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Star Wars: The Old Republic: Questions from a Gamer

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

In a perfect world, MMO development companies would answer all of the questions players have right up front. This not being the case, MMORPG.com Star Wars: The Old Republic Correspondent Christopher McCarty writes this tongue-in-cheek questionaire for the developers at Bioware, providing the questions and why he thinks they're important.

How are you going to handle PvP?

I'm glad that the guys at Bioware have taken that first step and admitted that they will indeed have some PvP in SW:tOR. However, an admission of guilt doesn't really give us much information about how you plan to commit the crime. If I wanted to solicit an opinion about how PvP should play out in an MMO, I have no less than a thousand different forums I can wade through to find one. Heck, just on the SW:tOR forum alone there are enough opinions and ideas to keep me reading until the game goes live. But as much as I'd like to believe the developers at Bioware are frantically reading through the forums looking for ideas on how to integrate PvP into their game, I'm fairly certain they have at least a rough idea of how they want it to play out. Letting the players in on some of the theory you have behind the PvP you want would not only helps to keep players ravenous for SW:tOR information well fed, it could also serve to streamline the ideas on the forums so that maybe some of them would prove useful.

Read Questions from a Gamer

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

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Comments

  • CaesarsGhostCaesarsGhost Marietta, GAPosts: 2,136Member

    I do not feel the author of this quite understood the setting of the game accurately.

    I also do not feel the author of this reviewed all the available information before setting out to write this.

    ...Much like IGN, the quality of the Collumns acceptable on websites has declined sharply in the past 2-3 years.

     

    EDIT:

    I think what I meant to say was:

    This would be acceptable as a blog on the site you linked to... less so then official news posting.

    - CaesarsGhost

    Lead Gameplay and Gameworld Designer for a yet unnamed MMO Title.
    "When people tell me designing a game is easy, I try to get them to design a board game. Most people don't last 5 minutes, the rest rarely last more then a day. The final few realize it's neither fun nor easy."

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member
    Originally posted by CaesarsGhost


    I do not feel the author of this quite understood the setting of the game accurately.
    I also do not feel the author of this reviewed all the available information before setting out to write this.
    ...Much like IGN, the quality of the Collumns acceptable on websites has declined sharply in the past 2-3 years.
     
    EDIT:

    I think what I meant to say was:
    This would be acceptable as a blog on the site you linked to... less so then official news posting.

     

    Well, since you believe you understand so much more about the game than the author, why don't you clear up some of his questions for us.

    Also, I would like to know if crafting and other non-combat gameplay features are going to be non-existant or feel and play like tacked on afterthoughts as they are in all the other quest themepark mmo's on the market in the past 5 years.

    A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  • LoboMauLoboMau Marinha GrandePosts: 396Member

    The best questions ever! And now...I want the answers!

  • KhalathwyrKhalathwyr Denton, TXPosts: 3,138Member
    Originally posted by MindTrigger

    Originally posted by CaesarsGhost


    I do not feel the author of this quite understood the setting of the game accurately.
    I also do not feel the author of this reviewed all the available information before setting out to write this.
    ...Much like IGN, the quality of the Collumns acceptable on websites has declined sharply in the past 2-3 years.
     
    EDIT:

    I think what I meant to say was:
    This would be acceptable as a blog on the site you linked to... less so then official news posting.

     

    Well, since you believe you understand so much more about the game than the author, why don't you clear up some of his questions for us.

    Also, I would like to know if crafting and other non-combat gameplay features are going to be non-existant or feel and play like tacked on afterthoughts as they are in all the other quest themepark mmo's on the market in the past 5 years.



     

    I second the motion, especially on the crafting part. If you have some factual knowledge that the rest of us don't, please do tell. As it stands, Vogel's documented interest in crafting leaves little chance that'll be anything more than an afterthought with respect to overall scope. And the crafting aspect is the only thing I'm interested in. Played the action hero (jedi, BH, Smug, Soldier, blah blah blah in all the other SW video/computer/tabletop games.)

