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BioWare talks SWTOR testing, post-release content {Massively}

Sep 23rd 2011 12:44PM @Ren54
Funny, I read the whole article and didn't see one mention of playtesting being for marketing. In fact, he seems to indicate that they don't need people to "beta test" to get a free trial.
Also, he says that you give a release window to allow for possible extended polishing. That's why there's no release date, because the game isn't that done yet.

Did you even read the first answer? Both reasons can be found in the first answer.

The Soapbox: How raiding turns you into a horrible person {Massively}

Sep 21st 2011 11:31AM @Jeromai
Great analysis. I have one more reason why you don't give up. D) You don't want to become that guy.

Surely during the course of your raiding, someone has quit and forced you to replace their spot with someone new. More frequently than not, this causes your group to fail more, causing more people to question their involvement and (sometimes) quit. As your group struggles to find additional members to fill the missing roles, you begin questioning your own involvement, but don't want to leave for fear of becoming "that guy that quit" and you feel bad for putting your group mates in that position. Even worse, you feel like if the group falls apart after you leave then it should be your fault.

I had a situation like this and eventually decided that it just wasn't worth it any more. My brother and I were in a pretty solid 10-man raiding guild that was a fun, friendly group with decent progression (nothing hardcore). After some time, my brother and I decided the stress wasn't worth it (there had been some group drama, both said and unsaid) and we left. It ended up killing both the group and the guild. I felt horrible and I still have a hard time talking to the guild leader (who still plays). However, in the end, I feel like it was the right decision. Sure, there is some growing pain involved, but the benefits outweigh the costs.

The Soapbox: Why MMO combat sucks, and how BioWare could've made it suck less {Massively}

Sep 13th 2011 6:55PM @HiroProtagonist7
I'm sorry, I didn't realize I had to be "someone" in order to criticize bad ideas. Nor did I realize that in order to provoke thought into a conversation that I need to spout "facts". Ironically enough, there were plenty of "facts" presented in my "wall" (which you likely skimmed or skipped), so I won't even address that part. Equally ironically, there isn't a single fact in your response, but I'm not going to penalize you for that.

Players that are hit capped don't roll to hit. Regardless, hit/dodge/parry modifiers exist for a variety of reasons. They add depth to the stats system, they add "immersion" so that it doesn't completely seem like the enemy you're fighting is just standing there letting you beat on them, and they make it appear as though your character doesn't automatically hit everything. Could it be handled differently? Sure, but that really has nothing to do with the topic on hand. If you were to replace +hit with skill-shots, then you're just trading character development and combat system complexity for player involvement, twitch skills, and lag-based frustration. Remember, you are not entirely your character; your character is more than you. This is what makes "role playing games" different because you are playing a different role (you are not you).

Concerning your hotbar/tab targeting rant, I'm assuming you've never played challenging content because skilled players never look at their hotbars. This is akin to playing a piano: you could say, "Piano music is dumb because you just sit there and hit the keys as they come up on the sheet." Sure, all it really boils down to is hitting the right keys at the right time, but half the fun is knowing when the right time is and the other half is keeping up with the rest of everything that is going on.
Also, you can hit them as long as you are in range, you have them targeted, you are facing the right direction (generally with some error room), you have line of sight, and you pass the hit check. That sounds quite similar to the alternative you are suggesting. If you were fighting a really big enemy but were required to actually aim your attacks, would much change? Not really.
As for "immersion breaking", your false dichotomy is misleading and confusing. My options are either not be able to see my enemy or not need to see them? Are you saying that line of sight is no longer needed in any game? Are you insinuating that skill-shots would revolutionize the genre to the point that players would never be able to look at their keyboards again? Or are you referring back to staring at the hotbar? Are you trying to say that it is immersion breaking to have to use a keyboard? Why don't you go all the way to say that it is immersion breaking to have to use a computer or monitor or speakers/headphones?

Perhaps I'm misunderstanding your intent, but you were not very clear in your post. Why don't you go back, actually read my first post, and then come back.

The Soapbox: Why MMO combat sucks, and how BioWare could've made it suck less {Massively}

Sep 13th 2011 5:15PM So, your idea of getting rid of dice rolling (which is not only a gross over-simplification, but is also a wrong simplification) is to....make everything 1-shot-able? Man, you really thought this one through. You even had a clever story to go with it! But, then what happens when the burglar hears you coming and knocks the gun out of your hand? How do you represent that combat in a client-server model? Does he one-shot you because he struck first? Is hand-to-hand combat even in the realm of one-shotting? If you can't one-shot each other with your fists, can either of you win?

In an mmoRPG, how do you have character development when everything and anything is one-shot-able? Is there a point to making your character faster/stronger/smarter?

If you can one-shot a boss, how do you keep the boss challenging? Does he stand 500-yards away and throw things at you from behind a shield? Does he just continuously dodge and block every attack (oh yeah, that'd be really fun to see "dodge, miss, dodge, block, parry, miss... for 5 minutes)? Are boss fights relegated to solo encounters? Should group content be "your group vs another huge group" since a group of 10 people will always win against 1 really strong person?

