496 of 580 people found the following review helpful
on December 19, 2011
Many people playing this game are either (a) new to massively multiplayer online gaming (MMO) or (b) come from either World of Warcraft or Star Wars Galaxies. Thus, there is a lot of room for expectations to become let downs. I'd like to take a moment and explain exactly what SWTOR is, at this point in its evolution.
MMO titles go through many iterations. The most difficult time for an MMO is almost always at launch. When Warcraft launched, it included 60 levels and two raids (MC + Onyxia had been created for launch but not enabled, wowiki more or less agrees). The equipment didn't look exciting and the world was quite small compared with its size today. Before purchasing SWTOR, it is important to realize that the title is at this point in its evolution.
These games go through many iterations. Part of the reason we pay a monthly subscription fee is because the game never stops being developed. Our monthly dues ensure that many of the features that didn't make it into the launch are developed later. Bioware has focused exclusively on core game play features, steadfastly refusing to be distracted that the fluff that will allow for a lush universe a couple of years from now. As a result, the game can tend to feel stripped down to its most basic elements if you are used to a seven year old game like WoW. If the bare-bones feeling of a new virtual world is a deal breaker for you, then seriously consider waiting until December 2012 before purchasing this game.
Many impressions around the internet include flaws from beta. These should be taken with a grain of salt. There were several different beta groups and all were testing different versions of the game's features in order to determine what would work best at launch. The danger of a large scale beta is that many players will nit pick at it as though they are seeing a final product after nine months of post-launch support. SWTOR has often been judged in this harsh light.
When you enter the game world for the first time, you will find out whether or not your computer needs an upgrade. The lowest system spec I have comfortably played this game on is an E6750 (Core 2 Duo 2.66) with a modern video card (nVidia 550TI). Anything beneath this line is going to feel jerky. Please be aware of this before purchasing the game as it will severely impact your experience if the camera movements are not smooth.
One of the most questioned features of SWTOR is also one of the favorites at launch. Between the musical score and the voice acting, this game captures a level of emotion that has not been accomplished in past online worlds. The first time I played through the Sith Inquisitor class during beta, I tried make dark side decisions for their own sake, knowing that some gear required greater devotion to the dark path. On the third planet, this caused me to have to kill an arrogant young Sith apprentice, whose father I was working for, and all I got in return was a common (green item type) lightsaber. The man was furious in his pain, his voice acting was beautifully done. By that decision, my dark alignment moved to 2 and the Sith corruption on my character's face turned his sunken eyes a deep bruised purplish black. Surprisingly, I had a strong emotional reaction to this. I began to make light side choices when the most horrible dark side choices were presented and as a result started to play a far more rational Sith force user. It was as though I had actually hit a turning point in my character's development where he moved from being a bitter former slave towards being a future leader.
On the flip side, the Jedi experience is cannon to a point of feeling like a Norman Rockwell painting. Without making an occasional dark decision, the player is faced with a character who does the right thing no matter the cost and no matter who is hurt. The Jedi are blind religious justice when played as lightside for lightside. These nuances were not something I expected to find and to be honest, they were not something I particularly recognized until I had played through several of the character classes. As an aside, playing the Imperial Agent as lightside is very much a James Bond experience.
Your first or second time through, it will be easy to criticize what you think is a plot on rails. Keep going and you'll find there are subtle gradations that really change the feel of the game depending on how you play and you may regret that some decisions cannot be taken back without starting over again. This is a good thing.
From a pure mechanics standpoint, the game is similar to Warcraft. Blizzard really wrote the book on how a game should operate. Many players have been upset that they were able to sit down and feel immediately at home in SWTOR. To them, I would point out that on the rare occasion in my life when I have driven a Ferrari or a Lamborghini I have not been disappointed that the car still had a steering wheel and a gas pedal. The point of building a supercar is not to create an alien experience but, rather, to heighten all that makes the driving experience so exhilarating. SWTOR has taken the best of Warcraft's mechanics and super-powered them. There are subtle differences, especially in the crafting and companion systems, but the game is truly a collection of seven years worth of homage to Blizzard. It doesn't significantly diverge until around level 30. If you feel that this is a bad thing then perhaps this is not the game for you.
