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News & Features Discussion  » Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Old Republic Will Change the Industry

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306 posts found
  Skuz

Novice Member

Joined: 12/25/08
Posts: 1038

"If you can''t laugh at yourself there''s always someone around to show you how it''s done!"

7/21/11 2:38:24 AM#181

Devil's Advocate?


My arse it was. This entire post was entirely lacking in any content that speaks to the premise of the piece & amounted, in the closing words to;


"this game will change the industry because...........................................it's being made by BioWare"


Winner of the weakest ever argument award I think, go back & look up what D?evil's Advocate means & then come back with an argument with more than the sound-bite gravitas that this had.


  Phry

Elite Member

Joined: 7/01/04
Posts: 5032

7/21/11 2:43:51 AM#182
Originally posted by Skuz

Devil's Advocate?


My arse it was. This entire post was entirely lacking in any content that speaks to the premise of the piece & amounted, in the closing words to;


"this game will change the industry because...........................................it's being made by BioWare"


Winner of the weakest ever argument award I think, go back & look up what D?evil's Advocate means & then come back with an argument with more than the sound-bite gravitas that this had.

devils advocate. doesnt that mean you give an argument from the other side, so to speak.. as in .. one that you don't actually believe yourself?

  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

7/21/11 2:47:06 AM#183
Originally posted by Skuz

Devil's Advocate?


My arse it was.


Winner of the weakest ever argument award I think, go back & look up what D?evil's Advocate means & then come back with an argument with more than the sound-bite gravitas that this had.

Here you go:

"n common parlance, a devil's advocate is someone who, given a certain argument, takes a position he or she does not necessarily agree with, just for the sake of argument. In taking such position, the individual taking on the devil's advocate role seeks to engage others in an argumentative discussion process. The purpose of such process is typically to test the quality of the original argument and identify weaknesses in its structure, and to use such information to either improve or abandon the original, opposing position. It can also refer (less commonly) to someone who takes a stance that is seen as unpopular or unconventional, but is actually another way of arguing a more conventional stance."

The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."

  carebear77

Novice Member

Joined: 11/12/10
Posts: 89

Depth and more Depth is what drives games.

7/21/11 3:18:17 AM#184

Tor will not kill Rift.  PPL will head right back to the polished dynamic world of telara after Tor's shiny wears off. Trion is just doing things too well. There is no mmo company out there atm that can compete with TRION. They are bringing out new content at a rate of unheard since the dawn of MMO


GO TRION !!! 


  Adamai

Novice Member

Joined: 4/06/10
Posts: 463

7/21/11 6:07:50 AM#185

ok this is very very true -


 


BioWare is famous for some of the most in-depth, character driven storytelling ever in the video game industry. Speaking from an entirely personal standpoint, games like the Mass Effect or Dragon Age series', or, if you want to step back a few years, Neverwinter Nights and the Baldur's Gate series, have been some of the most brilliantly crafted narratives in video games in recent memory, only punctuated enthusiastically by being able to include the original KOTOR and KOTOR II to that very list. Even taking away the “personal” feelings towards the storytelling in these games, I steer your attention to Metacritic. Mass Effect 2 (for the XBox 360) snags a 96, Dragon Age: Origins (PC version) scores a 91 and even 8-year-old Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (on original XBox) walks away with a 94. Regardless of one’s own feelings towards Metacritic, we simply cannot argue with results like that.


 


how ever -


 


i would like to point out a few ignored obvious's!!


1st this is biowares first mmo and they are trying to make it story driven. now i dont know about the rest of you but i know this dumbs down the rest of the mmo experience through oo lets say 12 years of my mmo experience that ive bared witness to. you put in story, you take away a little peice of imagination on the players part. mmo's are all about utiliseing the imagination of the player community within the game. hence why its an rpg!! or supposed to be.


rpg is role playing game. you are playing the role of a charecter of your creation!! well in swtor it wont soley be your creation because your life and story is already laid out before you. lets just say your on a roller coaster that like all roller coasters come to a screaching halt.  and mmo's just shouldnt do that at all!! the fact that this does happen within mmo's removes the very essence of mmo from the supposed game claiming to be an mmo. what you end up with is a single player experience with an option to group up for mini games out side of story.


