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Okay, we're back with a full review of this game. Now take this with a grain of salt. I leveled a CON/WHM with THM/BLM secondary, because I played THM in 1.0, so it was starting out fairly high level.

Title: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Rating: T, rating changes in game
Genre: MMORPG

Graphics: 7/10 - I'm just gonna repeat what I said under beta impressions: Probably the most beautiful game I've ever played. There's really nothing else to say about this, because it's the god to honest truth. It's also a number on graphic cards, because it basically means you need a high end graphic card to play this game.

Also, I discovered, this game doesn't have very good optionization. Meaning when you turn down something, you experience no increase or decrease in FPS and you barely notice the difference in game on top of it. This basically forces you to have a high end computer.

Plot: 7/10 - This gets a little bit of a lower score because while it does feel like Final Fantasy, it's really predictable. And granted, while the other jobs have their own little subplot, the two I did were.... okay. I wasn't really 'wowed' at the end of the story, because it basically continues into your relic weapon quest, and at that point I stopped. Why? Because the part I stopped at, to me, was where the credits rolled and that's it for me.

Music/sound: 9/10 - Again, just gonna repat what I said before: Familiar themes and new themes. I liked the original soundtrack to the game, and I like the newer music, especially the battle theme. And of course, epic fucking Chocobo music when you ride one. You're just riding a chocobo, but they manage to make it sound epic. :D

The one flaw is that the music sometimes doesn't play in certain zones, but I'm guessing that's a bug.

Gameplay: This is divided into 6 sub-categories since MMOs are different.

Combat 5/10 - The combat is slow, period. When you play a game with mechanics that require you to get out of crap fast, the last thing you want is slow combat. It doesn't help the global cooldown is 2.5 seconds. Also, instant spells/skills aren't exactly instant. Basically, you'll be mashing buttons, praying that your skill fires off.

There is some lag between special attacks firing off and movement too. I'm gonna leave this here, because this thread demostrates the problem far better than I can.

Dungeons start out easy and then start to get harder. On top of the combat and it's problems, it really makes the game stressful on tanks and healers. Which is a big no-no. Mechanics are basic if you raided in WoW, but due to the slow combat and the problems highlighted in the thread, it makes the game a lot more difficult than it should be.

Crafting 6/10 - Crafting is beyond boring and tedious, it feels like a class all on it's own, but not very fun, time consuming, and not very rewarding in the end. Granted, I did only get 28 of alchemy up, but it felt like a chore and it didn't help I was always having to stop and go gathering. Not to mention, a lot of mats you need are cross class. For example, you'll be leveling weaving and opps, you now need leather for something. So it's either level up leatherworking or go buy stuff.

Did I mention money is a problem in the game? Yes, money is easy to come by while leveling, but when you have a 50 and those repair bills and teleport bills start to pile up, you'll find your money going down the drain.

PvE (Questing, exploring) 5/10 - Again, your options for leveling are as follows:

1. Killing monsters. Tedious, I don't advice doing it unless you're farming for something.
2. Killing monsters via your class 'hunt' quest. You get bonus exp for killing a certain amount and the game will put something over a monster's head if you need to kill it if you're the right class.
3. Story quest. You need to progress through the 'main' story regardless, so always keep up to date on this. It unlocks different things in the game as well, so you have to do it.
4. Class Quests. EVERY class has class quests, which all have their own story. While they can be tedious at times, the story makes up for it.
5. Regular Quests. There's NPCs all over the place that offer quests. You can also skip them and come back to them with another class later, which I think is good.
6. Leves. This was the main method of leveling in 1.0, but now, it's basically optional. I only really did them when I felt myself getting behind. A good method of catch up if you run out of regular quests!
7. Fate. This is like Guild Wars 2 random events. Basically, random events happen around the world and the objective is different for every one, like collect items and give to a NPC, kill a boss mob, kill an army of invading mobs, etc etc. Nice way to pick up some quick exp while going to different places.
8. Duty Finder/Dungeon Finder. I have to say I'm not impressed with this so far, but it makes for really easy and quick exp. They don't even have to be dungeons, it could be a quick monster survival type of deal or just killing. Hoping the later Dungeons get harder or a 'heroic' mode for those of us who like challenges.
9. Exploration. Like WoW and most games, you find a new area, you get some exp. It's minor, but it does encourage to look and explore the entire map.

So why did I lower this? Because after you hit 50 on your main and want to level another class, your choices suddenly become very limited. Heck, you'll start to see that in your 40's, when your story requires you to be a certain level and you suddenly are out of quests and leve allowances. Your only options are doing dungeons, Fates, or grinding on mobs. And lemme say, the dungeons in this game are very unforgiving. Unforgiving dungeons + PuGs = terrible combination

The game has a duty finder, or basically a system that will auto sort you into a group automatically. The main dungeons consist of 4 people. Later, you'll see 8 man groups too. The queue times for dps are awful, ranging from 30 minutes to well over a hour. And later on down the line, especially the level 50 dungeons, Square decided to make limits on how many instanced dungeons can be open. So that means you can have a group of 4 actual people queueing up, but waiting over a hour because there's too many people queueing for this place. Did I also mention this is the best dungeon to farm end game tomes?

