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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

Who wants Star Wars: the Old Republic to succeed? Raise your hand.

Posted by Teala Monday December 19 2011 at 9:55PM
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So I am going to break my own rule I made on this game.  I said I was only ever going to write two entries on this game...well it seems that will not be the case.   The game is too important for "me" as a gamer.  

Any gamer that is in love with MMO's knows that we've had a string of themepark games that have not been all that great, and despite what some of you may say about me, you are dead wrong if you think I hate SW:ToR.   So many times I have been called a hater of MMO's it isn't even funny any more.   It is just stupid.  I do not hate MMO's, I love MMO's, I wouldn't have kept playing them over the years if I hated them so much.  Granted I don't jump on the hype bandwagon with each new release of an MMO...but there is a reason for that.

No I do not hate MMO's, what you take as hate, I call disappointment and frustration.   Do I hate MMO's - no.   I am just so disappointed and frustrated with the current mess this genre is in and it is in this mess because someone, somewhere, decided that because World of Warcraft was such a success -well then all games must be made like WoW.  

Did you know that back in 2003 I wrote a review about World of Warcraft and gave it a rating of 4 out of 10.  I admit I missed that one...I was way off base with WoW, but then again WoW at launch wasn’t the game it is today.  Plus, WoW had 4 million built in fans, those fans were Blizzard game fans that loved the game Diablo..so bad on me for not seeing that one coming.



Anyway, I beta'd that game and I so disliked it.   I saw it taking this genre backward...away from the direction I thought the games should have been going.    I was looking for a game that gave me a world of freedom.   I was looking for a new Asheron's Call.   I have been searching ever since, and you know it is sad, I am not here to say that Asheron's Call was the perfect MMORPG...because it wasn't; it was still missing something.   I knew what it was missing, but seeing that I was just a player, I also knew that I would never be able to get the developers to listen to anything I said.   I tried...I tried really hard.   I use to go to the suggestions forum over on IGN(back then AC didn't have official forums and IGN became the defacto game website for AC).   I saw such a huge potential in the game and what it could be.   It had the world all ready, we players just need more tools of our own to make the game world ours.  

See...that is why I am so frustrated and disappointed.   Even with games like WoW, because these game companies say this is your game, this is your world, come play in it.  All lies.   It is not our world.  It is their world and we players are just little puppets on a string.

The only game right now that allows players almost total freedom is EVE, but EVE is all about space ships and as I have said in previous post about EVE, I will not play that game any more until avatar/character game play is as important as space ships.  I fought to like that game, I really did, but it was just...I mean, if the game is not about my character than I have nothing to keep me playing.   Some think space ships are the cats meow...they are to a point, but let me ask you this.  What is the Millenium Falcon without Han Solo?  What is Serenity without Malcom Reynolds?  See...it takes the human factor to make space ships work.  How can I possibly relate to a hunk of metal?   I can't.   I can relate to a character, that owns a ship, but I cannot relate to the ship unless there is a character that pilots it.   The attempt by CCP to give us avatars was a nice attempt...the fact that they pulled the plug on it and are relegating avatars to a closet and then calling it "walking in stations" - well that is a joke.  



The old Star Wars Galaxies was a good game pre-CU and NGE.   No it didn’t bring in millions of players - but who the hell cares.  Back then to have 350k+ paying subscribers was better than nothing.   Todays recent releases would kill to maintain 350+ paying subs.   Be that as it may, I’ve gone over this territory before - no need to go over it again.  SWG was a good game, it was far from perfect, but it delivered what it promised at first...it gave us the Star Wars Universe and allowed us freedom.   

But I digress, what I am saying is, we need to get back to allowing players some freedom.  These games anymore, are taking away any freedom we players once had almost completely.   Look at the recently released games.  Can you see a pattern?  They are becoming more and more themepark, literally themepark, I am talking riding rails on a train, you are sitting in your seat and can look out the window...you're there for the ride only, you cannot get off and explore, you are merely a passenger and the parks train director has all ready planned your itinerary.   Seriously...go look at most new AAA games since the release of World of Warcraft.    You as a player are given less and less freedom.   There are fewer starting zones.  Hell in 1999  the game of Asheron's Call was released and we the players picked our starting city and area based on our race.   We were not forced to start in a particular "zone".   We had the choice of where we started.   How cool is that?

Now, you the player do not even get the choice, you must start here, and you must go here and do this,  and then this, and then this, and then that.   It is like I said, you have a guide.   This guide/director will tell you what to do, when to do it, when you can do the next thing and the next thing, oh and then you can have lunch, then we'll go see the tigers, then the giraffes.    Get it.

No?

Games like Rift and SW:ToR are those train rides through the themepark.   They are more restrictive than ever.   If you say they are not, you are not doing anyone any favors(especially potential players) by not admitting this is how these games are - because short of the developer playing the game for you - it doesn't get any linear than these two games.  SW:ToR is the worst offender of this than any game I have ever played.   It mainly has to do with the pre-built class stories the player "must" follow.   Do not say you do not have to follow them...you cannot gain enough exp by grinding mobs and doing side quest to stay up with your guild mates if you skip the storyline driven class quest that your class is written around.   It is truly sad that Bioware took this route and removed the one thing that made MMORPG's good - we players could make our characters and our own stories as we went along - we didn't need a pre-made story to get us to play the game.  The game and the world the game was built around was all we needed to enjoy the game - the world was the game!

