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Star Wars and Raph Leave SOE?

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the confusing-day dept.

105

Gamespot reports that Raph Koster, chief creative officer for Sony Online Entertainment, has left the company. While Gamespot seems to confirm this news, there are a number of MMOG-related rumours swirling at GDC. Mythic may be in EA's sights for acquisition, and Sony Online may soon be losing the rights to the Star Wars license. IE: No more SWG. Grimwell online has a rundown on these virulent rumours. Chris Kramer (from SOE) said words to the effect of "We're in it together for the long haul." SWG will be staying with Sony Online for some time to come.

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105 comments

It seems (0)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14989996)

It seems that SWG and The Matrix Online, which are the two major MMORPGS that were based on movie licenses, haven't done as well as anticipated. Hopefully Star Trek online and Lord of the Rings online will fair better.

Re:It seems (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990265)

I expect a wonderful reception by players for "Serenity Online", but due to a shortage of players it will shut down after a few months..

Re:It seems (1)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990616)

Wow! I'd play that!

Of course, it'd lack the characters, and the dialog would be hard to enforce among the player base, which were two of the most interesting features. But a MMORPG based on smuggling and crime, ala Traveller but with no aliens I think could be real fun.

What I've heard pointed out is that any game based on a license is doomed to fail, simply because the licensing itself costs money that takes away from otherwise building a superior development environment. While it builds in a player base, that base leaves because of lack of content, content that could have been there but for the money having gone to the licensee.

Stands to reason, and it seems to hold up in practice, too. Is there ONE good game that was a license of a brand? Maybe the Harry Potter series of games, but I don't play.

Re:It seems (1)

carnifex0 (120168) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990811)

Is there ONE good game that was a license of a brand?

While the Star Wars games are hit and miss, there are certainly hits in there.. XvT comes to mind, as does last year's Lego Star Wars.

Re:It seems (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991319)

X-Wing, Tie Fighter, and XvT are of course the best. They're also all the same damn game with different vehicles, but never mind that. The Rogue Squadron games are pretty good too, but nowhere near as good. I enjoyed KOTOR but I heard KOTOR 2 was lame, had nothing like the same quality of design, and even a less contiguous story. And a lot of people seemed to like that first FPS (and its sequel.) Everything else is probably crap :D

Re:It seems (1)

Darren Winsper (136155) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991471)

KOTOR II started off great, but fell apart somewhat towards the end. The game was obviously badly rushed, resulting in game-breaking bugs and an ending that made almost no sense. It's a shame, because it definitely would have been brilliant given more time.

Re:It seems (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991274)

There are great Star Wars games, good Marvel Comics games, good LOTR games, the classic TMNT game, etc.

There are many licensed games that are genuinely good. The idea that licensed games are all bad comes from the fact that they (even the bad) tend to get heavy marketing support and when they flop everyone knows, and many have played. Usually, when a non-licensed game is bad fewer people play it and it never gets enough mindshare to be memorable...there are exceptions, of course, but the memorable non-licensed flops are usually pre-release over-hype situations (hi, Daikatana!) in an established series and/or from an established developer.

Re:It seems (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993290)

Nah, I'd have to disagree. This is not a new phenomenon.

Brand X, er, that's generic X as in the unknown, not X-men, is a hot property.

Company who owns Brand X wants to take advantage of new media market M

Company doesn't make market M things, so licenses it off to someone who does

Brand X is popular, so only large corporations can afford to license it

Company in market M then has a brand they paid a ton for, and must sell it well to even dream of clearing a profit, much less a big one

Company having spent so much, has bigshots get involved to "ensure" project goes in correct direction

Camel gets designed by committee



Witness the horrific recent D&D "RTS" game -- it had nothing to do with D&D. It was a Warcraft III clone, complete with hero units. There was no "rolling your own". There was no research on how to create fighters with 20 str instead of just 18 or 16. And what could be more un-D&D than the hero unit? Hero units are fine, if you like them, but that ain't D&D.

And as a generic, non-D&D game with D&D slapped on it, it wasn't all that and a bag of gnome chips.

Re:It seems (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994534)

So, are you disagreeing with me by asserting that all licensed games are bad? They're not.

Maybe you're disagreeing and asserting that all non-licensed games are good? That's not true, either.

I don't think you understand what the words "I have to disagree" mean...

Re:It seems (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990282)

Yeah, it's suprising to see games based on movie licenses doing so badly.

I expect next year's E.T. MMORPG to be a smashing success...

Re:It seems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14994970)

Yes it will be based on the 2600 version

Re:It seems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14990307)

I doubt it. How many truly great games were based on movies? And how many truly groundbreaking games were based on movies? The best games start with a blank slate, because the laws of what makes a great game don't mesh with the laws of what makes a great movie.

It's certainly possible for a game based on a movie to succeed-- there have been good Star Wars games, and Goldeneye is of course a classic-- but more often than not they're mediocre-to-bad, ripoffs of other successful games set in the movie's universe (which is probably how the game developers sell the idea to the licesees to begin with-- "Imagine GTA starring Spiderman...")

Re:It seems (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993305)

> And how many truly groundbreaking games were based on movies?

"Groundbreaking" is also misused a lot. The most recent Wired has a brief (i.e. bullet list) article about the origin of the Orc. One of the items is the "groundbreaking" game World of Warcraft. I will admit WoW broke ground for number of customers, but as a game it was hardly groundbreaking. It looks pretty good, but the gameplay is nothing special. Although I suppose that is at least an advantage over SWG, who shows it can get messed up, and then extremely messed up.

MMORPG addicts have memories like an elephant, and hold grudges. They remember all the nerfs, for example, EQ gave them over the years, and when the time to break away came, they did, and refused to get EQ2, etc. SWG will be in the same boat. WoW will not because, even through there have been some nerfs, it hasn't been on the same magnitude. Nah, the WoW franchise will have to die the old fashioned way, when WoW II is released.

Re:It seems (1)

murdocj (543661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994853)

WoW wasn't "groundbreaking", but it gets an amazing number of things, both large and small, just right. For example: no zoning (not quite true, but pretty much). As you move about the world, you are passing from zone to zone, but aside from a few places like travel between the continents, or entry into an instance, you don't get a "zoning" screen. Gives you a much higher sense of immersion in the game.

