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News & Features Discussion  » Star Wars Galaxies: Editorial: Audience Alienation

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  Greyhawk4x4

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/26/06
Posts: 475

-Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. - Ben Franklin

6/13/06 11:30:04 AM#81
This article is dead on!

As a launch day vet and as a business owner, I find it irreprehensible that SOE thought that the vets were "disposable" in hopes of attracting the WOW crowd.


  TK1158

Novice Member

Joined: 3/20/06
Posts: 1

6/13/06 11:37:02 AM#82
Outstanding article! Very nicely written and accurate to the sad facts.
  LilT

Novice Member

Joined: 3/15/06
Posts: 635

Pre-cu FTW <3

6/13/06 11:38:51 AM#83

Originally posted by generis2

it can be debated if WoW is currently hemorrhaging subscribers and in what amounts (I'll just assume there are and the peole leaving are looking for a new game to try). Even if it's a small fraction, it's still a considerable amount of people. 

SWG has about 1.5% share of the same market (same source as above).  If I am a SOE exec., i would seriously look at the possibility of WoW-ify-ing (trans: to make your current game play like WoW and appeal to current WoW patrons) my game and hope to attract the people leaving WoW in search of something new



I see what you are saying, but if someone is leaving wow, why would they want to play another game like wow? They obviously left because they were unhappy, and usually when people leave for something new, it doesnt mean "the same thing only buggier and star wars".

It makes more sense to me to keep swg seperate from wow, so that those who were introduced to mmo's by wow, but are tired of the same ole "level quest raid" game can move to it.

For the Horde!

  Gkarr

Novice Member

Joined: 11/30/05
Posts: 38

6/13/06 11:44:45 AM#84
MMORPG, you need to lower your rating of this game.
obviousman Xfire Miniprofile
  Aetius73

Novice Member

Joined: 11/25/05
Posts: 1260

6/13/06 11:48:28 AM#85

I think this article does a good job of summing up the betrayal and loss we felt for the universe that was destroyed by shortsighted management.

It just flat out amazes me that none of the idiots in the marketing department at SOE or LA had a clue about what it means to alienate customers. This little piece of marketing wisdom I thought was common knowledge (apparently the idiots at SOE never heard about it) "For every satisfied customer you make he will tell 4 of his friends for every unsatisfied customer you create he will tell 10 people about his negative experience."

I personally and from what I have seen interent wide went a lot further than telling people about my negative experience with SOE. I stopped buying sony anything (this includes sony pictures). Not only that but I have encouraged all my friends and relatives to buy Toshiba and Samsung Tv's instead of the Sonys(which they have been doing for the last 20 years!). So the disloyalty their relatively small online games division has caused is filtering into other product areas. Smedely should be fired for this debacle I am sure it has literally cost them millions.

Betrayal and stealing is nothing new at Sony though afterall the company got started fifty years ago when a Japanese electronics repair guy stole the design for a American made tape recorder that a G.I. brought in to have repaired, and started making them. Since Smedely still has his job after stabbing his player base in the back it seems they still think the same way.

aetiuslonginus Xfire Miniprofile
  porl

Novice Member

Joined: 3/30/04
Posts: 2

6/13/06 11:49:05 AM#86

Spot on...

I first played this game in awe of it all...my cousin introduced me to it and i spent my first few hours running around getting killed by samll bouncy things outside Naboo.....

i played it everyday more or less for a year....what a game...then they changed the whole "jedi unlock" thing and weeeeeeee down hill rapido.....

subs canceled.....

I would however, without a second thought, and with a drooling mouth resubscribe if the ppl at SOE just brought back that game i played when i first logged in :)

PORL

  Jenuviel

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/26/05
Posts: 958

Sadness is but a wall between two gardens. -Kahlil Gibran

6/13/06 11:52:09 AM#87



why would you care what someone's toon name is? i had a Dancer/Musician on Wanderhome named Rapan Pillage. got a few complaints and one day SOE deleted the last name. never could understand why it bothered anyone. just curious.

It's not my intention to make a huge deal out of this, but rather to offer a an explanation to the question.

    • Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
    • One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape, and 10% of sexual assault victims are men.
    • In 2003-2004, there were an average annual 204,370 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.

    -Statistics taken from RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network

    Given that Star Wars Galaxies was designed from scratch to offer alternatives to combat in order to draw in previously ignored demographics, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that they were successful in attracting more female players than most MMOs to date. According to the above statistics, nearly 17% of those female players were at some point the victim of attempted or completed sexual assault. I don't find it difficult to understand why victims of sexual assault might have a negative reaction to someone using "rape" as a joke name, and apparently Sony didn't either.

