high for some of the quests and bit too low to do others.

In the end, I think I prefer games where I can get straight into the action without having to spend much time looking for parties or trying to find help when new quests come along. I do enjoy the social aspect, somewhat, because playing single player games the only interaction is with NPCs and that seems hurt in some cases. I am confident that the WoW Expansion might offer some new gameplay that will help with the current state of things and maybe bring things back to a state I will enjoy.

Otherwise, I will sit tight for ES4 and start playing the heck out of it.

John Smedley is the Darl McBride of gamers (1)

freaksta (524994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14270957)

HAH. I've played swg since '03. Quit w/ NGE. Got my refund for toow (GFY SoE) playing WoW now (blizzard thanks SoE for that) any game hosted by SoE would have to be 150% better than WoW/DnL/D&D for me to even consider playing it. John Smedley is the Darl McBride of gamers.

Beat WoW? Here's how... (1)

sheared (21404) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271078)

I don't even play WoW or Galaxies, and I know exactly how Galaxies does it -- eliminate the monthly fee. I'd play then. Otherwise, no way in hell.

Re:Beat WoW? Here's how... (1)

Forkenhoppen (16574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271160)

I wouldn't even then.

Why doesn't this article have the foot icon beside it?

they can't beat the bologna let alone WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14271199)

In light of their very large mistakes, they should set their sight a little lower, like beating the crap out of $quare-nix's Final Fantasy XI Online instead.;mid =1134736401209988735;num=0;page=1 []

My initial response (1)

ymgve (457563) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271326)

Hahahahahaha hahahahaha hahahahahahahahahaha hahahaha hahahahahahaha hahahaha hahahahahahahahaha hahahahaha hahahahahahahahahaha hahahaha hahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahaha!!!!

(Lameness filter encountered.
Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.)

It's a real pity... (2, Insightful)

Shads (4567) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271394)

... the customers don't feel the way the devs do.

No shock there though, that's been the story with eq1, eq2, swg, planetside...

Yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14271472)

So I went to MC and Onyxia last night with my Paladin. It was great! ...
So whats this guy talking about again?

Seriously though... They need to release a consumer based EQ1 server (16 and 32 player licenses) I would definately like that.

Dear John Smedley, (1, Flamebait)

Madpony (935423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271554)

Why are you such a complete retard? We both know that Star Wars Galaxies does not come close to the solid design, brilliant artistic style, or enjoyable player experience of World of Warcraft. Stop acting like it ever will. If you want my advice, try designing a new game that doesn't suck large donkey nuts.

SWG beat WoW? (1)

nekojin (855341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14271756)


LOL Mr. Smedley! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14271850)

You couldnt even beat them with your flagship EQ2!
You certainly wont beat them with Galaxies!

No one will beat WoW currently and for the foreseeable future. For one even the n00biest of n00bs can reach level 60 in a month or less! That alone will cause others to shun your works.

Sandboxes (3, Insightful)

Why's_This_Fish_So_B (904222) | more than 8 years ago | (#14272068)

One of the great things about PnP RPGing is that it is truly a sandbox. The DM/GM of course prepares much but the players might up and decide that they are going to go into castlebuilding instead of delving another dungeon, and because the group are friends and are cooperatively playing (even when their characters are adversaries), it all works out.

In an ideal world this concept just carries over to online play and scales indefinitely, and hundreds of thousands of players all get along even if one is a Sith and the other a rebel leader. Unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world.

EQ et al. have their roots in MUDding. I wasn't involved with that; while MUDs were on the rise I was engaged in online air combat; but the experiences are similar.

While the bond of physical proximity was cut in these early games, the community was still small, which meant it was self-policing. If your online game regularly has 100 people on, you get to know those guys quite well. If Lord Doofus shows up and disrupts the game, everyone else does something about it; and if Doofus disappears but re-emerges as Dink, nobody is fooled. So it was still safe to have a sandbox. In air combat games occasionally a bug would crop up which could be exploited; but since the community was small it was agreed not to use 'cheap' tactics and any player who did was generally hounded until they stopped.

