SWL and TSW Discussion

What do you like and/or dislike about SWL, and what makes SWL better and/or worse than TSW?

Ps. Do you think the bar was set so high with current content in TSW that anyone will ever be happy with new content released in SWL? Are our expectations too high, and that’s part of the reason we’re not seeing new content?

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I could have kept playing TSW for years without an additional drop of new content.


Because it had enough content to keep things fresh. 6 more dungeons 2 more raids and 3 more PvP zones with a combat system that actually made PvP exciting to play. Also it had a gearing system that I wasn’t embarrassed to explain to new players due to its obtuse grindy nature.

I told people about TSW whenever I had the chance. I struggle to focus on the positives when recommending SWL to a friend. That’s not just due to veteran salt, I don’t think anyone who knows me would argue that I didn’t give SWL the benefit of the doubt.

PvP was a large aspect of the replayable enjoyment for me in TSW as I would often use PvP as a way to break the PvE grind. Then when I felt like it or if something new came out in the PvE world I would take a break from PvP, it was a nice balance and there was lots to do on both sides of the fence.

What is perhaps even more important is that TSW had both a strong PvE and PvP community and wasn’t hemoraging players exponentially. I know steam charts are not the be all end all of the playerbase but take a look at the 5 years of TSW and compare it to the 2 years of SWL. Even in TSW’s “dieing” days it still held a population that was fairly consistent over its lifespan. SWL on the other hand is pretty much a straight downhill rollercoaster ride.

TSW had a community. SWL had a community in the spirits and dreams of what it once was.


TSW also had the benefit of being more open to playing the various roles/weapon combinations. Using a different spec in SWL, because of the way the signet system works, is a exercise in masochism. Yay, I have a KSR of Energy MK2. Do I really want to grind another neck signet up to 20 and another ring signet up to play with this? Not really.

It was quite enjoyable to have multiple combinations of weapons in TSW (Sword/Hammer solo, pvp, and tank; Pistol/Shotgun, Blood/Ele, Sword/Fist DPS; Chaos/Blood healtank; etc). The idea of doing so in SWL?

Hell no. I eventually had to retire my sword I used for a long while because of this (I simply use it as a weapon distillate dump at this point, nothing else to use them on-- might have to red my Sanity’s Aphelion next).


I read somewhere SWL was made the way it was to take the burden of making so many choices of off the player. Here is an article that suggests that, but it’s not the one I read.

I loved that about TSW. I only played TSW for 6 months, and then I heard it was going to be relaunched. I was pretty devastated. There was still so much left for me to do. I hadn’t gotten through all of the things TSW had to offer. Vendors still had things that I needed to figure out. TSW was my first “MMO”, so back then I didn’t know you could Google how to play. I liked going to the London post office and shopping in London and seeing other people there. Actually using our factions HQs and Venice and all the vendors spread out to find. I played solo while I was there so I didn’t get to see all of the dungeons. I’m only able to watch them on YouTube. I’m not a veteran, and I still like TSW more than SWL. SWL is too easy in my opinion. I think that’s one of the reasons people don’t stay long.

Oh and alllll those passives in TSW! Why remove that wheel???


Looking at those Steam graphs, it looks like the relaunch was a foolish mistake commercially as well as critically. Maybe this has been somewhat offset by the different monetisation model, but a different model could have been introduced in the old game without breaking it. I suppose it’s a human universal that most people don’t altogether know what they’re doing, but it’s always shocking when when people at this level get it so wrong. The game is dead. Nothing lasts forever. Maybe the story universe, or something similar, will be reborn in some other form at some point.


The biggest strength of both titles has always been the story telling aspect for me. Playing other MMOs since TSW launched has always left me feeling disappointed in the writing and how game story expands in other titles. I think that the way SWL had its missions restructured slightly to provide more directed flow to how players progress through zones is an improvement over TSW. Having played TSW before the New Player Experience started, it was interesting to see how there were steps taken to guide the player around, where in TSW there was much more “here’s the zone, happy blundering!” On the one hand, it meant that people seemed to get a much better grasp of the zones, but it arguably did dumb it down a bit - on the whole, I found it to be a more approachable system that was a positive change.

