Jan 31, 2011

Posted by in Lethal Injection, News | 71 Comments

Lethal Injection: Flashpoints: To Exist Or Not To Exist, That Is The Question!

Lethal Injection is a regular opinion column here at Ask A Jedi. If you know Lethality, whom you may be familiar with from over on the official Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ forums, you know that he’s not afraid to share an opinion or two. Even more than that, he enjoys backing it up in the discussion that invariably follows. You can look for the same approach here in each installment of Lethal Injection, and we can’t wait to hear YOUR opinion of his opinions!


Last Thursday, GameSpot was lucky enough to be able to reveal a Star Wars™: The Old Republic™ gameplay trailer of a brand-new Flashpoint entitled Taral V . The video is great, and really shows the intense group combat that BioWare is working hard toward delivering. If you haven’t seen it yet, stop reading this and watch it now. And then please come back. :)

As we spent more time diving in and dissecting the piece, the question came to mind: Is this a Flashpoint on a planet called Taral V, which has yet to be revealed? Or is the planet itself a Flashpoint? The answer came a few hours later in a post from BioWare Senior Community Manager Stephen Reid on the official forums:

To answer the question, Taral V is just a Flashpoint location.

With that confirmation, my heart skipped a beat.

After all, this is an MMORPG with a massive open world in which we’re going to explore, adventure and basically spend a lot of time. Why would a planet exist only in an instance, and not in the open game world? And just how many instanced locations (fauxcations?) like this would exist in the TOR galaxy?

So, why is this such a big deal?

Well, from a gameplay standpoint, it isn’t. Honestly, this could potentially open up many more locations for gameplay than would otherwise be possible by having BioWare need to fully realize a planet in order to adventure there.

But, if the location and the story are important enough to be written, then shouldn’t it be important enough to exist in the game world? It just doesn’t feel right in an MMO context that we’ll be adventuring in places that don’t really exist. To me, this feels more like how a single player, linear, closed-world game might present content to a player.

Taral V

Taral V

And to be clear, I’m not asking for a planet like Taral V to be fleshed out with all of the niceties of other planets. It doesn’t need resource nodes, alien civilizations or quest hubs. But players should still be able to travel there, even when they’re not doing that specific Flashpoint. If players want to travel there just to look at the sky, they should be able to do that in the spirit of freedom that an MMO world affords us.

Now, we don’t know for sure how BioWare will handle this. I’m working on an assumption that since it’s been described as a Flashpoint-only planet, we are unable to travel there the same as we would to other planets via the in-game starship navigation system (and actually, at the time of writing, we don’t know for sure how BioWare handles that either.)

The bottom line for me is that this tends to create a sense of disbelief. It breaks the immersion that is otherwise being so painstakingly crafted. Gabe Amatangelo, Lead PvP Designer on Star Wars™: The Old Republic™, mentioned this when describing how they wanted to hide the “gamey” aspects of Warzones.  So why introduce something seemingly as “gamey” as adventuring in location that really isn’t there?

For an MMORPG, I feel that a primary design goal should be to create a sense of place, as well as offer freedom to players and facilitate immersion at every opportunity. Traveling to a planet in an instance, that you can’t otherwise travel to, seems counter to that ideal.

So, what do you think? Does it matter to you that certain locations will be presented this way? And how many could be like this before it would be a concern to you? Or perhaps, you think this is the greatest idea in the history of ideas! Take a minute and let us know your thoughts below…

  1. To me it doesn’t matter that it’s just a flashpoint only area but I will expect Bioware’s marketing team to take advantage of it and inflate TOR’s planet count like it was done in Mass Effect.

    • I’m mostly concerned with the precedent this will set… I mean, what if there are a lot of areas/locations like this? In my opinion, the world will start to feel really disconnected.

      It’s always possible that, for example, the planet is destroyed in the Flashpoint and that’s why they’ve taken this route… so I may be jumping the gun, but I thought it was important enough for a discussion.

      • It’s really just taking advantage of the Sci-fi setting since realistically there would be a ton of places you would just visit for a few hours and not spend days exploring every nook and cranny.

        Tere are going to be a ton of areas like this and the whole point is to provide an even wider variety of areas that we can encounter without Bioware being forced to create an entire planet.

