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Role Playing (Games)

Galaxies To Beat World of Warcraft? 164

Posted by Zonk
from the only-in-bizarro-world dept.
We reported previously on an interview with John Smedley being run by Gamespot. They've put up the second part of the interview, and in the closing paragraph John takes the gloves off. From the article: "One thing that I love about our company is that there is no 'quit' in this company. It's about making sure that we have pride in what we do. People within the company feel so much pride in this game that they want it to beat the crap out of World of Warcraft. That's something we feel very passionate about. We know we are capable of making the best stuff out there, and I'm proud to say that with the changes we're making in Galaxies, I think we're headed in the right direction."
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Galaxies To Beat World of Warcraft?

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  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ral315 (741081) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @10:44PM (#14269474)
    Galaxies doesn't have LeeRoy Jenkins!
    • Re:But... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Lendrick (314723) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @11:25PM (#14269658) Homepage Journal
      HAAAAAAN SOOOOOLLLLOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

      "Dammit, Han, are you high?"

      "You nerfherder!"

      "At least I have a power converter."
    • Star Wars sure does...Han totally pulled a Leeroy Jenkins move in Episode IV when he ran towards those stormtroopers...
    • That Smedley guy is dreaming...

      SWG is so dead since few days. Ok, since we have second char slot on server, many people are moving in this newbie area around Tatooine, but all other zones are... dead. *sigh*

      I really hope SWG will turn a break and subscriber numbers are going to go up, but i don't think i'll see that.

      Alex
  • Aiming too high? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    People within the company feel so much pride in this game that they want it to beat the crap out of World of Warcraft. That's something we feel very passionate about.

    Most eastern countries don't care about Star wars or western type MMORPGS. Blizzard has done the impossible with its World of Warcraft, and I doubt it could be achieved elsewhere.

    Even if they could make SWG as interesting and accessible as WOW, it still wouldn't appeal to half the people that WOW appeals too.
    • by Guspaz (556486)
      The SWG NGE is also a desperate last-ditch effort to save a dying game, keep that in mind. I highly doubt that it can take the game from dying to millions of customers, especially after they drove away all the core fans that used to play the game. I think that, if anything, it will only hasten the death of SWG. And I've never even played the game, so it isn't like I'm biased against the NGE off the bat.
    • Keep in mind that Blizzard has a huge Asian market with it's other games. Just imagine if they produced an MMO based on Starcraft...
    • Ptht, WoW is only popular in the east because half the players think it's a new patch for Starcraft. (kekekekekeke ^__^ gnome rush)

      The other half are teenagers locked up in sweatshops cash farming so the farm overlords can make $USD for selling virtual goods.
  • Anti-Sanbox MMO? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MBraynard (653724) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @10:52PM (#14269507) Journal
    That straight sandbox games don't work. And that we needed to focus much more on the Star Wars experience. I think in the past, what we probably made was the Uncle Owen experience as opposed to the Luke experience. We needed to deliver more of the Star Wars heroic and epic feeling to the game. I think we missed there. That's what I think we really brought to the game [with the update].

    No, that is what makes Battlefront 2 works, what makes JK2 work. No one will pay month after month for that same experience, which is the premise of the MMO revenue model. What people pay month after month for is the sandbox with complicated options and roles to explore. I was playing Eve for a while - which is in a Star Wars-like atmosphere - and I was trying (and failing, that's another story) to become a manufacturer. Not a space pirate or Luke Skywalker - a Manufacturer/Industrialist. I sold the cheapest ammo in several solar systems. I would play a more economic game in SWG if I could have.

    Even Battlefield 2 seems to have more depth than SWG does now.

    • That's one thing I've seen as a problem with SWG since the beggining, though. It works with Eve because Eve isn't based on an established story, they can make it as they go. With an MMO based on such an established license and such an established storyline, people come to expect certain things from it...

      There is no "Eve feeling" to that game because what makes that feeling is the game and the players...There is a "Star Wars Feeling", though, that anyone playing a game based on that license comes to expec
      • Which is why I think something like a Harvest Moon Online could work well. I'm thinking something with small communities, maybe set a certain distance apart in a world, so people could move or visit, but it would take a while for their train or bus or whatever to get to a different communtiy. I think the main idea with a game like that would be building it around a lasting community of players, like a MySpace, so people would want to keep subscribing to attend holiday festivals and talk with their friends a
        • If there was a game where I could go out and kill stuff while my wife stayed home and grew flowers and raised animals I think we'd be on to something.
          • by NexusTw1n (580394)
            Not sure if you were being sarcastic, but I agree.

            I want to play a MMORPG with my wife, and that means someone needs to offer a game with interesting combat for me, and a complex crafting system for my wife - one where she can get ingredients by exploring the massive world without needing to kill mobs in the process.

            WoW was great fun for me until I quit at 60, 3-5 hour raids are not my idea of a good time, and the crafting in WoW stinks which means my wife never became interested in playing with me.

            Th
            • I'm thinking maybe a PVE flag similar to wow's PVP flag. You go out there you can't attack or get attacked untill you go back to base and reset your flag. Need some other penalties otherwise it would be unfair to those who gather while wanting to fight mobs. But hey, if the animal loot was worth something, that could balance it. Need something for these girls to do while gathering though, mere looting is not nearly interactive enough for fulltime playing. Maybe a gathering action that is as intense as mob f
      • Perhaps this way:

        WoW occurs in a place where there IS a story, as told through the original two games. There is probably some liscenced fiction out there, too. But the game occurs in a time/place apart from this story.

