Hey, Are You Still Playing Star Wars: The Old Republic?

Posted by Jeff (3400 posts) -

Like about a million others, I dove right into Star Wars The Old Republic as soon as I was able to. I've never been much of an MMO guy, and I sure as hell don't care very much about Star Wars, but after hearing about the game for years and years, it became one of those things that I had to see for myself.

After 100 hours or so, I realized I was completely done with the game and canceled my account. It still has a bit of game time left on it, so I could, theoretically, grind out those last 10 levels and take my Sith Marauder from 40 to 50... but that's not going to happen. I lost all my momentum on Hoth and stepped away from the game. It was a totally clean break, no hesitation. I'm not bitter about it. I'm not hateful about it. I mean, I got 100 hours out of SWTOR. That's more than I can say about most games. I didn't love everything I saw, but it's certainly not without some appeal.

Anyway, today I got this sob-story email from "The Old Republic Community" telling me that... my companion misses me? Yep, apparently Vette "eagerly awaits my return." Here's that email:

Gross, right? You know what? I don't think I've ever seen a more pathetic-looking attempt at player retention. My companions are "counting on me?" What happens next? Is there a "if you don't reactivate the billing on your SWTOR account, we'll kill this Twi'lek" email in my future? Also, they've gone ahead and slid my character name into the email, which gives is a wonderful, personal touch. But if they're going to go that far, why not go all the way, look at my character, and see that I ditched Vette as soon as I possibly could and spent the vast majority of my time kicking it with Malavi Quinn because he keeps me healed up and loved it when I crushed the Empire's enemies? I even let that bonehead chase his weird spy missions on the side, and he can't even be bothered to write? Man, forget that jerk.

The email actually brings us to a question that Brad and I were wondering about yesterday: Are people still playing Star Wars: The Old Republic? Anecdotally, we seem to be seeing a bunch of people bitching about the end game (which, as far as I can tell, is an activity that bonds every "serious" MMO player, regardless of game), raging about all the things they don't like, and bragging about how they canceled. I'm not necessarily interested in hearing more negativity, because it's easy to find.

So, I want to hear the other side. What's awesome about Star Wars: The Old Republic? What is it that's keeping you on-board now that you might actually be paying a monthly fee to play it? Do you see yourself paying that fee for another year? Five years? Do you already think it's a great game right now, or are you investing in the promise of future updates?

Staff
#1 Posted by Jeff (3400 posts) -

Like about a million others, I dove right into Star Wars The Old Republic as soon as I was able to. I've never been much of an MMO guy, and I sure as hell don't care very much about Star Wars, but after hearing about the game for years and years, it became one of those things that I had to see for myself.

After 100 hours or so, I realized I was completely done with the game and canceled my account. It still has a bit of game time left on it, so I could, theoretically, grind out those last 10 levels and take my Sith Marauder from 40 to 50... but that's not going to happen. I lost all my momentum on Hoth and stepped away from the game. It was a totally clean break, no hesitation. I'm not bitter about it. I'm not hateful about it. I mean, I got 100 hours out of SWTOR. That's more than I can say about most games. I didn't love everything I saw, but it's certainly not without some appeal.

Anyway, today I got this sob-story email from "The Old Republic Community" telling me that... my companion misses me? Yep, apparently Vette "eagerly awaits my return." Here's that email:

Gross, right? You know what? I don't think I've ever seen a more pathetic-looking attempt at player retention. My companions are "counting on me?" What happens next? Is there a "if you don't reactivate the billing on your SWTOR account, we'll kill this Twi'lek" email in my future? Also, they've gone ahead and slid my character name into the email, which gives is a wonderful, personal touch. But if they're going to go that far, why not go all the way, look at my character, and see that I ditched Vette as soon as I possibly could and spent the vast majority of my time kicking it with Malavi Quinn because he keeps me healed up and loved it when I crushed the Empire's enemies? I even let that bonehead chase his weird spy missions on the side, and he can't even be bothered to write? Man, forget that jerk.

The email actually brings us to a question that Brad and I were wondering about yesterday: Are people still playing Star Wars: The Old Republic? Anecdotally, we seem to be seeing a bunch of people bitching about the end game (which, as far as I can tell, is an activity that bonds every "serious" MMO player, regardless of game), raging about all the things they don't like, and bragging about how they canceled. I'm not necessarily interested in hearing more negativity, because it's easy to find.

