This Is My World

June 26, 2011 at 2:14 am | Posted in mmorpg, Star Wars: The Old Republic | 16 Comments
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It must be a tricky thing to thread the needle of making a game live up to its trailers. This trailer from Star Wars: The Old Republic makes me think about that a lot.

Sure I don’t necessarily need Erickson talking at me, but I’m able to put my my blinders on.

I want engaging, interesting quests, and for me it’s hard to say which game will have a better story. SWTOR or Guild Wars 2. I would direct your ears to some familiar voices. They must be spending a few dimes to rein in such familiar and talented voice actors.

I wonder if it ever occurs to game studios just how good they’re making their game look in comparison to how the game actually ends up. As I am a big Star Wars fan I watch that trailer and think, if this were a movie I’d watch it. It’s not a movie though, and whether it will measure up is something I’ll only find out when I play it.

Can’t wait.

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16 Comments

  1. For me SWTOR keeps looking worse and worse the farther they progress. Each fancy CGI trailer is just solidifying the fact that the game play will never match it. I hate it when games over hype and have nothing to show.

    When I look at Guild Wars 2 over hyping seems like a big issue. But then I watch actual game play videos and read interviews from fans, media alike it seems they are doing a lot of what they are saying.

    For me, Guild Wars 2 looks far greater then SWTOR. It would be awesome to play a sci-fi MMORPG that is so involved with Star Wars, which is awesome, but it just looks like the next generic MMO. For me SWTOR is not pulling through with all the revolutionary stuff they are saying, I feel like it will let a lot of people down. And I don’t want to make that commitment to it. So for me SWTOR is a pass. I will stick with Guild Wars 2.

    • For me I take the CGI trailers at face value. They are one thing, the game is another. To look at it any other way is misguided.

      Parts of swtor look generic, i admit, but like I said, the story is what SWTOR has over most other games, with one exception, gw2.

    • I had almost exactly the same reaction to this video. I came out of it thinking, wow this game isn’t even out yet but it already looks dated.

      • I disagree sir. Choke on an acorn.

  2. When it comes to MMOs I have many desires, and I think each game will scratch a particular itch. I’m looking forward to both GW2 and SWTOR immensely.

    • For me i think gw2 and swtor are scratching the same itch but that is not a bad thing.

  3. Personally I think the story in SWTOR will probably be much longer than the one in GW2 and that you’ll probably have a much greater capacity in being a total dick/evil in SWTOR’s story than in GW2. But I’m perfectly alright with that. I can never chose the evil option in games that give you such choices. It’s not like those imaginary people in games really care which option I choose, but somehow I just can’t get myself to do it.

    • Just by virtue of their quest system virtually being completely voiced they will have so much more story than gw2. It’s hard to look at gw2 as having much story outside the personal storyline/dungeons. Dynamic events in the wild have a story, but i don’t know if it’s comparable to the heavy narrative of swtor.

  4. I’m not a big fan of Starwars. But i play several Starwars games and have fun with it. But as a MMO I don’t think i’ll pick this one up. The trailer looks okay, but it doesn’t make me interst in SWTOR at all. (maybe it’s because i play one MMOG at a time, and I’ve already choose GW2.)

    • Fair enough, I won’t begrudge you if swtor doesn’t float your boat. It’s just that the more i see of the quests and everything being voiced, the more it feels like KOTOR for me. and kotor was freaking amazing.

  5. Being a GW2 fanatic (and a cautious TOR fan), I would like to chip in that comparing TOR to GW2 in this regard is more a matter of story telling vs story ‘living’ than a straight-up comparison.

    In TOR you are told stories:
    1] Exposition scene – interactive but very seldom divergent.
    2] Gameplay – play at your own pace, erode mobs between you and goal/item tally.
    3] Resolution – interactive, often with an impact (be it practical, superficial and/or lasting).

    A story is told, but it’s outcomes are entirely within your control (hint: we always win ^_^) and the actual gameplay between exposition & resolution is predominantly divorced from the story – mobs and/or distance are simply what separate the beginning and the end scenes.

    In GW2 you live stories:
    1a] Event begins – sometimes player triggered, usually independent of players.
    1b] Event comes alive – e.g. the marauding centaurs of story actually enter the village and start killing NPCs and burning buildings.
    2] Gameplay – pace is dictated by the story, conquer mobs and/or environment within time.
    3] Resolution – success or failure determined by gameplay, resolution usually prompts initiation of new story.

    A story is told, but it’s outcomes are determined by player actions – the gameplay is the story.

