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Paragus Rants

Rants, reviews, and interviews from an MMO veteran and guild leader.

Author: Paragus1

Rant: SWTOR free month for 50's

Posted by Paragus1 Friday April 13 2012 at 1:28PM
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Rant: SWTOR free month for 50's

It amazes me that I still get amazed at some of the happenings that go on in this genre.   I am quite the grizzled old veteran in MMO terms considering all that I've seen and done.   When I heard today that Bioware is giving only people with a level 50 character a free month, frankly I didn't believe it.  So I went and looked on their website and sure enough there it is...

A SPECIAL GIFT FOR OUR LEVEL 50 PLAYERS – 30 DAYS OF PLAY TIME ON US!

As a thanks for being one of our most valued players, every active account with a Level 50 character as of April 12th, 2012 at 12:00PM CDT / 5:00PM GMT, will receive thirty (30) days of game time** in appreciation for your support and loyalty.


I'm going to keep this short and sweet, much like the average TOR subscription.  This astounds me for a few reasons.   I know what the TOR fan is already thinking..."Paragus, this is just another promotion!   All MMO's do this sort of thing!"  No, not like this they don't.   Let's take a step back for a minute and think about this.   

First and foremost, this is a giant slap across the face to what is probably a decent chunk of their player base.   Yes, getting to max level in TOR is not a particularly difficult thing to do.  But clearly they think that somehow the guy with a level 50 and the guy who might have several characters in their 40's are not equally valued.   The guy with several level 40's probably has more hours clocked into the game, might have even been playing longer in terms of hours / months subscribed (fees paid), or maybe even invested the extra cash for the CE.  Sorry buddy, since you never really "completed" the game, you don't get anything.  Well that's not true, you get a kick to teeth, but that doesn't really count.

Secondly, doesn't this pretty much imply that they are admiting something the rest of us already knew? This game is bleeding out level 50s.  Everyone I know who played this game terminated their sub shortly after reaching 50.  Yes, I read the press release about the 1.7 Million or whatever nonsense they were spinning, but the facts on the ground just don't reflect that.    I know a lot of people in a lot of different gaming communities.   In those various communities I know quite a few people who bought TOR and popped once they hit the cap because the game felt over at that point.   In fact, I don't think I know of a single person left still playing.   Maybe I am living in some bizarro anamoly, I guess that's possible, but I'd wager from what I reading on various forums that this is not the case.   Bottom line is that I think they see the bargain bin rapidly approaching and are trying trying to pull up as hard as they can.

Finally, doesn't this entire thing basically encourage people to adopt the very playstyle that is killing their subscribers?   If the game is bleeding out at 50, and you are offering a monetary compensation bonus for reaching 50, you are basically trying to get people to hasten the death of their account.  Someone is going to effectively pay me $15 if I rush to the endgame so I can realize the complete lack of one existing.

I wonder how many of these free month subs will be counted in their next report period?  Just some food for thought.

 

Paragus Rants

Co-Leader of Inquisition

Loktofeit writes:

An update:

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?p=3939824#edit3939824

Fri Apr 13 2012 7:24PM Report
MurlockDance writes:

I do like how you put things Paragus :) A bump from me just for style. However, it has been changed, as Loktofeit has linked.

Sat Apr 14 2012 1:06AM Report
daltanious writes:

Good for me in any case. Have 2 lv. 50 and 6 up to 45, legacy level I think (can not log in now to check) around 25 or 27 ... so nothing to worry. :-) And as this offer is intended to most active and valued ... etc players that have been in swtor since RELEASE or close to it, I do not see any problem op sees.

For me, swtor is currently best game ever, enjoying so much that is on first place now or at least sharing it with Wow. Close second is Rift. Great game, fluid, bug free, ... no objections. It is just matter of preference. I'm big SW fan since first movie and I'm having a blast just being logged into swtor and this influences for sure. But game is incredible, like wow and rift. And here top list ends. ALL the rest if FAR FAR in distant galaxy. :-) This trio have unique properties: completely fluid on my computer (not bad, not good) with all maxed out (all the rest a mess), every single button and every single click of mouse does EXACTLY what is supposed to do (not any1 of the rest), rare, very rare bugs (wow had them at start, but was so many years back and was first in such scale), .... etc etc

So, I predict very bright future for swtor, wow and rift. As it looks I will alternate between them for very long years to come. As it stands now, is the first time in decades that I'm not searching for another game. :-)

Sat Apr 14 2012 4:45AM Report
daltanious writes:

Oh, and forgot, voiced questing in swtor is such a blast that I do not enjoy other questing at all, not even in wow or rift, have returned to trial for short. After beauty of swtor, it is just terrible to hear only "hi, friend" and then being condemned to pure reading. Still barely can wait next expansion of wow. :-)

Sat Apr 14 2012 4:56AM Report
JTShadow writes:

The promotion makes perfect logical sense. Lets look at it like this.

