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Reader Comments (44)

Posted: Nov 9th 2010 12:31PM Seare said

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The great thing about MMOs is that they can evolve. Although none of the things you mentioned will be in the game at launch, they could be added later if enough people ask for it and its feasible.

The thing that bugs me is I see people complaining all the time that Devs are not being innovative enough. Yet, the majority of complaints about TOR are related to not having this or that from another MMO. IMHO, I think a lot of the vocal members of the MMO community are just plain nuts and will never be satisfied.

Posted: Nov 9th 2010 12:28PM (Unverified) said

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Well written post. And I'm inclined to agree, if there's something you want you should speak up about it. However, railing against Bioware because they're "wrong" (Translation: You don't agree with them) turns into a flame pretty quick.

I saw this a lot with the whole species debate. Basically a ton a people just throwing Daniel Erickson's explanation under the bus, without even considering the company's point of view. And it was pretty rude, he could have not responded at all. Lots of name calling and baseless accusations. In the end from a game design and story telling point of view his statements, while I personally didn't like them, made sense.

If you want something imo, get rid of the "this is the way it has to be or it is wrong" attitude. Open your mind to other ideas. I'm not saying agree with them. Just understand them.

Posted: Nov 9th 2010 12:40PM Seare said

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I have played SWG since pre-publish 9/pre-CU. I have only had one character that was a total non-human alien. He was a Bothan. I made with after my black lab. Although I thought it was cool at the time, I....you guessed it....couldn't relate to him. Now every time I play him, he has a helmet on, so he looks like a short human. My human character is still my primary when it comes to everything. The most common species I have seen in SWG are Zabrack and Twelik, which are both playable races in TOR. I guarantee if Chiss where a playable race in SWG, most people would be one, I would. So I think Bioware has a very valid point about species.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 12:56PM Space Cobra said

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@Seare:

Actually, while I do enjoy playing something very exotic and hate the "cheap special effects" of sticking pointy ears on a character and calling it an "alien" or "elf", most people I notice do share your view: More will play humans than any other speicies. IMO, this is why in WoW, more people play Alliance as their mains over Horde: they have someone to relate to.

Some people just like being very different or they look at something exotic with different eyes and relate to it. I think there is a good proportion of players that do this, but yes, my observations and stats speak clear: Humans are chosen more often. Still, I would like an option of something more exotic, not just a human who smeared blue paint all over themselves and took to calling themselves "Chiss". :P
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 1:02PM (Unverified) said

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Idk, I see both sides. My main in WoW was a Tauren for all 4 years that I played. And I connected with him. I related to the character, when I did things I put my my mind in his body you know?

But for WoW I got to make my own story pretty much, for TOR it looks planned out. So I get it. Would I like to be a fishy Mon Cal? Sure. Am I ok not being one? Definitely.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 1:20PM Space Cobra said

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Don't get me wrong: Taurens are among my favorite races because there is hardly *nothing* like them in any other game. I love them!

I mean, if you can be a cow-with-a-shotgun or some other wild race (I keep looking at Monster Play in LotRo and wanting to RP giant spiders and stuff!). Something about being totally different in the online world and bringing folks into that world appeals to me.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 12:33PM Renko said

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Along with the size of the lightsaber hilts and the Wizard title in the list of things that have been changed I'm pretty sure you can also add space combat. I just don't think Bioware originally planned to include it but instead bowed to the pressure for it. If ever a feature has been bolted on as an afterthought this tunnel shooter is it.

Posted: Nov 9th 2010 12:49PM Seare said

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I disagree. In interviews they have been very specific with why they chose the tunnel shooter concept. I have the impression they planned it that way from the start and it was very deliberate, not an afterthought.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 12:50PM Space Cobra said

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I am fine with most of the things talked about in this article (well, except we can't be aliens). While having space combat is a part of Star Wars, I prefer this BioWare controlled approach atm. Yes, it is "on rails", but I have set my sights to be happy with ground-based things: I don't see how I can stand outside my ship and slash at enemy fighters with my lightsaber. :P

You say MMOs are "controlled chaos", but it is my belief, you can't give players too much control: sometimes the illusion of control is enough. Of course, there will be many that will spot it, but you suspend your disbelief and roll with the story.

Most of the things you bring up relate to Sandbox-styled MMOs. Nothing wrong with that, but big corporate interests and most gaming studios, IMO, really haven't figured out a way to incorporate such play with your basic RPG-styled MMO in fun and novel ways. Partly, it is about the company retaining control over their product and partly it is about bringing balance to the most common denominator of players. You have strong camps with different desires: Some want many PvP options. Others want tools to make Roleplaying easier and there are others around those groups. The day a company or studio releases such an MMO will change the industry, but I don't see it from any of the new batch of upcoming games.

So, no game is perfect and players make the best of it.

Posted: Nov 9th 2010 12:54PM Mikx said

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Space is the way it is not because they ever intended it to be an open world where you could pilot your ship to any planet you liked, but because its a feature they can say the game has, in the vein of other Bioware mini-games, namely, and perhaps most apt, the flying game from Jade Empire.

