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Offline Frothy

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #45 on: June 11, 2013, 12:36:53 am »
Off-topic: How's the rest of Neverwinter? I was hoping for another massively single-player game, but the trend seems to be to turn EVERYTHING into an MMO nowadays...
The Elder Scrolls Online? Really? Really? I hear they're working on Fallout Online, too! Ye gods, people!

Neverwinter is basically a singleplayer game, other than instances.
It's quite good actually.

The combat requires you to pay a lot more attention than something like WoW, and you can actually dodge most of the attacks if you're fast on your feet.

If anyone wants to give it a shot.
My user name is "@rottrevore", feel free to add me.

Offline mouser9169

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #46 on: June 11, 2013, 03:16:37 am »
Likely because devs want to get in with the times, unaware that if there are too many MMOs out there your not likely to get a return investment.

Devs (and more importantly the corporate leads) are well aware of the risks of "too many MMOs". But there's really not as much risk to it as you may think. Consider how much shelf space a B&M store devotes to PC titles vs console titles. PC games are being sold by download - which means the customers have a stable internet connection, so why not take advantage of that?

Some are going more the D3 route rather than a full fledged MMO, but the concept is similar. It gives you a portal to sell your customers more stuff for the game they are playing, whether DLC, items, expansions, whatever.

They're also looking ahead to the next gen of consoles which will close the gap between what a console can do vs a PC even further. The money in single (or small multi)  player PC game titles is in a few established franchises at one end, and the Big Fish Games HOPA's at the other. Yes, there's exceptions mixed in here and there, but that's where most of it lies.

And back to the thread title: a player-run economy is one of the things distinguishing an MMO from a cRPG (Diablo 2 being a notable exception). To not have that part of the game fully developed would be foolish. Maybe the game can succeed without it, but why make life harder for yourself when you're trying to break into a well-established market?
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Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #47 on: June 11, 2013, 07:26:39 am »
Consider how much shelf space a B&M store devotes to PC titles vs console titles.
I read that as "BDSM" store the first time 'round, and I thought, "Hmmmmm..."

You don't need a cash-shop to have a robust player economy, though. Look at Star Wars Galaxies (at least, what it used to be) and EVE Online. I don't think I would call Diablo 2 a player-run economy. Big trading system, sure, and some mods and player-introduced items (and I'm sure you know how THAT was abused). Nothing nearly the scale of EVE or SWG, though.
What we do need is control over resources, production, and buying/selling. Basically, a strong player-run economy in an MMO a baby of Marxism and capitalism. I can't imagine a cash-shop, good or bad, becoming a substitute for a strong player-run economy. There are some crossovers (EVE players being able to sell shop-bought monocles for in-game currency), but not a substitute.
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Offline Radical21

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #48 on: June 11, 2013, 10:54:58 am »
That's why I don't like the trend to turn everything into an MMO. Why not just make more massively single-player games like the normal Elder Scrolls or a sequel to Bloodlines?? Ship out some DLC packs like Saints Row III does, or expansion content like for Skyrim and Fallout: New Vegas and you can still make plenty of money!  A lot of the time I've spent in MMOs has been alone; the times I've grouped up with people is usually only because I HAVE to, not because I want to. The player doesn't lose much in a massively single-player game.
It's all cheap hax, man. Cheap hax.

The best MMOs are PvP MMOs like EVE that engage players against each-other.

Doing another Bloodlines game might be nice but to be honest we already have the PnP game to accommodate that form of pre-scripted storytelling
« Last Edit: June 11, 2013, 10:56:31 am by Radical21 »

Offline PANZERBUNNY

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #49 on: June 13, 2013, 06:22:56 pm »
Personally, I'd like to focus on playing the game (roleplaying and affecting/changing the world) and not repairing broken items, but maybe that's just me.

Nigama


When it came to items degrading, yes as they are used the number ticks down, but when it hits zero it's gone. No repairing.

I can see some people instantly going "BOOOO", but again, gear is replaced through interacting with others or learning what you need to have a supply of the items you regularly use. Mobs also drop equipment and yes, mobs should drop certain items you can only get from them. Perhaps even used in crafting tiers to upgrade other items.

Also, it breaks up the monotony of having the same gear over and over until you find better. You may actually find it more worthwhile to use lesser gear because you don't want to waste the few high tier swords you have kicking around in your vault. Making all items useful, especially if there is some form of player loot system and I wouldn't write that off, because we're getting permadeath in some capacity, even if it's very hard to make happen.

Maybe a skill could break down what remains of the broken item to be used to make others, but I was thinking more like Darkfall.

