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Are we really doing the industry a service?

Esquire1980Esquire1980 Stillwater, OKPosts: 529Member

I tried STO.  Wanted to like that game, waited on it, bought a lifetime hoping that it could CHANGE.  But, sadly, I asked for my lifetime to be refunded last Monday.  Pew, pew, pew, no crafting, no housing, no interiors, small worlds, highly instanced, no open anything, a loading screen every 30 seconds, no end game not even a WoW raid in at launch.  Did I mention highly instanced?  All it did was show me what I missed about SWG.  There are even forum threads over there about SWG in comparison to STO in which (forgive me), I took up for SWG against the not even to WoW standards of STO development.

Let me premise this by saying, I doubt if anyone here has been as vocal against SOE for The Chapter 6 Combat downgrade and GU-Whatever "mini" NGE that was perpatrated against even the NGE playerbase.  CHANGEING the game for a 3rd time to try and draw a playerbase, that they didn't have, and only existed in the minds of SOE.  I understand the long-term , even hatred, of SOE due to CU/NGE and have held a little of that, myself, for the CHANGES I brought above.  I've even gave Fisher static for "enableing SOE" by retaining his sub.

However, as we tell the truth about how SOE mismanaged SWG, have we have taught the industry, appearantly, to stay away from sandbox MMOs in their entirity.  A MMORPG.com writer just said that sandbox MMOs may be dead as far as a AAA studio producing another one.  He did say that there might be a independant studio or 2 out there for sandbox, tho.  With an independant studio, there is always cost as a factor.  In the world we now live in for investors, would they even be able to finance a sandbox MMO now?

My 64 dollar question is;  by boycotting SWG, even in it's current CHANGED state, are we screaming to industry research that the great experiment that Koster made is gone and failed?  Are we telling the industry that there is no market for a sandbox MMO to be tried again?  After all, we all pretty much know that the sub numbers for SWG current is rather dismal and some here, myself included, have taken satisfaction in some of that.  How can another AAA studio even contemplate making another sandbox with the only real sandbox out there in such bad shape?

Meanwhile, all we get for new games is yet another game in the WoW mold and not even as diverse as that with the one I mentioned 1st.  Level up, pew, pew, pew, get an alt and do it all over again, this time with the same content you did before.  At least WoW has other storylines in which to level.  The new games, AoC, War, STO, CO, most do not even have that.  It seems to me that new game development is getting worse, not better.  They all want WoW but they are on the cheap so bad that they put in the bare minimum and launch.  Hopeing for the big bucks to come out of the box sales and worry about fixing the mess, later.

In short, Are we cutting off our own noses to spite our own faces?

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Comments

  • PrecursorPrecursor Las Vegas, NVPosts: 150Member

    Well thought out questions.

    This is my personal opinion of course but I think the AAA MMO sandboxes for PC are going the way of the dodo. The desire for games like these (ala UO & swg) are dwindling and those who want them demand such a high level of execution in quality that the costs associated to create a sandbox title that would appeal to a mass market make probably make it look like a bad deal to the powers who have the money to fund them.

    I'm not saying that there isn't a market for it, but it is becoming more niche as the days pass, which can translate to lower budget titles shipping with less polish coming from more amatuerish (and sometimes unprofessional) studios. I would point to the now defunct DnL, Ryzom, Darkfall, Mortal Online, and even Fallen Earth as examples. EVE is in a category of its own, as it has always been.

    I see more focus on limiting player empowerment in the future AAA's. Less risk, increased reward, and simplfied gameplay to accomodate to a wider audience and media products. Sad but quite possibly true. Developers (even Koster) are now looking closely at social media networks as a potential source to velcro smaller, easier to make, and more profitable games onto them. In my perspective, why would anyone in their right mind cater to 200,000 whiney people (yes, im one of those whiney people) with a very complex and integrated product when they could accomodate 20 million with an easy use and maintenance free product and laugh all  the way to the bank?

    The main lesson the industry learned from the SWG debacle is to never change your product behind the backs of your customers and expect them to keep paying unless it is a change that they apprive of. I feel confident that I and many others who spoke with their pocketbooks and walked away from SOE/LucasArts scam served to keep this from ever happening on a large scale again in PC gaming.

    Did we do the industry a service? Yes and no. But regardless times are changing. Raph is hinting at it, Jon Wood just wrote about it, and I see nothing on the horizon coming that will come close to the way UO and SWG once were.

     

  • KazaraKazara merritt island, FLPosts: 1,075Member Uncommon

    I am sorry about your disappointment about STO.  Your first paragraph outlined the problems well. It will be interesting to see how many players drop the game after their free 30 day subscription runs out. At least Cryptic refunded your Life-time subscription fee.

    Your fourth paragraph is disconcerting  -

    "My 64 dollar question is; by boycotting SWG, even in it's current CHANGED state, are we screaming to industry research that the great experiment that Koster made is gone and failed? Are we telling the industry that there is no market for a sandbox MMO to be tried again? After all, we all pretty much know that the sub numbers for SWG current is rather dismal and some here, myself included, have taken satisfaction in some of that. How can another AAA studio even contemplate making another sandbox with the only real sandbox out there in such bad shape?"

    I don't believe for a second that a continued 'boycott' of SWG is sending an anti-sandbox message. SWG isn't failing becasue it offers sandbox game play (albeit just a shadow of what it was in earlier incarnations)  -  SWG is in bad shape because it is a very flawed wreck mismanaged and mutilated by a very unscrupulous company, $OE.  Game developers have learned that trying to make WoW knock-offs via cut & paste development will not generate WoW success. Some companies still need to learn that releasing incomplete, unpolished MMO's, no matter what game play style, will lead to almost certain failure, STO being the latest example.

