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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?

Bomsquad's Avatar


Bomsquad
03.07.2012 , 02:12 PM | #11
SWG...the only game "Improved" to death in an effort to make it more "iconic" and "Star Warsy".

I would estimate a majority of the players were happy with the basic Pre-CU version of SWG (minus the bugs, of course). The basic play was solid and enjoyable and the feeling of being in control of ones character was wonderful.

Then came the CU, and in the influx of Jedi. It felt as if several million voices cried out, and were unsubbed. But SWG was able to plug on, since the basic gameplay was still intact, just the underlying numbers had changed. New content was added, and there was much rejoicing...

But then came NGE....without warning the game went from a complex combination of skills and decisions and truly unique combinations to cookie cutter charaters running around. Ugh.

Good Riddance.
Do or do not....there is no try.

ColisCarlyle's Avatar


ColisCarlyle
03.07.2012 , 02:47 PM | #12
This post keeps turning into a rant, so I'll try to summarize very quickly...

SWG was originally a sandbox game.

It also had a lot of issues, and eventually only people who were playing it were (a) people who really liked the sandbox, (b) people who only played because all their friends were also playing, and (c) people who only played because it was the only Star Wars MMO available.

(That's a sweeping generalization, of course, but it seemed that way to me...)

Some executives then looked at how WoW was doing, asked themselves why a game with the Star Wars license wasn't doing that well, and they decided that something had to be done.

(Insert quote: Something must be done. This is something, therefore we must do it.)

Deciding that sandbox games were a small niche market, they apparently decided to throw away their existing, small customer base, in favor of attracting a new, larger customer base.

So, overnight, they turned the sandbox game into a WoW clone, removing all the critical sandbox elements. Pretty much everyone in customer group (a) left almost immediately, myself among them, holding bitter grudges against SOE to this day, and suffering twinges of painful nostalgia whenever we see a thread like this one.

Unfortunately, the game overhaul was quite incredibly shoddy in ways that almost defy belief. One quick example - The Jump Key. Originally, there was no jump key, the game not being Mario. But players like to jump, right? So they made the spacebar move the character up and down. This served no purpose whatsoever, and it still worked when you were dead. They Just Didn't Care indeed.

And so, the massive influx of players they were hoping for never happened, or at least it didn't for a long time. Instead, they articles appeared in the New York Times about what a poorly thought-out disaster it had been, and hopefully, at least by now, the industry might just have learned a very important lesson.

Perhaps not well enough, but we shall see...

RagnarokJC's Avatar


RagnarokJC
03.07.2012 , 03:34 PM | #13
Quote: Originally Posted by ColisCarlyle View Post
This post keeps turning into a rant, so I'll try to summarize very quickly...

SWG was originally a sandbox game.

It also had a lot of issues, and eventually only people who were playing it were (a) people who really liked the sandbox, (b) people who only played because all their friends were also playing, and (c) people who only played because it was the only Star Wars MMO available.

(That's a sweeping generalization, of course, but it seemed that way to me...)

Some executives then looked at how WoW was doing, asked themselves why a game with the Star Wars license wasn't doing that well, and they decided that something had to be done.

(Insert quote: Something must be done. This is something, therefore we must do it.)

Deciding that sandbox games were a small niche market, they apparently decided to throw away their existing, small customer base, in favor of attracting a new, larger customer base.

So, overnight, they turned the sandbox game into a WoW clone, removing all the critical sandbox elements. Pretty much everyone in customer group (a) left almost immediately, myself among them, holding bitter grudges against SOE to this day, and suffering twinges of painful nostalgia whenever we see a thread like this one.

Unfortunately, the game overhaul was quite incredibly shoddy in ways that almost defy belief. One quick example - The Jump Key. Originally, there was no jump key, the game not being Mario. But players like to jump, right? So they made the spacebar move the character up and down. This served no purpose whatsoever, and it still worked when you were dead. They Just Didn't Care indeed.

And so, the massive influx of players they were hoping for never happened, or at least it didn't for a long time. Instead, they articles appeared in the New York Times about what a poorly thought-out disaster it had been, and hopefully, at least by now, the industry might just have learned a very important lesson.

