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

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Hi Gordon,


(Also, Tiggs and a few others I think I recognized)


While I can't believe I didn't notice this discussion earlier it's nice to read it now.


I was one of the correspondents invited to Austin and met yourself, Thunderheart, Tiggs, GreenMarine and many others of the team back in August 2004.


First, I want to thank you for that opportunity as the team was every bit as passionate about delivering a great game as I had ever dreamed.

Second, that you made a stand and were either dismissed or left voluntarily was something I long suspected and respected, as the time in Austin gave me the impression that you would not have gone down that path willingly.


It's great to see this out in the open as it makes me feel like my trust that was earned back in Austin was not misplaced then, or now.

Edited by Voltan
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I am very impressed with your articulation of such a delicate topic. That couldn't have been easy. The clarification will hopefully bring needed closure to some who, as you said, are still upset with the NGE phase of SWG to this day. I think most of the ire was meant for SOE and Lucas Arts 'money men' who forced this whole situation upon everyone, and I think a lot of good people who were trying to do the right thing were caught in the crossfire.


SOE ultimately paid the price for their negligence, I believe.


What could have been? Perhaps that will be Crowfall  :D


I have long forgiven what went down with Star Wars Galaxies. I wish you the best in this new endeavor and from what I am seeing and hearing...I think you are in for a BIG hit!!


Well done, sir and Very Good Luck to you and the entire team.

Sindyr Ibn Tophius
Co Founder - Elder Moot

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Oh Gordon, can you please answer one thing.

From a financial point of view I can understand SoE felt something had to be done. But who thought it would be smart to just comment out all the old combatcode and "relaunch" a skeleton code atleast 2 years before it was close to ready. I'm sorry, but anyone and everyone should understand that was moronic. How could NGE be approved to launch in November 05? I simply don't understand how THAT could happen.


I remember when NGE came out only 2 stats were used in combat and that was CL (combat Level) and armor rating. A 50 DPS dagger did just as much damage as a 750DPS lightsaber. On top of that Jedi didn't have armor so one medic could solo 8 Jedi easily.


No idea, I was out in late Feb/early Mar of 2005.  Lot's of things get launched before they are ready in game development though.  it's triggered by running out of money or patience in most cases.  Software should be shipped when the metrics show it's ready, but that's not a common practice in gaming (and probably not in some other industries too, but I mostly know gaming).

Gordon Walton, ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.  [Rules of Conduct]

Follow us on Twitter @CrowfallGame | Like us on Facebook


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Hmmmm. So basically the original NGE was supposed to be a Star Wars based version of Planetside, which released in 2003 added in to the subscription cost of SWG.


Might have been cool if crafting and resource management were a bigger deal.

"To hell with honor. Win."

A Beginner's Guide to Crowfall (5.8.5 Edition)


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The budget question is a good one, and I'll answer it in another thread in a day or so.  We've given the answer in a few interviews but they are easy to miss, and I can do it more justice in a standalone response.


I'll make a wild guess, EA spent way too much money on hiring voice actors who wanted to be payed a lot for their services.  It is not that hard to hire voice actors who are fresh to the acting profession who charge a lot less, EA simply had to get those high charging actors.

Edited by Psyctooth
My hubris is the size of a 2 by 4 nailed to the side of a YF-12 jet barrel rolling into a volcano piloted by a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

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I'll make a wild guess, EA spent way too much money on hiring voice actors who wanted to be payed a lot for their services. It is not that hard to hire voice actors who are fresh to the acting profession who charge a lot less, EA simply had to get those high charging actors.

I don't think voice acting had anything to do with SWG.

Wasn't much of it


This game looks like a larger scale version of marvel heroes so far with forts.  - nephiral marts 7 2015


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I'll make a wild guess, EA spent way too much money on hiring voice actors who wanted to be payed a lot for their services.  It is not that hard to hire voice actors who are fresh to the acting profession who charge a lot less, EA simply had to get those high charging actors.

