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Star Wars Galaxies

Star Wars Galaxies 

SWG Veteran Refuge  » What exactly went wrong?

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51 posts found
  Violette

Novice Member

Joined: 1/04/04
Posts: 115

armageddon.org

 
OP  6/03/07 1:09:54 PM#1
I have never played SWG, unfortunately.

From what I've read and seen, it <was> one of the greatest MMO's to date.

But something obviously happened.

It's disturbing to see so many bitter and disappointed players.

Can someone please explain why things started to go downhill?

  Publish6246

Novice Member

Joined: 5/24/07
Posts: 352

6/03/07 1:20:22 PM#2
- For me it all started to go down hill when they added a Alpha profession called "Jedi" and every since then the game was just about balancing Jedi and then it turned into Jedi vs BH patches. Cause they were the Alpha class all people did was spend their days grinding Jedi and it's all anyone ever did. I woulda prefered the game without player Jedi and everyone woulda focused on their profession and playing the game. Also the developers might have made good content without the constant attension patches to fixing Jedi lol.

- When JTLS (expansion) came out too people were very disappointed and felt like it destroid the social game because it changed hw you went around from planet to planet without the 10 min wait. Also i remember lots of people quiting the game because the expansion was just crap and not what we wanted.

- Publish 9 (i think it was) added the Village which made getting JEdi even easier....

- Doctor Buffs and Comp armor were broken and totally changed the way you played the game because now you could actually solo EVERYTHING lol........

- The CU came out even though we didn't want it to and added LEVELS which totally changed the game and we got a crappy expansion called ROTW which tried to make it more WOW like...

- The NGE came out which removed all the good stuff about the game and added aload of crap in, ever since they've been adding stuff we had before back and calling it new content lol. It reduced the number of professions from 32ish to 9 classes (like WOW) and it made entertainers and crafters uesless and just made the game even more BUGGY...



In Con they changed the game and it isn't the one we paid for and wanted to play so we quit.

-----------------------------

SWG - PrePub9 Jedi mastered all professions - June 26th 2003 > Nov 15th 2005
EVE Online - 24 million SP - May 6th 2003 > Early 2005
PlanetSide - BR20 CR5 - May 23rd 2003 > Sept 2003

  stevesmithjr

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/04
Posts: 261

SOE = Screwing Over Everyone

6/03/07 1:56:08 PM#3

At this point, you could probably publish a book about all that went wrong with this game.

Classic SWG > CUNGE

  Xix13

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/31/05
Posts: 260

6/03/07 2:03:15 PM#4

That's kinda a summary, I guess, but I think what it all boils down to is that SOE progressively dumbed down the game until it was totally diffferent from the one we paid for.  Somehow, they thought that gamers would continue to pay for something they'd invested years in no matter what they did to it.  And they found out just how wrong they were...that you could only go so far.

SWG had 3 distinct phases. 

Phase 1 we call Pre-CU (CU = Combat "Upgrade").  In Phase 1, ALL the gear was player-made.  Resources had quality numbers that varied greatly, and didn't last long before a new quality of the resource spawned...typically about a week, sometimes less.  This made finding and harvesting as much of that good resource a profession in itself.  There were tons of different resources too.  I was a Master Weaponsmith for a year before I'd collected even moderate quality of all the resources I needed to make all the weapons in the game.  Armoursmiths took even longer.  It was GREAT, and your Guild was essential to helping you find and gather what you needed...in exchange, of course, for that uber gear you made.  Some critters also dropped loot  (parts) that could make the uber gear even...uh...uberer.  There were also the Entertainer professions, the only ones that could cure your Mind wounds.  In Phase 1, there were 3 distinct types of damage bars and only entertainers could heal wounds to your mind.  Cantinas were places were entertainers worked and where you went after a session of fighting to cure your mind.  Of course, the social aspect of this down time was incredible, as you might imagine.  Phase 1 was also more skill-based...you could choose how to spend your limited skill points among the various professions, building a toon varied to your liking and playstyle.  Jedi were very rare.  The Path to Jedi was long and arduous, based on mastering professions.  Mysterioous things called Holocrons told you what professions you needed to master, with a "hidden" profession required as well, so you COULD (and most did) wind up mastering almost all of them over time.  That part I didn't go for.  When I mastered a prof, I wanted to play the prof, not immediately drop it to start on another.  And, yes, in that you see that the infamous "respec" wasn't an issue.  You could drop and learn different pieces of your template until you got what you wanted as your final toon.  Jedi were rare and definitely a solitary profession.  There was even some perma-death for them early on which was quickly done away with.  There was a heirarchical system for Jedi too, which was also quickly done away with.  Wouldn't want to put TOO much of the game in the players' hands now would we?  But it was poorly implemented anyway, so I guess it didn't matter much.

Phase 2 we call CU.  With Phase 2, gone were the varied toon templates.  Now you had to worry about what LEVEL your toon was, and that was very much based on mastering similar profs.  No more Armoursmith/Rifleman.  That template would only get your level halfway and you'd be pwnd.  It was all craft or all combat.  Which made hunting down those resources even tougher 'cause you were now unprotected.  While the best gear was still player-made, they started to introduce loot-drop gear that was as good or sometimes better than what could be made.  You really couldn't solo stuf easily anymore either.  Grouping was almost mandatory.  Bridging the time between pre-CU and CU, they introduced The Village, a much easier way to get to Jedi.  You went to The Village, did some quests to unlock some special skill trees (most of which didn't work or do anything) then ground out thousands and thousands of critters until you filled those skill trees.  Then, voila, you're a Jedi, and it was time to grind out millions more critters to get the Jedi skills.  Then, they allowed Jedi to group with other folks without penalty, which, while bringing our friends back to the social side, made Jedi as commonplace as the critters we were grinding.  Doctors and Entertainers started to be downplayed.  Mind Wounds went away.  The game began to get dumber, but was still SWG, and our communities stuck with it and still made it fun.

