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All Posts by SBE1

All Posts by SBE1

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261 posts found

As a former stock analyst, I can say with some certainty some truths about conference calls:

1) If it is going well, the company will make a big deal about it.

2) If it is not going well, they hedge and say things like "too early to tell".

Trust me, if the F2P model was doing very well, it would have been highlighted.  Furthermore, you can't really read into the fact that they mentioned it this time but not last time. The key is that they have to comment on the switch to F2P, and saying something like it's too early to tell translates into "not doing well" to a savy wall street investor. When you combine it with how bad console game sales have been lately as people switch to mobile, it's a really tough business.

Finally, it is true that with some subs and reduced staff they can make it profitable, which is good for current subs since the game isn't likely to close in the near future. However, they will never make the $$ needed to recoup their investment. 

Color me interested in 3-way PvP fighting. I'm also very interested in more sand-box gaming.   I will not play another themepark PvE centric MMO ever again.

Trials of Atlantis expansion was one of the worst expansion in the history of MMOs and probably led to the destruction of DAOC, and Marc Jacobs was primarily responsible for it. It's not like he didn't have plenty of feedback about how bad it was going to be and how it would ruin PvP....Oh no, they were going with it regardless.....well congrats.

Then of course, we have the wonderful hit known as Warhammer.  Oh, you say you have tons of tools this time around to help with class balance in PvP......and then you see the army of Bright Wizards approaching and everyone runs and quits the server.  Yeah, wonderful job there. Those must have been some great class balancing tools you developed. 

Laugh. 

How you keep getting employeed in this industry is amazing.

Several problems with your column. 

1) You cannot have large scale open world PvP with the current Hero engine.  It reduces too many players to unacceptably low FPS, creating a slide-show and it's not fun for anyone. Furthermore, they have to have objectives to fight over that can't be done by 1 person in 10 seconds and finally they would have to address the swapping of kills that was common.  It's way too much for this slimmed down development team to tackle.  

2) They've added faction grinding and same-gender romances on a new planet for $10 charge.  Color me unimpressed.  Expanding the class stories would require MASSIVE expenditures because of the voice acting. They bet the farm on voice acting, and it's proving not to be worth it in a theme-park setting.  Perhaps in a sandbox version it might have paid off.

3) The game is, and will remain, a single-player theme-park game that has some multi-player aspects such as warzones and some raids.  

Finally, when was the last time a game closed about 90% of its servers, suffered this much reduction in players, gone F2P within 6 months of launch, and came back to "win"?  

I'll just wait for a decent sand-box game to come around.  I think developers have learned that WoW was a 1-time kind of thing and that the best models are something similar to EvE because they require much less on-going funding and players stick around longer.

Well, I expect to hear a lot of whining on the forums about how the running animation on Makeb doesn't look right. They should use this video as an example of how those animations should look. 
Sure would be nice if you could play DAOC without having to deal with all the bad expansions like Trials of Atlantis. Sure would be nice if you could play for free. Sure would be nice to old frontiers instead of teribad new frontiers. Sure would be nice where people who cheat/hack/exploit are banned and their names posted in the forums. Oh wait, that DAOC service exists but we can't talk about it.

If you have asymetrical PvP, players will quickly figure out which one is overpowered FOTM and then the nerfs start.  And then they jump to the next FOTM, and they get nerfed, and then the community devolves into calling another class/race/faction overpowered and begging for nerfs.

Mythic games have been horribly unbalanced.  Fun?  Sure, if you had the right class or were in the preferred faction. Terrible if you were in the wrong class or faction.  With 3 factions, it can be masked for a while with population, but with just 2 factions you can't mask the imbalance, as shown with Warhammer. 

It is nearly impossible to balance asymetrical PvP.

I really hope they can make a great sandbox game.  Tired of themeparks.

Given the massive amount of time involved in making this game, you have to remember that when it was in development the "goal" was to make it just like WoW but with more story and voice acting.  Since WoW was the best selling MMO ever, it made sense to try to copy it with something as powerful as the Star Wars brand.  

The truth is, it took so much money to do the voiceovers and so much time to develop the "story" aspect that many other MMO basics had to be left out.  Plus, they figured you didn't really want 3D open space missions since "story" was the main attraction, and you can't write a story about an open 3D space adventure.

Personally, I just wish we could get DAOC 2.  Oh well.

