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News & Features Discussion  » Star Wars: The Old Republic: For Better or Worse

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Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/07
Posts: 254

4/05/11 6:12:01 PM#61

some people here have waaay too much time on their hands


Novice Member

Joined: 1/30/07
Posts: 123

4/05/11 6:21:43 PM#62

"to live up to its own admittedly ridiculously heightened expectations"

It's made by's going to be awesome. :o


Novice Member

Joined: 12/05/10
Posts: 10

4/05/11 6:23:47 PM#63

Brilliant and insightful article... my thanx to the author.


Obviously, I agree with the assesment of this author, and I would simply add one salient point - the very loud, and very constant, calls on forums for a new and better sandbox, are coming from a MINORITY portion of the MMO audience... they always have been the minority, and most likely always will be.  Just a simple truth... you don't have to like it... you just have to recognize it.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/19/09
Posts: 422

Never attribute to stupidity that which can be adequately explained by malice.

4/05/11 6:24:01 PM#64

"On the other hand, if the game fails to live up to its own admittedly ridiculously heightened expectations, it has the potential to serve as a cautionary tale for big investors and big publishers. Too big and too broad is very likely to give way to smaller, niche targeted titles."

Based on this, I kinda want TOR to fail...  I'd like to see more niche games.  But on the flip side, TOR does look like a lot of fun.

Important facts:
1. Free to Play games are poorly made.
2. Casuals are not all idiots, but idiots call themselves casuals.
3. Great solo and group content are not mutually exclusive, but they suffer when one is shoved into the mold of the other. The same is true of PvP and PvE.
4. Community is more important than you think.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/22/05
Posts: 975

4/05/11 6:25:00 PM#65
Originally posted by Feverfew

"to live up to its own admittedly ridiculously heightened expectations"

It's made by's going to be awesome. :o

Sonic Chronicles, Dragon Age 2.

No company, not even Bioware, is infallible.

  User Deleted
4/05/11 7:09:51 PM#66

Am playing devil's advocate here lately,though i feel i am given all the reason for this..i quote the writer of this article:

"It’s going to look amazing, sound amazing, and run as close to lag-free as the developers can make it. It’s also going to be chock full of content"

Now if you all saw this from any of us in here,any,you could have said 'what a troll'..How much worse could it be when someone working (he gets payed for this,salaries mean money,money means motive,yes even in here) in this site writes it? I'd say its big bad mojo trolling..cause in this case,they have a profit behind their reasoning. Why do i bother? Good point..except 3 years ago,we had something called Gamespot. Before it became the commercial pimp it is today. That's why. MAybe the first,but doesn't mean the last..You may flame me away now for being so critical of MMORPG's intentions here. I wish you well.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/23/11
Posts: 870

4/05/11 7:15:54 PM#67
Originally posted by Athcear

"On the other hand, if the game fails to live up to its own admittedly ridiculously heightened expectations, it has the potential to serve as a cautionary tale for big investors and big publishers. Too big and too broad is very likely to give way to smaller, niche targeted titles."

Based on this, I kinda want TOR to fail...  I'd like to see more niche games.  But on the flip side, TOR does look like a lot of fun.

 But it can be that there is no cash...which leds to crappy graphics, servers, buggy programs, slow customer service due to lack of personnel, etc...there is a downside to no big investors.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 957

4/05/11 7:24:29 PM#68

This is exactly the problem, people dont support the games they claim to want. I Played Fallen Earth for a good 8 months and loved it, the problem was most of my friends I brought to the game and made in the game didnt stick with it.

They liked aspects of it but didnt like lack of content and bugs. We had loads of fun grouped up together running missions in the first 2 zones the problem with Zone 2 was people had to pick a faction and suddenly we couldnt run quests as a group due to faction incompatability :(

I love that game but the dwindling population (the game is really dead in my timezone) meant I was finding ti difficult to progress through the higher level content and decided paying the monthly fee was a waste of money to just spend hours exploring and collecting crafting components.


I will certainly be buying SWTOR because I am a self confessed Star Wars nut and a huge Bioware fan but I recognise now that it is unlikely to be the type of MMO I really want to play and as a result if I last 4 months playing it I will be genuinely surprised.


Advanced Member

Joined: 5/01/10
Posts: 112

4/05/11 7:38:40 PM#69

It does not matter to me im a star war's freak that will be buying it and playing it so yeah.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/09/06
Posts: 2206

4/05/11 7:46:21 PM#70
Originally posted by cinos
Originally posted by Feverfew

"to live up to its own admittedly ridiculously heightened expectations"

It's made by's going to be awesome. :o

Sonic Chronicles, Dragon Age 2.

