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Deceived

Published by under Editorial on Aug. 03. 2012.

I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to anyone that ever decided to buy or spend any money on Star Wars: The Old Republic on account of my fansite influencing them to do so. I am sorry, I have deceived you into giving money for something that will be free in a few months. I chose to believe everything Bioware was telling me about SWTOR and I supported it wholeheartedly by telling people it is a great product that will last for years and years to come and that investing money into it will bring joy into your gaming life. It will still bring joy to gamers, as a free offering, and that is a huge difference.
  
We, the first customers of SWTOR, have given about $90 to EA and Bioware on average (game cost + three month subscription to average things). Money none of the people playing from November 1. will have to pay. That is why I feel like I deceived you.
  
I have supported and recommended SWTOR to everyone for one simple reason. All along we were promised a top notch product that will justify paying a monthly fee. We have seen many MMORPGs of the past not reach the highest quality at release. Age of Conan was unfinished past level 20, Warhammer Online was boringly easy, Star Trek Online had only the space combat done well out of all the parts of the game and so on. Star Wars: The Old Republic was not to repeat these mistakes. It had 200 million in funding, it had people that brought us KOTOR, Dragon Age, DAOC, Ultima and many other great games working on the project. It was hailed as a pivotal product for Electronic Arts. Some of the people working on the game even got permanent tattoos displaying their full commitment to the game.
  
We were all deceived.
  
Past the first month subscription numbers started to plummet. There were things that needed to be done in the game that took way too long to be done (more on that in another article) and people simply voted with their wallets. Apparently, SWTOR did not warrant a monthly subscription. The game is not half that bad to be honest. Maybe the subscription model is dead. If anyone should have known this it was Bioware and Electronic Arts. They should not have deceived us by saying they have something we will want to pay a monthly subscription for.
  
Not even six months after release we saw the first people from Bioware, Austin get fired. Electronic Arts started cutting expenses and changing direction for SWTOR. John Riccitiello labeled SWTOR as one of the top 10 products for EA (but not a top 5 product) and started firing people. So much for Electronic Arts’ full support for the project and the game. What was to be an ongoing service for years to come was being crippled 6 months into the service going live. Bioware was deceived into believing they have time to fix the problems and take SWTOR in the right direction. I am guessing month 3 was when support stopped. By month 8 not many original people are in Bioware, Austin anymore and EA has changed its stance towards SWTOR from flagship product to disappointing. In MMORPG world this is a very short time and going F2P after 10.5 months is like straight to DVD for movies.
  
Sticking to that movie analogy, SWTOR is the Waterworld of the gaming industry.
  
I can understand Electronic Arts’ logic. They were deceived into believing that Bioware is capable of delivering a world class product that will create over a million subscribers in years to come. Obviously that did not happen within the timeframe EA thought as comfortable for them.
  
I feel that I need to make one thing very clear. This article is not about SWTOR being a good or bad game or about Free to play model and what it means for SWTOR (it is a very natural progression and a very good thing for gamers). This is about everyone being deceived and the announcement about Free to play bringing that to light. If you check out this Gamespy article they have a very nice layout of all the Bioware quotes from past talking about free to play. What Bioware has been telling us all along (for the past two years) is that free to play might be the future, but they have a product that warrants a subscription. They back-paddled only 8 months into release and switched their story completely (firing half the staff along the way). This tells us that they are capable of deception , or are completely incompetent. Either way, it is now obvious the only price you should have been paying for SWTOR is FREE.
  
P.S. I had the honor of having dinner with Stephen Reid and David Bass in Austin. I had the privilege of interviewing James Ohlen and asking questions to Damion Schubert, Daniel Erickson and Blaine Christine. I chatted with the writers of the Old Republic. All of those people were very passionate about the game they were making. They loved it very much and they lived and breathed that game. That is why I believed them and believed in them. That is why I wholeheartedly supported SWTOR for the past 2 years and recommended it to everyone. That is why I find this a bit tragic, because apparently loving your work does not necessarily translate into success and than all the love is forgotten and everyone is just feeling deceived.
  
