A Jedi Saga: Raph Koster on how Jedi killed Star Wars Galaxies

It was not merely that the profession was incomplete, broken, and buggy (which you are right, they all were), it's that there was no scope for the Smuggler profession to smuggle in any way! There's no spot in the design that you can point to and say, "Ah, there's where the smuggling goes."

Smuggling was content-dependent. Basically, originally there were supposed to be patrols and stuff that was illegal. Smuggling was literally a set of concealment and inventory secrecy skills that you could use when stopped, etc. But without content such as patrols that stopped and did searches, well...

You're talking about everything you had to cut, right? Why didn't you cut smuggling? Why didn't you cut everything back that didn't make sense? There still would've been a pretty damn good sci-fi game in there. It wouldn't have been Star Wars, but it would've been a pretty damn good game.

Do you mean everything that was broken?

The reality is that there's steps I couldn't take short of quitting on principle. And believe me, I debated it.

And I'll say again, the reason I am so angry about this is that there was never an admittance that you weren't serving the customers you originally targeted and you are STILL not admitting that the design didn't focus on Star Wars.

The launch certainly did not serve those customers, but we had in fact tried, is what I am getting at. And Yes, the design DID focus on Star Wars because, you're plat out incorrect about

If Star Wars was important to the design, then it couldn't have gotten out the door in the state it was in. What's truly important to the design of a system is what gets implemented first; it's what hinders a system from expanding in a different way.

because this statement ignores so many realities it's not funny. I truly wish we lived in a world where the above was true, but we don't. The state something goes out the door in is rarely has much to do with what the creatives want, for example. The realities of technology and dependencies and the like mean that no, you don't get to implement "Star Warsiness" first and say, terrain engine second.

I just can't sit here and have you tell me that it being Star Wars really mattered to you when the evidence of the product is that an economic MMO is what came out of the actual work that got created.

Once upon a time, there was an MMO getting made called Game Neverending. The folks making it were really really into the idea of making a groundbreaking online world. They had designed and implemented all sorts of really cool features. They believed it in passionately, and worked their asses off. One feature happened to work better than a lot of the others. That game became Flickr. Do you think that because the evidence of the product is a photosharing website that it being an MMO didn't really matter to them?

I am not trying to duck your accusation. Did I fuck up by not making them game ever more Star Warsy? Sure. I'll say it bluntly: we could have made a much more Star Warsy game. It would have had crappy retention, crappy community, and nobody would remember it much today, because the tradeoffs we ended up making were ones that made the game actually last. Making money was ALSO a pillar we had to hit.

/r/Games Thread Parent Link - raphkoster.com