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Since you already sort of addressed it, how much replay value will there be in replaying the same class, but making different Light/Dark choices? Does it change the story in any significant ways? Or is it more like Mass Effect 1, where you can do or say what ever you want, but the galaxy gets saved either way?
There is definitely replay value in going the 'other' path. Quests change, there are different cinematics for different choices, rewards can differ and some parts of the story change significantly. Still it is one story, not two, so it is definitely similar to say, Mass Effect where ... spoiler ... you can save the council or get the killed, but ultimately save the citadel.
Choice in our games means that the player gets to decide how to approach the story and individual decisions, but we're not creating a freeform narrative with unlimited options, that'd be a bit too expensive.
To address a few other things:
(a) Don't expect to avoid the main story completely. You can't. If you never finish your story on the capital planet, you never get a ship and won't ever see any other planets. Which means you will end up unable to level up further as you'll outlevel your planet. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that players who think they want to skip the main story will quickly realize that they're not going to be ever competitive. It's a BioWare game and story is one of our top features.
(b) The main story line continues very close to max level. Even after that, we have quests, group quests, Flashpoints, PvP to level up with. Random mob grinding is not a preferred progression feature in our game. In fact, it's inefficient.
The reason is simple: To protect the player from themselves. Players gravitate towards the fastest/most efficient way to level and will repeat the most mind numbing boring activities over and over if they think it's the most efficient way. On the way, most will bore themselves to tears and ultimately quit the game. Hence the decision to make grinding mobs for XP much less efficient than the other ways to gain XP.
(c) If you play very completist (all quests, all group quests, PvP, space missions, etc.) you will in fact end up above level. However, since your class story ends before a lot of the world arc and other missions on a planet, you can then, at your choice, skip parts of the planet and move on. I've tried and it's almost impossible to outlevel your class quest completely, because it's just an inefficient way to play.
Well thanks for clearing that up. But why is it you made the class quest far more richer with goodies so to speak then taking side routes to level up? Such as flash point running or random mob killing an so on.
I wouldn't say richer - after all Flashpoints, PvP and other activities have great rewards as well... just not things like companions and such.
As for random mob killing ... that's not the game we're making. You can do it, for sure, but it's not going to be nearly as effective as questing or participating in Flashpoints, PvP and other activities.
Camping the spawns of random mobs is a part of the MMO legacy, grind, that we don't really see having a place in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
(As someone who once wasted hours camping pygmy goblins ins Dark Age of Camelot, I am strongly in favor of killing that kind of 'gameplay' with fire).
also for anyone that may have been concerned about lack of enviromental cover being used in tatooine videos:
Originally Posted by JohnRoy
This would suck if left in the game. I want to play a smuggler and I would much prefer to use natural cover than the somewhat goofy looking "laser fence." I hope this is a bug or that they simply haven't "cover mapped" Tatooine yet.
The worst case scenario is that natural cover has been stripped from the game and the laser fence is all that's left. If that's the case, then bye bye Gunslinger for me. I really hope this isn't the case.