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MMORPG.com Staff Blog

The staff of MMORPG.com gets together to bring you some behind the scenes insights on stories, the industry and the site itself.

Author: staffblog

Contributors: BillMurphy,MikeB,garrett,SBFord,Grakulen,

Grinding My Gears - NGE

Posted by Stradden Wednesday January 12 2011 at 8:59AM
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I didn’t want to get into the habit of using my blog to post rant-like entries, but I find myself once again feeling the need to put fingers to keys and talk about something that’s, to steal directly from Family Guy, Grinding My Gears.

This week, I want to talk about something I can’t even believe I’m still talking about six freaking years later. The New Game Experience added without player consultation or warning to Star Wars Galaxies.

Now, let me start by saying that I think making a sweeping change to your game suddenly is bad. I think it’s a thousand times worse when players are left in the dust feeling as though they’ve had something snatched away from them because they weren’t consulted or given proper warning. I think it’s a mistake of epic proportions that should never, ever, be repeated in the industry.

Still, that hasn’t stopped the events of over five years ago from coming to the forefront yet again in numerous attacks against Sony Online Entertainment’s newest title, DC Universe Online.

I’ve read comments from people trashing the game and then saying that they won’t touch another SOE game after the “travesty” of the NGE. I’ve read about how people will “never forget” the NGE, and I’ve read the comments from people who feel that SOE should be disbanded as a company for their heinous crime... five years ago.

I’m going to say some things now. These are things that have been eating away at me for ages so I’m just going to say them:
 

  • It was five years ago, SOE is a completely different looking company now, with new people and new faces and new input in the decision making process.
  • John Smedley, SOE’s CEO, has apologized for the mistake and has stated publicly that it wouldn’t happen again.
  • Continuing, after five years, to spam every thread related to an SOE game with NGE hate isn’t productive, and it isn’t “helping” anyone. Anyone who knows about the NGE, already knows about it and probably thinks it was stupid and anyone who doesn’t know, doesn’t care about a single incident that happened five years ago and has been apologized for.

Please keep in mind that I’m not suggesting that DCUO should be free from criticism. it shouldn’t. While I actually like the game, there are plenty of areas for folks who want to complain to have legitimate complaints about it. The combat system is different, the UI has a trimmed down for console feel to it, the quests (if broken down only into their mechanics) can be repetitive, and more.

So, like I said, telling people that you don’t like DCUO because of that thing that SOE did half a decade ago just doesn’t make any sense. f you want to be angry about it, that’s entirely your call, but honestly, and I speak for a large number of others who read this site: I don’t want to hear about it anymore. Let it go, at least publicly.

TraylorTrash writes:

NO U

Wed Jan 12 2011 9:21AM Report
DevilXaphan writes:

Only reason it's like the way it is, is because of the port to console was in mind. It's not a bad game, just not my kind of genre that i play.

Wed Jan 12 2011 9:25AM Report
Pauleh writes:

On the mmorpg forums atleast the majorty of post release posts are negative without any mentioning of NGE.

Wed Jan 12 2011 9:26AM Report
Stradden writes:

Pauleh,

Negative is fine. I disagree with it, but I see their points. It's the NGE stuff that annoys me.

Wed Jan 12 2011 9:30AM Report
Distiler writes:

NGE nowadays is no way what was, but for many it's an emotional thing and I understand that they will negate it. I was banned from SOE official forums for voicing out loud about NGE, I cancelled, I flammed SOE in every forum I could find. But right now it's not the same by far, it has it's lows for sure, but compared to the majority of mmos out there, it's like a next generation mmo. It's waaay better than precu and cu, except the skill system. That said, you gotta be in a health server to enjoy it all.

Wed Jan 12 2011 9:39AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

It's funny that while I never played SWG, I have a few people in my vent who loved it.   The mention of NGE to this day still enduces rage fits just by the mere mention of it.   Some people really feel so passionately about that incident will take that grudge to their graves.

Wed Jan 12 2011 9:40AM Report
Leeky writes:

end result is Smedley and Torres ruined a great mmo and although an appology has been given, which i feel was just to suppress the legions of forum posts and hate emails, they still have their jobs.

Those of us affected by the NGE simply wont be satisfied untill Torres and Smedley are put in stocks for us to throw our old game disks at and then have them fired and living under a bridge with "why did we force the NGE on our loyal playerbase" tattooed across their faces.

Untill then we shall continue to boycott and flame any SoE published product regardless of its quality.

Wed Jan 12 2011 9:47AM Report
Distiler writes:

Leeky, this probably has a name in the field of Psychiatry :l

I felt the same, but I quit years ago XD

Wed Jan 12 2011 9:51AM Report
jonnyfrag writes:

People talking about the NGE remember with rose tinted glasses. The game had a great skills tree but had next to no content. The game as it is now is much better, but it IS still SOE and they refuse to address some basic problems like the horrible server population imbalances right now (one server has about 40% of the total population and is horribly laggy) while most of the rest are ghost towns to the level of gating new group centric content from players (cause you can't get groups.) No spam filtering, so everyone plays /anon to not be slammed with credit sellers spamming  you every 2 minutes (no, really)

To still be bashing SOE about the NGE is talking to a brick wall, but they really are still the same company. They still carry a very Us vs. Them attitude with their customers.

As far as fiascos go, there IS a DCUO fiasco already as well. From what I can tell, anyone that pre-ordered the game from Target (to get their exclusive pre-order items) were all told that the game was 'sold out' and on indefinate backorder. My order said it was expected to ship around March 17th. Target apologized to the extent of even giving me a $10 gift card for the mistake. SOE when asked about it says 'we will not grant the items to any accounts because you can order the game from ours or many other sites.'

So bottom line, something happened in the supply line with the PC version pre-order with Target only. SOE could make it right (by granting the items to folks that can prove they pre-ordered from Target only to get screwed) but they refuse to.

Sounds like typical SOE to me.

Wed Jan 12 2011 9:52AM Report
darkboaz writes:
You have some great points but I do think you miss one basic concept. Lets look at this like an accountant that embezzled money was caught and has since apologized and the courts made them give back some of the money.  Is that where it ends do you employ them as your accountant? Do you let your friends? Do bring it up when you find some one using them as an accountant?
 
