SWTOR: Sometimes I’m wrong…

by manylaughs on July 5, 2012

When I write articles I try to give my thoughts, opinions, whatever, based on years of gaming experience. Sometimes, that doesn’t work too well.

Right now, it looks like SWTOR is in decline and BioWare and EA are doing everything they can to keep the womp rats – um, subscribers – from bailing. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t, but for now it doesn’t look good.

But hey! I’ve been wrong before. And here’s a little proof, below. This article was originally posted on the Examiner.com. The title alone is worth a chuckle. Kind of a 20/20 comedy fest.

 

5 Reasons Why SWTOR Will Rule the MMO Galaxy

EA and BioWare are due to release their MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic on December 20. The last few years have seen a lot of MMO failures but SWTOR isn’t going to be one of them. Why? Well, here are five reasons SWTOR will succeed and eventually rule the MMO galaxy.

1. It’s Star Wars.

Star Wars is arguably the largest sci-fi or fantasy franchise in the world. Millions of fans love Star Wars. If you’re one of them, you know watch every Star Wars movie you can see; no matter how much stilted, ham-handed dialog George Lucas churns out, you’ll be in line with on opening day to see the next movie.

And it’s not just movies. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you know can’t get enough. Whether it’s books or comics, cartoons or video games, you know you want more.

So you know you’re going to play Star Wars: The Old Republic, the MMO. You and about a million other Star Wars fans. According to VGChartz, nearly one million copies of SWTOR have already sold.

With the Christmas season upon us, and thanks to you and all the other Star Wars fans, SWTOR is poised to be the largest MMO release ever.

2. It’s NOT WoW

Looking back over the last few years of MMO releases, one can see a lot of carnage. The MMO battlefield is littered with the corpses of one failed MMO after another. Everywhere you look you see the bodies of the fallen.

Though there are lots of reasons these MMOs failed – buggy, half-finished or just plain crap – the biggest reason so many MMOs have failed is they were afflicted by a malady called WoW envy. They wanted to be World of Warcraft.

Can’t you just hear the executives huddled around the conference room table? Let’s be WoW. They’re successful. We’ll just make a WoW ripoff, put some lipstick on our MMO pig and call it pretty. Ha, ha. Gamers everywhere will line up for a kiss.

And guess what? They were right. To an extent. Gamers are always excited about a new MMO. They came in droves to Age of Conan, Warhammer, Aion and Rift – all WoW pretenders – and they left in droves, too. All those games turned out to be just variants of the same, tired WoW formula. Gamers always returned to WoW for one simple reason: The MMO that does WoW best is WoW.

SWTOR is not WoW. It doesn’t even pretend to be.

Sure, there’s the obvious. It’s a scifi fantasy with light sabers and blasters and Jedi and Sith; no orcs or elves, here. But SWTOR is different from WoW in so many other ways, almost in every way.

This MMO is pretty. No pig, here.

SWTOR builds on the traditional MMO model established by Diablo and WoW, but it delivers it’s own, fresh MMO experience. SWTOR has improved on or changed nearly every aspect of the traditional MMO experience. Ranged classes wear heavy armor and can heal. In fact, healing is spread out among the classes, not the sole provenance of one or two classes. It’s easy to get around: You can bind to several locations – not just one, take a speeder or sprint the entire distance, if you want. No waiting for blimps or boats or asking someone to port you. Social points get you special gear, so it encourages grouping the lifeblood of MMOs. Companions are actually useful and not just fighters or cannon fodder: They craft, run errands and quest with you. And, of course, you can change your whole game experience by deciding to go with the Light Side or succumb to the Dark Side of the Force.

SWTOR takes WoW’s old and very tired MMO formula and gives gamers something innovative, engaging and extraordinarily fun.

3. The immersive storylines

BioWare, the company behind Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect and Dragon Age, has brought their engaging storytelling to the MMO world and nothing will ever be the same. Every class gets its own storyline, and the storylines are so interesting and fun you’ll probably end up wanting to play every class just to experience their story.

The storyline quests and most other quests are fully voiced, too, helping to draw you further in the story and making you feel like you’re a part of the Star Wars universe. In other MMOs, most players don’t even read the quests; in SWTOR you’ll actually want to listen to what’s going on. The quests are inventive and usually more than your typical go-kill-mobs quests.

The immersive, fully-voiced quests and strong, engaging storylines will help draw players into the game much more than traditional MMOs, making them feel like they’re actually part of the Star Wars universe, and very likely turning them into long-term players.

4. You can go Light Side or Dark Side

It wouldn’t be Star Wars without the ability to choose between the Light Side or the Dark Side of the force. Depending on the choices you make in the game – for instance, will you kill your bounty or return them alive – you’ll gain either Light or Dark Side points.

The very fact that many quests in SWTOR can resolve in different ways is revolutionary and makes the game much more interesting, but the ability to go evil on the good side or good on the evil side is simply awesome.

BioWare has opened up a whole realm of possibilities. While players in other MMOs usually just plow through leveling quests as a necessary evil required to reach the endgame, players SWTOR will actually want to go back and do the leveling quests again just to explore their varied outcomes.

The ability to create character who either embrace the Light Side of the Force or succumb to the Dark Side will keep players in SWTOR for a long time.

5. It’s from BioWare.

From Knights of the Old Republic to Mass Effect to Dragon Age, BioWare has a track record of producing high-quality games and deeply caring about the product they sell. BioWare is bringing their dedication to quality gaming to SWTOR, now, and that alone will probably guarantee the game a long and prosperous life.

Only 20 more days until SWTOR releases. May the force be with you.

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