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Reader Comments (63)

Posted: Feb 22nd 2011 5:12PM Evilgm said

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I don't have a problem with it being KOTOR that you can play with your friends, and I imagine it'll likely be a fair bit more than that anyway.

Is standing around in SW what makes WoW an MMO? Is it really significantly different than being on your own ship? Is the ship particularly different than player housing in RoM or FFXI?

Posted: Feb 23rd 2011 2:06AM DancingCow said

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@Evilgm

I think that's why they've marketed it the way they have.

There is actually an MMO under all that story business, but by focusing on the single-player aspect they're potentially broadening the game's appeal, i.e. if you're a gamer but not into MMOs SWTOR is still worth buying.
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Posted: Feb 23rd 2011 10:37AM Swag1v6 said

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@Evilgm i thought the same thing reading this im like but when i played wow all i did was sit in stormwind qued for LFD or got summoned to a raid
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Posted: Feb 22nd 2011 5:19PM rhorle said

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Not really no. Having a persistent world does not mean a lack of convince. The problem you describe "a persistent world becoming a lobby and end game" is true of any game that has a structured leveling advancement. Because as you advance some content will always no longer be relevant and this it becomes something you rarely visit with a need.

What difference is it if I sit on my ship, and chat. Then if I sit in some virtual building in the popular gathering spot? Being in a cantina or my ship is the same thing since both are keeping your away from X content. Your own complain seems to lack any substance.

Posted: Feb 22nd 2011 5:24PM RayzorFlash said

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I think the biggest thing that contributes to the sense of multiplayer in SWTOR will be Flashpoints, and especially Flashpoint conversations and interactions. That you can group with someone and have their character's personality and story decision influence your experience is something that approaches Multiplayer games in a different manner than ever before.

Even if the amount of actual game time spent with other people is reduced, if the QUALITY of that time spent is brilliant and unique, I don't think it matters too much. When I play MMOs, I don't remember the time I spent wandering through a city to go to the bank. I remember the time me and my friend grouped up with a few strangers and did an epic quest with fully-voiced dialogue, branching paths, and an amazing ending set in a beautiful, immersive world.

Posted: Feb 22nd 2011 5:32PM Arkanaloth said

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IMO, the design is in such a way that you group with people because you *want* to.. not because you *have* to, Ultimately it falls on the players to find like-minded individuals to game with.

I've played a LOT of games EQ, FFXI, WoW, GW, SWG, STO, Vanguard, and on.. and on... and if there's anything I've noticed it's this: If people *can* solo, they will solo and if it's something they can't solo, a good portion will just skip it.

World of Warcraft and it's followers have broken the back of the concept forced grouping just to hit the level cap. You can ding 85, have fun doing it, and never speak to another soul... Instances are a different story though and in WoW the vast majority of storylines tend to end inside of instances. It appears new games are taking it further, no need for grouping at all for the "meat and potatoes" storyline, unless you just *want* to. Weather this is good or bad depends on us as individuals and how easily / quickly you find those like-minded people to game with.

Once the game goes live I think you'll see more random banter in flashpoints and so on and there will be quite a few more like minded people in /general doing the old "LFG". There's just not enough people in the TOR beta at this point to *really* get a feel for the communication levels that will be present after launch.

Posted: Feb 22nd 2011 5:37PM HokieKC said

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It does sound a lot like KOTOR with on-line coop (which would have been great). However, Bioware is presenting this as a full fledged MMORPG.

When I first heard: Star Wars MMO by Bioware I about wet myself in excitement (I'm a huge Star Wars/Bioware fan). However, my enthusiasm is diminished the more I hear about this game....a heavily instanced game, a rail shooter for space combat, a non-sandbox world, and 'stylized' character animations that could be any generic sci-fi IP sans light-sabers.

TOR just isn't on my radar like it was when it was first announced.

Posted: Feb 22nd 2011 7:57PM Daelda said

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@HokieKC Where did you read that TOR would be "heavily instanced"? Because, according to the developers, other than the starter worlds 85% or more of the game is non-instanced. I wouldn't call that "heavily instanced" - but maybe you have a different definition of that than I do.
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Posted: Feb 22nd 2011 9:13PM HokieKC said

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@Daelda - TOR sure sounds heavily instanced (ie 'Flashpoints') to me.
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Posted: Feb 22nd 2011 11:04PM Daelda said

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@HokieKC I see... you took one feature of the game (which are basically the same as dungeons in WoW) and, without doing any real research, determined that that is all the game consists of.... If I may make a suggestion, you *may* want to actually do a little further research into just what Flashpoints really are, how they work and how many are in the game. Just to make it a little easier for you, I'll start you off with this:

Currently there are *five* Known Flashpoints (descriptions are my own little summaries based on the actual longer Official Descriptions):

*The Esseles (Early Game; Republic Only)*: Defend a Transport under attack & decide the fate of the passenger on board.

*The Black Talon (Early Game; Empire Only)*: Intercept and seize control of a Republic Transport.

*Taral V (Mid Game; Republic Only)*: Rescue a Jedi Prisoner.

*Boarding Party (Mid Game; Empire Only)*; Track down an escaped Jedi Prisoner.

*Directive 7 (End Game; Both)*: The Droids are forming a Revolution!

