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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by Calemyr View Post
    You need credits in order to purchase these legacy bonuses? How expensive are they? If it's to the point you need endgame characters to afford it, it's not a great incentive to hurry back - the game rapidly ceased to be fun in the mid thirties, as the difficulty of even mundane fights spiked and my ability to get into groups remained flat (and darn close to zero).
    The ship vendor is ~1m space bucks. The mailbox is ~0.5m/.75m (I can't remember which). The GTN terminal is 1.5m. Personally, I'll probably get the mailbox then the GTN then the ship vendor.

    There is no requirement to buy one upgrade before you buy the other. The only things which I think are sequentially unlocked are the Fleet Pass and Quick Travel upgrades. And, while you could buy this with an lower level alt, it's definitely easier to generate credits via daily missions with your level 50. Really an economies of scale issue.

    Quote Originally Posted by Calemyr View Post
    You need credits in order to purchase these legacy bonuses? How expensive are they? If it's to the point you need endgame characters to afford it, it's not a great incentive to hurry back - the game rapidly ceased to be fun in the mid thirties, as the difficulty of even mundane fights spiked and my ability to get into groups remained flat (and darn close to zero).
    It depends. Some of the bonuses are story-progress related. Some of them are legacy-level related. Some of them are character level related. Some of them are Valor/Social level related. Some of them are purchasable outright. Some of them require a combination of legacy and money.

    You cannot buy your way into the story progress bonuses or companion bonuses. You can buy your way into Social and Valor items with legacy and money. You can only buy the ship terminals with legacy and money. You can buy race unlocks with legacy and money.

    Quote Originally Posted by VanBuren View Post
    being recently named the worst company in America.
    People really give that stupid, histrionic poll too much press.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    Either way, it doesn't take much for an MMO to burn. SWTOR was buggy, graphically it wasn't that amazing but it was very good for an MMO, the lack of endgame meant players were bored, and when the company pulled the 'bait and switch' some people said enough's enough, free month or no.
    I'm not sure I agree that it was that buggy at launch. They introduced more bugs by being over-eager to satisfy player demands than the game actually had at launch.

    Also, the "when the company pulled the bait and switch" was last week, not six months ago.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    Side note, I'm getting really tired of Bioware blaming all the faults of their games on release dates, investors, etc. I would love to see them produce a game without all the meddling, and see what's really what.
    This would never happen unless they went the way of Spiderweb.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    Giving people a month free is either a stopgap (prevent people from leaving) or a gimmick to get people to return. Either way, it was a good move at the time.
    This was also last week. My brain could be addled today, but it reads like you're writing an obituary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    Now admittedly, the number of people who blitzed their way to 50 in the first week of release and found less endgame than they were expecting are likely to be a minority.
    They're a very loud minority. Unfortunately, their dedication to being loud spurred over-reactiveness in Bioware, as noted above. I'm not saying that the company shouldn't have done anything in response, but there were an incredible number of missteps by the company for a game that only five months old, all in order to please the blitzers, please the PvPers, and please the alt-makers. Honestly, I think they might have been better off picking one of those groups and serving them first. Sure the other two could bitch about being left out, but it wouldn't lead to everyone feeling ill-served or to the "bait and switch" labels.

  2. - Top - End - #572
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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sith_Happens View Post
    So basically, EA overestimated how successful their most successful games would be, and consequently spent too much money marketing titles that pratically sell themselves?

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    But they aren't selling themselves, thats actually the problem. That 30 million they spent marketing post launch is entirely a waste if it didn't bring in the expected numbers.

    Yes, EA overestimated and underdelivered (just talking numbers, not game quality) and in the case of Star Wars, were relying on name brand recognition to sell it. Several of the so-called 'dead' MMO's did precisely this, and look where they are now?
    (I am NOT infering that SW is in trouble or dead, making that clear now)


    Quote Originally Posted by GungHo View Post
    I'm not sure I agree that it was that buggy at launch. They introduced more bugs by being over-eager to satisfy player demands than the game actually had at launch.
    Buggy is still buggy. Theoretically we could still call all this the launch phase. The timing is largely irrelivant though, players impacted is what remains relevant, naturally.


    My brain could be addled today, but it reads like you're writing an obituary.
    Actually I was more or less applauding a wise move.


