The real SW:TOR killer

First, how can SW:TOR be a WoW-killer when Cata already did the job? We should call it WoW-finisher instead, right? Sucks for Bioware that Blizzard beat them to the punch on that one.

Second, and far more important, it sucks that Skyrim already killed SW:TOR huh?

Full voice acting? Check.

Amazing solo adventure? Check.

Popular IP? Check.

Story over gameplay focus? Check.

Additional dev-provided content you pay for after the box? Check.

People expecting silly things like game balance, PvP, or social aspects? Check.

Problem is, if you have the correct version of Skyrim, you also get player-made content, graphic upgrades, UI changes, and bug fixes for free (mods). Not so much in SW:TOR. And unlike SW, I don’t have to disable general chat when I log in, while still having access to vent to chat with people I do want to share the experience with. I also don’t have to wait for mobs to respawn, or have someone skip a cutscene to get the loot NOW!, or stop the story to grind out XP in order to actually progress. Or just in general you get to stay away from SW fans, who make WoW players look like normal people.

But hey, lightsabers… that 5 hit rats. Yo.

33 Responses to The real SW:TOR killer

  1. Dink says:

    Great opening sentence. It says it all.

  2. saucelah says:

    I’ve never actually considered turning off chat in an MMO, but if I had done so during the SWTOR beta, I would have enjoyed it immensely more. That is not something that MMO developers should be proud of.

  3. Liore says:

    So the ideal MMO-killer is.. a single player game?

    Hey, I bet the computer-generated characters are scripted to sound super impressed with your dragon-killing or whatever, but a lot of us who play MMOs like the whole “online with other people” bit and you seem to be missing that part. :P

  4. Snafzg says:

    “But hey, lightsabers… and kill 10 womp rats. Yo.”

    FTFY

  5. Barrista says:

    They only game I’ve ever turned off general chat in was LoTRO – but not until after it went F2P.

    I’m loving Skyrim, but I’m not so sure I’m interested in player-created content (although I guess I don’t have to worry about being asked for my gear score). I think what I have loved about other MMO’s is the lack of opportunity for the home programmer to screw up something I enjoy.

    • Anonymous says:

      If the community for Skyrim is anything like that of Oblivion then the player created content will absolutely embarrass the stuff that came with the game. I can’t even begin to express how much better Oblivion was when fully modded.

      • Barrista says:

        Well, like I said, I don’t have to worry about being asked for my “gear score” with Skyrim or having a mod as a necessity to play – since it is a SPRGP. I have read reviews for Oblivion addons that talk about fixing bugs, but I guess I haven’t come across a bug yet.
        I think it is pretty obvious to most people that I meant addons of the WoW variety where you are pretty much required to have it and respond to it more than a game.

        • Raelyf says:

          Well I assumed that when you were talking about not being interested in player created content, you meant that you weren’t interested in player created content. I expect most people thought the same. If by ‘not interested in player created content’ you meant ‘not interested in other players insisting I have UI mod X’, you probably should have said that.

          Not that that makes any sense, since you then claim your not interested in Skyrim’s player created content (or UI mods) screwing up something you enjoy, which no one will ever expect you to use. Then you claim you love MMOs because they don’t have player created content, which you define as UI mods – which they actually have and often you are expected to use.

          I think it’s pretty obvious no one knows what you’re talking about.

    • Torcano says:

      I dont understand, has someone been forcing you to download shitty mods for games or something?

      Otherwise you clearly have no one to blame for yourself for apparently just installing every mod you find regardless of quality, or lack the ability to read the purpose, features, and most importantly feedback/reviews/reputation of a mod.

      Or are you saying that every mod is bad?

      Seriously, when mods range from adding new items to perks or even quests and everything in between, how could they possibly ruin your game?

      It’s simple to just pick ones that have what you want, and that are well made.

      It sounds like you have no personal quality filter and just install poorly made mods that make sweeping changes to the game.

      The most popular ones often just fix bugs or add more of the already proven-good content that makes the game fun, how is this bad at all?

      And in any case, if you hate even the chance of not liking a mod…which you can uninstall…then why do you keep trying them?

      It seems like you are essentially value the fact that MMOs prevent you from voluntarily changing the game, as if without this barrier you dont have the self control to stop yourself from doing something you don’t enjoy….

      It’s crazy and I feel sorry for you if you lack this basic restraint necessary to not screw yourself over, I recommend strongly you never try drugs and really see how your crippling lack of self control can be harmful.

      Tl:dr version: you should realize that when you say home programmers are screwing something up you enjoy, you really mean home programmers providing you with the ability to voluntarily screw YOURSELF over, as they don’t forcibly install mods to your game.

      • Barrista says:

        You should realize I was talking about one game and not get so upset over someone insulting something you have enjoyed in a completely different game. You got all butt-hurt over nothing.

