BioWare Opens New Studio For MMORPG

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It was more of a question of when than if, and today BioWare announced that it is planning its own massively multiplayer online RPG, and it is opening a studio in Austin, TX to work on the game. According to the press release, the MMORPG will combine "the best of BioWare's great past games with a compelling persistent online experience."

From the PR announcing the studio:

Joining the Austin team as lead designer is James Ohlen, BioWare's Creative Director, whose previous credits include lead or co-lead design roles on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights, Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate II.

Also leading the BWA team are MMO veterans Richard Vogel and Gordon Walton. Richard Vogel brings 15 years of experience to BioWare Austin, previously serving as VP of Product Development for Sony Online Entertainment's Austin studio, as well as launching Ultima Online as a senior producer at Origin. Gordon Walton recently served as VP, studio manager and executive producer at Sony Online Entertainment as well as VP and Executive Producer at Electronic Arts.

From The Chatty
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    March 13, 2006 6:59 AM

    Oh boy, if anyone could pull it off it could be BioWare.

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      March 13, 2006 7:20 AM

      So long as they don't try to copy Jade Empire's combat system, they will do ok.

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        March 13, 2006 7:32 AM

        Actually, I think most MMORPG'ers would go nuts for a combat system like that.. It would be a lot more skill based than the combat in any other MMORPG.

        Not that I'm saying they should do it, but I bet it would draw a lot of attention initially. Would be really hard to make it work right, though.

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        March 13, 2006 7:43 AM

        that would the only reason for me to play an MMORPG. combat in those games is mind numbing.

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          March 13, 2006 7:44 AM

          Which is what jade Empire's combat is. Hopefully they will not use it.

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        March 13, 2006 8:04 AM

        They won't, servers bandwidth won't allow as far as I know. Didn't WoW and D&D promise more action based combat? Yeah.

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          March 13, 2006 10:43 AM

          Planetside? Neocron was a propper fps mmorpg (stat based but fps combat). The combat in Neocron did work (pretty well at times), but could get laggy.

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        March 13, 2006 8:06 AM

        Agreed. Jade Empire's combat system would not work well at all in an MMO.

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          March 13, 2006 8:13 AM

          Dodge. Dodge. Dodge. Dodge. Attack. Dodge. Dodge...

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            March 13, 2006 9:46 AM

            Jade Empire's combat could get really boring if you used some of the cheap exploits. However I mixed it up and tried several different styles. Hopefully when Bioware makes a Jade Empire sequal they really put some effort into the combat and AI.

            I would love to have a MMO with real time combat where actual player skill comes into play. One of the reasons I don't like the current crop of MMOs is that the combat is all "I stand here, you stand there, hit each other until one of us dies." There is very little skill involved as all you need to do is hit your hot buttons in the right order and you will win. This makes me feel more like a spectator than and actual participant in the battle. I would be over joyed if a MMO came along with Ninja Gaiden like combat.

            It just seems like developers are too scared to try anything radical and just keep "refining" what has come before them.

            Hopefully Bioware will be able to bring something new to the table with this project.