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Reader Comments (31)

Posted: Dec 14th 2011 6:13PM The Grand Nagus said

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Its a great game so far, thats for sure. How I'll feel at end game and whether or not that feeling will justify keeping the monthly sub remains to be seen. But I play to play through each career's storyline before going anywhere :)

Posted: Dec 14th 2011 11:18PM Samael said

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@The Grand Nagus

Well according to Beau and most other F2P proponents it never about the end game and always about the journey. So if you enjoyed the leveling to a certain degree then its all well and good and you should be happy.
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Posted: Dec 14th 2011 6:17PM jimr9999us said

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All things being equal I'll spend my limited gaming time playing the game that cost $100mil + to develop and leave the charm to my breakfast cereal :)

Posted: Dec 14th 2011 6:25PM Warsyde said

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"In closing, I would like to say that SWTOR does many, many things right and quite a few things wrong. "

While I don't disagree with the premise in principle, what on earth are you talking about? Your closing statement has almost nothing to do with your article, instead posing a topic for a different article. You can't just fire off a nebulous blurb like "SWTOR does . . . quite a few things wrong" and then fail to substantiate that claim in any way whatsoever.

Bad writer, bad! *whip crack* Write a new conclusion!

Posted: Dec 14th 2011 6:38PM NeverDeath said

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@Warsyde

While I feel that SWTOR is a bit too derivative in ways other than its story/RP elements, especially for the cost that went into it - I completely agree with your assessment of that conclusion, it makes no sense and is totally disjointed from the rest of the article. It's not technically a conclusion at all, except that it calls itself one. And if it's one thing I hate, it's a poser ;P
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Posted: Dec 14th 2011 6:37PM DarkWalker said

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IMHO:

- Hype: useful, but make sure the game can live up to the hype. While TOR looks to be a quite good game, I think the hype was overblown, and Bioware might get some flak for it.

- Quality: Here, for limited budget games, I think the main trick is finding where each development dollar can bring the highest return in *perceived* quality.
BTW, last time I looked, the graphics engine used by TOR (Hero Engine) was available for Indie MMOs at a reasonable price; there is even a limited freeware version, so developers can test it without monetary commitment.
Of course, having the same engine, and achieving the same graphical quality, are very different things.

- Story: I have seen TOR's main quest line described as "on the rails". Seems like, in order to have a really cinematic experience, TOR sacrificed almost all choice; the dialog choices are mostly a way to farm light or dark points, with no long term effects beyond those points (which can be farmed back if needed), and little short term effect (often just a bit of dialog and a different reward you will be going to discard soon anyway).
I think other MMOs would be better off copying either WotLK or GW2's questing model, and GW2's world events.

Posted: Dec 14th 2011 11:24PM Samael said

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@DarkWalker

The thing with hype you have to understand is this. BioWare really did not hype things much, they said exactly what was going to be in the game from the beginning. The only thing they hyped was the story. The huge amount of hype comes from the fanbase and sites like massively.

That is where I have a problem with writers on sites like these saying that BioWare hyped up the game "wah wah wah." In reality, these guys hyped it up, not BioWare.

And there is a huge problem with small budget MMO devs if they hype their game a lot. They won't be able to follow it up with the actual product and that would be devastating for them. Even if BioWare hyped their game, they had the resources to see it through and also had an IP to fall back on. Low budget MMO devs have none of that.
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Posted: Dec 15th 2011 11:26AM Zyrusticae said

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@Samael

I think it's disingenuous to suggest that Massively was in any way a big part of the hype for TOR. It's almost complete the (rather rabid) fanbase that did that. If you look at Massively's actual coverage of TOR, you'll find that a number of writers are, shall we say, less-than-enthusiastic about TOR itself.
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Posted: Dec 15th 2011 12:00PM Beau Hindman said

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@Zyrusticae Also if you read my column you can see where I was actually quite critical of SWTOR. I have never really been a fan. Of course that does not mean I think it is a bad game for those who like that sort of thing.

My section on hype actually confirmed what Sam was saying: "Hype is the by-product of confidence, and it shows that you believe in your title and have taken the time to get the word out." Meaning that the sites and writers do most of the work beyond actually releasing the information. "getting the word out" is controlled by the developer, but is still part of the process of hype-a-zation. lol

My solutions in the article in no way suggest that indie games have the resources or manpower to do what Bioware is doing. I state as much. What I am attempting to do in this column is to give some suggestions to indies (or even many FTPs) on how to do something similar. Live events instead of scripted story interaction, for example.

