This will be the 2nd and last entry I ever make on this game. Now that they have dropped the NDA...who cares really...most people know all there is to know about the game all ready. But if you have been living under a rock for he last couple of years this is all you need to know about Star Wars: ToR.
After being in beta I can say that I will not be playing this MMOG. It is not an RPG, just an MMOG. Let me clearify what I mean when I say this. In the game of SW:ToR they have classes, like Bounty Hunter, Smuggler and so on. Well if this is an RPG where in the skills tree are there actually any skills related to what that class is named after and how can one play a Smuggler if there is no out of story ability to, you know, - "actually smuggle" something - anything! Where is the smooth talking skill(scoundrel), where is the haggling skill, where is the skill to modifiy your ship, where is the skill to "S M U G G L E"? You'd think that if this was a role-playing game that you'd be able to actually do stuff related to the "role" you are playing. Not in SW:ToR. So no..this is not a RPG. It is a 3D arcade game. Think space invaders, but advanced version. You have different choices of which ship(combat class in SW:ToR) you'll use to "blast" an invader - in the end that is all you'll do is blast an invader because that is all your ship is capable of doing, just differently than the other guys ship next to you...his ship uses laser beams and yours uses a projectile. In fact in all the classes of this game there are no skills(in skill trees) that have anything "not" to do with combat. Welcome to space invaders SW:ToR style!
Sorry Bioware gets an F in RPG.
It is, despite what certain zealots might say, is just a "WoW clone" - yes a WoW clone, but instead of elves, orcs and whatnot we get Jedi, droids and wookies. Just like WoW, you'll end up with a cookie-cutter character that looks and plays like the one standing next to you. I couldn't even connect with my character no matter how hard I tried because in the end she was no different from the other Jedi Consular standing next to her. I guess I shouldn't have expected this game to be different from all the other thempark based games - I was hoping we might see the end of that with this game - we're not - so better to be forewarned. You have been warned.
Yes the game does have it's own little things that differ from WoW, like the "story driven" quest, the crafting is definitely different in that you have others do it for you, but under neath - it is all themepark. Do not go into this game with the idea that it has any kind of sandbox game play - it does not - it is all themepark. From start to end. Quest hubs, lead you by the hand(even in combat with the cheesy cover skill - (oh look hide here!)
Even combat is boring as watching glass flow. MOBs are stagnate objects that have no AI whatsoever. It is the quintessential whack-a-mole game. Combat animations are decent and the sounds are very Star Warsy - iconic, but due to the nature of the game you'll be whacking away at things(I guess lightsabers are not the ultimate close quarter weapon we saw in the movies - how any thing could survive the onslaught of multiple saber strikes boggles the mind), and you will, it gets old really fast. It is still the same old tab target and mash away. :) "Nothing new here - move along."
I can say that the story driven quest were intersting the first time through, but after that I can see them getting vapidly aggravating. And despite the so called, make a choice story driven quest, it's all still linear and inconsequential. Like most MMO's of this nature your character is forced to go exactly where and when the developers tell you to take your character. You have no choice because if you don't you can't proceed to other areas. You are locked into a certain path and there is no way to deviate from it. Typical themepark game play mechanics.
Another thing that really BBQ's my chicken is the same-old, same-old gear driven centristic game play, with the end game being made up of raids and PvP instanced battlegrounds. If that floats your boat to do the same things we did in Aion, Warhammer, Rift, and WoW - knock yourself out.
Worlds are more stagnate than WoW. No weather, no night, and day cycles, no critters running about. The world just seems so dead. NPC's stand with no way to enteract with them. Most NPC's stand around and do nothing - might as well be cardboard cut-outs. When it comes to immersion this game lacks it in a huge way. At least in other games the developers made an effort to make their worlds come to life, that is not the case in SW:TOR. It's as if you are walking through a picture or painting, but just like in the picture you cannot enteract with the world. There is so little atmosphere, no sounds of birds chirping, or conversations, and when attacking NPC's they don't yell out or make a noise - they just stand there and shoot their blaster or use whatever weapon they have. Even creatures you fight are like this. Everything just seems so- dead..
Game is just - so been there and done that I actually ended up giving away my first beta key, and then somehow I ended up with a second one, and gave that one away as well. By the time I got my Jedi Consular into her teens I was ready so disliking the game I could'nt even log on to continue beta testing. So I called up a gaming friend and gave them my key. I wish I could like this game, I mean it is Star Wars - right....right...well for me that was not enough and I'll be saving my money. I can't even get excited about this game it is so mind numbingly boring.
Unless Bioware ramps up and pushes some new content that alliviates this feeling, I suspect many gamers will burn out on the game within it's first month and not renew. There has to be a hook...something...anything to catch a player. From what I can tell this game has nothing that will hook a player beyond the initial story. When I game has only one mini-game(space mini-game) and no side game mechanics, like fishing, cooking, other mini-games(pazaak anyone) - you know typical themepark game play stuff to keep people playing beyond the story, or to break up the constant grinding of kill x and fed-x quest - well, the game is just not going to do all that well.
At least in other MMO's there was more to do beyond raiding, and PvP'ing but I guess Bioware didn't get that memo.
I really don't know what to say, the game is what it is - a themepark game and if you wish to play a decent, well made, whack-a-mole thempark - then this is the game for you! Enjoy!
I give the game a 5.0 out of 10.