After reading Tobold's blog, I started thinking about my expectations for SWTOR. I did not have high expectations of the gameplay - on the contrary, I expected it to be pretty standard and even a bit too standard.
I also did not have high expectations of the story. I am a huge Star Wars fan, and read dozens of the novels. I knew that the stories in the game wouldn't be the best Star Wars stories ever.
So I bought the game with low expectations - or so I thought. And when it came to the gameplay and the story, I was not let down. The Jedi Consular story was actually rather interesting, and the gameplay was OK. Not great, but not bad either.
But there was one thing that did not meet my expectations. See, I really love the Star Wars universe. And I have a good idea of what a lot of the places and planets look like. Lots of these impressions come from the movies, others come from the comics and the novels.
Take Coruscant for example. In my head, Coruscant is busy, loud and smelly. There's loads of creatures everywhere, hurrying from one place to another, selling stuff, talking, laughing, fighting. The sky is full of ships. There's so much to see, there's always something going on, wherever you look. The city is a whole planet, and still it seems like there's still not enough place for all its inhabitants. Coruscant is a megacity, the center of the universe.
Now the SWTOR Coruscant is nothing like that. It kinda looks like Coruscant... But it's very clean, and everywhere I went, it was pretty empty. There's also hardly any noise. Where are the billions of inhabitants? Where are the shops, the apartments, the bars and the offices? This is not a megacity, and it definitely doesn't look like the center of the universe. This is not Coruscant, it's just something that tries to be like it.
So I was wrong. I DID have high expectations for SWTOR – I had very clear expectations on what the world should be like, what the atmosphere should be, and how it should feel to be a part of this amazing universe. And my expectations weren’t met. So I cancelled my subscription – not because the gameplay was just ‘just ok’, or because the story didn’t appeal to me, but because the world just didn’t feel right to me.
To come back on the issue discussed by Tobold, I also think it is much more difficult for SWTOR to be successful than it was for Everquest because it has to live up to much higher expectations. And it seems like the game is doing great, so I’m really happy for them. I think they really pulled it off. But me, I will probably not resub anytime soon.