SWTOR vs. Guild Wars 2

  By Shamus   Aug 27, 2012   169 comments

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I am going to be talking about Star Wars: The Old Republic. However, I don’t want to fill this post with SWTOR screenshots, so everything you see here is from Guild Wars 2.

I was pretty hard on Star Wars: The Old Republic. But never have I felt less charitable than I do now, after my first day with Guild Wars 2. We can argue all you like about what went wrong with SWTOR. Did EA interfere too much? Did BioWare overreach? Was a grand vision marred by executive meddling? Did a few developers suddenly find themselves with more money and freedom than they had resources and ability?

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We can argue, but it’s all speculation. The only thing I know for sure is that the SWTOR team had some system of revolving-door contractors working on the thing. That’s idiotic and self-defeating. It does smack of EA’s bungling, heavy-handed management that doesn’t seem to understand how to make creative products. But In the end, I just don’t care. We can try to peek in the windows of EA / BioWare and guess at what went wrong, but what’s important is that it did go wrong. It went spectacularly wrong, and I seriously doubt the company is capable of making course correction. I would be delighted to be proven wrong on this point.

SWTOR aimed for the low-hanging fruit of WoW-cloning, and still managed to fumble spectacularly. They failed on gameplay. They failed artistically. They even failed at story, which was the one thing they were specifically trying to do right.

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I managed to write three entries of a SWTOR Let’s Play before I realized that I no longer cared. I wanted to point out how lazy and unworthy the story is compared to the standard set by KOTOR. (No need to jump in here and launch an argument along the lines of KOTOR being not all that great. The point is: Some people loved it, and SWTOR fell far short of that standard.) I wanted to deconstruct the Jedi Knight storyline, and how the writer can’t seem to remember what people are doing or why from one mission to the next. But somewhere around the end of the tutorial I realized I was getting bogged down simply cataloging the brokenness. Suddenly I realized I didn’t want to log into the game again, and so the series died.

(It doesn’t help that I wasn’t finding a lot of fertile ground for jokes. You need to love or hate something to make jokes about it. (Even better: Both.) Apathy is lousy fuel for comedy.)

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After a few hours with Guild Wars 2, I realize I’m very angry at EA / BioWare. I’m mad that they spent so much money. I’m mad that the end product looks so bland and soulless. I’m mad that they killed off Star Wars Galaxies. I’m mad that the internal development environment (and I have this on good authority from someone who worked there) was so dysfunctional. I’m mad that the Star Wars license was used with such carelessness. I’m mad at the lack of ambition. But most of all I’m mad because, if a few people had been doing their jobs, we could have gotten something really special for all that time and money.

Even if you loved SWTOR (and I’m happy if you did) I can’t think about how much better you would have loved it if there had been some sort of creative spark behind the thing beyond, “Let’s make a WoW clone using a Star Wars license and make piles of cash!”

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Guild Wars 2 is a visual feast. It is a lovingly crafted masterwork of polygonal artistry. It doesn’t aim for the dead-end of photo-realism, but neither does it chase after the attractive but overused cartoon style of WoW. The world of Guild Wars 2 is charming, whimsical, colorful, and diverse. Those aren’t backdrops you’re seeing in these screenshots. The stuff on the horizon is all part of the playable gameworld. The various regions each have their own tone and style. (I’ve only explored two of the five starting areas. Humans and Norn are wonderful. Chris tells me the Char area is a bit bleh.)

The gameplay is fun and mobile. You know how in WoW, it’s often a grind to kill those ten boars, and you’re just counting the dead pigs until you can move on? In Guild Wars 2, I blew over an hour taking part in a back-and-forth battle between the NPC townspeople and the bandits. The bandits would mount an assault on the water pipes, and it was kind of like a game of Team Fortress 2 payload where you have to stop the guy with the bomb from reaching the water pipes. Then the game would end and you’d defend the workers as they repair the pipes. Then you might mount an assault on the windmill where the bandits were hiding out. The battle swung back and forth, and anyone could come and go as they pleased. Each round awarded XP and the guys dropped lots of loot, so there was always something in it for me. I played because it was fun, not because it was a checkmark on my to-do list required to get to the next area of do-to lists.

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While SWTOR has a bunch of human-shaped races with different flavors of bumpy forehead, Guild Wars 2 has a world with some significant physiological diversity. Play as an eight-foot monstrous Char. Or as an adorable three-foot Asura. Or as… okay, the other races are basically Humans and “Stop Calling Us Elves!” But still. There’s a lot of visual diversity and cultural flavor in these choices.

Guild Wars 2 is not perfect and I’ll probably gripe about it a bit once it officially launches. But even if I’ve completely misjudged it and the whole thing fails, as least they failed trying.

There’s no monthly fee. You can jump right to the end-game PvP gameplay from the outset without needing to grind out 80 levels first.

The streets aren’t clogged with highlevel mounts. (No mounts.) You can teleport around almost at will without the game pissing away a bunch of time riding the gryphon, or the speeder bike, or the steed, or whatever names people give to their in-game bus. The game lets you level your character in the starting area you enjoy most, not where the designers say you have to.

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You don’t have to kill ten boars to get to the guy who will give you a quest to kill ten boars. If you kill ten things while you’re near his property, it counts, and he mails you the reward. There’s exploration based gameplay and XP, encouraging and rewarding players who love to run around ,see the sights, and try to figure out how to get on top of that one thing because wouldn’t it be cool if you could? (And yes, you can!)

Remember how I said I wasn’t going to put in any SWTOR screenshots? I lied. Let me give you one from the big cinematic intro for the SWTOR Smuggler storyline:

I can’t even tell what I’m looking at here. It’s so dull my eyeballs refuse to see it.

Ah well. What do you expect for a lousy $200 million American dollars?


A Hundred!2020209Many comments. 169, if you're a stickler


  1. Torsten says:

    I bet that Guild Wars 2 also has lower system requirements than SWTOR despite looking much better.

    • Raygereio says:

      They’re pretty much the same actually.

      This does offcourse give me an excuse to repeat myself for the millionth time and say that competent artdesign trumps technical graphical prowess.

    • Nyctef says:

      GW2 definitely has higher system requirements than SWTOR – at least it is harder on the CPU since I had to upgrade mine – but it is so much prettier.

    • Mephane says:

      I agree in this regard. The game defaulted for my system to some mid-to-highish settings (most stuff on medium, only one option on high), it looks absolutely gorgeous, and still runs far smoother than SWTOR.

    • sista'bliss says:

      SWTOR story is just AWESOME…Graphics the same by overriding and maxing out through Graphic Card Control Panel…2 different stories,i prefer SWTOR.
      Before judging this game(swtor) give a check on the character voices actors ;)…overall is one of the best mmo!

  2. Deadpool says:

    I look forward to trying this out at your Guild… Having not played the first one, and indeed going into this mostly blind (which is kinda fun sometimes) I got my fingers crossed…

    This post does help ease the doubt…

    • Mari says:

      You really don’t need to have played the first one anyway, as evidenced by the fact that there is a collection of novels and wiki entries to bridge the time-gap between the first one and GW2. It’s like going into Star Wars with no knowledge of The Old Republic. Sure, knowing TOR would give you a taste for the galaxy itself but so much has changed that you would barely recognize the SW galaxy if all you knew was TOR.

  3. Porecomesis says:

    Well, that definitely looks impressive. Sadly, I’m not an MMO person so I don’t think I’ll get it.
    Reading this, I’ve been thinking of a question: Shamus, have you ever been in a team making a game before? If you have, what was it like?

    • Shamus says:

      I have done a bit of contract work here and there, but never anything that would qualify as “I was officially part of a team that made a game.”

      My main job before 2007 or so was working for Activeworlds. Activeworlds is to Second Life as Everquest is to World of Warcraft. While that work had a lot in common with game development, it’s not really the same thing.

    • Skyy_High says:

      While I totally understand the “I’m not an MMO person” mentality, because there are certainly aspects of the genre (like, say, expecting a player to play a single game for more than 30 hours) that are unique and are potentially off-putting, it’s worth mentioning that ANet’s Manifesto video starts with the quote, “If you love MMOs, you’re going to want to check out Guild Wars 2, but if you hate MMOs, you’re *really* going to want to check out Guild Wars 2.”

      • X2Eliah says:

        That’s the thing though, this game still has most of the really major problems that, for example, make me avoid the genre.
        – there’s still the insane amount of time needed to ‘see everything’/’do everything’ (while you can probably do just 1hr/day, you have to do way more to keep up with your friends/contacts)
        – there’s still the problem of other people being around and being sort-of needed for a lot of things
        – there’s still the problem of grinding, it seems
        – there’s still the half-naked elfladies showing their boobage in “armour”

        – most importantly, it’s still a timesink that runs in it’s own timeframe that you have to adhere to. If you leave the game for 3 days, it will have changed. Singleplayer games start off exactly where you left them without punishing you for having “real-world problems”; this seems to still do that.

        I feel that the “if you hate MMOs, you *really* should give this a try” is a completely incorrect idea. If you hate Wow-clone MMOs, then sure, yes, give this a look. But not if you hate MMOs, period. Because GW2 is still very very very much an MMO.

        • Vipermagi says:

          Perhaps strangely, GW2’s ten times more of an MMO than the first game, which you can complete on your own in its entirety. Other players are optional because there’s AI that are competent enough (if you are), and every single quest and story mission is instanced. That quote is much more true for the first than the second game.

        • Skyy_High says:

          I think you’re misinformed about some things, and you might consider a different perspective on some of these “problems”.

          The fact that it’ll take you an huge amount of time to “do everything” and “see everything” is not a negative. That just means there’s a lot of content. See, if the game were wasting your time, making you take forever just to do simple things, then that would be a problem…but the game is absolutely NOT wasting your time. Every minute in the game you can be doing something fun, seeing or doing something new, or just exploring a new way to play your class. Yes, it’s a big game, and if you don’t have a huge amount of time to devote to it…who cares? We’re not going to laugh at you if you don’t have 6 max-level characters by the end of the month. Did you not buy Skyrim because you were afraid that you’d never be able to see everything?