    So many more MMO's have entered the a very competitive gaming market with different gameplay business models. Gaming companies will always take the path of least resistance to access a customer's wallet, and we are witnessing it. F2P games with cash shops offering a myriad of virtual goodies (big business for sure) attract more more more potential players. Sadly, the direction that game development is going just does not support true sandbox game play as we once knew it.

     

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  • KylrathinKylrathin Rockford, ILPosts: 426Member

    In addition to agreeing with both Precursor and Kazara completely, I would add that there have been many, MANY seminars within the MMO industry on what not to do to your MMO.  The NGE experiment highlights each and every one of these.  Sometimes the seminars are given by ex-SOE employees who were there, sometimes by casual observers, but the message is always the same - nobody has effed up this bad in gaming history, and we'd like to get the word out so nobody ever effs up this bad again, so here's how we effed up.  Producers are TRAINED not to do that nowadays.  Did we turn off the industry from making sandbox games?  Possibly, as it's entirely conceivable that the collective industry took a wrong message away from the whole fiasco - I do know that many individuals did - and instead of the message being "Don't change your game", the message is "Oh, and also don't make a complex game because you'll piss everyone off trying to balance it (an impossible task) and you'll NEVER steal WoW's 11 million subs THAT way".

    Judging by the garbage coming out of MMO studios these days, I feel like anyone who says they want to make an MMO for any reason whatsoever other than making craploads of cash is either not telling the whole story, or flat-out lying.  It's all about money.  MMOs are high-risk, high reward, except if you're WoW in which the reward is ultra-high.  There's nothing inherently wrong with any of this, but a "fun game" is never the goal.  A "game that causes the most people to pay money" is the goal, unless you're specifically building a niche game in which case the goal is "a game that causes the most people who like this kind of thing to pay money". 

    "Fun" is a relative term.  Koster himself tried to qualify it (I still need to read that), but the fact is, you can just read this site - hell, just the SWG board, between the two sections - and find all sorts of people who are idiots because their idea of fun is different.  So MMO studios hit the least common denominator, which is "easy", since more people equate "easy" with "fun" than those who like a challenge, at least in North America.  So when you say AAA sandbox games have gone the way of the dodo, I say it's actually intellectual stimulation as a result of game complexity that's gone that way.  But keep in mind, it was that kind of thinking that spawned the NGE - "too much reading", "not enough kill-loot-repeat", and other memorable gems coming from such otherwise highly intelligent people.  So really, who knows?

    Personally, I think there's a potential saving grace.  I may be dooming my response here by saying it, but if SWG private servers ever get off the ground, it's possible one or two of them could be so well written, so well done, so complete in content, bug fixes (within reason, hacking the client is illegal), management, etc. that it becomes an underground Star Wars mecca.  Typically, word about that type of thing spreads fast amongst official channels.  Usually it's to see how it can be crushed, but it's possible someone high up could be intrigued enough to see what needs to be done to give it official backing, or even to hire the devs away to do something new along those lines.  Wishful thinking, but it's a possibility.

    There's a sucker born every minute. - P.T. Barnum

  • Daffid011Daffid011 Posts: 7,824Member Uncommon

    There are so many messages being sent about SWG that I don't think the truth will be realized by most developers.

    Yes, SWG is sending out a giant message to other developers that sandbox cannot be successful, but for all the wrong reasons.  How can a game screw up with the Star Wars name attached to it?  Everyone is going to blame it on the design and not the shitty mismanagement that crippled the potential.  That is what most will extract from the history of swg.  It doesn't help that smedly is running his mouth about how sandbox games can't be successful. 

    Nothing is going to change the history of swg.  It was an incomplete game at release and the developer ignored the problems in favor of creating expansions which they could sell.  We all know the story and is set in stone.

     

    However, even if subscriber numbers surged right now, it would not send a message that sandbox games can be successful.  It will send the message that players will any eat shit thrown at them, that content can be stripped and sold as virtual loot cards, that removing sandbox features and replacing them with theme park features can work. 

     

    In the end it is much harder to create a decent sandbox game and there are dew designers talented enough to pull it off, so I don't think we will see much of sandbox anymore to be honest.

     

    If you really want to send a message, go subscribe to fallen earth or one of the other new sandbox games.

     

  • TUX426TUX426 Madison, WIPosts: 1,907Member

    I guess my only issue with the entire question is...I'm not trying to change anything or anyone, just present MY views. How others read and interpret my opinions is not up to me. If industry guru's read these forums and all they take away from it is "SWG is a sandbox, sandbox games suck", they aren't reading very well and I hope they don't release a game.

    As far as some of your critiques about STO being highly instanced, that was to allow for a sense of "mystery" and "exploration"...how else would they achieve this feel? If they open up just one giant universe (like SWG), before Beta ended we'd have had guides and maps all over the internet. I personally like how they did it. We aren't restricted to choosing a "server" either, which I love! I can meet anyone who plays the game by simply grouping with them and traveling to their location or coordinating which zone to meet in - sure as hell beats server transfers. I happen to love STO so far.

    Now, on to your bigger question...are WE hurting the market? HELL NO! We tell them what we DID like, what we dislike, what we would like and they make the design decisions. You're giving yourself WAY too much credit here mate. I think the major reason you don't see another SWG type game is...it doesn't work and if ANYONE ruined the concept, it was SoE! The massive worlds proved were fraught with problems - everything from the massive lag the game still experiences to this day to the exploitability of the zone borders that existed years ago. Along with massive worlds comes massive problems that no game designer wants to duplicate.

    The other thing you seem to discount is that the market has changed drastically. When SWG was released, most of the US was still on dial-up. The INTERNET market has exploded!!! Where there were once several select titles to choose from, there are now literally hundreds. MMOs have become the latest in longer play single player games, sometimes little more than co-op style, not the social hubs that they once were...Twitter and Facebook own social now, and you don't need to pay a $15 monthly fee to use those sites, nor does it matter what game you're playing.

