Let me briefly summarise what Star Wars The Old Republic is. It is:
A story-driven massively multiplayer online (MMO) game.
Okay, now that we’ve got that, let me emphaise the MMO part.
Whether people like it or not, SWTOR was released with MMO features and content allowing for the creation and nurturing of a vast variety of communities and play-styles. We have (or have had) PvE and/or PvP inclined players, that range from being more hard core and then those who are more casual, come to enjoy SWTOR over the years.
For the first couple of years (more or less), there was a symbiotic relationship between story content and MMO content. (I’m not just talking about both types of content being linked via story). The release of one type of content helped to nurture and sustain the other type of content. A new operation or warzone gave us somthing to do while waiting for more story content (and vice versa to an extent). MMO group content has a much longer replayability value (but does reach a tolerance limit eventually) and is therefore far more valuable in an MMO setting (yes SWTOR is in an MMO setting) then story content is. MMO group content and it’s engaging nature help to keep the players occupied and interested in the game while they wait for additional story content.
Yet over the past couple of years, SWTOR has been increasingly putting emphasis on SOLO story content alone to the point where they now ignore the massively multiplayer online aspect of their own game that they themselves created and formerly fostered.
This has lead to the increasing instability, if not disintegration of communities fostered by SWTOR’s original design, of both causal and hardcore persuasions, whether or not they like PvE and/or PvP content. There are many players whether they are casual or hard core who (already have) or are beginning to reach their tolerance level with the existing MMO content in SWTOR.
SWTOR’s recent announcement of subscriber rewards and Chapter X details left many PvEer’s and PvPer’s disappointed. Not just because there is no indication that they are working on, or that there will be, any new group MMO content, but also because they have once again increased the duration of their content release cycle. We will not be getting Game Update 4.1 (which includes Chapter X) until the 11th February. That makes the content patch cycle 16 weeks long. This revelation has naturally left some players disappointed. What hope do we have of ever getting any more new MMO content anytime soon if the release cycle of game updates is going to be even longer then it is now? Haven’t we already waited long enough?
Despite increasing out-cry from sections of the community about the lack of new endgame content for PvE and PvP, SWTOR refuses to acknowledge that there is resentment or give a straight answer on the issue. They give vague answers saying that they’re working on content or that it will be out next year (or whatever time period) and then nothing happens. What ever happened to ‘we will never have such a long period between new operations releases again?’.
It’s no wonder that there is ever increasing resentment in the community about the lack of MMO Content. SWTOR has only themselves to blame.
It seems blatantly clear now that they have left the MMO part of their game design completely behind. Will we ever get new warzones and operations again? That’s seriously how bad things have gotten.
If SWTOR had been able to keep up it’s symbiotic relationship between story content and MMO content (both PvE and PvP), then perhaps the game would be in a more healthy state for more socialable players. As it stands now, they’re emphasis on solo content has hurt many parts of the SWTOR community.
Personally, I started playing SWTOR simply because, it’s Star Wars. I wanted to see the Star Wars story and try out a variety of content (group and solo) in a Star Wars environment. I’ve made many friends in the process including my significant other (we’re coming up on our 3 year anniversary!) and am part of an amazing guild family. We’ve had so much fun over the years playing both PvE and PvP group content together but now with the lack of new group content to keep things fresh, I fear that our lovely guild community will be increasingly hard to maintain. (Many in my guild are very disappointed with the lack of news about new MMO Content).
Am I allowed to be disappointed in a game I have enjoyed and loved for so long? Apparently if I’m not happy with SWTOR I should stop playing it. Yes there’s a lot of aspects of the game I’m unhappy with, but, I’m not prepared to throw it all out the window just yet while I still have some friends to play with.
Remember, it’s okay to criticise a medium while still finding enjoyment it in!
What do you think? Do you think we will ever get new MMO content again? Do you wish SWTOR would release new MMO Content? Or are you happy with solo story content?