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Polished Themepark MMO that does everything right except feel alive

keithiankeithian Los Angeles, CAPosts: 3,042Member Uncommon

Its funny to me in that the things that most people complain about here have nothing to do why I continue to struggle to stay with it even though I was a huge fan and supporter. For me it continues to be that the world feels too static, NPCs don't move, there is no day night cycle, cantinas feel lifeless, they talk with there hands with nothing coming out, enenemies barely move, hardly any random events, everything feels frozen in place. I could care less about upcoming content because the current story I was playing was great and I have only leveled one toon to 47 so far. If they made the world feel more alive, I would play through every class story and wouldn't be a cheapo and pay the subscription.

From an Themepark MMO perspective, this game is as solid as they get. Despite the hate here, it was released comparatively speaking in a very polished state. It does everything that all the others similar games do quite well taking Age of Conan Tortage which everyone raved about into the next level across the entire game. I could care less about what they spent, blah blah blah

However, being exposed to so many MMOs since WOW beta, I just need a game that feels more alive like Skyrim does as a single player game or Guild Wars 2 does to some extent...even though even that world could feel more alive...though I think for now it is the most alive Themepark Out there by far.

My question is, does the code or engine allow a game to transform into an alive world, or would it just be too time consuming and expensive or some technical limitation prevents it? Have other games I am not aware of went from feeling static to alive?

PS my comments above are from a PVE perspective, not PVP since I mostly PVE.

 

There Is Always Hope!

Comments

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    If I was going to sum up how I feel about the game, it's that they had a really good idea with the voice overs, cut scenes and character story lines. The problem is that they saddled the player with the rest of the game.

    So I don't think they did everything right. They did the bits where they knew what they were doing right and the rest of it was at best mediocre.

    But to answer your question, they could have had a more open world. It might not have worked with their scripted content though. A lot of it was designed to be consumed in order. Even some of the world quests were designed to be done with the class quests at a particular time.

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

  • grimalgrimal Stamford, CTPosts: 2,873Member Uncommon

    Honestly, I don't think so.  MMOs rely on live players to feel alive.  Every NPC, no matter how great their limited AI might be will never match that of a real player.

    That being said, having come from UO with it's 2D sprites, I guess I am used to games not feeling really alive or at least the issue doesn't really bother me.

    Some of the NPCs stand there and some do move.  Some even have dialogue.  GW2's world does seem to have more active NPCs but it doesn't feel that different to me....an NPC is still an NPC no matter how well you dress it.

    I do agree that the game is a solid themepark...similar to how LOTRO was/is solid. 

    But I think themeparks have become a sort of tired subgenre.  People have been itching for a good sandbox for some time now.  Good populated sandboxes can feel alive, but they (like themeparks) needs to have living players inhabiting it to do so.   SWG, one of the great sandboxes, felt just as dead (if not more so) in the end as SWTOR does on a vacant server.  I don't think the time was right when SWG launched...the genre was still too foreign to many.  But with the huge success that is Minecraft, I think people are more willing to embrace the openess of one.

     

  • apocolusterapocoluster newport news, VAPosts: 1,321Member Uncommon
      You get what you pay for..and for what im paying for it, I think its great.

    No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  • SBE1SBE1 New York, NYPosts: 335Member

    It's simply a single-player game with lots of content shoved into an MMO.  As a result, you have a few multi-player options, but replayability, a living world, dynamic open-world faction based PvP and a better game engine would have made it a much more successful MMO game. 

    You can enjoy the single-player aspect of the leveling process, with a few group encounters along the way.  LFG feature? Not included.  Server mergers to keep grouping alive?  Not done.  You don't need these features when you are supposed to be focused on the single-player story.   Oh, wait, did players really want a LFG function at the start?  How crazy.  Did players beg for server mergers?  Sure, but it took forever to get it done. 

    Even look at Ilum.  The "objectives" in Ilum could be done by a single person in under 20 seconds.   WTF?  In what PvP MMO game was there ever the main objectives that could be done solo so quickly?  Never have I seen such lack of appreciation for what an MMO is all about.  Everything was focused on the single-player aspect of the game. 

    Oh well.  It's just frustrating to see the game have such wonderful single-player functionality and suffer so much when it comes to large-scale MMO fun.  

     

  • Allacore69Allacore69 Casselberry, FLPosts: 839Member

    I Agree ^

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  • jayndsunjayndsun Miramar, FLPosts: 14Member

    After spending 6 months into BETA everything players are complaining about we said last summer!

