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Old 11-02-2002, 10:20 PM   #1
ArtifeX
 
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Arrow On the possibilities of an expansion pack:

There's been several threads posted here about expansion packs. Be careful what you wish for.

Point 1: The people who would bring you such an expansion are most likely the same people who brought you such community-destroying products as the 1.03 and 1.04 patches. The developers responsible for these have proven twice that their ideas on game features and balance are not based on their own exhaustive playtesting, but on what they read in these forums, and on emails that they receive from players.

While that may sound good at first glance, consider this: most players that leave feedback in the forums (or send emails to developers) about gameplay do so to voice a complaint. People who are satisified with the same aspect of jk2 will happily go about playing the game for the most part, and remain silent in the forums (if they even see it as necessary to register in the first place). Therefore, if you base your changes to the code too heavily on feedback from forums and email, you end up taking only the opinions of the disgruntled into account, while ignoring those who think the game was fine to begin with, and you end up with a game that makes changes too often and too severely. This is what happened with 1.02 to 1.03.

Solution? The developers should spend their time playing their game rather than reading forum posts and emails. The dev team should become so proficient in playing their game that they should be able to beat the snot out of 99% of the people playing it. It is only when you reach that point that you can see which posts and emails are truely valid, and which are just the voices of players too unfamiliar with the game to grasp it in its entirety.

Had the top competitive ladders been strewn with Raven employees, the 1.03 patch would have been the last.

Point 2: You guys do realize that an expansion pack release that included multiplayer changes would totally screw over any mods on a long term dev cycle, right?

If they release an expansion that was comparable in scope to the changes from Jedi Knight 1 to the "Mystery of the Sith" expansion (which was a big jump), then all mods currently in development would have to be ported to the new codebase in order to support the new functionality. At the very least, all mod teams would have to halt coding until the source code for the expansion was released, or face their mod being seen as feature-poor before it was even complete.

I've got months of work in my mod. So do many others. I doubt any of us would feel too keen about recoding all of our work. I have a feeling that many mod teams that have made significant progress up to this point would simply disintegrate.

There's enough pressure on modders to give up jk2 and move on to a more accessible and mod-friendly engine. The ridiculous lack of the single-player game code and the animation tools are the big ones. The infighting between Raven and Lucasarts is another. Pile on top of that the deafening silence received from Raven or Lucasarts when asking about expansions or sequels and you have a recipe for an imploding game community.

If they do release an expansion, then it had damn well better include every line of source code along with it, and every tool necessary to duplicate all the new features in the old code base with a minimum of work. Otherwise, said expansion would sink 90% of the mods currently being developed.

So ask yourself this before you clamor too loudly for an expansion pack from Lucasarts: which would be better--an expansion pack, or complete disclosure or the source and tools?

End rant. For now.


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Old 11-02-2002, 10:36 PM   #2
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listen: please don't make a 1.05

I totaly agree, i've been saying this all along, no matter how much they try, i doubt raven will even get close to fixing and ballanceing the game, it's up to mod makers to do it, and releasing a new patch would slow them down or turn them off.
If developers DO read the forumsm, please NO NEW PATCH!!!
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Old 11-02-2002, 10:48 PM   #3
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I agree completely.

I've been saying this for a long time too. But people kept saying,"Oh man, I hate light stance, medium, heavy, the swinging of the saber, etc etc,"..... and then we got 1.04.

I dunno...but Raven to me is a glorified Total Conversion mod team...they really never made anything on their own engine...

I really hope they don't come out with an expansion...maybe they should cut their losses, and let the people who know how the game works fix it.

Great job so far on the Pro Mod betas, Artie.

(I just wish more servers would run them). =(

-Rosco: The Prince Of Space




Mmmm Hmmm...I kinda like them french fried taters.
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Old 11-02-2002, 11:05 PM   #4
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Hi,

I don't post much on these forums (read: at all) and seldom browse them. However, i try to help out artifex with testing his mod and he pointed me to the entire expansion pack issue.

I have a lot of respect for Art; he single handedly rebuilt the saber combat system from disfigured monstrosity known as 1.03 and 1.04 into a very fun, intuitive and skill-based compeition.


However, i have to disagree with him here.

My reasoning is as follows, and is purely from the perspective of a gamer.

What is the single biggest complaint i have now with the jk2 multiplayer community? Two really: its fragmentation and size. I like promod a lot...i still miss the animations that came with 1.02, but that is beyond art's ability to change without support from raven. The problem lies in the fact that i have to play against bots almost exclusively if i want to play using that mod. There is almost never anyone playing on any of the promod servers that i can find (using qtracker). Promod 3 might fix this if it gets enough publicity, but i fear that the community has passed a point of no return in regards to its playerbase. People who bought the game (and there were many of them, according to sales figures) no longer play the game. In many cases, they no longer check news about the game or really much care what is going on in the community. No matter how good a mod may be (and several out there are of very high quality) there simply arne't enough people playing regularly to create a community where you can quiclkly and easily find a game against other people using one of them.


In this respect, an expansion might give a much needed shot in the arm to jk2 multiplayer, and bring many people who stopped playing the game back.


Now, this brings up the issue of quality and gameplay style. As mentioned before, i find the 1.03 and 1.04 patches gross overreactions to minor gameplay flaws in the original 1.02 system. My complaints with 1.02 could be listed as follows - slightly overpowered drain, slightly overpowered heal, the red dfa kills people while the saber is buried in the ground and blocking is a *little* too weak. Maybe add that push/pull are a touch overpowered, but i was debating this way back when. The patches that were supposed to fix these problems totally destroyed the fun of the game for me, because i could no longer reliably predict when any given attack i made would actually have a chance of hitting the opponent. This brought about a sort of spammish style of play that wasn't fun for me.

