SWTOR: Catch-All

cheeba wrote:
ranalin wrote:

I've seen people complain about performance issues and the hero engine, but once the game went retail i really didnt have issues most the time. It definitely handled 20 people fine like a charm so that's a huge exaggeration. When it got to 200+ there was issues (not always), but those cases rarely happened.

Were you ever on Ilum? It's not a huge exaggeration. When it was more than 12v12 the lag and fps drop were noticeable. If you started getting in the realm of 50 total players? Well you can see for yourself...

i defnitely was... basically lived there so i dont need a youtube video telling me how it was.

But the YouTube video clearly shows fighting with maybe 50 players (the imperials definitely had less than a full raid and the republic had a few more) and it was unplayable on that guy's machine, which was an overclocked i7 with a gtx570 and 16 gigs of ram.

cheeba wrote:

But the YouTube video clearly shows fighting with maybe 50 players (the imperials definitely had less than a full raid and the republic had a few more) and it was unplayable on that guy's machine, which was an overclocked i7 with a gtx570 and 16 gigs of ram.

just one guy either way honestly doesnt mean sh*t. In our group there were probably 1 or 2 out of 20 that would fuss about performance. Their rigs ranged from top of the line to low ends. I know more people who didnt have problems that did, and to be fair that probably doesnt mean much either. There's also a couple days when they did sh*t to the server that affected us all, but that was generally one sometimes two day anomalies until we went back to normal. I dont consider their tech the issue at all.

I was part of one of the most active pvp groups on our server and we dominated the empire so much they stopped playing. Which is my biggest complaint about the pvp. Kinda hard to pvp when you dont have someone to fight. They just didnt put enough thought or followed through with their intentions after launch. Not sure who to blame on that one. BW or EA.

Their recent updates and doing rank games is a step in the right direction, but they've pretty much dropped the world pvp idea which is a shame. Going on pvp servers is some fun, but even that gets boring after awhile because you end up with one side just completely giving up.

cheeba wrote:

His tweets are interesting, though:

-When 90% of the industry is saying the exact same thing (social, mobile, FTP!) a huge number of people are going to lose that race.

It looks like he doesn't think going free to play was a good idea for SWTOR

Job hunt thoughts: If you think a monetization approach is the same thing as a game idea I don't know why we're talking.

It really looks like he had some disagreements with the free to play stuff :).

I don't know how much you can read that as being relevant to SWTOR. That's a game that, when he was working on it, was none of those things (well, I guess an MMO could be considered "social," but probably not in the way that term usually relates to games).

I'd take it more as a comment on the state of the industry as a whole, which is in the crapper as everybody tries to one-up Zynga in the shovelware sector (and fails). It can't be a good time to be looking for a job, especially if your experience is in making a huge, big IP, subscription based MMO (something which we may never see again).

gore wrote:

I don't know how much you can read that as being relevant to SWTOR. That's a game that, when he was working on it, was none of those things (well, I guess an MMO could be considered "social," but probably not in the way that term usually relates to games).

I disagree entirely. SWTOR has been working on becoming a F2P game for several months now. I'm sure much, if not nearly all of his job as Creative Director was focused on the transition into F2P.

cheeba wrote:
gore wrote:

I don't know how much you can read that as being relevant to SWTOR. That's a game that, when he was working on it, was none of those things (well, I guess an MMO could be considered "social," but probably not in the way that term usually relates to games).

I disagree entirely. SWTOR has been working on becoming a F2P game for several months now. I'm sure much, if not nearly all of his job as Creative Director was focused on the transition into F2P.

He's been there from the start so it's safe to say except for the past couple months thats true and if that tweet was an indication he wasnt happy going the f2p route and an indicator of why he left.

http://www.swtor.com/free/features

Wow, just wow! Talk about the most draconian f2p conversion I have witnessed...

3 (space missions, flashpoints, warzones) per week unless you buy a weekly pass? I hope that means three available to choose from and not 3 plays per week. But seeing as how they have monetized EVERYTHING, I would not be shocked by anything.

