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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » SWTOR: not the whipping boy you are looking for

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  teakbois

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/06/06
Posts: 2190

 
OP  1/29/12 12:12:06 PM#1

There has been a lot of discussion on the state of MMORPGs these day, and Bioware and SWTOR seem to be the whipping boy of everything that is wrong with MMORPGs.  There are two companies we should be looking at before Bioware:  Blizzard and (puts flame retardant suit on) Trion.

 

The main point of the 'Content Locust' artice was that MMORPGs used to be about the journey, not the destination.  Now MMO developers think we want endgame, endgame, and more endgame and dont care about the journey.

 

When WoW released in 2004 it was very much about the Journey.  Yes, it was much faster than EQ and its in to level, but it still took time.  I think the fastest time ever to level from scratch in Vanilla was more than 6 days /played, and this was after people analyzed the most efficient route possible.  In both newer games people hit the cap, without such heavy analysis in less than 3.  Rift can be done in less than 2.  And since there is little to no exploring in the new games the average player is *far* closer to the rushing player.  It took people months to cap in WoW.  In SWTOR and Rift it took weeks.  Now compare WoWs early retention vs. Rift and SWTOR.  yes, there are other factors at play but WoW had superior retention.  Rift and SWTOR had an extremely noticeable drop after the first month.  And a *lot* of these are bored at 50s who dont give a rats ass about their toon because it was so easy to get where they are at, there was no journey just a small trip.

 

So why am I blaming Blizzard?   Think how long it took you to go from 80 to 85 in Cataclysm.  If you didnt play it, the answer is not long.  A week for most people.  A day for the hardcore.  Blizzard has obviouslt shifted to funneling you to endgame as fast as possible.  1-60 even used to require you to explore a bit, see the other continent, maybe do dungeons.  Now?  You outlevel whatever zone you are in befre they even give you a bread crumb to the next zone.  And this is exactly what they do with their new content.  Endgame Endgame Endgame.  This is what other developers see, and sadly what they copy.

 

Which brings me to Trion.  Everyones favorite developer.  Lets keep throwing praise at their fast udates, shall we?  Because this is what we want!  Fast updates!  MOAR CONTENT!  

Look back at the compaints about Rift from the (many) people that left after a month or so.  How often does 'small world' come up?  Clearly the answer to this is to ADD ENDGAME CONTENT!!!!!  Endgame Endgame Endgame.  Not a single bit of content Trion has added has done anything for the journey.  Its all about giving people their next bit of content to grind.  And with the exception of Ember Isle, the content has been stuff to grind repeatedly.  Chronicles?  Do em daily for currency!  IAs?  Hey do your 7 for more currency.  CAdaceus Rise?  MOAR CURRENCY.  Ember Isle at least added some land mass and is really a wonderful place, but where is the 1-49 stuff?  Nowhere, because of Trions fundamental game design flaw.

The journey doesnt matter.  Its just a small stepping stone.  It makes you wonder why is it even there?  In many cases you wont even be playing the same "class" with the same abilities at max level anyway, youll be playing 3 other ones.  It is so insignifcant, and doesnt give you lasting memories.  Remember Crushbone?  How about Deadmines?  You know why you dont look back fondly on your first dungeons in Rift?  Because you repeated them at the endgame (thanks, Blizzard for this charming addition to MMORPGs).  You probably outleveled half of them before you had the chance to do em anyway.

 

Now Bioware deserves its whippings too.  But to beat it while praising Trion and letting Blzzard get off easy because of its past doesnt make sense.  

 

 

  elocke

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 6/15/04
Posts: 4115

1/29/12 12:26:22 PM#2

I do laud Trion and their post launch updates and I respect them immensely and will try all of their games in the future regardless of my sub status with Rift.  I'll also hop back in and out of Rift on a frequent basis.  

HOWEVER...

I've found that Rift and SWTOR both suffer from the exact same issues, at least for me.  They are:  Boring endgame, boring alt leveling and they make my PC look like a piece of junk.  Now...the PC part is something I can fix if I ever get the duckets to do so.  The other 2 issues though....that's up to them.  They need to get away from the current endgame trend that WoW has created and start to innovate in this area.  Give me TONS of things to do that don't require 4 hour stints with 8+ other people just to feel like I'm progressing.  Things like Housing, meaningful World PVP, collections, mini games, and so forth.

Give me brand new leveling paths that I've never seen before so that rolling alts isn't painful and tedious.  This is one area..for the life of me I can't figure out why they DIDN't copy WoW, lol.  But anyway, this isn't about WoW.