          Other people are around, and you WILL form ad-hoc groups with them, but apart from dungeons and a few of the really big boss events scattered around, you’ll never “need” another player to help you. You’ll never be waiting around wishing that someone would come help you (again, with the exceptions of dungeons and boss events, and I guarantee you that people will flock to boss events without you having to say or do anything). There’s also effectively zero way for other people to grief you. Basically the only thing they can do is be rude in chat, and there’s an ignore function for that. Actually, ANet’s been very swift with the temporary ban-hammer for chat violations.

          Grinding? No, not really. You go to an area, you kill/protect/defend/collect some stuff, you move on when it suits you, you come back when it suits you. And that’s the most basic explanation of the content; in reality, your objectives have a “twist” with almost every heart, particularly once you get out of the tutorial area (about lvl8). You get down-scaled to the area you’re in, so you can never “outlevel” content, either. Leveling just gives you more and more of the world to explore. This is absolutely not your traditional MMO grind.

          Half-naked ladies? There are armor sets like that, yes. There are also a lot of armor sets (like, most of them, early on especially) that are concealing enough that you’d be comfortable walking around in them. Transmutation stones mean that you’ll never have to wear some armor you don’t like just to get stats you want.

          Yes, the game changes….but you’re not getting left behind. You’re not getting “punished”. The game is changing because the world is alive, it persists with or without your presence, which means that all of your actions have greater significance because you’re not just affecting *your* game, you’re affecting the game of everyone around you as well. Put the game down for 3 days, a week, a month, who cares? When you get back, your character will be exactly as you left it, there will still be content for you to do and explore (a lot of which is instanced for you, by the way: all of the heart quests are static and you’ll always be able to complete them regardless of anything else). If that means you see dynamic event A while someone else saw dynamic event B when passing through an area, so what? That’s the beauty of the game: the world isn’t just a static checklist of stuff for you to do, it’s an actual world.

          Plus, getting to max level with max equipment is relatively easy compared to other MMOs, and once you do so you will not need to keep running on the treadmill in order to “keep up” with everyone else. Oh, and no monthly fees. The game is completely designed around you being able to put it down for days, weeks, or months without feeling “guilty” or like you’re wasting your money.

          Anyway. Just my thoughts.

    • Sabrdance (MatthewH) says:

      My problem -so to speak -is much simpler: I do not have enough time to start another MMO. Actually, to start an MMO. And yet this is so tempting. I suppose the really relevant question is: can you play this game in 1-hour per day increments?

      • mneme says:

        Yeah, you totally can. Go in, wander around a bit, fight some stuff.

        The game keeps track of everything you do and lets you log out at pretty much every point except for instanced quests (and I’ve yet to run into an instanced quest that took more than an hour to complete — maybe the dungeons), so you can play for a bit, make some progress (or just do some crafting) and then stop.

        • Jarenth says:

          Not to mention that if you’re into PVP, level ceases to matter entirely. You can always PVP with your friends, all the time, forever.

          Not always on the same team, but that’s another issue entirely.

  4. CrushU says:

    Been trying to get an invite to the guild for two days now. :P
    Taralon is the character name.

    I kinda like the Sylvari. They’re not exactly elves, and, in a way, the ‘elf’ role is taken by the Humans. They’re an ‘older’ race, helping a younger race. They aren’t too prideful though, it seems. (Yet, at least.)

  5. Keredis says:

    To be fair, the “Stop Calling Us Elves!” are made of plants. Which is kind of an interesting take on a race attuned to nature.

    I’m also a fan of the Vistas, which give you a short flyby of an interesting area too look at. And exp. That’s right, you get experience for admiring the scenery. Which is easy to admire.

    • Sagretti says:

      Though vistas are usually jumping and exploration puzzles, so they require at least some effort for the xp. That does touch on something I love, though. Nearly anything you do in the game, including gathering and crafting items, grants xp. You never feel like you’re wasting your time doing something not-killing related.

      • Hitch says:

        Or what I love, “I just want to run around and do whatever I feel like and not worry about XP. Oh look, I leveled up twice doing that. Thanks game.”

        • Mari says:

          Yeah, the other amazing way to level is crafting. I blew through 2 levels by making food and creating new recipes. o_O The down side is that I forget to EAT the food and there’s not much space in the bank for it so I wind up with inventory management issues because I’m crafting. I’ve taken to mailing food items to everyone I know.

          • Fleaman says:

            I’ve been kind of out of the loop on this game. I’d see headlines that Guild Wars 2 is revolutionizing the way RPGs think about levelling! and I’d be like “Heard it.” and just walk on.

            But you are telling me that you are playing this game as a lvl X Kindly Pie Granny.

            That is a class I have not played.

            • Fang says:

              I may have to grab the game just for that class.

            • Mari says:

              Oh, I’ve killed stuff, too. Often in search of new food ingredients. LOL Seriously, I’m currently level 22 and I’ve probably gained 2 of those levels from talking to people in cut-scenes on my personal story line, another 5 of them from making food, 4 or 5 from exploring towns (matter of fact I started off today at level 20 – haven’t killed anything all day – just went through asura gates and explored new towns) and the rest from killing stuff.

              And yes, I seriously am mailing food to anyone and everyone I know in-game just to bleed off the excess. Last night one friend got 5 strawberry cookies, a chocolate banana, a bowl of green bean stew, and 2 different apple pies. I like crafting. It’s fun.

      • Mari says:

        Not all of them are jumping puzzles. A good number of the vistas in Divinity’s Reach and the Queensdale area (I’m just barely into Kessex right now) were walk up and look. As a matter of fact, I only had trouble getting to one vista – and I’m still not sure what I was doing wrong with it because I eventually got it by doing the exact same thing that I had been failing at.

        • Sagretti says:

          Oh, there are definitely plenty that are pretty straightforward. But some of them are downright evil. I just finished one that required speed boosts, was almost excessively long, and had several failure points that would require starting over. Thankfully it rewarded an achievement, so at least it’s a little more rewarding.

          • Aldowyn says:

            Those vistas remind me of the holocrons from TOR. Although I bet the movement mechanics in GW2 are quite a bit better than TOR.

          • mneme says:

            I’ve yet to find a vista that required speed boosts, actually. Some of the tricker ones do require dropping down from a height, though.

            I ended up using a speed boost to get to the mausoleum one in Divinity’s Reach, but I didn’t need it; the boost itself was overkill once I found the right route (but hey, I’m maining an elementalist; might as well take the perks to avoid extra retries).

          • Lovecrafter says:

            That evil one, was it at Breached Wall, perchance? I know I broke out a few choice words while tumbling to my death on that one.

            • Sagretti says:

              Yes! Breached Wall was getting me close to keyboard chucking rage, something I haven’t experienced in a long time. They give you a skill point, vista, and achievement for doing it, so at least it’s worth it. Kinda.

          • Mari says:

            I saw several people today using speed boosts on a couple of vistas but I don’t HAVE any speed boosts and managed them anyway. Although at least one I realized after that I hadn’t done it the way the game intended me to solve it. After I dropped onto it from above I discovered that there was a clever set of bracket fungi making a stair step up from the ground. I still prefer my solution. I’d almost always prefer to attack from above than hop around like I’m in a platformer. There’s a REASON I don’t play platformers.

            • Mephane says:

              Yesterday I found a particularly tricky (some would even say nasty) jumping puzzle that lead to a chest with some items and an achievement for reaching it, instead of a vista point, and although it did not seem required, both my speed boost and my cloud-of-mist-transformation were tremendously helpful at a few points. Particularly the latter, as I could rush through gushs of wind that would normally have blown you off your feet and down into the depths. Only after several failed attempt I had the idea to try it out, and it worked. I love moments like these where you try out a rather unorthodox solution to a problem and the game does not arbitrarily decide that you are supposed to solve the problem in one and only one way.

        • Mephane says:

          The vista points in the Asura staring area are fairly easy to get to, too. It just takes a moment to realized that you can indeed walk up those steep-looking sides of the turned-45 degrees cubes and triangles (love the style of thise buildings, btw), and that if there are floating stone plates which appear like stairs, they really are stairs.

        • Corpital says:

          Do you also get this urge to do a leap of faith after the AssCreed-Style cutscenes?
          Even after the tenth death because of >4k falling damage I have yet to succeed in a saving throw vs jump.

      • Winter says:

        It’s nice that you can actually level up without fighting anyone, in theory. You could build a totally avoidance-centric character and run around leveling up, even doing a lot of heart quests, while being a total pacifist.

        It’d be slow, though.

    • Mephane says:

      To be fair, the “Stop Calling Us Elves!” are made of plants. Which is kind of an interesting take on a race attuned to nature.

      Yeah, but I was disappointed by how much they look like Elves with just a plant-style skin (although those are beautifully detailed and very varied), they even have ears and a nose instead of, like, photosynthesizing and not breathing at all. I guess they did it this way because the Sylvari should fill the role of elves, so that players loving them have something akin to them.

      • acronix says:

        That can be handwaved easily: They need ears to hear the other races, and their noses are used to move air into their throat and be able to speak.

        Or you could just argue that having no ears or nose would make them look aesthetically unpleasing for the players.

        • Hitch says:

          My silvari has virtually no nose. I had to log back into the game to check because I thought it wasn’t there at all — it’s just very hard to see. You can also choose ears which don’t look much like ears, they just happen to be in the right place on the head. But I went with the classic pointy elf ears, because who are we kidding, the silvari are the “but our elves are different” race of Guild Wars 2.

  6. Mazinja says:

    I am quite enjoying GW2 myself! The non-standard way that quests work is pretty nice. There only really seem to be a handful of “go here and talk to this person” type quests and then those tend to get special treatment since they are your character’s personal quest.

    And yes, art-wise, the game is freaking BEAUTIFUL.

