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Star Wars: The Old Republic: Maintaining that "BioWare" Experience

MikeBMikeB Community ManagerAdministrator RarePosts: 6,527

The fourth pillar of story is alive and well in the launch product of Star Wars: The Old Republic, but will this continue with the same quality post-launch? Join us in this week's Star Wars: The Old Republic column as we offer some thoughts on the subject.

I’ve played several games with two (or more) very distinct factions, and the notion of creating unique content for both sides has never worked out. The most blatant example of this being City of Villains, which very quickly fell to the wayside when it came to creating villain specific content. BioWare has basically promised gamers two fully unique experiences when playing through the Empire and Republic sides and even this was compromised on a bit before the game even went live.

Read more of Michael Bitton's Star Wars: The Old Republic: Maintaining that "BioWare" Experience.

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Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

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Comments

  • PerfectBlendPerfectBlend Member Posts: 49

    First. Great Points.

  • HydricHydric Member Posts: 3

    when I could not figure out how to skip these cinematics, and having to wait on speech to select how I want to answer, i quit the game. TBH, i can careless about story, I just want the gameplay.

    dark age of camelot

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Member Posts: 6,403

    Well, supposedly they've maintained the entire staff from beta, and given the speed of this content update I'd say it's already been in the "hopper" for a while, at the finishing-touches or QC stage.

    It's a valid enough concern to ask about, rather than speculate about.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • SkillCosbySkillCosby Member Posts: 684

    Once the story comes to an end, which it clearly will, there will probably be a fairly large exodus. Outside of sassy pvp types and a small raiding system, SWTOR doesn't offer anything new.

     

    Future content? We all know that any added quests and story will be completed within 1-2 days.

     

    The game has no retention.

  • MephsterMephster Member Posts: 1,188

    Gameplay always seems ot be at the forefront of every mmo. How Bioware thought making story and vo top priority is really questionable. I think Bioware needs alot more training at the jedi temple.

    Grim Dawn, the next great action rpg!

    http://www.grimdawn.com/

  • kujiikujii Member UncommonPosts: 190

    Originally posted by Hydric

    when I could not figure out how to skip these cinematics, and having to wait on speech to select how I want to answer, i quit the game. TBH, i can careless about story, I just want the gameplay.

    Hitting the space bar to skip them is very difficult.  It's commonly done in the game especially on repeatable quests. It's been known since day 1 the game would be story based w/ full V.O. 

  • SnikzSnikz Member UncommonPosts: 120

    Originally posted by Hydric

    when I could not figure out how to skip these cinematics, and having to wait on speech to select how I want to answer, i quit the game. TBH, i can careless about story, I just want the gameplay.

    Or you can just in options set it up so that u always auto skip cutscenes?

  • TyratopsTyratops Member Posts: 98

    I'd rather they spend longer and deliver quality over quantity, I hope they don't churn things out just for the sake of it and bring us more Black Talon.

  • JarazarJarazar Member Posts: 231

    Originally posted by precious328

     

    The game has no retention.

    I am starting to think you don't like the game...

     

    Everyone playing on my server is totally addicted to the game "right now". I am not going to tell you that I won't lose interest when I get to end game, because I know nothing about it yet. But it's Bioware, so I am not too worried.

    image

  • logan400klogan400k Member UncommonPosts: 68

    The game has two non-Bioware, non-Star Wars, non-full voiced story oriented experience going for it:

    1. Its Space Opera. For the uninitiated they will say its Sci-Fi... yeah okay we can quibble over the term, but the fact is its NOT another fantasy MMO. That is a strong point right there.

    2. Its an IP that feels like its IP. You are getting a Star Wars experience, regardless of the underlying mechanics. Unlike Warhammer which feels nothing like either Warhammer Fantasy (any edition) or Warhammer Fantasy battles. And Star Trek, which lost me the first time my noble Federation character looted the bodies of the dead.

    To judge the game by the standards of the those who have both the time and need to race through the game to level cap is ridiculous as they are a small, if vocal minority. In addition, anyone who stopped playing the game because there is too much story is engaging in anti-clever behavior because everyone knows what kind of game SWTOR wanted to be. So if you picked it up expecting something different you were foolish with your money.

    Just My 2 Lunars

  • BattlerockBattlerock Member CommonPosts: 1,393
    I'm losing motivation fast, I'm not into the voice thing, with that I know I don't like the very thing that so much time was spent on making the game unique, I'm not really into the confined one track feel either. If that's the bioware feel, it doesn't work for me. That's all.
  • AutemOxAutemOx Member Posts: 1,704

    To reiterate what almost all the posts say above me:  Even the really big fans of this game realize that they are not going to get many new quests and they are going to quickly run out of the 'content' that this game is trying to be known for.

