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Star Wars: The Old Republic Adding Free-To-Play Option In November

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the couldn't-pay-me-to-play-hutt-ball-again dept.

Star Wars Prequels 135

EA and BioWare announced today that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be getting a free-to-play option later this year. Players using the F2P option will be able to reach the level cap and play through the full class stories, but their access will be limited for other parts of the game; they will only be able to play a certain number of Warzones (their PvP battlegrounds), Flashpoints (their instanced dungeons), and space missions each week. Access to travel functionality and the game's auction house will be limited as well. F2P players won't be able to participate in Operations, the end-game raids. Subscribers will retain access to all of these features. There will also be cosmetic items sold through the 'Cartel Market' using a virtual currency.

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Are people still playing this? (5, Interesting)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40834743)

I'm not being sarcastic, I really am curious. There was a HUGE amount of hype around the release (the usual "WoW killer" stuff that seems to accompany any major MMO release these days). Reviews seemed generally positive. Everyone was talking about it for a week or two after release. But then I stopped hearing anything about it. Don't think I've heard anyone mention it for a while. Considering this was supposed to be the game that finally fixed Sony's Galaxies [wikipedia.org] fiasco, I expected more enthusiasm.

I do like the free-to-play stuff, though. And this might lead me to try it out. I just hope they don't cripple it to the point where it's hard to get an idea of what the paid game looks like (like some MMO's do--some that have initials like "W.O.W.," maybe).

Re:Are people still playing this? (4, Informative)

angelasmark (856143) | more than 2 years ago | (#40834815)

Enthusiasm died off because there "endgame" is pretty bad. The class story lines were the best part of the game. Did not live up to hype. SWG was a better game in some regards.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836575)

Sorry, I know this is just announced, but wouldn't it be more newsworthy (and useful) to ignore this for now and report it in November when it is an actionable news item?

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40837591)

Sorry, I know this is just announced, but wouldn't it be more newsworthy (and useful) to ignore this for now and report it in November when it is an actionable news item?

You must be new here.

Re:Are people still playing this? (2)

Huggs (864763) | more than 2 years ago | (#40834857)

That would be because you bought into Blizz' marketing the WOW DEMO as actually being F2P...

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Huggs (864763) | more than 2 years ago | (#40834887)

And I guess in some respects it IS F2P... but it's not the full game so it's a half hearted version of F2P that doesn't really count in my book. All they did was remove the time restriction on their trial.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Mathias616 (2612957) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835313)

That would be because you bought into Blizz' marketing the WOW DEMO as actually being F2P...

Did you pay to play the wow demo? Then it would seem as though it WAS free to play, up to a level requirement, which was clearly posted everywhere when you download the demo.

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40835375)

The original WOW Demo was a few short-term experience, 10-30 days to try the game, then...nothing more.

The new option is indefinite.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Terrasque (796014) | more than 2 years ago | (#40834867)

From what I've heard, they front loaded the content a lot, so when endgame came it was nothing to do. It also had claustrophobic maps..

Most I have talked to agreed that it's nice game on the leveling, for the first characters. Almost like a single player game. But after that, no point continue playing.

Re:Are people still playing this? (2)

mrxak (727974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835435)

It was as single player game. They divided the world up so much that you never ran into anybody, even on the high population servers, unless you were at the main space station near a mailbox or trainer.

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40836151)

And then the game stutters so bad it is nearly unplayable. I dread the Fleet or the bigger stations.

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40837091)

I can play it on 56k. Only on the fleet and in 16man ops does the game stutter bad. Maybe you should turn the graphics off of Very High.

Re:Are people still playing this? (4, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835451)

Well my oldest was in the beta and subscribed to it for about 5 months afterward before quitting and he said by the time he quit it had become pretty badly unbalanced. He said the empire could just camp and slaughter the jedis at the spawn points. But other than that he said the same thing, front of the game was nice but once you got your character up there really wasn't much to do.

Kinda a shame, the Star Wars mythos has enough there you could build tons of new stories out of it but I just can't believe they spent a couple of hundred million on an MMO and thought they could take on WoW. With WoW its got network effect, where many i know play it because that's where their friends are, so trying to compete with that is kinda stupid. Its like FB in that it won't go down until they seriously fuck it up, just like how MySpace got greedy and turned it into a giant ad ridden spam dump and ran everyone off. As long as they keep adding new content WoW will have the big numbers although the F2P games do seem to be slowly lowering their stats but not by much.

With those MMOs they are such time sinks that people rarely play more than one at a time and I just can't see enough Star Wars nerds willing to shell out a monthly fee to make up a 200 million dollar development budget.

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40836247)

The factions are exact mirror images of each other, as far as classes and abilities go. The main "unbalancing" factor seems to be that 2-3 times as many players play one faction than the other, but at least one of the PvP zones allows same faction opponents to make up for it.

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40838125)

Perhaps the free-to-play model will overcome the networking obstacle.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835955)

Sounds like Diablo III. Guess I can skip this one too until Guild Wars 2 comes out.

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40837137)

I know people who left Diablo III and came to SWTOR. SWTOR has less of a grind to get what you need to do end game. End game content on SWTOR does take a long time to get past. Perfict luck takes 8 weeks to get geared for the Hardest OP. The Hardest OP is the only way to get the highest grade gear (for PvE). PvP gear best is easy to get, but the ranking gear does not come out till the start of the next season.

Re:Are people still playing this? (2, Interesting)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40834871)

The combat was not fun at all. Very clunky and missing the Blizzard polish. Mechanically, no one can beat Blizz. The depth they put in their controls is really outstanding and often over looked. Playing a wow character is like playing an instrument in some cases.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835317)

Ultima Online is still far superior.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835803)

I will Corp Por you in the face!

