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News & Features Discussion  » General: Grinds My Gears: Can SOE Make It?

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139 posts found
  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5909

5/21/11 11:37:55 AM#81

Sony was already heading down the toilet.  They botched EQ2 extended in addition to their horrible sparkly vampire update, DCUO was a flop, and they don't support their old games very well if at all.  The hackngs illustrate their problems run deeper than just poor MMO management.

SoE lacks vision and focus.  Either they need to get that focus and start doing it right or just shut down their MMOs and focus on consoles.

To paraphrase Curt Schilling (38Studios), there are only 24 hours in a day and life is too short and gaming time too limited to waste that time on games that suck.

Curse you AquaScum!

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17372

5/21/11 12:17:53 PM#82
Originally posted by Beachcomber
Originally posted by Kothoses

As a life time subscriber to DCU I have mixed feelings, on the one hand I want to play DCU as I intended when I bought it, a side MMO that I would play casually while waiting for ToR and GW2.


 


On the other hand, as I said in the Cryptic thread, some one big needs to fail big to make sure developers go back to making good games, not marketable monetisable cash cows.

 Monetisable ?  What the hell is that.

It's the adjective for monetize. It's just spelled incorrectly but no biggie, it's a forum for fast or "quick" insertion of thoughts.

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 17372

5/21/11 12:21:42 PM#83
Originally posted by Regalius

Expansions are great, but shelling out $40 every year for new content is just fleecing the players for cash. We want growth yes, a raping no. Many other successful games do free updates. For FREEEeeeeee

I think gamers have got to the the most "thrifty" people around.

$40 is a fleecing?

I'd pay far more for "good" content.

companies should get paid for their efforts. of course, if people find that the prices they are charging don't coincide with the quality of the product then don't buy it. But Iv'e never had problems paying for content, especially the minimal amount that these game companies charge.

  Phry

Elite Member

Joined: 7/01/04
Posts: 5331

5/21/11 12:36:36 PM#84
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by Regalius

Expansions are great, but shelling out $40 every year for new content is just fleecing the players for cash. We want growth yes, a raping no. Many other successful games do free updates. For FREEEeeeeee

I think gamers have got to the the most cheap people around.

$40 is a fleecing?

I'd pay far more for "good" content.

companies should get paid for their efforts. of course, if people find that the prices they are charging don't coincide with the quality of the product then don't buy it. But Iv'e never had problems paying for content, especially the minimal amount that these game companies charge.

thats all very well for F2P games. or rather.. B2P games.. but for P2P..  all i see is that every paid expansion is little short of a cash grab on the part of the MMO.. i much prefer the Eve Online method.. where all expansions/updates are included in the monthly Sub.. .. their not actually free... but there is no 'additional' charge. .. and yes.. i would consider $40 fleecing if it was for a game you had already bought, and were paying a monthly subscription for.. and although i do play WoW.. among other MMO's.. i don't think their expansions really warrant an additional charge... though at least their expansion releases are not all that frequent - Everquest was far more 'prolific' i think it even has more than 10 expansions that people have had to buy over the years.. probably a bit extreme but i would regard that as being a good example of a bad example...

  Daffid011

Old School

Joined: 1/03/04
Posts: 7652

5/21/11 1:24:59 PM#85
Originally posted by Sovrath
Originally posted by Regalius

Expansions are great, but shelling out $40 every year for new content is just fleecing the players for cash. We want growth yes, a raping no. Many other successful games do free updates. For FREEEeeeeee

I think gamers have got to the the most "thrifty" people around.

$40 is a fleecing?

I'd pay far more for "good" content.

companies should get paid for their efforts. of course, if people find that the prices they are charging don't coincide with the quality of the product then don't buy it. But Iv'e never had problems paying for content, especially the minimal amount that these game companies charge.

I think people would not complain about the cost of the expansion, but in the case of EQ2 it really seems that SOE keeps cutting corners just so that they can sell an expansion every year.  They keep getting smaller, less polished and seem to randomly change mechanics without lack of long term goals. 

I would wager that the majority of players would rate the last 3 expansion the worst expansions of EQ2.  Possibly in chronological order.  

 

TLDR:  Soe seems more concerned with putting something out that sells for $40 a year, than it does about putting out great content every twelve months.

  DarthMajin

Novice Member

Joined: 9/27/08
Posts: 92

5/21/11 1:26:27 PM#86

I think worst case Sony will get rid of SOE, but only in the worst case, and even then I think they will do everything they can to make it work.  Maybe we will start seeing some IPs getting sold off to help them ease the burden of all the money they are spending to fix the breach.  I used to be a huge SOE supporter years ago when SWG was newer.  Since the NGE I don't play their MMOs much.  I do beta test anything I can get my hands on though, which included DCUO but never picked it up.  I really hope Sony can pull SOE through this and keep making games.  I know alot of people want to see the SOE part of Sony die but I can't help but feel for all the people who enjoy and play SOE products.  If my favorite MMO got shut down I don't know what I would do and wouldn't want it to happen to others, no matter how I feel about the company.


