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John Smedley Answers Your Questions

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the senator-smed dept.

Role Playing (Games) 189

Last week we asked you for questions about the Star Wars Galaxies 'New Game Experience'. You responded, forcefully and often frustrated. Mr. Smedley has taken the time to answer some of the most thoughtfully put questions, and while some of his answers are brief he answered your questions straightforwardly and honestly. Many thanks to Mr. Smedley for taking the time to talk to us. Read on for his responses to your questions.The latest "Freebies" by Yerase (636636)
You've recently announced that you plan to give Jump To Lightspeed to previous subscribers who had not purchased it for Free, since it is required for the new intro Tutorial. This is similar to the decision to release the "Total Experience" pack for $30 that included the original game, JTL, and the second expansion "Rage of the Wookies", with an additional item (The Barc Speeder). Do you feel you have any obligation to reimburse the veteran players who payed the premium prices ($30) for each of these expansions when they were first announced (many times before they were even released)? Either monetarily or through in-game items?

John Smedley:
It's common in the game industry to release new versions of games that incorporate older content. In this case, SWG really is much better with both the ground and space games as one package, which is why we're offering them together. We are giving rewards to our veteran players in general, but not specifically in this instance.

OS X client? by Dark Paladin (116525)
I realize that this is a long shot, but with the rise of Mac sales and the upcoming change of Macs from PPC to X86, is there a chance if an OS X client? One of the reasons I believe that Blizzards WoW has done so well is because it allows both major desktop OS's to play together, rather than trying to partition on group on a separate server (or pretending they don't even exist, with all of those dollars itching to be spent).

John Smedley:
Unfortunately, no. I absolutely love Macs (I've got 2 at home myself). I wish we could do this, but it's enormously cost prohibitive if you didn't start out from the beginning with Mac development in mind.

Wouldn't it be easier to scrap the game.. by Jason1729 (561790)
...and start over completely with Star Wars Galaxies 2?

John Smedley:
No. While the scope of the new enhancements is large, it's built upon a very powerful underlying engine that gives us the ability to enhance the game in meaningful ways rather quickly.

Re:Will this update...? by kebes (861706)
Given the recent bad press surrounding some of Sony's intrusive software, what changes, if any, are you planning for the copy-protection and cheat-prevention aspects of the game's software. During these change-overs, are you planning on putting in any special software that will monitor the users, and/or software that will attempt to prevent copying the game? Can you guarantee that such software will not "cross the line" and do things not directly related protecting the game itself?

John Smedley:
No. We are a subscription-based service, and therefore this isn't necessary.

Why wasn't NGE announced on 11/1? by WCMI92 (592436) NGE was dropped on us on 11/2, the day AFTER we were charged for the Trials of Obiwan expansion. Why did you deliberately withold this announcement until it was too late for veteran players to cancel their pre-orders so they could play on Test Center to see if they liked the changes?

John Smedley:
Simply put: We made a mistake in the way we communicated everything happening within the game to our current players, and we apologize for it. We're offering refunds to all players who purchased the Expansion pack before 11/3 (when we announced the NGE). But we feel very, very strongly that our current players are going to enjoy the enhancements to the game. The content in Trials of Obi Wan is even more fun with the new game experience.

Re:Another important question from a player by TychoCelchuuu (835690)
Why have you chosen to answer questions here on Slashdot instead of on the Star Wars: Galaxies forums? Many players are already fed up with the lack of communication, especially with these sweeping changes being announced the day after many of us bought Trials of Obi-Wan. Don't you have more of a responsibility to paying customers than you do to promoting the game?

John Smedley:
There are long threads that I've started myself on our forums, but we have community representatives that are answering questions diligently on our forums already, and I'm very involved in what's being said. I'm trying to get the word out in other venues and we know that Slashdot has a wide reach into the online gamer audience in general and the SWG community. Btw, I try to personally answer all of the emails from our players that are written to me and I get a fair number of them each day from our players.

Non-Combat Classes? by by Alpha_Traveller (685367)
Commando, Entertainer, Jedi, Medic, Officer, Smuggler, Spy and Trader.

What if my daughter wanted to be a diplomat? Something tells me that's not the same as Officer. You mentioned each class would show up as a familiar Icon, and I wouldn't call Princess Leia any of the things above. Only three out of the nine are even remotely "non-agressive" in nature. That doesn't speak well for a game that was once geared to be more of a world to explore than just a massive wargame.

[editor: How would you respond to this reader, concerned about the overwhelming shift in emphasis from sandbox-style world to combat-heavy 'game'?]

John Smedley:
This is a really good question, and I think goes to the heart of why we made these changes. The name "Star Wars" carries with it a lot of expectations, and from the research we've done, we weren't delivering enough of the core Star Wars experience to people. Remember, SWG takes place right in the middle of the Galactic Civil War! We felt like we needed to focus on the core iconic professions rather than 34 different professions that weren't unique enough. It just made the game too hard for us to add content to and to balance properly. We finally saw the forest from the trees on this and made the right move.

We still offer professions for non-combat oriented online players who are more interested in the social aspects of the game. We still have the Entertainer position (which is about as non-combat as you can get), as well as the trader class, which encompasses all aspects of crafting and item creation within the game. Additionally, we have made it so that non-combat professions do not agro within the game, so that players who do not choose to fight will be able to move about the game world without worrying about aggressive mobs.

Returning players? by Minupla
With the complete revamp of the game will there be a returning player incentive program? Something so that those of us who left earlier can come back with a minimum of pain and check out the rework and see if it's something that is compatible with our particular playstyles?

John Smedley:
Absolutely! We're going to be offering free trials for download (or at retail stores) in addition to the all-new Starter Pack.

Why not fix the game? by Zonk
Overwhelmingly, the jist of many questions we recieved was "Why do this instead of fix bugs and expand existing content?" What led to the decision to make such a drastic change in the game's playstyle, given that there was still a large population of players who were very happy playing Galaxies as it existed two weeks ago?

John Smedley:
We didn't feel that we could "fix" the existing game without making these changes to the number of professions. Trying to add content and balance a game with 34 different professions was just proving too difficult. We would spend weeks working on content specifically for one or two professions, but that would come at the cost of neglecting the other 30+. I think when we made the game we went too far into the direction of a "sandbox" style of gameplay, when what we needed to do was balance that out with awesome Star Wars gameplay that gives the player the feeling of being heroic.

We also had the very basic business problem of needing to appeal to a wider audience of players in order to keep the game growing rather than seeing the audience dwindle down over time. At the end of the day, our decision came down to wanting to make Star Wars Galaxies the most incredible Star Wars experience ever. Even though we know these changes will be upsetting some of our players initially, we feel that once they see how awesome we can make the Galactic Civil War, and how cool the new Star Wars content is they'll feel like we made the right decision at the end of the day.

All I can say is: try it before you pass judgement. If you are a current player, log in and check out the game. If you are a player who has tried the game and left because it was not delivering the experience, come back. If you're a gamer who has been on the fence because of what you've heard about the game previously, grab the free trial and jump in. We have a free 10 day trail available on the website (http://starwarsgalaxies.station.sony.com/), which can be converted to the full version of the game at the end of the trial period. I feel that the enhancements we've made to the game have made Star Wars Galaxies the game it was always meant to be.

See you on Tatooine!

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I have a question... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045309)

Dear John,

How did you like it when I gave you the bone hard and fast last night? I was the one in the sombrero...

Re:I have a question... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045345)

Mod +5 Interesting!

Erm.... No. (5, Interesting)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045317)

I let SWG run my life for seven months. I became one of the most effective builders of Starships and Weapons on one of the biggest servers. (Ahazi)

In the seven months I played there were two major game updates, both of which were reviled by the majority of the player base and touted as something wonderful by SOE. However, from commentary from both Lucasarts and SOE, it was highly apparent that the people in charge of this game were staring at WoW and thinking, "Star Wars is cooler than Warcraft, why aren't we rich?"

Then they started to make it a clone of the Blizzard game. No matter how loud their player base screamed.

The game is buggy, system-resource intensive, and the only reason I thought it was awesome was because of 1) the open 'jobs' style system, and 2) the incredible crafting system. Both of these things have been dumbed down in the NGE, from what I hear.

Smedley's answers are all PR boilerplate and have nothing to do with the real reasons they are changing the game drastically. There are some incredibly cool things in the game still, (I once met a guy who had been playing since beta and loved that he could crawl through the grass and spy on people) but I consider the game fatally flawed by the people who run it not caring one bit about play experience- even as a means to the end of getting more subscribers. The entire design of the game is now based on, "This works for Blizzard, how can we copy it?" They don't seem to understand that you need a happy playerbase willing to bring their RL friends in, instead of an angry one that is embarassed about having gotten sucked into a huge marketing ploy and unable to desert their ingame friends.

I would recommend to any of my friends that they run the other way from any SOE game. Period.
Mothmar Friedsquid, former Ahazi Guru / Master Crafter.

Re:Erm.... No. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045380)

That is great, but I bought SWG as my first MMO. I left it after two months because I didn't enjoy the gameplay (walking forever, leveling taking forever, classes (boxes) were over complicated, having to quest/build faction to do PvP (WTF) etc). I've always loved starwars, yet that couldn't keep me at SWG.

