A Gamer Geek's Cogitations, Conjectures and other Cortical Experiences

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60 Days of The Old Republic

My initial subscribed time in Star Wars The Old Republic is over. First off I want to say that I still really like this game and it was so much fun to play it again. My 60 days of The Old Republic went by so fast however I managed to reach level 75 on my two main characters (one Republic and one Imperial). I probably could have gotten more done but I literally had to learn to play the game again. Plus I have ALT-ADD. I managed to also create a couple more characters because I basically want to try to play all the classes. (In fact there is an achievement for completing all eight class stories). The title isn’t completely accurate, however. I started writing this post before the 60 days had ended but since Blizzard is dragging their feet releasing the Shadowlands pre-patch, I picked up another 30 days. Be that as it may, let’s talk about what I think of the state of the game after my return.

The Art and the Writing

Water falls on Ossus

I feel like the folks that don’t receive enough credit, in any game, are the artists and the writers. This is especially true in The Old Republic. The only other game I can compare to SWTOR is WoW and, in my personal opinion, the artwork and writing is better in SWTOR. I’m not dissing the incredible artwork of World of Warcraft, they also do amazing work. Also, it’s probably a little unfair because the two games obviously use different graphics engines. Be that as it may, the landscape on some of the planets is incredible. See the screenshot on the right of some water falls on Ossus (click on the image to enlarge).

I understand why there are many players that wish Bioware would do more with the companions. The dialog for the companions is where the writers talent shines. For example, I especially love the writing for the Jedi Knight companions; specifically between Doc and Kira Carsen. I do hope Bioware finds a way to add more companion interactions and dialog in future updates.

Expansion and Quality of Life Updates

I don’t really remember the last time I spent a lot of time in the game prior to the start of my WoW break. I do remember logging in to check out Strongholds, when they were introduced. Some of the quality of life changes I’ve noticed may have been around a while, but they may be new to me since its been so long since I’ve played. For example you can now pull up your Galaxy Map and travel to a planet without having to return to your ship. If you are tracking quests you can also do this by clicking on the little planet icon next to the quest name. This is really nice. I also really like that you can now flag a mount as a favorite and, via Legacy, there is an Activate Random Mount button. Similar functionality exists in WoW and I love it.

I’ve also noticed a few subtle updates, which I kind of alluded to in a previous post. They’ve added music, creatures and sound effects from the prequels. It’s fantastic to engage in combat and a portion of Duel of the Fates begins playing! Actually, speaking of combat, I love the fast pace of lightsaber combat. I think WoW combat is going to feel slow now, in comparison.

My final thought is on the expansions. Specifically Knights of the Fallen Empire and Knights of the Eternal Throne. I began these expansions blindly so I had no idea what had changed or how it changed. I knew there were some big changes with the companions.

WARNING: Spoilers ahead.

If you haven’t played past Rise of the Hutt Cartel then stop reading now!

60 Days of The Old RepublicThe expansions (with the exception of Onslaught) progress like a movie. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked it but as I went along it started to grow on me. After playing it through a second time, on another character, I decided that I didn’t mind it at all. In these expansions your decisions actually change the story. If you make “Light Side” choices, all your companions are ready to fight by your side. However, your “Dark Side” choices can lead to some characters betraying you and leaving the Alliance. You’re treated differently, even from the companions you are romancing. It definitely adds more depth and consequence to the story.

Onslaught seems to play more like the old way, except things are vastly different with your companions. In fact, as much as I want to discuss the twist with the companions, I’m going to leave it alone. Play the game to find out (unless you decide to Google it instead, which is cheating, but to each their own).

I still have a little time left on my subscription in SWTOR; which is good since Blizzard still hasn’t given us a pre-patch date. However, I think this time I’m not going to abandon the game when it switches to “preferred status”. Perhaps, if I split some of my time between the two games, I won’t burn out as quickly on WoW.

If you’re an MMO gamer and a Star Wars fan and you haven’t checked out this game, or you want to renew your subscription, click here to begin [or return to] your journey.


I’ll do it, on one condition – if I die, you have to build a statue in my honor. An Expensive one.

The MMO Times: RIP Snape and Jareth

MMO Times Honors the Late David Bowie and Alan Rickman

David Bowie (left) and Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber (right)

Issue 139: Cancer Sucks! We lost two icons this week to cancer’s wickedness. There was nobody else in the world that would have been a better cast as Snape, although many of us probably remember him better as Hans Gruber; and who could forget Jareth the Goblin King and his “Magic Dance“. May Alan Rickman and David Bowie Rest In Peace. Sadness aside, while we silently mourn these two irreplaceable entertainers lets check out some gaming headlines that will hopefully lighten our moods.

