Star Wars: The Old Republic Sequel Hopes

Later this year, we should be getting the new Legacy of the Sith expansion for BioWare’s MMORPG Star Wars: The Old Republic. And while we’re waiting for it to arrive, we get this PC Gamer article that takes a look at the game in its current state and suggests that now would be a good time for The Old Republic to get a proper sequel.

A few sample paragraphs:

Outside of the trickier operations and flashpoints, I find myself defaulting to a small handful of largely underwhelming abilities, in a rotation that I know like the back of my hand. At least it means I only have to pay attention to a small number of my needlessly big bag of boring tricks, but the routine is just making me miserable. Whenever a fight breaks out, I sigh and resign myself to another minute of boredom. There have been loads of class and combat updates, and some massive ones are on the way, but none of them have made much difference to the bog standard PvE confrontations. It’s not even that it’s egregiously terrible—not even close. It’s just not good, and after a decade I’m finding it harder to overlook.

For something like Star Wars, with its flashy, acrobatic lightsaber duels, a more kinetic and dynamic combat model just seems like a better fit. Something action-based. For all the current system’s problems, the real let-down is that it just doesn’t play into the fantasy of being these mystical warriors. The gun-toting classes do fare better, admittedly, but not much, and I’ll never get used to seeing bendy laser bolts hitting enemies I’m not even facing.

Even more insurmountable is the engine itself. The third-party Hero Engine has been criticised a lot by SWTOR players over the last decade, but it would be fairer to say that it’s BioWare’s implementation of the engine that’s the real problem, and the lack of meaningful updates to it. The engine wasn’t even finished when BioWare started using it, which explains why things were so incredibly janky in those early days. And even once things settled down, SWTOR still felt archaic in comparison to the other big online games of the day—a gulf that has naturally grown quite a bit since then.

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