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[Interview] General: Raph Koster on the Past, Present, and Future

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  • RaphRaph MMO Designer San Diego, CAPosts: 139Member Uncommon
    I would be remiss if I didn't say thank you to all the folks saying nice things. :)
  • ApraxisApraxis RegensburgPosts: 1,515Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by falc0n
    Wonderful interview. It was great hearing some of the behind the scenes conflicts with SWG. This man is a pioneer. Hopefully mmos can get back tothe way they were 10 years ago.

    Thats all nice and good. But the problem is, that it is not true.

    Look. As Raph said themself, and as i personally see it. They (Raph and other) tried a lot of new stuff with UO, but also skipped a lot of stuff because of time constraints, because that the game become bigger(more people playing simultanly) as they thought in the beginning and all that things.

    It was a very good starting point for virtual worlds, for world simulations, where player can live, where player can shape the world.. but it was just a starting point and withit very limited(although far ahead of its time and everything that followed). But always if you do things like that you get into problems you did not expect, like houses all over the place, like pking running rampart, and a lot more stuff.

    More or less at the same time or a little bit later Everquest appeared with the more restricted DikuMUD as foundation, and even more restricting.. it was a lot more game, it was a lot less world... and it was in 3D, and maybe because of all or maybe just because of the 3D and the more game combat Everquest was more successful(not a lot, but more successful) and almot everything after the early days based their MMO from EQ, with little tweaks here and there. WoW finally completed that design or let say made it even more mainstream, more game and almost everyone and especially the industry really forgot UO.

    On the other side Raph himself and SWG did just partly build up on UO, but instead tried more to fix some of the problems, and had to fight with the restricting IP, with the higher budget and of course with expectations. Some things were improved, some fixes worked.. other not so good, and other were just limiting and withit just a cheap hot fix, and some problems were introduced newly.

    Two other games at that time also tried to build upon UO.. that was on the one side EvE, which introduced regional markets, different security zones. On the other side shadowbane, which in introduced territorial warfare and tried terraforming somewhat(although the idea is a lot older.. i would say back to populous).

    And those 3 games all released 2003.. the so called 2nd sandbox generation after UO. And after that time more or less nothing.. or just a few indy attempts, but just with more or less resemble those old ideas and concepts without bringing anything new to the table. Maybe it is time to just resemble all parts and do it right.. but in my humble opinion it would be more important to think further to develop above those foundations, to evolve virtual world, sandbox design.

    Up to now most announced games try just to resemble everything working, almost noone brings something new to the table, although EQN emergent AI(not really a new idea, but not used up to now) and layered world design is at least somewhat new.. on the other side EQN will most probably cater a lot to the mainstream audience and will be limited because of that.. they can't go beyond the roof. And i don't see any other one even trying it. Maybe and for a me a very big "maybe" someone will try it after those first revival attempts of bringing back sandbox gaming.. at least if a few are successful.

    But as Raph said, nowadays with the extremely high, but mandatory bugdets it is almost impossible to really try something completely new.. it is just to expensive to even try it out.

  • ClattucClattuc Alphaville, DCPosts: 163Member
    Originally posted by Raph
    I would be remiss if I didn't say thank you to all the folks saying nice things. :)

    If you need to hear nice things, there are plenty of nice things to say about you.  You're one of the genuine pillars of modern gaming.  Etc.

    If you want to engage the topic, it won't always be so adulatory - you've had hits and misses, and I have a feeling that gaming is about to leapfrog a generation of design minds.

    The critical feature of early online gaming, including the stuff you worked on, was that it grew out of a face-to-face gameplay milieu.  Many thousands and ultimately millions of players worldwide, in basements, in rec rooms, in dorm rooms, at conventions: interacting with each other, improvising, terminologizing, storming out of the room, peeling off variations, trying stuff, giving feedback, and so on and so on.  This powerful permanent floating laboratory gave gaming a strength and resilience that has carried it for 40 years.  Nothing done in corporate game studios can compare to it.