Perhaps not well enough, but we shall see...
Well said, as this pretty much summed up what the hell the execs at SOE (and Mr Smedley) were thinking, if you could call it that. They decided that a few hundred thousand subscribers weren't enough and tried to steal market share from Blizzard by remaking their MMO into "WoW in space". If it weren't for their stupidity, SWG would still be around today as a good niche game, much like EVE Online.
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lordkains's Avatar


lordkains
03.07.2012 , 04:10 PM | #14
So lucasarts never made sony change the game?

Thunder-God's Avatar


Thunder-God
03.07.2012 , 04:16 PM | #15
Quote: Originally Posted by RagnarokJC View Post
Well said, as this pretty much summed up what the hell the execs at SOE (and Mr Smedley) were thinking, if you could call it that. They decided that a few hundred thousand subscribers weren't enough and tried to steal market share from Blizzard by remaking their MMO into "WoW in space". If it weren't for their stupidity, SWG would still be around today as a good niche game, much like EVE Online.
This really sums it up for me...they wanted WoW market share. They tried to turn it from a nice little sandbox game into a themepark. 30+ classes (can't remember the exact number right now) was cut down to 9 classes, completely eliminating some classes, including my main's, Creature Handler (later they tried to reintroduce it, but I had already left). I had 3 accounts with all the expansions...including the last one that was released just prior to them announcing the NGE. I cancelled all three about a week after they introduced the NGE. I gave it a try, but I hated what it had become. I never knew what Pre-CU was like, but I loved what the CU was. It was the first MMO that I really saw myself sticking around for years with.

I chalk up the reason they did this was because of the above, and that they listened to focus groups rather than their community. The community was blindsided by it.
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Roccobb's Avatar


Roccobb
03.07.2012 , 09:16 PM | #16
Quote: Originally Posted by Thunder-God View Post

I chalk up the reason they did this was because of the above, and that they listened to focus groups rather than their community. The community was blindsided by it.
The first time I read the post, I missed this part, but the very last sentence I think is what drove most people away. It cannot be stressed enough, there was no warning.

One day, the day after a major expansion came online, it had to patch again, and there was NGE. It was not that they made changes. They made huge changes, with no warning. Eliminated a lot of the playable professions. Made many of us respec, with no warning.

For those of you who have never had to change to a different profession in a game, it is horrible. When you go 50+ levels learning how to play a character, changing professions to suddenly be a whole new one at 50 is the worst thing ever. For groups, you are that ignorant guy who knows nothing about how to play. You don't know the best combination to make moves in.

But again, it wasn't the changes really. It was the lack of warning. Those who knew about it were under non-disclosure agreements. It was probably the worst customer service experience a game developer has ever done on such a large scale.

TKMaster's Avatar


TKMaster
03.07.2012 , 10:40 PM | #17
Quote: Originally Posted by lordkains View Post
So lucasarts never made sony change the game?
It was both of them, at the time Lucasarts was in the mind set of Star Wars = Gold...then this weird fantasy game was suddenly beating it (at the peak SWG had around 300k subs...in 2003-2004 that was huge). They demanded the game be streamlined and appeal to the masses, something it was never designed to do.

Sony and it's boss John Smedly pissed themselves with excitment and basically patched together an entire new game on the old ones infrastructre in a few months time.

It was both thier fault, LA should have been contented with thier playerbase and built off it and SOE should have developed a game that actually worked.

Tfranco's Avatar


Tfranco
03.07.2012 , 11:03 PM | #18
I wasnt around pre nge/combat upgrade w/e its called but i played post CU and i still enjoyed it. not as good as wow, but it was the best damn starwars mmo until this. Ill admit i really miss flying my ship but hey.
I did play an emulator of the original and ill be honest i thought it sucked, seemed so scattered and i had no clue where i could go and not have abunch of **** easily killing me. but hey w/e lol SWG is the past and this game is the future.

AMKSED's Avatar


AMKSED
03.08.2012 , 02:37 AM | #19
Quote: Originally Posted by Wolfninjajedi View Post
Ya...ok sure 5 players. There was far more then 5 but to each his own. Lasting almost a decade even with the updates/changes isn't a failure in my book.
Because it was licensed to run. So they made the TCG and milked morons of their money.

Cegenaus's Avatar


Cegenaus
03.08.2012 , 02:47 AM | #20
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.
im gonna have to disagree with that last sentence. the game officially died for me when the nge hit and the only thing that kept me around was the community. ive been playing the swgemu for a week now and as unfinished and buggy as it currently is its tons better than the trash called nge
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