Continued Shakeups on The Old Republic Team

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#51 Posted by MrBubbles (831 posts) -

well i've loved this game from the start and it sucks to see the dev. team go down hill.

#52 Posted by DCam (126 posts) -

I would honestly play SWTOR so much more if there was a native Mac client. I run os x as my primary os so that I can do iPhone dev (and because the tasty unix core makes nearly all development more straightforward). The reboot in to windows is a big barrier. I would probably bounce in and out once a week at least, but as it is I haven't logged in for months. Blizzard's approach of cross-platform games right from the beginning, and somewhat less aggressive technical requirements means I have bought and enjoyed every Blizzard release since Diablo -- with Warcraft II I borrowed one of the disks from a friend... and Warcraft, I ZModem'd from another friend. (For off-site back up purposes, of course.)

At this point in my life I play and stick with the games that are convenient for me to play but I still enjoy "hardcore" games like Starcraft II, Diablo III or Civ V. Maybe even TF now and then. Games that are windows-only and demanding on hardware aren't convenient. If SWTOR was more convenient to play, I would play it more often.

I am still a subscriber, so they'll lose my money if they go free to play. Since I won't be playing often, I won't be buying often either.

#53 Posted by Godzilla_Sushi (1084 posts) -

For all my bombers and gamers who are skeptics, this game has gotten some major and significant updates from 1.3 back. Recently they put in a bunch of "needs" in order to make it competitive with other games in the genre. I know it probably left a bad taste it it's wake at release, but PvP and PvE have both been overhauled and balanced. Servers have been merged and the community/economy is solid on them now.

I really enjoy the game, but I can probably recommend it to my own friends at this point and I wouldn't have before. Hopefully it starts to grow, because it's not a bad game at all. MMO's always get better.

My two cents ;)

#55 Posted by Grimluck343 (1156 posts) -

@Pinworm45 said:

@Grimluck343 said:

Remember how this game was supposed to kill WoW?

No? No one ever said it would. The only thing people ever said was "lol there's no way this game will kill WoW" because they wanted to feel superior to group of people that doesn't actually exist. No one, anywhere, ever thought this game would "kill WoW". Ever.

Seriously. Even google searching "swtor will kill wow" just brings up people being sarcastic and making fun of this non existent group of people.

Guess I struck a little too close to home.

#56 Posted by DrDarkStryfe (1152 posts) -

You cannot release an MMO that can compete with WoW. People expect that amount of content and support from day one, or else the new game just becomes the flavor of the month.

My guess is that TOR becomes a free to play title at the one year anniversary of its release.

#57 Posted by project343 (2835 posts) -

@theimmortalbum said:

I feel like this is not going to end well for SWTOR. Which is somewhat of a shame - I liked the story hooks but I'm beyond tired of typical MMO gameplay.

But is it really the gameplay? A fair number of modern day RPGs use the same sort of hotkey combat. The problem was the really mundane quest design. It was literally just a collection of 'kill X/20' and 'collect Y/6.' While the story hooks were a little refreshing, they simply could not maintain my personal interest when the end result was some dated-as-fuck objectives.

I think a good supporter of my point is The Secret World. I mean, that game has a significantly more clunky combat system, but the narrative is so interlinked with some of the best quest design I've seen in the MMO genre that it makes the whole leveling experience a joy--even if killing stuff isn't nearly as interesting.

I'm at the point where I sort of wish they released this game as a cooperative open world RPG with a lot of those mundane quests cut entirely from the experience. It would have made for a really solid seller. They could even throw in a cash shop for maintenance akin to the original Guild Wars.

#58 Posted by SagaciousJones (142 posts) -
#59 Posted by Plipster (132 posts) -

Well, I still think it's a good game at least. :(

#60 Edited by CrossTheAtlantic (1146 posts) -

@SagaciousJones said:

Who will create those 500 worlds now if they lay off all of the staff?

The craziest part about that is that they expect the game to run past 2025. Clearly, someone was assuming this thing would be beyond huge.

#61 Posted by fox01313 (5088 posts) -

Wonder if my ex-coworker is there still, got hired recently by Bioware & might have been affected by this. As much as I want to work at Bioware (as I feel they've always been quite solid on the art styles of their games), glad I wasn't around for this as it'd have sucked to started work there only to be let go. Best of luck to all those people hit by this.

#62 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

@Grimluck343 said:

@Pinworm45 said:

@Grimluck343 said:

Remember how this game was supposed to kill WoW?

No? No one ever said it would. The only thing people ever said was "lol there's no way this game will kill WoW" because they wanted to feel superior to group of people that doesn't actually exist. No one, anywhere, ever thought this game would "kill WoW". Ever.