Given this, would i trust raven to either a.restore the saber combat to something near its 1.02 level (or promod if they were feeling ambitious) or b.create a new system that isn't too reminiscent of 1.04 and would bring back some of the fun that i find lacking from that iteration? I'd have to answer with a qualified yes. Remember, raven brought the original 1.02 system into being. For all its flaws, the game was damned fun in that iteration. Assuming that raven realizes it made a mistake with 1.03/4, i would give the team the benefit of the doubt that they'd be able to create a fun system (or plagarize someone like art's ideas).

If they do not realize that 1.04 is a problem, my answer would be different.

With respect to the current crop of mods and the possibility of them becoming useless if an expansion came up...i may sound callous, but i would encourage that sort of action if it brought back a fun combat system that most of the people playing used. As a player, being able to find a game with other people under a reasonably good system rather than NOT being able to find ANY games with a well balanced, extensively tested system would be a welcome trade (and yes i realize that all the man hours of work modders put in would be wasted).


So, my opinon, for all that its worth.

Laz
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Old 11-02-2002, 11:40 PM   #5
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Well, they could just hire ArtifeX and sit him at a box and say "fix our game please"

Lucas Arts seems to have a rather poor record of support of the mod community, it's unfortunate too because all it is doing is driving modders, and customers away. Their reason for not being more supportive? Your guess is as good as mine, there is no logical reason for this. I agree with you Art when it comes to all the coding work you've already done, if LA/Raven are indeed planning an expansion they really should keep that fact in mind, but I fear that there would be little chance of that since the mod community is but a speck of dust to them, and Raven's hands are tied completely by them.

I would like to see some sort of expansion someday, I just think they did a great job with MotS and think that JO still has an alful lot of "potential" That being said, if LA/Raven gave us a choice, signifigantly expanded SP and Multiplayer tools, (Including the ability to add and modify animations to our hearts content) or an expansion, I would hands down take the tools over the expansion. Some here might think I'm insane but icefox98 makes a good point while I don't completely agree with his statement that Raven is just a glorified mod team, (glorified=lots of coinage) it's pretty much an accurate discription. Expanded tools should be released, there is little danger that one of us is going to make a game better than Raven/LA would, and even if we somehow did, they own the code, they could just pack it up and sell it and make loads of money off of everybody.

Anyway, I didn't mean to rant, but I'm really dissapointed by the lack of support we have received. I'm sure there are some who will say what we have now is enough, the truth is that thoes who beleive that are sadly mistaken and have no real clue what brilliant things the community can come up with the proper support

Anyway, chins up, there is always hope

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Old 11-02-2002, 11:42 PM   #6
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you just talk too much Artifex and most of what you say is just besides the point.. with astonishing regularity ...
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Old 11-02-2002, 11:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lazarous
...

If they do not realize that 1.04 is a problem, my answer would be different.

With respect to the current crop of mods and the possibility of them becoming useless if an expansion came up...i may sound callous, but i would encourage that sort of action if it brought back a fun combat system that most of the people playing used. As a player, being able to find a game with other people under a reasonably good system rather than NOT being able to find ANY games with a well balanced, extensively tested system would be a welcome trade (and yes i realize that all the man hours of work modders put in would be wasted)...


The first sentence is the core of my argument. I actually had an email from one of the dev team that said, "[the current gameplay in 1.04] worked just fine for us...". I think that says it all.

As far as trading the current mods for an expansion goes: I think that the community modders/players that have buried themselves in the game for the past several months for no other reason than to improve the game have a much better chance of producing quality multiplayer content than coders that have been working on entirely different projects ever since 1.04 was released. I doubt those same coders have been playing much jk2 lately, either.


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Old 11-03-2002, 01:11 AM   #8
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I would say number 1 reason lucas arts isn't more supportive is money. It costs money to be supportive, any time raven sits down to look at jo it costs lucas arts money. They are a cheap company and always will be.
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Old 11-03-2002, 04:45 AM   #9
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Man, some of the 'Doom & Gloom' I read here is just ridiculous!

The solution to the expasion pack compatability issue is fairly simple: Install JO twice on your hard drive.

I do understand where ArtifeX is coming from though, and it makes sense.
Hey, why don't you post the email you mentioned about 1.04 playing fine for them. I know I'd like to read it!

I could also suggest that if you want Raven or LucasArts to know your feelings, why don't you email them or copy the post and send that to them. Be specific about what you like and don't like, and what you want to see.

I don't think there's any question about an expasion pack coming out, it's just a matter of when.

Don't be too close minded about the developers though. You might find yourself surprised at what they end up releasing! Let's be skeptical, but not cynical about this.


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Old 11-03-2002, 01:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Syfo-Dyas
Man, some of the 'Doom & Gloom' I read here is just ridiculous!

The solution to the expasion pack compatability issue is fairly simple: Install JO twice on your hard drive.

I do understand where ArtifeX is coming from though, and it makes sense.
Hey, why don't you post the email you mentioned about 1.04 playing fine for them. I know I'd like to read it!

I could also suggest that if you want Raven or LucasArts to know your feelings, why don't you email them or copy the post and send that to them. Be specific about what you like and don't like, and what you want to see.

I don't think there's any question about an expasion pack coming out, it's just a matter of when.

Don't be too close minded about the developers though. You might find yourself surprised at what they end up releasing! Let's be skeptical, but not cynical about this.


I'm not trying to be a nay-sayer here. I'm just trying to let it be known exactly what I'm after: the full toolset. I don't want them messing with the multiplayer aspect of the game--I don't think they have the money/staff or playing experience to do a good job. If they want to release a single-player expansion: fine. Just don't screw with the multiplayer unless you want to release ALL the tools to us!


