SWTOR: Catch-All

And to further that Scratched, nobody ever thinks that maybe something other than $15 a month would be something to try. I mean if you are going hybrid f2p with a subscription that merits you cash shop points and no locked features, with the free options being locked and cash points purchased. Of course there are also the "silver" accounts that are free accounts+ because you bought something at some time. Well? How about a $6 a month sub that gave you less of a monthly cash point stipend and maybe gave you an extra character slot? Haven't we learned, especially with things like Steam sales, that everyone has a different price point? And that by limiting price point options, you are losing revenue!

What would a company do if they found out they could get 2-3 times the subscribers with a $6 price point? And say it converts f2p accounts and wouldn't make much of a dent in the $15 accounts? I think you should even be able to loot cash shop points with any account. Maybe make it so that the looted points only work on cosmetic items and not things like character slots. the reason is the cost of cosmetic items are negligible so the word of mouth advertising (from characters running around in newly bought trinkets) you get in return is a net gain.

fang, it's worth pointing out that it's going to fail at F2P for many reasons beyond abysmal PvP and space combat endgame. How about no access to Ops for F2P folks? Or that they're restricted on travel options? Or that they can only run so many flashpoints per week?

True. Only I can see most of these being resolved by a paid expansion. If you purchase an expansion, you should be allowed access to the content within on a free account. I can't imagine an expansion not including space missions, OPs, and flashpoints.

The travel restrictions? Wow! Though I guess adding new "mounts" in an expansion could curb this too.

I am not saying this will definitely save them but it is an avenue they could pursue.

If they treat it like DDO or LoTRO where you can buy access to the content or remove the restriction, fine, I'm cool with a one shot payment to clear that off. But if not? The game essentially remains a pay to play game and instead of slowly bleeding themselves out through bad executive decision making, they'll have blow off both legs above the knee.

fangblackbone wrote:

I will concede slightly the point that lack of a subscription will help replay value since you can consume the story at your own pace without worrying about getting your months worth. If you think it is enough, you are sorely mistaken.

I may be speaking just for myself, but I really want to experience all 8 class storylines, but I don't want to slog through all that filler quest content again that makes up 85% of the leveling experience. Even if it's free to play, I don't want to replay it.

The only way SWTOR is going to get more money from me (and players like me that just want to experience the class storylines) is either:

A) Speed up leveling considerably for all members, but only let subscription members have enough character slots for all 8 classes
B) Speed up leveling considerably for subscription members only

I'd be willing to pay for either. I'm not going to come back to game, free or not, with its current leveling curve.

So I was a person who almost bought this at release, like had it in my cart and ready to check out sort of thing and didn't. I used the excuse that I had just bought a bunch of stuff during the Steam winter sale. I told myself I would buy it when it went on sale nicely. It has been on sale several times, but I have never pulled the trigger after hearing some of the negative things I have heard (and being non-impressed during a free weekend). I then told myself I would check it out again when the inevitable F2P transition happened....

Don't think I will.

If they sped up/shortened combat and sped up leveling, I would really enjoy playing SWTOR. I don't currently and will not play it again until I can level from 1-50 by mainly doing the class quest, not the time waste quests.

Kamakazi010654 wrote:
So I was a person who almost bought this at release, like had it in my cart and ready to check out sort of thing and didn't. I used the excuse that I had just bought a bunch of stuff during the Steam winter sale. I told myself I would buy it when it went on sale nicely. It has been on sale several times, but I have never pulled the trigger after hearing some of the negative things I have heard (and being non-impressed during a free weekend). I then told myself I would check it out again when the inevitable F2P transition happened....

Don't think I will.

I don't know that I'd let the travel restrictions or lack of Ops keep you from enjoying what is honestly a good single player RPG with MMO trappings.

AnimeJ wrote:

I don't know that I'd let the travel restrictions or lack of Ops keep you from enjoying what is honestly a good single player RPG with MMO trappings.

That said, the MMO trappings might.

Enforces what I thought all along. It is just a bad game period. Combat is slow. Travel times are long. Quest design is poor. Classes are uninteresting. Fortunately I played the beta and was able to cancel my preorder in time.

Just blew me away that they spent so much time and money to produce such a third rate game. Even f2p I just don't see why I would waste time on it when I have a backlog of interesting titles to play and there is always a Steam sale around popping up every few months.

Elliottx wrote:
If they sped up/shortened combat and sped up leveling, I would really enjoy playing SWTOR. I don't currently and will not play it again until I can level from 1-50 by mainly doing the class quest, not the time waste quests.

