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StormShadow

Raph Koster's On Patch 9 And Jedi System

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Yeah for me SWG stopped being fun long before NGE and CU. It was the Jedi grind that killed it for me. I was in a medium size very active guild, that did base raids, community events, ran our own shops and vendors and helped each other. Then all of a sudden everyone just started grinding custard holocrons and professions and it was near impossible to get anyone to group up or do anything. "Sorry man can't I gotta grind out Politician cuz my holocube told me so". I eventually caved and started the grind myself but didn't make it very far until I just stopped playing.

 

So yeah for me at least the game was over even before the NGE hit.

 

 

 

and yeah just read that whole blog entry, really hits the feels for sure. Just imagining what it could have been and the amount of passion and energy he and others put into only to have it a shallow form of what they hoped. just want to give the dude a hug lol. Also shake his hand and say thanks for what was my first real MMO experience and what would become the reason I still play these games to this day.

Edited by pang

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These last several SWG blogs have been incredible and incredibly hard to read for both good and bad reasons. So much potential, ruined by greed...so sad...200k paying $15 a month wasn't good enough! Most MMOs now would LOVE to have that!


I role play a wordsmith.

 

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The crazy idea I still wish we had done

JediGhosts-ROTJ.png?resize=300%2C129I had a brainfart that never made it past those early days, there in that house. The idea took inspiration from Hardcore mode in the Diablo games. We would offer a Jedi system that effectively gave a different way to play the game. A method that kept Jedi rare, powerful, and yet allowed everyone a shot.

Every player would have a special character slot available to them, distinct and parallel from their regular character. This character would be locked into one profession, one class: Jedi. They’d start out weak as a kitten though, untrained in combat or anything, and with barely any Force abilities at all. Luke without womprat-shooting experience maybe.

Although the design wasn’t done yet, we knew that the game would be classless. So this pathetic Force Sensitive character would be able to gain better Force powers by earning Force XP by using the Force. They could also go off and learn other skills. But either way: if they died, that was it. They were dead. Reroll. Start over. It was that dreaded word: permadeath.

In the corner of the screen, there would be a timer running logging how long you had managed to survive. It was your score, for this weird little minigame. The name of the game was survival, but it was rigged.

You see, the moment you used Force powers within view of anything or anyone Imperial, or indeed any player, they could report you to the Empire. To Darth Vader’s Death Squadron in fact. And that generated someone to come after you. After first, just lowly Stormtroopers. Eventually, cooler characters, such as some of the bounty hunters like IG-88. Eventually, really cool ones like Boba Fett or fan favorite Mara Jade.

Vadercostume.jpg?resize=270%2C340These would be brutal fights. Odds are you’d just die. So hiding and training very carefully would be essential. But it wouldn’t matter, of course. As you advanced, your powers would get “noisier” and cooler. You wouldn’t be able to resist using Force Lightning in a crowd, or equipping your lightsaber in view of some Imperials. And eventually, after Boba Fett and Mara Jade and everyone else had failed, well, that would be when Darth Vader himself bestirred himself to take care of the little problem.

And you would die. It would be rigged.

Your time would go up on a leaderboard, and everyone would be able to ooh and aah over the hardcore permadeath player who managed to get all the way to seeing Darth Vader and getting her ass kicked.

As a reward, if you managed to make it to Jedi Master, your very last skill would be “Blue Glowy.” You’d unlock a special emote for your main character slot that allowed them to summon up the ghosts of every Jedi who had made it that far. So all the bragging rights would carry over to your other character. Heck, I had a picture in my mind of the most amazing player summoning up not one, but a whole set of them — the most badass player would have a coterie of Jedi advisors, hovering around their campfire, as they showed up.

The response to this idea was pretty much “Permadeath?!?” And so Hardcore mode never happened.

 

 

That idea sounds really cool. It wouldn't make them all that rare though but I would have liked to see it.

It's as if a lot of bad changes happened because of who they listened to.

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One thing I have said about SWG before that was interesting from a player perspective was the advancement before you were skill capped. For example, I knew I was going to be a teras kasi, so I ran around killing critters, which give no loot unless you skin them, so I took up scouting so I could make a little money on the hides in addition to the mission rewards. Eventually I had enough scouting xp to start creature handling, so I did, without any intention from the beginning, So then I got my lovely pet dewback named Fluffy. Eventually when you hit the limit on abilities you have to trade in some of your errant decisions. But I found myself sneaking up on little dewbacks and banthas and such to tame them completely ignoring my other options at times.

 

I remember eventually I trained one or two lines of doctor so I could use very effective med packs and buffs, the wound healing I meditated away via TK magic.

