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News & Features Discussion  » Star Wars: The Old Republic: SWTOR - The 'Singleplayer RPG'

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Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/11/05
Posts: 2948

7/25/12 8:12:00 AM#21

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.

My SWTOR referral link.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/26/05
Posts: 1267

7/25/12 8:15:39 AM#22

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

How to post links.

"classification of games into MMOs is not by rational reasoning" - nariusseldon
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Novice Member

Joined: 11/10/11
Posts: 9

7/25/12 8:17:01 AM#23

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 :)


Advanced Member

Joined: 6/25/12
Posts: 382

7/25/12 8:17:56 AM#24

totally agree SP with MP mode.

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Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5424

7/25/12 8:18:26 AM#25

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.

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Joined: 7/01/08
Posts: 2163

Nothing is til it is and even then you never know until its been.

7/25/12 8:23:20 AM#26

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


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 143

7/25/12 8:23:42 AM#27

Well said.  Granted I canceled my SW:TOR account, but it definitely has plenty of group content to go around.  The real issue is they took too much of the time sink away from leveling and said group content in hopes of people wanting to roll multiple characters.  That is what they banked on versus what majority of MMO players do and that is spend time on their "main" character.


Novice Member

Joined: 9/28/08
Posts: 203

7/25/12 8:26:25 AM#28

Game is a single player RPG with some co-OP features that EA slapped with the MMO tag so they can trick some people into paying them $15/month.  Honestly, its as SIMPLE as that.


Advanced Member

Joined: 12/07/05
Posts: 230

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7/25/12 8:27:19 AM#29

The argument that it's a SRPG is simple: the MMO parts feel like add-ons to the basic single-person story mode.  The game doesn't feel *designed* as an MMO with an awesome single-person storyline.  That's the disconnect, and what annoys so many folks.


Sure, there are plenty of grouping opportunities, and it's not really just a solo game. But it's hard to argue that this isn't KOTOR 3 with multi-player added on, rather than being The Old Republic, a distinctly new MMO.  So no, I'm not annoyed when people yell SRPG at all.  Bioware certainly wasn't, given how many did just that during the Beta.


Avatars are people too

  User Deleted
7/25/12 8:27:54 AM#30
Originally posted by SlickShoes

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.

 I agree the zones always felt very small. the loading screens didnt bother me it just felt  very confined. Even coruscant which in theory should feel massive do to such a large population actually felt pretty small


Edit: I liked the space combat the problem was how limited your selection was. If your going to do on rails space you should have ALOT of different missions available. I don't recall exactly how many space missions there was but i know at 50 it didnt take me much longer then 1 hour to run them all.


Advanced Member

Joined: 9/18/04
Posts: 113

7/25/12 8:37:13 AM#31

 It doesn’t matter if you can solo to level cap or not. The beauty is that we now have options to experience these games how we want. Could MMOs use more group centric content to give those so inclined more challenges to tackle? Maybe. But complaints that an MMO that clearly has group content (whether it has enough of it is subjective) is a singleplayer game because it doesn’t explicitly force you to play with others is just ridiculous.


   This is only part of the point that is being made and of itself may be ridiculous.

     -  Heavy instancing = no others around, I have literally been in game for 20 min and not

        seen another player.

    -  NPC's might as well be a data terminal, the world is sterile.

   -  Companions eliminate the need for grouping and the game mechanics do not foster    


   -  There were areas of the game where co-operative play was needed, but it boiled down to less tham 2% of my time ingame, hardly what you would call grouping.

   -  Outside of leveling there was no need for grouping (crafting, exploration, PvP) and when leveling it was minimal (more like co-op).

   It is just not the leveling that makes this a(n) SPG, it is the sum of its parts.  The entire game feels like a co-op spg and not an MMO.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/01/03
Posts: 1154

7/25/12 8:50:58 AM#32

Nice Article..

But you forget to mention that the content is made for 1 PLAYER, if you add several more players this content will be like VERY VERY EASY..So to get any kind of challenge you need to SOLO..I called this the "forced solo effect"..

