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Ninjafoodstuff
26-11-2011, 03:49 PM
I played it for a couple of hours this morning. I'm not interested in any of the MMO aspects, I'm interested in how much truth there is to the talk of it being a worthy successor to KOTOR.

Well I have to say, it left a single impression on me- dull.

There is an awful lot of running around and repetitive combat. That wouldn't be so bad, but the combat is extremely unenjoyable. Playing as a jedi knight, you have to click to target an enemy, run up to it, and then right-click it. Then if you can be arsed, press the number keys to do special attacks. I dunno, maybe I was hoping for something more along the lines of mass effect, or at least kotor 1. So after a while of that I tended to avoid getting into fights, and just blitz through the storyline.

Ugh. The voice acting is generally pretty good, but the conversation choices are terrible- priggishly self-righteous, apathetic or passive-aggressive. With next to no deviation in the formula. And all the NPCs seem to whine a lot. Seriously, there are two jedi in the opening missionwho appear to be suffering from mild heartburn and harp on about how they need to go to hospital. All this in stark contrast to the pretty nicely done intro cutscene.

On top of that, the graphics are terrible. Seriously I maxed everything out and it looks like a game from the turn of the century. Why even bother having an option for anti-aliasing? To smooth out all the hard angles on every object?

So yeah, probably I will give this a miss right now. But I would be interested to see if other people have been enjoying it.

arienette
26-11-2011, 03:54 PM
I must say, the first 10 levels at least were a disappointment, no evolution on the mmo genre. We'll see if anything changes but it's all uninvolved levelling and more skills than are possible to use. Cover is fiddly and often goes unused.

The voice acting is of a good standard but I don't want to have a long conversation everytime I start a quest in an MMO. As it is I wouldn't recommend anyone spend money on it. Wait for the single player version :p

Happy to hear if anyone really enjoyed it though.

Rii
26-11-2011, 04:46 PM
I'm impressed that they've managed to out-do Star Trek in 'alien forehead of the week' syndrome.

TillEulenspiegel
26-11-2011, 04:51 PM
S'okay.


The voice acting is generally pretty good

The voice acting is of a good standard
Eh. It varies in quality from average to poor, IMO. So does the writing.

I think VTM: Bloodlines is my gold standard for videogames on both counts, and SWTOR doesn't get anywhere near that.

Taidan
26-11-2011, 04:53 PM
I get my beta entry in 10 minutes. (Finally, I applied the day it opened.)

I'm actually hoping it's as uninspiring as I've heard a few people claim, as I take issue with many of the choices they've made regarding certain exclusive game content that comes with the more expensive editions. I'd hate to have to compromise and buy into that due to the game somehow actually being worth paying to play... ;)

Rakysh
26-11-2011, 05:21 PM
I'm enjoying it, personally. Maybe it's because I'm playing evil and a ranged character, though- whiny NPCs can be shot inna head, and combat isn't such a problem. The voice acting has been a nice addition, and the physic in combat has been quite good as well. I wont be subscribing probably, but once it goes FTP I'll come back.

Taidan
26-11-2011, 05:44 PM
Yeah, it's basically WoW with better graphics and the "BioWare Conversation SubGame"(tm) built in, for better and for worse.

At first I was like, "w00t". 10 minutes later I was waiting in a disorderly queue for a stupid quest objective to respawn, and it was like 2004 all over again.

Taidan
26-11-2011, 06:33 PM
That's it. one hour and twenty minutes, and I'm bored to tears. Spent most of the game on auto-pilot, I actually completely forgot I was beta-testing The Old Republic for about 40 minutes.

The use of voiced cut-scenes is a development, but not a good enough one to offset the banality of the fetch-quests on offer. There may or may not be a good story buried somewhere deep in there, but the cut-scenes I sat through were just animated versions of the less-interesting quest-texts of WoW. There was no urgency, or over-arching plot driving me onto the next stage, it was just "Hello. I need you to get four things from somewhere. What do you think of that?".

I'd happily recommend it for somebody who's reasonably new to the genre, but for those who are tiring of their EverQuest-inspired Theme-Park MMO of choice and looking for the next big thing, I would urge caution.

Skalpadda
26-11-2011, 06:33 PM
Anyone else getting lots of texture pop-in and short loading times (only a few seconds, but it adds up) before every conversation? I'm thinking it just hates my PC.

Not very impressed by the game itself so far. The animations are pretty bad, the locations feel oddly empty, The dialogue is decent but it's only purpose is to get you out there killing/collecting/activating X of Y and after about 10 minutes I got stuck between three rocks in a perpetual falling animation and had to roll another character (there's a /stuck command that makes you suicide to get out of that sort of thing but I didn't know that at the time).

90% of the enemies come in groups of 3 for some reason. Not really a criticism, just a weird thing.

It probably didn't help my first impressions that I made a bounty hunter, who starts on Nal Hutta, a rusty-snot coloured world filled with rusty-snot coloured enemies and rusty-snot coloured lighting. It's supposed to be an awful place, but the minimalistic clean art direction just can't pull it off well.

