Community Review — Star Wars: The Old Republic

Community Review — Star Wars: The Old Republic

I’ve never played an MMO in my life and, being perfectly honest, I never really intended to rectify that ever. But if ever an MMO could get me inspired to have a bash, it would most likely be Star Wars: The Old Republic, a game made by a developer I respect, based on a brand I’m engaged with, also based on a game series I love! So what’s stopping me? Not really sure to be honest…

So, in lieu of the fact that EB is selling grey imported copies of the game ahead of time, and the fact that Bioware has made the game import friendly for Australians who wanted to get online day one, I thought maybe now was as good as any to get a community review of the game going. So how are you guys finding the game?

From what I’ve heard, Star Wars: The Old Republic has garnered a mostly positive reaction thus far. There are similarities to World of Warcraft, of course, but the addition of voice acting, and Bioware-style dialogue choices appear to have added a new dimension to the whole MMO experience.

But the downtime, the online queues?

Anyway — I know next to nothing about the game, having not logged a single, solitary hour into the thing, so I’ll totally leave it to you guys: what are your thoughts on the game? Let us know in the comments below.


  • I think its great, sure its new and has its bug but every mmo does. the key difference is its not as crappy as others on release they really put more time into it (im looking at you AoC). One thing id like to change tho is for people with crappy eyes. i went 10 levels with out training my specialisation talents because i didn’t see the dark blue tab with dark blue text. frankly blue on blue is really hard to read. at least make it like other areas where there is more contrast or give the option to add more contrast.

    the combat is fun the crafting much better and less lame, might final have an MMO that will last.

    oh and you will learn to hate your ship’s robot companion, the voice gets old fast, other than that its pretty great

  • My one regret is that I have only logged enough hours over the last 4 weeks to get to level 30. The game is fun, I’m really enjoying my light-side bounty hunter’s story. The grinding is hidden pretty well by the term “bonus quest” so when you do another quest objective, killing x number of enemies is optional… it’s amazing how that word “bonus” can make you forget that you are really being tricked into grinding.

    PvP in warzones is good, if a little unbalanced at this stage, haven’t seen any world PvP yet to comment on that.

    It’s the best vanilla MMO that I have played, and there is a lot of scope for growth. I am impressed.

    Powertank FTW!

    • And the way some of those quests only appear once you’ve started them (killing a couple of flesh raiders brought up a notice saying I’d killed 5 of 9 on some quest).

  • I don’t has it yet 🙁

    BUT that’s mainly because i just can’t seem to get excited about MMO’s anymore…

  • “But the downtime, the online queues?” – Only a problem if you happened to select the most populated server. The queues aren’t as bad as the opening weekend, where they were upwards of 4 hours. I was in queue yesterday for 1 hour which didn’t bother me in the slightest as I just alt-tabbed and played AvP.

    The game itself is wonderful, despite being an MMO the game can practically be played entirely on your own, and the character progression is that of a traditional Bioware RPG. Bioware have smoothed the boundaries between single player and MMO so well, for once in an MMO you feel like your character is a character, not just an Avatar you use to escape into a virtual world. I am treating this game like KOTOR3 and am loving every moment of it.

    Graphically the game is quite stunning, however an MMO with as much content as it has surely isn’t immune to bugs, I have had quite a few graphical glitches (green lines across the sky and game world) as well as character animations not correctly appearing during the story cut scenes.

    Gameplay is stock standard MMO but there’s nothing wrong with that, I reckon it feels like you’re playing KOTOR only your movements are faster and you have a million more abilities.

    Thanks to /played I know I’ve sunk 3 full days into my Jedi Knight, and that’s just playing the class story and side missions, as well as a few Flashpoints… Value for money with this game is incredible… Although when I roll a new character my play time might shrink a bit, replaying the same side missions will probably more me to tears… at least the Class missions will be different… I hope.

    Ultimately, this game is not an MMO for me, it’s an epic KOTOR3 adventure, and I’m loving it… Can’t wait to level up some other characters and can’t wait for Bioware to increase the content… End game content (raids, operations, whatever you want to call them) is not why I play this game, and once I feel I’ve had my fun I’ll leave… I quite WoW twice after hitting end-game content, but I had the most fun levelling my characters and exploring the world… SWTOR knocks it up a notch with the addition of the voice over (a record holder) and epic storylines.

