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Open Letter To Star Wars Players

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the at-least-he-didn't-say-learn-2-play dept.

Role Playing (Games) 113

Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley has posted an open letter to the Star Wars Galaxies Community, trying to start a constructive dialogue with the players. He discusses, honestly I think, many of the reasons behind the still much-maligned New Game Enhancements. From the post: "One last thing I'd like to discuss in this explanation is the business end of things. Many of you question the logic of the decision to do this NGE.. stating that many of the existing players will quit because we're changing the game so much. From our standpoint we have to look at the game for the long haul. EverQuest is will be 7 years old on March 16th. We HAVE to think that long-term. With the game the way it was we knew we would never be able to attract enough people to really keep SWG viable as a business." The players, they do not seem to be in the spirit of cooperation. Here's hoping something good comes out of it.

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113 comments

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Thank the force (3, Insightful)

TheMotedOne (753275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576187)

A few years ago SWG was a really fun game with lots of diversity, now that Jedi are running around everywhere and the game has lost every scense of what would actually be Star Wars, I am glad they are making a few changes.

Re:Thank the force (4, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576250)

Long term planning this is. But wise for the bottom line it is not. When seven years old your MMORPG is, have as many players you will not. Mmmmm? The path to the Dark Side -- stronger it is, you ask. No. Quicker. Easier.

Reconcile with your players you must.

Re:Thank the force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14576255)

Cheesy. Very cheesy. But I still love it.

Re:Thank the force (2, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576626)

Reconcile with your players you must.

Somebody showing up in a princess lea outfit might do it for me.

Oh yeah, opposite sex please.

Re:Thank the force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577251)

Opposite sex is back to back (I guess, I've never tried it)

I think you mean 'Opposite Gender'

So many people interchange 'Gender' and 'Sex' freely without considering correct usage, it really irks me.

Re:Thank the force (2, Informative)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577390)

I think he meant "Opposite Sex".

So many people imagine artificial semantic differences between certain synonyms without considering reading a dictionary for their correct usage, it really irks me.

From Merriam-Webster:

Main Entry: sex
Pronunciation: 'seks
Function: noun
1 : either of the two major forms of individuals that occur in many species and that are distinguished respectively as male or female
2 : the sum of the structural, functional, and behavioral characteristics of living things that are involved in reproduction by two interacting parents and that distinguish males and females
3 a : sexually motivated phenomena or behavior b : SEXUAL INTERCOURSE

Hint: What you carelessly call "Sex", is properly called "Sexual Intercourse", or coitus, which is the act that puts into effect the properties and mechanisms of sex of two individual organisms duly empowered.

Re:Thank the force (1)

Richard Steiner (1585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580130)

There's a lot more involved in good sex than just intercourse. >:-P

Re:Thank the force (1)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578840)

The way I've heard it is that words have gender, people have sex.

Re:Thank the force (2, Informative)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578904)

So many people interchange 'Gender' and 'Sex' freely without considering correct usage, it really irks me.

People do that with synonyms. They're wacky that way.

People who are picky about not using the word "sex" to mean the classification of males and females (almost all of whom are "transgendered" folk, it seems) are even more tedious than the psycho-nerds who feel compelled to point out that the made-up jargon word "virii" is not a correct latin plural.

Usage defines language. Get over it.

Re:Thank the force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14579709)

"Latin" should be capitalized.

Re:Thank the force (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576679)

Translate this, can you? My Yoda is rusty.

Re:Thank the force (1)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578958)

My Yoda is rusty.

You should probably see a doctor about that. Some antibiotics might clear it right up.

Re:Thank the force (2, Insightful)

Jace of Fuse! (72042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576693)

This is perhaps the funniest, on topic, no BS, overall best Yoda-speak post I have ever seen.

Kudos.

Re:Thank the force (1)

masklinn (823351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577265)

Reconcile with your players you must.

Issue is tha it's SOE we're talking about, they've been angering their player base and overall destroying the user's experience ever since they took control of EQ instead of letting Verant in charge, I don't see that changing any time soon...

Re:Thank the force (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577908)

Issue is tha it's SOE we're talking about, they've been angering their player base and overall destroying the user's experience ever since they took control of EQ instead of letting Verant in charge, I don't see that changing any time soon...

Aw come on, Sony really understands its customers and the market
    - Their MP3, uh, ATRAC player
    - Being helpful and installing damaging software on PCs via CDs

No, I kid. Overall I don't have much faith these days in the company. I see it is more the exception they get right, than in general.

Re:Thank the force (1)

patio11 (857072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576312)

Me thinks that whoever rated this comment Insightful was unaware that Jedi has now been made into a starting character class. Trust me, any pretense of Jedi being rare has been utterly discarded.

Re:Thank the force (1)

Nataku564 (668188) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576397)

And I thought Jedi were going to be too common when I last looked at the game years ago ... this pretty much removes all possibility of me playing.

Re:Thank the force (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14579847)

Well, when flunking college and high school students who have the time to sink to "unlock" their Jedi are not enough to make money then you have to do something.

Contrary to most of you Battlefront lovers, I have no desire to play a Star Wars game as anything other than a Jedi. And a powerful Jedi at that, not some punk with a glowing sword that might as well be a dull butter knife.

So a dancer I was, as it was the only thing besides a Jedi that was mildly interesting and different from, oh, I don't know, every other damned MMORPG out there. Upon hearing tales of high level bounty hunters soloing Jedi, I became thoroughly disgusted.

So back to play KoToR II for the fourth time. Let's see if, playing on "hard", I can get the second encounter with the undead guy down to a 1 shot kill from merely a 2-shot kill.

The only other Star Wars thing coming up that's of mild interest will be the RTS, although I'm terrified it'll be another Warcraft III clone, like the abysmal D&D RTS was. Glad I downloaded the demo. Here I thought I'd be "rolling up" fighters and magic users and whatnot, but it was premade Warcraft III-style units whose actions had little to do with D&D per se. Worst of all, it contained the horriffic bane of all recent RTS games, the Hero Unit. Ok, fine if you love hero units, but god damn it, that has nothing to do with D&D.

Thank you lord for the demo so I didn't waste fifty bucks on that monstrosity.

Re:Thank the force (1)

The_Mr_Flibble (738358) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577028)

Is it still going ?

ah stuff it that game wasted enough of my life already.

Re:Thank the force (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14579999)

Ahhhh yes. The good old days of diversity, when it was really like Star Wars. The wonderful diversity of everybody being either a Swordsman (damn, that was real Star Wars), Tera Kasi (fit wonderfully in the timeline), Fencer (more Star Wars at its finest), or Rifleman/Combat Medic.

That was so much like Star Wars, I cancelled before the first expansion even came out. There was an amazing amount of diversity... everybody had a different shade of the same composite armor.

I don't think you know wtf you are talking about. The game was never Star Wars and it never had real diversity. Even all the entertainers looked like carbon copies of each other.

A viable buisness plan.. (5, Insightful)

SpaceballsTheUserNam (941138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576193)

Listen to your customers. Or maybe I'm just being naive.

