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A EA Exec tells you to save TOR, What do you do?

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  • RequiamerRequiamer ???Posts: 2,034Member

    Sell it to EA? Ho wait...

  • karmathkarmath Posts: 829Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Kalfer

    OK - Let's not forget that there are lots of people who like SWTOR how it is. There is. They are actively playing it, not defending on the forums. We can argue on for how long until the end of time. Instead this thread will be a role playing scenario, for those who feel SWTOR currently has missed the mark. This is a okay-you-don't-like-the-game-so-what-would-you-do-if-you-were-bioware-scenario type thread.

     

    You're a game designer (newly appointed lead designer) on SWTOR. Your task is to make SWTOR the best game possible. You have a meeting with an executive from EA. He does not understand in his crummy business head why the peons (the players) are not playing this game as much as WoW. Your asked to make SWTOR a game with 12 million subscribers. 

    You receive additional funding, but within reason. You have your live team who can work on a dungeon, a flashpoint, 2-3 new big features, and a ton of balancing and bug fixes every patch(every 3-4th month).

    You also have an expansion team for a retail 40-50 USD expansion pack that can expand the game greatly. 

    How do you proceed? What do you do?

    Which content do you focus on? what systems do you change, remove, revive or add? What will you do with the expansion? how do you avoid segregating players if they also have to buy an expansion? can you sell it in a different way? give it for free despite getting heavy losses? what do you do about end games, and fans expectations?

    Buy the rights to SWG and slap in the voice acting from SWTOR = win

  • HurvartHurvart ystadPosts: 565Member

    Originally posted by cloud8521

    Originally posted by Kreedz

    If I worked for Bioware, I'd probably tell EA to stick it where the sun don't shine and go Indie (where all the innovation is happening).

    not possible. EA owns Bioware.  bioware cant leave without their permision because  bioware is not the devteam anymore its a part of EA and EA owns their name and place of busness along with anything they make.

    They can leave and start a new company. EA cant own people working for them. They are not slaves.

  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member
    Originally posted by Hurvart


    Originally posted by cloud8521


    Originally posted by Kreedz


    If I worked for Bioware, I'd probably tell EA to stick it where the sun don't shine and go Indie (where all the innovation is happening).

    not possible. EA owns Bioware.  bioware cant leave without their permision because  bioware is not the devteam anymore its a part of EA and EA owns their name and place of busness along with anything they make.

    They can leave and start a new company. EA cant own people working for them. They are not slaves.

     

    And you can resign from your job but who will pay your mortgage
  • RefMinorRefMinor MyTownPosts: 3,452Member
    Originally posted by Kalfer

    OK - Let's not forget that there are lots of people who like SWTOR how it is. There is. They are actively playing it, not defending on the forums. We can argue on for how long until the end of time. Instead this thread will be a role playing scenario, for those who feel SWTOR currently has missed the mark. This is a okay-you-don't-like-the-game-so-what-would-you-do-if-you-were-bioware-scenario type thread.
     
    You're a game designer (newly appointed lead designer) on SWTOR. Your task is to make SWTOR the best game possible. You have a meeting with an executive from EA. He does not understand in his crummy business head why the peons (the players) are not playing this game as much as WoW. Your asked to make SWTOR a game with 12 million subscribers. 
    You receive additional funding, but within reason. You have your live team who can work on a dungeon, a flashpoint, 2-3 new big features, and a ton of balancing and bug fixes every patch(every 3-4th month).
    You also have an expansion team for a retail 40-50 USD expansion pack that can expand the game greatly. 
    How do you proceed? What do you do?
    Which content do you focus on? what systems do you change, remove, revive or add? What will you do with the expansion? how do you avoid segregating players if they also have to buy an expansion? can you sell it in a different way? give it for free despite getting heavy losses? what do you do about end games, and fans expectations?

