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on January 8, 2012
Unfortunately, most of the reviews you see about this game, are from people who played briefly and either love it or hate it. This is a review from someone who has been in the betas and has judged everything about the game first before finally adding another review to the melting pot.

Lets start first with the CE package and contents...

The box is quite large and sadly, mine had a box cutter slice through the top of it. Looked to be caused by Amazon's poor package handling. It isn't very deep so it is mostly cosmetic. Rather than put in for a replacement, I chose not to bother. The rest of the items were just fine inside. Malgus looks quite intimidating and well sculpted, but personal preference would have been for them to have done a Satele statue edition as well. The rest of the physical add ons were decent. The best of them is indeed the journal which is well crafted and quite interesting to read.

But then there is the bad news apart from the cut in the lid. The authenticator doesn't activate properly to my account. Talking with Bioware (BW) support does confirm that this is a known issue right now but this is inexcusable for paying such a premium. These devices are not hard to work. Then the CD, also is quite lacking in tracks. Those in the know, check the TOR facebook page. BW released a lot of free mp3s of the game, some of which should have been placed on this CD due to the quality.

Moving along to digital content, this area is mostly hit or miss. The mount, while looking quite nice, still makes you pay for the riding skill. The camera, becomes useless when you learn how to link TOR with Steam. Which by the way, is possible. You have to look for it and do a little work to make a application to help launch TOR from within Steam. Then you move onto the mouse droid which isn't as great as it seems. Neither is the target droid which you can only use on enemies and has no real point.

The only real hits for digital content are the flare gun, the preorder crystal, and the VIP access. The dancer is not bad, but it does not last on screen for very long. Of those, the crystal is quickly outclassed after the first levels. The yellow and black glow also gets a little dull after awhile.

Overall, if this game had been offered for DDE via anywhere but Origin, it would have been a better deal. $150 is a bit much for what you get. But I will admit, it does catch your eye when you see it. BW certainly tried to make the value worth it and if you are a Malgus fan, you will find a lot of value in the statue.

------------

So now, lets talk about the game itself...

As of this review, you should consider TOR to be an improved beta. After experiencing the betas, it is clear BW put a lot of work into having TOR ready for the December launch, but it was maybe a month or two off from being completely ready. There is no lack of content and bugs are mostly minor. But the build is only a polished version from the Thanksgiving beta weekend. Some of the issues that hadn't been dealt with then, were still in game at launch. Some have since been fixed but overall, BW released a much better game than Blizzard has done. As one who has been in the WoW betas I can confirm this. Blizzard retail launches had been quite broken in past years. Much more than TOR.

So that said, go in with the expectation of some bugs still remaining. Of those I will try to give you an idea of what the worst faults are.

Simply put, the worst bugs with TOR right now, are mostly performance related. This has improved a lot since beta, but it is still in need of work. Those of you with Intel graphics, don't even dare run this game. You may be able to run the starting areas, but you'll need a real graphics card for some of the later worlds.

But one cannot pin all the performance problems on BW. Both graphics card vendors have not updated their drivers with TOR in mind. nVidia alone is 3 months behind and it shows. SLI systems do encounter problems on worlds with heavy grass. Turning off SLI helps a little, but for a full fix, turn off grass. Till this problem is resolved.

You will see a lot of glitches across the screen in some areas while others are fine. There are also quite a few memory leaks. BW is working hard to fix them, but as the game progresses, be aware of it completely crashing your system in spots. In my case, turning off grass solved a lot of my crashes but it may not solve yours. In fact, as of tonight I just ran into two end game instances which crash the game when you try to exit them after they end, Directive 7 and False Emperor. This will likely be fixed soon but it is clear BW needed a larger beta pool. The beta weekends were great to test the first 20 or so levels, but much of the big problems hit later as it approaches end game, which wouldn't have been tested within that brief amount of time.

So why then should you buy this game now if it has such bugs?

Well simply put, TOR does a lot of things right. From the questing, to the gameplay, and even instance design...this isn't a baby MMO. The game is quite complete. The attention to detail is fantastic and the voice acting takes the game from being a basic MMO to actually feeling like you are playing the next great KOTOR game.

It is a story driven masterpiece. But even that masterpiece will vary depending on the class you pick. Some have very well written stories while others have grand moments, then settle into predictable mediocrity. But above all there is no denying the grandness you feel when participating in them. The traditional formula of kill x many or find x many, becomes lost when even the side quest actors wrap you up in their plight just as good as the main ones.

Couple that with very WoW style gameplay and you have a fluid game which is easy to pick up and easy to spend hours in. BW also made sure to make commands similar enough to WoW so players feel more at ease. Something which other titles like LoTRO could have done to help transition people.

