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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

General Discussion  » "but I don't see us as not being innovative." -SWTOR game director James Ohlen

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193 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 11/23/10
Posts: 299

1/23/12 5:13:30 PM#161
Originally posted by GMan3

    The fact is that BioWare did go for number 1.  Let's be absolutely honest though, no company could make that 850 pounder.  Simple fact is that Blizzard had many years to grow trhe game.  They did start with a nice sized game for their time and then added to it fairly often.  If you are trying to compare SWTOR now to WoW now, there is simply NO WAY it would stand up in content or world size.  Then again if you planted a tree seed now and compared it to a sapling that was 7 or 8 years old, the seed wouldn't stand a chance either.

    In this case though, BioWare rather successfully gave us a "sapling" that was a few years old instead of just a "seed" like many companies have done over the last few years (Looking at you Trion and NCsoft).  If we compare apples to apples, then SWTOR shines.  When you compare apple seeds to apple trees then of course it will be lacking (content wise).


Doth mine eye deceivest me?  Competent and logical thought expressed succinctly.  You sir, stand out from your surroundings. (in a good way)

From reading this thread, what I can tell is that there are a lot of users who will not see an innovating MMO in their lifetime. Of course this is assuming they use the same measuring stick for everything, which, I think it's apparent that most around here do not.

We really need separate forums for every newly launched game. There can be the anti-<MMO> one and there can be the 'what general discussion should be' one. All the lamenting can happen together where each can find solace in like minded can't-move-on-ers leaving the rest of us to actually move forward and discuss meaningful and relevant topics.


Novice Member

Joined: 2/04/08
Posts: 38

1/23/12 5:25:35 PM#162
Originally posted by GMan3
Originally posted by cscurlock

Here is the golden rule of MMO development. 

1) If your going to compete with the 800 lb gorilla in the room you better make a 850 lb gorilla.

2) Don't make a gorilla.   This can be hard as most inverstors need to be very sure that people will like your new peacock.


Bioware went with #1 but the gorilla is about 400 lbs.

    The fact is that BioWare did go for number 1.  Let's be absolutely honest though, no company could make that 850 pounder.  Simple fact is that Blizzard had many years to grow trhe game.  They did start with a nice sized game for their time and then added to it fairly often.  If you are trying to compare SWTOR now to WoW now, there is simply NO WAY it would stand up in content or world size.  Then again if you planted a tree seed now and compared it to a sapling that was 7 or 8 years old, the seed wouldn't stand a chance either.

    In this case though, BioWare rather successfully gave us a "sapling" that was a few years old instead of just a "seed" like many companies have done over the last few years (Looking at you Trion and NCsoft).  If we compare apples to apples, then SWTOR shines.  When you compare apple seeds to apple trees then of course it will be lacking (content wise).

    What appeals to me the most about SWTOR is that a game built this big to begin, with AND that has kept it's full developmental staff, has more ability to go much farther in a shorter amount of time.  It remains to be seen if they live up to this potential, but then again it is only a month old and they are already releasing new content.  Not bad in my opinion.  In fact, it seems to me that the only thing slowing them down is the actual testing of the new content.

    As I stated those are the rules and if you want to play the game you have to accept them, no exceptions.  


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 799

1/23/12 5:30:38 PM#163
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Snaylor47

The mixture of VO and Story to the MMO genre is innovative ...

...which is why I thought it was one of the coolest features of Earth and Beyond Online.

and Ever Quest 2.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/14/10
Posts: 1459

1/23/12 5:53:18 PM#164

There are innovative in a way. They attached a wow-mmo to a spg.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/04
Posts: 3726

1/23/12 6:03:40 PM#165
Originally posted by observer
Jan. 12 interview here:


"So, I don't know, it's just the way it is, but I don't see us as not being innovative. We're actually a lot more innovative within the MMO space than comparable games in other spaces like the first-person genre, the action genre - games like that." -James Ohlen


First, I agree with all the points made by the OP. If the lack of innovation isn't clear to anyone who has played the game, breaking the game down into it's individual elements makes the case nicely. Good post.

