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  1. #1
    Banned YoungRider's Avatar
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    A WOW player's experiece beta testing SWTOR(Reasons to be excited)

    Found this on swtor forums. I uploaded the screen shots. Perhaps this will give people a better "feel" of what to expect and what is different about playing what they have now compared to what they are going to play. I took the most important part's.


    Updated: His MMO Champion name is "faradhim" from the author and he recently signed up on MMO champion. He asked that I updated my thread with his updated links and I'm sure he will be able to respond to any questions you have.

    Part I: Character creation, initial zones, flash points, Crafting.

    Part 2: Questing, space combat, voice acting/music.

    Part 3: PvP, system performance, interface.


    1.Questing, Story

    You will be blown away by the story telling in SWTOR! I guarantee it! The story flows very well and has an epic feeling to them. Each class gets its own story line. Comparing to WOW, stories in SWTOR feels less disjointed. The entire story arc flows well from one zone to another. On the downside, it is also more linear than WOW. For example, you can skip a entire story arcs or even zones in WOW with little ill effect. This is not possible for SWTOR. Your class quest you have to play through. You get some freedom in choosing how or when to finish it, but you have to finish it. To advance the character, you have to advance the story, finish the class quest in the order it was designed. For example, after starter zone, Sith players arrives at the seat of empire, a planet called Dromund Kaas. There, he/she becomes the apprentice of Sith lord Darth Barras. In order to gain his trust, player have to prove him/herself by solving a series of problems for Darth Barras. At the end of story, you get your space ship and leaves Dromund Kass; if you don't finish the related class quest, story stops and you can never leave the planet. In fact, the class quests function like bread crumb which thread separate questing areas together. When you are given a new Darth Barras quest, additional side quests opens up around the area of the class quests. Story has KOTOR and Mass Effect feels to them. For solo players, this is pretty wonderful as you can work through these stories at your own pace. With this said, if you are one of those people who just want to do dungeons without touching the main stories. That being the case, you are out of luck.

    As far as quest goes, it is a typical MMO affair, you will be asked to collect 10 yeti skins, kill 60 goblins, find 20 buried treasures and kill the lich king. Wait, that is the wrong game. But you get the picture. Fortunately, the voice acting is superbly done so it feels fairly entertaining. The main story line is excellent and if not short of epic. There is no spoiler here so I won't disclose the details. I for one, plan to play both sides and see how stories progress.





    2. Starting Zones

    nitial Zones (Class starting area)
    About the first ten levels of your life will be spent in your class only starting area. Don’t be fooled, this is not a small area. The content is at least 10-12 hours and it is class specific. They are two starting areas for each faction. Sithes has one and bounty hunter and imperial agents share the other. I have played with a Sith warrior and an imperial agents; both stories are engaging and well written. The story telling is in typical Bioware style, if you have played Mass effect, you are already familiar with the branching progression of choices and consequences. Many quests have different ending dependent upon if you pick light or dark side of the arc. Oh, you don't have to pick light as republic or dark as Sith. The morality meter is independent of factions. The only effect of morality at this point is higher level weapons also have morality ratings (such as +1 light, -2 dark), you will need to have a morality higher than the weapon to use it. I was told that if you pick the dark path, the appearance of your character will also change. I have not personally tested this.

    Your story is instanced, by which I mean certain areas you can’t enter until stories call for it. For instance, on one of the very first mission, before you pick up the mission, you can’t enter the room where the mission takes place. The door is blocked by a red shield until you pickup the mission, whereby it turns green. After you finish the mission, the door turns red again making further interactions impossible. The game seems to do a great job telling you where to go and what to do. The map is well designed to facilitate these interactions as well.

    There are group contents inside the starter zone. A couple missions requires more than one player to complete. These quests are listed as heroics(2+), heroics(3+), designating how many players are typically needed for completion. These missions are more difficult than solo mission but don't offer significantly better rewards. For one mission, we had four players zerging through the dungeon with each of us swinging our vibro-sword at the nearest enemy with no communication or coordination, that didn’t seem to impede our ability in finishing the quest.

    There are progression level quest which are difficult. For one mission, I had to try 6-7 times. The quest required for progression are also instanced which means you can't get help from others. For one such mission, I had to return after I gained another two more levels.