Seriously. Even google searching "swtor will kill wow" just brings up people being sarcastic and making fun of this non existent group of people.

Guess I struck a little too close to home.

No?

#63 Edited by EXTomar (4916 posts) -

Bioware did beat the drum really hard about how story matters a lot in MMOs. They also said that the "1-2-3 key" combat wasn't exciting. Look what happened instead.

#64 Posted by DFSVegas (356 posts) -

I'm confused. These are clearly layoffs that were going to happen regardless of this game's success.

Why the somber tone in the comments?

#65 Posted by BionicRadd (617 posts) -

they'll go free to play, mimmick the F2P model many other successful MMOs are using and make way more money than they are, now. I have no idea why this game didn't launch as F2P. The license alone will bring people running to try it and hiding some of the fun behind the pay wall will steal their money.

#66 Posted by Rawson (136 posts) -

It'a almost like releasing a 2005 MMO in 2011 wasn't a very smart idea.

#67 Posted by Hailinel (25201 posts) -

My sympathies to those affected by the job cuts.

#68 Edited by Jensonb (1764 posts) -

Fully F2P within one year of today. That's my prediction. Frankly, I feel like the single biggest error they made was going for a subscription model in the first place. Lucasarts in particular have a lot to answer for, they should have known better. They tried that once before and achieved only limited success for a limited period. There really wasn't any reasonable reason to expect the same strategy to work better now.

They should have followed the (Original) Phantasy Star Online/Guild Wars model of MMO. That would have done much better. There are too many subscription fees demanding consumers' money each month these days. They're not just competing against WoW for subscribers, people have limited entertainment budgets and ever-increasing options for how to spend it. They're competing against WoW, Xbox LIVE, PlayStation Network Plus, Netflix, Spotify, Hulu Plus and many others.

Frankly, with all those multi-platform and multi-game subscription fees, it's a miracle even World of Warcraft isn't hemorrhaging users left and right. I'm pretty sure the only reason it's not is that it's been around long enough that people are essentially tied to it (Even if they've let subscriptions lapse and gone back to it, it's longevity protects it). There is certainly no significant number of new WoW subscribers to speak of.

Edit: They could go Episodic, that would work. Ditch the monthly fee and instead sell regular additional content for $10-$20 a time every 3-6 months. It's a story-driven MMO anyway. People would buy it.

#69 Posted by Berserker6666 (19 posts) -

Sure, I know what you mean EA

"EA says BioWare Austin layoffs are part of the plan and our ACTUAL plan is to make as much money out of BioWare till the well runs dry. Basically, Bioware, just like all the other companies we acquired, are expandable"

#70 Posted by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Killed by an MMO. RiP. Bioware.

#71 Posted by thefriend (158 posts) -

EA is draining the life out of every game company is picks up. Bioware is it's current host. It's sad, but tbh it's true. RIP bioware. Go to hell EA.

#72 Posted by RE_Player1 (7573 posts) -

I bought Old Republic a month ago for $20 and I like it a lot. I at least want to get 3 or 4 characters to level 50. Shame about these layoffs.

#73 Posted by DougQuaid (1275 posts) -

@DFSVegas said:

I'm confused. These are clearly layoffs that were going to happen regardless of this game's success.

Why the somber tone in the comments?

Because, if there's one game everyone likes to shit on, it's this one.

#74 Posted by xxNBxx (980 posts) -

@DrDarkStryfe said:

You cannot release an MMO that can compete with WoW. People expect that amount of content and support from day one, or else the new game just becomes the flavor of the month.

My guess is that TOR becomes a free to play title at the one year anniversary of its release.

One would hope, but like some MMO's they just don't go free to play. Rift still hasn't neither has Warhammer.

#75 Posted by EDfromRED (128 posts) -

I've been playing the game since February and love it! Fantastic storylines and combat. PvP Warzones are always fun. I was beginning to get frustrated the last few months with low server pop, but the transfers fixed all that, and then some. It reminds me of the fun I had playing the original TOR, except on a gigantically larger scale.

Maybe I'm just easy to please, but since I started playing, it's taken up about 90%-95% of all my gameing time.

#76 Posted by Chris2KLee (2337 posts) -

Good luck to everyone who lost their jobs, I hope they can all find work somewhere soon. EA bet big on SWTOR, but the market had shifted past the $15 monthly model MMO's were used to. If I was the Elder Scrolls MMO team, I'd take a hard look at the SWTOR situation and think about the business model they plan to launch with.

#77 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1849 posts) -
@EXTomar Are you actually talking to anyone or just ranting to yourself?
#78 Posted by Hailinel (25201 posts) -

@CrossTheAtlantic said:

@SagaciousJones said:

Who will create those 500 worlds now if they lay off all of the staff?