      • Barrista says:

        If you would have actually comprehended what I was talking about… you would have realized that I meant in MMO’s. Last I checked Oblivion and the games you are talking about are not MMO’s. I feel sorry for you if you lack reading comprehension skills.

        • Raelyf says:

          The problem is your writing, not his comprehension. You started your paragraph talking about Skyrim (hint: that is your subject) and then went on with “…other MMO’s…” [sic], implying that Skyrim is an MMO. I assume Torcano skipped over the ‘other’ bit (since it doesn’t make any sense) and assumed you meant you loved MMOs because they don’t have mods. Which is, as he pointed out, stupid.

          Apparently what you seemed to have meant is that you’ve switched the topic to WoW in your head, don’t feel like telling anybody, and are going to continue writing like everyone is dumb for not getting it. Your 5th grade English teacher would tell you to back up, start a new paragraph, begin with your subject. For example:
          “In WoW, they made me download UI mods. I think what I have loved about other MMOs (fixed) is the lack of opportunity for the home programmer to screw up something I enjoy.”

          I feel sorry for you if you lack writing skills.

  6. saucelah says:

    Anyone else slowing on Skyrim? Don’t get me wrong, UI problems aside, it’s great. I think I’m actually overwhelmed by the number of side quests and don’t particularly have a direction or goal to work toward, making me less likely to power the game up this week.

    Of course, I’m also addicted to Glitch and have LA Noire cued up for tonight’s entertainment, so I might just have too much going on to get fully entangled in Skyrim.

    • SynCaine says:

      Finishing the main quest so fast has allowed me to enjoy all the side stuff 100% more. I’m no longer wondering what the big picture stuff is, and I’m now just happily discovering what’s going on in each city, the little side stuff out in the world, and all that.

      EVE is making it hard to focus on Skyrim though.

      • saucelah says:

        I did so little of the main quest that I was confused when I saw people talking about “shouts” and even more confused when that hotkey did nothing for me, despite having found several words of power.

        I figured that out though, and though I think I now need to talk to some monks.

        I did your approach with Fallout 3 and it worked for me. The second time through I never “finished,” but I did check out a ton of shit I missed. Perhaps I’ll do the main quest this weekend.

        It is nice to have an MMO to play again, even if mine is a complete carebear fest without much that counts as “action.”

    • Torcano says:

      I’m surprised, I thought you said “underwhelmed” as for some reason personally I am with the side quests.

      Compared to say oblivion, it seems the faction questlines are far shorter, however I am thinking this is because they took out a lot of the lame fetch quests and made most of them a lot more ‘important’ ‘heroic’ or ‘epic’ type quests.

      (spoilers below)

      It does seem a bit weird to finish a whole faction in like 3-5 quests and become leader after an hour of play. However on the other hand, for example becoming harbinger of the companions is pretty justifiable, as you are basically chosen by your predecessor, who you personally do some really important things for just prior and even after his death, when the other longstanding members argued with him and tried to stop him doing this stuff..so it makes sense story wise.

      One thing I dislike about my play through is that i did the civil war questline after companions, and now everyone in the game still talks about the war going on and it impacts so much when I’ve already ended it. As the close #2 storyline it feels like the ramifications of it’s end should be more prominent.

      And one gripe: the lack of decent enchanted gear as loot has pretty much forced me to go enchanting, as I frankly have the resources and am far enough it doesn’t make sense for me to not have any. I’ve not gotten eve ONE magic chest armor for example….lame.

      Also the lack of both quality and quantity for unique items is disappointing. This has also forced me to make my own. But when I do a whole side quest to get a magic sword, and it’s a piece of crap I wouldn’t have used at lvl 5, it’s pretty ridiculous (red eagle if you are wondering).

      However I do love smithing, as without the imba enchanting it’s just a cool fair advantage it feels like. I made myself a full set of flawless Elven armor that’s by far my fav appearance wise that I’ve seen in game, and it’s rating is better than any heavy armor!

  7. Azuriel says:

    Popular IP? Elder Scrolls?

    I’d say they nailed down a specific type of genre rather than IP – I don’t think anyone cares about Elder Scrolls lore or the world so much as the ability to get lost in a world, any world.

    • SynCaine says:

      Obviously ES is not on SW level, what IP is, but do remember that the first glimpse of Skyrim was just the image of ES V : Skyrim, and people went nuts over that. Oblivion being as successful as it was did a lot for the IP, and now Skyrim being a massive success just adds to that. The lore being fairly consistent and detailed (if you take the time to dig into it) helps a lot here as well.

      • Azuriel says:

        Right, but were they excited because of the lore or the story progression? Or were they excited because Oblivion + better graphics + new engine? I beat Oblivion in the past year and couldn’t tell you anything about the story aside from king died, some daedra portals opened, and I killed a 3-story tall god by whacking it in the foot. It might have been a dragon, I dunno.

