Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Star Wars: The Old Republic
I played this for a week.
So how does it stack up to World of Warcraft? Plain and simple, it does and it doesn't in plenty of aspects. World of Warcraft is or has, quite simply, a much better bang for your buck in an Arcade style MMO. You have LFGs, you have pugs, you can go up against the Lich King. There is simply no way, no how you can role-play there anymore since the role-players have all been driven off most WoW RP servers. The PvP is much more advanced in WoW, and you have much more advanced features.
In all honesty, though, World of Warcraft is better in the feature department because of it's development in features. So, can Star Wars get the ten million or eleven million subscribers that it needs to be number 1? Answer: maybe.
Star Wars: the Old Republic is thirty years a little too late to take advantage of the Star Wars craze of the early eighties when GL was inventing the story as he went along. Secondly, it's ten years too late to take advantage of the Star Wars renaissance. Fourthly, it's clearly not designed to be like WoW in conception.
Although Star Wars: the Old Republic is doing its own thing, you have got to realize that it has many features in common with World of Warcraft. The GUI is similar, and and the combat similar also. You sit there for much of the combat, not moving but standing like a D&D character trading blows with your enemy. that isn't realistic, but hp isn't too realistic either.
Blaster bolts are like blanks (death by blanks) and lightsabers don't really cut. So that's the arcade style of the game. Like I said, it has a lot of features in common with WoW in order to compete with WoW. Many of its players are coming from WoW. But they are also coming with to high expectations . . .
a). Star Wars: the Old Republic does not have pugs or LFGs. Newbies have to miss out on a lot of good content (the Flashpoints, which are ST:TOR's equivalent of dungeons) in order to advance their characters.
b). Server population is low. The population of the game is spread out among many different servers, so you don't get the help you deserve when asking for Flashpoints.
c). The Galaxy isn't fully open. An Imperial Guild can't go in and raid Coruscant, and a Republic Guild can't go in and raid Drommund Kas. What is worse, Imperials can't go in and raid Tython, and the Republicans can go in and raid Korriban.
d). There are no guild banks, but that is coming in patch 1.2
e). There isn't any good PvP, like Arena PvP.
f). There aren't any planned sporting events.
So, what does Star Wars have over Blizzard's WoW?
a). Star Wars lore -- Star Wars is incredibly rich. The story and mythology of the Star Wars Universe has grown beyond George Lucas. The story is bigger than him, both symbolically and literally. Although it started with an idea and a need: "There isn't anything good in the theaters." "I'm going to do a Space Western." -- has gone beyond a simple honest film maker turned blustering blow hard because he can't take FAME well at all.
Star Wars has more than 30 years living in the minds of the public, and owned by the minds of the public. There are novels, video games, movies, t.v. shows, CRPGs, and now . . . an MMO. Star Wars is bigger than World of Warcraft in lore and history, spanning more than hundred of thousands of years.
b). Voice acting and better modeling. The graphics and voice acting of each character is awesome! It's everything you'd expect an MMO to be in this time and place. Each character has a voice and a mini-movie. People are just going to be, pardon the expression, blown away by the expressiveness and the way that the Star Wars universe just comes to life.
c). Rich story telling -- each class has a rich story being told through play. There is a legacy system in which you can add a last name to your characters (i.e. Starstrider for one thing). You can create a legacy for your alts. From bank alts to regular, "I advance my alts so I can do things in the guild."
You can marry characters together, make them brothers, sisters, cousins, siblings, aunts, uncles, daughters, and sons. And you can customize your characters' abilities according to their legacy. You can't do that in WoW.
So, is SW:TOR better than World of Warcraft? Yes. Will it survive World of Warcraft? Maybe. My advice is to buy the game and to play it. This is the only chance you have to live your fantasy that you had when you saw Star Wars the first time.
But I don't know about you. As for me, I'm playing a human Jedi Shadow, a Miraluka Jedi, and a Sith Sorcerer. I'm going to build a legacy with these characters, marrying my Jedi Shadow and true blood Sith Sorcerer together to get an interesting family. A Star Wars legacy like anything Goerge Lucas can think of.