Sunday, September 2, 2012

Why I didn't recommend SWTOR to people when it started, and why I would now

When SWTOR started it was lacking a lot for an MMO that was competing against WoW and others. We were missing a group finder, tutorials were clunky and difficult to follow, and most of all, the community was extremely sparse. My experience in typing LFG into group chat yielded little results and even sometimes was met with hostility ("You know, if you would just finish it with your companion you'd be done by now" and the like). Clicking the "LFG" button on the social window didn't do much, either. It felt like a single player game that was difficult to get into with a hostile community that you were forced to interact with if you wanted to get the big quests done.

In the beginning I felt as if there were people who fit into a few categories: 1) those who genuinely liked the game, 2) those who didn't like the game but were still around because they paid for it, and 3) those who saw the game's potential. I fit into the latter category and anyone who asked me if they should play, I told them flatout "Right now it's hard to get into and it will take some dedication."
After the more recent patches things have gotten better. I was never really into the ranked matches so that was never a huge draw for me, but I wanted an MMO experience. Now that server populations have increased since they got rid of the smaller ones I am getting that.

Last night I took down my first world boss since the game started. It didn't start with "LFG for world boss" or using the group finder. It started with me simply typing into the general chat "Hey, the world boss is spawned" and within seconds there was a group of 10 of us. Some of the players logged off and grabbed alts to help our lower levels, and you know what I noticed? Of that group 7 of them had the "Founder" title. I would never have imagined that happening when the game started.

So, what does this mean? Why would I recommend the game to people now? There is a community who seems to be passionate about it and have stuck around despite its flaws. If you want help with something there are people there, and all it takes is putting something in the general chat. It's a community of people who really seem to genuinely enjoy the game and don't just see it as a game with potential.

Not only that, this group of people really wants everyone to experience the same level of enjoyment they have. Killing world bosses, help with datacron shards, even just helping someone with a class quest.

Tl; dr: The community that exists now seems to be more passionate and wants more people to get into it as much as they have.

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