    They're a very loud minority. Unfortunately, their dedication to being loud spurred over-reactiveness in Bioware, as noted above. I'm not saying that the company shouldn't have done anything in response, but there were an incredible number of missteps by the company for a game that only five months old, all in order to please the blitzers, please the PvPers, and please the alt-makers. Honestly, I think they might have been better off picking one of those groups and serving them first. Sure the other two could bitch about being left out, but it wouldn't lead to everyone feeling ill-served or to the "bait and switch" labels.
    Indeed. I dislike watching game producers react to vocal minorities for precisely these reasons. I empathise for Bioware, because being stuck between a rock and a hard place is tough as it is without adding in a second rock.
    Really, who do you please in that scenario?


    Personally though, I don't see it all as doom and gloom, and I think when SWTOR turns 1 year old, they will have most of this stuff all ironed out. But that was my guess pre-launch.
    Last edited by Karoht; 2012-04-17 at 10:00 AM.
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    Default Re: Unconfirmed: EA Layoffs Incoming Due to Disappointing SWTOR Subscriber Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    Side note, I'm getting really tired of Bioware blaming all the faults of their games on release dates, investors, etc. I would love to see them produce a game without all the meddling, and see what's really what.
    Investors meddle. Producers meddle, they're paid to meddle. Their job is to protect the financial interest of their investors, and that's because the people funding these games aren't treating them as art, they're treating them as an asset investment, like they're drilling an oil well or building a skyscraper.

    In truth, I don't see much evidence that compromises were made in the developer's artistic vision to get this made. I see lots of evidence that they sunk a ton of money into voice work and machinima that should have gone into content. The decision to have EVERY mission come with animation and voice-overs was a BAD one. For the class missions, sure. For the flashpoints, sure. Even for the planet's main mission arcs, maybe. But for every dumb-ass fetch mission and kill 25 snow moose? Give it a rest.

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    Default Re: Unconfirmed: EA Layoffs Incoming Due to Disappointing SWTOR Subscriber Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    The decision to have EVERY mission come with animation and voice-overs was a BAD one. For the class missions, sure. For the flashpoints, sure. Even for the planet's main mission arcs, maybe. But for every dumb-ass fetch mission and kill 25 snow moose? Give it a rest.
    Well, it does help MMO-hating people like me get immersed and stay interested.
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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    My point is that it's the low quality writing, repetitive missions, and just general reliance on filler that distinguishes an MMO from an ordinary role-playing game. And where you choose to spend your money is a major determinant in terms of what kind of content you produce.

    I don't think you actually hate MMOs, I think you hate the time-wasting tactics they use to keep you paying their monthly game-ransom year over year.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    I think that they should have shortened the leveling time by cutting out all the non-class and non-main questlines on each planet quests and instead focused the extra funds into more flashpoints and other things.

    Where exactly does it say that leveling to max level needs to take a long time or have a lot of filler quests?
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    Default Re: Unconfirmed: EA Layoffs Incoming Due to Disappointing SWTOR Subscriber Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    In truth, I don't see much evidence that compromises were made in the developer's artistic vision to get this made. I see lots of evidence that they sunk a ton of money into voice work and machinima that should have gone into content. The decision to have EVERY mission come with animation and voice-overs was a BAD one. For the class missions, sure. For the flashpoints, sure. Even for the planet's main mission arcs, maybe. But for every dumb-ass fetch mission and kill 25 snow moose? Give it a rest.
    Eh... I don't think they're quite as expensive as you'd think. It's maybe... 13 lines at most for each of the questgivers, and maybe 2-3 unique lines for the player characters (a lot of the dialogue the player says are stock lines). And most of the simple quests barely qualify as a machinima. They're just 2-3 people talking.
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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Even if it cost $3.95 and a sack of peanuts for Jojo the amazing sound-chimp, it was a waste of money, since, in my opinion, its only function is to increase the wear on my spacebar.

    But, in fact, it's not cheap. It increases the marginal cost of the game, as the encoded sound and graphics data adds to the size of the game, which increases the network costs of online delivery and the replication costs for publishing via DVD-Rom. It also had to all be tested by QA for glitches, etc, and any problems found will be re-recorded.

    All this completely bypasses the salaries paid to the writers, voice actors, sound crew, animators, etc. to actually produce all that dross. It's in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest voice over project in history, with over 200,000 lines of recorded dialogue.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    Even if it cost $3.95 and a sack of peanuts for Jojo the amazing sound-chimp, it was a waste of money, since, in my opinion, its only function is to increase the wear on my spacebar.

