I realize this site is dedicated to TOR and not SWG. But I was replying to a post about Left Handed accessibility when I noticed a signature that read simply : PRE NGE GAMEPLAY. SO I did a search both here and there and didn't find a discussion that discussed the Star Wars topic throughly to my satisfaction. They where either general or quickly devolved to rants by BW fanboi's. If you know of a thread that discussed these topics else where I would appreciate a link to it. Again my search didn't find any. So here goes.
10. Player City Ghettos.
This is a list of what I consider to be both SWG Strengths and Weaknesses simultaneously. I am not calling for a Delay to TOR's release or their inclusion in TOR. Just your opinion of these features to game play value in a Star Wars setting. Understand that when people say things were better back before the CU and NGE this is what they are talking about. To me my tone may sound negative about these features, but understand these are the very things I feel were the Best Feature of SWG.
[*]Macro Leveling & Combat
[*]Auto Attack & Auto facing in combat.
[*]Sand Box (Mission Terminal Grind).
[*]Limited Theme-park questing. (Rebel, Imperial, Hero of Tatooine)
[*]No Talent Tree.
[*]FOTM & OP Profession builds based on 255 skill points. (TKA + Pikeman)
[*]Non-Structured end game.
[*]Non-Combat buffing Professions. (Doctor, Dancer, Musician)
[*]Crafting & Resource Harvesting. (Data Base Intensive, Resource Camping, Composite endgame armour)
[*]Player City Ghettos & Sprawls.
I didn't try Macro Leveling & Combat until after WoW emptied my server. But I witnessed other Player Characters utilize these AFK macros. It eliminated hacking and the need for third party leveling programs. It also eliminated the boredom of grinding. But many also saw it as an exploit, especially the entertainers. I Maxed Carbineer and Creature Handler with out them, But found them very helpful to level TKA and Commando. With out them you are watching HAM bars and button cool-downs. With Macros you get to watch combat, and the game become more like an exciting action movie. With out Macro Leveling it took me nearly a year (200 days) to Max two Professions at 1 hour a night running 8 solo terminal missions. And 1 hour spent on non-leveling activities : crafting, harvesting, exploring, and socializing. With Macros I could Max one Prof in 10 days (200 hours @ 20 hours a day).
Auto Attack & Auto facing in combat. People Hate this, they see it a a game breaking feature. They claim it is an exploit, and puts them at a disadvantage at PvP. What they refuse to acknowledge is their strategy is an exploit of lag in other players. The Auto Attack alone is never powerful enough to be seen as OP. The same goes for Auto Facing, this is a tool to eliminate lag exploiting and any "Strategy" that is broken by it is in my opinion an exploit of the client server connection and absolutely not skill.
Sand Box (Mission Terminal Grind). SWG leveling wasn't original supported by a quest system. You gained skill specific xp for using a skill. There were skills such as general scout xp that came from traveling on for or by mount across a planet, from harvesting animals, or camping. For the combat professions you could wander the wilderness combat grinding on natural animal spawn nodes. To facilitate this SWG implemented a mission terminal system. The server would present a list of dynamically created missions scaled to the level of the player or group. You could choose either a mission that was animal based or humanoid mob based. These terminals gave level appropriate dynamic missions and credits. But some missions terminals were considered exploits by the player base, so they were disabled, like the Entertainer missions. The player base felt that the missions were way to easy to deserve a credit and xp reward for the simple task required. Most of these disabled missions only required the player to travel to a way-point and remain there for 1 minute. Scout, delivery, Entertainer, and crafting missions operated in this manner.
Limited Theme-park questing. (Rebel, Imperial, Hero of Tatooine) Though SWG is commonly called a sand box game it did have long chain story based quests that generated dynamic mission nodes. There were 6 Theme Parks : Imperial, Jabba, Meatlumps, Nym's, Rebel, and Witches of Dathomir. These were not character dependent, revealing or world changing. But they are world exploring and included some iconic NPCs.
No Talent Tree. FOTM & OP Profession builds based on 255 skill points. (TKA + Pikeman) I combine this into one topic. The Player Character (PC) is not modified by a talent tree. Each PC is created classless with 255 skill points to be spent. This is enough points to max 2.5 Professions. If you spend that on All Combat professions you can have a OP combat PC, but you will lack Terrain Negotiation, that negated a speed de-buff when traveling on foot up hill. Also you will lack and self heals that come with Medic. If you don't have Artisan you can't find resources or begin to craft. Some Might say this is the central power of SWG. But notice I ranked free unlimited character respec'ing at 6.
Non-Structured end game. There were Raid Dungeons, but when compared to more established end game content of say WoW, they seem far less. The Geonosian Caves was the first Dungeon I ran, The big reward, A badge given for killing the Acklay at the end. The Death Watch Bunker on the other hand had exceptional crafting potential in the form of Mandalorian Armour, and the Jetpack. The true end game was suppose to be the Galactic Civil War (GCW). Players were expected to run Faction PvE Missions from faction terminals and earn faction points. They could then buy faction buildings and NPCs to build their own Player Faction Base and there by claim ownership of a planet. This would spur PC of the opposite faction to attack and destroy these Player bought and build Faction Buildings by raid like actions. The AT-ST was a prized combat NPC pet for imperials as well as Stormtrooper Armour or Imperial Officer Uniform. Only the Rebel Backpack was prized, none of the Rebel faction items felt iconic. So there was no draw for rebels to participate in the GCW. I participated in one player co-ordinated city raid as a Rebel with no rewards except for open world PvP opertunity. And one defense of a player build Rebel Faction base, again with no reward except for participation in open world PvP. I then switched to the Imperial faction for the Theme-park and its iconic NPCs and iconic quest reward costume pieces. For many the end game was the quest for jedi. You had to master the 5 random professions selected for you at character creation. So most everyone was power leveling through all the professions as fast as they could until they unlocked that magic second jedi character slot.
