SWTOR: Massively Yours

November 21, 2011

Gathering for a world boss.

Now that the gag order has lifted from the Star Wars: The Old Republic beta test, I want to get something off my chest. This is something I’ve wanted to talk about for the past few months, but every time the topic comes up I’ve had to hold my tongue because of the NDA. Well, no longer.

For a while now, it’s made me very uncomfortable whenever I go on Twitter, the forums, or other gaming community websites and see people apply the term “single-player MMO” to SWTOR in a deprecatory way. I’m sure we’ve all seen the type of comments. You know, the kind that imply SWTOR isn’t a real MMO, or that it’s just a single-player RPG pretending to be one, or something along those lines. It was so far-reaching at one point, that I began having my own reservations when I first got my invite to general testing, and wondered if SWTOR would not turn out to be the MMORPG I’ve been looking for.

Looking back now, I was crazy to have been worried. Even after just a week with The Old Republic, it was clear to me that this is a gen-u-wine, bonafide massively multiplayer online game, with all the delicious goodness that comes with a very large number of players interacting with one another within a persistent virtual world.

So I got to thinking, out of all the recent MMOs currently on the market and in development, why does SWTOR get singled out like this (pun intended) more than any of them? I mean, yes, it is possible in the game to level from the beginning to level cap solo, but if that’s the definition of a single-player MMO then a lot of current games would fall into that category as well. But I just don’t feel any game gets abused with the “single-player” label as much as SWTOR does.

I have a few theories, but I do believe the single most important factor that leads people to this misconception about SWTOR is the fact that it boasts story, companions, and a quest line unique to a player’s class. Well, if I’m correct, then this has proven to be a double-edged sword. Arguably, these features are the biggest draw about the game, but they may have also given some people the impression that SWTOR is merely a single-player experience disguised as an MMO.

Perhaps it is also BioWare’s reputation as a developer of AAA single-player RPGs. When people hear the name, no doubt their recent successes like the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series spring immediately to mind. And yet, it is true that SWTOR is their first venture into the MMO space, so it’s only natural to to be curious whether or not BioWare can break from their long history of developing single-player games in order to make this monumental leap.

The thing is, it is highly likely that BioWare knew full well from the beginning that proving they can handle an MMO was going to be an uphill battle. I say this, because I’ve seen the way their game goes above and beyond to encourage interaction and socialization between players, as well as provide plenty of opportunities for group play:

  • Group Quests – Around half a dozen of these on each planet, intended to be completed with 2+ or 4+ players. The former are sometimes soloable, but the latter are definitely not. They mostly reward commendations or very nice blues.
  • Flashpoints – SWTOR’s version of instances, designed to be experienced by a full group of four players. In addition, some FPs have bonus objectives within them that require the involvement or cooperation of two or more people to complete.
  • PvP Warzones – Success in a SWTOR WZ often requires strategy and understanding of the rules and objectives, e.g. Huttball (dear lord, don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve seen a player who doesn’t know how to pass, or run a ball back to their own end zone). A group of random players will likely be at a marked disadvantage against a premade whose members are coordinated and knowledgeable
  • World Bosses – Most planets have one or two that I’ve seen. If the live game will be anything like testing, world bosses will also drop some very rare loot. For example, the boss droid on Alderaan has a chance of dropping a white crystal that as far as I know, you can’t get anywhere else in the game (at least in that build at the time). I’ve defeated world bosses with as few as four players, while others take more. The aforementioned Alderaan killer droid, for instance, took ten of us including a few high 40s to just barely take him down.
  • Crew Skills – Sometimes, crafting will require getting necessary materials from crew skills you may not have. While the Galactic Trade Network was still being tweaked in testing, many of us turned to direct trade with our friends and fellow players.
  • Datacrons – Here we get to the activities that are more specific to SWTOR. Datacrons are an optional element of the game, and are objects placed throughout the worlds for enthusiastic explorers to find. A few are easily stumbled upon, but most require some poking around the entire planet. Once you located them, however, the true challenge is figuring out how to get to them. I’ve encountered DCs that require everything from creative thinking, solving logic puzzles, finding unconventional paths, or yes, even grouping.
  • Social System – As I’ve mentioned before in an earlier post, I love this feature in SWTOR and it’s the only MMO I’ve ever played with something like this. It is completely optional once again, but it’s a nice perk. To gain social points, all you have to do is group up and participate in group conversations. Every time you win a convo-loot roll you gain the maximum number of points for that roll. Even if you lose the roll you gain points, just less. Racking up social points will help you gain social ranks (I, II, III, etc.) and each time you go up one you get a nifty little title. And the best part of all, rare cosmetic and vanity items from social vendors become available to you!
  • Bonus XP – Thanks to my guildies for helping me confirm this, but I believe that unlike most MMOs, experience is not as reduced per mob kill for group members who are at a similar level, so you’ll be progressing faster. In addition, there are ways to gain bonus XP in groups — completing a class quest with your buddy will reward you with some XP when he or she completes it even if you don’t have it in your log, for example. Doing “bonus” type quests with others will also reward you some extra XP if you complete it in a group. It is a HUGE incentive, making it in a player’s best interest to group up whenever possible.