A friend bought world of warcraft for me around last christmas. I never played any of the warcraft games, but I was hooked. I can't blame SoE for copying WoW, because WoW got a lot of things right that other MMO's get wrong.

Re:Erm.... No. (2, Insightful)

harrkev (623093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045547)

So, what I am hearing is some people saying "I like vanilla. I wish that it was vanilla again" and others saying "I tried it and didn't like vanilla. Now it is chocolate. Good move."

To summarize: you can't please everybody.

Re:Erm.... No. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045586)

Really? Because noone snuck into my cupboard and changed all my vanilla into chocolate and then took all the vanilla off the market so it became impossible to buy more.

Give me my vanilla back soe!

not really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045720)

It's more like "I tried rocky road shit flavor, and I didn't like rocky road shit flavor so I tried chocolate...oh wait...they are taking the shit out of the rocky road? Maybe I'll try it again, if I can get the taste from the first time out of my mouth". Analogies suck.

Re:Erm.... No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045430)

Why is it that whenever someone ends a post with the phrase "Period." or "nuff said", their arugments are rife with logical errors and unsubstantiated hyperbole and anecdote. In short, why do you lie?

Re:Erm.... No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045918)

Coward. 'nuff said.

Re:Erm.... No. (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045477)

Mothmar! I had several of your starship lasers. :) Your points exactly mirror my experience with the "combat revamp" and now the NGE. JTL kept me interested for awhile, but when I left I never looked back.

Smiloo, former Ahazi Master Weaponsmith

Re:Erm.... No. (2, Informative)

Kookus (653170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045647)

I got in beta and could see how poorly things were going from there, this really isn't a surprise at all. You were required (although I don't think they had a means of checking) to read a whole bunch of documentation before each test period, which only happened once a week or so. During that test session you would test something they've implemented and gave feedback + try to break it. So you'd fill out your forms and submit them. The problem was that they were ill-equiped to handle the actual testing periods, the periods themselves were scheduled far in advance, but were delayed on the day they were scheduled by hours. Organization was seriously lacking for something outlined so well in advance and required so much of the testers before hand. I gave it 3 weeks, and told them it wasn't worth my time if they weren't going to respect my time. You don't do this in the corporate world without getting fired. That's how you lose a customer. But happily, I'm a WoW addict, and I can sleep at night.

Re:Erm.... No. (3, Funny)

dcollins (135727) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045724)

"Star Wars is cooler than Warcraft, why aren't we rich?"

I get the impression that's been the general thought process behind every Star Wars game ever made.

Re:Erm.... No. (3, Interesting)

cnelzie (451984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045759)

The NGE took serious care of the system-resource-intensive issue.

    In the Old Game, I had to keep most of the graphics choices cranked to Zero to get consistent Frames Per Second performance, regardless of where I went. Even then, highly populated areas totally blew that down the tubes and gave me almost no FPS.

    In the NGE, I have been able to crank everything back up near the top again and I am obtaining VERY consistent FPS, regardless of where I am and how many people are in a given area.

    The rest of the NGE is also simple awesome in comparison to the old game. I couldn't go back to playing the old game.

    I played the NGE Test Center servers and I was HIGHLY skeptical, because of the poor performance and some of the very buggy issues I kept experiencing. In the live version, none of those bugs are present and it just works very well.

    My whole SWG guild was skeptical, I was one of the two hardcore TC subjects reporting to my PA, a few others entered the TC game briefly, but not as long as two of us did. After playing the Live version, not one of them has decided to cancel their account, in fact they are all more happy with what we have now, then what we had before.

    As I have experienced since day one of the original release of SWG, the game is simply getting better and better.

Re:Erm.... No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045909)

"I played the NGE Test Center servers and I was HIGHLY skeptical, because of the poor performance and some of the very buggy issues I kept experiencing. In the live version, none of those bugs are present and it just works very well." /sarcasm Right, because that vendor bug where you can't tell what you're buying sure isn't in the live version... It's totally fixed, and players who can't use their old equipment due to the new professions can easily buy all new stuff while knowing exactly what they're buying... /sarcasmoff

Re:Erm.... No. (4, Informative)

Karzz1 (306015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046045)

In the live version, none of those bugs are present and it just works very well.

You have got to be kidding me. If it works so well, how come there are 55 pages of comments in the "issues" thread alone??? -- check it out [sony.com] .

You must be some kind of SOE apologist. And for the record, I have 2 toons on TC (TC2 and TC5) -- I cannot tell the difference between the "live" game and testcenter.

Re:WoW clone, but why?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045785)

This is slightly off topic, but I gotta ask why is WoW so damn popular? I just bought it for my Mac based on the many reviews and the fact I can play it with my friends who use PC's, but found it to be the most drudge-like level fest I've seen. Fetch me 3 scorpion tails, now run a little further, and fetch 10 boar tusks, now run to the next town and fetch a vial of water. All the while your competing with tons of people of all different classes for that same spider leg, or whatever, and have to try to aggro the next spawned beastie before the guy lurking over your shoulder does. Couple that with the inability to really set even the look of your character apart from the others in the game, and I was dumbfounded by it's success. Can anyone explain something I missed?

Re:WoW clone, but why?!?! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14046413)

This is slightly off topic, but I gotta ask why is WoW so damn popular?

WoW is more than the sum of its parts. The competition for "overworld" items is part of the fun, it means you actually need to think about the most efficient strategies for gathering etc. The quests are generally well designed, and many are quite challenging. The concept of "instances" is nice, where each party going into high-end content gets a private copy with no competition (or help). Finally, PvP works well and the battlegrounds concept provides another interesting and fun diversion.

In short, I think WoW is great. I run an almost fully epic-equipped lvl 60 damage warrior, and I expect to keep playing pretty intensively until the big expansion comes out in March. Blizzard has done a good job of providing a lot of interesting high-end content.

P.S. I see a tremendous diversity of character "look" on our server (Shadowsong). Did you play past level 10?

Re:Erm.... No. (4, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045798)

Yep. I quit Galaxies long ago but for the same basic reasons. I mean the game design was some of the best I'd ever seen. I loved the job based system, and when cities came out, I was ecstatic. For once in a game, there was real, useful, housing over some place just to store your shit. For once players could have a real impact on the game environment.

However the devil is in the details and the problem was in the implementation. Sony just seemed to work as hard as they could to screw everything up. Here were the big ones for me:

1) The patching system. They would issue patch after patch fixing game bugs. After a string of these, the game was up to a pretty good state, not perfect but free of major problems. Then a new patch would come out that introduced new content and everything broke again. It was as if they were basing it off of old code or something. This cycle just repeated over and over. I got sick of things being broke all the time.

2) The removal of cool features to fix stupid problems. For example, when player-run cities came about there was the concept of a militia. The militia was appointed and could exert control over the city. Milita members could tell you to leave, and if you didn't, flag you as attackable by all milita, and they could then shoot you. It was nice, gave you direct control over your city. Ok but someone found a way to exploit it to gain experience. No big deal, experience was easy to come by, but instantly Sony removed it and it never came back while I was playing. So now jackasses would run all over your city being jerks, and there was nothing you could do. However...

3) Refusal to deal with real problems. While they were removing cool features for non-issues, they'd never crack down on real cheating. People were creating insanely powerful cheat weapons and armour. Rather than just deleting all of it and banning the offenders they took forever to straighten things out, and didn't really do anything.

The event that was one of the big ones that pushed me to quit was when the military bases in our cities were assulted by a cheater guild. We mounted a defence, and a big one (we were the largest Alliance guild on the server). However all our efforts were futile, we couldn't damage them, and they'd kill us instantly. Now amazingly enough we got a hold of a Sony CSR, he came out, observed what was happening and interviened. He told them they were cheating and their accounts had been marked, anything further, they'd be banned.

So of course you know where this goes. An hour later they were back at it again. We managed to get a hold of the same CSR and he came back. We figured great, banned cheaters. Nope, he did NOTHING. He scolded them a bit and hemmed and hawed, but no ban. So, of course, they now figured they could do as they please, no repercussions.

4) Total lack of balancing. Sony was always tweaking the class dynamics, but what it really got down to was there was no balance of combat classes. It wasn't too hard to design a tactic that was essentially unstoppable For things like taking out a military base. I never saw it get any beter in all my time there.

So, now I play WoW. I personally don't think it's as well designed a game as Galaxies. It's well designed, don't get me wrong, but not as good. However the important part is it's well implemented. The game works well, and feels balanced. That's what really matters. You can plan and plan all you like, it's implementation that ultimately matters, and THAT'S what Blizzard does right.

Personally, I don't trust Sony to be able to replicate it.

Re:Erm.... No. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14046344)

...Personally, I don't trust Sony to be able to replicate it.

Personally, I don't trust Sony.

Re:Erm.... No. (2, Informative)

doorbot.com (184378) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046528)

I wouldn't say SOE was trying to screw up the game, it just seems like they had three problems:

1. Poor QA
2. Poor change control
3. A lack of time/ability to polish their product.

I certainly agree that their design was good but the implementation was flawed.

