SW:sRPG is really shaping up!

I’m sure by now many of you have read this glowing preview of SW:sRPG. If not, clicky and come back.

While I’m not surprised that SW is WoW with the SW IP, this is something people have been denying for a while, and certainly something BioWare claimed was not the case. We have all seen posts and comments about how SW will be the next big thing, and the title that moves the genre forward (along with GW2). As more people experience it, more realize that’s not going to happen.

Which, much like Rift, does not necessarily mean it’s going to be a bad game. Tried and true done well has been a solid formula in gaming since, well, the beginning of gaming. Sonic was Mario for the Genesis, yet it was Mario done well and hence it was a quality title.

My main concern, reinforced by the preview, is that SW is going to be even less of an MMO than current-day WoW. Where Rift went back to more in-world activities, it sounds like SW is going for even less of those. That won’t directly make SW a bad game, but it will certainly make it less of an MMO in my eyes, and what remains, a drawn-out sRPG that contains the weak points of MMO content (simple, repetitive quests, for example) is not something I can’t wait to get my hands on. And even if it was, how long would that type of content keep me entertained? A month or two? That’s not what you want to hear if you are running a subscription MMO.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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23 Responses to SW:sRPG is really shaping up!

  1. Polynices says:

    They’re counting on legions of Star Wars fans buying and playing it no matter how shitty the game is. Look at that pile of crap SWG, even it got a few hundred thousand players. The Star Wars license is *too* good, it removes all need for a decent game.

    • Stabs says:

      SWG was very daring innovative and interesting. It pushed boundaries that no one has touched before or since in mainstream MMOs (eg permadeath, stats on resources).

      A lot of people loved it in 2003 and when I went back for a look in 2009 it was surprisingly heavily populated.

    • Shadow says:

      SWG was an amazing game that got wrecked by fundamentally changing how it worked when it started to age.

      • Polynices says:

        It may have been an amazing *game* but it was a crappy *Star Wars game* since all that amazing stuff had nothing whatsoever to do with the license. Raph Koster had a wanted to make a sand box game so he made one, no matter how inappropriate that was for Star Wars.

        • Shadow says:

          I don’t think the sandbox setting is inappropriate for a Star Wars setting. I think it was inappropriate for the setting SWG was put in (highly visible, known universe). Ironically, I think the setting that BioWare is choosing would have been a far better choice for a sandbox setting, as there is no canonical dogma to break that will inevitably happen when things are left to the players.

          That said, it will always happen whenever an IP is coopted into a video game, especially MMOs which are founded on persistent worlds: someone will think it a terrible decision because it breaks lore “x” or subverts established concept “y” to make the *game* good.

  2. Kyir says:

    As far as I can tell, the article basically complains that TOR is an MMO.

    • Saucelah says:

      That’s pretty much why new releases in the genre have sucked so much lately — people that claim that in order to be an MMO it has to be full of repetitive meaningless tasks with no flavor or any distinctions from other MMOs.

      • Kyir says:

        It’s not really an unrealistic claim considering all MMOs have large amounts of repetitive meaningless tasks.

        • Which does not mean that is the only way things can be done, only that it is the only way things have been done.

          There was a certain amount of not unreasonable hope that BioWare could bring something new to the table. So far, it does not sound like it.

        • bonedead says:

          I don’t know about that whole, unreasonable, part. We all knew they’d only worked on single player games, I bet that’s why Mythic ended up getting involved. Too much hype, too much money, too much emphasis on talking NPCs (LOL), too much fail.

    • Eudaimonic says:

      There’s a legitimate criticism in that the MMO-ness of the game my compromise what’s supposed to be the game’s singular feature – the story. The previewers complain that the story is dull. Actually, the little chunk of the story they mention sounds like pretty standard Bioware SRPG prologue plotting. (Biowares plots have always been largely derivative. They’ve always excelled at story execution, not the plot itself.) The problem is that stories need a certain pace to work, and the obligatory MMO quest grind is death to pacing. What would be a breezy little prologue/introduction to the world in a SRPG becomes a deadening and dull affair in an MMO, because of the subscription imperative.

      I think people are discovering that the MMO-ness of SWTOR is a millstone around Bioware’s neck that prevents them from delivering on their trademark story goodness.

  3. Saucelah says:

    As the reviewer noted, the game is in beta. I have trouble imagining that they’d be using special beta story lines though.

    So it seems to me the most hyped part of the game is trash.

  4. Stabs says:

    Sorry, my comment above was intended as a response to Syncaine’s post rather than Saucelah’s comment.

  5. Derrick says:

    I, for one, am glad for anything they do to move away from MMOness. What I want? KoToR/Mass Effect that I can play with my friends. I honestly don’t care if there are “only” two months of content; Mass Effect, for example, lasted me a week and I thought it was a good deal.

    I *am* nervous, though, that we’ll be saddled with horrendous, MMO style meaningless stupid quests rather than a real story. That’d kill the game for me.

