Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars the Old Republic’

So the internet exploded and overreacted to the release of the subscription numbers for Star Wars The Old republic. People on the internet freaking out over nothing? What a surprise. So the numbers released last week we learned that the subscription numbers for SWTOR are down from 1.7 million to 1.3. Pretty big drop but still… 1.3 million subs? Game’s doing fine. Because of the drop there are obviously some servers for the game that are barren even during peak times. Figured I’d throw in my two cents about it.

The sever that my guild and I were placed on during early access is a medium-ish pop server. During peak times the PvP queues aren’t that bad and a decent amount of people can be seen roaming around on the Fleet. I don’t mind the lower population on my server but when I play in the off-peak times the queues can take literally over an hour to get into a Warzone. I tend to play in off-peak times mostly. My biggest gripe about the server that I play on is constantly seeing the same pr-emade groups in PvP for hours on end. There have been periods of time when I hit the same pre-made group for 3-4 hours and sometimes couldn’t finish my daily PvP quest. It can be very frustrating. What I decided to do recently is roll characters on a west coast server with a higher population. I am east coast myself but I tend to play late most of the time so hopping on to a west coast server is better for me. I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming server transfers. Once they become available I will be moving four or five of my characters over. The population on my server seems to have dipped recently. I think other people have had the same idea to test the waters on some of the other servers and transfer over in early summer when that feature becomes available. When this does happen what will become of those left behind on those medium/low populated servers?

In the world of MMOs server merging always get bad press. Usually it happens to games that are struggling to hold people and they combine servers together to make fewer, but higher populated servers. Now SWTOR is not struggling by any means. 1.3 million subs is great. What they should do with the lower populated servers is merge them together so those players who don’t want, or can’t afford to ship their characters off to another server, get a better experience. More players means faster PvP queues, a better economy and a much livelier world to play in.

The bad stigma around server mergers for MMOs is pretty ridiculous. Games gain and lose players all the time. It happens. I think that deciding not to merge servers to simply save face and avoid bad press can potentially be more damaging because those people left on those extremely low pop servers really don’t get a good experience. Therefore keeping them subscribed to the game becomes a lot less likely. The bad press and internet explosion that will take place if they merge servers will be a tough pill to swallow. On the other hand having people quit the game because of, or constantly hearing about barren servers isn’t a good thing either. I think that if Bioware does decide to merge some of the lower populated servers that it will be better for the games community in the long run.

A lot of MMOs out there get a big influx of people who play as soon as the game launches and then that number often drops. Sometimes it steadies out. For some games it goes up again. Others manage to scrape by with their loyal player base. Some game developers switch business models from a subscription to free to play. Those games that make the switch can occasionally end up becoming very profitable and carry on for much longer than people thought they would. I think that this drop off in SWTOR subs is just a normal happening in the world of MMOs that is being blown wildly out of proportion. It’s got a larger than usual spotlight on it because it’s a Star Wars game and EA/Bioware spent a lot of money developing it. I feel that the game does have a lot of great aspects to it. I agree that there are some things that need to be fixed and added to the game. I am still having so much fun with it and plan on sticking with it. I’m eagerly waiting to see what the great folks at Bioware have in store for us.

I’ve spent the last few days trudging through hundreds of pages of forums to look and see some of the reasons that people have left the game. I was looking through the posts, ignoring ones that were nothing more than – “This game sucks so I quit.” or “SWTOR is dead”, in an attempt to find intelligent responses. Posts where people explained what they didn’t like and why they left. There’s quite a few valid well thought out posts among the arguing and trolling. Some left because they just felt that this isn’t the game for them. Others enjoyed the game but felt that there were key features missing and until SWTOR had them they would not be playing. Others are interested in upcoming games and wouldn’t have time. There are plenty of reasons why they left and some pointed out features that would bring them back. I think two of the features that I saw mentioned the most were the Ranked Warzones and the Group Finder. Both are features that are coming soon. Group Finder is slotted to be in the upcoming Patch 1.3. Ranked Warzones got pulled from 1.2 partially because of the feedback they were getting on the test server about how the queues worked. I gotta admit the way the queues worked with putting ranked in with unranked if it couldn’t find enough people was… For lack of a better word, wrong? I’m glad they decided to hold off until they can work with it a bit more and perhaps get cross server queuing in so they can avoid the mixed queues.