  2. I sort of agree, I mean why not put the flashpoint on a planet that already existed. It seems odd in an mmo to have places that only exist in an instance

  3. SteppinRazor says:

    I’d seen this kind of thing coming just from reading the descriptions of diplomatic crew missions. We knew the companions doing those missions weren’t even going to be visible in the persistent MMO worlds, so sending them to fake worlds to do fake missions was just how it was going to be.

    I think it’s silly that Taral V is an instance instead of a real planet, but I see BioWare playing it safe allover the place with TOR so I wasn’t surprised at all anymore when they confirmed this.

  4. ScreamAndRoar says:

    I have no problem with it at all as it broadens the scope of the universe you’re living in.

    Even if you were able to go to Taral V you would have to be given a message to say you cannot enter the fotress because you’re not in a group doing the mission.

    That would be far more immersion breaking than having it tucked away on a planet that no one ever visits, something which only serves to support the notion that it’s a good place for a secret fortress.

    • Lethality says:

      Well, let me ask you… What then separates the presentation of content from something like Dragon Age, or even Super Mario World?

      Without a contiguous world, the game just becomes “levels” that you load, defeat the boss, and move on.

      An open world is key to immersion and believability in an MMO. BioWare has already promised huge explorable planets that will deliver on this. So it strikes me as odd that a system such as this – a location that you can’t travel to in the primary game world – would be considered.

      • And you forget that these flashpoints are open as well. Just think of them as mini planets. They’re small but they have a lot of things for you to do in a small area instead of spread out over a huge area.

        • Lethality says:

          That’s fine if it’s a mini-planet. That’s fine if its small. Why not let me go there anyway?

          • Because it would require a Republic invasion in order to explain why Republic players are all over the planet and the game won’t go full out war until some future expansion.

          • Lethality says:

            Then the story is, in fact, getting in the way of the game.

            The Republic players wouldn’t be running wild all over inside the Imperial Fortress unchecked any more than WoW players run wild inside of Icecrown Citadel unchecked.

            They’re running around on the planet surface. Completely innocuous.

            If they want to uphold the fact that is a very hostile place for Republic players, make it very difficult to land in the first place, and/or difficuly just to survive on the surface outside of the fortress.

            Heck, you could even put an empire player bases there as a PvP quest hub… plenty of Imperial defenses at that point, and *boom* its suddenly useful in the real game world.

          • You’re just not taking the full story into acount. They are not running around the imperial fortress unchecked like the imperials are being neutral npc’s. They snuck onto the planet and are secretly infiltrating the fortress for most of the video until they are found out then they get heavily attacked by imperial forces.

          • Lethality says:

            Chornium, I appreciate the discussion, but I feel I’m just not getting my point across.

            If a planet is needed for a Flashpoint, and that planet doesn’t exist yet, then that planet should be created in the game world.

            It is against the spirit of an MMO to simply build little instanced locations and ask players to load into them.

            That’s as simply as I can say it.

          • And I am saying that it is really dumb opinion because it is not against the spirit of the MMO since MMO’s have been using locations that don’t exist in the game world for decades. As I said early down below Flashpoints are just Dungeons with cut scenes.

  5. I think that the Idea of having instanced planets like this is a good thing… What if the planet just has a prison on it, like having an dartmoor prison in England. country land for miles around that’s pretty much just country. nothing special, it’s not worth building a town there it’s in th emiddle of nowhere. So in SWTOR you can have bases or area’s that are flashpoint only to expand the universe but without having too many planets with open useless grassland or putting quests in for the sake of it. Our gaming universe get’s larger for a smaller investment.

    • Even if the planet has just one point of interest on it, why shouldn’t it be represented in the real game world? Why not let players go there and stand in the open field?

      So, even if you didn’t want to allow that – then put the Imperial Fortress on a planet that already exists, so that there IS something else going on there.

      I maintain that if the story and setting are important enough to warrant a specific location, then that location should be created in the game world – not in what amounts to a “dream sequence.”

      • No what you are asking for is that Bioware should shrink the universe down and only allow us to go to fully fleshed out planets. Now that’s completely unrealistic since that would mean they would have to cut story lines like the rescue of Princess Leia from the first Death Star scene or the Battle on Endor from being in the game.

        • Because that’s what Taral 5 is rescuing Princess Leia from the Death Star.

