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All Posts by Vortex5oo

All Posts by Vortex5oo

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Originally posted by justmemyselfandi
Originally posted by Vortex5oo
Originally posted by justmemyselfandi

I'd be careful, the last SWG dev who claimed responsibility for the NGE killed himself.

Tragic, but they said that his suicide was not related to SWG. But who really know for sure... RIP Jeff.

He may have had other problems leading to the final checkout, but he took a LOT of angry flak from ex-SWG "vets" up until the day he died. All the shit they call "online bullying" nowadays was done to him, including death threats, etc. Some of those "vets" were and are pretty friggin' unstable even now ( who the hell cries over a game 10 years later? smdh ).

So yeah, noone knows for sure, but the possibility is definitely there.

Yeah death threats or online bullying is not ok in anyway.

By the way, in what way did you think Jeff´s suicide was relevant to my OP? It just feels like a weird thing to bring up. "I´d be careful, the last SWG dev who claimed responsibility for the NGE killed himself.", so are you suggesting Gordon gonna kill himself after talking about the NGE? Or after me making this post? I just dont understand, kind of morbid aint it to bring it up in that way? Or? :)

Originally posted by justmemyselfandi

I'd be careful, the last SWG dev who claimed responsibility for the NGE killed himself.

Tragic, but they said that his suicide was not related to SWG. But who really know for sure... RIP Jeff.

Originally posted by Phry
Always interesting to see how things were from the inside, and the whole SWG/NGE debacle will probably forever be a millstone around Mr Smedleys neck, can't really fault  GW's actions, he stood by his own decisions regardless of the outcome, that he was proved to be correct in the end probably helped. Its a shame that for SOE this did not become an epiphanic moment, perhaps if it had, then Sony would not have been left in the position where they felt they had no alternative but to sell that division of the company. 

Yeah I agree with you, GW is not to blame. It was all those things that happened during the time. In hindsight, everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Cut development / too early release, WoW smashing all boundaries with millions of subscribers, GW suggesting a not too bad idea really... but Smedley in money panic gets his mind corrupted around this idea and crushing what little of was left of the original community with The NGE .


I know its pretty worthless thinking, but I wonder sometimes how SWG would have been with ½ - 1 year more in development  and no WoW ever released? Would we talk about SWG clones instead of WoW clones today? :)

I´m not trying to stir up anything by posting this, SWG may rest now, I must admit even though I moved on from the whole SWG mess( a game I both loved and hated at the same time) it was kind of nice to get some "insider" information about what happened. A bit of closure maybe.


Quote from:


"Now that SOE is gone (long live Daybreak Games!) we should go ahead and have the Star Wars:Galaxies NGE discussion.

I'll start with the easy part:  The NGE was my fault.

I'll also say that memory is an imperfect thing, particularly around emotional circumstances, so I won't say this is 100% accurate, but it's the way I remember it.

I was running SWG starting before the Jump to Lightspeed expansion was announced.  This wouldn't have happened if SOE had been happy with the size and thus profitability of the game.  Expectations had been that SWG would be as big, if not bigger than EQ which at the time was ~500k players.  SWG had briefly gone over 400k but settled down into a 200-250k level.  The Holicron addition and hints on how to get a Jedi ended up slowing net growth of the game and undermined the in-game community as people tried to macro their way to Jedi.

We had hoped that by adding the "Stars" in Star Wars (i.e. space vehicles and flight) that the game would grow significantly.  But SWG had more fundamental issues around the combat system (which hadn't gotten nearly enough iteration before launch), and an overwhelming amount of bugs, balance tuning and missing features for the dozens of various professions was holding the game back.  The team was constantly working against a giant backlog of these issues just to keep the players we had retained.

SWG was a real masterpiece in many ways.  The team, led by Rich Vogel, John Donham and Raph Koster, built an amazing game, both in scope and AAA presentation.  It had a character customization system that was the state of the art for the time (and still better than many we see today).  An amazing diversity of professions and skill trees. Some extremely innovative design and gameplay roles were first seen in SWG.  Having a player council was a SWG innovation. Rather than using the EQ technology, and entire new engine was created to match the requirement of SWG.  And this was all done for <$18m in <3 years (2 years and 9 months), launching in June 2003.  This was and remains unprecedented achievement in building a AAA MMO.  And like so many MMOs, it was launched far too soon for financial reasons, so there were plenty of problems at launch and beyond.

After the Jump to Lightspeed expansion launched (Oct 2004), it was clear that our audience size was clearly <300k and that was not acceptable to SOE (or to LucasArts).

We were working hard to fix the bugs, missing features and trying to make the audience happier so we could grow.  But that was a slow grind, even though SOE had added significantly more development resources in 2004 when I joined the team along with my team that had been working on an unannounced SOE project.

