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In many of the discussions on this forum, there seems to be some presumption that people who are strongly critical of TOR and/or Bioware overall or strongly supportive of them are monolithic and inflexible in thier stances In support of civil and rationale discourse here, I'd like to challenge that theory and see if we aren't simply dismissing to easly those who hold differing views to our own.
I purpose that those of us who hold strong overall views about TOR/Bioware identify ourselves and post at least 3 specific aspects of TOR that run counter to thier overall stance. I.E. Those of us who are generaly critical, post 3 specific things that we find praiseworthy....and those of us who are generaly supportive post 3 specific things of which we are critical.
I'll go first...
Overall Stance: Negative
Postive Aspects of TOR:
1) Setting/Timeline - I thought the choice of where to place the game in the overall timeline was an extremely sensible decision by Bioware. Others might have had some temptation to cash in on the popularity of the recent movies & TV series by setting it in that period. However, Bioware selected a setting that was both close enough to be identifiable and distant enough to allow for significant freedom of narritive. It is a particularly dramatic period...and also supportive of thier existing fan base from previous single player games. So, good call Bioware.
2) Introduction of Mature/Complex Themes - On the surface, it is very easy to come away with a very balck/white impression of the narritive of the movies (heck, the main bad guy even wears a black cape of all things). Given the obvious potential marketing appeal of the IP for kids, many would have been tempted to present a very simplistic black/white view of the Universe within thier MMO to cash in on it. From what I've read about the story arcs so far, to it's credit, Bioware seems obviously to have not gone that route. They seem to be presenting a far more complex and nuanced moral view of the SW Universe. This has been a hallmark of many previous Bioware titles, and I've always found it very praise worthy of them. To thier credit, they seem to be continuing that same trend in TOR.
3) Graphics/Art Style - Taste in art is obviously very subjective and I've heard others being critical of TOR's graphics. I'll simply state from what I've seen of them, I like them quite alot. The art style seems to fit the subject matter and setting very well and strikes me as true to the IP. I find the graphics strike a nice balance between realism and illustrative and from a technical standpoint look like they will be quite accessable to a range of different hardware. So...thumbs up from me in this category.