I've enjoyed the combat in SWTOR right after the combat in AoC. Loads of fun and looks great too.

The combat was fun but as a tanky bounty hunter, fights with strong enemies would take about 30 seconds. I would go through my rotation 3-5 times. Elites were at least a minute. So when you're in the late 40's, doing a really boring quest would take 15-20 minutes. That is a lot of time for almost no reward.

Slyght wrote:
AnimeJ wrote:

I don't know that I'd let the travel restrictions or lack of Ops keep you from enjoying what is honestly a good single player RPG with MMO trappings.

That said, the MMO trappings might.

When I say MMO trappings, I mean that there are other people in the world. Turn off the chat window and it's a really, really long KOTOR 3.

This went F2P even faster than people predicted it would..to me this just spells the further acceleration and end of big budget subscription MMO's. I'm curious to see what GW2's box sales will end up being. I assume GW2 has some sort of cash shop in place right?

No way Titan doesn't end up as a heavily micro transaction/RMTs MMO

Elliottx wrote:
If they sped up/shortened combat and sped up leveling, I would really enjoy playing SWTOR. I don't currently and will not play it again until I can level from 1-50 by mainly doing the class quest, not the time waste quests.

The combat is really quite abysmal and is a big reason I quit the game. I was somewhat interested in progressing the story arc, but having to play bog standard "press 1 to make mob die" a million times to get to the next decision point became completely terrible very fast. Wading through pastures full of idiot mobs just waiting to be whacked feels completely anachronistic at this point - I don't really even know what they were thinking other than "clone WoW" (note - that's probably exactly the only thing they were thinking).

TheGameguru wrote:
This went F2P even faster than people predicted it would..to me this just spells the further acceleration and end of big budget subscription MMO's.

I think many of us suspected SWTOR was the last best hope of the subscription MMO, and the failure is complete now. I guess niche games have a shot at surviving with the sub model if there's little or no direct competition for what they offer, but big budget WoW clones? I don't think so, not any more.

gore wrote:
Elliottx wrote:
If they sped up/shortened combat and sped up leveling, I would really enjoy playing SWTOR. I don't currently and will not play it again until I can level from 1-50 by mainly doing the class quest, not the time waste quests.

The combat is really quite abysmal and is a big reason I quit the game. I was somewhat interested in progressing the story arc, but having to play bog standard "press 1 to make mob die" a million times to get to the next decision point became completely terrible very fast. Wading through pastures full of idiot mobs just waiting to be whacked feels completely anachronistic at this point - I don't really even know what they were thinking other than "clone WoW" (note - that's probably exactly the only thing they were thinking).

TheGameguru wrote:
This went F2P even faster than people predicted it would..to me this just spells the further acceleration and end of big budget subscription MMO's.

I think many of us suspected SWTOR was the last best hope of the subscription MMO, and the failure is complete now. I guess niche games have a shot at surviving with the sub model if there's little or no direct competition for what they offer, but big budget WoW clones? I don't think so, not any more.

The challenge is that people will immediately rise to the defense of the subscription MMO with the same old tired story of "you only need 400,000 subs to be profitable" which is true but only in the context of the studio/publisher behind it. For EVE 400,000 stable subscriptions fits the studio size, budget, as well as continuing investment into the game relative to the initial investment... for a company the size of BioWare/EA given the budget put into TOR as well as the continuing expectations of investment to support/maintain and continue to expand.. 700,000 and dropping fast doesn't work in any shape or form.

The endless F2P WoW clones do little to advance the genre.. but they are churned out so cheaply these days that it barely seems to matter to these companies.. they throw a cash shop out and hope that the game nets them some measure of profit.. Having visited a prominent Asian F2P developer the endless cubicles of low paid almost assembly line coders pretty much convinces me that these are simply quantity vs quality plays..

So I don't necessarily think that anyone is naive enough to believe that simply slapping a F2P label on a game makes it an instant success..

TheGameguru wrote:
This went F2P even faster than people predicted it would..to me this just spells the further acceleration and end of big budget subscription MMO's. I'm curious to see what GW2's box sales will end up being. I assume GW2 has some sort of cash shop in place right?

No way Titan doesn't end up as a heavily micro transaction/RMTs MMO


I was thinking of posting a "MMO breeze shooting" thread earlier. I think there's a lot to talk about MMOs generally as they stand in 2012. Elder Scrolls online is another one that's received scepticism. I'm not sure anyone knows enough about Titan (because Bliz are good with secrecy) to say how it'll work. Looking at WoW and EVE-online, I can help thinking that a lot of people are still happy to pay subscriptions, if it's in exchange for the right thing.

