Thursday, March 11, 2004

SWG: All "Content" Is Not Equal

JustG wrote:
Problem #2: Lack of content.
We are committed to releasing new dungeons in between each publish. We want these to be of the highest quality. The Geo Lab is a good example of what we are shooting for. The Corvette is next, and it is awesome. I'll go into more detail about what else is on the horizon later.
Where is it written that "content" == "dungeons"?

I recognize that a majority of SWG players are primarily (if not exclusively) interested in combat, and that development needs to focus on adding content that will keep these folks playing SWG.

But it's my impression that SWG was never meant to be purely a fighting game. Crafters, explorers, merchants, and even entertainers were all to have useful roles to play. Maybe these roles were simply to support the fighters, but as I understood it the ultimate goal was a game that would allow players the flexibility to have fun in the ways they most enjoyed while supporting the combat-oriented community.

So why is it that when "content" is discussed it seems always to be combat-specific? I don't mind seeing new dungeons, and combat redesigns, and revamped battlefields, and the many tweaks and fixes to existing combat rules... but where are the busy new crafthalls for the folks making the weapons and armor? Where are the new stages for dancers and musicians? Where are the strange new worlds for Scouts and Rangers to explore? Where are the new Player Contracts? In short, where's the content for non-combat players that's as cool as the new dungeons for combat players?

One bit of good news here is the Droid Invasion. I applaud the attention now being given to this aspect of SWG gameplay. My hope is that along with the new features the droid constructors will also gain new content that allows them to use those new features. In other words, the new features will be nice but not exciting if all that Droid Engineers can do with them is build more new droids -- they need opportunities to feel that using their new skills matter within the game, just as combat players get to apply their skills in the new dungeons.

Again, I am in no way suggesting that combat players shouldn't be getting new content. I think it's great that they are; I support that. What I'm suggesting is that some additional attention be given to creating similarly engaging content for non-combat players. These folks matter to SWG, too -- if too many of them walk because they're bored, where will fighters get their weapons and armor? Who'll buff them? Who'll heal their battle fatigue?

The new content for fighters is great. Now it would be helpful to see that similarly exciting content is planned for the rest of the folks who support SWG.