        Similarly, there is a LOT of time between Ep 3 and 4. This is when SWG is suppose to occur. And I think it works as a time/place/theme. Trying to turn the game into a non-Sand Box is where they have a problem.

        • "Similarly, there is a LOT of time between Ep 3 and 4. This is when SWG is suppose to occur. And I think it works as a time/place/theme. Trying to turn the game into a non-Sand Box is where they have a problem."

          SWG takes place between EP4 and EP5.

          Not that you'd know it by the fact that the last two expansions have been adding EP3 content to the game, and the fact that you can't throw a rock without hitting a Jedi, in the open, with saber glowing.
          • It would work much better if they took on the Horde vs. Alliance perspective that WoW took on. That way you could have lots of players playing Sith and Bounty Hunters hunting out and ganking all the Jedi. Sith and Bounty Hunters could be more powerful and have more resources, and the Jedi would have a more challenging game of trying desperately to stay alive.

            Also, non-Jedi "rebel" players could earn lots of cash by turning in information leading to the capture and execution of Jedi to the Empire.

            Of course
        • WoW is in no way a sandbox game though, so this argument doesn't apply to it ...

          And even though there is story between episode IV and V, people come to expect a lot from the whole "Star Wars" feel, so it makes it harder for the game to be truly freeform...
    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday December 16, 2005 @02:21AM (#14270240) Journal
      In a true sandbox I can be whatever I want. I can be the builder of a beautifull down and next godzilla stomping it flat.

      The real problem with SWG was not that it never seemed able to make up its mind about what it wanted to be. In its attempt to be everything to everybody it ends up pissing off everyone. Instead of fixing the bugs they kept redesigning it and introducing even more bugs. I remember after the combat revamp (the first) that you would sometimes drive across places so fucking teeming with live that it was insane. Lairs with 30-40 critters around the entire horizon filled with prey. Granted it was amazing the game did not grind to a halt displaying it all but geez that bug should never have made it past testing.

      This guy just doesn't seem to have a clue and if he thinks SWG can in this form compete with WoW he should have himself committed. This is no longer marketing speech this signals a severe mental disorder.

      It may amaze some people but in MMO land some people LIKE being an entertainer, yes even a hairdresser. Some people really do enjoy being a cheff or general crafter. Other enjoy going out hunting not for money or xp or leet loot but to find the supplies that the crafters need.

      But such a game is not for everybody and would need to be very clearly targetted. An open sandbox style game simply requires a different kind of player then well a fps linear story game.

      You know what is odd? The game Guild Wars is advertised as a PvP game yet its quests are actually bloody intresting, with some nice stories and scripted quests that actually are a lot better then the typical EQ2 "go kill ten bears for the next page in a book" quests. GW has NPC's fighting along side you, a central story that actually advances, and in general is very suprising especialy when you consider that it is not a quest game at its heart.

      Worse GW is better then EQ2 because you can far more create your own character, you have a maximum of 8 spells from a wide section and while there are only 5 jobs available they have a massive spell selection and 3 specilisations and you have to select a second job as well giving you a huge amount of choice as to how to build your character. Compared to EQ2 where everyone uses the same spells it is a breath of fresh air.

      In fact it is a bit like SWG. Well SWG BEFORE Sony made it clear that anyone not adopting the one template to rule them all would just not be able to play with the higher level content. When Sony's idea of a good high level dungeon is filling it with critters that all but the most specced out combat classes can't handle then it becomes clear that Sony decided that the sandbox was not what they wanted.

      Remember KOTOR? Nice game but hardly "open". Just try to make all your characters ranged weapon fighters. It was suicide. Jedi was you path and you would damn well take it.

      SWG slowly rotted, partly because of bugs, partly because sony either encouraged or failed to discourage the use of quick paths to victory and partly because to many of the players allowed themselves to be drawn in by the lure of the xp grind.

      In a recent /. article I put up a post about how SWG was fun before the doc buff and I describe a hunt on dathomir. Perhaps I should also write about how live was AFTER the doc buff became wide spread.

      My Sabrak(?) was now an elite TKM/Sword Specialist. Sword being used to do the big damage, TKM for its fantastic healing and for the cheap damage that vibro knuckles give (top sword cost a million, top vibro knuckle a few thousand, your choice). The day would start with unloading your inventory of the previous day loot and checking your armour. Depending on how much you cared about looks your outfit would be the select pieces of armour that critters actually hit with the non-hitted parts of your body wrapped in clothes. If you could be bothered, many couldn't and fighting in your undies was perfectly acceptedle in the SWG universe.

      Weapon check to see it had not deterioted to far. Then

      • Guildwars Nitpick (Score:2, Informative)

        by MoriaOrc (822758)
        Sorry to be nitpicky but, a few corrections about the guildwars bit (And I love Guildwars, it's a great game that I've spent far to much time playing).

        First off, there are 6 classes (Warrior, Ranger, Necromancer, Mesmer, Elementalist, Monk).

        Second, if by "specializations" you are refering to atributes, each class has 4 (or in the elementalist's case, 5) attributes, one of which you only get when you have that class as your primary class (So characters have 4 primary + 3 secondary attributes, + 1 to one of t
        • I do believe Warriors get 5 attribs, too.

          GW should not be seen as a MMORPG, rather, Unreal Tournament with a Magic:The Gathering style deck selection for your weaponry. With a single player campaign tacked on that you can play co-operatively.
      • by ultranova (717540) on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:43AM (#14271473)

        SWG slowly rotted, partly because of bugs, partly because sony either encouraged or failed to discourage the use of quick paths to victory and partly because to many of the players allowed themselves to be drawn in by the lure of the xp grind.

