Saturday, 30 October 2010

What To Expect From TOR

Ok so lets start with what we know.

BioWare is by far the greatest RPG game producer to date. Games like Baldurs Gate, Neverwinter Nights, Mass Effect, Dragon Age and more noticeably in reference to TOR the makers of Knights Of The Old Republic. (1 not 2)
These are a few games that litter there great history. So saying BW is the greatest RPG games company out there is not a hard stretch.

So what they do well, is making very good in-depth role-playing games. This is what they are noted for. Not only given you a great playing experience, but pushing you as the hero, at the forefront of the game. The story is at the heart of there games, these take you on the roller-coaster ride that is just as important as the combat.

What they have not done is an MMO, but I will not hold this against them. As we know WOW was the 1st MMO of another game company, and look what happened to that.

Now we can focus on TOR knowing where BW as a company is coming from.
BW is bringing what they do best to the MMO market, Story.

What we can take as a given, is that the game play from start to max, will be the most in-depth and story driven experience ever to hit the MMO market.
The rich story, coupled with the fully voiced quest flash points, will be at the heart of the game. This aspect has been over shadowed in other MMO's to date, where the goal of of getting to the max level, is the gateway to the more enjoyable side of the game.
The leveling in TOR should be the most enjoyable leveling experience, that will be just as momentous of what we would expect from the endgame. May be even more so, as each class has his/her own story, that does not repeat across the other classes. Though players will be working along the same story's, but coming from a different prospective.

Also we can take it that the game will be highly polished, and almost bug free. BW takes pride in there work, and this has shown countless times in the past. With TOR being an MMO should not get them wavering from this fact. MMO fans are very unforgiving when it come to games. If it does not work when it starts (and works well) you may as well not launch.
The difference here is clear, you can buy a single player game and pick it up and set it down again. The company has done its job at this point and will do the odd patch to fix bugs but that money has come in. MMO's on the other hand depend on money coming in every month. Having a bad start, and you will see you total calculated earnings halved by the 2nd month. So getting this part wrong will cost you countless millions that you will never get back.

What we do not know yet. Is how the MMO side of things will turn out. Go over to the SWTOR forums and you will see wave after wave of speculation threads.
I can sure understand everyones frustrations here, as BW seem to be appeasing there already wide fan base. BW tend to focus on what they are known for Story. May be they are trying to hard to entice followers of there single player games, to part with a monthly sum that most would never consider from another developer. But I would dare say that the BW fan boys will at least buy the game no matter if its single or multi player. Thats the kind of respect BW has got over time.

Sadly this has in a lot of cases, alienated many of the dedicated MMO players out there. I count myself along side them. I will pick up a single player game maybe once at most twice per year. This will be a side line, to get away from the burnout of many an MMO. Playing as little as a few hours per weeks. These in my case, is just something with a different setting. A change is as good as a rest, as they say.

As a hardcore MMO gamer, I see this aspect as 1 of the deadly sins BW has done ever since they announced the game. Sure we have seen a flash point or 2, but this can not be classed as MMO footage. Everything we hold dear as MMO gamers has yet to see light.
With the launch day looming ever closer, BW has to start to be more open about the multi playing side of things, there are things we need to know. Yes there are things we need to know before the game comes out. This is not a whim or lust for a little more info, its just a fact.
I surely do not want to cram knowledge about crafting, PvP, skills, classes, guilds and 90% of the game a few days before it hits.

This is, after all, not a single player game, we can not save and do-over every single part. MMO games like the gamers are very unforgiving. 1 miss-placed stat or skill can easily ruin you hole game.

Really what I expect from BW and the MMO side of things is, the same thing we would expect from any other major player out there.
Sure things will be tweaked and changed around a bit. I also expect raids and most if not all end-game mechanics to have story entwined round them. I do not how ever, expect there to be anything that would stand out a revolutionary.
This will not be a game to reinvent the wheel. It will how ever make that wheel very shiny with spikes on to crush your enemy's.

The major problem with changing almost everything we have come to love over the years, can really bite you in the behind. Yes people want change, but also we want to have the comfort, and have this game to feel like an old friend. The old saying of "if it ain't broken don't fix it" rings true. Heck tweak and improve where possible, but do not do a total revamp.

End game is not the focus TOR is setting out for. This however does not mean it will not be fun, and it also does not mean we do not need to know what this entails.

All in all, we will see the best leveling game to enter the MMO market. The end game should be on par with the best out there. If BW has ever lost focus on the end game stuff like raids and crafting, they will be found out. There are no walls to hide behind when you are making an MMO.
I can see myself playing TOR for years to come. I'm first and foremost an MMO gamer, and secondly a Star Wars fan. I would just like to know how I will be spending 99% of my playing experience in the MMO world.

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