Bring on SWTOR

I complained a lot last year about SWTOR looking like it lacks the open-world feel or being really instanced.  I’ve quickly reached the point of not caring.  Seeing more of SWTOR from PAX East and realizing more and more every day that I am done with the WoW model of MMO’s, I’ve realized I don’t care what it is as long as it’s not more of the same.

Even if SWTOR were to be a completely instanced encounter, experienced by 5 people at a time, I’m not sure I would be bothered.  Am I defeated? A little.  More than anything though, I crave something that presents the multiplayer experience as more of a RPG. SWTOR could drop the MMO tag entirely and just be an online RPG and I would be happy.  Luckily it looks like a hybrid between a Bioware RPG and a MMO which is a far newer than we’ve had in years.

I watched the following video and really enjoyed it.  The 16 minutes flew by.

Maybe it’s a combination of the Star Wars craving I have or the story-driven aspect.  Maybe it’s just being burned out completely on theme-parked WoW models.  Whatever it is, I’m now too anxious for SWTOR and feeling that urge to get all giddy and excited about a game.  It clicked for me tonight that we have to wait a very long time to see it, possibly even until next year if they’re slow, and that it actually gave me that knot-in-the-stomach feeling.  I’ll try to keep my enthusiasm in check… but it’ll be hard.  SWTOR’s looking pretty darn good now.

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  • Pretty much agree with you. I was curious before, but after I saw that video now I’m intrigued. Looked awesome. Though couple things bothered me: the global cooldown seemed kind of long, especially since you don’t auto attack (or so a wiki I read said) and hopefully you can skip the chit chat cause wow.. that was a lot. Very awesome the first time. OK the 2nd and skippable on the 3rd. Oh and I also love to heal, but I wouldn’t want to be a smuggler.. so that sucks.

  • Hmm It definitely looks polished. Animations are nice and combat feels fluid and satisfying (really important since combat is the main game of most mmos out there).

    Other than that its kinda meh…. I got really bored watching long quest intro, during combat there wasnt slightest hint of difficulty and everything was just your run of the mill theme-park stuff.

    I can see buying it and playing just to see content (it looks nice enough). Subscribing? really doubt

    p.s. I hit level 50 this week and canceled rift sub. I saw all the content it has, pvp is garbage. It lasted less than I expected. But rift might be fine since it could have payed off the budget just with box sales and everything else is gravy.
    SWTOR might be aiming to do the same

  • @Indaros: You can be a Jedi Consular and heal. I think that smuggler was a special type of smuggler (prestige class?) that let her/him heal.

    @Max: For me the dialog was maybe 30-50% of what intrigued me the most. I like the stories.

    Can’t say I’m surprised about Rift. I had a good day in the PvP though. We went 23-1.

  • I’d like to be excited about SW:TOR, since I love Bioware’s work so much, but I find it really hard to get over the tank/heals/dps trinity in a space opera game. There’s also the fact that I pretty much hate Star Wars, but I reckon I could get over that if the game was good enough. But tanks? And healers? Come on guys, I’m no SW fan but even I know you’re supposed to not get shot, and not get sliced with a lightsaber. You’re not supposed to tank the shots while the Jedi behind you spams heals.

  • @Carson: There definitely has to be some willing suspension of disbelief for it to work. It was the same way in SWG when you’d hit people 50 times with a blaster and watch them survive it.

    The “tank/heal/dps” motif bothers me too. It may have taken over the top spot of what bothers me most about the game. I’d rather you you just be the role of a bounty hunter or a jedi or a trooper and specialize how you want without worrying about whether or not there is a tank.

  • I saw 5 minutes of boring exposition, followed by standard Holy Trinity combat. Thats about it.

    Animation was okay, graphics okay but I see nothing really revolutionary here. Now, thats not to say it won’t be good but its basically an instance with a long cinematic with some basic choices involved.

    I also have trouble believing many will sit through those cinematics for long, especially THIS target audience. We are talking about players who can not read two lines of quest text here. Sure the cinematics will be cool the first time but after that? No, probably not.

  • Well, it looks like SWTOR might go the direction that new MMO’s have been going except it is going all the way. These days MMOs are single player or small group play games anyway…they feel like single player games except that compared to real single player games (like Dragon Age etc.) they really suck – graphic and content wise.

    If you are already taken from the players any sort of imagination and responsibility for entertainment then zou might as well go all the way like SWTOR and provide storylines, full speech and and cutscenes. It is just where these games have been going anyway.

    Might as well have single player quality content in an MMO. Cataclysm brought it closer – Rift is 5 steps backwards but SWTOR is going all the way. It is a single player type game that you play with some real people on a platform where lots of people are available to play with. It seems that it is in the same class of game as Diablo III…

  • @Brannagar: I kind of agree here, especially about the cutscenes and the like. What’s the point of having them if everyone’s going to just go “ZOMG GET THRU EET” and the one person who does want to see it will probably get kicked.

