Star Wars: The Old Republic came out in December and became a massive success. 2.4 million copies sold and servers were full for several months. I remember the initial month when there was a queue on my server for over 20-30 minutes every day unless you managed to sign in early and play throughout the entire day. Sadly, those days are long gone and SWTOR is just a shallow ghost of its former self.
The Old Republic had a lot of promise, with it being the first truly fully voiced MMORPG with insane focus on story, and it did deliver on that part for sure. I was immersed and experienced among the best quests I ever have in an MMORPG. But there were major flaws, I’m not going to lie. The endgame PvP was very poor. The endgame content was too easy to clear and obtain. And after that there wasn’t much to do other than “wait for better days” and let’s face it, that’s not going to cut it in this business.
Patch 1.2 came out with massive content already adding up on smaller updates with little content. We got a new warzone, tons of tweaks and customization options and whatnot. It was good. But, it was too late. Patch 1.2 should have been released in late February. When there were people playing the game. Not now, when I run around with roughly eight people on the Republic Fleet during the day and the instant queue to warzone is long gone. The game has felt deserted a long, long time. All planets feel dead with maybe 4-5 other players there if you’re lucky as a Republic player. The forums are swarmed “Please merge servers!” threads all over.
In fact, the game is doing so poorly so fast that BioWare gave away 30 days of free gametime to active subscribers. Can you believe that? One month of free game time with no obligations. I can personally vouch for this as my game time should have been up in May, but I now have 34 days remaining. This is unprecedented and a cry of desperation to the shareholders. By using this method they extended the “active users” by several hundreds of thousands at least to calm everyone down. But I think come this summer the game will face a horrid drought and servers will be the definition of ghosts towns and nowhere near an “MMO”.
Is the game doomed? I’m afraid it looks that way. Unless they managed to release an expansion pack with an wicked amount of content that tons of players would love and attract new ones. Plus merge several servers together, because let’s face it, playing on anything but a Heavy/Full server is pure zzzzzzzzzzzz. But it isn’t that easy. With competition from Diablo III, Tera and the coming Guild Wars 2, Star Wars is on thin ice. I predict it going F2P early 2013 if not by Christmas. People are getting fed up and that’s a shame.
I still play the game occasionally with my friend for its great story and how I love the atmosphere that is Star Wars. But after seeing Tera and Guild Wars 2, it has become clear that Star Wars just falls short on too many levels in terms of interaction and the vivid worlds. But I am not renewing my subscription now when it runs out after the free 30 days I got. Why? Because the world is dead. The servers are 99% Light population and even with the mergers they will not rise to Full unless they merge like 3-4 servers together and I seriously doubt they will based on the moves they’ve done so far. But we’ll see. Also, the really fucked up my talent specc for my Vanguard and that is a giant kill for me to enjoy the game with PvP and I can’t support something with cross-server PvP. It’s just not me.
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