Players make all the items apart from mobs drops with degradation already. Guilds/Covens/Whatever they call it NEED people creating the equipment needed to consistently participate in PVP or if in a large group, running raids or whatever runs they may have.

Also, who says all of crafting NEEDS to be your vampire physically working on the item? This is where influences can come into the game. This fits firearms very well. You have your influence in Underworld. You go to the contact. Use your influence. You lose the ability to use it for a certain amount of time. You get your chosen item. A tinkering ability could then be used on those items obtained trough influence to tweek them ever so slightly.

That motivates player interaction, because many people don't have the patience to work their way through the levels of crafting and influence needed.

How can people say crafting has little place in a vampire game when potence has a lvl 6 discipline specifically for that purpose?

Melee weapons need to be specially crafted not to break apart while using potence. Fortitude, yes, that should degrade an item faster.

Essentially we could have a crafting system that not only needs that crafting expertise ranked up, but also a discipline combination to get specific results or even learn the ability to craft certain items.

I don't believe in the traditional method of only knowing 1 or 2 crafting methods. I do agree in gating certain methods from each other so people can have a diverse range they have chosen to focus on and make sacrifices for the ability to craft more prestigious equipment.

As was stated, they shouldn't ignore the gigantic crafting player base that is floating around the internet looking for a game where crafting actually means something.


Being able to gear up your guild mates for the latest run at the enemy, for a price, is a great feeling that your efforts in the game are respected by the designers and the players.

I'll be honest with myself: I have that attitude about NOT including cash-shops, Frothy. I would have an extremely dark and doubtful attitude about the WODMMO's longevity if they put in a cash-shop with things like XP buffs or shortcuts. I haven't played any game that has such a cash-shop that either became extremely popular or has lasted for more than a few years with such a system. World of WarCraft doesn't have one; EVE Online doesn't have one; Star Wars Galaxies didn't have one (but they had a whole slew of other issues with the "Combat Enhancements"... *sigh*).
On the other hand, Dungeons and Dragons Online has one, but that game wasn't the most popular MMO to begin with; now the only people who play it are the buff-buyers and additional-content-unlockers, because the game and its players are... unwelcoming to anybody who isn't buying those things. Even I gave in and bought a bunch of upgrades for one of my characters...  but it turned out to be less than worthless because the game cheated me due to an erroneous ability description. Not only that, but I would've had to keep paying the subscription to unlock one more kind of class (and it's acknowledged as one of the most over-powered classes in D&D - the Monk). If they have a similar system for the WODMMO ("Unlock the "Blood Brothers" Bloodline, a fourth Discipline slot, and +50% Blood Points gain for only $15 a month!")... I'm sorry, but I'd have to drop that game like it was a rabid face-eating badger, and I would absolutely HATE to have to do that to a White Wolf product/World of Darkness product. It's one of my all-time favorite settings, but I think that such a system would completely ruin the game [for me]. I would also have serious doubts about any company that put such a practice into their game, making me less likely to buy any of their products in future.

I don't know. I think you are looking at things from a fairly anachronistic point of view. Hanging onto the economic models of past games that simply doesn't exist in the current market of gamers.

If it was between them putting in a cash shop and slowing down or stopping development of the game, because not enough cash was coming through the door....put in the cash shop. I have faith they could do it and not ruin the game. Indeed, knowing full well they may need that revenue down the road, why not dump it on us from the start?

Remember, the gamer market that played those games are older now and in many cases have large disposable incomes. I hope they'll go the way of LOTRO and be F2P from the start with Premium subs with benefits and VIP subs with benefits.

F2P RESTRICTIONS AND BENEFITS:
-Can't hold positions.
-Restricted character count.
-Can't craft.
-Quest restrictions
-Restricted Vault
-Restricted currency cap
Anything else that would let people get in the game, try it out and instantly decide on a sub package without giving people the means of abusing free accounts?

PREMIUM OR VIP BENFITS:
-Full access to game material.
-If there is a store, the different tiers of sub can offer their game currency every month as an allowance. LOTRO does this and I like it. VIP grants 500 Turbine points. You can save them or use them. You can even buy the expansions with your saved up points, so this is good for the people on a budget who invest in the VIP annual deal, but don't want to spend more on the game for that year.
I'm sure they can think of some other benefits.

 

Going F2P saved LOTRO and at first I hated the idea of their cash store, I may not agree with all they do on it, but it is a good idea.

