Star Wars: Return of the MMO

It was inevitable. After ending my MMO career months ago, I have returned with the release of Bioware’s “Star Wars: The Old Republic.”

Being the ginormous Star Wars geek that I am, this should come as no surprise to anyone.

In fact, my first MMO was Sony’s Star Wars Galaxies … a game I loved and hated. It had so many good points that I’ve never seen done in any other game … and then Sony managed to screw everything up, and Warcraft came out … and that ended that. My Warcraft career lasted entirely too long … don’t get me wrong, I loved it … but I’m just not that into the sword/sorcery genre, so after awhile, meh. The only game I tried after other than Warcraft was Age of Conan, which sucked so hard that Crom should have come out of his mountain and killed everyone who had a part in that game.

So, when I heard Bioware was coming out with this game, I was excited. Really, it could have been a game where you make Wookies poop, and I would have been excited. So, naturally, I pre-ordered, and have been hooked ever since.

Now, I have to admit, it took me a bit to get used to things. First of all, I HATE HATE HATE games that “channel” you through a story. My PS3 was the Metal Gear Solid edition, and that game made me want to punch babies. I couldn’t do anything I wanted to do. I wanted to outflank the enemy or snipe bad guys, and it would bark at me that I wasn’t doing things the way it was designed to work. Fuck that. I ended it after playing it on and off for about a week.

And Star Wars is *similar* to this. Each class has it’s own story. The first time you hear it, it’s interesting. Start a character of the same class because you want to do something differently, and it’s all BLAH BLAH BLAH after that. You hit the spacebar to get through, but it’s super annoying. I liked WoW’s “click and accept” quest system, which if you’re playing catch up (like I always do), you didn’t have to waste an assload of time waiting for the movies to load. Age of Conan was similar to this, and it drove me nuts.

Speaking of Age of Conan, the graphics in SWTOR reminded me A TON of Conan. The kinda herky jerky movement. The way the avatar ran on the roads. This probably has more to do with my current machine, which *barely* can play the game. But, I’m putting together a new system (just waiting on the motherboard), and we’ll see if I still think the same way after I get it all going.

But after getting more used to the game, I’m actually beginning to absolutely love it. It has its bugs, but I’ve never played a game that didn’t.

The thing that really has me hooked is the Light Side/Dark Side aspect of the game. Here’s what struck me the other day — playing a good guy is super easy. Rescue the children, help the people, get the girl, accept their praise and thanks and rewards. Bingo bango bongo. Done and done. Don’t even have to think.

But the Dark Side … the Dark Side is tough. My Trooper is going Dark Side, just cause. I’ve threatened to shoot a child in front of a woman. I’ve been called a monster. Cruel. Callous. If you have a conscious at all, the game makes you feel bad about being a bad guy. And that’s awesome.

You can stay neutral and just be more of a mercenary, but I haven’t tried that route yet. In fact, there’s a lot to this game that I haven’t tried yet. Being held back by an old computer stinks. (Let me phrase it this way: If I walk into an enclosed area, my FPS drops to like 12, and it’ll take me 10 minutes to get out the bunker or single room house. And forget trying to play a melee class, or in a group. The complex at Menett Point took me probably an hour to get through what is likely a 15 minute quest.)

However, I can tell you that I probably will be hooked playing this game for the next 6 months (at least), and this could be the beginning of a brand new addition.

Thank you Bioware.

I think.


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