The actual skill mechanics for the bounty hunter seem OK though, you get to explode things with diverse abilities that all interact with each other. That's probably the most positive impression I got from it. Might try another character as well before the beta weekend ends.

Don't know if this makes sense to people but my most base impression is that it feels like WoW without the warmth of Azeroth as a world.

Taidan
26-11-2011, 06:55 PM
Anyone else getting lots of texture pop-in and short loading times (only a few seconds, but it adds up) before every conversation? I'm thinking it just hates my PC.

I'm not experiencing that, but I am loading it from a fast SSD.


It probably didn't help my first impressions that I made a bounty hunter, who starts on Nal Hutta, a rusty-snot coloured world filled with rusty-snot coloured enemies and rusty-snot coloured lighting. It's supposed to be an awful place, but the minimalistic clean art direction just can't pull it off well.

The actual skill mechanics for the bounty hunter seem OK though, you get to explode things with diverse abilities that all interact with each other. That's probably the most positive impression I got from it. Might try another character as well before the beta weekend ends.

I was playing as a Jedi Consular, (That being the class I least wanted to play, figuring I'd rather start fresh when I started the game proper) and the green fields and Jedi Temple were quite colourful, if generic. The skill mechanics themselves were quite dull, though. You had to spam a button for each melee swing, (even for the basic "auto-attack" equivalent) or cast some very short-ranged "fireballs" that appear to drag a random item from underground each time and chuck it.


Don't know if this makes sense to people but my most base impression is that it feels like WoW without the warmth of Azeroth as a world.

Whenever I get nostalgic longings for World of Warcraft, I have to remind myself that it's the world itself I miss, rather than the gameplay or the people. I don't think that Azeroth has ever been bettered, MMO-wise.

Subatomic
26-11-2011, 07:40 PM
Played it for about one and a half hours today, not impressed at all. If you ever played WoW, this just feels the same with a different skin, somewhat better story telling and (somehow) worse animation and art quality. Movement, combat and control just don't feel very smooth, and the gameplay ist just your standard MMO fare - use skill 1 to 5, kill monster X, collect item Y, rescue NPC z.

Prokroustis
26-11-2011, 07:48 PM
Wrong reply in the poll, answer is what has already been said, meh. Pretty dull, voice acting and dialogue aren't enough to make it particularly interesting. Only plus is its running with no problems whatsoever.

DigitalSignalX
26-11-2011, 08:36 PM
I debated on installing for the weekend, but after watching a couple hours of "lets play" style walk through videos my impression is soured enough not to want to put aside Skyrim. I too was hoping for a spiritual successor to KOTOR, and it clearly is not. The combat is 100% MMO in that it's like everyone is holding NERF™ style weapons with flashy effects and then falls over when the health bar gets to zero. There's nothing visceral or rewarding about it like there is in the previous single player games. The voice work is nice, but it's all still MMO with very little context for who your character is.

Mihkel
26-11-2011, 08:45 PM
Yeah. Personally I'm not going to get it. It's a wow/everquest/whatever clone with voice acting. I'm really disappointed that they put that same shit combat system in the game, that game looks very simplistic like visually they haven't really put any effort to it, bland oblivion-tier animations, expressionless faces, shitty fucking dialogue (can't say general writing cuz I'm only lvl 12 but I can't believe they went with the fucking wheel and SMUG DOUCHE DIALOGUE OPTION for everybody) - it all just ruins it for me.

Sound is good tho, only thing that resembles KOTOR or Star Wars in general. Also I gotta say this is the first time I can give a shit about a story in an MMO because they actually worked on presenting it but that's about it.

Taidan
27-11-2011, 01:01 AM
I gave the Smuggler a quick go, just out of curiosity.

It's a considerably better offering than the Jedi equivalents. The mechanics are a bit more fun, too. It's still not enough to sell me on the game, but it's not the disaster that the melee classes seem to be.

I dunno, maybe it's because I made my character look kinda like Guybrush Threepwood, but with friendly mutton-chops...

fearlessgoat
27-11-2011, 03:17 AM
I had a good go at it today as a Bounty hunter.

The stuff I liked:


Voice acting is fantastic in certain places.
Lots of locations and lots of side quests
Rewards for helping other players is a nice touch.
Like the way you train and level up your companions.

What I didn't like:


Fetch quests (there is quite a lot of them on the early levels)
Graphics, max settings everything up to full and I think KOTOR 1 had better graphics!
Bugs, I had a hell of a lot today but it is beta. Still this close to release, they will not be fixed.


Finally I thought it is a good game. I can forgive the graphics on this one but it would have been nice for it to look as though its not made in 2004.
May buy it, as the way I see it the 30 days playtime would let me complete most of the main quests.

Rakysh
27-11-2011, 08:56 AM
Maybe they had to make being a jedi shite in order to stop everyone from being an Obi-Wan Kenobi clone.

Rii
27-11-2011, 10:33 AM
it's basically WoW with better graphics

WoW with worse graphics, perhaps.

Taidan
27-11-2011, 12:00 PM
WoW with worse graphics, perhaps.

Fine. If you want to quibble, it's WoW with more advanced graphical technologies, yet inferior artistic vision.

