Sunday, November 4, 2012

"Star Wars the Old Republic" (Video Game) Review/ Opinions

 So breaking away from my usual posts for a second, lets talk Star Wars the Old Republic. I have been a faithful subscriber since day one and while I’m not a veteran MMO player (I played SWG for a couple of months, Terra for around three months, Guild Wars 2 for three months, and just started stopped WoW this past month) I can say there are some positives going for TOR and some negatives. One thing that seems to be a unison opinion of the internet is that the one thing TOR really delivered on was the leveling experience. Every quest has complete voiced over cut scenes that help make the grinding up to max lvl a little more bearable. Your specific class quest is also usually entertaining. I have lvled a Smuggler, Sage, Commando, Guardian, and Sniper up to the lvl cap and overall I had fun with their individual class quests (except with the Sage). The low lvl pvp is also a very fun part of lvling. I won’t talk about max lvl pvp because it’s completely broken at the moment making it very hard for fresh 50’s to even stand a chance in pvp but since your stats are raised to a reasonable amount in low lvl pvp, it’s very enjoyable and even. That is unfortunately where the positives run out as the rest of the game seems much like an afterthought.

See it is obvious that Bioware wanted to show off their storytelling in this MMO because they pretty much marketed the game as “The best story driven MMO”. I will give them that point because compared to Terra and WoW, TOR is light years ahead in the entertainment department from lvl 1-49. Now I don’t know about you but the reason I wanted to play an MMO was for the endgame raids that require careful planning and coordination. While there is somewhat a lot of endgame content, the problems that arise are:
  1. The lack of challenge in 90% of the instances and ops
  2. The horrible idea to have completely modable gear that you can reverse engineer and then craft and sell
  3. The lack of mini games to keep people from racing around the fleet for hours on end
So my first point is by far the most frustrating one of the bunch. Disregarding the new ops, Terror from Beyond, every other ops and flashpoint in the game is a complete joke to take part in. It is painfully obvious that Bioware is catering too much to the unskilled, role-playing players because over the past months they have made every instance easier when they were laughably easy to begin with. The HM Flashpoints are so easy now that you can two man each one even w/o companions and still be able to get through them (most of them). Since they make the game easier for those who don’t research proper rotations and gearing, it leaves no room for these players to improve thus creating servers where 80% of the players still haven’t cleared EC HM (the ops that comes before TfB). For f$#^s sake the guild I am in has already cleared TfB 16 man HM and it has only been out for less than a month. 

Ugh so the next point brings up the endgame gear. All the endgame gear (almost all of it (at least the ones that really matter)) are completely modable which means you can take out the armorings, mods, and enhancements and if you have the proper crew skill, you can reverse engineer these parts and sell them. This pretty much breaks endgame because if you are wealthy enough or have a very good guild, you can get completely geared up w/o running any of the ops. Since we already cleared TfB and also one shotted The Terror from Beyond final boss, it seems like a waste to go in anymore. We have already learned most of the max lvl mods and armorings so we just have to wait until most of the guild receives their share. 

The last point is something that I thought Bioware would of included in a MMO where you might be sitting around for long periods of time; minigames. The Knights of the Old Republic had many different side and mini games that made the overall experience of those games much more enjoyable. The two events I enjoyed the most were swoop bike racing and Pazaak. Why oh why did they not include these two things in their OLD REPUBLIC MMO…? It seems like a sure fan favorite if people can watch other players racing while having the option to possible bet on the winners. The same goes for Pazaak; while waiting for a queue you could play against someone in your party. It just seems like a no brainer to include something that you can do instead of sitting on the fleet all day waiting for a queue pop. 

Overall I am still subscribed because for what the game gets right I still enjoy it. Healing is very fun in this game while Smuggler, Sniper, and Sage dps is also very enjoyable. Bioware unfortunately is just very inexperienced in maintaining an MMO and unless they fix the problems with the game, I might end up leaving it for say WoW or GW2.
Here is a video of our first downing of The Terror from Beyond on 16 Man HM:

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