Many people have worried that boss mechanics would be ho-hum and as a result the game would plateau after level 50, losing subscribers back to Warcraft, as has happened to a great many titles. Were we talking about boss mechanics four months ago, I would have been inclined to agree. My guildmates from Warcraft are very accomplished raiders though and even they had to own up to the fact the last boss on the second major Flashpoint (Bringing Down the Hammer) was a surprisingly tough fight. They declined to repeat the Flashpoint in hard mode, instead electing to move on with the game content, because they realized they were not yet ready to take the content up a notch based on their gear to level ratio. If the boss design can sustain that level of increasing complexity up through endgame operations then this title will have a truly special raiding component.
Yes, there are bugs. Some of the bugs during early access have been frustrating because we squashed them two months ago in beta but they have returned (un-clickable mining nodes come to mind). Others are based on newer systems that were refined just in time for launch. Sometimes, at the right camera angle, all of the walls disappear leaving only the background image for the planet. Is it frustrating? If you are used to XBox type launches, yeah. Is it game breaking? No, not for an MMO. This is all par for the course.
All in all, Bioware has created a worthy heir to the throne of World of Warcraft. The game is young and it lacks the complexity of a mature title but it has lots of positive momentum in the right direction. If you love the Star Wars universe and enjoy MMO gaming then there is absolutely no reason not to pick up this title right now. If, however, you are someone who needs a bug free, mature, later stage title to be fulfilled then you should wait a while before buying Star Wars: The Old Republic.
[12/21 Update: 12/20 brought severe sever queues with new players exercising their first month free. This is a situation that will stabilize by 2/1 but it *will* degrade your retail experience. Bioware seems to have increased realm caps to deal with the situation, however, it will likely repeat itself with holiday accounts signing in for the first time four days from now]
[12/24 Update: Sever queues have been well under control, however, the 25th is coming. More on that in a bit. I wanted to add the following to my review:
Space is really a mini game and as such it falls outside of the MMO experience. Most recently, Star Trek tried to fully develop a space + ground MMO. The dev teams were clearly split and neither one created a particularly good experience. Like Star Wars Galaxies before it, I suspect Bioware will focus on space in a couple of years when the ground game is fully developed.
Until then, think of Space as a mini-game that is good for picking up XP and credits between planets. You'll enjoy it more that way. If you try to think of space as a part of the MMO experience, you will be sorely disappointed.
Finally, if you have not played past level 30, do not assume you are fit to judge the game. The first 10 levels are spent learning the interface. The next 20 are spent learning your advanced class. 30-40 is spent learning the advanced stats and 40-50 is spent honing your rotation.
197 of 245 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2011
First off, I would say a 3.5/5 is more accurate, or a 7/10.
I will try to be as subjectively objective as I can. This is no Asheron's Call, Ultima Online, or Shadowbane. It is as much a theme park game as every other "AAA" MMO to come out in recent years. It looms as a shadow over other titles, such as Age of Conan or Star Trek Online. It is supremely better than anything modern except for the one dated title that everyone likes to compare it to... I won't even bother saying it because we all know which one. Does it share elements to this grossly successful "other" title? Of course it does. Just like "it" did, The Old Republic has copied elements from what worked in other, successful MMO titles. Is it a clone or a copy? I would have to say maybe, but it is something new and refreshing in many other ways. It is a theme park MMO... and that type of MMO hasn't changed much since Everquest (except to remove that pesky sandbox, which many of us still lament). Is it the be-all, end-all MMO... of course not. It has many flaws to rival it's merits.
Here's my quick breakdown:
1. Voice Acting is Sufficient. You won't hear anything as well-done as the Mass Effect series, but it is adequate... and in places, pretty good. It does have some good people, and that's where it shines. Nolan North is in it quite a bit, which alone means there's some good voice acting. The diversity and acting quality of a lot of the rest, however, is merely "adequate".
2. Stories are Adequate. The story lines in this game won't compete with a half-decent novel, but they are as entertaining as your run-of-the-mill prime time show.
3. Group Questing is Actually Entertaining. I have always hated being in a group for questing in any other MMO. It's a penalty, curbing reward possibilities and just making everything take longer. The conversation and dialogue with NPC's makes grouping with a friend much more enjoyable.
4. Instancing is at least Well-Done. I hate instancing... with a passion. Something ought to be said, though, about the way it was done to be less immersion breaking here. Walking through a glimmering force field into a private instance with NO load screen is a step forward, to be sure. Note: this only refers to private/group instancing WITHIN a zone. See #3 below for more elaboration.
