Last weekend I finally managed to hit the level cap on my Sith
Smuggler (edit: Sorcerer) in SWTOR and complete the class quest chain. Darth Gazimoff is now pottering around Illum and doing the occasional bit of space combat, but I’m realising it’s not enough to keep me interested for more than a few weeks. Once the quests run dry I’m left with the usual choices – alts or end game.
As Tobold puts it, there’s not really enough story in one class chain to last through more than a month of moderate play. I’ve decided to roll some alts, although rather than it being a new story it’ll just be the same one but told from a different perspective. The stories themselves are very good, but just like finishing a new book I’m left with a feeling of “now what?”.
The levelling experience has also highlighted a few things to me. I’ve only done a single dungeon – the Black Talon. I’ve not taken part in PvP and I’ve not done any operations. The guild that I’m in only has a small number of people at 50, so I’m currently kicking my heels a little. Space combat is still fun apart from the top-end missions that need every single ship upgrade.
For an MMO, it feels like I’m not getting into the multiplayer aspects of the game at all. The server – Trask Ulgo – has a pretty good population. So what gives?
Ultimately I think that tools like LFD and LFR have made me lazy – I actually have to work at finding a group for flashpoints instead of just clicking a button and waiting. It also means that I’m probably going to have to spec as a healer if I want to ever escape the confines of the Imperial Fleet.
I’ve been reminded a lot about my vanilla Warcraft experience. Back then it took about an hour to form a group for level capped dungeons unless you were in a substantial guild. It also took me about six months to find a raidgroup and even then it was by accident. Today the MMO landscape changes at a much faster pace – in six months I could be playing Guild Wars 2, The Secret World or the Mists of Pandaria beta.
It’s a painful admission, but I’m beginning to feel that for all the community pain and disconnects that tools like LFD caused they have become almost essential in modern MMOs. Perhaps keeping things server specific would help, perhaps implementing better matching algorithms might be a smoother move.
Either way, the fact that I’m hunting around in SWTOR for more things to do is a great sign of just how much the game has grabbed me. Unlike other MMOs that have been dropped before I even reached the level cap, SWTOR has me playing solidly for a month and still hungry for more. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a pretty good mark for any successful MMO.