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Old 11-03-2002, 02:25 PM   #11
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While I'm comfortable playing 1.04, I'd consider certain changes improvements, reversions to 1.02: force power de-nerfing for example. Heal and drain are just silly, as everyone knows. Also, Mind-trick is useless at all levels as long as level-one Force Sight is a universal counter to it.

But, when all's said and done, that's just my opinion. Whatever happens re. an expansion pack, we can be sure of only one thing: Some people will love it, some people will hate it, and most people will love parts of it and hate others.

So the best thing for an expansion would be to introduce new game modes, maybe even add a few powers/weapons if they're feeling brave... but whatever they introduce should be toggleable. MOTS was excellent in one respect- it was separate from JK. One didn't have to play MOTS after buying it if one didn't want to. Because if they re-patch the game with the expansion we'll all have to play the latest version. Unless of course we want to be sad outcasts playing 1.02 or 1.04 on some nowhere server in Bolivia.


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Old 11-03-2002, 02:57 PM   #12
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I had always thought it an established fact that JK had awesome multiplayer add-ons and MOTS had awesome singleplayer add-ons.

I want to see this trend with JK2. An expansion should add new maps (read: A LOT of new maps), maybe a new gametype or 2, but shouldn't alter the fundamentals of the game. However they should feel free to do whatever they want with singleplayer, I just hope they make it more editor-friendly.

I'm also thinking it might be nice if an official "mod" was included that boosted movement dynamics to that of Quake 3, give the game more flow, but only as a mod of course.
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Old 11-04-2002, 06:44 AM   #13
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If an expansion pack is released, I agree it should be for single player only.

If it ventures into multi it should be only to add more maps and the SAGA game type, not change anything exhisting and damn sure not take anything away.

I personelly think the spsc has not been released because they know an expansion pack = more $$$$$$$ and that is all gaming companies are concerned with, after all, their in the buisness to make money.

ArtifeX does have valid points about the modders. After all look at what Dest did with Jedimod and what Promod is doing. Stuff that LEC should have had Raven do in the first place, ADD to the game to enhance it and fix the problems, not nerf things and/or take them away.

One thing I learned from the 1.04 patch (remember hardly anyone thought there would be another patch and Arti even retired from the game) is that you never know what they may do and yes....be very careful what you ask for...

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Old 11-04-2002, 09:30 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spider AL
...

But, when all's said and done, that's just my opinion. Whatever happens re. an expansion pack, we can be sure of only one thing: Some people will love it, some people will hate it, and most people will love parts of it and hate others.

So the best thing for an expansion would be to introduce new game modes, maybe even add a few powers/weapons if they're feeling brave... but whatever they introduce should be toggleable. MOTS was excellent in one respect- it was separate from JK. One didn't have to play MOTS after buying it if one didn't want to. Because if they re-patch the game with the expansion we'll all have to play the latest version. Unless of course we want to be sad outcasts playing 1.02 or 1.04 on some nowhere server in Bolivia.


You're right. The best thing to do for an expansion is make it a completely different mod directory, much like Q3 Team Arena was, so that you can switch it on and off like any other mod.

They'd still need to release the tools if they created any new multiplayer content. Otherwise, all of the mods being developed right now would be seen as feature-poor by people who bought the expansion. That's not the way to encourage the mod community to code for your game.


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Old 11-04-2002, 10:34 AM   #15
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Why wouldnt they? They released them for multi before...

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Old 11-04-2002, 11:07 AM   #16
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I agree with Arti

I dislike the idea of having the gullible boys at Raven make an expansion pack which will no doubt change the game again. I see a list of whining that has come since the last patch that I am sure they will address and then tell us that they were bugs in the first place (i.e. kicks, self-kill, blue lunge, etc.). In the name of "bug fix" and balance they have brought they have starved this community of its greatest players, clans, and servers. A expansion would simply finish us all off and I don't plan on playing with servers full of white names everyday.

Instead of balance they brought us the old "separate but equal" logic that has never worked. They successfully separated gunners and saber users in apparent hopes to satisfy them. Those hopes went out the window and you now have gunners and saber users threatening each other on forums since neither is willing to give an inch.

Well folks many people dislike when I say this but the game is going downhill. It has been for months. The "valley" which used to have so many new post that keeping your thread on the first page for longer then a day was a stroke of luck, now has so few posts that I could start a "just wanted to say hello" thread and it would be on page 1 for the next week.

If you look at loss of active players and servers you can plainly see that after each "patch" you lost a chunk of the community an expansion pack would add a few players for a while but only at the risk of the remaining quality players. No game should force its players to re-learn it every few months.

BTW I agree with spider al on the force power changes, drain and heal are pathetic, and mind trick only works against white names.


Battlefield 1942........

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Old 11-04-2002, 01:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Darth Kaan
Why wouldnt they? They released them for multi before...
They didn't release them all. They've still not released the animation tools, which is why no mods have any truly new animations in them. They're not planning to release them, either, just like the SP code.


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Old 11-04-2002, 01:57 PM   #18
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That's all we really want too. Give us the tools to import new animations, and just expand the sp editing options, right now true sp support is virtually non existant

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Old 11-04-2002, 02:04 PM   #19
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As fatal says, the patches have done nothing but punish the community, but there's a point I'd like to add to that. That is, that the people who are being punished the most harshly are the game's most avid, and dedicated fans.