Re:It seems (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990722)

Hopefully Star Trek online and Lord of the Rings online will fair better.

Hopefully Star Trek online and Lord of the Rings online won't be managed by SOE.

Re:It seems (1)

angrymilkman (957626) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990803)

As is typical with MMORPG's, a few (WoW and 2nd life) dominate 70% of the market and make all the profit.....its either grab the whole market or nothing.

This just in: rumors!!! (-1, Troll)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990003)

Slow news day?

Re:This just in: rumors!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14990097)

Wow. I know people are bad about not reading the articles, but you could at least read the summary, where GameSpot REPORTS that Koster left the company. Not "rumored to leave". Did leave.

The only rumor here is whether or not Sony gets to keep the Star Wars license.

Sony is left with some things to say... (0)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990014)

"One thing's for sure, we're all gonna be a lot thinner."

"Who's scruffy-lookin'?"

"Where did you dig up that old fossil?"

"And I thought they smelled bad on the outside"

"It's not my fault!"

"I've got a bad feeling about this"

"Then I'll see you in hell"

Re:Sony is left with some things to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14990144)

Never tell me the odds!

Re:Sony is left with some things to say... (1)

IgLou (732042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991026)

By now I was expecting "Someone set us up the bomb"

Seriously though, it's funny how none of us are thinking "Hey Sony must feel like they're taking a bath on this!"

Worst yet, Sony's investors are probably thinking "Sony is successfully reducing costs by cutting online games that poor hopeful shmucks thought would be good. Good for them for treating customers like crap. Buy their stock."

Re:Sony is left with some things to say... (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991081)

> "One thing's for sure, we're all gonna be a lot thinner."
>"Who's scruffy-lookin'?"
> "Where did you dig up that old fossil?"
> "And I thought they smelled bad on the outside"
> "It's not my fault!"
> "I've got a bad feeling about this"
> "Then I'll see you in hell"

You forgot the One True Line for SOE/SWG:

"Pull out, Raph, you can't do any good back there."

Re:Sony is left with some things to say... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991306)

Never played SWG but the best movie quote is still the one about "Get in there you great furry oaf, I don't care what you smell!" Probably got at least one word wrong, though. Guess I have to hand in my SW Nerd card.

No Suprise here (4, Interesting)

Meest (714734) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990026)

I played Everquest 2 for a year and 2 months. With 3 large combat changes the game is not what it originaly was when it came out. Which caused me to leave.

I believe the same thing happened to SWG where they changed the game a great deal too much.

I don't know to many MMO players that are happy with the way SOE is doing business. It seems that in SOE's quest to gain more patronage, they fail to realize that the customers already in the game are playing it for the way it is. They don't want it to change drasticaly to gain other players that are looking for a more laid back game play.

If i wanted to play a game for 30 minutes and acomplish something i would play WoW. If i want to play a game that i won't be able to do anything except travel across the map in 30 minutes I'll play EQ2. For me i loved the complexity of the game. They've done away with that. And in turn they have done away with my subscription.

I see this as a signal that their are alot of troubles brewing within SOE.

Just a gamers Opinion though :P

Opposite for me and EQ2 (3, Informative)

sgant (178166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990878)

I was on the tail end of the EQ2 beta and also played for a little while before being lured away by WoW...which I played for over a year.

Then I read a couple of reviews of the "revamp" of EQ2 and I went back to take a look. I was really impressed by how far it had come and decided to continue on with my character. There's a lot of depth there that was lacking when it first came out.

Traveling around in EQ2 isn't bad...no worse than WoW. But then again, I'm one that thinks traveling around EQ1 is WAY too easy than it used to be. The "good ol days" for EQ1, to me, was only the original game and the first two expansions...Kunark and Velious. After that it was the vocal whiners that got the game to where it was almost "teleport directly to the mob, have the mobs line up, die automatically for you, you get the experience, you get whatever you needed. NEXT". It was fun when it was more of a free-wheeling place, where you had to sell your own stuff, where you had to get a port out of some place. The world of EQ seemed SO big back then. Taking a Barbarian from Halas to Freeport was a daunting task of running through the Karanas. It was great. It was an adventure right there. Now...meh...you're a barbarian in Halas just gate up to the Plane of Knowledge and go wherever you want. No biggy. And to me, no fun. Again, that's just me. I'm a little goofy.

But I've been having a blast with EQ2. Well, not at the moment as all my attention is on Elder Scrolls: Oblivion.

Re:Opposite for me and EQ2 (1)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 8 years ago | (#14992703)

I understand exactly what you feel about EQ. I loved the 'Old World' game back when you had to get a Druid or a Wizard to port you. I liked that you lost experience when you died, that simply getting from A to B was dangerous, when the whole point of getting to B was that B was dangerous. I liked having to sit in East Commons with a hundred other people hocking my wares. It was fun and community. I miss that.

Re:Opposite for me and EQ2 (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993313)

I wanted it even more severe than that. I wanted a "no trading" server where you earned your equipment in the field, or bought l4m3r stuff at the store for outrageous prices. No player-player trading.

In this manner, there can be no "busted economy" because there is no economy. If you can never, ever get something to drop at your level that is better than what you can get for 5p at the bazaar, what's the point of going out to adventure? To grind? But people hate grinding. So what's the point?

The point, largely, is to get to the endgame, where there remain a handful of non-tradeable items that are better than what's for sale in the bazaar. Ah haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

So why not make the journey the same way?

The facts, please (0, Troll)

Pearson (953531) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991940)

"If i wanted to play a game for 30 minutes and acomplish something i would play WoW."

People say this all the time like its some kind mantra, but the fact is, on most servers you will spend those 30 minutes (if not more)just trying to log in! See here [fohguild.org] and here [worldofwarcraft.com] for just two quick examples.

Re:No Suprise here (1)

ocbwilg (259828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14992385)

If i wanted to play a game for 30 minutes and acomplish something i would play WoW.

No doubt this is true. But it is also true that WoW is the 800 pound gorilla in the MMOG industry, with somewhere between 5 and 10 times the customer base of any other MMOG. So if SOE decided to take SWG in a direction that made it more WoW-like, then I suppose it's easy to see why.

