To say that the SW:TOR launch has been mediocre would be an understatement, and if you want to go so far as to call it a disaster, considering the amount of resources BioWare had, I wouldn’t argue the point.
And that’s SHOCKING to me.
Now the first time I heard mention of the 4th pillar being the key to SW:TOR is the first time I said the game is going to fail as an MMO and as an overall venture. That has not changed.
What has changed is the timeline of it all. I’m floored by the number of “not going to sub after the first month” comments I’ve seen. I fully, fully expected the first 2-3 months after SW went live to be nothing but “greatest MMO of all time” posts from everyone and their mom. Of EA declaring victory, of Blizzard announced MoP will be fully voiced, and of SOE getting hacked.
Man is that not the case. From the 1.1 clusterfuck, to so many people not being interested in alts, to comments about the amount of side ‘filler’ quests in the game and their (lack of) quality, to people not being able to find a group in the FIRST MONTH of the game, to the silly and embarrassing bugs, it seems that every day brings another joke-worthy news item from the face-blasters. You know its bad when you have the fans saying this is ‘normal’ in an MMO and that everyone should just be patient with BioWare. Are you kidding me? 300m and EA banking the company on you is not enough? And let’s not forget that Trion launched Rift somewhat recently and did not have nearly as many issues, despite having a fraction of the budget and former SOE employees on the team (in retrospect, that totally explains that whole security loophole issue though).
And all of the above does not change the fact that, bugs or no bugs, SW is still a failheap when it comes to being an MMO. It just also happens to be having issue as an sRPG as well. That I did not expect.
Which brings me to my somewhat revised view for the genre, and in particular the miracle known as GW2. I want GW2 to succeed, assuming it’s actually an MMO and not a WoW-clone. I want it to be at least good-enough that I’ll buy it and play it with the Inquisition crew from launch until whenever ArenaNet turns it into WoW. Not because I personally can’t wait for GW2, or because I think it will solve all the genre’s woes, but because an actual MMO game doing well is better than only having failheaps like SW out and… well, failing. Because maybe if GW2 does well, other devs/VCs will look at that and think “hey, maybe we should try making an MMO to cater to the MMO genre!”