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[Column] Star Wars: The Old Republic: Making the 'Super Secret Space Project' Great

BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing EditorBerea, OHPosts: 2,356MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

BioWare finally gave Star Wars: The Old Republic fans a peek at the game's long awaited 'Super Secret Space Project' during this year's PAX Prime. This week, we're offering up a couple of ideas on how to make that project truly shine and live up to its potential.

If you’re unfamiliar with the SSSP, it’s essentially BioWare’s answer to the crappy space game they delivered to us at launch. A team at BioWare Austin has been working away at this thing for some time, but we haven’t heard or seen anything on it up until this year’s PAX Prime. The video shown was incredibly brief, but seemed to hint at off-rails space combat and perhaps even space PvP. While the latter would certainly be an appreciated bonus, the former is absolutely essential.

Read more of Michael Bitton's Star Wars: The Old Republic:Making the 'Super Secret Space Project' Great.

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Comments

  • JyiigaJyiiga Seneca, SCPosts: 1,041Member Uncommon
    This is a feature that should have shipped with the game.
  • MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community Manager Queens, NYPosts: 5,715Administrator Uncommon
    Originally posted by Jyiiga
    This is a feature that should have shipped with the game.

    Awesome. But it didn't. So let's move on from here and talk about what they should do now that they're actually doing something on this front. ;)

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • RamadonisRamadonis Medford, ORPosts: 18Member

    This almost made me reinstall, but now I'm hesitant. I just know they'll tack on some F2P restriction on this mode. It's strange, since I actually liked the on rails space combat, not that this isn't a welcome addition but I hope it is just that; an addition. 

    Gotta get my Star Fox fix from something...

  • SamhaelSamhael Huntsville, ALPosts: 696Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by MikeB
    Originally posted by Jyiiga
    This is a feature that should have shipped with the game.

    Awesome. But it didn't. So let's move on from here and talk about what they should do now that they're actually doing something on this front. ;)

    Honestly, I think that ship has sailed. It might bring a few people back but most of us that moved couldn't really be tempted back no matter how awesome whatever they claim to bring. At this point, I wouldn't go back to the game if it was entirely free to play. It just wasn't really *fun* so I don't think the addition of a real space game would save it. Junk the whole thing and start from scratch, maybe. Focus on the space game and make the avatar combat secondary... Then your crew skills, "true" exploration, fleet encounters, etc would have a better place to exist.

  • KarteliKarteli Providence, PAPosts: 2,646Member

    Many of your ideas are also shared by the Star Wars gaming community, along with sci-fi fans also.  As to what the final product ends up being, I've set my expectations extremely low, as to not get disappointed again by EA.

     

    Several PVP instances.  4v4?  Maybe more, but that is really pushing the envelope.  The engine SWTOR uses is awful, so if the action is going to be fast, they really can't have skipped frames like in the other PVP zones.  Even single player space combat got laggy sometimes (memory leak issue) so while a reboot would fix that problem, someone who experienced it would know how miserable it is to aim / dodge when the engine goes sluggish.

     

    Most companies would give subscribers a patch like this for free .. but even if it's just a few new PVP maps, EA will charge... which might be fine if it turns out awesome.

     

    Lastly there is the release time-frame.  It takes EA about a year or so from trailer to final product.  HK-51, Makeb, etc..  There is going to be some interesting alternate games available by the time this finally comes out.

     

    edit:  In regards to planetary flight, much of the zones are "broken", like WoW Vanilla zones used to be before Cataclysm.  A lot of the art design is meant to be viewed only from certain perspectives (ie allowable spots), and excessive exploration can really show many of the map flaws.  For instance:

    SWTOR Explorations 1.0.2a - Nar Shaddaa, Athiss, Korriban, Dromund Kaas

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOzWIzPxUTI

    EA would need to rework all of the maps Cataclysm style to allow for planetary flight.

    Want a nice understanding of life? Try Spirit Science: "The Human History"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8NNHmV3QPw&feature=plcp
    Recognize the voice? Yep sounds like Penny Arcade's Extra Credits.

  • DrakephireDrakephire Fontana, CAPosts: 445Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GwapoJosh
    Originally posted by MikeB
    Originally posted by Jyiiga
    This is a feature that should have shipped with the game.

    Awesome. But it didn't. So let's move on from here and talk about what they should do now that they're actually doing something on this front. ;)

    [mod edit]

    What nonesense. MikeB makes a valid point. There's no point, in this thread, to discuss coulda, shoulda, woulda. It's water under the bridge. More interested in what they're doing now that SSSP is coming.

    I'd like to see a vastly more open space shooter.  And let's not forget some real ship smuggling or blockade running.  

