I'm not 100% sure I'm following that...
They are now allowing you create in game quests and areas? Or just purchase npcs and put them in your house/area?
http://starwarsgalaxies.station.sony...es.vm?id=80133So who exactly is a Storyteller? In Star Wars Galaxies, a Storyteller can be anyone. Perhaps it's an entertainer with a cantina holding weekly roleplay events, or someone trying to drum up business for their vendor by holding a grand opening event. A player that runs events for their Player Association, city or server is often finding new and unusual ways to entertain others.
Roleplayers are the most obvious examples of Storytellers, but this isn't always the case. A Storyteller could make a video or comic using the game engine, or members of a combat-oriented Player Association running training missions for its new recruits. A city may even set up an event to attract new citizens. There are all sorts of reasons to have an event or to try to tell a story.
With this new assortment of tools, Storytellers can build their own points of interest and locations, and even populate them with attackable NPCs (non-player characters). Players are still the most important part of any event, but with the new Storyteller props and NPCs, player events will be bigger and better than ever!
Storyteller is not an expertise system, nor is it a profession. It is an item-based system that begins with the Storyteller Vendor.
Other notes on new publish:
Of note, they're going to allow players to demolish derelict buildings for rewards (a long requested feature) and the Bioengineer/Creature Handler is back but as a seperate skill tree available to any profession.
Last edited by Brian Rucker; 06-08-2007 at 09:31 AM.
I'm not 100% sure I'm following that...
They are now allowing you create in game quests and areas? Or just purchase npcs and put them in your house/area?
You basically buy npcs and places - but also "things" like shuttles, dogfighting snub fighters overhead, explosions - and place them. You can also stock NPCs and containers with loot, have sub-leaders that can invite players into larger groups that might be involved.
Hey, I have no idea how well it's going to work in practice but in theory, bring it on baby. I'd love to see this on LoTRO too.
I guess since the development team is so small these days, they figure they're better off tapping the playerbase to add some kind of content to the game. There were tools similar to this in the game around a year and a half or more ago, not as extensive or flexible, which were removed because players were "misusing them". Glad to see everything old is new again with SWG.
I'm all for player created quests and the like... I'm ware of anything to do with SWG. Anyone still subbed and going to check this out?
Heh. Yup. Turns out I forgot to unsubscribe last time I quit. Just figured my subscription would lapse naturally. I didn't count on auto-resubscription! Ah, well, it's pennies for me and it preserved my structures so all's well.
I'll check it out when I get a chance. Really itching to experiment with this new version of bioengineering since I completely missed out on it the first time around. And I'll probably see what people are doing with events. Maybe try one or two of my own.
Ah still recycling stuff they threw out with the NGE ?
Nice to hear, hope it does them well.
Already bevore the NGE it was possible to buy "event stuff" and NPCs who would say a pre define text or stuff that would allow a shuttle (imperial or rebel) to just land and take off.
I ll have to check out what exactly is new to this, since the "talking" NPCs have been removed due to harrassment ( they were saying nasty stuff ) and some of the items that could store stuff, were still slightly bugged.
A feature that was missing was that a talking NPC could offer options of answeres for the player that talked to him, which could to lead selfmade quests.
So far with just a quick glance over what you posted, it just sounds, as I mentioned at start, that it still just recycling from what they lost.
Give them a year or 10 and they be where they were before they did the NGE - what a waste of time ... :-( ....
Now these impressions come from the roleplayer side of things, YMMV. The last time I returned to SWG was well after it'd been declared dead as well, and I found it not quite dead yet. There was still a strong, if lean, roleplaying community on Starsider. Most of these were toughened, calloused, vets who'd been there since the beginning and weren't about to give up their homes, wardrobes and circles of friends come hell or high water. Where else can you get custom bubbles for different styles of speech or song, motion captured animation, reams of animated emotes, detailed custom appearances (with the option to recustomize via Image Designers) and so on? Where else player cities where likeminded folks can live and organize as they chose (even if there's no way to build a gated community to keep undesireables out - I remember this being a bone of contention for me when I very first chatted with Raph about SWG here too! What ever happened to outcasting?)
Starsider's other strength, and this also seems to remain true, is a strong PvP space contingent which is much more RP based and organized than the rather unsightly, and generally annoying, land-based GCW counterpart.
Anyhow, upon logging in at Mos Eisley I just sat there and watched people dancing in the streets, afk, for no reason. Those poor, overwhelmed, rebels (right) blasting stormtroopers right and left and coming back, like clockwork, on respawns. Jedi by the score firing up lightsabers and having at anything that moved. Folks spamming sales pitches. Lots of "lolling" in spatial. And one or two scurrying RP flagged people running for someplace better.
