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Star Wars: The Old Republic: Full Beta Preview

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  • dreldrel san francisco, CAPosts: 918Member

    Originally posted by olepi

    I think what most people are meaning when they say SWToR is not an MMORPG: it doesn't have a vast open virtual world to live in. This is BioWare, renowned for story telling and great production values. They are not experienced in creating wide open virtual worlds with sandboxy open-ended play.

    Does the game have to be an open virtual world to be an MMORPG?

     For me it does.  Playing pre-planned linear games such as this game become boring very quickly. Add to that-you aren't able to explore eveywhere, have very little interstellar travel, which again is linear, and the game just doesn't appeal to me.

    I would much rather have the open world, explore anywhere, be anybody, and do anything-that makes an MMORPG in my view.

  • Cik_AsalinCik_Asalin SoCal, CAPosts: 3,033Member

    The Full Beta Preview has to be slanted toward positive; this site has to suspend disbelief to a degree since they rely on advertising, and they wouldn't want to upset that.  And though it would be very unsettling for them to remotely challenge Biowares, who has gained respect through their excellent single-player rpg's, of which SW:TOR seems to be a very good cooperative multiplayer derivative of, it’s just easier for this site to play somewhat disconnected from the concept of ‘massively-multiplayer’ and follow its’ homogenization.


     


     


    But admittedly, this “Preview” is anything but a “Full Beta Preview”, when James Ohlen already stated that the current beta testers are playing the full game, levels 1-50.  This preview has got to be mostly void of most early and completely void of mid to end-game content, which calls into question the inference of a “Full Beta Preview”.


     


     


    So no, the disappointment from others doesn’t seem to be ‘just’ about PvP, but the authors slanted title of “Full” which falsely implies that it is actually a Full Beta Preview of a game going live in just under 2-months, when it is glaringly obvious it is Not as Full within the context of  a ‘masively-multiplayer’ game when it comes to game-play, content, worlds & environment, faction purpose, game-play mechanics, skill-trees, community motivation, social & guild tools, pve and pvp, etc..  So from this piece, there are more holes that need to be filled with a lack of information on, such as:


    • any social, server firsts or guild features, progression system, aside from coop grouping.


    • anything related to racial abilities, specs, skill trees, dual spec/roles.


    • playable races.


    • any game-play freedom and diversity of exploration other than following a staged and linear path from one quest-hub to the next.


    • full pve experience, assuming there is more breadth and depth to the pve experience. . .such as. . .


    • any pve open-world massively-multiplayer dynamic events that have any influence on world conflict between light & dark factions; absolutely no “massively-multiplayer” pve game-play distinction or game-play nutrition in this yet.


    • world size and openness vs linear & funneled.


    • dynamic mob/creature/npc inhabitant movement, migration, motivation, or dynamic world colonization or community influence over the environment, regardless of whether it is influenced construction or not.


    • day/night cycles and environmental weather or effects.


    • full pvp or even world  pvp experience that transcends anything but a small team vs another small team within the same redundant tiny shoebox minimap of hot-potato.  The revealed player-vs-player stuff seems without any game-play factional contributory value or substance other than winning a small confining map that amounts to run, gun, die, or run, gun, win, limp, die; a lot of third-person shooter distinction, but no mmoprg game-play distinction or game-play nutrition in this yet.


    • any crafting complexity, involvement, or entertaining stimuli with player involvement as opposed to it’s appearance of one-button cruise control that you send your companion out to ‘fetch’ and come back with.


    • customization overall that are visually & aesthetically distinctive or unique by any means; character customization, clothing, armor, weapons, vehicles, dye capability, etc.


    So since most of these mmorpg staples don’t interest some, the reported experience seems to play reportedly more like a cooperative multiplayer or single-player rpg.  It could be that Content is sorely lacking.


     


     


    I will enjoy the journey, Im sure.  But as with many other games that ask for $15/month for playing the same content with little breadth or depth in the ‘massively-multiplayer’ department, that subscription commitment is going to lose out for lack of value after a short while.

  • ZoeMcCloskeyZoeMcCloskey Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,148Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Zeblade

    {mod edit}

     

    I'd like to just try it but they still haven't put me in, awwwwwww well. 

    image
  • HerodesHerodes DannenbergPosts: 1,494Member

    4 players, full box price and a monthly fee...

    If anyone is looking for a game right now, I´d suggest Dungeon Defenders. It is a wonderful four player Co-op game based on Tower Defense, where you can upgrade things like gear, towers, character in a closed Battlenet-like enviroment. It costs about 10$, no monthly fee. There are no cutscenes though.

