The Old Republic Beta Attracts Two Million Testers

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Nimcha:
Most reactions I heard were decidedly positive. There are however some people who went in with complete misconceptions about the game. And unfortunately a lot of people who don't realise it's not supposed to be a singleplayer game.

I don't think Bioware realise it's not supposed to be a singleplayer game.

JesterRaiin:

poiumty:

JesterRaiin:

Out of curiosity : how's that even remotely possible that industry releases games so bugged that they are practically unplayable WHEN there are so many testers ready to invest their time and do beta-testing for free ?

(Rage, i'm watching you)

Single-player games usually don't have betas because of obvious reasons. Giving potential customers 80% of your content for free in a bug-ridden state will likely cripple your sales.

Large multiplayer games usually do have open betas, but only the ones who are predicted to be large enough that people will still buy them on launch day.

Well, call me "naive Greta", but i see possibilities instead of hardships. People've built the Pyramids, reached the skies and went to the bottom of oceans, so no. I can't be talked into believing that there's no way to use such potential for the good. :)

Hint : i never said "give them DVDs with copies of full, installable game and let them off the leash" ;)

What.

You are assuming people have done all those things either for free or of their own will.

Besides, we're talking about entertainment products, not scientific discoveries.

Sixcess:

Nimcha:
Most reactions I heard were decidedly positive. There are however some people who went in with complete misconceptions about the game. And unfortunately a lot of people who don't realise it's not supposed to be a singleplayer game.

I don't think Bioware realise it's not supposed to be a singleplayer game.

You must have missed all the information on Operations (Raids) that has been released so far.

People go into these sorts of games expecting the saviour of the genre. Unfortunately they have yet to understand that most, if not all mmo developers cannot possibly make their brand new game as polished or full of endgame as a certain mmo that has been running for around eight years. Give it time and we'll see how TOR works out instead of judging an empty room before the furniture is brought in (Augh, terrible analogy).

poiumty:

JesterRaiin:

Well, call me "naive Greta", but i see possibilities instead of hardships. People've built the Pyramids, reached the skies and went to the bottom of oceans, so no. I can't be talked into believing that there's no way to use such potential for the good. :)

Hint : i never said "give them DVDs with copies of full, installable game and let them off the leash" ;)

What.

You are assuming people have done all those things either for free or of their own will.

I don't remember giving you privilege of putting things in my mouth. Please kindly don't do that again. It's impolite - at least here in this sh*thole i call my country.

poiumty:
Besides, we're talking about entertainment products, not scientific discoveries.

Scientific endeavor, erection of colossal monument of human greed and egoism, video game, baking a cake - all this things are "projects". No matter the importance, budget, aim or extent, principles stay the same. Someone gives orders, someone does the job, someone supervises it, someone makes reports and so on.

Andy Chalk:
Not that I want to hop on any bandwagons, but I know only one person who took part in the beta test, and he uninstalled it after one day. Which is of course the other risk with something like this: two million people telling you that your game sucks bantha nuts.

I hardly think that's the case. Myself and about half a dozen of my friends tested it over Thanksgiving and only one of my buddies didn't absolutely love it. I don't get why people are bashing it about being similar in gameplay to WOW. Sure it is, but frankly that plus Bioware storytelling is gonna make for an amazing game.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
Is it just me, or does that trooper fellow in the pic look like he's wielding a giant dildo-cannon?

Also, I'm still really pissed off at Bioware about The Old Republic: Revan. Prolly going to avoid TOR simply because I don't want to see two of my favourite Star Wars characters reduced to mid-game NPCs/bosses.

DAMN YOU DREW KARPSHYN!!!! DAAAAAMNN YOOUUUUUUU!!!!!

I haven't read the book, but I did hear mention of Revan in the Beta with my Sith Warrior.

So I wouldn't ditch it just because the book sucks. Most Star Wars books do.

OT: I've said it before and I'll say it again: this game will kick ass. It has solid gameplay, great story, and regardless of what some folks are saying having fully voiced NPC's is a game changer, if a very subtle one. You actually give a damn now, the 'why' of questing matters. It's a definite step up from WOW where everything you did was just one form or another of farming.

JesterRaiin:

I don't remember giving you privilege of putting things in my mouth. Please kindly don't do that again. It's impolite - at least here in this sh*thole i call my country.

I never put anything in your mouth - without that assumption, your argument for free collective beta testing simply falls to pieces.

JesterRaiin:

Scientific endeavor, erection of colossal monument of human greed and egoism, video game, baking a cake - all this things are "projects". No matter the importance, budget, aim or extent, principles stay the same. Someone gives orders, someone does the job, someone supervises it, someone makes reports and so on.

Sure, they're "projects". And not all projects are successful. I don't see where you're going with this.

Sixcess:

Nimcha:
Most reactions I heard were decidedly positive. There are however some people who went in with complete misconceptions about the game. And unfortunately a lot of people who don't realise it's not supposed to be a singleplayer game.

I don't think Bioware realise it's not supposed to be a singleplayer game.