Server mergers aren’t always a bad thing. I think that if they decided to go this route with some of the servers that it would be better for the game in the long run. Perhaps once they get the cross server queuing in, it will solve a lot of the problems that the lower populated servers are facing. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts? If you’re a SWTOR player how is your server doing? Still a busting population or are you stuck dancing by the PvP mission terminal with the same 10 people every single day? What are you feelings about server mergers in general? Are they a good thing if they can potentially make the community stronger or just the last fleeting breaths of a dying MMO? Let me know what you think in the comments here on the blog or over on the FMG Facebook or G+ page.

Thanks for reading!
-FMG-

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So with SWTORs patch 1.2 on the horizon, I’ve messed around quite a bit on the Public Test Server. One of the greatest features coming our way is the fully customizable UI. While the current incarnation is good, there are a few things that I’ve found a little bothersome. Little things like the Voidstar Warzone map covering part of my quickbar on the right side. Nothing majorly game breaking but enough to be an annoyance at times.

While I was spending a ridiculous amount of time messing with different setups it got me thinking about my UI configurations in my games over the years. Even before I got into MMOs I was downloading UI skins for Counter-Strike. I always liked playing with add ons and options to make things fit me better. Back in City of Heroes/Villains I completely moved everything I could around to fit what I was used to. The default for that game had the quickbars along the top and I was more used to having it across the bottom so I would rearrange everything.

Moving on to World of Warcraft. That’s when I really got into UI tweaking. With the plethora of different add ons available I would test out as many as I could to find which I felt the most comfortable with. Towards the end of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion I think I was running around 30 different add ons. I had everything from threat meters, to scrolling combat text and things to change the general look of everything. I spent about twenty-five minutes digging through every folder I could find to see if I had any old screenshots from then but I couldn’t find any. I looked pretty drastically different that the standard UI. With there being so many UI add ons for WoW out there I would sometimes watch WoW footage videos just to see how people would set up their UI. A lot of times they would list the add ons used or people would sometimes ask in comments.

I must say that I was a little disappointed that you couldn’t even scale down the size of the UI in SWTOR at the start. Having toyed with so many UI add ons before I already know what type of things I look for with customization. With the built in options for SWTOR it gives me almost everything that I could want. Everyone has very different ways to set up their UI. I personally don’t like clutter on my screen. So what I do usually is move as much as I can to the bottom area as much as possible. Here’s a quick shot of one of the setups that I did. This will most likely be how I place things once 1.2 is live. I messed around with a few other setups but this one seemed to work the best for me and felt most the most comfortable.

A few things not shown on the shot are are the party/Ops frames, tool tip popup and the warzone scoreboards. Since you will only ever see the WZ scoreboards one at a time those are stacked up in the upper right corner. My party/Ops frames are tucked down on the bottom left corner and my tool tip is actually detached from the mini map and stuck in the bottom right corner where my quest log is. It does overlap but when I need to see it covers the quest log but I probably won’t need to be looking at both simultaneously. I had one setup with the tool tips still on the bottom corner but the quest log was about the middle on the right side of the screen but I didn’t really like it there very much. I don’t like having a lot of things cluttering up my field of view.

Here’s a shot of the interface editor so you can see where everything is that isn’t showing. Everything tucked nicely together leaving my field of view pretty much clear.
I’m sure once it’s on the live servers that I will tweak it a bit more. Once I play around with it on my 50s I’m sure I’ll find little things to change or things that I don’t like. For now this seemed like a good setup.

