Why, SWTOR, of course!

SWTOR avatarWhere have I been since Christmas? It should be no surprise to most folks that I was an enormous SWG fan and a general Star Wars nerd, owning upwards of 20 books, all the movies, and at least 3/4 of the videogames released since Jedi Knight. Yes, I’m burning my spare time in a galaxy far, far away.

I’m finding it challenging to pull myself away from SWTOR. Emi and I have been duo’ing through the game and having a downright blast doing so, with both of us right around level 40 at the moment. But I see all these fancy, smart MMO blog pundits making all kinds of cheery and gloomy predictions about SWTOR, and I want to play that game, too!

Pros

The biggest pro I see about SWTOR is that nearly all of my gaming friends are both playing it and having a wonderful time doing so. The story-driven gameplay — the biggest design risk I saw — is quite fun. The “WoW-in-space” model works mostly smoothly, most of the time. The voice acting is even entertaining… most of the time.

By and large, the lore is excellently executed. Thanks, Bioware, for making sure your Mandaloreans speak Mando!

Light/Dark side choices are actually interesting. I’m enjoying the plot twists for unexpected choices, like Emi’s Light Side Sith Warrior.

Cons

Like just about every MMO I’ve ever played near launch, it’s buggy. The velocity on closing out bugs doesn’t seem all that high. Graphical glitches abound. There are bugs. Did I mention that there are lots and lots of little annoying bugs, coupled with a few downright painful ones? For example, the boss of my Bounty Hunter’s Act 1 finale mission simply refused to spawn. (If this happens to you, log all the way out and come back without resetting the mission. You’ll have to re-clear the trash and the NPC might spawn this time.) Also, there are bugs.

Story-driven gameplay is pretty awesome, but it’s got to drive the cost of content releases up. I worry that Bioware will be unable to maintain the pace of content releases necessary to sate the virtual piranhas that can skeletonize an epic raid dungeon in seconds.

Endgame content seems sparse right now. They’ll definitely have to beef this up to improve the long-term retention.

Twileks with Brooklyn accents make me want to stab them.

Conclusion

Well, my (idiotically large 24-inches-on-a-side-cube) Collector’s Edition purchase is a sure giveaway — I definitely WANT to see this game succeed. WoW, as an example, launched with many of the same impediments (though on the other hand, it’s no longer 2007, either). I still see a solid economy, lots of traffic in play areas, and plenty of chatter. My SWG guild has reformed and everyone seems pretty cheerful in SWTOR for now. I give the game better-than-even odds of being a pretty solid hit for at least 6 more months.

About Tachevert

A cofounder of www.WorldIV.com and full-time geek, Tachevert writes about whatever strikes his fancy. Despite the inherent contradiction, he can often be found videogaming or attempting to run.
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