SWTOR Wants You Back. Yes You, Steve

By Jim Rossignol on July 11th, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

Yikes.
“Come Back and Play at No Charge* for Up to 7 Days!” Says the SWTOR site. Ha, what’s that asterisk in there? Why it’s the expiration date on this offer, which is July 17th. And this is an offer for lapsed subs only, of course. Returning folk will no doubt be thrilled to “receive an exclusive in-game pet, the Gannifari [pictured], and 25 Black Hole Commendations to use towards high level gear.” So that sound useful, if you’re a pet-loving ex-Jedi/Sith/Miscellaneous.

SWTOR is currently sitting at update 1.3, which focuses a bit more on PvP and grouping. “Grouping” is a funny word… Trailer for 1.3 below!

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88 Comments »

  1. Jimbo says:

    Black Hole Commendations sound FILTHY. I’m in.

    • Mr. Mister says:

      So they command you to a black hole?

      • RedFaust says:

        I’m sure he won’t paass the event horizon with his gear . Rip.

    • Antsy says:

      My compliments on your remarkable Black Hole, dear chap. Capital!

    • Demievil says:

      Has anyone actually tried to do this? I can’t play – this article and the TOR post is very misleading.

  2. President Weasel says:

    AAAIIIEEEE HOW DOES IT KNOW MY NAME?

    • phelix says:

      I couldn’t help reading “AAAIIIEEEE” in an Argonian voice from Morrowind because there is a pain line that sounds exactly like it.

    • Stephen Roberts says:

      My name is Steve and I did a double take. Now I think I’ve played SWTOR and blocked it out somehow.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      So your name is Steve Weasel? President Steve Weasel? It all makes sense now…

  3. Stiletto says:

    Desperate measures are desperate!

    y u fail so much BioEA? D:

    • Gnoupi says:

      And two “meme-speak” sentences in one comment. Nice.

      Can we avoid that on RPS and keep it on reddit and 4chan?

      • Stiletto says:

        Well, I didn’t know that you were so sensitive about it, chap.

        It was mostly sarcasm with memes involved. But sure, as you wish. :P

      • Mad Hamish says:

        Well RPS does have it’s own set of annoying memes to use. Anyone post STWORFACE yet?

  4. DiamondDog says:

    This has Steve written all over it.

  5. lhzr says:

    This 15 day offer was available for a while now, wasn’t it? Isn’t the real news the fact that they now have an unlimited free period, up to level 15?

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-07-11-star-wars-the-old-republic-now-free-until-level-15

    • Neurotic says:

      You’re absolutely right, and I’m surprised no one else has mentioned this yet. PC Gamer and Massively both reported that today, so I’m surprised old Rausageroll fumbled it.

  6. aliksy says:

    Ew, SWTOR. Gross. I don’t think I’d even play it if it was fully free to play based on my experience with the free trial. If they cut out all the MMO baggage it’d be an adequate RPG, but there’s so much pointless time wasting and boring gameplay.

    • frightlever says:

      It reviewed favourably. Which brings me to my real gripe – is game reviewing broken? Are professional game reviewers really telling us what they feel, or are they trying too hard to put themselves into the shoes of someone who doesn’t play and review games for a living, ie I thought it was okay but I’ve seen it all before BUT if I was Joe Normal I couldn’t recommend this excellent game highly enough!

      I dunno. I bought the hype about SWTOR, and not just from reviews, but gave up on it after two weeks because I am pretty jaded. I’ve played more MMORPGs than I have digits to lose at hotel poker and they’re all just the same now. The games. That’d be weird. I paused my sub with over two months credit yet I have zero desire to go back to it.

      Fundamentally the game is about pressing buttons in sequence. My G15 is intelligent enough to play it on its own for the most part.

      (Currently half way through the Legacy of the Force series. Maybe read forty SW novels in total. At this stage I consider myself a fan.)

      • jimjam says:

        I agree. IT looks ok but the game play is tired and old.

        I gave up on Bioware after Dragon Age.

        • Xzi says:

          Dragon Age 2, I assume. Because Bioware actually looked to be getting back on track with DA:O. And then they were bought by EA, and, well, that was that…

        • Wooly says:

          Well thank god idiots like you are no longer in the fan base.

