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tldr, My question is this: Is SWTOR a game that is heavily focused on players at the level cap, or is bulk of the game focused on characters that are still leveling?

And now a little of my boring backstory and bloody-minded opinion. (context)

I have noticed in recent MMORPGs(my experience includes WoW,Rift,Warhammer,Lotr) that there is a tendency to focus on one character. It seems like they are designed for people to focus on the end game, i.e. playing characters at the level cap, be it with pvp or raids or long quest chains, etc. I remember feeling like the game was finally beginning when I finished leveling.

I was in on some of the beta, but only got to lvl 11, but by now I'm sure somebody has made it to whatever the level cap is. While it may be a little early to tell what direction future development will take, it might be plain to see from the current content.

Does anybody have any insight on this?

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The story/quests seem focused on leveling characters, but there seems to be a lot that level 50s get as well with advanced flashpoints and whatever. I'm only lvl22 though so I don't know what it's like at lvl50. –  Matthew Read Jan 5 '12 at 21:42
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Note that decisions you make early in the game can have long-term effects, and the Jedi Knight storylines supposedly have the most such repercussions. Thus in addition to playing each class, you can change your specialization and morality to gain a second perspective on each of the class stories. –  Joshua Shane Liberman Jan 6 '12 at 19:41
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2 Answers

it has both, but what sets this game apart from other MMOs is the storylines. So basically you could say the 'end game' is playing another char and enjoying its storyline. 8 classes, 8 storylines. So in that way, this game is much more focused in the journey than in the destination.

Because, let's face it, if what you enjoy is doing the same dungeon over and over and over for a chance to complete your 'pink armor set', WoW is a better choice for that :)

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Every MMO is all about grinding something. They want you to keep playing the game (Doesn't matter if it is Pay2Play or Free2Play with a cash shop... that is the point). –  Adanion Jan 5 '12 at 21:53
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@Adanion, I think "grinding" story is better that any other kind of grinding an MMO can have. –  svick Jan 5 '12 at 22:10
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I don't consider it 'grinding'. To me, grinding is doing something you don't want to do, to get to the 'good part'. If you're enjoying the game all the way through, then it's not a grind. (Otherwise you could say reading any book or watching any movie is a grind too) –  Rodolfo Jan 5 '12 at 22:26
    
Right, but you made a potshot at WoW in your answer... but I argue that end game for every MMO is all about grinding. Grinding gear, grinding materials to make items, grinding rep etc. IMO your answer should be about what SWTOR brings to the table while getting to end game. –  Adanion Jan 5 '12 at 22:30
    
Is there a wiki listing quests&flashpoints that is complete? I'm really looking for some comparison of leveling content to end-game content. –  tugs Jan 6 '12 at 17:50
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OK, pulled the following data together from torhead.com. (manually, hooray...) enter image description here enter image description here

As you can see, there is a sizeable jump in both missions and items at level 50. (The number is triple the overall average in both cases.) It looks to me like the game has a lot of content for the end-game.

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the question is not if the game has end-game content, is if it's focused on end-game, and it's not. It obviously has things to do at max level, and more will be incorporated I'm sure, but the focus is not end-game. –  Rodolfo Jan 9 '12 at 14:11
    
From the data I pulled, it looks like it is. It's possible that the feeling of the story telling might affect this. It's also possible that the average level of the current player population affects this, in which case I'd say time will tell. I freely admit that these numbers may not reflect time spent per level, but factoring in #characters and story-choice replayability still leaves lvl 50 with 3x the content of the other levels. –  tugs Jan 9 '12 at 20:12
    
not really. You're comparing lvl 50 against each other lvl #. But add 2 levels (like 40 and 46) and you have more quests than what you have at 50. And I wouldn't look at the # of items either, as all pvp items are marked as lvl 50 for some reason. You can look at that data, or take the word of someone who's made 3 level 50 characters (2 in beta 1 in live) –  Rodolfo Jan 9 '12 at 21:02
    
Except that there was also the word of someone else who made the exact opposite statement... not sure if that was based on experience, but ideally there shouldn't be a need for trust? Just so that I'm understanding your argument correctly, your assertion is that because of the story telling focus of the game there is incentive to replay with a different character, thereby shifting the bulk of the game's focus onto time played while leveling? Do the stories wrap up as you complete lvl 50 quests reducing interest in your max lvl character? –  tugs Jan 10 '12 at 18:01
    
My point is that what sets this game apart from all the other MMOs is the focus on storylines. At level 50 the storyline is over, so it turns into a standard 'grind same mission over and over for X item', and at that, it obviously holds no candle against the other MMOs. You could see (as I do) the 'end-game' content here as making new alts and follow their storylines to 50. At an average of, say, 1 month/character (more or less depending on your time), that's 8 months of solid playing before you have to worry about what to do at 50. –  Rodolfo Jan 10 '12 at 20:12
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