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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] Star Wars: The Old Republic: Making the 'Super Secret Space Project' Great

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  BillMurphy

Managing Editor

Joined: 7/28/06
Posts: 1570

 
OP  9/18/13 6:19:11 AM#1

BioWare finally gave Star Wars: The Old Republic fans a peek at the game's long awaited 'Super Secret Space Project' during this year's PAX Prime. This week, we're offering up a couple of ideas on how to make that project truly shine and live up to its potential.

If you’re unfamiliar with the SSSP, it’s essentially BioWare’s answer to the crappy space game they delivered to us at launch. A team at BioWare Austin has been working away at this thing for some time, but we haven’t heard or seen anything on it up until this year’s PAX Prime. The video shown was incredibly brief, but seemed to hint at off-rails space combat and perhaps even space PvP. While the latter would certainly be an appreciated bonus, the former is absolutely essential.

Read more of Michael Bitton's Star Wars: The Old Republic:Making the 'Super Secret Space Project' Great.

  Jyiiga

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/03/10
Posts: 986

9/18/13 2:19:37 PM#2
This is a feature that should have shipped with the game.
  MikeB

MMORPG.com Community Manager

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 5317

9/18/13 2:20:50 PM#3
Originally posted by Jyiiga
This is a feature that should have shipped with the game.

Awesome. But it didn't. So let's move on from here and talk about what they should do now that they're actually doing something on this front. ;)

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

  Ramadonis

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/17/10
Posts: 16

9/18/13 2:22:59 PM#4

This almost made me reinstall, but now I'm hesitant. I just know they'll tack on some F2P restriction on this mode. It's strange, since I actually liked the on rails space combat, not that this isn't a welcome addition but I hope it is just that; an addition. 

Gotta get my Star Fox fix from something...

  Samhael

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/28/04
Posts: 573

9/18/13 2:33:55 PM#5
Originally posted by MikeB
Originally posted by Jyiiga
This is a feature that should have shipped with the game.

Awesome. But it didn't. So let's move on from here and talk about what they should do now that they're actually doing something on this front. ;)

Honestly, I think that ship has sailed. It might bring a few people back but most of us that moved couldn't really be tempted back no matter how awesome whatever they claim to bring. At this point, I wouldn't go back to the game if it was entirely free to play. It just wasn't really *fun* so I don't think the addition of a real space game would save it. Junk the whole thing and start from scratch, maybe. Focus on the space game and make the avatar combat secondary... Then your crew skills, "true" exploration, fleet encounters, etc would have a better place to exist.

  Karteli

Elite Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2688

9/18/13 2:40:47 PM#6

Many of your ideas are also shared by the Star Wars gaming community, along with sci-fi fans also.  As to what the final product ends up being, I've set my expectations extremely low, as to not get disappointed again by EA.

 

Several PVP instances.  4v4?  Maybe more, but that is really pushing the envelope.  The engine SWTOR uses is awful, so if the action is going to be fast, they really can't have skipped frames like in the other PVP zones.  Even single player space combat got laggy sometimes (memory leak issue) so while a reboot would fix that problem, someone who experienced it would know how miserable it is to aim / dodge when the engine goes sluggish.

 

Most companies would give subscribers a patch like this for free .. but even if it's just a few new PVP maps, EA will charge... which might be fine if it turns out awesome.

 

Lastly there is the release time-frame.  It takes EA about a year or so from trailer to final product.  HK-51, Makeb, etc..  There is going to be some interesting alternate games available by the time this finally comes out.

 

edit:  In regards to planetary flight, much of the zones are "broken", like WoW Vanilla zones used to be before Cataclysm.  A lot of the art design is meant to be viewed only from certain perspectives (ie allowable spots), and excessive exploration can really show many of the map flaws.  For instance:

SWTOR Explorations 1.0.2a - Nar Shaddaa, Athiss, Korriban, Dromund Kaas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOzWIzPxUTI

EA would need to rework all of the maps Cataclysm style to allow for planetary flight.