I played up to level 29 and I grouped once, and never did any flashpoints or PVP. And you know what? IT WAS FUCKING AWESOME. That's the beauty here. I was able to down large groups of mobs and strong mobs with four levels on me while playing solo while all the scrubs were running around in groups getting killed. I felt like a badass, and since that's how I plan on playing up until endgame content it worked out just swell for me.

EmperorSubcutaneous:

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

EmperorSubcutaneous:

That's more of a problem with George Lucas. KOTOR II was declared to not be canon (actually just about everything in Star Wars is not canon, but KOTOR II is less canon than most things...It's stupid and complicated) because of those interesting things that were unusual in the setting.

George wants the story to be simple and childlike, and any attempts to change it are shut down or bumped down the canon ladder.

Which is why I kind of hate Star Wars as a whole at this point, honestly. The first movies were great, the Old Republic games are neat, and that's about it.

Have you read the books by Timothy Zahn? They're both canon and damn good. They pick up after ep. VI and introduce some really interesting characters and ideas. Granted a lot of those ideas were seemingly retconned by the prequel trilogy, but we of the hivemind are at the point where we just tell Lucas to fuck off and accept the good stuff as canon on our own.

One thing with the Beta that I found severely disappointing (dont get me wrong, I absolutely loved my time in the beta) was the Space combat. I just found it completely uninteresting and boring (ive never liked tunnel shooters much). That would have to be my only gripe with TOR, but everything else is amazing!

sir.rutthed:

I haven't read the book, but I did hear mention of Revan in the Beta with my Sith Warrior.

So I wouldn't ditch it just because the book sucks. Most Star Wars books do.

I realise that trying to follow on from a story written by the same guy who wrote Planescape: Torment woudn't be the easiest task for anyone, but it would be nice if Bioware, celebrated storytellers that they are, had at least tried to recognise what sort of themes were at work and try and follow on from them.

As it stands, the entire summation of the KOTOR saga seems to be "Well, guess we'd better get this wrapped up as quicklyas possible."

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

sir.rutthed:

I haven't read the book, but I did hear mention of Revan in the Beta with my Sith Warrior.

So I wouldn't ditch it just because the book sucks. Most Star Wars books do.

I realise that trying to follow on from a story written by the same guy who wrote Planescape: Torment woudn't be the easiest task for anyone, but it would be nice if Bioware, celebrated storytellers that they are, had at least tried to recognise what sort of themes were at work and try and follow on from them.

As it stands, the entire summation of the KOTOR saga seems to be "Well, guess we'd better get this wrapped up as quicklyas possible."

That said, I think Bioware's storytelling power lies in gameplay, not books so I wouldn't give up on them yet. Keep in mind after all that writing a book/comic is QUITE different from writing for a game, which is what these people are best at and best known for.

poiumty:

JesterRaiin:

I don't remember giving you privilege of putting things in my mouth. Please kindly don't do that again. It's impolite - at least here in this sh*thole i call my country.

I never put anything in your mouth - without that assumption, your argument for free collective beta testing simply falls to pieces.

How about a benefit of doubt ? You didn't ask. Instead, you chose to jump straight to conclusion - and a wrong one (if i may add). I find it impolite since it seems that really, we have nothing better to do than exchange commentaries.

We revisit and redefine more and more things and ideas. Why not beta testing ?
I simply won't accept suggestion that it's impossible to create more stable products when there are that many people with free time, nothing better to do and a passion to play games.
I'll rather believe that it's lack of will to change things - and i blame both gaming industry and overcomplicated legal issues for that situation.

JesterRaiin:

Scientific endeavor, erection of colossal monument of human greed and egoism, video game, baking a cake - all this things are "projects". No matter the importance, budget, aim or extent, principles stay the same. Someone gives orders, someone does the job, someone supervises it, someone makes reports and so on.

Sure, they're "projects". And not all projects are successful. I don't see where you're going with this.[/quote]

Nowhere in particular. I simply show that your former argument :

Besides, we're talking about entertainment products, not scientific discoveries.

is irrelevant to this topic.

True, some projects didn't make it, but that doesn't mean they were wrong. Sometimes it's a tiniest piece of machinery that's responsible for its downfall.

Nimcha:
You must have missed all the information on Operations (Raids) that has been released so far.

I just can't see players who come for the story staying for the gear grind at endgame. If TOR follows the WoW model of levelling and story content in expansions then raids for the next two years then they are going to lose a lot of players. If they try to provide continuing story content and a raid endgame then they'll have a very hard time pushing out content updates at a rate that will keep both sides happy.

Some will do both, but I don't see there being enough of those players to deliver the lasting numbers a game this big needs. I may be wrong but I just can't see it. In any event, the first 6 months or so of updates will be interesting to see how they intend to handle this.

sir.rutthed:

Have you read the books by Timothy Zahn? They're both canon and damn good. They pick up after ep. VI and introduce some really interesting characters and ideas. Granted a lot of those ideas were seemingly retconned by the prequel trilogy, but we of the hivemind are at the point where we just tell Lucas to fuck off and accept the good stuff as canon on our own.