Elements of the SWG team had this idea that maybe we should build a second Star Wars game that was focused on the "War" in Star Wars.  It would be large scale battle game for planetary conquest.  That way we could have more people in bigger battles (the character customization in SWG was far too detailed to have lots of players on the screen without significant performance issues).  We could have a game where people fought over planets and they'd be dominated by either the Rebels or the Empire until they switched hands again in a galactic strategy game.  We could build a real twitch combat system that was less turn based and more visceral. It was a very exciting idea.

I championed an idea to SOE and LucasArts that we build this game with a new team, sell it as a separate product, but actually share the universe with SWG.  No matter which game you initially joined, your subscription would give you access to both games.  You'd have a battle game and a role playing game all together.  The battles would take place on new worlds, but the outcomes would affect who owned the SWG worlds, such that the worlds in SWG would change who owned the government buildings and towns, empire and rebel banners swapping out, storm troopers patrolling where formerly the rebel soldiers would have been found.  And an overall strategy game at the planetary level, bringing the "Wars" to Star Wars.

Management was excited about this concept until the cost of this new game was clear and neither company (SOE or LucasArts) wanted to (or were able) make that investment.  But the thought remained that a Star Wars game with more "Wars" in it could be huge.

A prototype of the combat and faction switching in a town had been built. That and the launch World of Warcraft game influenced the development of the Combat Upgrade (Apr 2005) and following New Game Experience (Nov 2005).

The context at that time was that World of Warcraft had launched in November 2004, and so had Everquest 2.  Everquest 2 clearly didn't meet expectations as WOW took off, even with their early shortages of product.  Almost every other MMO in the market got less play and less acquisition as WOW took market share.  So there were noticeable financial stresses on SOE and all the other MMO companies.

I participated in the early planning for the NGE, and I was told to execute it over my and many others on the SWG teams’ objections.  I failed as an effective communicator in my attempts to change this course.  In March of 2005 my boss came to Austin for a visit, and I told him I was going to refuse to move forward on the NGE development and launch.  I had assessed that it would be a breach of my fiduciary duty to do so.  I believed (and told him) that launching the planned NGE would alienate the customer base, cause at least half of them to quit and lose the company 10’s of millions of dollars.  At the same time I told him he deserved to have people that worked for him do what he said, and I was sorry I was being intransigent.  A week later I was terminated, and frankly I was never happier to be fired.  I don't blame my management, as I basically made them do it.  Being in conflict with your management is never fun, but doing something you don't believe in is worse.

I watched the launch and outcome of the NGE launch closely.  I actually hoped that the NGE would work out, as that would have meant that I’d have to revisit my entire mental framework on working with MMO communities.  But the customer losses were significant, and the blow to both the SWG and SOE brands was noticeable.  Destroying player persistence, the professions they’d put months or years of work into, along with their identities, to make the game “better” for new customers wasn’t a win from my external assessment.  Many of those alienated customers became activists against SOE due to their losses, and the bad feelings around this change to SWG continues with ex-customers to this day.

I want to stress that everyone that I knew who were involved with SWG at SOE and at LucasArts were trying to do the best thing as they saw it for their companies and for the long-term benefit of the game. I just didn’t believe then or now that it was right thing to do from a customer stewardship and fiduciary standpoint.

So I feel I am responsible for the NGE, because the impetus came from an idea I initially championed, which I as unable to deflect when it was being mis-applied (in my view) to SWG.

Again, the lesson of messing with the core of a game design in order to try and grow revenue being a likely recipe for disaster was demonstrated to me.  And I had yet another Forest Gump-type moment in MMO history in my career.

It's OK to grieve a bit if appropriate for you.  I don't want to see bashing of John Smedley or any of the other folks I know and respect at the former SOE.  It's easy to demonize someone for doing something risky when the results turn out poorly.  And we need risk takers to get innovation.  What's more valuable is to figure out how to avoid making major mistakes in the first place, and coming up with more creative ways to solve these combination of game/community/business problems."

1. Is the save games local or server side? (I had horrible moments when savegames got corrupted in other "alway online games" and I lost hours and hours of progress over and over again(Ubisoft, I´m looking at you)).


2. If FD server goes down will the game just quit working? "Can´t connect to server, please try again later!"


3. If FD a year from now decide E: D not to be the hit they wanted and pull the plug on the server, is the game dead forever then?


4. Is FD:s "always online" server like Ubisofts DRM server?



Originally posted by Soandsoso
Originally posted by Vortex5oo

"Posting privileges: Only players who own The Elder Scrolls Online are allowed to post in this forum."


Have never seen that on Steam before. lol, not even X-Rebirth did that...

What's the issue. They don't want you creating hate posts. Move on.

