Lit The Old Republic MMO: The New Official Thread

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    To be fair to TOR, looking back there wasn't that much choice in KOTOR either really... sure, for side quests you could either let someone live or kill them, but as far as the main story went...? Yeah, you could either save the Republic or become Darth Revan again, but that stuff all just came down to what happened when you fought Bastila. 90% of your gameplay experience during a replay was always the same though.

    KOTOR2 was totally different (which is why to this day I still love KOTOR 2 :p) but most of the "choice" in BioWare games is an illusion more than anything. KOTOR1 may "feel" totally different replaying it as a "different character", but the game doesn't really change much on any fundamental level at the end of the day. Which is why I do love BioWare as a developer, but a lot of what they do is just in the presentation of their stories, and how they make you "think" your choices are mattering. That's why the ME3 ending caused such a ruckus, as BioWare failed in what is normally their biggest skill: fooling the player into thinking they're making a real difference.

    If I had an issue with the "illusion of choice" in TOR, I'd actually put it down to the limited skill customisation, as all the backtalk and snide dialogue options in the world only mean so much without being able to back them up with a Force choke or blast of lightning. It's the raw gameplay choice that made KOTOR different I think, more so than the story choices themselves. In KOTOR, you felt like you were Darth Revan again; in TOR, you're just a smartassed Jedi who's still only going to just Force push you.

    This is why I think Sith Lightsiders feel more fun, as characters like Vestara always still use their Force lightning, even when trying to be good, but Jedi who want to act like badasses normally very quickly fall foul of dark side powers -- which is what you can't do in TOR.
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Oct 10, 2012
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  2. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    I'd say the one Bioware game where choice is much more than illusion is Dragon Age: Origins. Overall, they knocked that one out of the park.

    Even so, I absolutely agree that it's more about the presentation than anything. KOTOR, for me, is near infinitely replayable, though you're right in that not much changes from playthorugh to playthrough. Same thing for the Mass Effect trilogy as a whole; there is just enough change throughout the three games that each playthrough does feel distinct, even though they are the same basic games.

    Even so, on the "choices mattering" field, nothing beats Planescape: Torment. Which I'm still working on beating.
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  3. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    Many of the 'consequences of choice' in TOR are expressed through all the various emails you get after completing one or another quests. In my perspective this very simply shows that Bioware wanted to have a large quantity of meaningful choices in the storyline, but simply couldn't find a way to budget them. Keep in mind that, for the most part, any choice of great significance bifurcates a storyline and requires massively more work to all subsequent parts. Thus choices cost money, which makes them hard to implement. As instantdeath mentioned Planescape: Torment does indeed have the title locked up, but that game is also the all-time leader in 'walls of exposition text' (and that's coming from someone who loves Torment and beat it four times).
  4. Esg Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 4
  5. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I've played the Sith Inquisitor campaign (Light Side) and am currently playing the Imperial Agent (Light Side).

    I think both campaigns lack the tightness of a KOTOR3 but are overall VERY impressive. I think, however, the game could have really used some deeper writing on certain points like what it means to be a Light Sided Sith Lord on the Sith Council. Either that or what it means being a idealistic champion of good...working for the Sith.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Oct 21, 2012
  6. JStepp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2011
    star 2
    Well I don't want to spoil the party, but I just thought I'd chime in with my opinion. I'm pretty disapointed in TOR, it never really clicked for me, I tried really hard to get into it, but I just couldn't. That being said I will probably give it another try when it goes F2P because hey its star wars and its free. But anyways I am an RPG fan and one of those annoying people who would rather of had KOTOR 3 with a totally different story. I also am disapointed with Biowared in general DA2 was a step backward from DAO imho. And ME3's endings and the way Bioware handled the fans and the forums really turned me off. Which really sucks because Bioware and Bethesda have been my favorite gaming companies for years. Well at least I still have Bethesda come on Fallout 4, please don't be an mmo. :(

