Epic MMO Battles of History: Star Trek Online vs. Star Wars: The Old Republic

Asking whether Star Trek or Star Wars is the better science fiction series is like asking whether Game of Thrones or The Tudors is a better fantasy series. That hasn't stopped it from being hotly (and pointlessly) debated in fandom circles more or less since the dawn of time, with the only unity to be found in both sides telling the guy who brings up Doctor Who to be quiet. I'm willing to bet pretty much everyone reading this knows where I stand on that, since it's not exactly a secret, but I will say that in spite of my inclination toward Trek, I'm still very excited about Star Wars: Can't Take The Sky From Me and really didn't like Star Trek: James T Kirk Completely Ruins The Enterprise Yet Again.

This article isn't going to answer that debate, obviously. But it can deal with the fact that we have two active "free-to-play" MMOs based on these IPs. Star Wars: The Old Republic is set a good three millennia before the movies, sure, but Star Trek Online is also set during a time period that neither movies nor TV shows has touched for 15 years now. So how do these games do head-to-head? Which one is the better game, and which one more closely resembles the IP it's meant to be an adaptation of?

Space, the final something-or-other.

Setting and lore

The Star Wars EU was always hot garbage. For every good bit from it there was far too much nonsense, and while it certainly bulked out the setting it never actually made the setting feel any more real. Most of it felt like find-and-replace lore than actual development of alternate cultures and societies, or like taking the old D&D Monstrous Manual approach to world-building. "This drink is called Hyper-Brandy... and it's Bothan... and it's served and used exactly like whiskey! Ship it."

By contrast, even when you take into account weird inconsistencies with Star Trek lore and references here and there (like what, exactly, kanar is supposed to look like), the core of the setting has remained pretty well stable all along. Sure, there are outliers and bits where things don't work as well, but things like Romulan ale, the Obsidian Order, the Eugenics Wars, and the Kobayashi Maru hold steady. There are some lore inconsistencies, but it holds up overall as a comprehensible and utopian world.

Advantage: STO

But no playable Iconians. Yet.

Races

Unfortunately, SWTOR uses the most blandly inoffensive version of Star Wars nonhuman races. Our first glimpse of non-human entities in Star Wars was of species that were, at best, vaguely humanoid and completely incapable of speaking the language of the other characters; more often than not they were entirely, well, alien. As the fiction progressed, however, we got a wide variety of races that were essentially human but just alien enough to not count, and none of these races seem to have a particularly well-developed racial identity. Twi'leks dance, Mirialans are kind of spiritual, Chiss are shady, but none of them is an entirely different cultural landscape.

Mind you, I like the Chiss a lot, but "blue human with red eyes" is not exactly lighting me on fire in terms of race design.

STO gives us three factions with multiple "official" races and a catch-all "Alien" category to both recreate otherwise unplayable canon races (like Cardassians) or completely new races. You're still limited to fairly humanoid races, sure, but since Star Trek aliens have always been predominantly humanoid it doesn't feel all that unusual. And the amount of control and weirdness possible in the "Alien" race alone makes it feel far less restrictive.

Advantage: STO

Bode.

Storytelling

The most compelling part of Star Trek has never been in the movement and sweep of galactic politics or alien artifacts; it's about the interactions between the crew members on a given ship and how they react to various struggles. Unfortunately, STO cannot really deliver that. While it tells a functional story that moves over a lot of fun stuff in the game's lore, my captain can never have a lively debate with her first officer. It's storytelling that's entirely focused on plot and lore elements rather than characters, which is understandable from a technical standpoint but rather lacking.

Of course, SWTOR made a big point of selling itself on the strength of storytelling, and... yeah, it pretty well delivers on that front. There's room to debate whether it's enough to carry the game on its own, sure, but it is good on a whole, and offers plenty of memorable and interesting character while also making your character feel relevant, even if it's just in broad strokes. It does stories pretty darn well, in other words, and it definitely holds its own in this matchup.

Advantage: SWTOR

This is not in the Standard Bioware Pose Handbook, though.

