SWTOR: If I Could Change the Universe

Star Wars The Old Republic cover game artBioware’s MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic is still entertaining me. The antics of Stormmaul my Sith Warrior and the Twi’lek who is softening his hardened hateful heart Vette, occupies many insomnia riddled mornings. I love the game, but is SWTOR perfect?

No, of course it isn’t. The day I play a game and think ‘My god, nothing should be changed here. This is perfect. In fact, all other games must bow down and worship the fact they are able to be classified using the same noun.’ is probably the day i should stop playing. I think that all gamers wants to change the games they’re playing because we’re involved with them and we start to care about them in our own little geeky way.

Star Wars: The Old Republic is no different in that respect, there are things I would change. There are some things that I would love Bioware to put into the game somehow and there are others which would be tantamount to heresy if they even thought of adding them. Here are five things I’d like them to add and five things I hope to god they never do.

 

5 Things I want in SWTOR

There are a lot of MMO’s out there, some are more popular than others, some are free where some need a subscription, some involve elves others are about spaceships. Each game has their own opinion on what an MMO should be like. It is these other MMO’s that were the inspiration for the ‘Put it in!’list. I could have written a fantastic list about including metal dinosaurs that spit toxic pudding but if I focus my list on what I know is achievable, then maybe one day I may get my wish.

So, if you somehow read this Bioware, a long shot in itself; please, please, please put these in.

A LFG Tool

Starting you off easy with a ‘Looking for Group’ tool or LFG. World of Warcraft has one, and I believe so does RIFT and it makes grouping so much easier. I haven’t done much grouping in SWTOR yet, mainly because there wasn’t many people around when I wanted to group and when there were I either didn’t have time or was in the middle of a quest chain.

Simply put, having a LFG tool would mean that I could easily group with people when I needed to.

Realm Vs Real combat

swtor The Old Republic AT-ST empire strikes backTaken from Warhammer Online among others, having Realm vs Realm combat in Star Wars: The Old Republic would be a very good step. The game is based on a war between The Republic and The Empire which is a good start. The PvP in SWTOR allows you to capture guns and towers but there is no long-term effect for that achievement. The next time you PvP everything has been reset, it doesn’t matter in the context of the story if you capture the objectives or not. Let there be planets where players could fight for objectives, and quest hubs. With each victory moving your forces closer to the final objective, the opportunity to capture an enemy base that gives the captors benefits of some kind.

You would of course have to work with the side balance to get this working, I believe the game is rather Sith heavy at the moment.

More Races

Are there enough races in SW:TOR? Probably not, Star Wars has so many races that are as yet unplayable, such as Wookie, Bothan, the fish type people like Admiral Ackbar, that blue elephant thing in Jabba’s the Hutt’s palace. I suspect that they will be saving these for future expansions, well the first two anyway.

It’s not something that makes any real difference to the game except to offer a little more diversity between the players. I always want more races in my MMO’s, you could add 20 races and it wouldn’t be enough, 50 races? More! So what’s the solution? I’d take something out of Star Trek Online’s book, being able to create your own race. I’m not completely up on the lore, but there must be some races out there in the Star Wars Universe that remain undiscovered.

Space PvP

Mass scale Space PvP, how cool would that be? We already own our own space-ships, and we can kit them out. Throw in a new mechanic for space combat so that we can control the ships’ direction like in ‘Tie Fighter vs X-Wing’ and we start to have the makings of Space PvP.

I think you’d have to expand the amount and type of gear available for your ship, so you could function in a number of roles, but none of this seems too far-fetched.

Mission Creator

Star Wars The Old RepublicWhat if you could create adverts asking people to help you in exchange for credits? The quests could range from gathering a certain amount of crafting items, or bringing them certain gear, maybe even paying someone to do a quest for you; not your class-quests of course you’ll still have to do them.

If you need something done, you visit the terminal, create the advert and then include the amount of credits you will be willing to be for the service.

Players wanting to earn a few credits would be able to visit those terminals and check if there are any jobs. Accepting the job takes it off the list, but you must only have set amount of time to complete it before it re-appears on the terminal again.

It sounds good and I’m sure there are many game-breaking aspects I haven’t thought of or specifics that need to be thought out but at least in theory it’s a nice idea.

