Re: swtor is stealing my friends

On 16 Jan 2012 12:52:14 GMT, Neil Cerutti <neilc@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

On 2012-01-15, SF <SF@xxxxxxx> wrote:
my guild is getting emptier by the day, more and more people
aren't coming for raids and I know from a few that they went to
play star wars. How is that with your guild/server? SF

My six man guild is down to just two of us, and three have not
logged in for roughly 30 days. I'm assuming they are still
enjoying SWTOR, but I'm expecting them back any day now, as the
free month peters out.

I have no independent knowledge that it sucks, I just don't
believe it's better than WoW.

A question many people are missing is, does it actually need to be
*better*? Novelty has its own value, after all. As WoW gets
increasingly long in the tooth (it turned 7 back in November, don't
forget), new and "good enough" may, one day, be all that it takes to
knock it off its perch.

In my (hopefully reasonably unbiased) opinion, SWtOR shouldn't be
underestimated. It's a decent, accessible and playable game, and
certainly good enough to take people away for a time. I also think it
has a few weaknesses, but that most of them aren't necessarily
unfixable. Whether it's good enough to keep people permanently away,
remains to be seen - I'd say the jury's still out. As everyone keeps
saying, it will be interesting (and informative) to see what happens
over the next week, as people who bought at launch, have already
maxxed out at least one character and explored the end-game, hit the
end of the bundled play period. And if it does manage to hold people
initially, it will also be interesting to see how soon Bioware feel
the need to push out an expansion - and how rich, or otherwise, *that*
is. But of the various "contenders for the crown" that I've tried
during WoW's life, it's probably the first that I've felt was in there
with a shot.

To be clear, I'm never in anyway a fan-boy or a cheer-leader for any
game in particular. I play what I enjoy, and move on when it palls.
I've played quite a few games to the point of near-adiction while I've
been playing them, but when they became stale and something else good
came along, I've moved on. And that, to me, is one of WoW's challenges
- can Blizzard keep me interested enough, after 7 years, to keep going
with (and paying for) WoW in the face of something new that's also
decent and comparatively fresh? I'm not sure. Cataclysm was an
excellent expansion from my point of view, for example, shaking up a
lot of the lower-end content to the extent that I'm still enjoying
discovering things. But the game is already so high-end-focused that
levelling isn't as pleasurable as it used to be (and I'm mostly an
alt-oholic rather than and end-game raider, so that matters to me).

Right now, I'm mostly playing SWtOR (with trips back into WoW to do
dailies and for scheduled sessions with friends). I won't be stoppig
when the bundled days run out, either - there are definitely things I
want to explore that will keep me hooked in for longer than that. In
the longer term, who knows? Mists of Pandaria is on the way, and
Diablo 3 and Guild Wars 2 are both coming down the pipe as well - I'll
undoubtedly give them all a shot to one degree or another (so much to
play, so little time). But what I'll be mostly playing in 12 months, I
have no idea.

(Ignoring SWtOR content, balance and so forth completely, though. One
*big* mistake that I think Bioware - and everyone else to date - have
made, is not spotting the value of WoW's use for the UI of LUA. It's
Blizzard's secret weapon. It's hard. in my opinion, to overstate the
value that's been brought to the game by making safe UI modding simple
and accessible. Even for those people who never have nor will install
a single mod it's been of enormous value - because many of the real
improvements to the UI over WoW's lifetime have basically been
adoptions of good ideas that have already been tried, tested and
proven as mods. Effectively the UI development team has been
*massive*. And where function has been notably lacking, the mod
community has often been able to step in, fill in the gaps and improve
the experience. SWtOR by contrast doesn't, won't and probably can't
ever have that, and will be the poorer for it. All players will get
will be what the devs feel are good ideas and have time to implement -
and it will never, to the same degree, be enough.)

Cheers - Ian