    Bottom line...we're very little people mate. We don't sway the market in the least. Market trends, market successes and market failures do.

  • DistopiaDistopia Baltimore, MDPosts: 16,903Member Uncommon

    In a sense you may be right, especially in regard to features only present in SWG (even the current NGE), that we have all been hoping for in newer games for years now..

    Companies bank their ideas on what is successful and what is not. If you judge housing, social interaction and multiple play styles on how well SWG has done over the years. You will only see ideas that failed, because they were disliked by the gaming public.

    It could be argued the general gaming public are who decided games like SWG aren't what "we" wanted. Given the immediate success of WOW, which over shadowed any and all success SWG ever had. The overall community didn't like what SWG was, compared to what WOW was. IMO this had little to do with polish and everything to do with people preferring theme-park game-play. At least at the time...

    Where we (vets) come in, is in the fact we all left the game for what ever reason. A lot of those who did so spoke out constantly against every thing SWG from that point on. Which IMO caught on to the general gaming public as a popular assessment even though many had probably never played it.

    When we as vets would discuss SWG in it's current form, it always boiled down to one fundamental consensus, it sucks.

    Housing doesn't matter because the game sucks, open ended game-play doesn't matter because it sucks, great crafting doesn't matter because it sucks. Nothing that was done well in SWG mattered any more because the game "sucked". It sucked even when we weren't playing anymore, and really had nothing but opinions to go on. It sucked even after we tried it for 15 minutes and realized we had to relearn everything and really had no clue what mattered and what didn't in the current game. It just sucked.

    Even though SWG after the NGE was still the deepest most complex MMO on the market, it sucked. You look at that from an outsiders (investors, suits) perspective and it shows those features didn't matter at all in the overall opinion of the game, making those features seen as not worth the effort.

    A few people sitting on a forum bitching about games not having those features, isn't going to change that assessment. People actually playing and enjoying a game because it has the features they want would, but we know that's not going to happen. For the same reason SOE won't revert back to pre-cu, no one likes to admit they're wrong.

     

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

    It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  • Shelby13Shelby13 Leduc, ABPosts: 79Member

    I see myself as a SWG veteran.. but I started my MMO adventures much later than most here.  Post-NGE.  No no no.. I am not some 'target audience' kid.. I am an old-school SW fan who just happened to start playing the game a little later than others.  I had RL commitments that limited my game time when SWG was still pre-CU & CU.  I joined shortly after NGE launched and I never once read a forum post and my in-game character interaction was minimal at start.. I was mostly a space jockey for the first 3 months of my MMO existance (as an old PC X-Wing & TIE fighter gamer, it was familiar to me).   I got to fly Y-Wings & X-Wings and blow up TIE fighters and get new ship parts... I played the space mini-game first and only moved around from starport to starport as my instructors told me to.

    As it is, I am pretty grateful for that.  Because I never 'lost' anything.. I never got betrayed, never lost alpha-class Jedi status.. I never experience the gigantic disappointment others did.    By never experiencing the pain, I never got caught up in revenge and was able to explore the games immense sandbox features without the 'blinders of betrayal'.. if you get my meaning.

    I found a game that had a nice community of helpful & passionate people (so long as you stay off the game forums).  I could spend hours just travelling accross planets.. looking, exploring.  I could spend hours gathering resources and crafting items.  I could (and did) spend hours customizing my ships and flying around in space.  I also eventually got into GCW ground combat.. and while its not perfect, I had a lot of fun moments.   I have played every single combat class.. all but one I levelled up from 0 to 90 in their specific profession.  I've had crafters make items for my characters.. I've had a awesome guild experience.

    Even with the smaller game population SWG has now.. I managed to find a whole lot of fun and value for my monthly subscription fee.   And while I get older in the game, and start to yearn for new adventures, I am finding it extreamely difficult to find an SWG-equivalent... yes even an SWG-NGE Equivalent.. in any other MMO.

    Housing, Crafting, Spaceflight, Player Economy, Sandbox, Roleplay, Non-Combat Classes... most MMO's barely touch 1 or 2 of these kinds of 'features'.

    As angry as NGE made everyone, the vengence they took did not kill the game, it made it smaller, leaner.. those who remain are tighter, but there are still more than enough players to fill a space cruiser.

    Yes, SWG budget got slashed big time.. and the small dev team that is left are talented and dedicated folks.. but they have almost no time for 'new' stuff or tweaks.. its a gigantic piece of code that needs maintenance.. and the team that is left to do that is definately overworked.

    However, I don't expect any miracles.. and sudden influx of players... and 'cure' for the population woes.  SWG is old.. good... but old.   SWTOR will be the next flavor... and there are absolutely no signs that TOR will be any kind of sandbox game.

    STO had possibilities.. and still does.. it has the space/ground mix... I really enjoy the bridge crew/NPC dynamic.  Instanced is not a big deal for me.. it already feels a bit crowded (comming from a SWG guy... so keep that in mind).  But STO has a long way to go to get to even 50% of what Galaxies offers right now.

    I am not sure what the future of SWG is.  Maintenance mode.. likely after TOR.  But still, the community of hard-core friends I've made there stil exist.  Some of us are giving STO a try while we do a bit of SWG and wait for TOR.   But SWG is still the glue.. the place we go to hang out.. its still our home.

    Did folks who abandoned SWG do the industry a dis-service?  Did it spell the end of Sandbox?   I can't say for sure.   All I am saying is that dispite rumours to the contrary... Sandbox still exists in SWG.  Its not dead.. it still has a lot of features that are unequalled in other games (as far as I know).   Its not a big money-maker.. not sure if it ever was given the original development costs vs. subscription base.. it might have been.