  7. ENC says:

    My GW2 thoughts:

    – Some areas are incredibly grindy for the heart/renown quests; I don’t want to grab an item literally 30 times over as it just destroys the whole pace of the game.

    – Points of Interest are sometimes harder to get than vistas.

    – There is no tutorial for anything.

    – The game is one of the laggiest I have ever played; it’s better now that the servers are relieved but there is still an enormous delay on everything (Aussie here). Everyone I’ve talked to has said melee classes are impossible due to the absurd amounts of lag they receive. Even as a ranged there’s nothing worse than popping a heal, dying a second later, and seeing the heal attempt to go off another second later.

    – I had a massive FPS issue that I had to fix myself that occured every 2nd day.

    – The game seems to have been picked up by the elitists as there’s a lot of people skipping all the dialogue to get to the ‘endgame'; this isn’t like WoW, levelling is the best part of the game hands down. The only reason you’re here is to say you’re better than everyone else at the new game.

    – Although the animations and visuals are top notch as well as the gameplay.

    – Guest system and ‘join’ not working on launch means I can’t actually play with mates outside of PvP.

  8. Bubble181 says:

    GW2 is the type of MMO I imagine I’d love playing if I ever had the time/motivation to get around to playing an MMO.
    SWTOR is the game I’d love to play in a single-player variety. :p

  9. Abnaxis says:

    Dammit, now I have to stop being lazy and finish building my new PC.

    Not for new system requirements, but because I’m gonna need 2 PCs to play with my wife.

  10. newdarkcloud says:

    There’ no monthly fee. You can jump right to the end-game PvP gameplay from the outset without needing to grind out 80 levels first.

    Should be “There’s”. Sorry for being a pain in the butt about spelling/grammar.

  11. Meredith says:

    “You don’t have to kill ten boars to get to the guy who will give you a quest to kill ten boars.”

    I think that’s the best thing I’ve heard about the game so far. I hate that in MMOs. “Go kill ten of the thing you just killed fifty of on the way here.” Then you have trouble finding the right ten in the designated area and end up fighting another thirty or so on the way to hand it in.

    It looks really pretty too.

    • Chris says:

      Well you still have to kill 10 boars, but here it’s done a little differently.

      In WoW and other MMOs you talk to the questgiver who tells you to kill 10 Whatsits for a prize. Then you go out and wander over to the area that has Whatsits. Then you kill 10 Whatsits. Then you trek back and collect your prize. Then you rinse/repeat with different Whatsits for different questgivers.

      In Guild Wars the idea is that you walk into an area already set to your level (and if you’re too high for that area you’ll be auto-scaled to an appropriate level so you can’t harass other users). When you’re in that level-appropriate area, you automatically get a list of random crap you can do – kill Whatsits, interact with Whooseits, collect Thingymajiggers, etc. They’re varied but all pretty shallow, mostly just clicking on or killing things.

      The idea is that the generic “kill 100 things” quest exists to give you something to do while waiting on/looking for the events that Shamus was talking about. They’re not all constantly going and reset about every 5-10 minutes, so there’s occasional downtime. So in between the more game-like and scripted events, you can grind for XP by completing these menial tasks. It works pretty well, all things considered.

      • Will says:

        How are the “heart/renown quests” related to this?

        • Mazinja says:

          Those ARE the heart/renown quests! The idea is that you do so many actions as you help the quest giver, and you see a bar filling up as you go. When an Event happens in such an area, you are ALSO contributing to said heart quest (At least, as far as I´ve seen!). When the bar fills up, you get a mail (that you can check right away) with the reward, which is usually some coin. The quest giver also becomes a vendor that sells some stuff appropiate to him/her. For example, the farmer that you helped now sells you PIE, and the recipe to make said pie if you are a chef.

          However, the events are the way you get the currency needed to buy some things, including the stuff that vendor sells. Events reward you with XP and a form of currency different from the normal coin (which you use to buy normal items, pay for fat travel, and so).

          • Zaxares says:

            Another nice thing about that system is that you’re not forced to do a particular task in order to complete a Renown Quest. If you like slaughtering enemies, complete the quest by killing wurms and bandits plaguing the farm. If you’re tired of killing things, you can also complete the quest by feeding the farm’s cows and watering the crops. Both are equally valid means of completing the quest.

            Sometimes, there will also be “events” which are geared to allow multiple players to complete at the same time, and these too have flexibility. Suppose bandits have come in to burn down the farm. You can fight off the bandits, but suppose you were just passing by and are too low-level to fight the level 5 bandits. You can still take part in the event by putting out fires that the bandits have lit. The bandits (usually) won’t attack you unless you attack them first, so this still lets you contribute even though trying to fight the bandits directly would be suicidal.

            • Mari says:

              Don’t forget that you can also contribute to events by buffing other players and rezzing them when they fall. I’ve seen that happen multiple times – one or two people would just hang back and rez and buff. When there are already thirty people wailing on the “object that must be destroyed” you start feeling like, “What’s the point?” but there are other ways to help and you get rewarded for those, too.

              • Mephane says:

                Yep, I found that those alternative ways of contribution are very valid means of helping. I once reached an event where we had to defend a position against waves of foes, just when the last wave had arrived before it was all over. I tossed in a few spells, among them a big AoE heal, and got a gold medal just for healing a dozen players and NPCs during that single encounter.

  12. Joe Cool says:

    Yes, but what are the loading times like? The final nail in the coffin for SWTOR for me was the two-minute loads to change zones. (In Just Cause 2, it would take 10-15 seconds to load, and I never saw another loading screen. I couldn’t bring myself to wait so long for such little entertainment in SWTOR when such endearing havoc was so close by in JC2.)

    • CTrees says:

      See this, I dont get. I actually timed a few of the long loads in swtor. It’s usually about 30s for me, which is vastly different than the multiple minutes I keep hearing about.

      For reference I have one character at 50 and a few others at lower levels. Also computer is ~2yrs old, not runing an SSD.

    • Chris says:

      I have a new-ish computer, so my times may be biased, but load times don’t generally exceed 20 seconds. It’s enough to be a notable pause, but not enough that you generally decide to get up and make yourself a cup of coffee or go to the bathroom.

    • Nordicus says:

      Guild Wars 2 between-area loading screens can take up to 30 seconds, sure, but as I’ve heard it, SWTOR areas aren’t nearly as big or filled with as much content

      • CTrees says:

        Generally there’s only one loading screen each time you change planets (the three second load of cut scenes really doesnt count). Yoh can walk from one end of Belsavis to the other without a loading screen. That’s pretty darn big, honestly. Hearthstoning will get another couple second load, but again I really dont count that.

    • l3f4y says:

      Long-distance teleports or instance changes are generally about 15-20 seconds max, as Chris said; shorter-range teleports, elevator rides, and certain other things are instant, which is wonderful.

    • Joshua says:

      My wife and I are long-time LOTRO players, where the initial loading screen can take up to 5 minutes sometimes. In comparison, GW2 seems to load very quickly. The only downside is that right now, the servers are very populated and you tend to get put in an overflow server for the first 20-30 minutes. This isn’t an issue if you’re playing solo. It should also improve as the game progresses too.

      • Mephane says:

        At first I was worried about the overflow instances and loading screens when switching between those and the main instances. Then I found the transition is instant, no loading screen whatsoever. I don’t mind being put into an overflow area at all now.

      • Mari says:

        Not only is going into overflow not an issue, but it can be exploited to become a benefit. Harvestable resources (plants, metals, trees) are exclusive to the server so if I go onto an overflow server I immediately run around collecting as many resources as possible before I get bumped to the main server where I can collect them all again!

    • Mephane says:

      My loading times in SWTOR were horrendously long. In GW2 (on my machine at least), time from starting the launcher to actually running off doing stuff is less than a single typical loading screen in SWTOR.

  13. Robyrt says:

    Watched my brother play it for a few hours the other day. It seems tough to tell what’s going on – the same great art design that makes the world so interesting to look at means everyone has a half-dozen glowing auras and explosion effects, so in a big battle (especially underwater) you have no idea who is doing what to whom. And yeah, the Char starting area is boring in both story and art design. If I wanted to see a post-post-apocalyptic shantytown, there are a dozen other games I could be playing.

    • Sagretti says:

      The second Charr leveling zone is quite a bit better. It’s farmland, which sounds boring, but it allows for a lot of humor. This includes Meatoberfest, the cowapult, and a world event where you dress up like a cow to teach other cows how to fight.

      • TheZoobler says:

        Say WHAT?!

        I think I NEEDS me some Charr 15-25 zone up in here. That’s Diessa Plateau, right? Or is it another area?

        And while I am in the crowd that thinks the Charr starting area is one of the most bland and uninteresting, I have to say that it still looks pretty good and that it at least continues to add variety to the Mystical Forest/Science Jungle/Farmland/Mountains roster. I mean, if we ever get sick of all the glowy (awesome) plants in Caledon Forest, or the farms of Queensdale, we’ll have us a little patch of hell to visit lol.

        Plus, there are people out there who like that kind of thing, and it gives them a place to be. And it’s a pretty interesting area if you played GW1.

      • Cody211282 says:

        Wait what? This sounds like a 180 from the first part.

    • Canthros says:

      I actually find the Charr starting area kind of interesting, but that’s mostly because very large chunks of it contain recognizable bits of old Ascalon. So, I’ll be puttering along and realize my character’s in what’s left of Ashford Abbey, or whatever.

      I have zero difficulty seeing how somebody else would find it pretty boring, though. It contains quite a lot of brown and broken architecture.

    • Peter H. Coffin says:

      so in a big battle (especially underwater) you have no idea who is doing what to whom.