    EA has dug themselves into a hole by making a game with poor gameplay and trying to make up for it with 'story'.  The story is not so great, the cutscenes are kinda sad, and players are already getting through the majority of the decent quests.  Most players are finding themselves hitting that spacebar more and more.  This game is not build for player retention...  EA probably knows this, and have been planning its future accordingly.  By that I mean that 2 months-1 year from now we will see cash shop and free play.  We MAY see an expansion before that, if they think they can squeeze that out before they lose their playerbase.

    Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  • udorusudorus Member Posts: 79

    Sadly true, i am running my 3rd alt and spacebar has become my new best friend, this whole new experience on each character is sorely missing, the class bits i do like to watch and listen to but hearing about how some random kid has run off and the 5 minute dialog for the 4th time is just not great. Guess its time for empire and my Sith experience. 

  • ElikalElikal Member UncommonPosts: 7,912

    Originally posted by udorus

    Sadly true, i am running my 3rd alt and spacebar has become my new best friend, this whole new experience on each character is sorely missing, the class bits i do like to watch and listen to but hearing about how some random kid has run off and the 5 minute dialog for the 4th time is just not great. Guess its time for empire and my Sith experience. 

    Sad but true for me as well. With my 3rd alt I too press spacebar a lot. It echoes a fear I had very early, when I wondered: will this big money investment in story pay in the long run?

    Also: I must say I am quite disappointed in Flashpoints. After Essleles and Black Talon, who were really great, the rest is just "go there and kill all" with no real story whatsoever. I haven't seen endgame Flashpoints, but so far everything after the first one could as well have been in EQ2 or WOW for all that matters.

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

  • DrakxiiDrakxii Member Posts: 594

    This why I waited.  I just don't think they will be able to update it fast enough for the themepark crowd.   Also I first got worried when I played Hammer and Athiss, sure they were mostly fun but they weren't story based like Esseless.   I did Eseleses like 30 times and I still wanted to play it more, but I played Hammer like 3 times and Athiss once and I never was really interested in going back because it lacked that story part Esseless had.  Instead they were just basic instances, where you killed anything in your way as you went to the boss.

     

    On the plus side if they keep it going like this we will get story for free in a couple of months :)

    I will not play a game with a cash shop ever again. A dev job should be to make the game better not make me pay so it sucks less.

  • Cthulhu23Cthulhu23 Member Posts: 994

    Originally posted by precious328

     

    The game has no retention.




     

    You have no idea what type of retention the game has, since it's only been out a couple of weeks.  The majority of people playing the game currently LOVE it.  How long that love lasts will depend on what BW does regarding meaningful content releases, but to say the game doesn't have any retention at this early stage is pretty misinformed.  

     

  • SkillCosbySkillCosby Member Posts: 684

    Originally posted by Cthulhu23



    Originally posted by precious328

     





    The game has no retention.










     

    You have no idea what type of retention the game has, since it's only been out a couple of weeks.  The majority of people playing the game currently LOVE it.  How long that love lasts will depend on what BW does regarding meaningful content releases, but to say the game doesn't have any retention at this early stage is pretty misinformed.  

     




     

    Of course people are going to love it at first. In fact, I was quick to dub this game as the best MMO ever made.

    But seriously...    when the story ends, the game is no different than every other WoW-clone.

    The game really is WoW with lightsabers - but with an EXTREMELY entertaining leveling process.

     

    This game would've been a home run if it had included social elements, e.g., baren planets where people could build etc. I mean... anything. Instanced PvP and small raids will only take them so far. This is where they will realize their failures.

  • Soki123Soki123 Member RarePosts: 2,558

    Originally posted by precious328



    Originally posted by Cthulhu23










    Originally posted by precious328







     













    The game has no retention.






















     





    You have no idea what type of retention the game has, since it's only been out a couple of weeks.  The majority of people playing the game currently LOVE it.  How long that love lasts will depend on what BW does regarding meaningful content releases, but to say the game doesn't have any retention at this early stage is pretty misinformed.  





     










     

    Of course people are going to love it at first. In fact, I was quick to dub this game as the best MMO ever made.

    But seriously...    when the story ends, the game is no different than every other WoW-clone.

    The game really is WoW with lightsabers - but with an EXTREMELY entertaining leveling process.

     

    This game would've been a home run if it had included social elements, e.g., baren planets where people could build etc. I mean... anything. Instanced PvP and small raids will only take them so far. This is where they will realize their failures.

