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The NGE Decision


TronusNavigon
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I don't know what it's like to be a developer for SWG, but I cannot imagine things to be pretty. There was a post recently that things in the SEO offices were grim and they weren't expecting to take such a huge hit.

 

Now, I've tried to look at both the good and bad aspects of this NGE and no matter how you look at it, it's quite evident to any veteren player that this game has dilapidated beyond belief.

 

The best thing about the NGE: the action packed combat. Bugged to hell yes, but hey, it is pretty cool to fire away with your blaster and kill everything in sight, including Medics armed with carbines killing melee Jedi. Ooookay...

 

But What Went Wrong?

 

1- SEO Destroys the Endgame

 

Everybody wants to be a Jedi. And in accordance to the old SWG, everybody, in a sense, was a Jedi, it just took massive training and discipline to untap your Jedi potential. Okay let's be real, it took a vicious, blinding grind, an immaculate time-sink that made it near impossible for any casual player to become a Jedi. Okay, whatever. The thing was, there was your endgame. You knew that as you played this game and I hate to use the phrase, invested time, because the game should be fun enough to simply say played the game, but let's be real, many people were grinding professions they didn't care for simply to become Jedi.

 

Yet and still, there's your endgame. And once you achieved that endgame it became a matter of survival. You were a Jedi, you chose to be a Jedi. Now you are hunted. This is Star Wars, the whole thing about Star Wars is that "Every single Jedi is now the enemy of the Republic" as are man in Coruscant, Frank Palpatine, uttered to Anakin turned Lord Vader. So, you didn't see too many Jedi, they kept in hiding, and when you did see them, you knew they were exposed to the legions of Bounty Hunters hunting them down.

 

Many bugs, yes. Balancing issues, yes. Player complaints, that's a constant, even when there are no problems. Was it fun even if you weren't a Jedi or a Bounty Hunter but happened to be walking through Mos Eisley and suddenly see a Jedi/BH battle happening in front of your eyes? Hell yes! It was immersive and it reflected your end game.

 

The Endgame is now destroyed. What's the purpose of SWG? Seriously. What is the purpose? SEO just sent SWG five years backwards by giving it the same endgame premise as an MMORPG that made huge mistakes in the past while giving other MMORPG's the chance to learn from the old game mistakes. Did they not realize what they were doing?

 

What nimrod genius said, "Let's let EVERYONE be a Jedi if they WANT!?" No you goddamn moron, that's your ENDGAME. That's the Alpha Class. That's what's gonna keep these players, from ages 12-60 or whatever the insanely huge demographic SW anything produces, pumping their credit cards and shelling out money. There will be complaints. That's a constant! There will be balancing issues. But you do not rip a succesful infastructure to hell on a gamble. You can become a Jedi, it takes time and discipline but that's the soul of the game.

 

If you have thousands of Jedi running around it DESTROYS the immersive Star Wars experience. If you bought an old-school RPG like Bard's Tale or Wasteland and as soon as you start everyone in your party is uber with the best weapons and equipment, you've lost your endgame.

 

It's the same with Jedi. Yeah they suck in the beginning because they made them Padawans. Padawans? Uh... this is Star Wars during the galactic civil war, remember? This is an MMORPG, what retard did not realize that the whole point of a virtual world was immersion? At what point did they think going against the brand name and ideology of Star Wars was a good idea for a Star Wars based game with Star Wars fans?

 

And finally, what nimrod genius thought that giving Jedi their choice of cool statuettes would make up for the 2+ years, hundreds of dollars spent achieving the endgame?

 

Shareholder conclusion: Goddamn horrible decision. Somebody needs to be fired.

 

2- SEO Destroys MMORPG basic Gameplay

 

There are three aspects of gameplay involving an MMORPG:

 

The Social Game

The Combat Game

The PvP Game

 

SWG had a golden, golden, golden opportunity to capitalize on all three, and you know what, for two plus years they did.

 

The Social Game was symbiotic with the Combat Game because Entertainers healed Wounds and Crafters built the best Weapons and shaped the economy so that there could be a Combat Game. The PvP game was also symbiotic with the Social game. Once again Entertainers healed WOunds and Crafters built the best PvP weapons. And, socially, a Jedi could not 'show' himself as being a Jedi in a social setting without Bounty Hunters finding out about it.

 

The social game was never what it could have been, but it was so close, and more intuitive than any game on the market. SWG was always, always ahead of its time. From a business perspective that's not always equal to success, but it leaves an impressionable mark on gaming history and with a game like this, the brand name alone would signify a pretty solid break even point.

 

Well, enter the NGE. And enter the nimrod geniuses of SEO to say, "We don't need Wounds or Battle Fatigue." "Why?" "Because it's boring and stupid." (Actually that last one was an actual quote in regards to NGE doing away with Smuggler's slicing).

 

So, let's see here. Immersive Star Wars experience. Mos Eisley Cantina. First groundbreaking Star Wars movie, unforgettable scene of Han Solo's introduction. Jabba's Palace, dancers... entertainers... Han Solo, customizes his ship even though he's just a Smuggler...

