Wednesday, December 10, 2008

SWG Thought of the Day: SOE Responds to the TCG Loot Issue

So we have our first response regarding the TCG loot fiasco. If you've not followed along on the official forums, a portion of the playerbase is fairly upset that SWG content is being offered for sale via a Trading Card Game system.

Let's break down the response from the SWG Producer.

Profession Specific Content
We are offering profession specific content in and out of the TCG. The Max Rebo's Classics book (available through the Galactic Moon Festival), Bantha Surprise Recipe (Life Day), and the Game Updates attest to this.

Yep. And that's what we expect. There's our monthly subscription money hard at work. Remind me again why I could conceivably shell out hundreds of dollars and not receive a Beast Master-related item in the forthcoming TCG expansion? Remind me again why a structures trader cannot build this item and sell it back to the galaxy?

By the way, if the TCG is not supposed to affect SWG gameplay in any way (if I recall that being said by SOE), then why do you say "We are offering profession specific content in ... the TCG"?

And can you please tell the Jedi community when they should start saving up for the TCG-exclusive saber hilt and/or Sith Master robes loot cards? They'd probably like to know.

Boosters/Loot Dropping In-Game
There are no plans for this to happen; we give each player with a SWG subscription five free packs per month instead.

But it's five free packs for the current TCG release. Loot cards that existed prior to the current release are not available for free. It is required to use real world money to acquire these items, rather then SWG-related purchased (via vendors), quests, collections or the like.

That noise you're hearing is the music that the SOE accounting department is dancing around to.

Adding Structures as Schematics
With the TCG rewards we need to fulfill a need for both casual AND hardcore SWG players. A new or casual player may not even know how to find crafters in the game. They just know that they got a cool item and they want to use that item immediately in-game. This is why although the Diner is not given in schematic form. We did keep Structures Traders in mind though by giving them new schematics for Diner furniture. Therefore, a casual player gets the Diner and a small amount of d├ęcor to make it look like a Diner interior. However, if they are more than just a casual player they will know that Structures Traders can make them additional counters, tables, and seats (via the new schematics) so that their Diner can look even better.Despite not being mentioned in the Producer Note, Structures Traders will receive an update in 2009.

Wait, wait, wait. "A new or casual player may not even know how to find crafters in the game"? Are you serious? Let me ask that again: "Are you serious?" There are only nine professions that a player may choose from. One of those is the trader that contains four crafting vocations. How stupid do you assume your players are?

I can't wait for the Structures Trader Update in 2009. That way all those hardcore gamers can buy some new furniture from the secret society of structures crafters that only they know about. Shh... don't tell the new and casual players!

Pffft. I've been a casual gamer for years. Don't assume I want things easy.

On that note, doesn't the tutorial continuation in Mos Eisley show new players how to use the bazaar?

Cripes, I could go on about this one blurb all day. It is absolutely LADEN with the reasons why SWG struggles to succeed.

And by the way, good job immersing new players. If the focus is: "We want new subscribers to be able to immediately enjoy their barn", I think SOE is missing the point of someone subscribing to a Star Wars game. Is the barn nice? Hell yes. Is it something that a new player should be salivating for? Likely not.

Besides, how many new subscribers do you think will have ANY of the TCG loot? You expect them to sign up and plunk down mad money on the TCG? Give me... a BREAK!

Jee-zus. I really could go on all day about this one.

Changing TCG Loot to be Available In-Game
There are no plans for this to happen. We may at some point have similar items that are released in the MMO but we will not repurpose the exact same items. Releasing the exact same items in-game would be unfair to anybody who attains the TCG item by purchasing a booster pack. For example, we may at some point release a Podracer outside of the TCG. If we do it will not be the Ord Pedrovia Podracer.

"(N)o plans for this to happen."? You bet there isn't. What company would willingly turn off their Money Printing Machine?

May I suggest you just "flip it around"? Why not put the items in SWG first, and then at a later date put "altered" versions of the gear into the TCG? Isn't that the same thing? Does that not meet the design requirements for SOE? That way, the items in the two systems are different. Just as you intended, right? Isn't that what you're trying to feed us.

What's that? You'd sell less booster packs if you put loot cards in that were only slightly different versions of what SWG already has? Oh. How strange! I wonder if the reverse would hold true in regards to subscriptions sold?

Don't insult our intelligence.

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