    But, in fact, it's not cheap. It increases the marginal cost of the game, as the encoded sound and graphics data adds to the size of the game, which increases the network costs of online delivery and the replication costs for publishing via DVD-Rom. It also had to all be tested by QA for glitches, etc, and any problems found will be re-recorded.

    All this completely bypasses the salaries paid to the writers, voice actors, sound crew, animators, etc. to actually produce all that dross. It's in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest voice over project in history, with over 200,000 lines of recorded dialogue.
    I'm just going to say that this might not be the game for you if you skip all quest dialog. The "IT'S KOTOR WITH VOICE ACTING AND EVERYTHING IN MMO FORM!" is a big selling point.

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    Last edited by MCerberus; 2012-04-17 at 06:43 PM.
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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by pffh View Post
    I think that they should have shortened the leveling time by cutting out all the non-class and non-main questlines on each planet quests and instead focused the extra funds into more flashpoints and other things.

    Where exactly does it say that leveling to max level needs to take a long time or have a lot of filler quests?
    I think in trying to replicate the WoW model, they maybe mistook "people enjoying levelling alts" with "very long grind". What people liked about WoW I think was that you could go to any (level appropriate) quest hub and start a quest chain. In SWTOR, you basically have to start at the very beginning of the planet to get quests.

    What would have been brilliant is to have 1-5 planets exclusively for story quests for all eight classes. That way when levelling, there's Republic and Empire interaction (for those PvP junkies), and you may not necessarily see every planet. Then you just have cursory other planets offering lots of orange gear for appearance junkies, with lots of other quests.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by GungHo View Post
    People really give that stupid, histrionic poll too much press.
    Yeah, my opinion on the whole "Worst Company in America" is pretty much the same as EA's. Specifically:

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    Quote Originally Posted by GungHo View Post
    They're a very loud minority. Unfortunately, their dedication to being loud spurred over-reactiveness in Bioware, as noted above. I'm not saying that the company shouldn't have done anything in response, but there were an incredible number of missteps by the company for a game that only five months old, all in order to please the blitzers, please the PvPers, and please the alt-makers. Honestly, I think they might have been better off picking one of those groups and serving them first. Sure the other two could bitch about being left out, but it wouldn't lead to everyone feeling ill-served or to the "bait and switch" labels.
    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    Indeed. I dislike watching game producers react to vocal minorities for precisely these reasons. I empathise for Bioware, because being stuck between a rock and a hard place is tough as it is without adding in a second rock.
    Really, who do you please in that scenario?
    I actually don't think they've overreacted to nearly the extent they could have. About the worst thing they've done to appeal to the whiners is focus nearly all of their post-launch development on endgame, which I was expecting them to do anyways. After all, this is the game that some people were complaining had too much leveling content at launch, which leaves endgame as the only thing that even needs adding to in the first place anytime in the near future. Well that and quality-of-life features, but I feel like they've been putting those out at a pretty good pace as well.
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    Default Re: Unconfirmed: EA Layoffs Incoming Due to Disappointing SWTOR Subscriber Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    Investors meddle. Producers meddle, they're paid to meddle. Their job is to protect the financial interest of their investors, and that's because the people funding these games aren't treating them as art, they're treating them as an asset investment, like they're drilling an oil well or building a skyscraper.
    It's true, I won't argue this. But it happens to every company out there. Bioware always seems to always say "It wasn't us, it was the one-armed man" for pretty much every game they make. Citing these problems for a game here and there, sure, that's normal. Citing it for every game, post release?

    Also, I had friends in the Beta, closely following all the developer notes and posts on the forums. They constantly remarked at how surprised they were that EA "Seemed" to not be meddling. Then the game gets launched and surprise surprise, the blame comes out. My friends could very likely be mistaken, but given how often Bioware has cried wolf, at some point one must wonder if there is in fact a wolf or not.


