The F2Peer Review: Star Wars The Old Republic
Heading back over to our player community members again for the F2Peer Review, we asked them to head out to a galaxy far, far away and give us their opinions on Star Wars: The Old Republic. A pretty popular game that, seemingly, they had all already played and so were able to give us a little more thought and feedback on their experiences.
On the plus side when it comes to SW:TOR there’s quite a lot of content and features where players like me can flex their competitive muscle, first and foremost in the Warzones; I have friends playing the game so grouping with them was always fun as we dropped Republic scum with ease. The Operations, whilst some are better than others, are pretty well designed and offer the odd moment of a challenge, though the introduction of Nightmare mode was definitely more than welcomed.
It’s not the most skill based game in the world, but there’s enough achievements and PvP content to go at, working with the guild to get a flagship then pimp it out was pretty sweet, but more importantly it was great slowly unlocking ship rooms through the planetary guild Conquest system.
SW:TOR is pretty fun, I played a lot of the content solo without much issue, so the personal story-arc quests with your character really do support a single player experience, much as you would expect from a Bioware game. A lot of MMORPGs you kind of feel like you’re supposed to be with a group, but in SWTOR the quests really focus on you being the hero or villain of the Galaxy in your own epic saga.
Pickup PvP was fun, I found it easier to lean towards the games like Huttball over the other warzones when in pickup groups, the others were a little too large and felt like players were doing their own thing instead of working as a team; which meant any organized team would mop us up. I really digged the space quests as well, it felt like another game within the game, which was pretty cool.
Great game when I used to play and, of course, my favourite element was hunting down the EXTENSIVE codex entries, everything from trying to find new creatures for my bestiary, reading up on the different lore entries, acquiring titles and of course the puzzles for getting your datacrons (who doesn’t love being rewarded for exploration?!). I spent longer than I should on a lot of planets trying to find the codex stuff on my own, but admittedly ended up resorting to using some online resource sites to fill out the blanks.
Though they didn’t have them when I originally played it was nice to see the Galactic Strongholds added to the game for players to show off their trophies, furniture and craftables; a gal has to store all her junk somewhere! It would be nice to be able to do the same to your own personal ship, but with cutscenes from quests on them I’m not sure if it would be feasible.
“WoW Clone” gets thrown about every time a new MMORPG comes out, any time a game has a feature that even somewhat resembles something from WoW then people flip their lids and devolve into the sycophants that believe that WoW was the first MMORPG out there. However, no game has deserved the “WoW Clone” label more than Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Whilst it may have a sci-fi skin on it the general cartoon-exaggerated look of the characters and environment, the combat, the class customization, level locked gear… no one thing makes it a WoW Clone but you throw all these things together and it’s pretty clear the game tried (and failed) to be a WoW killer by imitating exactly what it wanted to destroy.
I’ve tried out SWTOR, played it for a few months at launch after spending around a year prior to that creating my own RP guild (I remember “fondly” the endless debates over which server should be the official “RP server”!) Unfortunately the game just didn’t really cut it for me, there were way too many restrictions and roadblocks in the way to try and make a decent RP community (unless you were a fan of Mature/Erotic Roleplay, in which case you were spoiled for choice). From faction locked locations, constant segregating of players into different capped instances, every wearable item being level locked so you can’t even put together a decent outfit, weak character customization options and lack of social activities/skills/actions just didn’t provide the types of tools I prefer from my mmoRPGs.
Whilst many of my roleplayer peers really like the “RPG” mechanics BioWare introduced with their Dark/Light side decisions in quests, to me that’s a single-player RPG mechanic, not something that defines who the character is that I want to play, but simply the character the developers will allow me to play with the story-arc they put me into. That’s not my character; it’s theirs.
I actually only recently started playing SWTOR again, I burned myself out pretty quickly in the early days steaming through the content and power levelling with a couple of friends. There’s so many features that it’s pretty hard to get bored for the most part, more so now with all the new stuff they’ve added since I’d quit. I’d say EA/Bioware have done a pretty good job at keeping the game going and updating it, adding more stuff, though I wish they’d extend the class quests so that I can see “what happens next?” with a few of my max level chars. I’m part of a pretty active guild so there’s always a Flashpoint, Daily, Operation or group jumping into one of the Warzones that I can hook up with for a few hours.
The game definitely has its peaks and troughs; as an original Star Wars Galaxies player back from launch I didn’t like how that game became mainstreamed away from the sandbox that it had been originally with the later expansions. So when SWTOR was announced enough time had passed for me to consider jumping into another Star Wars mmo. For something so progressive with all the things it did (fully voiced acting, in-depth companion characters, Biowares darkside points, eventual addition of space quests) I’m still not a huge fan on the whole themepark experience with modern MMORPGs.
I do think the factions are way too divided though, growing up in games like Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot where world PvP was a lot more prevalent, it seemed the be almost non-existent in SWTOR, and whilst I’m not a hardcore PvP nut, I do like the option instead of having to only play in battlegrounds/warzones.
So that’s what our players think, but what about you? Do you play SWTOR? If not then why not? What do you like or hate about it, and what do you think about our players’ opinions? Let us know in the comments!