Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bonus Post! Star Wars: The Old Republic Early Access

As an incentive to pre-order the game, Bioware decided to offer early access to anyone who did. The early access start time was determined by when you registered your pre-order code on the SWTOR site. The first announcement about when early access would begin had it starting tomorrow, but someone at Bioware decided to push it up and it actually started yesterday. Given that I had Amazon set to alert me as soon as the game was available to order, and that I also have been paying close attention to the game's website and Facebook page, well, you know I ordered this game about the second it was available. Also, I registered my pre-order code as soon as I got my order confirmation email.

So it is no surprise that yesterday I was in one of the very first waves granted early game access. Even though I am in the middle of a playthrough of Dragon Age II, I scrapped all of my other gaming plans yesterday to fire up SWTOR as soon as I could. I might have even gone ahead and created my character (yeah, they didn't let us keep our beta characters, it's okay though, I had already decided to start over) and played through all of the opening cut scenes in the morning while my daughter watched Sesame Street.

My new character, Skirata.

I have a confession to make. After I wrote up my post about the beta weekend, I had a brief exchange with a friend that almost made me cancel my pre-order then and there. A lot of the factors related to this being an MMO are still making me hesitant about the game. I had a lot of soul-searching debates with myself, but in the end, I realized I am just too excited to try this thing out to give up before it even gets started. At the very least, I want to experience the story at least once. Also, it is good for me to try new things and to put myself a little bit outside of my comfort level, dagnabit.

So, I fired up the game yesterday and I have to say, I am feeling much much better about it already. Many of my complaints from the beta seem to be non-issues anymore. Part of this is that I was expecting them or have gotten used to them, part of this is stuff that was changed between then and now.

I have already made it to level seven and am doing much better financially in-game, and with keeping my equipment repaired and my character leveled, than I was the last time around. Knowing I can afford to level up and that my weapon and armor won't go kaput before a boss fight makes playing a lot more enjoyable. I do still find the battle engine pretty clumsy but that might just be my own personal preferences getting in the way there.

I still suspect I might only play through once--I have no real desire to play any of the other classes. I want to be a Jedi Knight Sentinel because I want to be a Jedi and I want to have two lightsabers. I think those things are pretty self-explanatory, really. Although, it did occur to me last night, that the game allows for your light side character to go dark. If it also allows for your dark side character to go light, that sure might be a fun way to play...

Also, I am not gonna cease to be amused by this particular side quest, ever:

Why yes, that quest title is "Flesh Eating Baby" and there is in fact a Flesh Raider Baby in my backpack.

Anyhoo, all of this is just to say that I am actually really having more fun with this game already than I had expected, which is a huge relief. I have also been leaving the general chat window open so that I can follow along with the player conversations and get a feel for the people on my server for when I do need to find a group and my buddy isn't available.

I did decide not to do the extra blog about the game though, but I will of course likely blog about it oodles over here.

There's still time to pre-order the game if you're interested, or it comes out next Tuesday if you feel like braving your local video game shop. I've got my server and character name up over there on the side of the page for anyone who is playing and wants to look me up!

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