Thinking about it now, throughout my journey from 1 to 50, if I had seized upon every single opportunity presented to me during my time testing in order to take advantage of the above, I would have easily spent 25-33% of my time grouped up. Maybe even more. So you’ll forgive me if I really don’t see SWTOR as a “single-player MMO”, or at least not any more “single-player” than the bulk of what’s out there.

Solo-oriented players need not fret though! You can still play the game and complete your entire class story by yourself — nothing in your personal storyline will require a group. And as you can see, much of what I listed above is completely optional, and the advantages you gain are extra perks but definitely not of the game-breaking variety. But SWTOR is a huge game, and your class story will only be a fraction of the content — I do urge everyone to participate in group activities once in a while. If you’re a hardcore solo-er you’ll still have a lot of fun without ever having to group up with another player, but be forewarned you may also be missing a lot of good stuff!


  1. I believe that “back when”, the game of telephone about the class-based storyline was misunderstood to be more exclusionary then inclusive for players of other classes.

    What I think might have gotten blown out of proportion is that if _I_ am trying to complete a class mission, other players of other classes in my group are basically “along for the ride”, and do not have the advantage of progressing their own quest, or a shared quest, in the process. Since a good portion of focus is on “class stories”, the logical conclusion is that:

    class stories – other classes = solo

    In fact, I remember when I was starting out, I had NO IDEA how I’d get in touch with friends of different classes. It wasn’t until I got off the starter world that it made sense to a degree, having the first new quest being a Flashpoint, and then more generic, non-class based quests being offered.

    So I think Bioware’s emphasis on “story”, combined with the idea that progression in my story means you’re just a passenger and maybe more interested in doing your OWN story, lead people to believe it to be primarily a solo affair.

    • Like we discussed on twitter, there probably was confusion and a lack of direction at BioWare in the early marketing of the game. And unfortunately, it might have hurt them in the long run. Like you, a lot of people did go into beta unknowing or confused how it would all work out. BW might have done well to have emphasized the massively multiplaying aspects more from the start, but at that point, maybe the features were still up in the air.

      But you summarized the issue quite well: “A) people assumed, B) people listened to others opinions as fact because C) they hadn’t experienced it themselves” Can’t get more simple than that!

  2. People are really hard to please. No matter what Bioware does, there will be a group of people who complain about it. “Don’t force me to find a group, there are too many group quests” are complaints I’ve heard in the past in other MMOs. I get really annoyed with people who whine because they think they are missing out on things that others who are team players can have. Entitlement whining is my least favorite part of MMOs.

    There are plenty of players who sign up for MMOs, only to go off in a corner and do their own thing solo. WoW ended up catering to a class of anti-social folks who were unwilling or unable to find people to group with the hard way, and look at the problems that got them. I’m worried that there will be a large vocal group pushing for similar community killing features to appease them, now that they have gotten used to them in other games. I worry that those who essentially only want to solo, will push for making grouping as easy as possible so they don’t have to miss out on the good stuff you mention. They’ll claim SWTOR isn’t group friendly without the tools they are used to, without realizing just how harmful those tools ended up becoming.