I haven't. Can you tell me, do those books do more than copy and paste the movies (same cantina band, same Twi'lek dancers, etc.) without going as horribly far out as this?

The biggest problems I've always had with Star Wars were those two things up there, the black and white morality, and the species-ism (humans are the heroes, everyone else fulfills stereotypical roles while speaking in wacky ooga-booga languages). But the premise is so cool that I've always wanted to see someone do something interesting with it.

EmperorSubcutaneous:

sir.rutthed:

Have you read the books by Timothy Zahn? They're both canon and damn good. They pick up after ep. VI and introduce some really interesting characters and ideas. Granted a lot of those ideas were seemingly retconned by the prequel trilogy, but we of the hivemind are at the point where we just tell Lucas to fuck off and accept the good stuff as canon on our own.

I haven't. Can you tell me, do those books do more than copy and paste the movies (same cantina band, same Twi'lek dancers, etc.) without going as horribly far out as this?

The biggest problems I've always had with Star Wars were those two things up there, the black and white morality, and the species-ism (humans are the heroes, everyone else fulfills stereotypical roles while speaking in wacky ooga-booga languages). But the premise is so cool that I've always wanted to see someone do something interesting with it.

Actually, in some respects they're better than the movies. I like how he explores the mysteries of the Force, as well as how a demigod deals with self imposed pacifism/zen attitude when it would just be easier to Force your way around. Start with the Heir to the Empire series; Grand Admiral Thrawn is one of the coolest villains you'll run across and I love reading about him. Humans are still the focus of the story, but in the Hand of Thrawn series the conflict revolves around the Bothans. They're the only Star Wars books that are worth reading to be perfectly honest.

As for your link, that's just further proof that most of the Star Wars stuff out there is nothing more than glorified fanfic. Seriously, fuck that shit.

JesterRaiin:

poiumty:

JesterRaiin:

I don't remember giving you privilege of putting things in my mouth. Please kindly don't do that again. It's impolite - at least here in this sh*thole i call my country.

I never put anything in your mouth - without that assumption, your argument for free collective beta testing simply falls to pieces.

How about a benefit of doubt ? You didn't ask. Instead, you chose to jump straight to conclusion - and a wrong one (if i may add). I find it impolite since it seems that really, we have nothing better to do than exchange commentaries.

Benefit of doubt has nothing to do with this. I simply assumed you wouldn't make an argument that defeats itself. Was that too much? Would I have been better off if I just took what you said as some pointless ramblings?

We revisit and redefine more and more things and ideas. Why not beta testing ?
I simply won't accept suggestion that it's impossible to create more stable products when there are that many people with free time, nothing better to do and a passion to play games.

Because it's never that simple. Beta testing is a job, and for good reason. You don't want to make people play your game before it's done, and you don't want to hire unpaid work. Those are 2 different things, and both have an impact. The first is circumvented by open betas of online games because the game is replayable enough that people will want to buy it after the beta, and the second is circumvented by offering a large part of the game's content on trial, for free, before release. Neither of these things is viable with a single-player game.

Nowhere in particular. I simply show that your former argument [...] is irrelevant to this topic.

A project is not something that is guarranteed to succeed. Making a stairway to the Moon is also a project, but it's a rather stupid one that will never work, no matter how perfect the tiniest piece of machinery is. So saying "we've made projects that work, and free beta testing is a project, therefore it should work" is an illogical argument.

JaredXE:
As soon as my finals are done I am in Early Access. I cannot wait!

The beta was fine, I only experienced moments of lag in certain high-traffic areas, so Bioware is sitting pretty good with their hardware. The game is enjoyable, especially for people like me who generally don't like grouping in MMOs and has Bioware's usual standard of writing and acting.

Two more weeks until I get my CE! I am definitely going to be one of their subscribers.

It's not their servers, their servers are hosted on the HeroCloud, part of their contract with HeroEngine, the creators of the engine they are using (same engine as Faxion Online)

As part of this contract for engine plus server hosting, 30% of the profit on SW:ToR goes to HeroEngine creators.

On topic: I'm surprised the number of users isn't higher, that number is just a wee bit larger than the numbers for The Secret World, a more complex game built on a non pre-existing intellectual property.

The real question is how many of those people actually gave feed back and bug problems instead of just "Lawl I'm playing before you can!"

Doubt I'll play SWtoR myself, sure it looks pretty neat and the stories cool but I'm tired of point-and-push MMOs, they get boring too quick now. I'm hoping that more and more MMOs will start to migrate towards more action based engines. Tera Online being an up coming interest.

poiumty:

JesterRaiin:

How about a benefit of doubt ? You didn't ask. Instead, you chose to jump straight to conclusion - and a wrong one (if i may add). I find it impolite since it seems that really, we have nothing better to do than exchange commentaries.

Benefit of doubt has nothing to do with this. I simply assumed you wouldn't make an argument that defeats itself. Was that too much? Would I have been better off if I just took what you said as some pointless ramblings?

