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News & Features Discussion  » Star Wars: The Old Republic: Verdict on the Fourth Pillar

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141 posts found
  Zorgo

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/05/05
Posts: 2224

Who did wrong? The advertiser hired to sell the game or the consumer who put faith in advertising?

3/28/12 3:34:14 PM#61
Originally posted by RefMinor
Considering VO made SWTOR the most expensive CORPG in the history of the world by a factor of two and all indications are that the numbers are tanking at an unhealthy rate, I think you will need to get your storyline fix from SPRPGs going forward. SWTOR was a step back for the MMORPG genre.

And by 'numbers are tanking' I assume you  mean 'dropping at nearly the exact same rate and percentage points in nearly the exact same way under nearly an exact same timeframe as every mmo after release save for EVE and WoW"

 

  jtcgs

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 1843

3/28/12 3:38:58 PM#62
Originally posted by skeeter667

Having played this game since beta starting last july I can say that all this story does is to make an MMO more of a single player game with lots of people around you playing the same single player game.But does it make you fell heroic?Not really becuase at end game every toon that is 50 have all saved the galaxy through their own story line that more then likely they soloed through.

The story does no such thing...the way the story was implimented did that.

Also as for not feeling heroic because everyone saves the galaxy in the end...umm, if each class saves the galaxy, each class is heroic...also, being heroic does not equal only what happens in the end, its what happens GETTING there.

The story is great, the implimentation of the story via instanced everything was poor.

I have called this a single player game with online multi-player capabilities for a long time, calling this an MMO is like calling unreal or quake an mmo in my eyes...they were also played by millions online. The only time this game felt like an MMO to me was during the stress test of the fleets at the end of beta. After that, I never saw more than a few dozen people in one place at a time and my server had near 2 hour long queues during early release.

“I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  Asamof

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/04
Posts: 738

3/28/12 3:43:20 PM#63

hamfisting a single player style story into an MMO is the completely wrong way to approach it. Since the majority of the budget has to go to the endless hours of player voice acting (another fluff feature), the rest of the game suffers


just to list a few: outdated game mechanics, little race diversity (color swapped humans lol), insane amount of dialogue/va (remember everyone: quality > quantity), less player choices/branching paths


really, if gamers wanted a good story game, they'd pick up a single player title. I've never heard anyone say that the MMO genre was hurting because of the lack of narrative


developers should be trying to push the genre by exploring concepts like the persistent world and player interaction, not by forcing in unessecary single player elements in


  Yamota

Elite Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6632

Gaming should be about fun, not gender equality.

3/28/12 3:47:28 PM#64

Single player storylines which are repeated over and over by X number of players does the opposite of immersing me into the game, it kills immersion. I played a Jedi Guardian and repeteadly I had quests to save this planet or city or a group of people, yet when I finished it (or not) the planet, or whatever, I was supposed to save just moved on seemingly unaffected.

This was specially the case in the last zone of the story arc of a Jedi Guardian where the Republic are battling the Empire and when this finishes you are supposedly pushed out the Empire from the planet. Yet the moment you leave your private instance, the same stationary Empire soldiers are there, just as nothing has happened. This makes no sense and is for me a sign that single player storylines makes absolutely no sense in an MMORPG which you share with thousands of other people. It simply is not a good fit.

Now if on the other hand the story, and the outcome of which, somehow did affect the persistant world which you share with others I could agree that it would be the fourth pillar. Yet it does not, in SW:TOR, and not sure if at all possible in an MMORPG setting. And more importantly why are dev. created stories the fourth pillar? In an MMORPG it should be player created stories which are important and drives people to play the game and seek fame.

So no, SW:TOR single player storylines is a big fail in MMORPGs. It is neither as good as in a single player RPG where your choices actually have real consequences nor does it bring anything positivie to the genre which should focus on bringing players together, rather than separating them into separate storylines, isolated from others.

  jtcgs

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 1843

3/28/12 3:47:32 PM#65
Originally posted by Asamof

hamfisting a single player style story into an MMO is the completely wrong way to approach it. Since the majority of the budget has to go to the endless hours of player voice acting (another fluff feature), the rest of the game suffers

Thats an illusion.

