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December 6th, 2008, 00:37
Bioware have updated their offical site with a piece on story-telling in MMOs.
Creating great stories in video games is a hallmark for both BioWare and LucasArts. Star Wars: The Old Republic marks the beginning of a joint effort between these two companies to bring epic storytelling into a massively multiplayer online game. We believe that there are four pillars of the roleplaying experience: progression, exploration, combat, and story. Achieving a high degree of quality in each of these will create a rich, challenging, and emotional gameplay experience. Among massively-multiplayer online games, story hasn’t always received the same level of attention given to the other pillars. Star Wars: The Old Republic brings a new dimension to the MMO experience by putting story front and center.
More information.
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December 6th, 2008, 00:37
/yawn
They seem to be making a very big deal out of telling you a never-ending story for a subscription fee with some gaming on the side. Who asked for this, exactly?
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December 6th, 2008, 02:41
The SWG community asked for it.
I find this rather sad. I would have loved to see a KOTOR3 without having to deal with mmorpg crap.

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December 6th, 2008, 12:23
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
The SWG community asked for it.
Well I played SWG for almost 2 years and don't recall asking for more story. I enjoyed the freedom of its early days, the skill system which offered tons of different combinations, and the awesome crafting system. I wanted more/better PvP systems (for instance only the top 100 players on a given server could be Jedi/Sith and dropping from that top 100 would mean losing your Jedi/Sith abilities) and minor balances to the combat system (doctor buffs and mind damage were way too overpowered).

LOTRO offers excellent story telling for a MMO and isn't that successful. I prefer when MMO take advantage of their own strengths, for instance when players can write their own story: fan wrote Eve Online war stories about actual in-game battles between player alliances are amazing).

Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I find this rather sad. I would have loved to see a KOTOR3 without having to deal with mmorpg crap.
I'm hoping an Obsidian-made KOTOR 3 is still possible despite this MMO. Sure KOTOR 2 had several flaws, but 99% were caused by a rushed out release.

Maybe I'm overrating Obsidian, but I believe they're capable of making an excellent KOTOR 3 if given sufficient time and resources.

I am probably biased though, as I enjoyed Obsidian's NWN2 and its 2 expansions more than Bioware's NWN1 and its expansions, including HotU.
Last edited by Hedek; December 6th, 2008 at 12:37.
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December 6th, 2008, 22:50
Originally Posted by Hedek View Post
LOTRO offers excellent story telling for a MMO and isn't that successful.
I don't know, LotRO seems pretty successful to me. It's no WoW, but no one should seriously expect anything but WoW to be WoW. It pays for itself, it makes a profit, and it hasn't seen any server mergers. I can't think of another western MMORPG released post-WoW that can say that. Warhammer maybe, but it hasn't been out long enough to judge.

Regards SWTOR, one thing bothers me about the commentary around it. I see comments like JemyM's fairly frequently - "I would have loved to see a KOTOR3 without having to deal with mmorpg crap." That seems to work under the assumption that BioWare could have made KotOR3, but chose to make an MMORPG instead.

For the record, that's not the case — KotOR3 was never in the offering here. BioWare founded an Austin office because Ray and Greg wanted to expand the business into the MMG sphere, and much of the established MMORPG talent was already in Austin. The studio got the Old Republic license specifically to make an MMG - not to make any game they wanted.

There's plenty of legitimate concerns about SWTOR - don't think I'm saying there isn't. But "it could have have been KotOR3" isn't one them. I want to see a KotOR3 myself, but that's something LucasArts needs to be convinced of as a issue separate from SWTOR.
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December 7th, 2008, 01:03
Originally Posted by Stormwaltz View Post
Regards SWTOR, one thing bothers me about the commentary around it. I see comments like JemyM's fairly frequently - "I would have loved to see a KOTOR3 without having to deal with mmorpg crap." That seems to work under the assumption that BioWare could have made KotOR3, but chose to make an MMORPG instead.

For the record, that's not the case — KotOR3 was never in the offering here. BioWare founded an Austin office because Ray and Greg wanted to expand the business into the MMG sphere, and much of the established MMORPG talent was already in Austin. The studio got the Old Republic license specifically to make an MMG - not to make any game they wanted.