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836197)

All Kill.

(no skill)

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Ocker3 (1232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836109)

I was just about to join a player-run UO shard based locally, and then they shuttered in prep for GW2 :(

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836193)

Nany-ass babies.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835459)

Yup. Very clunky, I noticed that in beta, and it never changed in the release game. PvP was just annoying.

Also when are people going to understand that macros and interface add-ons are rather important?

Re:Are people still playing this? (3, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836041)

I wish more game studios saw and understood this. There's too many games out there that feel like they should be fun but suffer in some way by control and by association, character animation. Movement in wow is precise. The character goes when you want it to, stops when you want it to, and manages to do it while looking good, as opposed to just swapping animations which is what a lot of games still do. It's also rather jarring when you play a game where a character is moving but his feet animate either too fast or too slow for the speed they're actually going and the character slides across the ground. It's one of those touches that I see often overlooked in games, but it seems so obvious when you consider it's the most common action you will ever see as a player.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40837089)

Good point. It's one of the main reasons Mario worked so well. The walking/running/jumping was tweaked for a very long time until it was perfect.

Re:Are people still playing this? (3, Interesting)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40837325)

" It's one of those touches that I see often overlooked in games..."

And it shouldn't be. Game designers should be taking "The Uncanny Valley" into account when working on such things as animations, facial expressions and such.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uncanny_valley [wikipedia.org]

I think the focus is more on fluidity then accuracy. I honestly don't understand why motion-capture isn't used more often then it is. Maybe someone can explain why it isn't used in 3d modeling (based on the animations I've seen in games so far), but is used often in motion picture CG. Seems to me that technology could be applied, but perhaps I am unaware of a crucial limitation inherent to 3D modeling--I don't do it for a living.

Speaking of "The Uncanny Valley", does anyone besides me think that people that have had a lot of cosmetic surgery are back-sliding into that Valley? Some of that shit is getting a little creepy. Michael Jackson is the first thing I think of when I hear the words "uncanny valley".

Re:Are people still playing this? (2)

24-bit Voxel (672674) | more than 2 years ago | (#40837665)

The problem with stopmo is that you need multiple people to pull it off.

First, the stop mo equipment is about $60k right now for the good stuff, but it is coming down.

So you spend 60K, and hire an actor to do the motions, then hire a technical guy to capture the data, then hire an animator to clean up the key frame data because it's too big.

Now what's the one thing an animator doesn't want to do? That's right, fix up somebody else's shit. So they don't, most animators *hate* stop mo, and rightly so as it's basically taking food out of their mouths.

So you're looking at about $70k for doing some basic stop mo, and it probably wouldn't have taken nearly as long or much to do it by hand.

As to why things don't sync up? Well, blame marketing. They outsourced all the asset creation, and than at the last minute made the character go slower so the game took longer. I assure you, when the animator did the original animation, it was perfect. Either marketing/management, or the game engine itself fucked it all up.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836955)

Bah. It'd be tough to go back to either after playing Tera's combat system in a while. Tera had an awesome combat system and beautiful graphics. Too bad about the writing. If you could get Tera's combat system, SWTOR's leveling quests and WoW's endgame in one place, well that'd probably be the be-all and end-all of MMOs.

Re:Are people still playing this? (2)

yodleboy (982200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40837577)

This is a good point. These new MMO's seem to be so dead set on being NOT WOW that they end up making mistakes Blizzard made years ago. If nothing else, WoW can show them what NOT to do, ever. No one expects 7 years of content like WoW at release. What's disappointing with most other MMO's is you've got 7 years of WoW to study, 7 years of failed WoW killers to study and they STILL can't get mechanics, interfaces and quality of life items right.

It's not like they are being tasked with inventing the MMO genre from scratch. It's really a pretty well defined game type. Imagine if someone said they were building the latest wonder car and then proceeded to ignore the last 30 years or so of automotive history. Recipe for failure.

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40838883)

Unfortunately, it seems that learning from other people's mistakes in the computer games industry is extremely hard to do... (Blizzard do seem to learn from their own 'mistakes' however - (which is why Diablo III wound up the way it did, and I saw the signs for that from miles off).

I mean, I remember complaining about things in the Original SWG, Anarchy Online, WoW and other games, that hadn't been learned from Everquest (1) - and things which had been taken into account by individual games, that then disappeared completely...

Of course, since everyone is merely trying to make a WoW clone without fully understanding that cloning it isn't enough, and not fully understanding how to improve on it to make it a better game, (rather than merely a different game) - we're not really getting that far, though it has to be said that narrative wise, TOR is a step forward - it's just that narrative != game.

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/DarrenTomlyn/20110311/6174/Contents_NEW.php

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 2 years ago | (#40834917)

I'm not being sarcastic, I really am curious. There was a HUGE amount of hype around the release (the usual "WoW killer" stuff that seems to accompany any major MMO release these days). Reviews seemed generally positive. Everyone was talking about it for a week or two after release. But then I stopped hearing anything about it. Don't think I've heard anyone mention it for a while. Considering this was supposed to be the game that finally fixed Sony's Galaxies [wikipedia.org] fiasco, I expected more enthusiasm.

I do like the free-to-play stuff, though. And this might lead me to try it out. I just hope they don't cripple it to the point where it's hard to get an idea of what the paid game looks like (like some MMO's do--some that have initials like "W.O.W.," maybe).

It started having a Free Trial and I checked it out, and I don't understand what is special about it. It's sort of boring and it has way the fuck too many cutscenes. Nothing takes you out of a MMORPG like prerendered cutscenes.

Not really that fun, 4 different classes that are lame.

