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Star Wars: Galaxies - A truly player-driven economy. Perhaps an inspiration for PFO?


Pathfinder Online

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I don't know how much talk there has been about the mechanics of your system, but I think there are a couple of things that could be learned from the great experience (and later abysmal failure) that was Star Wars: Galaxies.

Before it got ruined, SW:G The economy was really, truly, 100% player driven. Based on your goals and ideas for this project, I think that is what you want for Pathfinder Online, too.

The clothes you wore, the guns you shot, the speeder you drove, the glasses you wore, the tables you put in your house, the house you built, the armor you lost, the minerals, the gas, the food, the inorganics, every single thing that went into gear, decorations, building, architecture, vehicles, was entirely farmed, cultivated, crafted, and sold by players.

It was honestly amazing.

You could become a server-wide famous gunsmith, or you could be his upstart competition with undercut prices, or you could be the smuggler who sliced the guns people bought from him for a wicked price (because it was "illegal"), you could blanket miles of the landscape with your gas or mineral harvesters.

It's also really important to know that there was no universal auction house, and the presence of one would have ruined and undermined that whole economy. You often had to hop planets and drive/walk yourself for half an hour to some kick-ass armorsmith's house, and sometimes you'd arrive only to find some reseller bought all his gear and was selling it for a jacked up price the next town over. Things like that can't happen with an auction house.

Even just the experience and aesthetic was spectacular and unique and unlike anything I've ever seen since. It was amazing having one of 50 houses in a player city on Tatooine, logging on and seeing lots of people walking around the bustling city, seeing all the players who owned different shops that sold their own or other players' goods, from weapons, armor and vehicles to even houses (there was an architect job). You could even go to the cantina to be entertained by a real person who played a musician character too.

Aside from missions involving NPCs, there were massive pvp faction wars in and between player built cities that sprawled across the landscape. It was EVE online without the mathematic drudgery, with all the PvP of WoW and none of the cartoony and kiddy-grade "style."

It was a phenomenal game. ... then they brought in Jedi in the dumbest way possible, and the integrity of a community that made servers feel like a living thing just fell to crap in a matter of weeks.

DESPITE ALL THIS, I'm not saying Pathfinder: Online should be Star Wars Galaxies but in the Pathfinder universe. For all those amazing qualities and aspects, SW:G had a lot of problems and LucasArts really ruined the whole thing with their updates and patches.

BUT, I do think it is a worthwhile example of what you're going for to keep in mind, I think, and maybe something to draw some inspiration from.

Goblin Squad Member

100% agree. I never imagined that I would spend hours upon hours of gaming sitting (standing) in a cantina, playing music with other musicians and dancers, but SWG made it fun to do and worthwhile. That game should be an inspiration for any sand-box MMO.

Also, check out SWGEMU to relive the old times.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

i concur

was a bio-engineer in the EARLY days of SWG, i bred rancors

people came from planets over just to get one and paid half their SWG savings LOL

was good stuff...

i also remember finding in a very remote, very dangerous spot a resource that had 998 efficiency in one of the much needed rare types ... i guarded that secret and bled it dry ... you cant imagine how fun that was

Goblin Squad Member

They have already stated the game will have a complete player driven economy (influenced definitively by Eve Online) and that everything the player can interact with can be crafted from raw resources by the players in the world. For those that haven't read it I highly suggest looking at the "Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick Makers" post at Goblinworks Blog.


I'm okay with that. That said, I do think it's worth mentioning that, in my opinion, there are a few areas where SW:G one-upped EVE.

Goblin Squad Member

Reliken wrote:
I'm okay with that. That said, I do think it's worth mentioning that, in my opinion, there are a few areas where SW:G one-upped EVE.

I would agree but you should elaborate, in detail. Your thoughts are being heard by the dev team and for all you know they might agree with you and try to implement those ideas.

Goblinworks Founder

SWG Pre-CU/NGE was pretty darn amazing.
One thing I wouldn't want to see from SWG is the slow combat. It just wouldn't be fun in this day and age.

Osirion Goblin Squad Member

One of the things exciting me about this game (at least in concept, from the blogs) is how they want to combine aspects of games I've enjoyed in the past. I LOVED the SWG crafting system; I know Ryan makes frequent comparisons to EVE, but the descriptions so far sound much closer to the original SWG mechanics.