    Now, it's your right to say "rape is just a word, and I didn't mean anything offensive when I used it." Just understand, that it's a word with very strong connotations to someone who's been exposed to it.

  Beatnik59

Elite Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2233

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

6/13/06 11:58:58 AM#88

Originally posted by generis2

SWG has about 1.5% share of the same market (same source as above).  If I am a SOE exec., i would seriously look at the possibility of WoW-ify-ing (trans: to make your current game play like WoW and appeal to current WoW patrons) my game and hope to attract the people leaving WoW in search of something new. 

From the point of $$$, even if SOE have to lose a fraction of the 1.5% in SWG to attract the possibility of a fraction of the 50% from WoW, it's an oppertunity they can not miss!

How does that sounds for an excuse? hehe


It sounds like something worthwhile, but then, you have to make the game earn the business, and not fail.

For the World of Warcraft player who is coming to SWG, there is the problem of no stable rulebook, no in-game help system, and no quickstart guide, in paper, that the customer will be able to refer to in the midst of play.  Whatever version they purchase will have an outdated rulebook, since the game has changed dramatically, and will continue to do so.  Any information the player needs must be obtained by alt-tabbing out of the game, on to the official forums, in a byzantine array of confusing articles, posts, patch notes, and play guides.

If they alt-tab out of the world, and are on a free trial, there is a good possibility that they will just log off, without much of a reason to have them log back on.

Assuming they get through that, there is a one in nine chance they will have selected an entertainer as a starting profession, and soon realize that the profession is unplayable to all but the most forgiving and sentimental subscriber.  If the first impression of a new player is playing an entertainer, when it is utterly incomplete, then I would think they would not be coming back.

There is also a one in nine chance that they will select a trader, and a three in four chance they will select a trader that has nothing worthwhile to trade.  Finding an overwhelming, uncertain, and unsupported experience, they will leave.

Assuming they are lucky and pick up a profession that isn't utterly unplayable, they will soon discover how hard and contrived the combat is, especially if they select Jedi, because it is almost impossible to both move and strike at the same time, plus do all the ancilliary functions in the midst of combat.  If they are forgiving and tolerant enough, they may stay.  Frankly though, there are so many other options where they don't have to.

All it takes is ONE alt-tab, ONE bug, ONE frustration, and the "unhooked player" won't ever get hooked to the game.  The unfortunate thing about this NGE is that it gives many justifications to skeptical new players on why they should cease playing, and play something else.

Bugs and obvious playability issues are common.  Every profession is having things added, taken away, nerfed, enhanced, etc., to the point that one never truly learns how to play.  Balance is a result of whatever a developer whims on a given day.  The animations are choppy, and decidedly "sprite-like."  Immersion and the subtle details of the world are sorely lacking.  And one almost needs to be glued to the forums constantly in order to see what has changed, what will change, and what will be fixed, or what is broken, etc.  This causes more lobbying and forum trolling to argue for a better future, than to actually play and enjoy the current build.

So if they want to attract an audience that knows nothing but World of Warcraft, or who does not read the forums, or play hardcore, or who do not wish to invest a large portion of their time learning how to master a game, SWG is sure to displease.  You cannot help but waste time not having fun, because they are too busy tinkering with things for players to enjoy the game.


__________________________
"Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
--Arcken

"...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
--Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

"It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
--Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  BaronJuJu

Novice Member

Joined: 2/27/04
Posts: 1827

"Just because it happens to you doesn''t make it interesting"

6/13/06 12:01:55 PM#89
Very well said...bravo to the OP

"If we don't attack them, they will attack us first. So we'd better retaliate before they have a chance to strike"

  Pkpie

Novice Member

Joined: 10/06/04
Posts: 18

6/13/06 12:08:40 PM#90
Nice write up.  What everyone is missing here I think, is that SOE has given up on the PC platform.  I believe they felt the SWG game was a wash and they new that by making the changes they did that the game would continue its down hill slide.  The reason they did this was because they are grooming the game to be released on PS3 and other consoles.  The target market they are shooting for here are click-fest preteens who have access to their parents credit cards.  SOE doesn’t care one bit if their game is fun to play, just as long as it churns in the cash.  Believe me; they are going after the console crowd
  stevesmithjr

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/04
Posts: 261

SOE = Screwing Over Everyone

6/13/06 12:09:21 PM#91

SOE? Screwing Over Everyone? They don't listen, nor do they care.