    • I have no interest in multiplayer games, but your review has got me thinking about picking this up as a proxy KOTOR 3. 🙂

    • I’m playing it as a single player game too.
      This is going to sound dumb, but I forgot that you can’t pause an mmo.

      It’s been solid so far.

      I did get stuck in a wall, but then I remembered I could quick travel out of it.

        • No Wai?!?!

          Do I just open the chat window to type these things?
          I’ve turned off chat because it’s breaking immersion, and it was full of someone complaining about the game not being SW:Galaxies.

        • Doesn’t work on Alderaan, used the /stuck command and got moved underneath the world… Had to use my Quick travel the first time, fleet pass the second time.

  • Best fun I’ve had in an MMO in a while.
    Note: When I play my games, I also follow the story, music and gameplay.
    Apart from a few bug encounters (which is only natural), I’ve had a fun ride so far and soon will be creating another class when I’m done with the Jedi Knight.
    Not including the long queues, I don’t see much of the problem and hope the game wont go free 2 play because of some people complaining about how bad the game is, but this only appears to be a small minority. I can’t wait to see when an expansion gets announced and hopefully, one does 🙂

  • The Old Republic has billed itself as “The next evolution in MMO gaming” (or similar) and it’s a perfectly apt description, though not for the originally intended feature. That feature, story, is not new to MMOs; though I do concede it has never been done to quite this level.

    No, this new evolution is the next step on the trend of massively multiplayer games being able to be played, ironically, without actually interacting with anybody. Blizzard blazed the trail on this path with constant revamps to it’s levelling experience, but Bioware just goes to town. And who can blame them? With reportedly low percentages of players ever making it to endgame, let alone raiding, or even engaging with dungeons, it makes (business) sense to target the largest slice of the pie.

    For the most part, they do this very well. The eight overarching classes all have their own separate storylines, though they share similarities as players progress through a pretty rigid set of “planets”, AKA questing hubs. The early levels, and zones, shine in this regard, but towards the business end they all start to feel too padded. Zones forgo the intimate nurturing of the starting planets and turn into the same big wide open spaces with groups of enemies dotted around it, like they somehow got bored designing the planets.

    Questing overall is far more engaging, though, as in addition to the players’ storyline missions, each planet also contains a main storyline (usually help us defeat the enemy) but it adds some nice context. “Flashpoints”, group quests and the like also shine brightly, but good luck finding anybody to join you as effort to reward ratio seems to suffer. This is no more pronounced than when actually trying to find a group, which invariably takes longer than the task you’re going to undertake. “Smart” players (the type that min-max to the nth degree) are more likely to just continue powering through the plethora of content they can easily tackle on their own, or with their companions.

    Companions are another lauded feature, though they mostly boil down to pets with personalities. And once you unlock a healing pet for your class, there doesn’t seem to be much point using anything else. That said, some do have interesting personalities and even personal missions which help to flesh out the otherwise lonely galaxy.

    There’s plenty more to do though; space missions being one – a kind of StarFox/Rebel Assualt mash-up that take 5-10 mins and are a joyful distraction from the traditional kill-ten-rats fare.

    That’s not to say killing ten rats is unenjoyable. Combat, when it isn’t bugged, is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying experiences a Star Wars gamer can have. At least certainly since Jedi Outcast. There are sixteen classes overall, each with three talent trees (though some are shared, and the Republic and Empire essentially contain the same classes with different names), so variety is certainly available.

    Despite all this it’s still a very fulfilling game – I’ve barely put it down since release. There’s always something to do and, rightly or wrongly, it really does feel like KOTOR 3 (with friends). If you can find a few to play with, it’s even more enjoyable, especially if you can get yourselves into the Flashpoints to experience some of the more memorable areas of the game (though unfortunately some are hampered by bugs).

    Going forward, the game has a few major issues to overcome if it wants to hang around. The first is UI: it’s clunkier than a 300-pound xylophone player. It also tends to bug from time to time. Second is endgame content: there’s not much there, but that is usually standard for many MMOs on release. More concerning is the lack of clear paths once you get there. “What do I do now” is the prevailing sense. Finally it’s actually getting people to group. If people just want to play this as a single-player KOTOR 3, then maybe they should have gone down that road in the first place. Right now there’s not a lot of reason to group up, and it’s not really facilitated well. If they can overcome that quickly, they’ll be on their way to a large, stable player base.