    Also: there was no danger. Absolutely none. Ten minutes in and none of them have dropped below 80% health at all. Not good.

  • A good point, MMO’s look now more like Diablo-type games – but with thousands of players per game instance to play with. SWTOR apparently takes it almost all the way to Diablo gameplay!

    I’m not usually a huge fan of sandbox games (even Minecraft didn’t interest me all that much), but I hope the “Titan” next-gen MMO brings something completely new to the genre… With as much lasting power, elegant UI and quality as WoW, but without making the experience too much like a guided tour of an amusement park. Players should be able to change the world, interact with any player playing the game, and create
    new stories – it shouldn’t be just storytelling by the game studio. A bit like EVE Online, but… Better? More accessible, I guess? And not so time-consuming or exclusive.

  • When SWG came out I remember thinking how cool it was that they hadn’t just done EQ in space. Props to Raph for not being afraid to piss away the biggest IP of all time.

    Doesn’t look like Bioware are planning on making the same mistake though.

    So far, so World of Warcraft. In space.

  • I don’t mind the idea of “World of Warcraft” in space.

    It just has to be good. Personally, if it’s a good, technically polished game, and it agrees with gaming sensibilities, then it’s worth playing in my book. 🙂

  • @Tyralion – if they took all the way to Diablo gameplay, then we WOULD be dodging attacks instead of having tanks and healers. 🙂

  • Here’s a quote from a developer Q&A (posted on Darkhater):

    “How much is instanced?
    JO: The game is not linear single-player. Alderaan is 7-8 World of Warcraft Zones in size. Phasing is used, but it is not everywhere.”

    That makes me come to two conclusions:

    1) The explorable space on a planet is quite big. Considering there will be 16 planets in the game, SW:TOR seems to be the MMORPG with the hugest amount of explorable space released since a very long time. 7-8 WoW areas is more than half a continent, multiply that by 16…
    2) They use phasing more than instancing for the sake of story telling. This is a way better solution to be able to offer per-player storytelling while still keeping the world open and explorable.

    There’s another conclusion we can add to this: there will be areas which aren’t on the 16 “main” planets which will be explorable, like e.g. the video posted in this blog entry.

  • It honestly seems to me that this will be a traditional theme-park MMO Keen.
    However, it will bring a breath of fresh airr to the genre since it will have many of Bioware’s RPG characteristics which will make it unique.

    And its SW, so it will draw a lot of people to the game.

  • What exactly in this video suggest anything different than WoW but with lasers? Even the mobs use the same pointless WoW style animations of moving ahead a few steps then turning around and moving back.

    Plus even within a mission as short as a few minutes they reused the ‘cool’ concept of a mob attacking soldiers.

    It was so meh.

    I am not saying that it won’t be a good game just as WoW is a great game until you get bored of it. But to claim that this game is different in any way shows me that you are speaking no rationally but purely emotionally, you want to be different so you see things that are simply not there.

  • God I wish you’d show some interest in GW2 and write about that, selfishly because I wanna read more about it and I don’t care a rats ass about SWTOR.

  • I’ve had my reservations, but the past couple of weeks have reinforced my excitement for SWTOR. The Bounty Hunter update, the Guild Headquarters reveal, all the stuff that’s come out of PAX East …

    Also, I’ve watched two different playthroughs of the Taral V Flashpoint, and I do get a vibe distinct from the usual WoW 5-man run. It’s several things:

    1). Taral V felt less like an isolated room, so distant from the actual world, and more like a fleshed out environment in and of itself. I think that’s in part because SWTOR’s entire set up (multiple worlds, fly your ship from place to place, etc.) provides a great context for instances.

    2). The Smuggler, who was healing, never had an experience equivalent to being oom. Obviously that’s because of their unique (among healers) resource system.

    3). You really notice how being a 4-man, not a 5-man, changes the experience. You notice how there’s more overlap in the roles people play (the Jedi Knight does a lot of tanking, for example).

    4). In large part because of 2 and 3, the pace was much faster. It felt like there was a more constant flow of action, and as a result it also felt less…formulaic.

    5). And 4 was reinforced by both the interaction with the environment and the way the trash presented itself.

    6). I loved the Smuggler healing probes. =P

    All in all, I was surprised by how different Taral V felt from the typical WoW instance, considering they share the same core mechanics.

    That said, we still have a long way to go. We’ll see whether that distinct vibe is maintained all the way into endgame.

  • I think once SWTOR is in everyone’s hands, it will surprise a lot of people – in a good way.

  • @Mordiceius: I think so. I said the same thing when I watched it to the guys on ventrilo.

