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All Posts by Celebereg

All Posts by Celebereg

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37 posts found

CIG is play/testing the game day in and day out.  We could be doing the same.  We ALL KNOW this is way early testing, they've given us a shoddy, buggy, half-filled Hangar already and nobody dropped a brick over that.

 

There's no good reason not to release it as is to the backers, so they can kick the tires, too, AND TO GIVE some credibility to CIG for hitting a date for once.

Final note.  It's too late in the process to get to alpha or beta before engaging feedback loops.  The core gameplay dimensions (everything from travel and crafting to items and content) needs to be fully described and vetted with player communities on paper before code is written.  A strong marketing group needs to use their survey and focus group and community skills to engage the community at various stages from paper to beta stages...

Beta is WAY too late.

Originally posted by akiira69
Another thing that needs to change in MMO Development is the developers listening to the vocal minority when it comes to the balancing of class dynamics. I have been playing MMORPG's since 2001 and it is always the same thing the pvpers cry that every class but theirs is too op. Then the Developers spend the next 2 - 3 patches trying to balance out PvP Damage which causes the PvE damage to get hosed. If it is not that then you have people whine and complain that something is too easy or too hard which is another 2 - 3 patches to balance out dungeons instead of adding in content. This cycle of players telling the developers how to do their jobs is starting to make MMORPG's from a fun time away from the real world to a dull task that makes watching paint dry seem like more fun.

Very true, also.  The dev mouse wheel on "balance" also shows dev's lack of unifying Vision for a project as far as Project Management fundamentals are absent from green leaders, and they quickly lose their way.

This co-development is another word for good old fashioned "feedback loops" that are fundamental to Project Management tenets taught in college. I've been saying this since SWG was in its 2nd year and with every MMO since. Kids in their hubris and ivory towers continue to disappoint in one MMO after another MMO's development.

I now think that after 15 years of playing MMO's, the last TOR, it looks like I'm giving up on them and ever believing we'll get a true MMO universe that we haven't seen since early SWG. I think I'm done. 15 years is enough time to waste on bad design and dev teams who don't know Project Management and Marketing fundamentals - but think they know everything (until the moment they realize they failed).
Many dev teams are very engaged and responsive ... up until game play doesn't deliver and things quickly sour ... which so happens to be the track record for MMO's as an industry due to hubris and a lack of subscribing to design best practices.

Cancelled today.  Game needs an overhaul.  Every core issue in the Definitive Issues thread has gone unaddressed, from 1-dimensional so-called story where you bounce from one stranger to the next for a go fetch it or go kill it task in a solo journey of NPC strangers, no ensemble cast, no depth or arc, to 1-dimensional crafting with no roles, proprietorships, merchanting, niches, to ... shallow mess.

Done.  Back to SWGemu.  Thoroughly disgusted with the lot of them.  Destroying yet another MMO (so-called) based on Star Wars.  Epitomy of inept.

 
Originally posted by Dakirn

Bill, the original reason for removing the mission was some continuity. They wanted the game to move forward while the show does, but it's hard to do that when Nolan and Irisa are still sitting around in Mt. Tam while they're also doing stuff in Defiance.

 

I'm happy they'll bring them back for people who missed them (I'm thinking perhaps the re-runs).

He acknowledged that in his review, and also noted that its lame to do so when not everyone has gotten to that content yet... and he's right.  LOTRO was a good example of a game that did that... depending on region you ran across story elements that had the Fellowship at that stage of their journey.  If you happen back on that area later as a "progressed" character, can't help you... it's a game and not perfect.  But don't remove content that others haven't had a chance to play, right?

 

I'm still subbed, and bought the expansion, but frankly, have no desire to log in since I stopped playing months ago.  Playing SWGemu and loving a real MMO.  I just haven't gotten around to cancel my TOR sub.  Very discouraging everytime I think of that mess.

Edit:  Scratch that, finally cancelled my sub... "Your subscription has been cancelled."

My concerns are this, and an update follows after some late-breaking clarificatoin by devs:

 

1. already addressed that regarding apartments =/ player cities and depth of player cities.  You're skating the issue.

 

2. agree city sieges adds an interesting dimension, which also by the way is not true PvP, but includes strong - if not driving - PvE elements of defense turrets and barracks (NPC troops).  However, linking these PvE/PvP "bases" to traditional tenets of MMO "player cities" is a design paradigm that is fatal and not necessary.  This dynamic could easily be accomplished by bases, that have the same dynamics, same features, same risks, same rewards... while maintaining player cities and all the associated guild glue and player activities, depth of roles and gameplay, behind the lines.

