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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/05/2018 in Posts

  1. 2 points
    Now that SOE is gone (long live Daybreak Games!) we should go ahead and have the Star Wars:Galaxies NGE discussion. I'll start with the easy part: The NGE was my fault. I'll also say that memory is an imperfect thing, particularly around emotional circumstances, so I won't say this is 100% accurate, but it's the way I remember it. I was running SWG starting before the Jump to Lightspeed expansion was announced. This wouldn't have happened if SOE had been happy with the size and thus profitability of the game. Expectations had been that SWG would be as big, if not bigger than EQ which at the time was ~500k players. SWG had briefly gone over 400k but settled down into a 200-250k level. The Holicron addition and hints on how to get a Jedi ended up slowing net growth of the game and undermined the in-game community as people tried to macro their way to Jedi. We had hoped that by adding the "Stars" in Star Wars (i.e. space vehicles and flight) that the game would grow significantly. But SWG had more fundamental issues around the combat system (which hadn't gotten nearly enough iteration before launch), and an overwhelming amount of bugs, balance tuning and missing features for the dozens of various professions was holding the game back. The team was constantly working against a giant backlog of these issues just to keep the players we had retained. SWG was a real masterpiece in many ways. The team, led by Rich Vogel, John Donham and Raph Koster, built an amazing game, both in scope and AAA presentation. It had a character customization system that was the state of the art for the time (and still better than many we see today). An amazing diversity of professions and skill trees. Some extremely innovative design and gameplay roles were first seen in SWG. Having a player council was a SWG innovation. Rather than using the EQ technology, and entire new engine was created to match the requirement of SWG. And this was all done for <$18m in <3 years (2 years and 9 months), launching in June 2003. This was and remains unprecedented achievement in building a AAA MMO. And like so many MMOs, it was launched far too soon for financial reasons, so there were plenty of problems at launch and beyond. After the Jump to Lightspeed expansion launched (Oct 2004), it was clear that our audience size was clearly <300k and that was not acceptable to SOE (or to LucasArts). We were working hard to fix the bugs, missing features and trying to make the audience happier so we could grow. But that was a slow grind, even though SOE had added significantly more development resources in 2004 when I joined the team along with my team that had been working on an unannounced SOE project. Elements of the SWG team had this idea that maybe we should build a second Star Wars game that was focused on the "War" in Star Wars. It would be large scale battle game for planetary conquest. That way we could have more people in bigger battles (the character customization in SWG was far too detailed to have lots of players on the screen without significant performance issues). We could have a game where people fought over planets and they'd be dominated by either the Rebels or the Empire until they switched hands again in a galactic strategy game. We could build a real twitch combat system that was less turn based and more visceral. It was a very exciting idea. I championed an idea to SOE and LucasArts that we build this game with a new team, sell it as a separate product, but actually share the universe with SWG. No matter which game you initially joined, your subscription would give you access to both games. You'd have a battle game and a role playing game all together. The battles would take place on new worlds, but the outcomes would affect who owned the SWG worlds, such that the worlds in SWG would change who owned the government buildings and towns, empire and rebel banners swapping out, storm troopers patrolling where formerly the rebel soldiers would have been found. And an overall strategy game at the planetary level, bringing the "Wars" to Star Wars. Management was excited about this concept until the cost of this new game was clear and neither company (SOE or LucasArts) wanted to (or were able) make that investment. But the thought remained that a Star Wars game with more "Wars" in it could be huge. A prototype of the combat and faction switching in a town had been built. That and the launch World of Warcraft game influenced the development of the Combat Upgrade (Apr 2005) and following New Game Experience (Nov 2005). The context at that time was that World of Warcraft had launched in November 2004, and so had Everquest 2. Everquest 2 clearly didn't meet expectations as WOW took off, even with their early shortages of product. Almost every other MMO in the market got less play and less acquisition as WOW took market share. So there were noticeable financial stresses on SOE and all the other MMO companies. I participated in the early planning for the NGE, and I was told to execute it over my and many others on the SWG teams’ objections. I failed as an effective communicator in my attempts to change this course. In March of 2005 my boss came to Austin for a visit, and I told him I was going to refuse to move forward on the NGE development and launch. I had assessed that it would be a breach of my fiduciary duty to do so. I believed (and told him) that launching the planned NGE would alienate the customer base, cause at least half of them to quit and lose the company 10’s of millions of dollars. At the same time I told him he deserved to have people that worked for him do what he said, and I was sorry I was being intransigent. A week later I was terminated, and frankly I was never happier to be fired. I don't blame my management, as I basically made them do it. Being in conflict with your management is never fun, but doing something you don't believe in is worse. I watched the launch and outcome of the NGE launch closely. I actually hoped that the NGE would work out, as that would have meant that I’d have to revisit my entire mental framework on working with MMO communities. But the customer losses were significant, and the blow to both the SWG and SOE brands was noticeable. Destroying player persistence, the professions they’d put months or years of work into, along with their identities, to make the game “better” for new customers wasn’t a win from my external assessment. Many of those alienated customers became activists against SOE due to their losses, and the bad feelings around this change to SWG continues with ex-customers to this day. I want to stress that everyone that I knew who were involved with SWG at SOE and at LucasArts were trying to do the best thing as they saw it for their companies and for the long-term benefit of the game. I just didn’t believe then or now that it was right thing to do from a customer stewardship and fiduciary standpoint. So I feel I am responsible for the NGE, because the impetus came from an idea I initially championed, which I as unable to deflect when it was being mis-applied (in my view) to SWG. Again, the lesson of messing with the core of a game design in order to try and grow revenue being a likely recipe for disaster was demonstrated to me. And I had yet another Forest Gump-type moment in MMO history in my career. It's OK to grieve a bit if appropriate for you. I don't want to see bashing of John Smedley or any of the other folks I know and respect at the former SOE. It's easy to demonize someone for doing something risky when the results turn out poorly. And we need risk takers to get innovation. What's more valuable is to figure out how to avoid making major mistakes in the first place, and coming up with more creative ways to solve these combination of game/community/business problems. Please keep the discussion constructive and on-topic. I'll be asking the mods to remove and/or move posts which are off-topic.
  2. 2 points