I ended up with three SWG accounts to manage all of the characters I had on the Eclipse server. I quit shortly after Jedi were introduced, but prior to that it was a blast.

I also am picking up a lot of pre-Trammel UO in the blogs... That was another fantastic experience.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Elth wrote:

SWG Pre-CU/NGE was pretty darn amazing.

One thing I wouldn't want to see from SWG is the slow combat. It just wouldn't be fun in this day and age.

I dunno, while combat could be slow, I also *liked* that it could be slow. Taking down a Krayt dragon? Yeah, best bring a bunch of people and wail on him for awhile. I don't care if he was a tank n spank boss, he sometimes would break aggro and kill a random player (often me....).

Slowly whittling down a monster is sometimes satisfying. Some things should take awhile to kill. It would be unsatisfying to kill a dragon in under a minute.

Goblin Squad Member

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
Slowly whittling down a monster is sometimes satisfying. Some things should take awhile to kill. It would be unsatisfying to kill a dragon in under a minute.

I think a ton of people wailing on something often diminishes an "epic" fight sometimes. It's like in Age of Empires when you have a ton of guys beating on a building, instead an epic showdown with a powerful foe.

Think like Smaug in "The Hobbit." He was killed by a single well-placed arrow. Or Sauron by one slash of a sword.

I'm not sure how you would do this in a game, especially one with no aim mechanic, but it would be nice to see games where the trick is lining up that one perfect blow to slay or cripple your enemy.

That said I think we will continue to see Age of Empires Militia vs. Castle style boss fights for a long time to come. It works. It could be a lot better, but it works.

Goblin Squad Member

In war and in player driven games, the real decisions are taken before the first stroke is blown. This makes the actual fights seem sometimes anti-climactic.

I never played SW:G but I would like to hear more. Why did it fail after the patch?

Goblin Squad Member

MicMan wrote:

In war and in player driven games, the real decisions are taken before the first stroke is blown. This makes the actual fights seem sometimes anti-climactic.

I never played SW:G but I would like to hear more. Why did it fail after the patch?

In swg you could get competitive pvp gear for fairly cheap, also you could get great Damage over time weapons and legendary/good weapons from PVE though they were quite rare.

Also the best traders were often neutral suppling both sides with gear.

It failed because they tried to change it into wow. Went from about 32 classes to 8 with lackluster combat.

Goblin Squad Member

MicMan wrote:

In war and in player driven games, the real decisions are taken before the first stroke is blown. This makes the actual fights seem sometimes anti-climactic.

I never played SW:G but I would like to hear more. Why did it fail after the patch?

A few patches and stages of collapse.

The first small hit was caused by making jedi easy to obtain(just time consuming) and perma-death of jedi was removed

Biggest hits:

CU (combat upgrade)- dumbed down intricate combat system to attract a less intelligent but larger community. Lost a lot of players, protests cause server crashes.

NGE (New Game Enhancement) - Took 36(?)(+8 jedi professions) professions and turned them into 8(?) classes including removing thousands of hours players put into becoming a Jedi, and making it a regular class that anyone can pickup. Combat dumbed down further. Added 'leveling'. Lost pretty much everyone that invested any good amount of time in the game that wasn't a die-hard Star Wars fan playing simply because it was Star Wars. The timing of the release(a few days after a major expansion with no fair warning), resulted in lawsuits and a large hit to the company requiring them to refund all the people who didn't want to keep playing. SOE is infamous for bait and switch tactics, and Lucas Arts was only interested in short term money, a combination for a failed game.

Moral of the story: You can't have investors only interested in money, they need to want the game to be revolutionary so they can have their name on a product that is generally though of as exceptional.

Goblin Squad Member

Yes, large changes to an established game are always problematic because most often you loose a lot of players while not attracting any new ones.

Goblin Squad Member

Count me in as a fan of the early SWG crafting/resource system. LOVE.

If resources could be as compex and varied as that system I'd have to think there'd be a lot of room for some pretty cool markets to arise.

Goblin Squad Member

I have heard about nothing but good things about the original crafting and economy of SWG. That and how much it was soiled. A system that has so much positive feedback should be reviewed when making PFO I think.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

I was a low level crafter in SWG. Mostly, however, I was a gatherer. Rare materials spawning in a corner of talus? Cool, set up some harvesters, let the guild know where to put em (ever try fitting a factory into the middle of a marsh?), and make sure the maintainence costs were paid. Harvest the local wildlife for other materials for the week or two. At the end of it, plunk down your materials on the market, enjoy a huge profit.

