Why Star Wars: The Old Republic Didn’t Succeed

As a huge Star Wars and Bioware fan, I had really high expectations for Star Wars: The Old Republic, I even bought it “Day 1” and payed the required subscription… Although for 2 months only…

Why didn’t the game meet my expectations? Because it is a WOW clone…  And don’t try to tell me otherwise! Yes it has a better storyline and full voiced dialogue and all those fancy things, but the gameplay is as bare bones as it can be. I have to tell you I never was an MMO player, pressing numbers on my keyboard to see my character execute the same 9 to 10 animations everytime tends to bore me, fast…

I had a lot of faith that this game would be different even if the trailers didn’t show a huge difference from the average MMO, and hell it was Bioware!!! The people who created my All Time favorite franchise, Mass Effect. Well not the exact same guys, but the same company and huge production values anyway…

I did enjoy the voice acting in the game, if I had to read loads of text  I wouldn’t have played half the time I did! If I want to read a ton of text, I buy a book, thankfully almost everything is voiced in SWTOR and that  makes the story feel more relevant (something that doesn’t happen in most MMO games).

Having a great soundtrack helps, and lightsaber and weapon effects are also great (as in all Star Wars titles) but it all feels lacking, all because the gameplay is drab… You spend most of your time running to a place where you need to kill a bunch of droids and then run back to deliver the missions, some let you deliver them through holocomunicator but they are as few as they can get; a wasted opportunity to spare us some time, and patience… You run soooo slowly and you only get a vehicle/mount later on, until then you will have to run… A LOT!

As you’re probably aware, the game has gone Free-To-Play less than a year ago and according to EA the game has seen an increase in registered players and is prospering, having found a core base which they will no doubt try to milk for every possible penny. I ain’t being unfair, but free to play players have their game so restricted that if I wasn’t a preferred player (someone who has been a subscriber in the past but now isn’t) I wouldn’t play it… You only have 2 character slots per account, you can only do a few space missions/WarZones (PVP)/ Flashpoints per week, you have limited inventory space, you can’t even customize your ability bars(want an extra bar, pay for it),  you can’t use general chat unless you’re in your origin world and the best of all, you don’t get  full experience for anything you do, only a SMALL part!! Well I don’t really care if many games do this sort of things but I can’t just stand by and not say anything about it… You want to receive the amount of XP you should be getting normally, then buy an XP boost, with real money of course. They try their hardest to make you a subscriber and although I can understand the servers need to be maintained and all that, the restrictions are just too many and obvious. Even paying Subscribers treat free players as if they were second class players… At least with the preferred status I can enjoy the game without as many hurdles as FTP guys and gals…

It just pains me to see a great company like Bioware playing it this safe, making a game so close to WOW without any innovations to note and that ends up falling way too short in most aspects. I have played 100+ hours with every class there is, but the game is just too grindy for me, and running 5 minutes to see a 30 second cutscene and then another 10 for the next cutscene just doesn’t cut it for me as the gameplay is way to simple, I like to be involved with my game and for my gaming skills to actually matter…

I would love to see a Mass Effect MMO in the future but it could not be like this, oh god no! So I don’t mind waiting a few years and see where the Massive Multiplayer Online genre ends up… Until then I’ll have to stay clear of that genre or maybe I’ll give Guild Wars 2 a try, it is supposed to be more action oriented… Or so they say…


4 responses to “Why Star Wars: The Old Republic Didn’t Succeed

  1. Great article! I can’t help but wonder how much of what went wrong with this MMO was Bioware and how much is EA’s corporate mentality. Ever since EA absorbed Bioware I’ve seen a steady decline in the quality of their products.

    • Tell me about it. That decline hasn’t been a smooth one neither, look at Dragon Age 2, rushed and unfinished (at least it was polished). Look at the Mass Effect 3 controversy…

      • I bought Dragon Age 2, sight unseen because DA:O was one of the best fantasy RPG’s I’d ever played. They broke my heart on that one. I will never forget actually flipping the case over to see if Bioware had made it and not some 3rd party studio.

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