Pointless Nonsense

Posted in video games by Bill on January 15, 2016

swtorStar Wars: The Old Republic is Bioware’s Star Wars MMORPG that I’m playing as if it were a single player game. It’s pretty solid, with basically all the usual Bioware stuff. Dialogue wheel, assemble companions, bang one, etc.

I’ve been doing the free-to-play content, and at least up to level 50, with what appears to be the game’s original content, the annoyances are minor. To progress further, I’ll have to pay. Which, I like it enough to do so. The Jedi Knight story is good enough, and I’m told the Sith Agent one is better, so I’m going to try that one for free as well (after probably playing The Witcher 2). Then, I guess pick whichever one I like playing more to do the advanced content once I start paying.

Not unlike Fallout 4, the romance bit was a little underwhelming. In FO4, it was because you could romance them all, while here, at least in the Jedi Knight story, my choice was either to bang the one girl, or no one at all. The games where I’ve really enjoyed it is where I have options and pick (sometimes after agonizing over it) the one I like. I actually did like the one girl in the Jedi Knight story fine, but if I’d had another female crew member to reject, somehow that would have made it better. I guess because I’d feel like this was my choice, and other players would make their own (wrong) choice.

I do find it extremely annoying that you often are sent to a planet to do one thing, like to the planet where the Jedi Council meets to talk to them. So you pick that planet on the galaxy map and a quick “flying the ship” cutscene you’re there. Except when you exit the ship (after a loading screen), you’re at an orbital docking station. So you run/speeder across the orbital docking area, take an elevator down, run/speeder across the main level of the station to a shuttle, then you have another loading screen and you’re actually on the planet. You do this a half a dozen times just for the Jedi Council world, it happens other places too. And the docking station never has anything of importance in it, except sometimes a person to talk to to initiate a quest. Which they could definitely have on the regular planet, couldn’t they? And skip the docking station business entirely? Unless it turns out that subscribing lets you skip it. That’d be mean to do that to us freeloaders.

They frequently design dungeon type areas so that you have to walk all the way back out through an empty dungeon. Most modern games design dungeons to have some kind of direct exit from the end part of the dungeon. The only reason I can think for this is that subscribers have more frequent access to a “fast travel” function, while freeloaders can only use it once every 26 minutes, so I have to be careful to use it wisely. But even then, the fast travel destinations are limited, so I think even paying players are going to have to choose between a long walk out of a dungeon, or a long speeder ride from the fast travel point to the next area on your agenda.

But basically 95% of my enjoyment was story/character related, 5% was running around with two lightsabers. The actual combat is… slightly more entertaining than the first KotOR game, but not by much. In every fight but the final one against the Emperor, I could just hit buttons repeatedly and eventually kill whatever I was up against. From about level 20 on, my real tactical decisions were about how to get to the end of a dungeon area with as few fights as possible. Seeing if I could hug a wall to avoid triggering combat with an enemy, because it’d just slow down my story progression. Not a great thing in a game where you spend a lot of time fighting, but oh well.

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2 Responses

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  1. joseph jeong said, on January 18, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    Would I be able to convince you to give FF XIV a try? I failed with Krug and there is no free play option (they occasionally have a free trial for a few days during the holiday season though).

    • Bill said, on January 18, 2016 at 10:50 pm

      Nah, I’ve never played any FF games, and I try to avoid MMORPGs. This was a rare exception, because of star wars, bioware, and being able to ignore all the other players.


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