 

3. that's hardly compelling reasons to sink an MMO.

 

Your attributing an aversion to open world PvP to me is weak and unfounded, and skates over the experiences, consequences, and outcomes that have been stated clearly.  I don't have an aversion to a word, but many underlying issues and outcomes.  Don't simplify it to the point that critical thinking doesn't apply and we deal with it on rhetorical terms that lead to bad conclusions and outcomes.  An MMO can fail on those terms, and as an industry, have a terrible track record.

 

Let's step aside for a minute also, to the reason I returned to the boards today.  I wanted to add that the fact that they hook player cities and all the guild's infrastructure and community glue to contested land and subject it to destruction time and again, to ultimately destroy the engagement and glue of players to guilds, and guilds to MMO...

 

... what drives this other than artifice?  Why am I a nation belonging to one faction?  Why would I ally or oppose another nation?  Is it religeous?  Is it political?  Is it random chance?  For what reason do I enter the game, build a nation, and choose to ally with 5 other nations in counterpoint to 10 other nations who do the same against me?

 

What determines - rationally or logically (or chance) - that 10 nations are going to ally against me and set out to ruin my guild's infrastructure and community?

 

"hey ally with us, we're gaining steam and going to be unbeatable, then we can go destroy all the others"

 

"why do I ally with you"

 

"because, we're already big, and that way we can't be beat, and we can raid everyone else"

 

"but I don't like you or what you stand for.  Frankly you  act and sound like a jerk that wants to be a griefer to others, and your guild name alone "Greifers" says it all, doesn't it?"

 

"doesn't matter, OK, if you want to be on the wrong side of the numbers, have it your way, we'll just get that other nation that we were going to conquer and you can be conquered instead"

 

"OK, then, I guess I'll join you"

 

Then, you're the ones who the 10 nations didn't happen to talk to first, and so you're odd man out, and for no other reason than where you were on the contact list, you're in the cross hairs of the others and conquered, and your guild is devestated, and your community is destroyed, and players quit the game, and players leave the guild.  We all know how hard it is already to keep players engaged in a guild, and keep a guild alive, right?

 

And for what?  For chance and random alignment?  And for no good reason being on the side with numbers, or being on the side that gets the target on your back?  It's basically what I describe for the banality of open world PvP as often implemented, the 10-v-3 = 3 dead, but now taken to a guild level, where 10-v-3 = 3 dead is not referring to players, but to guilds.

 

A sandbox game that would thrive, would be enjoyable features and systems (crafting, profession, pvp, raids, merchants, activities and ventures, ...) where players can thrive and enjoy, build, be creative, progression...

 

In this case, what might work instead is that player cities (could just be big buildings with interior guildhall features, market, and instanced apartments to serve as a guild core) are sustained as "guild-centric infrastructure" preserved behind the lines, and put guild bases (outside of player cities) in contested areas that don't put the guild's core infrastructure under the axe, but put bases and related features and infrastructure at risk with all the same features (turrets, barracks, NPC troops), and same rewards for doing so (access to whatever, forward base of operations, faction rewards, whatever the devs had intended as carrots) and with appropriate rewards and motivation to do it again when faced with destruction.  That way, PvP has motivation, engagement, infrastruture, activities, etc., without destroying guilds and the myriad roles and activities that traditionally accompany player cities.

 

Update:  Devs have described a portable structure system that preserves the creativity of your structures design and contents, such that if lost to conquest, can be replaced in another location without missing a beat, so your work is not lost, just your location.  I'm satisfied with that for the time being.  Let's see what they got, and the other system features seem robust, rich, and engaging.  The concerns above are still question marks, but appreciate the big picture so far and will give it a try.  After two decades of waiting for a good MMO built on solid foundations, it's time we got one.  This has promise.