Phase 3 was the NGE (New Game Enhancements?  Not Good Enough?).  Instead of fixing what was broken, SOE implemented a completely new game.  Crafters became useless...everything was loot-drop.  Combat switched from RPG-style to REALLY bad FPS style.  We went from 32 professions to 9.  Creature Handlers (the pet class) disappeared.  They introduced a (pay-for) expansion ONE WEEK before changing the game entirely.  NGE hit with no warning at all.  And about 80% of the population had had enough.  We all left.  Our beloved game had become a nightmare.  Our cities became ghost towns.  Our friends scattered to the MMO winds.  I had 5 acounts myself, all cancelled within a month of NGE hitting.  It was all very sad. 

There are some great Goodbye SWG videos folks made that still bring tears to my eyes for what we had.  It was a game where I didn't even mind getting ganked ocassionally.  (If anybody has a link to the one with Imagine as the music track, PLEASE let me know.  My HD crashed a couple of years ago and I haven't been able to replace that video!)  Those pre-CU mass battles in Goontown, with the CMs who could hit you from a range futher than you could even see...Ah, some great times we had.  I still, to this day, do NOT know what could have possessed SOE to think that what they did would work.  Close the game (like EA did with EnB) if you simply can't support it or fix it.  Take your lumps and your losses and get on with it (SOE still has games, EA still has UO).  But this?  No, this was bad business all the way around, and has lost them FUTURE business and gained them long-term enmity in ways that EA's closing of EnB never did. 

-- Xix
"I know what you're thinking: 'Why, oh WHY, didn't I take the BLUE pill?'"

  Warmaker

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/07
Posts: 2233

6/03/07 2:18:32 PM#5
Originally posted by stevesmithjr

At this point, you could probably publish a book about all that went wrong with this game.

The better question would be... how many Volumes would it encompass?

"I have only two out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and a constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (First Lieutenant Clifton B. Cates, US Marine Corps, Soissons, 19 July 1918)

  chlaos

Novice Member

Joined: 11/11/05
Posts: 1120

6/03/07 2:31:20 PM#6
The post on Vet Animus does a very good job of describing what went wrong in detail.  But basically, instead of finishing and fixing the game, SOE continually revamped and changed it drastically.   There are only so many times that most people are willing to have their gameplay disrupted and their gear rendered worthless.  Once the community became so disenchanted and angry, it was just a downward spiral from there.  

"The man who exchanges Liberty for Iconic classes is a fool deserving of neither." - Me and Ben Franklin

  kairaene

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/07/06
Posts: 256

6/03/07 5:07:13 PM#7
You know.. I got to thinking about it today.  There are alot of things that went wrong with SWG but the point that I remember that sticks most in my mind is when I logged in and had a holocron in my inventory.

When the first Xmas arrived everyone got a holocron in their inventory.  If you clicked on it it told you the next profession you needed to master in order to become a jedi(4 holocrons would tell you which ones to do and at five it would go silent meaning you had to guess or just grind all the professions til you unlocked).  Why would they want everyone to become a jedi? 

See, I got my first holo and clicked it.  It said: "In order to continue your path to enlightenment you need to Master the Entertainer profession."

I wasnt too stoked about doing it but I did it.  Stood in a cantina(did it all manually since I didnt know about macros yet) and talked to people and had some good convo's.  I hated it for the most part(entertainer just wasnt for me).  But I did it.. dropped it all once I got the badge and went back to Scout/Ranger/Rifleman.   I had so much fun leveling those professions. 

To make ends meet I bought a few cheap harvestors and let them run just collecting whatever resources was at its highest(didnt know about OQ and conductivity then).  Just sold them cheap on the bazaar since everyone wanted some resources so they could grind out whateve artisan profession they had next to grind in order to get Jedi.

See, Jedi at first were pretty uber.   Full template jedi could kill alot of people if they knew what they were doing. There were death penalites.  It was a fun idea.  So, everyone wanted to do it.  And with holocrons it was as simple as clicking to tell you what you had to do next instead of having fun and playing what you wanted.

Holocrons led to Jedi.  Jedi led to the death of this game.  

If they would have made the method to get to Jedi something like this this game would have been a helluva alot different. 

When each character was created they had their grind professions set and they should have set a handful of quests that each player had to do in order to achieve jedi.  Then once they achieved that they had to grind the village too!  Talk about hardcore!  But, Jedi remained uber instead of all the nerfs they hit them with.  I think they should have given Jedi 10 deaths then they would have became Blue Glowie and they could help/influence other jedi out there.

But, in order to offset this Uber jedi(tho rare they would have been) we would have had Profession dedication bonuses.  I remember people who loved playing one profession.  So, why not reward them for their dedication.  I say have a Village-esque set of quests that would allow a person to continue to use their excess XP and level up in a system that would allow them some bonuses to their professions.  Unique items they could use.  Special titles and what  not.  The ability to train people in the novice skills of the starter professions.  But they could only drop their Profession dedication levels once.  The second time you did it stuck and you couldnt ever change it. 

