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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 4:05PM Aganazer said

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Back when WoW was still months away I remember thinking the same things. It didn't LOOK that good. There were not any new INNOVATIVE features. The gameplay looked like the same old crap we were all tired of in EQ and DAoC. All we really had to look forward to was that it would be released with a Blizzard level of polish and hopefully with a Diablo inspired addictive gear system. We all know how WoW turned out.

I think a lot of people are so used to MMO's failing that its become the safe bet to expect it. The odds are really stacked in your favor if you want to talk shit about a game and then have a smug "I told you so" later on.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 5:59PM (Unverified) said

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"Back when WoW was still months away I remember thinking the same things. It didn't LOOK that good. There were not any new INNOVATIVE features. The gameplay looked like the same old crap we were all tired of in EQ and DAoC. All we really had to look forward to was that it would be released with a Blizzard level of polish and hopefully with a Diablo inspired addictive gear system. We all know how WoW turned out."

....and therein lies the difference. The reason WoW took off like it did had nothing to do with anything special WoW in and of itself was or Blizzard in and of itself did; it took off like it did because the Warcraft gaming franchise itself was so huge/vastly popular that the initial droves ate up the crossover into MMO-dom like mad. Add in already veteran MMO-ers who grew tired of either the grind & time-fests that EQ was or else got fed up with the direction of their game in general (as was the case with SWG, the infamous changes of which took place round about the same timeframe), and it was the perfect storm of combining gamers new to the MMO world and MMO vets alike into something new and exciting, and the PvP aspects are what kept it growing from the initial firestorm

Can SWTOR capture that same kind of magic in the bottle based mostly on the IP with relatively smaller actual universal gaming roots and does it have the same quality/level of PvP to keep droves of people interested? Remains to be seen. But the fact is, as popular and beloved as KOTOR is/was, its a different series/type of game that hasn't/doesn't have most people still playing it constantly leading up to its metamorphosis into an MMO world, and to date there's been relatively little substance addressed from the PvP angle.

And for the record, I'm a huge Star Wars fan and have been a big Bioware fan as well not just for the KOTOR stuff but dating back to the Baldur's Gate days as well (in fact, before it was confirmed their MMO development was in fact Star Wars based, I myself had been hoping that perhaps we were going to be getting a BG-ish Forgotten Realms based open world MMO). But color me hesitant at best on the long term success prospects of SWTOR right now.
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Posted: Oct 20th 2010 2:33AM Bhima said

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@Tyndaleon

Your argument regarding IPs being the main driving force behind WoW's success isn't a very strong one. If IPs are all that mattered to an MMOs success, you may want to have a chat with the WAR or STO community and see how they are doing. WoW was successful because their game was the most polished MMO at the time with much better gameplay mechanics (Though CoH had equally good gameplay mechanics), a mostly seemless world, and a pretty varied amount of content to play with for such a new MMO. I do agree that WoW's success would never be as good if it came out today, but to say it was mainly the IP that created its success is to be a bit too blinded to the things WoW actually does well.
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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 4:09PM Jef Reahard said

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That's probably true Naug, F2P is a better financial fit for casuals I would imagine. Personally, I just don't see MMOs as being made for casuals, they've always required a certain time commitment and until developers learn that content doesn't have to equal carrot-chasing grind, they'll stay that way.

Hybrids like Global Agenda are definitely more accessible/casual-friendly, but something like TOR that is clearly aiming to at least partially emulate WoW is a game that is probably going to demand a lot of your time.

It'll be interesting to see what the final product looks like in terms of the amount of casual versus hardcore content.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 4:12PM Its Utakata stupid said

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...then again, I would never tocuh a triple AAA title that business model like Maple Story or Allods. I like to earn my drops threw skill not how much is in my walltet. Just saying...

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 4:20PM (Unverified) said

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Your comment about the 4th pillar that BioWare talks about, I disagree with. Story I find is something not every MMO cares enough about, and having unscripted gameplay can really diminish story telling aspects. As on avid RPer I am so glad to have some scripted events, because, in all honesty, RPing about random stuff and trying to play the game like a normal person is lame. I'd rather have a set of experiences that I can react to, like having a DM there with me, giving me certain story elements that are linear to a point, but my choices and reactions are my own. Do gamers in general like story--I'd say no. Do Star Wars fans and BioWare fans and RPG fans in general like story--absolutely, and at the end of the day, these guys will be the loyal subs that enable TOR to go big.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 4:32PM (Unverified) said

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I must admit that the game when first leaked at E3 all that time ago had me thinking it was going to be the greatest MMO ever designed. But as we see more and more about the game it seems like Bioware have looked to improve on and bring in aspects to the MMO game that isn't necessarily something that the MMO player or even gamers in general look for.

