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  1. #1

    Smile GW2 and SW:TOR at the forefront of MMORPG?

    P.S.: For transparency purposes, I want to state that this post was also cross-posted here:


    While waiting for GW2, as some of you know, I have been looking around what is on the upcoming horizon. Though by far not having a complete overview, there is another game that caught my attention: Star Wars: The Old Republic developped by BioWare and LucasArts.

    Which game looks better (and I don't just mean graphical appearance)?

    It's hard to say.

    To me, with massive monetary backing that is LucasArts, it seems that SW:TOR has the bigger budget. With bigger budgets you will have more money to create more massively immersible worlds, more money for voice actors (another documentary mentioned that there were literally hundreds of voice actors involved, more money for music (including a full orchestra and choir). Having brought BioWare onboard, the Star Wars frachise can be sure of having a very solid and gaming company with a long line of experience in the RPG genre - they have afterall to a great extent defined the RPG gaming genre. Combine that with LucasArts long-standing experience in theatrical story-telling, and I think that these two companies complement each other very well.

    Anet with the backing of NCSoft in contrast seem much more like a traditional pairing: Anet as the developper and NCsoft as the publisher with a more limited budget.

    And yet, based on what we have seen they are pulling out a small gem as well. Anet succeeded in creating a new lore world (despite the choppiness in the story telling of the first 3 chapater).

    Maybe it is the artistic freedom that comes with exploring a completely new world that I somehow think at this point GW2 looks better than SW:TOR. Here, I am mainly referring to the in-game graphics we have seen so far from all the videos released.

    SW:TOR may lead massiveness of voice acting and musical power, but I somehow have a feeling that GW2 is slightly more innovative in the game design concept itself (i.e.: business model (B2P), Event System and Event Chains, an attempt to diversify play by deemphasizing the holy trinity (SW:TOR actually relies on it), positional skill system in combat with some emergant properties, and modified death system).

    Don't get me wrong, this post is not meant as a SW:TOR basher thread. Rather it reflects my giddy excitement for both games and my curiosity to see which game will be (more) successful. Based on what I am seeing (my hypothesis), I am starting to believe that these two games are both in their own ways bringing new wind into the stale market that is the mmorpg market. Better graphics are a given, but not the essence because as you all know there are plenty of prettier looking WoW wrappers out there.

    What then am I basing this statement on?

    Both games are trying to bring single-player elements into the mmorpg world. These include elements such as:
    - A multitude of very personal story lines.
    - Meaningful and irreversable choices that stay with your character and influence the future.
    - A unique way to interact and build up relationships with NPCs.
    - Major influence of voice acting as a vehicle to deliver the story.
    - Massive content that come with the changed way of content delivery. (BioWare stated in one of their many really well done interviews/documentaries that SW:TOR will have more content than all of their previous games together).

    I don't know. That is my opinion. But what do you guys AND gals think? Discuss!

    P.S.: I absolutely loved all the documentaries that BioWare/LucasArts are doing as it helps to bring out the faces behind the game. In particular, there was a doc on the music of SW:TOR. SW:TOR will have 5 hours of original music scores + ALL of the music in KOTOR + ALL of the John Williams Star Wars music from all the other movies. I have NEVER seen a game before that will ship with THAT much music. That movie was really well done. I personally wish that Anet would also bring out more faces behind the game. We have seen some, but some more would always be appreciated. In particular, a video on the sound and music creation like what they have done with SW:TOR would be cool.
    Last edited by Thalanor Thornhale; 18-09-2010 at 02:14.

  2. #2
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    funkylovemonkey's Avatar

    I don't know which one will be better, although both will be getting my money when they are released. I'm sure I'll begin to favor one or the other. These are the only MMORG's I'm remotely interested in.

    It seems like these two will be vastly different games. I do get the feeling that TOR will be more traditional as far as gameplay and mechanics. I'm extremely curious to see how GW2 is able to implement it's more ambitious mechanics.

    One thing that I think Bioware has always done better then Anet is bring meaningful choices into their gameplay. From being forced to choose who lives or dies or whether to side with a dangerous and shady organization, that has always been one of Bioware's strengths. Whereas the biggest choice you had to make in GW was whether to go Kurzick or Luxon, and that choice doesn't really effect anything because you can eventually switch back and forth.

