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I didn't do much reading regarding SWTOR. I didn't enter into any of the betas or watch live feeds of other people showing off portions of the game. I didn't get excited for the game to release or read about it in magazines. This allowed me to keep expectations grounded and to stop the hype machine from giving me false - inflated expectations.
I enter into the game and I am thinking, this character creation isn't fantastic and essentially boils down to human, red human, horned human, or lekku human. I think, okay not a game breaker but I certainly expected better from a new MMO.
Next, I create my sith warrior and I play through the beginning areas on Korriban. I am having a pretty good time with my class quests but the quests in the world are a different matter. I quickly find that watching a bioware cinematic for what essentially boils down to killing mob's with zero AI in packs of 3 isn't exactly or even remotely funner because of the said cinematic than any previous MMO. I find that I press space bar through not all of them but for sure the ones that I can tell are cut and pasted quests.
I continue my leveling up to 10 and I enter into PvP - the first game being huttball. I snag the ball at some point and sort of walk around without knowing what I am doing, I laugh about it and die often. Once, I figure out exactly how to play the warzone - I have moderate fun at it. The biggest issue being the insane amount of crowd control in the game makes you have less control over your character than should ever be allowed. Getting chain cc'd from full health to dead isn't exactly a good time.
I continue leveling my sith warrior... Well, marauder at this point and notice that throughout the leveling experience, I am having a pretty tough time killing groups of monsters without blowing defense cooldowns every single pull. I watch other classes in the game destroying the same monsters without any problems. I follow an inquisitor and a mercenary bounty hunter around a little bit and decide to try a different class after getting to level 34.
I start over again and roll up a trooper. I notice that he is exponentially more powerful than the melee combat while having the ability to stay at range. He does more damage, can heal, and doesn't have any problems soloing pretty much anything. I play him to 25 and I can say that life as a commando is good.
I get curious about a stealthing class, so I roll me up a smuggler and go for scoundrel upon hitting level 10. Play him in PvP right away and lead the damage and killing blows at level 10 with basically just back blasting people with my shotgun. Was miles easier to setup kills with him as opposed to my sith warrior. Just felt wrong that both of the other classes that I played had the ability to heal and dps - while the sith warrior can only dps and still do pitiful damage in comparison. Now keep in mind that I play melee classes in every game that I play. I know how to play them.
The questing system got old for me very quickly. I only watched the class quest cutscenes for story for any alts. I hit spacebar and in fact spammed it for pretty much all alts. The illusion of choice in the game reminds me of Dragon Age 2 which is not a good thing. Nothing you do in the game actually makes a difference in the game world. Even in a phased instance that should be there just for you.
Crafting is so lackluster, I don't even see why they bothered putting in the game at all. Maybe, I was just expecting more but it is pitiful at least to me. No customization and nothing in the high end crafting that even makes it worthwhile to skill up. Everyone is a bio because it's the only crafting skill worth using at all.
Space combat which I was a huge fan of in Star Wars Galaxies is executed so poorly, it could have been executed better if it had been canned all together. It manages to be more linear the game itself which is amazing.
The clunkiness of not having an auto attack and yet having the global cooldown of 1.5 seconds makes combat feel so slow that its just not fun to do. The fact that animations get borked up and never go off is something that should have been fixed in it's 6 year development cycle.
Flashpoint nightmare monsters and raid monsters that are in the game STILL have placeholder names instead of actual ones. I am talking about boss_beast_1, boss_beast_2... Thats how unpolished the game is - it's amazingly bad.
The GUI for the game is worse than any modern MMORPG. It's clunky, it's unwieldy, it's not even customizable at all. I find it amazing that it doesn't support even allowing one to move the quickbars or the pet bars such a massive oversight that I honestly feel as though the only thing they cared about at all in the game were the voice overs.
I cannot be hopeful that this game will have longevity at least to me. I cancelled my subscription after playing for 16 days. I used to be a huge Bioware fan but with Dragon Age 2 and now SWTORO - I cannot help but feel as though the company that used to make games for gamers now make those games solely for money. I am disappointed and disheartened by the continuing decline in complexity and freedom that I feel an MMORPG should provide.
In the end, I am sure Bioware will have many players paying for what essentially is the worst of the KOTOR games they have made.
To those of you who chose to stick it out with Bioware and SWTORO - I hope that you have as much fun with the game as I was sure that I was going to have and in the end failed to.
I would rate the game a 5/10.
Here is to hoping that Archeage or Guild Wars 2 will bring new hope to the genre.
PS: Empire for life.