The bosses in this game are very unforgiving, and like I said with the combat system, you really don't want to mix unforgiving mechanics with pick-up groups. Story dungeons should be easier and there needs to be less trash in them, especially since you're on a time limit. Yep, dungeons in this game have a time limit, and while I've never failed to meet a time limit (I did come close in Cutter's, had a minute left), it's beyond stupid to have one. Raids even have one, which blows my mind!

PvP NA - No pvp yet, but if the combat doesn't improve, I don't see pvp happening in this game.

End game (50 only content) N/A - I'm not going to score end game because I didn't try hardmodes or the raids, but I will say farming tomes is not what I want to do. I did enough of that crap in wow, I really don't want to do it again on top of people being nasty in the duty finder, which I'll get to below.

Misc (Latency. bugs, configuration, community) 2/10 - Let me say this game had one of the worst launches I've ever seen. This includes vanilla WoW. The servers were so boggled down, that it fucked with the duty finder the first few days, mostly because everyone was trying to do the story quest and it required you to use the duty finder (Which is a VERY BIG NO NO! Lesson: Don't do a single player story mode alongside something like a Looking for Dungeon type feature). Then we had limited log ins and the dreaded 1017 issues. Basically, for a time, Square limited how many people could get onto a server. The only problem is there was no active working queue finder (Some people say the queue could only support 250 people at a time, who knows). So the only way to get into the game was spamming the 0 key on your number pad. What freaking game does NOT have a queue system in place!?

Now this was cleared up after 2-3 weeks, but it's still unacceptable. Not to mention Fates like Odin and Behemut would crash servers because everyone and their mom would go to them.

The community in this game is probably the worst I've ever seen it, coming close to how people are in LFR in WoW. From people yelling and screaming at each other and calling people newbs (Don't people realize that most people playing this freaking game are new at it!?) from racist and disgusting remarks in shout chat to people screaming and yelling at people to skip the cutscenes in a story dungeon... Not to mention gold spammers on top of it. And if you say one negative thing about the game, people will call for your head to be chopped off on top of it...

This does not bode well for this game.

Final Score 4.5/10 - Not off to a very smooth start at all.

Overall: 6.8/10 - An average MMO that's in a very rocky place and greatly hindered by it's slow combat and bad community. If you like pretty MMOs and your machine can handle it, try it out. Though imo, there's better options out there that won't cost you 15 bucks a month.
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Beta impressions. It is much improved compared to 1.0. But to be quite honest, that's not saying much, since 1.0 was a huge pile of poop.

For those who don't know the story, a couple of years ago, FFXIV was released, and it was one of the worst MMOs I've played at the time, and the biggest flop in the MMO genre ever. The game was unplayable, the combat was delayed, you had a system that basically forces you at a certain point that you cannot gain exp because you played too much, as a PAY TO PLAY game. But the game was pretty!

Needless to say, the entire team of the original game was fired and taken off. Square/Enix basically came out and said 'We done fucked up!' and bam, a rerelease of the game. The good news? It feels like a FF game now, and the gameplay is much improved. The bad news? There's so many games out there now that are just, well, better, and some are F2P.

I might as well go through it since I can't even log onto the beta atm, so... Also, there's no spoilers for the plot. Most of this info can be found on other websites too.

Title: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
Rating: T, rating changes in game
Genre: MMORPG

Graphics: 9/10 - Probably the most beautiful game I've ever played. There's really nothing else to say about this, because it's the god to honest truth. It's also a number on graphic cards, because it basically means you need a high end graphic card to play this game. Which means you need a high end computer to play.

Plot: 8/10 - Now this feels like Final Fantasy. From the opening to where you finally have control of your character, you feel like you're in a Final Fantasy world. This is what the game should've been at the start.

You can start in the three familiar towns (Which you can choose to start where) and while some of them got a bit of a facelift, if you played in 1.0, they're easily regonizable.

I won't spoil the story (And tbh, I think the story so far is more interesting than the story in SW: TOR), but even then, I think the story is different depending on where you start. In 1.0, I started in Ul'dah, and I chose to start there again. I can say I'm glad I made that choice.

You'll also see the staples of the FF series along the way, like chocobos and Moggles deliver your mail. And for older fans... you'll see! So it does have a Final Fantasy theme to it.

Music/sound: 9/10 - Familiar themes and new themes. I liked the original soundtrack to the game, and I like the newer music, especially the battle theme. And of course, epic fucking Chocobo music when you ride one. You're just riding a chocobo, but they manage to make it sound epic. :D

The one flaw is that the music sometimes doesn't play in certain zones, but I'm guessing that's a bug.