You know what my most damning criticism of the game is right now? Not that it's boring, or visually generic, or that it lacks innovation in certain areas and actually regresses in unpleasant ways in others.

It's that the most interesting new thing that it does bring to the table, the Light Side/Dark Side choices, doesn't bloody work. At all.

Half the time, you don't get any signposting as to whether or not you're even making the right choice, making which path you choose almost completely random. "Character A" makes one claim, "Character B" says the opposite, then you're forced to make a choice. Light Side or Dark Side depends not on a moral choice you make, but which potential liar you go with.

Half the times I actually made the correct moral choice, (eg. Return the stolen medical supplies to the soldier who originally owned them, who needs to save a comrade who's in critical condition, rather than handing them over to the thief to help the child with the cough) I got "punished" with Dark Side points.

It wouldn't be the end of the world, but for the fact that it's firstly unsatisfying in terms of "roleplaying", and secondly, apparently if you don't go either full Dark Side or Light Side, you miss out on powerful gear and good storylines that happen later in the game.

Rii
27-11-2011, 12:11 PM
Still unconvinced. I don't think WoW gives away any ground in terms of technology either.

Rakysh
27-11-2011, 12:20 PM
Erm, I think if you hover over each decision, you can see in the middle of the convo circle whether it's dark or light. I think.

Taidan
27-11-2011, 12:22 PM
Erm, I think if you hover over each decision, you can see in the middle of the convo circle whether it's dark or light. I think.

Really? Oh, that would be handy, I'll give it a look now.

**Edit**

Yeah, disregard my earlier complaint about the random element, there's a little "You know this because you are psychic"-dicator in the middle of dialogue wheel.

I guess this would fall perfectly under Wizardry's "RPG" category. You, the player, doesn't have a clue what's going on, but your character somehow knows the truth, so it's okay!

Taidan
27-11-2011, 04:28 PM
Okay, I'm in a difficult position now.

I've started finding the Smuggler story quite fun.

The actual Smuggler mechanics mean that the problem with the stationary combat is neatly bypassed. It's not like the silliness that is having Jedi standing perfectly still while trading blows, as a tap of the "F" key will send you guy diving (Occasionally an unintentionally superman distance) into cover, from where you only poke your head out for just long enough to use various (well designed) combinations of thrown detonators and blaster shots to dispatch your foes, before crouching down again.

When you do run into melee range, it's usually only for long enough to deliver a swift kick to the nethers followed by a tidy pistol-whipping to your stumbling foe, before looking for cover again and making a (unlikely, lengthy) dive back into cover. It looks pretty cool, and so help me, for the most part it actually feels Star Wars-y.

The only place where it all falls down is if there is no cover, and your melee doesn't finish off your foe. That's when you crouch before them as if to deliver an oral pleasuring, get back to trading shots, and the illusion sadly dies. Also, some of the cover mechanics can be maddeningly inconsistent at points.

**SPOILERS**

The over-arching plot line of recovering your starship so you can get off-planet is a lot more compelling than the the Jedi "complete random tasks until we've decided you're trained up enough" plot. It doesn't do anything incredible or provide any surprises, but the Han Solo-ness of the various steps you have to take along the way resonates in a way that is delighting my inner nerd.

Some of the smaller sub-quests are quite good too, if predictable. You have to evacuate the doctor, but he won't leave behind the orphans! You have to find a missing son, but he's joined up with the enemy! You have to find a missing cameraman, (or at least recover his footage) but he's joined up with... Uh, yeah. Some of the conversations can be quite funny too. (Although I suspect that part of this is due to a bug which leaves slightly longer than intended pauses between certain lines, to occasional comic effect.)

If your choices during these quests actually pay off later in the game then I think Bioware might have actually achieved something quite good in the MMO genre. I strongly suspect that they won't though, and that all of these sub-quests merely exist in a vacuum, to be completed and then forgotten. I'd sincerely like to hear otherwise in a month or so after launch, but I won't be holding out too much hope.

**SPOILERS END**

Anyway. As it stands, for the most part I still feel like SWTOR is pretty uninspiring, but I'd be quite happy to continue playing the Smuggler story for a month or so. If it was any other publisher than EA, I'd probably make a pre-order on the strength of the Smuggler campaign alone. As it stands though, It's not quite good enough to make me want to tolerate EA's bulls**t.

Rakysh
27-11-2011, 04:40 PM
"If your choices during these quests actually pay off later in the game"
You do get nice letters from the people you help some times. You've probably got something more in mind, but I thought it was a pleasant touch.

Taidan
27-11-2011, 05:26 PM
Yeah, I had a letter earlier. It is a good touch, but is indeed not quite what I had in mind, I was thinking more along the lines of what Mass Effect did on occasion. Would be a very ambitious task for an MMO, though.

Also, "The Letter" is one of those things that WoW has been doing for a while, so we can't give them too much praise. ;)

Rakysh
27-11-2011, 05:53 PM
Doesn't surprise me. I haven't really played WoW at all, ever, so I wouldn't know.

