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Reader Comments (49)

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 3:05PM (Unverified) said

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Very well put. I strongly disagreed with his article. There was an article posted on MMORPG.com the other day called Things Star Wars Isn't. And much like this article it hit square on the nose I think.

http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/367/feature/4631/Jon-Wood-Things-SWTOR-Isnt.html

There are a lot of people with speculation. That speculation catches fire, and spreads to everyone around it. It may not be true, but it spreads.

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 3:22PM GeneralStobo said

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I for one and more than skeptical about SWTOR. There is indeed a lot of hype around this game and at the same rate am relatively certain that Bioware will be delivering on its promises. However I am worried about other things that Bioware has yet to address. End game, player economy, and the thing that has plagued most MMO launches, bugs and poor polish.

Sadly most of these things can only really been deemed as addressed after the game has launched. Anyhow, I am also fairly certain I will be preordering this as soon as its available in whatever collector’s edition they have.

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 3:31PM (Unverified) said

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Companies do not invest $300,000,000 in a game just to be one of the pack. This is a blockbuster budget big name MMO with the premier intellectual property of our time. How could expectations NOT be skyhigh?

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 6:07PM (Unverified) said

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"Companies do not invest $300,000,000 in a game just to be one of the pack."

First of all, until you can show EAlouse had real info, his estimate of cost is irrelevant. EA and Bioware both said 100 million, so that's what those of us who only go by official statements and not hearsay are going with.

But in regards to your statement, a company that has never made an mmo before in it's lifetime that is depending on fanbois of it's singleplayer games to put it's head above water will spend that kind of money and still fail.

Just because that strategy worked for Blizzard 6 years ago doesn't mean it'll work for Bioware. The genre has changed in the 6 years since WoW's release. People expect a lot more now than they did then, or they simply close up their pocketbooks and wait for the inevitable FTP conversion when the game tanks.
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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 7:59AM Crode said

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"Companies do not invest $300,000,000 in a game just to be one of the pack. This is a blockbuster budget big name MMO with the premier intellectual property of our time. How could expectations NOT be skyhigh?"

Oh yes they do. Any company spending this amount will be "playing it safe". And that means not straying from a proven game model (WoW)

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Posted: Oct 26th 2010 3:32PM (Unverified) said

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Yeah, Bioware, LucasArts and EA have NOT hyped SWTOR.

SWTOR is being hyped by the fans and by peopl ASSUMING it is supposed to be the next big thing. Bioware has actually been EXTREMELY conservative in announcing or releasing information, and even have gone so far as to explain their philosophy of not announcing features before they are guaranteed to be in game.

Bioware is going out of their way not to overhype SWTOR the way that Funcom did for AOC. This is a crucial marketing step and one that people should not overlook.

If you're excited about SWTOR, its because you're hyping yourself, not because Bioware is promising you the moon.

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 3:34PM brooksguthrie said

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I swear that AdeptStrain conversation is going to follow me around forever!

Still though, as much hype as the community (thanks for stepping up and including yourself, Larry) generates, I think the vast majority of us have done a great job of balancing our anticipation for this game against some of the very hard truths that the EALouse debacle brought to the forefront. The biggest of these, pointed out by TOROCast's fodigg, is that as much as we want to be able to defend this game against the very vocal naysayers, we simply don't have the facts. What is PVP, crafting, raiding, etc., etc. going to look like? Outside of some general basics, none of us have any idea.

It's a frustrating situation on a number of fronts. Long-time followers of the development cycle are beginning to become jaded from the lack of these announcements. The fanboys are running out of breath from screaming "FOURTH PILLAR!!!". And anyone who is on the fence is losing faith that their needs, that WoW and similar games meet hand-over-fist, won't be addressed in the manner they're expecting.

I believe that deep down, everyone wants this game to succeed. It's Star Wars, it's Bioware, it's the legacy of KOTOR. The formula is in place. But just as the dev team stepped up to the plate in addressing early concerns (Pringle-can-sized lightsaber hilts!), they need to take a HARD look at the state of the community and retool the announcement schedule to keep people keenly interested by answering some of the questions that have been hanging around for over a year, especially with the launch of Cataclysm just around the corner.

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 3:51PM Larry Everett said

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Hey Brooks (this is Brooks from Mos Eisley Radio, for those reading and didn't know)

Thanks for stopping by. I figured you guys would be okay with me mentioning that. Thanks for unwittingly volunteering as a guinea pig.