    I also have to give Bioware a leg up on cinematic experience and fully realized characters. A lot of my heroes are pretty much blank slates, despite them accompanying me on most missions. Bioware spends a lot of effort making your traveling companions come alive with personal storylines and lines of dialog that sometimes pop up out of nowhere. I realize that heroes do this too, but there's just a world of difference between a wall of exposition or a few bubbles above the characters heads like in GW and hearing and experiencing that storyline like you do in other Bioware games.

    Guild Wars though I think has an advantage on mechanics and gameplay. The way the professions work together and the way the skills interact with one another, the use of strategy in Guild Wars is another order of depth from what you see in most Bioware games. They're both engaging, but in Guild Wars there's more room for experimentation, more room for creating distinct characters and builds, and more strategy for confronting unique challenges.

    I honestly think they'll both be great games and I'm sure I'll end up playing both.

  3. #3
    GWOnline.Net Member Erasculio's Avatar

    I'm extremely sure that ST:OR will be more commercially successful than GW2. It has...

    • EA help. The marketing campaigns done by EA are incredibly huge, to the point of often "buying" gaming sites in order to display the game as the background of the entire site.
    • Star Wars fanboys. If the SW fanboys can buy Rebellion and think it's a good game, they will buy anything related to Star Wars.
    • Bioware fanboys. While not as rabid as the Blizzard fanboys, Bioware has now a very large group of followers that will likely buy whatever comes next.

    I don't expect SW:OR to be as successful as WoW (nothing not made by Blizzard will ever be that successful), but I expect it to be as successful as possible today for a non Blizzard MMORPG.

    Truth be said, I don't think the game will be bad. I have a lot of Bioware games myself (despite how I haven't enjoyed the more recently ones that much; Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age: Awakening were kinda bad, IMO), and they do make very good games. It will probably share the same pattern as nearly all their other games did (the same kind of choice systems, the same hub where all your NPCs are, the same NPC system in which NPCs in your group discuss with you once in a while, a romance system, and so on), and it will likely share many of the KotOR features (such as the soundtrack, and etc).

    At the same time, I'm not so sure the game will be good for me specifically. I really don't like the artstyle they have chosen, I'm not fond of what they have shown of the combat system so far (which I guess was a given, considering how it's either ranged combat or lightsaber-like fighting), and I wasn't fond of the skills available to characters in the other scifi Bioware RPGs.

    I'm happy that ST:OR exists, though. It's trying to change the MMORPG scenario after years of stagnancy by adding things typically absent from MMORPGs, such as a good storyline with character development (in a story sense, not the so-called character development of reaching higher and higher levels) and good voice acting. Considering the big impact it's going to make, I'm sure the next MMORPG clones will try to copy those features at least a bit, which would be an improvement over the current batch of copies.

    I don't expect to play it myself, though. Unless they manage to surprise me, Guild Wars 2 will likely be the only MMORPG that I can stand (mostly because it's deliberately trying to be different from most MMORPGs). I don't think GW2 will be nearly as successful as The Old Republic, though.


  4. #4
    GWOnline.Net Member SurviverX's Avatar

    Truth be said, people will still prefer fantasy setting than sci-fi setting. Isn't there another Star Wars based MMO out there already? That didn't go very far.

    Also, check out the hype meter on MMORPG.com. GW2 is certainly better hyped than SW:OR. :)
    Last edited by SurviverX; 18-07-2010 at 23:08.

  5. #5
    I'm a big star Wars fan, and a big Bioware fan. Based on what I've seen of SWtor, I won't even be giving it a try. Don't ask me for a reason, it's a feeling thing. Just like I knew the WoW style turned me off, I know SWtor just isn't for me.

  6. #6
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    there was a star wars mmo, that they blew big time. When it first launched there was no space flight, which was kinda a big part of the movies, then there was a few other glitches, and then they decided to revamp the entire game without telling anyone beforehand. Basically it was a textbook case on what not to do in creating a game.

    Unless Chris Roberts comes out of nowhere and creates a Wing Commander MMO, I'm sticking with GW2 all the way. GW1 is a great game, and so far GW2 is on track to be really cool as well.

