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Reader Comments (116)

Posted: Jun 14th 2011 11:16AM Controlled Chaos said

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Not much that's new here. A few new and interesting mechanics, like the NPC romance stuff, but it sounds like the game isn't going to be the revolutionary step forward that Bioware claimed to have. That's a bit of a shame.

Don't get me wrong, I actually love a good story and I'm a rather large fan of soloing the things that I can, but one can't really look at all of the hype and interviews without having more or less been set for seeing something that would make WoW or RIFT or any other game look like a giant pile of crap. They pumped themselves up so much that there really wasn't any way that they were going to be able to completely please the very people they were courting for play. The die hard types and the Star Wars fanatics will likely think its the best thing ever and the entire reason the internet deserves to exist, but I fear the companies are going to be a little disappointed when this thing doesn't turn out to be the monster they're hoping for.

Is it a decent MMO? Aye, sounds like it. But will it add anything really new and improved to the genre, beyond a story? Probably not. A little sad, as I got caught in the hype train too, hoping for a heck of a lot more than the things I keep hearing and seeing.

Posted: Jun 14th 2011 12:13PM Popplewell said

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@Controlled Chaos

"...the game isn't going to be the revolutionary step forward that Bioware claimed to have"

I challenge you to find a quote where anything of the sort was said.

All they have ever stated is that it will be the first fully voiced MMO where story plays a much stronger role than in other MMOs.
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Posted: Jun 14th 2011 12:34PM (Unverified) said

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@Popplewell

"One thing that we don't want to have happen in our game is the situation where you get a bunch of players together to beat up one guy. That's just not very heroic and it's something that we don't want to have happen in our game. We're looking for much more heroic battles where you're the group that's outnumbered. If you think about the movies, the heroes are the ones that are heroic because they're fighting against the odds." - Heroic Combat

"We're looking at classic [endgame] systems, but we're also doing something brand new that hasn't been done in an MMO before."

We still havent seen this "new" end game they have envisioned so we cant pass judgment on it just yet. But what we can do is look at current footage of both operations and flashpoints and deduce that combat will be nothing more than the same old CC the lesser mobs, while everyone gangs up on the big mob and kills it....and boss fights will be more or less the same....everyone gangs up on the oversized NPC and kills it.

This is only what I could find in 10 minutes of looking, there are plenty more out there, such as companions bringing something never done before to gameplay mechanics, combat animations being reactionary and fluid something all current MMOs dont have, there was even one a very long time ago ( will be hard to find it) about breaking the bindings of the trinity system .
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Posted: Jun 14th 2011 12:41PM Beltyra said

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@(Unverified)
Companions who care about my actions and change due to my story choices. (not just mere pets)
The unique "crafting".
Ship "in tunnel" action combat.
Epic story arc(obviously) which is a much bigger deal than everyone seems to want to write off as MMOs are notoriously bad story tellers.

Yup nothing new here.

Clearly Star Wars fans have kept reality in check again and don't have too high of expectations.

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Posted: Jun 14th 2011 12:43PM Samael said

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@Popplewell

I love how people put words in BioWares mouth. They never ever claimed that it was going to be anything more than WoW mechanics with a BioWare story. They have always said that. They said they are not out to re-invent the wheel.

I fail to see how people are disappointed by that. BioWare has been extremely open about it. Look at any of their games, its the story that always moved you forward.

I will be playing this game, simply for the story, and not expect it to be something completely revolutionary. This is the Star Wars story I was waiting for. Can't wait for BioWare to deliver a good experience.
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Posted: Jun 14th 2011 1:12PM (Unverified) said

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@Beltyra

"Companions who care about my actions and change due to my story choices. (not just mere pets)"
- This relates only to dialogue, it has no bearing on the world around you, but only in the isolated world of your ship (solely a single player feature). It also has nothing to do with combat mechanics or mechanics in general when out exploring/interacting. These mechanics are nothing more than the same old pet mechanics.

"The unique "crafting"."
- Again nothing really new here, they simply took the WoW model of crafting specialties (i.e. blacksmith/miner) and instead of attributing those specialties to you (the player) it now lies solely with your A.I. companions (npcs)....the difference or uniqueness you see is an illusion

"Ship "in tunnel" action combat."
- Again an isolated single player feature in a MMO, it doesnt promote the social aspects, there is no effect on the world around you from these space battles, it is basically a single player arcade shooter thrown into whats supposed to be a MMO. Again this doesn't bring anything new to the table in terms of MMO.