Those of us who have been playing the game since it was released remember how comparitively balanced 1.02 was to its successors, 1.03 and 1.04. People who bought the game after the 1.03 or 1.04 patches don't even know what it was like, and so are more likely to be content with the current official version. Weakened sabers, out-of-control auto-blocking--all of that is par for the course to anyone buying the game mid-summer. To all of us old-schoolers, these patches were a travesty; a disgusting obeisance to the throng of whiners who refused to dedicate the time to learning how to play the game.

So what are we left with? The community is now made up of old-schoolers, such as myself, who are stubbornly hoping the game will be made better through mods, and those new enough to the game to not realize how shallow and broken the multiplayer gameplay is.

This is why Jedi Knight 2 multiplayer is an online revolving door, with gamers dipping their toes for a few weeks and then leaving when they find the temperature not to their liking.

My message to Lucasarts: Give us the tools to make the game what it should be, then either help us promote our mods, or leave us the hell alone.


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Old 11-04-2002, 02:54 PM   #20
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I brought up these very concerns long time ago and was immediately shot down.

In order to have a successful community you must be able to add players instead of losing them and replacing them. If you go to the most highly populated public servers you constantly find people that are fairly new to the game. Many of the old vets are scattered and nearly extinct. The reason I still play 1.02 is simpley because the average player skill is high and the level of competition is fairly level.

Think of it this way, had raven stuck to fixing bugs and left the game alone the new players would have still come in, and the old players would most likely still be around. That is far better then losing most of your original fan base so that a few whiners would quiet down. Worse yet is that once the damage was done they abandoned the community and refused to give us tools to fix it.

After so many on-line MP success stories and failures you would think the blue print was fairly clear. Raven ignored it and have insulted their own community. I will stick to more experienced companies in the future when I buy computer games.

I hope that the folks at raven read this thread and get angry at all of us "know-it-all's." They have so much programming talent and such little business sense.


Battlefield 1942........

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Old 11-04-2002, 08:46 PM   #21
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Hmm. I'm not sure if I'm the only one who finds a lot of bile and venom distasteful, but there it is. I don't think demonising Raven will accomplish anything constructive. Actually I'm quite thankful for a lot of things Raven did. 1.03 was abysmal. 1.04 is an improvement over it, which- I have little doubt- took a lot of effort on the part of Raven's people to bring it forth. Having said that, they were at least partially to blame for the problem in the first place, so the least they could do was fix it. But still, six of one and half-a-dozen of the other dont'cha know.

Where Raven really fell down IMO, was in suffering from the still relatively new disease of game developers: listening to the "community." Unfortunately, the whiners are the only portion of the community that speak up usually. It's happened to a lot of games, a whole list that has already been gone over by myself and others.

Now, it's worth remembering that JO isn't the only game that hasn't become as successful as it perhaps deserved, this year. There are loads. The whole FPS world is going through a bad patch, seemingly. Perhaps because it went through a golden age; the various successes of CS, T2, UT, Q2/3 were quite simply unbelievable. In the tiny space of a few years, online gaming went from being a fringe activity to one of the world's most enjoyed and lucrative enterprises. So nowadays, we all expect games to sweep us off our feet in the same way that CS and UT did. It's not a guaranteed thing though. Who's to say that Quakes, CS and UT weren't one-offs? Maybe nothing will ever match their success.

The real tragedy for me is that I considered JO 1.02 to be a truly world-class game. And I spent the time to become good at it because I believed it could achieve that sort of success.

As a matter of fact, I think 1.04 is a damn great game. Not quite as good, but still truly breathtaking.

I think it deserved better. More success.

But when people state categorically that they know exactly why JO didn't become the next CS, I take it with a pinch of salt. JO's membership could have petered out with or without the patches, and LEC's games have never welcomed the advances of modders. Nobody will ever know what the game would be like if the patches hadn't been released, and assigning blame isn't going to help matters at all, nor will it get anything done that could help the game as it stands now.


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Old 11-04-2002, 09:04 PM   #22
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I think the lack of raven support boils down to the fact that they won't touch JO unless they are paid for their time. And now they have new games to work on.

As far as popularity of the game, I personally think if someone did an exact copy of sof2's mp the game might get a portion of the players back. There's just something very addicting about any game with round based objective gameplay...something about watching those last 2 people hunt eachother down or escape with the plans...just my feelings anyways.
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Old 11-04-2002, 09:10 PM   #23
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over at the Massassi thinktank we've got one project in planning stages, but we need an expert coder

I think the problem with the modding community is the lack of coders. I would be perfectly willing to code a gameplay modfication if I knew where on earth to begin. There are no shortage of tutorials for mapping, modelling and skinning. But tutorials for icarus and actual multiplayer coding are sparse at best, so come on people. If you know how to code, share the secrets.
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Old 11-04-2002, 10:41 PM   #24
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Re: I agree with Arti

Quote:
Originally posted by FatalStrike

Instead of balance they brought us the old "separate but equal" logic that has never worked. and you now have gunners and saber users threatening each other on forums since neither is willing to give an inch.


Oooh! I like the way you've tied Raven's treatment of Guns & Sabers to Southern Racism!!!
You're right, brother -testify!!! When we gonna be able to play this game and NOT be hassled by da man!!!???

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine"...


Quote:
Originally posted by FatalStrike
Well folks many people dislike when I say this but the game is going downhill. It has been for months. The "valley" which used to have so many new post that keeping your thread on the first page for longer then a day was a stroke of luck. If you look at loss of active players and servers you can plainly see that after each "patch" you lost a chunk of the community


I don't really agree with that. Not everyone wants to devote their lives to a computer game (the guys at Massassi being the exception ). I think the main reason for the drop in activity has been school and college resuming a couple of months ago. I noticed a HUGE decline during that time.



