Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Will Star Wars: The Old Republic Update 1.3 Save Us All?
I just love Star Wars. If I could only pick one thing from all of fandom to enjoy and all others would disappear from the planet, then I would pick Star Wars. It was the first movie I wanted to live in when I was a kid and when I looked up at the sky at night I imagined distant specks of light that were X-Wings and the Millennium Falcon. I love Star Wars. So, the notion that Star Wars: The Old Republic isn't doing so well upsets me. I'm hoping beyond hope that Update 1.3 will prove to be something of a savior, but will it?
There was a lot of doom and gloom surrounding #SWTOR shortly after it's release. It wasn't customizable enough. It didn't have enough end game content. There were too many servers so worlds were half empty. It was impossible to get a group together. The list went on and on. I read this and listened to this and had to admit I'd experienced some of these problems. Still, it was Star Wars and I was loving, absolutely loving, swinging a lightsaber around and killing bad guys.
The numbers came out and not only were huge numbers of people leaving the game (my guild pretty much evaporated) but there were layoffs happening as well. We'd gone from celebrating like the handful of people that survived the Death Star trench run to being whiny Luke with a missing hand. It wasn't pretty.
Slowly, news of Update 1.3 began to hit the internet. And the news was good. Group finders. Server transfers. New in-game content. More and more customization. But, I know a lot of people who've left the game and gone back to things like World of Warcraft or on to new and different games. They've left #SWTOR behind and have no intention of coming back. What will happen?
I'll tell you exactly what will happen. The game will keep going, keep improving, keep winning and losing players with each new update. It's Star Wars. There are too many people, just like me, who love playing in this world. I've got a Jedi being all noble and helpful and a Trooper running in with giant gun blazing and have no intention of saying good-bye to either.
There are better games and there are worse games. There are bigger games and there are smaller games. But there is only one Star Wars. I have been waiting to play in this world since I was a seven-year-old kid with yarn cinnabuns on my head like Princess Leia. The problems with the game are just not that problematic for me. Playing in this world, escaping to a galaxy far, far away, and being a hero for a few hours is why I play.
I am not a hardcore player who needs to min/max every last move. It's just not me. I play for the story, the environment and the people who join me in killing the bad guys. I could easily play my Jedi to level 50, which I am in no rush to do, and then start a whole new character. Why? Because the universe is fun. I enjoy the game. It's not likely that Update 1.3 will bring back everyone that quit, but that's okay. As long as they continue to advance and improve the game, new players will join up, and those of us that have never left will have plenty of reasons to keep playing.