26/03/2013

In space no one can read your whisper

Anyone who's been reading this blog for any amount of time will probably have noticed that I dabble pretty much in all parts of the game: I level alts, I do dailies, I run flashpoints and operations, I do PvP, I craft etc.. However, there's one part of the game that I pretty much never talk about, and that's the space game.

On my very first character I spent a little bit of time completing the first three space missions once I got my ship (I remember failing a couple of times on the space station one until I got the hang of where my targets were), but then that was pretty much it. Other venues of gaining experience were much more interesting and soon almost everything offered by the space mission terminal was grey. Oh well, whatever.

Later I decided to go back and do the rest of them after all, just because I could. I outfitted my ship with the best ship parts that money could buy (grade five I believe, this was before the release of heroic space missions) and got started. I was very disappointed when I found that the second tier of missions was pretty much a carbon copy of the first, only with different flavour text and everything doing a bit more damage. On the first mission of the third tier, I got obliterated by the enemy within less than thirty seconds, despite of being vastly overgeared for the whole thing. That's when I decided that it wasn't worth the bother.

I mean, I'm pretty sure that I could beat those space missions if I put some effort into learning how to do them properly. But what's my incentive? The space game is completely removed from everything else in the game - which is good for me in so far as I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything by not doing space missions, but still...

Worse though, I really don't care about the way space missions play out in any way, shape or form. I want to play my character, not her space ship. I don't like being tied to my screen for minutes on end with no opportunity to pause or allow myself to be distracted for even just a moment. (If you think that operations and PvP are the same in that regard, you've never seen me play during either of those...) But most of all, I hate being cut off from all communications, in an MMO of all places. I'll admit that with the way the space game functions you probably wouldn't have time to type anyway, but that you can't even see chat messages while in space has always bugged me. If I wanted to play a single player game, I would do that (and it wouldn't be some space shooter to be honest).

Now, that doesn't mean that I absolutely loathe the space game. Every now and then I'll even redo those first three space missions on a lowbie alt for a change of pace. However, most of the time I find it simply so much less interesting than anything else I could be doing in the game (including idling on the fleet and chatting) that it doesn't even register.

And that's also the reason why I'm always very skeptical when people campaign for SWTOR to have "more mini games". I play MMOs for a fairly specific kind of gameplay, and I'd prefer it if the developers didn't spend too much time tacking on additions that are completely unrelated to everything else. If I want to play "mini games" there are already hundreds of other ways to do so out there, no need to be in an MMO for that.

3 comments:

  1. I cant' help thinking that the space games are there only because it's Star Wars, and Star Wars should have some space action. Which, on the one hand, yes, it kind of should, since Star Wars tends to involve space battles. But on the other hand, the people who are good at space games are probably off playing space games, and it is a completely different play style than the rest of the game.

    I wonder if there's some way they could've worked in space bits that would have been more a part of the rest of the game, both in terms of game play and in terms of not suddenly being a single player game.

    Of course, since I absolutely _suck_ at the space bits (I can succeed at the first two missions. On a good day.) I'm not real invested in fixing them. They're almost fun despite my suckage, but *shrugs* eh.

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  2. The space missions seem okay, but they're not the main focus of the story. Unlike Star Trek Online, where the starship is integrated into the story, TOR's space missions are merely a sidelight, a Pet Battles for the Star Wars universe.

    And I'm fine with that.

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  3. I would like the space missions more if they weren't on rails. Also if Bio could make them into a PvP style game I think they would be a blast.

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