Escapist Podcast: Bonus: Star Wars: The Old Republic 3

Bonus: Star Wars: The Old Republic 3

More Star Wars: The Old Republic. We talk about some of out experiences on the Republic classes and how Bioware is connecting Knights of the Old Republic and their new MMO. Spoiler Warnings for high level Sith characters and Knights of the Old Republic.

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This is my dream / hope for the space combat: They completely overhall it into a style similar to the old X-wing / Tie Fighter games. I think at one time a multiplayer X-wing was attempted (X-wing alliance?) Anyways they could craft some really cool flashpoint-esque space combat missions, have various ships you could buy and upgrade and have a variety of perks for doing well / advancing in the space missions.

It would be so cool and I think Bioware has both the capability of doing a good job of it but also maybe an interest in doing something different than other games they've made in the past.

I keep thinking of the Tie Fighter mission where you're flying wingman with Darth Vader to rescue the Emperor. Bioware's story with space sim combat like that? Yes please. Somebody get this idea to Bioware.

Alternatively they could also copy / paste Rogue Squadron into the game. That'd be just as good.

Is this a repost or Round 3 miss-named? Might want to look into that.

@Steve - The Agent/Smuggler classes heavily use cover in the first 10 levels. When they reach level 10 they can pick the more stealth based advanced class (i.e. Operative and Scoundrel for the Agent and Smuggler, respectively). They do not really use cover and are much more movement based. Just wanted to give you a ray of hope.

In terms of the Revan conversation, They apparently released a book that sets the ending for Revan as canon and explains what happened to him after the ending. He is was apparently a male light side Jedi Knight. Also the KotOR 2 canon is a female light side Jedi Knight.

Xaio30:
Is this a repost or Round 3 miss-named? Might want to look into that.

Oops, no this is a new one. Thanks, I'll fix that.

Yeah, Revan being light side and male was made Canon about (what seems like anyway) 10 years ago shortly after the game was released.

Raiding, PvP and RP are the minority pursuits, massively so.

I really hate PvP, in pretty much every kind of way (FPS, MMO, etc.). And saying PvP is the entire point of an MMO is especially silly when something like half the servers are specifically PvE anyway. I'm fine with arena matches, but I don't want to be running around on a quest and suddenly have to fight off some jerk who bases their worth on how many lower level characters they've killed that day (I used to religiously quit Diablo II servers anytime someone turned hostile against me).

aftohsix:
This is my dream / hope for the space combat: They completely overhall it into a style similar to the old X-wing / Tie Fighter games. I think at one time a multiplayer X-wing was attempted (X-wing alliance?) Anyways they could craft some really cool flashpoint-esque space combat missions, have various ships you could buy and upgrade and have a variety of perks for doing well / advancing in the space missions.

X-Wing Alliance was AWESOME. I spent at least one summer pretty much just playing multiplayer X-Wing Alliance.

What I've been hoping for with the space combat, even more than open space combat, are flashpoints that are combination space/ground: fly your ship through this space battle, disable the docking shields of an enemy capitol ship with your party, land on the capitol ship, make the reactor go critical (or rescue someone, or assassinate someone, or...) then get back to your ship before everything blows up. That would be awesome.

And if they really get into it, they could start doing things like multiple people on a single ship: you pilot, I'll be the gunner, and then we'll really mess up those Imperial/Republic jackholes, yeah? Or even entire guilds that own a Star Destroyer analog. Two dozen people man the turbolasers, another two dozen in support fighters. In fact, this would probably be the best idea for Star Wars end of game raiding: your guild takes their own capital ship, fights through an enemy blockade, dropships down to a planet, and destroys the base (or whatever) using ground troops, light support vehicles, and close air support, all controlled by PCs. How cool would that be?

I love these bonus podcasts because I have a Mac and can't play Old Republic. I feel like I'm living vicariously through all of you. I wasn't sold on the game when I first started seeing previews and trailers about it (I used to be an avid WoW player and sunk hundreds of dollars into it, so I'm pretty wary of starting a new MMO), but after listening to these podcasts and reading reviews and other critiques of the game I am sold and now I'm sad I can't play it.

