Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Journey

Kaylee: How come you don't care where you're going?
Book: 'Cause how you get there is the worthier part.


For me, the Journey always been the point of playing an MMORPG, from my first days of World of Warcraft through last night playing Star Wars: The Old Republic with my lovely bride. It's a theme I have returned to repeatedly on this blog, sometimes more pointedly than others. But I feel it necessary to repeat myself again: If you race past leveling content to the end-game and find it inadequate, you have only yourself to blame. Don't blame the developers for not supporting your style of gameplay. They worked plenty hard for you to enjoy the story as you level. If (in the case of of SWTOR) you spacebarred your way through the cutscene conversations in an effort to kill as many droids and womprats as possible on your way to 50, you're doing it wrong.

WoW has a rich and varied lore extending from the original Warcraft RTS through Cataclysm and beyond. I loved discovering Azeroth and my place in it. I have my issues with the game and how it has changed over the years, but that is mostly because of my personal preferences. Some of them involve how the leveling process (and therefore story) was foreshortened in favor of an end-game playstyle I had little interest in.

Star Trek Online has some cool stories, building on the lore of Star Trek, obviously; and I feel the developers at Crytpic did a great job honoring the past while delving into the future. My captains and their crews were fleshed-out characters with motivations and reactions fitting Starfleet and their respective personailties as I saw them. I tell myself I will go back to check things out one of these days, what with the F2P model STO has shifted to.

Rift had a great story to tell, with two factions trying to defend their world from invasion by supernatural creatures, each with strongly held beliefs about how to go about it. I understood my characters' place in that world, even though I felt that in many details, what they were asked to do did not fit their stature as superbeings themselves. That and having to level alts through literally the same content caused me to develop an ennui about the game. I do wish Trion the best though, and I am technically subscribed still. Though when the current cycle ends, I doubt I will re-up.

So we come to SWTOR. BioWare has catered to my style of gameplay, with a focus on Story and the Journey of my character. I really don't care about end-game. I may do a few operations with the Imperial Mercenary Corps and the Republic Mercy Corps. But I am not interested in running the same thing over and over again. I did that for a while in WoW and didn't really enjoy it, though I liked the camaraderie of Raiding with Mutiny of Uldum (and White Widow back in BC days).

When I reach max-level and the current end of the story, I will likely retire that character and play another. There are those who dislike not having the choice of where to go in SWTOR. They say the game is too much on rails. That is fine, it is their opinion. However it is a design decision that conflicts with their preference, it is not an inherent flaw in the game itself. Are there features I would change or would like added to SWTOR? Of course. But I am enjoying playing both my solo main and my SLC main with Sctrz. When I stop enjoying it, I will quit the game. I won't rage-quit, I haven't yet done that with any game, I've simply lost interest in playing further.

3 comments:

  1. My play is all about the journey. Once I get bored or find myself chasing numbers, I go do something else.

    ...this is part of why I'm not a fan of subscriptions. I'm not looking for a relationship with my games, I want to just play for as long as they stay fun. I do that on my time, and asking me to commit to a schedule inevitably prompts burnout.

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  2. I played WoW for years enjoying the leveling content. It wasn't until Cataclysm that I burned out on leveling content, really just lost interest. I'm hoping SWTOR lasts at least the year. After a month, I'm not even half way through either the Agent or the Inquisitor story.

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  3. I'm with you and Tesh. The journey is much more the point than the endgame. When I hit the level cap in an MMO, I run through whatever limited solo activities are available and then usually quit or start an alt.

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