Gameplay: This is divided into 6 sub-categories since MMOs are different.

Combat 7/10 - The combat... is something to be desired. It's boring, to put it mildly. It doesn't feel as fluid and responsive as WoW's combat system, and again, like some other games, it looks like I've dodged something, and I still get hit with it regardless. It's not as terrible as SW: TOR (Which felt I was fighting with the controls 90% of the damn time!), but... it's just not as good as WoW's.

Like 1.0, you can switch to a different class, which makes having alts pointless. I think this is a good thing, cause if you're in need of something and someone in your group leveled it up, bam, switch, and the group can go!

I haven't played all the classes, but the 2 classes (Thaumaturge and Conjurer) I really played much of were about the same when I played them deep into 1.0. So thankfully, I didn't have to relearn a whole class. If you were a really early 1.0 player, Thaum might be a bit different, it plays more like a Black Mage.

I heard later on, the starter classes branch out into more Final Fantasy-ish classes like Black Mage, White Mage, Dragoon, Paladin, etc etc. I haven't gotten that far, my highest level was 31 back in 1.0.

Crafting 7/10 - Crafting is still crap, but much more improved than 1.0. You basically gather the mats or buy them, change your 'class' to your desired crafter, and go for it. You also have the chance to make the item much better than if you made it the normal way, but I have no idea about it, since I didn't play with the crafting system too much.

You can also level crafting the normal way or through leves, which most people recommend anyways. I'll talk about leves in the pve section.

I didn't work on any gathering professions this time around, so no comment on that yet.

PvE (Questing, exploring) 9/10 - I have to say, this is greatly improved from the original. To break it down, you can gain exp by:

1. Killing monsters. Tedious, I don't advice doing it unless you're farming for something.
2. Killing monsters via your class 'hunt' quest. You get bonus exp for killing a certain amount and the game will put something over a monster's head if you need to kill it if you're the right class.
3. Story quest. You need to progress through the 'main' story regardless, so always keep up to date on this. It unlocks different things in the game as well, so you have to do it.
4. Class Quests. EVERY class has class quests, which all have their own story. While they can be tedious at times, the story makes up for it.
5. Regular Quests. There's NPCs all over the place that offer quests. You can also skip them and come back to them with another class later, which I think is good.
6. Leves. This was the main method of leveling in 1.0, but now, it's basically optional. I only really did them when I felt myself getting behind. A good method of catch up if you run out of regular quests!
7. Fate. This is like Guild Wars 2 random events. Basically, random events happen around the world and the objective is different for every one, like collect items and give to a NPC, kill a boss mob, kill an army of invading mobs, etc etc. Nice way to pick up some quick exp while going to different places.
8. Duty Finder/Dungeon Finder. I have to say I'm not impressed with this so far, but it makes for really easy and quick exp. They don't even have to be dungeons, it could be a quick monster survival type of deal or just killing. Hoping the later Dungeons get harder or a 'heroic' mode for those of us who like challenges.
9. Exploration. Like WoW and most games, you find a new area, you get some exp. It's minor, but it does encourage to look and explore the entire map.

So there's a LOT of ways to get exp in this game, and you don't run out of things to do. There are a few annoying things like having to hand in items to the NPCs, and if it's more than 1, it's really annoying.

You also have an inventory for gear and inventory for your items and crafting crap, which is nice and gives you plenty of space. Of course, hoarders like me will most likely run out of room regardless. >.>

The 'flight path' is chocobos, and yes, you do ride on an airship too at some point, which are staples to FF games. However, I don't see a need for the chocobo paths if you own a mount. Currently, I could not ride my Goodbue mount due to an error/bug, so I can't really say.

Overall, the PvE is fun and you'll always have something to do.

PvP NA - I haven't played any PvP games and am not sure if PvP will be put in the game!

End game (50 only content) N/A - The beta only went up to level 20, so no clue on end game.

Misc (Latency. bugs, configuration, community) N/A - I'm not giving a score since it's still a beta, but I'm greatly disappointed at Square/Enix. Mostly for their lack of communication. There's a serious bug going out on some characters, who are stuck in the game, and when a player tries to log that character, they cannot log in. And there's no word from Square/Enix about it at all. Even a 'We're working on the issue' would be better than nothing.

Also, who thought that having very few NA servers and an overabudance of Japanese servers was good? Believe it or not, Final Fantasy is popular in the US and Canada. The fact that EVERY SINGLE NA server was locked for new characters is not a good sign. So people who want to play with their friends? Nope, not happening! This wouldn't be an issue if beta stuff wasn't going over to live play, but it is. I think it's a mistake to do, but it's not my choice, so meh... I think this was a stupid move and if the servers couldn't handle the load, you should have queues. I think queues would be better than not being able to play at all!

Also, who thought that not having any sort of fucking queue system was a good idea? Because IT IS NOT! Hence why I'm not playing, my server is full and there's no queue system. And I'm not about to sit around and keep hitting refresh.

