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Role Playing (Games) Media Movies Star Wars Prequels

Open Letter To Star Wars Players 113

Sony Online Entertainment CEO John Smedley has posted an open letter to the Star Wars Galaxies Community, trying to start a constructive dialogue with the players. He discusses, honestly I think, many of the reasons behind the still much-maligned New Game Enhancements. From the post: "One last thing I'd like to discuss in this explanation is the business end of things. Many of you question the logic of the decision to do this NGE.. stating that many of the existing players will quit because we're changing the game so much. From our standpoint we have to look at the game for the long haul. EverQuest is will be 7 years old on March 16th. We HAVE to think that long-term. With the game the way it was we knew we would never be able to attract enough people to really keep SWG viable as a business." The players, they do not seem to be in the spirit of cooperation. Here's hoping something good comes out of it.
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Open Letter To Star Wars Players

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  • Thank the force (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheMotedOne ( 753275 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @01:01AM (#14576187) Homepage
    A few years ago SWG was a really fun game with lots of diversity, now that Jedi are running around everywhere and the game has lost every scense of what would actually be Star Wars, I am glad they are making a few changes.
    • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @01:13AM (#14576250) Homepage
      Long term planning this is. But wise for the bottom line it is not. When seven years old your MMORPG is, have as many players you will not. Mmmmm? The path to the Dark Side -- stronger it is, you ask. No. Quicker. Easier.

      Reconcile with your players you must.
      • Reconcile with your players you must.

        Somebody showing up in a princess lea outfit might do it for me.

        Oh yeah, opposite sex please.
      • Translate this, can you? My Yoda is rusty.
      • This is perhaps the funniest, on topic, no BS, overall best Yoda-speak post I have ever seen.

      • Reconcile with your players you must.

        Issue is tha it's SOE we're talking about, they've been angering their player base and overall destroying the user's experience ever since they took control of EQ instead of letting Verant in charge, I don't see that changing any time soon...

        • Issue is tha it's SOE we're talking about, they've been angering their player base and overall destroying the user's experience ever since they took control of EQ instead of letting Verant in charge, I don't see that changing any time soon...

          Aw come on, Sony really understands its customers and the market
          - Their MP3, uh, ATRAC player
          - Being helpful and installing damaging software on PCs via CDs

          No, I kid. Overall I don't have much faith these days in the company. I see it is mo
    • Me thinks that whoever rated this comment Insightful was unaware that Jedi has now been made into a starting character class. Trust me, any pretense of Jedi being rare has been utterly discarded.
      • And I thought Jedi were going to be too common when I last looked at the game years ago ... this pretty much removes all possibility of me playing.
        • Well, when flunking college and high school students who have the time to sink to "unlock" their Jedi are not enough to make money then you have to do something.

          Contrary to most of you Battlefront lovers, I have no desire to play a Star Wars game as anything other than a Jedi. And a powerful Jedi at that, not some punk with a glowing sword that might as well be a dull butter knife.

          So a dancer I was, as it was the only thing besides a Jedi that was mildly interesting and different from, oh, I don't know, ev
    • Is it still going ?

      ah stuff it that game wasted enough of my life already.
  • by SpaceballsTheUserNam ( 941138 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @01:02AM (#14576193)
    Listen to your customers. Or maybe I'm just being naive.
    • by SB5 ( 165464 ) <freebirdpat.hotmail@com> on Friday January 27, 2006 @04:28AM (#14576968)
      I will admit they did seem to listen to the customers in a half-assed fashion, even PRE-CU... The problem was the understanding what the players were saying...

      Players would have a problem with a profession, and then SoE would go and nerf it. Then they neglected professions (smuggler, commando), and not fix specials. And feature creep. Every month they would announce something new going into the game. I quit when I found out about cybernetics because many other bugs had gone on fixed and many other ingame systems and mechanics could use better polishing.
    • The problem is they don't listen. How many times did Smed reply to either of his open letters (the one after CU or this one for the NGE)? They gave the players no evidence that they were reading all of our concerns. So the "constructive dialogue" was one way and falling on deaf ears.
    • Correct! (at least IMHO)
      It seems to me that IF you provide something the customers are willing to pay for, the profits usually come flowing in (assuming a practical business model), but most customers will resist to various degrees having something "forced" on them just to bolster profits because of a poor business model.