Gone is the feel of having to really "grind" away your life for simple gains. The game rewards you for playing it and it makes leveling up your gathering or professions much easier. Instead of sitting around crafting, you can experience the game while you craft items via your companions. The interactivity of the companions brings that much more relief to a long tired out tradition.

But that doesn't mean the game glamorizes "face roll" tactics. Proper use of your companions are key on some quests and many of the instance boss battles should be considered raid level of difficulty. Yes the game gives you access to good gear as you level, but players who refuse to learn fights are going to be punished severely as later instances come. This is an opposite approach to Blizzard's way of punishing you to get gear that can make it easy. TOR gives you the gear, but makes the fights hard enough so that gear will not matter if you cannot avoid standing in stuff. People who raided in WoW to any degree will see not only familiar strategies, but also some brand new ones inspired by WoW raid bosses. Some which Blizzard would have never used in instances, only in raids.

Hopefully the difficulty of this game will remain as time goes. There is little BW could do to improve it as is. They may welcome you with open arms and purples early on, but later they demand you use your head. This mindset doesn't even escape some of the later quests which have bosses that mirror some of the strategies seen in the instances.

Really, this is the game that Cataclysm should have been. Blizzard was onto a good idea but ruined it with their mismanagement of the expansion. Vanilla WoW was never as brutal or punishing as Cata became. But it was hard enough and easy enough to make the work put in seem like the effort wasn't wasted. TOR does this well and unlike Cata, TOR is not a lazy game. Each world has it's own gear set look and upgrading does not make you feel like you are just changing numbers. In fact, if you don't like the way new gear looks, on orange gear you can keep the old look and swap in new mods. This upgrades the armor to the better level. Meaning you can forever have the same look if you choose, a step up from Blizzard's heirloom idea. Ingenious!

The replay value is there! The potential for growth is there! So should you wait till things are fixed a little better? Yes and no. If you have the hardware to handle it and aren't prone to anger but willing to work with the game, get it now. You will not regret it. But if you have a short attention span and no patience, wait a couple months. In fact, just stay in WoW if you are a player like that. TOR doesn't need their community destroyed like WoW was.

There is so much potential for this game. Grander space combat (which is quite fun despite on the rails), more customization, and the addition of new worlds, new instances, new raids...it is just fantastic! I'm proud to be an early adopter and as one who loved WoW for over 5 years, I am not missing it one bit. BW may not call it a WoW killer, but it goes far beyond what any other MMO has done. At the very least, it will deal WoW a critical strike, one which it cannot recover with mere pandas. If Blizzard does not copy a lot of what BW did, I'd be surprised. But with Activision owning Blizzard now, I wouldn't expect much from them ever again.

Overall at the end of the day, this game is fun and I can't wait to see every character's story. To see every instance, hard mode, raid...the list goes on and on. I may be running with grass off for awhile, but that is one small price to pay to be a part of something so wonderful. Just, consider digital version or standard if you don't care to get the statue. You won't be missing that much. Actually, scratch digital, the less support Origin gets, the better.
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on November 17, 2015
I bought this when the game first came out. I got to admit that while I enjoyed it at the beginning, it just was KotOR (Knights of the Old Republic) and wasn't really as solid as the more developed World of Warcraft (WoW).

Having said that, the 4.0 release of the game is a game-changer. It finally delivers on something closer to KotOR and the slimming down of ability trees and stat-oriented gear has improved the over experience. It is absolutely more casual than WoW and I don't have a problem with that. Keep in mind that I'm a subscriber, F2P (free-to-play) experience may vary.

By no means is the game perfect. There are still elements it could borrow from WoW, but the game is very solo-able now, unlike WoW (even Flashpoints which are very much like WoW dungeons). This has more to do with the "companions" (NPC sidekicks) that can fill in a gap. Playing DPS with a companion configured to heal can make things much easier (even incomplete groups using a companion to fill an empty slot is feasible). The challenge is not gone. You still have to play the game smart or you will die and get frustrated (like any other MMO).
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on April 8, 2014
SWTOR does a wonderful job delivering stories for each of its classes. You'll enjoy the quests and the epic arch for most classes are memorable. I've played through the Sith Warrior and have heard great reviews for a few of the others. However, if you are looking for a MMO to play with your friends this isn't it. SWTOR has a lackluster social platform (and compared with SWG, this would be rated as a 1 out of 5 in that regard), it has a very uninspired endgame, and the PVP is ludicrous with rampant balance issues and only a few interesting game modes. The open world PVP has poor risk/reward or any other incentive to pursue. There's no sense that a "war" is actually going on.

The next few points can be a positive or negative, depending on what you enjoy.