Being a child of other age i am very - VERY - supersensitive to what i said and what i didn't. It's probably overreaction from my side. Sorry.

poiumty:

JesterRaiin:
We revisit and redefine more and more things and ideas. Why not beta testing ?
I simply won't accept suggestion that it's impossible to create more stable products when there are that many people with free time, nothing better to do and a passion to play games.

Because it's never that simple. Beta testing is a job, and for good reason. You don't want to make people play your game before it's done, and you don't want to hire unpaid work. Those are 2 different things, and both have an impact. The first is circumvented by open betas of online games because the game is replayable enough that people will want to buy it after the beta, and the second is circumvented by offering a large part of the game's content on trial, for free, before release. Neither of these things is viable with a single-player game.

I beg to differ. People overcame plenty of "impossible" obstacles in the past. Saying "it's not that simple" is pointless - nothing is that simple !

- As a rule of thumb - it really comes down to assembling a party of trustworthy, competent people.
I'm not saying you're mistaken, however i want to point out that your approach is a little too pesimistic. Two-point-four-million-people. That's practically small town full of gamers. Even if 10% are good enough to work with, that's still 240 000 people. Why assume that each and every of those people is a potential pirate, liar and a thief ?

- Current system is obviously wrong, and we don't have to look far for examples. Since the times of Tetris games were released flawed beyond acceptance.
The problem is, this is escalating. There are titles that simply can't run, destroy their own savegames, are badly "programmed", suffer from memory leaks and it's not just about a few strange cases. It can't be explained differently than "not enough testing prior to release".

- It's far easier to destroy or not act at all than try and change things. "It's simple as that". ;)

Nowhere in particular. I simply show that your former argument [...] is irrelevant to this topic.

A project is not something that is guarranteed to succeed. Making a stairway to the Moon is also a project, but it's a rather stupid one that will never work, no matter how perfect the tiniest piece of machinery is. So saying "we've made projects that work, and free beta testing is a project, therefore it should work" is an illogical argument.[/quote]

That's oversimplification at best. Being the gamer, someone who plays SF games, you, of all people should know and believe it true, that there are things impossible right now, but that may change in the future. 1000 years ago people would laugh at someone postulating the need of Internet, yet, fast forward one millenium and here we are.

Another vital part of any given project is making plans, analysis, spotting strengths and weaknesess (precisely SWOT analysis), brainstorming and stuff. Stairway to Moon ? For now - no - but how about lift to Moon, antigravitational channel, sub-space tube and so ?

But we digress here. All i want to say is that any given project, if sane, rooted in reality, properly planned and supervised have very good chance for success so, it really doesn't matter what kind of project we're talking about here - the principles are the same.

JesterRaiin:

- As a rule of thumb - it really comes down to assembling a party of trustworthy, competent people.

I'm trying to argue from a pragmatic position, not an idealistic one. In the industry, you use what works, not what would work if everything was perfect.
And they DO assemble a party of trustworthy, competent people - they're called quality assurance testers, and get paid for their work. The problem can be one of two things:
a) there are not enough people, which is a human resources problem
b) there is not enough time to polish the game, which is a planning/luck problem
In the second scenario, no amount of testers will help. The game will be shipped buggy regardless of manpower.

So it really could be not a matter of not enough testing, rather not enough fixing bugs prior to release. Deadlines and all that.

The current system works just fine... for them. It doesn't impact sales in any major way, and when it does, it can be fixed in the future by hiring more QA. Again, for the marketing people, this is way better than giving parts of the game to random people and hoping they outline the problems, professionally, for free, and are still still hyped enough to buy the game on launch date.

That's oversimplification at best. Being the gamer, someone who plays SF games, you, of all people should know and believe it true, that there are things impossible right now, but that may change in the future.

But we're talking about right now, not the future. In the future there might not be a need for QA in the first place. Doesn't change the situation at this moment.

You then proceed to go way offotpic so I'll just quote the conclusion:

it really doesn't matter what kind of project we're talking about here - the principles are the same.

And I'm saying that just because it's a project, doesn't mean it's a good idea. It has to be a good idea first to qualify as a project. That's how things work.

EmperorSubcutaneous:

sir.rutthed:

Have you read the books by Timothy Zahn? They're both canon and damn good. They pick up after ep. VI and introduce some really interesting characters and ideas. Granted a lot of those ideas were seemingly retconned by the prequel trilogy, but we of the hivemind are at the point where we just tell Lucas to fuck off and accept the good stuff as canon on our own.

I haven't. Can you tell me, do those books do more than copy and paste the movies (same cantina band, same Twi'lek dancers, etc.) without going as horribly far out as this?

The biggest problems I've always had with Star Wars were those two things up there, the black and white morality, and the species-ism (humans are the heroes, everyone else fulfills stereotypical roles while speaking in wacky ooga-booga languages). But the premise is so cool that I've always wanted to see someone do something interesting with it.

Funnily enough, I'd always envisioned a 'Grey' force user who ascribed to both and neither of the Sith/Jedi's philosophies (As in, the Force is just that. There is no 'good' or 'evil' to it, it's just a force of nature. Rather than gain knowledge through power (Sith), or power through knowledge (Jedi), there would be a balance of the two.)

