Tuesday, December 27, 2011

SW:TOR, not a review

Perhaps the most shocking finding is that SW:TOR has exactly the shortcomings that have been predicted by the blogosphere for two years now.

Since the official release I played a lot of The Old Republic. I also made short notes whenever something noteworthy crossed my mind. When I started to think about a blog post then, I realized that the list was far too long. That's why I decided to write a very short paragraph about most points and a
conclusion with the most important point at the end.

SW:TOR requires a lot of suspension of disbelieve. Even more than other MMORPGs. This not only applies to classic gameplay vs simulation problems, but also to the story. Most stories are simply very hard to believe. I find myself thinking “This doesn't make sense” all the time.

The sound is sometimes buggy or not well polished. As a Sith Sorcerer my companion emits crackling lightning sounds for seconds after combat finished. It feels wrong.

My Sith Sorcerer is all about lightning. This makes the entire experience a bit monotonous. In original Star Wars only the Emperor could use lightning. It was the sign of total overkill. I was in awe when I saw it the first time. In SW:TOR you almost start throwing lighting shocks at level 1. And since almost every attack ability is about lightning, too, it soon feels underwhelming and boring. The Emperor's lightning in original SW wasn't so impressive, due to the graphics (although they were nice). It was impressive because he was the only one capable of it. Lightning should have been a high-end ability. Generally the class requires more diverse graphics and sounds while fighting.

The graphics are a bit worse than Rift's as far as I can tell. Sometimes they are nice, but just as often they feel bland. Generally, the graphical style of the game is not really to my liking. Many areas seem to be exessively large without any specific reason. I'm a bit puzzled about the why, honestly.
However, I have to admit that I do prefer the standard fantasy setting to a space setting in a MMO, anyway - even though I like Sci-Fi as well as Star Wars.

The light/dark points feel out of place to me. It seems like Bioware wanted this feature, but it doesn't really add anything to the game. First, I have yet to meet a light side Jedi who chooses dark side options in dialogue (and vice versa). Secondly, it's just odd that whether you are light side or dark side is a question of what you say and not a question of what you do. If you kill harmless (yellow) NPCs - nobody cares. But being impolite is the path to the dark side. This is the typical Bioware problem. Since light and dark need to be equally powerful, you never gain anything from being “evil”. The dark side means being impolite and arrogant - the light side means being overly selfless and emotionless. Funnily, the selflessness is irrelevant. If you choose to give a poor child some money you don't actually seem to lose it. If you sacrifice your own power to save your master's life, you gain light side points but you don't actually lose any power.

Perhaps the most shocking finding is that SW:TOR has exactly the shortcomings that have been predicted by the blogosphere for two years now: Good story, not-so-good gameplay.
Generally, I feel like level 1-10 is great fun. Level 10-20 is fun enough. But level 20-50 seem to be just bland. And the reason is the story. As long as you have one focused story the game is fun. That's no surprise. Most expensive games nowadays use the formula of satisfying gameplay + story. But after level 10 and especially level 20 the story becomes more and more unfocused. The alternative to gameplay+focused story is great gameplay. More about this later.

I don't really care about the voice-over if the actual story isn't interesting. And it can't really be interesting if it's just a single quest. The worst quests are the ones with alien voice-over. The aliens talk gibberish and you need to read the translation of what they say. Often it is translated as if they were talking bad English ... . I can see why this seemed like a good idea at the time, but it's an example where gameplay >> simulation - even though going with the simulation was obviously cheaper this time.

My native screen resolution is 2560x1600. But the reason I bought this monitor wasn't that I like things small. Unfortunately that they are in SW:TOR because Bioware forgot to add a scaling interface. This is unforgivable in my opinion. At the very least there should be standard UI-settings for all common resolutions. Right now I sometimes feel like playing Eve Online when I need to lean forward to read the text on the screen.
What the player actually sees on his screen is the most important thing in a computer game! To ignore it means that Bioware probably employs too many engineers and not enough designers. Generally, the customizability of the UI is sub-standard. This needs work!

Oh - I can already see all the badge loot. I know this is supposed to motivate me. To make me want all the shiny epics. Very honestly: it demotivates me - no mystery, only grind. I've done that before and I don't even care at all about my equipment in this game. Maybe that's just me and a consequence of too much experience with MMOs. But good stats that make my character 0.5% better at something just don't do it for me. I'd rather like to see a few upgrades every now and then with items that have a lore background and interesting names. This may also be connected to the overly small UI on my screen which makes it stressful to read a new item's name or stats.