Questing

No one would call SWTOR's questing terribly innovative. I mean, sure, the personal phases are nice and the bits of dialogue are fun, but for the most part it's pretty straightforward and standard. By contrast, STO has a very different structure wherein you fly across various sectors, wind up on various planets, and explore a mission as its own distinct thing. So that makes it a clear winner, right?

Except... for a lot of SWTOR's playtime, you can run into other players. For most of your time in STO, you won't. STO feels, much of the time, like a single-player experience with persistent servers, even more than SWTOR does at its most insular times. Combine that with some weaker storytelling and I really have to give the nod to SWTOR on this one.

Advantage: SWTOR

Snipers, I try so hard to love you.

Ground combat

Not everyone is super on-board with SWTOR's ground game. I get that. But the combat works and is generally something I find pretty fun, even if there are some specs that I feel play better than others. It feels very true to its contemporaries and does some things better, some things worse. You know how it is.

Meanwhile, STO is so cognizant of how little people like its ground combat that the game has revised it more than once and continues to fight an uphill battle to get people to suffer through it. This is an easy one.

Advantage: SWTOR

Zorp.

Space combat

I actually like rail shooters, and I'll be the first to say that the space combat in SWTOR at launch has its charms. I haven't played much of Galactic Starfighter, but I'm sure that has its charms, too. But who cares? This contest right here is an easy win for STO, because its fluid, dynamic, engaging space combat is one of the game's main claims to fame.

Seriously, there's so much to the combat based on fine details of your ship, so many different options and tactics... just writing about it makes me want to hit full impulse before kicking down to one-quarter for a hairpin turn while unloading with tachyon cannons. Dang, that's fun.

Advantage: STO

Geometry Wars.

Crafting

Oh, bleh. Neither of these games has what I would call a good crafting system; SWTOR is basically the ultimate expression of wait-for-a-bar-to-fill crafting with the slightest bits of mechanical depth, and STO has revised its crafting system so much that it's easy to forget what the system actually entails even as you're using it. I'm giving SWTOR the edge here mostly because its system has, at least, remained largely consistent over the years, and at the end of the day it works for what it's trying to do, which is something STO has never quite managed.

Advantage: SWTOR

I'm sprcl.

Character builds

While the old-style talent trees had their issues, I liked them. SWTOR currently lets you build a character more or less by choosing a specialization and then watching it come together with a handful of utility choices, none of which really change your playstyle. It certainly helps balance, but it also strikes me as supremely boring.

STO has a skill system that's always been kind of awkward and stuttering, but especially with specializations it gives players a lot of different options about how to play. Like much of the game, it's a hacked-together mess that has been majorly revised multiple times, yet it's also the sort of thing that winds up being really fun once you understand how it's supposed to work. Shame about the dearth of respecs, though.

Advantage: STO

Ah yes, teamwork.

Group combat

Look, you can be as salty as you want about the implementation of endgame group content in SWTOR, but it exists. STO, on the other hand, really has endgame group content mostly as a group of ships in the same area trying not to get in one another's way. I can count the number of tanks I've actually flown with on one hand, and I can count the number of healers I've flown with on one elbow.

So for whatever messes SWTOR has, it at least pushes the idea that group content has some structure. That's an edge in my book.

Advantage: SWTOR

Yes, this is definitely dirt.

Endgame structure

I've written in the past about liking the endgame structure in SWTOR, and there are parts of it that I really do like. There are also parts that are really messy, and the fact that it keeps changing doesn't help. I certainly like a lot of the ideas going into its latest revamp of the endgame, but the mechanics seem as if they're still very much in the early stages, like a few more passes would have made things far more refined.

On the flip side, STO has a messy, messy endgame, and it always has. But it's also a pretty fun endgame. It places less emphasis on cosmetics and more emphasis on unlocking options and resources. It's sometimes a bit less than intuitive.