  1. They only have so much content in the game.
  2. People who hit 50 could have completed all content.
  3. New content was added for 50's in the 1.2 patch.
  4. Invite people back/extend subscriptions for players who may have cleared all previous content.
If you have multple level 40's, you still have much content left in the game to get through, compared to the guy with one level 50 who's done it all. Though your play styles differ the person who chose to have more than one character naturally has a lot more content to get through.
Sat Apr 14 2012 10:55PM Report
SuperXero89 writes:

I question your objectivity when I read threads like:

http://inq.cbhx.com/showthread.php?tid=4525

Then again, who has to be objective in a blog of all things?  At this juncture, I am no SW:TOR fanboy, but having said that, I don't think you've ever given this game a fair shake.  Pretty much every blog post I've ever read from you in reference to SW:TOR has been negative.  Even before you had amunition to use against BioWare in your rants against SW:TOR, you were bashing the game for being more or less a WoW clone yet your impressions of Rift, another WoW clone, were generally far more favorable.  That is something I do not understand.

Sun Apr 15 2012 1:43AM Report
zaffa writes:

@SuperZero89

SW:TOR deserved to get bash more as Rift never had the $200 million available to it that TOR did. TOR could have been a saivor to mmo's by going places where other games couldn't dare go before (ie. sandbox features). Afterall, the game had an nearly infinite budget, the star wars brand, and a top notch development team behind it.

 

Instead, they literraly copied everything from WoW. Note that this statement is not spin but is simply a fact. TOR's own developers have remarked about the "Foolishness" of not recognizing WoW's success and copying everything possible from it in addition to noting that all players need to play the role of "the hero".

 

Case in point, TOR is the epitome of everything that gamers have complained about for the last 4-5 yrs all balled up into a massive turd of a product. No imagination or innovation to be found.

Sun Apr 15 2012 12:44PM Report
Paragus1 writes:

They did the right thing by changing their promotion, so I'll give credit where it is due.   I still stand by my point however that the entire promotion regardless of specifics is an overall admission that the end game is a complete bust.  The people who finish the story element of their character look around and end up quitting not long after.   They know it but won't say it, but everyone else knows it.

My review of Rift as stated was a beta review.  I played from 1-20 and stopped.  At the end of that review I stated that it would depend on the end game and their use of PvP (since the game was absed around a 2-sided conflict).   I knew from the beta that it would appeal to a certain type of gamer, but it wasn't me.   So I didn't play it, and I didn't write anything else on the subject.

You are correct in the fact that I did have it for TOR from the get-go.  You don't need to dig on my forums, I posted a blog here stating outright htat I wish it the worst.   It's not a secret or a closet admission.  I'm open about it.   This is a blog so when you click on it, you are going tog et my opinion (which more or less has been very accurate and predicting how overall modd will be towards an MMO). 

Zaffa pretty much sums it up.  It was an absolutely moronic notion to think the thing MMOs were missing to keep people subbed was story that is written much slow while players consume fast.  For the amount of money they spent voicing that game, they could have produce a full length motion picture.

Sun Apr 15 2012 5:50PM Report
Krishnak writes:

If the game sucks at level 50, it is only fair and reasoable to give a few freebies away to their pissed customers. 

If a part of your servers are down for technical reasons, you give away free time away only for those who have characters on those servers. 

At least to me this makes perfectly sense. 

Mon Apr 16 2012 10:32AM Report
Paragus1 writes: It's not reasonable to thump your chest about how many subs you have in public, then in private get ready to lay off 1000 people... http://www.gamespot.com/news/ea-laying-off-up-to-1000-report-6371851 "Andersen pointed to a variety of contributing factors for the cuts, noting that the massively multiplayer online role-playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic did not meet internal sales estimates and is facing declining subscription numbers." Look at this plus this info, the new promotion, and the reality on the ground and it's easy to see they are publicly spinning the numbers to paint a picture for the media that is not true. Mon Apr 16 2012 3:17PM Report
SuperXero89 writes: So because Rift didn't have SW:TOR's budget, it gets a free pass for being probably the most blatant WoW clone in recent memory? With the plethora of small budget sandbox MMORPGs released, I was not aware that monetary budget had anything to do with whether or not a game copied World of Warcraft. Why do people keep bringing up SW:TOR's 200,000 million dollar budget? It's almost as annoying as the people who constantly cry about the space combat. Voice acting is expensive, and the game had an enormous marketing push. I think one can deduce where the money went. If not for the voice acting, I doubt the game would have cost much more than Rift. MMO developers don't follow the WoW model because it's cheap. They follow it because it creates decent cash with minimal effort. Basically, the mantra appears to be let Blizzard come up with the innovation and we'll patch it into our game a couple months after. All the supposed "WoW-killers" of the past several years blatantly copied WoW, yet SW:TOR seems to bear the brunt of the criticism from the MMORPG community. In reality, SW:TOR is no different from the rest sans an unfortunate release date. Had the game been released in 2007 alongside LotRO, I think that gamers would have been much more receptive of SW:TOR's WoW-clone status. Even so, if we're going to despise SW:TOR, we have to despise LotRO, WAR, Rift, Age of Conan, and the countless other "WoW-killers" out there if we want to be fair. Peragus,you didn't answer my question. I am aware that your Rift blog was a beta review, but why were you so willing to concede to the fact that Rift wasn't built for you? After that, why did you leave that game alone when you cannot do the same for SW:TOR? Mon Apr 16 2012 7:02PM Report
SuperXero89 writes: Why is that one big long paragraph? Mon Apr 16 2012 7:02PM Report
aligada87 writes:

why is it when swtor does something people have nothing better to do but attack em. swtor is lacking yes, but 1.2 fixed that. also if you say 1.2 broke the game then i think you should go back and lvl up another toon because apparently you still haven't learned how to play your class effectivley. second since ea rushed bioware they really aren't accounted for. they are only human beings, they can only do so much work in a day. as for the lvl 50 requirment to recieve the free 30 day gametime card, well i wouldn't understand why you would have so many lvl toons but no lvl 50. even if you started when the first time the game came out you should atleast have 1 lvl 50 toon by now. this goes back to people sucking at their class. this is the problem with swtor, people role so many toons in the game that they don't develope enough skills to actually master their class, thus leading them to qqing and more boohooing.

Tue Apr 17 2012 12:20AM Report
aligada87 writes:

@superxero89 instead of asking why is it in 1 long paragraph why wont you fix it. i'm sure you can do it since your the first one to bring it up that is. 

Tue Apr 17 2012 12:23AM Report
koljane writes:

@Paragus1

I do not agree with you on the 1st part of why ppl whoa have more thn 1 toon to 40 do not get free month as it is explaind by some ppl properly.

I am huge fan of SW and I already canceled my sub once but got back cause I felt that not having a Trooper to 50 will mke my SW experience uncomplete.

I share the opinion about reaching 50 and canceling sub cause of many reasons.

1. On EU servers there are 2 servers that are mass populeted and aftr patch 1.2 the Q is 50 min and rest of the servers are Standard or Low. Belive me, low or standard it feels empty.

2. If you exclude nightmare mode, you ll gear up in less then 14 days, that is one of the reasons you cant find ppl for FP after lev 40.

3. When I want to find group for FP, I feel like in WOW 7 years ago, spaming LFG channel and as DPS it is almost impossible to find group for FP for lev 40+.

My solution:

1. Merge servers cleverly so you have less servers but more ppl, balance Republic/Empire in the proces as much as it is possible.

2. Well, at the end all content get cleared sooner or later :D

3. FP Finder like WOW Raid/Instance one is a MUST in this game and that is something that SW should hade it from the very start.

I think this is something that could happen without any major updates or patches in on week period and make game easier for both type of players PvE and PvP ..... oh wait PvP ones do not have a problem, they cna Q from any part of the Galaxy.

Tue Apr 17 2012 4:06AM Report
Paragus1 writes:

I absolutely lump Rift in with the rest of the bargain bin washout clones.   I don't believe you can really judge an MMO until the end game because that's what is supposed to keep you paying.   We don't see it in betas (which I reviewed at the time). 

TOR deserves the harsh criticism for several reason.   One being like you said, the pure enmority of the marketing hype and BS being spun by Bioware about the game before it released. 

Second, the budget combined with the IP do deserve to be brought up.   Those 2 factors combined eqaul the single greatest wasted opportunity in MMO gaming in years.  They had a budget bigger than a Hollywood blockbuster, and the single greatest IP in modern history to build off of, and they wasted it one-time consumable story content that was the same mundane quests in every other bargain bin MMO, and somehow thought that model would keep people paying and playing.   Why the hell would you spend that much money on poor one-time content in a genre of games where your success hinges upon long-term subscribers?

It could have been a huge leap forward for the genre if the right people had designed the game, but instead it was a tripling down financially on the same failed formula that has left all the games before it in the bargain bin or free to play.

Tue Apr 17 2012 7:52AM Report
kamakaze83 writes:

I find it difficult to understand how anyone can defend SWTOR. It's the first game since WoW released that I have actually been excited about and it was a massive letdown. I quit before patch 1.2, so can't speak about it after that... but, from Dec. 20 until Mar. 31 I played this game. None of the game-breaking issues that I ran into were addressed in the 3 months I played.

 

Just a few of the issues I had:

1. An error in their system (admitted by billing manager) wouldn't allow me to set up a subscription. I played for almost 2 weeks straight on compensatory time while they "looked into" the situation.

2. Bugs, Bugs and more Bugs. Not just minor visual bugs, but bugs that could completely stop you dead in your tracks. Completely game-breaking.

3. Insane FPS and Loading screen issues. My computer is well above minimum requirements, yet I had to run at low graphics with shadows completely off to get higher than 10 FPS.

4. They have a ton of group content while leveling, but there are no people to group with. Even in the first few weeks after release, I'd see an average of 30-40 people on each planet... most of the time fewer than that.

 

I think you hit it spot on in your OP, they know their game is going to die and they're doing whatever they can to prolong it's life just a bit longer. But, I'm honestly shocked to see SWTOR has lasted this long.

Fri Apr 20 2012 4:26PM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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