Re:A viable buisness plan.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14576717)

The real plan is they give you the same junk every month in a different package and you give them money forever.

Re:A viable buisness plan.. (3, Interesting)

SB5 (165464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576968)

I will admit they did seem to listen to the customers in a half-assed fashion, even PRE-CU... The problem was the understanding what the players were saying...

Players would have a problem with a profession, and then SoE would go and nerf it. Then they neglected professions (smuggler, commando), and not fix specials. And feature creep. Every month they would announce something new going into the game. I quit when I found out about cybernetics because many other bugs had gone on fixed and many other ingame systems and mechanics could use better polishing.

Re:A viable buisness plan.. (1)

Reikoku (304995) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577392)

The problem is they don't listen. How many times did Smed reply to either of his open letters (the one after CU or this one for the NGE)? They gave the players no evidence that they were reading all of our concerns. So the "constructive dialogue" was one way and falling on deaf ears.

Re:A viable buisness plan.. (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578309)

Correct! (at least IMHO)
It seems to me that IF you provide something the customers are willing to pay for, the profits usually come flowing in (assuming a practical business model), but most customers will resist to various degrees having something "forced" on them just to bolster profits because of a poor business model.

It's hard to sell something that few customers are wanting/willing to pay for, and much easier to profit from selling them something they are willing to pay for.
Seems pretty simple until you throw greed into the equation.

For me, anything ANY part of Sony says is a moot point- after the "rootkit debacle", I have zero trust and faith in them, so nothing they can say has any meaning to me. They made their bed, let them LIE in it. (pun intended)

Re:A viable buisness plan.. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580125)

> but most customers will resist to various degrees
> having something "forced" on them just to bolster
> profits because of a poor business model.

Does anyone remember the drooling joy of awaiting Horizons, from the original concepts? Drool that had only existed before for Ultima Online (first of such games to be significantly beyond a mud) and Everquest (first true 3D mud)?

Here's what was promised:

1. Be a dragon -- it'll take a solid year of work, but a top end well-played dragon will be able to defeat any three other top end characters of any class. (Presumably the Jedi class should have been like this.)

2. True 3-D movement -- flight abilities integrated in. Currently, only City of Heroes has true flight built in and not just "flight", i.e. hovering a few feet above the ground as a drawing offset from running on the ground.

3. Underwater and underground tunneling.

4. Pixie style classes that could also fly, be tiny!

5. Dragons had "hordes" that they'd place in their lairs and other adventurers would try to come claim it. Almost a mini-Dungeon Keeper game going on, fantastic!

All gone, nothing there, lame. Instead you got to be an overweight dragon child who hung out in human towns and had to buy or craft things for your "dragon horde". This "horde" was just an ethereal number on your character sheet, wherein you de facto simply destroyed valuable items "putting them in your horde" to make your horde bigger and gain some mild power ups.

Re:A viable buisness plan.. (1)

Shads (4567) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578369)

Sony doesn't listen to its customers. Look at the combat revamp in swg, rather than being more careful after they alienate 1/2 of the player base they make even more vast changes alienating another 1/2. Eq2 did the same thing with the combat revamp. I'm about done with sony products.

Fsck me like their bitch they do.

Re:A viable buisness plan.. (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 8 years ago | (#14579449)

I don't agree. I think EQ2 was an example of a good change, and they did actually experience a lot of positive reactions and a decent amount of renewed accounts. They gained more than they lost, really.

For anyone that's not in the know, EQ2's combat revamp basically went through and fixed a lot of broken/useless spell lines, toned down some overpowered abilities and rethought some underused ones. It made some substantial changes to a couple spell lines, but it did not alter the mechanics or basic theme of any of the classes (barring one or two, arguably, but they retained their original intent). It balanced them out a lot more, and at the same time made content less trivial.

SWG's combat upgrade screwed everything. It completely messed up the theme of the game by requiring class certifications for weapons and armor. It made a whole swathe of attacks completely different from their original intent and rearranged them between skill trees. It changed the basic mechanics of a lot of stats and made some templates pretty gimped. For a newbie starting out in the game, it basically made the space expansion a requirement, as newbie missions from the terminals had always been painful and now they became more difficult. It's an example of having no idea about the game you've created, and so hitting it with a sledgehammer instead of fine tuning it. They repeated this trend with the NGE.

Re:A viable buisness plan.. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580208)

As far as SWG goes, since I only played a dancer/pistoleer, the NGE basically just made me lose my pistoleer status. Although I am now a master musician (which I didn't care about) and master beautician (which is handy although they haven't introduced many hairstyles recently.)

Re:A viable buisness plan.. (3, Insightful)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578602)

The problem with "listen to your customers" is that there weren't enough of them to sustain the business. They were attempting (I leave the judgement as to whether they succeeded to others) to listen to their POTENTIAL customers about why they weren't buying.

Look at the date (4, Interesting)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576198)

This letter is dated November 25, 2005. It's January 26, 2006. Do you see the problem here?

No problem (2, Funny)

jpardey (569633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576278)

It says "Is will be" in the text, so it's all good.

Re:No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14578436)

Where is the love for this one? Funniest post in ages!

Re:Look at the date (2, Informative)

MadJo (674225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577030)

Every post in that thread apparently was written at the exact same time ... 11-25-2005 09:38 AM

Do you see your problem there?

Re:Look at the date (1)

MadJo (674225) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577034)

oops disregard.. I only noticed the date and time on a certain page, and all posts on that page were from the same time... my bad.

Do I see my problem now? yes :)

Re:Look at the date (1)

xerxesVII (707232) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578359)

I do.

Seems SOE has made time machines available to everyone on those forums except for me.

Re:Look at the date (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578640)

God, even their letters are buggy.

-Eric

Uh, the "Letter to the Community" is from 11/05 (3, Informative)

AudioEfex (637163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576203)

Why is this being posted now? This "letter" was posted two months ago by Smed. It's right there, dated 11-25-05 in the link...

Maybe this should go in the "never too late to bash SOE dept.?"

AudioEfex

Re:Uh, the "Letter to the Community" is from 11/05 (1)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576254)

Well SoE generally deserves bashing, so I guess that's a valid category.

Smed references EQ. Smed neglects to mention that they got away with most of the egrigious shit they pulled in EQ because they were at the time (effectively) the only game in town. Not so now. They're not even the biggest fish anymore.

SoE needs to change its attitude or it will join the many recently defunct also-rans in the "history" barrel. (at least in the MMO market)

Customers will not tollerate being shit on and call it mana from heaven anymore. They can get their crack from any dealer now, SoE. You're not special anymore.

Re:Uh, the "Letter to the Community" is from 11/05 (1)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576284)

One other thing... by making the changes that were made a couple months ago, together with the timeline shift that's apparently coming, SoE is DESTROYING the investment that current players have made in their characters. In addition, they are causing non-players (such as my self) to decide to give the game a wide berth. I'm not about to start paying to play a game where absolutely everythign that I accomplish would be wiped out by a "direction change".

