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Reader Comments (87)

Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 10:21AM Lenn said

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One thing I'd love to know, because I probably won't be able to play for that much time coming weekend, is about the linearity of the game. It's really the only thing that has me slightly worried about the game. Once I'm denoobified on the starting planet and the whole galaxy is my oyster, how will I be rewarded as an explorer? Are there things to be found off the beaten path? Any cool sights to behold? Stuff to do?

Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 10:38AM (Unverified) said

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@Lenn

Not really no. The game's very linear, just like mentioned in the article - leveling really is just like WoW, where you go where your quests tell you to go, and you're punished (ie killed by much higher mobs) if you decide to go somewhere your quests DON'T tell you to go yet.

There's very much a set path for leveling in this game, and it doesn't change between characters, only factions.
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 10:46AM Lenn said

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@Lenn To clarify, I don't want any spoilers as in "yes, for instance on Tatooine you can visit this sarlacc nursery and feed tiny bits of your enemy to the baby sarlaccs". I'd just like a simple "yes, there's plenty to do/see" or "no, TOR makes Rift look like the Sahara of sandbox games".
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 10:49AM Lenn said

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@(Unverified) WoW had plenty of things to do/see off the beaten path. I know TOR, as a themepark, will suffer from linearity, and I don't mind, really. I'm just hoping for more. Even WoW levels of more are fine with me.

Take LotRO, for example. Even though it's as linear as they come, there are still things I discover in that game even now, after playing it for years.
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 10:55AM KvanCetre said

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@Lenn

Actually, you are rewarded as an explorer. There are holocrons, these things that boost stats, all around in hidden spots. Early, they are easy to find.

Of course, one day we'll just look at the holocron wikipage to find them all...
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 11:02AM Lucidus said

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@Lenn No. You ride the rails through the planets and never look back. Unless your quests require a timesink trip to a planet you've been to (a trip like: go to starport, go to class X hangar [loading screen] run to ship [loading screen] hyper to planet, exit ship [loading screen] oh look you're on a parking space station, run to elevator [loading screen] run to shuttle [loading screen] exit shuttle to planet, run to speeder) that could have been accomplished via holo.
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 11:16AM Lenn said

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@Lucidus You didn't answer my question.
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 11:33AM Lucidus said

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@Lenn "cool things to find" are the holocrons. There's not that much exploration to be had really -- most planets are pretty utilized 90-100% as quest areas. Some planets where you have sith and republic playing on the same planet you have quest areas used by the opposing faction you can visit -- so you could wander around Tatooine and Alderaan if you felt like it, maybe not for an hour, though. On the planets where it's just your faction, like Sith Balmorra or Republic Balmorra, it's the same map/different mobs, you just start at opposite ends -- so playing an opposite faction alt won't show you a new section of those worlds.
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 11:51AM Mikx said

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@(Unverified)

Ah... I'd consider WoW's heyday to be late BC/Wrath, where Blizzard started shortening the leveling time so you had whole zones that were now superfluous. It was technically old content, but it was still great for exploration because you never had to go there.

Thats where I'm most worried, that the game won't just be on rails, but that it will be shallow (content-wise) too.
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 11:54AM Space Cobra said

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@Lenn

I am gonna break a bit here from the rest of the commentators and say, yeah, there are things to find. This is speaking as a Bartle-and-James Explorer! (Okay, just Bartle...)

Actually, the Holocrons, in some cases, have been interesting in figuring out how to get to (I haven't been on Spoiler sites). So, there is that. As for the zones, at least the starting ones, yeah, pretty much like WoW but even in WoW, there were nooks, crannies, and NPCs to battle. (Maybe finding some of the NPCs work best if you are not on the particular class quest; I mainly played Imp. Agent and was exploring/touring the whole starting area).

Even in the public areas, there are memorable things, IMO. For example, in Nimro's Place, his cantina, there is one scene involving a Wookie sitting down and playing a "famous" game. I am not gonna spoil it here, but most would recognize the joke. ;)
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 12:32PM (Unverified) said

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@Space Cobra
I saw that one too :) I haven't got enough playtime to be sure but I certainly hope that it is the way Bioware opposes Blizzard's cultural references with SW media references throughout the game.
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 2:42PM Lenn said

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@Jwheeler Huh?
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 2:53PM Space Cobra said

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@Lenn

Pretty sure he meant the first (Unverified) who responded to you and not actually you, since his disclaiming points match/counter-point them.
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 3:12PM Lenn said

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@Space Cobra I should hope so!
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 4:18PM EuchridEucrow said

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@Lenn

Pretty sure his diatribe was aimed at resident Star Wars the Old Republic uber-troll Ren54...I mean Lucidus. At least, I hope it was.
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 6:27PM Radev said

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@Lenn Regarding cool sights to behold, when travelling around Taris, there was a interesting respawn mechanic occuring that caught my attention because a stream of blaster bolts nearly hit me out of no where. What was happening was an aerial combat scene between a Republic and an Empire ship, the Empire ship was destroyed and crashed into a building, followed by the Republic ship landing and deploying it's troops, was pretty neat to be caught by suprise by.

