First of all this has nothing to do with that Netflix show. No, this has everything to do with Jedi, Sith, Bounty Hunters, and Smugglers. While browsing the comments in another recent SWTOR related article, I came across a troll who actually had a decent point. His complaint was something similar to, “OMG, SWTOR is so dumb. The only thing people care about is how their toon looks. Nobody actually does anything.” Pause. Rewind. Wait a minute. He’s right.
I am quite guilty of this troll’s accusation, however, I will disagree with the fact that this makes The Old Republic dumb. For many of us, Star Wars has inspired a sense of imagination and wonder. This imagination is fueled by the unique looks of the characters that fill the galaxy. We were drawn to SWTOR with the promise of an opportunity to forge our own place in that galaxy. We wanted to be our own unique hero or villain. At launch, there really wasn’t much; a few armor variants with different color schemes, sure, but we all looked fundamentally the same. Over time, with the introduction of orange items and adaptive armor, the developers introduced new sets of gear for players to equip. This was a huge step in the right direction, and based off current rewards for live events, the folks at EA/Bioware know that.
But why stop there? One major thing that ruins my immersion in the game is when I sound just like the other player in my group. You can’t help but feel a twinge of despair when it happens. Don’t get me wrong, the voice acting in SWTOR is fantastic and arguably one of it’s greatest strengths, but when you get two players of the same class and gender in one group, it immediately ruins any perception of individuality. You are reminded that you are merely a class in a game.
I’m not going to present this problem without a potential solution. We know that voice modulation is possible in SWTOR, specifically when equipping a helmet or mouthpiece. Why not expand this concept to allow players to further customize their character? The human ear is capable of detecting the slightest variation in inflection. A sound filter that changes the pitch, even slightly, would give players a better gameplay experience and higher level of customization. It would give the players a chance to create some truly unique and memorable characters, which I should add, is what next week’s article is all about. I’ll be addressing the elephant in the room and probably the thing SWTOR developers are tired of hearing: Star Wars The Old Republic vs. Star Wars Galaxies. Stay tuned folks. It’s about to get messy.