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We are a lesson for the gaming industry...

MX13MX13 Member Posts: 2,489

It's been almost a year since our game was destroyed, and a year and a half since it was crippled... yet we are still here... why? It's simple: We loved the game.

Many of us here are not "L337" Gamers, or avid gamers. For many, this was the only MMO that interested us, bringing us into the MMO community. Many of us can't find happiness with another game, they just don't do it for us.

We are a lesson for the MMO Development Community, and the validation of Raph's vission. Hate him or not, you wouldn't be here if he hadn't had his guiding hand on SWG. His vission has fallen, but it's impact remains. Us. Those who would love a game. Those who have bonded with a MMO, at a level that has never been seen in MMO history. We are the lesson, a lesson of design & creation.

We are proof to the MMO Development Community that if you create a deep, open world of not only adventure, but deep social structure, you will be rewarded with deep, passionate gamers... loyal... and they will be there for you... and they will love your creation. After all, what lasts longer: Dedicated fans or mass popularity? 

I'll start my own SWG... with Black Jack... and Hookers!!!

In fact, forget the SWG!!!!

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Comments

  • iskareotiskareot Member Posts: 2,143


    Originally posted by MX13

    It's been almost a year since our game was destroyed, and a year and a half since it was crippled... yet we are still here... why? It's simple: We loved the game.
    Many of us here are not "L337" Gamers, or avid gamers. For many, this was the only MMO that interested us, bringing us into the MMO community. Many of us can't find happiness with another game, they just don't do it for us.
    We are a lesson for the MMO Development Community, and the validation of Raph's vission. Hate him or not, you wouldn't be here if he hadn't had his guiding hand on SWG. His vission has fallen, but it's impact remains. Us. Those who would love a game. Those who have bonded with a MMO, at a level that has never been seen in MMO history before. We are the lesson, a lesson of design & creation.
    We are proof to the MMO Development Community that if you create a deep, open world of not only adventure, but deep social structure, you will be rewarded with deep, passionate gamers... loyal... and they will be there for you... and they will love your creation. After all, what lasts longer: Dedicated fans or popularity? 


    Lol they use it as a example at the gaming conference in Austin, I think it's safe to say -- Yeah it was used as the NO NO thing to be or do.

    ______________________________
    I usually picture the Career builder commercial with the room full of monkeys and upside down sales chart when thinking about the SOE/SWG decision making process.....
    SOE's John Blakely and Todd Fiala issued a warning: "Don't make our mistakes." Ref NGE
    Winner of the worst MMOS goes to.... the NGE and SWG..!!! http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm?loadFeature=1034&bhcp=1

  • Wildcat84Wildcat84 Member Posts: 2,304
    Yep.  SWG will be studied in game design textbooks as to what not to do.  You don't shit on your playerbase by taking the game they signed up to play then completely changing it.



  • MX13MX13 Member Posts: 2,489

    Look beyond the changes... look at the design, and what it has done to us...

    The Brillance was the concept of a game with such diversity of play content, all of it interdependant on eachother. What was fun in it? For some, it was adventuring through the Galaxy, for others it was creating the best of goods, and for others it was entertaining the masses... and for most, it was a bit of each. What other game could your better half have just as much fun dancing with friends as you did crawling though a dungeon? How many spent hundreds of hours of play to create a legendary name for their wares? What other game offered so many paths, all intermingling, yet all so different? Some call it a sandbox, but it wasn't... it was a world, more than most will ever realize...

    It's lesson isn't just in it's fall, and the tragedy is that it's fall may eclipse it's existance. It can teach so much more to the industry...

    I'll start my own SWG... with Black Jack... and Hookers!!!

    In fact, forget the SWG!!!!

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  • Wildcat84Wildcat84 Member Posts: 2,304



    If they wanted to turn the game into a shoot em up lootfest that takes little brains to play they should have done it as a second game.  SWG Classic simply does not appeal to SWG NGE's audience and vice versa.  Simply put they never should have shut down the CU servers, they should have added NGE servers.

    Of course no one would have played it....