DISCLAIMER: All the opinions and conclusions in this article are that of its author. The author reserves the right to be proved he is wrong and is willing to hear the opinions of others on the subject. Please leave your comments in the comment section bellow.
  
UPDATE: You can hear me talk about this article and the reasons I wrote what I wrote in a podcast with SWATHRadio.com You can find the podcast on their website or download it here
  

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21 responses so far

21 Responses to “Deceived”

  1. @SanitariumPron 03 Aug 2012 at 11:13 am

    I guess some feel like they were “Deceived” but I can say that I don’t feel that way. I cannot understand this going on trend of whine whine.. oh dear some people got the boot on their ass because Swtor did badly. That has nothing to do with the game it self in the end – it has not lost it’s feeling on my side at all.

    I do admit I am not a HC player, I am not the person who has to have all nownownow and end the game fast or try to gain some thing that only one person can have in the game it self. If some people were so morons that they cannot make up their own mind and bought the game because of some one says that buy buy it, then I would / will not say that I am sorry that you did so. It just points out that you cannot make up your own mind and should not handle money in any cases of life.

    Since you cannot enjoy the game does not mean that there are no people who enjoy the game.. This is the main reason I stopped reading the official forums general chapter – full of I know it all and my opinion is the truth to all people.

    I would have been more interested about this article if it would have said the truth that you feel Deceived not everyone feeling Deceived…

    but that is my 2 coppers on the things.

    About F2P to be the “future” why then there are MMO games that are still in monthly subscription or are you telling us another “Truth from the future” that all games shall be soon(tm) F2P

  2. Chriswsmon 03 Aug 2012 at 11:54 am

    Custom avatar

    I think this will be the end result of all future MMOs

    If you want to play them on release you have to pay.
    Be patient and wait a year or so and it will be free (apart from all the ridiculous costs involved in buying the stuff from the game stores).

  3. ChaseHammeron 03 Aug 2012 at 12:20 pm

    I actually congratulate them on going F2P. I refused to buy into the hype of SWTOR and did not buy it until they released a trial of it. After they did I played it for 2 days before I bought the game. I love this game. Not just because its Star Wars, not just because they have actual acting voiceovers, not because it is an enjoyable universe where their are multiple aspects of gameplay you can choose to have your way with…wait YES! All those reasons. SWTOR is a complete package. Sadly I feel like their were a lot of people out there that either feel the same way I did and wanted to try it before laying down the cash on a whim or they already play another game (sub. or f2p). I do pay for WoW subscription. I do also play/played DC Universe Online and Star Trek Online. After seeing how a MMO should play/feel like once my annual contract with WoW expires in March I will not be renewing.

    F2P opens up opportunities for the universe to expand its user base. I for one LOVED with DCUO went F2P. I got to choose which content I wanted to pay for and which I didnt. I do not have a problem with buying an initial game if it is free to play there after. Dont give me the stupid reasoning about how you have to pay for the servers, no. The Diablo series has proven that you dont need a subscription to operate.

    Once SWTOR goes F2P I will probably still continue to pay for subscription time, maybe not every month but perhaps every quarter or every other month pay just to give my support for the game.

    Were you/we deceived? No I dont feel like you are. The option is still there to subscribe. Most people dont complain about getting something for free. So I dont think you should sit there and act like BioWare/EA owe you something. You paid for the game, you can still play the game.

  4. Alanaon 03 Aug 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Custom avatar

    I agree with the ChaseHammer.

  5. Jasonon 03 Aug 2012 at 2:32 pm

    “This tells us that they are capable of deception , or are completely incompetent.”

    http://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/black-or-white

  6. Riiker_Bladeon 03 Aug 2012 at 5:31 pm

    ChaseHammer said everything I would said except i’ve following Swtor since Bioware announced they were making the game.