    Edit:
    BTW a little off topic but has anybody played the Restored and Remastered KOTOR 2 mod? It makes KOTOR 2 truly epic! Anyways is there any discussion of KOTOR 2 in the TOR storylines. I only played part of the Jedi Knight story.
    I really hated the character models.
    Last edited by JStepp, Oct 21, 2012
  7. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    Frankly, in retrospect, I think the game might have worked a little better if they'd avoided trying to make quest campaigns out of everything and instead made the gameworld open-world. Instead of one singular Jedi Knight and Jedi Consular story, the story might have benefited from having Starting Zones and stories but nothing really beyond that and letting players fill in their own blanks.
    That may be blasphemy, however.
    I do think, however, there's something wrong with the Imperial Agent Starting Story being, "oh yeah, you need to make these Hutts like you."
    It lacks...drama.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Oct 21, 2012
  8. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    How do they play light side? You touched on it not going much into being a light side Dark Councilor, but I'm curious if you feel it seems to be designed with you playing a dark side character in mind. From my brief experience playing a light side Sith Warrior (the main Sith Warrior I have is a dark sider who occasionally makes a decision that isn't entirely monstrous, like taking Vette's collar off, but I did try a light side one for curiosity sake), it seems really odd. Somewhat cool to play a character that differs so significantly from their peers, but you have to wonder... how the hell would your Sith masters not have noticed this noble streak and stamped it out? I suppose being one of the most gifted Sith in decades could help with that, though.

    I disagree on that, actually. The Agent has one of my favorite openings, particularly because it is so self contained in comparison to the others, and really captures what the Agent is all about. Just a mission, before the quest line kicks into high gear. Plus, the thing that excited me about the Agent most when I first read about them was the thought of playing as a double agent, and the opening delivers on that fairly well. The character changing accents was a very nice touch.

    I have, but only as a lightsider. Fantastic addition. I really want to play a dark side female and see what happens when you set Atton and Mical against each other.

    And... character models? I've seen quite a few complaints about TOR, but that's a new one.
    Last edited by instantdeath, Oct 22, 2012
  9. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    For me, it feels that the Dark Side and Light Side for the Sith Inquisitor isn't that big of a change. At the end of the day, your motivations and actions are functionally identical. The only difference seems to be that Sith Inqusitor LS pays for things, doesn't randomly torture people, and honors agreements.

    It says a lot about how the developers see the Sith that everyone is stunned you're not randomly stomping on puppies.

    LS Sith Inquisitor is still desiring to rule the Universe and achieve UNLIMITED power. He's just not stopping to kick people in the junk along the way.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Oct 22, 2012
  10. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Yeah, don't think of it as a "light side" Sith or even necessarily a "less dark" Sith. It's just a Sith who isn't a total ****.
  11. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I was really intrigued with the Revanite Sith and would have loved to have had their role developed more. Of course, I understand why that's impossible given you have the option of destroying them after a short time knowing them.

    I did like playing the Light Side Sith during the Balmorra arc and the captured Republic scientist kept expecting me to betray him at every interval, right up until I went out of my way to make sure he got home to the Republic. His genuine shock as he realized I was serious in honoring my agreement was kind of moving.
    Last edited by Charlemagne19, Oct 22, 2012
  12. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    The Revanites == poking fun at fanboys, obviously. :p
  13. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    I actually like the self contained stroies.

    I am not a fan of open world, Espcecially after GW2 which is a great game, But if an event occurs any your instance point is in the center of it you are SOL if there are few people in the area.

    I dont think the on line theme park model would work with starwars.
  14. JStepp Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 10, 2011
    star 2
    Funny I would call SWTOR a theme park model. It feels like if I am following a path at a crowded theme park. Although I guess now there are much fewer players.
  15. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I hope that Old Republic manages to pull out of its current troubles but I'm not certain. I think a major part of its problems boil down to the fact that the game feels very much like someone crafted six PC games together and called it an MMORPG. I absolutely love the games I've played but I'm not sure it's an infinite fun-time.

    It occurs to me those complaints about starfighters might have been right. If they had just, essentially, included TIE fighter/X-wing (updated graphics), they could have had a PVP location that never went out of style. Likewise, I'd like them to have ripped off (of all places) Star Trek Online possibly with a random world generator.