The perfect example of this was the "Test Center" servers. Publicly, SOE asked the players to test the upcoming publishes on these servers. There were plenty of bugs of course, but this is a "test" server so to a degree one might expect that. A lot of the bugs would be "obvious" game breaking bugs, leading one to think that very little QA had been done on the TC release.
But let's just accept that for now and move on... so the players test it and report bugs (game breaking bugs). Publishes would be announced ahead of time of course, and on the day of the publish, they got pushed to live whether they were ready or not.
Imagine the frustration of a TC player who spent time beta testing the publish only to have it released with the same game-breaking, reproducible bugs they had just reported. Except now those bugs affected the entire population of Galaxies; many players would simply wait a day or two after a publish before logging on, just so they would know (by reading the forums) how to work around the bugs.

Re:Erm.... No. (1)

BlightCrawler (462289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046009)

"Then they started to make it a clone of the Blizzard game. No matter how loud their player base screamed."

Funny, WoW delivers an experience that feels more like classic Star Wars pulp action that Star Wars Galaxies does (or possibly, did).

If SOE could ever figure this out... (4, Interesting)

sterno (16320) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046181)

They don't seem to understand that you need a happy playerbase willing to bring their RL friends in, instead of an angry one that is embarassed about having gotten sucked into a huge marketing ploy and unable to desert their ingame friends.

This is such a critical thing and I think SOE has failed at this in more than one of their games. I've been a loyal player of PlanetSide since it came out and I ran into this exact problem. Initially the game was so buggy I found it very hard to recommend it to anybody. Eventually some of the kinks got worked out and so I got a friend to play. He ran into a bunch of bugs, got lousy technical support, and ended up leaving the game within a week of starting.

The other problem I've run into with this game is that the hardware demands are so insane that many of my friends with older rigs just don't have what it takes to run it. I've got a P4 2.8, 6600GT, 2GB of Ram, a Raptor HD and I run it on a medium graphics settings and it's pretty playable but I still get slow downs in heavy battles. I'm running it on hardware that did not exist when the game was released and on medium setting it performs merely okay. That's tragic. So when I've got a friend with a slightly older graphics card and a sub 2Ghz system, it's rather difficult for me to recommend it to them.

I've got a lot of friends that I think would totally love the game play, but if their experience is going to be one of low framerates and crashes, I'd be rather embarassed to recommend it to them. Thus the average person hasn't even heard of PlanetSide. Whenever I describe the game to somebody they think it sounds really cool, but they never heard of it because the game got such a bad reputation at release.

So, SOE, if you want these games to have long term success, release them when they are ready, and release games that will run smoothly on average modern hardware. Sure you can have bells and whistles that will take advantage of the top of the line systems, but make it so it's playable by lower hardware. The time you spend on getting the kinks worked out and the performance issues resolve will be made up for in spades when you can get a game with a strong following for years to follow.

I feel you bro (2, Funny)

rinkjustice (24156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046657)

You would think some of these software/game designers were in bed with hardware companies. Man, did you see the minimum requirements on Quake 4?! "Hello mr.bank officer, can I get a lean on my house? id came out with a new game..."

Mod parent up.

Hmmm... this reminds me of something... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14046371)

Hey Mr. Smedley, check THIS [coca-cola.com] out!

Thank You (5, Insightful)

Krast0r (843081) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045319)

"Simply put: We made a mistake..." - not something we are hearing often enough from some companies recently, not naming any names.

Business Model and Gaming Model (2, Interesting)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045534)

The game was cheap and the on-line pay-to-play fee was not unreasonable, which is why my gaming clan purchased it the first place. However, due to the "bugs" and some of the changes made to game, we soon got frustrated and have moved on to other games. Since we were "one of the violent mobs" he mentions, many of the changes were directed at us and others like us specifically. While we had been hoping for some serious "cops and robbers" kind of action between our mob of raiders and what ever passes for law enforcement, it never happened and we found that to be extremely frustrating and disappointing. We felt, given the presence of Tarkan raiders, bounty hunters, black marketeers, etc. in the original story lines, that we were not out of place in the on-line game. However the game was not particulary accomodating in this regard.

2 cents,

Queen B

Re:Business Model and Gaming Model (4, Informative)

merreborn (853723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045939)

Since we were "one of the violent mobs" he mentions, many of the changes were directed at us and others like us specifically

I think you've misunderstood some old MUD lingo. The only use of the term "mob" in TFA is:

Additionally, we have made it so that non-combat professions do not agro within the game, so that players who do not choose to fight will be able to move about the game world without worrying about aggressive mobs.

Wikipedia's definition of this type of "Mob":

A mob is a non-player character (NPC) or monster in a computer role-playing game (especially MUDs and MMORPGs). It is widely accepted as being short for mobile object or simply mobile, stemming from its use in the earliest text-based MUDs, and is commonly written either mob or MOB (the latter more often considered an acronym of Movable Object Block, a term for any on-screen moving object, or sprite)

Long story short, they're saying Bantha's won't attack your Dancer, no matter how close you walk to them now. They weren't talking about player killers.

Re:Thank You (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045546)

Yeah, wouldn't it be great to hear something like that from a company like SONY?!?

Re:Thank You (1)

Acius (828840) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045627)

Ironically, if I were to name names, the first one that comes to mind is Sony and their disastrously anti-consumer copy protection system. Star Wars Galaxies is MADE by Sony, albeit a different division. This is what we call "black humor."

Re:Thank You (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045738)

You obviously have never played a SOE game. They F up all the time, or with-hold information from players...then come out with the "oops we are sorry" card. EQ me once, shame on you. EQ2 me twice, shame on me.

Never again will I touch a SOE product...or any product John Smedley touches.

Hmmmm (1)

j0nkatz (315168) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045355)

Post first I will!

Not far enough (5, Interesting)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045377)

"Absolutely! We're going to be offering free trials for download (or at retail stores) in addition to the all-new Starter Pack. "

I am a former long-time SWG customer (6+ months). There were many broken promises within that timeframe. I have no motivation as a former customer to seek out a free trial and attempt to become 'addicted' again.

Sony needs to pony up and offer an economic incentive to resubscribe. Free month for former subscribers, half-price 3 month subscription, etc.

A short trial isn't enough to bring unhappy customers back.

6+ Months isn't "longterm" (1, Informative)

cnelzie (451984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045780)

Try 2 years and 5 months.

    That's how long I have been playing and in that time the game has grown by leaps and bounds. I like the Combat Upgrade change, but I love the NGE change even more.

    Star Wars Galaxies is going to keep getting better, but if MMORPGs aren't your thing, then they aren't your thing.

Re:6+ Months isn't "longterm" (1)

siraim (473110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045980)

I'm in the same boat. I took the day off on launch day to play and suffered through all of the subscription issues at launch. I played a class that was ignored until just before the NGE updates (Ranger) and think that with some GUI tweaks the NGE will be the most enjoyable version of SWG yet, even with my class blinking out of existence.

Two Words (-1, Flamebait)

wordisms (624668) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045403)

Boycott Sony

Amazing (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045411)

He actually answered the hard hitting questions pretty straight forward, AND admitted their mistakes!

Although I'm a little confused by his answer to responding to questions on the forums. If he had responded, and they had community reps who WERE diligent, why would people be complaining about it to the degree they are and in the numbers they are?

Re:Amazing (4, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045494)

<jedi hand wave>"There are no unhappy neglected customers on the forum</jedi hand wave.">
"Whaddya talkin' about, there are TONS of neglected unhappy customers on the forum!"

Apparently Jedi mind tricks don't work reliably on SlashHutts.

Re:Amazing (5, Funny)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045616)

Perhaps it is because of the malformed XML.

Re:Amazing (2, Insightful)

CoderBob (858156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045505)

why would people be complaining about it to the degree they are and in the numbers they are?

Because 94.53% (Pulled from OutOfMyAss.com) of the people on MMORPG forums are people who are obsessed with seeing their words on the forum and bitch no matter what happens. For every person they make happy, they piss off someone else.

The people who are happy won't be on the forums bitching, so it skews the numbers: if 123/150 people on a forum, say, are complaining, that looks bad. If 123/12348 people that are actually playing the game are complaining, that's not horrendous. It's not great, but it's not horrible, especially in an environment where people seem to feel the need to "be the best" instead of just enjoying a damn game.

Add all this up with the entitlement that many MMORPG players feel they deserve, and you get a bunch of people bitching about everything, tying up the reps time, and making getting anything accomplished that much more difficult.

No he didn't ... (1)

SuperRob (31516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045507)

"He actually answered the hard hitting questions pretty straight forward, AND admitted their mistakes!"

Given the recent bad press surrounding some of Sony's intrusive software, what changes, if any, are you planning for the copy-protection and cheat-prevention aspects of the game's software. During these change-overs, are you planning on putting in any special software that will monitor the users, and/or software that will attempt to prevent copying the game? Can you guarantee that such software will not "cross the line" and do things not directly related protecting the game itself?

John Smedley: No. We are a subscription-based service, and therefore this isn't necessary.

Doesn't sound like a straight-forward response to me. He only partially answered the question, and not the part that anyone cared about!

Re:No he didn't ... (1)

SquadBoy (167263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045799)

Sony is a large multinational and technically speaking one company.

Having said this to think of it as such would be a huge mistake. In any company that size the link between divisions is tenuous to say the least. And they really should be thought of as different companies.