Raph Koster = Non-fun Games (2, Insightful)

Teckla (630646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990033)

Raph Koster is excellent at designing unfun games. I'm not sure this is a bad thing for the company "losing" him...

Re:Raph Koster = Non-fun Games (1)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990509)

Agreed, not sure how this is a troll? Many people are suspicious of MMOG-celebs such as Koster and McQuaid.

SWG's current lead is actually doing pretty well with it(all things considered), so I hope SOE is able to retain the necessary licensings to run SWG.

Re:Ultima Online in 1997-2000 was fun... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990866)

I dunno... Ultima Online was fun or at least until they screwed it up with Trammel and all the ungodly changes. I don't know about SWG though.

Re:Ultima Online in 1997-2000 was fun... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14991390)

UO at that time was fun for all the opposite reasons that Raph intended. They didnt plan for it to become a murder fest.. but people basically did whatever they wanted.

The problem with SWG is right away it was un star warsy and complicated. Then when some players really liked it, wham.. they changed it. Idiots.

Most mmogs are failures, including UO. EQ, Lineage, WOW are the excpetions to the rule.

I think its time we move MMOGS to become Virtual Life type things, and invent Multiplayer Online Games. Persistent State Games that allow only a few hundred people on each server, with the rest being npcs etc.

Re:Ultima Online in 1997-2000 was fun... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993323)

> UO at that time was fun for all the opposite reasons that
> Raph intended. They didnt plan for it to become a murder
> fest.. but people basically did whatever they wanted.

When UO realized a larger chunk of their sales were 13 year olds getting their buddies to join, too, so they could stand in small gangs outside the cities and loot the role players instead of the monsters, they had to make a choice: role players or pk. They chose pk. So the roleplayers largely left, drying up the supply of suckers.

This is similar to the male lion in Africa. It lies around until the females, hungry, go take down the gazelle, then it saunters up and chases the females away and eats. Why go kill 100 monsters just to get that mediocre sword, when all you have to do is lie in wait for someone who already has?

The Flaming Sword of Ogre Strength And Shooting Lightning Out Your Ass? Just junk. What? Yes. I would like to destroy it, thanks.

Re:Raph Koster = Non-fun Games (2, Insightful)

Jack Johnson (836341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991499)

I don't see how this is a troll. Many years ago I spent a lot of time reading Koster's writings as I found the workings of MMOs much more interesting than the games themselves.

He impressed me as a guy with a hell of a lof knowledge who obviously spent a LOT of time thinking about how to make these games work but, was way too sure of himself. He wrote with the confidence of someone who truly believes he had it all figured out a long time ago.

I could just picture him shooting down ideas left and right because he "already thought about it and it won't work" or more dangerously, "shouldn't be that way" according to his personal standard.

Fact is, when attempting to average the tastes of millions of players there's about 0 chance that it will line up well with that of any one particular guy. These designers have to understand that ultimately, they don't get to decide what works, what doesn't or how things should be, the players do.

Re:Raph Koster = Non-fun Games (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14992199)

I agree with that statment, but it's only half true.

One of Raph's "Laws" for Virtual Worlds reads

"It is not a game, it is a service"

Therefore, it is not a surprise that he fails at the game part. His games are virtual world experiments - they neglect the game part. The part that makes MMORPGs like World of Warcraft successful is that they are games. They don't try to be virtual world, society or government simulations. They embrace that they are games.

And please spare me your personal opinion about WoW, it does not matter, success is defined by $$$, # of paying subscribers, critical review ratings a customer retention rate - all of which WoW has.

Anyone who has followed Raph's blog knows that he is avoiding the topic of success and WoW like a hot cake. He knows that it spells doom to his unproven theories. Any game based on his ideas so far can now be rated as a failure, it took someone with fresh ideas (no harsh death penalties, no deep virtual simulation, no player run society of government) to realize the full potential (6 million subscribers and counting) of this genre of GAMES.

The virtual world fans, the "simulationists" are now up in arms about their hero being dethroned, but it's the only logical conclusion. Of course SOE and LA have realized that with his design, they won't attract any of the market that WoW just opened.

Yes, no question, they are stupid to think that they can change an existing SERVICE radically, piss off the niche crowd it attracted and convert it into a successful GAME. But this is not the issue here. The issue is that people continue to believe the highly theoretical bs this person puts out there.

Remember UO? Remember how many people left the game because Raph believed in the good of mankind and unrestricted PK that would solve itself by player governance? Remember the futile attempts at an overengineered reputation system? Remember how the game only got better after he left?

Remember SWG? A large scale virtual world simulation, but a colossal failure in terms of sales and a damage to the Star Wars brand. Too complex, too complicated to be maintainable or serviceable?

"Single Player Games will be dead in a decade" - Raph.
Sure.

I for one will make sure NOT to buy any game associated with his name.

Re:Raph Koster = Non-fun Games (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14992236)

From everything I know, people left UO in droves because of Trammel's safe zone, and only liked UO because of the unrestricted PVP. Then again, I, and the 10's of thousands of accounts on free shards with unrestricted PVP might be wrong.

Re:Raph Koster = Non-fun Games (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14992316)

Yes you are.

The number of people who left the game right after buying it because they were PKed over and over again greatly outnumbers the number of people who were left in the end.

Its the same scenario as SWG. A simulationist minority was holding out for a game that failed to appeal to the masses. Now making a niche game, that is what you want. But SWG was never supposed to be a niche game, and therefore this is its greatest failure. Now the Avatar of the simulationists has been fired from a job he should have quit on his own in the first place. Instead of quitting for creative differences or whatever reason, he held on his chair, while the game was transformed under his feet from his vision to a new, different vision he could not stand for. Instead of standing up for his community, the people he attracted with his niche design in the first place, he chose to remain silent while people were working in the background on NGE and other changes - knowing that these would greatly offend, betray, sell out the players who signed up to the game for its niche vision.

Re:Raph Koster = Non-fun Games (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993335)

Don't pretend the original SWG didn't have its own problems similar to UO, though. Anchorhead being taken over by half a dozen Imperials who have all taken the stack-armor-class-to-infinity options of picking and choosing the starter bonus AC skills from a dozen different classes was very similar to UO's pk problem. What's the point of a gun if you can stand there and shoot such a person, point-blank, for ten minutes and not kill them? Meanwhile they hose you in 2 shots.