Even World of Warcraft gave you more freedom than Aion, Rift, Warhammer, LoTR's; and SW:ToR makes World of  Warcraft look like a frikking sandbox game!   I am not kidding.    Like I said if SW:ToR was any tighter on the reigns of the player the developer would be playing your character for you!

It is too late to change the way the game SW:ToR plays from 1-50.   It is what it is.   No matter, what you as a player wish to do, you will have to grind your way through a lot of dialogue and  stories(that have no impact on the game or the world you are playing in - at all) to get to anything that resembles a game where you are allowed some freedom at level 50.   Don't give me this crap that the story is the game.  I am sorry, I did not choose to play a Jedi Consular to go do some arbitrary task that any other padawan could have easily accomplish.   Now do not take what I just said as slamming the story driven questline system Bioware has put in place.  To the contrary I think their VO’s for quest are awesome...but does it have to be so linear and some so silly and badly written?  You say we’re suppose to be heroes of our own story, yet you force us to do silly, lowly quest that any nearby peon should be doing.   I do not think a Jedi is to high and mighty to clean toilets, but to have to clean toilet after toilet...please.   If I wanted to be the hero of cleaning toilets I’d would have asked you to put in a janitorial class.  Do you get what I am saying here?   

Why not put lots of VO’d quest throughout the world and let us players pick and choose the ones we wish to do rather than force us to play along a singular path down a follow the yellow brick road story of their making, instead of one we the players make as we play the game?

Worked great in a game like Skyrim.   Please do not tell me we can’t have similar game play in MMO’s - that argument is so yesterday.   I refuse to believe that a game like SW:ToR cannot be more open.   Why not open up and put more world, into the worlds, and give us more freedom of choice?  What is wrong with random encounters as well?  Oh wait, we cannot have those because the way you built your linear boxed in worlds that would be impossible - as the game is now.   Open up your worlds in the future(should have been in at release, but oh well, later is better than never).  Add more landmass to them...then you will be able to add random encounters.    One thing many of these games are missing is simple random encounters that come out of nowhere.   You find a set of ruins off the side of the road.  You explore it a bit and walk around the end of a wall and there is a robber thief with his three cohorts - weapons drawn - confronting you.   That will only happen to a player that randomly at that give n time spawned the group simply by going off the beaten path - this time.  Next time another play may not encounter anything.   See how that works.  Simple.   It is done in other games and computer based RPG’s since forever - yet this genre we do not see this.  Why?  It’s not like it can’t be done.  Does everything have to be a hard placed MOB?  It will always be there, day, night, every hour on the hour and never move.   To me that is just bad game design.  Themeparks do not have to be so stagnate and unchanging.   You can still have your themepark game - but put it into a semi-living world.   Going to say once again for a themepark game SW:ToR isn’t even half-the game WoW is in this area and WoW is the game everyone rags on and yet people are like SW:ToR is the greatest MMO we’ve ever seen!  No it is not...there is more “life” in the Barrens then you see in all of Tython, Korriban, hell just throw in all the worlds of SW:ToR for that matter - the Barrens in WoW makes all those worlds seem boring and lifeless.

So please Bioware - work on the atmosphere of these worlds and make them more lively, instead of placing 3 or 4 mob groups strategically all over the place in close proximity to one another - just waiting for a player to come through the area to whack on them...have them patrolling or at least behaving as if they are performing a duty.   As it is now, most mobs stand and wait.  I know this is how themepark games are currently made...my question is why?  Why do these “worlds” have to be so damn stagnate to the point of silly.   Open the worlds up!  Spread things out...give us a world/s that are not so - like someone said in a forum post - they are like dioramas.  We the players are merely running through a diorama - there is no world.   Is it to much to ask for a world?   Even Rift had critters! Badly animated critters and ugly critters - SW:ToR has none of this.   Why?  I watched various video interviews given by the people creating the worlds and settings of SW:ToR and time, after time they kept saying how their worlds would be the most engrossing aspects of this game, and how each world is lovingly detailed and created to help immerse the player into the Star Wars: Old Republic Universe.   After my time in game I ask - where was this done?   They are lifeless dead worlds.  I swear there are places you can just stop and listen and hear absolutely - nothing.   There are no ambient sounds.  No wind blowing. No fog.  No night and day cycles.  No little creatures flitting about or crawling on the ground, in the trees - nothing.   How is that immersive? How is that type of atmosphere suppose to convey any kind of world feeling?   

NPC’s for the most part are just mannequins.   They either stand there and do nothing or they move a bit and then do nothing.   Make them move!  People say SW:ToR has moved this genre forward...no it hasn’t!  It has taken it backwards.   If we as gamers allow the developers to pass this off as an immersive gaming experience and worlds, we’re not helping this genre move forward - we’re helping game companies like Bioware take it backwards!  Where are the worlds you said we would see that would amaze and captivate us like no other game on the market?   I’d be scared to see these guys make the world of Dagobah.  With it’s thick jungle setting, critters and creatures, everywhere you look, with ambient sounds of the wild in the background.   Please...never build that planet Dagobah Bioware world builders...because based on your view of what you think of as an immersive world - we’d get a jungle that was more like a lifeless desert set in a vacuum(to keep us from hearing anything).  That would make Yoda sad, his home it is.  :)



MOB’s are the same way...dead.    In fact you can kill three MOB’s and yet their buddies, not more than five meters away stand there and act as if nothing is happening!  Dude...I am slaughtering your comrades, your friends, your buddies, your cohorts and all you do is stand there and pick your nose?  Seriously.

