How much is SWTOR Worth?

Me: “I don’t think I’m going to be sticking with The Old Republic.”

My wife: “Wait, you paid $150 for the stupid collector’s edition and aren’t sticking with it? Are you serious?”

The discussion then proceeded into her asking me if the extra stuff was worth it, to which I answered a solid.”Actually, no. It’s not.”

Now, I’ll get my money’s worth eventually.  I intend on playing SWTOR for a while (around 4 months to justify the cost vs. purchasing other games), but I can’t see myself playing for the seven years I dedicated to World of Warcraft.  Instead, I intend on playing Star Wars: The Old Republic as though it were Knights of the Old Republic 3, experiencing the various stories and classes with the endgame gear-grind only a tingle of a thought in the back of my mind.

If you’re like me, you’ve been fiending for BioWare to release KOTOR 3 for the better part of a decade.  So when they announced the MMO entry of the franchise, the online addict in me rejoiced.

As an MMO, SWTOR is every bit as polished as any other triple-A MMO (and more than most). But what about as a single-player game? I mean, it wouldn’t be a BioWare title if the storyline didn’t take precedence over anything else, right?

Well, yeah.  And the storyline’s are good.

So it’s KOTOR 3, then?  Or just as good as?

Eh…well, maybe.  Kinda.  Let’s just say that I’m torn on that particular point.

Having made my way to level 50 on my Sith Inquisitor, I can honestly say that the game’s leveling content is phenomenal. The class quests are brilliant, and each planet has its own enthralling narrative.  The flashpoints (instances) are hit or miss, with some being story-driven and others being WoW-style dungeon crawls.  Depending on your preference, there have to be a couple you’ll really enjoy.

The thing is, though, SWTOR is still a themepark MMO with straight-outta-Azeroth combat (don’t let the no autoattack fool you; it’s WoW combat with a laggier UI) and The Burning Crusade‘s endgame.  Only with lightsabers and a fantastic story.  If that’s not your kind of game, let’s just say these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.

After having done a week’s worth of dailies and PvP, I’m tired of the game at 50.

I still have a lot of content to see (especially as my class quest bugged just a little into Chapter 3–I’ll have to finish it up once BioWare figures out how to fix me), but I’m having a hard time making myself log into my 50.  Instead, I’ve been playing a Jedi Guardian and Jedi Shadow, trying to decide which one will let me most enjoy the Republic’s storylines.

Given that I kind of dread logging into my main, I have to ask the question, is SWTOR worth it?  After splurging on the CE to my wife’s chagrin and setting up a subscription, is SWTOR worth the time and the money?

I think so, yes.

The leveling content is good.  Real good.  Awesome good.

While the gameplay mechanics may be old-hat and the endgame a carbon copy of The Burning Crusade, the narrative is solid BioWare.  And if  the developers are even half as good as Trion in producing regular updates, then you’ll definitely see a lot of value for your subscription. (The first patch they’ve announced already includes a new 4-person flashpoint and additional raid bosses, so they seem to be on the right track.)

If you’re a sucker for a good story, The Old Republic is worth every penny.

In fact, the more you can immerse yourself in the narrative and get over the fact that you’re repeating planet quests on alts, the value of the game skyrockets.  At just $15 a month, getting 200+ hours of gameplay (which is what BW estimated each playthrough should have) isn’t a bad deal.

But if you’re an endgame junkie, if min-maxing is your thing, and you have to grind for gear, points, progression, whatever, I’m not sure that The Old Republic is the game for you.  It’s probably not even close to worth it because the content just isn’t there yet.  It will be eventually, but right now, there just isn’t much variety for that playstyle.

Personally, my plan is to experience the stories, work through the Republic side of the planets, and hook up with friends whenever we can.  I’m not worrying about gear or progression or even seeing the raids and level 50 content just yet.  I am going to be playing other MMOs at the same time (F2P offerings, actually–Dungeons and Dragons Online and DC Universe Online are my current mistresses) and doing what I can to enjoy myself and not burn out.

As a game, SWTOR is worth it.  As one’s sole hobby, it’s not quite there yet.  You’ll have to determine how and why you play MMOs to see if it’s worth it to you.


By B.J. Keeton

B.J. KEETON is a writer, teacher, and runner. When he isn't trying to think of a way to trick Fox into putting Firefly back on the air, he is either writing science fiction, watching an obscene amount of genre television, or looking for new ways to integrate fitness into his geektastic lifestyle. He is also the author of BIRTHRIGHT and co-author of NIMBUS. Both books are available for Amazon Kindle.


  1. I have still not tried Star Wars, though I think if I ever do it will be to pretend I’m playing KOTOR 3 and not an MMO.

    Can you explain what you mean when you say the end-game is a carbon copy of The Burning Crusade? That was my favourite time in WoW as far as raiding is concerned.

    1. It was one of my favorite times, but it was also one of the most frustrating. The way SWTOR is similar is that there are vasty easy ways to get PvP gear and the gear is incredibly fast-coming. That same gear is roughly comparable to PvE gear, which means people are neglecting the PvE content (even though it is accessible) because it requires more time/effort to get.

      There are a series of dailies/weeklies that reward both PvE and PvP content, though the PvE content is limited with raid lockouts and then you’re stuck doing the more rewarding, repeatable PvP stuff. There are only 3 Warzones, however, so you get a lot of repeats.

      It’s already turning into a grind for tokens/points to get epic gear just to be able to compete with the other people who are doing the same thing.

      The PvE content is back to grinding for Badges of Justice to be able to get gear to run raids that are either over or undertuned, and at the moment, people are having issues that there just isn’t enough to do PvE-wise, much like the complaints about TBC because of attunements and overtuning.

      The real issue is people coming from a 7-year-old MMO to a new one and expecting the same level of play they had. It’s just not possible, but they’re not treating it as a new creature.

  2. “I intend on playing Star Wars: The Old Republic as though it were Knights of the Old Republic 3”

    This is at the root of what pisses me off most about SWTOR. I wanted KOTOR 3, not a friggin’ sub MMO.

    …OK, I’m not all *that* mad, but this does explain why I’m not buying the game. BioWare should have stuck with making offline games.

    1. I’m the same way. I like the game and all, but the subscription model is really irritating me. I want to be able to play on *my* terms, and I can’t because I feel like I’m wasting money otherwise. I’d be a lot more comfortable with it being a single-player game or even a less-polished F2P game or (ideally) a hybrid multiplayer game like Guild Wars or Diablo, where I can play with others but don’t have to.

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