Following up on this post, I decided that I would take a look at the top five things that SWTOR got wrong (at least so far). Don’t get me wrong, I’m still having a blast a month after launch, but this game has some issues. Read on for more:
Each faction only has four classes. Four. And, two of them are Jedi class. I realize that Bioware was making some assumptions that Jedis, bounty hunters, and smugglers were going to be popular classes, but only four classes at launch? I was disappointed in the lack of variety of class choice. As a suggestion, perhaps Bioware could have offered a merchant class? What about a hybrid class of soldier and being “force sensitive” where you could use blasters and have kinetic powers like sentinels in Mass Effect?
Also, I was very disappointed that there are no racial bonuses in the game. Yes, each race has a different social ability, but I would have liked to seen something that increases your stats or gives a special ability such as quicker running.
SWTOR is screaming to be a sandbox game. Yes you are free to maneuver about and explore the entire universe at your leisure. But with the rich artwork and planetary environments, I am disappointed that I must progress in my quest line in a linear fashion. This is the Star Wars Galaxies yearning crying out here, but SWTOR would be such a better game if you were given a choice of which planet and how you would like to progress your quest line instead of being locked to a planet for 5-10 levels or so.
I am hopeful that a bit of the sandbox element can be introduced into this game with future planets. Also, Bioware hasn’t introduced player housing or shops yet. It will be interesting to see how they address these items.
Rinse and Repeat
Outside of the story quest line, the planetary quests are predictable and copies of each other: go to this area, do the bonus mission, kill the main bad guy, turn in quest. At least I don’t have to put on my Fed Ex hat and run delivery missions across and entire planet though.
If the game didn’t have the class story lines and most of the quests were constructed like the “normal” ones, I would lose interest in this game very quickly. Yes, even with lightsabers.
You know you have an imbalance in crafting when a majority of the player base believes that there are only two currently useful crafting professions. Bioware appears to be aware of this issue and has (and still plans to) make changes to the crafting professions in order to balance out their usefulness and make all professions appealing to all players.
However, this issue should have been addressed in beta. I realize that most beta testers were focused on quests and combat and only dabbled in the crafting to see how it worked (/raises hand). Bioware should have seen that smart players would overwhelmingly flock to anything that would give them the greatest advantage and instantly declare anything less undesirable.
I have also heard that endgame crafting is practically non-existent: that you can obtain much better endgame gear from missions and quests. Since I haven’t hit 50 yet, I can’t confirm this but if this is true would already cripple a questionable crafting system.
I was disappointed that Bioware decided create a game with the traditional MMO elements instead of taking a chance on something new and different. At its base, SWTOR is a game where you complete quests, kill stuff and level up. Yes the story is excellent and does offer a new element in the MMO genre that shows that story is important in a MMO and can engage its audience instead of having them mind numbingly “kill 10 rats” over and over again.
However, this was a chance to break the traditional MMO way of doing things. SWTOR has the typical tank, DPS, healer classes. It has a linear class progression that follows a linear quest progression. It has junk loot, and buffs, and dungeons, and….you get the picture. SWTOR isn’t a WoW clone, but it didn’t do enough to distinct itself from WoW, LOTRO, Everquest, or any other large MMO created over the past 10 years.
I was expecting more than an online KOTOR. I was expecting a game that would change the MMO landscape as we knew it.
As I’ve said before, SWOTR is a fun game and I am enjoying my time. I have subscribed for the next three months, but unless things change, I am going to have to seriously evaluate if my time and money are worth giving to this game.
I am hopeful that Bioware is going to address their shortcomings and do all that they can to right this ship. The future success of the game depends on how they develop and mature this product now that such a large percentage of the player base is at or quickly approaching end game.