Must be a slow day for MMOs for something like an exploit to make front page news on MMORPG.   
I can't recall any MMO game other than maybe WoW where the company did an large patch update and a lot of previous subscribers re-subbed.  Hence, why does anyone think a specific patch is going to be a game changer financially for the company?  At this point, every patch and expansion is just milking the existing player base for more $$.  Nothing wrong with that, as that's the business, but expecting a huge number of previous subs to come back is just fantasy.

It's not that SWTOR stories were "great" or not, but it was supposed to be the driving force in this game that set it apart from other MMOs. I think everyone agrees that SWTOR focuses more on the story aspect than any other game.  What we do know is that because of the story-telling voiceovers, this was one of the most expensive MMO games ever developed. So, you would hope that it was worth it.  Clearly by going F2P within the first year proves it wasn't worth it.

I think going forward, themepark MMOs are going to be designed with F2P + box purchase price in mind as a way of making money.  The only kind of MMO games that are going to charge subscriptions are sandbox MMOs.  Just my $0.02.

It's simply a single-player game with lots of content shoved into an MMO.  As a result, you have a few multi-player options, but replayability, a living world, dynamic open-world faction based PvP and a better game engine would have made it a much more successful MMO game. 

You can enjoy the single-player aspect of the leveling process, with a few group encounters along the way.  LFG feature? Not included.  Server mergers to keep grouping alive?  Not done.  You don't need these features when you are supposed to be focused on the single-player story.   Oh, wait, did players really want a LFG function at the start?  How crazy.  Did players beg for server mergers?  Sure, but it took forever to get it done. 

Even look at Ilum.  The "objectives" in Ilum could be done by a single person in under 20 seconds.   WTF?  In what PvP MMO game was there ever the main objectives that could be done solo so quickly?  Never have I seen such lack of appreciation for what an MMO is all about.  Everything was focused on the single-player aspect of the game. 

Oh well.  It's just frustrating to see the game have such wonderful single-player functionality and suffer so much when it comes to large-scale MMO fun.  

 

It's a decent single-player game that occasionally has some multi-player aspects.   Just do the free game, play a few stories, and be done.

My #1 beef with the free to play model is that when I went to log on to my account (preferred status), I wanted to experience a new class story.  But, to do that I was limited to just 2 characters....well, I had 5 and was told to delete characters in order to make new ones.  WTF?  I'm not going to delete my old characters just to make a new character.  I even tried to make a new character on a new server, but the limitation was account-wide.   That's insane!

So, I had to create a completely new account, thus I don't have preferred status.  Several abilities I've never trained because I don't have enough room on my 2 quickbars.  

The 5-rez limit is also super annoying.  The 25% XP reduction becomes a problem around level 30 if you're playing to experience the class stories, as you start to easily finish the quests and still be underleveled relative to your class quest.

But, there's not much incentive to pay.  The removal of penalties doesn't prompt me to resub or pay cartel coins.  There should be a feature that unlocks something I do want to sub for, but the game doesn't have it.  I don't know what the right model is, but the "removal of penalties" doesn't really do it.

Meh.  I'm glad they keep comparing it to Diablo so you know what you are getting.  It's not so much an MMO as it is an action RPG.  I suppose for comic book nerds this is a good game. I don't see why anyone else would really get into it since you could just play, oh I don't know, Diablo.

The MMO game was developed by a team that was good at single-player story games.  What a shock that the engine for large-scale action sucks, and the large-scale PvP was terrible.  I bet 90% of the beta testing was done on the single-player story part of the game. Heck, with all the voice-overs and time spent on making the story and side-quests, what a shock, right?

Indeed, all the reviews were how the "story" was going to be a gamechanger for MMO development.  Well, it's interesting and refreshing, but it doesn't make it a good MMO.  In fact, it's such a single-player experience that some would argue it makes it a worse MMO as a result.

Even the multi-player story sections like dungeons, people demand that you spacebar through the dialoge....what a waste of resources and misreading of what players wanted.  Players want content as well as a living zone that they can affect. They also want meaningful PvP that has an affect on the world they play in.  

Too bad so much money was spent on part of the game that actually makes it a single-player game instead of an MMO.  The game will never have meaninful large-scale PvP because they would have to use a new graphics engine, and that's not going to happen.  Instead if you like replaying the same warzones and dungeons over and over, then this game is okay.  It's not a bad game, but it isn't very dynamic, and that's what keeps an MMO alive. 