    @Proximo: I’ve written about GW2. Do a search. There simply isn’t enough in-game footage to say anything yet. It’s all theory crafting.

    @Pedro: I’m hoping it pushes past being like a MMO. I’m hoping it’s like a “Multiplayer RPG” where it feels like you’re playing a bioware rpg with others playing around you.

    The dialog, cutscenes, and story actually interest me.

  • I’m not getting my hopes up that SW:TOR will be innovative enough to wow me (no pun intended) but I certainly will be playing because of my love for the universe powers.

    The only two MMOs that I am looking a bit forward to are PlanetSide Next (is that the name?) and the Tribes MMO. I might be using the “MMO” generously but so do the game companies.

    What happened to Rift Keen? Good enough for what it is at the moment but not knocking your socks off?

  • Consider Planetside more of a persistent FPS than a MMO, and hopefully Tribes will be nothing like a MMO.

    Still playing Rift. Dominating in Warfronts. Went 23-1 yesterday with my guild group. It’s a decent game but the questing is so horrible and it’s so linear that playing alts is almost out of the question. It’s good enough to last until something better.

  • It was kinda borning to watch, even from different player’s perspective. The commentator was trying to make it sound more exciting thtn it actually was, becuase like Dril said there was no sense of danger to need the use of strategy shown in the video. I am sure the bosses will be more difficult to take on, but probably even more boring to take down.

  • @Keen: There’s quite a bit of GW2 in-game footage out there. I’d say we know enough about GW2 by this point that we’re far beyond the point of merely theorycrafting.

    For example: http://www.justin.tv/alienwarearena/b/281335903 (starts at around 15:00)

    @Luk: It’s possibly undertuned, but consider the level 35 equivalent in WoW. The Flashpoints will hopefully become more challenging near the cap, though I worry they’ll also become more formulaic.

  • Ohh i know you’ve written about it, I’ve got your blog in Google Reader so I’m not missing out on anything you’re posting 😉
    But that was a poor excuse imo. First of there’s TONS of info out there that you’ve yet to mention. Second you seem to be perfectly able to write articles without having rock solid info to go on, you’ve done it on other games so why not GW2?

    I think (and yes this is my opinion and nothing else) it’s because you have little interest in GW2 based on some assumptions/conclusions you’ve already made based on very limited info, either because it’s not there or because you haven’t done your research (very often the latter imo). This because often when I see you writing about stuff you long for in MMOs I think to myself that you can’t have read much about ArenaNet and GW2, cos they seem to be answering many of your questions and concerns.

    No disrespect intended, I do read your blog after all and it’s because I value your opinion and writing. I’d just want to read your opinions on this particular game since it’s really taking shape and I’m pretty sure you will find the game interesting if you put prejudice aside and look at what it has to offer instead of what they can possibly fuck up (because every other developer seems to be great at doing just that lately).

  • I am holding off excitement for ToR until I see the final payment model. If it is sub-based only then I am 100% on board the band wagon.

    I have real concerns that the hybrid model Turbine introduced is where the industry will head, and that we’ll be hard-pressed to spend less than $30/month to fully enjoy AAA mmog’s in the coming years.

    Right now I’m hanging out in AoC simply because it’s the best looking old school mmog out there atm, but there are concerns the Turbine model is just around the corner for this game as well.

    A year from now will WoW be the only game left with pricing integrity? -shudders at the thought-

  • @Proximo: I guess I missed all the in-game footage of GW2. Everything I see is always just a developer standing in front of a camera spouting off about something being dynamic.

    I’ll take a look and see if I can formulate an opinion or something to write on.

    I’m actually extremely interested in GW2. They’re claiming to have an open-world with phasing. What interests me even more is their PvP setup — Server vs. Server in a DAOC frontier, that they directly said is inspired by DAOC.

    So my excuse for not writing about GW2 is that -I- don’t know enough to write about it, not that I’m not interested in it. Educate me! Send me some links to the best in-game footage and information out there.

  • Enough about “not a second Gen MMO”.. there is no such thing so stop referencing it. All these games do is borrow on staple sound core fundamentals and add a bit of their own creativity to them. They dont radically reinvent a game just like you cant reinvent a car. It shares core things or it would be called a plane not a car.

    @Dril- Yea it looked easy because 1. Devs were playing who know the encounters inside and out. 2. It was filmed to demonstrate how things work not to fail. 3. Perhaps they were also higher level than the instance difficulty. I am sure first timers in this instance will die on the way.

    As for the game… it looks good for what they have said it will be. My expectations are in line with what I am seeing, i am optimistic it will be a solid fun game… World PvP is my only concern.

  • @Jim: totally agreed. If SW:TOR goes for anything even remotely looking like the actual Turbine way of managing LOTRO, they won’t get my money.

