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Role Playing (Games)

LucasArts, BioWare Announce Partnership 164

Posted by Zonk
from the just-announce-it-already dept.
Given the swirling rumours of a KOTOR MMOG, it should come as no surprise that BioWare and Lucasarts have announced they're teaming up for a project. They don't give any really concrete details, other than to say it is 'a ground-breaking interactive entertainment product'. They've also "launched a cobranded Web site, www.LucasArtsBioWare.com. 'Through our previous collaborations, we know that BioWare has an impressive ability to blend gripping stories with technological advancements, and we believe that our upcoming product will deliver an experience that will span the traditional boundaries of video game entertainment,' LucasArts president Jim Ward said in a statement. "
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LucasArts, BioWare Announce Partnership

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  • KotOR2 (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jaysyn (203771)
    Maybe they'll actually put out a complete game this time.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MuNansen (833037)
      BioWare didn't make KotOR 2.
    • Maybe they'll actually put out a complete game this time.

      You will find the Internet is full of surprises. At long last the community effort to restore the missing ending is nearing completion [team-gizka.org]; it appears that the main functionality is fully armed and operational, although there are a few exposed thermal exhaust ports they're working to clear up before the public release.

  • a ground-breaking interactive entertainment product
    As in a star wars mmo that doesn't suck ass?
    • Re:ground breaking? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:08PM (#21173969) Journal
      Gotta love a group of six guys, five with laser blasters and one with a flamethrower, surrounding a dog in the wilderness and shooting it for sixty seconds to get it to die.

      "But you have to have a challenge!"

      Yeah, has any animal smaller than a skyscraper ever been a challenge to a guy with a gun or lightsaber in Star Wars? What? No?

      Then leave the wilderness crap out of it, thanks. Elephant-sized animals should go down to one blast, like a level 1 critter in World of Warcraft. This is Star Wars, not reskinned EverQuest.

      And we won't even get into the issue of a Jedi being either weak but omnipresent among players, something you have to spend months unlocking, or hard to unlock and weak. Good luck solving that issue.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Endo13 (1000782)

        And we won't even get into the issue of a Jedi being either weak but omnipresent among players, something you have to spend months unlocking, or hard to unlock and weak. Good luck solving that issue.

        I can only think of a couple real solutions.

        1. Simply don't allow anyone to be a Jedi.

        2. Create a limited number of Jedi "slots" based on the population of the shard/realm. Like say for instance only .5% of the population can be Jedi. It would require both time and skill to become a Jedi. Jedi would be quite powerful - but the downside to becoming a Jedi would be that you could die permanently, creating an open slot for someone else to become a Jedi. Or at least be reverted to a "normal" character upon dea

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rhombic (140326)
          Probable results for your solutions:

          1. Nobody buys the MMO, as everybody wants to play a Jedi. Game fails

          2. People buy the MMO, because they think they can become Jedi. They find out that they have to be hardcore to become Jedi
          2a) Casual gamers quit, game fails b/c revenue from hardcores isn't enough to keep it open
          2b) Casual gamers complain until Lucasarts forces Bioware to let everybody become Jedi

          The problem is, Jedi are rare, and ha
          • 1. Nobody buys the MMO, as everybody wants to play a Jedi. Game fails

            2. People buy the MMO, because they think they can become Jedi. They find out that they have to be hardcore to become Jedi
            2a) Casual gamers quit, game fails b/c revenue from hardcores isn't enough to keep it open
            2b) Casual gamers complain until Lucasarts forces Bioware to let everybody become Jedi

            Or you make every PC a jedi and make different types of jedi and make normal people NPC's or cannon fodder. Almost everyone wants to be a bad ass jedi so let them. You make your money fulfilling peoples wishes not ignoring it or making it hard.