 


2nd neverwinter knights, kotor1 kotor 2 mass effect 1 and 2 baldurs gate dragon ages, what do all these have in common!!! well simple. they are all single player titles. you play them by your self!!! so if your playing them by your self? how do bioware keep you hooked into the game, well they use fantastic narative story as said above. i absolutely love biowares single player titles for exactly that reason. the story keeps you hooked and emerses you into the charecters they!! not you have pre added to the game for you to play.  that is why it works so well in single player mode. you dont have any out side conflictions from other players running their own stories.


imagine on a story stand point playing kotor 1 along side 6 other players playing jedi!! all the way through the game.. the story would be exactly the same for each of you.  im talking about the main story arc, because kotor only has a main story arc. each individual charecter that was created was given its very own preset already told story. how can you all do the same story and quests along side each other and experience emmersion. its simple really you cannot. because only one of you will be handling the dialogue while the rest of you will be well i dont know scratching your heads biteing your nails moaning about some one takeing too long or even having to wait while a none native english speaking player struggles with translations in your shared single player game experience.  remember this is about 6 people trying to play kotor as a multi play game. which is essential what swtor is.


now bioware have got round this little issue by giving every charecter class its very own story arc!! now dare i say that each of those story arcs are eventualy going to lead to a very very similar end game scenario for all classes on a particular faction!  so tell me.


if each class has its own story driving it through to max level, how do you emerse into a secondary story arc which is supposed to be the main concentration of the game and keep an mmo feel.  bare in mind companions are going to be your companions lol you wont be grouping with other players. well lots of people wont be some diehard traditional mmo fans will insist on groups..  what im trying to say is  your going to be constantly looseing your way as you hop from one story arc to another.  you will be getting emersed and then jumping into something else and looseing that emersion. then you will hop back to your story again and you wont quiet remember what was happening resulting in more loss of emersion.


so if your useing all your time and effort to follow the story's and trying to stay emersed in whats already been created and laid out for you!! how are you going to experience the mmo side of the game??  your going to be too busy form a solo stand point working out puzzles and quest chains and trying to focuss on your chars progression to even realise the games an mmo. you wont want other people in your group talking and throwing your concentration off as you are trying to unravle the all ready laid out mysteries bioware have predetermined for your online charecter.  oh yea did i mention each of your companions also have their own story too!!!  how are you going to keep track of that and play swtor as an mmo. something is going to give!! story drive doesnt work in an mmo.


3rd as far as im aware mmo's are about the players crreating their own charecters makeing them unique and living their own virtual reality in a fictional online game world!!  now there is only one part of that which will be available to you in swtor,, the fictional online game world part, you have lost everything else. you dont control your charecters progression its story who it is where its going what its doing. none of that.


 


you roll a jedi at the start, that jedi has an already made up story which you have no choice but to follow, this story will drive you through each stage of the game leaving you with no real reason to go back to other and previous areas as a player charecter that you have already quested through, with my experience quest chains dag you all over an area exploreing it for you!! they allow for you to accidentally on purpose stumble across hidden secrets. which are available to every single player. nothing you will find will be unique to you!!! it will be class unique that means every other jedi will have your same exact story items and secrets unlocks you name it, and all they have to do is follow the story, which might i add they dont have very little choice but to follow the story.


sure you could go off the beaten track and grind bad guys for a couple of levels. but you will have to eventualy hop back on the quest train!! and continnue down the linear path. oh yea by your self because your story is only for you!! and the main story arc is going to be progress based meaning that if you cannot find any one doing the exact same quests as you at the exact same point as you, then your essentialy running the main story arc solo too .


 


 this makes swtor a solo game!!!


4th and last -


so you have finished your quests and story, you have all the best gear which has been given to you through eng game quest chains. you have all the titles which have been served up on a plate to you as you have leveled up. your comapanions are doing all the crafting and gathering for you !!


 


so what next ??? what on earth do you do now with that charecter ?? and dont say pvp, we all know pvp is the smallest aspect of all mmo's  unless the mmo is labled a pvp mmo like games such as warhammer online!! swtor is a story mmo !!!


