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Doombah
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PostSubject: Beta Weekend Reflections   Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:09 am

Now that the Beta Stress Test Weekend is officially over and we have to wait a few weeks to play the game, add a reply to this thread and let us know what you thought of the game so far. I had an amazing time and the game surpassed all my expectations (almost), but i'll get into that a little later. I just wanted to get this thread going first. Smile

~D

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Definition: 'Love' is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope. Statement: This definition, I am told, is subject to interpretation. Obviously, love is a matter of odds. Not many meatbags could make such a shot, and fewer would derive love from it. Yet for me, love is knowing your target, putting them in your targeting reticle, and together, achieving a singular purpose, against statistically long odds.



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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:15 am

not sure that I love the shadow like I thought I would. . . seemed under-powered in group fights but it could just be me, I was getting some internet jitters in my home connection which could have had a big impact as well. Orrrr it is the PvP balancing issue: if I run into a lvl 45 guy when I am at lvl 13 it is just stupid, sure I got my lvl 40 teammates but they are on the other side of the map. Next time Ill be on a server with all of you!

the other issue is I can already imagine the repetitive tasks which get so old so fast but need to be done to advance (crafting and most crew skills).

Id like to see more variety and unique reward. I have played some very rich MMO's and think TOR could have learned a lot more before they had their mass effect/WoW baby with a star wars skin

dont get me wrong I had a good time Smile

were guilds active for the beta test? because I was sad to not have my magical friends kickin' donkey with me.

It also had me wondering how guilds would work at all because I could not figure them out this weekend so I hope they were not active. . . .
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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:49 am

KronusZ wrote:
were guilds active for the beta test? because I was sad to not have my magical friends kickin' donkey with me.

There was, indeed, a Star Ponies guild up and running on Saturday after we'd poked Fluttershy enough times. There wasn't much chatter, as I think everyone has their heads down testing as hard as they could, but I was able to group with other ponies a couple of times to tackle harder content.


The weekend left a good impression on me. On Friday I had not ordered the game. Sunday night I did. While I am disappointed that there's not more options as far as the content goes (looks like all Sith are going to do the same bunch of quests once out of the starting zome) the class stories do a lot to compensate for that. I played a Sith Warrior on Saturday and Sunday and enjoyed that a lot. This evening I went back and started a Sith Inquisitor, to get an idea of how different two stories in the same area were. Turns out they are very different, and I got sucked in by that story even more than I did the Warrior's. If the quality is maintained, I might just play through all the classes, instead of just one on each side.
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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:36 am

There is a whole lot I can say about this weekends test.

First, I played a Sith Warrior who eventually became a Juggernaut. I ended up a little past level 21 when the servers shut down tonight. I probably put around 28 hours into the game. The last two hours were just spent doing my class quests, because I had to see what happened. I'm just going to break down each aspect of what I experienced for clarity.

1)Questing. Fantastic. A lot of it was the typical MMO 'Kill x of y and come back', but I was still happy to do it. There was only one escort quest that I came across which is a great thing as that is the worst type of quest out there. The rewards were ok, but the XP was totally worth it. The game really rewards the XP for questing as opposed to grinding which, while giving you an ok amount of xp is harder because most of the enemies are the objective of some quest so there will be much more competition against people killing them for quests as opposed to grinding them.

2)Class quests. These are what's going to set this game apart. Like Chewie said, they draw you in pretty fast. I wasn't a huge fan of the quests on Korriban, but once I got to Dromund Kass it was game time. I wanted to push and do the class quests, but the game made it really easy to just knock out like, 5 other quests between points A and B for your class quest that it would be silly to not do them. I can't wait to see the Consular quest line and I really can't wait to see the Imperial Agent one (eventually).

3)Technical issues. I had about 5 crashes to the desktop over the whole weekend. Not terrible I suppose, but really annoying. The game had me at about 85% of max settings which is nice, but conversations took forever to load and it wasn't until halfway through that the person I was talking to became fully rendered. I dropped down my settings a little and it helped, but not tremendously. The last few hours, I set everything as low as it would go and things went pretty well. Still some lag in high traffic areas, but that's to be expected. The main city on Balmorra was probably where I had the worst lag and frame skips.

4)Combat. Very well done. You can see where they clearly took cues from KOTOR and WoW, but that's fine. If I just stand there in melee with someone, i'll just deflect their attacks. I won't do anything until I ACTUALLY do anything. I like that. The animations are great and when I was fighting a Sith Lord at the end of the Beta, the combat looked fantastic. I really liked the abilities that my character had and regularly used about 60% of them. I had my rotation set up and it worked really well.

