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Thoughts from an MMO Noob

GuerreEtoiles's Avatar

04.03.2012 , 05:39 PM | #1
On the plus side, I think SWTOR has one of the strongest stories I've ever seen in a game. To me the story is very compelling and definitely is giving me a reason to stick around to level 50. I'm a big fan of both the single player KOTOR games as well as the Bethesda RPG's, and I think the SWTOR story has been as good or better than any of them. Also, I'm playing a Sith character, and feel like Bioware has fully fleshed out the Sith mythos in this game. Very cool.

My main complaint though is that thus far I'm not thrilled with the MMO/social aspect. I know that this might have to do with my being an MMO noob. Still in all, of the 8-9 heroic quests I've done with other people, I've only enjoyed maybe 3-4 of them. It seems more often than not I end up working with players who are rude, selfish, impatient, or all of the above. This has definitely soured the overall experience for me.

Also, having never played WoW, I'm finding the social/chat controls rather clunky. And speaking of the chat, I've seen more than a few troll chats going on as I play. Gosh, don't these people have better things to do like go out and hunt Jedi?

The feeling I get though is that the game is really meant to be played co-op with friends and family. If you are going in solo like me though, it seems it's all in the luck of the draw whether you meet up with cool people or jerks.

Anyway, I will definitely continue to level 50 as I'm curious to see if Darth Zash is going to eventually betray me. I'm sorry to say though that I've become rather jaded with the team heroic quests, and going forward will probably be a bit more circumspect before joining other players in doing additional ones.

April 5th Update:
As sort of a final note on my part, last night I found another 'loner' to team up with. We kicked butt and took names, practically bowling over resistance on Balmora, including that awful 'Creature from the Pit' (hey, wasn't that an old Doctor Who episode???

Anyway, a great time was had by all. It seems that what I lost in independence by teaming up with someone for the entire evening was more than compensated by the experience points and loot we gained, to say nothing of plain old fun! Anyway, I can see now that although you can probably get by playing as a lone gun, it is a lot more fun when you find like-minded people to team with.

System_TOR's Avatar

04.03.2012 , 05:43 PM | #2
Thats life.

Kthx's Avatar

04.03.2012 , 05:56 PM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by System_TOR View Post
Thats life.
No it's not. Don't accept rude behavior. Join a good guild, and 99% of these sort of problems will be a distant memory.

Piratejeffy's Avatar

04.03.2012 , 05:59 PM | #4
Having never played WoW, you really haven't seen the worst of it.

This game has a really great community compared to a lot of other games. There will always be a few rude people mixed in, but on the whole it's pretty good.

Find a guild. Running with a guild will significantly lower the chances of having to play with jerks.

Chessack's Avatar

04.03.2012 , 06:08 PM | #5
One of the things BW could have done to really improve the Heroic/FP experience would have been to steal the "Sidekick" system from COH. One of the biggest impediments to my guild doing stuff together is that everyone's a different level.

And yes, I know the higher levels can "run the lower levels through" the instance, but honestly, that's no fun. It's much more fun to do the instance with the proper group size and everyone more or less on-level.

On any given night we have more than enough people on to run a Heroic or FP but never have enough of the correct level to do so. We even had to scrap our weekly guild mission nights because even with upwards of 12 people logged in, finding a way to group folks into parties that made sense and were roughly on-level was a nightmare. It took us 45 minutes to get set up and I had to log into my level 14 alt because there weren't enough spots for my level 30 main (and I felt as guild leader that if anyone should make a sacrifice, it should be me).

There is really no reason for this, and it would solve the OP's problem... because he could /friend players he likes to play with, and then team up with them regardless of level and do content. It would be more fun for higher levels to "mentor down" and do things on level than just blow through them. And it would be more fun for the lower levels than having someone just pwn the entire instance in 20 minutes for them. There really are no drawbacks to doing the reverse of Sidekicking (i.e., having a player voluntarily drop level to match someone else, temporarily losing all higher level talents and abilities) especially for something like FPs or Heroics that are designed to be repeatable. I can see where the non-repeatable quests might be problematic but there is no reason it couldn't be done for dailies.

If I were going to put my finger on the biggest single flaw in SWTOR, it would be this... the lack of a "Sidekick" type feature. Here we have this awesome game with great stories people WANT to experience together (at least my guild mates do), and we can't (at least not in a pleasurable way) because we're different level ranges.

BTW this would solve the issue on the other mega-thread that was floating around the top page here for a couple of days -- the dearth of social points. If people could do things on-level BW could increase SPs for leveling down, i.e. you are making a sacrifice by gimping yourself so we reward you a little bit (not saying a lot, but say a doubling of SPs vs. doing it on level, if you voluntarily gimp yourself). Two birds with one stone.

