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Teala's Wickedly Cool MMORPG.com Blog For The Masses

Just my thoughts on MMO's, roleplaying, game companies, and the people that play these games.

Author: Teala

LOL!  I just read two articles and I am laughing my arse off right now.  Why you may ask?   Because never in all my time of following MMO's have I ever read so much BS in the press about an MMO before - ever!  For instance...

over at Venture Beat there was an article posted today(Mar 3, 2012) that is titled, "Star Wars: The Old Republic has a chance to get more than 1M long-term subscribers (exclusive)" and the first thing that came to mind after reading it - on that day monkeys will fly out of my butt, zombie Jesus raptor will return, and hell will freeze over.   Never have I had such a good laugh in all my life.

Where do these people come from who write this stuff that is so far off the mark?  I have to wonder if the person that wrote it actually did any research for his article. 

Then there was this gem over at gamesindustry.biz ... seriously...do these people actually know the topics they write about? 

I know MMO's, I may not make them, I may not work in the industry, but I have been playing and following them since the days of dial-up BBS and I can tell you straight up...there is no way this game will have the retention rates these people are predicting SWTOR will have.  

Some will say, "Right Kristi, you have a magic crystal ball and know the future."  Because they have said this to me in the past.  I always answer.

Nope. 

But I do have my experience and knowledge, and with that I have accurately predicted over the last few years how well MMO's will preform and you know what, the only two games I ever missed predicted were WoW(discussed this in a previous entry) and Vanguard(what can I say...I had no ideal Sigil would sale out to SOE - my bad, for that one).   Just two!  Two out of how many triple AAA games launched in the US?   I am batting about 900.   I'd say that is really pretty good.  I am not just patting myself on the back either.  I have always tried to be upfront and straight with the people that read my blog.

It is funny - I and a few others were writing our previews and reviews on this game giving it a rating like 5 out of 10, or 7 out of 10, people were ragging on me, and those others, telling us we didn't know what we were talking about...that SWTOR was the greatest MMO since WoW and that it would garner millions of subscriptions - many going further stating that SWTOR would be the proverbial "WoW killer".

All the while, other gaming websites and gaming mags were giving this game a rating of 9 out of 10 - and even 10/10 ratings.  I sat back and and couldn't believe the BS that was being fed to the public.   Just like now.   I really have to sit back and wonder how anyone can write such utter BS and keep a straight face.  

Slowly but surely, the truth has become known, even some of the previous staunchest of supporters for the game have given up on it and the game is barely 2 months old!  Some of them quit playing before their first free month was up and are now making forum post about how dissappointed they were with the game and how they feel cheated by Bioware.  If that isn't a sure fire sign of a game that is in bad shape - I do not know what is.

Which brings me back to these articles on game websites, and game industry rags that report on games, and just how much BS they put out to the general gaming public.  When these so-called professional writers write their articles that mislead and spread dishonest info all it does is cause a massive backlash for a game later.  

This helps nobody, and least of all the game.  We've seen it countless times over the years.  Look at what happened to Asheron's Call 2, Warhammer Online, Age of Conan...all these games were hyped to haven by the gaming press and people in the games industry and look how they turned out.   One shut down completely.  Another had to go free to play to stay in business.  The other is hanging on by a thread and is on life support.   MMO players are some of the least forgiving bunch of players in the gaming market.  It seems the publishers and game developers have not learned this lesson over the years and neither have the gaming press.  

Oh well...all I have to say is, to the gamers that play MMO's, beware...beware of shills, beware of hype, and beware of the gaming press - they are not always looking out for your best interest.

Kickaxe writes:

A few thoughts on your blog post:

 

1.) Being strongly negative about MMO success--where MMO success means retaining millions of subscribers long term--is prerequisite for batting 900 in predicting MMO success.  In other words, you've actually only demonstrated negativity and not insightful (and absolutely not unique) knowledge and experience.

 

2.) Many posters here and on other MMO forums have posted foolish thoughts, ideas, arguments, regarding TOR.  Call them out as you will, but you're deluding yourself if you think that the shallow thinkers are representative of the whole (supporters and detractors alike).

 

3.) One million long term subscribers is within TOR's grasp.  Most definitely not guaranteed but also most definitely not unimaginable.  Regardless, and this is typical of your many thinking errors, number of subscribers is not a reliable indicator of quality of product (see argument ad populum).

 

4.) Beware of other people's opinions.  But you all ready said that...kinda.

Sun Mar 04 2012 4:48AM Report
Vyeth writes:

As long as there is Yin there will be Yang.. Can't have either without the other, so while some on these forums may tell you that a game will fail, an equal amount will oppose such theory..

