Ah well, my Jedi membership to Clone Wars Adventures expired today. Which basically means I lose access to all my Jedi only gear and get put back with the free to play padawan scrubs, I was actually online when it happened and all my equiped gear was stripped instantly and I was back in my starter stuff. I get to keep my droid pets and I keep access to my Jedi apartment that I decorated so it’s not all bad.

Unfortunately while what is in the game is decent enough it really doesn’t have enough content for anybody who wants to spend a significant amount of time playing. SOE designed it to be very much a casual game, the world you can run about in is restricted to the Jedi Temple and that consists of about 8 rooms you can explore and a members only lounge where you can escape all the free to play beggars asking for members to buy them stuff (which is impossible by the way, you cannot gift what the subject cannot already buy themselves).

The problem is when you are done wandering about and discovering the nice little Jedi force clickies scattered about like levitating barrels, annoying a cargo supervisor, scaring the life out of a clone by pretending to drop a bomb nose first on the hanger floor and disturbing a practicing padawan so he loses concentration and collapses in a heap there really is nothing left to do. You can play the minigames and I did that quite a bit, some of the minigames are pretty good such as light saber dueling, speeder bike racing and defender but some of them aren’t so good at least to me some were not that fun.

While I was a Member several times they wiped the high scores off all the minigames, basically undoing any effort I had made to get listed in the top 100, this was acceptable during beta testing but to do it after launch really isn’t as far as I’m concerned. I was also subject to several days of “you are offline” when I was logged in, it seems they had a bug where online profiles showed people as offline so no score tracking was recorded for those players regardless of what they achieved although you could still earn in game credits. Again something I found disappointing as a paying customer. As my membership expires my problem seems to have been fixed but I notice on the forum other players are still complaining about it so I assume it’s an ongoing issue.

So when you have exhausted all the minigames of which there are about 15 or so and you have wandered around the 8 world rooms I found myself just standing about looking for people to chat with. Because the game is aimed at children the chat filter is white listed instead of black listed, what this means is that all words you type and submit to a chat window are checked with a list of “ok” words which have to be manually approved. So at launch it was pretty difficult to type a sentence without hitting the filter wall and ending up with ####’s  as words which were completely innocent but because they had not been added to the white list you couldn’t say them. This is getting better but it won’t go away for a few months until they finally tune in all the reported words, my question really is why has there never been a white list already completed somewhere that could have been included, I can understand why star wars words or game acronyms may have been filtered but why words like “Tuesday” and “hello” were blocked is just silly.

What the game really needs is more to do, more places to explore, more games to play, preferably games that are socially active as opposed to mostly solo. Some co-op games would also be great as it is now there is only two multiplayer games and they are both competitive which is fine but I really prefer playing with friends as opposed to trying to grind them into my boot heel. SOE keep saying on the forums during beta and now live that this game is not an mmo and that’s really going to be a problem because it behaves like an mmo, so players are going to assume it is one. Someone (another tester) during beta did say something that made me wonder though, they said that SOE no longer has the license to build a new star wars mmo so instead they have this social game hub, this is because Bioware is making The Old Republic which is due out early 2011. There may be some truth to that which is why SOE are limited to what they can do with Clone Wars Adventures.

Anyway I’m going to let my subscription lapse now, the free content they are adding each new episode of clone wars is ok, it’s quite a small selection but as its weekly it’s not bad,  I suppose if you join as a member later on there will be a larger selection but as I already own everything I can buy with in game credits and each new episode content usually features 50% station cash (real money purchases) items and 50% member that’s really not enough to keep me paying monthly without spending extra money. The free game is not much of a game at all but if you haven’t played it yet its worth a try, if nothing else it will kill a few hours as a free customer and maybe a couple of weeks as a member.

I’m not sure I could recommend Clone Wars Adventures for young children, maybe 12+ age group but some of the minigames are much harder than I would expect for a game aimed at children to be honest. I know as adults we tend to underestimate what children can do and I accept some children will be more advanced than others though.