SWTOR: A Short Time Before ME3 In A Galaxy Next Door

Superhappytopchums who are too tight to subscribe, assemble!

Mass Effect 3 is still a day away in the US and four days away in the UK (unless you happen to know of some way to make your PC’s IP address appear to based in Hong Kong, in which case you could play the game right now) but we are left with another option if we’re craving immediate Biowarian intergalactic adventures. If you don’t have a subscription to Star Wars: The Old But Mysteriously Similar To The New Republic but know someone who does, you could be in luck. Starting tomorrow is the Friends Trial, which means subs can invite in chums for a week of free play and access to everything the game contains up until level 15.

Which is a decent opportunity to sample the game without having to drop thirty big ones on a boxed copy first. If you do find it’s to your taste, apparently you’ll be offered a purchase of the full client at a discounted price – subscriptions will remain full-whack, however.

Some may speculate that this is a sign that the infamously expensive-to-make MMO is having to make its first efforts to shore up its playerbase, but it could equally be said that it’s simply canny extended promotion now the launch hullabaloo has died down.

Also, patch 1.2 is due next month, and offers “new high level group content and community-requested features including PvP Warzone Rankings and Guild Banks, along with enhancements to the game’s innovative Legacy system. This update also provides improved UI customization as well as gameplay fixes and the latest optimizations to combat balance.” Here’s a spot more detail on the high level stuff for ya:

· Flashpoint: Lost Island continues the Kaon Under Siege Flashpoint from Game Update 1.1 – Rise of the Rakghouls. Players must survive a menacing island of mystery on Ord Mantell as they hunt for clues to the Rakghoul virus outbreak that ravaged the Tion Hegemony. But the answers to this riddle may prove fatal!

· Operation: Explosive Conflict sends groups of eight or sixteen Imperial or Republic players to a new zone on the planet of Denova, where traitors and mercenaries are selling the rare explosive mineral baradium to the highest bidder. Players will battle through hordes of Droids, mercenaries and deadly creatures all fighting for control of the planet and its valuable resources.

· Warzone: Novare Coast pits two teams in an epic battle to control multiple mortar locations and use them to bombard vulnerable enemy bases. Like the Huttball Warzone, Novare Coast can be played Republic vs. Empire or with players of the same faction fighting each other in a thrilling contest of wills to determine each side’s greatest champions.

So…. still no playable Jawas, then? WHAT ARE YOU PLAYING AT, BIOWARE?


  1. wodin says:

    Has this been the massive hi that was expected? Is the player base still rising?

    • Choca says:

      They did sell a boatload of boxes but the population looks to be declining fast.

      Most servers are ghost towns right now, especially the european ones, and a merge is starting to look necessary.

    • President Weasel says:

      I’m one of those disappearing subscribers: I bought a boxed copy, and got a “founder” title for paying my first month’s sub. My second month’s was rejected somewhere between the SWTOR billing system and paypal, and I realised I hadn’t logged in for a week and wasn’t bothered about resubbing.

      There’s a good month’s content in there, and it’s well made. However it’s pretty much a single-player game with MMO trappings, rather than a game from the MMOlden Days, when you really needed a group to prosper.
      I would recommend picking up a box with the free month, and having a play – even (or especially?) if you’re more of a single player man.

      Anyone know if these friend codes require you to be currently subbed? If not, I’d be happy to generate codes for the first three folks who send me a PM on the RPS forums.

    • Shuck says:

      @President Weasel : When I buy a single-player game, I’d rather not have a clock ticking down how much longer I get to play the game. For me that describes a game demo rather than a game purchase.

      I rather expected users would drop off quickly and new content would be slow in coming – it’s the fundamental problem of fully-voice-acted content. It takes a long longer (and more resources) to make.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      The cries for server mergers on the official forums certainly seems to show it is declining.

      Especially when during release they made it known that they had accounted for the “overpopulation” at launch with server queues etc.

    • Brun says:

      Most of the raids (operations) don’t have a ton of dialogue trees that would require significant voice acting. They’re like WoW raids in that bosses have a set of dialogue that they always say.

      The flashpoints (dungeons) are likely to take more time because they DO tend to have dialogue trees. The problem is that the game doesn’t really NEED any more flashpoints. People are already pugging the operations and the gear they get from those is superior to flashpoint gear. The flashpoints they already have are sufficient to prepare people for the operations. The game needs more operations, because that’s what people are doing.

    • Dominic White says:

      Bioware touted SW:TOR as a merging of singleplayer and MMORPG elements.

      What people got was KOTOR 3 awkwardly bolted onto a generic MMO. I can understand why populations declined sharply after that initial month.

    • Space-Pope says:

      The game’s barely two months old, and people are already clamoring for server merges? Oh, that’s just precious.

