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Reviews & Impressions  » Elikals SWTOR review

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  Elikal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/09/06
Posts: 8067

“No path is darker then when your eyes are shut.” -Flemeth

 
OP  1/10/12 4:23:41 PM#1

Jolly Batman goodness. I must admit, I never had such a difficulty to write a review, let alone formulate a final verdict about any MMO as in this case. The good and bad seems to fall so wide apart, that I have a very hard time to come to terms with it. So I can't in any seriousness make a final number rating. I can rate single parts, and I will try to make a written verdict.

CHARACTER CREATION: 3/10

I must say, the char creation is one of the biggest letdowns in MMOs for many years. I know I spent years playing City of Heroes, even though it was always the same 3 instances copy-pasted: office, cave, sewer over and over, but it had a super giant and diverse character generator, which kept me playing CoH for years, and even the dull Champions Online for over a year. I don't know why the most expensive MMO of all times could only come up with... this! I mean, by itself it isn't bad, but so devoid of anything unique, any individuality and ANY sense for the unsual. The difference between the preset faces is minimal, there is close to zero personality or character, and even the 4 body types don't help much. Where games like EQ2, WOW, CoH or CO have a wide variaty of characters & races, here all chars are only human with facepaint or humans with Lekku with the always same boring, soulless faces. Sorry, but this is so... DULL and boring, I have no idea how a Triple A MMO of 2012 can have this.

 

USER INTERFACE: 5/10

I would not say it is bad. It is functional, IMO it does look slick and elegant, I like the Star-warsy design, but it lacks a lot of standard things, like target of target, not to speak of moving and resizing windows. Again, it looks more like the simple UI of a F2P Asia game in terms of functionality or from early beta. I expect a Triple A MMO has a fully customizable UI.

 

QUESTING: 7/10, STORY: 9/10, Quest-diversity: 5/10

This is surely the hardest thing to judge. I really appreciate the addition of VO and story, a lot. I really gives me the feeling of being in an epic story, and most class stories are cool and entertaining. However, what I would critizise in the class stories is, how much you are railroaded and stereotyped into a certain corner. I never had the feeling to "just be me in role X", but listening to an interactive story. The entire MMO aspect totally drowns the in the heavy story aspect, and IMVPO this is at the same time the greatest asset as the likely downfall of SWTOR. Like a good book, you follow the story one time and then there isn't enough world that is not your class story in this game to stay. But staying on topic of questing: The planetary side quests are a more mixed bag. Some stories are very interesting, but many are, alas, also bland and forseeable. After playing a while, I got the feeling to have copy-paste type of stories and way too many deja vus in how characters and stories were made. After a while I really felt pissed over EVERY single non-class story made as either "I am the speaker most important X and want ti hire you for his dirty work" or "I am in dire need *whine whine* but I have a PLAN!" This entire thing made me so much a sort of unimportant Fedex-person. Go here, go there, you are always sent somewhere by someone, and of course everyone already has a PLAN, and you are just going to execute it. As much as it's cool to have alternative answers, they rarely lead to much difference. Sure, you can kill those cute blue Elephant people or defend them 2 minutes, but the overall decision is never yours. You are just the arm and hands of others. And that is where the entire feeling of being a great and wise Jedi Master or experienced Trooper collapses. In the end, you are the same low helper as ever. The other very unfortunate effect of the long and many VO is: people are even more isolated, so I still have a VERY hard time to even accept SWTOR as MMO. As a MMO I would rate SWTOR much lower, but if I accept it as single player RPG with online options, I could be more generous. People spent all their time in VO dialogues or hurrying to the next VO NPC.

 

MULTIPLAYER: 8/10, FLASHPOINTS: 9/10, PVP: 4/10

The multiplayer aspects are Flashpoints, Operations and PVP. Operations aka Raids I have not done, so I can't say. Flashpoints are very interesting, imagine a dungeon with story. There are, however, a few inbetween Flashpoints like Hammer Station, which are just relatively dull without much story and just go there and kill the bosses. Esselles and Black Talon, the first Flashpoints are the best, but later in the game are also some cool ones like Teral V and Maelstrom. I just find it odd not all flashpoints were made so story-heavy. PVP on the other hand is more a figleaf PVP. There are only a handful of arenas, which get old soon. The promise to make them with story is mainly a fake, and open PVP is barely existing. I feel like in PVP Bioware just entirely dropped the ball. Why EA did not learn from the popular tiered open zones like in WAR is beyond me.

