Star Wars: The Old Republic is such a highly-anticipated MMO that the general consensus is that if it doesn’t succeed; the entire MMO industry is going to back to the drawing board. The subscription model, outside of World of Warcraft, will officially be considered dead, and everyone will immediately start converting their big-name MMOs to free to play games.
In the past, if your game wasn’t WoW, it followed a predictable pattern. It would launch to a ton of hype and get close to a million users in its first, free, month only to have 70% (or more) of those players bail and return to WoW before the monthly subscription kicked in. The only game recently where this didn’t happen was Rift, and that’s because Trion simply copied all of the popular features over from WoW, launched the game polished, and listened to its players to see what they wanted to see in the game; and added it.
Aside from Rift, nearly every other MMO that tried to compete against WoW failed for one reason or another. In most cases, they preached one feature that was more innovative than what WoW had to offer, while failing in other departments. Warhammer had its PVP, DC Universe Online had its action-based combat, etc.
At this stage in The Old Republic’s development, we’re hearing a lot about its “innovative” fully-voiced quests (seven years after EQ2 tried it) but thanks to the closed beta NDA we’re not hearing too much about specific other features. If The Old Republic wants to not just complete against World of Warcraft, but survive past its first month and not become another MMO casualty, there are some mistakes in the MMO genre that it must avoid. Here are five big ones…