Just to show and example of how very different people set up their UI, Larry Everett aka @Shaddoe from Massively wrote a post and also made a video showing his UI setup from the PTS. Drastically different from my setup with action bars in the middle top area of the screen. Here’s the link to the post. The video is at the bottom. Great article. Check it out. Hyperspace Beacon: Gooey GUI

How do you like you UI set up? What kind of setup is most comfortable for you? Doesn’t matter the game. Send me screenshots to thefullmetalgamer@gmail.com or post them on the FMG Facebook. It will be really fun to see the many variations and preferences. If i get enough I will put a big post together showing as many varying setups as I can.

Thanks a lot for reading.

-FMG-

The last couple of days Bioware had invited some guild leaders and media to Bioware Austin and get a sneak peek at the upcoming Patch 1.2.  Also known to some as the Jesus patch.  Wish I could have been there.  Patch 1.1.5 released yesterday as well which brought some cool changes.  With the amount of stuff to go over I’m not going to be able to hit everything.  I’d just like to focus on a few things. Mainly, some of the PvP changes in the latest patch and some of the Legacy stuff they shared at the Guild Summit.

First off I’ll start with what’s actually in the game now.  Patch 1.1.5.  It was deployed during the weekly maintenance yesterday.  Quite a few changes.  Most notable changes I feel are the changes to PvP.  The first is the change to damage over time abilities.  Before the patch, if you wanted to keep the other team from capturing objectives you could just DoT up enemies.  The damage would tick every few seconds preventing them from capping the objective.  Damage from Dots no longer prevents players from capping objectives.  Interesting change.  Have done a few warzones since the patch went live and didn’t actually “notice” the change.  I understand why they made the change.  It was a bit of a balance issue.  Some classes could DoT up a lot of players or a group of players very  quickly.  Some could not.  Not sure if I like it yet.  Need more time to experience it to see how I feel about it.

Another change to PvP was a respawn “nerf” to the Alderaan Civil Warzone.  The way it worked before when you died you could click the speeder to return to the fight instantly.  Which made taking over the turrets, especially the side turrets, very difficult.  Players could be killed and click the speeder and be back in the fight before you could cap the turret.  This change I really like.  I’m sure I’ll be cursing it a few times when I just want to get back to defend but it’s a good change in my opinion.  I think it will make for a lot more closer battles in ACW.  Quite a few times I’d have my team just go for the side turrets only. We would be able to hold them for the entire duration without really having to worry because we could get back to stop the cap.

The last PvP change I’ll touch on from 1.1.5 is the Ilum daily/weekly quests.  While they have made some good changes to Ilum lately it’s still not working as intended.  So in the interim while they continue to work on it, they are giving players credit towards their Ilum daily/weekly quests from warzones.  I think it’s a good change.  Some people don’t have a lot of time to play.  Perhaps the times that they are able to play, there isn’t a lot going on with Ilum. They also could be on a server that has a severe population imbalance and it’t jsut not worthwhile to go there.  This allows them to queue up for warzones to finish those quests when they do get the time to play. Some believe that with this change it gives people no real reason to go to Ilum any more until they get it to where they feel it’s “fixed”.   I kinda like it sometimes. I’ve had some pretty epic battles there. Interested to see what they have planned for Ilum in the future.

Side note about Ilum.  A friend of mine posted an interesting suggestion.  Definitely a great idea.  Perhaps simple changes like this over time can make it better.  Simple way to make Ilum better

So much to get into from the Guild Summit. I wont get into everything. What I’m most excited to get my hands on with 1.2 is the Legacy system. I play the game quite a bit. Have three level 50s at the moment and a few more alts over halfway there. I am up to around Legacy level 27. So right off the bat I’m sure I’ll be able to get some cool unlocks. They haven’t revealed all the perks that we’re going to get or what level they become unlocked. They gave us great examples of some of the things that we can look forward to. Most notably would be Sprint ability at level 1.  It’s.  About.  Damn.  Time.  I figured they would lower it at some point to at least level 10 so that you have it when you start queueing for PvP. Level 1? Even better.