More charitably, KOTOR had a flying minigame, and so SWTOR has one too. Expect it to be clunky and a bit disjointed from the main game, just like all the other minigame efforts. Alternatively, they could turn it into mario kart. Still disjointed, and arguably clunky, but worth a bit of your time. But honestly, I think Flying is one of those things like Peggle and fishing in other games.

No non human characters is the cut that hurts the deepest. Come on, Bioware! I want to be an Ithorian. They don't have them though, because they dont want to design player armor that looks good on different body types.

However, this really is just lazy. Star Trek Online will have more alien players than SWTOR, the reverse of their actual IPs.

Posted: Nov 9th 2010 1:14PM Larry Everett said

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The main issue with space is not the mini-game aspect of it. Halo Reach's space game was a mini-game, and in concept it is a lot more open. It's the idea that it is completely out of the player's control, which is the opposite direction MMOs usually take. The trend with MMOs and what players expect from MMOs is a more open world. BioWare is delivering the open world on the ground, but it is the exact opposite in space.

As I said in the article, I am not saying space will not be fun. I am just extremely disappointed in the direction the Devs took.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 1:28PM Space Cobra said

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@Larry

See, I see things differently from most MMOs on the horizon; they WANT to control your experience. At least protect themselves from things like player-created giant male organs and the like...and then there is the legal department and even SOE's EQ has been hard on fan-fiction stories in the past on their forums (and sometimes outside fan sites).

I don't see new MMOs embracing the sandbox and the ability to "do everything" in game, I see more and more examples of giving us cut-n-dried prepared worlds. Sure, there are some things coming through...but they tend to be AFTER launch and really, IMO, it is still not enough, even some of the Player Created content offerings, as far as I see, are put on a leash and can only be played in certain areas of particular MMOs.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 1:39PM rhorle said

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I disagree that the trend of MMOs is to give the player ultimate control instead of making player play within the confines of the system. You seem to be very biased towards a sandbox game. TOR isn't a sandbox. Not designed to be a sandbox. Not created to be sandbox, and not intended to be one.

Opining over it lacking sandbox features and how it doesn't bode well for the game is just silly. You don't complain how a pig isn't giving you any milk when its clearly hasn't evolved for that purpose.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 1:46PM (Unverified) said

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"Star Trek Online will have more alien players than SWTOR, the reverse of their actual IPs"

But can STO's aliens be as varied as you're asking SWTOR's to be? Cryptic's tools are pretty good, but fundamentally you've still got to make a humanoid, and for the same reason you stated: The armor (and other items) have to be the same for everyone.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 2:18PM Larry Everett said

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Oops, I wasn't clear in my last post about the trend. I meant the trend from single-player games to MMOs. If someone is switching from a single-player game to an MMO of the same genre, generally, speaking you will find things open-up more.

But you are right, within the MMO industry things are getting more and more confined. (except in indie games, we never know what they are going to do :-D )
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 4:10PM Raithnor said

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"However, this really is just lazy. Star Trek Online will have more alien players than SWTOR, the reverse of their actual IPs."

With certain exceptions of Gorn and Caitians the majority of Star Trek Online alien characters are basically humanoids with a lot of makeup and makeup prosthetics.

The difference between STO and SWTOR's system is that SWTOR is only allowing "established" aliens. Star Trek has a tradition of "Alien of the Week" format so it's willing to let players go nuts in designing new aliens. Also Cryptic has much more technology in their character builder overall, while BioWare has decided to focus on Face design.

Star Wars seems to be shifting away from "really strange creatures" to "Humans with lots of makeup". Although some of the newer Star Wars alien races are much more elaborate than similar Star Trek aliens, but that could be the difference in budgets.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 1:01PM Larry Everett said

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I absolutely agree that things will change with SWTOR after launch.

You suggested that the vocal members of the community are nuts, and I'm incline to agree that a good number of suggestions are outlandish. However, if the majority are not vocal, how will a game ever deliver what people are looking for? Sometimes, I'm on the side of let the nuts talk as long as there are sane people talking as well.

Posted: Nov 9th 2010 1:43PM rhorle said

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You are assuming that the players vocal majority or minority know what is best for a game. They don't. No matter how pure or altruistic they may think they are being players don't see the big picture on issues.

Complaining the loudest or doing troll campaigns the most doesn't make you automatically have the best and correct idea for what a game should have. Though you may not understand this since you seem to imply you single handly got SWG to implement PGC by sending a PM to a developer.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 1:59PM goatfoam said

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One of the main issues to me is that 90% of what people are asking to have changed, they haven't tried. People will come along and say "I don't need to try it to know that I hate companions" and it absolutely just blows my mind.

Feedback is great, as is criticism. But ( putting aside the fact that most of it is constructed in the most obnoxious way possible) unless it's based in experience - within context - it just doesn't count for much.
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Posted: Nov 9th 2010 3:07PM Interitus said

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@Goatfoam

It can go both ways though. Devs who get too close to their project can see it as being perfect. They might think they have the best product ever. But 90% of the community might not agree. You need to find a happy medium.

The problem is though that the devs can see every aspect of gameplay, and the playerbase can't. I think you're seeing this now with STO where they are finally bringing in elements people wanted since beta (which was the first time the playerbase could see the game).

We won't be able to tell if TOR has become like this until beta where we have a good chunk of people in to give feedback.
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