Picking the Right MMO: Thoughts on SWTOR
Picking the right MMO can be a bit tricky. You have to weigh in every factor to figure out which MMO is for you. Some based it on the community while others enjoy playing solo. For any game, MMO or not, I believe the main ingredient is the story. Without a good story, a game can fall flat. Of course it also needs to be fun but fun is measured by personal preference. For some, the story of a game matters not if the player enjoys simply shooting the bad guy, for example.
In a regular game, playing to just shoot each other might be enough but when you have to pay a monthly fee for a game, you want more and you should have it.
My MMO journey started with Everquest II, which moved onto Star Wars Galaxies. Both didn’t hold my interested for long. It wasn’t until I started to play City of Heroes that I started to really enjoy playing an MMO. Being a superhero is pretty much everyone’s dream and playing as one is just as fun. With City of Heroes, I was able to enjoy interesting story arcs with or without other players.
When I first heard that Bioware and EA were going through with an MMO based in the Old Republic Universe, I was a bit worried and excited at the same time. You see, I am a huge fan of both Knights of the Old Republic games and I would like nothing more than to see a KotOR III game, so at first I felt a bit shafted that they decided to go with an MMO. Even so, I did reserve the game. However it wasn’t until I tried out the beta that my thoughts about SWTOR flourished, both good and bad.
I was happy when I heard that you can solo in SWTOR. There are some missions that are better in a group but overall, you can play this game how you want. This is your story, equipped with your own origin story, ship and companions. Cut scenes within the game and a fully voiced cast makes SWTOR feel real. You can literally get lost in this game. If you are grouped and a cut scene with dialogue pops up, the systems rolls to choose which player gets to say what to the NPC. Playing solo or with others within the game, either way, it still feels like your story.
However, these great experiences cannot happen when the video doesn’t look right! As much as I wanted to play the SWTOR beta, I kept running into issues on my laptop with the video. I bought this laptop keeping SWTOR in mind, so when I started to have issues, I wasn’t pleased.
Taking an in-game screen shot showed nothing wrong so I had to take a picture of my issue with my camera. I tried updating the drivers, reinstalling the launcher, played around with my video settings, yet nothing help. I was about to give up on the game but I decided to look around the web one last time for anything that could fix the issue.
I eventually discovered a patch that was created a day before for my video card that was said to fix problems that many were having while playing the SWTOR beta. After downloading it, I went in-game and held my breath for what seemed like hours. Finally, I was able to play the game how it was meant to be played. Then everything changed.
While playing the beta with my video issue, I was unable to enjoy what SWTOR has to offer. Now that the issue has been rectified, the game experience is so much better. Being a Star Wars fan and a Knights of the Old Republic fan, the experience with this game is outstanding. It is a deep world filled with story and adventure. The graphics may seem a bit childish or cartoon-like to some but can be overlooked by many. In my opinion, with everything that The Old Republic has to offer, it is worth the time and monthly fee. It has all the elements that make a great game what it is.
Keep in mind, this MMO might not be for everyone. Just because I and others enjoy it, others may not. Some people feel that they shouldn’t have to pay a monthly fee for a game. Others are just not into Star Wars. Be it fantasy, space battles, playing alone or with others, there are elements that one needs to investigate before investing in an online game.
If you are into Star Wars lore, love a good story and characters, I suggest that you plan on getting this MMO on December 20th. After my issue was fixed, I did not want to stop playing. Fast travel allows players to get to a destination faster without spending hours walking; you can be evil, good, neutral, male, female, human or otherwise in this game. SWTOR seems to be limitless with what you can do within its universe and even though I still want KotOR III, SWTOR is defiantly worth playing.