They also mentioned Legacy weapons and armor that you can share between your characters. Not scaling gear like the Heirloom stuff available in World of Warcraft.  My guess would be a moddable armor set that would work like the social gear.  It becomes light, medium, or heavy armor depending on what your character uses.  The social gear at the moment is only light armor which sucks for anyone who isn’t an Inquisitor or Consular.  They will be fixing that in 1.2 from what I understand.  Let’s just hope it looks cool.  I’m not a big fan of the look of end game gear at the moment.  Have piles of moddable gear sitting in my character banks just waiting to have it as a viable option at endgame.

Another gear related thing to mention is the color matching.  The system they had in Beta for a while was removed towards the end of testing.  They wanted to build a much more robust system for it and it’s coming in 1.2.  Instead of just matching everything to your chest piece like it did in its original design, it will pick matching colors.  Not necessarily the same color.  It will allow you to toggle each piece individually.  When you first equip the item it will have its default colors showing and you can choose to match it if you don’t like how it looks.  Can’t wait to play around  with this.

They are putting in the alignment abilities, including… Wait for it… NEUTRAL!!! So for all you grey Jedi/Sith or neutral non force users, you will be able to have access to special some special abilities. Wicked cool.  There will also be Heroic abilities that you unlock once you complete chapter 3 for a class story. One of the examples they gave was Force Choke. Once you complete the story for a Sith Warrior you unlock a Force Choke ability that you can use while questing with your companion. That’s the key. With your companion. So it will not cause balance issues in Warzone PvP. You also cannot use them in Operations. Stoked to check out how this works. Bounty Hunters rocking a Force Choke? Interesting.

New character creation options will become available once you reach cap level with a certain race. This will unlock both the Republic and Imperial options for that race. Regardless of which faction you decide to create the character. It will also unlock new race/class combinations like Sith Purebood Jedi, Miralukan Sith Inquisitors etc.

There was a TON of stuff that Bioware gave us about the Jesus Patch. TON. Way to much for me to get on about without making this post a thousand pages long. For really great coverage about the presentations/Q&A from the Guild Summit and Patch 1.1.5, be sure to check out Darth Hater.  Also this weeks episode of The Republic on Gamebreaker TV has some really great discussion about some of the upcoming changes for 1.2. GBTV has recently built a whole new website that has constant gaming news updates. Be sure to check out the SWTOR section on there for even more info about all the panels from the Guild Summit and much more.

This past weekend got another shot at the SWTOR Beta. I unfortunately have been a little sick so I didn’t get as much time with the game as I would have liked. The time I did get in was really awesome. I also had a friend of mine bring his laptop over and spend the weekend playing as well. This was his first time getting hands on with the game and whatever doubts he had about whether he would actually play when the game releases are gone. I spent some time leveling bounty hunter to 10 or 11ish with him and despite him never having much experience with MMOs in the past he was able to pick up things very quickly and had a great time.

That brings me to the first thing I want to touch on in this post today. The accessibility of the game. It is an MMO and has more going on than most single player RPGs but it’s built in a way that newcomers can jump right in without worrying too much. Bioware really outdid themselves by making a game that really has something there for everyone. Whether you’re just a fan of MMOs, story driven RPGs, fast paced action games, big PvP fans, or a really hardcore MMO player, Bioware has you covered. The game has a lot of depth for the more hardcore players that for the more casual gamer may not even be interested in. From the intricacies of talent builds, taking full advantage of powers and combinations and crafting the hardcore players really have the opportunity to excel. For the more casual or newcomer to MMOs the game really does a great job of easing you into the game and doesn’t cut you off at the knees if you skip over crafting or avoid group play and solo your way to 50. They have implemented social points to encourage people to group up but it is not necessary. Personally, I really enjoyed group questing and what little I did experience of the Flashpoints. The way the group conversations work is really awesome and interesting and one of my favorite parts of the game. In other MMOs that I have played I usually just solo quest my way to cap level but am looking forward to grouping up with guild mates or random people as I level. Definitely a very unique way to evolve the PvE experience and make it much more engaging than reading a wall of text in a quest log. Off on a little rant there for a second but my point is that if you are a Star Wars Fan, a casual gamer, hardcore gamer or whatever, that this game really does have something for everyone no matter your gaming history or play style.

