SoE announced a new MMO which came as a surprise to me: “Star Wars®: Clone Wars Adventures™, a free-to-play, action packed virtual world for fans of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated television series on Cartoon Network”. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. First, SoE… *shudder* I can’t rag on these guys too bad, but it’s SoE and they bring it on themselves. Then there’s the Free-to-play nonsense which screams low quality and shovelware or at the very least a poorly developed virtual cash cow.
Settings aside those negatives for a second, let’s reflect upon an enormous missed opportunity. SoE needs a really good MMO right now and they’ve been given one of the greatest IP’s… again… to work with: Star Wars. Lord only knows how they’ve been given the opportunity to once again take the reins, but to go this round is quite a disappointment. Clearly they’re taking it the kiddy route because of Free Realms. What -I- would have done with this particular IP is made a AAA title. They’ve been handed one of the greatest licenses and within that license they have the best time period. On top of that, the stylized quality of the graphics and popularity of the TV series would have been an enormous boon. I can think of some other things that I would have done with the property though, like a shooter stype game that blends Star Wars Battlefront with Team Fortress… that would have been amazing.
Back to this new MMO though, I think it has a few things going for it -if- done correctly. (1) The mini-game are a huge opportunity to create a WoW-esque battlegrounds feature where players can participate in big battles of republic vs. empire and have great stylized PvP. The racing could be done so that it’s highly polished and could reflect what we saw back in the N64 days with the pod racing games (which were really good). (2) There’s a very defined combat style within the game that could lend itself to fantastic gameplay as well as a selection of huge worlds that they could run with that extends way beyond SoE’s current implementation of instanced content. In english? Don’t make it little instanced battles like Free Realms. (3) The Star Wars spirit lends itself to social elements. Housing is going to be in the game, but if taken further there could be Cantinas and the SWG style of entertainer could be brought back. I know their goal will be to avoid the brothel-like atmosphere that many of the Cantinas in SWG adopted, but given the zany style it wouldn’t go that route anyway. (4) There needs to be the foundation for players who want to take it seriously to find a place in this game. I would be all over it if I could play with my friends and have a series experience that extends beyond playing wack-a-mole minigames and buying trading cards. Let me become a Jedi and actually adventure and progress in some form and I’ll be all over it.
Clone Wars Adventures has enormous potential (getting tired of saying that about games….) that could create a mega hit. It could also flounder and quickly become one of those MMO’s advertised on Cartoon Network that you liken more to spyware than you do a game. Please SoE… I’m begging you… don’t screw up another one. I will follow the game closely and even give it a try (Something I am ONLY doing because there is a subscription option) and let you all know my thoughts.
May the Force be with you SoE — you’re going to need it.