Posted in Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic post-NDA interrogation [Updated 11/19]

Well, not from me, you understand.  Despite the awesome power that I wield on the internet — literally to the point where I can bring websites to their knees just by bookmarking them — I only recently got a SWTOR beta invite, even though half the known galaxy has been in for a while now.  It’s okay.  It’s just a small game, anyway.

But I have been looking forward to the NDA drop to hear others’ impressions, thoughts, and beta reviews, and I wanted to pull as many quotes together here as possible.  Let’s begin!

“At this point I was really skeptical about all the buzz surrounding it, and in general pretty damned dark on the MMO industry. As a result I have said some negative things about the game at several points, generally due to the grass roots hype machine. But all that said, I have been one to freely admit my mistakes… and I said I would gladly eat my words if the game lived up to the hype. So I went into this beta weekend expecting disappointment.  This is me formally eating everything bad I said about the game.” ~Tales of the Aggronaut

“I’ve had a blast testing, and it’s been almost half a year and I’m still not tired of it, so I guess that’s got to count for something!” ~MMOGC

“I really don’t want another wall of text MMO where I really only read the objectives and compare rewards and never consider what the narrative reason is behind my task. It’s kind of a “thing” that’s been missing from MMOs: a real mechanism that nails the unappreciated aspect of lore and story to the player’s forehead so that he can’t ignore it, or can’t just read the objectives before robotically plowing his way through to get the reward. I really started to care about what I was doing, and how it was affecting the story.” ~Levelcapped

“My overall summation was:  My pre-order is intact and I’m wishing the beta went longer so I could play more, so even though there are some negative things said in the following, I don’t think they detract very much and overall the game is very enjoyable.” ~The Nomadic Gamer

“But setting aside the massive load times, the weird clipping and video problems that came with not being able to move to a lower setting, I actually really like the SWTOR beta.  I don’t so much like the quests.” ~Hunter’s Insight

“Overall, Star Wars: The Old Republic isn’t revolutionary but what it does do however, it bring a sense of meaning, a purpose to the journey to max level. This is game that I feel I could sit down and enjoy it for what it is and not feel like I have to X this and X that.” ~Gamer BC

“I also had a huge problem with the way Bioware morality is assigned. More than once I boggled at the choices that led to Light Side points over Dark Side, and felt like I had to choose between “staying good” and doing what I felt would give my character internal consistency.” ~Casual is as Casual Does

“The NDA has lifted, and I can now tell you: Bioware succeeds at raising the bar in MMO storytelling. What they don’t succeed at is making the game more than a themepark MMO.” ~Professor Beej

“There’s also the question of fresh content. By using heavy voice acting and a deep storyline, producing new content for players is going to be both expensive and time consuming. In an age where some MMOs are churning out content patches every month can BioWare afford to spend three to six months creating new quests for us to play?” ~Mana Obscura

I’ll be adding more as they roll in, but I’m not going to be posting (probably) anything else for the following week, as I’m heading out on vacation!

[Added 4 new quotes 11/19]

12 thoughts on “Star Wars: The Old Republic post-NDA interrogation [Updated 11/19]

  1. Hehe I thought it was funny the quote you chose…. but I guess in reality it speaks more than anything about the game. I was a pretty diehard skeptic and I have turned into a full on rabid fanboy after one weekend 🙂

  2. Personally, Randomessa’s take on the game was the one I most identified with, and although many of my own reasons for not making that purchase differ from hers, I thought she expressed her own with clarity, and a very “balanced” tone that acknowledges the multi-faceted perspectives of her fellow gamers.
    http://casualdoes.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/reflections-on-a-bioware-mmo/

    I’ve played all of the BioWare games she talks about in her post, and although I enjoyed (and finished) those games (as well as other offerings from BioWare like NWN, and ME, ME2) I have to admit I easily recognized the “flaws” she sighted as being the reasons for her not continuing to play them through to their conclusions.

    Like her, I’m also ready for more gaming experiences that don’t make me feel like I’m stuck on rails, and allow me to choose my own path. One of the clearest examples of the way SW:TOR fails me in this regard is the extremely limited race choices, and the narrowly defined “holy trinity” class structures. Boba Fett does NOT pass out boo boo strips, and what do you mean I’m not allowed to play as a Jawa or a Wookie? I’m sure fans of the game will be able to endlessly sight numerous justifications for both of those… don’t bother, I’m not interested. Enjoy your game… I will wait for other faire to be offered.

  3. I went into the last beta weekend doubting they could deliver on the story-heavy fully voiced MMO hype, and came out of it intending to subscribe for six months when the game launches. My only problem with it as a game is the clunky, nearly uncustomizable UI – it’s not Skyrim-level awful, but it’s surprisingly bad for an MMO with as much time and money poured into it as SW:TOR.

    Aside from that, the voice acting is consistently fantastic, the story lines are engaging, and the combat can be fun on its own if you choose the right class. (I found healing as a Bounty Hunter annoying and bizarre – even aside from the mechanics, it’s hardly the iconic view of a Star Wars bounty hunter – but since I never got past level 17 in that class it’s possible it picks up later. The blowing-stuff-up part was fun, I just found myself wanting to lie to group members and say my heal was broken.)

    I guess it’s not surprising I like the game, since I’m an RPG junkie who has played every Bioware single player game several times. That puts me square in their target market, and this game feels aimed at the stuff I like from their single player RPGs.

  4. I’ve finished writing up my first impressions. This is a typical example of what happens when a strong RPG maker produces an MMO. While the game’s great fun and will be a release day buy for me, it’s also got some serious flaws. Certainly not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

  5. I’ve been having a complete blast over the last month in beta. I will say that there was one build that just hated my computer and internet connection, but that was short lived and the game runs beautifully.

    Looking at it from these other players perspectives, I can see the on-rails complaints. However, I haven’t noticed or cared that the game is on rails. I’ve been having such a good time questing with my companion or with other people (yes, grouping with other people still happens and is often encouraged thru herioc, non-instanced areas), doing a PvP match, or just playing around in my ship. Honestly, I haven’t felt like there is a lack of content here, but I can certainly see if someone doesn’t care for the heavily directed type of game, they won’t like SWTOR as much.

    My one concern to date is the time it takes to get through flashpoints. I’m not an advocate of WoW-style 15 minute speed runs, but I’m also not an advocate of every flashpoint taking 1-2 hours. A lot of that time is taken up by story moments, which is fine in and of itself, but my personal preference for a flashpoint timeline would be in the 30-45 minute range. That’s adjustable though, and could be tweaked in the future.

    I like the flexibility of the classes. I love that I can choose an Agent or a Trooper, take one specialization and either heal or DPS with that specialization. And I love that if I choose to go down the heal path, I still have access to the DPS abilities and am encouraged to DPS from time to time (particularly the Trooper while healing).

    Finally, I really, really enjoy the storyline of the game. I really enjoy the choices put forth and that when I’m tasked to go kill 15 baddies, I want to do it because I feel for the plight of the quest giver or because I’m loyal to the Empire and want to eliminate the traitorous scum milling around the area.

    I’ll be picking up the game for sure!

  6. I have one question that remains to be unanswered so far. If you start new chars with your wife/mate/buddy/etc. and wish to play together, do you have to play your starting area as “solo” player first if you choose different classes?

  7. @Imrar – If you want to create characters of different classes at the same time and play together from level 1 on, you’ll want to choose classes that start on the same planet. (Each starting planet has story quests for two classes – Bounty Hunter and Imperial Agent both start on Hutta, for instance.)

    Around level 10 you’ll move on to areas where every class has story quests.

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