The UI seems kind of sloppy with a lot of buttons on one side. Granted, this game is designed around to accomadate the PS3 console, but still. I didn't fiddle with the UI too much, so hopefully you can change it to how you want it to be.

Hopefully, things get figured out within the week.

Final Score 7.6/10 - Above average, but if I had to factor in the last part, this score would be much lower!

Overall: 8.4/10 - A game you should try, especially if you're a Final Fantasy fan. A good re-impression that has some problems here and there. Hopefully, Square/Enix will fix them before launch. If you're a Final Fantasy fan and don't get plagued by the game-breaking bugs currently in this build, give it a try. I'd recommend trying it out for the first month and seeing if it's for you.
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And now since the game is out of beta, it's time for a full review! Also, my guild is composed of a lot of Star Wars fanboys and Bioware fanboys, so if they ever saw this review... I am much harsher beyond impressions because the game is officially launched and I really can't believe how unpolished it is.

Also, I played a Sith Inquistor that leans toward the Light side, so this is based on that.

Title: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Rating: T, rating changes in game
Genre: MMORPG

Graphics: 6/10 - Like I said before, the same problems exist, every race is a humanoid, the UI is still crappy (And if you tweak the settings, you can get a UI that looks similiar to WoW), not too many customazations, etc etc.

The big problem is the settings now. I can barely run this game with 20 fps on low, which is WORSE than in the beta, and after some research, I found the game doesn't really like AMD/ATI cards, so I had to tweak something outside the game. Besides, putting everything on low/medium/high didn't seem to do much, if anything at all. I could put textures on high and get the same fps than if I put them on low, even though it says in game lowering this option will improve preformance. If I lower settings in WoW and Rift, I get better performance. Try it in Star Wars, nothing happens. The only thing that matters is shadows and 'bloom'. Also, no AA for those who were waiting for it.

It's funny, because Rift's graphics are so much better than both SW and WoW, and yet, I can get better framerate in Rift on high resolution than on SW with the lowest possible settings.

No excuse for this.

The graphics themselves outside of cutscenes, which is what we will see 75% of the time, are kinda crappy. The environment is lifeless and dull, it lacks a real spark of life in some areas. It's also too dark in a lot of the places. Half the time when I want to take a picture of my character, I can barely see her cause it's too dark. I was more impressed with Rift's graphics than Star War's. Some areas lighten up, like Nar Shaddaa, but the world itself is lifeless and npcs just walk around and... nothing.

Also, no day and night cycles and no weather. Come on, it's 2012 now....

Plot: 6/10 - Not gonna lie, I was falling asleep when it came to quests and character quest. Character quest is just me running around fetching artifacts for my master who is obviously going to betray me sometime down the line. Oh, and I'm a desendant of a powerful sith. And what eventually happens... is exactly how I was warned about. And now, I apparently am one of those 'rare' souls that can communicate with ghosts well and I'm so 'talented', that I can absorb those ghost's power as my own. So in essence, my character is now a Mary Sue. /facepalm It does get interesting as time moves on, but the conclusion is pretty cliche and furthers me being a Mary Sue. Also that Sith Inquistor standing next to me? Same conclusion to his story.

Every other quest is basically the same you can find in any genric MMORPG nowadays. If you've done questing in one, you've done it in all. But this time, the quests just seem... boring, even with the VAing. Too many times I just found myself hitting spacebar when I was done reading the subs instead of watching it play out. Most of the characters save my own companions I could really care less about.

Most of the plotlines to the planets is that Republic is trying to get a foothold or already has a foothold, and you have to prevent it or increase the gain for the Empire on the foothold. Or there's a war going on and you have to stop it. That's the basic plotline of every planet I visited, and it's... really boring. You'll sometimes get a side plot and sometimes you'll get a reaccuring character appearing (Thana on Taris appears in many of the quests), but other than that, it's just stop the Republic from getting strength.

Not to mention, most of your decisions have no real impact on the world around you. There's a choice to keep Thana alive or kill her, and no matter what you choose, you NEVER see her again. So what's the point of keeping her alive now? Oh yeah, I want those light points...

Also, when you finally complete your story line, you're basically done with the plot. You can do like the 'final battle' on Ilum, but after that, it's basically 'The End' till Bioware adds in more content.

The only interesting things are your companions. I really love companions, even though their AI is questionable. Companions will give you quests if their affection is high enough. And so far out of the 5 minus the droid (*stabs it to death*), all of them are likable, even Khem, the poor bastard. :D Xalek sadly does not get enough development, but he's such a badass, it doesn't matter.

You can also romance certain companions, which is very similiar to DA. If they like you enough, it unlocks more quests. Of course, you have to progress into your character questline in order to get certain options.