    We begged the Devs for a 3 faction system as we knew that all the phan boys would flock to Empire and want to be Bane/Palpatine wannabes. they  changed WZ to balance population issues.. a 3 faction system would have helped fix that.. DaOC model

    Crafting was a lot better in BETA as well. I can get back in my posts because I’m no longer a member but last September I told them that if they didn't make Major changes it would go ftp model in under a year of release because everyone would leave-I was damn close.

    Listen I'm a huge SW fan boy I own all the EU novels, have two crafted Costumes, own all the games own a few FX light sabers etc...

    But after you play one class, there truly no reason to play through again... running through Coruscant again!?? HELL NO!

    It’s simply a single player RPG that has the ability to play with others...

    This title should have been a single player RPG, should have been KOTOR3-5 or something...

    I logged in the other day and besides run dailies.. now everyone is runing around looking like Revan wannabees... REALLY!!?

  • GwapoJoshGwapoJosh Auburn, INPosts: 988Member Uncommon
    On the plus side, you can go afk absolutely anywhere you want because you know that no mobs are going to cross your path ;)  I have never played such a lifeless mmo before.  The sky stays the same, the trees and grass don't move, most of the mobs and npcs stand in one place.. It's like your frozen in time.  Have the devs said anything about possibly adding some life to the game?  I would love to see an overhaul in that department.

    "You are all going to poop yourselves." BillMurphy
    image

  • superniceguysuperniceguy AnchorheadPosts: 2,278Member Uncommon

    I am surpised that it is so lifeless, as even KOTOR is more full of life

    In City of Heroes NPCs used to shout out your achievements "Did you hear that superniceguy defeated Clockwork? He is a hero!"

    In LOTRO some NPCs acknowledge your presence as you walk past them, if yo uhave joined a Bounder you get recognised as a Bounder.

    Things that no player would know about

    SWG was the most fullest with life:

    If you /slap a stormtrooper as a Rebel, you get fined, and if you do it with a Wookiee you get fined and they fine you more and call you a stupid wookiee. If you /slap a stormtrooper as an overt imperial, they say something like "Sorry sir, will try my best to do better". I had many hours of fun messing around with /slap on NPCs :)

    Also if you are in a cantina, a stormtrooper comes and checks around, and if you are in close proximity they say something like "I have not seen you before" and if they recognise you as a Rebel, they attack you. If you are not in close proximity, they something like "all clearr, nothing happening here"

    Occasionally at one point, Lamda shuttles used to fly down, and out popped a bunch of stormtroopers.

    Briefly when they brought in cracksdown, if you killed a load of stormtroopers as a Rebel, elite stormtroopers would be sent out and track you down.

    Then when the Village was in, you used to get visits from the Old Man at any time, and come to you wherever you were in the game.

  • superniceguysuperniceguy AnchorheadPosts: 2,278Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GwapoJosh
    On the plus side, you can go afk absolutely anywhere you want because you know that no mobs are going to cross your path ;) 

    There were spots in SWG too, but before they stopped dealing with AFKers, GMs had fun and dropped NPCs into the game and killed off the AFKers!

    They also used to do random manually controlled events too, bringing in Boba Fett and other classic characters, on select servers.

  • DeeweDeewe Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,965Member

    Saying TOR was delivered in a highly polished state, is an insult towards MMO makers like Arena net, Blizzard, Trion, Turbine.

     

    I'll take one single example: one year after launch companions still wear LS with the blade on... at their belt!

  • tixylixtixylix gfff, TNPosts: 1,207Member Uncommon

    Yeah NPCs don't roam, they're static, they aren't voice overed in the game like they are in most MMOs and you only often hear the odd voice over now and then inside the game, only no NPCs are saying it, it's just played at random coming from nowhere.

    I also hate how the sound effects seem missing on stuff like waterfalls or cars flying over your head on the city planets, they're all silent lol. There is no ambient music, no ambient animal sounds or anything like that, when you play WoW it's so atmospheric, none of that in SWTOR.

     

    Bioware have never made good levels though.

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,965Member Uncommon
    I'll have to agree, when I played SWTOR never did a MMORPG feel less like a virtual world and more like a set from a movie. When I ran around a building I almost expected to see wooden boards holding it up.

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • jpnzjpnz SydneyPosts: 3,529Member

    Does it matter if it feels alive or not?

    I play plenty of games that doesn't seem the world is 'alive' and have fun.

    Gdemami -
    Informing people about your thoughts and impressions is not a review, it's a blog.

  • IsawaIsawa Middle 0 Nowhere, ORPosts: 1,051Member
    Originally posted by keithian

    Its funny to me in that the things that most people complain about here have nothing to do why I continue to struggle to stay with it even though I was a huge fan and supporter. For me it continues to be that the world feels too static, NPCs don't move, there is no day night cycle, cantinas feel lifeless, they talk with there hands with nothing coming out, enenemies barely move, hardly any random events, everything feels frozen in place.