That shit might have flown for Horizons (for the more gullible players). From an established MMO publisher like SoE, it's nowhere near acceptable. If your team fucked up that bad on your design, Smed, just shut the doors, call it a day, and try not to fuck up on the next one.

Re:Uh, the "Letter to the Community" is from 11/05 (2, Insightful)

AudioEfex (637163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576552)

As a long-time (since beta) SWG player, I welcome the rumored change in the timeline. It's not going to erase anything to advance the story by adding content. While the NGE was unaccaptable in many ways, mostly due to it's slimy surprise to the community one day after they charged credit cards for expansion pre-orders, in other ways it was necessary. Did they trunicate too much? Yes, but some of the changes were for the better. Many were not.

As Smed and others have said since in so many words (which is, again, why this outdated letter is pretty useless to discuss in and of itself at this point), they simply aren't concerned about current players because we simply weren't enough to keep it going. It was get a bigger audience that dwarfs the current one, or it was going to end period. Was it right? No, but I don't think they had a great deal of choice in the matter.

That's why I support a time period change whole-heartedly; it's now or never, and it's either gonna be great or the game is gonna fold. Either they will capture the period of ESB (which is where we would be going, as SWG currently takes place between ANH and ESB), the Star Wars era that many consider the best of the classic trilogy, or they will fail. If they fail, at least it's better than stagnant and stale.

The absolute #1 error SWG has made from the begining is ignoring what people really want from a Star Wars game - to experience the enviornments and scenarios that were in the films. Take Jabba's Palace, for example. It's one of the most iconic Star Wars locations, and it does it exist in SWG (one of the only true locations that appears in one of the films). However, it's a place where newbies run through doing bugged missions until you get to speak to Jabba (actually, his Protocol droid), get full access to the Palace...and are done. No reason to return. It's a ghost-world.

That's why I'm hoping this new combat system will truly fufill the promise of being able to beef up this kind of content instead of constantly reworking three dozen professions. I'm hoping they put the content in that makes it worth it. I'm not holding my breath, but for now they still get my $14.99 a month. A major content addition like changing the timeline may just be what the game needs to give it a boost. Lord knows it can't get much worse...

AudioEfex

Re:Uh, the "Letter to the Community" is from 11/05 (1)

skreeech (221390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576910)

I haven't played SWG but here is what springs to my mind.

Jabba's palace should be one of the high level bounty hunter spots. You should get missions there, they can try and make it a social and trading center too.

Have some cleanup missions on hoth maybe, or have the whole huge battle once every few weeks and just keep reseting it.

Re:Uh, the "Letter to the Community" is from 11/05 (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578197)

"I haven't played SWG but here is what springs to my mind.

Jabba's palace should be one of the high level bounty hunter spots. You should get missions there, they can try and make it a social and trading center too.

Have some cleanup missions on hoth maybe, or have the whole huge battle once every few weeks and just keep reseting it."

Trust me, these ideas and many more were proposed to the devs many times. I, myself, outlined your idea about making Jabba's into a BH/smuggler center in great detail, and I certainly wasn't the only one.

Just to explain how painful it was, you go to the palace and you get bland mission after bland mission to run 1km in a random direction in the desert and kill some thugs. The loot at the beginning was worse than the shittiest crafter could craft and gave out less credits than a lowbie mission terminal (which gave out amazingly small credit amounts). Your reward for beating everything was access to Jabba's bedroom (?), which was sorta neat, I guess. Then there was no reason to ever come back except to pick up Corvette missions, which were introduced later on and didn't exactly attract a big crowd.

Re:Uh, the "Letter to the Community" is from 11/05 (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580526)

> Jabba's palace should be one of the high level bounty
> hunter spots. You should get missions there, they can
> try and make it a social and trading center too.

As a dancer, I went there, pushed through all the missions, and finally made it to Jabba. Would he offer me a job as a dancer in his palace? I even had the fishnet bodysuit just like the girl in the movie! Gosh! What would happen next? Would he give me some nice dancer missions instead of the stupid ones from the terminals (talk about a starving artist life)? Absolutely not. Another brilliant, and obvious concept that they choked on.

Ok, you finally worked your way up to Jabba. BFD, as it turns out.

Re:Uh, the "Letter to the Community" is from 11/05 (3, Insightful)

Golias (176380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14579098)

I never understood people who think of their character levels as "accomplishments" that they had to work for, as if having a high two-digit number next to the word "Level:" on your character profile indicates anything other than an abundance of recent free time to click on cartoon pictures of monsters.

Did you enjoy playing the game up to that point? If so, you're not really losing anything important when your character is re-writen/nerfed/deleted/whatever. If you didnt' enjoy playing, then you were a fool to spend all that time on it, because your "accomplishment" is utterly meaningless outside of the animated chat-room your character resides in.

Re:Uh, the "Letter to the Community" is from 11/05 (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580372)

> Smed references EQ. Smed neglects to mention that they
> got away with most of the egrigious shit they pulled
> in EQ because they were at the time (effectively) the
> only game in town. Not so now. They're not even the biggest fish anymore.

Good god, you have no idea how correct this is. They had made some incredibly stupid decisions that, had there been any competition besides non-3D Ultima Online and archaic Meridian 59, would have made EQ dead on arrival.

Imagine some modern game making you have 5-10 minutes of downtime between fights? And for that, half of the classes had to sit with a spellbook in their face, i.e. blocking the brand new, novel, beautiful 3D world that was the entire draw of the game? For five minutes at a crack? And why? So once in awhile a trained giant would swat you on the head?

And the gigantic nerfs constantly. After finally quitting, I vowed I'd quit any game that did that to me again. And I did, I quit City of Heroes shortly after City of Villains came out because of a mega-nerf to all classes. Too bad more of you didn't, to teach these companies a lesson. It's a pity, because the scrapper class actually felt powerful, and was fun to play in a first person shooter sort of way. Was.

So now I'm stuck, don't want to back to EQ or CoH, WoW thrills me not, SWG I'm tired of being a dancer after 6 months, and the NGE thrills me not, even the Jedi class, and AC, Horizons, and Dark Age of Camelot were all "I'm sorry I bought it's".

Pardon the saying, but is anything decent on the "horizon"?

Re:Uh, the "Letter to the Community" is from 11/05 (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580468)

One of the worst things EQ did was to remove any use of giving your skeleton pet a weapon. First, you could, and your pet would adopt the speed of the weapon, but keep its damage. Decent, you can give your pet a power up by giving it a dagger or two.

Oops! "Too powerful". Now you can give your pet the weapon, but it won't adopt the speed anymore. But as a bone, if the weapon has more damage than the pet, your pet will do the weapon's damage. Not that your pet will get a little damage bonus. This was basically only useful at low levels by buying a 5 plat sword. Maybe that's even been nerfed for all I know. It's little more than cosmetic, anyway.

Which is sad because it was a fantastically fun, cool aspect to the game. Hence it had to go, along with your pet standing guard and killing anything not friendly that came your way, even if it wasn't kos to you. Don't want the pets actually keeping a safe zone around you in a newbie area.

