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How can this game lack innovation so much...

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Community Content
How can this game lack innovation so much...

malistyx's Avatar


malistyx
08.23.2013 , 02:49 AM | #1
I have been meaning to write this review for some time now, but every time I found an excuse to postpone doing so. I believe this last announced PvP update is what finally pulled the trigger. I am sure many of you guys will disagree with what will be mentioned below but keep in mind this is my point of view. You are free to debate any point you like but please keep it civil.

Just to put things into perspective I have been a subscriber in this game from the beginning. I had been a subscriber to Star Wars Galaxies for more than 7 years and throughout all its phases. (Pre-CU, CU, NGE, post NGE, final days).

I am still surprised on how SWTOR with its huge budget came up so short… The lack of innovation is simply astonishing. I mean sure like most people out there I really enjoyed the storyline and the dialogues, but even that gets old very fast and other than this, what does SWTOR have to offer? Let us compare a few systems between SWTOR and SWG to see what I mean.

For PvE, as mentioned earlier SWTOR looked amazing with its storyline, an element that bioware from the Baldur’s Gate days had mastered. SWG on the other hand being a first generation MMORPG, quest wise it was the typical fed-ex, gather, kill number of type of quests.

If one looks under the surface though, after leveling up one character in both games, he would realize that in SWTOR you mostly do the same lame quests just with voice over and cinematics. This is an amazing experience for the first time but it gets old VERY fast. Furthermore, how many times will it take before you are disgusted from that flashpoint or that operation no matter how well it is designed? Nightmare mode? Seriously? At least for me, there goes immersion…

On SWG on the other hand your leveling quest options, while of the same basic nature, were spread out over the galaxy in endless paths. On top of that what really made the difference was that SWG, at least in its latest form, had many end-game systems to greatly expand your experience. While its heroic quests (operation equivalents) were very simplistic and sub-par compared to SWTOR, you had other systems such as the Galactic Civil War, Player Cities, Creature Handler and quite a few others.

Each of these systems added to the player experience and to the world immersion making you feel like living in a Star Wars universe. For instance part for the GCW, all planets were divided into smaller influence areas in each of these areas undertaking factional quests gave you side points which eventually shifted the area to your side. For the major cities there was the Invasion system where, each Faction had to defend/attack the city based on its score in the region.

What does SWTOR have to compare… Nothing. Even the NPC spawn system in SWG was half static half dynamic, in SWTOR it is the same guys shooting the same other guys over and over for eternity in the same spot… Firs time you see it feels nice, but after that it just feels fake.

SWG had housing and player cities. You could choose you own house (which was player crafted) place it almost anywhere in the world you liked and use your imagination to decorate the interior with endless possibilities. On top of that you could use your guild, friend or simple real estate incentives to gather more people, form and run a city with taxes, shops, areas of specialization etc. The world changed everytime you logged in.

SWTOR has… a ship. The same ship for every sith in the galaxy, with zero customization options. That is all.
In SWG you could be a non combatant entertainer or crafter (in the older days there were many more professions which were later bottle necked into specific paths), be a combatant with one of the factions, remain neutral etc.
In SWTOR every sith warrior ends up being the emperor’s wrath, while every sith inquisitor a member of the dark council etc. The title loses its meaning. If it was a single player game like Baldur’s Gate than it would have worked perfectly, but on an MMO… I would personally prefer being one of the many captains in the imperial army rather than one of the army of emperor’s wrath clones.

SWTOR has companions to help you in your quests and provide some more depth to the character stories. Very good idea, very badly implemented. In Baldur’s gate companion stories were so good that you could have restarted the game with different companion configurations just to see it play out. In SWTOR there is no real dilemma, no real choice you have to make and almost every choice you make (with few notable exceptions) leads to the same outcome. On top of that to make things worse you can even interrupt the dialogue if it does not go your way, until you are satisfied… So much for this system, after playing let us say a Sith warrior once, it is over for this general class.

In SWG you had a few types of companions with different type of behavior and style. You could have droids that could assist you in combat, crafting, entertaining (it was a unique profession in SWG), which were player crafted and customizable. You could have factional troops to support you in combat which to be true were far worse than the SWTOR companions in doing so. Or you could have bio engineered creatures. The last option was a very robust system on its own, involving harvesting DNA from creatures around the galaxy and creating a pet to follow/help you customizable with its own traits and attributes, which could even be result of discovered mutations.

