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What was the deal with NGE for SWG?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > STAR WARS Discussion
What was the deal with NGE for SWG?

Erevan_Kindelar's Avatar


Erevan_Kindelar
03.08.2012 , 03:24 AM | #21
Pre-NGE, Galaxies had a few challenges - bugs, a lack of storyline content outside a few themepark areas (the only PvE content was generic mission content... head over to this area and wipe out a cluster of mobs and their spawn point that is threatening some generic settlement; or Bounty Hunter missions that could only be picked up by members of the Bounty Hunter class).

So the people who wanted a story, and be led through the game from quest hub to quest hub, found the freeform sandbox idea to be terrible. For the rest of us, who really enjoyed the chance to explore a planet without f***ing Exhaustion Zones, and who wanted to make our own story, loved it.

The same people who wanted a storyline generally wanted a class progression system. What SWG gave you was a pool of 250 skill points that, if you had the relevant experience, you could put into learning skills from professions. The "archetypal" professions were there (you could be a Bounty Hunter, for example, which required certain scouting and weapon skills as pre-requisites. On gaining those skills, you could learn the basics of Bounty Hunting and work on your BH skills. If you only wanted specific skills from that tree and you wanted skills in other professions, you could learn just those skills and create your own skill template. For example, you want to be a Bounty Hunter who uses a rifle? Fine, learn the Bounty Hunting basics and also start the Rifleman profession. As such, hybrid builds were very common, and they allowed each player to create their own character profile and skill set.
Altogether, there were around 40 professions to work from, and there was a more integrated community based around cantinas and med centres. Getting into battles gave you mental wounds and battle fatigue, plus physical wounds (especially when you died and had to be resurrected or cloned) that would reduce your combat effectiveness. The only way to remove those wounds without waiting for a month was to go to a cantina to watch dancers or listen to musicians (to heal the mental wounds and Battle Fatigue) or a med centre to be healed by medics/doctors who would heal your physical wounds. There were also Image Designers in the game, who would help you change the physical appearance of your character. All of the dancers, musicians, doctors and image designers were real players, not NPCs, so there was a much greated social aspect to SWG than there is with SWTOR.
Player housing was added soon after launch, and introduced the Politician profession, which allowed players to form their own cities with facilities, run elections and have a periodically elected mayor (yes, SWG had democracy). Player housing allowed players to have a private or public space for storage and that they could decorate or use to host their own merchandising vendors where they could sell stuff, and those vendors were linked into the SWG equivalent of the GTN.
Crafting was a complex endeavour that many people did not enjoy, but for those who persevered with it, the financial rewards were substantial, and the best crafters in each profession on any given server were famous people within the community.
The in-game economy was extensive, with crafted items, crafting materials, and NPC loot drops available for sale.

Fundamentally, the game started off with very little content and a ton of bugs. Mounts, player housing, space, material spawns and crafting, etc., were all added post-launch, and most of the major bugs were addressed. A similar experience to SWTOR in many aspects.
The player base peaked relatively early in the game, and subscriber numbers started to decline (although not at a precipitously fast rate) 3-4 months after release, but the active player base (around 500 thousand at peak 3-400 thousand just before NGE, afaik) were very active. After the NGE, the player base dropped very quickly to below 100 thousand based on the unofficial figures I saw at the time.

Overnight, the NGE completely removed most of the 40 professions in the game, and the ones that were left were replaced with 8 linear professions based on Star Wars archetypal classes from the films. The game went from a sandbox "live and write your own story" approach to "this is your storyline, run this mission, kill x, go and talk to y for your next mission".
Ironically, there are a lot of similarities between SWTOR and SWG post-NGE, certainly more than with the pre-NGE SWG, which had more in common with EVE Online.
No, really! I am telling the truth, honestly! Look I can prove it, I am a politician! I am as honest as the day is long!
Besides, I am a terrible liar, everyone can see when I am lying - my lips are moving... oh damn, err, that last comment was off the record, right?

FatherOblivion's Avatar


FatherOblivion
03.08.2012 , 03:35 AM | #22
The worst part of the NGE change, at least for me, was that before in the CU (and pre-CU) you had an intense amount of post end game stuff you could do for character improvement. Following combat level 80, you could kill time and make progress and have countless hours to do it, always working toward more FS skills or Jedi training if that's what you wanted. At the very least you could still get a few additional skills from the basic lists to round yourself out.

When the NGE hit, the players literally had nothing to do after the end game. I can't italicize, bold text, capitalize, or otherwise augment the word "nothing" enough, so I won't try. There was no point at all to playing the game for anything new to do afterwards. And this didn't change for months. So in the end, most of the few holdout players did finally bail out.

So for me, that was what did it. Having practically an infinite amount to do to improve my character, to suddenly having nothing at all to do, was the NGE's biggest failure IMO. I might have given the changes more of a chance if Sony had bothered to think through giving me some post end game content.