    I only want to see Bioware get anyway from EA and continue improving Swtor. But do it quicker.

    I’m gonna stick with Bioware to see if they can or will be able to continue with this game. I love the game.

    One more thing Bioware, start listening to your customer that play PVP more. There is a serious imbalance in PVP. I play both Sith & Republic and the Sith have an decided advantage over The Republic. But that’s an argument for another day.

    I still love this game and I feel that F2P will bring new players and they will stick around and become paying customers be I believe Bioware will make this game even mor awesome by putting new content more often.

    Can’t wait.

    Riiker_Blade

    P.S. one last thing on PVP…limit cc to just certain classes not all classes. There waaaaayyyyy toooo much cc in PVP….hehe… That’s it.

  7. Riiker_Bladeon 03 Aug 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Sorry for the misspelled words. I’m on my iPhone. I big fingers I guess.

  8. Mikroon 03 Aug 2012 at 6:51 pm

    @Jason I agree my logic may be based on black/white conclusions because I am a programmer and I operate a lot in if/then/else scenarios. Still I would welcome to hear your opinion and an expansion of my black|white logic to something more reasonable, instead of getting a link that … educates me?

    @ChaseHammer I will say it again in comments: “This article is not about SWTOR being a good or bad game or about Free to play model and what it means for SWTOR (it is a very natural progression and a very good thing for gamers)”. I was trying to convey to everyone what we’ve been fed by Bioware and what turned out to be in the end. Bioware promised us a gaming experience that will be worth our subscription and 75% of their subscribers left and didn’t think the game warrants a subscription. That is just plain facts that came to light with the conversion to free to play. I am not saying the game is bad. As a matter of fact I like it and have played it since day one. I also am not saying the F2P model is bad and I congratulate them on switching to it as well. I am saying that what is happening now is so far from what we were promised before that I feel they deceived us and that they should have gone with F2P right from the start, because customers themselves have now told them that FREE is all they will pay for their product (vast majority at least).

  9. JediCounsularon 03 Aug 2012 at 7:03 pm

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    Deceived? Are you actually aware of what you are saying or know the meaning?

    According to the dictionary, “DECIEVE” means:
    1. to mislead by deliberate misrepresentation or lies
    2. to delude (oneself)
    3. to be unfaithful to (one’s sexual partner)
    4. archaic: to disappoint

    Politicians decieve, Big corporations decieve. I am a guildleader and also run a website for our beloved game, SWTOR. I followed the hype of SWTOR, even years before SWG ended, did I decieve when I kept up my friends with new information when it was debuted? NO. I brought many friends over from SWG to guild with and I make sure we don’t post anything on the our website until the information has been checked out thoroughly. Did I decieve anyone? NO. Since I am an owner of a CE, been in 2 BETA invites, and started in early access playing, I pass on what knowledge I have attained to others in the guild and others that need a helping hand at times. Have I decieved anyone? NO. We also have at least 4-5 other guildmates that have participated in BETAS, and also in early access, are they responsible for me or others being decieved? NO. There is no reason why any single person is responsible. There is also no reason why any guild website or fansite to be blamed for decieving others. IF, someone is responsible, it is not you or anyone else’s right to claim it unless, by some chance it is by the entity that created it, and “they” decieved with intent to decieve. What we all did with our own money, by buying the game, falls on the individual.

    I have been chatting with my guildmates, and we have decided to stay with our subscriptions. Maybe in the process, we can “lose” all the trolls and people that really slandered the game. That in itself would improve the game for the majority that still really love playing.

    ADVICE to SWTOR LIFE:
    Please do NOT ruin your website, by taking blame for which you had no control. Step up and just accept the conditions for whatever direction the game goes. Economy has alot to blame for everything that is going on in the world, and M.M.O.’s have a direction to followas well. So, in closing… May the force be with us…

  10. Leion 03 Aug 2012 at 8:48 pm

    If they start laying off the rest of their dev team and updates start coming at a snails pace, then I would say there was some kind of deception.