 

GRAPHICS: 6/10

I have a hard time to really judge this. While some worlds really look great, like Tatooine and Hoth, overall the graphics just lack soul and detail. Take Alderaan: sure, visually at the first moment it looks awesome. But tbh, I never "felt" anything for Alderaan. I can't 100% say why, but even a lush world like this felt dead and cold to me. Too less fauna, too less or sometimes no ambient sounds, so as many said, most places feel like you are in a museum. Same to the presumed busy streets on planets like Coruscant or Nar Shadda. They feel SO lifeless, despite the grandeur of the tall buildings. Most planets feel like a stage, with a few good exceptions, like Hoth and Tatooine. I never felt so much in a  theatre stage as in places like Tython, Coruscant or Nar Shadda. You go to the center of the galaxy, Coruscant, and the steets are mostly empty and dead. Cantinas are dull and boring, and in Nar Shaddas cantina are a handful of people. The idea of the visual design is IMO between all chairs. It isn't cutesy-colourful as WOW nor is it gritty-serious like AoC, so for me, too many places (not all!) have just no emotional feeling created by the visuals. Thats not a matter of detail in terms of polygons or textures, its a matter of design. The design just feels too often dull and uninspired. And the top critique goes to the HORRIBLE clothing and gear. All through the levels 17-45 my friend player a Trooper had had essentially the same Trooper gear with a bit super tiny changes. Nothing fancy, nothing special. There ARE a few good looking pieces of grear, but they all have low rez textures which look extremely bland, and so lack detail. I played cheap F2P Asia grinders with better looking gear! Where is the "ohhh I want THIS hat/robe/chest piece" effect? A lot of armour pieces just look merely functional. In the entire terms of clothing and armor, with some expections, SWTOR failed BIG TIME. It's not all bad, but too many things are, again, just a joke given the development costs and the fact this is supposed to be a Triple A.

 

SOCIAL ASPECT: 2/10

SWTOR is unfortunately an all-time-low in the social aspect of MMOs, but we continually had a decline here. The presumed social hub, the Space Sation, is easily the most ugly, boring and bare-bone social hub I have EVER seen in a MMO. And boy, I have seen a lot. It's functional, but anything even remotely alife, with soul and feeling is entirely devoid. With the large emphasis on "go there go here", being sent from planet to planet (and the many loadscreens it takes to travel just from one planet to another), the planets itself will never work as social hubs. While in beta some planetary instances had up to 200 players, and even THEN they were spread thin all over, I had hoped later on Bioware would bring together MORE people, like 500 in a zone, to have a feeling of densely populated places. But the opposite happened. Even in evening times, a planet like Coruscant has maybe 70-80 people, and servers have already dropped from full to standard. Where in my guild in the first weeks usually 70-80 people were logged in at prime times, now only 20-30 are logged in anymore. It is just a small impression, but I fear a huge mass exodus will soon begin, and Bioware will be forced to merge servers by summer, latest. This is, I must say it so clear, why I think SWTOR will in the end fail. It rarely creates any feeling of community of social togetherness. You are pretty alone quite a lot in this game. People rush through a flashpoint, but thats pretty much it. The giant spaceports, the dull cantinas, the huge buoldings - the players are just lost in these endless giant halls. Places like Anchorhead would could and should have been busy and full, but people only rush through, buy and sell, listen to the next VO and quickly leave. No one here stays or lingers. The place is just totally deserted, and so with most places in SWTOR. The big issue is, if you played SWG, WOW, EQ2 or any such MMO you know how communities CAN be. Especially SWG will always cast a long shadow over SWTOR, despite all the many shortcomings, SWG had a great communty and a lot of things you could do together, from player cities, over having a shop, being a doctor or image designer and cutting people's hair, - SWG was a world! Or every time I returned to Stormwind in WOW, I met tons of people in this relatively small city. It gave me the feeling to be in a community. I recall how in winter I had a costume and dressed an animated snow man and roleplayed with random strangers! I know how funny it was in the many seasonal or holiday events to get fancy things, to be able to transform into beings. There are so many social things MMOs had and supported, and why SWTOR has NONE is entirely beyond me. It's not like this is the first MMO ever, but under their great ideal, that players should always be movie-heroes, all wishes for "smaller, fun things" (fishing, dancing) were buried. I can't count how many times I had a fun conversation just sitting near Goldshire and fishing alongside other players!

