Thread: Do you think that SWtOR will take the MMORPG genre in a new direction?
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:03 AM   #1
Saenjaina
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Do you think that SWtOR will take the MMORPG genre in a new direction?

WoW has become the benchmark for later games developed and released in the realm of MMOs. Especially influencing games featuring a 3rd person in a fantasy/sci-fi setting (I wonder if EVE Online's success is because it's so different..? Probably...).

But, to return to the point, it is difficult to start playing a game today without comparing this game with WoW. The smoothness of WoW as well as its solid feel bears witness to Blizzard's skills in developing and releasing a good game.

Since WoW came out (a game that I've been leaving and coming back to numerous times) a lot of other noteworthy games has been released. The ones I personally attended were (to list just a few) LotRO, Vanguard and Age of Conan. But all have failed to bring something new to the table. LotRO is probably the only game that has managed to create a stable community, whereas the others have been disappointments.

Blizzard has been performing one "right" after the other. By turning the game into a casual-friendly game, I think that they have ensured that the game will last much longer than elsewise. Experienced gamers are always on the lookout for new challenges and this crowd is probably one of the hardest ones to please, if that is even possible. But the casual crowd, who might just have entered the gaming scene a few years ago, they can find hundreds of different elements in WoW that will keep them busy for months and maybe years.

WoW has conventionalized the average MMORPG. This both endangers new games as they might not have the guts to create something new, and dare not think out of the box. On the other hand, it is crucial to see what elements of WoW has made it to such a rediculously popular game. This can both be on technical matters and in content.

When I first saw the screens of SWtOR I immediatly bursted out in celebration. The stylized graphics was exactly what I had hoped for. I am myself a firm believer that one of the main reasons for WoW's massive success is that it has stylized graphics that makes it executable on even a scrap computer. When seeing that SWtOR went in this direction, it immediatly came to me that Bioware knew what needed to be done. This is also later confirmed in an interview. Finally, someone has realized this!

I think that gamers today aren't putting too much into the realism of a game. Maybe, when MMORPG games came out at first. Then people thought of them as real-life simulations. But I think that gamers today are more focused on qualities such as good storyline and solid graphics and gameplay. Things doesn't have to resemble real-life 100%. You could even argue that this disrupts the entire purpose. I think that the gaming industry is too concerned with creating realism. This is of course very cool in FPS games, but in more relaxed games we admire the stylized. It is an escape from every-day life.

Well, sorry for letting my stream of thoughts get the best of me there...

Do you think that Bioware has seen the light, in regard to developing a MMORPG game in this day and age? I think that the success of a game is determined by what the demand is in that exact time period, and in the context of what is popular. You could talk about MMORPG paradigms I guess. Right now, we are under the WoW-paradigm, even though I believe that WoW is going drastically down in the near future. They key is to just know where to go from there...

Feel free to come with any thoughts you might have on any matter that I have gone over in the above.


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Old 06-12-2009, 06:22 AM   #2
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Oh, by FAR. The MMO has been missing that crucial RPG element for some time. SWTOR has a strong chance to bring it back, and to its full potential.

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Old 06-12-2009, 06:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saenjaina
The stylized graphics was exactly what I had hoped for. I am myself a firm believer that one of the main reasons for WoW's massive success is that it has stylized graphics that makes it executable on even a scrap computer. When seeing that SWtOR went in this direction, it immediatly came to me that Bioware knew what needed to be done. This is also later confirmed in an interview. Finally, someone has realized this!
I couldn't disagree more, although it will as you say make it accessible (Read Successful).

At First I was like "ayfkm? I thought this was a KotOR related PC release? not a Clone wars game for Nintendo DS" lol.
But their dedication to story and game play has made me look past the Stylized graphics, dedication that as you say, will make it the new benchmark for MMO's.


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Old 06-12-2009, 07:23 AM   #4
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From what I've experienced, stylized graphics in most cases have people on the edge, but they also become acceptable and even admired after some time of getting used to.

But it is indeed a matter of taste. But if pulled off well, the end result may very well be very good.


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Old 06-12-2009, 12:47 PM   #5
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I don't think the stylized graphics really contributed to WoW's success, in the sense that it attracts people. What it does do, however, is make it accessible to a whole range of players, due to low requirements, and making the game unique, so people immediately recognize the game as WoW. I think the same is the case with TOR.

