View Full Version : An open Feedback letter - Expectations of SWG in 3 months

06-29-2003, 05:59 PM
I sent this via the feedback forum at the official Station site, but I thought it might spur some discussion here...

Category - General negative feedback.

These are the final conclusions of my beta test experience. With the thousands of posts that hit the forums every day, I highly doubt you were able to read even half of them. I pray that this is read in the constructive light that it is intended. Because I would love to play the game that SOE promised us.

I'm a reflection of the kind of customer Sony CLAIMED that they wanted when they announced this game. I never looked twice at a MMOG before, but this is STAR WARS so I was intrigued. I am a potential new customer who is (was) willing to drop $50 plus the cost of the expansion PLUS a family account so both my girlfriend and I could play. The chances of that are pretty slim now, especially the family account since my girlfriend is even less interested in the game than I am.

And I am not alone. There is another beta tester with a similar story. His girlfriend hates most video games. But she was intrigued for the first time by the idea of SWG. But when she sat down with it, she was seriously disappointed by what she saw. The beta tester himself, an avid EQ player, was equally disappointed for many of the same reasons, but from a different perspective.

The short version of all this is ... you're losing customers from all directions. I can name 4 lost sales from my little microcosm of Star Wars and video game fans. I want to try to explain my theories why.

SWG gave Sony a golden opportunity to break new ground and create a truly different, unique online gaming experience.

So far it has failed.

I'll be coming back for another look at the release version when vehicles are implemented, or at the very least when the SE comes out. It won't truly be "STAR WARS" until I can be on a starship no matter how you gloss it up.

But even before then...

-- I seriously hope there are other ways to get non-combat XP. I expect to find profession-geared missions that grant scouting, merchant, entertainer, etc XP.

-- Please create more ways to get XP besides skinning and gutting wild creatures, cobbling stuff together, and spending endless hours in a cantina. Perhaps allow ways to exchange XP types. Like transfer surveying into general crafting or camping into scouting.

-- I hope you find ways to discourage the AFK entertainer and the general crafting XP grind. Grant more XP for crafting, but take it away if you destroy the item. Don't grant XP for /bandflourish to a person who is idle more than 15 minutes. Something.

-- I will expect to find player-created missions. Whether through an Infochant or a terminal like the bazaar. The game desparately needs ways to get people to interact without resorting to screaming for groups in front of the starport.

-- The advance professions need to be seriously re-tooled. I hope that some day Smuggler, Bounty Hunter, and Commando mean something. The game in general also needs more professions and skill points to go with them. I'd like to assume they will with expansion sets, but after witnessing some of the decisions made in the course of making this game, I can't. I really hope that the Profession X-pansion crusade (www.nexusstorm.com) can influence your direction in this.

-- The first thing I'll be looking for is an easy to find newbie playground to raise those initial skill boxes for solo-players.

-- I expect other technology besides weapons and droids to be integrated into the game. I'd love to see a Holonet, sensors, and jammers. And I sincerely hope that slicing is expanded as a viable occupation, not just a smuggler's perk. Yes Star Wars is fantasy and space opera. But it's also SCIENCE fiction, at least in setting.

I don't think I'm being unreasonable with these expectations.

If I'm going to have to invest in 1 gig of memory just to be able to play this game (because 512 plays choppy as all get out-- I hope to God you raised the minimum specs on the box)... I think it's understandable to have higher expectations of the game beyond just aesthetics.

But as it is now, you will lose many of the MMOG crowd because of the nerfs and grind... and you will lose many of the casual SW fan crowd because of the over-emphasis on combat and weapons and trying to cater to the uber-achiever.

You can't have your cake and eat it too. With this kind of game, you shouldn't even try.

Look, I'm sorry ... but right now SWG is EQ in space. I didn't want to admit it, just like I didn't want to admit that Episode 1 was a pile of trash. But it's true. When you boil away all the bells and whistles, unless you are hardcore dedicated crafter or entertainer, the point of the game is still hunting parties and combat quests (missions).

So far.

I still think that the potential of this game is limitless and ready to be opened. The groundwork is all right there and plain as day.

But by following the mentality of the company that brought us Everquest... by trying to have your cake and eat it too, meaning catering to the new untapped market of casual gamers and SW fans AND to power gamers and uber-achievers at the same time... you've watered down the experience for both.

I honestly wish you HAD said "Screw the power gamers. Play Planetside." But you didn't. It's just sad to think of how much better this game could be with a wider variety of skills and technology instead of so much focus on weapons and combat.

But that doesn't change the fact that I'm a Star Wars junkie. The desire to role play in a living Star Wars environment is too much to just pass up because it's not my idea of perfect. I will have to give it a shot when vehicles are put in, or at least when the SE comes out.

In the same token... there are certain things I will expect out of this game after waiting 3-6 more months or it won't be worth it no matter how big of a fan I am. I'm not the kind who will buy crap on a stick just because someone calls it "Star Wars Bantha Fodder".

Ironically, you're making me pay more attention to your competitor's games than your own. Because Sony made me interested in the MMOG market, I ended up getting DAoC when SWG beta lost all semblence of fun and I couldn't even test properly because the bugs and lag were THAT overwhelming. Now I've got my eye out for real Sci-fi setting alternatives if SWG fails to live up to your promises.

06-29-2003, 06:51 PM
And the generic reply if you even get one is something along the lines of:

"We are sorry to hear of your disatisfaction with SWG, however please understand that most of the problems you are currently experiencing were unexpected thus we were unable to properly safeguard against them. At the moment we are trying to rectify any issues that have arrisen as quickly as possible, thank you for feedback and we hope to resolve any complaints of this nature as quickly as possible."