There are Jedis everywhere here. Maybe this will later balance out. Maybe not. I seriously considered making a smuggler, but at the end of the day my favorite class in MMOs always was the wizard and there's only one wizard-like class in SW:TOR.
Of course, all classes are as powerful as Jedis/Siths. Which doesn't make any sense, but it's of course not unexpected - just ridiculous.

I made a Sith Sorcerer who played like a wizard. He almost never uses his light saber other than for show. Sometimes he deflects an incoming blaster shot (10% chance). But mostly he just sucks the shots up - doesn't feel like in the movies.

I later switched my main to a Jedi Sage. That's the mirror class of the Sith Sorcerer. Constantly being impolite and arrogant to gain dark side points was going on my nerves. Unfortunately the Sage has a terrible, terrible Lizard companion. This one easily tops the list of worst RPG-companions of all time! He's so stereotypically boring, he looks so ugly - he only speaks gibberish that is translated into broken English. ... Terrible!

But even if the companion was better I don't think I'd like the concept of companions for everybody. I understand why Bioware did it, of course. It makes balancing the solo play much easier in a game with healers, tanks and DDs.
But my companoin constantly confuses me while he randomly moves between the camera and my character. It's quite possible to get a headache from this. Guess why the companions in WoW always run a few steps in front of your character ...
Last but certainly not least, the companion constantly blocks anything I want to click-to-activate!

I actually think that people being extra cruel to gain points can be considered problematic. I've seen a few conversations where all players chose the cruel/torture options. If educating children with gamification works even a tiny bit, this is troublesome!

The character models the game uses are not good. First, all races are actually just humans with tiny modifications. Second, they come in three forms: super-small, normal, super-big, fat. Many - especially those on the dark side - are just ugly. You don't want to watch them for hundreds of hours. Moreover the chest is wrong.

Space combat feels out of place to me. The game doesn't need this. I'm not even certain the game profits from it at all. It severs the link between you and your character by turning your avatar into a spaceship. And, maybe I am wrong, but that space game doesn't seem to have much depth. You either move the cursor at what you want to kill or you move it randomly to evade shots. The only question seems to be what to do when - not even the execution seems to make much of a difference.

The fact that the style of the light-saber is fixed by class is a terrible decision, in my opinion. Me, for example, I never liked dual blades or the two-bladed blades. In my opinion they are overkill - next we get a light saber trident! I would like to play a 'rogue-like' Jedi. But I won't do this as long as they use the large two-bladed light sabers!

Choosing a class at level ten (3 hours if you skip dialogue) without any possibility to undo this click is not good game design. No further explanation needed.

This is not SW:TOR related. Even though I try to play in English, German servers are better. I switched when I made the Jedi-Sage. The main reason is that most people on German servers are capable of speaking German. On English servers half of the population doesn't seem to be able to talk in English properly.

Testing a trooper I found that shooting four times but seeing only one damage number feels a bit weird. Furthermore, enemies react to my shoot powering up the second I activate it. This also applies to some spells. This feels wrong. They should start to react only when the shoot reaches them or when they see me. I identified the general feeling of feedback as the major problem of SW:TOR and write about it further down.

The attribute system doesn't make much sense to me. “Cunning” and “Aim” for example seem to be pretty arbitrary. I don't feel like being able to aim better when I get more 'aim' - because depending on my class other attributes improve aim more than "aim". You can't remove this concept so far from the simulation. Either you use a different concept - or you use attributes that make sense.

There are also a few good things about SW:TOR which I want to emphasize.

The various difficulty levels of different mobs in the open world are a huge step forward from nowadays WoW - even though the step is not so huge compared with classic WoW. And it still boggles my mind how professional game designers can/(could?) think that having one standard-difficulty mob only in an open world makes sense.

You can actually die while leveling - and you can do some heroic areas alone. My Sorcerer never grouped until level 15. With a tank and the ability to heal and dps he was able to solo everything - but it sometimes took half an hour and longer ;).

I like the abstract crafting-concept. It doesn't make much sense from a simulation PoV, of course. But the pure abstract gameplay is very good. Definitely something to remember.

I love the socketing of items. This provides an alternative to transmogrification that doesn't suffer from the immense simulaton-credibility problem. All future games should use this if they want any item-power-progression at all!

Walking and Running animations are mostly good or very good.

The Smuggler's cover ability works surprisingly well. I'm not sure whether it was worth the effort, but Bioware has my respect for making this idea work.