    If they keep up with a 3-4 month release update, then it is no different than what the first 8 sub months have been, slow updates.

    If f2p makes patches come out in 1-2 months time, then I say hurray, but it is still too early to say whether that’s going to happen or not.

    What would happen to this game if at the next earnings call, subs were below 500K and there was no f2p option? EA would probably pull the plug and kill the game. No deception, but no game either.

  11. KaelWolfcryon 03 Aug 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I dunno about being decieved, but certainly your prior comic goes a long way into the root of the problem–the game was managed into the dirt, and a lot of very passionate and dedicated people got annihilated in the resultant meltdown. The thing to remember, though, is that even horribly mismanaged games can rise from the ashes.

    City of Heroes’ lead was the sole cancer for the game, and once he left to attempt greater things, the game grew, and still lives on today with a solid userbase and one of the best F2P models in the business. AoC was not…great, we’ll say…but the team rallied together and have crafted The Secret World, which is on track to be one of the most unique MMO’s out today, and it’s even sub-based. And that’s not even considering EvE.

    So yea, things look crap–and I’ll admit, the investor’s call doesn’t help the drumming doomsayers. But now more than ever, if you support this game, then your sub will speak volumes…and it’s completely possible that an MMO team can learn from their errors, self-made or otherwise.

  12. Logun24x7on 03 Aug 2012 at 10:49 pm

    I understand allot of people being butt sore over swtor going F2P but if you were happy with the game before the announcement then there’s no reason to think the game suddenly became unfun with it going F2P.

    I lost my love for the game long before the F2P announcement but that doesn’t mean its a bad game its just not what I was looking for in a MMO.

    It’s too bad it didn’t take the world by storm and I’m sad that it didn’t. At this point the triple AAA failures are starting to stack up and that makes me fearful for the genre.

    I don’t blame Bioware for this they put out a solid product, the problem is I think they pumped all they had into one hook, the story, and this was no small undertaking to make work in a MMO space.

    The problem is players also want to get away from the EQ mechanics that have been with us for the last 2 generations of MMO’s, however when your doing something as complex as grafting in a Bioware story into a multi-player space they had no gas left in the tank to make sweeping changes to the remainder of the MMO mechanics.

    Unfortunately the market changed on them from 2006 to 2012, the market became much more friendly to F2P business models and we are starting to see some original mechanics in MMO’s today that are trying new things and fixing some of the problems that players have faced for years.

    That said, the way the game makes its revenue should not be a concern.

    This put swtor in an uncompetitive place and the business model needed to change.

  13. Diomedon 04 Aug 2012 at 8:55 pm

    Oh stop being so dramatic. You said in your own article that Bioware has been talking about going free to play since before launch, no deception there. Free to play was always the back up plan. If the game didn’t perform at WoW levels IMMEDIATELY (Enjoy your stock price EA.) this was the end game plan.

    Does the game need content badly? Yes. Are they after the right type of content? No way. A new operation, flashpoint or warzone is not going to fix the problems with this game. Time and support may. I’m part of a cutting edge raiding guild that only logs on for raid time. Why is that? Because there is no reason to log on outside of that. The majority of us are sitting at 5+ million credits, have multiple 50s and are out of reasons to login. Farming the same raid SINCE APRIL even makes logging in for operations rough. Game desperately needs time sinks for the hardcore to jump into. SWTOR’s story based leveling may have masked the grind (for some) but it left some who finished it feeling like they “beat the game.” Subs won’t survive on that. I’m nervous about f2p limping through it either.

  14. Pointyon 06 Aug 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Until the MMO community changes they’ll continue to feel “deceived” as well. This game certainly has problems and was even missing some features that are common to games in the genre. However, what it did have, from the very beginning was a great foundation.

