SWTOR Beta Impressions

Below you’ll find my feelings about SWTOR based on the beta testing I have participated in for ~1 month.  I have no experience with the end-game, crafting, PvP (if you can’t predict the PvP you need to play more of these games) or much at all beyond the level 20 gameplay.  I felt no need to spoil the game for myself any further.  You’ll glean this from what I have to say later, but SWTOR is a predictable game and I am confident that I have judged it accurately, even with my limited experience.   I’ll be honest up front with you guys and tell you that I offer nothing ground-breaking by way of new information.  If you find my opinion helpful (whether it be we think alike or you know to think the opposite of me), then read on.

Note: I’ll break down individual mechanics, features and theorycraft about what they can improve upon after launch.


Overview (Read this, if nothing else)

SWTOR is a themepark through and through.  If you hate WoW for the kind of game that it is, don’t bother with SWTOR; however, if you simply hate WoW because it’s cool to hate WoW or you’re simply tired of playing in Azeroth, then you might want to give SWTOR a chance.

As a new game being released, SWTOR does nothing to change what we’re all familiar with in games.  It’s the same RPG story-telling we expect from Bioware and it’s the same WoW-clone we expect from MMO’s.  SWTOR does it well, though, and that’s where I justify wanting to play.

A line I have used in the past is, “If [MMO] is like WoW, but not better in any way, why not just play WoW?”  I like to use Rift as an example.  Rift is not a terrible game, but it does nothing better than WoW; content was boring, combat was stiff, etc.  That’s why I saw no reason to keep playing Rift.   SWTOR has fun and interesting PvE content that keeps me interested and wanting to see what happens next.  I’m confident that I will feel the drive to see every area and encounter the game offers.


Graphics, engine, atmosphere

The Hero Engine might already be showing its age.  I’m not very impressed with the quality of graphics.  They are inferior to WoW.  However, SWTOR might make up for graphics in atmosphere.  Use of vertical space is superb and in general I feel immersed in the experience of Star Wars. Hutta feels like a Hutt planet and you can tell immediately when the Empire owns a location.

Maybe it’s a beta issue, but when there are too many people playing it lags.  I’m hoping it’s from an optimization issue and not a sign that the engine can’t handle the load.

I have no UI complaints.  I don’t understand any hate for the chat since it works just fine for me.   I love the map.  I prefer minimalistic, so your mileage may vary.



Instancing and storytelling, SWTOR’s day-to-day content play

Bioware dialog options in a multiplayer setting works — it really works! (“It’s working!  It’s working!”) They have no excuses anymore for making their games not support LAN or multiplayer.  Seeing what other people choose based on their class, alignment, or how they want to respond to a conversation keeps dialog always fresh.  Unfortunately, or maybe it isn’t unfortunate but simply a reality, this is going to be a very magical experience the first time through but it won’t be in subsequent play-throughs.  I can already vouch for the starting experience being numb for me, whereas the first time through it was mind-blowing.

The story is fun (I say that in a general sense, I’ve played only Empire and mostly Bounty Hunter as a completely evil person).  At times I feel like they insert “kill X” crap but at least there is humor mixed in. The game os not as funny as KOTOR., i.e. there are no HK-47 moments of brilliance, but you’ll still laugh and enjoy the standard Bioware humor.   I was particularly impressed with being allowed to complete quests in different ways.  Right at the beginning of the Bounty Hunter story is the option to kill a guy or let him live.  You get to choose.  Not only that, you get to choose how you report what happened to the person you were sent to kill.  You can lie or tell the truth.  Other opportunities to extort more money or be a nice guy, accept or decline awards, and all that other Bioware dialog RPG stuff is in SWTOR.  It’s a decent upgrade from the standard quest turn in options.

SWTOR can feel lonely if you play by yourself.  The instancing is seamless when you transition to your private areas (those green instance walls you see in screenshots) but it can still feel like a very solo game.  Play with some buddies and the game feels a lot more social.  That sounds obvious, but even WoW feels like a solo game when you quest with friends because it’s mindless.