I could well see TOR becoming a new standard in the MMO world. Their focus on story, and element severely missing in other MMO's in one way or another, is what this genre needed, I think. The gameplay is also quite different from other successful MMO's, and if it works well, it could also be the benchmark for future titles.


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Old 06-12-2009, 02:47 PM   #6
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I don't think the stylized graphics really contributed to WoW's success, in the sense that it attracts people. What it does do, however, is make it accessible to a whole range of players, due to low requirements, and making the game unique, so people immediately recognize the game as WoW. I think the same is the case with TOR.
That's also my point.


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Old 06-13-2009, 05:46 PM   #7
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It all depends on EA and Lucas Art. If this two companies let Bioware finish the game the right way and with out rushing it, we could see a new dawn in the mmo genre.
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Old 06-13-2009, 07:21 PM   #8
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Just for the sake of emphasizing a quite interesting part of an interview:

Quote:
"We do have a ship date in mind, but it's a way away, and we wanna get the game done right. I think that when you think of Bioware releases in particular, we are very particular about making sure the game is ready before....rather than saying 'here's a ship day, we'll just through it out the door on that day."


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Old 06-13-2009, 08:37 PM   #9
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EA makes unbearably generic games, and has ruined or scraped several popular lines, such as Command and Conquer. LucasArts has released nothing but failure for the past several games releases, relying heavily on the popularity of their kiddie-oriented, over-marketed LEGO lines.

Bioware has had a shifty reputation and seems particularly good at following orders to cut good content by their backers, see: Every Bioware game, yeah, it varies to some degrees, but some games were particularly horrible.

Also, I highly suspect that TOR will not be as "accessible" as other older games ala WoW. Any new 3D pretty much uses current computer tech as their baseline. In the case of games like WoW that are older, their baseline is much, much lower, and therefore, more accessible to casual players who do not have thousands of dollars to spend on ultra-uber-mega nerd machines, and people who simply don't know computers(even if they buy new stuff).

The "single player" addition to an MMO is less original than it's generally given credit for here, and it can be very 50/50. If the "storyline" can be completed outside the MMO atmosphere, and therefore, make the MMO aspect irrelevant, and hence, underused and make people not want to pay for it. GTA has the single-multi interaction, PSU has it, GW imitates it with it's instanced world, Nwn2 has a completely customizable private mmo aspect.

Anyway, I still prefer to keep my expectations low and be impressed.


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Old 06-13-2009, 08:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Web Rider View Post
EA makes unbearably generic games, and has ruined or scraped several popular lines, such as Command and Conquer. LucasArts has released nothing but failure for the past several games releases, relying heavily on the popularity of their kiddie-oriented, over-marketed LEGO lines.
Bashing EA is so 2007. EA makes games like Dead Space and Mirror's Edge now.

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Bioware has had a shifty reputation and seems particularly good at following orders to cut good content by their backers, see: Every Bioware game, yeah, it varies to some degrees, but some games were particularly horrible.
Shifty reputation? BioWare is well known as one of the best RPG developers in the industry.

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Also, I highly suspect that TOR will not be as "accessible" as other older games ala WoW. Any new 3D pretty much uses current computer tech as their baseline. In the case of games like WoW that are older, their baseline is much, much lower, and therefore, more accessible to casual players who do not have thousands of dollars to spend on ultra-uber-mega nerd machines, and people who simply don't know computers(even if they buy new stuff).
The whole point of SWTOR having "stylized realism" graphics is to make it as accessible as possible to anyone. From what we know, the game will scale very well, so that it will look great on modern rigs but also be able to run on older machines.

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The "single player" addition to an MMO is less original than it's generally given credit for here, and it can be very 50/50. If the "storyline" can be completed outside the MMO atmosphere, and therefore, make the MMO aspect irrelevant, and hence, underused and make people not want to pay for it. GTA has the single-multi interaction, PSU has it, GW imitates it with it's instanced world, Nwn2 has a completely customizable private mmo aspect.
I don't think we know enough about how questing single player and whether areas will be instanced works yet to make judgement on that.