No company, not even Bioware, is infallible.

 Those examples are strictly ones own opinion..

DA 2 is getting good marks all over the place.


Back on topic:  The point is every MMO genre is going to have its flops.The question is where has there been the most success? in the theme park MMO genre . Companies see this and thus try to replicate past success.

Why take a chance on a niche sandox MMO when majority of the consumer is willing to fork over the cash for rehashed theme park MMO's over and over again? TOR and GW2 already emphasize this emphatically and they arent even out yet! .

The Sandbox MMO's that have released are too half assed? well if you stick with it over time it wont be.Its true with any mmo that has a rocky not so perfect start..EQ1 was terrible at the beginning,now its going on 12 years and what? 17 expansions?.OP's example of Eve and how it started out as a small,minuscule niche based mmo...not so anymore.


Novice Member

Joined: 12/02/10
Posts: 2425

4/05/11 7:48:22 PM#71
Originally posted by tank017
Originally posted by cinos
Originally posted by Feverfew

"to live up to its own admittedly ridiculously heightened expectations"

It's made by's going to be awesome. :o

Sonic Chronicles, Dragon Age 2.

No company, not even Bioware, is infallible.

 Those examples are strictly ones own opinion..

DA 2 is getting good marks all over the place.

Those good marks should be taken with a major grain of salt considering escapist gave it a perfect score and PCgamer called it the best RPG of the decade.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/08/11
Posts: 219

4/05/11 7:52:22 PM#72

I agree with Androus 100%  The cinematics might be cool but if the gameplay is bad it wont matter ...


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/06/10
Posts: 478

4/05/11 7:58:01 PM#73

Biowatre have got their definition of mmo all wrong. you can have cenematic and themed gamplay where every single charecter is the savior of the universe. individual heroisation only works in single player games that is driven by story such as the 2 kotor games.


these methods and mechanics cannot and will not support a lasting interactive community in an mmo of this type.

reasons -

1/ companions remove litterally the requirement for multi player  aspects of the game

2/ companions doing your crafting removes litterally another aspect of mmo gam play resulting in even more limitation of content.

3/ rail based space shooter encloses the feel of the mmo universe into a more confined space removeing anyfeel of scope and depth from the game universe.

4/ story in mmo is pointless, no one plays mmos to read stories and follow set paths crerated by devs to an eventual end game scenario, if they do then they are playing mmo's for the wrong reasons, an mmo is about an evolving realistic living world where players can interact and become part of it. this game doesnt allow for this.

5/ cenematic cut scenes to represent travel from one area to another just adds to the enclosure like feeling, a bit like being in pens with little gates leading into other little pens, game worlds today need to be flowing and transition free.

6/ this game is useing extremely old school methods for its combat system its mroe or less static combat, you select your target and all your hits are already aimed for you and automatically hit home.  this renders any kind of combat/pvp boreing dull and nothing we havnt all seen in other games over the past 10 years.

7/ end game stuff pvp dungeons and so on, these things have a life expectancy, players will play these until they get bored, then they will cancel subscriptions, this is imply the way of things with games of this type. no mmo should have end game, an mmo isnt suppsoed to end an mmo is supposed to be a living breathing persistant world that the players have a hand in at changeing and altering with lasting effects.. this game will not have this.


it doesnt matter how much money you spend on a product!!!! if the product is limited to only one function then it can only be used for one thing. products as we are aware have life spans before they become obsolete. in the gameing world on average to the common gamer  a new game of this type will last them at best aproximately 2 years tops. and thats pushing it. the entire games contents can be explored in less than a year just playing casual. once all content has been explored and experienced there is only one more reason to keep logging in, and thats to see your fake friends you have made online. thats not a good enough reason.

this game    doesnt offer enough for the seasoned gamer, the seasoned gamer wants more from an mmo at end game other than running the same old dungeons over and over again for guild mates to get the same old crap.

i can think of only one games developer today that truely knows what an mmo is supposed to be and thats ccp.

an mmo is about a community thats is constantly in touch with the ingame mechanics and persistancy of the game world. the players make the mmo great not what the developers put into it.  its no good makeing a really polished game tyhat looks great and runs smooth if it can only be played for a few months before players get fed up and bored.


this game is going to be exactly that.

putting the player in the hero and savior spotlight works a treat in a single player game such as kotor, this is supposed to be an MMO............ that kind of philosphy wont work and never has worked. 