      And people said I was just being too gosh darn cynical when I said during beta that it was a piece of garbage that’s bound to fall flat on its face.

    • Dread says:

      Completely agree with you. If they had just made the storyline quests as a single player game and called it Knights of the Old Republic 3 I would have happily bought the game.
      But buying the game and then either have 30 days timelimit to finish the story or pay additional money? That’s a no go for me.

      I pretty much expected SWTOR to fail, MMOs live from their high level offering, Biowares strength are story- and decision based RPGs which of course have an ending to it. Especially copying WoWs mechanics, a game on a more or less slow decline for the past few years was a terrible decision in my opinion.

    • Brun says:

      I don’t think copying WoW’s mechanics or game systems was a bad idea – they said it themselves, WoW’s formula is the only one that has proven itself to work long-term. The desiccated corpses of all of those supposed “WoW-killers” that tried “innovative” or “unique” mechanics and systems are littered at the feet of Blizzard’s juggernaut.

      The problem is that there were so many lessons learned that they could (and should) have taken from WoW but didn’t. It’s like they took a snapshot of WoW from 2007 and used that as their basis and didn’t take into account any of its flaws or any of the changes that were made to it since then.

    • briktal says:

      I don’t think too many of the “WoW-killers” really had a lot of innovative or unique mechanics. They almost all fell into the same trap as SWTOR: It didn’t release with nearly the features or polish or content that WoW has now. So the game launches and it’s worse in most ways compared to WoW.

    • aircool says:

      I haven’t logged in for a few months. That’s nothing to do with the game, I just change interests quickly. I accidentally walked into games workshop…

      It’s no better or worse than other ‘big’ mmo’s around (I still prefer Rift). I think the problem is that people just play mmo’s for a too long a period.

    • Juan Carlo says:

      All Bioware has to do is go F2P in 6 months. It worked for DC Universe online. It is star wars, after all. I don’t think the game will fail if its free.

      In fact, I suspect that was their plan all along. They just wanted to charge for the first year to make money off of the initial boom of customers. I wouldn’t be surprised if they already had a micro transaction plan in place.

    • Dread says:

      Most of the MMOs with different mechanics than WoW released with too little content (e.g. Age of Conan), tons of bugs (e.g. Warhammer, though I’m not sure, never played it) or a boring experience (e.g. Star Trek Online). MMOs live from their playerbase and the first expression; if they deliver a terrible first impression this game is forever marked as crap by those who tried it and their friends will never try it.

      WoW has a massive playerbase and a long legacy of releasing quality content, plus the Blizzard stamp. This is enough to carry the game. Personally I was subscribed to WoW for a total of four years and pretty much half of that I played becuase I enjoyed spending the time with my friends, not because of the game itself.

      You also have to take into account that a good portion of the people interested in playing an mmo are active or former WoW-players, people who played with these mechanics for up to seven years. I, myself am absolutely sick of WoWs combat mechanics, an mmo which copies them is of very little interest to me, I think many of the aforementioned group of people share that opinion.
      To me, the copied WoW-machanics were the main reason SWTOR didn’t interested me at all as an mmo but only as a single player story experience.

    • DK says:

      “The desiccated corpses of all of those supposed “WoW-killers” that tried “innovative” or “unique” mechanics and systems are littered at the feet of Blizzard’s juggernaut.”

      And right next to those corpses are the corpses of all the WoW clones. You can’t beat WoW, no matter what you do, innovate or not. So you might as well innovate and get a niche instead of copy WoW and get nobody.

    • Stupoider says:

      When in doubt, appeal to Star Wars fans!

    • Dante says:

      It’s still doing pretty well, there’s been the inevitible post launch contraction, unfortunately it seems they made the classic blunder of making too many servers at launch (probably due to all the moaning about queues) which has left some people out in the lurch. You know how it is, a bunch of players like to jet up to 50 in a week, chew through weeks of content in days and then bitch that there isn’t enough to do at the endgame. Pick a populous server and you’re good, I’m on Nightmare Lands with PC Gamer, it seems pretty full.

      @Shuck I think you’re well out on that one. New content is coming faster than any MMO I can think of really.

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  2. Brun says:

    I know that TOR is a bit starved for content currently, but honestly, they need to invest more money in fixing all of the bugs and issues that are plaguing the game. Some of the more critical issues (Master Loot bugging out bosses and causing them to drop NOTHING) should never have survived for more than a couple of days.

    They really are not patching as often as they should be. For the first six months of release they should be patching almost daily to fix bugs and issues. Then they can dial it back to a once-per-week schedule like most MMOs.

    • elfbarf says:

      link to i.imgur.com
      It doesn’t seem like they have any plans to fix said issues based on the actions of their forum mods.