    Okay, what does it have to do with SW:ToR? All I´am trying to say is I quit Rift at level 20, but before I unsubbed I was able to join several open groups and raids. In my opinion Bioware should put some optional content for bigger groups into the early levels, just to show some difference between MMO and Co-op games. Persistent world my a... if you cannot change it.

  • Biggus99Biggus99 Mesa, AZPosts: 916Member

    Originally posted by Herodes

    4 players, full box price and a monthly fee...

    If anyone is looking for a game right now, I´d suggest Dungeon Defenders. It is a wonderful four player Co-op game based on Tower Defense, where you can upgrade things like gear, towers, character in a closed Battlenet-like enviroment. It costs about 10$, no monthly fee. There are no cutscenes though.

    Okay, what does it have to do with SW:ToR? All I´am trying to say is I quit Rift at level 20, but before I unsubbed I was able to join several open groups and raids. In my opinion Bioware should put some optional content for bigger groups into the early levels, just to show some difference between MMO and Co-op games. Persistent world my a... if you cannot change it.

     

    So what is the cutoff between a co-op game and an MMO?  5 players in a group?  6?  Sorry, that doesn't make any sense.  If anything, having groups of 4 players will make it easier to group up with people for flashpoints than making a group of 5-6.  And there are 8 and 16 man raids in this game, as  well as world PvP.  I'm not sure how anyone could say this isn't an MMO.  That's just silly.

     

     

  • izzerizzer woodbridge, NJPosts: 9Member

    Originally posted by Biggus99



    Originally posted by Puremallace



    No negatives at all. I think a very glaring negative and this is going to get endlessly debated. Is this a single player rpg or mmorpg. Everything in this article and a few others is only about you and I have not heard one reviewer mention others players or how you interact with them.





     





    Is that just a oversight because it is worrying alot of people?










     

     

    Look harder.  There has already been previews from press who previewed the game at demos, before the embargo was lifted, as well as beta leaks, that have addressed that situation.  It's no more a single player MMO than any other standard themepark.  You have just as much reason to group and interact with players as any other game like WoW or Rift.  It's really not hard to find, unless you are just not looking.  The amount of actual phasing and instancing they've done in this game is minimal.  It exists in flashpoints, operations, and certain specific quest locations that are class specific.  BioWare has stated they made a conscious decision to keep those to a minimum in order to keep the open world feel.  When  you are on a class quest, you are still coming into contact with players just like any other MMORPG.  And you can group up with them.  It's not a bit different that Rift or WoW, and actually has significantly less quest "instancing"  than a game like Lotro.  

    {mod edit} 

    Don't use Rift in a sentence with WoW please.

  • ereyethirnereyethirn KaiapoiPosts: 79Member

    Originally posted by marinrider

    Originally posted by Gel214th

    Hmm...no negatives at ALL? :-)

    I hope when the game does get released that the MMORPG review is a 9/10...because otherwise we should be reading a bit of negatives in these previews.

    Did you feel that your actions between light and dark side mattered? If you went through as Light side, and then went through as Dark side...what changed?

    You can send your crew members to craft...how does that work out? Is it basically you're forced to wait an hour to get an item crafted as you wait for your Crew member to complete whatever it is they are doing?

    How does the size of the zones impact on the gameplay? Are there quick ways to get around or do you end up running for much of the time? 

    How's the combat compared to other MMORPGs...solid? How about the User Interface? 

    Not having an Auto Attack sounds like a big deal, how does that turn out? 

     

     

    These are very valid questions that I'm fairly interested in as well!

     

    Also, does swtor have mounts? (I would check for myself but the main site is down).


     

    1. Any Negatives? yup 1 charactor creation, is pretty much non existant, other than that nope

    2. Light and dark choices has minor effects on storyline but it still ended up in the same general direction if thats what you're asking... if you're asking the effect on you, its just appearence of the gear you get.

    3. The crew skills works great, it only takes companions about 1 minute to make most things and ou can send them out gathering resourses and stuff too, however the one problem I have with it is you can only que up 5 items to be created at a time so you need to come back and add more every 5 minutes, if that makes sense.

    4. There are speeder bikes you can hire similar to gryphons in wow that are a fast way of getting round planets, each planet is massive so you do need them.

    5. Combat is great fun and it works so well, ill answer question about auto attack here too, it is like having an auto attack exept its an auto attack that you click to use but it uses no ammo or whatever your class uses, and healers can change it into a heal which is effectively a free heal (well for troupers at least that's all I've played) the other great thing about combat is the animations, they are amazingly done and so awesome to watch i never thought they'd make a difference but they really do.

