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The Digital Continuum: Fears and opinions

Kyle Horner

Anyone who's been playing MMOs for a little while has probably been looking forward to an upcoming game at least once. They also probably put a lot of expectations onto that game based on either their first game or what they thought an MMO should be. We've all done this at least once in our time as fans, and we've all been wrong to do it.

I've wanted to create some kind of data point -- even a fairly shaky one -- to prove this statement of mine. So, when the Star Wars: The Old Republic community created this thread to express their fears, I had my opportunity. In a wholly un-scientific manner, I've combed through the entire 17 page thread and tallied up all the fears within. This should be an entertaining ride.

My method was this:

  • A mention in a post was a tally.
  • Multiple mentions in the same post still count as one.
  • Additional posts by the same person further expressing fears counts as one, mostly to save time on my part. (I said this was un-scientific!)
  • Group related fears together, once again to save time.
  • If a fear was very specific, give it a separate tally category.
Without further ado here are most of my results:

  • 20 Heavily instanced world
  • 14 Too focused on solo content
  • 13 Bad/Lacking PvP
  • 13 TOR will copy WoW
  • 12 Bad/Lacking End-game
  • 12 Invisible walls
  • 10 Not challenging enough
  • 9 Bad visuals
  • 8 Too much grind
  • 7 Lack of Space Content
  • 7 No Open PvP
  • 6 Too much focus on Equipment
  • 6 Bad/Lacking Community
  • 6 Too focused on group content
  • 5 Bad class balance
  • 4 Bad/Lacking combat
  • 4 Bad/Lacking Crafting
  • 3 Bad/Lacking PvE
  • 3 Bad/Lacking Customization
  • 3 Mis-use of Star Wars IP
  • 3 Released before it's ready
  • 3 Has Microtransactions
  • 3 Overpopulation of Jedi/Sith
  • 3 Lack of Player Housing
  • 3 No Bounty System
  • 2 Lack of class variety
  • 2 Too challenging
  • 2 No Death Penalty
  • 2 Bad voice-overs
  • 2 Companions will suck
  • 2 No roleplay servers
  • 1 Too much story
Now, I say most because I left out two specific fears for my own ends. We'll get to those, eventually.

Looking across this entire list, you'll immediately see the big hitters. Most of the people in this thread are worried about Star Wars: The Old Republic making heavy use of instanced zones. A lot of the time, people referenced Cryptic Studios games and Funcom's Age of Conan. This is mostly a matter of preference, but I will mention that not many people were worried about the opposite -- that the game would be too heavily open in zone design.

Close behind the instance issue are the fears of bad PvP, end-game content and solo focus. These are the usual suspects when it comes to worries about an upcoming MMO -- especially the content one. Also high on the list and related to these worries is the fear of invisible walls being littered throughout SWTOR.

Now, I know you see the "Too much like WOW" fear up there but I'm skipping that one, for the moment.

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