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SWTOR - A Two Month Review

Elfa's Avatar


Elfa
02.28.2012 , 09:48 AM | #1
Star Wars. It's my earliest memory. I remember flashes of it from the drive in my dad took us to in 1976. Well, that dates me, but I digress.

I've been a life long SW fan, not a fanatic, but a fan. I grew up with the action figures, saw every film on opening night and I love the story. Even after the prequels and incessant fussing about with the originals, I never lost my love for the story and characters that made me a fan.

When the first Kotor came out, I remember being in awe of this whole new chapter in the extended universe. Being an ancient history buff, I relished in the idea of going back to a time when Jedi fought Sith in the open battlefield and the Republic stood strong against the tide of approaching evil.

Even after the sequel done by Obsidian came out and was a buggy mess, I never lost my love for the idea. After I played the original Mass Effect, I began to dream about a future incarnation of Kotor done on that engine by that team, a Kotor 3.

Sadly, that was not to be. I wasn't disheartened. Around that time I had begun my first venture into the dark and scary world of the MMO. I started with the classic WoW and then spun off to STO, then Fallen Earth, EVE Online, Champions and finally SWTOR.

Don't misunderstand me, I don't dislike SWTOR but I am critical of it. I'm not even bothered by the bugs or graphics or missing components that I know are coming soon enough.

I love the stories and spoken dialogue. Though having a gang of 4 BH all having the same voice is disturbing. I love the epic feel of it all and the way the game makes you feel like you are part of a larger story. The twists and turns in the writing are fantastic and many of the choices you make are extremely fun.

It's the missed opportunities and plain ol' bad ideas that make me sad. With the Character classes being similar on both Empire and Republic, they missed a great chance to allow you to convert a toon to the opposite side at a given point in the story. Where is the ability for the Jedi to become Sith or the Sith to be redeemed? Why can't the smuggler or BH swap allegiances? Once you went to far to the light or dark, you should have been able to defect.

Why is there not a single "Yoda race" character anywhere?! Where is Manaan, Kashyyyk, Dantooine?! Why does nearly all of the endgame PVP/PVE armor make me want to punch babies?!

Why is the world boss of Tatooine not a Krayt Dragon?!

Some of this is common sense SW 101 type crap. Why are we limited to only 1 companion. It would be easy enough to make a scaling damage system if you're worried about things being to easy or even limiting certain story areas to only one companion. By allowing only one, you also take away the fantastic Kotor banter that existed between companions.

And speaking of companion interactions, what happened there? I'm not turned on by sex between game characters, but apparently in the SWTOR universe sex is the act by which two individuals walk off scene together for 2 seconds and come back. Where are the great cutscenes ala ME and DA where you could feel the passion between characters. You could have put an age filter on the game that turned those off. Also, the marriage idea is great, but where is the cutscene for that? It feels so hollow and empty and meaningless. Maybe I should have sent my wife an email instead of doing it the old fashion way.

All of that is stuff is forgivable and there may have been techincal reasons they didn't do some of it, but my biggest gripe isn't what was left out, but what was put in. Time padding garbage.

It's the only thing in this game that has actually made me mad. I remember how excited I was to get my first bike. I thought, "now I can get through those stupid spaceports a little quicker." I may have damaged the vent channel that day with the curses that spewed forth when to my disbelief I got kicked off my bike when entering the port. You can't even fast travel out of the thing.

It seems like half of this entire game's design seemed to be clever ways to make you waste as much time as possible in between missions or drag every cent you make out of your wallet kicking and screaming. Yes, they need to balance the economy and I'm not mad about skill training or repair costs, but the first 40k you have to spend on bike training hurts. It comes at a time when skills are becoming over a grand a piece, crafting is taking your every last dime and enemies are maybe dropping 30-40 bucks per group.

Then there's the social. It's like it was an afterthought. In this day and age, when social seems to be everywhere and in everything, a brand spankin' new MMO should have been fully loaded. Hell, overloaded! I may not have wanted it, but I half expected there to be built in Twitter and Facebook in this thing. But instead, well, you already know.

Yes, I mostly talked about what Bioware did wrong here or didn't do at all, but I also want to admit that all of that aside, this game is a definite achievement and a thoroughly enjoyable experience. I won't be unsubbing anytime in the foreseeable future. I'm trembling in anticipation for the 1.2 patch and I am confident that Bioware's will fix what needs fixing and continue to pump out some great twists and turns.

See you in game.
I'd like to sit down with the guy responsible for having Busta Rhymes fight Michael Myers in HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION. Then, before he could speak, I would slap him so hard his face would explode and his dog would die." - Jim Law