My game still says just 2 slots.  So 1.6 didn't deliver the extra slots.

I'd like to go back to my "original" account, but the 2 character slots for my preferred account was just silly.  I have 5 well-geared level 50 characters and I'm not going to delete them just to experience another class story.  Hence, I just created a new account and thus denied my "preferred" status, but I make do with my measly 2 quickbars.

I must say, it was probably the biggest mistake of the F2P conversion: the limitation on characters for premium accounts.  I couldn't believe it when I was told I had to delete my other characters. I even tried to make a new character on a completely different server and still got the limitation, which really surprised me that the limit was account based, not server based. 

The CE stuff for any game is usually only worth it in terms of sentimental value.  For Star Wars, it would be the worth it if you are a Star Wars nerd to the max.  The CE for say Age of Conan would be worth it if you were a Conan nerd to the max.  Statues, books with drawings in them, a week early access and a title is usually all you get with a CE in any MMO game, so you really have to like that other stuff a whole lot to justify it.  

Look, there are a ton of Star Wars nerds to the max, so I'm not surprised they sold a lot of them and those that bought it enjoy it. 

As far as how long this game lasts?  I suspect probably 5 more years with modest improvements along the way on a very scaled down developement team.  I doubt large scale PvP will ever be fixed as the game engine just doesn't handle it, and that's a fundamental problem. Plus, how do you make it meaningful when the PvE side of the game is "themepark on rails"?   I think once people do the various class specific stories, run through the operations enough times and realize that the PvP is just not interesting and unbalanced, that the game lasts about 5 years. I suspect the game goes on "life support" mode in 2014 after F2P doesn't bring in enough $$ and then closes its doors in late 2017.  

Originally posted by Raserei

1.) What have they changed since launch? More PvE zones? More dungeons? More PvP? Class balance? Class changes?

 

2.) What do they sell in the cash shop? Is it all vanity and boosters or can you buy power?

 

3.) Did they increase performance? The game ran like crap at launch.

 

4.) Did they balance PvP? Tanks and healers were almost unkillable when I played.

1) The game is certainly better in some areas.  For PvE, the LFG tool combined with server merges and F2P are some great additions for the PvE crowd who like to do operations and flashpoints. In general, PvE also got a few more operations to do. So, the PvE front seems to be better by a reasonable amount but nothing super drastic. For PvP, the downside is that Ilum PvP was removed and there is no indication that it is going to be fixed anytime soon.  Also on the downside is class balance, which remains a problem and Bioware's responses don't indicate they think it's an issue.  The upside is that there are 2 new warzones to fight and ranked PvP, but you better be one of the "preferred overpowered classes" to play.

 

2) Cash shop is mostly vanity, some xp boosts but if you're level 50 it's vanity.

3) Runs slightly better in my opinion, but not by much.  You might not notice it as much since large-scale PvP isn't possible anymore with the removal of Ilum as a PvP destination.  If you keep the game small-scale, it runs okay.

4) PvP is currently unbalanced, and it is easier to stun folks although the range of stuns was reduced as an offset.  My tank is unkillable. Some DPS classes way outdamage other DPS classes.  Operative/scoundrel healers are way better at healing than other healers....etc.  So, if you have the "preferred" class for the specific roll, you think it's all okay. If you happen to play a specific roll with a non-preferred class, you'll be very frustrated.   However, Bioware remains ignorant of the differences as they looked at kill/death reported ratios at the end of warzones to determine balance.  As you know, if you do 1 point of damage to someone that eventually dies, you get a kill credit.  Thus, if you do 25% of the damage and the other DPS player can do 75% of the damage, you both get credit and are equal in Bioware's view, but ranked PvP players only want the class that does the 75% of the damage, not the one that does 25% of the damage.   And for defensive tanks, I'm still pretty much unkillable with an oprative healer (and with my guard, the operative healer is pretty much unkillable). 

In conclusion, if you just want to PvE, this game is okay.  If you want warzone PvP, you better have the right class and not care so much about class balance.  If you want large-scale PvP, this game isn't for you.  If you only want to experience some of the class stories, best bet is to just go F2P and make a new account since your old account might not have enough character spaces to do the new stories. 

Hope this unbiased post helps.

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