I’d like to go a bit more into the classes and how different they really do feel unique compared to one another. Now in order for game balance, especially in PvP, the classes do have to be somewhat mirrored on either side. The example that I will use because it’s the mirror that I have had the most time with is the Bounty Hunter/Republic Trooper. They both have similar abilities. For example, the BH has something called carbonite spray that is a coned crowd control ability while the RT has the carbonite grenade. Both have basically the same effect they are just deployed differently. While this is only one example they have a lot of similar abilities like that. Pretty boring right? Wrong. While they do share a lot of similar abilities Bioware has done a marvelous job making sure that they feel nothing alike. I think it has a large part to do with the resource that the classes use. The BH uses heat. Your heat bar begins empty and by using abilities you generate hat and if you overheat it stuns you for a few seconds. You have a vent heat ability that has a cooldown to help you manage it. I really enjoyed the way that this resource mechanic worked. The RT on the other hand has ammo. It starts at 12 if I remember correctly, and you use up ammo as you use abilities. The less ammo you have the slower it recharges so finding that balance and learning to manage it to its full potential will be tricky. You also have a reload ability that has a cooldown to help you manage it. So despite the two classes being mirrors of one another something as simple as slight deployment differences in the abilities and a varying resource I found that they felt completely different and I had a lot of fun with both. Had so much fun with the BH that I will be making that my second character after my Sith Inquisitor instead of the Imperial Agent. Death from above = win.

So instead of writing a lot about story again this time around and worrying about spoiling anything all I’m gonna say this time around is that everything I have experienced story wise in the game has been absolutely stellar. Really engaging characters and plots and the voice acting is probably the best I have ever heard in a video game. Scratch that. Some of the best voice acting I have ever heard. The highest level character I had was my Sith Inquisitor. She was level 24 and the story just kept getting better and better. Can’t wait to see how it all plays out when the game is live.

This past weekend was a HUGE stress test for the servers. I personally didn’t have any queue times or noticeable lag at all. Actually had two minor crashes this weekend but that was it. Tweets from @SWTOR announcing addition of more servers throughout the weekend. I noticed a couple of servers went down but it seemed that they were able to bring them back rather quickly from what I saw. Overall a pretty smooth weekend and things are really looking great for launch.

I mentioned in the previous SWTOR post that I did a few great resources to check out for all you SWTOR needs but I’ll throw them out there again. Be sure to check them out.
GamebreakerTV
Darth Hater
Darth Hater Database

If you’re a fan of PvP and would like a little more insight into SWTOR PvP be sure to check out Ed aka Taugrim. He now has a weekly spot on GamebreakerTVs show The Republic and his own site has videos diving into how PvP works for some classes and game play footage from SWTOR warzones. He also does live streams on his Twitch TV channel that you can check out. Actually been watching his videos while I’ve written this. Really great stuff full of insightful commentary to help you out while you PvP.

Thanks again for reading. I’ll see you soon in a galaxy far far away. May the force serve you well.

-FMG-

The Star Wars The Old Republic NDA was lifted, and the internet exploded. There is a ton of awesome information and videos coming out of the huge circle of fan sites and live streamers. I was only able to get my first hands on with SWTOR this past weekend. I’ve been chomping at the bit to be able to share my awesome experience with the game. Thank you Bioware for lifting the NDA. You guys rock. Let’s see if I can get through this without any spoilers. Here we go.