    Eventually this will find a way to happen again, with new tools and new paradigms for "face to face."  When it does, today's AAA dinosaurs will look 50 years old.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Velocinox
    Originally posted by Novusod

    If you think the creature handler was broken and unbalanced then you don't understand how SWG was balanced. It wasn't balanced in the traditional sense where they make class A = class B = class C. SWG was balanced on idea that players would play all the classes and not just one. Besides a Jedi would destroy a creature handler even with 3 rancors. In order to play the Jedi you had to master all the classes first. This included playing both the weak classes and the strong classes. You couldn't just pick the strong classes, that was out of the question. This is where the balance came in, you had to play all the classes. The classes were only transient points on the way to becoming a Jedi. If all you did was play one class in SWG then you were doing it wrong.

     

    Personally the class I am most nostalgic for is entertainers. I liked it because it played like no other class in any other MMO. Entertainers didn't even have combat moves. All they did is buff and restore the vitality of other classes and had the ability to own and operate inns and taverns. How do you balance a class that doesn't fight at all? You can't not in the traditional sense. But still they were part of the game and you had to make one and master it to become a Jedi. Everyone had to go through the weak points. This is what made SWG genuinely hard and complex in ways that no other MMO has been able to hold a candle too.

     

    The original balance was only changed because whiny care bears couldn't figure out how to play the game and then upper management forced Ralph Koster's hand. I am here to say screw you care bears you ruined the best MMO ever made.

     

    How long did it take you to switch classes? You make it sound like Rift and you could swap out you build in seconds. It took months to train up all the trees of a profession. That is assuming you're switching to a base class, it certainly didn't apply to the alpha class (a class Raph himself regrets including.). If you wanted to switch to a jedi to face that guy 'pwning' you yesterday you were in for a enough of an investment of time that the jedi you are seeking revenge against wouldn't even remember your name when you came back. The whole idea that you could switch classes in response to meeting a class that is more powerful than yours is spurious logic at best, and purposeful misinformation at worst.

     

    How do you balance a class that doesn't fight at all? Are you grasping at straws? Making a player that enjoys action and combat sit silently in front of a social player is a terrible idea. The action gamer will sit there silently wishing he didn't have to waste time this way, and the social player will wish the other player would start or hold a conversation with them and fulfill their idea of fun. In the end you have two players dragged out of their idea of fun into an awkward and frustrating experience for both. That isn't good game design by any estimate. It certainly isn't used as an example of good game design by anyone who knows how to create good games.

     

    The original balance was changed because it was BROKEN. The devs, the producers, and Raph himself have stated. As far as whining, PvEers don't whine about class balance. They are cooperating. So a powerful class helps them in their goal. They don't care if the classes are unbalanced as long as collectively they can achieve their goal. Here's a shocker for you, it's the PvPers that whine about each others classes. THEY are the ones that covet their neighbor and try to tear down the other guy. If PvEers are 'carebears' then the appropriate pejorative for PvPers is 'crybabies'. (I know this firsthand, I was a PvE stun mace rogue in vanilla wow. I read the river of tears threads from PvPers about the class I enjoyed, and not one PvEer had a problem with the build. but the crying PvPers ruined it for everyone, just like always.)

     

     

     

    Oh my, you either did not play SWG or completely misunderstood the game.  Classes were never supposed to be balanced, ever.  A good MMO never balances classes,  MMO's are not meant to be played singularly.   Balance is putting together a good group that matches up well with others.  

    There was nothing broken about SWG, the real positive thing about the game was that there were few Jedi and a good offensive player could still easily match up with a Jedi.  SWG was not about pvp at all, you could pvp in the game, but most did not.  

    The housing itself was brilliant, you could choose the city you wanted to live in, or build a guild city.  Some areas were crowded, others not.

    And don't give me that nonsense that people played the game because they could take advantage of cheats.  Very few did that.

