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The Top 10 Game Design Mistakes Bioware Making with SWTOR

Dec 7

Written by:
12/7/2011 8:36 AM  RssIcon

I have had the pleasure of being given the privilege of playing Star Wars the Old Republic for three weekends for beta testing. I enjoyed every minute of every beta test. The game brought back my fond memories of the Star Wars Galaxies and World of Warcraft (Vanilla) with the Mass Effect style of game play. There is no doubt in my mind the amount of time and money that went into making this product one of the best. However, there has been some design mistakes along the way. This is Bioware's first MMO game and they will make mistakes like any good company does. Its how they correct, learn and respond by addressing these decisions in the future will determine the long term success. I would also like to say before you read my list of mistakes. This game does a lot of things correctly which I will address in the future blog article.

Here are the Top Ten Game Design Mistakes Bioware is making inside Star Wars The Old Republic Universe.

  1. Too many skills and talents. I was confused by the volume of skills and my toolbar couldn’t fit them all. The talent trees seemed to have too many choices. Cookie cutter specs will be coming soon. I didn’t like being compelled to visit my trainer for new skills every level in game.

  2. Lack of character customization. Some will say there is enough to individualize your character, I say there isn’t. Its 2011 people, we should be able to upload our image to put on a body.

  3. Too many group quests at the early stages of leveling. WoW made the same mistake too and fixed it after many years of people skipping the quests. I skipped them in the beta too.

  4. Heroics vs Flashpoints? Decide on a common name, both required a set number of people and had a degree of difficulty which is redundant to me.

  5. Lack of breadcrumb quests. I had to run miles to find my next quest in some of the areas within the game. I wish it was smoother. Not all planets were polished the same. Look there is a blip on your map. Get there.

  6. The UI looked difficult. Lack of options of customization and expansion for the tool bars. Set of predetermined features from other games are set. The interface options looks like a copy of WoW with the same features to enable or disable in the control panel.

  7. The Medical Probes of self rezzing lost its purpose quickly. I had an extremely difficult quest and I kept on dying. I had to wait 10 minutes per rez after the 3rd death or have to run back super far while doing a class quest. I wanted to click the abandon quest button but I had to complete it to leave the planet.

  8. Too much “slow” running around and I did not receive a speed boost until half way through my teens in leveling a few classes. No one likes to run miles unless they are on the biggest loser.

  9. Sidekicks/Crew kept repeating the same dialogue lines. Every time I picked a quest reward item upgrade with stamina. I equipped it and got healed by my sidekick. She would make a comment each time. It felt like Madden Football from 1992 when the game would play a comment based on the result or conditions. Sidekicks should know when not to talk. Like everywhere except ships and cantinas.

  10. Some of the heroic content looked rushed on some planets and felt like a place holder for content they didn’t have time to add to the game. Some of the things just didn’t fit with the surrounding story lines.

Those are the issues or mistakes I noticed while playing many hours during the beta. It was a privilege to get selected and I did enjoy it. These are common observations and notes I was able to write down for an article like this.

 

If you played the beta what did you think of my points? Do you have any I should add? Add them in the comments section.

Copyright ©2011

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