    Despite all this though, I really love this game. I’m so glad that it’s launched particularly well. There’s been a little extra downtime, but it’s not like it’s been down for days at a time. Unfortunately it’s been during Aussie peak times, so users may think it’s been down a lot more than it actually has. There is a lot to experience, and while some of the features are unrefined, it’s playable, enjoyable and there’s a lot of potential there.

    Also I like to type a lot.

  • Can people elaborate on the what ‘end game’ is.
    I played wow for years and New content came in two forms. Annoying world event stuff and raids and dungeons.

    Having spent years raiding. Not sure I want to get another MMO, even if it is KOTOR just to hit level cap and raid. Are they going to release new story driven content or is going to devolve in raids and dungeons all over again?

    • At the moment, endgame consists of about 10 daily quests for badges to give you gear; hard mode dungeons; pvp; and then operations.
      They haven’t been clear on what forward-going content will be, though they have indicated they have voice and cinematics on an ongoing contract. These are time intensive, however, so I’d say storyline content will be few and far between.

      • Thanks for the reply. I might end up sitting out and see how it pans out. I can understand why repeatable content is attractive. I’m just so over raiding! (hardcore and casual. Done both)

  • I have yet to play this. None of my friends are really in to RPGs (they either don’t care for games much or play to many FPS’. Savages! :P) and I’m not really in to MMOs. But I loved both KotORs and I really want to play this just for the story. I just want to know if it’s going to be hard to play single-player, as I assume most the missions/enemy health and stuff like that would be set around having multiple people with you. I’m a lone wolf kind of gamer (except in Battlefield), and like to tackle this alone.

      • Yeah, you can play through the game single player – you may not be able to do/complete some of the HEROIC quests (quests that require 2-4 characters) or flashpoints (group quests). But you’d be able to play through the “normal” content.

        • Hmm. Sounds like it might be worth picking up. Who knows I might end up trying it multi with someone and enjoying it. If this is as close as I get to a new KotOR then so be it. Thanks, man. 🙂

  • So far the only MMOs i have ever played were Rift and SWTOR so i consider myself still a bit of an MMO noobie. Even though both these games maybe both classed as an MMORPG they are both considerably different enough to think that they are in two different genres.

    The voice acting in this game is what should now be regarded as a baseline for all other MMOs. I tried following the story in Rift, i really did and for the first 20 or so levels i read almost every quests text but after that i simply couldn’t because it just wasn’t engaging enough most of the time to keep me interested. With TOR it is just another matter entirely. Not once through my first level 40 character have i pressed the spacebar to skip any convos whatsoever and i don’t think it will change any time soon. The quality of the voice work, even for the standard side quests is incredible.

    The story is one of the strongest i have played in ANY game. I picked the smuggler because i thought as a non-force user who was not attached to the Republic that his story would be the weakest but it truly is exciting to see what happens next and i can’t wait until the next story quest. To make sure it isn’t a one-off i also rolled a counsellor and an imperial agent and both of their stories are just as good which i am very happy about. Which effectively means that you can play through this game 8 times and get a different story each time (but the same side quests admittedly).

    The graphics are interesting – the slight cartoon look to them IMO suits the game more then the ultra-realistic look then Force Unleashed because even though this is set in the middle of a galactic war, there are also many funny, quirky moments that simply would not work if it looked like FU. That said, don’t expect anything flash but know that it isn’t bad and you should be able to immerse yourself quite easily.

    As was said above, gameplay is very standard for what i believe makes an MMO but it doesn’t take anything away from the game. Nothing has been done to set the game different from the competition here but it works.

    If you’re into PVP i don’t think you will like the warzones very much. They’re just alright. Not many warzones, slight imbalances and no level bracketing (except for 50’s in the upcoming patch) take away from the PVP experience. However once you will hit level 50 and you go to Illum, all will be forgiven. Easily one of the best PVP experiences i have had between TOR and Rift.

    If you enjoyed KOTOR, pick up TOR as you will love the story and the game eases you into learning to adjust to some of the MMO features that you can use.

