opinion

An Open Letter to the Creators of the SWTOR Cartel Packs

Hyperspace Beacon has a few things to say to BioWare. Actually, they have a bit of a bone to pick with the SWTOR team. And he’s not alone in this one. There are many people out there who agree, as the comment section will show and I have to say that while I am a fan of the game and have been since the beginning, he makes very valid points on this one. There are some seriously annoying flaws with Cartel Packs and while this isn’t the first time it’s been said, the points are presented rather well. So what’s the beef? Well, here’s part of it: “I am disappointed by the execution of the latest cartel packs on many, many levels. It was difficult enough for me to accept these lottery boxes in the first place. It concerns me that the best looking and most desired items in the…

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Star Wars: Battlefront, DICE Increasingly Looking Like Match Made in Heaven

  For a layman, the Star Wars: Battlefront trailer presented at the 2014 E3 may have been disappointing. After all, it contained precious little in-game footage and much more of the “people dramatically entering an office” sort of thing, as one reviewer so keenly pointed out. For a true fan however, the trailer told much more than a straight hour of in-game state-of-the-art graphics frenzy would have, and it really did say what every fan out there wanted to hear: that the folks at DICE were treating this project with utmost respect and that they were aiming to make a game that they, as Star Wars fans, always wanted to play. The trailer also showcased the lengths the team went to in order to create as authentic a Star Wars experience as possible, immersing themselves into the annals of the Star Wars universe in ways only true fans would ever…

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Why SWTOR Was a “Failure”

We keep hearing it everywhere- “SWTOR was a failure” and with many new MMORPGs coming out, we hear the claim that it might end up being a failure “Just like SWTOR”. Why all this hatred for the game? First, let’s clear the air and say that we don’t think SWTOR is a failure. And with the numbers they are bringing in financially, the stats don’t say it’s a flop either. But we hear this far too much to just write it off as a handful of trolls. So for this reason, we’re going to entertain this opinion for just a bit and see why some people think the game failed. When we talk about why SWTOR is seen as a failure to some, we have to look at player expectations vs. how SWTOR was hyped. As a standalone game today, most people will agree it’s a pretty decent game, even…

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Does the Bolster System Need Fixing?

A lot of SWTOR players are saying the bolster system is broken. Is it really? Let’s take a look at the topic.  First, bolster was believed to be a friend of the new PVPer but now that it’s out, many are questioning whether or not this feature is really a positive. While bolster was meant to bring a more even playing field to the PvP aspects of SWTOR, many players feel like it has succeeded only in bring more problems. Some players don’t believe it has leveled the playing field at all. So the idea behind Bolster is a good one- it’s intended introduce and level the playing field in PvP of SWTOR. It could also be a good way to introduce new players to this aspect of the game and its content. And some will say that level 10-54, Bolster is working as intended. But what happens at level…

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Does What Your Toon Looks Like Matter in SWTOR?

MMORPGs… there is a culture in this type of gaming that you just don’t find anywhere else. There are things that we just know and associate with certain types of games. That being said, we see many cool new things happening in the MMORPG world. But one thing that has grown over the gaming years and with the industry is the cosmetic side of things. Graphics have come a long, long way since the early days of RPGs and now with nearly every new game that comes out, we have even better aesthetic features. SWTOR is joining the ranks of many other MMORPGs and focusing on things that the players want as much as what they need. Player housing is a great example other this. Another great example is new orange gear. Some people will sit back and say, “Oh that’s dumb” and “Why are you worried about how you…

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How to Keep SWTOR Servers Loaded in 2014

Do you like having a full server of people to play with on SWTOR? Since server mergers last year, most servers are on heavy now, which is great for fans who want to have plenty of people to play with. But the new year means new games and some people worry about what this might do to SWTOR population. With many new games coming out in 2014, how can SWTOR keep the servers busy and loaded? Here are some ideas of what they could do to help keep the servers heavy: Build a new planet to explore Create an expansion and add 5 more levels to the level cap Create cross-server gameplay Explain PvP Create more Operations and harder Operations Build some minigames such as cantina games or good old-fashioned pod racing Add more ship quests/games Build a housing system or expand player ships to be more customizable like a…

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Are Online Games Destroying Marriages?