Suddenly I felt real nostalgic for LoTRO. Global channels for every possible need which gave spammers and trolls much better places to conduct business or irritate each other. Turn 'em off and everything is blessedly silent unless some RPers meet and have their characters interact. Oh, the simple joys in life. Also, boy, I couldn't help have impressed upon me the vast superiority of the PvMP concept over wild-west style, aimless, street PvP. Yes, by all means, if you're going with a licenced setting and want it to remain anything like the source material - please - create a seperate leper colony away from civilization for PvP! And force the sides, or at least one of them (whichever is most rigid or iconic - Imperials, Sauron's forces, whatever) into appropriate costumes once they get there so things look they way they should! And don't let them speak to each other! They're just not going to say anything that serves any useful purpose.
PvMP is so superior to the PvP of the GCW in concept and execution it boggles the mind. I had a discussion with Thunderheart about the importance of iconic conflict in a setting like Star Wars several years ago (the one time managed to engage a dev on the SWG forums). He dismissed the concerns as something that had to be given up on for the sake of inclusiveness and accessibility. Well, buddy, I'm here to tell you, psst, look over there...that's how it should be done.
Old friends have turned me onto a new RP oriented player city described as Vagabond's Rest without the rancor. Folks there are surely using the Storyteller tools and I'll report back about that and bioengineering once I get a chance.
Ahazi, that was my home.
Yes, that's the only thing SWG has left for the vets, memories.Originally Posted by Brian Rucker
I call that a hostages situation.
Yes I'm bitter, still to a degree, I wish them all the best, but without me.
Maybe some day I can forgive them but not yet, as long as they are just recycling stuff and the only thing they can offer me is "memories of how it was" they as in SOE/LA don't get any cash from me.
Originally Posted by _scout_
Oh sweet. I was hoping that was you scout. I'm from ahazi as well and currently still playing. I quit when the NGE came out, but re subbed after a month and stuck with it (even though the NGE was and still is a pile of CRAP).
However the recent changes are definitely a step in the right direction. The devs are actually listening to the player base now (which of course is only because of the mass exodus that has happened in the past year) and they are actually giving us what we are asking for. NPC difficult has been increased so the game isn't 100% solo able anymore. The new "beast master" sub profession quite a bit different from the old creature handling but it's a very nice and unique system that's actually quite fun (but EXTREMELY expensive at the time being). They are revamping a few theme parks and adding some new content finally in the upcoming publishes.
Things are finally starting to look up for this game and quite a few old vets have resubbed on ahazi to give these new changes a try. Some are saying it's getting like pre cu, but I personally feel this game has QUITE a ways to go to get close to that remark, but none the less this game is getting A LOT better. Hopefully the devs will continue to listen to us and we can get this game close to what it once was.
I like this idea. Good for the players and the devs to have creative subscribers help make content. Quality control will be a huge issue. Maybe they should get the players to do that too? Web 2.0, baby.
This is fantastic stuff. I'm looking forward to seeing how well it's actually implemented.
Originally Posted by Skee
If your name was skee in the ahazi forum as well I can remember you, =), nice to hear from you again.
To quote intaru: "Less crappy is still crap" ;).
I was Master Squad Leader, Master Carbineer. We (as some of the SL forum community) have been doing shitloads of stuff at the test server to get the SL revamp balanced and done right before and after it hit live. I had a look at the promised AI revamp together with all the other stuff that was announced shortly before the launched the NGE. I really feel betrayed, holding these carrots in front of us and then dropping the bomb on us.
I miss ahazi and it's community, the game SWG was and was going to be but as I mentioned, as long as they only can offer memories of how it was, and "its going to be like it was" LiongTsiao Huang will stay retired.
To the above two posters, if those "storytellers tools" are just the "event stuff" from PRE NGE, you can have a glimpse of how great the game would be if the DEVs would have listen to the players earlier and would not have dropped the NGE onto the game.
I just can repeat myself, what a waste of time ... :-( ...
I think the problem is more than niggling details about what particular build or combat engine was used. What happened was that some brilliant ideas (some of which still survive) were forced into a Stae Wars wrapper that didn't particularly support them. Then a PvP agenda just surged forth, driven by a vocal minority in the forums, and embraced by devs who saw PvP (rightly so - if and when it's employed in the right context) as an alternative to extensive, ongoing, PvE content creation.
But the clash of cultures between people who'd be attracted to the cerebral elements of the design, crafting/roleplaying/general aesthetics, and those who liked the visceral elements of PvP combat and grind-oriented lootage, just tugged in opposite directions. Lost completely in the shuffle were Star Wars fans and those roleplayers that wanted the game, including the gameplay, to have the look and feel of the movies.
