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Op Ed

Gamasutra - The Burning of Star Wars: The Old Republic.
BioWare plainly went the wrong way with SWTOR. You don't have to go any further than the comments about how special and important subscribers are and how BioWare wants subscribers to feel special, even in the F2P environment. F2P is clearly just a demo; it's just that BioWare is changing the limit from "level cap 15" (the old trial, which also doesn't work) and instead applying every form of hindrance and impairment it can come up with, putting the Handicapper Generals to shame.

One has to question whether this makes any sense at all. The game was failing because people didn't want to pay for subscriptions. The choice was paying subscriptions or not playing at all, and people were choosing "not at all" over subs. How, then, does replacing "not at all" with "kneecapped" change things? How does that help net new subscribers, and how does that help keep existing subscribers?

Eurogamer.net - Are the rich old men ruining Kickstarter?
None of this has sat well with me. Maybe these rich old men can't afford to fund the development of their dream projects out of their own pocket - I don't know - but if they can't convince publishers and actual investors to fund them then I think they have to look at themselves and ask why, not look to us. Not to pick on Peter Molyneux, but I can think of plenty of reasons why no publisher or investor would bankroll one of his games without any kind of creative control, which is what £250k's worth of your money is currently promising to do.

To be fair, at least you can log in today. Perhaps the worst thing about this situation, however, is that it is confusing people about what Kickstarter actually represents. When I look at the names of these grandee developers, and I think back not just on the games they have produced but also the things they have said about them before release, my first reaction as a potential backer isn't to lick my lips at the concept artwork and drink in the product pitch - it's to consult the Kickstarter Terms of Use to see what recourse I might have if I end up disappointed for one reason or another.

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64 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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64. Re: Op Ed Dec 17, 2012, 09:51 Verno
 
It is hard to imagine a company bungling an MMO like Bioware has done with SWTOR.

The sad thing is that we'll likely never see another true KOTOR game, if we did it would likely be some always online bullshit with booster packs and other nonsense.
 
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Playing: Alien Isolation, Legend of Grimrock 2, Super Mario 3D World
Watching: A Good Marriage, The Knick, Gotham
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63. Re: Op Ed Dec 17, 2012, 04:20 InBlack
 
These articles are well thought out and written. A rarity these days. Still makes me wonder though, I especially liked the article about SWOTOR even though they somehow managed to blame Bioware for all its faults and not EA, its almost funny how much the author goes out of his way to never mention EA in the article...  
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I have a nifty blue line!
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62. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 14:48 wtf_man
 
I was simply saying that TESO is not running a modified version of the Hero Engine, like SWTOR is. The way I read your initial post was that... because the TES games are modified Gamebryo engined games... that potentially TESO was a modified Hero Engined game.

My clarification wasn't exactly aimed at you, but for others that read your post the way initially I did.
 
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61. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 12:16 NewMaxx
 
wtf_man wrote on Dec 16, 2012, 12:10:
1. Totally Different Studio (Zenimax Online Studios vs. Bethesda Game Studios), hence not the same people that enhanced the Gamebryo engine for the single player games.

2. Matt Frior came right out and said they only used the Hero Engine for Prototyping, and they aren't using it for the game: Why The Elder Scrolls Online Isn't Using HeroEngine

#1 It's an Elder Scrolls game. To suggest there won't be team crossover is downright silly.

#2 It's pretty damn obvious from videos that they're not using the Hero Engine.

#3 Nobody said it was the same team or that they were using that engine, only that historically the Elder Scrolls games are noted for extensive in-house manipulation of licensed assets
 
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60. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 12:10 wtf_man
 
NewMaxx wrote on Dec 16, 2012, 08:48:
Considering what they did with Gamebryo (including with Skyrim, despite everybody believing that the engine isn't derived from it), I'd say you were on the right track. They are experts at tailoring an engine to their needs in a way that defies the meaning

Just for clarity that Zenimax really is NOT using the Hero Engine...