  • I’m loving it. The class stories are great and the addition of voice acting plus dialogue choices make the side quests a lot more interesting then they otherwise would be.
    Combat is a lot of fun because you’re often engaging more then one mob at a time. The way your lightsaber actually connects with the lightsaber of other characters or deflects a blaster bolt is visually pleasing.
    Crafting is less engaging then other mmos but I’m finding it a lot more fun because I can craft while running around doing quests.
    The grouping/multiplayer aspect of the game is good, though I haven’t fully experienced all it has to offer (haven’t done any warfronts yet). The joint dialogue during quests and operations is awesome.
    The graphics are decent for an mmo and the art style is likeable.

    There are a few problems though. There’s an ability delay with combat that can be quite noticeable and high resolution textures currently do not work outside of cutscenes. Both of those will likely be fixed soon though. Other problems I’m not so sure will be fixed, at least not soon.
    There’s a lack of customisation during character creation. Also a lot of the choices you are given look horrible. There are currently no SGRA (same gender romance arcs) in the game. The legacy system has not being fully implemented, BioWare has not commented on what it will offer when it is implemented and it’s currently impossible to change your legacy name.
    There is a lot of sharding in the game and it makes the worlds feel empty. You rarely encounter other players out and about and world pvp is non existent. As a level 31 Imperial I’ve only seen four Republic players out in the universe.

    There’s also a few design choices that I’m not a big fan of. Being light side locks you out of red lightsabers even if you’re sith and being dark side locks you out of blue and green even if you’re a jedi. The aggro radius on mobs while mounted is quite large and rather then just dismounting you they knock you flat on the ground which is very annoying. The talent trees feel very bloated and boring. You have to run back to your trainer every level to train new ranks for you abilites.

    Despite the negative things I listed this is probably the best mmo I’ve played (and I’ve played a lot) and I’m having a lot of fun with it. I’m willing to continue to subscribe and play and trust that BioWare will iron the game out and make it even better then it already is.

    • The legacy system has not been fully implemented, rather.

      I apologise for any other spelling or grammatical mistakes I may have missed. I usually try and ensure there are no terrible ones in my writting but I’m super tired at the moment and may have missed a few.

  • I’m really enjoying it, even if I’ve had to stop playing for the next month or so due to travel.

    The story and voice acting are excellent, it can be played essentially as a single-player game (which I usually appreciate) and quests are always driven by an excellent mini-storyline.

    My major gripes would be with the level design of some of the planets, they move from being small corridors to enormous open plains and deserts (Taris, say) that are an absolute chore to move through. Enemies attack every minute or so, the map is enormous and travelling to quest locations inevitably means churning through tons of aggravating combat.

    Space combat is also enormously fun.

    I’m only up to level 25 on my Knight, but I’ve really enjoyed it so far.

  • The story line behind the game is absolutely brilliant, I would expect nothing less from Bioware. It’s the first MMO that I have personally played in which my goal isn’t to rush to endgame content but to instead enjoy the journey getting there. I love the additional companion missions when you have enough affection with them, it helps to understand their background and likes with dialogue choices.

    Although I have yet to reach end game the Sith Sorcerer is a lot of fun, a damage / healer caster that can do a surprising amount of damage when in a healing spec. For those casters out there looking to what class to roll the Sorcerer is a great class to be, it also offers some dialogue options such as shocking your victims for information or just for fun in some circumstances.

    I’m currently playing on The Swiftsure as Sith which as far as I’m aware is the unofficial Oceanic server, although most of the community is helpful there are a few bad eggs that unfortunately enjoy spamming general chat with racial slurs causing many conflicts between Australian and American players on that server.

    The space missions are a great addition and a nice break to the monotonous grinding / fetching side quests that all MMO’s have. The feel of the space missions is very much like Star Fox 64 and yes it even includes barrel rolls. Although constantly repeating space missions for dailies can get annoying at times, especially if you have already done it 15+ times.

    A lot of people are constantly complaining about bugs and downtime but the fact is it’s a new game supporting over a million players. Bugs are to be expected and Bioware are doing everything they can to resolve these issues as soon as possible.

    The Swiftsure can have queues upwards of 1 hour however this should hopefully subside if they bring out Oceanic servers in March. I have heard talk of theses Oceanic servers possibly being hosted in Australia which would be amazing. I’ve found this time to actually be pretty useful to do some stuff around the house before losing myself in the game for hours on end only to realise what felt like 1 hour turned out to be 5.