5. Art Quality is Good. Sure, the graphics aren't top-notch (see "The Bad"), but the environments are often beautiful nonetheless. You don't need Arkham City graphics to be pretty (Arkham City was beautifully ugly), and ToR shines here. Worlds like Taris and Nar Shadda offer stark changes in artwork that is easy to appreciate.
1. Character Creation is Severely Lacking for a Modern MMO. In the days of character models such as those in any Cryptic game, Aion, or even EvE's new generator, the customization in SW: ToR's character creation system is pretty much a joke. The mesh/textures on character models are also very "flat".
2. Engine is Poorly Optimized. There are many posts on the forums about bad FPS. Personally, I run an AMD x4 Phenom II Quad-Core 3.2ghz, 6gb Corsair RAM, and a GTX 580 (GTS250 for Physx, which doesn't apply here)... and I'm lucky to average 30fps on max settings (ironically the same average as people with far lesser systems). Considering the lack of technically advanced graphics, something is amiss here.
3. The first several worlds are very "corridor-ish". The worlds don't seem very big, there is little exploration at the onset of the game. You are funneled from point A to point B to completed objective H. They claimed an epic and huge feel to the game, but I'm afraid to say that I'm just not feeling it... at least not yet. Instancing might be well done WITHIN a zone, but the rest of the time I am still reminded that I'm going from one arena to the next. The fact that each zone exists as instanced copies also limits the big MMO feel. Many people act as apologists for developers, stating that they don't like waiting for mobs to spawn because people are camping. My opinion is this: the devs ought to create more than one or two mobs to avoid this, not 20 instanced copies of the entire map. MMO's used to be gigantic because they had to be, now they are tiny and save development money by just putting people in separate copies of the same zone. Some people might love small over-instanced maps, and more power to them. I don't.
4. It doesn't feel "alive" the way an MMO should. The only critters in the world are occasional HUGE monsters that are too busy grazing to attack. This seems like laziness, to me. NPC's and Enemy Mobs are always standing in one spot, doing the same thing over and over. The rare exception is a world boss that walks in a small circle. Everything just seems so... static.
5. Sometimes combat does seem clunky, sometime it doesn't. Most of the time I have fun with it, and I suspect a lot of people's issues stem from timing issues with abilities that can be corrected at some point. Still, fluid and responsive combat is a must in any modern MMO... and it's enough of a problem that I think it merits stating.
These are just my highlights. There are other issues I have, such as it not being sandbox (they always said it wouldn't be, so this was expected), and lack of immersion things like being able to sit in chairs or sit on the ground without looking constipated. I also found that the advertised flashpoint (Black Talon/Esseles) seems to be the only one that is as interactive and conversational, but I've only done the first four. Hammer Station and Athiss, the next two, are just your run-of-the-mill dungeon crawls. I found this rather disappointing as BT/Esseles are the most fun I've had in a "dungeon" in a very, very long time. Space combat is also underwhelming, and they have said they plan on doing something big with it later on... which is fine. None of the issues in this section are really enough to affect my rating for the game at launch, however I still thought I would add them for sake of full disclosure if you're on the fence about purchasing.
Despite the flaws, there are many good qualities here... so don't let the zero's, one's, and two's on metacritic dissuade you from trying the game. At the end of the day, I have fun when I log on... for now. I'm quite certain, having been in the beta since early on, that I will get my money's worth before I stop having fun. Give it a try. At the very least, it is a good base from which Bioware will, hopefully, build a worthy and successful MMO title that will last years.
Update 1/24/12: The patch that went live last night seems to have alleviated a good deal of my negative issue #5. That is, combat clunkiness. The issues were apparently something to do with input lag or ability timing. From what I garner from the official forums, which are tentative at best, this isn't a universal solution... but for most customers it seems to be much better (myself included).
Issue #2 regarding engine optimization also seems to have been alleviated somewhat for me. I did some NVidia tweaking and got much better results. However, with the belated inclusion of AA... many users are experiencing stark FPS drops (even with AA turned off). Shadows remain a tenuous affair, at best... and don't look very good to boot. Either way, I'm now averaging around 50-55fps with VSync on, with obviously higher results with VSync off. It is quite playable/enjoyable for me.