I think that for the most part, combat in SWL is better than it was in TSW. In TSW I saw countless new players stop playing because the complexity of the wheel meant they ended up with builds that gimped themselves. When I first started playing TSW, I decided I was going to play a chain build. I got a long way into the game before I tried out a different type of build and suddenly discovered that I was doing about 30% more damage. A lot depended on how soon new players got into a social group who could help them correct the mistakes they were making in their builds - that’s not something which really happens in SWL, which is a positive change. The only real place for build diversity was PVP, and that could be really frustrating if you ran into something like a glance tank, and you hadn’t yet bought abilities to counter that build. I never really liked PVP very much in TSW - I’ve played it loads in other titles, but TSW’s just never really did it for me. Fusang was occasionally fun, but for the most part it was just zerg or be zerged. I’d have like to see SH and ED in SWL, though I suspect that the purges in AR would have meant that would have dominated pretty badly.

The gearing system in SWL is another double edged sword. In TSW, I could get a new item to max in under a week - as a veteran player there was very little reward left in the game for me. The power creep meant that I outgeared almost everything, and once I’d managed to grind my AEGIS up then there was almost nothing to challenge me.
TSW had more content yes, but it was pretty irrelevant because I could just blitz everything. It was like going into an e2 dungeon in e10 gear now - my character was just OP, and it wasn’t just me being great, our gear made everything trivial. The only thing I did that presented any kind of challenge was the single kaidan dungeon that I was grinding at that time for AEGIS kits. I was still running other stuff to help gear other people, but the challenge and reward were gone from most of the game, and the frustration of grinding a single dungeon for a chance to roll for a dropped module was pretty high. At least now I know I can run any e10 dungeon and it’ll be more of a challenge than anything in TSW was after a couple of years.

I think that the changes to the gear system have been a mixed bag. On the one hand, I’ve been playing for years and still haven’t maxed my gear out, but on the other, you’re a lot more restricted in terms of flexibility. I’ve got all the weapons at mythic or legendary, so have gone with agnostic signets to give me more options, but it’s still noticeable when I swap away from my highest levelled weapons (which isn’t really a HUGE shock). It’s nice to still be getting some kind of progression rewards, but the rate is so slow that it ceased to be much of an incentive some time ago.

I think the biggest change I’ve seen between the two games has been in the community. Overall, it’s still one of the best out there, but I think the relaunch was a bit of FC shooting itself in the foot, and then the community shot the other foot in protest.
The launch of SWL was accompanied by much wailing and gnashing of teeth by some in the TSW community. It was understandable that they were (are) upset that FC would change so many systems and force us to start over, but looking back, I don’t really see much in the way of alternative options. They changed so much about the way gear works, there wasn’t going to be a good way to swap over without creating a massively disproportionate imbalance between vets and new players, and removing the process of learning the way weapons work now. The new weapon gimmicks are a mixed bag, but you do need to spend a bit of time working out how to play each weapon right. That’s not something that was really true in TSW, where 90% of the builds played exactly the same, just with a bit of variety in range.

The TSW community’s acrimony meant that SWL had a lot more negativity, and some people who were great in TSW became loudly toxic in SWL. The nostalgia factor meant that many of TSW’s failings were ignored and it became a common thing to hear people talking about how much better it was before the relaunch. I don’t think that new players were too badly effected by that, though it certainly wore down a lot of people who didn’t think SWL’s changes were that bad. I do wonder how SWL’s launch would have been if TSW hadn’t preceeded it. I susect there would be fewer complaints about the gear grind (there would still be complaints, because the system is flawed) but I think that there needed to be more changes to the mission design to avoid making the obvious (and understandbale) comparisons.


Normally I hate pvp in evey other game I have played. But in TSW pvp was great. There was no toxicity, community was great and the design system allowed me to be useful part of pvp teams. And most of all, it was fun.


Best part of SWL was launch… and just because, only because, I saw all the old friends playing together like we used to play before Tokyo. Then when everyone had played story trough and IP grinding was a head… everyone was gone again. That, was only good thing about SWL to me.

Why I loved TSW? Because it was the best MMORPG ever made. Devs were great, they asked us to test stuff and gave us cool stuff. They played with us… I mean, like having a bike race with Tomium at Kingsmouth Airfield :smiley:

What was best part of TSW? Weekend mornings, with cup of coffee and cool kids in Fusang


That looks fun.

I guess my story is similar to yours. TSW was my first experience with a MMO and I started playing about 9 months before the relaunch was announced. I even started playing the game with the intention of ignoring everyone else and just focusing on the solo story content. Then I was randomly approached by a stranger during the Anniversary event and invited to join a cabal. I took a chance and it completely changed the entire experience for me. If I never got involved with the amazing community of TSW, I probably would have finished the storyline and moved on thinking the game was kinda interesting but nothing too great.

