The game is pretty amazing.

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The game is pretty amazing.

Post by Zannis77 on Sat Nov 26, 2011 7:21 am

So after my first day of beta testing, I must say that I'm sold. There is no doubt that I can easily devote the next few years with TOR as my MMO of choice. I say this being nowhere near the endgame, but rather placing trust in Bioware. Their reputation, along with the plainly obvious production values evident right away as soon as you log in, almost guarantee success. Hitting their established goal of retaining at least one million subs is likely certain. As so many have already stated, the leveling process is unsurpassed in an MMO and immediately familiar all at once.

My first criticism is UI related. So many are. You see, I play on a forty inch HDTV from a distance of about eight feet away. The text on the tooltips and subtitles is painfully small with this setup. Bear in mind that reading subtitles is a must for dialogue in alien languages. Until UI scaling of some sort is introduced, I'll be playing much closer to my screen than I'm comfortable with. Thankfully, the font size can be adjusted in the chat pane. Something to consider for those who prefer PC gaming on large screens.

For the most part, the servers ran surprisingly well, in spite of being at capacity. I never had more than 50ms of latency throughout the whole day, at least when the servers were up. The few times the servers crashed, they were back online in minutes. You run into just enough players to feel like you're in a populated world, but not so much that questing becomes difficult. This is done via a process called Sharding, which is a technique similar to Phasing, but on a much broader scale. Sharding dynamically creates multiple instances of the entire planet you're on as it fills with more and more players. The result is less players camping the same quest objectives. There are some drawbacks to the system when players swap Shards to meet up with each other, but those are issues to discuss for another post.

The game runs very well from a graphical point of view. Frames per second were high on my outdated Radeon 4850 with the settings cranked up to max, save Shadow Rendering which is currently bugged for some ATI cards. Turning this one feature off did not really detract from the stunning visuals. The environments don't have much in the way of ambient animation, but what they do include is lavish in detail. Most NPCs are anchored in place with the occasional ambient animation. Some move in designated paths. About what you would expect in a trinity (Tank, Heals, DPS) MMO.

Combat feels fluid to me. I spent most of my time playing a Consular, and I immediately fell in love with the decision to exclude auto attacks. All damage done is via the buttons you press. It makes gauging your damage from the floating combat text easier in light of the combat log, or lack thereof. I very quickly got a sense for the amount of damage each one of my abilities dished out, and figuring out rough DPS numbers, while still a guessing game, is feasible. Bioware's superb audio production really shines here. Your attacks feel like they carry weight right out the door. The 1.5 second Global Cooldown does not feel slow or sluggish in my opinion. Rather, the slightly slower pace of combat feels like a necessity in these early stages without UI customization in play.

All in all, if you're a fan of trinity MMOs such as Warcraft and Rift, welcome to the new King of the Hill. Those looking for anything more will have to wait and see how future content pans out. I'll try to post more after tomorrow's session.

Zannis77
Bantha Fodder

Posts : 6
Join date : 2011-09-28

http://coldfusion.guildlaunch.com

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Re: The game is pretty amazing.

Post by Zannis77 on Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:03 pm

I never got to play much beyond level 10. Been having issues with my CPU overheating, which has nothing to do with TOR as it's happening when I run other games as well.

I had such a good time that I've spent about $75 on a new heatsink, themal gel, and cans of compressed air (figured I'd give the case a good dusting while I had it open) to ensure that I have no issues for launch.

I can't say many games would motivate me to that extent.

Zannis77
Bantha Fodder

Posts : 6
Join date : 2011-09-28

http://coldfusion.guildlaunch.com

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