There are a couple of posts that are not directly related to any title but they are crucial aspects of typical game-play, you all know how I like to change things up from time-to-time. There is news about a new game launch this week (a little game called Blade & Soul) and a contagious opinion piece on Star Wars The Old Republic. So while the “white death” (that’s snow for you non-Cincinnatians) keeps you in-doors, check out these headlines. KCGO.

The MMO Times: It’s 2016, Let’s Get Our Game On!!

Find the PandarenIssue 138: Greetings and welcome to 2016! Isn’t it funny to think that a little over 16 years ago we were all freaking out because Y2K was going to destroy the world? Silly humans. Oh, and speaking of silly humans, what is with the “find the panda” bit going around Facebook? I couldn’t resist using the above image from a World of Warcraft tweet.

I hope all of you had a great Christmas and didn’t kill to many brain cells on New Years Eve. 2016 is going to be a pretty big year for gaming, I think, especially if you are a fan of Blizzard titles; we are sure to see a couple of those this year.

I apologize if you are not really a fan of World of Warcraft because with Legion coming out this year you can imagine there will be several headlines pertaining to WoW in the upcoming issues. I will still attempt to keep the title diverse so other readers still have something interesting to read. For instance how about a post about Rise of the Tombraider coming to PC or new content news for SWTOR.

Rey May Be the Most Powerful Jedi Yet

The MMO Times: The Force is Strong in My Family

force-strong-in-familyIssue 136: Ghoulish Greetings Gamers! What nerdy costume did you wear this year (or your children, mine was Supergirl)? I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween. Remember that on the 27th Blizzard started the beta for Overwatch so during your sugar-induced insomnia, perhaps you were lucky enough to receive an invite to it. By the way, if you did receive an invite and you are allowed to talk about the beta, please feel free to write a post on my blog; come see me if you are interested. The 27th also marks the official launch of the next SWTOR expansion, Knights of the Fallen Empire. Blizzard and Disney are going to be most responsible for an amazing fall and winter; although 2015 is predominately the year of Star Wars.

BlizzCon starts on Friday, so I’m pretty stoked for that. I actually used a vacation day on Friday so I could watch opening ceremonies and several of the panels. I imagine that is why Blizzard has been tight-lipped yet again about any additional news other than the start of the Overwatch beta (have you gotten your invite yet?).

So what do we have for you this week. How about some Aion news (which is also unusual news for any MMO), a SWTOR article sure to make you want to play it again, even some Tomb Raider and Warcraft movie trailers. The build up to BlizzCon has the news a little slow which is the reason for the gaps between posts. I have my virtual ticket and I am quite excited for BlizzCon this weekend. Perhaps there will be more to discuss next week after Blizzard’s big weekend. KCGO.

The MMO Times: The Force. It’s Calling To You.

tfa_poster_wide_headerIssue 135: Greetings Jedi, err Gamers! Star Wars Episode VII will also soon be here! I can hardly contain myself. Halloween approaches quickly, too, which means the daystar will soon give way to frigid temperatures (depending on your location). However that also means BlizzCon fast approaches as well as the Overwatch public beta. Are you asking “What Overwatch public beta?” then you might want to read on (although it has been all over social media). On a somber note, if you have ever watched any videos by TotalBiscuit, he is in need of your thoughts and prayers, now more than ever (more on that below).

So you already know there is something about an Overwatch beta, but there are some new things coming for WoW (more pre-Legion patches) as well as a new pet apparently added over a month ago but only recently discovered, details on a new FFXIV patch, exciting news for SWTOR players (beyond the new trailer) and more! KCGO.

The MMO Times: A Bloody Fortnight!

x-wing.0Issue #134: I intentionally went an extra week between issues. The gaming news has been a little slow and mired by all the political nonsense and cool tech releases of the IRL news. I didn’t want to scrounge for moot headlines just to post something weekly so hopefully I haven’t failed you by waiting just a little longer to bring you interesting news. Blizzard has been especially quiet lately, which means they are trying to hold out until BlizzCon (although I stewie_madwouldn’t be surprised if they let a few tidbits “slip” out).

Meanwhile the Star Wars Battlefront beta has begun for PS4, XBox One and PC. I have been hearing some pretty good feedback about the game (despite what “certain trolls” think *cough*Tommy*cough*). I have it installed on my PC at the moment but I haven’t had an opportunity to log in yet. I’ve heard it’s essentially Star Wars Counterstrike but that’s how it was advertised. If you  have been trying it out I would like to know your thoughts (even if they happen to align with Tommy’s 😉 ) I also read that over nine million people have played the beta setting an EA record!

Speaking of Battlefront, there are a couple of new details about that game in the headlines below; and news about crafting in Star Wars The Old Republic. I had to post something regarding Rocket League because its new car pack is pretty cool (in a 1980’s-cult-classic kind of way). Blizzard has released the schedule for BlizzCon and there is something, finally, about the Overwatch beta, although it’s probably not as much as you hoped. Oh and MOAR PEPE!! KCGO

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