Classes and Races, companions, customization in general

Bioware did a good job with class selection.  I’ve enjoyed every class so far and I think they all feel very different.  I like their abilities, I like the lack of auto-attack, and I feel like, even though there are only a handful of classes, we have some diversity in how we’ll all play.  I can’t promise it will always make sense, though.  Bounty Hunter tanks, healing smugglers…. it’s weird.

Races suck.  I really hate them.  You can be blue people, red people, or just people.  I have no idea why Bioware has us restricted to the most human-like of the humanoids.  I’d rather be an Ithorian, Rodian, Bothan, Jawa, Wookie, Weequay, Trandoshan, Toydarian, Gamorrean, or Ugnaught! Most of these are NPC’s in the game, but not playable.   The ball has been dropped on this one.  Don’t get me wrong, this is the first time in a while you can change your weight, but this smells of corner cutting.

Some of the voice acting blows.  I can’t choose my character’s voice and it doesn’t match his body or personality.  Sometimes the voices feel like they’ve been added after the original recording and they aren’t spliced well or they’ve been recorded on a desktop mic.  I’ve submitted numerous in-game bug reports about them.

Companion characters are better than I thought they would be.  You get to customize their look with kits, give them stuff to use, and control their abilities quite a bit.  I like them.  I regret being so vocal against them a year ago.



Final thoughts (for this blog entry, anyway)

SWTOR is worth buying because it has the qualities of every other Bioware RPG.  If you bought Dragon Age Origins or Mass Effect and had fun, and you like or tolerate themepark MMOs, then SWTOR is no different.

From what I have seen, I fear the end-game will be just like WoW.  I’m not a fan of raiding for gear and I don’t like repeating the same raid over and over.  That truly is the end-game for me now — that’s where I’ll end playing the game.

I’m going to play.  I’ll enjoy the story, the Star Wars setting, and the cinematicness (Firefox tells me that’s not a word) that will define SWTOR.  I can’t promise anything else.  It sure beats the heck out of Rift, LotR, Aion, and the rest of the WoW-clones, though.  A completely better game than most and obviously on a generous budget.

SWTOR obviously has flaws and there are legitimate reasons for people to dislike it. All said and done, a lot of people who hate on SWTOR as vehemently as they do are probably the same who refuse to buy BF3 because it is on Origin.  It’s somewhat nonsensical.  A game can bring nothing new to its market and still be a good game.  WoW-clones can still be good games.    If you have an issue with it being a themepark, power to you and I’m supporting you.  Don’t play.  To the rest, SWTOR is a Bioware RPG that you can play with friends.   Shut up, and enjoy.

I wish the NDA hadn’t lifted right now.  I’m away from my computer and unable to stream the beta events or take screenshots or any of that good stuff.   This is just the beginning for my SWTOR impressions, though.  There’s a lot to talk about after launch when I see more of the game.

If you have any questions, ask away.  I’ll likely add more as time goes on.


  • As a fan of tanking, how are the tanking classes? Did you tank any dungeons during your playtime? (or whatever they call them in the game)

  • Standard tanking, with the difference being there is really no “off-tank” style of play. There are mitigation and avoidance tank styles, and some of the classes feel better aoe from what I have been told by other testers.

    Looks very standard to me, but I did not play any tanking role. When I played a Bounty Hunter, before he got wiped, I was very much about damage dealing. The one oddity is still the caster jedi types having a tank role. It’s as weird to me as the smuggler healers.

    *Edit* I will add, ranged tanking is pretty awesome.

  • HK-47: “Answer: Oh, master, I could not allow myself to harm another. What if they have families? Or children? We must always think of the children. The littlest ones always suffer in war.”

    BioWare set a high standard for funny with KOTOR and Jade Empire. Is it occasionally humorous, sure, does it live up to the other two aforementioned games, no (playing the Inquisitor).