I felt like an actual outdoorsman for a bit.

Goblin Squad Member

Sounds fun. I bet that PFO will have a similar system in certain aspects.

Goblin Squad Member

Star Wars Galaxies was an unfortunate failure. Coming off of Ultima Online, Raph Koster tried to bring lessons learned from that sandbox into the Star Wars universe. Unfortunately what Star Wars fans really wanted (in my opinion) was World of Star Wars, not Ultima Star Wars. The customers stayed away in droves.

According to the best data available the game had a peak subscriber total of about 300,000. Of course, if we had 300,000 paying players we'd be ecstatic, but I guarantee you that SOE was not. They clearly hoped that Star Wars Galaxies would be a much, much bigger game than EverQuest (which peaked at about 450,000.

Star Wars Galaxies gave people too much of what they didn't want (complex game systems, roleplaying, and "life simulating") and not enough of what they did want (playing characters like those in the movies with narrative arcs and cool lightsabers + force powers).

SOEs reaction was to realize they made the wrong game, and try to reconfigure it on the fly to be the game they should have made in the first place. I admire their courage but the way they handled the situation was not good and did SOE a lot of long-term harm. Still, I can imagine the pressure those people were under - delivering a game that they thought millions would play and getting a game that hundreds of thousands were playing. Under those circumstances I cannot say with certainty that I wouldn't have made the same gamble they did. Hindsight is 20/20.

There's a tremendous amount of lessons to be learned from the system design of Star Wars Galaxies, but not a lot to be learned from the business of Star Wars Galaxies (except in the larger sense of "make the game your customers want, not the game you want").

RyanD


The resources/crafting system(s) of SW:G were a lot of fun pre-stupid. Post-stupid = another MMO is the ashbin of history. I don't begin to like Star Wars enough to play it "just because", let alone almost anything else.

Goblin Squad Member

Well to your point Ryan, SWG was definately a niche game that 300k people enjoyed. So for those 300k people, they got it correct :)

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

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Ryan Dancey wrote:

Star Wars Galaxies was an unfortunate failure. Coming off of Ultima Online, Raph Koster tried to bring lessons learned from that sandbox into the Star Wars universe. Unfortunately what Star Wars fans really wanted (in my opinion) was World of Star Wars, not Ultima Star Wars. The customers stayed away in droves.

According to the best data available the game had a peak subscriber total of about 300,000. Of course, if we had 300,000 paying players we'd be ecstatic, but I guarantee you that SOE was not. They clearly hoped that Star Wars Galaxies would be a much, much bigger game than EverQuest (which peaked at about 450,000.

Star Wars Galaxies gave people too much of what they didn't want (complex game systems, roleplaying, and "life simulating") and not enough of what they did want (playing characters like those in the movies with narrative arcs and cool lightsabers + force powers).

SOEs reaction was to realize they made the wrong game, and try to reconfigure it on the fly to be the game they should have made in the first place. I admire their courage but the way they handled the situation was not good and did SOE a lot of long-term harm. Still, I can imagine the pressure those people were under - delivering a game that they thought millions would play and getting a game that hundreds of thousands were playing. Under those circumstances I cannot say with certainty that I wouldn't have made the same gamble they did. Hindsight is 20/20.

There's a tremendous amount of lessons to be learned from the system design of Star Wars Galaxies, but not a lot to be learned from the business of Star Wars Galaxies (except in the larger sense of "make the game your customers want, not the game you want").

RyanD

So far, Mr Dancey, you've been correct. However, you are dead wrong in this post. The people who played the game thoroughly enjoyed what they had in SWG. World of Warcraft did not exist when SWG was launched, neither did EQ2. SWG survived those launches, and could have grown with the market. 300k was a good subscriber base at the time, since WoW hadn't arrived to hugely increase the genre size. And 4.5 million in cash a month is not a horrible thing.

What killed SWG was when SOE decided that it wanted "more". It wanted a chunk of WoW's user base. It wanted to be the big kid on the block. It failed. They broke the first commandment of MMO's = Covet not your competitors player base. No matter how much you try, you cant "out-WoW" WoW.

