Somehow Released: The Old Republic

By Alec Meer on December 20th, 2011 at 4:01 pm.

Something something than you could possibly something something

Today’s the day, then. The day the world finally discovers if EA’s long-gestating, mega-hyped Star Wars MMO is KOTOR 3+, WoW in space, Galaxies without the madness, a Wookiee or a Jawa, a winner or a loser, an Empire Strikes Back or a Phantom Menace, a Sarlaac or a Hutt. (I don’t even know which of those is better). Many John Walkers died to bring us thoughts on the game, which we hope to have next week. I too have a copy I plan to look at as soon as humanly/wookieely possible, though I’ve been too busy breaking my beloved record player today to get started as yet.

So, who’s in, who’s out, who’s Light side, who’s Dark side, who’s loving it, who’s hating it and who’s going to waste everyone’s time by posting ‘meh’ and having it silently deleted a few seconds later? Also, below is an eight-minute ‘launch documentary’, which is a fancy way of saying ‘advert.’ Warning: it seems to auto-play, which I can’t work out how to stop. Sorry.

VIDEO REMOVED

OK, I’m about to install the game. I had promised myself I wouldn’t, but then I also promised myself I’d leave the house at some point today, and that’s in no danger of happening so what the hell.

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142 Comments »

  1. Dakia says:

    I’ve been playing since Friday as a Jedi Guardian and I’ve been loving it.

    Probably the biggest difference to me has been the immersion in the leveling process. While it is simply quest to quest leveling, it doesn’t feel as detached as other MMOs. That is probably due to the voice acting.

    There are certainly a few bugs. The GTN search is broken, UI bugs, etc. Nothing game breaking though.

    Overall, a really solid launch.

    • BakaNoodle says:

      Pretty much this, it’s a very solid realease and you feel alot more involved with the “trash” quest’s. Has for me I’ve benn playing Baunty Hunter since thursday, dark side and I’ve been liking it alot

    • Belsameth says:

      Meh.

      Also +1.

      I love it to bits!
      Playing a Sith Maraunder solo and a BH with a buddy.
      Due to the story telling and the voice acting (which is overall rock solid).
      Lastly, crafting is usefull! I actually use mostly crafted gear! Amazing! \o/

    • Max.I.Candy says:

      liking it.
      class missions are great.
      best launch ive ever played.

    • aircool says:

      Imperial Agent is awesome…

    • Justin Keverne says:

      Been playing an Imperial Agent since Thursday, really enjoying it. It’s a weird hybrid of BioWare style RPG and MMO but it works for me. The class specific quest line and generally high quality voice acting made the starting planet immediately more interesting that similar areas where in WoW.

    • LazyLemming says:

      I do like the voice acting, but most of the side quests are still inane and repetitive. I really wish instead of making a bajillion quests, they’d do fewer but more involved (And multistage) quests.

      I just hit level 20 and find myself space barring through most of the conversations because it all comes down to the same thing. “Hi, bad guys stole/took/have X. Go get it for me.” I swear to god, I must have “Good with a blaster” tattooed across my forehead, because almost every NPC starts with “You look good with a blaster.”

      The storyline missions however, are freaking awesome and definitely keep me playing.

    • derbefrier says:

      Made a smuggler and loving it . Was unsure wether I should buy this game but I am glad I did. So I have been stuck at work all day how are the Que times? Should I prepare myself for a hour plus wait? Also for those interested pc gamer posted a article on how to enable AA, if you can’t figure it out yourself.

  2. Swabbleflange says:

    I’m really enjoying it, basically playing it as KotOR 3*. I was going to juggle a Republic and a Sith, but all the NPCs on the Sith side are such insufferable pillocks I think I’ll end up with two Republic characters.

    *Edit: By that I mean just hitting it as a single-player story.

    • phylum sinter says:

      This is exactly the way i’d be playing right now if i weren’t so phobic of the mmo-type it also cloaks itself in.

      I have horrible memories of trying to understand the appeal of WoW, never getting why people would like to watch timers count down so they could do a little dance which makes a lighting effect bounce disjointedly several feet from an enemy.

      I hope this illustrates my hesitation to love SW:TOR and in turn prompts you to ease my hesitation. That we may find ourselves on solo paths in this wonderful universe in the near future.

      Are you up to the task? More importantly… IS THE GAME?!

    • John P says:

      I don’t understand the desire to play this as a single player game. Are you really happy with KOTOR 3 being filled with quests like ‘Kill 10 bogglefuzzes’ and ‘Collect 15 swineminder claws’? They’re boring stock MMO quests. Generally single player games are a tad more interesting than that.

      I don’t know if it’s simply low standards or that people will play anything 1) Star Wars or 2) Bioware. Inexplicable in any case.

    • Walsh says:

      phylum, it still has all the cooldown nonsense of a regular MMO. I loaded up the beta for about 10 minutes, saw my bounty hunter starting area overrun with identical looking PCs, did one missions where I had to press a button on a timer then and quit in disgust.

    • runtheplacered says:

      @John P,

      You don’t understand why people might like something you don’t like? Crazy world we live in, huh?

    • John P says:

      I don’t understand why people would tolerate the same boring MMO formula and justify it with ‘hey, voice acting’ or ‘hey, star wars’ or ‘hey, bioware’. I mean I played the beta of this, and it’s an ugly, boring, poorly written, sterile game. I don’t understand why people like bad things, no.

    • Snichy says:

      @ John P.

      Strange, I don’t understand how anyone cant realise that different people like different things and shouldn’t be criticised for it.