            • Re:ground breaking? (Score:4, Informative)

              by rhombic (140326) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:41PM (#21174529)
              Making everybody a Jedi was Sony's last gasp w/ Galaxies. At that point it feelt so non-Star Wars-ish (i.e. City of Jedis) that everybody got bored and left. I think many players (esp. casual players) wish to be a Jedi as seen in the movies-- i.e. with cool powers that very, very few people around you have. That don't fly in a MMO.

          • by Endo13 (1000782)
            I purposely didn't posit any specifics on what it would take to become a Jedi in option 2, because I haven't come up with any. But it seems to me it's really the only solution that's going to make a Star Wars MMO work, and I have faith that a good developer like BioWare can come up with a balanced system. Because as you said, if no one can be a Jedi lots of people will be disappointed, and won't by the game. But by the same token, everyone knows what a real Jedi is, and we also know that it simply won't wor
            • Make goals ingame something besides killing things? Perhaps have the light/dark faction boundaries be fuzzy? (Do evil stuff like destroy buildings and you fall to the dark side) Perhaps have significant consequences to gratuitous power abuse. You can have powerful characters, yet still control them with original game mechanics.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Rolgar (556636)
            What I'd be interested to see would be if each Jedi class player would be selected by a "Force Class GM" for their role playing ability. When somebody is selected, a fuller review (by 2 additional GMs) is performed before the player is selected to be eligible. The rest could then work as mentioned in the GP post. They are placed in the queue to become a Jedi/Sith when a slot becomes available, and they are notified that they are on the waiting list to become a Jedi or Sith, and how long they should expec
      • And we won't even get into the issue of a Jedi being either weak but omnipresent among players, something you have to spend months unlocking, or hard to unlock and weak. Good luck solving that issue.

        Or you can always go the Force Unleashed route and turn the Jedi into Dragonball Z characters. I still can't believe that trailer, some Jedi pulling a Star Destroyer out of the sky. Was the game's script written by a furiously masturbating 14-year old Star Wars fan or Kevin J. Anderson, a grown man with the mentality of a furiously masturbating 14-year old?

      • Yeah, has any animal smaller than a skyscraper ever been a challenge to a guy with a gun or lightsaber in Star Wars? What?
        Ewoks?
    • As in a star wars mmo that doesn't suck ass?
      Before NGE Star Wars Galaxies was a good MMORPG. It was probably the best mainstream MMO in terms of role playing; the problem was the action combat most players look for was horrible
  • MMOG :) (Score:2, Interesting)

    by BlowHole666 (1152399)
    Maybe with Bioware writing the code instead of Sony Online we can get a good Star Wars MMOG.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SpeedyDX (1014595)
      I wouldn't put it beyond BioWare to make something on the level of WoW, or perhaps even better. They've shown that they can make in-depth, gripping, epic RPGs in the Baldur's Gate series and NWN. They've shown that they can execute a cleaner, simpler style of play in KotOR. The sweet spot for an MMO lies somewhere in-between simple enough so anyone can pick it up, but with enough diversity so any two given people playing the same race/class can have completely different play-styles.

      If Blizzard was able to
      • Gripping? Epic? NWN?

        Bioware has made some good games, and created great worlds. But NWN's campaign was awful.
      • I wouldn't put it beyond BioWare to make something on the level of WoW, or perhaps even better. They've shown that they can make in-depth, gripping, epic RPGs in the Baldur's Gate series and NWN.
        WoW demonstrates that most people aren't looking for an "in-depth, gripping, epic RPG;" players are looking for a fun and engaging action RPG experience.
    • by Taulin (569009)
      They are using a customized HERO MMORPG engine, which is developed by a third party. They already have prototyped a lot of the missions in NWN, and started making levels.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    A dead company and a company that beats dead horses for living...

    What could possibly go wrong?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by russlar (1122455)

      A dead company and a company that beats dead horses for living...

      What could possibly go wrong?

      PETA could find out and put a stop to the whole project.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @12:53PM (#21173755)
    You know, when they made good adventure games.
    Now they just make star wars games.
    • by sckienle (588934)
      Agreed; or at least go back to making games in more than just the SW genre.
    • You know, when they made good star wars games.

