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Why it failed (long)

NonnusNonnus Member Posts: 13

I wanted to post my opinion of where things went wrong and try to boil down why the NGE happened.  Cut through all of the bologna that was filtered through to us, the end-users and try to look at many of the issues which caused this tragedy to happen.  I don’t know what purpose this will serve other than food for thought, but hopefully it will at least help those that are supporting the game now understand how we feel and why they are met with such derision when they post here.

Let me start by giving you my background as I rarely (never?) post here.  I read the SWG forums everyday, though, and have kept an eye on what is happening.  I have played nearly every major mmorpg (and several minor ones), but I have spent a majority of the last 9 years playing Ultima Online, Everquest and SWG.  I have also spent a considerable amount of time in WoW, Asheron’s Call and DAoC.  In SWG, I had 3 accounts active when the NGE hit and I enjoyed playing all of them.  I haven’t done any PvP’ing since UO (and I didn’t do much then…mostly ran a shop, made scrolls and fished up treasure).  My 3 accounts in SWG were a Bio-Engineer/Creature Handler, a PvE Bounty Hunter (loved the missions and the tape drops)/Ranger, and a Master Chef/Merchant.  I ran a modest shop on Wanderhome just outside Bestine.  Money flowed like a river and I had something new to look forward to doing every day.  I give you this information as background only.  There is nothing there to be overly proud about.  Pre-CU/CU didn’t really have too much effect on my play style.  I liked Pre-CU and CU just about equally.  I was just a normal, every day player.

Here are the contributing factors that I think made this game spiral to the point it is now.  Let me preface this by saying that I think Raph Koster is a genius in every sense of the word.  I have read his blogs extensively and IMHO, he is the most gifted world creator that we have on the planet.  This doesn’t mean, though, that there weren’t some fundamental problems with the way SWG was designed.  No matter how much he insists that the Single Character-per Server (SCS) concept was primarily put in to help with role-playing (we mustn’t have Imps and Rebels knowing what the other side is doing), I feel that it had almost nothing to do with that.  It was put in to limit exposure for their support and development personnel and sell extra accounts.  The game was a monster, the likes of which the mmorpg community has never and probably will never see again.  The amount of data that had to be stored for one bio-engineered pet, for instance, was immense (just one example).  The coding was more detailed and complex than any other game and they also added in the most elaborate housing system in the industry so that you could store hundreds of different resource hogs (items) per character.  That’s what Thunderheart is talking about when he says (paraphrasing) that he can’t imagine how the EMU team will be able to re-create the environment.  It’s not the combat which will be that difficult to emulate…it’s the incredibly complex crafting system and all of its interdependencies. 

Another contributing factor that led to the NGE was Jedi.  I’m probably going to catch some flack over this one.  There are really two separate issues here.  One is balancing PvP and the other is having an Alpha class.  Unfortunately, I can’t speak very extensively on this subject as I never really had the desire to play a Jedi.  I went through part of the village just to check it out and figure out what it would take to get that coveted 2nd character slot, but I wasn’t interested in hauling around a lightsaber and slicing/dicing.  I wish that Jedi would have been put in as NPC’s which were end-game content.  I know that this isn’t very iconic of me and would have ruined the game for some, but it would have taken much of the difficulty out of balancing the game.  If they felt that it was absolutely necessary to include Jedi, then hopefully we can at least agree that it should have been very difficult to achieve (which I understand it was in the early days) and very risky to run around as a Jedi.  This is probably why the Pre-CU is thought of so fondly.  I’m sure it was also a nightmare to balance ALL of those combat professions for the so-called GCW.  Nightmarish, but not impossible to fix.  If the devs would have concentrated on fixing the core game rather than constantly trying to add new content, it would have held onto its player base and probably even slowly increased.  There was not a better mmorpg on the market.  What caused them to make the decision not to fix the product, we will probably never know.  Whatever the root cause, it proved fatal.

I’m not completely sold on the idea of NGE being a reaction to WoW.  I believe that plain and simple, they were starting to lose money on SWG.  It took too many developers and too much support staff to maintain.  The sad fact is that they could have just fixed the bugs in the original program and settled nicely into their niche as #1 Sci-Fi and #3-4 in the whole mmorpg market.  But alas, they were either too greedy or too vain to keep their Star Wars fans happy.  Now they have a few happy gamers which don’t cost much to support.  I hope it was worth it.  I know that they did manage to do one thing that not too many people have managed to do in my 39 years.  They brought a tear to my eye after I read the NGE announcement.  Cheers.


  • LeelLeel Member Posts: 455


    from a fellow CH'er

    Good post and welcome.  I will comment further later.

  • KenshuAniKenshuAni Member CommonPosts: 851


    BH/Ranger, eh?  Let me guess, you only had the tracking tree in ranger, right?