The thing that stands out to me about SWTOR specifically is the amount of comments I've seen for people who'll just play the F2P version for the 'massively singleplayer' content. That means to me that either the public have a really bad impression of what SWTOR is, or that the direction and what they actually made was incompatible with what they were asking for in return (a long term subscription).

GW2 does have microtransactions. It's essentially the same as GW1, maybe expanded a little.

Scratched wrote:
I'm not sure anyone knows enough about Titan (because Bliz are good with secrecy) to say how it'll work. Looking at WoW and EVE-online, I can help thinking that a lot of people are still happy to pay subscriptions, if it's in exchange for the right thing.

This. I said from the start that SWTOR was going to sale a f*ck-ton up front and then fall flat if their end game plan wasnt well thought out. Copying WoW isnt well thought out. It's old and tired. Which is a shame because up to that point it's one of the better mmos out there imho.

I also maintain that subcription based mmos is the way to go, but like Scratched mentioned it has to be for the right thing.

I'd like to say two things in SWTOR's defense. Currently I'm trying to finish the storyline on the trooper, mainly so I can cross the game off my pile. In the upper levels, the combat does become pretty tactical and you're not just facerolling to kill mobs.

Secondly, I think it's unfair to call something a "WOW clone" because it has similar combat and controls to WOW. All first person shooters and real time strategy games have some similarities with each other, but we don't call Team Fortress 2 a "Call of Duty" clone or Company of Heroes a "Starcraft clone."

That being said, I've stated it once and I'll state it again - Bioware shouldn't have tried to take on this big a project.

jdzappa wrote:
I'd like to say two things in SWTOR's defense. Currently I'm trying to finish the storyline on the trooper, mainly so I can cross the game off my pile. In the upper levels, the combat does become pretty tactical and you're not just facerolling to kill mobs.

Secondly, I think it's unfair to call something a "WOW clone" because it has similar combat and controls to WOW.

If this is in response to my post i'm not calling it a WoW clone for the reasons you just posted. What they did copy (with you not maxed out yet you havent seen) from WoW was their end game raiding routine which if i wanted that type of game play i'd go back and play WoW. i dont want to get semantic and argue over the difference between clone and copying, but their failure to come up with something different doomed them to the path that they're currently on.

On top of that i wonder if 'doomed' is too strong a word. I almost wonder if this was (or at least EA's) their original goal.

jdzappa wrote:

That being said, I've stated it once and I'll state it again - Bioware shouldn't have tried to take on this big a project.

I disagree with this as well. They're totally capable of handling a project this size. I'd like them to keep trying for bigger and better.

ranalin wrote:
On top of that i wonder if 'doomed' is too strong a word. I almost wonder if this was (or at least EA's) their original goal.

I'm sure they expected that the game would eventually end up as F2P, even though they likely didn't realize this until later in SWTOR's development. When SWTOR was originally announced, subscriptions seemed to still be viable, but by the time SWTOR actually launched the industry was clearly and unambiguously moving away from the subscription model. Notable games like LOTR switched business models mid-stream (apparently successfully) and at some point EA had to know that's where this game would ultimately end up.

Indeed, almost all subscription MMOs released since SWTOR was announced have bled subscribers and eventually gone free to play. The general idea at this point seems to be: milk early adopters for as much as possible as long as possible, then relaunch the game as f2p / microtransaction once the sub numbers get too low.

The thing is, SWTOR's f2p move is faster than most of us expected, and it smells a whole lot like desperation. Going F2P is a risk - even though SWTOR appears to be a failure as a subscription game, they still have some number of subscribers, and if handled poorly this kind of change could actually make things worse, alienating existing customers while bringing in few new ones.

I feel sad this has gone F2P so quickly. I was in the early beta and didn't care for it so never went down that road, but I still feel bad for all the devs and workers who put so much into the game. It reflects poorly on the industry when a AAA title with megabucks backing goes down. And going F2P after less than a year appears to be "down".

I think it reflects on a few other things than the budget. It's been a good long while since the amount spent on a game is any direct indicator of quality. No one spends that kind of budget expecting a mild return on that investment. It speaks to the importance of factors that aren't necessarily things you can throw money at to make better.

Jaedor wrote:
I feel sad this has gone F2P so quickly. I was in the early beta and didn't care for it so never went down that road, but I still feel bad for all the devs and workers who put so much into the game. It reflects poorly on the industry when a AAA title with megabucks backing goes down. And going F2P after less than a year appears to be "down".

