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Revisiting EA’s Star Wars: The Old Republic. Is It Worth Your Time?

Ahoy  geeks, Jimmie here!

Work has been a beast lately, and in my down time I like to game a little here, and there. My main title is World of Warcraft, and have been jumping into that MMO since launch back in 2004. I really enjoy that immersive experience with a game, and combining that with a solid story you have my money for quite some time.

I imagine Blizzard has several vaults with goblins guarding their gold…errr….I mean money made from subs over the years.

Let’s tap the fast forward switch to 2011, and behold the video gaming landscape of the time. Many MMO’s have come, and gone during this period while World of Warcraft remaining strong in a top position as far as MMO’s go. As much as I loved that game (and still do) I wanted to try something different. Off on the horizon was a game with so much potential, Star Wars: The Old Republic!

A game based on one of my favorite sci-fi franchises!? Sign me up, and take my republic credits! I was very much excited for the prospect of a new Star Wars MMO to replace the ill-fated Star Wars Galaxies. Just thinking of wandering through the universe that George Lucas originally imagined made me one very happy geek. And then launch day came, and the feeling of frustration started to set in.

I just had to throw up my hands and give up.

I started in with a paid sub for this great game, but noticed that they were trying to emulate other MMO’s a little too much at the time, and some of the same frustrations I had were felt by other gamers. In its first year the total number of players went from a solid 1.7 million players to a paltry 500,000 players (or less if EA would ever fess up to the true numbers). Once the paid players starting jumping ship EA pulled the trigger, and made the game free-to-play. The base game, with a free play subscription, was now free. I paid the premium price at launch, and that game me some serious sour grapes on the game.

By 2013 I went back to devoting my game time completely to Blizzard, and their timeless game that I love. It really was a shame as I wanted to keep playing, but I figured that at some point I would jump back in once I got over my grumbling.

It looks like all it took was a pandemic (thanks a lot 2020!), and the game to move onto the Steam platform, for me to log back on after a few years. Was it worth downloading again, and playing after a few years? Well, that is a really mixed bag for me to be honest.

The initial download with Steam appeared to have proceeded with no issues at all, but I did not see that the install was incomplete as there was a massive patch that was required. Even with fiber optic internet service that took the better part of the morning to download, and install on my desktop. Once the game was (FINALLY) installed I could reset my password, and get things going.

I was pleasantly surprised that all my old characters were still there, but was a little sad that I was being forced to rename a couple of them (I guess they did not like me using names from the movie “Big Trouble in Little China”). After wrapping up the renaming process using the random name generator I was good to go with jumping in. I noticed the player interface was pretty much the same as before with a few refinements to make it easier to bind using the action bars for your character.

Gameplay is what you would expect out of any MMORPG these days. You see a mob of “bad guys” and you go after them. Collect the loot from the corpses. Rinse, and repeat while completing quests to follow the story for the quest line that you are on.

Yup, still the same after all this time, but a few tweaks to make it better. (image credit to HappyGamer)

One thing I did note, and this had me banging my head against my keyboard, was that Steam for some weird reason, had be re-downloading a recent patch which made no sense to me at all. I am in the process (at this time) of downloading, and re-installing the most recent patch for this game. This is mildly frustrating for gamers that might be pressed for time, and just wanted to get a few minutes in before work (or school for the kiddies coming up). You would think that EA would have gotten their act together to have a background downloader for a title like this, but nope, nothing like that here. It would only make logical sense, however, they must follow the same school of thought for most employers that is completely void of logic.

So, in 2020 is it worth revisiting Star Wars: The Old Republic? Sure, it can still be fun (when it is working) for you if you are looking for something different while you wait for Shadowlands to drop later this year. I say give it a go, and see what you think. It is free after all.

What do you think? Is it worth your time? Did I hit the nail on the head? Let us know in the comments below!

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