Still More SWTOR

So far as play time in SWTOR goes, not too much to report.  I decided to go back to my “main” of my Trooper and just keep working on him for a while.  Since he’s a Cybertech, the item mods he can make will be a big help to all my other toons as they level, so it seems to make sense.  Plus. . .TBH, the Trooper simply feels stronger due to all its AE damage options that the other toons all lack, plus I’m spec’d Combat Medic so I can just send in my pet and keep the pet healed for the fights vs Gold or even Champion mobs.

I’ve got the Trooper up to Tatooine now, but unlike the Shadow, I’m actually running around exploring the map and finding random 1-off quests here and there as well as a ton of quest hubs out in the hinterlands.  I’ve even stumbled into the “Imperial Area” in the south of the map.  As a result of all this, I’m now level 31 on a planet designed to take you from level 24-28.  I’ve also got my harvesting skill of Scavenging maxed out for the planet too — any node I find is gray and doesn’t improve it.  Which is fine — it just means I’m gathering lots of stuff to use to actually make things and level up the crafting skill, after all.  So there’s the gameplay update.  Happy happy joy and all of that.

***

Something that’s been cropping up a lot in blog posts and on the SWTOR forums is that a lot of people are complaining of “missing features” and bugs and whatnot.  The typical “fanboi” response is “Well compared to WoW’s launch this is pretty good.”  To which a rejoinder is made “But it’s competing with WoW *now* not WoW-at-launch.”  And then it goes from there in the back and forth with both sides talking past enough other.

I think what’s really going on is that “everyone” has a list of features in their head, probably not even consciously, that an MMO *should* have, and when a new game comes out that’s missing some of those features it makes them go “OMG this is crap!” and then go flame on the forums about what a crappy game it is that doesn’t have this “basic feature” that *all* MMO’s have.

I can see these people’s point — games released now are expected to be on par with other games, regardless of how many years head start the other game may have.  But on the other hand, the devs have only got so many resources to use for development before their investors/backers say “Get it out the door and start recouping costs here!”  So of course they have to prioritize and make sure you have all the *essential* features their game needs to fill their vision, and then the “quality of life” or “fluff” features can come later, while enduring the whining of the gamers that say “This other game that made billions of dollars and thus had a ton of resources to make this feature 5 years after it launched and everyone loved it so now any new game coming out has to have this feature at launch or else it’s a sucky game!”

Even worse is that I’m one of them.  There are several “missing” things that make me shake my head and go “What were they thinking launching the game without this?”  Of course, since I’m enjoying the game and can live without these “missing” features, it does show them to be non-essential and thus left out due to that priority list that the devs must have, so. . . yeah.  I’m sure over time more and more features will be added, and the game can only improve from here.

This takes me to another point:  There are a ton of bugs.  I’m not going to try to list them all off here, there are simply a ton.  And IMO, it’s better for BioWare to squash the bugs and also to get the interface and combat to have a nice smooth snappy feel to it before anything else.  If they get the actual gameplay is to where it should be, and then focus on the “quality of life” stuff, I think that’s the path that will make their players/customers happiest, even if the customers are whining more about the “missing” features than anything.

Posted on January 13, 2012, in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I agree, but there are some things that are missing/badly done that cannot be recovered from. For example, the auction house UI is horrible. Once people get used to NOT using the GTN, it’s hard to break them of that habit and get them to use it later on. It usually takes a complete overhaul of the game’s economy to rekindle interest in using that tool. I know personally, if it’s not blue or better, I just vendor most drops I get. That’s one feature that I think is a ‘must have’, along with a working guild management tool and chat features. Basically, I think the community building features need to be refined and polished or else your MMO becomes a single player game with other people as NPCs.

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