    The space portion of the game was very well liked.  Many of us continued to play the game after NGE because of the fun you could have in your space ships.

  • AlBQuirkyAlBQuirky Sioux City, IAPosts: 3,828Member

    Thanks for sharing this, Adam. It was a great read and I learned somethings today :)

    - Al

    Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
    - FARGIN_WAR

  • zunarnzunarn Chicago, ILPosts: 97Member
    Originally posted by Foomerang

    Ironic that Jedi killed a Star Wars game. I think that is testament to both the uniqueness of SWG and the oversight of Koster. Im sure he has learned his lesson.

    Koster didn't add the Jedi's by choice, if you did your research before posting! He was told by SOE/LA to add Jedi to the game!  He explains it all here -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifhmDVWszbQ

  • SionedSioned KarlsruhePosts: 130Member Uncommon

    For me Raph's game design is superior because he asks the right questions. A MMO is not primary about mechanics or structure. It is about FUN. So the right questions are like - What is fun in a MMORPG? What do people desire in a MMO to have fun?

    When I first read "A theory of fun" (here are some excerpts http://www.theoryoffun.com - you can find the full book on amazon or where ever you buy your books) i realized that my OWN answers to these questions weren't the real ones. Answers like progression, PVP, trade, economy are all just symptoms of a much more basic desire.

    It is player interaction. Thats the basic reason why all of you including me play MMOs.

    Progression can be achieved in any SinglePlayer RPG. Still you play an MMO why? Because you can share your progression achievement and play along with others as you progress - yes that is player interaction.

    PVP can be played in any shooter or RTS game still you play a MMO - asked yourself why. Because you want the metagame the group game - yes that is player interaction.

    I think you see where i am going so i skip the other points.

    If player interaction is your main focus you design a game differently. You now need a world where this player interaction can take place and the needs for such a world are mechanics that allow players to interact the way they prefer. Because that is how you attract many different kinds of players. -> Today we only know one world setting that can do so -  a sandbox. So sandbox is not a design choice but a result.

    Now you give the players tools like classes, builds, PVP, economy, guilds, achievements, quests, themeparks, arenas, rankings. 

    You give the players so many tools that no player can do them all. But every player has tools for her or him that generate player interaction and with that generate FUN. But since you need many tools for the game you create forced player interaction. One alone can't play the game so you need to collaborate wioth others. Meaning you force the players to have fun. Win Win - even when some players never get this point.

    So your world design is not that all content has to be available for every single one - it is designed that every single one finds content for themself.

    Crafting classes, Social classes, ingame events, economy  are things that some players maybe find useless. But thats okay - others like it and thats fine too. You dont have to like every aspect of the game world. You just to find yourself FUN while playing the parts you like.

     

    And that approach to develop a MMO is sadly now one of the past. The main reason is not because it is the wrong approach. It's because it is the very expensive approach. By designing a world for everyone in the first step you increase cost and development time and you still have nothing to show to your investor.

    just my thoughts....

     

    Well maybe someday a company has the guts to try it again.

     

    enough babbling.

    Thanks Adam for the great interview and thanks Raph for the answers.

     

  • MitaraMitara NAPosts: 528Member Uncommon

  • MitaraMitara NAPosts: 528Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by NC-John
    Until they create a virtual world that removes all the training wheels and force the player to use creativity to survive and progress, we will see virtual treadmills that perpetuate redundancy and stagnation. We need a true virtual world, that was designed to be virtual even if we are not logged in. The problem with MMO's these days is, they're limited in scope because designers are limited in creativity.

     

    Totally agree

  • LaetitianLaetitian ViennaPosts: 12Member
    Originally posted by Sioned

    Now you give the players tools like classes, builds, PVP, economy, guilds, achievements, quests, themeparks, arenas, rankings. 

    And that approach to develop a MMO is sadly now one of the past. The main reason is not because it is the wrong approach. It's because it is the very expensive approach.