This wouldn't be the first instance of the media feeding the masses a garbled mess.. It's done all the time, but it's kind of like the Matrix..

Some people choose to take the Red pill and see it for what it's worth, while taking off their shades to get a look for themselves.. While others prefer to just take the Blue pill and accept what is being told and shown to them..

It's really up to us, as consumers, to see through these ads and reviews and form our own opinions..

I have to say though about the MMO industry, there are some very overly cynical people who certainly expect every MMO to ride the same train as WoW.. With "millions" of subscribers , MR. T commercials etc. etc..

But very few understand how different the industry was when WoW came out. They also fail to realize how popular Blizzard games were at the time (namely the hugely successful Warcraft 3, which is also responsible for spawning the heaps of "DOTA" clones we got out there)..

Lot's of things had to happen for that game to reach so many non-gamers, gamers, and MMO newbies alike..

The market is way to saturated for any ONE mmo to stand out like that ever again.. It was a one hit wonder basically and I will even go out on a limb and pronounce that Blizzards next MMO will probably not see the same success (and they are not dumb about it either, that is why they announced that it will be F2P.. Smart guys)

Anywho, my penny and a half..

Sun Mar 04 2012 8:22AM Report
Mordred1 writes:

I think you are spot on. The last BS I bought into from the media was WAR which I stopped playing before the 1st month ended.

Actually I feel proud of myself for not buying AOC, Aion and SWTOR when gamesites were giving scores of 8.5 to 9.5.

Sun Mar 04 2012 8:43AM Report
calranthe writes:

I personally would give SWTOR a 8.5-9.0 for me personally, my wife and our guild, we love the game, still enjoying it, finding it fun and still loving the VO and stories.

Same goes for a lot of the people in there playing, we never use Xfire as with most of the people we have met it is either TS3, ventrilo or Skype (for smaller groups), so I hold very little faith in xfire stats.

The progenitor rp pve server is well stocked with players on both sides, so I really do not see the doom and gloom that some other do.

As I have always said, those in a game enjoying it, marveling at its fun, enjoying themselves etc do not actually need to or want to visit the forums and I meet a lot of them in game.

I am kinda happy you are leaving us for awhile your becoming one of the most bitter negative bloggers on here.

Sun Mar 04 2012 12:08PM Report
Maelkor writes:

Anyone who does or does not buy a game based of a reviewers opinion(including yours) deserves what they get or dont get as the case may be. It is up to the individual to discern for themselves whether a particular product is worth spending money on relative to the amount of enjoyment they may recieve for that investment.

My personal opinion is the MMO gaming industry really bottomed out after WoW's release and is only now showing potential signs of recovery in terms of producing a decent game. I have not subbed a game longer than two months since I left off playing EQ with the exception of Eve which I played for about 4 months. Sad really since I am the type of person who would love to get into a game and play it for a year or two if I could find something the would hold my interest.

Sun Mar 04 2012 12:23PM Report
theAsna writes:

This is nothing new.

There is a conflict of interests. Game magazines (both on- and offline) get early access to games to evaluate them and to write reviews. Plus most adds in those magazines come from game companies as well. Now a game company will prefer those magazines where they get better ratings, etc.

Well, I don't read reviews by game magazines. Sometimes they seem to be the prolonged arm of the companies' marketing departments.

Mon Mar 05 2012 2:55AM Report
Classicstar writes:

When this game was release you keep writing about it over and over again blog after blog topic after topic, and keep playing it.

Now few months later you still do write about SWTOR and you even go writing about other blogs or sites ive even never heared about and still about same game SWTOR.

I wonder why your so OBESSED with this game?

Give it a rest if your claiming you don't like this game and don't play no need to keep hyping it right.

Or if you still play this game and love it have fun enjoy ok, instead become bitter person and get depressed by unimportend articles about your beloved game it's for your own good i think.

Enjoy life there is so much more then forums and games:)

Mon Mar 05 2012 3:01AM Report
Yamota writes:

Trust Teala for saying it like it is, rather than some political correct nonsense.

The gaming industry is corrupted and are no longer un-biased in ther reviews of products. They are in bed with the gaming developers because they know they depend on them for ads and getting early access to their products.

Mon Mar 05 2012 6:49AM Report
drbaltazar writes:

op:i have played a lot of game and i got to say swtor is the best game at lunch i have played!BUT:bioware will need to become creative,cause lets face it yes you play to end game once but coming back for more ?why?there is no incentive!yes lore is different.so?all game do it!the only system i have seen ever to add retention is the 3 faction system!since this is a 2 faction game we all know this idea isnt possible!me i predict once people 90s are up (their 60 days time card plus free 30 days)people wont pay again not because the game isnt good but because there are as good alternative in f2p world.like aion among other!i sure hope bioware doesnt just go in church and pray for a magic!

