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SWTOR - A victim of escalation of commitment?

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  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    Originally posted by Sandbox
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by dumbo11

    Obviously you'd still need to motion act/capture all of that

     

    I just love when one say "obvious" and follows with blunder...

    Motion capture of voice actors? You gonna motion capture actors talking into microphone?Seriously...?

     

    [mod edit]

    A good idea here would be to simply not respond to his posts. It's all just "Nuh Uh" disguised as logic and fake erudite stat mongering. In the end all he is saying is for you to stop saying bad things about SWTOR.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • VesaviusVesavius BristolPosts: 7,643Member Uncommon
    "We were in the jungle, there were too many of us, we had access to too much money, too much equipment, and little by little we went insane."
  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    Originally posted by Sandbox
    Originally posted by ignore_me

    A good idea here would be to simply not respond to his posts. It's all just "Nuh Uh" disguised as logic and fake erudite stat mongering. In the end all he is saying is for you to stop saying bad things about SWTOR.

    To be fair, I was the one starting to question one of his posts. I did misjudge his level of ignorance and avoidance of subjects though. The worst part, I think he actually believes in his deluded visions, or he is a paid shill.

    I'm pretty sure that was by design though. The OP raises a fair question about how the game came to its current state. Objectively, SWTOR is in decline, and the specifics of how this happened is of general interest to both developers and customers. Stamping your feet and pretending it didn't happen is just a waste of time.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • Crazy_StickCrazy_Stick Privacy Preferred, NCPosts: 1,059Member
    Originally posted by tiefighter25
    Originally posted by Axxar
    The fully voiced dialogues was actually the best thing about this game, so I gotta completely disagree here. It was other stuff that made me quit the game. The world didn't feel living enough and there were too many load screens - didn't feel like an MMO.

    Many would agree woth you. What I was suggesting is that as OP suggested, the game got caught in an escalation of commitment. When they hit a doldrum in the development of the game, they powered through pilling money into the voiced dialogue part. By doing so, they ignored the rest of the game. At the end of the day, they had a neato super expensive dialogue gimmick and a broken engine, lack luster game. Even though you liked the gimmick, the ignored mechanics of the actual game were so poor it caused you to quit. What's worse. Due to the loss of subs and the conversion to FTP; the one part people liked (albeit it wa overspent on) is no longer fiscally viable to continue with. All that is left is to continue developing the part of the game which you didn't care for and a ca$h shop. I don;t think this bodes well for the game's future. But that's besides the point. I believe OP meant for this thread more to look back to try and figure out Bioware's mindset while developing the game as opposed to what the game is today or where it is headed. But I'm even more sure OP can tell you what he thinks for himself.

     

    Based on reading development blogs and articles throughout the games creation procses, I feel that they intentionally focused funds toward the dialogue, voice overs, sound effects and other such features of presentation at the expense of other game qualitiess as their gimmick to sell SWTOR to players. It's the whole "gamers will buy eye candy over game play argument" all over again. It works for a shooter sometimes but an MMORPG is a differing animal. They were comfortable with a tired play model they felt people would accept based on other games and I do not feel that the lackluster engine, play model, or feature set was the result of not knowing what else to do during the process of design or some "accident  of corporate gravity." The game is exactly what they thought you and I would love and play for a long time cause it's pretty and WOW isn't. That's the only thing I really disagree with the OP on. I do not think the development team got side tracked. This game is what they wanted it to be. Love it or hate it.

     

    In retrospect? I think the team leads really undervalued what their potential playerbase would settle for.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Creslin321You really can't ignore this stuff. 

    I can, and I will.

    I showed you the voice overs are NOT as costly and now you change your argument and try to argue that costly is actually the whole game and game development in general...

    This discussion is retarded... :)

  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDPosts: 5,359Member
    Originally posted by Gdemami

     


    Originally posted by Creslin321

     

    You really can't ignore this stuff. 


     

    I can, and I will.

    I showed you the voice overs are NOT as costly and now you change your argument and try to argue that costly is actually the whole game and game development in general...