          • Lethality says:

            That’s a problem! That kind of “mission” you load into a single player offline game. “Ohh, it’s time for the Princess Leia level, I wonder how fast I can beat it this time.”

            In an MMO, that same content can exist and should be presented as a destination that you must travel to, enter and then take on the mission.

            It just makes sense that you’d be able to adventure in places that exist, not in places that don’t exist.

          • Huh but they are destinations you travel to, how do you think you enter them by traveling to them through some sort of instance portal either through your ship star map or set on a planets space port.

          • Lethality says:

            Entering an instance portal isn’t traveling… hell, it isn’t even traveling in a fantasy game like WoW. Much less Star Wars.

            It is in fact not a destination you travel to in the game world. That’s a big problem for an MMO.

          • But getting to the instance portal IS traveling and that is how it is treated in all games.

          • Lethality says:

            No, not at all.

            Example: Blackrock Mountain is a physical point of interest in the WoW game world. It resides in the Burning Steppes and Searing Gorge Zones.

            If I want to do the instance/dungeon there, I must travel to the zone (Burning Steppes), travel to the point of interest (Blackrock Mountain), and then inside of Blackrock Mountain find my way to the instance portal and have my adventure.

            That instance portal isn’t transporting me _anywhere_.

            It’s simply making a copy of that part of the cave for me and/or my group. In other words, it physically, really exists in the game world.

            Using the Taral V example, that would be like talking to an NPC in Ironforge and being ported over to the Burning Steppes zone. Except that zone wouldn’t really exist in the game world, and there are no other players there because the whole zone is instanced. Can you say anti-MMO?

            An example I gave on the forums. How would you feel if “Mos Eisley” was all you got on Tattooine? You talk to an NPC in Courscant to load into the Flashpoint, you get to Mos Eisley, and you cannot leave the confines of the city, meaning you can’t see anything else around Tatooine. Would this bother you?

            I mean, if we only need a location for a story, why have the planet at all?

          • First off going through the instsance portal actually sends you to another server that is specifically meant to handle the dungeons.

            But using Taral 5 as a example you and your group will most likely go to your ship enter the Mass Effect map then fly your 2D ship to the Taral 5 planet and then you click on it in order to enter the flashpoint. Or you go to a NPC to get the quests then you have to run all the way down to a space port to meet up with a Havok squad pilot that then starts the flashpoint. But I’m going with the option with the Mass Effect map because it makes us use it more then just to use it as a simple travel system.

          • Lethality says:

            Don’t worry about server infrastructure, we’re talking about the game world.

            When you get to an instance portal in WoW, going through it loads a copy of the area you’re standing in. In other words, it the same physical location in the game world… but your own copy of it.

            The point is: you can travel to it in the non-instanced game world to get there. We should be able to travel to the doorstep of the Imperial Fortress the same way.

          • and I have said before that is very limiting when it comes to telling a story on a galactic level.

          • because in all those other games they all take place on 1 or 2 planets so the real estate that they have to work with is very small compared to what Bioware has to work with. They’ve already have 18 planets announced and more are coming so now you expect them to have 100 planets because that IS what you are asking when you want that gameworld to walk around in.

          • Lethality says:

            “because in all those other games they all take place on 1 or 2 planets so the real estate that they have to work with is very small compared to what Bioware has to work with. They’ve already have 18 planets announced and more are coming so now you expect them to have 100 planets because that IS what you are asking when you want that gameworld to walk around in.”

            The we’re back to… just but the Imperial Fortress on a planet that you already planned on creating.

            Simple.

            And that way, it exists in the game world, which is my entire point.

          • But your not taking into account of the characters involved. Those planets are controlled by specific Sith so by moving the flashpoint to one of those planets your erasing the need to have the Sith Lord that is in the Fortress and replacing him with else that would end up being a quest giver on that planet. So you are causing far more devastating immersion breaking problem then by just having it on a different planet.

          • Lethality says:

            Sigh… then it’s round-and-round we go.

            If it’s THAT important and THAT unique, then create the freaking planet!

          • What’s the point of making the planet when all you need is the Freaking fortress. That’s going against your own design opinions.

            The Sith are extremely territorial now that they all can have their own planets they will not let another Sith Lord build a fortress on their own planet so no your suggestion to move it on a fully fledge planet does not make sense. This even allows Bioware to kill High ranking officials without screwing up planets established characters.