VO is very very nice but 100% VO seems over kill with many players not wanting their characters voice to be spoken by someone else. While instead we see graphics that appear some what cartoonish and not in the same level as 6 year old SWGs. Perhaps realistic graphics rather than 100% VO would have added to more immersion?

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 4:27PM Liltawen said

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I still think it's going to be $20. with a cash shop.
It's up to $300 million now? How can that be successful? Even Blizzard doesn't spend that kind of money.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 4:30PM (Unverified) said

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Personaly I dont see why all the "no gameplay" negativity.

Best case scenario the game is 6 months away (and I`m betting it gets delayed). At a time when WoW:Cata is rolling out using their biggest guns.

I dont remember any game having tons of gameplay info and footage out at this stage and BW seems to be getting flogged alive for not telling us everything.

And I think I know why. Its cos they give weekly updates, that are inevitably lore based the vast majority of time. People got saturated, spoiled and think they`re entiteled to something huge/more each week.


The rest imo doesnt really require a response. Thats life jef, we grew up and SW changed for the new generation. Sanbox games are niche. Might pain us but thats the truth. Were gonna board the train or stay on the station cursing the faboys onboard.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 4:30PM archipelagos said

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I agree with most your sentiment, Jef. Cinematic aside, nothing shown about the game has really inspired me. I'm going to wait for the free-trial and see how it goes. To those who argue that Bioware has never hyped ToR my mind boggles with disbelief. Did you see those developer diaries that I did? You know, the ones with the tired looking dudes in baggy t-shirts talking about they're reinventing the MMO and adding a never before seen element that is storyline! Cos, you know, no other MMO has ever had a storyline. Those videos were pure hype and nothing else.

I would like to take the opportunity to beg for a 90 min feature film of the quality saw in the cinematic. That was one of the best trailers ever. Just put some of those millions being pumped into ToR to make a film.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 4:35PM Its Utakata stupid said

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Here's my prediction...

...players after getting their hands on SWTOR after the free month after release, will start to ask "Is that it?" This was my feeling after playing Warhammer and Champions Online a month after it's release. You get a sense of layout of the game...and you see it's pronounce limitations in classes, mechanics and geography. And you realize this game isn't going to hold you like WoW. The rest had been all hype. Like bringing home that stripper who got you all worked up...finding out he/she is all silicon and impotent.

That being said, I can't also see how all that voice overs and screen cuts is going to work in a MMO that may have millions of players on the first month or so, without the game technically and/or players' patience having a substancial meltdown. This works great in an RPG. But I can't see this translating over an MMO made up of mostly WoW tards (and other veteran MMO'ers to be fair) who will simply not be used to it. And server technology that may not be up to the task. I think BioWare is biting off more than it can chew here, IMHO.

...I still hope SWTOR proves me wrong though.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 4:39PM (Unverified) said

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Far too many ex EA employees has come out and said the game will suck harder than WAR did, add that to all the disgruntled SWG vets who are determined to get there broken wookie back no matter the cost...I just can't see how the game will be anything but a failure.

Nothing can justify such a huge price tag
Nothing can live up to this much hype.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 4:49PM jpkustra said

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Any chance we can get "opinion" pieces that don't spend half of the article defending and reiterating that it's an opinion piece? If it's really you're opinion then just say what you think without the whole "I hate it but I love it too" style. It's a game... nobody is running for office here.

This is my opinion so I will not accept any retort or criticism. :)

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 4:54PM Tom in VA said

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Basically, this article seems to set up a straw man, "the SWTOR fanboi," and then knock him down. Straw men are, of course, not hard to knock down, which is why people construct them in the first place.

Most of the positive and interested SWTOR comments I have read here at Massively and in other places seem pretty reasonable and not fanboyish to me.

Personally, I think SWTOR sounds like it's going to be a pretty good game. I'm not expecting it to be the great the end-all, be-all MMO (I'm sure your straw man does, though, Jef), but I do know I enjoyed both Bioware's Dragon Age: Origins and Bioware's Neverwinter Nights immensely. Bioware DOES know how to make an involving game. They are good at characterization, writing, and world building. Voice acting added tremendously to my enjoyment of DA:O.

Blizzard/WoW are also very good at a great many things, and I enjoy playing WoW, but story-telling and depth is not one of them, in my opinion.

If SWTOR has anywhere near the quality and depth of, say, Dragon Age: Origins, I'll be playing it and enjoying it. Moreover, it'll be a far more involving game than WoW, for me, ever could be. You may not care for that, and that's fine, but I like that kind of thing. I'm guessing a lot of other players do, too. That does not make me a fanboi; it makes me a different person with different interests than you. It's OK. Really, it is. We live in a big world.

