| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (24)

Posted: Jun 27th 2008 3:46PM swarmofcats said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
wow.

Posted: Jun 27th 2008 4:12PM Slob Zombie said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Yeah, wow, good article. It answered a lot of questions I've had and cleared up some misconceptions.

I'd say about once a year I load up a trial of the game and almost immediately unload it. It just felt... sloppy. Like if I even made it past the tutorial stuff on the space station with Han Solo (which should be skippable) and got planetside, every building I ran into loaded up as I was walking in. Stuff was popping in right in front of me all the time. It just felt poorly done.

I'd say the last time I loaded up the game was November 07. Would you say the game has polished up a bit since then?
Reply

Posted: Jun 27th 2008 4:09PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Wow this article series REEKS of cash being handed by SOE to Michael Zenke to write a flowery article that downplays the bad but emphasizes hoW *FABULOUS* everything is now (/sarcasm). This post is pure advertising - the last line says it all: "What's past is past, and nothing can change that. Welcome back to Star Wars Galaxies".

"Yeah we messed up in the past, but things are AWESOME now! Come on back and give us your money again..."

Posted: Jun 27th 2008 4:13PM Slob Zombie said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Relax man. Those are some pretty serious accusations you're making.
Reply

Posted: Jun 27th 2008 4:14PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
FNORD -
I'm a little offended by your suggestion that I've been bribed to write this article. Is the possibility that I honestly like Star Wars Galaxies, and think that SOE is doing a good job with it today, really that remote?
Reply

Posted: Jun 27th 2008 9:16PM (Unverified) said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
I absolutely concur with FNORD's comment.

The first part of this article - the part covering the development of SWG up to the NGE - was pretty much balanced and objective. This second part - dealing with post-NGE SWG was an unashamed and unsophisticated puff piece.

There are too many basic factual inaccuracies to list here (though , Mike, if you want me to, I will enumerate them in another post) as well as some ridiculously bald qualifiers - since when were 'Meatlumps' a 'player favorite'? As for your conclusion that the latest Chapter is 'Mind Blowing', surely you mean 'Mind Numbing'?. I refer you to just one of many, multi-page threads on SOE's own forums in which existing players complain about the poor planning and broken execution of the 5th Year Anniverary celebrations -

http://forums.station.sony.com/swg/posts/list.m?topic_id=690638

As for the claim in your final paragraph:

"The SOE folks have openly admitted the NGE was a mistake. But here, now, there's only one Star Wars MMO on the market. "

I found this a particularly cynical and shameless claim - yes, there is only one Star Wars game in the marketplace right now but, as you know and obviously the Developers know too, Bioware is now in partnership with Lucas Arts to launch a new MMORPG based on the SW Knights of the Old Republic franchise. When this is launched, competing directly with the current ramshackle, dumbed-down NGE SWG, SOE is likely to face a major commercial disaster.

One final observation - please could you tell readers of www.massively.com, and possibly its editors too, if you were paid by SOE, by LA or by one of the agencies operating on their behalf, to write this article for this site?

Thank you.
Reply

Posted: Jun 27th 2008 4:12PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Unfortuantely I got sick of SWG long before the NGE came down the pipes.

Posted: Jun 27th 2008 6:17PM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
I don't think money changed hands, but I do disagree with Michael...
I really am glad you like the game, and have a lot of hope for the future. Call me old fashion, but to this day the pre-NGE is the the best time I EVER had in a MMORPG. And no matter what they do I doubt I would ever play this game again. I loved this game. And I still grit my teeth when I think of how it was ruined, again though thats my opinion.

Thank you Michael though I walked down memory lane, and remembered how great of a time I had with SWG.

Posted: Jun 27th 2008 6:25PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Thank you, Biasmania. It was fun to write. :)
Reply

Posted: Jun 30th 2008 11:56AM ShadowDoc said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I started a day or two after launch and stuck it out for a year.

I eventually got to Master class in a number of disciplines, but it wasn't easy. I was so glad I finished Doctor before the med centers emptied out, and before anyone with a couple of Medic levels could use the Stimpacks and B-level Heal packs (don't even remember what they were called) that I ended up manufacturing. By the time I left, there were no real services for a Doctor other than buffing prior to heading off to some hellhole planet, and even that took me having an alternate character tuned entirely to combat to keep me in supplies like avian meat.