    6. User interface is good but it'd be nice to have a bit more costomisation

    7. Yes there are mounts but they are only vehicles you won't find people roaming the deserts of tatouine riding a tawntawn ( or whatever they are called)

    hope this helped :)


     


     

  • IllyssiaIllyssia LondonPosts: 1,524Member

    SW:TOR is just a real blast. It is the ScyFy MMORPG we have all been waiting for, a hell of a ride and definitely worth playing I think. The next generation of MMO are finally arriving in the form of SW:TOR and later on next year in the fantasy of GW:2. WoW will be dead in 12 months more or less, or possibly in a free-2-play model.

  • AcvivmAcvivm Austin, TXPosts: 321Member Uncommon

    Have they said anything about the main social hub for the empire side?

    HEAVEN OR HELL
    Duel 1
    Lets ROCK!

  • SysOpPsycheSysOpPsyche McHenry, ILPosts: 103Member

    So did MMORPG.com staff all go on vacation or has MMORPG.com become horribly biased?

     

    Review has been main article for the past 3 days now.

    Personally, Star Wars:The Old Republic = Star Wars reskin of World of Warcraft to me. Not exactly a bad thing, might try it out rather than going back to WoW but not something I'm holding my breath or even excited about (post your comments or save your breath Fanboi's [including MMORPG.com staff members that qualify as the same] as I can make up my own opinion and its already been made).

     

    Bad enough its been over-hyped, over marketed and hotly debated between fanboi's and critics so much that a lot of people automatically hate SWTOR for its disruptiveness to their activities (myself included) kind of like those News stories about some stupid whatever thats gets swarmed by every media outlet out there and makes getting any Other news near impossible but very easy to get the most mundane and stupid details about the tragedy/story/what-not of the month.

     

    Don't suppose there is an Estimated Time of Arrival of another article so the SWTOR advertisement banner story can come down?

     



     

  • xSh0xxSh0x Scottsdale, AZPosts: 125Member

    Its gonna be a great single player game with coop and multiplayer features.

  • SBE1SBE1 New York, NYPosts: 335Member

    Another thing I worry about is if I'm in a group doing a quest, and let's say it's a choice of saving children (light side choice) or saving the ammunition (dark side choice), and you want to save the kids.  Well, another person in the group says to save the ammunition, and that's what the game chooses.   Your quest now is to save teh ammunition, even though you wanted to save the kids.   So you go through the quest (because you have to) and its over.  

    Can you go back and redo the quest so you can save the kids?   I doubt it.  

    That's something that just really annoys me.  The ability for other people in your group to determine your quest.  It just means I'm going to have to be extremely careful about who I group with so that we all select the same thing in each situation...but how will I know that ahead of time without already knowing the quest options?  Hence, it seems safer to do the quest solo so you can do the parts you want.

  • Depo-dragonDepo-dragon orlando, FLPosts: 1Member

    You should try City of Hero's or Dungeons and Dragons Online.  There are certain classes that are next to impossible to lvl without a team.  Those 2 games have team play unlike any I have seen in any of the other MMORPG's

  • Biggus99Biggus99 Mesa, AZPosts: 916Member

    Originally posted by Warzod


















    Developer-written and driven story that, while offering different paths, eventually results in boredom and repetition.  There is a different story for every class, and different paths you can choose within each story if you were to go through it a second time.  The words "boredom" and "repetitious" are the last words I'd use to describe it, unless you just don't like sitting through dialogue.  





    No no no no no... jeez where do you people get this information? There is only one chain of missions that is unique to your BASE class so if you play a Vanguard and then a Commando I hope you like doing the exact same missions all over again. No, there are no seperate paths you can choose within each story, there are different conversational choices you can make going light side or dark but they have absolutely zero effect on the sequence of events. You 'may' run into about 1% of the missions that will say go get X and 'either' bring it to Y or Z but that is it. Nothing will be different down the line depending on what you did.





    Also, aside from the base class mission chain 99% of the game's missions are repeated by other classes. So if you play a Trooper you are going to be doing all the same missions that a Smuggler does, a Knight does, and a Consular. So no, sorry guys but this game is very very repetetive because A) All class missions are shared regardless of Advanced Class so you get to do all those twice and B) All world missions are shared between all classes and ACs so you get to do all of those over and over and over and over and....










