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Lord of Hunger
07-22-2009, 07:02 PM
So, I'm sure that everyone has seen the most recent video documentary on SWTOR.com, and the fact that every single NPC will have unique dialog and voice is probably swinging people towards playing TOR (at least giving the game a try). Now I've noticed that the biggest complaints about TOR is that A) it is likely to have a month fee and B) there will be a lot of "n00bs" playing the game.

What I've noticed about TOR is that it is very different from most MMOs in that they are making it an RPG with multiplayer capacity rather than a multiplayer game with RPG traits. This potentially means that TOR could be designed in such a way that one does not necessarily have to play TOR as an MMO but as a single player RPG. Essentially if the developers set up TOR in the right way, TOR could run on either their servers, another online server, or even with a group of people without Internet that have set up a LAN network.

If this were to be, then I think it'd swing many people who would otherwise be unwilling to play TOR to try it out. This means that in someways LucasArts and Bioware could gain more profits: the people who would not buy TOR due to it being an MMO would be more likely to buy it and the people who want to play an MMO will still buy it and are likely to pay to use the LucasArts/Bioware servers because very few people would be willing to set up online servers capable of playing TOR for free.

My question to everyone: Do you think this is a possibility? And if so, do you think it is a good idea?

JediAthos
07-22-2009, 08:10 PM
I don't really think this is a possibilty to be honest...the game is being designed as an MMO even if it is a very different kind of MMO. I think part of the problem here is people hear MMO and the think World of Warcraft..Stop It!!! TOR is being designed much different than WoW. The content will be different, the game world will be different, and the manner of play will be different. IMHO there are too many people who aren't giving Bioware a chance simply because the hear MMO.

Not only that to be able to host the game outside of Bioware's servers you would have to have access to Bioware's source content and have to be able to edit content etc...I can virtually guarantee that will never happen...not legally anyway unless Bioware were to develop some kind of server software or something, but Blizzard has been doing its best to shut down private WoW servers since the game was released and I imagine that Bioware will do the same probably going so far as to include it in their terms of service.

Sabretooth
07-22-2009, 10:05 PM
I do remember one of the devs saying that they don't want to alienate SP fans, and that the game can be played solo, without any distractions or anything. But they didn't say anything about the fee, so you'll most likely have to still play it. I guess they'll try to make it worth it, the humongonormous dialogue, for example, but I'd rather a pay-per-content system myself.

jrrtoken
07-22-2009, 10:28 PM
As of now, it's hard to say. I would like for BioWare to take the Guild Wars approach with a fee-less model, but then again, I would've liked that there had been a KotOR III instead of TOR. :p I just can't see them being nice enough to both single-player KotOR fans and MMO junkies by excluding a subscription fee, however.

After their last excursion went awry, LucasArts still wants to produce a successful MMO, financial purposes, of course. Although it might be foolhardy of me to say it, TOR does have a good chance at being more successful than WoW. I didn't say better, but I did say more successful, financially, of course. That entails using the same business model, as well as other feature which has made WoW successful.

Yet, that brings up a whole new a dilemma. BioWare is also targeting this towards single-player KotOR fans, which means adding more single-player RPG elements that were previously unknown to the MMO pool. This has the potential to goad in a much larger demographic, but at the time, I have the impression that both KotOR fans and WoW fans are at somewhat opposite ends of the spectrum, and that when any element is introduced to TOR, many fans will be won over, while other fans will be alienated. With every feature, there is both love and hate, depending on which genre you will be more accustomed to.

Yet, BioWare isn't able to satisfy everyone, and something must give. BioWare has to essentially practice damage control, while at the same time trying to appeal as many as possible. It's going to be outright impossible, so at the end of the day, TOR will either be a single-player RPG with MMO elements, or vice-versa. I'm hoping for the former, but it's still too hard to discern from this view.

Hunted
07-23-2009, 07:41 AM
For those of you who are so worried by the fee, ask yourself this:
If BioWare instead released KoToR 3 one month, then 3 months later released KoToR 4, then 3 months later released KoToR 5, etc. would you buy them? Because that would be about the same as purchasing SWTOR and paying for the subscription for 9 months.