    • phylum sinter says:

      @Walsh thanks for letting me know. I’m holding out hope that this one will have a free trial period in 6 months or so, unless it does exceptionally well then i’m sure the developers will hold back a bit more. At least i’ll have Mass Effect 3 in a few months to get my space-opera fix.

    • elfbarf says:

      @John: Good luck getting an actual reply out of them.

  3. db1331 says:

    Meh.

    Just kidding! I’ve watched a few livestreams of it, and it does look fun. One thing I’ve noticed though is that it seems like almost everyone is joining the Empire. I’d imagine more than a few servers could be largely unbalanced.

  4. andytt66 says:

    Bounty Hunter and loving it. But there is a nagging doubt in my mind that the game isn’t exactly.. well.. “big” in terms of content. It sort of feels hollow. Like you’re eating delicious candy and you think “my this is lovely candy”, but you glance down and realise that the bag is almost empty, and while there are seven other flavors of candy in the cupboard, this is the last of this bag.

    Like that.

    Um. Also, obligatory comment about the queues and MMO launches and servers and such.

  5. Tolkfan says:

    It’s KOTOR 3 from 8 different perspectives, and all of them are linear and only reward your choices with some paragon/renegade light/dark side points and maybe a follow-up email.

    The rest is WoW in space.

    • Max.I.Candy says:

      not true.
      choices make a difference to what happens and will happen later on.
      not just dark/light meter.

    • Justin Keverne says:

      There are clearly some events that have longer term consequences, I’ve noticed some obvious ones in the Imperial Agent quests and a couple others that I think might have some consequences or might not.

      The big ones are signposted though, when you make a choice that will have longer term consequences the screen with fade slightly, often times this occurs when making a Light side or Dark side choice but certainly not always.

  6. dontnormally says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3I7p5lvkwQ
    Auto-play!

    [edit]: Oh hey, at 3m05s, there’s that girl who voices every character from everything ever. Neat.

    • Jockie says:

      The voice cast is like a whose who of Gaming VO work, from Femshep To Nolan North via the bloke wot does Solid Snake, it’s quite impressive.

  7. fionny says:

    I have been enjoying the 5 hour long queues on the server we were placed on since Wednesday last week,

    Once actually into the game its good, though still a blatant stereotype MMO.

  8. Azhrarn says:

    Have had early access since last tuesday, and enjoying it quite a bit.
    Haven’t played that much because of work, but I’ll be free for the next 2 weeks starting friday. =D
    However I might not get the game from Amazon before the grace period is over.

  9. The JG Man says:

    I don’t want to like it because I don’t want to get involved in any more MMOs since I stopped playing WoW, but I’ll accept; it’s a very enjoyable game. It’s more single than multi, but the combined parts work really well and it is, importantly, fun to play. A little rough around the edges and lacks the benefit of a game that’s been on the market for several years and had tweaks and mods, but it shows incredible promise. I’m a level 19 Jedi (Consular) Shadow and had very little to complain about play wise. I just wish it wasn’t an MMO, really.

  10. Jumwa says:

    Was gonna play it as a co-op RPG with my partner, but the launch time was dreadful. We are still obsessed with Skyrim, and the holidays are upon us, with familial obligations to tend to.

    That and the realization that expecting to get into a MMO and derive any real enjoyment from it without investing our time and energy into getting involved in the community is pretty hollow. And since we can’t do that with our own busy schedules and plans right now, we’re gonna pass. Hold off until Guild Wars 2 before we dive back into the online gaming world.

  11. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Playing last night and having a friend along while I worked through the story was some of the best entertainment I’ve had for a while, in some ways it was like being the director of a film with the audience riding along with you in real-time. I think there’s an untapped market in multiplayer interactive movies – it makes me wish I could have someone riding along in Mass Effect. Maybe one day we’ll have genuine multiplayer interactive movies.

  12. Lobotomist says:

    Its good singleplayer RPG set in multiplayer environment.

    Would be worth 60$ if there was no subscription.

    Paying recurring 15$ every month for Kotor 3 is preposterous.

    • Grygus says:

      It is several times the size of any KotOR game. If you buy the game and subscribe for a few months you will have spent less than if you’d paid for the same content in single player releases.

    • runtheplacered says:

      Meh, why bother explaining this over and over. Every single TOR thread somebody (usually more then one person) spouts this exact same crap. Crying over $15. After awhile I just get to the point where all I can say is, “Then don’t play it. What else is there to say? Why are you in this thread?”

  13. Shakermaker says:

    I have a lvl 24 Jedi Sage that is as Dark Side as Dark Side can get. Enjoying it a lot so far but I am not sure if I am ready to commit to another MMO.

  14. Milky1985 says:

    Are they currently breaking some advertising standards rules, as they keep on advertising on all the game sites with a big “buy it here” button, and today (launch day) the site says “no stock available”?

    Thought if you were advertising somethign you had to actually have at least X ammount to sell on the day!

    • johnpeat says:

      I have no idea how people come up with preposterious ideas like yours – “If there’s an ad there must be stock – otherwise they should be sued and set fire to” – wut!?

      Real shops have stock today – I guess they put the brakes on online sales to ensure that the servers don’t just totally melt down with new customers (which would resulting in much bitching)

      That and to make the pre-order premium price less of a kick in the teeth to the impatient types :)

    • Milky1985 says:

      ““If there’s an ad there must be stock – otherwise they should be sued and set fire to” – wut!?”

      Firstly thats not what I said so well done for completly missing the “Are they” at the start of what I typed.Well done on taking my point and taking it to a stupid extreme.