There's plenty of legitimate concerns about SWTOR - don't think I'm saying there isn't. But "it could have have been KotOR3" isn't one them. I want to see a KotOR3 myself, but that's something LucasArts needs to be convinced of as a issue separate from SWTOR.
I can't disagree more. There was nothing stopping Bioware from making Kotor 3. It's their own decision and nothing else to do a MMORPG rather than K3. Truth is, Bioware wanted to make a MMORPG, as simple as that. So they opened a studio in Austin with that in mind. And when deciding which intellectual property to use, Star Wars was an obvious choice (huge commercial awareness).

They could have decided not to open a studio in Austin. They could have asked permission from Lucas Arts to do K3. I doubt LA would have refused given the success of K1.

Given the disappointments LA have had with SWG, I don't think it was LA who asked Bioware to do a MMORPG, rather I'm pretty sure it's Bioware that convinced LA it would be a good idea.

So clearly I fail to see why people who wanted K3 can't blame Bioware for doing SWTOR instead. While K3 isn't totally out of the picture, BECAUSE of SWTOR, a Bioware made K3 would be released at best 1 or 2 years after the release of SWTOR.
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December 7th, 2008, 01:29
Originally Posted by Hedek View Post

So clearly I fail to see why people who wanted K3 can't blame Bioware for doing SWTOR instead. While K3 isn't totally out of the picture, BECAUSE of SWTOR, a Bioware made K3 would be released at best 1 or 2 years after the release of SWTOR.
Personally I can't see how one can BLAME Bioware for not making K3. Were they under any obligation to make that game? What games they want to make are entirely up to them (given they have the necessary rignts and such). I can be disappointed (like JemyM seem to be). But blaming them? -That's none of my business.

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December 7th, 2008, 01:35
Originally Posted by Hedek View Post
So clearly I fail to see why people who wanted K3 can't blame Bioware for doing SWTOR instead. While K3 isn't totally out of the picture, BECAUSE of SWTOR, a Bioware made K3 would be released at best 1 or 2 years after the release of SWTOR.
As someone who's worked at BioWare Edmonton for four and half years, with most of the people who made KotOR1 (they're doing Mass Effect now), I have never heard anyone in a senior position seriously discuss the possibility of making KotOR3.

I'm sorry if it disappoints or angers people, but KotOR3 is simply not something BioWare appears interested in making. Maybe if SWTOR does really well, that decision will be reexamined. I can hope.

I think the worst legitimate accusation that can be made here is BW Austin (and LucasArts) exploiting the name recognition of "Old Republic + BioWare."
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December 7th, 2008, 11:17
Originally Posted by Stormwaltz View Post
As someone who's worked at BioWare Edmonton for four and half years, with most of the people who made KotOR1 (they're doing Mass Effect now), I have never heard anyone in a senior position seriously discuss the possibility of making KotOR3.

I'm sorry if it disappoints or angers people, but KotOR3 is simply not something BioWare appears interested in making. Maybe if SWTOR does really well, that decision will be reexamined. I can hope.

I think the worst legitimate accusation that can be made here is BW Austin (and LucasArts) exploiting the name recognition of "Old Republic + BioWare."
Oh didn't know you actually worked for Bioware (no sig in your previous comment).

Just to clear up, my point is that the people who decided to make SWTOR are the same who could have decided to make K3 instead.
IMO, that gives players who wanted K3 the right to blame Bioware decision makers.

Disappointed players can't blame Bioware only if the idea to make a Old Republic MMO came from Lucas Arts. But I doubt it did. Lucas Arts just gave their approval. I think making a MMO was Bioware's idea all along (as proven by their decision to open a studio in Austin several years ago).
Assuming you actually know that kind of stuff, are you allowed to confirm this?

Your reasoning seems to be that, never was Bioware in a situation where they had to choose between SWTOR and K3 and finally decided to go with the MMO. K3 was never even discussed, consequently we can't blame SWTOR.

But why was the possibility of making K3 never discussed? After the success of KOTOR 1, everybody knew Bioware would eventually work on another Old Republic game. The only reason why Bioware was never interested in making K3 was because they were more interested in making a Old Republic MMO. How does that not give them grounds to blame SWTOR? Had the Austin MMO been based on another IP -or had Bioware never had the desire to make a MMO-, can you honestly say Bioware still wouldn't be interested in making KOTOR 3?

PS: I'm a huge Mass Effect fan, thanks for your work, keep it up! The story and writing are very promising, can't wait to see how ME2 builds on it ; especially how you'll explain the badies awakening and coming back despite what was done in ME1, and how this will happen soon enough, that is while the characters from ME1 are still young, let alone alive ;-).