        Well, isn't being seduced by the quick and easy road to power a very fitting theme for a Star Wars game ?-)

      • > It may amaze some people but in MMO land some people LIKE being an entertainer

        SWG was my primary MMORPG for about 6 months. It was precisely because I could be a dancer.

        The combat portion was completely ludicrous -- you felt very weak, and worse, much of your time was spent killing llama-giraffes to level while "grinding".

        To stand there in a group of 8 surrounding a dog thing, with 7 shooting laser blasts at it, and the 8th hosing it continuously with a friggin' flamethrower and this wild animal doggi
        • That 30 second battle you describe allows everyone to get a shot in and some tactics without needing hair trigger reactions (or for that matter a lag free connection).

          If a fight lasts say 1-2 seconds, as fights between the hero and stormtroopers last in real Star Wars, then only the first player would get a hit in and the rest would be left targetting a corpse. It was my main problem with the Combat Upgrade where combat seemed to go so fast that melee, who have to run to the target first, just couldn't get

  • SWG vs Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thomas A. Anderson (114614) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @11:04PM (#14269569) Homepage
    I didn't want to like WoW. I waited until September to play it (even though I had it in March). I played for 2 hours and bam, I was a goner. I don't play every moment of every day, but it is my favorite MMORPG by far (and the most popular one in my internet cafe - CoV/CoH is a reasonably close second)

    This guy make think they are going in the right direction, but they have *so* far to go to catch up it would take a meltdown of Chernobyl proportions on blizzards part for SWG to even have a chance, and probably not even then....

    The only MMORPG that I know of that might challenge the dominance of WoW is the new D&D game coming out.

    • Re:SWG vs Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Seumas (6865)
      I played WoW for about a month when it first came out (two days after released) and haven't touched it since. It's probably about the best MMORPG I've ever played, but it's stil just a level-treadmill. Nothing much exciting happens in it - even on a PvP server.
      • This is what happened to me: WoW was amazingly exciting for about two weeks... and then overnight it suddenly became horribly boring.

        What we need is an MMORPG where all the players are hero/villan characters and ALL NPCS are simulated with their own desires and goals. Quests could arise naturaly and the world would evolve all by itself with no lame pre-scripted events.

        Yeah, I know... but I can dream, can't I?
        • What we need is an MMORPG where all the players are hero/villan characters and ALL NPCS are simulated with their own desires and goals. Quests could arise naturaly and the world would evolve all by itself with no lame pre-scripted events.

          What you're talking about is a simulated world. It isn't really very difficult to program - even I might be able to make a simple simulation - but it has a fatal flaw from marketings perspective: In a simulated WoW universe, Horde or Alliance can actually win.

          What wil

          • "What will you do when one faction of players finally wins and utterly dominates the gameworld ?"

            The simulation would have to keep the balance. If, say, the Horde start to achieve dominance then the random event generator would slightly skew things to the advantage of the Alliance in terms of... oh, I dunno... powerful item dropoffs, god-sent NPC allies, that sort of thing. Think of the simlator as playing as both good and evil gods.

            So if the Horde wind up in full control of the world then the forces of goo
            • To me, this would be a far more interesting world than a pre-scripted one where both sides have their areas and basically play out a pretend conflict. ("Pretend" in the sense that neither side can really do anything.)

              Except that they can't really do anything: if they start winning, they are stopped, if they start losing, they are stopped. Nothing has really changed from current situation.

              • "Except that they can't really do anything: if they start winning, they are stopped, if they start losing, they are stopped. Nothing has really changed from current situation."

                Ah, but at least the tide would ebb and flow naturally. How cool would it be to be the ragged Alliance, pushed almost to the brink of extinction, mount a daring attack at the heart of the underworld? This is where good adventures come from and would make for a much more memorable gaming experience.

                (Things would merely be statistically
    • I was thinking the same thing in regards to WoW and the new DND game. I got in on the public stress test and I must say that WoW has nothing to feel. While the character creation, progression, and enemies are very dndish. The game as a whole completely failed to be enjoyable for me. This comes from someone who is a huge DND fan by the way. The UI sucks completely, the quests are pretty retarded, the functions for finding a party are an abortion, zoning is incredibly annoying and constant. Also one of the bi
    • The only MMORPG that I know of that might challenge the dominance of WoW is the new D&D game coming out.

      Well, there are a ton of MMOs in the pipeline. And Korean companies are starting to try and get into the US market. So I would expect lots of competition for Blizzard in the coming year or so. And we never know which one could become a hit.

    • Re:SWG vs Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AlexMax2742 (602517)
      I didn't want to like WoW. I waited until September to play it (even though I had it in March). I played for 2 hours and bam, I was a goner. I don't play every moment of every day, but it is my favorite MMORPG by far (and the most popular one in my internet cafe - CoV/CoH is a reasonably close second)

      It hooked me for a month or two, mainly due to the worlds being so well made. Honestly, I had an awesome time just wandering around, seeing all there was to see and enjoying the environments.

      The reason I

    • > The only MMORPG that I know of that might challenge the dominance of WoW is the new D&D game coming out.