They've said this game has more content than all of their games put together EVER (and they've made quite a few) and that it basically is KoToR 3, 4, 5, etc...

To think of it another way: How often do you go out to the movies? Many people go at least once a month and you'll pay $15 for 2 hours (when you add in the ridiculous cost of snacks). For SWTOR you will pay $15 a month for UNLIMITED hours and it's much more entertaining every minute than a movie.

I don't know about all of you hardcore KoToR folks, but most single player games won't hold my interest for more than a month. Even the greatest single player games have less than 200 hours of gameplay. SWToR will have many many more hours of gameplay than that. AND YOU CAN PLAY IT ALONE!

adamqd
07-23-2009, 07:54 AM
As I've said before, I dont have a problem with the fee, I dont have a problem with what we have seen so far and what Bioware want to do with it, I play MMO's... But thats why I have reservations... other people make for a bad gaming experience a majority of the time, and can make a game synonymous with being annoyed and frustrated, rather than an immersive Star Wars experience.

I was dubious about the art direction at the beginning, but now I'm completely happy with what the game promises to be... I just dont want to have to deal with jerks and non star wars fans, but that is completely my problem not Bioware's. If they make it mostly solo able and Immersive, and leave it to me to find like minded friends to do latter content, then AWESOME... If not? I'll have to learn to live with it :)

GonkH8er
07-23-2009, 07:54 AM
The size of the project and the sheer amount of people working on it means they'll need BIG profits.

Once off sales probably wouldn't cover the cost of making the game. They need those monthly payments to actually recover the millions of dollars that are going into making this game.

Say it's a $50 game, and it comes with 2 months subscription out of the box.

If everyone bought another 10 months of subscription at $10 a month, they've literally trebled what their profits would be compared to a single sale (ignoring the fact that the retailer takes a cut of that original $50)

And say 2 million people bought it.

That's $300 million compared to $150 million if it was a standalone game. (and thats just for 1 year worth of subscriptions)


This is why blizzard could buy a small country :)

Sabretooth
07-23-2009, 08:45 AM
To think of it another way: How often do you go out to the movies? Many people go at least once a month and you'll pay $15 for 2 hours (when you add in the ridiculous cost of snacks). For SWTOR you will pay $15 a month for UNLIMITED hours and it's much more entertaining every minute than a movie.
This is the most mindblowing reasoning I've heard in support of MMO fees.

Except for the fact that a trip to the movies here is generally less than $10. >_>

Jan Gaarni
07-23-2009, 11:55 AM
So, I'm sure that everyone has seen the most recent video documentary on SWTOR.com, and the fact that every single NPC will have unique dialog and voice is probably swinging people towards playing TOR (at least giving the game a try). Now I've noticed that the biggest complaints about TOR is that A) it is likely to have a month fee and B) there will be a lot of "n00bs" playing the game.

What I've noticed about TOR is that it is very different from most MMOs in that they are making it an RPG with multiplayer capacity rather than a multiplayer game with RPG traits. This potentially means that TOR could be designed in such a way that one does not necessarily have to play TOR as an MMO but as a single player RPG. Essentially if the developers set up TOR in the right way, TOR could run on either their servers, another online server, or even with a group of people without Internet that have set up a LAN network.

If this were to be, then I think it'd swing many people who would otherwise be unwilling to play TOR to try it out. This means that in someways LucasArts and Bioware could gain more profits: the people who would not buy TOR due to it being an MMO would be more likely to buy it and the people who want to play an MMO will still buy it and are likely to pay to use the LucasArts/Bioware servers because very few people would be willing to set up online servers capable of playing TOR for free.

My question to everyone: Do you think this is a possibility? And if so, do you think it is a good idea?
Anything is possible.
Is it a good idea? No.

In order for people to play off-line, BioWare would have to put every single bit of data onto the discs sold. This would jeapordize the MMO part of the game.

