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.
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.
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!
Last edited by Taidan; 27-11-2011 at 11:37 AM.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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. ;)
Doesn't surprise me. I haven't really played WoW at all, ever, so I wouldn't know.
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.
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...
Last edited by Wulf; 27-11-2011 at 04:31 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.
Last edited by buemba; 27-11-2011 at 09:29 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.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...
One thing I can zero in-on: WoW has better water effects.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Last edited by R-F; 28-11-2011 at 06:53 PM.