Some are but not many (4, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835019)

Hence the whole "free to play" thing, they are trying to salvage it.

There were multiple problems with it, but the big one is a lack of endgame. It was basically an online single player game. The questing was pretty good, and the story was way better than your normal MMO. However then you hit the top level and there was fuck-all to do. PvP was very bad, dungeons were poorly done and finding groups was problematic, there was just little reason to keep playing.

I bought it and enjoyed leveling, I'm not sorry I spent the money on it I was entertained. However there was nothing worth staying around for. Hence it has been dying off. Well that is particularly problematic to EA given how incredibly much was spent making it.

Re:Are people still playing this? (5, Informative)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835087)

The end game is an was terrible. Bad balance between professions and loot drops. Bizarre itemization and gearing requirements as you move past the first tier of raiding. Buggy content (floors not spawning, interactive objects not working properly). Dailies take an excruciatingly long time to do not because the dailies themselves are bad, but because there are so many load screens etc.

Then the population started dropping and the game became a shell. They've moved just about everyone onto about 10 or 12 mega servers, which is actually a good idea, generally, but they implemented it poorly.

The game has a series of hard DPS checks, which is fine, but then it didn't provide tools to asses dps. Problems like that basically plague the game. You can't ask players to reach a benchmark they can't see, or understand (gearing is especially guilty of this). And the game performs badly on loading, which by itself is forgivable, except they didn't design the game to be bad at loading, (which would mean doing things like giving players free teleports to group or the like) they just... expected you to put up with it.

It's interesting how much the 'convenience' stuff in WoW matters. Having a calendar, so you knew who was going to show up to a raid in game was a whole lot better than trying to use and outside tool. Being able to summon everyone in the group to a summoning stone, again huge improvement. WoW didn't start with those things, but they make a huge difference to how much time you can spend actually playing the game versus how much time you spend getting to the content. I think the difference is that as WoW has evolved the people who make the game want time to be able to both play the game, and have jobs and lives at the same time - so they've molded the game into something they can actually approach as adults. SWTOR didn't get that initially, and to some degree still doesn't. So it's not approachable.

Making a game accessible doesn't necessarily mean making it easy. Hard mode Ragnaros was a fucking hard boss (in Firelands not molten core), and I never did manage to kill him with my group. But I didn't have to spend 15 minutes running between 3 or 4 loading screens to get to him. And Rag is a long run back by modern WoW standards.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

crazyjj (2598719) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835209)

Wow, excellent post. Thanks!

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40835525)

They are gradually fixing it. There is a flashpoint finder now and they are adding more raids and fixing bugs. Just it will take a long time for it to have as much as WOW.

Another obnoxious thing is I noticed if you are a dark side jedi you can't do dailies and get the same tokens. That is fucked up.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836339)

seriously? That's messed up.

I only ever seriously played empire, and I had a light side and dark side character and didn't have that problem.

Re:Are people still playing this? (3, Informative)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836061)

The one thing WoW did best was make themselves mod-friendly.

Most of the little 'convenience' stuff wasn't originally a part of wow. The Calender, a much-improved Auction House interface, the ability to switch between specific gear-sets, the more intuitive quest interface, even the clock under the map,.** Originally provided by 3rd party tools because Blizzard didn't have them. The key is that Blizzard embraced that functionality. When you install the game, there is a folder called "AddOns" by default. And not only do they allow such additions, butthey take the good ones and run with it, including them as full-fledged features. Now, instead of having to download all those, and hoping that my clock addon is compatible with my yours, or manually adding each calendar item, we all get the standard clock, and can easily pass appointments between each other.

** There are a TON more, but I've been clean and WoW-free for just over a year now (after being a serious raider for many years prior) so you'll forgive if I don't recall every add-on that graduated into Feature status, or what was added when.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836453)

Certainly true. Although I can see an argument for having an MMO without mods precisely because requiring mods to play significantly changes the game as time goes on, and is a barrier to entry for some people for whom the mods become more confusing than helpful. Think AVR, or even deadly boss mods. Mods can reduce the game to responding to little bars on the screen, and there's probably a legitimate case to have a game that doesn't even offer that. Unfortunately your designers have to understand that, and design the game assuming you don't have all of those little timers and so on.

Which I think is the root of everything wrong with SWTOR. The people in charge of *design* (not the underlying technology, although that has some issues too) never understood what the playerbase was going to be, or how it was to spend its time. The "Ancient Pylons" encounter on hard mode was maddening because had to solve a trivial puzzle in two places (two groups one goes north, one goes south) in a specific order on hard mode. But it never told you anywhere that this was a new mechanic for hard mode or that you needed to solve it this way, or if it was just a bug. And there was no indication why it failed when it didn't work.

Games are a series of interesting choices, and solving problems, in an MMO that's solving problems collectively of course, but you can't give someone a choice or a problem without telling them what the choice actually is, or the what the problem they're trying to solve is. And then you can't make it inconvenient to get to the problems that you do have.

Now days I think most of us who play MMO's don't want to be stuck there 3 hours a day, I'd be happy to log in a couple of days a week even 10 hours a week for a semi serious player and 5 or 6 for a casual could be enough. But there has to be something there for me to do, that I can actually get effective use of my 1 hour today, and not spend 15 minutes on load screens, and some indication that I'm actually getting somewhere. Credit where credit is due to diablo III, within 30 seconds of the game being fully loaded you can be fighting *something*. And that game doesn't have mods - there's a place for elegant simplicity, but then you need to tell the player everything they need to know with the default UI.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836361)

If I'm understanding you correctly ...

Summary: Blizzard has raised the bar so high with essential MMOs features that everybody else just half-asses it and wonders why the players aren't there ...