Music/sound: 9/10 - Music is still awesome, but not played enough or repeats in areas when it shouldn't. Like it's kinda weird on the ears to hear the shooter rail music in a combat situation. We need some music in cities and the main hangout (Imperial Fleet). The tunes you do hear are really good and give an epic feeling to whatever you're fighting. You'll also hear some familiar themes if you watched the movies so many years ago. Also, the Voice Acting is very good for the most part, very rarely I cringed when I heard someone speak, and that one time, it was a pig-like creature making weird oinking noises at me. Also, fuck the droid.

Gameplay: This is divided into 6 sub-categories since MMOs are different.

Combat 5/10 - Combat is still clunky and clumsy here, but what pisses me off the most is healing delays. I will cast my heal, the bar hitting 2.5/2.5 and then... nothing, 1-2 seconds pass, and my character finally gets her heal off. This means I have to basically predict when damage will happen and cast spells early, which could cost me much needed force power that I would later need in the fight. It's really annoying, and it only happens in combat, outside of combat, there is no delay. Instant heals have no delays either from what I've seen.

From what I've read on forums, this is an animation problem. Star Wars favors realistic animation over smooth combat. Games like WoW sacrifice realistic animation in favor of a smoother combat system, which is why you sometimes find yourself running forward after mounting up but no mount on for a second or two. And really, I'd rather have a smooth combat than 'realistic animations' fucking up my rotations.

I've also had a few problems laying down my AoE spell a few times, from where the circle disappears to where it says I'm moving when I lay it when I clearly am not.

There's also WAY too many abilities to keep track of. This goes back to old style WoW, but the problem is setting up a good rotation to use them. Healing wise, it's disappointing, because over 50% of those abilities are useless, which surprises me as I thought I would've had more heals to work with. A knockback could be useful, but it also could be a double edge sword, as a guildmate and I were doing quests, and he would constantly use overload just as I laid my AoE down.

Also, companion AI isn't too well done. I'll CC a pat that came to me, and stupidly, my companion will shoot it and break it. Too bad my only CC is on a freaking 1 minute cooldown. That's going to be a big problem come later, when it's pretty common in flashpoints for people to break CC.

Crafting 7/10 - Same old here, cept there seems to be one profession that really ranks in money over others (Slicing). This will probably be changed in the future.

One big problem will be the fact that your companions make the stuff. At first, it's not too bad, but when you're waiting close to a hour for one of your characters to make you stuff when in normal games, you can do it instantly, it could piss you off. And not to mention, this is most likely going to be your credit and time sink. I guess the sacrifice to this was you don't have to do a damn thing when it comes to crafting if you don't want to farm nodes. But you still need to send companions out, because they can get things you cannot, like cloth and metals for blue/epic recipes.

Also, in order to learn blue and epic patterns, you have to craft the green or blue below it and pray that you get lucky when you reverse engineer it and get the pattern. I must've blown a lot of mats already on trying to discover epic patterns. You could conversely get recipes through 'gathering' professions as well. I've receieved a few recipes through Underground trading.

Other than that, there's no problems with crafting.

PvE (Questing, exploring, dungeons) 6/10 - Questing is boring. I'm sorry, but even with the story, I can't seem to get into the game like I did when WoW came out. Maybe it's because I've been playing MMOs with this formula for so long, but Star Wars has really failed to engage me. The quests are the same quests you've always done, get these items, loot these items from these mobs, kill x enemies. It also doesn't help that bad plot-twists could ruin quests, aka Sith Inquistor storyplot.

The biggest problem though is that you don't feel like you're playing a MMO at all. Save for flashpoints and heroics I did with my guildmates, I feel like I'm playing a single player RPG with coop rather than a MMO. Maybe it's because I leveled way too fast, but I rarely see anyone on the planet I'm on, and I'm on a full server. Sometimes I forget until I see someone in chat speak and I'm like 'Oh yeah...' You know a game isn't worth a sub fee if it takes general/guild chat to wake you up out of it.

People can argue about they don't see people in WoW, but the majority of people in WoW are at the level cap. Very few are at the level cap in SW when I was leveling, isn't it like impossible not to come across several players while on one planet???

There are phased quests and phased parts of the map too, so if you're doing certain quests, you don't have to worry about someone stealing your kills. Too bad I rarely, if ever, see people where I'm questing...

Flashpoints are basically the same, except for one problem. Remember how I said how epic Black Talon is? Well, the next flashpoints are really dull with little to no story. You do the flashpoint, there's one light/dark side choice, and that's it. The Black Talon sets it up like that's how the other instances are. I was sadly mistaken. Highly disappointed. I've done most of the flashpoints (Skipped foundry and Directive 7 though), and have yet to be impressed by any of the flashpoints like I was with Black Talon. False Emperor was somewhat interesting, but the time to complete it reminded me of doing BlackRock Depths back in vanilla wow. It took us 2 hours, no joke.

