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[Column] Star Wars: The Old Republic: Too Rigid and Longevity

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,613MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

As everyone probably knows by now, Story is the high altar upon which BioWare trades its wares.  With Star Wars: the Old Republic, we got a rich set of interwoven class storylines and overall game storyline that pitted Republic versus Empire with the fate of the galaxy hanging in the balance.  It's no secret that BioWare needed help in learning how to write story for an MMO after starting off where the single-player game Knights of the Old Republic left off.  One of the critical challenges for any MMO is keeping things fresh for older players wanting to start a new alt.  Replayability is something that even single-player games have to worry about, but for an MMO, it's the cornerstone to keeping the game's doors open.

Read more of Jean Prior's Star Wars: The Old Republic: Too Rigid & Longevity.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • TouchMyCookieTouchMyCookie Brampton, ONPosts: 4Member
    Agreed, however do you know how long that initial contract is?
  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Elmira, ONPosts: 2,499Member Uncommon

    I will agree with you that SWTOR does feel like a single-player game shoe-horned into an MMORPG. 

     

    HOWEVER, I would argue that there is probably more replay value to SWTOR than either WoW or LOTRO. The later both provide some backstory, but quickly merge those individual stories (apart from a spattering of class quests) into a larger, core goal. SWTOR does have an overarching story, but maintains your individual story from 1-50, so there is value in leveling each class on each faction. 

     

    That said, it's grindy. I'd love to try to make the argument that WoW and LOTRO are both grindy as well, and they are, but I often find myself leaving quests behind in those games because progression is well-paced. You can achieve this in SWTOR, but only under subscription. Running through it F2P is pretty much as grindy as it gets in modern MMOs. Those of us who are old enough to remember how slow progression was in some older games might not find it an issue, but under F2P it is pretty painful by todays standard. At least there are alternatives to gaining experience, including space battles, etc. 

     

    Overall, though, I don't think you'll see a shift or redesign, only because I think that they have a niche, for sure. There are those who appreciate good story-telling, not just spamming Accept/Complete buttons.

    Crazkanuk

    ----------------
    Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
    Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
    Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
    Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
    Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
    ----------------

  • Going to disagree with this post, Mainly because how you level is entirely up to you outside of the Class Quest

    You don't have to do the planet quests, or the other quests on a Planet..You can level entirely by doing space quests if ya want..Or you can just pvp to 50, Or you can just Dungeon to 50...Or you can just do Heroics on a Planet and nothing else.

    In fact doing Heroics on a Planet and nothing else is how i lvled my first toon...I didn't see most of the content in the game until I finished my 3rd guy...

     

  • Effin_RabbitEffin_Rabbit Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 773Member Uncommon
    Isnt it an eight or ten year contract they had with lucas arts? Swtor's best feature is also its worst feature in my opinion because it allows for great story telling but forces the player down a narrow path with little to no choice. It would have been nice to have an alternate way of advancing other than grinding pvp/flashpoints such as something like adventure zones/planets maybe revolving around the galactic war with dynamic content. 
  • GregorMcgregorGregorMcgregor FalkirkPosts: 222Member Uncommon

    Agreed! They thought it was clever to add these fancy stroylines... Become the hero! Rubbish!

    And for me swtor has 3 main issues: (No.2 has spoilers, so don't read it if you've not played your claas story etc. (Not that any of you will read it anyway. meh)).

     

    1. Rollercoaster; take Jean's lead and we'll use WoW and LotRo. You can run around zone's and indeed into the next zone. Your character may die, but you had a looksie anyway. Then swtor, you land on planet X, your stuck there, and can't go on til to go through all the junk of a main story (more than once and this is like pulling teeth), down a tunnel where you can't run off into the next area. It appears planets only have one side and are not round after all. (We will not talk about the 6 loading screens to get there in the 1st place.... opps! to late!).

     

    2. Class story; This time I'm going to be a tank class and I'll just choose the another... wait a minute! I killed you not less than a week ago! WTF!!! Yes, look around you. See them other players? They are ALL emperor's fists! ALL OF THEM!!! /enough said.

