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Reader Comments (129)

Posted: Oct 11th 2011 4:38PM (Unverified) said

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@Metatron most of the features have been showcased and talked about in detail, so I don't know what you're talking about.

If that isn't enough to make someone play the game, then obviously SWTOR might not be the game for him, or he should look up some more info that has been released about the game, and that can be found on the SWTOR site itself.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 5:00PM Metatron said

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@(Unverified) Ok please explain how any of the following work chief:

Crafting
Skill Trees
Rewards for Space Combat/PVP/Raiding
Equipment modding/how much is moddable
Legacy system
The complete companion list
How romance works
Social points
Whats in the CE store

"Gee Metatron I have no idea what yer talkin' 'bout they told us all the stuff already!"
Seriously, I'll wait.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 5:44PM LaughingTarget said

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@Metatron

Why not just get Prima to release a strategy guide next week? You're asking quite a bit from a company well renowned for over a decade to make last minute changes to in-game mechanics before shipping the final product. Most of what you ask might very well be something different next week, so why bother talking about something not finalized?

Surprisingly, testing is NOT about finding bugs (the vast, vast majority of them get squashed in-house), but to determine what aspects of the game work or not, what's fun or not. Bioware is one of those rare companies that treats testing like a laboratory environment to zero in on what the community wants to play, not some extended preview to sell the product. You'll get that information, once the company is convinced that's what will ship in the box. Any information they provide now essentially locks that decision in, and maybe they don't want to lock in how those game mechanics operate just yet and are still tweaking and polishing the feature before chiseling it into stone.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 5:56PM Metatron said

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@LaughingTarget Yeah yeah testing, everything subject to change, yeah I got it. None of that means they can't explain how the stuff works now. You imply that EVERYTHING is so disjointed and so unfinished, that none of it is available and the basics of each system can't even be outlined. That's insane at this point in development.

I'm saying they haven't put ANYTHING into detail at a stage in their development where the majority of the game shouldn't be in such a state of massive flux.

They haven't given concrete info on most of the systems I mentioned, and I find it naive of you to think they don't have enough info to provide people who have already payed them for the game they're making.

If they're tearing down so much of their own game that they can't even release tentative info, then there is something wrong. If they can't release the names of the companionship.

Wanting to know what I'm paying for, is NOT too much to ask.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 6:03PM Metatron said

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@LaughingTarget Oh and stating that I'm asking too much, because of their past history of revealing data, is asinine. Like I give a crap what they've done in the past. Single player games can get away with that. Not MMORPG's that expect me to pay for the game every month.

Like I'm supposed to shrug my shoulders like the closing line of a sitcom and say "Well, that's my Bioware!!"

Give me a break.

Six months ago, your apologetic defenses would be appropriate.

"Tweaking and polishing" should not bar solid info release.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 7:31PM Lafajet said

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@Metatron

Are you serious? Alright, let's go down that list quickly (I'm not about to spend the entire night arguing about this):

Crafting
Get recipes, get materials, craft away. The difference from other similiar systems is that you can have many items being crafted at the same time since you companions do it for you and that it takes slightly longer since it's done in the background. What do you want, a full list of craftables? Probably not going to happen pre-launch, and probably never directly from Bioware.

Skill Trees
One tree is determined by your class, the other two by you advanced class. Other then that, pretty much like skill trees usually work. If you want info on every skill, see above. Probably won't happen before launch/NDA drop since there is a lot of balancing going on here, and it'll probably be fans putting it together.

Rewards for Space Combat/PVP/Raiding
You get the rewards for doing the associated task, vendors, drops (including player specific loot bags), rewards from missions etc. Not sure what more you're looking for here.

Equipment modding/how much is moddable
You put specific mod items into the moddable item, inserting a new mod destroys the old one. Once again, pretty standard fare. How much is moddable? It was presumed a lot, but to my knowledge there is much experimenting going on with it.

Legacy system
This, they haven't talked about. I'll give you that.

The complete companion list
If you really want it, it's been leaked. That being said, why would they necessarily need to give you the entire list? They don't usually tell you about everyone in their singleplayer games, I don't see how this is any different. Finding them ingame is almost half the fun of it.

How romance works
Pretty much how it works in every other Bioware game, although slightly more chaste since this one is rated T for Teen. Talk a bit, do a little side mission or two, talk some more, flirty flirty and bam, you're sucking face with your companion (or NPC, though those romance arcs are typically shorter).

Social points
Used to buy social rewards. Aquired through group conversations. You want a list? Go back to the top. Though I'll give you that they could have given some more examples of the rewards.

Whats in the CE store
Items that are mechanically similiar to other stuff in the game but with a slightly different twist/Comparable items with different graphics/regular items availible slightly earlier/purely cosmetic items meant just for fun/take your pick. It isn't overly important as long as it is not completely imbalanced.

