Friday, April 27, 2012

SW:TOR patch 1.2 (or how the game should have launched.)

So Bioware/EA finally released the much anticpated "Jesus" patch for Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Patch 1.2 brings the Legacy system, many fixes, adjustments, and content. Sadly, everything they added couldn't save the game from becoming yet another game in my collection I no longer play.
Star Wars as an MMO seems like a no brainer. A huge galaxy with a grand conflict being battled out on nearly every planet. With many deep stories, and colorful characters; SW:TOR seemed like a perfect idea. The failure here was excecution.

Broken content early on, excessive grindy leveling, with little to no incentives to level alts. For me the patch is just too late. My friends that wanted to play this game SOOO badly for years, who patiently waited for its release, have all quit. They all had their reasons; whether it was glitchy content, lack of depth to endgame, bad social encounters, or a pervasive feeling of playing an unfinished product. Many of us had been in the beta for SW:TOR for months before its release. We all saw how things were, hoping against hope that they would get fixed. We trudged onward, seeking the core of what just HAD to be a good game. Finally, after months they released this patch.......and we found it...shriveled and alone in a corner. Much like a rotten bowl of fruit left on the counter while you went on vacation, there were recognizable bits that still looked good, but the rest was so rotten that it wasn't worth trying to salvage.

Okay, so now that I've painted a picture of how I FEEL about SW:TOR here's the facts.

If the game had launched with all the features from 1.2 and possibly those features that they left out of 1.2 stating that they will come with future patches, then SW:TOR would probably have held mine and my friends interests. The fact of the matter is that we spent alot of our time and money trying out what we all felt was a "PAID BETA" experience. Everything they've added should have been in the game at launch. Five months after launch adding core mechanics such as the Legacy system means that if you happened to roll alts after running out of endgame content to do, you probably created them with fewer options than what is available now. Also that alt you rolled received none of the benefits of already having a level 50.

The biggest issue I saw for those of us that rushed to the endgame to experience all the level 50 content was that it was mostly broken. This state persisted for months too, not just the first few weeks as they would expect to tweak for the influx of people, but literally broken. We never got to test endgame well in beta. I think I was one of maybe two or three who banded together with another guild in beta to run endgame maybe once or twice. What we tried was the easiest modes, with the least risks. We didn't have time in the beta to gear up properly to attempt the harder difficulties, even if we had the easiest content had proven to be broken enough to prevent us from clearing bosses.

So it all comes down to this question, Did SW:TOR fail?

Probably not, but it failed to keep me and my friends interested while they fixed their shit. The game isn't BAD, it just wasn't good enough to make me want to spend hours a day grinding dailies and leveling alts while I waited for them to fix all the issues we had with endgame itemization and content.

1 comment:

  1. Even for those of us who didn't play the beta forever the game sours quickly. I think a more critical failing is that the much vaunted story system. It is cool the first 10 levels, interesting the next 10-15 or so, then annoying pain in the ass after that. No amount of voice acting makes me want to sit through 5-10 minutes of expose on what is essentially a go kill that and fetch me something task. This along with the fact the game mechanics are even more repetitive than WoW makes for a game fail.