Thursday, September 12, 2013

Giving Up Your Unique Points

In the last patch for The Old Republic, Bioware added two new flashpoints (4-man instances). The Czerka instances and boss fights are reasonably decent. The role-less story mode is excellent. However, the flashpoints are missing something.

All the other flashpoints in TOR have a light/dark choice. Most of them have conversations. The entire group goes through the conversation, everyone picks a choice, and the game randomly chooses a choice to play out the storyline.

The new Czerka instances are missing that element. They play like a pretty normal dungeon from WoW or similar games.

I think Bioware has listened to all the speed runners who urge people to "spacebar" through the conversations. Now there is no conversation to spacebar through. Admittedly, I only listen to the conversations the first few times I run an instance. Afterwards, I spacebar through them.

But those conversations are what made TOR flashpoints unique. I enjoyed them. Some of the conversation and choice-heavy instances are the best part of TOR.

Basically, if I wanted to run a straightforward, linear instance without conversations and LS/DS choices, I'd play WoW. I think giving up your unique points for the sake of end game efficiency is a mistake.

The Czerka flashpoints are good MMO instanced content. But they are not good TOR flashpoints.


  1. Lol, did you see my post about the subject about a month ago? Because I thought exactly the same thing.

  2. I must be lucky, because I've yet to come across someone saying to spacebar through those Flashpoint choices.

    Of course, I'm still leveling toons, so I frequently run into people who haven't seen the flashpoint I'm in at all.

  3. Conversations are a lot of additional work:

    1) You have to write them manually and accertain that they do not look silly or unnatural;

    2) The choices are often class-specific or race-specific

    (just two examples:
    - when Malgus announces New Empire and dissolution of Dark Council during Ilum questline, my inqusitor had the chance to say "I did not fight my way up to the Dark Council only to have some upstart to rob me of power", while my agent of course had other agenda;
    - my Cyborg agent has a chance to verbally abuse aliens in many conversations while my Zabrak inquisitor has "you don't like aliens - may be you'll like this painful lightning shock" lines in the same places)

    3) Of course, you have to voice record 8 male and 8 female dialog choices by live actors including Ms.Shepard;

    4) On top of that, you have to program at least 40 companion reactions on choosing every dialog choice (consistent with companion likes/dislikes).

    I do not expect the developers to keep up with this forever. Sooner or later they're going to say "this is just pointless waste of money which will be spacebared anyways, let's keep this money for bonuses".

  4. @Redbeard, it's really an endgame phenomenon where people have seen the cutscenes dozens of times. While levelling, it's usually at least one person's first time, so everyone watches the cutscenes.