A Flash Of Inspiration

February 5, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Posted in mmorpg, Star Wars: The Old Republic | 10 Comments
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Your lack of tusks disturbs me

As Guild Wars 2 moves closer to launch, whenever that will be, I often see similarities with what they’re doing and other games. Rift would be one example, their rifts bringing people together, changing the landscape, etc. Star Wars: The Old Republic is usually the other game I compare GW2 to, they both seem to have a big focus on story.

The thing is, as SWTOR released information on Flashpoints over the past two weeks, I kept thinking about the original Guild Wars.

Flashpoints are essentially story instances.

In game terms, a Flashpoint is a challenging, cooperative mission that takes place entirely within an instance, which only your group can enter.

Guild Wars has mission instances that progress the story of the game. They start at low levels, just as SWTORs Flashpoints, and move both the players and the story forward.

They’re not exactly the same, you interact more with SWTORs Flashpoints, and they also seem more self-contained. Still.

It’s always surprised me that more games haven’t been influenced by Guild Wars. That is, up until just this last year. Global Agenda and even (ugh) Alganon decided to go with a boxes sold/free to play approach to selling their games. Aika, and Vindictus decided to go with a more instanced approach to their games, with Aika even stealing the whole ‘no z-axis’ idea.

I’m way off topic. Flashpoints!

I think people are really underestimating just how well the emphasis on story could work for SWTOR. A good story means you get attached to your character, invested in the storyline, and experience drama, thrills, and laughs with them.

I think the most important part of story for SWTOR players will be making decisions.

It really becomes an RPG at that point. I often shorten MMORPG to MMO because I feel like the RPG left town a while back. Give me the opportunity to make decisions and that RPG feel comes roaring back.

Which is the one thing I worry about so far when it comes to SWTOR. Making decisions while in groups. Sure you can repeat Flashpoints, but the random roll on which person gets their dialogue choice used makes me feel uncomfortable.

On the other hand, I’m sure people will already be forming groups based on decisions by the time I get to them. LFG Light Side or LFG Dark Side will be pretty common sights I’m thinking.



  1. The problem with Rift is that it’s like a typical MMO in that you have kill-stealing, boss-stealing, and node-stealing, and whether it’s the elite monsters or other players, there’s ganking galore. Consequently, every solos, and builds accordingly. The rifts themselves, it’s all about who can output the most damage fastest, rack up the most event points. To a certain extent, you are competing against everyone else. So, at least on the Wolfbane server, there is no sense of community. Rift does NOT bring people together, it keeps them separated. It might as well be instanced.

    • Which is why as much as I applaud the men and women of Trion, they’re catering to an outdated model of MMO gameplay which anyone who keeps up with MMO news can see others are straying away from.

    • Those seem like some serious problems i’ll have to look out for. i don’t necessarily dislike systems where people have to compete for bosses/resources. I’ve never liked ganking of course.

  2. I certainly hope SWTOR attracts more rpers/lore nerds over the boring gamer types we often see in online games. I personally would love to simply go through one of these storyline missions without having to skip stuff or miss out on things because some irritating “progamerz” want to hit the all important “endgame” in under a week.

    • I think bioware fans are going to go ape for biowares MMO, where usually they might not play an MMO. It’s going to be really difficult to find people not skipping the dialogue though.

      • Well either way, I’m not skipping anything and if they don’t like it they can kiss my ass and kick me from the group. =P

        • Ditto
          I’m really starting to look at the guilds that are forming on the boards. I want to be with like minded players who won’t rush the content.

          • I mostly think there will be plenty of pugs doing a specific side, however, a guild would be a good idea…

  3. I read in a Q&A that even though your group’s ultimate decision in a flashpoint would be determined by a random roll, your personal choice would be the one that reflects whether you get light side or dark side points. To paraphrase the dev, the “universe” will know your good/bad intentions and reward you as such, so even if your group kills the captain but you voted not to, you will get your light side points.

    This makes me feel a bit better, but it’s still not perfect. Like, what if I REALLY want to see the consequences of a dark side decision but the groups I’m in keep randomly getting the light side result? Sometimes I just want to know what happens, ie. the completionist part of me that wants to experience as much of the game as I can. I guess the flashpoints are repeatable so I can try and try as often as I want.

    And of course, there are the companions to consider. I wonder if you can solo a flashpoint with your companions, or if there are minimums required, like you have to have at least one other player character accompany you, etc. If that’s possible, that would certainly make coordinating choices and outcomes a lot easier.

    • I think i’m in the same place as you on this. I want to see the decisions I make play out. My decisions registering with light/dark side points is fine, but continuity for me is important.

      hard to say how big an issue it will be until i play.

      Soloing may sound like the opposite of the point of an MMO, but for this, to actually role play in swtor, soloing might be necessary. too bad its probably not possible.

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