     

    I would raise the cash internally, hiring Gabe Amantagelo out to the UN as a roving peace envoy, bringing peace to conflicts around the world, using the cash that this would raise I would make a proper MMO.
  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    Real game design is a full time job; and it's developed more organically that the lofty vision and exotic theory of forums.

    It's also a pay cut; the wife would be displeased.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • EduardoASGEduardoASG AzoresPosts: 832Member

    Many ways to make swtor a good game.

    - Random generated quests for lvl 50s with defined rewards, a bit like in Anarchy Online. If they dont want to invest into random generated dungeons/underground facilities they can at start use open areas for this. Go there in that planet kill x of this etc or retrieve y objects and such. Anarchy Online here is a very good example of what an endgame experience should look like really. People would reach max level there and still keep playing the game for years..

    - Remove all the bloody buy with tokens vendors. All loot should be randomly generated or have a specific mob from wich will have a small chance to drop from. A bit like Diablo loot system.. white items, blue, orange, pink whatever. Think you get the idea.

    - Remove the stupid pvp only stat gear. The concept to separate pvp gear from pve gear is a game breaker. All gear should be of same type, no advantage given to people who like to win gear from pvp matches at all.

    - Balance/Mirror both factions. Each type of char from one faction should have EXACTLY the same mirror type of char in the other faction. Balance both faction is really important and they never did it.

    - Make all the flashpoints / Operations playable for single players.. not just for groups. Theres a loadcrap of content made for groups only that only people in big or organizaed guilds can access to. Thats a bad design option.. for several reasons. One of theese reasons is that a big % of people that will play SWTOR work and have their available play time limited for this or that reason. I think most of the players will be aorund the 30s, with families and dont really have lot of time to commit to groups and organized expeditions to those flashpoints/operations. By denying that content to them..

    - Make open pvp areas just that.. open pvp areas. No rewards at all nada. Just maybe a few exp won by killing enemy faction individuals. People who like pvp will eventually go there, people who dont, wont. Simple.

    - Pvp matches -> same thing. Stop giving tokens and that crap for joinning a pvp match warzone. Give exp in the same amount of the exp a player would win if going pve in the same amount of  time.. Again whoever likes warzones will join warzones, whoever doesnt, wouldnt give a crap about them. At the moment it is almost mandatory to go there.

    - Space Combat -> Again.. this needs random generated space missions creation aswel. Actually the whole space combat system should have been remaped long ago. I had hopes that they would have done it a bit after launch. Guess they never bothered with it.

    Well time for breakfast.. but theese are some ideas on how this game could improve. I am sure there are many more things that could be done to make swtor a proper enjoyable and profitable game.

    ~ D R A G 0 N . S L A Y E R S ~ Aion, AoC, AC, AO, DDO, Eve, Eq2, GW, MW3, L1&2, RF, RIFT, SWG, SWTOR, TR, UO, WOW, WAR

  • LowcaianLowcaian NsjoPosts: 265Member

    Flush the servers and install SWG.,

    image
  • nyxiumnyxium ManchesterPosts: 1,221Member Uncommon

    SWTOR Redux:

    PVE - Leave alone.

    PVP - Complete utter rewrite. But not abandoned, just started again from scratch with pure balance and ultra tested for exploits before release. tested to death, many many balanced deaths. This shouldn't take too much work as they almost got it right before the exploits were discovered.

    Space combat - multiplayer only. Space is left out of the game until multiplayer. Player ships stay in game as housing but only cut scenes take players from one planet to another. space travel is enabled when true mmo capability is put in.

    Trading - Less aggressive AH monitoring, not everyone is a bot. Also exploits would be rewarded or at least allowed for clever trading and not banned as long as the player is confirmed not to be a bot.

    RL prices, down, they go way way down, at least 50% off to what they currently charge.

    image
  • KanesterKanester WalesPosts: 374Member Uncommon

    Get rid of the fleet ship.

    Oh and Permadeath......

    image

  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    Pump out a dozen or so new dungeons, a few new raids, a handful of new warzones, and a cross server queueing LFG tool for dungeons, raids, and warzones.