    Your concept, explaining the reason for the necessity of creating player-driven game content is very rational, and I agree entirely with it [even though I think that what Raph said about his 'believe in structuring a players experience' should be considered equally important.].

    Still I disagree with the idea that the industry would not be attemting to adress these needs at present.

    Even more than the ones listed by Mr. Koster, I would be thinking of Camelot Unchained. However, ArcheAge should also be mentioned. I think, repeating his referrence to GuildWars can then be omitted, because anything it did do well is also catered by the aforementioned, and what it did wrong was terrible. :$

    Other good examples would be Trials of Ascension and Embers of Caerus, even if I can not blame anyone who simply does not accept these, as the projects might easily never see the day of light.

    I do not see why any of these examples should not count as the right attempts, however. =)

  • shirlntshirlnt Houston, TXPosts: 355Member

    I've said it many times before and I'll say it again.  SWG pre-CU pretty much spoiled me for any other MMO.  I've played a lot of different MMOs but none have matched SWG, despite the flaws.  For the person who said people were unable to list why they loved SWG and the only reason people enjoyed SWG was because it was bugged, here's a list of the features I enjoyed in SWG:

    -- NO levels: yes there were areas and animals/npcs of varying difficulty but one could theoretically go to any planet and get in a group with anyone to hunt anything from day one, a player did not out level others or worry about being out leveled by others, guild members could be away from the game for months then come back to join in with whatever activities the other guild members were doing, players had choices and weren't shuffled from one leveled zone to the next;  I still remember hearing for the first time after CU was implemented the sad words "sorry, we already have too many low level people in this group"

    -- Player cities that were not instanced and had meaning: true the land may have been overrun with them and some may have been empty but some guilds actively used their player cities, missions could be run out of player cities which made it easy to log in for a short time and run a couple of missions, they added to the role-playing value of the game and to the choices players had; they gave guild members a common place to meet, interact, and work together instead of being a group of faceless strangers that may chat in a chat window

    -- Non-combat roles that had purpose/player economy:  many games may have crafting but most of the time crafting is useless as people can loot items or purchase them from npcs just as easily and crafting/gathering is usually a secondary role to a combat class with no other non-combat choices available; along with this is the fact that players needed each other...these are MMOs after all, if you don't want to interact with people other than pvp go play a single player game with multi-player feature

    -- Large group size

    -- Creature Handling system: the ability to look for "babies," attempt to tame them, have multiple animals in inventory that could be pulled out whenever, and have them assist in combat

    -- NO concept of end game: in these leveled games, if I manage to stick with the game long enough to max out my level and finish the story, I'm done; I have absolutely no motivation to keep running the same dungeon over and over again

    -- CHOICES: surprise surprise, some of us actually DID want to be moisture farmers, even if we are "niche," not everyone that plays MMOs feels the need to be THE hero; the ability to create and live out one's own story and one's own ambitions, rather than being the person that slayed the most dragons there were those who wanted to be the best crafter or the richest on their server

    I'm sure I could come up with other stuff for the list but it's already getting long

     
  • ClattucClattuc Alphaville, DCPosts: 163Member

    The woes of SWG were just an example of the bankruptcy of corporate game design.  There will always be some "suit" with a suit-ish idea of what the target market "REALLY" wants.  And it'll be based on their myopic interpretation of some other game's success.

     

    Seven or eight years ago, the monolith the suits worshiped at was World of Warcraft with its E-Z gameplay, numbered levels, fixed classes and (mostly in instanced encounters) theme parkish features.  That must be the formula for the big breakout!

     

    What they didn't notice, or couldn't admit, was that WoW was built on a rich, proven, and popular game IP - the Warcraft Universe - not just a movie IP.  Nor was WoW licensed out - it was all built in-house, thus eliminating the clumsy sack-race between LucasArts and licensee that plagued both GALAXIES and REPUBLIC.