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        Most game reviewers don’t know how to review games, which is why the most hyped games are always the highest rated. They don’t know to approach a game unless they have marketing or pre-release discussion to guide them. If they don’t have those guidelines, you often see reviews that focus on little details (hmm, this gun feels a bit floaty, let’s talk about that for 3 paragraphs) instead of a broader and more encompassing critique. It’s also why there are still some sites that split a review into graphics+sound+gameplay+replayability or whatever, as though it’s a formula.

        And if reviewers do have those marketing guidelines, the reviews tend to be about whatever the big features were that the PR people impressed upon them, rather than about the actual strengths and weaknesses.

        The ultimate reason why reviews are so terrible is simple: most reviewers don’t understand the medium. They get into game ‘journalism’ because they like playing games, but are incapable of explaining why — and aren’t even interested in learning. And that makes them ripe targets for the PR machine.

  7. Arglebargle says:

    Come Back and Play…..Pleeeease!??? (Said in JarJar voice)

  8. Anders Wrist says:

    Too little, too late.

    • RedFaust says:

      And lets not forget the mmo blizzard like players : too stupid. Mass entertainment don’t make any quality out of it.

  9. Beelzebud says:

    If they hadn’t spent most of their budget on voice acting, this might have been a decent game. As it is, I don’t see myself ever wanting to go back. If I want to play a WoW-style game again, I’ll just go back to WoW.

    • Telzis says:

      They also have the cuter Murlocs.

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Though the voice acting budget is an easy scapegoat, I think the problems with TOR are in the design.

      • Brun says:

        And in the execution as well – it’s painfully obvious that:

        1) They took all of the assets from KOTOR 3 (a single-player game) and crammed a multiplayer framework beneath them.

        2) They outsourced a lot of their gameplay systems and then did “final assembly” of the disparate parts. The result was a game that really lacked harmony and felt slapped together. This has greatly improved since launch, but it’s still obvious.

        If SWTOR had launched in 2008 or 2009, I think it would have done significantly better in the long run. But in 2011/2012, the WoW formula is a bit too tired for it to be as successful as it could have been. It’s still a relatively fun game with the right group of friends, and a good way to pass some time before GW2/Planetside 2 arrive.

        • Mad Hamish says:

          Bad practices and outdated design. I didn’t even know they were making KOTOR3 til you said it. Just makes the whole thing more tragic.

        • jimjam says:

          Yes Guild Wars 2 (played the beta for whole w/e) is a next gen MMO with alot of new game play mechanics added.
          SWTOR MMO is a 2009 game, in fact Borderlands is more cutting edge than it!

  10. diamondmx says:

    Played it a little during the beta, story stuff was pretty decent, but the combat was so straight-copy-from-WoW-which-itself-copied-from-Everquest … utterly tedious.

    When will they realise that “1,2,3,1,2,1,2,7,7,1″ is not gameplay, but a data entry job with nice graphics?

    • Vorphalack says:

      Except it’s also graphically impaired. Remember that time when the hi-res texture option was actually a bug?

    • cummerbund jackson says:

      The “1,2,3 cha cha cha” dance can be quite fun so long as the enemies actually have some sort of AI behind them and the user isn’t forced into a rotation. Some of my favorite gaming experiences were in WoW, soloing or using a 2 or 3 player team to take on a challenge designed for a larger number of players. Sometimes we could use the usual rotation, but most of the time we had to invent some new strategy with whatever abilities we had on hand.

      But you’re right about it not being much fun in normal circumstances. If WoW or other MMO’s would have randomized, challenging mobs, I’d probably resub.

      • Brise Bonbons says:

        I think the best practical example of how hotkey combat can be immensely rewarding and engaging is the original Guild Wars, where skills often punished thoughtless use and offered huge rewards for careful timing.

        The key, for me, is to give skills conditional effects which are based on environmental variables or the status and behavior of the target. Too many games keep all the conditional variables tied to the player character(“Does extra damage if afflicted by “), which emphasizes rotations and predefined combos. When conditional effects depend on the target, you must pay much closer attention to what your target is doing and try to predict when they will be susceptible to high-efficiency skill conditions.

        Some of my favorite examples: A skill that causes knockdown if the target is moving; an ally-target skill that turns the next incoming packet of damage into the same amount of healing; a skill which interrupts and disables the skill being used by the enemy.

