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Are we really doing the industry a service?

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  • Esquire1980Esquire1980 Stillwater, OKPosts: 529Member
    Originally posted by ArcAngel3


    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.
     



     

    In the STO Closed beta, I actualy liked the game when Cryptic was only letting the servers go up for 2-3 hours at a time.  It wasn't until they gave us a "leveling weekend", reset player progression and turned us loose that the "hey, this is really boring" posts came to be.  And you should of seen em,  very drastic.  Cryptic countered by saying we hadn't seen the complete game as yet, many systems were not put into the CB client and that they would try and move the "patrol" missions around some to break them up.  So, we held on until Open Beta.  When the same ideals hit the forums, they again said that not all game systems were in Open Beta, also.  Then Pre-launch came about.  When the exact same came up yet again, they pulled an SOE and just ignored the problem in it's entirty.  After launch, the problem seemed to grow incredibly with the no answer being the norm, now.

    I have to admit, I do not see both games as flawed.  I see STO as being extreemly cheap, on the fly, copy/paiste rushed development.  Maybe, that could be flushed out in a year or 2 post launch, if they retain enough subs to make that worthy.  Sadly, I'm not going to be one of them.  It's just that boring and that bad to me.

    I see SWG as a game that once had me activly anticipating my time in the game.  Had my mind drifting, even sitting down reviewing a case file at work, to what I was about to accomplish or the next thing on the game plan for my character(s), city, houses, guild, etc.  I remember that anticipation of the community, what their interests were, what they needed to make their toons/etc complete.  That has never happened again.  Most who I speak to on SWG, had the same feeling about whatever version they started playing.  It appears that Shelby got the same thing out of NGE, I know that my wife did as she still continues on and started just before GU-3.  I never let her put points in what she was going to lose so she never experienced that feeling of loss in a patch, either. I see SWG as a total mismanaged game.  I, and maybe 300,000 others were willing to overlook the bugs, do work-arounds, etc to continue.  I see SWG as a CHANGED product, many times, and in many variations, that appeals to less and less as the CHANGES took place.  But, I still see SWG as something special, in the way of games and in experimentation, I guess.

    No other game has even came close as you say about STO, "these jokers make SWG look good".  A year or so ago, I had the privilage of having a months long pm convo with Chris Klug, an Professor in MMO development and the Creative Director of SGW.  I found him extreemly versed in MMO development, marketing, etc.  And when the subject at hand got around to sandbox, he said about the same thing as the writer here at MMORPG.com just did about sandbox.  That storyline based MMOs were where "it's at, now" and when I posed my argument to that point, I was asked, "Hey, aren't you one of the guys over at the MMORPG.com refuge forums that hates SWG?"  Shoulda tipped me off right there, but I blew past that with, any hatred I have is for the administrator of SWG, not for the game, itself.  So, I guess he got that out of what we're doing here.  A misconstrued message, probably somewhere out of the middle of what us and SOE have been putting out.  (SOE spin-) SOE had such a bad game they had to CHANGE it in a massive manner and without coming here and reading the message, he assumed that we were just touting how bad it was.

    To be honest, I believe we have made somewhat of a difference.  Like I said before, if you have almost 1/2 million out there that have nothing good to say, that is going to picked up by someone.  SOE sure thinks we have made a difference, at least that their spin, anyway.  With their downgrading of past customers being their total problem,per them, and to a certain percentage, I would guess they are right.  We are a vocal group.  We do not shy away from telling others about the mismanagement of SWG.  We have no qualms about touting how our favorite game or product we were paying for was CHANGED on us, in a single day, with a single patch, and we warn everyone who will listen.  Expecially if the industry accepts that the message is miscontrued  to the point of SWG is just bad.

    As I asked before;  has our message, with all the good intentions in the world, been miscontrued to the point of........... that we will never experience a decent game made in the sandbox model again?  How can a AAA studio, or a group of investors, for that matter, actualy sit around a table and discuss making another attempt while the only sandbox MMO (and yes, I am aware that the sandbox was what SOE tried to destroy with CU/NGE), outside of Eve which is known as a niche game, flounders?  Have we been great at our volume control and not so good with the content of the message as a whole?  Or has SOE polluted the message with their usual spin?  Either way, looks to me now, like we both, SOE and us, lose. They lose their game to loss of subs and we don't have 1 to play, either.  Altho, a good flightless bird can still make us come out on top, I guess.

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

    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.

     

    Well obviously I didn't break it down nearly as much as you did...but...

    1) Player housing is completely independent of "Mayor".

    2) Crafting is second to loot, of course, but the mechanics to craft remain from pre-NGE. I wasn't debating resource availability, simply the "mechanics".

    3) Player Economy is still there - It's a complete mess/joke, but it wasn't removed with NGE like many other things.

    4) When I think of "sandbox", I think of an OPEN game environment where I can go anywhere, do pretty much anything at any given time...level 5-90, I can do that in SWG still. You're talking about a much deeper problem with NGE than I was implying.

    5) Non-combat classes may be useless due to loot, TCG and bots, but the ability to play a class other than combat is still there. That's the only point I was trying to make :)

    Again, you're correct on everything you said, but that doesn't make me incorrect ;) 

  • Wharg0ulWharg0ul Colorado Springs, COPosts: 4,183Member

    I didn't read the whole thread, just the op.

    I feel I need to remind you that SWG is not the only "sandbox" out there. Support the others (EVE, FE, Darkfall, MO, etc) to show that there IS a strong interest in a sandbox game. However no one can ever think that it's OK to do what SOE did to it's players, time and again.

