Why no SWG expansion in 2009? [EN only]

My recent thread on the Star Wars Galaxies forums, again about the expansion problems.

Why no expansion in 2009? (stats inside)

The following quote is from here (http://forums.station.sony.com/swg/…topic_id=794179)

Dotanuki

Developer

Joined: Jun 3, 2008
Messages: 118
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Defender_of_reality wrote:

Can we expect expansion in 2009?

No.

-Dotanuki

Why not?

SWG has the 3rd largest playerbase of all SOE games, after EQ2 and EQ. These two games are getting expansions every year.

Then there is a number of games with smaller player bases (Matrix Online, Vanguard, PlanetSide…).

A lot has improved in SWG since 2006 and you can no longer say that SWG is dead, because it is not. There are too many active players and too many active accounts for it to be dead.

For many of us, players, the game has finally moved past the survival point and BACK to the LIVE side and avoided death in any close future. The FCTS will help a lot to let players enjoy the game fully again.

From this point of view, there is no reason for no regular expansion. I don’t think the number of active accounts is too low to not cover the cost of its development. I would say SWG has about 70-120k active accounts, but more importantly i really think that

EQ and EQ2 each have only about 2 maybe 3 times more active accounts than SWG.

Why?

1. Check the forum activity. SWG always has more users and guests online than EQ or EQ2. For example right now:

SWG: There are 1,138 online users: 373 registered, 765 guest(s)

EQ2: There are 717 online users: 111 registered, 606 guest(s)

EQ: There are 175 online users: 68 registered, 107 guest(s)

OK, we all know SWG is still a sandbox, so there are much more developed communities and it is Star Wars, so there is hell of a lot more to talk about than in EQ games. Basically, much higher % of SWG players uses the forums than % of EQ/2 players.

2. 2008 Fan Faire Live Stream

I was watching it live at about 5 AM in the morning, with my friends and SWG was the 3RD most important game there! They were talking first about EQ and EQ2, about their progress and expansions and then about SWG.

No mention of the other games at all, only about the ones in development.

3. Check Xfire stats. (http://www.xfire.com/games/)

Again, much higher % of SWG players uses Xfire than % of EQ/2 players. Why? I can only guess that SWG players are more “hardcore gamers” than EQ/2 players, if EQ/2 players are less inclined to use Xfire to track their gaming activity (i use xfire because it counts the hours i spend playing various games, it provides contact list, IM, allows to record and broadcast live videos from game and take screenshots and more…). This doesn’t mean we have more players than EQ/2, just that if we have more people using Xfire in a LONG TERM, we can’t have that many less players overall! And believe me, Xfire IS a trustworthy stats source, just check them out if you wish. Even Massivelly .com uses them to make charts.

Right now:

SWG:
Xfire Rank
#66 up from #75 yesterday
Highest: #8 on 2004-08-02
Xfire users playing per day
632

Minutes played per day
163,166

EQ2:
Xfire Rank
#89 down from #88 yesterday
Highest: #10 on 2005-01-06
Xfire users playing per day
427

Minutes played per day
124,068

EQ:
Xfire Rank
#130 up from #160 yesterday
Highest: #17 on 2004-04-07
Xfire users playing per day
110

Minutes played per day
57,087″

SOE Podcast – Valuable information source [EN]

The official SOE Podcast has reached it’s 52th episode. It’s all about holidays, the celebrations in various SOE games (and we finally have a great celebration in SWG – Wookiee Life Day), some usual (but funny) trashtalk and another two interviews with SOE employes. It’s been more than a year since i started to regularly listen to this podcast and i found out that it is a very valuable information source. Not just because i know most of the SOE games and iam interested in their future development, but also because it’s often the only way to get certain information. They always summarize all the important official news in all SOE games and also offer an inside look into SOE, into their work culture and inside structure. The interviews with various employes, from designers to game masters (including hamsters powering the servers) are a very necessary experience for a hardcore gamer. Theres no other place to find so much official information about all the happenings inside SOE. We all know SOE from outside and it’s not been only comfortable experience… their podcast offers us the inside look.