Jeez, I am sick of this type of game play.   How to fix this.  Spread them out.  Oh wait, that means we have to have bigger worlds.   Should have thought about that before you made everything so linear and on rails - your worlds need to be bigger and more open so that we’ve got room to have a world Bioware.   Sad, this game could be awesome!  Instead you do like everyone else and play it safe and make your game so frustratingly bad by following a badly modeled ideal that MMORPG’s were meant to be an arcade side scrolling game.  Might as well be with the way this game plays most of the time.  Guys it is 2011.  

Anyway, if you spread things out it wouldn’t be so un-immersive  - I can only suspend my disbelief so far Bioware with how you have it now.   I am sorry my brain doesn’t accept the garbage you try to pass off as a good game.   Anyway, how to fix it - suggestion.   Put some actual scripts into what your MOB’s will do, and how they will react, when attacked.   If I as a Jedi starts swinging a lightsaber the MOB/s I am not immediately attacking should scatter, and get distance from my character...my character is a frikking Jedi with a lightsaber!  If they are ranged they should be running and gunning, or getting behind cover.   Funny, when I am playing Skyrim I see archer based MOB’s do exactly what I just described when their group is attacked.   They will kite, dodge, shoot, move, shoot again...dodge, move, weave and shoot again...go for cover from time to time.   That is called scripting.  Like in the game Mount and Blade...you pull a bow and if the enemy has a shield they will throw it up, and slowly make their way toward you, keeping the shield up the whole time to keep my arrows from hitting them.   That is called scripting.  A small husband and wife team over in Turkey created the game Mount and Blade and you are going to tell me that two people managed to do something like that and your whole developer team in charge of creature or MOB design, and how they behaved, could not do as well as those two people?   All you delivered in SW:ToR was dead MOBs that will stand in one spot and let a player whack on them.  Seriously...is that the best you can do?  I’ve seen better reaction from MOB’s in games 10 years old compared to what we see from the MOB’s in SW:ToR.  This needs worked on - a lot.   Please work on this and make the game actually challenging.

One thing that I do not understand is why you are not taking advantage of this games main theme.  That being the struggle for supremacy between the Jedi and Sith.   This is, in essence, the whole underlying premise of the Star Wars Universe, good versus evil, but on a galactic scale.   Granted there is lore tied to the game...but from what I can tell there is a couple of thousands years between the time of the old Republic and the rise of the Empire during Emporer Palpatines reign.   Sure we know the outcome after Vader kills the Emporer...but before that, in between the time of the setting of SW:ToR, and the return of the Sith...there is room to do some interesting things.   

Why not allow players to actually fight the battle of Jedi vs Sith in SW:ToR the old Republic.  You have this great opportunity to add a layer of game play that few games offer.   Allow players to become a part of the ongoing struggle of Jedi vs Sith.    How do you do this?  Give players the ability and tools to partake in the struggle.   Players could participate via many different ways and contribute to their sides ability to wage war on their foes.

For instance, the Republic needs arms and ammo.  Allow players to gather resources, build guns and ammo, that is then “smuggled” to the places that need it.    Add more planets with territory players can take and control.    Doesn’t even have to be straight up PvP, it can be done in a PvE type setting as well.   The more the players participate in helping their side when the war the greater the chance the have of benefiting from it.   Like in the game SW Battlefront, there is a campaign mode.   Why not allow players to look at a galactic map, see what worlds are controlled by what faction and then let players compete for control over them.  Doesn’t have to be over complicated, just something, anything that can invoke a sense of having worth in your game.   Give out titles according to how much a player contributes to the war effort.  Give EXP bonuses.   Give stat boost.   Just use a little imagination and you can see just how deep and awesome this can be and give players a great opportunity to do more than just raid and run the same Hutte Ball game over and over again.   This will actually give them a purpose, other than just hitting 50 and asking  - what next?   There is a next...help take that planet from the Sith!   There is a war to fight!  The struggle of Sith vs the Republic actually has a meaning to it and is more than just a fake backdrop and would allow players to - wait for it...become “heroes!”      

Few last things before I go.  Work on your UI it sucks.  Best I can do.  It sucks.  Fix it.  Or give people the ability to allow us to customize it.  Thanks in advance.

Add more clothing options.  When a browser based flashed game gives players more options to customize their character than a AAA MMO - something is terribly wrong.   In fact there is more hair, face, and clothing options in Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures than players get in SW:ToR - how sad is that?

Also, fix your space game.  It is terrible.  No really it is terrible.   I think you ripped off Star Wars Clone Wars Adventures Starfighter game...sadly the Starfighter game in Clone Wars adventures is more challenging.   That is just bad.



It is also bad when a browser based game like Clone Wars actually allows players to customize the interior of the houses.   No kidding!  I am not joking, even the starter padawan quarters(there are lots of different quarters and houses players can get or even build on empty lots!) allows players to add furniture, plants, paintings, all kinds of furnishings...can you do that in SW:ToR(your ship)?  What about adding trophies?  Unique items one collects?  It’s amazing a simple browser game is deeper and offers more options than an AAA title.   That is so wrong it isn’t even funny...it is sad.