     

    image

  • TroneasTroneas Buenos AiresPosts: 851Member
    Originally posted by TUX426

    Originally posted by Troneas

    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.

     

    Well obviously I didn't break it down nearly as much as you did...but...

    1) Player housing is completely independent of "Mayor".

    2) Crafting is second to loot, of course, but the mechanics to craft remain from pre-NGE. I wasn't debating resource availability, simply the "mechanics".

    3) Player Economy is still there - It's a complete mess/joke, but it wasn't removed with NGE like many other things.

    4) When I think of "sandbox", I think of an OPEN game environment where I can go anywhere, do pretty much anything at any given time...level 5-90, I can do that in SWG still. You're talking about a much deeper problem with NGE than I was implying.

    5) Non-combat classes may be useless due to loot, TCG and bots, but the ability to play a class other than combat is still there. That's the only point I was trying to make :)

    Again, you're correct on everything you said, but that doesn't make me incorrect ;) 



     

    you see for me literally removing a game mechanic or nerfing it to useless (or not the best option) is the same thing.

    image

  • ArcAngel3ArcAngel3 GTA, ONPosts: 2,931Member
    Originally posted by Esquire1980

    Originally posted by ArcAngel3


    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.
     



     

    In the STO Closed beta, I actualy liked the game when Cryptic was only letting the servers go up for 2-3 hours at a time.  It wasn't until they gave us a "leveling weekend", reset player progression and turned us loose that the "hey, this is really boring" posts came to be.  And you should of seen em,  very drastic.  Cryptic countered by saying we hadn't seen the complete game as yet, many systems were not put into the CB client and that they would try and move the "patrol" missions around some to break them up.  So, we held on until Open Beta.  When the same ideals hit the forums, they again said that not all game systems were in Open Beta, also.  Then Pre-launch came about.  When the exact same came up yet again, they pulled an SOE and just ignored the problem in it's entirty.  After launch, the problem seemed to grow incredibly with the no answer being the norm, now.

    I have to admit, I do not see both games as flawed.  I see STO as being extreemly cheap, on the fly, copy/paiste rushed development.  Maybe, that could be flushed out in a year or 2 post launch, if they retain enough subs to make that worthy.  Sadly, I'm not going to be one of them.  It's just that boring and that bad to me.

    I see SWG as a game that once had me activly anticipating my time in the game.  Had my mind drifting, even sitting down reviewing a case file at work, to what I was about to accomplish or the next thing on the game plan for my character(s), city, houses, guild, etc.  I remember that anticipation of the community, what their interests were, what they needed to make their toons/etc complete.  That has never happened again.  Most who I speak to on SWG, had the same feeling about whatever version they started playing.  It appears that Shelby got the same thing out of NGE, I know that my wife did as she still continues on and started just before GU-3.  I never let her put points in what she was going to lose so she never experienced that feeling of loss in a patch, either. I see SWG as a total mismanaged game.  I, and maybe 300,000 others were willing to overlook the bugs, do work-arounds, etc to continue.  I see SWG as a CHANGED product, many times, and in many variations, that appeals to less and less as the CHANGES took place.  But, I still see SWG as something special, in the way of games and in experimentation, I guess.

    No other game has even came close as you say about STO, "these jokers make SWG look good".  A year or so ago, I had the privilage of having a months long pm convo with Chris Klug, an Professor in MMO development and the Creative Director of SGW.  I found him extreemly versed in MMO development, marketing, etc.  And when the subject at hand got around to sandbox, he said about the same thing as the writer here at MMORPG.com just did about sandbox.  That storyline based MMOs were where "it's at, now" and when I posed my argument to that point, I was asked, "Hey, aren't you one of the guys over at the MMORPG.com refuge forums that hates SWG?"  Shoulda tipped me off right there, but I blew past that with, any hatred I have is for the administrator of SWG, not for the game, itself.  So, I guess he got that out of what we're doing here.  A misconstrued message, probably somewhere out of the middle of what us and SOE have been putting out.  (SOE spin-) SOE had such a bad game they had to CHANGE it in a massive manner and without coming here and reading the message, he assumed that we were just touting how bad it was.

    To be honest, I believe we have made somewhat of a difference.  Like I said before, if you have almost 1/2 million out there that have nothing good to say, that is going to picked up by someone.  SOE sure thinks we have made a difference, at least that their spin, anyway.  With their downgrading of past customers being their total problem,per them, and to a certain percentage, I would guess they are right.  We are a vocal group.  We do not shy away from telling others about the mismanagement of SWG.  We have no qualms about touting how our favorite game or product we were paying for was CHANGED on us, in a single day, with a single patch, and we warn everyone who will listen.  Expecially if the industry accepts that the message is miscontrued  to the point of SWG is just bad.

    As I asked before;  has our message, with all the good intentions in the world, been miscontrued to the point of........... that we will never experience a decent game made in the sandbox model again?  How can a AAA studio, or a group of investors, for that matter, actualy sit around a table and discuss making another attempt while the only sandbox MMO (and yes, I am aware that the sandbox was what SOE tried to destroy with CU/NGE), outside of Eve which is known as a niche game, flounders?  Have we been great at our volume control and not so good with the content of the message as a whole?  Or has SOE polluted the message with their usual spin?  Either way, looks to me now, like we both, SOE and us, lose. They lose their game to loss of subs and we don't have 1 to play, either.  Altho, a good flightless bird can still make us come out on top, I guess.