    Which is why they did it by FORCE.  In order to get us to play NGE, they had to do it by forcing us into it, by giving us no alternative.  They took a calculated risk that enough of us would stay simply because it was Star Wars, to fund the development and that they'd attract hundreds of thousands of WoW types to replace us.  They possibly expected the vet exodus but I believe the lack of new players really shocked them.  They did not expect that, they probably thought that "Jedi selectable on character creation" alone would be work a couple hundred thousand subs.

    People forced into something they don't want tend to be extremely angry about it even if they accept it (for awhile).  And people forced into NGE will never accept it, no matter if it's eventually made (by it's criteria) a good game for the simple fact that they were FORCED to swallow it.

    That is why customer relationships by consent are better than customer relations by force.

    Customer relations like that also mean that there is enough negative word out there on the street that people who might even like your changed product won't ever try it because they will be scared off.

  • ReachwindReachwind Member Posts: 275

    Honestly... I think the industry learned the WRONG lessons from SWG. The SOE people for instance when they talk about what went wrong with SWG only refer to things like "timing" and "communication" before making the exact same sets of game breaking changes.

    Aside from Raph, I don't see any other game industry insiders talking about the real problems with SWG. Launching too early, not staying with the launch design and cutting off dev to player communication that the first dev team spent years cultivating. No, instead you see industry insiders talking about Raph's version of the game as the singular reason that SWG is broken today. If not for Raph's vision of SWG there would have been a system in place for linear directed content, a rigid class system and a simple to understand MMOG generic UI, you know... Exactly what the NGE gave us.

    The gaming industry thinks you do not want games where you make your own story. The gaming industry thinks you are too stupid to do anything other than click click click click. You need levels to tell you how well you are doing. You need loot to show you that you won. You need chat only to brag to the other people near you what you have accomplished. Game developers are your rock stars and are better than you so they only need to tell you what they are doing and not respond to your input.

    Sure, Raph's vision had a few hundred thousand subs even with an early bug ridden launch, and sure they let him go after three months live before he had finished the game to the point it was working 100% to his standards... It still wasn't as big of a launch as WoW. See? WoW proves that people want an ARPG! WoW proves that if SWG had launched with the NGE instead of Raph's game it would have had 7 million subs!

    Former SWG beta tester and player

  • Beatnik59Beatnik59 Member UncommonPosts: 2,408

    You know, I had almost found a replacement for SWG as a game I could feel comfortable with for hours, months, and years.

    Almost...

    Then, I learned that before I even paid my first sub fee, the developers went bankrupt.

    Seed was rough, but it was the closest thing I found to the deep, rich, science fiction game of "everyday people" I had in SWG.

    With SWG, I saw that such a game was possible.  With Seed however, I'm scared that such a game would never last long enough for it to be sustainable.

    __________________________
    "Its sad when people use religion to feel superior, its even worse to see people using a video game to do it."
    --Arcken

    "...when it comes to pimping EVE I have little restraints."
    --Hellmar, CEO of CCP.

    "It's like they took a gun, put it to their nugget sack and pulled the trigger over and over again, each time telling us how great it was that they were shooting themselves in the balls."
    --Exar_Kun on SWG's NGE

  • MX13MX13 Member Posts: 2,489


    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    You know, I had almost found a replacement for SWG as a game I could feel comfortable with for hours, months, and years.
    Almost...
    Then, I learned that before I even paid my first sub fee, the developers went bankrupt.
    Seed was rough, but it was the closest thing I found to the deep, rich, science fiction game of "everyday people" I had in SWG.
    With SWG, I saw that such a game was possible.  With Seed however, I'm scared that such a game would never last long enough for it to be sustainable.


    If you enjoy it, play it... If it goes under, it's not like they're pulling a SOE and giving you the finger...

    I'll start my own SWG... with Black Jack... and Hookers!!!

    In fact, forget the SWG!!!!

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  • KenshuAniKenshuAni Member CommonPosts: 851


    Originally posted by Reachwind

    Honestly... I think the industry learned the WRONG lessons from SWG. The SOE people for instance when they talk about what went wrong with SWG only refer to things like "timing" and "communication" before making the exact same sets of game breaking changes.