      It's hard to sell something that few customers are wanting/willing to pay for, and much easier to profit from selling them something they are willing to pay for.
      Seems pretty simple until y
      • > but most customers will resist to various degrees
        > having something "forced" on them just to bolster
        > profits because of a poor business model.

        Does anyone remember the drooling joy of awaiting Horizons, from the original concepts? Drool that had only existed before for Ultima Online (first of such games to be significantly beyond a mud) and Everquest (first true 3D mud)?

        Here's what was promised:

        1. Be a dragon -- it'll take a solid year of work, but a top end well-played dragon will be able to de
    • Sony doesn't listen to its customers. Look at the combat revamp in swg, rather than being more careful after they alienate 1/2 of the player base they make even more vast changes alienating another 1/2. Eq2 did the same thing with the combat revamp. I'm about done with sony products.

      Fsck me like their bitch they do.
      • I don't agree. I think EQ2 was an example of a good change, and they did actually experience a lot of positive reactions and a decent amount of renewed accounts. They gained more than they lost, really.

        For anyone that's not in the know, EQ2's combat revamp basically went through and fixed a lot of broken/useless spell lines, toned down some overpowered abilities and rethought some underused ones. It made some substantial changes to a couple spell lines, but it did not alter the mechanics or basic theme of
        • As far as SWG goes, since I only played a dancer/pistoleer, the NGE basically just made me lose my pistoleer status. Although I am now a master musician (which I didn't care about) and master beautician (which is handy although they haven't introduced many hairstyles recently.)
    • The problem with "listen to your customers" is that there weren't enough of them to sustain the business. They were attempting (I leave the judgement as to whether they succeeded to others) to listen to their POTENTIAL customers about why they weren't buying.
      • I really love Star Wars, and I would have love to get involved with this game, but....

        However, it is SoE, and I have heard so many venemous compliants about SoE, so I won't go near any game they manage (or mis-manage).

        I am also quite satisfied with WoW now, and have numerous friends and resources, and a good feeling within the community.
    • Listen to your customers. Or maybe I'm just being naive.

      Yes, you are being naive - in the extreme. First off, when you are talking a semi-popular MMORPG like SWG, you are talking tens of thousands of customers - who speak with thousands of different voice. Secondly, a consensual alternate reality like SWG isn't like McBurgerWhopper where one can have extra onions and the next a fish sandwich - it's really and truly one size fits all. Lastly, most MMORPG players confuse playing the game with understandi

  • Look at the date (Score:5, Interesting)

    by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @01:03AM (#14576198)
    This letter is dated November 25, 2005. It's January 26, 2006. Do you see the problem here?
  • by AudioEfex ( 637163 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @01:03AM (#14576203)
    Why is this being posted now? This "letter" was posted two months ago by Smed. It's right there, dated 11-25-05 in the link...

    Maybe this should go in the "never too late to bash SOE dept.?"


    • Well SoE generally deserves bashing, so I guess that's a valid category.

      Smed references EQ. Smed neglects to mention that they got away with most of the egrigious shit they pulled in EQ because they were at the time (effectively) the only game in town. Not so now. They're not even the biggest fish anymore.

      SoE needs to change its attitude or it will join the many recently defunct also-rans in the "history" barrel. (at least in the MMO market)

      Customers will not tollerate being shit on and call it mana from he
      • One other thing... by making the changes that were made a couple months ago, together with the timeline shift that's apparently coming, SoE is DESTROYING the investment that current players have made in their characters. In addition, they are causing non-players (such as my self) to decide to give the game a wide berth. I'm not about to start paying to play a game where absolutely everythign that I accomplish would be wiped out by a "direction change".

        That shit might have flown for Horizons (for the more gu
        • As a long-time (since beta) SWG player, I welcome the rumored change in the timeline. It's not going to erase anything to advance the story by adding content. While the NGE was unaccaptable in many ways, mostly due to it's slimy surprise to the community one day after they charged credit cards for expansion pre-orders, in other ways it was necessary. Did they trunicate too much? Yes, but some of the changes were for the better. Many were not.

          As Smed and others have said since in so many words (which

          • I haven't played SWG but here is what springs to my mind.

