Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic - First Impressions (Part 3 - The Balanced)

It's hard for me to sit back and find fair and balanced items from SWTOR at this point.  Unfortunately, the game has somewhat rubbed me the wrong way and as a result, I've formed a rather strong opinion about the majority of the 'key' elements of the game.  This one's going to be more of a rant then the typical third part of a review - my apologies all.

What it really comes down to is that SWTOR is a mostly uninspired, mostly cloned, loosely-defined MMORPG produced with the intentions of drawing in a large crowd based on the Star Wars franchise and evolving it into a stable mainstay of income for Bioware.  I wouldn't quite say that they failed in that endeavor, but I find it hard to look at the state of the game since release and understand how it got there in the shape that it was in.  They could've done much better with the amount of time they had, and I'm not speaking directly towards developing the content and ideas further - but more so towards bug fixes and generic staples of game play that have been fortified by over a decade of MMORPG predecessor mistakes.

So many lessons have been learned from launches in the past.  Being someone with a history of project management and software development, I have a bit of a bone to pick with Bioware about how they released SWTOR.  PVP was under developed, UI glitches were abundant, general themes were uninspired, and the overall look and feel of the game screamed "Been there, done that." It's very much a stereotypical late game equipment grind, which the market is already flooded with - the only real distinction between SWTOR and the other titles is that the game takes place within the Star Wars universe, and that Bioware makes the game.

Don't get me wrong, there ARE various features which stand out and are mostly unique features placed in the game, you can read parts 1 and 2 for those - but even with the facets that seem to be unique, you find ideas plucked from either the Knights of the Old Republic game released years ago, and/or hybrid ideas from other RPG's.

I suppose more then anything I'm just depressed.  High hopes for an addictive MMORPG are just wishes at this point, until the generic equipment grind, talent based, quest and hit max level formula's are improved upon, its unlikely we'll see another mega hit any time soon.

Hopefully, I'm wrong.


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