    The story line is fairly engaging and dialogs in many instances amusing. The starter zone does a good job keeping you moving forward. As Sith warrior character, you get two major rewards when you complete the starting zone: a light sabre and an companion. At the end of the starting zone, you get to leave the planet and go to Dromund Kaas.







    2. Flash Dungeon (flashpoints).

    SWTOR's dungeon takes 4 people instead of 5. You can have a standard composition of 1 tank, 1 heal and 2 DPS, but you also do okay without a dedicated tank/heal at earlier levels. This is because each class is fairly capable of doing more than one thing.

    The first flash point I played is called "The Black Talon" which becomes available immediately after you leave the starter planet. The backdrop deals with an imperial officer who is not following orders to destroy a Republic ship. Our group was composed of me (tank), another tank, a melee dps, and a range dps(side heal). Since we are only about level 10, the line between DPSing and tanking is somewhat blurred. Although I have the tanking spec, aggro stealing isn't really in full force at level 10.

    There were a total of 4 bosses in this flash point. First boss can change depends on group's actions and story line. When there is branching story line, everyone in the group gets to roll and the highest roller determines the dialog arch. You are typically presented with three answers to pick from. The story in flash point was very cohesive and engaging. Flash points constantly moves you forward in story with cut scenes, the story elements adds great depth to dungeon. The fighting is standard WOW affair, don't stand in stuff, move out the way when boss uses special ability and crowd control when there are too many adds. At initial stage of beta, flash point difficult wasn't tuned and it felt very easy. After the fight you are generally treated with more story elements. SWTOR uses the same gear standards as WOW, you have grey, white, green, blue, purple then orange)

    There is no LFG feature. You have to find a group using general chat. It was a bit disappointing although finding a group wasn't particularly difficult. The whole dungeon run was about 1 hour (including 10 minutes we spent looking for the right button to push so we can leave the ship).

    4. Space Combat
    Space combat



    This is not x-wing vs. tie fighter. Extraordinary agility isn’t required here. Space combat is guided and you have very limited directional control for your ship. You will following a preset path forward and don't have ability to turn around an go back. Think space combat ala bombing missions in BC. You have limited XYZ control in 2 plans. Left mouse button fires laser(or blaster, or whatever) and press both buttons fires a limited number of missiles. Your ship has a damage meter and you must complete certain mission objectives before your damage meter reaches 100%. It is very arcade like. Missions includes destroying ships, enemy fighters, space stations, escorts capital ships etc. You fly in a prescribed circle over and over until you either run out of time or your damage meter reaches 100%. There is no death penalty and you can repeat the same space mission as many times as you like. If you succeed, the mission disappears and you receive a number of experience and credits. Your ship can be upgraded by buying enchantments from a ship supply officer on the planet. Missions gets more difficult and you will need better enchantment to complete them. The missions selector will let you know if your ship isn't "upgraded" enough for it and will appears red. The mechanics isn't as advanced as WOW vehicle combats and isn't as dynamic or polished. It is nevertheless satisfying and provides interesting diversions. On some nights I feel the need to "blow shit up"; this is an excellent outlet.





    4. Music Sound/Voice Acting



    Music/Sound/Voice Acting

    Music is amazing in this game! Soundtrack is 100% star wars material and indistinguishable from the classic John Williams. Music adds a lot of atmosphere to each zone and feels emotional without being over powering. Same goes with the sound; since this is Lucas Arts property, game makes full use of the existing sound effects from the movies. Droid beeps, light sabre swooshes, blaster whines; all feel appropriate and is fairly high caliber. In general, I have no complains against the sound effect.

    Voice acting is world class and what you would expect when the development budget is $150 million. Similar to Mass effects or Dragon age, voice acting lends your character a lot of personality. You feel more intimate with your companions because the little witty things they say. I typically roll female mains because I enjoy looking at their behinds. For SWTOR that has proven to be a mistake, it jus felt wrong flirting with Vette on my female Sith Warrior. In WOW, you only identify with the look of your toon; in SWTOR, you also identify with the voice acting. When the game comes out, I will be rolling a male Sith warrior to partake on the affection from Vette. :-) Like some other beta testers are saying "Vette is so cute when getting shocked".