    In truth, I don't see much evidence that compromises were made in the developer's artistic vision to get this made. I see lots of evidence that they sunk a ton of money into voice work and machinima that should have gone into content. The decision to have EVERY mission come with animation and voice-overs was a BAD one. For the class missions, sure. For the flashpoints, sure. Even for the planet's main mission arcs, maybe. But for every dumb-ass fetch mission and kill 25 snow moose? Give it a rest.
    I greatly agree. I watched livestream after livestream, and I was constantly wishing I had a fast forward button. When I heard that you could just press spacebar to skip that stuff, the number 1 request in the chat on every livestream for the beta during the talky bits was "Press Spacebar already [insert name of caster]"

    It's a shame. Yes, I play WoW, and I'll openly admit that I greatly disenjoy Star Wars (as a franchise whole, not specifically SWTOR), but I still had have very high hopes for this game. 6 months from now, I honestly hope it gets better. I really do. It's got the potential, it always had the potential. They made a great leap, they just need to stick the landing.
    Last edited by Karoht; 2012-04-18 at 11:27 AM.
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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    The decision to have every mission in the game given through voiceover wasn't a very good one, but personally I'm glad they did (especially since they DO have a few dropbox missions) if only because it makes the world more immersive... and also for the occasional truly hilarious bit of NPC dialogue.

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    "My men were plotting, scheming. All the signs were there. The smart move was to kill them all... How was i supposed to know they were just planning a surprise party for my promotion?!"
    "I am programmed to understand over 100 languages and dialects and in not one is the phrase 'on fire' positive when referring to a person!"

    Honestly, if the choice was between too much dialogue and too little, I'd lean towards too much - they can come up with new content later and draw players back.

    ... But yeah, i wanted to facepalm HARD when that sith acolyte on korriban tells you that someone is looking for Bone Marrow samples from Tuk'ata. You don't even get to answer him...
    To whom it may concern:

    Due to a massive pile-up of schoolwork I should've had done a month ago, I will be taking a temporary leave of absence from the boards. I'll occasionally check in (on roleplays in particular) but for the next two to three weeks I'm not going to be posting as much as usual. I apologize if this holds anyone up in anything, and hope to return soon.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Yes, there's definitely a few gems out there, I won't deny it, but the overpowering majority of voice dialogue is torturously bland, and in more than a few cases, actually offensive (sorry, but taking lip off mission givers isn't something I'm interested in doing).

    But this is all moot. SW:TOR is a game. It sinks or swims based on gameplay, and on that score, it's positively derivative, and where it isn't derivative, it's worse. Tons and tons and tons of boilerplate, repetitive missions featuring bland, predictable enemies. Yes, I'm biased because I've played WoW for eight years, but that's the root of the issue: We've had WoW for eight years. Did we really need another game whose root gameplay elements were "Don't stand in fire" and "Interrupt the castbar"?

    Honestly, if the choice was between too much dialogue and too little, I'd lean towards too much - they can come up with new content later and draw players back.
    But that isn't the choice. The choice is 'too much dialogue' or 'that money spent on some other feature', such as macros, plugin support, interface customization, or just more content or bug fixes.
    Last edited by The_Jackal; 2012-04-18 at 01:40 PM.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    Yes, there's definitely a few gems out there, I won't deny it, but the overpowering majority of voice dialogue is torturously bland, and in more than a few cases, actually offensive (sorry, but taking lip off mission givers isn't something I'm interested in doing).
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    Default Re: Unconfirmed: EA Layoffs Incoming Due to Disappointing SWTOR Subscriber Numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    In truth, I don't see much evidence that compromises were made in the developer's artistic vision to get this made. I see lots of evidence that they sunk a ton of money into voice work and machinima that should have gone into content. The decision to have EVERY mission come with animation and voice-overs was a BAD one. For the class missions, sure. For the flashpoints, sure. Even for the planet's main mission arcs, maybe. But for every dumb-ass fetch mission and kill 25 snow moose? Give it a rest.
    That's just....like your opinion bro.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    Yes, there's definitely a few gems out there, I won't deny it, but the overpowering majority of voice dialogue is torturously bland, and in more than a few cases, actually offensive (sorry, but taking lip off mission givers isn't something I'm interested in doing).
    As opposed to fawning morons that would turn gay for you? Sorry man, but rude/jerk NPCs make sense inter-spaced (is that the word?) with the respectful.

    Also, I really don't see where you're getting the idea that the majority of it is bland. Repetitive, sure. Stupid, dear lord yes. But bland? I really don't see it =/ and even bland dialogue is more immersive than scrolling text.

    But this is all moot. SW:TOR is a game. It sinks or swims based on gameplay, and on that score, it's positively derivative, and where it isn't derivative, it's worse. Tons and tons and tons of boilerplate, repetitive missions featuring bland, predictable enemies. Yes, I'm biased because I've played WoW for eight years, but that's the root of the issue: We've had WoW for eight years. Did we really need another game whose root gameplay elements were "Don't stand in fire" and "Interrupt the castbar"?
    1) If I have to choose between a bland game and an equally bland game with better immersion and storyline, I pick the second.