 

CRAFTING/GATHERING: 4/10

I must admit my rating here carries little weight, since I usually hate crafting and gathering anyway. But this is just so barebone and dull... Dunno how anyone can like this. In EQ2 I loved to craft furniture, because it was something I could see and people placed in their house. In SWG I had a tailor shop. But this crafting is just boring.

 

OVERALL: -/-

One wonders here where all the money and time went into. I am sorry, despite the great fun I have with playing the stories, I can enjoy this game with 2-3 stories, say one time Imperial one time Republic, and I can value SWTOR as a single player interactive story with a few multiplayer elements. As a MMO I just can't take SWTOR serious. So many popular, known and proven elements are nonexistent or just barely there. One thing I understand is unfair, WOW, SWG and EQ2 had many years before they became what they are. I used to be a big fan of Sims 2 for example. I had all expansion packs, 10 or 12, with tons of things to do. Then Sims 3 came, and I just COULD NOT start with such a barebone Sims. I never got into the game. Yes, I can't blame them, because how could they sell the same content of years of SIms 2 + expansions in ONE Sims 3 box? And SWTOR is a bit the same story. I know, SWTOR can't have so much as I was used from years of WOW, SWG and EQ2. But I must say: I don't care. As costumer, I miss these things and we have 2012 and I just don't plan to wait 3 years before SWTOR is complete.

I have the strong impression the huge secrecy and way too long closed beta only with "family and friends" broke the game the neck. Family and friends are just a way too well meaning audience. Bioware acted as if they never had seen another MMO before and all the popular and succesfull things from other MMOs were entirely ignored. The problem is, the story element is (mostly) great, it is super fun to play a Jedi Knight adventury story, even though it feels less like a RPG and more like a passive interactive story, a bit like an audiobook where I can answer in some cases. But SWTOR isn't even remotely anything like a "world", and I am NOT talking about sandbox. I mean world as in WOW or EQ2 or LOTRO. There is nothing that makes me feel like I am an individual character making a living in a world, I feel like in a movie or book. A good movie or book, but it is way too less to make me stay for more than 2-3 months at best and then move on. And I think for these story focussed kind of games, where SWTOR is less a MMO and more a category in itself, exists only a niche audience in the long run. I just can't see this game has the planned millions of subs past anyting like half a year or a year at best, and I actually expect the game to drop down a lot real fast within the next 2-3 months, and then they are in the same predicament than all previous post-WOW-MMOs.

SWTOR is a great bad of very entertaining and fun adventure stories. But it is no real MMO and not at all a world I will ever feel "at home" the way I felt at home in EQ2, SWG, LOTRO or WOW. So while the fun lasts it is great. But I already feel my emotional connection slipping away from this game. There is just too little to speak to my emotions, the warmth and soul, the many small things that make me feel connected to the world, and as much as I enjoy the stories now, I expect SWTOR to fall flat on it's face, because while they COULD turn it around, it isn't anything we have ever seen before in a MMO. If they lacked the insight to add these things in 5 years, how could they now? With so much money involved it is just a pity, that this is all we got, when it could have been so much more with just a bit more work.

A forum is a place where people can discuss about different opinions. So what I don't get is, how people react offended when they come to a forum and then find... well different opinions. If a different opinion offends you, what are you even doing here?

  stealthynin1

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/12
Posts: 3

1/10/12 4:32:11 PM#2

Wrong forum!  Take this to the review impressions.  Mod go ahead and move this thread, ok.  Thanks.

  Elikal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/09/06
Posts: 8067

“No path is darker then when your eyes are shut.” -Flemeth

 
OP  1/10/12 4:33:35 PM#3
[Mod Edit]

Oops, my bad. ^^ Please move, dear Mods. ^^

A forum is a place where people can discuss about different opinions. So what I don't get is, how people react offended when they come to a forum and then find... well different opinions. If a different opinion offends you, what are you even doing here?