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.

  Drakephire

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/02/13
Posts: 349

9/18/13 2:41:09 PM#7
Originally posted by GwapoJosh
Originally posted by MikeB
Originally posted by Jyiiga
This is a feature that should have shipped with the game.

Awesome. But it didn't. So let's move on from here and talk about what they should do now that they're actually doing something on this front. ;)

[mod edit]

What nonesense. MikeB makes a valid point. There's no point, in this thread, to discuss coulda, shoulda, woulda. It's water under the bridge. More interested in what they're doing now that SSSP is coming.

I'd like to see a vastly more open space shooter.  And let's not forget some real ship smuggling or blockade running.  

  BarCrow

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/25/07
Posts: 2096

9/18/13 2:46:28 PM#8

I'd love to think it will have all that Michael B  imagines. Coming from a current player,enthusiast  of the current game but hater of the space portion...I think they are more likely to push out a semi-passable kinda open dog fighting game with ample Cartel shop stock of random paint/dye packs and perhaps other ship customization for both outside and inside..as well as special ship packs with random parts and blah blah blah.  Same ole stuff.  

 At least I'm enjoying the bounty weeks as well. Wish it were just for BH though..and make other weeks for other classes. Contraband week for smugglers...Special Forces week for Troopers.... I'm sure something could work for force-users ..escort missions for jedi...ascend up the chain/kill your competitors for sith..or whatever.

 
  SuperDonk

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/22/10
Posts: 656

9/18/13 2:46:59 PM#9
Is it really a Super Secret anymore? Why not just call it the next SWTOR expansion.

I want to be Uncle Owen again.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 9943

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

9/18/13 3:02:39 PM#10

Given the game and the IP, what can they really do with space besides combat? People are not going to be miners, and they aren't going to start corporations in space, and hanging out with other people in their space ships would just be weird.

So off the rails space combat missions with objectives, and off the rails space pvp missions, with objectives. That sound about right?

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  MikeB

MMORPG.com Community Manager

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 5317

9/18/13 3:14:38 PM#11
Originally posted by lizardbones

Given the game and the IP, what can they really do with space besides combat? People are not going to be miners, and they aren't going to start corporations in space, and hanging out with other people in their space ships would just be weird.

So off the rails space combat missions with objectives, and off the rails space pvp missions, with objectives. That sound about right?

I sort of maybe get your point about the game (everything must be heroic!), but not the IP. There were, in fact, space miners in Star Wars as well as characters who ran 'corporations in space'. All of this stuff already happened (with the exception of space corporations) in the SWG expansion Jump to Lightspeed, and hanging out with people in their ships certainly wasn't 'weird' there, either. 

Walking around the multiple decks of a Luxury Yacht and being able to see space move past you through the windows as someone else piloted the ship was a pretty awesome experience that I would love to have again in SWTOR. It's not necessary to make the space game great, which is why I left it out of the article, but now that you've mentioned it, I would love to see that too. :)

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

  Grand_Nagus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/13/08
Posts: 328

9/18/13 3:26:38 PM#12
Originally posted by Drakephire
What nonesense. MikeB makes a valid point. There's no point, in this thread, to discuss coulda, shoulda, woulda. It's water under the bridge. More interested in what they're doing now that SSSP is coming.

You must have missed MikeB's comments at the beginning of the article about how crappy space was at launch. So if he gets to diss on Bioware for launching with crap space, why cant others?

  BadOrb

Elite Member

Joined: 1/11/13
Posts: 632

9/18/13 3:28:33 PM#13

SSSP a boxed expansion you suggest , that would be great. Not sure if it would be just the SSSP though surely we need a new planet or two ? level cap increased to level 65 sounds pretty good too.I do think the SSSP will be rolled out in parts though , so it might end up as part of our sub fee and of course that you firstly bought the next expansion. You see back in the day only one person was working on the project and worse still only on his day off. We shall see but in the words of MGMT "Love those alien days", Great article btw.