And then the bother of running harvesters and paying maintenance and loading things on the vendor system and the rest just got to be too much of a pain. I mean, I *have* a day job, who needs a minimum of 30 minutes on a speeder bike hitting waypoints in BFE, dodging killer/infected aggro animals just to keep my stuff from burning down?

I actually made it through two holocrons on one character, Architect and Musician. Wow that was fun. Harvest the heck out of crappy rock and script-build walls to make stuff nobody wants to buy. Musician -- gimmie a break. The most fun I derived from that was figuring out how many points per hour I was generating and when I needed to interrupt the script to spend my XP leveling up.

The crafting stuff was incredibly random, it would take a couple of hours to make optimal subcomponent templates, then load them into the synthesizer, then go away and wait for 24 hours before you got anything out. Well, there's always combat -- wait, no there's not. What am I going to do, beat a wrix to death with my clarinet and protractor? It became a Holy Grail simulator for me -- Run Away! Run Away! Re-log in as my commando alt and kill the nasties that somehow spawned right outside my door.

I bailed right after the starship expansion and went back to FPS, a couple of hundred dollars poorer in user fees and considerably wiser. About the only thing I took away from SWG was an improved appreciation of the 'killing boars' plotline in the South Park send-up of WOW. Been there, done that. At least BF2 and 2142 a) were free after purchase and b) had a class system that was worth a flip.

SOE shouldn't include me on future profit projections. I hope it's better for the poor sods laboring in Scylla these days, but I don't miss it at all.

Posted: Jun 28th 2008 11:51PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
The game is still crap.
I left it not long ago.

Posted: Jun 27th 2008 10:07PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I dont like the NGE; they took away the one unique thing about SWG that separated it from others, the skill tree. The combat system didnt make it better, it made it more childish. That one thing (skill tree) made a big part in SWG. SWG was really the game that when you played it you felt it wasn't like others, more free, except that it's a MMORPG related game.

"The developers are talking closely with the community to understand what they want"

really? i dont think i have to say much about it.

Posted: Jun 28th 2008 3:00AM (Unverified) said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
SWG was a broken unbalanced piece of poop before the NGE and it was still a broken messed up piece of poop after last time I played.

The article was a good read though, I hate to see MMO's fail, it just makes it all the more difficult for companies to get investors for new projects every time one flops and keeps everyone dupication WoW style gameplay and mechanics. (not that WoW is a bad game but why play anything else if you like that style? Its quality and completeness are unmatched)

Anyway, its been 3 years, the crying vets need to get over it already. Play the game if you likeit, play something else and move on if you don't. There are far worse MMO's out there.



Posted: Jun 28th 2008 10:57AM (Unverified) said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
"...the crying vets need to get over it already." Ever wonder why the "crying vets" DON'T get over it? The fact that you make that statement tells me you really don't know.

The original SWG was the greatest MMO ever created for one simple, often overlooked reason - its potential. There is not a game on the market today that has the potential to become all things to all people the way SWG did. It was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but if they would have concentrated on the things you're supposed to after launch - fix bugs and add content - it would have pushed the Lineage games in terms of subscriber numbers, which at the time was the gold standard. Instead, they tried the balancing act with Jedi and Bounty Hunter, focused way too much on one small part of the game, and threw up their hands and gave up when for some reason, it didn't make anyone happy. As a result, we have the most sweeping changes ever to any sub-based MMO.

Those changes destroyed everyone's character, invalidated 2.5 years of individual progress, made the game impossible to play for many disabled people (and at the time almost everyone else), and yes they introduced more bugs than the game ever had. So why don't "crying vets get over it"? Two reasons. One, because of what I stated above. Everything that any player did in the game was eventually for nothing. In a game, who cares? But this wasn't a game, it was a virtual world (or galaxy if you prefer). Two, because if SWG were ever to recover from this disaster, it's a green light to every company out there - "Make whatever changes you want to your games. People are flaky and as long as you've got a decent IP, it'll eventually rebound and it won't matter who you pissed off."

Michael, even though your blog reads better than any ad I've seen for the NGE - seriously, you made the Collection system, the most "let them eat cake" game system ever designed actually sound appealing - I can't believe you were paid to do it. The game has so few players, the fact that entire servers are virtually devoid of players is enough reason to do it.
Reply

Posted: Jun 29th 2008 12:18AM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I actually believe this is just about the worse MMO on the market. Just because of what it represents. This article is a bunch of ass kissing. I doubt you were paid but seriously dude at least introduce both sides of the argument.
Reply

Posted: Aug 25th 2008 12:47PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@ Michael Zenke:

I do indeed believe that you took essentially SOE generated notes regarding each chapter and present them here as your own. There is not even one bit of critical thinking regarding any of the topics you present. They are rehashed publish notes, with a bit of positive spin attached. Players like collections? Do you even read the forums? Players have had nothing but difficulty with collections, particularly the Jedi belt.