    Dual specs, full appearance tab.

    At this point, they can only pray they can entice people to not go back to WoW.

     

    And have a massive new expansion in the works with multiple new planets, continuations of the class stories where it actually matters what decisions you make, these new planets would have to be far more open like Hoth/Tatooine than closed off like Corellia.

    Some sort of dynamic open world PvE system, introduce secondary professions and majorly overhaul crafting, have each othe new planets also have open world PvP "lakes".

    Remove the fleets, move "hubs" to Coruscant/Dromand Kaas.

    Add in multiplayer space missions, and in more free-form flight in space missions, add in some form of PvP.

    Expand player ships to be customizable internally and externally. Expand features to make ships more into housing.

    Add in guild capital ships (guild housing)

    Complete overhaul of combat system. Right now it is far too tedius. Expand on cover mechanics for ALL ranged classes, make cover/use of cover more like a Mass Effect or Gears of War where no cover = dead.

    Speed up melee combat, add in dodge mechanics.

    You know?

    There are just far, far too many things I could list here.

  • BigAndShinyBigAndShiny LondonPosts: 176Member

    Focus on story

    If I want raids, I'll play WoW, if I want battlegrounds, I'll play WoW, if I want FFA PvP/Sandbox, I'll go play Darkfall/EvE or cry in a hole.   

    People felt betrayed by TOR because it didn't provide the same storytelling experience as Kotor/ME at endgame. I say FORGET raids, FORGET dailies/grind and focus on 

    1)  Turn the game into a B2P model, with optional COSMETIC microtransactions/convenience items.  (GW1 model)

    2)  Every 2 months, release a 'Content Pack' for $20.  This would include a new PvP warzone, and a new planet.  On the planet would be a continuation of class quests, a single-player world arc, a mini-raid/world boss(es) and that's it.   

    I want to continue the adventures of Cimeas the Bounty Hunter, or Cimara the Jedi Knight, not sit on the fleet waiting for raids and grinding dailies.  Let me play a Bioware adventure, a Star Wars adventure! 

     

     

  • KalferKalfer HappylandPosts: 779Member

    Good stuff guys. keep it coming.

  • ThillianThillian BratislavaPosts: 3,143Member Uncommon

    I would be pretending everyone is happy and trying to artificially increase the subscription rates for the next BoD meeting, while feeding my superiors with phrases from Gobbledygook Generator  such as "This is no time to bite the bullet with our quality management matrix approaches." or "We need a more blue-sky approach to compatible third-generation concepts."

    http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/examples/gobbledygook-generator.html

    REALITY CHECK

  • ThillianThillian BratislavaPosts: 3,143Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Thillian

    I would be pretending everyone is happy and trying to artificially increase the subscription rates for the next BoD meeting, while feeding my superiors with phrases from Gobbledygook Generator  such as "This is no time to bite the bullet with our quality management matrix approaches." or "We need a more blue-sky approach to compatible third-generation concepts."

    http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/examples/gobbledygook-generator.html

    And enjoying my high salary while it lasts, naturally. It seems current lead dev actually thinks the same way.

    REALITY CHECK

  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,205Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Kalfer

    I would argue with EA that the expansion would be needed to be free update for all players. It would be the largest patch ever made for a MMORPG (and marketing would ride that sthick, trying to create new hype around the game.. even brining it to e3). 

     

     

     

    It would re-create SWTOR as a Sandbox game, through the introduction of open space flight. Guild Ships in the galaxy. players being able to affect the power balance in the world.

     

     Would scrap the way combat works for something that looks and feels nice, like Jedi Knight... a bit like TERA but in a way that feels good for star wars. 

    All end-game would be scrapped and abandoned. Raids and Warzones would be left behind for something else and more meaningful.

    day/night cycles would be introduced, levelling speed would be increased to make the path to lvl 50 less boring. many of the side quests would have their durations / requirements greatly reduced to make them not monotone but exciting. 

    all NPCs would undergo massive overhaul. make them lifeful. Make them act like living NPCs who sleep at night, eat, go to work (in the context of were they are in the world). like Skyrim the aim will be to make them fill a meaningful role as the common people of the galaxy while the player is the hero. 