Final Update 3/22/12: After hitting max level and getting all the PvP gear I could want, and poking around with some of the PvE content and alt leveling, I lost my drive to log in. I just didn't look forward to it anymore... most of the negative things I've commented on here have taken their toll, and the positives are just not enough to keep me here. The game feels too narrow, too empty, too lifeless, and too simplistic. As a result, I have cancelled my subscription as of this date. Best of luck to those of you sticking around for longer. I am aware of the big upcoming patch, but even if it delivers on its promises... it still doesn't change the fundamental design issues that I do not enjoy. I might come back eventually, but I have no further plans to update this review if I do. I hope it stays something enjoyable for the rest of you for a long time to come!
139 of 177 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2011
Should you get the game? Let me ask you a series of questions:
- Are you a big Star Wars fan? If yes, go ahead and get it. It's a good Star Wars game.
- Are you new to the MMORPG genre? If yes, go ahead and get it. It's a good MMORPG.
- Did you play some other MMORPG, enjoyed it, and mostly just thought, "I wish this game could be exactly like it is now, except with more wookies"? If yes, go ahead and get it. It's got wookies.
- Did you quit your last MMORPG because you got tired of the gameplay? If yes, then you might give this game a pass, because it's really just more of the same, recast as Star Wars.
This is a good game. If you answered "yes" to any of my first three questions, don't even read the rest of this review. Just put it in your cart and click on to the ordering screen because I think you'll be pleased with it. If you answered "yes" to my final question, then read on and I'll explain why you might give this game a pass.
It's hard for me to not be a bit bitter about it because it's the same game I have been playing for roughly 10 years, with a few minor tweaks. (Where are the innovations?) That is, if you've played Warhammer, Rift, World of Warcraft, Everquest, etc, then you are already very familiar with what SWTOR is going to be like. There is very little truly new to the genre here. A bit more story based? Sure. A couple neat things with crafting and the "companion" system? Yeah. But basically you are playing the same game as that last MMORPG you played, whatever it was, except this time it's got more lightsabers in it. MMORPGs have been stuck in this rut for a long time. If you're new to the genre, hey, jump right in! It's a good rut, really. If you've been in it for 10 years like me, then don't expect SWTOR to jump the rut in any way. There are no big innovations here:
You know how it goes. See dude. Talk to dude. Get quest. Go kill everything. Go talk to the dude again. Get reward. Go talk to next dude. The world is linear. The world is not dynamic. You cannot impact the world (at least not for more than about 60 seconds). The decisions you make are very fleeting and don't really matter in any sort of big scheme. It's set in a time of conflict but there's no real "war" to fight in, per se, because, as is always the case in MMORPGs, we enter the game when the war has just been called off (WOW, Rift) or just before it has gotten started (LOTRO, SWTOR). So yes, there's some fighting, but you're not going to have to fight for or against the Empire as they try to take over a planet in real-time because this is not a wargame -- it's a standard, linear, computer RPG.
So it's good, really, it's just same-old-same-old. They did some neat things with crafting -- you won't find yourself slaving over a hot forge all day making hammers. The "companion" system basically gives everyone their own NPC "pet" that follows them around and adds to the conversations as well as providing some tactical interest. The quests are good. Everything is a voice-over and done pretty well. You get to chat it up with some options that have some immediate impact and you can pick "light side" or "dark side". So yeah, there are some neat things in this game.
But it's still fundamentally the same as the last MMORPG you played, whatever that was. If you liked that, you'll like this. If you were sick of that, then you're just getting more of the same here.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2014
(Note: I'm reviewing this as a subscriber. The F2P experience is worlds different.)
TOR, as it is often called, is a good game. I know, I know, it's not perfect, and it's not everything BioWare led us to believe it would be. It often feels like a single player game with a multi-player lobby. PvP isn't the main focus of the game, it's Free-to-Play, it has a cash shop, and it didn't crush World of Warcraft beneath it's booted heel. But putting aside all the rabid fandom, on both sides, TOR is fun, getting more and more polished, and occasionally feels like a true Star Wars experience.
Cons first: It feels like a lobby. At max level, there's no real reason to leave the Fleet (main faction hub) ever. You can just queue up for PvP or PvE, quick travel and fight. For some people, that's great. For others, it feels small, it feels anti-epic. Part of the allure of Star Wars is watching that "Punch it, Chewie", star blurring Hyperdrive moment. If all you ever do is sit on your speeder in front of the auction area, click on a "ready" button, and suddenly appear in the midst of battle, something is lost. Something of that wonderful journey Han, Luke, Leia and friends all took.