I am glad, however, that you learned the lesson SOE failed to learn (twice), of make the game the players will like. The CU was snuck in despite overwhelming disapproval, and they had a user poll of what folks thought of the NGE (90%+ disapproval rate), and then did it anyways. If you listen to your players (and all of them, not just a small handpicked focus group, or those of us diehards on the forums), the game will grow. But, you know all this already :P

Goblin Squad Member

Star Wars Galaxies hit its peak shortly after launch. It did not grow. That's the sign of an MMO in trouble. This was a game that was hyped massively prior to its release, and as a former Lucasfilm licensee for Star Wars, I can tell you that there is no chance whatsoever that SOE didn't pitch Star Wars as the Next Big Thing, the game that would take the MMO to the mass market. Their failure to deliver on those goals set the stage for everything that came later.

(As I said in my original post, the problem wasn't that they had 300,000 paying players. The problem was that they expected much, much more. Judged by their expectations they had a failure.)

In that era, it was not uncommon for many people to let their subscriptions auto-bill even when they ceased playing, so that's means that the number of actual players was likely lower than the number of paying subscriptions.

(You can see the data I'm using for this discussion here:

http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/Subs-2.png)

After World of Warcraft shipped in November of 2004, Star Wars subscriber numbers declined rapidly (as did Ultima Onlne, EverQuest and Dark Age of Camelot, the other three successful MMOs of the era). It's pretty easy to see that the market moved rapidly to World of Warcraft as soon as the game was available.

Clearly, the players of that era wanted what WoW offered more than what they were getting from the games they were already playing.

The New Game Enhancements came in November of 2005, the year after World of Warcraft debuted (and at a point where World of Warcraft had over 5 million paying subscribers). It seems obvious to me that they were a response to the effect that WoW had on the MMO market (even if the changes didn't work).

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

True. They coveted their rival's subscription base. The question is...was SWG still a money maker at that point? If so, let it keep going. Try to make it more of what it currently is. If not...make drastic changes. I think SOE was fine with SWG, until WoW hit and the market dynamic changed.

The worst thing SOE did was alienate its players. The CU hurt, as players didn't want it but SOE assured them that they did.

Goblinworks has done an *amazing* job keeping up with its fans, and the fact that we are even having this conversation, is utterly amazing.

Goblin Squad Member

I think they felt they had a problem even before WoW hit. The CU is evidence of that. They were talking about it in the middle of 2004. They wouldn't have been doing that if they didn't think that something about their game was seriously not working.

The fact that they implemented it even though their existing players said they didn't want it tells me that they thought that they needed to reach a wider market and were willing to sacrifice their existing player community to get it.

Having been in the middle of this kind of operation I know that from the very first they were getting the data they needed to know that they weren't going to hit their internal goals. When the growth ceased immediately after launch I'm certain they were in crisis mode.

Goblin Squad Member

I like the look of the rate of growth PfO is going for and the 3yr size target. This blog post I find illustrates an interesting question for mmorpgs/games or films: Market Segmentation

So a game some people really dig, vs a game more people end up playing but potentially more "same-old, same-old" experience but more profitable? Maybe in this market now it's so bursting and coming on over a decade of battle of the mmorpgs, OptionA starts to make more sense both design and business?

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Quite possible. And I know I'm seeing it from the player side of things, coupled with the fact that I was in middle school for the launch. I couldn't see their books, and I have no way to know what their internal goals are. At the time, however, it looked like SOE got greedy, and decided to go for a big change and hope for the best, *knowing* it would alienate their playerbase and cost them most of their subs.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

SW:G would have been much more successful if it had been "World of Star Wars". As it was, it got a lot of Star Wars fans to join, see that it wasn't a "Star Wars" game, and provide negative press on their way out. Meanwhile, lots of people that would have liked the game it was stayed away BECAUSE of the IP.

Twisting the random speculation around: Ryan, are you able to deny that the SW:G engine is under consideration for the middleware?

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

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DeciusBrutus wrote:

SW:G would have been much more successful if it had been "World of Star Wars". As it was, it got a lot of Star Wars fans to join, see that it wasn't a "Star Wars" game, and provide negative press on their way out. Meanwhile, lots of people that would have liked the game it was stayed away BECAUSE of the IP.