    Meh, not worth flaming a fellow disillusioned player.  Welcome to

  • NonnusNonnus Member Posts: 13

    KenshuAni wrote:

    BH/Ranger, eh?  Let me guess, you only had the tracking tree in ranger, right?

    No, the Ranger part was there to harvest meat to feed the BE.  He was also Master Ranger, or very close (how quickly we forget).  Probably a tremendous waste of skill points, but I had fun with him.  He was a re-spec, as originally he was a Master Doc (which I did the grind on myself).

  • wolfmanswolfmans Member Posts: 28

    /agree in part

    I had 2 accounts 1 strictly crafter and 1 ranger/ rifleman pre cu i was a game hunter to support my crafter and make a little mo0ney helping peeps do mark of the hero quest. Cu destroyd my ranger as to get enough organics fast enough i needed a group and if i needed a group then scout was plenty good enough also the bottom fell out of the resale value due to the amount of bhs on farstar post cu. my next path was cm/ swordsie on my main with a craftign alt. This is where i got completely bored of normal profs and having gotten glowie status pre cu finnally took the offe of it up. The main problem here was nothing to to do with jedi as a concept as i unlocked pre nge to. The problem with jedi is fundementally this bulk of people that played from publish 10 to present wanted jedi to be both rare and they themselves ot be one. I played over a year before i got to the point i thought i'd try it but i met people that played 2 days adn where already hittign the village and new nothing of the core combat system. So the problem was new players getting jedi before anything else facing experienced bounty hunters. Now no jedi could beat multiple bh/cms in the cu or even a decent one solo but they could escpae/ avoid vis if they where clever/ cautious. i only had 2 bhs get me in 5 months and 1 of those had to crawl 128m to avoid detection. Howeverand iread the complaints on the swg forums by new jedis and bhs that there was an imbalance they jsut couldn't fight liek us old timers. Incidentally the highest priced jedi and the richest bhs. So Soe decided to simplify the system and make jeid a starter prof as that was what they thought would bring more players into the game. Ncie idea wbut isolated the veterans. The amoutn of times on the jedi and bh forum i read nerf this and nerf that because such and such whooped my arse frustrates me. If i could have my ranger back as it was pre cu or cu with more content like now then i'd probably be happy to sit out of the jedi circles. although i did enjoy winding up bhs with my master powers skills, nasty shock at 30ms if a jedi hits you. Hehe.

    I also agree this was a knee jerk reaction to the suspected 500k of wow players since it's release by the time nge hit. Swg was an extremely complex game in non combat but gave it depth and everyone an interdependance on each other hence why a ranger and another crafter alt was sueful to me. I also am in compelte agreement jedi where in part responsible but they weren't totally the bhs also brought it about in part to. the ranger, chs, bes etc had nothing to do with this change as it destroyed them.

    The best balance system i can come up with is certain skill types are bettetr in certain scenarios i definatley don't believe a jedi can cut down an army but i also don't see how a bh/cm can be near enough the perfect pvp temp. On farstar pre nge i lsot count the amount of bh/cms i saw and jedi mdefs/mls. By no means do imean everyone i myself wasn't an mdef/mls jedi i was an mpowers and scattered branches one jsut becuase i found it fun. My cm was a sworsie and was designed around charging into pvp fights and rescuing my group from death.

    The pre cu master ranger and nge quitter

  • FignarFignar Member CommonPosts: 417
    You can't blame Jedi.

    Its how they were thrown into the game with out any thought.  If they actually finished the game first and fixed the normal professions, then they should have thought clearly how they could add essentially an alpha class to the game with out hurting the rest of the player base. The only way i can see that they could have done this was isolating jedi from the normal GCW so both Dark and Light jedi occupied 2 different planets so the light jedi leveled up on one planet the dark on another and fought their own battles and making them difficult to obtain and random unlocking. the only planets they could travel to would be each others while all other player could visit these planets but could not leave say the space port. That way jedi could still stock up on foods etc via the bazaar/or from players. Only a rough i dea but it would work if it was done properly.

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  • KenshuAniKenshuAni Member CommonPosts: 851

    Originally posted by Nonnus

    KenshuAni wrote:
    BH/Ranger, eh?  Let me guess, you only had the tracking tree in ranger, right?
    No, the Ranger part was there to harvest meat to feed the BE.  He was also Master Ranger, or very close (how quickly we forget).  Probably a tremendous waste of skill points, but I had fun with him.  He was a re-spec, as originally he was a Master Doc (which I did the grind on myself).

    Glad you enjoyed him!  I'm a fellow master ranger as well, though I got it the hard/fun way.  Camping out on all sorts of various planets for the wilderness xp.  Ahh, the good ol' days...

    In fact, I was also a MBE, so I know all about needing tons of meat.

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