      The reason I ask is because I believe it is illegal to advertise a product they have no intention of selling so if they have no intention of selling the product on launch day (to save the servers from falling over) it could be argued that they cannot advertise the “launch” today since they are not sodding selling it on the buy it from here link! I assume as its an actual product and you can buy it elsewhere they will be ok but god forbid I ask a question.

    • johnpeat says:

      I parodied your question and you then move it on to another level of daft – well done there…

      No – really – are you even remotely serious?? You clicked an ad, it’s out of stock at this particular time, and you think that’s somehow wrong/illegal/offensive/a crime before mankind?

      It’s hard to grasp the neediness of internet people – they want it now because they’re ENTITLED to it now and god forbid someone doesn’t supply it eh? :)

    • TeraTelnet says:

      @johnpeat – Milky is actually somewhat correct, in that the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, Schedule 1 clause 5 provides that it is considered unfair to make ‘an invitation to purchase products at a specified price without disclosing the existence of any reasonable grounds the trader may have for believing that he will not be able to offer for supply … those products or equivalent products at that price for a period that is, and in quantities that are, reasonable having regard to the product’.

      Whether it would apply here is a different matter but the principle itself is not actually wrong.

    • johnpeat says:

      That you even looked that up, scares me…

      If we thought, even for a millisecond, that they’d never, ever have stock of the game again – then the ads would be misleading (although easily swatted down by saying they were a mistake) – but that’s hardly the case, is it?

      It’s just internet ‘entitlement’ at it’s very best – “I clicked an ad and I cannot have the thing – run up the flags we’re going to WAR!”

      Clearly they’re choosing to make their game a bit ‘hard to get’ – they started doing thing months ago by telling people to preorder at a premium to get in earlier and I guess that will continue for a while.

      If you’re desperate – try a shop – our local has copies stacked to the ceiling and FAR FAR cheaper than any DD outlet.

    • PaulMorel says:

      @johnpeat: troll much?

      @Milky1985: This is actually a really interesting question – whether the same consumer protection laws apply to digital goods. I bet that this part of the law has never been tested in court, but I think it SHOULD apply.

      I think I might try SWTOR eventually, but the Origin thing is making me think twice. Also, I still haven’t played the new AssCreed, Just Cause 2, or LA Noir … they sit in my “unplayed games” category on Steam. So maybe after those games…

    • Khatzen says:

      Wow, johnpeat, you completely blew someones good question out of proportion in a poor attempt to use an overused internet insult that has basically lost its real meaning due to people like you over using it.

      Edit: For reference the internet-over-used-word (or IOUW) (or Aieee Ooooh Yewww Wehhh) is “entitled”.

      If a game-shop had a sign outside saying “AAA-Game released today, buy it here!!!” and you went inside to buy it, only to be told “oh we’re out of stock”… you’d be silly not to suggest they take the misleading sign down, or atleast put a sign on top of it saying “Currently out of stock, delivery expected X”.

      Otherwise signs/adverts would be completely pointless as you’d never know whether or not the sign was a truthful sign or one of your troll-signs.

    • fionny says:

      Man, thats just plain stupid…. of course you can advertise and then run out of stock… it happens ALL the time… *facepalm*

    • Durkonkell says:

      I think the point is that it’s a digital download. They haven’t run out of stock, so they are advertising a product that they have decided to withhold from sale.

      On the other hand: Retail still exists, although visiting actual shops to buy actual physical things is quite unpleasant at this time of year.

    • jezcentral says:

      @PaulMorel, no Origin required.

    • PaulMorel says:

      @jezcentral: Wow! Really? :)

      Actually, that’s terrible news … now I will buy it and have yet another game to waste time with.

      @fionny: It’s okay to run out of stock, but when you do, you can’t keep advertising that product. It’s not okay to lure people into a store by telling them you have a hot christmas toy (or something), then trying to sell them on some other product.

    • TeraTelnet says:

      @johnpeat – it’s kinda my job to know these things.

  15. Fox89 says:

    I’m looking forward to the “Cool stuff coming just a little while afterward”.

    As for the game, I’m loving it. This is the first MMO I’ve ever been able to engage with, and I think the fact that it’s very story heavy and set in a setting I already enjoy from KOTOR and the movies is what makes the difference from something like World of Warcraft. Which I pretty much hated.

    So yes, even despite the queues I found myself a nice guild (Revel Alliance forever!) and am an official MMO convert. Also I’m a Jedi Sage, there’s something so very accessible about being a healer.

  16. mercurya says:

    I want to buy it. I click the Buy link on the official homepage. It sends me to http://buy.swtor.com/de/ where I’m told that all editions are sold out. All the DIGITAL DOWNLOADS are effing sold out? WTF?

  17. FriendlyFire says:

    Am I alone who’s bummed by the fact this is an MMO?

    I’ve watched a lot of coverage from the likes of Jesse Cox and Totalbiscuit and I can say that I’d like to play the game for the story and the universe. They seem to have done a good job recreating the SW look and feel, just like in KOTOR. I’m not too interested in the mechanics themselves even though they seem well-made for a WoW-style MMO (certainly more kinetic than WoW’s).

    However, I just can’t be bothered to team up with folk, queue for stuff, grind levels and most importantly pay 15 bucks a month for what would essentially be a singleplayer game, at least to me. If they’d repackage this as a singleplayer game, I’d buy it in an instant.

    • dontnormally says:

      Unfortunately, they only need one player to stick around for four months to make up for your lack of purchase. Bummersauce.

    • johnpeat says:

      You realise almost everyone who every played WoW, played it as a single-player game don’t you?

      No – really – I mean even when they HAVE to team up, it’s for their benefit and no-one elses..

