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TOR! TOR! TOR!

Cliche but i had to do it.

Given my displeasure with the game as a whole, i thought it’d be fun to go back 8 months and revisit some of the criticism i had during the friends & family beta period.  I’m going to quote those aspects that i posted on Impact Gaming forums and hopefully give an explanation as to why i just couldn’t last in a game that should have held my attention for years, being a huge SW fan and all.  Some of these comments were met with strong disagreement by even friends that I’ve been playing with for the better part of 8 years but that’s what discussions are for.  Here we go!

– Targeting is finally fixed. Previously you had to be right on top of mobs for either tab or auto target to work. Now it works from range and it’s spectacular.

– Combat still feels stiff to me. Perhaps it’s just the animations. Humans look like they have a stick up their ass when running.

-I fear that the “go kill 15” quests is the worst thing ever. It’s so dull and i was bored by level 5 with questing. WTB dynamic events.

-Absolutely love the scale and size of the game world so far. It’s huge!

The combat comment still rings true to me today.  I really didn’t expect much to change in that department, i just expected something more fluid and intuitive.

Now the kill quests i was spot on about after leveling a second class to 50 and realizing that 80% of the content was just repeated from my first class.  This was a major issue for me since i don’t like to spacebar through said content.

Finally, the world is a tricky subject for me.  On one hand i really did enjoy how huge the worlds appeared in beta.  It wasn’t till after launch that it became evident how linear and closed off everything really was.  Exhaustion zones?  I mean, really?  There really was little to no exploration possible in the direction i was hoping for and expecting.  I couldn’t really climb to the top of mountains or even diverge off the beaten path.  The few times i managed to do so, i was met with becoming one with the environment and having to warp home.

-I have to say, I’m really enjoying the VO work and cutscenes. They’re actually enhancing my questing and helping push the story.

-I can’t get over how large the worlds are and the scale of the environments.

Nothing has changed in my assessment of VO’ers.  I actually liked them the first time through.  Ah, now that’s where the problem lies.  As i mentioned previously, once i completed them once, i really had a difficult time convincing myself to keep going while leveling an alt.  It was downright painful in some regards.  I would have preferred the VO’ers to have been class stories only and have dynamic events handle the regular everyday questing entirely.

The more i play the beta, the more i worry about the staying power of this game. The fact that it’s Star Wars is starting to fade for me and i have no attachments whatsoever to Bioware. I’m definitely enjoying the questing with full VO’ers but i fear once that’s done, it’ll be back to the same old raiding model that’s getting old.

Need i even say anymore?

This is where i think they’re making a big mistake. Launching without a buttload of content is going to cost them, but i have a feeling they know they have no choice at this point. The one thing I’ve learned is that what you see in beta is what you get at launch. There’s no miracle patch that will somehow add the content necessary for a successful launch if it isn’t in the beta already.

This was in response to “it’s only beta”.  Those miracle patches are just around the corner so hang in there folks!

-Needs a better target frame and character frame with actual numbers, not just bars. Also needs some sort of target of target.

-Needs a wardrobe feature with a dye system. Can’t believe this isn’t in yet.

-Needs the ability to preview and link items. According to Heelim, BW didn’t think people used this feature much? Mind blown.

-Need the ability to resize and move unit frames and UI elements. I hate hate hate hate the disappearing chat box.

-Dunno if it’s some sort of raised exp bonus but I’m constantly broke and behind on buying my skills. Maybe this will be corrected with a slower leveling curve, or maybe this is a known issue.

Most of these issues were addressed,  unfortunately months after launch.

Man, no matter what option i select, i sound like a complete douche as a Jedi. Did some group stuff and was hoping i lost every roll since all my responses sounded terrible.

WTB more Alec Guinness responses and less Ewan McGregor.

I still stand by this.  I’m Republic to the bone and Jedi at that, but i never once sounded noble or righteous.  I sounded like some super annoyed emo child that i had to constantly help people.  I understand that not all deeds leave one feeling heroic, but at least i can sound like i feel I’m doing the right thing.

I cannot stand everyone wearing and looking exactly the same once they get complete sets. This is a huge problem in todays western MMO’s and needs to be changed. This is also a problem with character creators in western MMO’s.

This was in response to me wanting a wardrobe feature, despite being able to re-mod orange gear.  Perhaps someone can enlighten me as to why western MMO’s always have the worst character creators.  Why is it a game that came out 3 years ago gives me the options for over 50 hair styles and TOR gives me 10ish?  I’m speaking of Aion’s character creator of course, and anything short of the options that grants us is a step in the wrong direction.

Players today expect a very robust endgame for the type of mmo BW is making. KOTOR and SW fans may be satisfied, but i can assure you MMO fans will not.

From the get go it was obvious what type of MMO BW was creating.  It blows my mind that they still failed to even achieve that.  When all you have is VO’ers to hold peoples attention, then you better draw out the leveling process tp keep them doing that content as long as possible.  I managed to ding 50 in 14 days without spacebarring.  That’s just way too short of a curve for a game that focuses on story first.  I should say story only since the “endgame” is terrible.

I’m going to quote Bardus over at mmorpg.com since the timing of his posts coincided with me writing this post.  http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/352902/page/1

I don’t have the vocabulary skills to properly describe what I was told. Basically it’s like this…The reason the game came with so few features and content and buggy as hell is because they couldn’t make up their mind what to do with the game. Leaving names out but if your smart on the game’s credits you can figure it out maybe.

One lead developer left and fired was the rumor, the guy that took his place changed everything. That’s when it started to go downhill. That’s when projects started to get pulled and questions got ignored. Any of you in the beta testing that thought everything you said was ignored, I’m telling you that your not the only ones. The whole production team was and they were screaming the same things you guys were. Nothing mattered at all if it didn’t come from the main office.

They simply wouldn’t get settled on what they wanted in the game and then time ran out to have anything. Adding to that was the fact they had such a bloated team divided up in subteams with little to no communication with each other. Constantly starting a project and stopping to gut it out because they were told to.

You guys want to know what’s wrong with the engine and the bugs and other performance issues and lack of real content? Read this post again.

I hate to have to constantly repeat this line but studios keep making the same mistakes so here it is again.   “You can’t develop an MMO in a traditional game-studio culture.”  Here’s the link to the actual article: http://www.guildwars.com/events/tradeshows/gc2007/gcspeech.php

I’m going to give you guys an example.

The cantinas were intended to be the main hubs and there was never any thought of fleets until the very end. The fleets became a knee jerk because they never even started work on the cantinas. Time ran out.

Again, doesn’t shock me at all.  The Fleet is everything that’s wrong with the game.  Instead of populating all the planets, we’re forced to leave them empty to chase the proverbial carrot on a stick instances that are all placed on the damn Fleet.

That was a bit long winded and i apologize so I’ll sum everything up neatly in Yoda’s voice;

  • Fast leveling leads to the end of story
  • The end of story leads to an easy endgame
  • An easy endgame leads to gear being too easy to acquire
  • Gear focus leads to terrible PVP
  • Terrible PVP leads to Ilum

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