/sigh Sorry for going OT.  I had so much hope for the game but just totally messed it up with some terrible ideas and greed in their bellies.  :( 
  Lcaw

Novice Member

Joined: 5/18/04
Posts: 8

6/03/07 6:02:56 PM#8

I would like to add, that it is the NGE style of combat itself that I find dull and boring. It just doesn't feel like it belongs in an MMO, especailly not in a MMO that was designed to use another combat system.

 

  redriver

Novice Member

Joined: 12/06/05
Posts: 128

6/03/07 6:06:04 PM#9

LA say jump SoE jump.. not much ya can do when somebody can force your hand and call the shots for ya... unfortunately LA is as much to blame as SoE in this case. it was a big screwup alliance that distroyed SWG.

it all started with CU and 'em changin' it the last moment.. then came NGE and it really change the game like 90%

both CU and NGE were backwords to what the game needed... players quit the most after NGE though. CU wasn't half as evil as NGE turned out to be.

alas there's not much we can do to brin' our beloved game back... it was stated many a time by SoE that there's gonna be no pre-CU servers.....

Originally posted by Violette
...
Can someone please explain why things started to go downhill?

p.s. PM me if ya want pre-CU!
  ArcAngel3

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/06
Posts: 2941

Momento Mori

6/03/07 6:48:00 PM#10
Originally posted by Violette
I have never played SWG, unfortunately.

From what I've read and seen, it <was> one of the greatest MMO's to date.

But something obviously happened.

It's disturbing to see so many bitter and disappointed players.

Can someone please explain why things started to go downhill?


-early release with lots of bugs, incomplete quests etc.

-worked on fixing up the original game mechanics, but rather than implementing these fixes, switched the game mechanics to something that players didn't want.  The stuff they had been working on, but scrapped, had a lot of player input.  People were really dissappointed that the stuff they were anticipating didn't come, and that stuff they didn't want was pushed live.  This era was called the "combat upgrade" cu for short.

-people adapted to the new system, although many left the game at that point.  Still our guild was pretty strong, and my server "ahazi" was really busy.  People still enjoyed character customization options with lots of professions to choose from, and enjoyed profession interdependence.  I had a Master of Teras Kasi, Master Doctor character that was one quest away from becoming a Padawan (jedi in training).

-SOE announced a new expansion with content from the "Revenge of the Sith" planet of Mustafar.  This expansion would really be good for high level players and jedi.  It would have cool item drops for these players, and Creature Handlers would get to tame new, fierce pets.  Creature Handler had just been revamped in light of player feedback, and people were very excited about it.  If you bought the expansion early, you got a special in-game item.  Most of my guild bought it, and were absolutely loving in.

-the "BIG ONE": The day after our VISA payments for the new expansion were accepted, SOE announced that the New Game Enhancements would be going live in the near future.  The impact of this event was incredible.   People just paid for an expansion with items and creatures for professions that were now being deleted from the game entirely.  We were told we were buying one thing, and as soon as SOE had our cash, they told us we were getting something else entirely.  We were also told that there was no room for discussion about this, it was going to happen and we could learn to like it or leave. 

Both my Mastered Professions were deleted.  That was a year and a half of game play investment.  Entertainers and crafters became fairly useless, having no important function as they had in the previous systems.  The last quest I was working on to become a jedi was also deleted.  I had to respec to a "medic".   My special attacks didn't work and my heals healed enemies that I was dueling.  When I had more than one chat box open, I couldn't move my character.  So, the chat was broken, the movement was broken, the combat was broken, my professions were deleted.  Those who were creature handlers had all their pets that they had found and tamed over 2 or so years locked up in their datapads and rendered viewable but unaccessible.  Players highlighted all these concerns and were censored, banned etc. by SOE on their forums.  Other player posts saying "your game is gone, stop whining and move on" began then and continue today.

-Since then, people have been paying to have SOE fix the stuff they broke with the NGE and piece by piece replace a lot of the features that the NGE removed from the game.  Many people don't want to pay SOE to fix what they broke, nor do they want to pay for "new" content that is really just a partial restoration of what the game had earlier.  I'm one of the people that won't pay for that, and doesn't trust SOE any longer with my money, time or emotional investment.

I think that about sums it up.

Arc   

  Obee

Novice Member

Joined: 8/07/06
Posts: 1560

6/03/07 6:59:46 PM#11

Basically, the game was being touted by the gaming press, prior to release,  as the first MMO to have the potential to hit the magical one million subscriber mark.  The game was released before it was finished (even after being delayed six months) and post release, development was focused on trying to find the super secret Jedi related feature needed to draw in the, at the time invisible, teaming masses that SOE management thought would play the game if they could be a Jedi.  Broken and buggy features were pretty much ignored, and much needed fixes were never made while the developers continued to tweak the Jedi profession.  Promised content was dropped and developer posts mentioning the content were deleted from the official forums.

After a while, SOE promised all the concerns about broken and buggy features were going to be addressed and fixed in the Combat Upgrade Rebalance, or CURB.  The CURB was delayed in favor of the space expansion (JtL or Jump to Lightspeed), after the players were promised that it was going to be the main development focus and released prior to the expansion.   Shortly after JtL was released, SOE announced the CURB was ready to go into closed beta testing, where selected players would be able to try it out and help the developers fix the major bugs before applying it to the game servers.  It gets a little murky here, due to there being conflicting stories of whether or not the CURB was ever applied to the closed testing server.  Some people say it was and they liked it, and others say it wasn't.