    I'm afraid that you might be correct.  Even worse, the gaming industry has probably learned that if you do make such changes to a game with a large franchise like Star Wars, the game can still survive.  The franchise fans will pay for whatever has the franchise's name attached to it.

    While I'm not interested in LotRO, it will be interesting to see if it comes out with a polished game or just one with shinies and trinkets thrown out as cheaply as possible.  Either way, I'm going to guess that it will make a ton of money.

  • wolfmannwolfmann Member Posts: 1,159


    Originally posted by Beatnik59

    You know, I had almost found a replacement for SWG as a game I could feel comfortable with for hours, months, and years.
    Almost...
    Then, I learned that before I even paid my first sub fee, the developers went bankrupt.
    Seed was rough, but it was the closest thing I found to the deep, rich, science fiction game of "everyday people" I had in SWG.
    With SWG, I saw that such a game was possible.  With Seed however, I'm scared that such a game would never last long enough for it to be sustainable.


    What chapter did they file?

    Cuz it's not that long since I got a mail with the last updates and changes to Spore. Like finally things do damage..I kinda missed that function in the beta.

    and if they did go under, again it's the friggin Beancounters.

    Forcing a release way prematurely, because they want a return on their investment NOW instead of supporting the product until it's ready to actually earn. Beancounters never learn.

    imageThe last of the Trackers

  • Wildcat84Wildcat84 Member Posts: 2,304


    Originally posted by KenshuAni

    Originally posted by Reachwind

    Honestly... I think the industry learned the WRONG lessons from SWG. The SOE people for instance when they talk about what went wrong with SWG only refer to things like "timing" and "communication" before making the exact same sets of game breaking changes.


    I'm afraid that you might be correct.  Even worse, the gaming industry has probably learned that if you do make such changes to a game with a large franchise like Star Wars, the game can still survive.  The franchise fans will pay for whatever has the franchise's name attached to it.

    While I'm not interested in LotRO, it will be interesting to see if it comes out with a polished game or just one with shinies and trinkets thrown out as cheaply as possible.  Either way, I'm going to guess that it will make a ton of money.


    Those who don't learn the right lesson, that you don't make radical changes to the game core after you launch, will fail.

    The SOLE reason why SWG survived the CU, and has taken months to bleed to death even after the NGE is because of the Star Wars franchise.  Even WoW would die if they made two similar radical changes to their core gameplay within a year's time.

    Ultimately they won't get away with it, SWG isn't even going to be able to hold on to 1/10th of the former peak sub base (30,000 of 300,000) in the very near future.  It will probably be shut down before that point.


  • jrscottjrscott Member Posts: 1,252


    Originally posted by Reachwind


    The gaming industry thinks you do not want games where you make your own story. The gaming industry thinks you are too stupid to do anything other than click click click click. You need levels to tell you how well you are doing. You need loot to show you that you won. You need chat only to brag to the other people near you what you have accomplished. Game developers are your rock stars and are better than you so they only need to tell you what they are doing and not respond to your input.
    Sure, Raph's vision had a few hundred thousand subs even with an early bug ridden launch, and sure they let him go after three months live before he had finished the game to the point it was working 100% to his standards... It still wasn't as big of a launch as WoW. See? WoW proves that people want an ARPG! WoW proves that if SWG had launched with the NGE instead of Raph's game it would have had 7 million subs!


    Great post Reachwind!

    Fortunate for us the turkeys that are in charge now won't be in charge in the future then.  Time has this tendency to crush the complacent and arrogant.  Those two words describe the gaming industry as a whole.  The companies that currently "lead" the industry are not innovators.  WoW succeeded by doing the same old thing that had been done for years, they just did one thing different.  They released a product that was not broken.  This was probably the first time in the history of MMORPGs that this happened.

    I was reading a blog post last night about the coming slowdown in scientific innovation and thought it had a lot of parallels here.  Basically, the blogger states that since the amount of effort and cost is increasing exponentially as we climb the ladder of science, there will be a point where we will not have enough manpower, raw materials, energy, or finance to continue forward...we will hit a logistical wall and scientific innovation will slow and stop.