WOW while having a good UI, is a bad MMO; every one else is significantly worse in both fronts. :-(

Re:Are people still playing this? (2)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836963)

I'm not sure WoW is a bad MMO. But it does suffer from feature bloat, multiple raid sizes for the same content is stupid, there's too much emphasis on the 'world first' community etc.

There are a lot of things I could improve with WoW, but they have a decent product, unfortunately it's starting to suffer all of the problems any software project does after so long: Feature creep, a growth in complexity that is beyond a lot of new users, trying to contrive a reason for their existence. It's not that, for example, Pandas are particularly good or bad by themselves, it's that they seem like blizzard is really reaching to justify pandas in WoW. I think they ran out of their own story, and like an 30 minute interview in an hour long time slot, they now have to fill time. It can still be fun, but man, pet battles? With SWTOR you can clearly see where they could improve for years in the future, more space game, pod racing etc. etc. etc. And yet I'd expect them to screw up the attempt.

You have to keep in mind, WoW is basically a 3rd generation product in the MMO business (at least graphical MMO). UO had too much pvp and was a bit too hardcore, although still going strong with 100k subs apparently. EQ came along and showed how PVE could really do well, but it was mostly aimed at kids and housewives because the time commitment required was too much. Blizzard took that niche product and said "how can I play WoW *and* keep my job and get my kids to school" and it took them a while to get there, but it meets that basically evolution well. BioWare *thought* (wrongly) that the next step in the process was to add a fleshed out story with voice acting. I'm not really sure where they got the idea that was what was wrong with the business. But they did. And it's cost them hundreds of millions of dollars to have guessed that seriously wrong.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Mathias616 (2612957) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835199)

I believe the majority of the people that have stuck with the game are huge fans of the Star Wars franchise. Most everyone else has left the game because, well, it is bad. The game does not stand on its own and if you are not a Star Wars fanboy then the negatives do not outweigh the positives. The only really great thing I continuously hear about the game is its story. However, I have played the game and was immensely bored by the story. So, again, it seems as though only those that are real fans of Star Wars enjoy this game. The mechanics and gameplay remind me a lot of how Vanguard: Saga of Heroes felt. Bad.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835443)

I am.

SWTOR is fixing many issues and has locked most of its low pop realms and added a flashpoint funder aka dungeon finder. In higher pop realms it is much better. I do not want to go back to Wow at all and think SWTOR has great potential. It is just new and half the people left because it was not as mature as WOW on opening day is silly.

You should try it again? You can get a free account where you can play up to level 15 and you will e thrown only in a high pop realm by default now. They are adding more heroics too gradually. I love it and the storyline and the companion parts so much more than Wow and pray it doesn't die.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835885)

It's not that TOR wasn't mature on launch. It simply lacked polish and things to do after capping out. It's DCU all over again, and BioWare simply didn't think that far ahead. The first 6 months are a sign of how well an MMO will do, and TOR did badly. Very badly.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835903)

It beat all others but Wow. It did fairly well and attracted almost 2 million subscribers. GW and Warhammer did not even get close. They are fixing it now and my guess is the next expansion will greatly improve this. They already added 2 heroics in the past few months and with higher pop realms and a flashpoint finder it will approach wow.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Sable Drakon (831800) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835979)

Sure, it got 2 million players, then proceeded to loose somewhere between 400,000 to 1 million subscribers by this point in it's history. They should have held it back and took into account what beta testers like myself were trying to get through to the developers. People capped out, saw the endgame, and got bored. Or dealt with how wonky gearing is and left. Or tried at PVP and quit from how broken portions of it are. All of this could have been avoided and TOR would still have a viable playerbase. But let's face it, for this game to go free is a last gasp at remaining solvent and relevant in the MMO community.

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40837209)

WOW sucked the first 6 months. Quest that was NEVER tested to see if they worked at launch, ground bugs that killed you randomly. Really bad logging times. Right now every Tuesdays WOW is hell trying to log on. Major SWTOR (1.2, 1.3) updates don't keep you waiting hours to logon.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

z3d4r (598419) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836875)

I am.

... I do not want to go back to Wow at all and think SWTOR has great potential...

SW:ToR had great potential during the betas. what it has now is lost subscriptions.
Bioware did not understand MMOs when it made this game. It was made like a single player RPG. Once you reached the level cap, there is nothing to keep the player interested. Even the recent legacy system showed this by encouraging players to level new characters, giving rewards for leveling every class of every race of both factions.

When i canceled my sub, there was the ussual questionaire asking for feedback. After this is done, it suggests leveling alts as the solution to whatever the players problems are. I didnt unsub alone, those who unsubbed with me all recieved the same suggestion, regardless of feedback provided.

After playing a few MMOs and watching all of them slowly die, i would offer this advice to any future MMO developers: Have as much endgame content as possible BEFORE launching. Dont wait for 3/6/9 months down the track to add the endgame content as "expansions". Also, dont ignore PvP. MMOs are about PLAYERS interacting with OTHER PLAYERS. The content is the means of that interaction. One of the most popular ways players like to interact with eachother is by attacking and killing eachother. If your PvP is poor, your game is doomed.

GW2 is kinda appealing, as filler until something else comes along.
But i'm more looking forward to the Neverwinter MMO later this year that features a toolset for players to create their own content.

Re:Are people still playing this? (5, Interesting)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835563)

It was an embarrassment to EA to say the least. They lost over 50% of their subscription base within 90 days actually surpassing the industry's worst launch\retention Warhammer. It was a single player game with an MMO bolted on and after everyone beat it in 30 days. less then 1/2 people bothered to subscribe.