At some point, there was a force user like that. I forget the book and even his name, but I really liked him. Of course he was a villain and ended up trying to return the universe to nothingness, but such is life.

I was invited to the last two beta sessions, and I have mixed feelings about the game.

On one hand, the story is well implemented, the mechanics are solid, the visuals look good, and overall, the game feels like a continuation of KotOR, but on a much grander scale - in other words, pretty much everything I wanted from this game.

On the other hand, the story couldn't be more by-the-numbers if Bioware downright recycled it from one of their previous games.
There are also huge technical issues, not least of which being the sudden fps drops, which can happen right in the middle of a god damn 'Heroic 4' quest, and make your DPS skills not count for shit.

The glimpse I had of the game left me wanting for more, but until Bioware patch it up, I won't be committing to TOR, and I suspect that many of the aforementioned 2 million testers feel much the same way.

In conclusion, don't get too comfortable, EA and Bioware, because numbers don't mean anything in this case.

Andy Chalk:
Not that I want to hop on any bandwagons, but I know only one person who took part in the beta test, and he uninstalled it after one day. Which is of course the other risk with something like this: two million people telling you that your game sucks bantha nuts.

Good thing, it would SEEM the majority of them 2 million don't think it sucks bantha nuts. I loved it. ALOT. I'm accually haven't a hard time getting any enthuasiaum built up for any other game currently. I'm just waiting on TOR at the moment. And most reviews i've read of the beta are positive, for the most part.

I think... most people are disapointed the game is very heavy based on WoW gameplay mechanics. Machanics I'VE never played with before. "Never played wow, ever, like once." So i'm pumped. And alot of people still love WoW, and will love it with a star wars skin. And still more love star wars, simply for being Star Wars.

This game won't be a WoW killer, i doubt anyone really thought it would be. But it'll be a sucess. It's going to be around awhile, and hopeful will only get better. All IMO and I hope, i guess i should say. *shrug* Time will tell for sure. But chalk me up to being one of the very eagerly awaiting masses. LOL

poiumty:

JesterRaiin:

- As a rule of thumb - it really comes down to assembling a party of trustworthy, competent people.

I'm trying to argue from a pragmatic position, not an idealistic one. In the industry, you use what works, not what would work if everything was perfect.

Be my guest, however i'd like to remind you, that lowering standards for luxury-based industry is as far from pragmatism as possible. I guess it's only because plenty of customers are more or less kids and young people, prone to magic of commercials, easy to stimulate and manipulate that this whole industry is still thriving despite using cheap tricks that belong to sector of "dirty marketing".

poiumty:
And they DO assemble a party of trustworthy, competent people - they're called quality assurance testers, and get paid for their work. The problem can be one of two things:
a) there are not enough people, which is a human resources problem
b) there is not enough time to polish the game, which is a planning/luck problem
In the second scenario, no amount of testers will help. The game will be shipped buggy regardless of manpower.
So it really could be not a matter of not enough testing, rather not enough fixing bugs prior to release. Deadlines and all that.

Also, there's probability that :
c) results lands in closest trash bin because "aw f*ck, who cares, those morons will buy it anyway, beside who'll sue us ?"
d) tests aren't done correctly "suuuuuuuuuuuuuure boss, it works" and "wouldn't you look at that - last time i checked it was OK"
e) tests are unsolvable "i don't know, i really don't know, on my quantum based machine it worked good"

As for your observations :

a) Nothing changed. I'm still talking about millions of fans ready to sell their souls for a chance to beta testing. ;)
b) I'll bite : there are countless small firms that release simple games and they are doing just fine. So do we really need THAT massive games ? Are all those special effects that needed ? Do people actually care about hidden mechanics that's working behind some rain, snow or god knows what ?
It's very easy to blame deadlines, bad luck and recent UFO sightings. Much harder is to admit that given product is "too much".

poiumty:
The current system works just fine... for them. It doesn't impact sales in any major way, and when it does, it can be fixed in the future by hiring more QA. Again, for the marketing people, this is way better than giving parts of the game to random people and hoping they outline the problems, professionally, for free, and are still still hyped enough to buy the game on launch date.

I have impression that you overlooked what i've said before : it's not about giving early releases to "testers" and letting them go, doing whatever they want completely unsupervised. No. There are other solutions.
Why not place adversitement, let's say... "we're looking for people living in Atlanta ready to spend 2-3 hours daily in our laboratory playing alpha versions of Mass Effect 3" ?

poiumty:

JesterRaiin:
That's oversimplification at best. Being the gamer, someone who plays SF games, you, of all people should know and believe it true, that there are things impossible right now, but that may change in the future.

But we're talking about right now, not the future. In the future there might not be a need for QA in the first place. Doesn't change the situation at this moment.

No, we aren't and we weren't talking about now and here, but about possibilites. Where did you get that impression ???

poiumty:
You then proceed to go way offotpic so I'll just quote the conclusion:

it really doesn't matter what kind of project we're talking about here - the principles are the same.

