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Reader Comments (164)

Posted: Oct 21st 2011 12:57PM Irem said

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"After all, if you play a themepark MMO then you know what to expect of it."

That's making the assumption that themepark MMOs have done 100% of what they're capable of and things will never change, which seems a bit silly to me.
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Posted: Oct 20th 2011 1:20PM demonlife said

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"if I wanted to passively consume content, I would watch television"

That really sums it up. I wish Bioware and other game developers would embrace the idea that games are a relatively new and unique form of entertainment. Bioware et. al. have instead embraced Hollywood with all its cliches and conventions, and given us epic, sweeping, dramatic stories which are largely passive entertainment. Sure, you occasionally get to mash buttons and kill stuff, but it's mostly just sitting and watching cut-scene after cut-scene. At least they let you skip through most of it.

Posted: Oct 20th 2011 1:25PM hereafter said

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@demonlife

In their defense, sometimes passive can be good. Video games are a very broad medium and I think there's room for games that focus on cinematic presentation, so long as there are others that focus more heavily on interactivity.
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Posted: Oct 20th 2011 1:39PM Threecubed said

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@demonlife

I'm sorry, but no BioWare game has been FFXIII or Xenogears, most of your time is definitely spent playing the game, not bleeding through the nose at poorly shot, poorly acted and stupidly-long movies of teens saving the world with magical giant swords.

While BioWare's stories are all hero stories, and thus come with cliches and conventions, that goes for nearly any story. It's not a fault of games, nor Hollywood, nor television, nor books. In fact, it's kind of been this way for a couple hundred years.

I think different endings and multiple "attitudes" per character is about as good as we can get, considering that SWTOR is a computer game.
Even playing single player RPGs, I don't always get the options I want, I can't truly say anything I want or do anything I want, and that's really a limitation of GAMES in general.
It seems silly to say "I'd like this movie better if I could choose the camera angles"... even if you could, you might miss the action.
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Posted: Oct 20th 2011 3:35PM Space Cobra said

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@Threecubed

Agreed there.

Making games is sorta like making a movie, but *you* are the central character. That is why I feel Single-Player games are not dead. You can be *in* the movie and do many things you could not, in your own casual time, unlike an MMO. MMO's are tricky, in that you can't make a lasting change and even if their is dynamics to show it, like a personal instance or a NPC no longer there, there are still "leaks" or things that break that "sense of immersion". Like your friend seeing an NPC but you cannot.

MMOs have value and you could make them a movie of sorts, but they have rules. Sandboxes are more open, but again, there are still limits. It's not an easy balancing act.
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Posted: Oct 20th 2011 4:25PM StampyIRL said

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@hereafter

Well said. Hollywood and TV both have decades of success to back that up. Passive can be quite enjoyable, if it's well-done.
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Posted: Oct 20th 2011 10:35PM Valdur said

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@hereafter

Not if it become the next big thing to copy if the game turns out to be very successful in the long run.I don't want to have another 6-7 years of lack of creativity.

I have not played Beta but this review confirms what I have been suspecting" A single player with co-op + a sub".This game will probably be a 3 monther for me until TSW hit the market.
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Posted: Oct 21st 2011 6:10AM (Unverified) said

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@StampyIRL

Here is a quote from Rob Pardo: The gaming guru of Blizzard:

"Play, Don't Tell: You play the world, never tell the story. Lore and worlds need to be played in, not told about."
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Posted: Oct 20th 2011 1:21PM hereafter said

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It was a good read. I think the takeaway here for me is that you went in expecting little and came out a tiny bit pleased anyway. It didn't have some magical powers to make you love what you hate, but then what game does? Fortunately, I tend towards themeparks and Bioware storytelling is fun for me, even when it gets awkward (and it does).

Posted: Oct 20th 2011 1:27PM Channel84 said

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Nice write up. Helped me in deciding whether to buy or not

Posted: Oct 20th 2011 1:36PM Cannyone said

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Honestly I'm not bothering to read either "reveal". I already know what they're going to say. Because I've heard it all before.

Now that doesn't mean they aren't entitled to their opinions. Or that I don't agree at all. Just that the prospect of wading through it all over leaves me ... feeling meh.

Posted: Oct 20th 2011 2:28PM Irem said

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@Cannyone
Larry actually seemed quite pleased with the game.
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Posted: Oct 20th 2011 1:39PM Khal said

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Pretty much what I expected and what I have been saying all along. I have the same opinions about MMOs as you Jef which is why I mainly read your articles. I'm sure some look at this title through rose colored glasses as far as what they hope it will mean to the genre. That and what it actually is are two different things it seems.

That said it is pre-ordered and it will give some level of entertainment if only being a MMO me and the wife can play together. It's saving grace is it's the new thing.

Posted: Oct 20th 2011 1:44PM heerobya said

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If you disagree you are playing it wrong?

No thanks.

Subjective opinion is subjective.

What is important to note when you take away the writer's subjective opinion on the "feel" of the game etc.

Polished, complete, mostly bug free.

Posted: Oct 20th 2011 2:07PM Cendres said

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@heerobya Nicely said.
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Posted: Oct 20th 2011 1:52PM DarthDan said

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"The game's blending of single- and multi-player conventions is jarring, notably when you're seeing dozens of identical Corso Riggs companion pets running around and when you're one of a gaggle of people talking to the same quest NPC. "

EXACTLY what I was concerned about. Good to see I won't be missing out on anything amazing by skipping this pseudo-single player game.

"BioWare's decision-makers see MMOs not as virtual worlds but as the logical next step in their quest to monetize absolutely every aspect of a title." You hit the bullseye with that statement, Mr. Reahard.

Posted: Oct 20th 2011 1:56PM JayDay said

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@DarthDan

I am glad you're not playing because you, like the OP, are way off. :) But I did beta and can tell you it is a group MMO experience. AS LONG AS YOU GROUP. :D
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Posted: Oct 20th 2011 1:53PM Nenene said

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About what I expected. TOR is pretty generic as far as MMOs go, except for the approach to story; and I've had that already in FFXI and done better.

I hear the VA work is okay though.

Posted: Oct 20th 2011 1:54PM JayDay said

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@Nenene

It's not.
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Posted: Oct 20th 2011 2:08PM Cendres said

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@Nenene Done better in XI? Hugh no.
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