  Yamota

Elite Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6501

"I fight so you don't have to."

1/10/12 4:46:12 PM#4

This is the review we should get from MMORPG sites if they were not bought by the corps. which makes the said games. Great job!

  Odysses

Novice Member

Joined: 4/11/05
Posts: 582

1/10/12 4:52:05 PM#5

Excellent review, a very fair assesment of the game.  I would give slightly higher ratings in some area's but overall nice read.

  MMOGamer71

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/12/07
Posts: 1516

1/10/12 4:59:20 PM#6

Overall pretty fair review, i will point out that any game that does not have a LFG and makes you being social and gets a 2/10 for social aspect voids the review IMO.

Also 20-30 logged in the guild???? Sounds like a crap guild not an accurate reflection of players possibly rolling alts, different server, i.e. PVP or RP.   Yes it must be people quiting.

Edit:

Noticed reviewer is from Germany which gets a big .

  Mors.Magne

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/02/07
Posts: 1417

1/10/12 5:00:18 PM#7

I agree with some of what the OP says.

However, the OP is comparing SWTOR to a rosy-tinted memory of  WoW.

I assure the OP that for many people, such as myself, WoW felt like very much like a single player game.

WoW does has 'sparkle horses', but sometimes I felt foolish riding about on mine.

In contrast, playing SWTOR is more socially acceptable in the real world.

  Elikal

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/09/06
Posts: 8067

“No path is darker then when your eyes are shut.” -Flemeth

 
OP  1/10/12 5:11:59 PM#8
Originally posted by Odysses

Excellent review, a very fair assesment of the game.  I would give slightly higher ratings in some area's but overall nice read.

Thanks. I admit the rating are very difficult. It never was so hard for me to give ratings, thats why I didn't give final rating, which would swing between 5/10 and 8.5/10.

A forum is a place where people can discuss about different opinions. So what I don't get is, how people react offended when they come to a forum and then find... well different opinions. If a different opinion offends you, what are you even doing here?

  DOGMA1138

Novice Member

Joined: 8/25/11
Posts: 476

1/10/12 5:53:10 PM#9

[Mod Edit] You have some points here, but this isn't SIMS, most people including my self dont want a game where people can be hairdressers or carpenters... We want a game which you can log onto for 2 hours couple of times a week and have fun, weather it be trough interactive story, PVP, or doing a nightly raid with your spuse, friends, and co-workers... playing a snow man half drunk while yelling on vent can be funny, pretending your one of santa's elves in xmass to strangers should get you locked up weather its IRL or in a virtual world...

Is the space center ugly? hell yes, but heck it beats some other "hubs"(ie rift), and sadly on my server(Scepter of Ragnos EU) it's so full that i lag my ass off from the elivator to the cantina every time i has to visit the fleet.

There are allot of problems with the game, the quests ofc are not varid but heck no quest in an MMO these days can be varid it will all end up into 3 types of quests, escort, gathering, and killing, where most of them will incorporate 2 out of 3 of these elements.

ToR ATM has atleast some more insentive to do the quests because of the VO and the conversation mechanics, you can be a rude asshole or a nobel knight depending on what you want, and if you are not in the mood you can just space bar trough it.

With all the "quest" addons that wow has now built in, and rift copied i cannot stand questing, during vanilla you actually had to read quest text for allot of the quests, during vanilla i've actually was engaged in the story, rends betrail, onyxia chain, the black mountain, heck even the defias all of them had pretty intresting stories spread over contless quests.

before WoW I've played EQ and DOAC and i've played Planetside, and i never had the wow and simple awe factor in any game like i had in wow during the first year~, WoW looked amazing in those days compared to MMO's back then, even to many MMO's now, the design of the world and the enviroment was allways top notch, you really felt in awe the first time you've stepped into STV, Tanaris, the 1000 needels, BRM, Ungoro and many other places, every thing felf bigger than life especially when compaired to EQ and DOAC... the world seemed bigger than life.

ToR did not amazed me the same way, but it did more than any other MMO had since WoW and what WoW ever did since vanilla, yes it is mostly due to the fact that i've seen "everything" now, and im used to  huge worlds that make you feel tiny and make yuo want to go find some nice corner to drop on some one or to find a way to wallwalk trough that unreachable stop.