  Herodes

Novice Member

Joined: 8/12/03
Posts: 1488

Consumer

5/21/11 1:39:27 PM#87

Despite all the theory-crafting, SOE has some of the best MMOs in house, 45 days for free.
I´d say enjoy while it lasts.

  ukforze

Novice Member

Joined: 7/01/06
Posts: 367

5/21/11 1:46:48 PM#88
Originally posted by Herodes

Despite all the theory-crafting, SOE has some of the best MMOs in house, 45 days for free.
I´d say enjoy while it lasts.

Im intrigued, please name these top sellers?

The Deathstar destroyed planets...Lucas Arts destroyed Galaxies

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Played:
SWG | EVE | WOW | VG | LOTRO | WAR | FML | STO | APB | AOC | MORTAL | WOT | BP | SW:TOR

  thamighty213

Novice Member

Joined: 9/17/06
Posts: 1648

5/21/11 2:09:17 PM#89

Originally posted by ichimarunico



I'm a Pre-CU SWG Vet and I absolutely loathe SOE. But I also loathe filthy basement dwellers who decide to dabble into International Crime, so in this one I'm actually rooting for SOE. I hope they shut down some shitty games, close some servers, and release something playable (not by me, though) to get back in the game, at least enough to not have to fire all of their employees. Except anyone involved with SWG. That whole Dev team, Community team, and SOE's management team can all get hit by the same bus. But everyone else is okay in my book :)



 


So you wont be playing TOR then as 50% of the SWG team are working on it ?


  ukforze

Novice Member

Joined: 7/01/06
Posts: 367

5/21/11 2:13:13 PM#90
Originally posted by thamighty213

Originally posted by ichimarunico



I'm a Pre-CU SWG Vet and I absolutely loathe SOE. But I also loathe filthy basement dwellers who decide to dabble into International Crime, so in this one I'm actually rooting for SOE. I hope they shut down some shitty games, close some servers, and release something playable (not by me, though) to get back in the game, at least enough to not have to fire all of their employees. Except anyone involved with SWG. That whole Dev team, Community team, and SOE's management team can all get hit by the same bus. But everyone else is okay in my book :)



 

So you wont be playing TOR then as 50% of the SWG team are working on it ?

swtor will be the biggest fail of them all... only time will tell though.

The Deathstar destroyed planets...Lucas Arts destroyed Galaxies

¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Played:
SWG | EVE | WOW | VG | LOTRO | WAR | FML | STO | APB | AOC | MORTAL | WOT | BP | SW:TOR

  knox1711

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/29/06
Posts: 35

5/21/11 2:18:37 PM#91

SOE is the land of misfit MMOs.  They seem willing to, as a business model, run MMOs into the ground, with skeleton staffs, to milk as much money from players as possible,


This does not sit will with me as a potential customer.  It takes money to make money.  You have to INVEST in your products.  It seems that SOE feels like their products are crap and do not merit the kind of investment that will make players go "WOW", and draw in new players...drawing in new players is really crucial to an MMO, IMO.  It gives them the appearance and feeling of life and viability.   An active community, versus a community of old salts that are die hards....lol


A prime example...look at the way SOE handled the TCG and SWG.  SWG has been STARVING for content for years and years now, with a VERY thin developer bench.  Yet in the TCG, they tie up significant art assets for in game items...the best structures every released for the game, buff items, cosmetic items, a little bit of everything.  But definitely some items that can affect gameplay.   Then they have the NERVE to tell us that "different" resources are being used for the in game art...yeah.  Right.  Except very little in game art of the same quality OR quantity is ever released outside of the TCG anymore...ok for a F2P game, but NOT for a P2P game with a TCG saddled on its back.  THe card game and teh card game items should be kept COMPLETELY separate in a P2P game...


  fiontar

Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/04
Posts: 3711

5/21/11 4:23:18 PM#92

SOE has become a joke in the MMO industry and has added to the degradation of the entire genre.

Sony should have taken advantage of the SOE hacker woes and  DCUs less than stellar launch to clean house among SOE senior management. SOE has been a broken, disfunctional division of Sony for many, many years now and that can all be attributed to mismanagement; from Smedley on down to a good chunk of middle management. (If Sony corporate is waiting for Smedley's sense of honor to compel him to resign, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell them).

IMO, SOE has done more than underperform for Sony, it has actually tarnished the Sony corporate brand among consumers who have had direct or indirect experience with SOE. (A decade ago, I used to insist on Sony electronics. Now I buy nothing that is Sony. When deciding between an XBox 360 and a PS3, I went with the XBox because of my negative experiences with SOE, in spite of not being a huge MS fan).

