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The Lure of the Dark Side

USA Today reports early indications that the dark side of The Force is strong with Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare's Star Wars MMORPG (thanks Ant via TheForce.Net). Here are some stats:

  • They prefer the Dark Side of the Force. Of the more than 3.8 million characters created, there are 550,000 Sith Warriors and 510,000 Jedi Knights.
  • They have logged 28 million in-game hours roughly equivalent to watching all six Star Wars movies, two million times.
  • They average more than five hours a day playing the game.
  • They have killed more than two billion non-player characters in the eight days since early game access began.

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17. Re: The Lure of the Dark Side Dec 24, 2011, 21:58 Stormsinger
Ozmodan wrote on Dec 24, 2011, 17:04:
JohnBirshire wrote on Dec 24, 2011, 11:40:
Fion wrote on Dec 24, 2011, 11:15:
550'000 Sith Warriors to 510'00 Jedi Knights seems pretty balanced to me. The PvP (from what I've experienced) is pretty balanced as well. I play Republic side and win about half our matches. It's more than I can say for that other MMOG that has yet to find balance in almost 7 years.

Well, unfortunately that might change in the future. Having played almost every PvP related MMO over the last 15 years, I've noticed a phenomenon. It's called "join the winning team", and it might be human nature. Once one side starts winning more than the other, even if it's 51/49, people who want to win start switching to the winning side. Then it becomes 52/48, 60/40, 65/35, until it's unbalanced. You see the phenomenon outside of gaming too, with people suddenly being "huge fans" of whichever sport's team is good that year, etc. Might be premature to call the PvP in this game "balanced".

The most balanced PvP games I've seen were ones where there were more than two factions, as then the weaker factions team up to defeat the strongest. Planetside with three sides, Dark Age of Camelot with three sides, etc. In my opinion if there are only two sides, Horde/Alliance, Sith/Jedi, it will NEVER be balanced.

This point is exactly right. Two sided pvp never works because of the above reasons. If you want to play SWTOR for pvp you better do it now because the servers will be empty in 6 months.

There are many ways to make two-sided pvp can instance things and ensure the numbers are equal, you can modify combat values to "handicap" the less popular side (and even automate the handicapping), you can have mirrored classes on both sides, to reduce the inherent appeal/power of unique classes (not my own choice of approach, but it can work).

"Never" is almost always wrong.
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