    But like others have mentioned.. its not cheap to make sandbox, not without cutting big features.  EvE has no ground/characters to it.. its 100% space.. meat-sacks stuffed in pods stuffed in ships... thats simply not for everyone.  EvE is good for what it is.. purely space sandbox.. but its depth is no where close to what Galaxies is right now.

    I don't see any other hugely-popular IP titles that have a big enough draw out-of-the gate yet to make another sandbox MMO.   STO had the opportunity.. but they chose a simpler and less expensive path.   SWTOR has the potential.. but the producers chose story/structured systems over sandbox/open systems.  Unless some new trend (aka Avatar) or EvE-like anomaly comes around... I am not sure if we are going to see another Galaxies-class sandbox ever again.

    SWG/STO/(SWTOR)

  • TUX426TUX426 Madison, WIPosts: 1,907Member
    Originally posted by Shelby13



    Housing, Crafting, Spaceflight, Player Economy, Sandbox, Roleplay, Non-Combat Classes... most MMO's barely touch 1 or 2 of these kinds of 'features'.


     

    Interesting...the only things you listed were things the NGE didn't change (minus economy). Just pointing it out, don't read more into it than that :)

  • NightCloakNightCloak Barrington, ILPosts: 450Member

    I see a big problem with this.

     

    SWG isn't a sandbox anymore. That changed with the NGE. So a resurgence of players into SWG would say nothing about the sandbox gameplay and more about what the game currently is.

     

    And I would be happy to go back to the game if SWG sent me an email, told me they were sorry and handed me a lvl 90 toon and allowed me access to the full game for free or minimal cost even though I only purchased the base game and JTL.

  • NightCloakNightCloak Barrington, ILPosts: 450Member
    Originally posted by Shelby13
    Housing, Crafting, Spaceflight, Player Economy, Sandbox, Roleplay, Non-Combat Classes... most MMO's barely touch 1 or 2 of these kinds of 'features'.  These are all pre-NGE.
    Yes, SWG budget got slashed big time.. and the small dev team that is left are talented and dedicated folks.. but they have almost no time for 'new' stuff or tweaks.. its a gigantic piece of code that needs maintenance.. and the team that is left to do that is definately overworked. And likely doesn't know how to handle the original game code correctly.
    Did folks who abandoned SWG do the industry a dis-service?  Did it spell the end of Sandbox?   I can't say for sure.   All I am saying is that dispite rumours to the contrary... Sandbox still exists in SWG.  Its not dead.. it still has a lot of features that are unequalled in other games (as far as I know).   Its not a big money-maker.. not sure if it ever was given the original development costs vs. subscription base.. it might have been. I'm not sure SWG can be called a sandbox at all anymore.
    But like others have mentioned.. its not cheap to make sandbox, not without cutting big features.  EvE has no ground/characters to it.. its 100% space.. meat-sacks stuffed in pods stuffed in ships... thats simply not for everyone.  EvE is good for what it is.. purely space sandbox.. but its depth is no where close to what Galaxies is right now. Them be fightin' words. EVE is considered one of the most in-depth games on the market now. I've played both and would have to say EVE has more depth than SWG. Space or not.



     

    By not playing the game pre-NGE, you lack knowledge of how great the game was with how great it could've been. The NGE really did kill a lot of potential. I tried it and may try it again, but really its hard to go back. Not because of what was taken from me, but because its not as good as it was.

    The biggest reason I have hesitations over going back to SWG is SOE. The fact that the same head of SOE is there means I support him and his vision by giving money to SOE in any form and I just don't agree with supporting a company(or branch of one) in which I disagree with and has not really done anything, anything at all, to apologize or make up for screwing over so many people.

  • onetruthonetruth nos astra, LAPosts: 100Member

    You guys are all incorrect in your assertions that SWG is failing.  Failed mmo's don't last for seven years (with no end in sight).  They go the way of Tabula Rasa, Auto Assault, E & B, etc.

    Regardless of whether you liked the NGE (and who did), the game is not a failure as it is quite obviously still generating revenue for it's parent company.  SOE isn't keeping it afloat in order to piss off SWG vets.  They're keeping it afloat because it's still profitable.

    Now, I'm not an SOE apologist, I quit the game (finally) over a year ago and haven't looked back.  That said, I quit the game because I am a huge SW fan and the level of canon-raping in SWG reached epic proportions that I just couldn't bring myself to enjoy any more.  I didn't quit because of the NGE, or any of the other mechanical changes that have taken place over the years.   Despite it's short-comings, it is still the only real sandbox game on the market (yeah, I know, EVE, but ffs let me get out of my spaceship).

    You're not sending any kind of message by leaving SWG that hasn't already been received loudly and clearly.  Sandboxes are niche, and even sandboxes with huge IP's attached will only be marginally successful when compared to something like WoW, or even Aion.

    Play SWG if you still enjoy it, but don't think your subbing or not subbing does anything for the future of sandbox games.  That die has been cast.

    ...

