I know many of you will say, "Why another post / review on this game! Enough is enough already." But for those of you who read our page, I thought it would give you another way to look at things (especially from someone who has been around MMO's since the Dawning of the Age).
First off I would like to say that many of us who have put our input into the topics in this post, are former SWG Players off of the Chilastra server. Many of us (all of us) have been looking forward to this game since it was announced way back in the day - and needless to say, we all feel we have been slightly burned by those over at SOE due to what became of that game.
So now for the real meat and potatoes (which for any ladies out there I am I meat and potatoes kind of guy), our look at the world of SW:ToR and all of its little gizmos and buttons that make the game what it is (or isn't).
The Voice Acting
This has to be one of the features many of us enjoy(ed) during our game play time for several various reasons. For one - the lack of having to read a bunch of mindless quest text, along with the feeling of immersion in the world of ToR.
I have seen many of the articles out there at the moment - yet I still feel this is one of the key features in the game that makes it what it is. The fact that (to me) you feel like you ARE in some aspects your character while watching these "cut scenes" play out in front of you along with the options to make you "choose wisely" gives the game a fair amount of depth that many other MMO's (hardly none) have had to date.
This can been seen even more when you go into an "instance" (for lack of a better word) and have your friends in the part with you. The choices you and your party make will infact play a role in how "the story" of the "instance" comes together for you and those around you - as everyone in the part will see the cutscene and the dialog from the character that is speaking.
I have to see - the ability to just jump right in and start playing comes almost right out of the gate. None of those horrible starter tutorial things that many games have built into them aside from the occasional "helpful tip" that is displayed - which is not intrusive to your UI and makes you want to smash your face against your keyboard every time one has popped up (even though you selected to turn them off).
The lack of an "auto attack" was a little unnerving to me at first - but as you progress you become accustomed to how your character "works" in combat with out that feature and keeps you at your keyboard for most (if not all) of a fight.
This in turn could help with a lot of the "stand in an area and go afk for an hour" things players do that is common in other games of the genre. If you need to go afk, my advice, log out!
Coming from a game like SWG - this has to be one of my least favorite, but also one of the few MMO's to date that do crafting this way - so I do give a big "thumbs up" to it also.
Item crafting almost has that "WoW-ish" style to it in an aspect of, farm node A, aqcuire rare item B, have them both in your inventory, hit craft, wait. The addition of reverse engineering (ala WoW (disenchanting) or many of the other games that have a "deconstruct" or "salvage" option)) generally helps in leveling up your skill faster to get back resources - but it also helps to keep market quantities somewhat lower (as many people want the mats).
Though - I felt at a lose when I found out I could only have *1* crafting skill combined with 2 harvesting skills, or 1 general harvesting - and 1 harvesting that requires your companions to run the "missions" for items. Even though the companions do your craft and certain missions for you to get the items - you will still gain skill levels in that field.
I do enjoy them, and they do help very much so. Yet having one feels like I am playing Dragon Age with a ToR skin on it. A fair amount of aspect of DA:O are in the game (companion gifts, affection points), though somehow I still believe the system can be refined.
Some of the interactions seem, "out of whack" - like having companions go down elevators and then holding up to engage in combat ( think of a very useless Alistair (which for the most part I felt he was :P )).
There is also the romance option to get your "cyber phunk" on with your companion (shade of Morrigan and Leliana anyone?), which unlike DA:O there is really no Asian Happy Ending after you get to where you need to with selected companion.
Though I have to say my favorite companion (yes I have one), is Kira - although I will not be playing a Jedi Knight.
Visuals / Graphics
I know many people complain that is "too cartoony" (and most of it comes from people who are playing WoW still and troll threads), but the environments are beautiful to be around. As i said before - you feel like you are in your own Star Wars Saga, and seeing the worlds and who they look (with DX11) makes it all that much more enjoyable.
Almost every planet I have been to I have said (or compaired) how they ToR looks better then Game X. Though most of the time it is based off of playtime spent in SWG - it sheds some light on to how that game was very outdated (in today's market).
One of my favorite visuals is the "Sith Corruption" that can be turned on/off in your preferences and works via Dark Side Alignment. Depending on how much of a murderous bastard you are - your character looks more and more like and wrinkled zombie from the Apocalypse of 2012.
For me - it is a welcomed feature.
Audio / Sounds
I can't really be as biased on this subject as many people (my headset is 7.1 surround) - but it is another immersion factor that helps the story along.
Music and ambiance are great (and come with your typical sliders in preferences) and with the 7.1 - help greatly in PvP situations.
PvP / Warzones
I didn't do a heck of a lot of these - but they are a joy after a long day of grinding. My favorite (Alderaan) is basically a capture the control point type map where massive killing abounds.
Voidstar - is basically a bombing run type map (for those that have played CS:S) where you need to set bombs, blow shit up, and get to the last room with the fastest time you can.
Huttball - I have to say this is my least favorite of them, simply because it feels a little too "cluttered" for my tastes. I'm not the best person to speak to about Huttball - as I will rage and tell you how much I hate it.
Once again - fun yet, work can be done with it. Basically you are doing "space combat" on a rail system (ala Starfox) to get to the end of your mission. There is no free control of your ships or anything of that nature. To me the ship felt like a "mobile bank" and extra spot to store junk I din't want to hold in my inventory - as your ship has a cargo hold.
On the other side of things - if you are a good FPS player, space seems like a quick alternative to gaining fast XP.
I do love this game (as many of you know). I do feel like there needs to be a little more work done before live (as with many of the games I have tested in the past). I also believe that the game will be quite successful at launch and in the long term.
The phrase, "Star Wars is too big to fail" has been in my mind since SWG went down the tank, and I will not deny that there is room for error. Yet there is also the ability to succeed. Which to me and many other would be a great joy in our hearts.
So we shall see what happens. As of writing this - launch day is exactly 1 month away. So only time will tell, as with all things!
As always, I hope you enjoy the blog and I look forward to seeing you all inside the gaming world! Until next time.....