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A SWTOR Context


FlameYOL's Avatar


FlameYOL
01.20.2019 , 01:17 PM | #11
Interesting, you've pretty much contextualized things in a pretty comprehensible manner. Its interesting to wonder how many things that they were planning during the early days of production that were re-used, or adapted in some way. I remember in one livestream Mr Boyd spoke how the Shroud's characterization came from an idea of a spy playing both sides.
A man can have anything...If he's willing to sacrifice everything

Ardrossan's Avatar


Ardrossan
01.20.2019 , 03:05 PM | #12
What annoys me is that BW should have told us all this years ago. This is the sort of information that would give BW some measure of rationalization for its bizarre and seemingly oblivious decisions over the years. Instead, it infuriates me because there's nothing in here that should have been kept from us, and by doing so they only served to look apathetic and / or incompetent.

Take some lessons, Musco. The playerbase would have been a lot kindlier disposed to the devs if this information had been made available to us, officially, when KOTFEET first dropped.

Ylliarus's Avatar


Ylliarus
01.20.2019 , 03:24 PM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by Ardrossan View Post
What annoys me is that BW should have told us all this years ago. This is the sort of information that would give BW some measure of rationalization for its bizarre and seemingly oblivious decisions over the years. Instead, it infuriates me because there's nothing in here that should have been kept from us, and by doing so they only served to look apathetic and / or incompetent.

Take some lessons, Musco. The playerbase would have been a lot kindlier disposed to the devs if this information had been made available to us, officially, when KOTFEET first dropped.
Perhaps we're pointing at the wrong "someone" when it comes to who withholds information. Because it's not Eric Musco who thinks "hmm, let me hold this or that back from the public", because he isn't the person calling the shots. That's EA.

So I would say, blame EA for the fact Bioware hadn't shared that information with us. They're the ones who can put people or entities under a NDA. They're the ones who call the shots in regards what can be revealed to us and what not.

Eric Musco often receives the blame for not having shared X or Y. But jeez people, he's only the messenger. Don't shoot the messenger.
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Jdast's Avatar


Jdast
01.20.2019 , 03:50 PM | #14
An interesting read. But I would be remiss if I did not point out where the Erickson interview tanked for me.

From your article, you quoted Daniel Erickson as saying his goal was:

“Basically a huge, sprawling, ever expanding BioWare storyline with a multiplayer marketplace, social spaces and PVP.”

I don't know what Erickson's quote even means. I've said this before in response to this quote but I believe it bears repeating here:

His interview to me was vague, bordering on sour grapes. Every MMO has to make a decision on a balance of solo, small group, large group content, as well as PvP and crafting.

But if someone came to me and said, "Let's make this game online with social spaces" my mind would have instantly gone to Barrens Chat in WoW and jokes about Mankrik's wife. A GTN / Markteplace -- okay, but that doesn't sustain an online game experience. The only online justification was PvP, something BW is not really known for.

With that said, it was an interesting read, but frankly -- had I been a financial backer and Erickson presented me with what he said in that interview, it would have been a resounding "No" in terms of investment. Can't fault EA IMHO, at least for this aspect.

Dasty

TonyTricicolo's Avatar


TonyTricicolo
01.20.2019 , 03:55 PM | #15
Best thing I've read in a long time. It feels like we've finally gotten some closure in terms what the flying DUCK is going on with this game.
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Ardrossan's Avatar


Ardrossan
01.20.2019 , 04:09 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by Ylliarus View Post
Perhaps we're pointing at the wrong "someone" when it comes to who withholds information. Because it's not Eric Musco who thinks "hmm, let me hold this or that back from the public", because he isn't the person calling the shots. That's EA.

So I would say, blame EA for the fact Bioware hadn't shared that information with us. They're the ones who can put people or entities under a NDA. They're the ones who call the shots in regards what can be revealed to us and what not.

Eric Musco often receives the blame for not having shared X or Y. But jeez people, he's only the messenger. Don't shoot the messenger.
As has been discussed previously, Musco has more control over what to tell the community and what not to, then his defenders believe. We know this on the basis of how things were conducted when he went on holidays around the time the Rishi SH was being prepared.

But fair enough, I'm happy to extend the blame to BW/EA as a whole.

Kryptonomic's Avatar


Kryptonomic
01.20.2019 , 04:32 PM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by Jdast View Post
His interview to me was vague, bordering on sour grapes. Every MMO has to make a decision on a balance of solo, small group, large group content, as well as PvP and crafting.
This is very fair and it's certainly a viable interpretation. The main thing, I think, is to realize that there was one vision for SWTOR and then that became another vision entirely. And that necessitated a whole series of changes, both in terms of teams, technology, and content.

It was very disappointing for a lot of people who were excited about one vision but now being somewhat forced to accommodate another. So it's not only likely but downright certain that there were some ingrained viewpoints that could lead one to be a bit bitter. (Wait until the full chronicle of what happened with Star Wars 1313 or the Visceral game comes out. There is some very bad feelings floating around there that any interview would immediately surface.)

Regarding interviews in general, you have to be very careful what you do and don't say and how expansive you are allowed to be. But it is also hard to be dispassionate about something that you cared deeply about and that is a large part of your career. So it's worth it to be cautionary in terms of what we read but also not to dismiss it outright. (I'm not saying you're being inappropriately dismissive; and you're certainly being appropriately cautious.) You often learn more from the interviews that are a bit biased than you do from the ones that are "just the facts."

Quote:
With that said, it was an interesting read, but frankly -- had I been a financial backer and Erickson presented me with what he said in that interview, ...
Again, fair point but keep in mind what was said off-the-cuff in an interview does not equate to the pitch that was made internally. Also keep in mind that internal pitches are much more elaborate in terms of providing a basis for why product teams should be aligned around the effort and the details provided there are much more than what you get in an interview.

What was at debate was really what was a better revenue model: a WoW-clone with expansions or a single-player RPG with some multiplayer elements and with regular content updates. The industry is still divided on this in many ways as the results are often contradictory.

None of that, however, is to dismiss your points. There was in fact some initial identity crisis with KOTOR 3 as it eventually became SWTOR, as "competing" groups were attempting to align two very different visions of what the game could and should be. One camp was very much in the mode of the success of something like Dragon Age: Origins (released in 2009) but with a more open world concept as well as the previous KOTOR games while another was very much in the "this is the WoW killer" mentality with all that this entailed.

Clearly it would be easy to caricature and thus mischaracterize either position one cared to. More important, at least from a historical point of view, is to recognize that this disparity in vision existed very early on. To what extent and to what degree that impacted the final result is, of course, a very open question.