Launch

Once upon a time at launch, part 2

Continuing from yesterday, the next few posts of my SWTOR impressions at launch in late 2011.

Dec 30 2011 9:35 pm – Next stop: Level 30

I just started the bonus missions on Tatooine and I’m nearing Level 30. I’ve put some more time into Crew Skills and got to 200 Synthweaving already and can finally craft my own gear again.
Yay:

  • Queues have vanished it seems
  • It’s really fun
  • TOR feels like WoW in regard to character handling and characters aren’t sliding through the world or moving in wooden postures. I felt at home immediately unlike LotRO and RoM, which both feel a little clunky to me

Nay:

  • My hardware really seems a bit on the low end, I get single-digit fps or stutters a bit too frequently for my liking
  • Every time I select my realm (only one I have characters on), I get asked if I really, really want to play on a PvP server…
  • As the chat is on the upper side of the screen, I usually click on the chat every few hours and can’t target mobs until I notice
  • You can’t preview ranged weapons

So yes, when the stuff people are bickering about only minor details (see above), it seems the game is well-done.

Yeah, the bonus missions. I’m not so sure those were a great idea. Finish a planet (most of them span a level range of 4-5 levels) and then go back once you’re actually done. Why weren’t those incorporated directly? Did they retrofit them? I don’t know, doesn’t really matter – quests are quests 🙂 Also more whining about hardware and first world problems…

Jan 8 2012 11:38 am – The long stretch

I’m Level 42 now (at 5d 12h /played) and hit Belsavis yesterday. Only missing one companion now. I’ve tried most of the new ones for a while, but still sticking to my original one – we’re quite the team.
Nay:

  • Loading screen times are really annoying
  • Some quest yesterday sent me on this journey: Hoth – Hoth Orbital Station – Ship – some space station – Ship – Tython Orbital Station – Tython – Tython Orbital Station – Ship – Hoth Orbital Station – Hoth – Hoth Orbital Station – Ship… that’s just not fun! (And I left out all the airlocks in between) – plus loading screens every time
  • I want to be 50!
  • Expertise starts to show on 50s in PvP and I get crushed a little quick. I understand that 10-50 in one Warzone might have problems, but for the first two weeks I had no problem.

Yay:

  • The planets are really different, the quests are moderately different,
  • Still having a good time leveling
  • I’m playing a pure healer spec with a tank companion and have no problems in world PvP
  • World PvP is actually fun. Only been camped once. My own take is more like crushing the enemy on sight and moving on. If he catches me and gets revenge, fine. I’ve not yet camped anyone or even killed them twice in a row.

Apparently I was leveling in a healing spec. Maybe changing them wasn’t so easy at launch? I guess so, as I was playing solo and not grouping much, why would I do that otherwise? This useless running around still annoys me. MMOs where you can hand in remotely or at least collect a few quests, then hand them in together are better.

Jan 13 2012 12:00 am – Stalling

Sadly I didn’t have as much time to play this week as I had planned, so it might be close to get to 50 over the weekend.
I’m about to start the Voss Bonus Series at 47.5 and I’m really looking forward to Corellia.
I especially found my latest companion quests nice. Those brought me from 46 halfway to 47, just talking to the guys on the ship and learning about some stories.

I still like talking to my companions, and surely they thought about the XP rewards for that, but in retrospect.. why would you give tons of XP just for being on your ship from time to time (you need to be there every few levels to get to a new planet anyway) and listening to some dialog with a few non-meaningful choices? I guess I was immersed a bit more back then and liked the reward of taking the time to talk to all of my companions and indeed listen to them instead of space-baring through the dialogs. What I found *really* interesting when I played a Jedi Shadow a month or so ago.. it’s the same base class (Jedi Consular) as the Sage I leveled in late 2011 and I still could remember the gist of most companion stories and a lot of details. That was over six and a half years ago! So I guess they did something right.
So much for part 2 of 3 in this series, I still seemed to be quite excited and not plagued by horrible bugs, just a few annoyances.

Once upon a time at launch

I was reading and commenting on a post by Shintar about Operations in SWTOR and was looking up some things in my achievements and on my old SWTOR blog that I started at launch. To cut excitement short it ran for 34 days and had 10 posts. I won’t link to it, but I will start a series and quote and comment on those old posts, from a “now, nearly 7 years later” perspective. It also serves as a proper testament of time, because who knows when that tumblr blog will vanish.

Dec 19 2011 – 11:42 pm – Hello, world!

What is NAMEOFSITE you ask? We don’t know yet, but if Bioware ever releases an API (like Blizzard’s WoW Armory) we’ll surely create cool things with it.

