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 SWTOR Final Beta – My Thoughts

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تاريخ التسجيل : 09/07/2009

مُساهمةموضوع: SWTOR Final Beta – My Thoughts   الجمعة ديسمبر 02, 2011 10:34 pm

SWTOR Final Beta – My Thoughts




So, there’s me saying on various podcasts that I’m not that fussed about beta
testing, as it’s very easy to get caught up in the hype and to burnout
before the game has even gone live. But, then along comes 16:00 GMT on
Friday 25th November and I’m as excited as I was queuing up to see Star
Wars in 1977. Yes I succumbed to the marketing, hype and borderline mass
hysteria that goes hand in glove with Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Furthermore I’ll make it clear from the very beginning that I
thoroughly enjoyed myself and am looking forward to the early start in
December.

As usual, this post is not a review or a technical analysis of the
game. There are plenty of other sites that can provide such information.
Once again, this is simply an exploration of my thoughts
and impressions rather than a scrupulous dissection of the game
mechanics. So, where to begin? Well with the creation of my character, I
guess. As usual, I created a male human and opted for the Smuggler
class, as it seems to suit my personal likings. These being ranged
attacks with additional support functionality, but with the independence
of a self heal.So “Mingeca” was born (and that was a system generated
name to boot).

Mingeca (pronounce it however you like)

Character creation was logical with enough information to guide those
unfamiliar with the process. You can customise to a fair degree, but
not as much as other games. The stylised animation reminded me a bit of
the Clone Wars animated series. The game engine itself seemed to be very
fluid and the game ran fine on my two year old, Quad core based system.
After several epic cutscenes, I was thrown straight into my class story
in the starter area and it became very apparent that Bioware have been
doing what they do the best I.E. crafting a strong narrative. Within
seconds I was lost in “my story” and Bioware have done a excellent job
in creating that illusion. Let’s make no bones about it, this is going
to be the overall make or break factor as to whether a new player likes
or dislikes SWTOR. All missions both class based and
regional have an associated back story and have audio dialogue involved.
Now I love this aspect, having recently worked my way through Mass Effect
1 & 2. If you do not like this level of narrative and dialogue and
like to push forward at your own pace, then this may be a hindrance.

The UI and all the typical/classic MMO mechanics and attributes are
present and if you have played such games in the past, then finding
everything is not a mission. If you are new to the MMO genre then there
are plenty of tutorials and tips that explain the most common questions.
So for me, it was an easy process to push ahead and simply immerse
myself in the game. During the four days that I played SWTOR I was never
presented with a quest that I consider crass or arbitrary. Not once did
I drag my sorry ass from point A to point B, do some dumb task, then
return to the NPC only to be sent back. The amount of side missions is
also quite measured and I did not feel the need to accept everything
that was on offer.

Suck plasma etc.

SWTOR has everything you’d expect. Looting and subsequent selling,
crafting, travel via major locations (by speeder bike in my case),
skills to learn and the usual decisions to make over gear. All of these
things are done logically and in a very innovative manner. However,
combat is far more fluid than other games. You don’t simply stand your
ground and mash the keyboard in a generic skills rotation. There is
cover to be used or the option to fight while moving. Mobs usually
cluster in groups of three, which requires a little more though
regarding combat management. It is this aspect of the game coupled with
the strong story,which really held my attention.

If you erroneously thought, as I did at one point, that SWTOR was
going to re-invent the wheel, then you will be disappointed. It does
not. But what it does is refine and embellish on a trusted formula,
offering enough innovation and difference to focus your attention. Its
greatest strength is it’s IP and Bioware have utilised this incredibly.
Every aspect of the game shows thought and consideration, exhibiting
layer of polish to enhance what usually would be somewhat perfunctory
tasks and functions. The beta itself was incredibly well organised with
pop up questionnaires, cunning integrated into the game play. Bioware
definitely wants player feedback and goes about finding it in a subtle
but effective manner. I managed to progress my Smuggler to level 10 and
gained my first companion. I explored Ord Mantell quite thoroughly and
managed to get as far as Coruscant (which is very impressive and oozes
ambience). Despite the fact that I didn’t want to see too much of the
game, I was happy to play as far as I could.

Let's go to Coruscant and find some blue chicks...

SWTOR seems to be very much what I am currently looking for in an
MMO. It has a IP that I love and solid atmosphere and involving story.
It does enough to be different and set it aside from its competitors,
but is does not require you to “unlearn what you have learnt”. It will
not be for everyone and of course at present I cannot comment on endgame
content. I would also add that during the beta test there was no
requirement for me to group with others and I got by fine on my own. I
was “rezzed” by a passer by on one occasion, but had no dealing with my
fellow player beyond that. I asked a few questions in chat, but turned
the channel off most of the time. However, there is no reason not to
play socially and the game certainly seems to be able to facilitate that
for those that do.

Is SWTOR going to topple WoW and crush all other MMOs? No. But it
certainly has the making of a game that will have a sizeable impact upon
the market. It will attract core gamers and those who simply love the
franchise (much like LOTRO). Other developers will certainly be keeping
an eye on this game as it does offer something new to those tiring of
older titles. As for me, I am counting off the days to re-create my
Smuggler and return to where I was. It’s been a while since a game made
me feel this enthusiastic and I want to capitalise on that feeling. Roll
on the early start, hopefully on the 15th December.

Shake your money maker and beat hyperthermia

NB Why do Bioware always have scantily clad females dancing in some
seedy club. Are they trying to make a socio-economic point about gender
inequality or do they simply have shares in the industry? Just a
thought.
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