    At the end of the day this is a brilliant game for fans of Star Wars or for newcomers to the series, it has diverse combat between melee and casters and the potential to be a long standing MMO. Bioware have truly done a brilliant job with this MMO and it can only improve from here, definitely worth playing however be warned it’s highly addictive.

  • I just started playing it last night. My 5 hours or so of experience with TOR so far? Get it. At very least, try it. It absolutely does the KOTOR franchise justice. It’s a bit odd for me, getting into an MMO again (no pause or save like others have said lol), but the solid story-based RPG foundation is there and that’s all I care about. And there are 8 separate single-player story-lines to explore! This is going to keep me occupied for some time. =)

  • I played a bit in the Beta, so the first thing I will do is go over a few things that have been inproved… and by a few things, I mean 1 thing.

    Convos. In the beta it took 20-30 seconds to ‘load’ the convo. Retail is less than 10, some times instent with the same ping/latensy, so I am very thankfull for that.

    I have a lvl 29 Trooper Commando, and am going thorough the story. I am playing the game not as an MMO, but rather as a story game with co-op, becuse thats really what this game is.

    The *Flashpoints are AWSOME. I have gone though a few, and am in a decent guild, so where always looking for a Flashpoint here and there. The Heroics are pritty well set up too. Having each plant have a few is very nice.

    The one thing I think is a little dissapointing is the lack of a galexy wide chat channle. Each planet is closed to the others. Guild chat and Party/Group chat I think are the only ones around.

    I can easly see my self playing though each classes story. Infact I think if you don’t do that, your missing out on part of the game. Each class has there own story, so not playing them all is a wast of your moeny.

    I also think this will be the first MMO where I will get a avitar to the top lvl, so thats saying something.

    There are a few bugs here and there, one of witch could kill you if you have Epalepsy…. But other than that, its all good. XD

    Also, the lack of Swoop Racing is very disapointing.

    The Space combat is VERY good, and is a bit of fresh air if your tired of questing.

    Overall, an awsome game with potential: 8/10

    *Flashpoint is basicly a 4 player dungen

  • I’d just like to add

    As someone who HATES storyline… lol (I find my fun in just completing missons.. not reading/hearing about why I am doing it)

    I have been enjoying my smugglers class questline, I don’t like any of the dialogue during them. (I spam spacebar + 1 during side quests though).

    I have only played for roughly 10hrs all up (work.. etc) but I can’t wait to get back into the story.
    I love how the loading screen does a little up-to-date story on your class quest. 😀

  • I haven’t gotten there yet, but the space combat is apparently very ‘Rebel Assault’… and I’m good with that.

  • For those of us who have been around MMO’s for quite some time, the fancy tricks and VO dont trick us at all.

    The combat is fairly standard, but the AE is absolutely stock standard, I’ve yet to come across and enemy that has challenged me or had to make me think on how I approach it (lvl 34 Trooper).

    Also, the re-playability is very low, considering that you will be going through all the same quests if you roll another character. Yes, you will have a different story than another class, but that story is a surprisingly small part of the game when compared to the other quests you do as you level up, and you’re usually forced to go through the normal quests to be of sufficient level for your story quests.

    Another thing about the quests that bothered me is that a vast majority of the quests are all ‘Kill X amount of enemies’ and this trend seems to continue all the way to max level, with the only variation in gameplay coming from doing PvP or Space missions.

    Companions also feel like a hassle sometimes, they are nice to have along and heal/tank/dps for you, but their effectiveness depends on two things… their gear, and your ‘presence’ stat. So instead of just having to worry about gearing yourself… you know have to gear up to 4 other characters as well. (Trooper seems to be the best in this regards since most use Heavy Armor with same stats requirements as you) And you also have to cater their gear to stats which are usually different from the ones you need, and it just because a whole ‘nother grind.

    I was hoping for more from this game, and I’ve come away dissapointed. An excellent effort, but all the grind traps, some pretty major bugs which have been ruining the economy and the lifeless worlds have forced me to resign from this game in disgust.

