SWTOR 200 Hours of Gameplay

Apparently Star Wars the Old Republic will have 200 hours of “core” gameplay per class.  At first the number 200 jumped out like “Woah, 200!”   Then I realized that my Shaman in World of Warcraft that just hit level 85, did a couple of dungeons, ran a couple of battlegrounds (literally I’m talking like 4-5 of each) is at 6 days 22 minutes 48 seconds at the time of writing this post.  That’s about 144 hours.  I rushed through the leveling content, skipping literally half the zones, to hit 85 and I’m at 3/4 of SWTOR’s time.   That worries me.   Given how much of SWTOR is likely to be reading text — which I am OKAY with — that could easily eat up a chunk leaving less actual gameplay.

However, I’m hoping that SWTOR’s class “core” gameplay is at least a tad unique to each class.  In WoW there is zero uniqueness in the leveling experience.  Pretty much everyone does the same thing, baring one or two zone choices here and there.   I’m hoping for replayability in conversation trees, unique areas and feel per class, and a world that caters to an experience that is more open to decisions and less about funneling people.  I can hope all I want, though.  We can only wait and see.

So, bottom line, 200 hours per class is nothing special.  Looking at it from a Bioware RPG perspective, it rocks.  Looking at it from a MMORPG perspective, it’s not much.

  • 200 Hours = 8 hours a day for 25 days straight. It’s not exactly content-lite compared to say DCUO where you could reach max level within a weekend. It’s comparable to the initial 1-60 leveling from vanilla WOW really.

  • they also said the 200 hours won’t include pvp, raiding, crafting etc..

    And when I played in beta I got to play bounty hunter and imperial agent on hutta, there starting zone and While there was general quests that both classes could do each of these also had multiple good/evil choices and consequences.

    Each class also has there main “epic quest” bounty hunter one was about getting into some kind of hunt so you were on hutta to impress a hut to sponsor you in the hunt.. Imperial agent one I can’t remember lol.

  • I wish they would quit touting their PvE. I know their PvE will be great, they took a good WoW PvE system and made it better with some Bioware storytelling. I’m not worried about their PvE. It’s their PvP system that I’m worried about because they took an already poor PvP system from WoW and made it worse.

    How come for PvE Bioware takes the time to tell a good story and immerse you in the universe but with PvP they decided to put you in a themepark, standing in line for a minigame that rewards you with a few different grinds?

  • i think for me it’s a good amount of time. if i blow through it too fast then at lest i will know it rocked for that bit.

    on a side note: is it just me or do any of you also want to smack swtor, gw2 and tsw liberally in the head for some kind of sign of beta or release date?

  • “they also said the 200 hours won’t include pvp, raiding, crafting etc…” – Agreed.

    Then expect xpacs over time as is standard with a successful AAA game. If someone power levels through the SWTOR dialogue experience then they uberleet levels of deserve disappointment.

    I believe the PvE will be superior to WoW given my experiences with other Bioware games such as KOTOR and let us not forget Jade Empire (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1iAaTLazIU)and then if the raiding and PvP is standard WoW, well then I can only hope to have as many years of enjoyment as WoW provided.

    The power of the Bioware dialogue driven games is the replayability, so plan to multiply the 200 hour PvE figure by a variety of variables such as alignment, class, and companions. I could go back to any of the aforementioned games and play them again years afterwards and have a relatively new and thoroughly entertaining experience regardless of dated graphics (although being evil is always more fun http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uel1P7yRcNY)…

  • Well that’s enough for me to play for what it is: a Bioware/Star Wars game with MMO elements!

  • Put on your flame suit, here come the fanboys to defend a game they’ve never played. because you know, they know so much about it based on PR and screenshots and canned videos.

  • @ Bartillo – there and their, their is the possessive form, “their game”, “their class”. Then we have “they’re”, as in “they are”, abbreviated to they’re.

  • How many WOW expansions have you ripped through? How much time sunk into the AH or BG?

  • That’s 200+ hrs per class. I know at least 3 classes I want to play with 3 completely different strory arcs. Add to that I want to play 2 specs on a few classes (and thus I’ll do different LS/DS choices for story variation). Plenty of content just with this release to last me a really long time.

  • @Kaybek: If the content is unique, even half of it or a fourth of it, that’s really cool. That’s what I’m hoping will be true.