Iskareot's Avatar


Iskareot
03.08.2012 , 09:21 AM | #23
Quote: Originally Posted by Wolfninjajedi View Post
It wasn't as bad as people made it out to be, at first? Ya ok I can go with it being bad. But over time when more and more content was introduced it became a nice playable game, not like it once was but it kept those who sill played happy. Those that left never gave it a chance, or did then left but never bothered to check up on all the updates and everything afterwards. But those that stayed, enjoyed it for what it is.
Yes all 500 people that left enjoyed it --

I tell ya you fan bois...

YES SOME OF US CAME BACK --

YES WE TRIED IT --

Do not assume we did not, what you should assume is that it was so bad people stayed away from the game that won "The worst MMO" for three years straight on MMOPORGs site.

What you should tell people is the President of the company said it was his worst mistake he made making that change.

What you should mention is that it was soooo bad they had to merge servers down to nothing because NOBODY WAS PLAYING IT.

What you should have said is that sadly when they changed the game and tried to make it a over the shoulder shooter it was a huge fail and at no time did anyone ask for it or want it.

What you should mention is that the game failed so bad that entire towns were left in ruins... people did leave in droves and that yes the game changed so much by making Jedi a CLICK ON LUKES HEAD thus making it a useless class and making the efforts made by many people worthless.

What you also forgot to mention -- THE FREAKING UI CHANGE ??? yeah.. that was not even hard.

It's funny because at no time was it (GOOD OR FINISHED)...... so please... do not make us post all the links from the people of SOE saying how they wished they had not done it.. don't.

On a side note: Jeff Freeman posted and said prior to him taking his own life sadly he WISHED HE NEVER MADE THE NGE OR HELPED WITH IT.

SO with that said, I think it is pretty safe to say the NGE was a trainwreck of a move.

OH HEY BUT IM SURE IT WILL BE AROUND FOR A WHILE...

Oh wait... They deleted the game... so yeah, I think that fact speaks for itself.
Iskareot Sith/Rokareot Jedi sqd "Iknowwhatpinkbootswere"...
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Jmannseelo's Avatar


Jmannseelo
03.08.2012 , 02:10 PM | #24
Quote: Originally Posted by Erevan_Kindelar View Post
For the rest of us, who really enjoyed the chance to explore a planet without f***ing Exhaustion Zones <snip> loved it.
Not to single you out, but I've seen this complaint many times as an alleged "shortcoming" of TOR compared to SWG and it really doesn't hold up to scrutiny. SWG might not have literally had Exhaustion Zones it's true, but every planet had invisible barriers that you couldn't get past even though you could clearly see past them and there were no obstacles in the way. This is no more realistic than Exhaustion Zones and it allowed for no more freedom whatsoever. Both games have/had points you couldn't cross and both enforced it artificially because there is no other real way to enforce it. Ok, so one does minuscule damage until you leave of your own accord and the other imposes an invisible "force field" but as far as affecting your ability to explore a planet the two are virtually identical.

So please, can we lay this falsehood to rest?

Maxell_Snow's Avatar


Maxell_Snow
03.08.2012 , 03:39 PM | #25
Quote: Originally Posted by Jmannseelo View Post
Not to single you out, but I've seen this complaint many times as an alleged "shortcoming" of TOR compared to SWG and it really doesn't hold up to scrutiny. SWG might not have literally had Exhaustion Zones it's true, but every planet had invisible barriers that you couldn't get past even though you could clearly see past them and there were no obstacles in the way. This is no more realistic than Exhaustion Zones and it allowed for no more freedom whatsoever. Both games have/had points you couldn't cross and both enforced it artificially because there is no other real way to enforce it. Ok, so one does minuscule damage until you leave of your own accord and the other imposes an invisible "force field" but as far as affecting your ability to explore a planet the two are virtually identical.

So please, can we lay this falsehood to rest?
The only planets where this holds true were the wookie planet, instances, and mustafar.

EVERY other planet you could cross from one edge of the map to the other. Yes planets were "rectangle maps" but you could freely travel any direction.

There were zero invisible barriers on the core worlds except at maps' edges.

Jmannseelo's Avatar


Jmannseelo
03.08.2012 , 03:45 PM | #26
Quote: Originally Posted by Maxell_Snow View Post
The only planets where this holds true were the wookie planet, instances, and mustafar.

EVERY other planet you could cross from one edge of the map to the other. Yes planets were "rectangle maps" but you could freely travel any direction.

There were zero invisible barriers on the core worlds except at maps' edges.
Likewise for TOR and exhaustion zones. The only exception I can think of is Tatooine, and that's just one planet where it makes sense to have areas too dangerous to travel in. Either way, one planet hardly constitutes a widespread misuse of Exhaustion Zones.