So, I want to hear the other side. What's awesome about Star Wars: The Old Republic? What is it that's keeping you on-board now that you might actually be paying a monthly fee to play it? Do you see yourself paying that fee for another year? Five years? Do you already think it's a great game right now, or are you investing in the promise of future updates?

Staff
#2 Posted by Akyho (1585 posts) -

Yes I am.

#3 Edited by Lifestrike (481 posts) -

You forgot to capitalize the first "I"!

And no, I am no longer playing Old Republic.

I roll with the United Federation of Planets now.

#4 Posted by HadesTimes (802 posts) -

Still playing, not every day, but still playing.

#5 Posted by Simplexity (1382 posts) -

Think every MMO sends those things out, they just aren't as silly as that one.

#6 Posted by DaBuddaDa (290 posts) -

Saberhagen? Fuckin' gold.

#7 Posted by habibyjohnson (85 posts) -

dont care bout star wars?!

#8 Posted by Scheds (463 posts) -

Nah, I'm not. Didn't even get close to the endgame.

#9 Posted by crusader8463 (14411 posts) -

Indeed I am. Signed up for 6 months and still enjoying it. I only play it on my days off though. Still can't wait to see what they do with this game in the future.

#10 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

I've gotten such emails before from other mmos, at least this is personalized.

Game is fun, the community seems to be mature where teamplay actually works. GLHB!

#11 Edited by Etnos (245 posts) -

Not really, I was done with it after 18 hours. Call me a Jonathan Blow's fan boy, but after TOR I'm convince MMOs are grouse an unethical by design..

#12 Posted by Luchalma (21 posts) -

Yes, and loving it more than I ever thought I could love an MMO.

Seems you're looking to much into the email. It's just a cute little message.

#13 Posted by AxleBro (797 posts) -

no i stopped at level 30

#14 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

What's next? Your companion is sold into Twi'lek sex slavery.

#15 Posted by Weeber (36 posts) -

I quit after about two weeks.

#16 Posted by clstirens (847 posts) -

I am still playing, but the lack of players is becoming apparent. Most of the servers in the US sit at "light" most of the day, and around peak hours they all go to Standard (a few "heavy", though there used to be "very heavy" and "full" servers). Basically, if you don't play during your time zone's 5pm to 9pm time frame, every zone is a ghost town.

It's saddening, and I don't know that I'll keep playing if the player counts dwindle so drastically. I'm not bitter either, but there are better games to play solo and co-op (I've had a dedicated team of 3-4 friends, so that helps me stay in the fun) than a monthly subscription game.

#17 Posted by BrockNRolla (1702 posts) -

I spent my time with Vette electrocuting her. I don't think she misses me much.

#18 Posted by joshrholloway (72 posts) -

I love Star Wars and I quit way sooner than you did. I only made it to level 16 before getting bored with the game.

#19 Posted by BamSaidTheLady (88 posts) -

I cancelled my account right before my 1st month ended. Just didn't feel motivated to play. Two of my friends got it but we hardly played with each other due to differing schedules. Looks like they'll bow out soon too.

#20 Posted by Ventilaator (1501 posts) -

Like any other MMO, I'm waiting for it to go Free to Play before diving in for a week before remembering why I don't like MMOs.

#21 Edited by Branthog (7340 posts) -

Nope.

In fact, I canceled my subscription about an hour ago (when they sent me the same email).

I played a character on Republic to around level 20 or so and a character on Empire to around level 11 and haven't touched it in almost a month. I even bought two copies of the game so I could play with my brother on the coast and we never got around to doing that. Eventually, I realized I didn't want to play SWTOR enough anymore to even bother playing together. It's just another MMO that I had hopes for and then realized rather quickly "oh, right, it's just the same bad MMO mechanics as everything else" about a week or two into it, like I do with every other MMO (except EVE, which is so different as to not even count).

This is why they still sell MMOs in boxes and charge you $60-$80 up front, instead of just letting you get a client for free and paying a subscription. They make a killing off idiots like me who hope that "this time will be different" and for your one week of play, you end up having given them $60-$80 (or in my case, $160, since I bought two copies).

Maybe MMOs will achieve something beyond the 2004 WoW gameplay in another decade. I sure hope so.

#22 Posted by phatcat (149 posts) -

Nope.