    • Lemming says:

      Nope not alone. Everything I’ve read about it that apparently makes it a good game could have easily been done without the MMO and subscription aspects which don’t help, either.

      It could have been a Skyrim beater and a return to good Star Wars games. Probably wouldn’t have had as big a budget, though.

    • Beardface says:

      Just buy it, play the singleplayer stories, then if you don’t find the multiplayer aspects fun, unsubscribe. Even just doing the personal storylines means a few hundred hours of content.

    • Matt says:

      You don’t have to grind levels in this game. At all.

  18. Serge says:

    Hmm…

    *Checks out pricing*

    DANG.

    No thanks. If I wanted more point and click, I’d resub WoW.

    Be back when it goes Free To Play(Of course it will).

  19. Kleppy says:

    In before free to play microtransactions pay $0.5 for wookie hat, $3 to unlock Kashyyyk missions

  20. LennyLeonardo says:

    Why has that man got no neck?

  21. vader says:

    I swore I would not buy this… then a friend gifted it to me.. and while it technically still means I didn’t buy it, it does mean that I’ve been playing it the last couple of days. I’m going full on evil dark side sith inquisitor. I’m the biggest douche in the universe, my solution to everything is to call everyone an idiot and promptly proceed to stab them in the face with my lightsaber.

    I’m having a really good time. It’s fun to play. It does tick all the boxes of a sterotype MMO, but having the whole game voiced just makes it a lot more fun to play. It’s a lot more satisfying being an evil murdering arsehole when you can actually hear the people begging for their lives.

    • steennp says:

      Unlike you, i didnt swear not to buy it.

      I do however also feel great being the biggest ass in the universe (when im normally nice and friendly) and having voiced conversations about how cruel i am :)

      Its great fun.

    • Screwie says:

      If a friend gifted it to me, I’d give it back and chide them for not being a good enough friend to know my feelings on the matter. :P

      Seriously though… I didn’t swear not to buy it, but I really won’t. Between the heavy WoW influence, my disdain for the whole Star Wars universe (except for two and a half movies), and my loathing for Bioware’s conversation wheel system, there’s nothing there to entice me.

      I’ll sit this one out, ta very much.

  22. DogKiller says:

    I know lots of people love this game and I’ll probably catch some flak for being a negative nancy, but I did not like my experience in the beta. To me, the game seemed like it wanted to be a single player game and an MMORPG at the same time, and in trying to do both, failed to be better than its peers at either. The voice acting was good until I ended up skipping through most of it because the quests were the usual collect\kill\deliver x of kind dressed with dialogue choices that didn’t really make much difference beyond whether I got light side or dark side points.

    The zones themselves were barren, lifeless and nearly as linear as a Call of Duty mission and made so big that I spent more time running back and forth than I did completing quests or adventuring about. It’s like an author who fills their book with pointless rambling prose that goes no where just to make the book longer with a bigger pagecount.

    The best part of the game, the class quest, stops and starts more than a queue on the M25, because everytime I started to get a little immersed in it, I had to stop and go kill\collect\deliver some more to be high enough level to continue. In the end, I got too frustrated with it and just abandoned the whole thing for as long as I could because you pretty much have to do EVERY side quest to be high enough level to continue on with it.

    That said, I have no idea if the game will be a long term success, because the only people talking about it are the ones who hated their experience or the ones who love it. The biggest slice of the player count will only voice their opinion by whether they continue to sub after the free month. I’m not trying to make it sound like the worst game ever, because it’s not, but it’s just distinctly average.

    /opinion

    Okay, frustration vented. I can now forget about my unpleasant experience and resume normal scheduling.

    • Phantoon says:

      I didn’t like it, either.

      In fact, I hated it. I tried to enjoy it, but knew from the intro cutscene (in which I have no idea what’s going on and am just waiting to get to play because it’s showing me amazing combat stuff and letting me take part in none of it or even who is the good guy- wait must be the pretty people because the red lightsaber guy is ugly) where the jedi chick blocks a lightsaber with her FREAKIN’ HAND, that something was very, very wrong.

      It got worse after the lightsaber hand block. I played as a Trooper, and we had the standard “I want a sandwich” nonsense dialogue from Dragon Age 2. The dark side stuff is so hackeneyed, as there’s no option for “be a good businesslike soldier”, so at one point I had to tell a woman I’d kill her to get me what I wanted because I figured I did not have time to console her. Then, the best part- you can turn it around and get light side points by warning her to get off the island, negating the horrible death you just promised her.

      Combat is… well, it’s warcraft. Let’s be honest. It’s not stellar, but at no time did it feel the need to explain to me what the different between my “clips” and “ammo” was. I was made out of meat and wore a fridge as armor, so I just wandered to groups of dudes and just hit 2 a whole bunch, and they couldn’t do anything and just died. Riveting. Something felt off, the whole time though. I dunno if it was the targeting or what. I couldn’t put my finger on it.

      Combat was bland, dialogue was karma/karma/whimsy options, everyone looks the same, and they felt the need at one point to explain to my dude what type of alien someone was. I am not a farm boy, because that isn’t stated. My character probably knows exactly what type of alien that human-like person is. Do not spend time telling me what they are. It’s not the fish out of water thing, because I’m a Sergeant for some reason.

      And to take the cake, Bioware is putting up fake customer reviews giving the game a ten on Metacritic. I’m sure there’s some legitimately excited fans thinking the game is the best thing ever, but there’s clearly fake ones. As in, review bots with formatting errors. Generally, people don’t take the time to look up if it’s a trademark or not, then put the tm sign after the name.

      I suppose there’s no getting back the Bioware of glory days, huh? Heck, I even thought the first Mass Effect and Dragon Age were pretty solid.

