This post is in response to this article (mmorpg.com) written by Isabelle Parsley. Ms. Parsley states that she isn’t terribly excited about The Old Republic and proceeds to list her arguments as to why. Here is my rebuttal to each of her points:
The Price Tag. At first, she criticises the price of the game stating that “These days I’m just not willing to part with my cash – especially not as much cash as was being demanded for the various pre-order/CE options – without having some feeling that I’m going to spend more than a few weeks in a game.” Later on in the article, she concedes that “In overall terms the pre-order prices really aren’t that high.”
You can argue that the price for the CE was a little high, but the price for the standard and enhanced editions were not out of the norm for an MMO. $60 seems to be the new price point for any quality video game, whether it is an MMO or not. Starcraft II, Mass Effect 3, The Elder Scrolls V, are just a few examples of games that will cost $60 when they are released.
It seems that Ms. Parsley has already made up her mind that she isn’t going to enjoy SWTOR, so she doesn’t want to spend any money to purchase the game. That’s human nature. I don’t like to play tennis, so I’m not going to spend any money on tennis equipment, nor will I allocate any of my free time to playing tennis.
The Hype. Like death and taxes, video game hype is a guarantee in life. Any game company worth its salt is going to spit out a decent amount of hype in an attempt to get everyone and anyone they can interested in their upcoming creation. It’s basic Marketing 101: create a need for your product by advertising.
I will admit that I am a little burnt out on the hype for this game, mainly because we’ve been hearing about this game for years now. There is a limit of how much hype you can take before you begin to yawn and say, “Oh look. More hype. When is this game coming out again?”
The Comparison to Star Wars Galaxies. Seriously? This argument sounds like it is coming from another jaded SWG fan reminiscing about the pre-NGE days. I played SWG for two years and I had a blast. I enjoyed both pre and post NGE (pre-NGE was better though) and had a great time. Yes, I wish pre-NGE still existed and that the game wasn’t shutting down, and that so many people hadn’t left. But, I’ve accepted reality and moved on.
“I’m not sure I won’t constantly be wishing SWTOR could be more like SWG.” I won’t. I will be evaluating SWTOR for what it is and what it brings to me as a player. It is it’s own animal, not the red headed step-child of an eight year MMO. When I stop having fun in SWTOR, is when I cancel my subscription and move on to something else.
I realise that Ms. Parsley was trying to be controversial in her article by not blindly embracing SWTOR and proclaiming it to be the next greatest MMO or a “WoW Killer.” However, her arguments weren’t very persuasive. You’ve got to have better arguments than “it costs too much,” “it’s over hyped,” and “it’s not SWG,” to convince anyone that this game isn’t worth getting excited about.
I’m looking forward to SWTOR to see how BioWare incorporates their wonderful RPG elements into an MMO. As they’ve stated, story is going to be the primary driver and BioWare has had great story lines in all of the games so far. As with most things in my life, I’m trying to not have any expectations. Going into anything new (a new job, relationship, a MMO) without any expectations means that you can be more objective and not disappointed as easily.
For example, if you expect SWTOR to have a deep crafting experience like SWG, and it turns out that crafting is rather simplistic and not very challenging, you will most likely be disappointed that your expectation wasn’t met, vent your frustration on the official forums, and quit the game. If you don’t have an expectation about crafting at all, start crafting a few items with an open mind, and learn the intricacies of how this game implements crafting, you may end up liking the system and pursue crafting to its highest level.
SWTOR will be sure to do a few things differently than the other MMOs on the market, but they will do a lot of similar things as well. Try to keep an open mind as you level your character and explore this wonderful new universe that has been created for us. Evaluate how much fun you are having. If it’s worth your $15 a month, keep on playing. If not, can I have your stuff?