I posted this earlier during beta, but Now that this game has been out of beta, and I’ve been playing since I think the 15th, I have had time to find even more to love about it. Starting with the fact that it has something for everyone.
Enjoy solo play, leveling, and a solid captivating CLASS specific storyline? It’s got that, and you have companions to help you along the way. That doesn’t mean it plays like a Single Player RPG as I’ve heard recently. Your companions do a lot more than fight with you. They handle your gathering, mission, and crafting skills while you are off adventuring. No more standing in front of the bank repeatedly crafting stuff to gain skill points between quests. It can all be done WHILE you quest. Also, you are limited to only ONE companion with you. You can’t run the whole game and Flashpoints with just you and a companion. You will still need to group with other players for many of these.
Questing is interesting as hell. There is a lot of story development in the quest dialogs, both personal and world. But you don’t just do it and turn it in. Every time you start a quest, and start killing whatever monsters are in your way getting to that objective, bonus quests pop up alongside them. These are turned in automatically as the objective is met, and either finished or they give the next objective. These are usually your “Kill x amount of Y” quests we’re familiar with from WoW. Questgivers seldom give these, they give you the more story oriented quests. There are also “Heroic” quests which, frequently do need a group to complete. There are a few in early levels you can pull off with your companion, but generally a group is preferred.
There are also, if I counted correctly at least four “Flashpoints” between levels 1 and 20. These are similar to WoW Dungeons with the added bonus of having story and dialog within them. I had my first experience with group dialog on a quest last night and found it very cool. You basically choose what YOUR character’s response would be, the rest of your party does the same, and behind the scenes there is a /roll, the winning member’s dialog plays on your screen. I love this, we get to see our friends’ characters personalities, hear their voices! Any light side/darkside points awarded for your choice are still rewarded whether you win the roll or not. I personally haven’t done a Flashpoint YET. I’m still chasing my class storyline, it’s very much sucked me in, but I’ve heard nothing but good things abut running the Flashpoints, and hope to get to do one this evening if real life permits. There is also, at max level at least one raid, and more to be added over time. So you can still have all your min/maxing, theorycrafting, hard core raiding good times if that’s your thing.
Also, on the subject of grouping, you earn “social Points” every time you participate in a group quest/activity/etc. These can be accumulated and give you access to certain items from the Social Vendor. I haven’t fully looked at what those are but I plan to. They also have a built in looking for group feature, that visually flags you which I find pretty cool, seeing at a glance who’s looking.
There really IS something for every playstyle. The community aspect of guilds, flashpoints, heroic quests, raid, is all there with some added spice in the context of social points.
If you’re a lone wolf type that enjoys exploring, questing, and tinkering around, there’s plenty for you too.
And surrounding and flowing through all of that is an in depth class storyline, inside an amazing world story, and visually stunning experience that keeps you going, and always wondering “What’s next??”
Edit! I forgot space combat! That’s right, when you need a break from the questing, or the city, hop in your starship, and go blow those Empire (Or Republic) bastards out of the sky! As our friend Llanion says…
Love me some arcade-style, still-earning-XP-and-commendations, break from RPGing.