In the end, the most vocal of the PvP/lootage/grind crowd made a beeline for WoW. The Star Wars fans had long been gone but for a handful willing to overlook all the glaring horrors. Most roleplayers left. Crafters finally gave up the ghost after the importance of crafting was trimmed down (though in fairness it's still quite complex and demanding - if unprofitable for most things).
Those who seem to have perservered through everything on Starsider were those folks who loved the deeper elements of the game. Detailed crafting, player cities, custom characters and space combat. But mostly, it's the informal networks between players that have grown up around economic interconnectedness and the social networking that still revolves around engaged entertainer class characters in RP circles. The Cantina in a player city is its city square and the people who know what's going on are always on that stage - city hall is superfluous.
But lord, the kind folks who love this depth are not going to log into Mos Eisley after the tutorial, look around, and fall in love. They're not ever going to learn about all the systems, communities, traditions that exist if all they see are morons /afk dancing in the streets, spamming massive blocks of pitch-man text (they don't know how to block yet), and see Jedi and rebels spazzing around in the open noisily blasting everything in sight while yowling in broken English.
One look at this and if I didn't know better I'd say "14 days free - screw that - get me out of this nuthouse!"
Last edited by Brian Rucker; 06-11-2007 at 08:41 AM.
Initial impressions continued:
My base depresses me. Condemned homes of the long-departed crew of my old YT-1400 loiter around the bunker complex and the offices of my defunct mining/freighter concern. I rifle through them salvaging odds and ends. I see the names of crafters on many objects I knew from way back, even before there was space to fly a ship in, and still remember some of the stories we shared. The troubles we had.
"How do I move?! I'm not stupid but how do I move?!" This would be a friend I brought along from LoTRO who never played SWG. She downloaded a free 14-day trial and is paging me from the tutorial. "God, she moves with a hip-hop strut or something, this is terrible." Yes, but, it's a /motion-captured/ hip-hop strut! Odd how I never noticed this in my years there - and it doesn't look so bad to me but, then, I'm not a female introducing myself to my own female avatar. It's probably a girl thing.
"What you want to do is go into Options -> Keymapping. Now look underneath all the commands, you'll have to scroll, and find the default template list. Okay, you want "Modern Star Wars Galaxies" - then you can move with your mouse."
That's me. I'm putting the finishing touches on decorating, I mean set-designing, a lab for my experiments in bioengineering. Hey, sue me, I'm a roleplayer. What in heavens name could have possessed them to make the default SWG keymap based on FPSes rather than popular MMOs? Oh, right. The same thing that convinced those devs it would be a good idea for street-PvPing Imperial Jedi Rancor-riding Wookiees with chef's hats and air-guitar fetishes to be a viable niche in the game. A combination of PvPitis and I-don't-give-a-fuck.
Anyhow, a painting here, a droid there, storage bins up by the data monitoring consoles. The egg incubator will go over there - when I can afford it. Upwards of a million credits for a good one. Probably several million for top of the line when the resources are made available to build them. But right now? Very few stockpiles of needed raw materiels to build the tools and equipment. It's driving the prices through the roof.
"Oh, and remember /addignore <name> before you hit Mos Eisley! Most important command in the SWG!"
She laughs. Right. Hohoho! It's funny now. She may have braved the spam in WoW with a shrug but she's yet to encounter the credit sellers who have access to scripted hawking droids and /afk characters.
To Be Continued.
She's excited about her horse in LoTRO. I suppose we'll have to go back and take a look - though right now I'm thinking "horse, schmorse - I can ride a dozen different animals in SWG, drive a speeder, a swoop-bike or soar around on a jet-pack!" But what I say is, of course, "Awesome! Hey, where are you?"
It's Mos Eisley. Though the syncronized, dragooned, newbies forced to dance en mass, and in mass confusion, by some master entertainer outside the starport I'm treated to a blare of particle effects and the sounds of light-sabers clashing. Three new spammers to /addignore. Some neo-roleplayer is already there about to hit on her when I get there. It's like a Greyhound station in Hollywood for some of these guys. I suspect half the disdain directed to roleplayers is inspired by guys like this and the other half, of course, by elitist roleplayers like me who think, maybe, being a roleplayer takes a little more effort and brainpower than just showing up.
"Ach, lass I were beginning to think I lost ye. Step aside sir, official CorSec business." Okay, when this character started out I thought I was going for a Sean Connery thing but over time he just started sounding more and more like a pirate. You're right, I should have my elitist roleplayer stripes torn from my sleeves because nobody (except one bit character in X-Wing Alliance) actually talks like this in Star Wars. But, hey, other RPers love the old captain so I go with what works.
