The bane of fanboys across the ‘verse, The Picky Geek is a column that takes the glaring faults of popular games, puts them under a magnifying glass, and leaves them there until they’ve been fried by the sun. With snark, cynicism, and maybe even a little hyperbole, Ryan Larrabee explores why he never gets invited to any games industry Christmas parties.
Games expand and evolve, we here (me) at the Picky Geek realize that. So, once in awhile, when a game I’ve covered releases an update or other change, I might just craft a follow-up to the original article, examining whether or not my original gripes were fixed.
The first game to get this treatment is, fitting enough, the first game to get a Picky Geek article: Star Wars: The Old Republic. The game’s recently released 1.2 update adds a good amount of content and fixes, but is it enough? Let’s take a look at my past complaints.
1. The Bugs
The last time I brought this up, people seemed to think that I was angry that the game had any bugs at all. Not so; it just had more bugs than I felt was reasonable with such a long beta period. Does it still have an excessive amount of bugs? I’d say so, though it’s not quite as bad as it was before, and 1.2 managed to be released without completely breaking the game, so there’s a small victory, I suppose.
2. The Community
The short answer is “What community?” The majority of the game’s population seems to have vacated, leaving the dozens of servers opened up during the game’s launch to rot as ghost towns. Currently, there’s about two servers that everyone seems to have fled to, and that have enough people to incur queue times during peak hours.
As far as the people themselves go, it seems the exodus of subscribers has left the remainder more mindful of their neighbors. Well, at least a little bit. I still encountered a few times when people would steal quest items I was blatantly fighting for, or block vendors in their speeders, but overall it seemed less frequent.
3. The Lack of Endgame
Now this one is the most obviously improved. Sure, 1.2 added a raid and heroic five man dungeon, but the big fix to this issue was the ability to play against your same faction in the Voidstar warzone–also the addition of Novare Coast, where the same thing is possible. Why is this so great? It’s because those who are interested in endgame PvP can play something other than the endless rounds of Huttball they were relegated to previously, thanks to the crazy faction imbalance.
4. The Customer Service
I actually don’t have a whole heap of information on this one, but from what I’ve heard the customer service reps are just as incoherent and helpless as ever. Though have we really come to expect anything less from EA as of late?
So, has the game improved? Yes, I would say so. However, it’s still about where it should have been at launch, and BioWare is going to have to work pretty damn hard in order to bring back those lost subscribers. Attracting new ones will be a new thing altogether.