I consider myself a Star Wars fan. I dig the universe, the lore, and of course the original movie trilogy. I even don't really hate the prequels as much as other people. I think LEGO Star Wars sets are awesome, and the video games amazing. I wanted to be a space pirate for Halloween so I bought a toy of Boba Fett's blaster from Target. One of my earliest Nintendo 64 games was Shadows of the Empire, and that shit rocked. And that music? Hell yes.
I also tend to enjoy MMOs. Admittedly, I feel strange saying that because I haven't actually played very many of them. I guess what I really mean is I like the idea of MMOs. I'm an RPG fan and I like the idea of playing a massive game with other people in a living, breathing world, doing quests, fighting, etc. My earliest was a game called Tibia back in around 1999 or 2000. I played Ragnarok Online for a time, as well as this weird one that completely stole all of its art assets from A Link to the Past. I have had brief stints in Lineage II, Tabula Rasa, and World of Warcraft. Side note: WoW never grabbed me. I tried on multiple occasions to get hooked (deliberately!) with trial accounts, and I never even continued to play the whole two weeks. I just found it bland and uninteresting, compared to Guild Wars which I was playing at the time. More on this in a minute.
You would think that an MMO about Star Wars would be totally up my alley. When I saw the first (I think first?) trailer for it a few years ago, I got kinda excited. I signed up immediately for the newsletter or whatever so I could stay informed. I read a couple of those early newsletters, when some classes were revealed. that was cool I guess, but it wasn't long before I totally lost interest.
Here we are at the game's release, and I still haven't regained it.
Yeah, I'm probably a little bit biased. I'm a long-time huge Guild Wars fan. As a result, I've been waiting a very long time for the release of Guild Wars 2. It is my most anticipated game of 2012.
My first gripe with SWTOR is the subscription model. I believe that in 2011, online games should not charge subscription fees. Many popular MMOs have recently moved to a free-to-play model, confirming what the original Guild Wars proved several years ago: you can have a great MMO without charging a monthly fee. I think as technology has improved over the years, so-called server costs have become moot. The idea of paying to support future content seems silly when you've already paid for the game and will probably pay for expansion content a year later.
Money isn't really an issue. I can certainly afford it. Hell, I could even play SWTOR *and* GW2 because it'll be free. I mean, GW2 still doesn't even have a release date (most estimates put it in Spring of 2012) so I could easily sign up for SWTOR and enjoy it for a few months before GW2 comes out, and even continue to play both should I choose. I really just dislike the idea of paying a fee. It's an outdated model I don't want to support.
Secondly, nothing I've seen of SWTOR has done a very good job of convincing me that it strays very far from "WoW with lightsabers". Don't get me wrong - I know SWTOR is doing new things for the genre, and I've heard good stuff about the narrative and the voice acting, etc. But from what I've seen and heard, it doesn't do a whole lot that isn't new, gameplay wise. I'm not saying that's bad; it's just not very interesting to me any more, especially when this other game is doing so much more differently to shake up the MMO landscape.
I also can't say I'm a fan of the art style. It just doesn't look very pretty to me.. at all.
I dunno. I'm trying to narrow down why it's so difficult for me to care about SWTOR (as a Star Wars and MMO fan) without sounding like too much of a GW fanboy, but you have to understand how hard that is. While I personally feel like GW2 is going to be the far prettier, more original, more entertaining, more interesting, and more free game that not only MMO fans but also people who never cared for MMOs before will find extremely fun (trust me, if you've read as much about the game as I have, you'd be this confident) SWTOR is the game everybody has talked about almost all year. GW2 will certainly be SWTOR's biggest (perhaps only) competition when it comes out, yet it gets so little attention in comparison. So yeah, that's a little frustrating to me and it makes me a little spiteful.
I want to like SWTOR. I wish I could get into it and enjoy myself a good massively online Star Wars game. But having spent so much time reading about Guild Wars 2 and having played it at PAX, I feel like the bar is being set really high for MMO gameplay and what SWTOR as an MMO brings to the table, in both gameplay, originality, and graphics, is extremely underwhelming. It's disappointing.
This post is a little rambly and maybe incoherent. Hopefully not too bad.
P.S. This will likely be my last Cblog entry of 2011 so mery kurismasu and happy kwanza