"((The legend returns!))" It's a /tell from someone whose name I don't recognise. He tells me we've known each other for five years now. How weird is that he asks? I tell him it's good to hear from him again and I'm here to revive my ship's cat, with luck, using the new bioengineering system. I'm getting alot of these /tells and it's very helpful. I've already got a list of potential clients for space-mined resources and one of the more dedicated new bioengineers in the game is an old friend too. Also Ramona is still around. Her small PA of entertainers has been a major hub of RP, events and organized space PvP for years on Starsider - ever since I started paying attention. She's going to invite me to the next event where they use Storyteller Tools. She loves them, she says, and uses them all the time.
Horses. Indeed. I'm going to make a cat from spare parts and he's going to tear up my enemies! And it doesn't have to be just my old Corellian grrrcat. It could be anything from an adorable little big-eyed Jax to a towering Rancor (though I still remember with massive trepidation how stupid it looked having those huge monsters wandering through towns, and starports, like trained circus animals).
Here's a horse for you. "((Ready?))" We're standing near a terminal in the Starport. "((Ready.))" I scroll through the fleet. Heavy fighters, a pleasure yacht, there's that hulking mining ship I still need parts for and...ah, The Ikopi Stag - a YT-1400 just like Solo's ship.
My baby. My lovely, lovely, baby. How many hours I put into grinding up space experience to qualify for it, killing ship after ship looking for the very best salvage to have my shipwright reengineer into top-of-the line modifications. Decorating, moving every last element into just the right spots, setting up the lighting just-so. And the roleplay with my old, missing, crew. We'd pack into the mini-cantina I'd designed and the musicians and dancers amongst us set up and play. What a nice break from blowing the crap out of things; though blowing the crap out of things was also a great break from the roleplaying.
We launch. "Welcome to The Ikopi Stag, lass." Yup, you guessed it - I'm feeling very good about myself just about now. The Captain is back! "As long as this thing can fly," my newbie passenger elbows without missing a beat. "Fly? Fly? She soars she do! Perhaps not a fancy Twi'lek pleasure barge such as ye be accustomed to, no, but she'll do ye just fine and more inna pinch."
I'm giving her a tour of the ship when this happens: "((I hate to say it, but between the animation and the interface there are more negatives than positives - just can't get into things.))" says she. But, but - the ship! It flies! Look at the rooms here, damage control panels, kits to fix things, a co-pilot console with actual controls to manage in-flight, a pair of quad-turrets for gunners! A cargo bay, for Christ's sake! Of course, being that nothing has mass in this game really does cut into actually caring about having a cargo bay - aside from storing mined minerals. Here one must look more longingly at the vision of Eve Online - you need mass and volume if being a freighter captain is going to amount to a hill of beans. Otherwise, folks will just stuff their pockets with 100 tons of beans and hop a shuttle.
To Be Continued.
Next Up - She Discovers The Wardrobe.
"((And he said, 'The Legend Returns!'))"
"((And that's really why you like it here, huh?))"
"((Um. Well, yeah, a bit. But what I really love are my toys!))"
And with that I twist the handle of my joystick, for dramatic effect, rolling the cockpit on its axis so that instead of deep blue space and shimmering stars the surface of Corellia, with its gently swirling cloud formations, looms suddenly into view. Bam! Nailed it! Boosters - check. I hit a left yaw and skid the Ikopi Stag to slide gently into the narrow docking bay of the orbiting station - nose out. Damn, still got it.
Okay, maybe it would be too much to expect a standing ovation for my Top Gun antics but still. C'mon. That was cool!
We land at Doaba Guerfil, a blissfully quiet starport in an overlooked corner of Corellia. We hop into my two-seater landspeeder and make for the old base. I give her a tour of the various facilities. Once there was a crime lab here one of my crew decked out with custom items, often component parts but renamed during creation to things like "Dermal Analyzer" or "Genetic Scanner" and littered about workbenches. Bookcases were named "Anthropological Atlas of The Republic" or "Technical Manuals." Other buildings included evidence lockers and a precinct CorSec HQ. Hell, we even wore the same white flight uniforms the CorSec NPC pilots do. Good times.
After I burned out the original crew broke up. Last time I returned it would be to belatedly mess around with the various quests in Rage of The Wookiees and the Jedi thing, whatever it was called, with Mustafar. During that I discovered the insane profitability of the new space-mining mechanic (or at least new to me). It was just me, solo, though I did drop in at various times to RP with folks. My heart wasn't in it anymore. The Ikopi Stag had been my last real RP refuge after our player city had broken up long before. That's another story and one I'd rather just not dwell on - for now.