You are dead on point that some people have taken it excessively far and just jump at any chance to defame and degrade any mention of Sony. Personally, I do not see what Smedly said as all that much of an apology "With the NGE, I'm sorry about the mistake we made," he told us. "We screwed up and didn't listen to the fans when we should have, and it's not a mistake we're going to make again."   http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/loadNews/8866
 
Traditionally when an executive of a corporation truly is making an apology it comes with a listing of procedures that will prevent the issue from coming up again or they fall upon there sword and resign as a result. Instead, we have him apologize many years after the fact but the best part is he had been blaming of Lucas for the first year or so.
 
I am going to agree with you it also grinds my gears when people go over the top on attacking Sony about the NGE. However I do understand why some of them might feel they have a moral imperative to do so. Maybe we need to better enforce the no trolling.
Wed Jan 12 2011 9:54AM Report
Bob_Blawblaw writes:

Where's the 'report for trolling' button on your article?

Wed Jan 12 2011 10:29AM Report
lightwind writes:

strange you complain now about the NGE but when it went live mmorpg was key in silencing the outcry by the vets. did SOE stop signing checks?

Wed Jan 12 2011 10:31AM Report
TUX426 writes:

Why is it that you think every complaint against SoE and their business practices stems from the NGE?

SoE isn't a arrogant and unprofessional company because of the NGE...they're simply unprofessional and arrogant.

Read the remarks by Chirs Cao from yesterday's DCUO interview on this very site:

"When I asked about the recent changes to the game’s roles, specifically the controller, Chris stated that’s the sort of “combat revamp” they wanted to make before live.  While he understands that it may have been jarring at first for beta players, he’s confident that the changes were best for the pacing and difficulty of the game as a whole.  He stated that it can kind of suck to be a beta player, because you get used to the way the game plays, and then the team comes along and changes it based on feedback and metrics, but that this is just the way things are.  Chris also wanted to let beta players know to take heart that the whole staff will be relearning their roles come launch too, and that playing from the beginning will likely help the veterans adjust to the changes. "

He admits the beta testers didn't like the changes, but they (SoE) are confident in them, even though he admits the staff hadn't "learned" them yet. As long as his staff buys enough copies to keep the game going, I guess that's fine...but we all know that's not the case.

It's not about the NGE - it's about how SoE operates.

Wed Jan 12 2011 10:44AM Report
miagisan writes:

amen

 

i played swg from beta and stuck through it till 1 year after the nge. if you cant move on by now..please see a psychiatrist as i may fear you hold onto things too long and may have some issues.

 

seriously though, get over it. i loved swg and bounced around mmos after for a while until i discovered eve, but i am mature enough to understand why soe took the plunge. SWG was a buggy mess, bleeding subs, and just a bad mmo outside of the sandbox. It's soe's game, not yours. until you make your mmo you dont really have the right to complain. Best way to show your disgust rather than ranting and raving is just cancel your sub. Money drives industry, and noone cares about a loudmouth on a forum.

Wed Jan 12 2011 11:00AM Report
kb4blu writes:

John Smedley, SOE’s CEO.  Is still there.  That is the reason I will never ever play another SOE game.  Call me reactionary or anything you want.  I will never ever contribute to that persons salary again.

Wed Jan 12 2011 11:08AM Report
kefkah writes:

The three things that have been eating away at you. I'd like to ask about them.

  • It was five years ago, SOE is a completely different looking company now, with new people and new faces and new input in the decision making process.

Here I would argue that this isn't exactly the case. The various functionaries may have moved on but many of the key decision makers are not only there but have continued to climb in the company. And let us not forget about Jon Smedley. While they may have learned thier lesson from the NGE mistake but as a consumer whose entire profession was phased out rendering my time and character pointless - I tend to lean on the side of caution.  That and you may want to look at the DCUO development team for some very familiar names...

  • John Smedley, SOE’s CEO, has apologized for the mistake and has stated publicly that it wouldn’t happen again.

My issue with this statement is that it is in fact still a statement. Saying something in the business world is, as you well know, not binding, subject to change and carries veyr little weight especially in the way of apologies. Did this apology come with any restitution? Was there anything there that gave us reason to believe him?

More so to the point, this apology applies to the NGE issue. How about all of the other debacles that SOE has had a hand in since the NGE? How about EQII and its seeming rollercoaster ride of issues between development and its communities? I would argue that the apology is trite and if you are so willing to accept it - then allow me to apologize for every anit-SOE NGE post and poster here. Won't happen again. Now I expect you to believe me and write a post saying as much.

  • Continuing, after five years, to spam every thread related to an SOE game with NGE hate isn’t productive, and it isn’t “helping” anyone. Anyone who knows about the NGE, already knows about it and probably thinks it was stupid and anyone who doesn’t know, doesn’t care about a single incident that happened five years ago and has been apologized for.

I come from a business background and deal a lot with local business owners. Nothing special but I do know that there have been several business owners that in recent history (even up to 10 years ago) that had done bad deals in the area. All of these people still live with the repercussions of their actions to this very day. Sure, they are still part of the community and can walkk into a grocery store without being harrassed but as for dealings with them on a business level? No. And every time a new scandal breaks in town, there is a pretty good bet that thier acts are brought up in rememberence.

You can disagree with the frequency of the posts but from a person's perspective that 5 years erases a royal screwing over (I was a Ranger with a long standing subscription and was working with the community for the promised Ranger revamp that WE were approached by SOE with) - I am sorry but that doesn't fly.

I actively play LOTRO, am a father, lead a pretty healthy and normal life. That being said, whenever SOE's name comes up - I put in my two cents especially when they do something questionable which seems to be more frequent than that Promise would signify.
 

Wed Jan 12 2011 11:20AM Report
lightwind writes:

So, like I said, telling people that you don’t like DCUO because of that thing that SOE did half a decade ago just doesn’t make any sense. f you want to be angry about it, that’s entirely your call, but honestly, and I speak for a large number of others who read this site: I don’t want to hear about it anymore. Let it go, at least publicly.

 

we hate SOE for what they did a half a year ago. we hate DCUO because it sucks. we will continue to speak our minds. problem?

Wed Jan 12 2011 11:35AM Report
Stradden writes:

lightwind wrote: "we hate SOE for what they did a half a year ago. we hate DCUO because it sucks. we will continue to speak our minds. problem?"

Stradden:

So... you didn't read the article then, or you missed the part where I said I didn't have any problem with people not liking the game because they actually think it's bad?