     

    Remember the infamous quote (heard from both Smedley and Nancy MacIntyre at LEC, so it undoubtedly came out of meetings) about players supposedly wanting to be Luke Skywalker instead of Uncle Owen the Moisture Farmer?  So, you know, where's the matching quote from Blizzard about players "really" wanting to be Jaina Proudmoore or Thrall, instead of Healertroll or Gnomecandy, while their game is kicking everyone's butt?  The answer is that they already had ten years of Warcraft gameplay in the can before WoW opened shop, so they KNEW what players wanted, and they had the freedom to act on it without pleasing some external "Azeroth LLC" partner.

     
  • HrimnirHrimnir Qeynos, COPosts: 1,597Member Uncommon

    "Raph Koster: I think we get enough theme parks in single player games. Now that you can play those single player games with other people thanks to voice chat, you really don’t need an MMO attached to it. I don’t think it is an accident that Minecraft is as popular as it is."

    Ding ding ding ding ding....

    "The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently."

    - Friedrich Nietzsche

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,418Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mitara
    Originally posted by NC-John
    Until they create a virtual world that removes all the training wheels and force the player to use creativity to survive and progress, we will see virtual treadmills that perpetuate redundancy and stagnation. We need a true virtual world, that was designed to be virtual even if we are not logged in. The problem with MMO's these days is, they're limited in scope because designers are limited in creativity.

     

    Totally agree

    Easy to say, harder to do....

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • DeeweDeewe Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,965Member

    Really appreciated the interview and the Pre-CU SWG pics certainly brought some memories ;)

     

    Funny how SWG, at the time, apart the bugs was the most advanced MMO.

    One example: the UI was the most flexible and still sexy and efficient.

     

    Sadly I have to agree with:

    "The Jedi thing was a huge issue, and eventually, IMHO, it killed the game. We shouldn’t have had Jedi at all, I think."

    The hologrind indeed made too many players do things not for the fun anymore.

     

  • JasonJJasonJ New Port Richey, FLPosts: 395Member

    [mod edit] Even Lord British himself stated that Koster sure does love to pretend everything revolved around him, if it was good. Sure had little respect from his former team members that always had the blame pushed off on them.

    Sorry but there isn't a damn thing that is going to take away the memory of that idiot posting in reply to people that the reason we could only have 1 character in SWG was due to the massive amounts of polygons each character had and it just wasn't feasible to give more due to the massive amount of space each character took on the server.

    No respect at all for the players. Guess that's why Sony pushed him off onto console games and even after 7 years of trying, cant get any funding for his new ideas...now if only the GDC members would stop inviting him to spew out his opinions, which nobody has listened to so he can just fade away already.

    BTW, really really loved the random generated worlds and no X/Y axis of SWG along with daily downtimes due to piss poor database design. Only thing good about the game was the COMMUNITY which had nothing to do with Koster.

  • JonathJCenJonathJCen Galveston, TXPosts: 193Member

    I really enjoyed this article.

    I look forward to the day, should it ever come, that MMOs make a return to their original days of a challenging and immersive world.

    On the SWG note, I do believe that it needed Jedi, but I DON'T believe that they needed to be everywhere and exactly what they were. In my minds eye, classes and roles like that should be held for creative individuals who truly are involved in the continuing simulation of the world.

    Asheron's Call used to do developer run world events with powerful enemies that a developer would control, I'd suggest the same involving worthy players taking turns on events as such. Also allowing for a steeper price for messing up with said characters that they are roleplaying.

    The question remains, how to place a system to reward such players without it resulting to who can grind the fastest, and what kind of resources it would take on the developers side. I'd imagine a player run GM team backed up by developers restricting them in a fair enough way to keep with the feel of the times and environment would be the way to go.

     

    Thanks for this interview, sounds like it made a lot of us vets happy and feeling nostalgic!

