[SWTOR] I find your lack of excitement disturbing

Slowly, slowly more information is being released about Bioware’s upcoming WoW-killer, Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Last week, EA held a press event in London to show off a new playable species, their plans for class customisation and talent trees, and the Bounty Hunter. The link above also includes links to various press reviews of the demo. Most of which are notable for a tone of polite interest masking a lack of any genuine excitement.

Maybe people don’t want or need to get excited about their games any more. Maybe the journalists are so jaded from seeing demos and hype that they’re wary of piling on the plaudits for yet another game that will fail to meet its beta promise.

The writeups politely agree that combat looks fun, the demo story looks fun, and regret that much of the rest of what they saw is still in flux. Eurogamer has taken deserved flak (check the comments) for their MMO reviews recently, but Jon Blyth, reviewing for Eurogamer this time around does ask about plans for more alien races and gets the entertaining answer:

When I ask about others, I’m given an entertainingly evasive answer that they’d only be using humanoid races because love scenes get weird with blobs.

Love scenes get weird with blobs. Someone actually sat down and thought about it then? Hold me Garrus, Bioware are starting to scare me.

Today, the SWTOR Friday update announces their Advanced Class System, aka talent trees. This is Spinks’ lack of excitement. I don’t understand why my character has to choose between being dps or being a tank. Obviously I want to switch depending on what mood I’m in that night and what my friends are doing; or maybe that’s not obvious to anyone except me.

All I can say is that this fourth story pillar had better be absolutely knockout. And the truth is, I’m still so enamoured of the storytelling from Dragon Age and Mass Effect that if they are able to produce a massive version with several months worth of story based content, it won’t really matter if the gameplay fails to excite.

11 thoughts on “[SWTOR] I find your lack of excitement disturbing

  1. My thought about SWTOR is that I fear it might ruin Bioware. I would rather have a dozen of Dragon Age: X games than a Star Wars MMO set in the Old Republic period.

    Because Star Wars is for me the Emperor, Darth Vader, Rebels, Stormtroopers and Han Solo.

    The Old Republic has the Sith and the Jedi – tons of players will play them for sure. This is like a comic superhero game set in a fantasy setting that somehow got transferred into a science fiction future. And I cannot stand one thing, comic superhero videogames and comic book movie adaptions. Note that I quite like Marvel Superheroes, but they simply infest cinemas nowadays.

    Are Boba Fett and Pre-Stormtroopers and Pre-Rebel-Troopers enough to entice me? I know several games that enticed me though I gave them next to no chance initially (Guild Wars, STO).

  2. I know what you mean. The Old Republic period is curiously banal to me. I was commenting to Syp via twitter yesterday that I’m never really convinced that it’s thousands of years before the film. I just think the universe and the people and factions and technology in it would change more in 3000 years.

  3. SWTOR has been stoking the hype machine for too long, too early, for a game that won’t release until sometime after fiscal 2011. They’re doing all the right things: the Holonet, the timelines, the cinematic trailer… but way, way too soon.

    I think people are just wearied of being excited about it, and that’s a dangerous place for a PR department to find themselves in IMO.

  4. It doesn’t help that it was hyped as being innovative, but the more we learn about it the more it looks like a WoW clone. Talent trees, holy role trinity, even hotkey-based combat. The worst is the reports that “pulls” of stormtroopers will look on as you kill their friends because you haven’t quite gotten into range to aggro them yet.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t need any more reskinned WoWs. I want something different.

  5. I generally do not follow any future game in detail; most of the time it is about mechanics in various forms and mechanics are not exciting as separate entities.

    If a game is good then its mechanics brought together will support playing the game and not get in the way. But that is typically not obvious until one has played the game a bit.

    So no reason to bother with this game for the next year or so.

  6. If I were them I’d just stop trickling information and let the hype build back up. In one sense it’s bad that Bioware is doing this because they are predictable otherwise with their combat and type of storytelling. To show even more predictable tank/dps talent tree behavior isn’t going to generate buzz.

  7. I think part of the issue is that what we’ve seen just hasn’t been that exciting or innovative, beyond the IP.

    What I suspect we’re going to end up with is a slightly action-ier, very solidly produced WoW, that might make WoW look a little dated. With star wars. Which isn’t a bad thing but it’s not going to set the world on fire.

  8. @longasc & Spinks
    Have you played the first old republic game? Like one of my friends said: This [period in sw, and game] proves just how awsome Star wars can get when that jarjar-binks loving George Lucas stays the hell away from it.

    Story-wise “star wars Knights of the old republic”, proved that the best bits about the star wars universe, where not set in the era of Darth vader.
    For the story, at least, my excitement is still very much intact.

    • I did play KOTOR and I liked it a lot. I just don’t buy that 3000 years of robotics technology separate HK-47 and C-3PO.

      If it had been set a couple of hundred years previous to the films, then no problem. I just see all the same star wars characters running around, with some political changes. Also playing resistance in an imperial run universe just sounds cooler than playing republic to me.

      I can’t really explain why but, the old republic just doesn’t reach out to me as a setting.

  9. I played wow since 04 and also DOAC. I played multible character on DOAC it was a pretty decent game …. wow was a blast I hear alot about mmo players complaining about leveling and things taking to long but thats pretty much the point of a good mmo why dont you play consol games for that??? WOTLK wow really has ruined the game in that sense you used to always have something to do in wow pretty much to grow learn and improve your character pvp was to limited in wow but it didnt matter the game was just fun in everyway after TBC I can barley play the game now its gone ppl say it will live on for a much longer but im not so sure… from what I have seen of SWTOR it has some aspects of wow in it and alot that wow doesnt have and what it has of wow it sure seems alot better so if they cloned it and made it better I dont think thats a bad thing lol….WoW really is a joke to date. first 3 years it was pretty good. SWTOR is toony but it looks good… wow is to toony and to realistic doesnt work …. I hope SWTOR takes along time to lvl fun in the process and has a good social aspect to the game like wow does I know 4 couples met and married in wow lol…. also lots of grouping pve and raids… it should have much better pvp then wow being its Star Wars< I dont even like Star wars but what I have seen so far I can say I might like this mmo and switch from wow wow sucks but its the best atm….

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