Re:Uh, the "Letter to the Community" is from 11/05 (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576365)

I don't understand this attitude. How does the fact that it happened a couple of months ago, change the facts of what happens? If something is worth discussing, why should it matter if it is not "fresh news."?

Often it's better to discuss things after some time has passed. Personally, I hate this "hot news story!" and "Digg already did it" crap. All that it leads to is people not thinking through their posts, and rushing to be the first to comment. If your comment is relevant, it will still be relevant in a month or a year's time. Technology sites would be a lot better if they took more time to discuss issues - rather than this ADD-like obsession with news.

Re:Uh, the "Letter to the Community" is from 11/05 (1)

AudioEfex (637163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576506)

It's not just that it's not current, it's not even accurate as to the current state of the game. I don't disagree with your statements about discussing issues; the point is, this "state of the game" is by it's very nature timely, and in this case it's two months of discussions and 100's if not 1000's of Dev posts and tens of thousands of user posts on those message boards disecting every word in that statement than anyone can peruse at the SWG message boards.

Personally, I hate this "I'm going to use someone else's comment to set off a rant about a personal pet peeve and totally derail the topic" crap. I guess we all have to learn to live with things we don't like on the internet. ;)

AudioEfex

Dear. Mr. Smelly (0, Troll)

FIT_Entry1 (468985) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576222)

Your customers have voted with their wallets, enjoy.

in the words of darth vader (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14576230)

first pOOOOOOOOst

Alienating and attracting players at once? (4, Interesting)

CurbyKirby (306431) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576261)

How do you attract players when existing players are jumping ship? Many players start a MMO because they have friends who are already playing. The point of a MMO is as much the community as it is the dev-created content. If you don't know anyone in the game, you could certainly make friends, but I think most people start because existing friends are already playing.

At one point, I would have recommended to anyone looking to start playing a MMO to take a look at SWG. It had player cities. It had huge planet maps nearly free of barriers (unlike games like EQ2 that have many cliff walls and other barriers). It had an innovative profession system where you could multiclass as much as you liked. It had problems and shortcomings, but the overall experience was positive, and I was lucky to be in some PAs (a.k.a. guilds) and cities that were mostly free of griefers and immature dolts.

Gradually, everything changed. They killed off my server of choice (Test Center). They killed off my professions of choice (Entertainer, Creature Handler, Melee Combat Professions). They turned combat from a community-supporting system where you could talk while fighting to yet another first-person shooter.

I didn't join because of the Star Wars universe. I didn't join because of the game's features. I joined because some friends played it and liked it. Only after I joined did I learn to appreciate its unique features that were then gradually taken away. At this point, I would not recommend that anyone join the game. It's not only the changes that they made but also the way they made them that changed my mind. (Example: announcing NGE changes right after an expansion ships, so that players would rush to buy the expansion. They offered refunds only after the massive outcry against that devious tactic.)

SOE, if you really think you can alienate your original fanbase and attract a new one, best of luck. But even if you are successful, what then? You will have a community of twitch gamers, focused entirely on combat, that don't understand what a unique idea SWG was.

Re:Alienating and attracting players at once? (1)

Arker (91948) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576485)

Sounds very much like my experience with Everquest. Sounds like SOE hasn't learned a thing in the roughly 4 years since I last played...

Re:Alienating and attracting players at once? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14576529)

How do you attract players when existing players are jumping ship?

It's called the AOL business model. You just have to attract enough new players to keep the ship afloat.

Re:Alienating and attracting players at once? (2, Insightful)

SB5 (165464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576954)

If you took away the Star Wars from Pre-CU Star Wars Galaxies, and had another sci-fi/fantasy universe and other stuff, it still would have been a successful MMORPG. The main problems were the feature creep, and the bugs existing months, and years after being in game. Some were fixed to come up in later patches.

The HAM system was also poorly designed.

Although I am a Star Wars fan, I have to admit, the game's underlying mechanics were amazing, crafting system has yet to be bested. Player cities were pretty fun and the ability to interior decorate your home was pretty dynamic. The problems for this game have been well documented elsewhere, the problem with CU and NGE were also documented.

EVE Online is now where I play, and Star Wars Galaxies could have some of the game mechanics that EVE has, well they would have been successful 10x over by now probably.

Re:Alienating and attracting players at once? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580611)

The HAM concept was clever. It's the interface that was incredibly clumsy for combat.

City of Heroes has gotten it the "rightest" so far. Bind a key (say, "g") to /follow, and presto! Your scrapper is in business. tab or alt-tab to go through targets, hit the number keys to fight and queue your next melee move, hit g to stick to the monster you're scrappin' and as it's about to die, hit tab to target the next monster, don't worry, you're final swing will still hit the current one, then immediately hit g and off you go again.

Fast, marvelous, wonderful. Too bad about them kicking you in the balls with the Erectile Dysfunction ("Enhancement Diversification" super-nerf.) Buh and bye.

Editors! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14576262)

"EverQuest is will be 7 years old"

Come'on, 'Editors' ! Edit!

Oh wait... that was Sony Online's CEO.

A lot of nerve (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14576279)

For the CEO of Sony to show his face anywhere, much less write a letter that is not an apology for the DRM debacle (or a better attempt at one), takes a lot of nerve.

Re:A lot of nerve (1)

kg4czo (516374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576754)

This is SOE, not Sony/BMG. There's a difference, although they are both tied to the umbrella Sony corporation.

I tried playing this game when it first came out. (2, Insightful)

SetupWeasel (54062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576358)

It was buggy as all hell. There were impossibly hard, aggressive enemies waiting at the edge of the most peaceful cities. Peanalties for dying had to be suspended indefinitely, because everyone was dying all the time.

It's too late to redesign. You lost me and manyyears ago. Don't pretend this is an Everquest. Stick a fork in it... it's done.

Here are some tips for next time:

1) Beta testing, it's not just for consoles anymore.
2) Continuously pissing off people who pay monthly dues is a bad strategy. Listen to complaints, give thoughtful arguments for your position, and offer compromises.
3) Two Words: Gungan Hunts.

This was my first ever MMORPG, and oddly enough, it was the only one that had enough non combat things to do to keep me interested and allowed freedom of movement at an early stage. If it were polished, I might have stayed.

Re:I tried playing this game when it first came ou (1)

Acknar (950005) | more than 8 years ago | (#14579061)

I was in the same boat as you. This was the first MMORPG I have ever played. I came in after the first CU changes. I was blown away by the game. It was a game which did not force you into combat. There was so much more to do.

I set up my own business of selling droids. I made a decent amount of money at it. I made some friends over the course of the game. We even started our own city. That was a lot of fun talking to people trying to get them to join the city. Running for mayor every two weeks. I was even building a website for our guild.

I had a lot of fun with the game. I was also heavily evolved on the forms. I made ideas known that I had thought of as well as others. It was fun while it lasted. Then the NGE came out and I just quit. The economy had collapsed on my server. There was no more point to play.

I blame all of the problems that I have with the new NGE on the development team. They did not communicate with the players at all. Not once did I see a reply in the forms from the developers. All we saw were deleted messages witch said bad things about the game. I believe there should be some sort of trust between the developers and paying players, and they destroyed that trust a long time ago.