Yeah well, never happened. Too bad. My enthusiasm for creating a proper fan site died there.
 

Dec 20 2011 6:29 am – First release impressions

The game is scheduled to be opened at 06:00 in my time zone so the alarm at 05:50 ended my sleep.
Tried to login, got to confirm some EULA again and an Origin account seemed to be created for me now.
Can’t login. “You have no active subscription” in the Launcher, but can login to Origin.com.
The account page says “You’ve subscribed. Thank you.” on the main page and “Your subscription information cannot be accessed at this time. Please try again later.” on the detail page.
Seems I’m not the only one with this problem.
Ah well, MMO launches without problems are overrated. Let’s get to work and try to head home sooner than usual 🙂
Update 06:30 CET: Problem acknowledged
Update 07:00 CET: Problem fixed, it seems – too bad I’m at work now 🙁

Never play on patch release day! Always true. Pretty amazed some of these forum links still work.
 

Dec 21 2011 12:41 pm – Day 1 wrapup

My male Mirialan Jedi Sage hit level 10, I’ve played around 8h (minus some breaks) and so far I really like it.
Yay:

  • The CGI scenes are really cool
  • The dialog system is really cool
  • Combat is quite ok after an hour
  • The storyline was awesome
  • Questing with map and hints and codex is fun
  • Everything was stable on launch day

Nay:

  • My system runs WoW just fine with high details, TOR is stuttering on medium
  • Windowed fullscreen doesn’t seem optimal yet
  • Mouse sensitivity feels hard to adjust
  • A login queue of 300 (means 20-30min) at 4 in the afternoon

No idea yet:

  • My crew skills are Synthweaving, Archaelogy and Underworld Trading, not used them
  • Haven’t tried a Flashpoint or a PvP
  • I’m on a German server, I always tried to avoid those before

I’m still (again?) on a German server, IIRC first we were merged together with another one, and then last year all onto one again. I’m not interacting with many people, so I have no opinion right now. As I’m playing in English, maybe the EU server would’ve been the better choice. Many positive points here. I still like the dialog system, I still like the class stories. Not sure I meant with hints – I surely didn’t really look into the codex ever since. I ended up upgrading my gaming machine mid-2012, so I was probably running on a few years’ old hardware at this point in time, so not SWTOR’s fault really.
 

Dec 27 2011 7:16 pm – One week later

No entry for nearly one week, this means either not much progress or not much to say.
Actually, there was bit of ingame time, I’m at Level 20 with most of Taris done, only need to wrap up a few quests and Datacrons.
The game is still tremendously fun, but still missing the “need to level, level, level” urge. Didn’t help that were was quite some offline time over the holidays. Most people are high in their 40s, I’m just lagging behind, but with the sort of limited play time there’s not much use searching for a level partner anyway.
Updated impressions:
Yay:

  • Warzones are fun. I’m dying quickly but I can heal a lot if I’m not focusfired. Absolutely love playing with people of all levels.
  • Questing is still nice and doesn’t feel slow.
  • Healing Flashpoints is fun, but the Sage really feels like a Disc Priest.

Nay:

  • The UI fails at some minor details, especially when buying Mods and comparing to your equipped ones is quite hard.
  • Some people are incapable of not breaking sheeps. Even if the sheep is actually an elite hanging helplessly in the air thanks to Force Lift.
  • Even more people are incapable of focus-firing a single mob.

See you soon on Nar Shaddaa

I can’t remember when I last did a warzone on my Sage, but it isn’t fun on my BH at 70. Back then no one had gear though. And we were all noobs. I should really heal a flashpoint again at some time though.
 

Dec 28 2011 8:11 pm – Halfway?

So I hit 25 earlier, my /played was 1d 19h at 23, should be around 2d now, I logged out before checking, meh.
I saved up enough to get my Speeder (and one bag upgrade for 5k earlier) and now have around 10k left.
My Archaeology is doing quite good at nearly 150, Synthweaving and Underworld Trading have to be pushed beyond 70 now.

That lack of speed! No perks to boost class mission XP, no usable XP boosts. 48 hours for 25 Levels – but on a PvP server, in a completely new game. I think I enjoyed it properly. Seems it was even a little quicker to level than WoW at launch 😛 The amount of credits is also kinda ridiculous, I think you make a few thousand on your starter planet nowadays, but I might be wrong here.
 
I think I sound pretty amazed overall, and I really loved that game at launch, so not surprised. So that was part one of the journey, stay tuned for part 2.