I, too, wish that BioWare would release more combat oriented information, but as most of us, who have been around MMOs for any length of time, know that combat and balancing are tweeked right up to release. So, the very last thing they are going to talk about is combat. We are at least 6 months away from release, so we probably will not see any real statements about combat for another 3 months.

If I were to name the biggest thing BioWare and SWTOR have done wrong, it was to launch the forums so soon. This started the hype machine. I liked that they had a website for getting the information out as it was ready, but the forums just fueled the perpetual speculation machine.
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Posted: Oct 26th 2010 4:17PM brooksguthrie said

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Of course! I love being a guinea pig ;)

I'm of the general opinion that the trend of announcing games and launching their online presence 3 or 4 years before launch is just an awful idea. SWTOR, Diablo 3, and 40K: Dark Millennium are all culprits. It's the ultimate catch 22 situation: You've got this amazing title that you want to share with the world and around which you want to build a community, but it's so early on in the development cycle that you can't actually release any information that isn't going to change drastically over the next couple of months/years. What's the answer?

There isn't one. Without the forums I'm confident sites like Darth Hater, MER, and TOROcast would not have had the same level of pre-launch success we've achieved. But at the same time, that early launch puts the developers under the finest level of scrutiny, and any misstep (lightsaber hilts, space combat, lack of game mechanics) is widely lambasted and demolishes both community and studio morale.

So what's Bioware to do? The best bet would be to strike a balance of keeping their head down and focusing on the quickly approaching deadlines, but also begin to trickle out more info on game mechanics. Starting slowly with crafting...probably early December...and then evolve into a deluge of info regarding PvP and end-game content. It's a pretty safe bet that there is going to be a large number of re-subs from Cataclysm that may or may not be looking for the next big thing come January/February, and TOR has the perfect opportunity to spark their interest.
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Posted: Oct 26th 2010 3:38PM (Unverified) said

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Please don't quote the number 300 million. That is only a reference from EALouse's blog post which has Zero validity. EALouse was uninvolved and uninformed of SWTOR development and his hyperbolic statements should not be quoted as fact.

TLDR, SWTOR isn't a 300million dollar game.

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 4:04PM (Unverified) said

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And your supporting facts for this statement are where exactly? Oh.. OK.. I'll just believe you!
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Posted: Oct 26th 2010 3:41PM Interitus said

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And there are people like you who fuel the "hype". Many articles in the past have nothing to do with SWTOR or nothing CONFIRMED to do with TOR but you go over them anyway. You go off talking about Gray Jedi, we know nothing about that. On your last article about the Auerbesh secret messages you said

"My speculatory mind went crazy. My fanboy got excited. Wouldn't it be incredible if this were a hint at open-world PvP and the names on that list were actual player names? There are multiple ways these names could appear on the list. Maybe they do something to tick off an NPC, or perhaps PCs can place bounties like they can in Star Wars Galaxies. But no matter how those names get there, are they a hint to future gameplay? "

SERIOUSLY?? That creates hype.. and disappointment. As a contributor to a major source of news you have to be careful wht you say. People can repeat you and it's very easy for something you hope for to suddenly be accepted as "known" info released by a "reliable" site.

Hype is caused by lack of info which is Biowares only crime, assumptions and guesses is what leads people off talking about Gray Jedi and Bounty Hunter/Smuggler PvP.

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 4:25PM Larry Everett said

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I admit I do add to the hype. However, I do try to balance things, back things up with quotes, and attempt to make it abundantly clear when I'm speculating.

The Gray Jedi post -- as with a good chunk of the Hyperspace Beacon -- was a lore post, mostly. We do know that Jedi classes will be able to be Dark Side, and that coupled with the Erickson talking about making more of a "gray" storyline does support that one can play a Gray Jedi.

As for the Hidden Messages articles -- those are total speculation and add do hype. But I hope they are taken as a fun thing to talk about, not source of absolute truth. If people cannot figure that out, then really they shouldn't be on the internet.
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Posted: Oct 26th 2010 6:54PM Interitus said

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Then it's apparent you aren't spending enough time on the TOR boards. People will quickly take any grain of information, even hypothetical and it will work it's way into the collective knowledge. People argue against it, but people have this ideal game in their minds. And they will argue until they are blue in the face that TOR is perfect. Even if most of their knowledge is hypothetical stuff taken out of context from screenshots.

People want to believe the game will be perfect for them, and if you give them the smallest suggestion they will take that and run. You need to drive the idea home that when you are talking about lore or musing over the meaning of something that that is all you are doing. Because people are reading this and then going off and saying they will hunt smugglers. It's stupid, yes. But it's the internet.

