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Star Wars: The Old Republic: SWTOR - The 'Singleplayer RPG'

MikeBMikeB Community ManagerQueens, NYPosts: 6,163Administrator Rare

Many gamers have labeled Star Wars: The Old Republic a "singleplayer RPG", but is this truly a fair criticism? What's the larger issue here? We discuss it all in this week's SWTOR column!

Unfortunately, one sort of comment has been nagging at me for going on two years now and I really can’t ignore it (or the subject) any longer. It goes something like this:

“Star Wars: The Old Republic is a singleplayer RPG.”
There are a ton of variations on this comment, but it’s pretty much used both in context when responding to threads about grouping or just as a catch-all criticism about the game whenever someone feels it’s deemed appropriate.

Read more of Michael Bitton's Star Wars: The Old Republic: SWTOR - The "Singleplayer RPG".


Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB



  • RemyVorenderRemyVorender Riverside, RIPosts: 3,483Member Uncommon
    Its about as multiplayer as D3, and feels just as...forced.

    Played: AA, AC1, AC2, Aion, AO, AoC, CO, CoX, DAoC, DCUO, DN, EVE, EQ1, EQ2,
    ESO, FE, FFXI, FFXIV, FF, GW1, GW2, Istaria, L2, LoTRO, MO, MxO, NW, Rift, RoE,
    Ryzom, SB, SWG, SWTOR, TERA, TSW, WAR, WoW, WURM...

  • Byne25Byne25 Savannah, TXPosts: 41Member

    Good article. I fully agree with you on all points. Some people just love to be nay sayers.

  • WeretigarWeretigar winifrede, WVPosts: 600Member Uncommon

    I only joined groups for flashpoints. if i came up to a 2+ 3+ or 5player or flashpoint i could just stand thier for like 5 min at launch and some random would invite me and we would beat it. I had no reason to lvl with somone else, it was actually less experience for me to go trew the questing areas as a team. At the end of reaching lvl 50 it was just about grinding gear. I gave up after i got my champion set. I had no intrest to grin fleet gear, since there was no real good explination of which I started at first or how to get good enough gear by grinding daileys solo to get the world medals to get the gear. Sorry but untill you can fleet or when if at all you want a flashpoint which is not necessary it is a single player mmo with multiplayer optional.

  • SanguinelustSanguinelust Plainfield, NJPosts: 811Member Uncommon

    The problem with this game is not grouping though, it's the game itself.

    I love playing solo and queueing up for group content when I want to do that type of content but even now with the dungeon finder I still don't feel the draw to play this game anymore. I've unsubbed now while too because of that reason. 

    Nice article, good points, bad game. 

  • SlickShoesSlickShoes EdinburghPosts: 1,019Member Uncommon

    Moving around the world was a series of loading screens and corridors, this for me really took away any massively multiplayer feeling from it, everything was an instance and when you were in there you were on your own most of the time apart from on planet surface and on main fleet. Space should have been open to fly around in rather than another single player activity.

    It's not a single player game but it's a co-op RPG its not an MMO just because it has hubs you can actually meet other players in.

  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,712Member Uncommon

    Today's epic /popcorn thread brought to you by's very own MikeB.


    I agree, Mike. Just because the game doesn't force you to group doesn't mean its SP. Grouping is still fun, just like in other games. It still broadens the experience, just like the other games. It still builds friendships, just like the other games. And it still isn't required to get a "nearly full" experience of the game, just like the other games.

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • dllddlld GöteborgPosts: 578Member Uncommon

    SWToR isn't a SP rpg but it would have been better of if it was, the MMO part does nothing but detract from the main point of the entire game IE the story.

  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,526Member Uncommon

    I feel like this is a console game that just happens to work on PCs. Calling this a MMO is like calling a politician honest.

    4ft Gaming Mouse Pad -
  • WicoaWicoa LondonPosts: 1,637Member Uncommon

    SWTOR to me is more SP-RPG than mmorpg.  I do not see a reason to pay a sub fee for a game that offers you an okay levelling experience and then an endgame that frankly wow/rift/eq2  does better.

  • SpottyGekkoSpottyGekko JohannesburgPosts: 6,183Member Epic

    The problem is not in which systems a game uses, but HOW it uses them. The problem with SW:TOR for me was that it had more single-player instanced content than any other MMO I've ever played. And that was mainly due to the need to deliver a coherent personal story.


    And because story was a central pillar of the game, it HAD to take you out of the common game world to deliver that story to YOU. But the side-effect of this is that people remember the story parts of the game more than the general play.


    They may have only spent 25% of their time ingame in story instances, but that experience is remembered far more clearly than the dozens of hours spent in open world play.

  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,712Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Wicoa
    SWTOR to me is more SP-RPG than mmorpg.  I do not see a reason to pay a sub fee for a game that offers you an okay levelling experience and then an endgame that frankly wow/rift/eq2  does better.

