These are notes based on this set of articles on Raph Koster's website.
Not skill trees, but skill webs
Greater range, less focus on the close-in
Interdependence between player roles
Cater to all player types (i.e. Bartle types), let players play what they want
All scenarios in the movies should be possible in the game
"The spirit of the game was all about changing your character up over time, and trying new things"
Reece Thornton designed the resource system in SWG (e.g., the 474 subtypes of resources, and the random generation, etc.)
474 subtypes of resources arranged in a tree
Perlin noise used to generate their spots
Once tapped out, a resource area would be gone forever
Only some resources would ever spawn at a given time; it might be weeks or even months before a particular type showed up
Raph thinks harvesters should have needed to be re-built every time the resource they were mining changed
He also thinks crafters should have been limited to at most 10 crafting recipes at a time to encourage interdependence
Everything was tradeable, with no bio-attunment/soulbinding.
Everything was damaged with use/decayed and could be repaired (by a player).
The commodities market was intentionally not a full auction house in order to prevent “Wal-Marts” or “Amazons” from showing up and eliminating the ability to compete on price.
The original intent was to let players create missions for other players to deliver items for them.
There was no (meaningful) loot in the game.
There was a system for marketing and merchant-ery in the game that made owning and operating a business a system in itself.
Combat was supposed to be a rock-paper-scissors of the various disciplines and weapon types (e.g., snipers sucked against melee rogue types, pistoleers sucked against snipers, etc.)
HAM (Health-Action-Mind) was intended to be “bouncy”, with use of specials creating brief periods of weakness (“lowering shields”) that could be exploited by careful enemies
Buffs were never supposed to give more than a 10% increase in efficiency, certainly not the 400% that the SWG buff system gave
There were going to be “third places” where players went during downtime because they wanted to, not because they were forced to (e.g., theaters, bars, etc.)
The point was to encourage players to meet and talk and generally be sociable
Camps that scouts and rangers could build were intended to be bastions of support behind the front lines
PTSD was modeled into SWG in the form of “battle fatigue” that could only be healed by entertainers
Originally, there was supposed to be two music professions: composing and performing.
Composing was dropped due to legal concerns (like people arranging pre-existing songs in the game)
The musician system had a “concert master” that could direct a group of musicians to operate in concert
This enabled touring bands with particular routines that they set up
Theater professions (acting, script-writing) were dropped, sadly
The Writer profession was intended to be able to produce not only in-game books, but publish RSS feeds of those works, and allow Writers to charge (in-game) to read a work, or allow them to ask for tips on a read
In order to Master some skills, XP gained from teaching other players was required
Your avatar’s facial expressions, body language, and “tone of voice” would be customizable and intertwined
A chat box is a reminder that you’re playing a game; so, they added chat bubbles above avatars’ heads
Player missions were dropped because social graphing is expensive, and it would be hard to prevent griefing
Unfortunately… that basically killed the intended function of Smugglers and Bounty Hunters.
Laying down roads and re-texturing terrain in and around player cities was intended, but never successfully added
Creature taming was deliberately designed to work with, and around, animal social behavior
Pets would be tamed as babies and grow over time into adults
Pets would be taught their name through repetition of commands
Droids were originally intended to have the same emotional attachment, but this never came to be