Regardless, the CURB was scrapped and in its place the Combat Upgrade, or CU, was quickly developed and pushed to the live servers against the objections of around 80% of the playerbase.  The CU changed combat to be much more like World of Warcraft, than the original combat system.  The CU also made the game look much less like the Star Wars movies, due to armor being necessary and thus everyone wearing it.  Prior to the CU, armor had benefits and trade offs, so most people just wore normal clothes and had an individual look.

During the CU time period, there was very little, and I do mean very little, actual content added to the game outside of the Rage of the Wookiees expansion.  Whereas the original SWG had large open worlds, which you could travel across in any direction, the RotW expansion was a maze with instances.  Players complained about this, and the fact that most of the content found in the expansion wasn't very well thought out.  Very little of the content fit in very well with Star Wars.

SOE then decided to do yet another revamp of the Jedi profession, and they added The Village.  This was basically a little town on one of the harder planets, that players would do many quests to unlock the ability to become a Jedi.  Since this was the first decent content added to the game since it was released, and outside of three small quest series, it was about the only content in the game outside of the expansions.  Since one of the primary desires of the playerbase since the game was released was more content, just about everyone flocked to The Village and played through the quests there.  Another draw was skill mods that could be gained through unlocking the skill trees by doing the quests.  SOE interpreted this as "SEE!!!1  EVERYONE WANTS TO PLAY AS A JEDI!!!!12", instead of the more likely "SEE!!!1  EVERYONE WANTS MORE CONTENT IN THIS GAME!!!!12".

After some cries of wanting the combat system reverted back to the pre-CU combat system and SOE's president John Smedley saying "The CU is here to stay.", some strange listing started showing up on some on-line stores.  They were new SWG boxes, named The Starter Kit, that offered players a chance to play one of nine professions, including Jedi, and advance through a central quest series, to gain levels and experience.  Thankfully, the fine folks at SOE said it was a false listing and they were going to contact those on-line stores to have the fake listings removed.  The players decided the description was from the game The Knights of the Old Republic, even though the description was nothing like either KotOR game.

So the game went on, with the players being happy that the oddly described new box was not real and that the new expansion, The Trials of Obi-Wan was on it's way with new content and items such as a Creature Handler necklace, which would increase the CH's ability to control higher level pets.  The ToOW expansion was released and players flocked to the new planet.  Two days later, the sky fell.

The LucasArts producer at the time, Julio Torres, who only very rarely posted anything on the official forums, and even then his posts contained nothing of any note, announced the New Game Enhancements, or NGE.  The NGE would strip out the open skill system and replace it with a strict class based system, containing only nine 'Iconic' classes.  It also changed the World of Warcraft combat system with a First Person Shooter style combat system that barely functioned, yet the developers thought was, and still is, fun.  Crafting, which was the primary way players acquired equipment, was gutted into being completely without a use, since weapons, armor, and buff items could be looted with better stats than crafters could make.

After a bit of player outcry about dropping such a bomb just days after an expansion, often including threats of getting lawyers involved, LucasArts decided to give a refund to anyone who purchased the ToOW expansion and wanted one.  A very large number of people took them up on that offer.  The official forums exploded with enough anger at the proposed changes, that the moderators of the forum were woken up in the middle of the night, on the weekend, to lock and delete most of the posts.  Several explanations were offered as to why the changes were made, and why the changes would make the game better and increase the playerbase.

When the NGE finally made it to the Test Center server, the players were able to try out the changes being made to the game.  The test servers were flooded with people, and long waits were often needed to be able to log in.  When players finally got in and were able to try the exciting new changes, the were very much more than underwhelmed.  A poll was conducted on the Launchpad, which players used to log into the game, but was quickly removed and forgotten when the results came back that close to 95% of the players hated the changes.  SOE, being as big on customer service as they are, ignored the results and began treating thier customers with open hostility.  Julio Torres went so far as to tell the players that if they didn't like the changes, they could go play something else.  Many, and I do mean many, players took him up on that offer.

Shortly after the NGE was applied to the normal game servers, in a not too close to working state, John Smedley touted how great the changes were and only a vocal minority of players had quit over the changes.  He also claimed that new players were signing up to play and the game was doing great.  Those comments were, in reality, not exactly accurate.  The game suffered a mass exodus of players, to the point that most of the servers still look more like an eerie post-apocalyptic world, than the Star Wars universe.  John Smedley later acknowledged on the official forums that the game had in fact lost a large chunk of players and was, in his own words, "nowhere near fun".  He also said things were not likely to improve until the game achieved a "baseline fun level" that it was currently not at.  He aslo claimed things were not all that bad, because '80% of the current playerbase was made up of pre-NGE players', which also meant that after a very large chunk of the playerbase (anywhere between a third and two thirds) had quit, only one fifth of the players left had joined the game after the NGE.

SOE has spent most of the time since the NGE making the game into a PVP centered game and have remained openly hostile to their current and former SWG customers.  They have now decided that they are going to try and shoehorn features of the pre-NGE game, which they said were not "Star Warsy" or "Iconic" enough to be in the game, back into the current horrible core game, so to attract back former players.  After a year and a half of failing to attract new customers to the game, they have given up on trying.  The development team consists of less than half of what the EQ2 team's number of people, and John Smedley has talked about the need to merge servers, due to low population.  During this time, LucasArts, for the most part, has avoided being too connected to the game, outside of the current LucasArts producer, Jake Neri, doing an online interview or two when a new publish is on the way, and former head of Public Relations for LucasArts, Nancy McIntyre, making insulting comments about the current SWG players (they don't like to read and want simple gameplay because they weren't smart enough to deal with the pre-NGE game).

