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News & Features Discussion  » Star Wars: The Old Republic: Five Reasons to be Wary of The Old Republic

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  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 14030

 
OP  7/14/10 9:21:16 AM#1

Last week, Bill Murphy penned his Five Reasons to be Stoked for The Old Republic. The List generated a lot of feedback. This week, Bill takes the converse role in his latest List: Five Reasons to be Wary of The Old Republic.

Hype is an easy thing to cave into, and we’re not trying to deflate anyone’s enthusiasm for one of the genre’s exciting prospects. We’re just trying to keep a level head and remember that not everything always comes out peachy.

Read all 5 reasons to be wary and then let us know if you agree, disagree or have more to add to The List.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  Nebless

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/22/08
Posts: 914

7/14/10 9:33:44 AM#2

Nicely written with some very good points.

  Tarka

Novice Member

Joined: 10/26/07
Posts: 1673

Free speech is a right, common sense is a duty.

7/14/10 9:34:51 AM#3

A nicely balanced article.

5.) BioWare’s First MMORPG - Its a risky undertaking for sure.  Either Bioware have learned well from the competition or they will end up making the same sort of mistakes the others did.  Its too early to tell right now.

4.) Star Wars is Serious Business - It certainly is.  But where SWTOR can be given a little flexibility is that its designed for a timeline which Bioware helped create in the first place.  So the game isn't having to adhere to preconceptions from the films, unlike SWG. But instead, it has to adhere to certain preconceptions surrounding the KOTOR games.  Who better to do this than the very people who designed that first game?  Because of this, I have slightly more confidence in Bioware making SWTOR a success, than I had in SOE making SWG a success.  Of course, Bioware have every chance to still mess it up too, but they have a lot riding on this that they cannot afford for it to fail.

3.) Voice Acting = Too Much? - Some love it, some hate it.  Its just another facet designed to enrich the game. Its optional after all.  If it hadn't had been, then I personally would have had more fears about it.  But options are good.

2.) Companion Characters - THIS is one area I agree with the OP.  Its too early to tell just how Bioware are going to tweak the companions so that they ensure grouping is still viable.  And it's still unknown just what effect the companions will have on the overall combat capabilities of each class.

1.) Will It Just Be WoW with Lightsabers? - It ain't set on Azeroth.  The Lich King is nowhere to be found.  There ain't elves and goblins everywhere.  Yes, the game will obviously share some similarities with other games in the same genre, but that's the whole point of being in the same genre.  People like a certain degree of familiarity in products, its what makes people buy them in the first place.  Will it have an end game with similarities to WoW?  We don't know yet.  There's a possibility it will.  But no guarantees.

  Paragus1

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Joined: 6/29/06
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7/14/10 9:34:55 AM#4

I completely agree with the premise of this article for both reasons listed here as well as those that are not.  The cinematics are impressive no doubt, the voice acting is nice fluff, and yes it is Star Wars.  Honestly though, how many times in the last 6 years have we watched this cycle play itself out over and over again, almost always ending in the same way.   Some big budget MMO based off some IP people love gets everyone all hyped up, ends up being a reskinned version of the last MMO that came before it.  The combat videos honestly look almost exactly like every other cookie-cutter MMO churned out in the last 6 six years that hits the ground running and ends up crashing and burning in a few months once people burn through the content to find a lacking end-game.

I'm not saying the game will be bad, it could very well be the next WoW in terms of success, but I think people need to take a step back, stop, and breathe.  Once people play through the story a few times as different classes, what is there that will keep players paying their monthly fee month after month?  When you boil away the fact that the IP is Star Wars, what does this game have that will make it not crash the same way we saw with AoC, WAR, Aion, etc.

I wish them the best as the genre needs more good MMOs, but games ultimately survive and thrive on their merits, not their hype.

  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

7/14/10 9:35:48 AM#5

Good article, nice balance combined with the one last week.

 

One addition to point 4, the Companions: they are customisable

Companions will be able to be customized so that everyone will not be running around with the same Wookiee template etc PC Gamer UK April 2010


Now I'm not expecting it to be on the customisation level of your Nemesis in CO - after all, you'll only have 1 Nemesis while you will have several different Companions in SW:ToR - but I do expect the customisation to be extensive enough to make the chance small that you will encounter the exact same looking Companion that you have also wandering around with someone else.

The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."

  Tarka

Novice Member

Joined: 10/26/07
Posts: 1673

Free speech is a right, common sense is a duty.

7/14/10 9:39:57 AM#6
Originally posted by cyphers

Good article, nice balance combined with the one last week. 

One addition to point 4, the Companions: they are customisable

Companions will be able to be customized so that everyone will not be running around with the same Wookiee template etc PC Gamer UK April 2010


Now I'm not expecting it to be on the customisation level of your Nemesis in CO - after all, you'll only have 1 Nemesis while you will have several different Companions in SW:ToR - but I do expect the customisation to be extensive enough to make the chance that you will encounter the exact same looking Companion that you have also wandering around with someone else.

Nice find Cyphers.  It's good to hear that Bioware certainly took that into account.   