            Jabba's palace should be one of the high level bounty hunter spots. You should get missions there, they can try and make it a social and trading center too.

            Have some cleanup missions on hoth maybe, or have the whole huge battle once every few weeks and just keep reseting it.
            • "I haven't played SWG but here is what springs to my mind.

              Jabba's palace should be one of the high level bounty hunter spots. You should get missions there, they can try and make it a social and trading center too.

              Have some cleanup missions on hoth maybe, or have the whole huge battle once every few weeks and just keep reseting it."

              Trust me, these ideas and many more were proposed to the devs many times. I, myself, outlined your idea about making Jabba's into a BH/smuggler center in great detail, and I c
            • > Jabba's palace should be one of the high level bounty
              > hunter spots. You should get missions there, they can
              > try and make it a social and trading center too.

              As a dancer, I went there, pushed through all the missions, and finally made it to Jabba. Would he offer me a job as a dancer in his palace? I even had the fishnet bodysuit just like the girl in the movie! Gosh! What would happen next? Would he give me some nice dancer missions instead of the stupid ones from the terminals (talk about a
        • by Golias ( 176380 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @12:03PM (#14579098)
          I never understood people who think of their character levels as "accomplishments" that they had to work for, as if having a high two-digit number next to the word "Level:" on your character profile indicates anything other than an abundance of recent free time to click on cartoon pictures of monsters.

          Did you enjoy playing the game up to that point? If so, you're not really losing anything important when your character is re-writen/nerfed/deleted/whatever. If you didnt' enjoy playing, then you were a fool to spend all that time on it, because your "accomplishment" is utterly meaningless outside of the animated chat-room your character resides in.
      • > Smed references EQ. Smed neglects to mention that they
        > got away with most of the egrigious shit they pulled
        > in EQ because they were at the time (effectively) the
        > only game in town. Not so now. They're not even the biggest fish anymore.

        Good god, you have no idea how correct this is. They had made some incredibly stupid decisions that, had there been any competition besides non-3D Ultima Online and archaic Meridian 59, would have made EQ dead on arrival.

        Imagine some modern game making you ha
        • One of the worst things EQ did was to remove any use of giving your skeleton pet a weapon. First, you could, and your pet would adopt the speed of the weapon, but keep its damage. Decent, you can give your pet a power up by giving it a dagger or two.

          Oops! "Too powerful". Now you can give your pet the weapon, but it won't adopt the speed anymore. But as a bone, if the weapon has more damage than the pet, your pet will do the weapon's damage. Not that your pet will get a little damage bonus. This was b
    • I don't understand this attitude. How does the fact that it happened a couple of months ago, change the facts of what happens? If something is worth discussing, why should it matter if it is not "fresh news."?

      Often it's better to discuss things after some time has passed. Personally, I hate this "hot news story!" and "Digg already did it" crap. All that it leads to is people not thinking through their posts, and rushing to be the first to comment. If your comment is relevant, it will still be relevant in a

      • It's not just that it's not current, it's not even accurate as to the current state of the game. I don't disagree with your statements about discussing issues; the point is, this "state of the game" is by it's very nature timely, and in this case it's two months of discussions and 100's if not 1000's of Dev posts and tens of thousands of user posts on those message boards disecting every word in that statement than anyone can peruse at the SWG message boards.

        Personally, I hate this "I'm going to use some

  • by CurbyKirby ( 306431 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @01:16AM (#14576261) Homepage
    How do you attract players when existing players are jumping ship? Many players start a MMO because they have friends who are already playing. The point of a MMO is as much the community as it is the dev-created content. If you don't know anyone in the game, you could certainly make friends, but I think most people start because existing friends are already playing.

    At one point, I would have recommended to anyone looking to start playing a MMO to take a look at SWG. It had player cities. It had huge planet maps nearly free of barriers (unlike games like EQ2 that have many cliff walls and other barriers). It had an innovative profession system where you could multiclass as much as you liked. It had problems and shortcomings, but the overall experience was positive, and I was lucky to be in some PAs (a.k.a. guilds) and cities that were mostly free of griefers and immature dolts.

    Gradually, everything changed. They killed off my server of choice (Test Center). They killed off my professions of choice (Entertainer, Creature Handler, Melee Combat Professions). They turned combat from a community-supporting system where you could talk while fighting to yet another first-person shooter.