Cheers,

BadOrb.

PSO 4 years , EQOA 4 months , PSU 7 years , SWTOR launch ongoing.
"SWG was not fun. Let it go buddy." quote from iiNoSkillzii 10/18/13
The original propoganda pixie dust villain :[]

  VassagoMael

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/09/12
Posts: 479

9/18/13 3:29:24 PM#14
The trailer shows absolutely nothing, yet you are trying to hype it to oblivion. This (along with wildly disconnected from reality reviews) is why gaming "journalism" is best used as toilet paper. It also lends credence to the tin foil wearing "EA is paying them to write this" crowd.
 
Just let this abomination die so that I can see another Star Wars mmo in my lifetime.

Free to play = content updates for the cash shop. Buy to play = content updates for the cash shop.
Subscription = Actual content updates!

  VassagoMael

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/09/12
Posts: 479

9/18/13 3:32:31 PM#15
Originally posted by Grand_Nagus
Originally posted by Drakephire
What nonesense. MikeB makes a valid point. There's no point, in this thread, to discuss coulda, shoulda, woulda. It's water under the bridge. More interested in what they're doing now that SSSP is coming.

You must have missed MikeB's comments at the beginning of the article about how crappy space was at launch. So if he gets to diss on Bioware for launching with crap space, why cant others?

 

" how crappy space was at launch" as opposed to its current state?

 

Free to play = content updates for the cash shop. Buy to play = content updates for the cash shop.
Subscription = Actual content updates!

  MikeB

MMORPG.com Community Manager

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 5317

9/18/13 3:33:24 PM#16
Originally posted by BadOrb

SSSP a boxed expansion you suggest , that would be great. Not sure if it would be just the SSSP though surely we need a new planet or two ? level cap increased to level 65 sounds pretty good too.I do think the SSSP will be rolled out in parts though , so it might end up as part of our sub fee and of course that you firstly bought the next expansion. You see back in the day only one person was working on the project and worse still only on his day off. We shall see but in the words of MGMT "Love those alien days", Great article btw.

Cheers,

BadOrb.

Thanks! I don't think a new planet and level cap bump would be necessary to justify a boxed expansion with the scope of features I mentioned in the article. If the overall scope of the project ends up being much smaller, sure. But if the expansion is purely space focused, you could have enough content there to easily justify an expansion without a whole lot of meat needed to be added to the ground game (see: SWG: Jump to Lightspeed).

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

  Sho0terMcgavin

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/13/13
Posts: 318

9/18/13 3:38:40 PM#17
Originally posted by MikeB
Originally posted by BadOrb

SSSP a boxed expansion you suggest , that would be great. Not sure if it would be just the SSSP though surely we need a new planet or two ? level cap increased to level 65 sounds pretty good too.I do think the SSSP will be rolled out in parts though , so it might end up as part of our sub fee and of course that you firstly bought the next expansion. You see back in the day only one person was working on the project and worse still only on his day off. We shall see but in the words of MGMT "Love those alien days", Great article btw.

Cheers,

BadOrb.

Thanks! I don't think a new planet and level cap bump would be necessary to justify a boxed expansion with the scope of features I mentioned in the article. If the overall scope of the project ends up being much smaller, sure. But if the expansion is purely space focused, you could have enough content there to easily justify an expansion without a whole lot of meat needed to be added to the ground game (see: SWG: Jump to Lightspeed).

Why not have both?  Most MMOs today raise the level cap with expacs.  I understand what you are saying.  But, think about this.  What about those who really could care less about the space combat side of the game?  Would it be wise to ignore them?

  Daranar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/22/11
Posts: 150

9/18/13 3:41:31 PM#18
Originally posted by Samhael
Originally posted by MikeB
Originally posted by Jyiiga
This is a feature that should have shipped with the game.