    • Yosharian says:

      No no, you’re not the only one. It’s a bad game. Not even as good as WoW, frankly.

    • Phantoon says:

      That’s probably the best way to condense all rants about this game, really.

      Coulda saved myself five minutes.

    • qrter says:

      DogKiller pretty much describes my experience in the beta.

      I didn’t like it all.

    • BathroomCitizen says:

      Me, I bought it and I quite don’t like it. I tried to, but I simply can’t.

      I haven’t still tried to group with other guys yet, I’m just playing it as a singleplayer game for now. Heck, after having played Skyrim for a few weeks, TOR just feels kinda cold and sterile in comparison. Its voice acting is arguably better than Skyrim’s, but the whole world feels a little too much staged and artificial for my tastes.

      Maybe my next MMO will be Guild Wars 2. Or The Secret World.

    • mire says:

      I was totally underwhelmed after the beta as well, but I went ahead and bought it because my wow guild is moving to it, and I’m having a much better time now. Maybe it’s because I feel safe getting invested in it now, knowing my character won’t be deleted in 48 hours, or maybe it’s that I’m playing empire instead of republic. Either way, I totally agree with everything you said about the beta, but damn if I haven’t turned around on it.

  23. Jockie says:

    The Bounty Hunter missions are pretty hilariously brutal, so far I’ve (optionally) decapitated two people. With the second one, I tricked him into wiring me a bunch of credits first, then deposited his head in front of his wife who ran away screaming.

    Good times, and I haven’t even gotten my Jawa companion yet.

    My Jedi Shadow meanwhile is in a slightly slower story and I feel like i’m pretty much stuck on a unerring lightside course with her, she is pretty awesome at stabbing thigns with a lightsaber though.

    Have to say the combat is far more dynamic and interesting than those horribly static looking videos they put out, but I think group combat tends to promote an ‘everyone stand still and do your role’ kind of gameplay.

  24. mjig says:

    I missed out on the free weekend because I was moving.

    I was never very excited for this in the first place, but there is no way I can see myself buying another box+sub for an MMO.

    I’m too addicted to the ability to jump from MMO to MMO whenever I feel like it, since everything has gone F2P and I can just pay $15 to unlock all/most content.

    $60 just to try it out?
    No thanks.

  25. Durkonkell says:

    A friend and I played in the weekend beta. I ordered the game, he didn’t but plans to at some point in the future. It’s not quite KOTOR 3 – I haven’t sliced a computer to blow up a power conduit and wipe out a room of enemies yet. There are compromises because it’s an MMO, but as KOTOR-alike with drop-in co-op it works rather well.

    We recorded a video of him playing a Jedi Knight and me playing a smuggler and then talked over the top of it. As far as I can tell, the beta version that we played IS the live version. You may view it here, if you are so inclined: http://youtu.be/pF193n9KRV8

    (we’re finding our style a bit, still. Please let me know if you find something INSUFFERABLY IRRITATING).

    OPINIONS:
    -It’s pretty obviously a Bioware RPG. It looks like a Bioware RPG. It has the conversation wheel and Jennifer Hale. It plays like a Bioware RPG smashed together with World of Warcraft minus autoattack.

    -I criticize the pricing, but manage to find it for £34.99 with the preorder stuff at zavvi.com.

    -I like Smuggler quite a lot

    -The systems design in TOR matches WoW’s system design in the Wrath of the Lich King era a little too closely for it to be co-incidence. Warcraft’s systems are now fairly significantly more advanced, although I think we’ll see those refinements drip into TOR over time.

    -I like bulleted lists because it means I don’t have to format my posts properly.

    -The beta and launch appear to be absolutely stable – no crashes, very little lag. Bioware have absolutely thrown money at this. Enough money to build a small moon space station. It’s certainly the smoothest MMO launch I’ve been a part of (cf Star Trek Online’s launch and very troubled first year).

    Ooh, here’s a tip: If you pre-ordered and got into the head start, Bioware are giving two days grace period. Your free 30 days starts when you enter up your retail key, so wait until the end of the grace period before entering it to get a couple of extra days.

    EDIT: Gods, who decided that auto-playing videos were a good idea?! I was warned and still ended up with it playing when the page refreshed after commenting. Bah.

  26. Burning Man says:

    SWTOR’s not available in my region :(.

    On the flip side, I really loved RotMG for everything except the permadeath and loot loss. Which are, frankly, deal breakers. But outside of those it is, as RPS put it, a concentrated dose of everything MMOs are awesome for. Kill kill level level collect collect number number oh you’re from indonesia that’s so awesome kill kill DIE OMG kill kill collect etc.

    So I bought WoW. Yeah, the sale nailed me. 5$ for starter + 10$ for Lich king + 20$ for cataclysm. Plus I figured I’d probably want to play it at some point, just to figure out why everyone’s so Gaga over it. Haven’t got to playing it, unfortunately, need to sort out some modem issues, but I will soon.

    • Durkonkell says:

      If you have Cataclysm, that means you can play through the excellent Worgen or Goblin starting areas, which are absolutely the best starting experiences in the game at this point. That should give you a feel of single player WoW at its best, and then at level 15 you’ll open up the two entry-level dungeons with have also been redesigned and improved which will let you sample the small group multiplayer!

      One of the really good things that WoW does that TOR does not is allowing you to queue up for 5-man dungeons without sitting in a city going “DPS LFG Deadmines” for half an hour. It’ll even pull people from multiple servers to get a group for you!

      This is one of the things I expect the TOR systems team are working on right now if they have any kind of sense.

