Saturday, January 3, 2009

SWG Thought of the Day: Developers

When the cat's away, the mice will play. I saw no less then three mean-spirited attacks on the developers yesterday on the GPD. A fourth seemed to indicate a level of frustration and impatience that the Friday Feature is obviously no longer something that SOE is doing. There is this whole "holiday" thing going on, you realize.

Not only are we, the players, often hard on the developers but we also don't use the term "devs" correctly at times. We also do not often give the developers the proper credit they deserve for working within the confines of SOE under the auspices of Lucas Arts. Somewhere along the chain of command, there is one guy in charge of pushing all the buttons that keeps SWG going.

Let's call this fellow "Epic Fail".

Because Epic Fail has no clue about Star Wars, MMOs, or the current subscriber demographic (or even how to attract potential subscribers), we are hit with a game that still has all the potential in the world, but very little in the way of delivering on that potential.

This is no fault of the developers. Epic Fail pushes a button and our favorite red-names are left with no choice but to make the best of the situation - including putting nice and proper spins on the concepts in the form of release notes, Friday Features and other communications that Valara gives to us.

All things considered, the development team does a very good job getting content to us that is in relatively good working condition. This is a tremendous improvement over releases in years past; I only wish I could remember which release it was that saw every new feature utterly broken. (This was a pre-NGE release, if I recall correctly; something like a patch with four release notes bullet points - none of which worked as intended.)

So in the spirit of the holiday and of a clean slate, fresh start, new year, let's give some credit and love to the developers. They are all that stands between us and Epic Fail, and through them we shall have our Star Wars.

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