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BioWare's Zeschuk:  Star Wars: The Old Republic  'Will Never End'
BioWare's Zeschuk: Star Wars: The Old Republic 'Will Never End' Exclusive
December 20, 2011 | By Staff

December 20, 2011 | By Staff
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    13 comments
More: Social/Online, Exclusive, Design



As part of a new Gamasutra feature, the co-founder of Star Wars: The Old Republic developer BioWare promises that continuous development will continue on the title as its creative director assures it's his only priority.

"Unlike a lot of other game companies that, once they launch a game, downsize their teams radically, our plan is to keep the team together and continue to focus on building content," says James Ohlen, creative director on Star Wars: The Old Republic, which launches this week.

"There's no secret project currently being done in the Austin studio," reveals Ohlen. "We're very much focused on Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars for the foreseeable future."

BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk agrees with Ohlen. "It's hard to say right now what we may or may not do as far as future projects. We're really busy working on future SWTOR content as well as continuing to improve the service. This will never end."

In August, Analyst group Cowan and Company predicted the title will sell 3 million units in its first year on sale. It launches today.

The full feature, in which Ohlen, Zeschuk, and lead writer Daniel Erickson reflect on the development of the game from inception to completion, is live now on Gamasutra.


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Comments


Harry Fields
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Oh Bioware, how I love you so.

Betable Blog
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Agreed. Finally a worthy challenger to World of Warcraft and it's set in one of the best stories I can think of

Sarah Johnson-Bliss
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Smoothest release day on any MMOG I've participated in. Bioware has definitely made a super high quality product here. Other companies should take notes on how they did it.

Harry Fields
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Indeed. The limited production run and careful capacity planning has made for one of the smoothest MMO launches I've experienced. Sure, a little loot lag here and there, but excellent job, Bio.



And the lightsaber combat feels right. I look forward to enjoying some time whenever I can with the product.

Brett Williams
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They set themselves up incredibly well with the early-access slowly releasing people into the system, and then released too many at one time and lost a lot of the control they had. It's unfortunate because it could have been a lot better.



Servers went from 50% capacity to over 100% in a single day of what was supposed to be a slow release of population. Planned maintenance to add more servers was scheduled for Friday 12/16, but at that point the overcrowding was already evident because they had released too many too fast.



You can easily identify the staging of the servers by the server list being 50% Light, and 50% Full with a queue. The ones that are full is where the guilds that preregistered were placed, the ones that are heavy and very heavy were the ones released on Friday 12/16, and the ones that are Light and Standard were released on 12/19 at 11PM CST.



They have brought some great new things to the MMO genre as a whole. In my opinion they did a less than stellar job of acting on what was an incredible amount of control and accurate numbers they had to work with. Not that it is a poor launch by any means.



However, they have created an ecosystem that their community is responsible for balancing because their system didn't work as well as it could have. Just my opinion.

Matthew Cooper
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Some people started playing it not knowing what it was, and they'll continue playing it forever just because

Harry Fields
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/slowclap



Well played, sir.

Vanessa Reynolds
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Now, my want for this game has increased.

Harry Fields
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I believe the correct form would be:



Now, For this game, increased my want has.

adam anthony
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I wasn't too excited for this game. But my interest is piqued.

Luke Jones
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Very much looking forward to jumping in to the game after the holidays.

Michael Wenk
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This is a great game... if you like a "playing a role in a story" based game. If you don't like that, then its probably not going to be for you. Its interesting, to me anyways, because it shows how many people play MMOs like WoW that actually aren't RPG players.

Steve Badley
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Actually @Anthony Taylor SWTOR isn't anything like WoW - thank God! Every MMO will have mob grinds to some extent (lvl 1-10 starting zones mostly in TOR.) But compared to WoW mob grinding is minimized because mucho experience is awarded for storyiline participation and problem solving. As Bioware has promised all along, story is king in this game. Which has really wrankled the WoW end game lifer set, many of whom have resorted to pubescent flaming in the SWTOR forums because of it.



They want SWTOR Flashpoints and Operations to be like a Lich King farm run and have chosen to make life miserable for the game's core customers because they aren't (and won't be) getting their way. LOL... one could even surmise that a handful of these clowns are moles looking to poison the forum's waters from within. But that won't work because Bioware's community is too smart, too polite and too committed to the franchise to be effected. They'll be shouting at the rain for a few weeks until they figure it out, then it'll be back to WoW or Rift or Skyrim or whatever video game they were playing before announcing themselves to the TOR community as self-proclaimed legends. They'll not be missed in the least.



The biggest problem right now is unbalanced server population which has created wait queues on some shards to get into the game and the occasional lag spike in combat. Bioware publicly recognized this and has made fixing it their highest priority.



But the game itself rocks, and its potential is limitless. It won't be a WoW-killer because it doesn't play to Blizzard's customer base. It plays to its own KOTOR and Mass Effect customer base which has been intact since 2003... a year before WoW was ever released. In a world full of WoW wannabes, SWTOR has done a masterful job of creating it's own market by going the complete opposite direction of WoW. TOR ain't going away and is just friggin' fun to play.


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