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Reader Comments (187)

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:00PM Ehra said

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Holy shit the fanboy vitriol is strong this morning. He didn't even insult the game, he raised an issue that is apparently valid enough of a concern that an employee made a forum post explaining how they plan on dealing with this potential issue in the future. Calm down, try going outside a bit.


With that said, while I don't play ToR I've always been of the stance that players shouln't concern themselves much of what may or may not be released at some undefined term in the future. Ultimately, a game should be judged on how it is NOW, not how the developers, haters, or fanboys say it will be X months down the road. If the game is worth the price now then enjoy it, and worry about what happens at max level or when new content is added once you get to that point.

Bioware may or may not be able to continue adding engaging story months/years to come, we won't know until it happens. Until then all we can do is speculate (which, again, is all this article did. Calm down, kiddies). But I think there's a potential trap many hardcore gamers fall in where they worry so much about what may or may not happen later that they ruin the game for themselves now.

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:04PM Joaquin Crowe said

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@Ehra Looking to the future of an MMO is a valid concern for customers. An MMO is an investment game -- especially if there's a subscription fee. No one wants to shell out $15/month for nothing but access. OK, not no one -- millions of people sub to WoW and they don't update nearly enough to justify the charge. ;) But regardless, people should look for some continuing value or service being provided on a long term basis from an MMO company before buying the box/setting up an account.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:05PM Alex Oglitchkin said

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@Ehra But you see that is where you fail in the MMO world. WoW didn't start off as a powerhouse because EQ was still the top dog. As TBC started to launch the game started to take off and when they went to a broader audience in Wrath it reached it's peak. MMOs that launch are laying out the ground work for the future. People whine and complain about lack of content because well they play WoW and it's been out for a long time, but what they fail to realize in WoW now the only thing that matters is carrot on a stick endgame.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:11PM Ehra said

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@Joaquin Crowe

$15 a month for "access" is exactly what you're doing. That's literally all your subscription fees get you, it doesn't "buy" you updates. And in fact that goes back to what I was saying; if someone keeps their subscription fee going simply because they're waiting for some update that is supposedly going to come then, honestly, that's their own fault. If their enjoyment of the game hinges on some update that the devs say is coming a month down the line, then cancel your sub and rejoin once that update actually comes. Like I said, judge the game on how it is now and now how it may or may not be months down the line.

My point is that if ToR manages to bomb completely in 6 months, that shouldn't affect anyone's enjoyment of the game now. Fun is fun, and a game not being enjoyable later doesn't negate your experiences now.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:13PM Ehra said

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@Alex Oglitchkin

WoW had more players than EQ even before their first expansion came out. The game was a hit pretty much from day one.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:43PM Celtar said

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@Ehra

LOL and yet your reasonable post was downgraded into the pits Ehra. Your points are correct, but you can't voice that or you incur the wrath. heh
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:45PM Celtar said

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@Ehra

Scratch that you've been getting some up marks that have moved it back up to two green spots. lol
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 6:42PM Zyrusticae said

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@Ehra

It's like this in pretty much every SWTOR article. The difference here is the article is written in a way that sets pretty much every one of those fanboys on fire (yes, even as mild as it is, as you said).

I figured out pretty quick that badmouthing SWTOR in any way in an article is a very easy way to get downvoted into Oblivion. I don't really understand why, but they are VERY defensive about the game. I can understand wanting to prevent the spread of misinformation, but what's said here is most definitely NOT misinformation...
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Posted: Dec 28th 2011 4:34PM HiroProtagonist7 said

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@Ehra
You make a valid point. I, personally, can't stand the grind and may times just deal with it in order to get to what is promised after the grind. Right now with my character, I've reached a few major goals - #1 - got decent weapons, #2 - can finally run faster (which is telling in itself) and #3 - got my ship.

As I looked at the empty map in the next area I knew exactly what I had to do - I hadn't heard the story explaining "why" I was doing it, but I already knew what "it" was - I needed to pick up the quests at the landing point quest hub along with my class quest. Clear all the quests, progress my class quest one stage, unlock a new area then repeat until the whole planet map was open.

What Bioware has addressed with its 4th Pillar is the "why" - the "it" hasn't changed. Bioware's story goes so far as to blank out the massively in MMO during the stories (the other players) so it becomes painfully obvious that the story could exist as an offline game. Take out that story and the actual game - the part you play, what you "do," is the same as any other MMO out there. It's like they took a really, really good sequel to KOTOR and ruined it with grind.