Skalpadda
27-11-2011, 06:10 PM
for a while

Since the start :)

I tried giving it another go today and made a jedi, but it didn't grab me any more than yesterday. I'll commend the game for letting me choose to slap people who tried to betray me, but at least in the starting areas the conversation choices seem to be far too much flavour and no real substance. The game world also feels really sectioned and closed off and I felt no real urge to explore anything.

I'm seeing lots of people being really positive about it though, both on the beta tester forums and on my old WoW guild forums so it's clearly to some people's tastes but definitely not mine.

Oh and I tried a quick PvP game, which just felt like a complete mess. Not that I expected greatness from low level PvP in a PvE focused MMO, but it was bad enough for me to quit out of a winning game after 5 minutes.

Wulf
27-11-2011, 06:23 PM
I already knew the voice-acting would be poor (I could tell from the trailers), I knew that the writing was immediately recognisable as sub-par airport level nonsense (trailers), and I knew that the game was just WoW with a reskin (Zeschuk and trailers). Thanks to someone doing a 90 minute long video, I also knew that they'd somehow pulled off animations which were worse than pre-Skyrim Bethesda. (Fair play and credit where credit's due, Skyrim was a marked improvement animations-wise over the horrors in Oblivion and Fallout 3.)

I really didn't think that animations that were worse than those in Oblivion was possible. But gods damn it, they did it. They did it... it reeks of half-arsing to a legendary degree. Even WoW's animations look better, much better. What was their animation team even doing? Really.

Still holding out my hopes for Guild Wars 2. In motion it looks beautiful, the still shots look beautiful, and you'll never be queueing for a mob respawn.

---

What I think Rii may be noticing with 'worse than WoW graphics' is the animations. They are far, far worse. If you compare them side by side, WoW is obviously better in every regard, despite its age. And I hate saying that WoW is better than anything, so there you go. I just have no idea what their bloody animation teams were even thinking...

Gnoupi
27-11-2011, 09:41 PM
I really didn't think that animations that were worse than those in Oblivion was possible. But gods damn it, they did it. They did it... it reeks of half-arsing to a legendary degree. Even WoW's animations look better, much better. What was their animation team even doing? Really.

Still holding out my hopes for Guild Wars 2. In motion it looks beautiful, the still shots look beautiful, and you'll never be queueing for a mob respawn.

---

What I think Rii may be noticing with 'worse than WoW graphics' is the animations. They are far, far worse. If you compare them side by side, WoW is obviously better in every regard, despite its age. And I hate saying that WoW is better than anything, so there you go. I just have no idea what their bloody animation teams were even thinking...


I made a smuggler with body type 3 (obviously the superman kind of body) (at least it explains the "cover" moments). Watching him run backward is an endless stream of laugh and consternation. Tip, tup, tip, tup

buemba
27-11-2011, 10:21 PM
The only 2 MMOs I've ever played were LotR (For about 30 minutes) and Conan (For about 4 hours) so I'm not exactly well versed in the genre, but this game isn't doing it for me at all.

I made a sith Jedi magician (Or whatever it's called) and can say with absolute certainty that every single quest in the starting area is bad. I mean every one. Granted, the cinematic conversations already made this game far more interesting than LotR and Conan to me, which is why I decided to soldier on to see if things get better once you hit level 10 and get your lightsaber + class specialization, though I'm an hour in on the second world and things didn't improve much yet. Also, the story so far is pretty mediocre but some quests have the potential to offer interesting ramifications down the line.

If it ever goes free to play I might go back, but as long as they're charging a monthly fee I'm out.

Kandon Arc
27-11-2011, 11:33 PM
I played as the Jedi Knight and really enjoyed it. It starts a bit slowly, and not having a lightsaber until level 10 is annoying. but once you get to Coruscant and get a ship it really starts to feel like Kotor. It's definitely the most immersive MMO I've ever tried and I don't really see the terrible graphics everyone here seems to. It's surpassed my expectations for sure but I still don't think I'll get (subscriptions should just die already). The story quests are engaging, but most side quests are as bland as in all recent Bioware games.

cosmicolor
28-11-2011, 02:12 AM
I kind of like the Smuggler campaign so far (Level 6). Rolled a Jedi Consular first though and I'm not too fond of that class's starting area. It looks pretty but it hasn't been too inspiring. Perhaps I need to stick to it though. Oh well, pretty much lost my chance to do that now anyway unless they have another test weekend, or I feel like subbing to an MMO again, which is pretty unlikely.

Graphics wise some of the textures look pretty low-res close up which is a bit disappointing really.

Taidan
28-11-2011, 02:24 AM
Just did the first group instance, (Flashpoint, whatever...) "The Esseles", and had a blast. Most of the action was pretty mindless running and killing, in the "WOTLK Dungeon" mode, but the story was alright, the group conversations worked well, and the bosses were mildly tough. (although they did leave bloody great circular indicators around to signpost when they were about to use AoE, which was pretty careless of them.)

I'm slowly warming to the game. Despite it's many and varied drawbacks, and the fact that a full three-quarters of it seems to be just plain boring, I don't think it's the complete write-off that my first hours with the game led me to believe. It's just another EverQuest-alike that's not particularly great in any way.