    2) A lot of people don't remember this but vanilla wow (ie, when it first came out) was filled with bugs just like TOR is now. And frankly even now i found the experience of levelling a death knight the last 30 levels to 85 positively painful.

    But that isn't the choice. The choice is 'too much dialogue' or 'that money spent on some other feature', such as macros, plugin support, interface customization, or just more content or bug fixes.
    I assumed that was understood - if you notice, I added that they could add new features/content later if need be. New voices for quests, on the other hand, would be a real pain. And a major selling point for TOR was 'it's a fully voiced mmo'.
    To whom it may concern:

    Due to a massive pile-up of schoolwork I should've had done a month ago, I will be taking a temporary leave of absence from the boards. I'll occasionally check in (on roleplays in particular) but for the next two to three weeks I'm not going to be posting as much as usual. I apologize if this holds anyone up in anything, and hope to return soon.

    -HalfTangible (4/19/2014)

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Say, I'm still waiting for my physical game copy so I can pick up where my trial left off, and I was wondering about something: Are the class stories connected in any way? Does it take multiple classes on each side to get a full view of the story and war?
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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeivar View Post
    Say, I'm still waiting for my physical game copy so I can pick up where my trial left off, and I was wondering about something: Are the class stories connected in any way? Does it take multiple classes on each side to get a full view of the story and war?
    I think the best way to describe it is that the planet quests are the overlap, while the class quests are separate. You get some events happening which you'll know why if you've played other quests, but mostly the class things are detached from each other.
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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by HalfTangible View Post
    Also, I really don't see where you're getting the idea that the majority of it is bland. Repetitive, sure. Stupid, dear lord yes. But bland? I really don't see it =/ and even bland dialogue is more immersive than scrolling text.
    I watched about 6 hours straight of livestreams back in beta. I personally found almost all the voice acting bland. Might have just been the script.


    1) If I have to choose between a bland game and an equally bland game with better immersion and storyline, I pick the second.
    Being talked at isn't always better immersion. And conversation wheels aren't all that immersive either.


    2) A lot of people don't remember this but vanilla wow (ie, when it first came out) was filled with bugs just like TOR is now.
    That was a game made over 8 years ago. The bar has come up for a game in production for 5 years and released in 2012.


    And a major selling point for TOR was 'it's a fully voiced mmo'.
    It's a selling point that they are very proud of and rightly so. But it's implimentation causes it to come across as a shoehorned feature. It's great they committed to it, and did so early in development. That doesn't make it a great feature in all cases. See above comments in terms of script and voice acting quality.
    Given what they spent on the feature, I'm curious to know how many people mashed the spacebar, therefore ignoring the feature, therefore wasting the money. But I can only speculate on that, so take this comment with a grain of salt. But if that number of players is considerable, then it was a waste of money. In other words, is it really a selling point if a considerable number of players are bypassing it?
    It causes it all to come across as 'feature they implimented to have an extra sticker on the box' rather than 'feature that actually brings value to the game.'
    Granted though, that value is subjective, obviously quite a few people enjoy the feature. That's great, I still applaud Bioware for committing to it and doing it. Was it successful? Was it worth the production time and effort which could have perhaps been spent elsewhere (like better testing to avoid some of these bugs), or was it a feature that actually greatly benefit the game, the players, and the developer?

    Other MMO's could easily be fully voiced. It's not some marvel, unique to Star Wars. The better question is not 'can it be done' but is it appropriate in every situation? Do you need voice acting for 3 minutes prior to each and every quest? Or do you only need a sentence or two here and there? Star Wars had pages of quest talk, most quests could probably get away with a paragraph or less. Extreme example, but I don't need a 5 minute lecture about the force for me to go out and kill 10 bunnies for you. Oversaturation and all that.
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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Personally, I'm in the process of leveling my third and fourth characters atm, and the only conversations I don't spacebar through are the class-specific conversations. I've already heard all the other ones twice before. I just wish there was an in-game indicator of how your current companion will react to certain lines. Their reactions don't always follow their codex entries, and it annoys me when I have to restart a conversation because something I expected to result in an affection gain actually gave a substantial hit. Particularly offensive in this case is Mako, whose entry indicates that she likes doing things that result in you getting paid, yet disapproves of almost every attempt to wrangle more credits out of a client.
    Delightfully abrasive in more ways than one
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    Quote Originally Posted by RabbitHoleLost View Post
    Mango:you sick, twisted bastard <3
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    I think Krade is protesting the use of the word mad in in the phrase mad scientist as it promotes ambiguity. Are they angry? Are they crazy? Some of both? Not to mention, it also often connotates some degree of evilness. In the future we should be more careful to use proper classification.

