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Gordon Walton - Are You The One Who Brought Us The Nge?

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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

I suddenly realized I left something out that was critical to my account, mainly because I take it for granted but players often don't realize it.  The team on SWG loved their game and community.  Eve

Are you kidding, of course I have more stories!  Almost all I've ever done is make games and every game that isn't a disaster, is nearly one! 

I have no doubt you had passion for swg Gordon. You can only do so much as a person and SOE gets money hungry and pushes thier visions on the company and they in turn ruin games.


I like that you guys want to stay true to your visions here with crowfall and not have some greedy publisher change everything and ruin a solid idea for quick cash grab.


Thank you Gordon for your honesty behind your past works. It is nice to see a development team be so honest and upfront.

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Wow, now I want to know the reason why every MMO out there failed.


Btw, why is Crowfall budget so low compared to SWG? (<18$m and it was barely enough)


I can't wait to read Gordon's standalone response to this question.  But, if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say it has to do with demonstrating market viability.  They can secure additional funding from venture capitalists, and the more money they can show supporting the existing vision of the game the less risk the VCs may feel.  Also, the less likely the VC would want to meddle around with the concepts, and actually allow ACE full creative control to achieve their vision.


So, the more donations that can show support for the currently described vision for CF, the better - when/if it comes to securing additional funding.  The vision for this game is probably seen as pretty risky from an investment standpoint (you must remember these people don't give a flying **** about video games, and generally only care about money...sad but true).  If CF raises a ton via fans already putting their money where their mouths are, it demonstrates a lot for potential investors.

Edited by mourne

"Food for the crows..."    Nobuo Xa'el


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Gordon, what parallels can you draw between Trammel, NGE, and Sims Online and how do you plan to not repeat all of this with CF?


It appears that underlying theme is you making a set of decisions that designed to add mass-appeal for the title that end up backfiring.


Are you going to try to make Crowfall appeal to as many people as possible or have you finally learned your lesson?


Way to cut right to it, but it's true. So many of us have gone from game to game after spending a year or less in it, for the sole purpose of PVP. Unfortunately, it's always a tacked on secondary and once the game loses mass appeal because it can't keep up with PVE end game content, it dies and we have to leave with it. There's always that one game we go back to for it (or wish we could now), but you would think someone would of wised up by now and say "You know what, there hasnt been a hardcore pvp game in a decade. Although it isn't as much money per month as a full blown AAA PVE title, it would be steady income because it's something the PVP crowd can stick to".


It's sad, but I think that's why the MOBA scene has become such a big ordeal. It's not needing to spend a ton of money on lore and quests, but brings that constant player vs player competitiveness a subset of players want...and it's thriving! Personally, I can't stand MOBAs. I hope this game fills the gap, and we don't have another mass appeal flop 6 months in. It's like a short term money grab, instead of appealing to a niche market and riding it for the long haul.


With that being said, this project is the closest I think we've gotten to that in the last decade. I trust the developers, even if some of their comments make me feel like the game is going south with crowd appear sometimes. They usually release another statement, and all is well. Crossing my fingers this turns out to be just ~70% of my expectations...and I'll be happy.

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I didn't even play SWG (I was too busy with EQ) but I heard all about this from the folks that were playing it and hated the change. My friends were passionate about how good the game was before the "New Game Enhancements" that it made me wish I had played it.


Quarterly profits influence corps to make so many bad long term decisions. I am glad you maintained your integrity throughout the ordeal. That is no small thing. 

Edited by Mandragon03
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The vision for this game is probably seen as pretty risky from an investment standpoint...


Investors doing their research are going to be uneasy about the mass market potential of a PVP MMO.  The perception, true or not, is that PVPers grief their own games, driving off customers and turning forums into cesspools that require costly moderation.  The fact it is only a small minority who may fit this category doesn't matter - they are looking at numbers.


Crowfall is doing something rather unique, with massive campaign worlds that have endpoints, coupled with persistent EKs that have the potential to be more than just lobbies.  I think the chance of success is good.  If this plays out, it opens whole new vistas and, hopefully, an end to the soulless theme park trend.

Edited by cemya
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I will respect your wishes and keep my opinions of John Smedley as positive as possible.


That said, NGE was NOT your sword to fall on, you may have conceptualized it but you did the right thing and walked away after voicing your concerns(even if walking away really was them showing you the door after stealing your stapler).


NGE was Smedley's fault, just like launching SWG early or Vanguard early(ok technically Vanguard was a different company but SOE definitely influenced their decisions to launch prematurely).

The reality is that too often SOE decided to make rushed decisions based on making as much money as possible/spending as little as possible, and that unfortunately is what's wrong with huge corporations. The developers can be the most dedicated developers ever but if they're being forced to rush a project out the door it's going to reflect poorly in the finished product. I think you recognize it and I think you realize that you can't rush something like an mmorpg without drastic consequences.