3 dungeons works just fine for me, 3 space missions and warzones does seem a little miserly though.

I'm surprised that they're limiting the transport options - it's already my biggest gripe with the game, and making it worse just seems likely to turn people off.

I know there's a fine line with F2P between making the experience smooth so that people want to keep playing and adding bumps in the road that they can pay to get rid of, but it does seem like they're front loading the bumps. From my uneducated perspective it does seem like EA are trying to get rich quick with SWTOR, rather than build a nice trickle of income from a large long-term playerbase. Just personally, out of all the things competing for my time, including other MMOs, it puts me off even trying it.

At this point, I'd never go back to SWTOR. I am bitterly disappointed by the entire experience, and wish I'd never shelled out for the game. GW2 is my last MMO -- it scratches that itch, doesn't try to goose my wallet, and hits all the right MMO-notes. EA could learn a lesson from them.

Nice little fine print they just added in about the cartel coins. You have to have a current paid subscription to get any coins. I was figuring it would be a nice little carrot to get me to come back and try it again once it went f2p, but so much for that. I'm not paying for a month just to get the coins.

TheHipGamer wrote:

At this point, I'd never go back to SWTOR. I am bitterly disappointed by the entire experience, and wish I'd never shelled out for the game. GW2 is my last MMO -- it scratches that itch, doesn't try to goose my wallet, and hits all the right MMO-notes. EA could learn a lesson from them.

This.

Had a 50 smuggler in pretty much full Rakati and I don't think I even finished all the raids. In my opinion every game system that launched was basically broken.

SWTOR was the straw that pretty much broke fee based MMOs for me. I'd much rather give the developer money for content IF I want to play it rather than pay for all content regardless of whether I will play or enjoy it. Rift might be an exception, but I quit playing that to move on to TOR.

Can't wait until GW2 fits into the budget.

Tel wrote:

SWTOR was the straw that pretty much broke fee based MMOs for me. I'd much rather give the developer money for content IF I want to play it rather than pay for all content regardless of whether I will play or enjoy it. Rift might be an exception, but I quit playing that to move on to TOR.

Can't wait until GW2 fits into the budget.

One of the comments I read before the GW2 launch, which admittedly was when hype was pretty damn high, was that a good few people were considering buying gems (the GW2 microtransaction currency) as a form of tip to arenanet/ncsoft, and you get the optional boost/cosmetic stuff.

It does seem like there's two basic philosophies about how you can charge - charge to get in or give people a way to give you money if they want to. EA almost seem to still be trying to charge a subscription by another means, and part of me wonders whether it would have been so bad if they had just continued with subs, but that's another discussion. I know there would be different timescales and teams involved for the different projects, but the way they're handling ME3 multiplayer to keep the player population going to keep those that want to pay for optional unlock packs, as opposed to SWTOR which seems to be driving away people, and you'll lose those people who want to pay too.

Having said all that, I remember I'm not the one with a $300m MMO to manage, and those high stakes I'm sure comes a load of pressures I probably don't see or couldn't account for.

Rift might be an exception, but I quit playing that to move on to TOR.

The new expansion for RIFT looks nice! Unfortunately, I have way too many games ahead of it on my plate right now.
They are offering the expansion free for those who purchase a yearly subscription.

edit: It is also interesting that between SWTOR and GW2 you have an interesting dichotomy: both are attempts at extreme fan service (everything to everyone) but one is limping (having fallen short in some areas) and the other is acclaimed because of how much it was able to get right in nearly every area.

fangblackbone wrote:

and the other is acclaimed because of how much it was able to get right in nearly every area.

I'm deep into GW2 right now, but you really don't have to look far to see things not quite right, it's not an flawless gem (even though, it's my favourite of 2012 right now). The thing about GW2 though, is that I think ArenaNet have the reputation and the aptitude that means I actually expect it to be beaten into good shape over time, with EA/Bioware... not so much, and definitely not enough that I'd pay them money in the meantime until it is in a good shape when I could be spending my entertainment money elsewhere.