I can only presume that they have completely separate teams working on the different class quests and storylines, as the Jedi and Sith starting areas I played sucked big-time compared to the Smuggler stuff, which I found quite enjoyable. The game is wildly inconsistent, to say the least.

If it goes free-to-play one day, and if EA get their attitude sorted out, I'll definitely consider putting some time into it.

Kandon Arc
28-11-2011, 02:43 AM
Just played a bit of the Imperial Agent; much more interesting starting storyline infiltrating the inner circle of a Hutt boss. Voice work is really nice too.

Rii
28-11-2011, 03:25 AM
Still holding out my hopes for Guild Wars 2. In motion it looks beautiful, the still shots look beautiful, and you'll never be queueing for a mob respawn.

There is something eerily doll-like about the faces though. Particularly the humans.


What I think Rii may be noticing with 'worse than WoW graphics' is the animations. They are far, far worse. If you compare them side by side, WoW is obviously better in every regard, despite its age. And I hate saying that WoW is better than anything, so there you go. I just have no idea what their bloody animation teams were even thinking...

I'm no good at anatomising these things, all I know is that WoW looks great to my eyes and that SWTOR looks like arse.

One thing I can zero in-on: WoW has better water effects.

buemba
28-11-2011, 02:56 PM
What do you know, things do get better post level 10. The combat still is mediocre, but at least the story and side-quests are getting more interesting.

Jockie
28-11-2011, 03:13 PM
I was in the beta a good while ago and got unlimited access for a month and although I tried every class, most of my time was spent with the Sith Inquisitor and I had mixed feelings about the game (think I reached around level 38).

First and foremost, the personal story stuff is actually pretty good, the inquisitor's story was engaging and it's the slow dawning of power you'd hope for as a Sith Acolyte, fulfilling many a SW nerd's fantasies. The combat is pretty typical mmo stuff, but there was enough diversity in the classes to keep things interesting - i turned my inquisitor in a double-bladed off tank.

My main problem with the game back then was that the group quests were such an appalling grind, lacking any story and that the much touted flash points were in such short supply. The first flash-point on both sides is great, it actually feels like multi-player Kotor, sadly the next one was a good 40+ levels after the first ( i have no idea if this is still true).

It wasn't as terrible a game as I thought it was going to be (i honestly can't stand Wow) and like most mmo's, it'll probably be fun to play through in a group (4 seems the optimum number). But it doesn't do nearly enough to advance the genre.

csuzw
28-11-2011, 06:09 PM
I played at the weekend and it's basically WoW with Star Wars theme. The big change is obviously the conversation system and while it does add something ultimately I found it frustrating.

To start with the Dark/Light side system doesn't make sense to me for the force using classes. Dark Jedi/Light Sith doesn't make sense in the universe unless you can actually switch factions. The choices also don't always make sense and while mostly you can see when an option is going to move you 1 way or the other I encountered at least 1 choice that gave me no hint (I ended up getting Light side points for trying to fuck over a Sith Lord...).

However what frustrated me the most was that I often couldn't tell how my character would respond to the option I chose. It worked better on some classes than others but for Inquisitor I often found my character would do almost the opposite of what I expected. Position on the circle often gave a clue, even if the text didn't but the game isn't even consistent about this so it's not a reliable guide. I'm assuming they don't want to make the choice too easy, but it's no better if I can't tell what my character's response will be.

Also the following didn't fill me with confidence that much effort has been put into the main story lines (don't read if you don't want a mild Sith Inquisitor early story spoiler - is there spoiler tag functionality on this forum?):
The Sith Inquisitor storyline starts you out as an ex-slave going through your trials. Your master hates you for it and pits you against a pure-blood Sith acolyte. This is fine unless you're also playing pure-blood Sith at which point your masters speeches about how you're inferior because you don't have pure blood are all a bit silly.

Moleman
28-11-2011, 07:28 PM
So far, I've been enjoying it quite a bit. It is, basically, WOW+conversations, but since the minute-to-minute gameplay of WOW wasn't why I burned out on that a while back, that's not something I can really complain about. At the very least, it feels like I could get a couple months of playing through each classes storyline and not feel like I'd been wasting my time. Specific stuff:

1. It's probably the beta, but so far everyone has been extremely nice- I really hadn't realized how toxic WoW had gotten after everyone was at the cap. Interestingly, it's the kind of thing that makes me hope that it's only a modest success- the lack of any Wowhead/Thottbot style outside database make your resources other players, so there's engagement there.

2. The one flashpoint (Esseles) I did raised a few questions. I'm not quite sure how the light/dark side choice works in there- I'm assuming the points are awarded based on what you choose, but the instance continues on based on how the person who wins the role chose, but that's just from the UI showing light side point gains on a per person basis- no one picked dark side in my group, so I don't know how that went. It also seems like a dedicated healer or even tank isn't strictly necessary (we were playing pretty recklessly and were never really challenged), but I don't know how that's going to scale to the higher levels.

3. Related, I think that the basic skills that allow you to heal/tank aren't subclass specific, with each subclass getting you improved heals and tanking skills. But I can't be certain- and something bugged last night so my inquisitor didn't get to train a healing skill even though he was the healing sub specialization, so God knows what's going on there.

