Friday, January 13, 2012

No SW:TOR for me

I actually haven't really played SW:TOR since I returned from the new year vacation.

I tried a few times but couldn't really get into my character anymore. And the combat remains significantly worse than WoW's combat - in my opinion.

The only reason to go play was to see the next bit of the story and, really, I could just look it up at youtube. But I didn't even do that because, well, the story isn't really THAT good either.

Summa summarum, I played like six different classes up to level 10 and two to level 25. The game has been well worth its money and just ran out of steam even earlier than I thought.

My message to the MMO developers: NEXT


  1. "My message to the MMO developers: NEXT"

    rofl x)

    you know it's not gonna happen for a stop is GW2, until then you gotta find something to distract you. I recommend minecraft ;)

  2. I did pretty much the exact same as you and came to the same conclusion. The game to me just feels bland and lifeless with very few memorable moments. In fact as a whole I'd consider TOR to be taking the genre a step backwards instead of forwards. The game may be worth the box/download cost but it certainly isn't worth the cost of a subscription especially considering the current choice of P2P and F2P out there.

    I've also noticed the amount of TOR blog posts has plummeted only weeks after release which surely can't be a good sign. It'll no doubt appeal long-term to SW fans but I can't see it retaining the numbers it has right now.

  3. Syl is right, it will be a while. And my guess is that you probably wont like that game either. Other than Blizzard there doesn't seem to be a company that can be innovative enough to create a winning MMO. At least no company that wants to move in that direction.

  4. I quite agree with you, Syl. My 'message' is not without irony. I remember when the fourth pillar was first announced and most MMO bloggers - including Tobold, said that it was a nice idea, but not more.

    It's like I wrote before:
    Perhaps the most shocking finding is that SW:TOR has exactly the shortcomings that have been predicted by the blogosphere for two years now.

    I feel like having warned the industry for many years now. There are many good ideas out there but the industry wants to play it super-safe and that, in fact, isn't even safe.

    I do look forward to Guild Wars 2, it, too, will be well worth the box cost without doubt. Will the microtransactions and expansions be worth it? I don't know; I'm sceptical.

    At some point in the future somebody will make a good AAA MMO. It's not that hard if you got the money and some patience, really. Combine some of WoW with some of Eve with some of Minecraft in the most obvious way, polish it for three years and earn billions.

    Until then I'll try to keep the blog going with a mix of game design, game reviews and commentary on politics/economics/etc ..

  5. At some point in the future somebody will make a good AAA MMO

    Titan. There's no need for further discussion, we all know what we're waiting for. Even those that won't admit it. Yet.

  6. At some point in the future somebody will make a good AAA MMO.

    I think you're referring to the thing with the Panda.

  7. That's too bad, Nils. I knew SWTOR wasn't for everyone when they announced it, but hey that's the way the cookie crumbles. I, personally, am having a blast with the game; it's the natural successor to the excellent KOTOR game I played so many years ago. Best of luck finding something until Guild Wars 2 launches.

  8. So let me rephrase and try again. You grew bored with Skyrim and SWTOR after about 2 weeks. So it seems these games are not your cup of tea right now. Can you let us know what type of game would more closely fit what you are looking for?

  9. I played Skyrim for about 80 hours /played. I just didn't blog on all those 80 hours, Goodmongo. Skyrim is a great single player game with some flaws that I wrote about.

    As for the characteristics of a MMO I would like to play. You can read the last two years of this blog to find out :). But I already answered this question in the last comment:

    Combine some of WoW with some of Eve Online with some of Minecraft in the most obvious way, polish it for three years and earn billions.

  10. Well, sag bescheid wenn du doch mal (wieder)'nen MC server besuchen magst. you gotta pass the time somehow. ;)

  11. "As for the characteristics of a MMO I would like to play. You can read the last two years of this blog to find out :)."

    I did read those 2 years...maybe you have to read them again because I don't recognize you :P

  12. Giannis, seriously, when have I ever written that I can't wait for SW:TOR, or that I think what's really missing from MMOs is a better narrative told by voice-over ? :)
    Having read this blog over the last two years: which games do you think that I would enjoy if not the WoW/Eve/Minecraft mix?

    @Syl: There are things which are more impossible than this ;)

  13. I forget... were you going to play Diablo 3 at all?

    By the way... Raph Koster says immersion is dead. Discuss.

  14. Thanks for the link, Azuriel. I'm going to test D3 and actually like their AH much more than mictrotransactions.

    Will I stay long? I doubt it. I played Diablo 1/2 for a few weeks and then left. I see nothing in D3 that might change this.

  15. Nils by reading your posts over time I have the opinion that you favor simulation over pure gaming..

    sarcastic posts about "quality of life changes" on MMO's, how the LFD made you don't care about your group and actually made you act different in dungeons and you are against you miss the world immersion. Also how the level up became so trivial and that you can only press 2 buttons and no ever risk to die..e.t.c.

    Simple swtor is like TBC wow...voice acting is helping alot to immersion of the world, to feel as part of it. having to go to the spaceport and take your spaceship to move to another planet is adding to the immersion and simulation.