Who cares if someone buys a crafting tome or skill tome to speed up their development. Some people enjoy the ride and other don't have the time to keep up with their friends due to real life obligations.

This is where the cash store steps in and reaps a terrific reward.

For all we know they are porting over the Skill development method from EVE where you train even while offline and some of the store item ideas won't fit, but many can and you better be sure that they are weighing the options, paying attention to all the other games magnetizing money to their face with it.

Unless the play experience is truly unique, I don't see subs keeping this game alive for a long haul. It's exceptionally difficult to keep games running on subs alone with SO many options out there.

Also, regarding Bloodlines being in the store to be unlocked for use. DO IT! It would fit the lore not having everyone and their dog running around with them. IF not the store, I would go so far as to do a similar unlock process as Star Wars Galaxies with Jedi. Not exactly like that, but I think you understand what I'm saying.

Even if it's a long, hard, drawn out quest line to unlock that privy, but again, why would they put so much dev time into a few Bloodline only to make it exceptionally difficult for people to enjoy? Bloodlines in the store doesn't sound like a half bad idea.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 07:08:32 pm by PANZERBUNNY »

Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #50 on: June 14, 2013, 07:23:33 am »
F2P RESTRICTIONS AND BENEFITS:
-Can't hold positions.
-Restricted character count.
-Can't craft.
-Quest restrictions
-Restricted Vault
-Restricted currency cap
Anything else that would let people get in the game, take it out and instantly decide on a sub package without giving people the means of accomplishing anything with free accounts?

PREMIUM OR VIP BENFITS:
Pay-to-win
That set-up is arguably even worse than the "XP potions" idea. At least with XP-potion analogues you have to log on and do the quests to get the base experience amount. Restricting quests from free-to-play players is depriving them of not only the actual content of the game, but the much-needed access to experience and other gains that would allow them to being to compete with the buff-buyers. Take away those quests and additional content for the non-buff-buyers, and the game will settle into three categories very quickly: the mortals, the thin-bloods, and the Methuselahs (where the non-buff-buyers are the thin bloods and the buff-buyers are the Methuselahs). That's just about only one step removed from buying a stronger character from the start.
They did this in DDO (EDIT - Sorry, that should've been "Become a V.I.P. Member, get access to the full game!" /EDIT) and it has ended up being that if you don't pay for a V.I.P. Membership, you can barely do half the game (and the lower half at that), and the only way to reach the level cap within a couple years is to spend as much money in the cash-shop as the V.I.P. Content people do for a year's worth of subscription. In this case, not only are you depriving the general population (or as they will become known, the "have-nots") of PvE content (quests), you're making it pointless for them to engage in PvP, since they can never seriously benefit from it if they can never take a city position. So if there's no PvP and no PvE for them to do, why should they play the game at all? If they are truly that desperate to simply socialize with people, then they're probably better off playing Second Life or joining a chat room.

The player economy you describe is a system similar to that of Star Wars Galaxies, only they had the added step of hunting resources instead of buying from a contact. (But you had a resource skill tree that would let you get more resources faster, so they still had a progression system for it.) This did not lead to player interaction so much as player exploitation, because it didn't even cost the sellers time to produce all their crafts. (Everything could be automated, from resource harvesting to production, even to selling the goods via a vendor.) The only real option aside from wasting all your hard-earned money on a single piece of good armor was to become a merchant yourself and produce the goods you wanted. This was a valid option - you could be a Carbineer/Chef, which gave you a bunch of short-term but powerful buffs, or a Rifleman/Weaponsmith, which let you produce your very own custom-made rifles. The downside of being a successful merchant was that that became the entire game for you, using up all your available skill points. The downside of going into business for yourself, as it were, was that you'd only ever produce enough for your character alone; if it wasn't the very best, no-one would buy it, so you couldn't even sell off your hand-me-down gear when you upgraded it. I think this exactly the situation the developers of the WODMMO want to avoid by not putting in a crafting system.
The only reason this system works in EVE Online is because EVE Online is all about money anyway. Money = success, whereas in a more exciting MMO, there are some other things to do, like have fun.