how ever swtor will survive for one reaosn and one reason alone.. the starwars fans who dont know what an mmo is. im fairly confident that when the starwars galaxies vetts see the this new game they will stick with swg. they will do this because even though swg has been brutaly maimed by soe, its still a pretty awesome starwars experience. infact i predict swtor will bringing new life to swg :)

swg does everything swtor is trying to do and much much much more. 

size isnt everything -

so the op says he read somewhere this game will be the biggest, well i hate to chuck a spanner in the works but there is no way on this green earth that this game will ever manage to come close to the size of eve-online. now thats a huge game and is currently the biggest game world with the most players in a single server in the whole world.

there is no other game on the planet that can claim they have upto 40,000 players online at once in a single server!!! no game.. only eve can claim that. eve also has over 6000 areas for players to explore. and there is no level limits infact there are no levels at all, the game is in all sence of the word endless.

swtor wont flop for one reason,,, startrek online didnt flop and that has to be the worlds worst game........ and that didnt flop because of the massive fan base startrek has.  starwars has a much much larger fan base. and it will be fans that are pleased with the product not the actual mmo gamers.

im both a starwars fan and mmo gamer and i wish for only one thing. they dont release this game and completely redevelop it so its more like swg crossed with eve online. playing a game as a fan isnt enough for me with my understand and experience of mmo's i know more is possible than what is being presented at present. and i also know bioware have little interest in what a true mmo  is.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/05/11
Posts: 14

4/05/11 8:02:42 PM#74

All that said, BioWare has done a great job in bringing the Star Wars universe to an MMO. And when you consider the entire game is different for each of the four player classes (Sith Warrior, Bounty Hunter, Smuggler and Trooper) with zero repetition of quests between them, you're looking at a doubly massive MMO.


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/17/10
Posts: 1064

4/05/11 8:05:34 PM#75

So much crap being said here again about storydriven PvE, FFAPvP, themeparks and sandboxes...

Titles like WoW only have a chance to succeed, if there's tons of readily available content to play with and it have to have lot's of interesting dungeons as end-game-content you actually want to play more often then a single time.
A MMO in that category needs polished and interesting content at release or it'll fail.

In the category of sandboxes, and more precisely the type like EvE Online with FFA PvP, there need to be safe areas and consequences for killing others in those safe areas. Otherwise it'll turn into a brainless gankfest and fail.
EvE Online is succesful because it has the option to never see any PvP happening. If you ask around you'll actually find out, that half of the EvE players are only doing stuff like missions, mining, crafting and trading... and they're doing it without being harmed by anyone 99.9% of the time they're playing. The remaining 0.1% can additionally be prepared for by listening to the rest of EvE and following some easy rules.

All it comes down to these days is the question: "Is it feature-ready and polished on release or not."
This alone makes or breaks a game these days, where noone has time or confidence anymore to wait for a game to get there and grow big. PvE or PvP, themepark or sandbox doesn't matter actually.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/09/06
Posts: 2206

4/05/11 8:11:07 PM#76
Originally posted by romanator0
Originally posted by tank017
Originally posted by cinos
Originally posted by Feverfew

"to live up to its own admittedly ridiculously heightened expectations"

It's made by's going to be awesome. :o

Sonic Chronicles, Dragon Age 2.

No company, not even Bioware, is infallible.

 Those examples are strictly ones own opinion..

DA 2 is getting good marks all over the place.

Those good marks should be taken with a major grain of salt considering escapist gave it a perfect score and PCgamer called it the best RPG of the decade.

 Its best to have more than a couple critic sources..

Gamespot and IGN give it scores in the 8 range.Along with ratings from your average players who also gave it around an 8 score.

So i'll be giving them the benefit of doubt and take a little more than a grain of salt in this case.


Managing Editor

Joined: 7/08/05
Posts: 6729

4/05/11 8:12:50 PM#77

Originally posted by Denambren

You can't say that games like Earthrise (!?!!?) and Fallen Earth are games that sandbox fans should have supported. These games were an embarassment to gamers because of the state they were released in. 


You probably would have benefited from actually reading the article where I specifically outline EXACTLY what you just said.

Just sayin'

Jon Wood
Managing Editor


Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/06/10
Posts: 478

4/05/11 8:15:55 PM#78

Originally posted by Deathofsage


On the one hand, if the game is a success with long term retention of subscribers and hot box sales, that makes a firm statement that players want to see story-driven, theme park designed AAA MMOs. It will set a precedent that if you want to succeed in this market you’re going to have to cough up the how many millions and millions of dollars that Star Wars’ budget is rumored to be.