Many MMOs have class quests, this games class quests stand out because you arent just running up to the quest giver, clicking on them and accepting it without even reading the quest story.

As for the voice acting, you have no idea how much money was even spent on making the game let alone how much was spent on the acting...if you stop and look at what is in the game it becomes plain to see that those that are in charge of it know little to nothing about MMOs let alone RPGs.

“I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  RefMinor

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3545

Hipster

3/28/12 3:55:32 PM#66
Originally posted by arieste
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by CujoSWAoA

MikeB you already listed this game as your 10th favorite Star Wars game of all time.


Which just in itself proves that you've no idea what a good Star Wars game even is.

 

And there are only 8 SW games :D

for real?  i'm not arguing, just trying to actually count.. let's see...

 

Rebel Assault

Rebel Assault 2

Rebellion

Dark Forces

Jedi Knight

Jedi Knight 2

KOTOR

KOTOR2

SWG

X-Wing

Tie-Fighter

X vs TF

TOR

The Force Unleashed

The Force Unleashed 2

uhm..there was another RTS one that i forget the name of... i think there are definitely more than 8 PC ones... 

 

i probably missed a few...

 

Then it's the 16+a few+2th best SW game ever made. :D
  Nixl

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/15/12
Posts: 66

3/28/12 3:55:44 PM#67

I was a very big Kotor fan, especially of Kotor 2, and I felt utterly disapointed by BW's direction of the story. I did not belleve in the 4th Pillar, because I honestly felt there was little to no writing to hold up such a pillar to begin with.  It felt like Bioware went for the safest, most standard story possible.  For a Bioware story I think they focused too much on action hero semantics and not setting.  

Ultimately I believe that the validity of the "4th Pillar" depends on what the player is looking for in a story.  I wanted to explore the the mysteries of the force and hear out scholars/teachers like Kreia in Kotor 2 try to show me new perspectives. I wanted something new story-wise that I had not yet seen in Star Wars.  Instead, it felt like it was a Star Wars story with little to no ife in the world, characters, or the force.  The themepark ride was so strict that you never got the chance to get off and go down an unbeaten path.  You are just a heroic guy/gal that picks up a weapon, go to point A, and kills rats/stops the bad guy.  Plenty of MMOs do this, but (1) its the Kotor series, which in my opinion warrants more and (2) Bioware never really let's you go off the rails. 

 

 I wish Bioware tried to make the characters unique in the story by doing something different than the rest of the galaxy.  For instance, at times in Mass Effect you went against the logic and opinion of the galazy and did you own thing (sometimes lol).  In TOR you are just part of this all consuming logic of the universe that is never question and never broken for something different.  You get blue points or red points.   

  cutthecrap

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/29/12
Posts: 608

3/28/12 4:05:43 PM#68
Originally posted by Yamota

Now if on the other hand the story, and the outcome of which, somehow did affect the persistant world which you share with others I could agree that it would be the fourth pillar. Yet it does not, in SW:TOR, and not sure if at all possible in an MMORPG setting. And more importantly why are dev. created stories the fourth pillar? In an MMORPG it should be player created stories which are important and drives people to play the game and seek fame.

Because classic questing or mob grinding can be even more tedious for leveling, and that is the alternative. You might dislike story based questing, but to many it's a more entertaining means of leveling your character than mob grinding or classic textwall questing is. I notice how people who criticise story based questing never talk about that it's an alternative for even a more tedious form of leveling that it's intended a replacement for, like classic questing and mob grinding.

