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Future Plans for SWG?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the hee-rollback dept.

99

Warcry has a short article with impressions from someone who was asked to participate in a Star Wars Galaxies focus group. The moderator evidently presented several options, and the group responded. From the article: "The final question/topic was whether we'd choose any one of the pamphlet outlines to add to the game, or if we'd prefer for them to work on bringing things back that were taken out. As soon as he was done talking, the group said 'Rollback' almost as one. The moderator seemed like he saw that coming, because he'd probably heard the term a dozen times already from the other groups."

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SWG (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14860108)

Duh, I thought Single White Gamer

ZONK: SHUT YOUR FUCKING CUM HOLE (0, Flamebait)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860116)

Noone gives a shit about what you have to say.

Re:ZONK: SHUT YOUR FUCKING CUM HOLE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14864775)

You'll have to be more precise - cum leaks out of my ass and my mouth (I try to swallow, but sometimes all that big black cock makes me gag).

-- Zonk

Please move along. (5, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860147)

Nothing for you to see here. Please move along.

No, seriously, please. Just move along. For the love of the Force, our dev team has been raping your childhood memories like a Gungan on crystal meth for over three years now, and the only thing we've done that was even remotely cool was sending 1200 donuts [penny-arcade.com] to Gabe and Tycho of Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] last week.

And you're still here?

Please. Move. Along.

Cautiously optimistic? Don't make me get Ackbar out here.

Re:Please move along. (1, Troll)

Tweekster (949766) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860234)

I never understood the childhood memories garbage...did you forget them or something? Does the new release somehow destroy what you already had?

Re:Please move along. (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860775)

"Memories" isn't quite the right word for it. Perhaps "hopes" would be more accurate.

As in "Wow, Star Wars is a cool movie. Wouldn't it be great if I could go to Tatooine, fly an X-Wing or use a Light Sabre?" For people who haven't played Star Wars Galaxies, thinking about that would lead them to imagining just how good it would be.

People who have played the game are stuck with remembering just how dull it was, and that sucks all the fun out of it.

So, yes, the new release did indeed destroy, or at least devalue, the memories that they had.

Re:Please move along. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14876081)

Wow, if the game devalues any of your childhood memories, you are a serious loser.

Re:Please move along. (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 8 years ago | (#14879590)

No, that's hurling anonymous insults on message boards that you're thinking of.

Re:Please move along. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14860369)

It's a trap!

SWG is dead. (4, Insightful)

dc29A (636871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860180)

Focus groups won't save it. During peak house there are some 10k players online (can't find link). During Everquest's peak, SOE announced live that there are currently 100k people online. Looking at EQs subscriber numbers at that time (around 500k), SWG should have about 50k total active accounts. That's down from about 250-300k. Ouch.

The game is butchered, just let it die. The amount of bad mainstream press (Washington Post, CBS et al) it got, it pretty much guarantees that Joe Average probably has heard of it and staying away from SWG.

EQ with very loyal fanbase wasn't able to recover from the clusterfuck of Gates of Discord (and it was far less in magnitude than NGE of SWG), SWG with revamp after revamp won't be able either. SOE already tried saving EQ by inviting uberguild leaders to a weekend in San Diego, baseball game and al, focus groups of course. Result: server merges, continuous population decline.

Re:SWG is dead. (1)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860328)

Look at Planetside. They're still dragging it along, even though it probably has peak-user numbers in the hundreds.

Re:SWG is dead. (2, Interesting)

moe.ron (953702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860611)

Planetside was never really butchered by SOE (though for some this is debatable). Planetside's core gameplay has remained close to its original concept despite rather large (pun) additions to the game. What is killing Planetside is a total lack of publicity, promotion, and marketting. While the style of gameplay in Planetside wouldn't appeal to enough people for it to have 100k players in peak hours, it would certainly attract a lot more avid players if the players only knew about it. When was the last time you saw a commercial for Planetside on television?

Re:SWG is dead. (3, Insightful)

Sierpinski (266120) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860893)

When was the last time you saw a commercial for Planetside on television?

About as often as I've seen commercials for World of Warcraft on television. Zero. Yet WoW has reached the 6 million subscriber mark.
Word of mouth has to count for something, and apparently people just aren't telling their friends about Planetside.

Re:SWG is dead. (1)

moe.ron (953702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14861047)

As I said, "While the style of gameplay in Planetside wouldn't appeal to enough people for it to have 100k players in peak hours". Planetside is a fairly unique game. It is trapped between two very popular genres and is shunned by both. One thing it does have is a strong community who for the first two years pulled off a impressive grass-root marketting campaign. Problem is, a few hundred die hard fans just don't have the power to push a game like that in this day in age.

WOW has received tremendous publicity and marketting. Just because they aren't running television ads (which I don't think is the more brilliant way to market a MMORPG) doesn't mean a lot of resources go into attracting new players. WOW is simply the next big thing in the MMORPG genre, so 'duh' it has 6 million subscribers. Planetside is a niche game, one of the few MMORPGFPS games out there, and a tight community who loves to play it. Unfortunately, SOE doesn't give two shits about them and refuses to put any resources into attracting new players.

It has gotten so bad, we have in game ads in Planetside for SWG :(

Re:SWG is dead. (2, Informative)

Jaruzel (804522) | more than 8 years ago | (#14865604)

In the UK last year WoW had a brief advertising run on TV - the usual 30 second collection of hi-speed 'footage' with accompaning tub-thumping music. Whether that affected sales, I know not.

-Jar.

Re:SWG is dead. (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14864876)

Planetside's core gameplay has remained close to its original concept despite rather large (pun) additions to the game.

Oh I wish that were true. I stopped playing because the game got too rediculous, LIU runs, these shielded capitol bases, etc. Hell, I remember when there was no lattice. When the game was simple it was fun, you could jump on, find a hot spot, HART in and kill some NC/TR scum. But because of all this extra junk it just became stupid.

Re:SWG is dead. (1)

phlinn (819946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14866383)

I'd argue that what killed it was the high price tag, and general poor interface design and programming on sony's part. It does not have the amount of content of a full MMORPG, so I at least was unwilling to pay that much for it. It wasn't an issue when I was still playing other SOE games, but by itself it was a bit much.

As far as programming goes, it just feels cumbersome. It's a huge memory hog. It's 15x faster (literally, 20s instead of 5 min on my system) to alt tab out and kill it when you want to quit. No program should pop up a message 10s after you tell it to quit whose only purpose is to tell you that you have quit, and which you must wait around to click on or it won't actually start closing the program. There should be an option to quit to the desktop instead of forcing you to the server select screen. I shouldn't have to wait 40s to alt tab back into the game with 1GB of ram. Lots of little things like that which have been around since the game released.

I got the game when it came out, then picked it up again last month for a free month of play. I shelled out the cash for core combat, and it was fun to play again overall. But so many little things annoyed me about it each and every time I started playing that I still can't justify the price tag to myself.

Re:SWG is dead. (1)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860813)

Hell, look at Shadowbane- it must have a peak pop of 100-200 on all servers. Yet they keep it going on. Once a game is already sold, it pays for a single server with a very small subscriber base. Just stop new development work and you have a cash cow for years.

Re:SWG is dead. (1)

Manmademan (952354) | more than 8 years ago | (#14861118)

Focus groups won't save it.
Have focus groups ever really done anything useful?

Rollback... how far? (4, Insightful)

cryptomancer (158526) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860183)

How many changes have gone into the game that need to be undone for it to go back to a state that a majority of people are happy with? A month? Three? Six? A year or more? And even then, would people who liked the game then want to return to it?

I think I liked the game best sometime after Publish 10.. I liked the Combat Upgrade. Right about then was when my interest in the game peaked. And the very next patch I cancelled.

Maybe an option not explored in the focus groups would be the "sunset" of SWG, and the development of its replacement.

Re:Rollback... how far? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860752)

the Beta was good, will that do ?

Re:Rollback... how far? (1)

the Infamous Brad (737286) | more than 8 years ago | (#14861201)

As someone who bought the game on Day 1: ALL of them. OK, some of the play balance tweaks in the first few patches were needed, and I'm not asking them to take out vehicles or mounts, but other than that virtually every game systems change was for the worse.

And next time? (A) Enforce the (expletive deleted) Terms of Service, and (B) whenever someone insists that you make it more like Everquest, tell them to go play Everquest.

