In my experience with MMOs, once you hit the level cap and move into the notorious end game, that’s when you start to focus on the activities that require large groups. In SW:TOR, I have no large group, and yet months later, I am still playing, even in spite of the fact that I am not a particular fan of the Star Wars IP.
Why is this?
In short, the Legacy system.
In general, I am a fan of achievements in games because they award a sense of… achievement. I think SW:TOR‘s Codex was meant to fill that role, at least as far as exploration is concerned. However, Legacy is like a combination of simple achievements and actual useable interesting rewards within the game, and it keeps me playing.
Here’s the story of how I started in TOR:
At character creation, I know I have to go Empire. I know they’re generally amoral and have British accents. What more does a girl need? Wow, who are these blue people with the glowing red eyes? They’re amazing. I want to go to them. Aww, but they can’t be Sith. Well, crap. I wanted to use space magic. These pureblood guys are pretty sweet looking, too. I can settle for that.
Get to 50, toodle around in heroic modes, completing most of them down a man because rather than seek out the general populace, we’ll do hard things the even harder way.
Finally, we decide to play some Chiss. They are beautiful indeed. Although, based on the research, the Bounty Hunter character is thoroughly inappropriate for the average Chiss, at least in the female incarnation. Get to 50 on the Chiss, toodle around in heroic modes–
Let’s see. A family tree system for my characters. Interesting, yet kind of lame. Why would I want my badass Pureblood Sith man have anything to do with my raunchy Chiss Bounty Hunter girl? Bleh. Now, if they extend that system to incorporate outward links to other players’ legacies? That would be awesome.
Some intriguing quality of life and vanity items to purchase with credits, giving me a reason to farm dailies.
Wait. What is this? Any race you achieve level 50 with is unlocked for all classes?
That… that means I can be a Chiss Sith! Finally! And it is glorious. Forget farming dailies, it’s time for racial unlocks FOREVER.
Get the Chiss Sith to 50. Feel incredibly happy about how the character’s personal story turned out. Decide it’s time to finally see what the Republic stories are all about.
Which race should I unlock this time? Miraluka, of course. Because what could possibly be more awesome than a sniper with no eyes. Reasonably, because they see with the Force, Miraluka can only be Jedi initially. So to the Jedi-mobile! Get to 50 — oh wait, that hasn’t happened yet.
And that is why I am still contentedly engrossed with SW:TOR, despite my continued distaste for cash farming and the general lack of end game content that plagues most new MMOs.
As a side note, if any heavy roleplay, drama intolerant guilds (oxymoronic?) on Ebon Hawk are recruiting, do drop me a line.