      Some might claim that’s not far from really how battles go… (:

  14. Doctor Satan says:

    On a side note: Even I’m now used to this visual style of your site, Shamus, I’d say I preferred the previous one. Though IMO it wasn’t that different to this, so no gripes. :)

    Anyway, I think the main problem with making the MMO, or games in general, is having one vision. Ask each member of the team (including execs), what their MMO’s most defining/original/awesome feature is. If there is a feature not in any member’s list, something is wrong. I’d say the most common answers for SWTOR would be “monthly free” and “Star Wars baby”, and “Han Solo” maybe. But I ain’t a dev (student, in a country were games are considered superbad, here), so I don’t know.

    The main reason single player-esque story doesn’t work properly in MMOs is because MMOs are supposed to be 100+ hour experiences and crafting a well made 100+ story is hard. Doing it eight times is even harder. Wanting to add some variation for each player? Good luck.

  15. Vipermagi says:

    “Or as… okay, the other races are basically Humans and “Stop Calling Us Elves!”
    Probably the most unique thing about the Not Elves is their physiology (at least in my opinion), and their nature takes a solid second place (born full-grown, no knowledge of life besides images, good luck). They’re shaped as plants that take humans as a sample form, rather than as humans with leaves tacked on to hide the naughty bits. They’re still definitely human though, and perhaps one step further wouldn’t have hurt. Ah well, with how much they did right, a small miss here and there was inevitable ;)

  16. Xinem says:

    My own performance has been what I would consider exceptional, especially given a several-years-old computer. I usually run 20-30 fps at “good” quality settings (I realize that some people would actually consider that a *poor* frame rate.) I haven’t really had any problems with lag and very few connection issues. From reading the GW2 forums, I’m guessing that YMMV regarding not only computer specs, but server response and network speeds.

  17. Daimbert says:

    I think we’re on completely different ends of the spectrum here wrt TOR, as you basically gave up on the game fairly early, and for me this is the first MMO where I’ll actually hit the level cap. You got tired of the story, and for me the story is what is bringing me back (although I’m playing the Sith Warrior story). You compare it unfavourably to the story in KOTOR, while the fact that you can react to it with internal motivations is what makes it remind me of that game. I’m also less enthusiastic about GW2’s way of getting XP, as it might be too open-ended for me, but we’ll have to see about that when I get around to playing it … which will be after my something like five alts or so in TOR.

    TOR, for me, isn’t the best MMO I’ve ever played. CoH is that. But I’m not sure the sort of creative spark you mention would have made it better for me, or possibly worse. But that’s the way things go.

    • Mike S. says:

      I’m in between. I really like some of the SWTOR stories, and keep going back for them, but then get really tired of MMO grinding and take a break. (SWTOR was my only MMO other than a month or two of City of Heroes.)

      The monthly fee probably would have led me to drop it at that point, but my wife is still way into it and we have a couple of friends we run flashpoints with, so that keeps me in until I can get up the motivation to get through the less inspiring sidequests to find out what next twist my Imperial Agent will get hit with in his character arc.

      While I don’t have much of a basis for comparison, I think the character stories, some of the flashpoints, and a lot of the background details are really inspired. It’s especially interesting when you get through enough of the stories (directly or vicariously) to see how they interact.

      (E.g., my wife’s Jedi Knight was just told of a weird, inexplicable event on Belsavis, which she knows from talking to someone who’s played the Consular is a result of something he did. My Imperial Agent discovers a conspiracy that involves major players from several other storylines. Empire Taris is in the future from Republic Taris, so my Agent got to see how the efforts my Smuggler assisted ultimately worked out.)

      So while I’m in the camp who’d have preferred KOTOR 3, I don’t think SWTOR is an offense against gaming. It served as a decent methadone for my Mass Effect addiction while I waited for ME3 to come out, and I still want to see how the stories I’m in ultimately resolve. I could certainly wish it were less MMOish in its grind and gear treadmill, neither of which I can bring myself to care about, but I don’t regret the time I’ve spent on the game. (And I hope it can survive, despite it’s obvious failure to hit anywhere near the target audience size Bioware set for it.)

      • Daimbert says:

        I’ve found the grind manageable, actually. I’m making sure to get my rest XP, and so basically just run every quest from the area I’m in. Getting some of the bonus XP is a bit of a pain, especially the multi-stage ones, but those gives so much XP bonus that they’re definitely worth doing.

        My biggest grind problem is that even running around ends up with my having to kill too many things to get to where I need to be. I’m a Sith Warrior that avoids fighting as much as possible, which is a bit odd.

        I have had some issues with gear, but am mostly noticing that now at level 47, starting at about maybe level 40. And I’ll be better prepared on my next char.

        I would have preferred KOTOR 3, too, but for me this is a more than adequate alternative.

        • Mike S. says:

          One thing I really liked about doing a stealth-based Imperial Agent was that it let me walk past the random wildlife and groups of guards that felt like nothing more than an obstacle to getting to the interesting fights and the story. (He really wonders if some of the resources spent on making a bunch of unsustainable conquests and sowing a galactic-scale war in the near future might not have been better spent, say, getting rid of the fricking monsters on the main road between the capital city and its spaceport.)

          The downside of that was that he tended to be chronically underleveled, and so would have to play catchup every so often, and he’s better suited to fights that allowed divide-and-conquer tactics than single tough bosses. But it was nice to feel largely free to skip the “kill twenty of this type of mook to no obvious general gain” quests and get on with the class and planet stories.

          (It was also fun to play with stealth to, get a look at some locations I couldn’t practically fight my way through to. Though of course that’s a bit hazardous, since a lot of high-level monsters and droids have stealth detection.)

          • Daimbert says:

            Yeah, I loved that sort of thing in CoH and I’m sure I’d love it here, too, if I ever get around to creating a character that has it [grin]. But for the most part running the basic missions got me enough XP, although there were times when I was in an area where I ended up getting an entire level just from the things I had to kill in that area to make it to my missions.

    • Stormkitten says:

      I think TOR does the story presentation better than GW2. You can have all the people there, in the game environment as a cutscene, and have actual conversations with the NPCs. And you can bring guests along to all your class story instances (with some annoying exceptions, like open world conversations, and starship bays). In GW2, it’s a lot harder to group up and follow someone else’s personal quest, and there’s a lot less variance in how you get to express your character. You basically pick a mood at the start of the game, and that governs all your dialogue.

      • Daimbert says:

        That’s one of the reasons that I compare it favourably to KOTOR; it spends more time just having you say things to NPCs without telling you how to say it, so in some cases you can decide what you want to say for reasons that might not seem normal for your character. I haven’t tried GW2, but that’s the sort of thing I really want; the ability to act how I want as my character without the game presuming why I did it.

      • Incunabulum says:

        I agree, and would have to add that I think the cutscenes and dialogue in GW2 are its weakest part.

        I’ve played SW:TOR, TSW, and now GW2. TOR has the best in this area – the scenes are decently written, well acted and directed, and allow some interation and player choice to express your character’s personality.

        TSW has scenes that are as well written, acted, and directed, but they are non-interactive and serve basically as exposition.

        GW2 – well, quite a bit of the dialogue sounds like its low-end fan-fic, a lot of the voice work is, if not actually wooden, delivered like the actors did not record the scene together, and your character (no matter the race as far as I can tell) is the niavely helpfull hero of the sort that pops up so often in mediocre RPG’s – you’re eager and willing to do anything, no matter how menial and pointless, that some random person asks. All just to get a pair of boots.

        • Lachlan the Mad says:

          Play as an Asura; problem solved. I love their storyline and have completely neglected all of the other characters just to hear the li’l mad scientists talk about their love of explosion.

  18. CTrees says:

    Spam filter didnt catch this? Huh.

    • Aldowyn says:

      It’s tracked, this happens whenever he gets linked on another site IIRC. Check below the comments, you’ll see it again.

    • Shamus says:

      Yeah, I had to delete that one manually. (Note to others, CTrees comment was originally a reply to trackback spam.) On the other hand, it DID catch a half-dozen perfectly harmless and genuine comments from people who have previously left hundreds of legitimate comments.

      Sure, the spam filter is malfunctioning and dumb, but at least it’s… doing something?

      • Jace911 says:

        “You can’t blame the police for catching the wrong people and ignoring the drug dealers, at least they’re doing something!”

        :p

      • Peter H. Coffin says:

        spam filter: not working < working poorly < working oddly < working properly.

        We seem to be in the "working oddly" stage. That's pretty good, over all.

        • Peter H. Coffin says:

          [ This is an ignorable test of the comment hierarchy engine. If it’s working, this will attach to my comment about spam filter functionality. If it’s not, it will make a new root comment. ]

  19. Adeon says:

    *sigh* I’m going to have to buy Guild Wars 2 aren’t I? Well I was kind of needing a break from CoH.

  20. Blackbird71 says:

    “I’m mad that they killed off Star Wars Galaxies.”

    Ok, I know, I sound like a broken record every time the topic comes up, but here’s the obligatory comment anyway:

    SWTOR didn’t kill Star Wars Galaxies; the NGE killed off Galaxies years ago.

    • Amarsir says:

      And yet I believe that after the initial quits, post-NGE Galaxies became more popular than pre-NGE. Personally I tried the original version, hated it, and never tried again. But I do understand it was something special to fans of that MMO sandbox approach.

      What I don’t understand is why Shamus is defending Galaxies’ existence here. Of storyline, gameplay, and graphics, I don’t recall any of them being particularly good – even accounting for age. Is it just “don’t kill something if some people like it”? Or a claim that Galaxies was better than SWTOR?

      Also I do hope for a good long analysis of why GW2’s gameplay is fun. GW1 felt so stiff, slow, hard to control, and face-smashy that if we’re going to classify it an MMO it would have to be my least favorite since EVE. I’d read that people found combinatorial power selection to be a fun puzzle, but for its faults I’m finding that DCUO subtly provides that better with much less fanfare.

      • Shamus says:

        I never played galaxies. Everything I know about it I learned from Randy, who loved the game super-much. He often talked about being in PvP dogfights where he was flying an X-wing he’d built himself, firing player-crafted missiles at the player-piloted foes.