    We see this happening in video games.  The days of needing a C-64, a garage office, and a month of quiet time are long gone.  Today we see games that cost tens of millions of dollars and require a couple of hundred people to produce.  The costs involved in making hundreds of people row the boat in unison are staggering.  They scare off investors.  So are we doomed to seeing rehashes of what we have?

    There was a game developer who recognized this barrier to innovation.  His solution was to create an environment that let the players of the game design some of the content themselves without even realizing they were doing so.  He created a wonderful sandbox where players could create their own fun.  All the sandbox needed was time to cultivate and perfect, yet it was not given that time.

    Development companies will never have the money to afford thousands of developers for the next innovative step in gaming.  Raph Koster temporarily succeeded in assembling the team necessary to create the next innovation - player created content.  SOE blindly dissolved that team and replaced it with Helios.  There are more Koster's out there and one day one of them will succeed where he was prevented from succeeding.  It's still early in the game.

    I realize I said I quit. I never said it was forever :)

  • ChessackChessack Member Posts: 978


    Originally posted by Wildcat84
    Yep.  SWG will be studied in game design textbooks as to what not to do.  You don't shit on your playerbase by taking the game they signed up to play then completely changing it.





    Sadly, I don't think this lesson has been learned yet. I'm beta-testing a game right now where basically you are confronted every time you log in (not in the EULA but in a much more blatant spot) with gigantic boldfaced words, GAME EXPERIENCE MAY CHANGE DURING PLAY.

    This means to me they have not learned the right lesson. They think the lesson was, "Warn your players that the game might change so they expect it." When the lesson was, "Don't change it in fundamental ways, period." It's fine to make some changes, like adding a class or moving skill boxes around, or changing an animation here or there. Changing a game from a sandbox, open-ended multi-class game, to a single-class level-based game, is stupid. But the sort of people who write GAME EXPERIENCE MAY CHANGE DURING PLAY in giant letters just do not get that. Having that in boldface tells me the devs intend to do whatever the hell they want to the game, and when the players complain, point to that message and say "Shut up."

    Which of course is what SOE did with both the CU and even more the NGE.

    So, lesson NOT learned yet.

    C
  • KenshuAniKenshuAni Member CommonPosts: 851


    Originally posted by jrscott

    We see this happening in video games.  The days of needing a C-64, a garage office, and a month of quiet time are long gone. 



    Ahh, the C64.  My first computer!  The first computer game I played was a text Star Trek game that used a cassette drive.  Even then, I prefered science fiction gaming over magical fantasy.

  • ChessackChessack Member Posts: 978


    Originally posted by jrscott

    WoW succeeded by doing the same old thing that had been done for years, they just did one thing different.  They released a product that was not broken.  This was probably the first time in the history of MMORPGs that this happened.

    This is another lesson that has been taught, but nobody's learning. The Game Devs think WOW is successful because of its interface, engine, gameplay, etc. But the real reason it succeded is because it's SOLID. So what are developers doing? Copying its interface, engine, gameplay, but leaving things bugged to hell. The one thing they SHOULD be copying -- launching bug-free and solid products -- they are not.

    Development companies will never have the money to afford thousands of developers for the next innovative step in gaming.  Raph Koster temporarily succeeded in assembling the team necessary to create the next innovation - player created content.  SOE blindly dissolved that team and replaced it with Helios.  There are more Koster's out there and one day one of them will succeed where he was prevented from succeeding.  It's still early in the game.

    This is one reason I am really rooting for Ryzom to get bigger and be more successful. It's not just that I play and like the game (though I certainly do). It's that they have had the guts to release a player-content system (the Ryzom Ring) that lets players build their own adventures and DM them. I very much want this to be the new model for MMORPGs. But it only will, if they succeed. Right now, they're still teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Only time will tell.


    C
  • Wildcat84Wildcat84 Member Posts: 2,304
    Everyone expects and even want changes in a MMO.  It is supposed to be living and dynamic.  But people don't want DRASTIC changes.

    They don't want to find their character rendered unrecognizable.