Uhh, I don't remember any voice acting at all. I mean, none. Zip. Not a single character voiceover. Okay, as I type, Jabba's palace popped into my head. Was there some kind of scene there with an actual person saying stuff?


I just can't think of a single instance where a human recorded a verbal audio clip to be used in SWG. I still have the full WAV file with all SWG's sounds and effects (I listen to it from time to time when I am feeling blue for SWG,heh).


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He's clearly confusing Star Wars Galaxies with The Old Republic which voiced every single line of dialogue in the entire game.

Ya thunk?


This game looks like a larger scale version of marvel heroes so far with forts.  - nephiral marts 7 2015


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Hey, I just saw a name above and wondered if you knew where they were at? GreenMarine! GM in particular I remember being one of the best Dev's SWG had, and most of us were really bummed when he left. You know where he is?


He is working at Valve, I believe.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As far as I am concerned the damage has been done and one of the greatest mmo's ever made (despite the bugs) has been taken away from us and no game will be able to replace it....This game will be fun and many will enjoy it possibly even myself but after what happened to SWG and all the time spent that was taken away from all of us with the revamps to jedi and lack of promised bug fixes and added features and patches its become difficult for me to devote that kind of time into any game now for fear of just wasting my time yet again on a game that is destroyed by corporate greed and absolute lack of listening to the community no matter how hard we tried to keep that stupid NGE patch from going live....I see where they are going here trying to make us SWG players happy but if its not SWG then its simply not enough and it will be pretty tough to come up with a game with that type of mechanics that doesn't end in disaster yet again..That doesn't mean I wont play CF and other games but as far as what attracted me to the laggy bug ridden game SWG was nothing will replace the experience or memories I personally gained from it...Yes its just a game and I will still get up for work in the morning but SWG was special to me and it was stolen from me....from us.....

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  • 3 months later...

So many years ago I played my first 3d type MMO game called Everquest.  My first 6 hours spent out front of the gate killing rats and what not.  My first so called PVP experience involved this higher level fella asking me directly if I needed some help leveling.  Me being new could not even reply to him.  He took the time to explain how to reply, to group up and to assist.  Was a pretty kewl experience.  Then he said he wanted to take me to get some good exp and gear.  We went under the walls into the sewers, and like 45 seconds in, and many turns later, he said, " Wait here, let me get some monsters and bring them back for loot and exp."  He never came back, I died to some pretty nasty beasties very quickly, which ofcourse I lost everything.  He was laughing the whole time in chat...  Lesson learned.  I am typing this today to express how some gaming events you can't forget.  For me SWG was one of them.  Killing womprats outside of Mos Eisley, finding the Sarlacc pit, Old Bens house, Skywalkers house with the burnded bodies...stuff like that.  There are just some memories that NEVER get lost in all of the clutter.  During a night cycle I was walking outside of Mos Eisley and came upon on a small hill where there was a light on top.  I noticed there is some sort of camp setup and there is a guy there sitting next to a fire.  I thought it was a NPC.  It was a player...that guy I am still friends with today.


Loyalty is not something we give on a whim.  It is built by long hours doing the things we love in the gaming world.  Instant gratification may work with the kiddies, but for alot of us, it's the little things that count.  The crafting, the grouping, the teamwork to accomplish a goal, and many other "features" if only the developers would just consider it.


I have been reading alot about Crowfall and I decided today to finally support the project.  The goals this team have are not all that lofty or groundbreaking, which for some players might mean why they aren't on this forum today.  Those are the people I don't want to play with anyways. After playing inside the Star Wars IP for so long, I truly believe that no one is above redemption.  Show me what you got Gordon!!  To help, I will give you my money in the hopes this game turns out to have some fantastic memories.



Edited by Skjoldr
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  • 7 months later...

Honestly SWG was the first MMO I ever played and my favourite still to this day.  For all of its flaws, the community in that game was the best hands down.  Loved the complex crafting system, JTL was a HUGE expansion and amazing.


