Star Wars: The Old Republic Previews

Some more beta-based previews of Star Wars: The Old Republic are online and ready for your scrutiny, assuming you're still trying to make up your mind on whether to pick up the game before its December 20th launch.

The conversation options between characters is run much like other Bioware games such as Mass Effect and Dragon Age II: it uses the dial system where each option indicates the path the conversation will take and not the exact words. It also indicates if the choice will give light side or dark side points as well.

Even when you are in a group the conversations are done very well. Everyone chooses an option and the game random picks whoever actually gets to say their line, making the conversations unpredictable.

If there is an option to kill or let someone live, even if the game chooses a player who chooses to kill the person, you can still get light side points for choosing to let the person live which means that you aren't punished if your friends are a little too trigger happy.

BioWare did a great job on the quest layout for the game. The point-and-retrieve system is very much alive but the hassle of picking up multiple quests is gone. Once you complete the four or five available quests, which all in the same area, you'll move onto the next area and find another group of quests. It may make the game feel sectionalized but it is hardly noticable as the quests are generally interesting to do. With the inclusion of conversations and the deep connection to your character, you feel like what you're told to do is vital to your journey.

The stories for each class are pretty top notch from what I have been through. My next higher character is a level 9 Sith Inquisitor. The difference between the Warrior and Inquisitor is action and investigation. You're both on Korriban and exploring the same tombs but for different reasons. The Warrior is proving himself worthy bu combat and the Sith Code. The Inquisitor is trying to produce rare and elusive artifacts to prove their worth. The end result sounds the same but the journey there is different. While these two stories have primarily taken my attention, the five levels I spend on the Bounty Hunter were exceptional and oddly emotional. From what I see in the chat panel, many are calling the Bounty Hunter's story the best in the game. I can't obviously comment on that but I am looking forward to playing the Bounty Hunter as my alt. I've never had an MMO make me want to roll more than one character and see it through completion. The experience here begs multiple playthroughs (hitting level 50).

And MMORPG Center:
nteraction with the game's NPCs has gotten a lot of love and attention too. In classic Bioware style, you can get a bunch of companions throughout your main quest line that you can interact with and that each has their own personality. For example the first companion for the SithWarrior is a twi lek called Vette that you can zap every time you talk to her because she's wearing an electric collar and you only need to push a button to prove your point in conversation. (-1 to NPC appreciation, +10 to evil fun). Also if you want to satisfy your evil appetite even more, you can always indulge in the killing of NPCs as you often get the opportunity to execute them during conversation especially at the end of an important quest. I only played the on the Empire's side but I can only assume that the Republic side offers the possibility to save a lot of people.

Upon reaching its 7th birthday, Star Wars: The Old Republic was sent to Online MMORPG Games School where it was going to learn everything it needed to know from other MMOs the market. It probably began hanging out with the less popular crowd but started hearing everyone talking about the most successful student the school had ever seen. It had graduated back in 2004 and since then it had become a teacher and everyone was trying to copy it. SWTOR decided it was going to do the same and that's how it met the most famous teacher in school, World of Warcraft. Its parents, especially KOTOR, were not happy with this but they decided they were going to try and minimize the damage. When The Old Republic decided it was going to do boring side-quests involving gathering 10 items for that random NPC and killing 10 space-pigs for their pelts, its parents decided to at least change the presentation. Now the player would have to go and gather/destroy/activate some 3-5 sci-fi themed objects while offering a secondary objective involving the killing of some of the space-pigs in the area. Totally different! Again I have to mention that the conversation before these boring side-quests usually saves the day. Being able to flirt with a quest giver that was trying to get me to help her with recovering the body of her close friend was the most awkward and fun conversation I've had in the game.