SOE Podcast website

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SOE Podcast – Vzácný zdroj informací [CZ]

Oficiální SOE Podcast už dosáhnul 52. dílu. Nejnovější díl se zabývá sváteční tématikou, oslavami v různých SOE hrách (a že v SWG konečně máme pořádnou vánoční akci – Wookieeský Life Day), pár obvyklými (ale zábavnými) kravinkami a dalšími dvě rozhovory se zaměstnanci SOE. Už to bude víc než rok co tento podcast pravidelně poslouchám a zjistil sem, že je to nesmírně vzácný zdroj informací. Nejen protože znám většinu SOE her a proto mě jejich další vývoj zajímá, ale také protože je to často jediný způsob jak se k určitým informacím dostat. Jsou zde shrnuty veškeré důležité oficiální novinky ze SOE her a je nám poskytnut pohled do dění v SOE, do jejich pracovní kultury a vnitřní struktury. Rozhovory s různými zaměstnanci od designérů po game mastery (přes křečky pohánějící servery) jsou pro hardcore hráče nenahraditelnou zkušeností. Nikde jinde člověk nenajde tolik oficiálních informací o celém dění v SOE. Všichni známe SOE z venku a že to není zdaleka jen příjemná zkušenost… jejich podcast nám nabízí pohled zevnitř.

SOE Podcast website

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The Jedi “uber” myth

An interesting topic on the SWG forums, that i replied to with this.

Not so many people have read the EU books. I think more people played the various Jedi games. That combined with the new trilogy creates a strong “uber Jedi” myth.

What i think about it all is that Jedi do have a huge power, but they need good concentration to use it properly and that power also comes with consequences. Also, theyre Jedi, THEYRE NOT LIKE US. Theyre not like “i have to kill all the bad guys”. The power of Jedi also comes with the mental change. The more power he has, the less he uses it for primitive tasks like mass killing. Because he doesnt want to, its against his teaching, but he also often doesnt have a REASON to do so.

That is like with many martial artists in real world. They do have huge power, but very often, the more power they have, the less likely are they to use it without a good reason. Theyre past that point where “uber killing” seems uber. My former Karate instructor was just like that. When he was attacked, he just parried and dodged the punches until the attacker gave up. Because he didnt want to kill or disable him, which he could do really easily. Of course not everyone is like him, and not every force user is a Jedi. If he was Sith-like, i can imagine he could play soccer with his eyeless head or something like that.

For example, even if Yoda was uber, he didnt go and kill a legion of Clone troopers, because what would be the point of that? If it didnt save another Jedi or solve anything? Even the point of “one legion of bad troopers less” might not be a reason good enough for a Jedi like Yoda. Maybe the only reason good enough for him to really go and fight was to “kill the Sith lord and end the war”. Any fighting with the mere servants of the Lord was pointless for him.

So, some of the Jedi maybe never unleashed their full power, because they never were in a situation where they could do it. And on the other hand, some Jedi failed in seemingly “primitive” skirmishes.

There probably really was such difference between their abilities. Some of them werent trained and talented enough to react so swiftly, a group of clone troopers was able to kill them, while on the other hand there was Yoda, who is (obviously overpowered) winning against heavily armored droid units in The Clone Wars Series (2008), episode 1. Was he in such a close connection to the force, that he had no hard time dodging all the attacks? Some of the Jedi might lose their concentration when under the stress of battle. Focusing on the Force is very important for Jedi, and if he fails at this one thing, if he fails for a second and one shot hits him, all his skill and training is lost because of this small failure.

The Jedi we play in various games either never lose this focus (if they do, we load previous save), or they can take some beating. If every other shot that hits me in a game was to kill me (like in the movies), i would die a long time ago. The single-player games give us a room to correct our mistakes. But the real Jedi never had that chance. Maybe they lost their focus in their first real engagement for a second and got one-shot killed. Theyre not cheating like we do in the games, they cant take much beating and they cant load a save.

No wonder some of them die quickly, i cant imagine how many times my Jedi died in these games while under my control. And Yoda has to be really good.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic announced! / ohlášeno!

There it is. And it looks… promising. Its not like Star Wars Galaxies, its not like World of Warcraft and not like any other MMOG. It is probably the first MMO to let players experience such a deep, complex and rewarding story, where player’s decisions will have huge consequences on his character. That’s what they are promising – the first really storytelling MMO, and from the Star Wars universe! However, thats all they said. Really. They spoke about it as if it were a “KOTOR with multiplayer” and not like about a MMO. “There will be raids, there will be RvR” is not good enough and they didn’t even say, what classes are there. Obviously, it then looks like “KOTOR with multiplayer”. But that doesn’t mean it cant be successful. Also, SWG representatives already said, that nothing bad will be happening to SWG and that the updates will continue into 2009 and further. Looks like i will have to pay and play two MMOs at the same time, once again!