    This discussion is retarded... :)

     My OP was pretty clear that the voice acting was just part of what I felt was an escalation of commitment on the part of EA/BW.  You used your signature "let me pick one thing out of the post and argue against that" technique to pick out only the VO.

    Also...even if you can conclusively prove that the "actor cost" portion of the VO cost isn't that high...what does that prove?  In REALITY, you still have all those other expenses.  That's why you can't ignore them.  I don't think your landlord is going to accept your excuse of "oh...well even though I'm doing my VO in your building, I shouldn't have to pay rent because I don't consider that part of the VO cost."

      I'm pretty sure you would be evicted.

    Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  • tiefighter25tiefighter25 Winchester, MAPosts: 937Member

    Arguing with the troll is pointless, just agree with him and hope he goes away.

    G. makes a valid point. The SWTOR voiced over, interactive, cinematic cut-scene system is inexpensive. It is so inexpensive that most games have a similar system. In fact all games in the future will have the same system.*

    So.....back to the disscussion at hand.

     

    *Except SWTOR's future content, Bioware-Austin said it's too expensive for the foreseeable future.

  • tiefighter25tiefighter25 Winchester, MAPosts: 937Member
    Also odd is that G. keeps beating his drum in this thread, but had not said boo in a thread titled,

     Has SWTOR proved why linear class story and voice acting cannot work in an MMO?

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member

    I've been thinking about you theory in the OP Cres, and I have to wonder if they thought about the consequences of their actions if they were indeed in the throes of the escalation of commitment.

    How many other employees were affected by the poor design choices?

    What will the long-term effect on the current design team's careers be?

    They have really done a lot of damage with that assumption that the VO and cinematics would stand on its own sans an actual game. BW, EA, and to some smaller degree LA will all take a bite of this crap sandwich now, and the chefs are well known (Zoeller, Ohlen, Erickson, Gabe, etc).

     

    On a side note (but also related): They really seemed to try and make stars of their developers with the little movies and the focus on those ding dongs in stuff like the guild summit. I think they may also have decided that they were more like people in the movie industry than gaming, and wanted celebrity status. This would help explain a lot of their haughty dialogue. It always seemed to me that they were just a bit too arrogant to just be selling the product through confidence.

     

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • KyngBillsKyngBills Charlotte, NCPosts: 449Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Creslin321

    First, a definition.  Escalation of commitment occurs when a group is working on a project, and at some point in the project it becomes clear that things aren't going well or maybe even the project's original direction is fundamentally flawed, but instead of stepping back and rethinking things, the group just throws more resources at the project in the hope that things will just "work out."  This may sound stupid, but it's a relatively common problem.  When a group has worked on a project for a long time and invested a lot of resources, sometimes it's tough to admit that mistakes were made early on and rethink things...it can be much easier in the short term to just try to "power through" your difficulties by escalating your commitment to the project.

    Now onto SWTOR....

    The more I look at SWTOR, the problems it's having, and the solutions that its devs are proposing...the more I think that it was a victim of escalation of commitment.  For example, myself, and many others brought up the concern that BW"s strategy of making "fully voiced" a flagship feature of the game was problematic in the long-term because it would make creating additional content very cost prohibitive...and in a subscription themepark MMORPG that lives and breathes on content additions...this is not a good thing.  And now we hear that (surprise surprise) SWTOR's additional content won't be fully voiced.

    I really think that at some point during SWTOR's development, its management had to realize at least on some level that this was a big potential problem.  But instead of stepping back and rethinking things, they just threw more and more resources at the game and plowed forward.

    The same can really be said for many of SWTOR's shortcomings such as the single player space combat, the gameplay that apes WoW just a bit too much, and the really half-assed open world PvP.  I really feel like at some point in the middle of the project, the devs probably realized that these ideas were all not as good as they seemed at the onset of the project, but basically just chose to plow forward with a flawed concept instead of stepping back and rethinking things.