      Now they just make bad star wars games.

      Offcourse, if you are really old, you remember Lucasfilm Games as a flightsim company. Kids these days and their new fangled adventures. You want adventures, you go to Sierra.

      Another company that went down the crapper.

      Actually I have no idea if it was adventures or flightsim that came first.

    • by G Fab (1142219)
      For sure, brother. They had those movies recently. Give it a decade, and maybe they'll chill out.

      I would love some more Sam and Max, and even the more obscure stuff. Maybe games are like rock band CDs, and once the band gets successful their art loses its flavor.

      Too bad games cost money to make.
  • by Picass0 (147474) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:07PM (#21173957) Homepage Journal
    Seriously Lucasarts. How long do we need to wait before you put out another X-Wing title? It's been eight years sinse the last one. Where's the love?
    • Space Combat does not mix with MMO (very well). SW:G tried and failed, although I enjoyed JTL. Most MMO players abhor "twitch" game play and most twitch gamers abhor MMO treadmills.
    • I miss the days when WoW meant Week of War at the gaming Zone. But alas, the space fighter combat sim game genre seems to have passed with the end of the last Millennium. Same with flight sims too it seems. I mean look at the companies that are no longer around. Origin's gone, with it Wing Commander, Dymanix is gone and with it the Aces series of games. Volitition & Interplay, both gone and with it Freespace (although the code is out in OSS land and there are couple projects like Beyond the Red Lin
      • by smash (1351)
        If you're into flight sims, get Falcon: Allied Force.

        Was released to very little fanfare last year some time (other than within the dedicated hardcore sim crowd), but it's awesome. It's (finally) what Falcon 4 should have been - crashes are rare, the dynamic campaign works well and the graphics and sound are good enough. :)

  • No more MMOs! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fallingcow (213461) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:13PM (#21174029) Homepage
    I wish that all the good CRPGs weren't moving to console bastardizations and MMO models.

    Some of my favorite games ever are CRPGs... Morrowind, Fallout 1 & 2, Vampire: The Masquerade and Bloodlines, Darklands (old school as hell, but one of the best games ever; we need a remake with a less-clunky interface. I'd pay new-game prices for it), Planescape: Torment, etc.

    My wife's a much bigger RPGer than I am, and any trip to the PC game section of a store will draw complaints from her about how every RPG with an interesting-looking box turns out to be yet another damned MMO on closer inspection.
    • Re:No more MMOs! (Score:5, Informative)

      by someone1234 (830754) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @01:25PM (#21174213)
      I know of 2 old school crpg's in the making:
      Broken Hourglass
      Drakensang

      And of course Bioware's Dragon Age
      Probably there are others.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Huntr (951770)
        I've got my eye on Age of Decadence [irontowerstudio.com]
      • Haha, thanks, part of the reason that I posted was in the hopes that people would recommend some :)

        Broken Hourglass looks especially interesting. I'll have to keep an eye on these.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Tuidjy (321055)
        My hopes lie with the Witcher. But, to be honest, lately I have been too scared to go look for info on the game. I have it on pre-order, and I will start it with an open mind.

        Goes without saying, I'm a fan of the books.

    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @02:02PM (#21174853) Journal

      Look at happened to poor Oblivion when it dared to charge people for a small upgrade, why they were nothing more then common fraudsters.

      Meanwhile a small company called Blizzard is raking in several times what that horse armour costs EACH month PLUS they charge 5-6 times for an upgrade. Oh okay so their upgrade is a lot bigger, but people been paying them a monthly fee for years and they still want more AND get it?

      Companies got to be asking themselves why they spend years on a product that if it is a big hit might make them a small fortune once while they can also spend that time making an MMO and if it is a hit make more money then they can dream off.

      On the other hand, will this be an MMO? With Star Wars Galaxies still running and it still having a lousy rep and neither company having any experience (except lucasrts with destroying one) with MMO's?