    Moddable gear was a double hit. For people who love customization you can build your own look out of most gear available in the game. For min/maxers you can customize a piece of gear using components from other pieces so you aren’t dealing with the “throw away” stats because “overall it’s better”.

    Warzone design is a debatable topic, but personally I love the “little” mechanics that make the rounds more interesting than typical MMO PvP. Huttball being the most extreme example, in that a team that passes well and really gets their mileage out of the obstacles with knock-backs and stuns is going to almost always win regardless of gear.

    I have yet to see a single post (though maybe I missed a few) saying that leveling in TOR is anything but the best leveling experience they’ve had in any MMO.

    Crafting is a focus reward system where you can creating an optimal piece of gear for a specific character only by constantly breaking down sometimes relatively valuable pieces of gear to add the exact stat you’re looking for. The best part about it is that it’s more about resource management than spending hours flying around clicking on nodes (because aside from the people who liked being “successful” for being the most effective human bot, nobody enjoyed it).

    People will say that “a game in 2011 needs more to compete with what’s already there”. That’s fine, but the reality is no game will so you’re stuck with “what’s already there” and always will be. No company is going to put that many eggs in one basket that they’ve released a game to beta and had it beta tested until it’s as polished and content heavy as WoW.

    We need to start enjoying games for what they are instead of what we want them to be. That will give them time to actually BECOME what we want them to be. Right now we want it all and we want it now. What we end up with is what we already had, because we’re unwilling to “put our money where our mouth is” and actually FUND anything new, even if, at it’s base, it is a better game.

  15. Mikael Svenssonon 07 Aug 2012 at 12:05 am

    First I have to say that I do not feel decieved. I feel relieved.
    The model BW is going for is that it is *possible* to play for free if one does not want all the aspects of the game, but if you do, you simply pay a subscription. So it is not black & white at all, just a few shades of grey at most.

    I for one love the game, and it going F2P will not in any way make me love the game less. I will not in the least be jealous or think any less of the people that chooses to play the game only for the sake of doing 1-50 without the possibility of doing unlimited WZ and FP. Free players will never join an operation, will not play the GTN successfully, will probably not even be able to create a guild and surely not be able to enjoy all those aspects of SWTOR that we subbers do.

    So, will the game really be “free”? No. The game will have two modes, that is all. Will this be a good thing for the game. Oh yes, I think so. F2P means that BW/EA will *have* to make new content that F2P players will want to spend their Cartel Credits on, and that means it will greatly enhance the subbers experience since they will get all that new stuff with no hassle. This will mean a higher production rate of new Warzones and Flash Points (but unfortunately, probably, not Operations), planets, bling bling and so forth. I fell that this will be the best thing that could happen to the game to be honest.

    And do I feel “cheated” by having paid sub since release? Absolutely not! I got my moneys worth of entertainment to be sure, and no matter how many players get some of that for free in the future it will not in any way lessen my past or future experience of SWTOR.

  16. Bob Olmsteadon 07 Aug 2012 at 12:42 am

    Too bad the same fanboys that ripped people apart for trying to save the game remain in response to your VERY ACCURATE and well informed response. Folks, in less then one year, they have gone from a high just shy of 1.8 to below 1M, that is a huge disaster. And to be clear, every top business pub inside and outside of the gaming industry has called it just that. The OP is 100% dead on, as well, in his use of the word “deceived”. Not only does he get the english language, more importantly, he correctly documents the core issue of saying one thing yet doing another, since day one.

    The latest bean counter version is that 40% of their exit interviews (which I took one, very poorly designed) say the monthly fee was the issue. In less then one year, EA and TOR’s senior management continue the spin machines and sadly, the media continues to buy it, unchallenged, hook-line- and sinker. The issues are absolutely NOT that they over reached on the use of the SW brand but rather, they did not leverage the SW brand anywhere near what the could have and should have, given their lead up marketing. The issues are not around some quick turn monetization model, the latest of which is F2P. Im sure some MMO F2P types will save this brand on a basic level. But there is a VAST difference between saving your butt financially and an MMO truly becoming all it could be.