Overall, plenty of info if you are willing to dig around a bit for it or follow fansites that like to really get into the nitty gritty with every announcement/article/whatever. And personally I don't see the to know every single last detail of the game before it is released, I've probably spoiled the game a bit for myself already as it stands and IƤve been holding back a bit.
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Posted: Oct 12th 2011 12:48PM Metatron said

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@Lafajet

1. For most of those you straight up guessed.
2. For some of them you told me to go to leak sites to find it, meaning Bioware hasn't actually released the info, meaning my statements are still true.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 4:11PM Nepentheia said

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Excellent read!

Four very important issues that all developers absolutely need to be extremely cognizant of at all times.

Posted: Oct 11th 2011 4:11PM Metatron said

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Oh and forums are the EASIEST aspect to deal with. You just need to lay down ground rules early, and have moderators who don't cherry pick posts to mod. You just need to value community over money. Blizzard didn't.

Posted: Oct 11th 2011 4:11PM Utakata said

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Trap #5: Under-regulated addons

Although designed to even help eventually the devs improve on the interface of the game, certain addons (or mods) brought out the very worst in players...seemingly to bring that as for mentioned out-of-control forums into the dailey lives of regular gameplay. This includes the likes of GearScore and Recount....which was designed as a measuring stick to help direct players performance, where used and abused by players who had seemingly something to prove. Making many of a player lives grief filled and miserable.

BioWare should do two things: Not allow addons what-so-ever. Games far older than WoW have gotten by just swell without them. Or only allow ones that don't measure. If the community is to be bad as WoW's, least let's try to keep that on the forums, instead of having to play with it constantly ingame. Killing addons that only seem to be used to measure one's epeen is a great start!

Posted: Oct 11th 2011 4:31PM Metatron said

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As for #4 Lord almighty are they arrogant. It's like SWTOR has been out, in their minds, for six years, and people are already paying for 250 dollar Bio-Con tickets on eBay.

Daniel Erickson talks out his ass so much, I'm surprised he doesn't stand on his head for each interview. "Remember that time Han Solo and Chewie went wandering in space and mining and blah blah bah?"

That's cute Danny, but utterly meaningless if, in your game "Han sends Chewie out to mine for shit after they land, because Han has school in the morning"

Fair point, the space game has to be a mirror to the movies, but I don't remember Luke sending R2 out for Tungsten runs between X-Wing drills. Besides I also remember when the Falcon turning around at some point.

I'm fine with the system, but fuck man, just say you thought it would be more fun, or that you were too busy recording dialogue, to give a fuck.

and why is the fucking writer even answering questions about mechanics? Shouldn't he be diddling in a notebook about which glorified fanfiction he's going to insert into the game.
He isn't even that good of a writer, he thinks that players are as vapid as he is, when it comes to empathizing with non-human characters. Here are a few that have manged to appeal to people in spite of not being t-shirt wearers:.
E.T.
Wall-E,
Every friggin Pixar movie EVER!

Georg Zoeller.
Fuck that shit. He needs to ask the writer about his own mechanics. There wouldn't be a storm in a teacup, or whatever, if you supplied more than a teacup worth of info you, ballsack.

Posted: Oct 11th 2011 4:49PM (Unverified) said

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@Metatron I agree with your comments about Erickson, he shouldn't talk about the design systems that he didn't supervise or help build.

However, your comments about them not releasing much info is downright staggering, and ludicrous. Have you been keeping your eyes in your pockets or such?
I've followed a huge number of MMO releases, and BW's release of information about the game pre-release is one of the most extensive I've seen.

Ok, some people might not like the information that was released bc it was about ingame features they don't care much about, but that doesn't mean that their info release was little.


Besides, we've also seen the other side, with AoC and WAR, where their people talked about visions and features in an impressive, mesmerizing way, only those features never made it into the game.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 5:05PM Metatron said

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@(Unverified) Yeah I have, and I'm far from the only person to say such. You may think they've supplied a ton of info but there has been almost no actual detail given on most of the mechanics in the game.

Trust me, I've been following the game since '08. You may know broad aspects of content, but none of the details that matter. If you truly believe they have given a reasonable amount of info at this point, then you are easily pleased.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 8:46PM (Unverified) said

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@Metatron That's downright nonsense, it looks to me like you don't have much experience with MMO's and MMO releases, or are looking at SWTOR with very dark and negative glasses.

Just check here for detailed info: http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=496756

Most of the info there was already known for more than a year ago. Now compare that plus all the news and info released in BW's regular updates with what was known in details about other MMO's like LotrO, Rift and other MMO's a year or even half a year before their launch, and you'll find a far more vague and information sparse situation regarding those MMO's.

