Intergalactic Intel: First Thoughts

Intergalactic Intel: First thoughts

“I heard you got into the beta.”“You’ve heard correctly…”“So what’s it like?”“…” I smiled. “Nothing I had expected.”

Now with the press NDA lifted, we here at SWTOR strategies can begin talking about the specifics of The Old Republic. For the next few weeks I’ll be giving you my experience from levels 1-16, (as much as the press NDA allows).

Let’s begin with one of the biggest things Bioware has been promoting is the full voice acted game. The install time is ridiculous. I literally started installing one morning at 6am, and it was not finished until 4pm that evening. It’s a lot to download, and lot of patching, but overall well worth the wait.

Originally I was a skeptic thinking it would not change my experience as an MMO player. It did. The voice acting is superb for every single quest. I personally was hanging on to every word. Wanting to get into arguments with people, wanting to push buttons and see how they react. The game defiantly felt like the original story telling from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

The story itself is another part Bioware has been preaching to the masses that would help their game be very different. Well Bioware has delivered, at least for the Jedi Consular. The problem with the story is I like being efficient with my questing. This means completing various quests before moving onto another area. It leave someone like me itching to keep moving. Another annoying part is spoilers. People in general chat did not know how to keep plot twists to themselves.

Now the real issues that we care about. Questing and combat. Quests are similar to other MMO’s we’ve played in the past. Kill things, collect items. The only real difference between quests in The Old Republic and other games would have to be that you tend to pick quests up just by moving through the area and killing enemies. So as you kill your first enemy in an area, a counter pops up that shows how many more you need to kill. After you’ve killed that many enemies you get to fight the big bad guy with an actual name.

Combat is interesting. Instead of pitting you against one enemy at a time you’re usually taking 3-5 of them on at a time. Healers and tanks have a strong arsenal of abilities to help them deal damage, though they will not be as strong as someone who specializes in a DPS. I feel as though combat requires you to be more active than that of other MMO’s, but that could be due to the lack of user interface mods.

Now let’s hit the ugly. The user interface needs a lot of work. The chat system is archaic. The inability to click on a player and learn what class and level they are seems so old I could hear my old dial up modem starting. The only way to whisper someone is to type /whisper “name”. You can reply by pressing “R”, but you can’t tab through previous whispers, so making a group is a pain.

There is no real looking for group system. It’s hidden in the /who command. Even then you simply state what you want to do, and is incredibly hard to form a group with, so players are left to using general chat to form groups.

Bioware is defiantly looking to have a powerhouse of an MMO coming out, but they first need to fix a few things. Hopefully things will have changed by the next beta build. Next week I’ll start going over the different resource systems for the classes as well as how equipment is looking in The Old Republic. May the force be with you.