    They don't want their progress, accomplishments, and items rendered moot or unusable.

    They don't want to continually relearn how to do the basic core of the game, ie: walk, talk, fight, level...

    They don't want all the above to not only all happen once, but TWICE, within months of each other.

    What MMO players want is consistency.  Since a MMO isn't like a single player game, where you could powergame your way through it in a matter of hours you have to (as the excellent thread on the subject states) TRUST the developers to not make drastic changes.



  • jrscottjrscott Member Posts: 1,252


    Originally posted by Chessack

    Sadly, I don't think this lesson has been learned yet. I'm beta-testing a game right now where basically you are confronted every time you log in (not in the EULA but in a much more blatant spot) with gigantic boldfaced words, GAME EXPERIENCE MAY CHANGE DURING PLAY.



    Perhaps we should create a player's EULA and everytime we sign up for a game, we should mail it to the game company.  It should state something to the effect of:

    By accepting my payment of your subscription fee, you agree to the following:

    You may not remove skills, professions, or items from the game without the permission of a 67% majority of the entire playerbase regardless of how many participate in the vote.  Furthermore, once skills and items have been in the game for a period of three months, you are not allowed to change their level of performance unless you can prove that there was an exploit exposed by said entity.

    Should such a removal or change be approved by the playerbase, you will post evidence of that vote in the form of the names of players in favor of the change.

    Should you breach this player's EULA in any form, you agree to refund any prepaid subscription fees affected by the actions that caused the breach.  Should you choose not to agree to this EULA you must refund my money immediately.

    ********************
    Why do corporations get to be the bully?  It's OUR money after all.  They should be kissing our asses.

    I realize I said I quit. I never said it was forever :)

  • jrscottjrscott Member Posts: 1,252


    Originally posted by Chessack


    This is one reason I am really rooting for Ryzom to get bigger and be more successful. It's not just that I play and like the game (though I certainly do). It's that they have had the guts to release a player-content system (the Ryzom Ring) that lets players build their own adventures and DM them. I very much want this to be the new model for MMORPGs. But it only will, if they succeed. Right now, they're still teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. Only time will tell.

    C




    I may have to take another look at Ryzom to see how this works.  Thanks for the heads up.

    I realize I said I quit. I never said it was forever :)

  • Protoman1Protoman1 Member UncommonPosts: 36
    I have been waiting for SWG to die for a long time. I was a beta tester and remember how all of us screamed at the devs that the game wasn't ready. I remember the devs implying that it wasn't their decision to release so soon.

    The game industry still hasn't learned that a smooth launch makes or breaks a product. And that continued stability will keep players coming back. Only 2 games i know of had a smooth launch.  CoH and WoW.

    Also EvE online seems to be the only MMO left that has a sandbox environment.


    “Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.”
    -Plato

  • KzinKillerKzinKiller Member Posts: 625
    I think it's erroneous to describe "The Gaming Industry" as this single monolithic block that will only take one lesson away from SWG.

    Yes, there will certainly be Smedley Jr.'s out there that take away the lesson that the only correct approach is a conservative apeing of another successful franchise like WoW with directed, linear content.  Good luck to them.

    There will also undoubtedly be some who carefully follow the rise and fall of SWG and notice the passion of the players who quit.  A year, two years after leaving behind the wreck that SOE wrought, ex-customers are still talking about it and following its latest developments.  That level of passion for a product must really intrigue designers and investors.

    Because, think how long those people would continue paying for subscriptions if the game wasn't crap!

    Suppose the 'niche' for Raph's original sandbox design, released when it was actually ready and maintained by competent coders and focused managers, was only half a million people.  We know that if you keep those half-million people happy, not only will they not balk at paying $15 a month to live in this virtual world, a significant number will pay 2 or 3 times that for multiple accounts!

    That means your 'niche' product is generating $90 to $100 million a year in revenue.

    Somebody is going to go after that money.  LOTS of people are going to go after that money.  All we need is one group to do it competently.  So I try to remain optimistic.  Yes, the majority of game projects pushed out by big corporations like SOE are going to be just as crappy as the big movies pushed out by Sony Pictures ... but somewhere out there is a gaming version of Lions Gate that is going to give us something so much better.


    image

  • jrscottjrscott Member Posts: 1,252


    Originally posted by KzinKiller

    That means your 'niche' product is generating $90 to $100 million a year in revenue.