All throughout this roller coaster ride of destruction, promises were made and broken, lies were told, and insults were thrown at the customers by SOE employees.  There has also been plenty of salt rubbed into the wounds of the former SWG playerbase, by SOE employees, since the NGE.  Star Wars Galaxies is currently a shell of what it once was, but it still does have one shining distinction, it is the larges monument to what not to do with an MMO.  The NGE failed in such a large and spectacular way that even some SOE employees have told other developers 'Don't ever do anything like this, ever!".  Even after these admissions of failure, tempered by a still ongoing "It failed because we didn't communicate well enough" and "It failed because the former players refused to give it a chance" narative from SOE, they still refuse to offer up a classic version of the game.  Sadly, the folks in charge of SOE don't realize that they could eliminate most of the animosity towards them from many former customers by doing so.  I doubt it would make them much money in the short term, but it would likely cause many folks who currently will not ever try another SOE related game (a large enough group that John Smedley regularly stated that SOE would have no influence on the development of Vanguard after the announcement that SOE would be the publisher of tht game), to be open to giving future SOE related products a chance, if they found  features or concepts they enjoy in such games.

It is good that there is something for MMO developers to use as a guide of what mistakes to avoid.  Unfortunately the game that is used as that guide was once a unique and enjoyable game in a sea of WoW clones.  There is nothing that can be done to ever save SWG at this point (not even offering classic servers), but SOE is still missing an opportunity to greatly reduce the amount of anger directed at their company.  The refuse to offer classic servers and have oddly decided that showing respect towards, and/or acting professionally towards, their customers is unnecessary.  SOE has always been a company with abysmal customer service, even back when they were known as Verant Interactive, but in the past two years they have dug to new depths and have shown no indication that they will ever improve on that front.  I guess that as long as they have enough customers to remain in business, they will remain openly hostile towards their customers and view them as "the enemy".

  Publish6246

Novice Member

Joined: 5/24/07
Posts: 352

6/03/07 9:20:48 PM#12
What gets me is Smedley said they have learnt from their mistakes and wont do something like the "NGE" again. Why didn't they learn from the mistakes of the CU then? Makes no sense to me. What also gets me is whose fault was it actually? LA or SOE lol..... I know smedley tried pointing the blame at LA saying they do not understand the Online market and are not very good to work with.

-----------------------------

SWG - PrePub9 Jedi mastered all professions - June 26th 2003 > Nov 15th 2005
EVE Online - 24 million SP - May 6th 2003 > Early 2005
PlanetSide - BR20 CR5 - May 23rd 2003 > Sept 2003

  xplororor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/27/03
Posts: 2423

The wanning starship, a glowing pallid white,
Bids her adieus, heading into space''s cold night.

6/03/07 10:16:29 PM#13
Originally posted by Violette
I have never played SWG, unfortunately.

From what I've read and seen, it <was> one of the greatest MMO's to date.

But something obviously happened.

It's disturbing to see so many bitter and disappointed players.

Can someone please explain why things started to go downhill?


Why?

  Silly minds started calling the shots at LA and SOE. Here is an example of the sillyness of SOE and LA:

1. SWG was never, ever, never, advertised in movie theaters when the movie Clone Wars came out. And ever worse, when the last SW movie "Revenge of the Sith" came out. There are litterally over 20-40 million plus SW fans worldwide. The last SW movie was mandatory viewing for them.

2. SWG was never, ever, never, advertised on the DVD releases of the above last 2 SW movies. Sad, sad, sad.


 My friends and I sometimes travel to New York City, to see the Halloween Day parade. It is THE largest Halloween  parade in America.  Every year some ultra hardcore SW fans dress and march in formation of Stormtroopers, and other SW characters. Their costumes are ultra realistic. One guy I talked to even hired the actual movie costume makers to make his costume for him! At the end of the parade route, I went up to one group of them, asked them if they heard of SWG. These are ultra-hard core SW fans!! They never heard of it. I told them the web site and they all said they would check it out.

  What kind of silly mindset could SOE and LA have that's sooo silly, that they would NOT advertise their product to a fanbase that would automatically buy it no matter what?

  Look at Blizzard. They've had an online prescense (sp) for more than 10 years. They had an ultra-hardcore fanbase for 10 years. When they release WoW where did they do the majority of their advertising? On Battlenet! This guarantees every single uber hardcore Blizzard fan on the planet will know about WoW! Easily 10 to 20 million players login to Battlenet to play D1, D2, and other old Blizzard games. And guess what? No need to guess. Obviously WoW will automatically succeed in its sleep if just 2-5% of hardcore Blizzard fans play it.

 EQ2, and MxO, were both advertised in movie theaters! It gets worse!!!! SOE is a child company of parent company SONY. And guess what else SONY owns? One of the largest, most famous, movie theater chains in the world! It litterally would have cost SOE nothing to advertise SWG to every SW fan worldwide!

  There you have it, WHY things started to go downhill.
As for WHEN things started going downhill, other posters have done an excellent job explaining the time frame. Basically, when the JediHologrind mess started, which was close to 1 year after release. That was when players got Jedi Holocrons. Game growth halted. When the NGE hit, the game growth not only halted, it plunged downwards. It lost more than 2/3 of its player base.
  Obee

Novice Member

Joined: 8/07/06
Posts: 1560

6/03/07 10:49:16 PM#14
Originally posted by Publish6246
What gets me is Smedley said they have learnt from their mistakes and wont do something like the "NGE" again. Why didn't they learn from the mistakes of the CU then? Makes no sense to me. What also gets me is whose fault was it actually? LA or SOE lol..... I know smedley tried pointing the blame at LA saying they do not understand the Online market and are not very good to work with.