#23 Posted by Funkydupe (3305 posts) -

@Prodstep: Yes. EVE Online spams me a lot with similar Return to EVE emails. Its quite normal. If 10% of the recipients reactivate as a result of the mail, the mail spammage has been successful.

#24 Posted by fredros (3 posts) -

I am level 50, and I play some PvP a few hours every couple of days.

Haven't really done any PvE content since level 40, but I am most likely going to do some ops next week.

There's a lot of things I don't like about the game, but I am still having fun in PvP, and haven't tried the endgame yet, so I'll keep my sub for now.

#25 Posted by sproutt (1 posts) -

Yeah, still playing, still really enjoying it. Got my Operative to 50 and finished her class quest. I'm finding that I don't really have any drive to do the post-story questing content (Ilum and the Belsavis bonus series). I have enjoyed the couple of raids I've done, though.

Really, I find that it's my alts, a 35 Powertech and a Gunslinger-to-be that I started this week, that keep me going. The class story and companion stuff really got its hooks into me.

#26 Posted by tangwich (5 posts) -

I'm still playing SWTOR, and about to get my first character in an MMO to max level (until they eventually raise the cap at least) and am enjoying it immensely. Funny thing is, I love the single player feel of the storytelling, but will not play this game solo. Luckily I have friends who I always play with so that isn't a problem. Can't wait to see all the other stories for the classes too.

#27 Posted by Ehker (235 posts) -

I don't see it as desperate marketing your characters as real, but they could be more clever about it. The crying orc on the World of Warcraft cancel page was cute and always made me feel hesitant to cancel.

#28 Posted by MikeS (17 posts) -

I played for about 60 hours and gave up, cancelled my account. I guess I'm done with the WoW style of MMO, I was hoping to re-capture the magic of when I first started playing WoW but apparently you can't get the same high again.

#29 Posted by Jayesslee (105 posts) -

I was in the same situation, I quit when it came down to the last 10 levels.

#30 Posted by Coreymw (201 posts) -

I can see how this type of retention campaign might bring players back. If Bethesda did something similar with Lydia or the dog from Fallout 3 around the time DLC was released, I could see myself going back for a few hours.

Being an MMO and having to pay again would keep me from going back. If, like you, after 100 hours I called it quits and was moderately happy with what I had done.

#31 Posted by Delta_Ass (3246 posts) -

Nope, I quit once I reached 50. It's like a poor man's WoW.

#32 Posted by matthewrex (11 posts) -

I'm still playing the hell out of it. My friends and I are really enjoying it. I'm a hardcore Star Wars nerd and it caters to my passions. I've played a little WoW, a couple of other brief MMO stints but nothing like this. I've put many hours into TOR and have two near-40 characters.

I love the story, I love the gameplay, I love my social interactions. I love Star Wars, and this game is pure uncut Star Wars.

#33 Posted by Pixeldemon (244 posts) -

Got 50, only still playing because I have a couple friends who are really into it. Occasional Flashpoint hard-mode. Considering creating a different class. I don't see myself playing this for more than another couple months, if that.

#34 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -

Hey Jeff, you know emails like that are common for MMOs? ... Blizzard sends them all the time.

#35 Posted by Mandrewgora (192 posts) -

Not really, after finishing up Taris I lost interest. Its cool that they have VO but I mostly just ended up reading the text then skipping the rest, also fetch quests fucking suck. I got a couple of time cards but I don't see myself playing after they expire. I quit WOW a few months before TOR came out but I might just be burnt out on MMO's, I have no interest in paying more money for either.

#36 Posted by Sooty (8082 posts) -

I got an email from them saying if I signed into my account I could get the founders title, but I didn't even buy the game.

I'm guessing it's because I signed up for the beta like two years ago then never bothered with it.

#37 Edited by Vincenzo (140 posts) -

I got to level 18 and then promptly canceled before the free trial ended.

I am back to WoW. Games like SWTOR do not have true open, discoverable, explorable worlds. That matters.

It wasn't free2play from the get go because they dumped $200 million into its original budget. Once / IF they recoup that, hopefully they will make it free2play for the people who do wish to continue to play it.

P.S. THIS was a pretty desperate attempt to get people to STAY subscribed : http://www.swtor.com/info/founders

#38 Edited by buft (3300 posts) -

I hope people are still playing in mass because i really want to try this game and i just got a pc recently and after being shit broke because i bought the pc i'm more or less ready to buy and start playing.

