Thursday, March 31, 2011

SW:TOR: Expectations Shaped By Experience

For all the weeks I walked this particular path to
school, every day there would be a platter
with a steak under this bridge.

When I was younger and more impressionable there were a few things I took for granted and never even considered to question. The bumpy pothole-ridden part of the street was for people and the smooth even part was for cars.

I once talked to someone who had visited here and he was quite appaled by the service he'd received at a restaurant. You see, as soon as he had sat down the waiter had brought him the menu, a basket of bread and a small plate with butter, cheese and paté. He felt so insulted by him trying to force things he hadn't ordered on to his bill that he got up and left. I, in turn, was appaled that he left. It was then I discovered that not all the world shared this custom of making hors-d'oeuvres available to customers whether they asked for them or not. It was something so familiar and mundane to me, something so deeply rooted in my way of life that it shocked me that life could exist differently.

Today I browsed the SW:TOR website, trying to get a feel for the game. I talked earlier how I'd like the concept of not being alone in a MMO and I somehow feared that was the single-player gamer in me talking. SW:TOR boasts about having companions that follow you through the game, that change their behavior depending on your choices and actions. I smiled at this.
While traveling the galaxy, your Companion Characters will provide commentary, information on plots and directions to points of interest-- all from their own unique perspectives. Companion Characters may act as your conscience, and try to influence your decisions. In turn, you will influence them, and change how they develop as the story progresses. Based on your choices, some Companions will become your closest friends, others may become your lovers, and a few may even become your enemies!
Yes, that sounded cool. A few of the consequences of being a girl is that I'm a sucker for romantic options in games. It's the main reason why I played The Sims for so long. I once tried to make an entire city green by breeding this one green guy with multiple women. Ok, maybe that's not very romantic but there you go.

Like the vehicle?
However, I soon realized that these companions they're talking about are fixed. Everybody gets the same companions (or it might depend on your class or something). That's not quite what I wanted. I'm not sure if my expectations are lowered because I've never seen it implemented but I'm not compeltely convinced. I dream of an immense range of characters to be able to add to my posse and live with the consequences of possibly putting together a completely dysfunctional family.
Jack, is that you?
Every day that passes, Rift seems more and more lackluster. I might try out SW:TOR eventually but I'm not jumping on another hype bandwagon, lest it topples over. Given my experience with MMOs I'm holding my breath.

Scary lobster is scary!
Picture unrelated.

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