Twisting the random speculation around: Ryan, are you able to deny that the SW:G engine is under consideration for the middleware?

I don't know, it sure felt like a starwars game to me. It was nice having a game about being just a citizen in the universe, not "teh one last greatest bestest hope for freedom and justice evar". Ran a small hunting business on talus, worked on taking down the empire (tho they did fail in that world PvP was just cosmetic), paid off the cost of my ship, and lived the life. It worked for me!

Oh, and if they use the SWG engine, I'll be a *very* happy man.


As a SWG player since a few months after release Alexander's post is right on the mark.

300k was a lot of users when SWG came out.

People didn't want (though a very vocal minority always claims otherwise)narrative arcs and still don't (last I checked The Old Republic flopped and it's almost entirely narrative).

The number one factor that kept away large population on SWG was mistrust of Sony. Every patch they would break something that worked, "fix" something that wasn't broken, and ignore major bugs like chat glitching out causing characters to become invisible/mute to only some people in your group only fixed by logging. Staff and product vision would change quarterly. Boards full of well designed fixes to balance the classes were ignored (honestly many of fan the rebalances were the best I have ever seen). Many classes had skills that the world didn't even support (mobs only spawned when you were within a certain distance, that distance was so small that many of the scout/ranger tracking skills were literally useless). Half of everything was blamed on Sony's choice of database (we can't do that because database was their mantra). The nerf/buff cycle was ridiculous, never ever hitting the middle ground (the game became Star Wars Pokemon for a few months at one point because of over buffing the monster trainer class then nearly killed the concept a couple patches later making them useless as well as nerfing non-trainers pets that were never a problem). I can go on all day like this, SWG only had one real problem from the very beginning, mismanagement.

Despite all that they still had 300k subscribers back when that was a decent number. People wanted to play SWG (in all it's sandbox glory), it was Sony that killed it.

I spent so much time creating my own adventures in that game I was one of the most popular characters on my server, and I pretty much chose the worst class combo possible (ranger/squad leader/carbineer) but because of my contacts, equipment (not just top of the line stuff, carefully created and balanced, that took several professions working together to create, and a huge amount of research), built in features (needing specific classes to take out fortifications), my build wasn't just playable it was enjoyable. I literally tried to create the games worst character and ended up on point for massive PVP battles. I wore the most ostentatious armor I could find and while I couldn't hurt a fly I was deceptively robust (even a few levels in carbineer could allow you to absorb huge amounts of damage if you had the right equipment/buffs)

Afterward I would use my ranger skills to put up a huge tent, call in my entertainer buddies that would show up with an entire band, doctors to heal/buff everyone, armor/weapon/etc merchants to replace damaged items, all before the combat types even had a chance to make it back to a major trade hub to spend their cash. It wasn't long before I was taking out groups of a dozen or so out for hunting trips to farm whatever new drop was needed by my guild. I would keep these groups mixed new and old players, the newbies would take extra missions to stretch out the payday while the experienced players did the killing while I focused on getting the newbies up to speed and finding them good guild fits (also creating more long lasting contacts/friends).

By the end of my first year on SWG my money was no good. I would submit orders for special armor/weapons/droids/pets/etc and my merchant friends would track me down to deliver them (I didn't have a need for much money so I was infamous for just dropping huge amounts of hard to collect resources on my guilds merchants).

One month after the random reset of mats there was a really good mat that dropped from a lowbie mob. Nobody wanted to farm them even though the mats where good because they dropped so very few. So I gathered together newbies nearly every day that month, hooked them up with the best equipment their character could use (newbie equipment was cheap) and showed them how to take the mission for the mob I was looking for. Together we would go out (in groups of three to six) and in exchange I would get the mats that dropped. I just used the honor system and it worked so well I had groups tracking me down days later (I was always so proud when my groups would stick together when I left) just to dump even more of the mats on me. Ended up with over a years supply for my guild. We were the only ones that could make some of the higher end equipment that needed that mat for a long time, making our guild a small fortune eventually.

All of that happened organically. I was just playing the game, I never even intended to be a social butterfly, but the game had lots and lots of subtle design strategies that pushed people together in good way. There was a lot of organic role play, created from the verisimilitude of the crafting/combat system.