     

     

    You're conveniently leaving the part out about the choices you make having an effect on the missions as well, particularly in the class quest lines.  Yes, there will be repeat missions, particularly in the side quests, but to say the game will be repetive in nature is simply wrong.  This game will have much higher playability than any other MMO on the market.  8 different class questlines to choose from is a pretty significant amount, especially when you consider that you can alter how those quests turn out by the choices you make.  

    Stop trying to make it sound like this game is going to be repetitive, because it's not.  If you want repetitive and boring, check out Rift.  

  • sweetruinsweetruin Reviewer Denver, COPosts: 3Member

     Reviews, by their very nature, are biased; they are opinions.

    Game Reviewer, Game Player, Game Blogger - sensing the theme?

  • olepiolepi Austin, TXPosts: 1,150Member Uncommon

    I am worried about replayability. Some games, like Vanguard for example, have multiple places to level for each level range. If you are level 15, for example, there are several whole continents and zones for that level. You literally could not see all the content unless you stopped leveling.

    You could play three different characters, and never repeat a mission. Is SWTOR like that?

    ------------
    RIP City of Heroes. One of my favorite MMO's.

  • dougmysticeydougmysticey Pflugerville, TXPosts: 1,176Member

    Originally posted by olepi

    I am worried about replayability. Some games, like Vanguard for example, have multiple places to level for each level range. If you are level 15, for example, there are several whole continents and zones for that level. You literally could not see all the content unless you stopped leveling.

    You could play three different characters, and never repeat a mission. Is SWTOR like that?


     

     I think this is an area of the least concern actually. Each of the eight character classes has a specifically developed story line with little to no overlap (thought you may be on the same planets). While debated hotely, there is estimated to be 200 hours of unique class story for each of the main classes. if you play a character from the opposing faction there is NO overlap in the personal story lines at all.

    Additionally, each planet has a multi-part world story arc that will run over several long quests to complete. This is not including the flashpoints for each faction either.

    Then add warzones and world PVP on Illum plus Operations and you should be good.

    Again, being Bioware and treating these story arcs like the RPGs they have produced before, replayability is not an area I am concerned about at all.

    image

  • HurvartHurvart ystadPosts: 565Member

    Pesonally I dont think it makes much difference if the starting areas are polished, fun and packed with content. All companies focus on that and would release a game that is good and fun the first 20 levels.  The difference between a good and a bad game is mid and higher level areas. They must be ready when the game is released and have as much content as the starting areas. The same quality and polish. And I dont think we know enough to have opinions based on facts about this. And if answeing questions in detail about that is still forbidden by NDA there is good reason to believe mid and high level content is not yet polished enough or complete enough to be ready. And not something they want people that know the truth to discuss at this time.

    Of course there is still almost two months til release. But if people are not yet allowed to talk about this when we are really close to release it will be a bad sign.  And its to early to decide if this game will be good or bad.

  • erikk3189erikk3189 New York City, NYPosts: 306Member

    At least this game won't have any stupid Pandas.

    Imagine that, Pandas?

  • A.BlacklochA.Blackloch NexusPosts: 831Member

    Warzones, warfronts... Blah. I hate that stupid end game grind mmorpgs nowadays have. Oh well, let's hope the journey to the max level is at least fun and long.

    image image image

  • VorthanionVorthanion Laguna Vista, TXPosts: 2,117Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Yamota

    Originally posted by Cik_Asalin


    Originally posted by Yamota

    So are there any actual MMO features in this game worth writing about? Because this review could might as well have been written for a regular multiplayer game.

    Perhaps it doesn't turn "Massively" until level 50; it might be a Heroic quest for the final, yet first M in MMORPG.  Until then it just might be a mixture of single-player and cooperative-player ORPG with multiple people on the same server.

    Which is my point. Maybe at level 50 it will turn into an MMORPG but for now the game sounds more like an MORPG.

    I love / hate your signature.....OMG.....Godric was such a hottie.  It really pisses me off that they killed him off.  Sorry for the off topic comment, but I love True Blood  :)

    image
  • thanks for the article! my son wants me to sign up for the beta but I'm not interested, I don't want to take anything away from the total exploration and fun at launch.  With these games the absolute best thing about them is finding your way with other people in the beginning

  • stayontargetstayontarget Tacoma, WAPosts: 6,068Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by erikk3189

    At least this game won't have any stupid Pandas.

    Imagine that, Pandas?

     ~True but the SW IP has Jar Jar Blink~

    Imagine that !

    Velika: City of Wheels: Among the mortal races, the humans were the only one that never built cities or great empires; a curse laid upon them by their creator, Gidd, forced them to wander as nomads for twenty centuries...

