Hey there Forge Herald Fans!
So after a long week at work, I was ready to sit down and play some games, I started the week thinking I was going to check out Diablo 3’s new season, and then I realized I should take a break from Blizzard and try something new.
I fired up the PC, looked at WoW, looked at Overwatch, and came to a standstill on what I wanted to play. There are a lot of games on my PC, but nothing jumped out at me.
I hopped on Twitch and YouTube to search for some inspiration, a couple hours later after being distracted by the SCG Invitational and random Videos, YouTube started doing the whole, recommended videos for you thing, and Star Wars content started popping up in my face, and pretty soon I decided, well heck, I wanna rock a lightsaber this weekend, and so it began.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
I played Star Wars too much at launch, back in 2011, but haven’t visited the game seriously in many years. This game by Bioware has some of the best voice acting and best questing I’ve been apart of in an MMO. If you haven’t played the game, the Light/Dark side works like Mass Effect where your choices affect the game and, depending, on how far you want to take it also affect the way you look with dark side degradation.
There are 2 factions in SWTOR, Imperial and Republic, and 8 main classes that mirror each other in abilities but have different names. Knight/Warrior, Consular/Inquisitor, Smuggler/Agent, Trooper/Bounty Hunter. From the main classes, each one has a choice of 2 specialist classes you choose at lvl 10. I’ve played all the classes, but most of my time has been spent with 3. The Bounty Hunter(Mercenary, think Dual Wield Pistol, Wise Guy, who’s ready to make somebody’s day. The Consular (Shadow, a stealth based Double Lightsaber, DPS or Tank Class, think Darth Maul combat but for the Jedi). Lastly, Jedi Knight(Sentinel, the Dual Wield Lightsaber Hero ready to follow the lightside and save the galaxy with no thought of reward or thanks, he’s the hero, and everything screams it). I love the Dual Wield Lightsaber combat and the gameplay of the Sentinel, but for the weekend it was time to not do the right thing and check out the Darkside, I played the Sith Warrior, and specialized in the Marauder Sub-Class.
This summer, SWTOR has been running a Light/Dark Side event, with new achievements available to new characters created during this event. Based on the outcome of people’s choices Light vs. Dark, the community will decide the next companion class. Also, after different milestones of leveling and achievement, your account receives awards in the forms of titles, loot boxes, and account bound exp. equipment (similar to heirloom equip in WoW).
Starting at level 1 is never fun, especially if you’ve done it multiple times, the meat of the classes kicks in around the 40’s. SWTOR does some things great in this department. The quests are still good, the story has been streamlined, and experience has been increased so that you can just do the main class missions and power through the low levels.
You get a companion that follows you around, imparting some comments here and there and usually having strong opinions on your decisions whether you asked for them or not. A nice change, I found, was they gave you the option of choosing their role for your companion, whereas the last time I played there were either tank, healer, or dps without a choice. Then sometimes you were stuck with an annoying follower just to make sure you survived.
The content and levels zip by pretty quick and outside of General Chat, the game plays like a Single Player RPG with some online elements. Flashpoints were okay for the most part , but I could tell for my party it was their 1000th time running the instance and were just powering through it. Bioware made the option for the Flashpoints to be soloable so I was able to do a few and find out the story of why I was boarding a ship or hunting so and so at my own pace.
Cosmetics and character customization through talents, heritage, dyes, and wardrobe run rampant. There are tons of vehicles, and one of my favorite parts of the game is the Player Housing. I am a sucker for having a home to decorate and hang out in. In SWTOR they are called Strongholds, and looking out the window of the cityscape of Coruscant while decorating distracted me for far longer than it should, considering I had very little items to place around the house.
The combat is fun, I enjoyed Force Leaping into mobs, and Force Choking my enemies. The Story was fantastic, I enjoyed the depth of the Darkside, the power, political plays, and the games being played, the idea that the ability to survive in a Dark world is much like a game of dangerous chess. I found it easy to just go evil and kill everything that moved, but after a short time, my “character” outlook changed and eventually I realized that a dead enemy couldn’t be an alive pawn and that sometimes allowing something to live paid off greater in the long run. I wouldn’t say I ended up Dark or Light, just more of a what’s-in-it-for-me type of guy and that if they couldn’t kill me they weren’t a threat. A Light Sided Sith, or a Sith with an honor code, or just a Force user born in the wrong side of the galaxy, the RP was there and I enjoyed it without even trying.
There are currently 5 expansion packs, with the next installment of the story to be dropped 4th Quarter. I only got to level 50 and finished my first class story arch. I hear there are a lot of changes after you finish your personal story. I’m interested how the other packs will play out.
Another good weekend, another great game, I want to see how the story goes and where it is heading. I could see this game being fun with friends, but it really never felt like I needed the MMO part of this game. I found that the combat got in the way of me wanting to find out what was going to happen next in the story like a good book. Most importantly I learned that apparently, the dream of having Force Powers and a Lightsaber doesn’t go away as you grow up.
What games are you guys playing? I’m always on the lookout for something new to play, and would love some direction. If you guys have a game let me know in the comments below or on Twitter @TheEndruin. Until next time, Happy Huntings!
© 2016, Patrick Cossel. All rights reserved.