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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

General Discussion  » The sober approach...

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48 posts found
  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

12/16/12 5:20:49 PM#41
This thread delivers BTW /popcorn!
 
Originally posted by Camaro68

I'm trying to figure out how fully-voiced and animated quest cutscenes are "lifeless" compared to NPCs in all other MMOs who do nothing but silently throw you a wall of text. 

The only thing I can agree on is that the performance is punishing.  Load times are definitely ridiculous. 

But obviously its not the end of the world for SWTOR.  The only MMOs with more players are WoW and GW2(the latter of which may end up with less than SWTOR pretty soon)

General meaning of SWTOR's lifeless worlds:

The reference to SWTOR being lifeless isn't because of the cutscenes directly, but rather the stale and unadventurous lives the NPC's seem to live.  Some NPC's just stand there looking around, while other NPC's perform the same 168-hour a week schedule to type away at a terminal, etc.

 

It also has to do with the outside environment being stale and .. well .. without life, aka lifeless.  No wildlife, no wandering NPC's, no day/night cycles, no weather effects.  Every hour spent is just like the last.  The weather effect absense makes me grumble even more, because on some planets there are quests to create lightning and such.  Grrr..  why not add that to the regular environment for all to see without questing:/

 

Personal desires:

Those comments about lifeless-ness have nothing to do with the animated quest cutscenes (to my knowledge) per se, although I would have rather had those scenes rendered in real time like how Half Life 2 and later games did (events, conversations, animations and everything all happen without you losing control of your character from it's normal 3D gameplay environment).  It's not an exact solution because it messes with the MMO element, but with SWTOR's budget I bet EA could have come up with something less boxed in.  Most critical story cutscenes are in an instance anyways, for example, so there could have been a hybrid model (or other).  But, again, this paragraph is my personal desires, not representative of what people mean when they say SWTOR worlds are "lifeless".

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.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

12/16/12 5:25:56 PM#42

Holding up a graphically average (maybe less) game to graphical inspection yields disappointment.

 

 

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  Camaro68

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/13/12
Posts: 52

12/16/12 11:42:21 PM#43
Originally posted by Karteli
This thread delivers BTW /popcorn!
 
Originally posted by Camaro68

I'm trying to figure out how fully-voiced and animated quest cutscenes are "lifeless" compared to NPCs in all other MMOs who do nothing but silently throw you a wall of text. 

The only thing I can agree on is that the performance is punishing.  Load times are definitely ridiculous. 

But obviously its not the end of the world for SWTOR.  The only MMOs with more players are WoW and GW2(the latter of which may end up with less than SWTOR pretty soon)

General meaning of SWTOR's lifeless worlds:

The reference to SWTOR being lifeless isn't because of the cutscenes directly, but rather the stale and unadventurous lives the NPC's seem to live.  Some NPC's just stand there looking around, while other NPC's perform the same 168-hour a week schedule to type away at a terminal, etc.

 

It also has to do with the outside environment being stale and .. well .. without life, aka lifeless.  No wildlife, no wandering NPC's, no day/night cycles, no weather effects.  Every hour spent is just like the last.  The weather effect absense makes me grumble even more, because on some planets there are quests to create lightning and such.  Grrr..  why not add that to the regular environment for all to see without questing:/

 

There is actually wildlife in the gameworld and they aren't there for questing or farming purposes...

Day/night cylcles have been meaningless since about 1999 when players figured out how to turn up the gamma in EQ1...

Exactly what more do filler NPCs do in other MMOs?  In EQ2 they would greet you if you walked close enough to trigger them but that turned out to be so annoying that they ixnayed that feature pretty fast...

SWTOR, like most videogames, is more about what the players are doing rather than what the non-quest NPCs are up to. 

That said, there's NPCs in shootouts, NPCs scanning spaceport arrivals, NPCs gossiping about the locals, NPCs playing music, NPCs dancing, NPCs sparring, wookies losing at chess...I could go on and on with this.

  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

12/17/12 12:50:10 AM#44
Originally posted by Camaro68
Originally posted by Karteli
This thread delivers BTW /popcorn!
 
Originally posted by Camaro68

I'm trying to figure out how fully-voiced and animated quest cutscenes are "lifeless" compared to NPCs in all other MMOs who do nothing but silently throw you a wall of text. 

The only thing I can agree on is that the performance is punishing.  Load times are definitely ridiculous. 

But obviously its not the end of the world for SWTOR.  The only MMOs with more players are WoW and GW2(the latter of which may end up with less than SWTOR pretty soon)

General meaning of SWTOR's lifeless worlds:

The reference to SWTOR being lifeless isn't because of the cutscenes directly, but rather the stale and unadventurous lives the NPC's seem to live.  Some NPC's just stand there looking around, while other NPC's perform the same 168-hour a week schedule to type away at a terminal, etc.

 

It also has to do with the outside environment being stale and .. well .. without life, aka lifeless.  No wildlife, no wandering NPC's, no day/night cycles, no weather effects.  Every hour spent is just like the last.  The weather effect absense makes me grumble even more, because on some planets there are quests to create lightning and such.  Grrr..  why not add that to the regular environment for all to see without questing:/

 

(1) There is actually wildlife in the gameworld and they aren't there for questing or farming purposes...