The craziest part about that is that they expect the game to run past 2025. Clearly, someone was assuming this thing would be beyond huge.

That's the first time I heard either of those claims. I mean...what the hell?

#79 Posted by coakroach (2492 posts) -

How could they not see this from miles away?

#80 Posted by Jack_Lafayette (3422 posts) -

There you go, folks. The Old Republic was such a black hole that it's dragging the local economy down with it.
 
The above statement was intended to be humorous, and is not representative of the political, economic, or religious views of the CBSi corporation or its subsidiaries.

#81 Posted by connerthekewlkid (1849 posts) -
@iAmJohn Sp it looks like that so called defense force never came, too bad
#82 Posted by smcn (926 posts) -

I feel I should point out, to the knee-jerkers in general and in particular: BioWare Austin was created in 2006 specifically for The Old Republic. This will have no effect on BioWare's other properties. Really, this should have been mentioned in the story itself.

#83 Edited by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

Bioware is already doomed. It'll go the same way the other companies EA has cannibalized. A damn shame, really.

#84 Edited by jasondesante (604 posts) -

"we didnt test our game realistically before releasing, so we're doing some dark shit in the background and want you to please for gods sake play our game so we can make money."

#85 Posted by smcn (926 posts) -

@ahaisthisourchance said:

Bioware is already doomed. It'll go the same was a the other companies EA has cannibalized. A damn shame, really.

What are you basing this off of, exactly? As far as I can tell, Pandemic (which they acquired alongside BioWare as part of a larger holding group) is the only recent studio that was bought and then closed after Mercenaries 2 and The Saboteur did poorly. The only other "big name" studio hit by layoffs recently was Visceral which still went off to release Dead Space 2. Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Origins were both "post-acquisition" releases from BioWare and also critically acclaimed.

As much pull as the BioWare name has, I think everyone can agree that TOR was in development for far too long and released with an antiquated business model. It was more or less doomed from the start, and that is what these layoffs reflect; certainly not the "end of BioWare."

#86 Posted by iAmJohn (6131 posts) -

@connerthekewlkid said:

@iAmJohn Sp it looks like that so called defense force never came, too bad

It turns out no one has posted in Good Luck Have Bothans in almost two weeks. :X

#87 Posted by Fjordson (2453 posts) -

Remember when this was going to kill WoW? And people swore up and down it was going to be the greatest MMO ever. That was great.

It's sad what BioWare has become. Everything they put out as of late just reeks of mediocrity. A far cry from their heyday as one of the greatest RPG developers in the business.

#88 Posted by Joeybagad0nutz (1438 posts) -

Should have just done KOTOR 3 instead of mmorpg bullshit.....

#89 Posted by Viking_Funeral (1856 posts) -
@smcn EA has also bought then cannabalized Westwood Studios, Maxis, Bullfrog, Origin Studios (then named their online service after them), and others I can't think of off the top of my head. They've been doing this a long time.

And BioWare is definitely in trouble. Their last big game is still Dragon Age: Origins. Mass Effect gets the talk, but the sales are just barely enough.
#90 Posted by Xeridae (42 posts) -

There is just nothing compelling about the game. The classes are dull and while the voice over was a nice touch it becomes overkill when you have every quest giver doing it. I thought I would like a fully voiced game but honestly it would have been better if only the class quests and flashpoints were voiced. Everything else seems unnecessary.

I think the biggest failure of the team that made this game is that they didn't test the market enough before they started working on the game. They didn't seem to really know what their target audience wanted and still don't. They definitely put effort into it but it just seemed like the effort was coming from what they felt made a good MMO and not what their players felt. That kind of design philosophy works on a single player game which is what Bioware has been good at but doesn't work for a MMO.

At this point I'd welcome a really good sandbox MMO.

#91 Posted by Damolition (120 posts) -

I can't speak for all the game as I only played one class to level 50, but I somewhat enjoyed myself. Lots of obvious flaws to the game but I can't justify why there would be so much hate around it.

The first two acts of my imperial agent story kept me quite hooked.

#92 Posted by smcn (926 posts) -

@Paul_Is_Drunk said:

@smcn EA has also bought then cannabalized Westwood Studios, Maxis, Bullfrog, Origin Studios (then named their online service after them), and others I can't think of off the top of my head. They've been doing this a long time.

I tried to stick with recent history. Obviously they screwed the pooch with Westwood. Maxis was going under when EA bought them, now The Sims is a money making machine and the new SimCity looks very promising. As for Origin, EA using the name for an online service is silly, but using it as a bullet against EA is just as silly, and Ultima Online was a huge success in its day.