    • Moleman says:

      While it’d be nice for convenience, I think that’d be something for them to hold off on for a good while, and at the very least restrict it to same server only if it does show up. The random dungeon finder really did feel like the end of WoW as a game with any sort of community (and has the same problem as the “one server, many instances” overworld that Guild Wars had)- you got matched up, ran the dungeon, and then you never see these people again.

      Pre-dungeon finder, there were usually cross guild connections that everyone had, because if you were short a guy, you’d check that guy you know from PVP, or that guy that came along to MC last Thursday when you were a couple short. When dungeon finder came out, well, just queue with four. Or three, or two, and then it finally stops mattering that there are other human beings driving the other characters in the game.

    • Burning Man says:

      Thanks for the helpful tip. I’ll start with a Worgen then (with a top hat, ofc). They also happened to have a sale on a Pandaren pet and a Celestial steed, so I bought those too, assuming they’d have practical use in-game and that I would be saving myself the trouble of buying them later at full price. Now I discover that the pet is a Companion and a non-combatant and the steed is frowned upon. Yeesh. I now feel scammed and insecure.

    • Durkonkell says:

      Has the Spam Filter eaten my comment again?! That’s SO ANNOYING!

      ADMINISTRATOR!

      Edit so that this comment is useful: If you end up rolling on Aggramar (EU), look me up. I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have, especially if you’re a hunter :P

    • Burning Man says:

      Sure, I’d be happy to. Unfortunately, I belong to Americas and Oceania, which according to the internets, means I will only be able to play on American servers. On top of Alliance/Horde’s inability to cross communicate, it makes me wonder why Blizzard would unnecessarily fragment its userbase and restrict their mobility. Oh well.

    • Durkonkell says:

      Ah, yes. That is a problem, and a ‘Blizzard Thing’. I’m sure it makes sense to them, at least.

      If you do decide to roll a Hunter at any stage, I’ll be putting some up-to-date writing-type and video guides on my Internet Weblog soonish, and you can always ask me about things via comments too!

  27. stahlwerk says:

    “…After all this time working on it I’m most suprised about how cinematic it has become…” [paraphrased]

    you and me both, man, you and me both.

  28. Crazy Hippo says:

    i was initially very sceptical about the whole idea behind a story and fully voice acted game. but having played it i am really enjoying it. both in the beta and on early access the way i would descibe it is as a single player RPG that you can play with mates.
    i am really enjoying being totally anti establisment as an imperial agent and a bounty hunter, choosing to be a really nasty arse in any of the convos and choices.

    as for the choices they do make a difference to the experience, choices open up follow on quests or close them off depending on how you choose.

    i havent had any issues that have impacted on the overall experience, no crashes, lag etc. just the long que times on some of the servers. hey ho, time to go home and que up :)

  29. Chris D says:

    I think it looks decent but for this price it needs to be amazing.

    • DiamondDog says:

      Same. I’d probably enjoy playing it to some degree, but for me it’s not worth paying a sub with the price of the game on top. F2P would be too much to ask for a game with a budget like this, but for myself paying a monthly sub is very hard to justify.

    • Beardface says:

      Seriously, how can you be an employed adult and find $15 a month a huge expense?

    • FriendlyFire says:

      First, why assume everybody is an employed adult? Students game, too.

      Second, perhaps because that $15 can give you three different, full games off a Steam sale, possibly more? Let alone Humble Indie Bundles!

  30. Nighthood says:

    I give it 6 months before it goes Free to Play. The subscription model just doesn’t work any more.

    • Grygus says:

      The Blizzard money sub just surfaced and waved a flag that read, “Thanks for the tip.”

    • Nighthood says:

      Tell that to the countless other MMOs with subscription models (which are now dead).

      No new MMO has taken over the market share WoW has. I don’t expect TOR too either.

    • Zenicetus says:

      No new MMO has had this much money and developer polish thrown at it, combined with an IP this popular either. So I’m betting they’ll be able to sustain a subscription model.

      The fact that so many MMO’s have gone F2P doesn’t necessarily mean that subscription is dead. It might just mean that there is only room for a few very good games at the top, where people are motivated enough to spend money. The other MMO’s have to beg for scraps under the table with the F2P model.

      I’m gonna pass on this one myself, because 1) too many other great games around, 2) recovering WoW addict, and 3) I’m just not that interested in Star Wars. It’s one of the goofier sci-fi premises in modern culture, and it just doesn’t appeal to me.

  31. Brun says:

    Been playing since last Wednesday as a Bounty Hunter (Advanced Prototype Powertech). It’s a refreshing change from WoW although that’s mainly due to the change in setting – most of the game mechanics are the same. The voice acting really adds a lot to the story, which I didn’t really expect.

    The biggest problem with the game so far is that EA/BioWare has drastically underestimated the number of people who will be playing the game – most of the servers are already full and if they don’t plan to bring more servers online today (to accommodate all of the non-preorder folks) they’re going to have some major population issues.

  32. ffordesoon says:

    I think it’s kind of hilarious that the comments on every single RPS article about TOR were choked with utter negativity, and now that the game’s out, everyone’s like, “Golly, I’m actually really enjoying it!”

    I kept schtum at the time, but now that it’s here, I’d just like to say: CALLED IT! :)

    Bioware has put out exactly zero interesting in-game trailers ever, but once their games come out (with the sadly rightful exception of Dragon Age 2), it’s generally, “Wow, this is actually pretty cool!” Even KOTOR 1 was like that.

  33. irongamer says:

    The voice acting and stories are pretty good. Combat is the old mmo standard. While I like the setting for combat (lasers, lightsabers, pew pew pew), the actual delivery just didn’t do anything for me. Standing in the open blasting away seems silly, too bad the cover system doesn’t function for any range weapon…. instead, cover is class specific.