Because of this, there is an over-arching, all-encompassing question of "why do this at all?" The first three stages had answers - Gun, Run Faster and Ship. If the space combat had anything to it at all, it may have been an answer in itself but it is just another disappointing ride. So what's next? I've already breached the personal illusion that the game is somehow different in itself. The story would be cool except for all of the grind 'filler' used to stretch it out - I can't stomach having to clear out an entire area just to turn the page.

By looking at the end-game we can decide for ourselves, personally, if playing the game is worth the time we put in. For me, again - personally, SWTOR looks like the end-game is gear grinding for raiding for more gear for more raiding. I've reached the point, lvl 17, where what you actually "do" has an obvious pattern of repetition and to me, that price is too high to be able to turn the page on the story. The game mechanics are lacking any variability or risk - you can't really be "good" at the game, there is no falling off the ride and there isn't any way you can impact the game-world in any way, shape or form.

So by looking towards the future (or lack of possibilities that interest me personally), I've decided for myself that I've spent enough on SWTOR and won't be subbing past the free month. Why then come on the forums to state my opinion? Why worry about how much fun others are having? I can tell you this - it isn't altruistic. Theme parks have been receiving all of the MMO development money for the past... well, since WoW. They're all the same and all built from the same cookie cutter gameplay formula. I hope that others might catch on to the pointlessness of quest-hub to quest-hub repetition, get sick of it and quit just a little sooner. SWTOR is a huuge target and if it fails it may get these companies innovating a bit more and we might see some cash funneled back towards actual virtual worlds again. You know - places where you can do something to the world that others can see. When you can build, log off and others can see what you made then and only then are you participating in a virtual world.
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:02PM Krovak said

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Oh man! Such vitriol already for an article that states up front it is an opinion piece. *shakes head* They ask for comment and dissenting views, and what do they get? Mindless attacks like the ever so dull “U mad bro?.” I mean really how long did it take to come up with “My opinion is that you are a condescending, self-satisfied prick.” The poster that made this comment, by his/her own words, demonstrated that they themselves are deserving of that comment. “My opinion” for what it is worth.

Although a lot of the observations are correct about cost of production and so on, I am willing to bet this has been thought of and planned for. I do not know, but would be willing to bet, that a lot of the up front production costs included in development of the game, included tools to facilitate lowering the cost of “new story.” All ready in the story lines you will hear “canned voice acting” like “I do not plan to live forever so I am in” to about 5 to 10 (or more) unique choices on the choice wheel during the story. It is all conjecture on our part at this time either way you cut. No matter what position you take on the potential for future story telling. But Jeffery my friend, although I appreciate your opinion, you would have to conclude that BioWare has no intention of maximizing on earnings potential by NOT planning on developing new story line for future sales! Not to mention continuing subscription fees rolling in. Now I can say a lot of things about BioWare to be honest, but stupid would not be one of them.

Come on Jef you must be the "glass is half empty" kind of guy ;) …amiright? :) But more to the point I also think he is doing a bit of trolling. He would love to see this article on the "The most popular posts
in the last 7 days" list. =P

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:51PM Oskari said

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@BlackFx

Your comment sucks. Is that to the point enough?
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 4:51PM KDolo said

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@Krovak

How exactly do you post a dissenting view to, "I dont think BioWare can get the job done, but I have no proof to back up my claim"
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Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:04PM (Unverified) said

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duelspec ffs!!!

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:07PM Mongo8 said

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It isn't about keeping YOU, as a customer. It's about keeping a high NET NUMBER of customers. A Blizzard dev I think it was said that there were a lot more people who used to play WoW than are playing WoW now. You can't expect everyone who starts playing a game to keep playing it. The general idea is to keep many new players coming into the game as possible to balance out those that leave. But I suppose trying to get that NET accounts balance across to people who are convinced the world revolves around THEM is futile.

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:08PM (Unverified) said

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I enjoyed this kvetch of an article and it raises an interesting point - that it will be much easier to just tack on raid zones and badge collections than it will be to do more story.

However, if the premise is that the genius of the game is how much Story RPG there is in SWTOR, isn't there a simple, ready path to making an add-on to the existing game? RPGS often have bulky, enjoyable expansions these days. Oblivion and Fallout both had great beefy story driven add-ons that were well worth the money. There is absolutely NOTHING that prevents a huge creative company like Bioware from making an add-on that models itself on the RPG world and avoids the current "collect nine badges and kill this new foozle" add-on path.