    • Brun says:

      They’ve really dug themselves into a hole, and that’s why they’re not doing it. They spent all their time and resources during development on making the storylines quests for the leveling experience. I don’t think anyone can argue that the leveling experience in SWTOR isn’t quality.

      The problem is that because of that significant investment in the 1-50 experience, the max-level experience suffered. They released the game with one raid which was not particularly challenging even on the hardest difficulty level. Since then they’ve patched in one additional raid. Combine that with the frankly miserable state that PvP is in, there’s not a lot to do at max level unless you want to tear your hair out trying to win Warzones.

      Essentially they’re playing catch-up and trying to patch in enough content to keep people from getting bored. Unfortunately that means they’re neglecting bugs and issues that are causing a TON of frustration for players.

    • Sentient Waffle says:

      That link pretty much nails it, and then mods just close it down.

      So much in that game is centered about making it take longer than necessary, to keep players paying for longer, and its killing the game. I only regret that I didn’t cancel my sub before I paid for the first month.

    • Demiath says:

      “Starved for content” is just about the last thing I’d say about a game with such an insane amount of class-specific stuff to do, but I guess that was a reference to some byzantine cult thing called “end game” that MMO noobs such as myself don’t understand. I cancelled my sub long before lvl 50 but the greatest thing about TOR is undoubtedly how much actual story content there is, even though none of it is really up to current singleplayer Bioware standards.

  3. SpacePope says:

    Wait, people are still playing SWTOR? That’s strange… shouldn’t the free month be over by now? Why would anyone play beyond that?

    • Kaiji says:

      “Why would anyone play beyond that?”

      Low standards combined with the usual cognitive dissonance that goes hand in hand with a new MMO release.

      EA are in a difficult position. They have to pretend SW:TOR is doing great while not being able to honestly say “SW:TOR is doing great” and they have to try to get people back in the game without starting a free trial that’s open to everyone so soon after release (would look too desperate).

      Personally, I’m enjoying watching the game cave in on itself after the usual pre-release MMO-dev smugness and hubris. It’s time gamers stopped rewarding mediocrity.

    • Sentient Waffle says:

      Played it for a month, and I too would love to see it cave.

      Couldn’t find a single reason for that game to be MMO, everything MMO about it either sucks or is broken.

      Hope BioWare and EA learns something from this, though they probably won’t.

    • Shuck says:

      I suspect that what will be “learned” from this is that AAA MMOs aren’t worth making. It’ll be cheap (and largely free-to-play) online games from here on, most likely.

    • HothMonster says:


      I would say AAA reskins of existing MMOs aren’t worth making. But something original and innovative could certainly succeed.

    • Brun says:

      But something original and innovative could certainly succeed.

      Age of Conan, WAR, Vanguard, and many others would disagree with you. All of them tried to differentiate themselves from WoW by having different game systems and “feels” to them. None of them achieved the level of success that SWTOR has. Out of all of the potential competitors to WoW, SWTOR has already done better commercially than all of the others.

    • Psychopomp says:

      Those games failed because they were straight up *bad,* not because of their innovations.

    • DK says:

      “Age of Conan, WAR, Vanguard, and many others would disagree with you.”
      Age of Conan is alive and well, pulling in more money than SWTOR can dream of. WAR was a WoW clone with interesting PvP systems (none of which were unique but ported from the devs earlier MMO) while Vanguard was 50% WoW clone and 50% hardcore fantasy world simulation. Nothing has ever come close to being, and more importantly, feeling, as gigantic as Vanguard did. Barely anyone *wanted* that from an MMO, but they offered it and suffered for it.

    • Aufero says:

      I’m still playing it. I’m having fun.

      Perhaps you’ve heard of the concept?

    • apocraphyn says:

      Vanguard was…epic (in scale, not “EPIC FOR THE WIN XD!!1”) Upon it’s release though, WoW was still in it’s early days – much stronger than it currently is, able to topple almost any opposition with little effort. It was the game that hardcore fantasy enthusiasts were craving, that the old Everquest crowd were longing for after the generally perceived letdown that was Everquest II. But it couldn’t stand against WoW for multiple reasons – one of the other reasons was that it was too tough. The game was vicious, it was not user-friendly in the slightest. The challenges it presented, together with the sheer size of the world, were truly envigorating – but due to lack of a playerbase, the whole thing finally fell apart.

      Many people came to Warhammer Online expecting incredible RvR, on a par with that of Dark Ages of Camelot. They didn’t quite get that. What they got was a repackaged WoW with a heavier focus on PvP, ‘better’ graphics and ‘better’ lore, but with less levels and less content in general. After people hit the max level of 40 within a few weeks, finding there was nothing to do but trade castles back and forth between Order and Chaos in RVR or queue for Battlegrounds, they grew bored very fast and most returned to WoW. The cycle repeats.