 
 
 

You think flagging systems and warzones (matched play)  lead to watered down pvp where people only pvp when they outnumber the enemy?  You've got that completely backwards.  Warzones mitigate outnumbered situations by presenting matched play.  Warzones and matches introduce victory conditions, strategies, teamwork... Open world PvP, in contrast is 99% guaranteed to present one case after another of mis-matched numbers of opponents (of balanced classes otherwise) where superior numbers win in ganking exercises that players hate with a passion as the banal, thoughtless gameplay that it is, where superior numbers heal and overwhelm the inferior numbered players.  That's not multiplayer combat, nor challenging, nor strategic, it's just childs play of open world PvP, aka Lego PvP.  That driven by player's QQ'ing about "this class is OP", "alpha classes are bad", "no Jedi", and all the other rhetoric about how classes have to be perfectly balanced, making devs chase their tails to make class perfectly balanced all the time (constant drain on resources) or players quit, and as a result of having to always have balanced classes, so no surprises, no danger, no doubt, no risk... it's always:

 

5 v 3 = 3 dead 

 

10 v 3 = 3 dead

 

3 v 1 = 1 dead  

 

It's banal nonsense at best.

 

My hope is, that this game is not 10-v-3 = 3 dead PvP-gank exercise.  That since there are no player levels, and wide variety of professions (70+?), such that when 3 players approach a solo player, they should have some doubt, some danger, that this 1 guy can kill any or all of them, and maybe even walk away as the survivor.  That's the way open world should be, pick your battles, pick your fights, and be smart.  Not just mindless ganking exercises where superior numbers = Win.  This may be that game.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Withdrawn, devs addressed my concerns with recent newsletters and interviews.  Thank you.

What an ineffective and clunky approach to the SGR feature, and to an expansion with Hutt.  Not only SGR, but also a failure to continue the class story and companion dialogues (which is also where SGR should have been introduced) and its all a no-show.

 

Leadership failure.

 

I recently pre purchased Hutt expansion, and then promptly quit SWTOR when I discovered that SWG EMU is functional, and I'm having a blast in the latter, with ZERO desire to play The Old NGEpublic. (TON)

 

They botched (can't afford to dig themselves out of) the direction TOR/TON is taking, with the expansion, which raises the cap but the Pillar of Story (class/companion) is AFK.  It's as disjointed in contiguous development as the Erickson-failed expansions were disjointed from SWG's core to Wookie and Trials of Obie Wan expansions.

 

Believe it or not, you are witnessing epic failure, and epic failure in leadership, that twice now, fools mixed Star Wars and MMO, and managed to fail miserably.  This expansion sealed their fate.

 
I recently bought the TOR expansion presale, and then left the game for SWG emu. I have zero interest in TOR or what's mentioned in 1.7 and the continue to do NOTHING to address Erickson's NGE legacy he brought to TOR and detailed in my TOR forum Definitive Issues thread (search it)
Getting either a fast busy or a "number disconnected" recording on all of FNW's phone numbers.  Hope this isn't another example of Obama's economic meltdown, and is just a mistake.  This would mark the end of an era, and a bad omen of the pain train still moving along.
Originally posted by wgc01

.. depth and creativity are becoming a lost art in video games, might explain why sales were down across all platforms last month by 25%.. /sigh

As far as MMO's go, there is a dearth of leadership.  I have to call on SWG again, as it is the landmark MMO having the depth of a virtual universe.  Two quick facts:

 

> The design was sublime across all gameplay dimensions.

 

> It was launched prematurely due to corporate leadership failure, missing much of its activity-oriented content

 

With those two things in mind, without strong leadership, it was doomed.  There were two things that drove a failure of leadership:

 

1)  The so-called leadership ilk represented by Torres and Erickson were too young and too inexperienced, they didn't know what they didn't know.

 

2)  They lacked effective project leadership skills; everything from effective community feedback and communication loops, to an absence of project vision (design tenets) to hold to, and to apply feedback to within the contraints of a cohesive vision.

 

Absent that leadership, what we saw was one ad hoc design redirection after another, based on community shouting, without a cohesive vision to apply it to.  They couldn't do anything right, because they didn't have the core vision, didn't have the leadership skills to integrate the feedback to the vision, and demonstrated their twists, turns, and meandering right off the cliff.  As a result, too, they lost the talent, they lost any cohesion of the design tenets from one expansion to the next, and the game was breaking almost from the start.  

 

Complete leadership and project management fundamentals failure.  It would be bad enough if these young leaders were trying to cut their teeth on a simple project, but they were thrown into a guidance position over the pinnacle of MMO depth and design, a complex series of interconnected systems that made it the pinnacle that it was.  That was a failure by Smedley and other higher ups at both SOE and LucasArts, that put these green leaders into the positions they were.