And that right there is SOE's problem (2, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862196)

You liked the CU, I hated it and quit because of it. So even if they do a rollback, then a rollback to when? I think the rot started to really rot when they removed the hologrind.

Why? Well at least with the holo grind people were doing different things while grinding. The holo monkeys gave the rest of the galaxy a constant supply of fresh meat. People needing newbie weapons, needing groups to survive doing from melee to ranged.

Or did the rot set in earlier when they added the doc buffs that allowed the solo group to become the only way to play?

If SOE is going to continue, they just need to start over. Ditch this, and just start over with a new design and really choose what kind of MMO they want it to be.

The original SWG was perhaps the oddest of all MMORPG's as in that it didn't have 'levels'. You had a max number of skill points but how you spend those was up to you. It was when players started to optomize them and become super leet fighters and demanding equipment and enemies to satisfy them that the game went to hell.

At the moment the entire CU and NGE mess is caused in no small degree by the fact that the engine just isn't designed for it. It now reminds me of those quake mods that turned a fps into a flightsim or driving game. Fun for a second but they just ain't up to the task.

Wish I knew what got into SOE lately... (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14864972)

The fact is, it's not just SWG. If you look at EQ2, since last I've played last year, none of my characters even plays the same or has the same spells. No, seriously, I don't even mean tweaked or rebalanced. They're a completely different class, which just sorta reuses the name of the old one. And now they're busy nerfing crafting into oblivion too, in a desperate bid to become even more over-simplified than WoW.

That pretty much sums up the last year at SOE: making broad-sweeping changes to their games, and making sure the most characters are affected (and annoyed) by those changes. Preferrably taking some disparate element out of WoW, without even taking the time to understand it first, and then trying to shoehorn a grotesque carricature of it into their own games. It doesn't even matter if the change makes sense, or fits the rest of the game, or pisses off their existing customers. In fact, in most cases it's actually making the game worse, or flipping through seemingly random changes and rolling them back just to piss everyone off.

E.g., to pick on the small details too, at some point the "inventory overflow", an elegant solution to getting an extra quest reward when your inventory is already full, got ditched without an explanation, presumably in a bid to be more WoW-like. Then it got gradually rolled back.

E.g., while fans have been busy pimping EQ2 crafting as _the_ thing that's better than on WoW (true or not, that's what the fans said), Sony is now busy nerfing it into being even more over-simplified than WoW. Think, for example, making a newbie gun in WoW, because that's what Sony's crafting used to be like: refine the ore, make the barrel, make the bolts, then assemble the final gun. (Yes, EQ2 doesn't have guns, but that's the closest to illustrating EQ2 crafting. So bear with me.) The new Sony way is: just have a backpack full of ore, roots, wood, whatever, click on a button, get the full gun. Or worse yet, a spell scroll, without any explanation as to how that wood and ore got turned into paper and ink.

And if that didn't piss off crafters, let's have generic non-elite NPCs randomly dropping items with better stats at the same level than anything a crafter can make. (I can only assume someone told them about the end-game drops in WoW, but forgot to tell them about 90% of the story there.)

At any rate, the game is in a constant state of flux where everything you knew might change from one day to the next one. And then get changed again into something else. And again. The piece of rare armour or the rare weapon you've paid a mint for might get you killed in the next patch (as happened with a lot of people with two handers back when Sony decided to over-emphasize the value of shields in a patch), or the spell you've paid good money to upgrade might get taken out of the game completely. And then they'll change it again.

And what they don't seem to get is:

1. What's good about WoW is that it makes sense and is polished as a _whole_, not as one heap of disparate parts in which Sony can find a singular disparate gem that kept people there. Taking disparate parts of WoW, copying them _badly_, and sticking them (again: badly) in a game that's already a heap of disparate parts, well, won't make it any better. Throwing one more disparate item onto a heap will just make it a bigger heap, nothing more.

2. Blizzard _didn't_ piss off their customer with major changes all the time. Sure, there have been changes, but the changes to balance were relatively few and far in between, and AFAIK never to the extent of turning one class into something completely different. And, with some PvP-related exceptions, they have been mostly along the lines of upgrade than downgrade.

Making broad-sweeping changes every couple of weeks, and then changing it again, is just a way to piss off both those who liked the old way and those who liked the new way. Some of them twice. It's not gonna turn their games into a success, it will just accumulate more and more disgruntled players telling everyone else "EQ2 sucks" or "SWG sucks."

Re:Wish I knew what got into SOE lately... (1)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 8 years ago | (#14865875)

Honestly, I haven't heard anyone mention crafting as an EQ2 strongpoint, but since you said they were "pimping it as the one thing that's better than WoW," I'm guessing it's in the kind of discussion I'd rather stay out of.
 
EQ2's theme has been stripping down things that are boring. Long, boring travel times across terrain you've passed a million times. Long, boring steps to craft a final product that doesn't make it harder or more complicated, just a giant pain in the butt. Long, boring grinds with little to no experience in order to claw up to the next level.
 
These things really aren't terribly fun. Let's be honest, there are very few games in which the actual crafting process appeals to anyone except the obsessive compulsive grinder, and EQ2 was (is) no exception. Even with the changes, there are tons of people on the boards complaining about new Heritage Quests for which you need to have a high crafting level, because few really enjoy it.
 
I used to balk at such simplifications as well, but then I started thinking about why, exactly, crafting needs to be a drawn-out process as well as a sluggish bore. Point me to a game where crafting is exciting and I'll be on board. Until then, I am not going to complain if it gets made "easier."

Re:Wish I knew what got into SOE lately... (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14868021)

"Let's be honest, there are very few games in which the actual crafting process appeals to anyone except the obsessive compulsive grinder, and EQ2 was (is) no exception."

As I was saying, I'm at the moment not discussing whether it actually is more fun or not, nor passing judgment about the mental illnesses (e.g., in your words, "obsessive compulsive grinder") of those who like X instead of Y. The argument about EQ2 crafting being somehow superior, however, did get posted all over the place, and even managed to get a nodding mention on Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] . That was pretty much _the_ ISO-standard EQ2 fan argument, so it was quite hard to miss it even if you wanted to.

At any rate, apparently some people liked that. Or maybe they just liked the fact that unlike the WoW economy here crafting actually wasn't just a money-sink and excuse to grind for materials/reputation/whatever. Or whatever, really. Some people liked it.

And changing it wantonly just adds another group of people who are disgruntled with the changes. It doesn't matter if in the grand scheme of things they're right or wrong, or how well someone can rationalize the changes. Changing an existing game with an established player base, always pisses off some of them. It's not even news: we all knew it at least since the Quake 2 and 3 changes, or the massive outcry against the lag compensation in Counter-Strike (much as it was actually the right thing to do) or really the changes in any other game. Doing it repeatedly back and forth, just pisses off more people and pisses them off harder.

That's all I wanted to say about Sony's changes: each wave of them just adds more people who liked the old way more. And there are a lot of such changes happening all the time. If it's not crafting, it's combat, or balance, or NPC strength at a given level (yay for the fun of having to switch from shield, to two hander, to shield again, to dual-wield), or everything else. And then it'll change again, just to also offend those who liked the new way.

That's the whole problem with the massive stream of changes: they keep pissing off more and more people. Whether Sony is right or wrong about the changes is pretty much irrelevant there, because Sony is still bleeding customers as a result.

And now to address the crafting itself (2, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14868234)

I've split the message into two, because it's really two different issues, and I'd rather not mix them up. Plus, the crafting one is really of minor importance, compared to the constant (other) changes to everyone's characters.

The problem with crafting is this: over-simplifying it won't make it more attractive to those who weren't in that category, since it just replaces one boring grind with another equally boring grind. If anyone can make 10,000 swords a day by just clicking a "make sword" button, limited only by the quantity of ore on hand and the recipes, then you just replaced the old grind with a grind for ore and recipes. Hope you like it more when you run around looking for a tin vein, or when you get some equivalent of WoW's "collect 1000 heavy lether for the Thorium Brotherhood" grind for recipes. In the end, it just makes people do another boring grind in the same time, so it still won't be exciting to more players.

It can however piss off those who were into it in the first place, by breaking the economy. If the bottleneck is the ore, and making swords is easy, then ore prices go way up and sword prices go way down. Have you looked at the Auction House in WoW recently? At any tier, the materials sell for more than any item you could possibly make out of them. To pick a low level example so anyone can check it out without grinding to level 60, look at the materials for a low level sword: light leather, iron and stone. Now look them up at the Auction House, and look up the same sword there. Ah-ha, you could actually sell those materials for more than twice the price of the finished product.