SOE still has the potential to do good things in the MMO space, but IMO it's not going to ever happen unless they ditch Smedley and his "yes men" in SOE management and bring in management that has some clue what they are doing and cares about what potential customers want.

Want to know more about GW2 and why there is so much buzz? Start here: Guild Wars 2 Mass Info for the Uninitiated

  User Deleted
5/21/11 4:23:26 PM#93

Of course SOE can make it. For their calamitous past and obvious failings to actually catch up with them would necessitate the general gaming populace showing some sort intelligence, something it is not really noted for in fairness.

 

Multitudes of people couldn't wait to jump in on DCUO, even with the knowledge of just how 'well' the companies current stable of games is doing. People actually seemed suprised it struggled, because people in general never learn.  After the recent hacking debacle, many gamers seemed more concerned with SOE getting their service back online double quick so they could re-enter new personal information and cc details in order to get some completely meaningless in game trinket.

 

If anything the future for SOE should be rosy, the days of sandbox and longevity in mmos has waned. Now they are all about the quick fix. SOE can bang out substandard products safe in the knowledge that there will always be plenty of suckers out there willing to fork out for it, with little to zero real consideration for their own onine security.

  teakbois

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/06/06
Posts: 2190

5/21/11 4:57:02 PM#94

1.  This hack really shouldnt change anyone's opinions about the SoE division, it speaks much more prominently about Sony itself.  There were 2, possibly 3, seperate divisions of Sony that got hacked.  (I say possibly 3 because that sweepstakes database last I saw had no division attached to it.  Could have been a sweepstakes to win a new DVD player back in 2001 for all we know).  That means its Sony itself that has the seemingly lax attitude about security.  


Also I am in the 'it could have happened to anyone' camp.  Im sure Blizzard and NCSoft and others have ways in too if people look hard enough.


 


2.  I agree with firing Smedley.  And I dont blame him for the NGE, and I think a lot of people's common SoE gripes are ones that should be leveled towards any other company (Blizzard is no less greedy and customer unfriendly as SoE for instance)


However it seems ot me SoE has a communication problem, within itself.  Its seems like one department doesnt know what the other is doing.  This ship isnt being run tightly at all.


Combine that with the PR boost SoE would get from firing Smedley.  I guarantee there would be a substantial rise in reactivated accounts if that were too happen.  For that reason alone Sony should step in and get rid of Smed.


 


3.  SoEs biggest issue with their actual games is optimization.  They run like crap, period.  Good computers still struggle with EQ2, theres no reason for this.  


 


Now to discuss the revisionist history with Vanguard and SWG:  These games were failures already.


 


SoE was doing a damn good job fixing Sigil's awful coding and adding content to VG.  Sure, wasnt as fast as people wanted, but people werent playing.  Theres no hope for VG to be a big player, even with a different developer.  maybe it can get up to 100k, but event hat is questionable.  No MMO has ever risen fromt he ashes after a spectacular failure.  Somewhere along the line maybe one will be the first.  Square is sure hoping so.


 


MMO failures are nothing new now sadly.  But they were in 2004.  Prior MMOs showed constant growth over their first several years.  But here was SWG.  SOE and LA sitting around watching plummeting sub numbers, and panicing.  Its been said that at the time of NGE SWG had between 160-180k subs and falling at a clip of 10k per month.  This was a collosal disaster and a sinking ship.  Obviously NGE just blow a much bigger hole in the ship, but people talk about how SWG was a great game.  It wasn't.  Far from it.  Yes, this was SoE's fault too, the game released too early, was unbalanced, and had a severe lack of content.  Oddly enough, those last two factors are fixed now and SWG is actually a decent game.  But yes, they had a brilliant class system and gutted it.


 


But again, the NGE was not all SoE.  In fact all signs point towards HEAVY involvement from LA about it, and they were the ones who have the final say in their lp.  But that has been rehashed a thousand times and people will always fail to look at the situation logically.


 


Ny opinion of SoE's major titles:


EQ: B+ at release, A a few years after, far too aged now


EQ2:  C+ at release, B+ a few years after, B now


SWG:  C- at release (F in content and balance, A+ in crafting, A in community aspect, A in skill ssytem design), B- now (C+ in content and balance, A in crafting, B in community, C in class design).  Although SWG could be an A by now if they worked with it instead of changed it.  It still wouldnt have a large population, but maybe could be EQ sized.


