Sep 10, 2011

Posted by in Officially Speaking | 36 Comments

Officially Speaking: Will Story Be Enough?

Welcome to Officially Speaking, a regular column focused on the most hotly debated topics ever to grace the official Star Wars: The Old Republic forums. Do you have something to add? Feel like it gets lost in the shuffle over there? Join in the extended discussion right here on Ask A Jedi.

One of the biggest debates on the forums right now is the question: “How far can story take you?”.  The famed 4th pillar of story has left some posters curious about the sustainability of content in the game.  One poster Bluerodian asks:

“Eventually, the story runs out. I personally don’t care for either raiding or PvP
so once the story’s done, then what?”

This is a fair question, and several posters have posed it in different ways.  We know that each faction has their own quests that do not interact at all, so there are at least two completely unique play-throughs possible, and we also know that each class has a unique story.  One thing that is shared however are the quests after the starting planets. Every Empire class will be exposed to the same quests on Nar Shaddaa, for example, with the exception of their class quests.  Will voice work help players look past that, or will it instead be more monotonous after the first time?  Many on the forums have taken another position.  Ravak posts:

“I think anyone that has played Mass Effect mutliple times just to see different parts of the story or the different possible outcomes would disagree…”

There are those that believe that the story BioWare weaves will hold up to several playthroughs, just to see the different outcomes.  These players are hoping that the voice acting won’t be skipped through such as quest text might be in other MMOs. Vuldinlol writes:

“Single player RPGs =/= MMOs. MMOs need longevity, and are expected to survive for years. Single player RPGs are bought once, and the company has all they need from the consumer. You cannot make content that lasts for years with story. PvP and PvE endgame is needed.”

After considering all the views, I would say that BioWare expects to offset the “story grind” after one full play-through with endgame.  The fact that all we have really seen of endgame is the Eternity Vault begs the question: is BioWare ready with an endgame worthy of these expectations?

What do you guys think?  Do you have faith that BioWare’s story is so good that you won’t mind playing through it multiple times?  Do you have high expectations for endgame’s ability to hold your attention?  Do you think that a single player game story shouldn’t be compared to an MMO story in terms of replay value? Let us know in the comments below, and I’ll for sure join in on the discussion with you.


  1. Boogieman620 says:

    When Bioware begins to add expansions and updates we will see new storys for high level characters. There will probably be new level caps which means more raids, more warzones, more single player content and more story to tie all the traditional MMO aspects together. Not to mention the possibility of more races and more classes wich bring new storys to experience right from level 1.

  2. “I personally don’t care for either raiding or PvP”?

    uhh…I’m not sure mmo’s are the game type for you then, lol

    • EXACTLY! I was thinking the same thing when I read that. Although Bioware is pushing storyline and I’m sure they will do a great job, this is an MMO in the end.

      People like this should plan to get their character to max level and make an alt/come back for the next expansion.

    • Well, I don’t care much for raiding or PVP either, but have been playing MMOs for almost 10 years by now.

      Being able to play with other players is the draw for me, not repetitive raiding content or overly competitive PvP.

      • I can partially agree with your playstyle. I’ve been playing WoW since beta and by now I’m completely bored with their endgame PvE/Raiding style of play, aswell as being burnt out on having to keep up with every single patch so that I could remain relevant in PvP.

        BioWare is aware of these issues though, and from what I’ve learned of this game so far, they seem to be going in a much different direction than WoW in the style of which we do these things.

    • I don’t play mmo’s to pvp. In fact I avoid pvp whenever possible. It’s just not my thing, but I understand that it is needed in an mmo. I also don’t raid.

      For me the lure of an mmo is playing in a persistent environment with other players.

  3. Actually I just had a convo with a friend on this subject. We really think that with each class having a unique perspective of the world and story, that this will add enough content to want to play the game all the way through with many different classes throughout the life of SW:TOR.

    If all else fails( Or I fall in love and can’t leave a character )PvP never ends!

  4. I’m hoping on a pretty decent endgame to keep my attention. As much as I like story, and it might even encourage me to level more alts or just level one faster; I won’t be playing at max level for story.

  5. What would make anyone think that BW would not expand both endgame content as well as story progression. I am sure the same question was asked of Blizzard many years ago and WoW still brings out new content.

