Star Wars: The Old Republic

Published on December 22nd, 2011 | by Gerald Chan


My First 22 Levels Into Star Wars: The Old Republic

By the time you’ve read this, you would have seen a multitude of “reviews” regarding Star Wars: The Old Republic, so how would this stand out?

I’ll start off by saying that SWTOR started for me on a bad note. Issues with the game prevented me from logging in and despite trying out various fixes, the only way to play the game was to create a new Windows user account and play from there. It’s still not fixed and customer support emails me four days after my own “fix”. I guess they must be really swamped.

Once I got past that, I found SWTOR fundamentally good as a single player game. The entire MMO can be played like Mass Effect and have no repercussions on the experience at all. Every class has each own individual story line and it all converges with the optional side quests.

What Bioware has done right was with the implementation of computer-controlled companions. Throughout the game, SWTOR offers companions which can fill roles you would not be able to accomplish yourself otherwise. For instance, playing as a healer, I was able to go all-out healing and did not need to specialise in a damage tree as I had a companion who was able to tank for me. I do agree that the speed at which enemies go down would be slower, but at least the game provides an avenue for players who wish to explore an alternative leveling process.

The real plus side of companions? Dungeons are run by four players, and if you lack only one, your companion would be able to fill that role suitably. However, do note that the core dungeon team still needs to be minimum a player-controlled tank and a healer.

The first 22 levels have been a breeze, and while I’ve been PVPing more than questing, I do have a particular love for a specific type of quest, those marked as “HEROIC +2”. These quests often yield very good rewards for your level and should be tackled in a group of at least two players. At the end of such quests, you’ll have to take down a boss-type enemy character.

The low number of players required entices even introverts to take a shot at it and makes it a snap to assemble a party. On top of that, such quests often take place within an instanced area towards the end, which is MMO speak for an area exclusive only to you and party. Instances prevent unsociable behaviour, such as kill stealing, from occurring. HEROIC +2 quests are short, sweet and rewarding, perhaps more appealing than having to spend time in an actual dungeon.

As I mentioned previously, the interface of SWTOR is functionally perfect. It is definitely a game for those who have migrated from recent MMOs such as Rift and, of course, World of Warcraft. Veterans will feel right at home with the familiar interface layout and controls.

However, after reading this Ars Technica article, I starting to wonder if this was a game for MMO newcomers. Simply put, if I was new to SWTOR or MMOs, I would be lost finding my way through all the menus and what-not. New players would have to take some time to get accustomed to the interface and keyboard shortcuts. Seeing as how other games make the effort to welcome and ease new players into their game worlds, I’m surprised that Bioware does not.

I still have much to cover but I’d say if you liked World of Warcraft, you’ll love Star Wars: The Old Republic.

I will be focusing on a review on my class, the Imperial Agent, in the next post.

View this post on another site I am writing on, NoGameNoTalk!

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Thanks for visiting my blog! If it's video game related, I'm pretty much all over it! I'm Singaporean and in real life I'm involved heavily in social media.

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