      Can’t really comment on AoC, since it’s one of the few MMOs that I haven’t tried at some point or other; though I hear that it’s doing alright for itself since going F2P. Upon release it was rife with problems, however.

      As for ToR – it’s an immaculate WoW clone. Only played during the beta, but…sheesh, at least the others tried to mask their plagiarism. That was the thing that irked me the most. The other thing that bothered me were the repeated reports of Bioware adding in various things that worked, then removing them solely for “experimentation purposes” – such as the feature that allowed for all of your equipment to be of the same colour, rather than ending up looking like a clown. Aaand finally the fact that they really didn’t seem bothered about fixing bugs at all – which has been further evidenced by their apparent intent to bury people in new content, rather than attempting to fix what is broken. Do feel sorry for the PVP enthusiasts in particular, what with the ability delay problem.

      But that’s the thing – what you initially get with ToR is typically smooth, attractive and very…friendly. It’s an immaculate WoW clone. They’ve polished the levelling experience so much that it’s a veritable honey pot. Once all the honey’s gone, people will start to look elsewhere – unless they really like the Star Wars/Bioware brand of honey.

    • jezcentral says:

      I’m still playing it, still paying for it and still enjoying it. Mind you, I’m not burning through the content at a huge rate of knots. I’m not one of those hard-core types. If the content has been front-loaded into the levelling-up-story part of each char, I’m happy with that, as I have 4 alts going at the moment. I’m not hitting Level 50 anytime soon.

      I don’t think you can expect them to build all-the-content-ever in time for launch.

      And I don’t know why people want this game to fail. I can’t think of one game I wanted to fail. I’m happy knowing other people are enjoying something, even if it’s not my cup of tea.

  4. mrchinchin25 says:

    Will this shepherd in a new era of SWTOR players?

    • MuscleHorse says:

      Players are leaving en-mass, effectively prematurely killing the game.

    • lasikbear says:

      I’m not sure it will have too much of an effect.

    • Quasar says:

      Maybe not, but it’ll probably stop the subscriber base from Tali-ing off.

    • mrchinchin25 says:

      Well I’ve been speaking to lots of friends who play SWTOR, and they Zaeed pretty much the same thing

    • RakeShark says:

      Well, this certainly Wrex my view of their continuing prosperity.

    • db1331 says:

      I don’t know what to Mako this.

    • StarkeRealm says:

      Come on guys, you trying to collector all the possible puns for Mass Effect?

      On topic, TOR’s beta was a Harbinger of very boring things.

    • mrchinchin25 says:

      The other day I was talking to my friend Mandy about this. She wanted to know if she should play SWTOR.

      My reply was…

      “Normandy! it isn’t worth it”

      /Jamaican accent…

    • Untitled says:

      mrchinchin25, that was a Karl Pilkington quality pun, don’t know whether you’re proud or insulted to hear that but it definitely did commander response from me.

    • P7uen says:

      I do live in HK so I geth I’ll buy it today. I never ex-spectred to finally get release dates ahead of the US!

      (True, as well as being puns)

    • Ebon Hawk says:

      Yet another Mass Defect that you all should BeWare…

  5. Adekan says:

    A couple of friends got me to buy the game and start playing. Have yet to make it past level 30 with any character without getting dreadfully bored. I wish I could just play the “storyline” missions and ignore all the kill 5 foozles and bring me 10 digimawotzit filler quests. Having no interest in the star wars universe probably didn’t help. I’m still on my free month, I think. I will probably end up canceling.

    • Sentient Waffle says:

      70% of the game is essentially filler content, which contributed to my hasty departure.

    • Shuck says:

      It’s the nature of MMOs, isn’t it? If the MMO isn’t PVP-centered, it has to use filler content (with some added time-sinks) to pad out game length, because it’s impossible to generate quality content as quickly as people are going to play it. Someday, someone is going to crack the nut of interesting procedurally-generated content, but until then, MMOs are going to have filler, I’m afraid.

    • Sentient Waffle says:

      True, I admit, but it just felt more excessive in this MMO than any other MMO I’ve played. (Granted, I only play western MMO’s, don’t much care for Asian MMO’s or games in general, so there’s probably some Asian MMO that’s much worse)

      The travel times, the plentiful quests to kill a lot of stuff, the insane crafting times and so on.
      Sure they all exist in other MMOs, but its like they all came together in this to form one big beast of filler-ness.

      That’s how I feel anyway.

    • Shuck says:

      @Sentient Waffle: I’d guess that has something to do with the voice-acted content – the time and resources needed to create it are significantly larger, so the devs ended up using more filler in an attempt to pad around those bits to extend the game.

    • Sian says:

      “The travel times, the plentiful quests to kill a lot of stuff, the insane crafting times and so on.”