     

    I think I'd agree with your points: STO=cheap, rushed, copy/paste; and SWG = mismanaged.  Pretty good summary if you ask me.

    Regarding messages, I think SOE did get one thing clearly from us: "Do not entirely change a live game."  Tbh I still think there are communication issues about the whole sandbox deal.  Some still seem convinced that sandbox = bad because the original SWG didn't keep pace with WoW, or because it was losing subs prior to the big revamps.

    I know what my message has been about this: "highly polished linear game will do better than badly broken sandbox game any day of the week."  For me, the big difference is highly polished versus badly broken.  It's never been about linear or sandbox. 

    In fact, despite its linear quests, WoW offers an incredible diversity of gameplay.  When I played I had people wanting to swim with me, get me drunk, have a picnic and show me their otter--I think that's some kind of shape-shifting avatar btw lol.  There's a lot more to WoW than kill, loot repeat.  I also think SOE missed the boat there too tbh.

    Btw, I've seen how they do marketting research at two of the big MMO houses.  Some of it I've seen first hand.  Either the research is really, really, really poorly done (any student in my first year research class would get an F) or the conclusions formed by MMO devs and execs are badly skewed by their own presumptions and agendas.  It's a mess.  If this kind of research keeps motivating MMO development, we're in for a long wait before another good game comes along.

  • Esquire1980Esquire1980 Stillwater, OKPosts: 529Member

    Ohhh, SOE mismanagement.  If you remember the excelant post you made on the "mari-time" history of SWG (A Perfect Storm) which I added to with the history (Titanic) of NGE to the then current SWG, it was repleat with bad decision after bad decision.  Never bothering to look back and see why 1 or all of them failed miserably or at the least, never getting the crux of the idea.  I actualy had a guy email me a link to that posting 3 or 4 months ago.  Man, it's back there now.  lol

    Sad to see that the management via SOE has now come down to being blamed on sandbox.  I agree. it may be a long time, indeed, before we see another attempt.  Your right on the research that the MMO industry does.  If I had a para-legal, much less a 1st year menber of the Bar (industry so called research professionals) that came up with just some of the same conclusions that these people have came up with, they'd be outta here so fast their head would swim. 

    Damn shame we can see it, being outside the industry, and the professionals can't.

  • ArcAngel3ArcAngel3 GTA, ONPosts: 2,931Member

    Yeah, I remember those posts lol.  I haven't thought about them in a while, but they were fun to write and read.  You know, I do find a couple of things kind of hopeful when it comes to MMOs these days:

    -The staff writers here are highlighting some important issues in the genre.  Case in point, Jon Wood just did a good article on how Community Managers should not confuse their role with that of someone in the marketting department.  A recent article on why some MMOs have failed was also really well done imo.  So, some of the MMO big-wigs might not get it, but a lot of people who know the genre and write columns about it are seeing some of the same important issues.  I think that's good.

    -There's a movement towards open source online games made just for fun by and for computer enthusiasts.  I'm exploring this, and enjoying myself.  It's a bit like the pioneer days of MMOs--more interest in games, computers and gamers than on cash grabs.  All of these are free of course, with no cash shop.  It's a lot like the Indie music scene which I'm also a part of ^_^.  Have a studio in my home, and have a friend that runs an online distribution site for Indie musicians.  We really can have fun without someone trying to own it, package it, sell it, and drain our lines of credit lol.

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Chicago, ILPosts: 2,238Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Esquire1980


    Ohhh, SOE mismanagement.  If you remember the excelant post you made on the "mari-time" history of SWG (A Perfect Storm) which I added to with the history (Titanic) of NGE to the then current SWG, it was repleat with bad decision after bad decision.  Never bothering to look back and see why 1 or all of them failed miserably or at the least, never getting the crux of the idea.  I actualy had a guy email me a link to that posting 3 or 4 months ago.  Man, it's back there now.  lol
    Sad to see that the management via SOE has now come down to being blamed on sandbox.  I agree. it may be a long time, indeed, before we see another attempt.  Your right on the research that the MMO industry does.  If I had a para-legal, much less a 1st year menber of the Bar (industry so called research professionals) that came up with just some of the same conclusions that these people have came up with, they'd be outta here so fast their head would swim. 
    Damn shame we can see it, being outside the industry, and the professionals can't.



     

    They will.  Of that I'm sure of.

    It might not be overnight.  It might not be for a few years.  But the one thng I know about computer gaming is that trends tend to reach a peak and then collapse under their own weight.  After they do, they get better.

    I saw it with platformers.  I saw it with FPS.  I saw it with RTS, god games, and action/adventure titles.  All of them started out with one, big "must have" title, followed by a bunch of clones and sequals until some other genre that breaks the mold comes along.

    This industry is ripe for that sort of revolution.  I realized this when a bunch of CoH players I was gaming with today were so fixated on talking about Mass Effect 2 on broadcast.  I have to imagine that the same conversations are going on in WoW's broadcast channels.  To me, this is a sign that the genre is dying, and it's dying because in its attempt to mimic the kind of gameplay found in action/adventure games, they are unable to duplicate the kind of gameplay you get from an action adventure game done well.

    It seems like a long time now, but I remember back when action/adventure games were king in the '90s.  We had good ones (Soul Reaver, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil), very bad sequals (Blood Omen 2, Metal Gear Solid 2, Resident Evil 4), and even worse clones (Dino Crisis).  Ironically, this is when people started to turn to MMOs.  And the reasons they turned to MMOs was because MMOs had a much different appeal than the "loot, level, zone, boss" gameplay that was worked to death in action/adventure grind mills like Capcom and Konami.

