• Star Wars: The Old Republic


    Are you ready for Star Wars: The Old Republic launch?

    The final weekend beta test is complete. The theme for this past beta test was server load testing. Over all I think things went incredibly well as far as server load. I was on the recieving end of one particular lag spike in the middle of fighting in an heroic instance, While I suffered no lag, the three others with me did, and I suddenly pulled all aggro, hence a bloody gruesome death resulted.

    My first hand impressions of the game are mixed based on making it to level 21 with one toon. The story arc for each class that I tested were very good indeed. The beginning quests were well thought out, and it seemed one was always moving forward.

    Graphically, even though I was running everything at medium levels, the game didn't disappoint. After realizing that I wasn't getting any video lag with all of the players on server, I increased some of the settings. While I was only able to get 59 fps, there were times I got as low as 10 fps. This was simply solved by system reboot. I did some digging after the weekend, and would recommend based on what I found, that it might be best if you are running Windows 7 and are using their "Aero Themes", that you switch that over to Windows Classic. While it is in the background while you run your programs it is still using video resources that would be best utilized for the game itself. I will report if there is a diffence once the game is launched.

    To me it seemed the classes that I played were well balanced in amongst the other classes. But having only reached level 21 I will be curious how loot drops and crafters start making it more realistic and slightly off balanced.

    I really enoyed the Heroic instances in this game. They were engaging and fairly fast paced, and thankfully many are repeatable. Now my impression is there are only 2 types of heroic instances, the first you will encounter is leaving Carrick Station that being the Esseles which is a Heroic 2 instance, meaning they recommend that you have at least two players, but as many as 4 for a maxed group. Blaster mentioned he solo'd the entire instance until the last boss with a toon slightly higher than the instance level. Next would be the Heroic 4 instances, where it was recommended you enter them with a full group.

    Now on to my dislikes of the game.

    My previous statements about the heroics notwithstanding, I don't like a cap of 4 players for a full group. Not from the standpoint of them being difficult, in most cases they weren't, but rather from the standpoint of it being exclusionary. Over the weekend Blaster, Cainbo, Jenni, and myself grouped for these instances, and on a number of occasions another person on the ventrilo channel who was the same level asked if we needed help and we had to reject him because we were full. With all that being said I understand adding an additional player into a group would likely make these instances far too easy, but I'm sorry I felt bad turning away a guild member from participating. Could we have run it multiple times? Yeah we could.

    In some cases when quest givers are in the middle of their cut-scene giving you their background for the quest, there were pauses that seemed to be lengthy. Will have to see if this was simply because of it being a beta test or they were pausing it for subtitle reading. (thankfully, by the actions of my cat, during a cut scene you can move through them fast by using the space bar, especially if you're going through the same quests from a previous toon)

    Which brings me to my next point. I quite prefer previous MMO's where the starting area's are segregated by race. (no I'm not a racist). There are only two starting areas and those are based on your class. While the story line for each class is slightly different, and you have class questing area's that are yours and yours alone for the most part, the scenery isn't going to change as you add more alts into your grind. The only reason I don't like this, is simply because once you reach level 9 or 10 and you leave your starting areas, you have no choice but to go to Coruscant after you get your crew professions and additional class training from Carrick station. And then the grind begins, because everyone of your toons will likely follow the same path of quests with the class quests being treated as mainly side quests.

    Overall I liked this game and am interested in seeing what the end game is going to look and feel like. I'm interested in experiencing the raiding aspect of the game as well, but to be honest I haven't done much raiding in previous MMO's and likely won't if the elitist mentality comes to the game. I didn't try PVP so I can't comment on what the balance is like between the Imperials and Republic.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Star Wars: The Old Republic started by View original post
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