"Epic story arc(obviously) which is a much bigger deal than everyone seems to want to write off as MMOs are notoriously bad story tellers."
- Again what you see is an illusion, the story arc is still deduced to the same old template of quest leveling. Just because the delivery of those quests are now different (via VO and larger story arcs) doesnt mean your gameplay experience will change one bit from this. This also is a singler player feature because your story has no bearing on the world around you, it also does not affect those in your party, your choices affect you alone, which again has no bearing on features that are supposed to promote a social world of a MMO....
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Posted: Jun 14th 2011 11:21AM Mikkhail said

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Its going to get a go from me regardless of the opininons of a few others ... its been out there too long for me not to give it a 30 day spin ...

Posted: Jun 16th 2011 4:23AM jslim419 said

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"And game needs to go "ooh....ahh!", not "oh well". This game does the latter when people play it, which is not a good thing."

and all i keep hearing from actual gamers that have been able to play it, not people paid to be game critic's is "ooo... ahhh! THIS IS FREAKING AMAZING!!"

critics in any industry make their living on picking apart what they are reviewing, even if what they are criticizing is trivial.
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Posted: Jun 14th 2011 11:58AM PaperSpeaks said

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Honestly, I think I am mostly looking forward to the story than anything else, Bioware delivered more often than not (DA2 is an exception! /hold up poor excuse) in the story/rpg element of their games.
A very nice co-op game me and my friend can pick up and enjoy for 30 days, then afterwards if a new content is released we can sub again and go through those scenario - assuming 'end-game' can be enjoyed this way.
Plus there will be great replayability with the different paths you can take.

Posted: Jun 14th 2011 12:44PM Beltyra said

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@PaperSpeaks
I think anyone who plays for the story will be playing for a while just to see the different classes play out. It isn't like DA or ME where on my 2nd play through instead of my kissing girl X I kiss girl Y. Each class(quest line) is its own game in and of itself.

(From what I have gathered)
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Posted: Jun 14th 2011 12:03PM (Unverified) said

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So this is like Bioware's other games expect if you can't play through the story in 30 days as many times as you like and from all the different perspectives you keep paying? Like a late fee on a library book?

Posted: Jun 14th 2011 12:14PM (Unverified) said

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Both articles highlight features of SWTOR in a reasonable manner that I could see myself reacting in the same way. You'll get story moments that are incongruent to the Star Wars universe and yet get some rich lore amongst those minor flubs.

Personally, I'd be surprised if things turned out completely smooth and utterly believable story-wise. It's an MMO, Bioware has to take some liberties with the universe to make a fun and functional game. And really, anyone who gets utterly upset and calls doom and gloom based on that suspension of disbelief needs to take the stick out of their rear.

Posted: Jun 14th 2011 12:16PM Uninformed said

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No game is all things to all people. It can't be. It actually would be pretty fun to have a single player driven story with expansions over time and PvP. That would be enough to suck me in.

As to the SWG posters above, I agree it was truly the best effort at a Star Wars universe and they truly did bite off more than they could chew. The combat revamp and subsequent upgrades killed the game for me.

If Bioware gets crafting right and keeps refreshing the story, it will keep me interested for quite some time. Hopefully the absence of end game content for me, as i will never have enough time to invest in it ever again, wont be missed.

Posted: Jun 14th 2011 12:17PM Wensbane said

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I find it amusing that some people are giving Rift such rave reviews -- a "brand new" MMORPG with a combat system that is 100% similar to that of World of Warcraft -- but are quick to dismiss SW:TOR, simply because the combat "reminds them too much of WoW".

I mean, really? Is it because EA (as a publisher) is involved in the equation? If so, just say what you really mean.
I would totally understand not wanting to buy any of their products for another decade or so. They've certainly done enough in the past to deserve that kind of attitude!

As for me, I'm not too concerned. I've been playing MMOs since before they had skill bars.
In all those years, I've come to the conclusion that good ambiance, proper customization options, a solid game engine and a well-told story are all more important for any role-playing game (massive or otherwise) than the way your character skills are presented on screen.

Sure, it would be nice to go "LMB-LMB-LMB-RMB-RMB-MMB" instead of "1-1-1-2-2-3", for a change, but that won't keep me from enjoying the vast and immersive world that (I hope) Bioware is about to release.

PS: A refined version of WAR's PvP system sounds perfect.

Posted: Jun 14th 2011 12:45PM Beltyra said

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@Wensbane
This. A million times this.
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Posted: Jun 14th 2011 5:14PM Zyrusticae said

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@Wensbane

You might notice that people bashing SWTOR for its combat system are not at all the same people praising Rift for whatever the hell it's doing.

By the way, I'm the former. I didn't touch Rift at all because it's simply standard MMO fare. That, and the fact that the game's character customization is nonexistent (which SWTOR ALSO seems to be following its footsteps in, knowing Bioware and knowing that they're NOT going to be including any non-painted-human alien races).