    "Many nights, my friend... Many nights I've put a blade to your throat while you were sleeping. Glad I never killed you, Steve. You're alright..."

    Kickstarter 2 / Naysayers 0

  • fansedefansede Raleigh, NCPosts: 960Member

     I would love to see these answers, but i doubt we will see them.. Please note, I have no proof or information in regards to the reality of what Bioware is doing. 

    After I go through all the great stories and epic quests you'll have, then what?

    We at Bioware realize that a storyline must continue for players otherwise we would have rolled out another single player game. We want the story arc to branch and evolve and even sometimes flashback. If there is an epic encounter which incapacitates you and your team, you do not grind the instance again. In fact, you are given another story path perhaps giving you an opportunity to acquire a clue to overcome your enemy. Maybe after a few steps into this path you are given a chance to encounter the enemy again.  It will not be the same instance, or same map. You are armed with some personal experience now and perhaps additional tools and skills to change the outcome. Remember, many Star Wars encounters were not resolved in one event. We at Bioware want to keep in tune with this theme.  No worries if you fall short again, we will provide you with an alternate story arc or you may join a similar story arc that gives you more experience and tools to make another challenge to your pesky foe. We also have prepared an expansion that should be released in a timely manner to keep fresh content going. 

    How are you going to handle death in your MMO?

    We are considering two modes of gameplay. Standard gameplay is the mode whereby if you are defeated, your avatar is incapacitated. They are either knocked unconscious from a concussive impact of a laser/ physical attack or force power, exhausted from loss of stamina, or they lose a body part from a lightsaber. The game creates a cutscene where an ally pulls you out of the fight, gets a droid to stabilize you as you are travelling to a trauma center. After a brief recovery period, you can fancy your cybernetic limb or body part (no you won't get beheaded) and hop back into the fray via travel method such as speeder, mount, ship, etc.  You suffer some experience debt and perhaps some durability wear on your gear. You won't lose any abilities, but death will sting enough to make you want to play wisely. 

    The new option is permadeath. This is a mode for players who want to take the risk/reward ratio to the maximum. Your character can suffer more than the standard gamer, and suffer death blows. This means there will be no return to battle unless the following happens: - You are resuscitated by a medic player. Medic players require signifcant resources and funds to bring a dead player back, so take care of your Medics!  You discover an object which can provide life. These are rare to discover, only can be used once.  If the black market has them, expect them to cost a lot of money. The final option is to pay us more. A nominal charge of $5.00 per rez is fair and will be put on your card as "SWTOR NOOB DEATH" In return, for your risks we will increase your reward tables and also increase your skills to make your survivability a little better.  Characters who have died cannot trade, but they can be looted in PvP. More on that later.

    What's the space travel going to be like at launch?

    At launch ships will mainly be used for travel, though we may offer space combat instances. In our first expansion we are going to allow players to operate and have ship battles. We will have starship interiors unlike other Major MMO titles. We will take this burdensome mantle of starship interiors innovation and make it our own. The millions we will get in revenue from the subscribers will revive the US economy by itself.

    How much emphasis will the player run economy have?

    We see no reason why we should not have economy. Gold Farmers will sell you all the money you need. Just kidding!

    Make crafting worth while and not an afterthought.  Reward those who wish to delve into your minigames instead of doing what everyone else is doing. Swinging a lightsaber around. Make it interactive so it is difficult to macro, make it entertaining so players want to do it, instead of have to do it. Crafting doesn't always have to be making things. Maybe small story arcs on collecting rare components. Send the player into seedy brothels, reclusive areas or make them do hilarious acts of batering, begging from other NPCs. Survivor makes players eat maggots. Lets make your Jedi pick through some dung from Jabba's ancestors in hopes to pick out that rare engine cog for an NPC. Item degradation yes.

    What is your plan for balancing the various classes?

