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When I see the videos and read the faqs I get the feeling that Bioware may not be in touch with how (successful) MMO's work.
They keep talking about the "pillars" of MMO design (progression,exploration,combat) and how they are bringing a new "pillar" to the mix: "story". But the history of MMO's shows that purely story driven games fail. It should be obvious .... once the story runs out, the game is over.
So what happens is there is a huge rush of players the first few days, crashing the servers and what not. Company has to spend extra money to avoid or cope with this problem by investing too much in servers. A few weeks after the launch, the server populations drop to nothing, because of normal gamer fickleness, but also because many people finished the storyline and there is nothing left to do. Subscriptions take a dive after the first month and the company is filing for bankruptcy to pay off their server investments.
The "pillar" Bioware has (apparently) not considered is the "Endgame". I am not even sure they know what "endgame" means (and it seems like most game developers do not). No doubt they think they know what it means, but since they themselves have spent careers writing and playing non-mmo games, they don't understand that with MMO's the "real game" starts at the *end* of the story. 90% of game-play is after characters are maximum level. [I'm not going to try to explain exactly what an endgame is here, I assume most people here know]
It seems to me like Bioware is treating SWTOR like a the multiplayer aspect of its single-player games only instead of co-op over a LAN its over the internet instead. If you every tried server play on NWN2 you see how offbase they are about multiplayer: dialogs are cutscenes and you are locked out of play while you read silly quest text.
What do you think about it?