An article on US News, just in time for Valentine’s Day, reminds us that doing things too much without your spouse could put a strain on the marriage. Whoda thunkit? MMORPG giant WoW was singled out in the piece but other MMOs were named the culprit as well. The article covers a study done on 349 couples where at least one spouse games online. According to US News, “The results confirmed what Neil Lundberg, one of the study’s authors, already suspected: “Gaming widows,” spouses who lose the attention of their significant other to gaming, aren’t happy with their marriages.” Fill in the word “gaming” in that sentence with anything else and you get the same result- gambling, cheating, eating, watching football, picking their nose… Not spending time with your spouse = a strained marriage. Gaming is just the scapegoat once again in another poor study that makes video games the…

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Trolling BioWare to Ruin SWTOR

Are Internet trolls out to get SWTOR? It would appear so based on some of the bad publicity the game has gotten as well as other trollish activity such as bug reports for glitches that don’t exist and players claiming they were banned for odd reasons only to have BioWare staff come in and confirm they were not banned at all. It’s all a bit odd but it seems like there are some trolls out there just looking to make BioWare/SWTOR look bad. Maybe they are disgruntled SWG players? /shrug Remember I brought you that story about the Technorati blogger who was hating on SWTOR? Well, there’s a new story that’s a bit of a counter to this one but they have more of their facts straight. Team Asunder Magazine brings us The Internet vs. Bioware: How Trolls Set Out To Destroy The Old Republic. “The undeserved negative publicity that…

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Are SWTOR Sexual Encounters Shallow?

An article on VideoGamer.com explores the notion that BioWare is becoming a bit crass in their approach to sexual encounters in their games. Many actually agree and the article explores some scenes that eventually lead to sex (if you choose the appropriate options) in the game. It’s not the sex itself that is bothering some players but rather the way in which it is embedded in the story line. Do your own Google search for more “interesting” pics. The writer explains: These are just some examples of the stranger notches on BioWare’s bedpost since the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Despite the studio’s effort to create “real human relationships”, TOR is a juggling act between two different approaches to mature content, and only one of which follows in line with BioWare’s typical style. It then explains further: The Old Republic maintains the same companion relationships that exist in…

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Technorati Blogger Says Star Wars is Sinking Fast

Are you happy with SWTOR and the post-launch outcome thus far? While many gamers are completely satisfied, there are others who feel let down by the game and EA has been facing some problems lately in terms of broker concerns. But is it really as bad as it sounds? A Technorati blogger thinks SWTOR is sinking fast and has this to say about the sinking ship: And there is quite a bit of solid evidence that people are abandoning ship. But what about those who say there is no problem? Many are calling it the TORtanic, and this is the fated maiden voyage. But let us explore how and why this game is failing so hard and fast. Hmm.. I’m not sure I completely agree with his evaluations but he might have a few good points. First, he explains that the initial launch sales boomed the game to an unreachable height…

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Is SWTOR Bringing Back Retro Sexism Issues for Women Gamers?

Is SWTOR bringing back retro sexism issues for women gamers? One self-professed female gamer thinks so but can she back up her accusations? L.A. Harte, of Yahoo! Contributor Network takes issue with how SWTOR portrays females in the game. When I first saw the title, I thought she was going to accuse BioWare of objectifying women or some such… it wouldn’t be the first time such accusations have been made on a video game. But what she was actually complaining about took me by surprise a bit. She says: “Female characters in most MMORPGs including World of Warcraft, (and even the spin off cellphone app game Order and Chaos), provide us with a beautiful but strong woman — Star Wars The Old Republic falls very short.” Um… so WoW has beautiful female characters and SWTOR doesn’t? I’m betting L.A. Harte plays a Night Elf. So anyway, just how does she…

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SWTOR Bonus Quests: BioWare Brilliance or the Ultimate Troll?

If you’ve played SWTOR past around level 20 or so, you’ve probably already encountered these “bonus quests” in the game. Touted as just another example of BioWare’s signature RPG storytelling, some gamers find it more like a massive annoyance. SWTOR is very much about the story and these different story arcs usually take place on the different planets or “zones” in which you play the game. These world arcs include stories that all tie in to said planet and finish up with a conclusion when you reach the end of the planet and are then sent to another planet. There’s just one little catch… the bonus quests. They hit you out of nowhere, right when you think you are good and done with the planet. MMORPG.com calls it more of an “ambush”, which is exactly what it feels like to most gamers. You think it’s just one more quest and…

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How the Old Republic Didn’t Change MMOs from Escapist Magazine

I read a really interesting piece today from Escapist Magazine. It was part of a weekly column “First Person” written by Boston, MA-based freelancer Dennis Scimeca that I often enjoy. This particular write-up on how The Old Republic didn’t change MMOs is spot-on with how I feel about the game in many areas. Let’s start with saying that it’s not a negative review. In fact, the columnist seems quite content with SWTOR as far as the game itself goes but he makes some very valid points about the MMO aspects and how there are certain things that just cannot be revolutionized yet in the genre. While SWTOR has done some things that no other MMORPG has done, there are still some things that it just hasn’t changed about the genre in SWTOR. However, it may not really be BioWare’s fault. I mean, this is reportedly one of (if not the)…

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Is SWTOR PVP Broken?