    I don’t mind tools that make it easier for me and the party I gathered to go do stuff, but I absolutely don’t want to see tools that just grab a bunch of random strangers and toss them together. Talk about depersonalizing the grouping experience. May as well just give me a bunch of NPCs. Heck, in SWTOR, the NPCs are likely to be FAR more social than random strangers I’ve been grouped with in WoW or Rift. WoW had tools to make it easier to find other people looking for similar group content, but decided those weren’t good enough and made it far too automated. Then again, Rift and WoW also built the game around having to do dungeons again and again and again in order to see all the content they had available, so they were their own worst enemies there.

    I’m really excited to have some game features that are designed to make me feel like my class and my role as a member of it are important. I’ve wanted it in past games for a long time. It has seemed like it would be a long term solution to giving me some less grindy content, so I’m surprised that other games have deliberately minimized class-specific questing.

    Everything I’ve read, and now been able to talk about with friends, makes me so happy that there is the more solo-story feel to the game. I am extremely tired of the way quests are handled in other MMOs I play. Even when I deliberately try to make myself read through the entire quest text, I get so bored with it. And if I’m grouped with other people, they are often heading off to quest while I’m still wading through the wall of text. If SWTOR didn’t have their epic story and voiceovers going for them, I wouldn’t play their MMO either. Yay for such a big change in such a tired old mechanic!

    • Heh heh, my thinking is, if a person plays an MMO there has to be at least some desire deep down in them to interact with others.

      I have nothing against solo players, I myself have been known to go through bouts where I don’t want anything to do with anybody but just to play the game on my own terms and at my own pace. But then, it’s my choice and I won’t complain when I have to group. It’s an MMO after all. Interacting with others in a persistent virtual world is what it’s all about to me.

      It’s unfortunate about the entitlement. But to me, the kind of players you described probably wouldn’t be around long anyway, as MMOs might not be for them.

      I think in the end SWTOR strikes a good balance. The game will provide solo players plenty to do, and the social players even more. But most of it is optional, and the rewards definitely not unbalancing or game breaking. I’ve been able to get super immersed in my own personal story, and yet enjoy group play with others outside of it.

  3. Fantastic editorial. Great support for your argument.

    However, since KOTOR is single player, and SWTOR is essentially KOTOR online, you must be mistaken. 😛

  4. Once again and excellent summation; I would add that I have not yet found a Group Quest that cannot be repeated. For this reason it is very easy to invite a friend/guildmate to return to a section or planet to ‘help’ you complete the quest. You can share the quest or the others can pick it up and join you even if it has been completed. This has been a great feature that is only limited by then number of times per day that you can visit the questgiver to obtain the quest. I don’t believe that there is a limit on how many times you can obtain the quest from others sharing.

    • I know you can easily re-do it, but I am kind of dreading having to go back and re-do things for each person that I like to group with. That is the one aspect of the narrative style that I’m not looking forward to. I know my husband will want to quest together a lot, but I know that I’m going to want to do a lot of my story quests on my own. Do we compromise and have a lot of duplication/repeats, or split up more and only group for certain things? Will we level at the same rate or break the leveling compact?

      • Two characters each, solo character and teaming character, says the guy who isn’t going to play this game.

        But that system has worked really well when I used to play regularly with a good friend.

      • @gamerlady – Maybe I can answer that. I have a current character I’m leveling now who has been in a group with someone else right from the beginning — we sort of planned ahead for it to be this way, in order to test.

        I’m actually finding it not so bad, doing everything together including class quests. On my class quests, my group member is along for the right and gets some extra XP even for being a spectator and I get social points. And vice versa. Or, if you wish, and this is something that we have done — sometimes we both hit a point in our class stories at the same time and I decide to go to my room to talk to my quest giver, and they decide to go to their room and talk to theirs. We join up again afterward, not having to leave group at all even once. And we continue on with the rest of the planet quests. That might be the best if you want to save time, or if you don’t want to spoil yourself for the other person’s story. Or just stand outside the instance and wait for them, individual class interactions normally don’t take longer than 1-3 min. And don’t worry, there aren’t going to be many situations where you have to do this, there are waaaaaay more non-class specific quests for this to ever become an issue.