In both cases, though, you get to really assemble the sort of endgame you want and can sidestep the group grind progression if you want to. It is, fundamentally, doing the same stuff you did while leveling, only more. I'm giving that as a wash, then; they both do enough things that I like that I'm not giving either one an unqualified nod over the other.

Advantage: Tie

Someone always gets upset, I don't let it get to me.

Aesthetics

Yeah, this one's even. I love the aesthetics of both. STO sometimes shows its rough edges in different ways, but they both match what they're supposed to look like. SWTOR has that rusted and worn look that made the original trilogy so fun along with expressive and stylized models; STO has that sleek, blocky futurism on lock. They both look very different, but they both look good, and they both look right for the source material.

Seriously, I'm always going to love the scuffed armor my Trooper favored. That was nice to have.

Advantage: Tie

That's not to say it's free of issues, of course.

Free-to-play contempt

Let's be real for a moment: no game, ever, wants free players. A free player takes resources while providing nothing. If you're a developer, you want your free players to become paying players. Think of it like a pair of dials you can adjust, then; the "compassion" dial encourages people to pay for the game by being so darn fun that it's worth the money, while the "contempt" dial ensures that it's just so much harder to play the game without paying money.

SWTOR is a great game that really relies, first and foremost, on that "contempt" dial. Can you play through the game for free? Yes, but the game will never, ever let you forget that it doesn't want you to do that. Which means that if you're going in planning on not spending money, you will be met with the occasional stick to the back of the head and the game telling you to pay people, darn it.

Is that wrong? No. But it makes you feel as if payments are being extorted rather than given freely, and that's never fun.

Advantage: STO

Sometimes you even get some cool stuff!

Lockboxes

In SWTOR, you can buy random item packs. Do I like that? No, I don't like buying random anything. I like to have control over that sort of thing. You can, however, also buy the stuff in those random packs off of the auction house and make them part of your collection, and if you never want to buy one you never have to do so. So while it's something I'm not crazy about, it's also something easily dealt with and it does have tools to mitigate the randomness.

In STO, lockboxes drop and you have to buy keys. I hate this much more than random boxes. I didn't like buying random packs of Magic cards when I was into that game, but I could live with it; I qould have really disliked it if someone had given me magic cards and then told me I have to buy keys to get at this random pack of things. Making me buy keys costs you the advantage, STO, let that be a lesson to you.

Advantage: SWTOR

Sometimes it's awkward.

Fictional verisimilitude

If you're still playing the drinking game from my roleplaying column, take a shot.

I really adore STO, but it never quite manages to feel like an actual Star Trek series. It feels like it's based off of Star Trek, yes, and it has all of the setting pieces right, but it never once lets me imagine that I'm actually part of the franchise that I love. There are lots of reasons for this, from the storytelling to the ranking up to the very nature of the game environment.

SWTOR, on the other hand, feels like a Star Wars bit. You'd have to do minimal work to adapt it into a movie or a series, and that means something. Yes, it takes place during a wildly divergent time period and often feels like it exists in a closely related parallel universe, but I've never watched that opening crawl for a new character or storyline section and though "meh, this is just window-dressing." Whatever faults it has as a game, fidelity to its source material isn't one of them.

Advantage: SWTOR

So this is my life now.

Overall

Here's an interesting trivia bit for all of you reading: I don't actually know the outcomes of these beforehand. I just write out the categories and tally things up, and then I see where the chips lie. And in this case, they wind up with a distinct advantage for Star Wars: The Old Republic, when all is said and done.

In many ways, this is a pretty asymmetrical match; what one game does well the other usually doesn't do at all, or at least does it with such non-enthusiasm that the other one can easily coast to victory. However, at the end of the day, SWTOR manages to both feel more like an actual bit of Star Wars fiction and has just the slight edge in terms of things like crafting.

However, the strong degree of asymmetry here means that both games do enough different things that you get very different experiences. So they're both fun to play, and both well worth the time to play if you only like one IP but not the other.

Sorry, Doctor Who fans, but we'll include you in one of these just as soon as you get an MMO.