4. Watching my wife play, all I can think is that it's going to be a gigantic success. Seriously, the jaded part of me keeps spotting what gameplay mechanic is cribbed from where, and how there's really nothing new here that isn't stolen from Bioware's own single player games, but there's something to be said for just laughing at a snide remark from an NPC, or just letting the music tug at your heartstrings (I'm guilty of the last one myself- especially the echoes of the Tatooine sunset theme as you come over the ridge to the Jedi Temple on Tython). It's not the most complex or original game, but there's something to be said for well-executed comfort food.

R-F
28-11-2011, 08:45 PM
The Sith Inquisitor storyline starts you out as an ex-slave going through your trials. Your master hates you for it and pits you against a pure-blood Sith acolyte. This is fine unless you're also playing pure-blood Sith at which point your masters speeches about how you're inferior because you don't have pure blood are all a bit silly.

It makes more sense if you know the lore, as grognardy as that may sound.

Sith pureblood aren't pureblood, really. They've got a lot of different genetics.

Anyway, it seems that the hatred is more based on the fact you're a slave than anything else.

EDIT: Also, later on in Korriban, you talk to someone who's interested in Sith purebloods. He completely changes his dialogue based upon your race.


What do you know, things do get better post level 10. The combat still is mediocre, but at least the story and side-quests are getting more interesting.

I wouldn't say the combat is mediocre. That means it's worse than the average for an MMO. I'd say it's on par if not a little better. The animations are kinda buggered, but their usage of several tiers of "elite" means I can lightning my way through enemies easy peasy like.

Taidan
28-11-2011, 09:18 PM
2. The one flashpoint (Esseles) I did raised a few questions. I'm not quite sure how the light/dark side choice works in there- I'm assuming the points are awarded based on what you choose, but the instance continues on based on how the person who wins the role chose, but that's just from the UI showing light side point gains on a per person basis- no one picked dark side in my group, so I don't know how that went. It also seems like a dedicated healer or even tank isn't strictly necessary (we were playing pretty recklessly and were never really challenged), but I don't know how that's going to scale to the higher levels.

From what I saw, it's pretty much how you think it is. The action itself follows the choice of whoever wins the conversation roll, but it's your own choice that awards you Light/Dark points. In otherwords, it's perfectly possible to be in a group with people who take all of the Dark Side actions, but you won't personally be affected by their choices. Even if you're grouped with evil doers and they win every single conversation roll, your own reputation remains untarnished, no matter how bad things get.


3. Related, I think that the basic skills that allow you to heal/tank aren't subclass specific, with each subclass getting you improved heals and tanking skills. But I can't be certain- and something bugged last night so my inquisitor didn't get to train a healing skill even though he was the healing sub specialization, so God knows what's going on there.

That had me confused for a couple of minutes. There's a second tab at the top of the skill trainer's window that contains all of your sub-class skills, which are sub-class specific. It doesn't go out of it's way to call attention to itself, I never noticed it was there untill I realized I was missing a bunch of skills, and started hunting.

Ninjafoodstuff
28-11-2011, 10:49 PM
Seems to me the people who are commenting that they're enjoying it, like it for the MMO aspects, but the people that don't are looking at it as a successor to KOTOR.

TillEulenspiegel
28-11-2011, 10:54 PM
Seems to me the people who are commenting that they're enjoying it, like it for the MMO aspects
If you like WoW-ish MMOs, SWTOR is a good game in that vein. Absolutely. As I said in another thread, I think it's better than Rift.

If you think there's more to be done with the greater MMO genre than WoW-alikes, well...

Smashbox
28-11-2011, 11:02 PM
Disclaimer: I have not played it.

It seems like EA's playing a dangerous game here, much like swoop-bike riders threading the needle in Beggar's Canyon. If what we've heard is true, this is the most expensive video game ever made, aka the Death Star of video games, yet it seems to be part of a waning subgenre (albeit a damn huge one). Are people burned out on this type of game from Wow, or is a change of scenery enough of a new hope to reinvigorate the genre? If it isn't, will this go down as an Executor-class failure?

Taidan
28-11-2011, 11:48 PM
Seems to me the people who are commenting that they're enjoying it, like it for the MMO aspects, but the people that don't are looking at it as a successor to KOTOR.

As a veteran of various text-based MUDs, Ultima Online, EverQuest 1&2, (only a month of the latter, bad timing!) Star Wars Galaxies, WoW, (from launch day until a couple of months into Cataclysm) Eve, LOTRO, Rift, and at least a month of almost every other MMO, and yes, KOTOR, throw me in with the people who are disappointed with the game as it stands.

To be fair, it's not all SWTOR's fault. I'm sure if I was new to the genre, the staple addictive qualities of the theme-park MMO would have grabbed me by the balls and not let me go for a while, regardless of the game's relative quality.

As it is though, I can honestly say I'd rather go back to another month of WoW or Rift than play SWTOR. Forgetting all talk of the relative innovations that these games are bringing, (At which point SWTOR loses out anyway) I found the stories and core gameplay mechanics of most of SWTOR to be just... plain boring. There's no other way of putting it. Even WoW has moved waaaaay past the bits of WoW that SWTOR is faithfully emulating.