Sad when a browser based game has more mini-games than a AAA MMO, that are more enjoyable to play than most of the AAA title game!  It has speeder racing.   Saber Dueling - with an interesting twist.    And other things that can break the monotony of quest grinding.   You could, for SW:ToR, even actually incorperate mini-type games into actual game play.   Like in Skyrim, picking locks is a mini-game, catching butterflies is a mini-game...in other words...add more depth and deminsion to your game - it is boring.

Am I hating on SW:ToR?

No...I am not.  I am disappointed and frustrated that such a great IP was made into a half-baked, poorly executed MMO.   That is why I am upset.   That is what sinks my ship.   I wanted to sail on that ship...but noooo, instead, I am, once again here writing in my blog about another game that tries to pass itself off as a good game.  I do not care if you do make it a themepark based game - I play WoW...I love WOW...I love MMO’s, but...

...the least you could have done was made it as “good” as WoW, and given us a good themepark game, instead we got a diorama game, filled with dead, stagnate worlds, with mindless MOB’s and NPC’s.   I am not asking too much.  I am only asking that you deliver what you promised, and so far I am not seeing it.    It is sad that one of the most beloved IP’s is relegated to such a badly made, un-immersive game, when it should be just the opposite!  It’s Star Wars!



I’ll give you time to fix the things that needs fixed, until then, I’ll save my money, and wait, and hope your game doesn’t start merging servers before the end of the year; because they have turned into virtual ghost towns.   I want to play your game...I really do.   I mean...it is Star Wars!  Jedi’s, Storm Troopers errrmmm Republic Troopers, Sith Lords, Smugglers,  the works - one of the coolest sci-fi settings ever imagined.  

 

So I ask...who wants Star Wars: the Old Republic to succeed? Raise your hand.
 

Kristi raises her hand. 

MadnessRealm writes:

Let's not forget the MASSIVE amount of money that was poured into the development of STWOR.

 

Great post nonetheless. MMOs have continously regressed over the years, and single player games are slowly becoming more and more appealing, despite the obvious lack of other players to enjoy the adventure with.

The last MMO that, as far as I can remember, tried to introduced a better scripted AI was Chronicles Of Spellborn, sadly we all know how the game turned out (admittedly for other reasons). Still, I hope for developers to someday leave this vicious circle that has "ruined" several MMOs.

 

To claim that the current technologies does not allow it would be ludicrous, and even in the off-chance where it does not exist, CREATE IT!  Isn't that how everything in the computer industry has worked thus far? Isn't that why now we have better tools to program rather than having to code in Assembly? Why "new" technologies are continously being improved to enhance the exprience (from the Wiimote to the Kinect for example). Despite all of that, the better and more accessible technologies and hardware, the MMO industry has continously regressed over the years (with barely a few exceptions).

 

It is truly the shame of the whole computer industry. SWTOR simply being the latest cherry on the sunday. I'll be sticking to Skyrim for quite a while longer.

Mon Dec 19 2011 11:06PM Report
MurlockDance writes:

I haven't read everything, but I guess the general gyst is that you wish ToR where more like the old SWG except probably without flaws and with more polish. I agree with you on that. SWG in the old days had freedom... you could pick and choose your skillsets, you didn't have to master any of them, and most of the game was about experiencing the world and playing player-made communities. I mean heck, players could build cities and become politicians who ran things. That was really cool!

 

I doubt that ToR will change to become more sandboxy. I think we can safely say that it just won't happen.

To be honest with you, I don't care if ToR succeeds or not, so not going to raise my hand. It is just another extremely bloated themepark in an industry full of themeparks.

 

Tue Dec 20 2011 2:35AM Report
colwynb2k writes:

In my opinion the OP is 100% right. I love SW, but I got bored and frustrated out of my mind after 30 minutes of open beta.

I doesn't have to be like the old SWG at all, but the game is way too linear and boring. I too felt like a great Jedi padawan having to do coffee runs or something. The storyline sure makes it more immersive, but the result of it was that I had developed a sense of duty as a Jedi and would only do the class quests as my master instructed me to do them. I didn't feel like losing time killing or gathering merely to gain xp? That is metagaming at its best! So I ended up being too low level to continue the heroic storyline plotted out by Bioware.

SW:ToR is a single player game (like KoToR) forced into a MMO jacket. I have tested quite a few games now and still say that Mortal Online showed the most promise but it was/is so buggy that I couldn't bring myself to continue playing.

Tue Dec 20 2011 5:45AM Report
Ares767 writes:

I'm glad someone other than me has been noticing the major flaws in mmo's following wow, which i too disliked with a passion.  A lot of hate because it stole many members from anarchy online, which was my mmorpg, but because the community was entirely too immature and the skins/models were made for children.  I did not read your whole post, but i did not see anything written about the lack of character customization or stats.  Recently, the number of stats players can raise has dumbed down to about 4, and character creation is down to about 4-8 faces/bodies and w/e else someone feels like adding to make people think they are making their own character.  I have read that people love things to be simple to understand, but dumbing this is dumbing games down a bit too much.  It seriously feels like I'm playing the same game with the same stats and same character creation but different skins/models, which I know people say often, and many just blow it off as a rage or "trolling", a word i hate to use, but it is simply my opinion.