Unless you're talking about city planets like Nar Shaddaa/Coruscant with real hallways and such blocking your way. In which case I definitely give the accolades to TOR over SWG. I wish that SWG offered nearly the variety that TOR does in it's planetscapes. All of those uniformly wide open planets, only with different colored trees, grass and rocks got old.

Ybini's Avatar


Ybini
03.08.2012 , 03:57 PM | #27
Quote: Originally Posted by TKMaster View Post
Imagine you had played TOR for 2 years+, then with no warning, no notice, nothing but rumors from players that got banned on the spot.....Bioware took the game down for a few days and removed your class and forced you pick another one, made all your items obsolete, and fundamentally changed the game play of TOR. That was the NGE for SWG.
This is it exactly. All your uber loot, gone, all your gear worthless, all your resources worthless. Crafting was broken for 6+ months so their fix was to hand out gear at each level that was better than what anyone could craft. Any bonuses you thought you got were gone, your one perk if you grinded and unlocked the ability to play jedi? You get to glow like Obwan with a buff. But essentially it was telling everyone, start over.

BrandonSM's Avatar


BrandonSM
03.08.2012 , 04:14 PM | #28
Quote: Originally Posted by Xanikk View Post
Everywhere I heard the patch that introduced new game enhancement for star wars galaxy was a terrible betrayal and horrible. People said subscribers left in flocks.

I can't find much of anything about NGE on the star wars wiki, can someone give me a detailed explanation on why this patch was so bad and how it caused so many people to quit? I have never played SWG but it has intrigued me.
The reason they had the NGE was to try and increase Sales. SWG was doing really bad apparently.
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Chessack's Avatar


Chessack
03.08.2012 , 04:46 PM | #29
Quote: Originally Posted by Xanikk View Post
Everywhere I heard the patch that introduced new game enhancement for star wars galaxy was a terrible betrayal and horrible. People said subscribers left in flocks.

I can't find much of anything about NGE on the star wars wiki, can someone give me a detailed explanation on why this patch was so bad and how it caused so many people to quit? I have never played SWG but it has intrigued me.
The reason it was a betrayal had to do with the lies told preceding its launch. There were classes who kept being told, "You are getting an update next" all through the months prior to it, and then they were told with the "Trials of Obi-Wan" expansion that they would get those updates (like new pets for Creature Handlers). People were encouraged to pre-order the Trials expansion ON THAT BASIS (new pets for your CH). Then the day AFTER everyone's credit card was charged for Trials, SOE announced that NGE was going to eliminate those very classes from the game that they had said were getting new content in Trials. So you got your new pet for 2 weeks, and then your prof was deleted from the game (etc).

This was such a clear case of marketing fraud that it was rumored that the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) was investigating, and eventually SOE had to offer to refund the money of anyone who was unhappy with Trials -- essentially reversing years of SOE policy that they never refund anything.

Lies like this were told all through the summer and fall the year the NGE was released, utterly destroying SOE's credibility with the player base and causing many of us to cancel our accounts without really even trying the NGE -- just on principle.

It'd be like when 1.2 of TOR comes out, now that they have all these new crystals for sabers and stuff, they take all Force-using characters out of the game.

DarthBloodloss's Avatar


DarthBloodloss
03.08.2012 , 05:27 PM | #30
Jedi were a clear cut alpha class at the start. It took weeks to months to unlock your jedi character slot. Here is what they used as the secret conditions to unlock a jedi on your account:

1) You had to gain max level (Master) in X number of professions
2) At the beginning, X = 5
3) As more people unlocked the jedi slot, X increased
4) By the time most people read about the actual method to unlock, X was already equal to 25 or more. There were only 32 professions in the game, and by the time someone realized the method and starting Mastering professions, the X had risen to 29, 30, 31, or 32.

I was a super hardcore player. I played from day 1 and probably played way too much. I had to master 31 out of 32 professions and I finished on the night before the system was removed.

I would say only 1 in about 15 people unlocked a Jedi, if that. I was in a "hardcore" guild and there were only a handful of Jedi unlocked.

But Jedi were extremely powerful. There was constand open world PvP and a leveled Jedi was easily worth 10 non-Jedi. There would be raids vs other guild's cities, in an attempt to destroy their Imperial/Rebel bases, just for fun.

If your side had a few Jedi and the other side didn't, you win. Most jedi were very good DPS, strong Tanks, and could self heal. There were also Jedi skill trees that let you CC other players for 60 seconds, or make yourself immune to damage for up to 3-4 minutes! There was Jedi invisibility, super speed force run like in the movies, force choke, force lightning, HoT, Saber throws, and Jedi could also equip uber guns to use when at max range before closing with an enemy.

Then the NGE hit and Jedi were balanced and became a regular class that anyone could use. They were no longer overpowered. But there was a solid, I dunno, 6-12 months where they were the clear cut alpha class.
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