Have you ever had that moment when you’ve been playing an MMO for so long that you lose track of time completely? Where the darkness outside slowly gives way to grey sunlight? Where you mistake the dawn chorus for someone playing Angry Birds nearby?
When I started playing Star Wars: The Old Republic with my wife, I expected her to be a moderating influence on me. Alas, unlike Syp over at Bio Break, Molotovchicken has been playing MMOs for longer than I have. As a result we’re both having so much fun that we’re egging each other on. Just finish this zone. Just finish this class quest. Just finish this planet. The next thing you know it’s 6AM in the morning and you’re wondering where the time has gone.
That’s Bioware’s biggest hook though – the story grabs you by both hands, pulling you through the game. It might still be Kill Ten Rats in places, but by golly these Republic Rats have got away with it for long enough and their actions are an insult to the Empire!
Ir’s not been a perfect experience – we’ve encountered a few bugs caused by trying to be in the same instance for class quests. While it works most of the time there was an interesting moment where I was forced to wait outside the Spirit of Vengance while my wife finished Act One of the Bounty Hunter questline.
There’s also been the fun of ignorance. Because we’re taking our time and playing together we’re doing more of the 2 and 4 man heroic quests and exploring each of the planets we visit. Sometimes this means finding things that we’ve not seen before and “investigating” them…
I know that there will come a time when the content will run dry, but at the moment I’m having more fun than I’ve had in an MMO for a very long time. But thinking about the fun leaves me feeling conflicted. Part of me is screaming that it’s just a BioWare RPG bolted on to an out of date MMO chassis and that I have no right to be having fun. Another part of me responds by elbowing the first part in the ribs, telling it to shut up before it kills the goose that’s laying the eggs of purest fun.
I’m beginning to wonder if sometimes it’s better to look back on the journey once you’ve reached your destination. Trying to do it en-route might mean that I miss something really cool on the way.