I've played mmos for like 10-12 years now but the way mmos have been heading over the past few years, my passion for mmos is dying if not almost already dead.

Unfortunately, SW:TOR followed the same flow as recent games and just disappointed me, and even saddened me.  I was expecting a great and enjoyable game to play for a while and have been trying to find 1 that catches my fancy, but this one also missed the mark by a large margin.

Taela, I'm in the same boat as you from what I've read of your post, I just hope that someone does something new, innovative and amazing with the genre soon or my love for it will just die altogether.....

Little fact I picked up about recent mmos:  mmo's start at around $50-$60 to buy, but after about 3months-6months they are down about $20 if not down to $20 altogether...and after a year it only gets worse.

Tue Dec 20 2011 5:50AM Report
garry writes:

Lets see - you love MMOs but have disappointment and contempt for all the MMOs out there. No game is satisfactory, no developer will listen to you, no player is competent who disagrees with you, no programming or content is satisfactory.

 

An interesting blog. Really feel bad for you that nothing makes you happy. With your self-abrogated superiority to all those companies and their employees and fans it must feel terrible to sit on the sidelines and throw rocks. Why oh why won't they just stop and listen to you!

 

I enjoy MMOs and online gaming. All seem to have different elements and are themepark or sandbox or hybrid for a reason. That reason differs from company to company and from fanbase to fanbase. It is unfortunate that none seem to fit your playstyle, including SWTOR.

 

I preordered and am now a subscriber to SWTOR and enjoying it. I do not concentrate on those thing I might not like as much as I simply have fun with those things I do like. I will also buy and play GW2 because I enjoy fantasy and I got a little bored with WOW after 5 years. Still like it, just want to try something new. Really looking forward to TSW, not because it is something new but because it seems to offer something different in theme and playstyle. Those three will be my game group for the coming year and I believe they are a great set of choices.

 

I must admit that I am curious about something. Do you have a problem with books? Books have nothing but storyline and are total themepark design, you as a reader have no input or control whatsoever. Follow the story or else. I love books (have a few thousand in my personal library) and I also love MMOs (have four on my computer - will soon have 6). I guess I am just lucky. Haven't felt the need to denigrate the industry, companies, devs or players to fill a psychological or blogjob void.

 

I wish you luck and maybe one of the upcoming games (listed here on MMORPG) will fill your needs. I truly hope so cause you sound so depressed. Best of luck!

Tue Dec 20 2011 10:47AM Report
hayes303 writes:

I think specifically on this forum, people tend to think the veiw of the hardcore who frequent this and other gaming forums represent the majority of the gamers out there. 

This is not the case. BioWare didn't lie to anyone, this game is pretty much exactly what BioWare said it would be back in 08. They don't owe the genre anything, they don't owe the players anything. If you don't like it, vote with your wallet and don't play. I can't understand why people keep coming back and making these passionate pleas for someone to inject sanity into the genre and do what they want.

I hate modern warfare, so I didn't buy. You feel disappointed by this, don't buy it. If you are right then it will be a mott point as the game will fail and serve as a example to other devs that this game design doesn't work. 

If it suceeds longterm, they you are not neccessarily wrong, but your opinion is proven to be the minority. The love/hate for this game is like a political campaign. I feel like there should be a vote to decide the fate of the game within the next few weeks (in a way there is, if people sub long term we vote yes, if they don't the game dies and its a no).

 

 

Tue Dec 20 2011 2:25PM Report
maxhyde writes:

I agree with you 100%.

Gaming development used to be somewhat creative.  Now it is taking a proven concept and altering it to capitalize.  A few changes here and there but nothing too innovative or well thought out.

I like MMO's and will play them but they are quite boring after a few months.  Taking alt's through the same path with different skills doesn't really make it a different game to me so I have to agree.  Make it make sense.  Give it some life.  Let me not follow your plotted story and still level and grow my character.  Or give me options along the way to change the end.

I sub to games because I see some potential. I stop when I believe I won't benefit with new content often enough to be interested.

I think you are right SW:TOR will be nowhere near 3M subs in a year.  With Secret World and Guild Wars2 on the way next year I dont see any way SW:TOR keeps most people for a year unless the majority buy a year sub

Tue Dec 20 2011 4:19PM Report
daltanious writes:

My first impression after first day of game play is extremly positive. Now have 3 toys to choose between: wow, rift, swtor. :-)))

Wed Dec 21 2011 6:07AM Report
Classicstar writes:

The ammount of attention you gave to this game is staggering. Some how i serieusly doub your motives you realy love themeparks but most are so dumb and rediculous that for me i realy dont give shit about themeparks. Im also a gamer 100% but i wont spent alot of energy trying to change developers/gamers there minds how a themepark should be. If you love Sandbox(i also doub this) Mount&Blade or Skyrim, why you constantly trying to convince others you love themeparks but hate them becouse there CRAP. This nice blog you wrote here again shows how true you are that TOR is a bullshit themepark for the MASSES and lack everything you seems to love including most sandbox gamers thats also reason why i dont play WoW or TOR or all the craploads of themeparks out there THERE NOT WORTH IT get that through your ... well you know what i mean, its a waste of energey. TOR will never have huge realistic open worlds and clever scripted mobs NEVER. the casual gamers from 6 to 80 years old wanne play this game and EABIOWARE wanne make $$$ and with the changes you want game will fail this not what AVARGE JOE or INGRID wants GET IT?