  • BarCrowBarCrow Tampa, FLPosts: 2,212Member

    I'd love to think it will have all that Michael B  imagines. Coming from a current player,enthusiast  of the current game but hater of the space portion...I think they are more likely to push out a semi-passable kinda open dog fighting game with ample Cartel shop stock of random paint/dye packs and perhaps other ship customization for both outside and inside..as well as special ship packs with random parts and blah blah blah.  Same ole stuff.  

     At least I'm enjoying the bounty weeks as well. Wish it were just for BH though..and make other weeks for other classes. Contraband week for smugglers...Special Forces week for Troopers.... I'm sure something could work for force-users ..escort missions for jedi...ascend up the chain/kill your competitors for sith..or whatever.

     
  • SuperDonkSuperDonk Vancouver, WAPosts: 781Member Common
    Is it really a Super Secret anymore? Why not just call it the next SWTOR expansion.
  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member

    Given the game and the IP, what can they really do with space besides combat? People are not going to be miners, and they aren't going to start corporations in space, and hanging out with other people in their space ships would just be weird.

    So off the rails space combat missions with objectives, and off the rails space pvp missions, with objectives. That sound about right?

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

  • MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community Manager Queens, NYPosts: 5,715Administrator Uncommon
    Originally posted by lizardbones

    Given the game and the IP, what can they really do with space besides combat? People are not going to be miners, and they aren't going to start corporations in space, and hanging out with other people in their space ships would just be weird.

    So off the rails space combat missions with objectives, and off the rails space pvp missions, with objectives. That sound about right?

    I sort of maybe get your point about the game (everything must be heroic!), but not the IP. There were, in fact, space miners in Star Wars as well as characters who ran 'corporations in space'. All of this stuff already happened (with the exception of space corporations) in the SWG expansion Jump to Lightspeed, and hanging out with people in their ships certainly wasn't 'weird' there, either. 

    Walking around the multiple decks of a Luxury Yacht and being able to see space move past you through the windows as someone else piloted the ship was a pretty awesome experience that I would love to have again in SWTOR. It's not necessary to make the space game great, which is why I left it out of the article, but now that you've mentioned it, I would love to see that too. :)

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • Grand_NagusGrand_Nagus Dublin, GAPosts: 329Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Drakephire
    What nonesense. MikeB makes a valid point. There's no point, in this thread, to discuss coulda, shoulda, woulda. It's water under the bridge. More interested in what they're doing now that SSSP is coming.

    You must have missed MikeB's comments at the beginning of the article about how crappy space was at launch. So if he gets to diss on Bioware for launching with crap space, why cant others?

  • BadOrbBadOrb ManchesterPosts: 791Member Uncommon

    SSSP a boxed expansion you suggest , that would be great. Not sure if it would be just the SSSP though surely we need a new planet or two ? level cap increased to level 65 sounds pretty good too.I do think the SSSP will be rolled out in parts though , so it might end up as part of our sub fee and of course that you firstly bought the next expansion. You see back in the day only one person was working on the project and worse still only on his day off. We shall see but in the words of MGMT "Love those alien days", Great article btw.

    Cheers,

    BadOrb.

    PSO 4 years , EQOA 4 months , PSU 7 years , SWTOR launch ongoing , PSO2 SEA launch ongoing , Destiny 360 launch ongoing.
    "SWG was not fun. Let it go buddy." quote from iiNoSkillzii 10/18/13
    The original propoganda pixie dust villain :[]

  • VassagoMaelVassagoMael Covington, LAPosts: 555Member
    The trailer shows absolutely nothing, yet you are trying to hype it to oblivion. This (along with wildly disconnected from reality reviews) is why gaming "journalism" is best used as toilet paper. It also lends credence to the tin foil wearing "EA is paying them to write this" crowd.
     
    Just let this abomination die so that I can see another Star Wars mmo in my lifetime.

    Free to play = content updates for the cash shop. Buy to play = content updates for the cash shop.
    Subscription = Actual content updates!

  • VassagoMaelVassagoMael Covington, LAPosts: 555Member
    Originally posted by Grand_Nagus
    Originally posted by Drakephire
    What nonesense. MikeB makes a valid point. There's no point, in this thread, to discuss coulda, shoulda, woulda. It's water under the bridge. More interested in what they're doing now that SSSP is coming.

    You must have missed MikeB's comments at the beginning of the article about how crappy space was at launch. So if he gets to diss on Bioware for launching with crap space, why cant others?

     

    " how crappy space was at launch" as opposed to its current state?

     

    Free to play = content updates for the cash shop. Buy to play = content updates for the cash shop.
    Subscription = Actual content updates!

  • MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community Manager Queens, NYPosts: 5,715Administrator Uncommon
    Originally posted by BadOrb

    SSSP a boxed expansion you suggest , that would be great. Not sure if it would be just the SSSP though surely we need a new planet or two ? level cap increased to level 65 sounds pretty good too.I do think the SSSP will be rolled out in parts though , so it might end up as part of our sub fee and of course that you firstly bought the next expansion. You see back in the day only one person was working on the project and worse still only on his day off. We shall see but in the words of MGMT "Love those alien days", Great article btw.