Unfortunately, BioWare's reputation in the single-player RPG market has diminished with the addition of the EA in front of their logo. I'm not sure that EA has done a LOT to BioWare, it certainly seems to have less of a kung-fu grip on it than it does on other studios (such as Tiberon). But the timing is certainly suspicious. It makes me wonder if the issues are caused by the few things to which EA has made changes, or if the issue is that the company now has a bigger bottom line they have to keep up with.

For me, I won't be returning to SWTOR until they address some of the lingering issues that have plagued the game since day 1. First off, they need to make the game social again. Right now, the planets, NPCs, etc. all feel like background. And while the background shouldn't take up the story, what are players going to do when they aren't doing story stuff? What about just getting players to sit at a bar and mingle? Or buy silly social clothes from the store? If TOR doesn't reward socialization, the game will be short-lived.

If TOR doesn't simplify the group content and rewards, things will continue to be complicated and they will feel like a hobbling together of solutions rather than something cohesive and logical. Make the end-game feel like it had some planning. For example, running a "Tier 1 dungeon" should get you Tier 1 rewards. Right now, running some dungeons on Normal is harder than running some on Hard, and they reward you with the rewards of that first dungeon on Nightmare. That's just confusing. Either each dungeon rewards gear with same stats, but different appearances (probably the best solution), with stats scaling based on the difficulty of the dungeon (Normal, Hard, Nightmare). Or the dungeons need to be equalized in some other way.

Also, TOR needs to not punish people for not paying. I agree with the previous statements about the limitations on dungeons, warzones, etc. That's just silly. I don't think the limitations on dungeons is necessarily so bad, but limit the maximum renown rank for people in warzones, or limit the rewards on space missions. Since space missions are solo acts, who cares if someone wants to play it for 8 hours? Warzones shouldn't limit people who want to play, but they should limit the rewards for being good at it. You can have relatively low renown ranks, and still be awesome at warzones and have a good time. But maybe include some special appearance items in PvP for people with high renown?

This latest bit of news really irks me, so feel free to ignore my rant. I just feel like this was supposed to be my "perfect" MMO, and I've cancelled my subscription less than a year after I started it. I've never been so let down.

When TOR was in beta, and before launch, I enjoyed it. The story content was relatively well put together for what I'd seen of it(Jedi Knight) and this definitely carried through into launch. That said, raiding was generally meh, and as others pointed out, loot made very, very little sense and was inconsistent within tiers, to borrow a term.

Reading through that list, they're clearly not interested in supporting any population of non-subscription paying players. They could have tacked on a cash store and kept the sub and you'd see very, very little difference.

So, for me too, this is pretty much the nail in the coffin as well. It's sad, given that while I enjoyed TOR, and maybe even enough to throw some money at them from time to time, there's really nothing there worth coming back for.

Man Im bummed. I was planning on coming back to finish my commando and inquisitor storylines. But compared with Turbine's excellent FTP system with LOTRO, SWTOR seems like a total ripoff.

I _might_ go back and finish my storylines at some point but, I have a lot of other more interesting stuff to play.

The big, big problem for me was that you could always see the seams and that made it feel small. Riding into Orgrimmar, even after 4 years of playing, always felt imposing and like you were in a time and place. Landing on Coruscant just felt like "meh, loading Coruscant...."

namikaze wrote:

Also, TOR needs to not punish people for not paying.

I think this is at the heart of it from my POV. They are not going to get new people by offering them a worse experience than the one that is already failing to attract enough paying players. I think they would have been better off putting the bulk of the existing experience as FTP (the restrictions on things like which races you can use with FTP aren't a bad idea though), and adding extra convenience and cosmetic items for the paying players.

Sonicator wrote:
namikaze wrote:

Also, TOR needs to not punish people for not paying.

I think this is at the heart of it from my POV. They are not going to get new people by offering them a worse experience than the one that is already failing to attract enough paying players. I think they would have been better off putting the bulk of the existing experience as FTP (the restrictions on things like which races you can use with FTP aren't a bad idea though), and adding extra convenience and cosmetic items for the paying players.

