Today officially marks Star Wars: The Old Republic’s two year anniversary. As an on again, off again player since launch, it’s hard to believe time has swept by so quickly. I remember back when the game was in pre-beta; I would eagerly wait each week for the release of a new class video. I remember my open-beta weekend, and how I missed two days of it due to college. I recall my first gameplay experience like it was yesterday. This sudden resurgence of nostalgia doesn’t make me sad – after all, so much has changed. Instead, I feel bittersweet, but also proud to be a part of such a vibrant and still active community.
I would like to take this time and reflect a bit about my experiences with the game for two years, while highlighting some the changes that we’ve still been waiting for since last year, and even since launch.
Oh, the days we’ve spent.
Perhaps one of my fondest MMO experiences had to be day one of SWTOR. For months, I had planned to roll a scoundrel, and roam the galaxy in search of greed and glory like my hero Han Solo – instead, the allure of a fearsome Bounty-Hunter awoke my inner dark side.
50 levels later, I was raiding and PvPing with the best of them. I’ve said this before, but the first times I really immersed myself in end-game content were some of the best times I’ve had. I fondly remember the day my first guild and I decided to kick down the doors of Karagga’s Palace; oh, how I wanted his hat. Or, the time we ambushed an RP guild called Alpha Company during one of their “patrols” in the frozen wastes of Hoth (video below, I’m Fernando). The game was so refreshing and new to me back then.
Regardless, each and every player has their own unique and treasured memory of SWTOR – even if they don’t play anymore. I could go on for days about the times I’ve had roaming the galaxy, but it’s never fun just to read about them; you have to experience them.
Changes we still need
After talking with several players on the Republic fleet last night, it’s clear some things still haven’t changed. The first two major changes come in the form of imbalanced, or “nerfed” classes. Since launch, the DPS Scoundrel trees have not up to par numbers wise with their Gunslinger counter parts – and other DPS classes for that matter.
Also, the Arsenal Mercenary tree (one I know personally), unfortunately, has suffered the same fate. Imbalances like these make these two classes a major turn off for hardcore raiders and PvPers alike. There is nothing more infuriating that being turned away from a raid group due to a snobbish raid leader who thinks your class is not “good enough” to contribute.
Another change many have been aching for is new Huttball maps. Bioware, please hear me out! Huttball is one of the best MMO warzones ever conceived, and could very well be a stand-alone game in my opinion. Nothing gets my heart racing more than being a Huttball match with a strategically minded team, and hearing Baron Deathmark belt out “ROTWORMS SCOOORRREEE!!” New maps, a stat system, tournaments, and even a live stream of matches in Cantinas across the galaxy would be mind-blowing to me, and other Huttball enthusiasts.
In honor of their two-year anniversary, Bioware will be giving each player some free paint-jobs for their ships to be used in Galactic Starfighter. Also, today marks the beginning of the Lifeday/Gree event – so get in game, claim your prizes, and chuck some snowballs.
In the two years that I’ve watched this game develop, I couldn’t be any more proud of the changes that have come about. Sure, we have seen a constant seesaw of players leaving and coming back – however, since SWTOR launched its free-to-play model over a year ago, I have to say, they did it right. Whenever I move on to another MMO, I’ll unsubscribe for a bit, yet somehow I always find my way back again.
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