February 1, 2012

It's already wearing thin.

So yea, here we are and it's February. EA is crowing about SWTOR, fanbois are raving, haters are declaring doom, and I am sitting here just shaking my head with a mild headache. Now, as I promised, I gave SWTOR a fair shake, but, now I think I am going to go ahead and say I've pretty much done it all. The game is WoW 2.0, and I am sure naysayers will come out of the wood work to defend it, but the whole game plays, feels, and pretty much acts like WoW. The whole talking thing was novel, and while the crowing of choice was always BioWare's forefront, it's not really there as any choice you make has no real impact on any of the 5% character story arcs you do, and has no impact on any of the world story arcs. And as Yahtzee just proclaimed, the whole morale choice system was complete bullshit anyways.

And the game is way too padded out to boot. In fact the padding is so over the top and unnecessary especially since BioWare has basically proclaimed that they are focusing all their forward efforts on the endgame. Now I applaud this, because basically anyone saying that endgame doesn't matter is full of more gas than a politician and any developer trying to make believe they aren't designing any future content with the mind set of their highest level and most powerful players in mind is lying out their ass or completely incompetent.

Now while I am sure there are people who will say they love SWTOR, and I can't tell them they are wrong, I don't really care for it anymore. It was fun at first but the reminder of WoW was pretty much everywhere for me, and considering that BioWare is even going so far as repeating Blizzard's exact mistakes in everything they do, I am just baffled at every turn by this. Needless to say, that's probably another influence in this whole process the fact BioWare has bafflingly made the exact same mistakes that companies before them have made. And they keep making them. And it puzzles me further because they have people working on this title that have been in this industry for over fifteen years.

Another thing that has actually hurt my enjoyment is the utter destruction of RP in this game. While people will try and defend it all they want, RP is utterly and hopelessly destroyed in SWTOR. The only thing you get to decide, albeit briefly, is your appearance, but even that becomes generic after sometime thanks to same weapons and armor your class has to wear. Your personality, your interests, and even the entire character voice and mannerisms are chosen for you. This is not role play. And anyone saying it helps boost their RP experience is in denial at this point because there is no way you can say that with a straight face. So in closing that, I guess we can call that atmosphere. There is none. The moon has more atmosphere than SWTOR at this point.

The planets all feel stock and generic, and it's all linear and forced. I mean you can feel how forced it is, the attempt at giving you a planetary choice at level X early on, but even then you are forced to go to the other planet just to continue your class story. So really, that went down to a fuck it moment as well from BioWare as there's no choice there either, at least if you really want to finish your class story, and your story pretty much follows the exact same path as all the other classes. So anytime I hear someone mention story and choice about this game I am left doing nothing but rolling my eyes with an audible, exasperated sigh, because quite frankly, that's a lie to.

I am sure that when some read this I am going to get a whole bunch of either tweets or maybe even one who posts something telling me how wrong or stupid I am for actually having an opinion that doesn't jive with the belief that BioWare is incapable of bad decisions or designs or just really not giving what they promised. Personally, I consider the Mass Effect series to be a vapid, inferior game experience in a vain attempt to try and create a legend they instead went the cheap route and let a leak out saying there was sex in their game to sell more copies because of the easily predictable nature of gaming nerds. And, like HALO, Mass Effect is held up as some sort of crown jewel of games, but I just find them to be average at best, and pretentious just being their normal.

So basically what it boils down to is I am bored already, I am tired of the gimmicks when I just want to play (turning movies off doesn't help) and I am just tired of not being able to just pick up the game and start doing something I want to do. A dungeon finder in this game would be worlds of an improvement. It doesn't even have to be cross server, but instead they opted for the scream in general till you get a few people willing to help. This is a step backwards on many fronts, and it's going to hurt the longevity. I know there are some, just because they are Star Wars fans, who love this game, but I was never saddled with that burden really. And while some will say that's sacrilegious or what have you, I just never thought Star Wars was the end all be all people put it as. It's a quaint story to me, but that's really all.

So, in the end this will probably be the last month I play TOR for the foreseeable future. It was fun while it lasted, but it's already grown old and stale in my eyes. I don't know where I will go, I'm still looking at The Secret World with casual interest and a wary eye, but I have some interest in it. And strangely enough, a lot of suggestions I made a while back ago, Cryptic seems to have gotten the message on and are looking to actually do the things I've suggested time again. I can only hope that means they woke up, but I can already hear the bitching and moaning of the weakest links already complaining that an MMO is being aimed at being a game for teams instead of just solo fap that fails hardcore.

So, that concludes this blog. I am sure some will probably seethe at what I described here, some may even agree or most won't care. Hehe. So, maybe another blog in a few days or so.

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