Star Wars: The Old Republic is a great game. At its core, it is the spiritual successor to one of the best story-driven games I’ve ever played – Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Based on the quests and story lines that I’ve experienced in playing SWTOR, I can safely say that the writing team at BioWare has done an excellent job creating an engaging story with great character dialogue throughout. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed nearly every conversation that I’ve experienced in the game thus far.
Now that I’ve had a chance to play the game for several months, I’d like to look back and reflect on what parts of SWTOR made it enjoyable and kept me playing.
Having a story that is unique to each character class made creating alts in SWTOR exciting and fresh. The writing for each of the class stories – from what I have played thus far – is crisp, tight, and true to the spirit of the class. The dialogue choices all fit the responses you’d expect to come from a Smuggler, Jedi, Trooper, slightly insane Sith, etc. Recently, I’ve been playing through Act I for the Sith Inquisitor and am delighted at the range of choice that I have for responses in most conversations – oftentimes it’s “For the Empire!,” “I hate everything and everyone,” or “I’m completely insane!”. Some responses leave me in stitches from laughing so hard. In short, I love following my character’s story.
Lightsabers & Force Powers
Who doesn’t enjoy pushing an enemy to the ground with their mind and then using their glow-y energy sword to make them regret their life decisions? One of my favorite PC games series is the Jedi Knightseries, the hallmark of which is getting a stable of Force abilities as well as a saber and cutting through swaths of Stormtroopers. While SWTOR is less action-oriented than Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, both games still share that Jedi-goodness.
Fully Voiced Quests
I don’t know how I endured questing in other MMOs before. Unless it’s a world arc quest or repeatable that I’ve seen before, I’m excited to start conversations with quest-givers in SWTOR. I never know what the NPC’s are going to say, and the plot of each quest is unique and interesting. Sure, the essence of the quests sometimes boil down to “go kill 10 of these baddies and come back” (i.e. Kill 10 Rats), but at least I’m excited to learn about how I need to go kill them. The killing of the baddies is a separate matter entirely.
PVP Bolstering System
In other MMOs, PVP was something that I only engaged in if I was…
- At max level or at the top of a level bracket range
- Geared up with PvP gear
The bolstering system, which raises everyone to level 49 stats in the below max level bracket, made it OK for me to dabble in Warzones before I’d traditionally be “ready” in other games. Sub-level cap PVP doesn’t require “l33t skillz” or a ton of expertise laden gear as a prerequisite for participation. This was a refreshing change from games such as World of Warcraft, in which I was doomed to get smoked by twinked characters below the level cap or destroyed by well-geared and experienced veterans in the level capped Battlegrounds.
Huttball is an inspired take on pitched PVP battles. It’s a fresh design that actually had me excited to play Player vs. Player. Most other MMORPGs end up creating Battlegrounds/Warzones that are games of Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, a pitched battle, or some combination of those archetypes. Huttball, on the other hand, actually resembles a sport. It’s like a deadly game of rugby or handball. Whereas the traditional MMORPG Battlegrounds see players fall into attacker and defender roles and end up finding the defenders static at a location for long periods of time (defending the flag stand, defending a resource point, holding a choke point), Huttball forces players to move since the objective (the ball) is always moving, which makes the key map points change constantly. Standing still is almost never an option for defenders. Sure, you could say that about Capture the Flag too, but Huttball just feels different.
Watching a progress bar fill up isn’t fun. The BioWare team did a great job getting rid of that in SWTOR. Not having to stop and pick flowers or wait for an adrenal to be crafted is a big plus. It’s great that even while your crew is crafting, you can still get into conversations and continue to “be heroic.”
Coming next week, things I dislike about SWTOR. Keep in mind, this is an Op-Ed and reflects only my views and not the opinions of the entire staff here at Darth Hater. We invite you to share your own thoughts on the things you like in the comments section below.