Nah, no issues, just a reflection of not being able to use the steam forum. No hate posts from me dude. :) Currently got one month of subscription to ESO, so not moving on.

"Posting privileges: Only players who own The Elder Scrolls Online are allowed to post in this forum."


Have never seen that on Steam before. lol, not even X-Rebirth did that...

Originally posted by Grixxitt
I will be playing ESO until the Repopulation and their open world PvP server releases. If I do give another game a go it will likely just be temporary.

I cancelled ESO sub at lvl 30 and will keep an eye on it(patch notes and forum). My next mmo will be The Repopulation(PvP open sevrer,skillbased, player citys, swg style crafting and so on). It will be my last shot at the mmo genre, if it doesnt deliver I will quit buying and playing mmos. Sad but true, I had big hope for the future of mmorpg´s back in the UO days it felt like it was no limits to what could be done with the genre, but now 20+ mmos later it feels like the whole genre fell down a  black pit and now there is almost nothing left of all that I loved with mmos in the beginning.


EDIT: Oh and the reason why I quit was it was not a game for me, a bit too much singleplayer feeling(phasing and no nametags/guildtags). But there was much great things too, graphic and gameplay(fighting mechanics).

My way of using Steam.

1. I scroll down new releases on store frontpage.

2. I sort out games like "Freddi Fish and Luther's Water Worries" because they dont  seem too interesting to me.

3. I find a game called "Startopia" that seems interesting. I can see it was released to Steam platform on November 25 2013.

4. I click the the link and end up at the store page, I look up in the right corner on the store page, "Release Date: 19 Jun 2001". The game was released 2001, I read short description,  I look at the trailer video(if there are one), I look at the screenshots,  I read the longer feature text and the system requirements.  I can choose to click the Metacritic link to the right( the score is 86/100). I scroll down to the bottom of the storepage and read the customer reviews, there are both positive and negative reviews.

5. If Im still unsure I click the forum link and look if there are any complaints or praise there.

6. Either I buy it, dont buy it or but it on wishlist.

This may take me 5-10 minutes, depending on length of videos or interesting forum posts. I think thats the absolute minimal time consumption for investigating a game that I are about to buy. Sometimes I go to youtube and investigate some more, after all its my money I use to buy the game and I dont want to just throw it away.

I check new releases every day and have no problem sorting out the ones I want to buy. It takes me maybe 1-2 minute to go through the new releases list.

Some games may be expensive and I but them on my wishlist and get a notification when they are on sale. I own 286 games and 184 dlc on steam and I think maybe 3-4 of the games is full price. Non of the dlc is full price.

My complaint to Steam is that the new  releases tab resets when you click a link, so if I have scrolled down 4 pages click a storepage link and then goes back the store frontpage list have reset to page 1. I have to scroll down all 4 pages again.

Is there room for improvements, sure, but I dont think "Valve is missleading people about release dates and other things". Not at all.

Sweet memories... 


Anti-decay kits must have been the biggest slap in the face for crafter  pre-nge, a bunch of WS was rage quitting at the time. Lots of good friends quit.

Thank you Raph.

I would like it if the hype and rating a user give a game shows up in the user profile for all to see. You could still vote pure 1 or 10 on games but it would be out there for all to see.


Or if the rating tab showed how many user totally voted and statistics in each category "1465 users voted 1 on gameplay" "342 users voted 2 on gameplay" and so on.


And 1-10 are different from user to user. 5 might be average to one and under average for another. 10 in my eyes is a epic groundbreaking game (that I yet have seen) and 1 is a game that wont even start and my computer crash and catch fire. But to another 10 could be having a really good time for 3 months and the 1 = the game CTD three times a month.


EDIT: Oh and after my honest review my average score is 5.1.

Originally posted by SpectralHunter
Originally posted by MumboJumbo
Originally posted by Vortex5oo

Well this put me off totally. I wont pledge at all. I just dont understand why the ingame trinkets and fluff stuff is so far out of reach for us late backers while tabletop minis and pdfs is thrown at me while I try donate my money to this mmorpg PC game project. I dont care about the Pathfinder TT. I care about PF:O and it would be a nice gesture to award me with ingame items for the pledge. Im willing to donate 100-150$ for all ingame daily items in this kickstarter but 1000$ is insane.

I have to agree with you regarding the dailies should be open to all at $100 - possibly? But they can't reign in their promise for attracting people sitting on the fence early with the daily deal, so that's why I think.

Tbh, I don't think these items will be very serious in game: I think they are mostly fluff and have zero mechanical use. But they do as above entice early support (for momentum with the project) and also reveal (daily) some of the abundance of unique items there will be planned. Which is again good and more mmo value too than just TT value.

Tbh, you still get a great deal at the $100 level and fluff only has collector or resale value once the crafters get busy maybe??