Even though I alt-tabbed extensively while making notes, the game ran 10 hours and more without any problems at all.

The phasing alternative, which are story zones, are technically very good. I don't like such concepts in MMOs but I have admit it's well done.

They changed quest markers. No more question marks. The new ones are nice.

The frequent group content which usually can't be soloed after level 15 offers great incentives to group up.

Voice-over is great (Alien gibberish is not!). I expect voice over from all AAA-games from now on.

Class-specific content is always a win.

No LFD/G/R !!!

My by far biggest problem with SW:TOR is the gameplay as in contrast to the story/simulation. I don't have as much fun playing my character as I have in WoW. Without a satisfying and focused story line I don't see myself playing this for long. In fact, I fear SW:TOR requires a focused story like a drug addict requires his drugs. And the reason is the inferior gameplay.

I spent some thoughts on what is the problem with the gameplay. After all it is technically perfect. My conclusion is that the feedback of hitting a button is sub-standard. This mostly applies to the acoustic feedback, but often also applies to the graphical feedback.
When you hit a button a MMO must provide an instant, clear and memorable feedback; SW:TOR doesn't do this! Often my abilities feel completely boring due to this. If you remember my posts about the rhythm of gameplay, SW:TOR misses this rhythm almost completely. It's like playing a piano with randomized delays after the press of an ivory.

Compare the sound of the Sorcerer's / Sage's healing abilities in SW:TOR with the healing abilities of WoW's priests! I didn't do that comparison yet but I am certain that WoW beats SW:TOR dramatically here.

Graphically my experience certainly suffers from the very small UI - including the cast bar. I already explained that this is a consequence of my large monitor and the not-scaleable UI. The problem isn't so much that it's hard to read, as that it is too small to make up for the lack of feedback, which it potentially could (to a degree).

Another reason the gameplay is not as fun is probably that the classes I played so far are completely cooldown-driven. You basically have 4-6 abilities of which one is the best, one is the second best , ..., and one is the worst. You go down that list and simply activate whatever ability is available with the current GCD. This is viable but boring gameplay. One doesn't need to look far to find better gameplay, either. WoW does it. ...

Just as predicted, storylines alone aren't enough for a MMO. The gameplay needs to be satisfying enough to play even in the absence of a good (focused) story! The gameplay problems can still be corrected if Bioware really wants! In my opinion this is necessary and may even be sufficient to 'safe' SW:TOR.

Edit: There is a good and much commented post on the official forum about this.

Overall, everybody who likes to play RPGs or MMOs should buy this game. It's certainly worth some 50 euros. You should also make sure to never be subscribed because the probability that you will not play this for more than 250 hours is very high, in my opinion.

As for WoW: It will probably have taken a huge hit with SW:TOR's release. A significant number of players will come back. An even more significant number, however, will simply stop playing MMOs.


  1. About gameplay:

    My first main is/was a 25 Sorcerer as well, and it started to bore me to death. The bubble - send pet - wait 3 secs for him to attack - throw some spells got old quick, and damn Khem walking behind me and taking all my screen space without actually being in it made it a pain to right click anything.

    So i started to test other classes. I wasnt part of beta because i didnt want it to spoil my fun.

    Right now im in love with my Powertech (BH tank). I run in like a madman, my first companion is a healer/dd, i throw missiles, i take flight to rain death on a 1-min cooldown, rocket-powered "shoryuken" uppercuts, i spray fire on a cone, on a 360 degree... its full of explosions, running, kind of a pyromaniac Rambo-style way of fighting, and soon (im 25 atm) i'll even get a Charge skill! Oh man full of win!

    So my take on the matter is: explore all the classes a bit, you might find other ways to enjoy the game =D

  2. I'm one of the people who aren't really in the review stage of TOR - I've decided it's quite good and I intend to play it for some months. It's also impossible, and perhaps a little impolite, in the end, to argue with subjective perception. So I'm trying to avoid falling into the trap of predictable, boring advocacy but I would still like to say a few words:

    Your first complaint is rather surprising to me. There are a few oddities to some of the stories - and there are as many little plotlines, after all, as there are quest chains - but it holds together remarkably well in my judgement. This in stark contrast to, say, Rift, which I really wanted to like, but I could not get invested in its world at all. Some of the Sith starter area stories, perhaps - but the Sith are a little insane to begin with.

    On graphical style, it's in the eye of the beholder. I disagree, but cannot quarrel with this.