Neutrals, undecided: Character creation. I'm very on the fence about this one. I get four body types, ranging from skinny child, average-but-muscular, BEEFCAKE, and fat-but-strong for dudes. Ladies get skinny child, Hollywood curvy, BEEFCAKE, and voluptuous. There's about twelve faces, very limited hair styles, and some variation in scars and stubble. I like, but don't love, the costume situation. Most good gear is "moddable", meaning you can rip the armoring stats out and put it into other armor. You can make pretty unique looks, but it's expensive to swap costumes as often as I'd like.
Pros: The gameplay itself is pretty smooth. Sure, there are glitches and delays, but that's what happens in an MMO. This is the first game I've ever played that I actually liked to PvP in. The stories can be pretty cool, and the voice over ranges from awesome to please-shut-up.
Overall, this game is worth the zero dollar download, and fifteen dollar sub fee. I keep coming back to it, and it just keeps getting a liiiiiiiiiittle better each time. One of these days, I may just log in and find it to be pretty dang good.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2012
I bought this game a year ago, it was fun but I really didn't like paying monthly subscription because was busy with school. So saw no purpose for wasting money. Anyways now the game is FREE-TO-PLAY. I can continue where I left off. NOTE this is my first MMO game. It has a good story, and you can create multiple characters and play their story lines. Its great they decided to go F2P. They even are giving out rewards to those who payed monthly to compensate. Check out their website though because theres a deadline to receive your goods. All you have to do is relogon in game.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2012
I purchased this game solely due to my love for the original KOTOR games (Yes even Obsidian's KOTOR2). I'm sure I am not the only one who had mixed feelings about this game when it was announced. I think most people would have preferred to see a KOTOR 3 instead of an MMO set in the same general time era of KOTOR. I finally broke and decided to jump into the game as enthusiastically as I could. I did very much enjoy the references to the original KOTOR games. With the Endar Spire, Revanites, etc. Those types of references were really neat. The game does a decent job of making the grinding type quests to at least have some OK storyline behind them, but in the end they are still long boring ventures. The combat is really nothing unique either. While the 8 unique character storylines are entertaining for an MMO they are quite poor when compared to KOTOR. Your just an average Joe Jedi, trooper, smuggler, etc. In the cog of the Republic or the Sith Empire.
So to draw this review to a close, I did not like the majority of the quests, there are some gems in there for the rabid KOTOR fans but the majority are bland tasks that are sometimes time consuming and rarely interesting. The combat is very repetitive, uninteresting and offers no real feeling of accomplishment when you take down an enemy. The PVP arenas were fun at first but with such a limited number of arenas it got old and boring quickly. Anybody notice a theme here yet? This game will impress you at first with it's decent storylines but under that blanket you will soon discover there is really nothing much in terms of fun within the game. It's a game that can't decide what it is, an MMO or a single player RPG. That said, if your an MMO fan you may enjoy the injected storyline into your grinding experience. I'm simply not a fan of grinding in games.
Now that the first 15 levels are free to play there is no reason to buy the game until you go through all 15 of those levels. At this point you should have a good understanding of the game and know if you will enjoy it any further or not. Hope this review is helpful for those curious about how the game stacks up to it's spiritual predecessors.
106 of 146 people found the following review helpful
on December 16, 2011
If you liked Knights of the Old Republic - just stop reading these reviews and order this game. Even if you were never all that into MMOs, this game will at the very least give you at least 400 hours of play time as you play through the story lines for every character type and do nothing else.
Questing - Every MMO since the day of UO has struggled with how to make the player feel important and have an impact on the world with thousands of players sharing that same world. SWTOR pulls it off by having instanced parts of the world that only you and your companion are able to enter, these instances may be a whole dungeon or just a room, but the events there are specific to your storyline which does have branches. Your decisions have lasting impacts, you will get mail from NPCs with credits or just follow ups on the fallout from your actions. The final outcome of your particular story line will also depend on the decisions you have made - and no, it's not a simple light side vs dark side ending based on alignment. Speaking of alignment, it's not all black and white and in many ways playing a "light side" empire character makes sense. (SPOILERS: The Dark Side choices when playing the empire in general have you serving the Sith or just being unnecessarily cruel, while the light side may have you serve the actual "Empire" and it's people. There is distinction between what is good for the Sith and what is good for the Empire. In the Republic, the politicians are horribly corrupt and self serving, you can either embrace that or try to fight it. There are a lot more gray areas in the Republic choices overall - end justifies the means sort of stuff.)