Recently there have been a lot of complaints about PVP in SWTOR and not all of them are just from hardcore PvPers who don’t like the way things are set up in SWTOR. In fact, there are many bugs and legitimate complaints that lead a gamer to ask, “Is PvP in SWTOR broken?” MMO Crunch has a piece that asks “Where’s the PvP?” and brings up a pretty good question about the lacking world PvP in SWTOR. I have to agree with the author since I play on a PvP server and have yet to run into a PvP encounter in the open world once so far and I’ve been playing since pre-launch. MMO Crunch says: “The problem with the open PvP zones is there is absolutely no incentive for players, which is why they’re empty. Why bother in a open zone when you can queue up for a warzone…

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This is Why SWTOR Matters

Ever gotten on a soapbox when it comes to talking about video games? You certainly wouldn’t be the first to do so. In fact, gamers are often so passionate about their video games that they find themselves on a soapbox quite often. Adam Harshberger of Pexielsordeath.com has a soapbox opportunity to tell us all why SWTOR matters. It seems everyone who has played the game has a strong opinion one way or another about it. For some, SWTOR is just another MMO attempting to rival WoW that will probably wither and wane just like so many others. To some, it doesn’t matter at all. However, to others SWTOR matters and here is a glimpse into why. Harshberger says: “But, regardless, Bioware has succeeded in igniting my brain in ways that only single player games have previously – and, to frank with ya’ll, I can’t stop playing it.” He says that…

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SWTOR as a Single Player Game

Are you the type of gamer who loves RPGs but typically skips the multiplayer aspects of MMOs? You might still like SWTOR. While I enjoy my fair share of multiplayer games, I also have a tendency to go solo quite often. I spent a good year or more of my 7-year history in World of Warcraft playing solo. I just got tired of everything else there was to do in the game and focused on speed-leveling characters, getting achievements, making money on the Auction House or whatever other random activities gave me enjoyment at the time. I leveled some characters outside of a guild and I didn’t talk to anyone- just ran through doing my own thing. I have discovered in my years as a gamer that other people like playing this way sometimes, too. One gamer wrote about it on Arstechnica.com in “Forever alone? Star Wars: The Old Republic…

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The Sith Inquisition Marches Onward

Greetings swtorstrategies.com, we are The Sith Inquisition. Myself and the rest of my team are all diehard Imperials, and would rather shed our own blood as Sith than let the Republic overcome us. For a few weeks now we’ve been putting out Empire side news and opinion updates, recently being enhanced by a few pieces of beta video content, and now we’re happy to be invited to do a weekly column right her on swtorstrategies.com. You can look forward to a lot of news and opinion on the dark side and the Empire, although we do also like to put out general news content when it’s applicable. One thing we’ll be doing is short news broadcasts through twitter at least once a week, possible coinciding with the posts we’ll be putting up here. We’ll also be keeping you up to date on major roleplay and PvP activities that we’re emailed…

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I’m Flip-Flopping on Star Wars: The Old Republic

“My biggest problem now with Star Wars: The Old Republic is that I recently switched my home computer to a Mac,” says Stephen Totilo from Kotaku. This is in the intro to his story of why he’s flip-flopping on SWTOR. All he needed to change his mind about TOR was to play it again for a second time. He says it was like playing a completely different game. He says his first experience was impaired by high expectations and that he is not usually a MMORPG player as getting enchanted with the one MMO can limit you from playing other games. He says, “I tried World of Warcraft for a weekend in 2007, had some fun, but ran away to save my time for real-life activities like playing video games that last less than infinite hours.” He had a chance to try the game again, at NYCC it seems, and…

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Is There a Point to SWTOR Being Fully Voiced?

One big selling point of SWTOR by BioWare is that it is fully voices and highly story-based. But is the whole “fully voiced” thing a bit overrated? Others have said it before but MMOCrunch published an interesting story on the very same topic recently. The author points out, “While it seems to be a giant step forward in terms of immersing players into the game and story-line, one quickly realizes that it’s probably going to be pointless in the long run.” Could there be some truth to this? I think the idea and the concept behind total voice acting sounds awesome but is it really going to make that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things? The MMOCrunch article goes on to say, “I know for me, unless there’s vital info in the quest description, I’m not going to read it.” Well, this isn’t the case for…

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SWTOR: Why it Must Succeed but Why It Must Also Fail

Over on Massively, we found an excellent read on why The Old Republic must succeed, but also why it must fail. It’s a Soapbox column with some very valid points about TOR. It begins: “Disclaimer: The Soapbox column is entirely the opinion of this week’s writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Massively as a whole. If you’re afraid of opinions other than your own, you might want to skip this column. So there’s a game coming out called Star Wars: The Old Republic. Maybe you’ve heard about it once or twice. It’s no secret that a lot of people are excited to see what BioWare’s long-anticipated title will do once it’s finally released. The title has had a huge amount of time and money poured into its production, extensive voice acting, countless demos and revelations and debates… all without having yet amassed a substantial playerbase. What happens…

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