Think of this as a resturant: 50% of the customers didn't like the food enough to come back. Doesn't sound good. Prior to Warhammer, retention at 90 days was about 80% by estimate with players usually averaging 6 months before attrition. The problem is with the market saturation the demographic changed when WoW came into the picture. The Old School MMO players (pre-WoW players) had a much longer attention span in regards to rewards. The pacing, the very core was a longer experience. A novel. WoW came along and transformed that experience into a Short Story. Both enjoyable in their own right, but with the advent of the Theme Park and Sandbox styles (rather then the Virtual World model of Everquest in contrast to say WoW or Eve respectively) and the addition of a structured tread mill. The demands to engage this new demographic are not, IMHO, sustainable via a subscription model.

The problem with F2P is without safeguards, every troll douche and his inbred cousin can just script up and troll, ban, repeat. F2P is a recovery and long tail approach to MMOs and I see the industry needs to change.

MMOs should be more like muds and Counter Strike servers. More intimate, targeting 200-300 people a shard and allowing people to "roll-their-own" shards much like a counter strike server. Transform the MMO industry into a hosting industry where a few of you "Roll-Your-Own" and throw in what mods you want then invite people. Open it public, set a level cap, or an age limit, customize some rules, or make it invite only. Oddly I am seeing an uptick in Muds once again courtesy of CoffeeMud and newer Diku\Merc\Rom derivatives. Maybe a second golden age of MMOs is coming, perhaps the MMO will die and the GMUD will be revived. Who knows.

What I can say is that the original demographic of EQ players are as a majority, parents (statistically, they should all now mostly be about 35 years old) and the time commitment for old school MMOs (you know Virtual Worlds rather then Theme Park\Sandbox MMOs) means devs are left with the ADHD FPS converts that can't stand waiting more then 4 seconds before something spawns.

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40837249)

As has been pointed out, they counted people who had been in beta, and people who only used the free mounth as "subscribes". The number of people who paid for an subscribes is not fall by 50%.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

steppin_razor_LA (236684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835727)

Things were looking pretty bad for a while. They had a large number of low pop servers and it really made it feel like you were playing a single player game with a subscription model.

A few months ago they began consolidating servers and it had a significant (beneficial) result in the game. Between that and the implementation of "Group Finder" features, the result is that you have access to a lot more players to do content with which makes for a much nicer levelling and end-game experience.

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40835739)

It was shit. Hugely buggy on release, continued to be buggy after major patching, and has immensely sub-par completely unbalanced pvp.

The only way they could get new people to play this awful game is to give it away.

Re:Are people still playing this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40835809)

Are people still playing MMOs?
Seriously, are you all fucking retarded?

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40836277)

I wouldn't mind playing the free/demo version of the game. I just need a new computer to play it. lol I can't wait for Electronic Arts and BioWare to tell us what species the free accounts can play.

Re:Are people still playing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40836965)

Jeebus, the haters here. The game is fantastic for someone that can only put ~10 hrs/week into an online game. After getting bored with WoW as Cata stagnated, and playing D3 for a week and going "meh", I am *really* comfortable in swtor, far more than I thought I would be. The main annoying points are that the cut scenes when you communicate during flashpoints stay the same length, rarely do you get people in group that space through it. Your 25 minute FP becomes 35-40 minutes, just for the cut scenes.

I have one char at 50 with just enough gear to tank early HMs, and am having great fun going through again with two more chars, one on each side about level 25 now.

I can see why for the 60hr/week club, it's not quite their cup of tea. But, jeebus, how on *earth* do you find the time?

My WoW server is a complete ghost town right now btw. Gold Farmers and people that just absolutely have to have that last pet. Find something you enjoy playing, and play it while you enjoy it, and don't listen to the 60hr/week crazies that, when slighted in even the most minor way, immediately turn the full force of their 60hr/week leisure time into driving the internet against whatever slighted them in some minor way. It's ludicrous. Stop celebrating the trolls.

And while you're at it, crazies, get off my lawn.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

Cinder6 (894572) | more than 2 years ago | (#40837105)

I'm actually nearing the end of my free month (picked it up at Gamestop for $20; now it's actually just free to play for a month without retail purchase). I have really enjoyed the game, but now that I've hit 40 (level cap 50), I've started to become a bit bored. The class quests are still fun, but I'm finding myself with a lack of interest for whatever reason.

I'd say it's worth checking out. As a F2P game, I'll continue playing it but not paying for it. I don't do many Flashpoints and have little interest at the moment to do Operations. It does a lot of things better than WoW, and some things worse than WoW. As for the number of players...my first server was a ghost town, and BioWare is encouraging users to transfer to higher population servers. On my current server, there are a lot of active players.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

yodleboy (982200) | more than 2 years ago | (#40837499)

i wanted to play. Didn't get in the beta, and when it was released, there was no free trial. Even a couple of days would have been enough. I've got room in my schedule for ONE MMO, and I will not pay full retail on the unlikely chance it's going to replace WoW. Later on I believe they had trials, first where you could get invited by a friend, and now I THINK they have a free trial. Too bad. At this point after reading complaints and all the missed opportunities I think I'll pass.

Re:Are people still playing this? (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40838131)

My son and I just started playing this. We played for a weekend during one of their freebies. We're bored waiting for the WoW expansion. This lets us fill a few hours a day. It's fun. We like the different combat. I like the class stories. But I can tell that once I hit level 50, I've got zero interest in the game.

Of course, once I hit 90 in Wow, I likely won't have any interest.

Dear Bioware (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40834829)

I didn't want yet another free-to-play mmo. Lord knows there are enough of those. I (and many others) just wanted KOTOR 3. Now that your little mmo has jumped the shark, can we haz?

