To SWTOR or Not to SWTOR?

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I’ve never played an MMO.

And there’s a reason for that.

What I have played are games like MMOs, or close to MMOs. Diablo comes to mind most prominently, with a game like Skyrim being a sort of offline variant of the genre.

I understand what they are, and more specifically why I need to avoid playing them.

I have a very addictive personality when it comes to video games. There’s no such thing as “leisurely play with me.” I buy a game, and in most cases, will beat it within a day or three. Sometimes, when a game is both A) good and B) long, I’ll lose an entire week or two, as I’ll play hardcore for hours and hours a day. Skyrim cost me the better part of a month.

Armor that only cost me a hundred hours of my life!

The reason I don’t have a problem with this is that for all these types of games, there is an end. There is only so much you can do, and when you’re done, you pretty much just walk away and don’t look back. Not so with MMOs, they NEVER end, and the quest to reach insanely high levels and get the best gear known to man is a neverending journey. There is no way to “win.”

I found this to be the case with Diablo 2, and once I caught on, I literally had to uninstall the game to keep me from playing. I could always level another character, I could always spend another two months of my life trying to find the perfect bits of code that would make me kill the same enemies a tiny bit faster the ten thousandth time I’d faced them.

This is the reason I’ve forever avoided full-on MMOs, as they require even MORE commitment than these titles. To get the “most” out of the game, you have to join a guild which is an actual time commitment you actually have to block out time in your day for. Add in all the endless grinding and looting, and it’s a soul sucking experience. MMO addiction has been equated to drug use, and has actually lead to more than a few deaths.

This looks so dated to me, I don’t even have the slightest desire to try it.

But while I might have been able to brush off the laughable cartoons of World of Warcraft, as that was a universe that didn’t really interest me from the start, such is not the case today. Star Wars: The Old Republic is set in one of my favorite places of all time where the Jedi and Sith dual for supremacy and my little nerd heart beats faster just thinking about it.

I now have a decision to make about whether this is my first leap into a genre I’ve been avoiding for so long. It’s a tough call that I haven’t decided yet in my own  mind, which is part of the reason I wrote this post, to get it in the open and see what I think at the end.

The pros are obvious. This is Star Wars, and more importantly, this is Bioware. No one knows how to craft a good story like them, and I’m sure what they have in store is more interesting than anything that’s come out of George Lucas’ head in the last twenty years.

Is that a Hydralisk?

I could be a Jedi master, a Sith ravager, a vicious bounty hunter, a Han Solo/Mal Reynolds type space smuggler. It sounds like  an amazing world, and as I’m familiar with questing and grinding and have found it fairly rewarding in past games, I could probably adapt with little learning curve. Also, I now have a computer that can actually run a game such as this.

The cons? There are many. First is that this game not only requires a $60 up front payment, but also is $15 a month for as long as I decide to play it. It really THAT good where it’s worth that much of an investment? Most other MMOs are going free to play, but SWOTR doesn’t have that ability due to its massive budget and the fact that it’s trying to compete with the also costly World of Warcraft.

Secondly, World of Warcraft is another reason early users are warning people away. They say it’s more or less the same game in a new skin, and I hate, hate, hate awkward turn-based combat in games like this, which from what I’ve seen, is exactly what I should expect.

If only I could fire these babies in real time.

Also, it looks sort of…weird. The graphics are exceptionally cartoony, and I was hoping for a more realistic look at the Star Wars universe. Furthermore, the gear and armor and outfits you get for your characters all look a bit…goofy. They’re heavily overdesigned, and I have a hunch my character, probably lightside who can’t get away with all black, will look like a douche for a long while until I get some seriously high level gear.

These reasons, in addition to the massive time commitment games like these require, makes me learn toward passing unless I start hearing that it’s the greatest game to ever gift the genre. A World of Warcraft rehash doesn’t sound terribly interesting, and with turn based combat I loathe , I’m not sure this is for me, even if it is Star Wars.

What do you think?