Grouping - Admittedly, your personal unique quest will only take up about 20% of your game time. Most of your quests will be shared by other classes as well - this is actually a good thing. For example, you start on Hutta as an Imperial Agent and your friend starts as a Bounty Hunter - you will have radically different personal quests - but they will steer you towards the same area just with different purposes. So you will be able to group together for 80% of the quests and go to the same areas, just not be able to enter each others personal quest areas. The attention to detail for the common quests is as high as for your personal ones. The voice acting is fantastic, the quests are grouped appropriately and even in the rush of the head start there is little difficulty in getting to your objectives. Finally, if you are playing as a light side character in a group of dark side characters, the decisions you make have no impact on your own alignment. For example, if given the option to save or kill someone, all group members pick a response and do a dice roll, who ever wins gets to speak and execute the action, but the choice you made is what impacts your alignment even if the other option won out.
PvP - I will admit that PvP in this game is clearly not the main focus at this time. It's there, but it's not perfect yet. There is also some imbalance between the empire/republic therms of population count right now - at least that's what appears to be happening as I've been doing the mixed faction HuttBall pvp instances more than empire vs republic instances. This will probably balance out by release and doesn't matter much anyway as HuttBall is pretty good times. PvP in terms of class balance is decent but most tanking classes start out very weak early on. Finally, there is nearly no distinction between a PVP and PVE server - open world pvp doesn't exist till very much near the end game and the planets are fairly segregated.
Crafting - Crafting has been relegated from being a time and money sink to just being a money sink. You do not personally craft the item. Your companions do. In addition they will use crafting components from your inventory as well as your ship bank. This means that you can be crafting while questing, pvping etc. Once you get two companions, there is no reason to not have one of them crafting at all times. The system is well designed but the long term financial viability of some skills is still debatable as the economy at retail will be very different from beta.
Itemization - You are able to modify certain items to change their stats in entirely. IE on a gun all the damage is determined by the barrel which you can swap out - the barrel itself has a level requirement and that is passed on to the item. Thus you can stick to the same items for the rest of the game. Oddly it is often more expensive to buy upgrades for an existing modifiable item than it is to buy a whole new unmodifiable one. This will probably change once the economy stabilizes, but right now modifying your gear is wasteful. Quests will often reward you with a choice of an item or tokens which then can be used at a vendor to purchase higher quality gear, as such you don't usually get stuck with quest rewards that you end up selling right away.
I can't think of much else to say - the game is running fine on my QX6600 with 2 GTX8800 in SLI(this is an OLD PC) as well as on a 2 year old Asus G51-A1. I have not had a single crash in the last beta build or in the release client. It's still not happy about alt tabbing (slow to tab back), but that's the only issue I have with the release client. Lag is minimal and I'm on a "heavy" load server.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2013
The game is made by Bioware, which also made the popular Knights of the Old Republic games, as well as Dragons Age and Mass Effect, and as such is similar in some aspects to all of them! The game has moral choices that Bioware is famous for, as well as easy to navigate conversation trees.
Bottom line: Is the game good? This is a dificult thing to answer. Do you like Star Wars? Do you like Bioware games? Do you like MMORPGs? If you answered yes, to any of those questions, then the answer is: Yes! The game rocks on so many levels!
However, like in all MMORPGs you get Trolls and basically childish nimrods who come onto the general chat and become an annoyance. They tend to type in all caps, about how the game sucks and how much better the last game they played was. They like to belittle anyone who plays the game differently from them. Not leveling fast enough? You are a N00B who doesn't know how to play the game. Level too fast? You are a cheat or a "haxx0r". Best case scenario, is you are rushing too fast through the game. They want to control your playtime! You don't PvP, then you suck. You RP, then you suck. Luckily though, the game has an ignore feature, that doesn't seem to have a limit to the amount of names it can hold.
The trolls are a common occurrence in any MMORPG though, and shouldn't push you away from an exceptional game though!
Another thing I should mention is, that the game is very story driven, which for me is great! since I play a game to experience a story, not to rush through and see how fast I can level up and gear myself up.
The game is also fully voice acted. Meaning, that every NPC you talk to will speak to you! Some don't speak galactic english though, so you will need to read subtitles. However, this full on voice acting helps immerse you into the star wars universe like never before.