  • Esquire1980Esquire1980 Stillwater, OKPosts: 529Member
    Originally posted by TUX426


    I guess my only issue with the entire question is...I'm not trying to change anything or anyone, just present MY views. How others read and interpret my opinions is not up to me. If industry guru's read these forums and all they take away from it is "SWG is a sandbox, sandbox games suck", they aren't reading very well and I hope they don't release a game.
    As far as some of your critiques about STO being highly instanced, that was to allow for a sense of "mystery" and "exploration"...how else would they achieve this feel? If they open up just one giant universe (like SWG), before Beta ended we'd have had guides and maps all over the internet. I personally like how they did it. We aren't restricted to choosing a "server" either, which I love! I can meet anyone who plays the game by simply grouping with them and traveling to their location or coordinating which zone to meet in - sure as hell beats server transfers. I happen to love STO so far.
    Now, on to your bigger question...are WE hurting the market? HELL NO! We tell them what we DID like, what we dislike, what we would like and they make the design decisions. You're giving yourself WAY too much credit here mate. I think the major reason you don't see another SWG type game is...it doesn't work and if ANYONE ruined the concept, it was SoE! The massive worlds proved were fraught with problems - everything from the massive lag the game still experiences to this day to the exploitability of the zone borders that existed years ago. Along with massive worlds comes massive problems that no game designer wants to duplicate.
    The other thing you seem to discount is that the market has changed drastically. When SWG was released, most of the US was still on dial-up. The INTERNET market has exploded!!! Where there were once several select titles to choose from, there are now literally hundreds. MMOs have become the latest in longer play single player games, sometimes little more than co-op style, not the social hubs that they once were...Twitter and Facebook own social now, and you don't need to pay a $15 monthly fee to use those sites, nor does it matter what game you're playing.
    Bottom line...we're very little people mate. We don't sway the market in the least. Market trends, market successes and market failures do.



     

    Tux, if you can stomach STO, you're a better man than me.  However, I realise that you were the reb senator and PVP was a large part of your game.  In the last incarnation of SWG, post  C6CD thru GU-Whatever, as a LS jedi I lost the PVP ability.  Blixtev's "LS = pve (tank)" junk.  So that much of SWG went out the window for me, at least.  However, all thru my years of SWG, I had 4 crafters and 1, very well built I must admit, combat toon,  the jedi.  Before GU-Whatever, I enjoyed PVP but after the lead designer said himself that LS jedi were not designed for all the spike damage the PVP aspect grew shorter and shorter.  The tank was a tank in everything except spike damage riddled PVP.   I did try it, with some sucess, but the only way a LS could compete was haveing 6 lines of buffs running at any given time.  I had all those things, but my wife who started post NGE couldn't so I got to hear how it wasn't fair to her jedi that I had all these things that she couldn't get anymore. Bacta tank, elder crystals, etc, etc, etc.  Carried so many buffs for awhile I had very little inventory space.  Even wrote a toolbar changing macro to change toolbars, twice, to get em all on at once.  Then, when they all hit cooldowns, wait till the cooldowns ended so I could have another 3 minutes of god-mode.  Not my idea of good PVP there, to say the least.  So crafting may have been a larger part of my gameplay than yours, to be sure.  Which STO is severly lacking in. Clicky objects that you "trade" to an NPC for upgrades to droped items that are not as good as other droped items anyway.? I did not get the same feel for the instancing that you appearently got.  The feel I got is easy, cheap, boring development.  There are people asking for vehicles in STO.  Why?  you can run across the entire ground maps in STO in less than 30 seconds.  And pretty much everything they developed in them is in a circle right in the middle of the map anyway.  The rest is just waisted space and that's definatly saying something being that the maps are soooo small in the 1st place.  Buildings in the maps you can't go into to.  Nothing more that art deco, pretty much like a lava rock or a tree for that matter.  I probably played STO a little longer than you also.  Was there for closed beta, open beta, and launch.  The shear repetition just finally got to me.  Nothing to do to get away from pew, pew, pew in STO either.  Either go mass murder stuff or log are about the only options I seen in that last 4 months in that game.

    I'm not giving myself too much credit either.  It isn't just me and really NEVER has been.  CU ticked off how many players?  100K?  NGE ticked off how many players, another 200K?  C6CD-GU Whatever ticked off how many players?  Another 60K to 80K?  Then there are the guys, like are posting on the STO forums that they never liked SWG in the 1st place, Pre-CU, CU, NGE, or the new and improved C6CD post NGE.  When you have as much as a 1/2 million running around saying not so nice things about 1 particular game, the industry has to take note.  SOE CHANGED/destroyed our game and our principals are NOT going to let that slide.  And for our message, the industry misread the entire thing to a certain extent, at least from what I can see.  No more sandbox games.  Only WoW clones.  (If I wanted to play WoW, I would, not some cheaply made, fast developed, 1/2 baked clone of the original.)  And STO is not the only one that fits in this catagory.  EVERY game I have seen, come out here recently fits in that catagory.

    I just really don't know if all my "principals" are getting in the way of having a new game to play.  The wife still plays SWG.  She was always more forgiving than I was.  Her desk sits directly across the room from mine.  I can hear her giggling with friends, look over at the screen and see her in Thead, ME, Musti, etc and look back over to my screen and see a forum somewhere, or the solataire game that comes with windows 7.  Last year I spent over $3,000.00 on an Alienware Area 51 set up.  Dual quad processors, 12 gigs of RAM, dual top of the line 1 gig video cards, 7200 RPM hard drive.  All that to play solitare?  I just don't know if this is right anymore.  I guess my principals are starting to stick me right in the boring dept.

  • TUX426TUX426 Madison, WIPosts: 1,907Member
    Originally posted by Esquire1980 
    Tux
    *snip*

     

    I know what you're saying mate. And I think you're dead on with STO for me vs. you...Crafting was the one thing I never tried in SWG. I didn't want to, didn't care to and never had the time to. My fear with STO was that it would be exactly what you say it's missing...Crafting and very little fighting. I'm as shocked at the game as I could be. The things I thought they'd f**k up, they've done well with. But I'm very new to it still...so we'll see what I think after a few characters are developed...but the Encounters are my nights...I can't get enough of them. :)

    Blixtev...ugh...he took Arkon's (Jedi Senator at the time) desire too far. Arkon wanted there to be a hard choice to be made between LS and DS Jedi...Blix took that to mean PvE or PvP it seems.

