Thursday, March 5, 2009

Star Trek or Star Wars?

In the open Sunday thread Pangoria asked what game I was looking forward to more: The Star Trek MMO, or the Star Wars MMO. Well, that is a difficult question, because there are different factors to it. Two factors I'd like to discuss here are quality and gameplay.

I do believe, for reasons both financial and historical, that the level of quality, of "polish" how it is often called, will be higher in the Star Wars MMO than in the Star Trek MMO. Of course that is just a guess, and could turn out to be completely wrong. Bioware just has a longer history of making good games than Cryptic, and unless Bioware is doing something completely wrong because it is their first MMO, I have a lot of trust in Star Wars The Old Republic becoming a high quality game.

But on gameplay the Star Trek MMO is more appealing to me. All I've seen from the Star Wars game were scenes on the surface of various planets, with characters running around, talking to quest givers, and then killing monsters to do those quests. Or as Richard Bartle would say: "I already played Star Wars The Old Republic, it was called World of Warcraft". From the little I've seen about the Star Trek MMO, it is more centered around the space ship traveling through the universe. And I'd really like a game that has a larger part of it playing on a ship, and only a minor part involving running around a planet. Again that is pure conjecture, because maybe Star Wars The Old Republic only started with the planet part and will still come up with a great space ship part, or the Star Trek game will end up being more about being beamed down to some planet's surface.

In general I don't spend much time looking forward to games, expansions, or patches. The risk of ending up disappointed is too high. Maybe Star Wars The Old Republic is the next big thing, introducing better story telling and consequences of your actions into the MMORPG genre. But maybe it'll end up as a weak WoW clone with light sabers. Ask me again once I played it. Hey, maybe World of Warcraft introduces space ship travel in the third expansion. Maybe patch 3.1 fixes everything which is wrong with class balance, raids, healing, and cures lag. But do we really want to hold our breath while waiting for all those miracles to occur? Or should we just play the games that we have right now?

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