Fuck them and their games. That's all I have to say.

Classic SWG > CUNGE

  dragonfyre

Novice Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 60

6/13/06 12:12:04 PM#92

Great article. I found it very insightful. I was one of those players that stuck it through from CU to NGE, but a week after NGE noticed most of my friends had left, and so I decided to leave also. The greatest part of your article was how you pointed fingers at both LA and SOE, who are both equally to blame. But its funny and still a little sad to see people only blaming SOE for the debacle that has become SWG.

  ekic

Novice Member

Joined: 6/13/06
Posts: 163

6/13/06 12:12:50 PM#93
Excellent summary of what not to do....way to go Smed ;)

  Squidi

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/16/05
Posts: 425

6/13/06 12:15:28 PM#94
Old news. Maybe this article could've had some value SIX MONTHS ago, but at this late stage in the game, it is little more than a grudge. You want to write something about SWG, why not send someone in there to write about the state of the game TODAY, not SIX MONTHS ago. Just in case you missed it, SIX MONTHS ago. Even in the real world, six months is old news. Just become some whiney vets still carry that grudge long past its expiration date (and look at how mature they are about it) does NOT make it relevant. It's just pandering, plain and simple.

Write about the current state of the game. Hell, if you want, I'll do it. Just GET OVER IT ALREADY. A public editorial is not the place to play out an ages old grudge.
  mindspat

Novice Member

Joined: 12/08/05
Posts: 1387

6/13/06 12:16:25 PM#95

Sony Online Entertainment and Lucas Arts can both rot in hell together. 

Lucas Arts was the back bone for the changes.  They, Lucase Arts (LA), is primarily at fault here.  Through action George Lucas has shown that he doesn't give a rats arse about the community which had become fans of his venture.  What was committed was not only a disgrace to actively paying customers but was in effect consumer fraud.

Then you have Smedlely promissing how things will be better and the game will be "polished in 6 months" although it's still fugged up beyond belief! 

Even the new "targeting" system doesn't work and had installed MORE bugs which prevent players from performing combat actions.  It wasn't even wanted in the means as it was presented!

The developers working on SWG are clueless idiots who are nothing more then muppets getting their strings yanked when their 6 month contract expires.  Yes SOE, you are doing it right! Pay them dirt, treat them like dirt then piss on them when they've done their best and the results will be mud.

If there's ever been an example of "HOW TO RUIN A GOOD THING" this would be it.

Boycott SOE products, you aren't missing anything.  Boycott Lucas Arts products, they don't give a phck about you!

  cumbom

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/04
Posts: 552

6/13/06 12:21:16 PM#96

Originally posted by Jenuviel



why would you care what someone's toon name is? i had a Dancer/Musician on Wanderhome named Rapan Pillage. got a few complaints and one day SOE deleted the last name. never could understand why it bothered anyone. just curious.

It's not my intention to make a huge deal out of this, but rather to offer a an explanation to the question.

    • Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.
    • One in six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape, and 10% of sexual assault victims are men.
    • In 2003-2004, there were an average annual 204,370 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault.

    -Statistics taken from RAINN, the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network

    Given that Star Wars Galaxies was designed from scratch to offer alternatives to combat in order to draw in previously ignored demographics, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that they were successful in attracting more female players than most MMOs to date. According to the above statistics, nearly 17% of those female players were at some point the victim of attempted or completed sexual assault. I don't find it difficult to understand why victims of sexual assault might have a negative reaction to someone using "rape" as a joke name, and apparently Sony didn't either.

    Now, it's your right to say "rape is just a word, and I didn't mean anything offensive when I used it." Just understand, that it's a word with very strong connotations to someone who's been exposed to it.


I believe when I was in Australia I heard a stat on the news that said 1 in 3 australian women have suffered from some form of sexual assault.

SWG RIP
moctodumegws
Can't WAIT!

  kelisw

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/19/05
Posts: 2

6/13/06 12:26:04 PM#97
nice article.

when i started SWG a little after launch i was absolutly amazed how they had made non-combat professions complelty viable alternatives. I've played many MMOs but none with player interdependecy as complex as this one. my first char was a dancer/doc and i spent the first 6 months in game going from planet to planet just hanging out in the cantinas and med centers (this was before there were so many afk dancers/tumblers and the cantinas/med centers were crowded with actual live people). while that may not seem fun to SOEs target audience, it was an alternative that appealed to alot of people. it was game for everyone of all tastes. i didn't want to be an uber jedi, i wanted to just live my life in the star wars universe and pre-cu allowed that.

then the CU came and took away crafting from my doc and forced her into combat and took away med centers. millions of resources, subcomponents and products rendered worthless overnight. it was hard but i accepted it, bought another account and made a master bio engineer/tailor so i would still have crafting.