          • Lethality says:

            And THAT is against the spirit of what an MMORPG world should be.

            With your thinking, why have planets at all? Just load into the “adventure experiences” without having to deal with travel in the slightest. It should be as video-gamey as possible, it sounds like.

            It really does look like story is getting in the way of the game.

          • Your example of what I want is guild wars and that’s not what I am talking about at all. But what you really want is a MMO with no instances at all and that is never going to happen.

            What I’m expecting TOR to be is WoW and Mass Effect being combined. It’s nowhere near being immersion breaking it’s being smart on how to effectively design a game. By your standards Mass Effect is the most immersion breaking game in existence.

          • Well Mass Effect 2, not Mass Effect 1.

          • Lethality says:

            No, I still don’t think you’re getting it.

            I have no problem with instances, I love instances.

            But instances should not be used to take you to a place that doesn’t already exist in the word. They should be used to create a copy of the world are you’re already in/near.

        • Lethality says:

          No, and I’m not sure how people keep making this misunderstanding.

          I’m not asking for a smaller universe – I’m simply asking for a universe where the activities we do and the places we go exist in that universe. It should be precisely the size they need it to be to tell their stories.

          Having a faux location in an MMO is a slippery slope, and a dangerous road to be going down this early, IMO.

          • Huh, The flashpopints are the size they need to be in order to tell a story. You’re making no sense. They’re not faux locations they are locations in the Star Wars galaxy either mentioned once in the EU like flashpoints in TOR or new locations made by Bioware that is expanding the ever growing universe.

          • Lethality says:

            I’m making all kinds of sense.

            Name another successful, mainstream MMO where you go fight in a location that otherwise doesn’t exist in the game world.

            Who would even expect to do that?

            There are plenty of places “mentioned” in Tolkien’s lore or Azeroth that don’t exist in the game world (yet) and players don’t get to go there – in an instance or otherwise.

          • all dungeons in WOW don’t exist in the game world all they are just portals that lead you to the instance zone.

          • Flashpoints are just dungeons with cut scenes.

  6. Ianmcnosehair says:

    As Lethality pointed out, I’m concerned that the ‘story’ will interfere with game play and that perhaps an overuse of flashpoints will lead to less ‘universal’ interactions and game play.

    And its true that flashpoints are like dungeons with cut scenes, but to a point. It will depend on how many missions depend on flashpoints and what percentage of those missions use them vs. the percentage of mission done in the wide open swtor universe.
    Otherwise, Its like going with your friends to a brothel(everyone ends up in different rooms) instead of hanging at a cool club and enjoying the scenery together, AND being seen!

    Which brings up Lethality’s valid concern about the possiblity of TOO much linear progression falling more in line with a single person, leveling adventure.
    Yeah yeah, BW wants to expand on the MMO thing and cross dress here and there, be innovative, there and here, but at some point, you shoot yourself in the foot by not specializing to some degree.

    As for how a person will be transported to this ‘semi-existent’ planet, nothing has been said from what I’ve read, but even if they have cinematics to move the illusion along, it is definitely less realistic not being able to physically place/find it in the game universe.
    Frankly, I think the idea stinks. But maybe there is a greater madness to this method that will tie things together properly.

    I’ll wait and see…. no reason to get my chonies all twisted over it.

    • Exactly right… It’s BioWare and I’m trusting them to give this proper attention and either integrate it properly via story, or eventually flesh it out as a location.

      As I mentioned in one of my other comments, one example of a potential reason to do this is… the planet gets destroyed at the end of your mission. If they want the planet to be destroyed as part of the storyline, they couldn’t very well put the fortress on a planet that they don’t want destroyed :)

  7. Illuminati says:

    Guys the story is not getting in the way of the game its focusing it. so you cant land on Taral V and run around like a fucking kid in a candy store, if thats what your looking for galaxies is calling you.(back to my point) your there to achieve a bad ass republic spec op mission. So they slap a cut scene stitching your travel to Taral V you run the flashpoint, complete it and bam another cut scene to back where you were. what I want to know is..what you guys think they can/will do to make these flashpoints replayable other than loot you didnt get the first time

    • Then why build planets at all? Why not just stand in a hallway, pick a door, and do a mission? No need for immersion, right?