When the idea was scaled up to the MMOG level, with many thousands playing at once, both the safeguards of proximity and community were lost, replaced by anonymity and indifference. When that happened the thinking "because I should" is lost on many and in its place "because I can" comes in.

Now it becomes problematic to be open-ended, because for every player who wants to do something unique in a good way, there are several whose thoughts revolve around finding ways to abuse the game system. Here's an Uncle Owen, who wants to be a moisture farmer, but right behind him is Uncle Pwn, who is busy pharming instead and selling money on the 'secondary market.' Now the good player is ruined, because the market is pooched.

Likewise SWG may have had 37(?) classes but really if you wanted to win you found a min/max combination, of which I'm quite certain there were far fewer than 37. Same thing happened in EQ; there are 10 expansions and I-don't-know-how-many zones but in practice all new characters go to zone A then B then C then D and 40 other alternative places to adventure sit empty. Similarly, in DAOC, theoretically you have the choice to specialize in several different areas but forget that, you'd better be specced exactly the same as everyone else or you're done for when you reach the top levels.

What looks like open-ended, when subjected to exploiters and abusers and not tamed by community, becomes only an exercise in min/max and is in fact far more restrictive than an apparently closed-ended class system.

In short, any game system open-ended enough to allow free-form roleplay is also open-ended enough to abuse, because the number of permutations becomes too high to test. Further, any game large enough to qualify as a MMOG doesn't have a self-policing nature.

That was one of SWG's design problems, and the only way out was to tear up the old system or make a SWG2. I don't know why they didn't make a SWG2 and let the people who liked the game as is remain. Maybe they looked at the EQ2 vs. EQ1 numbers and decided it was a poor investment. Maybe Lucas leaned on them and said that there will be only one Star Wars MMOG, not two. Who knows?

What I do know is that I had no interest in joining the old SWG, either in its original incarnation or in the 'CU' phase, because of this.

Who wouldnt want to be #1? (2, Interesting)

BloodyIron (939359) | more than 8 years ago | (#14272555)


okay im done for now.

Blizzard worked hard to get to the #1 spot for MMORPG's, in many facets. One could extrapolate that they analyzed the current plethora of MMORPG's in today's and yesterday's market, including UO,EQ,AC, and so forth. Analyzing what made them great, and what didnt.

For example, EQ was really good for PvE, but by today's standards it is a very unrewarding per time game. Blizz sped this up heavily in WoW, the game is more rewarding per time spent by far comparatively to EQ, and thus why I will never play EQ ever again.

Blizzard also has much experience in the realm of "Balancing", making the game even in their quirky rock-paper-scissors fashion. This experience stems from releasing many games before WoW, including the Starcraft, Warcraft and Diablo series. Each series having its own signifigant twist to balancing in very advanced aspects.

Comparatively, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE, the developers of Star Wars Galaxies, SWG) have a few MMORPG's under their acquizition belt. Ultima Online, Ever Quest being the biggest. However, they handle these games differently from Blizzard. SOE bought these games, like any business, with the intent to turn major profit. And so they have, but at the cost of entertaining games. I have not experienced this first hand myself, but I know people who have played these games, witnessed changes SOE has made to these games to make them profitable, but not fun.

Blizzard, in stead, communicates heavily with their community formed around the game. The forums being the primary source of communication, as well as in-game GM support/assistance. Blizzard has observed the community, and the players at large, taking down notes and figuring out how to make the game more rewarding, both of current material and future material. At this point in their developed games the complexity of their balancing has reached such an advanced stage that even a single patch revamping a single class takes about 2 or 3 months to release (I am referring to patch 1.9 revamping the Paladin class, which to this date is still in public beta).

Blizzard cares, SOE doesnt, and the customer is wise enough to know what's fun, and what isnt.

These are the primary reasons why I believe that Blizzard will control the majority of the MMORPG market for a long time, if not forever. For this is their first MMORPG game, and they have captivated every major market around the world, with little advertising.

