SWTOR’s Challenge

After waffling back and forth for months, today I bit the bullet and pre-ordered Star Wars: The Old Republic. The standard edition, of course – $150 for a collector’s edition is just crazy.

Ultimately, SWTOR is going to have to pass two tests for me. The first will be measured at the end of early access, when it’ll be time to decide whether to shell out the additional $55 for another 30 days with the game. I have a gut feeling that it’s got better than a 50% chance to pass this test.

The other question will be asked on day 30, when it’s time to decide whether or not to subscribe. The answer will depend just as much on a number of external factors as it does on any quality that SWTOR brings to the table. How much time I have available to play video games at the time is the big one, and given that it’s likely to land in January, that’s likely to not be much. Too, there are other games to consider; in January, how occupied am I likely to be by Skyrim? We may also have a launch date for Guild Wars 2 by then, and I’ll be happily jumping the SWTOR ship for that unless Bioware’s offering blows me away.

And from where I’m sitting today, that’s not likely. I’ve been watching the heavy coverage of both games coming out of last week’s Gamescom in Deutschland, and have been universally more impressed with GW2. It’s only reasonable to say that the jury’s still out on both games; we haven’t seen much on SWTOR’s ship-based housing or space combat yet, for example, and the same with GW2’s World vs. World PvP. Indications are, though, that SWTOR is a great deal closer to launch, even though both games offered playable demos at Gamescom.

All of this may sound like I’m more down on SWTOR than I really am; as I’ve said seemingly millions of times in the past, I expect it to be a good game. My issue is going to be whether it’s good enough to warrant (in my eyes) paying a subscription for, when similar experiences are offered elsewhere without one. And no, the Star Wars property isn’t enough to move that goalpost one inch; indeed, it’s something that the game is likely to have to overcome.

So why did I preorder it? Early access for a $5 price tag at worst. And it’s where the action will be around the launch, and that I find hard to resist.

9 responses to “SWTOR’s Challenge

  1. Seems like you’re not alone on this. While I’ve forsworn SW:TOR entirely (long story), the general … malaise? … around SW:TOR is being voiced all over the blogosphere, mainstream sites like Joystiq, and just recently, even at mmorpg.com. It’s probably way too premature to declare SW:TOR “dead on arrival”, and it won’t be. People will play it. But I honestly just don’t see how SW:TOR maintains long-term success in a crowded market, especially when there will be so many better options along the way.

  2. For what it’s worth, you won’t have to shell out $55 (or $15, as I assume you meant to type) for the first 30 days after head start – according to the preorder page on the TOR website, each version of the game comes with 30 days’ game time included in the purchase price.

    As far as the rest… I can understand where you’re coming from. It’s one of the reasons I try not to get too excited about a game until at most a couple months from launch; eventually you start getting tired of hearing about it. I expect, especially as we get closer to the holidays – and holiday shopping – we’ll start seeing ads on the TV for TOR, which may be a good chunk of why there hasn’t been a lot of public movement lately. Hell, for that matter, TOR still, to my knowledge, doesn’t have a firm release date, which isn’t helping anyone drum up interest.

  3. Hey if you find yourself in beta, send me a message on Facebook with your char name and we’ll get together.

  4. Dude, if you prordered that’s the best reason for me not to do. Why? Cause all the games you playing is pure shit. If you in my game im going to hate it just because you are there. Good try foo.