Apart from the Smuggler, that is. Did I mention I enjoyed the Smuggler stuff yet? I really should write that down at some point ;)

Dubbill
29-11-2011, 12:09 AM
Even if you're grouped with evil doers and they win every single conversation roll, your own reputation remains untarnished, no matter how bad things get.
Yes, you earn dark/light side points based on your intentions, not the outcome.

The whole dark/light system is flawed. Earning enough points allows you to buy light/dark items but there are no rewards for having a neutral score (at least last time I played. I haven't got that far in this beta session). This leads to players choosing based on the gear they can unlock, instead of making the correct choice for their character. If you want access to the most best items you need to decide to be dark or light and then stick with it rigidly through every conversation.

Skalpadda
29-11-2011, 12:20 AM
Earning enough points allows you to buy light/dark items but there are no rewards for having a neutral score (at least last time I played.

So just a set of points to grind for gear rewards, like a rep faction in WoW? Not that good/bad alignments have ever been handled in a great way in Bioware games, but that's a real shame.

cosmicolor
29-11-2011, 02:12 PM
For those who got further than me in their characters, do your light/dark choices do anything other than give you points? Like for example as a Jedi Consular I chose to let that one couple carry on that relationship in an early quest, which is apparently evil as fuck to do, yet there wasn't any repercussion for lying to the questgiver about it. I think if that sort of thing actually happened then it would be a pretty cool step for mmos.

Ravelle
29-11-2011, 05:26 PM
I have a level 15 dark character that got to Tier 1 Dark which gives you the ability to wear special armor that requires the wearer to be Tier 1, same goes for light. I've read also you get additional conversation options though I have not encountered them yet.
Your appearance will also change much like the KOTOR games, though I have to admit I didn't see much change since I had a Zabrak (http://www.wikiswtor.com/Zabrak) with facial tattoos so couldn't really see if anything had changed.

I have no idea if light sided character will also have appearance changes, did they the good side have feature changes in the KOTOR games?

Berzee
29-11-2011, 05:28 PM
I have no idea if light sided character will also have appearance changes, did they the good side have feature changes in the KOTOR games?

They started to glow with a beautiful aura =P
(for realz)

Berzee
29-11-2011, 05:30 PM
Though that might have been limited to portrait only, I can't remember.

Skalpadda
29-11-2011, 07:13 PM
Only on the character screen.


Seems to me the people who are commenting that they're enjoying it, like it for the MMO aspects, but the people that don't are looking at it as a successor to KOTOR.

I'm a big fan of KotOR and I also played and enjoyed WoW for ages, played a fair bit of LotRO and I've poked my head in the door of some other MMOs as well. When TOR was announced I thought it might be great as a mix of two things I really like; a big massive MMO world + Bioware stories and characters. After playing it though, it seems like it doesn't manage to capture the great bits of either, which is disappointing.

Jockie
29-11-2011, 10:11 PM
So just a set of points to grind for gear rewards, like a rep faction in WoW? Not that good/bad alignments have ever been handled in a great way in Bioware games, but that's a real shame.

TBF, the Dark/Side light side thing might be a mechanic first and foremost, but it also allows the kinds of situation you absolutely never see in an MMO - let me elaborate (minimal spoilers - how many mmos actually have spoilers for a start).

There is a questline on the First post-newbie Imperial planet, where you are tasked with investigating a Revanite cult, and the responses you give there are not just, click for faction gain responses, they get to to the core of what kind of Imperial you are. Are you the type who blindly, cruelly follows orders? Or are you interested in exploring other paths, that aren't necessarily good or evil? I can't say much without ruining it, but it was pretty well written and delved into the mythos of both Kotor games in a really engaging way.

It went beyond a lightside/darkside alignment bar on the character sheet for me (perhaps because I'm invested in the franchise).

Dubbill
29-11-2011, 11:44 PM
It went beyond a lightside/darkside alignment bar on the character sheet for me (perhaps because I'm invested in the franchise).
It would be great if everyone played like this but the whole alignment system is far too transparent in its approach. I think that most players will choose the option they feel is right for their character during their starter planet quests but once they see the rewards available on the vendors and notice the titles other players are sporting that will soon change. It's also far too easy to play the system - you can mouse-over dialogue options to see their dark/light impact and you can hit escape to cancel out of any conversation and restart it if you make the wrong choice. Any notion of roleplaying will be discarded by the average player in favour of gear and titles.

Maybe I'm overly cynical after min-maxing my way through WoW but I'd be much happier with the system if it was invisible to players until each quest is completed. At least then you'd have to think about your conversation choices.

Jockie
29-11-2011, 11:46 PM
It would be great if everyone played like this but the whole alignment system is far too transparent in its approach. I think that most players will choose the option they feel is right for their character during their starter planet quests but once they see the rewards available on the vendors and notice the titles other players are sporting that will soon change. It's also far too easy to play the system - you can mouse-over dialogue options to see their dark/light impact and you can hit escape to cancel out of any conversation and restart it if you make the wrong choice. Any notion of roleplaying will be discarded by the average player in favour of gear and titles.