It was required that he say this (2, Insightful)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576395)

It's exactly what a guy would say attempting to get people to overlook the incredibly crappy decisions his company has made.

They HAVE made crappy decisions, that cannot be argued against. Either they made them with NGE, or they made them originally and the NGE was required to fix them. However you look at it, it is their fault.

The guy's entire statement reeks of insincere appeasement. They're upset to have removed creatures from the game and will be put back in soon? Then hold off on the NGE until they're ready! They have to plan for the long term? Sure, that explains why they pissed people off by giving them absolutely no warning and released a full, pay expansion a couple of days before NGE hit! They can't put up an unsupported server running the old game because someone might find an exploit? Surely they could just release security fixes for it and not introduce new content! The game wasn't working as a business before? It is not the job of players to be understanding of the corporate behemoths to which they've paid hundreds of dollars just to have much of their work pulled out from under them!

The problem is that, to its core, Star Wars Galaxies under NGE is a different game than Star Wars Galaxies. Even the words behind the acronym, "New Game Enhancements," seem calculated to get people to swallow a pill. They didn't "enhance" the game, they made a "new game" that just happens to use the resources and maps of the old one, and completely replaced the old game with it.

It seems to me that this is just about the most unforgivable thing a MMORPG company could do that isn't actually fraud. Maybe I misunderstand the situation, or my argument is faulty? I kind of hope it is, for Sony's sake. Someone, respond to me on this. Tell me how I'm wrong. I want to be wrong, dammit!

Re:It was required that he say this (2, Insightful)

SB5 (165464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576979)

Nope, sorry cannot tell you that you are wrong. Because you are correct.

They took an old game, changed it completely but left the same maps and resources, and NPCs, and few other things. But they changed how the players interact with the enviroment completely.

Re:It was required that he say this (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14579399)

Excuse me for asking, but what in the Hell does "NGE" stand for?

-Eric

Re:It was required that he say this (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580050)

"New Game Enhancements," it is the term that the developers of Star Wars Galaxies uses to describe the masssive changes they made to the game to make it more "action-oriented" and reduce the number of character classes.

Misrepresentations (4, Interesting)

Solitude (30003) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576500)

SWG *was* an awesome game.

The problem with SWG was the balance, bugs, and lack of fresh content. Certain classes had overpowering abilities that needed to be reduced. Bugs needed to be fixed. New content needed to be added.

Everybody wondered why these issues weren't being addressed. They were needed for the health of the game but they were being totally ignored.

Now we know why. Instead of fixing bugs, balancing, and creating new content, they were too busy writing a new overhaul. WTH? If they would have invested the time they spent in the Combat Upgrade (CU) overhaul and the NGE into addressing those issues, they would have never been in this situation.

Just think of how much time they spent in secret working on those two upgrades. All that time that could have been spent enhancing the game instead of rewriting it. Just stupid.

I quit after the first CU because of this. I tolerated the problems thinking they were working on fixes as they said they were, but then they come out with a revamp and a realized they squandered all that time. No thanks, I canceled.

Re:Misrepresentations (2, Funny)

BloodAngel_Au (449499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576781)

And now that SOE manage The Matrix Online, with its 'content' (Live events, as was promised to further the story) on hold (because SOE won't pay for a dedicated Live Events Team), and now we are getting a Combat Upgrade (which was only announced after the SOE move)...

I'm so scared!!!!

Coming for Xmas: The Matrix Online: NGE... now you too can start as Neo!

Re:Misrepresentations (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580727)

It's interesting that both the Matrix and SWG have "hacking" built into them. But don't you dare actually hack at the game!

In SWG, you could hack, or "slice" your weapons to make them more powerful. Some people found out how to re-slice things multiple times, making the weapons even more powerful. Heck, they almost approached how deadly an actual flamethrower would be in real life.

Banned! Sorry, Charlie. You hacked in a way the Empire actually disapproved of. And someone far more potent than Vader and the Emperor combined came and got you.

I'm sure the Matrix Online has something similar, although there may not be enough people playing to figure out things that can only be determined by trial and error. And one of them would not be me, who quit that PoS after only 2 months. Strange, but the ultimate online game actually had very little original to do in it, being a grimy world of little more than human (or human-looking) thugs.

In other words, "We made a failure worse" (4, Interesting)

garylian (870843) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576539)

SWG was pretty much a failure. It could and probably should have been the hottest game ever made. The whole SW franchise was getting a kick in the pants with new movies after over 20 years of nothing, yet still remained a huge fixture in people's minds. The only way this game could fail is if it sucked. Much like City of Heroes couldn't really fail. Who hasn't dreamed of playing a superhero as a kid?

Whoops! SWG failed. It was horrible at startup, being quite possibly the buggiest "gold release" I have ever seen. It was corrupt, as players were exploiting the crap out of it for a while. It was boring for a lot of people, with a common theme of people leaving the game being "I never thought it would be like THAT! It sucked!"

Everyone that I know that bothered to purchase it (after hearing the consistently bad reviews from beta testers, as well as the not-so-hot reviews from some game magazines) quit the game within the first 3 months, it was obvious that the game just wasn't that good. Sure, some people will like it. Some people will like a game, no matter how bad it is, or what it's theme is.

So, SoE realized it blew it, and then spent all this time trying to come up with a way to save what should have been the golden MMO game for the decade. They saw the PvP in WoW and other games being more "in your face, action packed" than what they offered, so they tried to throw the same type of thing at SWG.

The bottom line is, when a game is completely borked, a revamp isn't going to draw old customers back, or get you new ones. It is going to just piss off the few remaining players you had. And SoE did just that.

Re:In other words, "We made a failure worse" (1)

miu (626917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577220)

quite possibly the buggiest "gold release" I have ever seen.

Anarchy Online will probably hold this title for quite some time, EQ had a very rough launch too - as bad as or worse than SWG.

SWG had so many great ideas, but poor implementation and a duct tape approach to bug fixes overshadowed them. You could write a book about the serious flaws of that game, but the core ideas were nearly good enough to overcome that.

Re:In other words, "We made a failure worse" (1)

phlinn (819946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580247)

I beta tested it, but never bought a live version. Largely because between when I started beta and when it went live, they actually went to the effort of making some things worse. It was better conceptually when 90% of the xp from crafting came from people using the item. Some items were not that useful, making it somewhat hard to advance as a crafter. So they changed it so most xp came just from making the item, and IIRC required that other people be the ones to use it. Then, a couple of weeks later, they put in certification requirements, which would have fixed the crafting problem in the first place, but they left crafting as an almost pure grind. I still remember scavenging for the highest conductivity components I could to make a newbie blaster that was at least twice as good as the standard version. It was possible to make useful versions of normally useless items.

Oh really? (4, Insightful)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576684)

We HAVE to think that long-term.

I can assure you, good sir, that as a non-customer, nothing could have possibly cemented my resolve to never try for your services than such widespread and notable dissent among the current playerbase.