Still nice read hehe.

Wed Dec 21 2011 11:21AM Report
Classicstar writes:

@hayes303

Very well said.

I also belong to that minority but i realy don't spent any $/ € on themeparks or casual games i don't like.

Btw i never believe you can love with a passion themeparks and sandbox at same time thats just not posible its like im religious but also love atheist lol thats just not posible.

Wed Dec 21 2011 11:33AM Report
Valgar1 writes:

Great post,

but i will say you/we are in the minority is why. They are going to make there money on this because 80% of players want there hands held and only a small few like the EvE and even the old EQ way of playing an MMO.  It all always comes down to $.

Wed Dec 21 2011 4:29PM Report
headphones writes:

i'd love to raise my hand, but bw/ea don't like me and won't let me play their game. so it's a big meh to me.

Wed Dec 21 2011 7:45PM Report
Yamota writes:

 

As always, Teala, your blog entries are awesome. Agree with you 100%. So i wont be raising my hand, I hope SW:TOR will be an epic fail because it brings this genre backwards in so many ways.

Thu Dec 22 2011 8:09AM Report
teakbois writes:

One thing often overlooked underneath the VO/Story aspect, and also overlooked by the linearity aspect:

SWTOR combat is FUN.  Mobs are dumb as Teala pointed out, but the combat itself is as solid as anything in the WoW/Rift/SWTOR mode.

The fact that they got this right, opens up all kinds of possibilities for Bioware, if they choose it.  Keep the linear 'main path'.  But a game set in space has an advantage games like WoW don't have:  They can add new game play areas at will and not have to explain shit.  No lost continents or secret islands.  Just a moon to explore.

So make side planets.  You dont have to make these quest heavy, keep the voice acting out of it for the sake of easier development.  let the combat take front and center.  Dont point people there, just let people discover them on their galaxy map.

 

These planets can be dangerous so groups are required, but have tons of resources for crafters.  they can be part of an epic questline (make one big VO scene to launch the quest, and track the rest through the bonus mission style tracking if you must).  They can be whatever Bioware can imagine them to be.

 

Bioware got enough right that they can now focus on making this a game for almost everyone.

Thu Dec 22 2011 12:25PM Report
Classicstar writes:

@teakbois Sorry but this will never happen mark my words this game stays as it is with some small adjustments thats it. Its casual hold hand game they won't change shit not even a new planet with different rules its wishfull thinking hehe.

Thu Dec 22 2011 5:03PM Report
shadowbound writes:

The hype over SWTOR was kinda ridiculous and I knew all along that the game would come out as a bland,generic mmo wearing a star wars t-shirt. So i will not be buying SWTOR and instead i'll be waiting for the release of GW2.

Thu Dec 22 2011 7:29PM Report
Thorqemada writes:

SWTOR does 2 things right:

VO-Questing is much more entertaining than Rift-like textboxes.

Companions - i allways like pet classes for the potential diversity of gameplay and companions make a step further.

Now, i want a Fantasy game and my Necromance real Necrompanions - thieved form a graveyard, or a dungeon (and no fucking sweet elves and hobbits only if i can kick them like soccer balls).

I like the UI - it has anything and i am not forced to downlaod modded crap form insecure sites.

 

The rest of the game - its an interactive movie with coop play - but eventually you leave the cinema when the movie ends.

Fri Dec 23 2011 10:24AM Report
moosecatlol writes:

I would prefer that games that base their design elements around world of warcraft not succeed, as to not reinforce the notion that all mmo's need to be wow clones in order to be successful.

 

I would also love for people to not support anything related to EA, just as you wouldn't support any other company that threatens the very internet that you hold so dear.

Fri Dec 23 2011 1:10PM Report
helthros writes:

Stopped reading after your explanation for not liking EVE. People like you are precisely the carrot-on-a-stick system prevails throughout most games these days.

 

In EVE you're not a ship, you're an entity. You will have a collection of ships, sometimes scattered throughout the vast space available.

 

The game is just as much about your character as any other game, if not more. Why? Because it's 1 server, everyone plays together, and there are no name-changes.

Based on your evaluation of character progression in EVE, I'm inclined to believe that your desire for "being about yuor character" is with silly little pixel armor and being able to hover your mouse over a certain item to tell yourself how cool you are.

Fri Dec 23 2011 7:42PM Report
Silax writes:

Bioware made a good clean game that is fun for the +million people that decided to buy and sub to the game in less than 3 days.  They have revolutionized gameplay by putting the idea of RPG back into the genre and employing a sizable portion of hollywood actors and actresses.  They have demostrated how to launch smoothly, fixing problems as they appear and responding to costumer complaints.

Yet, you berate them because they didn't make the game you wanted?  You've been at this for almost a decade if you reviewed WoW and played these other titles.  It doesn't sound like you liked any of them from your list of complaints.  Why is it that you bother?

Do you go out and buy a car constantly wishing that it was a different model with the specifications and style that you really wanted but cannot find because those evil car manufacturers don't listen to you?  Do you go on a road trip with your friends and complain the whole time because it's not the car you wanted to drive in?  How about you stop for a moment and realize that the experience that you have in a game has very little to do with the game itself and much more to do with you and whoever else you play with.