You mention how Jedi run around as demi-gods that one-shot everything, but fail to recognize that plenty of people in the SW universe have been hit by lightsabers and didn't die: Luke, Vader, Anakin, and Obi-Wan (he didn't even have to lose an appendage).

You talked about how RPGs nowadays are just "dice rolling" behind the scenes, but neglect to understand that dice rolling indicates chance and randomness. What happens then when you remove crit chances (either by negating crits or by making them 100%) and damage randomness (every attack hits for a flat amount instead of a range)? What do you call that? Is it still dice rolling when every result is the same? Your synopsis of how you think mmorpg combat is currently handled is disturbingly wrong.

The idea that "balance" is an impossible idea is pure folly. Further, the idea that everything would be balanced because everyone could one-shot everything is just plain pants-on-head retarded. If you really feel like people wouldn't flock to classes that would more-easily 1-shot, you're delusional and should seek psychiatric help.

The notion that mmorpg combat being 20 years old is dated and needs to change is plain ignorant. It's funny that I don't see people complaining that Battlefield 3 still uses guns just like the original Doom. "Oh my god! That crap is so old! I can't believe they're still using BULLETS! What is this? The dark ages?" If you think things need to be that different, you're in the wrong genre.

For even using the word "immersion" to mean "all weapons instantly kill", I hope you lose your job for writing this article. I've harshly criticized Massively writers in the past for some really dumb stuff, but this is just beyond stupid. You clearly don't understand what the term "immersion" means and yet you try to use it as though it is this big deal-breaker for you. I thank God every day that people in the industry NEVER listen to idiots like you.

The Daily Grind: What will be the last sub game standing? {Massively}

Sep 8th 2011 11:36AM @Furdinand
Very good point. I like the example. Technically, it isn't drawing a 1:1 comparison (you have to leave your house to go to an arcade, no real ownership involved, no true gameplay continuity, and possibly having to wait to get a turn) but yet the example still shows how the "pay as you go" sector hasn't exactly had a great history (at least in western cultures). With that being said, I doubt either is going away as long as there is a market for both. As long as people are willing to pay into either scheme, both types will coexist.

Former World of Warcraft addict talks about the dangers of habitual gaming {Massively}

Aug 29th 2011 10:38AM Am I the only person who noticed the irony in this guy's name? His name is "Van Cleave" and he's playing WoW. I know, it isn't exactly the same, but it would have been hilarious if his first name was Edwin.

SWTOR lead spills the beans about the Eternity Vault raid {Massively}

Aug 25th 2011 9:51AM It's amazing to see how every time there's a SWTOR article, the GW2 fanboys come pouring out of the woodwork. I think it's even funnier when they come to bash about "lack of end-game content". The irony there is palpable.

SWTOR's James Ohlen says no cross-faction communication [Updated] {Massively}

Aug 17th 2011 11:10AM I can't believe how blown out of proportion people are blowing this. This is incredibly simple:

There will be no cross-faction chat channels.

The previously announced cross-faction /say is still in game. You can still spam insults through /say to your heart's delight. "Luke, I banged your mother...and that's how you came about."

SWTOR's Daniel Erickson: 'The mix of anticipation and fear is huge' {Massively}

Aug 9th 2011 11:21AM @dudes
Slightly off-topic, but I lol'd at, "crapping myself in the face". I know that isn't exactly what you meant, but that's how I read it the first time.

The Daily Grind: Have you been IP blocked? {Massively}

Jul 28th 2011 1:00PM @ShawnSchuster

While you did not directly state that "Bioware is IP blocking", you directly implied it by correlating the two thoughts. You said:

"Sometimes this IP block is for marketing purposes; sometimes it's for legal purposes according to that country's specific media laws. Most recently, Star Wars: The Old Republic barred Oceanic gamers from pre-ordering their highly anticipated MMO..."

If you hadn't intended to correlate the two thoughts, you should have separated them into separate paragraphs. As a journalist, you very well should have known that putting those two things together would cause them to be readily believed to be one in the same thought. If I said something like, "Some upcoming MMOs really suck. Recently, SWTOR opened up for preordering" one could easily assume that you were trying to say that the game sucks. While you wouldn't have directly stated that as a complete thought, the inference was still there.

As for reading the article, I did as you should have noted. Trying to pass off my comment as nothing more than a quick scan is quite a bold insult. You shouldn't be afraid that I didn't read the article. You should be afraid that others did. Quite a few people are already confused, irritated, and misled concerning recent SWTOR events and, instead of trying to teach people what is really going on, you guys post misleading and inflammatory articles like this to drive up hits. Shame on Massively for allowing such a horribly misleading article to be posted and for fanning the flames of misinformation that already exists.


Fair enough. Just covering my bases :P