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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

General Discussion  » Gamescom 2012 interview with Jeff Hickman

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23 posts found
  MMOherald

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/18/12
Posts: 23

 
OP  8/18/12 4:09:15 PM#1
pretty good stuff. nice to see that they're still making moves and trying to bounce back.
  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

8/18/12 4:14:11 PM#2
He said SWTOR will come out with 3-4 month content updates towards the end (that F2P people might want to jump into).. lol ... Either he slipped up or was being honest, because EA BioWare promised faster content update .. wasn't it on a month schedule? lol

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  MMOherald

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/18/12
Posts: 23

 
OP  8/18/12 4:16:03 PM#3
slip of the tongue.
  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

8/18/12 10:09:44 PM#4
Originally posted by MMOherald
slip of the tongue.

I might hold you to that .. we'll see =)

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  arctarus

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/26/06
Posts: 2580

8/18/12 10:43:03 PM#5
They are deciding to charge subscribers $$ for content patch? Lmao!!!!!

RIP Orc Choppa

  noncley

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/16/12
Posts: 619

8/18/12 11:53:15 PM#6
Very smooth interviewee. If you listened to hom long enough, you wouldn't think there were any problems with the game at all. The soft balls by the interviewer didn't help; it would have been interesting to hear him answer the question: "If you have personnel and resources available for the space side of the game, which has been subject to an extraordinary amount of criticism for its limited scope, why not invest them in making a proper, free-roaming space sim which you know players want and, as SWG showed, is relatively cheap and easy to make?"
  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

8/19/12 12:03:12 AM#7
Originally posted by noncley
Very smooth interviewee. If you listened to hom long enough, you wouldn't think there were any problems with the game at all. The soft balls by the interviewer didn't help; it would have been interesting to hear him answer the question: "If you have personnel and resources available for the space side of the game, which has been subject to an extraordinary amount of criticism for its limited scope, why not invest them in making a proper, free-roaming space sim which you know players want and, as SWG showed, is relatively cheap and easy to make?"

BOOM!

 

Sorry someone had to say it. (well said Noncley)

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  noncley

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/16/12
Posts: 619

8/19/12 12:21:22 AM#8
Originally posted by Karteli
Originally posted by noncley
Very smooth interviewee. If you listened to hom long enough, you wouldn't think there were any problems with the game at all. The soft balls by the interviewer didn't help; it would have been interesting to hear him answer the question: "If you have personnel and resources available for the space side of the game, which has been subject to an extraordinary amount of criticism for its limited scope, why not invest them in making a proper, free-roaming space sim which you know players want and, as SWG showed, is relatively cheap and easy to make?"

BOOM!

 

Sorry someone had to say it. (well said Noncley)

I should also mention, this is the same Jeff Hickman who was brought in by EA to explain why Warhammer was such a triumph despite the declining numbers, critical thumbs down and community uproar. He must be EA's embalming artist.

  CujoSWAoA

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/27/04
Posts: 1848

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

8/19/12 12:35:37 AM#9

He's a born businessman, talking wise.  Like a greasy politician.

And this interview is run by a guy who sounds like he was just hit in the head with a giant rock.

  Weretigar

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/15/10
Posts: 626

If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s FF-XIV.

8/19/12 12:38:59 AM#10

When I worked in retail and A store was getting ready to close down they used to bring in a manager to oversee operations and make sure people didn't just up and leave to look for new work then. 

I'm not saying thats who he is, however with the last 2 interviews I've heard from him he seems like the go to guy for capatalizing on a bad investment.

  Trionicus

Novice Member

Joined: 1/31/12
Posts: 488

8/19/12 12:39:36 AM#11
Originally posted by CujoSWAoA

He's a born businessman, talking wise.  Like a greasy politician.

And this interview is run by a guy who sounds like he was just hit in the head with a giant rock.

Well said Sir.

  unclemo

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/23/07
Posts: 299

8/19/12 1:08:47 AM#12

I'm not allowed to say what I would really like to say about Jeff Hickman.  Between Warhammer Online and SWTOR....

 

...I will never again go near a product that man touches.

  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

8/19/12 1:28:47 AM#13
Originally posted by CujoSWAoA

He's a born businessman, talking wise.  Like a greasy politician.

And this interview is run by a guy who sounds like he was just hit in the head with a giant rock.

Sadly for the guy conducting the interview, he has to conduct that lip & rear-end catering service, otherwise he would never be invited to do another interview again.  Which for him might not be a bad thing.

 

But yeah the questions that were asked were really lame.  Hard questions should have been asked.

 

"Now that this game is down to the minimum subscribers to be profitable, will EA Bioware do addional content?"

 

"Will the Super Secret Space Project go beyong the 10 addtional space rail combat missions?

 

"Will the game engine be updated to something comparable to other games?"