Mon Mar 05 2012 8:18AM Report
Nephaerius writes: Just an anecdotal factoid...I had no interest in this game during development. Got into beta and enjoyed the story element. Wound up buying mid-Feb. Definitely going to re-sub. I knew 100% what I was getting and while the game has it's fair share of problems it's the first time I'm subbing to a game since 2009 I think. Mon Mar 05 2012 12:04PM Report
Fadedbomb writes: As always Kristi, spot on :)! I've been trying to point out for YEARS about these payed off shills trying to buy players for a new game that has come out, or is coming out, for money. IGN, GameInformer, GamesMAG, Fileplanet (now owned by IGN) are good examples of these companies that cannot be trusted anymore for reliable information. Pretty sure if I were to ever write something like this I'd be called a troll. A fairly sad example of how bad our genre of gaming has become! "Oh noes! Someone is being critical about something I love!!! BURN THEM!!" :( Mon Mar 05 2012 1:10PM Report
Fadedbomb writes: Wow, talk about a buggy forum system, I ahd that perfectly setup -.-! Mon Mar 05 2012 1:10PM Report
Master10K writes:

So what does your crystal ball say about Guild Wars 2 and it's success/failure Teala?

Mon Mar 05 2012 2:57PM Report
Fadedbomb writes:

@Master10k

 

GW2 will "most likely" make about 1million + box sales, and retain more than 250,000 "Active Players, since it's B2P" after 6months with each expansion gradually either increasing or decreasing the population over time. Remember, GW2 is a "B2P" model, meaning they ONLY gain development funds for content & expansions from initial box sales, piddly cosmetic cash-shop income, and each expansion.

 

I wouldn't expect much content in-between each expansion to be very significant unless their Cash-Shop is a bit LESS what many of us would hope for in terms of "fairness".

 

-Cheers

Mon Mar 05 2012 10:11PM Report
spaceport writes:

mmorpg.com gave SWTOR an 8.7

And an 8 for innovation

 

 

LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

Mon Mar 05 2012 10:18PM Report
Fadedbomb writes:

@Spaceport,

 

Yea, either they bought into the hype or they were paid off by Ea-Bioware. A lot of "angry" community members think the latter happened. I'd rather not put my tinfoil hat on this late in the night however :3!

 

Eitherway, don't trust what mainstream sites say. Watch Youtube Videos, and be active in the forums (mind you, don't troll or flame anyone) in order to get REAL information about future products.

Mon Mar 05 2012 10:20PM Report
Legzz writes:

Wow this guy kills me.  Like any game out there.  Either love it or hate it.   So far you hated it before CB.  Not sure why your still on the Wagon.

For us Real fans of star Wars.  We believe the game we got is the great.  Just today March 5th.  LIve stream Meeting on new Patch had 200+ people at the meeting, and 20,000 online live Streaming it. We all was the players.  From what we seen and read from the real players of the game, not the Critics that never play a game, but just Rage on it.  Game is doing well, and new patch is everthing we was hoping for.

 

My advance for you.  Jump on new wagon.  We have already been down this road before with ya on the blog on Star wars.

If you have notice  --> Life of the computer too.

Tue Mar 06 2012 2:28AM Report
Master10K writes:

@Fadedbomb: So let me get this straight. You're saying that even though GW2 managed to garner 1 million beta signups, without much advertising, in under 50 hours. That it will only sell about a 1 million boxes and retain 250,000 players. Yeah... right (¬_¬).

 

Also how exactly would someone measure active players with GW2. Does active mean playing everyday? Would playing a couple times a month, for many years, make me an active player?

Tue Mar 06 2012 5:05AM Report
alkarionlog writes:

what most people do log-in game for 2-3 times by week . also check the volume of players on at the same time.

 

funny people says here is real fans of star wars? if you was a real fan you would puke with what they did a wowish game with light sabers? jedis who can fall to the dark side and still be called jedis?, no way for you stay out of the conflict btw empire and republic?  yeah I can see "real" fans of star wars liking this....

 

and its nothing new sites or pro reviwers or have a crappy sense(unlikely) or are just sold out (most likely), to know the real info you can find is go to gamefaqs or a gaming forum, read fanboys and haters, mix info with both sides say and draw a conclusion. most of time I did this and it worked like a charm never really bought a game without knowing what I was putting my hands on. only reason I want to play swtor is because I started to play the beta and want to know how the jedi knight history will go, but for that I can find a private server since bioware are a baller and keep my country off, so even so I know this game is a joke in pvp departament, skill spam not need to think, and a hell easy, with only flash points with any chalenge, but even so its the basic tank and spank thing

Tue Mar 06 2012 1:14PM Report
CyberWiz writes:

From the gamesindustry article : "One of the core product features that attract gamers to Xfire is the ability for users to track their game hours. This data gives Xfire and DFC terabits of insightful trends into which games users are playing and how often."