     

    3. Space; Who would have thought that space was nothing more than a Motorway/Highway link between two spots on a map. I guess there is nothing out there... Of course we'll never know because we're stuck in a "From A to B" super highway! (Add to that the fact that it also costs us to travel this wonderful highway, I just love those Service Stations in space! "Fill her up Chewy!").

     

    This is only the top 3 for me, there is many, many more! I'd only bore you to death with them all if I haven't already.

    Be well.

     

    No trials. No tricks. No traps. No EU-RP server. NO THANKS!

    image

    ...10% Benevolence, 90% Arrogance in my case!
  • CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member

    "There is a finite amount of non-grindy replayability in the game.."

    Uh... Welcome to MMORPGs?  A personal anecdote on replayability; I have played a lot of MMOs, almost all of the big releases, and there have only been two or three where I ever got even *one* character to level cap.  Prior to TOR, I had never gotten more than one character in a game to level cap.  In TOR, I have three 55s, three more characters done with their class stories and closing in on 55, and two more that are almost done with their class stories.  I can't speak for anyone else, the same way the writer of this article speaks for only one person, but as far as I am concerned this game not only is the most replayable MMO ever made, it's more replayable than almost all single player games.  

    Does it have it's flaws?  Certainly.  Do most of those alts get permantently/semi-permanently retired after finishing their class stories?  Sure.  But no product offers infinite content.  With MMOs, the relevant question is whether they offer enough new content, often enough, that they keep enough people interested to maintain profitability.  So far, the numbers show that TOR is having no problem in that regard, and articles that predict failure at any particular point in time are nothing but wild speculation.  None of us can tell how well any given piece of new content will resonate with the audience, all we can say for sure is that so far there are literally no warning signs showing that TOR is in any kind of danger, or will be in the forseeable future.

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  • Mors.MagneMors.Magne LondonPosts: 1,420Member

    It wasn't the rigidity that stopped me from playing SWTOR, it was the combat. 

     

    The NPC AI is naff - they just walk around like targets waiting to get killed, and they take a long time to be killed and to kill you. It's unexciting. 

     

    I don't think the combat is quite as bad as TSW, but there is a similar feeling of trying to walk through thick treacle.

     

    I recall that Knights of the Old Republic had the combat done just right.

  • Fenrir767Fenrir767 Waitsfield, VTPosts: 595Member
    This article I have to say is very amateurs written in large part due to the fact that I don believe the reviewer has played the game recently.

    First of all if they wanted to add new planets for lower level ranges they could, just don't have them as part of the class quest and be optional however besides bored 55s how many would run this new content the justify the investment.

    2nd comparing WoW and SWTOR in terms of levelling paths is ridiculous, WoW has had 10 years worth of content and in only recent expansions revamped their lower level content. Vanilla WoW had two options roughly for your level ranges Kalimdor or the eastern Kingdoms. SWTOR when compared to vanilla WoW alternate paths in terms of varying class stories then the choice if running multiple FPS, PVP or heroics that was not in Vanilla.

    LOTOR does provide you with more options but the epic storyline is still the epic storyline and you hit the same zones in the same sequence no matter what toon you're on.

    This article is attempting to make a point while not looking completely at the negatives in the games it is comparing SWTOR to which suffer or have suffered from similar issues in their earlier days. I remember trying to level an Alt in Vanilla wow there was nothing encouraging me to finish it was brutal, I was pretty much just repeating most of what I had done.

    So I have to disagree with this column as it skews the facts to make its point....
  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,209Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GregorMcgregor

    Agreed! They thought it was clever to add these fancy stroylines... Become the hero! Rubbish!

    And for me swtor has 3 main issues: (No.2 has spoilers, so don't read it if you've not played your claas story etc. (Not that any of you will read it anyway. meh)).

    1. Rollercoaster; take Jean's lead and we'll use WoW and LotRo. You can run around zone's and indeed into the next zone. Your character may die, but you had a looksie anyway. Then swtor, you land on planet X, your stuck there, and can't go on til to go through all the junk of a main story (more than once and this is like pulling teeth), down a tunnel where you can't run off into the next area. It appears planets only have one side and are not round after all. (We will not talk about the 6 loading screens to get there in the 1st place.... opps! to late!).

