“Are F2P MMOs just not very good?” I asked myself this very question the other week when I heard the news that, surprise surprise, SW:TOR was going to ditch it’s subscription model and go free-to-play instead. Of course, everyone and their donkey had predicted this months ago so it didn’t come as much of a shock, aside from perhaps how quickly it happened. I think most of us were expecting it to take a few more months.
Archive for the ‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’ Category
According to general chat on Balmorra, Darth Lachris is a well known hussy. I don’t mind. My Bounty Hunter may be a big softy at heart, refusing to kill people unless absolutely necessary and showing mercy where he can, but he still tries to pork anything that moves. Twi’lek, Hutt, Sith, anything goes. Apparently Lady Lachris feels the same way.
I don’t like doing reviews because I don’t really feel qualified to write them – not as a gamer that is, but as a journalist. I’m far too opinionated and biased to be comfortable scoring games plus MMOs are a huge endeavour and I don’t think reviewing one within a few weeks of release does them justice. Still, I can’t get SW:TOR out of my head (which probably says a lot about how strong a hold it has on me and how good it is) and strangely feel the need to blab my thoughts about it, detailing its many aspects, good and bad. So anyway, I guess this is my so sort of ‘non-review’ review:
First off, as I’m aware I’m being quite critical of the game lately, I just want to say that I’m really enjoying SW:TOR. It’s a blast to play, lots of fun, and I’ve had a good time these past couple of weeks with it. Whilst I’d urge people to check it out because of those facts, I highly doubt, however, that I’ll be playing the game in two or three months time. I expect by then I will have returned to dabbing with alts in WoW, resubscribed to RIFT and/or be trying out EVE again (at last). And this is what I mean when I say that SW:TOR won’t be the success everyone hopes it will be.
By success, of course, I mean making stupid amounts of money, money enough to rival Blizzard’s revenue and generate millions of dollars in profit a month. If success in your books means the creation of a really fun game though, then yes, The Old Republic has succeeded in spades on that account. Unfortunately I don’t think ‘fun’ is what the board members of EA/BioWare had on their minds when they dumped $300 million into their latest creation.
I’ve been playing SW:TOR since Tuesday and, whilst I have been enjoying it quite a lot, a number of big game design flaws have cropped up already, most of which I think will start to grate on people pretty quickly. The biggest flaw, in my book anyway, is the now very apparent terrible distribution of classes amongst the playerbase. Simply put, everyone is playing the same darn class (Advanced or otherwise)… and I don’t just mean by a small percentage either, I’m talking about by a frickin’ massive degree. I think for every one Vanguard I’ve encountered, I’ve seen about 20 Commandos and I’m not even sure the Smuggler class exists.
I always knew I was going to get SW:TOR, right from the moment it was announced, but it wasn’t until the subject was being discussed in the the comments of my last post that I started to ask myself exactly what I was expecting from it. To have fun, for sure, but what else? To be honest, I’d never given it much thought.
My decision to pre-order SW:TOR was a no-brainer really. It’s a MMO, it’s Star Wars, it’s BioWare. Duh. The founders of the company themselves could’ve gone on camera and viciously insulted my mother and I still would’ve pre-ordered the game (although I might have grumbled a little about it). Lack of slander aside though, it was also never a secret that the game was anything other than a ‘WoW clone’ (kinda unfair to call it that really but you know what I mean) so at least from that perspective I expected a pretty generic themepark MMO, similar in gameplay and design to most of the mainstream MMOs released in the last few years. Plus, I expected polish ’cause it had BioWare and buckets of money behind it.
As you may know, I’ve been avoiding the SW:TOR beta lately (and thus this entire post might be complete crap) but one thing I haven’t been able to avoid is reading a lot of information about the game. As much as I tried to resist, curiosity got the better of me and I started checking out the SW:TOR skill tree (aka talent) system to see if I could decide what class I wanted to play. Suffice to say, I was pretty shocked at how outdated, inflexible and unoriginal it was.