Now if they use game hours to estimate subsciber base they are doing it wrong :p Xfire does have a usefull metric called "Xfire users playing per day", but it should be used carefully and not be the sole basis of an estimate.

In itself SWTOR does deserve a lot more than a 5/10, I think it is worth an 8/10 for content and quality.

There are however some fundamental flaws which make the game susceptible to serious drops in subsciptions, first of all the social fabric is quite thin, secondly the content is too easy, meaning the XP is comming too fast. You level out of an area before you completed all the missions, this gets worse when you want to do bonus series, space missions and flashpoints.

So players either fight grey mobs or skip content. I never understood this with WoW, I understand it even less with SWTOR, especially because of all the effort put into the voice acting, story progression and choices you can make.

Finally the PvE endgame is ( understably ) alot thinner than for example WoW, and the PvP endgame is not very fleshed out.

So large chunks of players burn thru the content and then have not that much to do.

EA Bioware will never be able to keep up producing new content if they keep the game as easy as it is now, and they will bore the players that want to do all of the content by letting them fight grey mobs.

 

 

Tue Mar 06 2012 4:34PM Report
Krasnij writes:

Your blog hits the spot right on , and regarding journalism in general i have to agree that not every bit of article we may read about MMOs is true.

In Truth take a look at journalism as it is. A journalist is a writer , not a gamer, and the money he gets from for his article . is not from gamer, it comes from his employer which could be the publisher, developer or any gaming site.

 

We gamer understand the difference between good and poor graphics, bad UI unbalanced PVP and so on, because we have the experience and the commitement to our hobby. the journalist doesnt and thats where the bad information comes from. for someone who never played a mmo, SWTOR is fresh new and groundbraking.

 

the best source of information regarding a game comes from the gamer. Blogs and user reviews arent that well written. but hell if i read 4 user reviews, i get more real information then in 10 journalist articles about a game with nice pictures...

 

thats why keep on blogging! and share your opinions about games! 

Wed Mar 07 2012 3:03AM Report
mstrsrevati writes:

I'm an advid Star Wars lover.  Been so since I saw the orginal in the movies in 1977.  I played SWG for years and all I can say is, that  game had more variety from day one then SWTOR does.  I beta tested SWTOR was excited about it, but then learned no housing, no customized clothing (all armor is the same for the classes) , your crew do your crafting, *yawn* , I still bought the game hoping beyond hope I would start to love it more and more.  I don't, I cancelled my subscription as of this month 3/21 my account closes.  I haven't played for days and my highest character is only 16, that's how bored I was with it.  I don't know I don't like fighting and running constantly, I like to do other things and am definetly more the crafting/rp type. 

In SWG I was a well known rp tailor, dancer , and yes Jedi (not the NGE one, the village quests) I worked my buttt off for that.   Loved it, loved my  EMpire walker , played both sides. I was expecting alot more of that then just doing a storyline quest with bosses and raids, and of course PVP at the end  and that is where you stay....least that's what I see.  Maybe in a few years if it makes it they will add more and I'd go back but for now, I can play a free mmo quest game that's about the same as SWTOR which saddens me.  I  really expected so much more.

Wed Mar 07 2012 7:59AM Report
DinesenDK writes:

I agree to the industry being "in bed" with the press, I have no crystal ball, but do love the star wars universe. No I'm not biased - I was dissapointed - I still am Yet Im still playing, call it hope. This game is young let it grow and judge it more fairly in a year. We as a consumer are so used to polished games, and picky that we sometimes forget how long it took before these games got polished and to be "working as intended". Enjoy the game as it is or leave it alone - your pocketbook rules the industry more then your flames on the forums - use it wisely. :)

Last thing: another forum post de-railed - It made me lol.

 

 

 

Wed Mar 07 2012 2:56PM Report
pcolapat writes:

It is a safe bet when you predict the failure of an MMO, most of them flop. SWTOR will not fail though. It has a lot of improving to do as all new MMOs do, but it has a great game development company behind it, and a huge fanbase. This game will be around and strong for a long time.