So simplifying it didn't make it more exciting, it just made it stupid too: you're essentially throwing money out the window to pursue a crafting carreer.

It also just made farming profitable. _The_ way to make money in WoW is to farm raw materials and sell them. I fail to see this as an improvement to the game for the following reasons:

1. It's a thankless activity, other than the money itself. While a player _might_ take some pride in being the best swordsmith in town, virtually noone will feel a sense of accomplishment for farming skins and ore for 8 hours straight.

2. It's a slap in the face for those players who actually liked virtual crafting. (Call them "obsessive compulsive grinder" if you will, but you're still making them unhappy anyway.) Being told all the time "geeze, ditch smithing already and start farming if you want money for that mount" is basically denying them any sense of achievement for their virtual craftsmanship level. They're just keeping getting told that they're doing something stupid and actually counter-productive.

3. It presents a no-brainer income source for the gold farmers, and puts everyone else into direct competition with those. While you might not get annoyed that 5 other people are cooking at the same time in that room, a lot of people _will_ be annoyed when they have to compete with resources with some 5 bots farming fellcloth 24 hours a day, nuking every single NPC in sight. Heck, even without even wanting the resources, I know I've been annoyed before when I had to spend an hour killing 20 NPCs for a newbie quest because some level 60 mage was nuking them in wholesale for linen cloth.

So, at any rate, I'm predicting that the upcoming simplifying it even more in EQ2 will have the same effect. It won't make crafting more exciting. If you hate it now, I honestly think you'll still hate it just as much after the changes. Maybe it just can't be made exciting to more people. It might, however, bring in some of the annoying side effects that WoW already has.

Re:And now to address the crafting itself (2, Insightful)

TTMuskrat (629320) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870767)

..The problem with crafting is this: over-simplifying it won't make it more attractive to those who weren't in that category, since it just replaces one boring grind with another equally boring grind. If anyone can make 10,000 swords a day by just clicking a "make sword" button, limited only by the quantity of ore on hand and the recipes, then you just replaced the old grind with a grind for ore and recipes. Hope you like it more when you run around looking for a tin vein, or when you get some equivalent of WoW's "collect 1000 heavy lether for the Thorium Brotherhood" grind for recipes. In the end, it just makes people do another boring grind in the same time, so it still won't be exciting to more players.

It can however piss off those who were into it in the first place, by breaking the economy. If the bottleneck is the ore, and making swords is easy, then ore prices go way up and sword prices go way down...


I've seen this reasoning used on the EQ2 boards that the old grind of sub-combines has been replaced by the new grind of harvesting. The thing is...you needed harvested raws for the old sub-combines as well. Making WORTs? You better have stocked up on all those roots. Making weapons or armor? You better have stocked up on the raw metal. The harvesting grind was always there. The high harvested raw prices were always there. Rare harvested items were more rare when the game launched and had absurd prices.

The only thing that has really changed is that the grind of sub-combines went away. I, for one, am glad of that. The sub-combine grind tended to grow tedious especially if you wanted to do alot of crafting. Stock up on all the raws and the fuels. Refine the materials. Take those refined materials and make several interim pieces. Now take those several interim pieces and make the final piece. Now, all I have to do is stock up on all the raws and the fuels and then make the final piece. I get alot more out of my time spent crafting.

Tell me if you've heard this one before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14860231)

It's a trap!!!

Its time for this game to... (2, Funny)

222 (551054) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860250)

delete and reroll.

Re:Its time for this game to... (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860424)

delete and reroll.

Yeah, but this time, take 20 or, if you can't afford the time, at least 10.

Re:Its time for this game to... (1)

Hitto (913085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14861282)

Open-ended roll, they better make it a good score.

Sony needs to kill it (2, Insightful)

panic911 (224370) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860303)

I think Sony needs to kill off the SWG game. Maybe, if LucasArts gives the rights out, someone will build a good MMORPG out of the star wars universe. Using Star Wars as a MMORPG is a great idea, and Sony did an OK job of it. But "Sony Station" is a big piece of crap that's ran by immature moderators. I would like to play that game again, but won't as long as Sony has control of it.

Re:Sony needs to kill it (1)

Tenric (953434) | more than 8 years ago | (#14861725)

I agree. Sony had their chance. Let the thing die and bring it back by someone else later on.

Re:Sony needs to kill it (1)

cthellis (733202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14863210)

Bear in mind that there's a good chance most of these changes came about more as pressure from LucasArts than their own design decisions.

...not that it wasn't a fairly stagnant environment beforehand, but there was certainly no reason that SOE would knowingly disenfranchise their active player base without much assurance of pulling in other players. (I think LucasArts did commit to some extra marketing pushes to back up the switch and hope to draw in new players, but they'd still have to go in knowing they had a SOLID and fun game for new players, and really something completely fresh--like a launch on a console system, which I think it much of the reason for this switch--as opposed to the mishmash they put out.)

A shame, as I really like skill-based, open-ended systems.

SWG (1)

w1mp (210200) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860330)

About the only thing they could do to get more subscribers (back) is a rollback. That is the only thing anyone interested in playing that game wants. Its going to be a niche market, might as well cater the the hardcore...

Unfortunately, its about the last thing that will ever happen. Can't have mgmnt admitting to mistakes...

SWG Last Rights (4, Funny)

Stormcrow309 (590240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860337)

In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Requim aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

Ok, the prayers have been said IN LATIN, so lets stop beating this dead horse and let it die.

Re:SWG Last Rights (1)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14861793)

No this is where you shoot SWG in the back of the head and put pennies in its cold dead eyes.

Re:SWG Last Rights (2, Funny)

GreyyGuy (91753) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862172)

Nah- they would just release a patch that showed the SWG shot first.

Ob Latin Grammar Nazi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14862705)

It's eis, not ei. :)

Sorry!

Re:Ob Latin Grammar Nazi (1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 8 years ago | (#14867444)

And it's 'Last Rites' as well.

City of Jedi (5, Insightful)

Forrest Kyle (955623) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860515)

I've always thought the best strategy for building a Star Wars MMO would be to combine something like City of Heroes with World of Warcraft. Yes, I know this seems obvious. "Wow, combine two great game ideas! You're a genius!" But here's what I mean:

Every player character is a jedi. You can totally customize your race, appearance, and style of force use. In fact, you don't even have to use the force if you don't want. But you start out with force potential. And the players can go around the Star Wars universe being good or bad guys, doing quests and unlocking new force powers and crafting interesting weapons.

The reason I say this, is because it makes every player feel like an important part of the action. I can only reallly speak for myself, but I'm not going to pay money for a game just so I can experience the simulated thrill of eeking out a living as a dancer, or a baker or some crap. I want a gun, a lightsaber, and directions to the nearest enemy. I want to be a part of the Star Wars adventure and kick some ass. I don't need to meet Han Solo every ten minutes to remind me I'm in Star Wars, but neither do I want to spent 345 hours farming pubic hairs on some remote moon in the yadda yadda quadrant.

I've never designed a game so my opinion amounts to approximately ass, but I just feel like Star Wars Galaxies was designed by people with no concept of human psychology or game design theory. [shrug]

Re:City of Jedi (1)

XenoRyet (824514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860723)

The problem with that is that if everyone is a jedi, it isn't Star Wars. That's a big part of the problem with the crap they're doing now. It doesn't feel like Star Wars if it's not incredibly hard to be a jedi.

Stormtroopers, Fighter Pilots, Smugglers, everyone can be all that, and having the universe be primarily combat oriented is fine. But 10,000 assclowns runing around named "1337j3d1" swingin their lightsabers around is not Star Wars.

Re:City of Jedi (1)

Confused (34234) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860954)

But 10,000 assclowns runing around named "1337j3d1" swingin their lightsabers around is not Star Wars.

On the other hand, those 10000 clowns are the best reason for Senator Palpatine to build an army of clones to whipe out the Jedi. Your comment explains a lot about Starwars 1-3 (chronologically).

Re:City of Jedi (1)

Huggs (864763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14867543)

The problem with 10,000 Jedi running around, is that this isn't suppose to be a time when 10,000 Jedi are running around. If my memory serves me properly, SWG takes place between episodes 4 and 5, AFTER the clone wars and AFTER Vader mercilessly slaughtered 9,998 Jedi. Yup, so the only Jedi he wasn't suppose to have gotten rid of was Yoda and Obi-Wan right? So my question about SWG is, "Why are you even allowed to be a Jedi class?" I commend SOE with that brilliant piece of story line engineering.