    As far as the pissed off players...yeah...tbh, us freaks and geeks are all tame compared to 99% of the other games ;) . Read the Infinity Ward forums some day if you'd like to see what another high traffic game gets for threads. Even "I" learned a few new words there. Even you state that the hatred is for SoE...not SWG. SoE!!! 1/2 million or whatever...the industry KNOWS what happened and they can see past the sandbox being the cause.

    If you miss SWG...go back. Especially if your wife still plays. You're very fortunate to have a spouse that even plays games...don't be a fool :P Just know that your crafter is 2nd to TCG these days. Any new content you get is for deconstructing something...not from new schematics.

  • Daffid011Daffid011 Posts: 7,824Member Uncommon

    I have to say that I think the real problem of the entire genre is exactly what the original post is suggesting.

     

    Players supporting broke unfinished games has given such a bad message to developers that is has almost become common practice for them to rely on players to fund their misadventures.   Where it used to be developers depended on players to stick around for the first twelve months hoping things would get fixed and the potential would somehow materialize.  Now it seems devs are just trying to make a quick clone, grab some up front dollars with collectors editions, lifetime subscriptions and removing content to be resold in some cash shop.

     

    Giving money for a poor product is the real problem in my opinion. 

  • NightCloakNightCloak Barrington, ILPosts: 450Member
    Originally posted by Daffid011


    I have to say that I think the real problem of the entire genre is exactly what the original post is suggesting.
     
    Players supporting broke unfinished games has given such a bad message to developers that is has almost become common practice for them to rely on players to fund their misadventures.   Where it used to be developers depended on players to stick around for the first twelve months hoping things would get fixed and the potential would somehow materialize.  Now it seems devs are just trying to make a quick clone, grab some up front dollars with collectors editions, lifetime subscriptions and removing content to be resold in some cash shop.
     
    Giving money for a poor product is the real problem in my opinion. 



     

    Unfortunately, the more MMOs become mainstream, the more this will occur.

    There are many people out there who are masters at getting people to pay for subpar or lesser products and MMOs are no different. Why should Cryptic, BioWare, Blizzard, Funcom or any other company care if they rob people blind if they can repeat the model indefinately? Sure the MMO genre is still young but the bigger it gets, the more immune to bad products companies get until you get some that begin to set a new standard.

    Lets say Blizzard releases its new MMO in highly polished and very complete fashion and people just FLOCK to it. The new MMO becomes a giant success twice the size of WoW. Do you think that will send the right message?

    It is nigh impossible to change the masses mind. So the best thing to do is show them something better and set a new standard. Until that standard is set, the current one will continue to fall slowly but surely.

    Developers do what the suits tell them. Suits do what gets them the most investors. Investors invest in what will make them the most money. Small companies where Devs are the suits have the same thing happen. Companies where the devs are the investors you see the interesting things.

    SWG and Sandboxes are irrelevant. Its the contribution and support to successful companies that matter more. Look at the most successful MMOs out there and categorize them. Then look at the comparison and you'll know why the trend is the way it is.

  • MindTriggerMindTrigger La Quinta, CAPosts: 2,596Member
    This is my personal opinion of course but I think the AAA MMO sandboxes for PC are going the way of the dodo. The desire for games like these (ala UO & swg) are dwindling and those who want them demand such a high level of execution in quality that the costs associated to create a sandbox title that would appeal to a mass market make probably make it look like a bad deal to the powers who have the money to fund them.

     

    The main reason this is true is because there hasn't been a AAA sandbox/open ended game for the past 5-6 years.  In that time, the millions of people who came to the genre from WoW, have largely stuck with WoW.  They have no clue what a good sandbox is or could be.  They have never experienced the incredible interwoven community, or the concept of making one's own adventure in a virtual world, like you find in games such as SWG.

    How can people know if they would like a good sandbox game, when there are no modern ones to try?

    What the OP is saying is largely correct, IMO.  The more money we throw at these half-assed games that keep releasing, the more the industry will continue to crank them out.  These modern MMORPGs are not evolutionary or revolutionary.  They are only slightly improved, and underwhelming.  More and more people are looking for the next generation of these games, yet no one is building it. Why would they, when millions of idiots will buy games they already knew were going to be complete crap before release?

    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.

  • Esquire1980Esquire1980 Stillwater, OKPosts: 529Member
    Originally posted by MindTrigger

    This is my personal opinion of course but I think the AAA MMO sandboxes for PC are going the way of the dodo. The desire for games like these (ala UO & swg) are dwindling and those who want them demand such a high level of execution in quality that the costs associated to create a sandbox title that would appeal to a mass market make probably make it look like a bad deal to the powers who have the money to fund them.

     

    The main reason this is true is because there hasn't been a AAA sandbox/open ended game for the past 5-6 years.  In that time, the millions of people who came to the genre from WoW, have largely stuck with WoW.  They have no clue what a good sandbox is or could be.  They have never experienced the incredible interwoven community, or the concept of making one's own adventure in a virtual world, like you find in games such as SWG.

    How can people know if they would like a good sandbox game, when there are no modern ones to try?

    What the OP is saying is largely correct, IMO.  The more money we throw at these half-assed games that keep releasing, the more the industry will continue to crank them out.  These modern MMORPGs are not evolutionary or revolutionary.  They are only slightly improved, and underwhelming.  More and more people are looking for the next generation of these games, yet no one is building it. Why would they, when millions of idiots will buy games they already knew were going to be complete crap before release?



     

    To be honest, I think that is Cryptic's model for sure.  A CM even posted that they figured on getting one/sixth (1/6)  ONE/SIXTH of the people playing beta that would play STO.  They undersized the servers because of this and had to put in a query system to get people into the game.  I think at 1 time I was 972 out of about 2000.  I just loged.