    Mango is a dastardly irate unhinged scientist, for realz.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by HalfTangible View Post
    As opposed to fawning morons that would turn gay for you? Sorry man, but rude/jerk NPCs make sense inter-spaced (is that the word?) with the respectful.
    You mistake me. It's not that they're rude or arrogant which irritates me. It's that in nearly every case, I'm not permitted the scope to act in character, namely to put the speaker in their place, courtesy of force choke.



    Also, I really don't see where you're getting the idea that the majority of it is bland. Repetitive, sure. Stupid, dear lord yes. But bland? I really don't see it =/ and even bland dialogue is more immersive than scrolling text.
    You say stupid and repetitive, I say bland and inane. And you're entitled to your opinion, but mine is that they spent a ton of money to make me mash my spacebar.

    1) If I have to choose between a bland game and an equally bland game with better immersion and storyline, I pick the second.
    And I respond that that's a false choice. If you believe that NOTHING better could be done than what we got, regardless of where production resources were spent, again, you're entitled to your opinion. I, however, disagree. Money is fungible, and much of this game could have done with more polish, better writing, and more varied gamplay.

    2) A lot of people don't remember this but vanilla wow (ie, when it first came out) was filled with bugs just like TOR is now. And frankly even now i found the experience of levelling a death knight the last 30 levels to 85 positively painful.
    Not really my point. My point is that, in my opinion, cut-scenes are only worth inserting when they're INTERESTING, and the vast, overpowering majority of them are dull, uninteresting mission briefings. What else the developer could have spent the production money on is largely a matter of conjecture.

    I assumed that was understood - if you notice, I added that they could add new features/content later if need be. New voices for quests, on the other hand, would be a real pain. And a major selling point for TOR was 'it's a fully voiced mmo'.
    Marketing may have made a big deal about it, but my point is that it doesn't actually make the game better. In most cases, IMO, it makes the game worse. Make cut-scenes matter, or don't make them at all.

    I don't want to come of as if SW:TOR is a BAD game. I'm still paying my subscriber fee, I still have fun playing it with my friends. And I could totally be wrong in terms of the production costs allocated to animating and voicing all this content. But if I'm not wrong about it, then in my opinion, most of that expenditure does not enhance the quality of the product.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    You say stupid and repetitive, I say bland and inane. And you're entitled to your opinion, but mine is that they spent a ton of money to make me mash my spacebar.
    Seconded, because if I were a snarkier person I would use all 4 words.


    Marketing may have made a big deal about it, but my point is that it doesn't actually make the game better. In most cases, IMO, it makes the game worse. Make cut-scenes matter, or don't make them at all.
    There are a few games which come to mind that probably over-did cutscenes. It seems like lots of developers get really trigger happy with them.
    Oh well. They could have been quicktime button mashy events. So I guess there's one thing to be thankful for.


    And I could totally be wrong in terms of the production costs allocated to animating and voicing all this content. But if I'm not wrong about it, then in my opinion, most of that expenditure does not enhance the quality of the product.
    The game boasts over 200,000 hours of recorded dialogue. Fortunately, this is an area I have some experience with, as I've done TV and Radio work.
    200,000 hours that made it.
    We can easily multiply that figure by 10 as for what hit the cutting room floor. We could probably multiply it further. A 15 second voice over once took me 4 hours, and that was considered fast by the director. They had 9 other voice actors to go through and I was in fact the fastest.

    But lets keep this to easy math. So that is 2 million hours in a recording studio. Even if that is 1 person, that right there is going to equal out to a pretty big chunk of money, even at 10 bucks an hour. Industry standard is actually a fair bit higher where I come from, closer to 20 bucks an hour. So we're looking at 40 million just for 1 voice actor to stand there and talk to get 200,000 hours of usable material.
    Oh wait, Bioware managed to get some big names in voice acting from their other franchises like Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Those guys aren't getting 20 bucks an hour, I assure you. The big names are all probably on separate contracts, probably in the 6 figure area on top of an hourly rate. But again, for easy math, we'll stick with our 40 million dollar number.