But, seriously, it's getting tiresome reading all these apologetic posts about excusing the game's combat system because the developer never claimed otherwise.

Well, guess what? NOBODY CARES! If people are disappointed with the combat system THEN THEY'RE DISAPPOINTED, the developer can plug up their ears and yell "Lalalalalala!" all they want and people are still going to complain. Just because the developer decided they wouldn't change it (and communicated this to us early on) doesn't mean we can't deride them for making that decision. I absolutely deplore that decision, thank you very much, and quite frankly I can't muster up any enthusiasm for this game because of it.

And because of the races.

Seriously.

Painted humans only? Booooriiiing!
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Posted: Jun 14th 2011 6:32PM (Unverified) said

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@Zyrusticae

get over the race thing, you can only select a few very humanoid races in games like LotrO and AoC and Aion too, so what's the fucking deal, eh?

Besides, say all you like about the combat system but when you pay actual attention to all the reviews and handson reports around, then you'll see that the vast,, and I mean vast, majority that DID play the game actually liked the combat in SWTOR.
So there you go.
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Posted: Jun 14th 2011 7:12PM Zyrusticae said

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@(Unverified)

First of all, I don't care about the opinions of those who ARE satisfied with staid MMO combat. If it's their thing, that's PERFECTLY FINE. For them. Not for me. And not for the many other commentators who have been voicing their disappointment in the MMO genre for many, many years.

Secondly, half the appeal of a Space Fantasy game like SWTOR is in playing something completely outrageous. For me, at least. I, on principle, simply refuse to play a Star Wars game that doesn't allow you to play iconic races like the Mon Calamari, Trandoshans, or Ithorians.

I didn't like the cheap use of painted and decorated humans as aliens in Star Trek, why the hell would I change that view now?

Thirdly, I specifically mentioned character customization in my post, which SWTOR is seriously lacking. AoC and LOTRO are games I've avoided particularly because of this lack. Surprise, surprise, I STILL PLAY AION because it actually has non-crap character customization! There's a lot I'm willing to forgive when I have an avatar that I can connect with. If all I get, however, is a stock, boring archetype to play with, you can bet your arse I'm jumping ship *immediately*.

This, obviously, is just how I feel. I place a high priority on a good "avatar"; in fact, probably higher than anything else in a game. Like I said, I'm still playing Aion mostly because of this. The game itself is not that great, but it gives me an avatar that I can appreciate, and considering MMOs themselves are mostly about controlling fancy dolls and making them do extravagant things in the first place, I think it's perfectly reasonable to put a lot of attention in that area.

SWTOR fails to do this, and ironically in a very story-driven game. I'll pass, thank you very much.
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Posted: Jun 14th 2011 7:25PM Zyrusticae said

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@Zyrusticae

I just feel like clarifying something.

What I look for in an MMO works much like Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

On the first level, you could say I look for stability - a game that I can actually, y'know, play. Obviously, a game that can't be played without serious bugs or crashing is not really much of a game at all.

On the next level, I look for the avatar, or how I can tailor the avatar to my tastes. Yes, before *anything else*, that is what I look for. Before environment design, before combat, before quest design, before any new griddles or what-have-you that the developers have added, this is the VERY FIRST thing I look for. (The level before this is really just a statement of the obvious - if a game doesn't work, it doesn't matter what else it has).

On the level after that one, I then look at the minute-to-minute gameplay. The "core" gameplay, if you will. Will I enjoy my time playing the game for hours on end? Definitely more important to me than anything else. If the core gameplay (i.e. the combat) is boring, nothing else is even worth being considered.

On the fourth level, I look for immersion. Does the world feel lived-in? Can I lose myself in it? Is it obviously gamey? Do they break the fourth wall regularly (can be a plus or a minus depending on context)?

On the final level, only there I look for quality-of-life stuff. Y'know, stuff like LFG tools and fancy maps and all that jazz. I don't even care what other nifty features they have, really - I only care that the core gameplay is fun enough to keep me hooked for quite some time.

And right now, SWTOR is not looking good in that department. It fills the fourth and fifth levels but those are the least important in my "MMO hierarchy of needs". So, of course... I'll just give it a pass, unless it is proven otherwise. Very simple.
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Posted: Jun 14th 2011 7:30PM (Unverified) said

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@Zyrusticae

Hey, if that's your thing, to each their own. We all should pick the games that are fun to us.
You said though that 'people were disappointed' and that the devs didn't listen, while the reality is that only some people were disappointed, and that 9 out 10 (figuratively speaking, I didn't count them all but it comes close) people that actually played the game, was happy or enthusiastic about the combat, and the devs do listen.
In fact, the game has been running in closed beta for almost a full year now, and a lot of changes and improvements came from it based upon tester feedback.
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