  • JonathJCenJonathJCen Galveston, TXPosts: 193Member
    Originally posted by Ozmodan
    Originally posted by Velocinox
    Originally posted by Novusod

    If you think the creature handler was broken and unbalanced then you don't understand how SWG was balanced. It wasn't balanced in the traditional sense where they make class A = class B = class C. SWG was balanced on idea that players would play all the classes and not just one. Besides a Jedi would destroy a creature handler even with 3 rancors. In order to play the Jedi you had to master all the classes first. This included playing both the weak classes and the strong classes. You couldn't just pick the strong classes, that was out of the question. This is where the balance came in, you had to play all the classes. The classes were only transient points on the way to becoming a Jedi. If all you did was play one class in SWG then you were doing it wrong.

     

    Personally the class I am most nostalgic for is entertainers. I liked it because it played like no other class in any other MMO. Entertainers didn't even have combat moves. All they did is buff and restore the vitality of other classes and had the ability to own and operate inns and taverns. How do you balance a class that doesn't fight at all? You can't not in the traditional sense. But still they were part of the game and you had to make one and master it to become a Jedi. Everyone had to go through the weak points. This is what made SWG genuinely hard and complex in ways that no other MMO has been able to hold a candle too.

     

    The original balance was only changed because whiny care bears couldn't figure out how to play the game and then upper management forced Ralph Koster's hand. I am here to say screw you care bears you ruined the best MMO ever made.

     

    How long did it take you to switch classes? You make it sound like Rift and you could swap out you build in seconds. It took months to train up all the trees of a profession. That is assuming you're switching to a base class, it certainly didn't apply to the alpha class (a class Raph himself regrets including.). If you wanted to switch to a jedi to face that guy 'pwning' you yesterday you were in for a enough of an investment of time that the jedi you are seeking revenge against wouldn't even remember your name when you came back. The whole idea that you could switch classes in response to meeting a class that is more powerful than yours is spurious logic at best, and purposeful misinformation at worst.

     

    How do you balance a class that doesn't fight at all? Are you grasping at straws? Making a player that enjoys action and combat sit silently in front of a social player is a terrible idea. The action gamer will sit there silently wishing he didn't have to waste time this way, and the social player will wish the other player would start or hold a conversation with them and fulfill their idea of fun. In the end you have two players dragged out of their idea of fun into an awkward and frustrating experience for both. That isn't good game design by any estimate. It certainly isn't used as an example of good game design by anyone who knows how to create good games.

     

    The original balance was changed because it was BROKEN. The devs, the producers, and Raph himself have stated. As far as whining, PvEers don't whine about class balance. They are cooperating. So a powerful class helps them in their goal. They don't care if the classes are unbalanced as long as collectively they can achieve their goal. Here's a shocker for you, it's the PvPers that whine about each others classes. THEY are the ones that covet their neighbor and try to tear down the other guy. If PvEers are 'carebears' then the appropriate pejorative for PvPers is 'crybabies'. (I know this firsthand, I was a PvE stun mace rogue in vanilla wow. I read the river of tears threads from PvPers about the class I enjoyed, and not one PvEer had a problem with the build. but the crying PvPers ruined it for everyone, just like always.)

     

     

     

    Oh my, you either did not play SWG or completely misunderstood the game.  Classes were never supposed to be balanced, ever.  A good MMO never balances classes,  MMO's are not meant to be played singularly.   Balance is putting together a good group that matches up well with others.  

    There was nothing broken about SWG, the real positive thing about the game was that there were few Jedi and a good offensive player could still easily match up with a Jedi.  SWG was not about pvp at all, you could pvp in the game, but most did not.  

    The housing itself was brilliant, you could choose the city you wanted to live in, or build a guild city.  Some areas were crowded, others not.

    And don't give me that nonsense that people played the game because they could take advantage of cheats.  Very few did that.

    The space portion of the game was very well liked.  Many of us continued to play the game after NGE because of the fun you could have in your space ships.

     

    Completely agree with the blue text :-D

  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,950Member Uncommon

    As others have said, I was privileged to play UO and SWG for a number of years; both were deeply enjoyable and ahead of their time in many ways (warts and all).