      I'm in the beta, it has no hope. Not even an inkling.
  • I thought the whole point of Star Wars Galaxies was to give the player the experience of living in the Star Wars Universe. At least, that's what they were saying during the years they spent putting this game together. Now Sony's pissed that EQ2 lost the war against WoW so they're trying to change this game, lame.
    • The problem with setting a game in a movie-based world is that it's hard to sell such a game when there's very little in the way of 'plot' advancement. The Star Wars movies had antagonists that the main characters are trying to defeat (Vader, etc..). In an MMORPG after you defeat this main foe they just respawn...so there's no feeling of 'plot' advancement. This is, of course, my personal opinion and why I'll never play an MMORPG based in a movie world.
  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @11:40PM (#14269727) Homepage
    John Smedley is obviously getting his crack from the same source that supplies Darl McBride.

    I have played WoW. It's an ok game, but I didn't like it all that much. It's not my style. I consider WoW to be a game that appeals to the lowest common denominator. It's pure hack and slash play with cartoony graphics and shallow, repetitive "kill foozle" gameplay. Star Wars never has been lowest common denominator, and neither should SWG be.

    I have played SWG for a year and a half now. I have FOUR accounts. I have mastered almost every combat profession that the game ever had, including full template Jedi, which prior to the NGE, took months to do, and rewarded you with a character that, if played right was the most powerful in the game.

    SWG is the only game that I have EVER played constantly for a very long period., mainly because there was always SOMETHING ELSE to go do!

    And SWG never was a failure. We have (had) 200-300K subs, which made us a solid top 10 US MMO, a number 90% of the MMO's out there would die for.

    Instead they chose to nuke the game, because they decided that those who made it what it was are now undesirable and they want the lowest common denominator crowd.

    For the good of the industry, and for everyone who is a customer of MMO's, I hope SWG fails so horribly that it closes by Feb. For SOE/LA to do what they have done to everyone who ever gave them a red cent and get away with it, and to be REWARDED with larger sub numbers for it would be the doom of EVERYONE who is a customer of a MMO. They will ALL start doing the exact same thing TO YOU.

    Even WoW...
    • Star Wars never has been lowest common denominator

      You're kidding me, right? It doesn't get more "lowest common denominator" than Star Wars! It's Star Trek - in a Movie format and that's pretty day "lowest common denominator".
      • It's Star Trek - in a Movie format

        Isn't Star Trek, "Star Trek - in a Movie format"?
        • Uh. "Star Wars" was "Star Trek in movie format" before there were Star Trek movies.
          • They are both science fiction and both have the usual trappings such as space ships and blasters.
            Other than that they really don't resemble each other.
            Star Trek is takes place in the future with humans from Earth. Star Trek is about human exploration of the galaxy. Star Trek also commonly deals with with the human aspect as well - subjects such as sexism and racism have been addressed - human nature examined etc. Star Trek frequently addresses morality and ethics.
            Star Wars is set "a long time ago in a gala
    • Unfortuntately, Verant has never surprised me with their marketing moves. And by marketing moves, I mean "game-related decisions." Honestly when I played EQ it felt like every move they made was catered towards making money. They were the uber timesink, lvl=power game, a fading genre which I feel is better off dead. Their EQ2 decision to allow for real-money transactions, and this SWG decision have only reinforced what I have long known to be true. Even Planetside, which had the ability to be an awesom
    • Star Wars never has been lowest common denominator, and neither should SWG be.

      Sorta like Episodes I, II, and III, right?
    • So you grind and grind and grind in galaxies but can't stand the warcraft grind. Sounds to me like you can't stand PvP and were trying to run on a PvP server in warcraft. There's pleny of skill required there.

      The missions are a lot more varied than you imply. Sure there's kill X. There is also recover item X (clickable on landscape), recover items X (dropped from mobs), recover items X (crafted), escort NPC quests, explore quests, use item on other item (kinda like clickable on landscape quest), courier que
  • When you fuck up a MMORPG and fail your customers, THEY DON'T COME BACK. No matter what. Once you lose momentum against a competitor, that's it, game over.
    • by Southpaw018 (793465) * on Thursday December 15, 2005 @11:51PM (#14269767) Journal
      Disclaimer: I'm a WoW addict. This is written from that perspective, but I feel my point about the companies' histories remains valid.

      Put a different way, I think what parent means is that in the land of MMOs, you're buying the expectation of content as well as what's currently there. WoW's strength, even despite the very long gap between the 1.1 and 1.2 patches, is that Blizzard has done "the little things" to keep the game at least somewhat fresh. They've made mistakes, sure - like ignoring midlevels and gearing too much new content to level 60 (maximum) - but they haven't actually done anything that could or would be perceived by the community as malicious.

      SoE has. Time and time again. I think that speaks more toward the futures of the two MMOs than even the strengths of the games.
      • they haven't actually done anything that could or would be perceived by the community as malicious.

        Really? [rootkit.com]

        • He was referring to Blizzard. And SoE might as well be a different company than SonyBMG. You think [if SBMG] actually made a decent amount of money and wasn't whining about sales declining, they'd throw money at SoE if they needed it? I highly doubt it.
        • Apparently you don't read the WoW forums, as even in such a wretched hive of flame wars and Blizzard-bashing, every thread about Warden gets lambasted and ridiculed by nearly every reply post.

          Besides, the article you linked was written by someone with a financial incentive to having Blizzard discontinue using Warden, and even he couldn't find evidence of a breach of privacy, which you would have noticed if you'd read that linked article more carefully.

      • Are you an american? See many europeans on your servers? No?

        Well that is because the european retail version is for the european servers only. A pretty nasty move as it means that I would be forced to play on servers along side the FRENCH and GERMANS!