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Old 06-13-2009, 09:10 PM   #11
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Bashing EA is so 2007. EA makes games like Dead Space and Mirror's Edge now.
Games I don't hear anyone who talks about video games talking about any more.

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Shifty reputation? BioWare is well known as one of the best RPG developers in the industry.
That's like saying they're stronger than the neighborood nerd. It's a low bar.

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The whole point of SWTOR having "stylized realism" graphics is to make it as accessible as possible to anyone. From what we know, the game will scale very well, so that it will look great on modern rigs but also be able to run on older machines.
My machine is 4 years old(soon to be 5), it was top of the line, now I have trouble running WoW without all graphics being on the bottom. And trust me, when the settings are that low, it's pretty bad.

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I don't think we know enough about how questing single player and whether areas will be instanced works yet to make judgement on that.
I don't have to know anything to speculate on the planned concept.


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Old 06-13-2009, 09:32 PM   #12
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Games I don't hear anyone who talks about video games talking about any more.
But they are not even close to being "unbearably generic". Dead Space has spawned a sequel and spinoff both in development. Somebody must have liked them.

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That's like saying they're stronger than the neighborood nerd. It's a low bar.
I just don't see how anyone can bash on BioWare anymore. KotOR was game of the year 2003. Mass Effect was critically acclaimed and Mass Effect 2 is one of the most highly anticipated games. And Mass Effect was released before EA bought BioWare, so aside from anything cut from KotOR I don't know what you're referring to about cutting content as the rest of their games were internal IPs.


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My machine is 4 years old(soon to be 5), it was top of the line, now I have trouble running WoW without all graphics being on the bottom. And trust me, when the settings are that low, it's pretty bad.
Such is the nature of the PC gaming industry. You shouldn't expect to be able to run any new games on a machine that old. Never know about TOR though till the system reqs are released. Also, not sure how you can have too much trouble running WoW if the machine was top of the line 4 years ago and WoW was released over 4 years ago.

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I don't have to know anything to speculate on the planned concept.
But you can't form a reasonable opinion from knowing nothing about how it will work. It will be up to you whether you want to solo for the entire game or play with others. I don't think the MMO aspect will ever be irrelevant as you will definitely see and interact with others in major cities.

The thing about that that I can't figure out is how they will do quests in an open world the way they say. Grinding quests work in an open world setting, but there is not supposed to be any grinding required. The flash point we saw in the demo at e3 was instanced, but we also saw that the starting area was not instanced as another player was present but not in your group. I think this is one of the aspects of the game I want to learn about most.


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Old 06-14-2009, 09:33 AM   #13
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I think that SWTOR will be the leader in MMO games for a very long time if it pulls off what it is promising. MMORPGs have had a critical lack of RPG in them since they began, and SWTOR promises to rectify that.

The graphics are, to me, perfectly acceptable. I find that a good artistic direction is far better than realism. Of course, that is down to opinion.




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Old 06-14-2009, 02:18 PM   #14
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MMORPGs have had a critical lack of RPG in them since they began, and SWTOR promises to rectify that.
MMORPG's actually have more RPG than their single-player counterparts, due to the role playing being left to the players and not the NPC's, just like in the tabletop RPG's that the genre evolved from.


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Old 06-15-2009, 03:22 AM   #15
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I'll agree with you there, actually. Basically, the entire RPG genre of games needs to take a look at their roots in TT and give players a lot more freedom...

Of course that is so much easier said than done...




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Old 06-15-2009, 05:18 AM   #16
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It would be nice to be entertained though... I dont really want to pay for a game and a monthly fee to have to imagine and create my own stories and adventures, I want Bioware to create an awesome KotOR story for me to follow and discover(Which I believe they have), I want as much content as they can make, not a sandbox. Post-End game RP, raids and stuff is great, but I want to be part of a Story... I dont play MMO's because I'm lonely or have no life, I play because I want adventure in my spare time. I want a Game to Enjoy, not a cyber life, I want to be a great Warrior in a great War, not a Shopkeeper in a day in the life of Star wars

I think Bioware are making an action packed adventure, not facebook in the old republic.


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Old 06-15-2009, 07:21 AM   #17
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That's the trick; balance.

The epic storyline created for you, but the majority of the little facets of it should be controlled by the player. It should basically be BioWare's story, done your way. At least, that's my opinion.




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