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Call me a content locust, but I played enough of Swtor to burn myself out on it. I did not spacebar through any of the dialogue for the guardian, and I spacebar'ed through the commando dialogue for everything except story quest.
Voice overs are great for the first character but once you've seen it, theres no reason to watch it over again. This game is very very good level 1-49. At level 50 it "hits the invisible brick wall" or "takes a nose dive"
Here are some of my issues with the game and why I unsubbed:
HERO Engine: locked in terrible performance
My computer has a q6600 2.4ghz CPU overclocked to 3.0ghz, and dual GTX460's. I played Faxion Online for a good month, got a character to max level on that game. It is one of the only 3 games that use the Hero engine. Guess what? The game ran fantastic when there were no players around, but as soon as other people come by, your CPU load goes through the roof. The issues that made Faxion Online perform terrible are the exact same issues I am dealing with in SWTOR. The only way to cure the performance issues with SWTOR is to switch engines. And as far as I know that rarely happens in any mmorpg. I read that Bioware actually chose the HERO engine because of its benefits in the development process. Herp derp? Really? You picked a single thread based engine with one of the worst performance:computer-power ratios known to man... because it was good for the developmental process?
Here are some examples of how terribly coded the engine/game is. The less players there are on a planet, the higher my Framerate seems to rise. And I am not talking about players on my screen. I'm talking about looking up at the number on the top left that shows how many players are on the planet. In the middle of the night when there are no players on any planets I seem to get the best client performance, regardless of if there are players in my vascinity or not.
Another example is OPS. Have you ever wondered why you lag more then usual in Warzones? It's because your in an OPS group. Simply being in an OPS group creates alot of CPU load and slows your framerate. The bigger the OPS group, the worse it gets. My guildmates and I hypothesize that it is the fact that being in an OPS group makes your client track every other members quests as well. That is why when you're in Ilum and a assault point changes factions, you get a terrible framerate spike. If you would like to test this effect yourself. Take your guild to Ilum. Roam around and possibly get into some large group fights ungrouped. Now join an OPS group of 15+ players. Your framerate will see a significant drop. Even my guildmaster who has a beast rig with an i9 CPU felt FPS drops.
Another example is to move forward and spam the inventory or social tab key. Your game will crawl at 1-2 FPS simply by opening and closing a window.
I have built new computers for games in the past, but SWTOR is not good enough of a game to warrant me going from a solid gaming rig to a state of the art expensive rig.
End game Content and Gear
Bioware made a huge booboo with their end game content. They gave players the PVP gear way, way too fast. I took my lv 50 commando from all lv 45-49 gear on a thursday to a full set of Centurion/Champion peices on the following Teusday. Thats a full Tier 1 and Tier 2 combo set in 5 or so days of play.
My lv 50 guardian skipped any Tier 1 and TIer 2 pvp gear completely by just getting a Champion set so quickly. I even specced him Defense spec and purchased the tanking gear to focus on PVE.
Bioware gave everyone Tier 1 - Tier 2 PVP gear incredibly fast, and Tier 1 - Tier 2 PVE gear takes far more time to obtain. It is easier and better to just farm up Tier 2 PVP gear and use it in PVE instead of farming the Tier 1 PVE set.
So how do they address this issue? Give everyone PVE and PVP gear even faster.
Regardless of the gear, it just feels like there is no real end goal at lv 50. I'll give you some examples:
Age of Conan has Keeps - People at max level compete over keeps that their guild can own. It gives a player a sense of purpose in end game. You can get all the awesome gear in the world but what is the end purpose of that, to help your guild obtain a Keep.
Eden Eternal has Territory Wars - Guilds just like in AoC can compete over territories that give their guild power. This gives a purpose to people who are grinding out gear or striving to make their character as strong as possible.
DAoC has Relics/keeps - Its been so long since I played DAoC that I don't remember how the faction posession system works, but I think you get the point.
World of Warcraft has Arenas - All the gear and effort you put into your character can help you get an edge in Arena matches or rated battlegrounds. This gives the player a sense of something to fight for after they have obtained every peice of uber gear possible.
