While browsing Taugrim’s website www.Taugrim.com I came across a well thought out article discussing many of SWTOR’s more fundamental flaws and ways in which Bioware can address them.
Taugrim’s argues that the MMORPG “vertical” model set by World of Warcraft has become stale and unappealing to most gamers. This “vertical” model, in which players increase in levels and gear to “progress” to end game content, requires that constant new end game content be produced in order to keep paying subscribers happy. Even for well made games using this model, Rift, Warhammer Online, Aion etc this is often impossible and for most MMORPGS simply not cost effective. It is simply too expensive to produce the quantity and quality of content subscribers expect in order to compete with the established niche leader World of Warcraft.
Taugrim goes on to argue that next generation MMORPGS will utilize more flexible leveling and content systems such as those seen in upcoming games as Guild Wars 2. Taugrim argues that these games utilize a “horizontal” model in which all game content is scaled to your character (similar to Skyrim) and therefore always relevant. This means that the entire game world is always alive and rewarding to players. GW2 is also free to play, tempering expectations for additional content and ensuring a broader swath of players to build communities and participate with and play against.
If you are interested in a scholarly analysis of ways that SWTOR can be improved and ultimately where MMORPGS are going read on!
The Business Models for MMORPGs Must Evolve
The Soapbox: BioWare, meet ZeniMax; ZeniMax, this is BioWare