  • Ok damn you all.
    Here I was thinking I could blithely ignore SWTOR because it is a MMO.
    And I have never been in to MMO’s.
    However, from what everyone is saying this doesn’t sound like your normal MMO play style. So this has definitely got me interested.
    But I still have Skyrim to tackle and not to mention possibly D3.
    Damn you all for making me think about another time-sink game.

  • Any word on crafting/professions?

    Levelling up in WoW was easy for me, even in vanilla – but I really enojoyed grinding rep/professions/weapon skills I was never going to use/etc. I am yet to see anything that will make me think TOR is going to be “challenging”, but if I can hit level cap and then craft some top gear from obscure patterns, then I might just give it a shot.

    Also, any SW expanded universe lore fans playing this game? I’ve seen a lot so far that seems to suggest the writers don’t actually know Star Wars (particuarly the KOTOR games, sadly…) If I do start playing will I just become frustrated? I’ve already had one recommendation to forget everything about Star Wars if I want to play – but that friend is prone to exaggeration.

  • Good game but god damn if it is not linear as hell. Played a Trooper to 50 and not really enthused to go through all the same quests again on republic. Sure the class story will be different but that is actually quite a small percentage of all the quests etc. Still going to be doing 90% of the exact same stuff. I guess I could play Empire but again once you have a char to 50 it’s going to be all the same again.
    For me personally it suffers the same as Rift, too linear. As much as I am not a fan of WoW I do appreciate that you can play multiple characters to 60 and you have options on where to quest. Not until Outlands and beyond it gets linear.

  • What’s the system demand for the old republic, while i am planning on building a decent desktop (one day) at the moment i’m limited to a laptop. I can run WoW and Starcraft II quite happily on it but it begins to chug after a while on most modern games.

  • Im only level 30 at the moment but I have to comment that I’m really enjoying this game, It feels more like a 4 player Coop game than an MMO so far though.

    I also wanted to note that I really loved wow, But I can’t find much to compare between the two.

    I got much much more out of the game when playing with friends but the experience rapidly degrades if one of your friends gets ahead as so far all the quests have been a chain so you can’t really play with your friends if one is 2 or 3 quests ahead of you.

    What I’m trying to say is I love the game and haven’t felt this compelled to play a game since wow first came out. Its buggy and has the issues listed above but overall its outstanding and continues the KOTOR universe in an excellent way.

    PS. If you don’t like MMOs just think of it as a single player game with 8 campaigns.

    • I just wanted to add they really should have ripped off everything to do with WoW’s interface, that is something Blizzard have been refining for 8 years and they have really nailed it in terms of responsiveness and ease of use.

      The best word I can think of to describe the UI in star wars is “Clunky”, and thats being VERY generous.

  • One thing to mention…Revan…besucas that im a lvl50 jug on the crucible pit server, I’m now lost 🙁 make sure you do the endgame normal flashpoints before the hard ones else prepare to die..a lot!

  • One thing to mention…Revan…besucas that im a lvl50 jug on the crucible pit server, I’m now lost 🙁 make sure you do the endgame normal flashpoints before the hard ones else prepare to die..a lot! :'(

  • I never played an MMO in my life, and never planned to. But as a Star Wars fan I wanted to check out TOR. I am level 20 Jedi Sentinel and all I can tell you is I love the game. Its simply fun. And it really plays like a Single Player campaign with online components. If you are a star wars fan, the story is great and involving if you allow yourself to get into. I can understand how some can see the game as linear, underneath it all it is, but the quality in presentation allows you to forget that, again if you choose to. Comparing it to WoW or other MMOs is really silly since they are completely different games that have somewhat of the same foundation, but even that can be argued to ad infinitum. Whats the point?

    I will probably play all 8 character types just for the story alone. Yes the missions will repeat, but to me the action is so much fun you dont mind blasting something you blasted before.

    In terms of negatives, I do question what happens after level 50, there really isnt a ‘world’ to play in and only offers flashpoints and operations… both of which I am not into. If BioWare can expand the world (like space exploration), tweak the asset management, and deliver quality content on a consistent basis I will be a subscriber for some time.

    I missed out on Star Wars Galaxies, but from what I read they had the ‘world’ down right but failed in the execution. BioWare has the execution in my mind and just needs to develop the ‘world’ to make the perfect star wars game (for me at least)

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!