    The one negative thing surrounding the stories is that many of the dialog options seem to lead to the same conclusion and/or have zero effect later. Maybe your choices have an effect every 20 level or something, but it felt like they really didn’t matter.

    I enjoyed the bounty hunter story well enough, but not enough to buy the game. If you like Starwars and Kotor like stories/dialog/characters I believe you would find the game enjoyable. If you are looking for something new in the realm of combat mechanics or something to break the mmo paradigm….this is not the title you are looking for.

  34. Harzel174 says:

    I haven’t picked it up yet, despite the agreeable assurances that the leveling process is spot on and fun. Mostly because I’ve been casting a wary eye at the end game, aka the justification for TOR’s subscription fee. Along with the social aspects.

    I’ve yet to be convinced this is an MMO and not just KOTOR 3 with an expensive, mandatory co-op mode.

  35. TheWhippetLord says:

    Been playing since pre-launch as various Republic classes, loving it so far. As a veteran (and continuing) WoW player I keep coming across silly little irritations as I’m playing ToR that work better in WoW. Why don’t things autostack when I put them in my bank, for example?

    On the other hand I like the way ToR handles player death, and most of the game so far feels Star Warsy enough. The space battles are fun railshooter type thingies which are a nice change of pace once in a while.

    In my opinion the inevitable WoW/TOR comparisions are a wee bit pointless – I know many people from my WoW guild who are, like myself, parking up a second wow account to play TOR as well, or considering doing that. Talking to folk in TOR we’re not the only ones. I can see some people moving over, but there seems to be enough difference between the games for them to coexist happily with slightly overlapping playerbases. Hopefully they can both learn from each other, giving all us MMO players a better experience.

  36. Nevard says:

    Couldn’t find the demo, no sale

    • Dakia says:

      There was two, maybe three, open beta weekends. Your lack of being able to find a demo was no fault but your own.

      That being said, I’m sure that there will be trial keys available at some point.

    • Nevard says:

      I don’t want to trial an unfinished version of the game, I want to trial what I will actually be playing

    • derbefrier says:

      You must have missed the memo but open betas these days are demos there’s a reason why they only happen a week or 2 before launch, To stress test the servers and let us try before we buy. the open beta is what sold me. but yeah I am sure they will have some trials in a few months.

    • Beardface says:

      How thick do you have to be to expect them to release a free trial at a time when servers are already under a heavy load due to the launch?

  37. 2late2die says:

    Besides the fact that I’m just not very excited about it, I also decided to avoid on account of it being EA game. Their campaign to out-douche Activision has been a resounding success and I try to avoid purchasing their games. I might even skip ME3 though admittedly there’s only a slim chance that’s gonna happen.

    • D3xter says:

      They’d have to try REALLY REALLY hard to do that, EA is bad, but not Activision bad… they’d have to close down almost all the studios but dice and Bioware, cancel every other projects aside from Battlefield X and almost everything else Bioware still has going on aside of their MMO and some games to lead up to an upcoming MMO, introduce Subscription fees to SinglePlayer games and call it “service” and generally just being the worst possible to both their studios, partners and gamers alike…

    • qrter says:

      Isn’t SWTOR exactly that – asking people to pay a subscription for a singleplayer game?

  38. Mihkel says:

    So glad I got to play this at beta, otherwise I might have bought this thing.

  39. HermitUK says:

    I’ll see how healthy it’s looking in a few months, once the teething problems are sorted. As an added bonus, by that point the actual box client should be pretty cheap, meaning if it is a duffer it’s no great loss. Probably won’t sub after the free month unless it’s amazing, though.

  40. ahnda says:

    The main things I noticed? Little UI flourishes that make play easier, like turning the full screen map transparent if you start moving, or bringing up the loot window under your mouse cursor.

    Otherwise it’s a pretty boilerplate MMO with some interesting conceits to the setting. In particular the gun-based classes are different enough to be interesting.

  41. Derk_Henderson says:

    I really like it. I was genuinely worried – I’ve never played an MMO before, at all, and so I was pretty much hoping that the quest stuff made it interesting enough that I didn’t get bored to death by grind. Well, I’m level 20 and on my third planet (Sith Warrior), and I’m having a blast. The voice-acted quests are fantastic, and it really does make basic tasks more fun:

    NPC: “Could you put in a good word for me with the Imperials? I’d like to defect”
    Me, to Imperials: “There’s a guy outside with some useful information that you should torture out of him”
    Vette: “You’re an asshole”

    The flashpoints are really cool as well, and I’ve had very good luck so far with groups. I’ve run into very few bugs so far and pretty much no lag – queue times are the only issue, but I kind of expected that, and they’re better when you can’t play until 11 PM PST.

    I’ll probably play through multiple character storylines – I’ve heard good things about some of the other ones as well. Thankfully, money isn’t that much of an issue for me, so I can live with the subscription price.

  42. Justin Keverne says:

    Looking at the in-game server browser there seem to be LONG queue times with the German and English PvP servers but not with most of the English PvE servers; being on the latter my experience has been fine.

  43. Drake Sigar says:

    It’s an MMO. That shouldn’t inherently be a bad thing, but the industry has made it such. Every time an assembly line product like this is so hugely celebrated it makes me feel older and more out of touch with today’s gamer base.

  44. PearlChoco says:

    Got some questions about TOR:

    1. Is it focused on PvP or PVE?
    2. Is most content focused on SP gameplay, or mostly MP? And how is MP organised (group quests, RvR, seperate PvP battlefields,..)?
    3. How large is the game world, compared to say, Wow or WOR? And is it divided in many small planets, or a few major worlds?
    4. And finally, is there any space combat or free space adventuring?