 

Need I go on? The Social Game has been viciously incapped. Entertainers are good for XP buffs, nothing more. Oh what fun. Crafters can only craft 1 of 4 genre of items. And oh by the way, they're not as good as "loot drops" that term of endearment made popular by eight year olds playing Everquest which appeared on the welcoming screen of as this NGE SWG loads: "cool new loot". Vomitous is the first word that comes to mind when I first read that.

 

And ah yes, the PvP game is still there, except Bounty Hunters can no longer kill Jedi and Jedi are free to run around and do whatever they like because there is no more endgame and in fact, there's no purpose to this game anymore. It's just... a concept of a beautifully coded virtual world with a basic D&D archetype platform glued sporadically on top of it in a horrible, un-even manner. There are free Star Wars MUDS with more character depth than this game you pay $15/month for.

 

So, the PvP has now dilapdated once again to a gaming structure presented five years ago and now there's this:

 

The Combat Game (with PvP included!)

The Social Leftover

 

And that's it. Good job.

 

Shareholder conclusion: Not a game killer, but not understanding the decision to go from innovative to mundane. Why would you not want to be groundbreaking? Grade: D-

 

3- SEO Substitutes Variety with Austerity

 

30 plus professions is impossible to balance! So screamed the devs. I don't blame them. I wouldn't want to try to balance that madness either. So they decided to shrink it down into "9 iconic professions". Truth be told, even I thought some of the classes were a bit "UnStarWarsy". But that was variety and if somebody wanted to be a Master Fencer, good for them. But, they just couldn't get the balance right, so, they shrank it to 9. So once they had 9 professions, one might think they'd take that existing skillset and provide buffers. Traders will never be as good with a blaster as a Commando, but if either of them want to take up Fencing as a past time, more power to you. Bounty Hunters will never have the leadership abilities of officers, but both of them can rival each other with a blaster carbine.

 

So Commando and Officer might have Carbineer as a primary skillset and fencing as a secondary or tertiary skillset. Traders will have Shipwright as a Primary Skillset but blaster carbine as a secondary or tertiary skillset.

 

But, instead of taking all of those skillsets and making them profession sets so a 2-year vet who respecs to Commando can still have that Mastery of Cooking he grinded for all that time, they said, "To hell with them!"

 

Now, we choose nothing. We sit back and we, walk around a game with no real end in sight, full of bugs, a severed gameplay, serious lag, and... a circle chart where we level, and level, and level, and level until we hit level 90 (*cough*80*cough*), get bored, and buy a new game.

 

A 1000 piece Erector set is so much more fun that 9 lincoln logs. A 9 piece Erector Set with a variety of a thousand sub-pieces to build a character would be fun. A special-ed skill wheel handed to us to look at whilst the remainder of this game gets a vasectomy with a rusty shovel? Just absurd.

 

Shareholder Conclusion: Our profit base, those old players shelling out 3 or four multiple accounts for a year, well, we just screwed them royally. They have nothing to show for their time and investment in a game we wanted them to love. We spit in their face. Pathetic, malevolent decision. Solid F.

 

 

<sarcasm> But... running around chasing NPC's and clicking the button a million times... lots of fun. And seeing Han Solo, C-3PO, and Chewbacca at the beginning of the game! Ooooh that's so Star Warsy! So there may be hope! </sarcasm>

 

I shall rant no more. I just had to get this out. Kudos.

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I wish I had your vision, McCusto, but that is good.

 

The more users the better. This place has become a ghost town haunted by Jedi Padawans searching for "cool new loot!" ... :|

 

Look, there are things I really, really enjoy about the NGE, and it is unfair to everyone not to mention it, especially after my long-winded rants,

which I must apologize for.

 

For instance, I love the new combat system. It really is spectacular. I don't like the fact that "Lock-On" is not a skill combat classes can achieve after a certain level but I do find it to be a lot funner than the old combat system which had me firing, then waiting, then firing, then waiting. So, yes, when it comes to Star Wars adventure, I praise the developers for this new style approach of combat. I know that this is a major complaint, turning SWG into an FPS, but that's never really been my complaint at all because there were far greater sins pulled off by this NGE as stated above.

 

What else do I like? I can't say. Even if I never played the old game, I've played UO in its inception and even that skill system was more innovative than the Special-Ed, "The Choice is NOT yours", Skill Wheel smashed in our face. I can't understand why the decision to make everyone in game exactly the same was considered a good idea? That's a major complaint amongst all MMORPG's.

 

Why rollback the asthetics of the game seven years past? The first MMORPG, Ultima Online was far more diverse than this? Why set it back at such an astounding rate, especially when there was a foundation of a far more innovative game already built? There's simply put no excuse for that kind of half-witted decision. You do not regress so radically with such a large player base on the line.

 

As paying customers we have every right to dissent. The percentage of users abondoning the game and its accounts is far, far greater than the number of new users coming into the game. This holiday season will invite more, but frankly, WOW and Guild Wars have dominated the market with an astounding user-base supporting the game with a postive light and incredible user reviews.