 

So, instead of putting experienced leaders on the team, they blamed the complexity of the game as "unmanageable".  We knew by watching them over time that they had no leadership skills, so the issue was the leadership, rather than the game (we'll never know about its manageability, because the leadership was so bad so as to smother any chance of success).  By blaming the game, and by that story being bought by SOE and LucasArts corporate leaders, they were able to deflect blame from themselves and sell the lobotomization of the MMO.

 

Two things followed that matter to TOR.

 

A)  The failure of SWG as a poster child for sandbox (don't like the term, rather "a game of depth, dimension... a true virtual universe"), such that nobody touched sandbox for a decade and still counting, and the alternative, themepark MMOs, continued to disappoint players since.

 

B) The leaders of SWG who deflected blame, who blamed the game, who sold corporate leaders on lobotomizing SWG, and subsequently failed with NGE, went on to be leaders at TOR development.  We players got The Old NGE as a result.  Call it TOR or call it TON, doesn't matter, we got Erickson.  Erickson apparently believed in his youthful hubris that he was right all along with what would make a great MMO, and probably thought that the reason NGE failed was not because it was bad design, but because players had baggage from the revamp.  

 

We could see all through the development of TOR in Erickson's videos his arrogance, his sacred cows he was placing in design tenets, and thereby and more,  his leadership failings.  In the end, we launched with TOR/TON.  What happened?

 

Let me ask you this?  How is it possible that you can mix an MMO and Star Wars, and fail?  ... Twice?

 

ANSWER:  When the same failed leaders were at work on both projects.

 

Ultimately, we will never have a sustaining MMO success in a themepark, as it is counterintuative to "depth and dimension, in a virtual universe."  We will never thrive without that depth, without experience through our avatars the life (story, combat, crafting, social interaction and dependencies, roles such as merchants and gatherers or raid coordinators, decorators, manufacturers, niche specialists, etc. etc. etc.) in a virtual universe.

 

The issue of project failure is not sandbox or themepark.  The issue is three-fold to have MMO success:

 

1. Great design across many gameplay dimensions (no easy task)

 

2. Great leadership (no easy task)

 

3. IP (eg. Star Wars, Star Trek, BSG, Potter :D , whichever)

 

We've rarely had #1, and never had #2.  So without those, we will never have a great, thriving MMO.  The question for Bioware today, is do we have #2 now that Erickson has been shown the door.

 
I may have missed some of the guilty parties behind the scenes, but I've seen the youthful arrogance and incompetence of Erickson and Torres in countless interviews, like deer in the headlights, even as fans are yelling at them and they didn't know how to respond - and certainly Smedley.  I'm sure there are more parties responsible behind the scenes and up the ladder, they know who they are.  However, there's no question from years of posts, videos, and blogs, that Erickson was squarely in the middle of that leadership failure for both MMOs, the NGE in particular, and its legacy represented in TOR today.
Originally posted by Dyner

#4. Has to be gear-gated...or else there's no carrot. 

This is an MMO.  Players aren't involved for MMO's to grind gear, they're there to play a multi-dimensional game where they can engage, explore, develop, and enjoy.

 

Relative to Raids and multiplayer combat... my clan played CounterStrike for more than two years just as enthusiastically as I raided with a LOTRO or TOR guild, not because of gear, but because of class and role challenge, teamwork, fun, and community.  How many games do we play endlessly and gear is not even a game feature?  It's just "he11a fun."  MMO's can deliver on all those dimensions, and gear need not be the carrot or at least the gate that it is to the extreme that it is.

 

You can gate challenge levels by 2 elements:  class competency, and role (teamwork) competency.  These guys constantly add a 3rd element - gear readiness.  The gear uberness is just a 3rd wheel that only serves to restrict opportunity to enjoy raiding.  I'm not saying that gear shouldn't matter, that I can just go in without any armor.  But the extreme they  take it, such that I can't be reasonably geared, and very good in my class, and very good at executing in a team in a combat environment...  so very often groups can't go because they don't have the requisite "raid ready" (gear-wise) class availability.

 

I killed myself to get raid ready in LOTRO on 4 classes, and I could go into the toughest content and play it well.  That provided my guild alot of flexibility to enjoy the content and provide access to the content for alot of players in the guild, because of me and some select others, they could say, "Celebereg's on, he can fill the missing DPS role," or "Celebereg's on, he can fill the missing Tank role."  But that's a killer pace, a marriage-ending pace, because as soon as you kill yourself to "gear up" multiple toons, they raise the level cap, and you're on the mousewheel again to level and twink their stats and gear again.

