Let’s Pretend

We’re a week away, so let’s recap!

Let’s say you’re a really big developer with  solid fan base.  Let’s say you partner with a massive publisher.  Let’s say you have been using the largest IP in the world and have had tremendous success with it.  Let’s say you get tapped to make an MMO with that.  What do you do to try and find success?  Repeat it of course!

Repeat what worked in the single player game and throw in more players.  Repeat what the largest MMO has as well.  Don’t innovate, don’t provide any “out of box” thinking, just use what you know works.  Oh, and throw more money at it than some countries have GDP.  Hype it to heck and back.  Get massive pre-orders 6 months before launch.  Sell nearly 3 million copies.

Don’t forget to ignore beta feedback or all feedback for that matter than you don’t agree with.   Oh, don’t let players copy players to the test server either, and wipe after every patch so no one can test in live either.  Watch as that untested material, of which you had no experience developing previously nor had valuable feedback, turn away the playerbase in droves.  Watch after less than 6 months you have to consolidate over 90% of your assets due to player loss.  Blame the payment model.

Try a new payment model!  But wait, don’t forget you don’t have experience in that either and you need to generate cash to stay afloat, somewhere near the 500K subscription mark no less (which in F2P terms means having 5 million players at a generous 10:1 ratio).  Now, gouge players and penalize them so much that actually buying the content isn’t attractive at all and that a subscription is the only way to play the game you designed.  So, force the players to use the payment model you know doesn’t work.

Now, sit back and watch.  Wonder how the largest IP in the world, the largest publisher in the world, one of the largest developers in the world with the largest budget the genre has ever seen was able to fail in such a spectacular fashion.

I am so utterly baffled by this past year that I can’t even be disappointed.


So this is the new Star Wars video from Gamescon in Germany.  If you weren’t aware, the game is in beta currently so I would expect it to come out in November.  What does that have to do with anything?  Well, the graphics and movement and zones are pretty much all done.  Content being worked on is likely just raids and dungeons and building whatever dynamic content they can.  Basically, what you see here is what the game will actually look like.
Second, the way the skills work is likely static.  Sure, there might be some tweaks but the lightsabers will work like you see them and the lightning too.  What may, or rather should, change is healing.  If healing is anything like what’s in the video, I can guarantee you won’t see healers in the game.

Third and this is the saddest part, this looks identical to WoW, EQ, Rift and all that jazz with a new skin.  A crappy skin at that.  You know that feeling in a game where your character does something and you go ‘Wow, that was amazing?’  Shouldn’t we be seeing the best the game has to offer at this point?  All I could think of was meh…

On the flipside though, I have been reading that there will be 200+ hours of single player content.  Something like the content of KOTOR x3, which is really nice.  I think I’d pick it up just to play it until I run through that content.  I can see the level cap is 50 and current games (Rift is one) let you reach 50 in about 40 hours of playtime.  This is both an advantage for those who don’t want to take years to reach the cap but a bummer in that it’s rather fast.  200 hours equals about 8 days or about what WoW vanilla took back in 2004.  Except WoW had no story and it was a 100% grindfest from 30-50.  It will be interesting to see how this works out instead.

Final summation:  Sad to see this video.  It doesn’t inspire confidence at all. Happy that there’s supposedly a lot of content though.