Star Wars: The Old Republic

I’ve not been posting here much lately because I just haven’t had time to evaluate my own frustrations to produce a meaningful rant, or working on anything I was able to share details of beyond what little I posted.

I did, however, get a couple of brief tastes of Star Wars The Old Republic
and figured it was worthy of a mention.

The game incorporates many aspects of various other games, and a very subtle learning curve. As a result, it gives different many people a sense of deja-vu of <insert some game here>. I heard people saying “it’s wow in space”, but personally I got more of a City of Heroes feel.

If you are looking for a Star Wars Universe Simulator, move along. This is a BioWare, KOTOR-setting, multiplayer game in the vain of WoW, EverQuest, Rift, etc… It will be accused of being dumbed down, plaguerising, the whole nine yards.

It does use its predecessors as templates to build upon, so WoW players will find it to be a lot like WoW while EQ players will find it to be a lot like EQ and SWG players will think it is SWG v2.0 or something…

But once you get past the fact that Character Creation and Inventory have been done before, and you get to what purposes and shapes your gameplay experience – that’s where the BioWare kicks in.

In obsessing about comparing with other games, people tend to miss out the story-telling element, and most importantly forget that BioWare story telling isn’t 1-dimensional.

Like I said a moment ago, this is a BioWare game integrated into an MMO platform…

Around Level 10 your quest line hooks you up with a companion, and things start to get interesting. The companions are part pet and part plot device. But you’ll recall the in BioWare games, companions also have a 1:1 storyline in terms of their relationship to your character.

Like LOTRO, SWTOR also has a sort of chaptering system. When you finish your first planet, you’ll encounter a “Flash point” – a hard-core instance that typically requires a group of 2 or more players (maximum group in SWTOR: 4 people). The flash points have a lot of dialog and storyline, I spent nearly an hour doing my first.

Best of all, the dialog introduces branch points, leading to multiple outcomes. I did the flash point twice and both encounters were completely different after we made different selections to the first dialog.

My first time playing all I could do was see the similarities to other MMOs and come away feeling ‘blah’.

But it is not a clone of anything and there is more than enough difference to make the gameplay more than just enoyable but actually fun.

After my second time playing, I was pretty hooked. I pre-ordered and, I have to tell you, I have been jonesing hard ;)

Old Republic, new wow?

As excitement grows about Bioware’s impendingStar Wars: The Old Republic“, pundits are once again beginning to talk about it’s chances vs Warcraft as the dethroner.

Lots of games have said they’ll dethrone WoW … I think I’ve correctly called on all of them :) I think pundits are making these speculations based on trending in past media, like television, single player games and (not-MMO) multi-player games.

Alderaan in SWTOR

Sweet, sweet, StarWars goodness, from @swtor

Announcing Alderaan, the next playable planet in STAR WARS: The Old Republic! http://tinyurl.com/yk9wx6o

Did Episodes 1-3 visit Alderaan? Or is this carte blanche for SWTOR?