 

When do we get off the mousewheel and really get to enjoy the content they give us, before that level cap goes up again.  The gear gating to the extent it is used, is way over the top.  As a result, because there can't be more people multi-role and raid ready, it gates players accessibility to enjoy the content.  As such, only a small percent gets to enjoy the tougher endgame content when it's not the players' competency in class or teamwork, its the enormous time to grind gear.  That's completely counter-intuitive to providing a game for players to enjoy, developing all that content, and then putting up roadblocks to prevent most players from enjoying it to their capabilities.  Pretty rediculous.

 

 

Originally posted by Dyner

Sorry, but #8 is ridiculous 

We learned in business decades ago that you don't design a game around the bad behavior of a few abusers.  There is so much distinction between one avatar to another; from species, appearance, male/female, class, guildname, title, profession... that I have no problem if another player happened to have the same first name, or the same last name.  

 

Having both first and surname the same as another player would be pretty rare, unless you took a really common name for both, and even then, if you don't like it, you "should have" (emphasis Bioware) the ability to choose to change your name.  In the rare example that someone was trying to grief you or impersonate you, they can be dealt with.  Frankly, they can do that today, too, with a slight alpha variation - instead of Kandus Ordo, Guildname of True Blud, name yourself Kandos Ordo, and start a guild called Tru Blud.  If someone's going to grief, they're going to grief.  

 

Can't build something around griefers, or you'll be left with an NGE passing for an MMO.

 
 

With my prior rants (feedback) done... Thanks, Bill, for bringing up such an important topic.  We spend so many hours and so many dollars, and so many hours invested with guildmates and friends made, that it is 'never' my intent to be a locust.  If SWG hadn't done what it had with the revamps, there is no question I would have stayed with it.  Even with TOR performing at a 3 out of 10, I'm still sticking with it despite my long list of fundamental issues (search Definitive Issues in TOR forums), until such time as they seriously tick me off (actually find its gotten better, maybe a 4 now, and a slight eagerness to log in again).

 

So why do we leave hoping the next will entertain us better, or meet our MMO needs better?   And how can MMO's based on a franchise like Star Wars or Star Trek go so wrong?

 

Face it, SWG was mismanaged, but enough of that.

 

MMO Leveling - what is leveling and what is end game?  Well... two premises...  1) Leveling is an exercise in skill building and learning curve - if not, then give us all our skills at Level 1 and turn us loose on content and content areas, balanced accordiingly, and 2) we need endgame that isn't just a gear grind.  If you flatten this conceptually, quest lines and quest areas currently attributed to leveling are just another element of end game activity.  They give you things to explore, areas to explore, skills and competencies to learn.

 

Endgame - once you get to end game, whether after leveling up, or as above theorized with a player dropped with end game activities from the onset with a flattened and complete set of skills at Level 1 - what do you expect?

 

Here's a list:

 

1)  Questing - this is exploration, achievement, and loot-based activity to enjoy game time.  Tell a story, not just strangers represented in NPC's like in TOR, where they assign a task, then the next NPC stranger to assign another task.  Have recurring characters, ensemble characters, that help tell a progressive story and recognize the progression your avatar has achieved.  Have interesting areas of exploration with stories and achievements (not just gear - see motivating items below).  Questing and story lines don't have to be associated with leveling, but can be one of story telling and exploration, with non-gear oriented rewards.  Don't even need to level or have levels if approached with quests as just another activity for players.  "It's all endgame!"  "I'm going back to the Darklands quest area, because... never finished it... to get avatar skill stats... to finish achievement and unlocks... to do hardmode... to get awards..."

 

2)  Crafting - allows players the opportunity to enjoy aspects of the game, self-created activity, such as resource gathering, reselling, merchant, specialization, building a reputation as a niche provider where players seek you out or know of you, storefront shopkeeper and decorator

 

3) Guilds - activity that supports and reinforces guild communities and progression.  These can include accomplishments that award vehicles, pets, structures, crafting halls/malls, taverns, or ships for the guild, guild-feature modules and capabilities, combat or merchant skill sets, cosmetic items (banners, logos, fireworks), gear (militia armor, heavy weapons, platform weapons, ship weapons) ... stars the limit, only we typically have dark skies in MMO's.  With so often that player enjoyment is based on guild community enjoyment, provide guild charter tools for "would-be" guild leaders to flesh out succesful expectations, and search tools that allow players to find good guild fits beyond today's dismal "have to jump into a guild with both feet to really find out what they're about" beyond their usual poor "no drama" shingles.