    2. Class story; This time I'm going to be a tank class and I'll just choose the another... wait a minute! I killed you not less than a week ago! WTF!!! Yes, look around you. See them other players? They are ALL emperor's fists! ALL OF THEM!!! /enough said.

    3. Space; Who would have thought that space was nothing more than a Motorway/Highway link between two spots on a map. I guess there is nothing out there... Of course we'll never know because we're stuck in a "From A to B" super highway! (Add to that the fact that it also costs us to travel this wonderful highway, I just love those Service Stations in space! "Fill her up Chewy!").

    This is only the top 3 for me, there is many, many more! I'd only bore you to death with them all if I haven't already.

    Be well.

    I mostly agree with your sentiment, but I would like to point out:

    1. You can go to other planets (zones). During the plague event I took my level 2x sage to Alderaan for the event. I decided take the on foot route (mostly because I didn't see the auto-transport guy oops) and then explore some. I got some great discovery xp and had fun running away a lot. While it's not exactly free form, it was still fun to jump off the rails. Which really highlights how on rails the game can feel (to me at least) and much fun it was to break out of that.

    2. I think most mmos suffer from this. In LotRO, time is static with regards to location. It's not that jarring unless you want to go back and revisit areas. Some few games use phasing to overcome this, but I think that presents its own problems as well. Real progression (time and space) in an mmo is really a complicated problem. It's a bad problem in TOR too, compounded by the story-centric focus and very guided experience.

    3. Absolutely agree. Space travel is just a very expensive transit system with a shootem up arcade as a sideshow.

    The problem I've had with the game, is somewhere in the middle levels I felt like I was doing the same story thing over and over again at each planet and step. Go to area, enter cave/building/ship, murder everything in it, click on some stuff, make story choices, do the next one. I realize most mmo story/quests can be distilled to this, but in this game it just glares out at me and feels very repetitive and rote. On top of that I'm a Jedi Sage, why is murdering everything my only option 90% of the time?

    Still the game was fun for the short time I played and has some fun class mechanics. The companions could add a lot more depth than they do to game play, but I like them. Crafting was a cool twist that I enjoyed as a side activity.

  • jbombardjbombard SapporoPosts: 531Member Uncommon

    I agree with the OP.

     

    Personally after I level a char I go play other games and then maybe come back again several  months later.  I also switch between Republic/Empire to keep it somewhat fresh.   The biggest issue is the way they treat their F2P players AND subscribers(very little value in being a subscriber except you don't get shit on like the F2P guys do) .  They would need to actually provide value to subscribers and stop treating F2P players like second class citizens before I consider ever giving them another dime.  With the overpriced Hutt Cartel expack, it makes just leveling to 50 seem like the way to go as that is where the best story content is anyway, and it isn't like end game is super deep.  That leaves a lot of players left behind.  

     

    WoW used to have more replay value before they sped everything up so much, and realistically you are only choosing zones in pre-expansion content.  The expacks don't give you many choices and is not very enjoyable on alts.  But at least it's short.  In vanilla however I spent much more time leveling alts in WoW than I ever could in SWTOR, today however WoW just isn't the same game anymore everything has been stripped down, dumbed down, and sped up.  Hell now you can just buy your way out of leveling.

     

    In LotRO I found leveling and the grinding required so tedious I found leveling alts very difficult to stomach, despite the starting zone flexibility.

     

    I am playing Rift again lately, and enjoying myself but the leveling here is also extremely limited.  So while the leveling in SWTOR is pretty boxed in and on rails, it isn't like they are getting much competition when it comes to providing a engaging and replayable leveling experience.  Maybe some of the new and upcoming MMORPG challengers will do better.  As far as SWTOR goes, I might play once in a while for my Star Wars fix, but they won't get any more money from me.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,718Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by CazNeerg

    I can't speak for anyone else, the same way the writer of this article speaks for only one person, but as far as I am concerned this game not only is the most replayable MMO ever made, it's more replayable than almost all single player games. 