 

"Will customer service tickets ever get a real GM response? Or will the flood of tickets keep this prospect at bay?"

 

etc.

 

If the interviewer asked these questions, Hickman would have ripped the ID off him and called security.  From the interview past and present, Hickman is a duchebag.  I would expect no less.

 

 

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  dakotaaoc08

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 79

8/19/12 2:08:50 AM#14
while I was thinking about trying SWTOR out again I will not be after watching this interview.
  Crazy_Stick

Novice Member

Joined: 7/28/12
Posts: 1072

8/19/12 6:08:58 AM#15
Originally posted by Karteli
Originally posted by CujoSWAoA

He's a born businessman, talking wise.  Like a greasy politician.

And this interview is run by a guy who sounds like he was just hit in the head with a giant rock.

Sadly for the guy conducting the interview, he has to conduct that lip & rear-end catering service, otherwise he would never be invited to do another interview again.  Which for him might not be a bad thing.

 

But yeah the questions that were asked were really lame.  Hard questions should have been asked.

 

"Now that this game is down to the minimum subscribers to be profitable, will EA Bioware do addional content?"

 

"Will the Super Secret Space Project go beyong the 10 addtional space rail combat missions?

 

"Will the game engine be updated to something comparable to other games?"

 

"Will customer service tickets ever get a real GM response? Or will the flood of tickets keep this prospect at bay?"

 

etc.

 

If the interviewer asked these questions, Hickman would have ripped the ID off him and called security.  From the interview past and present, Hickman is a duchebag.  I would expect no less.

 

 

 

While I am not happy where SWTOR went, to be fair to them, I wrote two tickets in game to customer support and both times I got a direct CSM (GM) reply within 20 minutes. They popped right up in my chat to talk with me and it was a good experience each time.  I don't know what happened with everyone else or if I had a secret pal on staff or something.

 

I do consider content updates sliding to a three to four month schedule to be big news. I know EA said the game was no longer a priority but that is likely to hamper growth or people returning to play. I know it's expensive, but a themepark without content is dead. If nothing else, it makes me wonder if future game developers will consider more sandbox elements as such features are so much easier to support and keep people occupied with.

  MuratReis

Novice Member

Joined: 1/02/12
Posts: 73

8/19/12 7:25:27 AM#16
Originally posted by Crazy_Stick
 

I do consider content updates sliding to a three to four month schedule to be big news.

 

During the video, it was said that content patches will come out every 4-6 weeks. I'm not sure where 3-4 months came from. 

Lack of content has never been the problem for me, though. My problems are of a totally different nature: (1) poor aesthetic quality of equipment; and (2) small, ''on-tracks'' planets. It worries me that none of this has been addressed by the Bioware team recently as it is what I really want to see fixed. 

  MMOherald

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/18/12
Posts: 23

 
OP  8/19/12 7:50:17 AM#17
i agree with Karteli.
  tiefighter25

Novice Member

Joined: 7/30/12
Posts: 949

8/19/12 4:11:26 PM#18

This is going to sound incrediblt condescending, but this interview makes me feel sorry for SWTOR's remaining loyal subscriber base.

Jeff Hickman. Egads, Jeff Hickman. You might rememner him as the corporate speaking, self-promoting customer service represenative from Mythin for DAOC.

Much to the majority of Mythic's surprise, after the failure of Mythic's lead Marc Jacobs developing his own new IP in Imperator, Jeff Hickman was plucked from customer service and thrust into the position of executive producer of Warhammer On Line.

When I say surprise, I mean shocked. If I recall correctly Hickman even got a shout of form the now legendary EA Louse. As far as the Warhammer Age of Reckoning went, well I reckon' you all remember how that went.

I only wrote all that to show I do have a bias against Mr. Hickman, so perhaps my opinions on his interview are tainted.

What I did get from the interview paints a pretty bleak outlook for SWTOR (in my opinion) and a pretty shitty explanation as to how SWTOR's subscribers have been treated.

Reading between the lines (and I'm not pulling quotes in the interest of saving time an keeping this shorter) is that sometime around May there was a bit of an internal power stuggle within Bioware-Austin with EA as arbiter as to who the victor would be.

Despite all the numer fluffing by EA over TOR's subscriber numbers, BW-Austin realized that subs weren't cutting the mustard and some sort of Freemium system was going to have to be implemented. It seems that BW's developers split into 2 camps in regard to FTP. One camp wanted to keep producing story content as previoyusly schedeuled and sell it as it came out and another camp (led by Hickman) wanted to give the story away for free, but reduce its future developmet. More importantly, Hickman's proposal focused on and is dependant on a cash shop. Well EA (famous for the Riccitiello $1 bullet quote) gren lit the cash shop with reduced developmental costs. Just as in the past, Hickman talks himself into a promotion, and the other developers are shown the door.