    A Droid can kill a Jedi as well as a Bounty Hunter. Just have to know what you are doing and know your surroundings. We did tell you there will be destuctible environments in this game, right? Let's say a Jedi wants to force push you off a cliff? Fair enough, we give you, Mr. Bounty Hunter, Droid or other non force sensitive player, a jet pack. Can't deal with that light saber cutting your arms off? Enter gas bombs, flamethrowers or your own lightsaber.. Surely you don't think we can't make things interesting for you? That also means each player can accomplish their objectives with prudent gameplay.

    How will my character progress through the game?

    Skills - I say this because I am sober. If you read anything else, it was from some hacker who calls himself Tasos or Smedley or something along those lines..

    How will the game world change?

    Expansions will take you to new area, but stories can take you anywhere. The game is story driven, so the world won't change in a earthshattering way for each individual player, but Public Missions are a great way to give players a sense of contributing to changing the way an area is. Yes, weather and all that. Housing? what game had that?

    PvP ? 

    yes, we need that! battle objectives that mean something. Rewards for planets won and discoveries made that contribute to the war effort. We are learning much from this RvR mistakes we see and we will make them better.

     

  • CujoSWAoACujoSWAoA Nooo, AKPosts: 1,781Member

    This kind of thing is embarrassing for the author.

    Wait and see.  Grow some patience.  The game will come out and everyone will chew apart the things they don't like about it and the next MMO will get announced where these same questions will get asked again. Repeat cycle.

    Wait and see.

  • ElikalElikal ValhallaPosts: 8,063Member

    Is it because I drank to much vodka... or isnt there a single answer? Is answering questiions with questions fashion now?

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • singsofdeathsingsofdeath BruehlPosts: 1,812Member

    I am confused. What was this article about? I mean...yes, good questions. basically questions you ask about any game that you are looking forward to.

     

    What was the point of writing them down and putting them in a nice article?

     

    Eventually, the answers will be there. Until then....well, asking these questions in a pretty article is not going to do much good beside...stating the obvious?

  • wjrasmussenwjrasmussen west toluca lake, CAPosts: 1,493Member

    It's premature to call anyone out on this.  You know when you need the answers?  Some time near release when the game is about to be available for purchase.  Patience, especially from a writer for a major mmorpg site would be a bit more professional.  But you are going to get some free publicity out of this and some high fives from other impatient gamers.

  • TillerTiller Portland, ORPosts: 4,921Member

    What is the point of this? xD

    image
    SWG pre-cu vet, elder Jedi, elder BH -Bloodfin

  • NergleNergle Okemos, MIPosts: 253Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by tillamook


    What is the point of this? xD

     

    I agree with this post 100%.

     

    What did this actually fall under, interview, article or someone dreaming about giving a interview?

     

    They really need to hire a gamer that isn't stuck in EQ with lightsaber mode (he rehashed the same questions asked on the Bioware forums), reading this was a real waste of time and eye ball strain.

  • seabeastseabeast Bellevue, NEPosts: 748Member

    I don’t know, I tend to agree with the author of this article. The game is in development and the videos/screenshots and write-ups lead me to the same questions. Yea, I think the questions are important enough to ask at this point of the development. Had I known such answers regarding such games as, (dare I speak the name) Darkfall my hype would have been halved. Imagine if you would, had “other” games provided such information a player would be able to decide to follow it or not.

    Do not get me wrong, I very much look forward to this game and forking out the cash upon release would be a lot easier if the questions were answered. Perhaps it is I, is there some kind of Top Secret deal going on here where these questions would be replicated in another game if released? I would be satisfied with a simple, “we are still negotiating these questions” as an acceptable answer. One thing is certain, as the author mentioned, in a perfect world these questions would be answered as they developed.

     

  • singsofdeathsingsofdeath BruehlPosts: 1,812Member
    Originally posted by seabeast


    I don’t know, I tend to agree with the author of this article. The game is in development and the videos/screenshots and write-ups lead me to the same questions. Yea, I think the questions are important enough to ask at this point of the development. Had I known such answers regarding such games as, (dare I speak the name) Darkfall my hype would have been halved. Imagine if you would, had “other” games provided such information a player would be able to decide to follow it or not.