Non-Combat buffing Professions. (Doctor, Dancer, Musician) Doctor provided combat healing and Out of Combat Revival. They also buffed 4 of the 6 PC stats. Some PC did buffing and medical crafting only, and they did it for a Very High Price, virtually Dominating and Dictating the server wide player economy. The Dancer & Musician PCs buffed the last 2 PC stats, and healed the same stat wounds. They served no other combat purpose or role. They missions were disable, because combat professions thought their missions were OP because all they had to be be done was perform and travel to complete. A major portion of the combat community resented their dependency let alone the inclusion of these Non-Iconic Non-Combat Buffing Professions in their Star Wars game.Some players made it part of their nightly activities to give Entertainers grief. They eventually rolled Entertainer alts for the simple purpose of undercutting the Main Entertainers on the cost of buffs. SWG only allowed one PC per server per account. So many players payed for second accounts, including myself, to roll an alt. And when WoW decimated the population of my server I rolled that Alt into a Doctor & Musician.
Crafting & Resource Harvesting. (Data Base Intensive, Resource Camping, Composite endgame armour) SWG had about 200 named resources that had 8 stats, each can very in value from 1 to 100. This creates a near infinite number of unique resources, that can result in a near infinite quantity of unique craft-able items. Only by using a factory and factory run could you make multiple copies of the same item. The result relatively large databases. Where a game like WoW has only 1 type of copper ore, SWG has 8 x 100 ^ 8 , may be only 1/2 of them ever spawn and come into play. The same numbers also applies to items. Large Harvesters required large flat land to build on and start harvesting. Some crafters permanently installed As Many Large harvesters on a plot of flat land and never re-deeded them. There by camping the deed-able land and harvesting what ever resource spawned at a reasonable concentration and stat quality. Armour didn't have a level requirement, only Stat requirements that were taken care of for two hours by Doctor & Entertainer buffs. So once a player could afford a full set of Composite Armour they locked them selves inside it. Never to remove it until its durability fell to zero. The result, the vast majority of combat professions wore the same armour set in the same color. This lead to SOE implementing on the fly color change of crafted armour. And with the NGE they also implement class specific armour to force the use of different armour sets. Crafters gained a server wide notoriety as the sole provider of the best armour, weapon, or buffing food and drink. I started SWG wearing a set of Mabari Armorweave, I later up graded to Tantel armor which I felt was my favorite style of Armour. It is what I wore when I First Masted Carbineer Creature Handler.
Player City Ghettos. In the beginning player cities were founded out in the wilderness near Points of Interest, hunting grounds , and resource harvesting areas. As the cities grew larger so did the weekly tax on city membership. After 3 years players were shunning player cities and seeking the outskirts of NPC cities such as Theed, Mos Eisley, and Coronet. These NPC cities became ringed by a disorganized hodgepodge of player housing commonly called a player city ghetto. The early politician formed player cities often conformed to an urban design plan. There were trade zones for vendors. Commercial zones for factories and harvesters. Rural neighborhoods for small style homes. Suburbs for medium style homes. Estates and Gated Communities for the Large style homes. There were Parks, Fountains, and Statues that beautified the landscape. But this just added to the dynamic nature of the world. When ever you entered a zone the server had to update the client on dynamic mob spawns, dynamic player structures, and NPC vendors and trainers that are no longer static map elements or simply scripted to a timer signal. Player housing served to purposes, item storage beyond the bank for the junk a player collected and may never use. But They also acted as show cases and museum of player accomplishments and artistic style.
And soon all this will all be gone from the MMO landscape.
SWG, more than any other game I've played, got crafting RIGHT. As one of the first 5 or so master weaponsmiths in the game, I remember being constantly on the hunt for minerals just a tiny bit better than what I had stored so I could keep my edge over the competition. Eventually I hired teams of people to go out and hunt krayt dragons for their special tissues, and to run the Geonosian caves and Deathwatch Bunker for special schematics. I can recall on Geonosian sonic blaster I made for a client with special krayt tissue that had a 0.4 spd after it was sliced. It fired so fast that the dark jedi master in our guild couldn't block all the shots, lol.
*sigh* Then they had to go and thrust the Neutered Game Experience (NGE) upon us.
I played SWG, I didn't love it; I tried to but I couldn't. It's a game that some people will love, but the scope of that appeal is relatively limited; you had to be the right type of person to enjoy it. SWTOR is going for a broader audience, many people won't love it but a lot more people will like it enough to keep playing.
As for many of the things you enumerate in your list they seem to me to be alien to SWTOR and implementing them would make for a very incongruous game.
That was a nice recap. As said in the OP, many of those features were both the best and worst of SWG. I have gotten so many people into MMOs (admittedly, most are pretty laid back and have joined WoW with me and only one is from my SWG days) and its always funny: Many of them play much more in whatever game now than I have ever played (in hours-per-week) but when I explain things like unlocking the Jedi slot or the item or stat loss over time or through death, I feel like a village elder reciting the lore of our ancestors.