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Star Wars: The Old Republic: Freedom!

MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community ManagerQueens, NYPosts: 5,724Administrator Uncommon

MMORPG.com Community Manager Michael Bitton celebrates the dropping of the NDA and offers some of his own thoughts on the craziness that followed in his latest Star Wars: The Old Republic column.

I was actually surprised by the strong positive reaction I’ve seen from many gamers, not because the game is bad or anything, but again, expectations have been just that high.  It’s also surprising how fast the game has basically been blown out. If you’re looking for it, you can find videos of raid fights, open world PvP, story spoilers, datacron locations, and heck, some sites even have functional databases up with up-to-date talent calculator tools. I expected all this stuff to roll out over the run up to launch, but it all coming out as fast as it did was truly impressive.

Read more of Michael Bitton's Star Wars: THe Old Republic: Freedom!

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Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

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Comments

  • knox1711knox1711 covington, GAPosts: 35Member

    Ive been in the beta for several builds now, so I'll take a shot at a couple of questions for ya:

    Did you find that the lack of a robust character generator and the lack of any kind of appearance system detracted from your ability to "identify" with your character...the ability that the story-telling is there to enhance?

     

    Did you feel that the lack of breadth of features compared to other MMOs, many of which are F2P, was disturbing?  For example, the UI, lack of guild support, lack of social interaction (95% of gameplay is solo rpg style), lack of hobbies, etc....Or do you think BW is going to deliver in some of these areas post-launch?  

     

    Did the linear, on rails, nature of the gameplay...not surprising in a "story driven" MMO...interfere with your ability to feel immersed in the star wars universe?  Did BW go soooo Themeparkish that they made it impossible for players to get an immersive, virtual star wars experience to craft their own story, instead of just riding the rollercoaster of BW story?

    Thx.









     




     

  • OziiusOziius Baltimore, MDPosts: 1,388Member Uncommon
    I can't honestly answer too much, as I only played the one weekend. Even on the "rails" I had a really great time and felt truley immersed in the Star Wars world. It honestly didn't feel any more in rails then say, WoW. I think this game will be great, but needs some time to grow. Remember, it's mostly being compared to Warcraft, which has been around 7 years now.
  • SkillCosbySkillCosby Trenton, MIPosts: 684Member

    I've experience the beta in great detail. My account had several characters in their 30s etc.

     

    The game is a lot of fun - especially in the beginning. The combat is rock solid, the questing is fun, and the game is polished.

    However, as expected, the "been there, done that" fatigue hit me pretty dang hard. The more I ran around some of the bigger planets, the more I started to miss some of the freedoms from Star Wars Galaxies. It's not that I yearn for a sandbox. I don't. I yearn for optional social elements that I feel this game is lacking. As of now, it's either combat or nothing.

    If I was in charge of development, I would make certain to include optional social tools, e.g., housing, housing decoration, player shops, and more open worlds (I felt funneled and guided most of the time).

    The story is fantastic. It really is. However, when the story ends, that's another story :P

  • Khaine007Khaine007 Kansas City, MOPosts: 35Member

    Only got to play in the last beta weekend, so what's your take on class balance?  It seemed to be that the force users weret he dominant classes, while the rest just kinda had to suffer through.

    As the guy above asked, what's your take on the fairly limited character creation options, and the removal of the "set all to match chest" option?  Is that back in the new build?

  • ThanesThanes St. Augustine, FLPosts: 182Member

    Love the crafting.  With extra time and money for resources you can make epic quaility gear.

    Story and combat, pvp are good too.



    Hate that its so close to launch and not finished, in beta atleast.  Newest build brought in a whole new set of bugs that haven't even been acknowledged yet.  Later level content seems half polished.  Hope they get it completed with more than a few rolls of duct tape.

    edit: To be fair, they fixed all the new bugs that were really pissing me off today. (6 days)  So they are implementing changes pretty quick.   I think they're just trying to punish the beta testers now for enjoying the game too much.





    side note:  I was never excited about this game but I got my beta invite in May and have been playing ever since, now I'll possitively buy it.  As for replayiblility I've got to 50 twice, working on the 3rd, taken several toons to level 30 or so, and still look forward to launch.