- The game is now free to play, which I found to be an insult to someone who paid so much for the collector's edition with the hope that it would at least be a spiritual successor to SWG -- it wasn't.
- The space combat was very boring at first, but its much improved now. Though its limited and doesn't carry along some of the fun space combat aspects of SWG (manning turrets, etc.).

Overall, I do recommend picking it up if you are a Star Wars fan, but don't spend money on the collector's edition unless you want the figurine (it is pretty cool…). Too bad they didn't leverage the IP to its full potential.
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on December 19, 2011
Great game! The story lines, voice acting, and engaging locations suck you in. Each class (i played in beta and as such played 5 of the different classes available) has its own story that is well fleshed out and draws the player into the world. As you play you will lean lore of the star wars universe and visit some iconic planets. As an ex-wow player i can remember i used to just fast forward though the quest text, but here i find myself listening to what the people say and actually caring about what i am doing and the choices i make. and yes your choices have repercussions in the game.

The crafting/gathering system is a nice change. No longer does the player have to stop questing to craft or gather, you send you companion to do it. this is even better when you get more then one and you can have several out at once doing different tasks and one still fighting with you.

Visually the game is beautiful, even on lower settings (my system is 5 years old, but i did upgrade my video card this year) the game still looks very nice and the sounds and music all have the classic Star Wars feel.

Some have said that the space combat element is a let down but it was never meant to be a space combat sim. Its an additional element to the game that i find to be a nice, fun change of pace. If you ever played fire fox then you will understand what its like. your on a rail and you can control your ship as it follows the path. its actually lots of fun IMHO.

Over all if you are a star Wars fan you SHOULD get this game, especially if you like/loved Knights of the old republic. If you like MMOs this should also be a must buy as its by far the best all-round I have ever played, and i have tried many (WOW since launch, Guild Wars, EQ, EQ2, Conan). this is not to say it doesn't have its issues.

They need to improve the AH a little as the interface is not as smooth as i would like though its not horrible over all. they do need to have a way to click select items though for searching by name. Also they don't have as well as a developed LFG system as WOW NOW has. I am sure they will refine what they have over time.

Remember this is a brand new game and as someone who was in beta for months it has come a long way and i have found they are very receptive to the playing population and take what is said to heart.
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on September 19, 2014
It was not worth the overall price for this but it is interesting. The best part is the security fob for the game, the statue is neat but I don't collect those things usually and the music is fine. Don't really need the game discs as you can download all of this now for free. As for the journal not that great as you can watch all of the videos of the same thing for free. The box is way over sized and you don't want to keep. It was neat to see but now I'm pretty much over it. Better to go with the online version and buy the encyclopedia if you want cooler pics.
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on May 12, 2013
This game seems to have taken the best parts of WoW gameplay, set them in a great storyline in the Star Wars world, and made a great game.

Leveling a character doesn't take long and the story lines will be over quicker than a WoW game but each character type has a different story so if you're the type that likes to have many characters then this is the game for you. I tend to like having one toon I spend a long time developing so I strayed from this game after leveling and gearing my main toon. I have some secondary toons and they get bonuses from my main and others but I moved on.

I highly recommend this game to anyone that enjoys MMORPGs though.
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on December 16, 2011
This review is for both the gameplay and the collectors editions content.

Do note I got it before release but haven't used the 30 days nor anything the package contains.

When you open the box, you will see the statue right in the middle inside another box. On your left side of the box where the republic emblem lies, you will see the soundtrack disc as well as the the journal of master gnost dural. On the sith side or empire emblem you will see the map as well as the steelcase.It is by far the best steelcase I own and seen. Inside you will see 3 install discs as well as the product registration code and on its back the key commands, which is neat to have. You will also get another piece of paper with a discount for gentlegiant.com

The random code generator lies in front of the statue. For the statue itself I will not open as I like keeping some statues, depending how they are shipped, within the NRFB, Never removed from box. But when you open the box itself, you see the statue completely sealed by foam material with tape on the top and sides, and on the top of the foam itself, there is a card of darth malgus.

Overall this is the best collectors edition I've seen and well worth its price. The steelcase itself has the emblems of the sith and the republic, one on each side with them popping out. As well as the Star Wars The Old republic popping out as well.