PS2: don't assume from my posts that I'm not looking forward to SWTOR, all the contrary I'm thrilled. I'm just trying to defend the point of view of certain Bioware customers who were disappointed by SWTOR's announcement. As I said, my dream would be having both Bioware's SWTOR and Obsidian's KOTOR 3.
Last edited by Hedek; December 7th, 2008 at 12:11.
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December 8th, 2008, 14:02
I think it's been fairly obvious for a long time now that if we do get KotOR3, it's from Obsidian, not BioWare. That goes for NWN3 as well - BioWare is currently busy working with their own brands for single player games (Mass Effect and Dragon Age). I read an interview where some leading guy said SW:Tor became a possibility because they've been waiting many years for the perfect chance to make an MMO, not because they actually had any plans of going back to KotOR. That ship has sailed.

LucasArts is currently in charge of KotOR (whether to make a followup or what not). They're the ones to "blame" if KotOR3 is never made, not BioWare or Obsidian. There's absoluttely nothing stopping KotOR3 from being made just because of SW:Tor - it's actually not a followup to KotOR (or it would've been SW:KotOR), it's set a long time into the future, following a different story line and so on. This is nothing like what World of Warcraft is to Warcraft 1-3.

Remember that the "Tor" part simply means "The old Republic", which is a time period in the Star Wars universe, not the name of a brand. You could have dozens of games set in that period without directly linking it to Revan, Darth Malak and so on. I'm sure there will be references in SW: Tor, but I very much doubt they will continue the story in any way.
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December 8th, 2008, 14:44
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
LucasArts is currently in charge of KotOR (whether to make a followup or what not). They're the ones to "blame" if KotOR3 is never made, not BioWare or Obsidian. There's absoluttely nothing stopping KotOR3 from being made just because of SW:Tor.
It's true that legally, it's Lucas Arts that owns the IP, so any game set in that time period requires their approval. But Lucas Arts can't force anyone to make KOTOR 3. If Bioware doesn't want to make KOTOR 3, Lucas Arts can't do anything about it.

But thanks to KOTOR 1's success, I really so no reason why Lucas Arts wouldn't want a Bioware-made KOTOR 3. So really the only reason why Bioware isn't making KOTOR 3 is because Bioware doesn't want to. Lucas Arts has absolutely no responsibility in this. Ok, well not entirely, they could have refused SWTOR, thus putting Bioware in a situation where it's either no Old Republic game at all or KOTOR 3.

But even then, the only thing that's stopping it is Bioware's desire.

So again, how can we not blame Bioware? THEY are the ones who don't want to do KOTOR 3, not Lucas Arts (I'm speculating here of course, but I doubt I'm far from the reality). And why does Bioware don't want to do KOTOR 3? Because they're more interested in doing a Old Republic MMO. So again, how can people who wanted a Bioware KOTOR 3 not be able to blame Bioware in general, and in particular Bioware's decision to do SWTOR?

And as I said earlier, had there been no MMO plans, or had Bioware's MMO plans been based on another IP (Baldur's Gate, Indiana Jones, Mass Effect, etc.), or had Lucas Arts refused the SWTOR project, are you certain Bioware still wouldn't be intersted in KOTOR 3?

Again, I don't understand why we can't blame the people who actually have the real decision power here: Bioware's seniors. Please explain this to me.

Or do you honestly think Bioware not doing KOTOR 3 was Lucas Arts' decision?!!!!!

Edit to add: I realize your comment is about KOTOR 3 in general, not a Bioware made KOTOR 3 in particular. I believe Lucas Arts would rather have Bioware making KOTOR 3 rather than Obsidian (because of the commercial success of K1 vs K2). So I can see why they're reluctant to asking Obsidian. Had Bioware asked Lucas Arts permission to do KOTOR 3, I doubt LA would have hesitated, so imo Bioware is still "blamable".
Last edited by Hedek; December 8th, 2008 at 14:51.
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December 8th, 2008, 19:03
That's a hell of a lot of assumptions you're making and I'm betting good money that you're completely wrong on many of them.

I'm guessing that LucasArts would be confident in finding another studio to do KotOR 3 (if BioWar was asked in the first place!). Previous commercial success also certainly is not the sole reason for any publisher to plan a sequel. The process is more intricate and influences by more factors, I can only imagine. Furthermore, I don't see a reason why BioWare wouldn't be able to both do a KotOR 3 (if they—and LucasArts—wanted) and a KotOR:TOR (different studios, and all).

