SWTOR Final Beta Weekend Thoughts

As Noob as Noob Gets

So for this beta weekend I went with a class I do want to play in the live game, but it’s a little bit down the list. I decided to see if I could at least get my ship and also see how far I could get in a single weekend.  I didn’t go super nuts on playtime, but I did play more than I normally would as well.

Some general thoughts:

  • Lag existed.  It wasn’t terrible and didn’t affect gameplay, but it was noticeable and did make the game feel a bit clunky overall.
  • I crashed to desktop once.  Loading in to the game takes a while, but I was still in the group when I got back in, so that was nice.  Not so nice was that I didn’t get credit for the boss kill and the group was’t willing to come back and run that fight again, so I had to find another group to join.
  • The gear in the noobie areas doesn’t look like much, but once you get to the 2nd planet stuff starts looking pretty cool.
  • As with last week, my tab targeting was bugged and non-functional.  I mapped Next Enemy and Nearest Enemy both to various keys, but neither ever worked no matter which keys I mapped them to.
  • Companions keep up when you have run speed boosts — BIG plus!
  • Camera zoom distance is very close and the companions stay right up on you also — this actually means it’s in the way alot when you’re trying to click on interactable things.  Very annoying.
  • With tab-target not working, click-targeting mobs around the companion was also not the easiest thing to do.
  • You can see target’s target on screen with a circle around its feet, so that’s nice.  I wasn’t ever able to find an option to cast on target’s target, though, and that wasn’t nice.  If I’m targeting my pet or my tank in a group and he’s got enough health to not worry about him for a bit, it’d be nice to be able to help focus-fire the mobs down without needing to swap targets.
  • On another UI related front, I don’t like the chat window’s default position, but the stuff at the bottom of the screen is so big that I can’t fit it down at the bottom where I want it.
  • F1 should toggle between you and your pet/companion.  I don’t like having to find Shift-F1 to target my companion when he needs heals.


Not Quite So Noob Now

So anyway…. I started a new Sith Inquisitor of the Rattataki (sp?) race. They had a very sinister look to them, I thought, plus I didn’t have to worry about finding a hairstyle. The starter planet of Korriban starts off  very easy and stays that way for most of the time.  A few missions in your class quest stand out as being a bit more difficult, and if you get caught in a respawn just as you start a fight, then you can be in trouble, but that’s what medpacks are for right?  Plus the death penalty’s pretty negligible, so it’s not too big a deal.

I play in a style that I don’t avoid mobs and I often avoid fast travel options, as this also gives me more mobs to kill.  As a result, I hit level 10 when the game expected my to be about level 7.  As I had done on my Jedi Consular last week, at 10 I bipped up to the Fleet and got my advanced class.  Unlike my Shadow and my Commando, though, I didn’t get a weapon as part of the starter gear this time, possibly becuz the Sorcerer receives a moddable lightsaber in its story quest and thus doesn’t need to be given the BFG like the Commando or the Dual-Bladed Lightsaber like the Shadow does.  And the Sorcerer pretty much stops using its lightsaber at 10 anyway, so it’s not a big deal.  Though it was a little odd to be a Sorcerer and tossing lightning everywhere while still wielding a training blade.  Such is life.

I was actually kinda surprised to hit 10 and really look at the skill trees too — the Shared Tree “Madness”  has a TON of lightning skills in it that the Sorcerer wants right from the get-go, while the Lightning tree where you’d think a DPS Sorcerer would focus didn’t look like it got anything decent until about 8-10 points in.

But anyway, passed the trials, got my Sith master and also my tank pet companion and got sent to Dromaan Kaas, so I went from desert tombs to a city in the jungle.  Due to my style of not avoiding mobs and therefore “grinding” as I move from place to place, even though I’ve still got 2 heroic side-quests to do on that planet, I finished up at level 17 there, when the game expects you to be 16.  It really makes me wonder about all those people who complain that if you don’t do every quest including the heroics as well as

Nice ship, no?

working in some flashpoints that you’ll be under-level for the next zone.  I can only conclude that they only kill mobs needed for quests and the unavoidable mobs as they run around.  And yeah, if I’d done that I can see being 14 or 15 still and having a harder time in the story quests.  So my more casual style of “get there eventually” seems well suited to the XP curve for this game.

Level 14 was nice since it gives you the skill “Sprint” and increases your movement speed by 35%.  Can’t wait for 25 and my mount. . .except of course this toon will be wiped and I’ll be starting fresh in 2 weeks.  Still and all, I made a new character up through the 2nd planet, slightly overleveled it in spite of missing 2 quests, and I got my ship too.  Not bad for a weekend’s play.  And even though there was some lag making it feel clunky and the annoyance about click-targeting and no cast on target’s target thing being the minor annoyances, I very much enjoyed it and am looking forward to the release.

For those who wonder, yes, at times I did have a red un-moddable lightsaber, but as I leveled up and found better mods to slot into my original one, I went back to my black/yellow saber.  I like that effect.

And I’ll finish up the post with some miscelaneous screenshots:

This area made my almost 2 year old daughter say "Wow!"

The Ship's Bridge

See? A Red Saber After All

Posted on December 4, 2011, in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I’m pretty sure hitting F1 twice did select my companion – I was also playing a Sith Sorcerer, and Khem Val does need a bit of attention to keep him at his best.

    I kind of missed skill forwarding (being able to target Khem and have my Force Lightning hit his target, or being able to cast heals and have them go to whomever my target is beating on). I’m old enough to have played games without it, and can cope with the manual retargeting as long as the pace of gameplay isn’t too frenetic. There aren’t enough credits in the galaxy to make me play as a PvP healer in SW:TOR though!

  2. I only played with a companion for a short time, but like you realised I’m going to have to set up keybinds or something to make it really workable.

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