    Now I am hopeful that TOR will be the pinnacle of storytelling, but it not really the same system as GW2; participating a TOR story is more like a(n extremely polished) choose your won adventure book – once it’s begun it’s always there waiting for you, and when you arrive at the next juncture the world stands still for you while mull it over.
    You can tell a lot of stories well/easily in this way, but at a cost that the pace of storytelling tends to be sedate and there’s often no sense of urgency or tension.

    Participating in a GW2 storyline is more like channel hopping interactive TV shows – you’re important, but the stories go on without you.
    It’s a lot more effort to tell stories this way, but the stories told are unpredictable and better equipped to build urgency/tension.

    Example:
    You may encounter a TOR dune farmer standing with an ! over their head [N.B. fictitious encounter] – you talk to them and (in a well acted scene) they tell you all about how their daughter was carried off by sand people and appeal to you to rescue her.
    You comfort/extort/mock them, venture off at a time of your choosing to kill all the sand people in the designated camp, choose to rescue or murder the daughter, and return/comm-link to the NPC to comfort/extort/mock them.
    You may encounter a GW2 farmer who runs up to you [N.B. actual encounter], yelling that their daughter is being carried off by bandits and pointing the way to their farmhouse.
    If you choose to participate then you have to sprint over and try to stop the bandits before they carry the daughter away – succeed and the NPCs may be able to tell you why the bandits are abducting girls or where they have taken the girls they already have, fail and you can wash your hands of this story or take matters into your own hands and search the nearby countryside for the bandit camp.
    If you choose not to participate, then the bandits succeed in their abduction and you never discover the broader story – maybe the farmer stays weeping inside their home instead of selling their wares as usual, maybe there’s no impact beyond two sad NPCs.

    • I agree that they’re telling stories in different ways, but I think you slightly forget that gw2 has a personal story which may end up being very similar to tor.

      In any case, I still think the narrative in swtor will be stronger for just the reasons you state, you’re out there making your own choices, following a story or not.

      To be honest I think i prefer a strong narrative alike to swtor, all the bioware games i’ve ever played have been really strong this way. I’m not saying it will top gw2 but i am interested to see what will happen.

      • I have to agree with Hunter about BioWare’s story telling abilities… I’ve always enjoyed that aspect of their RPGs, however, they do often feel like they are “on rails.” I think they are trying to open that up at least a little bit in TOR but, there will likely still be a bit of that feeling due to some of the systems / game mechanics design choices they’re making in order to “stay in control” of the story telling.
        What Vorsaken was pointing out, imo, was that GW2 will have less of the “on rails” feel to their story telling, and will likely be more successful in making the players feel like they are more of an active partner in that story telling due to the semi-permanent effects player’s actions or in-actions will have on the environment.
        Both games are certain to be far more immersive and engaging as RPGs than any previous MMOs.

        • Oh i agree, I’m just saying i enjoy a heavy narrative as much as i enjoy open worlds.

  6. I’m both glad to see more use of cover during combat in this video compared to recent ones, and unhappy that it looks much more limited and poorly animated than the very early videos of it did. Now it looks like you can just crouch down. Is the sliding sideways while in cover gone now, as I was sure I saw some of that in the early vids? I thought the combat would have more of a Mass Effect feel to it (movement and cover use that is) but now most of the actual game-play combat looks like everyone just stands around in the open pew-pewing at each other, with the occasional jump/leap Jedi move (which DOES look great, BTW). One of the vids had a Sith guy (I think) using what I assume was The Force, but instead looked like any magic caster from any generic fantasy game. That was terrible, compared to this vid where someone just waved their arm up and the guy started floating. That is how it should look, IMO, not some fantasy magic casting animation with lightning effects.

    Otherwise looking good except I’m pretty much done with $15 a month MMOs, other than the one I’m playing now, which is actually less than $12 a month, but I like to take breaks from playing every week or two and subscription games make me feel like I’m wasting money if I don’t play every day. I like to just skip around playing different games, maybe one week playing nothing much other than GalCivII or Minecraft/Terraria, another week I might be in the mood for lots of GW and/or Aion, another week maybe DAO. Right now I’m working on getting the Morroblivion (Morrowind played IN Oblivion, how cool is that!) mod set up and working. That could take days just to get things working right, let alone play it.

    • as much as i agree that the force should have few visible indicators, for a game it may not be entirely practical. You need to see what your opponents are doing, and frankly, you need to see what you yourself are doing, whether or not your skill went off or was interrupted etc.

      As for movement it is very predictable aside from the cover and the jedi moves, nothing new there. I don’t want to write it off solely because of that though.

      Saw that morroblivion thing a while back, but i played too much oblivion in my day and always thought morrowind was perhaps too big, and never ended up finishing it due to some lame mistake i made.


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