        Ultimately, it all worked out to around the same XP. Even in the mid 20s now, we are actually both leveling at exactly the same rate. We always “ding” together, or close together, if you know what I mean. And yes, this is us being constantly grouped up, as in 100% of the time, not once have we PLAYED without the other (i.e. doing activities like crafting and banking and stuff doesn’t count, we determined from the start we were allowed to take time to do those things individually). Playing and leveling together with a buddy the entire way is not only possible, but highly enjoyable.

        Definitely though, as someone who also has to respect a leveling contract come launch, after this experience, I am not worried at all. Most of the time, the conversations you have when you do planet quests together are hilarious in a group because you never know what the other person might say!

        In any case, I know my husband and I can do everything together without any concerns about outleveling each other or repeating content. Hope that eases your mind a little. And please, if you have any questions about this topic, don’t hesitate to ask. I am testing this right now just so I can be more informed, and did it for the same concerns you have!

    • Looking at this discussion thread, I think there might be a little confusion. Only group quests are repeatable, which is great imo, because maybe a guildie missed out on the group when others were doing it or because they were too low level. You can go back and give them a hand, like you would for any group quest in other games. Except with it being repeatable, you can also grab it again before helping your buddy, and get some extra XP out of it for your troubles.

  5. Yay! I saw the 2+ group stuff. Pretty cool. It is soloable, with a companion, slightly above the levels you first get the quests. In other words, find a friend (or two).

    • Yeah, kinda glad the opening area starts you out with the +2…not so overwhelming for new players.

  6. I knew some of these things before trying the beta, knew most of them after trying the beta, and know the rest now that the NDA is down, but I still see SWTOR as a single player MMO.

    I found the presence of other players, both chat and their avatars, to be disconcerting and annoying while working through my story. The story begs to be played alone and truly absorbed.

    It’s the most soloable MMO ever. But I admit it’s still an MMO. And it may be hyperbolic, but it felt like an spMMO to me if there has ever been such a thing. Everyone alone together. I’m sure the group content will seem more attractive after launch then it is during a beta weekend, but it’s just not a dynamic that works for me. And the story wasn’t interesting enough to overcome my vow to never pay a subscription for another loot treadmill.

    • I’ll admit, I’ve gotten really spoiled lately playing high quality single player RPGs. For a while there, I thought they had ruined me for going back to the MMO vibe. This game will keep both sides of my gaming muse happy though. I can play some high quality RPG, interact with NPCs more naturally, and still look forward to all the fun I can have with my guild. People really need to start making friends in the game, that is what will keep them coming back and keep them playing long term, or at least it was what did for me in other MMOs.
      And if not, I will still get more than my money’s worth for the hours of game content that I can play through. I don’t anticipate walking away from the game for a long time, but even if I only played it and subbed long enough to do one class storyline, it would be worth it.

      • I agree, my guild and the friends I made definitely made a difference. That’s what MMOs are all about to me, finding good people to play with and forming relationships and making connections. Definitely many opportunities to do so in SWTOR, but not if you close yourself off to everyone else.

    • I suppose it’s easier for some to separate the “MMO” from the immersion when trying to enjoy your own personal story. Personally, it came naturally to me, I was able to enjoy my main story line but also phase all the other people out when I had to. Likewise, when I was out in the world and questing, I felt like I was in a true MMO, in a world that was alive with other players around me.

      I definitely wouldn’t say it’s the most soloable MMO ever though. In the past, I think I’ve felt less of a need to to group in games like AoC or LotRO. Doesn’t mean that I didn’t in those games, or that I felt I had to in SWTOR, but the opportunities and incentives just felt more plentiful in SWTOR.

  7. Actually I never had those reservations. Even though I had personal misgivings about the style and direction Bioware was advertising they were taking I never felt they didn’t have the chops to do an MMO. I mean look at the current big-boy on the block, WoW. That was Blizzard’s first MMO.

    In fact when TOR was announced I surmised that this would be the fabled WoW killer. Why? Precisely because it was being developed by Bioware. No other MMO since WoW has had what WoW had going for it. Being developed by a company loved by gamers so as to draw in a large number of normally single-player only fans of that company and its IP.

