Star Wars: The Old Republic

Hello Star Wars fans and fellow gamers,  The moment a lot of us have been waiting for has now come. One of the most highly anticipated games by gamers and Star Wars fans alike….Star Wars:The Old Republic brought to you by Lucas Arts and BioWare.
First off let me state that I am a HUGE nerd and Star Wars fan and usually no matter how good or bad the game is, I love it just for the fact its Star Wars but to be fair and honest, I’ll be making this review as impartial and unbiased as possible so lets begin shall we?
Timeline wise, the game takes place several hundred years after the Knights of the Old Republic and from the opening credits and score, it fully immerses you into the Star Wars universe as the movies do. Lets break it down.
As an MMORPG, it does pretty well and if you are familiar with playing ones such as WOW or EQ, you will feel totally at home with SWTOR. Even if you are new to the genre, there isn’t a steep learning curve as some other games I have played.
There are two obvious factions to choose from: Republic & Empire, with each offering 4 classes which pretty much mirror each other. They are  as follows:
Republic: Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler and Trooper    Respectively with Empire: Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Imperial Agent and Bounty Hunter
Once you reach level 10 with the class you play, you have a choice of specializing one of two choices which will give you more options, different skill tree’s and career/play styles (Tank/DPS or Tank/Heal) but make your choice wisely as once you choose, there’s no going back. At about level 14-16 you get your own ship to travel the galaxy….which at the moment is pretty limited to where you can go. The game does offer space battles but I found that the experience was a lot like the ones from Lego Star Wars where your ship follows a certain path and you shoot along the way. Personally I would have hoped for a more open space battle environment like you see in SW Battlefront so I have to admit this was kind of disappointing.  The lack of places to travel to was equally disappointing but I’m hoping that more will open up in future updates.
Seeing that the game is pretty much still in its infancy as MMOROG’s go, there aren’t too many race choices as of yet. There are only 4 for each side at the moment but I’m hoping that in the future as the game progresses that they will add more to the list. Customization is fairly limited as well but still not as bad as I have seen in other games.
Here’s some in game footage of the 2 classes I have played to the higher levels so far: Bounty Hunter and Sith Warrior:
Bounty Hunter

Sith Warrior

In any good MMORPG, crafting plays a big part and SWTOR does it in spades with its Crew Skills. As you progress in the game you gain companions much like you did in the original Knights of the Old Republic games but with one big difference……you can send these companions on missions to collect materials needed for crafting and other useful items or to craft items you need in the background  all while you continue on your quests.
Ok back to the actual crafting/crew skills side of things.  Here’s the breakdown.
Gathering  Skills
– Lockboxes for money (sometimes a lot)
– BoE gear
– Mission discovery )one time use missions that can be used for a specific gathering skills. If its not one you can use, you can sell it on the market for a tidy profit.
As of right now, slicing is known to be a great skill for making money if you’re interested in just buying the gear you need.
– gathers color crystals, power crystals and artifact fragments used for synthweaving and artiface
– harvests biochemical compounds and samples from plants and beasts used for the Biochem skill
-gathers compounds and metals used in Armormech, Armstech, and Cybertech
Mission Skills
Diplomacy: Supplies for Biochem, light side/dark side points
Investigation: research compounds for Armstech, rare schematics for all types of crafting
Treasure Hunting: Gem stones used in Artiface , companion gifts
Underworld Trading: underworld metals and luxury fabrics used in Armstech, Synthweaving and Cybertech
Crafting Skills
Artiface: makes color crystals for guns and lightsabers, enhancement mods, off hand items and hilt mods for lightsabers
Armormech: Creates medium armor with cunning and heavy armor with aim
Biochem: creates med packs, stims, adrenals and implants
Cybertech: creates armor mods, parts for robot companions, earpieces, grenades, vehicles and starship parts
Synthweaving: Light armor with will power, medium & heavy armor with strength
Armstech: Barrel mods, assault cannons, blasters (pistol & rifle), tech blade, vibro sword & knife, techstaff, electrostaff and sniper rifle
Here’s a picture of the suggested skills for the class you are playing
All in all I have found the game pretty fun to play but it does have a few downsides for me….notably there can be quite the server wait.  I suggest this to counter that. Find a server close to you with a really bad/boring name….something you would normally never choose and go with that. It seems all the ones with cool names are usually full and there can be up to a 45 minute wait in line.
As I had mentioned before, the universe as a whole in the game is pretty small compared to other mmorpg’s ive played but I’m sure in time the developers will be adding more and more content.
All in all, I love this game…..hey its Star Wars! whats not to love?
I’ll be continuing to amend this post as the game progresses but so far here’s my ratings.
Game play: 10/10
Fun factor: 11/10 ……its Star Wars
Graphics: 10/10
Story: 10/10
Physics: 9/10…. there are still a few bugs but they will be worked out in time.