    I didn't join because of the Star Wars universe. I didn't join because of the game's features. I joined because some friends played it and liked it. Only after I joined did I learn to appreciate its unique features that were then gradually taken away. At this point, I would not recommend that anyone join the game. It's not only the changes that they made but also the way they made them that changed my mind. (Example: announcing NGE changes right after an expansion ships, so that players would rush to buy the expansion. They offered refunds only after the massive outcry against that devious tactic.)

    SOE, if you really think you can alienate your original fanbase and attract a new one, best of luck. But even if you are successful, what then? You will have a community of twitch gamers, focused entirely on combat, that don't understand what a unique idea SWG was.
    • Sounds very much like my experience with Everquest. Sounds like SOE hasn't learned a thing in the roughly 4 years since I last played...
    • If you took away the Star Wars from Pre-CU Star Wars Galaxies, and had another sci-fi/fantasy universe and other stuff, it still would have been a successful MMORPG. The main problems were the feature creep, and the bugs existing months, and years after being in game. Some were fixed to come up in later patches.

      The HAM system was also poorly designed.

      Although I am a Star Wars fan, I have to admit, the game's underlying mechanics were amazing, crafting system has yet to be bested. Player cities were pretty f
      • The HAM concept was clever. It's the interface that was incredibly clumsy for combat.

        City of Heroes has gotten it the "rightest" so far. Bind a key (say, "g") to /follow, and presto! Your scrapper is in business. tab or alt-tab to go through targets, hit the number keys to fight and queue your next melee move, hit g to stick to the monster you're scrappin' and as it's about to die, hit tab to target the next monster, don't worry, you're final swing will still hit the current one, then immediately hit g
  • by SetupWeasel ( 54062 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @01:32AM (#14576358) Homepage
    It was buggy as all hell. There were impossibly hard, aggressive enemies waiting at the edge of the most peaceful cities. Peanalties for dying had to be suspended indefinitely, because everyone was dying all the time.

    It's too late to redesign. You lost me and manyyears ago. Don't pretend this is an Everquest. Stick a fork in it... it's done.

    Here are some tips for next time:

    1) Beta testing, it's not just for consoles anymore.
    2) Continuously pissing off people who pay monthly dues is a bad strategy. Listen to complaints, give thoughtful arguments for your position, and offer compromises.
    3) Two Words: Gungan Hunts.

    This was my first ever MMORPG, and oddly enough, it was the only one that had enough non combat things to do to keep me interested and allowed freedom of movement at an early stage. If it were polished, I might have stayed.
    • I was in the same boat as you. This was the first MMORPG I have ever played. I came in after the first CU changes. I was blown away by the game. It was a game which did not force you into combat. There was so much more to do.

      I set up my own business of selling droids. I made a decent amount of money at it. I made some friends over the course of the game. We even started our own city. That was a lot of fun talking to people trying to get them to join the city. Running for mayor every two weeks. I
  • It's exactly what a guy would say attempting to get people to overlook the incredibly crappy decisions his company has made.

    They HAVE made crappy decisions, that cannot be argued against. Either they made them with NGE, or they made them originally and the NGE was required to fix them. However you look at it, it is their fault.

    The guy's entire statement reeks of insincere appeasement. They're upset to have removed creatures from the game and will be put back in soon? Then hold off on the NGE until they're ready! They have to plan for the long term? Sure, that explains why they pissed people off by giving them absolutely no warning and released a full, pay expansion a couple of days before NGE hit! They can't put up an unsupported server running the old game because someone might find an exploit? Surely they could just release security fixes for it and not introduce new content! The game wasn't working as a business before? It is not the job of players to be understanding of the corporate behemoths to which they've paid hundreds of dollars just to have much of their work pulled out from under them!

    The problem is that, to its core, Star Wars Galaxies under NGE is a different game than Star Wars Galaxies. Even the words behind the acronym, "New Game Enhancements," seem calculated to get people to swallow a pill. They didn't "enhance" the game, they made a "new game" that just happens to use the resources and maps of the old one, and completely replaced the old game with it.