One of the things I'm reading here is a lot of 'Us and Them' talk. If you believe that Raven and Lucasarts don't care about what the community thinks, you'd be wrong... I think it matters a great deal to them what WE think. THEY know that nobody knows their games like WE do. THEY know that WE are a huge asset. WE keep these games alive for them!

I was just at Best Buy yesturday and noticed JO being featured on an isle end-cap with a $45 price tag on it. A LOT of games are showing an far more advanced life-cycle 6 months after they're released. I can remember buying games for $40, and seeing them 6 or 7 months later selling for $25. Obviously, they weren't moving too fast at the $40 price point... That's a good sign for JO, and our community. And havn't the Mac and Console versions just been released within the last couple of months??? I think the game is still popular. That HAS to be -at least in part- due to the strong community support it has received.

Back to my original point: I wouldn't be surprised if the developers regularly lurk these forums to get a feel for how things are being accepted. I think it is important, however, for us to make our voices heard by BOTH Lucasarts and Raven. If you want them to know how you feel, you need to tell them. I think a VERY effective way to tell them how WE feel would be by *COLLECTIVELY* sending them an email. Something easy to read, that represents what we all want -or don't want-, and has all of our names (eg signatures) on it.

To do that, we simply need to agree on something and then draft up a document, make whatever revisions are needed, and send it off. This would not be a difficult thing to do, and it's better than sitting around on the forums whining about possible outcomes of expansion packs, or the death of the community.


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Old 11-04-2002, 11:32 PM   #25
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Remember a month or two ago when the Valley was filled with posts along the line of "JKII is dead?" I'm getting bad vibes that this is where everything breaks down. LucasArts is probably one of the most upnosed companies in terms of licensing as well as modification, and this is pure evidence on it. I wouldn't doubt for a second that Raven might go back to look over the patch, see what some modders are producing, and then release the good points and eliminate the bad. It isn't Raven that is holding them back. It is LucasArts.

If I can go fetch it... ahh, damn... lost it. Anyways, it was an issue of Computer Gaming World, the cover story being the return of "Star Wars Gaming." The issue had previews of multiple Star Wars games, including JKII. However, the one thing I did want to cite from it was the interview with the new CEO of LucasArts. It was in this article in which he stated along the lines of: "We want to give gamers the feeling that any LucasArts title they pick up will bring gratification."

So tell me, where is my gratification? Where is my supposed enjoyment of fencing a combatant to the death? I don't find having to use kick or lunge over and over to penetrate an almost impenetrable defense gratifying. I don't find having to roll over the place to an exposed back, only to be defended because of faulty animations gratifying. In CTF, I ESPECIALLY don't enjoy seeing the same two weapons used over and over again while saberists are left in the cold.

Mods out there such as JediMod and ProMod finally strike balance into the coding errors of Raven's part, as well as deliver a slap across LucasArts' face for not taking a nanosecond of the time to realize that there is talent beyond "the best programmers and game designers in the market" (read: another potshot cited from the article). While I honestly do await Knights by the Old Republic (being the Baldur's Gate and NWN fan I am), I am leery in terms of how far LucasArts will allow BioWare to go. I will admit proudly that BioWare has some of the best talent out there, period. However, if LucasArts becomes the old hag who rants on each little detail like Mrs. Atkins in "Beyond the Horizon," KotR is doomed to failure right off the bat.

Perhaps it is time to start giving credit to those who said JKII was dead. They were right after all. If LucasArts and Raven want Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast profitable as well as memorious, then they need to release the code. I'm honestly not sure if they are still hung up on what happened to Quake after the coding was released *cough speed hack cough*, but those days are gone. Look at Counter-Strike. They have endured things like OGC, bad graphics, etc. They still have multiple servers online that have players, unlike the dying JKII player base. It is time both companies took a long look at what CS did for Half-Life and realize that only the modding community keeps a game alive a lot longer.
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Old 11-05-2002, 02:14 AM   #26
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Did the patches suck?
Yep.
Did the reason we got the patches suck?
Yep.

Did *some of us not give up, deal with the changes made, and continue to prosper?

Yep.


Bring on the expansion, the more new content the better.

As for mods?
Well...

Sorry to say this and it is not meant as a cheap shot, but I think it is kind of selfish for any mod maker to say that new content should be denied to the community just so their mod can be left in it’s current form.
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Old 11-05-2002, 07:07 AM   #27
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Quote:
Sorry to say this and it is not meant as a cheap shot, but I think it is kind of selfish for any mod maker to say that new content should be denied to the community just so their mod can be left in it’s current form.
I think you missed the point of the orginal post. If the jk2 multiplayer module is changed in the expansion, it will break and depreciate the current jk2 mods (and those under developement). This will discourage future modding and thereby further hobble the jk2 community. Artifex is therefore asking that the source code to the mp changes be released so that modders can fix and add the new features to their mods. I think that this is a reasonable request.

I guess the best possible scenario would be that Raven fixes the mp component in the expansion and releases the source code. Will this happen? Judging from 1.03 & 1.04, I have my doubts. So, in the meantime, it's ProMod all the way for me.
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Old 11-05-2002, 07:35 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rad Blackrose
Perhaps it is time to start giving credit to those who said JKII was dead.
Heh. Maybe it's just because I played JK1 for a long time, but the word "dead" obviously means something completely different to me than it does to you.

iIn my terminology, when it becomes difficult to get a game of JO, the game will be dying. when it becomes virtually impossible, it'll be dead.

As things stand, in Europe there's a choice of 1.04 servers running all the gametypes that regularly have people in 'em. Good people mind you, no slackers. And long may this continue, and long may I be able to play on them.

