Friday, December 21, 2012

Star Wars - The Old Republic (Part One)

Star Wars - The Old Republic
Now Star Wars - The Old Republic (SWTOR) is a game that I wouldn't regret downloading despite its filesize being also 20 GB (which is as huge as DC Universe Online).
SWTOR - Jedi Knight Class StorySWTOR - Quest Log
The best part that I like about this game is how they have presented the quests. First of all, there is the class specific quest which begins immediately after a player creates his or her character. This quest will basically keep the player occupied throughout his or her leveling career (up to the level cap I believe) as well as bring them all around the SWTOR universe.
SWTOR - Tython Map
To give you a slight idea, please refer to the Tython Map shown above. Initially, I had started out at the "Master's Retreat". Then as I proceed with completing my class quest, I gradually moved about all around Tython from "The Gnarls" to the "Jedi Temple" and then "Kalikori Village" and so on and so forth.
SWTOR - Coruscant
Eventually, after finishing my business on Tython, the class quest went on and led me to other parts of the SWTOR universe like "Coruscant", "Ord Mantell" and "Taris". And then mixed within the class quest, there is a plethora of sideline quests that are either associated with the class quest or related to the area where the class quest would bring the player to.

In my opinion, the way they've delivered it gives the quests a sense of meaning and direction so much so that it makes me feel that I am not doing boring senseless questing for levels but rather playing and living out my character's encounters.
SWTOR - Quest Video ClipSWTOR - Quest Option Choices
Well you may think that I am making an absurd statement right at this point. But frankly speaking, once you start playing it yourself and see the way they've seamlessly incorporated video clips and option choices into the conversations of the quests, you wouldn't bear to think otherwise. ^_^
SWTOR - WarzoneSWTOR - Flashpoint
Apart from that, there's also warzones and flashpoints available for players to participate in when they grow bored of questing and leveling. Basically, these warzones and flashpoints are instanced maps where we can fight alongside teammates against other fellow players (PVP map) or environmental mobs (PVE map).
SWTOR - Space Combat
And if that's not your cup of tea, then there's also crafting and space combat for you to play around with. But I must warn you beforehand that these features aren't really those fully fleshed out types that your having in your mind right about now. They merely exist as a "side dish", along with the warzones and flashpoints, to make your overall online gameplay experience in SWTOR less repetitive and with more variability.
SWTOR - Artifact Rarity EquipmentSWTOR - Warzone Limit
However, as a freemium game, I can't help but find that SWTOR does deliver some hard-hitting nerfs on free-to-play gamers. The most prominent one that I can think of is the one where we are required to purchase an "Artifact Equipment Authorization" before we can equip and use purple-colored items. Then there are also limits put in place upon the number of times we can participate in warzones and space combat.
SWTOR - Crew Skills Limit
Besides that, we also face limits on the number of crew skills that can be learnt which effectively throws our ability to craft right out of the window (needs at least two but we can only learn one). And on top of all these, there is also a cap on the amount of in-game credits we can acquire ($200,000 and the rest will be placed in escrow), a highly limited inventory space, no storage bank, much higher gameplay costs (in terms of buying, selling and repairing items) as well as a relatively harder time to level (exp nerf or rather little to no exp bonus) just to name a few.
SWTOR - Improved Speeder Piloting I CCSWTOR - Improved Speeder Piloting I Auction
Essentially, the only way to remove these nerfs would either be to subscribe to the game or purchase their unlocks via "Cartel Coins" or in-game credits. But with an upper cap of $200,000, there is hardly much cash shop items that you can acquire since they mostly cost more than that or can hardly be found selling. And in my opinion, if your in this for the long haul, it might be "ideally better for your wallet" to unlock your account's nerfs using the "Cartel Coins" than compared to subscribing.

This is because even though subscribing would free you from all the nerfs, they are only temporary and will only last for as long as your subscription. Upon the end of your subscription, you will drop back to the "Preferred" status which although has less nerfs compared to "Free-to-Play", it is in my opinion still pretty heavily penalized.

For an exact idea of the differences between subscribers, preferred and free-to-play members, please head on over to SWTOR - Subscription, Preferred and Free-to-Play Features. But ultimately, if you asked me, I am just glad that they didn't restrict us from enjoying the full story content of SWTOR.
Next: SWTOR (Part Two)