5)Companions. I really liked how they worked them into the story and each ones unique personality. Honestly, I didn't even realize that they were going to be my companions until they actually were. It was a pleasant surprise. Having a DPS gunner backing up my tanking was really nice. Sometimes she would kill enemies before I even got to them. My second companion was with me for a few scant hours, but he was a healer and that really, REALLY helped me out. It's the reason I was able to just skip everything except the class quests on Nar Shadaa.

6)Crew Skills. A unique system. I didn't play around with it a whole lot, but I can see it being a hell of a time killer. It was nice being able to send people out to do things when I knew i'd be in a city turning in quests for a while, or traveling a lot and not needing the extra backup. I was Artifice and Archaeology. Of course, they pair well. I had a great abundance of crystals so I could make a bunch of color crystals, but I never did get to make yellow, purple or orange. I ended up with an orange saber crystal, but that's because I stole it from my DPS' blaster. :p I'm going to do a little research before the game comes out about what will ACTUALLY be good for my character and not what I think will.

7)Environments. Korriban was a little small, but then I got to Dromund Kaas and just cursed how far apart everything was. It was even worse on Balmorra. I don't say this as a negative. Travel hubs were fairly plentiful and just far enough apart to make it a challenge and worth getting them all. The binding stations were super useful as well even though you could only use them every half hour. That made me decide when I wanted to run back and when it was easiest to just call a cab.

The worlds were gorgeous. They were lush, detailed and weren't boring to quest around in. Sometimes huge mountains getting in the way was an issue, though. The maps weren't always clear about how best to get places. I would follow a road because it was close to where I had to get to, but in reality I had to go around the other way and go through a valley to get there. A little frustrating, but I know better now.

8)PvP. This was the one thing I didn't really get to do. I was going to do it tonight, but the class quests just grabbed hold of me too much. I hear it's ok, and i'm sure i'll give it a try once the game is actually released.

9)Flashpoints. Ah. Yes. The reason a lot of people play games like this. Dungeon crawls have always been a fun part of RPGs dating back to the days of Dungeons and Dragons in the 70s and 80s. You know your going to have to step things up and your going to fight some dangerous foes, but the rewards are worth it. It's also about bragging rights. I loved instances in WoW and I feel that this game is going to be no different.

I ran Black Talon and Hammer Station. BT was me and Elandin and our companions. We didn't have too much trouble, really. Lots of social points and a great way to get your feet wet for flashpoints. Hammer Station was a lot of fun. It took us about 45 minutes to do and we only wiped three times (once on trash and once on the first and last boss). I was tanking and there were three Sith Sorcerers with me. Lol. One of them was level 14, yet he managed to live than the level 19 one. It was nice having them all shield and be able to heal me, though. Makes me wish I had Recount for it. Smile I can't wait to level my Consular and run some flashpoints with you folks!

10)Music. While not a huge issue and most people probably don't even notice it, but the music was a great mix of John Williams' original scores, KOTOR music and new stuff just for this game. I loved that whenever I took off in my ship it played the music when Darth Maul killed Qui-Gon Jinn. Very Happy


I am just as excited for this game now, but i'm more confident in my obsession over it now. I've had a few days with it and can confidently say that it's solid and will just keep getting better as time goes on.

The 15th can't come quick enough.

~D

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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:51 pm

I tried as many flashpoints as I could, with Athiss bugging out at the second boss unfortunately.

Black Talon is really fun and action packed.

Hammer Station was really short, not fun, and the final boss didnt give loot. I hope that is just a bug. I was healing at level 19, before i got rejuvination (HoT with initial healing) and I have to say, the final boss was brutal. Without that extra heal/incombat force regen, it was really hard to heal everyone. If the consular is similar to sorcerer in terms of healing, im gonna try and wait til 21ish to heal that, unless its a run with friends/guildies.

Athiss seemed pretty cool, one of the party members was able to get a droid up and running to help out. Second boss did a knockback, which the tank didnt realize he needed to have his back to a wall, so he got knocked into other mobs and we wiped, and the instance wouldnt let us join again.
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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:00 pm

I honestly cant say I did a whole lot during the weekend beta. I played 3 classes up to their advanced class level. I kinda rushed it though, bioware games always leave an impact for me and I couldn't feel it knowing I was gonna lose all the data. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, I thought it was fantastic. But just like most things, it could have been 20% cooler. ( Everything needs more ponies ) I tried the Imperial Agent first to get used to the cover mechanic. Took a few moments to grow accustomed to it, I found the range you could roll in to be higher than expected. I know I as a human cant roll about 15 meters like that d: . I chose body type 4 for him, very big mistake, couldn't take my own character seriously. Next I tried the Bounty Hunter, and that was very enjoyable. I liked the venting heat mechanic, I don't know if that was a new concept or anything but I found it neat. Rockets, flamethrowers, death from above, it was awesome. Lastly I played the Sith Warrior, force charge = win. And using a sith pureblood was a nice change to things.