    @Keen: While I’m eagerly waiting for SW:TOR, I have to agree with those saying GW2 is the one really promising something new. But you and me both are MMO veterans, and we know what promises mean in that industry… more often than never, it’s only marketing crap which has no reality. Just look at the recent claim of Rift being anything “dynamic”… we both know it’s marketing bullshit. So I look at GW2 the same way.

  • I tend to think that there’s way more solid gameplay footage out there on GW2 than there is on SWTOR. Just check out the PAX East thread on Guildwars2guru.com’s news forum, or the 45 minute Wartower.de footage from Gamescom on Youtube. That said, if you’re not interested in the game, you’re not interested in it, no point forcing yourself to write about it.

    As for SWTOR, this video really doesn’t do anything for me. Unfortunately it has two strikes against it out of the gate:

    Firstly, I don’t actually like Bioware’s philosophy when it comes to story. I’ve played some Mass Effect and Dragon Age, and I find the setting and plot too generic to be interesting, even if written decently in terms of dialog and branching options for the player to follow. Nor does the “pick from 3-5 dialog options” interaction do much to make me feel like I’m roleplaying. Now, these are obviously personal preferences; I’m not saying these systems are bad, just that I don’t like ’em.

    Secondly, I’m not a huge Star Wars fan. Well, I have a certain amount of nostalgia for the original trilogy, and I even enjoy Clone Wars from time to time, but everything I’ve seen from SWTOR feels more like it’s slavishly referencing something, rather than inhabiting this rich universe and imagining new possibilities. I’m not a big enough fan that simply seeing a Yoda clone or hearing blaster fire and lightsabers is enough to get me excited – and I’m not seeing any new ideas being brought to the table.

    Best example is this flash point’s plot: Yoda, er, whatever his name is, tells us we’re gonna fly yet another captured imperial shuttle onto a forest planet to infiltrate an imperial base? I just had to laugh at that. The premise with the force ghost is interesting, I liked that much, but the addition of the computer McGuffin just felt like a distraction. Maybe it all gets tied together later?

    The gameplay itself looked pretty bland, but again there were some high points. I liked that the rogue-ish character was healing, that’s a really neat idea. The instance itself had a few fun quirks, such as bonus objectives, ambushes, and exploding barrels. On the other hand, the combat looks really static and the skill design doesn’t appear to give you much in the way of choice. SWTOR gets the same “nope, done with hotkey MMOs” reaction that RIFT does, at this point.

  • As someone understanding French fluently as it’s my first language (and as my nickname may hint it, too), I have a clue about what you’re doing here from your own nickname, “brise bonbons”, but I will still bite and try to clear some things up…

    – You dislike the way Bioware tells stories.
    – You’re not a Star Wars fan.

    => is it really a surprise you dislike the idea of a Star Wars game made by Bioware?
    You sound like a guy going into a McDonald’s restaurant saying loud and clear that he hates hamburgers…

    No offense meant, I’m just a bit surprised, that’s all.

  • EDIT: This is probably the longest and best looking GW2 video out there right now. It’s a start:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoICk5E9X7g

    Head to 33:00 and you can see an event chain going on. First the player runs up and gets the objective to clear out the watering hole. When that’s done, the objective changes – as the ogres walk down into the area, you’re told to protect them as they gather water. No instancing, no phasing, just a scripted chain of events as the player completed objectives.

    Here’s another decent one:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAh1OHBI4uM

    This is a developer demo, but it’s more off the rails and shows more of the zone. At 9:30 you can see an escort event begin – the NPC actually heads off down the road, and anyone who shows up along the way can join the event mid-stream – or leave as suits them.

    Lastly: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-SkO2J4NoE&playnext=1&list=PLCA30994236CD2002

    It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on, but in brief:

    The player is fighting in a worm-infested field around 3:00, and you’ll notice at that point all 3 sprinklers are
    working. By 4:45 I think you’ll notice at least one of them has stopped, which is due to the destroyed water pipe up on the hill.

    By about 6:00 the player is up by the pump house which is being attacked by bandits. You might recognize this area’s burning water pipes as showing up in the big “manifesto” video, where everyone insisted they would be in an instance and couldn’t possibly exist in the world. :/

    Also if you’re looking for good player-provided video of the new GW2 demo, check out the PAX east thread at GW2Guru which I mentioned earlier:

    http://www.guildwars2guru.com/forum/ultimate-pax-east-thread-t12953.html

  • I’m with Brise Bonbon there, I’m not a Bioware fan and StarWars is not a IP which is overly interesting from a MMO perspective for me. That said I did believe that Bioware could be able to make a great MMO nonetheless.
    But I was actually surprised by the movie, it seemed worse than I expected ><
    Combat seemed bland and boring, only thing that seemed slightly interesting to me was a ranged tank, never seen that before.
    But I'm enough picking on the game, I honestly hope you'll be happy with SWOTOR, I'm just not interested. 🙂