    Although I do want to address one point you make. Actually most MMOs after the first big three, AC, EQ & UO, have bonus XP for being in a group. WoW’s kicks in with group sizes of 3 or more with a 15% bonus that increases as group size increases. LotRO starts with a 20% XP bonus at a group size of 2 and scales up from there. CoH doesn’t have a group bonus but does scale up the mob density & levels with group size so the effect is essentially the same.

    What really urks me about people who are anti-grouping based on XP is that the bulk of XP in modern MMOs comes from quests, not mobs. This is true in LotRO and was true of TOR for the weekend I was in, too. Grouping means faster quest turnins which means faster leveling. Yet I’ve had people (on Reddit, not you MMOC) argue up and down that grouping, even when I proved they got a bonus, was a net loss for them and they’d rather solo. >.<

    • From someone who has played both solo and constantly grouped group (thank you, pesky leveling contract), I don’t know how anyone can still argue that being grouped up is slower. Perhaps their groups have been larger and there’s a lot of waiting around for people to get ready, etc? But with two people, you really do just plow through quests and leveling.

      And I too had faith that BioWare knew what they were doing. They may not have ever made an MMO before this, but I’m sure the people working on the game have played and do play MMOs and will know what the their target audience expects of them.

      The great thing about TOR group extra xp is the part you get bonus xp for helping out your buddy complete a quest even if you don’t have it in your log. So, as it was explained to me, if you are a smuggler grouping with a trooper, and trooper does his class quest while you watch, when trooper completes his quest and gets xp, you are also rewarded with some xp. Meanwhile, trooper also receives some social points because you were in the group with him. It’s sort of like a win-win situation. and you’re not just standing around only to get nothing out of it.

  8. I’m glad that Bioware seems to be executing so well on the MMO elements. Honestly, when you mentioned that you’ve been to th cap once already and are still going strong, a lot of my lingering concerns about SWTOR were allayed. It sounds like at the least I’ll get my usual three months or so out of it.

    • There is definitely replayability. Even after finishing one class story, I wanted to see what another class’s story was like. I’ve also played two troopers from scratch, though one I went Commando light side and one Vanguard dark side. Again, there are differences so I wasn’t tired of playing the same class again. Even after playing the smuggler to level 50, I wonder if things would be different if I had picked a different species or gender. A lot of what happened in my story actually only played out in a certain way because I was female.

  9. I actually very nearly stumbled onto a world boss on Coruscant. Luckily, I noticed the big droid before I backed onto his platform.

    I think most of the people on the comments make valid points. There are most likely more than a handful of reasons why people were (and are, to a degree) convinced SWTOR must be a single player experience. You touched on one that is the most usual of the usual suspects (BioWare’s history as a AAA single player developer), but I think I agree most with your first theory (meaningful narrative, companions = ZOMG, that HAS to be a single player game).

    I don’t think that thought process – story & companions = solo game – is entirely the fault of the players. God knows we don’t really have any games like SWTOR to really point to for a precedent.

    Make no mistake, the only thing SWTOR is really changing heavily about the MMO is adding story into the mix in a big way – but that is still a pretty radical change.

    The MMO genre – to my utter lament – has very rarely been about meaningful narrative investment in a character, and has been all about sinking time into an activity. I couldn’t tell you the state of my characters’ personalities if I only used what the game showed me about them in almost any MMO I’ve played. I could only tell you what my lore hound mind created for them as background. As for SWTOR, even in just one beta weekend I can tell you exactly how my characters are in personality (Smuggler = heart of gold, greedy; Sith Warrior = evil bastard, but more reasonable and more wise as the game progresses and the galaxy opens up; BH = goal oriented, eager to avenge Braden & Jory, etc.).

    Since no other MMO has really made story this integral to the experience, people don’t seem to know what to make of it. I guess it would be like the first time someone introduced the forward pass in football, or jump shooting in basketball; in the future, story may become as integral to an MMO as those analogical sports examples are to their respective sports. But that won’t happen until a precedent is set – BioWare is going to set that precedent as they go along with SWTOR.

    I remember some scoffed at Daniel Erickson’s comment at a con that in the future, MMORPGs may be more RPG than MMO; if SWTOR succeeds, you may actually have to consider the possibility.

    • Yes! Exactly!