You could also write more articles on what TOR won't be. All these niches of MMOers think TOR is perfect for them. Already though we see it's more like some games then others. You need to be a voice of reason, If someone thinks they are going to roleplay a wookiee bounty hunter who works for the republic and flies a ship that he stole from a sith, you need to open their eyes and tell them the game isn't built like that.
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Posted: Oct 26th 2010 11:33PM Larry Everett said

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Posted: Oct 27th 2010 2:23PM Interitus said

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Yes, but one article against a tide of hype is going to be drowned out. I'd like to see more articles where reality sets in. It's like these are the features, they might not be what you are expecting, but this is what we have. And the article is right. There is a huge influx of people coming from SWG, but they are looking for SWG. There are roleplayers who want to be pink wookiee cyborgs. There are crafters who wants rows of harvesters. Fleets who want to attack a specific object whenever they want. People planning their cities.. I could go on.

They take what information Bioware gives out and they mold it to fit what they want. If something goes against what they see in their minds eye, you will find people find ways to interpert it so it fits what they want the game to be.

I'd just like to see more articles saying that TOR looks promising. But it isn't going to be everything everyone expects. Maybe even some articles where rumours are lifted from the TOR boards and debunked. You aren't saying the game is bad, simply saying what is and isn't there.
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Posted: Oct 26th 2010 3:50PM (Unverified) said

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How many people still don't realize that space "combat" is nothing more than a laughable rail shooter?

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 3:52PM DancingCow said

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I think Jef was off on a few points but not his use of the word hype, whose dictionary definition is to:

'publicize in an exaggerated and often misleading manner'

And that's exactly what most MMO developers do. They make crappy games, hype them up the wazoo to boost box sales, and then leave behind unsatisfied and justifiably angry customers.

So the cynicism level amongst MMO players is understandably high.

I am reasonably confident that Bioware aren't going to do this - not every game developer does - but I can understand why some would be skeptical.

Posted: Oct 26th 2010 4:22PM DancingCow said

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"A simple yes or no to MANY of the speculated systems, mechanics, etc is enough to quell over-hype."

Game developers often aren't certain what features will/won't make it into the game at release until close to launch time. They may have every intention of delivering a particular feature, but guaranteeing it before it has been implemented and tested can backfire.

eg. Vanguard.

And ideally you want to be able to demonstrate it, otherwise you'll face skepticism - since we've all been subjected to so much hype by other developers.

There'll also be a PR schedule. They can't just cozy up to gaming sites and say, "Hey, write another article about us. No we have nothing new to share but you know, write about us anyway."

So even when they know the answers to particular questions it's not always in their best interest to share them straight away. They need to keep a few things up their sleeve. That's obviously not immediately ideal for us, but they are a business and the reality is that these things matter.
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Posted: Oct 26th 2010 3:58PM Distaste said

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Lets talk hype. Yes, Bioware isn't making outlandish claims but they are responsible for the hype be it positive or negative. A simple yes or no to MANY of the speculated systems, mechanics, etc is enough to quell over-hype. So yes Bioware is solely responsible for the hype surrounding SWTOR and now their lack of information(~5 months before supposed release) is the reason the hype is turning very negative. Don't use the "They aren't finalized yet!" crap because if they don't know how certain system are going to work or at least the direction they are heading by now then they have major problems.

You mention that Bioware can tell a story, yes in a single player game. However it remains to be seen if they can accomplish telling a story and creating a top notch MMO. Don't take story as a given here because it isn't. The team making SWTOR isn't the same team from ME or KotOR and there are certainly a lot of writers working on it that haven't ever worked for Bioware before. Quite frankly the companion wookie back story is laughable, the Exar kun thing feels like they are trying to cash in and reuse old story, and the same goes for all the cliches that will be tossed into the game for the sake of making it "star warsy".

As for the soapbox thing about his friends making a better story, you missed the point completely imo. Making a story with friends does not mean a player run event, it simply means the time you spend with your friends in game and the actions you choose to do with them. Most MMO fans could care less about RP but they do care about getting into sticky situations with friends and exploring places with them. The draw in WoW for most wasn't to be the slayer of Nefarion but to kill a really hard boss with friends and I'm sure anyone here can tell you the story of how they finally killed the boss including everything that went wrong.

Having story available is fine but shoving players down story cattle chutes is what people fear and have yet to be reassured about. I'm very curious to see if Bioware actually knows what exploration in a MMO means and I think that any "freedom" given will be extremely guided.




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