And I'm saying that just because it's a project, doesn't mean it's a good idea. It has to be a good idea first to qualify as a project. That's how things work.

And this is another thing that i don't understand - it wasn't me who said that it is enough to consider something "a project" to magically make it happen.
Also : who said that successfull undertakings must be based on good ideas ? Any idea will do. That's why people invented and use brainstorming, fishbone diagrams, control charts and similiar techniques.
All i'm saying is : the principles for any kind of projects are the same. So it really doesn't matter what kind of project we're discussing here.

sir.rutthed:

EmperorSubcutaneous:

sir.rutthed:

Have you read the books by Timothy Zahn? They're both canon and damn good. They pick up after ep. VI and introduce some really interesting characters and ideas. Granted a lot of those ideas were seemingly retconned by the prequel trilogy, but we of the hivemind are at the point where we just tell Lucas to fuck off and accept the good stuff as canon on our own.

I haven't. Can you tell me, do those books do more than copy and paste the movies (same cantina band, same Twi'lek dancers, etc.) without going as horribly far out as this?

The biggest problems I've always had with Star Wars were those two things up there, the black and white morality, and the species-ism (humans are the heroes, everyone else fulfills stereotypical roles while speaking in wacky ooga-booga languages). But the premise is so cool that I've always wanted to see someone do something interesting with it.

Actually, in some respects they're better than the movies. I like how he explores the mysteries of the Force, as well as how a demigod deals with self imposed pacifism/zen attitude when it would just be easier to Force your way around. Start with the Heir to the Empire series; Grand Admiral Thrawn is one of the coolest villains you'll run across and I love reading about him. Humans are still the focus of the story, but in the Hand of Thrawn series the conflict revolves around the Bothans. They're the only Star Wars books that are worth reading to be perfectly honest.

As for your link, that's just further proof that most of the Star Wars stuff out there is nothing more than glorified fanfic. Seriously, fuck that shit.

Don't forget the X-wing Series!!! It's the reformation of Rogue squadron with plenty of viewpoints from non humans.(Nawara Ven a pilot and twi'lek lawyer) I don't know what anyone else has been reading but the majority of expanded universe is pretty freaking awesome.

As for the beta, I liked it.

Parnage:

sir.rutthed:

EmperorSubcutaneous:

I haven't. Can you tell me, do those books do more than copy and paste the movies (same cantina band, same Twi'lek dancers, etc.) without going as horribly far out as this?

The biggest problems I've always had with Star Wars were those two things up there, the black and white morality, and the species-ism (humans are the heroes, everyone else fulfills stereotypical roles while speaking in wacky ooga-booga languages). But the premise is so cool that I've always wanted to see someone do something interesting with it.

Actually, in some respects they're better than the movies. I like how he explores the mysteries of the Force, as well as how a demigod deals with self imposed pacifism/zen attitude when it would just be easier to Force your way around. Start with the Heir to the Empire series; Grand Admiral Thrawn is one of the coolest villains you'll run across and I love reading about him. Humans are still the focus of the story, but in the Hand of Thrawn series the conflict revolves around the Bothans. They're the only Star Wars books that are worth reading to be perfectly honest.

As for your link, that's just further proof that most of the Star Wars stuff out there is nothing more than glorified fanfic. Seriously, fuck that shit.

Don't forget the X-wing Series!!! It's the reformation of Rogue squadron with plenty of viewpoints from non humans.(Nawara Ven a pilot and twi'lek lawyer) I don't know what anyone else has been reading but the majority of expanded universe is pretty freaking awesome.

As for the beta, I liked it.

All I can say is that you are in the SEVERE minority. The comics are okish, but the novels are almost all trash, usually on par with particularly well written fan fiction. Actually, you're the only person I've heard say otherwise, so what the Hell have you been reading?

EverythingIncredible:

mikey7339:
Is the beta still open and if so where can I go to get a key?

Nope. The beta closed on Sunday.

Great game. Much better than what I expected from it.

Agreed. I tried the beta, didn't expect much... and walked away with plans to buy the full thing.

sir.rutthed:

Parnage:

sir.rutthed:

Actually, in some respects they're better than the movies. I like how he explores the mysteries of the Force, as well as how a demigod deals with self imposed pacifism/zen attitude when it would just be easier to Force your way around. Start with the Heir to the Empire series; Grand Admiral Thrawn is one of the coolest villains you'll run across and I love reading about him. Humans are still the focus of the story, but in the Hand of Thrawn series the conflict revolves around the Bothans. They're the only Star Wars books that are worth reading to be perfectly honest.

As for your link, that's just further proof that most of the Star Wars stuff out there is nothing more than glorified fanfic. Seriously, fuck that shit.

Don't forget the X-wing Series!!! It's the reformation of Rogue squadron with plenty of viewpoints from non humans.(Nawara Ven a pilot and twi'lek lawyer) I don't know what anyone else has been reading but the majority of expanded universe is pretty freaking awesome.