    Cheers,

    BadOrb.

    Thanks! I don't think a new planet and level cap bump would be necessary to justify a boxed expansion with the scope of features I mentioned in the article. If the overall scope of the project ends up being much smaller, sure. But if the expansion is purely space focused, you could have enough content there to easily justify an expansion without a whole lot of meat needed to be added to the ground game (see: SWG: Jump to Lightspeed).

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • Sho0terMcgavinSho0terMcgavin Harrisburg, PAPosts: 301Member
    Originally posted by MikeB
    Originally posted by BadOrb

    SSSP a boxed expansion you suggest , that would be great. Not sure if it would be just the SSSP though surely we need a new planet or two ? level cap increased to level 65 sounds pretty good too.I do think the SSSP will be rolled out in parts though , so it might end up as part of our sub fee and of course that you firstly bought the next expansion. You see back in the day only one person was working on the project and worse still only on his day off. We shall see but in the words of MGMT "Love those alien days", Great article btw.

    Cheers,

    BadOrb.

    Thanks! I don't think a new planet and level cap bump would be necessary to justify a boxed expansion with the scope of features I mentioned in the article. If the overall scope of the project ends up being much smaller, sure. But if the expansion is purely space focused, you could have enough content there to easily justify an expansion without a whole lot of meat needed to be added to the ground game (see: SWG: Jump to Lightspeed).

    Why not have both?  Most MMOs today raise the level cap with expacs.  I understand what you are saying.  But, think about this.  What about those who really could care less about the space combat side of the game?  Would it be wise to ignore them?

    image
  • DaranarDaranar Walkersville, MDPosts: 177Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Samhael
    Originally posted by MikeB
    Originally posted by Jyiiga
    This is a feature that should have shipped with the game.

    Awesome. But it didn't. So let's move on from here and talk about what they should do now that they're actually doing something on this front. ;)

    Honestly, I think that ship has sailed. It might bring a few people back but most of us that moved couldn't really be tempted back no matter how awesome whatever they claim to bring. At this point, I wouldn't go back to the game if it was entirely free to play. It just wasn't really *fun* so I don't think the addition of a real space game would save it. Junk the whole thing and start from scratch, maybe. Focus on the space game and make the avatar combat secondary... Then your crew skills, "true" exploration, fleet encounters, etc would have a better place to exist.

    Honestly, I am one of those few people.  This will bring me back, heck free expansion for return is about to bring me back as soon as I can afford the sub again.   This may be a F2P game, but you really need a sub to enjoy the game IMO.   I enjoyed the game a lot, but the content was slow to come and they wasted too much time doing Nightmare Modes.  The battles were still the same which made it boring.  Challenging isn't always fun when it's still the same fight.   With the expansion (unplayed by me) and this potential space overhaul....i'm on the verge of returning, myself.    Yes this was overall a bad Star Wars game.   The F2P is stupid and the cartel market all but ruined the game, but it is Star Wars, and for me, and many still playing or planning on returning...as much as we desperately want a better Star Wars game.... that's enough.  :)

    If I want a world in which people can purchase success and power with cash, I'll play Real Life. Keep Virtual Worlds Virtual!

  • MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community Manager Queens, NYPosts: 5,715Administrator Uncommon
    Originally posted by Sho0terMcgavin
    Originally posted by MikeB
    Originally posted by BadOrb

    SSSP a boxed expansion you suggest , that would be great. Not sure if it would be just the SSSP though surely we need a new planet or two ? level cap increased to level 65 sounds pretty good too.I do think the SSSP will be rolled out in parts though , so it might end up as part of our sub fee and of course that you firstly bought the next expansion. You see back in the day only one person was working on the project and worse still only on his day off. We shall see but in the words of MGMT "Love those alien days", Great article btw.

    Cheers,

    BadOrb.

    Thanks! I don't think a new planet and level cap bump would be necessary to justify a boxed expansion with the scope of features I mentioned in the article. If the overall scope of the project ends up being much smaller, sure. But if the expansion is purely space focused, you could have enough content there to easily justify an expansion without a whole lot of meat needed to be added to the ground game (see: SWG: Jump to Lightspeed).

    Why not have both?  Most MMOs today raise the level cap with expacs.  I understand what you are saying.  But, think about this.  What about those who really could care less about the space combat side of the game?  Would it be wise to ignore them?