Re:City of Jedi (1)

Forrest Kyle (955623) | more than 8 years ago | (#14861222)

But 10,000 assclowns runing around named "1337j3d1" swingin their lightsabers around is not Star Wars.

Maybe you didn't see Attack of the Clones. =D

Re:City of Jedi (1)

TeamSPAM (166583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862009)

Sorry, seems like it needs to be done:

  • Episode I: The Phantom Assclown
  • Episode II: Attack of the Assclowns
  • Episode II: Revenge of the Assclown
  • Episode IV: A New Assclown
  • Episode V: The Assclown Strikes Back
  • Episode VI: Return of the Assclown
Now for something on topic: I think they should've let the user choose their character class instead of assigning it to them. Sticking them with the dancer class would suck. The dancers are NPCs.

Re:City of Jedi (1)

Jelloman (69747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14864079)

The problem with that is that if everyone is a jedi, it isn't Star Wars. That's a big part of the problem with the crap they're doing now. It doesn't feel like Star Wars if it's not incredibly hard to be a jedi... 10,000 assclowns runing around named "1337j3d1" swingin their lightsabers around is not Star Wars.

People say this stuff all the time, but that doesn't make it any less wrong.

1) There are these things called "NPCs". The devs can put in as many as they want. The NPCs can be the pubic hair farmers, et.al. Almost every other MMO and/or CRPG seems to be able to construct a narrative framework where the player character is important or can impact the world in some way. (Almost.) The Hero's Journey is the most common pattern, where the player character has to "save the world", which is the Star Wars story in Episodes 4-6. (Not sure what the story pattern was in Episodes 1-3, maybe The Whiny Idiot's Journey to the Land of "NOOOOOOOOOOOO".)

2) In parts of the Star Wars continuity, there are, in fact, 10,000 Jedi running around. But 10,000 assclowns running around (which is a very lowball estimate for any successful MMO) is not going to "be" Star Wars anyway, regardless of whether they're Jedi. No MMO could ever "be" Star Wars, because SW is a story arc about a small handful of characters.

3) It's not "incredibly hard to be a Jedi" in the Star Wars universe. Watch the movies. Jedi are born Jedi. It's not "hard". It's either impossible, or already achieved. Sure, the training might be hard, but in the days of the Republic, they identified the Jedi early and trained them from childhood. Really, the notion of "unlocking" Jedi capability in a character is the thing that's not true to the source material. Choosing to start a character as a Jedi is much more appropriate.

4) There are lots of SW video games, and you get to control Jedi in many of them. Why they decided to make a Star Wars MMO with few/no Jedi always baffled me.

But lack of Jedi was hardly the only thing that made SWG crappy. It was just a bad game, and they should let it die. Or take the creative assets and hand them to a new game studio to build a new game from scratch. And keep SOE out of the picture. If LucasArts really wants to outsource the ops, they should switch to someone better, maybe NCSoft (NCSoft has its problems too, no doubt, but they're better than SOE) or (I hesitate to say this on slashdot!) Microsoft.

Re:City of Jedi (1)

XenoRyet (824514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875383)

1) The time they set the game in has 2 known Jedi. This allows for perhaps 100 unknown Jedi. No ammount of NPC balancing is going to fix the balance there. Furthermore there are plenty of "Hero's Journeys" to be had in the Star Wars universe without being a Jedi.

2) This isn't that part of the continuity. And you know very well that I wasn't talking about the story arc specificaly. The universe has a feel to it, and you wreck that feel by having too many assclown jedi where none should exist.

3) You are born with your connection to the force. To be a Jedi still requires a lifetime of dedication, unless you're Luke. And no one is Luke except Luke.

4) Baffels me too. Still, even in an era with many Jedi, they should still be no more than 10% of the population, and that's probably still too many.

The point is too many retarded Jedi will always wreck the game for people who care about the continuity and enjoy the Star Wars univers. These people are your target audience for a Star Wars MMO, and if you just want to run around as a Jedi and slice shit up with your lightsaber, Jedi Academy is the game for you. If you make it incredibly difficult to be a Jedi, as it originaly was, then not only do you balance the population propperly, then it's a pretty safe bet that anyone who actualy went to all that trouble to be a jedi probably cares enough to play it properly. And an MMO where people play their characters properly should be the holy grail of the genra.

Re:City of Jedi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14875624)

The core problem with SWG is that everyone assumed, from Day 1, that this would be a combat MMO. It makes sense. Star Wars is, at its' core, about dramatic action. Jedi swinging lightsabers, smugglers with a pistol taking on a legion of stormtroopers, wookies smacking the stuffing out of people, fighter wings against a giant battle station...all of this is what people think of when they think of 'Star Wars.' They wanna be the guys fighting in the war to free/dominate the galaxy.

Someone should have mentioned this to the SWG devs.

What we got was, basically, the Star Wars economy simulator, where everyone was expected to take on the role of the moisture farmer, the weapons dealer, the armorsmith, the common (legal) trader. As a core concept for an MMO, it's an interesting one. It has been tried, with varying levels of success, in other formats. But it is not one very important thing.

It's not Star Wars.

Yes, we have seen lots and lots of little people in Star Wars movies and games. Who really wants to be Guy #41 in that shot. The guy running in screaming terror when someone ignited their lightsaber.

Anybody?

I didn't think so.

Knights Of The Old Republic (2, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14864836)

Frankly, probably the biggest and most unimaginative mistake of SWG was placing it in the timeline of the original EP4-6 trilogy where, yeah, there are virtually no Jedi left. Not only that limits the availability of _the_ most demanded class by the players, it also severely limits what you can do with the game universe and what story you can tell with it.

You'll notice that the most successful games set in a given universe step outside the timeline that confines them. KOTOR is one example, but maybe World Of Warcraft is a better one: it _doesn't_ happen during the Warcraft 3 battles, but some time later, when they can write a new story and invent their own story NPCs as the need.

Even in the movies business, you'll notice that (for whatever other faults they had), Lucas _didn't_ just pile more story into the same EP4-6 timeline, just for the sake of pimping Darth Vader in the same outfit some more. He took a step back in time where he could tell you a different bit of the story (and when, yes, 10,000 assclowns with lightsabers ran around). And (again, for whatever other fault the prequels may have had), chances are you were more interested in seeing a new story, and seeing for example WTF _were_ the Clown Wars... err... Clone Wars that Yoda mentioned, than if it were "Jolee Littlebottom the cantina dancer eventually gets to see Lord Vader during the same EP4-6 period."

That's good story telling and/or game design versus just merchandising. Any idiot can take a DIKU MUD and place Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, etc, in it, just for the sake of whoring the franchise. But again, that's merchandising, nothing more. But taking a step outside or sideways and telling your own story is what makes a good game or movie.

There are tens of thousands of years of Republic history to place your story in, most of which had plenty of Jedi. Or you could go into the future, after Luke rebuilt the Jedi academy and the Sith are again some secretive group lurking in the shadows. (It's not like people are gonna stop falling to the Dark Side any time soon.) Maybe a new war broke out, or maybe they're just plotting a new infiltration. Maybe a new wannabe Palpatine is looking for new Anakins to take over the world with. Maybe just a group of people are still nostalgic about the Empire and secretly plan to rebuild it. Or whatever.

See? It wasn't even that hard, and it allows you all the freedom you want.

And again, on the topic of 10,000 assclowns with lightsabers, that's what the vast majority of the galaxy's history was all about. They had a whole freaking council and academy on Coruscant. Being a Jedi wasn't about achievement, it wasn't about grinding through all the professions first (how many professions had Luke mastered anyway?), it was simply about being born that way. Even assuming that only one in a _billion_ was born sensitive enough to the Force, a planet like Earth would have some 6-7 of them. And we're talking about a whole galaxy to hand-pick them from.

Re:City of Jedi (2, Insightful)

fred_sanford (678924) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862054)

You may not want to be a baker or a dancer but I was quite happy being a care-bear tailor. That WAS the beauty of it, you could fight if you wanted a fighter, you could craft if you wanted a crafter. Both roles played an important part in the universe. Jedi's were scarce. Crafting was complex with bio-e, tailor, weapon smith, armor smith, chef, all playing niche roles. The crap now makes me happy I got out while I was still having fun.

btw, I really miss JTL. Any good online space sims out there?