    It seems to me that this is just about the most unforgivable thing a MMORPG company could do that isn't actually fraud. Maybe I misunderstand the situation, or my argument is faulty? I kind of hope it is, for Sony's sake. Someone, respond to me on this. Tell me how I'm wrong. I want to be wrong, dammit!
  • Misrepresentations (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Solitude ( 30003 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @02:03AM (#14576500)
    SWG *was* an awesome game.

    The problem with SWG was the balance, bugs, and lack of fresh content. Certain classes had overpowering abilities that needed to be reduced. Bugs needed to be fixed. New content needed to be added.

    Everybody wondered why these issues weren't being addressed. They were needed for the health of the game but they were being totally ignored.

    Now we know why. Instead of fixing bugs, balancing, and creating new content, they were too busy writing a new overhaul. WTH? If they would have invested the time they spent in the Combat Upgrade (CU) overhaul and the NGE into addressing those issues, they would have never been in this situation.

    Just think of how much time they spent in secret working on those two upgrades. All that time that could have been spent enhancing the game instead of rewriting it. Just stupid.

    I quit after the first CU because of this. I tolerated the problems thinking they were working on fixes as they said they were, but then they come out with a revamp and a realized they squandered all that time. No thanks, I canceled.
    • And now that SOE manage The Matrix Online, with its 'content' (Live events, as was promised to further the story) on hold (because SOE won't pay for a dedicated Live Events Team), and now we are getting a Combat Upgrade (which was only announced after the SOE move)...

      I'm so scared!!!!

      Coming for Xmas: The Matrix Online: NGE... now you too can start as Neo!
      • It's interesting that both the Matrix and SWG have "hacking" built into them. But don't you dare actually hack at the game!

        In SWG, you could hack, or "slice" your weapons to make them more powerful. Some people found out how to re-slice things multiple times, making the weapons even more powerful. Heck, they almost approached how deadly an actual flamethrower would be in real life.

        Banned! Sorry, Charlie. You hacked in a way the Empire actually disapproved of. And someone far more potent than Vader and
  • by garylian ( 870843 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @02:12AM (#14576539)
    SWG was pretty much a failure. It could and probably should have been the hottest game ever made. The whole SW franchise was getting a kick in the pants with new movies after over 20 years of nothing, yet still remained a huge fixture in people's minds. The only way this game could fail is if it sucked. Much like City of Heroes couldn't really fail. Who hasn't dreamed of playing a superhero as a kid?

    Whoops! SWG failed. It was horrible at startup, being quite possibly the buggiest "gold release" I have ever seen. It was corrupt, as players were exploiting the crap out of it for a while. It was boring for a lot of people, with a common theme of people leaving the game being "I never thought it would be like THAT! It sucked!"

    Everyone that I know that bothered to purchase it (after hearing the consistently bad reviews from beta testers, as well as the not-so-hot reviews from some game magazines) quit the game within the first 3 months, it was obvious that the game just wasn't that good. Sure, some people will like it. Some people will like a game, no matter how bad it is, or what it's theme is.

    So, SoE realized it blew it, and then spent all this time trying to come up with a way to save what should have been the golden MMO game for the decade. They saw the PvP in WoW and other games being more "in your face, action packed" than what they offered, so they tried to throw the same type of thing at SWG.

    The bottom line is, when a game is completely borked, a revamp isn't going to draw old customers back, or get you new ones. It is going to just piss off the few remaining players you had. And SoE did just that.
    • quite possibly the buggiest "gold release" I have ever seen.

      Anarchy Online will probably hold this title for quite some time, EQ had a very rough launch too - as bad as or worse than SWG.

      SWG had so many great ideas, but poor implementation and a duct tape approach to bug fixes overshadowed them. You could write a book about the serious flaws of that game, but the core ideas were nearly good enough to overcome that.

    • I beta tested it, but never bought a live version. Largely because between when I started beta and when it went live, they actually went to the effort of making some things worse. It was better conceptually when 90% of the xp from crafting came from people using the item. Some items were not that useful, making it somewhat hard to advance as a crafter. So they changed it so most xp came just from making the item, and IIRC required that other people be the ones to use it. Then, a couple of weeks later,
  • Oh really? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @02:49AM (#14576684)
    We HAVE to think that long-term.

    I can assure you, good sir, that as a non-customer, nothing could have possibly cemented my resolve to never try for your services than such widespread and notable dissent among the current playerbase.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I just checked and I was able to log into the forums. I gave some thoughts about SWG then and now. Even though I have not had an account in over a year I was able to log in. I encourage former players to go in and vent or voice your concerns on that thread.