So, there ya go. Those are Flashpoints. Basically the same thing that any other game calls a Dungeon - like The Deadmines, Uldaman, or Black Temple. Well...except done by BioWare and looking like they will be a lot more fun. Of course, you could always just assume that the only thing in TOR are Flashpoints (aka Dungeons). You'd be wrong, but that's okay - people are wrong all the time. Especially when they don't take the time or effort to actually look things up.
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Posted: Feb 23rd 2011 12:06AM HokieKC said

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@Daelda - I was just pointing out one of the many types of instances in TOR as an example... hence the 'ie'.
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Posted: Feb 23rd 2011 12:22AM Daelda said

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@HokieKC Okay, so enlighten me on the other "instanced" parts of TOR that make up so much of the game, please.
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Posted: Feb 23rd 2011 12:43AM HokieKC said

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@Daelda - Bioware avoids using the term "instance' in their interviews but talk a lot about 'flashpoints', "warzones' and especially 'phasing'. These are all types of instances even if they don't want to use the term.

And they haven't even gotten into zones instances which are obviously another type.
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Posted: Feb 23rd 2011 3:59AM Daelda said

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@HokieKC - Okay. So, I can understand where some of your concern may come from. However, why would BioWare lie and specifically state that, "For the average planet, I'd say that 85+% of space is located in open, non phased areas."? I mean, I get that companies lie about their products, but why *this specific* lie? And why specifically make such a statement, when it would be so much easier to just avoid the subject?

I mean, if BioWare was going to lie about TOR...why not lie about Space Combat? Or about using Companions in PvP/Raiding? Or why not lie about Advanced Classes being just like a re-spec? Or even lie about how Crafting and say it will be more like SWG? Those are all things that people complain about on the Forums. I mean, if BioWare is going to choose to lie about one major aspect of their game - how "open world" it actually is - why not lie about other things people don't like just to get more fans?

Finally, with most MMOs at launch - if they have been found to have been telling falsehoods, or promising things that it couldn't deliver on, there is usually a rather large amount of backlash - even when those companies tell the fans that things aren't finalized yet and that these things may change. Now, BioWare seems to be taking the position of "No news until we are 99% positive that it will be in the game." A position which has gotten it a fair amount of flack. Given that position, wouldn't it really be stupid of them to actually come out and promise something, like the open world game, if they didn't deliver? I like BioWare and even I would call them out on that.

I guess, in the end, I just don't see any upside for BioWare to lie about TOR being mostly open world.
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Posted: Feb 23rd 2011 2:54PM HokieKC said

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@Daelda - Would it be new for an MMO developer to lie about certain aspects of their game in order for it to sell better at launch?

Happens all the time.
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Posted: Feb 22nd 2011 5:46PM (Unverified) said

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I share the poster's concerns with the MMO aspects of SWTOR. Bioware might be erring on the side of what they know best here.

They really are following the market, most MMO players I know Solo %50-90 of the time. I really hope they give us good reasons to group however. Raid style challenging dungeons for each tier of the game might be enough. These kind of optional challenges encouraged grouping in COH/V and Guild Wars pretty well.

Posted: Feb 22nd 2011 5:47PM Tom in VA said

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What I am looking for in SWTOR is a good immersion game with multiplayer elements so, no, I don't share your concerns about this at all. Frankly, I think you're over-reacting.

Heading into a SWTOR equivalent of Stormwind's banking district would be about as immersion-destroying as anything could be -- masses of moronically named avatars dancing around in their underwear, oh, yeah. There's fun for ya. Or not. Thank you, Bioware, for sparing me that.

My hope, prayer, really, is that SWTOR leaves it up to the player how they want to play the game -- be it solo, multiplayer, or a mix of both playing styles. Artificially forcing players to congregate in lag-centric areas would just be ... annoying.

Posted: Feb 28th 2011 3:48PM Wildcard273 said

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@Tom in VA I really agree with you Tom. I was thinking the same thing. I think this is a lot of panic about nothing. I liked interacting with other players on an MMO, but that same time, I also enjoy doing missions soloing by myself. I mostly prefer it, not because I don't want to join a group, but because I don't playing for 8 hour stretches or want to deal with annoying kids playing.

But that's not to say that I don't want to group. Some of the most enjoyable times I've had on various MMOs has been in groups. I just like the fact that Bioware has stated that SWTOR's endgame can be soloed, IF you want. But you can obviously join a group and finish it. I think forcing players to group in order to finish the game is wrong, it should be an option.
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Posted: Feb 22nd 2011 5:48PM (Unverified) said

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Still things being accessible from the ship is fine. Having to go to a multi-player area to do common tasks in no way encourages grouping.

Posted: Feb 22nd 2011 5:56PM Innocentte said

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An interesting observation on MMOs and playing with other folks. I recently loaded up ES:Oblivion again. Just cannot get into it. Even though the story and mechanics are superior to just about every MMO around. Why not?

Because there are no REAL people running around.

Even if I do not interact with the other players all the time, in an MMO they are there. Doing the sort of random things only real folks can do. It makes the game world alive and real.

Just running around and tossing the occasional buff or heal on a stranger having a tough time gives way more statisfaction than playing any non-MMO game. At least for me.

I will take a real MMO any day over the Lobby based GW style of 'MMO'. EQ, EQ2, DAOC, LotRO, WoW, Planetside. Those have the style of MMO interactions that make MMOs great.

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