The Fourth Pillar?

So did Bioware paint themselves into a corner when they came up with the idea of making a story based MMO, does it really work. For the base game as it was released that answer would have to be a resounding YES! The positive comments and reviews of the game when it was initially launched praised the game for its story driven missions and fully voice acted quest system.

As people arrived at the level cap however that brilliant shine faded like the sun during a total solar eclipse. Cracks began to show, Ilum was broken, many game systems that players expect in their MMO like guild features and looking for group were absent apparently sitting on a wall of crazy.

But the most glaring issue at level cap was that your story, that fourth pillar Bioware touted so much prior to launch ground to an absolute halt!

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My question then is “what happened?” We know that in the few months after launch The Old Republic hemorrhaged subs, game systems were broken and the subscription model became the hybrid model we have today. This undoubtedly changed things, did change things priorities were shifted (cough…cash shop). But honestly, I cannot see how they ever thought they could consistently push out story based content with full voice acting for both story and class based content as we had up to level 50 on a regular basis.

Bear in mind this is my musings as to how the game was at release…what Bioware was thinking and the direction the game was hopefully going to follow. The game we have now is shaped by the successes and failures of the game post launch, I suspect the game, in its current form is leagues away from what was planned or hoped.

The game today is a very solid and fun MMO, Swtor is in a good place, the Shadow Of Revan expansion (DLC) was great and a fun ride. It advanced our story and gave a token piece of class content. I often wonder though what the game would be like had it lived up to the mega hit Bioware had initially thought it would be.

What do you think?…Story is great but is it conducive to an MMO.

Open For Interpretation?

One of my pet hates with the Swtor community team is how they announce upcoming game systems. Usually a few lines of text that tease an upcoming bit of content but with no real details. This always leads to outlandish, way over the top speculation from the playerbase, which lets be honest, no update released from Bioware could possibly measure up to.

Then comes the inevitable bewilderment from the community team, they are suddenly confused as to why people on the forums and other social media are in an uproar when they fail to deliver what the community expected and hyped themselves up for. Yet for weeks between the vague announcement till when they do give out concrete information, speculation runs rife on SWTOR social media which Bioware does nothing to extinguish.

An example, the Galactic Starfighter Expansion (The Secret Space Project) free flight space addon for the main game. The general feeling from the day they announced it was a version of Star Wars Galaxies Jump To Lightspeed. Anyone who played Galaxies (including me) felt this was what we wanted and hoped it would be.

What we ended up with was PVP maps in space, which while it is not a bad addition to the game is not what anyone was expecting and is certainly no Jump To Lightspeed. (and is fairly neglected as of writing this)

Let’s come to the present day and oh boy, here we go again. At the Pax South Community Cantina they announced a new upcoming system “the Costume Designer”. What is it? How will it work? Once again speculation is running wild on the various SWTOR social media sites with everyone having an idea of what it will or should be. Of course the actual Costume Designer will never be able to satisfy all these different people’s idea’s of what it should be and disappointment will once again ripple through the community.

A Vague Announcement

A Vague Announcement

Speculation...

Speculation…

I guess for me, I don’t understand Bioware’s mindset in making vague announcements of some upcoming game system and then happily allow the community to get way over hyped. I do understand generating hype and creating word of mouth, to get people excited, but wouldn’t the Community Team and Dev’s rather great word of mouth via a terrific bug free piece of content that the community loves and gets behind.

What do you think? Should Bioware keep throwing out vague upcoming announcements with we will give you details in the coming weeks as they do now. Or should they make a clear announcement of upcoming systems when they have the details to share with us… which are then not open for interpretation.

Greetings and Salutations

An introduction, hello online I am DarthBrundleFLY and this will be my attempt to put into words my thoughts and musings concerning the Bioware MMO, Star Wars The Old Republic.

My Bounty Hunter Aaylã

My Bounty Hunter Aaylã

So a little about my time with this game, I have been playing now since the 1st public beta weekend a little over 3 years ago as of writing this. To say I am a Star Wars nerd might be an understatement…lol.  I saw the original film in a Theater in Sydney in 1977 when I was a teenager and just typing that here has made me feel very very old.

Captain Azeth in Beta

Captain Azeth in Beta

I have played all things Star Wars from my Atari 2600 days to anything released by Lucasarts and over the years I have most if not all their games on Steam and GOG. My 1st MMO was Sony Entertainment’s Star Wars Galaxies, my two main characters Azeth a human bounty hunter and a Twilek entertainer named Thayla which I played from beta till the game was sunseted by SOE after 9 years.

I have also played World Of Warcraft, Lord Of the Rings Online, Age Of Conan, DC Universe online, The Secret World, Guild Wars 2, The Elder Scrolls Online, Wildstar, well you get the picture I like to try new MMO’s but I have pretty much always had a subscription to a Star Wars MMO.

My main in Swtor is Aaylã a level 60 Bounty Hunter Mercenary on the Begeren Colony RP server. I also have 5 other level 60’s toons.  (an Imperial Agent, a Jedi Sage, a Jedi Sentinal, a Smuggler Gunslinger and a Sith Inquisitor.) My six other toons range in level from 24 to 57 and I plan to level them in the coming months. (though after 5 times leveling through the entire game that 12x experience is sorely missed)

I do play alot of other video games when time allows and have an extensive collection of games mainly thanks to those damn Steam sales which I either have not started or am partway through, hence my seemingly insurmountable pile of shame.

So it is my hope to write about my adventures and experiences playing Star Wars The Old Republic including how I feel Bioware is continuing to expand and enhance the game. (There may be potty mouth from time to time)  I may also write about the other games I play as I hopefully work my way through this ever growing pile of shame.