Je to tady. A vypadá to… slibně. Není to jako Star Wars Galaxies, není to jako World of Warcraft ani jako jiné MMOG. Je to pravděpodobně první MMO, které hráči poskytne tak propracovaný a smysluplný příběh, kde jeho rozhodnutí budou mít na vývoj jeho postavy opravdový vliv. Slibují nám první skutečně příběhové MMO a navíc ze světa Star Wars! To je ale asi tak všechno, co jsme se dozvěděli. Mluvili o té hře jako by to byl “KOTOR s multiplayerem” a ne jako o MMO. “Budou tu raidy, bude tu RvR” nám nestačí a ani jsme se nedozvěděli, jaká tu budou povolání! Takže to orpavdu celé vypadá jako “KOTOR s multiplayerem”. To ale neznamená, že to nebude úspěšná hra. A zástupci SWG už se stihli vyjádřit, že s SWG se určitě nic zlého nestane a updaty budou pokračovat i příští rok a dále. Takže to vypadá, že budu zase jednou platit a hrát dvě MMO najednou!

Star Wars: The Old Republic screenshots gallery

Interview o The Old Republic s vývojáři od Bioware / interview with Bioware developers

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SWG: City of the Skies – Čtvrtý datadisk?

Pro ty, co angličtině ješě tolik nevládnou, to tu mám i v mateřštině 🙂 Takže věc se má tak, byla krásná noc, hrál sem SWG, tlachal na Ventrilu a četl si fórum, kde jsem narazil na topic “City of the Skies?”. A ten obsahoval link na níže zobrazené video. Pokud bude z YouTube smazáno, pro jistotu jsem ho hodil na mmoscreens.com. A dal jsem tam i popisek z YouTube, který v podstatě vypráví o tom, že J. Smedley vyhodil právě čtyři vývojáře SWG a ti se mstí tak, že zveřejnili nedokončený trailer pro datadisk plánovaný na příští rok. Má to být poslední pokus SOE a LucasArts vytáhnout z SWG větší peníze, než přijde obávaný Kotor Online… Ale jestli KOTORO vubec přijde, to se dozvíme už 21. tento týden – Bioware a LucasArts totiž konečně odtajní ten dlouho utajovaný projekt. Jako ostatní v něj neskládám velké naděje… dobré MMO (které neni pro děti) je dneska fakt vzácnost. Tenhle trailer na City of the Skies je nejspíš podvod, ale klobouk dolů nad tím, kolik si s tím dali práce. A aspoň jsme se podívali do vnitřku nové budovy “Dinner”, které bude vydána jako loot karta tuto zimu 🙂

SWG: City of the Skies – 4th expansion?!

It was a night like every other. It was 2 AM and i have been playing Star Wars Galaxies, talking on Ventrilo with friends and browsing forums when it happened – i stumbled upon a topic called City of the Skies? It contained a link to a very fresh video on YouTube. Well, i think it is a fake, but a good one. We can only wish that SOE ever made an expansion like this. Bespin with Cloud City are ideal for an expansion. I will leave it up to you to see it, and to read it’s description, so here it is.

Oh and in a case that it gets removed, i uploaded it to mmoscreens.com, along with the video’s original description, which is:

“From: disgruntledsoe Added: 15 October 2008

Quick explanation – Last week, John Smedley sacked …

Last week, John Smedley sacked four of us at SoE using extremely unprofessional reasoning on his part. Basically he’s looking to trim the staff down of those working on SWG now that KotORO is about to be announced soon.

We wouldn’t of minded so much if he had just been honest about his reasons – but that isn’t John Smedley.

So basically, this is my way of being unprofessional back at him. He’ll never be able to discover which of the four of us snuck this out of the offices, so here it is John – your “careful timing” you are oh so precious about – ruined.

This is the project John Smedley has not been telling SWG players about. He’s known for about a year now that Bioware is working on the Knights of the Old Republic MMO, and him and Lucasarts have been busy thinking up ways to squeeze the remaining SWG playerbase out of one final cash lump sum before everyone jumps ship – and this is it.

Star Wars Galaxies – City of the Skies. The 4th Expansion.

It’s been in the works for the last 3-4 months, and basically is a mish-mash of material SoE has purchased from other Star Wars games with Bespin in it, to make the production process faster.

The ONLY part they are actually splashing out on is that they are really asking Billy Dee Williams and the guy who voices Kyle Katarn to do voices for it.

Smedley seems to think the idea of actually creating content from the era the game is set in, rather than more clone wars stuff is “original thinking”.

I’m sure that’ll give a good few of you a chuckle…”

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