I have to say that this MMO, unlike all the others I have played (and considering I've been playing since UO, there is a lot of playtime there), is more than likely the best I have played. The one thing I don't care for is everyone trying to liken it to WoW, as was said in the podcast it's an "apple and oranges" issue. Yes it's a MMO like Wow, but it is NOT WoW. I actually enjoy leveling my toon as it is it not a chore like in other games. This game actually makes you want to take your time and know your character a bit instead of just trying to grind out levels in order to get to the "core game". There is no "core game", as I find it. If you like PvP, you can PvP. If you like questing, you quest. You want instances and raids, it's in there too. Not to mention all the hidden stuff and "achievements" lurking around (hidden lore items, datacrons, etc.) for the "check the box" crowd. This game allows you to do what you want, how you want it. You're not funneled into one set way to play; the game or your character. While there are "suggested" ways to play both, you are free to do as you want and many times end up with the same results. What would be tragic is if the developers bow down to what I call "the easy button crowd" and make this game like others. I like that they are coming out with end game content, slowly. I like they way things are fairly balanced. I just fear that this will change abruptly in order to keep a player base. Only time will tell. Just my 2 credits worth, I apologize for all the stupid quotes, but they seemed needed. Oh, and love the podcasts guys, keep up the good work.

I keep most of my character's neutral.

My Sith Sorcerer is shooting for what that Revan guy did... he wants to become neither jedi or sith.

Story-wise, my problem with what I've heard of The Old Republic and the Revan novel (which is meant to be a tie-in to the game) has much more to do with the treatment of The Exile, KotOR II's protagonist. In the novel (which I have read), they disregard his very nature. If you've played the game to the end, then you know why The Exile is so significant. Who and what he represents is such a clever subversion of traditional Star Wars lore that that game became the Star Wars story to me. To just toss that all aside is a slap in the face to KotOR II's writers (Chris Avellone, principally) and fans of the game. Kreia disapproves.

That said, I'm much like Schuyler. If I were to ever play The Old Republic, it would be solely for the single-player material. I can see me just going through all the storylines, and that's where I'd find all the value in the game. I also care nothing for PvP. But I have a feeling it bothers some MMORPG fans to see a game being catered to people like us. I'm in it for the RPG part of the genre, not the MMO. I'll just have to plug my ears whenever they talk about The Exile or Revan.

The Escapist Staff:
More Star Wars: The Old Republic.

this we like, but please please do something about the random clicking in the background it's so distracting >.>

I like hearing about The Old Republic, but I like my discussions with differing views.

It would have been nice to have more than one person who likes playing the good side and hear a few takes on how it plays instead of just one.

Man these podcasts give great ranting fodder, love it. /crack knuckles

Well first up I must comment on a moral choice comment. It was mentioned that being of the empire preludes being evil and republic preludes being good, in your ideology. The jedi and sith I can see being much more along those lines since their mental state is very ingrained into their powers, as I understand. But a trooper, as I understand, is a soldier. A soldier follows orders, gets a paycheck, and goes home to kiss his beautiful wife. To an extent he might have a choice to follow the orders of your evil government or break off and join the republic, but then again he might just live in the empire's area of influence. Or otherwise he just doesn't see the government as evil. Likewise a republic soldier of some sort follows orders, gets a paycheck, then might kick a hobo on the way home. Either way loyalty to a government does not necessarily denote morality depending on the size of the movement. Even if it's generally an association made in the star wars mythos, it just makes a character more diverse when he has personal motive alongside loyalty rather than just following the assumed morality. I'm pretty sure I mix up my concept of TOR empire and classic trilogy empire occasionally, but the ideology is still there.

Next up, well, as far as comparing the healing/tanking difficulty (while leveling) or tor and wow, it really depends on what era of wow you refer to. Currently, yes, leveling is a means to an end. While some quests have a bit more interesting flavor to them, leveling is just a rush to get to max level, where the healing and tanking get a decent bit more difficult. In the old days, on the other hand, everything was a bit more tricky while leveling, oddly enough in the days the game was new. In an MMO you want people to go through hardships on the content you are focusing on. At current for WoW, that's end game (well, much longer than just at current). At current for TOR, that's leveling. Down the line TOR will (likely) be focusing more on endgame and speed up the leveling process as well to get to the end game content they want to show off. In my opinion of course.

