Growing up in the 70’s, Star Wars was a huge part of my life. My sister and I played with the action figures, reenacting scenes from the movies, and creating our own stories. I read everything I could get my hands on about the Star Wars universe. As I grew up a bit, my interest in Star Wars ebbed and flowed somewhat, but I remained a fan. In college, while interning at Walt Disney World, I purchased a number of WEG roleplaying books, that were sent to Property Control – an employee-only store for damaged and discontinued items, sold at a significant discount. I played on a handful of Star Wars MUSHes in the mid-to-late 90’s, sharing the storytelling experience not with others around a table, but with people logged in from different parts of the planet – using a text-based system to create adventures that could have happened alongside the canon that existed in film and book form. Where previously the ability to game was limited by who was able to show up at a specific location at the appointed time, now people could log in to a common web address, using telnet, TinyFugue, or similar, from a computer lab, or their homes, if they had modems, and roleplay with people they’d never met face-to-face. I continued to play on various MUSHes for several years, even as technology grew, and text-based games became passé.
Far more interested in the story than the combat, I originally dismissed MMO’s as glorified MUDs – hack & slash dungeons that now had moving pictures instead of blocks of text. Although a great number of my friends played EQ or WOW, I had no interest in them – nothing I’d heard contained any story, a reason why your character was tackling a quest, beyond fame or gold. I was interested in how the choices you made affected your character, not leveling for its own sake.
But last year I started hearing about a new MMO, one based in a universe I was already familiar with – and the articles I read promised a more developed story element than anything else I’d heard of in the MMO genre. I preordered SW:TOR, and anxiously awaited my chance to beta test. When I got the email invitation, I gushed about it with other friends in a similar boat, and we talked about which storyline we planned to explore first.
I haven’t been disappointed. I have been learning my way around the MMO style of play, while immersing myself quite giddily in the stories of my smuggler, and the others I’ve taken for a spin. I recently got my ship back from the NPC who stole it in the opening scenes of the smuggler storyline, and am just beginning to learn the space navigation system.
This post was originally written for a Star Wars: The Old Republic game blog that has since been closed down. So I decided to repost it here.