WoW during vanilla also had a very hard end game, i was playing on the US servers at the time since WoW has not yet launched in europe, and i was playing back then on the most advanced PVE server at the time(Ragnaros 1st world kill ftw), and boy MC was hard, BWL was hard and fun, onyxia was hectic, but then nerfs to boss fights came in, addons were made, gear progression started and the game was on its way to become the casfest it is today, dont get me wrong i cannot spend 10 hours any more getting mats for fire resist potions to score the weekly ragnaros kill, but i do prefer to have a real challenge even if it takes me 5 times longer to complete the raid than to have what most MMO's today do and just give you BIS gear / allmost BIS gear for nothing, and givving epics for free just to get more subs.

but really i cba writing another bible, people need to understand 1 thing, MMO's today is like the simpsons(it's not funny any more/as it used to be argument).

The MMO market has changed both since WoW and since when ever you started playing it, it grew and evolved, and not only that you as a player have changed because every thing around you forced you to evolve, people who could raid 7 days a week for 6 hours straight with nothing but cheetos and monster to fuel them up when WoW launched(AKA me) are at best in their early 20's now, and most of us are in their mid to late 20's if not older during the 7 allmost 8 years past now the a very large portion of WoW player base had gorwn up, got married, had children.

I too still remeber WoW and how much fun it is, it is half truth half nostalgia, but stop going back to it every time it's like your frist real GF unless you've married her you would never love a woman exactly the same, the first sports car you bought, no car would drive exaclty the same, heck the first gold fish you've killed no other gold fish would go down the toilet just the same....

WoW for the most of us, and yes i would say including you if it was not the first MMO they've played was the first "2nd life" they had(no pun intended), weather it be trough the sheer amount of time we've spent in it, or trought the countless memories we've accumulated during that time, WoW have been running now for 7+ years, everquest 1 when wow launched was running bearly 5, and untill about 2001 it didnt really became popular, mostly due to the fact that it required a 3D graphics card which even in 1999 was till a pretty rare thing amount non-gamers and those who had it were usually playing Quake or other demanding games.. I've started playing EQ in 2002, played it for about a year, I've played WoW for (go in beta in jan 2004) 5 years straight, and 3+ more on and off... And most of us did about the same, so there is no way any one can compare the feeling they get from ToR to the feeling they have about WoW it's clouded by too much memories which bring nostalgia down on your ass...

ToR has been out for a month, i dont remeber what i tought about WoW during it's first month, i wasnt even probably 60 yet, i was still looknig for some buddies from EQ1 which have moved to the same server as i did(unkonwingly :D), and drooling over their UBRS gear...

All you need to ask your self is ToR fun for you? not compaired to WoW, Rift, SWG, is it fun for you as a game, do you want to log onto it for atleast 8 hours a week, and if you as a responsible adult can justify 32 hours of fun a week being worth 15$ a month BW have done their job, if not look for somthing else no point of overthinking it...

I see nothing wrong with WoW, ToR, or CoD for that matter, i still like them all, i dont play wow because i dont want to be drag into it again, and i will play ToR because it is fun atm, and because i do not want to play Diablo 3 because of the paypal integration as i belive it marks a really unpleasent PNR in gaming history.

 

  jdnewell

Elite Member

Joined: 7/04/06
Posts: 1817

1/10/12 6:06:26 PM#10

Overall well written I think.

I agree with most of it, might have rated it a bit higher in some areas myself tho. But a more accurate " review" IMO than anything else I have read.

edit:

And dont you just love it when someone ( like the poster above me) comes along and tears your well written & thought out post up. WITHOUT refuting a single point you made or contributing in any way ?

/sigh I know I do

 

anyways.. Good read and a fair, well thought out post. Even tho I disagree with you in some areas

  Ginaz

Elite Member

Joined: 4/01/07
Posts: 1686

1/10/12 6:09:28 PM#11
Originally posted by Omni1rbb
Originally posted by Elikal

Jolly Batman goodness. I must admit, I never had such a difficulty to write a review, let alone formulate a final verdict about any MMO as in this case. The good and bad seems to fall so wide apart, that I have a very hard time to come to terms with it. So I can't in any seriousness make a final number rating. I can rate single parts, and I will try to make a written verdict.