    • X_kot says:

      I’ll chip in my two pence (that’s like cents, right, except better?):

      1. The game tries its hardest to let you mix and match your playstyle. If you only want to PvE, you never have to fight another living being. If you want to spend all your time in Warzones (objective-based arenas), you can do that to. There is even an open-world PvP planet you can access later. To that end, there are kits and specs that tend to favor one over the other, though they can be switched out more or less easily.

      2. There’s a lot of single-player content, most of which is your personal “story”. You also have an NPC companion who will help out and can make the difference between success and failure in some instances. Grouping up is always an option, even for mundane stuff, although you get to take turns with the dialogue. There are harder “heroic” quests and “flashpoints” (raids) that will generally require working with another person unless you’re overleveled.

      3. Afraid I’m not well versed with WOW or WOR, so I can’t provide any good comparisons with regards to world design. The two planets I’ve played through have about 6-8 distinct areas around which quest lines and leveled loot/mobs are arranged. Many of the areas are really big (which means a lot of walking, unfortunately), but that also facilities multiple groups and avoidance.

      4. There is no free space adventuring, sadly. The space combat missions are on-the-rails shooter sequences (think the flying machine minigame in Jade Empire but in 3D) that earn you money and commendations. There is speculation that this side of the game may get some love in a later expansion (a la Jump to Lightspeed), but nothing concrete.

    • TheWhippetLord says:

      1/ PvP vs PvE – If you choose a PvE server you’ll never be forced into PvP – if you choose PvP server you may be attacked by other-faction players as you level. Otherwise it’s an opt-in PvP layer over a PVE levelling game, in this regard pretty much like WoW as far as I can see. No idea what end-game will be like yet (nor does anyone I guess.)
      2/ The levelling experience is solo questing + instanced group ‘flashpoints’ + a few group quests. Soloable to cap like most modern MMOs as far as I can see.
      3/ Divided into worlds – each world has several zones. Very hard to compare but my impression is that each ToR zone has about the land area of an average WoW zone. Time wise it’s taking me 5-8 hours a zone maybe, about what I’d take on a WoW zone.
      4. Space combat involes you flying an upgradable ship through on-rails missions – 3D with simple objectives ‘ take out turrets, kill a certain ship and so on. Made me think of a 3D version of 1942 etc. Pretty, noisy and fun. Not exactly Tie Fighter though. :)

  45. Domothy says:

    I’ve been playing since last Wednesday, and I’ve put a little over 30 hours into my level 26 Jedi Sage (healer). I am loving it.

    It’s weird – the thing that keeps me coming back to the game is the story. I’m enthralled by it.

    And that’s not something I would have expected myself to say about an MMO!

  46. Just Endless says:

    Huh, i didn’t see this on steam.

  47. Brise Bonbons says:

    This game is a total nonstarter for me, as I have too many really innovative games knocking around that need playing to sink a bunch of time into another mindless WoW retread. “Oh but story!” people say – well nuts to that, and here’s why:

    I had only positive feelings about SW:TOR (despite it not being my type of thing at all) up until a few weeks ago, but after watching coverage of the last big beta weekend (which I couldn’t even motivate myself to play for free) I got really turned off. The mechanics look solid enough, if extremely bland. But worse still, the “story pillar” that everyone is so jazzed about just struck me as plain *bad*!

    The VO is decent, but the writing that I’ve seen on display in various walkthroughs and let’s plays has just been completely flat to me. It’s workmanlike, I suppose – not like it’s outright terrible – but the plots are worn out, the characters are forgettable, and the “choices” given you all seem either superficial or maudlin.

    My negativity is probably slightly unfair, since it’s hard to judge a story like this when you aren’t playing it and invested yourself. But I’ve never been able to stick with Bioware games long enough to get to that point – I’ve honestly never seen what the big fuss was about. And I certainly don’t here, where the story seems so egregiously padded with fluff and side quests.

    I know I can be a curmudgeon in this regard, grumbling “read a damn novel if you want a *real* story, ya damn kids” as I wander through the Zone picking up sausages and ammo. But I’m just not interested in the sort of scripted “choose your own adventure” style stories games are telling these days. They just feel out of place to me, and don’t do much but get in the way of me enjoying the mechanics of the game.

    OK sorry, rant done. Back to Stalker for me.

  48. Revisor says:

    I am passionately indifferent to the whole Star Wars universe. It all blurs together – young Anakin, old Anakin, young Padawan, Lego Yoda, laser guns that go pew pew even in vacuum, laser shots that can be seen with a human eye, laser swords with light that measures exactly 1,25 m, pants bulging in the crotch.

    I’m so uninterested that I won’t even avoid this game. I will ignore it by nature of it being Star Wars.

    Don’t even know why I’m writing this.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Heh… well, at least it’s good to know I’m not the only Star Wars curmudgeon around here. It’s not the only reason I’m passing on the game, but it’s one reason. I liked the first movie when it first came out, all those years ago. I thought the original two sequels were okay. It’s all been downhill from there, as the lore fragmented into animated series and Lucas’ awful prequels (of which I could only stand to watch the first one).

      It’s now turned into a massive elaboration on what was once just a simple, cute sci-fi fairy tale. I guess it was inevitable due to the commercial pressures, but it lost me long ago.

  49. TsunamiWombat says:

    Played the Beta, Enjoyed it, will futz around with it when it inevitably becomes F2P

  50. drewski says:

    Looking forward to this going F2P.

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