Putting in a cash-shop can't speed up the development of the game anymore than a subscription model could. (Assuming we're talking about post-launch support and expansion content, here, not actual development of the base game.) A cash-shop is a dangerous proposition, because you could actually lose more money than you needed. A subscription is a nice, stable price for both players and developers, whereas in a cash-shop system, there might be a few people who spend $100 a month on upgrades, but most players probably only buy a few things a month, spending in the $5-10 range.
Your concept of the cash-shop seems to hinge on the idea that only players who NEED it will use it. The players who don't have the time to pour hours into the game and get ahead the slow-but-sure way. I can assure you that is never the case. The only deciding factor in a cash-shop is who has more disposable income and the will to use it. Some people put in long hours at work or school and are still scraping by each month. Some people have oodles of spare time AND a large income, so they will pull head exponentially faster (since they can dedicate both time and money) than our poor player who might use the game as their primary source of entertainment, because they can't afford anything else. I have been the poor player (I guess I still am), and I can tell you: the game is not going to be any fun if I feel like I'm making no progress, or whatever progress I'm making is pointless because somebody with more money bought their way to the top of the game, even if the game is free-to-play.
If we assume any given player has $20 a month to spend on games, and that they do, then the difference will be time spent playing. That's about as fair as you can get without putting in an even more broken cash-shop that says: "Oh, Player X has only spent 5 hours this month playing the game. They get a 50% discount on cash-shop items so they can pull ahead!" IF there is a cash-shop in a game, then the same bonus should cost the same for any given player.
Now let's say a player has $0 to spend on a game in a month. Then free-to-play is great for them - but the cash-shop isn't. They still cannot compete with the buff-buyers whether those are the buff-buyers with an average amount of time to play the game, or the buff-buyers who have oodles of time to play the game. I've already shown how buying a buff screws up balance either because
1) The buff-buyer and non-buff-buyer devote the same amount of time to the game, where the buff-buyer pulls head by the amount of buffs they've bought, or
2) The non-buff-buyer has a lot more time to spend on the game, but the buff-buyer only has a few hours (your scenario). In this case, the buff-buyer will buy their way through all the hard work that the non-buff-buyer spent on this game, achieving the same ends for a fraction of the effort. That's efficient. That's quick. That's cost-effective. It's also a bribe and a shortcut.

What game or sport can you think of where bribing and taking shortcuts is legal and fair?
« Last Edit: June 16, 2013, 06:13:44 pm by Rick Gentle »
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Offline mouser9169

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #51 on: June 14, 2013, 09:36:15 am »
Putting in a cash-shop can't speed up the development of the game anymore than a subscription model could. (Assuming we're talking about post-launch support and expansion content, here, not actual development of the base game.) A cash-shop is a dangerous proposition, because you could actually lose more money than you needed. A subscription is a nice, stable price for both players and developers, whereas in a cash-shop system, there might be a few people who spend $100 a month on upgrades, but most players probably only buy a few things a month, spending in the $5-10 range.

Wall of text crits you for 10,000 damage. You die from pain and suffering...

1) Cash shop or not has nothing to do with the crafting system - whatever form it ends up taking. I'm not sure why that is even getting discussed in a thread about the player economy.

2) A cash shop is not a 'dangerous' proposition at all. It may have been when DDO did it, but since then many major MMO's have moved to that model, and are doing well. There's now a LOT of market data on how it works, who buys what, how much they spend, etc...

3) Quest limits are generally how many you can keep in your quest log at once. It's an annoyance, but you can still play the game. Remember though - we don't want players actually playing the game for free. That's just a drain on resources by people who aren't putting anything back into the game. So there need to be some compelling reasons to put some money up: a trend I see now is that some of the restrictions are permanently lifted once you spend five dollars in the shop. It at least gets people to check the shop out and pull out their card.

4) Most FTP games have some sort of 'subscription' option available. They may call it something else, but the idea is always the same. Hell, CityVille has a monthly subscription option available now, and quite a few people are using it.

Now for the player economy - do you go with the traditional different crafting professions to choose from? This has the advantage of one player not able to do everything, so it 'encourages' player interaction. How time consuming do you make crafting? Is it automatically successful or can you lose your component due to a failure? Do you use an auction house or a broker system, or some other in game marketplace for goods. Do ghouls actually help out, or do you end up working for them a la the EQ II 'apprentices'?

How good do you want crafted loot to be? If it's not good enough, no one will bother buying it, so crafting fails. Crafters need adventurers more than adventurers need crafters. Make it too good and people start bitching about looted gear not being good enough.  You're going to make a lot of people unhappy no matter what you do, really.
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Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #52 on: June 16, 2013, 06:10:43 pm »
You could've rolled to dodge... Not my fault you died in pain and suffering.  :justabite:

The closest I've been able to find (in about ten minutes of websearching) of actual purchasing statistics for the Turbine-run cash-shop in DDO are reviews -

a more positive review of the game and the cash-shop ( http://www.tentonhammer.com/ddo/second-look ) -

and a more negative review ( http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/game/163/feature/7261 ) -

so if you can find some more hard numbers, I want to take a look at them.
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Offline Radical21

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #53 on: June 16, 2013, 09:33:08 pm »
1)I'm not sure why that is even getting discussed in a thread about the player economy.