    The bottom line, EA just doesnt get it on a multitude of levels and I see no sign that will ever change. If I had more time, I would take the recent interview that Ohlen (TOR) gave and rip it to shreds piece by piece. Why? Because he stated they always wanted to be an MMO first. Really? Is that why about 60-70% of the assumption a player can make about what they will experience as “standard” among all MMO’s is still nowhere to be found? And, frankly, I blame Lucas Arts who twice now, has surrendered the Star Wars MMO licensing to firms that that are notorious for horrible service; SOE and EA. Bioware was a great call, but for whatever reasons, that was not enough.

    Article after article by BEAN COUNTERS cite stat after stat, or make the issues about things that never address the CORE GAME MECHANICS and the GLOBAL ATTITUDE which better define the real truths behind the massive failure of this MMO. I cant imagine what all these hard working (many of them now laid off) devs and visionary managers must feel like to have something they cared so much about, shattered into pieces after years of work. So lets look at just SOME of those bottom line issues, randomly presented, as I did not have time to prepare for this article.

    #1- The current mentality is to INVENT Star Wars content versus truly giving players/fans the Star Wars we know. When you constantly invent outside of a powerfully established context, you’re asking people to learn about and embrace your version of the cannon versus offering players the ability to enjoy fully, the SW experiences they want to play. The story arcs that Ive played, three in total, are very good and very iconic. Some of the side quests score decently well, in this regard. But for the most part, this game is KOTOR on steroids and not even close to an MMO experience. Once you make it to 50 to include end game content, the game just falls flat on its face in terms of it being a SW license and as an MMO. And slapping up some typical MMO end game raid, one that has all the huge monsters they swore they would not delve into, makes no sense.

    A very good example of this mentality is what appears to be an invented planet that they are choosing to launch, which is being marketing as an all PvP planet. They are obviously playing to the quick fix, heavy PvP crowd from which F2P will bode well with (for minimal cost), which has nothing to do with truly offering the Opus of Star Wars experiences. Put another way, they way they have chosen to “fix” the game is a TOTAL FAILURE TO TRULY DOUBLE DOWN ON OFFERING A SUSTAINABLE STAR WARS EXPERIENCE that keeps a core base coming back for more. Had they launched Endor or Dathomir as planets, well known and mysterious, highly desirable locations to explore and to “experience iconic Star Wars moments”- that alone, just launching one of those planets, would have immediately resulted in more players and more revenue. Typical of EA, they’ve made about the statistics of MMO trends and very poorly structured exit surveys. They say 40% wanted F2P, essentially, As I know a lot about this area, how to mine this data, that means the real number is more like 30%, assuming we have clear data at all. That means that there is 70% of their base (or former base) that felt another way. Again, Ive taken several of these so called surveys and they simply were not structured in a way to get to the REAL issues. Rather, they were structured very superficially around how to quickly monetize. Like I said, they just dont get it.

    #2- If Im a Bounty Hunter and Im a level 50, I want to Bounty Hunt. Not gonna happen in TOR. If I am a Level 50 Smuggler, I want to smuggle, a Jedi Master- I want to work with the Jedi Council to go on important missions. NONE OF THIS IS AVAILABLE once your turn 50 in TOR, which is a HUGE oversight and has resulted in TOR leaving a ton of money on the table. A moment ago, I stated that had they launched a more iconic planet and opened up the gameplay framework, to allow for more exploration, they would have had a boon in return customers. Now lets add to that, Level 50’s that can Bounty Hunt, be Spys, run missions for the Jedi Council, so on and so forth- and that number of people, the core TOR population rises yet again. IS EA IN TOUCH WITH THESE TRUTH ON ANY LEVEL? The answer as evidenced by all of their actions, is no.