I'm hoping that we'll get the sort of customisation that STO has for your bridge officers.

  Korithian

Novice Member

Joined: 1/14/10
Posts: 243

7/14/10 9:44:39 AM#7

  From what we have seen of the game play outside of the devs official sanctioned videos (read into the what you will with the Beta having recently started) the talk of Story and VO as major selling points and where the innovation in the game may be far too little. While a couple of minutes maybe spend listening to someone telling you back story far more of the game is then spend travelling and killing. And cause of this I couldn't agree more with point number 1.

 

 Right from the start Bioware has looked to WoW for inspiration, we see a similar cartoonish graphic, a very familar combat/game engine and a similar game play experience with running round killing things and watching your xp clock up. Bioware have even said what they are looking to do is bring VO and Story to the MMO, they will be adding the 4th Pillar. Reguardless of why we may have to spend the next 2 hours running across the landscape to kill Big Boss Man number 15 the vast majority of the gamers time is spent away from the story and VO and experiencing the very traditional MMO style game play. There is little inovotive or new in this part of the game, which is where most players will spend most their time.

 

Sure the reason may be great and told to you with great VO this is going to matter little after the first 50 hours of VO and story which at best takes you on a personal story at worst is rehashing the passed 10 hours of story where for example your new sith master has some quests for you, at some point you have to decide if you will betray him. Reguardless of what you choose you move onto the next Sith Master and repeat. Cause its an MMO you can't do anything game changing, you can't do anything that marks you as unique as every other Sith Warrior gets the title master at level 80 and you can't kill anyone your not supposed to. So at the end of the day the story may be more like railroads that you just follow along. Sure they branch but never enough to allow for more than an illusion of choice. Where the game really shines will be the game play and so far nothing here has looked that new or special or even comparable to other games coming out in 2011.

 

Of course the game will do well, and of course Bioware and Star Wars fans will purchase it. They will no doubt even purchase it instead of better games cause of those names and probably fill the forums with annoyed posts but still keep paying. Sadly though after 180 million dollars 6 years and this IP and studio it wont be as good as many people think and hope it will be. But perhaps worst of all it wont be the game the fans deserve, it will stick to very safe MMO ground and let the other big releases of late 2010 and 2011 look to improve on gameplay and MMO conventions.

  karat76

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Joined: 8/22/06
Posts: 1011

Greatest threat to society is letting casualties of puberty reproduce.

7/14/10 9:48:28 AM#8

Valid reasons but at the end of the day if it is entertaining and doesn't turn into another epeen contest then the game will be worth playing.

  Devildog1

Novice Member

Joined: 8/30/06
Posts: 496

RIP
SWG: Zanthar Brothen (Bloodfin)

7/14/10 9:53:14 AM#9

While I can't wait for the game to come out, these are some very good points! Let's hope these 5 issues don't come to fruition in the game.

  remyburke

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 3045

I liked MMOs better when gamers didn't play them, and just geeks did.

7/14/10 10:00:29 AM#10

From a personal standpoint, Companion Characters are my main concern with this game. I just don't see the point of these damn things in a multi-player game. Sure, people who enjoy pet classes will probably enjoy them, but the majority of players prefer to play and focus on their character and make allys with real people instead of AI.

Overall, the game looks pretty weak and uninspired. I will keep this on my radar because I am simply a fan of the MMO genre, but there are other titles that have me way more excited than SW:TOR.

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  Illyssia

Novice Member

Joined: 8/10/09
Posts: 1525

7/14/10 10:03:18 AM#11
5. It's not a good point to make, after all WoW was Blizzards first MMORPG and there is a large number of fails for games companies following up on a successful first game. 4. I think lore is important in the Star Wars universe and I think Bioware will make it immersive into that world. 3. VO is good, I think, for Modern mmorpg. 2. I think these positive as it makes it easier to write group quest PvE material for a game without alienating soloing, and post-launch people are going to mainly solo as they level to cap. 1. Only WoW-tards would hope for that, and I cannot see why SWTOR will be significantly similar to WoW.
  Asmiroth20

Novice Member

Joined: 6/07/07
Posts: 360

7/14/10 10:04:59 AM#12

    Yeah,  I think the companion stuff is the only thing that irks me.  I'll be teaming up with my friends for the most part.  Aside from the companions everything else looks like a reason I'm interested to play.

  brostyn

Novice Member

Joined: 1/29/04
Posts: 3120

Cynical? Me? Never.

7/14/10 10:20:45 AM#13

Agree with No. 1. That is my biggest concern.

  Tarka

Novice Member

Joined: 10/26/07
Posts: 1673

Free speech is a right, common sense is a duty.

7/14/10 10:24:44 AM#14
Originally posted by Asmiroth20

    Yeah,  I think the companion stuff is the only thing that irks me.  I'll be teaming up with my friends for the most part.  Aside from the companions everything else looks like a reason I'm interested to play.

Yes, it is worthy of concern. Encounters may be designed so that:

1) They are perhaps statically scaled to always encourage the use of companions in solo or group encounters.