For now, SWTOR is the whipping boy because it missed too many beats while trying to copy the parts of WoW they thought were popular.  If it had hit the endgame beat better I think it would be getting less flak.  But don't worry, something else will come along to replace it soon enough.  Unless by some miracle GW2 and TSW actually are better and then everyone can just use SWTOR as an example of what NOT to do with a great IP.  All conjecture right now though.

http://www.twitch.tv/elockethemmoaddict

https://twitter.com/MMOAddicted

  Brenelael

Guide

Joined: 10/19/06
Posts: 3988

Pointing out the Obvious to the Oblivious since 2006

1/29/12 12:30:58 PM#3

This is exactly why I've given up on the genre for now. I like the journey more than the destination... always have. In new games it seems the journey 9 times out of 10 is a very narrow corridor funneling all players toward the end game. I couldn't give a rats ass about 'end game'. I'm hoping that ArcheAge coming from an Asian developer with a lot of sandbox elements will break this trend but I'm not holding my breath either. Lineage II was the last game I played that put the journey first but even that has been highly sped up with their F2P conversion. Hopefully the creator of the original Lineage and Lineage II Jake Song can recapture what I miss about MMOs with his new project ArcheAge.

 

Bren

while(horse==dead)
{
beat();
}

  User Deleted
1/29/12 12:30:58 PM#4
Originally posted by teakbois

 But to beat it while praising Trion and letting Blzzard get off easy because of its past doesnt make sense.  

The following there has always confused me on this site.

 

I guess relativly static puplic quest are more entertaining then 200 hours of a solid story.

  SkillCosby

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/23/08
Posts: 694

1/29/12 12:34:25 PM#5

SWTOR disgusts me because of their poor use of research and resources.

They didn't even bother to look at the horrible track record of Pure Theme Parks, e.g., Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, Star Trek Online, Aion, etc.

BioWare did a fantastic job with the questing. They probably created the most entertaining grind to max level within the entire genre. However, there is no "me" in SWTOR. I have no identity; I have very little freedom. This is one of the smoking gun complaints in the games listed above.

No end-game, boring and redundant instanced PvP, typecasted classes to the point where it's cheesy, shockingly poor performance for being an underwhelming graphical game, a blatant lack of social skills, the lack-luster console space shooter, and the complete and total single-player co'op epedemic are just some of the features that paint this terrible game a target.

What pisses people off the most is their poor use of resources. They had the financial backing to make this game appealing to everyone. This includes socializers, explorers, adventurers, combat players, roleplayers, instanced pvp players, world pvp players, etc. There is nothing to explore. Follow the path and move along.

This game, as far as I'm concerned, is the new laughing stock of the genre.

  Kinchyle

Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/10
Posts: 286

1/29/12 12:34:36 PM#6



Originally posted by Brenelael
This is exactly why I've given up on the genre for now. I like the journey more than the destination... always have. In new games it seems the journey 9 times out of 10 is a very narrow corridor funneling all players toward the end game. I couldn't give a rats ass about 'end game'.
 
Bren


 
My thoughts exactly on both games. RIFT especially.

  User Deleted
1/29/12 12:34:50 PM#7
Originally posted by elocke

I do laud Trion and their post launch updates and I respect them immensely and will try all of their games in the future regardless of my sub status with Rift.  I'll also hop back in and out of Rift on a frequent basis.  

HOWEVER...

I've found that Rift and SWTOR both suffer from the exact same issues, at least for me.  They are:  Boring endgame, boring alt leveling and they make my PC look like a piece of junk.  Now...the PC part is something I can fix if I ever get the duckets to do so.  The other 2 issues though....that's up to them.  They need to get away from the current endgame trend that WoW has created and start to innovate in this area.  Give me TONS of things to do that don't require 4 hour stints with 8+ other people just to feel like I'm progressing.  Things like Housing, meaningful World PVP, collections, mini games, and so forth.

Give me brand new leveling paths that I've never seen before so that rolling alts isn't painful and tedious.  This is one area..for the life of me I can't figure out why they DIDN't copy WoW, lol.  But anyway, this isn't about WoW.

For now, SWTOR is the whipping boy because it missed too many beats while trying to copy the parts of WoW they thought were popular.  If it had hit the endgame beat better I think it would be getting less flak.  But don't worry, something else will come along to replace it soon enough.  Unless by some miracle GW2 and TSW actually are better and then everyone can just use SWTOR as an example of what NOT to do with a great IP.  All conjecture right now though.

Personally I think it gets so much flak because its the biggiest thing since WoW, and thus (Because it didn't "innovate AKA change its combat" enough) it suffered from the COD effect, and with GW2 and co on its way people are looking at that and asking "Well why didn't bioware do X?".

 

Personally I predict that once the next few big things come out and people actually play them and get their expectations in check with reality the hate for SWTOR will go down.

  teakbois

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/06/06
Posts: 2190

 
OP  1/29/12 12:38:26 PM#8
Originally posted by precious328

SWTOR disgusts me because of their poor use of research and resources.

