It’s going to WHAT?

Expecting this for SWTOR?

Okay, what the heck? I was away from the main Star Wars: The Old Republic forums for a while, working on getting a book published and focusing on school and when I come back there are threads out the wazoo about how badly SWTOR is going to fail. Some of the angst that I have read has been internet trolling of course, but some of it seems to be genuine fear. But why? The game looks amazing.

Well, first and foremost in many people’s minds is the debacle that was and is Star Wars Galaxies. Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) will be forever emblazoned in many players memories as the worst game company ever created. They rushed the game out before it was completed, which is nothing new. Many game companies put out games before they are finished, but this game was… well… awful. The only reason people played it at all at launch was that it was Star Wars. The fact that for about three days the players walked around on worlds that had nothing on them, no mobs, no buildings, not even any plants, no NOTHING, was absolutely awful. But players suffered through the bugs, because it was Star Wars, and parts of it were fun. Then came the Combat Upgrade, (Or as we called it Completely Useless) where they made what was one of the most innovative and cool games out there, minus the annoying bugs, the same as every other MMO out there. They didn’t need level defined gear and enemies, but of course, WoW had it, so they must need it, right? Wrong. Then the day that will live in infamy, the day the Next Generation Entertainment hit the servers. SOE lied to their player base. SOE undid in a day what many players had spent years perfecting, tweaking, and basically having fun with. They decided not to listen to the community, to do their own thing. Why should they care if they shafted most of their players? It wasn’t SOE’s problem. Small wonder many of the most hardcore players simply left and will likely never return. I was one of those. The game is still running, on limited servers, but I for one will never touch it again, and I am not alone. SWG failed, and failed hard through no fault of the game, but through the less than intelligent choices made by SOE.

Bioware is not SOE, and while some of SOE’s employees have joined Bioware, I highly doubt that even the most jaded of Bioware’s employees could say that Bioware is going to repeat the same mistakes that SOE freely admitted they made. Second, Bioware has a formula that they use for their games. Well, yeah. How many of us, when writing stories do NOT use some kind of formula? How many of us use an outline, a plan, something? For me, it makes it clear what I need to write next and my stories are nowhere near as complicated as some Bioware games. Some people criticize Bioware for following a pattern, one that I have put as my intro picture. Bioware’s stories are not Pulitzer prize material, but they are also not bargain bin trashy romances either. There are limits to what can be done in a video game story. Admittedly, they are pushing the envelope of what can be done in game stories with what they are focusing on in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Some people have criticized Sol Invictus and others have praised him for making this chart. It is good, as far as it goes. Bioware DOES have a pattern.  But think about it, did the fact that you were following the same general pattern detract in any way from the experience in Mass Effect 1 or 2? I had no time to be thinking about that as I was blasting my way through the games.

Last but certainly not least, we come to the clincher. Many people are saying that SWTOR is going to fail because Bioware has never made a MMO before. They are known for their single player games, but a single player game, no matter how big or complex, is nothing on a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying game. But, they know this. This is why they have spent so long, and such epic amounts of money, to make it. This is no Star Wars Galaxies clone. This is no WoW Clone. This probably will not be a WoW-killer, to use the internet lingo. WoW is simply too huge, too easy to play at the lower levels, for any one game to simply knock it off its pedestal. The only thing likely to kill WoW is Blizzard Entertainment, the same way SOE killed SWG with stupid choices.

To sum up – some people think SWTOR is going to fail. Some of those people are being pessimists or internet trolls. Some of them have legitimate cause for concern, after the horror that was SWG. SWTOR is a massive game, larger than any other. One wonders exactly how many DVDs will be required to carry such a game. Bioware has never made a MMO before, true. But… that also has some plusses. They had no preconceptions. The idea of full voice over for every character was laughable, until Bioware started doing it. Are there going to be problems? Almost certainly, this is a game made by humans, and humans are not perfect. Is it going to flop at launch? Doubtful.

That is my two cents worth anyway. What do you think?

Picture from Game Riot

She Plays Insane People: NitWhit

Is this what I think it is?

Yes that is a Mynock, and yes it has a rifle. It’s so totally random and yet, so totally cool that anyone who sees it is like: ‘Huh? Oh wow!’