Now, to the quote from James Ohlen, even his best attempt at spin is a complete failure. The MMO genre has been extremely stagnant, with few exceptions, over the last half decade or more. Even given the fact that the genre has shown very little innovation, he couldn't even claim that SWTOR has been at least as innovative as other games in the genre. He has to point to other stagnant genres and say "well, we are at least as innovative as FPS and action titles"? Really? That's the defense? Unreal.

I don't know who's to blame and in what proportions; EA execs? Lucas Arts meddling? James Ohlen? However, it's pretty clear that they tackled a title that had incredible potential and rather than maximizing that potential, decided to aim for absolute mediocrity.

In a company totally focused on quarterly results, rather than long term financials, I don't know if the board and the majority of shareholders will even comprehend the opportunity lost here, but management and development failures re: SWTOR probably have cost EA a potential $billion+ of long term revenues a truly innovative and great Star Wars MMORPG might have brought the company. If they do ever figure this out, heads would and should roll.

Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/13/04
Posts: 2458

"Free crack and everybody gets laid."

1/23/12 6:08:58 PM#166

They have a rail-shooter minigame!  AH HA!


Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/07
Posts: 826

*Everyone dies, not everyone really fights*

1/23/12 6:36:03 PM#167
Originally posted by observer
EDIT: Please DO NOT quote the entire post.  Just quote portions that you would like to respond to. Thanks.


"So, I don't know, it's just the way it is, but I don't see us as not being innovative. We're actually a lot more innovative within the MMO space than comparable games in other spaces like the first-person genre, the action genre - games like that." -James Ohlen this a Joke?

They are comparing the innovation of the MMORPG with other genres?

They are basically arguing that their orange is juicier than apples....

Can we please compare apples with apples and oranges with oranges?

The lack of innovation "verdict", was based on the merits of this MMORPG compared to OTHER MMORPG's, not other genres of games.

This is how the players see it too, this is how I as a player see it too, and when I compare SW:TOR with all the other MMORPG's that I have played during the past 14 years, I am sorry but it is evident that it has nothing innovative.

It is to me the same game, the same mechanics the same gameplay that many others, with different colors and music and setting...there is really no innovation here.

I wish the designers were as good with designing games than they are with Rhetorics and Media Responses, then maybe this game would have captured my interest and I would have played for a long time.

Did they even consider that many of the players who gave it bad ratings, actually DID experience TOR? With the multiple Beta events they had?

No one just votes out of hate, people vote out of disapointment or displeasure, but most do vote with some kind of frame of reference.

Do they even realise that this genre has been going on for 14-15 years now? They say they made a "Classic" MMO, refering to what? What was their basis of reference, what game was that classic they refer to? I know the anser, most of us do, but that is in reality only aportion of it. no one game represents the genre, there are at least three major categories to it, and what TOR did is simply recreate what is perceived to be as Classic of one of the three Categories.

Hardly a genre's Classic.

Dissapointed at this article big time, but at the same time kind of expecting it, I knew this game would be the way it was simply by reading about it, the previews and the media available for it, and finally all being confirmed during my time in its Beta.

What they say here sounds more like going on the Defensive, sounds more like Damage Control than anything else. I had said it a couple of years back, many players would not last more than 6 months in this game, I see many of my friends just cancelling or simply not subscribing after only 20 days to a month playing it.

While I am sure thatthere are many new MMO players that may like it and will play it for a longer span of time, it has failed attracting any Classic MMORPG player.

- Duke Suraknar -
Order of the Silver Star, OSS

ESKA, Playing MMORPG's since Ultima Online 1997 - Order of the Silver Serpent, Atlantic Shard


Novice Member

Joined: 5/02/08
Posts: 1984

1/23/12 10:09:56 PM#168
Originally posted by Suraknar

While I am sure thatthere are many new MMO players that may like it and will play it for a longer span of time, it has failed attracting any Classic MMORPG player.