Maybe I'm overly cynical after min-maxing my way through WoW but I'd be much happier with the system if it was invisible to players until each quest is completed. At least then you'd have to think about your conversation choices.

True, it's entirely possible I considered my options because I knew being in a beta that my character was essentially disposable (and that whatever alignment grinding choices I made were kind of pointless)

Skalpadda
29-11-2011, 11:50 PM
Maybe I'm overly cynical after min-maxing my way through WoW but I'd be much happier with the system if it was invisible to players until each quest is completed. At least then you'd have to think about your conversation choices.

If there's anything the daily quest and badges systems in WoW have shown, it's that players will almost universally opt for repetitive grind for rewards rather than doing something they find fun for the sake of fun.

cosmicolor
30-11-2011, 12:43 AM
What if the light/dark side stuff was purely a role-playing thing and had no gear rewarded for itself whatsoever, so it just affected the story? Although I suppose you'd hit the problem of where players are supposed to get higher-tier gear from.

perafilozof
30-11-2011, 02:19 AM
Personally I was INSANELY exited when BioWare told us on that E3 that they where going to make a Star Wars MMO. At that time my eye where still hurting every night from playing WOW until 3 AM. Yeah I loved the game that much.

Then a few months ago there was that clip of actual beta gameplay and after 60 seconds of it I was like "Oh, dam... WOW in Star Wars skin'', even the dam XP gain from the mob kill was the SAME EXACT purple color. But I still had my hopes.

Then when I finally got into that Beta weekend my hopes where finally and utterly destroyed. Seriously after playing WOW for literally thousands of hours, playing SWTOR was the same thing all over again. And I have no need or wish to play that same gameplay again for the rest of my life.

I know they made it a WOW clone so players could come over from WOW more easily, but lets face it its a full on clone with upgrades unique to BioWare.

Stormbane
30-11-2011, 05:59 AM
I tried the beta and canceled my amazon preorder. I'm not too keen to pay $20 shipping on that. I think I can wait till they bring it to the red zone.

Here's hoping GW2 lives up to expectations.

Ravelle
30-11-2011, 11:49 AM
TBF, the Dark/Side light side thing might be a mechanic first and foremost, but it also allows the kinds of situation you absolutely never see in an MMO - let me elaborate (minimal spoilers - how many mmos actually have spoilers for a start).

There is a questline on the First post-newbie Imperial planet, where you are tasked with investigating a Revanite cult, and the responses you give there are not just, click for faction gain responses, they get to to the core of what kind of Imperial you are. Are you the type who blindly, cruelly follows orders? Or are you interested in exploring other paths, that aren't necessarily good or evil? I can't say much without ruining it, but it was pretty well written and delved into the mythos of both Kotor games in a really engaging way.

It went beyond a lightside/darkside alignment bar on the character sheet for me (perhaps because I'm invested in the franchise).

They could have improved the alignment if they went with converations, like they did with Mass Effect, where you're not able to see what the moral of your choice is. Mass effect had also those grey area of good and bad and answers that you thought were good but gave you dark points instead, it's dialogue reponses were also better written out which made you think for a moment of what answer you should pick, it was more based on your actions and personality than choose dark or good.

In TOR you can clearly see what option is dark or good with most of the time simple responses such Kill this guy Dark and let him live and walk away good. including the red and blue alignment maker next to it.

buemba
30-11-2011, 05:03 PM
So this is me eating crow. I got my character to level 18 before the beta weekend ended and I have to admit if they let me keep the same character in the final version I probably would have bought the game, but thankfully the notion of going through the first 10 levels again is daunting enough to discourage me from doing it.

The main story and sidequests got way more interesting once I left the starting planet, powers got more useful and the space combat minigame was simple but surprisingly fun.


I wouldn't say the combat is mediocre. That means it's worse than the average for an MMO. I'd say it's on par if not a little better.

Fair enough, but when they say this is KOTOR 3, 4 and 5 I don't feel I'm being ridiculous when I start comparing it to single player RPGs. And by those standards I still feel it is pretty mediocre.

Ravelle
30-11-2011, 08:16 PM
The game and story really starts at level 10, but I agree, I will be playing this with a couple of friends and probably will have lots of fun that will keep me playing but I would liked it more if it was a single player campaign and a squad like Mass Effect to complete Flashpoints, maybe add some regular multiplayer in there for those who want to hang out with friends.

TailSwallower
01-12-2011, 01:23 AM
They could have improved the alignment if they went with converations, like they did with Mass Effect, where you're not able to see what the moral of your choice is. Mass effect had also those grey area of good and bad and answers that you thought were good but gave you dark points instead, it's dialogue reponses were also better written out which made you think for a moment of what answer you should pick, it was more based on your actions and personality than choose dark or good.

In the Mass Effects weren't the Renegade & Paragon replies always in exactly the same spot on the dialogue wheel? On repeat playthroughs I would just mash the conversation option for whether I was going for P or R and I always got exactly what I was expecting. If there are any examples of grey area then they must be the exception, not the rule.