Because we haven’t talked about it enough lately. Seriously.
I know it seems like our site is in a deluge of Star Wars: The Old Republic content lately, but can you blame us? We did the same thing with DCUO, Rift, and we’ll do the same thing with every other new big launch in the future. Because that’s when the fever-pitch for a game’s info is at its highest and that’s when all of us (media and players alike) can’t get enough of whatever hot new thing is on the market. Plus, have we mentioned? It’s F**KING STAR WARS.
We could sit here and lament the passing of SWG, but really, I’m too much of an optimist. Instead, I’m going to focus this column on the incredible job BioWare has done once more in capturing the setting and atmosphere of my favorite space opera. Screw Buck Rodgers, screw John Carter, and screw those damnable frakking Toasters… George Lucas’ original nugget of genius is the main reason I’m a nerd today and I’m so happy to be celebrating that in SWTOR.
Our own Mike Bitton will be doing the official review, and I may chime in with a “Second Thoughts” sort of piece that we normally do for our big launches and so I’ll try to save some of my praise and some of my “tsk-tsk, BioWare” for that. But suffice it to say the best part of SWTOR is undoubtedly the story. It’s the KOTOR MMO, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Sure there are things I wish it did, and things I wish it didn’t, but by and large I find the experience polished and refined. And most importantly for once questing isn’t something I do just to level, but rather something I do to entertain myself in the game.
In the rancor pit at Nem'ro's Palace. I was sad there was no claymation goodness.
I saved the Bounty Hunter for my go in the live experience, never having touched it except on Alderaan’s Warzone at E3. There’s nothing quite like being a merc in a game where you can be asked to blow up a tank of eels one minute (so the Hutts don’t trade spice for them) and then asked to take the head of an impostor Evocii back to said Hutts the next. It all feels very appropriate, very “Fett”, and the fact that I can be both a complete jerk and a saint is welcomed. There are some things you’ll learn fast about playing with others in SWTOR though.
I was on a quest with one person where we differed on the notion of going light side or dark side in a quest. I chose light and he chose dark, we rolled for our choices via the game’s built-in multiplayer conversation system, and he won. The quest was completed in the “dark” way, but I still received light side points for trying to be the good guy myself. And if you don’t want your party members messing with your story? Just don’t join conversations with them. They can still be in your group and you can each hold your own conversations with the NPCs, and this way no one gets hurt-feelings when you want different things from the story. You just have to be aware that other people can and will affect your stories with their dialog choices and if you don’t like the idea it can be avoided without disbanding the group.
Speeding through Hutta, because walking is for goody-good Jedi.
One last note before this smattering of SWTOR-stuff is through: I understand the frustration some of you might have when waiting to get into the head start program. I think we’ve all gotten so used to waiting for games, that when we’re told we can get in early we expect to, despite the fact that there’s never been a guarantee. And yes, I realize I’m saying this as one of the lucky ones who got in and started playing this week. But truth is: if we didn’t have a potential head start program, we’d all be waiting until 12/20 anyway. It isn’t BioWare or EA trying to make you guys wait, it’s their simple method of controlling the flow of new players so that the servers can stand up (which they have, even during prime ours) and so that the players’ experience is as optimal as possible.
One way or another, we’ll all be in on the 20th, and you can come kick my Bounty Hunter in the nuts on Black Vulkars then. In the meantime, use the anger, let it fuel you down the path towards the dark side.