Adam’s Star Wars: The Old Republic Level 10-30 Review

Over-hyped. If I was asked to describe SW:TOR with one (hyphenated) word, that would be it. But, fortunately I get to describe exactly why I have these feelings about a game that has been keeping me on my toes, waiting for its launch, and checking my emails for early beta access like a child on Christmas.

After seeing World of Warcraft become a panda-filled catastrophe at BlizzCon, I had hoped that SW:TOR would be the MMO’s saving grace this year, but alas, underneath the millions spent on voice actors and cut-scenes, it still has a sub-par, dated combat system resembling that of Rift more than anything.

Classes
Make no mistake, this game only has 4 classes. While advanced classes offer new trees and specializations, they are still only the same class with some added abilities for healing or tanking. The 4 arch-classes are mirrored on both sides by the talent trees and the skills, and while animations may be different, not much is changed in practicality.

Itemization
Very standard rarity system, green, blue, purple, pink. The newly added orange items are something that I am enjoying. While they may have the statistics of a blue or purple item, they are fortunately upgradeable. These items are chosen solely for looks and can be modded all the way from level 10 to 50 and still be top-notch. This saves quite a bit of time for any player who is very gear-conscious.

Crafting
With the crew crafting system, having one companion makes it horribly difficult to advance these professions at low levels, but after the mid-twenties, you are presented with four, out of which you may send three at a time while still being able to keep one at your side. Sufficed to say, I have almost maxed out all my professions at level 30 and can make items that are only available to high levels. The system works very simply but lacks any kind of commitment during leveling, and feels more of an automation than any sort of real crafting. Without real player involvement, it doesn’t really appeal or give any sense of real accomplishment. But Mortal Volley does.

Story/Leveling
Having leveled every class up to level 12, where the story-lines begin to mash-up, I can only say that this isn’t Bioware’s best. KotOR, Mass Effect, and Dragon Age all give the player a feeling of true heroism and individuality. Although BioWare did its best, this is still not the correct path for an MMO.

While Individuality is important in an MMO, it is not the real goal of this genre. The MMO is a social beast that must be nurtured by involving large groups of players in a combined effort, but alas, BioWare’s roots has always been in single player games and can still be felt in both the storyline and gameplay. Quests run seamlessly and the story does develop quite interestingly, but this is to be expected. I mean come on, it’s Bioware. We just expected something more.

PVP
Fun, Fast, and completely unbalanced. Level 10s fighting level 50s. Although the level gap is softened by a powerful buff, all that happens is that the entire battleground has level 50 statistics. The rounds come down to a simple, who has the most level 50s. Currently very unsatisfying and unless level brackets are implemented, I see quite a few players turned away from one of the biggest aspects of an MMO. World pvp on the other hand is some of the best to date for an MMO. This has always been one of the funnest factors, but getting to kill enemies at random is extremely satisfying. And so is this.

Although it may be difficult to compete with higher levels, there is always the possibility that they may just suck and have power leveled without having any real pvp experience, that’s when this happens. And you top damage at level 11.

Adam Kharakov

Adam “kharakov” Kharat is part nerd, part geek, and full awesome. With deadly writing skills and the sleeping habits of a jackrabbit, late night gaming sessions are all but mandatory.

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