Review of Star wars the old republic MMO
Gameplay and Graphics:
Being a long time star wars fan, I can't tell you how excited I was to play this game. Playing it since beta, I was highly impressed with the graphics in this game. I really felt like I was wielding a light saber and saving the galaxy while leveling. I was a little disappointed that it was set 100s of years before the movies; however, once playing it that all changed. The game play is great to say the least, the only true problem I have found is in order to be competitive and get through all the content is to learn a solid rotation that can be quite large and require you to learn a lot of moves. This game is not for someone who is looking to master a character by learning just a few moves and repeating them over and over.
Once you are done leveling if you played early on like I did you found there wasn't a whole lot to do at level 50, the gear grind was a challenge to say the least. Unlike most MMO's swtor made it extremely difficult to get in the next level of gear due to their level 50 content. For example most of the content required you to have higher gear to get higher level gear, so say your in level 49 gear and you wanted to take down a level 50 flashpoint to earn level 50 gear, the game makes it a hard grind because most of the boss fights required that you already had level 50 gear in order to beat it. Obviously it was doable and we did beat it to start getting guys gear. As a guild we were able to gear a few of us and then walk guys through these flashpoints to gear up and get ready for the two Ops they had in place at the time. Since Swtor has added many more raids; however, they seem to always only have two that drop gear you need.
The first two operations (raids, ops) allowed players in the right gear at just about any skill level to get through them. Since they have made it so many lower skilled players are no longer able to complete the hard mode content even though they would like to run it, alienating some of their core players. Swtor has added a lot of new flashpoints that still allow anyone to group up and get through them, keeping something for every level of player.
Swtor goes F2P:
It is common knowledge that swtor lost a lot of members early on for various reasons, none probably more important that they spent all their time in the leveling area and had little to no level 50 content. The f2p option brought back a lot of customers to swtor and kept the game thriving to this day. The problem we found with this is now rather than new content all the time we get new pay to play options from their cartel market, which completely alienated the crafters in the game. All the new outfits, mounts, and general bonus's are bought through their cartel market, which has kept the game making money. I completely understand this; however, what about the crafters. For example crafters can make level 50 crystals that give 41 power to a weapon, the cartel market now offers this same stat but can be used at level 10. Swtor launched its ability to add various colors to your outfit which crafters could make; however, they then launched rare colors that you could only get from the cartel market.
Negatives about the game:
1. Crafting is almost obsolete, augments and augment kits are the only thing worth crafting at this point.
2. Gear is often not optimal for your character and you must replace certain pieces to optimize even when you get it from a drop.
3. Never more than 2 operations at a time that give the gear you are going for, really limiting which raids are worth running.
4. Operation lock outs prevent anyone from being able to farm the gear more than once a week.
5. flashpoint drops are often sub par.
Positives about the game:
1. Gameplay and feel are realistic and a lot of fun to play.
2. Being able to wear any gear skin is a huge advantage in this game.
3. Swtor offers events that range from once a month to once every three months that are really engaging and lot of fun as a group and as a single player.
4. Swtor offers a lot of achievement content for players to always have something to do.
5. Grouping up in swtor is very easy and a very engaging, keeping players on their toes and wanting to do it again and again.
Swtor had to potential to be so much more than what it has become, I understand its making money and is considered a success; however, that is at the cost of alienating crafters, and dedicated gamers. If you are a dedicated star wars fan and want the experience of using light sabers, or fighting abilities that seem very realistic this is a great game for that. If you are a traditional MMO player that expects to have challenging content and earn better gear, this game is going to disappoint. The com system in swtor allows players to buy top level gear that is sub par but the drops will not let you min -max your gear without getting the same piece a couple times to get the one piece you need. For example you may need a specific enhancement out of a piece of gear, that enhancement may only drop with the gloves.
Overall the excitement I had for the game is now gone; however, I am part of a gaming community called Aftermath, which will be staying with the game until its end. If you are interested in joining the game or just looking for a good group of guys to run raids with, join us at aftermathswtor.com