Othervise..Sure there are some REAL groupquest ..maybe at a ratio 20% group and 80% solo..

If you ...feed the community with soloable content like this, most players WILL skip the hassle of grouping ..thus the MMO fans started to call these games "singleplayer games" with an optional grouping..

it will not matter how long article you write..The outcome of these new ways of developing MMO's to the mainstream masses will always be the same..Players WILL communicate less if it isnt needed, it's rather logic.

My solotion to all this is Dynamic content that scales to the size of the group..or like in AOC you could choose an alternate version of the map that was "group only"..



Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/10
Posts: 2943

7/25/12 8:55:54 AM#33

So making everything instanced and giving everyone NPC companions doesn't contribute at all to the game feeling singleplayer with optional coop? (which is what people toss around).


Man this article is so uninformed its sad.


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Posts: 20048

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7/25/12 9:00:53 AM#34
Originally posted by soulmirror

 It doesn’t matter if you can solo to level cap or not. The beauty is that we now have options to experience these games how we want. Could MMOs use more group centric content to give those so inclined more challenges to tackle? Maybe. But complaints that an MMO that clearly has group content (whether it has enough of it is subjective) is a singleplayer game because it doesn’t explicitly force you to play with others is just ridiculous.


   This is only part of the point that is being made and of itself may be ridiculous.

     -  Heavy instancing = no others around, I have literally been in game for 20 min and not

        seen another player.

    -  NPC's might as well be a data terminal, the world is sterile.

   -  Companions eliminate the need for grouping and the game mechanics do not foster    


   -  There were areas of the game where co-operative play was needed, but it boiled down to less tham 2% of my time ingame, hardly what you would call grouping.

   -  Outside of leveling there was no need for grouping (crafting, exploration, PvP) and when leveling it was minimal (more like co-op).

   It is just not the leveling that makes this a(n) SPG, it is the sum of its parts.  The entire game feels like a co-op spg and not an MMO.

Mike so misses the point of the debate.  He admits playing with friends on a regular basis, so he really doesn't have the proper frame of reference, he should try going in by himself and seeing how worthwhile grouping turns out to be in that scenario.

The game mechanics do not reward or encourage grouping, they merely make it available if the player wants to with no real incentive to actually do so.

In Mike's case, his incentive is to hang with his friends, regardless whether it is the most efficient or practical way to play the game.

In SWTOR if you are spending all of your time grouping, you're probably doing it wrong, it was designed for players to enjoy their personal stories, and not to really create stories by interacting with other players in the game world.

Saying that no modern MMO rpg since WOW launched encourages (or forces if you will) goruping doesn't excuse the fact that for the most part, modern MMO's are all solo oriented experiences (including WOW) and SWTOR is just the worst of the bunch.

Nothing like killing a virtual world than having everyone stop moving to watch their personal story, cut scenes.  The only cool part to this was when players in a group would be asked to vote on taking a certain action or not. 

Heck, even now in TSW I'm annoyed by how I'm dragged out of the world to watch the mini movies.  I have to quickly mute vent to stop the background chatter of my friends and then listen to this story, which although I really quite enjoy, it doesn't make for a proper cooperative MMORPG experience.

Another thing to remember, randoming grouping with someone is not the same thing at all as socialization.  No modern MMORPG has sufficient time sinks built into them to permit players the time to actually socialize with each other.  Instead they jump in, complete the current objective and then disband, more often than not with nary a word said between them.

That is not socialization folks, and you'd have to have been in the early titles to understand what people like myself are looking for.

Also, it's not enough to say that forced grouping is never coming back.  Never say never, I suspect one day people will really grow weary of the current MMO design and the genre will implode in upon itself. 

There will huge finanical disasters in the MMO space (if it hasn't already happened with SWTOR) that will really sour investors appetitie for large cash investments into MMORPG's (recent events with 38 Studios haven't helped) and they'll withdraw from the market.

The genre may then arise from the ashes with smaller budgets, new ideas and perhaps a return to a few old ones to give rebirth to a new generation of titles.

While it is a bit of hyperbole to call SWTOR a single player RPG, it's not all that inaccurate either.