Re:City of Jedi (1)

aztektum (170569) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862482)

It makes sense on paper, but SOE f'd it up. I hated crafting because the it worked. I'm talking about the UI and the actions involved. The act of playing that role was so screwed up and such a time sink. However, on paper, having the ability to craft all of these items and have them be more than just a decoration for the house (ie., useful) is a good idea.

It was the same with combat. The ideas that were there at launch were interesting, but executed so poorly. People say that that pre-cu combat was more fun than CU or NGE (some would say more fun than those combined). But clicking actions to queue them in an unlimited box is mindless.

The skill system was way better than now, but there was way too many professions and skills. Particularly when it came to melee. But in general, it felt like there was so many skills I wouldn't have been surpris
SOE's biggest problem is implementation. Their games do have interesting ideas peppered through out, but it's like their development teams either don't get the time necessary (my first choice), or don't have the skill, to build them into intuitive features.

Re:City of Jedi (1)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862248)

SWG is a brilliant example of why games that revolve around a universe that contains a special few will never succeed. They are a special few, not everybody. If everyone were a jedi, would that even be close to what Star Wars truly is? If not everyone can be a jedi, those who are not will go play a different game. If everyone is a jedi, being a jedi is cheapened to the extreme.

I love the NGE! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14860520)

Seriously, the NGE have provided a much better experience for both vets and new players. The game is much more exciting, challenging, and rewarding. The subscriptions are actually on the rise and I think this game will get back to its glory days in no time. I am vet, since beta, and I completely support the NGE and the direction this game is heading. The game was stale before NGE hit and I can wait for what SOE has in store in the future. I am in no way affiliated with SOE or Lucas Art, just a humble fan of this great game.

- Smed

Re:I love the NGE! (1)

ronjeremysjohnson (899273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860988)

Of course there is 1 person who likes the changes its finding 2 that would suprise me!

Re:I love the NGE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14861052)

you obviously missed the sig in the OP

Re:I love the NGE! (1)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14873010)

I actually have a friend who went back to the game after the NGE. He loves it.
He suckered a me and someone else he played WoW with into trying it out.
What can I say, no character customization, seriously whacked out combat, buildings that pop up after you've driven on top of them, no apparent player population. I wasn't impressed. The space combat is pretty cool although seriously repetitive.
My friend is known to be extremely critical and have very picky taste. Apparently Sony has hit on the formula that is perfect for him. Which means it is very likely horrible to everyone else on planet Earth.

Re:I love the NGE! (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14874870)

Who let the Sony executive into this forum?

Notice there is no handle; only posted as Anonymous Coward. How appropriate.

I'd play again if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14860533)

I'd play again if they rolledback.

I loved the old game.

To make it more "Star Warsy" all they needed to do was add more Star Wars Music, Races and things. Like pod racing and Summugling.

Everyone Loves the Jedi (1)

DarkNemesis618 (908703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860546)

Be a Jedi now in the new revision. Everyone will love you. They'll give you free gifts of money & wealth, and sing your praises throughout all the galaxies.

Future Plans? Easy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14860591)

Log in as root to all the boxes running SWG servers.

rm -rf /

Problem solved. :P

Said for the 1,000,001th time (4, Insightful)

Volatile_Memory (140227) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860596)

TOO MANY JEDI!

I cancelled soon after the do-gooders with the glowing swords started showing up by the truckload.

Sure, there are a plethora of other things to pick on, but the whole atmosphere of the game is ruined by the presence of lightsaber-wielding freaks every 10 feet. According to the films, there were two known Jedi in the entire galaxy at the time this game takes place. In-game, there are thousands, maybe tens of thousands.

Change rules, change professions, change and publish whatever... unless the amount of Jedi are cut back by 99% the game will never have the proper feel.

v.m

The rollback (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860633)

They should roll back to before LucasArts licensed the game to such a shitty company.

-Eric

Re:The rollback (1)

mmalove (919245) | more than 8 years ago | (#14861751)

If such a thing were possible, do you think we could just rollback to before episode I?

I want you guys with tech degrees and movie editing props to try something tonight. Take Star Wars Episodes 1, 2, and 3 - and cut out EVERYTHING except the lightsaber fights. Paste all that together, and tell me Lucas wouldn't have been much better off just publishing this.

Re:The rollback (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14865969)

do you think we could just rollback to before episode I?That would make meesa so muy-muy happy!

-Eric

Re:The rollback (1)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14863407)

Considering that lucasarts is a shitty company lately, and defecated out episodes 1,2 and 3 under Lucas' now incompetent direction, it was probably a match made in hell from the start.

Re:The rollback (1)

SB5 (165464) | more than 8 years ago | (#14863916)

LucasArts is now a shitty company. You can count on one hand the amount of games they have released in the past 6 years that didn't have Star Wars in the title.

Why? (2, Insightful)

Why's_This_Fish_So_B (904222) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860668)

Why do /. mods even bother to post anything SOE related? Regardless of content, all that happens is that the flamethrowers come out. Oh they ruined SWG! Oh SOE is collapsing! This from people who, presumably, don't *play* SOE games any more, so how do they know that SWG or EQ has a dwindling population? Oh, rumors on the net and speculation. That's productive.

As I posted (pointlessly, to a thread from last Wednesday, where nobody will ever see it) this is the same forum where another game which makes you sit for half an hour or longer before you can start playing has people bending themselves into logical pretzels to defend this 'feature'. If SOE put a queue on any of its games it would have been flamed here and people would be screaming about class-action lawsuits because they were deprived of their game time.

Now, nobody should imagine that SOE is a paragon of virtue in MMOGing, but it takes a terminal case of bias to flame a company for asking its customers what they want (and paying them ~$80/hour for the experience).

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

2megs (8751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860900)

Why do /. mods even bother to post anything SOE related? Regardless of content, all that happens is that the flamethrowers come out. Oh they ruined SWG! Oh SOE is collapsing!

But it's entertaining to watch what's going on with SWG from a safe and comfortable distance.

Why do you think people go to stock car races? Hint: it's not to see cars turn left.

That's productive.

Nope, that's slashdot.

Biased (1)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862311)

I played SWG for over a year. I joined late because I didn't know that Sony is the only MMO company that does not think Credit Cards are the only form of payment in the world. For wich they deserve credit. Not many international companies realize this. Even paypal requires a credit card, HELLO, if I have a credit card I wouldn't use paypal would I?

Anyway, you make a rather stupid mistake, you think that the people who decry sony are the same who defend blizzard. No way.

Blizzard if anything is a far worse company. It especially screws european players. No beta, No trial, No alternative payment options, Limited to european servers.

But they got one thing right, they 'finished' the game and so far seem to have refrained from just altering the game play completly and telling you to suck it up and like it.

Sony's faults with SWG are simple. They never really decided WHAT the game was going to be like, they didn't debug it, bugs stayed with the game for far to long, even simple bugs that could have been fixed in a second. There customer support is a joke (at least with WoW people get feedback about the que. SWG servers just are down with no message. EQ2 servers are always reported as up even if no one can log in.

The bugs could have been easily fixed? Well yeah, one bug that was in the game for years was as follows. Vehicles took damage as you used them, insanely fast, and the cost for repairing them was an important money drain. Okay so far if crap design (shouts out, your playing a game) but the bug was that after you repaired your vehice and stored it when you recalled it was as damaged as before. Not only wasting your repair costs but also forcing you just to buy new vehicles if the repair didn't stick before the vehicle was destroyed.

How could it have been fixed? Simple. TURN OF DAMAGE! But the money drain? Even simpler. Road tax. Simple tax every player for the vehicles he has. Realistic, your landspeeder doesn't fall apart after one journey and you can even make planets more expensive by having them charge a higher tax.

That SOE couldn't wouldn't fix this tells you all you need to know about them.

People who played the game still care about it. It took up a large amount of time and in some way I know the planets better then the town I live in. It was our hobby and SOE butchered it.

Re:Biased (1)

garylian (870843) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862771)

I recall that Blizzard often had its servers listed as UP when they were DOWN, too.

I'm no SOE fanboi, nor am I a Blizzard fanboi. I played WoW for nearly a year before I gave up on it. I played EQ2 for about 2 months before I was sure how bad it was.