Before the current thing one of the best examples was the disconnect between their movie division and their hardware division. Even as the movie division was making noises about region coding their hardware division was selling what, at that time, was one of the few non-region coded DVD players on the market.

So long story short. The games division has never been really evil while the music division has always been really evil.

Thus his answer. "No we are not going to do these things cause we know all our money is made in subscritptions." The fact that the music side did really has little to nothing to do with the games side.

Re:No he didn't ... (1)

HardCase (14757) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045807)

Doesn't sound like a straight-forward response to me. He only partially answered the question, and not the part that anyone cared about!

Question: During these change-overs, are you planning on putting in any special software that will monitor the users, and/or software that will attempt to prevent copying the game?

Answer: No.

Question: Can you guarantee that such software will not "cross the line" and do things not directly related protecting the game itself?

Implied Answer: Since we're not putting in any special software to "monitor the users, and/or software that will attempt to preven copying the game", there will be no "such software" to "cross the line".

Pretty straightforward.

-h-

Re:No he didn't ... (1)

SuperRob (31516) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046551)

You read a LOT into that answer. The way I read it, he stated that copy-protection methods were unnecessary due to the subscription nature of the game. He completely (and rightly) ignored the entire rest of the question. I can't blame him, it's really not his place to say, but at the same time, praising him for being so open when he completely ignores a question is a bit silly.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045686)

They always admit the mistakes, once called onto the carpet about them.

Yet it means nothing, because they keep making them.

Re:Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045905)

"There are long threads that I've started myself on our forums" Thats what Smedley said, well hes flat out talking BS

Here are Mr. Smedley's forum stats:
User Statistics
Date Registered05-03-200504:11 PM
Date Last Visited11-12-200508:51 AM
Total Posts1

1 Post thats all hes done and thats to let us know about this mess called the NGE

Re:Amazing (1)

garylian (870843) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046096)

I would hardly call those answers. He gave PR responses.

Sony had one of the biggest names to draw upon, much like Blizzard did with Warcraft. With new Star Wars movies coming out, SW:G could have been king of the world. The fact that it isn't speaks volumes about the quality of the game. The bottom line is that SW:G just wasn't that much fun to play.

Now, if they make it actually fun, how many folks are going to go back, or play the trial? Not a whole heck of a lot. They are all playing WoW, or waiting for DDO, or some other game to come out, but the majority won't waste their time. In a nutshell, you are betatesting for them while having to pay for it (after those 10 days).

Kinda like Blizzard did with WoW. Oh, wait...It's still in beta, right?

I can't believe he said that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045440)

Can you guarantee that such software will not "cross the line" and do things not directly related protecting the game itself?

John Smedley:

No. We are a subscription-based service, and therefore this isn't necessary.


It's absolutely fucking necessary. Why can't he guarantee it?

Re:I can't believe he said that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045504)

He did. He didn't say it's not necessary to make guarantees, he said that kind of invasive DRM isn't necessary on a subscription-based game since most of the important data resides on the server. You can copy the SWG client software till the cows come home, but unless you have a valid unique account key to create a play account on a server the software doesn't do jack for you, thus there's no need to weigh down the client software with elaborate copy protection schemes.

Re:I can't believe he said that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045579)

I've been trying to decide if your trying to be funny, or you really have that low of reading comprehension. Siding on the latter, quotes out of context rarely give the whole picture.

shifting the focus of his answer I believe it's more realistic that he was answering the following section.

"During these change-overs, are you planning on putting in any special software that will monitor the users, and/or software that will attempt to prevent copying the game?"

Re:I can't believe he said that (1)

jsmedley (852943) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046956)

It never ceases to amaze me how people will interpret something that's pretty clear. No - we aren't putting in any special software to prevent people from copying the game. It's totally unneccessary in a subscription based game. This is exactly why the online gaming industry is a very viable option in China right now.. piracy just isn't an issue. John Smedley President, Sony Online Entertainment jsmedley@soe.sony.com

Re:I can't believe he said that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045633)

If only you had read the whole thing (yeah, I know...), you'd have noticed the 'no' was meant for the first question, meaning they don't need to add anti-copying crap since they are subscription-based. Only one simultaneous session per login and that's it, since there is no offline play...

AWSOME (-1, Troll)

bchapp (905116) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045495)

"The awsomeness of our awsome changes make this awsome game even awsomer"

Re:AWSOME (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045638)

Awesomeness is so awesome in this awesome game where you can be awesome, awesome awesome film film film film awesome film awesome star wars! ACK!

Ugh, more "you'll like it, trust me" lipservice (1)

dingfriesaredone (931558) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045498)

Ugh, this is utterly ridiculous. I played SWG for about 6 months from release and in that the playing experience quickly went downhill with every new "upgrade" that sony came up with. I currently play on one of the many free Lineage 2 servers and the play experience only gets better with time. This is more than likely due to the admin staff having to keep the player base happy in order to survive on donations and perhaps make a little coin to boot. It's amazing what kind of gaming experience you can get when your gaming provider actually listens to their loyal customer base. Unfortunately it seems sony is both deaf and retarded.

I loved this game (0, Offtopic)

MURD3R3R (691512) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045510)

And now it is so completely different. I am a vet at this game, and have worked long and hard collecting resources to craft medicine, which I cannot do anymore, I have collected extremely rare skill attachments, which I cannot use anymore, and worked hard to build up a strong Jedi which is now the laughing stock of the game. This is an all new game, and one which is buggy and not fun. This game is buggy beyond any I have ever seen. The mission terminals in the city I live in no longer give out good missions and are worthless, items in my inventory have bugged in numerous ways making me attempt to reset them every time I log in, and the general gameplay is just BUGGY, getting stuck in combat mode, not getting xp, not being able to complete quests. Crafting is bugged because some schematics require pre-enhancement upgrade items, which cannot be made anymore! This game had so much promise when I first started playing it 2 years ago. Battlefields and bases were holding promise of an ever expanding war, which never happened. Patches were pushed through to balance issues that were not wanted or asked for, and therefore introducing TONS of bugs in the process. The game I once loved was destroyed, not with just this latest upgrade patch, but back at the first patch called the CU. Now the game is just unplayable, literally. It is bugged so bad, it cannot be played. I do not recommend this game to anyone. I am a serious gamer, and have been my whole life. I know when I see a good game, and I do not see one in Star Wars Galaxies anymore. The game is beyond repair, and I mean it, it is bugged bad. The game might be better if it wasn't so buggy. But with 3 *complete* overhauls, the game is destroyed.

Buggy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045886)


This is an all new game, and one which is buggy and not fun. This game is buggy beyond any I have ever seen. The mission terminals in the city I live in no longer give out good missions and are worthless, items in my inventory have bugged in numerous ways making me attempt to reset them every time I log in, and the general gameplay is just BUGGY, getting stuck in combat mode, not getting xp, not being able to complete quests. Crafting is bugged because some schematics require pre-enhancement upgrade items, which cannot be made anymore! This game had so much promise when I first started playing it 2 years ago. Battlefields and bases were holding promise of an ever expanding war, which never happened. Patches were pushed through to balance issues that were not wanted or asked for, and therefore introducing TONS of bugs in the process. The game I once loved was destroyed, not with just this latest upgrade patch, but back at the first patch called the CU. Now the game is just unplayable, literally. It is bugged so bad, it cannot be played. I do not recommend this game to anyone. I am a serious gamer, and have been my whole life. I know when I see a good game, and I do not see one in Star Wars Galaxies anymore. The game is beyond repair, and I mean it, it is bugged bad. The game might be better if it wasn't so buggy.

But what I want to know is, is the game buggy?

(And if the marklar marklared the marklar.)

what a steaming pile of crap (1)

jt418-93 (450715) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045530)

smedly is an idiot. the game is going down in flames. the only good thing you will read anywhere are by soe employees posting them. jedi is broken, you must buy the new expansion to level, there are no quests for characters > level 30.

the new targeting system is a crack monkey's idea of a joke. read the forums and see the death of swg. i was there from launch in 03, and canceled my accounts today.

the game is dead

Levels? (1)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045567)

Woa when I played SWG( Launch) there wasnt any levels...when did this happen? It was all XP based per-skill. I might give it a go, becuase im EFFIN tired of DAOC :( ...can't get groups and theres no social community in place to make new friends... Looking forward to darkandlight, and itl ooks like settlers of garaneth will come out on the 17th

Re:Levels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045750)

I call B.S. I'm on Gareth, a DAoC clasic server, and there are plenty of groups to run wih in both RvR and PvE. As far as a way to meet people, go out into the frontiers and just find some people to mob with, unless you do stupid shit, people tend to invite you.

I've gained 250,000 RP's and hit CL 5 in past week, so it can't be too hard to find people to run with, I'm not even in a guild.

Re:Levels? (1)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046035)

i play mid gareth and hib guin - typically the night goes like this Log on get a group die to gank group group disbands look for a group get a group die to gank group group joins zerg zerg doesnt find any targets or do anything productive group dwindles or zerg gets wiped group disbands try to group ...everyones got a skald, except for the group with no seers and 1 spot left that wants speed (no god damn it i will not group with you) try to solo get killed by 3-8 stealthers that are 100% invisible alt tab, ctrl alt delete, end process I dont even wait the 50 seconds to /quit

Re:Levels? (1)

siraim (473110) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046036)

With the first Combat Upgrade, SOE introduced the concept of levels to SWG. It was a combat level, not an experience level. CLs ranged from 1 - 80. CLs were determined by the professions you progressed through and was a fairly accurate rating of your ability to kill mobs.

The NGE maintained the level concept but it is more straight-forward now. There are only 9 professions, instead of 34. Like other MMOs, your profession is set once chosen and there are defined experience levels to progress through. At certain hallmark levels, you are granted skills and items.

It's far more simplistic and easy see where you're going.

Re:Levels? (1)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046138)

yikes. I saw that CH was going away...scarey... I was gona be a CH Smuggler originally...got to the highest CH before i quit

But now that they've made these massive changes (4, Funny)

Viper Daimao (911947) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045589)

can I shoot Greedo first?

Re:But now that they've made these massive changes (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045787)

For the most part, you have to.

It's "bad" that Han shoot first, yet this game is loaded with people going out looking for people to shoot first. Yes, you could be lame and wait for them to start running at you, but realistically, you shoot when they're still just standing there.

I played for a good 6-8 months as a dancer/pistoleer. Yeah, pistoleer sucked, but I wasn't in it for the combat, anyway. Eventually the dancing got tired (loved the outfits, too!) and left. This was two months after the Jump to Lightspeed, which I refused to buy.

As a casual player (read no more than 20 hours a week) I was never gonna unlock the Jedi slot, and even if I did, the astounding amounts of grinding required for little return (had buddies who bragged of soloing a Jedi player -- I thought they were supposed to be able to take on 2-3 other players?) would have prevented me from getting much progress.

I may actually re-activate again just to try the Jedi slot (may dump my dancer's points into it in a respec, if that's possible). Yeah, I heard the Jedi are even wimpier now, no more powerful than any other melee class, but I guess I can fantasize I have power, even if I end up like the green Twilek Jedi chick in Revenge of the Sith, cut down easily by regular troops.

What about the Flash and IE-only forums? (1, Troll)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045601)

And although it's a little late to be asking this now, what's with the Flash 8 crap on the new website?

You guys at SOE allergic to HTML or something?

For another interesting experience, why do the forums at http://forums.station.sony.com/swg [sony.com] report a "server error" when you try to read them on Mozilla (with or without Javascript, with or without cookies), but work fine on IE?

Re:What about the Flash and IE-only forums? (1)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045667)

the abovel ink works fine for me (shrug) Flash 8 fixes a critical security bug in flash in all prior versions...Microsoft even posted an advisory about it... heres macro medias' http://www.macromedia.com/devnet/security/security _zone/mpsb05-07.html [macromedia.com]

Re:What about the Flash and IE-only forums? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045713)

why do the forums at http://forums.station.sony.com/swg [sony.com] report a "server error" when you try to read them on Mozilla (with or without Javascript, with or without cookies), but work fine on IE?

Because Mozilla sucks, Star Wars sucks and you suck. IE rules and you just need to face facts, cry baby. Have a nice day.

Re:What about the Flash and IE-only forums? (1)

cerebis (560975) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045786)

Works for me on Linux using Firefox 1.07, Mozilla 1.7, (and Epiphany and Konqueror for good measure).

Yah might hav'a problem with yah engines laddie.
(Pirate or Scotty voice, take your pick)

Re:What about the Flash and IE-only forums? (1)

NumenMaster (618275) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045989)

Yeah same here. Firefox and konqueror utilizing kubuntu 5.10 breezy. no issues on any of the site's pages.

Usual SOE SWG speak (3, Interesting)

portwojc (201398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045663)

Everything is " fine " come back you'll like it...

Simply put: We made a mistake in the way we communicated everything happening within the game to our current players, and we apologize for it.

Translation. They had the CU go into place just before Rage of the Wookies. I canceled my expansion and I'm sure others did too. Now they learned. Hold out till after the latest round of extra dough comes in. Then turn the game upside down.

I'll come back only when SOE isn't in charge of it. It's funny the rest of us can see it they just can't.

Oh by the way SOE if you hadn't released the game 6-12 months early you wouldn't be in this mess right now. Everyone else takes a step back to do it right and look what they have.

Re:Usual SOE SWG speak (2, Insightful)

soundvessel (899042) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046423)

Give them a fucking break. The game came out in the early days of MMORPGs and they bit off more than they could chew at the time. There isn't a single MMO right now that isn't plagued with problems, but the early ones (UO, SWG, AO) all had the uphill battle of defining the genre. SWG, while I haven't even played it (yet), seems to have tried to offer an experience that was much larger and more involved than any of the others at its time.

Given that they've had an attrition of players due to some mismanagement of the game--which they've fessed up to--, the logical budget they can even allocate to managing the game and its various fixes, necessary adjustments in reaction to the way players play the game, and other philosophical concerns, it was imperative that they make some changes to the original structure of the game, or let it die. Which doesn't make an sound business sense.

There will be another Star Wars MMORPG after SWG. It's inevitable. LucasArts is probably already drawing up the plans for it; it'll take place in a different time period, perhaps even a different world of the universe. The implementation will be much different. But Sony's efforts at making and managing this game will set a precedent for what the new game will accomplish, what it will fix, and the limitations they set on the world.

impressed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045714)

Good answers. I've been considering getting into a subscription mmorpg when my internet connection gets fixed. There's only two I'm realy interested by - galaxies and wow. I've heard good things about wow's gameplay, and nothing but bad things about blizzard and administration in general. The difference between these and the blizzard Q&A from a while back is clear, and will be a factor in my decision.

Two Years Here (5, Interesting)

ddx Christ (907967) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045809)

This guy is just talking out of his ass. The only way to describe Star Wars Galaxies is perhaps through an overnight liquid culture of e.coli. It started off buggy and lacking content, then shot up exponentially over the next few months. These were times when I had the greatest amount of fun and I eventually reached that "alpha-class" of Jedi. That was fun too. But definitely not the highest point. It was much more fun to group with a bunch of buddies, go out into the middle of nowhere and discover something new. "Hey look, a cave!" and there'd be a whole area full of droids in the middle of what was a desert.

After the Jump To Lightspeed expansion, all subsequent expansions started looking more and more like money-making schemes that provided little to no content. ToOW was just to have a large renewal of subscriptions and to lock in players for the NGE. He is not sorry. He knows only the most furious customers will actually seek and attain a refund; others will be locked in from uncertainty.

I'm sorry but there just isn't an excuse for changing the game overnight aside from making it a dumbed down version to port over to consoles. After the "combat upgrade" SWG just started to follow a cookie-cutter path until the eventual complete and utter downfall: NGE. They took all the unique aspects out of the game and made it SUCK because they have no idea what they're doing and most of all they fail to listen to their unhappy customers (these changes negatively affected gameplay).

I will never recommend a game by SOE. A Christmas or two ago I would have said it was the best MMORPG I've played. Now I'm looking for a new home, possibly DnL. Good thing the NGE came, though. Now I can finish these college applications.

"Rage of the Wookies"? (2, Funny)

Animats (122034) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045852)

From the people who brought you the Star Wars Holiday Special [bluntproductions.com] - Rage of The Wookies!

We'll be back with "The Return of Jar-Jar" after these messages.

The population problem (ie. server merge) (5, Interesting)

Om (5281) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045885)



I went back to SWG after having played it when it came out. The cities were bustling with people. Theed was truly a hang out. I remember walking into the tavern, and there would be so many people dancing, playing instruments, giving table dances, etc, that you couldn't even find a seat.

I went back a few months ago, and saw that everywhere was a ghost town. It was flat out sad. The taverns were empty, save for a few NPC. The city streets were deserted. I stood in front of the once bustling Starport in Theed and could hear my own voice echoing across the pavement.

The problem now is that the servers need to merge. Plain and simple. The problem that Sony faces, is that the design of the game prohibits this. When a game dwindles in population, merging servers is the only way to cluster the remaining people back together so they can actually feel like they are playing an MMOG. Sony, however, cannot do this easily. With the (awesome) ability to place your own house anywhere, and create your own player-made cities, this brings to the front an entirely unique problem.

If you merge servers, what do you do about the cities that overlap? What about people's houses? Who's house takes precidence? Should we just convert everyone's property into items in their bank and have them start all over? Would this piss anyone off?

So yeah, SWG is in deperate need to merge their player base! If they can figure out a way to cut their servers by half (at least), and get people back together (and i'm not talking just together in one particular city), then I'll definitely give it another shot. As it stands now, it's just a sad place to run around in.

++Om

Re:The population problem (ie. server merge) (1)

jefftp (35835) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046262)

They could provide in-game incentives for characters to move to another server. I would guess the server architecture is such that as the population moves they could adjust the number of servers in the server clusters.

Impressed (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14045977)

This is one of the least 'marketing oriented' responses I think I've seen from a game company in a long time (if you take into consideration the dribble we normally see from game companies, particularly online games).

I can understand where some of the existing players would be upset by the changes, but you have to admit something had to be wrong with the game. Star Wars is one of the most well known IP's in the world, and just the game's player base hovers at around 250k, a fraction of the subscribers of the top online games?

For those looking to switch (0)

havoc (22870) | more than 8 years ago | (#14045979)

I can't say enough good things about WOW :) It sounds like SWG had a good idea but terrible follow through. Now they are just trying to make another WOW. I love the game play in WOW, but I think I would want a bit more out of SWG. Maybe Blizzard can pull off a StarCraft MMOG and WOW could be a subset in the StarCraft Galaxy:) That would be awesome!

SOE in General (1)

ViolaPlayer (844160) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046147)

After 4+ years of EverQuest (first with Verant, later SOE), these lines seemed familiar. PR with very little understanding of the player base or game play experience. I still can't decide if Sony is really lacking in creativity and intelligence or just honestly does not care about its' customers (as evidenced by the extremely poor communication mentioned earlier). I suspect it is all of the above.

Back to Anarchy Online, since I will NEVER buy another Sony product, of any kind, ever again.

Pally powah!

Re:For those looking to switch (4, Insightful)

GroovyChk (640592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046761)

I tried WoW for awhile but cancelled it. No player cites, no houses, limited crafting, and yet another fantasy game. I have loved Star Wars since I was a little girl of nine. I just want them to fix the classic SWG game. Pre-hologrind.

If you want the truth (2, Interesting)

Ahmunhotep (931568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046075)

John Smedley:
There are long threads that I've started myself on our forums, but we have community representatives that are answering questions diligently on our forums already, and I'm very involved in what's being said. I'm trying to get the word out in other venues and we know that Slashdot has a wide reach into the online gamer audience in general and the SWG community. Btw, I try to personally answer all of the emails from our players that are written to me and I get a fair number of them each day from our players.

Where? I have not seen long threads that he has started. What I see are long threads begging SoE to do things differently from their paying player base that go unheeded.

John Smedley:
This is a really good question, and I think goes to the heart of why we made these changes. The name "Star Wars" carries with it a lot of expectations, and from the research we've done, we weren't delivering enough of the core Star Wars experience to people.

Show us the research if you have done any. Well we definately are not getting our expectations now.

John Smedley:
Remember, SWG takes place right in the middle of the Galactic Civil War! We felt like we needed to focus on the core iconic professions rather than 34 different professions that weren't unique enough. It just made the game too hard for us to add content to and to balance properly. We finally saw the forest from the trees on this and made the right move.

Weren't unique enough?? You could put together nearly any combination you wanted to. How does 9 based on Star Wars Characters make them any more unique? You went from a system where a player could mix and match as much as they liked to a system where EVERY character of any one chosen profession is EXACTLY alike.

You have also said that in the 'coming months" a second character slot would be added. It seems I remember a comment which amounted to the same thing.. that was the revamp for Rangers and Smugglers and that promise was made 2 years ago. I will believe it when I see it.

As for making the right move, I do not think you would know the right move if it walked up and bit you in the ass.

IF you want the real truth about what is going on with SWG I suggest you go to sites who have reviewed SWG post NGE, or better yet come and visit the Official SWG forums. There you will find out how much we "love" the NGE. Sure there are the usual SoE fanboys but I think you will find the comments overwhelingly negative. Hey, I have an idea maybe SoE and Mr. Smedley should conduct some research.....from thier own player base, that would definately be something new and exciting. Something needs to be new and exciting because what has been done to SWG surely is not.

GG SOE (1)

aleatory_story (862072) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046171)

I've played more than a healthy amount of SOE games (EQ, EQ2, PlanetSide, SWG). Among all of these titles, SOE has consistently contradicted themselves through changes that go against their previous "philosophy" of the game's design. However, nothing even compares to this new SWG change. I played it last night, and it is the most bizarre thing I have ever encountered in a MMO. Upon logging into my character, I was asked to select an "iconic" Star Wars class, based off of popular characters--each class with a photo of these characters next to them, just in case anyone playing the game wasn't quite sure of the names. Additionally, you can "preview" the class, and watch an extremely corny gameplay video that looks laughably like a bad movie trailer. Combat is like some pseudo-action console game with horrible controls. It's so bad, it's hard to even imagine what the developers were thinking when they released this. The engine was not made for this kind of gameplay. Now, the most important question is: When does Vanguard come out?

SWG is dead. This is a new game for PS3. (1)

GroovyChk (640592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046177)

Been playing for almost two and a half years... crafter, merchant. I loved this game. It captured my attention and kept it. Since the CU I have played less and less. Most of my friends have quit. I logged in to play yesterday and spent a significant part of the session just trying to learn how to do simple stuff. The new interface sucks and is, as someone previously mentioned, obviously dumbed down for a console port. I expect a "surprise" announcement soon or in conjunction with PS3 launch. They have mercilessly forgotten and short-shifted crafters. We've been combined into a few crappy professions. Sexist even (domestic branch for tailor, combined with chef.) Obviously they don't give a shit about any women that play. Combat combat combat combat combat combat combat combat. That's all they freaking care about. The twitchy teenage boy gamer. Conversion from crafter to combat gets you nothing (we are level one in the new system since we didn't have combat skills. Combat pros can convert to master crafters no problem though). No Elder titles for us (as was promised to all previous Master professions). And merchants... wow they screwed us on that too.So many items that are converted into useless crap. Things that you buy off vendors that convert into NOTHING. No decay. Buy once keep forever. I'm a paying customer with four accounts - for two and a half years. I want my game back.

The Rise and Fall of Star Wars Galaxies (5, Insightful)

Lord Kaio (687564) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046259)

I played Galaxies for over a year since it's initial launch and I was pleased that it seemed to be moving in the right direction from the start. At the beginning there was nothing, lots of open ground, not much to do, so many bugs and it was almost all on foot. I have to give them credit though because alot of the server related bugs were cleared up, they added in Player Cities, Creature Mounts, Vehicles, tons of items for in your house and some minor quest materials. I was more than happy just hanging out with my friends in game, flying around on a planet, just watching a family of Rancors from the top of a hill. It felt nice not having to worry about levels like many other MMO's. I was working on a Creature Handler/Pistoleer/Medic template so I could have a pet tank for me while being able to damage from range all the while healing myself and my pet. It was a great solo template...keyword being was.

Then the changes started happening. The biggest change was that they rushed the Jedi making experience out into the world. When we all first started, there was no guide on how to make your character into a Jedi. Sure there were tons of theories, but none were proven true. Then finally, one person came forth and had ascended into being a Jedi. While I'd like to think that it's just coincidence, I doubt that the whole Jedi path was being independently explored at the same time and finished within days of each other on other servers. Soon enough, word was out that if you mastered 5 (I think it was 5 at the time) of the professions that were randomly determined for you at character creation, you could become a Jedi as well. Thus, the grind began. The numbers of players never seemed higher, but the number of people truly "playing" dropped incredibly. People were taking advantage of the macro system to master the social classes in hours. Cantinas were filled with AFK dancers and musicians spamming their specials. Crafters were flooding the Bazaars (think auction houses in data terminal style) with goods that they were making in mass quantities to fly through a profession. Harvesters were everywhere, houses went up for storage more than anything else. This led to an economic collapse, driving most of the "true" crafters to close up shop and leave since the market was flooded with cheap mass produced goods that kept prices low.

Instead of trying to slow this influx of people trying to become Jedi, SOE decided to help everyone by revealing that Holocrons (rare drops in game) could be used to tell you the next profession you need to master. So holocron prices jumped into the millions of credits and "Holo-grinding" was born. To make matters worse, for Christmas, everyone received at LEAST 2 holocrons, some somehow managed to get 4 (single character per server, so no alts sharing holos). There were crafty people though that would use an alt on another server to trade to someone to get their alt's holos on their main server. Everything focused on the holos and the quest to be a jedi.

Well, if you don't know already, it worked, Jedi started popping up everywhere. While most people thought that a Jedi should be a hermit and secretive, you'd see them walk into crowded cantinas and pull out their lightsaber to the "Oooo's" and "Aaah's" of the crowd. Most people pushed for massive experience loss on Jedi Death, or even Permadeath (i.e. start your jedi from padawan). What did the Jedi's get punished with? Item decay like the rest of us in the long run, and with this new patch, nothing.

Now that Jedi are covered, lets talk about PvP. Galaxies always felt like it needed PvP, Imperials vs. Rebels is the perfect backdrop when racial and class differences are the same on either side of the fence. The problem was that classes weren't balanced at all. A Teras Kasi Artist (Think Monk from EQ) could go into a den of Rancors and emerge unscathed carrying a full pack of Rancor teeth and hide. My lowly Creature Handler/Pistoleer/Medic template let me take on one at a time, but I'd be ripped a new one should I aggro a whole pack of them. The biggest trouble with PvP though was the 3 HAM bars (Health, Action, Mind). If any of them were depleted, you were incapacitated which was one step above death and usually death was swift to follow. Health and action could be healed, mind could not. Guess where this is going...if a class has something that targets mind specifically, they ruled in PvP. I could go into more detail, but that alone was what fed the PvP indifferences (besides Teras Kasi just kicking all ass while almost never being hit). After they attempted to fix some classes, Combat Medic came up as the next uber PvP because their disease/poison was so powerful that it could kill an entire group in a volley. Bounty Hunters came under the microscope as well since they had Eye Shot which depleted mind along with another special that set you aflame...that didn't just go away. You had to find water...even on Tatooine, you had to be near water to save yourself from a flaming special. They eventually put in "Fire Blankets" that a doctor could use on you, but it took so much of their mind to use it and chances are you didn't have a doctor with you all the time.