So I’ll start talking about the graphics and the overall look of the game. When I first saw the stylized graphics during the early reveals I wasn’t sure if I liked it. As time progressed they definitely polished up the look quite a bit. I am very happy with the look of the game now. My PC was running the game with almost all settings at max and the environments and characters looked spectacular. I found myself at one point not even questing, just running around exploring Dromund Kaas. Really awesome environments. A lot to see. The highest level character I had was a level 14 Sith Sorcerer so I only got to explore, Korriban, Dromund Kaas and a bit of Balmora.

A lot of people are up in arms about the space combat in the game. I don’t know why. The space combat for me is a secondary part to the game. It’s a mini game put in as something else to do while leveling. The complaint that a lot of people have is the rail shooter aspect to it. That means that it automatically flies your ship’s course while you worry about dodging fire and blowing things up. Yes you can do a barrel roll. I had a lot of fun with the space combat. Locking missiles on a few targets and letting them loose taking out multiple targets at once is just an awesome feeling. If they choose to evolve the space combat in the future it would be cool but I have no complaints at all about its current incarnation.

From the fan site summit a few months back I heard mixed opinions about how the combat felt. Last weekend one of my goals was to try different types of combat and see how it all felt. I mixed it up a bit and played a Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor and Imperial Agent. They each have their own style and gave me a good sample of different types of combat the game has to offer. I actually thought the combat was fun and fast paced. With the Sith Warrior being able to leap right into a mob and massacre the poor bastards was pretty epic. Got finished a few of those fights by the skin of my teeth and some I bit off a bit more than I could chew. At one point I figured, “Hey. I got this.” and pulled 3 groups thinking that I could just tear my way through them. Wrong. Got my ass handed to me. It was hilarious. The Sith Inquisitor is considerably more squishy than the Warrior so I tried to not pull as many. I found I was able to mix it up with my force lightning and my melee attacks pretty well and stay alive. The Imperial Agent is not as squishy as the Inquisitor but I found myself looking at the fights from a more tactical viewpoint. Before engaging an enemy I would scope out the area and spot where I would be able to take cover and possible fall back points if I needed. Combat for all three classes felt very different and I really like that. Something in the game to fit different play styles or for me who is a raging altoholic, unique experiences to fit whatever mood I may be in. So having briefly tasted some of the different types of combat that SWTOR has to offer I enjoyed it all. Looking forward to exploring the combat further in the upcoming beta weekend.

Now I get to the hard part. I’m sure the final version of this part of the post will be edited, scrapped and rewritten a bunch of times. I want to talk about the story without revealing or spoiling anything for anyone. Here we go. Bioware is known for writing very epic story lines into their games. From KOTOR, to Dragon Age and Mass Effect they have proven themselves to be very worthy storytellers. SWTOR is no exception. From the classes that I did get the chance to level up and experience the story for, it was amazing. Two two that I spent the most time with were the Imperial Agent and Sith Inquisitor.

The one “reveal” I will say about the Sith Inquisitor storyline which has been stated a hundred times over on many sites is that you begin the story as a slave. Which causes many at the Sith Academy to underestimate you and treat you like crap. So you have to set out and prove to them that you are the real deal. The companion you get first as the Inquisitor is Khem Val. A big ass alien who loves to eat people. He will ask you more than once if you’d like him to dispose of someone you are in a conversation with by killing and eating them. It’s hilarious. When you get him he’s practically naked so I can’t wait to get a companion kit for him so he can cover himself up. Hopefully before I get to Hoth because well, its damn cold. I love healing in MMOs and so I chose Sith Sorcerer as my Advanced class. I had reached up to level 14 and had a couple of heals and was able to do pretty well in the one flashpoint that I ran with some friends. I was still also to deal a decent amount of damage while doing quests. Having Khem Val as my companion helped a bit. Inquisitors are pretty squishy but Khem Val is a pretty solid tank which allowed me to stand back keep him healed and blast the crap out of things with my force lightning. Epic. A comment made in the Trooper VS Inquisitor video mentions that you can be a mastermind which I can totally see. I’ve only scratched the surface of the story and it definitely has a twisting plot full of deceit and treachery early on. I can only imagine how much more intense the rest of it will be. I was playing dark side during the beta but once it goes live I haven’t decided what I’ll do. I have heard that one of the hardest things to play in the game is a light side inquisitor. Which from the small amount that I saw I can totally see. Seems like it would be very interesting. I’ll see how I feel once I get into live.

