The GeeksverseHow the new Star Wars MMO will fail.

How the new Star Wars MMO will fail.
Published on Monday, January 24, 2011 by

First of all, I want to make it clear that I do not consider myself a True Star Wars fan. I like the setting and some of the things, namely the Old Republic. The prequels jacked it up, and the continuation and expansions of those movies are almost just as retarded. I could go on for days and days about the plot holes. But Star Wars: The Old Republic has my attention.

This game has a lot of potential. It’s about time something came along to trump World of Warcraft when it comes to the MMORPG market.

It has multiple features that are really solid. You don’t have to spam for help- if no other players are online, you can grab a partner from your NPC crew and they can move into a supporting role. Other NPC’s can be left behind on the ship to work on other missions, like diplomatic missions, crafting, gathering, etc. There will be full voice acting and dialogue. Fights are not “swipe, swipe, swipe”, but instead resemble the choreographed combat scenes from the movies. Even low-level missions, characters, and gear look fantastic. In short, this game could be outright amazing.

But it’s going to fail. And I can tell you why…

It gives players the opportunity to play as not only Force-wielding Sith and Jedi, but also as lesser-praised but still awesome Bounty Hunters, Troopers, Smugglers, and Agents of the Empire. That being said, it opens the door to the inevitable: a ridiculous amount of Sith and Jedi are going to be all over the place. Every fanboy nerd is about to live out his Jedi fantasy, and every fanboy nerd that got picked on is going to finally be able to Force-Choke his adversary as a Sith.

Not that these choices are a bad choice, mind you- it’s just that EVERYONE is going to want to play these roles because the culture surrounding Star Wars has made them into super-powered killing machines. I can almost feel the headache from the massive number of multicolored lightsaber blades on a screen at any given time. I do, however, look forward to being the one answer to a Jedi: A Mandalorian Bounty Hunter.

Which is going to lead to incessant bitching and whining about how “weak” the Jedi classes are when some armored dude with a jetpack launches a rocket up their ass and shakes his penis at their Twi’Lek titty girl. Then, the trooper and bounty hunter classes are going to be called “overpowered” or “broken” and the game will fail, all because of the culture surrounding the Jedi and Sith. Fanboys are going to cry like sissy bitches until Bioware “adjusts” the classes and makes the Sith and Jedi overpower everyone. Which will lead to a shitload more people playing those classes, and pretty soon the game will basically revolve around who has the coolest lightsaber and Force-powers.

A couple of years ago, some friends and I played the Star Wars D20 game. There was almost a unanimous decision around the table for everyone to play some sort of Force-Wielder. Immediately everyone was “Darth” or “Lord” Something. I’d played it before, so I went for something different. Mandalorian Elite Soldier, a hired merc. I wanted to be this, and everyone around me was snickering like I was an idiot.

The end result: I had a character with a very diverse skillset, and had all of my bases covered in not only long-range combat, but also melee and even hand to hand combat. I was well into the category of being a Murder Machine, and instead I was branching out into piloting vehicles and repairing and crafting items. While I was comfortable doing this, my fellows were struggling for hours to make a capable Sith Badass, one who could use the lightsaber AND do the cool lightning and Force choke stuff… and not much else.

Every battle with a Jedi, Sith, or any other Force-User was not just a fight for me. I had to be crafty. I had to outsmart something that could crush me with a thought, or carve me up into smoldering stumps. A fight with a Jedi was an epic event. Every victory was meaningful. It was an accomplishment. Soon, I began to love the concept of some guy with some cool gear taking on what Star Wars has made into a god… and then kicking the shit out of them.

I know that this new MMO will never be a tabletop game. But that is what I am trying to put into perspective: It’s awesome to be a Force-Powered badass. Bioware has taken steps to make other parts of the Star Wars universe just as awesome in their own way. Quite frankly, I want to see the non-superpowered guys do something awesome for a change. And I can’t wait to strap on the Armor…. while it lasts.

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