Shut Up About SWTOR vs. WoW Already
Here’s an interesting fact: I’m hitting around Level 23 with my Sith Marauder and I’ve grouped up a grand total of four times to do missions. Huge swathes of SWTOR can be solo’d handily, and what’s more, the game provides plenty for me, a player who is much more into RPGs than he is into MMOs, to do without having to harass people to get my back. And that highlights a fundamental difference of what SWTOR is that WoW isn’t, and why people need to back off on the comparisons: SWTOR and WoW are not the same kind of MMO. They’re not even the same kind of game.
SWTOR is a BioWare RPG modeled after Knights of the Old Republic in order to deliver a narrative. The social aspects of the game rightly take a back seat. This is a game in which you’re encouraged to play with friends and to meet new ones, specifically so that you can enjoy the story of the game together. Just stop for a minute and think about it: Every major questing interaction in the game is voiced. That alone should tell you that you’re not dealing with last decade’s MMO. You’re playing a BioWare RPG first, a massively multiplayer online experience second — which is exactly what was intended.
So standing here going, “Well, they stole factions from WoW” makes me want to punch you in the face. That’s like saying The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim stole trolls from Harry Goddamn Potter. Not only does the timing make no sense, there’s no sense in comparing the two in that way.
Complaining about features that aren’t in SWTOR but are in WoW makes you sound like a child, and an entitled one at that. Sure, I can get behind wanting to improve the game by identifying things that SWTOR lacks. I’m all for that, and I’m pretty sure that BioWare is, as well. But there are two things to consider here: First, if BioWare lifted every feature from Blizzard’s MMO, the discussion would be one of copying and crying about SWTOR being the same game with lightsabers that you’ve already been playing for a decade. Second, Blizzard has been building its game based around the requests of its community for years. BioWare’s game has been out for two weeks — and seriously, it’s pretty phenomenal in its own right (as long as you’re not somebody who’s suffering from game-breaking bugs, which I am not). But give them time to develop both the experience they’re trying to create and to build the community they need. Those aren’t unreasonable things to ask for; sweeping changes to the game for your convenience because you’ve been playing someone else’s game are.
So for those of you who, for some reason, think the MMO was invented by Thrall, I urge you to go play KOTOR before you even fire up SWTOR (especially since there’s some cool Revan-related content on Dromund Kaas), if for nothing more than an education. After that — maybe give the game some time to find its legs, for god’s sake. Or bug the hell off and go play WoW if you love it so much. I’m fine without having to queue up to go hunt Jedi, and I’m sure there are a whole lot of other people who feel the same way.
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Follow Hornshaw on Twitter: @philhornshaw.