From Azeroth To Tatooine: There’s No Place Like Home
It happens all the time. The next big thing is compared to the last big thing, and it’s no different in the world of MMORPGs. From Azeroth To Tatooine is a semi-regular opinion column here at Ask A Jedi that will look at one players experiences with Star Wars: The Old Republic and relate them to their past in World of Warcraft, or perhaps another MMO altogether.
As I suspect many of you are at this stage, I’m in the decision-making process of which character I want to make my “main.” Currently, I have one of each on the Republic side, but have played the Consular and Trooper the most. As I searched for reasons upon which to base my decision, it got me thinking about how I feel about my characters and the Star Wars: The Old Republic universe compared to my feelings for past characters in other games. This exposed an interesting conundrum: unlike other games I’ve played, I don’t have a “home.”
In EverQuest, as a Half-Elf, I was “born” in Freeport. As a Wood Elf, it was the trees of Kelethin. Halas was my home as a Barbarian. In Dark Age of Camelot, my Hibernian Celt Champion started down in Connla and slowly moved up to Tir Na Nog. In World of Warcraft my human Paladin started in Elwynn Forest at the Northshire Abbey and moved down to Goldshire then on to Stormwind. In Lord of the Rings Online, my Hobbit started in the Shire area and spent many levels there. My Human started outside of Bree. I could go on, but you get the picture. In all of those examples, my character was “from” somewhere.
In each of these games, the questing of my character within my “home” and nearby areas created a sense of pride. I liked that in each of those games, sooner or later, someplace started feeling like home. Maybe because it simply became familiar, maybe (as in LotRO) there was already a strong attachment to begin with, or maybe because I just liked being there because of the beauty, landscape, whatever. I think if you’ve played an MMO for any length of time, you’ll understand what I mean. You get attached to certain places after a while.
However in TOR, all classes are “shipped” in to work in an area that is not their home. They either have a job to do or they need to undergo schooling. Yes, the Jedi and Sith have their “origin worlds” of Tython and Korriban respectively, but what was my character up to before I landed there? Where did I come fr0m?
In these starting areas, there is so much conflict that I honestly did not create any sort of attachment there. Coruscant was pretty sterile to me and I think I’m starting to feel like perhaps my ship is intended to be “home”. I’m wondering how I’ll feel when I finally get to Tattooine or Hoth. Will there ever be a Moon of Endor? Too bad there is no Naboo, that was the first place I visited in Star Wars Galaxies.
For me, this is a major factor in the enjoyment of an MMO. The world has to feel like a place I go to, not just levels in a game. Enough to consider whether or not I should keep playing.
How do you feel? Does it matter to you? If you are a role-player (I’m not) does not having a home bother you at all? Are you happy enough to be part of the Empire or Republic and a national/race identity doesn’t matter?