As for the beta, I liked it.

All I can say is that you are in the SEVERE minority. The comics are okish, but the novels are almost all trash, usually on par with particularly well written fan fiction. Actually, you're the only person I've heard say otherwise, so what the Hell have you been reading?

Wow I really gotta defend myself? I guess this is why I avoid hanging out with "fans" who are really just upset that the stories told don't please them as much as they'd like. Last I checked, anything by Zahn,Stackpole, Allston seemed pretty damn fine to me. But hey what do I know. I guess because a few bad comics get made(Geeze comics with poor story how unlikely..) and a book or two means the entire Expanded universe is "fanfiction" So long as we are questioning my taste, let me ask you. What the hell have -you- been reading?

JesterRaiin:

Be my guest, however i'd like to remind you, that lowering standards for luxury-based industry is as far from pragmatism as possible.

A certain degree of understanding is required to discuss what can and cannot be made in the games industry. If you merely say "everything has to be perfect and screw any difficulties you encounter, I don't care", you might as well be preaching to walls.

Also, there's probability that :
c) results lands in closest trash bin because "aw f*ck, who cares, those morons will buy it anyway, beside who'll sue us ?"
d) tests aren't done correctly "suuuuuuuuuuuuuure boss, it works" and "wouldn't you look at that - last time i checked it was OK"
e) tests are unsolvable "i don't know, i really don't know, on my quantum based machine it worked good"

And which one of these would be solved by free testing? You're getting pretty off-topic here.

Why not place adversitement, let's say... "we're looking for people living in Atlanta ready to spend 2-3 hours daily in our laboratory playing alpha versions of Mass Effect 3" ?

Unpaid work is unpaid work. It's also sloppy work. Why would a game necessarily have "millions of fans" before release? What if someone doesn't like the game and tells everyone it's shit?
How many people do you think will respond to this? Say, 20 max? Getting 20 people to casually play a beta 3 hours per day will hardly do anything. And this still doesn't solve the deadline problem.

No, we aren't and we weren't talking about now and here, but about possibilites. Where did you get that impression ???

Since when are time and possibility mutually exclusive? You have a habit of taking things I say out of context. Stop doing that.

And this is another thing that i don't understand - it wasn't me who said that it is enough to consider something "a project" to magically make it happen.

Are you forgetting that you argued the plausibility of what we're discussing with "it doesn't matter, it's a project"? Your words, not mine.

Also : who said that successfull undertakings must be based on good ideas ? Any idea will do. That's why people invented and use brainstorming, fishbone diagrams, control charts and similiar techniques.

And all of those were good ideas on paper. This is, on paper, a bad idea from a marketing point of view. Hence, it will not fly.

My thoughts on the beta... it seems to be pretty well polished, especially considering it's release, and it didn't feel like a bad game.

However, some of the mechanics were not to my liking. I can accept that it's better to be funnelled down the dark/light path than being a mix, but I think it kinda kills the game for playing alts and RPing. As an alt, I don't want to go through the same conversations, but you're funnelled down that way by two things - your rating and your minion's liking for you. Not quite sure the effects of your minion liking you, think I saw some minion gear which required them to like you. With the minion as well to think about, it just makes conversation choices feel too forced. Would be nicer if conversations didn't play such a heavy role in game progress. It's a shame, because the conversation system does make it stand out, but I can also imagine it'll cap the number of alts people make cos they don't want to go through the long convo sequences again.

So all in all, it's definitely not a bad game, but probably one with a limited lifespan.

Hi, my favourite drinkin' buddy. :)

poiumty:

JesterRaiin:

Be my guest, however i'd like to remind you, that lowering standards for luxury-based industry is as far from pragmatism as possible.

A certain degree of understanding is required to discuss what can and cannot be made in the games industry. If you merely say "everything has to be perfect and screw any difficulties you encounter, I don't care", you might as well be preaching to walls.

So, i guess it's good that i didn't say that ?

poiumty:

Why not place adversitement, let's say... "we're looking for people living in Atlanta ready to spend 2-3 hours daily in our laboratory playing alpha versions of Mass Effect 3" ?

Unpaid work is unpaid work. It's also sloppy work. Why would a game necessarily have "millions of fans" before release? What if someone doesn't like the game and tells everyone it's shit?
How many people do you think will respond to this? Say, 20 max? Getting 20 people to casually play a beta 3 hours per day will hardly do anything. And this still doesn't solve the deadline problem.

20 ?

"We had about 2.4 million people register for the Star Wars fan site, over two million of which volunteered to do beta testing for free."

Simply put : your assumption is wrong. You took it - to cite one nice Escapist - "out of arse". I don't think it holds value and really, how do you expect me to answer such argument based on your own belief only ?

No, we aren't and we weren't talking about now and here, but about possibilites. Where did you get that impression ???

Since when are time and possibility mutually exclusive? You have a habit of taking things I say out of context. Stop doing that.

Likewise. Also, i'm not sure why are you asking about that exclusion. Pizza and cooking aren't mutually exclusive but you can speak about cooking without single mention of pizza or vice-versa. So no, i'm not interested in letting things stay they way they are, but rather in possibilities of correct appliance of free manpower.