    How ironic is it that MMOs are now working the whole "loot, level, zone, boss" formula to death?  And with worse art and no cutscenes to boot!

    Design is stagnant.  All the innovation has come via the business end, but to me, most of the business end is no longer aimed at attracting new blood to the format.  RMT today is about extracting as much wealth from the current players as possible as fast as possible, all in an attempt to get as much money as possible from players before they churn...and they churn faster now than ever before.

    Make no mistake, this genre is in for rough times, and I think sooner rather than later.  That's because there are so many better games out there; cheaper, more innovative, and more interesting.  Everything that is around now has already been done to death, there really isn't anywhere they can go in this current model: creatively or financially.

    And when this genre does tank, it will take awhile before new MMOs start to appear.  But those MMOs will be better, just like action/adventure titles and RTS titles are better today than they were 10 years ago.

    But to get back to the point of the thread, I think our "protest" won't be misconstrued.  Our departue was neither unprecedented, nor because of the concept--good or bad.  We left because our rulebooks became useless, and only a fool would continue on in a system where you didn't even know from day to day what game you were playing...and we aren't even talking min/maxing stuff or FOTM.  Were talking about basic things, like "how do I move?" and "how do I shoot?"

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • TacolaTacola Raliegh, NCPosts: 263Member
    Originally posted by Troneas

    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.

    Yes, SWG has changed alot since the NGE bomb hit.   It isn't a loot based economy now.  Some loot items are very nice and sell for lots because of their rarity. 

    But, as a chef and tailor and returning disgruntled vet (stayed for CU, but left for NGE), I sell food and I make custom SEAs using RE for people every time I log in. Being able to make additives now is the biggest change since NGE for chefs.  No longer are the chef's who stockpiled additives able to rule the market alone. People ask for my services as I do other from crafters in other area's.  

    Crafters make money now that is for sure =).  And of course there is no game that comes close to SWG in the crafting methods, experimentation, Resources stats, factory runs. 

    Crafters being needed now is a good change for the post-NGE era.  I think I was madder about the crafter stuff than the fact I did the jedi grind and now you can start jedi!!   Of course you cant get a lightsaber until lvl30 or so.

    But, to the op's point.  Quiting in mass showed SOE that what they did to change the entire combat structure was not a good idea.   It is not a sandbox game anymore than WoW is now.  But I am sure judging for what I saw when I quit amonth or so after NGE , SWG is doing alot better.  The server merges were long over due. So, at this point not playing is pointless, when really it is probably one of the best existing MMO's out there right now.   Not playing is only keeping you from potentially enjoying the game.

    This from a pre-cu, pre-nge vet who canceled his account because of NGE and now on his second return to the game likes it. 

     PS: I did have to move from Corbantis, it is no more  /salute Corbantis.   Now on starsider and bloodfin now.

  • ericlatrelleericlatrelle Sullivan BarracksPosts: 176Member
    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    Originally posted by Esquire1980


    Ohhh, SOE mismanagement.  If you remember the excelant post you made on the "mari-time" history of SWG (A Perfect Storm) which I added to with the history (Titanic) of NGE to the then current SWG, it was repleat with bad decision after bad decision.  Never bothering to look back and see why 1 or all of them failed miserably or at the least, never getting the crux of the idea.  I actualy had a guy email me a link to that posting 3 or 4 months ago.  Man, it's back there now.  lol
    Sad to see that the management via SOE has now come down to being blamed on sandbox.  I agree. it may be a long time, indeed, before we see another attempt.  Your right on the research that the MMO industry does.  If I had a para-legal, much less a 1st year menber of the Bar (industry so called research professionals) that came up with just some of the same conclusions that these people have came up with, they'd be outta here so fast their head would swim. 
    Damn shame we can see it, being outside the industry, and the professionals can't.



     

    They will.  Of that I'm sure of.

    It might not be overnight.  It might not be for a few years.  But the one thng I know about computer gaming is that trends tend to reach a peak and then collapse under their own weight.  After they do, they get better.

    I saw it with platformers.  I saw it with FPS.  I saw it with RTS, god games, and action/adventure titles.  All of them started out with one, big "must have" title, followed by a bunch of clones and sequals until some other genre that breaks the mold comes along.

    This industry is ripe for that sort of revolution.  I realized this when a bunch of CoH players I was gaming with today were so fixated on talking about Mass Effect 2 on broadcast.  I have to imagine that the same conversations are going on in WoW's broadcast channels.  To me, this is a sign that the genre is dying, and it's dying because in its attempt to mimic the kind of gameplay found in action/adventure games, they are unable to duplicate the kind of gameplay you get from an action adventure game done well.

    It seems like a long time now, but I remember back when action/adventure games were king in the '90s.  We had good ones (Soul Reaver, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil), very bad sequals (Blood Omen 2, Metal Gear Solid 2, Resident Evil 4), and even worse clones (Dino Crisis).  Ironically, this is when people started to turn to MMOs.  And the reasons they turned to MMOs was because MMOs had a much different appeal than the "loot, level, zone, boss" gameplay that was worked to death in action/adventure grind mills like Capcom and Konami.

    How ironic is it that MMOs are now working the whole "loot, level, zone, boss" formula to death?  And with worse art and no cutscenes to boot!

    Design is stagnant.  All the innovation has come via the business end, but to me, most of the business end is no longer aimed at attracting new blood to the format.  RMT today is about extracting as much wealth from the current players as possible as fast as possible, all in an attempt to get as much money as possible from players before they churn...and they churn faster now than ever before.