    In the end, I really think SWTOR would have been better off with a more iterative development process.  All of these systems and ideas should have been prototyped and thoroughly tested, with the knowledge that if it doesn't work, it will be scrapped.  And I think this is important...devs really need to be willing to scrap their ideas if they turn out to not work once you see them "in game."  But I feel like with SWTOR, the developer just plowed forward with their original ideas regardless of if they "worked" or not.

    Thoughts?

    Agreed...image

  • JoeyMMOJoeyMMO SomewherePosts: 1,326Member
    Originally posted by william0532

    *snip*

     I don't think at any point pre launch Daniel Erickson was ever saying "man, we may be screwed". I really believe they believed in their innovation to the very end. So instead of escalation of commitment, I think it was more a case of self deception lol(like when you make a decision, and then you see your decision is not going to work, but somehow you convince yourself you where right all along until you fail)

     *snip*

     Maybe he never said it in public, but if you think he never at least thought it to himself, then you're really saying he was delusional until the reality hit him smack in the face. I really doubt that.

    The majority of the people working on TOR knew it would fail as an MMO. Don't you remember the demonstration team just before release? Did that team look and sound like people that had confidence in their product? You could think the were just nervous at the time, but I didn't buy it for even a second. The bigwigs might, for a while, have fooled themselves into thinking it would all just work out, simply because the project was "too big too fail". I don't think they were delusional all the way however. They couldn't afford to rework the project, it had gone far over budget already. They just needed to get it out the door, no matter what. Fool as many people as possible into thinking this would be the new WoW.

    EALouse was right, plain and simple.

    imageimage
  • DrDwarfDrDwarf TeesidePosts: 475Member
    Originally posted by tiefighter25
    Originally posted by Axxar
    The fully voiced dialogues was actually the best thing about this game, so I gotta completely disagree here. It was other stuff that made me quit the game. The world didn't feel living enough and there were too many load screens - didn't feel like an MMO.

    Many would agree woth you. What I was suggesting is that as OP suggested, the game got caught in an escalation of commitment. When they hit a doldrum in the development of the game, they powered through pilling money into the voiced dialogue part. By doing so, they ignored the rest of the game. At the end of the day, they had a neato super expensive dialogue gimmick and a broken engine, lack luster game. Even though you liked the gimmick, the ignored mechanics of the actual game were so poor it caused you to quit. What's worse. Due to the loss of subs and the conversion to FTP; the one part people liked (albeit it wa overspent on) is no longer fiscally viable to continue with. All that is left is to continue developing the part of the game which you didn't care for and a ca$h shop. I don;t think this bodes well for the game's future. But that's besides the point. I believe OP meant for this thread more to look back to try and figure out Bioware's mindset while developing the game as opposed to what the game is today or where it is headed. But I'm even more sure OP can tell you what he thinks for himself.

    Yes but to see the faces of the experts in all those pre launch marketing videos we were drip fed you just know they hadn't a clue how bad the gameplay actually was.

    Despite all the feedback beta testrers say they gave they literally must have just put their hands in the ears and said la la la la.

    I'd fire them too if i thought I was hiring experts and manafgers to manage those experts and I had a bunch of dribbling idiots that couldnt see the train wreck coming.

    i dont buy the idea they knew but were acting either...they didnt have a clue how bad their game was for an MMO.

     

     

  • StuNNStuNN San Jose, CAPosts: 3Member
    Really wish I cought this thead sooner. I could honestly say a lot of you are right, and articulate it wayy better then I ever could. I guess I'll add my 2 cents by saying this: I'm a huge fan of the KOTOR game, I was insanely stoked about SWTOR and when it was realeased I had (Still playing) A LOT of fun watching the Cinematic scenes, blasting/Slashing away at enemies, learning new Skills, scoring new loot. What I really liked about it was it wasn't insanely and unbarebly hard like a lot of games. It wasn't easy either, but I didn't pop veins in my forhead on every quest. I appreciate that in a game. Its simple, looks good and has rich story. I realize were talking about current affairs in regards to drops in SUBS, not a game review. I've played the trail and made 3 diffeerent characters max out at level 15, and I bought a subsription finally the other day. I will continue playing until the story ends then keep my leveled up character for raids and PVP's whenever I feel, but most likely I'll creat more characters for the story. If I can maintain a paid subsription I will...... To conclude I AM GOING TO PLAY UNTIL THE WHEELS FALL OFF
  • ericlatrelleericlatrelle Sullivan BarracksPosts: 176Member
    Originally posted by erictlewis

    I have to somewhat disagree with the OP.