    I agree with you about the yellow bystanders, but I'm afraid that your comment about the meaninglessness of Light/Dark is completely at odds with my own experience. The practical outcome is almost always different. My smuggler alt received extra credits when he chose to demand them. My Knight did not when he refused them. You can choose to destroy weapons, or bring them back to support a faction. You can recover, from an ancient computer, the teachings of a warlord or a peacemaker sage. You can put a blaster bolt through the head of a corrupt official, or let him live. These are all actions, not dialogue. Moreover, even on my classically-minded Knight, I have chosen a couple of dark side options in his career where I thought they would be the greater good.

    I do think that in some cases the writers give us a dark side that is more petty sadism than profound, thoughtful evil. But then, my only serious Imperial character was an agent who found the Sith rather tiresome, and it felt right from his perspective.

    The issue with the companion interfering with the view is another great surprise. Is your camera zoomed out adequately?

    As to feedback: I have very little personal experience with Consular/Sage, so I cannot say. However, as a tanking Guardian, and given that there are no UI mods or add-ons in the game yet, I have taken to memorising the lightsaber animation sequences corresponding to my various abilities, so that I don't have to glance down to my quickbar as much to check what landed. This is working quite well so far.

    I agree with the design versus engineering comment. The UI definitely has problems. Preferences don't save well between characters and servers. Most of the chairs cannot be sat in. Many of the emotes are plain unfinished. There are areas where the game could use a lot of work, and Bioware have promised polishing the details in their launch Q&A.

  3. While I think there are a lot of things Bioware can do better with this game, there are a lot more that they did right. They took many of the things that made WOW a success and expanded on it.

    Story- The minor quests (kill 10 boars) had a better story in WOW than equivalent quests in swtor i feel. The problem is, no one reads those anyway. In terms of main storyline (class quests) I really like swtor's a lot better. I don't even remember this existing much in WOW? It gives your character a personality, which is lacking in most other mmos.

    Gameplay - Minus the lack of auto-attack (which I dont mind) the game plays very similar to WoW in most respects. Not sure what else to say about this yet. Is it a bit buggy? Yes, but not terribly so. As long as bioware polishes this in the short term it will be non-issue.

    Now in terms of the interface tweaking and such, many good games are missing this at the start. Many of them add it in later patches. Hell, it took blizzard many years to implement things the community was asking for from the start. I would have liked an LFG in the game from the start, shame Bioware shame.

    Compared to what is out there, I am very pleased with the game. Is it perfect? No. Is there a perfect MMO (or any game) out there? Doesn't exist. I think this game holds up quite well though.

    Plus, as Soresu implied, it is difficult to judge a game 2 weeks in. I will likely reassess the game in about a month or two. At very least it will carry me until D3 releases.

  4. I agree basically with everything you've said (I think there was minor something I didn't really agree with, but can't find atm :)).

    I particularly agree on the subject of the story being sub-par (especially as you get higher level and 'main story' takes less percentage of the play time). I can't in my head divide cleanly between main story and side-quests but many choices are atrocious -- you are often supposed to e.g. select between who you trust based on no information whatsoever and no option to demand / seek more information. I think it would've worked much better if they'd removed this [illusion of] choice. I find that when I'm forced to choose, I'm forced to review the 'plot' much more closely and it's full of holes (which would've been less apparent [at least to me] if they just rail-roaded my path).

    Also fully voiced "kill ten rats" is still "kill ten rats".

    Another point I stronly agree with is the feedback issue. Several 'instant' abilities do their 'thing' towards the end of their GCD -- so you hit a button and [almost] nothing happens -- which is really, really bad in my opinion.

    Similar problem exists with 'flying damage numbers'. They appear to randomly collate together damages that happen close together. So if you chain abilities you sometimes get one big number and sometimes several small numbers -- very inconsistent and makes it hard to figure out what ability is actually better -- hell for quite some time I thought Trooper's auto-shoot ability is doing great damage because it does triple-shot and game often show small numbers for one or two shoots and then final number that is actually the sum of all damage done rather than just an individual shot.

    Specifically on the subject of Sage -- I'm not there yet, but I think at level 20 you can get talent that removes cooldown from that 'throw' spell. At which point you can probably relegate DPS to one button and focus on actually interesting stuff -- CC, healing, whatever. If a fight is too easy to require CC and healing, then to me it's still better to be solved with one button rather than with the fake 'difficulty' of managing several short-term cooldowns.