    Make no mistake, this genre is in for rough times, and I think sooner rather than later.  That's because there are so many better games out there; cheaper, more innovative, and more interesting.  Everything that is around now has already been done to death, there really isn't anywhere they can go in this current model: creatively or financially.

    And when this genre does tank, it will take awhile before new MMOs start to appear.  But those MMOs will be better, just like action/adventure titles and RTS titles are better today than they were 10 years ago.

    But to get back to the point of the thread, I think our "protest" won't be misconstrued.  Our departue was neither unprecedented, nor because of the concept--good or bad.  We left because our rulebooks became useless, and only a fool would continue on in a system where you didn't even know from day to day what game you were playing...and we aren't even talking min/maxing stuff or FOTM.  Were talking about basic things, like "how do I move?" and "how do I shoot?"

     

    Excellent post. Especially the highlighted.

  • TeknoBugTeknoBug Calgary, ABPosts: 2,156Member

    NEVER buy lifetime subs, that's like selling your soul to the devil and you'll never get it back.


    STO bombed, I saw it coming from a mile away, I played in the beta myself and wasn't all that impressed. MMO games seem to be fading from my interest because of bad title after title, SWTOR may be my last shot at it, I've gone back to FPS games and playing my XBox 360 once in a while.

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  • Esquire1980Esquire1980 Stillwater, OKPosts: 529Member
    Originally posted by sookster54


    NEVER buy lifetime subs, that's like selling your soul to the devil and you'll never get it back.


    STO bombed, I saw it coming from a mile away, I played in the beta myself and wasn't all that impressed. MMO games seem to be fading from my interest because of bad title after title, SWTOR may be my last shot at it, I've gone back to FPS games and playing my XBox 360 once in a while.



     

    This is happening to me, also.  Not playing anything as there is really nothing that "flips my trigger", expecially like SWG did.  Playing my old Super Nintendo now with Romance of the Three Kingdons, III.

    I have to give Cryptic credit, they did refund my lifetime sub.  Altho, California has some of the most stringent Consumer Protection Statutes on the books and probably would have bore some brunt because of that if they didn't make the refunds.  All I had to say, was they touted game systems, before the launch, that were not included in the released game and the guy went, "I'm gonna put you on hold now, so I can get your refund completed".

    ST:O still could be a decent game if they take the next 2 years and put in the right things.  The 64 dollar question there is, will they have enough subs in the mean time to do that post launch development or will they only have enough left to put it in maintenance mode?

  • Lady_FeiLady_Fei Fairfield, CAPosts: 17Member

    My continued boycott of SOE is a result of the way I was treated personally as a customer.

     

    My game was discontinued, and replaced with a product I never bought, and when I voiced my concerns about it to "the powers that be", I was subsequently ignored. Even after pleading in the forums for weeks for a few simple UI changes that would have made the NGE much,much easier to stomach, and seeing SOE give zero interest in how I felt about the product.

     

    I continue to refuse to do business with SOE, or buy any SONY products of any kind, because of their insulting behavior, and the fact that they ignored me, until years later when they realized that they had made more than a few wrong choices. It's too late to apologize now.

     

    I don't think the industry in general is impacted at all by this, other than feeling a great sense of trepidation with every new project, knowing that the consumer DOES have a line in the sand, and if that line is crossed, things can get ugly.

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


    My continued boycott of SOE is a result of the way I was treated personally as a customer.
     
    My game was discontinued, and replaced with a product I never bought, and when I voiced my concerns about it to "the powers that be", I was subsequently ignored. Even after pleading in the forums for weeks for a few simple UI changes that would have made the NGE much,much easier to stomach, and seeing SOE give zero interest in how I felt about the product.
     
    I continue to refuse to do business with SOE, or buy any SONY products of any kind, because of their insulting behavior, and the fact that they ignored me, until years later when they realized that they had made more than a few wrong choices. It's too late to apologize now.
     
    I don't think the industry in general is impacted at all by this, other than feeling a great sense of trepidation with every new project, knowing that the consumer DOES have a line in the sand, and if that line is crossed, things can get ugly.



     

    I understand, completly.  But, then, we all lose.  SWG goes downhill further (and with SOE pulling the strings, that's pretty easy), and we don't have a game to play.  I haven't heard of 1 person on these boards talking about another game like we all talk about our versions of "old" SWG and how much we enjoyed it.

    However, I really don't agree on the industry part of this.  I believe we have had an impact, how much, is debateable.  We are not the only ones that are not subbed simply due to the fact that SOE mismanaged SWG even to that point.  And while we are doing that, no sandbox games, outside of a few "indie" studios are coming out.  Just more and more WoWified clones, not even as good as the original, expecting to make a few bucks off the box sales and throwing the long term to the winds.

  • Daffid011Daffid011 Posts: 7,829Member Uncommon

    Sandbox games are not an easy task for a developer to create, where theme park mmos are much easier even for the most inexperienced of dev teams.

     

    Until someone comes along and shows that the social side of mmos can attract a decent following, there is little reason to expect sandbox games to hit the market with any force.  It has little to do with wow and everything to do with 10 years of theme park mmos dominating while almost every sandbox game has suffered big time. 

     

    A game with the Star Wars IP, the mmo industry leader in SOE (at the time) and one of the most experienced sandbox developers [koster] powering what should have been a sure fire success and it ended up the single biggest example of what not to do in an mmo?.  SWG did more damage to the concept of sandbox games than any theme park is going to do.  Who in their right mind is going to emulate this titanic of a disaster?   