      We shall see. But MMO's are here to stay, because Blizzard has shown you can get some serious money from them.

      • Yeah, and really... for all the terrible things you'd constantly hear about SWG, I bet it still was a way bigger money maker than KOTOR or probably nearly all single player games.

        (Something like Halo can still make a lot of money without being an MMO, but I think if we're honest it's mostly selling on the appeal of multiplayer.)

        If making a half-assed MMO makes you more money than a great SPG like a Planescape Torment or what have you, where's the incentive to make the great single player game? For every ma
      • Look at happened to poor Oblivion when it dared to charge people for a small upgrade, why they were nothing more then common fraudsters.

        Meanwhile a small company called Blizzard is raking in several times what that horse armour costs EACH month PLUS they charge 5-6 times for an upgrade. Oh okay so their upgrade is a lot bigger, but people been paying them a monthly fee for years and they still want more AND get it?

        There will continue to be a market for MMO's but I'm over and done with 'em. I don't have the time for it. Getting into Oblivion now and this is where it's at. You can play the game, enjoy it, and be done with it. The problem with an MMO is you're frickin' wedded to it, unless they make it something non roleplaying like a Counterstrike or Halo.

        Companies got to be asking themselves why they spend years on a product that if it is a big hit might make them a small fortune once while they can also spend that time making an MMO and if it is a hit make more money then they can dream off.

        Episodic content makes sense, I don't know why Valve is having so much trouble cranking out the Half-Life episodes. If you have a good game, a good engine, and most

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LarsWestergren (9033)
      Hi, I like the same games... Witcher and NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer are two recently released games that might appeal to you. MOTB I have played, and while it didn't reach the greatness of Planescape: Torment it is one of the closest ever in my books.
  • I don't want to hear it until they start developing a new Monkey Island. Like the first two, not the crap that came after it.

    Hell, even re-release the first two on Xbox Live Arcade and I'll be happy. LeChuck's revenge was my favorite.
    • To be fair, Murray was a redeeming factor in the third game. But you're right, the first two were better; still, can you see any company using that sort of engine these days? It's sad, really.
  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @02:41PM (#21175429) Journal

    I like MMO's and I liked SWG. For a while and then something happened. Through various design choices AND player actions the game got ruined.

    To explain I have to tell you how SWG worked. Like most MMO's you picked a race, sex and apperance, and a class. HOWEVER that last choice had little meaning as you could pick up all the classes with just little bit of money at the start. Unlike the rigid class structures of the Everquest clones (Ultima Online is a seperate beast) in SWG your character could advance in any skill set if he/she used it. If you wanted to advance in pistol class, you had to buy the skill class of pistoleer, and then just use pistols to kill something.

    The precise arrangement was a little complex but it allowed you to combine several skill sets together to make your character. Want to be a robot building sharpshooter? A medic with a big sword? A bounty hunter with passion for cooking? A jedi... ah well we will get to that. But more or less, you could.

    You had the base skill set of ranged combat (pistol, carbine, rifle (and something I forgot)), melee (unarmed, sword etc) (It has been a while cut me some slack) and support skills like medic, crafter and scout.

    The idea was that you would pick those skills that most suited your style of play. For a short time in the games history it worked. A lot of players had a bit of scouting skill to help with gathering resources, some had some medic skills to help with healing even if their main intrest was combat. While others took on the role of pure fighters, secure in knowing that others in their party could heal them in exchange for taking the brunt in a fight.

    It more or less worked, skills sets were varied and most were of real use.

    What you have to remember was that SWG had far less of the rigid level system that other games have. If you wanted too, and could afford the modest fee you could go straight to fighting rancors, sure you would be eaten, but you could.

    SWG did NOT have the quest system, instead you got generic missions of the level of your party and went out to kill spawns. While it sounds less intresting then quests, it helped with one thing. Finding a group, I never had a problem. Granted this was because EVERYBODY hunter naff's but at least you didn't spend an hour LFG. NOR because of the mixed skill sets did you have to beg for a healer to join you.