    Last edited by YoungRider; 2011-11-23 at 03:33 PM.

  2. #2
    The Lightbringer Suprm's Avatar
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    Very nice review

    About starting zones, like most other MMOs the first 10/15 levels are tiresome, nevertheless the story spices it up (main class storyline). The reason for this is lack of toolset, mount and so forth...

    Once again, nice review
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  3. #3
    I have to say one of the things I really loved coming from wow in this was the "Story" areas you would enter. I also loved loved loved that when you are in a party with someone and are helping them in a story part you get to watch some of their conversations and I REALLY wish they would implement that for all conversations that happen in the story modes. It really feels (especially at lower levels) like it is a more personal story that is going on, which is rather nice

    I agree that the voice acting was really well done

    Oh also.. it is a very beautiful looking game, even on very low settings on a computer that barely meets the minimum requirements

  4. #4
    Over 9000! Glorious Leader's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed the space combat. Its not a pure simulator but at the same time it evoked warm memories of Star Wars Rebel Assault. I was actually shocked at how god damn good it looked to. For a mini game they put some work into it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebel_Assault

  5. #5
    Fluffy Kitten Ragnarocket's Avatar
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    I have to agree that coming from WoW the inclusion of the "Story" pillar really hit me hard. I play WoW for the "Story" so to speak, I enjoy seeing the sequence of events that occur between the expansions and the characters. When I played TOR I have to say I completely fell in love with the amount of time and effort that has obviously gone into the story. Even though I rolled a class I had no intention of playing when the game ships (Sith Inquisitor) I'm now so caught up in what could happen next in my storyline (I was level 20) that I'm just dying to get back in there and play it to find out what comes next!
    Beware the Terror of the Deep...

  6. #6
    very nice, tyvm. btw im so happy that this game doesnt have LFG, we have a reason to have a community!!!

  7. #7
    Pretty biased you skipped any negatives. Overall good review of the positives. You fail to mention that a ton of people just spacebarring through the cut scenes and it seems 75% running and 25% combat which I guess is a single player RPG thing because I get that same feeling from Skyrim.
    http://raptr.com/puremallace/about

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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Puremallace View Post
    Pretty biased you skipped any negatives. Overall good review of the positives. You fail to mention that a ton of people just spacebarring through the cut scenes and it seems 75% running and 25% combat which I guess is a single player RPG thing because I get that same feeling from Skyrim.
    I really don't think there are a whole lot of MMOs where during the levelling quests there is a lot of "multiplayer" feeling. When I levelled characters in WoW from 1-85 I basically felt like I was playing alone except for the periodic ganking that would occur on me. To me this is an "every MMO ever" complaint basically.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by YoungRider View Post
    it jus felt wrong flirting with Vette on my female Sith Warrior.
    Does not compute.

    Also, I thought same gender romance options weren't in yet?
    Yub Yub

  10. #10
    Mechagnome Thompson's Avatar
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    wall of text at 22:00 on a monday?

    maybe tommorow

    Post constructively or not at all.
    Last edited by conscript; 2011-11-21 at 09:49 PM.

  11. #11
    Herald of the Titans Eorayn's Avatar
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    Nice review But I know there's more reasons about reasons to not be excited, and Star Wars is not me But looks interesting.

  12. #12
    Over 9000! Glorious Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by godmodeon View Post
    I really don't think there are a whole lot of MMOs where during the levelling quests there is a lot of "multiplayer" feeling. When I levelled characters in WoW from 1-85 I basically felt like I was playing alone except for the periodic ganking that would occur on me. To me this is an "every MMO ever" complaint basically.
    In fact ToR is probably less guilty of this than wow. ToR still has plenty of group quests. Heroic questing zones exist and it takes 2-3 people to get em done. WoW has by now all but abandoned that. Rift was probably the most multiplayer lvling experience I've had in an mmo. It was pretty good actually.
    Last edited by Glorious Leader; 2011-11-21 at 09:16 PM.