    IMHO Vanguard put the final nail in the sanbox coffin, even though it is only a hybrid of theme park and sand box. 

     

     

     

  • Moaky07Moaky07 Flushing, MIPosts: 2,096Member
    Originally posted by Daffid011


    Sandbox games are not an easy task for a developer to create, where theme park mmos are much easier even for the most inexperienced of dev teams.
     
    Until someone comes along and shows that the social side of mmos can attract a decent following, there is little reason to expect sandbox games to hit the market with any force.  It has little to do with wow and everything to do with 10 years of theme park mmos dominating while almost every sandbox game has suffered big time. 
     
    A game with the Star Wars IP, the mmo industry leader in SOE (at the time) and one of the most experienced sandbox developers [koster] powering what should have been a sure fire success and it ended up the single biggest example of what not to do in an mmo?.  SWG did more damage to the concept of sandbox games than any theme park is going to do.  Who in their right mind is going to emulate this titanic of a disaster?   
    IMHO Vanguard put the final nail in the sanbox coffin, even though it is only a hybrid of theme park and sand box. 
     
     
     



     

    I agree.

     

    Asking Devs to make AAA sandbox titles is like trying to get fine dining on a McDonalds dollar menu budget.

  • KylrathinKylrathin Rockford, ILPosts: 426Member
    Originally posted by Daffid011


    Sandbox games are not an easy task for a developer to create, where theme park mmos are much easier even for the most inexperienced of dev teams.
     
    Until someone comes along and shows that the social side of mmos can attract a decent following, there is little reason to expect sandbox games to hit the market with any force.  It has little to do with wow and everything to do with 10 years of theme park mmos dominating while almost every sandbox game has suffered big time. 
     
    A game with the Star Wars IP, the mmo industry leader in SOE (at the time) and one of the most experienced sandbox developers [koster] powering what should have been a sure fire success and it ended up the single biggest example of what not to do in an mmo?.  SWG did more damage to the concept of sandbox games than any theme park is going to do.  Who in their right mind is going to emulate this titanic of a disaster?   
    IMHO Vanguard put the final nail in the sanbox coffin, even though it is only a hybrid of theme park and sand box. 
     
     
     

    Respectfully, that's a bit disingenuous.  Your point about it being the single biggest example of what not to do is well taken, but of course the real point to that was don't change the rules that heavily in the middle of the game, as you will alienate your existing player base and may never get that new one you thought you deserved.  Those with a simplistic view of things will look at it as "sandbox MMOs are all failure, look at SWG", and there's no question producers these days want the path of least resistance and will refuse to even glance at something if there's some sort of caveat associated with it.  But, to use your analogy, that would be akin to shipbuilders saying "Well, the Titanic sunk, so building large cruise ships is a horrible idea and we should keep them under 10,000 metric tons." 

    I believe the fact that it was the Star Wars IP sunk the game faster than it would have otherwise, as most people I know in the game wanted to live in the Star Wars universe, and they wanted to be unique.  Not necessarily heroes, not necessarily the all-powerful, but just unique.  And some didn't even want to be unique - they wanted to be Stormtrooper #82263.  The beauty of it was, they could enter and exit that role as they saw fit, and were not locked into it by any means.  As bad as the NGE was, to me that was what provided the biggest dip in the number of players once NGE was implemented - removal of the ability to live in the Star Wars universe as who you wanted with the ability to change it at any time.

    You know, the more I write about it, the more I can see game executives looking at it in the view you put it in.  The true pioneers are gone or discredited, their past brilliance just that - considered in the past and unrepeatable.  Anyone breaking into the business now is going to be hamstrung by short-sighted executives unwilling to take any risk at all with a new, unproven product.  Producers basically have to say "My view of the game is exactly the same as yours, sir, but with tint control!  It's a genre-buster!"  When Koster said WoW set MMOs back 10 years, I think he may have been underestimating the similarities between video game execs and TV and radio execs.  None of them ever mess with the formula, once it's been discovered.  Niche projects are given a smattering of funds and low expectations, and you either produce a diamond in the rough or your career is shot.

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

  • Daffid011Daffid011 Posts: 7,829Member Uncommon

    The NGE was the premier example of the absolute worst decision in mmo history, but it is just one bad example on top of a pile of bad examples that make up SWG list of "do not do this to your mmo" that make it the single best example of what not(s) to do in an mmo. 

     

    These two comics remind me of just how many mistakes were made that crippled swg from the very beginning of the game.

     

    In the end SWG is just a giant example of cascading errors that turned a license to print money and success into a flaming nightmare of failure that should be posted on every developers wall of things not to do when developing and releasing an mmo.  SWG problems go way beyond the NGE and existed since release. The nge was just so huge that it tends to overshadow all of the poor decisions made in this game that caused it to fail. 

    Sadly it is also very representative of the problems that have plagued most sandbox games, which just makes for more reasons why most developers shy away from more social oriented game designs like sandboxes. The history of sandbox games in the genre is ugly and almost entirely filled with failures.  

     

     

    Also, I very much disagree that the Star Wars license sunk SWG faster than anything else.  If anything, it allowed the game to limp along far longer than if it were a game with an original IP that no one had ever heard of.  People still play swg, because it is the only star wars mmo on the market.

