In anticipation of the upcoming expansion – keeping in mind that I only just came back from a long hiatus – I think a lot about SWTOR as a game, about what has happened over the years, about what’s yet to come and how I as a player will fit into this renaissance.
The #Floodgate Livestream
Technical hiccups aside, I found it quite entertaining. But okay, I may have been in a better mood than other viewers because I’m usually still up on 2am anyway.
The amount of info wasn’t overwhelming and certainly didn’t make up for the preceding drought, but if that was their way of “opening the floodgates”, as they put it, and will follow up with more much longed-for details, more power to them. Personally, I’m fine with that.
That said, I’m absolutely in love with everything they did show. The meaningful choices, the vastly improved textures and animations, the voice acting, the camera work… all of this is music to my ears! (Or candy to my eyes, if you will.) As someone who hoards terabytes of nothing but screenshots and frapsed cutscenes, I’m absolutely stoked to dive into new story content with that level of visual quality. MY FRAPS IS READY. (My storage isn’t, but that’s another story entirely.)
That isn’t everything, though! Detaching stats from companion gear and being able to tailor their combat style to your needs is something I have wished for for a long, long time. And now it’s happening! Squee! * ticks off items from wishlist *
I’m still not entirely convinced and they sure as hell need to pump out more meaningful info fast, but let’s not forget they also improved a lot from Makeb to SoR, so color me cautiously optimistic. I mean, SoR really got people talking, speculating and invested in the cast, much more so than Makeb. All things considered I got a feeling that they are headed in the right direction, even if that means making sacrifices in other areas.
One little thing about people being upset or unimpressed with the stream because of the alleged lack of “new info”: I can’t blame anyone for turning to datamined stuff in the face of total silence, but expecting them to take that into account when doing a livestream? Please.
The Last Stage of Grief
I’ve come to a state of acceptance with SWTOR. I’m done with denying, raging, bargaining and being down. Others are too and haven chosen to leave, but in true all-rounder fashion, I simply shifted my focus in accordance with the shift of resources. Turned out the grass really isn’t greener in GW2, whose lack of trinity bores me to no end, in ESO, a game that made huge mistakes in regards to PVP and gear and that dived head first into the Uncanny Valley, or in WildStar, whose art style I can’t bear for extended periods of time – that’s what I learned after a year of unfulfilling game hopping.
SWTOR, with all its flaws that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, still offers me more overall than the games mentioned above.
What Makes SWTOR Sticky
This is all very subjective, obviously.
The biggest plus is, and I can’t stress this enough, the community of like-minded and funny players I could reconnect with so easily after my hiatus. I’m certain my newfound enthusiasm wouldn’t have reached its current levels if it hadn’t been amplified by the new friends I made on Twitter.
Another thing that’s not exactly insignificant is the familiarity of the game. Flaws are much easier to accept when you’re used to them. Feeling like a total noob again after years of playing a game you know really well isn’t something I’m particularly fond of, either. I could never be bothered to really learn the ropes of GW2’s combat, for example. sPVP has been a cruel experience because of this.
SWTOR also sports a trinity, tab-target combat with lots of skills to keybind, objective-focused instanced PVP and a setting that I truly love.
All of these aspects combined form a strong argument in favour of investing my free time here and not anywhere else. The other MMOs can (and will) still serve as a backup for times of low motivation, content droughts and the like.
Hm, now that I already ticked off some items on my wishlist, maybe I can continue hoping for more, no? Nautolans, Twi’lek hoods, replayable class story cutscenes, permanent x12 XP boost…? One can dream.
Alright, that was a very clumsy way to say that I like where they’re heading and that I’m probably here to stay. If you made it ’til the end of this wall of text, here, have a heart-shaped cookie. <3