    What were your thoughts on the skill trees? I feel they needed considerable work back a few months ago due to the lack of choice options given the tier bottlenecks and “hybrid tax”.

    What is the current state of weapon modifications? I heard they had an elaborate system originally and then massively dumbed it down for the version that I played.

    The crafting system also seemed simplistic.

  • @Gankatron: Didn’t find the part where you tortured the guy funny? When I played it I went all out and wanted to keep shocking him. 😛 “Stop what? Please clarify. *SHOCK!*”

    Talents are okay. I’ve yet to find a talent tree system I like. I prefer SWG’s experience skill point tree systems.

    I didn’t use weapon mods much at all to be able to comment adequately. I don’t know how they are compared to the past. I didn’t craft much, either.

  • @Keen: Yes that was funny and so was the ergonomic chair statement (I won’t give anymore away), but overall I found the high caliber humor sparce.

    Also it might bear to note for those who haven’t followed SWTOR that there aren’t any racial alterations to abilities, only to appearance.

  • I don’t know if you can completely blame Bioware for the lack of race selection. It has long been a George Lucas requirement of having a primarily story focused Star Wars game have a main character who speaks basic. That’s why the FPS Wookie game never got off the ground and we got force unleashed instead. SWG doesn’t count as a story focused game as it is more of a sandbox than a story-telling experience. So if you blame anyone for the shitty race selection, blame George. (http://www.1up.com/news/force-unleashed-wookie-superhero-game for reference)

    Though rumors have been flying around the beta forums for months now that the legacy system will be the way Bioware introduces non-basic speaking aliens as playable races post-launch.

  • Interesting read. Pretty much everything you say confirms my expectations and consolidates my decision not even to bother with the beta, much less buy the game.

    The last BioWare game I actually enjoyed was Baldur’s Gate II and I thought that was significantly inferior to BG1. I bought KotOR but never even got as far as installing it. It sits on my shelf still. The only other BioWare game I actually played was Dragon Age, which I got half-way through and gave up on out of tedium and frustration.

    For my money, RPGs that not only dictate your character’s speech patterns, verbal tics and vocabulary but also let you hear a voice they’ve chosen speaking those unfamiliar and alien lines out loud aren’t RPGs at all. That’s me watching a movie where I have to press a button every so often to get the next scene.

    Consequently, BioWare’s “magic” has no draw for me any more. Which leaves the WoW gameplay. For years I had to take it on trust that WoW’s gameplay was the best MMOs had to offer. Then I finally got around to playing it and I just don’t get it. WoW’s gameplay is okay, but many other MMOs I’ve played do what WoW does better, or at least better for me. Rift, for example, I found vastly more involving, interesting and exciting than WoW ever was and that was just the questing!

    A combination of the WoW gameplay that I always found mediocre in the field it dominates and BioWare’s frequently ponderous and overblown scripting and voice acting, set in a milieu for which I have little interest and less sympathy seems like one I can well afford to skip.

    That said, as with WoW, no doubt I’ll give it a run one day, because you never know when your expectations might be confounded. Probably be a while though.

  • It’s weird because I have big doubts that the game will have staying potential but at the same time, I just don’t care. If it can provide a full month of entertainment for box price it will be a tremendous value compared to most games, and if it can provide multiple months that will be even better.

    If I play the game for 6 months I will be very happy.

  • The dialogue is more like Mass effect 2 then dragon age.. with the wheel type thing. and bad/neutral/good choice

  • During beta weekend personally I leveled a trooper and made it to my first flash point… I was soso on the game, but the flashpoint instance was AMAZING as a trooper, we had no healer, just me as Vanguard, DPS Jedi, and 2 gunslingers and we just went to town, lots of kiting and running, especially on bosses. The dialogue system as a party WORKS and is fantastic, although I was a bit confused by how the dice rolls work (How did he roll a 177 for his dialogue option and why is it in RED?) The story quests suffers from the classic, incredibly benevolent option or threaten to murder a child dichotomy most “good/evil” dialogue options usually fall into, and I have to say I liked my dialogue choices when they did not involve those bits.