    --Zonjai Nezba
  • well, to put it bluntly - everyone had different ideas of what we needed to fix.

    Maybe you should've tried listening to the actual users?

    But no, if you read carefully, this was, in the end, a business-driven decision.


    Believe it or not, the truly successful games -- I'm talking individual games here, not a series, not a genre, but a specific game... The truly successful ones are generally the ones made by the perfectionists, the people who (mostly) could care less whether the game is commercially viable
  • This slashdot article would be more interesting if it had been posted within two months of the forum post it is about. It would also help if these topics haven't been covered by four other articles in the meantime.
  • Again? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @05:41AM (#14577182) Journal
    For everyone wondering why the letter is from november and only on slashdot now, it isn't. It is a dupe.

    But what the hell, something has changed between now and then. All of us had the chance to play the free trial. Ex-players even got two weeks of free play on our old characters.

    The old SWG is claimed by Smedley as being to complex, with to many proffesions for people to figure out and a combat system that was to complex and not action packed enough.

    Overall it was felt that SWG was too complex a game.

    So was this true? Depends I suppose. Who are you talking too? A person who is confused by patience or an ex F16 Fighting falcon player? There are people out there who find the manual for Diablo a real thick brick. Other people ain't happy until they know every detail of whatever virtual thing they control. Actually fuel mix ratios in a cessna at altitude X and temp Y nuts.

    SWG has 34 proffesions but most of them were easy to grasp for someone with an IQ. How hard is it to figure out Medic, Sword master, Pistoleer. If you can't grasp that Medics heal, Sword masters fight with swords while pistoleers use pistols your IQ must be in the single digit range. In binary.

    Perhaps it was the fact that you had Medics AND Combat Medics AND Doctors. Medic was the base proffersion from wich you could advance to Combat Medic and Doctor. Well yeah this is complex I guess. For a six year old. Most people playing the game seemed able to figure it out. Most, not everyone however. RTFM Syndrome reared its ugly head in SWG like everywhere else.

    RTFM. You know what I mean with that don't you. If you are online you will come across countless people who ask inane questions they could easily answer themselves by reading the GODDAMN FUCKING MANUAL but wich they can't be arsed to do. On slashdot this is called "Read The Fuckin Article" where a poster ask a question that is answered in the article posted.

    Simply put there will always be a group who is very focal screaming that it is to complex, I seen this in every game. You probably can't get much simpler then Quake and I seen people begging for help in there.

    There is a group of people out there that will never be able to deal with anything wich requires them to read more then one word. Not because they lack the IQ but because they just can't be bothered.

    Is this really a group you want to market a game too? You can do it offcourse, it certainly is a big group but you will alienate the group of players who can read a manual without throwing a hissy fit.

    And that is SWG's NGE biggest failure. It took a game from the crowd that could read a manual and turned it into a simpleton game. How simple? Well so simple that instead of mixing your own character from various proffesions you now do not have any choice to make in your chars development. You just level up in the proffesion you chose at the start. Every level 60 jedi will have exactly the same skills. Yuck.

    There are plenty of "dumb" MMORPG's out there. All the korean ones for a start. Perhaps the truth is that only the "dumb" MMORPG's can survive.

    SWG was played by an audience that by and large liked to play a complex deep game where you had a large amount of freedom to play the way you wanted too.

    The problem was that SOE never really managed it right. It shouldn't have launched until they had removed a lot of the bugs. This killed the game far more then it being considered to complex, but offcourse they cannot say this. Smedley blames all of SWG failure on complexity not on SOE releasing a bugged product on an audience fed up with buggie MMO games.

    SWG was complex and deep enough to allow you to be your own character. Well up to midlevel anyway. Then all of a sudden everything started to crash. Why? The "highend" content. Mini expansions like the Death Watch Bunker and The Corvette (dungeons) were unplayable for a lot of proffesion mixes. Creature Tamers were out because pets cannot be summoned inside. Scout/Rangers trap skill did not work on

    • Re:Again? (Score:2, Funny)

      by Faw ( 33935 )
      This post is too long and hard to read. BTW what is RTFM?
    • Re:Again? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Sage Gaspar ( 688563 ) on Friday January 27, 2006 @10:43AM (#14578299)
      "It started perhaps with the Composite armour. This armour was so though that it made all other armour useless. But it carried a huge penalty, so they introduced doc buffs to counter them but made those so powerfull that people turned into one man armies able to solo almost everything. So high end dungeons added had enemies so though that had 100% resist on every attack except one, wich had a 90% resist. From there it just went to hell.

