SWTOR: Return of the Jaded

At least for one gamer, BioWare’s efforts to increase SWTOR’s visibility and accessibility via free-to-play is proving a successful lure.  Taking a break from SWTOR earlier this year was a good personal decision: I had taken a character to 50, seen the barren nature of what lay beyond, and had a hard time summoning the enthusiasm to level a new character all over again.  Besides, it was another subscription that threatened to stretch my gaming budget too tightly when I wanted to head back to RIFT and was eying TSW.

But on the eve of F2P, it’s happened.  Perhaps enough time has passed that the fields of my interest in the game are fertile once more.  Perhaps the notion that I won’t have to pay (and I really won’t) sings to me with that tempting siren’s call.  And perhaps I’ve regretted not taking a Republic character to 50.

So I decided to sub for a single month to get a jump on things, as well as to unlock a few character benefits that will persist into F2P (such as extra inventory space).  I dithered about once more with a Consular, but I quickly remembered why I couldn’t bond with the class — not because of the fight mechanics, which are actually interesting, but because the character’s personality and story are borderline comatose.  Thus, I rerolled a Smuggler — a male this time, because darn it, I’m romancing something — and began to live out the Han Solo fantasy.

It’s interesting when you return to an MMO that you played pretty extensively.  Some of it feels wonderfully fresh, while other less desirable memories come crashing down on you.  You remember the more… unsavory elements.  In the few days I’ve had time to dip back into SWTOR, I recalled how I’m not a huge fan of the excessive side quest dialogue (which gives new meaning to the word “inconsequential”) nor of the still-lacking talent trees that just pale in comparison to many other character build options in MMOs.

Yet, there have been a few welcome moments as well.  I do enjoy being able to pick speech options and see how NPCs react.  The main class story is engaging enough, and the scifi setting is a very nice change of pace.  And, at least with the Smuggler, I dig the look and combat.  Unlike the last time I rolled one, I’m not doing a Gunslinger this time around.  Oddly enough, I like the look of a single blaster more than two, and having options to stealth and heal are quite important to me.  And while it’s pretty linear, sometimes that’s relaxing in its own right.

Instead of coming at the game as a near-main MMO, I am definitely enjoying the mental shift to making it a side activity.  A game to “pop in” when I’m in the mood for some Star Wars, but certainly nothing now that’s going to take precedent over, say, Guild Wars 2 or LOTRO.  There’s far less at stake too: If SWTOR wears out its welcome again, then there’s little pressure to keep me there.  I’m there as long as the fun lasts, but not a moment past that.

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9 thoughts on “SWTOR: Return of the Jaded

  1. Yay! Welcome back to SWTOR! I loved the smuggler, the gunslinger is still my main. I also thought the consular was extremely boring. The best story so far has been the Bounty Hunter, so you should give it a try. I currently rank them
    Bounty Hunter
    Jedi Knight
    Sith Warrior
    Smuggler
    Trooper

    But those are my only level 50’s so far. The other stories are interesting, but I have yet to get past the 20s with them.

  2. SWTOR F2P lost me the moment I saw that I would have to pay, weekly, to get more than a pittance of WZs.

    Lowbie PvP was consistently one of the best things to play in that game and vastly preferable to grinding out levels in PvE content that I’d already played, and found tedious, once before on my main the first time around.

  3. Might want to try the Imperial Agent story Geldarion, it’s quite a ride! My BH is at 45 so I’ve still got to finish the story but must admit that it’s a hoot. Currently enjoying the Inquisitor story though. Really does feel like I’m a Sith on my way up the ladder.

  4. I definitely agree with the new approach, but I foresee a bit of an issue. What happens when every MMO currently on the market that you are willing to play is a side MMO? Even including Guild Wars 2, there isn’t any one title out right now (or out in the last year+ for that matter) that has been able to draw me in enough to call it my main. I feel more like a MMO whore than the faithfully married man of years past.

  5. Pingback: Genre Splitting « Hardcore Casual

  6. I will possibly re-subscribe for a month somewhere in there. Due to the way they’re handling racial unlocks and access to the new content, it seems like it’s potentially more cost-effective to subscribe for one month per new character.

  7. I am not very familiar with SWTOR or with the F2P restrictions, apart from having read your blog of course.

    In order to profit from the best possible F2P framework, should I subscribe for one month and create several characters at once then unsubscribe?

    Thanks!

  8. About the Consular (my main): “the character’s personality and story are borderline comatose” xD

    I guess it’s not always fun to play the saint… :) I must admit the sage’s personality isn’t that ‘exciting’, but at least I don’t have to deal with that anymore now that I’m at end-game level. Due to studies, I barely have enough time to level in Rohan, so no leveling for me in SWTOR. I guess it’s now also a “side MMO” for me (LotRO being my main), although the activity for me when I log in is to raid on my sage. Shame you do have to pay for that.

    Have fun leveling smuggler. I should really do that class myself one of these days, the story so far has been exciting!

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