I played Master Squad Leader, it was very limited in abilities but a big reason why I even got to the status on my server (Kauri) was because there weren't that many SLs in the game.  I still have a lot of RL friends that I met playing that game. 


Hell I even had real life death threats when me and some others switched from Rebel to Imperial just because the pvp population became so unbalanced.


The NGE was definitely the darkest time for the game.  I actually left with a lot of my friends for about 6 months till they started to add back in everything they took out of the game. 


If only the game was released in today's world.  Sandbox games are the most popular it took 10 years of WoW clones, but I think MMOs are finally back on the right track.


Thank you Gordon though for this post, it brings me back to a simplier time.

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*rises brow* Necromancy is no longer forbidden art?


Sorry I was just looking up who Tyrant was cause I did remember the name and came across the post.  I had to say my two cents cause SWG will always be special to me, and so many others.

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Of course I don't really know you personally.  Is everything you said completely true?


In the end I'm not psychic.  Yet, when I read what you've said I see some things in there that, based on my own life experience in deploying systems in the face of "elaborately convoluted difficulties", that cause me to think back:


As a Project Manager sitting in front of a Director, with the project's Accountant present, being told to interpret a contract clause in an incorrect manner.  And while legalese can indeed sometimes be . . . foggy . . . in this case it was not.  And I had sealed my understanding of the correct interpretation based on two things:  Common sense and everything we had TOLD the client, for months, both in private meetings and open presentations to them coupled with a validation review with the person who had written the Contract because I had seen the freight train coming days earlier, so I anticipated and reviewed.


So, as I was being "directed" by the Director to  get with the program and understand how it needs to be interpretted, with the Accountant sitting there looking like a deer caught in the headlights, with millions of dollars on the line . . . the issues driving the difficulties related to software NOT ready to spec, not passing testing per functional specifications promised . . .


. . . I chose to tell the truth.


I told the Director  I couldn't interpret the clause differently, because what I was being asked to say wasn't what the clause said, and wasn't what we had been telling the client for months.  I indicated I wasn't going to lie all of a sudden to try and pad over our own mismanagement of in-development project requirements.  These were basic, obvious omissions and failures I discovered had been covered up, not grey area.


Things became, predictably I suppose, far more difficult for me after that.  Etc., etc., etc.


What does this all mean here, what comes out of your open dialog in my mind:


I signed up with ACE because of WHO I THOUGHT you guys were.  You guys present well, from a character and experience standpoint.


1)  Be Honest.  I think I see that in you guys, to the best of my ability to perceive that.  Stay that course.

2)  Be Practical.  I think I see that in listening to how ACE speaks about the project.  Stay that course, keep to the forefront of the necessary, perhaps mundane management disciplines any business requires to be successful.  Clearly something basic in your tool sets given your backgrounds.

3)  Be Courageous.  The world is filled with people who don't give a rat's ass over you or the people under you.  My guess is you already understand this.


3a)  Triple this for your Community Manager once things go live.  Please provide Pann with a 5gal jug of 5-Hour Energy Go Juice,


4)  Be well managed, particularly with making promises.  Complete clarity and no ambiguity in setting / managing customer expectations.  Which, to me, must work well with #1 and #3a.


In the end I suppose I'm saying nothing more than:  "Stay the course you've set . . . continue . . . be of good character".


That's what "dinged" with me in reading your OP.  You chose the practical and forthright route in a difficult position, the intent to serve the business and the customer, in good faith.


I signed up because of YOU GUYS (what I felt I saw).  Even if Crowfall in and of itself isn't going to be to my liking . . . I'll still be a fan of Art+Craft, willing to try other endeavors, because of that.


The good that comes out of the SWG situation is a sonar ping on who you are . . . in a difficult situation.


Thanks for  your time.



Edited by Bramble

“Letting your customers set your standards is a dangerous game, because the race to the bottom is pretty easy to win. Setting your own standards--and living up to them--is a better way to profit. Not to mention a better way to make your day worth all the effort you put into it." - Seth Godin

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