A day in the life of The Old Republic
Well the day is here, Star Wars: The Old Republic is going live (Or is live depending on when you are reading this). Now most of players have been able to get a taste of the game through Bioware’s free beta weekend held a few weeks ago. Others have been playing since the pre-release was launched just about a week ago. For me I’ve only been playing for about forty eight hours, I know the title says a day but two days in the life sounds dumb.
SWTOR isn’t my first experience with the world of MMO’s however. I’ve had an semi-active account with World of Warcraft since 2006, and have logged far too many sleepless hours and drank far to much caffeine because of it. Since starting my experience with WoW back in ’06, I’ve attempted to play many other MMO’s (Aion, Age of Conan, Lord of the Rings online) and have always came crawling back to Blizzard. The reason being is that the average MMO boosts that it is the WoW killer, attempting to play up new gimmicks that make their game great. That is why SWTOR peeked my interest, Bioware admitted that Warcraft’s formula worked and took elements for them to create their experience. So let’s breakdown what I took away from The Old Republic is just two short days.
First and foremost I need to talk about the companions. Every single person will get at least one companion by going through the first few missions in the game’s single player story line. These npcs help you quest, sell your junk, and will add to the overall game play. As well as filling in for a class type that may be missing from a group attempting to quest.
Space battles, another great addition to the game. These Star Fox style missions allow people to escape the normal game and get a whole new experience. These missions reward the players with credits and XP making them more than just a cheap gimmick.
Flashpoints and social rolls. Flashpoints are in-game dungeons that require a party of four, whether it be two humans and two npcs or four humans. These dungeons feature bonus quests, along with a specific story event. What makes these dungeons different is the social interactions with npcs, where each member picks a specific response and a roll is done to pick which cut scene is seen. Each player receives the effects of their choices, whether it be dark or light points, but if they lose the roll they don’t get to see their character preform the interaction; and yes they are repeatable.
For a massively multiplier game, The Old Republic feels particularly lonely. While you will see many players running around most group quests feel like a waste of time. While some people are going to enjoy this solo-MMO style I can see it being rough on people completely new to the game.
Servers and wait times are another big issue. With the game only just being launched most servers are already seeing wait times of over an hour. While this is no fault of the game, it does dampen the experience.
General chat is another issue that is no fault of the game but a fault of the people. I’m aware chat can be ignored but it is sometimes worth a read. However, most times general chat makes a person lose faith in humanity and wonder where these people are from. Also, can we please kill the “Arrow in the knee” meme?
Star Wars: The Old Republic delivers a solid experience that is different from the basic cut and paste MMO style. The game does have other faults but I tried to stick with ones that affected gameplay and a persons view of the game. Overall I enjoyed the early access but I’m still a little worried about the lack of end game content, coupled with my fear of giving the money to EA in general. For those of you on the fence wait for the trials accounts before forking out the money, however as for me I welcome the change of scenery The Old Republic brings.