Reminds me the NGE


Novice Member

Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 957

1/23/12 10:13:38 PM#169

This thread is still going ?


Novice Member

Joined: 1/17/11
Posts: 2506

1/23/12 10:19:14 PM#170
You know what's not innovative? These threads complaining about innovation.

Shadow's Hand Guild
Open recruitment for

The Secret World - Dragons

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Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 18260

1/23/12 10:19:30 PM#171
Originally posted by BadSpock

There was a story I read about once, where the moral of the story was that you can't force players to play a game a certain way.

Something about how originally in UO the animals had this really advanced behavior (at the time) in that they'd migrate and have population seasons and all kinds of cool real life kind of stuff.

But then in Beta, players just went total genocide on the wild life - just slaughtered everything, and all the work and effort put towards this dynamic critter population was completely wasted.


Games are solo friendly now because we asked for it.

All of these games have plenty of group content and all kinds of incentive to group with other people, to make friends and join and form guilds etc etc.

But none of it matters if players just skip it all and power level solo.

But if you try and force players to play in groups - you lose them.


The next big innovation?

Figuring out a way to get the solo-hero power levelers to slow down and become a part of the community.

Anyone who can figure that out will retain millions of subscriptions and completely redefine the genre.

That's a very good point and I completely agree.

As an example, in Rift I really hated the whole quest/quest hub thing. I remember in beta looking at all those marks over the heads and felt the air just leaving my body. So I decided "screw that" and essentially did most of my levling the old fashioned way and of course through rifts.

Not only did I find the experience more liberating but I also met more people in this manner. Not to say I never did quests but I rarely did quests.

I found myself grouping up and running with the group through several rift invasions. Completely unfettered by stereotypical theme park restrictions. Did the same in LOTRO. I stopped taking quests that I felt beneath my character and mostly explored when I could.

Players can take their fun into their own hands but in some cases they just don't want to.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/28/05
Posts: 136

1/23/12 10:27:53 PM#172

Companions are somewhat innovative.

  • Basically multiple pets.
  • Companions can craft/gather.

Crafting isn't innovative.

  • It uses a leveling system from 1-400.
  • Only thing innovative about it, is probably Reverse Engineering.


The now canceled "The Agency" by SOE had companion crafting. It was announced probably prior to TOR was even officially announced.  They crafted while you were offline. It was planned that you could set it to send you a text when items were don't crafting. 


Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 6408

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

1/23/12 10:52:55 PM#173

@ OP

if you remove that list from any mmo because its not innovative you end up maybe with super mario bros 1 in 3D or less than that. BW just need to improve that list and of course add new features / content later on which im sure they will.

I do agree that your list is not innovative, but it has to be there.... again, only improved.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/27/10
Posts: 2239

1/23/12 11:02:16 PM#174
Originally posted by Deewe
Originally posted by Suraknar

While I am sure thatthere are many new MMO players that may like it and will play it for a longer span of time, it has failed attracting any Classic MMORPG player.

Reminds me the NGE

    Personally, I don't see that as a problem since it is the jaded "Classic MMORPG player" that more often than not ruin a community.

"If half of what you tell me is a lie, how can I believe any of it?"


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/14/10
Posts: 799

1/23/12 11:04:48 PM#175

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/06/10
Posts: 472

1/24/12 12:04:51 AM#176

i've played a whole ton of mmo's and i can tell you now!!!! swtor has done nothing!! that no other mmo hasnt already done before in the past!! there is absolutely nothing inovative about swtor what so ever, there is nothing, none of you can tell me otherwise because i already know!! i have the vast experience of playing many many many mmo's to sit here and state that swtor has done absolutely nothing new or inovative.




they have improved on a few things.. i.e. graphics are clean and animations are smooth!! sure its not completely seemless but a large portion of the game has the illusion of seemlessness which is a good start! hardly any mmo games have seemless transitions if not any at all!! one i can think of where i didnt notice loading screens so much was lotro and lets not forget the imaculate and inovative eve online!!! now eve is inovative compaired to every other mmo out there!, there is nothing else like eve on the market but their are a million wow clones and swtor is just another one! ....



my wish list for swtor -


1/ get rid of that disgusting and distasteful space aspect of the game and replace it with something a little more swg jump to light speed, include multiplayer corvette class ships and make space a multi player aspect of the game!! this is just one step towards the game earning its mmo title.