The Imperial Agent gives you the opportunity to play a spy type character. Early on you are assigned to infiltrate a criminal organization for the Empire under a stolen identity. This story also had a lot of cool little twists and I really enjoyed the Rattataki companion you get early on. Kaliyo is a pretty self-confident and witty companion that I loved having around. I totally felt that with her at my side we could take over the galaxy. I didn’t get as far into the story on this character as I did on my Inquisitor but I was definitely interested in seeing where the story was heading. When you are finished on Hutta, where you begin as Agent or Bounty Hunter, you head to Dromund Kaas which is the Imperial equivalent to Coruscant. There you get to report to Imperial Intelligence HQ. Bad ass companion. Check. Path to becoming bad ass Imperial super spy. Check. This is gonna be awesome. I haven’t played much past that but I chose my advanced class to be sniper because well… I love being a sniper. The other AC Operative does look really wicked as well. That one has closer range and stealth capabilities where the sniper is a very strong long-range class. My time with this class really has me sold on it. I was unsure of what my second character in live would be after my Sith Inquisitor but at this point I am heavily leaning towards Imperial Agent – Sniper. It was a lot of fun to play and I was having fun with the cover system and the long-range attacks. I was able to take out multiple groups of enemies at times while strategically working with the cover mechanic and keeping them at a distance. I’m sure there’s even more at higher levels but there was enough abilities to deal with anyone that got a bit too close.

Those were really the only two classes that I spent a substantial amount of time with to really be able to form a solid opinion about. I did dabble a bit with the Sith Warrior and it was looking pretty awesome but he was only up to about level 5 or 6. I was at the point with him where I was about to get his first companion Vette. A sassy Twi’Lek that, come the live game I will torture in hopes that she will cry. My Sith Warrior will definitely be played dark side. Ever since I heard a comment from one of the devs a while back saying that there is a Sith Warrior companion that will spend the entire time on the ship crying because of how you treat them. I will be treating them all like meat bags in hopes of figuring out which one it is. Once I do, I will still treat them all like crap because he’s the biggest big bad the galaxy has ever known. Plus it should be fun. Really looking forward to the torture.. uh I mean story line for the Sith Warrior.

I apologize if some of this seems all over the place and erratic but I did have to do some serious editing to keep it spoiler free. Seems like a good place to stop there. I’ll surely make another post after the next beta weekend. I may even do another later this week touching on a few things that I didn’t get to here. I’ll hopefully be able to hop into some PvP so I can give you my impressions about that. I’ve only seen videos and live streams so far and I must say…. Huttball looks REALLY fun. Stoked to get into that. Also I didn’t really get much time to spend on Flashpoints so hopefully I’ll get the chance to do that as well. So far I must say that everything I have had the chance to get hands on with in SWTOR has lived up to or exceeded my expectations. Very eagerly looking forward to launch.

Be sure to check out some of the great resources and fan sites out there. Darth Hater just launched their database for SWTOR. Darth Hater is one of my favorite sites to check out for information on the game. They are pretty good at keeping us up to date all the breaking news and have links to a lot of other quality fan sites to check out. Also there’s GamebreakerTV which has a weekly show called The Republic where they discuss the game. Now that the NDA is lifted there should be a TON for them to talk about on this Mondays episode. They also put up an episode Friday after the NDA was lifted talking about fan site summit that happened a few weeks back and a few other videos throughout the day including a BFF report with Mike B AKA Fony and a look at the class/race combinations. Be sure to check it out. A lot of great stuff.

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoyed it.

-FMG-

What’s with all the hype? Why do we build up games so much that our expectation are so far-fetched that it’s nearly impossible to reach them. Very few games that I’ve gotten overly excited for have actually lived up to my expectations. Not that I didn’t enjoy them. I still loved them but in my mind there were some other things that I thought the game would have.