 

When the economy/gear had went full tilt into crazy mode and you could easily don composite armor with 85-90% resistance to everything, and buff all your stats by a few hundred percent I did go out and hunt a Kryat dragon, it wasn't much more challenging than a rancor or nightsister. 

 

Specific XP based on actions encourages experimentation even if you don't end up staying with those professions. 

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**Disclaimer**

I loved SWG for a time. Tons of us UO peeps jump on over and you could see where they were taking the core "players make their own fun" ideals into SWG.

**Disclaimer**

 

Having said that all of this coulda woulda shoulda is skating the main issues. Sure it's easy to play the martyr AFTER you leave a game for leading role at another company for good money.

 

Also remember the copious ammount of feedback from passionate players that wanted to stick around and see this succeed? Yeah that was dismissed and SWG was defended vehemently by the devs. That included Ralph.

 

Now I'm not claiming that his tale of what had happened behind the scene was untrue or a lie or anything. I just remember why I left as why I loved SWG.

Edited by Keaggan

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**Disclaimer**

I loved SWG for a time. Tons of us UO peeps jump on over and you could see where they were taking the core "players make their own fun" ideals into SWG.

**Disclaimer**

 

Having said that all of this coulda woulda shoulda is skating the main issues. Sure it's easy to play the martyr AFTER you leave a game for leading role at another company for good money.

 

Also remember the copious ammount of feedback from passionate players that wanted to stick around and see this succeed? Yeah that was dismissed and SWG was defended vehemently by the devs. That included Ralph.

 

Now I'm not claiming that his tale of what had happened behind the scene was untrue or a lie or anything. I just remember why I left as why I loved SWG.

 

 

I don't really take the defense at the time as too much evidence. Even if you leave the company agreements could leave you in hot water if you openly say "The devs think the suits were idiots but we had to do this" I think part of why this is coming out now is that SOE no longer exists. Even if the Devs 100% agreed an idea was terrible and would be bad, if they were told to by the higher ups, then they have to vehemently defend the decision. This is the nature of hierarchical jobs. You may have input, but when the boss says "This is the way it is going to happen" your choices are to comply or leave.

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Crons as the death of SWG is probably accurate. I remember having to take two weeks off the game, which started just before the crons came out. So, I logged off in out city where everyone was sort of harmoniously being a secret undeclared rebel enclave, interacting, we had a small cantina with a few regular entertainers, we had shops frequently staffed by their crafters at peak hours, etc.

 

People were having fun doing what it was they wanted to do. The PvP crowd had this awesome place they could always board up in, always resupply, always got a gear discount, and everyone interacted and it really felt good like we were a truly undiscovered rebel base.

 

I logged back in two weeks later and all I hear was "I'm grinding X" and "I hate holocrons" and "Anyone grinding dancer? I need buffs but <redacted> is on dant grinding" and such things.

 

I tried to keep it together, but those things eroded the social support structure of the sandbox severely that it just wasn't FUN to play your custom role any more. You weren't interacting with characters designed by people who enjoyed filling a niche any more, you were just interacting with a stream of irate tourists.

 

Given the way the NGE went down later it doesn't suprise me that the holocrons were the result of a mishandled marketing scheme, and it's sad. Without the feedback component, and even with the severely downscaled checkbox system, there would still have been a few jedi eventually. That systemic obfuscation would have kept it a special dream, which was really what jedi always should have been in that system. A myth that some people don't even believe in any more, but a hope that anyone could possibly achieve.

 

It's a shame it went the way it did, much like a lot of the eventual fate of SWG, it says a lot that so many of us have such fond memories of what was, objectively, a really poorly balanced and buggy game with horribly anemic content.


PopeSigGIF.gif

Rub rock on face and say "Yes food is eaten now time for fight"

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What killed the game for me were two things... Jedis being able to hide from Bounty Hunters on Kashyyyk... and removal of permadeath for padawans.

 

"Grrrrr.

 

Booo.

 

Hiss."

 

- Sissi, Leader of Hunters In Sissi's Service.

Edited by Maxima

"Signals, Sound off Plates and Greaves! Line up! Prepare to advance!"

- Saying things a Centaur Legionnaire likes to hear.

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The interesting part of the jedi system Raph wanted is that it was a survival game before survival games were really popular like they are now. Would have been epic!

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Interesting read.

 

One of the ideas myself and some other folks had in regards to jedi was similar in some ways to Raph's idea - basically letting everybody have one "special" character.

 

Instead of having one alpha class, you had a few. Add Dark Trooper, Elite Rebel Soldier and a Master Bounty Hunter. Each would be powerful in their own right, but easier to get than a jedi.

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