SWTOR…and I’m Done (Sort of Review)

I was planning on writing a full review for SWTOR, but Pherephassa did such a great write-up on her SWTOR reivew, that I figured I’d skip mine and get straight to my likes and gripes. I’ll give you a hint, it’s going to be mostly gripes.

Undoubtedly the best part of game is the journey to endgame, after all this is what BioWare does best. Having said that, as a MMORPG player I found myself beginning to skip dialog as early as the mid teen levels and before I hit level 30 I was skipping it all with the exception of the main storyline. Even that I began to partial skip or you can say fast forward by the time I hit the early 40’s.  It’s not that I didn’t find it interesting, I just wanted to get on with things.

As a player who has never seriously crafted before, I actually enjoyed the crafting system in SWTOR. I didn’t have to waste my time grinding it out looking for resources or spending hours killing the same mobs, however while I enjoyed the mechanic of crafting, the entire system is broken since only a few professions can actually make any money.

For one, crafting is way to easy and fast. One of the main reasons I never pursue crafting is because of how much time it takes to master. In SWTOR I hit the max in all three of my crew skills within 3 weeks without really trying. Now nothing is wrong with the system itself, they just need to make the crafting time much much longer. While it took me 3 weeks to master all my crew skills, if you take the actual crafting time, it was probably only 3-4 days.  It should take at least 1 month of “crew skill time” to master a skill.

Secondly, they need to make craftable items better, not the best, but close. There should only be a handful of items that are better then the best crafted items and those items should be harder to get. Right now you can spend a few days in PvP or grinding flashpoints and obtain some of the best gear out there making crafted gear worthless.

Moving on to PvP which we all know is broken across the board, from open PvP to the PvP planet Illum to Warzones, it’s a mess. While Warzones recently got a lot better with the separation of level 50 characters, they still need to introduce at least one more bracket to divide 1-49. Open PvP and Illum need a full overhaul to become worth while since  currently there’s zero reason to participate in open PvP and nearly none on Illum as you can obtain the same rewards from warzones at an unmatched rate.

That leaves Operations and Flashpoints. Flashpoints are instanced, so of course I hate them, but they’re fun the first one or two times you run them. Unfortunately if you want better gear and don’t like PvP you’ll be running them over and over and over.  I can’t comment on Operations since I still haven’t do one, but I’d image they’re the same thing with more people.

My favorite moment of the entire game was on Tatooine waiting on top of a sandcrawer with Empire and Republic players alike waiting for a balloon that would take us to a datacron on top of another sandcrawer. As the balloon approached tensions began to rise to see if anyone would attack. We all jumped on the balloon and as it began to pull away from the sandcrawler you could just sense something was about it happen and then it did. Someone attacked and all hell broke lose.  Lucky my faction (Empire) was able to push off all the Republic players and we floated away as they sat and cursed at us.

That’s was SWTOR and nearly all theme-park MMO are missing, there’s no surprises, no tension of not knowing what’s going to happen next . The only tension is knowing you have to run Black Talon 8 more times until you have enough point to get the item you want.

If you look at SWTOR as strictly a single-player RGP, then I’d say it’s a great game, but unfortunately for BioWare they made a MMORPG. With the exception of Flashpoints, I grouped exactly two times during my entire journey from level 1-50.  Now that I’m at 50, I’m stuck with either a broken PvP system, running Flashpoints and Ops all day or starting a new alt. No thanks.

It seems BioWare created a MMOPRG where their biggest replay value is in restarting with a new character and while many players will, not as many are willing to pay a monthly fee to play what is basically a co-op RPG.

In my mind SWTOR is a complete dud and failure in term of gameplay, but in a good way. This marks the end of the theme-park MMORPG shit-fest that has taken over the genre for the last decade.  If an IP like Star Wars cannot compete with WoW, no IP using a theme-park design can. The next great MMORPG might not be pure sandbox, but it sure as hell won’t be a theme-park either. I feel like this is the turning point in the industry and we’ll once again seen innovation in MMORPGs and I can’t wait.


  1. Really getting tired of “reviews” that complain about something like…”Moving on to PvP which we all know is broken across the board” without naming specifics. Who is this “we” anyway?

    I pvp on both sides and pvp is not broken across the board, infact it’s the most balanced class for class game at release I’ve ever played. You can get the same review you posted by just reading the pvp forums which is just a bunch of people complaining about a class that just killed them. Get in the game an actually play and it’s a different matter.

    I am not suggesting pvp doesn’t have room for improvement (match making for non-expertise players is just as important as bolstered 1-49 being excluded from the 50 tier) but it’s not the completely broken game you try and suggest and not follow up with.

  2. It’s hard to disagree with anything you said. It’s all true.

    Can it still be saved? Yes. But is BioWare willing to do what needs to be done in a quick enough time? That I’m not so sure about.

    PvP is a disaster, the end game is lacking, finding groups for Flashpoints is way too difficult, crafting is easy but rewards are weak. There are way too many money sinks in the game. Look at how many NPC’s and atmosphere appear on early planets compared to later planets. The game is unfinished.

    Wait, I’m not done yet. Bugs get worse as you get higher level. PvP stat is a crutch, it doesn’t make you a good PvP player. The UI is far from good, they should’ve just had addon’s and allowed the community to fix it. Where is that combat log? What is my aggro? What spec is better, I can’t tell how much damage I am doing?