Take the baddest ass human gunfighter who ever lived, give him the best kevlar body armor ever invented, his favorite gun, and put him 10 feet away from a guy who's never held a gun before in his life. Do you think the trained guy has only a trivial chance of dying? No. Do you think Leia could 1-shot stormtroopers because she was level eight billion in gun training and had a ten billion credit gun from deep inside a laboratory somewhere?

We Can only Hope (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14990073)

I would love to play a game similar to KoToR as a mmorpg. Maybe getting rid of swg is the key to make something like that happen.

Maybe a purge is needed... (5, Insightful)

Churla (936633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990110)

IMHO , SWG was doomed from the get go. The reason is that they had a great IP to develop a game off of. They had two options they could go for. Either make a game for star wars fans, or make a game for MMORPG players. They tried to straddle the fence and it cost them. The SW fans didn't feel that this game was any more SW than any other sci fi based MMORPG other than character references and some races. I mean really now, how many beast tamers did you see in the star wars movies? They got a similarly tepid response from MMORPG junkies because it really wasn't anything innovative to the genre and was cursed with some bottability issues. So they roll out NGE to try to fix this. Problem, the hardcore SW people have already left, and you remake the game to try to be more appeasing to what they're looking for. This annoys the MMORPG people because now it's even less of a game they can get into. In a perfect world it would have been "Hey, you got Star Wars in my MMORPG! No you got MMORPG in my Star Wars! Hey these are two great tastes that taste great together!!!" Instead we got "Hey, you got MMORPG in my star wars, and I seem to have gotten some Star wars in your MMORPG, how about we let this Sony person throw it on the ground and piss on it?"

Re:Maybe a purge is needed... (4, Funny)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990566)

There was one beast tamer in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Remember the fat guy in Jaba's Palace that cries when he sees that the rancor has been killed? That's a beast tamer. He probably raised the rancor from a . . . rancorling or whatever you call the baby ones.

Re:Maybe a purge is needed... (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991294)

They had young rancors near the end of KOTOR, but no babies. The young ones look pretty much like the older ones but a bit smaller and with proportionally shorter limbs, IIRC. FWIW. Which ain't much.

Re:Maybe a purge is needed... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993340)

> There was one beast tamer

Because we all know that, in real life, seven people with rifles can stand there around a dog shooting at it, while an eigth stands there and hoses it with a flamethrower, and the dog not only doesn't die, but continues to fight back for 30 seconds or more before dying. Not screaming instantly and trying to flee.

Hmmmm...let's go grind on llama-giraffes since they're the equivalent fighters to a stormtrooper with rifle. How utterly fun. How utterly Star-Warsy.

Re:Maybe a purge is needed... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14992615)

There was one beast tamer in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Remember the fat guy in Jaba's Palace that cries when he sees that the rancor has been killed? That's a beast tamer. He probably raised the rancor from a . . . rancorling or whatever you call the baby ones.

Actually, I *believe* that the Rancor was a gift to Jabba, not raised since he was a little "rancorling." And the "beast tamer" disapproved of Jabba's treatment of the rancor (ie, feeding him people now and then), and was actually planning on "freeing" him from Jabba's place and setting him free.



You can doublecheck me, if you want - I'm pretty sure all the info is in one of the short stories in "Tales from Jabba's Palace."



Now, if you'll excuse me, I've suddenly realized just how much of a geek I am, and need to go do something non-nerdy, like make out with a girl or something.

Re:Maybe a purge is needed... (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993344)

> I'm pretty sure all the info is in one of the short stories
> in "Tales from Jabba's Palace."

Writers fill in pap all the time. If it doesn't appear in the movies, it doesn't count. As far as I'm concerned, a lightsaber could still cut "The Mandalorian Armor". Lucas went through the neck simply because he didn't want to have to have it not be able to cut something. If push came to shove in a movie, down goes the armor.

Re:Maybe a purge is needed... (1)

GxrNinja (963451) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991922)

You said evrything i was thinking, but there was the one beast tamer with the rankor in ROTJ.

Perhaps SWG's time has come. (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990113)

it is unfortunate that it's passing won't wake up anyone at SOE to the fact that they have lost focus... To me the danger is that the EAs SOEs and Vuvendi Universals of the world will smother what is left of creativity or at the vary least use there market share to undermine smaller and more inovative developers while cranking out "sure thing" sequals and sport sims.

Re:Perhaps SWG's time has come. (1)

Griffinart (957548) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990169)

I'm not so sure. It could be that they are headed in the right direction as well. I saw this comment on another board:
I remember at CDGC, sitting next to one of the Dev's for WoW while it was under construction and listening to Raph talk. When he said that players WANT forced downtime in an MMO - whether they say they do or not - the Blizzard Dev got up and left.
If that statement is true, Then I'm not sorry to see him go.

Re:Perhaps SWG's time has come. (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993352)

I remember at CDGC, sitting next to one of the Dev's for WoW while it was under construction and listening to Raph talk. When he said that players WANT forced downtime in an MMO - whether they say they do or not - the Blizzard Dev got up and left.

If that statement is true, Then I'm not sorry to see him go.


That from the same company that thought half the people playing the game should spend that downtime with a book in their face "meditating" for the joy of getting konked on the head by a wandering monster once in awhile. This in a brand new 3d world, you don't get to look at it 70% of the time.

EQ succeeded in spite of most of its design, not because of it. And WoW I don't get, either. It doesn't have the downtime, but it doesn't have the fun play of, say, City of Heroes or DDO. But in those games the "scrapper" or "fighter with high damage" are actually fun to play because they smash the mold of melee is tank-with-a-toothpick.

Re:Perhaps SWG's time has come. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14992407)

lots of people have woken up... and then quit.

SOE - so what, EA to buy Mythic!?!? (2, Interesting)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990153)

SOE has screwed up SWG long enough, if they loose the licensing, who really cares? The few remaining players will be bummed, and rumors will float about some other company trying to do SWG right.

But having yet another solid and profitable independant developer like Mythic sucked up into the oppresive regime that is EA?!? I find that to be a much more disturbing thought.

