Home > Uncategorized > Free To Play, or Train Yourself To Let Go…

Free To Play, or Train Yourself To Let Go…

August 2, 2012

So, I was hoping to write an upbeat post for once.

I ended up biting the bullet and transferring Sullas to a destination silo on the 30th when it became clear that Bioware would do it for me by the end of summer. I was (and provisionally am) looking forward to reintegrating into the new community, returning to PvP, and making the best of the new situation.

Alas, after Harold Macmillan: events, dear boy, events.

I will readily admit that this is a disappointing development, probably for most of us who wish the game well and have developed a certain loyalty to it. It feels as though Bioware laid down its arms a bit too soon and fearfully, just as the game finally came into its own with tools like LFD, interface polish, numerous quality of life improvements that modern themepark players expect. Rated battlegrounds and the (stillborn?) story patch 1.4 never really got much of a chance to work their appeal. Surely, 900,000 subscribers amounted to some remaining fuel in the tank?

SW:TOR is the same game it was before this announcement, and it is still my opinion that it’s a very good game – with good mechanics, excellent levels of challenge available if you take a moment to find them, and the most immersive, epic storytelling in any MMO to date. However, it would be dishonest to argue on the grounds of superior taste. SW:TOR was designed for mass appeal. Its design did incorporate quite a few compromises to succeed in the Toyota way rather than the Bentley way. Succeed thus it evidently did not, although corporate mismanagement (referenced time and time again here at Soresu and elsewhere) rather than the core concept is to blame.

Cartel Coins are… so awfully tacky, though there is a certain dark humour to the conceptual link between EA and the Hutts. I do not really mind if people are allowed to buy Jawa pets, experience boosters, unique moddable outfits, coloured weapon crystals or whatever pleases them in the cash shop, i.e. if it works more or less like Lotro’s. I will begin looking askance at the system and indeed the game if it gets any more aggressive than that and encroaches upon in-game achievement. One test case will be the interaction of the cash shop with the Legacy and Valor systems, which at the moment present the player with several meaningful and worthy goals in the game.

Not a great week in TOR, but one tries to find inspiration to go forward from here. At least more people will get to experience the game, right?

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