Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dueling SWTOR previews

Recently Bioware has started letting journalists play through one of the Jedi Starter areas in Star Wars the Old Rebublic, and previews of it have been mixed. Mike Nelson over at 1up posted a surprisingly negative preview of it, upset that it contained fairly typical MMO style killing and gathering quests. That's a bit of an odd complaint to me, because I remember the KotOR games having a fair number of killing and gathering quests as well. Conversely, Brianna Royce over at Massively played through some of the exact same content and is positively gushing about it, claiming that the cinematic presentation and well acted voice-work elevate even the most mundane quests.

It seems from reading both back-to-back that Massively got to see a lot more of the game than 1up, and that some of the later quests are more interesting than the first few tutorial quests; which may explain the discrepancy in their impressions. It will be interesting to see what consensus emerges as more journalists get to play through the content Bioware is showing off. I look forward to the game regardless. I'm not allergic to typical MMO quests (could you be allergic to them and play anything but EVE and Darkfall?), and the dialogue options sound really well done.


  1. I take all previews with a grain of salt, both positive and negative ones. It's all just so subjective and personal, especially when it comes to starting areas.

    But I do ponder...would "typical" really a criticism when it comes to quests in a starting area? I would expect quests starting areas to be fairly straightforward and nothing fancy while people are getting the hang of things.

  2. The funny thing is that MMOs don't do anything different than other games. They just don't disguise the underlying mechanic all that well. You're still killing a lot of dudes in your standard shooter or RTS on your way to a goal, it's just not highlighted the same way. MMOs could definitely do better to hide the grind, but they have gotten better over time.

  3. @Mmmogamerchick: I did find it to be an odd criticism of the ten minute tutorial portion of an MMO.

    @Anjin: that's a good point. For example, some of the missions in GTA games feel a lot like "quests" to me. For me the best quests in MMOs are ones that tell interesting stories, regardless of the mechanics involved.