      I can tell you a rough idea how each of my characters are. They are so nebulous so as to map onto most any MMO. For example my #1 character, Kristn, is a rough-and-tumble warrior who is often an honor bound stick-in-the-mud. Even though that is my concept of her the many incarnations of her through the years (AC Spear Melee, WoW Warrior, LotRO Warden just to name a few) were nothing more than “I wanna play a Warrior, that fits Kristn” and a new set of stats.

      In my weekend I played the IA and BH both through to when they got their ticket off the newbie world. Obviously the class quests were different but the side quests were the same.

      My IA I played as someone who does what she thinks is best for the Empire in any given situation. She double-crossed the original quest giver more than once based on information that was revealed later in the mission.

      Meanwhile my BH had a simple code, you never cross a contract, do the job as specified and get paid. The result? The same missions with the same objectives and the same mechanics played out differently for each character and were interesting for both. Finally my concept of what each character is helped guild choices in the game outside of weapon and talent choices.

      Yes, Kristn will be in TOR. Republic Trooper. I can’t wait!

    • @Jaramukhti – I do know one thing — after SWTOR it’s going to be hard to go back to the “traditional” questing where I have to show up at a silent quest giver and read their wall of text.

      I do agree adding story into the mix is a huge radical change. I do get the feeling it’s been downplayed and doesn’t get the recognition it deserves, Though I hope that will change once people start playing the game.

      @grey – What I found amazing is that once I got further into the game, the story bled into my feelings for my character and my thoughts for her personality. For example, I started out my smuggler as a rather callous, only-in-it-for-the-credits type of girl, and made my decisions the same way in the beginning of the game. But damn, the story really gets to you and you start caring for the NPCs in the world…at the end I became a big softie. Remind you of someone? I was like, damn, if this isn’t the ultimate Star Wars experience!

  10. Sorry, but I think most “mmorpgs” are mostly mmo with a hint of rpg and nothing more. So after playing in the previous weekend beta for SWTOR I can’t help but be reminded of those old Reese’s Peanut Butter cup commercials:

    “Hey, you got MMO in my RPG.
    You got RPG in my MMO.”

    • Isn’t that the way it should be? 😀

  11. I have to agree that calling swtor a single player MMO is definitely BS, but its not unique to swtor. A lot of people will refer to Guild Wars as single player as well. I definitely feel that Guild Wars is flawed by the instancing system but I would never call it single player, even though you can do a lot with henchmen. It’s even less true of SWTOR which is no different than other MMOs.

    • I wouldn’t call Guild Wars a single player either, despite the henchmen and the heavy instancing. I agree just because you can play it as a single player game doesn’t make it one. GW imo sort of illustrates that the best.

  12. As far back as i remember, i’ve always said the same thing about MMO’s. For something so massively multiplayer, they give me every reason in the world to not work with anyone. My first mmo, Star Wars Galaxies was a game in 3 parts.

    1. The grind of mastering one class after another. My O.G. mentor taught me the ropes of grinding, where to do it, what gear to get, and we’re off to the races. Considering there were a million crafting classes, and combat classes, all with ties of getting you to become a jedi, this was life, going from a faithful Droid Engineer, to a Master Chef, there wasn’t really any incentive to group with anyone.

    2. Questing for Credits. As anyone who played SWG knows, there were no quests, simply instanced “lairs of rancors” or “Imperial/Rebel Bases” that pop up with a few mobs to kill, the only incentive to group for these was raising the difficulty, thereby going from 8 thousand credit missions to, 20k a pop. Mind you, we could all group up into the 20’s, but if no one was near you when you destroyed the “base” so to speak, you got the entire cut of 20k, and since most classes were broken to the point you could solo everything, there was NO emphasis on grouping.

    3. I forget where i was going with THIS point, but there’s never been any incentive SINCE then to group up with people in any mmo to be honest. I played WoW forever, and the fact your xp is penalized for grouping makes it more effective to solo for a long while, at least until your rested xp was up, and just call for backup when a quest became impossible.