'What's the best MMO ever?' is a ridiculous question; we're not going to tell you that. Instead, we're going to pit two MMOs against one another, point by point, line by line. Two games enter, and... well, they both leave, but one gets declared the victor. It's Epic MMO Battles of History, and while it may not actually decide any long-term debates, it's at least fun along the way, right?
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61 comments
MissingLynx
MissingLynx

Ha! I was just thinking about this myself as I am going through an STO phase right now even though the new SWTOR expansion just came out. 


I more or less agree with these individually, but would quibble a bit here and there and I would change the outcome. 

I mean, STO's ground combat is terrible, just utterly, utterly terrible. But for me it has that "so bad its good" camp feel to it. It always seems like a thing that is happening that you have no objective control over, just people running around doing things. No matter how many times I try to figure out a strategy or a plan it simply doesn't matter. I feel like it should be scored with Yakety Sax. I am not arguing it is good or anything, just that it has it's fun if you view in non-traditional sense.  It is strange too, because I dislike combat in SWTOR for more technical reasons. I have always felt the lack of auto attack really, really hurts melee classes. And since Star Wars is KNOWN for the most iconic melee weapon perhaps ever, that seems weird. 


I'd argue questing is better in STO simply because it feels rather unique in how it is done. The episodic approach feels very different, and at least makes an attempt to follow the conceptual ideas behind it's namesake. But I won't disagree that SWTOR questing feels more polished overall. I would also point out (though it is down now) that the Foundry tends to have a lot of really good missions as well that feel far more inline with one of the series episodes, even if they can be disjointed and not at all clear. 


In the end, I like STO better simply because I feel it's ship combat is basically better than anything SWTOR does at all. Like you,  I could talk and talk about it but all it does is make me want to log in and do it.



Damonvile
Damonvile

I've always been a big fan of both, and never really understood the picking a side thing. When it comes to these game though, I think they both did their major focus well. STO had great ship battles, and I enjoyed the personal stories of the characters I played is SWTOR but.... both games are kind of stale over all.

Loopstah
Loopstah

I find that Trek fans that did stick around STO, will continue doing so for the next x amount of years. On the other hand, SWTOR doesn't feel like a home for SW fans, at least not what i've observed. Yes, it's a decent MMO set in the SW universe, but it doesn't FEEL like a home.. if that makes sense. Subjective opinion of course, but also something i've observed talking to friends that are HUGE Star Wars and KOTOR fans.

MissingLynx
MissingLynx

@Loopstah You only play SWTOR long enough to finish new chapters, then log out and don't come back. There is no reason to continue to do anything. Not that STO has a lot more to it, but I do feel like it has a more active social environment. 

Slaphammer
Slaphammer

What about guild support?  STO lets each guild have a whole bunch of different bases (I think 5? Haven't been active in a little while) and interesting ways to encourage guild interaction.  Can't remember what SWTOR has.  I regularly return to STO, but got bored with SWTOR about halfway to cap and have never looked back.

MissingLynx
MissingLynx

@Slaphammer Yes, this. Fleets are really well done. It is something that actively encourages you to be into the game and helping the group overall. And it is something they wholly support. In many ways it feels like it is their alternative to concepts like raiding. Endgame group content is maxing out your fleet holdings. 

demonxaphan
demonxaphan

I can say this about STO lock boxes, least in STO you can mine dil then trade for Zen which you can buy the keys with, as for Swtor you have to still pay and there is no way to earn for a lock box.

Asheram
Asheram

You should do this in the epic rap battles style.😂

Archebius
Archebius

What parts of the Star Wars EU have you read, sir?

Spacejesus3k
Spacejesus3k

I find both games ok as far as games go, but I love both IPs. And they are both fun enough to enjoy those IPs for a little while. That being said STO tricks me into logging in way more the SWTOR does. I feel like I can log in 1 day a year and catch up on all the new content they have added. Where as STO I may do the same but it's thier events that keep me coming back regularly. Right now you can run a silly race for a free ship. Simple enough, but they got me to log in, and then I may or may not stick around and play for a bit. Then there is the gameplay. Maybe is STO ground isn't as good a SWTOR, although I enjoy it much more now that they have added allot more powers to play with. But these are SciFi games, and for me that mean cool spacehips and lots of pew pew. And SWTOR fails at that IMO.

nosz
nosz

"SWTOR has that rusted and worn look... ...along with expressive and stylized models..."

o.O  Agree, to strongly disagree!

