Recently joined this site and I wanted to share my opinions on different games so I figured, "Why not join an MMO dedicated website". Anyways here is my personal review of SWTOR after playing for 3 months. If anyone cares to read. First time writing a review so tell me whatcha think.
What I played:
I have spent over 250 hours playing the game and have one level 50 Vanguard along with a few alts ranging from 10-30, The only endgame I have really partaken in has been Ilum and WZ PvP, with a couple of dungeons thrown in for good measure. I still plan on trying out the Empires side for greater experience.
One thing I enjoyed about TOR from the get go was how easy it was to log in and create a character, and before you ask me what MMO hasn’t had quality I would point you to any NCSoft game, where with their own little @ email thing made logging on to my GW1 account more difficult then I would have hoped. Moving on I found that the game has servers in the same vain as every single over mmo save a few, I decided to go with Jedi Covenant and when I double clicked it opened me up to the character creation screen, Where I could chose from The Galactic Republic or the Sith Empire. Being the good guy I am I decided to The Republic. This lead me to choosing my class being and being the clone wars fan I am I absolutely had to go with the bad ass trooper. Next came race and to my disappointment it didn’t have my 100% favorite Star Wars race, the Cathar as a matter o fact most of the races looked a bit too human when compared to games such as WoW and EQ2. Disappointed I chose human and to my surprise, unlike WoW, I actually had a pretty swell choice of options to customize my dude and hating sliders like I do I was even more thrilled when thinks such as faces actually looked attractive. Other then the face options you have 4 body types, about 50 or 60 complexions, multiple beards (which sadly most looked awful) and depending on class/race tattoos. Clicking around I finally got my character to look a bit like Dean Winchester from Supernatural. After finalizing my character I clicked play and thus began my Star Wars journy. All in all one of my favorite character creation screens along with WoW and GW1, cept with what at least felt like more options, no slider to make me wanna hate the way my character looks or spend hours fixing my nose and enough option so that I did not look like a complete clone of everyone else.
After the classic Star Wars opening passes your screen you’re introduced to your first dialogue choices. In the Troopers case I was inside of a Walker traveling to a fort on Ord Mantell ,with you is Gearbox a member of Havoc Squad who informs you that you have been chosen to join the Squad after you graduated from the academy with all kinds of metals and stuff , unfortunately a bunch of separatist RPG’ed the Walker and you’re forced to go it alone. Stepping off of the walker I noticed something weird, I was wearing a vest and pants. The Republic must have a supply shortage if they can’t arm their upcoming spec op army man with something more than a vest and pants, but it’s ok for now I was only a level 1. After picking up a few quest and completing them I noticed that without the voices its your average MMO, but because of the voices it really does feel like a new experience, add that to the fact that there are very few pure Go Kill X quest and those are done in the form of niftly little bonus quest. All in all I actually felt something when my character saved a bunch of kids in a clinic, or recovered some medicine for some refugees. Something I have never felt before in an MMO.
Combat in TOR is pretty standard, although I would compare it more to GW1 or COH then I would particularly WoW, this being due to the lack of auto attack and the ‘auto attack’ that you do get actually does a pretty solid job of killing crap at early level even in PvP as a Vanguard I was able to spam this more then I should have and still do damage. But the lack of an auto attack does really make the combat feel a little faster and the global cooldown is about 1.5 seconds so you won’t really be waiting around like you would in EQ2 wait for an ability to go of CD. I have nothing bad to say about the combat, and really there is nothing wrong with it unless you’re tired of WoW like combat then there is no reason to really dislike it. Also like WoW you only use about 4-10 abilities during your average combat scenario.
Almost forgot about companions, these things are actually pretty damn nifty for all. If you’re a tank you can grasp your healer companion and focus on survival or go heavy on the DPS and bring Aric or whomever your DPS companion is. Companions add some dynamic to combat that you’re not really able to find in other Themepark MMOs.
As far as difficulty is concerned, I found myself dying slightly more times than I did in WoW. Mostly due to running into too many mobs or an elite, I would get stunned and just get shredded after words. But your average encounter isn’t going to be that difficult.
Story and Choices:
Bioware is simply the best when it comes to these two things, Bethesda is a far second, and while individual choices you have do not generally effect what you’re doing beyond that moment, I found that the fact it was there really improved my MMO experience 10 fold, I felt for the first time in my MMO life that I was doing more than just clicking accept and going to kill x or collect x. I was Alkain trooper of the republic and defender of the little guy, and with the choices presented I could play my way instead of hitting accept blindly.
In terms of story, all I have to say is that the game is worth at least one 100-200 hour run through for it alone. As a sequel to KOTRO the fan of the SW series would at least want to give it that, add to the fact that the imp and rep show 0% of quest beyond things like dailies and you have at least 200-400 hours’ worth of unique content, content that I found myself actually caring about 80% of the time because of said story. This portion of the game really is what sets it apart from other MMOs in a great way.
One of my favorite things to do in an MMO is PvP while I would not consider myself a hardcore PvPer I do generally work towards the top PvP gear/Fluff items in MMOs that have them. TOR has 3 battlegrounds called Warzones and a rather broken PvP World called Ilum, and as someone who does a good deal of PvP this is rather acceptable for a game at launch. Balance is another thing that I enjoy in my PvP and Bioware has done a pretty good job balancing out the classes.
Speaking of Classes this is one of my favorite feature of TOR and that is the guard ability that comes with being a tank. Finally after years of playing WoW and EQII (EQ2 had a crappy taunt system in its PvP) being a tank was useful and no longer was I running into the middle of 40 enemies hoping to distract them long enough for the DPSers to get in and kill them.
Ques are also kept short due to Bioware throwing 16 level 10-49 on your server into one Warzone, if you below level 20 this can get frustrating as the amount of talent points a level 30 would have is a pretty large advantage against a level 10, but after 20 it really starts to even out.
The Warzones themselves are pretty standard Capture the point or plant the bomb with the exception of huttball, which is more akin to American Football then capture the flag. The downside the the Warzones is queing, for some stupid reason you are unable to pre make groups of 8 and join Warzones, you are also unable to pick a specific Warzones to join up in. This makes competitive PvP lacking in TOR.
Ilum on most servers is broken but on Ordo it was rather balance and played how it was actually meant to be played and it was pretty similar to TB in WoW only a lot larger and more covert if you where playing at night. There were times when I was having the time of my life in what looked like 20v20 combat.
A solid game with a huge amount of potential for feature growth, and if Bioware shows that they can capitalize on that potential then we could be looking at one of the best MMOs ever made. Time will tell if Bioware can do that but for now it’s a solid game worth picking up just for the story.
-Buy it at a Discount