The fall of The Old Republic – my thoughts

There’s a new MMO out right now, it came out pretty recently actually.  It’s called Star Wars:  The Old Republic, and we even have a banner on the site promoting […]

There’s a new MMO out right now, it came out pretty recently actually.  It’s called Star Wars:  The Old Republic, and we even have a banner on the site promoting it.  I bought it, along with many others for one reason or another.  Maybe it was because it’s a Star Wars game, maybe we bought it because it’s Bioware and we know they have pretty good success in story telling and pumping out triple A titles.

I bought this particular MMO, because this game was touted as a sequel to the original two Knights of the Old Republic games, games that I have fond memories of playing, and I’d be damned if i wasn’t going to continue that epic, world spanning storyline even if it was in MMO form.  So, I installed it, played around for a little, and then I realized something.  I’m paying 15 dollars a month for this.

This.  This game of grinding, monotonous, gear fiending, party grouping rehash of World of Warcraft.  And, before you get on my case, I know.  I know it’s an MMO.  I like MMOs to be honest, I’ve played nearly every MMO that pops up these days, and ultimately they all either crash and burn, or get put on the permanent “free to play” life support that companies seem to love to put in place.  But ToR is a joke.

Even as we speak EA stock is plummeting faster than ever, and more and more subscribers are jumping the now appropriately named “Tortanic” in hopes of finding a better game.  Don’t believe me?  Well then maybe you’ll believe the Wall Street Journal.  Maybe EA’s very own stock quote?  A 300 million dollar game is barely keeping afloat, with Bioware’s last resort to keep you, the honest gamer in their pocket by releasing an emergency “We’re sorry our game isn’t good, here’s a free thing!”  That’s right.  If you pay for another month of their game they will give you an in game title labeled “Founder.”

If an in game title still isn’t enough to keep you on-board, well, you’ll be saddened to hear that the Cancel Subscription button in account management mysteriously disappeared!  What a shame, considering tomorrow is the end of the first free month, a free month that all players receive upon purchasing the game.  You know that credit card you input when you created your account?  Expect a charge soon, because that shit is on recurring.

But WHY are people abandoning ToR?  Why are so many lashing out against this MMO?  It’s simple.  Bugs, imbalances, and a staggeringly small amount of content.  The 1.1 Patch, which was supposed to alleviate a lot of the larger bugs, and even add some new content for higher level players to fiddle around with, broke so much of the game that even die hard veterans are making a b-line for the life boats.

Ilum, the level 50 zone, a zone where every player seeking to reach level cap must go, has become a place of constant PVP farming, where all of the server’s imperials spawn camp the rest of the server’s republic players.  NPC’s in some area give valor points now, meaning that doing anything but farming the NPC’s in question is considered worthless.  PVP battlegrounds are ghost towns, and republic players cannot even escape the zone because they’re are literally so many enemies jumping about their corpses, all they can do is log off and hope for the best later in the day.  Here’s a video in case you think I’m making any of this up.

It doesn’t end there, either.  Earlier, players were getting banned for exploring the world itself.  Players whose level were too low for the zone, and were banned for “exploiting drop rates of chests.”  Really?  Someone found a severe exploit in your game, and instead of fixing the issue, you ban the person who discovered it?  Really?

There was also the Breakdancing bug.  When in combat with an enemy, a quick typing of the /getdown command would cause your avatar to start dancing, and even more strangely, cause you to be untargetable by said enemy.  Guess what happened to the player that discovered that, and all the people who curiously attempted it?  Banned.  Maybe not all, but most.  It’s unprofessional, considering a quick fix could have easily saved them from permanently eliminating curious customers.

Unacceptable, EA.  Unacceptable Bioware.  How long do you think you can swindle people before they get tired of your antics?  You remember those game shows, where they would put a guy in a closed booth and have money blow up from the ground, and he’d have a small amount of time to try and grab as much cash as he could before the time ran out?  That’s what I see when I see The Old Republic.

This should have been a single player game.  What a disaster.

EDIT:  Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, Bioware has closed their forums for an unspecified amount of time.  Damage control is on full alert.  The un-professionalism is rampant.

EDIT 2:  The forums are back up, and the My Account features seem to be stabilized.  Good.  But it is in no way good that a company purposely locks and deletes threads that contain a measure in which to avoid or bypass a broken feature of their own doing.  The “cancel subscription” button thing, for instance, had been solved by a user, but their thread was deleted.  Someone also found a way for players stuck in the PVP hell of Ilum to escape it, but that thread was locked because the method the poster described was considered an exploit.