    I assume later on we will probably end up needing a healer, but I have to say, sure it was the first instance and wasn’t exactly the most complex of boss fights, but fighting the bosses without any heals but our medkits was far far more exciting and fun than just the standard tank and spank they would have been otherwise. Dialogue by far was one of the best parts… especially when one really quiet guy in our group, in one particular dialogue option near the end started winning EVERY roll, how it shows our different personalities in the group was interesting and fun, and sparked party chat dialogue quite often.

    To sum it up, the game is average at best, it does nothing new, but the setting is fairly fresh, if a bit hammed up by Biowares insistence on having light/dark options. However this game is best played in a group, by yourself it will be boring, but the social aspect of choosing the dialogue wheels ends up being extremely interesting and improving the fun aspect greatly.

    All based on newbie experiences… level 12 woo.

  • Have you played a Consular yet, Keen (or anyone in the thread)?
    How is it?

    And has anyone played a Jedi Consular Shadow tank specced?

    Good read otherwise, nice to have a balanced, unbiased review.

  • @Ryan

    I would say that’s a given. I remember reading some comment from one of the developers somewhere with him stating that they plan to have 500 planets to explore by 2025.. Given what Keen stated here about the graphics engine they are using I hope that includes an update or two at some point.

  • I have played in beta since July, and yes, I raised a consular (healing) to almost 30. Enough power to solo, and quite a good healer. Healing your companion could put you through almost anything solo (if you have patience for very long fight).

    I have also raise a DPS trooper to 35 and a Sith Sorcerer.

    Now in the current build, they are trying to increase elite mob power, and a lot of people are complaining that soloing them is not possible any more. We’ll see what happens at launch.

    Now my overview of the game is moderate. All of the class stories are interesting (I won’t spoil them, but Sith Sorcerer end of chapter 1 is simply hilarious). Planets are graphically different, and the Kill x mobs being automatic, with automatic reward does not seem too boring. Some quests are well played, some not. Use of the space bar will help you go though those dialogs faster. Just try to understand which answers will please your companion, and which will anger him/her. A happy companion will open some quests.

    Issue will be replayability: after level 10, everybody is on the same track and I simply cannot endure one more tile the two capital cities.

    Now another issue: on WoW, you roughly go to the same area at the same level, with different quests per side, but you will see your opponents, even on a PvE server. NOT ON SW:TOR. Planets do have the same name and feeling, but they are separate for the two side (at least until Tatooine – level 25) then you separate again. Balmora is a low level Empire planet and a much higher republic planet. No chance to see anybody from the other side. When people will realize that, the Open PvP fans may rage seriously.

    I have done some serious crafting: building weapon is useless, because at the end of each arc (planet) you get a brand new blue one. Crafting armors is useful, artifice usefulness will depend on the number of adjustable items (with slots) and making potion is great (if you are not a healer).

    Sorry, not a very organized document, but shoot questions and I’ll try to do my best to clarify.

  • Ah a last thing, after months of bitching from the community, they relented: you can craft now with items in your ship “bank”, which is accessible from the banks terminals on the planets. And you also have now three inventory tabs: items, quests items and currencies.

  • @bhagpuss: I’d skip SWTOR then. Baldur’s Gate 2 was an amazing RPG and SWTOR doesn’t come close to the true RPG feel. Elder Scrolls games are far better uses of our money if we want RPG’s. SWTOR really tries to blend the the new Bioware RPG formula with the WoW MMO formula. It’s worth the box price, but I can’t promise an out of body experience like you’ll get from BG2.

    @Sine Nomine: SWTOR will have at least 6 months staying power, potentially a year. Compare that to Rift’s 3 months. If they adapt as WoW did post-launch, SWTOR could very well be a fun title for years. Bottom line, definitely worth the box price + a month or two subscription.