In most recent memory one game that I feel didn’t meet the hype that I built up in my mind would be the World of Warcraft expansion Cataclysm. While I still love my WoW, I don’t find myself fiending it as much as I did in Wrath or BC. The content is awesome. Leveling is more fun than it has ever been and I really enjoyed doing 5 man dungeons especially in Wrath. I find the 5 mans don’t have the same draw that I felt in previous expansions. Raiding is still awesome and I’m really looking forward to the Dragon Soul raid coming in 4.3 but the overall appeal of Cataclysm for me isn’t there.

Partially my fault because I built this expansion up so much in my mind that even Blizzard as awesome as they are couldn’t possibly have met those expectations that I had. Also I have played Cataclysm since months before release in the Beta. It could be that I have already done everything so much going so far back that I am in need of something more. Minus raids of course. My guild is pretty laid back and we are still working Firelands but we have fun and work at our own pace. I still have fun but am looking forward to Blizzcon this weekend for an Expansion announcement to over hype and drool over until it releases. Also looking forward to more news about Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 Heart of the Swarm expansion. Should be a great weekend. Wish I could go.

The big hype machine that I am drooling over at the moment is Biowares upcoming Star Wars The Old Republic. I’ve followed this game closely since they announced it in 2008. Three years later the hype for this game is unbelievable. Up to 650,000 preorders. 4.8 millions beta hours logged. 200,00 forums posts a week. Over a million signed up to get into the beta on swtor.com. Not all are in but most should have an opportunity to test on their beta weekends at some point. I have two accounts and no beta weekend for me yet. Damnit.

Bioware has been putting Friday updates on the website for about two years, and has had multiple E3 appearances. Also other conventions like PAX and San Diego Comic Con have had appearances by the SWTOR team over the last few years. The more I see and hear of this game the more I feel the need to play the game. I honestly think I have never been more excited for a game. The trailers they release get more and more exciting and the game looks more refined every time. Especially the latest trailer. Absolutely amazing. Very stoked.

I love my Star Wars and as great as this game looks I probably wouldn’t be as excited if it wasn’t attached to that IP. I’d be a little excited because Bioware makes great games but throw Star Wars into the mix. I’m sold. The original Knights of the Old Republic was one of the games that I played and it lived up to the hype that I had built up for it. Quite possibly one of the best games I’ve ever played. I can’t even count the number of times I have played through KOTOR over the years. Story is something that Bioware does well. Really well. This being the first real story driven MMO, with Bioware being on it? They’ve proven they can make a great Star Wars game, and that they can make awesome stories. I have faith.

While I really am looking forward to the unique story arcs for every class and exploring them, I’m actually really excited to dig into some PvP. I’ve been pretty burnt out on PvP in MMOs since BC in WoW. I didn’t raid back then and all I did was PvP. With their unveiling of the Huttball PvP warzone it got me really excited to get back into it.

While I do think the game will be great, have I set it up on such a high pedestal that it will fall short? I have looked for a Star Wars MMO to fill that void for years. I was a part of the mass exodus of veteran players from Star Wars Galaxies when they released the “New Game Enhancements” which took everything unique about the game and ruined it.

Since then I have had an empty place in my soul. I need something to put there. Will SWTOR plug it? Damn I hope so. I think that even if it is half as good as I have built it up in my head it’s still gonna be amazing. I preordered my Collectors Edition the second day they announced preorders. Would have been day 1 but the store I usually make my preorders at didn’t have it in their computers yet the first day.

There are other games that I am looking forward to but none even compare closely to how much I want SWTOR. There are even a few games I will be passing on completely because I feel I won’t have enough time to finish them by the time it comes out.

What games in the near future have you drooling on your keyboard/controller in anticipation? That have you planning time off from work to get as much time at release to play as possible.

Thanks for reading.

-FMG-