I think you underestimate the value of fluff items.  There are MMOs that make a killing just selling vanity stuff.  And if PFO has appearance slots like most other MMOs, these items will be coveted. 

I think they did a poor job with the daily deals.  Instead, they should have allowed you to select any of the items depending upon how early you made your $100 pledge.  If you did it the first day, you got all of it.  If you did it the last three days, you could select any three.  That way people could still pledge a bit later and not feel they lost out on items they really wanted and could ignore items they didn't care for.

I agree.


They could also have set the daily rewards by the pledge tier i.e. at 35$ you can choose 5 of 30 dailys, at 50$ 10 of 30 dailys and so on tier by tier. At 150$ you get all dailys. They could still have unlocked one daily reward a day.


And instead of making the deal lesser interesting each day for us "fluff collector nuts on the fence" it would be a better deal by each day and a bigger reason for us to throw more money on GW. The whole KS, from start to end. As it is now only the "first day" backers get a better deal each day for their money and the potential backer gets a bader deal for not spending their money each day.


Well I know its volentary to join the fund raiser, but after funding 10+ KS I just find it weird that I should be punished for plegding late in the KS. Why not make the system above where it gets more and more rewarding to pledge and for all. 


Well Im not backing so no need for me to rant here.

Originally posted by BlueMountain
They made a deal with early backers and would have a hard time now going back on it. Seems overkill to not back the game for the sake of a few minor items.


Each to his own I guess. Im not backing it but I will still keep my eyes on it. :)

Originally posted by OgreRaper
I find it hard to get hyped about this, considering EQ: NEXT will probably launch before Pathfinder does.


You are probably right. I will keep my eyes on this one as I really like the features.

It would have made more sense rewarding the daily rewards by pledge tier(i.e. at 35$ 5 items and at 50$ 10 items and so on and at 150$ all items) and still have one item unlock a day so people want to up their pledge to get more goddies.


I still dont understand why the need to create a rush at the ks start, because the dailys become less and less usefull to collect as time goes by. The deal gets worse and


The ks is a set time to grab as much money as possible.With the system I mention above the dailys remain usefull as a cash grab from start to end in the ks and still remain a rare -ks only- item.

daily rewards in the kickstarter is retarded. why should a backer pledging 35$ a month ago get  rewarded with 30 more ingame items than a backer that pledges 125$ today. Its still the ks goal that counts and there is a set time for the ks. Money as money, every penny counts. I have backed many ks projects but this is the first ks to punish me for being "late" to the party with my wallet willing to donate. Why the rush for the money in the first days? And for only a 1000$ fine I can get all ingame goddies I missed while deciding on the project by reading up all the features. Well I vote no with my wallet this time as it seems you dont want my money..

Well this put me off totally. I wont pledge at all. I just dont understand why the ingame trinkets and fluff stuff is so far out of reach for us late backers while tabletop minis and pdfs is thrown at me while I try donate my money to this mmorpg PC game project. I dont care about the Pathfinder TT. I care about PF:O and it would be a nice gesture to award me with ingame items for the pledge. Im willing to donate 100-150$ for all ingame daily items in this kickstarter but 1000$ is insane.

I only care for ingame trinkets, dont really want minis or pdfs. So I thought well I go with the tier who gives me most ingame stuff. Seems like I have to pledge 1000$ to get all dailys I missed. Thats just insane. Why not have all dailys at 100$? They would still be rare and a lot more people would up their pledge to 100$. Well I will go with a lower tier then. Sad.

Originally posted by Merilirem Ahem, ----------- Just because a dragon attacks the town, do I really need to fight it? Is fighting really the only path for mmorpgs? Can I not play a smith or simply prance about with my lute singing everyone else's praises? I just have to wonder why it is that I personally have to fight, to save the world, cant someone else do it? And why can't we decide the worlds not worth saving, to side with whatever master of darkness is currently doomed to fall at the hands of the "heroes". Evil never wins, because winners are always just, not because evil always loses. Just because I live in a fantasy world full of dangers, do I have to be someone special, can't I just be some guy who did what he felt like. Even if I had the skills, weapons or could simply smash those werewolves to death with my fists, does it really fall to I an individual, a person, or am I a train...? Do you think the same?
  Great post. Made me think of Star Wars Galaxies. People on my friendlist was known serverwide for crafting or entertaining. They never touched a gun or did any epic heroics. They were also the richest folks around. Me? I was just a lazy waterfarmer up to no good just doing my little own thing. Sitting on the porch in the shade from the two suns in the sky chewing on some bantha jerky and sipping some jawa beer. The intergalactic war you say? Well I left it to the folks in their shiny armor and big guns. Bah I miss the freedom to play it like that.

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