Tuesday, 29 November 2011

After the SW:TOR beta weekend

My thoughts on SW:TOR...

After so much time time waiting, i finally, with thousands of players, got access to the beta. Was a short beta, just the weekend, but gave me some time to make more acquainted with the game.

Since i want to create a Bounty Hunter on game release (yes, i didnt need the beta to make the decision of playing or not), i decided i should go and try the Republic side as a Trooper. 
First things first, character creation is rather poor, but since we aren't playing a Barbie's game, it will do. I just didn't like male models size, just 3 types, from tiny and skinny, to fat large. 

Queue in the typical scrooling text from Star Wars, then a small in-game intro for your class and off you are playing. There 4 starting zones, 2 for each faction. But each class has their own class quest line which makes them kinda unique. The Trooper starts in Ord Mantell, in the middle of the Civil War. We are part of the Havoc squad, with a specific objective of retrieving a bomb that otherwise will wipeout the entire island where we are. Besides the class quest line, which by the way gets really interesting as it goes, there are the typical sidequests, just to make you feel more busy. The good thing about the quests in SW:TOR, is the fact that they can be a bit more dynamic. I mean, some quests will allow you to pick which option to choose from, since we always interact with the npcs. Say you wanna be a Jedi Consular, but following a dark path, then by all means pick up options suited for a bad guy. Same applies to Sith if they wanna be good doers. The fun really lies on interacting with npcs, and pick some punch lines. Even more fun is when interacting with npcs as a group. System works in a roll, everyone picks an option, the higher roller wins and gets to the talk. It's fun when you want to go dark side and all your group mates want to be light. Laughs included.
Combat wise, the game works as most games, based on push buttons for skills. Only difference is that, there isn't any auto-attack, so your it's all skill oriented.
Also at a given point, each class will receive companions (pets if you want to). They can work as tank, dps or healer, depending on the companion.
Crafting is again as all the rest, get materials, do the item, get a skill point. Gathering professions give skill when you gather. A player can have 1 crafting and 2 gathering or 3 gathering, but never more then one crafting. The big difference here, is that, if someone dislikes crafting, but still want to rip-off the benefits from it, he can use the pet to do all the work. That includes gathering and/or crafting. Just pick the crafting or gathering professions, choose what you want to get or do, and send a companion. After a couple of minutes he comes back with the result. Also another fun thing, is whenever you find a node for gathering while adventuring, you can send your companion to gather it.

So until level 10 or so, you are at starting planet, doing your class quest line. When you reach 10, and your off the planet, you have the chance to pick between 2 specializations, for each given class. As a Trooper, i went Vanguard, for tanking purpose.

After that me and some friends, also give a run to the first instance at level 10 or 11, Esseles. Sorry not instance, flashpoint! This Esseles isn't more then a space ship who is taking us to Coruscant, but gets blocked by an Imperial warship that is looking for a specific Ambassador that is going in the ship incognito. So we have to fight off the imperials while trying to save (or not) as much lives as possible. I really enjoyed it!
Flashpoint done, and we are in Coruscant! And boy this place is huge! As a matter of fact, even on the first planet or the flashpoint, i felt everything was rather big, so for my exploration part, this is great!
My adventures ended up here. I did quest a bit more but since it's a beta and i already had a taste of the game, i end up not doing much more.

The game feels polished and fun. I do admit, for most, it's nothing new. It's the old do quests for leveling gameplay. The theme mmorpg. But on the contrary to other games, where you just click as fast to get the quest, open map and see where it, here you have a chance to follow the quest and actually feel more involved. You do believe that i'm playing Everquest 2 for a couple of years now, and still don't have a clue what's going on, lore-wise? Same goes to WoW. While on the RTS games i always had an idea, since the game became mmorpg, most quests are just click to grab, do and deliver...
My only question, relies on the end game for SW:TOR. How is it going to be? I think it will be the same as most, but let's hope for the best.

I did enjoyed my time there and can hardly wait the game release the next month. I have bounties to collect!
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