And this is another thing that i don't understand - it wasn't me who said that it is enough to consider something "a project" to magically make it happen.

Are you forgetting that you argued the plausibility of what we're discussing with "it doesn't matter, it's a project"? Your words, not mine.

Talking about taking things out of context. :)
In response to your accusation that one can't compare scientific discoveries to gaming industry i merely observed that from the point of view that interests me there's no distinction between them since i'm not talking about let's say, budget, requirements, ethics or outcome, but about making them work and for that, the underlying principles are all the same. Just like for any given collaborative enterprise i call "project" here.

Also : who said that successfull undertakings must be based on good ideas ? Any idea will do. That's why people invented and use brainstorming, fishbone diagrams, control charts and similiar techniques.

And all of those were good ideas on paper. This is, on paper, a bad idea from a marketing point of view. Hence, it will not fly.[/quote]

Interesting. Marketing is a very wide topic, covering plenty of aspects of existence. It's pure coincidence, but it was also one of my favorite subjects whle studying at the university.
So, please, indulge me, why are you thinking that it's a bad idea and what exactly you mean by saying "from a marketing point of view".

JesterRaiin:
Hi, my favourite drinkin' buddy. :)

poiumty:

JesterRaiin:

Be my guest, however i'd like to remind you, that lowering standards for luxury-based industry is as far from pragmatism as possible.

A certain degree of understanding is required to discuss what can and cannot be made in the games industry. If you merely say "everything has to be perfect and screw any difficulties you encounter, I don't care", you might as well be preaching to walls.

So, i guess it's good that i didn't say that ?

Frankly I'm getting very tired to have to explain every facet of every argument again and again because you're just answering the last thing I said without considering any of my other posts or what the topic of discussion was in the first place. For the record, I was explaining why it isn't called "lowering my stanards" as much as it's understanding the issue at hand. But I guess yeah, if you were saying any of that it would have been totally wrong and we can gleefully agree that it's good you didn't say it.

Simply put : your assumption is wrong. You took it - to cite one nice Escapist - "out of arse".

Oh look, you're doing it again. Should I even remind you of the terms you accumulated so far until you gave the example I was replying to? How it's a single-player game, restricted to one location, involving people driving to work, unpaid, less content, playing by themselves, not a huge brand like Star Wars... 20 people is probably more than they'd get. But hey, you keep quoting from large open at-home, worldwide betas from established brands because they're the exact same thing and work in the exact same way. Sure.

So, please, indulge me, why are you thinking that it's a bad idea and what exactly you mean by saying "from a marketing point of view".

That it isn't profitable, which was the argument all along. But fuck it, this discussion is doing nothing but giving me a headache.

I'm seeing a lot of comments about how buggy and unplayable it was or how it was just a marketing tool and all that. Now, i got to play in the beta, and i work in IT, so i have a feeling why they sent out as many invites as they possibly could. They said it themselves, whoever ticked that "opt in" when signing up will get invited.

Its all very simple really, what they did was a stress test. A practice run. A wedding rehearsal. Call it what you want, but that weekend was there to see how everything will cope in a realtime live situation.

The game was not 101% perfect, but who cares? The experience was thoroughly enjoyable and the test was there to prevent proper launch server issues.

There will be less queues at launch, there will be less downtime at launch, all because of the huge beta they allowed us to play.

And its a win-win really. You get to see if you like the game enough to get it or cancel your order, and they get to see if everything works fine.

Personally, i cant wait.

Parnage:

sir.rutthed:

Parnage:

Don't forget the X-wing Series!!! It's the reformation of Rogue squadron with plenty of viewpoints from non humans.(Nawara Ven a pilot and twi'lek lawyer) I don't know what anyone else has been reading but the majority of expanded universe is pretty freaking awesome.

As for the beta, I liked it.

All I can say is that you are in the SEVERE minority. The comics are okish, but the novels are almost all trash, usually on par with particularly well written fan fiction. Actually, you're the only person I've heard say otherwise, so what the Hell have you been reading?

Wow I really gotta defend myself? I guess this is why I avoid hanging out with "fans" who are really just upset that the stories told don't please them as much as they'd like. Last I checked, anything by Zahn,Stackpole, Allston seemed pretty damn fine to me. But hey what do I know. I guess because a few bad comics get made(Geeze comics with poor story how unlikely..) and a book or two means the entire Expanded universe is "fanfiction" So long as we are questioning my taste, let me ask you. What the hell have -you- been reading?

Damn dude, chill out. That was more out of shock than outrage. I've read the Zahn books, which I agree are awesome. I've also read the first book in the Hand of Vader and a few of the ones about Obi-Wan as a Padawan. I don't remember the authors and don't care to look them up, but I remember both of the later as being terrible, and I read them back when I was seriously into Animorphs. It's not just me though, there's a general consensus that the expanded universe is terrible. It's good for you that you enjoy them, but you ARE in the minority on that one.

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