Didn't do any flashpoints, and would try to solo heroics too early and die like a boss. Didn't get to pvp and used no republic classes. Didn't get into crew skills or crafting, so I barely put a scratch on the surface.

Technical issues were next to none. Latency stayed at around 50-70. My fps was usually around 20-30 on ordinary maps and would go up to 50-60 during conversations. Load times were very minimal, only the start up took long. No crashes, never got stuck anywhere. I kept hearing other people's companions. I was hearing vette on Hutta for some reason. My map would stop working occasionally, but I'd just go into a different area to fix it. Way too many people saying wow is better on every level ( That counts as a bug right? ) So I had to take my chat box away. Lot of naked companions, I like a naked Mako just as much as the next person, but it was kinda strange.

Bounty Hunter made me question my desire to make my main a smuggler. Thinking I'd enjoy Trooper more, but I gimped the imperial Agent by not understanding mechanics, learning controls and choosing body type 4.

Cant wait to pop flares on my stap with my mouse droid.

Side note/question: Saw many many sith with blue lightsabers, I thought the blues/greens were hard for sith to acquire?
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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:28 am

Desert Bear wrote:

Side note/question: Saw many many sith with blue lightsabers, I thought the blues/greens were hard for sith to acquire?

The first few recipes you get for Artifice are Blue, Green and Red crystals. I had a blue and green one for a while, but then I finally turned Dark I and you can't use Blue or Green if you're below Neutral. I'm pretty sure the same goes for Jedi using Red crystals above Neutral. Orange, yellow and purple seem to be usable by anyone, however.

I wound up with an orange crystal and was really happy for that, because red, green and blue are lame if they were the only colors. I realize that George Lucas says that it's because blah blah blah, etc., etc., etc.

As far as i'm concerned, Sith use red because they spend days forging their crystals and imbuing them with the Force and the synthesis process makes them come out red. Jedi use green and blue because that's what's available on Ilum (at the time of the movies and such anyway). Mace Windu has purple because George Lucas likes him.

In every other game/book/comic you will find just about every color of saber: cyan, gold, silver, copper, orange, yellow, deep purple (as opposed to the violet purple of Mace's), white, black (Force Unleashed FTW) and Mara Jade had a pink saber for a while. Leia had a red one that was made for her by Luke.

I wish there weren't restrictions on colors by alignment. Being a Sith with a blue saber could confuse people on the battlefield in PvP. :p

~D

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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:14 am

I had a ton of fun being a light side Imperial Agent. The story line was engaging and being a sneaky backstabber that can shoot people to heal them was very fun. I played a little PVP and got to play with one other guildie. We lost the match but I enjoyed that aspect of the game. Smile

There were only a few technical issues, such as crashing when a party member other than me started a conversation (it only happened twice) and one or two other hiccups.

I'm thinking if I have an alt, it will be an Imperial Agent just to see how far I can go with the light side before someone in the empire puts me down. Wink

I also had some problems with Dolby Axon and the game. Whenever I pressed the button to talk on Dolby Axon, either there would be a whisper or no pony would hear me. I'm thinking I just have to adjust some settings to set it aright.

Other than that, one awesome game!
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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:37 pm

TL;DR
Liked it very much.


Unfortunately I could not get into the Drexl server so I played without a guild and did not work out how to set up or join one. Apparently it could have been done in Dromud Kaas but I must have missed that.

Other than that I absolutely loved it. Played as Sith Inquisitor/Sorcerer and loved it especially for the dark side options. I wanted to try out different classes but got too immersed in the storyline.

I do have a few nitpicks though.

Optional Tutorials
There was far too much stuff which was left to be worked out on your own and while most of it was intuitive there were a few things which I only figured out how to do by accident (dueling, crew skills) and a few that I did not (for instance I did not manage to leave groups Very Happy and had to wait for others to do it so the group gets disbanded) The little things that popped up were only marginally useful and I had no idea how to get back to them.

