SWTOR – A Love/Hate Relationship…

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Its been some time since I last did an article about The Old Republic, so here are my thoughts/musing on why I have been having such a tempestuous relationship with this game.

I love this game… but at the same time I have major fundamental issues with it, to the point where I frequently find myself ranting down the microphone on Teamspeak to my guildmates. That’s not to say that there ARE serious problems with the game, it is possibly only my own perception. Some people may share my views to a greater or lesser extent, but inevitably others will completely disagree.

My issues are wide and varied. They intersect with some of my friends views, sometimes, and at other times they are vastly different. This is probably as frustrating as any single issue, why is this game creating such polarised opinions?

Currently I find myself unable to enjoy PvP on a regular basis. I’m irritated by the crafting system almost every time I try to make any credits and the “necessity” to have to create and level-up alts frankly leaves me cold… But then I’ll have an evening where I log in and something just “clicks”. I run untold Warzones and, win or lose, I get a massive buzz from it. My companions are crafting and gathering like crazy and my mailbox is filling up with sale confirmations. I even enjoy levelling a new character for a few hours. Why?

I had originally thought I was just a bit burnt out on MMO’s and that the periodic breaks for a week or so I had been having were the cause of these rollercoaster feelings. However I know there’s more to it than that. This is something very specific to SWTOR as I can happily sit down on other games forever and a day.

So, why don’t I just stick to these other games? Well part of it is that I want to game with the group of guys that I’ve been gaming with for 4-5 years. Part of it is that I must actually enjoy playing SWTOR because I cant stop myself coming back to it time and again. It seems to be that the same things driving me insane are some of the same things that keep drawing me in. The RNG based crafting, whilst frustrating in the extreme also gives a strange sense of satisfaction when the “dice” roll in your favour and you finally get that augment slot you’ve been struggling to get. PvP is fun, even when getting slaughtered game after game and I can actually laugh at the people raging in Ops Chat rather than getting annoyed and verbally retaliating (or rage quitting).

I’ve never had these extreme ups and downs with any previous games. I’ve drifted in and out from various games and communities over the years, but it’s usually been an apathy-based move. I’d move on because I’d grown tired of certain aspects or something new and exciting had been released. I did take a significant break from SWG but that was a definite mixture of apathy with the game and more pressing personal-life issues.

There is an valid argument to suggest that its just my group of friends that keep drawing me back in, and I think that may be true. It really wouldn’t matter what game I was playing, as long as playing with these guys I would keep playing. So does this mean that SWTOR is fundamentally flawed and its merely friendship that’s keeping me around? Its possible, but I’m not sure I’m ready to make that dramatic a statement just yet. Sure its got its faults and I have issues with some of the game mechanics and systems, but its Star Wars…

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