2/  remove companions and create additional classes for crafting, give the players a much broader array of class options and playability within this new starwars universe!.

3/ make the game seemless so when you leave the planet you see the entire animation of your ship leaving the star port  rather than cutscenes in stages as it leaves then a black screen and wham your in space!!! it has to change. they cant claim emersion with shit like that!.

4/ crafting needs to be complex and deep

5/ get rid of the whole best items come from instance bullshit because it is just bullshit and it ruins mmo's, i utterly hate having to grind the same dogshit flashpoints time and time again for orrange mod geer!!!!! its totaly shit!!!.

6/ give us an option to disable voice over!!! its tedious long winded and a pain in the arse!!! and some times it takes ages for the conversations to initiate.  take them out of the game!!! there is no place for voice over in mmo's people prefer to read or just skip through the boreing dribble!!

7/ remove current combat!!! its bog standard post 1990's typical key mashing shit!! no skill required you just tab target and whack the keys till it or you dies.

8/ sharpen up responsivness of mouse and skills. make it so that when we click the skill or move the mouse the action actually happens rather than a 5 second delay like it is now!!!

9/ fix the cursor dissapearing of the screen crap too!!! there is nothing more annoying than having your cursor vanish in game.

10/ increase group size to 6 maybe 8!!!! no mmo does 4 man groups and no!!! its not inavation its simply lazy and uneducated attemtps at mmo development!!! its how wow came to be!!! lazy people making a lazy game!!!!

11/ add more content for guilds so guilds are viable!!! too many games underthink guild systems. why join a guild if all your going to do is organise instance bashing with 3 other friends ??? kinda boreing really isnt it ?? guilds need more options such as guild capital ships lots of guild controls so the leader can actually lead the guild!! also diplomacy wouldnt go a miss either, ingame polotics too wouldnt be a bad idea!!!

12/ stop the whole good v evil light v dark crap!! sure we get it sith are bad jedi are evil!!! but what about other factions in the starwars universe!!! the hutts the mandolorians!!  why is the game limited in such ways!! why are there only 3 classes per faction  yes thats right jedi consular and jedi knight are the same class!!!!! they are jedi ;)  dont be a bunch of muppets by calling them seperate classes cause they aint!!! all it is, is bioware being lazy and just filling gaps.

13/ larger maps and viable and worthwhile reasons to explore!!! datacrons are not the answer i wont be hunting them down as its tedious shit for hardly anything worthwhile.  


ok im going to stop or ill have a post with over 100 issues i would want to see changed!!! so ill just leave these few basic ideas out there that ive taken from many of the mmo's i play and have played in the past!! im not one of those folk who know only wow eq2 and aoc!! or is limited to the knowledge of just a handful of mmo's nope!!! ive been playing a while now and ive seen lots of things tried!! sure lots of it was a pile of crap and only small things stoodf out that impressed me!!  swtor just has a lot of the crap things from other games that we are all so used to seeing and they call it inovation!!! i call it copying some one elses work!...


the most inovative and diffrent and refreshing mmo out there is eve online! its just so so diffrent compaired to the conventional run oof the mill mmo.. and no swtor is not a sandbox!! its only just a themepark!  its just a linear wow clone where you are held by the hand and lead through the game!! nothing to discover as its all handed to you on a plate as you progress..


and once you reach end game!! thats it nothing to do, pvp in swtor is crap too!! its just pre-maade lvl 50 groups owning, so if your not 50 and you dont have the best pvp armour and weapons you might as well forget it. sure you can que solo but you end up just being in some random pug and being massacred by the pre-mades.  pvp in swtor is very dull.