  Adamai

Novice Member

Joined: 4/06/10
Posts: 463

7/21/11 6:24:35 AM#186

Originally posted by Adamai



ok this is very very true -




 




BioWare is famous for some of the most in-depth, character driven storytelling ever in the video game industry. Speaking from an entirely personal standpoint, games like the Mass Effect or Dragon Age series', or, if you want to step back a few years, Neverwinter Nights and the Baldur's Gate series, have been some of the most brilliantly crafted narratives in video games in recent memory, only punctuated enthusiastically by being able to include the original KOTOR and KOTOR II to that very list. Even taking away the “personal” feelings towards the storytelling in these games, I steer your attention to Metacritic. Mass Effect 2 (for the XBox 360) snags a 96, Dragon Age: Origins (PC version) scores a 91 and even 8-year-old Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (on original XBox) walks away with a 94. Regardless of one’s own feelings towards Metacritic, we simply cannot argue with results like that.




 




how ever -




 




i would like to point out a few ignored obvious's!!




1st this is biowares first mmo and they are trying to make it story driven. now i dont know about the rest of you but i know this dumbs down the rest of the mmo experience through oo lets say 12 years of my mmo experience that ive bared witness to. you put in story, you take away a little peice of imagination on the players part. mmo's are all about utiliseing the imagination of the player community within the game. hence why its an rpg!! or supposed to be.




rpg is role playing game. you are playing the role of a charecter of your creation!! well in swtor it wont soley be your creation because your life and story is already laid out before you. lets just say your on a roller coaster that like all roller coasters come to a screaching halt.  and mmo's just shouldnt do that at all!! the fact that this does happen within mmo's removes the very essence of mmo from the supposed game claiming to be an mmo. what you end up with is a single player experience with an option to group up for mini games out side of story.




 




2nd neverwinter knights, kotor1 kotor 2 mass effect 1 and 2 baldurs gate dragon ages, what do all these have in common!!! well simple. they are all single player titles. you play them by your self!!! so if your playing them by your self? how do bioware keep you hooked into the game, well they use fantastic narative story as said above. i absolutely love biowares single player titles for exactly that reason. the story keeps you hooked and emerses you into the charecters they!! not you have pre added to the game for you to play.  that is why it works so well in single player mode. you dont have any out side conflictions from other players running their own stories.




imagine on a story stand point playing kotor 1 along side 6 other players playing jedi!! all the way through the game.. the story would be exactly the same for each of you.  im talking about the main story arc, because kotor only has a main story arc. each individual charecter that was created was given its very own preset already told story. how can you all do the same story and quests along side each other and experience emmersion. its simple really you cannot. because only one of you will be handling the dialogue while the rest of you will be well i dont know scratching your heads biteing your nails moaning about some one takeing too long or even having to wait while a none native english speaking player struggles with translations in your shared single player game experience.  remember this is about 6 people trying to play kotor as a multi play game. which is essential what swtor is.




now bioware have got round this little issue by giving every charecter class its very own story arc!! now dare i say that each of those story arcs are eventualy going to lead to a very very similar end game scenario for all classes on a particular faction!  so tell me.




if each class has its own story driving it through to max level, how do you emerse into a secondary story arc which is supposed to be the main concentration of the game and keep an mmo feel.  bare in mind companions are going to be your companions lol you wont be grouping with other players. well lots of people wont be some diehard traditional mmo fans will insist on groups..  what im trying to say is  your going to be constantly looseing your way as you hop from one story arc to another.  you will be getting emersed and then jumping into something else and looseing that emersion. then you will hop back to your story again and you wont quiet remember what was happening resulting in more loss of emersion.




so if your useing all your time and effort to follow the story's and trying to stay emersed in whats already been created and laid out for you!! how are you going to experience the mmo side of the game??  your going to be too busy form a solo stand point working out puzzles and quest chains and trying to focuss on your chars progression to even realise the games an mmo. you wont want other people in your group talking and throwing your concentration off as you are trying to unravle the all ready laid out mysteries bioware have predetermined for your online charecter.  oh yea did i mention each of your companions also have their own story too!!!  how are you going to keep track of that and play swtor as an mmo. something is going to give!! story drive doesnt work in an mmo.




3rd as far as im aware mmo's are about the players crreating their own charecters makeing them unique and living their own virtual reality in a fictional online game world!!  now there is only one part of that which will be available to you in swtor,, the fictional online game world part, you have lost everything else. you dont control your charecters progression its story who it is where its going what its doing. none of that.