Reading through the comments seems like a 60/40 split between people cancelling and people still playing though even a vast majority of those still playing plan to quit, though if my time in WOW has showed me anything its that people playing MMOs plan to quit on a regular basis.

#39 Posted by decker12 (10 posts) -

Cancelled my TOR account after 20 days and haven't had a shred of regret. It's been six months since cancelling WoW, so I decided to re-activate it and see if I was burnt out on MMOs, or just unhappy with TOR. After having a blast levelling a new Druid to level 30 in a week's time, it's obvious to me that TOR was the problem.

#40 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Is Vette a subtle nod to the MC Chris song about Star Wars?

#41 Posted by DonChipotle (2693 posts) -

Still playing it. Still enjoying it. It helps that I joined an RP server, an RP guild, and attend RP events. Because I am a nerd like that and don't care about rushing to endgame.

#42 Posted by 234r2we232 (3181 posts) -

This is EA, after-all. Avoid, avoid and avoid. That email was probably filled to the brim with ads and phishing scams.

#43 Posted by bluexy (7 posts) -

I'm likely cutting my subscription before the third month starts. Still, the second month was a lot of fun! I enjoyed leveling my Sith Warrior to 50, liked the story (kinda), and have since enjoyed doing end-game instances and operations. Now that I'm full Columi geared though, it's tough to find reason to stay. Should I stay for $15 and raid three times a week in the hopes of getting that last tier of gear? Even though it's identical to the two tiers I already have? Beyond that there just doesn't seem like much to do.

#44 Posted by RE_Player1 (7545 posts) -

I get those kind of e-mails all the time from Blizzard for World of Warcraft. I think they gave me some free time but I never redeemed it.

#45 Posted by Brewmaster_Andy (520 posts) -

I played SWTOR like I do any other MMO, and that caused me to quit after a few weeks. In most MMOs I mess around with a bunch of toons at lower levels, trying new classes until I find one that fits. Usually, this is no problem - there are lots of race-specific zones and quests to try out, so I get a fresh experience. But with SWTOR, I was playing the SAME planet, with most of the SAME missions over and over again, and that got stale super fast. 
 
I thought that the game did some things well, and I enjoyed the class quests, but I also thought the voiceover was just too much. For all of the side missions it felt like fancy wrapping paper on that standard "kill 10 rats" formula.  
 
I ended up just continuing with WoW which I was going to continue playing anyway. That game certainly isn't perfect, but it still holds my attention until something new really hooks me.

#46 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7613 posts) -

@Ventilaator said:

Like any other MMO, I'm waiting for it to go Free to Play before diving in for a week before remembering why I don't like MMOs.

Yeah, I'll be back to check it out when it goes F2P. I found it interesting enough that I'd like to see the end of the story..

But if it never happens, I'll live. There are better MMO's/games I can be playing.

#47 Posted by Goku13K (42 posts) -

I'm having a great time with it. But something I have learnt with other MMOs is to take time away from it. I have a huge backlog of games to play (I'm a little OCD so that list is currently at the 3+ years worth of games mark) but I can walk away from SWTOR and play anything else for a bit, usually on weekdays, and on the weekend come back to SWTOR and play the living shit out of it.

Also for me, I could not give a shit about end game content, good or bad. I hate it. Just the idea of raids makes me sick to my stomach. I will however level a character to 50, complete the story and then start all over again with something new. Currently I'm playing a Trooper and loving it. My next class is going to be whatever the Sith Tank is called, then I'll do a Jedi something. Bouncing around like that helps keep the game fresher for me. Will my end goal of having a 50 of each class be achieved? Not likely. But it's fun to try.

#48 Posted by themartyr (691 posts) -

I wrote an article about this recently, too. I feel like a lot of people have left WoW for SWTOR, and have come to realize that they're simply tired of current-gen MMO games.

#49 Posted by AgileNate (102 posts) -

I really dont have the time to get into an MMO with a subscription. Make it free to play and I would give it a try...

#50 Posted by Thor_Molecules (732 posts) -

The beta told me all I needed to know, really. I played this game already, back in 2004.

But if these statisticsare to be believed, then yes, there are still plenty of people playing.

The declining trend doesn't really paint a pretty picture for the game's future though. Maybe the P2P model really is dead?

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