State of the Game Over

Syp has a post up in regards to the PR spin that SWTOR is giving before the F2P launch.  I tend to agree with the majority of his observations though with a few additions of my own.

Format

When I first read it, I thought” holy wall of text Batman!”  Then I thought “finally a state of the game, 1 month shy of the 1 year anniversary”.  The next, “Jeff Hickman is running the boat now?  Hmmm”.  Still, the format is solid, a quick intro and followed by a few items with descriptors.  I’m thinking it took him all of an hour to write that out and wondering why it took so damn long for this type of contact to occur.  +1

Content

Saying you were EP of Warhammer Online is not something to brag about unless you can speak to a specific feature set/time period of work.  The only thing I could think of that would be worse is introducing yourself as Bill Roper.

The issues stated don’t make sense.  If your game was awesome, people would be playing it.  They aren’t leaving because of the subscription fee.  These two items cannot be exclusive.  Slow updates is also a weird one.  They are certainly slower than Rift but they are lightyears faster than WoW.  If you bring a quality product to the table, that offers a superior experience to the free variants, people WILL PAY YOU FOR IT.  Hate WoW as much as you want but it’s the reason it can charge for money.  It’s the reason Rift and EvE do too.  If you’re going F2P, then you’re admitting you do not have the quality of game you think people should pay for.  Turbine admitted it (LOTRO, DDO), Cryptic as well.

Losing Devs

Balls-on for talking about it.  Shame the reasons given are as reasonable as pixie dust.  You don’t lose the owners, the EP, 90% of the content leads and 30% of all the staff when things are peachy.  Normal cycle is one thing (say a 10-20% turnover rate) but you don’t lose 5 big names in a week.  Whether they left on their own accord or were asked to leave, that’s a different matter.

Bugs all over the place

This was such a massive issue in beta, it’s a wonder that it’s still a problem in live.  Certainly the Hero Engine is partly to blame for this but jeebus, get some better testing practices ASAP.  BW games are traditionally riddled with bugs but you simply can’t afford that practice in an MMO.  At least not while people are paying you to fix it.

Server Population

Who in their right mind thinks this is an issue for the general public to see?  There’s no one left on these servers, consolidate them.  Done.

Summary

State of the Game addresses are supposed to talk about what’s happened between this one and the previous one.  They then state what’s planned in the near future and some vision statements.  Answering questions is good but it doesn’t belong here, it should be its own thing.  So a cheer for actually addressing your paying audience but boo for doing 2 weeks before they all decide to stop paying.

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