 




you roll a jedi at the start, that jedi has an already made up story which you have no choice but to follow, this story will drive you through each stage of the game leaving you with no real reason to go back to other and previous areas as a player charecter that you have already quested through, with my experience quest chains dag you all over an area exploreing it for you!! they allow for you to accidentally on purpose stumble across hidden secrets. which are available to every single player. nothing you will find will be unique to you!!! it will be class unique that means every other jedi will have your same exact story items and secrets unlocks you name it, and all they have to do is follow the story, which might i add they dont have very little choice but to follow the story.




sure you could go off the beaten track and grind bad guys for a couple of levels. but you will have to eventualy hop back on the quest train!! and continnue down the linear path. oh yea by your self because your story is only for you!! and the main story arc is going to be progress based meaning that if you cannot find any one doing the exact same quests as you at the exact same point as you, then your essentialy running the main story arc solo too .




 




 this makes swtor a solo game!!!




4th and last -




so you have finished your quests and story, you have all the best gear which has been given to you through eng game quest chains. you have all the titles which have been served up on a plate to you as you have leveled up. your comapanions are doing all the crafting and gathering for you !!




 




so what next ??? what on earth do you do now with that charecter ?? and dont say pvp, we all know pvp is the smallest aspect of all mmo's  unless the mmo is labled a pvp mmo like games such as warhammer online!! swtor is a story mmo !!!



 


Ok i forgot to mention that EA has its fingers in this pie. so i wander if the pvp is going to be battlefront type pvp. which if i may be so bold.  havnt we all been playing the battlefront series for along long long time already.  its EA i cant imagine pvp being anything but battlefront. 2 teams of 60 per arena and flags to cap and guard with a kill ticker. first team to reach 500 kills wins lol yea thats going to get old really really fast just like it did in battle front.


pvp is not the answer to end game.. depth and emersion capability is.


i think we are going to see alot of people goofing around in public areas once they have everying clocked. and maybe a few rp'ers knocking about. and that will be end game.


 


yea im not as excited about this as some people lol, infact im kinda dissapointed that we are being given yet another wow copy.


ill try it but i know i wont like it. they should have made kotor 3

  User Deleted
7/21/11 6:28:59 AM#187
Originally posted by carebear77

Tor will not kill Rift.  PPL will head right back to the polished dynamic world of telara after Tor's shiny wears off. Trion is just doing things too well. There is no mmo company out there atm that can compete with TRION. They are bringing out new content at a rate of unheard since the dawn of MMO


GO TRION !!! 

so wait tor cant compete with rift dude rift is ok i played it beta it ant for me and ant my pie to eat.  i beleave tor can complete with rift because its going to get better over time just wait. 

  dageeza

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/14/04
Posts: 577

7/21/11 7:39:35 AM#188

Im going to say drew has truly stepped in as the devils advocate on this one!


All of the early telltale signs we vets often look at indicate that TOR will be an average but very fun shortrun game of course nothing can be anchored in concrete just yet..


Playing GW2..

  blisstree

Novice Member

Joined: 6/29/11
Posts: 3

7/21/11 7:52:28 AM#189

Man, some people on here have extremely thin skin.  Yes, the type of player mentioned in the article is a minority.  But you all act insulted and lash out rather than simply admit to the reality.  The majority of gamers are just looking for entertainment for a few hours a week.  The hardcore gamers are NOT the majority and since every one of these companies that create and sell games and mmos do so for profit, you are not a major contributing factor to their profitability. 


That's not a bad thing.  Quite frankly, I enjoy being in a minority.


As for the Rift vs. SW:tOR argument, I can only say having played Rift during beta and until a month ago, it is an enjoyable game with a different perspective on the fantasy mmo thing.  That being said, their customer service is atrocious and at least some of their GMs are extremely unprofessional and, as a result, I cancelled my account with them.  *sigh* I will simply wait for SW:tOR to come out before unleashing the beast within on another pay-to-play game.  For the record, I'm currently subscribed to Age of Conan, but truthfully, as much as I love the Hyborean world, it's just another grind-to-level game.  Decent setting, nice graphics, but after a while, extremely boring.  No real in-depth story to immerse yourself in and the combat system, although unique, is (in a word) stupid.


  sazabi

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/07
Posts: 396

7/21/11 7:54:23 AM#190

it might rule the industry as one of the biggest mmos.


change the industry? heck no.


what does it offer that others dont? seriously.