    So you re basing this on your experiences I see. Well guess what mine are different, weird hey. Have you played Illum, I m guessing no. Have you played the new content they re going to add, I can safely say absolutely not. Just because you don t like the game doesn t mean it s retention will be poor.

  • PandraxPandrax Member UncommonPosts: 341

    Originally posted by precious328



    Originally posted by Cthulhu23










    Originally posted by precious328







     













    The game has no retention.






















     





    You have no idea what type of retention the game has, since it's only been out a couple of weeks.  The majority of people playing the game currently LOVE it.  How long that love lasts will depend on what BW does regarding meaningful content releases, but to say the game doesn't have any retention at this early stage is pretty misinformed.  





     










     

    Of course people are going to love it at first. In fact, I was quick to dub this game as the best MMO ever made.

    But seriously...    when the story ends, the game is no different than every other WoW-clone.

    The game really is WoW with lightsabers - but with an EXTREMELY entertaining leveling process.

     

    This game would've been a home run if it had included social elements, e.g., baren planets where people could build etc. I mean... anything. Instanced PvP and small raids will only take them so far. This is where they will realize their failures.

    The truth comes out. Behind every SWTOR troll, there is a hidden agenda. Bioware never had any plans to make this a sandbox game, and what you just described was sandbox in a nutshell.  {mod edit}

    ~ ~

    Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

  • SkillCosbySkillCosby Member Posts: 684



    Originally posted by pandrax




    Originally posted by precious328








    Originally posted by Cthulhu23




















    Originally posted by precious328













     





























    The game has no retention.














































     













    You have no idea what type of retention the game has, since it's only been out a couple of weeks.  The majority of people playing the game currently LOVE it.  How long that love lasts will depend on what BW does regarding meaningful content releases, but to say the game doesn't have any retention at this early stage is pretty misinformed.  













     






















     





    Of course people are going to love it at first. In fact, I was quick to dub this game as the best MMO ever made.





    But seriously...    when the story ends, the game is no different than every other WoW-clone.





    The game really is WoW with lightsabers - but with an EXTREMELY entertaining leveling process.





     





    This game would've been a home run if it had included social elements, e.g., baren planets where people could build etc. I mean... anything. Instanced PvP and small raids will only take them so far. This is where they will realize their failures.

    The truth comes out. Behind every SWTOR troll, there is a hidden agenda. Bioware never had any plans to make this a sandbox game, and what you just described was sandbox in a nutshell. {mod edit}






     

    So because I'd actually like to interact with other players outside of tiny raids and instanced PvP makes me a bitter ex-SWG fan?

    You don't get it. But you will.


  • VGTheoryVGTheory Member Posts: 110

    SWTOR suffers from a major problem, and that is that it lacks many features that SWG had before it died (and many of those features are better in the memory than they were in reality).

    For Example:

    1. Extensive space combat with customization: Easily the most custamizeable space combat I've seen.  Eve cannot compare (point and click navigation vs. real joystick combat) and TOR's on rails combat is a sad followup.  Sure, it's Star Fox fun, but if I wanted that, I'd play Star Fox...and I don't as I never cared for that kind of game.

    2. Sandbox: Massive empty planets (as mentioned), the ability to have player cities, decorated player houses, etc.  I'm talking classic SWG here, not after they released every "flavor" house.  Sure, seeing a city of the same style was boring, but it wasn't the eyesore of seeing random ATATs, sand walkers, Correllian Transports and the like.

    2a. Player bases: some of the most fun I had in SWG was fighting for/destroying player PVP bases.  Sure I was a noob who got one shotted, but it was still fun.

    3.  Invasions: one of the good additions after the deathblow to SWG.  Capital cities on several planets would be owned by one faction, and then attacked by another.  You had a limited time to build defenses, then the battle commenced.  There were quests and objectives for all player types, including crafters and entertainers.  Only was boring if you were an underlevelled combat player or if not enough people showed up to the party.  While I was still playing the latter only happend a couple times to Bestine, but the other planets had some issues with it on my server.

     

    Things I cannot talk about as I haven't had experience with them, but will probably be compared/contrasted/complained about:

    Crafting: I know its different, that's about all I know about it.  Hard to follow SWG's extensively complex crafting system though.

    Companions: SWG had Craftable/tameable (by Creature Handler) pets, but the companion system is central to SWTOR.

     

    Is SWTOR good?  Don't know; I haven't played it.  I'm waiting to play it until about the seven month mark to see how popular it remains.  The worst part about SWG's death was the depopulated servers, which makes any MMO awful.  One of the reasons WOW is still big is that a lot of people play WoW (sounds like an obvious statement, but there's a certain size of population needed for a game to remain succesful and draw more people in).