SWTOR is one of the most sterile and clunky Star Wars installment I've ever witnessed, if only because of its very limited engine!

Telos_
Telos_

The Tudors was based on historical fact, so it's not really "fantasy".  Game of Thrones is purely fantasy though.

Witches
Witches

@Telos_ Inspired by is the correct term. He was being ironic.

Eliot_Lefebvre
Eliot_Lefebvre moderator

@Witches @Telos_ I was pointing out that Star Wars isn't science fiction any more than The Tudors is fantasy just because it has some of the same trappings.

Pashgan
Pashgan

There is nothing epic considering my whole guild quit SWTOR in 2 months yet my STO fleet is up and running for 4+ years.

p.s. My in-game funds are still locked in SWTOR - after I've paid ~100$ to these Bioware/EA clowns. Never again.

Eliot_Lefebvre
Eliot_Lefebvre moderator

@Rheem Octuris Look, I'm not a main person of Doctor Who, but I think we all just agreed to forget about that based on it being rather terrible.

LegendOfVinnyT
LegendOfVinnyT

"…with the only unity to be found in both sides telling the guy who brings up Doctor Who to be quiet."

[Comic Book Guy voice] I believe that would be Babylon 5.

Anyway, both STO and SWTOR have some fundamental flaws that have to be overcome:

STO pays poor service to a good setting. "Everybody's a captain" makes for a good MMO, but it makes no sense to the lore. Watching Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway, and Archer manage the burdens of command was one of the main pillars of Star Trek's writing. Maybe Telltale should be making Star Trek games instead.

SWTOR pays good service to a bad setting. The Old Republic is just regular Star Wars, except they used *those* Ralph McQuarrie sketches instead of *these* sketches, and they set it in a different time to make sure nobody crossed paths with anybody from the films. Once it occurred to them that they canonized that galactic civilization had stagnated for *three thousand years*, it was already too late. Still makes for a good MMO, but we knew that from Galaxies, and it was contemporary to Episodes 4-6 with no problem. (See also: LOTRO's handling of the Fellowship of The Ring.)

MissingLynx
MissingLynx

@LegendOfVinnyT It does make sense, lorewise, if you think of Starfleet as having thousands of ships as a galactic power representing trillions and trillions of people. Then we are all playing as the captains of those ships not named "Enterprise" or "Defiant" or "Voyager".

Qarran
Qarran

Good write up.  I'm a bit biased so I'll defer any judgment and simply say that SWTOR is my home MMO.


Aside from that, I think that the elements that make a good MMO are alive and well in both games in varying degrees.  


The biggest defining factor for me, personally, is the IP.  I like Star Trek, but I love KoTOR.  I know we are discussing more than just that, but it colors my view of both games.



Greyraven
Greyraven

Interesting article can't say I disagree except on the aesthetics, where I think SWTOR has a big advantage over any game with the Cryptic engine. 


But opinions elbows and whatnot.

Chukii
Chukii

Um... Tudors isn't "fantasy", its a fact-based, historical drama...

What!? I'm just saying :-p

Armsman
Armsman

@Chukii Considering how fast and loose 'The Tudors' played with some of the historical elements - I'd say 'fantasy does apply to it as well. ;)

Celestial
Celestial

I am a huge, huge Trekker.  I can recall watching The Original Series when I was four, back in 1981.  I've seen every episode and movie numerous times, (except for Enterprise and Nemesis... I may love Star Trek, but I'm no masochist).  I have read over a hundred Star Trek books.  I have a few Starfleet uniforms, (TOS era and DS9/VOY era).  Toys, models, autographs, you name it.