    It's not only about replayability I guess, and in this matter the column is right. TOR's main strength is the 8 class stories, and the main problem is (according to OP and I join as well, since I play TOR as a singleplayer game) that it's a pain in the butt to replay them... I mean play an another character on the same side.

    You said you have all 8 toons, I admit I have only 4 so far, but even the thought of starting a new one gives me the creeps :) and to put it in contrast, I won't say exactly how many alts I have in LotRO 'cos I don't want to seem like a no-lifer fanboi, so let's just say dozenS :) (hint: at least 2 of them dozens, -> more than 24. Way more. Khm.)

     

    I agree with the column in the multiple paths in LotRO (I don't play wow so no opinion on there), especially after the xp boosts. At the current state there are so many quests and xp in the game that you can level up at least 3-4 characters without seeing the same sidequest again if you always try to go a different way... with it you can see different stories, meet different npc's a lot, which is great. (and don't even mention the other leveling routes, I think Xsorus above totally missed the point with pvp and dungeons and stuff. The column wrote only about the PvE leveling, since that's the main strength of TOR)

    In TOR it looks like: a great new class quest, then 4-5 boring planet quests which you already did with the previous characters, then finally a class quest again, followed by an hour of already done sidequests, etc. Heck, I tried to separate my gameplay as much as possible, with all 4 starting planets (I have agent, SI, knight and trooper) but I almost bored myself to death grinding through the very same game again... I don't know the precise ratio but I guess at least 70-80% of the gameplay is shared in TOR regardless of your class (on the same side of course).

  • CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member
    Originally posted by Po_gg
    Originally posted by CazNeerg

    I can't speak for anyone else, the same way the writer of this article speaks for only one person, but as far as I am concerned this game not only is the most replayable MMO ever made, it's more replayable than almost all single player games. 

    It's not only about replayability I guess, and in this matter the column is right. TOR's main strength is the 8 class stories, and the main problem is (according to OP and I join as well, since I play TOR as a singleplayer game) that it's a pain in the butt to replay them... I mean play an another character on the same side.

    You said you have all 8 toons, I admit I have only 4 so far, but even the thought of starting a new one gives me the creeps :) and to put it in contrast, I won't say exactly how many alts I have in LotRO 'cos I don't want to seem like a no-lifer fanboi, so let's just say dozenS :) (hint: at least 2 of them dozens, -> more than 24. Way more. Khm.)

    I'm fortunate in that I actually enjoy the PvP and GSF.  The reason I don't have all eight to 55 is because most of my alts only do daily PvP/GSF missions and class story missions, which means I don't make a lot of progress on any given day that I play.  On several characters I did the main questlines of each world in addition to the class story, but only enough to see the light and dark versions of each of them.  Once I've seen the light and the dark of a given quest chain, I never do it again.

    But, again, everything is relative.  Other MMOs don't offer a reason to ever repeat any quest, not even a single time.  Hell, most of the quests in most of the games are so boring and poorly written that doing them once can be a trial if you actually pay attention to what you are doing, and if you aren't paying attention, what's the point?  

    By the rationale of this column, all themepark MMOs are bad and should have failed by now, because even if one does offer two leveling paths for a given faction instead of one, you still see all of the content in fewer playthroughs than it takes to see all of the content in TOR, and apparently having "rigid" content (AKA scripted quests) is a terrible thing that leads to DOOM! image

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  • BadOrbBadOrb ManchesterPosts: 791Member Uncommon

    Having a fully voiced MMO is really great to me. I do understand where you are coming from about the rigidness of it , but still I have played through a lot of characters ( I have 16 , some grouped up though ) not all are maxed , I have only about 4 left and my lowest is 42. I too didn't level via pvp or fp's just the planetary ,class stories and heroics for about 12 of my 16 characters. With that I found it still pretty decent entertainment even by my 10th play through , doing as you said light , dark , neutral , male , female differences. having some in permanent groups helped too , as a lot of missions become extremely hard and thus making them very different. They have added a new FP which has a 15-54 category which has helped to not have to do all the planetary quests , but in my view makes the game too easy. Still there are no credits to be made within that fp so that's the balance BW have gone for.