Only because they launched it stupidly as a subscription based game.. Fiscally F2P games can perform as well if not better than subscription games.. but it does impact your design decisions in the game.. since in theory you are building the game around potential RMT's at various "stages". In some ways its far more challenging because you have to design the game to be fun and rewarding enough to play for free.. but at the same time design a hook that prompts one to pay for "something".

I don't necessarily think that the doom/gloom around TOR is just because it was subscription.. rather to me anyway that it just felt old and dated.. I never once got the feeling I was playing anything more than a WoW clone with some KOTOR trappings.

gore wrote:

The thing is, SWTOR's f2p move is faster than most of us expected, and it smells a whole lot like desperation. Going F2P is a risk - even though SWTOR appears to be a failure as a subscription game, they still have some number of subscribers, and if handled poorly this kind of change could actually make things worse, alienating existing customers while bringing in few new ones.

People were mumbling f2p before the game launched. Dont consider this desperation at all.

I thought that they added quite a bit to the standard WoW combat model. I do think that the classes were good/interesting if a bit counter-intuitive in theme (healing smuggler? ranged tank?). Most of my complaints about the stuff that works is pure hindsight. And my biggest complaint about the major flaw, while I think they could have seen it coming, I don't think the realization of how major it was could have been realized until 3+ months after release.

They just could not win with the story focus. If the combat is good, then the story becomes disruptive and adds travel time. If the story is good, and this happens as early as level 10, the combat becomes repetitive (killing humanoids ad nauseum), a chore and boring.

TLDR Stuff Below
They couldn't have known that choosing your real class at level 10 would have had as serious problems as it did. WoW now makes you choose a talent path at level 10 with no repercussions. But the problem is that most people finish the starter world at level 8, get bombarded with a confusing quest hub change filled with stuff that you are locked out of, get introduced to group story instances (but really you are just introduced to the frustration of finding groups for this content), move on to the next quest hub only to ding 10 soon after, and then disrupt your questing to go back to the confusing space station to choose your advanced class, to then go back to the next quest hub and pick up where you left off.

fangblackbone wrote:
I thought that they added quite a bit to the standard WoW combat model. I do think that the classes were good/interesting if a bit counter-intuitive in theme (healing smuggler? ranged tank?). Most of my complaints about the stuff that works is pure hindsight. And my biggest complaint about the major flaw, while I think they could have seen it coming, I don't think the realization of how major it was could have been realized until 3+ months after release.

They just could not win with the story focus. If the combat is good, then the story becomes disruptive and adds travel time. If the story is good, and this happens as early as level 10, the combat becomes repetitive (killing humanoids ad nauseum), a chore and boring.

TLDR Stuff Below
They couldn't have known that choosing your real class at level 10 would have had as serious problems as it did. WoW now makes you choose a talent path at level 10 with no repercussions. But the problem is that most people finish the starter world at level 8, get bombarded with a confusing quest hub change filled with stuff that you are locked out of, get introduced to group story instances (but really you are just introduced to the frustration of finding groups for this content), move on to the next quest hub only to ding 10 soon after, and then disrupt your questing to go back to the confusing space station to choose your advanced class, to then go back to the next quest hub and pick up where you left off.

Did you play the game? I completely disagree with the story rant going on here along with the progression one.

ranalin wrote:
fangblackbone wrote:
I thought that they added quite a bit to the standard WoW combat model. I do think that the classes were good/interesting if a bit counter-intuitive in theme (healing smuggler? ranged tank?). Most of my complaints about the stuff that works is pure hindsight. And my biggest complaint about the major flaw, while I think they could have seen it coming, I don't think the realization of how major it was could have been realized until 3+ months after release.

They just could not win with the story focus. If the combat is good, then the story becomes disruptive and adds travel time. If the story is good, and this happens as early as level 10, the combat becomes repetitive (killing humanoids ad nauseum), a chore and boring.

TLDR Stuff Below
They couldn't have known that choosing your real class at level 10 would have had as serious problems as it did. WoW now makes you choose a talent path at level 10 with no repercussions. But the problem is that most people finish the starter world at level 8, get bombarded with a confusing quest hub change filled with stuff that you are locked out of, get introduced to group story instances (but really you are just introduced to the frustration of finding groups for this content), move on to the next quest hub only to ding 10 soon after, and then disrupt your questing to go back to the confusing space station to choose your advanced class, to then go back to the next quest hub and pick up where you left off.

Did you play the game? I completely disagree with the story rant going on here along with the progression one.

Ditto - I don't recognise the game that he seems to have played.