Combat
I cannot stress this enough but the game NEEDS MORE HOTKEYS. I found my action bar filled up almost immediately and while I managed to display additional ones they did not have hotkeys so I had to click them which just is not very efficient. Other than that combat is good, I really enjoyed the heal/farcast set up of my Sorcerer with the companion tanking a meleeing.

Companions
I hope that all the companions complement the chosen class which my did perfectly and I also liked that their special casts can be set on auto and the AI seems to use them quite well. Only problem I had that when I tried to equip them the item's stats were compared to my equipment rather than the companion's. Also I heard a lot of the other companions very loudly and they had rather annoying lines (good thing mine did not speak basic Very Happy ).

Quests and Grinding
Class quests are superb, filler/side quests are also not bad and serve to level up your char. I like how grinding is integrated in the form of bonus objectives. Not only do you get xp for killing the NPC's but also for completing the bonus objectives which removes the boring part of grinding much like KOTOR did.

Group quests and Flaspoints
Only did Hate Machine and Black Talon. Found finding a group rather difficult since not many people were using the social window thingy and got groups via general (which I switched off because too many people were talking about WoW). Plus a lot of acronyms were used which I did not understand like LFM and DPS. Did like the quests though even though they were quite buggy and crashed a few times. Fortunately, progress seems to be saved so we did not have to fight the boss again.

Performance
Well, let's just say I only have a laptop and even on minimum settings I had 10-50 fps depending on number of players/effects/npc's etc.

I also liked the titles because mine ended up being WetAndClueless, the Conqueror of Balmorra lol!


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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:38 pm

Darth Dreselus wrote:
[u]TL;DR


Combat
I cannot stress this enough but the game NEEDS MORE HOTKEYS. I found my action bar filled up almost immediately and while I managed to display additional ones they did not have hotkeys so I had to click them which just is not very efficient.

You can assign hotkeys to your additional quickbars, you had to poke around a bit in the menu to find the option to though.
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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:51 pm

Amorphic wrote:
Darth Dreselus wrote:
[u]TL;DR


Combat
I cannot stress this enough but the game NEEDS MORE HOTKEYS. I found my action bar filled up almost immediately and while I managed to display additional ones they did not have hotkeys so I had to click them which just is not very efficient.

You can assign hotkeys to your additional quickbars, you had to poke around a bit in the menu to find the option to though.

Thank god for that, I always found myself doing my favourite combo routine (-, 0, 1, 4, 7, 2, 7 lol i still remember it) and then frantically looking for that one which cancels enemy cast and prevents him from using it for 4 seconds which was quite useful and would be invaluable in PvP.

Do you if you can use combinations though? like alt+1 since many of the letters are already assigned to things, did not try f keys though those would be useful as hotkeys
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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:08 pm

Darth Dreselus wrote:
Amorphic wrote:
Darth Dreselus wrote:
[u]TL;DR


Combat
I cannot stress this enough but the game NEEDS MORE HOTKEYS. I found my action bar filled up almost immediately and while I managed to display additional ones they did not have hotkeys so I had to click them which just is not very efficient.

You can assign hotkeys to your additional quickbars, you had to poke around a bit in the menu to find the option to though.

Thank god for that, I always found myself doing my favourite combo routine (-, 0, 1, 4, 7, 2, 7 lol i still remember it) and then frantically looking for that one which cancels enemy cast and prevents him from using it for 4 seconds which was quite useful and would be invaluable in PvP.

Do you if you can use combinations though? like alt+1 since many of the letters are already assigned to things, did not try f keys though those would be useful as hotkeys
I enabled the double bar and just used the upper row like normal and then set my bindings for the lower row to Shift + <1-=>. You can enable more to the left and right but I didn't experiment too much. I put all the attacks/heals with the quickest cooldowns closest to the one, the ones that I couldn't use (or use well) in cover I placed on the top bar so they would be overriden by my cover bar (only had two differences), and then everything with a long cooldown I placed in the center bottom, and the out-of-combat abilities or health packs were to the far right. Buffs and fast travel I just put on a different palette. There is plenty of space but you just need to be tactful about it.

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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:04 pm

Yes!! Just got a massive and unexpected funds injection. Also all my coursework should be finished by 15-16. dec. Very Happy So I guess it's time to preorder (hopefully it isnt too late) Also do you know if the early access also applies if preordering the hard copy version, because I am not going to download it (its much more expensive and it would take forever)? I still have the client so I hope that will be sufficient.

