Star Wars: The Old Republic Previews

A couple of new previews about Bioware's MMO set in the Star Wars universe have been put out and should hopefully give some more insight into whether the Canadian developer is succeeding or not with their ambitious project.

IncGamers doesn't seem to be particularly convinced by BioWare's effort:
Despite the noise being made by EA and BioWare in promoting TOR as the next evolution for MMOs, the fact of it is that it functions just like all the rest. The cinematic presentation is nice, the acting is decent and the fact it's Star Wars is appealing but, once the impact of those aspects have worn thin, the over-riding sensation is one of déjà vu and predictability.

It seems as though BioWare wanted to make a story-driven Star Wars game (hence the existence of unique story-arcs each class) as well as a standard MMO (hence the quest structure) but have failed to properly integrate the two into a cohesive whole. The two components fell almost completely separate, connected by extremely tenuous strings that link the core story to the extra-curricular quests. Unfortunately, this being an MMO, those extra-curricular chunks are essential for levelling up your character so concentrating just on the story is not possible.

OMGN hasn't had the chance to go hands-on with the title, so they detail their thoughts based on the information and footage released so far:
It's difficult for me not to be biased on this. On the one hand, I love Star Wars. On the other hand, I played WoW for a long time, so I know what people expect out of an MMO, and my worry is BioWare won't deliver. Take gear, for example: Will we have whole outfits and equipment as in the original games, or will we see something similar to WoW i.e., chest, shoulder, leg pieces, etc.? What will stats be like? Will the gear even look that good? Sure, the outfits we've seen so far look somewhat interesting, but there's little variation. A player really wants to feel unique in his or her gear of choice he or she doesn't want to look like everyone else. Yet, so far, there seems to be little variation in gear or weapons, for that matter. Our saving grace, then, is that BioWare hasn't really gone into weapon/gear specifics, so we may yet be surprised. Customization in the Knights of the Old Republic games was somewhat extensive, especially in the second game as you could craft items and weapon/armor enhancements, so we may see that feature making a welcome return in The Old Republic.