        Doesn’t sound like something I’d enjoy, but was something completely unique. I seriously doubt the two would have competed all that much. Closing SWG to support TOR is like closing down a nearby hot dog stand because you’re worried it might eat into the customer base of your Wal-Mart. However, to execs who don’t understand the distinctions, I’m sure this made perfect sense.

        • drkeiscool says:

          I can’t remember the article, but I’ve heard Galaxies described as its own culture/society. It’s like if you lived in New York City since its very beginning, participated in building it to what it is now, and then having the city bulldozed to make room for a Disney Land.

          It’s not a perfect analogy, but a lot of people spent a lot of time creating a universe of their own, and then it was shut down seemingly just to make room for a poor man’s KoTOR 3.

          • Paul Spooner says:

            But, on the bright side, now SWG will never grow old, go though debilitating subscriber leak, get tricked out with pointless updates in a vain attempt to draw attention, and finally die alone. It died in it’s prime, and everyone can remember it now as a strapping healthy MMORPG that was cut off before its time.
            And all those people who were displaced, they’ll spend their time trying to get back to that perfect place that they remember. It will grow better in memory for the injustice of being taken away, and inspire greater demands on new games. Eventually, the memory of SWG will drive the development of even better games.
            But that’s just the bright side. Death sucks, even when it’s of a game.

            • Blackbird71 says:

              (Sorry, I can’t tell if you’re trying to be sarcastic at all; if you are, please ignore my post. If not, then I can’t ignore the sheer irony of your claims.)

              “But, on the bright side, now SWG will never grow old, go though debilitating subscriber leak,”

              The game was about eight and a half years old by the time it closed down; it was about 17 months ahead of the venerable WoW. And as for subscriber leak, I remember unnoficial reports from a few years ago estimating subscription numbers around 70-80,000. I’ve even seen some claiming as low as 17,000, but even I find that hard to believe. There was one example given in 2006 of there only being about 10,000 players logged in across all servers on a particular Friday night, but that is somewhat anecdotal.

              “get tricked out with pointless updates in a vain attempt to draw attention,”

              See “Trials of Obi-Wan”; an expansion so pointless, it was largely negated and useless two days after it went live. SOE even had to give refunds on it after threats of lawsuits for false advertising and bait and switch tactics.

              “It died in it’s prime, and everyone can remember it now as a strapping healthy MMORPG that was cut off before its time.”

              By all definitions, the game’s “prime” was before April 2005; I’ve never seen anything to indicate that subscriptions or player activity ever rose above pre-CU levels.

              “And all those people who were displaced, they’ll spend their time trying to get back to that perfect place that they remember. It will grow better in memory for the injustice of being taken away, and inspire greater demands on new games. Eventually, the memory of SWG will drive the development of even better games.”

              If only; my freinds and I have been trying to get back to that place for seven years; but everyone just seems to want to crank out WoW clones.

              “Death sucks, even when it’s of a game.”

              Yes, death of a game sucks; but undeath of a beloved game is even worse.

              • SyrusRayne says:

                You may want to take a look at this, if you haven’t already;

                http://www.swgemu.com/forums/content.php

                Pre-CU (I believe,) SWG. Don’t let the “emu” bit fool you, you /do/ need a legal copy of SWG to play, I think. I haven’t been able to play for this reason, for example.

                • Blackbird71 says:

                  Don’t let that stop you; you can pick up used copies of the disks off of ebay for just a few bucks. If you’re interested at all, it’s worth trying out. I haven’t checked out the emu in a while, so I’m not certain how far they’ve come, but from what I’ve seen, they’ve done a pretty good job of putting things back the way they were.

              • Mephane says:

                If only; my freinds and I have been trying to get back to that place for seven years; but everyone just seems to want to crank out WoW clones.

                Right on topic. GW2 is not a WoW clone. It is actually the first MMO where I really hav the feeling that yes, this finally is one of those “next gen MMOs” everyone has been talking about for years without actually making it happen.

                • Blackbird71 says:

                  You’re right, GW2 is definitely not a WoW clone. But it’s also vastly different from what SWG was; so I have yet to find anything else that gives a similar experience.

                  I don’t know if I can really explain it well, but SWG was just a very different game, not just mechanically but socially. I tend to be a bit antisocial; I don’t like to involve myself with people I don’t know. In MMOs I hate PUGs, avoid most open chat channels, and spend most of my time soloing or just playing with people I know IRL. SWG was different; it’s the only game where I’ve really gotten to know other players whom I’ve never met face to face. I think it is in large part that the way the game and the mechanics were set up, player interaction was a part of the game, not just for completing quests or objectives, but for all sorts of actions. There were things to do with other players besides just “kill 10 (womp)rats”. It wasn’t forced interaction by any means, but it was facilitated interaction.

                  What I find in other MMOs is that trying to communicate and keep in contact with other players can be a major task in itself; either you have to juggle a button-mashing attention-intensive combat system and short replies in between attacks, or there is no easy way of leaving messages for offline players, or you can’t contact players on other servers, or a level gap keeps you segregated into different tasks and areas, or you have to set up a third party voice chat system with server addresses and passwords just to talk to team members, or any combination of the above. The bottom line is that communication in MMOs is just such a hassle that you usually only resort to it when it’s absolutely necessary (or maybe while you’re bored waiting for your gryphon ride to get you to Stormwind). I never had that problem with SWG; player communication just worked, and the game was a much better experience for it.

          • Chuck says:

            I concur. As an SWG player, the thing I loved most about it was the community. I don’t have a lot of MMO experience, but Galaxies’ players was a group I’ll always remember as a generally great bunch that I was glad to play with.

            I liked the TCG, too. I’m weird like that.

        • Blackbird71 says:

          Shamus, with what little I know of you from your blog, I think you might have liked Galaxies in it’s orginal incarnation. It was very freeform, and open ended, with lots to explore and do. You could make your character whatever you wanted, whether it was the best sniper in the galaxy, a politician, or a master chef, or any combination of skills from over 30 different professions that you chose. The best part was that if you ever got bored of your character, it was easy to unlearn skills and retrain into something new. This made experimenting with different bulds and skills easy, and you were never locked into build mistakes, so as you learned what worked better for you, you could adapt to it.

          The game was very player driven; and it was supported by a thriving player community and economy (virtually all useful equipment was player made, and players could provide buffs and other services to each other). Players could build houses, run businesses, and even found cities.

          There were no combat levels to the game; this means that the entry barrier was very low. Characters definitely improved as they gained more skills, but there was nothing preventing new players from working alongside veterans in nearly every part of the game. I’ll never forget being only a few weeks into the game, and being in a guild, fighting alongside the highest skilled players in one of the toughest areas. Sure, there were a few times they had to save my bacon, but I could still participate and even though I wasn’t as powerful as them, I still had a great time.

          I know there are mixed opinions about this, but I personally loved the combat system. Similar to WoW, you had skills and abilities with cooldown timers, but you were able to queue up several skills at once. This meant that you weren’t constantly button mashing and watching timers, but instead you could actually carry on conversations with other players while fighting, which was a huge boon to the social aspect of the game. I think this is one aspect of the game that often goes overlooked, but for me it was a major part of the experience. In other MMOs, when I go to play with my friends or guild, it’s difficult to both play the game and converse, and it usually comes down to doing either one or the other. In SWG, it was simple to do both at once.

          Don’t get me wrong, the game definitely had it’s flaws. There were many and various bugs that needed to be fixed, and features that were never properly implemented. Keep in mind that SWG was a very early MMO (even slightly predating WoW), and much was still being learned about the genre. For the most part though, the player base was willing to enjoy the game in spite of these problems.

          SOE had constantly promised fixes and improvements, but generally failed to deliver, instead devoting resources to new expansions (introducing new bugs instead of fixing old ones) and upgrades, eventually leading to the infamous pair, the Combat Upgrade (CU) and New Game Experience (NGE). The continued delay of fixes began the decline of the game, slowly driving more players away as they realized taht what was broken would not be fixed. Then the changes of the NGE turned the game on it’s head. Combat levels were introduced, creating a previously minimal gap between old and new players, and dividing the game into areas you could and could not go. The mix and match skill system of 30+ professions was exchanged for 9 linear professions. Combat became twitch-based rather than character skill based, requiring the player to aim their shots. Considering that game lag had always been a complaint, and this occured at a time when a significant portion of the playerbase was still on dial-up connections made it literally impossible for some people to play successfully. Previously, it had been possible to survive all but the worst lag; but now you couldn’t even shoot anything because by the time you aimed and fired, it was somewhere else. The game itself became linear, having areas introduced that had to be progressed in a certain order, instanced areas with “plot-centric doors”, instead of freeform exploration. In short, it became a different world than it had been.

          I followed the state of the game for a while, and even went back to it a few times over the years, whenever SOE would offer a free trial to veteran players in an attempt to win some of us back. The game population dwindled quickly after the NGE, necessitating server merges. Even still, many servers that had once thrived looked like ghost towns. For a game that relied on a player-driven economy, this was a serious problem. SOE never published official subscription numbers, but by all estimates based on server population numbers, the game was dying long before SWTOR was ever announced; if anything, SWTOR was just the final nail in the coffin.

  21. Grampy_Bone says:

    I am not an MMO person. I hated WoW, I never got into City of Heroes, DDO, LotR Online, Aion, Rift, Age of Conan, etc. All very boring games that got real dull real fast.

    So far I am loving Guild Wars 2. It feels like a “Next Gen” MMO, not just a rehash or an attempt to build off the success of WoW. It actually seems like a game where they are trying to make something new, and innovate in many ways.

    • guiguiBob says:

      I wouldn’T say NEW as in make something out of nothing but evolved as in taking what worked and ditching what wasn’t fun.

      • Mephane says:

        Not just that. They also took what sounded good on paper, did not work out very well in the end, and made it into something awesome. For example, the many events are not so dissimilar in principle from WAR’s Public Quests, except that they are better paced, more dynamic and unpredictable, less grindy, not just a big chore, and no single-minded rush towards getting as much contribution on the one (and only one) objective in order to get at least mediocre rewards.

