Thursday, September 20, 2012

SWTOR and WoW

If you would indulge me today, I’d like to talk about what I miss from each game when I play the other.

Stuff I miss from SWTOR when i’m in WoW






  • Lightsabers - the iconic weapon of a Jedi. It makes a beautiful snap hiss as you enter combat.
  • Music - There is just nothing like going into combat with a John Williams soundtrack playing in the background. SWTOR saves the really iconic music like Duel of Fates and the main Star Wars theme for Raid Bosses. It still sends chills down my spin to Force Leap into Kephess  as the main theme starts playing.
  • Companions - Soloing in WoW feels lonely now that I’m used to having one of my trusty companions by my side. They add a little chatter both in combat and out. They also really help when you level up in a support role. You can really level as a tank or healer because you always have a group, even if it only you and your companion. As a corollary, I miss the romance options and having your companions send you out on missions for them and advancing their story. I also love being able to send my companion out to sell all my grays items.
  • Writing /Stories  - The writing in SWTOR is outstanding. The story arcs are tight and the characters are deep. The twists and turns keep you on your toes. At the end of a major chapter quest, I’m blown away. Knight is my favorite story so far, followed by Trooper. I haven't played the other stories to completion but Smuggler and Agent have some great lines. 
  • Color Matching - Basically all your gear takes on a color scheme that matches your chest piece. It gives a nice uniform look, and its how SWTOR avoids the 'clown suit' problem.
  • Out of Combat Rez for all classes - I know pretty much everyone has Mass Resurrection now, but it’s still nice to have.
  • Out of Combat Heal/Recharge - Every class has a spell that heals them up out of combat and recharges their resource. Yeah I know I can carry food and water, but it have it as a power is more convenient.


Stuff I miss from WoW when I play SWTOR




  • Addons - SWTOR UI is customizable enough, but its all the other little things we use addons for that I really miss, especially the auction house addons. SWTOR Auction House is very much like WoWs before Auctioneer or other addons like it.
  • Macros - Much like addons, my goodness do I miss macros. Even a simple target marco helps so much when I’m tanking in WoW, and would be really nice to have in SWTOR. Healing without mouseover macros is painful.
  • Threat meter - I play both DPS/Heal and tank toons in SWTOR. I really miss that little % threat over the head of the mobs.
  • DBM - This is important enough to be its own point. SWTOR telegraphs a lot of boss abilities, but the timers and notifications DBM gives you are nice, and I definitely miss them. I think my guild would be further in SWTOR with something like DBM.
  • Dual Spec - You can purchase the ability to respec anywhere but you still have to reset your talents manually, and set all your bars up again. A true dual spec would help a ton, especially on my Commando Trooper.
  • Equipment Manager - Much like dual spec, having a one button function to switch from DPS gear to healer gear would be very appreciated.
  • Ease of Travel - SWTOR has way too many load screens, and unnecessary running around to get from point A to point B.
  • Flying Mounts - This is another one I wouldn't have anticipated, but after having the freedom to fly around so much, it's really missed. You just feel constrained with just a land mount.
  • Achievements - There are similar things in SWTOR, but WoW's are more varied and better presented.
  • First MMO problems - There's just a host of tiny annoyance that seven years of development have eliminated from WoW that still plague a young game like SWTOR.
I'm actually not planning on taking a break from SWTOR. I'm going to switch to SWTOR's Free to Play model once that goes live and enjoy the excellent story content in the game. Meanwhile, I'll be doing my raiding and group stuff in WoW.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

You forgot "PvP before the level cap". In SWTOR, there's no PvP stat on sub-50 gear, and everybody in the WZ is boosted to an effective level 49, so it's possible to contribute to the match (or at least not be doomed to "cannon fodder" state) no matter what your level is.

WOW has resilience on low-level gear, so if you want to PvP you have to have it. WOW doesn't boost, so if you're in the low half of the bracket you are at a serious disadvantage. Combine those two and you get a truly horrible PvP experience for 40-60% of the levels you traverse while leveling.

Ted A. said...

I don't PvP much, but that's a great point.

I also love SWTOR's Guard mechnaic both in PvE and PvP. I would love to see something like that come to WoW.

Anonymous said...

So you are giving up on the raiding in Star Wars then Honors? For Kung Fu panda?:P

Ted A. said...

My SWTOR raid group is pretty much hanging on by a thread, and I'm pretty excited about getting back together with my old WoW buddies.

There's also other stuff going on with SWTOR that I don't want to go into detail on. I don't like being overly negative. It's a great game, but I think I prefer the WoW end game.

Nobody said...

interesting comparison. it seems that the things you miss from wow aren't inherent or unique to the game itself. and i would agree especially with the dual spec and travel complaints in regards to swtor.
would you be going back to WoW if swtor had these "quality of life" type issues fixed?

Ted A. said...

I don't think it would have had any bearing. This wasn't really a post about why I'm choosing WoW over SWTOR.

The calculus came down to this. My SWTOR guild/raid group is falling apart/has fallen apart. I'm concerned about how EA will handle the Free to Play conversion. My old WoW guild is getting back together to try MoP content.

I can do everything I enjoy in SWTOR as a Free to Play player. (the excellent stories and writing, the music, even the lightsabers). Sure, I'll buy some character slots, and inventory space, probably with the coins I'll be given as a former subscriber.

Drainage said...

I will give you macros, I love my /assist macro. Dual specs and gear sets.

However, it seems that you miss what makes WoW less challenging. Yes, I believe the developers have made encounters assuming one is using add ons. I like the fact that TOR doesn't shove that potential virus laden booby trap down my throat.

TOR can change these things, but WoW can't stop being WoW.

Ted A. said...

In theory, each game can be changed to whatever extent the developers choose to change it, but I would agree that WoW would have much more intertia to overcome to make changes.

It's a tough call on Addons/Macros. They are a tool, and tools make tasks easier. That's what tools do, but they also allow you to do a better job. The biggest place where this comes into play with me is trying to heal in SWTOR without a mouse over macro. Maybe it's because I was 'trained' to a certain extent by WoW, but it feels like trying to heal with one hand tied behind my back.

At the end of the day, though, my decision between SWTOR and WoW came down more to social issues, and SWTOR decision to go F2P.

Fredric Falconer said...

“The writing in SWTOR is outstanding.” – I so agree, Ted! SWTOR has an astounding quantity of writing involved. Every voiced dialogue has its own character. The actual lines that we hear when playing are very carefully conceptualized. I think SWTOR is one of the grandest writing projects accepted by Bioware Austin.