The CU didn't decimate the subscription numbers the way the NGE did.  The CU didn't even cause a tiny fraction of the negative PR that the NGE did.  The reaction of the NGE and the effect on the subscription numbers made the New York Times.

As to who is to blame, from both current and former SOE employees, everything about the NGE conception, design, and delivery has been that the folks at SOE came up with it and convinced LucasArts that it would make the game more successful.  Between the two companies, SOE has the most experience with MMOs, since it is what they do.  LucasArts' primary roll in the partnership is to advertise the game, box, ship and sell it, and approve any changes for content issues and potential damage to the IP.  SOE is the one who is primarily to blame for what was done to the game.  They were the ones who convinced LucasArts to approve putting Jedi in the game in the first place, and were the ones who pissed away development time post release focusing on Jedi while the rest of the game remained broken and buggy.  The folks at SOE were convinced that allowing people to play as a Jedi would bring in a large number of people.  I wouldn't doubt that the idea of making Jedi a starter profession was what actually spawned the NGE.

John Smedley posted on his blog that the folks at DC Comics were the first outside IP holders that were easy to work with.  That is primarily due to Time Warner not caring how much licensees mangle their IPs.  Just for a little example, do a search on the history of the production of the last Superman movie.  Some of the ideas that they approved are mindblowing in their stupidity.  Time Warner only cares that the checks don't bounce.  LucasArts have a history of being very protective of their IPs, sometimes overly so.  I have no doubt that some very bad ideas that came out of SOE were vetoed, especially during the period that the folks at LucasArts were pissed off at SOE (during the explosive backlash against the NGE).  Having free reign over someone else's property would definitely make you enjoy dealing with them more than someone else who is afraid you might break their stuff.

I definitely read John Smedley's blog comment differently than most.  To me it was him saying that SWG would be in better shape if LucasArts had allowed SOE to use their wonderful ideas and be less tied to the IP's fiction.  I mean really, you should alway shoehorn  gameplay designs into an IP, instead of designing gameplay around the constraints of the IP.  That is what I got out of that blog post.  It is also the reason most games based on existing IPs suck.

  stevesmithjr

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/04
Posts: 261

SOE = Screwing Over Everyone

6/03/07 11:09:54 PM#15

Here's an old post I made (luckily I saved it) entitled: "Where SWG went wrong."

This was originally posted post-CU - pre-NGE. 

 

First things first. When you include an Alpha class in a MMOG, you are setting yourself up for trouble. You can not have one class that is fundementally more powerful then all the others. Why not? Because then that becomes the goal of just about everyone playing, to be in the uber A-Class. The folks who do not want to be part of the A-Class simply leave. It starts a downward spiral for the rest of the game, especially ones with player run economies. In retrospect, I think the Dev team pretty well figured this out and dumbed down the rest of the game (i.e. crafters) to adjust to the ever rising Jedi population. In the end, what do you have left? Jedi, those grinding to become Jedi, and non-Jedi.

I think SOE realized that having an A-Class was a bad thing, and now they are dumbing down Jedi to make them about on par with every one else. Now what does that do? It infuriates the folks who busted their butts to be in the A-Class. So now you are left with a dumbed down version of pretty crappy game with the majority of your playbase in an uproar. Sucks dosen't it.

What's the moral of this story? The marketing team dosen't dictate to the creative team. Because when they do, this is what you are left with. Seriously, if I were in charge of this fiasco, I'd either 1) Make the current game free and use it as a test base for a SWG2 (a game without an Alpha Class) or 2) Pull the plug on it and let it rest in pieces.



So, if it sucks so badly and everything, why don't they do something about it?
Listen up kids, this will explain it all for you right here...


Developing content.
This is the single biggest challenge and drain on resources for every MMORPG. Why? What's so hard about it? Well, it’s a simple fundamental difference between MMORPGs and SPGs (Single Player Games).

SPGs are “story driven”. Just about all of them have a definite beginning, middle, and end. Usually there is some kind of plot or conflict which moves the story, and ultimately your character, forward. If you miss a few things along the way you can simply go back and play it over again.

Not the case with a MMORPG (as we know them now anyway). MMORPGs are “character driven”, where the characters themselves move the story forward in lieu of a plot. Essentially meaning, the players themselves make the story.

Which brings us to the problem: How do you develop a story arc for 100,000+ players (or, for better understanding, call the players "characters in the story"), and/or how do you develop unique story arcs for each of them? It would either totally tax the development team or the server hardware and resources or both.

SOE solved the problem, and they did it the cheapest way they could figure out.

Ever wonder why there are so many grinds in SWG? In DevSpeak they are called "time sinks", things to keep you hooked and play longer, and consequently, pay up on your monthly subscription. The first major “time sink” in SWG was the quest to unlock the first Jedi. The second was the hologrind. And now, it’s the village. “Rare Jedi” was a great selling point, and as I’m sure you know, everyone wants to be l33t. So, SOE figured that people really wanted to become Jedi and implemented a 6-9 month grind to unlock your “FSCS”. That’s enough time for them to make enough money to pay their bills, and frees them from keeping this game fresh and interesting by releasing new content into it… well, for free anyway. Now all the content comes in the latest expansion pack to buy. It’s pretty smart from a business stand point, but, as most of us know, it really sucks for the end consumer

So if it sucks for the end consumer why do they still pay money and play? Because SOE has an ace in the hole, and it’s the only reason why they’ve gotten away with this business practice, and is the only reason why this game is still alive today… Want to take a guess? Yep, it’s “Star Wars” Or as close to it as we are getting (for now anyway).