I guess I just don't understand why an MMO whose focus is more on story-telling than most conventional MMOs should be criticized for marketing it as such. Just accept that SWTOR is going to be a different kind of MMO with a different sort of focus (one that certainly appeals to me, at any rate). Just accept SWTOR for what it is, allow them to play to their strengths, and if what they are doing does not appeal to you, for goodness' sake, go find another game.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 4:59PM Stellar25 said

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Hype is hyper and this game could end up being terrible. There are a lot of "fears" out there considering how little we know about a game launching in Spring of 2011.

While I was playing KOTOR/KOTOR2 (when originally released), I often wished I could have gone through those games with a friend.

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 5:02PM Brianna Royce said

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Flipside, then: Even as a Star Wars fangirl and someone who generally thinks of herself as preferring sandboxes, I think non-sandbox SWTOR is going to do just fine, and I think I'll enjoy it all the way. Not every game has to do something smashingly new to be fun. Blizzard's skill is in gameplay polish, in putting a nice coat on old ideas. I see no reason BioWare can't apply its particular expertise -- great storycraft -- to the old ideas and keep raising the bar for everyone.

I can't say that BioWare has handled player expectations brilliantly, but Star Wars fans are haters no matter what BioWare does. Of course, this argument isn't really about BioWare or Star Wars at all -- it's about an older generation of gaming/gamers versus a new one; the old style of hardcore versus the new style of quickie gratification; traditional, brutal MMOs versus what is perceived as an encroachment of newer games that are too solo-friendly, too accessible to too many people. The hype concerns aren't invalid, but too often this hype skirmish is just a smokescreen for the real battle here.

Of course, I still heart you, Jef. :D

-Bree

Posted: Oct 19th 2010 5:18PM Jef Reahard said

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Yes and no on the real argument. I touched on that with the Bartle quote but honestly I could've written about five more pages on that subject alone if that had been the main thrust (maybe a future Soapbox?!?!?).

I really am just tired of marketing-speak, innuendo, and all of the PR trappings that go along with modern-day game development. I'm a say-what-you-mean kind of guy, and so the charade gets old. It's not just BioWare either, but they're one of the most visible examples. Were I in their shoes, it might be more obvious as to why that kind of door-to-door salesman behavior is necessary, but it wouldn't make it any more palatable to me on a personal level.

Finally, yeah, a lot of Star Wars fans, myself included, have a very strained love/hate relationship with the franchise. Can you really blame us though? I mean really, 16 years between films, and we're greeted with TPM?

Lol.

Anyway, great discussion ongoing.
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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 5:42PM Brianna Royce said

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Yeah -- I'm right there with you. BioWare has been pretty strange in its handling of the SWTOR PR campaign. No argument there. It hasn't helped. The long delay creates that kind of depression by its nature... Justin was chatting about this on BioBreak the other day. After three years of fanboying for a game that STILL isn't out, it's natural for us to feel exhaustion and frustration with the pace. That leads to assuming the worst, to lowering our expectations, to filling the void with worries and negativity. And that leads to the dark side. :D

Ironically, TPM is a perfect example of the same problem. There's some really good stuff in the prequels, and there's some really bad stuff -- just like in the original trilogy. Or.... pre-NGE vs. post-NGE. So very often the fight about their relative quality has nothing to do with any kind of objective comparison of their merits but with a traditionalist "classic" mentality that cannot process the Next Big Thing the way it processed the old thing. Not every criticism is about that, of course, but it's worth noting all the same.
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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 5:59PM Jef Reahard said

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Oy, must...stop...commenting. Lol.

Anyway, I'm with you on the delayed/annoyed expectations as it relates to the game. However, we'll have to agree to disagree on the merits of the prequels versus the OT. While I concede there is no right or wrong when it comes to taste, the prequels are demonstrably inferior films when viewed through any reasonably objective lens used by scholars and/or professional critics.

Some people may like them as well or better, that's great, I enjoyed portions of them, but to hold up any of the newer films as being of the same relative quality as ANH, ESB, or even RotJ simply doesn't work. I won't bog down this discussion with a point-by-point analysis of why they are inferior films (unless everyone wants to go there, lol), as that's been analyzed to death other places, but I will say that attributing prequel-bashing to the easy "nostalgia" scapegoat is way off the mark, imo.
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Posted: Oct 19th 2010 6:08PM Brianna Royce said

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What, you mean like professional critics who insist that games can never be art? Or who write entire columns that demonstrate a lack of understanding as to the identity of the protagonist of TPM? Hehe. Yeah, their "objective" opinions can take a hike! Plenty of critics didn't think much of the original trilogy at the time, either!

Ok, I won't derail you any further! :D *flees*
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