Star Wars: The Old Republic – A First Look
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Analysis And Discussion In A Dissertation Of course SWTOR isn’t the first MMO based on the Star Wars universe. Star Wars Galaxies claims that title and was the first MMO that this writer really got into, way back before Blizzard released World of WarCraft. Star Wars Galaxies was developed by Sony Online Entertainment and for a time was very popular. It has carried on much longer than was expected however with the imminent release of SWTOR, SOE and LucasArts announced that Galaxies will finally close its servers on the 15th of December, just days before SWTOR goes live.
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Professional Resume Writing Services 3rd Kings So now that SWTOR is finally here and will be the only MMO on the park for Star Wars fans what does it actually have in store for us? Here at HardwareHeaven we have been playing the beta and are going to share our thoughts on how the game plays and what sets it apart from other MMOs currently available.
Dissertation Using Lawrence Lightfoot Portraiture As we mentioned in our introduction SWTOR is set in a time of tenuous peace between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic. These are the two factions available in SWTOR however just because we decide to play a Sith character doesn’t necessarily mean that we have picked the bad side as SWTOR makes it clear that the individual player can choose his or her own path in the journey between light and dark.
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Each faction has four classes and each class can pick a specialisation at level ten. The Sith Empire has the Bounty Hunter, the Imperial Agent, the Sith Warrior and the Sith Inquisitor. In the Galactic Republic we can play as a Smuggler, a Trooper and Jedi Knight or a Jedi Consular.
Although questing in SWTOR is traditional in its style, its implementation is very new. Almost all quests taken in SWTOR include a fully voiced acted cut scene, including multiple response choices in classic BioWare style. This is very different from other MMOs which simply offer a pick up and go style of questing. With SWTOR we have to think about our responses, as ultimately they will impact the path our character will take, either toward the light or dark side.
It is very impressive that such a vast number of quests are also fully voice acted, especially given the conversation choices we can make. BioWare have gone to great lengths to provide a questing experience that we’ve never seen before in a major MMO.
Combat in SWTOR is tight and fast paced. Although we have the traditional click button to perform action style of play BioWare have thrown some new elements into combat, such of the cover system. Cover is used by the Republic Smuggler and its Empire equivalent the Imperial Agent. Cover is a skill that has this ranged DPS class looking for a place to hide, while blasting his enemies from afar. If no strategically placed boxes can be found then the class is able to spawn shield in front of them. Gaining cover allows the class access to more types of blaster shots.
Aside from solo questing, SWTOR also offers group play. In fact once we get through our starting zone and leave our first planet we are offered the chance to go to the next planet via a group quest. We can ignore this of course, and take the shuttle straight there however it’s nice to see BioWare encouraging group play from such an early point in the levelling curve.
A big part of SWTOR is the companion system. Companions, or our crew, are characters that we gain as we level. They will help us in combat, or we can send them on missions to gain experience in crew skills. Crew skills fall into three main categories – Gathering, Crafting and Mission. In each category there are a number of options to choose from. One of the best things about crew skill missions is that they work while we are offline. So before logging off we can send one of our crew on a mission, that might take 5hours, then when next online we would find that they have completed the mission.
During the test phase of the game we levelled up into double figures and found that there was plenty to do at the early stages and hope that BioWare will be aware that most of the time an MMO player spends which his character is at level cap, so they have put a similar amount of effort into end game that we have seen for the earlier levels.
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The character models look great, and certainly feel very in tune with the Star Wars universe. The combat animation on them is good and our actions feel very connected with the onscreen action.
The planetary environments are very detailed and varied in their display. Planets like the world of Coruscant that we are so used to from the prequels, are brought to life in SWTOR and as we are running around we can look over the edge and see the depth of the planet, the height of the buildings and the unlimited number of vehicles flying past us in regimented formation.
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Aside from the voice acting SWTOR also features the classic sounds we have all come to associate with the Star Wars universe. From classic spaceship sounds to the swoosh of the lightsabre, to the annoying beep of droids all the sounds we would expect to hear in a Star Wars game are found in SWTOR. The in game music is also very familiar, from the instantly recognisable Star Wars theme music at the start to the zone music which fits in very nicely with environments.
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The companion system is an interesting feature and the ability to develop our crew while we are offline is a very welcome option.
We are very keen to play this game more, and to get to grips with some of the later levels and group play to see if BioWare is able to keep up the excellent start that we experienced with the starting zones and initial gameplay. So far though looking like a solid 90% Release.
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