     

    Now to one of your other points , I don't think it would be worth BW's time to change any of the old content at all. Just look at one of the games you are comparing it to , WOW , yes they changed a lot and look what they are about to do now. Giving and selling level 90 characters. All that money and dev time pretty much is now wasted , not entirely , but for the most part , even recent expansions are going to become almost obsolete. You do also realise that your article is slightly outdated with last nights announced Galatctic Strongholds , it seems , that there will be trophies and such like from old content , so there still might be a reason for actually starting or playing through the old content.

     

    Now with the new story line kicking off a week Tuesday that comes to a dramatic end towards the end of the year. We will be getting a big announcement and due to BW holding back in cantina tours when asked about things like legacy banks and guild ships. Then springing them upon us last night. Then I for one believe they may actually surprise all of us with a boxed expansion , including the continuation of class stories. Think about it , a series of films ( movies ) been made and the first to appear at the end of 2015 , in makes perfect sense to do so. We all like shinny new SW things , especially with the new hype surrounding the IP.

     

    Cheers,

     

    BadOrb.

     
     

    PSO 4 years , EQOA 4 months , PSU 7 years , SWTOR launch ongoing , PSO2 SEA launch ongoing , Destiny 360 launch ongoing.
    "SWG was not fun. Let it go buddy." quote from iiNoSkillzii 10/18/13
    The original propoganda pixie dust villain :[]

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,718Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by CazNeerg

    By the rationale of this column, all themepark MMOs are bad and should have failed by now, because even if one does offer two leveling paths for a given faction instead of one, you still see all of the content in fewer playthroughs than it takes to see all of the content in TOR, and apparently having "rigid" content (AKA scripted quests) is a terrible thing that leads to DOOM! image

    :)

    I think the point is (as usual) options and freedom. TOR's leveling (without operations, warzones, etc. just the story) is like space was before Starfighter :) I mean like a railway in a straight tube, and with only a few parts are swapped depending your actual class. This concept can be great if you're focusing on the storytelling aspect of a game, but can be tedious and boring if you're an altoholic, because you have to replay / re-grind the same tube every time for seeing that 20-25% class-specific part.

     

    In other games, like LotRO, you have a wide array of options within the questing. There are some questchains with dependencies, but beside that you always have a truckload of quests on every level in multiple areas to choose from. It's not two leveling paths, it's almost infinite (within a reasonable range of convenience of course, nobody will travelling around the world for taking quests and stories randomly... but swapping areas after every 1-2 levels is a totally do-able way, sometimes even the game leading you to area change in the storyline).

    So while the book quest line is linear like in TOR (not always, it has sometimes 2 or even 3 parallel options), the rest you can play wherever you want - opposed to TOR where this "rest" (which is the much bigger part of a playthrough) is the very same, without any option to stirring it up a bit.

     

    Obvioulsy you will see the same quests and stories after a while, no game is endless in the content department... but there's a huge difference between seeing the very same quests in the very same order every time, or if you can decide  where you wanna go this time, and you can change that decision any time you want on the go.

  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer ChairPosts: 5,590Member Uncommon

    This column is false. At least in the comparing of rigidity and flexibility. Honestly, WoW, with it's revamped zones and phasing everywhere is far worse than SWTOR. The class story is only a part of your leveling game. I don't see much difference between GW2's personal story and SWTOR's Class Story. Well, quality of writing not withstanding.

     
  • CazNeergCazNeerg Puyallup, WAPosts: 2,198Member
    Originally posted by Po_gg

    :)

    I think the point is (as usual) options and freedom. TOR's leveling (without operations, warzones, etc. just the story) is like space was before Starfighter :) I mean like a railway in a straight tube, and with only a few parts are swapped depending your actual class. This concept can be great if you're focusing on the storytelling aspect of a game, but can be tedious and boring if you're an altoholic, because you have to replay / re-grind the same tube every time for seeing that 20-25% class-specific part. 