    Bioware had 5 years to make this game.  What happened is they had no clue how to make an mmo.  They went off played around and made kotor 3.  Thinking that somehow they could tie it all together.

    Now this is where I sort of agree with the OP.

    Ea showed up and said what the blazing bleep words are you doing bioware,  you been working on this for 4 years and you got nothing to show.  Bioware said yea but look at all the voiced over content.  EA gave them a deadline and said get it done or else.

    That is when things went bad to worse. So yes they escalated it up as they had to as EA suits were leaning on them. They basically said we can not have another stargate failure to bring the game to life.

    5 years and this is what we got.   I have to agree an mmo with an ending at the beginning of the mmo was a bad idea.  Bioware having no clue how to make an mmo, being forced to deliver before it was ready, and having no clue how to do that is what has ending up in this huge train wreck that we have right now.

    Anybody who believe free to play is going to get 2.5 million players back playing is smoking something.

     

    From how things have turned out with the game, I actually do believe that this was the most probably explanation of what happened.

  • sfc1971sfc1971 UtrechtPosts: 421Member

    I think you got a point but the core cause of bad game design is that most people are very bad at putting two and two together. In a MMO, every design choice affects everything else. And things that sound great during the design phase are just not fun to play.

    Game designers don't play their own games. Or rather, they do not PAY to play their own games outside business hours. The average real gamer has a day job and has to pay to play the game in the few spare hours between work and sleep. These gamers are not in the mood for design that seemed a good idea, they want good ideas.

    Take the sprint example. How many games can you recall that had speed buffs interrupted by battle and requiring manual re-activation? And now the games that "fixed" this by enabling auto-sprint as it turned out that pressing the sprint button after every fight is just not as much fun as the designers thought. 

    You would think designers would realize this and launch a new game with auto-sprint. But no. It is not because designers are complete and utter morons who refuse to learn from other games. They really do believe their "features" enrich the game.

    And there your escalation of commitment comes into play. The designers had these ideas and they defended them and surrendering them for the sake of the players... that is hard.

    Another example is money sinks, game designers are convinced MMO's need them. So you had your vehicles degrade in SWG and massive long lasting debuffs in Lotro requiring bought potions. All to get in game currency out of the game to avoid the market exploding.

    Neither worked. SWG repair was so botchy that people like me just made a ton of cheap throw away vehicles and used those instead. Cheaper and more reliable. In Lotro most just sell the few potions they find because using them is near useless except for a raid bosses as the very second you remove a debuff, you get another one.

    There are in the real world two kinds of designers. Artists and industrial designers. The first group are the ones currently making games and they are not very good at it. Especially MMO's. Industrial designers care less about looks or esthetics and care about usability. Simple things like when you poor tea from a kettle, that steam doesn't go over your hand and burn you. You might take that for granted but someone had to think of preventing it and then engineer the product to perform correctly.

    Many a MMO feature sounds pretty neat, but is horribly broken and ends up hurting the game. Take TSW. Build any deck you want. It works to a degree, even if your deck is less optimized. You can always group up. And then the game forces you to go through hard solo content which makes it blood clear that not all deck choices are equal.

    The problem is that TSW is not a stealth game or a good fight (FPS) game. It is a decent MMO but someone thought that sneak missions were nice and so you run at top speed within meters of oblivious guards. PROBABLY the designer that came up with it imagined a very pretty picture and then it got build and it kinda wasn't. But he was comitted.

    SWTOR failed because the designers thought voice would save everything and it turned out it was just window dressing. It is sad that a lower budget game like TSW can do far far better story telling. But why did SWTOR story telling fail? Could it be the light/dark absolutes and the getting approval of companions most of whom don't suit my playstyle?