    There will be expansions including new operations, new flashpoints, and new features. They have said it so you can count on it.

  6. I think it’s fine that there’s this perceived lack of end game content. Maybe just the one Operation. But don’t forget you don’t instantly arrive at the end when the game comes out. Everyone will be wading through the story for a while, giving BioWare time to work on more end game stuff. It’s nice that they’re saying, “look here’s something at least, just in case you’re rolling super fast through our story”.

    • Honestly, I feel like we are lucky to be able to look forward to a confirmed raid from launch. If I remember correctly WoW didn’t bring MC into the picture at launch.

      • Unfortunately the standards are much higher now. People need to forget about WoW’s launch and look at Rifts near flawless launch as more of a guideline of how things need to be done. The only main criticism they had was when they added a few too many servers on the first day. They started off with 3 pvp zones and 1 raid zone and were criticized a little for not having more though it was enough for the launch.

        • yeah I agree the idea for how a launch should be has changed, and I suppose my main point was that in the case of TOR, this launch is different. They are talking about a US and EURO launch which I’m not sure has been done before, they are launching the first MMO with full voice over, and giving us the PvE and PvP content required for a top notch MMO.

          I just use WoW as a reference for those that are so familiar with it :)

    • Boogieman620 says:

      They got to start somewhere. It looks like Bioware is meeting the basics of classic MMO style and are trying to clean up the mistakes of previous MMO’s and RP gaming. Theres going to be alot of content that it will take a while to get through it all. All the story lines, the flashpoints, warzones, ship combat, crafting progressions the “one” raid and all the planets with all those missions, AND collecting items (armor, weapons, etc). That’s alot of hours of play. I think they will have enough to keep people busy till the first update and/or expansion.

      • I agree completely. A good example of how they are trying to innovate to produce a better game is their addition to an alignment system, which is an MMO first.

  7. i find that having a story will be amazingly fun and probly occupy me for hours on end when it does end raiding and pvp will be what most players will turn to cause there is nothing else to really do but as long as the have a good selection of raiding and pvp maps

    • we should be ok for years to come plus all the diffrent classes must have some different story

    • I believe BW has something up their sleeve when it comes to end game content. This won’t be another World of Warcraft, where the only times there’s ever anything to do is after a patch. I believe the community and things out in the world will provide a large amount of enjoyment for players in TOR. There are items in the wild parts of the galaxy that can make exploring the nooks and hidden places of the world quite rewarding. Some hidden items even give permanent stat boosts which could bring a whole new meaning to world pvp and exploration.

      This I believe will by one of my primary sources for entertainment after reaching cap.

      And let’s not forget they list “Social Clubs” right next to flash points and warzones in their trailers. So what enjoyment and lasting gameplay might this bring into a new and social MMO, Not like the everyday grind of WoW.

      • Boogieman620 says:

        I agree. I think Bioware is trying really hard to cut down on the grinding that WoW had, or at least make what grinding you may do as fun as possible. Crafting is another annoying grind. Having companions assist you in that even when you’re not online is perfect for cutting down on that.

        • I think a big reason they are going with the crafting by companions and offline route is to eliminate a lot of the incentive for botters from jumpstreet. Think of all the hassle that has caused Blizz and if they had done something like this, they would be able to avoid a bunch of it.

  8. Will I play this game for story? Yes. Will I play for the voice acting, and crazy lightsaber action? Yes. Will I continue to play after that runs out? Maybe. SWTOR needs more, I think they need to look at other new MMO’s, like GW2. Dynamic event style game play and quests, plus many more cool features and ideas. I am not saying SWTOR should just steal these ideas, but maybe they should. How cool would it be to have a BH set someone on fire and have a SI push them into other guys?

  9. This is how I look at it.

    RGP’s are always story driven, I have played a lot, Dragon warrior 1-5, Final Fantasy 1-8, Lufia, ultima 1-9, and a lot more. I have also played Meridian 59, EQ, AO, AC, DAOC, Wow and Rift.

    In my experience as a gamer most games cost around $60.00, and it took me about 60 hours to finish the story. Most games only had a 1 teir story and no deviation in direction. This meant you could only follow the story and no matter what decisions you made you still ended up in the same place at the end.

    SWTOR class stories has been defined as taking anywhere from 100-200 hours to finish. So buying a SE you are paying $60.00 for about 150 hours of story. That alone would be worth it as to get that amount of time for a single player game you’d need to buy 2 games totalling about $120.00.