It's kinda sad how this game turned out. It used to be soooo much fun! Now it's "Jedi Wars". I dunno, what's the point? I almost feel like getting into the MMORPG business myself to show these folks how it's done. Hell, I wish SOE would give me Smedly's job; this game would be the best damn game anyone ever played! But we all know that's not happening. And even so, it's LA who pulls the strings anyway... Just sad, really sad.

Well damn, that sucks! What can I do?
Quit.

Classic SWG > CUNGE

  musicmann

Novice Member

Joined: 12/25/05
Posts: 1122

6/03/07 11:52:59 PM#16

While the implementation of how to become jedi and proffession grinding was a big mistep on LEC/SOE's part, due to alot of people going whacko on trying to unlock jedi. There's something to be said, that i truly feel played a very big roll in hurting SWG and caused alot of the bickering and moaning amongst the players, but toward the devs as well.

The constant changing and trying to balance proffessions for pvp caused alot  and i mean alot, of the things that went wrong and is still going wrong in the game today.  Instead of everyone engaging in pvp for fun, which it was back in the day, alot of these so called pvper's did nothing more than moan about how this proffession needed to be nerfed and how that other proffession was ruining pvp for everyone.

If those people would have been more adult about the situation and didn't take losing as the end of the world, the constant griping that the devs kept hearing and reading on the forums wouldn't have made them want or feel like they needed to make changes, either small ones or larger ones.

Then you have the people that thought it took to long to become jedi, even when they introduced the village. They wanted to become one and be able to grind it out like a regular profession. Well once again the devs listened to the moaning and pretty much since the cu, everything started to go downhill from there.

I won't even go into the NGE, because really, it's a whole other game. So really what went wrong, I guess all of us that played the game back in pre-cu has nothing more to do but look in a mirror. If you were one of the players that always moaned on the forums because of a pvp situation, you probably was one of the nails in the coffin.

The game had it's downfall's, theres no denying that, but if people would have just played the game, instead of bitching, i truly don't see how SOE/LEC would have took the steps to make the most major change to an mmo, in all of mmo history.

 

  iceman00

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/05
Posts: 1367

Kevin Tierney

6/04/07 5:21:50 PM#17
Originally posted by Violette
I have never played SWG, unfortunately.

From what I've read and seen, it <was> one of the greatest MMO's to date.

But something obviously happened.

It's disturbing to see so many bitter and disappointed players.

Can someone please explain why things started to go downhill?


This is a subject of much debate.  Ask ten people, and you will get  ten answers.  I think the macro problem with SWG was a simple lack of vision.  They didn't have any set plan with what they were going to do with the game. 

The second was no foresight when it comes to making something.  I am reminded of the 7 P's: 

PREVIOUS PROPER PLANNING PREVENTS PISS POOR PERFORMANCE

Many times no previous planning existed.  The law of unintended consequences is what happened to this game.  They expected their subscriptions to skyrocket by attempting to be like every other game out there.  Instead, their numbers tanked badly.  People will tell you in a poll they'd play this game if it were more like WoW.  The only problem is they are currently playing WoW, and not likely to give up WoW.  They like WoW the way it is.  The game has a ton of content, and little bugs.  SWG was the opposite on both counts. A lot of the content was player driven and designed, and due to the things mentioned above, there were serious problems with bugs. 

SOE made 2 sweeping changes to the game.  First moving away from a purely based skill system to a hybrid skill/level system.  This caused all kinds of problems.  (The CU.  A lot of the problems having to do with the CU came from this attempt at a hybrid.)  Almost right after the CU was developed (and there were problems) the NGE was launched.  (The NGE came less than 9 months after the CU.  Normally such a sweeping change would take 4-6 months to do from the first meeting to the final product.  In short, SOE gave the CU about 2 months time before they began working on another massive change.)

This massive change did away with the skill and profession based system ENTIRELY, instead going to an "iconic" class system.  They also moved away from player crafting having any real impact on the game, and everything to do with loot based quests.

SWG has at least finally (after almost 4 years) remained with a consistent game plan (the NGE), but the lack of vision and competence is still apparent.  Things that were promised right when the NGE came out are still nowhere near implementation.

SOE has demonstrated what they can do when they want to put a competent management team in place with EQ2.  (However, that game was miserable when it first came out, and needed some pretty sweeping changes to make it the viable game it currently is.)  For one reason or another (bad management on the SWG side, the involvment of Lucas Arts, etc...) they are unable to do this on the SWG side of things.

  User Deleted
6/04/07 6:31:42 PM#18
Greed had a lot to do with it also...........................................................................
  Papasmurf520

Novice Member

Joined: 12/18/06
Posts: 64

6/04/07 7:29:24 PM#19
Originally posted by Violette
I have never played SWG, unfortunately.

From what I've read and seen, it <was> one of the greatest MMO's to date.

But something obviously happened.

It's disturbing to see so many bitter and disappointed players.

Can someone please explain why things started to go downhill?

SOE
  wouldzey

Novice Member

Joined: 11/13/05
Posts: 59

6/04/07 8:30:08 PM#20
Originally posted by Publish6246
- For me it all started to go down hill when they added a Alpha profession called "Jedi" and every since then the game was just about balancing Jedi and then it turned into Jedi vs BH patches. Cause they were the Alpha class all people did was spend their days grinding Jedi and it's all anyone ever did. I woulda prefered the game without player Jedi and everyone woulda focused on their profession and playing the game. Also the developers might have made good content without the constant attension patches to fixing Jedi lol.