Last but not least is space. SWTOR has a starship on rails type of combat with linear progression and customization options, to compare to SWGs fully enabled 3d flight simulator that was introduced with Jump to Lightspeed and easily matched games like Tie fighter. In SWG you had pvp options and ships, depending on type that could be mounted by one, two or up to eight characters. JTL was a game on its own for many that played SWG, while SWTOR space combat, well to put it mildly, is a huge step backwards.

PVP is yet another one of the points in SWTOR that was well polished but with a serious lack of vision. Character animations are good and combat is engaging in a warzone. Some warzones like Huttbal were a very pleasant surprise and one of the few innovations SWTOR has to offer. Furthermore the classes are relatively well balanced compared to other MMOs. Problem is that the classes were created with only this in mind and balanced as such. It is next to impossible to have a large scale war with these classes and that was proven amongst others in the Ilum fiasco, where you had melee classes that their only means of participation in the lag fest combat was to buff others in order to get indirect kill counts.

SWG combat suffered many upgrades/downgrades. Possibly the best incarnation in my opinion and closest to what SWTOR has was during the CU. While it never reached the combat reflectiveness of SWTOR, it had other merits which again when summed up created an equally interesting if not better experience. In SWG you were not bottlenecked in your choice of weapon, although class bonuses did favor a specific type usually. Furthermore weapon/ability range was up to 64m instead of 30-35m that SWTOR has. This gave a much Star Wars like combat, where the two factions would hold their lines. Even Jedi could hold a blaster and take some shots from range if required.

But the ultimate addition to SWG that totally changed the playfield compared to SWTOR was the integration of its robust space combat with the ground combat. In the final months of SWG, atmospheric flight was enabled and characters could take their custom made star fighters or multi passenger ships and support ground combat. You could in fact fly over and shoot at pvpers on the ground with your ships laser cannons while they could respond with RPGs.

To sum up I am still perplexed on how SWTOR can have such a lack of vision for the future despite all the different MMO experiences available and the past experience from SWG. Instead of trying to innovate and create, every single choice they make points out to cloning the decaying king of MMOs. While PvP arenas are not a bad option to have, it is one more step further away from having an immersive virtual world in the SW universe. In my humble opinion as a PvPer, FIX FIRST MEANINGFUL WORLD PVP (waiting since Ilum) and then add stuff like arenas. You already have arena like combat with the WZs, if I wanted this type of experience I would playing more COD and not an MMORPG. To those of you that forget, one of the Ms stands for massive, not 16 or 8 player!

theUndead's Avatar


theUndead
08.23.2013 , 02:56 AM | #2
Blah blah blah SWG is better blah blah. So much for a balanced review that was more just a rant of why SWG is better so my only words is. This game is not SWG.
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Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
As theUndead mentioned, I can't exactly spell out all of our policies in depth, but that should hopefully cover your concerns.

malistyx's Avatar


malistyx
08.23.2013 , 03:07 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by theUndead View Post
Blah blah blah SWG is better blah blah. So much for a balanced review that was more just a rant of why SWG is better so my only words is. This game is not SWG.
Obviously it is not. It is just sad that it is the only SW MMO out there and yet carried over nothing from the legacy of amazing systems SWG had before it. Instead keeps copying "that one game" even if there are numerous examples showing how this leads to disaster.

theUndead's Avatar


theUndead
08.23.2013 , 03:58 AM | #4
Really? leads to disaster? Ok how about the constant content updates we have been getting or how the CM has brought new life to game. Please tell me how the game is on that road.
The Hellion Legacy (Harbinger) The Duma Legacy (Shadowlands)
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Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
As theUndead mentioned, I can't exactly spell out all of our policies in depth, but that should hopefully cover your concerns.

malistyx's Avatar


malistyx
08.23.2013 , 04:20 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by theUndead View Post
Really? leads to disaster? Ok how about the constant content updates we have been getting or how the CM has brought new life to game. Please tell me how the game is on that road.
I did not say the game is on the road to disaster. I said that copying the game (you know which one I am talking about) is a recipe that leads to disaster. Just think about how many other games have tried doing and failed much like this one has so far. Remember what the expectations for SWTOR were regarding replacing the king etc.

SWTOR instead of creating its own trend with systems that relate to SW, is trying to replicate what was done in "that game", totally disregarding the fact that the whole genre seems to be changing direction and even "that game" that introduced such systems is losing subs!

Do you think for instance that Arenas are more related to SW lore than Space? I am not saying there is no room for them in the game, but PvP can benefit from so many other aspects, such a meaningful space game with pvp combat, that arenas just seem like a relic directly related to that other game more than anything.

IT is like they simply cannot get anything innovative of their own, just keep cloning "that game" with a SW skin...

