In looking for a new MMORPG to play as I wait patiently for my Hello Kitty Online suspension to be lifted, I've been doing a lot of reading and research on Star Wars: The Old Republic.
I realize that some of you are probably thinking "oh God, not another frigging Star Wars article", but in my defense, I don't care. The game is coming down the barrel faster than Greedo can blink, and most of the feedback I've seen is all but demanding my caring and gentle ability to critique internet retardation.
Which seems rampant.
Please note: I'm not here to discuss the finer points of the game, or any of its merits and flaws - that job is reserved for people who do actual research and ‘know what they are talking about’. Discussions of whether or not the game is a Warcraft clone or how they ruined space combat don't concern me. What does concern me are the three stupidest complaints about Star Wars: The Old Republic that I've seen repeated again and again on the forums and in general discussion.
Complaints that have no real bearing on the game itself, but seem to replicate themselves faster than Tribbles in an analogy that made half of you scream "that's Star Trek you idiot!" before you even finished this sentence.
Vague or paranoid complaints like:
1) They're going to ruin it.
This wins the number one spot because as franchises go, Star Wars fans are pretty much f**king psychotic.
Don't believe me?
Well if my soon-to-be-discovered corpse and its many, many plastic sword induced bruises aren't evidence enough, try this fun little game: Find someone who played the original Star Wars MMORPG, and casually mention that you believe the "NGE" was the greatest thing to ever happen to the game. Your battered corpse will soon be joining mine in the Sarlacc pit (read: "dumpster") behind Wal-Mart.
The NGE or "New Game Enhancement" was a patch that completely changed the original Star Wars MMORPG's game play and experience and kicked every true fan's "Insane-o-meter" up to eleven. Because of the change, an imperfect game system was basically destroyed and made a martyr in the shadow of bastardization that followed. Every flaw and long winded forum complaint about the original was forgotten and memory of time before the change became almost idyllic.
Fast forward to today and those wounded by that perceived betrayal are so jaded, they'll never trust a Star Wars game again. They simply expect to be burned, and because of that any hope for the future is tainted with the memory of the past. Luckily that hesitation to ever trust again doesn't stop them from going into every forum they can find in order to remind everyone that no matter how good they feel the game is, it'll eventually be ruined.
Which is the reason behind my hatred of the goddamn NGE.
2) It is too story-driven.
Star Wars: The Old Republic has around 900 bazillion hours of recorded speech, cut scenes, and other things that will allow you to use the bathroom and refill your soda glass without fear of being ganked by some asshat while you're AFK.
Which in this day and age is a coffin nail sized no-no.
As we've stated in previous articles: No one wants to read the quests anymore. No one cares about the story, or the lore, or the reason behind why they're shooting lasers at other ships. They just want to skip ahead and get to the mindless hack and slash.
But come on - wanting to skip past all of the dialogue and storyline before you even install the game? Have we sunk that low?
This game is being touted as an interactive world, complete with player contributed histories and changes. One of the key features and sell points is its promise to tell an unwritten, ever changing story. To complain that the game is "too story driven" is like complaining that water is too "watery", or that the sky contains too much actual sky.
Yet concerns over the in-depth storyline and numerous cut scenes and voice acting run rampant, which leaves me no choice but to reiterate past points: "Not all games are meant to suit you. If you don't want to deal with all of the dialogue and storytelling in a game designed for dialogue and storytelling, don't play it, you f**king moron."
3) Humping up on your companion.
One of the most controversial (read: "fun") aspects of the game is probably the most overblown and silly of the three: The ability to get your space freak on with NPC's. You can jump the bones (provided that they are of a race that actually has bones) of any color, creed , or species of bug-eyed, tentacle headed sex strumpet that you can imagine; as long as it isn't of the same sex, as that would just be weird.
So, at first there was no planned homosexuality or homosexual options in Star War: The Old Republic, which to me is absolutely ridiculous. Not because I'm rallying for sexual equality or any noble cause, but because most of the characters look like they just beamed down from the deck of a rainbow colored space float in a particularly festive parade.
Basically you can get the option of a companion character who assists and acts like the friends you'd normally play video games with, but who abandoned you years ago because you couldn't shut the f**k up about Star Wars for two seconds. This character can and will eventually fall in love with you and become a romantic interest whom you can develop an intimate and personal relationship with...as long as you keep paying them. (Monthly subscription fee, or "ho tax". You decide.)
And only if you're heterosexual.
So the community petitioned the developers, who initially stated that there was no intended same sex grunty faces in the game, which is about as far down the river denial you can get when talking about Star Wars.
I mean, Yoda spent most of a movie talking in a raspy voice to a young man while a fist was up his ass to the elbow, but somehow same sex relations were an altogether alien concept?
But the community surged forth; the developers realized that they were absolutely in the wrong and are now correcting the issue, stating that it will be patched in post launch content. Everybody wins, humorists are given a ton of material for possible expansion name jokes, (SW: The Bone Wars) and the crisis is averted, right?
There are still people out there who are loudly and angrily complaining that the fix should be implemented with the game launch, and without it the game is unplayable.
Which is just silly.
I can absolutely understand wanting your own sexual preferences to be represented in game. I can relate to not liking your love options at all and feeling forced into a mold that doesn't fit you. But more importantly than all of that?
I understand that not being able to pork the living sh*t out of an NPC isn't exactly a "game breaker". It sucks that in this day and age something as basic as "same sex characters" is still treated as taboo, and it sucks that it happened - but it did happen. They've been shamed publicly for being stupid and small minded, and they're fixing the mistake. But to say it is unplayable until that mistake is fixed shows where your priorities in gameplay actually lie.
(In your pants. I'm alluding to your priorities being in your pants. Like, your wiener or weird lady parts that no one understands because they're all tucked in. That's what I was going for. -Coyote)