Does SW:TOR take the MMO out of RPG?

No. I feel obligated to take a break from saving our great Galactic Republic to address this criticism, which I’ve seen both on forums and on Twitter. I’ll make it short because the fate of treacherous Harron Tavus lay in my hands and he WILL be brought to justice.

The first element of this criticism that I think might ring true for a lot of Star Wars: The Old Republic players is how linear elements of the story and planets feel. Let’s be honest, the class quests feel linear because they are, but that’s no criticism of the game itself. The fact is that most MMORPGs don’t provide such a personal and intimate class-specific story. If you removed this key feature of SW:TOR, you’d simply have the same leveling experience as a game like World of Warcraft, where you spend hours grinding mobs for quests you have no vested interest in. World of Warcraft zones are just as linear as The Old Republic, but since most of them are ‘open world,’ as opposed to the very segmented planets like Coruscant and Nar Shaddaa, it provides the illusion of non-linear freedom in your leveling experience.

It’s true that you won’t see a thousand other players completing quest objectives right next to you, but you get group quests at every quest hub, and flashpoint quests in every zone. There is ample opportunity to play the game more socially, and you’re even rewarded with ‘Social Points’ for that very thing. You also have the option, like you do in a handful of other MMORPGs, to level up via Player vs. Player warzones.

To me, the idea that SW:TOR feels less ‘massively multiplayer’ is completely absurd. Skeptics, it seems, are looking for any reason to nitpick and complain about various aspects of the game, which is obviously not perfect. But, when these skeptics find even the slightest thing wrong, they’re willing to lampoon the game despite the fact that all of its competitors share the same exact flaw. At the end of the day, if you can allow yourself to stop hating for even just a moment, you’ll find yourself fully immersed in an amazing, story-driven Star Wars MMORPG. A damn good one, at that. Isn’t that something we’ve all been waiting for since childhood?