     

















     






















     










     




     

  • OkhamsRazorOkhamsRazor londonPosts: 1,047Member

    Originally posted by knox1711

    Ive been in the beta for several builds now, so I'll take a shot at a couple of questions for ya:

    Did you find that the lack of a robust character generator and the lack of any kind of appearance system detracted from your ability to "identify" with your character...the ability that the story telling is there to enhance?



     

    Did you feel that the lack of breadth of features compared to other MMOs, many of which are F2P, was disturbing?  For example, the UI, lack of guild support, lack of social interaction (95% of gameplay is solo rpg style), lack of hobbies, etc.

     

    Did the linear, on rails, nature of the gameplay...not surprising in a "story driven" MMO...interfere with your ability to feel immersed in the star wars universe?  Did BW go soooo Themeparkish that they made it impossible for players to get an immersive, virtual star wars experience to craft their own story, instead of just riding the rollercoaster of BW story?

    Thx.










     

    Character customisation is a little more limited than some games I've played but no less so than say Warcraft or lotro but not as great as say City of Heros or Aion . But once players are kitted out in different gear facial features dont really become that important .

    No to your second question many of these thing could be added at a later date if they arn't in the released client . Most mmo questing now caters for solo play with a few group quest thrown in for good measure . This was no different to that in any way shape of form .

    The RPG story of course is slightly linear but you have moral choices to make and the way the story develops gets less and less linear as it goes along .You could probably play the same story several times making different choices and experiance a whole new storyline . Outside of the starting areas I didn't find the gameplay itself to be any more linear than any other mmo I've played . This would be like saying WoW is linear because if you play a night elf twice and you start in the same area and go through the same quests .

    I felt as immersed in this game as any other . It is a bit themeparkish but thats popular at the moment . I think perhaps your a bit jaded by MMOs in general and want them to be something that they are unlikly to be untill out current technology improves so it may take a decade or more for you to be truely happy with anything thats released .

     

    I also agree MB comment that space combat has some room for improvement but other than that this appears to be a fantastic and enjoyable mmo .

     

     

  • tomwoditomwodi FlorianPosts: 49Member

    Played, I did not expect much, so I am not disappointed.

  • PiasekPiasek LimanowaPosts: 318Member

    First time i saw the article title, i thought "Freemium" :D

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  • PrecusorPrecusor PalmaPosts: 4,733Member Uncommon

    I wouldn't be surprised if Bioware made space combat allot better in their major content patches.

  • xenogiasxenogias warsaw, INPosts: 1,926Member

    Question. Is the story good enough that its worth picking up as a single player RPG? I know I'm not interested in it as an MMO. My reasons are really mechanics of the game itself. That said if I find myself running thin on Skyrim, Saints row 3 content and Tribes Ascend turns out to be a flop is SW:TOR worth grabbing if for nothing else than the storyline? I dont worry about the MMO aspect since it wont cost more to buy than any other game out there and I am pretty sure I could nock at least a couple classes storyline within the first month.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,250Member Uncommon

    My thoughts exactly on the Space Combat.  It actually IS a fun experience(now that the audio is fixed), but it does feel all too separated from the rest of the game.  And it doesn't feel right that you can get done with a mission, barely intact, smoke billowing out of the engines, then pop right into the next one fresh as a daisy.  And, oddly, it looks like there are slots for temporary abilities, but I don't see where you get them.

    Also, ship commendations don't really get you squat.

    Methinx it's separate because many MMO and RPG people want absolutely NOTHING to do with twitch.  Which sucks because I'd LOVE to have missions in which the space and ground games are intertwined.  I want for my ship to matter alot more in the overall game.

  • NovaKayneNovaKayne Houston, TXPosts: 743Member

    I have enjoyed the limited beta testing.  I ound the Empire side not to be quite as fun as I expected.  Dunno if I just cannot identify with the dark side or if it is just not "dark" enough for me.  Some of the "dark side" responses were like why would this character have bothered to do the quest and then respond in that manner?  It did not make sense to me.  So, I could not quite grasp the Empire characters stories.