You seem to gloss over everything still wrong with the game, patronizing everyone who left with your concluding sentence. Even though SOE has offered free game time for several months, the servers remain empty.

Welcome back to SWG? With this conclusion, and how you have "written" your article, no wonder folks are asking if you have been paid to write it.

Posted: Jun 29th 2008 6:33AM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
I would also like an answer to Alex Clarke's question:

Did Michael Zenke receive any kind of payment, either financial or in kind, from anyone involved or associated with SOE or Lucas Arts for writing this article?

Posted: Jun 30th 2008 1:57PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Alex Clarke's question most likely will not be answered. That being said, I don't think this post and nor the ones previous to it that got many of the SWG veterans so upset were bought by SOE. Advertising dollar and the ability to get direct source information are powerful tools that can be used to help gloss over the ugly spots of the company utilizing them.

The prior posts (save for the NGE reflection) show an attempt to be balanced and the author tries to walk a fine line. Simply put, that doesn't cut it with the angered vet because they believe that (and are arguably right) that SOE never really paid the price for their historical error. Most of the media turned a blind eye to what was being done. Those that did mention it seemed to focus on the players being disruptive to the game and on some of the more extreme points of behavior.

Now, things like Rubenfield's blog post (to which this site posted the 2nd revision and not the first posting which was much more interesting) have brought to light SOE behavior with a bit more clarity. Though yet again, it gets referenced to with a passing note or post and little more. Rather than tear into all the leads that the post gave us, things like the 5th anniversary gets covered and warrants more airtime as it were.

Personally, the text I found the most offensive is this mantra that Sony likes to spout with every article written about it. Its the "The developers are talking closely with the community to understand what they want..." that angers me. Look back into all of their statements pre and postNGE and you will read that they are now talking closely and listening. Funny thing is, they haven't. Want proof - go look at the fact that Smedley wanted to fast track server mergers to help with the population issues. Since that time, mergers are the very last thing that SOE has considered. Instead they give the population an enhanced search feature? And promises of some new and fantastic upcoming innovation?

How about their 5th Anniversary events? The broken bow fest that hands out a badge to one person every hour? Including the afk?

Nah, they aren't listening. And as for this site and its articles. I understand that it would be self defeating to ball bust SOE 24/7 but putting lipstick in the posts like "But here, now, there's only one Star Wars MMO on the market.", "The developers are talking closely with the community to understand what they want, and great things are happening" and "What's past is past, and nothing can change that. Welcome back to Star Wars Galaxies." comes off a bit like company line and does not reflect the opinion of the vocal majority nor in some ways the truth.

Posted: Jun 30th 2008 6:08PM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
They still don't listen, or rather they listen VERY selectively, and continue to make the same mistakes chapter after chapter; although of course, they have yet to match the debacle of the NGE again. That would be hard to really beat, though.

They develop the game like a drunken somnambulist, two steps forward, one step back, one step forward, two steps back, and sometimes it's hard to see if they are getting somewhere. As someone who has played the game since August '03, and has stayed largely because it is the only Star Wars MMO, I can only say it has gotten a BIT better since the NGE, but it's easy to rise from rock bottom.

The game is still a mess; the DEVs still only listen to their sychophants, and they still ban/delete/threaten anyone who challenges them on the forums.

There HAVE been improvements, but the development (or management) still show a definite lack of understanding of customer relations and the proper advancement of virtual worlds.

Posted: Jul 1st 2008 12:48PM Temploiter said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
The vets that left when the game was radically changed from a sandbox to a themepark are still angry for a reason. They have nowhere to go. There is no game like SWG on the market today. If SOE would open a Classic Server for SWG, even today, I bet it'd be the most populous server they have. Even if they made (and they should) everyone start from survival knife and maroj melon and no vehicle, it'd be packed.

I know alot of people wouldn't even play that now, sadly. They're so angry at SOE they won't give them or Sony another dime as long as they live, and I respect that. Years later I'm still looking for a game that recaptures the feeling of preCU SWG... I doubt I'll ever find it unless the EMU teams finally put something out.

Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW