Star Wars The Old Republic Synopsis
Star Wars The Old Republic is a tab target scifi MMORPG – one of the few scifi MMORPGs left available on the market, released to critical acclaim – then critical failure by EA games back in 2011.
SWTOR takes place in the fictional universe that the movies occupy – and offers players the ability to explore multiple worlds with a unique graphical style, basic combat, and fairly large, customizable class system.
Is Star Wars The Old Republic Worth Playing in 2017?
With the end of the year on the horizon, and the MMORPG market drying up, what better time is there to discuss MMORPGs that’re still worth trying than right now?
Star Wars: The Old Republic is one of the only active Scifi MMORPGs left on the market – not that there was ever really much of a selection to begin with.
The only other active Scifi MMORPG being EVE Online. And uh.. wait, nope, that’s it.
So with not much of a variety to sate peoples appetite, is Star Wars: The Old Republic actually worth it, when you have games like Final Fantasy XIV, Guild Wars 2, Black Desert, Blade and Soul, Elder Scrolls Online and World of Warcraft?
The game takes place in the Star Wars fictional universe shortly after the establishment of an incredibly delicate peace treaty between the Galactic Republic and the recently re-emerged Sith Empire.
If you’re thinking you’ll see some familiar faces though – you’re wrong.
Star Wars: The Old Republic takes place 300 years after the events of the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic games, and more than 3,600 years before the events in the Star Wars films.
When beginning the game, players are given the option to choose between two factions – much like many PvP MMORPGs – The Sith, and The Republic.
However, unlike any other MMORPG – and much like BioWare likes to do with their games – you’re given a unique morality feature to toy with that affects your overall standing along the light and dark spectrum.
The game was touted as the “fastest-growing MMO ever” – reaching an entire million subscribers within 3 days of it officially launching, but those numbers fell fast, forcing the game into a free to play model.
So, yes. The game is technically free to play, however, to access endgame, and therefore the latter part of the game, you are required to purchase the expansions through a subscription.
Although, admittedly, the game doesn’t require an active subscription to continue to access endgame content, just to first access it.
So in essence, what this means, is that the “entire” game – the full, complete experience, requires a purchase. So I would be more apt to refer to it as a buy to play game, much like Guild Wars 2 or Black Desert Online.
But I’m sure people will argue it isn’t, and that’s fine. As the base game is free to play – much like Guild Wars 2’s is, and that is classified as free to play as well.
Now that we’ve tackled the business model, let’s take a look at the gameplay.
As stated earlier – you can make choices that affect your overall standing along both the light, and dark side of the spectrum.
This affects quite a few things ingame, such as opening or closing storylines and quests, and going as far as affecting your NPC companions, providing players the opportunity to engage in a variety of differing stories from one another, and further – even their own alternate characters.
This actually leads into something I really find quite unique – especially in an MMO: Through these choices you as the player make, you’re given the opportunity to attain a love interest.
So for those forever aloners out there that don’t have a girlfriend- I mean, significant other; I’m not saying most of us are guys – what?
Then this feature may be exactly what you’ve been looking for.
Then there’s the world – or more aptly referred to – worlds – since you’re given the option to navigate quite a few different planets in total.
The environments you’re given access to and the areas you’re allowed to explore are actually quite diverse and true to the franchise.
The actual maps you get to explore are also all fairly open – giving you large zones to run around questing and killing monsters in.
The overall gameplay – speaking specfically about combat and movement – is somewhat dated. It feels somewhat poor and clunky at times and the UI is a little unintuitive.
But it doesn’t really hurt the game so much – just, more or less makes it slightly less appealing.
The route Star Wars: The Old Republic takes is actually a tab target combat style. Which surprised me as there were plenty of MMORPGs taking the action combat route yet Star Wars opted to remain traditional to MMORPGs at the time.
A fun addition to The Old Republic though that the majority of MMORPGs don’t emply is the AI companion system. According to the wiki:
“The AI used for companions during combat helps set SWTOR apart from other MMOs.
Not surprisingly, the Bioware game ‘Mass Effect’ is used to describe how companions in SWTOR engage targets.
Specifically, they don’t behave as a passive pet, merely adding damage over time; instead, they seem to select weak targets, and consistently disengage from mobs that have been neutralized with crowd control effects.
Therefore, instead of babysitting a pet, players get the feeling of working with a competent teammate.
This makes it easier to rotate through class skills without pausing to re-direct the companion to prevent him from ending an effect prematurely.”
Now, regarding classes – there are quite a few to choose from, however, they mainly revolve around the same holy trinity that most MMORPGs swear fealty to: Tank, Healer, DPS.
And trust me – the classes aren’t always as easy to differentiate between as they seem. I thought I was going mage when instead I picked healer. Just an FYI.
Beginning from level 10, all players are able to participate in unranked ground PvP – both 4v4 arenas and 8v8 warzones.
Players are bolstered all the way to level 70 to provide a semi-even playing field.
To participate in ranked PvP as opposed to unranked PvP you are required to have an existing subscription. What this means is that if you’re not paying – you are physically denied access to ranked PvP.
Furthermore, to reach max level, you are required to subscribe at least once as mentioned earlier to unlock the Knights of the Eternal Throne expansion, and the level 70 cap attached to it.
Next up is space PvP – referred to as Galactic Starfighter.
Space PvP is instanced and allows queueing at any level. It also has daily and weekly quests that reward both XP and CXP at max level, along with tokens used for a plethora of reasons like ship requisition and upgrades.
For a more in-depth look at space PvP, I recommend going to the Star Wars: The Old Republic SubReddit, as they cover it quite extensively.
PvE – or more specifically, Dungeons and Raids function as Operations and Flashpoints in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
However, unfortunately, Operations are locked for subscribers only. Operations are 8-man group content focused around fighting bosses – mostly like dungeons and raids in traditional MMORPGs.
Flashpoints are 4-man group content focused around more or less the same, but are much more story centralized than Operations, and have a much more traditional party size limitation for dungeoning.
Flashpoints are not subscriber-only content and can be done by free players as well.
Then you have Uprisings, which are.. different. Very different. They’re shorter, much more action packed versions of Flashpoints.
You can find more in-depth reviews on each mode by once again visiting the SubReddit if you want.
The soundtrack – or music, overall, isn’t bad.
I mean I’m sure there’ll be people that complain the soundtrack is either amazing or terrible, but from what I recall playing through the game for around 12-14 hours, there was nothing that caught my attention.
Finally – the story. The story in Star Wars: The Old Republic is its key selling point.
The entirety of the game revolves around its story. If I had to compare it to something, I would say it’s like a fully voice acted, choice driven Final Fantasy XIV.
There is so much story in this game – so, so much story that it is almost ridiculous.
Everywhere you go, everything you do is for a reason. Every choice you make, and every choice you’re given has consequences that could affect the story down the line.
Having such a large emphasis on story, and allowing the player to customize so much of it is something BioWare has become known for with games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect.
So it’s impressive to see it in MMORPG form as well.
The story in Star Wars: The Old Republic is some of the best storytelling I’ve come across in an MMORPG.
Even if you dislike the games combat, graphical style, music. The fact remains that its storytelling is almost unrivaled.
Is Star Wars The Old Republic Worth Playing in 2017?
Now, to finish this video off, let me say that if you want a Too Long ; Didn’t Read version of this video, then yes, Star Wars: The Old Republic is worth trying, at the very least, if you haven’t ever played it in the past.
Unfortunately quite a few things such as ranked PvP and Operations are kept from free players, but don’t let that stop you from trying out the game.
Star Wars The Old Republic Minimum System Requirements
Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / 7
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 2.13 GHz / AMD Athlon x2 Dual Core 5000+
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX / ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 15 GB
Star Wars The Old Republic Recommended System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium Dual Core G6960 2.93 GHz / AMD Phenom II X3 B75 or better
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 465 GTX / ATI Radeon HD 5850 or better
RAM: 4 GB or better
Hard Disk Space: 15 GB