(2) Day/night cylcles have been meaningless since about 1999 when players figured out how to turn up the gamma in EQ1...

(3) Exactly what more do filler NPCs do in other MMOs?  In EQ2 they would greet you if you walked close enough to trigger them but that turned out to be so annoying that they ixnayed that feature pretty fast...

SWTOR, like most videogames, is more about what the players are doing rather than what the non-quest NPCs are up to. 

That said, there's NPCs in shootouts, NPCs scanning spaceport arrivals, NPCs gossiping about the locals, NPCs playing music, NPCs dancing, NPCs sparring, wookies losing at chess...I could go on and on with this.

(1) There is no wildlife.  Are you confusing this with another game?

 

(2) Turning up gamma in EQ1 didn't help you see better.  black was still black, no matter how much more black you could make it (by turning up gamma).  Only lighted areas would show brighter, dependant on the light source you carried.

 

(3) I'm not comparing NPC's to other games.  This is a Star Wars game, filled with innovation, who copies NO-ONE ...If the defense is that Star Wars is copying other games and thus it's OK, then the battle is already LOST.  Single player games give NPC's life, those are great examples.  The Ultima series is good - see Ultima 7, it's abandonware, so F2P essentially.  Every NPC had a unique daily routine.  Of course that made sense, because Ultima games had a day/night cycle. /snap

 

NPC's are doing everything you said (individually, without variation), but they are still lifeless, even if they dance 24 hours a day (which they do).  NPC's have no purpose in the SWTOR environment, no substance, no life.  THEY ARE LIFELESS.  .. without purpose, meaning, emotion, essence, substance ... they just stand there, whether they type at a keyboard all day, dance, or cheer others on.  That is what people mean when they say NPC's in SWTOR are lifeless.  it's quite drab.

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.

  Shadin

Novice Member

Joined: 9/09/04
Posts: 297

12/17/12 1:58:55 AM#45
Originally posted by Karteli

(1) There is no wildlife.  Are you confusing this with another game?

Just wanted to adress this one thing... There actually IS wildlife in the game.. Or well, "wildlife".. Usually quite large creatures. It's just that they act the same way as other mobs (standing still, walking 3 steps left then right etc.) so you never actually pay any real attention to them as it's "just another mob". The size of them, being the same size as mobs, and the fact that there at some part in the game is a "mob version" of them doesn't help either.

In short, there IS wildlife - it's just so poorly done that they might've just as well excluded it (imo).

  LoverNoFighter

Novice Member

Joined: 9/05/12
Posts: 334

SWG pre cu > all

12/17/12 6:05:31 AM#46

The best thing with SWTOR were the 3 cinematic teasers.

They were 10/10.

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16709

12/17/12 6:16:39 AM#47
Originally posted by lizardbones

GW2 cost a lot less, and was largely funded by GW1. SWToR cost a lot more and wasn't funded by another game.

That has nothing to do with it, Bioware had the money but didnt use them as well as they should.

38 studio also had the money but wasted all of them and never even got out their game.

TORs problem there is that they put most of the funding on stuff like voice overs for sidequests and making cutscenes for the same. That is stuff we dont really need (for the mainquest is one thing but none of us needs VOs and cutscenes for us to kill 10 rats).

It is possible that the hero engine also have something to do with it, both PS2 and GW2 have custom engines made specifically for the games. But we seen other games with the hero engine that looks better.

Partly is the whole thing a bad decision about art, with the right art and coloring lower poly count still can look good. Bioware decided something close to Clone wars instead of something more artistic.

Still, art is not my main problem with the game. It is the multiplaying stuff, the game is far too solofocused.

  Loke666

Elite Member

Joined: 10/29/07
Posts: 16709

12/17/12 6:22:49 AM#48
Originally posted by Karteli

(3) I'm not comparing NPC's to other games.  This is a Star Wars game, filled with innovation, who copies NO-ONE ...If the defense is that Star Wars is copying other games and thus it's OK, then the battle is already LOST.  Single player games give NPC's life, those are great examples.  The Ultima series is good - see Ultima 7, it's abandonware, so F2P essentially.  Every NPC had a unique daily routine.  Of course that made sense, because Ultima games had a day/night cycle. /snap

NPC's are doing everything you said (individually, without variation), but they are still lifeless, even if they dance 24 hours a day (which they do).  NPC's have no purpose in the SWTOR environment, no substance, no life.  THEY ARE LIFELESS.  .. without purpose, meaning, emotion, essence, substance ... they just stand there, whether they type at a keyboard all day, dance, or cheer others on.  That is what people mean when they say NPC's in SWTOR are lifeless.  it's quite drab.

Personally I loved how Bethesda handled NPCs in "Morrowwind". If you were away a while suddenly some people had gotten married with eachothers and got kids. They all had a rather interesting AI, worked in the days, maybe went to the tavern before going home to sleep in the night.

But I am not so sure it would work in a MMO (I think it probably would but as I said, not sure). However in TOR monsters are way to happy to stand around in one spot and wait for players to kill them while NPCs indeed are rather lifeless.

I seen worse than in TOR but Bioware could have done a lot more. Heck, the NPCs in Neverwinter nights were better scripted so I know for a fact that Bioware can better.

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