    I’ve been just itching for a good small-group multiplayer RPG for… Well, since Necerwinter Nights.

    • Neuromanse says:

      Hear hear. I won’t be playing this game if it’s just another WoW or Rift, if it’s closer to single-player “Kotor 3” I’ll buy it on the launch day. I don’t want this to be MMO.

  6. Angry Gamer says:

    Ok I confess I have played SWTOR and… well it’s a bit un-nerving how much it misses the mark.

    Here’s the deal back last year when I was getting bored with Wow I decided to get prepped for SWTOR by sampling the other RPG star wars Bioware titles. So I played KOTOR 1 and 2…

    Egads, it was mildly unpleasant. It was not the limited choices (in wow you have decision trees) in KOTOR you had decision stumps. If you varied from their “story line” content and world map got sparse real quick.

    It was not the glitchy movement. It was not the led by the nose interaction with plot points. It was in fact ALL OF THESE THINGS. It was obvious that Bioware was used to controlling the player experience in a more intimate way than most MMOers would find comfortable without kissing first.

    So then I play the Beta last year… Granted this “was” the beta but I’ll ask you folks if this sounds familiar.

    The first thing about SWTOR is it’s SIZE all the areas are HUGE. Frankly it’s like wow 10x in many areas. And then you have whole planets of this vastness. And it feels like … a huge Broadway stage with 4 stories of scenery but all the producers could put on was a 2 act play on the ground floor of this BIG backdrop. In the biz we call this not having your static map file content balanced with your placed dynamic moving content.

    It’s no accident that SWTOR keeps showing backgrounds and lighting because it IS spectacular backdrop. The graphics guys for the scenery really did a good job. But… But… as a biz person I could not help but think. Is THIS where the 200 million went??? Why couldn’t they have carved out some of that great backdrop for more wookies?

    You see this is what I think the SWTOR basher that worked there (don’t remember name) was talking about. You can’t build a game without solid mechanics and solid game play infrastructure. The voiceovers, the backdrop are just that pixel “mood lighting”. Its what the toon does that makes the game.

    For better or probably worse Bioware lost complete control over leveling the content presentation in SWTOR. Many areas of the game are top notch. Other areas look like the vast desert of unfinished content without textures.

    Another thing to consider… and this IS the kicker. With all that big busy backdrop in the game. This kind of graphics puts a big load on most desktops…

    Or to put it another way the backdrop world graphics people COULD have created SWTOR into not being able to be played enjoyably by MOST PC gamers.

    This little fact probably is why everything looks so unpopulated… because it HAS TO BE due to client performance.

    • Stabs says:

      Oh Jeez – after Vanguard and AoC are people still releasing games you have to buy a new computer for?

      I honestly thought we were past that.

  7. Dril says:

    People are giving this one review so much weight when there were a lot of others that were pretty glowing.

    Do I think that necessarily makes it an anomaly and thus shouldn’t be counted? No. But people seem too eager to jump on the bandwagon that “this will be WoW in space, and I hate WoW, thus I must hate TOR.” I’m not even particularly interested in TOR (ArcheAge and TSW look far more promising, GW2 doesn’t even register after RIFT showed me exactly how dynamic and next-gen new MMOs aren’t.)

    Also: “Rift went back to more in-world activities” and then decided the implement a dungeon finder, which handily is an exact copy of WoW’s (oh, yes, but it’s not copying when Trion do it; it’s innovating, don’t pick on the little guy) and queues you up for all those lovely world events, without the need to communicate or indeed interact with any other person at all. Lovely.

  8. bonedead says:

    Personally, I don’t go to the big places and read the big reviews, because they’re probably bullshit. I don’t know that writer, I don’t know if his favorite game is Mario Kart or Mist, so I can’t even listen to their thoughts on it because as far as I can tell, they don’t play the same kinda games I do. But then again, I still have trouble reading anything at massively so, maybe its me.

    I’ve never even heard of bit-tech, until just now.

    If you have played a lot of MMOs, consider yourself an enthusiast, and have seen a lot of the normal shit that goes on when new games release (in this post wow world) then you can take the little tidbits of info that get out and formulate your own theory. For instance, if like 75% of the install is sound files, that is fucking stupid. Spaceships on rails? Why not just have you stationary with bad guys scrolling across the screen, shit, they could look like little ducks and you could be using a BB gun, that’d be intense, like 1st grade. OMG LOOK YOU CAN DUCK BEHIND A ROCK! Wow, pretty sure you could duck in Doom, if not, Quake fosho.

    Lucas Arts is getting the game that they wanted when they raped SWG. You can’t just abduct some hot 18 year old to be your sex slave and expect her to just fall right in line, you’ve got to start em young. (god im goin to hell)

  9. Pike says:

    I can never decide what to make of SW:TOR. For me, it’s been a “wait and see” game for a while, and it looks like it will remain so.

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