        If that isn't evil I don't know what is.

        Oh you don't get what is so evil about it. Well how would you like a game server where 50% of the people talk in a foreign language spamming the chat channels in non-english begging for X repeatadly because nobody will

        • Well that is because the european retail version is for the european servers only. A pretty nasty move as it means that I would be forced to play on servers along side the FRENCH and GERMANS!

          I play WoW in the european servers, and I don't speak german/french/spanish, and guess what: it's not a problem at all.

          There are distinct german and french servers that you can play with localized clients, and so people using those languages play on those servers. Other languages that don't have dedicated servers

        • Learn another language you lazy English clod.
    • by WCMI92 (592436) on Thursday December 15, 2005 @11:55PM (#14269780) Homepage
      Actually, this is the crux of the problem... SWG is THE test that will set the course of the future of the MMO industry:

      Do you remain loyal to your customers, listen to them, make the game for them?

      Or...

      Do you commit yourself to those who ARENT your customers, listen to them, try to make a game for them, and ignore those who have paid for 2.5 years of development?

      Most MMO's do not do radical change for fear of alienating their base and closing down.

      If SOE gets away with what they have done to us, prepare to see EVERY MMO vendor, including Blizzard, walking all over their base.

      Of course, I believe that SOE has no chance at all of making this a go. I lived through the original radical (it seemed so at the time) change, the Combat Upgrade of April `05, and that reaction was a mild protest compared to what I have seen with the NGE.
      • Well, this sort of "test" has already happened, albeit not on the scale of SWG. Turbines "Asheron's Call" was one of the first handleful of MMORPGs on the market (and is still my favorite). It didn't do as well as EQ, but at it's peak had plenty of subscribers (over 20,000 playing concurrently).

        It was pretty complex, with deep monthly storylines, a difficult research based spell system, non class based (you could choose your skills and XP spend from a list of dozens of "skills" to make your own class) and a
  • by Somatic (888514) on Friday December 16, 2005 @12:24AM (#14269893) Journal
    The whole thing hints at some serious panic at Sony Online Entertainment. It didn't start with SWG, but SWG is going to suffer the most for it. There was the decline of Everquest, the underperformance of EQII (which some people believed would do better than WoW at one point), the total indifference to Planetside, and the flopping of SWG. Is there any SoE game that is doing well, in the eyes of gamers?

    Smed is taking heat for all of them, so I guess it's understandable that he's taking serious amounts of Valium (or gin) to get him through interviews.

    • You know what? I would totally go back to playing the original EQ if they brought out a server that was everything pre Luclin.

      I mean it. Just have the game that had content for the original game, and the first two expansions and THAT'S IT! No moon, no portals. Yes, have it still be a pain in the ass to get anywhere in the game. Have people in the tunnel in East Commonlands doing auctions. Have people gathered around the druid ring in West Commonlands looking for ports out of there.

      I know, it was a huge pain
  • of course then Galaxies will have to create a board game that beats WOW the boardgame ( which is suppose to be really good) QAK
  • Simply put. (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Galaxies is going to beat World of Warcraft like I beat my wife.

    Which means it isn't going to beat World of Warcraft. ...and that I don't beat my wife.

    No, seriously...I love her.

    (awkward silence)

    So...how bout that crazy weather?
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Friday December 16, 2005 @02:54AM (#14270327) Journal
    I quit after the combat upgrade earlier this year as a game that was bugged just turned into a complete and utter farce. It resembled nothing of the original, had that bug were lairs would be swamped with critters, the combat looked stupid and was boring and it just showed to me that SOE was never going to just fix the damn game and let us play.

    Either smedley is insane or people out there are still playing it in big enough numbers to make him think that the players actually like the NGE and other stuff.

    Are there any SWG players on /. or even more amazing have any of you recently joined the game?

    From everything I hear including the other responses here on /. SWG is rapidly being deserted so what gives this smedley the idea that they have they are heading in the right direction? Could it actually be true that wile the hardcore gamers are leaving there is an influx of new gamers?

    • Could it actually be true that wile the hardcore gamers are leaving there is an influx of new gamers?

      The problem I see with this is that the majority of anyone who was going to paly SWG has already played it.

      Personally, I have never played it and all of a sudden I am not going to feel compelled to play it because it is more like an FPS. If I wanted to play an FPS I would play it online for free. Although, had I been a Star Wars fan/nut/Okatu I would have already at least given it a go to see what it was all
  • by fujiman (912957) on Friday December 16, 2005 @03:34AM (#14270420)
    Watching Sony abandon loyal fans in an effort to get more people in reminds me of a recent fleecing that I (and other Mechwarrior fans) got when they retired the set of miniatures.

    For those who don't know, Mechwarrior (MW) was a really cool minatures game put out by WizKids (of MageKnight fame... and yes, I know the FASA MW game before it....) So I bought a crapload of minatures, played the game, loved it, and then the hammer dropped. They basically said "We're changing everything, dear players, but we're doing it FOR YOU!... By the way, you know all those minatures you've collected? Yeah, they're being retired."

    So they came out with new rules, new minatures, whatever. I suppose they just expected me to run out and drop another couple hundred on new minis. Needless to say, I boxed it all up in the garage and haven't played since.

    Screw you, Wizkids.

    and screw you too, SOE

    • I'm sorry for being ignorent about mini's, but what is to stop you from playing the version of the game you have already purchased? Is it because you have to go to a game store to play and they only play the current version? Otherwise I would think you and your friends should be able to just play with the old stuff and the old rules and to hell with their new onslaught of crap?
    • Thats how those games work, planned obsolesence. They are all up to it, its been that way since the late 1980s.