I don't mind constructive dialogue and even criticism, as I've received from most of the commenters here and I thank them for. This post, however, tells me that you either a) didn't read the enrty, b) didn't understand the entry or c) just decided to be confrontatinal for kicks.

in any of those cases, i just think it comes off as a little bit silly. Please, even if you're angry, take the time to think about something before speaking.

Edit: I'm sorry, I just saw your above post as well. So I'll respond to that too. We didn't silence anyone. in fact, we gave vets an entire forum section in which to make their complaints, which still exists to this day, making a much more effective statement than posting willy-nilly in the forums at the time was doing.

So again, I'd ask that you please understand the situation and think before you post.

Wed Jan 12 2011 11:50AM Report
Slipscreen writes:

SOE deserves all the hate they get, they have screwed over so many games and gamers to me SOE stands for

Screw Over Everyone.

Wed Jan 12 2011 11:51AM Report
barezz writes:

I do agree that is's definatly time to move beyond the rage over the NGE.  It was a very long time ago, and the current dev team has done some pretty good things with the game.  And SWG still is probably the best sandbox type game in terms of depth and world simulation.

Besides, so many people lay the blame on SOE's doorstep, but I think they underestimate the influence that Lucus Arts holds.  Keep in mind that SOE had a idea of how to make and maintain a successful MMO.  Do you really think that one day they just decided to nuke the game to make it more like WoW?  That was the influence of LA there, and keep in mind that they hold the property.  I think that they are the ones that pushed for this.

Now I'm not saying that SOE is blameless, but I do think that if it had not been for LA that such a drastic change would have never happened.  And I know that SOE dropped the bomb in the PR department afterwards, but they really couldn't just point the finger at their business partner, so they tried to muddle through.

Regardless, I find it best to judge a game by itself.  I look at Cryptic as a good example.  They have just done terrible with Champions Online, but Star Trek Online has gotten a lot of really really cool features added to it.  It is like a different company runs both games.

Wed Jan 12 2011 12:00PM Report
Daffid011 writes:

You know what I'm tired of Jon.  People trying to blame any criticism of soe on SWG and NGE.  

SOE is anything but a completely different company. 

For example:

Did soe develop a free to play version of EQ2 in SECRET after they deliberatly mislead the community that EQ2 wasn't going to change its business model?  Yes.

Did they remove free trials from the EQ2 servers for no real reason, despite massive player outcry?  Yes.

Did they develop a cash shop for EQ/EQ2 in SECRET after they had promised microtransactions were never come to the everquest servers?

This list of thier actions that mimic the business practices of the NGE goes on and on.  People don't hate on soe simply because of something they did 6 years ago.  They hate on soe, because as a company they continue to treat their customers in the same fashion as they did 6 years ago. 

Perhaps people will stop bringing up the past when soe shows that those types of things are indeed things of the past and not relevent to the present.  Until then SOE's past is very relevent in current discussions. 

Wed Jan 12 2011 12:20PM Report
inBOIL writes:

Titanic,wow as an MMORPG,Daikatana,NGE and theres plenty.....

wtb timemachine , none in AH

wts history , infinite amounts in AH and its free.

instead of forgetting lets hope they can use history as a resource.

 

 

 

 

 

Wed Jan 12 2011 12:59PM Report
Troneas writes:

how much did SOE pay for this editorial, i wonder?

Wed Jan 12 2011 1:46PM Report
Troneas writes:

the list of SOE transgressions since the NGE is endless - conveniently ignored here.

we can start by the lottery card game in SWG no one wanted. containing valuable loot drops people have been asking for a long time, and they pay a premium subscription price to a broken game.

you probably missed that stradden.

 

you probably missed the cash shop on EQ2 too (before it went F2P) despite SOE stating numerous times that "there are no plans to introduce RMT in EQ2".

 

Its not just about the NGE. wake up. SOE is a shoddy and untrustworthy company and, despite Smedley's "appology" (that came a year too late), they have continued to abuse, mistreat, lie, and insult their customers. 

Wed Jan 12 2011 1:55PM Report
Yamota writes:

I think you are making a mountain out of a mole. I cant remember even seeing any NGE posts for a long time.

However I am surprised why someone would defend, so passionatetly, a game that basically brings nothing to the genre, is designed for consoles and is just a rehash of same old, same old.

More action oriented combat is nothing new, it has been seen in several MMORPGs, and is hardly what would bring lasting appeal to an MMOG.

Wed Jan 12 2011 3:10PM Report
Rylon writes:

@jonnyfrag

 

"People talking about the NGE remember with rose tinted glasses. The game had a great skills tree but had next to no content. The game as it is now is much better,"

 

You lost me here.

You apparently know nothing of games, or what makes them fun. Yes I do realize people have different tastes. But I highly doubt there is anyone who has experienced both who seriously prefers SWG in its current form. Then again you are probably just another WoW zealot so go on.

 

And yeah, SOE will have to live with that. The people are still working, they apologized and that was it? How do they manage to keep their jobs?

Wed Jan 12 2011 3:16PM Report
Troneas writes:

jonnyfrag, like many others, believe that "content" only exists in the form of NPC quests. can't blame them because, most likely, that is all they know.

player created content through collaboration, inter-dependency and selling of services is most likely, unknown to him.

he'd much rather have "content" as he knows it so that he might repeat the same dungeon a gazillion times. that is his notion of "fun". 

Wed Jan 12 2011 3:51PM Report
Mykell writes:

Some people never get over their first love and it seems that maxim extends to mmo's nowadays.

Wed Jan 12 2011 3:53PM Report
Distiler writes:

Rylon, Troneas, etc perhaps you don't know about storytelling and chronicles systems, amonth other stuff (like new camps, etc.), nowadays swg gives way more tools to players for socializing, rp stuff, etc

Wed Jan 12 2011 4:39PM Report
Distiler writes:

Not to mention crafted stuff is better than rewards or lotted stuff. Or windowed housing, sandcrawlers, yt1300, barns, ship hangar, vehicle hangar and others as planet houses.

You remember the first nge incarnation, the suxxor one. But, guys, nowadays so much stuff has changed and it's way better than any other incarnation in such aspects.