    The talent system is so 2007. In fact, most of this game is 2007. It’s as though they’ve ignored everything that has happened in MMO’s in the past four or five years. Can I get more than one spec please?

    Three Warzones? A level 20 facing a level 40+ with PvP stat gear and far more skills available for use? You don’t even get Sprint until 14, so why allow Warzones before then? Should you walk slowly to wherever you need to go to get slaughtered?

    Ilum. Such a disaster that you wonder who the hell thought this was a good idea. The entire planet feels tacked on. Classes are not only imbalanced, but they aren’t even proper mirrors of each other.

    It’s one saving grace is the story. I am enjoying the class stories and the planet stories the first time through. But beyond that, they got very little to keep players. The only thing to do is role alt’s, and once you finish the eight stories, the game is over. The Legacy system isn’t even in the game yet, so no reward for having alt’s. And they talk about the Legacy system like it won’t benefit your already existing characters. So screw you for buying the game and playing now, because it wasn’t finished.

    Wait, I can go on. Why is there so much damn walking? Who thought this was a good idea? Give us Sprint at least at level 10. And no speeder until 25? And this was yet another game where buying the more expensive CE/Deluxe version gave you useless bonus crap and broken promises.

    And how about all that server down time? And Europe gets it right when they would all want to be playing. Nice job BioWare. Oh, can’t forget about that customer service. It’s a failure. Feels like EA is running it. Oh wait, they probably are.

    BioWare copied WoW via The Burning Crusade. They left out many advancements made since then, and didn’t bother to copy some of the more important parts like a working PvP system with cross-server and tiered Warzones. BioWare screwed up. They gave us an unfinished game. They keep talking about community, but the way things are going, they won’t have much of a community to worry about in six months.

  3. @bob I wrote up a more indepth commentary on PvP and Illum which is linked in that very sentence you quoted. I figured I skip what I had already said and just move on.

  4. It’s spelled gripe. I stopped reading after the 1st paragraph because the grammar and punctuation were so bad.

  5. I have to disagree with your crafting part. Sounds like you are one of the many people who are not trying to reverse engineer for better gear. I know it isn’t as good as the batelmaster and rakata, but it is still a hell of a lot better than any of the regular drops. In artifice at least, you can craft all the way to artifact mark 23 hilts and artifact mark 24 enhancements (Pretty sure that is as high as it goes). The rakata and battle master are only artifact mark 25. Also, Biochem is the only one I know that levels that fast, and Bioware has admitted it is broken. It took me 3 to 4 weeks of steady play to cap my skills and I was at level 38 when I capped. Also, I always had my companions doing something.

    Also, breaking out lvl into there own pvp broke the warzones on my server. There should be five to ten level brackets, not a bracket for a single level. I wait about 20 minutes now during my heavy playing times.

  6. I am sorry if this comes off wrong but this is not even remotely close to a review. You even start off saying the your impatient and skipped a very very large portion of content, and then go on to call the PvP “broken.” While it is definitely not even close to top notch pvp its far from broken. Why is it so hard for people to grasp the idea that a “Story Driven MMO” is going to have PvP on the sidelines? And, in my personal opinion, the crafting is amazing. As an MMO player for over a decade, crafting has always been a chore since you had to go out and spend hours gathering materials to craft those endgame items, but in SWTOR you send off your unused companion and craft while doing other things. In all honesty, your “review sort of” sounds like many forum troll WoW fanboys to me. I would honestly say this article completely lacks any hint of credibility.

  7. The game is bad. Pure and simple. The ‘stories’ are on par with Saturday morning cartoons and giving the game is already ranking hard. Too bad the 1.7million is a complete lie by the CEO.

  8. Funny story… yet another “I’m impatient and skipped most of the content while powerleveling to 50” review.

    Guess what? Nobody cares that you didn’t realize you were playing something other than WoW.

    You thought you were powergrinding an alt eh? That’s what all these grumbling “these are my reasons for quitting” reviewers sound like.

    Also you are misinformed about the legacy system as well. Neither EA or Bioware has ever stated that players without alts wouldn’t benefit equally from the system. They have indicated that alts would be benefitted by it, that is all. Which is to say that because your main toon has unlocked legacy rewards your alts will share those benefits early on.

    Why don’t you give us an early hands-on review of Mists of Pandaria since hat seems to be your slant.

  9. The only innovative thing in swtor was the storyline, the rest is a joke, they made the same mistakes other companies already fixed 6 years ago. Once everyone finishes the main storyline and get to 50 they will finally see all that is left. The worlds themselves feel bland, there is no weather nor night/ day shifts, bugs plag the system and graphics are worse than older games….can’t wait for a company to finally start innovating gameplay, let’s hope GW2 is the one…

  10. SO BASICALLY! IT IS EXACTLY WHAT I SAID WHEN RUMORS CAME OUT ABOUT THIS GAME…. WOW CLONE IN SPACE! Nuff said. STFU GW2 fanboys. That is a single player rpg with co-op options in an mmo hub meeting ground.

    Also, nah, just like this website, I quit. Thanks Mike. YOu nailed some reviews dead on, others kinda meh, and the trolls here are cute at best. HAve fun at Lore! I wonder if I can buy this domain name now.

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