While my laptop is not going to be please I will somehow manage with the low fps. Im gonna be leavin for home on the 19th where I have a desktop so Ill see if that works any better but its kinda old

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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:27 pm

Amorphic already addressed the hotkeys, but for some of the other issues:

You can leave a group by right clicking your portrait and selecting group > leave


LFM = Looking For More
DPS = Damage per Second. Also, refers to someone whose role is to deal damage

there's a list of common acronyms and abbreviations at http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=318815
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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:44 am

Pre-order fixed, hopefully the code will arrive in time since it's only 9 days now.

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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Sat Dec 03, 2011 10:43 am

Early Access is downloaded since no hard copies will be available to anyone yet.
You'll need the key from the box to access it once the regular release comes.
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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:48 pm

I only had the chance to play in one beta weekend, and played an Inquisitor and Consular (primarily Inquisitor because I didn't want to ruin the consular story before launch). Honestly, I loved the voice acting, and the dialogue actually made me feel like I was doing something important for a change, as opposed to the standard of not even bothering with most text quest. One of my friends played with me for some time as well. The system they have in place when in parties is fairly good in my book. While, yes, a person in party does affect the side quest dialogue, your personal quests are still to you and only you. I never got the chance to do a flash point or pvp, but I really cannot see how they would be bad with the way everything else has played out. Not once did I CTD, and the only noticeable graphical glitch that I ran across was my characters mouth not moving during a very minor portion of the quest dialogue. That seemed to only happen exclusively during side quests, though.
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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Tue Dec 06, 2011 10:49 pm

The player mouth (and even other NPC's) not moving glitch is fairly common from what I had seen. It happened to me on many occasions and some of us in the guild experienced it together when running a flashpoint, so it must have been pretty prevalent.

Shame you didn't get to do a flashpoint. They are rather fun and satisfying for the most part. It helps when you have competent people at your side for them though. Razz

PvP was...alright in my opinion. I only did one of the battlegrounds and it was a neat concept, but the whole balancing system to PvP left a sour taste in my mouth. It was awesome, and allowed for even low level players to experience PvP without worrying about being outmatched, but everything felt TOO balanced out and there was no real skill or excitement to the PvP in the battleground. Everyone has TONS of HP, does more damage, and just kind of beat on each other for a good bit before someone dies. I felt more like I was fighting elite NPCs rather than an actual player. I prefer my PvP more visceral and reliant on actual stats I suppose.

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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:29 am

im confused if it was balanced how does it make it less of a skill fight? like in WoW mages don't have skill their class just carries them if its balanced you'll need skill to win.
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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:38 am

I say that because at the level of balancing they did, it became a tank-and-spank version of PvP, rather than, "we can both kill each other in about 10secs, so how do I come out on top in this fight". Maybe it felt different for other people, but that is how it was for me. I just stood there spamming my attacks at whomever came near and there was no thought of, "I should stun this guy, and then disable this one, and use these certain abilities to kill this person before moving to that group over there", etc. It was target, spam attacks, target next, spam attacks, and so on. My massive quantities of HP allowed me to just faceroll my keyboard, or even heal-tank 2-3 people at once. (This was on my SI)

I didn't feel the need to plan or react appropriately to my situation, like when I was playing WoW or other MMOs. Maybe it is because I am used to PvP servers where you just run up on people your level while out questing and have to often really fight hard and smart to come out on top, especially when confronted with a class that may be overwhelming to yours. That is the kind of PvP I enjoy, so that is why the battleground turned me off somewhat.

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Applejack
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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:10 am

well almost no body had op BOA gear or real pvp gear in the beta so they didn't have OP gear to pwn the people that don't have gear. The stealth classes are still OP if they get their openers on you your dead in like 5 sec and most people consider longer battles to be more skill orientated because its not ROFLSTOMP I hit 2 buttons your dead but an actual battle where if your caught off guard you still have a chance to come back and win the fight.
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PostSubject: Re: Beta Weekend Reflections   Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:17 pm

I was watching a stream of a 50 Shadow PvPing with a few other level 50s, and they all had the (current) highest-tier PvP gear, and they absolutely DESTROYED people. The Shadow could kill anyone, including other level 50s (besides tanks) in about 5-10 seconds, so it seems like gear will have quite a large effect at max level in PvP.

Also, Chocobo, it seems you're more accustomed to 1v1, twitch-style PvP like WoW has, where you can kill someone in a single stun. TOR is more akin to WAR, in that it takes some time to kill someone; also, it's more team-based, so it's more about controlling the other team/keeping your teammates alive than it is simply killing everyone on the other team.
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