      Travel times didn’t feel longer than in other MMOs (aside from those with instant teleportation, of course) and the fact that you don’t bind the teleport you do get to one specific location makes travelling quicker than in most other MMOs – at least every 30 minutes. The travel between planets requires too many clicks, but isn’t that time consuming (at most planets – the space docks are unnecessary, though).

      Most quests don’t require you to kill X number of Y, though, of course, you do have to fight past lots of baddies. Healing’s quite quick and the fights don’t last very long, so again, I don’t see the timesink there. But the thing that really annoys me about your post is the mention of crafting times. You can craft while you are out and about doing other stuff. There’s virtually no time sink there, unless you’re afraid to go out of town before you get that Heavy Belt Mark MMXII.

      I can understand most complaints here, but not those supposed timesinks.

    • Nokterian says:

      My char is also level 27 and i was bored very fast and after that i never bothered to touch the game again. From a lot of MMO’s i played in my live this never happend it shows the lack of interaction. A lot of dead and boring worlds,there is nothing to do…for shame.

  6. MuscleHorse says:

    Does anyone have a sub so they can send me the trial? A place at the right hand of God in the after-life will be your reward. Seriously.

    • Aemony says:

      I’m sorry, but I’m quite comfortable in the God position already. I’ll leave the dirty work of finding me a companion on my right side to you, however. Keep up the good job, and you might even get a raise!

  7. Gusj says:

    My server is pretty much dead with Republic fleet population at around 20 and 60 max. It can take ages to get a full group for flashpoints, and every warzone match is 4-6 reps vs 8 imps. This is the number one reason why I can’t be bothered to play the game anymore.

    • Brun says:

      A lot of servers are very heavily biased toward the Imperial side. Similar to what happened in WoW when many servers were heavily biased toward the Alliance for the first year or so after release.

    • Gusj says:

      This is definitely true, but at least we had enough players to actually do stuff before. Right now the world is just empty.

    • marach says:

      Most of my friends are currently not paying a sub as they’re waiting for the promised big update and see no reason to play while in its current state…

  8. westyfield says:

    I’m 12 and what is this.

  9. Beelzebud says:

    The game is a mess. I have yet to play it and not encounter some hideous bug. Either you don’t get credit for the pvp dailies/weeklies, or the operation weekly never completes, or the chests get bugged out and no one gets loot, or it assigns loot to the wrong class, or bosses that respawn after you kill them, etc. etc. etc.

    The final straw was when I tried to report a lvl 15 bot that was farming the high level chests on Ilum (lvl 50). After 3 days they closed my ticket without comment, so I reported the bot at their forums where I was given a warning about “calling people out”. Haven’t really played since then. They put too much effort into voice acting, and forgot to build a good MMO.

    One other thing that bothered me right from day 1. This is the first un-MMO I’ve ever seen. Everything is so heavily instanced, that you never really feel like you’re playing with a lot of other people. The appeal to MMOs is the vast community. Well, that is impossible when the shards instance themselves off after they get around 50 players. I leveled up on a PVP server, and not one time while I went from 1-50 did I ever see any members of the opposing faction. The engine can not handle enough players at once to make it a true MMO. That’s why PVP on Ilum sucked so bad.

    • Brun says:

      Not only that, but the zone design for the vast majority of planets is such that the Republic and Imperial quests do not share very much real estate, so even when there were members of the opposing faction out there you rarely encountered them. I can understand this decision for some of the low-level planets, but the high-level planets were the same way.

    • Aemony says:

      That was truly the final nail in the coffin. Leveling all the way to lvl 35 before I even spotted a republic on a PvP server was the first disappointment, the second one was not having my first actual open-world PvP combat until at lvl 43 (at certain terribad locations on Hoth), the final one was literally leveling to 50 through all the final planets after Hoth without seeing a single republic player.

      And this was mere weeks after release… For being such a “hit”, the galaxy felt extremely empty and void of life.

  10. Deston says:

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  11. caddyB says:

    It’s fun if you have a nice group of friends to fool around with, like any other MMO. Hoping for improvements in 1.2 while bashing skulls in pvp.

    • Brun says:

      This. With a good guild of friends (most of my old WoW guild changed over to SWTOR) it can be fun and entertaining.

      That said, the PvP experience is pretty terrible unless you got lucky and happened to roll one of the good PvP classes (Sorcerer, Operative), or roll with premades of good players. There’s too much CC, too many knockbacks, and the system for diminishing returns is ineffective.

  12. Qwentle says:

    ‘along with enhancements to the game’s innovative Legacy system.’

    Do they mean adding it? Can’t really call it innovative if it doesn’t do anything yet. Last time I looked it was basically Tabula Rasa’s surname system but with unique requirements on forenames as well (some others as well no doubt, though I don’t have experience with any other game that’s done it).

