A lot of my friends are excited about the upcoming SWTOR expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire. But I have noticed some discontentment in the SWTOR social media community lately about lack of information being released as we approach the October launch. While I understand the thirst for info, I guess I don’t really get the sense that we are entitled to it, strictly speaking. Firstly, this is a free expac, well, maybe “subscriber reward” is a better term than free. But that may be splitting hairs. I feel $15/month is a pretty good deal for the hours of entertainment I get from the game without an expansion. I figure if I play 2 hours a week I am paying $2/hour. And naturally like most gamers, I play significantly more than that. My hourly cost probably hovers around 30 cents. I don’t feel that the game “owes” me anything. My 30 cents buys me access to well-crafted and interesting content and I am free to unsub or stop playing at any time. I do not expect that paying for my subscription entitles me to future content any more than I would expect my ticket to Fast & Furious 7 to guarantee me that (A) there would be a Fast & Furious 8 and that (B) I would like it. I have also heard people unfavorably compare SWTOR’s expansion information level to that of World of Warcraft. Well, they may give more details in advance but it sure isn’t free. I double-checked with my good friend @lilulicious, who has been playing Warcraft since the Earth first started cooling, and she said WoW (which is a subscription-based game) has never had a free expansion. She says xpacs are usually in the $40 range and although there is some content held back for staggered releases, a player still has to pay to get into the new zones. KotFE is a game expansion with a level cap increase. And it doesn’t cost anything extra.
SWTOR had a livestream yesterday that showed a lot of what we can expect as we head into 4.0. Since then I have read some complaints that there was no new information. Well, if you count datamining, they are partly correct; there are fewer surprises on a test when you have already peeked at the answer sheet. The way I see it, there was lots of new stuff for your average player. In just “about 10 minutes of Chapter 3” that the devs played through, we saw the following:
- The opening cinematic showing the Outlander being freed
- Combat in 4.0 (increased mobility, more “actiony” and fast-paced, cool Star Wars-worthy combat)
- HOW choices matter (for example: Light and Dark choice with the Sun Generator, decisions with companions)
- Our first look at the landscape of a brand new world, Zakuul, and promise of more new worlds to come
- Lana Beniko after rehab (meaning she looks way better and less like a chronic alcoholic!) and we got it officially confirmed that she will become a companion among other new companions
- Some other new faces: The snappy Koth Vortena, the exquisitely cool Vaylin and HK-55
- An epic figure from the past: More quality time with Darth Marr anyone?
- A new Cantina Crate Code plus Cartel Coin giveaways for Livestream Chat viewers
- Plus a new thread was opened on the forums to answer player questions
Assume the Best Intentions
I think that the development team at SWTOR loves this game as much as we do and are excited about 4.0 because they believe in it and think the direction they are taking it is going to be great for the game. I certainly don’t mean to criticize those who feel disappointed or want something different but I hate to see so much negativity toward a game that has been very good to me. This is a great year for Star Wars and there is a lot to be excited for in The Old Republic!