 

4) Raids - Activities that are not so gear-gated ("let me load my tank, and we're good to go") that provide for flexibility and opportunity based on challenges to class skills and teamwork primarily - things that guilds and teamwork, even PUGs with embedded voice chat, can overcome with repeated effort.  Things that provide rewards other than gear, such as the many items listed in Item #3 above.  A place to enjoy content together, build skills, build teamwork, and demonstrate achievement as groups.  If nothing else for PUGs, indivdual motivation such as Credits, cosmetic items, badges, twinking loot, and crafting materials...

 

5) PvP - a place for multiplayer combat that links activity and accomplishments to persistent MMO world progression, such as the items listed in Item #3 above, for guild awards, and Item #4 above for individual awards.  Ideally, a place where teams (of balanced numbers) can come together in a variety of environments, victory conditions, and configurations to apply teamwork and class skills against other players.  A place where skill and teamwork is more important than gear (more gear gating), where the rewards benefit the guild, the guild community, its players, and also indivdual players.  See above for examples of awards.  Fortress maps, battlefield maps, capture the flag, most kills, hold territories...

 

Make access to the above simple, not gear gated, so that there's more opportunity to form a team, and exercise teamwork, class skill building, team role building, without being gated by gear requirements.  Again, "I'll get on my tank and we're good to go" rather than, "we don't have a tank that's raid ready."  In so many MMO's we always find the latter.  Then, once in and building skills, "ok we got owned there, here's where we need to do better, here's what we learned from that - the good news is, after three months now we got the crafting module for our guild capital ship and had alot of fun, but I really want those guild logos for our armor pieces."

 

6) Entertainment - not alot personally to say here, I know alot of players ask for this in MMOs (harkening again to SWG), the musicianship, the cantinas as a social hotspot... but I've had a hard time articulating what this might mean from a design standard.  I would say that in LOTRO, I had 5 accounts, and 5 boxes, and for a hoot would load them up in a public spot, dressed them the same, and equipped each with a different instrument, and played a song as a band like the Rohan Theme.  That was fun and funny and always drew a crowd and cheers.

 

7) Player Housing - we all know about the SWG ghost towns... we also know there's a solution for everything and that SWG leaders applied neither leadership nor policy.  There's a hundred ways to solve it, whether instanced neighborhoods (LOTRO) or instanced worlds (TOR, "Tatooine 1"), but simple policies like LOTRO's "can't pay too far in advance" and introducing policies like if you don't log in to your structure and pay upkeep for 4 weeks, it disappears, or is available for purchase, and your belongings are in escrow to collect.  Set policies and let people have some fun.  Provide cheap structures for shared storage, crafting, and manufacture of low-quality goods, that require little monthly maintenance costs, and provide high quality structures and textures, highly customizable and decoratable, that cost more per month to maintain, all player crafted.  Provide the lots, and let players place the structures they want, in the configuration they want (guilds).  Provide Guild structures, awarded by achievements (combat, raid, PvP) such as capital ships, guild halls, flag poles in neighborhoods, neighborhood signs, turrets, walls, decorative items, merchant structures and vendors, custom guild flags, blacksmith shops, travel stops, taverns... provide player ship berths in Guild Capital ships as hubs, or merchant hubs, or player housing within Guild Halls/Keeps... so many opportunities or approaches.  Where's the leadership?

 

8) MMO Flexibility - games that rigidly lock down player names, player surnames such that Kash Thurston prevents another player from naming theirs Kash Forbit, or in turn prevents another player from naming theirs Triton Forbit... all too restricitve.  We all seem to get along just fine in our RL without being confused by three Ted Smiths in the phone book.  Let people be.  Then we get server merges where one Kash has to give up their name when merged and players have to give up a name they've had for years before the game even launched, in planning, and ticks people off.  For what?  Let people be.  Similarly, provide ample storage for guild crafters and banks, for crafting materials, shared storage, workshops, and crafting huts, with large stack sizes, without rediculous and unnecessary stack size or other types of gates to limit people's ability to enjoy, to craft, to produce (factories), to cooperate.