    Crowfall Battle Rager Myrmidon MADNESS!

    Showing off how crazy the Myrmidon can be in the right situations and what the tank role actually does in this game. Really looking forward to mastering this class!
  3. 2 points
    Effective communication can be a talent some have, but for most people it's a learned skill. Study the mechanics (from professionals, reading, even school), and practice it a lot! Design is, at its core, 99% communication to 1% inspiration. Design (IMO) is about mental models that the players will enjoy discovering, along with the interactivity, timing, pacing, presentation and rewards that make up what we call game play. Start with the outcomes you want from those you are communicating to, get into the head of the receiver of your communication and deliver communication that works for them to lead them where you want them to go. Communication effectiveness is in the mind of the receiver of that communication. A designer has to communicate with their leadership, with their peers, with other disciplines in development and with the players. You don't get to the players unless you can effectively communicate to all those other constituencies. Over time you may realize that the best communicators are often story tellers. They find a way to impart information or change minds through entertaining/engaging narrative. People have been telling stories since we could only grunt and gesture, it's an innately human activity, central to who we are. Good luck to you on your journey! Try to enjoy the ride!
  4. 1 point

    Se prepare ...

    Este mês daremos a todos os Corvos informações muito importantes para o sucesso da grandiosa Campanha Mundial. Veja aqui
  5. 1 point
    The month of December centers around giving Crows the information they need for Campaign World success FULL STORY
  6. 1 point
    I'm really excited for where this will take the Live server, once we get there. I've uploaded a nerdy video to youtube showing my enthusiasm for this new update. Here goes! The lyrics in this song remind me of what ACE is doing with Crowfall, and that's redesigning a genre that's become stale and polluted with repetitive garbage. Easily recycled and left behind. Here are the lyrics of this verse: Left behind, we've been programmed; and designed. Piece by piece we will create this path... (Sweet Solo Lick) (This signifies the correlation between ACE's path to recreating the genre, and the fact that we as players have been designed and taught to enjoy the type of game that WOW and other mainstream games offer us. Constant same-ness, in a world of paupers; crowfall shines through.
  7. 1 point
    YAY! I am stoked for this. I get hyped everytime i read more or see another video especially after reading and watching video of shadowbane
  8. 1 point

    Can I help!?