-Rick

Re:SOE - so what, EA to buy Mythic!?!? (1)

Picticon (728866) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990553)

EA is going to gobble up Mythic. Unverified, but Mythic is small, lost a lot of money on Imperator, and is vulnerable to buyout.
Mythic did not lose a lot of money on Imperator. They hadn't spent *that* much effort on it. And what they did create (technology wise) is being used for Warhammer.

I've played all the MMORPGs out there. Nothing comes close to Dark Age of Camelot. Well maybe WoW does. But WoW loses out on the end game.

The thought that EA will buy out Mythic makes me very sad. I can only imagine the following:

"We need to cancel Warhammer so we don't lose DAoC subscribers. It's better to slowly bleed subscriptions than it is to innovate and move forward."

Re:SOE - so what, EA to buy Mythic!?!? (1)

svip (678490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990819)

The Mythic-EA rumor is a few months old and has been officially denied.

Re:SOE - so what, EA to buy Mythic!?!? (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990994)

That's good to hear. That's a great group of people they have working their.

-Rick

Losing Rights to SW? Rumours++ (3, Informative)

GabboFlabbo (595073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990156)

Gotta love those rumours: "Sony Online may soon be losing the rights to the Star Wars license."
2) No - in fact LucasArts isn't "pulling the Star Wars" license or anything of the kind. We have a very long term deal and things are fine between our companies. It's complete and utter fabrication. I feel like we need extra-special tin-foil hats in the shape of Darth Vader's mask or something. What happens is one website writes something - then 5 more link to it.. so it must all of a sudden be true. I wish it worked that way.

Smed
__________________
John Smedley
President, Sony Online Entertainment
SWG may be doomed but they aren't losing the license.

Re:Losing Rights to SW? Rumours++ (1)

DangerSteel (749051) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990250)

Does anyone REALLY expect the President of a company to announce they will losing some asset/license/idea that WOULD cost shareholders to dump stock??? I cannot believe anyone would expect a confirmation that from him IF that was the truth.

Re:Losing Rights to SW? Rumours++ (1)

GabboFlabbo (595073) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990319)

ah I see, and some rumour started by some random person is more credible? right...
I cannot believe anyone would expect a confirmation that from him IF that was the truth.
Is a rumour truth? There is not one bit of evidence that SWG is losing the license. Not one. There's lots of evidence that suggests SWG is doomed, but that doesn't mean they are losing the license.

Re:Losing Rights to SW? Rumours++ (1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990956)

Not to mention Lucasarts is known to revoke licences. Decipher produced a fantastic collectible card game, SW:CCG, Lucasarts then decided to revoke their licence and gave it to Wizards of the Coast. In the process they killed one of the best CCGs.

I wouldn't be suprised at all if this rumour was more than just a pigment of someone's imagination.

Re:Losing Rights to SW? Rumours++ (2, Insightful)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990316)

Given that one of the other rumors is:

Smedley Getting the Axe at SOE. This is a bonus entry, not from GDC. Something I was actually told last week and wanted to sit on and fact gather. At this point with Raph gone and SWG in question... it's hard to think this wouldn't be on the table.

I wouldn't expect Smedley to say anything else.

Him leaving wouldn't change my opinion though: I will never play an SoE game again.

Re:Losing Rights to SW? Rumours++ (1)

TheJediGeek (903350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990352)

Yeah, because John Smedley is SO reliable and tgrustworthy... /rolleyes

Two words : Damage control (2, Insightful)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990827)

Given the fact that SOE's MMOs have been in a constant state of decline since Smedley took control (EQ2 being a flop, SWG's complete overhaul, EQ1 having virtually no growth sans expansion packs) hes just trying to cover his ass when his head is on fire.

LucasArts isn't exactly Nintendo when it comes to protecting its brand names but they're not stupid enough to continue to let the Star Wars name be burned alive. (SWG is the laughingstock of MMOs these days.)

Re:Two words : Damage control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14992208)

Smedley was around since almost the beginning of EQ1. You may not like him, but he was at least present for the good times as well as the bad at SOE.

Re:Two words : Damage control (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14992300)

Except the success of EQ1 was simply because of a lack of alternative. When EQ1 came out there was the PVP-ridden, economy-demolished, server crashing, cheat filled, buggy, #1 anti-newbie, 2D designed Ultima Online. Don't forget, Asheron's Call was once considered to be a main competitor with EQ1 at one time and now its all but forgotten to the most hardcore players. (Not to mention the fact that AC2 has been shut down recently.)

Compared to second-generation MMOs such as DAoC (I consider MMOs such as FFXI and WoW to be third-generation) EQ1 is a piece of crap. Poor graphics, lack of new downloadable content (expansion packs don't count), non-existant PvP, nothing truely innovative or even evolutionary to UO. The crafting system is a joke, the GUI is one of the worst and its grinding is THE worst of all MMOs. The community has more or less turned into a sheltered, isolationist state, the number of subscribers have been in decline for years and Smedley's failure to properly handle the Star Wars name is simply his most recent, notable and biggest failure.

Re:Two words : Damage control (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14992413)

people need to stop comparing games to WOW and declaring them flops. Whatever you want to believe, EQ2 has been anything but a flop. It has a fairly healthy player base that is staying at steady numbers and has a decent release schedule planned for it. The fact that it doesn't have 098243123413 hojillion players doesn't mean it's a flop.

Re:Two words : Damage control (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14992851)

EQ2 is considered to be a failure for one reason. It never surpassed the original EQ's numbers.

Then theres the nitpicking reasons:

It never fully addressed the gameplay issues of EQ1. (EQ1 is considered to be the MMO to start the end-game grind use.)
Its graphics/art were not too great of an improvement. (Not to mention the fact that its system requirements at launch were considered to be high-end.)
It was still considered to be newbie-unfriendly. (All MMOs are but EQ1 and 2 are two of the biggest offenders.)
Since there was such little general improvement, few original EQ1 players made the change to EQ2. As a result, most players didn't make the change for the basic "I don't want to leave my friends and start from scratch for a sub-par improvement." (Translation: Poor initial launch = poor initial impressions due to lack of popularity.)

I'm not even taking WoW into account here. EQ2 SHOULD have at LEAST come close to the 1M mark simply thanks to its brand name recognition in the MMO world. Instead it landed around 500k subscribers, not bad if it was a brand new name, but otherwise a flop given the time it launched and the development of the market at that point.