As a side not I would like to say that in my humble opinion "that game", while without doubt immensely successful as a computer game, totally ruined the MMORPG genre as it introduced a fast food mentality to it, that only now it is starting to recover from.

MaximusRex's Avatar


MaximusRex
08.23.2013 , 04:23 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by malistyx View Post
Obviously it is not. It is just sad that it is the only SW MMO out there and yet carried over nothing from the legacy of amazing systems SWG had before it. Instead keeps copying "that one game" even if there are numerous examples showing how this leads to disaster.
Coping "that one game" has given this game more players at its low point than SWG ever had at its peak. While I'd love to see more sandbox like elements, the numbers don't lie, Themepark games are exponentially more popular than Sand Box games.

Hodsy's Avatar


Hodsy
08.23.2013 , 04:26 AM | #7
SWTOR is still VERY young.

Most games dont even make it out of the gates.

Yes SWTOR might not have been that good to begin with but lets face it what brand new game is?

Take GW2 for example that was meant to be the MMO to end ALL MMO's but it flopped. Yes people still play it but months after release the forums were full of "dead within a year" posts.

We are coming up to SWTOR second year and i think we have come along way since then. The fact that this game has been able to survive going FTP and then go on to release expansion packs and updates so quickly this summer shows signs of things to come.

Keep up the good work SWTOR!

malistyx's Avatar


malistyx
08.23.2013 , 04:38 AM | #8
By all means I am hoping they can continue adding systems and supporting the game. I am just not agreeing with the directions they are going at it. It was mentioned that SWTOR is still a young game. I chose not to post anything until now even though I have been playing since the beginning in order to first see where they are headed at. Sure SWTOR will endure and keep existing with probably a slight decline as it ages, but is that what you were hoping for the only SW so called MMORPG out there?

Remember the expectations? Didn't you expect something better from this huge budget? Yes there was an expansion which was in fact nothing new or something able to sustain the game in long term. That is the plain truth and that is the reason why developers are abandoning the Themepark type of games. Backbone systems that evolve over time are the future imo.

Finally I would like to compare expansions for you to see my point, SWTOR introduced Raise of the Hutt cartel after its first year, while SWG introduced Jump to Lightspeed. Which do you think was a better investment over time or made a heavier impact to the game?

theUndead's Avatar


theUndead
08.23.2013 , 06:39 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by malistyx View Post
I did not say the game is on the road to disaster. I said that copying the game (you know which one I am talking about) is a recipe that leads to disaster. Just think about how many other games have tried doing and failed much like this one has so far. Remember what the expectations for SWTOR were regarding replacing the king etc.

SWTOR instead of creating its own trend with systems that relate to SW, is trying to replicate what was done in "that game", totally disregarding the fact that the whole genre seems to be changing direction and even "that game" that introduced such systems is losing subs!

Do you think for instance that Arenas are more related to SW lore than Space? I am not saying there is no room for them in the game, but PvP can benefit from so many other aspects, such a meaningful space game with pvp combat, that arenas just seem like a relic directly related to that other game more than anything.

IT is like they simply cannot get anything innovative of their own, just keep cloning "that game" with a SW skin...

As a side not I would like to say that in my humble opinion "that game", while without doubt immensely successful as a computer game, totally ruined the MMORPG genre as it introduced a fast food mentality to it, that only now it is starting to recover from.
That's because the model from that other game actually works. Why change something that clearly works, you see this game innovates itself in the best way it can as the rest of the market is absolutely cutthroat. The fact it still has a strong sub base and money to spend on new content is evidence of this. So before you go and write a baseless review remember that this game is still young but if it continues on the road it is going. It will be more successful.
The Hellion Legacy (Harbinger) The Duma Legacy (Shadowlands)
Referal Link
Quote: Originally Posted by EricMusco View Post
As theUndead mentioned, I can't exactly spell out all of our policies in depth, but that should hopefully cover your concerns.

TheNahash's Avatar


TheNahash
08.23.2013 , 07:53 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by malistyx View Post
Obviously it is not. It is just sad that it is the only SW MMO out there and yet carried over nothing from the legacy of amazing systems SWG had before it. Instead keeps copying "that one game" even if there are numerous examples showing how this leads to disaster.
I mean no disrespect to SWG fans and correct me if I'm wrong but did those innovations and "amazing systems" keep SWG from shutting down?

And please don't tell me you believe that the sole reason for SWG's death was SWTOR.
As if any company in their right mind would shut down something lucrative for something new and risky.
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