Thu Mar 08 2012 11:30AM Report
darkehawke writes:

As an avid star wars fan, tor was a huge disappointment. The lore was ripped to pieces to suit bioware. The game is bland and obviously inspired by the awful clone war tv series. The story is shallow boring and predictable. I still play because I have hope, but the only true star wars mmo was SWG. This is just an average sci first mmo with Lightsabers and dodgy acting

Thu Mar 08 2012 7:04PM Report
zephermarkus writes:

She is just some ugly bitter bitch let her be swtor is here to stay like it or not people like easy casual games and thats what sells as u can see buy the sheer number of Call of Duty: copy and paste sells.

Fri Mar 09 2012 2:25AM Report
alkarionlog writes:

@zephermarkus

and you are a some ugly bitch fanboy  who can't stand no one saying anything bad(even if its the truth) about you new love

 

see what I did there?

 

move on kid, and its not the people who like casual games, its the new batch of kids who only use his brain is to find a pick up line to hit a girl and even so fails...

 

and please call of duty is garbage, you could say it was good on his first or 2nd not like now we have like cod 15 pay 100 for a new skin for this rifle.

Fri Mar 09 2012 8:41AM Report
teakbois writes:

Of course SWTOR has a chance at 1M long term subs.  We don't know how will they will go about fixing what needs fixed, and we will have a better understanding of that after 1.2.  If 1.2 is a good patch, SWTOR has a chance.   Dont underestimate the power of Star Wars.  People will play a competent game just because its Star Wars.

Fri Mar 09 2012 3:23PM Report
tuzalov writes:

All people had to do was listen to the Alpha and Beta testers who summed it up concisely over and over,when a company fails to address the issues of their testers you know there is a problem.They ran out of money and time plain and simple,if they can release an expansion that adds some depth to the game and addresses the poor pvp and lack of eg content they might have a chance at those numbers.As the game stands now they don't have a chance in hell of holding 1m players.

Imo the only thing keeping this ship afloat is the fact it's Star Wars had STO been named anything but StarTrek it would of been DOA.

Fri Mar 09 2012 8:57PM Report
Jumdor writes:

I think the only reason they do that is because if you got honest opinions like yours on every game that came out as far as ratings are concerned you wouldn't see many a game get passed 5 out of 10 in a long time. That isn't saying you don't have many varying types of opinions. That is just saying that I feel a minority judge it based on the hype and getting a little pocket cushioning in the form of cash to buff their ratings. While the rest of the crap people are shoveling comes from their own deluded concept of fanboism and the slim slim tiny itty bitty hope that the next game will actually rock instead of just suck up about a week to two on their gaming schedule. I would like to see an honest scale from those reviewers of how long they actually played the game after giving a rating of that over blown quality. =) 

On this game I really can't give an opinion cause I don't see the point in spending money on something I wasn't liking the looks of when I first saw the shots for it. To those who enjoyed or still enjoy it I say continue on enjoying. I'll personally wait till they have a free sample and taste it and judge from there. May everyone have the gaming experience they truly desire, but don't hold your breath till you do. I know if I had I would be posting this from a coffin. 

Sat Mar 10 2012 2:34AM Report
fenistil writes:

While I don't play TOR and I am also quite negative about gaming press (they care about their own interest that's obvious) ,but hmm I think Swotr might actually lurk around 1 mil , maybe 700-800 k. 

Sun Mar 11 2012 7:12AM Report
JoeyMMO writes: When you 'only' mispredict WoW (and Vanguard) and that turns out to become the 800 pound gorilla in MMO country, then you're not doing all that great without your magic crystal ball. It's like managing to avoid getting hit by a bunch of toddlers on the sidewalk and 'only' being run over by a tank and still thinking you're doing great. Sun Mar 11 2012 10:58AM Report
Purutzil writes:

People really seem blind. Sure, you 'predicting' is a bold statement, but it doesn't change the fact that the gaming press is by far not on our side. They get funded by those companies and as such they are easily persuaded.

 

My adice? Try it yourself and make your own judgement. Heck, a game might even be lack luster to most who really critic a game and still you might greatly enjoy it.  I am avid on looking over games critically and I still can find enjoyment out of games that aren't all that spectacular.

Sun Mar 11 2012 9:19PM Report
Suraknar writes:

1 million subs is nothing in todays Internet. A good game today would have 15 million subs.

I would not be surprised even if Tor Had 2 million subs it still does not say that it is a great game for all to be playing because there are Billions of people on the Internet today...

The pool of available Players is much larger so the minimum you can have as a new AAA Game is very realistically within the 1 million range.

But the real question is, how many ,more people could it have had if...

 

Sun Apr 01 2012 1:20PM Report
Acidon writes: I miss Asheron's Call 2 (pre-crafting revamp). That is all. Tue May 08 2012 10:57PM Report

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