      If only they had never added that super armour. We would possibly now have a game that was open ended and they could have spent all the time fixing the actuall bugs instead of constantly trying to balance a bad desicision.

      Tips to anyother game developers. Do not introduce a piece of equipment that is so leet that it instantly makes everything else worthless."

      This, my friends, is a concise summary of why SWG failed. Devs did not, never, ever, think about what would happen if someone managed to make top-end gear or a min-max template. Hell, they made it possible to make a max-max template. And they had absolutely no idea which nerfs were appropriate.

      The poster above outlined the composite armor/doc buffs thing. Players were able to wear this 90% resistance armor and build a template to max out defensive mods, which meant that literally I could sit there firing at the player for an hour and not do any damage. This went on for untold amounts of time. And one week they accidentally bugged it so that one attack in two profession lines, called Scatter hits, ignored these defenses. They weren't overpowered, it just meant that with me, having maxed out accuracy and eating accuracy food, at optimal range, laying prone, I could eventually kill one of these stackers. What happened? Fix went in for *that* bug a week later. There are untold amounts of imbalances like this which went unfixed for untold amounts of time while the devs implemented (boring) race tracks and dungeons that were useless to anyone but the maxers.

      Also, the effects of these buffs on the game. Since they buffed everything instead of nerfing players, it suddenly became that you couldn't do anything without doctor buffs, entertainer buffs, and food. This is a lengthy ass process. Imagine you enter PvP and five minutes later die, which is not unreasonable. You now face something like fifteen or thirty minutes of healing, rebuffing, waiting for your stomach to empty so you can eat more food, getting back your entertainer buffs, etc. Fighting without these became impossible in PvP.

      And, finally, PvP. Supposedly one of the core focuses of the game, the Galactic Civil War. And PvP a year or two in was essentially what it was when it started -- you could build faction bases, but they served no purpose except for you to defend. So you spent a ton of time grinding and grinding to build up enough faction to buy a big faction base so that you could defend it. And people did it, because there was no other PvP content.
      • Mudflation like this is exactly what sent EQ into a slow death spiral, especially in PvP.
      • > which meant that literally I could sit there firing at
        > the player for an hour and not do any damage.

        It was a clever trick. Since you could pick from 4 branches, 4 levels per "onion" = 16 choices, for each of the 36 classes (well, most of them, depending on what you'd "opened up") so at any given moment, you'd have basically a hundred things to choose from to dump your xp into. So why not pick and choose all the defensive ones? A little bit from the martial arts Tendo Ken or whatever it was calle
    • "And that is SWG's NGE biggest failure. It took a game from the crowd that could read a manual and turned it into a simpleton game."

      Disclaimer: I don't play MMO's, just not that interesting for me, but to the point:
      you are so right. I have noticed this trend with many games. I suspect it is meant to "open up the potential market", and not improve gameplay.

      RTFA, or RTFM?...this is /. :) Just kidding! (sort of)
      I personally derive a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction in acquiring difficult goals/skills in playi
    • I agree for the most part, but RTFM? What Manual? The manual that shipped with the game was practically useless. The original game was so complex that they couldn't have done it justice with a manual 10X as big. This basically translated into "Read The F**king Forums." I had been playing the game for over a month before I even realized what a wealth of info the forums provided. Pretty much any question you had was there, already answered in one of the player made FAQs at that point, but this was just
  • I'm glad I didn't start playing SWG. I beta'd the game right before it shipped. There was no way it was ready. It was laggy and buggy from the get-go, and definatly in need of polishing before going gold. I decided at that time I wasn't go to play it at that time. Sure, maybe I would have bought and played it later, if it started getting decent reviews, but it never did. I had a buddy at work, which had SWG as his first game, tried so hard to like this game, now he calls it "a piece of shit.

