So I’ve been in the pre-play for Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) since Friday and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ve played several ‘toons up to level 10+ just to see what they’re like and to figure out who’s going to be my “main.”  So far, it’s looking like my Sith Inquisitor is going to win that competition.

In general, I’m actually loving the game!  Which, to be honest surprised me.  I wasn’t even going to pick up this title ‘cuz I’ve never really been interested in the Star Wars universe as a game platform.  And when some of my guildies reported from beta that there were a lot of cut-scenes, I was turned off.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the first two movies, and went to see them as a kid when they first came out.  I used to wear Star Wars T-Shirts all the time in Jr. High School.  But as the movies kept coming, I started losing interest – Ewoks – ugh, the ubiquitous cantina (it was cool in the first movie, but trite afterwards), Jar-Jar, Darth Brat kid turns into Darth Prick young adult and eventually ends up Darth Vader – Big surprise there, NOT.  The original Star Wars, and Empire Strikes Back were AWESOME though.

So as a game setting, it never clicked with me, I never even tried SW Galaxies.   But so many of my guild-mates were picking up SW:TOR, I figured I may as well at least give it a try.  My first pick for a character in the game was a blue skinned Bounty Hunter.  I enjoyed playing him quite a bit, and the healer companion that I eventually got was a great help. Next I played a Sith Inquisitor – OMG FUN!  I really liked this character and she’s a total biatch! Sometimes it’s fun to just be nasty, and enveloping your victims in lightning is icing on the cake. Acquiring her companion was a painful experience, but I finally got it done after many (many) deaths; honestly at level 8 this should have been rated a 2+ quest (meaning you need 2 or more people to complete).

Next I made a bone-headed Sith Warrior – different play-style, but I also enjoyed this character quite a bit for a melee tank type. She’s also quite the “Ice Queen.”  To round out my Empire squad, I created an Agent, which actually had some pretty cool mechanics, but it’s also more of a thinking man’s  class where you need to plan out each encounter a bit more, so that slows down the leveling quite a bit.  But if you don’t mind taking in the scenery a bit more and enjoy creating strategies, this might be the class for you.   On the Republic side, I’ve only played a Jedi Knight up to ten – very similar mechanics to the Sith Warrior, and I enjoyed it, but I think I’ll be sticking with the Empire side of the house for now.

Overall, I really love the quests, and to be honest it’s the cut-scenes and the dialogues that really make them shine.  In fact, after having just come from playing Skyrim, it was a very easy transition into SWTOR, which seems much more like an RPG game than an MMO game, and for me that’s a good thing.

The only bad thing that I’ve run into, and it’s mainly just annoying, is that it took me forever to figure out how to get my advanced trainer to talk to me.  None of my characters were level ten before they had to leave their noob-world for the next planet,  but the quest for your advanced trainer (which you get access to at level ten) is located on the intermediate space dock between the noob-area and your second planet – dumb.  This quest should be at the second planet, and part of your main quest line, not the easily missed side-quest that it is now.

I’m betting this will be changed eventually, because a lot of peeps were missing this very important quest and asking about how to get it in the general chat in-game.  And it’s not an easy answer, there’s a lot of explaining exactly where the quest giver is.  He’s back at the space station, you need to back-track to where you arrived on the station, but he’s not in the arrival area (like the dumb quest guy for the Black Talon – This is where the Adv. Trainer Quest Guy  should be – and/or on the 2nd planet near the other trainers), but he’s actually out in the hallway standing at the corner where two hallways converge just outside of your arrival bay.  Anyways, it’s a pain to find and explain to others if you/they have never been there before.

Final thoughts: After playing all weekend for many hours more than I should have, I would rate the game 4 out of 5 stars. One star docked for some early quest lines that need a bit of tweaking; otherwise  it’s really a great game. And after said tweaking, I hope it transforms into a 5 star game (hopefully it won’t go down to a 3 or 2 star game like I hear Galaxies did after some major tweaking was done there).

I hope y’all are getting ready for the holidays, and that a wonderful time is had by all! Enjoy!

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