    Do not get me wrong, I very much look forward to this game and forking out the cash upon release would be a lot easier if the questions were answered. Perhaps it is I, is there some kind of Top Secret deal going on here where these questions would be replicated in another game if released? I would be satisfied with a simple, “we are still negotiating these questions” as an acceptable answer. One thing is certain, as the author mentioned, in a perfect world these questions would be answered as they developed.

     

     

    There is a simple reason for why BioWare are not answering all those questions in details. Or rather 2 of them.

     

    1) You -CANNOT- please gamers. It's impossible. If you start giving out answers to some stuff, they will whine and bitch about other stuff. If you release a few screenshots, they demand videos. if you release videos, they demand more attention to that or this in videos. If you release Dev-Blogs, they complain about not enough information. Etc. etc.

     

    2) Things are not set in stone. If you are going to believe BioWare (and BW is the only company I still trust, since they have never failed me so far), then they will only announce something when it is guaranteed to be in at launch. So instead of promising a whole lot, and tossing out ideas they might have, they keep to themselves and simply tell us what is absolutely decided. Full stop.

     

    Personally, I don't see what the big problem is. The game is months, if not years from release. What good would come of them telling us some vague ideas of what they want to do when they have not finalized things yet?

  • sipussipus BistritaPosts: 21Member Uncommon

    Honestly what was the point of this? I always thout of mmorpg.com asa good and reliable sourse for mmo's.If you guys want to throw us a a bone go and take a real interview form biowere guys and see what you can squeeze outThat's what i call journalism..I can put myself question regarding what  will be or not be in a  un released game,no need on 2 pages of dreams for that.Guess we all can do that easily.

  • NiccoladoNiccolado AveroyPosts: 33Member

    I got a question, and I guess it wont be answered, but Ill ask it anyway:

     

    I played SWG for 3 years. In the time before the devestating NGE the gane was fairly well. Will this game be like SWG: Nge from the start? I am then thikning about the new stupid controlsettings the NGE ruined for the game. The limitations of the classes, making jedi standard, absolutely ruining the playerrun market etc etc etc etc et.........

    Will we be able to have a merchant class? and fullblown crafter class? Can we have our own shops we can decorate? What about the social aspect? I would like to remind you that Age of Conan was a superb game graphic wise, but it still fell from its height. Mainly because of the shallowness of gameplay!

    Got more questions too, but these are the most important atm. Hope you can answer them fully!

     

    Thx.

     

     

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,180Member Uncommon

    Nothing worse than speculating on content in a game that the author knows nothing about.  Talk about a completely useless article,  You want speculation, the web boards on this game are full of it.  Write something when you know more about it.

  • SanguiniaSanguinia West Haven, CTPosts: 235Member

    This article was a perfect example illustrating the reasons why companies don't answer questions like this. It's because "gamers", are obnoxious people who fail to recognize the spirit of things that are marketed directly AT them. And that makes me sad. I would never ever want to deal with the gaming public without a sledgehammer. The fact that those TWO PAGES pass for an acceptable article that would [in theory] be dealing with Bioware shows what is very wrong in our world, these days. I will lament the state of our failing society, no further. Instead, I will say that this "piece" should have been a blog.

    What Happened With SWG Went Down YEARS AGO! Please Try To Stop Whining About It In Every Thread I Read. Mourn It, And Finally MOVE ON With Your Lives! Thanks A Heap.

  • iLkRehpiLkRehp Star Wars The Old Republic Correspondent Seattle, WAPosts: 3Member

    The intro was cut due to space I believe.