      “slapping a cut scene to get you to Taral V” is exactly how a single player, off-line, closed world game would do it. Hence, my concern.

    • MasterJS says:

      maybe its just me, but I’m thinking being able to “replay” flash points, for better loot or because you want to choose differently is FAR MORE immersion breaking than anything else….it’s like experiencing Luke’s hand getting cut off and then you play it over again so that he doesn’t loose his hand this time around….I don’t like the thought of that, so I’m probably only going to play flash points through once and not going to repeat them…you can’t undue the choices you made or physically change the past, you can only make up for it in the future direction you are choosing to go.

  8. they can make up enough story to restrict further access to the planet =P

    I dont see this as a big problem

    • Lethality says:

      Hey Tim! :)

      Yes, they definitely can… and if they’re going to do this type of thing, I think its an absolute requirement that they make sure they cover every little potential loophole through the story.

      I know I’m taking a rather extreme position on this, but I think that if this becomes a trend and there are 20-30 locations like this, the community in general would start to feel the same way.

  9. Chronium and lethality let me please have a small input. Firstly I agree with having this instanced planet. I see it as a secret prison world which only a handful of high-ranking Sith know about, which is why ordinary empire personnel have no idea of its existence and therefor location. Then on the republic side, they have just discovered it’s location and value (maybe from bothan spies or whatever fits the story) and now they send in a small strike force on either a stolen transport with correct codes or some sort of “stealth” ship(piloted by someone else so even the strike team do not know the location)(that may sound similar to Luke’s strike force landing on Endor). Sith forces do not know of its location or existence and neither do republic forces.
    Sorry if that was confusing with all the () but needed that info.
    In ending I dont think there should always be seperate planets for flashpoints, maybe a few on spaceships or something, but there will be the usual ones on plantes where you can travel to “the front door”. Please comment on my oppinion. Cheers

    • Well, you’re on the right track with trying to solve it with story.

      But if you listen to how you describe it – for example, a small Republic strike force sent there for the mission – you have to remember that every Republic player in the game is part of that “small strike force.”

      This makes it a perfect tool for storytelling, as you wouldn’t learn of the planet’s existence until you do the story that takes you there… but then add it to your star map for travel. Sort of an attunement.

      It makes more sense for a ship or a space station, because they’re easier to explain the sudden appearance of (or sudden destruction) as compared to a planet.

      But in the same way, an entire space station the size of the Death Star, or even a ship like an Imperial Destroyer wouldn’t be full built out inside – just like a planet would not have to be fully fleshed out with quests, resources, aliens, etc. Just make it “exist” in the game world.

  10. It seems to me that Taral V would be a “Empire Only” planet if it were accessible through normal player starship travel. Even then, would the Empire really encourage its citizens to drop in to its Guantanamo Bay facility for a cup of coffee when they’re in the area?

    A Republic flashpoint at a secret Imperial facility deep in Empire space really doesn’t lend itself to tourism.

    • Well, that goes even further into the ideal that an MMO world be open and explorable, if not dangerous. Using WoW as an example, there are no “Horde Only” or “Alliance Only” zones. It’s crazy to try and infiltrate the enemy capital cities, but you’re not stopped from trying.

      These minor things add to the thread of believability in these games.

      I’m sure BioWare will do a great job “disguising” that its a planet only in an instance… but is that the right way to go about creating an MMO game world? By disguising the places you go but that don’t really exist?

      Make the planet extremely difficult to land on, and then even more difficult just to survive on. But by all means, make the planet.

      • How hard can you make it? If it is a level 32 flashpoint, then what’s to stop level 40s or 50s from just hanging out there, maybe farming drops for cash. That’s difficult to predict.

        What I would really like to avoid is a SWG situation, where a remote, hidden planet (er… moon) like Endor has a bunch of player characters hanging out on it.

        If knocking out the shield generator on the sanctuary moon is a flashpoint, it has a lot more significance if you don’t take your companions to Endor on holiday on a regular basis. I’m willing to accept the unrealistic inability to get there in my Force Festiva in exchange for having it be a hidden or secret installation.

        • At some point, you have to let it be an MMO.

          If you want it to be a pristine adventure where other players can’t taint your experience, you can find it in a single player offline game.

          I’d ALMOST accept this if it’s a 1-time Flashpoint, as in, non-repeatable.