For example I learned how to socialize first by begging people to sit in my s$!~ty scout camp (you got XP for this). This lead a couple of more experienced players told me about popular places people killed mobs so I set up camp there and XP poured in, but having nothing better to do than sit a chat I learned all about the needs of the combat types so I could bring them to trade. Then it all exploded from there.

I never picked a class or skill because it was the best, you didn't have to, you could pick what was fun and not be punished. That was the greatest strength of SWG, something I have never seen before or since.

Sorry about the wall of text, I think I had way to much coffee.

Goblin Squad Member

Alexander_Damocles wrote:
It was nice having a game about being just a citizen in the universe, not "teh one last greatest bestest hope for freedom and justice evar". Ran a small hunting business on talus, worked on taking down the empire (tho they did fail in that world PvP was just cosmetic), paid off the cost of my ship, and lived the life. It worked for me!

+1(00 if I could). This is the exact theory that many (300k, not 15mil) want in their MMO. Lets hope that GW isn't scared away by the prospect of only 300k (fervent) subscribers.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Forlarren wrote:

One month after the random reset of mats there was a really good mat that dropped from a lowbie mob. Nobody wanted to farm them even though the mats where good because they dropped so very few.

Was that the '06 Talasian Paralope hide drop? I still remember that drop, turned my character into a millionaire (and started a loan business afterwards).

Goblin Squad Member

Alexander_Damocles wrote:


So far, Mr Dancey, you've been correct. However, you are dead wrong in this post. The people who played the game thoroughly enjoyed what they had in SWG. World of Warcraft did not exist when SWG was launched, neither did EQ2.

He did say EQ, not EQ2. EQ was an excellent game - I don't feel that Sony managed to stuff that one up, I think it represents the pinnacle of MMO.

Anyhow I found SWG to be boring and directionless, it was essentially a FPS version of "The Sims:Starwars", but without the cute bits.


Shifty wrote:
Alexander_Damocles wrote:


So far, Mr Dancey, you've been correct. However, you are dead wrong in this post. The people who played the game thoroughly enjoyed what they had in SWG. World of Warcraft did not exist when SWG was launched, neither did EQ2.

He did say EQ, not EQ2. EQ was an excellent game - I don't feel that Sony managed to stuff that one up, I think it represents the pinnacle of MMO.

Anyhow I found SWG to be boring and directionless, it was essentially a FPS version of "The Sims:Starwars", but without the cute bits.

You make your own direction in a sandbox game, there are no set paths telling you where to go.

Goblin Squad Member

Blackjarum wrote:
You make your own direction in a sandbox game, there are no set paths telling you where to go.

Sure, however it seemed there was very little meta-plot to hook into, the central storyline was a bit abstract, and there seemed to be little to do but potter about occasionally shooting at something whilst off on a forage for a bunch of materials so to sell, notionally to raise funds to buy other stuff or build a house - so yeah, Sims.

It didn't feel like a Star Wars MMO, the remoteness from the story arcs just made it feel like you were a movie extra, not movie star.

It also just felt really empty.

I played a lot of MMO's, and frankly I thought it was a lemon pretty much out of the box.

I look forward to PFO, I just don't think there's anything I would bring over from SWG. The lack of auction houses is a dealbreaker for me personally.

Goblin Squad Member

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I did not personally start playing SWG till after the NGE had already taken place. I rolled a Jedi, went Empire, and got Ace in space combat.
I liked the game, but it was only a break from EQ2 at the time.
My finace, she played SWG prior to the UC and NGE content change. She still talks about it to this day. When I mentioned to her that PFO was going to work more like SWG than WOW...we found a way to back Kickstarter higher than we had planned. We are both tired of the theme park.

Goblin Squad Member

I had a go at SWG before UC and NGE, and then at the recommendations of a few friends had a go afterwards too.

I am not really interested in an easy-sauce theme park, however I think there is room for a 'theme park in a sandbox'. A Sandbox is fine, but having no real plot or point to the main game gets a bit dull - at some point it is nice to be the guys facing the big bads of the cosmos.

If I just want to play shops and houses then the Sims:Medieval does it better.

Goblin Squad Member

Oh, don;t get me wrong, I like quest lines. I liked that part of SWTOR. The story was great. The endgame was not. THis is the failing of all them park MMOs in my mind. Why should the story end for you just because you hit cap level?

Goblin Squad Member

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I think thats what EQ did well.