Hardmode flashpoints are composed of bosses doing the SAME things except they have very tight enrage timers. Like 1-2 minutes into the fight, the boss will enrage. Otherwise, bosses don't do anything different. It's boring and once you outgear the hardmode, the enrage timers don't become a problem. Tight enrage timers =! hard boss. I did Black Talon on Heroic and beyond the tight enrage timers, it's pathetically easy.

Companions also give their own quests much like Dragon Age and Dragon Age 2, and besides them, they are really the only characters I care about. That random NPC on Taris? Don't know, don't care. Your decisions don't really impact the world around you when they should. The NPCs are dull and lifeless, the entire world feels lifeless. Ocassionally, I'll see NPCs conversing via the VAing, but other than that rare occassion, the environment itself is dull. You think with all that VAing they dumped into this game, they could at least voice some NPC if you click on them at the very least. Or fucking give VAing for emotes...

Like I said, you can romance your companions, but there's one big problem I have with it. You only have ONE option out of your 5 to romance. Don't like the romance companion for your class? Too bad, you're stuck with them. I mean, really? That stinks....

PvP 5/10 - This game's pvp is horrid. Honestly, I thought Rift was the worst pvp I played, but I was wrong.

A big problem is that level 10's can fight with level 50's, there's no bracket, which I understand why they wanted to do this, but it also backfires hardcore. And while they got giving everyone a buff correct, the big problem is a level 10 won't have the abilities a level 50 has, and stuns, cooldowns, and certain abilities are going to be a huge advantage over someone of much lower level. Rift came close to doing it right, buffing low levels in x0-x9 warfronts, but giving a bracket so people with the talents won't have an unfair advantage over another.

I also mentioned all the other problems like stuns/knockbacks/interrupts and all. Since every class has one, it can be a nightmare for casters, especially healers. Nothing like being knocked around, stunned, and then dead before you can get a castable heal off. Also, no dimishing returns. Yeah.... Resolve bar, which is a bar next to your portrait, is supposed to make you immune for a few seconds from being stunned, but from my experience, it either doesn't work, or it'll work whenever it wants to.

Also, world pvp? I decided to check out Ilum and went to the area. All you're doing is going to a point on your map and blowing up Republic carriers, and if you're lucky, kill any republic you see. I didn't see a single republic and couldn't even do my daily because the republic didn't fight back. Not to mention, those big walkers roaming around? Are only decoration. I litterally stood on a spot where the opposing faction fires in and guess what? Took 0 damage. You think an area that has all these walkers around would actually be used for maybe battle? Nope.

After about a day, I came back again and guess what? Republic and Empire people were just trading off nodes so they could get their daily/weekly done. Yeah, epic pvp...

I also went back to Tatoonie to check out it's pvp area too and same issue, no republic. All I did in these areas was farm nodes. Yeah great world pvp, this'll be a problem on an unbalanced server for sure.

End game (50 only content) 4/10 - This gets a lower score because of one reason. HALF the heroic flashpoints are bugged in some shape or form or not even avaiable (As of right now, only 6 are functioning), some of them bugged to the point in making the run impossible to finish or complete. Really? Because when WoW came out with cata, all the heroics were working.

Didn't people on the forums say that Bioware had 15 flashpoints in the game, way more than WoW had? So why the bloody hell are only SIX of them on hardmode??? WoW cata launched with more heroics than that!

Not to mention, there's no LFD group, so getting a group, if you're not a tank or healer, takes forever to do. And that's the staple at 50, farm heroic dungeons. When you don't have a server LFD system, it becomes a problem.

Also, some of the flashpoints are very unforgiving, not because of new and amazing mechanics, but because bosses have 2 minute enrage timers. That means your dps has to be really good, otherwise you're dead. So if people were bitching about Dragon Soul in WoW being a massive gear check, hope you're ready for SW gear check.

If you think SW is going to be any different end game from WoW, think again. End game is the same wine and dine, farm dailies, farm heroics/hardmode dungeons for gear to set yourself up for raiding or farm pvp gear. The dailies are going to get old after doing them non-stop for like 2 weeks.

A big problem is that like Rift, pvp gear is about the same as pve gear. Which should NOT be the case, and this is where WoW does it right, it seperates pvp gear from pve, and you obviously won't be doing nearly as much dps or heals in your pvp gear than if you had pve gear. So lemme ask a perfect question: If pvp gear is no different from pve gear and there's a queue system for pvp, why in the holy mother of fuck would I farm normal dungeons for blue gear so I can do the hardmodes when I can get insta win epics eventually through pvp????

I also heard the normal raids are actually EASIER than the 5 man hardmode dungeons. What were they thinking!? I have yet to do any of these raids since my guild doesn't even know what it will do, so may update this section later.