        Unfortunately, most of this complexity was lost over time as Arena Net added superpowered PvE-only skills, or introduced upgraded versions of old skills in expansions, making for much less interesting decision making. GW2 continues that trend with massively streamlined skills that are a mere shadow of their GW1 namesakes. Now GW2 is a fun game, thanks to its quasi-action pacing, but I curse Arena Net for abandoning their original vision of how sophisticated skills could be.

  11. TheWhippetLord says:

    If an MMO wants me to download a pregnant rancor-sized client again it had better offer more than 7 days playtime and come with a guarantee of no longer being crap.

  12. Flappybat says:

    I forgot how terrible the UI and graphics were. It shouldn’t look vastly dated compared to Secret World, which only came out seven months after.

    • jkz says:

      Not played it, but the whole graphics and art style just looks meh.

  13. isis says:

    They’re looking to boost their numbers for EA’s quarterly earnings report which will be released later this month… that’s why you have the short time frame and all.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Nice three bank shot on that analysis. Some marketing dweeb is actually earning his quarterly bonus this time!

    • frightlever says:

      Yeah, kudos. Hadn’t even thought of that. I am pretty drunk though.

  14. JackDandy says:

    Let it sink!

  15. MythArcana says:

    The new patch should link to the Distant Worlds site.

    Got game? I didn’t think so…

  16. jkz says:

    Hopefully developers are learning that reskinned WoW combat and single player story are not what MMOs should be about.

    • Utnac says:

      Bethesda disagree sadly, hopefully once that flops hard though people will start to get the message.

      • Shuck says:

        At this point I’m just hoping the inevitable failure of that game won’t cause Bethesda to go down in flames, too. Given the cost of developing MMOs, it could easily happen.
        Having worked in MMOs, it should have been abundantly clear that making WoW-clones wasn’t going to cut it four or five years ago. I can understand Star Wars coming out – it had been in development before it was completely obvious, but I’m baffled by Bethesda’s actions.

        • jkz says:

          Yeah, what I’ve heard doesn’t bode well for that game.

          Mind you I got bored of Skyrim suprisingly quickly I was expecting to be playing it for a while, it is technically really good, a big world, but for some reason it didn’t grab me. No doubt I’ll go back to it at some point.

          • frightlever says:

            I loved Skyrim. Mainly I loved that it was MY world to toy with and I hate sharing my toys.

        • Jimbo says:

          There’s no chance of Bethesda / ZeniMax ‘going down in flames’, even if the MMO is a total failure. The profit from Skyrim alone would probably cover the MMO costs ~3 times over.

      • RatherDashing says:

        Betheda isn’t developing the Elder Scrolls MMO, and people should stop saying that they are. Bethesda’s parent company, Zenimax, founded a new studio, Zenimax Online, to produce an MMO based off the Elder Scrolls IP, a series which is typically developed by Bethesda.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          So, in other words, you’re claiming that Bethesda is having absolutely nothing to do with ESO’s development? Bullshit.

        • Premium User Badge

          jrodman says:

          It’s basically another division of the same company.

  17. Premium User Badge

    SealedSun says:

    I would go back and play (bored out of my mind, and there are no good games in sight), but I linked an authenticator (number thingy on my smartphone) to my SWTOR account, then got a new phone and now cannot log in.
    Customer support directed me to hotline, hotline wouldn’t let me speak to a person.
    And then I gave up.

    • TariqOne says:

      That’s hilarious, in that I tried to resub a bit ago so I could take advantage of the free server transfer, and the same exact thing happened to me. Except I couldn’t be forked to even call.

  18. Mac says:

    Just tried and it wont let me in – haha oh well

  19. kevmscotland says:

    I’d be tempted back, if the patches so far werent just adding features that should have been there from the start.

    Also, now that I’ve left, I dont miss it.

    • SlimPickins says:

      lol exactly. Oh wow! You mean you added basic features like looking for group 7 months after release?!

      I really was hoping for something more like SWG, but everything was too easy mode and social aspects of the game were worthless. no one ever hung out at bars, not even on the space stations.

  20. Roshin says:

    Wow, could that guy be any less enthusiastic about the update?

