Star Wars: The Old Republic was a game I very much looked forward enjoying for a long period of time. Back when it launched in December last year, I had already participated in several beta events and truly enjoyed and pre-ordered it to get the early access.
When December finally came, I launched a successful guild that managed to clear out both the operations that was offered and we did daily PvP events and had a blast. We had 15 people online at all times and it felt like an amazing community and I was living my dream of existing in the Star Wars universe. However, four months later in March players got tired once their game cards expired and didn’t renew.
The Old Republic started to feel like the empty Republic. The PvP queue was no longer instant, there was no urge to do any operations or flashpoints as we had the best gear available from those and the only thing left was to do a few daily missions and PvP. Come another month it became deserted. The Republic Fleet had around 10 players during prime hours and it was apparent that the game was officially dead. Many servers followed a similar pattern as mine and BioWare panicked. They even gave away 30 days of free game time, but it didn’t do anything.
People complained that the game was “too long” and sometimes that flashpoints were too difficult and long as well. It took 150 hours to reach max level if you were good, about 200 hours if you are new and don’t travel across the galaxy efficiently. People didn’t like that. They said it “took too long” and that they couldn’t level up so called “alts” because it’d take too long. People had officially gotten used to the World of Warcraft standard that had spoiled them with free epics and fast leveling. So what did Star Wars do? They made the game easier, started giving away PvP gear for free practically, and that was when I left.
The game had lost its personality, much like World of Warcraft had after the first expansion pack. BioWare also changed my class (Vanguard) dramatically in a way that made the gameplay no longer fun for me. I bought a total of four months of game time for that game and received a little over 60 days for free from BioWare, making it a total six months with The Old Republic. When my time expired in June, I had already quit playing a few weeks before when all the changes came for the worse. When they removed Ilum. When they changed the class. When they made thing easier and quicker.
Still I feel that BioWare went the wrong direction with The Old Republic. Instead of making it easier and changing the classes too much, they should have made it free-to-play in the summer rather than now coming November. The move came too late. It should have been done earlier when they saw the signs of dropping subscribers, they could have saved it I believe. The game was great in my eyes. Sure, it had a lot of flaws and lacked some features that were added later on, but it was too late. And yes, now compared to GW2 the game looks extremely ugly and lifeless, but still, I feel that The Old Republic should have had at least a one-year run of success but the players simply didn’t have the patience and I don’t know where the blame lies. Is it with BioWare for not making it more like WoW? Was it really “too long and difficult”?
What are your thoughts on The Old Republic? Did you enjoy it? Or did you feel its end came at the just right time?
I might revisit the The Old Republic in November when it goes free-to-play.