    All told SWTOR was a fairly decent game I found but I got quite bored very fast (as have a lot of other people from reading above). Too similar to existing games mechanically and too much shared content between classes to be able to go play through more than one class (for the unique stories, one of the selling points) without feeling you are re-treading the same ground. That said, the smuggler’s initial story is just badass (but slightly single-minded, though that’s what adds the awesomeness).

    Increased UI Customisation is definately something that was needed though.

    • Verio says:

      This pretty much. Playing it as KOTOR 3 I had a blast, but numerous problems kept it from being an ongoing MMO for me.

      – I got my “main” to 40 in about a month, which felt a little fast, and this for someone who only really has time to play for 2-3 hours a night after the kid goes to bed.
      – Around 40 not only did I get massively bored with the fact that my storyline was boring and repetitive, but on top of that every planet felt like the same thing. Where WoW zones all felt unique and interesting in some way, I felt like SWTORs zones were all more or less retextures, and all felt similar.
      – On top of that, it was around this point that I got sick of dealing with the bugs on this character, specifically the one that made your companions reset abilities every time they were respawned/resummoned, which meant that every time I mounted and dismounted, I had to toggle and untoggle abilities, again. So I basically retired this character and decided to roll an alt
      – …and then as that alt got to Coruscant, I realized that unlike WoW where I could plan on taking a different route to the level cap, any alts I made would be following the EXACT same path with the exact same quests, with the exception of the 15% of the game that is story quests.
      – And the entire time I’m thinking to myself “gee golly, I bet if the legacy system was in place there would be perks that would make this less tedious, ho hum”.

      Couple in the other ongoing bugs and it was far too easy to just lose interest altogether.

      At the end of the day I feel like what happened here is that Bioware got EA to fund KOTOR3, and sort of scammed them into it by selling it as an MMO. It seems clear that what they WANTED to make was KOTOR3 + Multiplayer. I am also going to guess that eventually it will come out that EA forced them to release in time for Christmas 2011, and that what should have happened is pushing the game back to around now. I’ve read rumors to the effect that the content coming in 1.2 is stuff that was supposed to make release of the game.

      Another contributing factor was some of their responses to complaints. The whole “high rez textures were disabled because your computer can’t handle them” thing was just sorry.

  13. Furtled says:

    It’s not a bad game, in fact I’d probably still be playing it if it wasn’t for the whole ME3/Origin mess, but like others have said the EU servers are too empty and it does feel like a single player game with MMO bits stapled on sometimes. Shame really, adding random people to the mix in things like flashpoints makes for a brilliant experience and the character arcs I’ve played (Smuggler & Sith Inquisitor) are great fun.

  14. Roshin says:

    I’m not trying to start anything, but they could probably make a decent amount of money if they released this on Steam.

    • StarkeRealm says:

      Honestly, it’s not that it wasn’t on Steam, it’s that EA/Bioware/some guy in marketing massivly misunderstood how the MMO market works.

      People see that “12m people subbing to WoW” statistic and think “this is a massive market we can have a piece of” when, quite frankly, MMO sales are pretty abysmal. If the 800k subscribers number that was kicking around was accurate, then TOR is certainly one of the larger Pay to Play MMO user bases out there.

      The problem is, that’s not enough for their expenses. They seemed to have this idea that millions of players would flock to them, when, in point of fact, most MMOs tend to have a sharp spike at launch and loose about 70-80% of their user base within the first two months. Even successful MMOs tend to have populations in the 50-100k range.

      Putting it on Steam would have been a good idea, and they really need to stick ME3 on Steam at some point, but TOR needed to be the best selling MMO of all time to meet expectations. It was, and still failed to meet expectations. It was a misunderstanding of how MMOs worked from the outset, and how many people are actually out there in the actual subscription MMO market.

  15. wodin says:

    So it seems like it’s fallen on it’s face. That really doesn’t surprise me. I always worry about a form of media be it game or film thats touted as having ridiculous amount of money spent in making it.

  16. MacGuffin says:

    What bothered me the most was the design of the planets. The quest progression frequently has you going through the same mobs a few times, adding to the tediousness. The storylines that people seem to like really did not hook me, aside from the Imperial Agent, and I played every class through level 20. Ultimately, I burned myself out trying to get through as much content as I could in a month because I didn’t like the idea of paying a subscription for a single-player game. This is a game that would have benefited from a F2P model.

  17. Apolloin says:

    I just don’t see the percentage in working on an MMO right now – hell I barely see the point in playing one. You’ve got one market leader that’s been in development for a decade and everyone expects you to release with the same level of polish that they have. If you try to do something different then the WoW players that you poach disappear off back to their Azerothian Teat after the first couple of months because it’s not what they’re used to and if you do the same thing as WoW you’re in the position of having to beat them at their own game.