Star Wars on the other hand, I could never really get into.  It felt fake and like it was something for children.


However, I think Star Wars is a much more game-able setting than Star Trek.  In tabletop RPGs, everyone can be a Jedi.  Only one person can be a Starfleet captain.  In STO, everyone *is* a Starfleet captain, which is a turn off to me.  I'd much rather have a game where people played bridge crews, but few people would play that.  Which comes back to my feeling that Star Wars is ultimately a much better game setting.


So, ironically, I've played lots of SWTOR until 2015, but I've never played STO.

Slaphammer
Slaphammer

@Celestial STO is very faithful to the universe presented by TNG/DS9/VOY, just 30 years (I think?) further in the future.  I think you'd get a real kick out of all the references and continuations of storylines.  Plus, you get your own crew to command through both the Bridge Officer system and the Duty Officer system.

Witches
Witches

Tried STO, everyone kept saying how much better the f2p system was, so i was pretty excited to play it while i couldn't pay for SWTOR (this was before f2p), i try to roll a Borg and i'm told that race is only for paying customers...



Greaterdivinity
Greaterdivinity

@Witches You picked one of the two races that was locked behind a sub (think Borg is actually locked behind lifetime sub). There are still around 20ish other races to pick from for free.

Oleg Chebeneev
Oleg Chebeneev

Never liked neither Star Trek nor Star Wars. For this reason I never was excited for both MMOs. 

Im a big fan of Mass Effect tho.


Also wtf is The Tudors?

Chukii
Chukii

Tudors is basically the story of Henry Tudor ( aka Henry 8th, once King of England) and his family... issues :-/

Witches
Witches

@Oleg Chebeneev The creators of ME are kind of the same ones that created and run SWTOR, so i would be very careful what i wish for...


The Tudors is 16th century themed erotica.

Dalishal
Dalishal

Actually at least one of the writers on SWTOR is writing for ME:A and Bioware Austin was pulled in to help develop some game elements. It is not as linear as you think. The same thing happened on DA:I, Bioware Austin did alot of the Descent DLC.

Kaikuruo
Kaikuruo

STO was fun getting to max level in the early days before PWE. But the game is so dull at max level that most make alts and that's what PWE wants you to do. They know that gearing up many different character mean you will have to spend money. Pity the fool taking more than one character threw STO's rep. grind.

Spacejesus3k
Spacejesus3k

@Kaikuruo Rep grind? really? You have to run 1 stf every 2-3 days to get the marks you need. Get them during an event like crystaline and it can take less than a minute each day. How is that even close to a grind? And after your first toon you get tokens that cut the amount of marks in 1/2. Honstly, STO has probably the least grindy rep I have ever seen.

SmugglerinaYT
SmugglerinaYT

Really enjoyed this comparison.  I've enjoyed SWTOR in the past, it's just a shame I couldn't ever get past the technology decisions they made.  On the other hand, STO's space ship combat is just superb.  It really is probably the best digital ships game, in my opinion, even considering EVE.  But STO's ground game, as you point out, is just beyond terrible.
Really, if anything, both STO and SWTOR should prove a point: making a good game is really, really hard.  Making a great game which is multi-faceted is nearly impossible.

Greaterdivinity
Greaterdivinity

I don't know, I'd take STO's questing over SWTOR's any day. SWTOR have infinitely higher production values for sure, but I found I really love the episodic take on questing in STO, especially with its level scaling. Whatever you're doing feels relevant and challenging (well, sometimes).

I'd rate STO in front of SWTOR, but that's likely due to me being far more familiar with SWTOR than STO, so I likely know far more of SWTOR's flaws. But at the end of the day, especially now with my extreme dislike of KotET's changes, I'd still pick STO over SWTOR.

