My wife: “Wait, you paid $150 for the stupid collector’s edition and aren’t sticking with it? Are you serious?”
The discussion then proceeded into her asking me if the extra stuff was worth it, to which I answered a solid.”Actually, no. It’s not.”
Now, I’ll get my money’s worth eventually. I intend on playing SWTOR for a while (around 4 months to justify the cost vs. purchasing other games), but I can’t see myself playing for the seven years I dedicated to World of Warcraft. Instead, I intend on playing Star Wars: The Old Republic as though it were Knights of the Old Republic 3, experiencing the various stories and classes with the endgame gear-grind only a tingle of a thought in the back of my mind.
If you’re like me, you’ve been fiending for BioWare to release KOTOR 3 for the better part of a decade. So when they announced the MMO entry of the franchise, the online addict in me rejoiced.
As an MMO, SWTOR is every bit as polished as any other triple-A MMO (and more than most). But what about as a single-player game? I mean, it wouldn’t be a BioWare title if the storyline didn’t take precedence over anything else, right?
Well, yeah. And the storyline’s are good.
So it’s KOTOR 3, then? Or just as good as?
Eh…well, maybe. Kinda. Let’s just say that I’m torn on that particular point.
Having made my way to level 50 on my Sith Inquisitor, I can honestly say that the game’s leveling content is phenomenal. The class quests are brilliant, and each planet has its own enthralling narrative. The flashpoints (instances) are hit or miss, with some being story-driven and others being WoW-style dungeon crawls. Depending on your preference, there have to be a couple you’ll really enjoy.
The thing is, though, SWTOR is still a themepark MMO with straight-outta-Azeroth combat (don’t let the no autoattack fool you; it’s WoW combat with a laggier UI) and The Burning Crusade‘s endgame. Only with lightsabers and a fantastic story. If that’s not your kind of game, let’s just say these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
After having done a week’s worth of dailies and PvP, I’m tired of the game at 50.
I still have a lot of content to see (especially as my class quest bugged just a little into Chapter 3–I’ll have to finish it up once BioWare figures out how to fix me), but I’m having a hard time making myself log into my 50. Instead, I’ve been playing a Jedi Guardian and Jedi Shadow, trying to decide which one will let me most enjoy the Republic’s storylines.
Given that I kind of dread logging into my main, I have to ask the question, is SWTOR worth it? After splurging on the CE to my wife’s chagrin and setting up a subscription, is SWTOR worth the time and the money?
I think so, yes.
The leveling content is good. Real good. Awesome good.
While the gameplay mechanics may be old-hat and the endgame a carbon copy of The Burning Crusade, the narrative is solid BioWare. And if the developers are even half as good as Trion in producing regular updates, then you’ll definitely see a lot of value for your subscription. (The first patch they’ve announced already includes a new 4-person flashpoint and additional raid bosses, so they seem to be on the right track.)
If you’re a sucker for a good story, The Old Republic is worth every penny.
In fact, the more you can immerse yourself in the narrative and get over the fact that you’re repeating planet quests on alts, the value of the game skyrockets. At just $15 a month, getting 200+ hours of gameplay (which is what BW estimated each playthrough should have) isn’t a bad deal.
But if you’re an endgame junkie, if min-maxing is your thing, and you have to grind for gear, points, progression, whatever, I’m not sure that The Old Republic is the game for you. It’s probably not even close to worth it because the content just isn’t there yet. It will be eventually, but right now, there just isn’t much variety for that playstyle.
Personally, my plan is to experience the stories, work through the Republic side of the planets, and hook up with friends whenever we can. I’m not worrying about gear or progression or even seeing the raids and level 50 content just yet. I am going to be playing other MMOs at the same time (F2P offerings, actually–Dungeons and Dragons Online and DC Universe Online are my current mistresses) and doing what I can to enjoy myself and not burn out.
As a game, SWTOR is worth it. As one’s sole hobby, it’s not quite there yet. You’ll have to determine how and why you play MMOs to see if it’s worth it to you.