    It takes years to develop content through a sustainable business model, but the audience is so hyper critical that you’ve got a month to iron out the teething troubles (that EVERY game ever released has) and then another month before you better be starting to release substantial quantities of new content every 30 days. Half of the audience will never get to the level cap and the other half will race there and then expect the endgame to have as much or more content as the entire levelling process.

    On the other hand, I play SWTOR as basically a coop KOTOR3. I’ll gladly pay the sub price to get new content while I experience the different class quest lines. I’ve got a few friends who feel the same and therefore I’ve barely played the game Solo (pretty much the same way I played WoW, now I think about it). I despise PvP thoroughly so I can’t claim to know good PvP from bad, but it strikes me that pretty much the only time a PvP player will agree that the PvP is balanced/implemented properly is in the period between a match that they’ve won and the next match.

    Now contrast that experience with a Single Player game.

    1. Develop game for two to three years.
    2. Release game to huge media fanfare.
    3. Patch game during post-release buzz.
    4. Bulk of team moves to next project whilst a sub-team works on some DLC

    I know which job I’d want.

    What makes it worse is that WoW now seems to be involved in some Kevorkian process to alienate their existing fanbase so that the damn thing will finally die and release the Dev team to new pastures – so you can’t even imitate the market leader.

    I see where games are going with the Free 2 Play model, but frankly I’m not sure that this is going to lead to quality games in the long run. On the other hand, there are only so many subscription based games you can play and still get your money’s worth. Maybe the whole subscription model has to wait in the wings until World of Warcraft’s bloated corpse finally succumbs.

  18. djim says:

    I really don’t get all this negativity. Some people just want games to fail well i do not see it failing so far it is doing fine and hopefully it will keep improving.

    • StarkeRealm says:

      Schadenfreude. It’s fun to see people being taken down a notch. Bioware prattled on about how “TOR will show everyone else how an MMO should be done.” And now everything’s flying apart at the seams. There’s a ballistic trajectory to the user base, the lead writer has been kicked to the curb, and the userbase is defecting in droves (over PvP, over empty servers, over whatever the flavor of this week is).

      It’s schadenfreude, and for some people it’s fun.

      There are other reasons. people who skipped on it for whatever reason can now have the superiority of saying, “see? I was right!”, but still it tends to come down to that.

    • speedwaystar says:

      for me, it’s a welcome smackdown to the ghastly fanbois who inhabited SW:TOR’s general chat channel in open beta, and their endless moronic inferno of self-validating religious fervour.

      “omg WoW sucks, omg SW:TOR is nothing at all like wow NOTHING AT ALL I TELL YOU, omg one cannot compare SW:TOR to WoW they are like SO TOTALLY DIFFERENT dude, omg SW:TOR is going to pwn WoW so hard, omg did i mention WoW sucks, omg did i mention there is NO COMPARISON between this game and WoW” and on and on and on it went.

      /leave general

    • djim says:

      Yet it is not failing because there are still a lot of people running around every day. I play in Bao Dur which is one of the medium/low pop servers in EU. I mostly play Empire though and i can see why Republic has less players they need some love imo.

  19. derbefrier says:

    Well despite all the hate torward this game I am still having fun. I must admit I haven’t reached the level cap so I can’t comment on end game but the leveling process has been a blast. I hear the end game is pretty fun also. I honestly don’t understand all the hate this game gets. Pretty much every complaint aimed at this game (minus some bugs I hear they get pretty bad at end game but I haven’t myself encounter these many game breaking bugs people go on about) can be said about any other MMO that follows the same formula it just seems they get a pass while tor is held to standards no other MMO before has been held to. The population while not as busy as it was on launch does seem pretty stable at least on my server anyway.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      Coming around a thread about TOR, it always looks like someone forgot to feed the trolls. On the bright side, there’s always a few more people I’ll come across to add to my block list.

    • Jimbo says:

      Are you kidding? Those other MMOs were held to the same standards, which is why most of them are now dead or free. TOR just had more going for it (Star Wars, Bioware, $$$) and farther to fall.

  20. Jimbo says:

    They made a bad single player game. That was about as far as my experience with it got. I quite enjoyed the one Flashpoint I played, then it was straight back to bad single player grinding rubbish, so I stopped playing.

    I really feel like an MMO (in anything resembling their usual form) needs to throw me pretty much straight into group combat to have a chance of holding my interest anymore. It’s the only interesting thing about MMOs.

  21. Nokterian says:

    After 30 days i stopped playing. Sure story is good sometimes but overall. Bioware did a bad job,and i do not have a feeling to go back anymore.

  22. utharda says:

    Is the story really all that good? there are a few great moments. But overall… ug. I played just about all the classes to 20ish, an inquisitor to 39 and a couple to 30… mostly I didn’t do much leveling because the pve felt like such a chore, I constantly felt like i was gathering 10 stacks of bone chips, or delivering letters. Every time IO went to nar shadaa I found myself pissed off having to run across tghat square with the hut statue to go back to the quest giver.

    and the pvp combat felt like it was tgorn from a japanese dating sim, and the crafting is goddamn farmville with a slightly different ui.