Re:Dear Bioware (3, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40834875)

That's what I came to say. Add a single player scenario, playable offline, and you'll get my money. Don't, and you won't. Simple as that.

Re:Dear Bioware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40834919)

Who would be their hero, Bastila's and Revan's child?

Re:Dear Bioware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40835127)

It always surprised me that they went with a PC-only MMO, considering KOTOR 1 and 2 had most of their sales on consoles. As a console gamer, I felt kind of betrayed by this and so am not particularly sympathetic if their MMO fails. All most of us ever wanted was KOTOR 3. Instead they went with another WoW-clone money-grab and left the console gamers out in the cold

Re:Dear Bioware (2)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836813)

I'm thinking that after all the money they sank into this that KOTOR is dead.

Re:Dear Bioware (1)

aekafan (1690920) | more than 2 years ago | (#40837533)

After all the money EA sank into this game, and since Biowares top programming and writing talent have left for better things, Bioware is essentially dead. It pains me to say, but I don't ever expect a good game from them again. Hopefully the former designers will show up somewhere though

Who else saw this coming? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40834831)

Too many servers when they went live kind of ruined the game. Now they are consolidating and offering free realm transfers. It's a good game, and probably would have went places... but I'm playing it now and just not feeling it.

I tried it.... (1)

Immostlyharmless (1311531) | more than 2 years ago | (#40834847)

I just wasn't impressed. I liked the voice acting, the 'universe' was alright. I just found the character development to be a bit lacking, the 'cities' to be stretched out solely for the sake of being stretched out and the architecture to be..well...boring. Cityscapes were boxes upon boxes upon boxes. Would I play it again for free with limited access...mebbe. Would I pay for it again if I got access to everything? Sure..for 5 bucks a month.

The problem with all of these subscription based MMOs is that everyone wants you to fork over 50-60 bucks and then pay 15 bucks a month for a subscription. That's just greed. Just because it worked for WoW does not mean that it needs to be the price point for every MMO ever made. If it had only been 5 bucks a month, I'd probably still be playing it, despite some of its flaws. I might have even gotten farther into it...*shrugs*. At 5 bucks a month, I'd probably still play WoW too. 15 bucks a month isn't really a lot of money, until you consider you might want to play 3 of them, with a family of 3 or 4.

WoW killer eh? (1)

dc29A (636871) | more than 2 years ago | (#40834901)

Wasn't it hyped as the WoW killer?

Re:WoW killer eh? (1)

jb11 (2683015) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835039)

Yes, just like every other game that was hyped as the WoW killer. Yet none have succeeded.

Re:WoW killer eh? (2)

Grygus (1143095) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835603)

Barring some completely new innovative MMO, there is only one game that can kill WoW, and that is WoW. It made a fine attempt around the release of Cataclysm and lost a lot of people, but then righted itself in time. Could still happen, but it won't be "WoW done better," it'll be "WoW got worse."

Re:WoW killer eh? (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#40837093)

They're always hyped as a WoW killer. What was that last one, world of warhammer online or something? Everyone was like "Oh yeah that's killing WoW! I'm leaving and never coming back!" Then two weeks later they'd come skulking back. WoW's strength isn't so much the content they've amassed over the years, or the end game, or the PvP, but rather an easy social settings in which to make and hang out with friends. It's easy to make friends in WoW, and work toward common goals.

So, exploring this hypothesis, if you played both, consider your guild activities in both games. Did you join a leveling guild early on in SWTOR? How active were they? Did you do the same sorts of things you did in your WoW guilds? How long did you stay in both games? I suspect that most people will see some correlation. The difference is that guild activity in SWTOR will die down as the game becomes a big ghost town, and all those people go back to WoW and boost the guilds there.

This could have some chance of success (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40834903)

The class stories are actually pretty good. The game is pretty solid in many ways. I feel the main problem was also one that plagued Star Trek Online - people were coming from WoW with a hardcore mentality and grinded through the game in weeks. I was level 50 in a month. At that point there's simply not enough varied content.

If it goes F2P you will have a lot of people who play through the class stories more slowly and rack up months in the game in that way, and might stay for that reason.

Re:This could have some chance of success (1)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835149)

It only takes about 80 hours to level. Maybe 100 your first time through. If you do all of the group quests you'll hit 50 in the same 80-100 hours but have more leftovers to do at level cap.

But bioware worked very hard on the first 100-200 hours of gameplay. They completely under delivered on the next 800-1800, which is what you do with a leveled character before the next expansion. They had some content, but it was just inconvenient to get to, required you know things they didn't tell you (and it wasn't always clear what was intentional or not), and full of too many load screens and a lot of 'active travel' where you have to pay attention to getting your character from wherever it is to wherever it needs to be to actually play the game.

My Son Loves the Game (1)

YokimaSun (930294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40834961)

My son loves the game but no way am i paying the price they want for it, bloody extortionate in this day and age

Re:My Son Loves the Game (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835137)

Free is too expensive?

Re:My Son Loves the Game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40835253)

Free? More like trial/shareware/preview than a supposedly misadvertise "free to play" game.

This game is better now, surprisingly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40835011)

The only thing that the game really stood out for before is the "lore" of the game, which was and continues to be pretty intense. They reduced the amount of servers people can select and also added "channels" for each world. That way, you're not the only one on a planet but rather with like a hundred or two other people. This is so much better for questing if you didn't quest on your own.

They have added a few expansion packs and will add even more before the end of the year. I believe space combat is supposed to be more like star fox and there will be a lot of changes too, I think with the addition of multiplayer if I remember correctly. When you pass level 50, it gets even more fun now but you'll need to be a part of a guild to take advantage of the level 50+ stuff. There's been a lot of changes and some fixes to the classes, new classes and so on...