     

     

  • Esquire1980Esquire1980 Stillwater, OKPosts: 529Member
    Originally posted by Daffid011


    The NGE was the premier example of the absolute worst decision in mmo history, but it is just one bad example on top of a pile of bad examples that make up SWG list of "do not do this to your mmo" that make it the single best example of what not(s) to do in an mmo. 
     
    These two comics remind me of just how many mistakes were made that crippled swg from the very beginning of the game.

     
    In the end SWG is just a giant example of cascading errors that turned a license to print money and success into a flaming nightmare of failure that should be posted on every developers wall of things not to do when developing and releasing an mmo.  SWG problems go way beyond the NGE and existed since release. The nge was just so huge that it tends to overshadow all of the poor decisions made in this game that caused it to fail. 
    Sadly it is also very representative of the problems that have plagued most sandbox games, which just makes for more reasons why most developers shy away from more social oriented game designs like sandboxes. The history of sandbox games in the genre is ugly and almost entirely filled with failures.  
     
     
    Also, I very much disagree that the Star Wars license sunk SWG faster than anything else.  If anything, it allowed the game to limp along far longer than if it were a game with an original IP that no one had ever heard of.  People still play swg, because it is the only star wars mmo on the market.
     
     



     

    If your're correct, then no wonder we will not get another sandbox from a AAA studio.  And I'm really not all that sure you are correct in all your estimation.

    SWG had over 300K subs at one time.  Post WoW, maybe not all that great but pre WoW, 2nd largest of the time.

    SWG had many chances.  SWG rebounded from the CU, some say almost back to pre-CU levels.  After NGE, the game came back, somewhat, to 100K subs (Smedley released at C6CD).  So, what does SOE do, each time?  Throw away the sub base they had for a chance at a sub base that only existed in their minds.  CHANGES killed SWG.  There were 3 different playerbases that were CHANGED right out of existance.  SOE mismanagement never ceases to amaze me.

    Altho, I think you're right.  It's not SOE mismanagement that is being blamed for these happenings.  It's sandbox.  With the advent of nothing but story driven MMOs, I just did the STO launch, we all end up with no game to play and SWG sinks even further.

    I just can't figure out how to get the message across.  SOE continues it's never ending quest to destroy SWG.  Studios keep making WoW clones and launching not even up to the standards of the original.  I keep playing solitare.

  • Daffid011Daffid011 Posts: 7,829Member Uncommon

    True that swg had a lot of people at release and it was successful at the start, but most of that was fueled by the Star Wars brand and people still hoping things would get fixed.  The entire project was obviously to much for soe to handle even if they still cared about quality.  As great as the design of the game was at release it just didn't have enough quality to retain. 

    However if you look at the overall life of the game, not just the big changes to the game, but everything.  You see a game that is plagued by issues most developers don't want to deal with and can easily avoid by emulating the more successful and dominating theme park design.  SOE had the capital, they had the most experience in the industry and one of the largest IPs in the world to work with and they could not get it right even after 3 tries.  It would be hard for any developer to ignore that, even if they do correctly identify the reasons why swg slagged.

     

    If soe gave a rats ass about quality and took their time with the game and supported the people creating it, then I doubt a thread like this gets written.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • TroneasTroneas Buenos AiresPosts: 851Member
    Originally posted by Daffid011


    The NGE was the premier example of the absolute worst decision in mmo history, but it is just one bad example on top of a pile of bad examples that make up SWG list of "do not do this to your mmo" that make it the single best example of what not(s) to do in an mmo. 
     
    These two comics remind me of just how many mistakes were made that crippled swg from the very beginning of the game.

     
    In the end SWG is just a giant example of cascading errors that turned a license to print money and success into a flaming nightmare of failure that should be posted on every developers wall of things not to do when developing and releasing an mmo.  SWG problems go way beyond the NGE and existed since release. The nge was just so huge that it tends to overshadow all of the poor decisions made in this game that caused it to fail. 
    Sadly it is also very representative of the problems that have plagued most sandbox games, which just makes for more reasons why most developers shy away from more social oriented game designs like sandboxes. The history of sandbox games in the genre is ugly and almost entirely filled with failures.  
     
     
    Also, I very much disagree that the Star Wars license sunk SWG faster than anything else.  If anything, it allowed the game to limp along far longer than if it were a game with an original IP that no one had ever heard of.  People still play swg, because it is the only star wars mmo on the market.
     
     



     

    blasphemy!

     

    the people who make this cartoon have no idea what a sandbox is and what it is meant to be.

     

     

    i've played many themepark games as well and they all suffer from downtime at one point in the game.

     

    in swg i never found myself with nothing to do.

     

    if anything i was buffing at the starport; finding smugglers to slice my weapons, travelling to vendors in the land, stopping a tailor to get me a new set of clothing, loading my factories...

     

    the difference is true sandbox games encourage and as such are prepared for gaming downtime and gives you the features to keep yourself busy.

     

    themepark games dont have any downtime up until the endgame BUT once you get there you are either helping newbies or counting the days down to your next raid.

     

    people quit swg because of the bugs, lies, missing content and performance issues - not because it was a sandbox game.

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  • TroneasTroneas Buenos AiresPosts: 851Member

    and now i will throw some raph koster around for the people of that cartoon:

     

    "...so games have developed incentives to get you to go do stuff. The payback for this is direct jolts of fun. Users are perfectly capable of taking actions on their own and getting fun. But if your objective is to have users get that jolt often, then you force them to have fun. You throw them into situations where they have to take action. You make them get off their lazy butts and make tough choices. You push them constantly, via all sorts of signals, to feel like staying still will make them feel bad, insignificant, inadequate.