1. Totally Different Studio (Zenimax Online Studios vs. Bethesda Game Studios), hence not the same people that enhanced the Gamebryo engine for the single player games.

2. Matt Frior came right out and said they only used the Hero Engine for Prototyping, and they aren't using it for the game: Why The Elder Scrolls Online Isn't Using HeroEngine
 
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59. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 09:00 Suckage
 
Creston wrote on Dec 15, 2012, 14:25:

I think FO:NV sold about as much as the best Fable did.

Creston

Sure, but Obsidian got screwed with the Metacritic clause if memory serves. Having failed to reach an average of 85%, they got no bonuses.
 
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58. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 08:48 NewMaxx
 
wtf_man wrote on Dec 15, 2012, 17:30:
At least Zenimax was smart enough to only use the Hero Engine as a "prototype tool", while building their own engine. - Not that I have high expectations for TES Online either... but at least they won't be using the same shitty engine Bioware did.

Considering what they did with Gamebryo (including with Skyrim, despite everybody believing that the engine isn't derived from it), I'd say you were on the right track. They are experts at tailoring an engine to their needs in a way that defies the meaning; they make it their own. So my hopes are indeed a bit higher, although I think it's reasonable to suggest that The Elder Scrolls Online will be a generational step beyond GW2 and will by no means be revolutionary.

Enough about that: SWToR's F2P is pretty insulting. It's difficult to believe they could have handled it worse than they did, actually. I don't think it's a bad game, and I think the move to F2P was a wise one (really, the era of big subs is at an end), but there are far better ways to do it. If I were teaching a class for MMO developers on how NOT to launch and progress an online game, SWToR would be the first case presented.

To complain about big names and big money in Kickstarter is just crass; you can't start excluding projects for every little thing, or you will end up killing the benefits of the system. Not that discussion shouldn't take place, and that changes are out of the questions, but these ranting blog posts are getting out of control. Perhaps there should be separate tiers in Kickstarter, sure, but to have any of it determined by forces outside of the player-investors (including the rich, project-backing ones) is sheer folly.
 
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57. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 07:31 Prez
 
Glykon wrote on Dec 16, 2012, 06:22:
No way. EA payed between 300 and 420 millions to make and market the game (some say there coming the difference cause they cant count total marketing...) AND 850 mil to buy shitty Bioware so all in all were talking abt 1.15 - 1.22 BILLION ! If they are not just laundering money they failed miserably

Well surely they are seeing a bigger return on their purchase of Bioware overall - Dragon Age (and to a lesser extent DA2) and ME3 sold well, didn't they? EA could easily end up making money on the Bioware purchase in the long run, unless they manage to kill Dragon Age and Mass Effect series with more shoddy releases.

This comment was edited on Dec 16, 2012, 07:39.
 
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
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56. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 06:35 Kajetan
 
Glykon wrote on Dec 16, 2012, 06:22:
No way. EA payed between 300 and 420 millions to make and market the game (some say there coming the difference cause they cant count total marketing...) AND 850 mil to buy shitty Bioware so all in all were talking abt 1.15 - 1.22 BILLION ! If they are not just laundering money they failed miserably
There is a reason BOTH Bioware founders stepped down. Someone has to be made responsible and at EA most managers are proficient in covering their personal asses, which leaves ... Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk.
 
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55. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 06:22 Glykon
 
Prez wrote on Dec 15, 2012, 16:36:
I played the game for the free 30 days that came with the game (a friend bought me a key) without restriction and it was pretty terrible. There were hints of Knights of the Old Republic - enough to know that had Bioware made the game that most everyone actually wanted (KoTOR 3) instead of a half-assed WoW clone money grab it could have been awesome. It sucks massivley as a singleplayer game (which is all I was interested in it for) and if the server populations were any indication it isn't much better as an MMO. Despite it generally being considered a flop it probably made most - if not all- of its intitial investment back by now - best to cut their losses now and kill it because this turd is un-polishable.