    And I have been equally cursed by the experience, since just about all of the MMOs since then have paled in comparison.

    Like many, including Raph it seems, I have not played an MMO past the first month in several years: simply put, none have been worth it or measured up to their progenitors.

     

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioPosts: 2,430Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Burntvet

    As others have said, I was privileged to play UO and SWG for a number of years; both were deeply enjoyable and ahead of their time in many ways (warts and all).

    And I have been equally cursed by the experience, since just about all of the MMOs since then have paled in comparison.

    Like many, including Raph it seems, I have not played an MMO past the first month in several years: simply put, none have been worth it or measured up to their progenitors.

     

    I haven't played an MMO in 2 years. The quest-build gaming just doesn't satisfy me. I'm waiting for a simulated world with cool fantasy layered on top to make my way in. I'd much prefer a game where I can lose stuff as well as gain it. Not through abuse (rampant PKing, etc.) but in general. "Win" just doesn't mean anything to me if it's based on a coded guarantee.

    Once upon a time....

  • JasonJJasonJ New Port Richey, FLPosts: 395Member
    Originally posted by JonathJCen
    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    Oh my, you either did not play SWG or completely misunderstood the game.  Classes were never supposed to be balanced, ever.  A good MMO never balances classes,  MMO's are not meant to be played singularly.   Balance is putting together a good group that matches up well with others.  

    There was nothing broken about SWG, the real positive thing about the game was that there were few Jedi and a good offensive player could still easily match up with a Jedi.  SWG was not about pvp at all, you could pvp in the game, but most did not.  

    The housing itself was brilliant, you could choose the city you wanted to live in, or build a guild city.  Some areas were crowded, others not.

    And don't give me that nonsense that people played the game because they could take advantage of cheats.  Very few did that.

    The space portion of the game was very well liked.  Many of us continued to play the game after NGE because of the fun you could have in your space ships.

     

    Completely agree with the blue text :-D

     I would have also if it didn't fall apart just by removing the community...its pretty simple, if you remove the SWG community and replace it with the LoL community, how would the game actually hold up? It wouldn't.

    You would then be able to see that the city layouts where greatly hampered by fact that the planets were randomly generated where you couldn't even alter the massive amounts of ditches that blocked so much building only to be laughably locked out of your home until the next  server reset when a spawn point appeared in your homes doorway,  coupled with that wonderful urban sprawl feel on some planets.

    Without the great community, SWG was a less than average MMO.

    As for your very few people took advantage of cheats BS, the game was overrun with people macroing their way through every class other than BH which for a long time, you couldn't even complete. And they did this because of the randomness to be able to get a Jedi...oh, and that leveling up the non-combat classes was boring as hell.

  • ArglebargleArglebargle Austin, TXPosts: 1,418Member Uncommon

    Hyperbole aside, claiming that nothing was broken in SWG pretty much invalidates your opinion. 

     

    If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  • ErithielErithiel CopenhagenPosts: 8Member

    Virtual worlds have followed the theory of mr Bartle for quite a few years. 

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/2157/soapbox_why_virtual_worlds_are_.php

    Until SOE revealed EQNext, I had no plans to look at any MMO in the next few years. But now something interesting might happen, something that goes against Mr Bartles sad truth.

    I was looking into Citadel of Sorcery, but I feel uncertain that it will ever happen, and that it will suffer the fate of Darkfall if it is released.

    And now I read and interview with one of my alltime favorit creators, one I considered out the mmo business. I have refered to Koster's  articles on bunnies and dragons and dynamic quests in the UO beta designs many times, and wondered why noone went that way.

    The thing is that I like to use my brain. I like challenges that I can solve by smart combination of my characters abilities. The dynamic world, that presentens new challenges rather then repeat the old ones. In many games all mobs have identical vulnerbilities, environment has no impact on combat, or a very artificial one at best.

    Now a voxel based world is comming, bringing a fresh breath of air. 