  • I feel quite confident that it will be true given BioWare’s reputation; they would have to drop the ball big time to not deliver at least half of what they seem to promise…

  • @Keen: that’s what they’ve been touting. 50+ novels worth of story content. If it pans out the way they’re saying, I can’t wait. From what folk in beta are saying, it’s panning out too.

  • Its stil la WoW clone with very minimal differences so why really bother other then the story arcs. I myself only intend to play 1 or 2 character for the storylines ONLY because every thing else right down to its battleground pvp and raid or die loot mentality is the same that I played for 6 years in WoW. I jsut hope I have enough time in game till TSW, GW2 or another more sandbox style gameplay comes out.

  • I love WoW clone people. You may well be right but we won’t know until we play it. Personally, I see many differences. Time will tell.

  • “…why really bother other then the story arcs.”

    That is like saying, “I read a comic book once, and I thought it was boring; this new novel, although from a Pulitzer Prize winning author, is just a literary clone as it also utilizes characters and events, just with different storylines”.

    The “story arcs” are a main, if not primary, reason why many of us are looking forward to another BioWare story-driven product. Undoubtedly for me, the most involved, interactive, as well as entertaining game plots were from this company bar none; now this appears to be their most ambitious project to date, and it is an IP that they are well familiar with and wildly popular with all the cool kids like myself, Star Wars. To dismiss this project as “a WoW clone” is incredibly myopic; perhaps you are so intensely focused on the MMO side that you can dismiss the promise of immense dialogue pathways that make radically different from the standard WoW, bring me ten rat tail quest lines.

    Yes we will have to see if they pull it off, but if you had to choose a company and then give them AAA budget to make a follow up on the KOTOR universe, could you think of a better choice than BioWare?


  • I have a friend in the beta and he hates on the game. But the one thing he did say is that all the class-unique questing was the one thing he DID love about the game and it was worth playing through multiple characters because they were all good and unique.

    I can’t speak for the truth of it, but knowing him and how biased against the game he was from the start, it feels even more promising to me, someone who is looking forward to the game.

  • Gankatron if you re-read what I wrote you would see in a round-about-way I agree with you. As stated I only intend to play for the story arcs, however the MMO portion is identical to WoW, hence the WoW clone arguments that you read every where.

    I have no doubt that SWToR will deliver, however it just wont deliver for me on the MMO side of things because as stated other then story almost every major game play element screams WoW clone. Right down to Battlegrounds, Raids as the only endgame way to aquire the best loot (hence the raid crowd will be catered to the most) and an instance grinding for better gear to get to the next raid which in turn is in a tiered concept. All those ‘MAJOR’ elements ahs been done before, and I dont intend to play SWToR and experience any of these elements because I just quit a game that I played for 6 years because I grew bored of that style.

    Give me something more a more broader sandbox endgame, any thing but force me to PvP in instanced battle grounds, Raid, or grind the same dungeons over and over, or Do dailys for rep and gold. Hence the reasons why I am waiting on GW2, Arche Age, or The Secret World to fullfill my MMO time untill a AAA developer gets off their happy ass and make a sandbox game that is the spiritual successor to UO, SWG, Asherons Call.

  • as an addendum, the combat looks static and boring, with no fluidity and movement to differentiate skill. And im not the first person to notice, however I have read that while playing the game its not quite as obvious as watching from a 3rd person perspective from Youtube or some such. Take that for what its worth.

  • I suppose expectations get crossed since no one really knows what to expect from this game; is it primarily an individual/coop PvE story-driven RPG with some fun PvP, or is it a PvP-based MMO with good PvE story lines. I am guessing the former, and so everything looks good to me, but if you are more centered on the PvP aspect (which with a name like Gankatron I certainly love me some PvP!) then I can see how things seem pretty mainstream. I would not expect a sandbox end game, I would guess most of the money is going into supporting the storyline, which at this point is just a mildly educated guess…

  • I also think with an anticipated release date of this Fall, it is pretty amazing that more isn’t known about the true direction of this game; if someone does have any specific insights please share…

  • Devs have talked about some sandbox elements in SWTOR.. Like you soccer a space ship as your home that you can decorate, so player housing and also I read somewhere they want to make cantinas social places maybe adding Pazakk from kotor as a mini game in the future.

  • I’m not particularly defending the game per se: I do agree the combat looks dull, the cartoon characters poor and even the gameplay too much like WoW.

    I’ll get more than value for money from my free month and that’s plenty of time to decide if it’s worth subbing.