[mod edit]

I don't agree with all of what he wrote as I am enjoying the game quite a bit, but he did make some fair points.  [mod edit]

Is a man not entitled to the herp of his derp?

Remember, I live in a world where juggalos and yugioh players are real things.

  Paragus1

Highlighted Blogger

Joined: 6/29/06
Posts: 1748

Co-Leader of Inquisition
www.inqguild.net

1/10/12 6:15:04 PM#12

Nice review man.

  HolaHola

Novice Member

Joined: 2/21/08
Posts: 68

1/10/12 6:18:09 PM#13

I have not tried SWTOR so cannot say if i agree or not. But well written.

Playing: League of Legends!

  youngkg

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/08
Posts: 364

1/10/12 6:28:09 PM#14
[Mod Edit]

 

Anyways, nice review, but maybe you outta write a bit about yourself b4 going into the details of the review,i.e your gaming hours a week and what you like to partake in most when you do log in just to give the review some context.

 

More or less i felt the same way (aside from enjoying the crafting),but im big on pvp and thats where it kinda died for me, but for "casual" gamers like the one with the WOT above me...i can see the game having a lot more value.

  Malevil

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/06/10
Posts: 467

1/10/12 6:32:36 PM#15

This review is pretty close to my feelings about game. Imo you are too harsh on swtor with your social and crafting rating .

For me probably biggest disapontment is quest diversity, 5/10 is spot on and i'm surprised that no 'profesional' reviewer see this. Rest is more or less what I expected but quests outside of main character storyline and PvP are areas where I expected way more from the game,

  Acebets70

Novice Member

Joined: 2/08/11
Posts: 197

1/10/12 6:35:10 PM#16

So what your trying to say is  you dont like the game... [Mod Edit]

  augustgrace

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/29/06
Posts: 627

1/10/12 6:54:30 PM#17

Very fair review.  I'd have given higher scores in some categories, but lower in others so we're pretty close.

Up to level 20 was very exciting, even after playing through some of the zones twice prior in beta.  After 20 you start noticing how thin the content and substance of the game is.

I canceled my sub today, and it sounds as though some guidlies despite trying to stay positive, won't make it past another month.

While VOs are interesting at first, after a time they start to get old, escpecially if you level an alt.  VOs have a place, but developers need to keep in mind that the money and time available to them is finite.  Unless Bioware is sitting on a large amount of content they plan to dribble out to keep people strung along, then their subs are going to suffer once people see that the money was invested in "extras" rather than "necessities". 

  ktanner3

Master

Joined: 3/19/06
Posts: 4143

Trolls will be ignored

1/12/12 1:35:30 PM#18

Very good review Elikal. I've actually been curious what your thoughts on this game was since you've been following this game as long as I have. I agree with some of your points, thou not all of it but that is to be expected as you have different expectations from an MMORPG than I do.

My biggest peeve with the game is crafting/economy. With comendations and looted gear being better than crafted, there simply isn't any point to dedicating so much time and money into it, regardless of how much fun I have doing it. I've dropped crafting all together for my Sith Warrior so he just gathers and runs missions. This is similiar to what I did in SWG when I gathered hides for my guild's armorer. While that is satisying enough to me, I know that it's a huge let down for those that wanted to renew their crafter expertise in another Star Wars game.

The future of this game is really in Bioware's hands. If they go the way of SOE and cater to the idiots who only care about ME! ME! ME!, then this game will fail. If they actually build the game for the betterment of the community, then it will have a long life span. I hope it will be the latter because I am really enjoying myself right now.

Currently Playing: Star Wars The Old Republic

  boubhs

Novice Member

Joined: 1/06/12
Posts: 77

1/12/12 1:37:52 PM#19

Excellent review!

  dinams

Novice Member

Joined: 6/17/10
Posts: 1403

1/12/12 1:41:22 PM#20

I completely agrees with your review (less in the story part, if you played empire than its correct, otherwise not so much, republic stories sucks compared to imperial ones)

nice job

"It has potential"
-Second most used phrase on existence
"It sucks"
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