    Once in a while, a group would form to hunt rancors. There were no uber elites back then, just ordinary playrs with varied skills sets seeking fame and glory. A rancor group was a time to prepare, to get your best medicine from stall, repair that armour and get all your equipment checked out.

    Once ready, you left, to arrive on a dark world where EVERYTHING could kick your ass. The only way to survive was in a group and to use ALL the skills you had. The best time I had in game was doing deep into rancor valley with a small group, taking shelter among friendly animals (who if a rancor came near would attack, yes my friend MMO critters who have fights amongst themselves) and hunting. Camping out, a small lighted area under a night sky while the trader tried to find some resources so the medic could make some more stimms.

    Ah yes, SWG was FUN. It was adventuring.

    And then, the doc buffs. SWG had some unusual systems and one was that armour reduced your recovery rates to the point where you wouldn't heal or even were simply unable to wear the armour. To counter that, there were buffs in the forms of food, but the doc buff was introduced to allow the heaviest armour to be actually used. And sony miscalculated. Because resources were dynamic in their quality, the quality if the doc buff depended on the materials players combined. THe results were far more powerfull then intended, with a decent quality doc buff, costing 20k you could walk up to a rancor nest, tap it and just area attack away, spawning rancors until the nest was destoryed and you were surrounded by half a dozen dead beasts. Who needs a jedi now?

    The doc buff

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kingrames (858416)
      I played a Dancer/Bioengineer.

      The game wasn't ruined with doc buffs for me, as I was completely unaffected. It was ruined when there were 50 other dancers competing for "views" in the same cantina and in a different group.

      It was nice when I had the option to "allow" people to benefit from my healing skills (by blacklisting them before they walked in and choosing manually to unlist them) and could buff them, and they actually began tipping.

      Then the next week it seemed like, it was popular knowledge that ever
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by aztektum (170569)

      And sony miscalculated.

      That line right there speaks to pretty much Sony's entire handling of that game. Yes the profession system was interesting, but horribly unrefined, as was just about every other system. And they took a "fix it on the fly" approach, which would unbalance the game in an entirely new direction.

      It really did need a fairly extensive over haul like was implemented in the first CU, minus perhaps some of the more intriguing mechanics being yanked.

      But it wasn't just balance that screwed that game over. It was perfo

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by servognome (738846)

      SWG wasn't anymore flawed then anyother MMO I seen

      SWG had one fatal design flaw, the HAM system. Most of the combat problems were the result of kludgy fixes to try and deal with a poor design. Doc buffs to allow heavy armor were a kludge to accomodate the fact that armor reduced your HAM. By shoving the effects of armor, weapons, special abilities, and the damage you abosrb all into the same pools of points, it made the game a nightmare to balance. Raph Koster overthought how combat should work. For d

      • In Lord of the Rings Online the Lore-master and Captain classes both heal at expense of their own morale (health). So you can still seriously deplete yourselve, most combat moves of the lore-master cost morale as well, so even if you are not attacked in a battle you still end up damaged.

        The HAM system was different but could have worked, I just think that you were never meant to wear the heavy armour in the way that it ended up. Perhaps it was supposed to hamsting you and have you in constant need of a med

    • SWG immediately failed my "Star Wars Geek" criteria when one of the starting classes was medic, something that not *one* of the main characters was within any of the movies. It did not have mainstays of the West End game archetypes like noble.

      Then it failed the 'fun combat' system, when the tutorial failed by having the 'combat NPC' have to kill himself, as you couldn't.

      Then it utterly failed by having my beginning character run out into the wilderness and thrown my body in front of womprat to be killed
  • by PriceIke (751512) on Tuesday October 30, 2007 @02:42PM (#21175437)
    Cool! Tycho's dream comes true! [penny-arcade.com]

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