Revisiting Star Wars: The Old Republic, Part 1

After taking about a ten month break from Star Wars: The Old Republic I have decided to go back and give it another look. Sort of see how the game feels at this point sort of thing. One qualification is I haven’t resubbed, I am getting the experience of a preferred account (with the benefit of having about 2k cartel coins from when I was subbed but not actually playing.

First here’s some background on where I was with SWTOR in the past. I pretty much fell in love with the game during beta. I loved the storylines and really loved the dialogues. Leveling was a ton of fun, I did it with a friend (consular), my husband (trooper), and I played a Knight. We were really impressed with the quality of the story telling and how we could follow each other’s class storylines. There were tons of bugs, but as a brand new mmo we were sort of willing to let those slide, none were game breaking for us.

After reaching max level we realized the hard mode flashpoints were a bit over tuned for fresh 50’s and that we could get just as good of gear through PvP which would allow us to start raiding. Raiding was a ton of fun, and there were some different and interesting mechanics to learn. Of course once you learned them it was much easier, but that is true of pretty much everything. There were some frustrating bugs, but we tried to not let those get to us too much. We weren’t a super hardcore guild or anything, we did some hard modes but it was always more about seeing the content for us.

Then some content lag happened. And then after new Ops were added and they didn’t continue the gear progression and it became harder to get people to show-up for ops. They felt like once we did it once there wasn’t much point to keep working on things or to try on a harder setting, and they really weren’t wrong to feel like that. There was so much potential for SWTOR which just felt squandered after awhile.

What did it for me was the way the transition to free to play was handled. I went into it with very hopeful feelings and it just ended up feeling like the people who were in control were bitter about the need to transition. It is easily the most restrictive model out there, and I can’t help but wonder if that actually costs them money. It’s one of those things which we can never really know for sure. Either way the whole thing rubbed me wrong and I quit playing and canceled my sub.

Let me be clear on one point though. It isn’t a case of me not liking f2p models, I am actually a fan of well done f2p games. My issue was completely about how they were implementing restrictions and communicating with their fans. An example of this failure to communicate properly was in the midst of announcing all the restrictions they posted something saying people shouldn’t be upset about the restrictions because they had considered not letting f2p people skip dialogue. Which was intended as a “see it could have been worse” but really just served as a “see how much the people running the show are out of touch”.

I was mostly upset about things like having showing titles, unify colors, hide head slot, and quest rewards all behind pay walls. You might say unify colors and hide head slot are cosmetic so it shouldn’t matter if you have to pay for these things, but for me they are things which matter a lot. I like controlling how my characters look. The not being able to show titles is just inane. If you did the things required to obtain the title you should be able to show it. Same thing with quest rewards. You did the quest, why shouldn’t you have access to all the quest rewards?

So after many moments of facepalming and just being generally disappointed I called quits. However, now I have been wonder how the Imperial Agent storyline ends so I have decided to return and chronicle the experience as a preferred account here.

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