Great comments so far, guys and gals!

Beau

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Posted: Dec 14th 2011 6:45PM syberghost said

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Actually, the engine BioWare is using, the Hero Engine, is surprisingly affordable, and they even make deals to help out smaller game companies. It's easily within the reach of an indie developer.

There's also the Unreal engine, successfully used by DC Universe Online, APB, CrimeCraft, and the forthcoming DUST 514. Not-for-profit games can use that free, and deals can be made for larger projects.

It's possible your project can't make a deal that works, but you should check those options out because it's likely you can.

Posted: Dec 14th 2011 6:48PM Fakeassname said

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IMO the best thing to learn for small budget F2P titles and Independently produced video games is: don't be a money grubbing mass-market whore.

Nothing can be everything to everyone, I prefer my video games smaller and more focused affairs that don't try to take over my life.

whenever something tries to be my "everything" it usually only manages to offer a limited few "things" that I actually enjoy while force feeding me a great many "things" I don't ... eventually, after trying to endure the elements that I'm not interested in for the same of those that I do, I become disgusted with the whole lot of (including the parts that I liked) and rage quit the game as well as any other game like it.

so F2P/inde title: your (mostly, many F2P titles need lessons on how to not be money grubbing) fine just the way you are because your biggest strengths is that you stick to a limited arsenal of features for a quality experience instead of trying to be my wife, girlfriend, and mother all at the same time .... 'cause that just ain't the way baby Jesus intended things to work.

Posted: Dec 14th 2011 6:51PM Fakeassname said

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@Fakeassname

P.S. I didn't read the article.

I'm kinda burnt out and am not really in the mood to read a wall of text (producing them is just fine though), normally I'd just move on or save it for later but the title struck a nerve and I felt compelled.

I'll probably read it later on and slap myself in the face ...
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Posted: Dec 14th 2011 6:49PM Germaximus said

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I was put off by the closing statement also but the rest of it was a decent read.

Posted: Dec 14th 2011 9:20PM DarkWalker said

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@Germaximus

While it is fairly subjective, TOR is doing quite a few things that, for me at least, are plainly wrong. Which is why, while I'm still in love with KotOR after all those years, and while I've played every single Bioware game up to the point EA purchased them, I'm not going to pick TOR.

The article's author might feel something similar (though most likely less extreme than me), thus the statement.
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Posted: Dec 14th 2011 6:50PM eLdritchZ said

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tbh. i think before others should learn from bioware or swtor, bioware should go learn from others how to properly launch an mmo...

don't even bother with fanboi drivel responses please, i will not read them

Posted: Dec 14th 2011 9:23PM (Unverified) said

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@eLdritchZ

I'm sure you won't.
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Posted: Dec 14th 2011 6:53PM ChaosInc said

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"this newest AAA [game] launch"

Honestly, I'm so sick of the term "AAA" in regards to games. Is there a chart I'm missing somewhere that grades these things? What qualifies as an "A" game? "AA"?!? Who decides these things? (And no, it's not you troll kiddy getting ready to post "OOOO I DO I DO I DO I DO I DO!")

Posted: Dec 14th 2011 6:59PM Beau Hindman said

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@ChaosInc I fought that battle for a while, but really it's a reference to budget, and not always quality. Avatar, for example, was definitely a "AAA" production meaning they spared no expense.

Was it a good movie? That's an another article for another site. lol

It's sort of like "free-to-play"...another term that has been sort of hard to define for a while. But again, I am mainly referring to the money. It costs nothing to play a free-to-play. CAN it cost money, if the player wants to play in a certain way or at a certain speed? Of course, but we also have "freemium" or "unlimited trial."

Now my brain hurts! haha

Beau
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Posted: Dec 14th 2011 10:56PM (Unverified) said

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@ChaosInc When you've spent the last six hours in the open desert of Tattooine next to your broken down Land Speeder waiting for roadside assistance, you know you're in a Triple-A game. :)
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Posted: Dec 15th 2011 1:41AM (Unverified) said

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@ChaosInc

As Beau alluded to, equate 'AAA' to the term 'blockbuster' used to refer to movies. Blair Witch (the first one), Paranormal Activity, Saw, and Hostel were not 'blockbusters' but they made money for their respective studios. Likewise, a title can live outside of 'AAA' territory and still make money. But because it isn't backed by a fleet of Brinks trucks, it lies outside of the 'AAA' designation.
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