    "There's a Dark Jedi committing atrocities/A Jedi Knight plotting terrorism against the Empire - go kill him."
    "Gammorean slavers have stolen Imperial/Republic property."
    Etc etc.
  16. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    My impression is similar, though not exactly the same. If feel more like they grafted together 2 games: a set of multiple story-scenarios (the level 1-50 experience for each class) and a modest MMO (the level 50 experience). The real issue is that there is really no reason whatsoever to enter into groups until reaching level 50 except pure personal desire. Yes, you can acquire marginally better gear via group activities, especially through flashpoints, but you don't need to do so, the game is not sufficently difficult that getting anything of that kind really makes anything appreciably easier (and in fact most classes can reliably solo Heroic 2+ missions for most of the storyline).

    This prevents the formation of natural bonds and groups, and leads to people artificially cohering when it suddenly becomes necessary to function as a group at level 50. I got asked to join several guilds using different characters, but I never joined a guild out of a desire to play with a particular group, but instead out of a need to use a guild as a vehicle to accomplish end game content. That particular content, while quite cool, also gets awfully repetitive pretty fast - farming daily commendations is a well balanced system, but its perhaps the blandest possible way to approach it.
  17. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Still having not played TOR yet, the whole repetitive daily farming stuff sounds awfully like what I remember when I played WoW... and which was the reason WoW endgame held no interest for me either. I stopped playing WoW shortly before the Lich King patch, as I got bored stiff of pointless filler like the Coliseum patch.

    But how come TOR is getting so much hate for it, when people are still obsessively playing WoW? Does WoW do something better these days, or are people just more tolerant of it in WoW than TOR?

    Same question really in regards to Charles' awesome idea for randomised PvP planets, as while I know TOR just has the fixed Warsone areas, isn't that no different to the Battlegrounds in WoW?
    Last edited by Zorrixor, Oct 23, 2012
  18. Cronal Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2009
    star 4
    WoW though reached the top of the MMO pyramid once it was made and after that so many claimed that they had made a WoWkiller yet failed. Really, I doubt anyone would get bored with it and more people tend to be forgiving of it. The latest Mists of Pandaria release has said to even had attracted more subscriptions. As for TOR... I hope to play it and I really feel the creators did an amazing job to graft a full blown storyline into an MMO but I feel it will never be appreciated by quite a few MMO players. Don't know why but I have seen like four or five videos on Youtube where people talk about why they quit TOR and one of the TOR fan sites has its creator say he has quit the game. Not sure what the factor is though that causes people to quit it.
  19. KamSolusar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2001
    star 2
    From what I hear, that's pretty much how it ended up in its poor state at launch. Different teams working on different aspects of the game with too little coordination and thoughts about how to seemlessly put all the different parts together. When someone in management finally woke up and realized how much money they had already spent on this, they threw together all the different parts (rather clumsily IMO), nixed various features and had to postpone most of the polishing work until after launch.

    Seems like Bioware had little interest in the multiplayer part, so many features that would encourage social interaction, teamwork and community building are lacking or outright missing. Whereas other developers realized long ago that games with active communities encourage players to play more often and even log in when there's no new content - just to meet friends, chat and have some fun with them - Bioware didn't even have separate forums for the various servers.

    Add to that the fact that there's no incentive to explore the world (after you did all the quests, you've probably already seen all there is to see of the small levels) or revisit locations after you completed the quests there; stale, static worlds; loads of boring loading screen when traveling between worlds; no non-combat activities (games, racing, etc..) to have fun with other players when you're not leveling or doing your daily missions; and you'll see why many MMO players left for good. And now they're adding F2P features to a theme park game that was never designed with such a gaming style in mind - that's not going to be easy, especially now that they have significantly fewer developers (and probably a lower budget).
  20. Likewater Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2009
    star 4
    Racing? Non combat grouping?

    Besides Eve Online I have never played a MMORPG with non combat related grouping.

    I mean MoP seems to be doing the pet combat which is i guess non combat grouping. Hell the most peopular game franchise for "gamers" seem to be FPS pvp/multiplayer games Like Halo and Various Modern Warfare clones. Besides crafting GW2 doesent have any non combat grouping, I mean WvW seems to be its most popular feature, I heard people wait for hours to que up for it. I dent to go for pve and story.

    I have gotten to level 73 in GW2 and ORR has been a pain in the backside. as a martial artist my Dojo main adult classes take place between 7-"8" (not uncommon to en a 9 or 9:30), or 8 to 10 or sometimes 11.