I will say this, though, from my experience. SOE patched EQ2 nearly daily. SOE has nearly doubled the size of the "world" in EQ2. Blizzard patches monthly, and only hotfixes bugs that benefit the player. Blizzard hasn't added much of anything to its game, except battlefields and a poorly implemented "honor" system that has no honor to it.

Blizzard's patching of WoW is some of the worst I have seen for MMOs. CoH/V patches more frequently, as well. Minor bugs are fixed as often as major bugs are.

Blizzard still thinks it is patching Diablo II, I think. Every few months is ok, just to keep the copy protection valid.

Re:Biased (1)

F_Scentura (250214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14866475)

"I played SWG for over a year. I joined late because I didn't know that Sony is the only MMO company that does not think Credit Cards are the only form of payment in the world."

Good. Credit Cards are another filter for the obnoxious kiddies. It's not foolproof by any means, but if you *really* don't want to pay via credit card you can go to any gaming shop and purchase timecards with cash or check.

Ah, the nerdy knight to the rescue. Welcome (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 8 years ago | (#14865041)

"As I posted (pointlessly, to a thread from last Wednesday, where nobody will ever see it) this is the same forum where another game which makes you sit for half an hour or longer before you can start playing has people bending themselves into logical pretzels to defend this 'feature'. If SOE put a queue on any of its games it would have been flamed here and people would be screaming about class-action lawsuits because they were deprived of their game time."

See, it takes a nerd to take one detail out of context and pretend that it's the One True Criterion to choose a game or a company. Preferrably the one detail noone else gives a flying fuck about.

See, my good nerd, Real Life is more complex than taking one aspect out of context. In Real Life, decisions feature several criteria, and are almost never perfect. They're most often picking the least crappy compromise among a bunch of crappy compromises. Option A has the good parts A1 and A2, but the bad parts A3 and A4, while option B has some other good parts and bad parts. So choosing A or B is an exercise in prioritizing and choosing the one that sucks the least, so to speak.

_Noone_ says that waiting in a line in WoW or SWG or anything else is a fun passtime. That's not the argument. The question is merely whether if the game afterwards is worth the wait or not. That's all.

Why do people defend WoW even though it has queues? Certainly not because they like queues. Because WoW is a far far better game, that's why. In fact, that's how it got the queues in the first place: lots of people wanting to get in.

That's how RL choices and decisions go: the decision isn't "let's play WoW _because_ queues are fun", but rather "do I play WoW even though I'll wait in that sucky queue, or go play SWG without a queue?" (Or even many other players logged on, for that matter.) That's a RL kind of decision: are the good parts about WoW good enough to justify accepting the bad parts (e.g., the queue), or not? And the sad part is, even after you factor in the queues, on the whole it's _still_ a better game than the crap SOE has. Between (A) 1 hour in the queue and 3 hours in WoW, and (B) 4 hours in SWG or EQ2, on the whole option A is _still_ the more fun option.

Would adding queues to Sony's games make them any better? Well, nope, not really. It would just make a crap game be even less fun than it already is. It would just add another straw on the back of the camel for those still tollerating them. Would Sony get flamed for it? Most probably, since Blizzard got flamed too. Plus everyone who wasn't already allergic to queues is in WoW, not on Sony's games, so yes the reaction might be a bit more extreme.

Or to put it otherwise, if those were the only choices, would you rather wait in a line to eat a good meal at a good restaurant, _or_ go eat a rotten apple from the dumpster across the street? Hey, the dumpster doesn't have any waiting. Just go there, stick your hand in, and there you go. Still not interested, eh?

Would adding a queue to the dumpster make it any better? Nope, not really.

Well, maybe now you understand RL choices and decisions.

Fool me 24 times... (1)

AgentDib (931969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14860706)

The SWG track record has been something like SOE Malevolence 24, Users 0. Highlights include that whole incident where they deliberately lied to their playerbase while they were working on still another revamp and the consistent fabrications about profession enhancements which were "almost done" only to turn out to never have been started. Then there was that snafu involving the expansion which said revamp invalidated after less than a week of retail after SOE has taken our money for it. Then the fact that it took them tens of thousands of angry gamers threatening a class action lawsuit to get them to offer a refund. Then there were all those forum bannings for veterans civilly stating their dissastification with the changes.

The single consistent move SOE has made besides running their game steadily into the ground has been screwing their veteran players. I think at some point the complete disregard for user satisfaction has to knock SOE out of list of developers eligible for "Cautious Optimism". SWG could be returned to publish 9, every item could be reinstated, every forum user could be unbanned.. and it would still be run by SOE. There would still be horrible customer support with a complete disregard for the end user - and that alone will probably keep most of the veterans away regardless of any future SWG developments.

Or... (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14861215)

"As soon as he was done talking, the group said 'Rollback' almost as one. The moderator seemed like he saw that coming, because he'd probably heard the term a dozen times already from the other groups.""

Or...because knowing Lucas and Sony...those bastards are probably planning on releasing a SWG Classic edition that you'll have to shell out another $50 for....

Re:Or... (1)

Corbu Mulak (931063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862320)

And sadly, I would probably buy it, then get outraged three months later at the newest patch.

Pros/Cons? (1)

strider2k (945409) | more than 8 years ago | (#14861483)

I have seen numerous references that SWG was great back then and sucks now. What made the game so great and what made it fail? Please enlighten an uninformed individual like myself.

Re:Pros/Cons? (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862407)

It was open. Perhaps I should first tell you about a game that isn't open. Everquest 2. In EQ2 you pick a race. Then you choose your alignment. Except that most races are limited to either being good or evil. (Note that you CHOOSE your alignment, not get to be evil based on your choices in the game). Then in game you select your base class. Fighter, priest, wizard, scout. THAT is your last real choice. Oh wait, but at level 10 you get to choose a specialisation. Well yeah. They slightly refine you base class. Some are different. For instance a brawler is a very different type of fighter then the others BUT the difference between the wizards ain't really all that big.

Then at level 20 you are supposed to get you final class. Except it is prediced. The only difference that the titel is now based on your alignment. Monk (good) Brawler (bad) unarmed fighter.

So how closed is this? Well, at no point do you choose say something like your stat points. Meaning every half-elf brawler level 18 is EXACTLY the same. Because of the way equipment works you will probably also be using pretty much the stuff.

Now they added some minor choices that make you character slightly unique but in EQ2 you pretty much now exactly what a well played shaman is and isn't capable off. Player X will have the same spell list as player Y.

SWG on the other hand left it totally open how you developed your skills. In fact with a new character most players would dabble in ALL the disciplines, being a medic, ranger and melee combat, a dancer and a crafter with a bit of scout for good measure.

Depending on your style and if you weren't a template stacker you could have some unusual mixed. A medic with a sniper rifle , a doctor jedi. Whatever!

To an extent, it allowed a great deal of freedom. Crafters with a sideline in rifles so they could safely clear their harvesters of nasty critters. Dancers with a sideline in cutting peoples heads off.

In SWG you never knew exactly what the other guy was capable off.

SWG is GTA

EQ2 is Need for Speed.

One is freedom, the other is on rails.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

meatflower (830472) | more than 8 years ago | (#14864925)

Mod this guy up, he just said it all. I played SWG from a few weeks after release for almost a year and a half. I currently play WoW and while its fun I still look back at the good ol' days of SWG. First I went down the path of a Bounty Hunter, then I decided to become a Swordsman but retain my gun fighting skills for ranged combat. Later I dropped guns altogether and became a Chef! I spent almost 5 weeks during the summer becoming a Master Chef and then creating the finest Brandy on the server which I sold for 500k creds a crate making a hefty profit. The crafting was not only complex but rewarding. I had supply chains, various other crafters whose goods I relied upon to make my own goods. I had a fucking contract with some dude for christs sake where he would make x amount of stuff for me per week and I would pick it up on a certain day. Its the only game where I could ever do crafting as a full time gaming experience and have fun, it was like running an actual virtual business. The flexibility was there, people who wanted to craft full time could do it and have fun, those who wanted to fight for fun could do so as well. And they both could live together in the same game world and support eachother. 100% PLAYER DRIVEN ECONOMY Hardly any "phat l00tz", all of your equipment was created by other players. If you wanted to buy a new sword or rifle you could look on the map for all the player run vendors, player homes with vending bots selling their wares. You could buy the first thing you found for a decent price or shop around, finding the item with the best stats and price. NOT ALL ITEMS ARE THE SAME! In WoW, the [Dwarven Axe of Pillaging] you have is exactly the same as the next guys. Not in SWG! All the items are handcrafted by players and the stats of the materials they used to create the item dictate its final stats. My friend had a flamethrower that was passed down to him from a guy in our guild that had some uber stats, he held on to that thing like it was a valued heirloom. I could go on but the economy and sheer flexibility of the game is what made it special, from what I hear the NGE destroyed the crafting system and took out more than half the classes that made this game unique. If they did a rollback to before the NGE I'd re-subscribe immediatley.