The thing I miss the most about TSW, from a gameplay standpoint, was the gear/ability diversity. I really miss tinkering with builds to try to accomplish something out of the ordinary. A friend and I ran all the NM dungeons duo, and we had to get really creative to get past some of the fights. I even did Polaris NM solo without any NM raid gear. It was a fun and difficult challenge. Any similar challenge in SWL would be more about grinding gear up to a high enough level.

Let’s not forget that TSW also had this strange thing called “healing”. That was my preferred role as soon as I discovered dungeons. Then I had even more fun with it once I discovered PVP, especially Shambala. Similarly, I miss playing the hybrid classes of TSW like leecher and healtank. Sustain tank is pretty boring in comparison.

To be fair, some things have been improved in SWL. The museum is less grindy, though arguably less rewarding as well. The improved wardrobe makes it easier to know what cosmetics are in the game and how to get them. It’s less fun than going around to all the different shops, but much more convenient. Teleportation and the way Agartha is set up makes getting to the individual zones a lot easier. I liked the shortened scenarios. I tended to avoid scenarios for the most part in TSW because it was too long and not really rewarding unless you lucked into a mythic augment. Occult Defense was a good addition and something I would have loved to do in TSW.

I’ve always said that the biggest flaw with SWL is that TSW existed. Basically, SWL isn’t a bad game in and of itself; It’s just a worse version of TSW. It’s kind of like watching a movie that is an inferior remake of a great movie. Those who are unaware of the original, or weren’t all that attached to it, might enjoy the new movie for what it is, while it’s a lot harder for those who were emotionally invested in the original to ignore all the changes.


That’s debatable. The performance is terrible despite the dated graphics, which by itself is both pretty bad and a huge negative in terms of competing with, well, the competition, as opposed to TSW.

The gear system is boring and insanely grindy (name another game where getting a cool new toy is this frustrating); the latter absolutely kills the remnants of classless system; creating builds is less interesting than in any half-way decent class-based MMO; combat completely lacks impact; the PvP is an insult to the term; the endgame is the most lackluster I’ve seen in a long time; and SWL doesn’t even have, and thus utterly fails to monetize, the convenience of an account bank.

I don’t see how what improvements there are - and whether Mallgartha/Jumpgartha is an improvement in terms of atmosphere/story is still debatable - are big enough to take all that out of the bad game territory.

As such, I’d definitely say SWL is a bad game with a good story.

Still, you are certainly correct in the sense that it’ll be easier to tolerate that game if you didn’t seem most - and arguably more - of the story in a better game.

However, just looking a Steam Reviews, overall it doesn’t seem to be anywhere near tolerable enough even to many apparently new players. And some of the best-written, comprehensive positive reviews there essentially boil down to “worth running through for the story, not worth playing for the game”, which I for one consider absolutely spot-on.

As opposed to TSW, where the performance was terrible, despite the graphics which were unimpressive at launch and dated quickly.

The franchise has alwas been really badly optimised, the only difference really is that SWL was competing with games released several years later with better graphics. TSW had plenty of negative reviews about the graphics other than the backgrounds, which are still gorgeous.

which had 2012 competition at launch, but who cares about that detail, right?

The detail that I mentioned already? Or did you just stop reading after the first paragraph?

TSW’s graphics in 2012 were unimpressive, as was noted in a lot of reviews. They weren’t particularly bad, but they were never a selling point when compared to the 2012 competition. There were calls to update the graphics and combat animations since TSW beta, saying that they felt dated and clunky for a new title.

In terms of performance, there seems to be a range of people who found either TSW or SWL to run better. There’s not enough data to give a clear picture about which runs better on average though. /shrug

The thing is, TSW’s graphics were unimpresse. SWL’s graphics were, by launch date standards, a steaming pile of dung, especially given how much performance the game needs to get that nothing much.

Similarly, it doesn’t really matter whether SWL runs better than TSW; again, what matters is that for entirely too many people, SWL performance is, essentially, an oxymoron.

Was the lipsync tech in cutscenes better in TSW than in SWL, or am I misremembering?

I had mentioned that before in the discord. About how I read that there were complaints about graphics and cutscenes, and I got tooons of backlash as if it wasn’t true. I know I read that somewhere.

With regards to the graphics I think what TSW and SWL has is a very unique feel. The character profiles are very gritty and have a much more realistic feel then most MMO. I find character creation in many MMOs despite being extremely detailed to force a perfect look. Scenery and landscape I think was well ahead of its time for an MMO especially for TSW. Animations felt a bit better in TSW oddly enough. They feel far more floaty in SWL or maybe I’ve just been doing the ballerina chaos spin kick too long.


I actually only meant the cutscenes. I personally love the way the rest of the game looks. It’s one of the reasons I stayed to play.