Bioware did a really good job making the game that they told you they were creating.  If you don't like the game, don't play it.  Shoot, I don't like Brittney Spears, Jay Z, or the Rolling Stones, but even I have to acknowledge the fact that they seem to provide a quality experience to those who enjoy them.  Telling people that Bioware failed because they didn't make the game more of a sandbox is like saying "You know, I really hate Snoop Dogg, but I'd love him if he just sang more Country."

If anything, Teala, (and I think I speak for many that usually skip your comments when I see your picture in a thread) get over it.  What you want doesn't exist and with your list of requirements probably never will.

Sat Dec 24 2011 1:48PM Report
Teala writes:

Silax,

First, thanks for posting to my blog.  As for what I said about the game, I stand by what I said.   If you have issues with my criticism of those aspect of the game I address...how about instead of attacking me, you address the points I brought up and explain why they are the way they are in game.

I think not having a customizable UI is not good for this game.  I think having stagnate worlds that are lifeless is bad for this game.  I think the space game was poorly done and just taked on.  I think not having an auto-attack really messes up the combat system and instead makes it very clunky feeling and unresponsive(as do many, many, many others - go read the official message boards under PvP).  Where are the high-res graphics? I think Bioware missed the boat on many little things that could have made this game above average.  As it is now it is average at best.  I gave the game a 5/10 rating, I would have loved to give it a higher rating...but until Bioware fixes their game to me it will never be anything other than average at best.

Also, I am not alone in how I feel about the game.  

If and when they fix their game I'll gladly go back and review it.  

 

 

Sat Dec 24 2011 2:18PM Report
Silax writes:

You write in a very... personal tone, so if I commented on you in a negative light - forgive me. 

I appreciate the UI needs work.  Heck add the Guild features, LFG tools, PVP tools, crafting bugs, and many others - this game still has better polish than any other MMO at launch.   Give me one MMO that had all the features you think are so important at launch and I will happily let you trash SWTOR to your hearts content.

The problem is that you can't.  You think EVE is great in their sandbox freedom mentality.  Great, I can appreciate that.  I will also point out that it took years for EVE to become as playable and popular as it is.

My issue is that your rating is based so subjectively - you are frustrated, you are disappointed, you are unhappy that....  I just think that you have forgotten the point of playing games in the first place - to have fun with your friends, to defeat the bad guy, to blow stuff up.  I'm pretty sure that's why most of us eventually found ourselves on this website.

I mean, it was fun at some point, wasn't it?

But I digress.  A 5/10 rating for this game is laughable.  Bioware didn't release a failure by any sane measure and to fault them for a crappy UI and other cosmetic features is to flat out paint over your real criticism:

This game is not a sandbox and you hate it.

That's fine.  My argument is your 5/10 rating is based from that aspect alone, despite all the small nonsense that will be changed by a patch someday (and likely changed again).  Let's say the tables are turned and you get your Skyrim MMO and it has a crappy UI, no guild features, a bad LFG tool, etc.  Will you still rate it a 5/10?

I'm skeptical.

Sat Dec 24 2011 3:19PM Report
Silax writes:

Also, no auto-attack and the lack of imporatble UIs and 3rd party software is a big selling point for me and many others.

Sat Dec 24 2011 3:22PM Report
Leethe writes:

I can entirely sympathized with everything you pointed out that you don't like about the game. Your dislikes, however, tell us very little about the game itself. This is a blog and blogs in my opinion aren't the place for objectivity so fair enough. Most of the criticism seems to stem form the fact that many think you are writting a review.

Sat Dec 24 2011 3:27PM Report
citan79 writes:

I want it to succeed despite it being the most polished turd to hit the MMO scene.  Pathetic game with crappy graphics.   I felt screwed when i started playing it..   it truly sucks and innovated nothing.  the story telling with audio.. is meh you can't make fetch kill x quests engaging like this. 

 

 

Sat Dec 24 2011 6:14PM Report
wesleyarts writes:

Silax is just a funboy, ignore him. He would buy a box wuld buy box full of crap if there is a Star Wars Logo on it.

Sun Dec 25 2011 4:30AM Report
Isometrix writes:

Great post. I keep convincing myself to log on because it's Bioware, and it's Star Wars! But it's just not a very good MMO and sets back the genre years in some areas. I could write for hours and hours on all the ways the game managed to disappoint me, from the completely dead-looking worlds and towns to the uninspired combat, but all I'd do is frustrate myself even more.

I'm not sure I'd come to the same conclusion as you though. I don't want the game to succeed anymore. Yeah, it's Star Wars, but if the game succeeds and does well, we're accepting this quality and see more games like it in the coming years.

So I hope it fails. I loved Bioware, I enjoy Star Wars, and the class-based story quests are one of the greatest things I've seen in an MMO in years. But they have failed to improve on or even match every basic MMO aspect from other games.

Sun Dec 25 2011 5:03AM Report
kellian1 writes:

I haven't purchased the game, though I did participate extensvily in the beta. I had my problems with the game, but there is a problem with alot of what is being said here and by other people who disliked the game.

First my issue with the game was I didn't think there was enough for me and my wife to warrent spending $140 on 2 copies of the game. I didn't think there was enough to justify that price and a monthly fee moving forward.

As far as some of what I have read, well, what your are looking for in an MMO in unacheivable. You want an MMO to be real life. You want it to BE real life. You're not looking for a "game" experience, you want a world that is just as alive as the real life most of us live in every day. Sorry to say, but that is completly and utterly unatainable. Unless you plan on inventing a holodeck sometime soon, you are going to be out of luck.

