Posted by: markfender | January 18, 2012

[Flirt] Cool Things in The Old Republic

Continued from yesterday, I thought I’d talk about some of the cool bits that I’m enjoying from Star Wars: the Old Republic. Complete with screenshots from my current toon.

I wanna ride one!

The first thing I want to mention is their particular take on Star Wars. The Old Republic takes place in a different era from the movies, but it looks like Star Wars and that’s cool. From seeing familiar things like Tauntauns, to people wearing robes and waving lightsabers at each other, it has enough familiarity to make one nostalgic for those halycon days of yore when George Lucas was making Radioland Murders and not touching Star Wars. But, since it is a different era, it also has plenty of new stuff that still looks like it fits. The starships, for instance, have similar lines from the starships in the movies, but are new. Many of the droids seems to feature bits and bobs from other things you’ve seen in Star Wars (there’s a particular class of Imperial droid that has an AT-AT head). And all the symbology is very similar. It’s best to ignore the fact that this all takes place thousands of years before the movies and design sensibility can’t possibly remain that unchanging.

Coolest power EVAR

Another thing that’s pretty cool is your companion. Since we’re dealing with Bioware, they love to throw interactions with NPCs in. But, since they’ve got eight billion people running around in their world, they couldn’t really have full parties. So, everyone gets a companion, with several different options as the story progresses. This person has all of its Bioware-esque likes and dislikes within your conversation options to gain Affection, which ultimately opens up new powers, sub-stories, and other mechanical bits. Ultimately, I feel like I’ve have too many now and can’t fully explore all the interactions with them all. And it makes me extremely sad that the one companion I want to bring along on missions for her story doesn’t match my play style at all and is next to useless (although I see a lot of Assassins running around with her, so I guess if I’d gone the other way with my class she would have been useful). So, yeah, there’s some investment.  And that’s cool.

This seems dangerous.

Another thing I like is space combat. Yeah, it’s in the game and hasn’t been relegated to the first expansion! Everyone gets a starship to travel around with, but it also can engage in space combat. If you ever played Starfox or Rogue Squadron, you have a pretty good idea how this works. It’s a rail-shooter with awesome Star Wars visuals. Being more of a clicky-fest separates it from the more typical “stare at moving bars” combat that the rest of the game is, so it makes a fun diversion. Plus, there’s a whole bunch that reset every day, so you can keep doing them and improving your ship. The thing that helps this the most is that it, again, looks like Star Wars. The order of the day is WWI dogfighting amongst some pretty cool terrain with capital ships dueling overhead.

The Fade is in Star Wars too, apparently

The last bit is that there’s a story and I feel like its going somewhere. It felt like a sorta typical adventure game story early on, but some bits in the mid-game made it pretty cool. Now, as I approach the level cap, I can see it starting to wrap up and incorporate the choices I made earlier into its story. Part of the success I think is that I deliberately didn’t go look at spoilers on who my companions were, so that I was constantly surprised when new people would join my party. I hope it pays off eventually, but so far I’m pleases with how its progressing. From the tiny bits of alting I’ve done, some of the other stories look pretty cool, too. So, there’s definitely replayability for this stuff.

So, yep. That’s a game. There’s stuff I don’t care for (Crafting – while they do it better than any game previously has, it’s still boring and pointless as all get out), but its pretty polished overall. So, here’s two more screenshots:

I think I broke the game


They're not gonna catch me ridin' dirty

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Responses

  1. I’ve played through the entire Smuggler story, and it’s okay. It’s effectively a 120-hour revenge yarn. It wasn’t terribly exciting, but the your companions and a good deal of the dialogue made up for what it quite a bit. The story elements I enjoyed most actually came from non-class-specific things, like the Ilum storyline and the Maelstrom Prison flashpoint.

    As someone who played and enjoyed the hell out of Knights of the Old Republic, this game is awesome. It’s steeped in that story, from constant references to events from that game, as well discussion of (and even sometimes with) characters from it as well.

    I have several complaints. The game is still a bit buggy. I constantly hear that “MMOs are always buggy at launch”, but this isn’t always the case. Rift had a fantastic launch with very little problems in the way of bugs.

    It’s not entirely apparent what you should be doing once you hit level cap. It took me about a week before I really figured it out, since there weren’t a ton of level 50 players at the time, and those that were are hardcore PvPers where I am not.

    The Hardmode Flashpoints are extremely difficult when compared to the regular versions, arguably more so than they should be. I know that they’re called “Hardmode” for a reason, but it’s not really balanced. The Esseles Hardmode (which is the mirror to the Black Talon for Imperial players) was really rough, and took over 2 hours with several wipes before we got through it. When comparing this to most of the earlier content in the game, the difference in difficulty was quite striking, save for a few notable examples like District 7 and the last boss on Taral V. Strangely, Black Talon on Hardmode is supposed to be a cakewalk, while Esseles is just a bear.