I will never touch another game by SOE/Daybreak/Smedley again and I learned my lessons the hard way as I watched games with so much incredible potential be destroyed by terrible implementation/support.


The funny thing about SWG is what it means to different people, some people loved the pvp, some people loved the crafting, for me I don't even remember the PVP because as much as I love pvp it's not what kept me playing SWG. The crafting on the other-hand, the ability to stake a spot in the world where you find extremely high quality resources and the open world feel that was brought to the game was what sticks out in my mind more than anything. A world where you can be a master politician, a stripper, or both rolled into one person is what kept me going; the fact that real estate meant something and where your city could actually become known for its' crafters meant more than any combat system ever could.


To this day every mmorpg has failed when it comes to implementing crafting because at best it's mediocre and at worst it's terrible.


I hope you guys get crafting right in Crowfall but you and I know you have a hard act to beat, SWG was ahead of its' time in so many ways and I'm looking forward to see if Crowfall can offer something as revolutionary.

Smedley makes mistakes but he does try his best to keep his company making nonmeta games.  WoW caused a lot of panic for a lot of companies, many have come and gone with their failed mmorpg projects.  At least SOE/DBGC is still swinging for the fences. 

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Way to cut right to it, but it's true. So many of us have gone from game to game after spending a year or less in it, for the sole purpose of PVP. Unfortunately, it's always a tacked on secondary ...



With that being said, this project is the closest I think we've gotten to that in the last decade. I trust the developers, even if some of their comments make me feel like the game is going south with crowd appear sometimes. They usually release another statement, and all is well. Crossing my fingers this turns out to be just ~70% of my expectations...and I'll be happy.


I agree with you.  Except, all your thoughts about PvP being a secondary concern to "mainstream" MMOs are my thoughts about Crafting being a secondary concern to "mainstream" MMOs.


Both fanbases have been largely abused by the MMO market.  And I hope that Crowfall will bring us both at least most of what we're looking for.

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Not playing SWG more in it's prime is one of the biggest regrets of my life. Zero exaggeration here. My only exposure to it was about 10 minutes at a friends house. I wasn't in a position to play it on my own.

I plan to focus on crafting and playing as a minotaur. 

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 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.



This is the interaction that should exist between Campaigns and the Eternal Kingdoms...



Your primary source of Crowfall news, guides, and information.

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Hey Gordon, kudo's for the info. I think we're breaking new ground in Developer:Player relationships today. Lots of the behind-the-scenes stuff is a mystery to people like me, and I'm glad you stood up for the game when it counted. Your proposed second game idea is intriguing. It would have been yet another ground-breaking effort by the SWG team had it happened as you pictured it. I'm not asking, because it probably wouldn't be very constructive to veer down this path, but I wonder how much Smedley had to do with taking your idea and mis-applying it to SWG. I've always had a bad taste in my mouth for that guy ever since the CURB/NGE (btw, for those who didn't live through it - CU=Combat Upgrade, R=Revamp, B=Balance... all terms of which were put forward by the dev's during the months and massive changes leading up to the NGE). It would also be interesting to know how much $$ LucasArts was pulling out of SOE's pocket in licensing or whatnot.


I do have a very important question for you though: When will we see the 'new SWG', and will it be done by an experienced developer team? When will we see the deep resource and crafting games, the social aspect woven into the fabric of the game, awesome professions like Creature Handler and BioEngineer and the pet system, a player-managed political system (and professions), space and ground games, and the wildly varied combat choices?

I ask the question knowing that The Repopulation is out there luring SWG people in. My first couple impressions are poor mostly due to what appears to be a significant lack of money and experienced AAA developers. Maybe I am way off, but that's my impression from playing a game that has been in development for more than a couple years already. Their scope is also much smaller than SWG was, and honestly, the crafting actually seems to be too complicated right now, heh. And I love crafting!


Follow up question: Why are so many game studio's so obsessed with making wow clones? I totally get that the big games exist solely to make money for the studio. No problem there. But why can't more of them do what Crowfall is doing and make a game NOT designed for/hoped to knock Blizzard off the top of the money pile?


I would be remiss if I didn't ask: Will Crowfall ever see some of the social professions/aspects of SWG? Will player housing in Crowfall be at least on-par with SWG in that we can decorate the interior as we wish and pick from multiple house styles? Will we ever see a replica of SWG Player Cities in CF using EK? As in, a city EK opened up as it's own entity, "owned" by whatever character is currently voted to lead the 'city'?


Thanks again for the info. Very interesting!


IOK, now we can get back to it!


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