For me this game was very important. I grew up playing KOTOR at the age of eight, and I had always yearned for another well written Bioware experience. Well...I think we all know how it ended up, and I'm probably not the only one dissapointed. Not trying to flame or troll because I know this game is heading in the right direction, but the only reason I'm saying this is because I had such high expectations for this game, throw in my deep childhood love of BIoware and Star Wars(hope you can empathize) and all you got is a broken heart. Here's why the game is generally dissapointing:
- The general theme park structure of this game was not a genuine Bioware product. For example Mass Effect is a linear tale, yet you feel like there is a huge galaxy surrounding you, this is because the supporting quests are done skillfully in order to truly immerse you in the world(people coming up to you for, comm calls, heroic calls to glory!). Its quirks and efforts like these that help surround you in the world. SWTOR lacks these immersive elements, and just plain immersion, but there is something world-breaking about a hero putting himself out there to random people in order to get some gear lovin'. The only instance I can think of where bioware was able to pull this off was the very beginning of planet quests, your special companion storyline quests, and some welcomed plot disruptors such as being attacked on the way to your ship. I'm not against themeparks, but please don't make me feel like I'm in a themepark Bioware.
- Stemming off what I said about themeparks, Sandbox elements absolutely needed to be added. Not the more hardcore elements that belong to Darkfall, but basic things the give off the feel of freedom: player housing, off rails space flight, heavy exploration, I can't think off all of them right now, but you catch my drift? I know thats a basic complaint around here, but my reasoning is that if you have a gigantic universe of lore, whether it be fan fiction, the movies, or video games, there is no way in hell that you should limit people on what they already know to be true in that universe. The galaxy is HUGE, I mean you can even see it in the galaxy map, so there should be no excuse. Where's my sense of childlike wonder Bioware? Where's that one feeling that I get where I'm role playing and I didn't even know I was role-playing Bioware? Wheres the ability to sit in a chair at a twi'lek strip club, become suddenly inspired by twi'lek cultural dance that we all is not cultural its just dirty dancing, and become a slave girl even though you're a man Bioware? Where's my Sandbox?. Minor sandbox that is .
- The core fundamentals of the game cannot be changed, and by that I mean mindless boring gameplay. Bioware's games have been and always will be just a little tactical for those of us who want to just blow through hordes of enemies, and they will be so tactical that switching on nightmare difficulty requires you to seriously give everything you've got to each battle, that's you Dragon Age. Or so this was my thought going into this game. I realize this is my weakest argument since not everyone is me, and not everyone has played Bioware's games, but if you have reputation in the gaming industry, you should play to the strengths of it. This gameplay feels like and plays like the same exact thing every time, I know thats how video games work, but in X amount of hours of playing this game what enemy outside of a flashpoint boss or elite special character actually did something that threw you for a loop and caused you to rethink your strategy? You'd probably say none, but of course that's what I was going to say. I can't really remember any mobs that stuck out in the game as cool or specific, thats the sign of a themepark mmo AND an awful gaming experience. The only thing I can think of that was genuinely refreshing in terms of gameplay tactics, strategy, etc. was the operations, even then I can confidently say those are not for everyone...including me.
There you have it. Take it or leave it. We all have something that we would love to change about our games, some more definitely obvious than others. I seriously do believe that us as gamers should not be sentimental because this is a hobby(or a life and career choice for some...not judging) that is so easy to be caught up in like that. This is me getting rid of that sentimental feeling, that helpless feeling of not being able to manipulate or change this game I wanted so badly to love. There really is nothing to do now but stay positive about this game and move forward. The industry is clearly moving forward, I believe there is a clear shift towards themepark/sandbox fused games, i.e. Wildstar, but I believe this is the watermark of failure for the themepark mmo.