I will not leave WoW for SWG for other reasons (in addition to this). The primary reason I will not leave WoW for ANY OTHER MMORPG is due to the fact that I can customize my UI to an extreme degree. No other game features such functionality as featured in WoW. I have tried other games, such as Guild Wars, and it is by far nowhere near as enjoyable as being able to customize exactly what information you see as well as what functions (additional or originally implimented) are available to you. Blizzard had this system working even during open beta, the only changes since release they have made were to improve functionality or to fix bugs, I do not recall any major changes to the system at large, ever.

SWG will not win, ever, nor will any other MMORPG, unless Blizzard loses their Nack for game design, balancing, and entertainment.

I trust in Blizzard, why dont you?

Re:Who wouldnt want to be #1? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14273147)

Blizzard also has much experience in the realm of "Balancing", making the game even in their quirky rock-paper-scissors fashion.
- You never played WoW haven't you? It's far from balanced.

Silly things as:
- Blessing of Salvation.
- Dwarf priest racial ability.
- Ridiculous warrior DPS while same time the only class that can tank. I am always top damage dealer on Molten Core raids as a warrior. Silly no?
- Priests outside raids being totally worthless, some people even question their use in raids.
- Warlocks are worthless other than 2 gimmick spell. Infact, one warlock per raid is more than enough.
- Rogues, shamans and paladinds in PvP. Some are monsters while the paladin are unkillable priests in plate.
- Warriors 2 hitting players in PvP. Yes, they can kill every non plate class in 2 hits with the right gear.

And I could go on for ages.

I won't even get into Hammerdins from Diablo II and other broken classes. Blizzard was never able to balance one of his games. Remember Zerg rush? Ogre Mage rushes? Death and Decay + Invulnerability? Me too!

But I gotta give it to you, Blizzard HAS a lot experience balancing their games. Only problem is that they always fail.

Re:Who wouldnt want to be #1? (1)

TJWitz (719055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14273464)

Are you serious? Blizzard known for game balance? In WoW?

You mean they're lying when they say the game isn't balanced and that's a primary reason they're not introducing new classes with the expansion?

Or the fact that most classes have undergone severe revisions to date (see: first year), and will likely see many more over the lifetime of the game?

I'd bet that any company, that waited for 5-10 years after the emergence of a genre before even attempting to put together their own ripoff vision of a game could do what Blizzard does.

RTS? Westwood first. Blizzard didn't get good at copying these games for a while; and the balance was horrible throughout. Even with the units in WC2 being near-clones of it all, the minute differences (spells) made the orcs 10x better than the humans.

MMO? Everyone else first. Blizzard just waited long enough to gather everyone else's good ideas and observe what went wrong, and re-hash it, that their first stab was good enough. Throw in a healthy mix of diablo, minus the ease-of-hacking.

Absurdity. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 8 years ago | (#14273048)

"People within the company feel so much pride in this game that they want it to beat the crap out of World of Warcraft."

With a statement like that it's no surprise why Star Wars Galaxies is in the toilet, and their other MMOs aren't far behind.

SWG to beat the crap out of WoW? (1)

Mr_Engrish (705356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14273179)


Dear John (1)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 8 years ago | (#14273286)

(I am in a bad mood today at work, therefore I shall rant....)

Dear John Smedly:

After you and Sony fucked over EQ, fucked over EQ2, fucked over Planetside, and fucked over SWG, and while you have pride in fucking up each product as you go along, remember that quality actually counts for something. I've played em all (EQ,DAOC,AC,WOW,COH,etc.) and you still cannot beat your own orginal product in the form of innovation, quality, and ... well I know you and the team at Sony don't quite understand this concept (Blizzard seems to have mastered it) games have to be well.... FUN.