The reason why cheating in an MMORPG is so much harder than say, Counter Strike types of games, is that you only have a basic client on your end, and not the full game to screw around with. This means, that if you press a button, lets say a special move against an NPC or a player, that information is sent over the wide web to a game server somewhere in the world telling it you pressed that button, it process' and resolves the outcome, sends that information back to the client and any other clients that would be involved (if you are fighting a player or someone is watching), then the client translates the data into grafical depiction and displayes it on your (and other people involved) screen.

All calculations are done outside your computer. The only thing you got on your computer in addition to the client are 3D models, skins, and soundfiles.

In addition, the servers handle and keep track of everything that is going on in the world(s), storing data, and transmits data to all relevant clients in a given region of that world.

So basically, there's one reason why you pay to play.

More reasons are:
1. Developers who work on improving the gameplay after launch, ironing out any bugs that come up or are still there at launch, adding content to keep you playing, further balansing the classes and game in general etc.....
This team isn't as large as the initial team that developed the game in the first place, but it still cuts into the monthly fee.

2. Game Masters (GM's) that are available for the players to contact should you need help with something, be it you are stuck somewhere, being harrased by 1 or more players, sold an item you didn't mean to sell :p etc .....
The more people play the game, the more GM's has to be employed.

3. Bandwidth. While you pay a monthly fee to use the internet as much as you want, those running a MMORPG doesn't have that luxury. You are just connected to 1 server at a time (or 2 or 3 or more if you have more than 1 account). BioWare are connected to tens of thousands, preferably hundreds of thousands of players, or in the case of WoW, millions of players. This is where, as I understand it, the big money drain is for the companies. MMO's are sustained data transfer, not burst-like like when you are surfing the net.

4. Technicians, seeing to that the servers are running at peak efficiency at all times, and responsible to feed the server hamsters so they don't die on us. ;)

5. Developing a MMO is a whole nother huge monster to create compare to a single player game, requiring literally 100's of people involved, and years and years of development before they got a product worth launching. While a SP-game can last for a mere 30 hours, MMO's has to last years if they are to be profitable. That's alot of content to add to the initial game, as well as continually adding content and fixes.

6. Servers. I mentioned abit about the role of the servers earlier. They are the pillars of any MMORPG. If they fail, you can't play the game. It's as simple as that. The hardware used for them is alot more powerfull than most people have in their home build. And there's alot of redundansies built into them aswell to prevent them from crashing. Harddrives are constantly being written to, 24/7. They also need to be able to hot-swap gear. This kind of equipment is costly.

7. Then you have any other kinds of supportgroups, like shipping, handling, accountants, secretaries, coffee (don't forget the gazillion cops of coffees being consumed :D ), etc, etc, etc, ........

I think I've covered most of the reasons, so I'll leave it at that before I rant too much. :)

Trench
07-23-2009, 12:57 PM
If they let me mod it then everyone will be appeased.:carms:

JediAthos
07-23-2009, 01:21 PM
MMO's are not modable games so much as things like skins or content...but for example with WoW there are UI mods...mods that help you track quests...mods that modify the way your game map displays information etc.. etc...

Master Shake
07-23-2009, 06:38 PM
MMO's are not modable games
I heard something about a private server being modable, don't know if it's true or not.

Hallucination
07-23-2009, 07:44 PM
Private servers are usually illegal because it means player's aren't paying to access the servers or content, so money on spent on development doesn't get a return/gets too small of one. But they are slightly modable, just don't expect it to be done at a professional (or even respectable) level.

Also, in most cases private servers don't have the scripting on the official servers because that isn't released with the client. I'd imagine that would make the game feel pretty hollow, at least in PvE.

P.S. Do to the potential illegality of private servers I'd advise not discussing them, but I'm not a moderator. ;)

Jan Gaarni
07-24-2009, 11:23 AM
P.S. Do to the potential illegality of private servers I'd advise not discussing them, but I'm not a moderator. ;)

Yes, indeed.

Restrict any discussion about Private Servers to asking questions wether it's allowed or not.

And I can pretty much answer that question right away with a big NOO, they are not allowed!!! :D