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Star Wars: The Old Republic..Do I?

This morning in the Inbox…

Your early access to Star Wars: The Old Republic will begin… now!

Damn it.

See, I have played a lot of MMOs in my day — going back to the days of text based MUD’ing when I worked in a computer lab in college and basically got paid to study and play the MUD. (Ok, really just play the MUD).

After I finally snapped the off the chains of both WoW and Warhammer I swore off the genre forever.

They’re a waste of time. Monotonous. There’s never a true end game. I never feel truly special compared to anyone else. They are a massive time sink.

So, why is it that I look at this email and want to download the installer?

Hell I don’t even LIKE Star Wars anymore. (Thanks George)

Ah screw it. Let’s make a Bounty Hunter…

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Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

15 thoughts to “Star Wars: The Old Republic..Do I?”

  1. I was in the ongoing Old Republic beta, bounty hunter is an amazingly fun class to play.

    Bioware did a great job on this one, seriously. The game plays like a Mass Effect/Warcraft Mashup that actually works. There are no “kill ten rats” quests. You get bonus objectives while doing your quests to kill x baddies, but you can ignore ‘em.

    Story is great. I am playing a Consular now, tracking down a hidden Sith archive, it was hard to come to work. There is a lot to love here and it’s one of the smoothest launches I’ve ever seen so far.

  2. It’s funny. I was absolutely ape-nuts excited (that’s really excited) for Galaxies before it came out. And I played that for maybe 6 months.

    I am an admitted Bioware fanboy and I still couldn’t get excited for this game. Lucas had so overexposed the Star Wars universe that I just wasn’t interested in Star Wars as a whole anymore.

    But I got invited to one of the final beta weekends. Figured “what the heck” and tried it. In the end this is a Bioware game. The things I love about Bioware games (character interaction, companion interaction / development etc, dialog, story) are here. Somehow they pulled it off.

    It feels like the game is about you. I never realized how much other MMO’s are not about YOU. They are about the plight of this village and how killing 10 bandits will save the day…. you are just a cog in the machine. SWTOR was able to make the game feel like it was about my character, and if they can pull that off over the long haul.. well.. wow.

    Obviously end game is a big question mark to me. I have no idea if / how they can pull off that same feeling at that time. But I told my friend that in the end, it might be worth it (to me) to just play a character or three to end game, and if that is the end of my interest, so be it, still worth a buy for me…. and if they do pull off end game, even better

    /ramble off

  3. Reading about this game and feeling really let down by the current direction of classic Star Wars, I was very skeptical of this game. But I got invited to the beta and decided to give it a go. After the first day of Beta, a conversation with my wife went something like this:

    Me: I’m spending $60.
    Wife: Why?
    Me: I’m buying this game. It is the way Star Wars was meant to be.
    Wife: Merry Xmas. Hope you like your present.

    As stated by others, it’s amazing how well Bioware made me feel a part of the world instead of just another player on a damn fool quest. Sure, there’s still fetch quests, but I really felt like I was helping the world and participating in changing things. The cut scenes and instanced quest giver interactions really help. And both story lines I was playing were captivating. There’s even great replay value with specific instances for different classes. I can’t wait to get back into it… tonight! Just got my early access email

  4. I love Bioware games and I’m quite a fan of star wars but I played the beta and my overall reaciton was meh. It plays like an MMO with just a little extra trappings. The story is supposed to convince you are someone special and the universe rests on you yada yada yada but you can see everyone around doing the exact same quest. Unless you want more MMO, don’t buy it.

  5. I’ll take ‘you are a special snowflake’ being thrown at me than the dire lot that WoW was becoming by the end of my time with it.

    Those story trailers used to come out all the time showing Thrall and Brann and Jaina and whoever being all concerned and ‘whoa great evil!’ and then nothing happened in the game except a new raid and hey you achieved nothing and maybe a hero will show up and graciously empower you to kill the Lich King. Hoo. Ray.

    At least in TOR the story unfolds around you and I have options. Do I destroy the horrible drugs these bad guys are taking or bring it back to the villagers so they can have it and go crazy but be really strong to defend themselves? I can pick, and even if the overall event boils down to a few light side points versus some dark side ones, it is still a choice more than any other RPG has given me until now.

    This was never going to be a revolutionary product, but for playing it safe and picking a bunch of Bioware’s strengths I think it’s fantastic.

  6. It’s very single-player friendly though ;).

    Save the flashpoints, even the group content can be solo’d if you have a good companion and are careful. I mean the challenge is there, I nearly died taking on an elite and in a couple of swarms, but you can get by as a single player with some smart play even in group zones (and I am so glad they brought those back, it’s nice to see an excuse to group outside of a dungeon or raid).

  7. Are you the type that skips through every conversation in WoW just to get to the quest instructions? If yes, do not play this game. The conversations aren’t any more interesting than in WoW, they just take 5 times longer.

    I found adding Mass Effect style dialogue and presentation to a treadmill style MMO didn’t stop it from becoming boring after a few days.

  8. You’re right, if you’re the type of person that skips every piece of dialogue in WoW, this game is not for you.

    However, I couldn’t disagree more about the quality of the storylines in TOR. Based on what I saw during the beta, the quest system *is* the selling point of this game. Bioware is in typical form here and the writing is on par with Mass Effect or Dragon Age. The fact that you can experience it with other people makes it all the more fun. I think I made the decision to preorder while arguing in vent over dialogue choices in the Black Talon flashpoint.

    Basically, if you liked KOTOR or other Bioware RPGs, and you think playing one of those in coop would be even more fun, this game is for you. If you like min-maxing and level grinding, then this game is nothing special and you can go back to WoW.

  9. “Basically, if you liked KOTOR or other Bioware RPGs, and you think playing one of those in coop would be even more fun, this game is for you.”

    Whoa, thread winner. If that’s the case, then that’s about as convincing an argument as one can make.

  10. Oh, you’ll love this then, Bill

    WoW didn’t have dialogue anyway. It had quest text, which you had no input into. Monster difference.

  11. So you like sitting and listening to long sections of dialogue in your co-op games?

    To me Mass Effect as a co-op game would be terrible.

    I don’t think I have ever played a co-op game where it wasn’t a race to press the skip button on dialogue sections.

    Maybe I’m just burned out on MMOs, or Star Wars, or both. But I found the beta to be a snoozefest.

  12. I got to play the beta, and I loved it. I am not an MMO player, but I am a big Bioware fan, and a life long Star Wars fan. I loved the story and the characters (played bounty hunter and Sith warrior). Of course the beta I was in only lasted 3 days, so I can’t wait to get the game and really sink my teeth into it. And start a smuggler character as well.

    I have no idea if I will ever work up the motivation to try and play with other people. Maybe if a mission is hard enough. But that is me.

  13. It’s really not like playing Kotor, imho. Not to me at least. The mechanics are still very much stock MMO fair and while the voice acting is a nice touch, the writing isn’t all that engaging.

    But I’ll play more. Perhaps I’m just in the wrong class, but this very much feels like WoW in a much more appealing wrapper and a couple interesting changes (companions, most notably).

    You should give it a shot. You won’t have to play for 700 hours to figure out if it’s for you or not. I’m betting you won’t like it, but you’ll never know until you try.

  14. “it’s nice to see an excuse to group outside of a dungeon or raid”

    Great point! I don’t always feel like I have 1.5-2 hours to dedicate to a dungeon but I do like to group (but not for normal, easy quests). The solution? Heroic quests that can be done in a matter of minutes but pretty much require you to group and be a little social with people. I think its a good mix of it all.

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