In terms of exploration being rewarded there are a few things I've noticed so far;

-There are Datacrons, located in spots that require some creativity to reach, and those grant you a small stat increase and a codex entry.

-There are lore objects, interactable objects around the worlds that will supply you with more in-depth info on a location, object, person, race or historical event (these aren't always off the beaten path, you do have to pay attention to your surroundings however to notice these. Simply focussing on questing and most of these will be left unnoticed).

-Each planet also has it's own planet checklist in the codex for the completionist that wants to unlock all the codex entries

-There are elite level NPC's and world bosses off the beaten path that will provide you with high quality loot when killed.

-There are quests off the beaten path.

Hope this helps.

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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 7:58PM Mystal said

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@Lenn SWTOR is like RIFT if, instead of doing "dyamic" Rifts, you could play Starfox whenever you wanted to. It's not really any more or less linear, although its hard to imagine any MMO being any more linear than both games already are.

SWTOR is not a sand box game and it doesn't even contain sand box elements. It is a theme park in the truest possible sense of what that phrase means. The attractions are mostly well constructed, but they are ALL constructed attractions. There is no sand box to play in.
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Posted: Nov 22nd 2011 9:17PM digitalheadbutt said

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@Lenn

If you follow the class missions it is fairly linear p but on each planet you can tackle the missions however you see fit and there are side-missions and stuff off the beaten path. There are datacrons to collect; this can be both fun and annoying but rewarding. There are also named strong/elite/boss encounters that can be found while you are wandering, if you beat them they have juicy loot tables. I haven't been in on a World Boss kill in a few builds but there is also that. Some of the vistas are amazing and the game isn't at full polish yet.

The world is not a sandbox but there is plenty to do if you decide to wander around. I find myself more interested in completion of each planets offering of missions and finding a way to do it efficiently. Not sure if this game will be for everyone but I find it to fun at whatever pace/commitment level I have had. Grouping up for quests/missions is cool and as of the current build the bonus for grouping outweighsthe cut in exp from group splitting.
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Posted: Nov 23rd 2011 2:31AM Valkenr said

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@Lenn

Sorry for all the words, All the elaboration I neglect in my english papers spills out into my posts about games. The important part is boxed.

To sum it up:

You can do 3 things to level: Story, PvP, Instances.

Most people will level with the story and doing instances when they get the missions for them

The story is a roller coaster, it's on rails, you go where you are told to go. I was dissapointed with this because i interprated "make decisions which define your personal story" meant i could sequence events to my liking, when in actuality the choices you make don't impact the story enough to warrent a light and dark side playthrough for each class, and 90% of content for each faction is shared by all classes.

You can tell Mythic had their hand in the PvP, it has the feel of warhammer, but my experience is low because my computer needs upgrading to handle pvp.

The repeatable quests(i call instances) consist of Heroic Missions and Flashpoints, Flashpoints have some diversions in their story, but generally you will do the Light thing for republic and dark thing for empire if you are with a random group.

The game is 'pretty' but lacking in the multiplayer side of MMO's. You will find some difficulty when playing with friends since there was absolutely no effort whatsoever put into making the game make sense in a multiplayer world, so everyone has to do everything, even if in a group. You can't have one person go click on something while someone goes to finish a kill quest, everyone has to click on it. This is something that is not going to change, because it would require a re-write to a majority of the script, and an s-load of new random generation algorithms.

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* So yes, it is linear. *
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If you come into the game with the mindset of "This is KoTOR 3" you will feel much better about the game. My expectation where high, I expected more of a sandbox, and i was thoroughly let down. I had to stop playing beta after my first character wipe so i could stand playing through the game at launch(i hate repeating content) I expected something more along the lines of Elder Scrolls for the way questing was handled. Putting something like that in an MMO environment would be truly innovative.

Spoiler: Denoobification takes about 10 casual game hours(Class starting planet+ faction starting planet)

@Larry

"One of the most common things we're already hearing is that people seem to find it hard to go back to other MMOs once they play The Old Republic."

Everyone says this, and it's true, Once you get a Game Boy Color, why go back to the Game Boy? (not like WoW to TOR is as big as GB to GBC) This is not profound and not worthy of mention. Especially with the current crop MMO's on the market, since no one has made the immersive sandbox that holds you hand enough(but not forcefully) to keep you on track and having fun, that is going to take the market. It would have been nice if Bioware spent their 200Million being innovative rather being tedious about scripting and voiceovers.
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Posted: Nov 29th 2011 1:50PM EMUJoe said

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@Lenn

Been in the beta for some time.

There is no "off the beaten path", you are hand held from a to b to c....

Don't go into the game expecting a genre defining MMO, but rather KOTOR 3 where you see other peeps playing their copy of KOTOR 3 with you.

I have my reservations about the game "as an MMO" but I would rather others play and for their own opinion.

I still have the game on pre-order, but I give the the game 3/5 stars, and .5 of those stars come from it being Star Wars.

My opinion, YMMV
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