Wed Jan 12 2011 4:44PM Report
markt50 writes: I respect your point of view, but I would have more sympathy if I thought SOE had really learnt from the NGE debacle and more impotently if they had changed there ways. Unfortunately they haven't look at the introduction of the ingame store to EQ2 after promising no RMT and done only a week or Two after an expansion launched. Look at the move to F2P done in secret. Love at the time the introduced a dungeon that could only be accessed via a lon drop. Look at the promises we got about the EQ2 store will only contain fluff and now there are races put on there. SOE seem to excel at screwing their customers over so I find it of no surprise that they have the reputation they do and that people still bring up the NGE it's because they haven't changed and are still content to introduce game changing update with little or no thoughts to their customer, with little notice and often seemingly done in secret. I say this as someone who has purchased DCUO and who fully expects to get screwed over by SOE. I hope they prove me wrong but I genuinely am just waiting for them to drop the ball yet again. Wed Jan 12 2011 5:31PM Report
toolak writes:

Remember Remember that fateful November....

I always will

While I do admit to hating SOE and have posted negative feedback for DCUO its because from what I've played of DCUO it deserves negative feedback.

Wed Jan 12 2011 6:27PM Report
wintersborn writes:

Smedbucks lies !

Never ever purchase a $oErf game again............Never!!!!!!!!!

Wed Jan 12 2011 6:29PM Report
wintersborn writes:

Hmm I wonder if T Shirts printed with "Smedbucks Sucks" would sell at Fan Fair ?

Wed Jan 12 2011 6:37PM Report
Wraithone writes:

Good enough as far as it goes. But in a sane world, good old Smed would have heard the immortal phrase; "You'll never work in this industry again"... Instead he was promoted.  That speaks volumes for SOE's perspective on matters. Having played several of their games, their mentality hasn't really changed, its just become more subtle.

Wed Jan 12 2011 6:43PM Report
erictlewis writes:

OKI will just put it like this.  The NGE happened.  I hated what they did. In fact it was what chased me off to play that sorry escuse of a game called lotro.

You know what I got over the NGE, it is a done and over topic.  I actually play EQ2  guess who thats run by --- SOE!!  And you know what I love it, I have always loved that game.

However you have to know who your dealing with It is still SOE, and they are slow to do anything,  I have to admit that.  

So when folks go oh were getting new content every 3 months,  we used to in EQ2, its come down to a trickle this past year.  So dont go expecting it to always happen.

MY overall hae of DCUO was not who it was made by. It was the fact it is a console game made for the pc, and the ui was total pos.  The game is shallow and mindless button pushing.

So to the op let go the NGE all that hate will turn you to the darkside,  Im a much better person having let my hate for SOE go over a stupid blunder, it was not the end of the world.

Wed Jan 12 2011 6:45PM Report
Maser_Rift writes:

Wow.  There are some clueless bloggers here, but you sir are No. 1 on the list.  Just look at what Smedley's helped do to EQ2 after promising not to: Marketplace, EQ2X (aka, F^ck Off, Playerbase!), etc.  Different company?  That's some quality gear you're smoking.

Wed Jan 12 2011 7:00PM Report
Tymora writes:

Yes, it was over 5 years ago that SOE made that huge mistake, so I guess I should just forget about it now.

What?  Things that happen to you that hurt your feelings, make your feel angry, etc. sometimes stick with you for a while.  SWG was such a staple in my life for years as far as my home entertainment goes, and to have it taken away really got me pissed.

No, I won't forget it, especially since it is glaringly obvious that many, many players wanted it back, and it is possible for SOE to make that happen, for their players, for their customers, but no.  We get nothing but apologies and "that won't happen again, blah, blah."

If you want to show your anger and show SOE that your not satisfied with their service, you don't play their games, and you let everyone on forums know why, even 5 years after the fact.

Wed Jan 12 2011 7:11PM Report
Luxumaru writes:

I agree 150% with OP here. Granted SOE has done other things that make people not trust them, people only seem to talk about NGE when discussing SOE, and that is what annoys me.

Wed Jan 12 2011 7:12PM Report
grayknyght writes:

I've mentioned the NGE incident here and there, even recently. Mentioning it doesn't equal raging. I'm over it.

If NGE was the only fuel, then I'd agree with this article, but it isn't. It's part of a longer track records that breeds distrust. If I dedicate myself to a game, I want to feel like it won't be ruined or abandoned along the way. 

Wed Jan 12 2011 7:27PM Report
Brynn writes:

I don't blame people for their anger at SOE. I was too. But, I've moved on and prefer to judge a game on it's merits, not the publisher. Sometimes you just have to let things go, for your own peace of mind.

Wed Jan 12 2011 7:29PM Report
Quigster writes:

Well, I agree that the NGE was a major mistake but I still to this day play SWG and other than the class structure and the lack of equipment degradation, the game is better. If they would bring back the old class structure and have equipment decay so it had to be replaced but kept the new collections, quests, chronicler system and such, the game would be awesome. SOE could do that if they so choose but I doubt they will. That is why I play the SWG emulator to get my fix for the way the game should be played.

LA has nothing to do with SWG anymore. That is why SOE was able to bet away with the NGE. That is why there have been no new expansions for the game since 2005 even though EQ still gets expansions after 10 years.

I still complain about the NGE to this day because of how totally inconsiderate it was to SWG's player-base. I still play the game becasue it is still a great game and I love Star Wars. It is still going to be a better over-all game than TOR.

everyone has their own opinions but I think you are totally wrong about LoTRO. It is an awesome game. In fact, I am playing it right now as I type this.

Smedley is still there because he still makes a lot of money for SOE. Their games continue to sell or he would have gotten the axe.

Wed Jan 12 2011 7:46PM Report
dickie6845 writes:

You know I had put this whole SWG thing behine me...until I saw your post. I will not forgive Sony but not for ruining a great game. I won't forgive them because just a month before the upgrade I paid for a year subscribtion and the expansion pack ( which was useless soon after buying it ). I was ripped off for over a hundred bucks and I have no patientce with thieves...most of all ones who have a sanctimonious attitude about the whole affair. Face it people were raped out of money with no recourse and Sony could not give a flies fart about their paying customers. So maybe you should stop being upset with the victums for complaining and try to understand why this rage has lasted so long.

Wed Jan 12 2011 7:58PM Report
Daffid011 writes:
  • It was five years ago, SOE is a completely different looking company now, with new people and new faces and new input in the decision making process.
 
The ironic thing is that many of the people in charge of DCU are the same people who were working on SWG when the NGE came about.  Including the game director, Chris Cao.
 
Again, I can not disagree more with soe being a completely different company.  To me it seems like the same company, same people, same disregard for their players. 
Wed Jan 12 2011 8:07PM Report
Coldsteel6d writes:

Those that don't know their history are doomed to repeat it. If everyone just forgot about it it would be more likely that it would happen again. I say keep it in the mainstream until they do something so great as to  make the haters forget about it. so far they have been an ok company but nothing spectacular enough to make the masses forget or want to forget what happened.

 

You have to remember they ruined a great game that I for one might still be playing 5 years later. But their actions killed it for me so no I dont think it should be forgotten or forgiven, not yet anyway.

Wed Jan 12 2011 8:25PM Report
Burntvet writes:

I could name 10 lousy things SOE has done to their customers or lied about or failed to deliver that have nothing to do with the NGE.

If people criticize SOE, could it be because they are a crappy MMO company and deserve it?

I know just as many people that dislike SOE for stuff they have done to games other then SWG.

Perhaps the "NGE haters" are not the only ones not keeping up with the times.

Wed Jan 12 2011 8:56PM Report
Poocka writes:

"i played swg from beta and stuck through it till 1 year after the nge. if you cant move on by now..please see a psychiatrist as i may fear you hold onto things too long and may have some issues.

 

seriously though, get over it. i loved swg and bounced around mmos after for a while until i discovered eve, but i am mature enough to understand why soe took the plunge. SWG was a buggy mess, bleeding subs, and just a bad mmo outside of the sandbox. It's soe's game, not yours. until you make your mmo you dont really have the right to complain. Best way to show your disgust rather than ranting and raving is just cancel your sub. Money drives industry, and noone cares about a loudmouth on a forum."

 

Everything u say is true, i really don't have money to spend on games like this so i try few days, even they lie or anything, you paid for play, so when you pay you are saying that everything that they say is right, even if is it a lie.

Wed Jan 12 2011 9:50PM Report
ArcAngel3 writes: I agree with you on a bunch of points Stradden. Yeah, the NGE ToOW fiasco was a bad deal. And yeah it's over and done, and has been apologized for. ToOW was also refunded, in many cases, and I applaud that. Is it helpful to obsess about the NGE and nurture resentment? I don't think so. At the same time, here's where I see things a bit differently. The NGE sadly wasn't one isolated event. I wish it was, but I don't think that's accurate. I think this is my main point. Think with me, for example, about feelings around the Combat Upgrade. Many professions got royally burned by that massive game change. NGE only added a gallon of salt to a fresh wound. Then came the addition of RMT loot that competed with ingame items made by crafters, who were already hurting from both the CU and the NGE. Then there's the idea that the RMT loot only entered the economy via Trading Card booster packs. People on the forums complained about spending a whack of cash hoping to get a coveted loot piece that may or may not be randomly hidden in the booster pack. Then there were online rants directed against players by SOE reps, current and former. The main dev from NGE actually told players to go "eat dick" on his blog. I think you get my drift. SOE/player relations in SWG were really, really, bad for many, many reasons. And, that sticks with people. Heck, even before the CU, mention the words "smuggler revamp" and see how people react. Outside of SWG, you can read about the reception of the RMT shop to the Everquest world after Smed told players he was against doing this, and had no plans for it. He may have simply changed his mind, BUT players still felt that their feedback was ignored, and they saw that his words and actions did not appear to line up. Then with Free Realms we saw a Free to Play game undergo a business model shift to subscription shortly after release. We also saw SOE bragging about sub numbers, while people with Station passes claimed they were listed as active in Free Realms when they had never played the game. If NGE was one isolated event that happened a long time ago, and that was the whole picture, I would completely agree with you. I simply don't think that's the whole picture here in terms of all the "bad blood." Having said that, another thing I agree with you on is that DCU as a game should be judged on its own merit. Still you have to think about who you're doing business with, and how comfortable you are with that. Wed Jan 12 2011 10:34PM Report
ArcAngel3 writes: Ya know, that had paragraphs in it before I hit "save comments." Wed Jan 12 2011 10:38PM Report
Weretigar writes:

I liked swg better after they did the cu update

#1 jedis were born with the force they didnt earn it like some of the nerds that thought they should spend there whole life questing for it.

#2 the nova cruiser and the mining friges were like the best thing that ever happend in space combat EVER, to this day when somone says eve feels like a good space game im like um get swg rank to master pilot do the quest to get a mining vessal then hire a crew and go mine some real astroids that move noob.

#3 the old republic will be worse and has nothing to do with anything except fanboying jedi.

well thats al i had to say really and i personally thing that city of heroes is a better superhero video game the jetpacks are really fun idk why they just are.

Thu Jan 13 2011 12:54AM Report
derkesthai writes:

Fine if you're still angry

Fine if you're never going to play SOE games anymore.

Fine if you share your experiences..... once (or twice)

But please stop trolling and harrassing. Thank you.

Thu Jan 13 2011 1:47AM Report
karmath writes:

SOE deserves the hate. The charge full price for horrible, buggy unfunished, poorly developed cash grab junkware. DCUO Included.

SOE needs to burn in a metaphorical sense to be an example of what isnt acceptable to charge people good money for. Their still pushing out crap so people will keep flogging that dead horse until you can make bread out of it.

Personally, I hope they go broke and are never hired in any development capacity ever again.

Thu Jan 13 2011 2:15AM Report
Drakxii writes:

Hey I don't refuse to play SOE's game because I hate Smedley, because of how acts and what he did.  I refuse to SOE's games because they either make a bad game or they ruin a game that could have been great.  Eq, Vanguard, SOE, PS, etc.. 

I can't think of any good game SOE has and they have like 10 of them running. 

Thu Jan 13 2011 4:00AM Report
Valeran writes:

It sucks when you piss off so many customers that everything you do afterwards is still affected by those decisions is it not?

Thu Jan 13 2011 6:52AM Report
Brenelael writes:

I feel your pain Stradden, I was sick of it 3+ years ago. Obsessing over something for 5+ years just isn't healthy. All I have to say to all the NGE Fanatics out there is... IT WAS JUST A F*&KING GAME, GET OVER IT ALREADY!!!

Thu Jan 13 2011 6:55AM Report
jonnyfrag writes:

I doubt it gets any 'ink' here but besides everyone that pre-ordered DCUO from Target not getting their game for 2 more months they also are not issuing the 'Play as Batman' across the board despite advertising as such. Only Gamestop pre-orders so far are getting that. Amazon is supposedly correcting the mistake in the next couple of days but for everyone else they actually said 'sorry you misunderstood the advertising.'

False advertising and doing nothing to correct it. SOE is still 100% SOE.

Go check out the DCUO forums for more details. It's the biggest thread right now. You should be able to read them even if you are not a subscriber, but of course you won't be able to post.

Thu Jan 13 2011 7:40AM Report
jonnyfrag writes:

I see some folks telling me I am full of it because I prefer the current SWG to pre-NGE SWG. No, I am NOT a WoW player, tried it for a bit when it first came out and did NOT like it at all. But if you want to play a pre-CU SWG, you can go check out the EMU. Guess what, it doesn't have any content either. That's why they were bleeding subs, not because there was no 'I wanna be a Jedi' button.

My problem with the NGE is how it happened.

The same thing happened when EQ2 went F2P. A month or so before that happened, their producer said there were no plans to make EQ2 free to play. They are techically correct as there is just a new version of EQ2 that is free to play but it didn't help the servers that were becoming ghost towns. They even charge you from moving from the 'live' servers to the F2P ones and don't even let you take gold or items with you. And it's impossible to transfer characters to the live servers from the F2P ones. In other words, they NGE'd EQ2 as well....just a few  months ago.

Now, SOE is trying to handle cries of false advertising because they are not honoring their 'you have to pre-order to play as Batman' but really only applying it to 2 resellers thus far. Only Gamestop got it correct out of the gate.

SOE does deserve the hate they get.

Thu Jan 13 2011 8:04AM Report
astoria writes:

Never forGEt.

Thu Jan 13 2011 8:13AM Report
cassiopaeia writes:

All this hate will do is blow each of the haters apart, mentally.  I agree, it's just not healthy.

I'm also a victim of bad gaming practices, but it wasn't SoE.  No, it was from PWE.  There was a bad fiasco involving Jade Dynasty's current expansion, Vengeance, before it was even released.  The people involved first said it would be out in May of last year, then they said it would be in June or July (Don't remember which)...then for months, they would not tell anyone anything as to the release date until people were leaving the game.  it finally was released in August.

I forgave that, but I would up disillusioned with the company and switched to Perfect World instead of Jade Dynasty.  What was the last straw for me was the Closed Beta Testing for Forsaken World.  it was originally going to be 2 phases, and lots of beta keys were sent out and used.  However, very, very few of the keys were actually accepted, and it wasn't mentioned to the other players until much later.  The 2 Phases became 4, with 2 Pwipes, and although the company had said the beta testers were selected at random, it was pretty obvious it wasn't.  Folks who signed up (and made PWE accounts) minutes prior were accepted, while paying, longtime players didn't get picked.

After that, as of 6 days ago, I gave up and gave all PWE games the boot.

Do I forgive the company for the misleading and lying?  Yes.  After all, not only is there the saying, "To err is human, to forgive is divine", but it's also in the Bible that it's better to forgive people for their transgressions.  God forgives us for all our sins and transgressions, we can certainly do no less.

People make one little mistake:  We think that forgiving means forgetting.  It doesn't.  You can forgive the person without forgetting the transgression.

Thu Jan 13 2011 10:31AM Report
thamighty213 writes:

I agree with others let it go,  I hated the NGE was one of the loudest people against it hell i even broke it on the boards a week or 2 before it happned of some inside info and all out called a liar by both SOE staff and players "theres no way they would do that with the expansion just coming out"  "SOE has no plans to change the core of SWG" etc etc hate to say it but "told you so"

Anywhoo took a break for around a year but was missing the awesome community I played alongside so returned and only recently quit.

Do I hate SOE not really i do bear a grudge against them for the NGE always will but I don;t go ranting on every SOE product board.

I have since the NGE enjoyed EQ2 for around 6 month and did enjoy DCUO in beta it just to me lacks any longevity thats the sole reason I am not playing it.

Soe will always be a terrible company it has Sony in the title so overpriced crap is a given.

Thu Jan 13 2011 10:53AM Report
thamighty213 writes:

oh PS i would still love to slap Nancy McIntyre :) and she is another instance of how idiotic companies are "Players don't like to read" then gets a job at Leapfrog /shrug.

Its like me saying "burgers are disgusting" then beoming MD of McDonalds.

Thu Jan 13 2011 10:55AM Report
klawjon writes:

I still buy Sony product, but my wife said last night that I have never found a game I liked since the NGE.  The NGE emotionally scared my gaming life.  True confessions of a former SWG player. 

Thu Jan 13 2011 11:23AM Report
reanor writes:

People are just way too revengeful. Learn to forgive and forget. 5 years and you still can't forgive/forget - you may end up with some ulcer in your stomach if you hold anger for so long. its bad for your health people. Learn to forgive, learn to forget. I am serious.

Thu Jan 13 2011 12:08PM Report
Shayde writes:

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

An old proverb that says completely why we should never trust another $OE game. The management didn't change, and they haven't learned from their mistakes. Some say they apologized, but it was for "handling it poorly" not making a bad decision.

Why should we forgive them? Its not like the nge was the only time they've ever screwed players. This is capatilism, if you burn your customers, we don't have to come back. EVER.

Thu Jan 13 2011 2:05PM Report
Haatchi writes:

You are completely wrong. SoE isn't a completely new company, and the only way to truly apologize was to remove that NGE from live servers. They never did it, hoping to drag some new clients.

 

SOE wasn't able to create a single worldclass MMO since a decade, basically since the market became ultra-competitive. It is not that they are trying to do something different, they arent, they just have no vision of what the mmo industry should look like. Blizzard imposed its concept, and SoE isn't even trying to resist. They are managed on a short term basis.

Thu Jan 13 2011 2:31PM Report
Tyroki writes:

Kefkah said what I wanted to say.

 

But as an addition, I'd just like to again (as many people have already) state that SOE have done more than just screw up one game with a stupid system. They are well known for making big mistakes without bothering with feedback. I was a beta tester for DCUO myself. I enjoyed it. Then I heard they changed things and didn't touch release :\

SOE don't seem to understand one major principle which they desperately need to follow. "Don't fix what isn't broken."

