|A Jedi Shadow on Belsavis|
I was meandering over the fact that should I make this first post a review of SWTOR itself, but of course as Zero Punctuation had put it, it’s very hard to “review” an MMO even after a couple of weeks playing, So I decided that I would treat this first post on the new topic as an introduction to the game. I never did one for my WoW posts but if you’re reading this blog there’s quite a big chance you already know what WoW is, I did one for Minecraft thanks to Dave a bit after I had made my original posts and I suppose I did do a “teaser” post for SWTOR earlier on in 2011. But I’m happy for this to be just an introductory post but I will also give you the basic info which you don’t need to hear it from me, take it away Wikipedia:
The original "Deceived' trailer
Although BioWare has not disclosed development costs, industry leaders and financial analysts have estimated it to be between $150 million and $200 million. If accurate, this would make it the most expensive video game ever developed. The game had 1 million subscribers within three days of its launch, making it the world's 'Fastest-Growing MMO Ever', compared with rivals such as World of Warcraft.
*taken from Wikipedia
I was recently looking for a printed strategy guide for the game but was unable to find one as yet apart from some crap “atlas” from Prima games that’s trying to be passed off as a strategy guide. Now of course you might be thinking who the hell would buy a printed strategy guide to an MMO when all the information you need is freely available online? Well I’ll tell you why, it’s because I like to read about a game I’m currently playing and reading about it makes me want to play it more, also reading a book is both easier and better on your eyes than staring at a screen the whole time, and also I like to read while eating and the guides have a wealth of information that can keep me entertained for weeks. I now have four different WoW Strategy guides, an original guide plus one for each expansion and reading them all and seeing how World of Warcraft has evolved is good fun to read and reminisce of how the game used to be and I look forward to doing this with The Old Republic.
It’s been a while coming since my original post on the subject, and I think SWTOR has lived up to my expectations and of course as you’d expect as a previous WoW player I did have a lot of expectations but I didn’t really want to, I didn’t want to view this game as just another WoW rival that will fail like some others in the past. But it didn’t, it hasn’t it has cost Bioware an incredulous amount of money and resources but it’s held firm as far as I can see. I went into SWTOR with a lighthearted attitude intending to have some fun and play the game the way the designers intended and not try to change things around so much because of the quintessential fact that it would be “more like WoW so it’s better” I’m trying my hardest to keep away from this but with the release of the newest major patch which includes the simple, functional and very useful user Interface editor it was one hell of an effort not to try and re-arrange everything wow-style. But to be honest the whole experience has been rather good and possibly getting better as I go further into it.
A good explanation of the SWTOR gameplay mechanics in a group flashpoint (dungeon/instance)
Before I purchased the game I had decided long ago that I wanted to be on the Republic side and I wanted to be a Jedi Knight. The reasons for this were that at the start I guess I just wanted to be the good guys, I played Horde most of the time which I were (almost) convinced that the Horde had more morality and was more of an Alliance than the Alliance itself but this is open to debate amongst WoW lore junkies everywhere. But with the Galactic Republic I never necessarily saw them as evil, though if I could nerd out for a bit and imagine myself there to be honest I would be kind of hesitant to pick the way of the Jedi. I knew that since there was technically only 4 main classes and two of them were Jedi/Sith that it was going to be lightsabre mania right from the start and that I probably should pick another class, but I knew couldn’t the “lure of the lightsabre” as I like to call it was too much. My brother who plays as a smuggler and was always going to play as a smuggler did say to me in a conversation some quite obvious traits with players that were:
- Not many Smugglers or Troopers around at all i.e. not many non-Jedi, but of course an MMO with only 4 main classes per side two of them being force-swinging lightsabre wielders and the other two being supposedly boring ol Shooty Mcgunguns (with the possible exception of the Bounty Hunter which is probably the most popular non Jedi/Sith class) you could probably guess that was going to happen. But anyway, that’s that I guess, at least the two separate Jedi/Sith classes on each side can heal/tank respectively.
- The majority of players were human and sure enough I looked around and they were, and I was, of course I could come up with a few of reasons for this. One being that when you select a character you select the race then you get the option of selecting the bodytype, and the reason you are able to do this is because the only difference between the different races is their heads, everything else is pretty much humanlike unlike WoW in which each races body is significantly different. The second reason is that humans are usually the base to get chosen as that’s what we are and can identify with, the majority of major Jedi characters in the Star Wars movie series were human as well. The last reason is that in SWTOR your initial surroundings and main storyline are governed by your class not your race, so class in all respects is the biggest decision whereas races in WoW determine what your character looks like and how they will move/talk/dance/etc, their starting area and home city and also what mounts you will be able to (easily) acquire.
|Republic side character select screen|
|Vehicles, fun but still just machines|
|Jedi Knightin' it up|
|My current Jedi Knight Skill Tree many say the skill tree system should be scrapped in favour of Blizzard's new system|
|Bowdaar, a smuggler companion|
|You make many dark or light side decisions with a few consequences|
|Dark side corruption changes|
Space Combat, you have to see it to believe it (or understand it)
The graphics in SWTOR are what you’d expect them to be, for an MMO cannot have the fancy graphics of other games for the reasons enclosed in that conversation of course, I never expected the graphics to be anything more than acceptable, there is a bit of popup in the scenery though, especially around the foresty worlds such as Taris or Alderaan, I’ve recently travelled to the desert planet of Tatooine which is very good looking for a desert. What sometimes takes me by surprise is the size of some of the rooms/caves/buildings in the game, whether it’s huge storehouses giant caves or just massive ships or space stations the sheer size of some places is sure grand to look at. One very interesting feature with the characters models is that you have the option of “Unifying the Colours” of your gear so for example remember all those times in WoW where your armor looked kind of like this well Blizzard had their own way of fixing that and so do Bioware. The armor and robes that you get in SWTOR aren’t quite bulky or outstanding as of those in WoW, this allows the unify colours button to basically turn every other piece of gear that you have to blend in with the base colours of your chestpiece, which makes you look pretty cool and is a great feature.
Overall my experience with SWTOR has been a good one, I’ve
played my first character to level 30, I’ve joined a guild, I’ve learned a lot
about the game so far and am mostly happy with the experience, there’s so much
more class and spec combinations that I want to try for example Jedi
Consular Sage with Telekinetic spec I’d also really like to try the Sith side
an be and be a “Good Sith” who always takes the light side option. Whether or
not I go back to WoW at some point though remains to be seen, though before I
was switching between WoW and Minecraft, now I’m switching between the three of
them, and trying to watch the whole 3 Kingdoms
TV series as well, sigh I spose I’ll always have too much to do or play.
Stay tuned for more SWTOR posts as they come, I can assure
you I’ll be playing for a while yet.
|Smuggler Sharpshooter on Alderaan|
|My current interface setup with Tatooine in the backdrop|
Facing the council for "misuse of the force"