      Games Workshop are probably the worst for this, but because their games are generally played by children nobody seems to notice/care (truth be told: the kids grow out of it at around the time they revise everything, it just kills the second hand market and means new customers must always buy new).

      That said: Needless to say, I boxed it all up in the garage and haven't played since.

      Why is it needless
      • Games Workshop are probably the worst for this, but because their games are generally played by children nobody seems to notice/care

        Where do you live that you have a bunch of kids that can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on Warhammer and WH40K? The last time I checked, you couldn't download and burn Eldar armies from the net; they take actualy money to acquire.

        Around here, I don't see many people younger than 18 playing -- and those who are use armies they are borrowing from the older players (or buy at
        • A place where our currency isn't the dollar.

          Well its been 10 or 15 years since I last rolled a funny sided die.
          Back then anyway you could get a box of 10-15 figures (IIRC, Space Marines, Space Orks...I think there was a set of Wood Elves you could get), sometimes more if they were plastic. Thats enough for a small game. They were always ramping up the prices even then, I'm guessing they never stopped. But Games Workshop stuff is aimed at childern. I walk past a branch in the evenings sometimes. They are pre
        • I've been playing WH40k on and off for the last decade, and although I agree with you to some extent that Games Workshop do keep 'upgrading' the rules and releasing newer versions of the minis, in their defence you can use the older minis in games with the new rules assuming the equiptment on the mini is the same as on your list. For example, I still semi-regularily play at my local Games Workshop store using some minis from the Rogue Trader era without problems. Additionally, the models have improved leaps
    • So they came out with new rules, new minatures, whatever. I suppose they just expected me to run out and drop another couple hundred on new minis. Needless to say, I boxed it all up in the garage and haven't played since.

      So why didn't you just keep on playing with the old rules ? After all, it wasn't an online game, so nothing whatsoever could stop you. A seller can't take away a physical object they've sold you (unless they're Rowling and the object is a Harry Potter book).

      Or did everyone else stop p

  • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Friday December 16, 2005 @03:39AM (#14270427)
    John Smedley needs to do homework on the game that his company produces before he opens his trap.

    For instance, there's several things I saw in his responses that bugged me.

    Well, first of all I would have to say that in Asia, the subscription model is definitely, by far, the number one model. Revenue wise, it's about 75 percent of the market. Look at World of Warcraft, Legend of Mir, Legend of MU...all are very high-priced subscriptions, by the way.

    I don't know about in Asia, but in the US, the subscription prices for Star Wars Galaxies, Everquest II, and World of Warcraft are all about the same. So, why aren't they listed there, too?

    With EverQuest 1, we learned an important lesson. We put it out in Korea and it didn't do very well. Why? Because it wasn't a Korean game. And we didn't make any effort whatsoever, beyond basic translation, to make it adaptable to that market.

    Take something simple: for example, mouse control. When you're playing in a PC Bang, there are people that want to play with one hand--holding a cigarette in one hand and controlling the mouse in the other. They want to play the entire game that way; touching the keyboard rarely.

    Obviously, you haven't learned it as well as you thought. SWG used to be close to one hand playable, but you removed the "hold right mouse button to run" feature from SWG in the NGE upgrade. That means, you can turn and shoot with one hand, but you can't actually move.

    WoW, on the other hand, lets me:

    1. Turn the camera by holding down the left mouse button.
    2. Turn my character by holding down the right mouse button.
    3. Move forward by holding down both mouse buttons.
    4. Click targets and buttons when no mouse buttons are held down.
    5. Click group member portraits to target them.
    6. Click the icons in the lower right to open up different parts of the interface.

    With the exception of chat and logging in, there's nothing I can't do using just the mouse. That's something I don't remember being able to do in SWG or EQ2, both of which came out after EQ1. SWG's switching cursor modes made this particularly impossible.

    Now, having commented on John's comments above, I also have to say this: Word of mouth is a powerful thing. I know 10 people that myself and my brother convinced to buy World of Warcraft, after we played it in Open Beta. These people closed their various Everquest, Everquest 2, and City of Heroes accounts to play WoW.

    SWG, on the other hand, is getting disrecommended by people, because, quite frankly, you ruined the experience for them.

    While we're on the subject of ruining SWG, Julio Torres, SWG's Producer at LucasArts, said

    After receiving feedback from members of the community, conducting extensive focus tests, and evaluating the combat systems of other games in the genre, we are confident this new fast-action combat truly delivers what players, fans, and gamers have come to expect from a Star Wars experience.

    This is pure, unadulterated bullshit. Your changes blind-sided everyone, even your own Player Correspondants, who are your main "focus group," and the people who you "officially" asked for opinions on fixing the game. They're the people you should be listening to. They're the people who, the day that the NGE was unveiled, said "we didn't know about this in advance." (I can't find the exact quote, as the NGE boards are hidden on the SWG Forums [sony.com].)

    In fact, you willfully withheld information from them and the community about the changes that you were about to make to the game, until the very day the changes went up on the test servers, the day after you shipped pre-orders for the latest expansion, even advertising things [sony.com] like this:

    Will we be getting tamable (creatu

  • there's being ambitious and then there's just being delusional. I think they better dig themselves out of the hole they're in before they talk about climbing WoW's mountain of customers.
  • by MilenCent (219397) <johnwhNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday December 16, 2005 @06:26AM (#14270719) Homepage
    Does SWG compare with World of Warcraft? I sure as hell don't know as I haven't played either game; I must be the only City of Heroes player in this discussion. But I do try to keep up with the MMO world. And....