They didn't even bother to look at the horrible track record of Pure Theme Parks, e.g., Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, Star Trek Online, Aion, etc.

 

You mean like modern WoW?  

  User Deleted
1/29/12 12:38:28 PM#9
Originally posted by precious328

 

No end-game, boring and redundant instanced PvP, typecasted classes to the point where it's cheesy, shockingly poor performance for being an underwhelming graphical game, a blatant lack of social skills, the lack-luster console space shooter, and the complete and total single-player co'op epedemic are just some of the features that paint this terrible game a target.

Most MMOs don't have very much end game at launch SWTOR did so please don't lie it makes you look like a troll.

How did you get by in this genre?

Read above

You know what fuck it...

 

Something tells me you don't relise that MMOs require time to add more content and polish.

 

 

 

  eagled2

Novice Member

Joined: 9/21/05
Posts: 13

1/29/12 12:46:06 PM#10
Originally posted by Brenelael

This is exactly why I've given up on the genre for now. I like the journey more than the destination... always have. In new games it seems the journey 9 times out of 10 is a very narrow corridor funneling all players toward the end game.

Bren

I find that the journey is more important to me then the end game as well, however I believe that the end game also needs to be interesting. If the endgame is not fun then it doesn't matter how interesting the journey is as people will only play until they reach endgame. I do find the journey to be quite interesting in SWTOR despite the problems and if I don't like the game when I reach end game it will still have been worth playing for the fun on the way there.

  User Deleted
1/29/12 12:47:05 PM#11

i agree with the posting about Blizzard, however, Rift has been beaten by it's fans who left and by those of us here in the forums who like Trion for what they are doing. 

Why is fast patching, each patch with content, important? It means that those companies like blizzard, turbine, ea, bioware, etc etc who have claimed for years that it's impossible to put out good content that's actually been tested before they put it out is impossible and that they simply can't do it. Trion has proved them wrong on this time and time again. Why will GW2's claim that you don't need a sub to be successful important? Because we've all been given that line that they need it in modern times to pay for upkeep of servers and to have paid GMs help u in game with problems. The more innovative and caring the next game is when it comes out the more we learn just how many things were lies to appease the players in games like World of Warcraft and others that simply saw us as dollar signs and nothing more. My point: Just look at how long it's going to take BW to put out their next patch, and how long it will take Blizzard to put out the next expansion for WoW.

Why is Trion actively trying to improve their game? To keep old customers and bring in new ones isn't the only reason. They just added the mobile app beta, which allows you to do all kinds of things outside of the game, like talk with guildies who are in the game. This is awesome on so many levels and it's one of the things i've been wanting to see happen , now lets see if their price point is progressive as well. They've added a feature to further customize your character AFTER max level and after the talent tree is full. AOE looting, wish every game had this feature. 

The point is, devs who make games like Trion should be praised because they give a d@mn about their game and how it's perceived even when they did use the antiquated themepark linear questing method because they might not be able to improve that but they are adding improvements everywhere else. Because they weren't able to fix the themepark linear questing in their game they did the next best thing, REALLY fast updates all with content when other companies claimed it was impossible every time it was requested, Trion did it, that's no small thing. That's why people praise them. Other devs just throw something that in any other IP or game dev would have called the final beta and charge people for it monthly anyways (SWTOR). Been through that with STO not going back there sorry. or they take months to release anything includign a tiny expansion and call it enough content (WoW LOTRO) when people complain.

Trion's game design flaw isn't Trion's alone and Rift added to the problem of the themepark linear questing problem, Anything that came out after Rift should have known better then to adopt the same themepark linear questing system (AHEM SWTOR) to try to get subs. Anything that's released in 2012 better NOT use this model either or they just simply won't have enough people playing to make it. It's not just a prediction it's a fact, everyone is tired of this model.

  SkillCosby

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/23/08
Posts: 694

1/29/12 12:48:01 PM#12
Originally posted by Snaylor47
Originally posted by precious328

 

No end-game, boring and redundant instanced PvP, typecasted classes to the point where it's cheesy, shockingly poor performance for being an underwhelming graphical game, a blatant lack of social skills, the lack-luster console space shooter, and the complete and total single-player co'op epedemic are just some of the features that paint this terrible game a target.

Most MMOs don't have very much end game at launch SWTOR did so please don't lie it makes you look like a troll.

How did you get by in this genre?

Read above

You know what fuck it...

 

Something tells me you don't relise that MMOs require time to add more content and polish.

 

 

 

I've been in this genre long enough to know that a new MMO doesn't get a second chance.