TheGameguru wrote:
I don't necessarily think that the doom/gloom around TOR is just because it was subscription.. rather to me anyway that it just felt old and dated.. I never once got the feeling I was playing anything more than a WoW clone with some KOTOR trappings.

This is the fundamental issue, I think; I believe there's a market for some subscription based games, but SWTOR is clearly not one of these things. I wouldn't have kept playing SWTOR regardless of the business model selected; excepting the voice acting it felt like it was 5 years old (at least) at launch.

"WoW clone" is a loaded and ambiguous phrase, but SWTOR is so thoroughly like WoW systemically that I'm baffled at how anybody could play the game and not consider it such. Almost every single system in this game is a copy of an equivalent system in WoW, with (if you're lucky) a reskin. Hotbar combat, quest hubs, fields of drooling mobs waiting to be slaughtered, tank/healer/dps classes, level based zone progression, PvE instances, raids, PvP battlegrounds, faster travel unlocked as you level...

Sure, some of the trappings surrounding those elements are subtly different in some ways. Setting - different! Voice acting - different! Making choices - different! But the actual core of the game feels like every big MMO since WoW, and that's seriously bad news when a vast majority of those games are free to play and you're expecting people will pay a subscription for your own version.

I think it's pretty funny people call everything a wow clone and "they copied the wow combat model" etc.

Unless all the people talking were only old enough to play games in the post wow release era.... i mean there were games like this before wow....

I mean, seriously, how was the wow model of combat really anything other than the next generation, graphically, of everquest's combat which really isn't that different from what i recall of say .. wizardry 8 which i played either. It just gets looser with more freedom of movement in 3d.

I still can't recall anything original or unique about wow, granted i only played it at release for about 4 months, but still...i can't think of anything it did new.

So why do we say "it copied wow"?

Anyone saying that, completely loses me and i quit reading their post right there. Wow's success is more due to tuning and timing and just really hitting the sweet spot on stuff that most MMOs continue to "get wrong" for the massive potential fan base out there.

There have only been a couple rather minor true evolutions in MMO gaming since the everquest days and those were likely simply an evolution of technology and player feedback taking it's natural course. It's even debatable how original EQ was and whether it was just a technological extention of MUDs and stuff before it.

You have combat abilities, you have groups, you have dungeons, you have bosses, you have loot, and player skill comes into play in hitting the buttons in the most efficient order while moving your character around the room at the right time while figuring out whatever lunatic mechanics the developers put in the fight to make it really frustrating for he majority of players. And you sit there and rinse and repeat ad nauseum until you quit or the next content update comes out when you start all over again.

Seriously. copy wow? You're not funny, you're insane and you lost perspective a long ways back.

The only thing attractive about SWTOR was it's star wars...something millions of geeks and nerds still love to death, and it had some good story work build into it, though not nearly as much as promised and that's part of why it failed sooooooo fast.

They built that city on story telling, gave us the first flashpoints as examples then failed to ever duplicate the experience through the entire rest of the game except for some good solo quests in the individual story lines. SWTOR is everquest, with lightsabers for swords (or you can just use swords) and blasters for bows and missiles instead of magic nukes. It's got an AT-something boss instead of some frost giant or a red dragon. Big whoop.

The only things new since at LEAST EQ are group finder tools and instances and those are just natural technological progression combined with player feedback.

I don't think anyone's really come up with NEW in a long ass time except maybe, and i'm only saying MAYBE, the guild wars game(s). I'm not really big fans of them but they do seem pretty different, especially the 2nd one, with the way it's trying to do world events. Whether you call that new or not is debatable, but it's at least trying to really make everything different than ever other MMO out there with a standard treadmill and steadily more boring, repetative content.

I quit EQ in disgust eventually, i quit wow in disgust eventually and i quit SWTOR in disgust eventually. I just felt like ranting and rambling in here cause i'm so sick and tired of everyone saying stuff is copying wow....REALLY??

edit: oh yea, the reason i came back over here to this thread in the first place...i heard SWTOR was going free to play...i thought for a minute, hey, i'll come back when it does...then after another minute i realized i wouldn't cause it doesn't change the fact i quit cause the game was rotting from the inside out, not cause the sub fee mattered...i usually spend more on FTP games than subs anyhow!

GL ea/bioware...I loved you once, Bioware. I hated you always, EA. Now i hate you, Bioware. EA destroyed your soul.

Fuzzballx wrote:
So why do we say "it copied wow"?

Because it (and virtual every MMO conceived since WoW) copied WoW.

In more detail: ever since WoW made it big with this model, subsequent games have been trying to duplicate that success with tons of cash and nearly identical systems.