    Okay, someone correct me if I'm wrong on my facts here.

    Item 1: They release the Trials of Obi-Wan expansion. A full, buy-it-at-the-store update to the game, so it took a while to ship. Available in boxes, which take a while to print. Containing loads of new content for a number of classes, and that couldn't have been quick to develop.

    Item 2: Two days after its release, they implement NGE. Entire thrust of the game changes. Over half the character classes evaporate into the ether. Some of those classes were the same ones for which new content were created for under Trials of Obi-Wan.

    Hopefully NGE, which affected the entire game, took more time and sweat to implement than Trials of Obi-Wan, which was a standard new content expansion, did.

    So logically, BOTH projects must have been in development at the same time. Logically people on the Obi-Wan team must have known what was coming down the pike. And they had to have been super demoralized to see what was coming, right? Or maybe they didn't believe it would really happen?

    But working on two wide-ranging, world-changing events at once? That's a lot of wasted developer muscle and energy, and I don't think that a sane development process can account for it. I think, more likely, that some schizophrenia was involved, so I present these two possible scenarios:

    1. NGE was slapped together at the last second, as a result of some unseen-from-outside pressure, either from Sony or Lucasarts. Someone didn't meet a quota, and judging from Smedley's comments it must be a damn big quota, so someone panicked. A bad, bad situation.

    2. There was some kind of internal upheaval at Sony, or Dilbertesque maneuverings prevented communication between teams, or a power struggle between old guard and rising stars took place resulting in a fulcrum shift in the teetertotter of SOE office politics. One power bloc was responsible for Obi-Wan, the other, NGE. An even worse situation than scenario 1.

    Either way, something is happening there that is causing them to make drastic, ill-considered changes in their game. And any smart player should be able to see that the risk that it'll happen again is exceedingly great.

    Even if the NGE produced the Metaverse, I would think that Sony has now destroyed the customer base of Star Wars Galaxies completely. And such is the depth of the incompetence displayed here that I would be surprised it if didn't wash over into their other online properties.

    This is SOE's Edsel.
    • Even if the NGE produced the Metaverse, I would think that Sony has now destroyed the customer base of Star Wars Galaxies completely. And such is the depth of the incompetence displayed here that I would be surprised it if didn't wash over into their other online properties

      I think you hit the nail on the head here. After the 'revamp' to EQ2 in Septemeber, which changed a colorful game with some sandbox qualities and a lot of potential to a bland, grey game with no obvious future, I realized how little fore

  • I was part of one of the SWG beta tests, and as I recall I was pretty excited at first to begin playing. I created a couple of characters and would do a few quests, but I would eventually get bored. Of course this was in the days of the beta and getting around took forever and there is something to be said for having actual character levels and not whatever the hell it was we had.

    After the poor experience in the beta, I had absolutely no wish to continue playing the game, especially if I was going to ha
  • HAH. I've played swg since '03. Quit w/ NGE. Got my refund for toow (GFY SoE) playing WoW now (blizzard thanks SoE for that) any game hosted by SoE would have to be 150% better than WoW/DnL/D&D for me to even consider playing it. John Smedley is the Darl McBride of gamers.
  • I don't even play WoW or Galaxies, and I know exactly how Galaxies does it -- eliminate the monthly fee. I'd play then. Otherwise, no way in hell.
  • Hahahahahaha hahahahaha hahahahahahahahahaha hahahaha hahahahahahaha hahahaha hahahahahahahahaha hahahahaha hahahahahahahahahaha hahahaha hahahahahahahahahahaha hahahahahahahaha!!!!

    (Lameness filter encountered.
    Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition. Comment aborted.)
  • by Shads (4567) <shadus@shaSTRAWdus.org minus berry> on Friday December 16, 2005 @10:28AM (#14271394) Homepage Journal
    ... the customers don't feel the way the devs do.

    No shock there though, that's been the story with eq1, eq2, swg, planetside...
  • by Madpony (935423)
    Why are you such a complete retard? We both know that Star Wars Galaxies does not come close to the solid design, brilliant artistic style, or enjoyable player experience of World of Warcraft. Stop acting like it ever will. If you want my advice, try designing a new game that doesn't suck large donkey nuts.
  • Sandboxes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Why's_This_Fish_So_B (904222) on Friday December 16, 2005 @12:10PM (#14272068)
    One of the great things about PnP RPGing is that it is truly a sandbox. The DM/GM of course prepares much but the players might up and decide that they are going to go into castlebuilding instead of delving another dungeon, and because the group are friends and are cooperatively playing (even when their characters are adversaries), it all works out.

    In an ideal world this concept just carries over to online play and scales indefinitely, and hundreds of thousands of players all get along even if one is a Sith and the other a rebel leader. Unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world.

    EQ et al. have their roots in MUDding. I wasn't involved with that; while MUDs were on the rise I was engaged in online air combat; but the experiences are similar.

    While the bond of physical proximity was cut in these early games, the community was still small, which meant it was self-policing. If your online game regularly has 100 people on, you get to know those guys quite well. If Lord Doofus shows up and disrupts the game, everyone else does something about it; and if Doofus disappears but re-emerges as Dink, nobody is fooled. So it was still safe to have a sandbox. In air combat games occasionally a bug would crop up which could be exploited; but since the community was small it was agreed not to use 'cheap' tactics and any player who did was generally hounded until they stopped.