    Races - non humans would undergo drastic animation changes to seperate them for humans. 

    character customization and itemization - more variety and choice for all classes with gear. more body types (and some exclusive for certain races that make sense), - full customization control over player race companions. pick any face and hairstyle you want.

    - open up the planets focusing on the war. increased planet size, make them alive. give reason to come back. 

    Awesome post.  I would just like to add 2 things for my own tastes.  Increase the Epic Music we hear per zone/area and Knock Down all those invisible walls and give me Mountains to go climb and nooks and crannies to seek out filled with small but fun Lore or Items or rare mobs.  I want to come around a corner on the road and see vistas that I can go OOH at or maybe even go visit them if I travel far enough.  

    Like that crashed Ship on the horizon on the starter planet for Troopers and Smugglers...Ord mantell I think it is, I want to visit that crashed ship.  Currently, it's just a matte painting that never moves but is supposed to make me think it's there...yet it's lost on me due to the art style and invisible walls.

    image
  • stragen001stragen001 ReadingPosts: 1,720Member

    Originally posted by cloud8521

    Originally posted by Kreedz

    If I worked for Bioware, I'd probably tell EA to stick it where the sun don't shine and go Indie (where all the innovation is happening).

    not possible. EA owns Bioware.  bioware cant leave without their permision because  bioware is not the devteam anymore its a part of EA and EA owns their name and place of busness along with anything they make.

    Management buyout?

    I wonder how many of the peeps at Bioware said exactly this kind of thing would happen when BW were being bought by EA. BW were an amazing company but now they have just been subsumed into the giant clusterfuck that is EA.

    I remember a quote I read a while back and think it was referring to EA/BW but cant find the link now.

    "Bioware needed to make money so they could make great games. EA needed to make games so they could make great amounts of money"

    Cluck Cluck, Gibber Gibber, My Old Mans A Mushroom

  • KakkzookaKakkzooka Waterbury, CTPosts: 591Member

    If I was a smart employee, I'd listen carefully to what the executive was looking for. Then I would send my resume to ArenaNet.

    Re: SWTOR

    "Remember, remember - Kakk says 'December.'"

  • MetentsoMetentso BarcelonaPosts: 1,436Member Common

    Realistically, if it's really sinking, going F2P looks like the best option.

  • BoudewijnsBoudewijns AntwerpPosts: 133Member Uncommon

    ill kick that exec in the nuts and continue playing TOR

    image

  • DrakxiiDrakxii Waxahachie, TXPosts: 594Member

    First I would wonder why I am still working at EA.  If I had no faith in my abilities I would do what ever the Exec thinks would save TOR.  If I had faith in my abilities I would quit and go indie or look for a job at places that anit connected to the big boys.

    I will not play a game with a cash shop ever again. A dev job should be to make the game better not make me pay so it sucks less.

  • jdnewelljdnewell Spring Hill, TNPosts: 2,150Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Kalfer

    I would argue with EA that the expansion would be needed to be free update for all players. It would be the largest patch ever made for a MMORPG (and marketing would ride that sthick, trying to create new hype around the game.. even brining it to e3). 

     

     

     

    It would re-create SWTOR as a Sandbox game, through the introduction of open space flight. Guild Ships in the galaxy. players being able to affect the power balance in the world.

     

     Would scrap the way combat works for something that looks and feels nice, like Jedi Knight... a bit like TERA but in a way that feels good for star wars. 

    All end-game would be scrapped and abandoned. Raids and Warzones would be left behind for something else and more meaningful.

    day/night cycles would be introduced, levelling speed would be increased to make the path to lvl 50 less boring. many of the side quests would have their durations / requirements greatly reduced to make them not monotone but exciting. 

    all NPCs would undergo massive overhaul. make them lifeful. Make them act like living NPCs who sleep at night, eat, go to work (in the context of were they are in the world). like Skyrim the aim will be to make them fill a meaningful role as the common people of the galaxy while the player is the hero. 