    Somebody is going to go after that money.  LOTS of people are going to go after that money.  All we need is one group to do it competently.  So I try to remain optimistic.  Yes, the majority of game projects pushed out by big corporations like SOE are going to be just as crappy as the big movies pushed out by Sony Pictures ... but somewhere out there is a gaming version of Lions Gate that is going to give us something so much better.




    I DO plan on going after that money!    Because I am not independently wealthy I am going to have to ask a lot of people for a lot of money to build "OUR" game and that scares me because I really do not want those people to FORCE me to repeat SOE's mistakes or to create another WoW.  C'mon Powerball!!!


    I realize I said I quit. I never said it was forever :)

  • DistopiaDistopia Member EpicPosts: 21,182

    I think an important lesson that has not been learned here . Would be the problems with working with a major I.P. IMO one of galaxies biggest hold backs was the Ip . It set expectations far to high for a game of its type . A major I.P. means squat when the product is not designed for the mass . Banking a product such as this under the notion people will by it for the name was a travesty in the making . As we have all seen the outcome.


    IF galaxies had been set in its own world , And told its own story . There really would have been no need for a cu or NGE. The main reason this happened was because SOE , LA realized the game was not doing well . Again expectations weighed heavily on the product under the notion of a name and nothing more . A Star Wars product is always going to be based on just that , The star wars factor . Gameplay is meaningless as is functionality and innovation .



    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • GorairGorair Member Posts: 959


    Originally posted by Chessack
    GAME EXPERIENCE MAY CHANGE DURING PLAY.




    that still only applies to the ESRB , it has to be included its part of the ESRB rules it covers them for a teen rathing so when some idiot starts cussing in chat you cant sue them for it.

    it does not apply to the game in that statement, further down in the EULA it states that they dont even have to provide a game just a server and occasionally allow you access to it. there is no reason to worry about changes in the game itself because the EULA says they dont have to actually provide one just access.

    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

  • jrscottjrscott Member Posts: 1,252


    Originally posted by Malickiebloo

    I think an important lesson that has not been learned here . Would be the problems with working with a major I.P. IMO one of galaxies biggest hold backs was the Ip . It set expectations far to high for a game of its type . A major I.P. means squat when the product is not designed for the mass . Banking a product such as this under the notion people will by it for the name was a travesty in the making . As we have all seen the outcome.






    I just can't figure you out sometimes.    Sometimes I want to strangle you (figuratively) other times I want to give you cookies.  You get a cookie for this one.  SOE figured because it was called Star Wars they did not have to spend money marketing it.  The marketing effort was poor and light.  Had they finished the game and marketed strongly, they would have had their million EASY and kept a lot of them.

    A lot of games coming are based on IPs like Star Trek, Stargate, DC Comics.  The companies making these better wake up and realize that not only will the name not do the marketing for you, but the name will cause subscription loss if you deviate from canon AT ALL.

    You like Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal, Raisin, or Macadamea Nut?

    I realize I said I quit. I never said it was forever :)

  • KenshuAniKenshuAni Member CommonPosts: 851


    Originally posted by Protoman1
    I have been waiting for SWG to die for a long time. I was a beta tester and remember how all of us screamed at the devs that the game wasn't ready. I remember the devs implying that it wasn't their decision to release so soon.

    The game industry still hasn't learned that a smooth launch makes or breaks a product. And that continued stability will keep players coming back. Only 2 games i know of had a smooth launch.  CoH and WoW.

    Also EvE online seems to be the only MMO left that has a sandbox environment.


    Wow!  Over two years registered, and we get your first post!
  • MorlanMorlan Member Posts: 16

    In my opinion i simply think the game was ahead of its time with its diversity and complexion(spelled right?). I think what SWG was, is something that will be more appreciated by the gaming community in the future as the community will "mature".....Not that it will help us "disgruntled vets" much atm.

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