So no, everyone who is truly objective and reasonable and has experience with other MMO releases has to admit that BW has been doing pretty good in the release of information, even if some people are unwilling to admit it, because they didn't hear the things they wanted to hear.
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Posted: Oct 12th 2011 1:03PM Metatron said

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@(Unverified) Making up a false gaming history for me isn't doing you any favors.
Neither is the your initial post indicating that no matter what anyone says, you'll declare their statements useless, like this article. You aren't exactly an objective thinker here. You immediately came in, telling someone with many great points, how worthless their opinion piece was based on what? that their opinion is not something YOU wanted to hear? That someone dare give advice to Bioware?

You're going to now try to convince me, that you're somehow speaking with any objectivity? I'm more objective than you are! I'm looking forward to this game but damned if BW's insane level of secrecy and piss poor updates aren't driving me nuts. at this point, they should have their game ready to go with minor changes occurring. they should have enough to release videos showing the crafting processes, and questing, etc. We have a small handful of videos.

GW2 is further off and there is more knowledge of it's workings than this game, and that's pathetic. Especially when we're lied to, and told the game is finished months ago. I understand the game is a constant state of change, but at this point, them tearing down whole systems is a BAD SIGN. and their secrecy is even worse.

I'm wiling to bet I've experienced more MMORPGs than you have. I've been in over fifteen closed betas and dozens of open betas.

I've read that thread, months ago. It's paltry and much speculative. What you may find substantial, I do not. You seem like the kind of person who'd thank Bioware for a black eye. (Are that ridiculous fankid on the boards that uses green font and has the pink Twilek avatar?)
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Posted: Oct 12th 2011 1:14PM Metatron said

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@(Unverified) Oh and posting fanboi drivel like this:

"another pointless editorial...
Bioware has nothing to worry about -and i speak from first hand experience.
the world of games will forever be changed for the better on 12/20"

Make you so unbelievably NONobjective, it boggles the mind. Firstly, for casually dropping your beta experience as an appeal to authority.

Second, for actually speaking for Bioware, and proclaiming what they are and aren't worried about, due to having tested their game. As if such a statement even functions as a counterpoint to the concept of advice.
Testing the game, doesn't mean you can predict how they will approach most of the issues listed in the long term.

You just proclaimed them the victors on all fronts, without so much as a shred of substantial reasoning to back it up, save you're "lofty" position as a beta tester.

You are the LAST person to preach objectivity here. You're more concerned with squashing complaints, for the sake of your ego.
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Posted: Oct 11th 2011 5:02PM HiroProtagonist7 said

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Justin - I love your writing. When I saw this line:
"A sloth that died and is slowly decomposing downhill"
I was going to say that is was the best statement I've read all week.

However, you followed up with:
" casual players were getting lost in that decrepit labyrinth while being chased by trolls and devoured for their precious common sense"

""But Justin," you say, waving your lightsaber,"

"Not everyone's going to fall prostrate at your approach, kiss your feet, and claim that you sweat sunshine because of SWTOR"


and now I can't decide.
You, sir, are awarded 3 internets and a free bag of tubes.

Posted: Oct 11th 2011 5:34PM Bezza said

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Good article Justin, i hope somone who matters in the Bioware food chain reads it and takes it on board. As a prospective player in the 'red-zone' (outside the US/EU) I can assure you that the attitude towards bioware went from happy optimisim to stunned disbelief and a looming sence of doom overnight after we discovered we were not amoung the chosen ones in the blue zone.

The development of gaming apparthied based on geographic location has left us all with a sour taste in our mouth and undone all that hard work the SWTOR PR Machine did.

I am impaitant for the game, and have a glimmer of hope all will be well, but rather than with a sence of anticipation, it is with a sence of foreboding that I watch Dec 20 grow closer.

Posted: Oct 11th 2011 5:36PM LaughingTarget said

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For #3 - as with any large population, the abrasive weirdos will stick out to the point it looks like they're the norm. Folks who can't form a basic sentence, thought pattern, or any other coherent idea will be as obvious as a splotch of yellow paint in the center of your white living room wall. This individual (see Ren) will get a lot of attention from other of his kind, and a few zealous and well meaning individuals that should otherwise not bother.

The upside of the TOR boards is that the moderators, so far, are quite good at keeping the junk threads locked and new topics pop up so frequently to keep possible flamewars cycling to pages two and beyond. Since people have little likelihood of ever finding their way to page two, let alone dig deeper into the boards, such topics usually vanish in short order.

Posted: Oct 12th 2011 10:20AM myhumps said

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@LaughingTarget

I guess you're not on the TOR forums very often. [URL="http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=542741"]This[/URL] thread has been on the front page for a day now. Not exactly a quality discussion.
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