    Then something h
  • I managed to get my Wookie to Master Droid Engineer, with a rather successful shop right on the outskirts of a major city. I participated in the forums on a regular basis, and I believe I was rather well-respected there for my ideas on the profession.

    After a while I grew tired of the game, particularly as it seemed that my chosen profession was being essentially ignored, although SOE provided a little lip-service. I actually stopped playing just before what was supposed to be a rather major upgrade to dro
  • Was it redesigned to suit PS3 console customers and a younger audience base, sounds like it.
    • Why? IIRC, EQ for the PS2 uses separate servers from the main EQ population, why wouldn't this be different for SWG for the PS3? Those players could be in a completely different game and nobody would know the difference.

      To date, unless you count PCs and Macs as two different platforms, the only MMORPG that has people playing on different platforms playing on the same server is Final Fantasy XI, and with all the headaches Square-Enix is getting with having to deal with Live, I don't see it happening again.
      • Most probably a second licence fee to the starwars IP holders. Consoles and computers represent different gaming styles and different target audiences, hence to be successfull two different games must be produced. Which is fine without the licence fee but one game that targets the majority audience has the oppurtunity to still pick up some of the minority auduence (so it should after all they are paying for the right to play test the new game before it is distributed to it's real target market).
  • Here lies SWG.
    It started with fire and passion
    Died alone and forgotten.
    Left abandoned by the people who cared.

    SWG had many ailments and health issues that made it's life difficult.
    It's forsight was hindered making it unable to see far ahead
    It lacked the hindisght to learn from the past
    SWG had no sense of direction and ended up wandering in circles.

    It was too rebelious and too different
    SWG suffered from schitzophernia and never knew who or what it was at a given time
    The poor soul had inhibitions to please ev
  • Business would be fun if it weren't for customers.

  • I quit a couple of months after it launched, when I found that Holocron and the rest of the Devs had been lying to us. All through beta testing, they were promising this fantastic, dynamic, and unique for each character system where you could become force sensitive. I specifically asked Holo on the beta forum "It's not going to be something lame like having to master randomly chosen professions, is it?" and he told me no, that's not what it would be. Well, a few months into the live game when they finall
    • Rejoice! The NGE made it much easier to play a Jedi - you just pick "Jedi" as your profession at the start... :/
    • Someone kept a table of the professions various people had to master to become a Jedi (well, to open up the "forse sensitive" character slot so you could create a Jedi) in the ultimately vain hope of discerning a pattern. Some hapless souls had upwards of 16 masteries before triggering it.

      Later on, you could buy holocrons (for one million credits, a hellacious amount) that would tell you what to master for the first four, but not fifth, profession. For the fifth you'd just have to go back to guessing. So
  • i tired the NGE and even started a new toon on the wonderhome server. what i found out was that not only was everything that i liked about the game (different professions and junk) were gone but the lag had gotten worse. the game make me want to punch my computer monitor becasue i would be stuck walking into a wall for two minutes. I then even went out and purchesed a lower latancey DDR 400 2gig RAM (becasue the support guy told me my 1gig of regular wasnt cutting it and that was cause of the lag! lol) well
  • Let me start by saying that I was a long time dedicated fan of SWG, one of the first Jedi on my server in the old system. To this day, the experience of playing SWG in the first year was one of my best MMO experiences ever.

    Sony's blunders with SOE are obvious in origin. The marketing team is making the decisions, instead of people with a passion for the game.

    SWG was beautifully complex, had a great economy, and a lot of diversity, which was a major draw for many players including myself. But the marketin
  • That is the Slashdot teaser handline we are waiting for. Look at the 118,000 plus pissed off customers responding to Smeds thread. Not to mention the ones not allow to post because they were already banned ( A blessing since their lose was not as great as the 2 year plus veterans of the game having the game taken away from them and asked to play the new kiddie car version aka NGE).

    Smed and his council of dread at SOE have been high and mighty until the had their asses handed to them by Blizzards
  • I played a LOT to figure out a very complex, very cool game. There were games within the game. And, I played a lot because it was Star Wars. In fact, that's probably why most players started playing the game, even if not much other than the scenery and life forms were like the movies. Once my friends left, I kept playing. After all, I made a lot of new friends in the game. Once most of my new friends left with the first "Upgrade", I stayed on. By then, my character had become "me". But, when the "En

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham