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Star Wars Galaxies

Star Wars Galaxies 

SWG Veteran Refuge  » The only thing SOE ever did wrong with this game was the NGE right?

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100 posts found
  ArcAngel3

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/06
Posts: 2941

Momento Mori

 
OP  2/08/11 9:33:56 PM#1

I've read numerous posts, blogs, articles etc. that seem to suggest that the only thing SOE ever did wrong with this title was the NGE.  SOE made "a" mistake we're told, they've apologized and learned from it.  Players that still have a bone to pick with SOE over their handling of this cherished IP are then portrayed as melodramatic malcontents who refuse to forgive SOE for this one, unfortunate error.

Is this really an accurate representation of player experiences in SWG over it's trouble history, or is this some sort of media spin?

When I think of this question, a number of things come immediately to mind, and I'll list them here:

-releasing the game with serious bugs and issues, and not a lot of content

-smuggler revamp...or not

-force ranking system

-battlegrounds

-jedi controversies (pick one)

-scrapping of the CURB

-introduction of the Combat Upgrade, with all its unwanted changes and negative impact on numerous professions

-introduction of RMT to this subscription based game

-RMT loot that is superior to crafted goods

-apparent disregard for StarWars canon during this time period of the saga

-poor treatment of gamers on the forums by SOE community reps (tirades, criticisms, post deletions and bannings when forum rules were not violated.)

I'm writing this as a player that did not quit the game because of the NGE.  In fact, I tried very hard to support the game in the NGE aftermath.  I spent my time helping players find some fun in spite of all the recent changes and new bugs.  I also attempted to keep our guild alive when even its founders needed to take a break because the NGE made them sick to their stomachs.

I decided to leave the game because of the way SOE treated players who did not like the changes.  SOE didn't listen, and at times seemed overtly hostile. 

So, what do you think.  Is it true that the NGE was the only thing SOE ever did wrong with this title, or is someone forgetting an awful lot of nastiness?

  stayontarget

Guide

Joined: 10/04/08
Posts: 6117

Girlfriends come and go but Epic battles are Soulbound

2/08/11 9:40:57 PM#2

NGE added without informing the community.  It's like taking your bmw into the dealer for an oil change and it comes back a dirty kia.

They did not pay for this.

Velika: City of Wheels: Among the mortal races, the humans were the only one that never built cities or great empires; a curse laid upon them by their creator, Gidd, forced them to wander as nomads for twenty centuries...

  headen

Novice Member

Joined: 12/01/10
Posts: 226

2/08/11 9:47:00 PM#3

This is a scab that will never heal.  Because people keep picking at it.

  ArcAngel3

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/06
Posts: 2941

Momento Mori

 
OP  2/08/11 9:48:19 PM#4
Originally posted by stayontarget

NGE added without informing the community.  It's like taking your bmw into the dealer for an oil change and it comes back a dirty kia.

They did not pay for this.

 That's a good point.  Some suggest that the big problem with SWG was simply revamping it after it went live.  "You just can't change an MMO midstream, that's what we learned from the NGE."  Okay, I'm sure that's one lesson to learn.  This ignores the fact, however, that people were told all kinds of exciting things about the future of the game in two dev chats immediately before the NGE.  NGE was never mentioned, and many of the exciting things players were looking forward to, and subbing for, either never materialized or were tossed in the recycle bin only two weeks after implementation.

People felt that they were lied to, and that, for some I think, was a bigger issue than having their game changed.

  DoomsDay01

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/14/08
Posts: 774

2/08/11 9:48:35 PM#5

No, they royally screwed over the creature handlers. Instead of fixing the one freaking thing that was wrong with the class, at the time, they decided to nerf the crap outta them and then had the balls to look us in the face and tell us they would revisit our class in 1 year. I mean, if thats not a go f*ck your customers moment, I dont know what is. Just about ever single creature handler told them the exact same thing, fix the master level for training animals and giving them out and that would have corrected the issue, but no, they over reacted as usual and instead of fixing the problem, They made the class almost useless.

  thecipher

Novice Member

Joined: 9/27/09
Posts: 147

2/08/11 9:55:58 PM#6

Having only played Galaxies post-NGE, I don't have any personal experience with what the game was like before that - A lot of other (ex) players do though, including some of my RL friends. As far as I've been able to learn, the basic rundown of the game went something like this:

 

  • Pre-CU had many broken elements, including combat, but also had a lot of promise. Jedis were extremely rare.
  • A wide range of Jedi related "fixes" start being introduced, each one skewing the game more than the last one. This is a continuing theme throughout the years.
  • The Combat Upgrade comes, but rather than having listened to player feedback and making the changes neccessary to fix the existing system, SOE goes in a completely different direction, which pretty much everyone hates. SOE loses a good chunk of subscribers due to this.
  • The NGE comes, and completely changes the main draw of the game, which was the mix-n-match nature of skills, and instead introduces classes, including jedi, to the game. Even more people hate this than the Combat Upgrade and as a result, SOE loses a crapton of subscribers.
  • "RMT", in a sense, is introduced to the game via the Star Wars digital TCG that has loot cards that are vastly better than anything craftable, or lootable, in-game. More fan outrage.
 
For me, even as a post-NGE player, Star Wars Galaxies will always be remembered as one of the "could have been great" games. I've no doubt that the game had PLENTY of problems pre-CU, and that the veterans are glossing over that fact because in their mind, the CU and NGE were much worse. For me though, it feels like I came into the game too late. I could see glimmers of greatness there - I loved the resource gathering, crafting, housing and space aspects of the game - But it was ultimately too little, too late for me.
 
The market was broken - it was difficult to impossible to sell any crafted goods that weren't maxed out, and it was impossible to max out without maxed out gear.. which again required the best available, ie. loot cards from the TCG. Now, most of those loot cards could be traded in-game, but at ridiculous prices which only veterans could afford. So as a new player, it was practically impossible to break into the crafting market. Also, with the dwindling subscriber numbers, and especially lack of new subscribers, there isn't much of a market left.
 
I don't even know what the hell could be done to "fix" this game, as pre-CU was, to the best of my understanding, far from perfect as well. I think the shift in focus (from sandboxy "be a joe schmoe in the SW universe" to faux-themepark "be a super-duper jedi hero") was a big mistake, and that if SOE has stuck with their original vision, SWG would still be going strong with an obviously dedicated core of gamers. Me, I probably won't go back to the game, but I know that I'll keep getting the urge to do so.

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  ArcAngel3

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/06
Posts: 2941

Momento Mori

 
OP  2/08/11 9:57:14 PM#7
Originally posted by headen

This is a scab that will never heal.  Because people keep picking at it.

 I think it would heal just fine if SOE boosters would stop denying what really went down.  As long as you have people spinning reality and denying players' experiences, you're going to have people who want to set the record straight.

  ArcAngel3

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/06
Posts: 2941

Momento Mori

 
OP  2/08/11 10:01:05 PM#8
Originally posted by thecipher

Having only played Galaxies post-NGE, I don't have any personal experience with what the game was like before that - A lot of other (ex) players do though, including some of my RL friends. As far as I've been able to learn, the basic rundown of the game went something like this:

 

  • Pre-CU had many broken elements, including combat, but also had a lot of promise. Jedis were extremely rare.
  • A wide range of Jedi related "fixes" start being introduced, each one skewing the game more than the last one. This is a continuing theme throughout the years.
  • The Combat Upgrade comes, but rather than having listened to player feedback and making the changes neccessary to fix the existing system, SOE goes in a completely different direction, which pretty much everyone hates. SOE loses a good chunk of subscribers due to this.
  • The NGE comes, and completely changes the main draw of the game, which was the mix-n-match nature of skills, and instead introduces classes, including jedi, to the game. Even more people hate this than the Combat Upgrade and as a result, SOE loses a crapton of subscribers.
  • "RMT", in a sense, is introduced to the game via the Star Wars digital TCG that has loot cards that are vastly better than anything craftable, or lootable, in-game. More fan outrage.
 
For me, even as a post-NGE player, Star Wars Galaxies will always be remembered as one of the "could have been great" games. I've no doubt that the game had PLENTY of problems pre-CU, and that the veterans are glossing over that fact because in their mind, the CU and NGE were much worse. For me though, it feels like I came into the game too late. I could see glimmers of greatness there - I loved the resource gathering, crafting, housing and space aspects of the game - But it was ultimately too little, too late for me.
 
The market was broken - it was difficult to impossible to sell any crafted goods that weren't maxed out, and it was impossible to max out without maxed out gear.. which again required the best available, ie. loot cards from the TCG. Now, most of those loot cards could be traded in-game, but at ridiculous prices which only veterans could afford. So as a new player, it was practically impossible to break into the crafting market. Also, with the dwindling subscriber numbers, and especially lack of new subscribers, there isn't much of a market left.
 
I don't even know what the hell could be done to "fix" this game, as pre-CU was, to the best of my understanding, far from perfect as well. I think the shift in focus (from sandboxy "be a joe schmoe in the SW universe" to faux-themepark "be a super-duper jedi hero") was a big mistake, and that if SOE has stuck with their original vision, SWG would still be going strong with an obviously dedicated core of gamers. Me, I probably won't go back to the game, but I know that I'll keep getting the urge to do so.

 This is an awesome post.  Thanks for the post-nge perspective.  It's interesting that a lot of what you liked was part of the original vision of the game, and a lot of the problems you mention are a direct result of some of the bizarre revamps.

  Stuka1000

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/20/03
Posts: 772

2/08/11 10:06:00 PM#9

Pre CU SWG had it's faults, and many of them but they were all fixable.  There was a stable playerbase of around 150k if my memory serves and the game was making a profit for SoE.  It had the single best crafting system of any MMO ever. and that still has not been matched.  What SoE did was look at WoW's numbers, get dollar bills in their eyes and tried to make SpaceWoW.  For doing this they got exactly what they deserved; a game that lost most of it's players, a bad name that they will never be rid of and thousands of people that will never subscribe to another SoE title.

 

It isn't a question of what the game was like before but of what SoE did to their subscribers.

  User Deleted
2/08/11 10:07:07 PM#10

One of the things that I heard a LOT of complainging about from friends was that, not only was NGE just sprung on everyone; but it was done only 14 days after the launch of a brand new expansion pack.  So a lot of people I knew not only felt like SOE was backhanding the players, but they waited to do it after taking everyones money for an expansion.. As I recall it was the first time I'd seen an MMO company end up offering complete refunds for an expansion pack.

Edit: 14 days not 4.

  Terranah

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3609

2/08/11 10:11:38 PM#11

I haven't heard any vets say the game was perfect before NGE.  Precu SWG had many issues, but with the NGE they threw the baby out with the bathwater, switching one set of problems for another.

  Loke666

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16023

2/08/11 10:12:00 PM#12

SOE did many mistakes with the game, like saying that Jedis were in the game already when they hadn't added it yet and taking a year to fix broken some crafting among others.

But people remember the NGE best because it was a finger to the players, particularly the ones who just baught an new expansion a few days before.

I do have a feeling that many of the vets are really nostalgic and forgot most of the worst stuff.

SWG did however got some things good as well, like the crafting system. If they actually would had some better programmers they wouldn't have felt forced to do the NGE at all.

But it is kinda typical SOE, they often have really good ideas but the coding have been their weak spot since the beginning.

  Loke666

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16023

2/08/11 10:14:49 PM#13
Originally posted by Terranah

I haven't heard any vets say the game was perfect before NGE.  Precu SWG had many issues, but with the NGE they threw the baby out with the bathwater, switching one set of problems for another.

Actually, most of my friends who used to play it say that it was the perfect game, all issues long forgotten. I distinctly remember them complaining about bugs at the time but that is of course me remembering things wrong (right, Viktor?).

But I guess getting so totally screwed made them forget all the old stuff.

  grapevine

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/17/04
Posts: 1890

2/08/11 10:18:23 PM#14
The first mistake they made, which affected the community, was when they announced they were pulling all development to focus on JTL.
 
This annoyed a huge number of the subscribers, as they stopped the (near) monthly content patches.   It also resulted in the scrapping of the original version of the CU, which they had been working with the community to develop.  Many people left over it.
 

Then there was the released version of the CU, which on paper looked good.  However, what they released wasn't ready, which again caused many to leave.   They had actually recovered subscriptions, after they had finished correcting the issues with the CU, to slightly higher than pre-CU levels.  Then the NGE hit, decimating subscriptions.

  Garvon3

Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/10
Posts: 2943

2/08/11 10:19:22 PM#15

You hit the nail on the head. SWG was plagued by MANY problems. It simply was probably the last MMO to launch with unique ideas, and it was killed so spectacularly, that's why people remember it. If it was any other game it wouldn't have survived launch, but the SW brand pulled it through. The Jedi issues alone were enough to make thousands quit. But the NGE is just so much bigger than all that.

This game had a lot of huge success with certain features and huge failure with others.

  Paradigm68

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/24/11
Posts: 873

2/08/11 10:23:20 PM#16

SWG had things wrong with it. As any game will. NGE however doesn't belong in the category of things SOE did wrong with game, but things SOE did to ruin the game. A subtle distinction I grant you but cruicial nonetheless.

  Jenuviel

Novice Member

Joined: 5/26/05
Posts: 944

Sadness is but a wall between two gardens. -Kahlil Gibran

2/08/11 10:24:38 PM#17

Holocrons were the beginning of the end for me. I started playing the game not so much because I was a fan of Star Wars, but more because the social professions sounded really fun to me (they addressed a major element that I found lacking in other MMOs). I played a Dancer, and had a lot of fun with it initially. One of the players wrote a guide on the forum about finding new and creative ways to chain steps/flourishes together that was really pretty complex (you timed the animations so the switches flowed), and I spent hours doing that, working on it with the other people who were also playing entertainers (most of them familiar names by the end of the first week).

 

The holocrons came, and the cantinas filled with bots almost overnight. There was one bot in the cantina before that, so it wasn't as if nobody did it, but the unbelievable influx of them, many with spammy speeches requesting money, just turned cantinas from social hubs to experience production facilities. I ended up dropping Dancer, picking up Creature Handler and never setting foot in a cantina again unless I had fatigue. I kept playing for awhile after that, enjoying Creature Handler, but then I started running into ghost towns everywhere, just sprawling complexes of locked houses with no one in sight. It was kind of eerie and depressing.

 

When I reached Mastery of my skills and looked around, there just wasn't anything of interest left for me; the social aspects of cantnas were gone, the crafters I'd developed relationships with had left the game, the Community Representatives on the forums were denying any problems existed, and I just didn't like the direction the game was heading. I guess it's sort of a blessing, because I made my break from the game about two months before the Combat Upgrade, so I was spared both that and the NGE. It's kind of sad, though. That first month or so was the best I've had in any game, and it wasn't even that "first MMO" bliss, given I'd played several others by that time. When things turned, they really turned, though.

  ArcAngel3

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/06
Posts: 2941

Momento Mori

 
OP  2/08/11 10:29:16 PM#18
Originally posted by Kithca

One of the things that I heard a LOT of complainging about from friends was that, not only was NGE just sprung on everyone; but it was done only 4 days after the launch of a brand new expansion pack.  So a lot of people I knew not only felt like SOE was backhanding the players, but they waited to do it after taking everyones money for an expansion.. As I recall it was the first time I'd seen an MMO company end up offering complete refunds for an expansion pack.

 What you heard is pretty much accurate.  However, the expansion released on Nov. 1, 2005, and the announcement that the game was going to be changed came on Nov. 2--just one day later.

The expansion was particulary exciting for creature handlers, since it would add an entirely new planet full of creatures to tame.  This, in fact, was part of the marketting for the expansion.  Then, one day after this came on-line, the announcement was made that the game would be revamped...creature handlers were going to be deleted.

Again, this really isn't even related to the game change per se.  Did creature handlers hate losing their entire profession?  Hell yeah, but they also hated buying an expansion largely for the new creatures that they now would not be able to tame.  They felt lied to.

And yes, people did get refunds for the expansion.  However, many paid for months of subscription time to enjoy the new expansion.  An offer to refund this subscription time was not made. 

  Halibrand

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/10
Posts: 37

2/08/11 10:49:27 PM#19

All games have their issues, and SWG had it's share, but I didn't mind because I loved the concept and the game as a whole.  Everyone's problem with the NGE wasn't about a singular issue, but that the entire... gender of the game changed.  It was the old switcheroo: a non-twitch game became a twitch game.  A game without classes or levels and the ability to mix and match as you pleased became... you get the idea.

 

The resentment is because we bought a ticket to see The Matrix, and halfway through it turned into The Notebook.  Or worse, into Matrix 3.  It's the same shock and disappointment as people got from the last episode of The Sopranos, or Battlestar Gallactica (still wish I'd seen every episode BUT that one), or when you get the girl home and THEN notice her adam's apple.  Again.

 

But yeah, SWG had all kinds of other issues before the NGE came along and... I'm going to say 'betrayed it's fans', because in essence that's what it did.  All the issues beforehand weren't anything more than the run-of-the-mill issues that every MMO goes through and its players have to endure.  Still isues, but you don't complain about having a bad-hair-day when you just broke your leg.

  Jenuviel

Novice Member

Joined: 5/26/05
Posts: 944

Sadness is but a wall between two gardens. -Kahlil Gibran

2/08/11 11:04:32 PM#20
Originally posted by Halibrand
-Snip-

That was beautifully written, and it's probably why, even though I'd already cancelled my account for other reasons, the NGE upset me more than anything that had gone on while I was there, including the things that caused me to leave in the first place. Even though I'd left, I still felt the potential of what the game could be, I remembered what the game had been, but I just couldn't bring myself to wait around hoping for a brighter tomorrow. When the NGE was announced, all of that potential was crushed and, as someone who'd played a Dancer and Creature Handler, I saw any chance of returning to the game crushed right along with it, because they killed my character as surely as (insert Star Wars villain) killed (insert Star Wars red shirt).

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