2) They are perhaps dynamically scaled in accordance with whether companions are being used (which would be hard to do in the open world, though possible in "private" instances).

3) They ensure that the companions have no real effect on the overall combat potency of players and their abilities.  Thus the companions are just "fluff" in terms of combat, and of no real use outside of the storylines.

Personally, although I can appreciate the attraction of companions, I wouldn't shed a tear if they were pulled from the game if that meant better balance of combat encounters for both soloing and grouping.  Companions COULD turn out to be the "chink in the armour" in terms of SWTOR's game design.  Hopefully they won't.

  SwampRob

Novice Member

Joined: 9/05/07
Posts: 1011

7/14/10 10:33:28 AM#15
Originally posted by remyburke

From a personal standpoint, Companion Characters are my main concern with this game. I just don't see the point of these damn things in a multi-player game. Sure, people who enjoy pet classes will probably enjoy them, but the majority of players prefer to play and focus on their character and make allys with real people instead of AI.

Overall, the game looks pretty weak and uninspired. I will keep this on my radar because I am simply a fan of the MMO genre, but there are other titles that have me way more excited than SW:TOR.

 One person's negative is another's positive it seems.   The companions, and in particular the fact that Bioware has stated it will be possible to complete a class' entire story without requiring grouping has me shouting for joy (ok, not literally).    Please tell me one MMO is finally gonna let me experience an endgame without forcing me to group to do so.   Speaking of which, have there been any official releases regarding the endgame?

  MMO.Maverick

Inquisitor

Joined: 3/05/10
Posts: 7792

The middle road is the place to be!

7/14/10 10:38:56 AM#16

Do encounters dynamically scale up if you bring your Companions? I didn't encounter that while reading the available info, I did read somewhere or heard it in one of the interviews that (group) encounters count on you using your Companions and that encounters would be harder if you didn't.

 

I thought the way Bioware explained the use of Companions a nifty one: not only will they contribute to your storyline, but in groups you don't have to refuse friends or guildies anymore just because you need a healer for that last spot in your group. Instead you can just invite your friend or guildie and bring along healing Companions to fill in the gap.

 

The only major objection I can think of is if people generally dislike having to bring pets into battle, because it seems like the Companions make every class a pet class.

 

About the story: I agree with that gameplay is more important, I disagree with that it has no impact on immersion. In games like ME2 the time that you really are in dialogues is not that much compared with the time that you're fighting around, still the storyline that these dialogues helped build added immensely to my immersion of the game, that would have lacked when ME2 would have been nothing more than some action RPG shooter with only a hint of a story.

The ACTUAL size of MMORPG worlds: a comparison list between MMO's

The ease with which predictions are made on these forums:
Fratman: "I'm saying Spring 2012 at the earliest [for TOR release]. Anyone still clinging to 2011 is deluding themself at this point."

  gilgamesh9

Novice Member

Joined: 5/20/10
Posts: 137

7/14/10 10:48:54 AM#17

SOE did not respect the IP from the get-go. Raph Koster was hellbent on implementing his UO2 template with a Star Wars skin.  That was the first fatal flaw of a string of terrible decisions wrt SW:G.

I think Bioware's on the right track.

  Vinterkrig

Novice Member

Joined: 1/22/07
Posts: 1717

7/14/10 10:49:21 AM#18

This is basically what I wrote in the 5 reasons to be stoked, except in more detail :P

  Nebless

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/22/08
Posts: 914

7/14/10 10:53:23 AM#19

Companions - I think these would work if handled the same way STO handles theirs.  Say you're doing a 6 man raid.  If you're solo'ing it, than it's just you and your companions.  If you and a friend, each gets to pick 2 companions etc....  Using them as fillers where needed would be OK I guess.  That way both the solo and group camps would be covered.

VO - Atleast with the timeline BioWare won't have any pre-conceived notions on how a NPC should sound.  I know with STO they had the Spock from the latest movie and pretty much everyone was 'Who's that????', so they ended up having to go and bring Leonard Nemoy in and then it was 'Ahhhhhh, now I KNOW that voice'.

Storyline - Yes it's not the SW we all know, it's KOTOR.  And yet even the dev's have said they've watched and want to bring the classic (my word) SW feel into the game, which kind of tells me just for a marketing point it'll lean more towards SW than KOTOR as the SW name recognition is greater than the KOTOR one.  Just do a 'Man on the Street' Q&A.  He'll more likely know SW than KOTOR.  I'm not saying that's bad since I'm sure they'll be a number of SW (vice KOTOR) gamers playing and any thing they can do to give them a familar feel will probably help to keep them around.

  User Deleted
7/14/10 10:54:06 AM#20
Originally posted by Vinterkrig

This is basically what I wrote in the 5 reasons to be stoked, except in more detail :P

No lie.

"Look guys, Bioware's putting a lot of time and effort into making a modern Star Wars MMO. "

Luke: "I'm not afraid."

Yoda: "Good you will be, you will be."

Of playing a theme park SWG MMO? While it's not ideal I hardly see any of this as a 'bad thing'. A little mediocre at best, but so was the pod racing scene in Ep 1.

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