In the interview Hickman (albeit served with a big heaping helping of positive spin) reveals a few alarming things about the new Freemium system. The vanity item cash shop will be selling items with stats riight from the get-go. They won't be top tier items, but none to shabby either. Right from the get-go, the cash shop is perilously close to a Pay-to-Win shopping mall.

You can say I'm just assuming he worst, but I don't find it to be a good sign for those you fear a TOR P2W slide.

Much more alarming is Hickman's hype of the new planet Makeb (the first new content since April). When asked directly if subscribers would havw to pay for it, he is ellusive and finally settling on maybe.

Notice how no one calls this an expansion. Hickman does claim that it's really large and beefy. Color me skeptical, but is this one planet really that much larger then the planets already in game? This one planet is going to dwarf the previous 17 planets in game? Stating tht the FTP players would have to buy the new planet would seem reasonable, but for the subscribers to have to purchase the new content as well?

Think I'm overreacting? Well I think the FTP descion was made in May, and take a look at the marketing survey done by Bioware in June.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0Bw6sp6dpJKRcaDdKTHFnQlp6Wjg/edit?pli=1

All "packages" have a price tag attached.

Hickman is also vague as to whether or not subscribers will have to pay for level cap, The "super secret space project" seems to be confirmed for more Star Fox shooter on rails missions, but really hard. Sheesh. The current repetitious missions are so linear people sel bots which run them on auto-pilot. Level and gain credits while you sleep.

There is no mention of PVP other then more war zones. Nary a peep on open world PVP. Not a mention of the abandoned Illum Alterac Valley planet. Not a word on engine optimization.

So as to my original condescending statement about feeling sorry for SWTOR's loyal subscriber base.

The game was released before it was ready. (You can say it wasn't but this is the consensus among most)

Players who subscribed from launch began to immediately subsidize Bioware's catch up attempts. Pay a sub while they fix the numerous bugs. Fixing the uneditable UI, adding LFG, addition of some odd damage meter thing.  Etc., etc., et al.

1.2 did give some actual content, in the form of an OP and a warzone.

Months of paying subs on empty servers while BW tried to figure out how to enable server transfers.

Now we find out that Austin has been planning on the (unplanned) switch to FTP. While the loyal subscriber base has been ponying up $15 a month, BW has been spending it retrofitting the game to FTP and offering no new content.

Now nearing September, the coming attractions are HK-51, which may or not be found in the cash shop, (I'm guessing in). HK-51 was in the Beta and pulled before launch.

A new OP and a new Warzone that are "independent" of the FTP launch, but "may" release after FTP.

And finally the "vast" Makeb. Makeb is likely to launch after FTP. So the first real patch of content after a year of taking in the subscribers subs, they are gong to make the subscribers pay for it.

So call me an a-hole, but I feel bad for people who's subs paid for the game to get out of extended beta, paid for the game to be transformed from P2P to F2P, paid for Makeb to be developed only to be charged more for it.

The game will have 1 large content addition in a year, which is an additional charge. The cash shop is already leaning towards pay to win.  To me, this new SWTOR tranfer to FTP just looks like the Warhammer modifications on steroids. Bioware is turning thr game into FTP in apperance only. Bioware is in actuality relying on their die-hard subscribers to pay out additional cash to susidize the los reduction maneuvers of EA. Furthermore, I'm not surprised to see Jeff Hickman's smiling face as the driving force behind this new "exciting" phase of SWTOR's development.

So call me a condescending prick, but that's how I see it.

  Greyhooff

Novice Member

Joined: 10/08/08
Posts: 684

8/19/12 4:50:38 PM#19

It's lovely to find a scumbag-to-scumbag interview like this. Both parties should be ashamed of themselves.

EA paid interviews like this are nothing more than an extension of the marketing department. 

  Kothoses

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/08/10
Posts: 672

8/19/12 4:53:43 PM#20
Originally posted by noncley
Very smooth interviewee. If you listened to hom long enough, you wouldn't think there were any problems with the game at all. The soft balls by the interviewer didn't help; it would have been interesting to hear him answer the question: "If you have personnel and resources available for the space side of the game, which has been subject to an extraordinary amount of criticism for its limited scope, why not invest them in making a proper, free-roaming space sim which you know players want and, as SWG showed, is relatively cheap and easy to make?"

 

 

SWG showed that with its massive subscription numbers, high retention ratio and community and critical acclaim?

 

Oh wait...

 

Ride SWTOR for its shortcomings sure... but please stop with the SWG was all that and a bag of chips argument, if it was any good it would have had more people playing it and been a success in its own right.

Promoting thought a new Gaming video blog http://www.youtube.com/user/quinnthalas discussing games, gamers and the internet with gameplay footage as background.

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