Vanguard, for example, is probably the game that many people yearn for. However, it's launch and lack of content was so bad that it will never be revived and redeemed as "noteworthy". The same concept applies to Age of Conan.

There is no excuse.

 

You have to remember this: A new game that launches is not competing with the launch of WoW; it competes with WoW as it is today.

  User Deleted
1/29/12 12:51:35 PM#13
Originally posted by Snaylor47
Originally posted by precious328

 

No end-game, boring and redundant instanced PvP, typecasted classes to the point where it's cheesy, shockingly poor performance for being an underwhelming graphical game, a blatant lack of social skills, the lack-luster console space shooter, and the complete and total single-player co'op epedemic are just some of the features that paint this terrible game a target.

Something tells me you don't relise that MMOs require time to add more content and polish.

HA thank you i needed a good laugh this morning! This is the very excuse that was destroyed by Trion after the launch of Rift. Good one though.

  teakbois

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/06/06
Posts: 2190

 
OP  1/29/12 12:52:06 PM#14
Originally posted by precious328

 

You have to remember this: A new game that launches is not competing with the launch of WoW; it competes with WoW as it is today.

The problem is they *should* be competing with WoW at launch.  WoW was far better in 2004.  

  User Deleted
1/29/12 12:53:13 PM#15
Originally posted by itgrowls

HA thank you i needed a good laugh this morning! This is the very excuse that was destroyed by Trion after the launch of Rift. Good one though.

No, Troin needed a few months to get to the polish and amount of endgame content WoW had in Cata. Or do you for get the amount of QQ back when RIFT launched?

  Kinchyle

Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/10
Posts: 286

1/29/12 12:53:34 PM#16
Originally posted by teakbois
Originally posted by precious328

 

You have to remember this: A new game that launches is not competing with the launch of WoW; it competes with WoW as it is today.

The problem is they *should* be competing with WoW at launch.  WoW was far better in 2004.  

They shouldn't be trying to compete period. Just should be trying to make a quality product and people will buy/play

  User Deleted
1/29/12 12:55:40 PM#17
Originally posted by Snaylor47
Originally posted by itgrowls

HA thank you i needed a good laugh this morning! This is the very excuse that was destroyed by Trion after the launch of Rift. Good one though.

No, Troin needed a few months to get to the polish and amount of endgame content WoW had in Cata. Or do you for get the amount of QQ back when RIFT launched?

no no no we're talking NEW CONTENT LAUNCH that means patches that had content, it didn't take them any time at all when compared to other mmo devs, not fixing the launch patches. and secondly, as i recall they had minor problems here and there nothing like the full blown pay to play beta that BW SWTOR is doing right now. 

Edit: Trion's end game content was only lacking for those who rushed through the entire game as fast as possible like there was a race going on or something which usually only turns out ot be a tiny portion of actual players who then whine and complain making people believe something that's not actually true, not what WoW did which was "fix" leveling 1-60 and neglect the end game of Cata entirely.

  SkillCosby

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/23/08
Posts: 694

1/29/12 12:56:26 PM#18
Originally posted by teakbois
Originally posted by precious328

 

You have to remember this: A new game that launches is not competing with the launch of WoW; it competes with WoW as it is today.

The problem is they *should* be competing with WoW at launch.  WoW was far better in 2004.  

If you're talking about before the whole mindless acceptance of their Instanced PvP Trash Grind, then I agree.

 

I'm so sick of the Theme Park model. It's boring. Been there, done that. And to be perfectly honest, I'm enjoying the fall of all these post-WoW Theme Parks.

  User Deleted
1/29/12 12:57:33 PM#19
Originally posted by precious328

You have to remember this: A new game that launches is not competing with the launch of WoW; it competes with WoW as it is today.

WoW today has about 3 or four raids and about 15 (and three heroic ones) dungeons last I check, also about 5 BGs and one open world pvp space (which is more or less a timed BG).

 

SWTOR has 2 raids and like ten dungeons, 3 BGS (with a fourth on the way), one actually open world pvp space (Albit a bit broken due to population).

 

So mmm not that bad.

  Edeus

Novice Member

Joined: 6/10/10
Posts: 513

1/29/12 12:58:15 PM#20
Originally posted by Snaylor47
Originally posted by itgrowls

HA thank you i needed a good laugh this morning! This is the very excuse that was destroyed by Trion after the launch of Rift. Good one though.

No, Troin needed a few months to get to the polish and amount of endgame content WoW had in Cata. Or do you for get the amount of QQ back when RIFT launched?

When you say "time for polish" do you mean the years it took WoW to be uber?  Or the years it took vanguard?  Or the years it took FFXI to be polished?

 

OR is 2-3 months really a "long time to polish" in your book?

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