        In GW2 you just help out, and if you’re there from relatively early on and stay till the end, get gold rewards (which is also highly psychologically motivating to see that you have contributed very well). In WAR, the medals were capped in numbers, as in “only the 3 topmost people get gold, the next 5 can get silver” etc., so it was a never-ending struggle against your fellow players in order to get the better medals; it did not help that any reward below silver was basically junk.

        In GW2 instead, I feel not so much like competing against all the other players, but cooperating in a combined struggle against (for example) some invading foes.

        Come to think of it: I have generally observed that many situations where in other MMOs it lead to me thinking “oh no, let that guy go away; no, don’t steal all my mobs; hey, I was about to harvest that herb; very nice grabbing the quest item while I was still fighting the monster guarding it”, in GW2 it seems to be the exact opposite, seeing other people in the vicinity is something positive, people can help each other without danger of ruining someone else’s quest, there is no mob-tagging and no resource-node-stealing.

        Small anecdote: yesterday, in the general chat, I read one of the most remarkable things in my MMO history. Someone announced he had killed some difficult boss or elite monster, which apparently guarded a rich resource node, and invited people to come over and harvest the resource while the monster is still dead. This is the exact opposite of the typical MMO behaviour of “first come first serve” ninja’ing of pretty much everything.

        • Canthros says:

          IIRC, the ArenaNet guys talked a bit some time ago about the Big Thing that makes Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 different from the other MMOs on the market: the business model. (No, no, I swear this is relevant.)

          Part of what they pointed out was this: a subscription model encourages the developer to stretch out content, to find ways of forcing players to take more time to get through the game to keep subscriptions longer and keep revenue rolling in. Because Guild Wars and its sequel are sold solely on the cost of the box (or initial download, or whatever), ArenaNet has little-to-no incentive to do that sort of thing. They are, instead, free to focus on making the game fun to play, keeping the story well-paced, etc.

          Correspondingly, resource nodes are sharded to individual players, multiple players can get credit for the same kill (so you don’t have to stand in line to kill $NAMED_MOB_13587), etc.

          OTOH, they still have vendor trash drops, which is a personal pet peeve of mine.

  22. Paul Spooner says:

    Word doubling: “sure that that the SWTOR team”

    Also, there would be more comments on this thread… but we’re all playing GW2.
    Well, I say, “we” but I haven’t actually logged in yet. I was hanging out with my wife in Minecraft all weekend, and I’ve been at work all day today.

    • Adam P says:

      That that, like AT-AT? Or ThAT-ThAT, I suppose.

    • Will says:

      “That that” is not an error.

      Here’s an example:

      “My leg was still stuck under some rubble when the fire started to spread, and I thought I was completely alone with nobody to help me, so I was so sure that THAT was going to be the end of me.”

      I was so sure that (that as in…this is what he was sure of) THAT (as in the fire) was going to be the end of me.

      • X2Eliah says:

        It is an error in this case, because Shamus wrote “that that the [something]”. If it was “that that [something]”, it would be kosher, as the 2nd ‘that’ takes place of ‘the’, but you cannot have both of them at once.

  23. Bill T. says:

    How well will those semi-dynamic events (like the bandit vs. town battle that Shamus described in the article) work when there are only a few, or one, player around?

    Whenever companies come up with whizzy new systems to make their MMO world more interesting, they tend to work fairly well and are fun when there are a dozen or more other players around to take part. But they tend to break and be decidedly not fun when you’re the only player around trying to do them.

    Anyone have any impressions or guesses about whether GW2 has avoided that problem?

    • Trevel says:

      I’ve done a few events like that solo. A lot fewer guys show up and they’re the same level as you, as opposed to hordes three levels above you.

    • Chris says:

      I’ve yet to solo an event. I have, however, run into a few situations where there are only two or three guys for an event that is clearly designed for several more. It’s not terrible, they scale the number of bad guys and their level to make it possible for you to beat them.

      But what sucks is that if it’s just two or three guys and one of them leaves you’re suddenly at 66%-50% power against an event scaled for two or three people, where as if you have 12 guys and one guy leaves you’re still at 92%. Additionally if there’s a situation where the bad guys come from one of two ways, and each of the two of you chooses a different entry to defend it’ll just be you versus a number of bad guys designed for two of you until your partner can make it over.

      I guess my point is that it’s still flawed, but substantially less flawed than other solutions I’ve seen tried elsewhere.

      • Mephane says:

        I have seen both. Some events seem to scale pretty well towards small numbers of players and even solo players, but I also remember one particular event (the one with the blobs of goo in the Asura starter zone) where I quickly decided to get away once attacking one of the blobs led to me being swarmed by them. So I morphed* into an invulnerable cloud of mist and floated away.

        *This actually happened. Love this spell.

    • Incunabulum says:

      I wouldn’t say they’ve *avoided* the problem, there’s some scaling of event based upon the number of players around when it starts (as others have mentioned) – but I don’t think its a problem at all.

      You don’t *have* to do any particular event, and just as in the real world, if the action is too hot for you to handle you just hustle for somewhere safer – you can always come back later.

  24. Phantos says:

    There’s exploration based gameplay and XP, encouraging and rewarding players who love to run around ,see the sights, and try to figure out how to get on top of that one thing because wouldn’t it be cool if you could? (And yes, you can!)

    How does that work? Is it like Xenoblade Chronicles, where the game gives you a little burst of EXP. points whenever you find a new or hidden area?

    • Chris says:

      The game gives you XP as you unveil each new map section or waypoint, but most MMOs do that.

      I think what Shamus is talking about here are the “vistas,” which are strewn about throughout each zone. Sometimes they’re just sitting there like on a ledge, but a lot of them involve a little light platforming to reach – like climbing up some rocks to jump to a tree limb to get to the top of a statue’s pedestal to look around. Once you find one and hit “use” you get them filled in on your map (there’s an overall game achievement to 100% the map), and a fancy little movie plays that sweeps around the zone and shows you the pretty art, then you get a small XP bonus. It’s a neat little feature that adds something to do other than grinding.

      • TheZoobler says:

        Also, when you 100% complete a zone map (All Waypoints/Points of Interest ((little landmarks))/Vistas/Skill Points/Renown Hearts in a given zone discovered/completed), you get a treasure chest full of a large amount of xp, good money, 2-4 pieces of powerful equipment, and one or two small items out of the cash shop. When you consider how many zones there are in the game, including cities, you can make quite a lot of xp just by wandering around and get paid pretty well for the journey! :)

        If you also gather resource nodes as you go, which gives xp, and craft, which gives good xp, you can get a looot for just exploring :)

        Also also: Chris mentions Vistas, which are platforming-lite to get a little chunk of xp and map completion. However, there are also 1-2 well-hidden “jumping puzzles” per zone, which are extremely difficult platforming challenges that sometimes provide a gimmick (pitch black room you need to carry a torch through, gusts of wind to blow you off tight ropes, disappearing platforms, bosses, etc) and when completed give a treasure chest, achievement, and more xp. :D

      • Ateius says:

        You get XP for reaching a new section of a zone; you get XP for activating waypoint markers (which are both your respawn points and your fast-travel system); you get XP for discovering “points of interest” (which are basically just map pins naming specific features); you get XP for finding Vistas. As Zoobler mentioned, if you get everything in a zone you also get a big chunk of XP and some goodies. There’s quite a lot to go around.

        Then throw in defending yourself from aggressive critters while exploring, and ooh, those are some crafting resources I can gather, and bam. You’ve made a level or two.

      • The Rocketeer says:

        This sounds really fun to me. I really love exploring in games; I did manage to %100 FUEL, and I don’t remember too much about GW1, but I DO remember being entitled ‘Horace Auralius, Grandmaster Cartographer.’

        Now I just need a system that could run the game… and time to play…

    • Mari says:

      The one thing nobody here has mentioned yet is that you also get “bonus” XP for killing critters that have been hanging around an area a long time. Basically the game times how long a foe lives from the time it spawned until someone killed it and awards the “hand of doom” extra XP for longer-lived enemies. So you’re also rewarded for finding those out-of-the-way locations that few people bother to visit and fight their way through. I made an insane amount of bonus XP that way yesterday with a little windy tunnel place in the Shaemoor area that’s full of oozes and I’ve found a few other little hidey-hole locations where I make mad bonus XP. Plus I get a flush of distinct pleasure from finding such places; it makes me feel like a modern-day Lewis and Clark or something.

      • Vipermagi says:

        What? That’s how the bonus exp works? Nice.

        I noticed unlocking weapon skills is based on the exp you get for a kill (in higher level zones, a single kill unlocks your second ability, for example), so this information should help with future characters.

  25. In other words Shamus, you think that BioWare should have made KoTOR 3 (and for all that money could have probably also made KoTOR 4 and 5 and maybe 6, using same engined and popping a good story out each year.)

    And I’d have to agree if that is what you think.
    In my opinion, trying to meld story and MMO never works. A “story” is controlled narration. And while great game developers can let the narration and game mechanics work with the player to make something unique storywise. As soon as the MMO part is added it falls apart.

    A single player MMO is self-contradicting, SWTOR is BioWare’s attempt at one. If they had made a single player KoTOR and a made a MMO as the multiplayer side it would have worked, in a pretty awesome way too I’m sure. The Mass Effect guys seem to have more or less the foundation for this now.

    The ideal would be a new KoTOR game each year (new story, new player
    character, some recurring NPCs) for the single player experience, and then a MMO for the multiplayer experience, 1 month free play “card” included with the singleplayer.

    And then each year when the next game is released the MMO gets a “upgrade” to match, meaning each game release evolves the MMO world.
    And the games and DLCs could even share raw assets with the MMO, the dev team could bounce between the two projects. single player, MMO, DLCs, MMO updates, that’s a year round full employment that can sustain a large team, or even an entire dev house.