        Now, the stories I could tell you about how I went about these things is something altogether different. That is what made Oblivion Oblivion, IMO.

        • Torcano says:

          Well of course the vast majority just know the gameplay of the IP, as they don’t actually pay attention to much of the story in any game.

          Hwever thats not a reflection of the story itself, but the players. Most gamers don’t like reading or otherwise getting into the story of games whatsoever.

          But the elder scrolls as a whole have one of the most well developed and deep stories of any franchise. The amount of lore and how interconnected it is just staggering.

          You know all the books you see in game? They all have story written in them…hundreds in each game. And there are hundreds if not thousands of references in each game to lore, backstory, characters, history and historical figures, past games, etc.

          For example, skyrim is 200 years after oblivion, which was within 20 years of all the prior games. There is a huge amount of info both hidden and directly told about what happened in the intervening years, and in fact the whole cultural, political, religious, etc climates/aspects of the world are shaped by the history behind them. In fact the whole of the games major wtorylines are shaped by the events leading up to them, which have a ridiculously well developed backstory showing the logical progression from past to present.

          Another example, the leader of rebels ulfric storm cloak has a whole backstory which you would never realize unless you make the effort to read up from books and reports about it, this sort of stuff is amazing when you consider it’s basically only for the hardcore fans. You find out his motivations and how he came to make the decisions leading to the war, what he did before it, and eventually about a secret power behind the scenes that instigated the whole thing as a plot, etc.

          It’s something you rarely if ever get in a game to this degree, the devoted and intelligent world building that is rare even in say fantasy literature, the likes of GRR Martin springs to mind as a comparison.

    • Barrista says:

      I think it depends on the player. Myself? I spent the weekend reading books in Whiterun and caught up on what I had missed from the previous games.

      • SynCaine says:

        I found “The Oblivion Crisis” a pretty cool read, having played Oblivion.

        • Torcano says:

          Indeed, the ones on past games are always some of the coolest, or about/mentioning characters you knew in them. Especially when time and legend have distorted the perception of them for good or bad!

          I’ve become a book collector in skyrim. My white run house rapidly had every bookshelf filled, and I have yet to shelve all my books in proud spire manor yet but I imagine I’ll have some spare space there.

          I particularly enjoy seeking out the complete series of multiparters, like the two series on Barenziah(it makes sense in context, she is an elf and therefore obviously long-lived…she had an affair with Tiber Septim- you known the founder of the empire and the god Talos- and was the mother of the King of Morrowind in the game of the same name,,and you met her!) for example.

          I get a weird fee,ing of satisfaction seeing a shelf lined with the a full series, and refuse to display an incomplete one on a shelf. What would my guests think!?

  8. theJexster says:

    I had some hope for SWTOR, not as an amazing game, but as a decent theme park to pass some time until an amazing sandbox comes out. Yet even with my expectations low, it failed me.

    I knew something was wrong when 3 months before launch they did a QnA and were shocked that MMO and SW fans like customization, uniqueness, and mounts. They were also shocked the UI was bad and that MMO players like to level fast skipping content in the process…really, Really, REALLY! /Wordless

  9. anarchyblues says:

    I kind of doubt Skyrim will “kill” SW:TOR – Frankly I like both and plan on playing both. Just taking a guess (you never know how any MMO company will screw up launch/post launch) but I certainly expect after beta to play as long as we played in Rift if not longer.

    In general:
    TOR voice acting is head and shoulders better than Skyrim. Not even close there.
    Admittedly it’s with a beta crowd, but I spent a lot of TOR in groups. It certainly has the rep of being single player but you’re missing a lot of fun if you choose to play it that way.
    As noted above, TOR IP sort of crushes ES IP, at least on a global scale.
    I’m only 20 hours into Skyrim (and full of side quests) so I can’t say which will have a “better” story, but at least with TOR you get 8 stories. Whether anyone will play through all 8 is questionable, but I know I’ll at least get a couple under my belt. This would be a highly subjective category.
    I wasn’t impressed with PVP in TOR but…. I don’t recall having any PvP in Skyrim… not really an option.

    Not sure it’s a huge endorsement to say that I don’t expect to play TOR “forever”, but I don’t see liking it any less than Rift, and so far without the really stupid developer nerfs to otherwise good/fun content.

  10. thade says:

    Sycaine, man; I love your articles. This one was an especially hip read. I had a long oration here but….anything I might say here would basically boil down to this:

    You are spot on.

    (As a minor aside, I was very happy to see Snafgz in these comments. Always makes me smile to see names from the WAR-blogging days. <3)

  11. […] when SynCaine threw a well-aimed snark dart at SW:TOR to the effect that Skyrim is the better single-player RPG, it rang true to me. Making […]

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