    No DBM -style addons, no trivial level up, actually hard level up after level fly mounts

    It seems like simple you were bored with wow and you had a lot of nostalgia about vanilla/tbc when you were writing these posts and when that different game is came you realize that you actually are on the other boat :P it is not bad at all but you have to admit it :P

  16. I cannot edit my last post, so I will add to it..

    people often think that something else will be "fun" when they are bored and often say how things would better if z,x,y was different and like "old" days...and when z,x,y is like old days they find themeselves stucked realize that all these was only to their imagination and actually they cannot stand z,x,y as they "asked for it"..

    like wow players bitching on forums how easy the wotlk dungeons were while they were imba skilled players and once cataclysm arrived 90% of them stopped playing and crying on forums that it takes too long to complete a dungeon and the mechanics are unforgiving and blah blah blah...

  17. Giannis, you are correct in that I moved a bit from the simulation to the gameplay part over the years. But in my opinion that's just a bit.

    What I liked most about MMOs always was player-generated (not player-created!) content. Especially the kind that can be experienced without a pre-formed group. I absolutely like the fact that SW:TOR doesn't have DBM/recount-style addons, no trivial leveling up, no flying mounts, no LFD, few teleports, etc. And I said so a few weeks ago.

    But I don't really think that voice acting helps a MMO much. I never cared much about the WoW stories - I still don't know much about the lore. Much more important than the immersion into the story is the immersion into the world for me.

    For example, I absolutely loved the Alliance players trying to take over crossroads in classic. And the reason was that it made sense from a world-immersion point of view. It had a style I really liked. (Even though it was never really supported by the game).
    But if Blizzard created a voice-over quest line about the Alliance taking over Crossroads I wouldn't really care all that much.

    And last but not least: The main reason I don't play SW:TOR remains the fact that the interface is incredibly small on my monitor (I quit Eve before due to this!) and that the combat responsiveness feels wrong.

    Much more important than the immersion into the story is the immersion into the world for me. And it has always been that way.

  18. Well immersion isn't something that it can be "forced" either feel it or not..a game can provide tools to help you in that but definitely cannot guarantee it..

    I understand that you want to create your story other than someone tells your story to you..but personally speaking voice acting helped me a lot to feel immersed with the world..every planet had his own story and every mob I had to kill I knew what he did and why I have to kill it or personal spaceship that I use to travel between planets also helped me a lot to feel I am part of the world...

    I would prefer all this happen in a medieval world with shiny swords and shields..then Iwould be completely immersed. I don't claim swtor is a perfect game, but at least it left out all the "quality of life" things that destroyed the immersion and simulation of previous MMO's. Maybe that alone wasn't enough for many people to feel the immersion.

    your example about Crossroads is a pure Nostalgia in my opinion...In some pvp-RP (defias brotherhood, Scarshield legion) servers in wow there are still some scenarios like that and even better..but I guess that if you try to do it now in these servers you will not feel it like old days..

    you can't be a "game virgin" forever :P

  19. In some pvp-RP (defias brotherhood, Scarshield legion) servers in wow there are still some scenarios like that and even better..but I guess that if you try to do it now in these servers you will not feel it like old days..

    Of course it won't. I've done that before! I want something new.

    You didn't mistake this paragraph for me asking Blizzard to give me Crossroads back, did you?
    It was an example for simple player-generated content that I experienced when I started to play MMOs.

  20. of course I didn't mistake your paragraph...I am just telling you that it is very hard to feel immersed in a game right while you are getting old in gaming and this is not the game's fault...its not that something new is missing..

    for someone that will start now and play MMO's he maybe feel immersed in world of warcraft in its current state. But you and me after so many hours we spent on games and MMO's specifically it is x100 hard to feel immersed to a game..the game must be ULTRA new and better..maybe if we close our pc now and open them in 5 years we will have this feeling again. But thats our problem and not problem for the game Developers...


    take a fat boy that the last 10 years eat hamburgers every day and try to make him the best/most delicious hamburger the best chef in the world can make...and take a poor boy from africa for example and give him the cheapest/worst hamburger..

    the boy from Africa will be happier are the "fat boy" that dream of a super hamburger but the best thing you can do is stopp eating hamburger for a lot of time and then eat again..

  21. IMOP the reason both Skyrim & SWTOR don't quite hit the mark comes down, in the end, to lack of any real challenge in their combat, rather than their other faults. I was riveted by the Skyrim open world, but playing in an unstructured, sandboxy manner, my character soon became overpowered with respect to the content = boredom. In SWTOR, it's more that the combat system, in solo PvE, is mostly just trading blows by mashing a couple of buttons and requires almost zero strategy. If, whilst doing that my health drops slower than the mob's health then I win, else not. Grouping in SWTOR is more interesting, since some kind of strategy is required and you can wipe if you get it wrong.

    The same thing applies to WoW and LOTRO, in that recently they've both made the levelling process much easier than it was originally. GW2 looks like it may be awesome, but it won't be if they try to make the combat trivial in order to appeal to a wider player base.

  22. The 'fail' condition is weird, in contrast to what might be the win condition.

    What, if you play the game for the rest of your freakin' life, then it wins? That's a bit of a tall order?

    Or what, if you play it for seven years or so, it wins?