    So at times Its like a brick wall with the insane respawn times, and the close clustering of enemies, and that intentional. its the theampark model. And theampark are fun unelss you want to get into a story and there is not alot of people in a zone, then it can be a pain.

    In MMORPGs it seems that Good game play and great story seem to be concepts that are often at odds.
    Last edited by Likewater, Oct 23, 2012
  21. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    1. Many people who go to TOR are Bioware fans hoping for a more traditional RPG experience (as, I'll admit, I was), or looking for KOTOR III. They are likely quite disappointed in having to deal with MMO tropes and conventions. I myself dislike them, but I do feel TOR does the best job of subverting them of any MMO I have played, WOW included. It should be noted that I have not had the chance to try Guild Wars 2.

    2. People, particularly gamers, are naturally hypocritical :)

    Absolutely false :p WOW suffers from many of the problems TOR does, but the fact that it was "first" in a sense (not actually first, but for an overwhelming number of people, it was the first MMORPG they played), I think, cements its reputation nicely. Plus, for many I know who play, it's got a nostalgia factor. And WOW does experience a high number of cancelled subscriptions, as every MMO does, but it has such a large build in fanbase that it's not as noticeable. Also, many people who quit MMO's end up renewing their subscriptions months later.

    And actually, so far Mists of Pandaria sales have been said to be disappointing in comparison to Cataclysm.

    I do find the MMO gameplay style can grow old. TOR manages to hold my interest due to the addition of story, but even with it I take frequent breaks with it. Stuff like WOW just isn't for me; I can't understand how levels, exp and loot can be enough to hold ones interest in a game for such a long amount of time. Well, Bethesda open world games are fun, but I've never been particularly addicted to Skyrim or Fallout either.
    Last edited by instantdeath, Oct 23, 2012
  22. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2005
    star 5
    I dunno..from what I have seen, some of the lightside Sith options are pretty interesting. Like that bit on Kaas where you find the recordings of a Sith Lord who independently rediscovered the light side of the force. And I remember there being an entire plotline for a LS Sith Warrior to track down other LS inclined Sith, protect them from the Empire's agent, and put together something of a secret reform party.
  23. CaptainPeabody Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2008
    star 2
    WoW always wins because Blizzard simply does the same stuff a little bit better and more consistently than everyone trying to copy them. They've had ten years of practice at producing consistent, fairly high quality content quickly, and ten years to polish their game and innovate the basic experience, plus they have a massive community already in place to draw people in and keep them there. One of the most common reasons you'll hear from people quitting TOR and other Wow-killer games is not that they hate the WoW formula or MMOs in general, but simply that if they're going to be playing the WoW formula (and paying WoW prices), they'd rather play the better, faster, more polished version that all of their friends play...which just happens to be WoW itself.

    No one's gonna kill WoW at this point; when it dies, it will do so of old age, nothing else (though I expect that to take a while). There's plenty of room for innovative MMOs in the market, but Blizzard's gonna remain king of their niche.
  24. Cronal Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2009
    star 4
    Perhaps a wrong choice of words on my part there :p But I have seen quite a few people who have quit WoW in the past and just end up going back into it all over again. This is even more so the case with Mists of Pandaria as I have read comments on forums about people saying they would be giving the expansion a go. Whether thats true or not, I can only guess but there did seem to be an interest there. TOR interests me for story content which is why I plan on getting it but I do get concerned with the game at times.
  25. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    That is partly true, but it also seems many MMO players would prefer to stick with that formula, rather than try something new. Guild Wars 2 and TOR both share a similar formula to WOW, of course, but in my opinion they both do a few rather significant things differently. However, it's a similar situations like shooters. Many die hard Call of Duty fans (may the gods have mercy on their souls) I know play practically every shooter that comes out, play the online for a bit... and eventually return to Call of Duty, because it's familiar, it has the built in fanbase, and despite my personal criticisms of it, it does what it does very well.

    Frankly, for this reason I feel Bioware should have embraced the fact that it's essentially six RPG storylines meshed into one. They obviously put the fact that it's an MMO first, and from a logical standpoint one can't fully fault them for that... but I feel they would have catered to their audiences, Bioware and KOTOR fans, in a more effective way if they had ramped up the traditional RPG elements. Even if it turns out an RPG that happens to be online, I think it would be better received by some fans of other Bioware games.