I don't like to support EA and cancelled my account months ago, but when I tried it again a few weeks ago, it was pretty good. Good luck with their customer support, they all seem to hate you for some reason, at least that's how they sound like when they talk to me.

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40835027)

Waited 4 years for this game and played a total of 2 months before realizing what a pile of turd it was.

Thank you BioWare and especially EA for this lesson in corporate game design gone bad.

"Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
  Enwrought with golden and silver light,
  The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
  Of night and light and the half light,
  I would spread the cloths under your feet:
  But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
  I have spread my dreams under your feet;
  Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."

-Yeats

It is a reaction to mass-exodus (4, Interesting)

AlienSexist (686923) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835179)

I've played SWTOR for a while. It is a pretty game and does a great job immersing you into the Star Wars universe. If you're really into story, the problem becomes that it really does feel like the most expensive single-player game you'll ever play. It is as if other players only exist to chat and trade with. It is very easy max out a character of each class to burn out the story lines, then there is nothing to do but grind away endgame gear for PVE or PVP. That is my biggest complaint is that levels 1..49 go by rather quickly (so quickly that it is barely worthwhile to equip properly) and all that is left is to grind and raid for prettier shineys.

The PVP Warzones were really neat and quite frankly the best PVP activity I've yet seen in an MMO. However there is presently a rash of cheating going on that BioWare is having difficulty combating.

The entertainment value wasn't worth the subscription price and naturally players have been leaving in droves. This exodus was exacerbated by the fact that BioWare did not have a tool to help find groups after 7 months of going live! Whereas most MMOs start with one nowadays. To make matters worse server populations were crashing and it took BioWare a considerable time to effect character transfers. The first waves of consolidation did breath new life into the game temporarily... but even those servers are in decline now.

There was some press release or statement from BioWare a number of weeks back that described subscription levels. At launch there were something like 1.5 million and in recent months had dropped to like 700k or so. 400k was stated as the minimum to retain profitability. Since then, I imagine, subscriptions continued to plummet and now they are offering F2P. Some might consider that desperation but in fairness I'd say that the true market value of the game is being established.

If you like Star Wars it really is worth a look. The F2P offering may actually be very attractive for Story players.

Re:It is a reaction to mass-exodus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40836201)

I call bullshit on the PVP assessment....SWTOR PVP was total crap...it was choppy as shit and the classes weren't weighted correctly. How the hell are you gonna have a fucking healer dps the shit outta stuff and never fucking die even w/ 3-4 people on him? OTOH, WoW's PVP is fucking awesome even if the horde are retards sometimes...

Re:It is a reaction to mass-exodus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40836621)

Ok you are a complete fucking moron. Wow's pvp is awesome? It has sucked cock since fucking burning crusade and has become worse steadily ever since.

DAoC (1)

dammy (131759) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835227)

Wish EA/BioWare-Mythic would do the same for the 11 year old DAoC.

Same points of failure most "WOW" killers have (3, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835265)

that being, no real diversity in where you level. It was worse in Star Wars. You could not even start a new character with a friend and play together unless you both chose the same type character, force user or non force user. Afterward you could meet up but then that is where the problem surfaces.

TL;DR - Game was release three patches too early and seemed to excel in having every bad feature WOW discarded, if not all games discarded. As if their design document was completed ten years ago and never changed.

Beyond the two starting worlds all progression through levels is always the same worlds, the same quests except for class specific quests. However the absolute worst part was the punitive travel. Oh I mean overly convoluted maps; especially palaces; where you had to run mostly empty areas around and around to meet a quest giver/target locked in the end of some crazed maze. For a game that provided you a star ship by level 15 they could never quite explain why you could not land where you wanted or worse, had to wait till 25 to buy a land speeder. Really? I have a star ship but no land craft?

The game did have some good highlights. The voice acting and stories were pretty good, but many were space bar skip them as it could become tedious and if you were on your second or third alt it was a bit much. The sounds of the game were pure star wars, the ships, the npcs, about everything looked right. The companion system was good but got a bit creepy with the romancing a computer avatar bit. Far too many players would dress their female companions, if not characters, in the absolute skimpiest outfits imaginable. Serious declaration of idiocy amongst the players.

Yet you were trapped in a world were far too many mobs were "strong" or had eight second stun attacks. Where your characters could do AWESOME moves and demonstrated AMAZING powers but only in cut scenes. I kid you not. Force users rending blast doors - only in a cut scene. By the time you were mid level you had so many abilities the game became an exercise in cool down management than playing for fun.

The game was released three patches to early. From a woefully unpolished interface to horrid zone loading times for many. Very bad and in some ways incredibly obvious exploits that rarely if ever went unpunished to an Auction House that was nearly unusable. Even mirror classes; each class had an exact copy on the other side, the effects were different; were not truly mirrored... and early raids were bug city, as in luck let you beat them more than skill.

A great idea saddled with poor execution and far too much investment in voice acting over content. Best of luck, but with Guild Wars 2 coming at the end of the month and WOW's next expansion in September their chance is basically over

I think what angered me most about it... (3, Insightful)

twocows (1216842) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835491)

I think what angered me most about it was that it purported to continue the KotOR storyline. Instead, it tramples all over it. Revan is a low level boss that drops pants, everyone and their mother is a Jedi or a Sith, and it pretty much retcons everything from KotOR 2 (my favorite game of all time, speaking of which the community restoration mod "The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod" went into its final release version about a week ago, definitely check that out). Maybe I was naive to expect something more along the lines of SWG in this day and age. Still, I was pretty upset.

Re:I think what angered me most about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40835605)

You and your "kind" are the reason this game went belly up.