    1/6???  1/6???  If I had a product that only 1/6 of my potential customers were going to buy after they tried and knew about the product, I think I'd slit my throat.  My business can't work on 1/6 of the people that try my products, but theirs can?

    You all could be right.  It may take a bunch of these games going the way of Tabula Rasa before we get any inovation, again.  I'm 53 tho, I may not live that long.  lol

  • NightCloakNightCloak Barrington, ILPosts: 450Member
    Originally posted by Esquire1980

    Originally posted by MindTrigger

    *Snip*

     *Snip*



    1/6???  1/6???  If I had a product that only 1/6 of my potential customers were going to buy after they tried and knew about the product, I think I'd slit my throat.  My business can't work on 1/6 of the people that try my products, but theirs can?



     

    Many people try free games. There are no strings attached to a beta.

    Example. HoN was in Closed Beta in early January. HoN is not an MMO but I am using it as an example. The game had over 1 million registered accounts. 400k per 7 days unique users. 200k unique users per day and about 50k preorders for the game. Assuming everyone had 2 accounts, then thats less than 1/6 purchase vs try rate. Open beta will reduce that number.

  • Shelby13Shelby13 Leduc, ABPosts: 79Member

    I will admit that by not playing the game pre-NGE I am in no position to comment on how great it was.

    And yes I am very glad that NGE did not nerf the other systems.. but the dramatic change did take a few years before the dev team did some long necessary tweaks & additions to things like weaponcrafting, housing, droids.. all of which have been tweaked up a little in the past few years.

    I've played SWG longer than a lot of people.. as the game has been NGE based longer that it was Pre/CU based.  In that time I've had the opportunity to explore a lot of the different systems.

    Fundamentally, SWG is still sandbox.  Yes there are heroic grinds, and collection grinds, but thats mostly for high-end PvP items and still to this day you can compete in PvP with crafted armor and weaponry.  They only 'essential' for high-end PvP is the heroic Jewelry instances... and they were pretty well done and tied into the SW theme rather nicely.

    SWG as it is now has 3 big issues that plague its sucess.

    1. Dev team is too small.. veteran programmers have moved on, and those who remain have too much to manage.  Getting updates is a painfully slow and small-scale process.

    2. Too many 'off theme' permanent items are being introduced into the game.  Halo's from  'Love day' & fairy wings simply detract from the overall look of the game.. giving griefers that kind of tool is like handing a loaded 12 gauge shotgun to a kid.. they ARE going to use it.. just hope its not pointed at anything vital.

    3. Server lag.   The code is resource heavy.. and while this is a 'common' MMO/Online game issue, for Galaxies its become such a limiting factor that devs have to try to 'spread out' player to minimize the issues.   GCW Invasions is a prime example.. 3 cities going at the same time... same cooldown.. because if we all did the same city, the lag would be absolutely horrid. 

    And yes EvE is an in-depth game, but it still does not have the 'character' element that galaxies has.  You can't dance at a cantina in EvE ;)  Your a meat sack stuffed into a pod stuffed into ship of some kind.  You're objective is to get more money to buy more stuff.  You don't decorate.. your enemy is an icon thats miles away from you.. and as much as I want to like the game and explore its mechanics, I don't feel connected when I play (as recently as last month).

    SWG is not just an example of how to 'make customers angry and boycott you for life'... its also a pretty cool, feature rich, dynamic game as it is right now.

    Its just not going to change... forward or back.. anytime soon and not quickly.  I suspect neither are players opinion on it.     I don't give a rip about SOE... I get along well enough with the current dev team and players to find some fun with a few hours each evening.

    As much as SWG is the poster-child for 'what not to do'... SWG is also the poster-child for 'things done right' in MANY different aspects.   Its unfortunate the 2nd half of that message seems to have been lost to the industry.. and those would-be game makers.

    SWG/STO/(SWTOR)

  • ArcAngel3ArcAngel3 GTA, ONPosts: 2,931Member

    Tbh, I don't think our voices count for very much when the big decisions are made these days.  I don't think complaints about SWG swung the genre towards WoW clonage.

    Actually, I think quite the opposite took place.  People preferred Koster's virtual world to the dumbed-down and broken CUNGE WoW rip-offs.  The big stink arose when the sandbox was filled with cat droppings.

    Also, I've said this many times, but doubt that MMO decision makers take much notice: it wasn't the sandbox concept that was a problem when SWG first came out.  It was that it was broken and very incomplete.  You only launch once, and SOE/LA blew this one big time.

    Their efforts to fix this only made things worse.  Someone once compared it to stopping the bleeding in a head wound by applying a tourniquet to the victim's neck.

    No, we didn't bring down the sandbox with our feedback.  Marketting gurus are currently holding summits on how to pump out cheap online games that create an ever-increasing artificial demand for virtual goods, sold at your friendly neighbourhood RMT shop.

    There are bigger forces at work.  Customer satisfaction, or the lack thereof, seems largely irrelevant to the fat cats these days.

    P.S. To answer you question directly, yes.  When I refuse to pay for broken crap, bad customer service, and ever increasing fees for virtual goodies, I think I am doing the genre a service.  What the decision makers do with this service is up to them -_^.  Lately, I've seen a lot of missed opportunities for improvement.