  • zymurgeistzymurgeist Pittsville, VAPosts: 5,211Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by SaintViktor

    Originally posted by zymurgeist

    Originally posted by SaintViktor

    {mod edit}

     Not 1 bit because after 3-6 months the game will start bleeding subs like WAR and AOC. I believe those were popular ips too, especially Warhammer. I love the Star Wars ip as well as Bioware but unfortunately its gonna tank hard after a couple of months. In the history of mmos there has never been a premade ip that has captured the hearts of gamers. Everything that has done well was an original ip.

     Wasn't the IP that killed WAR and AOC it was the execution. SWtoR is the best execution of it's type yet. It's the game LotRO should have been.

    "Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  • ropeniceropenice Lake Worth, FLPosts: 587Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Cik_Asalin


    The Full Beta Preview has to be slanted toward positive; this site has to suspend disbelief to a degree since they rely on advertising, and they wouldn't want to upset that.  And though it would be very unsettling for them to remotely challenge Biowares, who has gained respect through their excellent single-player rpg's, of which SW:TOR seems to be a very good cooperative multiplayer derivative of, it’s just easier for this site to play somewhat disconnected from the concept of ‘massively-multiplayer’ and follow its’ homogenization.


     


     


    But admittedly, this “Preview” is anything but a “Full Beta Preview”, when James Ohlen already stated that the current beta testers are playing the full game, levels 1-50.  This preview has got to be mostly void of most early and completely void of mid to end-game content, which calls into question the inference of a “Full Beta Preview”.


     


     


    So no, the disappointment from others doesn’t seem to be ‘just’ about PvP, but the authors slanted title of “Full” which falsely implies that it is actually a Full Beta Preview of a game going live in just under 2-months, when it is glaringly obvious it is Not as Full within the context of  a ‘masively-multiplayer’ game when it comes to game-play, content, worlds & environment, faction purpose, game-play mechanics, skill-trees, community motivation, social & guild tools, pve and pvp, etc..  So from this piece, there are more holes that need to be filled with a lack of information on, such as:


    • any social, server firsts or guild features, progression system, aside from coop grouping.


    • anything related to racial abilities, specs, skill trees, dual spec/roles.


    • playable races.


    • any game-play freedom and diversity of exploration other than following a staged and linear path from one quest-hub to the next.


    • full pve experience, assuming there is more breadth and depth to the pve experience. . .such as. . .


    • any pve open-world massively-multiplayer dynamic events that have any influence on world conflict between light & dark factions; absolutely no “massively-multiplayer” pve game-play distinction or game-play nutrition in this yet.


    • world size and openness vs linear & funneled.


    • dynamic mob/creature/npc inhabitant movement, migration, motivation, or dynamic world colonization or community influence over the environment, regardless of whether it is influenced construction or not.


    • day/night cycles and environmental weather or effects.


    • full pvp or even world  pvp experience that transcends anything but a small team vs another small team within the same redundant tiny shoebox minimap of hot-potato.  The revealed player-vs-player stuff seems without any game-play factional contributory value or substance other than winning a small confining map that amounts to run, gun, die, or run, gun, win, limp, die; a lot of third-person shooter distinction, but no mmoprg game-play distinction or game-play nutrition in this yet.


    • any crafting complexity, involvement, or entertaining stimuli with player involvement as opposed to it’s appearance of one-button cruise control that you send your companion out to ‘fetch’ and come back with.


    • customization overall that are visually & aesthetically distinctive or unique by any means; character customization, clothing, armor, weapons, vehicles, dye capability, etc.


    So since most of these mmorpg staples don’t interest some, the reported experience seems to play reportedly more like a cooperative multiplayer or single-player rpg.  It could be that Content is sorely lacking.


     


     


    I will enjoy the journey, Im sure.  But as with many other games that ask for $15/month for playing the same content with little breadth or depth in the ‘massively-multiplayer’ department, that subscription commitment is going to lose out for lack of value after a short while.



    Pretty much most of the info you asked for has already been reported on. Lack of content doesn't seem to be a concern, as there are many ways (not just the 200hrs each of the class quests) to level. While some worlds are mostly for the linear storytelling, many are supposed to be huge with exploring as another way to level/gear up. You might want to do some research before assuming the things you asked about are absent. No review could be so comprehesnive to include all the info about the game, and the NDA is only dropped for the first 15 lvls, so he was giving his take on what has had time to experience. (I thought he said he had more info coming as he got further into it, not sure). So maybe "Full" Review wasn't the right wording for the title, but there is plenty of info out if you look for it.

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