27 April 2012

On My Beginnings in SW:TOR

Ever since I first heard about a Star Wars themed MMO being produced I was terribly excited. Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope was basically the first film with live actors I have ever seen and to say that I was “merely fascinated” would be a total understatement. I loved it! I was watching it with a good childhood friend of mine who happened to own quite a lot of Star Wars merchandise and once the film was over, we happily began replaying everything we had just seen. Kids!

I had no doubt that I would engage in this new Star Wars MMO (unless it would be purely PvP based – maybe even then). When I found out that it was set in The Old Republic (as in Knights of the Old Republic – a game that I played through four times) I knew that nothing could stop me. I think it is pretty obvious that I was very positively biased towards this game. But I guess that is okay because there are some people out there who were absolutely negatively biased towards this game, some without even having played it while others only scratched the surface.

I bought my physical copy of the game in early January 2012 and have been subscribed ever since. I did not pre-order or participate in the Beta or anything like that. This meant that I had no first-hand knowledge of the game, only what I had read and seen online. The first character I created was a Jedi Consular – a class I wanted to play more than anything.

The Jedi consular story is a calmer and more quiet experience about being a healer and a diplomat ... -- Shintar

This sounds exactly like my kind of character – a diplomatic Healer.

However, I made the fateful mistake of creating a Human male and by the time I reached Coruscant, I just could not stand the male voice actor any more. Also, I have to admit that I find the telekinetic abilities visually boring. They simply cannot compare to the lightning mayhem of a Sith Inquisitor – incidentally the second character I created. My Sith Pureblood lady made it to level 40 when I was heavily distracted by Shintar’s praise for Troopers. So I thought I would give them a try, created a female Cyborg and never looked back. The Trooper’s story was too compelling, the class too fun to play right from the start that I saw it through to the end.

Kadomi talks about Star Wars: The Old Republic being the best duo experience ever and I can second that. Playing with my brother-in-law is a blast. Multiplayer conversations, not having to worry about finding players for [HEROIC] missions and the beautiful Mako all make for a delightful gaming experience.

I think many people greatly underestimated the appeal Star Wars would have on new players. In my journeys I have encountered plenty of people who said that this was their first ever MMO and that they decided to give it a try because it is Star Wars themed. This is also true for my little sister and her boyfriend. Both of them never had any interest in MMOs, but they are Star Wars fans. Now if only I could get my wife to play, too ... then we could form a real family guild: my wife, her brother, my sister and her boyfriend. Sounds like a good start, right?

At the moment I have five characters on three different English-speaking EU-servers (two RP-PvE and one normal PvE). However, I do have plans to test the French and German servers at some point. This might actually be more of a problem in Star Wars: The Old Republic than it was in World of Warcraft due to the story-driven playstyle. Maybe Warzones can function as an appropriate testing ground ...

In the future, I will try to post about many aspects of Star Wars: The Old Republic and I'm quite sure that I will – at times – seem to be overly critical. That should not suggest, however, that I dislike the game in its current state, just that there is always room for improvement, e.g. server status, UI, GTN, etc.

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