    When the idea was scaled up to the MMOG level, with many thousands playing at once, both the safeguards of proximity and community were lost, replaced by anonymity and indifference. When that happened the thinking "because I should" is lost on many and in its place "because I can" comes in.

    Now it becomes problematic to be open-ended, because for every player who wants to do something unique in a good way, there are several whose thoughts revolve around finding ways to abuse the game system. Here's an Uncle Owen, who wants to be a moisture farmer, but right behind him is Uncle Pwn, who is busy pharming instead and selling money on the 'secondary market.' Now the good player is ruined, because the market is pooched.

    Likewise SWG may have had 37(?) classes but really if you wanted to win you found a min/max combination, of which I'm quite certain there were far fewer than 37. Same thing happened in EQ; there are 10 expansions and I-don't-know-how-many zones but in practice all new characters go to zone A then B then C then D and 40 other alternative places to adventure sit empty. Similarly, in DAOC, theoretically you have the choice to specialize in several different areas but forget that, you'd better be specced exactly the same as everyone else or you're done for when you reach the top levels.

    What looks like open-ended, when subjected to exploiters and abusers and not tamed by community, becomes only an exercise in min/max and is in fact far more restrictive than an apparently closed-ended class system.

    In short, any game system open-ended enough to allow free-form roleplay is also open-ended enough to abuse, because the number of permutations becomes too high to test. Further, any game large enough to qualify as a MMOG doesn't have a self-policing nature.

    That was one of SWG's design problems, and the only way out was to tear up the old system or make a SWG2. I don't know why they didn't make a SWG2 and let the people who liked the game as is remain. Maybe they looked at the EQ2 vs. EQ1 numbers and decided it was a poor investment. Maybe Lucas leaned on them and said that there will be only one Star Wars MMOG, not two. Who knows?

    What I do know is that I had no interest in joining the old SWG, either in its original incarnation or in the 'CU' phase, because of this.

  • HAHAHAAHHAHAHAHHAAHAH.

    okay im done for now.

    Blizzard worked hard to get to the #1 spot for MMORPG's, in many facets. One could extrapolate that they analyzed the current plethora of MMORPG's in today's and yesterday's market, including UO,EQ,AC, and so forth. Analyzing what made them great, and what didnt.

    For example, EQ was really good for PvE, but by today's standards it is a very unrewarding per time game. Blizz sped this up heavily in WoW, the game is more rewarding per time spent by far comparatively to
    • "Comparatively, Sony Online Entertainment (SOE, the developers of Star Wars Galaxies, SWG) have a few MMORPG's under their acquizition belt. Ultima Online, Ever Quest being the biggest."

      Ultima Online is owned by Electronic Arts - not Sony.
  • (I am in a bad mood today at work, therefore I shall rant....)

    Dear John Smedly:

    After you and Sony fucked over EQ, fucked over EQ2, fucked over Planetside, and fucked over SWG, and while you have pride in fucking up each product as you go along, remember that quality actually counts for something. I've played em all (EQ,DAOC,AC,WOW,COH,etc.) and you still cannot beat your own orginal product in the form of innovation, quality, and ... well I know you and the team at Sony don't quite understand this concept (
  • The SOE's fatal mistake made is that they don't to understand what makes WoW successful, and instead have destroyed what (little) was great about SWG. Mass market doesn't mean stupid, and unfortunately SWG has been reduced to a brainless grind as opposed to a complex grind (pre NGE). It's not just that WoW was simpler, it's that WoW was fun. SOE doesn't understand this, and try to make up for the lack of content with grinding. Ironically that's what Blizzard is doing now with endgame content (faction grind
    • Speaking as someone who isn't really a hardcore gamer and who has tried several other MMOs before WoW, I think what really makes WoW successful is that you CAN play as a non-hardcore gamer and not feel like you're being left behind. I can put in an hour or two a night, maybe a two or three nights a weeek, and see real progress. Plus they didn't kill the solo game (well, at least not until you get close to 60), so it's possible to hop on for an hour and bang out some solo quests even if none of my guild mate
  • Ok, first off, talk about that Gamespot article being nothing but pure rhetoric and fluff. For God's sake, they barely even touched on the pure unadulterated mess SWG is in right now instead focusing on how much Korean's like to smoke. I'm pretty sure the average SWG player for the last 2.5 years could care less. Amidst the ruin and rubble of their pissed away efforts I'm almost sure of it. Oh well, won't be the first time a game review site sold their souls for some ad cash.

    Second, there is no way SWG
  • One thing that I love about our company is that there is no 'quit' in this company.

    Translation: We're gonna throw money at this market until we have it sewn up, just like we're doing with the console market. Turn a profit? We're Sony! Fuck profit! [cad-comic.com]
  • by Databass (254179) on Friday December 16, 2005 @07:23PM (#14276250)
    "The second major portion is the implementation of "Fast Action Combat." We're going to strip out the current SWG "select target, start macros, wait for combat to end" gameplay and replace it with a much more engrossing, entertaining control scheme. "Fast Action combat" controls will be similar to action games that our playerbase is intimately familiar with (Diablo certainly comes to mind, as well as our own Untold Legends game for the PSP)." -John Smedley

    http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/11/10/ 1559208&tid=101 [slashdot.org]

    "We're going to take down Blizzard's hit new game, World of Warcraft, by making our game feel more like Blizzard's ancient but still enjoyable game, Diablo! You hear that, WoW? You're going dooooooowwwnn!!"

The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]

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