As I said earlier in the thread, people seem to expect phenomenal success from all their favourite FPS games these days, success comparable to that of CS. Ain't gonna happen, I'm afraid. It's unfortunate, but it hardly means the end of the world.


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Old 11-05-2002, 10:09 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by Homosexual Ewok
...
Sorry to say this and it is not meant as a cheap shot, but I think it is kind of selfish for any mod maker to say that new content should be denied to the community just so their mod can be left in it’s current form.
As mentioned, I think you missed the point of my post.

I'm not wanting to deny everyone new content. I'm just calling for whoever it is that would be developing one (big if) to take the long term community into mind when they do so. I don't want them to damage it further by releasing something in the vein of 1.03 and 1.04. If they're going to do it, do it right, then release all of the tools to us so that we can take our existing codebases and update them. No holding back the animation tools or the single player code.

I don't want another half-ass patch that further fragments the community.


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Old 11-05-2002, 11:53 AM   #30
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This was a great thread artifex! and I love ur work on the promod, its wot jk2 MP should have been from the beginning


hoho
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Old 11-05-2002, 02:57 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by ArtifeX


I don't want another half-ass patch that further fragments the community.
Agreed.
But to be honest, having a box with "Jedi Outcast: The Expansion" (or whatever it will be called) on the shelves at Best Buy is going to bring in a lot more new players than any mod ever could hope to.

A community will die if new players don't come in. There is no way around that.

And lets be completely honest here, 99.99999% of the people who are currently playing this game are not the serious minded "pro/comp" type of players.

How the damage scales and hit detection work mean nothing to them. The most important thing on their minds is when the new Chewbacca skin will be released.

New content = new players.
New players = new life breathed into the community.

Personally, I would much rather see 800 servers full of newbies and a somewhat "flawed" patch than 300 servers that are almost all completely empty most of the time.

I understand the desire for the release of the code/tools, but if it comes at the cost of no more “official” content, then I vote for the pretty cardboard box.
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Old 11-05-2002, 03:36 PM   #32
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Re: Re: I agree with Arti

I think we all would like an expansion, it would breathe new life into a game that I rather enjoy and hate to see slowly dieing. I don't see why we can't have both.

Asking for the SP source is really not quite what we should be asking for, The Quake II source was only released last Christmas, there is no chance that they SP source for Q3a will be released at least until iD is finished with Doom III. What would breathe new life into the community would be if Raven/LA would give us the Tools to expand the Single Player game, and tools to import new animations, I don't think that is too much to ask. I also would like Raven/LA to address this coment from one of the tutorials that came with the SDK

Q: "How difficult will it be to make our own custom animations?"

A: Michael Gummelt, Raven Software "To make new animations, you’d need a copy of SoftImage… we don’t expect that many people have access to that…"

Quite a few people here have access to SoftImage, so their requirement has been met, now according to that statement it's possible, could you please help us Raven?

Quote:
Originally posted by Syfo-Dyas

One of the things I'm reading here is a lot of 'Us and Them' talk. If you believe that Raven and Lucasarts don't care about what the community thinks, you'd be wrong... I think it matters a great deal to them what WE think. THEY know that nobody knows their games like WE do. THEY know that WE are a huge asset. WE keep these games alive for them! [/B]
I agree, there is an alful lot of talk like that, mostly from people who don't truely understand what they are talking about. Raven is a company commited to the mod community, just look at their past releases, SOF, SOF2, ST: Elite Force, Hexen, Heretic, the list could go on and on, all these games have one thing in common, good comunity support. I don't expect Raven to be quite as open as say Epic is, (check out UT2k3 and you'll understand) but they haven't been nearly as open about JKII as they have been with their previous games. Here's where Lucas Arts becomes involved. I don't beleive they hate the mod community either, but I think they don't truely understand how important the mod community is. This game will never be the next Counter Strike, I never thought for a second that it would be, but it could develop into a great game (still) via more support from LA and Raven.

The true litmus test for Lucas Arts is SW:Knights of the Old Republic. For those who don't know, BioWare is developing it, and they have a extremely solid track record for community and mod support, all you have to do is take a look at Neverwinter Nights and see how commited they are to continueing their games success via the mod community. If that game ships without extensive moding tools, or they never become available via a download shortly after the game comes out, then Lucas Arts will have failed my litmus test, and truely dissapoint me, and thousands of others who will buy their game. I truely hope they do not tie the hands of BioWare like I beleive they may have with Raven

Quote:
Originally posted by Syfo-Dyas

To do that, we simply need to agree on something and then draft up a document, make whatever revisions are needed, and send it off. This would not be a difficult thing to do, and it's better than sitting around on the forums whining about possible outcomes of expansion packs, or the death of the community. [/B]
This is an extremely good idea, I just wish we could know for sure that they would read it and react to it. By reaction I mean an official responce, positive or negative, not just being ignored. I have a contact with Lucas Arts, I am actually under a NDA with them for reasons I cannot discuss, but if we can draft up something reasonable and well written, I will get it to him, and try and get it to Raven. This is a great idea Syfo, now all we have to do is draft the document right and hopefully we can get them to listen

Anyway, sorry for making you all read all this speil, but I feel passionate about this Hopefully we can get something done

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Old 11-05-2002, 05:17 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spider AL


Heh. Maybe it's just because I played JK1 for a long time, but the word "dead" obviously means something completely different to me than it does to you.

iIn my terminology, when it becomes difficult to get a game of JO, the game will be dying. when it becomes virtually impossible, it'll be dead.

As things stand, in Europe there's a choice of 1.04 servers running all the gametypes that regularly have people in 'em. Good people mind you, no slackers. And long may this continue, and long may I be able to play on them.