    Why not have both? Development costs money and time, that's why. You have to make choices. I'd rather have a fully featured space game expansion than one reduced in scope in order to tack on unrelated content. BioWare has added new Operations, Flashpoints and other ground content as part of their regular updates already and can continue to do so in between and after a potential space expansion. A level cap bump and significant ground content update could come in the form of a smaller scale digital expansion along the lines of Hutt Cartel.  In fact, some people not caring about the space game is a major reason not to do a level cap bump in a space expansion. People would feel obligated to buy something they may not be interested in in order to remain competitive on the ground side of things.

    This is just my opinion, of course. Your points are perfectly valid.

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • Grand_NagusGrand_Nagus Dublin, GAPosts: 329Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by VassagoMael
    Originally posted by Grand_Nagus
    Originally posted by Drakephire
    What nonesense. MikeB makes a valid point. There's no point, in this thread, to discuss coulda, shoulda, woulda. It's water under the bridge. More interested in what they're doing now that SSSP is coming.

    You must have missed MikeB's comments at the beginning of the article about how crappy space was at launch. So if he gets to diss on Bioware for launching with crap space, why cant others?

     

    " how crappy space was at launch" as opposed to its current state?

     

    I agree, it still sucks. Hoping the SSSP makes up for it :D

  • rojoArcueidrojoArcueid hell, NJPosts: 6,752Member Uncommon

    open / free roam space is where its at. Unless they do that then the SSSP wont change a thing for good.

     

    And now with news of WAR shutting down i am personally worried and dont feel like wasting money on Swtor. Who knows when EA will shut down this one too since population is pretty low on all servers now. THey are clearly not making enough money out of their farcical model.

    image
  • Sho0terMcgavinSho0terMcgavin Harrisburg, PAPosts: 301Member
    Originally posted by MikeB
    Originally posted by Sho0terMcgavin
    Originally posted by MikeB
    Originally posted by BadOrb

    SSSP a boxed expansion you suggest , that would be great. Not sure if it would be just the SSSP though surely we need a new planet or two ? level cap increased to level 65 sounds pretty good too.I do think the SSSP will be rolled out in parts though , so it might end up as part of our sub fee and of course that you firstly bought the next expansion. You see back in the day only one person was working on the project and worse still only on his day off. We shall see but in the words of MGMT "Love those alien days", Great article btw.

    Cheers,

    BadOrb.

    Thanks! I don't think a new planet and level cap bump would be necessary to justify a boxed expansion with the scope of features I mentioned in the article. If the overall scope of the project ends up being much smaller, sure. But if the expansion is purely space focused, you could have enough content there to easily justify an expansion without a whole lot of meat needed to be added to the ground game (see: SWG: Jump to Lightspeed).

    Why not have both?  Most MMOs today raise the level cap with expacs.  I understand what you are saying.  But, think about this.  What about those who really could care less about the space combat side of the game?  Would it be wise to ignore them?

    Why not have both? Development costs money and time, that's why. You have to make choices. I'd rather have a fully featured space game expansion than one reduced in scope in order to tack on unrelated content. BioWare has added new Operations, Flashpoints and other ground content as part of their regular updates already and can continue to do so in between and after a potential space expansion. A level cap bump and significant ground content update could come in the form of a smaller scale digital expansion along the lines of Hutt Cartel.  In fact, some people not caring about the space game is a major reason not to do a level cap bump in a space expansion. People would feel obligated to buy something they may not be interested in in order to remain competitive on the ground side of things.

    This is just my opinion, of course. Your points are perfectly valid.

    I guess I didn't really think of it that way.   Good points.

    image
  • SlothnChunkSlothnChunk Kansas City, MOPosts: 460Member Uncommon
    I'll believe it when it happens. This game is such a disappointment and waste of the Star Wars IP.
  • ElikalElikal ValhallaPosts: 8,063Member
    Originally posted by SlothnChunk
    I'll believe it when it happens. This game is such a disappointment and waste of the Star Wars IP.

    This.

    People don't ask questions to get answers - they ask questions to show how smart they are. - Dogbert

  • ZuvielifyZuvielify Fremont, CAPosts: 168Member

    Three thoughts:

    1) (Not so much in response to the article, but to some of the other posts) This is not EVE, nor should it be. I don't want them to waste time on corporations in space and space mining. Go play EVE if you want that kind of (boring) thing. 

     

    2) Having open space travel would be great. It would be even more special if you could lift off from a space port, fly around the planet a bit, and then fly seamlessly into space, onto your next planet. Is that going to happen? No. Their tech won't support it.  

     

    3) Personally, I would rather see mini-games like swoop racing than space pvp that is essentially the same system, but off-the-rails. 

     
    Edit:
    Bonus thought) I can't help but think that nothing could save this game for me. It's my fault. I was fully on-board the hype train; I bought the BS. Once I realized I'd been duped, I just couldn't look back anymore. 
     
  • RyowulfRyowulf Greensburg, PAPosts: 668Member

    The engine is bad/broken whatever they come up with is not going to be what a lot of people are hoping it would be.

     

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