It’s no secret that The Old Republic isn’t a huge runaway success. Months after launch, subscriptions are static at about 1.7 million players and BioWare has returned to doing free trial weekends to try to gain more players. The big budget Star Wars MMO is nearly on the ropes, and there may be a Kung Fu kick coming to knock it out.
The next World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, has just entered beta and even burned out and jaded WoW players are finding things to get excited about in the upcoming add-on. Here are ten reasons why a new World of Warcraft expansion may knock out yet another contender to the throne…
Monks are the coolest RPG class ever. From D&D to EverQuest, the martial arts class has always been one to play. SWG even had their own version with the Teras Kasi Master. It’s something that TOR doesn’t have, and it’s been something WoW players have wanted since the game was released in 2004. The addition of the Monk class is easily the best reason to check out the expansion.
People laughed at the Pandarens when Blizzard revealed the expansion, accusing them of ripping off Kung Fu Panda. But the race has been a part of Warcraft lore for nearly a decade now, having started out as an April Fools joke but then becoming a real unit in Warcraft III’s expansion. They’re actually really popular among Warcraft fans, and Blizzard even tried to put them in Burning Crusade back in 2005. As with the Monk, this is something that has been wanted for a long time in WoW.
One reason TOR subs are static is the state and quality of content in the game. A problem with the game is that while the story is good, the actual MMO under it really isn’t that great as the questing and encounter design is stuck in 2005. WoW has progressed past that and with the most recent raid, Dragon Soul, created one of the most fun MMO encounters ever. Mists of Pandaria looks to advance those fields even further with some great looking dungeons and boss designs even at this early stage.
Many guilds already run dungeons under a timer to test how good they are, but now they’ll actually be rewarded for doing so with some very awesome armor. There will also be bragging rights based on who can run a dungeon with the best time. The Challenge Mode will add a whole new layer to WoW’s gameplay, and I wouldn’t be surprised if TOR copied it pretty fast.
No More Talents
The Old Republic’s talent system is basically the same as what WoW had four years ago. Blizzard changed things up with Cataclysm, but then realized that the antiquated system that originated in Diablo II just didn’t work for a MMO full of theory crafters. So with this expansion they’ve tossed out the old idea for something new that looks to be more flexible and prevent flavor of the week cookie cutter builds.
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