    Now as there are 8 classes with 8 different stories (although some may overlap) you are looking at 1200 hours of story alone if you are inclined to play them all.

    Now I play about 8 hours a day when the kids are in school or asleep, on a single player game that is about 7.5 days. In SWTOR it would take me 18.75 days.

    In SWTOR that would take me 150 days.

    So financially this game is above others in time to play.

    However we all know that even if someone is to try to play the story alone, they are going to veer off and try other things at least once.

    • Boogieman620 says:

      Very good point. I agree with you but consider the monthly fee. It will probably be $15.00 a month. So $60.00 plus the first month free is a great deal. I am confident that the first free month will prove how worth it SW:TOR is for the extra $15.00 a month. So figure about a month of moderate play to get through 1 story. After that point does your rational view still hold? (I know we all are gonna be willing to pay and love it so I’m on your side) :)

      • Well if you play every class through to the end of the story and we use your “month of moderate play to get through 1 story” it would take 8 months to finsih them off. At $15.00 per month fee for 7 months (don’t include the free month) that will cost you $105.00.

        Now if you played a single player game and stetched it out to a month to finish a story. Not counting the first one, you need to purchase 7 games (to get 7 different stories) at $60.00 which would cost you $420.00.

        Still worth it to pay $105.00 over $420.00

  10. gamer_ladyp says:

    While I’m hoping that I can play this game for at least as long as I stayed interested in WoW (5ish years), I’ll be happy with my money spent just to have the hours of story for even one class. I think the game will be replayable, and I’m looking forward to seeing things from both factions. I’m an altaholic, I’m hoping that I can have as many alts as I would like, without feeling like I have to skimp on anyone’s story.

    I’d like to see story arcs that encompass multiple players and take groups on epic journeys. I’d like to see heroic content tied together into some overarching mission goals. I do think that endgame content will be interesting and that we’ve only seen a small portion of it. And while I’m not normally into PVP, I may find myself enjoying a few bouts of Huttball.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how the crafting system with crew will work. I’m looking forward to the modern holo comm options. There are lots of intriguing bits and pieces that I want to try out. I’m sure I’ll be out exploring and looking for holocrons.
    I’m certainly not worried about getting my money’s worth out of the game.

  11. I think Bioware has thought of this dilemma.

    First of all, there is over 200hours of story per class, that is 1600 hours and that equals over 66 days of gameplay.

    And then what? well, just as much as expansions brings new content for PvE and PvP, i think Bioware will include even more story quest so players can “evolve” theyre character/s even more.

    Just a thought :P

  12. I just keep seeing BioWare and then suddenly recall how amazing the story is in Mass Effect… MMO with story like that.. Not only the story, but that quality of story in the Star Wars Universe!

  13. If someone is only here for the story, then I guess it will be a short lived game for them till the first expansion. The story cannot go on forever. This is still an mmo just like all the other mmo’s in the end. If there will be new story driven content through patches is yet to be known.

  14. I honestly dont care about story content or cinematic movie scenes (I plan on using my spacebar a lot)

    I play MMO’s to write my own story, not have one written for me

  15. RumbleStomp says:

    “I personally don’t care for either raiding or PvP”?

    Anyone whos answered this or you “write your own story” is set for RPing. Becuase what else is there on other mmos? In which case that’s fine you don’t need to fully use SWTORs features for this. Playing CoX for years and only just until a few months ago did they really release endgame content. I just raided, auctioned house, crafted, created new charcacters and talked to friends.
    The longevivity of this game will be fine, except for those who don’t work or have a long vacation with purely playing the entire game from start to finish in only a few weeks or month. Content will still be pumped out as the game continues they’ve already confirmed it. Cmon’ it’s the Star Wars Universe content is just oozing everywhere.

  16. Personally, Bioware already has me hooked into buying the game. If they want to get a monthly subscription comitment out of me and the majority of mmo gamers, they will need to make different aspects of the game that support multiple competitive/sustainable and varied communities in pve, pvp and (their unique claim to fame to the mmo space) immersive rpg storyplay. I’m also hoping that the rate of updates in content will be of higher frequency then WoW. Looks promising so far! Here’s hoping they deliver!!


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