The good-will I'd felt towards the designers ebbed away once Rage of The Wookiees came out, it was all linear quests and loot, with none of the deeper issues addressed and clearly no interest in Star Wars continuity or "realism". I just couldn't keep telling myself that the "vision" Raph had talked about would ever be realized and certainly bringing the Star Wars setting to life, which had completely escaped even Raph, was off the table as well.
"And over here be some things your people sent ahead, lass." The old captain gestures to a closet in what had once been the evidence storage building. They weren't really her things but some salvage I'd pulled from condemned crew quarters. Still, for RP's sake, why not? "I'll be out here setting up a new security perimeter."
Well, this wasn't going well. How can someone not be impressed by all this stuff? Still, I remained intrigued with the prospects of bioengineering and Ramona's promise to show me a Storyteller tool built scenario, live. And it was interesting taking in a newbie's reaction to a game I've lived on and off for half a decade now.
"((Okay, okay - now this is good.))"
"((Ah, you like? You know you can layer clothing for effect - say a coat and a shirt underneath. And the jewelry all renders.))"
Out comes the newbie dressed to the nines and ready for cantina life.
"((Now, I don't have enough money for two MMOs but I'll definitely stay for the 14 day trial. And I am getting a second job soon so maybe then...))"
Wow. Clothes? Creatures, landspeeders, space craft, emotes, motion captured animation...none of that did it. But show her a stocked wardrobe and boing!
Another tell comes in. Could be some folks gathering at Riva Dorata's cantina, a new player RP city. We head on out to see who's there.
Last edited by Brian Rucker; 06-12-2007 at 05:55 AM.
Are the animations still are herky-jerky sped up verions of the originals? I had a friend who had never played log on about a year ago, and he died laughing at how ridiculous they looked.
Yup. They are but they may have toned it down a little. I get past that, kinda sorta, but many folks couldn't. It was one more thing that drove away the people I generally like to be around. If you can't stand looking at your character, which by and large you're going to be doing alot of, you might just find something better to do with your time.
It was all part of the "players are shallow idiots who should be treated like gerbils with slightly less of an attention span" era in SWG history. Make people walk and run faster! Yet another way we can make the game easier and PvP more exciting! Oh, I don't know really but that's my impression of things. I think there's some part of the human brain that looks for one central factor that's behind every problem whether or not there's a cause and effect relationship at all. For me it's either The Republican Party or PvP. In SWG I'm going with PvP.
((...and so you can plant resource harvesters once you find the resources you need. Online, offline, they do all the work for you. It's really pretty cool. You can also build manufacturing plants to build devices and parts you've experimented on. People who are really into crafting will seek out rare and unique resources, everything spawns randomly on certain worlds with more or less frequency and in different locations. Even surveying is a game in itself. Each resource has different subtypes and each of them have a different array of characteristics - on top of that the quality of the tools you use and the degree to which your character is experienced all contribute to the quality of a product! It's amazing stuff. And a crafter's name is attached to everything he makes. People do get famous for building various things - not everyone has what it takes to be a true master craftsman!))
((Eh, I'm not so into crafting.))
There's silence for the rest of the trip on to Riva Dorata and silence once we get there. Nobody's home. An empty city. I really, really, hate empty cities. My mind flashes back to my last trip to old Vagabond's Rest - it was like driving past a graveyard, the city of the dead. Empty buildings for blocks and blocks, still neatly laid out, with names I recognised. Some labelled with street names and numbers. "Founder's Way..." I was one of them, A Founder.
I'm good with the fact SWG's going to be implimenting a policy of neighborhood renewal. Buildings gone dark will be gone for good as active players tag them - or at least sent back into their owner's datapads for storage. A few less memory crypts in the world is a good thing. I'll probably pick some special places to take a sledgehammer to myself.
We wander into the cantina. I'm proud of my limited skills in designing a space but these folks, and there were plenty more where they came from once upon a time, outdid themselves. They've set up transperant scanner displays as walls for a massive fishtank. Cushions are arranged into the form of a grand piano in a side room. Skirts hang down from above the stage to form a curtain. Everywhere you look, improvisation and creativity. Vagabond's Rest was like this once but there were fewer items then and our designers were less practiced. This is truly a work of art - or something. Anyhow, I like it but there's still nobody home.
((Let's call it a night. LoTRO tomorrow? I still need my horse.))
Last edited by Brian Rucker; 06-12-2007 at 06:27 AM.
Where's my camera?! She's not going to believe this.