2) A cash shop is not a 'dangerous' proposition at all.

Am I the only seeing the contradiction here?
You either want to talk about it or you don't , saying you think its off topic and then proceeding to challenge Rick about it..
so as the GM of this little forum combat you are running against Rick , You fail!..

Offline xxbxx

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #54 on: June 27, 2013, 08:15:09 am »
F2P is a failure, simple, MAJORITY of these F2P players end up not paying, and you need money to sustain the game, so, in the end, paying minority is forced to pay much more in F2P game to sustain it, and F2P is an excuse for devs not to release additional content. There are just a few MMOs on the market that arent complete failure, both financially, and as entertainment software - most of those F2P MMOs end up on life suport with little additional content added, except cash shop items. Thats what F2P proponents dont say!

I honestly hope WOD MMO will use subscription model, or I'm not gonna play it. Its a matter of integrity of the game and even playing field - I wanna know that other guy have the same stuff I have and he's not disadvantaged. Thats important for PvP.

Offline mouser9169

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #55 on: June 28, 2013, 12:02:55 pm »
F2P is a failure, simple, MAJORITY of these F2P players end up not paying, and you need money to sustain the game, so, in the end, paying minority is forced to pay much more in F2P game to sustain it, and F2P is an excuse for devs not to release additional content. There are just a few MMOs on the market that arent complete failure, both financially, and as entertainment software - most of those F2P MMOs end up on life suport with little additional content added, except cash shop items. Thats what F2P proponents dont say!

Most MMO's "fail" and end up being run on life support, regardless of their financial model.
Hell, most games end up in the bargain bin within six months.

If FTP (which generally includes a subscription option) is such a failure, explain why SOE migrated all of their games over to that model after running separate FTP and subscription servers for EQ2. Do you think they may have noticed that one group of servers was more profitable than the other? It sure hasn't slowed down their content any - they're still releasing expansions like clockwork and are releasing new content for games that hadn't gotten so much as a hotfix in years.

Here's what you're missing: the "freeloaders" cost the gaming company almost nothing. They purchased a copy of the game, so the company has already gotten some revenue. After that the servers and network need to be kept running 24/7, regardless of the number of players (to a point - extra servers cost some money, but even that is a one time expense). Most of the costs are "fixed" - like a store needing pay rent and lights: those don't change based on the number of customers.

The flip side is the freeloaders bring something of value with them - more players for the paying customers to interact with, making it a more enjoyable game for them, which translates into them sticking around longer and paying more money.

As to "hard numbers" (very late reply, sorry Rick), you'd have to dig through annual reports, P&L statements, and anything else released. Many of the numbers (all if a private company) would be internal and most too small to be line items anyway, which is why networking is so important in an industry like this.
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Offline Rick Gentle

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #56 on: June 28, 2013, 05:00:34 pm »
Because Sony Online Entertainment makes sucky decisions for their games?
Or at least the one I actually cared about and wanted to do well?
It's not personal.
Really.
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Offline Radical21

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #57 on: June 28, 2013, 06:22:49 pm »
Heh I can't believe you guys bite on that obvious troll

Not that I like F2P models but even I wouldn't go as far as calling it a failure.

Offline xxbxx

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #58 on: June 30, 2013, 01:52:42 pm »
It wasn't trolling (I firmly believe what I said is true, I didn't post just to provoke comments)!

Those freeloaders cost actually. More people you have, more servers you need. Also, because they aren't paying usually they're restricted (in gold or assets they can get), so they don't contribute to the economy too.

The only good F2P model is WoW one, free to some extent, so you can experience quests pvp and dungeons, but nothing more. Also EVE/Tera model is acceptable too (with game subscription item that can be sold in game), or combination of these two.

Offline mouser9169

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Re: Player run economy/Items/Tinkers/Weaponsmiths
« Reply #59 on: June 30, 2013, 04:21:29 pm »
Because Sony Online Entertainment makes sucky decisions for their games?
Or at least the one I actually cared about and wanted to do well?
It's not personal.
Really.

If you're talking about Star Wars Galaxies, as much as I hated what happened to that game (both the NGE and the closure), I can't really blame SOE for either of those events - I think they were driven by the Lucas Arts end of things [the way they were handled, on the other hand... Although LA may have 'gagged' them on that as well].
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