End of An Era Or Is It a Saga?

swtor fob

It has been several days since I last logged in to Star Wars the Old Republic after allowing my subscription to expire at the end of March. For a while now I had been logging in regularly to do a few daily “chores,” but not really playing the game. When they announced a new season of their galactic conquest as the only real “new” content being released, I just couldn’t take it anymore. Most MMOs tend to put lipstick on a pig and try to call it something different, but after a while of repetition, even diehards like me have to call a pig a pig. I’ve stuck with this game longer than any other MMO I’ve played. I stuck with it much longer than most of my guildmates, and many of them were long time diehards too. I’ve stuck with it even longer than repeat playing some standalone RPGs that I love. It is a very strange feeling to not log in to check up on things, but it is beginning to feel liberating too. My original security fob outlasted me after all.

I forgot to check my /played time in the game on my longest running character before my sub expired. While I could still log in and check that as a F2P “preferred” player, I find myself strangely reluctant to install the most recent game update or log in to see what life is like as free to play. A few stats I could track looking back through old emails and receipts show that I played pretty steadily for 11 years and 3 months. I originally pre-ordered the game in July of 2011, got the digital deluxe version with a few extra perks for $85.47 (with a physical security key fob).

early swtor access character portrait

I did some beta testing in Sept. 2011 and Nov. 2011, and then started in with early access in Dec. 2011. Dec. 2011 is also when I became a monthly subscriber. I originally did 3 months at a time, but dropped to a month to month sub sometime last year when I decided I was probably done with the game. Even then I resisted finally calling it quits for several months. I have a lot of great memories of fun and met a lot of great people. Luckily, with Discord I get to keep chatting with many of them, but it was still hard to let go. 

Cover image of Digital Download Star Wars The Old Republic package I estimate that I’ve paid around $1900 over the course of my subscription. I suppose that means I paid the original game cost almost 22 times over. If you figure that for the average standalone RPG you get 20-30 hours of content/play time, that means I would have needed between 440-660 hours of new content to get an equivalent value out of the MMO sub. Even with the content slowdown over the past few years, and compressing their stories down from 8 major unique classes into the same storyline for everyone, I’d say I did get an equivalent value of new and unique content over time. 

fortitude raid group

Sadly, I missed out on playing through some of the content they did release. My operations group didn’t hold together long enough to play through the last operation (raid) that came out, so I haven’t seen that bit of story for myself. Other than that, I did manage to finish up the last bits of solo story on my original smuggler character. I saw as much of the Mandalorian content as they have done, but there is supposed to be more to come. While I loved the graphics on their most recently released planet, the game design on that planet was a massive backslide of time wasting back and forth errands. I would actually have preferred to play the Ruhnuk/Mando story on my bounty hunter to have a few more direct ties, but not enough to put myself through the content gating that was required for her to catch up.

And that brings me to why I finally decided it was time to hang up the blasters and stash the lightsabers. I’ve noticed a trend in the last few content release cycles of being annoyed while playing through them. The last thing you want to do is annoy your players, but over time the game has shifted a lot from what I originally loved about it. Even some of the quality of life things we’ve come to enjoy have changed recently into piddly little credit sinks to try to fix a game economy that is the result of people playing the same content over and over again and just amassing credits, coupled with a F2P money incentive system cartel coin symbol that puts credits into the game economy without a realistic credit sink to balance them.

The original 8 storylines made the early game feel very rich and replayable. The result for me was having several characters. Now all of them could quote Soa almost verbatim and were left behind because I don’t want to play them through Ruins of Nul or fight Zildrog yet again. Most MMOs eventually lead to massive boredom as the game asks you to play through things you’ve already done several times over. I’m also my own worst enemy because I play a lot of alts in these games. Some people find one character and stick with it, but I often try to juggle a bunch of them.

I also wonder how much I have changed over the years and how much that has contributed to my general lack of interest in current MMOs. I could play Elder Scrolls Online, or FFXIV and not pay any money to do it since I already own the base games, but neither of those have pulled me in. I’m in my last month of playing the latest WoW content, and even that will be a slog until my current sub expires. I can’t ignore the boredom of doing the same quests over again and I’ll be lucky if I get one character through the weekly renown quest this week because going to Dragonbane Keep yet again just feels bad. The cycle of boredom and lack of patience with replaying content gets shorter and shorter these days. There is a new dungeon delve we can do to unlock treasure rooms, and after the first week, I’m pretty much done. The shine has worn off from rushing around fighting things that drop keys so I can open more rooms, then rinse and repeat. I only want to help Bane on one character and I can’t do the rest of the Furbolg quests on the pally because you have to be max level for some of them. Sorry, this post really took a 180 into MMO malaise, so I’ll call it quits… 

Blaugust 2023 Wrap Up

  • Blaugust 2023 In Review by Belghast
  • This wrap up post is the best way to see who was involved this year, and some of the amazing stats.



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