    In other games, like LotRO, you have a wide array of options within the questing. There are some questchains with dependencies, but beside that you always have a truckload of quests on every level in multiple areas to choose from. It's not two leveling paths, it's almost infinite (within a reasonable range of convenience of course, nobody will travelling around the world for taking quests and stories randomly... but swapping areas after every 1-2 levels is a totally do-able way, sometimes even the game leading you to area change in the storyline).

    So while the book quest line is linear like in TOR (not always, it has sometimes 2 or even 3 parallel options), the rest you can play wherever you want - opposed to TOR where this "rest" (which is the much bigger part of a playthrough) is the very same, without any option to stirring it up a bit.

     Obvioulsy you will see the same quests and stories after a while, no game is endless in the content department... but there's a huge difference between seeing the very same quests in the very same order every time, or if you can decide  where you wanna go this time, and you can change that decision any time you want on the go.

    The other game the column referenced was WoW, which as of the last time I actually played it didn't have more than two area options for any given level.  As far as LotRO goes, it does have a fairly wide range of options in many level ranges, but for me it is an example of how breadth doesn't necessarily equate to more longevity.  It doesn't matter how much there is to do unless the game makes you want to do it, and LotRO bored me far, far faster than anything in TOR did.  One of the main reasons for that is that the story of LotRO doesn't give the player character any, well, character.  The absolute best part of TOR is the class stories, and no other MMO has anything like them.  Yes, they end eventually, but they accomplish the task of getting the player to achieve max level, which is one of the primary struggles of most MMOs, even getting players to stick around long enough to be in a position to try the max level content.

    I can fully agree that TOR has a rigid structure, but I don't think that has any logical connection to longevity.  Even if it had multiple leveling paths, it would still take the same amount of time per character to get to 55.  You would still only have players who like to make alts making more than one character, and most of them would still stop making new characters after seeing all the class stories.  

    Given the amount of time the leveling process takes for a single character, the amount of time a person would have to spend to see an alternate leveling path is negligible in the context of the lifetime of a MMO.  It makes far more sense to continue adding more "rigid" content that can be enjoyed by all the characters already made since the game launched that it would to go back and make new content for the levels that most of the players have already passed, and wouldn't be very interested in going through again even with new areas, *unless* there were also new classes added.

    Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
    Through passion, I gain strength.
    Through strength, I gain power.
    Through power, I gain victory.
    Through victory, my chains are broken.
    The Force shall free me.

  • CrazKanukCrazKanuk Elmira, ONPosts: 2,499Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GregorMcgregor

     

    2. Class story; This time I'm going to be a tank class and I'll just choose the another... wait a minute! I killed you not less than a week ago! WTF!!! Yes, look around you. See them other players? They are ALL emperor's fists! ALL OF THEM!!! /enough said.

     

    True, I am actually the only Twilight Vanquisher in all of WoW!! /sarcasm

     

    It's a point, but not really THE point. Good luck finding a game where you are literally the only person to accomplish something (outside of World Firsts). I killed Garrosh last week, and I'll probably kill him again this week. Cut scene will be the same, fight will be the same, I still appear to be surprised when Voljin is the new leader of the Horde. That's just how it goes though. 

     

    Crazkanuk

    ----------------
    Azarelos - 90 Hunter - Emerald
    Durnzig - 90 Paladin - Emerald
    Demonicron - 90 Death Knight - Emerald Dream - US
    Tankinpain - 90 Monk - Azjol-Nerub - US
    Brindell - 90 Warrior - Emerald Dream - US
    ----------------

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,718Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by CazNeerg
     

    The other game the column referenced was WoW, which as of the last time I actually played it didn't have more than two area options for any given level. 

    I can fully agree that TOR has a rigid structure, but I don't think that has any logical connection to longevity. 

    I wrote above that I don't play wow so I don't know the paths in there :)

     

    Yep, that's all I said as well, it's rigid like the colum wrote. I never said a word about longevity... I just wrote that the stories are the best part in TOR (heck, the only part in my case, since I never touched anything else in there, TOR is like a -bit weak- KotOR 3 for me :) ), but they have way too many shared elements and that makes them tedious to enjoy (I used the word "boring" I guess ;) ).