Former players log in and voice your opinion (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14576685)

I just checked and I was able to log into the forums. I gave some thoughts about SWG then and now. Even though I have not had an account in over a year I was able to log in. I encourage former players to go in and vent or voice your concerns on that thread.

--Zonjai Nezba

Re:Former players log in and voice your opinion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14581508)

Why? That would imply that I care.

Different ideas on what to fix? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#14576747)

well, to put it bluntly - everyone had different ideas of what we needed to fix.

Maybe you should've tried listening to the actual users?

But no, if you read carefully, this was, in the end, a business-driven decision.

Ick.

Believe it or not, the truly successful games -- I'm talking individual games here, not a series, not a genre, but a specific game... The truly successful ones are generally the ones made by the perfectionists, the people who (mostly) could care less whether the game is commercially viable, so long as it's done right.

Halo, Half-Life (and Half-Life 2), World of Warcraft... I could go on.

Let's take Half-Life 2. Dog was in that game twice, maybe three times, but how much time did they spend polishing that model, making it act the way it's supposed to, giving it the detail and the character it needed? God knows gamers would've bought just as many copies, at just the same price, if the scenes with Dog were completely left out, or even if Dog himself was less detailed, in order to free up developer time for another character.

But it wouldn't have been the same.

And the reason the game did work, sold as well as it did, got such great reviews, and so on, is because the entire team did the entire project the same way. The levels have personality, and the game is replayable and still fun and interesting even in the "HD Era" where the graphics are showing their age, because everywhere you go you find things with the same kind of creativity, attention to detail, and personality as Dog.

Now, what's a market-driven game? Hmm... Hard to think of many, as they aren't memorable. Almost every movie game is, though, and it shows. Even the ones I like, such as the Matrix games, are driven more by marketing than anything else. Look at Enter the Matrix -- if you die, you have to reload the level. The things that the game is selling on get attention to detail -- things like the Kung-Fu system, Bullet Time, being set in The Matrix and interacting with the second movie -- but even the main character models look kind of shabby, and most of the environments just plain suck -- repetitive, boring, flat textures and room layouts. In Halo, at least there was the gameplay to back up a maze of twisty passages, all alike.

Would have been more interesting (1)

jgoemat (565882) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577038)

This slashdot article would be more interesting if it had been posted within two months of the forum post it is about. It would also help if these topics haven't been covered by four other articles in the meantime.

active subscriptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577113)

What's funny is that after seeing this thread it reminded me that the last half-dozen times I've logged into SWG in the last year I haven't had any fun, nor any idea what's been going on. Every time I log in, everything has changed and it's a total mess. So I finally decided to cancel my subscription. It turns out my subscription is active, but my credit card expired in 2004! I guess things may be more grim than what SOE is claiming if they're letting two year old monthly accounts still remain active.

Re:active subscriptions (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580794)

My master dancer/not master pistoleer used to be dancing most of the time and adventuring some of the time. Now that pistoleer is stripped from her, WTH do I do? I presume I can still decently pistol with my decent sliced pistols, but that presumes I can find someone.

Again? (3, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577182)

For everyone wondering why the letter is from november and only on slashdot now, it isn't. It is a dupe.

But what the hell, something has changed between now and then. All of us had the chance to play the free trial. Ex-players even got two weeks of free play on our old characters.

The old SWG is claimed by Smedley as being to complex, with to many proffesions for people to figure out and a combat system that was to complex and not action packed enough.

Overall it was felt that SWG was too complex a game.

So was this true? Depends I suppose. Who are you talking too? A person who is confused by patience or an ex F16 Fighting falcon player? There are people out there who find the manual for Diablo a real thick brick. Other people ain't happy until they know every detail of whatever virtual thing they control. Actually fuel mix ratios in a cessna at altitude X and temp Y nuts.

SWG has 34 proffesions but most of them were easy to grasp for someone with an IQ. How hard is it to figure out Medic, Sword master, Pistoleer. If you can't grasp that Medics heal, Sword masters fight with swords while pistoleers use pistols your IQ must be in the single digit range. In binary.

Perhaps it was the fact that you had Medics AND Combat Medics AND Doctors. Medic was the base proffersion from wich you could advance to Combat Medic and Doctor. Well yeah this is complex I guess. For a six year old. Most people playing the game seemed able to figure it out. Most, not everyone however. RTFM Syndrome reared its ugly head in SWG like everywhere else.

RTFM. You know what I mean with that don't you. If you are online you will come across countless people who ask inane questions they could easily answer themselves by reading the GODDAMN FUCKING MANUAL but wich they can't be arsed to do. On slashdot this is called "Read The Fuckin Article" where a poster ask a question that is answered in the article posted.

Simply put there will always be a group who is very focal screaming that it is to complex, I seen this in every game. You probably can't get much simpler then Quake and I seen people begging for help in there.

There is a group of people out there that will never be able to deal with anything wich requires them to read more then one word. Not because they lack the IQ but because they just can't be bothered.

Is this really a group you want to market a game too? You can do it offcourse, it certainly is a big group but you will alienate the group of players who can read a manual without throwing a hissy fit.

And that is SWG's NGE biggest failure. It took a game from the crowd that could read a manual and turned it into a simpleton game. How simple? Well so simple that instead of mixing your own character from various proffesions you now do not have any choice to make in your chars development. You just level up in the proffesion you chose at the start. Every level 60 jedi will have exactly the same skills. Yuck.

There are plenty of "dumb" MMORPG's out there. All the korean ones for a start. Perhaps the truth is that only the "dumb" MMORPG's can survive.

SWG was played by an audience that by and large liked to play a complex deep game where you had a large amount of freedom to play the way you wanted too.

The problem was that SOE never really managed it right. It shouldn't have launched until they had removed a lot of the bugs. This killed the game far more then it being considered to complex, but offcourse they cannot say this. Smedley blames all of SWG failure on complexity not on SOE releasing a bugged product on an audience fed up with buggie MMO games.

SWG was complex and deep enough to allow you to be your own character. Well up to midlevel anyway. Then all of a sudden everything started to crash. Why? The "highend" content. Mini expansions like the Death Watch Bunker and The Corvette (dungeons) were unplayable for a lot of proffesion mixes. Creature Tamers were out because pets cannot be summoned inside. Scout/Rangers trap skill did not work on "human" enemies making them useless. People with a sideline in non-combat profs were also useless especially on the corvette wich limited the number of players inside.

SWG was an openended sandbox ruined by SOE adding new stuff without thinking it through.

It started perhaps with the Composite armour. This armour was so though that it made all other armour useless. But it carried a huge penalty, so they introduced doc buffs to counter them but made those so powerfull that people turned into one man armies able to solo almost everything. So high end dungeons added had enemies so though that had 100% resist on every attack except one, wich had a 90% resist. From there it just went to hell.

If only they had never added that super armour. We would possibly now have a game that was open ended and they could have spent all the time fixing the actuall bugs instead of constantly trying to balance a bad desicision.

Tips to anyother game developers. Do not introduce a piece of equipment that is so leet that it instantly makes everything else worthless.

