Driving SWG into the ground

Not to keep riffing on some obscure SWG trivia but I’ve been thinking about the probot question. Seems to me the differences between pre and post-patch probots would make more difference to a lower level character that could really make more use of it hunting mid-range creatures. A more experienced character would probably need the extra umph of the prepatch probot much less as the critters he’s up against would demolish either fairly quickly or he himself dishes out enough hurtin’ simply distracting the critters for a while will do that trick.

If that’s the case, why nerf probots at all and create a situation where a few players get the better ones and the rest of the players are stuck with the inferior probots?

You seem to be arguing that the original probots weren’t really much of an issue anyway. Why create a problem out of a non-problem, if that’s the case?

Well, I can’t say what they were thinking but the reason they said they were nerfing the probot was because it allowed newbie characters to solo powerful critters. They’d send the prepatch probot in to tank and then plink at the preoccupied target. It still works the same with the post patch probot except they’re not as sturdy and they don’t deal out as much damage so they’re not a complete crutch - just a useful tool.

Since there are no certificates or particular requirements for owning droids (unlike stronger creatures or more effective faction troops) every newbie and his brother had a probot in tow.

I think Desslock has it nailed why the devs didn’t nerf the existing bots. Somebody killed himself trying to get one and wouldn’t want to give it up. Also that same character is probably strong enough now that he doesn’t really need the probot in the same way he did as a newbie.

On the other hand, I don’t want to play a game where lots of people have the same powerful things as I do. When the AT-STs became a 1/3 of third of their original cost, I spent an entire week of grinding just to get two of those. Turns out so did every other Imperial player on the server.

I agree that the powercurve is relatively shallow and so is the upper limit on your combat effectiveness. This is one of the reasons I quit. I want to become uniquely powerful if I’m willing to spend the time. Yes the jedi thing is there but it’s kind of tough to work for something if you don’t know what you’re supposed to do or how much progress you’ve made.

" I want to become uniquely powerful if I’m willing to spend the time."

Unique is not a word your going to use in a MM game.

About probots: they nerfed them, stating that it was too easy for people to get them, and that they were too powerful. Keep in mind that:

  1. they were very expensive at the time (there’s your gate)
  2. they were crafted using an armor that supposedly scaled along a crafting path, yet very little impact was evident in the final product (you couldn’t reliably pick the victor in even level 1 vs level 4 armor bots – the entry level stuff was just as good in practice as the highest we could made)
  3. experimentation did (and still does) next to nothing, yet there’s an entire required xp line dedicated to this as well, which should have been used to allow a scaling of hitpoints and damage-dealing abilities (actually, it did matter, just not enough at only 0.5% or so… but apparently nobody was still around with clue or interest to tell them there was a variable that could be changed for this)

In other words, there were tremendous opportunities to nerf the bottom end of the line by simply fixing the built-in profession gradients, making it so the really top notch bots would only come from the Master Droid Engineers, making them much more rare and expensive all while giving the players what they’d been screaming for since the start (meaningful professional development of their crafter).

But they didn’t do that. In typical SWG fashion, they wildly over-reacted:

  • Droid hitpoints were reduced from 3000 to 800
  • Droid damage was reduced from 120-140 to 50
  • All armor-piercing was removed
  • And on top of all that, armor was removed completely (despite still having an entire line required to progress to master). This change even affected pre-nerf Probots (for all other changes, only new bots got hit). They were all running around effectively naked. New bots would be two-hit by mobs blue to a naked newbie dancer.

… and shortly after this, perma-death was introduced for droids… presumably to reduce the population of pre-nerf bots still being used (it worked).

All of this, of course, decimated the profession, rendering these difficult and expensive to produce bots useless and unsellable, while other droids, most of dubious value even if they would have worked, lingered with crippling bugs of thier own. Scratch one profession, and there goes a big chunk of the “player” economy as these shops no longer need supplies, other players have fewer things to spend money on, etc.

Meanwhile, someone at SOE (who, one would presume, works for the same fellow who ordered the droid nerf), decides to create a system where people without creature-handler skill (meaning anyone and everyone) could receive and control a pet up to level 15… of which there are a number with 3000-ish hitpoints, some with armor, most with damage in the 130-150 range… do these numbers sound familiar? And these things ARE WALKING AROUND WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO TAME THEM.

So this goes live.