So I left...I was sad and I came back a few times to check on friends, but the ground game had got out of hand for me. There were uber templates with everyone in the same armor (Composite) and there was dwindling numbers of grinders so many of the professions were fading away. I don't know what they mean when they said that they weren't losing subscribers because entire player cities turned into ghost towns as time progressed. I decided to go back when they did the reviled "Combat Revamp" and I quit within the first week of paying for another month. Before, an AT-ST could kick your ass unless you were a Commando with some heavy weapons. A good group was needed to bring one down. After this combat revamp, I solo'd 2 at once...Yeah, me...soloing 2 AT-STs at the same time. That was enough to seal its fate for me.

Until yesterday... I decide to see how they changed it all now, I reinstall, wait all night for patches, put up with an SoB CSR from SoE (hehe, I 3 abbreviations) and finally got it all set to play. I go to click play, program crashes. Reboot. Program crashes. Full file scan, reboot, full scan, crashes, crashes, crashes. So I check the forum, and I find out that I'm not alone, lots of people have this issue...yet there's no work around posted. I figure it's something with the latest patch...no...this problem started back before Oct. with almost every forum entry pleading for help because they can't play. I e-mailed SoE tech support and still no reply. I reinstalled DX9.0c, closed every other program, did a clean startup, checked for spyware/malware (got none, thank you firefox), reinstalled, deleted configs and registry entries...same problem EVERY time. Who knows, I might have liked these new changes, I might have come back. But when the LAUNCHPAD can't even get the game to open without crashing on a system that it was running on months ago, and there are others plagued by the same problem with no help, why else would you be losing customers to a superior game like WoW. Sure it's had it's share of bugs, but from my experience with it, they actually tend to fix things and help players out.

You dropped the ball SoE :-( That makes me sad because I loved the old Galaxies before the Jedi rush, before the Combat Upgrade, before the expansions that failed to address the old problems and just created new ones, before your chat rooms were moderated (i.e. silent), before the link to your support page from the launchpad going to a 404 error, before the launchpad crashes before the game has a chance to load, before all of that...where you were going with it was magnificent, a few acts of class balancing and we would've all been happy, but you had to try to distract us until you could just change it all around. Seeing that the combat upgrade must've failed with players, you resorted to wiping it away as well to come out with this. Sigh...where can I find a SWG Server Emulator, I miss my old place near Anchorhead :-(

Sigh...R.I.P. Star Wars Galaxies...your potential was never met and now you're on your deathbed... :-(

Wrath of the MMORPG nerds! (1, Insightful)

copenja (840759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046303)

John S. should be fearful, because nothing in the internet is as fearsome as the wrath of a bitter MMORPG nerd!!!!!!!! These guys are bunch of super pissed-off dudes! Messing with them is like stirring up a hornets nest. It's just isn't a good idea.

Been playing since October of 2003 and... (1)

SlashDPC (931574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046346)

I've seen the game go down hill. SWG has always had potential, SOE is just to stupid to realize how to handle it. The CU fixed a lot of the issues w/ the game while creating alot of issues in the process(OMG, what a suprise!). Now, the game is just plain crappy. What the first poster said is correct. This is nothing more then PR bullcrap. We've seen this so many times in the past, it means nothing now. Keep on trying SOE, you'll all be out of a job in 2 months anyways. Slash on Gorath Account expires in 2 days

What bullshit answers (1)

Snaller (147050) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046402)

If you don't want to answer why don't you just say no - ooh right, that would require integrity.

Re:What bullshit answers (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046588)

Well, as for me the answers were very nice.

Conversion from Official to Nerd:

Freebies? Yes, we do. That's nothing special, just happens.
OS X? Sorry, too expensive.
Start over? And discard perfectly good engine, no.
DRM? Won't do.
Late announcement? We screwed royally, we'll try to fix as far as we can. Not a thing you hear from marketoid!
Why /. not forums? But we do forums too! (and the aforementioned screwup would be just the same)
Few non-violent classes? Fuck you, we want the game to be fun, not to force players to nurse your kid.
Trial versions? Yes.
Why not fix bugs instead? The previous game was screwed up on the design level, made unmaintainable, can't be just fixed. We scrap all that was broken in the design and leave only relatively good engine.

I wish other intervievees answered so honestly.

Re:What bullshit answers (1)

GroovyChk (640592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046696)

Few non-violent classes? Fuck you, we want the game to be fun, not to force players to nurse your kid.

How bout F you and all those that think as you do. Or does only your fun matter? How about mine?

Re:What bullshit answers (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046801)

Go find some other, less violent game, sissy. There are quite a few. This one is going to be violent, just because we think it will make it fun.

Re:What bullshit answers (1)

GroovyChk (640592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046917)

This is a new game for the twitchy teenage boy-types like yourself. I loved the old game and have been playing it for almost two and a half years. And yeah, you could call me a sissy, I'm female you idiot troll.

I too am an ex-junkie (1)

caffeinatedOnline (926067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046706)

I bought SWG when it first came out, and seriously (40+ hours a week) played it for over a year. With each new 'change' that Sony enacted, they would add 1 or 2 'neat' things, but remove just as many if not more. Through out the time that I played, the communication to the player base was beyond horrible. I remember 3-4 day waits on in-game customer service tickets, including being stuck in geometry and missing items from known bugs.

Still, there was the call of the 'jedi' that kept me playing. At first, no one knew how to unlock the vaunted jedi slot. Sony was mum on the subject, and the rumors and speculations were enough to keep a browser window open to the forums, if only for the entertainment value.

Many players remember the release of the holocrons, the first real hint as to how to unlock the jedi. After chasing hermits around the desert, collecting badges based on the oh-so-rare spawn of a certian encounter, this was it? Become a master so-and-so? All this hype, the entire star wars universe at your hands to come up with a method of unlocking the best class in the game, and all Sony could come up with was a grind? Not only a lame method, but 6+ months into the game before the files for the jedi were even introduced to the client? Many people, including me, took this as Sony's way of releasing the game without the jedi content, and quickly coming up with something when the player population really started demanding some answers.

I stuck with it, and after more mouse clicks building walls, doing dance moves, customizing droids, and changing hair styles, I finally saw on my screen the words "You have become force sensitive". OMG... Looking back on it now, it must have been comical for my wife as I screamed in joy, jumping around the room, dancing in extacy.

Once I set up my jedi account, and made my first light saber, I remember the envious comments of my friends and guildmates as I showed them the glowing purple stick. Finally, I had made it to the end game!!

Then I actually started to play with the jedi character. It was the worst experience I have ever had in a MMORPG. Mind you, I bought and tried to play Anarchy Online the first day it came out. The system was horrible, the amount of experience you needed was absurd, and half of the jedi powers were bugged. Not only that, but to make a lightsaber, which wore down at an alarming rate, you needed either a rare drop from a Krayt dragon, or a rare drop crystal. And even if you found a crystal, you were never assured that it was a good crystal, as more then half caused stat loss.

Jedi was a disappointment. What was touted as the ultimate character on the game, ended up as the worst. My wife got pregnant, I got responsibilities, and some guy in France got my jedi off e-bay for $1600.

Why I quit SWG, and why I might return to it. (1)

bullterror (412884) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046762)

I'm not big into massive rpgs, but I've been an avid star wars fan and gamer for about 10 years. The tragegdy of the prequel trilogy was off-putting, but there are still plenty of cool star wars experiences if you ignore the new movies (I'll admit EP3 was pretty decent) Anyone who is into RPGs should definately checkout knights of the old republic 1, it has an incredible story.

I started playing SWG. I built up my character from 0 to master smuggler. Then as it turned out, master smuggler sucked, so I went master commando. To get to master, it required weeks of killing NPCs. Player vs. player combat didn't get you anywhere. I quickly found out that the jedi in the game were so powerful it took a team of bounty hunters to take them down, and they all had the maturity of 13 year olds, which I'm sure they were. Jedi sucked. Then I tried the galactic civil war, I joined the rebels. I quickly found out that having a flamethrower, rocket launcher, composite armor, and grenades were no match for a wooden stick with a poison tip that does "damage over time" In fact, such weapons were all looted, and could sell for hundreds on ebay. So here I am fighting a stormtrooper who kills me with a wooden stick. And I had armor. It was rediculous. The problem is they built an RPG with a dungeons and dragons mentality instead of a star wars game.

They could have set the time period in the prequels to have the jedi thing make sense. They could have made the galactic civil war make sense. It was a good RPG, but it wasn't "star wars" It reminded me of a quake 3 star wars skin. It looked like it, but it wasn't. I was even starting to wonder what other RPG they took the source code from, because from the ground up, it did not have the feel of star wars.

Jump to lightspeed wasn't even as much fun as the 5 year old "x-wing alliance" title, which was great, and the graphics weren't much better. The ground game had no connection to the space game.