  23. Kinch says:

    Yet another “I stopped playing after ca. 30 days”… Sorry but that’s just how it is. I couldn’t find a reason to keep playing SWTOR and even felt “a little robbed” of the crazy-ish money I had paid for the box.

    Playing GW now (as a total fresher) and enjoying it much more, as old as the game is.

  24. Gunrun says:

    I’m leveling with 2 friends through the imperial campaign and we’re just about to hit 50. Once we do that we’re going to do the republican one, and them I’m fairly sure I’m going to cancel.
    The leveling experience is sublime but I can’t be bothered getting into raiding and stuff especially hearing how bland the top level content is.

  25. Lemming says:

    I love the Star Wars franchise. It’s a great universe for a game. But I was never interested in TOR, and I played SWG even in the days of NGE.

    The reason I saw this failing was not just because of the obvious (cloning WoW to attract gamers bored of WoW?…ok), but from the off there was a huge of Star Wars missing from it:

    1)Playable races – all the most human looking. What is this, Star Trek? Ithorians and Wookies MINIMUM.

    2)Space. Space ships and space combat should have been the ‘fourth pillar’ they loved bleating on about. To make a Star Wars game and not have something resembling the X-wing games, or SWG’s Jump to Lightspeed expansion is just criminal.

    And before anyone jumps to the game’s defence saying it’s not failed, I’d just like to point out that if you even manage to be mediocre with the Star Wars license, then that’s a failure. Star Wars is a license to print money and it should be nothing short of a success or GTFO, imho.

  26. Laephis says:

    I stopped playing before my 30 days was up, just couldn’t take it anymore.

    Wish 2001 Bioware would come back to us. :(

  27. fatal.end says:

    As I said after playing SWTOR beta, and playing the first month of release, the game would not succeed because it doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of features and content that WoW does.

    People argue that WoW had been out for years and SWTOR needed time to catch up. I argued that if someone wants to get into the MMO genre, they need to compete with the giant and not ask people to pay their bills while they play catchup.

    The story aspects are good for some people, I found them to be incredibly shallow. Then, when you get to late game you realize that the unique feature of the game doesn’t hold up.

    Also, I’m not sure why Bioware would choose to be limited by the Star Wars universe when it could make an amazing MMO out of Mass Effect or even Dragon Age. I know they did it for the mass appeal of the SW universe but it was a short-sighted decision.

    • Freeammo says:

      Ummm, when they started work on the Old Republic in 2005/6 neither Mass Effect nor Dragon Age were actually out. It’s easy to say they could work on one of those MMOs now (and it wouldn’t surprise me if they were doing) but given the state of the universe at that time then the Star Wars universe definitely made most sense.

  28. MerseyMal says:

    I like the game and enjoy myself when I play it but have recently cancelled my subs. I have a massive Steam pile o’shame to get through and Skyrim alone is currently a massive time-sink. I also suspect Guild Wars 2 will be one too.

  29. Screwie says:

    I am certainly not a SWTOR fan and the game’s shrinking population is certainly a moment of glee from me.

    However what bugs me are the high review scores SWTOR received from pretty much everywhere. Clearly the game has issues, but then they may not be readily apparent within the first month of play. The same could be said for reviews of many MMORPGs.

    The review process for this genre seems unreliable. But then what is the right way to review an MMO?

    • fenriz says:

      yeah good point. They gave TOR a great score, and everybody’s leaving(and im giddy) so no it wasn’t a good MMO. Hey, that’s a whoopsie. They complimented a MMO for non-MMO aspects, then, i suppose? Yeah.

      Someone at this point always says who can tell what’s true in an MMO? You? Now i can answer: the playtime can

    • jezcentral says:

      @fenriz So the playtime can tell what’s true in an MMO? I’m not sure what you mean by that.

  30. TariqOne says:

    I like it. Not playing it like crazy anymore but I got scores of hours out of this dive into it and will remain subbed so I can pop in a few times a week and level a few active alts with my girlfriend. Co-op KOTOR works for me. I love being able to drop into old MMOs for stretches now and then, and this is a pretty good one, as these things go.

    Not sure why people root for it to fail beyond a sort of angsty, cooler-than-thou, fuck-tha-PO-lice schadenfreude. It’s not hurting anyone. Indie gaming is alive and well.

    So for the purest of the purists: Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress are right over there ready to clutch you yet again to their warm bosoms, TOR or no TOR. Open yourself to their crude-but-soothing succor, and be healed.

  31. bushwacki says:

    Everything about this game was mediocre. It created a new genre. Massive Single Player Online Game.