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And Now For Something Completely Different: SW:TOR

So, with the recent SW:TOR free trial weekend, I decided to finally give it a shot. After all, $60 is a good amount of money (more since gold farming is illegal and it’s hard for me to earn money in your World). I decided to start a Force-user and a non=Force-user in each faction and level them up to 10 before the trial ended.

And, I didn’t make it. I got everyone a companion and off the starting planet, though.¬† And, unfortunately, I didn’t have trial time left for screenshots.

There may be spoilers head. I’ll try to be general and vague, but You Have Been Warned.

Getting to Know You: Character Generation

The customization is somewhere between WoW and RIFT. While you don’t have the wonderful facial customization of RIFT, the body styles, customizations, accessories, and colors available are much better than Warcraft. As a recent, cutting-edge game, I would expect nothing less.

I did notice, because I notice these things, that the Twi’lek models seemed to be more chesty for their body type than cyborg or human models. Could have just been the clothing though. I initially thought about making a female toon of every body type and species and comparing, but decided that was crazy.

The initial cinematics that introduce you to your faction are awesome. They don’t beat you over the head with them though, although I kinda would have liked species-specific cinematics. I’ve seen all the movies, a good chunk of Clone Wars, and read a number of the Star Wars books and I have no idea who many of these people are supposed to be.

First Ten Levels: The Good, The Aggravating, and the Ugly

So, I spent most of the trial madly trying to level my four toons up to level 10 each. I thought the experiences would be very similar for the different types, but they turned out to be very different.

The Good: The Bounty Hunter

I honestly expected not to like the bounty hunter, but I had a great time leveling her. While some of the abilities were kind of incongruous – “rocket punch” when I didn’t have a jetpack – I certainly felt like a tough bounty hunter playing her.

But.

I turn out to be an awful, awful bounty hunter. I only managed to kill one of the people I was sent out to murder. In fact, by always keeping my word and by finding the worst ways to damage my employer’s enemies, I wound up being pretty strongly Light Side.

This is going to be a theme.

The Aggravating: Jedi Consular, Sith Inquisitor

When it came to my Force users, I started having some problems.

I didn’t find the Sith Inquisitor storyline engaging at all. I figured I’d play my slave forced into the Silth as a, well, slave forced into the Sith – outwardly compliant, but obeying orders absolutely literally and sabotaging her superiors whenever possible.

This netted me a surprising amount of Light Side points. Even flat-out lying to my superiors as I systematically destroyed their plans didn’t shake the Light Side point giveaway. Sure, being a brutal, murdering thug would have racked up the Dark Side points, but subtly setting up one’s adversaries apparently doesn’t. This keeps up, I won’t get the Sith red-eye.

Come to think of it, the Dark Lord whose apprentice I wind up being doesn’t have the Sith red-eye either. Huh.

As far as my Jedi Consular goes, I liked her story. The implications of her story, however, are either hilarious or disturbing, depending on your outlook. The Jedi Temple and grounds are besieged by Flesh Raiders, evil cannibals trying to destroy the Jedi. You find out early on that the Flesh Raiders are the original inhabitants of the planet, and they’ve been fighting for twenty thousand years.

No one, however, seems to know what they’re upset about. Huh. Let’s think about that one.

Also, technology doesn’t seem to have advanced much over the last twenty thousand years – droids are still droids and their programming is recognizable and not too much different. Computers are recognizable and compatible – the Jedi must be able to abrogate Moore’s Law. Think of the changes in computing technology over the past twenty years – Arthas, the past five! – and try to imagine it staying stagnant for longer than people have had agriculture.

So, swallowing that, we’re sent out to whip up on the Flesh Raiders, which racks up the Light Side points, and try to stop the madman from getting the pilgrims to whip up on us, because him doing to everyone what we did to the natives is Evil and Must Be Stopped. But where do I get my Dark Side points? By covering up for a pair of lovers and lying to my superiors about it. Note that this is pretty much the same thing that got my Sith some Light Side points. I’m sure that this makes sense to someone.

The Ugly: Republic Trooper

So at last we come to my plucky Republic Trooper. And she had better be plucky, for all kinds of adversity awaits her. I would think that Bounty Hunter and Smuggler would be opposites, but apparently the Trooper is the opposite of the Bounty Hunter. Opposite in more than one way, because as easy as the Bounty Hunter was, the Trooper was a miserable exercise in sheer bloody-mindedness.

I must have missed a bunch of side-quests or something.I could progress through the storyline, but it took me hours of pulling, separating mobs, getting killed, and running back. It took  me the longest to level my Trooper, and nine hours were spent on the final fight of one of the last quests.

I even went back and leveled up, and it was still that hard.

Wrapping Up

So, did I enjoy SW:TOR? Yes, I did. Would I buy it? I certainly wouldn’t mind playing it, but as of yet I’ve only gotten the smallest glimpse – I haven’t tried an instance, I didn’t get far enough to see the space combat, and I have no idea what the endgame is like.

Maybe I would if I had concentrated all my effort into one character – I expect my Bounty Hunter would have wound up being my main – but I wanted to get an idea of more than one class.

 

Still open on this one. If we had thirty hour days I’d be more interested, but I just don’t have time.

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