  • TroneasTroneas Buenos AiresPosts: 851Member
    Originally posted by Kazara


    I am sorry about your disappointment about STO.  Your first paragraph outlined the problems well. It will be interesting to see how many players drop the game after their free 30 day subscription runs out. At least Cryptic refunded your Life-time subscription fee.
    Your fourth paragraph is disconcerting  -
    "My 64 dollar question is; by boycotting SWG, even in it's current CHANGED state, are we screaming to industry research that the great experiment that Koster made is gone and failed? Are we telling the industry that there is no market for a sandbox MMO to be tried again? After all, we all pretty much know that the sub numbers for SWG current is rather dismal and some here, myself included, have taken satisfaction in some of that. How can another AAA studio even contemplate making another sandbox with the only real sandbox out there in such bad shape?"
    I don't believe for a second that a continued 'boycott' of SWG is sending an anti-sandbox message. SWG isn't failing becasue it offers sandbox game play (albeit just a shadow of what it was in earlier incarnations)  -  SWG is in bad shape because it is a very flawed wreck mismanaged and mutilated by a very unscrupulous company, $OE.  Game developers have learned that trying to make WoW knock-offs via cut & paste development will not generate WoW success. Some companies still need to learn that releasing incomplete, unpolished MMO's, no matter what game play style, will lead to almost certain failure, STO being the latest example.
    So many more MMO's have entered the a very competitive gaming market with different gameplay business models. Gaming companies will always take the path of least resistance to access a customer's wallet, and we are witnessing it. F2P games with cash shops offering a myriad of virtual goodies (big business for sure) attract more more more potential players. Sadly, the direction that game development is going just does not support true sandbox game play as we once knew it.


     



     

    QFT

    image

  • TroneasTroneas Buenos AiresPosts: 851Member
    Originally posted by TUX426

    Originally posted by Shelby13



    Housing, Crafting, Spaceflight, Player Economy, Sandbox, Roleplay, Non-Combat Classes... most MMO's barely touch 1 or 2 of these kinds of 'features'.


     

    Interesting...the only things you listed were things the NGE didn't change (minus economy). Just pointing it out, don't read more into it than that :)



     

    nonesense.

     

    housing: mayor profession was freely given to everyone without the need to give up any skill points in other profession.

    crafting: crafting professions were made reduntant as they shifted to a loot based economy. crafters fled. new and old items conflicted with each other. people lost millions of credits in useless items or finding themselves incapable of competing with other crafters who had the competitive advantage of surplus stock (eg bio tissues for chefs)

    player economy: see above.

    sanbox: quest lines such as the legacy quest took away the creative freedom to put a player on a path for over 50 levels. quests issued huge benefits in terms of XP compared to other means which meant the natural way was to follow to kashyyyk and then to mustafar. interdependacy and cooperation between profession ended (cooperation later reinstated), penalties were removed and skills were replaced by a linear class system. grouping was discouraged by an evident advantage in solo and/or questing XP gain.

    non-combar classes: rendered useless due to the loot based economy and extermination of the interdependancy and the the ability to sell services.

    image

  • TroneasTroneas Buenos AiresPosts: 851Member

    star wars galaxies: nge is such a joke on so many levels that anyone blaming its failure to a sandbox boycott is living inside a ravioli and doesn't know the first thing about what mmorpg customers need and want. myself as many others have covered all its flaws time and again so i won't repeat myself here - although kaz has been spot on on her assessment.

     

    if people don't boycott star wars galaxies for their principles they really should be boycotting due to its infinite number of longstanding bugs, lag, broken systems, empty servers, the microtransaction scam abuse by soe, exploits galore etc.

     

    a time will come when current or future developers will  see the error of their ways and realise that they need to go back to the drawing board with a copy of Koster's manual to guide them through; as well as hiring nancy "too much reading" macintyre and do exactly the opposite of what she suggests.

     

     

    image

  • ArcAngel3ArcAngel3 GTA, ONPosts: 2,931Member

    You know Esquire, when I first learned what STO was at launch, I had a very similar thought to yours.  It went something like, "wow man, these jokers make SWG look good lol."

    Upon further reflection, I see both as flawed games.   They were both incomplete and bug-ridden at release.  They both have popular sci-fi IPs as their main draw; and both have a subscription fee, plus RMT money pits.  Tbh, I lump them both in the same category.

    What I find extremely interesting is that the guy calling the shots for STO was a Vice President with SOE--no kidding.  It seems that he learned from the Master.  "There are always two, a Master and an apprentice."  I guess that's true after all lol.

    I tried STO's beta, and was extremely disappointed by repeated crashes to desk-top.  Then I learned about the RMT crap for playable races with game-changing stat bonuses.  I voted with my wallet on that game, much like I voted against the NGE--and subsequent developments.

    Did my vote count for anything?  Well, it's hard to say.  STO is now available at a discount price tho lol, already!  Maybe someone's getting some kind of message.  Smed also did acknowledge that NGE was a big mistake, and that many people voted with their feet.  I think that is in fact the right kind of message to send.

    Meanwhile, if I'm not mistaken, games like EVE online continue to grow.  That's a sandbox space game, I believe, with a straight subscription model too.  Didn't it just win another gaming award?  Wouldn't surprise me.

     

  • It's not us - it's the economics involved.  Ever thought hard about what it takes to make a 3d world (actually several  different worlds) where players make buildings and items can be placed freely?  Throw in a crafting and resource system where both the raw product and the end product result in tons of unique storage needs in a database and your talking major database management.  Then throw in the space game and entertainers.  Ok you are talking major development commitment - because if I remember right they wrote all the underlying engines and tools themselves.

    Yes WOW has a 3d world - and is highly polished - but players cannot change that world.

    Yes LOTRO has a 3d world - and while it has housing, it's tame in comparison.

    Yes Eve has space game - but without a walking Avatar I always felt like I was playing a spreadsheet game.

    My point is that the economics just are astronomical - I'd also point out that WOW, LOTRO, and Eve while not having the breadth of SWG options do have the polish that SWG has never gotten.  Lots of money and dev effort went into SWG - I think the lesson learned by devs is not to bite off more than you can chew - and I think that lesson was learned before NGE even happened, at least by companies who were paying attention.

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