     

    I liked the smuggler story just found the combat to be cumbersome.

     

    I was not so impressed with the Bounty Hunter sotory but, found it to be the best non-force using combat.

     

    Seemed to have identified more with the Jedi character.  Knowing so much about their background and having been a fan f the Jedi for way longer than the Sith, I found it easier and more believable in their responses to situations.

    Say hello, To the things you've left behind. They are more a part of your life now that you can't touch them.

  • TheLizardbonesTheLizardbones Arkham, VAPosts: 10,910Member


    Originally posted by xenogias
    Question. Is the story good enough that its worth picking up as a single player RPG? I know I'm not interested in it as an MMO. My reasons are really mechanics of the game itself. That said if I find myself running thin on Skyrim, Saints row 3 content and Tribes Ascend turns out to be a flop is SW:TOR worth grabbing if for nothing else than the storyline? I dont worry about the MMO aspect since it wont cost more to buy than any other game out there and I am pretty sure I could nock at least a couple classes storyline within the first month.

    I think it's possible to play the game as a single player game. You would be skipping some group content though. If you're just not interested in being in an organized group or guild kind of thing, then you should be able to play it just fine, especially if you're not averse to joining random groups.

    I am a 'solo' player and I found the game plenty enjoyable. It is not the same experience as a single player game. There are other players around you doing stuff and some of it can be annoying. Some of it can be amusing.

    I don't avoid groups though...I'm perfectly happy putting groups together for instances and heroic quests, joining groups in PvP, joining in local and global chat, etc. Having people around me doing random things isn't annoying.

    ** edit **
    I found myself logging in to play because of the story.

    I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  • OsirrusOsirrus CheshirePosts: 55Member

    Some of my friends want to play republic and some want empire.

    Is it possible to play both factions on the same server?



    Thanks


     

  • DeaconXDeaconX Toronto, ONPosts: 3,067Member

    Originally posted by Osirrus

    Some of my friends want to play republic and some want empire.

    Is it possible to play both factions on the same server?



    RJC

    Currently, absolutely it is.

    image

    Why do I write, create, fantasize, dream and daydream about other worlds? Because I hate what humanity does with this one.

    BOYCOTTING EA / ORIGIN going forward.

  • SkillCosbySkillCosby Trenton, MIPosts: 684Member



    Originally posted by xenogias

    Question. Is the story good enough that its worth picking up as a single player RPG?

    It's most certainly worth picking up as a single player RPG. I've experienced the game in detail. The story is extremely long and entertaining. However, I don't see myself playing it after the story / flashpoints are completed. There just isn't much to do outside of that other than a few forms of lack-luster PvP and group dungeons etc. It gets old fast.

    I personally find the title of this article a bit funny (FREEDOM). I know he's talking about the beta, but this game offers very little freedom.

    I feel this game will be a huge success during the first 6 months. However, like most games post-WoW, will fail hard in the retention department.



     

  • floreairfootfloreairfoot Nashville, TNPosts: 59Member

    What I hate most is the lack of freedom I feel.

    After being in an open world, like wow and swg - it's a little disheartening to see a mountain,  and not being able to climb it :P

    Space combat is pretty boring as well.

    The story aspect is nice, but I don't think it's the mmo for me.

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,250Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by DeaconX

    Originally posted by Osirrus

    Some of my friends want to play republic and some want empire.

    Is it possible to play both factions on the same server?



    RJC

    Currently, absolutely it is.

    That might only be the case on PVE servers, though.  Not sure.

    I know that on a PVE server you can't email stuff from one faction to another, even if they're your character.  Which sucks because my Trooper found some ARSUM BH armor(pretty sure it's a bug, though.  If you can't sell it/give it away, you shouldn't be able to get it in the first place)...

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,250Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by floreairfoot

    What I hate most is the lack of freedom I feel.

    After being in an open world, like wow and swg - it's a little disheartening to see a mountain,  and not being able to climb it :P

    Space combat is pretty boring as well.

    The story aspect is nice, but I don't think it's the mmo for me.