    You have a game that does a great job of drawing you in through their story arcs and BAM, your reward for turning 50 is ALL OF THAT goes away. Your companions have nothing else to say to you, at least the ones you’ve maxed out, thats it- your relationship with the NPC is, for all practical purposes, done. TOR wants you to (in fact, forces you too if you want to enjoy companion perks) max out all your companion XP. So if you had a blast with Kira, ALL THIS BUILD UP with her, you’re gonna get married, you secretly broke Jedi rules and then level 50 hits or whenever you max out her storyline, then nothing. Your reward us that from that point on, she will only give you route, basic responses; basically, you have a talking test dummy.

    How did this happen? How do you make those kinds of decisions? How do create a game so built orotund key story lines and companions and then abandon all of that once a person hits 50? Again, this is a failure to NOT LEVERAGE THE BRAND ENOUGH versus leveraging it too much or relying upon it too much. This has nothing to do with the crap statistics Ohlen and others are feeding us. If they truly wanted to fix this game, they would be passionately dealing with these issues, instead we get more KOTOR (HK whatever assassin droid), a PvP planet and F2P.

    #3- Its friggin’ Star Wars! I want to explore and fully experience this cool world. Not going to happen in TOR. Ohlen stated in his article that they never meant to change the MMO experience, only to add story. Every MMO Ive played and I’ve played all the big ones to include Galaxies – WoW – LOTR – Rift and others, let you truly explore the world you’re in. Rift even has a solid reward system for such desires with some fun perks. TOR greatly limits this to almost nothing. The zones, with a very few exceptions, are vanilla, small and full of restrictions as to where I can and cannot explore. For example, I can’t just fly out to my Republic Tattoine outpost and just walk out into the desert to explore. There are no really unique areas that blew my mind that I could also explore. I thought Nar Shadda was rather impressive, but you can’t interact with anything and as stated, nothing to explore.

    A buddy and I were talking about the old days of early Galaxies. I shared a story about one day when I was zooming along, minding my own business as a high level toon riding my speeder on the high level planet (it TRULY felt like a planet) of Endor, on a shoreline of a lake, when out of the blue I get knocked off my bike- which then blows up and I hear Stormtroopers telling me to halt. I look behind me and see two ships full of stormies unloading and coming after me. I popped up my chat for my guild and said, “you won’t believe this”. Seconds later, I was in a fight for my life. Folks, this was a random encounter that made my experience feel rather over the top real! I was on a SW high for days. No exploring. No iconic Star Wars world events. Nothing meaningfully Star Wars after 50. Very narrow control on skill trees, Next to no interaction with our Star Wars environments. But sure, the real issue is people having to pay a monthly fee. NOT!!!

    #4-Rhakghouls- my word, seriously? Fine, its a call back to KOTOR, so a little bit here and there. But to make that such a huge deal throughout? In operations? In your one world event? Do you people even understand what the attraction of Star Wars is all about- because it aint Rhakghouls. And although KOTOR has some great merits, people didn’t sign up for a KOTOR MMO NOR WAS IT MARKETING AS SUCH, they signed up for a SW experience! Give me a world event where Sith Masters or Jedi Masters suddenly appear on the opposing factions Capital Ships. Have a Call To Arms world event where I see twenty of my fellow players called back to the Jedi temple because its under attack. Give me iconic breathtaking and wide open SW worlds to not just fight in, but also to explore. THATS Star Wars!

    #5- The general perception that Bioware and EA could care less has been a huge issue, regardless of all their press saying otherwise. They launched an economy that was utterly ridiculous in terms of all the costs for healing, repairs, transaction fees, etc.. They added and still have crazy costs for getting Legacy perks. Some I have a Legacy XP bar for perks I need to buy, but somehow that supposed to feel like something I earned? If your bought the Collectors Edition, you really felt a deep sense of betrayal, of Bait and Switch. Sure, the shipped items with the CE were nice, but VERY CLEARLY STATED IN THE RAMP UP is that we would get a vendor that would updated regularly with new items and content. Never happened. The in game benefit to having a security key was dramatically better then having bought the CE. When this was brought up endlessly, we kept on hearing the same, tired response. Yes, we realize this but its low down on the list in terms of our priorities. In other words, we already nailed you for all that extra money so deal with it. That was a very dumb, short sighted business move.

