Armory type sites in games, and especially mmos, provide a great resource for tracking your characters progress finding out how the best players are specced/ what gear they’re wearing, and figuring out how you rank in PVE and PVP on a global scale. The flip side of the coin is that where all of these statistics are made public there are those out there that would judge you’re skill and experience based solely on your character page, without any social interaction whatsoever. Whatever your stance on the subject (which I’m sure you’ll let fly in the comments) let’s go over some of the useful functions and bonuses a swtor profile could perform in a game like The Old Republic.
While it may not help the productivity at work, an armory would make the Old Republic accessible from any device with a browser. Now of course you wouldn’t actually be playing the game, but some of the secretarial tasks like figuring out an optimal build/gear combo, or making a list of final codex entries you need to collect could be taken care of in small slivers of time throughout the day instead of cutting into precious playtime.
If guild functionality was added, the guild leaders out there would have much more to work with when putting together operations groups, or figuring out an optimal way to distribute loot. A form of the discontinued “Guild HQ” would blend well with the armory giving prospective members a snapshot of the guilds accomplishments, and Guilds a place to refer future candidates.
Ranked Warzones are on the horizon and their bringing with them a whole bevy of stats and rankings people are going to want to show off and share. The swtor profile would provide a great place to do that, and in the same way it would for guilds, ranked warzone team pages would be a great way to organize your group and gather info on the competition.
Of course the whole idea of having “Ranked Warzones” means that you’re playing for something and that there will be winners and losers. Again the “pre-season” we will be entering upon patch 1.3’s launch implies that there will be some sort of ladder ranking system for the teams. While having a simple list of the teams would be sufficient, tying it into the armory site would let people check out the best players and encourage them to become better themselves. Encouraging and supporting this kind of competition between players is something the game direly needs, and would give more meaning to the endgame PVP experience.
Expand the Legacy
Bioware has made it clear that the legacy system is one of the features that make the Old Republic Unique among its MMO brethren. Why not take it to the web, by providing a web based interface that people can use to organize their family trees and check out those of their friends. And if you get ganked by a level 50 on Tatooine, you’ll know exactly what characters to look out for when you’re back on your main.
Eventually the legacy system could be expanded to allow you to place other real characters (with acceptance of course) into your trees. Keep running into the same opponent in a warzone? Make them your nemesis. Run a few flashpoints with someone you get along with and make them your ally.
The tree could also work well for guilds, and would provide a graphical interface for organizing its members into respective ranks. Zoom out even more and bring back the allies and adversaries idea and you’ll know just where your guild stands in the galaxy wide (server wide) picture. Of course there are always rewards and unlockables that could be associated with all of this, but I think just having all this information out there in a fun to read and use format would be good enough it itself. I know I would probably spend quite a good chunk of time checking out my friend’s family trees, their guilds trees, and the server’s tree to see how everything connects.
Let’s face it, crafting in the old republic is not like in other MMOs, it’s largely something you’ll be doing in the background while you PVP or run an operation. So why not make it available out of the game completely, included in the armory or as a phone based app. Many of the most popular management/business type games like Pocket Planes or Tiny Tower function on much the same principle as crew skills already. Choose your task and wait for the allotted time while your workers complete it. In order to curb people from playing it exclusively on their phone, mission times could be increased when tasking them from out of game.