    And now, the recording studio. Anyone want to hazard a guess as to what you pay for recording studio time? This is just to record mind you, nevermind editing. Anyone? It's not cheap. It's especially not cheap for 2 million hours of recording. Even if Bioware runs their own, it's still pretty darned expensive. Equipment and software costs are expensive and thats if you aren't doing professional grade projects, never mind a Triple A game release.

    Then we have the cinematics themselves, which have to be written for, models have to be constructed, rendered, mouth movements have to be matched up to vocals, and then every last conversation has to be tested and tested and tested. Good thing beta testing is cheap.


    Now while I'm not going to throw a number out there for what Bioware did in fact spend on 200,000 hours of voice acted dialogue, you can see how the costs add up and add up fast. 40 million in voice acting, at absolute minimum, not to mention the recording costs and the rest of the implimentation and testing to make it actually happen. Those figures of 300-500 million, while made up, are starting to seem really plausible.
    And it's a feature that one can skip. Think about that.

    Come to think of it, that is pretty respectable that they even did it.
    Last edited by Karoht; 2012-04-19 at 04:47 PM.
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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    And it's a feature that one can skip. Think about that.

    Come to think of it, that is pretty respectable that they even did it.
    And I for one am grateful. I just hope the cost doesn't sink the only MMO I might actually get invested in.
    "Is this 'cause I killed the hippie? Is that even illegal?"

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    You mistake me. It's not that they're rude or arrogant which irritates me. It's that in nearly every case, I'm not permitted the scope to act in character, namely to put the speaker in their place, courtesy of force choke.
    I don't know about Warriors, but as an Inquisitor I almost always get at least the option to tell off anyone that takes a bad tone with me, and >90% of the time they immediately catch themselves and apologize profusely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Karoht View Post
    Come to think of it, that is pretty respectable that they even did it.
    Definitely, and I think that that's ultimately what it comes down to. You can't just voice some characters and have the rest speak in text boxes; that would be tacky and rather jarring as you bounce back and forth between the two. Instead, BioWare went all the way and voiced everyone, and personally I do think the game benefited from that greatly. It's a small touch most of the time, but as someone who actually reads quest text I can tell you that voicing everything instead just makes for an overall more enjoyable experience.

    Are there people who don't listen to a word of dialogue in SW:TOR? Sure. Are they anywhere near a majority of players? By all indications that I've ever seen, almost definitely not, at least for the first time doing a given conversation.

    Did fully voicing a game this size take a significant amount of both money and man-hours? Definitely, but BioWare wasn't exactly wanting for resources during development in the first place. Sure, some of the cash that went into recording would probably have otherwise gone into other aspects of the game, but I think most of it would have just not been spent in the first place. In other words, this wasn't a zero-sum game for them, it was more a matter of EA doing this:

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    Last edited by Sith_Happens; 2012-04-19 at 05:25 PM. Reason: Spelling
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    That's how wizards beta test their new animals. If it survives Australia, it's a go. Which in hindsight explains a LOT about Australia.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeivar View Post
    Say, I'm still waiting for my physical game copy so I can pick up where my trial left off, and I was wondering about something: Are the class stories connected in any way? Does it take multiple classes on each side to get a full view of the story and war?
    One of the smuggler's companions knew one of the sith warrior's, apparently. I don't know the details but somebody brought it up once.
    To whom it may concern:

    Due to a massive pile-up of schoolwork I should've had done a month ago, I will be taking a temporary leave of absence from the boards. I'll occasionally check in (on roleplays in particular) but for the next two to three weeks I'm not going to be posting as much as usual. I apologize if this holds anyone up in anything, and hope to return soon.

    -HalfTangible (4/19/2014)

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by HalfTangible View Post
    One of the smuggler's companions knew one of the sith warrior's, apparently. I don't know the details but somebody brought it up once.
    That would be Risha and Vette.
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    Nok Drayen, the pirate/crime-lord Vette cruised around with for a while some time before game start, is Risha's father.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    That's how wizards beta test their new animals. If it survives Australia, it's a go. Which in hindsight explains a LOT about Australia.

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic II: Hutts don't have feet!

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Jackal View Post
    You mistake me. It's not that they're rude or arrogant which irritates me. It's that in nearly every case, I'm not permitted the scope to act in character, namely to put the speaker in their place, courtesy of force choke.
    Yeah, that would be even tougher and resource intensive than what we have now - weren't you the one saying that they used too much on voice acting already?