     

    edit: to make my situation even worse among TOR fans I confess, that after a buddy of mine said the smuggler's story is pretty meh, I said to myself "ok, at least I can spare one tedious grind to play the smuggler all the way along" and I watched the cutscenes on yt. I know, I know... shameful :)

  • Fenrir767Fenrir767 Waitsfield, VTPosts: 595Member
    Originally posted by Po_gg
    Originally posted by CazNeerg

    By the rationale of this column, all themepark MMOs are bad and should have failed by now, because even if one does offer two leveling paths for a given faction instead of one, you still see all of the content in fewer playthroughs than it takes to see all of the content in TOR, and apparently having "rigid" content (AKA scripted quests) is a terrible thing that leads to DOOM! image

    :)

    I think the point is (as usual) options and freedom. TOR's leveling (without operations, warzones, etc. just the story) is like space was before Starfighter :) I mean like a railway in a straight tube, and with only a few parts are swapped depending your actual class. This concept can be great if you're focusing on the storytelling aspect of a game, but can be tedious and boring if you're an altoholic, because you have to replay / re-grind the same tube every time for seeing that 20-25% class-specific part.

     

    In other games, like LotRO, you have a wide array of options within the questing. There are some questchains with dependencies, but beside that you always have a truckload of quests on every level in multiple areas to choose from. It's not two leveling paths, it's almost infinite (within a reasonable range of convenience of course, nobody will travelling around the world for taking quests and stories randomly... but swapping areas after every 1-2 levels is a totally do-able way, sometimes even the game leading you to area change in the storyline).

    So while the book quest line is linear like in TOR (not always, it has sometimes 2 or even 3 parallel options), the rest you can play wherever you want - opposed to TOR where this "rest" (which is the much bigger part of a playthrough) is the very same, without any option to stirring it up a bit.

     

    Obvioulsy you will see the same quests and stories after a while, no game is endless in the content department... but there's a huge difference between seeing the very same quests in the very same order every time, or if you can decide  where you wanna go this time, and you can change that decision any time you want on the go.

    I still have to disagree with saying that LOTRO has a wide variety of leveling options, you have 2-3 zones that cover your level ranges the nice about it is that it's not a strict level cap like wow where all of the zones level ranges match such as in Vanilla. You may be able to have a varying route which to some people may make the game seem fresh however it's still the same content and as your Leveling you still run into plenty of overlap. Unless your gonna pain stakeingly map our your quest progression to avoid repeats for the first few playthroughs and essentially not worry about the Epic Overall Quest. You have some options but not the plethora of options that IMO trumps the class story for SWTOR which is unique to every class. 

    The most logical argument I can see with regards to LOTRO is sure it has more options at first but then falls victim to the same thing as SWTOR that after 1-2 playthroughs repetition begins to set in as well.

     

    You also run into the issue that once you hit roughly level 50 the game becomes very linear through the new zones sure you can max out your level in the previous zone and sometimes skip zone you also run into the situation where you need to level in both zones to reach the level cap for the two options presented.

  • Sevenstar61Sevenstar61 Centreville, VAPosts: 1,690Member Uncommon

    Replayability problem??? LMAO This is the first MMO ever that I got to 21 alts in that count about 13 are level 55, 5 between 35 and 40 and few newbies. And still having fun replaying them. Female toons feel different than male toons - try it. It's like you play completely different story. I have only one slot left on my server and or I will have to start to delete toons or move to other server.

    The only other game I could get multiple toon to max level was EQ2, but it took me several more years to achieve it and I don't think I had more than 8 toons.

    image
    Sith Warrior - Story of Hate and Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxKrlwXt7Ao
    Imperial Agent - Rise of Cipher Nine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBBj3eJWBvU&feature=youtu.be
    Imperial Agent - Hunt for the Eagle Part 1http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQqjYYU128E

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,718Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Fenrir767

    I still have to disagree with saying that LOTRO has a wide variety of leveling options, you have 2-3 zones that cover your level ranges the nice about it is that it's not a strict level cap like wow where all of the zones level ranges match such as in Vanilla.

    ....