SmugglerinaYT
SmugglerinaYT

@Greaterdivinity True.  My sense is that this is actually closer to a tie than SWTOR a clear winner.  There are some pretty subjective criteria for what's a "better" questing system.  If you're looking at production and story-telling, absolutely SWTOR takes it.  If you're looking at mobility, group-friendly, and diverse questing, the STO carries it.  But they're both very different styles.  I really like SWTOR's choice-based questing the first time you do it, but it'd be nice to flip over to the traditional "click ok" style after the first play through.  That's something you really don't even have to worry about with STO.

Professor K.
Professor K.

I'd pay cash money for a Dr. Who single player ala Mass Effect/Dragon Age, nothing like being a time lord..


Truth be told, I've played both, I actually prefer STO for the fact the F2P allows me access to everything, including new content. Save the lockboxes, which are just a pain/cash grab and the inability to allow me command from my bridge(which ST is known for), its a pretty amazingly fun title..

FoxBat
FoxBat

@Professor K. Dr. Who would practically have to be an adventure game, though. And we know what happened to most of those.

Stormwaltz
Stormwaltz

I would like to add to the point regards lockboxes that you will always get something of interest from a SWTOR lockbox - a piece of cosmetic gear, a housing decoration, dye pack, weapon color mod, non-combat pet, emote unlock, etc. They're good enough that I've never had any buyer's remorse. (And frankly, SWTOR's lockboxes were even more generous before they were revamped last year.)


STO lockboxes are trash. Once a year or so, I have a bunch of subscription ZEN lying about and keys are on sale, so I try a few. I'm always disappointed. Nine times out of ten, you get a half-pack of duty officers or an income-booster of dubious use, and 5-10 of their "Lobi Crystal" lockbox currency. Want to buy one of those rare ships you'll never ever get out of a lockbox? Only 600-900 Lobi Crystals! Better buy more lockbox keys!

Eliot_Lefebvre
Eliot_Lefebvre moderator

@Stormwaltz That's actually a good point that I had kind of forgotten about, simply because I long since wrote off STO boxes and thus hadn't opened one in a dog's age. Not that they can really lose more on that point.

sray155
sray155

I think a big plus for STO would be a significantly lower degree of narrative to game play dissonance. SWTOR sets you up as the nuclear powered fusion of Batman and Jesus (BatJesus) but then makes you still require other players for various tasks, leaving the player kind of feeling more like Ensign Redshirt (not saying that's a bad thing for gameplay, but it does not mesh with how your character is built up during story scenes). Whereas STO makes you just another starfleet officer, and balances you in the game world as such that you haven't constantly been told how special you are, so that ultimately being nothing special in the actual game doesn't feel jarring.

The "special snowflake" method of storytelling is great for single player games, but it doesn't work well for multiplayer environments.

Witches
Witches

@sray155 You should play a trooper, Hairball Jorgan will remind you of how insignificant and inept you are every chance he gets.

sray155
sray155

I've played all the classes multiple times, and the trooper is no different: every NPC gushes about how special you are. With the exception of a few lines on the starter world, Jorgan is no different: yes, he makes a bunch of bitchy comments about soldiers being disposable, the brass doesn't care, and all that jazz; but when he's talking to the player character he is just as "ZOMG!!!! U r sooooo special!!1!11!!1!!" as every other NPC.

Witches
Witches

@sray155 He actually tells you, your promotion should have been his, only sometime in the second act does he admit you might be "not that bad after all", also he criticizes you for recruiting Elara.


What about Kalyio, SCORPIO or Khem Val, do they also tell you, you're the best? What about Quinn? 

The smuggler is an adorable dumbass but definitely a dumbass.


You're mistaking the fact that you always win in the end with everyone thinking you're the best, specially in the imperial stories that is not the case at all.

DigitalQ
DigitalQ

Thank You for this fun Article Eliot!.I love all things Trek and SW..well most ;) but I would have to give SWTOR this win and give it fast..Lord Zorvan said it best "Have you played STO? It's like some clunky garage experiment some kids accidentally made work." I have tried Several times on both PC and the comfort of my couch on PS4 to play STO...It is painful to me..and I Want to like it I really do! >.< Ahh well..I guess I can't have all the toys =p