    -VG

  • fonyfony Member Posts: 755

    Originally posted by Jarazar

    Originally posted by precious328



     

    The game has no retention.

    I am starting to think you don't like the game...

     

    Everyone playing on my server is totally addicted to the game "right now". I am not going to tell you that I won't lose interest when I get to end game, because I know nothing about it yet. But it's Bioware, so I am not too worried.

    it's more mythic than the Bioware that made the name mean something in the first place. this isn't the same group who brought us BG, NWN and KOTOR. not even the same group that brought use DAO and ME. bsaically EA is throwing the name Bioware over numerous studios which is why people seem to think that Bioware is making the new C&C.

    not "hating", just saying there might be cause to worry. i can't really be reassured knowing that this isn't a product of the Bioware that we think of when we hear the name.

  • TalinTalin Member Posts: 824

    KOTOR, Mass Effect, and DA games haven't let me down in terms of games and sequels/expansions (although a few of the DLC weren't up to par), so I have a lot of faith in SWTOR at this point.

    That said, given the extensive budget and time spent on cutscenes and VO for the game, I do concur with the OPs concern about generating ongoing faction-specific content. Generic content isn't bad - it can be fun, challenging, and rewarding, but it is the specific storyline that makes the experience of TOR so much better than other MMOs to me.

  • TealaTeala Member RarePosts: 7,627

    They may have to revert to generic content updates, interlaced with major expansions.  It seems like it would be an overwhelming task, and asking a lot of them, to expect them to put out that much content that is fully voiced over all the time.   I do not see anything wrong with that.    With that said, Bioware shot themselves in the foot prematurely. 

    What do I mean when I say that?   Because anything they do now sans VO will be looked at as lazy and it might upset the player base.  

    Bioware could alliviate some of this by simply adding content that can engage the players to participate in it as a community.   Stuff revolving around the Jedi vs Sith background story.    I mean the Star Wars IP dropped this golden opportunity right into their lap and I fear that Bioware will not take advantage of that more than anything.  

    Also, I personally think that Bioware should have done what Blizzard did with certain areas of their game using phasing, so that when a player does something sifnificant that changes the area it shows up.   Though I know many people hate phasing, it is because Blizzard failed to implement it properly and allow higher level players to return to the area prior to it being phased to help fellow guildies or people in quest.   That was the one thing that hurt using phasing.  Bioware could have done this to say...hmmm...what's that planets name where the trooper starts?  I don't remember I think it was Ord Mandel, anyway, there is a good example of where phasing could have been used.   Instead of it staying the same despite the story saying otherwise, the player would see that they did have an impact on the game.   I loved the Vanguard and Crusader areas of Northrend.  When a player quested through the area and completed task the whole zone slowly changed as you defeated and pushed back the Lich Kings forces.   That was cool.    Bioware should be doing that as well.

  • PandraxPandrax Member UncommonPosts: 341

    Originally posted by precious328



    Originally posted by pandrax






    Originally posted by precious328










    Originally posted by Cthulhu23






















    Originally posted by precious328















     





























    The game has no retention.














































     













    You have no idea what type of retention the game has, since it's only been out a couple of weeks.  The majority of people playing the game currently LOVE it.  How long that love lasts will depend on what BW does regarding meaningful content releases, but to say the game doesn't have any retention at this early stage is pretty misinformed.  













     






















     





    Of course people are going to love it at first. In fact, I was quick to dub this game as the best MMO ever made.





    But seriously...    when the story ends, the game is no different than every other WoW-clone.





    The game really is WoW with lightsabers - but with an EXTREMELY entertaining leveling process.





     





    This game would've been a home run if it had included social elements, e.g., baren planets where people could build etc. I mean... anything. Instanced PvP and small raids will only take them so far. This is where they will realize their failures.

    The truth comes out. Behind every SWTOR troll, there is a hidden agenda. Bioware never had any plans to make this a sandbox game, and what you just described was sandbox in a nutshell. {mod edit}






     

    So because I'd actually like to interact with other players outside of tiny raids and instanced PvP makes me a bitter ex-SWG fan?

    You don't get it. But you will.

    The joke is on you, kid. Spew more of your negative attitude, it is enjoyable to read.  And I would take a huge bet on atleast half of the negative attitudes(such as yourself) on mmorpg.com are ex-swg vets, people who never planned to buy SWTOR.

     

    Apparently, you do not get it. But in time, maybe you will grow up.

    ~ ~

    Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths, Enwrought with golden and silver light, The blue and the dim and the dark cloths Of night and light and the half light, I would spread the cloths under your feet: But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

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