  DiEx80

Novice Member

Joined: 8/17/10
Posts: 31

7/21/11 8:23:48 AM#191


Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Old Republic Will Change the Industry



Stepping up to the plate with this week's Devil's Advocate, Drew Wood takes a look at BioWare's supposed forthcoming Opus, Star Wars: The Old Republic and some of the general complaints from the MMO Community about the game's structure. Will SW:TOR revolutionize the way that MMOs are produced? The Devil's Advocate seems to think there's a good chance.


 


LOL LOL LOL!!!! Here we go again!


If I had a dollar for every time I heard that from other MMOs, I would be a rich man!


I've heard this countless of times and, call me sceptical, I have my doubts. ESPECIALLY since EA has their hands in this.


  User Deleted
7/21/11 8:28:28 AM#192
Originally posted by sazabi

it might rule the industry as one of the biggest mmos.


change the industry? heck no.


what does it offer that others dont? seriously.

As a game designer/bussiness man are you going to risk 80 million dollors making an MMO?

 

If one of the gaming gaming companies backed by one the biggest gaming publishers using one of the biggiest and most reconizable IP in the world couldn't make a successful MMO why would anyone in their right mind make another?

  Konyak

Novice Member

Joined: 7/02/11
Posts: 158

7/21/11 8:31:45 AM#193

Uh, no, it won't change the industry. There's nothing that this game has that blows my mind.


This article is just another sad attempt by an MMO gamer to hype him or herself about a game that's been relatively unimpressive. This happens all the time in the MMO community and I'm getting pretty sick of it. Because it's gotten to the point where it's just as much the gamer's fault as it is the developer's. Maybe if we all actually supported games and developers that challenged themselves along with the industry, then we wouldn't have had so many clones of WoW the past decade.


A developer starts talking about a game that has some form of aspect to it that's intriguing(in this case, the Star Wars universe) and people autmotically go into ignorant mode. They refuse to look at bad aspects to this game. On one hand, it's tackling a deep and rich universe, on the other however, it's more of the same with a different setting. Badly written articles like this one is exactly why the MMO industry has been in such a funk. If you keep supporting crappy looking games, then that's what you'll get for a while. Crappy games.


  mgilbrtsn

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/14/09
Posts: 1079

He who fights and runs away... misses out on the loot

7/21/11 8:36:34 AM#194

I'm looking forward to trying the game.  Do I expect it to 'change the industry'... nope.  The model for play seems pretty standard, so I believe it will be fun in a tried and true fashion.  Also, it depends on your gaming style as to what would 'change the industry' for you.  If you are a theme park fan, this might be an industry changer for you.  However, for myself, who like sandbox type games, and very good sandbox game would be an industry changer for me, but not the theme park fans.

They are coming for you!

  User Deleted
7/21/11 8:38:01 AM#195
Originally posted by Konyak

Uh, no, it won't change the industry. There's nothing that this game has that blows my mind.


This article is just another sad attempt by an MMO gamer to hype him or herself about a game that's been relatively unimpressive. This happens all the time in the MMO community and I'm getting pretty sick of it. Because it's gotten to the point where it's just as much the gamer's fault as it is the developer's. Maybe if we all actually supported games and developers that challenged themselves along with the industry, then we wouldn't have had so many clones of WoW the past decade.


A developer starts talking about a game that has some form of aspect to it that's intriguing(in this case, the Star Wars universe) and people autmotically go into ignorant mode. They refuse to look at bad aspects to this game. On one hand, it's tackling a deep and rich universe, on the other however, it's more of the same with a different setting. Badly written articles like this one is exactly why the MMO industry has been in such a funk. If you keep supporting crappy looking games, then that's what you'll get for a while. Crappy games.

What you said there was the reason I continued to play WoW even after I got bored with it.

 

Every game Post wow save for RIFT and Guild Wars was absolute shit, people wernt playing them because they were WoW Clones they were not playing them because they sucked eggs.