 
Well said, Mikkayla.  Concur on every point (except the perpetual dying in combat :D ).
 

The following was just prior to the NGE bombshell to change SWG as we knew it, which itself just followed the launch of the Trials expansion that players had just "paid" for.

 

(Quote)

 

MMORPG.com:  What is your personal favorite part of Galaxies? What makes it a good game?

 

Julio Torres:

My favorite part of Galaxies is that it allows me to immerse myself in the Star Wars universe like nothing else can at any time, all the time. In addition to that aspect, I would say the amount of depth Galaxies offers in terms of the game itself is simply amazing and provides near-endless gameplay and fun experiences.

 

 

MMORPG.com: With a couple of expansions now under your belts, how does Galaxies appeal to the “new player” without having them feel lost or somehow behind other players?

 

 

Julio Torres:

This has definitely been a challenge for our game in the past, but has come a long way, especially in terms of directing the player to what they need to be doing early-on. The first experience a player has with a game is incredibly important in terms of design because it is within this initial time frame that a player decides whether they will continue playing the game or move-on to something else. Knowing how important it is to put your best foot forward as early as possible, we are constantly looking for ways to make the game more accessible to more players and improve the overall experience. 

 

[foreboding]

 

That being said, we actually have some very exciting things in the works right now to help accomplish this. Stay tuned.

 

 

MMORPG.com: With Trials of Obi-Wan now nearly on the shelves, what is next for Galaxies?

 

 

Julio Torres:

Though I can’t go into any detail regarding future products, I can tell you that Trials of Obi-Wan will not be the last expansion to Star Wars Galaxies. We are constantly conceptualizing, designing, and thinking about the future for this great game that despite being out for over two years, continues to be enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of players. [about to cry out in the Force]

 

(endquote)

 

Smedley, Torres, Erickson ... nice.

Here's an example of what I want from a real living, breathing MMO experience with my avatar able to play out life in an alternate universe.  I'll use SWG as an example with some twists, since I haven't seen anything else come close to creating an MMO universe (some might call it sandbox, I do not).

 

Using crafting as an example.  Multiple trades, multiple roles, suiting those who would approach crafting as a casual endeavor, or a dedicated activity:

 

* Multiple roles; resource gathering, reseller, casual goods crafter, niche crafter/specialization, factory production, merchant focus, shopkeeper and decorator.

 

* Multiple goods; casual crafters can craft low-quality, low maintanance-cost, low frills goods... an example of which would be housing structures where some players may be interested in comparatively inexpensive, low maintenance cost structures, and have little frills, to serve purposefully as workshops or storage facilities shared by crafters or a storefront that requires a distinct look - they're more disposable and replaceable - or factories that make low-level goods at lower production costs (more efficient for low level goods) or in fewer volumes.  Contrast with crafted high-quality structures or factories (from same or similar schematics) crafted with high customizability and textures (for player houses to be decorated) or factories that produce high quality goods but both require higher maintanence to support.  Demand for both levels of goods, with segmented production by casual or dedicated crafters; each with their own market.  As a dedicated crafter, I can make low quality, low maintenance, low frill goods, but there's no economic payoff by doing so... "I'll do it if I have to or if asked to, but its not efficient for me."

 

* Multiple production levels; ability to produce high volumes of low-quality goods at casual levels, low volumes of high-quality goods at median engagement levels, and high volumes of high quality goods at dedicated engagement levels, lesser ability to produce high quality goods at high volumes across various niches requiring specialization - ... all suiting different roles desired by individual players to be mass producers, niche producers, merchants with stocked vendors, etc.

 

SWG did most of the above, and the amount of player-directed activity across various dimensions of above gameplay was almost unlimited.  And that's just for crafting.  Find something you enjoy, and spend untold weeks or months doing it, tweaking it, sustaining it, building reknown and reputation for your niche, and at anytime delve off into another area of gameplay.  A place where in many cases, your participation matters, what you do effects others, such as providing them goods that they need in the crafting example and where you can build a reputation and reliability for your place in the universe.  You matter.

 
In other dimensions of a true MMO's gameplay, you can matter in other ways, whether leveraging a niche in rich guild features, or rich Raid environments where individuals can add value by leading groups or specializing in _____, etc.
 
 
 
 
 
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