    @Proximo: Do you like themepark MMO’s? It’s more like WoW with Dragon Age style conversations.

    @The Merovingian: I’ve played the Sith equivalent. It may be the class I play at launch. It’s quite a bit of fun.

    @Danath: We have similar takes on the game. Solo = boring/lonely. Group = fun. Game is above average but a fresh setting and more of a Bioware RPG take on the MMO formula, rather than anything new.

    @Ocelot: The inventory tabs are good.

  • For once I agree with you. This game will hopefully be the last of the 2004 WoW Clones and we can move on to a new generation of games

  • I will def be playing SWTOR.. atleast until guild wars 2 or the secret world comes out.

    Those are the two mmos im most excited for.

  • ^^^

    I just want to play a game with friends again for a change…
    It’s been too long, however im not overly excited/overly impressed with SWTOR.

    Not that i think its bad, but its the same MMO ive been playing for 11 years now. Ready for something new/different.

  • Nvm Keen, was just looking for yet another reason not to play it, I really don’t need it 😛
    And those Dragon Age conversations was what had me falling asleep trying to play the game…. ^^

  • @Table and Proximo: One of the unique features of SWTOR are “social points” that you acquire through group interactions in flashpoints. Those conversations are fun as each person has a chance to alter the convo for the entire group. Playing with friends in these situations feels more personalized.

  • Also note that nobody has touched the high level gameplay. They should open shortly special servers on which we shall all get HL random character to test that part of the game.

    I’ll keep you posted.

  • @Gankatron; I saw some video on the conversation system and my reaction was rather that it sucked than being interesting. People choose what they want to answer and some RNG decides who’s answer wins….. sounds like fun yeah…..
    But I’m not here to bash the game, I’m sure it’s a solid game and some will find it awesome, just not me. 🙂

  • It might not be for you, but I also do not think it is something that one can accurately evaluate 2nd hand through a video. I also thought that it would likely be meh, especially since I tend to be a micromanager, but the feeling of loss of control was really a lot of fun as well as funny when you are in it. A smile would come across my face every time I won the convo action and Forced the light side people do something against their nature; but it is ok from a light/dark point assignment sense as everyone gets the appropriate points depending upon what they choose, not based upon the winner of the roll. Hopefully you will get a chance to try it as it was a pleasant surprise for me!

  • @Proximo: The conversation system works fine. My only complaint is that when playing a Sith I would have some really mean options but when I choose them my guy doesn’t say exactly what I thought he would; that’s a problem in all Bioware games that I can think of, actually.

    Group conversation is great. I’ve had some fantastic laughs seeing what other people choose and watching how a conversation with a NPC is actually interesting and more than a simple box of text. A little unpredictability is fun.

  • […] It’s a sentiment that has been fairly common from those that have been playing SWTOR, but Keen goes on to speak of why this isn’t such a bad thing. It’s a great post that breaks down the game over many facets. Keen gives you the short and skinny of what SWTOR really is and how/if it will appeal to you as a gamer. Check out Keen and Graev’s SWTOR Beta Impressions. […]

  • Yeah I guess it works fine if you’re into that kind of stuff. Multiple choice conversations doesn’t do anything for me though and having others possibly messing up the outcome of the conversation (as opposed to how I wanted it to go) doesn’t really add something positive imo. But again, not here to bash.

  • My personal interest-o-meter has slipped further reading the latest post-NDA comments.

    The restriction on races is what you might call a “Dealbreaker” for me since that removes an essential part of the Star Wars universe. I’d worry they would be selling the “Race pack” later not just costing me additional cash but also time levelling again.

    But who am I kidding, I’ll end up playing the free month with the pre-registered PvP Guild I got talked into!

  • It’s not really a free month, more like a $60 month if you play for 30 days then quit. 😉

  • Hmm I liked fantasy bioware RPGs (nwn, dao), but I am not star wars fan. I did not like kotor, nor mass effect. So I guess I will be skipping this one

  • Here is my prediction of Keen posts.