     

    Bioware - a game company with a great history for making great games, Star Wars - the intellectual property that practically coined the term 'intellectual property', and MMOs - the only drug with no 12-step program. When Bioware announced Star Wars: The Old Republic I knew that was the recipe of a great game (and me being single again) so I loaded up the SW:tOR forums and started scouring them for information. I watched the first video diary and learned they would make storyline a big part of the game experience. If there was ever a bunch of guys that could make storyline work in an MMO it would be Bioware, that's one of the things they always got right, storyline and soft core porn. When the next Friday update comes through the site with screens of naked. . .blue. . .alien. . .ass, I'll be sold! Wait, what? Oh, whoops, sorry, Fox News is only three channels away from G4 on the Comcast. . .my fault. After I watched the videos, downloaded the wallpapers, and read through the forums I came to a souring realization, the forums sounded exactly like the last eight MMO forums prior to their releases. A truck load of player opinion and discussion. A community moderator closing the thread when the player housing discussion shifted to whether or not my mother's house should have a lock on the door. And a few links to interviews where every third answer is, "We really can't talk about that yet", apparently the only thing holding back the rise of Soviet Russia is that they don't quite know if they'll be able to drive a land speeder or not when the game goes live.

    I want this game to succeed, I want to give you my money for a few years, but I'm not watching your game because I'm a Star Wars fan, I'm watching because I'm an MMO fan. MMO fans lately haven't been treated all that well; Age of Conan (Fox News doesn't mind topless characters at level one, it's only offensive when you have to play through 50 hours of the story first), Warhammer Online (we love large scale PvP with hundreds of people, just don't stand very close to anyone when you do it), and Darkfall (I'll bet if you check right this very minute, the online store is 'temporarily' closed. You got the Greek translation wrong 'perpetually' is the word you were looking for there). I guess us MMO types have been into a little S&M lately, the really sad part being that we all still have running subscriptions for at least two of those games.

    I want to get the weekly updates, video diaries, and blogs. I wait for them and talk about them on a bunch of different forums. In fact, we need all the prequel stuff for background information on the new setting. But I'm not worried or concerned about the fourth pillar, your Bioware, no one will do the fourth pillar as well as you. I'm worried about the other three pillars because it's not as if past game companies have those nailed down. So in an effort to get some MMO type information, and to give people some insight into what kinds of theories and ideas Bioware has planned for SW:tOR, allow me to ask you way too many questions about your game Star Wars: The Old Republic, the massive multiplayer online game.

  • SoltanusSoltanus Montgomery, ALPosts: 5Member Uncommon

    Players come to this site to find answers to questions, not more unanswered questions. We have the official game forums for that. Sorry, I know you are starved for info just like nearly everyone else following this game, but these people are upset because it kind of fooled them into thinking there were actual answers in there. I know you're hoping your ploy makes some Bioware dev break the code of silence, but I highly doubt that will ever happen.

     

    II've been playing Online rpgs since 1994 with the original Neverwinter Nights on AOL. I've seen the development phase of nearly every major MMOG. And I can tell you this, you will not find out the answer to half your questions until beta testing of this game begins. And by the time the game is released, over half of those questions will have new answers.

     

    Just enjoy the wait, go play with some Star Wars figurines or replay some of the KoTOR games. We will get our answers when Bioware is ready to give us some. Until then, as long as you do a bait and switch like this, you are going to have rabid fans ready to rip your heart out for getting their hopes up. So just batten down the hatches and put on your flame-retardant suits for the next few days.

  • AlmuderasAlmuderas Boston, MAPosts: 10Member

    Come on mmorpg.com. You don't write an article without some *information.*

  • Holyavenger1Holyavenger1 Montreal, QCPosts: 437Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Almuderas


    Come on mmorpg.com. You don't write an article without some *information.*

     

    I second that. As well as a whole bunch of the other comments above that go in the same direction. I am dissapointed not to have any more answers then before reading (partially reading) this.

     

    Fyrr Deerdan - HolyAvenger
    http://www.therepopulation.com - The Sci-Fi Sandbox.

  • QuickbladesQuickblades Las Vegas, NVPosts: 5Member

    I like the idea of putting a lot of valid questions that most gamers would ask in one place.  So instead of bashing the author without even reading the sub-title, I'm going to try to list what I'd like to see as the answer to some of these questions. 

