The Old Republic

Having played the most of the past month now, I feel qualified to say a few things about this game. Let´s categorize:

Say, you want to play TOR. USplayers pay 15$, Europeans mostly 13€ per month. The account is created fast and dirty, you can download the client afterwards directly. So, you go to sleep hoping that the 19gb are downloaded the next morning. They won´t, but then, you like to sleep in, so during midday the download finishes. You jump in, choose a server you know your friends are playing, choose a class and after an hour are happy with the body and face you finally decide on. The first 10 levels could have been a KOTOR-Game, you level up doing missions, you gain your first companion and choose an advanced class after finishing the tutorial planet. The dialogue is good, if a bit on the cliche side, but then again, you are playing a modern Bioware game. Up until that point, you could play completely alone.

Entering the advanced class at lvl 10, you enter into the basic content. Quests are given in dialogue form with several ways to answer as well as the possiblity to refuse some quests during the dialogue. You are given "light side/darkside"-choices and what you say affects what the companion you have decided to take with you thinks of you. You gain or lose affection. Quests mostly lead trough all the greater places of a planet and follow the overall story of the planet you are on. PvE content goes till the maxlevel and then you can go raiding for the greater story actions. However, while the game uses much instanced events and the dialogues, the planets themselves are not really instanced. You do not see your progress except during the class missions which are instanced in themselves. Basically, once you have one character who´s done all the missions on his way to 50 and always went on flashpoints(dungeons) and operations(raids) will have little replayability beyond the other classes special missions. Depending on how much you play, with about 4h a day you would take about a month if you concentrate on playing with a dedicated group. After that, nothing in there for the PvE-player. But till you get there, by the gods, some of those stories are really good.

You have 3 battlefields, several open-world-pvp-zones and the world-pvp on Illum. Doesn´t sound much, and it really isn´t. 2 of the 3 battlefields are bascially goal-oriented pvp-zones, one is point defense, the other a different sort of Alterac Valley. The last ist Huttball, a futuristic kind of ball game which is playable against your own faction, instead of the other faction. You cannot choose the battlefield, you get what is available. Therefore, you will play much huttball. More so, of you are on the imperial side.

Well, the game looks good, the HERO-Engine does it´s job there, but that´s not all it was supposed to. Basically, it run´s shoddy. Many people have differing framerates, the game can at times be instable, many things seem incompatible and several graphic options are not even integrated at times of Patch.1.1 What´s saddest, we see even great systems working abysmally bad. They really have their work cut out for them here.

We´ll have to see, for now, many features are not even included, and there´s soooo much I´ve not yet talked about. However, if you liked KOTOR and Mass Effect, you will mostly like TOR. I, for myself will stay on till march, just to see wether the legacy system is worth it and to see how many characters story I will have finished till then.

So far, so good.

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