The gameplay itself. I have played the early access only as we are still in this period and the gameplay is well worth it. The characters are all voiced acted so there is no moment of silence, however you cannot skip conversations. Not from what I've seen at least. Currently I'm playing in the Kaas server and in the jung ma server. Kaas for the jedi and Jung Ma for the sith. Jung Ma gets filled up quickly and there is a wait time sometimes between 10 mins to 40. The game plays like a lot of other mmos, but the voice acting and the beautiful environments can lose yourself within the story. From what I've seen, and playing with a friend of mine, both our stories never intertwine with the main story. You can play as a jedi counsular but I haven't seen a story part that is the same as a jedi knight. Same goes for different classes as there are green shields to let you pass, and red shields that forbid you to enter the realm. It also seems that the environment changes if your aiding someone else in an area but with a different character. Example, as a jedi counsular I entered a cave and it was totally different when I entered it again to help my friend whose a jedi knight do a different quest in the same cave. These styles of playing allow the game to feel new, regardless if you have played with a certain character and then decided to start anew with a different skill from the same class.

Overall from what I've seen I enjoy this game a lot and keeps me coming back for more. The different playstyles are the best I've seen as I played different MMO's and some fall short of this and the classes repeat a lot of the same quests, even within new levels. Giving me different quests for my main character allows me to feel the game is fresh. Do note I'm level 6 on the jedi counsular and level 7 on my sith. I will keep you updated on how the game changes and the similarties of the characters within the same classes.

For now the gameplay won't get a review score, since I haven't played enough to consider it, but the collectors gets a 5/5

Updates will be added as I keep playing. Thanks for reading.
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on September 29, 2015
I would have rated this 5 stars, but since April 2012 the game, solely run by EA on the BioWare "Logo" (completely owned by EA as stated in ToS et al.) the game has truly gone down hill in my opinion.
Made into easy mode on "ludes" and the game play completely changed from original concept and design.
Made into a bad rendition of a WoW clone in all design. Choose a character to play, choose what class and spec and all choices for design of abilities are chosen for you so you do not have to have a thought in your head.
You may wish to play the first 1-around 60 for the original Story that BioWare had created, but any story after that was just horrid filler to justify the lackluster x-packs.
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on January 3, 2012
I purchased the collectors edition mostly for the in-game collectors edition vendor. What a disappointment, the vendor sells only junk low level gear that I would have discarded by level 15 anyway. And the prices are exorbitant.

My idea of a collectors edition vendor in-game is a npc who sells you a smokin' land speeder for 100 credits and trains you in speeder use for free.

The game is great. I came over from WoW, and I'm not going back to WoW.

Research your class and sub-class as far as skill tree choices. I was doing my Jedi Guardian (tank) all wrong, and once I respecced my dps went up, my survivability went up, and my ability to maintain aggro went up. In summary, I became a much better tank due to respeccing. Get something like the AeonGuide for your class and follow the skill tree choices as you level up (after level 10, no skill tree prior) and you will have more fun playing.

Also, I expected an email with a pre-order code, because I pre-ordered it, but Amazon never sent me one. Moot point now.

Just buy the regular version, and enjoy the game.
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on February 28, 2012
First off, this is a P2P (pay to play) MMO. MMOs in the past, when they first came out, required you to group up with others in order to get anything done. Leveling to max level took mulitple months, not weeks or days. Todays MMOs cater a lot more to those that enjoy single player games that have online content, think Modern Warfare.
This game has a very good story arch to it, much like the old Knights of the Old Republic and games like Mass Effect today. The difference is that you encounter other people running around in the same game world. You can choose to team up with them to experience the single player content co-op or the get harder content done that you cannot do by yourself. The main story for every character can be finished by yourself, without ever getting in a group if you wish.

This game has been very enjoyable up till now for me. I have finished the stories for the Jedi Knight and the Trooper, both were very enjoyable and well worth the $80 that I paid for the game and a 60 day card, 90 days total.
The question I have to ask going forward is whether or not I want to continue to pay $15 a month to play this game. Right now, the answer is no, but not necessarily because of a lack of content. To experience the endgame raiding content, you have to be able to put 1+ hours of straight dedication, there is no pause button when you play with 7-15 others. My endgame has been PvP, wish consists of 3 Warzones and a planet. The Warzones were great to start out, but after 2 months they have gotten old and repetitive, so they won't convince me to keep paying a monthly fee. The PvP planet, Ilum, can be fun at first, but most of the time it's just a waste of time. I have been in battles with both sides have 40-50 people in it, and while it's lag fest even on a top of the line computer, they were enjoyable. But after a while it turns into you outnumber them and dominate or the other way around. There aren't any real objectives to Ilum, just kill and be killed for PvP experience and daily quests.

The game is in a tough spot. It really isn't for the hardcore MMO crowd that doesn't mind paying $15 a week. It also isn't for the casual player, since after 30 days you have to pay them $15 to play for another 30 days.
Summary: It's a fun game for a while, but it's like other games I've played. For example, I bought Uncharted 3, loved it, played it through, and now it sits in a drawer. I will most likely play through it again 6-9 months down the road, but I wouldn't if I had to keep paying $15 a month for that privilege.
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