    (If you think these words are strong, think of the sorts of unsubtle prompts that have been put into character’s idle animations over the years… yelling at you to do something, looking bored, etc).

    The culmination of this, of course, is constant action. But here’s the thing… humans get tired. The body itself, the human mind, has natural thresholds. Laziness may be bad, but lack of rest is worse. And in this, I include mental rest. Every arc of human activity has periodicity to it, with ramping attention, peak action, flow, gradual decline, story sharing, evaluation, rest, and then repeat. To see more about that, you can read the original MUD-Dev debate on socialization requiring downtime, then come back here.

    Back? OK… a simple empirical test: name an intense game with naturally long sessions. Sure, you see some crazy people who do play intense games for hours and hours on end. They usually need to depend on stimulants to do it. In general, the more sustained high action and attention a game demands, the more exhausting it is, and the shorter the game is. That is because the game itself has architected downtime by ending. A high-intensity game that lasts eight hours would have few players precisely because most people wouldn’t be able to handle it.

    This human cycle is pretty much inevitable. We see entire gaming forums premised on the “ramping attention” phase (“come check out this new KRPG!”) phase and the “story sharing, evaluation, rest” stage of activity. It happens on long cycles (the still active SWG exile forums) and on session-level cycles (your various guilds). These days, a lot of people use Ventrillo for the warm-up and cooldown phases.

    Arguing about whether a game should have downtime in it is arguing whether the game should have those phases within itself, in the environment, or have them elsewhere, in forums and other communities. There are benefits and tradeoffs to each. Either way, socialization does require downtime." - Raph Koster.

     

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  • GarickGarick oneida, TNPosts: 71Member

    Actually what SWG did can be described as such.

     

    They took their loyal playerbase, that had been years in the making. Suddenly kicked them in the balls and while they were down. Took an old man and had him teabag them in the face for a few hours. Then told them "Ok were done fucking with you, were gonna get some new ass and it'll be better than yours... bye"

     

    In which the end result was some old SWG owners sitting alone with no new ass to enjoy and ending up the laughing stock of the gaming industry..

     

    Fail SOE.. fail and perish as you deserve for being douche bags.

  • Daffid011Daffid011 Posts: 7,829Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Troneas




     
    blasphemy!
     
    the people who make this cartoon have no idea what a sandbox is and what it is meant to be.
     
     
    i've played many themepark games as well and they all suffer from downtime at one point in the game.
     
    in swg i never found myself with nothing to do.
     
    if anything i was buffing at the starport; finding smugglers to slice my weapons, travelling to vendors in the land, stopping a tailor to get me a new set of clothing, loading my factories...
     
    the difference is true sandbox games encourage and as such are prepared for gaming downtime and gives you the features to keep yourself busy.
     
    themepark games dont have any downtime up until the endgame BUT once you get there you are either helping newbies or counting the days down to your next raid.
     
    people quit swg because of the bugs, lies, missing content and performance issues - not because it was a sandbox game.

     

    I agree and disagree with what you say.

    Yes people quit because of the lies and lack of direction for the game.  That is what finally pushed me out.  It was obvious the developers did not know how to fix the game and simply had no time or direction even if they did.  People only bought the potential of the game for so long before it became obvious the developers were making things worse.  The holocron fiasco was such an obvious ploy to buy time without any thought about how it would affect the game. 

    The game that was released was both great and horrible at the same time.  The social aspects of the game were awesome and most of that stemmed from the dependence players had on each other that came from the character building system.

    Beyond that however the game was painfully incomplete.  The tools needed to make a sandbox game go were missing.  There was almost no way for players to interact with the world outside of tossing down a house or a harvester.  Almost everything on importance in the world itself did not function.  Pile that on top of how many issues there were with the core gameplay mechanics and it is pretty easy to see why people said there was nothing to do, even tongue in check as it was. 

    IMHO SWG is one of the worst mmo releases in the genre and was only carried by the IP and a few brilliant game systems that soe never let the developers finish.  That is just another reason why I think swg is the pinnacle example in a worst case scenario survival guide.  It it like having a road map of what not to do when making an mmo from start to finish.

     

    However, had the game been given enough time to be completed I think the entire mmo landscape would look different today.   

     

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



    I understand, completly.  But, then, we all lose.  SWG goes downhill further (and with SOE pulling the strings, that's pretty easy), and we don't have a game to play.  I haven't heard of 1 person on these boards talking about another game like we all talk about our versions of "old" SWG and how much we enjoyed it.
    However, I really don't agree on the industry part of this.  I believe we have had an impact, how much, is debateable.  We are not the only ones that are not subbed simply due to the fact that SOE mismanaged SWG even to that point.  And while we are doing that, no sandbox games, outside of a few "indie" studios are coming out.  Just more and more WoWified clones, not even as good as the original, expecting to make a few bucks off the box sales and throwing the long term to the winds.

     

    What do "we" lose? I lose nothing if/when SoE dies.

     

    And please...stop giving forums undo credit lol. You, this forum, any other forum...NONE of them have the influence people wish they did. NONE!!! <--- I mean that!!! N O N E !!! It's a business.

     

    The reason you don't see more "sandbox" games coming out is $$$. Economically, it's cheaper to invest in short term (3-6mo) MMO releases that are little more than single player games with "co-op"  than it is to develop and maintain a long term MMO that will require years of development. Maybe you'll get lucky and people will want to keep playing, but the current focus surely doesn't seem to be on long term retention - it's most certainly more focused on launch sales.

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