KotOR 3 ... come on, this was MMO not some single player "I WIN BUTTON" game.

Re:I think what angered me most about it... (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835779)

You and your "kind" are the reason this game went belly up.

Hell yeah! That's awesome!

Hopefully the phase of MMOs will finally end as people get bored with WoW and no other MMO finds success. Next step: the return of the adventure game genre.

Re:I think what angered me most about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40836331)

Who said adventure games were dead? http://www.telltalegames.com/walkingdead/ [telltalegames.com]

Re:I think what angered me most about it... (1)

taxman_10m (41083) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836787)

By "kind" you mean customers? I bought and played KOTOR 1 and 2. I was looking forward to 3. I was not looking forward to playing KOTOR 3 as subscription based MMO. The lesson here is that they should have stuck with the good thing they had going.

Re:I think what angered me most about it... (1)

twocows (1216842) | more than 2 years ago | (#40838811)

Good. If the game went belly-up because people didn't buy it, maybe they won't make games the fans don't want in the future. Sounds like a win-win to me.

Re:I think what angered me most about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40835757)

I think what angered me most about it was that it purported to continue the KotOR storyline. Instead, it tramples all over it. Revan is a low level boss that drops pants, everyone and their mother is a Jedi or a Sith, and it pretty much retcons everything from KotOR 2 (my favorite game of all time, speaking of which the community restoration mod "The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod" went into its final release version about a week ago, definitely check that out). Maybe I was naive to expect something more along the lines of SWG in this day and age. Still, I was pretty upset.

If you thought SWTOR was going to be anything like SWG, you just weren't paying attention. Bioware made a HUGE deal about saying how SWTOR was all about story and character development. Basically, an extreme case of the Theme Park MMORPG. SWG was much more on the Sandbox side of things.

This directly lead to the main problem with SWTOR. You can only create so much story. You will never be able to keep up with the pace that players can blow through the story. This makes it difficult to justify paying for SWTOR for a long time - you will always run out of story eventually (even though SWTOR started out with a massive amount of it). More sandboxy MMORPGs that let content be created through player interaction have much longer lasting appeal in general.

Basically, anybody who is surprised that SWTOR dropped in population pretty quickly wasn't paying attention. Interest in such a heavily story based game will never stay high for that long simply because players have to eventually run out of story.

On a side note, I didn't think that it retconned KotOR that badly. There were a million Sith in those games, and prior to the Jedi extinction stuff, there were a ton of Jedis too. But yeah, Revan should have been a bigger deal in SWTOR.

Re:I think what angered me most about it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40837037)

Big ups to you for mentioning that. I downloaded the 1.7 like 8 months ago and forgot about it. I just snagged 1.8 and am looking forward to all the shit I never got to see. Thanks!!

It's not just the money (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 2 years ago | (#40835709)

SW:TOR would have been a pretty decent single player game. But I think many people are just plain tired of formulaic level based gameplay for MMOs. In single player games it's fine but when you want to play with your friends, things like levels, separate servers, separate factions all get in the way. They should make MMOs where if you know someone in real life that plays, there are no artificial barriers to grouping with them in game and having fun together.

Re:It's not just the money (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836253)

That's one of the things I like most about GW2.

You can "guest" onto another server. While guesting you can't compete in the Server vs Server PVP, and can't join a guild on a guest server. You can, however, play. With friends. PvP or PvE. Guesting is free.

Levels are also well handled. If you're in a zone below your current level your health, damage, etc all get scaled down to the effective level of the zone. Lvl 80 and lvl 12 friends want to play together? No problem, they'll both be about lvl 12 effective and the low level content will still be potentially challenging.

There are no real factions.

EVE online also does this well. There's one server (two really, the Chinese have their own due to government restrictions). There are no real factions (well, there are, but you can join any of them.) You can train to fly a tackler in about a month, if not faster. About 4 months to be well-skilled in an interceptor. And no FC is going to turn down extra inty pilots.

Re:It's not just the money (1)

jabelli (1144769) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836727)

Yes, you can [guildwars2.com] join a guild on a guest server.

Re:It's not just the money (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 2 years ago | (#40838549)

Aaah, sorry, I was mistaken. It's only the Server vs Server (called World vs World vs World) PvP that guests can't enter.

CALLED IT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40836157)

After tryin it out i said within a year it would be f2p.
And it didn't even take that long really.

If you want monthly money from a gamer, That game better be good.

And kotor wasnt. I guess maybe if you were a super starwars fanboy it would be enough. But the rest of us... nah it just wasnt that good.

The best replacement for SWG.... (4, Interesting)

DL117 (2138600) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836211)

is SWG. SWGEMU is in a playable state now, it will be perfect once they put in the faction missions.

Re:The best replacement for SWG.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40837717)

The force is strong in this one!

SWGemu is awesome.

They should have just made a single player game (1)

ildon (413912) | more than 2 years ago | (#40836269)

That's about all there is to it. Single player game with online coop. Their grandiose dreams of taking a slice of the WoW pie were about 5 years too late.

Crafting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40837191)

I think the game just needs a better balance in crafting. Its true that they have a good amount of crafting professions, but how many of them are you actually willing to take into end-game?

I don't think this was really meant to be a WoW killer, and rom my feeling is that a lot of SOE Star Wars Galaxies players came into SWTOR expecting to relive the glory days, but found it lacking. It's not that SWG had a lot of end game content, but it had great crafting which drove the economy, you could actually be a non-combatant and enjoy the game, player cities, open world and space PVP, until NGE came out. The rest is history of course.

RIP SWG... and if SWTOR doesn't do anything interesting outside of the MMO mold... RIP SWTOR too.

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