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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic 

General Discussion  » This one thing would've made SWtOR a long-term game for me:

10 posts found
  CatAtomic99

Novice Member

Joined: 8/24/08
Posts: 38

 
OP  1/17/13 12:58:32 PM#1

Multiple paths through the story.

If there were, say, three different planets to choose from for any given level bracket (rather than one), and if your personal class story could branch into any of them depending on your choices, that would add enough freedom and replayability to keep me around for years. You could still lead them all back into a single zone to conclude the plot, but if there were distinctly different paths to reach that ending, it'd feel more like a story you're making, rather a story you're being told.

It's the overall linearity and lack of choice that drives me away from SWtOR. I love the look of the game, the way the classes play... I love a lot of the features like companions, personal ships, etc. But it is by far the most linear, on-rails MMORPG I've ever played, and that just ruins it.

  Souldrainer

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 5/21/06
Posts: 1878

1/17/13 3:54:16 PM#2
They added too many side quests and took away development resources.  The game does offere choices, which change certain outcomes, but it doesn't have the kind of branching I think you're looking for.

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  ScaryMonk

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/12/13
Posts: 102

1/17/13 3:59:30 PM#3

I couldn't get into it for similar reasons.  It is a single player game in mmo clothing; unfortunately it falls between the two stables: -  

The poorly implemented mmo aspects detract from what could have been a decent single player game, and likewise, a mediocre single player experience overwhelms the mmo features.    

  mmoguy43

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 3/31/09
Posts: 2300

1/17/13 5:15:43 PM#4

I like choices too.

It sure would be nice to know what SWTOR was planned to be like back in 2009 or 2010 or whenever it was back before they let the DEATH STAR (room) destory the original content/features.  Are the past/present employees legally bound to not say anything about it?

Let's build the ultimate MMO 1 feature at a time
http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/398555/page/1

  tiefighter25

Novice Member

Joined: 7/30/12
Posts: 949

1/17/13 5:22:40 PM#5
They are not legally bound, but if they do talk about it, EA pushes a button and those SWTOR tattoos release a fatal nerve toxin directly into their bloodstream.
  Karteli

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/12
Posts: 2704

1/17/13 5:32:08 PM#6

They might be legally bound .. depends on, perhaps just one thing, how much they were offered via a severence payout to sign a post-employment non-disclosure agreement.

 

It's a tough decision when you are shown most of a years salary, in a single, unsigned check......  :-D

 

Then again, I couldn't be sure of anything.  Although if EA felt this game was a billion dollar a year WoW killer, they might have had teams of lawyers draw up contracts for anyone working on the SWTOR project.  Maybe there are some disgruntled lawyers not under contract out there who would like to spill the beans...

 

Just speculation.  Although it is odd that former employees lips are sealed.

 

As to the story arcs, to get the level of decisions that would be desirable to make your own story, a game would almost need some sort of Artificial Intelligence to create the story as you go (Procedurally generated story anyone?).  The story of 8 classes plus all the planet stories, romance stories, miscellaneous stuff is pretty big as it is, although it's thinned out because of all the class stories.

If a longer story with decision paths was obtainable, there would probably need to be either fewer classes, or shared class stories, in order for the game to be the same size.  Or keep all the classes & individual stories, and add another 5 years development time.  And another 40+ gig's of space required.

Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  User Deleted
1/18/13 4:28:06 AM#7
Originally posted by Karteli

They might be legally bound .. depends on, perhaps just one thing, how much they were offered via a severence payout to sign a post-employment non-disclosure agreement.

 

It's a tough decision when you are shown most of a years salary, in a single, unsigned check......  :-D

 

Then again, I couldn't be sure of anything.  Although if EA felt this game was a billion dollar a year WoW killer, they might have had teams of lawyers draw up contracts for anyone working on the SWTOR project.  Maybe there are some disgruntled lawyers not under contract out there who would like to spill the beans...

 

Just speculation.  Although it is odd that former employees lips are sealed.

 

As to the story arcs, to get the level of decisions that would be desirable to make your own story, a game would almost need some sort of Artificial Intelligence to create the story as you go (Procedurally generated story anyone?).  The story of 8 classes plus all the planet stories, romance stories, miscellaneous stuff is pretty big as it is, although it's thinned out because of all the class stories.

If a longer story with decision paths was obtainable, there would probably need to be either fewer classes, or shared class stories, in order for the game to be the same size.  Or keep all the classes & individual stories, and add another 5 years development time.  And another 40+ gig's of space required.

Nope, they just culd have cut meaningless generic MMO quests which make >90% of content and could have made deeper class stories.

  BigAndShiny

Novice Member

Joined: 6/06/11
Posts: 177

1/18/13 4:44:54 AM#8

Point 1)  The problem here is quite simple:   In a game like Mass Effect 2, even though you are always going to the same planets, and you think you're experiencing the same content, in actual fact you will only ever experience perhaps a quarter of all cinematic content.  The companions you bring, the choices you make, or have made in earlier game(s) add up to mean that Bioware has to create 80 or 90 hours of content, for every 30 or so that you play.   Those little conversation tweaks and companion bantering, as well as companion quests and missions that have completely different sub-paths depending on the choices you make ALL ADD UP.  

