I have been following along all the reviews of SWTOR as it makes its circuit to all of the gaming and geek conventions. Knowing what I know from being in the beta it’s fun to see what speculation and theories people craft from the morsels of details they glean from short demos and time boxed test drives.
I really don’t get some of these impressions and comments that are suppose to be taken in the context of “negative reviews”. Some are claiming the story is poor. How can one make that assertion from a short test drive. I have been playing the beta since April. I have tried nearly every class and a couple classes I have played through their starting zone a couple of times. I can tell you that the story is NOT weak! Don’t believe these half wit neophytes that know nothing about the lore. The character stories for all the classes are rich and engaging. All the quests and the dialog is extremely well written. Granted there are some dull quests, but the dulls ones are the ones not linked to the story, they are just XP fodder.
Don’t believe the critics that say the story is weak, it’s simply not true!
Ok, now that I have that out of my system, let’s talk about the thing I keep seeing more and more as a negative mark against SWTOR. Some critics are calling it a WoW clone.
Now I’m not saying it is a WoW clone, but for the sake of argument let’s say they’re right … But why is that a bad thing?? WoW is six years old and still has over 10 million subscribers. If you are going to model yourself off of something, why not pick the one with the best results? I understand wanting to differentiate yourself but that may now always guarantee great success. I mean, look at all the other MMOs released recently where that approach has worked …
So here is my reason why it’s not a WoW clone. Yes, you start at 1 and level, chronologically, up to 50 by picking up a quest and completing a quest. Yes, you get talent trees and you have gathering and crafting professions. That’s about all they have in common and in my opinion (with the possible exception of talent trees) those similarities exist because they are basic MMO mechanics. By the way, the fact that you have class specific quests throughout the leveling experience differentiates this game enough from the questing mechanic in WoW.
Professions barely qualifies because the process of crafting is very different in SWTOR. The work is done while you are questing. You don’t have to stand at a forge for 15 minutes with 25 cloth bracers queued up. You put your companion to the task and you go out and quest some more. Also, I think the third type of profession, mission, is quite interesting and can be very useful for leveling and increasing your dark/light side points.
Ok, so time to end this rant. SWTOR is not a clone of WoW. It shares a few basic mechanics but it has plenty of its own “special modifications” to make it unique.