A thoughtful and personal exploration of games

Playing Defensively – Star Wars: The Old Republic

I had a full weekend of Star Trek Online, but I’d like to talk about Star Wars: The Old Republic today.

Last night I hopped into SWTOR to play my level 19 Jedi Sage (level 20 now). I’m walking through the Republic Resettlement area on Taris, throwing rocks and other stuff at some Rakghouls on my way to a quest or three when someone comes over the chat complaining about the game.

He said something along these lines, “There’s 50 levels in this game. You don’t get a speeder until level 25. You waste half the game just walking! This game sucks!”

My response? “Suck it up. Some games started with NO MOUNTS AT ALL.” That shut him up.

Yeah, it’s true, you can’t get the first speeder piloting skill until level 25, but let’s see here… how much of the game is left to play through AFTER you hit level 25?

Content it takes me to get to level 25: Starter planet, factional capital world, first open world, and maybe the first parts of Nar Shaddaa.

Content after hitting level 25: The remainder of Nar Shaddaa, Tatooine, Alderaan, second open world, Quesh, Hoth, Belsavis, Voss, Corellia, and  Ilum.

Half the game? HAH.

Also, there’s a point to doing a lot of walking… it’s called playing the game. I often find myself walking instead of using my speeder because I’m bouncing from resource node to fight to resource node to fight and so on. There’s stuff to do and you can only do it on foot! Oh, also, you shouldn’t be blitzing through the content so fast. The point is to enjoy the experience, not to “beat the game” or “get to 50 as fast as you can”. The point of gaming is in the playing, not in the finishing. Progress is important, but when a game is as savory as SWTOR, you enjoy every little morsel.

Okay, there’s more than just this little thing though. I’m quite tired of people complaining about the games we play. I get it, they’re not perfect. They don’t meet up with your expectations 100%. If you’re that disappointed, why are you playing the game?! It’s all well and good to have a complaint and many of them are entirely legitimate, but seriously folks, a lot of people wind up beating a dead horse in the chat about how the game doesn’t do this right or that particularly well and man it totally sucks.

I’ve had it. I’m going to start telling people to suck it up and deal or quit the game. I’m tired of people ruining my experience just because they’re cranky. These are my games and I enjoy them far more than I don’t and I will share my good experiences with my cautionary ones as a way of sharing my whole experience. Emphasis on the GOOD EXPERIENCES because I want people to share those experiences, not shy away because of some petty issues.

Did Star Wars Galaxies change drastically in 2005? Yup. Did a lot of people leave? Yup. Sucks to be them. They missed out on a great FIVE MORE YEARS.

Do some things not work right in Star Trek Online? You betcha. Is there a work around? Mostly. The developers are working on the game and, as far as I’m concerned, are earning their pay.

Do you have to walk a lot in Star Wars: The Old Republic? Yup. You eventually get speeders, but I like my worlds large and this is the price of doing business. Oh, also… many games didn’t start with mounts of any kind. When I started playing Star Wars Galaxies, I had to walk EVERYWHERE and I didn’t know where anything was. Not only did the “wiki” not exist to guide me to where things were, but also, there was only the forums for communication outside of the game. We also didn’t start out with any quests of any real substance, we didn’t have any skill planners. We had a run skill that took 5 minutes to cool down. We didn’t have levels. We had enemies that didn’t have levels either so you had to “consider” them to determine if you could survive or not. No one knew much about crafting. My first couple of years of play, I was a tourist! I had nothing to do and I had no idea what I could do.

So, before you start complaining about how things are SOOOOOO inconvenient, remember where we came from. Remember that the developers need to balance things a bit. Remember that this is a game and you’re here to have a good time. Remember that others are there to have a good time as well and you should be thoughtful and considerate.

Oh, and don’t be a dick.

Until next time!

– Elorfin

P.S. “People who are intolerant, categorize and over-react… should all be dragged against a wall and shot.” – Arthur M. Jolly


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