- Publish 9 (i think it was) added the Village which made getting JEdi even easier....
In Con they changed the game and it isn't the one we paid for and wanted to play so we quit.

A few months after release when we were actually getting a couple a bug fixes here and there i could almost taste some of the fixes needed for ranger popping down the pipeline in the short term future. However thats when the jedi machine started.

Now matter which way i look at it, Jedi was the one focus that killed the rest of the game. It stole resources, published, feedback and drive from every single other profession and system in SWG dooming it to a failed game.

You could tell from the beggining when there was well over 8 professions seriously broken, underpowered and unfinished in every sense of the word. Ranger as an example of the issue was a whole profession that just didnt work. Here are ALL the ranger skills, and how they were effected 6 months into the game:

  1. Camoflague Packs: These were designed to be super mask scent abilties, the ultimate in stealth we were told, pass without even the most dangerous of creatures finding us. 
    1. There were Camo Packs that couldnt be made
    2. When they did they didnt work
    3. When they were fixed they failed and removed the effect on level 1 kreetles
    4. Ultimately they cost lots of expensive resources to make yet protected you around 10% more than a master scout using mask scent which is free to use.
  2. Camps: Rangers had the abilitiy to craft bigger versions of the scout camps, sort of like really impressive large scale field bases etc. Amazing features, unmatched areas for recouperation and energy fences in our largest camp to ward off enemy creatures we were told.
    1. Camps looked impressive yet did nothing
    2. They reduced battle fatigue by 2 per 15 mintes. Dying without rez gave you 100. You'd need 12.5 hours to recover from a single death in a camp.
    3. They disbanded after 30 minutes anyway
    4. The energy fence didnt even work on mosquitos
    5. They disbanded if even a level 1 nuna attacked you
    6. There were planets with around 60% of the surface not available to placing a camp (i recall walking 11k from dantooine mining outpost with a friend, before any buildings on it. Not even a harvester in sight, let alone a city and i was told i was in a metropolitan area so couldnt camp!  
  3. Survival: We got mods improve a forage ability. We were suposed to be able to live off the land and even forage exciting rare items we were told. It also allowed us to see creature information.
    1. The most potent of foraged items was a leaf that boosted our health by 50 points (out of 1000), filled our stomachs to the brim and lasted 15 seconds, so you couldnt eat another for around 30 minutes.
    2. The rare items the hud told us we found never went into our inventories
    3. Lag would cause failed forages
    4. We had to stand still for a minute prior to foraging otherwise it would fail
    5. Initially we got beneifts for seeing creature information that others couldnt, however as expect this was broken down the line without fix, then deleted.
  4. Trapping: We had the abilitiy to make ingenious traps, ones that were much better than the scout traps. Ours were supposed to be  "the envy of the military and every soldier in the galaxy" we were told.
    1. We got 2 traps. One that blinded the creature (no noticable effect what so ever), the other stunned and dizzy'd the creature again with no noticable effect seeing as though creatures couldnt be dizzy/knocked down after around 2 months of playing.
    2. We could only use our traps on creatures (so much for envy of the military and soldiers across the galaxy eh?)
    3. We were forced to stop when throwing a trap
    4. Traps drained out action pool considerably
    5. The best trap in the game was a 2nd starter profession box trap that rooted
    6. We couldnt trap anything larger than a womp rat
  5. Harvesting: We were suposedly masters of the hunt able to gather resources (organic wise) better than anyone.
    1. We couldnt harvest more than one type of organic from a creature. So if we took the hide, magically we couldnt harvest anything else at all!
    2. We harvested roughly 20% more as a master ranger than a master scout having spent another 75 points getting there!
  6. Terrain Negotiation: Masters of wayfaring and hiking across vast plains we were told
    1. We could crawl faster that anyone in the game making us guarenteed winners at the galactic crawling olypics!
    2. A common misconception that we couldnt actually walk faster up hills that a master scout. 50 was the cap and you get that at master scout. The additional 75 skillpoints and time give you double crawl speed. Well worth it!

In addition to these it is worth noting that Ranger required you to master a full starting profession to get it. And the skills you got? Camo, supposed to be improved mask scent, supposed to get more advanced camps than scout, supposed to get more advanced traps that scout, supposed to get more advanced harvesting than scouts, supposed to get more advanced terrain negotiation than scouts, supposed to be the masters of survival compared to scouts. It failed on all acounts. You spend 75 skill points to be a scout+

 

Anyway, i sidetracked a little there. But as i was saying, i blame jedi soley for my profession remaining in this state for the first 6 months, then after that for only letting the devs have time enough to give us slightly more harvesting abilitiy (we are talking up 5 from 20% more than master scout) and a camo pack we could then craft.

Finally after 2 and a half years of neglect, as the worlst state profession under chef we got told about what we were getting in our revamp. Told to wait for it then a few weeks before an update on when we can test it, we were told rangers were getting deleted.

Every other profession in a game would of had love, fixes, addiitions and balances if it wasnt for jedi and most likely many of us would still be playing to this date. As a correspondent for Ranger for over a year seeing my profession repeatedly looked over and that of other correspondents of other broken professions im just sick to the teeth of jedi in SWG and always will be.

Its their fault the game decended the way it did. It focused almost soley on jedi and everything else just went to pot in the meantime, and our broken professions just went on ignored.

 

God i honestly thought i was over this lol, obviously not. I still have a lot more deep hatred for SWG jedi and SOE lol.

 

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