 

So even though their usual games are nowhere near as reactive as something like The Witcher 2, they still require a huge amount of content to be made.

 

Now, take SW:TOR.  Each class has around 30-35 or so hours of 'class mission content' in the entire game.  That's about as much as a Mass Effect game, TW2 or Dragon Age 2.   (however in this case it's dragged out over 200 hours, rather than over ~45).   90 or 100 hours of unique content per class is practically unfeasible, EVEN IF they hadn't put in all the stupid side missions.  Of course then there would only be 40 hours of levelling, which is in itself another problem.    Therefore they cannot put in anywhere near the amount of companion missions/reactive content/choices that you see in singleplayer RPGs. 

People often say that SW:TOR should be better for $300m.   The fact is that a game like Mass Effect 3 probably cost $50m in itself to develop.  Just developing the class storylines on unique planets at that quality for SW:TOR might have cost $200m+, leaving out all the MMO extras, from guilds to auction houses, and from PvP to Raiding. 

 

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

 

Point 2  With regards to planet options, it seems that at some point in design, the game was supposed to have these.  Almost all classes get the planets in Chapter 1, for example, two at a time.  (ie. Balmorra/Taris and Nar Shaddaa, and later Tattooine and Alderaan.)   It is possible that there was always intended to be a recommended order, or perhaps there was some kind of 'mob levelling' system that never made it into the game.

 

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

 

My personal theory is that originally the levelling curve was only supposed to be around 100 hours, instead of the 200-250 that it ended up being for many slower players.   This can be seen from the much higher ratio of story:normal quests on Origin worlds, which were made first.  In fact, as SW:TOR was developed pretty chronologically (though I think Quesh was added in later), you can see that as development progressed, more and more 'side quests' were added, locations were reused, and planets were dragged out.     Perhaps therefore, any choice in planets or encounters was removed, so players got the maximum amount of content, seeing as they were unlikely to play the same class anyway.

  BigAndShiny

Novice Member

Joined: 6/06/11
Posts: 177

1/18/13 4:47:57 AM#9
Originally posted by mikahr
Originally posted by Karteli

They might be legally bound .. depends on, perhaps just one thing, how much they were offered via a severence payout to sign a post-employment non-disclosure agreement.

 

It's a tough decision when you are shown most of a years salary, in a single, unsigned check......  :-D

 

Then again, I couldn't be sure of anything.  Although if EA felt this game was a billion dollar a year WoW killer, they might have had teams of lawyers draw up contracts for anyone working on the SWTOR project.  Maybe there are some disgruntled lawyers not under contract out there who would like to spill the beans...

 

Just speculation.  Although it is odd that former employees lips are sealed.

 

As to the story arcs, to get the level of decisions that would be desirable to make your own story, a game would almost need some sort of Artificial Intelligence to create the story as you go (Procedurally generated story anyone?).  The story of 8 classes plus all the planet stories, romance stories, miscellaneous stuff is pretty big as it is, although it's thinned out because of all the class stories.

If a longer story with decision paths was obtainable, there would probably need to be either fewer classes, or shared class stories, in order for the game to be the same size.  Or keep all the classes & individual stories, and add another 5 years development time.  And another 40+ gig's of space required.

Nope, they just culd have cut meaningless generic MMO quests which make >90% of content and could have made deeper class stories.

Sure, and then people would complain about a 50 hour levelling curve.

  keithian

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/20/06
Posts: 2965

1/18/13 10:48:41 AM#10
Originally posted by BigAndShiny
Originally posted by mikahr
Originally posted by Karteli

They might be legally bound .. depends on, perhaps just one thing, how much they were offered via a severence payout to sign a post-employment non-disclosure agreement.

 

It's a tough decision when you are shown most of a years salary, in a single, unsigned check......  :-D

 

Then again, I couldn't be sure of anything.  Although if EA felt this game was a billion dollar a year WoW killer, they might have had teams of lawyers draw up contracts for anyone working on the SWTOR project.  Maybe there are some disgruntled lawyers not under contract out there who would like to spill the beans...

 

Just speculation.  Although it is odd that former employees lips are sealed.

 

As to the story arcs, to get the level of decisions that would be desirable to make your own story, a game would almost need some sort of Artificial Intelligence to create the story as you go (Procedurally generated story anyone?).  The story of 8 classes plus all the planet stories, romance stories, miscellaneous stuff is pretty big as it is, although it's thinned out because of all the class stories.

If a longer story with decision paths was obtainable, there would probably need to be either fewer classes, or shared class stories, in order for the game to be the same size.  Or keep all the classes & individual stories, and add another 5 years development time.  And another 40+ gig's of space required.

Nope, they just culd have cut meaningless generic MMO quests which make >90% of content and could have made deeper class stories.

Sure, and then people would complain about a 50 hour levelling curve.

lol exactly. I do kind of agree though with the OP that when I played this, I did have that urge to go play a completely different zone for a certain level and I found there was no choice. I like that in WOW you felt as if there were multiple zones in certain cases for the same leveling area. Same for GW2 and LOTRO. I hate the wintery areas of GW2. I only recently figured out there were better looking zones elsewhere without Dredge lol.

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