    You also run into the issue that once you hit roughly level 50 the game becomes very linear through the new zones sure you can max out your level in the previous zone and sometimes skip zone you also run into the situation where you need to level in both zones to reach the level cap for the two options presented.

    Probably you missed the xp changes... no wonder everyone's running around with the turtle pebble (the xp disabler), nowadays you gain xp even if you just standing still - ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit :) But seriously, though I opposed the xp boosting many times, it definitely has one positive effect: presently you can questing (and leveling up) any way you like.

    For example I'm in the middle of a hobbit journey, with helping the Fellowship and beyond that only the hobbits, plus our grumpy neighbours the travelling dwarves (as a necessity, because there are no hobbit quests in the 35-60 area). So Shire, Staddle, Buckland, Othrikar, Oatbarton and Dwaling, Barachen's camp, then Bilbo in Imladris, Misty Mountains, Zigilgund in Forochel, and then dive into Moria :) Just cherry-picking some quests from every area, it's a totally viable way right now - but I agree, a few years ago with the regular xp gain there were only 2-3 parallel areas for leveling, with a total combination of maybe 10 different routes.

     

    To the expansions, Turbine also trying to add at least one alternate route, there's Lorien for Moria, they revamped Enedwaith (from a pure 65 region into a 60-65 one) to give an option to Mirkwood, there's the Great River for Isengard (which also has the Gap and Dunland)... True, Rohan and HD are pretty straightforward areas, but you can spice that up as well with Wildermore if you like.

     

    Sorry for the off, back to TOR: I still wish there'd be some more variety during our journey :) when housing will arrive I plan to go back, but it'd be much better if I could play through a new character without the very same filler quests in the very same order...

  • EpiconEpicon Santa Rosa, CAPosts: 121Member

    The problem is, not how they told the stories, but the game design choices of TOR itself and the art direction. They laid a WoW like system down, which people had already been playing for several years. Then spackled it with cartoon graphics (not clone wars cool), and placed lifeless NPCs around instanced smaller maps.

    Then end game was also WoW all over again. I have a feeling the higher ups thought by making it so much like WoW (minus the combat), they could easily take a good chunk of WoW's market share, also the star wars name gave them confidence.

    The result is, it backfired, giving players feelings of fatigue, after one or two class stories were done.  Because it was so much like WoW, grind, dailies and all.  The game's mains strength story, then became a crutch because now, they don't bring in enough money to continue them, as far as class story and companions. Two of the main things people, liked about the game.

    Sorry but a generalized, story involving a planet, without companion interaction for the most part, is not going to cut it, when one planet, should be part of a expansion anyway. This game has been out two years, not a proper expansion yet.

    So the people you have left, out of the 1.8 million subs, 500k or so, are the people who like what WoW has to offer, or liked what it used to offer, or hell even people who still play WoW. They like the game, for the familiar system, build around a different world. My guess is, Wildstar, will grab quite a few of them away. Outside, the 500k people, who love the theme park, WoW system, I can't imagine many others liking this game. Maybe single player gamers, who want to enjoy a story or two and quit.  

     

    "What tastes like purple?"

  • Ice-QueenIce-Queen USA, GAPosts: 2,451Member Uncommon
    Very truthful and unbiased review. My first thought was, Am I on mmorpg.com? :)

    image

    What happens when you log off your characters????.....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
    Dark Age of Camelot

  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Manchester, NHPosts: 2,928Member Uncommon

    SWTOR is great for one play through per faction.  The non class-specific quests make it too tedious to rerun the factions with a different class.

     

    They definitely goofed up by not letting the stories take one of two paths, ala WOW and the independent continents.

  • Fenrir767Fenrir767 Waitsfield, VTPosts: 595Member
    Originally posted by Ice-Queen
    Very truthful and unbiased review. My first thought was, Am I on mmorpg.com? :)

    I can't say I agree considering he is comparing the game to WoW and LOTRO after many years of content updates and expansions he also doesn't seem to realize that Disney announced just a few months ago that EA had received an extension on their license for 10 years so in my opinion this is just another OP ED piece instead of a truthful and critical look at the game and the state some of it's competitors was in at the same point in their life cycle

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