pvp should never be a viable end game thing anyway!!! it only occupies you for so long!! my idea of end game is a living breathing realistic game world where players can make an impact on one anothers game experience by working together forming guilds and takeing part in polotics crafting and diplomatic aspects of an online game world.  all swtor offers is lvl 50 and pvp and end game instances untill you have all the best armour sets.  so yea not very inovative at all!!! not really.


its new money for old rope.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/27/10
Posts: 2239

1/24/12 12:11:39 AM#177
Originally posted by Adamai

i've played a whole ton of mmo's and i can tell you now!!!! swtor has done nothing!! that no other mmo hasnt already done before in the past!!

**** Snip ****

    People who choose not to see something (or change the definition to suit their way of thinking) will always succeed at what they set out for.

"If half of what you tell me is a lie, how can I believe any of it?"



Joined: 12/09/03
Posts: 1222

FFXIV:ARR, Malboro Server, Scarlet Raven

1/24/12 12:32:57 AM#178

I've played a ton of MMO's since Everquest (mostly themepark) and there are a few little nuances in SWTOR I'd consider innovative.

Group dialog - Yes I picked the story and the dialog but it truly is something unique as far as I've seen. Yes AoC had dialog in tortage, but it did not have group dialog for all quests throughout the game. Sure it can be seen as something minor, but I find this to be highly satisfying in pugs or with friends. I've probably heard all of the starter dialog, coruscant dialog, and taris dialog 3-4 times now because of alts and groups (and I'm still enjoying it with out space barring)

Companions in relation to the story - The companions are more then just pets in this game. I've grown quite fond of my companion characters because they have distinct personalities, subplots, and roles. If the level of interaction between my companions and I aren't innovative in the MMO space then I'm not sure what is.

Overall presentation of story elements - This may be more in the refinement category, but it is probably the greatest change they brought to the genre. Everything in this game gives reason to all your actions in a very clear and concise manner. There have never been moments of "why am I doing this?" or feeling like a peasant who just decided to pick up a sword and level as a warrior for no reason.

There are plenty of things that BW could do to improve and innovate further, but to say they have done nothing just seems narrow minded. No one has pulled off the level of detail they have put into the story progression of this game in the MMO space. Many have dabbled in it, but not fully embraced it like BW.

Anyways I'm sure I'll get yelled at for my opinions but this is what I truly feel as an MMO hobbyist since EQ1 days.



Advanced Member

Joined: 12/14/08
Posts: 1643

1/24/12 3:42:16 AM#179
Originally posted by Snaylor47

I can't think of anything else right now, but i'm sure there is more to nitpick at.  I'm just astounded that Ohlen can claim Swtor is actually innovative in the MMO genre.  I just don't see it.
If anyone wants to show me where i'm wrong or point me to innovative things in Swtor, please do.  My perception and opinions will probably change if you do.

All in all this is the most innovative MMO out right now.


The mixture of VO and Story to the MMO genre is innovative as is the Sandbox/themepark hybred of AA or the combat and DE system of GW2 is.


You don't have to turn something on its head in order to innovate.


VO, Companions, crafting and Story are the innovations TOR bring IMO.

Snaylor your comments usually get a laugh out of me when I read them but the highlighted statement is your masterpiece so far.  Keep it up my friend.


Novice Member

Joined: 6/16/04
Posts: 1265

1/24/12 3:46:58 AM#180

My problem with people stating SWTOR is innovative is the same problem I have with Steve Jobs getting an Inventor of the Year award (or some such) for the iPhone because he didn't really invent anything in it, just packaged up a bunch of technologies in a single, cutsie box.  Yes, it worked great and all that but invent? ... no.

SWTOR's only realy has about 1 full innovation.  Half for the fully voiced and acted questing system which many of us saw a glimps of in AoC but were all butt-hurt over it when all those cool VO's stopped after the starter zone - but done before.  The other half would be the light/dark system making changes to your character but we've all see that type of stuff in single player games and such, like Fable.


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