    Serious questions…

    1. Does anyone genuinely believe it’s possible to turn the SW franchise into something that’s fun and exciting again? If so, how?

    2. Why hasn’t anyone else done a serious attempt at a proper space opera game?

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      Well, Halo does a good job of the “space opera” part, but is Xbox exclusive. The new Trek game technically fits, but other than that, the only major space opera game that I can think of off the top of my head is Mass Effect (which does not fulfill the “anyone else” part, being a BW game). I blame WoW and CoD.

      • Kuraudo says:

        All of these supposedly space games completely neglect flying around in an oversized toy shooting stuff as a primary gameplay element. Bring back X Wing Versus Tiefighter and we can talk.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        Hmm. My idea of ‘space opera’ is dense — often political — plot and technical battles.

        I can see technical battles possibly working in a strategy game, but the plot seems like it would work directly against player agency.

        Do 4x-in-space games fall terribly far from this idea? With diplomacy in they seem mostly in the gamey version of the same.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      1. Does anyone genuinely believe it’s possible to turn the SW franchise into something that’s fun and exciting again? If so, how?

      Of course it is. Just make a decent game. Jedi Knight and X-Wing are decent role models, but there are so many possibilities. Something based on the old d6 RPG system would be lovely, but I know that’s not going to happen.

      But no prequel shit, no 1000 years in the past. The juicy part of the Star Wars license is the time period in and around and even after the original trilogy. If you want Jedi in your game, they should be training in Luke Skywalker’s academy. Better yet, forget the silly space wizards and do a gritty game about smugglers.

  21. TwwIX says:

    It must be time for their quarterly earnings report again.

  22. Solidstate89 says:

    How did you know my name wasn’t Steve?

  23. Montavious says:

    Bah, should scrap this whole game and just bring back Pre-NGE/Pre-Combat upgrade Star Wars Galaxies.

  24. Grey_Ghost says:

    I actually liked SWTOR, mostly. I never played WoW, so I’m sure that’s a factor. SWTOR definitely has it ‘s fair share of issues though.

  25. SlimPickins says:

    I gave away 10 million credits and nearly 2 bays of lvl 49/50 syth weaving gear and mats when I quit. I aint comin back.

  26. thestage says:

    I guess copying the entirety of wow wasn’t enough. Now they have to copy the wow pets and the wow come-back gimmicks

  27. patera says:

    If this seven day period was at my leisure to start I would be all for giving this a look again…. Too bad….

  28. Tuskin38 says:

    I still like this game more then WoW. I get bored playing WoW, I don’t get bored playing this.

  29. chris1479 says:

    After getting sucked in by the hype and shelling out for this game, I played enthusiastically for about two weeks, and at that point the shallow gameplay just got too much for me. Describing it as mindless would be doing it a favor and the playerbase exemplified this, uncommunicative and antisocial as they were. The point where I really moved from being ‘meh’ to being genuinely irritated was when I realized what basic functions were missing, even Everquest has had an LFG tool for more than a decade now. After all the complicated techy graphical VO wizardry they put into that game they couldn’t take a day or two to put this in? If I were making an MMO, and the clue is in the second M, I’d think “people are playing an MMO, those guys are going to want to group with each other” but no… Just, what the hell?

    The other gripe I had with it, and I do with a lot of MMOs nowadays, is that instead of a perpetual world that exists all the time and runs itself when you’re not there, we get beautiful MMO worlds that are smashed into disparate pieces by the plague of instancing. Yes I realise a lot of people don’t wish to share anything with anyone, but I say go and play a god damn single player game if that’s the case. Instancing ‘breaks’ the whole feel of an MMO, once upon a time you’d drop in an out of a game and different things would be going on, people might be working together or arguing, but something would be going on anyway – instead of this we get f****** ghost towns.

    Listen up Bioware etc: I do not play MMOs so I can wander around cartoon worlds completely on my own performing mindless “Kill X of Y” in a ghost town populated only by NPCs that wish to waste several minutes each with needlessly interactive cutscenes.

    This is nothing but frilly, frothy, expensive, pointless flim-flam. And it really irritates me because this kind of stuff ruins one potentially great MMO after another and has done pretty much since 2004 now.

  30. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    Still not FtP? Still not interested.