I'm already out of breath from typing so I think I'll save getting back into what makes an mmo an mmo for a user question. I guess big thing to ponder on is: If you are having fun with the money spent, then good for you, period. But, do you think its fine to be paying a subscription price for what you mainly consider a good single player game?

DustyDrB:
Story-wise, my problem with what I've heard of The Old Republic and the Revan novel (which is meant to be a tie-in to the game) has much more to do with the treatment of The Exile, KotOR II's protagonist. In the novel (which I have read), they disregard his very nature. If you've played the game to the end, then you know why The Exile is so significant. Who and what he represents is such a clever subversion of traditional Star Wars lore that that game became the Star Wars story to me. To just toss that all aside is a slap in the face to KotOR II's writers (Chris Avellone, principally) and fans of the game. Kreia disapproves.

That said, I'm much like Schuyler. If I were to ever play The Old Republic, it would be solely for the single-player material. I can see me just going through all the storylines, and that's where I'd find all the value in the game. I also care nothing for PvP. But I have a feeling it bothers some MMORPG fans to see a game being catered to people like us. I'm in it for the RPG part of the genre, not the MMO. I'll just have to plug my ears whenever they talk about The Exile or Revan.

They kind of ignored everything that was in KotoR 2. Kreia was just some Jedi Master who was driven insane by Sith holocrons. The Exile being a wound in the Force didn't matter at all. Instead of being a visionary who chose to embrace the teachings of the Dark Side to save the galaxy, Revan was just a Jedi who got mind controlled by the Sith and then became consumed by his lust for power. The Sith Empire is just a big evil empire instead of more of a spiritual and psychological threat shrouded in metaphysical mysteries that threaten to break down the very beliefs that are the foundation of the Republic and Jedi.

aftohsix:
This is my dream / hope for the space combat: They completely overhall it into a style similar to the old X-wing / Tie Fighter games. I think at one time a multiplayer X-wing was attempted (X-wing alliance?) Anyways they could craft some really cool flashpoint-esque space combat missions, have various ships you could buy and upgrade and have a variety of perks for doing well / advancing in the space missions.

It would be so cool and I think Bioware has both the capability of doing a good job of it but also maybe an interest in doing something different than other games they've made in the past.

I keep thinking of the Tie Fighter mission where you're flying wingman with Darth Vader to rescue the Emperor. Bioware's story with space sim combat like that? Yes please. Somebody get this idea to Bioware.

Alternatively they could also copy / paste Rogue Squadron into the game. That'd be just as good.

Well, my opinions are somewhat differant here. They did space combat in Star Wars Galaxies by largely copying the X-wing/TIE Fighter games into it. I personally do not think it worked very well.

My basic attitude is that at it's core this game is an RPG, the space combat should continue to be RPG-like rather than turning into a twitch based mini-game, whether it's a tunnel shooter, or a first person cockpit sim. I think they should be looking more towards games like EVE Online as the inspiration for what a space based RPG or portion of an RPG should be. "Star Trek Online" has some interesting ideas for how things could work in a faster paced format of the same thing, but I don't think they ever got it working perfectly. Even trying it again now that it's FTP I can only play it in small doses.

To be honest I think the best overall compromise, and the most likely port for us to see, would be a modification of "Earth and Beyond", an old EA space based MMO that went belly up, being used. That was actually pretty good, even if it could use some work, I think it was the amount of time spent warping that actually killed the game rather than any fundemental problems with the engine or gameplay. Admittedly the exact ship designs and enemies wouldn't work with Star Wars, but then again they are likely to have to come up with new graphics as a whole for just about anything they do.

That's just my opinion.

To be honest though I think the biggest priority for EA has to be on the PVP right now, while it's not the entire point of the game, I do see a lot of problems with it, and unlike Yahtzee I don't think it should be ignored. WoW is an example of what happens if you ignore PVP too long because the problems are too hard to address, and they just get worse over time. Old Republic is still at an early staye, and I think they need to look at performance data, win/loss data based on the sides, and the mechanics now that they have been active for a while and do the required adjustments, even if unpopular, because the game is still at an early stage and as time goes on an dpeople become increasingly used to a specific pecking order and relying on certain things, it's going to be harder to fix fundemental problems in any meaningful fashion without alienating players. Not to mention the issue of PVP awards gained during times of imbalance, granting advantages that mean even if game balance is achieved the same guys wind up still dominating. The longer you let problems go on, the harder it becomes to fix.

