So it turns out SW:TOR didn’t hold my interest for long. The general blogosphere seems to agree that it is a good single player story wrapped up in a medicore MMO, and I can’t argue with that. It does do the Star Wars universe very, very well. The joy of finishing character creation and getting the fanfare and scrolling text was pretty awesome.
Ultimately though, I got bored with the questing and found that whilst I knew maybe a dozen people playing the game, we were all playing at different times or different servers or different factions. I think one of the biggest things I get out of gaming is playing with other people, so yeah, not very rewarding.
Other WoW distractions have included Skyrim, Kingdoms of Amalur and a re-visit to Borderlands. Of these, Skyrim held the most interest and is something I will possibly continue to play as a background activity. But its a solo game and I find I can’t keep the level of focus required to keep active.
I’m still not raiding, at least not as an official raider, in WoW. I might be tempted to raid seriously again come MoP. However I do enjoy the freedom of not having 2-3 nights a week committed, and I’ve little to no interest in heroic mode raiding, which doesn’t fit very well with the guild raid team focus.
Fortunately there is still plenty to keep me interested. I’m plugging away at my Paladin who will be my 7th max level character in a mere 24 levels time. I’ve done some social/alt raiding on some alts and paying more attention to gearing them up through LFR and valor points. I’ve so far avoided my DK tank though as I find it a much more stressful role.
On the horizon we have Diablo III in under a month, GW2, The Secret World, and the MoP expansion for WoW. I got in early on the beta (before most of the crowds) and may post some thoughts about that but it feels too early and I expect lots of things to change quite a bit before the end of beta.
In a galaxy far, far away. Yes, I have succumbed to the dark side. And the light side in fact. I have been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Is it WoW with lightsabers? Yes. Is it just WoW with lightsabers? No. The MMO mould is pretty much unchanged: classes, talent/skill trees, action bars, cooldowns, roles. SW:TOR doesn’t bring anything new to the game in these main respects. So what is the lure? There are three things drawing me away from WoW:
- Temporal – SW:TOR is in the levelling bubble stage of its development. There are many people levelling up characters for the first time. This means that all areas of the game are well populated. Given the MM nature of the game this is quite key. The WoW levelling bubble burst many years ago now and largely the only people you see about are those you are automatically grouped with via the dungeon finder. Somewhat soulless.
- Thematic – Sure, WoW has a lot of lore. But there’s never really felt like a story, and I’ve personally not played any other Warcraft games. Whereas I’m of an age where I saw Star Wars on release in the cinema. I’ve grown up with Star Wars. I still have a somewhat threadbare Star Wars duvet cover in a cupboard somewhere. SW:TOR really does bring that world to life. (more on this later hopefully)
- Personal – Whilst I have formed some great friendships with my fellow guildies in WoW, nothing quite beats playing alongside people you know and see regularly outside of the game. Nobody I know from that latter category is still playing WoW, whereas several have picked up SW:TOR.
Is this the end of WoW for me? Who knows. I’m at least “on a break”. I suspect this will turn out to be permanent though. I’ve not found going back to games after breaks particularly rewarding in the past. In the meantime I hope to follow up this post with some commentary on the similarities and differences between the two games, and what I think works (or doesn’t) in each.