In SWTOR No One Can Hear You Scream

We’re still enjoying Star Wars, although both Phil and I seem to have terminal alt-itis. Our highest characters are 23, and I think we’ve created alts in every class, most around the 10-15 level presently. Some we level together and some are played separately. The RP server I rolled on was taken over by Russians, so we rerolled on a Republic-side alts on a server which seems fine although I think it will be a ghost town in a month or two. Imperial-side characters are on a US PVE server, Juyo.

The one thing I will say about SWTOR is that it feels like a single-player game. Due to the heavily sharded/instanced servers, you rarely see other players. There are usually a few people talking in general chat, but the cities seem almost empty, which feels odd. This feeling of deadness is compounded by the lack of animation of NPCs, and the lack of wildlife and critters. NPCs in cities stand still, and unless they are vendors or whatever, generally you can’t click on them. Some of them are animated as though they are having conversations, but you can’t hear anything. It feels extremely unfinished and odd, as though they are placeholders. There are no critters (squirrels, butterflies, birds, etc.) and the rare mobs you see just stand there waiting to be killed. There are no roving mobs as you see in other games.

The static world is quite strange. This is a superb game in terms of storylines and plot. It’s a ton of fun to play. But in terms of immersiveness in the environment, and feeling as though you are in a real world, it is quite sterile and quiet. I’m hoping that this is something that will be improved when some of the launch bugs have been worked out, as it would add immeasurably to the immersiveness of the game. I seem to remember that critters were even added to Darkfall, which I picture as a game wherein you are mainly concerned with ganking people and taking their stuff…if it was important there, it surely is essential in a game like SWTOR.

I don’t want to feel like a ghost drifting through a dead city.

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