Sunday, June 5, 2011

SW:TOR starting to look good

I'm sure many World of Warcraft players are excited at the idea of the new Star Wars: The Old Republic game but I didn't think I would be one of them. After quitting WoW I figured that I won't be getting back into another MMO soon, if ever.

I have also been very skeptical of SW:TOR because, let's face it, it's highly unlikely that another game will manage to dethrone WoW. Besides, how many "WoW-killers" have already flopped? Too many to count.

Well, I'm not saying that I've suddenly become a big SW:TOR fan but I do happen to be a big Star Wars fan. And just for the record, I hate episodes 1,2,3. I'm old school like that. Anyhoo, looking at some of the more recent previews of SW:TOR, I've started getting a longing for a different kind of universe than WoW.

There are two major universes that I absolutely love in games and in fiction: the fantasy setting (like JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings) and the science fiction setting (like Star Wars and Star Trek). So far I've gotten my fill of orcs-and-elves fantasy. WoW was great but I really miss some high-tech action with lasers and spaceships.

I was indifferent to The Old Republic MMO because it seemed a bit shallow to tell the truth. I still don't think it will have the depth of WoW and I don't think it will be updated with new content (to keep it fresh) as often as WoW. Bioware simply does not have Blizzard's resources, though they are themselves pretty resourceful.

What suddenly piqued my interest in SW:TOR was the mention of space battles and the short clip I saw which shows some promising space combat. If a Star Wars game features ground-based combat only, in my eyes it fails. Throw in personal spaceships and space battles and you might have a winner.

One of the minor things that bug me in SW:TOR is Tatooine. I admit that I'm not a book of knowledge in regards to the Star Wars Universe but why the hell does Tatooine have to feature in every damn SW game? What's so special about that backwater dump of a planet? Yeah, I know what they are doing: they're just trying to keep things familiar by re-hashing all the usual locales: Tatooine, Alderaan, Corellia and so on, but sometimes I wonder if there are only a handful of habitable planets in the whole universe. Oh well, just a minor nitpick.

You know what else I adore in Star Wars? The unforgettable sound of lasers. Pew pew pew! That sound is unmistakable and makes me lust for a blaster.

At this point I don't have any way of knowing how good SW:TOR will actually be. Will it satisfy my urge of firing lasers and flying fast ships? Will it feel like I'm immersed in the Star Wars Universe? We can only wait and find out. If both SW:TOR and Diablo 3 are released this year though, I fear that one of them will have a strong competitor, as far as I'm concerned, and we all know which one it is.


Echo said...

I don't know, I guess I'm done with MMO's in general. Let's face it: you need to invest a LOT of time and if you have a real life with real stuff to accomplish... you can get in serious troubles.

I sill follow MMO-Champion because I like that site (like I enjoy your blog) but what really amazes me is seeing yet-another-tier for every class and craploads of "epic" items with higer numbers (soon to be iLevel 400).

It's the same stuff, over and over and over. Same models reskinned, same mounts reskinned, same items with higer bonuses. Same quests (kill 10x maggots, bring me 10x nuggets, ...), daily repetitive tasks, etc.

After so many years I would expect some serious innovation from WoW. Something like housing, for example (back to Ultima Online times, that was amazing). In the era of Minecraft/Terraria I would love the ability to shape/change the world to. I would love to see some physics, new models, more details, etc.

If Wow had a new-revamped 3D engine I would come back for sure with a fresh level-1 toon. Why? Because I love aesthetics and I would LOVE and enjoy exploring a new -more detailed- world.

I don't know about SW MMO but -like you said- too many wow-competitors have already miserably failed. To be a winner you must offer something amazing, something new, something that people will actually enjoy like never before.

This is why Minecraft and Terraria were acclaimed by the gamers: ultra-low price, high replayability, creativity, innovation and fun. All of this at the cost of a crappy graphic engine (Terraria is far better, in my opinion).

Darth Solo said...

Yeah, you got it: the time investment for MMOs is too big. That's why I wasn't sure I would get into another MMO very soon. When I retire however... that will be another story :)

Unfortunately WoW is static, nothing changes unless the devs decide it to. A WoW-Minecraft would be nice but I don't know how that would be possible. It's the whole question of in-game real estate. Land, even in such a huge world as WoW, is limited. On the other hand, if you instance everything, it won't feel as natural. It would be nice if people could build anything they fancied, from mats they created (this would essentially limit building to how much gold you have, potentially making gold valuable again) but there are too many problems with this approach for it to be viable.

Ah, we'll see. I looked into SW:TOR some more and it's starting to look awfully like WoW (a poorer version) with a SF skin. What bugs me a little is that many things seem to be set in stone. Classes seem to be paired with specific companions and specific ships. Yawn.

At any rate, I won't be jumping into this game until I see some really good official reviews.

Rick said...

I am really looking forward to this new game, I am a huge star wars fan and really want to get immersed in a universe that I have a deep familiarity too. I still enjoy WoW but am really looking forward to a change of pace and something different.

Darth Solo said...

@Rick are you going to buy the game right away or are you going to wait for reviews first?

Yow said...

Hey man I love ur blog, Maybe wanna Link my blog to yours and i do same to yours =)?
Girl gamer from finland =P
Writing is from 2.7k warrior POV :)

Darth Solo said...

@Yow Thanks! You're added!