GameSpy's Concerns About Star Wars: The Old Republic

GameSpy has put together an editorial to explain some of their concerns about the upcoming Star Wars: The Old Republic, with topics ranging from voice acting to choices and consequences to the UI. Considering how just one week ago we reported on a similar editorial from them, dedicated to Bethesda's Skyrim, and how they subsequently awarded the title a perfect score, one can hope that BioWare's MMO will follow a similar path, and these apparent problems won't affect the game too much.

Here's on consequences and user interface:
Decisions Without Consequences

By now we're likely all aware that some of the inescapable hallmarks of MMORPGs are quests that require you to "kill X of Y" and collect "Y of X" for fun and profit, but many games at least hide it well. Strip away the hours of dialogue and the wonderfully animated cut scenes, and you'll find that The Old Republic presents this formula in what may be its most quintessential form.

That would be fine had it felt like your decisions in the conversation wheels for each quest had any real impact on solo play. Players could once lose their NPC companions if they made too many decisions that ran contrary to that NPC's disposition; now they just get a stern reply or two and a loss of buddy points. Without any real consequences, the entire decision-making aspect of the game and questing in general feels hollow.

You're Stuck With the User Interface

This is a relatively minor concern for me since I'm one of those nutballs who usually doesn't have a problem using a game's native interface, but many players cringe at the thought that you're essentially stuck with the tools BioWare gives you. That means that you can't resize your hot bars, you can't move many items to a different location on the screen, and, at the very least, you're stuck with a cheery blue interface that just oozes with Jedi pomposity when you're playing as a Sith character. It's not unworkable by any means (and you can move some items, such as the chat window, to another location), but the hardcore MMO crowd is likely to be up in arms about this one.