How Much Storyline will SWTOR Have?

Here’s an interesting topic for SWTOR fans, especially those who also played KOTOR. Daniel Erickson speaks out on the forums about the length of the chapters for the classes of SWTOR. This was mentioned briefly in the interviews from the fan site summit and left many of us confused about what it actually meant.

First, you have to understand what BioWare mean when they talk about “length” of the game, as this can be defined in different ways. Erickson says,

“The whole critical path of the game is the length. The walking, the combat, the travel on your ship, world quests, everything you’d have to do to come out the other end the right level. When we say the story of Chapter 1 is X long we do not mean if you somehow took all the conversations and ran them together.”

He goes on to clarify:

“So all the content you’re expected to do goes in there. What doesn’t go in? Warzones, crafting, socializing, auction house, space game, etc (yes, you could skip world quests and do Warzone or space game quests or Heroics for XP instead but swaps like that tend to more or less even out). Anything not required to level up is outside the estimate.

So we know that being an MMO, players could find the longest road possible to get there (remember that guy who got to 85 in WoW without killing a single thing and only do professions and exploring?) But when they speak of “length” at BioWare, they are generally referring to the direct path taken to achieve your levels.

Speaking of mileage, it can vary from player to player which is why Erickson goes on to say,

“When we talk about the length of the game at all, we keep it vague for the important reason that people burn through content at different rates. The numbers we’re using today are based on best case estimates from hundreds of people playing through Chapter 1. “

He goes on to clarify that changes are being made before shipping, which is the whole point of the testing period. He then ends by clarifying exactly what he meant in the original conversation on the topic:

“I was speaking of the a single average first time playthrough of a single class’s Chapter 1 being more than twice the length of a single average first time playthrough of the entirety of the original Knights of the Old Republic. Chapter 2 and 3 are each somewhat shorter than Chapter 1 (which are extended by the Origin and Capitol worlds experience) but still pretty darn big.”

There we have it- an explanation on just how much storyline you can expect and a general idea of the timeline taken to level up and move through the content. What are your thoughts?