SOE's Next MMO a Tribute to Star Wars Galaxies
Star Wars Galaxies! Haven't played it personally (was too young/poor at the time), but after it closed, the internet was flooded with countless sob stories and a few articles on what went wrong with its development (spoiler alert: New Game Enhancements update made everything crap, as to be expected from anything that's labelled "Enhancements" by a corporate shill). It was a game with player built cities and communities and well run economy and, from what I've read, quite a few non-combat options (although why would you want to be a space bard instead of a legendary Stormtrooper is still beyond me), too.
Well, people who liked those things – grognards, if you will – can rejoice as John Smedley, president of Sony Online Entertainment, announced that their next MMO is going to be made for them - but not set in the Star Wars universe, of course - and now shared some vague details with Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
Smedley was off to a good start:
"Let me be specific. You know how you could build player cities and that sort of stuff in SWG? It's that feeling of the players building something themselves. And I'm not talking about what we're doing with EverQuest Next Landmark. I'm actually talking about the concept of guilds going to war with each other – that kind of stuff."
Laying siege is always more fun when you're hurting stuff built by actual people AND taking a town that they themselves built. And while it probably won't blow up into thousands of dollars costing, server boiling murderfesst like EVE Online's battles due, it's probably going to be a little more satisfying and a lot less spreadsheet based.
"I think that's the part older Galaxies players will enjoy. If you were into that, then I think you'll enjoy the game we're making. I think a player-run game is a very interesting idea. That was, to me, the best part of Galaxies. It wasn't everybody's favorite part, but I liked it."
I hope he means 'screw the lowest common denominator', because those are the people that are taking nice, complex things away from us. And SOE seems to be gearing up for the kind of creative game that would be a good spiritual successor to Star Wars Galaxies – their Everquest Next Landmark game seems to be just insane (it's a social map editor game for those with a Minecraft fetish) and on the mark. Also, the various recent build stuff games seem to be tapping into the vein of creativity that is ready to be slaved to such projects.
Plus, he's also saying that fan input is going to be really vital, which was basically the lesson he learned from releasing the NGE upgrade. Yet I'm still interested if they will manage to cope with the load: SOE is now working on Everquest Next Landmark, Everquest Next, still building up Planetside 2, as well as maintaining the ancient Everquest 1, the still living Everquest 2 AND planning on releasing Planetside 1 as free to play.
Sony Online Entertainment is full of weird people, it's what I'm saying.
Posted 06-02-2014, 16:10
I remain entirely unconvinced. I was there during the Noob Game of Excrement debacle. I saw how arrogantly dismissive they were pf EVERYthing we said