Ilum appears to be along the lines of this category, but taking control of it never meant anything worth while. It can completely bounce back and forth between factions several times in an hour. There is no incentive to try to march on the enemies base. The only area worth occupying is the central assault position.
One thing the game could really benefit from is a PvPvE environment, such as Arathi Basin. If Ilum had dota/LoL style "minions" marching toward eachothers bases, that would make it a much slower process and also more rewarding for the players to march to the enemies base. There are just so many examples of Tug-of-war style PVP game mechanics out now that it baffles me Bioware came up with such a terrible attempt at it. I guess thats a good analogy for Ilum:
Ilum is a game of tug-of-war that has no rope. But it has candy sprinkled on the ground between both teams.
The Sith empire grossly outnumbers the Republic. This is fine for warzones, but in Ilum its just terrible. Rallying your guild up to fight for Ilum does no good. For example on my server Ilum on average will have about 2-10 Repubs and 5-30 empire at any given time of day on average. So how do we counter this? My guild summons up more Repubs, so it becomes a 15 vs 15 fight. What happens next? The 15 Empire players tell their guildmates that "Ilum is hot" or "active" and they bring 15 more. But my guild doesn't have 15 extra peolpe to bring. So regardless of how many Republic reinforcements come to even the odds in Ilum, an equally proportionate number of Empire players will hear "ilum is hot" and come.
What has Bioware done to address this? Nothing. They don't give a rats arse about Republic players in Ilum. Hell, they gave so little of a crap about faction imbalance that they gave the overpopulated side near-instant Warzone que's. So empire can fight empire in Huttball even if the server is 10% republic, 90% empire.
The game is very PVE'centric. So I don't put too much blame on people rolling imperial. They are the cooler faction, their gear looks cooler, their spells are lightning, as opposed to a spray of pebbles and ground debris. I chose Republic because I always like to play the underdog faction. I am normally an above average PVPer, so when I play on the overpopulated faction it feel no challenge and no fun. But the Ilum population imbalance isn't challenging, its futile. No faction will win a world pvp battle with 3:1 population imbalance, with similar geared players.
Now all the things I listed above are ofcourse PVP based, not PVE. So some might say well SWTOR is a PVE game. If that is the case then it is a wonderful awesome single player level 1-49 PVE game. There are so many "dungeon" type areas that are instanced that it becomes very difficult to just run into random players. Tatooine and Hoth are gigantic planets, but because of that and the server population, it becomes very difficult to run into others. The only truly social area in the games are the Imperial and Republic Fleets. However, these areas unfortunately have the "Barrens Chat"
Just a reminer, Ive /played swtor on all my characters combined for something in the 30-40 day range. Thats a good 720+ hours of gameplay. So if anyone is giving you a complete review of the game in its entirety, its me. Yes I am unemployed and yes I game all day, I started swtor on December 15th.
As soon as I got my 2nd lv 50 geared out in PVP gear thats when I really hit the brick wall hard. I got an overwhelming sense of nothing to look forward to. I know for a fact that Bioware is going to follow WoW's item/expansion method. So anything I obtain will just be nerfed by green loot in the next expansion.
Darkfall held me for 6 months, Eden Eternal 6 months, Cataclysm 2-3 months, Champions Online 1 month, Rift 1 month, SWTOR 1.5 months....
I can always tell when I'm becoming bored with an MMORPG and it's on its last leg, when I start browsing MMORPG for new games. I started doing that about 5 days ago, and I knew my SWTOR enjoyment was going no where but down hill. Luckily I found out TERA and TSW are coming in April and if I preorder TERA I can get into the beta early. And then Age of Conan just gave me a free month of subscription play for returning vets, so now I'm quite happy and confident in my unsubbing of SWTOR.
Since the game is star wars I'm sure it will always have a large population. But after about 1-2 weeks of playing the "OMG Im a jedi" "this lightsaber is awesome!" thrill loses its flare. I am a SWG vet too btw if your wondering. And I prefer Sandboxes.
Thanks for reading, sorry for the wall of text effect.