    This was covered a year ago when the game came out. All sorts of people mentioned the static worlds (you must of missed it), and crap character creation, me included.

     

  • superniceguysuperniceguy AnchorheadPosts: 2,278Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jpnz

    Does it matter if it feels alive or not?

    I play plenty of games that doesn't seem the world is 'alive' and have fun.

    Sure, but it adds more fun, as I explained in my previous post about SWG.

    Although other MMOs, even WOW, do not have the interaction / smartness of NPCS as much as SWG did

    It also makes the game more attractive to play - if you like two MMOs but one MMO is full of life and the other is not, and everything else is just as fun in both MMOs, but you only have time for one MMO, then you will play the one that is more full of life.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by jpnz
    Does it matter if it feels alive or not?I play plenty of games that doesn't seem the world is 'alive' and have fun.

    This kind of what I was thinking. The world doesn't need to be alive for a game to be great. That doesn't mean it wouldn't have helped, since making the world seem alive would have involved some pretty fundamental changes to the game and it might have turned out better.

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

  • keithiankeithian Los Angeles, CAPosts: 3,042Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by apocoluster
      You get what you pay for..and for what im paying for it, I think its great.

    I don't know what this means as far as the context of this thread. A static world isn't dependent price....at least I don't think it is. Also, and again if you read the original post...I think it is a solid themepark, one of the best, but for someone who has played similar for 10 years now, static does make a difference.

    There Is Always Hope!

  • keithiankeithian Los Angeles, CAPosts: 3,042Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lizardbones

     


    Originally posted by jpnz
    Does it matter if it feels alive or not?

     

    I play plenty of games that doesn't seem the world is 'alive' and have fun.



    This kind of what I was thinking. The world doesn't need to be alive for a game to be great. That doesn't mean it wouldn't have helped, since making the world seem alive would have involved some pretty fundamental changes to the game and it might have turned out better.

     

    I'm not sure I agree with a world this big and disconnected unless the player population is huge at all times and grouped/socializing in the right places. Even then, after 10 years of this, I think the next level MMO should feel more like a Skyrim world as far as the aliveness is concerned, but this is just my opinion.

    There Is Always Hope!

  • keithiankeithian Los Angeles, CAPosts: 3,042Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by superniceguy
    Originally posted by jpnz

    Does it matter if it feels alive or not?

    I play plenty of games that doesn't seem the world is 'alive' and have fun.

    Sure, but it adds more fun, as I explained in my previous post about SWG.

    Although other MMOs, even WOW, do not have the interaction / smartness of NPCS as much as SWG did

    It also makes the game more attractive to play - if you like two MMOs but one MMO is full of life and the other is not, and everything else is just as fun in both MMOs, but you only have time for one MMO, then you will play the one that is more full of life.

    This is one of the first times I agree with any of your posts. Usually I think you exaggerate as a hater of the game, but I totally agree with your high level synopsis. I  never played SWG so I can't comment. I just know if Skyrim was static, or the cities in GW2 didn't feel more alive then a similar MMO, I wouldn't play them.

    There Is Always Hope!

  • keithiankeithian Los Angeles, CAPosts: 3,042Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Deewe

    Saying TOR was delivered in a highly polished state, is an insult towards MMO makers like Arena net, Blizzard, Trion, Turbine.

     

    I'll take one single example: one year after launch companions still wear LS with the blade on... at their belt!

    Oh give me a break and don't write foolish things about the most insignficant stuff. I am talking about the stability of the game at launch, the amount of bugs, its playability, the feeling it is in a finished state for what was released etc. I have beta'd about 12 games now and this was right up there as far as polish at release. You obviously have never beta'd Age of Conan, Vanguard, WOW, etc because those were MUCH worse at release. The only exception to this would be end game of course which I haven't reached so I only can rely on what others write.

    There Is Always Hope!

  • grimalgrimal Stamford, CTPosts: 2,873Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by keithian
    Originally posted by Deewe

    Saying TOR was delivered in a highly polished state, is an insult towards MMO makers like Arena net, Blizzard, Trion, Turbine.

     

    I'll take one single example: one year after launch companions still wear LS with the blade on... at their belt!

    Oh give me a break and don't write foolish things about the most insignficant stuff. I am talking about the stability of the game at launch, the amount of bugs, its playability, the feeling it is in a finished state for what was released etc. I have beta'd about 12 games now and this was right up there as far as polish at release. You obviously have never beta'd Age of Conan, Vanguard, WOW, etc because those were MUCH worse at release. The only exception to this would be end game of course which I haven't reached so I only can rely on what others write.

    If you haven't noticed, there are a few users here that only post in the TOR forums.  And that's only to bash it.

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