I’ve been meaning to do a wrap up on SWTOR for awhile, so here it finally is. At this point, I think that I can safely say that my time in SWTOR is done. I haven’t logged into the game in over 3 weeks and sadly, I don’t miss it. When I left Rift, I was sad to go and thought about it a lot after the fact, but with SWTOR, I rarely think about my time there.
When talking to other friends of mine that played SWTOR with me (or even withOUT me on other servers), it was generally agreed upon that the journey from level 1 to level 49 was fantastic: The quests are fun and there are plenty of them. The story lines/quests for each class are AWESOME and extremely engrossing. There are enough flashpoints (dungeons) and war zones (PvP) to break up time spent doing quests and leveling up crafting. Once you reach level 50, however, things begin to slow down to the point of hitting a brick wall at about 100 Mph.
Once my friends and I hit level 50, we started doing flashpoints in Hard Mode so that we could get the gear we needed to start doing Ops (raiding). This didn’t take more than 2 weeks, so we were ready to start Regular Mode Ops (there are only 3 Ops) fairly quickly. We progressed through Normal Modes quickly, then moved to Hard Modes and cut through them like butter. By the time we were ready to start Nightmare Modes, Diablo 3 came out and we, along with a lot of other guilds, lost a few team members. Trying to PUG or recruit players for Hard/Nightmare Modes was like pulling teeth, since most people on our server were not at the point yet. With Ops taken out of the equation, there is NOTHING for geared level 50’s to do except daily quests, which become tiresome very quickly.
Also, if you’re not raiding, there’s nothing to spend money on, so making money becomes pointless. Yes, you can buy some expensive mounts…but that’s about it. If you’ve been leveling your crafting as you leveled up in general, there’s nothing to do on THAT front either. Basically, your choices at level 50 (if raiding isn’t an option)are: PvP, Flashpoints, daily quests, level an alt, and MY personal favourite – sitting/dancing in the fleet while bullshitting with people in general chat.
SWTOR had such potential, and it’s unfortunate that it fell SO flat at the six month mark because they did a lot of things RIGHT. However, they severely missed the mark when it came to a lot of the basics, and as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t matter how beautiful and polished (looking) your product is come launch – if it breaks and servers need to come down every other day for 4 – 8+ hours on top of regularly scheduled maintenance, you can fuck right off.
Moving on, let’s get to what I liked.
Companions: By the time you hit level 50, you will have five mostly useful companions that are either healers, tanks, or DPS. Tanks and DPS can be melee or ranged. Most of the companion’s AI is pretty, well, intelligent, and most of MY companions had a decent sense of humour and would keep me entertained with their running commentaries on whatever we happened to be doing. My favourite companion by far is Blizz the Jawa who is a ranged tank. I would use him even if I didn’t need to because watching him “tank” had me in stitches – He’ll trow a grapple line at mobs, but because he’s so small he can’t yank them to HIM, he gets yanked to THEM and will go sailing across the zone aggroing everything in his path. His preferred way of keeping agro is to shoot mobs in the face with a blaster pistol OR a rocket that’s bigger than HE is.
Crafting: It took while to get used to sending my companions out to gather and craft for me. In general, I liked this feature as it was quite convenient to get crafting done while out questing/raiding/whatever. At first I was annoyed by the time and money spent getting stuff done, but once I started raking the cash in, everything was fine.
Social Gear: Getting social points was one of the more aggravating aspects of this game. They’re VERY slow to get if you aren’t grouped with someone 100% of the time or damn close. However, once you get your social rank up, you’re able to buy (cheaply) all sorts of different outfits that you can modify the same way you would with any orange gear. If you get the right level mods, your stats won’t change TOO drastically, and I have to admit that it was pretty fun to raid as a slave girl.
Modable Gear: This is a very cool way to keep gear that you liked the look of – you can swap out mods, armouring, enhancements, colour crystals, etc and keep it as long as you like.
All in all there was a lot to like about STWOR, but the lack of something to do at level 50 really killed it for me and almost everyone I know. Constant maintenance was a pain and terrible tech support was unacceptable (especially at 6 months). Even the newly implemented legacy system was disappointing – the abilities and items you could get didn’t add anything significant to a character OR game play in general and was a HUGE money sink even for the very few, SMALL cool stuff.