SWG had potential but it was never handled right. SOE spend to much time wanting to appeal to everyone and in the end pissing off everyone. Smedley, what is SWG. Really what is your core audience. Is it Diablo? Is it Final Fantasy or is it Baldur's Gate? All three succesfull RPG's but also aimed at completly different players. Choose one.

Re:Again? (1, Funny)

Faw (33935) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577672)

This post is too long and hard to read. BTW what is RTFM?

Re:Again? (1)

SysKoll (48967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578873)

Who moderated the parent down? This is humor, not offtopic, silly!

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577879)

SWG actually had a RTFM emote.
I used it a lot. It were a beautiful thing.

*sigh*

Re:Again? (3, Informative)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578299)

"It started perhaps with the Composite armour. This armour was so though that it made all other armour useless. But it carried a huge penalty, so they introduced doc buffs to counter them but made those so powerfull that people turned into one man armies able to solo almost everything. So high end dungeons added had enemies so though that had 100% resist on every attack except one, wich had a 90% resist. From there it just went to hell.

If only they had never added that super armour. We would possibly now have a game that was open ended and they could have spent all the time fixing the actuall bugs instead of constantly trying to balance a bad desicision.

Tips to anyother game developers. Do not introduce a piece of equipment that is so leet that it instantly makes everything else worthless."

This, my friends, is a concise summary of why SWG failed. Devs did not, never, ever, think about what would happen if someone managed to make top-end gear or a min-max template. Hell, they made it possible to make a max-max template. And they had absolutely no idea which nerfs were appropriate.

The poster above outlined the composite armor/doc buffs thing. Players were able to wear this 90% resistance armor and build a template to max out defensive mods, which meant that literally I could sit there firing at the player for an hour and not do any damage. This went on for untold amounts of time. And one week they accidentally bugged it so that one attack in two profession lines, called Scatter hits, ignored these defenses. They weren't overpowered, it just meant that with me, having maxed out accuracy and eating accuracy food, at optimal range, laying prone, I could eventually kill one of these stackers. What happened? Fix went in for *that* bug a week later. There are untold amounts of imbalances like this which went unfixed for untold amounts of time while the devs implemented (boring) race tracks and dungeons that were useless to anyone but the maxers.

Also, the effects of these buffs on the game. Since they buffed everything instead of nerfing players, it suddenly became that you couldn't do anything without doctor buffs, entertainer buffs, and food. This is a lengthy ass process. Imagine you enter PvP and five minutes later die, which is not unreasonable. You now face something like fifteen or thirty minutes of healing, rebuffing, waiting for your stomach to empty so you can eat more food, getting back your entertainer buffs, etc. Fighting without these became impossible in PvP.

And, finally, PvP. Supposedly one of the core focuses of the game, the Galactic Civil War. And PvP a year or two in was essentially what it was when it started -- you could build faction bases, but they served no purpose except for you to defend. So you spent a ton of time grinding and grinding to build up enough faction to buy a big faction base so that you could defend it. And people did it, because there was no other PvP content.

Re:Again? (1)

phlinn (819946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580335)

Mudflation like this is exactly what sent EQ into a slow death spiral, especially in PvP.

Re:Again? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580937)

> which meant that literally I could sit there firing at
> the player for an hour and not do any damage.

It was a clever trick. Since you could pick from 4 branches, 4 levels per "onion" = 16 choices, for each of the 36 classes (well, most of them, depending on what you'd "opened up") so at any given moment, you'd have basically a hundred things to choose from to dump your xp into. So why not pick and choose all the defensive ones? A little bit from the martial arts Tendo Ken or whatever it was called, a little bit from this, a little bit from that so you could wear that armor effectively. Quickly, they built up an AC (armor class) that greatly exceeded the max you'd get following any single profession to master level.

Then two or three of them would wander into Anchorhead and kick all the rebels out. =D

Re:Again? (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578578)

"And that is SWG's NGE biggest failure. It took a game from the crowd that could read a manual and turned it into a simpleton game."

Disclaimer: I don't play MMO's, just not that interesting for me, but to the point:
you are so right. I have noticed this trend with many games. I suspect it is meant to "open up the potential market", and not improve gameplay.

RTFA, or RTFM?...this is /. :) Just kidding! (sort of)
I personally derive a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction in acquiring difficult goals/skills in playing a well thought out and implemented game....that is why I still keep a Win98se bootable partition on my PC- just so I can still play "Su-27 Flanker 1.5 Squadron Commander's Edition". Damn...had to learn the Russian alphabet just to make sense of the cockpit/controls, then about a mont before I could figure out how to land the plane! (yes, I did RTFM, but if you have ever played this sim, you know what I mean- it was complex-had real Flanker pilots and engineers working with the developers for accuracy/realism of flight engine and aircraft capabilities, and if I remember correctly, some of our Blue Angel's pilots also contributed, and it shows!)

Not good from the get-go... (1)

kg4czo (516374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577296)

I'm glad I didn't start playing SWG. I beta'd the game right before it shipped. There was no way it was ready. It was laggy and buggy from the get-go, and definatly in need of polishing before going gold. I decided at that time I wasn't go to play it at that time. Sure, maybe I would have bought and played it later, if it started getting decent reviews, but it never did. I had a buddy at work, which had SWG as his first game, tried so hard to like this game, now he calls it "a piece of shit.

Then something happened that made me really glad I hadn't started playing SWG; NGE. It would have pissed me off to no end had I worked hard to get a Jedi, crafting up, and developed a character or two, then have it gone in one sweep. That'd smooth piss me off.

Reading all different MMO boards, I see soooooo many SWG refugees. When I play WoW, I'll often see people asking to be contacted by former SWG players. SOE screwed up pretty good by messing with their current customer base in the name of future profits. SOE should have made NGE a whole new game, imho. That way, they could have kept their current customer base, and then had the dumbed down version for those without an IQ.

Heh, SOE screwed up pretty good indeed.

I played SWG for a while. (1)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577419)

I managed to get my Wookie to Master Droid Engineer, with a rather successful shop right on the outskirts of a major city. I participated in the forums on a regular basis, and I believe I was rather well-respected there for my ideas on the profession.

After a while I grew tired of the game, particularly as it seemed that my chosen profession was being essentially ignored, although SOE provided a little lip-service. I actually stopped playing just before what was supposed to be a rather major upgrade to droid abilities, and felt a pang or three about that. This was perhaps 15 months ago.

Today, I went and checked out the 'Engineering Trader' forum. That's where folks who want to make droids these days hang out. You know what I found? Things are *worse* rather than better. The same old bugs, the same old uselessness, but now compounded by the simplification that led to *removing* functionality. I don't regret my decision to leave.

That's my $0.02, I'm sure it's worth less than that.

New Customers Base (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577433)

Was it redesigned to suit PS3 console customers and a younger audience base, sounds like it.

Re:New Customers Base (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580085)

Why? IIRC, EQ for the PS2 uses separate servers from the main EQ population, why wouldn't this be different for SWG for the PS3? Those players could be in a completely different game and nobody would know the difference.