    Hey guys! I would like to know if I can help the team in some way. I worked as LQA - Brazilian Portuguese for a long time and actually I'm unemployed and I can help to localize Crowfall to portuguese. Thanks
  9. 1 point

    Can I help!?

    As traduções ingame, ainda tem muitas falhas, não se esqueça que é um jogo em desenvolvimento e muita coisa vai mudando. Quando for lançado a versão final terá que estar tudo a 100% não é mesmo? Mas sinta-se à vontade para opinar, e enviar sua opinião por mensagem aqui no forum ok? Abraço e se divirta
  10. 1 point

    Can I help!?

    Ainda nao testei em PT-BR, mas no 5.8 vou jogar para ver como está, caso ache algo eu te aviso sim! Obrigado
  11. 1 point

    Can I help!?

    Bem vindo Dundum Espero que se divirta entre nós, Sim, nós temos uma equipa que faz as traduções para português brasileiro, mas se por acaso encontrar algum erro pode sempre falar comigo, e transmitirei a quem de direito. Em relação aos videos eles são feitos em inglês, e a tradução, as legendas, são feitas pela team de tradução, equipe à qual não pertenco. Obrigado pela sua oferta. Ficaremos atentos a se precisarmos de algo ok? Abraço
  12. 1 point

    Can I help!?

    I'm trying to help because I lived in Ireland for a while and worked in a big company specialized in Localization. Also I'm unemployed and I would like to help Crowfall to get bigger with the brazilian community. Anyway @BarriaKarl and @Fauno if there is something I can help, let me know!
  13. 1 point

    Can I help!?

    @Fauno should know more. Honestly from what i saw in portuguese they have some trouble with PT-BR. I just decided to double check if we are really getting CF localized into actual PT-BR (the unified 'portuguese' forums gets me confused all the time) and found some really fun wording in the official annoucement. This part has made me laugh non-stop for the last 5 minutes: BTW Fauno still hasnt confirmed if we have anyone from brazil in the translation team. If you are really up for it you might be better off making videos commenting the current translation. I remember Fauno said you could email him if you find anything but that is kinda troublesome. This way you could save time making segmented videos (a video checking the diisciples, a video about the talent tree, skill tree, lobby and UI stuff, etc.), would be able to do it more naturally (while playing and not having to go super formal about it), and could also make for good content. I do remember CF was seriously lacking in videos in Pt-Br.
  14. 1 point

    Prepare Yourself - Official discussion thread

    I'm hyped for Cooking with Kromas. Y'all should have her also bring an actual in-real-life dish to prepare and showcase during the stream too, talkshow cooking guest style.
  15. 1 point
  16. 1 point
    THANK YOU FOR THE REMINDER! (why are we yelling?)
  17. 1 point

    Unofficial Looking for Guild Thread

    You might want to use the copy paste others are using, we don't know which region you are from forexample.
  18. 1 point

    Crowfall Holiday Raffle with Aorus

    I've updated the post to include the link to the Facebook post. The territories that are included for this raffle are already listed in the original post. Cheers, Minke
  19. 1 point

    ¿Esparando la 5.8?

    Llevo un tiempo fuera de los foros del juego aunque sigo todo el avance, la verdad es que espero tener un poco mas de tiempo y poder dedicarle un poco de ese tiempo a la actualización 5.8 y ver la evolución del juego. A si que si tengo bastantes ganas de ver el sistema de campañas, los talentos y la variedad de creacion de personajes que nos puede dar este sistema y el tema del crafting.
  20. 1 point


    Kurzes Update: Nach 3 Jahren sind die Northlander natürlich noch voll dabei und aktuell wieder vermehrt aktiv, da bald der erste Kampagnen Test mit 5.8 startet. Gilde immer noch casual, Fraktion Chaos und Sprache deutsch. Kommt uns doch gerne besuchen auf: Northlanders.rocks Grüße Battlex
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