In short, if you dislike leveling with a more extensive story to it, I don't see how you can defend mob grinding or classic questing as better.

  achesoma

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/05/05
Posts: 960

3/28/12 4:12:15 PM#69

Honestly, I really felt the stories were very subpar, especially seeing what BW was capable of in the past.  And I considered myself a pretty big BW fanboi.  Not to mention, all the story in the world can't help mediocre and dated gameplay mechanics.  Doing all the same kill and retrieve quests from planet to planet is beyond tedious.  Everything I did in SWTOR I just felt "been there, done that" the whole time.  Story is just icing on the cake.  Only there is no cake and the icing isn't that good. 


  CujoSWAoA

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/27/04
Posts: 1848

"Pablo Picasso said art is a lie that tells the truth."

3/28/12 4:12:53 PM#70
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by arieste
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by CujoSWAoA

MikeB you already listed this game as your 10th favorite Star Wars game of all time.


Which just in itself proves that you've no idea what a good Star Wars game even is.

 

And there are only 8 SW games :D

for real?  i'm not arguing, just trying to actually count.. let's see...

 

Rebel Assault

Rebel Assault 2

Rebellion

Dark Forces

Jedi Knight

Jedi Knight 2

KOTOR

KOTOR2

SWG

X-Wing

Tie-Fighter

X vs TF

TOR

The Force Unleashed

The Force Unleashed 2

uhm..there was another RTS one that i forget the name of... i think there are definitely more than 8 PC ones... 

 

i probably missed a few...

 

Then it's the 16+a few+2th best SW game ever made. :D

Don't forget the complete list of all games that I put up for your education, buddy.

I mean, I want you to be a little more educated there, buddy.

  ignore_me

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

3/28/12 4:15:11 PM#71
Originally posted by cutthecrap
Originally posted by Yamota

Now if on the other hand the story, and the outcome of which, somehow did affect the persistant world which you share with others I could agree that it would be the fourth pillar. Yet it does not, in SW:TOR, and not sure if at all possible in an MMORPG setting. And more importantly why are dev. created stories the fourth pillar? In an MMORPG it should be player created stories which are important and drives people to play the game and seek fame.

Because classic questing or mob grinding can be even more tedious for leveling, and that is the alternative. You might dislike story based questing, but to many it's a more entertaining means of leveling your character than mob grinding or classic textwall questing is. I notice how people who criticise story based questing never talk about that it's an alternative for even a more tedious form of leveling that it's intended a replacement for, like classic questing and mob grinding.

In short, if you dislike leveling with a more extensive story to it, I don't see how you can defend mob grinding or classic questing as better.

I agree that it's better for leveling (at least the first time through), but it defines your experience to the exclusion of other possibilities. So it's a bit of a two way street. With mob grinding and textwall it was so not about you that it was boring, but also didn't put you in a mold. Proof that the leveling is entertaining is the reaction that happened when the story hose got cut off at level 50. Then you had a "classic" situation but with few classes, few choices of activities, low population (due to server structure because of engine performance), and no ability to see or effect any change in the static worlds.

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  ignore_me

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

3/28/12 4:16:52 PM#72
Originally posted by CujoSWAoA
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by arieste
Originally posted by RefMinor
Originally posted by CujoSWAoA

MikeB you already listed this game as your 10th favorite Star Wars game of all time.


Which just in itself proves that you've no idea what a good Star Wars game even is.

 

And there are only 8 SW games :D

for real?  i'm not arguing, just trying to actually count.. let's see...

 

Rebel Assault

Rebel Assault 2

Rebellion

Dark Forces

Jedi Knight

Jedi Knight 2

KOTOR

KOTOR2

SWG

X-Wing

Tie-Fighter

X vs TF

TOR

The Force Unleashed

The Force Unleashed 2

uhm..there was another RTS one that i forget the name of... i think there are definitely more than 8 PC ones... 

 

i probably missed a few...

 

Then it's the 16+a few+2th best SW game ever made. :D

Don't forget the complete list of all games that I put up for your education, buddy.

I mean, I want you to be a little more educated there, buddy.

^^ really getting his money's worth out of the word "Buddy"  add a /fingerpoke to the chest and it's perfect.