As I said earlier in the thread, people seem to expect phenomenal success from all their favourite FPS games these days, success comparable to that of CS. Ain't gonna happen, I'm afraid. It's unfortunate, but it hardly means the end of the world.
Team Fortress player since the beginning of time, especially when there was only one prime server left before I headed out for Counter-Strike and wound up at Counter-Strike Radio, formerly Mega Team Fortress Radio.

Oh, and excuse me for a second... *taps Beyond the Horizon and KotR comparison* This goes far beyond just standard first person shooters, such as Counter-Strike. LucasArts is the anal retentive old man who does not want to see the younger generations have things they did not *cough Door County, Wisconsin cough*. There are three things I find to be the center of ANY game:

1.) Play/Replay value

2.) Storyline *Single player only*

3.) All the other crap.

I wouldn't give two s***s and a f*** if an old game had the lamest graphics or the worst sound in the world. But if the gameplay is riviting enough, or the storyline gets me hooked, that automatically kills criterion 3 tenfold. Glitz and glamour is the style of the gaming programmers today. We used to have games where if your reflexes were not fast enough, you were toast. Knowledge was power. I will be honest. I have been gaming since I was 7 years old. That is ten years (almost 11) of my life as to where I could have been some place else. My first computer I ever touched was a Commodore 64, and by god I am still addicted to Wizard (read: Yes, I have an emulator installed).

The old games were able to live up to their hype because they weren't outdoing each other in terms of graphics or sound. I mean, what good is the most beautiful game with lifelike sounds, if the gameplay mechanics blow goats? I almost 100% guarantee that if Raven releases an expansion pack, it will be for one of two reasons, in which the latter would be the more likely solution:

1.) Raven wants to address all core problems of the combat aspect and provide a fresh new storyline without LucasArts' incessant bitching.

or

2.) LucasArts is yanking Raven's chain for more money, forcing them to produce a sub-par product that screws up everything. The expansion is so bad, that the lightsaber is replaced with a riot baton and all guns have been reduced to NERF guns.

While I would love to see option one happen, it would be surely a snowball's chance in hell in order of it to happen. Like I stated earlier, it isn't Raven that is the problem; it's LucasArts. Eliminate LucasArts, and we can have the code as well as an expansion that everyone can agree on.

And I agree on another part: Next time some whiners start coming around denouncing some attack because they can't avoid it, then we nail his ass tenfold.
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Old 11-05-2002, 07:43 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by ArtifeX


They didn't release them all. They've still not released the animation tools, which is why no mods have any truly new animations in them. They're not planning to release them, either, just like the SP code.
That makes sense to me if they are indeed planning on an expansion pack.

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Old 11-05-2002, 10:25 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rad Blackrose
Perhaps it is time to start giving credit to those who said JKII was dead. They were right after all.


Oh, man I think I'm gonna...

YUP, I gonna haveta puke!





BLEEEWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!



ughhhh, I'm okay now... No, wait, not done yet...



mmmmBLAaahhhhh!!!

Pleeeezzz, pleeeezzz, no more!!!



Quote:
Originally posted by Rad Blackrose
Like I stated earlier, it isn't Raven that is the problem; it's LucasArts. Eliminate LucasArts, and we can have the code as well as an expansion that everyone can agree on.
Wow! These are certainly some wild allegations you're throwing around as if they were gospel...
This is HOW rumors get started...
Some guy invents this stuff in his head, and then starts spouting off like he'd just got off the phone with George Lucas himself!

Unless you *KNOW* these things, please don't talk about them as though they were true. I'll gladly support your right to be critical of Raven, or Lucasarts, or JO, or whatever. The bit you wrote about "Where's my gradification", was well put -I'm glad you said that.

But some of this other crap your writing, it just got's ta go! It accomplishes nothing. It defocuses our little 'Think Tank' discussion here. It's just a bunch of reactionary pessimism.

Please stop, and work toward something constructive.


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Old 11-05-2002, 11:01 PM   #36
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How do you figure it's not lucas arts thats the problem? I'm not saying they are, and I'm not saying they're not. They own JO, they hired raven to make JO for them. They paid raven to make patches and updates. Lucas Arts has complete control over media that is released for the game, patches that are released for the game and anything else.

If you look at what raven has done for sof2 and what raven has done for JO you see a huge difference. New maps and weapons in every patch for sof2, only 1 update for jo came with 1 completely new map, and a few sections of older maps from sp.

I'm guessing a small company like raven depends on the sales of their own orginal game a lot more than a larger company like lucas arts who can dish out game after game thats sucks and generates medium sales and not really be effected too much. LEC has a lot backing from other companies and can afford failure after failure with maybe one medium sized hit title for each year. Thats the way I see at least.
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Old 11-06-2002, 10:12 AM   #37
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While I agree that LEC could do more to make its games successful, I consider the endless reactionary and grossly bile-filled comments, tantamount to claims that LEC's executives are Space-Demons from the planet Xrzx, to be non-productive. LEC is a business, it's a big business. Big business is interested in making big wodges of cash, not in providing a high-quality service. Demonising them is silly though, they cannot escape their own nature. They are what they are.

Quote:
Originally posted by Rad Blackrose
I mean, what good is the most beautiful game with lifelike sounds, if the gameplay mechanics blow goats?
An absolutely valid point, Rad. But such concerns as the quality of gameplay are subjective. I consider JO to have exceedingly good gameplay. You on the other hand,.. are entitled to your opinion.

Many people labour under the misconception that the opinion of the majority should be catered to. This is a fallacy. The vast majority of people in the world are foolish by nature. In the past, there have been majorities that:
[list=a][*]Thought the Earth was flat.[*]Thought the Earth was the centre of the universe[*]Thought that animals have no sense of pain[*]Thought the Amiga was better than the Atari[/list=a]

Also, the opinion of a self-proclaimed majority should be mistrusted by everyone, because the vocal majority is usually both ignorant and self-serving.