Then the NGE came and took away bio engineer. millions of resources, subcomponents and products rendered worthless overnight. i have no place in this new fps game. player interdependency is completely gone. every class has its own heal and is completely self supporting. no ents or docs or crafters are needed. sorry for the ramble but i just wanted to give an example how not only the jedi lost everything (though they got it the worst). i've felt a little homeless since i left SWG as i cant find another game that had the player interdependency and player run world that pre-cu swg had
  admriker444

Novice Member

Joined: 5/29/04
Posts: 1535

Ralph Koster
"bottom line in SWG’s case is that we certainly overpromised and underdelivered."

6/13/06 12:27:49 PM#98

One problem the MMO market is that it is currently experiencing what I call “The WoW effect.” When World of Warcraft was released to stunning success, it redefined what a successful MMO was. Before this, 500,000 customers of an MMO was a very respectable number. Right before the first changes (i.e. Combat Upgrade) SWG reportedly floated at around 300-350,000, again quite respectable pre-WoW. The release of WoW caused SOE/LucasArts to radically alter the originally planned “rebalance” to an “upgrade” that not only incorporated many of Blizzard’s features, but also added a ton of bugs to boot. SWG was simply not compatible with a linear style WoW gameplay. Those who wanted WoW’s features were already playing WoW, without the bugs. While the CU had overall mixed results, one thing was clear, subscriptions were down.

I definitely agree with this part of the review. I was a beta tester for the original Combat Revamp and saw first-hand the sudden stunning changes to the game. The Combat Upgrade certainly was a reaction to the success of World of Warcraft.

I got a chance to talk with Tiggs and 2 developers at Celebration 3. They were there showing off Rage of the Wookies and answering questions about gameplay. It was quite obvious they were prepped on how to respond because the same terminology kept creeping up. To quote Tiggs..."we want the game to have more broad appeal" I think I heard the phrase broad appeal about 20 times there. It was the "iconic" catch phrase of the its time.

I point blank asked them if the success of WoW had anything to do with the changes. Their reply was "no definitely not" I then followed up with well if thats true, then why the sudden course change with the revamp ?

I left to folks clapping and cheering as I loudly stated "the revamp was supposed to be a reward to the vet players who stuck by SOE even though the game was broken for 2 years." "Instead you have stabbed us in the back by redesigning the game for a NEW target market." "It wont work in the end, and I'll be sure to send you an email reminding you of this conversation when the game is a dismal failure."

I did send that email to Tiggs, she left SOE 2 days later.

And SOE has nobody to blame but themselves. A major IP, 2 huge movies to add hype, a major ad campaign last holiday season, free trials, etc and the game continues to flop and lose customers. Gee, who would have thought screwing over your loyal customers would make you lose them

  DarthMind

Novice Member

Joined: 4/12/06
Posts: 14

6/13/06 12:38:01 PM#99
AMEN! I hope someone from LA and SOE reads this, not that it will make them change their ways, but just to knock home a point, however moot it is now.

-Cristof Starblazer, Starsider
  Syri

Novice Member

Joined: 8/05/04
Posts: 225

6/13/06 12:38:18 PM#100

Originally posted by korvass
Well, if you look real close, SWG is currently receiving 'brand new' patches, and with each one, the game begins to appear more like pre-CU...

Coincidink?  

main thing that needs to change though, in my view at least, is the profession system and the combat control. The best thing about swg was that it didn't tie you to a class and that class's skills. want a sniper who can then kick the crap out of someone if they get close? you could before, can't any more...
the NGE should have been a seperate set of servers from the start, it's TOO different. it's a whole different game.
at least the CU kept the core the same... in my view though, the perfect fix would be pre-cu class system, with maybe a few new skills in there and some balancing. and keep all the quests and pve content they've added, just tweak it to suit the classic content. all swg lacked originally was content, now they added that, it just lacks everything else these days.

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Currently playing: Rift

former player of: DAoC, Everquest 2, Guild Wars, SWG (pre-NGE), WoW, Warhammer online, LotR:O

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