Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gone. Forgotten. Apathetic.

The GCW update has come and the official SWG forums still have not changed. The subjects might contain different words, but when arranged together and posted, it’s the same ol’ story; song and dance. (My friends!)

PvP. PvE. Bugs. Lag. Give it time. Cancelling now. TOR. TEF. CMN. QQ. Blah blah.

No, I haven’t tried the GCW update, nor can I care to. It’s just another shiny-grind with a shelf life somewhere north of newly ripened bananas. A meaningful GCW does not mean “planetary control for uninhibited travel port access.”

Not even close.

Now, if the planet were locked down so customers couldn’t reach my stores, or creatures that I relied on for DNA were culled, or mission terminals were removed or heavily taxed, or NPCs were rounded up and held for questioning, or bank terminal and bazaar usage was taxed or restricted, or I dunno, opposing faction bases were destroyed and replaced with the controlling faction, or space travel was… good grief… perilous… or…

Cripes, I could go on all day. Consequences, man. The name of the game is consequences. For victory. For death. For everything in between. But tying a money sink to a travel inconvenience as part of a GCW repercussion must be the result of someone throwing a dart at a board full of possible ideas and picking the one that got skewered no matter what it reads.

They could add consequences later, but that just invites the winging weenie muffins who like life in the easy land to cry about how things got harder. Waah! It’s always better (and easier) to dial back a dire and overly difficult situation then it is to crank it up from “Lame and Easy” to “Challenging and Worth the Sub”.

Six and a half years has taught some of us that. I think only SOE refuses to jot that down in a sticky.

And now for the first time in recent history, PvPers who shed tears about not being able to attack combatants who are attacking their computer-driven allies have a legitimate point; combatants can, through their actions, affect the outcome and victory status of special forces players without repercussion.

Turning it around, a forced PvP solution is not acceptable either. (Though the TEF system wasn’t THAT bad. It didn’t deserve scrapping. It needed development. Consider the aforementioned “dial back” comment; thanks.)

This brings me way, way, back to an idea that I suggested many moons ago. It was an idea that is not too far off the mark with what ultimately was implemented for the GCW. But I’m not afraid to say that the idea was better realized since it took into consideration how players actually… you know… PLAY the game!

After a quick search on the forums, I didn’t find the post. (No shock there.) So it’s summary time.

The idea was to think of a GCW battlefield in terms of concentric circles or rings. In one ring, there would be PvE-related quests and objectives. In the central ring would be PvP.

Actions and outcomes in one ring would affect the other. When a PvE objective was completed, the PvP ring might receive NPC reinforcements, small heals or boosts, or some sort of tactical advantage TBD.

Meanwhile, accomplishments in the PvP ring would affect the PvE region via the same.

Both play styles could co-exist in the same battle without directly interfacing.

By placing the PvE ring around the PvP ring, it becomes the task of the PvErs to stop advancing AI foes from blasting through and throwing down with allied Special Forces in the inner ring.

Oh, blah blah blah, my idea, GCW, more blah… who cares, right? My idea was just one in a sea of ideas that worked with the game engine and learned play styles of the existing player base.

PvP and PvE. Never the twain shall meet and agree to get along. The GCW should not suffer because of this fundamental difference, but rather be designed to take advantage and appeal to both.

So I’m disillusioned. Disenfranchised. I’m still a LOTRO player (for life) and I’m shocked to find myself playing some WoW with my wife. Neither will ever be a virtual home to me like SWG was. But SWG just isn’t doing it for me right now. My subscription is dead, vendors are gone or going, and I find my eyes dry from any cares.

I’ve not played the new GCW updates, but from the outside looking in, I see nothing that appeals to me. I applaud the efforts of the developers, but they just don’t get it. They just don’t understand “Star Wars”. SOE never really got it.

I don’t care any more.

I don’t care.

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