I agree that blame cannot be thrown around in this matter. It's just silly. They will decide on what to do, based on a web of different considerations that are entirely their own to make. Blame? Nah, disappointment is the word you're looking for.

Armchair industry analysts, blah.
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December 8th, 2008, 20:20
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post
That's a hell of a lot of assumptions you're making and I'm betting good money that you're completely wrong on many of them.
I'm assuming 2 things:
A. Bioware isn't interested in making KOTOR 3 and is more interested in making SWTOR.
B. Lucas Arts wouldn't refuse should Bioware request permission to do KOTOR 3.

From there, I conclude the reason why we're not getting a Bioware-made KOTOR 3 is simply because Bioware doesn't want to do it, and not because Lucas Arts is against that project.

Really, I fail to see how "I'm making a hell lot of assumptions and that I am completely wrong on many of them".
Last edited by Hedek; December 8th, 2008 at 20:34.
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December 8th, 2008, 20:52
Originally Posted by Hedek View Post
Or do you honestly think Bioware not doing KOTOR 3 was Lucas Arts' decision?!!!!!
Sure. Why not? LucasArts is doing a lot of very strange things all the time . Why did they not bring The Force Unleashed to PC? Why did they make The Force Unleashed instead of another Jedi Knight or Battlefront game? Why don't they revive some of their classic franchises? How the hell could they screw up SWG so badly? The list goes on and on… maybe they just don't want a KotOR 3 at this time for whatever reasons they might have.

Because if LA really wanted KotOR 3 then I'm sure they'd have someone do it. It would seem very likely to me (due to the history of the KotOR franchise) that BioWare has a "first dibs" option on KotOR 3 but as soon as they turn down the offer to make KotOR 3, LucasArts would probably be free to assign the project to any other studio of their choice (of course that's pure speculation, too).

If you'd ask me about the reasons for LA not wanting a KotOR 3 at this time then I'd say "risk management". There's always an excellent chance that a game doesn't turn out as well as planned so if the risk of ruining a franchise/reputation can be avoided then it's probably smart not to take any such chances as long as you have another multi million dollar mammoth project in the same franchise in development.
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December 9th, 2008, 18:53
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
Sure. Why not? LucasArts is doing a lot of very strange things all the time .
I second this. LA is - according to Mix 'n' Mojo - a "mess of a company".
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December 10th, 2008, 11:39
Bioware is now almost completely about commercial success before anything else, as is clear by playing Jade Empire and Mass Effect. There's no reason to expect KotOR 3 would be anywhere near KotOR if Bioware made it.

Obsidian is one of the most overrated companies out there, if only overrated by "old-school" fans. They still haven't made a single game that lived up to the Black Isle heritage and pretty much everything they touch is seriously buggy. They might still write decent stories (and nothing more than that) - but as game developers they just don't have it together.

I think it would be best to just forget the franchise and look towards other things.
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December 10th, 2008, 14:15
I dare say MotB lives up to Black Isle heritage. I haven't completed SoZ yet, but I can honestly tell you I'm having more fun theorycrafting and making up characters, backgrounds and what not in SoZ than I have for a long time. I can't even remember the last time I put this kind of time and effort into creating characters.

However, I agree that NWN2 (w/add-ons) and KotOR2 both seem to have quite a few bugs. None of those bugs have been critical enough to actually prevent me from enjoying the games though, so I still rate MotB (and possibly SoZ) as two of the best games since the Infinity Engine.
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December 10th, 2008, 14:45
I'm glad you're having fun in SoZ, but I doubt you'll find many saying it lives up to that heritage in any way.

Personally, I didn't care for MotB, but I will agree that it's probably the product closest in spirit with Black Isle games. Still, I don't find it comes very close to that level of quality.

Then again, it's all subjective
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December 13th, 2008, 22:38
I just watched the documentary and was pretty much bored beyond belief. It's the usual mmo rhetoric. I really cannot stand to listen to that crap anymore. Why these pr robots from Bioware and Lucasarts need over 5 minutes to tell us that SW:TOR will be WoW with lightsabres is beyond me…

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December 14th, 2008, 14:41
But it will be special and not even a little like WoW. Each and every player will be special! Why don't you believe these PR automata—I mean, these paragons of veracity?
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