  • @Romble: so what? Why demonstrate that your game is going to be a massive faceroll? Dying, to me at least, doesn’t in any way signify either the group or a game being a massive fail. It’s extremely hard for me to get excited about an instance that contains no danger and, effectively, is just a free ticket for lootz. My complaint isn’t even particularly aimed at the tactics they used and whether or not they nullified everything: whenever the Sage pulled aggro, the commentator was like “OH SHIT, IT’S NOT BUILT FOR THAT, SOMEONE NEEDS TO PULL IT OFF HER QUICKLY.” The Sage took what looked like easy-to-heal-through damage. It just didn’t look like it would even be a challenge to a totally new group, just an easy faceroll.

    @Keen: speaking of LOTRO and Rift, I’m surprised you even feel it could last any time at all. I quit, what, a week after headstart in disgust because I’d made myself believe it would be like classic WoW. Instead, it was just so tedious and everything so uninspired it drove me up the wall. Instead, I went (back) to LOTRO, and was pleasantly surprised by how much I started enjoying it. We’ll see if I can finally justify my life sub.

    So now I’ll be even more cynical about any future MMOs.

  • @ The Merovingian:

    Hey, you’re totally right, no offense taken. I tried to clarify that there was a line in my post, and on one side there were my opinions which I couldn’t back up with good arguments, and on the other were the more objective observations. I suppose I should have just left my opinion out entirely, since it basically boils down to “I dun like it.”

    Although, mostly for my own benefit, let me try to explain: I’m really stuck on the fence about Bioware games in my own mind. On one hand, I think I understand why a lot of people like them, and I understand why people think so highly of them. On the other, I really dislike them on a gut level. My instinct is to rail against them, and call them out as being over-hyped – I have this feeling that maybe in a decade this new breed of Bioware games will be forgotten, something that seemed really cool but after a while everyone said “eh, it’s not so great”. But I don’t feel like I have a good argument formulated to back that up yet. So instead, I just hem and haw and end up with “I just don’t like ’em, sorry.”

    I think they do some good things in their games, but I also think there are some real problems with the formula. Like there’s an illusion of depth but nothing really there.

    Then again, I think I’d like them more if the settings and plots were just more original and interesting. As you can tell, I just don’t know what I think about them.

    Anyway, apologies for the confusion and the giant wall-o-text on my part. If nothing else, it’s been helpful to me to write it all out.

  • @Dril, once again I’ll state this was a demo video to show off what classes and things could look like. I think you are reading into it too much. The commentary by the guy is bad as he is trying to make it sound epic when it is not but again something I dismiss as marketing attempt. If your expecting Demon Soul’s or something overly difficult/challenging then ya i dont think this is for you and in fact MMORPG’s since Wow for the most part wont be.

    And you like LOTRO? I dont recall much difference about that than every other one out there.

  • @Keen:
    “They’re [GW2] claiming to have an open-world with phasing.”

    Just a correction here, no phasing. The open world is not phased. There is no “you put out the fire so it’s not visible to you, but someone else hasn’t put out the fire so it’s visible to them.” The fire is out or it’s not, for everyone in that place on that server.

    The personal story, in contrast, is instanced, not phased.

  • Have you ever played Neverwinter Nights?
    If they ever make SW:TOR multiplayer experience even remotely as good as in NWN, they will beat any actual MMO including WoW and LOTRO community wise.

  • @Romble: look, what I’m saying is this: if it is a demo as to how things are meant to look then fine, great, whatever. Question I’m asking is: why are they displaying something that is blatantly far too easy and seemingly not at all reliant on tactics, in contrast to what they preface it with at the start? If they wanted to display what they were actually talking about, then why have some piss-easy faceroll going on in the background?

    And, yeah, I like LOTRO. It feels like a (lovingly crafted) world, not just some backdrop with which to reach the endgame that has the odd, generic, scripted shite popping up every now and then (Rift.)

  • Here’s a couple of GW2 vids you might wanna check out (since you asked Keen);

    http://www.justin.tv/alienwarearena/b/281335903 – Not too great quality and sound is so so, but it’s a quality player behind the keyboard which is more than u can say for most other gameplay vids. Also there’s two devs explaining what we see so it’s a good watch imo. Skip to about 15 mins and start watching from there.

    http://pc.ign.com/articles/115/1153403p1.html?_cmpid=ign1161 – IGN did a writeup on the latest profession reveal, the Thief, it’s a decent read and there’s some nice vids showing off some of the things a Thief can do with different weapons.

    http://gdcvault.com/play/1013691/Designing-Guild-Wars-2-Dynamic – This one is a long one, 1 hour 12 mins. But it’s well worth watching as they touch upon a lot of the reasons behind making Dynamic Events, problems they ran into and how they solved them.