  11. The reason for the instancing is likely so the party can play through this major quest/event without interference from other players. If my party and I are in the middle of some epic adventure, an instance compromises my immersion far less than some random asshole milling about so he can “look at the sky”. Then there’s griefing potential on pvp servers.

    Wait until you see the implementation before you start bitching.

    • Lethality says:

      I’m not suggesting that instancing is bad. It’s good for specifically the reason you outline.

      But the planet itself should not be instanced. Just the fortress.

  12. Lethality i do agree with you in that instanced content like this should be kept to a minimum and/or be thoroughly disguised by story.

    But unfortunately thats it.

    Having them create the planets just so u can free-roam is unviable, not to mention plain stupid. Ud end up with A LOT less story for the possibility of “looking up at the stars” as they would have to cut back on story building to allow sight-seeing. Dunno bout u but i prefer a well told tale in a determined setting to a breath-taking planet full of nothing. Also stars look basically the same be it in Taral V or Coruscant so if ure really craving for stars just look up in any of the other free-roam planets.

    Another idea u put out was to include the flashpoint somewhere else. Now this is even more imersion breaking than the original idea. Instead of having a planet with a lore of its own and carefully built to fit that lore ud end up with planets fillen with chunks of stories with no conection between them. Like as “… To the left you have the Taral V flashpoint and to the right is the Revan Tomb one. Just up ahead theres the Fuc…ermmm…Find Princess Leia flashpoint just next to that cliff in this otherwise plain filled world that allows for a great look at the stars.”

    All in all i think this way of doing it is the best of two evils…or three. Just as long they dont make it a trend im fine with it.

    • Lethality says:

      I’m not saying there should be random, expansive planets just for the sake of it. I’m saying if there is a need for a story location that doesn’t already exist, then it should be created the same as any other location – in the game world.

      And to your second point – how is that more immersion breaking? If these planets are as big and expansive as advertised, then it should be _easy_ to put an Imperial Fortress in a remote location on an already existing Empire planet. It could be hidden underground, cloaked, whatever method you wanted. But the important factor is that it would exist on a world that exists.

      I go back to my first paragraph here – if the location is THAT important to the story, and no other location will do – then its important enough to be created in the game world.

      It befuddles me why players would have any sort of expectation at all to play the game in locations that don’t exist.

  13. I think this is an instance of where story gets in the way of the MMO feel. Bioware might not be able to have a mini-planet with an instance portal because of a story choice early on. The yoda-species guy might give you a choice of how to get to the planet or where you are dropped off,(you can go through the sewers or the forest). It would be wierd to go through the instance on the planet only to be teleported to the yoda-species guy, who is actually on courisant, so you can make your decision on where to go.
    I’m fine with this because I don’t really give a crap where the instance is, only whats in it.

  14. Is it possible that the quote is being misinterpreted? Could it be something like Taral V is a flashpoint location on planet X? I don’t know all the information, but is saying “Taral V is just a flashpoint location” the same as saying “the Nexus is just an instance location”?
    Anyone know?

    • Lethality says:

      Sadly, it was identified as a Flashpoint-only location:

      http://www.swtor.com/community/showpost.php?p=5309827

      Taral V is in fact the planet that the Imperial Fortress/Prison is on, however Taral V doesn’t exist in the game world the same as the other planets.

      My hope is that they don’t do this kind of thing very often. I can certainly see their reasoning, but to me it breaks that feel of an immersive world knowing there are some places I can’t actually go, despite them “existing.”

  15. From a system engineer point of view its more viable and easy to make components (instances) that are used for specific reasons only, like a quest. Its easier to make an area that you know what to expect from the players, instead of making is an open-world planet where anything goes.

    From a gameplay perspective i dont mind that we wont have a planet and it will be instanced. Planets with blockades are the same. you know its there but when you try to get there you will be probablu be blown up from the blackade force.

  16. This argument to me is unfounded. You ARE traveling on the planet in the flashpoint. What is the point in being able to run around on a barren planet that has nothing, including animals, etc… I just find this immersion breaking argument to be extremely annoying when it really doesn’t make a difference

    • Lethality says:

      No, you AREN”T traveling to the planet. You are loading into a place that you can only load into… it is not a zone in the game world, and you can not go there any time you want.

      You don’t seem to understand that the planet wouldn’t have to be barren – but it should definitely exist. And it doesn’t.

