Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Don't Give Up On SWTOR Just Yet

It has come to my attention that many people have given up and quit Star Wars: The Old Republic. How sad. The game has so much to offer and much more to come, but why do I constantly see people quitting and returning to World of Warcraft?

Let me start off by saying that I despise when people compare SWTOR to WoW. I understand that it is inevitable to not compare every MMO to WoW upon its initial release – but ponder on this thought for a moment: World of Warcraft is an MMO game that has been going strong for 8 years and Star Wars: The Old Republic has been out for 4 months. It is unfair to compare the two, if you ask me. The game is still in it's infancy.

WoW is no longer the “be-all and end-all” of MMO games. Blizzard has lost thousands of subscriptions in the past few months especially because of SWTOR.  World of Warcraft is a quality MMO game, but I do not think it should still be considered as highly as it is. Star Wars: The Old Republic has brought something to the table of MMO games that no one has ever tried before. The typical BioWare game allows you to have in depth dialogue, storylines, and character decisions – what is not to love about that? BioWare certainly does a terrific job with immersing you into your character’s storyline. Even the legacy feature (which will be further developed in the next big update) is something new and unique that BioWare has delivered to the world of MMOs.

The most common reason I have heard for people quitting SWTOR is because there is not enough end-game content. The leveling process of getting your character to 50 is extremely entertaining and engaging. But once you hit 50 and complete your character’s story, many feel like that is the end of SWTOR. If you feel this way, I am very sorry to hear that. You clearly do not actively participate in raids, flashpoints, collecting gear for your character, and the numerous other things that SWTOR has to offer (just like WoW).

Also, many people have complained about the “buginess” of SWTOR. In all honesty, I have not experienced many bugs in the game that were not fixed almost immediately. But I do not doubt that these issues exist. However, I think people also forget that WoW had just as many issues when it was first released (that is what patches are for, you know). Instead of rage-quitting the game, submit a report to BioWare and wait for them to fix the issue. Glitches happen in all games, but none of these glitches are bad enough where they cannot be fixed.

If you have not read the patch notes for the big 1.2 update in SWTOR, I suggest you take a look at what is in store for the future of SWTOR (IGN has a good article that discusses mostly everything). If you are not impressed after reading this, then let me also remind you that this is simply an update – not an expansion. If this was Blizzard, this would probably be considered an expansion to the game and everyone would have to pay $20 for it.

Most MMO games fall flat on their face upon release. The majority of MMO gamers are former or current WoW players, and they pick up a new MMO in order to get away from WoW and find something that is just as satisfying as WoW was for the past 8 years. Not many companies can meet the expectations that MMO players have, but I think SWTOR will be the first to nail it.

Then again, I could be dead wrong. BioWare could completely bomb the 1.2 update and fail to release anything that is stimulating to us gamers. But BioWare is not a “rinky-dink” company that creates crap games. Some of my favorites like Mass Effect and Dragon Age (er, not DA2) were created by BioWare – so I can say that I trust this company and do not doubt their abilities as game devs.

But you know what? If that is the way MMO players feel, so be it. Maybe it would be better to have their negative, cynical mindsets channeled into WoW rather than seeing it in SWTOR. Go play your overrated game and let the rest of us enjoy SWTOR.  I only ask that you take these things into consideration before deciding to run off and play something else.