You see John nobody wants an "Experience." You've been hanging around MS too much. I don't come home from work or school and log into an online game for an EXPERIENCE. I want to have some FUN. Not all EXPERIENCES are FUN. Somewhere in those maggot sized brains you greed fucks there at Sony (and EA for that matter) forgot the definitions of FUN and EXPERIENCE. Yeah I guess if we were all low self-esteem, socially devoid people you see in movies and TV ,that despartly need an alternate life to feel fullfilled we would run to an EXPERIENCE. But sadly, most of us are normal, well adjusted, people that can't speel wehn posting on Slashdot. Life has plently of EXPERIENCES we deal with in our normal day-to-day lives. We play games to have FUN. I am sorry that reality doesn't quite fit you vision of the typical game player, but that is reality.

You gonna kick's who's ass? Why would you fucking care sherlock? You should worry about making a great game, the hell with the market rules. Instead of being a follower try being a leader for once you sac of shit and shut the fuck up. If you spent 1/2 the energy you expend making excuses for your short commings and directed that into make FUN GAMES rather then products and EXPERIENCES you'd be in a much better position in life and the industry.

Gaming (playing, living, and making) is far more an art form then an manufacturing process.

Your world John:
Cute+Furry+Female Lead+Platform Scroller+30 hours game play+R&B Track = Successful Product with an estimated launch of 10 million in sales.

Gamer's World:
Mario Bros + Pokemon + Repetative Game Play = Suck-My-Ass.


Video Games != Movies != Books != Imagination != Life != Small Furry Aliens that like to eat Cats!

STFU John, we do't care what you think anymore.

Dumbed down versus mass market (2, Insightful)

akisugawara (778587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14273343)

The SOE's fatal mistake made is that they don't to understand what makes WoW successful, and instead have destroyed what (little) was great about SWG. Mass market doesn't mean stupid, and unfortunately SWG has been reduced to a brainless grind as opposed to a complex grind (pre NGE). It's not just that WoW was simpler, it's that WoW was fun. SOE doesn't understand this, and try to make up for the lack of content with grinding. Ironically that's what Blizzard is doing now with endgame content (faction grinds, 40-man raids) because it takes less dev time to make a game a grind. But everything with WoW before level 60 is fun, even from a non-MMO standpoint. SOE just doesn't know how to make games fun. And they've killed the one thing that was superior to WoW: crafting. They could've kept at least one aspect, but choose to dumb down the whole game. To a previous poster: you are incorrect about the Asian MMO market. Asian MMOs, especially China (which is where most of the revenue comes for Lineage/Lineage II and its huge installbase) rely *not* on subscriptions, but on hour-based rates. Same with Korea, where gamers typically play at "PC-bangs" (Internet Cafes) instead of having a personal computer at home.

What This Really Means (1)

battlesquid (924770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14273345)

Yes, World of Warcraft is beating the pants off of it's competitors. And yes a lot of folks who used to play other games have switched over to World of Warcraft. And dare I say that yes WoW has even brought a lot of new MMO players into the arena who never considered MMO's before? But don't let what this guy said turn into a SWG vs. WoW debate and be steered away from the abstract meaning of it all. What I'm saying is that the success of WoW is having a profound effect on the MMO market across the board, not just SWG. It has remotivated the other MMO companies to do things differently. The only thing I'm afraid of is that it will motivate them in the wrong direction. I really hope they don't all become driven to dumb down their games and turn them into a simple one size fits all game like WoW is. I have a feeling that dumbing down their game is the direction that SWG went in order to appeal to the general masses. And that's why it has turned off a lot of it's old player base. But it seems like other games have been motivated in a differnt direction; namely listening more to their player base. I can state Dark Age of Camelot as an example. They've sent out a few surveys to their players asking what they wanted them to focus more on. They haven't dumbed down their game and I have a feeling in the long run gamers are going to respect them for that. It's good that WoW has brought new players into the MMO market. That could have a positive effect overall. This could happen if these new players decide to try out the other games once they realize the shallowness of WoW. But, WoW could have a negative effect on the market too. The SWG kneejerk reaction to dumb down their game is a good example. I guess we'll all have to watch and see.
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