Star Wars the Old Republic: Revisited

[Blog] Our new guy, Marcus, has a trip down memory lane and revisits Star Wars: The Old Republic. Nostalgia and Lightsabers await inside!

Ever since I first laid my eyes on The Empire Strikes Back (the first instalment of the series I ever saw), I was forever enthralled by the mysterious world of Star Wars. All I could think about for days, weeks even months were Jedi Knights, shady cantinas of Mos Eisley and the incredible Millennium Falcon. Like 99% of SW fans, I learned to whistle by imitating the noise of lightsaber while playing. Although over the course of years I found other interests, my love for Star Wars remained ever strong.

Star Wars Video Games and me

Naturally, once I started playing video games, it was this same franchise that held my interest the most. Games like Jedi Academy and Jedi Outcast occupied me for weeks and months while Star Wars: The Republic Commando was one of the games that I probably replayed the most. If you ask me, it is a real shame this game never lived up to see a sequel. Still, it was when I first laid eyes on Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic that the world of RPG’s for me, forever changed.

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SW: KotOR

As I already said the most important milestone, or even a turning point in my RPG gaming was the discovery of SW: KotOr. The Revan plot twist completely blew my mind and literally forced me to start replaying this game the second I finished it. I also enjoyed its unfortunately rushed sequel The Sith Lords. Still the fact that this was the last game in the series left a bitter taste in my mouth. Because of this, the moment BioWare announced the upcoming Star Wars the Old Republic MMO, was probably the single greatest moment of my life.

A New Hope

The stories of Revan, Exile and others I learned from the books by Drew Karpyshyn but I simply couldn’t wait to see the world they had left behind. First trailers looked promising but the “Hope” cinematic trailer was, for me, the point of no return. This is where I couldn’t stand the waiting any more and enlisted for beta right away. Luckily, to all the fans, The Old Republic did not disappoint. The moment I stepped into Tython, it all came back to me, the KotOr, pretending that the deodorant bottle was a Lightsaber when I was a kid, every single thing. For me this alone was worth buying the game and my Jedi Knight – Sentinel, quickly turned into more than a character, he became my alter ego.

The freshness of the game

The main difficulty in developing this game was the fact that there were so many MMO’s out there so it was almost impossible to make something new. However, BioWare was up to the task at hand. At the very launch BioWare managed to deliver on storytelling content and managed to combine it properly with the open world elements. Unfortunately, not everything was perfect, and I was soon to find this out for myself.

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Trouble in paradise

Apart, from being an avid RPG player, I also played a lot of MMO’s like Guild Wars, Conan Hyborian Age and WOW, so I noticed one thing that started to bother me. While in WOW, everything is about end-game, this aspect did not work so great in SW: TOR. The story was perfect but once you reached the max level there simply wasn’t much for you to do.

Pay to win

Another problem was, as you probably already guessed, the MMO niche is already pretty much sated, so the developers were forced to make the game free to play (or as many like to call it pay to win). Although this was not a completely bad thing since it allowed even those people who couldn’t afford the game to experience its amazing story. Still, this decision did create a huge gap between the players and made finding flash-point operation groups and raiding in general, quite difficult. The reason for this was that now, the majority of people were under-geared. It was mostly this that made me quit the game.

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The Return of the Jedi (Knight – Sentinel)

Still, nothing could keep me away from this universe for good. The evil advances most boldly if good men do nothing and there was simply no way I would allow the dark side to prevail. However the most important reason behind my return was a fact that I got myself a new gaming laptop. What this meant was: “No more medium settings for me, ultra, here I come!” It just felt so good to be back and on top of it BioWare somehow seemed to put their back into it this time.

The new expansions

The best thing about the new SW: TOR, was the fact that new patches and new expansions started to come out more rapidly than ever. I returned to the game after the Shadow of Revan was first released, and I didn’t even get to experience all that this expansion has to offer when Knights of the Fallen Empire were already out. Furthermore the new Galactic Starfighter managed to bring me back to the days of playing X-Wing and TIE-Fighter on my first PC. Additionally, the attitude of developers towards the end-game has improved significantly so I can’t see myself abandoning SW: TOR again any time soon.

For any true fan of Star Wars, there is nothing that I would recommend more wholeheartedly than playing SW: TOR. This especially goes now that this game is optimized more than ever. Just make sure that your PC is up to the task and if you can, pay for the game for full experience.

 


 

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Marcus Jensen
Marcus Jensen is an IT expert from Australia. In his free time he has two passions gaming, and blogging. Though some people here might not agree (#Nathan) he finds that Half Life 2 is the best game of all time.
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