The next night I log back in to SWG, who cares about a stupid horse - she's got hers and mine can wait, and I'm still in the cantina. There's a Rodian playing music on the stage and singing in his own odd language. A cluster of Glastons are over taking up a couple large tables; they're privateers but with what passes for a code of honor. I know some of these guys! Some fellow, who evidently understands what the Rodian is singing about figets nervously and glances over at the uniformed Stormtroopers, three of them, one in each corner of the cantina.
At a table across from me are sitting reps from a pair of crafting guilds working out the details for a potential casino. Two of them I've met recently. They're third generation CTC - Central Trade Consortium - used to be Corellian Trade Consortium back in the day. Their original leader was one of the Founders of Vagabonds Rest. None of these guys ever knew him though. Long before their time. But Grim did. That's my character.
RP ensues as Grim trades some stories and discusses the asteroid mining market with the new whippersnapper CEO of CTC, makes oblique references to the Glastons about how they'd best behave on "his" turf (Grim's Ex-Corellian Security) without tipping off the Stormtroopers to potential trouble, and engages in an exchange with a newly met bioengineer that results in the same news he's been hearing over and over - you can't get quality incubators yet - the resources don't exist. Crappy ones, sure, but they're selling for hundreds of thousands of credits and easily up to a million.
This isn't going to lure in many newbies as a career choice it seems.
A drunk wanders in and starts harrasing the patrons. The stormtroopers move in after him and ask for ID. This sudden move on their part inspires many folks to start edging for the door. Grim's only slightly behind the Glastons.
Stormtroopers in RP can be a good thing. The problem comes from how one litigates conflict. A PvP system rewards people who can PvP well, grind for the best resources and items, and generally have more time to spend on a game than the average well-adjusted adult. Or the less mundane adult who spends much more time RPing and crafting than grinding or shooting it out with people who think spitting and peeing on each other is a good way to celebrate a kill. Did I mention the whole "leper colony" thing before - LoTRO's PvMP set up? There's a reason I have that mental construct.
The alternative is negotated, RPed, conflict where players discuss possible outcomes through /tells and decide how things are going to go. Here you tend to run into "uber" concepts which can cause disputes - people who are immune to blaster bolts for example or were raised by Dathomir witches and have special powers. And even if you have two reasonable people with reasonable concepts there's still the problem of "I shot you!", "No you didn't!" which harkens back to childhood cops and robbers.
For me, the only model of conflict resolution which works well in MMO roleplaying is a Storyteller scenario where the bad guys are run by a central authority figure and don't have individual players pushing them along and investing them with ego and will.
There were alot of things that went wrong with Vagabond's Rest. The big one was a naive notion that mature adults could handle political conflicts and even IC combat with a level head OOC. (IC means In Character while OOC means Out Of Character). We didn't even think to institute any governing mechanism for resolving disputes on an OOC level. Just let things happen, we're reasonable and experienced folks. Shouldn't be a problem.
So when a well RPed Stormtrooper PA moved in our leadership was delighted. Awesome! The Empire's here! What didn't dawn on us right away but came clear over time, and this was a situation which repeated itself on other servers and with other cities, was that RPing a figure who has unlimited authority to do whatever he wants, without adult supervision, often attracts a certain kind of player. Not in every case, and not everyone in this guild was that way, but the leadership was and good stormtroopers follow orders...
Maybe I'm being unfair to judge these new Stormtroopers like this. They may have been around and RPing for some time with this community and have a good reputation. They did seem to pull off the role quite well. But echoes of VR still linger with me and every time I hear a similiar story from an SWG refugee somewhere else it's just reinforced.
I sort through some business via mail and then I log. Time to get my horse. But I'm definitely curious now...the RPers are back. A small group, sure, compared to the scores we had roving the streets of Vagabond's Rest on any given night but, still, maybe something good can come of this?
Last edited by Brian Rucker; 06-12-2007 at 09:31 AM.
Alright, I give up. I'm not Tom Chick. :)
To date I've seen no use of the storyteller tools myself. People are waiting for resources to loosen up so supplies for bioengineering go up in quality and down in price. On the upside, inflation is crazy and it turned out to be easier than I thought to make the credits I needed for at least a low end incubator.
There is a new RP city and a handful of folks excited about it. I even saw one character that wasn't maxed out at level 90. New blood? But it turned out this was a new alt for a returning player whose old characters had been deleted. Still...maybe a good if isolated sign.
For those who haven't read it there's a current article here on SWG and the NGE debacle - and what's come since:
But the throughline for me isn't NGE bad, people run away screaming! It's why did so many people who really loved so many systems in the game, who really loved Star Wars, leave long before the CU or the NGE happened?
From launch to CU, according to that article SWG dropped 100,000 players. After NGE it dropped 30,000 more.