You are going to have static NPC's. What, you want any bad guy within 20 feet of your person to attack you? Then all we would here is how the game is rediculously hard. It's called suspension of disbelief! People do it all the time when the watch movies, read books, or play any single player game. Why it would be any different for an MMO is beyond me. Again what you want is real life in video game form, you want to live real life on your computer in a game....it's not going ot happen.

If everyone keeps waiting for that MMO nirvana, where the players control the world and it's alive and you will get the same immersive expereince you would if you took the family out hiking in real lif; well you guys and gals are going to be waiting and awfully long time.

This is a form of entertainment and is supposed to be fun. People play these games to escape from real life. Start making these games more like real life and watch as the genre imploades on itself.

Sun Dec 25 2011 7:49AM Report
Clerigo writes:

I will say this: the very next mmorpg i want to succeed is the one that brings along the next golden era of this genre, Why? I cant stand this ship anymore, its stalling, i want to push the envelope but the engines are old and he cargo bay is full of trash.

Success for me is not at par with number of people playing, it may share a common indicator of popularity yes, but it does not equal to achievement.

If SWTOR ends by doing nothing more than walking along the same old design path we all know, and even if doing it well, i dont want for it to succeed. I dont want it to fail miserably if its a good game, but if it falls in the same bus line as RIFT, i dont want to get on board.

Sun Dec 25 2011 5:55PM Report
wesleyarts writes:

Both hands down*

 

Companies have to stop making stupid games only with the purpose to make a buck on box sales. We need real mmorpg out there. Vote with your wallet.

Mon Dec 26 2011 3:29AM Report
Suraknar writes:

Great Post, explaining well what is frustrating and dissapointing.

Thanks for taking the time to express what many players have been thinking since the begining.

You are asking many "why" questions in your article, and I am affraid there is no answer relaing to game design, the answers are due to Marketing and Finance.

The game is the way it is because it sells as is, and appeals to a larger portion of players on the Bell curve as is.

Hamburgers are bad for our health, it has ben said over and over again, yet the Industry is still making them and advertising them and Fast Food restaurants are all over the place, because there are still people eatng them, they sell.

And as long as they sell people will not change them. Same principle with MMO's is in play.

It sells as is. No one will change it to something else as long as it does.

Still I think it is good that the few players that can see better ways continue to express the dissapointment and frustration anyways, however slow it maybe informing othe players and opening their eyes of how much better it could have been is alays a good thing.

Cheers!

Tue Dec 27 2011 2:53PM Report
eugam writes:

I am an oldschooler. Playing video games since 1985. I understand your points.

 

But SWTOR is different. Maybe its not even a real mmorpg. You should give it a try.

The game is so much more interactive adventure then mmo. It feels much more like Daedalus Encounter, Fate of Atlantis, Space Quest or Kings Quest.

It gives me anything i need (orange or pink armor) without turning me into a beggar for welfare epics. But i still have to care, craft, check all merchands and try to colelct tokens.

Its for 12+ and it plays like a kids game. And this is my advice. Play it with a kid. The game is fun every played minute. Its exactly like watching The Clone Wars on TV together with a kid. This while still offering challange. When dying the third time on a boss you get a 10+ minutes timer till you can revive. Thats cool to talk and make another strat.

 

Once you got rid of the adult mmo vet mind set the game is just funny and entertaining. Bio manages it to make me laugh about companion commnets and other story twists.

 

While it shares a few mechnics with other mmo's its a new experience. I want it to succeeded and hope they patch content regular. That doesnt mean there isnt room for something else.

Mon Jan 02 2012 1:01AM Report
mmoguy43 writes:

@blog

/confused

Bashing the game and then hopes it does well? You sound like you made up your mind and have unachiveable standards as far as newly released MMORPGs.

/confused

You loved WoW and are disappointed in SWTOR and the direction of the genre. Wouldn't you call it a WoW-clone anyway?

I suppose you are going to give SWTOR a new rating of 7-9 / 10 like you did with WoW x months/years from now?

Tue Jan 03 2012 9:20PM Report
RagnorMalak writes:

Your posting is spot on. This is exactly why (and also the fact that most quests are the same old kill 10 rats, delivery boy quests when you take away the VO) I didnt continue my sub for this game.

Will they fix it the way you suggested, Teala? I hope so but I am afraid they will just continue bringing out updates with a new flashpoint, raid or battleground and options that should have been in the game from launch now and then and that will be it. Because If they had to implement all the changes you suggest in your post they in fact have to redesign the game and it's underlying mechanics completely. Don't think EA wants to spend another couple of million dollars on a game that already costed so much. No, now it's time to make money. And they will try to make as much money from this game as possible until it dies and then they will make it free to play. It saddens me to say this, but I think this is the most realistic outcome.

The reason why so many people bought SWTOR is because there was nothing else at that time, there was no real competition. When new MMO's that do try to innovate, like GW2, Tera and The Secret World hit the market and deliver on the promises they made, a lot of people will switch over to those games instead, I can promise you that, I know I will.

Thu Jan 26 2012 4:51AM Report
Inshalla writes:

Always good to hear from the world owes me something crowd. Let me know if it ever decides to pay up.

Wed Feb 15 2012 12:30PM Report

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