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Odiun
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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:00 pm 
I also have been betatesting it over the weekend. It has a few bugs and some other issues but overall it seems promising. The graphic engine seems solid and as Zamarane mentioned above its very similar to WoW... just without the oriental panda monks :wink:
The only thing I don´t like are the skinny toon models that look a bit like barbie/ken dolls, the male models especially look kinda weird from the side, as the robes on for example consulars make them look like they have kinda female looking butt, and the chest area looks like they got breasts. Hopefully they will fix that in the future tho.


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Lyrael

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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:52 pm 
I tried to gather my impressions from the SWTOR beta. Here they come:

PROS

- Storytelling and voice acting
This is the most amazing part. It's an MMO, but the experience progresses like a great movie. Some of the acting is stellar: the match between 3d models facial and body expression and the professional voice actors is nearly perfect. Doing a quest is no longer a small box with some boring text and two buttons at the end, but an amazing movie unfolding before your eyes, where you are the main protagonist...

- Choices
You are finally playing a real character, who can make really different choices and say different things to your interlocutors: some noble, some cruel, some polite, some ambiguous...

- Combat feel
The game plays a lot like WoW, but the display of combat is more varied. You'll see your Jedi parrying and slashing acrobatically while the sounds and flashes of your lightsaber will bring your brain back to the theatre where you watched the movies the firt time...
The interaction is improved by the fact that, unlike WoW, SWTOR has no auto-attack: every sword swing or rifle bolt you trow against your enemies is the result of your finger frantically doing the job on your keyboard...

- Polished
For a Beta the game was extremely polished, smooth and responsive. The servers were incredibly stable despite the fact that they were under full pressure from thousands of players connecting at the same time.

- Star Wars
If you are a fan, the game offers a lot...


CONS

- While the animations are extremely good and the graphics run smooth even on my laptop at Medium detail, the artistic visual style isn't very inspiring. Particularly some character models, as Odiun observed, are quite bland and sometimes even plainly odd. In this sense, the cartoonish style of WoW has still way more personality.

- Combat is very similar to WoW, despite the no-autoattack feature (see above) and the progression revolves around quests. Some details are even left behind while WoW evolved them (example: You still have to upgrade the ranks of your abilities). In short, SWTOR adds over WoW (Storytelling, choices, companions, etc.) but it's not a revolution in terms of gameplay (in short: it's no Guild Wars 2)


I DIDN'Y DIRECTLY TRY
The Weekend Beta was short and I had other stuff to do, so I didn't manage to experience:
- Dungeons
- PvP
- Character Companions
- Spaceships (your player housing)
- Space combat
- Higher levels


CONCLUSIONS
I am definitely looking forward to play SWTOR with you. While this is not a revolutionary game, it's clearly a step forward for the genre. The amount of pre-orders worldwide says that the game is going to be successeful at start. How much and for how long, that's of course still to be seen.
The Storytelling element I think will justify at least a full run to lvl 50 on at least a class on each side (Jedi Consular and Sith Inquisitor for me). And it's a long run... Then, we'll see!

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Brambline
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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:10 pm 
Good review Lyr, I agree with all you say.

Here are my pluses and minuses to add to yours:

+ The companion thing is cool and without revealing too much, the way you get your companion is wonderful and comes as a surprise! Your companion also reacts to the choices you make during quests, and if your choices happen to be things that charm them (note that different companions have different personalities!) then they might even start falling in love with you!
+ So far I have not gotten stuck in geometry a single time. Usually when new MMOs come out this is a big problem. I remember when Anarchy Online came out with their expansions my character was getting stuck constantly in the new surroundings and I needed GM help to get free. It's happened even in WoW once in a while, although rarely.
+ The beauty and atmosphere of the different areas varies hugely. This is a good thing because if everything is super cool looking everywhere you go (like in WoW) you become actully numbed to it and you miss out on the emotional changes which I think are important.
+ The user interface is superb
+ The game DEFINITELY feels like a game for adults, not kids. After the panda stuff, this is exactly what the doctor ordered!
+ Was able to make characters that I actually like to look at, which is a big thing if I want to feel a connection to my character and help her out in her life.

- So far lots of running from place to place and I find this a bit tedious sometimes (then again, once I get a mount it will make getting it feel much more gratifying)
- So far most quests seem to be about killing stuff, so hopefully there will be some variation ahead - in this sense WoW really did a great job with the new Cata quests, you never knew what was around the corner.
- A few gripes about customizing the character - namely that there are not enough choices for what I would have wanted, especially in hairstyles. But hopefully they'll expand on this later.

Conclusion: I am going to be playing this 110% - like I said on Facebook today earlier where we were also discussing this: "Over the years I've tried Lotro, Vanguard, City of Villains, Warhammer, Age of Conan, Rift, DC universe, and the list goes on. They hardly captured my interest for more than a few hours to weeks. And I felt I had to make an effort to try to give them a shot. SWTOR however is the first MMO since WoW that I feel 100% sure about and know I will play. This is not a game I'm having to try to like or try to play, it's a game I try to STOP playing so I can go to bed, work, make dinner etc. Anyone else getting this definite gut feeling about SWTOR?"


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Lyrael

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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:01 am 
Good points, Brambline, I agree with you about your comparison with other MMOs. I had the same experience. And for the first time I told me: I should stop here because I don't want to spoil to much of my character STORY before release...