What I saw was a player city, a community that pulled together to build an entire metropolis out of nothing, disintigrate and fall apart because of hideous political infighting. That's normal, to an extent, in many guilds. Some folks just don't get along. However the extra fuel we had to deal with was PvP. Many PvPers have a certain mentality which had little to do with how to build things but how much fun it is to tear them down. Cooperation is secondary to winning something. Trashtalking is how you let people know you're a hep cat packing some big guns.
Many of us just didn't have the wherewithall to want to deal with streetfighting, namecalling, bodily function emoting, dumbasses running through their city. Even if they couldn't be targeted or hurt, even if they weren't directly involved, it was annoying as crap and undermined everything we'd been building towards.
You can /addignore a character but you can't ignore a battle in the streets or pets with insulting names set to follow you around or finding your homes and harvesters hemmed in by someone else's junk.
Most people just left. They didn't raise a ruckus in the forums. These people aren't about conflict. They just wanted a good experience. People who are seasoned forum warriors very often are PvP types who consider clever (and more often not so very clever) trolling in game forums just another front to wage war on as they try to increase their personal power. Your average roleplayer or casual gamer or Star Wars fan just takes a look at that and heaves a sigh before cancelling.
What's left of the RP community is a tiny subset that doesn't mind PvP, likes PvP or is more involved in Space than what's going on on the ground. They're a sliver of a shadow of the community that once was and no longer has a voice.
Thanks much for the posts.
I respect much of what was attempted (and your posts help highlight what was good about that), but I'm part of a group of friends who got sucked in to live in a Star Wars universe, and found instead that we seemed to have taken on a second job in our lives, with little hope of experiencing the adventure of Star Wars.
It was fun for a while. I enjoyed the way the skills worked, except for how you had to lose your invested effort and re-grind to "respec", and becoming a Jedi just didn't seem attached to any sensible story-driven theme. I appreciated how just doing something would cause me to skill up in whatever I was doing. The social approach to healing/buffing up (going to a cantina) was odd, yet fit into the story and so I went with it. But at some point what could I say to a friend who said, "I'm a fish doing hair-dressing. What's going on here?"
It was a Raph game, not a Star Wars game, and so it was just a mis-match from the start. I went to City of Heroes shortly after that, and immediately felt "If this had been SWG, that game would have been a huge hit."
Recently I jump into LOTRO and from the first instant I am engaged in the world and the story I came to enjoy. I'm delighted to be immersed in a world I've both imagined through the books and seen in the movies (both the Bakshi stuff and the recent movies). Now that I'm engaged, I'm happy to go with the developers on how they design things.
However, I'll be delighted if the core players left in SWG get what they want. Probably too in-depth and grindy for my style of play, but more power to them.
That's a pretty common complaint unfortunately, as we saw, the "cure" killed the patient. The NGE tried to trim everything down to a WoW scale experience, grinding and dungeons, with a focus on PvP. Though, I do think you'll find the new intro and "legacy" quest they've worked out does a better job of getting you into the mood of Star Wars, at least initially, while teaching you the ropes. For combatant classes.
While I bitch about early SWG being a mess of brilliant ideas in drag as a wookiee the fact remains, that for me at least, that it's still the fruits of those concepts that drives what is attractive to me about SWG. I may not like crafting, for example, but I love crafters. Custom items with custom names, a deep economy that brings very disparate characters into proximity - and roleplayers really made the most out of that in the early days. It built a context to give characters things to talk about that had some relevance to the game world.
RP detached from mechanics in MMOdom becomes very stale, very fast. I don't care how creative a player is, he will burn out sooner or later if what he's doing doesn't have some relevance to the objective world the MMO portrays. You end up with coffee klatches rather than adventuring parties, or merchant guilds, or military companies.
I think my problem stems from the framing of those systems. What we had wasn't presented in the context of an oppressive empire and rebels opposing them. There were so many decisions made on a purely game-design level that had nothing to do with the aesthetics of the setting, the psychology that should have been projected. PvP should have been the first red flag, IMHO. How can you have a balanced playing field in a setting where one side has all the power? You either sacrifice PvP or you sacrifice the setting.
But step out from that. Star Wars. Was it more important to have believable flora and fauna, or hairdressers to use your example, or to have a reason for ships to be in space and a space for them to be in? Mass and volume for raw resources and crates. Space should be space, damn it, not a temporary inconvenience but a real hurtle that provides a living for those who prefer to ply their trades out there. Shuttles, no.
And player cities, as much as I loved one once, should have been hidden bases instead. Everyone should have been a rebel or at least suspected of criminal activities. Create an ominous world with a few safe havens in it. Create a detailed economy, sure, but don't frame it as markets and businessmen but as procurement and bartering between outposts/quartermasters.