    I guess what I'm trying to say here -- there's quite a bit of variety between how classes play, you might find something that suits you :)

  5. Actually I have a trooper at level 10 and I agree that the gameplay is better. But I dislike his style in conversations. ; (

  6. I completely agree with your feedback rantings -- they're my rantings too. Clicking an instant should have an instant effect, not have it happen 1 to 1.5 seconds later and I just happen to be able to cast it on the run. And since the mobs react the moment it's clicked, but you still have to wait for your thing to fire off... yeah, it feels VERY off.

  7. I think you were way more cautious with the game that it needed and that had a result to actually focus hard to find bad things instead of having fun with the good ones..

    usually I agree with you and I read you lot of time now and actually I am surprised with that post...so many post about how wow is going the bad way...so many posts about simulation vs game..if there was a guy that would like swtor I would bet it would be you. no LFG and anonymous jerks, no afk in cities, no fly mounts, reward for exploring (datacorns, so many elite/bosses with great loot) and the best of all leveling is challenging!I really died many times in elite fights until I figure out what to do..

    also the game is not broken yet by theorycrafters...gameplay and rotations, talent builds, tips and tricks are not spoiled yet..I remember a post you made of that also, I am bored to search them all one by one and link them..

    I play 14 hours a day..I had to do this since vanilla/TBC.I really feel the immersion of the world. It still needs to kill 10 mobs and collect x items with the difference that now I know why I am doing it and actually I want to do it..I feel it. As Soresu said lot of options isn't just an dialog option but have a direct impact.

    the gameplay is very good

  8. "Clicking an instant should have an instant effect, not have it happen 1 to 1.5 seconds later and I just happen to be able to cast it on the run. "

    in the preferences menu there is an option to choose if you want to put delay on your skills..put this on 0.0 and you will have paced combat experience...really I play a Jedi guardian and have absolutely no problem with that and I understand exactly what you say..it is the reason I cannot play lotro but swtor don't have such a problem..maybe 1-2 abilities in whole game that actually have a long animation but thats it...animations are awesome and adds a lot to the gameplay..as someone else said I can understand from the animations what skills I have done and what I have open to do..for example when riposte is activated for my guardian, my character's head glows blue and his eyes glow white..

  9. Giannis, this is the reason I usually don't list what I like about games. It's just so damn much - with every game :)

    For example, SW:TOR is very consistent. Mr. Lucas would never allow some lore-abomination like Jedi-Christmas (I'm sure Bioware would love that...).

    There's a lot to like about SW:TOR - otherwise I wouldn't tell my readers to buy it. But the stories stop to grab me after about level 20, because they don't tell one focused story anymore. Kill-ten-rats with voice over doesn't work for me.
    And, like I said, the abstract gameplay, if analyzed independently from the story/simulation, really isn't good in my opinion. But it's great that you have fun.

  10. A forum poster actually made a very good and long post at the official forum about the characters' responsiveness.

    Really recommended

  11. As for Christmas... they can do Life Day. :D

    I've been playing SWTOR on my brother's account while I'm with my family for the holidays, and it's certainly tempting me to get it for myself. Not so much for anything MMO-y about it, but for the Bioware-RPG-story stuff. I'm only at level 14, so I can't comment on how the story gets later... but I'd see myself buying it and then dropping it completely once I'd played as many class stories as I felt like playing. Maybe re-upping if an expansion extended them well.

    I do agree with the feedback stuff. I'm used to WoW, where enemies absolutely don't notice you until your ability connects, so starting my slow attack and having them immediately run at me is a bit weird.

  12. I would agree that the Sith Sorcerer should have more variety than Lightning.

    That said, I find it... odd to make comparisons between this game and the original trilogy, as if the last 20+ years of Star Wars games never happened. Go to the Force Lightning page and scroll to the bottom where it says "Appearances." The short version is: Force Lightning is in every Star Wars game. It reminds me of when people bring up the "it's not realistic to hit people with lightsabers multiple times" argument, as if A) KOTOR et tal didn't do it, and B) as if multiple Backstabs, Gouge, swords/fireballs to the face, etc, are more reasonable.

    Anyway, I know it's just feelings and opinions and so on. That one just rubs me the wrong way.

  13. Thank you for another interesting post.

    I am similar to soresu - I own the game and expect to play it for many months so I have no immediate decisions for reviews to inform. Besides, I would see no benefit to reading restaurant reviews from someone who never eats out. Similarly, what I read is that after your public WoW deletion, there is no MMO you care to play. For F2P trends alone, I do not anticipate there will ever be another AAA MMO you will like. Reading MMO reviews from a non-MMO player would be as irrelevant as to read about the things I dislike in a FPS shooter I will never play.

