Star Wars The Old Republic got a shot in the arm thanks to its Steam launch

    
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It would seem that the decision to launch on Steam was a good one for Star Wars The Old Republic as the 2011 MMORPG’s community has generally seen a significant uptick in activity shortly after launching on the platform.

A number of posts on the SWTOR subreddit chronicle the surge, with pictures of multiple instances that had to generate to handle the population and a player concurrency of over 30K at one point. And while it’s still early days to get a full data set, Steam Charts shows an impressive 24-hour peak of over 26K players thus far, just on Steam.

The community at large seems to be extremely eager to welcome new and returning players, which seems to be further reflected in the user reviews, which currently sit at “Very Positive” at the time of this writing. Most reviewers laud the game’s massive single-player stories and enjoyable (if flawed) PvE and PvP content, though there are some detractors pointing to SWTOR’s aggressive monetization scheme as a reason to vote the game down. In any event, it seems like a good time to be a fan of SWTOR right now. But of course, we already were!

source: Reddit (1, 2, 3, 4), Steam, Steam Charts

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Robert Rose

Definitely got me back in when I noticed I’ve been accruing their cash-shop currency for 9 years.
Apparently I added a security token to my account back in 2011 and completely ignored it. I’ve got like 11,000 cartel coins and I haven’t played the game in nearly a decade.

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Richard de Leon III

do yourself a favor, if you dont plan to sub, buy hotkey bars at the very least, maybe some more inventory slots on your main.

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xpsync

Going back to an old, old debate, if i’m going to play any free to play, i just sub the f up and if i get past the month i’ll keep the sub rolling.

It’s just a better overall experience, than trying to navigate your way through the pitfalls and gates.

But yes agreed “buy hotkey bars” if refusing to sub.

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Lethia Myune

I have so many awesome memories from this game, i have all the class stories done, a LS and a DS char leveled through kotfe and kotet expansions and lots of their recurring events farmed to death but i thought why not try it again because there is nothing to lose. Right? Wrong lol There is literally nothing in the game i haven’t done already….and i haven’t played the game in 3ish years maybe. I admit i haven’t kept up with the game at all since i quit but i thought they must have added SOMETHING beyond KotET in 2016 but …alas, if it is, it’s so small, it feels like the development has ceased? Really?

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xpsync

I wanted to do that (all class stories done) i think i did 2 maybe 3 in all, was totally the goal i had set for myself, kudos on following through. I guess some other game grabbed my attention and only made a couple comeback attempts. Agreed it was a good time!

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Jack Pipsam

If the servers start to fill up again they might regret their choice in moving the fromer US West server to sit alongside the US East server together physically.

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Castagere Shaikura

Still way too many things behind a paywall though. At least the class stories are still f2p along with planet story arcs.

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Annoyed badger

what pissed me off was I paid for the game, then they restricted teh races I could make characters as…..

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Fisty

Yeah, this is my biggest gripe. They’re so expensive to unlock account wide.

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Castagere Shaikura

Yeah, this is really just EA greed. The unlocks you have to pay for are standard in any other MMO. That will always crush the game for people. But some people must be buying them or they wouldn’t still be a thing to buy.

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Robert Rose

unless you added a security token to your account at launch lol
I log in for the first time in 9 years to see I’ve accrued 11,000 hutt coins in passive bonuses.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Happy to see SWTOR getting some attention. I was very dissatisfied with the game when it launched, but over the years it has gotten better. But just like every other MMO I play, I play with a sub, so I don’t have the F2P gripes.

For those of us who enjoy solo play in an MMO world, SWTOR is just about perfect.

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Fisty

I actually had a queue last night and tons of people in the early zones. Seems like global chat is pretty positive about it as well, not a lot of the complaints you often see when something like this shows up. I’ve been playing the smuggler storyline, it’s a new one for me and so far is pretty fun. Hopefully, this new revenue will get used for new content.

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Malcolm Swoboda

At least most MMOs got something of an uptick this spring, but as things open up (or at least we have the misconception that they’re truly opening up), and there’s more to do outside, I’m sure Bioware likes the bump from Steam. At this point of nearly a decade, its beginning to become a generational turnover to older Gen Zers that barely know about Origin besides for Battlefield/front, and sports.

