After scouring the SWTOR forums, reading the subreddits, and checking the tweets, it’s safe to say that the Star Wars: The Old Republic community is just as divided as the factions of the Old Republic over the recently revealed Road Map for 2014. While many received Senior Producer Bruce Maclean’s message with positive fandom, there are still those upset over many aspects of the gameplay and lack of additions to the game. Let’s take look at the responses (and conjecture) that sum up the current views of the SWTOR community.
Everyone seems “kinda, sorta, somewhat” excited for the amount of content coming in 2014. Where players seem to disagree is the type of content headed their way. Notably, the PvP community expressed disappointment in the lack of warzones, despite the announcement of a new Huttball. They believe developers will focus more on Galactic Starfighter content than traditional PvP warzone content, much to their obvious, outspoken dismay. On the flip side, the PvE players noted the announced content would merely be rehashed (Nightmare) versions of current content and have little to offer them. But let’s stay positive shall we? The roadmap did compare future content to the scope of Rise of the Hutt Cartel, which was well received by the community in terms of quality and length. See? There is a silver lining.
Oh goodness, guilds again. A sore spot for many players, the roadmap gave no indication of any guild system overhauls or additions. The current guild system offers a slight XP boost for guild membership, but little in the way of encouraging players to participate with each other as an organization. There are several threads covering the topic as many members hope that the current issues of the guild system will be addressed, and that new incentives will be added in the near future as part of smaller updates not included in the roadmap.
Almost all players agree (a rare moment in the forums, but it actually happened) that the increased development time between patches (from two weeks to three weeks) is a good thing. Even now, there are various bugs embedded into instances that date as far back as the game’s launch, so more time for quality control and testing before implementation can only lead to fewer bugs and better gameplay. The SWTOR community understands that, and there was little, if no resistance to the idea.
Yet another noticeable absence from the roadmap is any mention of the continuation of class story lines. This is a constant topic of very heated discussion in the official forums and its absence has brought yet another flurry of outrage. It is quite clear that players are hungry for class specific stories and companion character development that truly move their characters forward. Some players point to the logistical nightmares of producing class specific content for everyone, however most players aren’t interested in excuses. They want class content and they want it now! (Please read that in Veruca Salt’s voice.)
At this point, the most anyone can do is speculate. But it’s clear that SWTOR may have a difficult year ahead. With the introduction of several new MMOs later in 2014 including Wildstar and The Elder Scrolls Online, SWTOR will face tough competition for the time and dedication of its players. If the Roadmap is an indication of the best of what’s in store, the game could very well be in danger of losing its players. For some, the producer’s roadmap has already given them enough information to confirm their desertion of the game. The rest of us can only hope that Bioware has some major tricks up its sleeves and that the galaxy we’ve grown to love continues to take us to that place far, far away in the months and years to come.