Misc (Latency. bugs, configuration, community) 5/10 - This game seems really unpolished. I've come across bugs that I experienced in beta and there were quite a few times where mobs would 'evade bug' on us, making them unkillable. There's been issues from graphic issues (From purple flashing rocks to a bunch of white dots running across the floor of a cave), gameplay issues (Healing delays), light/dark points not taking effect even though they were supposed to occur (Had this happen on Hoth for me), sound randomly going out and in (More frequent when traveling indoors), coming across invisable walls when I shouldn't (doing /stuck, however, helped me get out), and a whole bunch of random things that should've been caught and fixed in beta (Cutscenes being blacked out, characters jittering a bit in cutscenes, characters turning their heads at odd angles in cutscenes, etc). I even fell through the world once on Ilum and I fell to my death on my Taxi. And in Alderaan, my companion fell over dead a few times too when I took a taxi in a character quest area.

I also don't like the fact that I get stuck in a 100 queue and when I finally get in, unless I'm on Dromund Kaas or Imperial Fleet, I'm really lucky to encounter someone. I mean, the first time I saw a republic, I was in my 40's (50 is the highest level). And I rarely see anyone else questing around me too, if I see a single soul where I am, I gasp in surprise. Where is everyone?? I thought the servers could hold thousands of people, but it seems like a lot less. The most I've seen was 150 people on the Imperial fleet according to the chat channel. Today though, I noticed my server is 'standard' most of the time, so either they upped the amount of people per server or people quit.

Community is about the same as WoW and if you honestly think that the community here will be any different than WoW, I have a bridge in NY I'd like to sell you. I really like the logic my fellow guild mates told me that it's okay to be an asshole since we're Sith and if I didn't like someone ninjaing my chest (Had this happen, gotta love when you're killing an elite, someone decides to take the chest where you were trying to clear, and no, you can't open it in combat), I should roll Jedi. Yeah, perfect example of what the community MAY be. Not to mention, anyone who critizes this game will get basically called a troll, no matter how weak or strong their arguements are.

Also, load times in general are horrid, and becomes really noticable on Alderaan, and from what people told me, it's because the game has to load 'a lot of flora life'. I could litterally get up and go to the bathroom, come back, and find the game still loading. I think the worst load times I had outside this game was a minute in WoW and that's cause I had so much going on in the background and got d/ced in a populated area. I turned off a lot of stuff hoping the load times would stop, no go.

Final Score 5.3/10 - Lot of features lack polish and the game offers nothing if you're a veteran player of WoW or other mmos like it.

Overall: 6.6/10 - A game that's not as solid as it could be and lacking features that should have been implimented at launch. If you're a Star Wars fan and are a hardcore fan of Bioware games in general, you'll enjoy the game, despite the flaws. But if you're a mmo veteran or someone who is tired of WoW and is looking for something different, I would not recommend ToR. ToR will not make you quit the game you're currently playing unless you're just sick of the environment itself and not the current mmo formula.
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This is going to be a hard game to review, first because it's beta, and second, it's a MMO. Please note, this is just an impression review, as in, things may change on release or may be different than from what I've experienced.

I played in the beta weekend test from 11/25 to 11/27. The beta did go till the 28th, but I passed on really playing it, as I tested what I wanted to test.

Title: Star Wars: The Old Republic
Rating: T, rating changes in game
Genre: MMORPG

Graphics: 7/10 - I'm not a graphics whore, and graphics can be horrible depending on your video card too when it comes to MMOs. And while the cutscenes were really pretty, the overworld graphics lacked a certain charm as WoW had. Also, maybe it's because I had something turned down low, but the graphics seemed too dark, even when my character was in board daylight.

The UI is not too bad, but far from great, and hopefully will be more customable on release. There were some bugs with it as well, so I expect it to be more polished on release for sure.

The character customization is also lacking. While there are different races, they all look the same and are all humanoid. Cyborgs, besides one cosmetic different, looks exactly like human.

What's even more disappointing too is NPCs in the cutscenes use recycled models for body and facials. There's no excuse for having recycled models for this, especially considering how games made by Bioware have many custom features, like Dragon Age.

Plot: 8/10 - I'm only going to go on the character questlines here, the other quests will be covered in the gameplay. The character quests I've played so far, Bounty Hunter and Sith Inquisitor, have been really good and interesting. I only got to level 16 on my Inquisitor and 11 on my Bounty Hunter, but from what I've seen, I want to play further with both story lines.

Music/sound: 9/10 - Not going to lie here, the music and sound is awesome. When you swing your lightsaber, you feel like you're swinging an actual lightsaber. When you're shooting a blaster, you feel like you're shooting a blaster, and you feel like you're in the movie.

The music is epic. When you start a character, it even plays the familiar opening Star Wars theme.

The Voice acting in the game so far is fairly well done. There are some recycled lines your character says, but so far, it doesn't deter from the game.

Gameplay: This is divided into 6 sub-categories since MMOs are different.

Combat 6/10 - The combat is pretty dull and can be a little clumsy, more so the caster than the ranged I played. I have no idea how melee combat is. Targetting is horrible and brings me back to the old vanilla days in WoW. The only way to switch targets is to either tab or manually target, and that's a huge pain. No target-of-target exists, though this might change. The casting animations for healing is beyond dull. I thought it was bad in WoW, but it's worse in this game. Healing so far is the same spam heals, watch bars as every other MMO has, though you can dps during combat, depending how end game bosses are, this may not be possible in tight situations.