    Three choices:

    1. Player can choose story line

    2. Players only get rewarded for pure light or pure dark. Grey does not give any boosts.

    3. Companions are forced on the player who can't be turned to the light/dark and so you either get constant negative points or base you story line choices on what gives the most companion points.

    The funny thing, Bioware DIDN'T use to force companions on you that went against your allignment. In Baldurs Gate you get to choose two bad NPC's or two good ones. But since Kotor, you practically are forced to take complete and utter assholes with you. Assholes you can't just tell to shut the fuck and deal with you being good. Early one, you could sway them a bit but in SWTOR even that was gone.

    Someone thought this combo was a good idea. It wasn't. But changing it... impossible.

    Same with the absolutly insane crafting. In theory the game would like you to change companions depending on your needs. But the only way to craft is to send them away for up to 3 hours. So how can I switch companions?

    And what you can craft with success is based on fixed stats of your companions almost forcing all of class X to be a Y crafter. Someone thought that was a good idea. They were wrong.

    But your right, once people are comitted, it is hard to take a step back and look at what all your choices mean when you put it together.

    SWTOR wasn't a bad MMO, it was just fucking boring, bland looking and anti-social. The devs believed the fanboys on the forum that all their ideas were pure gold and the more they believed, the more they were comitted.

  • zakinzakin liberty, TXPosts: 37Member
    Great post this was spot on and the beta testers tried to tell them but as is the case with a lot of professional game developers they believed they could not possibly have made a mistake and the testers must all be high school drop outs living in their parents basements well all I can say is if you need the phone number for the unemployment office I can look it up and post it for you
  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    Originally posted by sfc1971

     

    SWTOR wasn't a bad MMO, it was just fucking boring, bland looking and anti-social. The devs believed the fanboys on the forum that all their ideas were pure gold and the more they believed, the more they were comitted.

    I'm curious as to how that is not a bad MMO.

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • Crazy_StickCrazy_Stick Privacy Preferred, NCPosts: 1,059Member
    Originally posted by ignore_me
    Originally posted by sfc1971

     

    SWTOR wasn't a bad MMO, it was just fucking boring, bland looking and anti-social.

    I'm curious as to how that is not a bad MMO.

     

    I take it that you've never played EVE online?

  • ignore_meignore_me Apple Valley, CAPosts: 1,987Member
    Originally posted by Crazy_Stick
    Originally posted by ignore_me
    Originally posted by sfc1971

     

    SWTOR wasn't a bad MMO, it was just fucking boring, bland looking and anti-social.

    I'm curious as to how that is not a bad MMO.

     

    I take it that you've never played EVE online?

    ok that's kind of hard to argue against :)

    Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  • ajax7ajax7 Lewisville, TXPosts: 363Member

    Your wrong I went to the FATMAN but once they merged the Servers I went back to my main server and transfered all my toons there to the P5 server.

    I think many people did what I did that is why the FATMAN server has declined because people went back to thier 1st server.

    Ajax

  • BeezerbeezBeezerbeez Colorado Springs, COPosts: 261Member
    Well done, OP.   Now publish a book for game devs on how to avoid EoC and integrate those measures into strategic processes.  Send me 5% of what you make :D

    Noone isn't a word; It's "no one". On a side note, you can guess where the word "none" came from.
    ------------------------------
    Their, There, and They're are not interchangeable.

  • sfc1971sfc1971 UtrechtPosts: 421Member
    Originally posted by ignore_me
    Originally posted by sfc1971

     

    SWTOR wasn't a bad MMO, it was just fucking boring, bland looking and anti-social. The devs believed the fanboys on the forum that all their ideas were pure gold and the more they believed, the more they were comitted.

    I'm curious as to how that is not a bad MMO.

    Well, there has been far worse, games that didn't run at ALL (not just badly, just pain didn't work at all) on ATI hardware. Launches that went so bad people couldn't play for days. Games so lacking in content it didn't even survive the first month (Final Fantasy).