For my money a nice mix of both would be fine too.

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:09PM Space Cobra said

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Dang, some of you commentors/repliers are edgy!

Jef has a valid question about the fourth pillar and beyond. About story keeping up.

I know a guy that just completed his story arc and while he didn't lend any spoilers, he did say it was a "meh" ending. Actually, through my own way of game playing, some of the story bosses are a bit underwhelming IMO ("Where's the difficulty slider?"). Granted, I am equal to a few levels above, but after some build up, well.... well, let's just say it is either very satisfying to easily mash grapefruit in the bosses faces over and over while I show them who is REALLY "the Boss" or the bosses didn't match their hype-machine!

Still, I am enjoying it, although I am trying to run to the end of Chapter 1 and not enjoying/savoring it as I feel I should because of this *crap* Legacy mechanic that should've been given to us at an earlier level and not level 30-ish, give or take how you play the game. Since I want to at least get a nice name for (only one or two) of my characters (that could possibly share a family/legacy alliance), I gotta rush! "Great job killing your own story pillar there for a dyed-in-the-wool story-lover, Bioware!" /s

In any event, I am finding some enjoyment, even playing alts that I really should hold off on to maximize the Legacy-XP mechanic.

I think we mentioned Wizard101 does Voice work for their quests. While it may be "pricey", I don't think it's too pricey, but one has to get the story-quest lines right. You also need cinematics.

Most people, including "story-guy me" feel there should be a few more Arenas and Flashpoints and other group content added (since it is fun). So, there is that. Also, I feel that the level cap will not stay at 50 in SWTOR, so there are the expansions. I feel Bioware probably has a stronger long-term map for goals than even Blizzard has for WoW, because they *have* to pre-plan ahead. So, I think at least the first expansion is already under development, if not the second and third as well. (Again, Bioware did mention they aren't letting go of their dev team after launch, keeping them around, so they *must* be working at *something*, even if it is rounds of Nerf-gun tag matches in Bioware hallways!).

Given how I am seeing many threads woven in and out of the main storyline, I think this would be fairly easy to keep up. I feel, with the graces of EA's pockets and LA's blessing, SWTOR is going to be a game that will have money spoon-fed into it's massive maw by these studios. I think the game has been set up just for this and cannot even be compared to Blizzard in this regard. I think money will continue to be poured into it, even though many MMO's want to break-even and continue on with just profit and operating costs. I've seen evidence of this already in some articles and some of what Bioware has already done/said about the game. (And don't forget what EA said: "We are moving out of the single-player console experience." I think this applies to Bioware especially).

In some ways, Bioware has shackled itself to SWTOR in that they may've shot themselves in the foot if they want to make/develop a new game, like a new Dragon Age sequel or what-have-you. They probably can, but already we are seeing some cracks in Bioware in regards to the complaints about DA2 and even ME (which, I still enjoyed both).

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:09PM Oskari said

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@BlackFx

Really? This is the comment TOR supporters want to vote up?

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:11PM Dunraven said

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Hey look it's another SWTOR sucks post by Jef! Anywho if you were paying attention then you would know that Bioware has already said their answer to what now is more content more story more things to do and if it isn't coming in fast enough for you go play something else because one of Biowares founding principles is let them quit.

What does that mean?

Well it means that their quality and vision will not be held hostage to some OCD sockpooper. I get that SWTOR isn't your Cuppa but you really need to make peace with it and move on I highly doubt that it will cut into WoWinsiders advertising that much because WoW is doing a great job of committing suicide anyway.

Oh and for MMO's that are following WoW's model...um I don't know if you know this or not but aside from perfect world cranking out grindfest after grind fest not that many MMO's at least triple A mmo's are being made anymore and those that are have been in development since before or as long as TOR so your reasoning as usual is Straw man.

Anyway here is hoping you reach some form of closure.

Your pal
Aidan

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:12PM Iconik said

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What a crap story. So, an MMO that dares to add a compelling story with real choices is to be flayed? I love how innovation in the gaming industry is only worthy if its coming from the same bullcrap series.

The story elements in TOR are fun. It's supplemental to the MMO genre. It can only ADD to it. Why ask questions about what may or may not happen in the future? Enjoy the content NOW. Let Bioware (they have a pretty good reputation) figure out the logistics.

Posted: Dec 27th 2011 1:34PM Ehra said

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@Iconik

So, an MMO that dares to add a compelling story with real choices is to be flayed?"

Point out where he "flayed" the game.
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