Fix the bugs, but for crying out loud, don't fix the stuff people enjoyed that was not broken.

The NGE that people so constantly bring up is their prime example of SOE being a company of idiots, but it is by far not the only example.

As far as this blog entry is concerned, I have to say... did you actually think about what you were typing?

 

The NGE is the figurehead of fail that SOE is well known for. They're known to make good games, but they're also VERY well known for screwing them up at some point post launch.

Thu Jan 13 2011 6:08PM Report
Tyroki writes:

I would also like to add to my previous comment that SOE, even after five years, are still a company run by very arrogant and unprofessional people that I would honestly prefer to not see in the MMO industry.

They are just like Bobby Kotick of Activision Blizzard. None of them should be working as the lead people of video games companies.

Thu Jan 13 2011 6:12PM Report
WSIMike writes:

Just want to say I'm glad to see others previously in the comments pointing out the various other flat out lies Smed and co have told since the NGE.

Smed did, in fact, state that they would never introduce RMT into their existing games (EQ2, etc). And then turned around and did just that.

New company? My ass.

Smed would (figuratively speaking, of course) sell his own mother if he thought it would bring SOE more $$$. The man has no dignity and not an honest bone in his body.

The NGE certainly isn't the only time $OE have demonstrated any regard for their customers... It is the most high profile one, however. So, yes... it will come up... as well it should.

I think you're just gonna have to learn with it Strad.

Thu Jan 13 2011 8:18PM Report
WSIMike writes:

Quick correction.. I meant to say Smed has no integrity... not dignity.

Thu Jan 13 2011 8:19PM Report
ArcAngel3 writes: I'm wondering Jon, if you are hearing what people are saying, "the NGE was not a one time, isolated event." People are looking at what appears to be a track record that suggests to them that playing an SOE game is at some point going to leave them feeling burned and frustrated. NGE might be the most spectacular example, but its by no means isolated imo. Thu Jan 13 2011 9:10PM Report
MysteryB writes:

SOE no longer ruins their games after making it great in the first place, instead they have decided to just make the games terrible right off the bat so they can skip all the nonsense of making players feel like they have found a great game.

Thu Jan 13 2011 11:00PM Report
Dakarin writes:

SOE has a history of destroying what they touch. EverQuest was even torn apart. Planet side. Look what happened to The matrix online. Now even EverQuest 2 is being turned into wow. It just seems as though SOE doesnt care about their customers. Look at their list of games on the site and tell me one of those games is doing good in the industry. They FUBAR EQ2 and make a free to play version because they needed to get customers back. I give each game benefit of the doubt and try them when they come out even if its an SOE title. Yeah the NGE was pretty messed up but long ago and with the emulator around theres no reason to complain. Anywho overall SOE has been having the guy that runs FreeRealms take the reigns in other games. EQ2X for example. After being around and seeing everything they have done. You cant blame people for being cautious about their games. Im hoping SWTOR and RIFT do well. They seem to be looking good. but yea folks lay off the NGE chatter. New companies and new games arent going to do that again. The industry knows how bad that ends up after seeing it happen lol.

Fri Jan 14 2011 1:55AM Report
WSIMike writes:

@Dakarin:

Regarding this statement of yours: "It just seems as though SOE doesnt care about their customers."

Oh... they care about their customers. They just care more about what's in their customers' wallets than they do the customers' themselves, especially as gamers.

What's funny about SOE is how shamelessly and openly they do what they do.

The NGE... did they stop to wonder if such a move would have a serious backlash on them with their existing players? I think they thought about it... briefly. However, seems they saw the loyal and established playerbase they had,  looked at the potential playerbase they could have if they made the game more like WoW with its millions of subs and, apparently, the decision was pretty simple. Their current subscribers were 100% expendable... because all they cared about was the $$$.

Take Smed's "No RMT-type content to be added to existing games" remark. He gave his word on that (sorry to those who had coffee or some other liquid in their mouth when they read that.. I should have warned you first). He stated that such systems wouldn't fit in those games. Well, did that matter? Not one iota. They went ahead and did something that Smed himself acknowledged wouldn't be a good idea for the game. 

And therein lies the problem... Along with their players, they don't care about their games as games. All they care about is how much $$$ they can get out of their players' wallets.

They have proven time and again that they have zero regard for their players, don't really give a rat's ass whether people like it or not...

Their stance seems to be a sort of passive-aggressive one of "We hear your complaining. We really don't care. We just want more of your $$$. So shut your mouths and open your wallets a little farther".

Fri Jan 14 2011 6:27AM Report
Branes writes:

"Their stance seems to be a sort of passive-aggressive one of "We hear your complaining. We really don't care. We just want more of your $$$. So shut your mouths and open your wallets a little farther."

 

That pretty much sums up the attitude I've experienced in close to 10 years of playing SOE games and reading the responses to complaints by players. I say 10 years. I should stay I started playing SOE games 10 years ago or close to it but I haven't been a regular player. I renew my sub once in a while and play for a month or so then go on to greener pastures.

As a pre-NGE SWG player, I too have quite a bit of anger at SOE but more confusion at why they would do such a thing. From the standpoint of an intelligent person and businessman who knows that if you alienate your customer base, you cut off your life support, I keep asking why, once they saw the NGE creating mass desertions, why didn't they say "Oops. bad idea. Let's go back and try something different?" Instead, they insisted on doing it "their" way and lost everything. To me, that shows arrogance and STUPIDITY and the CEO should have been fired on the spot!!

I have to say that I've gone back to SWG on occasion. The game is markedly better than it was, although because of the limited population it doesn't feel like the same world any longer. Place that once were teeming with life are ghost towns,

As for DCUO, after 2 days of playing, I'm convinced it was rushed out the door unfinished. The developers didn't learn a thing from previous MMO's, like how to create a usuable chat system with multiple channels, or give players the option to disable the ridiculous console-like interface.

When there is literally NO MMO consumer base in the console world, why would a major developer create a new MMO, which player base is going to be PC oriented with an interface that is very difficult for PC users to manipulate?

Rather than hardwire the camera to the mouse movement, why not use the right mouse button view method used by most MMO's to move the camera allowing for traditional left button mouse selection. Since there is no auto combat option anyway, all attacks could have been initiated with the left hand.  Catering to the minor player base with a new MMO is a risky proposition at best, and a foolish one at worst, but from their past history, not unexpected from the SOE staff. These people just STINK at creating usuable MMO's with any lasting power, EQ1 not withstanding.