So basically they're going to fob you off with excuses and try to make it seem like the current problems were completely unexpected but minor enough to sort out.... yeah... right. After a month maybe, then I'll accept any appologies they might have.

3 months down the line I expect for the only problems left involve new features they have recently added as well as the typical round of exploit nerfing and rebalancing. If the game is pretty much in poor shape 3 months from now then I'll be packing up shop and telling them to take that subscription fee and shove it up their a*s.

I dont think it'll come to that but after seeing this from beta through to release I've seen how inept Sony and Lucasarts can be when they feel the bean counters breathing down thier necks.

Luey Fubar
06-29-2003, 11:28 PM
I'm rather disapointed in the feedback the game's got after the release. Hopefully all this will get fixed before the European release.

Heh, I'm glad I didn't import a copy.

07-01-2003, 11:45 PM
Tisk Tisk...too many people expect perfection from imperfect people.

07-10-2003, 12:14 PM
Now I didn't play beta, so I cannot speak to it, and I will agree the game isn't perfect, but games universally stopped being perfect when the internet became prevalent (I can't remember the last time I have bought a game and not had to download a patch, heck fallout 2 was all but unplayable until they released a patch that wasn't compatible with your saved games fun), but for what we are looking at I am pretty impressed. It's EQ in star wars, yep, what were you expecting? Actually that was all I was expecting, and in truth I am amazed at how much better than that it is. I wasn't gonna buy it, didn't anticipate or preorder or anything, but when it came out a friend talked me into playing, and now I am hooked.

Could entertainer xp be handled better, probably, but as a completely safe profession it doesn't work too bad, no need to buy much gear, no risk of death, injury corpse loss, you can't have it be too fast.

I like the idea of merchants getting less xp for destroyed items, but they sorta already have that since half the xp from the item comes from it being used. There is apparantly an overabundance of crafters currently, and of items, on a backwater planet of a prefered server in a unpopulated town there were 1601 bazaar entries for weapons. currently it is a total buyers market, crafters are giving thier stuff away just to get some xp for it.

The problem with ships is that will have one, you won't need rebel backing or debt to a crimelord, you will simply need to realize that every starship manufacturer wants to get xp and will sell you a ship for dirt cheap so he can.

As to overly focused on combat, well did you watch star wars (I mean that not too harshly ;), I mean it was a heartwrenching drama about life under an oppresive dictatorship, I saw it double feature with schindlers list and it made me cry. Oh wait, that wasn't it at all, it was a cowboy movie in space, gunfight, short plot development, bar fight, gunfight, short plot development, etc. The heroes were all warriors, except the hot chick who still fought half the time, and the rest of the time worried about the warriors. The droids were the comic relief. No merchants or entertainers got any relavent screentime.

I am glad they opened routes up for something realistic other than gunfighters.

Sunshine Badass
07-12-2003, 12:20 AM
If I'm going to have to invest in 1 gig of memory just to be able to play this game (because 512 plays choppy as all get out-- I hope to God you raised the minimum specs on the box)... I think it's understandable to have higher expectations of the game beyond just aesthetics.

I do not know what kind of system you are running, but 512 runs the game just fine for me. And what you ARE running HAS to be complete crap then, becasue the only thing in my computer worth a second glance is the new ATI Radeon 9500. And maybe the five year old moniter. Moniters seem to always be expensive.

Other than that, my computer is an Athlon 1.3GHz processor with a Philips Dynamic Edge sound card. I have 512 RAM, windows XP, and broadband. I could buy everything in that makes this system what it is for a little over $300, excluding Windows XP and the video card. This computer is outdated by four years or so, and even then it was not top of the line per se.

Ask yourself: "Is there really something WRONG with my computer? Or ARE the minimum requirements incorrect?"

I COULD play this game SO smoothly with a gig of RAM, as it runs near perfect as is.

07-12-2003, 03:25 AM
I got a Gig of DDR mainly to say I did...but everything runs awesome now. Boot-up, starting games, leaving games...

SWG has unlimited potential. Right now I am frustrated, I'll admit cause no matter how strong I get...these stupid "Jabba's Thieve's" always seem to be stronger.

But the game is progressing well...much better than any other ORPG in history in its first three weeks.

08-10-2003, 10:59 PM
All of the issues you dealt with are pretty much slowly being cleared up. They are putting in missions for non-combat professions. Vehicles and player mounts are comming within a few weeks. Player made cities will be in game within a couple of days (or so they say). That is a VERY good feature. Buy the thing that still gets me is the lack of star wars in a star wars game. Maybe the SWG team will put more SW content into the game, and make thinks that arent really starwar-sy a lot more starwarsy.

I think a few months down the road from now, the game will be quite enjoyable. Hell, Im already having a considerable amount of fun.

(Oh and if you are going to discuss in this thread, please dont start blathering on about system specs. I have a decent system and the game runs decently. I tried running it with FFSA, which was a mistake, but once I turn that off, it ran just fine.)

Lo Fasz
08-11-2003, 12:53 PM
WHat strikes me the most (and I still play 4+ hours a day), is how bad the combat scnes look. Creatures or opponents bite/hit you from 30 meters away with no weapon!

Then there are the actual dancers---I wish, I REALLY wish they would have made some characters UNABLE to be dancers. Like wookies. Or males of any species. But the dancing wookies have GOT to go.