Re:Two words : Damage control (1)

murdocj (543661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994915)

Its graphics/art were not too great of an improvement. (Not to mention the fact that its system requirements at launch were considered to be high-end.)

They weren't just considered high-end, they were high end. I had a machine that had been top of the line 3 years earlier. I had upgraded it with a new video card and gotten 1gb of memory, and EQ2 was still just barely barely playable. In town it was slideshow. WoW, on the other hand, played just fine.

In fact, my wife and I were planning on doing EQ2, and just bought WoW as a stopgap while I was getting a shiny new machine. By the time my new machine came, I was hooked on WoW and never looked back. I suspect that EQ2 lost a lot of potential business by just being unplayable on most existing machines.

Me too. (1)

brouski (827510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991383)

2) No - in fact LucasArts isn't "pulling the Star Wars" license or anything of the kind. We have a very long term deal and things are fine between our companies. It's complete and utter fabrication. I feel like we need extra-special tin-foil hats in the shape of Darth Vader's mask or something. What happens is one website writes something - then 5 more link to it.. so it must all of a sudden be true. I wish it worked that way.

Smed

__________________

John Smedley

President, Sony Online Entertainment

Me too, John. Me too.

Re:Losing Rights to SW? Rumours++ (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993356)

What happens is one website writes something - then 5 more link to it.. so it must all of a sudden be true. I wish it worked that way.

- Smed, Fearless Leader of EQ


Believe me, buddy, we wished it worked that way, too.

Then you wouldn't have been nerfing left and right. You'd have been fixing the problems instead. Boost the warrior instead of tearing down the necromancer, if the necro's pet can solo a warrior. Boost the magician's pet instead of tearing down the necromancer. Boost the monster AI instead of nerfing charm and pet attacks and DoTs that also slow the monster. Boost the monster AI instead of letting monsters hit through walls.

Yeah, we wished it worked that way, too.

About time for SWG (1)

Jaeph (710098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990194)

I absolutely would fire the people involved for taking what should have been a slam-dunk title and turning it into a travesty. They played around with their ideas too much, and didn't attend to the business of making a solid game.

Note that none of this means the game should be made "my way". With a title like that, they should have made an rpg with mass appeal.

-Jeff

Re:About time for SWG (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993364)

> I absolutely would fire the people involved for taking what
> should have been a slam-dunk title

I don't know. Sword games you can kind of get away with the idiocy of swords being weak. But a gun game? It may have been doomed from the start.

Consider the next great thing after LoTR MMORPG, Star Trek MMORPG. Are you gonna tell me you're forbidden from setting your phaser on disintegrate until you're level 50 because Star Fleet Academy won't let you? And, of course, by that time every thief in an alley will posess dodging skills and armor plating the Borg would drool over.

Ding! Congratulations! You are now level 2 and may change your phaser setting from 5 shots to kill a rat to 2 shots to kill a rat!

Uh, no thanks. /petition The ship went into warp and I got left behind and my body died floating in space.

Alls I can says is I hopes you get City of Heroes-like, or at least SWG-like ability to customize your green dancing girl.

The problem is the genre (2, Insightful)

Jerim (872022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990383)

MMORPGs have become completly derivative of the genre as a whole. I can generically describe every MMORPG ever created as a game where you create a character, choose a class and then go out and complete missions. With the quests mostly consisting of killing monsters or some other NPC.

Sure, they have tried to throw in distractions such as housing, and guilds and different quest branches. (I.E. questing to gain a title or questing to gain an item, etc..)

I purchased EQ2 recently, because a year or so ago it was described as a unique game, with something different. By that I am referring to the class system where you pick a general class at first and specialize as you gain levels. From a magic user to a priest for example. But no, when I played it, you got to pick your class up front and that was your class for the rest of the game.

I actually think UO is the best MMORPG on the market. It make not look great, but it has way more variety. An Elder Srolls MMORPG would be incredible.

Re:The problem is the genre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14990440)

If there were an Elder Scrolls MMORPG, I would touch myself at night for it.

Re:The problem is the genre (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14991862)

I'm already getting a head start!

Re:The problem is the genre (1)

Ruprecht the Monkeyb (680597) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990549)

The 'pick a class up front and stick with it' part is new in the past month or so. It used to be you picked a basic class, then that branched into two (sometimes one good, one evil) at 10th level, and then you each of those two split again at 20th.

It was pretty neat, and gave you a sense of progress. Unfortunately, they decided that it was too confusing for newbies and scrapped it in February.

Re:The problem is the genre (1)

Jerim (872022) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990699)

They scrap it, and then I come along looking for something innovative and don't find it. MMORPGs should start coming in white boxes, with black text that says MMORPG.

Re:The problem is the genre (1)

Gorlash (957166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991880)

You may be able to describe them that way, but it wouldn't be an accurate description of the entire field. Eve doesn't fit that description, neither does A Tale in the Desert, and I'm reasonably sure there are others as well. But even two is more than enough to disprove your claim.

OTOH, advancing a character through quests is a gamestyle that has a long pedigree...going all the way back to the original D&D. Plenty of people seem to like it, so it's not too surprising that plenty of games will provide just such a style of play.

SOE responds on the forums.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14990406)

SOE was pretty quick to address the rumors, canned response? I think so!

http://forums.station.sony.com/swg/board/message?b oard.id=Announcements&message.id=3058 [sony.com]

Re:SOE responds on the forums.. (2, Interesting)

AudioEfex (637163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14992291)

SOE has lied so many times you can't believe anything they say. They said the "NGE" itself was a rumor, and so was the "Starter Kit"; they hide things and lie and do whatever they can do to keep you from cancelling; well, except for actually fixing and delivering the game they have promised for almost three years.

Today there are dozens of Dev and producer posts that are out to counter the new wave of horrible press their lack of work and attention has created. It's all a joke so they can say, "Look how much we communicate!" when in fact it's their last ditch. The producer tripling his post count in one day impresses the small minded idiots, who get star-struck when a "red-name" (Dev) makes a post, but everyone else sees it for what it is : a glass of water thrown on a rampant house fire they created themselves because they simply didn't do what they promised. Again.