 

People are excited for TOR because its something (From the looks of it) that will not suck ass, its the same reason people enjoyed RIFT. It was something different and polished. 

  gilgamesh9

Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/10
Posts: 137

7/21/11 9:19:22 AM#196

Originally posted by Nanfoodle

Man are you off base. Crafting, Companions, Player ships, Space combat are just a few things off the top of my head that are being handled in a new and unique way in TOR. This MMO is far from a copy cut of WoW. Saying so show how little you know about this game. Will it be the next MMO that breaks millions of subs? We will see. Will its have a large population? I bet ya it will.



 


Rail shooter have been around since the 80['s... SWTOR's "space combat" is anything but revolutionary... it's devolutionary.  Especially since it's stuck being a solo arcade game... IN AN MMO.


  yevoc42

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/27/08
Posts: 33

7/21/11 9:29:50 AM#197
KOTOR II was NOT made by Bioware!! I feel a bit embarrassed for the author to include that game in a list of "high quality" creations.
  garry

Novice Member

Joined: 4/16/05
Posts: 264

7/21/11 10:02:37 AM#198

OK then, read thru all these posts, more or less. Tired of hearing the same old same old posts over and over. I gave my opinion 30n min ago with a pre-order on Origin of the Digital Deluxe Edition. Looking forward to playing the game. Critic and anti-critic posts...meh.


  Konyak

Novice Member

Joined: 7/02/11
Posts: 158

7/21/11 11:01:35 AM#199

Originally posted by Snaylor47



Originally posted by Konyak


Uh, no, it won't change the industry. There's nothing that this game has that blows my mind.




This article is just another sad attempt by an MMO gamer to hype him or herself about a game that's been relatively unimpressive. This happens all the time in the MMO community and I'm getting pretty sick of it. Because it's gotten to the point where it's just as much the gamer's fault as it is the developer's. Maybe if we all actually supported games and developers that challenged themselves along with the industry, then we wouldn't have had so many clones of WoW the past decade.




A developer starts talking about a game that has some form of aspect to it that's intriguing(in this case, the Star Wars universe) and people autmotically go into ignorant mode. They refuse to look at bad aspects to this game. On one hand, it's tackling a deep and rich universe, on the other however, it's more of the same with a different setting. Badly written articles like this one is exactly why the MMO industry has been in such a funk. If you keep supporting crappy looking games, then that's what you'll get for a while. Crappy games.



What you said there was the reason I continued to play WoW even after I got bored with it.


 


Every game Post wow save for RIFT and Guild Wars was absolute shit, people wernt playing them because they were WoW Clones they were not playing them because they sucked eggs.


 


People are excited for TOR because its something (From the looks of it) that will not suck ass, its the same reason people enjoyed RIFT. It was something different and polished. 



 


The sucked because they were clones of WoW. And that's why most have no long term relevance because they're just crappy copies of an already out dated game. You can polish Rift and TOR all you want, that's all fine and dandy. But this is an industry that needs something to push it in the RIGHT direction. Not the wrong one. Rift dabbled with it. Had a nice concept but it tried to mix it with an already existing MMO formula. At the end of the day, it just won't have the longevity or relevance.


TOR is going to be in this boat because Bioware can't afford to take risks(actually, they can, they just won't). Bioware is a great developer. I love Mass Effect, KOTOR, and Jade Empire. But their first MMO is going to fail on the quality level.


  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1789

7/21/11 11:12:26 AM#200

Originally posted by Normike



Originally posted by xpiher



 

What you like about SWTOR is the story line. Thats fine, I'm not aruging that it won't be good. I'm saying that in and of itself is not enough to warrant calling the game a great MMO. The story doesn't foster comunity building, it detracts from it. Thats the problem I have with MMOs in general, community building has been replaced by raid instances, ques, PQ, and meaningless factional content.


Sandbox games typically do not have that problem. The commuinity building aspect is the heart of the game. The problem with most Sandbox MMOs is that they aren't made by people with money who are able to code in all the tools required to allow the players to create a great community. The new ones that have been released suffer from this problem: DFO, MO, Xsyon, Earth Rise, etc.