Did you make your mind what character you want to level up first?
I am going Jedi Consular, probably female. When levelled to max, I will then go Sith Inquisitor, probably male.
And I have to say that, surprisingly, the VOICE actors who interpret your character had some weight in my decision of going male or female...

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Zamarane
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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 12:59 am 
Brambline wrote:
... it's a game I try to STOP playing so I can go to bed, work, make dinner ...

You know you're hooked when that happens. "Just 10 more minutes!"

I speak from my own experience. :mrgreen:

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Brambline
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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:13 am 
Lyr so far I've levelled a Republic smuggler to 12 and and a Sith Inquisitor to around 6. The smuggler was so powerful and I have no problem staying alive, she can go where she pleases (lots of balancing to do it seems) but then again she was a bit more boring to play. Where as the Sith did more, but also took more damage. So if you were too slow in your actions you died, but if very fast you'd kill them off quicker than the smuggler. So kind of nice the way that works because it keeps the tension and excitement up during battles. Haven't had a chance to try other classes yet.

I totally agree with you on the voice acting though. Due to how sexy I was able to make my human sith look and HER VOICE, her gorgeous British accent and the snide comments I'm making her say... aaaahh love it! Right now I feel like that's the first character I want to start with, even if she does die easy.

Image

In the first picture she's busy telling her superior just how bored she is of what he has to say hehe.

The cyborg smuggler on the other hand has your typical female voice with an American accent and although it's ok, there's nothing about it that charms me or makes her stand out.

So yeah, choosing what race and class will definitely be influenced somehow by both how they look and sound.


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Brambline
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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:24 am 
Oh one more plus and minus to add:

+ The game has not crashed on me a single time yet and any bugs that I experienced were very very minor.

- When first starting the game, the default settings are set to very high, so your first experience is that "Oh crap, this game is too much on my machine, I won't be able to play". In fact I wasn't even able to get into the game after making the character. However, if making sure to adjust the graphic settings lower right in the character selection screen, then this issue is resolved completely and the game is nice and smooth.


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Lyrael

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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:21 am 
Good advice: I had the same experience with graphics setting! Lowering the Shaders effect made the flow extremely smooth on my laptop...

In the meantime, two updates:

- If you participated in the Weekend Beta, keep the 20GB install on your hardrive: apparently they are making plans to just upgrading it to release version for those who will buy the game instead of having to reinstall everything (it takes quite a lot)

- Go and have a look at our The Elders - Sith side guild page... Seems we are now set on red faction as well! ;)

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Josje
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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 10:40 pm 
as far as i know the release date is now the 20th and you get access with pre order on the 15th.

I also playtested the last weekend. I must say a lot of things do look nice, but the level cap is 50 and there is not much story progress after that.

There are people complaining about it but still before you are level 50 in the way most of us play it will take a while, probably before you played all classes and stuff there will be more content, or you can wait it out a bit, some quests have a bit of waiting times, because you need to do something that has a long spawning time, but most go pretty fast.

The only i can think of right now is the one in the jedi temple that you have to fight droids. The console has a cooldown of over a min and everyone wants to do that quest.


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Lyrael

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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:29 am 
I understand where are you coming from Josje. But I have to say, also, that I have been sucked in for YEARS in a (wonderful) MMO like WoW where character levelling was IDENTICAL from class to class within the same faction, so I am not that worried about the storytelling in SWTOR being short lived.
Overall, I think that many elements which keep MMOs interesting in the long run (gear progression, exploration, end game PvE and PvP, new patches...) will also be present in SWTOR, besides the new ones. It's not a single player game, after all, even though I definitely agree that Bioware has still to prove its ability to offer an engaging end-game experience. It's the fist MMO they produce, and it's not an easy task.

The worldwide lauch date is indeed 20-12-2011 now. Those who pre-ordered will be able to play from 15-12-2011 to launch, but as far as I understand it the "bonus time" will start differently within that range in consideration of how early you did pre-order the game.

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Republic: Lyrael | Sith: Alesthes
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Jeplin
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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 3:16 am 
I miss it terribly,which is a big suprise considering I only played it for 2-3 days.
Zooks has kindly pre-ordered it for me as a Christmas present
Happy holidays!

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Brambline
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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 4:12 am 
Me too Jeplin! I actually have withdrawl symptoms even though I also played only a couple days too. I keep on logging on to the client hoping that they've made a mistake and let me back in :-D. Yay for zooks!


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Brambline
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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:37 am 
Someone might have posted a link to these game trailers before, but in case you guys haven't seen these, here are various game trailers from SWTOR.

http://www.gametrailers.com/game/star-w ... blic/10449

The Jedi Consular class trailer alone made me get shivers all over!


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Zamarane
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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:11 pm 
Jeplin wrote:
I miss it terribly, which is a big suprise considering I only played it for 2-3 days.

Reminds me of our raid leader in the Rift guild I was part of until two days ago. He suddenly decided to drop Rift and jump to TOR after participating in the latest weekend test. He said: "I was just going to play the beta to see how much I 'wouldn't' buy ToR." :mrgreen:

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Lyrael

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 Post subject: Re: release date 22/12/2011
PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:18 pm 
Brambline wrote:
I keep on logging on to the client hoping that they've made a mistake and let me back in :-D.


*blushes*

...I did it as well! :lol:

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GW2 - Lyrael, Elementalist | Aenerys, Guardian | Alesthes, Mesmer

SWTOR (suspended)
Republic: Lyrael | Sith: Alesthes
WoW (suspended)
Horde: Azrael, Aenerys | Alliance: Eluthien, Anathiel


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