    Sadly most MMOs now don’t warrant more than a free month’s play (and many don’t even deserve that).

    This is all assuming I can buy it for <£30 of course.

  • The issue with a statement like “200 hours of core gameplay” with a game like SWTOR, is that it could really mean anything. Are there roughly 3 branching paths through the game that each take about 60 hours? 4 that each take 50? Does every character play roughly the same 200 hour story, with some minor choices that don’t result in story branching so much as award light side/dark side points? How much of that 200 hours is real content, and how much consists of standing still and hitting 1-2-3-4 to kill your 4000th droid foot soldier?

    In other words: Who the hell cares how many “hours” it is. Well, I dunno, obviously a lot of people do care, but saying the “core” class specific gameplay is so many hours long just doesn’t mean anything to me personally. The way I interpret this information is “you’ll have no option but to play through 200 hours of stuff you may or may not enjoy before you can leave the guided tour and start actually playing how you want”. For me, the smaller this number, the better.

    But that’s me. Gameplay mechanics and tone/atmosphere are all I really care about in a game; if I want an involved story, my massive backlog of books and TV shows would give a far better return on my time investment. Not to say a Bioware crafted story won’t be quite good – it’s just that I personally get much more out of a good book than I do out of interactive stories such as one finds in an RPG. To each their own and all.

    I guess this comment is really just a long way of saying “these guys aren’t marketing their game at me”. I guess I should just lament the loss of sandbox, gameplay-driven MMOs like Keen and be done with it. 🙂

  • “Given how much of SWTOR is likely to be reading text — which I am OKAY with — that could easily eat up a chunk leaving less actual gameplay.”

    This is the exact reason I hated both Dragon Age games and one of the reasons I have zero interest in SWOTOR. DA and DA2 felt like watching a game instead of playing one, I honest to god fell asleep the 4 first attempts I made at playing the first game.

  • Thanks Havoc for the great link! This is all very promising assuming much of potentially unfavorable info wasn’t filtered out.

    I think we all like the idea of experiencing the next revolution in gaming mechanics, but the process is more of an evolution, one that this game seems to make significant progress on using the WoW model. Standard usage of multiple intelligent enemies, increased difficulty of encounters, smart companions, responsive and fluid combat, a well designed UI, seem to afford a constant action, heads up or die, “epic” game play experience even at low level. So yes the MMO part appears like WoW, but with steroid rage, which may just be responsible for a significant spike in significant other break ups in the coming Fall…

  • @Proximo: Were you bored with the dialogue choices in the KOTOR series or Jade Empire? I also tend to just click through a lot of text when it is predictable and the outcome is the same, namely please kill these things for me. In the aforementioned games the dialogue choices were not only entertaining, but afforded you bonuses and different quest lines dependent upon how you interacted. If one wants a FPS Team Fortress type of game, I bet active story line participation aspect won’t be as appealing. Admittedly DA didn’t involve me in nearly the same way as KOTOR or JE…

  • First off you can’t make kill 10 x interesting to me at this point. I see through your smoke and mirrors of trying to mask it with excessive text or dialog.

    Bioware is the master at deception, they offer the illusion of choice rather than any meaningful choices. It seems for the vast majority of game the illusion of choice is enough. I liked DA but never loved it like so many other people.

    I will say I’m sort of on the pessimistic band wagon with SWTOR HOWEVER if it is 200 hours of core gameplay per class that is alot. In WoW after about level 20 every class has the exact same story, depending on the zone. So 200 hours could very well be a lot.

  • It is all an illusion, in the end we are all hitting buttons like rats hitting a reward bar, and yet some illusions are better than others…

  • For all this talk about reading text taking up a large chunk of tie, I think SWTOR may be the first MMO I am forced to roleplay in. Despite liking roleplaying, I have just never really felt the urge in any MMO yet, I’ve been far more focused on stats and efficiency. But such a strong focus on story, unskippable dialogue, and probably most importantly, branching dialogue all work together to force you into that mindset. I guess some people may resent being forced to do anything, gaming libertarians that they are, but I like it.

    And as maligned as having two dialogue choices leading to frequently fake decisions that don’t matter is, I feel it is a very useful tool in that it has you CONSTANTLY trying to get into the mind of your character. Even when you look at both choices and think “This sucks, he would say neither of them!”, it has succeeded in having you figure out what he would say.