Fri Jan 14 2011 8:25AM Report
Branes writes:

As a postscript, I want to address one issue I have seen on many forums.

"This is their game, not ours," referring to the development company.

I beg to differ. If you are an intelligent, aware businessman, you know that the game belongs to those who play it and pay for it.  Because the bottom line is that if  YOU don't provide the experience WE expect, WE are going to go elsewhere for it.  And SWG is the defining proof of that fact and any MMO company that ignores it is doomed to failure. WE control your success in this industry. WE pay the subs. WE invest the hundreds and in some cases, thousands of hours of our lives in YOUR world. And you had damn well better listen when we say WE don't like something YOU decide to try, especially if WE are not consulted beforehand.  From what I read in the forums, not one of the major suggestions made to  the developers by beta testers on DCUO was implemented. The players said, the game is unfinished, not ready for release, so what did SOE do..they released it. The complained about the horrible chat system. Did SOE do anything for fix it..no, they released it exactly as it was in beta. This company obviously doesn't care what its customers want, and I wonder how it is still in business. I really do.

Fri Jan 14 2011 8:34AM Report
Ginaz writes:

Some the soe hate over the years has been overblown, and a few people have really gone too far.  However, most of us really don't care much anymore.  Look at it this way.  You go to a garage to get your car fixed.  The owner of the garage screws  you over.  What do you do?  Do you go back to that garage again to get your car fixed or never go back?  Do you stay silent or tell everyone you know about it?  Most people would choose to never go back and tell everyone they know.  Now think what would happen if you found out the owner of that garage opened a new one in another town.  The same principle applies now with DCU being that new garage.

The number one way consumers can tell a company how they feel about their product and how they treat their customers is not to buy from them and ask others to do the same.  Thats how it works, whether it happened 5 days ago or 5 years ago.  So why would you think when it comes to gaming it should be any different? 

I know DCU is now your new MMO precious and it hurts to read critism  (it can be hard for others to read it too through all the banner ads and articles that have been pimping it for the last month or so), but what you fail to realize is that when it comes to soe, its much, much more than just the nge that people have issues with.  The same people that the engaged in some downright shady business practices with the nge are STILL in charge at soe and deeply involved with DCU.  They are so untrustworthy that anything they say or claim that, by now, I won't believe anything they say until it actually happens.  Smedley, Cao and the rest of them have as much credibility as the boy who cried wolf.

Sat Jan 15 2011 1:52PM Report
JYCowboy writes:

Some posts here are dead on target about the NGE. Many however have no bases of the history.  The NGE was bad.  A frantic rushed decision done to combat the sucking wake that WOW initiated in subs.  WOW was just a much better game compared to SWG at the time to the general population of casual gamers.  WOW was the new hotness to the masses and all MMO's suffered its "snowball" at that time.  SWG was an old style sandbox MMORPG that was released broken and incomplete.  By the time of the NGE it had been patched up some but still suffered many bugs, incomplete systems and lack of content.  Its core was fun to the diehards but the dev team lacked imagination to flesh out the rest after Raph Koster was removed.  The NGE has been a constant on going build of systems to catch up with WOW and other popluar MMO's since.  Today, SWG is a much better game than its re-start with the NGE after so much code has been gutted and rebuilt.  That said I still miss the old game for what it was but see the expanded SWG of today as a much more content filled experiance in comparison.

The one post I found laughable was the suggestion that SOE was in total control of SWG.  That Lucas (Lucas Arts) has no control and is why there has been no Expansion.  The truth, as I understand, is LA ,after the NGE, renegotiated the contract when it expired and ordered No more in store expansions.  Why?  LA is responsible for marketing and promoting all Star Wars products.  Thats one expense off thier books.  LA is also still approving new art, story text and assets to the game for thier Star Wars game records.  SWG gets the attention it deserves based on income.

Sat Jan 15 2011 11:38PM Report
Shayde writes:

Bit of revisionist history there, and inaccuracies in that last paragraph are laughable, but everyone's entitled to their own opinion.

Bottom line is they're a business. When a business develops a bad reputation it doesn't improve with some banner ads and press junkets. It improves by releasing quality games and improving the ones they have. They've done neither. SWG can only be seen as improved when you compare it to the absolute abortion they made of it with the nge launch. It has yet to recover even 10% of the subs they had pre-nge.

Not only that, but the "brain trust" who brought us the nge are the ones creating DCUO and Smed's still in charge. How are they different? At best they are "I'm not gonna hit you again, baby, I've changed".

Even though they claim to be a "worldwide leader in the MMO industry".. they only lead by example of what NOT to do.

Mon Jan 17 2011 9:54AM Report
stevengw writes:

Blah Blah Blah, NGE, SOE.

Blah @$$ SOE @$$#*!~ NGE $#!.

wHERES MY @$$#*!~ eLDER jEDI?

Mon Jan 17 2011 9:55AM Report
PyscoJuggalo writes:

The only problem with this forgiveness thing is...  Well they really have not made anything good since they released the NGE.  So, umm, yeah.

Mon Jan 17 2011 7:16PM Report
Neodis writes: While I agree that the NGE debate is like flogging a dead horse at this point I think that people still bring it up with regards to SOE because it shows how little they learned from it. SOE in any game that I have played has set a firm track record of poor at best customer relations. If you want to talk about the NGE look at the fact they were selling a expansion to some players with promises of items that they knew were going to be useless because their profession was about to go POOF. SOE is a company, in my opinion, that thrives on bait and switch tactics as well as forcefeeding the customer base with the way things are going to be. I am not surprised with what I have read about DCUO... Tue Jan 18 2011 8:39AM Report
jonnyfrag writes:

We can now add a failed launch of Magic The Gathering: tactics , a 'free to play, but really you'll have to be paying a bunch of  money for card packs to be competative'

Set to launch Jan 18th, and at the end of the day the ad changed back to 'Coming soon!'

And extremely little infomation for the (few) people that are waiting on this as well. Standard SOE.

Wed Jan 19 2011 10:19AM Report
Slampig writes:

I can't believe you are still talking about it...and that grinds MY gears...

Fri Jan 28 2011 2:15AM Report
TUX426 writes:

So....is it the DCUO vets who have now ruined SWG?

Tue Jun 28 2011 9:48AM Report

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