Suddenly we have a class, designed to create pets (droids), which draw from and contribute to the economy in numerous ways, utterly crippled by a supposedly necessary nerf, while in the next breath SOE intentionally places exactly the same non-gated combat abilities into the hands of anyone and everyone, and they did it via a combat class (creature handler) - a class that was never designed as a merchant/crafter in any capacity, whose playerbase didn’t WANT to be merchants, in an implementation that required no support from the economy or anything else to produce these pets, where the entire cost of goods is the starport ticket required to fly out and pick the damn things up off the ground.

So now, of course, pets are everywhere. It’s not Star Wars, it’s Lion Country Safari.

Either someone is a complete moron, or they have their heads so far up their asses due to over-work that they utterly fail to maintain anything resembling a grasp on the overall game.

Thats a reason I got burned out with such games.
Becoming Better Than The Next Guy is for many a strong motivation, and MMORPG’s basic gameplay that directly translates Time into Power grants even to the less skilled the desired chance at fake glory.

On the other side, having to met a quota of hours spent on activityes of typically shallow interest, as the price to later archieve some status symbol, is in itself as fun and worthwile as swinging your head on a wall to proudly show a big wound to a community which regards brain injuries as cool.
And you pay to rent the wall.

Im still waiting for a game where skill and not time makes the difference, and where the fun of playing is in itself the motivation to play, not some pointless status symbol to be earned after long hours of activities that Id not want to endure otherwise.
Maybe I have unrealistically high expectations…

I would like to thank the people in this thread for reminding me to cancel my SWG account - appreciate it :)

Careful or you’ll get called a (gasp) Roleplayer fanatic…

I couldn’t agree more, I, unlike most of this board and the entire staff of Computer Games Magazine, love MMORPs but the Beast Wars domination of the game has ruined SWG for me. (disclaimer, I am still playing a little (waiting for WoW) with some friends who all refuse to use pets but we are rapidly discovering that the developers are expecting pet use in all thier new quests. We are gradually finding the game unplayable as we attempt the higher level story quests.) :roll:

Ron

I am still playing a little (waiting for WoW) with some friends who all refuse to use pets but we are rapidly discovering that the developers are expecting pet use in all thier new quests.

That’s a bit odd. Are they just balancing the quests with the assumption most players will have pets along?

It exists. It is called Neocron. The only MMORPG that uses the actual players skill for combat that I know of. (Except Planetside but that isn’t a true RPG)

The problem is, the game wasn’t marketed in the US almost at all, the dev team is small, and the game needed quite a bit of work. It had some awesome concepts, working vehicles, etc right out of the box and great PvP combat where player skill actually could influence the outcome, but it had so many other problems that it never took off.

Honestly though, you will never see a player skill based game do well because just like FPSes there are the haves, and the have nots. Some people are just inherently more coordinated and will dominate while others suffer. The mass market likes to hit the “A” key and watch their toon do the fighting for them because it levels the playing field, unfortunate but true.

That is really the crux of the issue with these games. They do a few things right, and then do dozens of other things wrong. It would be a great thing to one day see a MMORPG where most everyone can universally agree: “This is fun.”

Here’s to wishful thinking…

To be fair, this is one persons impression from personal experience. I am sure the devs would deny this. That being said, I have seen the following comment (in one form or another) multiple time on the SWG boards while reading up on the various quests.

“It’s pretty doable if you have a couple of good pets otherwise bring lots of friends”

The pets currently dominate gameplay. This has caused many people (and ALL the power gamers) to master the pet skills. If they nerf them now to balance things all hell would break loose. The devs have really boxed themselves in…

…to bad, SWG really has a great crafting/economy setup.

still crazy,
Ron

I don’t have any ill-wishes toward the people who developed Star Wars Galaxies, I’ve had fun with my time in Everquest, but there’s a part of me that really wants this game to fail, and fail big, so that the MMORPG world gets shaken up a bit. I played the beta for a bit, it was okay but I felt it wasn’t worth the expense they charge.

If SWG could deliver what was originally promised in a reasonable amount of time, then fine, hopefully everyone is happy. But it seems like SWG will be forever fixing what they have released, leaving very little time to implement such huge features as spaceships and jedi and whatnot. I’ve always felt the aim of SWG was way off the mark, but it’s their game. I don’t like what I’ve heard from some player experiences or the monthly rate they charge.

Im still waiting for a game where skill and not time makes the difference, and where the fun of playing is in itself the motivation to play.

Jumpgate does it for me, graphics are a bit long in the tooth, but its got the gameplay.

The only MMORPG that uses the actual players skill for combat that I know of

Jumpgate again, but the title MMORPG is probably a bit misleading nowadays, perhaps QBORPG (quite big etc etc :D).