Star Wars adds something unique into the game called companions. These companions are sort of like your own personal NPCs or 'pets', as in they will fight with you in the open world and other things I'll cover later. Combat wise, they act like hunter pets. They actually have really good AI on their part, and they are very useful depending on what role you are, and I'd recommend you always have a companion out when you quest in the wide world. Also, any thing you can't use, you can give to your companion to use, which is great, because almost every item you find won't go unused.

Crafting 7/10 - Instead of your character doing crafting, you now have your companions do everything for you. You have the option of gathering the materials yourself in the world or sending your companion out to get them along with paying a small fee for them. As you go up in level for your crafting, your companion takes longer. If you have more than 1 companion, you can send the companion you're currently not using to get you mats too, which is really useful and you don't have to pause your gameplay.

However, it takes the overall feel away and while it seems good in theory, it's one less thing you have to do, and this might not work out too well end game. There's also the fact that you can only have 1 crafting ability and 2 gathering. You can't have 2 crafting abilities, which sucks if you decide to have an alt and want the alt to have 2 crafting abilities or if you want your alt to have all 3 gathering abilities.

You can also make something and 'reverse engineer' it to attempt to get another schematic. I don't know if you'll have to obtain schematics through other means later in the game, as I only got up to level 16.

PvE (Questing, exploring) 7/10 - If you played any other MMO like Rift or WoW, this is exactly the same thing only with a different paint. You gain experience by completing quests which range from 'fetch me this item!' to 'go explore this area!' to 'Kill X mobs'. There are 'bonus' quests you can complete with some quests and while you don't have to complete them, 90% of the time, you'll find yourself completing them anyways because it's on your way to your goal, so in a way, it's not exactly 'optional'. You also gain experience from killing mobs, pvping, and dungeons, which I will cover later on. But basically, you gain experience points the same ways you do in any other MMOs.

There are some innovative ideas such as Voice Acting every quest, but this backfires because you get tired of every single quest you get being VAed, and find yourself skipping the dialogue just so you can get your quest and go back to the game.

You get your own ship, which is a nice touch, and you can fly to whatever planet you want to go and play a mini game where you fly your ship in space combat wise. Sadly, this mini game is pretty much a space rail shooter, which may disappoint fans who wanted something more out of this than a Star Fox clone. So far, I found no real gain from doing this, but this feature would be a wonderful way to customize your ship both inside and out in the future.

Like other Bioware games, they added in an option to romance one of your companions, which adds another element into the game. I don't think I know of any MMO that has something like that, and it may be interesting. Sadly, I did not obtain a romancable companion on my Inquisitor, so I wasn't able to try this out, but you can send your companion to get gifts on certain crafting quests and give those gifts to your companions. You can also raise affection by taking your companions through quest dialogue and flashpoint dialogue.

The first flashpoint I tried out, Black Talon, is really fun and through dialogue choices, you can actually change the outcome of what happens in the dungeon and even change the mobs you fight as well. Depending on what and who is in your group will determine the drop rates, which is a huge improvement over a lot of game's dungeon systems, where as in you can go into one and all the drops are items that no one in the group can currently use.

PvP 5/10 - I had high hopes for Huttball. Sadly, after playing a game, my hopes shattered. I have a feeling that Huttball will be really fun if you go in a premade group. But doing it with a PuG is unbearable. The other two PvP warzones are pretty much clones of WoW BGs, only with different paint. PvP is going to be a problem in the future, because everyone has some sort of stuns/knockdowns. This could become really frustration with healing when you're constantly getting interrupted, stunned, or knocked down. It could make casters frustrated as well. It's still too soon to say, but I really did not enjoy the PvP as a healing spec, from what I've played.

End game (50 only content) N/A - I haven't played any end content in Star Wars, so I can't give feedback on it.

Misc (Latency. bugs, configuration, community) N/A - I'm not going to score this as well since it's a beta, it's expected for bugs. I expected Latency issues as well as crashes, but in all honesty, I rarely had any serious lag issues and I think I crashed once or twice out of 3 days playing, which is really good. Because features were missing as well, I can't make a final call for this option. Community I can't comment on, but this game feels more like a single play game with co-op rather than a MMO.

Final Score 6.25/10 - Lot of features lack polish or haven't even tried yet. This will change on launch for sure.

Overall: 7.5/10 - Overall, it's an enjoyable game with some flaws. There's no way to tell if it's game to stick a subscritpion fee with until end game content is out. If you're burnt out on WoW and want something totally different, I would say pass on Star Wars. However, if you like the current formula and are tired of just WoW's environment, I would say pick up Star Wars. You'll get your money's worth out of the first month and getting to level 50, at the very least.

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