    This is the correct way to do “both” single-player and multi-player. SWTOR is great but the true potential is not utilized at all. They thought they could master the force but ended up only as a padawan.

    • guiguiBob says:

      If Bioware was with Activision instead my guess is that this is what we would have got.

      • Bubble181 says:

        Diablo III is just another take on bringing a SP IP to the MMO market, though, and I’d argue it’s not faring all that much better than TOR. Slightly, but not that much.

    • Tzeneth says:

      I think this is one of the reasons sandbox style MMO’s are interesting because they leave the story up to the players and see what evolves which can lead to some interesting stories, like the big ones that come from EVE online. Then again EVE is definitively not for everyone and boring as hell if you do not find the right people to play with, like most MMO’s tbh.

    • ehlijen says:

      “The ideal would be a new KoTOR game each year (new story, new player
      character, some recurring NPCs) for the single player experience, and then a MMO for the multiplayer experience, 1 month free play “card” included with the singleplayer.”

      That doesn’t sound ideal at all. Bioware is alrdeay being accused of reusing the same plots and characters over and over. Force them into a schedule akin to EAs yearly sports games, and they’ll shed fans at a mad pace.

  26. Adam P says:

    I took part in one of the open betas. I was grouped with my friend and we did some stuff, then we started doing our story quests. Thing is we had to go into the city and then we got split up because of an overflow queue, which I understand is basically a shared server you get dumped into if the zone you’re trying to access is full. (I wonder if there were overflows for the overflow?) From that point on we couldn’t play together, because one of us would be in the overflow and the other wouldn’t, and when we switched zones we’d trade places in the queue. It was a mess! If your “ticket” came up and it’s your turn to rejoin your server, you’d get teleported back to where you’d have zoned in normally, thus losing credit on whatever event it was you’re doing. If you had grouped with people in the overflow, then you couldn’t keep playing with them unless you’re both from the same server. Gah!

    The overflow in beta ruined the game for me, is what I’m saying. Has anyone encountered it on live?

    Oh, another thing that bothered the hell out of me: you have to level weapon skills to unlock your abilities. Logically, you should have to train if you want to improve your skills. But that means progression involves having to level your weapon, see if you like that playstyle, then finding a new weapon and repeating the cycle. If you don’t like the weapon skills, then you either have to wait until you start unlocking talents to see if that changes anything, or you can roll a new character. It also meant that, if you found a new weapon, you couldn’t use it if the stats were better because you might not like the skills that it comes with.

    Although, as a Guardian, you could put down barriers with your staff abilities that prohibit mobs from passing through. Lay one down in front of a wandering NPC in a city and they’ll just keep bouncing off, unable to path around it. So funny.

    • Zukhramm says:

      Overflow is still there, but you enter the normal server at the same point you were in the overflow, and I think grouped players are supposed to be able to go back to the normal server as a group (not “I think” and “supposed to”, no guarantee it works in game). And if you’re in the middle of something, you can always choose to remain in the overflow.

      • Rosewire says:

        The way it’s setup now, there’s numerous overflow servers, and the main zone. If you and a party member are in the same zone, but not the same server, you can ‘join in’ as an option, and it immediately bumps you to the same overflow, so you can play together. Really, there’s no practical difference between an overflow area and the normal zone, so its entirely viable to just stay in overflow and have the rest of your team join you.

    • Incunabulum says:

      I like the skill mechanic – I just wish there were a larger set of skills for each weapon to slot-in once unlocked, ie that instead of only 3 skills for a main hand weapon there were 5,6, or more and you had to choose the three you wanted.

  27. Simon says:

    I have a question for anyone else who has played so far:

    Has anyone been able to get their friends or other members of their party into their Home Instance? That being the part of the city that changes depending on your personal story?

    Because I spent a good hour trying to figure out how to get a friend into mine so he could help with a story mission and we ended up giving up and just going and grinding out some levels so that I could solo it.

    • Davzz says:

      If you’re in the same party they get invited whenever you enter a personal storyline instance. I don’t remember whether they actually need to be in the same location as you since the last time I tried it was in beta but my friend was pretty shocked when it pulled him all the way from his Slyvari hometown to the human one.

    • Mephane says:

      I’ve had similar issues, sometimes relogging helped with this. It seems that you may end up in different overflow instances and the “meet up” function does not always put you in the same one. Real PITA at the moment.

      • Simon says:

        Yeah it turned out it was just bugged. Patch came out today that fixed the issue. I was just worried that for some reason it wasn’t going to be a feature haha

        • Mephane says:

          Well… it is not completely fixed. At some point yesterday I had the trouble again, and only after I relogged I was put into the same overflow instance as my friend. What I am really missing is a teleport-prompt upon joining a group, like TSW did. I.e. if the group (I suppose it only looks at the leader) is in a different instance, you get an immediate prompt “do you want to switch to the instance where the rest of the group is? yes/no”.

  28. […] despite recent controversies and mis-steps with their recent titles. Shamus Young, meanwhile, took the occasion of Guild Wars 2′s release to lambaste Star Wars: The Old Republic a little b…. And Eric Schwarz at Gamasutra went after the game as well for its “ludonarrative […]

  29. Varewulf says:

    Well, I just spent several hours doing jumping puzzles with a couple of people from the Eikosi League. I wouldn’t have expected it to be as much fun as it was. But it was kinda awesome. Okay, there were tricky jumps, and the one in the Asura area was just mean, but when I had someone to do it together with it was still fun.

  30. GTB says:

    When I play GW2 i feel like im cheating on Secret World.

  31. LinkageAX says:

    Please turn the bloom off or down in your games, it makes both GW2 and SWTOR seem so much more vibrant. I personally play with it on low.

  32. Mephane says:

    I have, so far, one major gripe with the game. The gripe has a workaround, however, so it is not as bad as it is everywhere else.

    Women in plate armor. I’ve seen screenshots of women in what is apparently full armor but reveals the belly and much of the upper torso.

    The workaround is, don’t play a human. Which is easy, because I usually prefer playing the species most different from humans, which is Asura for me now – most adorable species I have ever seen in an MMO, and quite different from the other races and also way more than just not-gnomes.

    • acronix says:

      I’ve seen some armor compilations that showed reasonable plate human armors for females, with all their skin covered up to the neck.

      I don’t know how expensive remodelling your items is in this game, though.

      • Vipermagi says:

        If you have the full plate set and a set with good stats but is stripper armor, quite cheap. When you fully explore a City, you get 3 Transmutation Stones. One stone transmutes two same-type items, allowing you to choose the skin, item stats, and upgrade component.

        You can also get Transmutation stones from finishing areas, but these are less common. Fairly positive you also get a few more out of it, but haven’t gotten any since beta that way (four map completions so far) :p

        Somewhat hoping there’s more ways to acquire these, too, but I’m not sure. There probably are, considering the Trans stones you get from these methods do not work on lv80 items.

        The largest issue is keeping this up over the course of the game. Unlike the first Guild Wars, you’ll be switching out gear a lot…

    • Incunabulum says:

      I think they missed an oportnity with the (not elves) sylvari. The charr are done well, and are animated in a non-human manner – they’re not just reskinned skeletons like the other races.

      I wish they had done something similar with the sylvari, instead its just humans with plant skins. What’s even wierder than the “hair” and faces is the idea that female plantoids would have any use for breasts.

      It would have been nice to see some more thought put into the lore for them – there’s actuallyno need for sexes as the mobile sylvari aren’t the means by which the race reproduces – its all the tree. The sylvary could (should) have been a single gender.

  33. Darkloch says:

    For me, the biggest problem with GW (1 or 2) is that I simply do not care about the world, they do not in any way make me want to be a part of their universe the way Star Wars do. Al tough to be fair SWTOR didn’t either but I still enjoyed it the first week and was actually curios as to where my char’s story would take me.

  34. Steve C says:

    The comparison to SWTOR is funny because I’m having the same experience with guild wars now that Shamus had with SWTOR. I can’t get the f’ing thing to install.

    I bought the physical discs for the express purpose of limiting how much I had to download. If I install from the discs it instantly starts downloading something and keeps at it for 10mins until it crashes. Think about that a sec.

    It’s downloading a file but it’s not telling me where it’s going, how big it is, or when it will be done. Since new files aren’t being generated on the read only DVD or my harddrive (you know, the one with ROOM). Best case scenario is that it’s trying to put 20 gig onto a hard drive with 1G of space. The idiocy of this install is infuriating. Wasted 4 hours and counting.

    Downloading the launcher file from my GW2 account (then running it) instantly starts an install… again with the files going somewhere stupid and again with a crash after 10mins. Best result I’ve gotten (with a workaround) is to get it to the put the files where I want them but still have it crash.

    Why is it so hard to download a file in the last few years? I’ve only been doing that without a launcher since the 1980’s. Apparently every company has to reinvent the wheel and get it wrong.

  35. Random Fan says:

    I’ve really been enjoying this game. The dynamic event system is a great alternative to the usual quest hub set-up. I also really, really like how NPCs of different factions fight each other. It creates this awesome blend of PVP and PVE, especially in World vs. World.

    Just last night, I was in the central lake of Janthir Borderlands, trying to get the help of the Quaggans, an amphibious race at war with the Krait (similar to WoW’s Naga). With enough aid, the Quaggans return the favor and come ashore to fight against enemy players.

    My friend and I were gathering pearls to turn in to the Quaggan villagers. We were pleasantly surprised to find that each pearl we found could be gathered by both of us, making team play a lot quicker than solo. I got a little to close to some patrolling Krait, and before we knew it, a whole host of them were on us.

    We held our own for a while, but then a second group of patrolling Krait got in on the action. We were about to die, when we both remembered the Quaggans who were swimming close by. We retreated with the Krait in hot pursuit, and as soon as we got into range, the Quaggan soldiers joined the fight.