Mike is just a bit upset because he's a SWTOR fan and hates to see his game slammed so much even when people are leaving the title in droves for not only this complaint, but many others as well.

TLDR:  MMORPG's are about the stories player make interacting between each other (even in a good theme park, see DAOC, circa 2003)  and not about the stories the Developers set before them.  Those clearly belong in the single player game space.




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Novice Member

Joined: 10/06/08
Posts: 130

7/25/12 9:01:51 AM#35

MMORPG. The home of bandwagon fallacies.


Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1252

7/25/12 9:02:24 AM#36
You mention that people can group for content and, of course, that's true, but the way the game has been created gives no reason to do so. Let's take TSW for example, you can solo through that all the way to the end, but that's where the similarities end.

TSW has open zones, TOR has corridors, TSW mobs are tough so even solo you know a group would be good. TOR you can steamroll everything do there's no need to get anyone else, plus you also have npc companions to make it even easier. TSW has open questing, TOR has the usual hubs.

It's those and many other reasons why TOR plays like a single player game, not just the grouping requirements.

Novice Member

Joined: 5/31/05
Posts: 206

7/25/12 9:03:11 AM#37
Originally posted by SpottyGekko

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.

Nail on the head with this one ...


GW1 was called a CORPG for a reason. TOR feels the same way.


It is not about group content or group quests, but there is NOTHING to distinguish the group from other players. There is no difference if you complete the flashpoints and other things with a random PUG or with a "GUILD". Taking more players to a quest is NOT GROUP CONTENT.


F.e in EVE (the game I have the most experience in) group content is a whole different level than single player content. It does not mean running missions with friends (the equivalent of TOR flashpoints). It means acting as part of a larger entity, feeling that you are part of something bigger, having goals that are clearly above a single player.


The biggest selling point of TOR (the personal hero story) is its biggest flaw. You cannot make everybody in the world a hero because then nobody is one. You have to separate the hero from the other heroes to make that story unique. This will never work with a live and breathing world.


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Joined: 1/02/07
Posts: 347

7/25/12 9:07:26 AM#38
Originally posted by dlld

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.

This poster has it EXACTLY right, imo. I greatly enjoyed SWTOR, but I felt like it needed to be MORE "single-player-ish" rather than LESS. The MMO parts of SWTOR feel tacked on to me, unpolished, and awkward (Really? Still no cross-server LFG? Could Bioware have made it any more difficult and aggravating to find player groups for heroics?) -- sort of the way Mass Effect has multiplayer content added to it as a DLC. It's not bad to have included multiplayer content, but it's hardly this game's focal point.

I would have liked SWTOR far better if it had been set up like Guild Wars 1, allowing you to use multiple companions and/or other players to form groups for instanced questing, story missions, and flashpoints. SWTOR has some great design work, story telling, voice work, and graphics, but structually I wish it had been more like Guild Wars (the B2P business model would have been better for SWTOR, too, imo).

I have to say the game feels more like a "single-player game" than any game I've played since Guild Wars. I think it's because the single-player part sof this game worked great, but the multiplayer parts were kind of "meh." I feel SWTOR would have been better if they had followed the Guild Wars gaming model more closely, not less.


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7/25/12 9:10:28 AM#39

Mike not only misses the point of the ciriticism, he doesn't seem to have some basic facts straight.  People were criticizing it before release because they were in beta already playing the game.  Closed beta went on for months and this criticism was being made on the beta forums.

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7/25/12 9:15:35 AM#40

Quite a few people have already knocked one out of the park rebuttingg your opinion Mike, but I'll still add my brief two cents. Outside of the games solocentric stroyline questing that in many instances actually makes grouping with others agonizing (hit the fucking space bar already, gees!) combined with companions that make the need for REAL friends superfulous in most cases, the ACTUAL bitch most of us who do not like how SWTOR turned out and label it a single player game are saying that NOT because of most of the reasons myself and others have mentioned, but maninly because outside the story questing content the games features are all lesser and lackluster versions of game features that have already been done far better in other games. Making everything ouside the solocentric story questing not worth playing.



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