To date, unless you count PCs and Macs as two different platforms, the only MMORPG that has people playing on different platforms playing on the same server is Final Fantasy XI, and with all the headaches Square-Enix is getting with having to deal with Live, I don't see it happening again. So SOE has a blank check to write a completely different game for the console players without having to change the game for PC players.

Epitaph (1)

Devir (671031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577931)

Here lies SWG.
It started with fire and passion
Died alone and forgotten.
Left abandoned by the people who cared.

SWG had many ailments and health issues that made it's life difficult.
It's forsight was hindered making it unable to see far ahead
It lacked the hindisght to learn from the past
SWG had no sense of direction and ended up wandering in circles.

It was too rebelious and too different
SWG suffered from schitzophernia and never knew who or what it was at a given time
The poor soul had inhibitions to please everyone but failed by being too diverse
SWG's parents always listend to the dumbest in the crowed and tried to make SWG dumber like those voices crying out.

SWG aspired to be many things and in the end burned itself out by listening to it's misguided friends. It tried many things, but did them all poorly and without much thought. Sort of that same spontanious "hey we're all jumping off the bridge, let's go NOW!!" sort of action..

Let's lower our heads and tip our hats to a once great SWG that dwindled away cold, alone and forgotten.

SWG was a good friend when we met 2 years ago, but we grew apart as it he changed his ways and because dumber from the drugs habbit he formed.

Like we say around the office (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14577939)

Business would be fun if it weren't for customers.

One solution: Gunganize him! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14577978)

How about a sort of moderation system, where you can point out griefers through moderation? Anyone branded as a griefer from then on looks just like Jar Jar Binks. Any words he types as messages even get "Jar Jar ized". Meesa tinksa gooda idea?. Wacky hijinks and constant persecution ensues

Re:One solution: Gunganize him! (1)

einstienbc (825770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14579846)

Erm... good idea, but I would refrain from using terminology such as "griefer". In my 8+ years of online gaming, the only place I have seen that used until now was a Microsoft site defining (or making up) online gaming terms.

People still play SWG? (2, Insightful)

RoboRay (735839) | more than 8 years ago | (#14578312)

I quit a couple of months after it launched, when I found that Holocron and the rest of the Devs had been lying to us. All through beta testing, they were promising this fantastic, dynamic, and unique for each character system where you could become force sensitive. I specifically asked Holo on the beta forum "It's not going to be something lame like having to master randomly chosen professions, is it?" and he told me no, that's not what it would be. Well, a few months into the live game when they finally started revealing info on the jedi, guess how you became one? Yep, you had to master a couple of professions randomly selected for you by the server. I cancelled my subscription that day and have never looked back. I don't appreciate being lied to and applaud the approaching death of SWG.

Re:People still play SWG? (1)

toriver (11308) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581019)

Rejoice! The NGE made it much easier to play a Jedi - you just pick "Jedi" as your profession at the start... :/

Re:People still play SWG? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581044)

Someone kept a table of the professions various people had to master to become a Jedi (well, to open up the "forse sensitive" character slot so you could create a Jedi) in the ultimately vain hope of discerning a pattern. Some hapless souls had upwards of 16 masteries before triggering it.

Later on, you could buy holocrons (for one million credits, a hellacious amount) that would tell you what to master for the first four, but not fifth, profession. For the fifth you'd just have to go back to guessing. Some, like dancer or musician, could mercifully be cranked out in a few days to a week by leaving your character dancing via script 24 hours a day in a group in a cantina. Others, well, woe be to the poor sap who had to become a master bounty hunter, an elite class requiring being a master of several other class trees before even beginning.

i also canceled,but i tried to give the NGE a try (1)

Wingfat (911988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14579316)

i tired the NGE and even started a new toon on the wonderhome server. what i found out was that not only was everything that i liked about the game (different professions and junk) were gone but the lag had gotten worse. the game make me want to punch my computer monitor becasue i would be stuck walking into a wall for two minutes. I then even went out and purchesed a lower latancey DDR 400 2gig RAM (becasue the support guy told me my 1gig of regular wasnt cutting it and that was cause of the lag! lol) well i have been wanting a 2giger any ways so i shelled out the money for it and you guessed it the game showed no difference (even with the graphics settings all the way down and the sounds turned off!) by far SWG was the biggest waist of money that i have ever spent on a game. I am going to go back to playing Final Fantasy XI and City of Heroes now. CoH/CoV is cool, but also loosing its appeal.

Destroyed by the Marketing Comittee (1)

esc3d (950040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14580678)

Let me start by saying that I was a long time dedicated fan of SWG, one of the first Jedi on my server in the old system. To this day, the experience of playing SWG in the first year was one of my best MMO experiences ever.

Sony's blunders with SOE are obvious in origin. The marketing team is making the decisions, instead of people with a passion for the game.

SWG was beautifully complex, had a great economy, and a lot of diversity, which was a major draw for many players including myself. But the marketing team thinks its too complicated. So, they destroy all the depth and wonder, and there goes a percentage of the player base.

The marketing team recognizes that everyone wants to be a Jedi. So they make it possible for everyone to become a Jedi by following a few simple steps. And, since there will be so many jedi, they'll have to be made essentially balanced with other classes. Suddenly jedi are running around everywhere that can't kill most other professions. Another percentage sliced off the playerbase.

It seems that every step of the way, the Marketing Committe decides the direction for the game to head, and its always the wrong one.

Sony... If you want to save the game, fire the marketing staff, and hire some people that care about the game.

Take a clue from EvE (www.eve-online.com) one of the most complex, slow paced, and long-term games out there. They have been increasing usership since launch steadily without fail. Why? The devlopers care about the game. they're not watering it down for stupid players that can't figure it out. They've made something that has passion and it's obvious to everyone.

I'd post this on your own stupid forum SOE, but you refuse to alow me to log in. Apparently you dont want the input from past subscribers.

Smed Sheds Star Wars Franchise (1)

Jestor Rodo (867957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14581076)

That is the Slashdot teaser handline we are waiting for. Look at the 118,000 plus pissed off customers responding to Smeds thread. Not to mention the ones not allow to post because they were already banned ( A blessing since their lose was not as great as the 2 year plus veterans of the game having the game taken away from them and asked to play the new kiddie car version aka NGE).

  Smed and his council of dread at SOE have been high and mighty until the had their asses handed to them by Blizzards WoW. Last year at time , I was requesting a reconsideration for a game ban for alleged forum misuse while I was into my 3rd week of WoW, I warned them that I was playing a competitive product but Bruce and Grava to not care. I even took to Andy Zaffron who kindly took my phone call on my game ban for forum misuse and stood behind his co-workers. I am not suprised . If you listen to Law in Virtual Worlds on http://www.nyls.edu/pages/3903.asp [nyls.edu] Mr Zaffron can be quoted to say concerning the EULA ( that and the TOS are altered numerous times to fit their needs) " IF you do not like our EULA , go play some other game".

With the recent mismanagement of SWG and the flipflop on selling vitual goods with the Station Exchange, Customers are now playing other games and SOE has NOone but themselves to blame.
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