  17. I think this idea is great. It allows them to give us Flashpoints as fast as they can make them.. Otherwise, they would have to develop entire worlds or patch and change the planets we have to insert said Flashpoint.

    I see this as a creative way to offer a system players are actually asking for. A system that can queue you right into a Flashpoint without the travel. Another MMO employs this design, along with some others that are hotly debated right now.

    So instead of magically teleporting there and back to your city just for queuing for a group, you get this whole new world and storyline that you fly to.

    Why would you want to travel to a planet just to go into the Flashpoint? Who does this in the “other” MMO that offers a queue? No one! You just queue for it.

    I think you guys are caught up too much in the RP of it all and are not thinking about the design aspects from a dev point of view. If this is deemed acceptable, we will get new Flashpoints at a much faster pace than would otherwise be allowed.

    I love it, save the design of an entire planet for either xpacs, world PvP, or lvl 50 only bonus content. Not just for one silly flashpoint.. Fly me there!

    • Has nothing to do with RP. Has to do with effort and immersion. Blizzard does it right, ha wavered from it some, but with MoP, they’ll be going back t physical representations of instances in the world.

      Developer efficiency should be the last thing on their minds when creating good games.

      Here’s an analogy based on an old Steak n’ Shake commercial:

      “There’s more than one way to make a shake and we admit, their way is more efficient.”
      “But when’s the last time you sipped a shake and said, ‘Mmm, that tastes efficient’?”

      • So.. let me get this right.. Blizz does it right with WoW?

        So, you want to have an instance in a world you can run to but never do? Because of immersion? You are the only one immersed in it my friend.. No one runs or flies over to and instance anymore. Let alone fight through some mobs just to get there. We fight mobs in our class quests and world quests. Questing and story IS NOT optional here. In WoW it is. For the sake of argument put quests there. What do you do?

        Well, nowadays most people roll a Druid and queue as tank/healer, tank/dps, or healer/dps. From level 10 through 80 you can sit in any city and do nothing but queue for insatnces all day and level up quickly.

        Who cares about the quests, just ask someone to share when you enter the instance! That model is a joke and I hope these guys never employ it.

        You don’t need “random LFG” when the flashpoints are all flown to and leave from the same hangar. There is your hub.

  18. Point well taken.. I consider the taste to be the content. The barren planet I’m running around in is what I’m slipping in.

    Come and tell me how Blizzard is doing it right when people are leaving in drones and next xpac you get pandas, pokemon fights, and MEGA damage. They do it wrong. It’s old.

    Like I said, no one runs to instances in WoW anymore. They did it that way because they started that way. No you just simply queue for them. You don’t even have to find it on your map before queueing to unlock it.

    This is space. We have spaceships and the void. We are not sailing over an ocean or running to instance entrances on 7 zones that are connected. We are flying to and from different planets from our fleet.

    It makes perfect sense. It’s a new world. It’s a new instance. Quit fighting it and go play WoW if Blizz does everything right. Right?

    • Blizzard understands MMO gamers better, period. They focus on the things they care about. Just because WoW is starting to lose subscribers is no sign that it’s a bad game in any way, shape or form. It’s more than likely more successful than TOR will ever be in terms of sheer subscribers.

      The fact is, this is an MMO. The ONE thing the genre has is to add that layer of realism and believability, and to create a sense of place. Without that, we might as well be playing Pac-Man. Turning MMORPG’s into “video games” is the wrong direction.

      It might grab more money in the short term, but there’s no innovation or longevity. Another analogy, take a look at the music industry. We have way more rock bands than ever before. But you’ve never heard of them as they are manufactured, they make money, but they burn out quick. It’s a product, not an art. Blizzard still sees the art in it. Not saying that BioWare doesn’t, but… with this fake planet Flashpoint deal, it’s hard to see the future.

      It might be efficient, but it doesn’t make it good.

  19. Don’t skimp on my content so you can run around on a planet that has no purpose. That’s a bad design. You should just fly to the planet and be right in the zone. You can see the sky as your ship lands.

    Quit hitting spacebar!!!

    • You have the same problem… you have blinders on. Don’t create an empty planet for the Flashpoint to be on.

      Crete a full, content-rich planet and then add Flashpoints as the story and location dictates.

      Seems clear to me, but….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>