    For two months after launch

    “SWTOR is so awesome, I will love it forever!”

    Months 2-4

    “eh, SWTOR has terrible flaws but I still like it”

    Months 4-forever

    “What’s SWTOR?”

  • @max yah, stay far away.

    @toxic: it’s quite possible. Gw2 looks great and If the swtor endgame sucks I’m out.

    @aikau: I’m writing about it tomorrow.

  • I think the multiple choice dialog implementation is a real problem, honestly – though I haven’t played it myself yet.

    First of all, from a storytelling standpoint it’s just messy. So as a good Jedi, I can stand by and watch a bunch of innocents get murdered, and still get light side points? Really? What kind of shitty story is that?

    So we have all the disadvantages of a competitive dialog system (potentially not your chosen option picked, the actions conflicting with your character, etc.), with none of the exciting conflicts and unpredictability that result when a band of interesting characters try to solve issues in their own way.

    Ideally, I think this sort of system should be divorced from the darkside/lightside points junk, and should just be about getting players communicating and playing together in fresh ways. Let the players bump heads a bit about whether their character really is OK with watching innocents die, or giving up a reward, or whatever. It’d be a great tool to inject some real RP-style dynamics into the game, even for people who don’t like to RP in the usual sense.

    But instead you always know you get to pick whatever option you want, and you can go on pretending that’s what happened no matter what the “reality” is. They lost an opportunity to add real tension and drama to the story, in order to facilitate a mediocre “good/evil” numeric grind – the exact same grind that is almost always panned as being a shallow, binary progress track in every Bioware game…

    Now, I might be wrong on this one – as I said, haven’t played it. But as a high level game design question, it just seems like they totally dropped the ball.

  • Got a quick question:

    Since grouping is usually the funnest way to play MMOs, is there any system to make grouping outside of close levels viable? Is there some mentor system, etc that makes grouping with either higher or lower level friends possible?

    One of the biggest problems I have playing MMOs with my friend is he typically plays more than me and out levels me in a week or 2, making grouping virtually useless. Not sure if there is any fix for this outside of my buddy playing 2 toons.

  • @Brise Bonbons:

    “I think the multiple choice dialog implementation is a real problem, honestly – though I haven’t played it myself yet.”

    “Ideally, I think this sort of system should be divorced from the darkside/lightside points junk, and should just be about getting players communicating and playing together in fresh ways.”

    I do see what you mean and can agree in principle that allowing group choices that are inconsistent with one’s alignment can lead to loss of immersion. What I can say is that was surprisingly one of the most humorous and enjoyable social aspects of the game. I also went in expecting it to be a sloppy mishmash that would rub my micromanaging side the wrong way: I do think that it needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated and subsequently judged.

    Your point of separating the darkside/lightside points is quite valid. In theory one would choose actions on the basis of how they would like the morality of their toon to develop, but in this token economy I believe the rewards will drive the dialogue choices for many. A major problem is that the mission results frequently resulted in very similar ways that did not appreciably impact story progression (you can hit the escape button to exit out of an NPC convo and restart the interaction thereby exploring a variety of potential conclusions). In this way farming of darkside/lightside (for gear accessibility) and companion affection (companion efficiency/romance/side quests in theory) points is more likely to influence dialogue choices for an NPC that we likely will only be interacting with momentarily; in this was they are more akin to point vendors than meaningful characters in the world.

  • “Races suck. I really hate them. You can be blue people, red people, or just people. I have no idea why Bioware has us restricted to the most human-like of the humanoids… this smells of corner cutting.”

    Aside from any narrative restrictions LucasArts might have insisted upon, race variety has major technical and scope implications on a project.

    The more physically diverse your body types, the more work has to go into refitting armor. Depending how far you go with it, the same piece of armor may have to be almost completely redesigned for certain characters. Extensive refits eat into your production time, which can result in less overall variety in armor appearances (depending on your overall character budget, of course).