Hitting cap level was just one milestone, there was a huge line of Alternate Advancement feats that were really interesting - from raid utilities to personal power stuff.

In some ways hitting cap level was only the start of a whole new ballgame.

No auction house = the suck though.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Well, pathfinder will be a sandbox, and it doesn't sound like they have plans for story arcs. It sounds like your beef with SWG wasn't the game itself, it was the concept of a sandbox mmo.


Shifty wrote:

I had a go at SWG before UC and NGE, and then at the recommendations of a few friends had a go afterwards too.

I am not really interested in an easy-sauce theme park, however I think there is room for a 'theme park in a sandbox'. A Sandbox is fine, but having no real plot or point to the main game gets a bit dull - at some point it is nice to be the guys facing the big bads of the cosmos.

If I just want to play shops and houses then the Sims:Medieval does it better.

The point of a sandbox game is for the players to tell their own stories, this depends on interacting with other players in the game. Players themselves are the content. You have the freedom to be anything you want to be in the game. The bad guys are other players whos goals and aligment conflict with yours. The quests in the game are the ones you make for yourself, or other players will have quests for you to do for them. There will be pve monsters and dungeons to fight and explore, but the story of the game is what the player makes it.

Goblin Squad Member

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I could handle a sandbox MMO, however the sandbox would actually have to be quite large so that you could actually be free to actually do what you want, rather than do what you want (within a very limited scope).

Can you set up a thieves guild? Yes.
Are there daring burglaries and swindles you could pull? No.

So is it truly a sandbox? No.

Can you set up a mercenary band? Yes.
Are there bounties to go after and raids to be done? No.

So is it truly a sandbox? No.

Hard to be a Bounty Hunter when there are no bounties.

Hard to be a true Stormtrooper when you don't fit into an Army.

So call it sandbox all you like, but sandbox shouldn't be code for pointless.

On topic - Lack of Auction Houses is pretty stupid; there have been markets of some sort since humans were trading mammoth pelts and potatoes.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Shifty wrote:

A Sandbox is fine, but having no real plot or point to the main game gets a bit dull - at some point it is nice to be the guys facing the big bads of the cosmos.

The problem is, yeah, you're awesome. You killed the big bad. So did that guy. And the guy next to him. And his brother. And his aunt. And his grandma.

In a game that focuses on story, you *can't* have some big bad of the cosmos, because 4,499 players will be wanting to kill it too. And if you just want a good challenge, that is PvP.

Goblinworks is making a sandbox MMO. We create the story. We are each others content. There is no level cap. No big bads of the cosmos for us to kill. And this is why I love it.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Shifty wrote:


Can you set up a thieves guild? Yes.
Are there daring burglaries and swindles you could pull? No.

Incorrect. I know of several well done swindles that took place on the "Intrepid" server.

Shifty wrote:


Can you set up a mercenary band? Yes.
Are there bounties to go after and raids to be done? No.

Jedi were bounties. And there were large encampments of Dathomiri witches, or the Death Watch Bunker, or the Geonosian Caves of Yavin, or the imperial research center on Dantooine.

So, incorrect.

Shifty wrote:


Hard to be a Bounty Hunter when there are no bounties.

Jedi were bounties. I took on a few. Incorrect again...

Shifty wrote:


Hard to be a true Stormtrooper when you don't fit into an Army.

Buy Stormtrooper armor. Now roleplay with a group of like minded folk. Happened on Intrepid. Incorrect-amundo!

Shifty wrote:


On topic - Lack of Auction Houses is pretty stupid; there have been markets of some sort since humans were trading mammoth pelts and potatoes.

Yep. And you could store your stuff on the basic market in SWG. Or you could set up your own shop in a town, make a name for yourself, and make it a destination worth visiting. So....once again, incorrect.

Sandbox games don't give you content on a plate. They require you to invest in the community, to see what you can come up with.

Goblin Squad Member

The problem with said structure is that the story you create is going to only be *very* small scale, pretty light on structure or plot, and run out of steam fairly quickly.

I put it to any player to show me how they have managed to make something REALLY substantial in a sandbox without some sort of NPC setup.

