The long hours early Star Wars: The Old Republic players devoted to the MMORPG meant they reached end-game more quickly than BioWare estimated.
“We got a game that in contrast to a lot of other MMO’s, was actually fun to sit down and play through the level-up game. Which meant we got the longest play sessions that anybody had ever seen in an MMO,” BioWare’s Daniel Erickson told Gamespy.
“This also meant ‘Oh my god, people have run through this stuff really quick.’ Players moved to a new stage of SWTOR far faster than we expected them to.”
The developer said the first group of players chewed through the initial content offering a “record setting lightning speed”.
“They were moving through it at a rate of six hours on average for a gameplay time. People were just not putting The Old Republic down,” he said.
“We looked at games that had come before in order to figure out where we expected people to be. What we found was that people played SWTOR far more at the beginning.
“And once we got in there, we also realized that a number of features we created to take off the parts from the MMO genre we didn’t like, like making sure you can craft in the field and do almost everything while you’re still moving.”
It seems The Old Republic’s virtues have been both a blessing and a curse for BioWare, as the developer must now design new content and gameplay systems for players who have been trained by the game itself to expect something different from other MMOs. The Group Finder is one example of a system specifically catering to this impatient new breed.