    So with what you said being taken into account, i really like that BioWare encourages group play in that regard. Because i enjoy grouping with people, working as a team, pvping, and basically working my class to the best of it’s ability alongside people who enjoy their class, tailored their playstyle to their strengths, and i can compliment them with mine, that’s the fun part of mmo’s to me, the comeraderie, knowing so and so is the best Jedi i know, or friend #2 is dynamite with heals, but can pack a punch all their own. Having someone to do quests with at the midnight hour, to have funny moments in dialogue, to just simply play with other people, that’s the dream.

    What i’ve seen over the last 4 years has been a nightmare. People who’ll only group with you because of your gear score, solo grinding? As a player, i’m a TEAM GUY, and it’s what’s always held me back in a game like Wow, because if i had to let it all come down to whether i’d rather pull an elite quest with friends, or pick flowers for hours on end to get AHEAD in the game, i’d rather do the elite quest.

    Now at least i know my companions will pick up ALL of my slack while i go out and have fun and attempt to be the nastiest, most negative, mean spirited darkside character i can be, regardless of my allegiance………just hope it doesnt hold me back in all my “romantic” escapades with my companions lol..

    • I’ve always liked to group up as well, and not just for instances or group quests either. I think that’s the bare minimum most games will attempt for these days, so I’m happy when I see MMOs come up with more unique opportunities and reasons to group up and make new friends other than just throwing dungeons or harder quests at the player.

      At the same time, I like how they’ve made everything non-required or all the perks optional. I like grouping, but I also sympathize with those who don’t want to or don’t have the time to wait around to find others to play with, especially those who play on underpopulated servers or at odd hours of the day. With the genre reaching out to more and more people including those with full time jobs or families, I don’t think forced grouping is a good idea anymore.

  13. You must understand that this is all a matter of opinion, as I believe the misconception is that the game is a true MMO. I don’t even think it’s a very good RPG either though.

    I think that most people believe this is a single-player RPG because it’s lacking so many common MMO features. I occasionally ask people, what have you found to do in SWTOR? Typically the answer is something about the story.

    When you really begin to dig, you find there’s nothing else to do. Crafting is essentially useless, PvP is so-so, combat is boring, and there’s…..hmmm….what else?

    Part of being a great MMO is offering social activities, competitions, ways to show off, etc. SWTOR has none of that.

    And on the RPG end, is SWTOR anywhere near as good as some of the recent RPG’s (Skyrim)?

    Offering a few occasions to group up does not make an MMO. Console games like COD offer multiplayer modes, are those MMO’s? So, the same argument could be made for SWTOR.

    Just wanted to play devils advocate, but realize the genre labeling is completely subjective; MMORPG, RPG, neither…?

    • I guess it all depends on who you ask, as I for one have found plenty of things to do in SWTOR. To be fair, I had a really good guild in beta, the same one I will be going with into launch. And I think that’s the crux of it — whether or not a player feels a game is a “true MMO” or not depends so heavily on how they play, whether or not they make the effort to socialize, etc.

      We’ve organized get-togethers, PvP fights between our sister guilds, world boss killing tours, datacron hunting expeditions, and the list goes on. So, I really do believe it has a lot to do with who you know and how you tackle the game. That’s why I personally feel SWTOR is a true MMO, because of all the social activities I’ve been involved with, the fact that it’s even POSSIBLE to be involved with them in the first place. I do admit it has a lot to do with the people I’ve met, however, and I feel fortunate to have such a great guild. Still, I just think to say that SWTOR “has none of that” is a little unfair, and I’ve given my reasons why.

      I agree not everyone’s going to have those opportunities. Most people aren’t, since so much of it is about being proactive in being social — like with all MMOs.

      With regards to the comparisons between Skyrim or CoD? Apples and oranges, I think most gamers will agree. Games like those are in a completely different realm than the games in the MMO genre, which by definition requires a persistent world which continues to exist and evolve, where huge numbers of players can interact. Keeping that in mind, it’s hard to draw any relevant comparisons between single RPGs and shooters vs. MMOs.

      I think Skyrim would make an especially terrible MMO for instance, since so much of what people love about that game is tied into the single-player experience. It’s one thing to meet other bad ass heroes on your journey, but being the dragonborn in that game is the ultimate awesome only because you are the only one. And important events that happen once make them special, otherwise it would cheapen the effect. And not to mention the technical aspects, transferring that openness to an MMO would be a balancing nightmare 😀

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