Testing The Old Republic

Testing on the Old Republic wrapped up for my group on Monday.

During the early testing I played as a Jedi Consular. (Think Yoda or Obi Wan when he’s Old Ben and chillin’ on Tatooine). That was fun because you get a lot of force powers that enable you to take on large groups of enemies without breaking a sweat.

This time I rolled a Trooper. A Commando. More like what Rambo would be like if he was a stormtrooper. (This is before they were clones or the Original Trilogy rejects)

The question you might ask (and others asked) is why would you play a Star Wars game and play a character that doesn’t get a light saber? But I would say to you that Troopers are awesome. They get big-ass guns and grenades and they have personal shields so they can take on Jedi and  I think I had more fun as a trooper than I did as a consular. I still chose the Republic side. (I’m a goodie two shoes at heart) But for both rounds of testing, I chose classes that I won’t be playing when the game goes live.

I will be a Smuggler (Come on… who doesn’t want to be Han Solo?) and a Jedi Knight. I’m saving those for the full game. Since we can’t keep the characters we played in the tests, I’ll be starting from zero again. So why play the same story over. Oh yeah the story is excellent. Your characters personal storyline is well-written. And like other Bioware games, dialogue choices and Dark Side or Light Side choices really effect your progression and game play and the way NPC’s react and if you have companions it also affects how they feel about you as well.

When you’re grouped with other players you roll for who gets to decide each choice. You gain points for agreeing with the eventual winner. So if you’re grouped with sadistic players a lot of innocent NPC’s will die.

The game rocks. I can’t wait for it to come out. The graphics are excellent. The capital city of Coruscant is gorgeous, especially at night. It reminds me of the city from The Fifth Element with all the flying cars.

Unfortunately both tests ended right before I got my ship, so there is an entire dimension to the game that I never got to experience… space combat. Also PVP. I didn’t really get into that either. The solo storyline is so interesting and engrossing that I never got around to it.

The best part of the game in my opinion is the combat. Also I like the fact that you can pretty much play all the classes in any of the major roles. Tank, Healer or DPS depending on your game style. I played my trooper like a ranged tank. And I’m not really a grinder. I like to fight mobs that are a little too high level for me. So I found myself spending a lot of credits on healing and repairing my battered equipment. But the combat is a lot of fun.

My least favorite aspect is the mod system. You can improve your equipment at modification tables but there wasn’t much variety. It was just adding to the stats it already had. I would have preferred something with more choices. But it’s a new game and there’s a lot of room for evolving and growing.

I predict that this game will have a long life. A lot of MMO’s come and go. It’s hard to go up against World of Warcraft. And even though I don’t think it will beat the MMORPG juggernaut into submission, I do think it will make a big enough dent in the market so that WoW is forced to take notice. I will probably end up playing both but the next 6 months belong to The Old Republic.

-Sloth

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