The Old Republic

“Young Padawan, you do not yet know the ways of the force.”

“Perhaps then, I shall teach her. Of course, those lessons won’t be too useful since you’ll both be dead.”

“Ah, if it isn’t a Sith Lord. The Dark side muddles your use of the Force. Surrender and allow the Light to guide you to redemption.”

“I’d rather die.”

“So be it.”

So yeah, I’ve been playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. For those not in the know, the storyline of SWTOR takes place about 3000 years before the rise of Darth Vader, so you won’t see him or any Skywalkers in this iteration of the Star Wars universe. Whether or not this is a good thing or not is kind of irrelevant. What is relevant is the game play and mechanics of the game that I’ve seen thus far.

As it currently stands, I have a level 32 Sith Assassin and level 28 Sith Marauder. I played as a Marauder during the last two beta weekend events, so I had a feel of the quest line I’d be experiencing up to Alderaan (~level 28) so I was able to level rather quickly.

It seems, though, at times that there are odd abnormalities in terms of difficulty for areas. Well, let me revise that. The enemies in-game are all given ratings based on how strong they are. Weak and standard enemies have no spell nameplates and are typically grouped in 2-3 or more mobs. They are susceptible to various mechanics such as stuns and so on.

Strong mobs feature a silver icon and border. This means they are typically immune to stun abilities but not crowd control abilities. They could be considered the equivalent of 2-3 weak/standard mobs. Thus they should be taken on with precaution in mind as getting more than 1 per pull may pose difficulty.

From there, there are elites. Elites display a gold icon and border. They pose more difficulty than strong mobs, but can vary in terms of actual difficulty based on the conditions of the environment and the player.

Then there are Champions. These could be considered semi-bosses. They typically can pose a threat and probably shouldn’t be attempted solo unless you have tanking ability with a healer companion or just plain absurd survivability and DPS.

Then there are bosses. They reside in Flashpoints or are world bosses.

With the mob classification out-of-the-way, next we’d look at how combat works. From what I’ve seen so far, there doesn’t appear to be an auto attack. So, SWTOR looks like a button spamming game. Not really sure if that’s a good thing or not, but if you ever get disconnected or AFK in a combat area, there’s a very good chance that if your companion doesn’t finish the mob off, you’ll return dead.

Speaking of companions, Companions are acquired NPCs that you can have accompany you as you complete missions (quests). You typically always get your first when you complete your initial quest on your starting planet. From there, you’ll gather more as you level. You can only have 1 out at  time, and they will act as “fillers” for party slots should you join a party but have less than the party limit (4). This way you can complete quests without having to find an absolutely full group. It’s a neat feature.

Likewise, you can have your companion perform crew skills. Essentially, crew skills are professions that allow you to create various things dependent on the skill. Cybertech, for instance, allows the player to create Armoring and Mods for armor and weapons. Orange quality items have slots you can fill with different parts which allow you to wear the same piece of armor (for appearance sake) all the way from level 1 to level 50. As long as you upgrade the parts of that piece, it can rival or exceed the “common” quest rewards. This system is neat in that you can tweak a piece to do essentially anything you want.

Weapons function the same way. Typically the top slot of custom items determine the item’s level. Putting a hilt in a lightsaber, for instance, will increase its level requirement (to match the hilt) and the damage of the saber.

When training crew skills, you only typically gain base skills. “Might Mod 2” would be by default a common item. By creating it, you can gain skill in Cybertech. But what’s interesting is that you can reverse engineer the parts to gain upgraded schematics of that part. Common (Green) would become Rare (Blue) which would then become Advanced (Purple).. I believe there is another version after that, Mastercraft or so.

My gripe with crew skills is that the “recommended” listed in Codex should really be changed to “required” since you’ll otherwise be unable to craft anything without those “recommended” skills. Blue quality parts are only available through mission skills (such as Underworld Trading or Treasure Hunting) and to get purple quality parts, you have to get lucky and hope the mission “crits” (yeah, missions can crit). Each mission has a basic fee you have to pay (starting at 95 credits and going up from there).

Anyway, this is getting long-winded, so I suppose I’ll cut it short here. *force choke*

  1. Just one more block… | Rantings of a Madman - pingback on March 11, 2012 at 3:18 am

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