    I could go on and on. Side quests, once Ive level to 50, I still have waste my time on all the dialog when Im leveling a toon? I get that for your new toon’s core quests, but the side ones? So leveling 3 toons MANDATES dredging through the same side content again? STOP spitting out statistics and STOP throwing quick fixes that will create a more superficial, less Star Wars experience. Give us the experience we paid for, the SW experience you marketed; give is Dathomir and bounties to hunt, things to smuggle, Jedi council meetings to attend that spark great adventures; give us back the companions WE WANT TO PLAY versus forcing us to level companions we could care less about. And in spite of what the so called data says- the game will turnaround.

  17. Pointyon 07 Aug 2012 at 3:10 am

    Bob. I think you hit some great points on things that would be great for the game. I also would like to see them focus more on delivering a more “SW experience” and additional story to experience.

    Have you ever considered they were aiming for that but weren’t given the chance because so many people bailed nearly instantly?

    I mean, honestly, they DID deliver great stories (by your own account) and I’ve never heard anyone refute that. You can experience all of those stories with friends (which I did). It felt very much like an MMO to me (actually, my typical leveling experience in an MMO involved far fewer friends than in this one).

    By the time they started implementing the fixes people complained about (I thought how fast they fixed the ability delay problem would have been impossible) and released their first content A MONTH AFTER RELEASE, the game was already bleeding subscriptions in a huge way (even when you don’t consider how many left but still had 6 months of subscription).

    Now I realize WHY people were leaving. What I wish those people would realize is that they’ll experience the same thing in any new game. A game should release with it’s focus realized (in this case story driven content).

    If you’re expecting features and polish at launch you’re never going to find a game you’ll enjoy and might as well pick one of the ones that’s been around forever (because only an established MMO will have the polish most people demand now).

  18. ericon 07 Aug 2012 at 8:26 am

    WoW won’t happen again, far much more to do with an internet connection today than there was in 2003.

  19. Finiteon 09 Aug 2012 at 7:27 am

    I don’t feel “deceived,” and I don’t feel like the game was a failure, what happened to subscribers is simply a result of a lot of peoples mentality today, instant gratification. The game had a few issues they weren’t willing to wait to see fixed, so they left.

    I agree with many who already commented, any new game is going to come with some issues. The game never had any “deal-breakers” in my opinion, a few bugs but nothing that ruined the game or prevented you from enjoying it.

    F2P won’t ruin the game, it still requires a subscription for the good end-game content, but it will introduce a flood of children who could not have afforded the game before, which is irritating for intro planets and general chat, but this game is going to continue moving forward with more content and bug fixes, so I don’t see what the big problem is, in fact, F2P might encourage people wary to buy the game to get a subscription once they play and find that the game is enjoyable.

    I personally see a positive future for this game. I also feel like they really should have stuck it out and waited before making this decision, keep improving the game and people will come back.

  20. Mikroon 09 Aug 2012 at 7:37 am

    @Finite I agree that they should have waited it out. I blame Ealectronic Arts for pulling the plug too early.

  21. Leonardoon 09 Aug 2012 at 7:46 am

    I am very happy because of this move, as I will finally be able to play the game. Not that I don`t want to pay for it, after playing the trial I would gladly pay, but EA refuses to get my money…

    I’m from Brazil, and whenever I try to buy the game I receive the warning
    “Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ is not available in your region”, but the weirder thing is the next part: “To maintain a high quality of service, only certain regions worldwide will be able to pre-order Star Wars™: The Old Republic™.”

    Well, the game is not on pre-order for some time… but I still get this message…