SWTOR Exit Survey

My SWTOR account is on the way out. I decided not to resubscribe, but I have no doubt that I may eventually go back. Give the game a year or so, maybe less, and it may be worth the price of the subscription.

Since BioWare didn’t have a very robust comment system upon cancellation, I thought I’d fill out my own, brief exit survey.

What Did You Like Best About Star Wars: The Old Republic?

The story.

One thing BioWare does without parallel is tell a story. The narrative pulls you in and really doesn’t let go. Despite glaring technical issues that prevented me from finishing my class quests, the class quests are by far the best part of the game. Between the high-quality voice acting and writing, you almost forget the gameplay is standard themepark MMO fare.

Every planet has its own story, which isn’t that different from most MMOs–each zone usually has its own self-contained narrative. However, in SWTOR, the player is compelled the care. Some planets are fantastic (Vossvossvossvossvoss!), while others are simply mudholes you want to leave ASAP (Balmorra, that would be you).

Give the game a few years and a couple of expansions, and the storylines alone will be worth the price of a month or two here and there. As it stands, there just isn’t enough variety to warrant an extended stay. Like Keen and Graev said, this is a 3-monther.

What Feature Did You Like Least About Star Wars: The Old Republic?

Honestly? You want my honest opinion here? Really? Well, you asked for it, remember.

The worst feature of SWTOR is its online component. As a single-player game, Star Wars: The Old Republic is great. There is a ton of content with lots of extras and secrets. I mean, two separate factions with 4 distinct storylines each? That’s a lot of stuff to do!

But what if you want to play with a friend? Well, too bad! You can’t! Or, well, you can…but it’s not nearly as cool as if you had done it alone. Despite the inclusion of the tacked-on social points system, the game is about you. Not you and a buddy. The vast majority of the game can be enjoyed alone, and that’s great…because you will most of the time. You’ll find a person here and there while questing, but even on a PvP server, I wish you luck interacting with them. They’re off doing their own thing while you’re doing yours. Talking or fighting together (or each other!) would just slow you both down.

If You Could Improve One Aspect of Star Wars: The Old Republic, What Would It Be?

I would make gear mean less. As soon as players hit level 50 (the current level cap in SWTOR), the gear grind begins and the game moves from being a pretty cool single-player RPG into a fairly mediocre MMORPG. The playerbase begins fighting amongst itself, nitpicking about DPS numbers or mitigation percentages, or just measuring their epeens and proving–beyond a shadow of a doubt–that your purpz are indeed greater-than-sign mine.

If I had it my way, gear would mean less. It would mean something, but the people with the best gear wouldn’t be tiers above people with the worst. They’d be maybe–maybe!–15% more powerful. Just powerful enough to give them an advantage in any given situation PvE or PvP, but not enough that player skill wouldn’t be able to make up for it.

Without a focus on gear, players could then focus on more important aspects of online gaming, such as building a community. Ultima Online proved this kind of gameplay was possible. Sure, people with magic armor and weapons were tough (who didn’t hate fighting a Lumberjack with a Vanquishing axe or a Fencer with a tribal spear?), but if you had a better combination of skill, keybinds, and luck, anyone could beat anyone or anything else.

Final Thoughts?

One: Chiss with lightsabers. Please. Please.

Two: SWTOR stands distinctly as two separate games–one that demands a monthly fee for a story that would be better told offline and one that spent too much time in development limbo to incorporate advances in the genre.

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