SWTOR: the minority view and the future

I had an enjoyable session of SWTOR last night, a (I guess) full run through of the currently available Rakghoul plague quests. This isn’t a blow by blow post, so I’ll not bother posting pictures this time.

The session was good for several reasons: the pacing of the quests seemed well done, there was a mixture of easy and not so easy fights plus some gathering and click this or that style activities. The sparse cut scenes were good enough as well.

The mission chain is good quality and well presented. It offers an alternative for a fixed duration to the story-heavy questing in the game. Even better it’s open world content so Tattooine, which was almost empty when I passed through it on-level a few weeks ago is now teeming with players of varied levels and both factions, thumbs up for that at least.

However it brings attention to me, a SWTOR player still a fair few levels away from the PVE end game of dailies and raids, the very ‘old-school’ model of new content that may well follow from Bioware in future updates. That is to say, the 4th pillar of story will be subservient to the need to produce quick and dirty updates that involve rep or token grinds and repetitive daily missions. I do not  blame Bioware for not innovating like crazy and inventing a new way to keep us all busy. I knew before buying what the endgame would be, but then I don’t play any MMO for endgame, I play for the journey.

I’m sure this is a tiny minority view, I’ve given up (mostly) moaning about what Blizzard did to WoW, or how Trion stripped the essence of good play from Rift by too much focus on endgame instancing. I will not heap praise on Bioware for this event though, it’s an improved but obvious copy of an infamous WoW event (the Scourge invasion). Sure it has some basis in the SWTOR’s story, but the mechanics and meta-game of exploding on other players is *very* derivative.

I notice via XX that it has not gone unnoticed that the class stories were not extended beyond their launch progression point by 1.2. I’m not surprised by this, it’s reasonable to expect so many parrallel stories to progress slower than general questing given the development resources involved. But I think Bioware do need to keep on communicating about this vaunted 4th pillar of theirs. Trion have been much better post-launch at showing Rift’s future development path, I would hope Bioware could take a leaf out of their book and start talking in very general terms about what will be available for 1.3 and beyond a lot more than a footnote in an exclusive and detail-light interview at a game show.

So this page on the official site should have some sort of teaser content for 1.3 like Torhead has already (Torhead’s content being pure conjecture at this stage of course). Surely it’s better to have the official site listed on top on Google and other search pages for “SWTOR 1.3” rather than guesswork on a community site (no offense to Torhead intended)?


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