    Certainly it will deliver in this aspect, but my hopes for more immersive combat may have to wait. I dream of fire elementals immune to fire, of undead immune to fear and mind control. Of  narrow passages were slashing weapons are useless. Of underwater combat, where blundgeon weapons are useless as well as slashing ones. Where a horse doesn't fit in a backpack you can't even see.

    I must agree with mr Kosters preference of a virtual world that you can believe in. For me it has to be swords and sorcery too.

    Maybe there is still a chance that I will find an MMO that Can draw me back in to a world of fascination and wonder. Build it, mr Koster, if you get the chance again. 

     

     

  • AmarantharAmaranthar OhioPosts: 2,430Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Erithiel

    Virtual worlds have followed the theory of mr Bartle for quite a few years. 

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/2157/soapbox_why_virtual_worlds_are_.php

    Until SOE revealed EQNext, I had no plans to look at any MMO in the next few years. But now something interesting might happen, something that goes against Mr Bartles sad truth.

    I was looking into Citadel of Sorcery, but I feel uncertain that it will ever happen, and that it will suffer the fate of Darkfall if it is released.

    And now I read and interview with one of my alltime favorit creators, one I considered out the mmo business. I have refered to Koster's  articles on bunnies and dragons and dynamic quests in the UO beta designs many times, and wondered why noone went that way.

    The thing is that I like to use my brain. I like challenges that I can solve by smart combination of my characters abilities. The dynamic world, that presentens new challenges rather then repeat the old ones. In many games all mobs have identical vulnerbilities, environment has no impact on combat, or a very artificial one at best.

    Now a voxel based world is comming, bringing a fresh breath of air. 

    Certainly it will deliver in this aspect, but my hopes for more immersive combat may have to wait. I dream of fire elementals immune to fire, of undead immune to fear and mind control. Of  narrow passages were slashing weapons are useless. Of underwater combat, where blundgeon weapons are useless as well as slashing ones. Where a horse doesn't fit in a backpack you can't even see.

    I must agree with mr Kosters preference of a virtual world that you can believe in. For me it has to be swords and sorcery too.

    Maybe there is still a chance that I will find an MMO that Can draw me back in to a world of fascination and wonder. Build it, mr Koster, if you get the chance again. 

     

     

    From the link to Bartle's article...

    "Growing maturity. Perhaps the best hope for the future is the growing maturity of the player base. First-time newbies will always assert the supremacy of their first virtual world, but oldbies who have been through the mill enough will realise that some of the features they've been taking for granted are actually counter-productive. If they're around in sufficient numbers, we may see virtual worlds appearing that do everything right and very little wrong, removing point #4 and leading us into a golden age. I can dream…"

    That time is here. It's been growing for several years as the new games failed to hold players, they'd try the next new game and it failed to hold them...to this point that players in very large numbers have realized that it's the game play style, not the game so much. Every new game has issues, we all know that. WoW did too. But gamers didn't leave by the droves in earlier times like they do now.

    And we see more and more folks saying so on forums everywhere. Gamers do want something truly different. But it also has to have a lot of fun and interesting content to play. Just dropping players into a Sandbox isn't enough, that Sandbox has to be something players want to stay in. It needs excitement, mystery, curiosities, cool stuff...i.e. fun.

    The dream might be coming. The time is right. But as far as the current games promising a dream, I don't know. We'll have to wait and see is they really have a different experience. Something better than just quest-by-numbers.

    Once upon a time....

  • corpusccorpusc Chattanooga, TNPosts: 1,330Member

    Raph:

    " But I strongly believe that you can’t build the emergent tools on top of a static world. As soon as you decide to make storytelling or quests or whatever the basis of your experience, you sacrifice having dynamic and emergent things in the game, because you can’t break or upset all the static content. Whereas if you start with a foundation of simulation or UGC, and layer static stuff on top, that works fine, because the static content is built to assume shifting foundations. "

     

    ^^

    The End
    ---------------------------
    i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects

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