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  Tuchaka

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/14/10
Posts: 466

3/28/12 4:17:40 PM#73

bottom line i have enjoyed the hell out of the story but ....it ends at 50 and sorry that's when i view mmo's as starting ya there is a bit of voice over dialogue with end game but you skip over it after the first time anyway so like the companions they are not very usefull at 50, and if bioware doesn't do something about that i think they are in trouble, hopefully 1.2 wil adress some of these issues but getting to 50 doesn't take long. I have high hopes for this MMO nothing is broken and unfixable but sorry the pricetag for what we got was too high it's not worth it and no one is gonna repeat it, sure your gonna see companies do 'more' voice over but spend that much money on a progression that ends at 50 what for ?

  cutthecrap

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/29/12
Posts: 608

3/28/12 4:21:36 PM#74
Originally posted by ignore_me
Originally posted by cutthecrap
Originally posted by Yamota

Now if on the other hand the story, and the outcome of which, somehow did affect the persistant world which you share with others I could agree that it would be the fourth pillar. Yet it does not, in SW:TOR, and not sure if at all possible in an MMORPG setting. And more importantly why are dev. created stories the fourth pillar? In an MMORPG it should be player created stories which are important and drives people to play the game and seek fame.

Because classic questing or mob grinding can be even more tedious for leveling, and that is the alternative. You might dislike story based questing, but to many it's a more entertaining means of leveling your character than mob grinding or classic textwall questing is. I notice how people who criticise story based questing never talk about that it's an alternative for even a more tedious form of leveling that it's intended a replacement for, like classic questing and mob grinding.

In short, if you dislike leveling with a more extensive story to it, I don't see how you can defend mob grinding or classic questing as better.

I agree that it's better for leveling (at least the first time through), but it defines your experience to the exclusion of other possibilities. So it's a bit of a two way street. With mob grinding and textwall it was so not about you that it was boring, but also didn't put you in a mold. Proof that the leveling is entertaining is the reaction that happened when the story hose got cut off at level 50. Then you had a "classic" situation but with few classes, few choices of activities, low population (due to server structure because of engine performance), and no ability to see or effect any change in the static worlds.

Then the issue that some people have - and some in this thread have already done so correctly - shouldn't be with the story questing like seen in SWTOR, but with other gaming features that aren't implemented on the same level of quality fun as the story questing can be. The cold shower seems to hit for many not while doing the story heavy leveling, but when it ends at level cap and is replaced with features and gameplay that's simply less fun.

  Skuz

Novice Member

Joined: 12/25/08
Posts: 1041

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

3/28/12 4:22:08 PM#75

Personally I think "too much of a good thing" undermines and undervalues a "good idea" I think fully voicing each of the class-quests was a very smart move, voicing all of the others was not, similarly having fully voiced & non-voiced flashpoints and ops would work better than all voiced.


Warhammer ruined the novelty of the Public-Quest system by spreading them all over the place, had they tied them into the story better & had fewer, but better/bigger ones in meaningful places it would have been more impactful & memorable on the player.


Story is great, but it's prudent use that beats out pan-game implimentation in my view.


  ignore_me

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

3/28/12 4:22:51 PM#76
Originally posted by Exterminos

bottom line i have enjoyed the hell out of the story but ....it ends at 50 and sorry that's when i view mmo's as starting ya there is a bit of voice over dialogue with end game but you skip over it after the first time anyway so like the companions they are not very usefull at 50, and if bioware doesn't do something about that i think they are in trouble, hopefully 1.2 wil adress some of these issues but getting to 50 doesn't take long. I have high hopes for this MMO nothing is broken and unfixable but sorry the pricetag for what we got was too high it's not worth it and no one is gonna repeat it, sure your gonna see companies do 'more' voice over but spend that much money on a progression that ends at 50 what for ?

I have to wonder if there was a fire drill at Bioware when it came time to design endgame, and nobody came back into the building. What the hell did they think was going to happen when the VO content ended and your companion became an outfit hanger? Well it works for our console games so it should work for this.