Re:Pros/Cons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14868977)

SWG on the other hand left it totally open how you developed your skills. In fact with a new character most players would dabble in ALL the disciplines, being a medic, ranger and melee combat, a dancer and a crafter with a bit of scout for good measure.

SWG was anything but open. There were a few templates you can chose from, but the combat system was so dicked up, there were only a few viable options. It seems you define an open system as one where you can choose either 1) fencer + TKA, 2) Rifleman + CM, 3) BH + Pistoleer, etc. That open system let everybody choose what color armor to wear, but everybody had a full set of composite. YAY! Hurray for open systems.

All that stuff about the progression in EQ2 was changed. I think it was in Jan, but not sure. Still fairly recent, so you get a pass on fucking that one up.

Re:Pros/Cons? (1)

beetlefeet (866517) | more than 8 years ago | (#14881402)

Agree about the profession imbalance and cookie cuttering. But minus the terrible balancing problems (I'm going to even call them 'bugs'. They were full on mistakes, not just bad decisions.) It was very open.

If all they did from release was fix the broken things (like chef, squadleader, some harvesters, some recipes), balance the combat professions and armour properly (get rid of mind bleed, and burn, and crazy CH pets etc etc) and add some GOOD pve content (not stupid pve content) they would have had a fantastic game 6-12 months after launch. But instead they proceeded to screw it up more and more. IMO player cities and jump to lightspeed were where they started going wrong. (Some people liked them, but I had no interest in playing a dodgey space sim as part of my mmorpg, and player cities for me just diluted and fragmented the population).

Out of all my mmorpg characters I miss my chef/creature handler/pistoleer/architect dabbling human from SWG the most. (Closely followed by my awesome Minstrel in daoc - best mmorpg class ever). Playing a druid in WoW atm. (second best class ever).

Oh and (not responding to you in particular), I couldn't care less about being a hero in the GCW. The couple of days I spent doing tasks for 3PO, Leia and Han etc was my most boring time in game. I much prefered setting up my harvesters and factories and searching for and taming the odd monster, dealing with customers and doing deliveries. The game was for me was "live as a regular person in the setting of starwars". If you want to be a hero you should play Jedi Knight or something...

I'd go back to the good old days (4, Interesting)

MrJynxx (902913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862564)

If they rolled the game back to maybe one patch after launch I'd consider going back if all of the original players returned. But I know that will never happen, so i'll just continue with my rant about why this game pissed me off. The game had complexity, was actually somewhat fun, and the grind hadn't set in just yet.

People at that time actually experimented with professions and once they found something they liked, they kept it! there were people in the cantina's, we had real people vendors making stuff, rangers hunting, BH's weren't doing much but had cool weapons, etc. This was when the game had an actual economy, people created pseudo corporations and made a killing!

The game started to go into the shitter once they gave everyone holocrons as a christmas gift. That started the real grinding evolution. A friend of mine actually did 32 professions to get his Jedi. The whole jedi thing didn't outright destroy the game because ppl still played it and worked together to grind out those professions (and some actually discovered hey i actually enjoy this profession, screw jedi). But there was still a need for the interdependicies between the professions. Armorsmiths still needed to get minerals to grind out their profession, which meant they needed architects to build the factories and the miners needed the extractors so everything worked out quite well(I used to be an armorsmith which is why i used this example).

BUt now, they have completely destroyed everything all of the pre NGE players created, everything was scaled back from 32 professions to 9 "iconic" professions (If i hear iconic, or whatever the hell word they kept using i'll puke) . It actually appeared to be the work of lazy ass people. Maybe they fucked up the game so bad that the only way to undo everything was to have this wonderful NGE.

And who the hell made the call to let everyone be a jedi. When the game first came out they said "yes you can be a jedi but it'll take you a long time to figure it out" and they kept up with it for a long time.. I think it took almost a year for the first jedi to appear and now everybody and their grandmother are a jedi.. crap!

I'd go back to the game only if I knew the same players returned, which is highly doubtful because they've probably found a new home in World Of Warcraft.

I've never seen anything in my entire life managed so poorly from a software deployment/change point of view. Hell, MS has a better track record than these clowns. And this game has totally ruined the star wars experience for me. I don't think i'll ever try another starwars game again!!

MrJynx

Re:I'd go back to the good old days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14862646)

And this game has totally ruined the star wars experience for me. I don't think i'll ever try another starwars game again!!

That's the rub right there, and why Lucasarts should just kill the damn thing. I'm a big Star Wars nerd, and I've bought and enjoyed almost every game the franchise has put out. I was going to pick up Empire at War, but the whole SWG thing has so soured me I decided against it. I won't be getting the new Lego game either (although I loved the first one). Short of the next game in the X-Wing/TIE series I doubt I'll be coming back to Star Wars games any time in the future.

Re:I'd go back to the good old days (1)

AgentDib (931969) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862972)

On a further note along this line... I purchased both Empire at War and Galactic Civilizations II: Dread Lords. They are both quite good, but Gal Civ II is superior to the extent that it really made me think about licensing.

Originally I felt that Lucasarts did a really great job at controlling their license and making sure it turned out quality products. Tie Fighter remains my favorite PC game of all time and for a long stretch I always felt confident purchasing the latest Star Wars title. Rather than depending on the license, each game actually strengthened the license. Somewhere between then and now it seems like LA has fallen to depending on the license for a successful product - most of their current releases probably would not have even been made without the license.

I highly recommend trying Gal Civ II, the website is www.galciv2.com. You can download it straight from their website or try a demo.

Re:I'd go back to the good old days (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14863413)

Thanks, I'll give it a try.

Nothing to see here (1)

Tilzs (959354) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862598)

Seriously, article NDA out of existence.

Hrm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14862615)

IMHO, the only way to fix this game is to relaunch it as "SWG: The Lost Years.

Set the game 15000 years before A New Hope.. You could have a free flowing storyline instead of one locked into the movies. Make the game fun.. and balanced!

Yes, this isnt really detailed.. I spent a few years working on a SWG dedicated website, and I really can not see spending much time even farting in its general direction.

Kill it, start over, change the timeline (2, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862657)

SWG at this point can't really be saved.

What amazes me is that lucas arts let sony do SWG the way they did. Now Sony, having EQ, you would think we'd have seen everquest in space, if that had been the case (something half way between EQ and EQ2 in terms of technology) it might have been quite successful, maybe not WoW successful, because that didn't have the Sony name attached (the Sony customer service reputation is of course a disaster, although the ticket system in SWG was a huge improvement). Unfortunately what they got was UO on the ground, with space to come later. Granted when the JTL expansion came it was pretty cool, but JTL didn't have any high end content, that is to say, once you got to ace pilot, there wasn't anything to do. Sure you could fly around and kill hordes of crappy npcs for the odd bit of loot. So that's the problem first off the game didn't build on past success (everquest, which at the time was the 400 kilo gorilla in the room), and when they did have content and do things right it fell short. Its like they never expected people to max out their characters at all, let alone in a week or two, which is all it really took. Crafting was neat, and were it easier/more sensible to find resources that could have tied in well with an otherwise EQ style game (the idea being that you get components as loot rather than actual loot).

Now SWG really is beyond saving. Attracting new players to a MMO works one of two ways, either they look at it in the press and decide it looks cool and they'll buy it, or one of their friends who plays convinces them to try it. The negative press for SWG reflects what's happened to the game, its bad, and without players its even worse. The technology looks dated, now that's to be expected with MMO's, but compare to D&D online, WoW or EQ2, SWG looks bad, so its not going to attract new users with eye candy. And its been around long enough that people who do play, have already tried to get their friends in, and have long since given up. The base is what it is, and they aren't getting anyone new, unless they manage to trick them into thinking its empire at war.

