Star Wars: The Old Republic as a Single-player Game

One of the editors over at Ars Technica editorializes about how he originally intended to play Star Wars: The Old Republic as a single player RPG, only to realize later on that the structure of the game's higher level quests and Flashpoints made such an experiment an exercise in futility.
As I began to make life and death decisions about characters in the game, they began to correspond with me via the in-game mailboxes. If I had treated them well in the past, they might also send me useful items. It's a neat touch, as if friends and enemies have become pen pals and are keeping me up to date on their actions since we met. In some cases, my decisions in the game had strong consequences for my story, and so far I've been very happy with Bioware's ability to make my personal journey feel like it's exactly that. To my surprise and delight, it seems like being a single person tackling the game is not only possible, but enjoyable.

RPGs with great stories and gameplay can really get into your head. I soon found myself chatting with other players about this or that, and offering advice and help to those who were just starting. I sold a friend on the game during one late-night conversation, and he was shocked to find me talking in MMO terms and describing which missions were possible without other human players.

It was all going so well on my own until I encountered my first flashpoint.


My group disbanded after the flashpoint and I found myself in a brand new area, the second lightsaber in my hand. I was still curious about what the game would be like in the later levels if I stuck to playing by myself, and I couldn't wait to continue the storyline to see what happened next. Then I saw another mission pop up. The game let me know that I would need to bring some friends along. I sighed with resignation. My experiment in solo play would be a failure.

I opened the chat window. "Looking for group," I typed and then fell into the dark side of gaming.