    Compared to the worsed, SWTOR isn't that bad. It was just soulless. Turns out I am much willing to forgive crippling bugs then blandness.

    to me bad means doesn't work.

    SWTOR worked, it just was no fun. But yeah, that is bad too.

  • GdemamiGdemami Beau VallonPosts: 7,865Member Uncommon


    Originally posted by Creslin321

    My OP was pretty clear that the voice acting was just part of

    Where are the other parts?



    Originally posted by Creslin321

    For example, myself, and many others brought up the concern that BW"s strategy of making "fully voiced" a flagship feature of the game was problematic in the long-term because it would make creating additional content very cost prohibitive...and in a subscription themepark MMORPG that lives and breathes on content additions...this is not a good thing.  And now we hear that (surprise surprise) SWTOR's additional content won't be fully voiced.

    You only talk and give credit to voice overs as a feature, no word about anything else.

    You even admit it yourself:


    Originally posted by Creslin321

    I know I only spoke of voice overs in my OP


    Backpedaling is bad but there is no need pushing it further and making it even more ridiculous.

  • gervaise1gervaise1 .Posts: 2,068Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by sfc1971
    Originally posted by ignore_me
    Originally posted by sfc1971

     

    SWTOR wasn't a bad MMO, it was just fucking boring, bland looking and anti-social. The devs believed the fanboys on the forum that all their ideas were pure gold and the more they believed, the more they were comitted.

    I'm curious as to how that is not a bad MMO.

    Well, there has been far worse, games that didn't run at ALL (not just badly, just pain didn't work at all) on ATI hardware. Launches that went so bad people couldn't play for days. Games so lacking in content it didn't even survive the first month (Final Fantasy).

    Compared to the worsed, SWTOR isn't that bad. It was just soulless. Turns out I am much willing to forgive crippling bugs then blandness.

    to me bad means doesn't work.

    SWTOR worked, it just was no fun. But yeah, that is bad too.

    Bit harsh on "other games" but what struck me though is that as an mmo the launch was OK; I expected better tbh but it was OK. If SWTOR had been a single player game however the number of bugs would have been considered "typical of EA" - not very good in other words.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by DrDwarf
    Originally posted by tiefighter25 Originally posted by Axxar The fully voiced dialogues was actually the best thing about this game, so I gotta completely disagree here. It was other stuff that made me quit the game. The world didn't feel living enough and there were too many load screens - didn't feel like an MMO.
    Many would agree woth you. What I was suggesting is that as OP suggested, the game got caught in an escalation of commitment. When they hit a doldrum in the development of the game, they powered through pilling money into the voiced dialogue part. By doing so, they ignored the rest of the game. At the end of the day, they had a neato super expensive dialogue gimmick and a broken engine, lack luster game. Even though you liked the gimmick, the ignored mechanics of the actual game were so poor it caused you to quit. What's worse. Due to the loss of subs and the conversion to FTP; the one part people liked (albeit it wa overspent on) is no longer fiscally viable to continue with. All that is left is to continue developing the part of the game which you didn't care for and a ca$h shop. I don;t think this bodes well for the game's future. But that's besides the point. I believe OP meant for this thread more to look back to try and figure out Bioware's mindset while developing the game as opposed to what the game is today or where it is headed. But I'm even more sure OP can tell you what he thinks for himself.
    Yes but to see the faces of the experts in all those pre launch marketing videos we were drip fed you just know they hadn't a clue how bad the gameplay actually was.

    Despite all the feedback beta testrers say they gave they literally must have just put their hands in the ears and said la la la la.

    I'd fire them too if i thought I was hiring experts and manafgers to manage those experts and I had a bunch of dribbling idiots that couldnt see the train wreck coming.

    i dont buy the idea they knew but were acting either...they didnt have a clue how bad their game was for an MMO.

     




    I thought the game play was exactly like the videos I saw. Most of the videos cut out the VO content to eliminate spoilers so what was left was the game play and it looked exactly like what I got.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

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