 

SWG has destroyed itself through spontaneous implosion. The question is, will it rise again like the Phoenix or will it go the way of so

many other MMORPG's that faded into oblivion? Because if you recall, even the ones that faded away weren't even close to being as seriously broken and poorly coded as SWG. It's become impossible for SWG to be taken serious as not just a contender in the market, but taken serious as a viable piece of software.

 

Time will tell.

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For the most part the NGE is a good concept for SWG. Ranged combat needed a boost and the NGE's FPS style was what it needed... BUT!!!

 

The NGE needed to be on alpha-beta servers and polished up, not on live servers killing the community.

 

So many fundamental elements are still needing to be even coded before this was ready to be released to live servers. Collision (both NPC and PC), free fire (so you can actually miss), many more options to customize the UI and an inclusion of the player base input so that the professions could have been discussed and perhaps some saved... like CH.

 

At this time even SOE admits that many of these things are on the drawing board, but will take months, perhaps up to a year to finish up. That is unacceptable to most of the community. It was only 6 months ago when they asked us to stick it out and help make the CU work. That it would only take up to 6 months to achieve, and the CU was almost done before the NGE came. Changes to SL just happened and smuggler changes were right there, but with the NGE coming in all those changes and content enhancements to SL and smuggler are now 6+ months away again.... or worse just gone.

 

The NGE was a good concept, but brought to live servers in very poor condition. That's why most of the community is unhappy and leaving... that's why I'm leaving. I'm done playing the alpha-beta tester.

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TronuNavigon, I agree with all you said. Well put. I like some of the points you made and I wonder how many players fulling understand what was lost.

 

Why would anyone run mulitple accounts now? Before buffs and rez's were a must and getting rid of BF was a must. Both entertainers and doctors were a very integral part of the game. Now there's no BF at all. Now most professions have a heal yourself spell. Now there is absolutely no penalties for dying. I wonder if they thought of the veteran mulitple accounts? I wonder why anyone would play a doctor or entertainer now.

 

I remember when SWG was new and how the social game was just about on par with the Sims! I remember seeing tons of people chat, hang out, do events, marriages, etc. I even saw a special on TV were some Celeb was hosting a fasion show in game. Not anymore. Probably because most of those people I'd imagine were more support type classes. They grinded away to support their guilds, or spent hours in Cantina's. Crafters doing the biz and making a name for themselves and becoming rich. I submit to you that NGE has done away with all support classes. If loot is better then crafting, then good bye Crafter.

 

I think you covered all I wanted to say about Jedi. The fact boils down to everyone wants to be a jedi. Don't care who you are, if you've seen any of the movies you've probably wanted to be one. How many of you played the KOTR or Jedi Academies? Now, imagine being one in a MMORPG where you take on the personna and virtually become the Jedi. And now, there's no work. You can pick up the box and just as easily as it was in KOTR, you're a Jedi. Jedi was never a reality for the casual player. Now it is! And LA knows this and sells will go up. Unfortunately, unless bounties come back, unless there's some instrument to encourage Jedi to stay underground, SWG will be nothing more then a rather large Jedi Academy game with a few other professions running around. And don't get me started about the Vetrape, or that we are all pushing the same button now, or the fact that lvl 90 Jedi are a flippin' joke being the only melee class in the game. Gimmie a flippin' break.

 

So, we know all races are the same. And now it seems all classes are the same too. The skills vary slightly, but every profession seems to have the same abilities to dish out the same amount of damage in combat and have survivability. I know WoW moved their toons into this area, but remember those games like DAoC and Everquest? Where there were in fact Combat and Combat support classes, and the group couldn't really excell unless you had the right combo? What is wrong with that? Sure make solo play doable, but increase the rewards for advanced group play. Why does everyone need their RPGs dumbed down lately? I remember having to search for and then buy my spells in everquest when I leveled. That game was so complicated and intense that just figuring it out was it's own reward. Like life. If I wanted to play a push button, no thinking, no strategy or choices when progressing in my class or profession I'd play Xbox or PS2.

 

and this is my last thought I'd like to share. NGE was infact a pre-cursor for console. And all you that believe SOE when they deny it...."here's your sign". How nieve can you be. Do you realize the millions...(not hundreds or thousands) the millions of people who'd buy SWG if it were on Console? SOE and LA do. Do you think that's incentive enough to move towards that direction? Do you think that would pad your conscience when deciding to make changes that you know will loose a lot of your current customer base? Wake up folks.

 

Kitkat

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Guest DarthMaulUK

Millions wouldnt buy Galaxies for a console. They know exactly what the game is like. It has taken almost 3 years for it to hit a million sales on the PC - something World Of Warcraft achieved in under 4 months!!!

 

This game is not coming and will not be on a console. It would fail every single check that Sony/Microsoft have before a game hits console.

 

For new players NGE will hit the mark. Its easy to use and theres nothing really complicated at all. For the veterans, they have every right to be angry. 2 years wasted creating a character to high levels and the rewards that go with it.

 

Either way, SOE are taking a huge gamble in hoping that the new player base will replace those veterans who have cancelled....and judging by the sales...it aint gonna happen.

 

DMUK

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