    The itemization is off. From doing the daily level 50 quests, I can get high-level, purple mods, enhancements, and armorings that put my gear on par with the stuff that you get from the Hardmode flash points. The difference being that the latter is extremely difficult and requires four very smart players to complete where the former is a piece of cake. Right now, the big reason to run the Hardmodes is for the challenge and the drops from the last boss, which consist of a Crystal Alloy for crafting your Rakata pieces and a Columni piece. I also make money off of the daily quests where the Hardmodes end up costing me lots of credits in repairs.

    • Well, you’ll notice this wasn’t a complaint post. Although I do have some.

      1. The final act of my character’s story makes no goddamned sense. Combined with the fact that the Voss storyline also makes no sense, I am quite literally just following quest instructions because I have no idea what’s going on.

      2. Bugs are indeed annoying. However, maybe I’m a bit jaded from previous MMOs because this one is fairly clean. The most annoying bug so far is when the game decides that it wants me to autorun and never stop. Hilariously the last time this happened, I was live chatting with Customer Service about another bug and the CSR could no longer see anything I was typing because autorun apparently overrides everything.

      3. Its probably just me but could we get an editor? At least three of those opening synopses about my ongoing story have had egregious editing mistakes in them.

      4. The tooltips could show up at appropriate times and with more useful information. There’s a ridiculously complete codex in game of story stuff, but I can’t find basic game info it once flashed on the screen. And it never told me about Crew skills until I’d already trained them.

      5. Drops are indeed weird. I’m wearing the same armor I got at Lvl 10 because nothing else has dropped that’s even half as good. I upgrade all its mods at the end of a planet when none of the shops on planet sell good stuff. Like, seriously, where do you get new armor? I have no clue.

      6. I also have no idea what I’m supposed to do at level cap. I’m five levels from that, so I guess I still got some time to figure it out.

      7. No one on my server apparently does Flashpoints. Despite my overly aggressive spamming and PMs, everyone just ignores them.

  2. It’s a Bioware game. They’re often really awesome, but not without things to complain about. They’re almost always beautifully crafted, but they always have little things that drive you nuts. I love the game. A lot. I loved KOTOR, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect as well, but there were always things about those games that drive me crazy. It’s hard not to complain about the game even though so much of it is really fantastic.

    One thing that drives me crazy is when a companion reports back on a mission when you’re in the middle of a rough fight; I wish that stuff would wait until I was out of combat.

    Anyway…

    When you hit level 50:

    1. Go to Belsavis and Ilum and do the daily quests there. You can upgrade your equipment pretty quickly this way. There are three dailies Heroic quests that each reward high-level epic armorings/mods/enhancements, which means every day you can make one piece of equipment. They get really repetitive, but it’s a good way to gear up for EV.

    2. Do PvP to earn Champion bags, then take the mods/enhancements out of the Champion gear and use it to upgrade your regular gear (unless you really like PvP, then just keep the Champion gear as is).

    3. Work on your Bind-on-pickup Rakata craftables. The ones for Biochem are disgustingly awesome. The Rakata Stims are basically always-on 150-point stat boosts, and the Rakata Medpack is the strongest one in the game, AND it’s infinitely reusable.

    4. If you’re Empire-side, start running Black Talon hard mode a lot. It’s a piece of cake and drops awesome loot, so it’s something you can start doing immediately when you hit 50. If you’re Republic, crank your gear as much as you can via options 1 and 2, then start running the hard modes.

    5. Work on gear and affection for your companions.

    6. Make your Matrix Cube from the Matrix Shard Datacrons. It’s a 90 minute trip around the galaxy to get a really nice Relic.

    7. Hunt for Datacrons that support Endurance and your primary stat.

    8. Run space missions. They’re quick and offer up some decent credits.

    9. Make sure you run the last two story Flashpoints, Battle for Ilum and False Emperor. They’re pretty awesome.

    • So, basically, this seems to boil down to: be sure to collect all the achievements. Which is why I’m not an MMO player at all. Bleah. Hope PVP is fun, I guess.

      As for Rakata craftables, I think that means I should have been crafting. My crafting’s at, like, 24. I so don’t care. Also, didn’t they nerf the Rakata medpack in the last patch? Or am I thinking of something else?

  3. Now that I’ve seen the nerf to it (which went live today), it’s not that much better than the one I can make without having to use alloys.

  4. Something else I forgot after hitting 50: roll a character on the opposite faction to get that completely different side of the game. Now that I’ve finished leveling out my Smuggler, I really want to run a Bounty Hunter….

    • That’s the plan. My Legacy name was actually acquired for my Republic character that I haven’t even rolled yet.


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