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  astoria

Novice Member

Joined: 11/26/08
Posts: 1685

3/28/12 4:27:24 PM#77

I like the SWTOR story, I have tried many classes and I find the writing better than most games. But I think it was a terrible idea to make that the focus of an MMO. I would have praised it for a single player game, but for an MMO it misses out on the opportunity that you have in putting people online together -- the opportunity for them to make their own story.


"Never met a pack of humans that were any different. Look at the idiots that get elected every couple of years. You really consider those guys more mature than us? The only difference between us and them is, when they gank some noobs and take their stuff, the noobs actually die." - Madimorga

  Lawlmonster

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/07/09
Posts: 952

Take my advice, I'm not using it anyway.

3/28/12 4:28:14 PM#78

I don't understand how people find this VO content so engaging. There have been a few individual missions, mainly class quests that have really grabbed my attention, but they are far and few between; usually the chapter endings are pretty kick ass. Though after playing a character near level cap (47), I simpy can't be bothered to listen to the side mission audio anymore. It bores the hell out of  me, especially since I'm seeing some if it a second, third, and even a fourth time now. It may as well be text, as far as I'm concerned, especially if it isn't class related.

 

Quite frankly, if Bioware had made the questing and missioning in TOR the same quality and pacing as one of their single player games, like KOTOR or Mass Effect, maybe it wouldn't feel like I'm still killing ten effing rats. Maybe if they had kept the original leveling system from the KOTOR games, where lightside and darkside alignment actually effected the amount of force required to power your abilities depending on which side they fell upon, rather than just unlock vendors; or allowed players the option to pick and choose skills or attributes that were available in KOTOR, such as passive stat increases, weapon and armor proficiencies, or specialized attacks like critical strike and frenzy; maybe at that point in time they'd have a game that, in combination with the voice overs, would actually be as innovated as they claim it to be. The truth is, however, that my space bar is worn thin, and the story itself isn't really enough to keep me playing an MMO long term.

"This is life! We suffer and slave and expire. That's it!" -Bernard Black (Dylan Moran)

  Neloth

Novice Member

Joined: 11/24/05
Posts: 254

3/28/12 4:33:41 PM#79

It made the difference for me, TOR is the only mmo I consider worth my time and I think many casual players like it, the space-bar crowd and hardcore folks should look for another game IMO.

  ignore_me

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

3/28/12 4:34:58 PM#80
Originally posted by Lawlmonster

I don't understand how people find this VO content so engaging. There have been a few individual missions, mainly class quests that have really grabbed my attention, but they are far and few between; usually the chapter endings are pretty kick ass. Though after playing a character near level cap (47), I simpy can't be bothered to listen to the side mission audio anymore. It bores the hell out of  me, especially since I'm seeing some if it a second, third, and even a fourth time now. It may as well be text, as far as I'm concerned, especially if it isn't class related.

 

Quite frankly, if Bioware had made the questing and missioning in TOR the same quality and pacing as one of their single player games, like KOTOR or Mass Effect, maybe it wouldn't feel like I'm still killing ten effing rats. Maybe if they had kept the original leveling system from the KOTOR games, where lightside and darkside alignment actually effected the amount of force required to power your abilities depending on which side they fell upon, rather than just unlock vendors; or allowed players the option to pick and choose skills or attributes that were available in KOTOR, such as passive stat increases, weapon and armor proficiencies, or specialized attacks like critical strike and frenzy; maybe at that point in time they'd have a game that, in combination with the voice overs, would actually be as innovated as they claim it to be. The truth is, however, that my space bar is worn thin, and the story itself isn't really enough to keep me playing an MMO long term.

Story ->  affects Light Side/Dark Side -> which affects nothing (the vendors wont really sell you anything more than boots, cubes, and speeders) except maybe loot usage.

Your notion of how this should have been used is soo much better.

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

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