    Other than that here’s a link to GuildWars2Gurus thread with info and vids from PAX East;
    http://www.guildwars2guru.com/forum/ultimate-pax-east-thread-t12953.html
    There’s a couple of shorter vids showing off different stuffs, haven’t watched it all myself yet. Do expect poor players though as that’s what I’ve run across a lot of times so far ^^

    I guess thats a start, that should amass to well over 2 hours of video for you to indulge in ^^

  • Ohhh and yeah I’m with you on the PvP, I can’t wait until they start releasing info on the subject. That’s also one thing I really come to like about ArenaNet lately, they don’t seem to run around yapping marketing fluff about how awesome they are going to make the game until they have actually got to the point where they can show the public in a gameplay demo that they are actually walking the walk. This is the reason why we have no PvP info yet, they are not at a point where they can tell us about the mechanics because they can still change a lot between now and release.
    Once they’ve nailed the basics we’ll start to see more info coming.
    I wish other devs would have done it this way, Mythic I’m looking at you……..

  • Why in the world are you so excited about 16 min of space WoW? The end of the video was so funny. “It’s fun, fast-paced and takes tactic from each member of the team.” I assume he meant that it’s a 4 minute tank and spank with a tank switch, cause that’s all I saw.

    As for the story, a cut scene followed by killing random jungle stuff so you can kill imperial dudes is not all that fun looking. If they want to sell this thing on the story then I hope that it’s more engaging than that

  • It seems far more different from WOW than something like LotRO or Rift. Maybe it’s the focus on the story that I feel will dominate, and for me that’s okay.

  • I actually found the GW2 video more interesting so far – as I’ve never actually played GW that’s significant for me.

    The SWTOR animations certainly have improved since earlier footage but it just lacked something for now but there’s a lot of development time to go so who knows….

  • I really think the biggest thing working against SWTOR is the discussion of tank/heals/dps and generalization of roles. A Trooper is a trooper, not a tank. A jedi is a jedi, not a dps. A smuggler is a smuggler not a healer.

  • @Merovingian

    If you’re speaking of Biowares Neverwinter Nights then it would be great if things from that could find their way into some sort of MMO.

    I played Neverwinter Nights online for several years. Thinking about what made it great only makes me think of the reasons it would difficult to create. The central one being that NWN’s multiplayer required dungeon masters to be interactive and dynamic.

    Good DM’s and the player base kept me playing that game for at least five years well past the point of it being an aged game. I’ll be waiting for a game like it. It would be awesome and yet a struggle to have DM’s that engage the community in any game that is made for this many people.

    I … could talk about that game for hours.

    On the topic of the video. I rather liked that it gave a streamlined view of what the classes do in a mid level instance. This is much more than what people do in many instances throughout the MMO’s out right now and I hope that story will provide a nice motivation to both complete and repeat.

    I actually liked how it showed the diversity of roles in fights more clearly than in the past. They more or less showed it before at E3 but this time they have the advanced classes and the video is sixteen minutes long with various examples of how the class handles a few particulars.

    I didn’t expect it to show us complicated boss fights or extravagant mechanics that players would have to deal with. The players at PAX had forty minutes with the game, most wouldn’t of had ever played before, it wasn’t meant to be the toughest thing since overcooked turkey and I know most if not all players didn’t finish the encounters they were allowed to see.

    It is a bit odd to see a smuggler healing but I do have to say that I accepted it a bit more when I saw the little hovering droids being sent out to apply the HoT’s. Maybe its a good idea to see the classes as an overhanging idea of what the class is supposed to be and the character’s story, rather than mechanics. I honestly would be disappointed without a healer class in an MMO.

  • @Nerokis very nice vid, GW2 looks more and more like something special. SWTOR on other hand.. no thanks (and I love KOTOR)

  • Thanks for posting the video K&G. SWTOR is all about the story. If you click past the story parts you will be missing a big part of the game. The story is about you the player, which is something many people fail to realize.
    Button clickers who power through content without taking the time to take it all in will be missing out. But hey play it the way you want, your paying for it.

    Many of you are all waiting for the next great MMO that has it all and then some. Until you are willing to pay double the sub fee for that awesome game, it will never get out of the board room.

  • LoL! How can I have missed all the other comments with vids 0o
    Is it possible to edit comments cos some of them I’m pretty sure I’ve read while not having any links.

  • I’m ready to pay double the sub free for Ultima Online totally revamped with a modern 3D engine, but keeping all its gameplay mechanics.

    About GW2 – those “dynamic events”, will they affect the world long term? Or are they just like rifts in Rift, and once they are over, the world is just exactly like before?

