Wednesday, January 18, 2012

| SWTOR: A Non-Comprehensive Review Up to Level 13

Not even a review, really, just some points of interest. And really, who is the intended audience here? Enron and Ryan will never play it, Mike and Johnny will never read it, and everyone else is already dabbling in it!

- The dialog trees are a mixed bag. I like that they add to the interest of the quests, and makes for more of a 'buy-in' to the quests (something that WoW lacks after playing it for 8 years...), but it has already become occasionally tiresome. At least in WoW I can read the quests fairly quickly and get moving, in SWTOR I 'have' to sit through it all, even if the dialog is boring. Sure I can space bar through it, but then I would be missing a lot of the story. I like having options of things to say, and I like feeling like I am driving some of the quests through my conversation decisions, and I particularly liked the feel of the dialog in the single instance jon and I ran - it really felt like we were a part of the story and it was fun to watch unfold.

- The world looks pretty nice and there are some touches that I appreciate. In the starting world there is a gigantic downed spaceship that is part of the horizon line that is no part of the story, but it's cool to see that it's there. Coruscant feels like a nice blend of Star Wars and Blade Runner and I am enjoying looking around the stuff that frames the levels, rather than the stuff I am actually walking through. (if that makes any sense. the stuff that is in the distance makes the place look way cooler than the corridors that I am running down).

- As much as I hated the first three SW movies, I really did like to see how the history shaped the look and world of epIV-VI, how republic troopers evolved to stormtroopers as governments rose and fell, etc. Its neat to see it happening through the quests and whatnot in SWTOR too. The republic trying to keep itself together, insurrectionists, separatists, and intrigue pulling it apart and watching how it tries to hold on tighter and lose sight of it's way while being mindful of the sith empire and it's influence, etc.

- The game of course misses the polish (not Polish) mark when compared to WoW. WoW is fluid and makes more sense in a lot of ways where SWTOR just doesn't, yet. I know its new, and I'm a n00b, but WoW just feels better all around.

- The roles are a little less well defined, ie DPS/HEALZ/TANKZ all seem to be blended. Again, I'm a n00b, but as a 'tank' I thought there would be more abilities to reflect that role, yet nothing I have in my repertoire mentions anything about 'holding threat' - everything I do just shoots stuff for DPS. Maybe that will evolve, or maybe Troopers are just not supposed to be tanks - leave that to the Jedi? Also, Jon's healer has 1 healing ability. Maybe that's all you need in SWTOR?

- I like the companions role as both an additional role/skillset/class to your own and as the primary means for crafting stuff. I also like trying to earn his respect though dialog options that I KNOW he will like.

- The light/dark side points I thought were sort of obvious decisions in the dialog trees, and began to think they were kind of lame until one quest actually made me wish I had chosen the dark points option because it was actually 'the right thing to do'. I was acting on behalf of a group that was called "the True Republic" or something, and had to steal some documents that implicated a senator in something. I got caught with my hand in the kitty, and the senator's lackey told me that he would be willing to swap some junk documents with the ones I was stealing to protect the Republic (and the senators actions, which were explained to me as the necessary evil). Because I'm a Trooper Republic fanboi, I agreed. Later, when I turned in the papers I think I could have admitted to what I did, and still implicate the senator (which was the Dark Side choice) or pass the papers off as authentic (Light Side). Seemed there was an actual dilemma in which option to choose! I chose the Light side, and was pissed with my choice (lost rep with my companion as well) and then REALLY wanted to go back and make the Dark Side choice, points be damned, but it was too late.

Anyway, enough about that - play it!