On the other hand, if the game fails to live up to its own admittedly ridiculously heightened expectations, it has the potential to serve as a cautionary tale for big investors and big publishers. Too big and too broad is very likely to give way to smaller, niche targeted titles.


Sure you beat us to it saying this but "As has been said about every 'game-changer' since WoW spilled out into mainstream".


Whichever way the wind blows though, I think that the story of Star Wars: The Old Republic, its development, existence and eventual success or failure is as much about us as a player community as it is about Bioware, EA and their teams.


You see, it’s been a long progression getting here but we, as an MMO fan community, are watching the construction of a monolithic project that we helped to create. Not with our mad design skills or even our money (ok, some of our money, I’m sure), but with our participation in the MMO genre as a whole.


The game is, after all, the perfect representation of what MMORPG players have been pushing for (with their wallets, not with their forum posts). It’s a theme park, with questing and easy solo-ability. It’s got a lot of the hallmarks of the MMO genre, crafting, housing, PvP battlegrounds, questing, leveling, classes and the like. The UI looks exactly how you’d expect an MMO’s UI to look and will function the same. It’s going to look amazing, sound amazing, and run as close to lag-free as the developers can make it. It’s also going to be chock full of content.  By last count, I think that they said it was the equivalent of five new Knights of the Old Republic RPGs. Like many of the recent MMOs, it’s going to have some kind of endgame that the developers just keep refusing to unveil.


Right-o, we don't have a lot of choices so while we have endured little respectable progression in the millenium, it's our fault. I mean we're playing something so it must be exactly what we want. Good thing they got it right the first time.


So how did we get to the point where we’re looking at the only successful MMOs being the games that meet the above description? The answer, at least as far as I’ve figured it out, is actually fairly simple if we stop to look at it:

We don’t and haven’t as a whole really supported anything else.


Those of us who talk about wanting to play another kind of MMO, the sandbox kind that grows and evolves with the players and is based more on player action than it is developer made content, just haven’t put our money where our mouths are.


Let’s for a moment exclude EVE Online, which is the exception to this rule and has been for quite some time. If we look at the games that have been even remotely sandbox over the last few years (titles like Fallen Earth and Earthrise spring immediately to mind) the support just hasn’t been there.


Where's the triple-A sandbox? Since we're not counting EVE, where's the sandbox that got as much dollar-sign-love as Warcraft? Releases that are full of bugs aren't fun just because the developers think they can meet a deadline and patch crap in later. Nothing takes you out of the immersion like a crash, a blue screen or especially character wipe/backup restoration.


What’s that you say and are immediately rushing to the forums to comment on before reading the rest of the article? The games felt buggy and only partly finished? They weren’t polished enough? They didn’t look good enough? They need to release a full game before they get your money? They weren’t enough of a sandbox?


Honestly, it’s comments like these and the attitudes that come with them that have contributed to building the Star Wars monolith. The reason that all of the money and all of the publishers turn away from open, sandbox MMOs is because they’re absolutely impossible to build in the current state of the market. Not because of the games being made, but because even the audience that screams as loudly as they can that they want something different isn’t willing to support the natural process that comes with that kind of game.


I read your article. I looked at the pretty pictures. I forget that we're supposed to tolerate poor quality and not just us, but our more casual friends as well. We're supposed to endure what we want them to make shinier so they know to make it shinier.


The industry-wide perception is that players today simply aren’t willing to stand by a sandbox game and give it the support that it needs in order to grow into the game experience that its community expects. The more direct interaction and control that the players are given, the less that the developers can or even should do right out of the gate.


Let’s look at EVE Online (ok, so we’re not so much setting it aside as I thought) as an example of a successful sandbox-style MMO. Like the game or not, you can’t deny its constant growth and the success and the expansion of its developers:


EVE Online started out a small, buggy little program with not a whole lot of variation in what players could do. Over time, and with a small group of devoted fans who stuck with the game, the developers added more and more, expanding their game, getting a handle on bugs (and creating some new ones), and with that came more and more subscribers.


Sandbox MMOs, the kind that many of us want to play and love, build up over time. They aren’t just magically pooped out of some machine at the end of a development cycle complete and ready to be populated. The start is supposed to be rocky and incomplete. If you want polished and finished and full of content, which honestly seems many of us do, then the theme park monoliths are your best bet. They were, after all, built out of the general public’s sharing of those same desires. Not everyone “gets” why they would pay for something that isn’t done just so that they can have an ideal experience down the line, and that’s fine.  It’s a perfectly reasonable argument. Just don’t make said argument at the same time that you complain about wanting a great new sandbox to play in.