    I agree the game shouldn't have a sub, but a sub does not an MMO make.

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • elockeelocke Manassas, VAPosts: 4,305Member Uncommon

    The game CAN be an MMO, it just lends itself more to a single player RPG experience.  Seriously.  Imagine this:  take away the sub fee and other players, sell the game as a single player RPG on consoles and boom, it's the next Kotor.  It just "feels" like a single player RPG.  Now, it needs a ton of MMO aspects patched in to get away from this feeling, and they are slowly, oh so slowly doing that with LFG finder, legacy system, upcoming dual specs and hopefully at some point, better achievement system, housing, collections, and so forth.  Until then though, I feel like I'm loading up a single player RPG every time I play.

  • EiviEivi DundeePosts: 96Member

    I recently subbed again and my friend and I really are enjoying grouping through all the content. The main issue i have is story missions dont meld well in a group environment, other than that, good fun.

  • Ice-QueenIce-Queen USA, GAPosts: 2,451Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by mmoDAD
    I feel like this is a console game that just happens to work on PCs. Calling this a MMO is like calling a politician honest.

    I agree


    What happens when you log off your characters????.....
    Dark Age of Camelot

  • RocknissRockniss Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,034Member
    Is forced grouping that bad? Before raid groups were limited to 8-10 people, the raid leaders and raid members where more patient with lesser experienced players and it opened the door up for that solo player who wanted to ocassionaly group up, the problem was you have 20-30 people waiting to fill the group. Now that groups are smaller, there is absolutuely no patience in teaching a new player the ropes.
  • ShadinShadin StockholmPosts: 294Member Common
    Originally posted by SlickShoes
    Moving around the world was a series of loading screens and corridors

    In all fairness though, even if I enjoy both games, GW2 has loading screens and is plenty instanced as well from my experience in the latest Beta weekend. Yet no one seems to complain there. Granted, I guess the zones aren't as... corridored.. Which I agree with is a major problem in TOR.

  • darthlopezdarthlopez Boca Raton, FLPosts: 30Member

    Bravo Michael.  I completely agree with all your points.  This game gets way too much hate on these boards.  SWG was also my first MMORPG love.

  • SamhaelSamhael Huntsville, ALPosts: 869Member Uncommon

    Definitely good points raised in the article and I even agree with most of them. I wish I could put my finger on why SWTOR disappointed me so much -- I think it was only the lack of complexity of game play and the fact that only 2 of the 4 base classes were interesting to me. I wouldn't have minded seeing a bit more of the story but was too bored with the other two classes to persist.

  • hcosminhcosmin BucharestPosts: 45Member

    I don't play SWTOR anymore but i agree with you on that, SWTOR has a lot more grouping and incentive to group leveling up than WoW does. Zone chat had requests for groups all the time which never happens in other MMOs anymore, most others have some automatic dungeon queue and that's it for grouping.


  • grimalgrimal Stamford, CTPosts: 2,895Member Uncommon

    Nice article.  I agree with the points you mention.  I also believe history will be much kinder to TOR as it was to GW1 and many others that received a lot of ire at launch.  Personally, I grouped more in TOR than I did with WoW, Rift, CoH and many others.

  • NildenNilden Canada, NBPosts: 1,920Member Rare

    Calling SWTOR a singleplayer RPG is just a comment on how bad it is as a MMORPG.

    "classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon
    Love Minecraft. And check out my Youtube channel OhCanadaGamer

  • 0lly0lly Jurmala, INPosts: 9Member

    SWOTR needs to be FTP.... or it will die, lets see how it will all end :) I'm very curious about this. And i think many of us are :)

    Sandbox is a way to go !!!
    You shall not be a good mmorpg without a sandbox :)

  • negativf4kknegativf4kk WorthingPosts: 381Member Uncommon

    totally agree SP with MP mode.

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  • Creslin321Creslin321 Baltimore, MDPosts: 5,359Member

    I don't think that anyone, or at least most people, who call SWTOR an SPRPG means it literally.  It's just hyperbole to make a point.  We all know that SWTOR is technically an MMORPG.

    The problem is that it seems like 80% of the development effort in SWTOR went into stuff that is almost best experienced by a single player.  It's no secret that the story, questing, and VO are the main selling points of SWTOR, and where most of the dev effort went.  But all these things are kind of a pain to experience cooperatively.

    Unless you are at the exact same point in questing as another player, you'll always run into the issue of "Oh, I already did that quest" or "I still have more to do in that quest chain."

    Couple this with the extreme instancing and lack of any interesting social hubs, and the game really seems to fall flat in the MMO department.  That is why people call it an SPRPG.

    Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  • TimEisenTimEisen Columnist Posts: 2,811Member Rare

    It's our fault that it's single player, EA and Bio say so. We have no excuses, we should have made it differently.

    I used to role-play a Warrior Priest now I role-play a writer.
    "Basically if a Ninja Turtle used it, or close to it, I like it."
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