 


Im not sure if SoE has a big hit in them.  I like their games better than most though, but that speaks more for the competition than for SoE.


  teakbois

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/06/06
Posts: 2190

5/21/11 5:05:16 PM#95

Originally posted by knox1711



 




A prime example...look at the way SOE handled the TCG and SWG.  SWG has been STARVING for content for years and years now, with a VERY thin developer bench.  Yet in the TCG, they tie up significant art assets for in game items...the best structures every released for the game, buff items, cosmetic items, a little bit of everything.  But definitely some items that can affect gameplay.   Then they have the NERVE to tell us that "different" resources are being used for the in game art...yeah.  Right.  Except very little in game art of the same quality OR quantity is ever released outside of the TCG anymore...ok for a F2P game, but NOT for a P2P game with a TCG saddled on its back.  THe card game and teh card game items should be kept COMPLETELY separate in a P2P game...



 


You can thank Blizzard for this.   


And I would imagine that the time it takes to design that stuff is pretty insignificant.  its not like SWG is lacking for housing items and mounts.


  knox1711

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/29/06
Posts: 35

5/21/11 5:32:26 PM#96

The list of housing items released in the TCG is a very very long list of the coolest structures in the game, for example:


jedi temple, sith temple, bathhouse, cloud city house, at-at house, vip bunker, weapons bunker, dagobah house, and diner...I probably missed some.


As far as revision ist history, SWG was doing fine before the NGE, just not as good as WoW.  The NGE was SOEs attempt to capture some of the WoW kiddie audience by simplifying down to fewer, simpler, more "iconic" classes and simplyfing gameply down to a kill/loot/kill model.    The trials of obi wan, the LAST swg expansion, came out right when they hit the playerbase with the NGE.  Instead of that expansion being successful and capitalzing off the movie tie in, it was a disaster with people demanding their money back, and sony caving in to them, because they screwed the game up so bad.


After the NGE disaster, the playerbase apparently was never large enough again for SOE to consider another expansion or doing much with the game, other than finishing some pieces of the NGE (expertise for the gutted, cookie cutter classes) and rolling back much more of the NGE with everything from scrapping clicky combat to reintroducing CH with a new beastmaster system and tkm with a combat entertainer...


  knox1711

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/29/06
Posts: 35

5/21/11 5:33:35 PM#97

oh yeah, the starship hanger and the vehicle hanger, the imperial spire and the rebel spire, and the creature barn, and Im STILL probably missing some more...


  teakbois

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/06/06
Posts: 2190

5/21/11 5:52:52 PM#98

Originally posted by knox1711



The list of housing items released in the TCG is a very very long list of the coolest structures in the game, for example:




jedi temple, sith temple, bathhouse, cloud city house, at-at house, vip bunker, weapons bunker, dagobah house, and diner...I probably missed some.




As far as revision ist history, SWG was doing fine before the NGE, just not as good as WoW.  The NGE was SOEs attempt to capture some of the WoW kiddie audience by simplifying down to fewer, simpler, more "iconic" classes and simplyfing gameply down to a kill/loot/kill model.    The trials of obi wan, the LAST swg expansion, came out right when they hit the playerbase with the NGE.  Instead of that expansion being successful and capitalzing off the movie tie in, it was a disaster with people demanding their money back, and sony caving in to them, because they screwed the game up so bad.




After the NGE disaster, the playerbase apparently was never large enough again for SOE to consider another expansion or doing much with the game, other than finishing some pieces of the NGE (expertise for the gutted, cookie cutter classes) and rolling back much more of the NGE with everything from scrapping clicky combat to reintroducing CH with a new beastmaster system and tkm with a combat entertainer...



 


Again I posted the numbers, between 160-180k and heavily bleeding.  That is *not* doing well.  While the CU was partly to blame for that, the numbers really were a steady decline from the first couple months.  Games are supposed to trend upwards during that time, not downwards.


 


And the 'iconic' classes were more than likely NOT SoEs idea.   Really this kind of nonsense should have stopped long ago.  


 


And most of those special structures need to stay rare, the kashykk trees look so damn ridiculous everywhere, SoE should not have even put them in the game.  And now that everyone gets a free loot card every planet is gonna look like dagobah.  Its not like they dont give you the chance to get them for free


  knox1711

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/29/06
Posts: 35

5/21/11 6:21:19 PM#99

Where are you getting those numbers from?  I seriously doubt they are authoritative.


Irregardless, we know one thing for sure, whatever they were before teh NGE, they were much worse after the NGE and the game never recovered.

  User Deleted
5/21/11 8:07:13 PM#100

The latest SOE news only validates what the so called "haters" have been saying.

That only makes the negative momentum stronger.

In an online service. One that you 'invest time' in. Trust is everything.

The only thing that could help SOE 'recover' is the one thing they will never do. Any encouragement for them to continue investing in themselves before that, is helping them fail harder in my opinion.

Gamers have been giving thier opinions of SOE since the EQ takeover. Now that it's way too late the questions get asked. When they could have helped, there was silence or interceding on their behalf.

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