  7. #7
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    I didn't follow the SW:OR at all, but if it's a WoW-clone like all other MMOs out there, then GW2 will win that war.

    The main reason why MMOs fail these days is that if they're gonna play a game that's like WoW, then might as well play WoW. GW2 will be different enough to offer something fresh to the table.

    Again, I have not followed SW:OR, so if it departs enough from MMO cloning, it might stand a chance.
    == Alaris & clone ==
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  8. #8
    I love the original Star Wars trilogy, but after checking out the site, I'm not impressed enough to fork out the money to play this game. The rpg elements sounded like fun, but when I heard that they were going to retain the old, heal/tank/dps set up it just doesn't seem worth the money when there are other more innovative MMO's coming out like GW2. I hope that the hardcore Star Wars fans and MMO enthusiasts will enjoy this game, but it's just not enough to keep me interested. I don't like the way the attacks look either for each of the classes. It just seems very bland. My understanding is that the gameplay isn't offering anything significantly different from what is already being offered right now.

    It was cool that they made all those videos to talk about the enviornments, storylines etc. That's another great example of a company trying to reach out to their potential player base. Unless they mess up and end up becoming the next Star Trek Online, this game could definitely become a success in it's own right. However, I think that GW2 will become a hit and may possibly overshadow SW eventually, so long as Anet continues to weave their special developer magic. ;)
    Last edited by Meliai; 19-07-2010 at 10:53.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Meliai View Post
    Unless they mess up and end up becoming the next Star Trek Online, this game could definitely become a success in it's own right. ;)
    What happened to Star Trek online?

  10. #10
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    funkylovemonkey's Avatar

    I think in general, the Guild Wars development team is more open to broad artistic interpretations. It's more artist friendly. Guild Wars is a beautiful game even without having a cutting edge game engine. Sure the old engine can't pack in the same level of detail, lighting or resolution, but it is such a well painted world that becomes less necessary. Even on things that I think subjectively they failed at (as far as art) they fail big. And the things they do well are fantastic.

    Bioware tends to have a more practical philosophy towards game design and art which is pretty distinct from Guild Wars. In some ways it makes for a less interesting game environment, and there are less moments when you want to stop and look at the scenery. But honestly Bioware is pretty on par with other games when it comes to that. I think that Guild Wars is a bit exceptional in that regard.

    I think they will both be great in their own right. There might not be much crossover between fans of both games simply because they will be so different.

    For me I won't be buying GW2 for the story. I'm interested in the lore and the background story of Guild Wars, but honestly in the past five years of playing I have never once felt like I was a part of the story or that my decisions mattered. That's been okay because Guild Wars is just a fun game to play and is a beautiful world to explore. In contrast I finished Mass Effect 2 about a month ago. It was only visually spectacular occasionally and sometimes the action got repetitive. But it was the best gameplay experience I've had in years after being somewhat disappointed by games like Assassin's Creed 2, Modern Warfare 2, and Dragon Age, all games I was anticipating. There were moments where I absolutely felt weight and danger and where the action had my heart pounding. And there were incredibly gratifying aspects too (like being able to select the rogue options and shoot a bad guy while he was busy monologuing). The quality of the voice acting was also incredible, including the likes of Martin Sheen, Adam Baldwin, Tricia Helfer, Seth Green, Yvonne Strahovski, Carrie-Anne Moss and Michael Dorn. Finally being able to, in the end, tell Cerberus to shove it was a fantastic feeling. My only complaint was that it felt too short, that I wanted more after it was over, which isn't necessarily a complaint. But that's what Bioware does well. The games that you really get drawn in to leave an emotional impact that you don't find with most games. Which is why even though the ingame videos from TOR of combat have been unspectacular, that's not really what I'm looking for in the game. Whereas Guild Wars is looking to redefine the mechanics of MMORGs, Bioware is looking to redefine storytelling in MMORGs. Both are aspects that I think have gotten stale and repetitive in the genre as a whole.

    That's why I don't think you can make the comparison to Star Wars Galaxies or Star Trek Online, both which had fractured development without the creative muscle that is being brought behind Guild Wars or TOR.
    Last edited by funkylovemonkey; 19-07-2010 at 21:52.

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