I agree completely. I really am surprised that they just didn't borrow the LoTRO model. Give the base game away for free. Charge a one time fee for dungeons, warzones, raids, and space missions. Then simply sell tons of lightsabre crystals, speeder skins and mini pets in a cash store.

They can also sell:

companion skins or new looks
new companions
new crafting recipes
ship mods for the space missions
new space mission packs
faction changes would be interesting (especially if they can write some new story to bridge going from light side to dark side)
waypoint packs - flip the f2p punishment on its end; instead of locking out waypoints, benefit both f2p and sub players by adding to the existing waypoints for in game coin or real money

and the list goes on...

fangblackbone wrote:

They can also sell:

companion skins or new looks
new companions
new crafting recipes
ship mods for the space missions
new space mission packs
faction changes would be interesting (especially if they can write some new story to bridge going from light side to dark side)
waypoint packs - flip the f2p punishment on its end; instead of locking out waypoints, benefit both f2p and sub players by adding to the existing waypoints for in game coin or real money

and the list goes on...

Yes, but these would all require additional content. It's much easier to butcher existing content out of the game then charge people to get it back. Oh, and cover your ears when your existing paying customers tell you that this content isn't enough to be paid for.

Tis true. Tis true.

You will get no arguing from me there.

Sonicator wrote:

I think this is at the heart of it from my POV. They are not going to get new people by offering them a worse experience than the one that is already failing to attract enough paying players. I think they would have been better off putting the bulk of the existing experience as FTP (the restrictions on things like which races you can use with FTP aren't a bad idea though), and adding extra convenience and cosmetic items for the paying players.

Well put.

I didn't stop playing SWTOR because of the subscription fee, I stopped because I wasn't having fun.

The subscription fee, though, probably does mean I'll never come back.

This is a stark contrast to, say, Diablo III or GW2, which I know I will continue to check out over the coming months (or years) since there's no financial barrier (and both games will only get better in time). Maybe dabbling in those games will attract my attention for another burst of play time. Maybe it won't, and I'll quit again. But it's pretty much a given that I'll at least try them out.

With SWTOR, the F2P option could have lured me back - but not when I already know that it's a lesser experience. These other games get better, while SWTOR gets worse? Not happening.

Blah. I re-subscribed only to find that my day 1 character had a mandatory name change. Which sucks, because the name was a character from a little fan film I made a few years ago, which I think would give me dibbs. Anyway, anyone around level 25 and want to peruse Tatooine with me?

3 of us still play at lunch here in the office. We went through the empire zones and quests and are now trudging through the republic side. Mostly we do warzones at lunch --- get 3 or so in every day. Can't see going F2P due to the restriction on # of Warzones.

Other F2P games get me with "bigger bags" or "better crafting recipes"
seems TOR wants to lure people in with the F2P like it is a beta and you could get "the full experience" if you subscribe. Doesn't wow do something similar with "play to 20 for free"

I wonder if this "check our game out and pay if you want everything unlocked" model is more lucrative than the " buy a bigger bag and pretty hat" model

I would say the WoW model works for them because they're already established. Part of an MMO is playing with your friends, so you could say "try this game we're playing out, and if you like it you can play with us properly", the people are the hook.

Roman wrote:

3 of us still play at lunch here in the office. We went through the empire zones and quests and are now trudging through the republic side. Mostly we do warzones at lunch --- get 3 or so in every day. Can't see going F2P due to the restriction on # of Warzones.

Other F2P games get me with "bigger bags" or "better crafting recipes"
seems TOR wants to lure people in with the F2P like it is a beta and you could get "the full experience" if you subscribe. Doesn't wow do something similar with "play to 20 for free"

I wonder if this "check our game out and pay if you want everything unlocked" model is more lucrative than the " buy a bigger bag and pretty hat" model

I think the buy a pretty hat model has been far more lucrative than the other way.