When in doubt, stick to canon. Always. As you rightly point out LoTRO nails it and brings you right in. How can going to the Shire not make your heart go pitter pat? You want to sit down for a pipe and an ale as soon as you set foot in Bree. Character classes, costumes, appearances - they all mesh (except for those silly two-tone newbie cloaks, please - guys - do something about 'em?). There's no disruptive PvP and trashtalking going on in the streets. There is a place and a time for it though - but it's not in the middle of downtown Bree.
Most imporantly you don't see players as wizards, there are no Gandalfs tossing fireballs. Loremasters are very subdued. While I think SWG's approach to entertainer classes is much superior to how Minstrels are handled, as just another unlikely combat class, in LoTRO - it's really not that disruptive if you don't have them fighting each other in the streets. Why did we have to have Jedi, poison gas spewing combat medics and pet rancors? How does this fit in with the look and feel of human-scale Star Wars?
Anyhow, I've decided to experiment myself with Storyteller tools. I'll let you know how that goes.
BTW, the Star Wars in SWG exists. But only in space as enemic as it is compared to games like Eve Online. But out there you can't hear them scream, or trash talk, or see them dressed up in chef's hats.
Last edited by Brian Rucker; 06-15-2007 at 09:22 AM.
Same here (sevarhin). Had loads of fun there back before CU/NGE.Originally Posted by Skee
And after all that, I finally get around to messing with Storyteller tools.
There are vendors in theatres which sell a variety of props and NPCs (also in at least one Hotel where the old event vendor used to be). The single most important thing you can buy is your own Storyteller vendor NPC. With him, one item in your pack, you can buy all the other stuff you need for a scene including a new Storyteller vendor widget to replace the one you deployed.
Some things work better than others. You can set up NPCs and objects to create nice little tableaus. You can assign the NPCs combat levels, decide whether they're static or wandering, and put loot in their inventories. As with interior decorating, and as displayed in the linked example previously, you can also improvise by putting objects and effects together in different ways. Smoke, fog, electricity are some interesting environmentals. I stuck electricity on an NPC and suddenly he looks very Dark Force user with power crackling all around him.
There are also instant effects like explosions or "dogfights" that can be triggered on the fly. But they go off right where the storyteller (or one of his sub-storytellers) is standing. Some folks have suggested the use of Spies as assistants because they can go invisible and you don't see them running around and doing things. Dogfights haven't seemed very impressive. If you're looking straight up, hard to do with the camera, you might see a flash of some snub fighter's underbelly. But you won't see anything like a dogfight and there are no associated sound effects - or weren't for me.
Placing objects entails walking to the spot where you want something and putting it down. Once it's down, it's gone from your inventory and can't be picked back up again. It can only be destroyed.
NPCs and objects seem to last for about an hour and a half, persistant effects last about 30 minutes and instant effects, well, come on - they're instant.
There also seems to be no way to get NPCs fighting each other. There is no way to script dialogue or interactivity into NPCs. For many missions you can get around this by simply not designing scenarios that require different factions going at it (which kinda sucks - who doesn't want to spend a million credits to create a real battlefield environment?). And with substorytellers playing temporary alts you can have the kind of interactive NPCs you might want. But given players can only have two characters on a server finding someone with a spare slot just for this might be hard to do.
Edit: List of items available from Storyteller vendors with thumbnail pics.
What I'd really like to see, if this takes off enough to encourage further development, is the ability to create instanced spaces using some of the POI buildings and environments. Also top down placement of NPCs and effects using an interface like we have for structure placement would be fantastic with an option to "preview" layouts before the actual items are expended. I'd also have another screen that lists items and offers various toggles and aliases for easy access. Placing a few squibs and explosions where I want them ahead of time on a map, and aliased to a simply key command, would make things much more practical for improvised solo-Storyteller roleplaying.
Being able to script text and dialogue for NPCs, but only visible to members of the Storyteller's group as with everything else, would be priceless.
Now houses have the "pack-up" command that saves the layout and decorations. I'd like to see a "pack-up" command for scenarios too. Once I've designed and demoed everything I'd like to save that template as a single object for use when it's convenient.
Those are thoughts off the top of my head after some brief experimenting.
And, naturally, more objects and NPC types please - but the existing selection will be good enough for most sitations.
Edit: Interesting thread on "mutations" possible in bioengineering. Note there are literally hundreds of "normal" creatures one can clone though various qualities and temperments will be determined by what resources are used, the quality of tools and bioengineer skill, and various other elements. These are just a few of the known oddities that can come up.
Last edited by Brian Rucker; 06-18-2007 at 10:12 AM.