No way. EA payed between 300 and 420 millions to make and market the game (some say there coming the difference cause they cant count total marketing...) AND 850 mil to buy shitty Bioware so all in all were talking abt 1.15 - 1.22 BILLION ! If they are not just laundering money they failed miserably
 
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54. Re: Gamasutra Dec 16, 2012, 05:37 Fibrocyte
 
I agree that Molyneux had no business doing a kickstarter project. I'm happy to see that it will likely fail (unless he or one of his buddies steps in at the last minute and does a major donation to save face).

Oh, and Notch the shyster is on the main GODUS page endorsing the project and yet it will fail - nice.
 
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53. Re: Gamasutra Dec 16, 2012, 05:35 Fibrocyte
 
Zarkonis wrote on Dec 16, 2012, 05:05:
Having read the Gamasutra article, I'm reminded of why I never read anything they print. To them, nothing is ever going to be as good as World of Warcrap. So therefore, they'll incessantly whine and nitpick everything to death.

Okay, but just keep in mind that nothing to date has been better than World of Warcraft in its entirety.

Some MMOs did this or that better, but none have rivaled it.
 
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52. Gamasutra Dec 16, 2012, 05:05 Zarkonis
 
Having read the Gamasutra article, I'm reminded of why I never read anything they print. To them, nothing is ever going to be as good as World of Warcrap. So therefore, they'll incessantly whine and nitpick everything to death.  
Slow and steady might not win the race at first, until you shoot everyone ahead of you.
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51. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 04:59 beigemore
 
Board games seem to do pretty well via ks. Also, I'm glad I never bit the bullet on swtor when like 10 people were telling me how great it was at launch.  
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50. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 04:34 Bhruic
 
Cutter wrote on Dec 16, 2012, 03:52:
KS is - in spirit at any rate - there to help crowdsource projects that people could not otherwise afford on their own. Not for multi-millionaires to ask for money so they can experiment without any risk.

No it's not. KS is there to allow people to fund projects that they'd like to see made. The idea they have to have "categories" makes no sense. How much money Peter does or does not have really doesn't have much of an impact on whether or not you want to fund Godus. If you want him to make the game (and believe it'll turn out how he describes), fund it. If not, don't. That's really all there is to it.
 
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49. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 04:17 Angrius Maximis
 
Another left hook for SWTOR. I love it.

Please put this game out of its misery
 
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48. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 04:15 Asmodai
 
TOR F2P is fucking horrible, particularly for returning max level characters. I can play DDO or LOTRO (funny, same mob makes those... quite adequately, and when I go back seriously, I usually sub for a month or two because I know that I'm going to get my monies worth.

TOR just made me want to log off again. And never go back. Mission accomplished.
 
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47. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 03:52 Cutter
 
Pro and amateur is a fantasic idea. It's no different when we talk about the spirit of the law versus the letter of it. KS is - in spirit at any rate - there to help crowdsource projects that people could not otherwise afford on their own. Not for multi-millionaires to ask for money so they can experiment without any risk.
 
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"Nobody wants to be nobody in America. Ed is the apotheosis of a prevailing American syndrome. It used to be that someone became famous because they were special. Now people are considered special just for being famous. Fame, itself, is its own virtue.
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46. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 01:42 jacobvandy
 
Maybe that's why I enjoyed playing multiple characters in SWTOR for the free 30 + two months paid after it came out -- I've played MMOs before, but I was never one to get stuck on the same thing for years at a time. If you're burnt out on the genre, might be your own fault, if we're being honest...  
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45. Re: Op Ed Dec 16, 2012, 01:16 LgFriess
 
Sums it up for me too. I wanted so much more out of it. Instead I got a poor WoW clone. As much as I enjoyed WoW for all those years, I'm done with it and all its clones. Bring on some original, deep gameplay please. Oh, and just don't bother if your endgame envolves "dailies." Please just kill that game mechanic... there has to be a better way to accomplish goals.  
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