    I'm not sure what you're talking about.  SWTOR offers you no fewer opportunities to climb mountains than WoW does.  Just like WoW, some things you can climb, some things you can't.  You're probably right regarding your last statement, though.

  • Binny45Binny45 St John''s, NFPosts: 478Member Uncommon

    The thing people have to realize is that Bioware/EA have not released ALL the content.  When you know you got something good on your hands, you NEVER show all your goodies, just enough to test the main parts of the game.  The rest that comes out on release is for WOW factor, especially for those that have beta tested the game.

    Just watch, you'll see a difference between the final beta test and release.

    image

  • OkhamsRazorOkhamsRazor londonPosts: 1,047Member

    Originally posted by Robsolf

    Originally posted by floreairfoot

    What I hate most is the lack of freedom I feel.

    After being in an open world, like wow and swg - it's a little disheartening to see a mountain,  and not being able to climb it :P

    Space combat is pretty boring as well.

    The story aspect is nice, but I don't think it's the mmo for me.

    I'm not sure what you're talking about.  SWTOR offers you no fewer opportunities to climb mountains than WoW does.  Just like WoW, some things you can climb, some things you can't.  You're probably right regarding your last statement, though.

    Maybe he wants to be able to climb like in Age of Conan . Other than that I think he may have based this judgement on the starter areas ? How far did you go into the game floreairfoot ?

  • ariestearieste toronto, ONPosts: 3,308Member Common

    What was your take on the Dark and Light system?  I only played 15 levels of beta, but i already found that it detracted more than it added.  

     

    Just to be clear, i'm not talking about having a choice of which action to perform, i'm talking about having those choices labeled as Dark and Light.

     

    I found the system failed on many levels:

    - It was not consistent.  What is seen a dark action in one quest is now a dark action in a different quest.

     

    - It doesn't follow the actual jedi philosophy - either from the lore presented in the game or from existing sw lore.

     

    - the system is meaningless.  after going through and being all "holier than thou", there is nothing to be gained other than the same exact equipment as the opposite side gets, just with very minor cosmetic difference.

     

    - many of the choices didn't make sense in the context of the very quest you were doing (i.e. a character that would actually take on this type of quest and complete it, would never choose some of the outcomes presented unless they had a split-personality disorder).

     

    anyhow... obviously those are MY thoughts from a limited exposure.. would love to hear yours on the system as i assume you're had a lot more opporunity to play.

     

    "I’d rather work on something with great potential than on fulfilling a promise of mediocrity."

    - Raph Koster

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  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,250Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by OkhamsRazor

    Maybe he wants to be able to climb like in Age of Conan . Other than that I think he may have based this judgement on the starter areas ? How far did you go into the game floreairfoot ?

    Could be, but then it was WoW that he mentioned, which doesn't have anything like that.  SWG allowed you to walk up impossibly steep grades(though slowly) so I got that reference.  But WoW?  If the grade is too steep you can't climb it, end of story.  Heck, the mountains didn't even have tops until flying mounts came along...

  • monstermmomonstermmo Glendale, CAPosts: 1,062Member

    Ive read a lot of negative feedback about the space combat and its basically always the same thing. While i understand that it may not feel like its meant to be there you should know it obviously is. Its Star Wars. I think its cool that the game offers something completely different on the side in an MMORPG. If the game didnt have any space combat i think a lot of Star Wars fans would be like "wtf."

    Jeremiah 8:21 I weep for the hurt of my people; I stand amazed, silent, dumb with grief.
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  • OsirrusOsirrus CheshirePosts: 55Member

    Originally posted by Robsolf

    Originally posted by DeaconX


    Originally posted by Osirrus

    Some of my friends want to play republic and some want empire.

    Is it possible to play both factions on the same server?



    RJC

    Currently, absolutely it is.

    That might only be the case on PVE servers, though.  Not sure.

    I know that on a PVE server you can't email stuff from one faction to another, even if they're your character.  Which sucks because my Trooper found some ARSUM BH armor(pretty sure it's a bug, though.  If you can't sell it/give it away, you shouldn't be able to get it in the first place)...


     

    Thanks for the reply guys. and yep we'll be on a PVE server.

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