    You say stupid and repetitive, I say bland and inane.
    Ok, i'm pretty sure inane is a synonym for stupid. So you didn't really add anything there for me to respond to. Why am i quoting it, then? I don't know yet. But for some reason i'm chuckling to myself as i type this. I might need to see a professional

    Jokes aside and to an actually relevant response though... Even if it were true that the convos are mostly bland (which i don't think) after WoW's text scrolling without input, i gotta say, it's still totally worth it. 99% of what people say is bland and uninteresting anyway, real life, forum or game.

    And you're entitled to your opinion, but mine is that they spent a ton of money to make me mash my spacebar.
    Not sure that counts as an opinion since it's technically true =/ You ARE mashing your spacebar...

    And I respond that that's a false choice. If you believe that NOTHING better could be done than what we got, regardless of where production resources were spent, again, you're entitled to your opinion. I, however, disagree. Money is fungible, and much of this game could have done with more polish, better writing, and more varied gamplay.
    Oh for the love of... have you never heard that expression before? It's supposed to be false, because the choice isn't the point, the-

    ...Ok I can't possibly explain that properly. I'm not that good with language or hyperbole or expression or whatever. Let me try this again.

    I was saying that the conversations make TOR better than WoW, basically. Even with the occasional cringeworth idiocy, more immersion is worth less content at launch. If you're suggesting that the money in voice acting was inefficiently spent, that's a whole other issue.

    If I had walked up to Overseer Tremel (the first convo for the sith warrior) and seen text scrolling like WoW, i would have stopped RIGHT then. Probably.

    Not really my point. My point is that, in my opinion, cut-scenes are only worth inserting when they're INTERESTING, and the vast, overpowering majority of them are dull, uninteresting mission briefings. What else the developer could have spent the production money on is largely a matter of conjecture.
    Marketing may have made a big deal about it, but my point is that it doesn't actually make the game better. In most cases, IMO, it makes the game worse. Make cut-scenes matter, or don't make them at all.
    Conversations are are a part of the gameplay. They're not cutscenes. Your point is invalid. Have this cookie.

    I don't want to come of as if SW:TOR is a BAD game. I'm still paying my subscriber fee, I still have fun playing it with my friends. And I could totally be wrong in terms of the production costs allocated to animating and voicing all this content. But if I'm not wrong about it, then in my opinion, most of that expenditure does not enhance the quality of the product.
    And you're entitled to your incredibly wrong opinion as I am entitled to mine.
    To whom it may concern:

    Due to a massive pile-up of schoolwork I should've had done a month ago, I will be taking a temporary leave of absence from the boards. I'll occasionally check in (on roleplays in particular) but for the next two to three weeks I'm not going to be posting as much as usual. I apologize if this holds anyone up in anything, and hope to return soon.

    -HalfTangible (4/19/2014)

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    Default Star Wars: The Old Republic Subscriber Numbers Are Declining, Claims Analyst

    Star Wars: The Old Republic Subscriber Numbers Are Declining, Claims Analyst

    Considering that they're referencing a third-party server population history aggregator website, I wouldn't consider Cowen and Company's claims to Gamasutra to be official in any capacity. However, given the other news we've been hearing lately and the near-weekly free play sessions that BioWare Austin has been offering, it wouldn't surprise me at all if a drop of 450,000 subscribers is that far off:

    Cowen's Doug Creutz estimates that subscriber numbers for the game peaked at 1.7 million in February, and that by the end of the current fiscal year in March 2013, the game will have around 1.25 million subscribers, based on server statistics provided on TorStatus.net.

    Creutz also noted that EA has begun to heavily promote the game, leading him to believe that this is in response to the stalling subscriber numbers.

    "We believe that the apparent decline in subscribers is most likely due to a lack of 'end-game' content for the title, meaning that players who hit the level cap have few compelling options in terms of ongoing game play," he noted. "While the game got off to a good start, the relatively light amount of end-game content does appear to be taking a toll."

    "We believe EA is attempting to address the end-game content issue, including a recent major game update, but momentum appears to have stalled and we believe it is prudent to adopt a more conservative forecast on subscribers at this time."

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    Default Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic Subscriber Numbers Are Declining, Claims Analyst

    Quote Originally Posted by VanBuren View Post
    [More analyst speculation of DOOM!]
    Dangit VanBuren, there goes my hopes of the topic changing any time soon.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    That's how wizards beta test their new animals. If it survives Australia, it's a go. Which in hindsight explains a LOT about Australia.

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