    Races - non humans would undergo drastic animation changes to seperate them for humans. 

    character customization and itemization - more variety and choice for all classes with gear. more body types (and some exclusive for certain races that make sense), - full customization control over player race companions. pick any face and hairstyle you want.

    - open up the planets focusing on the war. increased planet size, make them alive. give reason to come back. 



    So basically shut this one down and start from scratch then. Sounds like a plan to me

  • LobotomistLobotomist ZagrebPosts: 5,051Member Uncommon

    It may be a little bit to late, but - simply make the game like LOTRO.

    Client free , until x lvl, after that pay for quests on planets.

    Shame that they didnt do it at start , than they could do the same but sell the client aswell.

     

    But with all bad hype the game got, it may be late, to late.

     

    Funny that on end of all SWG was many times more profitable for Lucas Arts

     

     

    image

  • Sora2810Sora2810 New Columbia, PAPosts: 567Member

    Primary goal; Focus on keeping the 1.7 mil sub base TOR currently has. Listen and cater to what those players feel is needed in the game. Wouldn't want another CU, that'd be ironic. Once the Sub base stabilizes, more players will come. There's no need to frantically try to amass a huge player-base at this time.

    First; server merges, leaving some servers low pop (Some players enjoy this). Give the players a choice to merge or stay.


     


    Second, form a larger pvp team. Dedicating four-six (prefered) selected players for each class, two being really strong MMO players, two being casual PVP players. Rotate their specs every few days. Pit them against each other to define with a lot of metrics which classes/abilites need further tweaking to provide better balancing in different situations.

     

    Third, work on a better LFG system. Not cross-server (Making the community happy), but looking into a toggle option for what Heroics/Flashpoints you are interested in, and allowing Party leaders to view players who are interested. Leaving the comments box there to give players the feel that they aren't a statistic of a 'role' unless they feel they are.

     

    Fourth, toss in a bi-monthly content team who's main goal is keeping TOR fresh, and letting the players know their $15 isn't going to the developer's alcoholic needs. Anything from new FP's to WZ's or with a few feature additions and gear.



    • Check on games progress in July-Aug. (The time that the Founder's 6-month subs expire),  to see if the player-base has grown or shrunk. Chances are, they might take a dip, but if that wouble is less than 1/3's, It's acceptable. Set a team aside to work on an expansion along with a theme for it, no real date set yet. Still pre-planning phase.


    • Check on server status, if another merge is needed, have a metrics team look into where peak time falls for players in them, Make a system that can match a players average play-time and decide what server has the best amount of players at that time daily. Match based on this. 

    Fifth, around December 2012, if the player-base has successfully stabilized from 1.7-2.0 mil, Announce plans for an expansion, possibly even a trailer to stir hype for the new year, and investor meetings. If not, recycle expansions resources back to the main pool and continue work on bug fixes and content creation. 

    Formulate a contingency plan for if subscribe numbers fall, prepare to transition to F2P with a 'DLC' price model.

    Played - M59, EQOA, EQ, EQ2, PS, SWG[Favorite], DAoC, UO, RS, MXO, CoH/CoV, TR, FFXI, FoM, WoW, Eve, Rift, SWTOR, TSW.
    Playing - PS2, AoW, GW2

  • parrotpholkparrotpholk Leland, NCPosts: 3,275Member

    Its game design is done so that drastic changes would be impossible.  The game was designed for the short term subscriber in mind.  Sell a ton of boxes, hope people sub for 3-6 months then rinse and repeat.  It really is a McDonalds style MMO where you go for a quick fix then move on.  I believe that is how BW envisioned it.  I just do not see how they thought someone would be willing or want to play it beyond that kind of time frame.

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