Zone instancing is the dumbest and most damning idea that doomed TOR. Beta testers complained about it, but they were shouted down by BioWare fanatics and their complaints were downed out by post after post of BioWare zealots slurping the developer’s sausages. Instancing is the reason why people revolted against news of Elder Scrolls Online working with the Hero Engine, which powers TOR. A MMO isn’t really a MMO if you explore an area and never see another player.
Throw-Away Space Combat
The space combat in the game was a joke. It was just an on-rails tunnel shooter that became extremely repetitive after the first time you ran a level. It got to the point where most people would ignore space dailies unless they really couldn’t fall asleep at night and needed something to bore themselves.
It Wasn’t SWG
TOR was never meant to be SWG, but with the game launching shortly after the shutdown of the first Star Wars MMO, they could have made an effort to attract former SWG players. Instead, BioWare just sat back and relied on the Star Wars name to bring in SWG vets. Instead, those who loved SOE’s game found just a themepark and none of the fun they had in the Star Wars world they helped to build.
Ancient and Boring Questing
The Old Republic’s quest system was firmly stuck in 2004-2005. Almost as if BioWare played WoW and Burning Crusade and never looked back at how MMO questing has evolved over the past seven years. Kill/Fetch quests were made even more annoying with “Bonus” quests that just made you kill even more mobs. Not a single quest mechanic improvement seen in games like Rift and WoW made it into TOR, wich made the grind to 50 a chore.
Guild Wars 2 Beta & Diablo III
Right when the free month was ending for most TOR players, the long awaited Guild Wars 2 beta began and right when those beta weekends were winding down, Diablo III came out. Those two games were likely a devastating one-two punch to BioWare’s subscription numbers.
After Dragon Age II, BioWare just hasn’t been the same. As the riot over the ending of Mass Effect 3 proves; EA buying them as ruined them. The Old Republic was likely a casualty of this, even though development began before EA purchased them, but the drop in the BioWare pedigree is evident in the game.
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