Personally, I think this is the best MMORPG on the market currently. Sure, there are other good ones, but this title has made me forget all about them. The player base leaves a lot to be desired though, however the server I ended up playing on, might have just attracted more trolls and morons than other servers. Maybe, that's what I get for choosing a server simply because it had Darth in the name.
Am I surprised that I liked it? Honestly, I am! I thought I would detest this game! Simply because of my past experiences with Star Wars: Galaxies, which has got to be one of the worst games of all time! I was afraid The Old Republic was going to be similar to that. Thankfully, it wasn't.
This is NOT a detailed review, in fact I consider it more of an endorsement. If this had been a detailed review, I would have discussed the companions, the fact that you get your own ship, and I would have went on about how you can fly to iconic planets, Like Hoth and Tatooine. It's just me, saying you really should try this game out. Even if you have a cruddy older computer. One of the most amazing things about this game, is the fact that it will run on most machines. If you have a semi-modern computer, odds are you can run it. Maybe not at the highest setting, but you should still be able to run, and run it smoothly at the lowest setting.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2013
I enjoyed playing the campaign, but once I reached the level cap it got boring. I canceled my subscription after only a few months.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2015
First, a bit of disclosure - I tested this game during Beta, stopped thereafter, and then recently rejoined. I've tested/played about 3 dozen MMOs over the years, but this opinion is based off my gameplay.
Without going into details about the past, when SWTOR was first released it had some major flaws and issues. Most of these were brought up by numerous beta testers, but the game was released despite these flaws and then fixed over time. Unfortunately, this appears to be a common trend these days, as big game houses release the game on schedule, regardless of issues, to start recouping the cost of these huge ventures.
When first released, this game was a Pay-to-Play (P2P) game, which required a monthly subscription fee to access (much like World of Warcraft and other online MMO powerhouses). This model quickly shifted to Free-to-Play (F2P), as many subscribers left due to the glaring issues in the game, even those already known during the beta process. The F2P model, which allows players to play most of the game for free, pay for little items they want, or subscribe (~$15/month) for full access to all content, has kept this game alive and even allowed it to flourish (at least the community - I cannot speak to the profitability of Bioware).
I started this game again recently, prior to the latest expansion release (Revan) and thoroughly enjoyed the new model and in-game fixes. You can choose from 4 classes over two factions (Republic or Imperial) and each class has two sub-classes with 3 specialties within each subclass. The choices are varied and you can design the perfect character for your play style. There are US and EU servers AND both sides have PVP, PVE, and RP servers to choose from. Pick where you want to be and give it a shot. Again, you can download and play the game for free - no credit card, no charges, no requirements, except an internet connection.
Now, the F2P model does have some limitations that I've run into. In order to make P2P attractive, F2P puts some caps on item usage, levels, and quest access. This, in no way, prevents you from playing the game, just makes things a bit more challenging. Additionally, you can buy most of these features alacart - which unlocks them on your account, giving you almost all the same features as P2P (or subscription) players. There are some items (like credit caps) which cannot be unlocked, but again - this doesn't make gameplay impossible - just different.
The reason I only gave this 3 of 5 stars is that the game doesn't allow you to unlock all the features with the cash/coin feature. Yes, you can unlock the expansions. Yes, you can unlock all the races. Yes, you can unlock access to the cool "equipment" and other collectible items in game, but you can NEVER unlock the credit cap. A F2P player has a cap of 250k credits (raised to 350k for preferred players, which is anyone that has ever spent at least $5 within the game), which his way too low to buy nearly any of the high end game items. Subscription players will charge premiums for high level items (millions of credits), which to them is not an issue, but for F2P, it limits your choices. Of course, you could just subscribe and remove the limitation - but a F2P model that doesn't include an option to pay for the same feature that P2P players have is a knock on the overall rating for me.
On a personal note - I recently switched from F2P to "Preferred", which only means that I spent at least $5 (I've spent more, to unlock features I wanted), and I recommend you do the same if you plan to play this game for more than a few weeks. Download it for free. Test it for a week or two and then give Bioware $5 (buy a few coins). The Preferred status removes many of the "locks" that make the game "painful" and makes the rest of the time very enjoyable. Is it the same as P2P ($15/month), no - but it is bearable. I will say that overall I've enjoyed the game. Bioware always impresses with their dialog and scripting. I haven't found a Bioware game that I didn't like the story in.
The price is perfect (Free) if you download the game. Give it a shot and see if you enjoy the game as much as I do - even if there are some items that still require Bioware's attention (allow 100% unlocks).