So when I say that the only real mistake Raven made was to listen to a self-interested vocal majority of fanboys, it doesn't really matter whether LEC egged them on to do so or not, does it? The mistake was made, the patch released... and even though a lot of us agree that 1.03 was a mistake, shouldn't have been released as early on as it was, ought to have been tested more fully etc...

Even though we think that, there are still people who play 1.03 in preference to either 1.02 or 1.04.

Subjective, see?

Poor Raven. Can anyone blame them for not being involved in the JO community? Since the moment 1.03 was released people have been calling them every name under the sun. I have no doubt they tried to please the community. That's the real lesson to be learned I think, make your game, and then sit back. Bugfix, yes. Gameplay patch, NO. You may want to please everyone, but you can't. Nobody can, and you'll only annoy everyone if you try.

It's unfortunate that JO wasn't more successful, yes. But nobody can pin down the precise, exact, incontrivertible reason why it wasn't more successful. Anyone who claims to is kidding themselves as well as everyone else.

Because it's not just JO. As stated earlier, the whole online gaming community is going through a lull. And nobody can say for sure why this is.

I know why I think it is. I think it's because the games released these days have no soul. They're like McDonalds' happy-meals. All packaging and seasoning, no real meat.

Quote:
Originally posted by Rad Blackrose
We used to have games where if your reflexes were not fast enough, you were toast. Knowledge was power. I will be honest. I have been gaming since I was 7 years old. That is ten years (almost 11) of my life as to where I could have been some place else. My first computer I ever touched was a Commodore 64, and by god I am still addicted to Wizard
Mmkay, mate, I have no idea why you felt the need to wheel out your computing credentials... You really don't need to. They don't add any weight to your argument and your opinion would be just as valid if you'd started gaming last week. Of course, some of us started jumping on the home-computing bandwagon a mite earlier than you, I recall many a bleak day in the early '80s when I whiled away the rainy hours playing "The King" and "Touchstone" on my Dragon 32. Don't mention "Pong" though. Ever.


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Old 11-06-2002, 11:17 AM   #38
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Regardless of who is in control, or what mistakes have been made with the patches, there is still a chance for LA/Raven to make this game what it should have been.

1. Release the entire toolset.
2. Have a developer able to answer modding questions in less than 2 weeks.
3. If an expansion is released, gather up all of the best community-made addons and put them on the cd.
4. Don't muck with multiplayer unless current mods can duplicate the new features.
5. Have the developers master playing the game.


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Old 11-06-2002, 01:36 PM   #39
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Tee hee! Your first four suggestions seem very mod-maker-friendly Arti, though I'm not sure how they would increase JO's successfulness in either the pro-gaming community or increase the numbers of players playing the game worldwide... Possibly they would increase the successfulness of mod-makers...

Your last suggestion is extremely unlikely to be followed, I have to say. Takes time and effort to master the game, and Raven personnel have full-time dev jobs to do as well... Nor does mastery of the game automatically provide one with the wisdom to effect good game-balance. As much as I'd love to create a game to suit my own advanced style of play, I have to grudgingly admit that there are many less experienced people who have as much right to play the game they want, as I do.

I'd welcome any expansion personally, as I agree with those who say that any new JO fare that appears in shops can only enliven our community.


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Old 11-06-2002, 02:07 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally posted by Spider AL
Tee hee! Your first four suggestions seem very mod-maker-friendly Arti, though I'm not sure how they would increase JO's successfulness in either the pro-gaming community or increase the numbers of players playing the game worldwide... Possibly they would increase the successfulness of mod-makers...
All fps's that have stood the test of time have done so on the quality of their mods. People play the vanilla, official version of the game, get bored with it, and either quit or go looking for a mod. If the quality of the mods can be kept high, then those players will stick with the game longer, and will tell others about them. That equals a larger, more involved community.

Half-life is the ultimate example of this. UT and Quake 3 are others.
Quote:

Your last suggestion is extremely unlikely to be followed, I have to say. Takes time and effort to master the game, and Raven personnel have full-time dev jobs to do as well... Nor does mastery of the game automatically provide one with the wisdom to effect good game-balance. As much as I'd love to create a game to suit my own advanced style of play, I have to grudgingly admit that there are many less experienced people who have as much right to play the game they want, as I do.
When trying to balance a game, you have to do one of two things: experience the game in its entirety for yourself by actually playing it often, or have someone whose opinion you trust gain the experience for you, and offer their advice. Of these two, the first is preferable, because you are getting first hand information. Is it practical? In dev shops with a definite deliverable date, probably not. They'll have to rely on a combination of the two. Where Raven screwed up is that they used perfect strangers (the forum-goers and emails) as their advisors. They should have asked some hardcore gamers to closed-beta test it for them.

This is another argument to support my stand on LA/Raven not altering the multiplayer balance. Modders actually can afford to play the game themselves. They don't have any publisher looking over their shoulder saying, "Is it done yet? Is it done yet?" They also tend to care enough about the end product to assure that this is done properly. The fact that they have spent so much of their time working on a mod for no other return than their personal satisfaction is evidence of that.

Making the game balanced at advanced levels does not preclude it being accessible to new players. I'm not advocating a difficult game, just a deep one.
Quote:

I'd welcome any expansion personally, as I agree with those who say that any new JO fare that appears in shops can only enliven our community.
Yes, it would bring players in the short term, but if the gameplay remains broken, it will be only the short term, unless those players are exposed to mods that improve upon that gameplay.


Artifex *ASC*
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