  13. #13
    Can't wait .. beta loaded ..

    just watching
    http://www.twitch.tv/towelliee

    Unfortunately he's doing WoW raids later tonight instead of SWTOR .. people tried to talk him out of it :/

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by volraths View Post
    very nice, tyvm. btw im so happy that this game doesnt have LFG, we have a reason to have a community!!!
    We took for granted in wow.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by volraths View Post
    very nice, tyvm. btw im so happy that this game doesnt have LFG, we have a reason to have a community!!!
    It actually does sort of have a LFG component. It works like the current raid finder in wow where you flag yourself as looking for a group, and then if someone else is putting together a group they can look at the list and pick people. It's not cross server or anything though.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Puremallace View Post
    Pretty biased you skipped any negatives. Overall good review of the positives. You fail to mention that a ton of people just spacebarring through the cut scenes and it seems 75% running and 25% combat which I guess is a single player RPG thing because I get that same feeling from Skyrim.
    Not really sure what you're talking about. Tried doing that a few times and it made me rewatch the cut scene from the beginning.

    OT : As far as Flashpoints go, in BT, a healer was necessary although it COULD have been done without. On the other hand, a tank wasn't necessarily needed. I was a dps and early tanks have no aggro holding abilities so, basically, I was the tank. Something they need to fix.

    ---------- Post added 2011-11-21 at 04:44 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Atrahasis View Post
    In fact ToR is probably less guilty of this than wow. ToR still has plenty of group quests. Heroic questing zones exist and it takes 2-3 people to get em done. WoW has by now all but abandoned that. Rift was probably the most multiplayer lvling experience I've had in an mmo. It was pretty good actually.
    ^ That. There were SEVERAL multi player quests in the Warrior/Inquisitor starting area alone. On the other hand, the game still feels like a single player game. A little like KOTOR in an MMO atmosphere.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by YoungRider View Post
    2. Starting Zones
    Initial Zones (Class starting area)
    About the first ten levels of your life will be spent in your class only starting area. Don’t be fooled, this is not a small area. The content is at least 10-12 hours and it is class specific.
    Hahahahaha

    There's no way it will ever take you 10-12 hours to complete the starting area. I've leveled multiple characters of multiple classes, and it won't take anyone more than five hours tops on the starter world unless they're intentionally staying there or just standing around not doing anything. Five hours... even six hours would be a VERY generous estimate for people who have never played an MMO, have never leveled a character on that starter world, etc. If you are actively questing, even for a new player, it likely will take you roughly four hours at most.

  18. #18
    Stood in the Fire Nihilim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karazee View Post
    Hahahahaha

    There's no way it will ever take you 10-12 hours to complete the starting area. I've leveled multiple characters of multiple classes, and it won't take anyone more than five hours tops on the starter world unless they're intentionally staying there or just standing around not doing anything. Five hours... even six hours would be a VERY generous estimate for people who have never played an MMO, have never leveled a character on that starter world, etc. If you are actively questing, even for a new player, it likely will take you roughly four hours at most.
    Not everyone is you. I took well over 10 hours on my JK. Ever heard of EXPLORING?
    Of lips of splendor and tongues of deceit

  19. #19
    Pit Lord philefluxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karazee View Post
    Hahahahaha

    There's no way it will ever take you 10-12 hours to complete the starting area. I've leveled multiple characters of multiple classes, and it won't take anyone more than five hours tops on the starter world unless they're intentionally staying there or just standing around not doing anything. Five hours... even six hours would be a VERY generous estimate for people who have never played an MMO, have never leveled a character on that starter world, etc. If you are actively questing, even for a new player, it likely will take you roughly four hours at most.
    While the OP may be a little exagerated, the starting zone and TTL is a lot longer than you would expect. This is partly due to the voice acting as it really adds time to your leveling experience. However, you could run in and just blast through the dialogue and get through it as you have said.

    But here is a little tip: If you are looking to further your morality (darkside/lightside) you wont want to blast through the dialogue. In some cases you will find that you need to engage in conversation a bit and choose your words carefully to open up the morality changing options. I was impressed when I went through a second time and realized I had passed up morality points the first time.

  20. #20
    The Lightbringer Suprm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thompson View Post
    wall of text at 22:00 on a monday?

    maybe tommorow

    Post constructively or not at all.
    Someone needs to learn what Wall of Text actually means, I repeat, this is NOT wall of text

    Anyway, id like to add. What do you think are the negatives about this game OP?

    I am in Beta (full time past 2 builds) but the question is more to see what Bioware could work on.
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