So I quit. Now that the game has changed, I'll probably try it out again. It sounds like it might finally be fixed. Of course, the players that were lucky enough to own a poison stick are going to be very upset, but frankly, if every one of them left, and all the 13 year old jedi, the game will be much more fun.

By the way, I'm not sure if the revamps will even put an end to the poison stick thing, but I'm willing to have a look.

Re:Why I quit SWG, and why I might return to it. (1)

GroovyChk (640592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046793)

But would you care if all the non-combat people left?

SWG -- no way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14046799)

The game started sliding with patch 9. The final straw for me was the fabled CU Combat Upgrade of earlier this year. I logged in once as a 1/2 finished knight, got killed by a bantha and said **** it. The game was ruined for me at this point. I used to be able to kill a whole herd solo, like a jedi should be able to.

Now after all that grinding, any new player is a jedi in a few weeks... And all that work I did for nothing? It took me 9 months just to become a padawan.

what a joke. I'll never be back. During this time period in star wars, there is one jedi, Luke skywalker. Allowing all players to become jedis with enough work was bad enough and the first mistake, now anyone can do it in a few nights, and they have no more ability than any other profession... It's simply not star wars.

I'll stick to a real mmorpg, like Eve. At least there there is some variety in professions. SWG, if you want to know how to design a deep world, check eve out.

That's what the players want. Not some watered down version designed for 10 year olds with a 3 week attention span.

SWG used to be just as good and you ruined it starting with patch 9.

l8,
AC

hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14046825)

"John Smedley:
  Simply put: We made a mistake in the way we communicated everything happening within the game to our current players, and we apologize for it. We're offering refunds to all players who purchased the Expansion pack before 11/3 (when we announced the NGE). But we feel very, very strongly that our current players are going to enjoy the enhancements to the game. The content in Trials of Obi Wan is even more fun with the new game experience."

So.. if a company does something intentionally.. knowing it will upset everybody.. knowing that they will be lying about it afterwards and say 'they made a mistake'.. Doing that just because there wasn't any better way to do it and make money at the same time.. mebbe its just me.. but for some reason that just seems wrong to knowingly decieve and lie to everybody for profit and I think that they should all burn in hell.

More Lies - More BS (1)

Jhazmin (931596) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046915)

John Smedley: There are long threads that I've started myself on our forums...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v464/Jhazmin/SWG /smedlylies.jpg/ [photobucket.com] You disgust me, Smedly. You are no Star Wars fan. ("Jedis." "What is a pikeman, and why is it in SWG?") Have you EVER watched the movies?

You don't know what players want. I do not know a single player that ever said "i think there are too many confusing professions." I defy you to EVER find such an example. These changes have little to do with the what the player wants. They are because you didn't make the TIME to work on the bugs in the game, because you neglected to build on a foundation that you were not worthy of. Because the devs and programmers didn't think things through, glaring bugs and huge windows for griefing were allowed into the live servers time and again. You did not listen to your beta testers. Not in beta, not at the cu, and certainly not at the nge.

How is 9 professions more "unique" than 34 various ones we could mix and match to suit our styles and whims? There is nothing mroe unique in this system. This game, when it debuted in 2003, was a beautiful wonderful innovative thing. The fact that it has decomposed into it's current state rests solely on the shoulders of soe/la. We as a playerbase would have done ANYTHING to help this game succeed. It is Star Wars, man. It is EPIC. How can you fail at making a successful Star Wars game!?

The amount of content you could have made with the resources available (comics, movies, eu, novels, mini movies) is mind boggling. This game had so much potential. It was so exciting and wonderful and new. You squandered it all. This game is now a mockery of it's once innovative and expansive self. You should be ashamed.

How dare you say that this new nge is how the game should have been, Smedly. How do you have the NERVE to come here and blatantly lie. I have supported three accounts in SWG. I have been a loyal customer, I have loved it so so much. I have devoted countless hours and hundreds of dollars to this game, because it was different - because it was Star Wars - because I always had the hope it would be better. But it never got better. It just kept getting worse. This is, to me, a tragedy. How you can say these things with a straight face, is beyond me - oh wait it, isn't. I guess you will be getting more money this way, at least in the short term. But if you think the console gamers will support 3 accounts for 2+ years like I and other vets have, you are sadly mistaken. It is too bad that I am not ICONIC enough for you. And hey, whatever happened to "Experience the greatest Star Wars Saga ever told: YOUR OWN!

This new nge is so bug ridden and unattractive, it is shocking to me that you could label it as ready for live. By the devs own admission, the quests past lvl 30 are not completed. The UI is not completed. The art for several screens is not completed. How can you release this mess to your paying customers?

- The targeting system: it is SO fundamentally flawed I cannot even begine to wrap my mind around it. Who ever thought that it was a good idea for you to target every single thing you moused over was insane. For pvp, all you need to do is toss in a bunch of coverts and hey, no one can fight. The targeting makes the nalargon and omnibox nearly unplayable (but hey i guess you dont care about those pesky entertainers.) It is immediately obvious to me how this system can be exploited and used as a tool for grieving, and just plain annoying in day to day actions.

- The movement. Uhm yeah - I'm not here to play an fps. I don't use fps style of movement in my gaming. There has always been the option to have whatever ui style you wanted and 6 or so different default maps to chose from. That was wonderful. a customizable UI and control system is friendly and comfortable. This new system is anything but.

- Again, with the fps thing. Last time i checked there are dozens of not hundreds of fps games available in ever store across the US. There are already plenty of online fps's to choose from - including Star Wars ones! If i DID want to play an fps, I'd be playing one that was good. Not this sorry excuse for an fpsmmo. Can your hardware even support that syle of play in large scale battles? I would think not. Hopefully you upgrade it, but that's been needed for years and as far as i can tell there is yet to be an improvement.

- Bio engineers, creature handelers, teräs käsi artists. Swordsmen, rangers, pikemen, fencers. Hybrids, crafters, crafter hybrids, entertainer hybrids, they all have one thing in common. Do you know what that is? THEY'RE SCREWED!

I could go on for hours more. I am sure I made many typos, but frankly I am so livid mad at you I do not give a damn. I say again, this is a mockery and we are the mocked. I am played for a fool by SOE/LA for the last time. this is what you can see from em from now on - nothing. As much as I love Star Wars and the community we once had (now torn asunder by YOU) I cannot give you my money in good conscience any longer. You are rid of your so called "vocal minority" Mr. Smedly, which on ahazi from the FORUMS alone is vocal to the tune of 5000 dollars PER MONTH at LEAST. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v464/Jhazmin/SWG /ridofme.jpg/ [photobucket.com]

Good Bye to SWG is the hardest thing I have had to do in a very long time. But you Smedly - you make it easier every day.

Re:More Lies - More BS (1)

GroovyChk (640592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046976)

Right on.

Not an SOE fan!! (1)

Dubliner Macmanus (931590) | more than 8 years ago | (#14046931)

Every game I've tried from SOE has been buggy, incomplete and not well planned. And to top it all off...they stole $45 subscription fees from me. I played EQII for several months hoping the game would be EQI but with more and better content. I have to admit I liked a good portion of EQII but quickly came to realize it paled in comparison to World of Warcraft. I canceled my EQII account using SOE's webpage. I went through all the steps even answered their "Why are quitting questions?" (Just to tell them their game was sucking)and closed my account. Everything was fine until 3 months later I noticed I was still getting charged (for some reason I didn't see the previous 2 months bank statements or overlooked somehow) for my subscription fee. I called up SOE to correct this but of course I couldn't get through so I used their Online Chat service. I told the CSR what had happened...explaining that I closed out my account online and it told me my account was canceled but I was still getting charged. I told him to please make sure my account was canceled and to refund the 3 months I didn't play. He then said ok...your account is canceled now. I asked about the refund on the 3 months and he said he couldn't do that and couldn't help me further. I eventually got through on the long distance phone call (costing me more money) and explained what had happened and demanding my $45 back. The guy on the line was nice but still informed me he could not do that but I could speak to the person in charge of billing. I said, "GREAT!!". Then he said only by email. So I sent this person, LTuttle, an email explaining for the third time my story. He sent back an email apologizing and after reviewing my case where he saw there was no account activity for those three months he said he would refund my card. I said, "GREAT!!". Then I thought about it and sent him another email asking what he was refunding? He said he could only refund 1 month of the subscription. I replied asking why only 1 month when clearly (according to him) I hadn't played for three months and there was an error when canceling my account online. He never replied back to that email or any other email I sent him. AND!!....SOE never even refunded the fee for one of the months they said they would and had. (His words, "I HAVE refunded one month subscription to your credit card"). What kind of customer service is that? I sent another email telling them how badly treated I was and that I will never buy an SOE game ever again. I promptly canceled my fiancee's account (She wasn't playing really anyways) and persuaded two of my other friends to cancel theirs and move to WoW with me. In the long run because SOE wouldn't refund $45 they ended up losing several hundred dollars or more in lost subscription fees plus future game purchases. (I know...I know...I'm a small fish in a big ocean) but as people can see SOE is going down...just look at SW Galaxies...hell look at Sony in general who has reported profit losses and are now having to deal with the XCP rootkit fiasco and all the losses that will come of that. BTW...It's not about the money ($45 is chump change)...it's about respecting your customers. /Down with Sony...
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