They are crooks (taking money for expansions one day before telling us the original game was getting shut down and they were putting a new one in, the NGE), liars (so many lies...some posts deleted later when they didn't think anyone was looking, but many remain), and don't understand the concept of setting a schedule/goal and getting it accomplished. Whatever dickhead is really in charge (Smed says it's not him today...then who the hell is it if not the producer?) needs to find employees who a) know their job, b) know how to do it efficently, and c) keep to some semblance of a schedule. They cry that it takes months of man hours to make a simple change - well, in that case, it's shoddy code to blame.

I wish Lucasarts would dump SOE - put the damn game out of it's misery. It's a complete boil on the arse of the Star Wars franchise, and the suits at SOE have spent three years telling people they were going to deliver a game that has never materialized. I've finally cancelled myself, and the only regret is that I spent any time at all playing a game where I was constantly told the "next big thing" was coming that would make the game an actual Star Wars experience; if the smug jack-offs like Smedley spent 1/10 of the energy they spend spinning shit, telling blatant lies about the game to trick people into playing/staying, into actually fixing the game, you'd have the biggest/best MMO in the Galaxy.

Unfortunately, that won't happen - SOE has ridden this pony as far as it can, and only the hardest-core-take-it-up-the-arse from the DEV fanbois (yes, I'm talking to you PsychoPyro, who kisses so much arse *I* get the bad taste in my mouth) are still there. I used to hope for the best, but they always deliver the worst. Eventually, even the most ardent supporter (except for the crazies, who are usually 16-year old bois who think when they get all growed up they could work for SOE so they start corporate kiss arse now) must realize that the game they say it will be never will be, any more than you should believe a leopard who tells you he's going to rearrange his spots. It's just not going to happen.

EVE vs SWG (2, Insightful)

sugarman (33437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990414)

As it stands right now, SWG is in a tough spot. Those who want a space-based persistent world, with bounty-hunting, smuggling, and space combat have a great alternative in Eve.

Those who want sword fights, magic powers, alien landscapes, weird creatures and chainmail bikinis have pretty much every Fantasy RPG to play.

Those that want wear funky armor, control an army of robots, and use a blaster that allows you to shoot first can play City of Heroes.

Aside from Branding, exactly who is SWG trying to appeal to? Everything they might have is being done better by other games.

Re:EVE vs SWG (1)

Harlockjds (463986) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990523)

people who want a space-based persistent world, with bounty-hunting, smuggling, space combat,sword fights, magic powers, alien landscapes, weird creatures, chainmail bikinis,funky armor, control an army of robots, and use a blaster that allows you to shoot first?

Re:EVE vs SWG (1)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990601)

Eh? Space combat in Eve is utter crap. SWG has its problems, but JTL owns anything Eve has ever done with respect to space combat, and JTL isn't even that good! It's gotten better though. A bit.

Re:EVE vs SWG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14991060)

"SWG has its problems..."

Uh, no, SWG is RIDDLED with problems. Repeating to yourself that "JTL combat is better than EVE" won't change the facts, nor will it bring back the THOUSANDS that have left SWG for EVE.

Re:EVE vs SWG (1)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14993012)

Most of SWG's problems are bound to the ground game. JTL is fun. I played SWG a few months back just to dink around in JTL. Once I had blown up everything in space that I wanted to blow up, I cancelled my account.

Personally I found Eve to just be plain boring, and the space combat sucked. In the end, neither SWG's ground game nor Eve were worth playing to me. Granted, I haven't checked out the NGE, but I doubt I'll be doing that anytime soon.

Re:EVE vs SWG (1)

Multivitavim (957111) | more than 8 years ago | (#14994219)

EVE is unlike like the Jedi powers of suggestion: it doesn't work on the weak minded.

How to ruin a sure thing (4, Informative)

cpu_fusion (705735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990498)

While I wish no ill will on Raph, Star Wars Galaxies is a textbook example of a misguided project.

Star Wars is one of the most regonized and highly regarded franchises among video game consumers. Players have high expectations, and why shouldn't they? There's enough material there for an engaging and interesting MMO. One has to wonder, how could you mess up a Star Wars MMO?

Well, here's how:

1. Launch a buggy game your beta testers tell you is nowhere near ready.
2. Have no player-controlled starships. Space is just like "zoning" in EQ.
3. Have no class balance, and then screw up class balance. Make sure your producer's favorite class (pet handler) is insanely powerful at launch.
4. Make sure entire classes, (droid manufacturer), are completely foobar.
5. Totally mismanage player relations, eventually cutting off public access to the forums to hide discontentment. Be sure to have a privately run, but public web site up for the producer where he talks about how players are sheep, more or less.
6. Planets aren't even frickin' round, and they have edges which are just high mountains.
7. Make sure questing is so stupid players don't even bother to read the templated instructions for what you are doing, and instead focus on the one or two variables per template. (Go here, blow up nest, run back.)
8. Make sure PvP is totally hosed at launch.
9. Don't bother to react to major economy-ruining bugs for days, even after reports flood forums, so that money is completely devalued.
10. Make the #1 fantasy of every player, becoming a Jedi, completely out of reach to smart players who maybe, like, have a job, and within the reach of mindless drones who play your game 24/7.

Anyways, the game was fscked all along, and the final news that the combat/professions system needed another overhaul was just the coup-de-grace.

RIP; lesson learned for Lucusfilm.

You left out the big black eye from opening day. (1)

attemptedgoalie (634133) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990615)

You left out:

Make sure to have one sign-in / credit card / account server for opening day. Have thousands of people, who took the day off from work to get their account signed up and the player name they wanted on day one, scream in agony as the system wouldn't let them in.

SWG broke my heart. I waited for that game for years. I played UO, which was fun, but wanted SWG. When they announced it, the screenshots started coming out, I got more excited. When I found out that you could set up equipment to mine resources rather than doing it myself, I got MORE excited.

I got the chills when I walked to Uncle Owen's place, Jabba's palace, etc.

I hope that some day, a real game can be run with the same visuals.

Re:You left out the big black eye from opening day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14990916)

Are you kidding? Uncle Owen's place was far from chilling, IMHO. It looked more like a midget hole or something. You couldn't go inside or anything. Ben Kenobi's house was also very unremarkable. Actually, that was one of the major turn off for me: the lack of truly distinguishable landmarks. Even though the graphics are good, everything looked so generic. Seems to me the artists were uninspired.