One of the fundamental flaws with SWG has always been understanding the fan base. The last 3 movies to an extent suffer from this as well. SWG fans want one thing: Consistency of the universe. Sure they expect that universe to be cool, that's a given and the universide is already cool, now in a game you can expect and allow certain compromises (TIE fighters with shields for players), because its a game everyone gets that, and players are supposed to be 'special' anyway, but balance is important. On the other hand the timeline for SWG never worked, the ground game really didn't make sense, I mean... its star wars and we're out here hunting creatures? Does that make sense? PvP was never implemented particularily well either. That and people want to play jedi, the timeline they picked doesn't allow for jedi, which meant they really had to hack a solution together after the fact, poorly done.

A new SWG, set in one of two periods, either right after episode 3 or right after episode 6, learning a lot of the lessons of WoW, EQ2 etc... could probably have done well, if it was released a year ago. Get the actors to voice some of the dialogue for characters, and give the developers room to be creative with the universe, and take it somewhere interesting. As it was they were trying to fit any idea they had into the time period, which never worked right.

Now though, I think its best to rollback to a UO in the star wars world. That is the fan base, those are the people who were playing and want to play, make it what they want. Don't try and revitalize it, EQ and UO are never going to attract 100 000 more people. The game is what it is, and has the fan base it has, cater to them or shut down. I suspect SWG is sufficiently unprofitable that its time shut down and move those developers to somewhere else, but if it is profitable cater to the people who want a rollback and don't try and get WoW players or D&D players etc...

Re:Kill it, start over, change the timeline (2, Interesting)

TTMuskrat (629320) | more than 8 years ago | (#14870897)

...What amazes me is that lucas arts let sony do SWG the way they did. Now Sony, having EQ, you would think we'd have seen everquest in space, if that had been the case (something half way between EQ and EQ2 in terms of technology) it might have been quite successful, maybe not WoW successful, because that didn't have the Sony name attached (the Sony customer service reputation is of course a disaster, although the ticket system in SWG was a huge improvement). Unfortunately what they got was UO on the ground...

They got UO on the ground because their lead designer was Raph Koster. Mistake #1.

He's all about lofty overarching designs...which have trouble being translated into something programmatically feasible.

Poof goes the article (2, Interesting)

garylian (870843) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862697)

Apparently the website linked in TFA heard from SOE's lawyers, and pulled the comments based on the NDA.

So, literally, nothing to see here.

Re:Poof goes the article (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 8 years ago | (#14865893)

> Apparently the website linked in TFA heard from SOE's lawyers, and
> pulled the comments based on the NDA.

OMG, NFW.

Chris Mattern

the article (5, Informative)

crabsauce (869339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14862737)

Seems that someone who claims to have taken part in the "Los Angeles SWG research focus group" yesterday has posted details about the 2 hour session. From their post: "The discussion began with a round-robin introduction and telling what we felt the best and worst aspects of Galaxies are. Then the real discussion began. The moderator brought out three pamphlets. One, which I believe was entitled Paths To Power, outlined the implementation of a Dark Side/Light Side path a la KOTOR, for every profession. It also went into detail about re-doing missions as either side and seeing the different view on things, different abilities for each, etc. The group was very much interested. The second was entitled "The Galactic Civil War" and I'm sure you can imagine what it outlined: bringing the GCW back to prominence. It discussed controlling Star Destroyers and Blockade Runners, but also seemed to deadlock players as either Imperial or Rebel. The third outline basically discussed morphing Galaxies into Battlefront II, complete with having iconic characters not only immediately available during your mission, but for you to be able to -- yes, you're actually reading this -- play as movie characters. The group was not pleased. Then he told us that these were possibilities for expansion packs, not publish updates. The final question/topic was whether we'd choose any one of the pamphlet outlines to add to the game, or if we'd prefer for them to work on bringing things back that were taken out. As soon as he was done talking, the group said "Rollback" almost as one. The moderator seemed like he saw that coming, because he'd probably heard the term a dozen times already from the other groups. So there you have it. They're either going to continue the trend of "Expansion Packs aren't necessary (nudge nudge wink wink)", or, if they go by what the focus group asked, we will see a rollback of some degree. The number one issue brought to the moderator when he asked about the biggest negatives in Galaxies was the lack of diversity in professions and the overwhelming letdown that was the NGE for people like musicians, creature handlers, smugglers, etc. He was finishing sentences for us because he had obviously heard quite a bit about it in the previous groups. THAT'S ALL FOLKS" Hmm... Light/Dark side for EVERY profession? Awesome, because what SWG really needs is some Sith Lap Dancers. Keep that to Jedi only please. The Galactic Civil War has never been prominent. Unless you are talking about the Imperial Crackdown publish, which may as well have given Rebels 100,000 Faction Points everytime they logged in? As for the third discussion point, If SWG players wanted to play Battlefront II, they would be playing Battlefront II. It also saddens me to hear that the choices at the end were "Pay for stuff you don't want" or "Pay for stuff you want for many, many more months as we try to milk every dime". A rollback will never happen. If a rollback to Pre-NGE does happen, I'm sure I can look up some old Dev posts to find creative ways to say "That's not what I said" or "You're taking that out of context" or "That was a true statement at the time I made it".

Re:the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14864781)

What does the NDA between SOE/LA and the focus group participant have to do with a third party posting the details? Just wondering why Warcry took it down.

SOE and me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14862834)

I used to be a loyal customer of SOE. In fact I have bought Planetside, Star Wars Galaxies, Everquest (2 copies), and finally Everquest II. I'll never purchase another product from them again. If they buy out the game I am currently enjoying (World of Warcraft), I'll promptly stop playing and paying. I used to be a fanboi I'll admit. I often chalked alot of people's whining and complaining up to them being unreasonable in their demands. Two things were the nail in the coffin for me:

1.Station Exchange (after banning countless people for buying and selling things on other services the whole time saying it cheapens the experience THEN they offer their own).

2. The NGE. I had just returned to SWG after dropping EQII and I come to find out my character (Creature Handler/Bioengineer)was being completely done away with.

I feel sorry for all those people who put so much time into thier online identities only to have them changed.

HOW TO SAVE SWG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14866023)

1) Add a player made Death Star epic quest

2) Add a travel route to Norrah for said Death Star

3) Said Death Star destroy's Norrah, killing all EQ players and vaporizeing all thier items.

4) Destroy all the backups to prevent roll backs of said item and characters.

With these changes players will flock to SWG for sure. Who doesn't want to destroy Norrah?

I still remember... (1)

Taulin (569009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14867575)

..when the game first first announced. Man, goldmine! How could they go wrong with a full universe of stories and creatures, gunslingers, heros, villans, etc. A perfect universe for a MMORPG. Wow, it took SOE to screw it up.

Re:I still remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14875357)

SOE didnt screw it up nearly as bad as 1 guy, Ralph Koster, who basically made
a UO game with a star wars graphical wrapper.

as for the changes to SWG, dont forget Lucas owns the license and Lucas says what they want, so when Lucas says jump (ie NPE/NGE), SOE says how high.

Lucas wanted the NPE not SOE, just so you know.

Episode I? (1)

Avatar8 (748465) | more than 8 years ago | (#14875374)

Here's a plan.

Rollback the current SWG to pre-NGE and keep it in Episode IV timeline. Start a new SWG in the Episode I timeline. Give creative control to George Lucas and let him generate ideas for plot, quests, events, etc. Because if George could use his genious to create something as awesome as Episode I...

Sorry. I couldn't keep a straight face and keep typing. I seemed to have left my sarcasm switch on.

I played SWG in beta. That's all. It was uninteresting and boring then. I cannot imagine how mind-numbing it must be if all the die-hard SW fans that played it before hate it now.

SOE is making the same mistakes that EA made with Ultima Online: executives thinking they know what is best for the game.

All they have to do is listen to their playerbase. They created a dynamic world where they wanted the players to make a difference. LET THEM! It is obvious that the executives, producers and devs do not play their own games to the extent players do. If they did, then perhaps they would have that connection with their characters and the virtual world and understand why players get upset when flipping a bit alters the entire gaming experience. Similar to EA defending UO servers being offline. "Other servers are up. You can still play." Yeah, but the char I spent years developing and all of his STUFF is on the one that is down. What good does playing a new char on another server do me?

Might as well open a candy store selling everything for 5 cents, then once you have all the kids inside tell them they can only have 2 pieces each, there is no chocolate of any kind and everything now costs a dollar.

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