I have writers block. I have 7 drafts written on various topics but am having a hard time piecing them together. Some of them are related, and I think, can I combine them? Do they make sense? I have lost my groove, and working to find it.
My time off blogging was spent playing 3 games. WoW, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect. Having just finished Mass Effect 2 this week it gives me cautious optimism for Bioware’s SWTOR, even though I made fun of them on at least one occasion. In typical naive internet fashion, I am basing my personal hopes and dreams not from the devs, or things I have read about the upcoming title, but because of the type of game I want (dammit!).
Review of what lead me to my hopes and dreams, and how I would like to see SWTOR end up, after the break.
While sick, I picked up WoW again so I could focus less on the sudden reality of my mortality, and kill dragons and stuff. Late to the game for Wrath, I levelled up and suddenly appreciated the ease of which WOTLK was as a solo, off peak time player. I started PUG raiding and loaded up on gear that made me LK killable. My shaman has a 6k Gearscore (the ultimate e-peen identifyer) in her Enhance set, and a solid 5.7k GS on my off healing set. Mostly by playing with people I didn’t know. With 10/12 10/25 man bosses killed in ICC (and a few heroic mode bosses), and few PUG groups getting to Sindragosa or the King himself, It was time for a new challenge. Navigated my rogue through the ICC gear grind and got her up to the near 6k GS plateau. Protection Pally next. Started my druid on the same path. Finally was completely bored out of my skull running the exact same content for 4 months day in and day out in different suits, and unsubbed. Besides, there’s a new xpac on the way next month (in case you haven’t heard) – but I don’t think I’ll be picking it up. For an MMO, with the first two M’s being lip service (the Online part is certainly true), I might as well be playing BF2142 again.
Cue digging through old titles and reloaded both Dragon Age: Origins. Loved the character interaction. Loved the story line. Loved the impact my character had on the world. Even bought some DLC, enjoyed that too. Hated the inventory and looting system, but a small nitpick in an otherwise excellent experience all around. I started reading about Dragon Age 2 and was quickly disappointed – Bioware opted to turn Dragon Age 2 into a Mass Effect style game, so your tough decisions and actions in DA:O would have little impact.
Strange that I felt that way – I had invested 100 hours into DA:O and was excited that those efforts – the character building, loot acquisition, romance options – all the decisions good and bad I had made I had expected would carry over into the next DA title. Sadly that isn’t true, and I suddenly felt like the excitement I had with the expected continuance wouldn’t be happening. I stopped playing afterwards. I will admit I was still satisfied with the game on so many fronts, but knowing that the next game would be a fresh start I just didn’t bother to boot it up again to finish off every little side quest and initiative.
Reloaded Mass Effect, which I read in ME2 those characters and choices DID carry over. Played through again, then bought ME2, and played through it. When it comes to RPGS I have a pretty steady pattern – first play through I work the story line, no do overs, and get to the end. The second play through (being cognizant of my previous choices’ impact) I play more carefully, find all side quests, and experience the game fully. ME2 did it right. I met most of my old squad mates from ME and had meaningful interaction with them. They hit it bang on. The storyline, however, really deviated from the original and it was a bit disappointing to know that the best parts of the game were apart from the over arching plot. We’ll see how they will tie it all in together for ME3, a title I just can’t wait for.
Around this time, I started missing real people though while gaming. Stick with me, this DOES tie into SWTOR soon. Promise.
So, what I learned from all of this is that for my gaming style currently, I want an experience where I can impact the world. Doing it with people is a bonus if possible. I also want to know that the time I invest in my character will continue on and not halt abruptly at some point. This is where I have a feeling SWTOR is going to play out. If they do the story options and the world changes (for me, anyway – yay phasing tech!) I would pay for a sub. If we have to grind the same Dark Jedi for a loot token 2x a week then I won’t. There is an opportunity here for an amazing hybrid of story and progression. Those are my hopes and dreams. They probably won’t align with the rest of the quick service MMO crowd of today, but here is to hoping.
Then again, I watch this video, and the producer says ‘the trooper is our tank, the consular is the main healer, the jedi is melee dps and the smuggler also provides dps’ and I want to cry in a corner.