And BioWare is definitely in trouble. Their last big game is still Dragon Age: Origins. Mass Effect gets the talk, but the sales are just barely enough.

I hate talking numbers, mostly because getting accurate numbers is nigh impossible, but also because DLC is a huge factor. Nothing I can find indicates that Dragon Age: Origins "significantly" outsold Mass Effect 2. Reported first-month sales of Mass Effect 3 doubled that of ME2, which in turn outdid DA:O. But really, if we're talking about earnings, DLC is where it's at. DA:O had an atrocious DLC model compared to ME2. It wouldn't surprise me if Lair of the Shadow Broker and Overlord alone outsold all of DA:O's DLC offerings combined. ME3's multiplayer packs are surely making a mint, or at least enough to offset the detour of putting together Extended Cut instead of proper paid single-player DLC.

So far, everything out of BioWare proper has been immensely profitable, even the much maligned Dragon Age 2. You can believe EA when they say that these layoffs at BioWare Austin are part of the plan for The Old Republic or not. But to use these layoffs -- layoffs at a splinter studio which was created for the sole purpose of developing and maintaining a single game -- as a sign of the end-times for BioWare as a whole is simply ludicrous.

#93 Posted by kagato (950 posts) -

It has its flaws but i still really enjoy playing this game, started a new character last night with a friend so will be rejoining the GB guild just shortly after the whole server move thing. Its a little sad when last year you couldnt move for bumping into someone and now its a bit like a ghost town at some points. I really hope the game dosent collapse in on itself, there is still a lot they could do to make this more exciting for new players, im not sure that free to play would help them considering how much they have already spent and then theres the question of how they fund further content.

Regardless, happy jumping between this, PSO2, DCUO and STO for the time being, kinda hedging my bets a little so that if one does die i have somewhere else to get my fix.

#94 Posted by bemusedchunk (708 posts) -
#95 Posted by JesterPC238 (345 posts) -

The funny part is that there was much more fan support for Star Wars Galaxies pre-Rage of the Wookie. Then SOE went and fucked it up. The real rub is that SWTOR is the antithesis of that game at the height of its popularity. Makes you think...

#96 Edited by EXTomar (4916 posts) -

@coakroach said:

How could they not see this from miles away?

This is always an interesting question. The game was planned out 2006~ when at the time it seemed to make sense that Bioware could make a game that was much more popular than Star Wars Galaxy. Time marches on and the environment changes and the tech changes and the market changes. At 2010 they have sunk too much into the game to throw it away or delay it further.

Plenty of people probably did see it coming a mile away but they frankly had no choice but to delay and ask for money on a project that is overdue and cost a metric crapton of money or release it.

As for the future, the most popular is that SWTOR goes Free To Play but I wonder if they just sell off what is left of the whole unit to some one else. A real indicator will be what much attention and improvement they have for their first real expansion.

#97 Posted by IcarusFoundYou (145 posts) -

In other news, deck chairs on Titanic being rearranged

#98 Edited by Mumrik (1088 posts) -

The coverage of this game is weird.

I always expected it to bomb bigtime, not just because it looked horrible every time they showed it and did nothing to deliver the KotOR 3-9 (or whatever it was) experience they were promising, but because it has been obvious for many years now that investing hundreds of millions in an MMO not called WoW is a bad idea. I gave the free trial a shot and quit in disgust before even leveling up. It simply had that wallpaper taste to me. To me, I was right all along, but to be fair, I find most MMOs to be absurdly uninteresting...

Anyway, my point here is that though the coverage from the press before the release, and for a while after, was all hype and positivity, it has changed to doom and gloom in the last few months. Everybody is talking like I was right and the game actually bombed and sucked. The truth is that I was wrong though - if EA/Bioware are to be believed the game ended up being profitable (and the reviews were pretty good too - 85% on Metacritic), even if it isn't competition for WoW. So why is the press jumping on every single story about falling subscription numbers and layoffs? If you aren't Blizzard, then that seems to be the natural progression for an MMO. Subscription numbers drop pretty fast a few months after release and many people who bought the game never sign up for the monthly payments. You lay people off as the numbers fall and the game transitions from development into support. ToR had a pretty huge dev. staff and initially sold big time. Things have changed since then.

#99 Posted by Zaapp1 (660 posts) -

It's too bad if this is really due to some commercial failing rather than part of their plan. The latest update to SWTOR actually looks pretty cool, and I like what they're doing with it, even if I haven't played in a few months.

#100 Posted by LordMuffin (36 posts) -

It is sad that they lost their jobs. I just don't understand the hate for TOR. Its a solid as any other MMO so I guess I just don't get it. The game isn't perfect but I think the game is good and they keep pumping features and content into it. I enjoy it and continue to play a couple days a week.

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