For this week’s piece I am interviewing another regular at the SWTOR forums. Like my previous interview, she has been posting in the forums there since October of 2008, a month before I started. She has been a massive presence on the SWTOR Boards since they began. She has a devious mind that is only matched by her absolutely brutal style of roleplaying and ‘assisting’ people – sometimes with a swift kick in the cranium via a private message. She has no patience for people whose grandstanding gets in the way of good storytelling. But at the same time, she always has time to help a rookie, which we all were once, whether we admit it or not. Whether it is roleplaying a psychotic Twilek assassin, a naive technician or a brain bent shape shifter, she does it with style. Give it up for the NitWhit!

Edward: Hello Nit, I have a few questions for you today, if you don’t mind.

Nit: I don’t mind at all.

Edward: In general terms, Nit, what are you in real life?

Nit: I’m a college student working on getting a degree in engineering who spends my free time juggling writing, art, and several groups I’m involved with on my campus.

Edward: Why do you play insane characters most of the time?

Nit: Well sanity is overrated tends to be my quick answer, but really I just like a challenge when I write. Insane characters provide such a different perspective that they make me have to really sit down and consider how this psychopath would handle a situation rather than how I would and how they developed into what they are, not everyone who is insane started out crazy of course.  Those are the kinds of things that fuel me to sink more and more time into a character so a lot of my characters wind up with their own brand of craziness. I should probably also note that not quite all of my characters are completely bonkers.

Edward: How long have you been doing RP and fanfiction in online forums?

Nit: Not very long actually. I’ve only written fan fiction and RPed on a forum since I joined the SWTOR site coming up on 2 years ago now. I have been playing RPGs for far longer than that of course and I had RPed in Star Wars Galaxies when I played what now seems like ages ago, but I was always far too terrified to try anything beyond that until I saw some RPing threads on the swtor site and decided I’d take a shot at it.

Edward: What got you started in this, writing fanfictions?

Nit: Not all engineers will admit it but numbers get boring day in and day out. I found myself quickly missing high school English classes, which I honestly never expected to hear myself say. Unfortunately though, there are only so many ways you can spice up a report on the various parts used to assemble a mechanical device and when you try, as I know well with the numerous attempts I’ve made, the assistant grading your paper will promptly tell you that your writing was too ‘narrative’ and that you need to be boring. That was what really made me decide that I needed to pick up writing just for fun again and flex my creativity. It was around this time that the SWTOR site went live, I spotted a few RP threads and decided to give it a shot and well things spun off from there.

Edward: What drew you to SWTOR in the first place?

Nit: I grew up as the original trilogy was re-released in theaters and the prequels hit theaters. I’ve always been a bit obsessed about Star Wars. It was this obsession that led me to eventually pick up Knights of the Old Republic, my first Bioware game and I’ve been a bit of a Bioware fan girl ever since. With all that in mind you could say I was pretty much instantly drawn to SWTOR.

Edward: What do you think is the most rewarding thing in writing fan fictions?

Nit: I find the most rewarding thing is simply getting your ideas out there and working with other likeminded people to craft a story especially when those other writers and RPers seem to click together.

Edward: What do you think could be improved in fan fictions?

Nit: I’d love to see people being more open to criticism and more willing to provide others actual feedback. I feel like a lot of people miss major chances for improvement as a result.

Edward: What do you think is the best writing you have done?

Nit: That’s hard to say, I don’t know that I have anything that I’d label my best. I suppose I have a few fan fictions sitting on my desktop which I’m still prodding at which might qualify if I ever find time to finish them.

Edward: Indeed. Well, this is a question some people are likely to ask. What kind of character will you play when SWTOR comes out?

Nit: Well I do know I’ll likely largely be staying on the Sith side of matters, darker more ‘evil’ characters hold a special place in my heart. Currently I’ve got my eyes on the Inquisitor class and Bounty Hunter where I can cross a few of my RP characters over, but I’ll see. Knowing myself, I’m liable to eventually wind up with one of everything.

Edward: Is there anything you might want to say to New Zealanders or Australians who read this blog?

Nit: If you ever feel tempted by RP or fan fiction, give it a shot; you might just be pleasantly surprised. And of course I’d love to visit both countries one day, diving at the Great Barrier Reef and kayaking in New Zealand are musts on my massive to-do list.

Edward: 🙂 Mine too. Well, thank you for your time.

NitWhit has been one of the major players in the SWTOR site since its founding in 2008. Her biting wit, intriguing (and insane) characters and her desire to assist other people -myself included- have made her a massive presence on the boards. Her skills in writing are only matched by her skills in art, and I like to call her a friend. It’s always best to stay on the good side of crazy people after all, right?

Check out NitWhit on and The Mynock with a rifle is one of her pieces, and in my opinion, it’s not even close to the best one. She has talent, does NitWhit.