Awesome. But it didn't. So let's move on from here and talk about what they should do now that they're actually doing something on this front. ;)

Honestly, I think that ship has sailed. It might bring a few people back but most of us that moved couldn't really be tempted back no matter how awesome whatever they claim to bring. At this point, I wouldn't go back to the game if it was entirely free to play. It just wasn't really *fun* so I don't think the addition of a real space game would save it. Junk the whole thing and start from scratch, maybe. Focus on the space game and make the avatar combat secondary... Then your crew skills, "true" exploration, fleet encounters, etc would have a better place to exist.

Honestly, I am one of those few people.  This will bring me back, heck free expansion for return is about to bring me back as soon as I can afford the sub again.   This may be a F2P game, but you really need a sub to enjoy the game IMO.   I enjoyed the game a lot, but the content was slow to come and they wasted too much time doing Nightmare Modes.  The battles were still the same which made it boring.  Challenging isn't always fun when it's still the same fight.   With the expansion (unplayed by me) and this potential space overhaul....i'm on the verge of returning, myself.    Yes this was overall a bad Star Wars game.   The F2P is stupid and the cartel market all but ruined the game, but it is Star Wars, and for me, and many still playing or planning on returning...as much as we desperately want a better Star Wars game.... that's enough.  :)

If I want a world in which people can purchase success and power with cash, I'll play Real Life. Keep Virtual Worlds Virtual!

  MikeB

MMORPG.com Community Manager

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 5317

9/18/13 3:44:32 PM#19
Originally posted by Sho0terMcgavin
Originally posted by MikeB
Originally posted by BadOrb

SSSP a boxed expansion you suggest , that would be great. Not sure if it would be just the SSSP though surely we need a new planet or two ? level cap increased to level 65 sounds pretty good too.I do think the SSSP will be rolled out in parts though , so it might end up as part of our sub fee and of course that you firstly bought the next expansion. You see back in the day only one person was working on the project and worse still only on his day off. We shall see but in the words of MGMT "Love those alien days", Great article btw.

Cheers,

BadOrb.

Thanks! I don't think a new planet and level cap bump would be necessary to justify a boxed expansion with the scope of features I mentioned in the article. If the overall scope of the project ends up being much smaller, sure. But if the expansion is purely space focused, you could have enough content there to easily justify an expansion without a whole lot of meat needed to be added to the ground game (see: SWG: Jump to Lightspeed).

Why not have both?  Most MMOs today raise the level cap with expacs.  I understand what you are saying.  But, think about this.  What about those who really could care less about the space combat side of the game?  Would it be wise to ignore them?

Why not have both? Development costs money and time, that's why. You have to make choices. I'd rather have a fully featured space game expansion than one reduced in scope in order to tack on unrelated content. BioWare has added new Operations, Flashpoints and other ground content as part of their regular updates already and can continue to do so in between and after a potential space expansion. A level cap bump and significant ground content update could come in the form of a smaller scale digital expansion along the lines of Hutt Cartel.  In fact, some people not caring about the space game is a major reason not to do a level cap bump in a space expansion. People would feel obligated to buy something they may not be interested in in order to remain competitive on the ground side of things.

This is just my opinion, of course. Your points are perfectly valid.

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

  Grand_Nagus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/13/08
Posts: 328

9/18/13 3:45:35 PM#20
Originally posted by VassagoMael
Originally posted by Grand_Nagus
Originally posted by Drakephire
What nonesense. MikeB makes a valid point. There's no point, in this thread, to discuss coulda, shoulda, woulda. It's water under the bridge. More interested in what they're doing now that SSSP is coming.

You must have missed MikeB's comments at the beginning of the article about how crappy space was at launch. So if he gets to diss on Bioware for launching with crap space, why cant others?

 

" how crappy space was at launch" as opposed to its current state?

 

I agree, it still sucks. Hoping the SSSP makes up for it :D

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