The only game that is coming out in the near future that is anything close to what would make a great community building game is ArchAge. It is a sandbox game with Themepark elements (raids, intro quest, leveling) but its heart its community building, world shaping, tempered by open world conflict. When you get killed, it will matter. When you get your house, it will matter. You can actually create syndicates in the game because you can actually control markets! The same is true with EvE and I'd play EvE if the combat wasn't so boring. I'm hoping that tera forming planets and the introduction of Dust will change that.



I kind of agree with you. Sandbox type games are awesome, amazing, godly even. But when I look at the games that affected me so much they burned themselves into my head the one thing they all had in common is the ability to provide an engaging story. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, The Elder Scrolls Daggerfall, Baldur's Gate 2, KOTOR 1 + 2, Jade Empire, Vampire the Masquerade. Mystery, betrayal, revenge, relationships, wars, defeat, hope, sacrifice. The other important thing is exploration and discovery.


 


Sandbox MMOs typicaly grab me because of the exploration and discovery. But I don't stay long because they fail on narrative. They fail to give me reason to care about anything that happens in the world. I want a rollercoaster ride, not a lego ladder.


 


That's the main reason why the future isn't a pure sandbox. People want to be shocked, thrilled, puzzled, engaged. They want that roller coaster ride where they are screaming at the top of their lungs because what happened was so unbelievable. Sandboxes have a difficult time doing that consistently because of the weak narrative. Yes players can create their own narrative, but it's rarely as good as a precision designed narrative like movies, dramatic tv shows, etc.


 


It's also the reason why I think Bioware went with narrative. If they can get people to remember their SWTOR characters the way people still remember Minsc and Boo, Commander Shephard, Luke Skywalker, Kyle Katarn, HK-47, Gandalf then they will have created a successful story MMO, with a few sandbox elements inside.



 


I believe you are falling prey to a common misconception, that "sandbox" inherently means a lack of quality story/narrative. Although that may be are rather common situation in many of the current sandbox MMO's on the market, there is absolutely nothing inherent about "sandbox" that neccesitates that.


If you had any experience with the any of the old text based MUD's/MUSH's (something like Gemstone or Dragonrealms) that would become apparent. In many ways, they were the ultimate sandoboxes and at the same time, they had not one story but THOUSANDS of them, many deep and meaningful...full of complex characters, drama, intrigue, betrayel, etc.


What a sandbox inherently lacks is a PRE-SCRIPTED PERSONAL story that the developer wrote for your character. It can't have a developer dictate to you:


 - You were born a poor salt farmer who was captured as a slave when young.


- In the opening scene of the game, you kill your captors and escape.


- In the first adventure you will now enter the slave masters citidel to exact your revenge. You will kill the captain of his guard but will be betrayed by one of your companions allowing the slave master to escape.


- In your next adventure you will hunt down and kill your betrayer.


However, a sandbox CAN have a story where all those same rich & deep characters exist and where dramatics situations are rife throughout the world. It just won't dictate for your personaly how your character will interact with those. Nor will it determine in advance what the exact results of each of those situations are.


Doing story in a sandbox can be tricker because the author has to adapt thier story to the actions that the players take. It means being brave enough and talented enough to surrender a small portion of control. It also means not entirely dictating every players exact experience of the world. But it certainly does not mean surrendering the ability to include rich and deep stories in your game.


From a technical perspective it means designing functionality into your game that allows the environment to adapt to the players actions....either in an automated fashion (like GW2 is attempting to do with it's dynamic events system) or in a manual fashion through live events run by your GM staff (like the old text based MUD's used to do). That's tricky, but certainly not impossible with todays engine. In fact, that's exactly what the HERO engine was designed to accomlish. Not surprising given that it was origionaly developed by Simutronics, the creator of many of those text based MUD's (Gemstone, Dragonrealms) in order to make a graphical based version of them (Hero's Journey). It's just that Bioware isn't taking advantage of that functionality of the engine.


What you would have to surrender is some of the presentation elements of the story...namely things like Voice Offers and Cut Scenes as those take time to produce and you wouldn't be able to predict the content you needed to depict for those in advance. Absent that, you could pretty much recreate the same basic story (at least as far as world events go) that Bioware will have in TOR or had in DAO, ME, etc...


So the idea that sandbox neccesitates a lack of quality story really is a bit of a red herring IMO.


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