    Underwater harpoon guns were bursting with clouds of bubbles, schools of summoned piranhas filled the water with chum, and my pet shark was going into a feeding frenzy. Aquatic combat is AMAZING in this game. We not only defeated the Krait, but we were able to rez injured Quaggan after the fight. And that goes both ways. Friendly NPCs will SEEK OUT players during and after battles to rez you :)! This game is so full of win!

  36. Xythe says:

    I keep hearing so many great things about Guild Wars II, I’m just unwilling to drop the cash on it because I also heard great things about the original, and it remains the worst MMO I’ve ever played. Was thinking about jumping back into SWTOR now it’s gone free, as far as I was concerned it was pretty solid, decent gameplay, decent story, looked good etc, just didn’t have that hook that made me want to drop a subscription on it after I hit the level cap on the first toon.

  37. Jonas Birk Jensen says:

    It is true that swtor is too much of a WoW clone, and that Guild Wars 2 did a better job with the gameplay. However, guild wars 2’s is absolutely crap compared to swtor’s. You cannot define your character, he just is “the hero,” you cannot pick how to respond because you have no dialog options!

    I had actually stopped playing swtor when Guild wars 2 came out, but it didn’t take me more than a few days realising how boring Guild Wars 2 was compared to Swtor, and guess what? I began subscribing to swtor again!
    The world can be beautiful, the gameplay can be thrilling, but when the story is boring and the character you have to play as annoys you, the game becomes worthless to me.

  38. Talbot says:

    I find the graphics in GW2 to be pretty ordinary, actually. Sure, there are a few nice zones, but most of the world is just endless green fields with mountains on the horizon. Yawn.

  39. Eliphas says:

    Guild Wars players hail their “improved combat system”, but its just combat. People worship KOTOR, and look at their combat system. But you get excited when you fight Malak! Now the remarks you are all making about combat (this goes to those that played KOTOR or WoW and enjoyed it, especially WoW)is pure hypocrism. You keep saying aaaa i want something new bla bla. Its like saying football playing system is getting old, they should run on their hands and have the ball between their feet in mid air. Its not boring if you move around and know how to play, in pvp or pve. On lower levels in WoW (idk about GW) if you pull 2-3 mobs you are good as dead. In SWTOR its normal that you have 2,3,4 5-6 mobs on your back, and its expected of you to survive that! Using force choke, leap, push, swing moving around jumping and all that with the Star Wars soundtrack in the background pumping adrenaline is really fun. Now i agree that SWTOR came out to earli. And as usual, I as all of you blame EA and i doubt that 200mil just went into the game itself, how much do you think it went on marketing? The 3 cinematics that came out are the best cinematics out there. Say all you want, but people that dont even like Star Wars got the shivers when they saw the last cinematic. Now, the gear grind and the rest… I love gear grind. I have a goal. Dont get me wrong, i love exploring, i checked under every single rock in Skyrim, i have like 4-5 caves left to explore. Long ago i started to play WoW just for the exploring, it was 2006 i was 13years old, what did i know about pvp or pve is. Nothing. But i played before that every single Warcraft game and i loved its story. I like storys, storys are my weakness. Anyways, i was exploring azeroth and outland at the time, and i was excited that i can see some places where the epic battles i played in the RTS happend. But i knew, even as a 13 year old. At some point, im going to run out of landscape to explore. As i can see, GW2 has a focus on exploring. Thats just stupid in the long run. As i told a few lines back, you are going to see everything eventually, and what then? When i was over with the exploring in WoW, by that time i learned the basics of WoW, i reached the max level, stupid quests where stupid, no need for that. Had a decent amount of gold for a guy that just hit 70 at the time, so if i was to continue the online gaming sensation, i had to find something else to do (btw if you find pleasure in fishing, cooking and mining and crafting in general you have problems with your head, go see a doctor) PvP not my cup of tea, altough i was pretty good with the frost mage, blood death knight and retry pally. But PvE was the thing for me. Raids, dungeons also, but raids… The endgame content. I like really like, its a thrill for me. I like demanding games, i play everything, well not everything but most stuff on hard mode, and the idea that something in a game is so strong and tough that it needs 25 players to kill is a great idea, its a challange! And you got tactics, every player has a role (the trinty thing) and he has to be good at it. You dont just invite any healer on a heroic raid or a operation. You say that stats in games like that is all that matters, in GW skill matters. Really? Really??!! I played this year WOTLK on private servers, donors that had t10 couldnt pull as much as dps i did with no tiers at all. Sure i had epics, but nothing really special. Because he was a noob with some pocket change and bought some gear and he got invited because of his gs so that he would be kicked out on the first boss. To get high gs means to have skill. It seems to me, that most part of the GW population are noobs that got bullied on WoW. Not all, i understand that people got sick of it, but im saying most. The first max level dungeon i got into i had 0 epics, but i proved my valor and skill in combat and i earned it. And thats not about the need or greed roll, i was in a 5man dungeon and my contribution was obvious and if had no skill i would have been kicked out and no epics for me. And thats another great thing, while we are at it. The drops, the loot. Thats one more thing why the game stays playable. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Thats life. You are happy with the cooking and crafting and dancing and sleeping emotes and things that resemble real life. You like that, thats a win situation. But you dont like it when you lose, when a shiny epic or artifact or whatever flashes infront of your eyes and wuuushhh there he goes to the other guy. Shit happens, better luck next time. About the dynamic quests… uhhh. In SWTOR you choes how quests can end, not story quests, thats fixed by proffesional story writers because thats their job, they are good at it. They have the skill. Personal storys that end how you want and begin bla bla wtf? You are not story writers. You are NOT, you are either children aka teenagers like myself or grown ups that have some other jobs. In side-quests in SWTOR there you can choose how it ends, and you can either benefit from it or perish. Heck, even in the fixed storyline there are some important parts that are quite flexible. That can end in your way. Now, people are talking about those infamus moments when you tag a mob and he is bound to you and only you benefit from its death. Well thats fair in a way. So you say in GW you can all benefit from a mob even though you are not in a group or whatever. So in GW i see a person fighting a mob, i come there, touch it, sit next to him while he is pissing his blood by fighting the mob, and when his done i get XP and loot? Yea… that argument that you all love, is a double-bladed sword.. or a lightsaber, which is far more epic, thats why we wont talk about weapon comparison. One more thing about combat that just came to my mind. You think that WoW and SWTOR and the rest of the WoW-clones combat is unreal. The other day i was watching a guy play in PvP (GW) He locked on to his target and he was shooting arrows at him. The arrows were going thru corners, stairs, walls and almost everything. Not thick walls, but shallow little corners if you know what i mean. Hitting the guy with the sword while you are having his back turned oh him, and the classic stuff we see in mmos. And while his moving shooting which i think is nice, but… its just moving and really really small cooldown on the casts, thats basiclly it. Uuuu and dodgeing. WOW. In SWTOR and WoW you dodge also, but a bit more realistc, not like a bullet or a lightning bolt… or Bolt hehe (get it? because his really fast… oh nevermind). Graphics. WoW is old and still kicking, proof that graphics dont mean that much, but are worthy of mention. Its an easy fight, GW wins in graphics, but its not so available to the people. You are showing off some nice pictures here on the website, that were taken on even more nice machines, but did you look the game on not so good machines? Good, but not so good. Same applys for SWTOR but the other way around, most pictures i see on the web are not so good, on ultra settings and full hd on my pc, a lot better. GW even though i think its not as good a game people say it is, wins the day. But lets face it, GW 1 and 2 are arch enemys with WoW, thats why they are so hyped. And when the exploring is done, and when you realise that going back to starting zones when your hard earnd level gets downgraded just so that you could fit in the crowd where people are not so good as you are and there is no PvE to do, you will (if you played WoW or anyother similar game) remember what thrill, and satisfaction you had when you got that item you wanted for so long.

    If you read everyhing i said here, thank you for reading my quite long post, if i offended anyone in any way, i apologize (except the crafters, why are you still here, go see a doctor). I did not come here to insult anyone, i just feel that SWTOR is a great game and a lot of people are deciding to not stand up for it, only people that play GW are talking shit about the game i love and i like to play so i have to defend it.
    Oh and SWTOR is getting repopulated hurraaaay!

  40. Eliphas says:

    And another thing xD
    The entire “time” its based. So my mom walks into my room and sees me playing a game to be exact GW and she asks me what is this and what are you doing (I will now describe a youtube video of GW of a guy trying to reach the vista.. i think) Oh nothing, as you can see im a female orc(ish?) in a white dress, im jumping on huge mushrooms while running away from very very big spiders so that i could find a magical chest with new shoes that would match my white dress. Then my mother would leave my room, shocked. Go to my father and say: Our child is either crazy or gay.
    Or if she would cought me exploring. Oh mother, i bought a game so that i could walk around, so much fun im having right now, just by walking around in a pretty dress. Oh and i sold my bike to buy this game. (get the irony, instead of riding my bike and doing real life exploring, im sitting at home exploring a fake world). This applys to WoW aswell.

    But.. if she saw me playing SWTOR all i have to say im Darth Vader and she will know her child is awesome.

    And yes, B2P is a great thing, and i agree with you on that.

  41. Rytlock Brimstone says:

    I kind f thought the game had potential once but then I heard that you need a monthly subscription fee to get the full content and it went flatter than paper. EA/Bioware made it a wow clone fully because of that fee. Why do IDIOTS like Blizzard make a subscription fee. WHY DO YOU PEOPLE THINK THAT WE WOULD WANT TO PLAY A GAME THAT MAKES US PAY $15.00 A MONTH !!! I need to not waste my voice yelling about it… Well see y’all on the Eternal Battlegrounds! And I love Star Wars but no thanks to those 2 companies they ruined an MMO that had potential. You don’t ruin a game’s potential like that if you want people to not want to egg you house.

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  1. […] despite recent controversies and mis-steps with their recent titles. Shamus Young, meanwhile, took the occasion of Guild Wars 2′s release to lambaste Star Wars: The Old Republic a little b…. And Eric Schwarz at Gamasutra went after the game as well for its “ludonarrative […]

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