Multitudes of Smoke

The thoughtful ramblings of a space goat and his alts.

Why SWTOR Won’t “Kill” WOW

Posted by Smokimus on March 19, 2010

I’m an MMO noob, but I don’t believe that the Star Wars: The Old Republic will come at all close to meeting the projections the developers have laid out for it.

I like light sabers as much as the next person. I’m a Star Wars fan from the beginning. I saw it 8-9 times in the theater when it was released (1977) and I saw the next two movies 4-6 times each in the theater as well as had every action figure and vehicle that I could get my hands on. (Episodes IV – VI, were great.  Episodes I – III, blew in almost every conceivable way).  When I heard that there was going to be a Star Wars MMO, I instantly thought that that would be awesome (I didn’t know about Star Wars Galaxies and that is probably a good thing).  My opinion regarding this is changing drastically.

As I’ve said before, I’m new to WOW and MMOs in general (1.5 years), but there are clearly some things that WOW is doing very well, regardless of what the QQing trolls say.  You don’t have millions of people paying $15/month if you don’t.  Many of these things are going to be difficult for SWTOR to do in a manner that is sufficiently different from WOW to pull the player base away for any length of time.

One word may say it all – Variety.   In WOW there are 2 factions, 10 races, 10 classes with 3 specs each that can be put together in a multitude of ways.  Most players have multiple toons with different combinations of all of those variables.  Additionally, there are three very different roles that are available for group play: Tank, Heals, DPS.  SWTOR doesn’t seem to have near this amount of variation.  In fact, SWTOR seems to be very binary.  You are going to be a Jedi or a Sith.  I’m sorry.  I don’t believe that anyone is out there chomping at the bit to be a Bounty Hunter or any of the secondary classes that will be available.  You are going to play the Star Wars MMO to be a light saber wielding force using bad ass. (full stop) That is the appeal of the whole Star Wars universe.  This seems analogous to WOW if the only choice was being Horde or Alliance Death Knight and that would be very boring after making it through the starting zone on your first character.

I’m sure that SWTOR will have better graphics and better sound and some wonderful bells and whistles as compared to WOW.  However at the end of the day, what keeps people coming back is a variety of things to do and ways to play.  I believe that much of the QQ in WOW is the result of people feeling that the variety is diminishing and that everything is becoming too similar.  That may be the case. I’m not in a position to be able to judge that effectively. I do know that I have 11 different toons in WOW and not one of them seems the same as another one and any one of them could be my main.  I don’t think that is going to be possible in SWTOR, at least from what I’ve seen thus far.

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