I know many will disagree with me, but those are my thoughts.

Otherwise, I've had limited time (oddly enough) but have been enjoying the time I've gotten to spend with Old Republic Online. Despite my issues I've invested in another game time card for when my current one runs out.

You know there is a novel or two on the end story of Revan and the Exile.... Exile is a chick who gets killed eventually by Lord Scourge (Jedi Knights might be familiar) and Revan gets a nice little story on how he's infiltrating the sith empire.

Tartarus:
You know there is a novel or two on the end story of Revan and the Exile.... Exile is a chick who gets killed eventually by Lord Scourge (Jedi Knights might be familiar) and Revan gets a nice little story on how he's infiltrating the sith empire.

Yeah...I read the book. And now I dismiss its story. The Exile is not the same person from KotOR II. They disregard her central characteristic in the book to such a point that there is no possible way they can be the same people. In the book, she's just a Revan fangirl. In KotOR II, she's the death of the Force (a quality that isn't "cured" in the game).

big fan of SW:TOR & i love how much time & effort the Escapist has put into the built up, launch & ongoing game. THANKS!

...but I must make 2 point about these great podcasts, I understand your busy guys & don't have a lot of time to dedicate to this, but your clearly not far into the game atm, "i've just got my second companion", about level 15, so its a bit harsh to right off the space combat as too easy.

1st). The space combat is atm a 3-7 minute mini game & a nice refreshing change between the 3-8hr world campaigns. Sure I'd like a more in-depth system, but at launch its clearly a add-on to a "wow-like game" rather than a "EVE-like game".

2nd). The space combat is incredibly difficult later on, my ship has the best possible gear & medallion items, but i'm failing 5/6 times on the final 2 missons. so its my choice, a fun & easy level 32-36 which it may get hairy but i'll win 5/6 times or a true challenge.

I must say I played X-wing, tiefighter, WC ect, but not a lot recently, but for me the difficulty is spot on. I hope to see an expansion to this aspect later on, but for a non-core aspect of such a massive game, I like this 1st effort.

when you get to the final missions, please update us if you still think they are easy. It'll kill my pride, but i'll survive.

Spankable:
big fan of SW:TOR & i love how much time & effort the Escapist has put into the built up, launch & ongoing game. THANKS!

...but I must make 2 point about these great podcasts, I understand your busy guys & don't have a lot of time to dedicate to this, but your clearly not far into the game atm, "i've just got my second companion", about level 15, so its a bit harsh to right off the space combat as too easy.

1st). The space combat is atm a 3-7 minute mini game & a nice refreshing change between the 3-8hr world campaigns. Sure I'd like a more in-depth system, but at launch its clearly a add-on to a "wow-like game" rather than a "EVE-like game".

2nd). The space combat is incredibly difficult later on, my ship has the best possible gear & medallion items, but i'm failing 5/6 times on the final 2 missons. so its my choice, a fun & easy level 32-36 which it may get hairy but i'll win 5/6 times or a true challenge.

I must say I played X-wing, tiefighter, WC ect, but not a lot recently, but for me the difficulty is spot on. I hope to see an expansion to this aspect later on, but for a non-core aspect of such a massive game, I like this 1st effort.

when you get to the final missions, please update us if you still think they are easy. It'll kill my pride, but i'll survive.

I'm a bit above everyone else, mid 40's, and as I mentioned I finally hit a mission that actually killed me. But it was only a simple matter of updating my starship's equipment and I was lazily blasting my way through them again. Once you get the power converter it all becomes easy street as you ship has so much armor that loosing shield recharge rate for increased firepower is practically without penalty.

Slycne:

Spankable:
big fan of SW:TOR & i love how much time & effort the Escapist has put into the built up, launch & ongoing game. THANKS!

...but I must make 2 point about these great podcasts, I understand your busy guys & don't have a lot of time to dedicate to this, but your clearly not far into the game atm, "i've just got my second companion", about level 15, so its a bit harsh to right off the space combat as too easy.