The monetization now is less aggressive and terrible, more pointless and mundanely aggravating. Shifting to cosmetics meant a gradual tightening of in-game acquired cosmetics – not that there’s none with new content, you’re just not dripped with a lot of it. Opening up more content meant stuff like any action bar restrictions and hiding head slot and artifact gear became increasingly confusing; wouldn’t you want even your extended F2P trial player to just enjoy the stay instead of going ‘eff this, I don’t even fully unlock this stuff if I sub and it ends’.

The shot in the arm won’t last long if there isn’t a significant – at least by SWTOR standards while not being 7.0 – update later this summer. There’s been understandable delays, but more faux podracing won’t cut it.

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Hikari Kenzaki

SWTOR’s aggressive monetization scheme

That would be the monetization scheme that MJ spent almost no money on while streaming it for years? That aggressive monetization scheme?

I mean, SWTOR is brutal sometimes to f2p players, but I can show you several games that would make a SWTOR player beg for Hutt Cartel days.

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Bruno Brito

I mean, SWTOR is brutal sometimes to f2p players, but I can show you several games that would make a SWTOR player beg for Hutt Cartel days.

Other than ESO and LOTRO ( which offered free content til Moria for all f2p players ), most of the games that have aggressive monetization like SWTOR are in development limbo. Hell, SWTOR itself isn’t healthy.

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Castagere Shaikura

It seems like with every update they are making it more solo-friendly. Since the best parts of the game are solo I see nothing wrong with it.

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Bruno Brito

Yeah, but it’s still a MMO, and most MMO activities in the game are locked behind limits or paywalls.

Like, the helmet stuff is just idiocy. The Warzone limit is idiotic too because F2P keeps PvP alive. The fact that F2P is relegated to play the solo version of the game kinda gives away that they are focusing SWTOR to be a game with a solo focus ( not exactly a problem ) in detriment of the group content ( which is a problem ).

Bereman
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Bereman

It hides things like hiding your helmet, obtaining certain tiers of gear, and even having all action bars available to you behind either subscribing or paying for an item off the cash shop.

It puts the vast majority of cosmetics behind the same shop.

Want to display titles, those pointless little words that go with your name? Sub or pay real money to unlock that customization option.

Yes, you can obtain many of those items from their equivalent of an in-game auction house, but last time I looked into that many of the prices were above the in-game credit cap available to F2P.

So yes, it is an an aggressive monetization scheme, and just because some are able to play it without spending much to any money does not make it less aggressive. That there are other games out there that are worse does not make it less aggressive.

That it monetizes both convenience elements and random pointless things, along with putting most cosmetics behind a paywall instead of earnable in-game, is what makes it aggressive.

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Loopy

I am one of them. Figured i never got a chance to play through all the DLC while it was current – why not do it now. Then i realized that a lot of the story is locked behind operations which are not available to F2P/preferred players, so that’s a bit of a bummer.

I also wish the game had a better way of guiding new/returning players through the content in a cohesive manner. I quit when my Consular completed his story, and it took me a good while to figure out what the next chapter is and how to start it. Now that i finished Makeb, i’m lost again as apparently there are at least 3 operations between Makeb and the next chapter which move the story forward.

That in my opinion isn’t good design.

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Hikari Kenzaki

There really isn’t much locked in Operations. I’ve done maybe 2 in 8 years.

They just updated the UI to have a ‘what’s next’ that tells you where to start next. Or your ship terminal has your next quest.

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Loopy

I finished Makeb with “yay Hutts are on our side and we saved the people” and the next mission in the ship terminal (with a disclaimer that i should do 3 ops between Makeb and that mission) is talking about some dark lords that are mind raping soldiers… There is clearly a disconnect in storytelling outside of the ops.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Yes its a mess. If they bothered to update with Story (solo) versions of the relevant operations like they did for Shadow of Revan, there would be little problem; some operations have junk for story, but some are very important. Dread Masters is somewhere in the middle, but if they’re directing you there, and declaring the expansion content to be ‘free’, then the least they could do is allow you to do a solo version of where they’re pointing.

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bobfish

Just watch a video of it on YouTube, the Ops story is like 2 minutes per Ops, its really not much. SWTOR doesn’t have smooth story transitions between the major content drops, its “Hero, quick, this new really bad thing just happened out of nowhere” kind of stuff.

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Malcolm Swoboda

Its not much its just really annoying design. Immersion blockers matter.

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Totes McGoats

Imagine if EA had the humility to do this in 2011 instead of wasting goodwill shoving their own marketplace down people’s throats.