With the NDA for The Old Republic finally dropped, I can finally post the beta impressions I’ve been wanting to for a long time. And by a long time, I mean nearly a year. By the time The Old Republic launches on December 20th, I will have been playing the game (off and on) for a year. Even after a year of the ups and downs of a beta test where the game is always involving, I’m still really looking forward for the game finally going live and I can level a character that will actually stick around.
I first started playing The Old Republic in a time-limited beta phase last December. My first character was a Sith Pureblood Sith Warrior and despite some complaints I had after that first month, I was looking forward to playing more if only to see if my complaints were addressed. By the time I got into the on-going beta a couple of months later, the game had made some big strides in improvment and I then began to play a Jedi Knight to see the other side. From that point to now, I’ve played every class in the game and have experienced the high level (40+) game on a Jedi Sage and Sith Marauder.
Something that had really started to develop among the playerbase in the beta, especially into the summer and fall of this year, was a complete aversion to three letters: “WoW”. If anyone were to mention WoW in-game, they would be pounced on by fanboys who seemed to be afraid of being associated with anything like WoW. At the same time if anyone were to post feedback about something that the game should have that WoW does (day/night cycle, linked flightpaths, dual spec, etc) they would also be attacked for complaining about the game as if BioWare could do no wrong. Of course, these same people think that Dragon Age II is a flawless masterpiece.
As much as those fanboys do not want to hear it, The Old Republic really is World of Warcraft with a shiny new Star Wars skin and the dialog system from Mass Effect slapped on it. That does not mean it’s a bad game at all. But those hyping the game as the next big revolution in MMOs, based solely on the voice acting, are way off the mark. While it’s true the game has a strong story focus and some of the class stories are great (such as the Imperial Agent’s), the filler quests that aren’t specific to your class story are the typical kill 10 rats or collect 20 flowers style quests that WoW has had since 2004. Even more disappointing is that while World of Warcraft added some really cool quest mechanics towards the end of Lich King and into Cataclysm, such as vehicles, The Old Republic doesn’t really have anything like that. The quests are probably one of the most disappointing things about the game and something that drags it down at times. Even in the first 20 levels there are stretches where you may get bored running the filler fetch quests just to level.
Another thing is that they hyped up the fact that the “trinity” of tank, healer, dps doesn’t really exist in the game. That’s only partially true. Tanks are still definitely needed in most situations, as are healers. I have done a flashpoint where it was myself (and Imperial Operative) along with another Operative and two Sith Sorcerers. While we were able to complete the flashpoint, it was only because we’ve been playing the game for so long and knew the classes and how to play that we were able to do it. The average group will still need one tank and one healer to perform well.
Pages: 1 2