1st). The space combat is atm a 3-7 minute mini game & a nice refreshing change between the 3-8hr world campaigns. Sure I'd like a more in-depth system, but at launch its clearly a add-on to a "wow-like game" rather than a "EVE-like game".

2nd). The space combat is incredibly difficult later on, my ship has the best possible gear & medallion items, but i'm failing 5/6 times on the final 2 missons. so its my choice, a fun & easy level 32-36 which it may get hairy but i'll win 5/6 times or a true challenge.

I must say I played X-wing, tiefighter, WC ect, but not a lot recently, but for me the difficulty is spot on. I hope to see an expansion to this aspect later on, but for a non-core aspect of such a massive game, I like this 1st effort.

when you get to the final missions, please update us if you still think they are easy. It'll kill my pride, but i'll survive.

I'm a bit above everyone else, mid 40's, and as I mentioned I finally hit a mission that actually killed me. But it was only a simple matter of updating my starship's equipment and I was lazily blasting my way through them again. Once you get the power converter it all becomes easy street as you ship has so much armor that loosing shield recharge rate for increased firepower is practically without penalty.

I do apologise, i did know you had been beaten once, but didn't mention it.

I guess I'm just rusty at modern space combat games, there are moments in Kalee Fortification & Impossible Sector where i can go from full health & shields to dead inside 10 seconds without Medallion upgrades. It must be my fail.

guess i'll have to get skill & tactics leasons off my kin/guild before they upgrade the system in SW:TOR.

Oh, the Jedi Knight story is really good. I don't want to spoil too much but lets just say that you're constantly saving the galaxy from certain destruction. Tython is just the prologue, your Jedi Training. It's a pretty slow start, but it really picks up in Act 1.

I just can't believe you kill HK-47 D:

Also I've found that for th sith inquisitor the moral choices actually make sence in reguards to choosing the dark side option and that it's not just evil to be evil.

Titan Buttons:
I just can't believe you kill HK-47 D:

Also I've found that for th sith inquisitor the moral choices actually make sence in reguards to choosing the dark side option and that it's not just evil to be evil.

Not only that, but I found it much easier to play a Light Side Sith Inquisitor than many of the other force user classes. A Dark Side Jedi is hard to reconsile, and a Light Side Sith is also hard to justify, but the Inqusitor is a slave, and her only way out is to join the Sith order, regardless of how she feels about their philosophy. All in all, the morality of the Sith classes are more nuanced than it first appears, while I find the Jedi to be very rigidly boring so far.
Only Light side choices really makes sense for the kind of person who would advance far in the current Jedi Order. My concepts for Dark Side Jedi all fall through when I play the story.

Skyweir:

Titan Buttons:
I just can't believe you kill HK-47 D:

Also I've found that for th sith inquisitor the moral choices actually make sence in reguards to choosing the dark side option and that it's not just evil to be evil.

Not only that, but I found it much easier to play a Light Side Sith Inquisitor than many of the other force user classes. A Dark Side Jedi is hard to reconsile, and a Light Side Sith is also hard to justify, but the Inqusitor is a slave, and her only way out is to join the Sith order, regardless of how she feels about their philosophy. All in all, the morality of the Sith classes are more nuanced than it first appears, while I find the Jedi to be very rigidly boring so far.
Only Light side choices really makes sense for the kind of person who would advance far in the current Jedi Order. My concepts for Dark Side Jedi all fall through when I play the story.

Well that kinda sucks, I think with the history of sith and jedi, for past games alone, just makes it quite hard to change them from the roles they are customarily in. After all in every past story when a jedi does evil things he is ment to become a sith. That's why saddly being the opposite morallity to the faction is hard unless your niether a jedi knight or sith warrior. Such as the agents and bounty hunters.

The other thing that is odd but still kinda works is the smuggle where to be good you main dump most of the cargo your ment to transport, which while makes sence would mean that he would make a very good living.

Also the reason I made my Sith Inquisitor Evil is because finally being freed from being a slave he is able to takeout all the pain that was caused to him on other, although I have to admitt one of the main reasons for this is Khem.

 

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