Sunday, January 22, 2012

An MMO Far, Far Away

Yes, it's been a while since I posted. Between work and school I've been bludgeoned about the head and shoulders with more other work that I care to think about, and on top of it...well, I'll be honest, I haven't had much to say. (Astonishing, I know.) I'd like to start making semi-regular (biweekly?) comic book review posts, but in the meantime, I've been dealing with a timesink even more nefarious than work or school: a new MMO.

This post is going to sound grumpy, moreso than I really feel about the game. Like the rest of the internet, I'm more inclined to talk about the things I don't like than the things I do. Human nature blah blah blah. I'm not actually the sort to keep paying for something I hate, though, certainly not $15 a month, so I'm not saying not to play the game, or that you're <insert insult related to intelligence here> for doing so. These are just some things that bug me in between giggling over cutting down a whole group of enemies with a single Death From Above.

The problem with writing about The Old Republic is that I end up writing about a lot of things that don't necessarily have anything to do with this specific game. Most of my complaints relate to the franchise as a whole, the world as seen by someone who's been doing a bit of worldbuilding herself lately, and some opinions about RP communities that will probably make some of my old WoW friends hate me. There ARE a few things that can be laid almost entirely at the feet of Bioware, but as I plunge through the gooey muck that is my thoughts most of what I find is completely out of their hands. Perhaps I'll make the things that ARE their fault a second post.

To start out with, there's something that I first came to understand when I was involved with a Star Wars tabletop RP group: The Star Wars universe has a mind-bogglingly unrealistic amount of cultural stagnation. I could understand that in a setting where FTL travel isn't possible, something where it took years and decades and centuries for ideas and technologies to get from one world to another. Star Wars is not that setting. Star Wars is a setting where people can just pop from planet to planet in, at the most, a couple days. And despite that, it's a setting where over 3,500 years of cultural and technological development has led to...slight changes in droid aesthetics? There were apparently more changes in the galaxy in 40 years following A New Hope than there were in 4,000 before it. This was likely due to the number of Expanded Universe writers looking to pee on some new territory in the post-Return of the Jedi setting by introducing massively game-changing things like the Yuuzhan Vong, but the point remains. I know that Star Wars never claimed to be hard sci-fi, that it's the poster child for science fantasy as a genre, but it still bugs me a bit.

The other thing that bugs me, the one that's going to make me a pariah, is that WoW has made me sick to death of large RP communities. I'm on an RP server in SWTOR, just as I was in WoW. In theory I love RP. Give me 5 people at a D&D table, I'm cool with that, I love it. Give me a couple dozen who all think they're super-important because they were Internet Famous in some other game, who tell other people that they're trolling if they state an opinion about RP they don't agree with, who get all bent out of shape if someone says something that shows an ignorance of some lore minutiae, and I will spend an evening playing by myself while I seethe over how much I hate them all. I love RP, but RP communities drive me up a wall. I'm just as bad, in some ways, and I'll admit that. I bristle at people RPing character types that I find out of place, overdone, or just plain annoying. I facepalm at bad grammar. And this, in my opinion, makes me just as unqualified to contribute to their community as they are unqualified to have a place in my everyday life. I used to love RP, but RPers killed it for me.

Now I'm going back to leveling my bounty hunter while I think about what I want to complain about in my next SWTOR post.

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