 

5 Things I’ll Never Want in SWTOR

Every game is susceptible to those ‘Well it seemed a good idea at the time’ changes. Something that must have looked so good on paper, an idea so fantastic and awesome that the developers thought they would be carried through the office on the players’ shoulders. Then once it’s in, it’s blasted by every troll in the world for a whole host of overlooked reasons.

This is my list of five things that I would never want to see in Star Wars: The Old Republic.

Seasonal Events

It’s popular in MMO’s to have gaming events based on our public holidays and celebrations. These events usually come with a few graphical changes like lights, tinsel, banners etc, and nearly always give themed quests, and special items for your character.

Now, I’m sure that in the Star Wars galaxy most of the races celebrate their own versions of Easter, Hanukkah, Christmas, Halloween etc. but if these ever made it in it would not be in keeping with the rest of the game. If you have followed the light path then you may just be able to get away with it, but can you really see a powerful Sith lord doing that? A Sith Lord who has slaughtered the innocent and revelled in the terror he causes, trying to find Easter eggs or speaking to Santa Claus (or Darth Claus I suppose)

I’m not saying that SWTOR has to be deadly serious all the time, but they would have to play this one very carefully. Best to leave them out altogether.

Vanity Pets

Vanity pets work as small lovable creatures or things that when activated follow your character around. There are already a small amount of vanity pets in Star Wars The Old Republic and when there’s only a few of them these ‘distractions’ are alright. I just don’t want the game to be flooded with hundreds of different vanity pets to collect.

I know you’re probably going to tell me that I don’t have to collect them, and you’re right I don’t, but I still have to see them in-game. The Old Republic may be a little tongue in cheek at times but Star Wars is a fairly serious game. Sith Warriors being followed around by tiny Rancors, or a miniature Flemmeth for those who pre-ordered Dragon Age III is going to break that mood.


Virtual items costing real money

cash swagNot a game-breaker this one, it’s just something that annoys me; buying virtual objects for real money. Many games do this, but I will separate out World of Warcraft as an example. Other games such as Champions Online or Lord of the Rings Online offer a Free-to-Play option and supplement it with these costs, World of Warcraft is subscription based so is a different thing.

In WoW you can buy various vanity pets and mounts with real money. Something that you will never be able to touch or own in any real sense has just cost you €15-20. Admittedly, every character on that account gets access to that item, so as long as you keep playing you can always use the item.

This type of money-making for a subscription-based MMO model just seems either desperate or greedy. I am aware that the MMO’s themselves do not force players to buy these items, and the gaming experience is never affected if they don’t. Like I said, it’s a pet hate of mine and I’d just rather they didn’t include this.

Lorebreaking

Lore breaking in general should not be allowed to happen. In the one hand the Star Wars universe is big, very big; probably infinite so there is a lot of scope to find new planets and races. However, the planets that you can visit within the game are very familiar with a lot of Star Wars fans; Hutta, Correlia, Tattooine, they are so often written about that you have very little scope for implementing new things.

I’m not saying that every new implementation within the game must follow the endless library’s worth of books, comics, films, cartoons and breakfast cereals. It’s not an easy line, there are bound to be a lot of occasions where the developers are going to be forced into choosing between accuracy and player enjoyment.


Gungans

I hope this one is rather self-explanatory. No Gungans! For those of you not sure what a Gungan is, it either means that you were fortunate enough to never have seen The Phantom Menace or your brain has folded in on itself and blacked out the whole horrible memory.

gungan star wars phantom menace

This is a Gungan, and more specifically this is Jar Jar Binks, whose only redeemable quality is that eventually he goes away. The general opinion from most Star Wars fans is that he was a terrible idea and that he had only been put in the film so it would appeal to a younger audience. Anyway if I’m not careful this will turn into a ‘Phantom Menace’ rant, which I’m not going to let it.

So, yeah. Bioware do not even think about putting a Gungan in SWTOR.

 

 

If you vehemently disagree or just want to share your opinions, please leave a comment.

Jim Franklin

Jim Franklin

Jim Franklin is a freelance writer, living in Derby UK with his wife. When time allows he likes nothing more than losing himself in a multi-hour gaming session. He likes most games and will play anything but prefers MMO's, and sandbox RPG's.

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