STAR WARS THE OLD REPUBLIC, 3 MONTHS ON; AND NOW A REVIEW – 8GPPs
Straight to the Point
Really enjoyed our time On Star Wars (having played 240 hours in total); its addictive, has a good compelling storyline but sadly doesn’t have enough varied lvl 50 content to keep us interested long term; A Shame, but still awesome!
“The story takes place in the Star Wars fictional universe shortly after the establishment of a tenuous peace between the re-emergent Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic, 300 years after the events of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games, and more than 3,500 years before the events in the Star Wars films. The Jedi are held responsible for the success of the Sith during the devastating 28-year-long Great Galactic War (which led to the Treaty of Coruscant prior to the “cold war“), and thus choose to relocate from Coruscant to Tython, where the Jedi Order had initially been founded, to seek guidance from the Force. The Sith control Korriban, where they have re-established a Sith Academy. The game begins 10 years later as new conflicts arise.”
Things We Like
Storyline / interaction – This was one of the main pulls for me in SWTOR. I know WoW had a “story” but it didn’t seem like you were really a part of it; more on the periphery, just clicking through reams and reams of text to get to the point. In TOR you actively engage in the story and make decisions that affect its outcome, ala Dragon Age and Mass Effect (its what Bioware are good at!) and what side of the force you swing towards (We at Geek Pride are a bunch of goody two shoes and so spared peoples lives, disobeyed orders for the greater good and generally were nice to everyone involved.) These decisions not only increase you light side / dark side meter (which in turn gives you the chance to buy specialised gear from lightside dark side vendors) but also increases / decreases what the way your companions feel about you (the more they like you the better they are at going on missions)
Companions – Companions in Bioware games are nothing new but adding them to an MMO was a stroke of genius. Not only did it give the game a more immersive feel with conversations, “relations” and someone to talk to on those cold trips to Hoth, it also made it easier to do quests / missions without a full compliment of human players; a frustration we have all felt in WoW! Granted the companions AI was a bit useless at times but with good enough gear (that’s right you can kit them out as well) they could hold their own in an instance and this just gave you a feeling of freedom that other MMOs don’t have.
Familiarity– very similar to the layout of WoW and so easier for relapsing MMO addicts to get used to.
Space battles – These make a big difference and as much as there aren’t a huge variety of missions, it really helps break up any tedium when you are stuck on a boring or hard quest. It is also a more enjoyable way of gaining XP and something I didn’t mind playing over and over again.
2+ man heroics, Flashpoints and the bonus series – Bioware have made a few slight alterations to the standard MMO dungeon / quest formula :
2 Man heroics are a master stroke and should have been used more. In essence they are hard instances that can be achieved with just 2 human players and 2 companions; none of this spending hours looking for a tank or a healer; you just need 1 other guy and off you trot.
Flashpoints are pretty much longer and harder heroics, with more boss fights and more loot; pretty standard you would think but Bioware have added a subtle difference to keep things interesting. Instead of having a group of elites that you have to CC, tank and then DPS to death one by one, you get a mix of mobs consisting of maybe 1 or 2 elites and a mob of 6 normal enemies; or in some cases just the mob on its on. This gives you a sense of momentum and makes the Flashpoint seem a bit faster paced. It also makes a bit more sense in relation to the starwars ethos. You wouldn’t see a jedi spending hours hacking away at one allegedly non heroic character; no he would lightsaber him in the face and move on! “easier” enemies makes this happen and helps you feel a bit more epic than you probably are.
The bonus series is something that pops up when you go to certain areas, start certain quests or finish a planet; giving you the option to gain more XP, have a bit more loot and obviously gain some more credits. They are not compulsory but are very compelling as you will generally feel “well I’m here aren’t I?, might as well do these as well” A nice touch that adds to the longevity of the game.
It’s potential – More classes, more companions, more planets, more space battles, more enemies, 3500 years of starwars fiction to incorporate into a story… there is so much potential in this game I might have to take it as my padawan learner!