13/07/2012

Don't worry, it's only a simulation!

If you had to place The Old Republic on a slider that had sandbox / world on one end and themepark / game on the other, it would be very firmly on the "game" end. However, just because your MMO is very "gamey" that doesn't mean that it needs to completely ignore the world aspect. One thing I love about SWTOR is that I always get the feeling that the designers really love the universe they are working in and want it to make sense.

The latest example of this is that with 1.3, all warzones have now become enabled for same faction PvP to reduce queue times and address faction imbalances on individual servers. When WoW introduced same faction battlegrounds for rated play, I doubt that anyone even stopped to consider for a moment whether they could come up with some sort of in-game reason for Horde players to be hitting each other over the head in Arathi Basin instead of the Alliance.

Bioware is very different in this regard though, and they've tried hard to maintain consistency in the newly changed warzones by explaining the same faction PvP as simply being a simulation. A fairly flimsy excuse I admit, but at least they are trying. This meant both new voiceovers for Voidstar and Civil War for both factions, as well as subtle alterations to the animations: for example the ships in Civil War don't actually come crashing down at the end of the game if it was a same faction match (since it was just pretend).

I haven't heard the new Imperial voiceovers yet, but I quite like the ones they've added for Republic. I couldn't help but smile when the Civil War simulation analyst told my team that there would be "no shenanigans" on his watch. The Voidstar is even funnier, as the droid that does the commenting is pretty much a massive carebear and says things like "isn't this fun" or "everyone's a winner at heart" (if you lose). It almost makes me feel like he's trolling me; it's pretty hilarious! My only gripe with him is that he doesn't actually sound like a droid as his voice is missing that metallic resonance that droid voices usually have. I'm not sure whether that was some kind of oversight or intentional.

Either way I really appreciate the flavour that these little touches add to each warzone, instead of them being simply an opportunity for players to hit each other over the head for no reason.

3 comments :

  1. Huh. If I could be guaranteed the "simulation" warzones, I'd actually be more likely to PvP.

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    1. RP reasons, mostly. Not that regular warzones wouldn't be in character for some of my characters, they wouldn't for others. *shrug*

      Well, that and the fact that the "simulation" warzones sound amusing.

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