  • GW2 events won’t make “eternal” changes to the world. At one point or another the event chain will reverse and the changes that have been made will revert. But how this is done and how fast varies a lot from eventchain to eventchain.
    Some chains will revert after a set amount of time.
    Other chains will require player interaction to start reverting.
    An example would be a event chain in which some NPC mobs starts attacking a town, if players fail to defend it the mobs could occupy that town and it turns into a new event where players need to try take it back, and if they succeed in doing that the town will be rebuilt (prob not instantly but who knows), if no players attempt at taking it back it will stay occupied forever.

    To add some more flavor into the mix these events can branch out into other events, so for instance when eventchain x reaches a certain point it might trigger a different route than it did last time due to randomness or because it’s been influenced by some other chain in the world that makes it go in another direction.
    And that’s another thing added to the mix, eventchains can affect eachother even if not being part of eachother, making situations that will rarely occur otherwise.

  • Also, to compare it to rifts in Rift, a single rift would be like a single stage in a GW2 eventchain, it doesn’t branch out or continue, it either attacks or is fought back.

  • Ok, so GW2 in also only “marketing dynamic”, and not really dynamic. Still sounds quite interesting though.
    For me, a really dynamic world is a world that players change on the long term, and also gain benefits (or losses) from those changes. A good example would be Notum Wars in Anarchy Online.

  • They lost me at “tank/heal/mage/dps/CC”. I couldn’t even watch the entire clip.

    Damnit I’m really freaking trying to get fired up about something. I TRIED to get fired up about Rift and couldn’t do it, and I’m trying to get pumped about this…but it’s just giving me the same cold shiver up the spine!

    This just seems like a WoW mod some Star Wars fan made…. and it upsets me highly! I do hope I’m wrong.

  • Doing a little bit of shameless plugging, but instead of directing you to the fourms for my hands-on I created a blog (Yesturday, so still working some things out)with my impressions. After playing the game and waiting in five hour lines, I think the game is worth it. Being plopped into a mid-level character with abilities you have no idea what they do, is tough in any MMO.

    Also keep in mind that the difficulty of Taral V was tuned for a convention, and so not all bosses are a massive tank and spank (Like the “end” one).

  • I guess it’s down to what you put into the word dynamic.
    As far as I know the word in itself does not state anything about the persistence of the changes made for it to qualify as being dynamic. Dynamic to me is that things changes as a result of player actions, and by that definition GW2 events seems to be pretty dynamic. If you’re looking for long term changes then I think you need to be looking for something else than dynamic, you should be looking for persistent, and nowhere have I seen ArenaNet claiming that player actions would lead to persistent changes to the world.
    The phrase ive seen them use is “dynamic events in a persistent world”, which is quite correct imo. The world is persistent, but the events are dynamic.

    If you want persistence over anything else you should look into Mortal Online, once you kill a boss there it stays dead for everyone forever, no respawning. It’s not my cup of tea though.

    As a game developer you have limited resources, you need to put your team to work and choose what to focus on. If they where to have content being available only once (changes being persistent) then they would need to make a LOT more content to keep players interested in the game, else players run out of things to do. This would lead to every bit of content being of lesser quality (imo), because instead of having devs focused on making every bit of content good they need to have them produce new content all the time.

    I’ll take quality content over quantity any day and judging by the info released so far (which is all we have to go by), ArenaNet is trying to find a balance between recycling quality content and making it so that it doesn’t feel recycled, if that made any sense.

  • Yeah I read that, just discussing, not jumping you or anything if you thought i was ^^
    My tips on MO was a honest tip in case you didn’t know of it.

  • I know Mortal Online – I followed that (in my opinion) failure since early beta. Another shining example of a small developer failing because they refused to listen to beta testers, and because they were to deeply stuck into what they wanted the game to be that they forgot players are supposed to play it… for fun!

    I’d rather log into Dawntide, which I follow closely. The devs avoided all the errors both MO and also Darkfall made. They listen to feedback in a balanced way, aka they don’t listen to every whine but they are ready to admit they are wrong when needed. Keen posted a blog entry about that game I think already.

  • Aite, nice one. I followed MO for only a short while, I thought I was ready for open PvP with full loot but realized after a short resub in AoC that I was not at all interested in that 😛
    Didn’t know it was a failure though, but then again I haven’t been following it. Might look at Dawntide but if there’s open PvP and full looting then I’m out ^^

  • That’s one of the things Dawntide attempts to do right – the starter areas are “protected” against PvP. So you can get used to the game in peace, and get some of your skills up without being ganked by some bored kiddie in full plate armor.
    Other thing Dawtide got right – you have the choice between third and first person view.

    It’s FAR from being a complete game, the devs are small and working hard – but it’s definitely the closest to old Ultima Online without the “arrogant” mistakes Darkfall and MO made.