Now, that + very poor gameplay = me putting an end to my subscription after 2 weeks.

Re:You left out the big black eye from opening day (1)

attemptedgoalie (634133) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991557)

All I meant was that it was an accomplishment of a goal. To play a game that had the places I saw in my favorite movies.

Not a religious experience, but one of satisfaction.

Could it have been even better? Of course.

Re:How to ruin a sure thing (2, Informative)

DrMrLordX (559371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990628)

While I agree with many of your points, problems similar to the ones you cited have existed in successful MMORPGs like Everquest and World of Warcraft as well.

I think, when it gets right down to it, the current MMOG player base responds more positively to a traditional level-based grind system than the skill-based craziness they had in the original incarnation of SWG.

FWIW, they fixed the problem you listed in item #2 when they added Jump To Lightspeed some time ago. JTL is a lot of fun, if a bit repetitive. They could do a lot more with it.

Say it aint so!!! (1)

Thrymm (662097) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990606)

I loved Dark Age of Camelot, played it about 3 years religiously till time constraints kicked in. Hate work interfering with fun, but hey that's life. Anyway I feel Mythic will lose its identity of making quality games, and well we all know what happens when EA (Assimilate Everything) gets a hold of something :(

Re:Say it aint so!!! (1)

Nossie (753694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14992599)

just thought I'd add that I have to agree with you...

I still play DAOC a lot and I cant wait for mythic to bring out Warhammer also... first time I've heard of the rumours but if so it will seriously put that purchase into question :-\

Re:Say it aint so!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14992921)

It this rumor is true it is sad news for the players in Dark Age of Camelot. Just look at what EA did to Earth and Beyond as soon as EA acquired Westwood, they closed down the game.

They also close down that online car game (Can't remember the name).

About dang time (1)

Devir (671031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990631)

ok, Raph had one sucess: UO. UO was fun, but that was also Garriots brain child and i would believe Raph had limited control over the game.

In SWG, well that was what i believe to be his first major project, and it showed at release. The game was a hack job that they spent months more fixing and duct taping. It took months to get to a working state and a year after the game was going great. THen they decided to change directions. A year later after everyone got used to it, they changed directions again.

I'm so totally happy Raph got his ass fired from SOE. When they first announced he's "leaving" the SWG project back over a year ago, i was totally happy. Now that his sticky fingers are out of the company entirely, well SOE can finally make fun non sadistic games made for masochists

Honestly.... (1)

Jurrasic (940901) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990670)

The Star Wars Devs (and Raph the supposed 'Genius of MMOGs'in particular) should have realized that in a genre selling 'you are the hero' that everyone wants to be the hero, aka a JEDI. They should have therefore made the game with the design that the players WERE the jedi in the game, would be the jedi class at start for the most part and the world based around that concept kind of like a massively-multiplayer KOTOR. Had they realized that other classes would be the exception to the rule, included spaceflight and combat out of the box and they would have been coding a lisence to print money for the next 10 years.

Re:Errr... I think its the other way around. (2, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14991349)

The Star Wars Devs (and Raph the supposed 'Genius of MMOGs'in particular) should have realized that in a genre selling 'you are the hero' that everyone wants to be the hero, aka a JEDI.

Everyone wants to kill the hero.... And take his things and send him nasty /tells saying how he 'pnwed' him and his mother. The only reason people play nice in MMOGs is because of PvP limitations.

"SOE Looses SWG licence? Debunked." (2, Informative)

Patentmat (846401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990831)

Subject was a direct quote from the article, move along.

I will start buying Sony products again...bwahaha (1)

PaulMorel (962396) | more than 8 years ago | (#14990938)

Well, it's a start. I started hating Sony when the released the piece of garbage that 'was' SWG. They should have gotten rid of Koster, and all the other lead developers for SWG, before launch.

Now, if they get rid of some of the other mentally handicapped execs at Sony, I might stop boycotting their products.

For instance, they could get rid of whoever greenlighted that whole rootkit fiasco. I haven't heard of any firings related to that nightmare.

Leave it to Sony to start making me think Microsoft is an example of a 'good' corporation!

At least half true (2, Informative)

kafka47 (801886) | more than 8 years ago | (#14992563)

Courtesy of his website [raphkoster.com] , Raph explains :

So, by now people have seen the news. Yes, it is true I am leaving SOE.

Why? Well, I've been here for gosh, almost six years maybe? It's been a good ride, and I think we've gotten to do some really fun and interesting work. But I am getting interested in doing some stuff that is a bit off the beaten path -- really, anyone who has been reading the blog can see that! -- and while SOE feels it's really cool stuff, it's just not where they are at right now. My contract was up, and it was the right time to poke my head up and look around, that sort of thing. It's all quite friendly, and actually, I hope that I'll work with SOE again in the future, because there's a lot of wonderful talent here and a lot of cool technology, and a lot of friends.

So, sometime soon here I'll be off on my own. Nope, no announcements about plans or anything. I don't have a new studio in my back pocket, I don't have a job lined up, any of that. And... we'll see what comes. I'm thinking sleeping in next week sounds good.

Oh -- the old email still works, for now. You can always post a comment or use the email addy at the bottom of this page to reach me, too.

All sort of anti-climactic, huh? ;)

Personally, I think he is one talented individual who would absolutely shine in a less, shall we say, strangling environment? GL Raph!

/K

Re:At least half true (1)

NBarnes (586109) | more than 8 years ago | (#14992904)

Personally, I think he is one talented individual who would absolutely shine in a less, shall we say, strangling environment?

I think this is largely true. I think that Koster is a very gifted and visionary designer who's talents and interests make him terribly unsuited to be the lead designer on 'the Star Wars MMORPG'. SoE made a terrible error in employing him in this capacity, and I suppose he made a terrible mistake in accepting the job (though I can understand why he might).

I've long said that the game that SWG was would have been much much better divorced from being 'the Star Wars MMORPG' and with a dev team focused on what the game did well, rather than what it did poorly (in the latter case, specifically 'being Star Wars'). While it seems unlikely that Koster will be given a chance to make another MMORPG any time soon, I kinda wish he would be given that chance, without the baggage and limits of making what was, at the time, supposed to be the Next Generation Of MMO Gameplay, With The Biggest Licenced Property Ever(tm).
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