I am really disappointed in BW on this one actually. This was brought up on the pre-release forums, there was a huge thread, and the VAST majority were in favor of such a system (with the only argument that was ever really leveled against it being 'that's not how WOW does it')... but BW ignored the suggestion and now we have a situation where even when you have long-term friends, experiencing the content with them is either difficult or at least less enjoyable than it could have been.

Really I don't understand why so few MMOs have swiped the SK system from COH. It's probably the single best idea added to MMOs in the last 7 years. And people steal all the other, much poorer ideas... but they do not swipe the one true innovation that would make groups of friends really able to play enjoyably together. They steal idiot ideas like doing the same quest over and over again for tiny gear improvements (blargh) but then ignore the truly great ideas like the SK/Exemp system. I will never figure that one out.
Back in the game after playing a long time ago, in a year far, far away...

SithMagician_X's Avatar

04.03.2012 , 06:26 PM | #6
I get where the OP is coming from, but having played WoW, as others have said, it's a LOT better than most MMOs.

That said, in group missions no I will not press space to skip dialogue, nor will I accept you telling me what to press for responses. (Two behaviours that suck the fun out of any group)

And please, for the love of the Sith, learn the difference between need and greed and use them apropriately.

GuerreEtoiles's Avatar

04.03.2012 , 06:32 PM | #7
Thanks all for the great suggestions. When I play this evening I will definitely keep an eye out for guild recruiters. I'm playing a Sith Inquisitor with strong restoration magika , and feel I'd be an asset to any team.

I still say that this game has an amazing story narrative and Star Wars ambiance. IMHO, thus far the story seems stronger than a lot of movies and novels. Also, putting this great story in the context of an MMO must have been difficult in the extreme.

BTW, Sith Magician, funny you should mention Need and Greed. That did cause some unpleasantness on one team quest I did. Anyway, understood, need trumps greed. I also get the feeling that if you are questing with people you don't know, in the interests of team harmony and cohesion it's probably best to just to pass on everything.

"Peace is a lie, there is only passion......"

Fozziwig's Avatar

04.03.2012 , 08:53 PM | #8
I have three suggestions to try, in order:

1. Find a really good guild
2. Find a good guild
3. Find a decent guild

I'm not kidding. Guilds are what make MMO's fun. Find a decent one, and all your problems will go away.

Darnu's Avatar

04.04.2012 , 01:31 AM | #9
Quote: Originally Posted by GuerreEtoiles View Post
The feeling I get though is that the game is really meant to be played co-op with friends and family.
Very much so. It's kind of strange, the game make-up. When you're generally levelling and playing the bulk of the game, being grouped puts you at a disadvantage. If you play with someone that rolled the same class as you, one of you will be forever waiting for the other person. But when you need people for group content and you need it now, often you have to skip them, or have someone on demand. Don't get me wrong, most of the groups I've had have been brilliant, but it has been a long time since I was in a group that actually got anything done. I've been in a group for heroic missions which were in areas I hadn't unlocked, so they found someone to replace me when I was on my way there, but by the time I'd explored the areas, unlocked transports, picked up the missions, there's not too many people on the planet, let alone lfg.

And the reality is that a lot of the heroic missions as well as fp's/ops DO require someone to be a tank and healer. So to get the most out of the game while levelling up as well as end-game you need a group of friends where you have a tank/healer and dps.

If I'm in a group (especially when it's only me and them for 2 person content), if they don't talk I don't get upset - not everyone speaks English let alone as a first language. But when the community as a whole is silent, it's a little off-putting. Fleet is not filled with spam from guilds looking to recruit. It's like the game is filled with people who don't like the game, they don't enjoy it, not playing for fun and aren't in the mood to talk.

Honestly, don't let a few a-holes put you off. Bad players? Unless people start getting a lot more chatty and sociable in general, there is no hope of them improving. Interest in the game, mechanics, gameplay (like talents and abilities etc) and fun are contagious. But so is boredom, apathy and negativity.

GuerreEtoiles's Avatar

04.04.2012 , 05:47 PM | #10
Yes Fozziwig, I'm looking out for a guild to join. Although I didn't find one last night, I did meet someone who got me to break the ice with PvP, and I have to say that Hutt Ball was a riot!

Wow Darnu, thanks so much for taking the time to write such inciteful and well thought out comments. Everything you said has been born out by my experience thus far. As you noted, my biggest complaint about being solo is that I might miss out on some cool content. Still in all, the content I have experienced I've enjoyed very much. I especially like having to decide between the light and the dark in dialogue options, that is so totally Star Wars.

BTW all, this is my second MMO. My first was Star Trek Online. I loved that game for about two weeks, but by about the third week was completely bored with it. In any event I think Bioware did a much better job capturing the essence of Star Wars than Cryptic did with Star Trek. In fact I would say that SWTOR has provided me with the most immersive gaming experience since Elder Scrolls Oblivion.

Also, I say half joking and half serious that I'm the one who wanted to play the Sith, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that some of my fellow Sith are not always very nice people. With the Sith I feel like I'm working for a nightmare police state like the Third Reich.