Do you think EVE would be a success today? I don't think it would be.


The first cars were amazing cars for their day. They were awesome! You can't look back on the early hand built and early mass production stuff without respect but they were for another time.


Vehicles today are expected (and required by law in that case lol) to have features and meet performance demands that the early cars wouldn't meet.


Hardcore dedicated communities stuck to EVE because there wasn't competition. Bugs and incomplete status was ok because... What else are you going to do? It's a different world today.


This isn’t to say that we’re entirely responsible for all of the ills of gaming. For example, there’s really nothing wrong with the Star Wars monolith and the vision of MMOs that it represents. It’s just not what old school hardcore players think of as an MMO.


Then there’s the fact that some sandbox developers don’t get that they may have to suffer through a long-term period of growth before player numbers really pick up and they fail to plan for that.


So whichever way the wind blows with Star Wars: The Old Republic and whatever the fallout from it may be, it’s a bed that we all made, from developers to the media to theme park players and even sandbox hopefuls. The most expensive MMO ever developed was created by the industry and the market that we helped to build.   




am I the only one that thought this was a bank in dalaran at first glance? (Wotlk) That's not a comparison, I just got a good laugh out of it.


im going to post you a link, this is direct from ccp and its an idea of what they are trying to do with eve-online.... now this in my book is what mmo development is all about..


Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/04
Posts: 293

4/05/11 8:17:51 PM#79

I've played mmo as long as the typical mmo player, started in UO back in 97 and played loads of games before that.

In pretty much all mmos, I read the quest text one time on my main chaqracter and then anytime I'm playin an alt I just burn through the options to get to the end.  I imagine alot of mmo players are like me. I'm not going to get anything new from reading the quest text on my  7th max level character.

I enjoy the difference between classes and the vastness or worlds. I don't care much for what some npc has to say on some planet that costs them 30$ an hour. Wether he sounds like James Earl Jones or just has text.

The Stranger: It's what people know about themselves inside that makes 'em afraid.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/14/10
Posts: 25

No mercy can be given, once mercy is refused

4/05/11 8:21:32 PM#80

Great article. you hit the nail on the head. And even though you explained the difference sandbox and themepark, some idiots on here still don't get it. Oh well. If DC Universe online is any indication of how well SWTOR will do, DCUO sold well, is still selling well and people are still playing it. Star Trek Online is another one. I love both games and play them equally. Honestly - Sandbox games take alot of time and effort on the gamers part. I remember playing Eve Online and Star Wars Galaxies on Day one. And it was absolutely horrible (by today's standard at least). I remember playing for whole weeks at a time. And I'm just not in that place where I can devote that much time to a game anymore. And I think alot of people fall into that category. We're the ones playing STO, & DCUO. And hopefully soon - SWTOR. I played Star Wars Galaxies up until the developers rewrote the game and made it less sandboxy (is that a word?) I felt as though they had slighted me because of all  the time and effort I put into that game. They actually lost a lot of players because of it. True Sandbox games are risky. STO, DCUO, & SWTOR arent risky from a gaming standpoint. They (the developers) know that fans of the license are shoe-ins. And Hardcore gamers are going to (at the least) give it a try because its in their nature. And as long as people keep playing, they'll keep adding content. I like that I can come home from work, turn on a game (DCUO, or STO), play it for a few hours and call it quits. And when I stop playing my head doesn't hurt like it would after SWG or EO. I'm not saying those games weren't awesome because they were. I'm just saying that IMO there's room for both types and that each evolves in it's on way. I agree with the article - you can't say (well you can, but it won't do you any good) "I want a deep sandbox MMO experience" and at the same time expect said sandbox MMO to be complete with content on DAY 1. Theres nothing wrong with fast food gaming (even in MMOs). Its all in how it's presented. In the case of SWTOR, I'm a HUGE SW fan first, and a gamer second. I don't really care about it not being sandboxy (there's that word again) enough. What I care about is being able to jump into on day one and "get my star wars on" (that's slang for those not in the know) for a couple of hours. Truth be told I'll probably play way longer than that the first night because as I mentioned early, I'm big SW fanboy. I hope it succeeds. I don't wish any game to fail. I guess the answer to the question is what do you consider success or failure? Is it about the initial numbers or is it about consistant subscriber base? 

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