    MoP and TOR are both positive developments and hopefully each will push themselves and each other to get better.

  14. Azuriel, I didn't say remove force lightning completely. I explained why it was so much fun in the movies and that it therefore should be high-level skill. My argument is not that there is a way it is supposed to be due to the lore alone.

    Sally, such blog post are written for the fun of writing them and they should be read for the fun of reading them. If you want to discuss in the comments then for the fun of discussing them.
    On the topic of other MMOs, I think your version of the future is a bit too linear and predictable :)

  15. I really like SW:TOR; as only my second MMO it has a lot of "new car" smell for me, I'm fine with the art style, and as a melee player (shadow consular) mainly with instant casts, I suspect I don't suffer too much from the delayed / offset casting.

    That said, I'm surprised that more people haven't responded to (or had similar thoughts to) "SW:TOR requires a lot of suspension of disbelief. Even more than other MMORPGs. This not only applies to classic gameplay vs simulation problems, but also to the story.".

    This is my only real problem so far*. It won't stop me playing (or enjoying) the game, but even in the first handful of levels I find myself tasked with incredibly important jobs to do, retrieving artifacts thought lost, solving a mystery related to an ailing mentor, stuff related to the life-and-death of important NPCs and indeed to the heart of the jedi order. All this as a total novice, someone broadly equivalent to the graduate at a large company today.

    All this usually happens whilst a bunch of incredibly powerful NPCs hang around looking bored. I mean, I'm glad that my questing is incredibly important, but where are all the most senior officers or jedi or sith lords? If we are talking about such important planets as Tython or Coruscant, why do they not care about such momentous events?

    It could be better written if either the momentous quests took place in another part of the Galaxy (YOU are the only person that can help), or there is a major war ongoing RIGHT NOW (everyone but you is at the warfront) or it's all just a bit less heroic.

    Still, after many years of gaming, I can deal with the odd silly story, and actually having a story still makes it better than 9 out of 10 games.

    * I also have a problem in that after rightly rejecting cross-server LFG, we get instead a broken LFG tool. There must be some middle-ground between spamming chat in Shatt / The Fleet, and anonymous forced grouping.

  16. Broken LFG tool? You mean there's one in SWTOR?

  17. BoxerDogs, the problem is that SW:TOR's stories don't just have loopholes; or giant loopholes. The stories actually don't make sense on any levels except for the immediate one. And nobody cares.

    Funny thing is that I could maybe accept this in a game like WoW, where story is not as important as gameplay. But SW:TOR is supposed to be all about the stories .. and they don't make sense to anybody with half a brain.

    Solf: you can flag yourself as looking for a group and add a comment as to what kind of group your looking for. It's a nice system - theoretically.

  18. Nah, "nice system" is the one DDO has :) This 'looking for group' flag is, comparatively speaking, a disaster.

    Point being -- the reverse is much more important -- groups should be able to advertise themselves (with comments, etc.).

    So yeah, I agree with BoxerDogs -- it's broken. I've never even considered it as an actual LFG tool to be honest.

  19. Nice write-up, Niles. I pretty much agree with everything.

    I think SW:TOR is a lot of fun but after the gloss of the 'story' facade starts to wear off you realise that the gameplay mechanics are very dated and poorly thought out. It actually makes me appreciate WoW's gameplay a lot more.

  20. "Constantly being impolite and arrogant to gain dark side points was going on my nerves."

    Then why were you doing it? This was completely your choice. I say that because I have a sith warrior that I have mainly picked light side points with. In all honesty? I think it made it a lot more fun.

    I also have a smugger (scoundrel) and just pick as I please. I've wound up mostly light side doing this, but it was interesting to see how my mostly "selfish" choices affected my bearing.

    "In original Star Wars only the Emperor could use lightning. It was the sign of total overkill."

    I think this is true for those who only watched the movie, but after reading more of the novels, I don't see it that way anymore. This is over a thousand years before those movies when both Jedi and Sith were more abundant.

    I like the space combat, but I think the experience you can get from it needs to be nerfed. I gained almost a whole level tonight just from two of them. That makes me not want to play it because I don't want to out-level my current quest area (and with that my current class quests).

  21. Does it fail as an MMO where it would have succeeded as a single player offline game?

    ...seems like the answer to that might be "some yes, some no", but I do find myself curious. I think it should have been developed as a single player game with optional multiplayer. *shrug*