    For animation, it’s probably less of a hit, since a game worth its salt will plan for at least a certain amount of unique animations per race. But again, if the differences are extreme enough–say a Wookie vs. a Jawa–you may have to spend a lot of time either adapting or redoing a lot of your base animations (combat in particular). The more special abilities and moves you have, the bigger the impact rework has.

    These choices affect environments as well. Do all the races need to be able to fit inside each other’s buildings? If so, then every structure, road, path, doorway, archway, cave mouth, etc. needs to accommodate your largest race in full armor. Can they be mounted? If so, your environments must take that into account.

    I make this comment not to answer why BioWare made the race choices they did–only they can say that–but rather to illuminate some of the factors that go into a decision like this. It’s very easy from the outside to say “they were lazy” or “they just didn’t care,” but more likely than not the key stakeholders on the project weighed the options and made some hard decisions early on that set the course they took with the game.

    Nor am I saying the diversity you’re hinting at can’t be done in an MMO. It absolutely can. The team simply has to understand the impact, schedule accordingly, and realize that these choices create limitations elsewhere in the overall scope.

    There are no freebies in game design. Every decision you make has choices and repercussions that create ripples throughout the project. Even with a massive budget, you’ll just never get everything you want in the time you have available.

  • I think with the races they could have at least allowed a few cosmetic ones where the humanoid shape size and shape is retained but the face is simply betentacled, bug-eyed or even almost featureless! You know, just an extreme version of the usual “Feature Sliders” we see in this sort of game.

    Allowing something like Wookies would create the extra work as mentioned by Steve Danuser, not to mention balance issues, but it seems they’ve very much erred on the side of caution here.

    I wanted to play a Protocol Droid anyway 😛

  • @JJ Robinson: I saw no systems in place to make grouping at different levels possible. Nothing like mentoring/sidekicking. SWTOR is linear leveling so the further someone progresses the harder it is to group with friends and be productive. I think they still CAN group, but the game does not accommodate you.

    @Steve: I get what you’re saying. I think of it as the helmet effect. Remember Vanguard? The reason they didn’t have helmet graphics was because they couldn’t get them working on all the races. I’m sympathetic to the situation you’re presenting.

    I’m looking at the big picture, though. SWG had more race choices, including Ithorians. World of Warcraft has gnomes, dwarfs, and weird races like Drenai.

    SWTOR allows changes in weight and height to extremes I haven’t seen in MMO’s. It doesn’t seem to me that they were restricted by environment when not allowing Jawas or Ithorians or Bothans to be playable. These are all standard bipedal humanoids — Ithorians are the extreme with the weird shaped heads.

    Star Wars is a property with diversity. Playable race/species diversity feels needed, whereas it doesn’t in Skyrim.

  • I do believe that instanced PvP compensates for level (without skill/talent increases for increased level).

  • I think your sum up of the game is accurate and fair. I feel the same way about the game. I’ve pre-ordered it, played the beta and have no regrets. I look forward to playing through each of the classes’ stories.

  • Now there is a “Q” just to get on the SWTOR site. Going down hill fast IMO. I don’t have a good feeling about this launch.

  • Having just watched TotalBiscuit’s first SWOTR video I feel like I’ve been tricked! There ARE some races and while they are probably just cosmetic they do include some of the ones I though could not be left out for any justifiable reason:

    No Squid Face or various othe cosmetically altetered humans but a better start than I feared.

  • Surprised that people don´t understand why there are no playable wookie, rodian etc races. Come on think about why not for a second here 😉


    And similiar language for hundreds of hours would have people going insane. The races have to be humanoid enough that they can be “acceptable” as speaking english.

    As for not having several voices for each class there is already 8 classes and then one voice over for male and one for female so 16 times hundreds of hours of voice over work. That is insane already as it is. Can you imagine having say 5×16=80ppl or so doing voicer over work for the classes alone ?

  • Poor reason to restrict races. Subtitles fix the understanding issue and don’t choose a wookie if you hate the sound of their voice.