  • Oh, and the beta is free, too, so no good reason NOT to be in and have a look one in a while 😉

  • I’ll check out Dawntide, it sounds interesting. 🙂 Otherwise right now I’m playing lots of TF2, Minecraft, and Magicka, which are all great diversions. I’m also planning to give EvE online another spin (the damn game does everything right, it feels like I should love it if I just give it time), and I also want to try Love out now that it’s further along in development. There are just so many interesting games out right now, it’s sort of overwhelming.

    As for GW2’s “dynamic” events, I think they’re sort of in a gray area as far as being truly dynamic or not. Frankly, I don’t think it’s a very good label for them – I would prefer something catchy that basically means “ever changing world filled with intricately scripted events that respond to both your actions and other events.” Yeah, yeah, I’d make a bad marketing guy, but I see that as a bonus not a flaw. 🙂

    I think it’ll basically play like a really big, multiplayer console action RPG – there will be these large scripted set pieces that give you changing short-term goals, only they can sometimes interact with eachother in neat ways.

    Personally I’m pretty excited for that aspect of GW2, while the rest of it is sort of boring me right now – I blame the semi-generic fantasy world and their choice to stick with a traditional click-to-target combat system. The recent announcement they made about their totally soulless crafting system didn’t help…

  • @Brise, you do know that a lot of the spells and abilities in GW2 are not “click to target”? For starters there is NO spells or abilities that specifically targets your allies. Not one. To buff a ally you need to either be in the vicinity of or use ground targeted stuff. This is one of the reasons ANet is speaking a lot about how “positioning will be important”.

    If you check the Ranger and Thief vids you’ll see that several of their skills are either ground targeted or just shoots in the direction you are aiming. On some of the Warrior vids I’ve seen I’ve noticed that they where using skills without having something targeted, which makes me wonder if melee abilities hits whatever is in front of you instead of your target specifically, but I might be wrong on this one.

    So I’m not so sure that GW2 combat will be your traditional “click to target combat system”.
    As for the crafting, yeah it was pretty standard and nothing pow about it, but I’m happy with that tbh. Rather have them innovate in some areas and keep other traditional systems than trying to innovate on everything and failing at lots of it.

  • Oh I’m quite aware of all that Proximo. Basically I just wish it used a truly aimed system akin to Tera, although I understand why it’s not.

    My ideal system would have you manually target melee like Mount and Blade (complete with directional blocking and chambering), manually target projectile spells like slow bullets (or even let some, like “lightning bolt” be hitscan), and manually target ranged AOE spells like a cross between a mortar and a TF2 demoman’s sticky launcher.

    But that’s just me, I’m on a real shooter and action kick right now. It will probably pass, but for the time being I love playing medic in TF2 with the new crossbow – nothing better than hitting someone in the face with a crossbow bolt full of lovely healing from the other side of the map. 🙂

    And again, I understand a lot of people don’t want that much action in their RPG, and I applaud ANet for finding what seems to be a great balance between action and traditional RPG elements for GW2.

  • Given opinions are like assholes:Just watched this video finally, and it seemed that if you substituted fantasy avatars in place of the Star Wars themed ones, you would have WoW style gameplay and nothing more. Holy trinity and all. Am I missing something that you saw?

  • Maybe it’s the fact that I wasn’t going into this expecting the messiah? I went into it looking for a fun star wars game with a ton of themepark raid baggage in tow which allows me to see the more “multiplayer”/singleplayer side of SWTOR as perhaps different enough.

  • ok! I’ve read a bunch of the Star Wars books (like crack I tell you!) so i understand wanting ro take part in the universe in a fun way. Still waiting to read opinions of people who sampled the demo at PAX!

  • Interesting read, Gnome, thanks for posting that 🙂

    “In closing, after playing the demo, I had myself a thought. I love MMOs, I love BioWare, I love Star Wars. I am totally going to buy this game.”

    Looks like I’m in the same situation, except I didn’t play the demo. And so is Keen apparently.

  • To all those saying “It’s just WoW in space”… Well, yeah, if you’re gunna look at it from a purely meta-gaming/power-gaming point of view, it is; there’s literally not a whole lot of a difference between WoW and SWTOR (and LotRO, and etc.)

    If you were expecting some completely earth-shattering-ly innovative and unique game mechanics, keep looking…

    The fact is, Bioware clearly wants to get SWTOR into every single Star Wars fan’s hands (and everyone else’s too), whether they’re hard-core MMO players or not. So what better to emulate than WoW — Blizzard has made it rather easy for anybody to pick up a MMO and start playing. And I daresay Bioware wants the WoW crowd to put down WoW and pick up SWTOR… And game players hate (at least I do) having to learn completely different interfaces and game mechanics every time they buy a new game…

    So let me put it another way: If you’re going to sell your game to a MMO market that consists of 80% WoW, 20% everybody else, you don’t make a game that plays like Eve Online or Darkfall, you make a game that plays like World of Warcraft.