Swtor: at a glance
Last month I managed to get my hands on the Starwars: the old republic beta and quickly skittered to the den to bask in its glory. I played the beta for pretty much 72 hours straight (18 of which were spent trying to get the damn thing to start up) over that time these are the conclusions that I have come to.
Questing is literally the exact same as it is in wow except now they add a few side quests. During the quests you will be given a great deal of RP pick you answer type of conversation with NPC’s which are suppose to make the game more fun, which it does. The only down side of this system is that quickly you pick up on the fact that really no matter what you pick it goes to the same outcome and thus just feels like a cheap gimmick, eventually you will just continue to click on anything that doesn’t say (decline mission).
During the beta I played a sith marauder and I gotta say, I LOVE IT. Its like a fury warrior wrapped up in awesome and bacon. Just a badass class all around. Between force-choke, ravage and smash (heroic leap+thunderclap+aoe stun) its probably the most fun class I have ever played in a video game. Assuming I don’t get sued for releasing this I will look at the other classes as well, but the general consensus is that everyone is having fun on every class.
Flashpoints are like your generic 5 man dungeon, BUT for at least the first 2 you dont need your standard tank/healers, if you so wish you can run in with 4 marauders and just run and gun the whole place down. Flashpoints are the most fun I have had in a PVE setting in any game. Just charging through rooms, force-choking bosses and just general rape of empire soldiers in a blood bath of fast paced action make it the thing of dreams for me. The only downside is that the RP conversation parts of the flashpoints are usually very long and kinda ruin the mood.
So far the game only has your standard battlegrounds but GM’s have eluded to the fact that they will be working on massive world PVP objectives with reward based incentive to participate. While it sounds like a TB type thing on paper I hope to god that they find a way to tie pvp into effective PVE. The battlegrounds themselves are a great amount of fun, particularly their rendition of capture the flag which takes place in a giant room where giant fire jets can 1 shot you at any point. Also sith and jedi are force jumping all over the place and the fast movement of the matches make the entire battleground incredibly fun.
As a traditional and CG artist it absolutely pains me to see what they are doing with this game. The entire starter zone was HORRIBLY textured, almost nothing looked at least comparable to wow with low settings. Was a complete eye swore and was difficult to see past. As I moved into the later zones the textures started to clear up but still look terrible. Another major issue I have is with the presets that you have to create your character with. For the dragon ball z fans your basically stuck between Guldo and Recoome. (see below for those unfamiliar with the names) I hope to all gods that this is just a side effect of being early beta but so far the entire art direction that swtor has taken has been utterly terrible and I hope that they come back and fix most of the issues.
All in all Swtor is looking to become at least a competitor with wow, it probably wont be another mmo-mesia come to save us from the tyranny of wow, but the die-hard starwars fans will keep this franchise alive and hopefully bioware will fix the art issues. All in all I had a great time playing this beta and will probably keep up with it in the hopes that I can see some raids before they close off the beta.