Lets face it, it takes a a shedload of planning just to get a decent PnP session up and running, so how do you poropse to make something robust and interesting that is running in realtime 24/7? unless you have 48 hours a day I suspect it will be a bit dinky. though I have put it out there, I'd now like to see the challenge met and quality examples provided.

yeah 4499 might have faced off against the big bad in WOW, but coming from 'EQ Endgame' I could actually NAME the people on my server who'd ever done it. In fact we could name the one guild that was out in front across all servers.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Shifty wrote:

The problem with said structure is that the story you create is going to only be *very* small scale, pretty light on structure or plot, and run out of steam fairly quickly.

though I have put it out there, I'd now like to see the challenge met and quality examples provided.

Done and done. The GCW of '07 on Intrepid. The guild leaders of the large imperial guilds and the alliance guilds met, and decided to crank up the war. They asked *all* members of their guilds to go about PvP flagged, from crafters to riflemen. A few players cooked up a metaplot, set up buildings, decorated them to look the way they needed to, and then let folks know they existed. Came up with a story reason to hit them. The final battle of the story arc was pretty large for the game, a good hundred folks per side.

It cranked up the fun factor of the game for me, as suddenly, if I went into a starport, I wasn't sure if I'd get shot.

That guy in the imperial uniform, who decided to give this big ole speech to new players on the glory of the empire? I took cover on a balcony and cut him down.

Goblin Squad Member

Ok so aside from a short duration 'run around and shoot each other' PVP Guild-war (which happens in non-sandbox games too btw - did it in EQ and Age of Conan) nothing else? You could notionally do the same thing in a FPS with a clan war.

Similarly, being able to just cut down players mid speech kind of implies that the event rapidly descends into griefing territory.


Shifty wrote:

The problem with said structure is that the story you create is going to only be *very* small scale, pretty light on structure or plot, and run out of steam fairly quickly.

I put it to any player to show me how they have managed to make something REALLY substantial in a sandbox without some sort of NPC setup.

Lets face it, it takes a a shedload of planning just to get a decent PnP session up and running, so how do you poropse to make something robust and interesting that is running in realtime 24/7? unless you have 48 hours a day I suspect it will be a bit dinky. though I have put it out there, I'd now like to see the challenge met and quality examples provided.

yeah 4499 might have faced off against the big bad in WOW, but coming from 'EQ Endgame' I could actually NAME the people on my server who'd ever done it. In fact we could name the one guild that was out in front across all servers.

I really dont think you getting the concept of how big of impact one player can have in a sandbox game. Every action a player does has a effect on the world. You can forge a empire if you are clever enough to do so. How players interact with each other in game is the story. Aliiances are made and broken , wars are fought between player nations and someone behind the curtains could be pulling strings causing all the conflict. You could be adventuer , merchent, or bandit and make your mark in the sandbox game, thats something you cant do in a themepark.

Silver Crusade Goblin Squad Member

Ok, so aside from a short duration "run around and shoot the boss" PvE tank n spank, nothing else?

Don't just dismiss the arguments of other people, it makes discussion impossible.

You made a list of claims that could not be accomplished. I bring up how it could be. If you choose not to roleplay in a sandbox game, then don't complain about the lack of content.

Themepark: Dev's make the content. You can't change the world.

Sandbox: You are and make the content. You can change the world.

If sandbox isn't for you, that is fine. But it *is* what Goblinworks is making.


Alexander_Damocles wrote:


Was that the '06 Talasian Paralope hide drop? I still remember that drop, turned my character into a millionaire (and started a loan business afterwards).

It was before that, I'm pretty sure. I'm assuming it happened more than once but you could be correct I'm just misremembering. But it just goes to show how amazing SWG really was, how many other mat drops do you remember from other games? Heck I can't remember nor care to most boss fights, but one little mat drop, and I am still telling stories about it years later.

We created our own stories on SWG. I remember my first Rebel Alliance quests. I was still just a newb and the best PvPer on our server would attack me the moment I attacked the Imperial spawns. After the second time, I learned to watch my radar really really closely. Given a big enough head start I could retreat far enough away he couldn't kill me. We cat and moused for hours and hours, sending back and forth death threats, mockery, but OOC he gave me tips on PvP, exchanged pleasantries, etc. It was the most fun I ever had grinding quests. I legitimately felt like part of a civil war even if that feature was barely supported. The more structure they tried adding to the game the worse things got until it just wasn't worth playing anymore. It was so much more when everything was player driven.

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