Above: Seriously, that looks so Star Wars we can barely take it
Following up Shaddaa was Tatooine which, as expected, was a
giant desert. The massive sand dunes likely would have gotten boring if not
for the fact that we landed there around level 25, which is when we were allowed
to purchase our first mount. The mount itself was far from exceptional, but it
made traversing the vast deserts a treat. Fighting against Jawas, Sand People
(they’re not called Tusken Raiders because they won't have raided Fort Tusken for a few thousand years),
and other creatures from A New Hope was a delight, and we loved our time there
enough to finish all of the quests we had available, and to group out for some
four-person missions we might otherwise have skipped.
A problem in the
Though we really enjoyed our trek to 30, we did find
ourselves becoming slightly more frustrated with some of the elements of
BioWare’s game. Bugs and glitches, for instances, have become more abundant,
and while the game is still more polished than most MMOs at launch, it’s still
rough around the edges. We also found that the Flashpoints we loved so much
early in the game changed the further we got until, well, we just stopped doing
Above: Action? Adventure? A Sith craves these things
The first Flashpoint was fun, story-based, and really took
full advantage of the game’s unique mechanics. The second and third? Incredibly
generic. Sure, there had spots of dialog here and there, but instead of
continuing the story-based approach, the Flashpoints became very
run-of-the-mill. Anyone who has played an MMO knows the formula, and we were
sad to see it show up in SWTOR. There’s a hallway full of guys, a room with
harder guys, then a boss with a strange mechanic.
Then there’s a hallway full
of guys, a room with harder guys, then a boss with a strange mechanic.
a hallway full of guys, a room with harder guys, then a boss with a strange
Then there’s a hallway full of guys, a room with harder guys, then a final,
really difficult boss with a few tricks up its sleeve. Then you get good loot. And a bunch of experience. And maybe some tokens or something that you can turn in for more experience or loot. Yay?
We skipped the next few, because it felt like it was taking
time away from our enjoyment of the story-based elements of the game, but we’re
planning on doing more on our quest to level cap. We're really confused by how large the drop-off is in enjoyment with all of the Flashpoints past the first. We have no idea by BioWare decided to suddenly abandon the story for the traditional MMO formula, and we hope that it adds more narrative-based Flashpoints in the future. Those are what we signed up for, not generic level grinds.
Above: That flying fish thing is the coolest thing about Alderaan
Thankfully it didn't really matter; there was more than enough content to level up even without doing Flashpoints. In fact, we often found that we had missed our chance to do them entirely - until level cap, when they open back up, at least.
A not so long time
There are still many worlds to explore, many more stories to
uncover, and many more Republic scum to slice apart. Be sure to check back next
week for our trip from level 30-45 to find out about planets like Hoth, and to
hear how the game’s player-versus-player combat is shaping up. Then, soon after, we hope to have a full-blown review for you so that you can decide whether or not Star Wars: The Old Republic is right for you.