     

    After I go through all the great stories and epic quests you'll have, then what?

    First and foremost:  Lots of end-game raid content with challenging encounters and sick gear and lots of strat to work out and NO EASY MODE.  We spend our lives at end game and it would be a HUGE mistake to not put in at least one decent raid dungeon at launch.  Even if it takes guilds 3 months from launch to get leveled and geared you HAVE to have something for the hardcore guilds to set their sights on.

    And also hopefully more great stories and epic quests.

    Having some sort of "Story Mode" you can go back to at different points of leveling would be good to break up the grind and give you ways to develop your character. 

    Ultimately, though, I would have lots of end game epic quests that took you to different areas and yielded some kind of epic reward/title/trophy upon completion. 

    Some could be easy and solo-able and focus just on your characters story. 

    Some should have challenging group encounters and take  time (I'm talking multiple steps that you really have to put time into) but give better rewards.  Make it a way to introduce people into any end-game group dungeons that may be in the game. 

    Let's face it...we spend WAY more time at end-game than leveling so I'd hate to see all the good quest/story content be confined to lower tiers.

     

    How are you going to handle death in your MMO?

    PvE deaths should have some kind of consequence.  It shouldn't kill an hour's worth of work though.  A small amount of XP loss and/or temporary debuff that can be cancelled out by retrieving your tombstone.

    PvP deaths shouldn't have any penalty beyond possibly having to repair your gear every so often.

     

    How much emphasis will the player run economy have?

    I guess a lot of this will depend on the depth of the crafting system.  In my perfect MMO:

    NPC merchants would be there to provide any basic neccesities and basic (read crappy) armor and weapons.

    Players should be able to craft top tier gear.  This would require some kind of in-depth harvesting system as well.  Crafting quests for item upgrades perhaps.  Player-crafted-items should be the biggest source of readily available gear.

    There has to be an Auction house.  Banks with upgradeable storage space.  Crafting stations in major towns.

     

    How are you going to handle PvP?

    This is a BIG one.  I love FFA PvP.  A lot of people don't.  If it were up to me there wouldn't be many safe zones.  Keep crafting areas safe.  Make respawn points and binds safe.  That's about it.  Everyone's red.  Jedi vs. Sith (Faction vs. Faction) would probably be more appealing to the masses.

    You can cater to most by having different servers with different rulesets.  Faction PvP: Jedi vs Sith.  FFA PvP.  I suppose you could put a level cap on certain zones so lowbies would have a place to enjoy the game with out getting ganked by max-level players.  There shouldn't be a PvE server in a Jedi vs Sith game.

    Putting in instanced PvP like WAR's scenario system would be good.  Some kind of sieging for larger scale PvP.

    Contested PvE raid content FTW.

     

     

    Thoughts?

     

  • SanguiniaSanguinia West Haven, CTPosts: 235Member

    Yeah, I know when I think "Star Wars", I think about "sick gear" and "raid dungeons". They go hand-in-hand.

    What Happened With SWG Went Down YEARS AGO! Please Try To Stop Whining About It In Every Thread I Read. Mourn It, And Finally MOVE ON With Your Lives! Thanks A Heap.

  • QuickbladesQuickblades Las Vegas, NVPosts: 5Member

    It's an MMO.  If there's no end game raiding then what do you suggest they do instead? 

  • SanguiniaSanguinia West Haven, CTPosts: 235Member
    Originally posted by Quickblades


    It's an MMO.  If there's no end game raiding then what do you suggest they do instead? 



     

    Well, they could have a story. A plot that unfolds as the character progresses. Finally, it can culminate into some kind of epic adventure which can lead to an epic reward. And by "epic adventure" I don't mean 40 people versus 1 monster. To me, that's not very epic.

    What Happened With SWG Went Down YEARS AGO! Please Try To Stop Whining About It In Every Thread I Read. Mourn It, And Finally MOVE ON With Your Lives! Thanks A Heap.

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