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Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic (SWTOR) is a 3D sci-fi MMORPG set in the expansive Star Wars universe. Players join either the Galactic Republic or Sith Empire and explore dozens of planets as they progress through their class-specific storyline. SWTOR is a full feature MMORPG offering a continuously increasing range of features, including a companion system, player housing, and spaceship missions.

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Playerbase: High
Type: MMORPG
Release Date: December 20, 2011
PvP: Open World / Arenas / Spaceship
Pros: +Extremely high production value. +Unique storyline for each class. +Great companion system. +Tons of extra features like space missions, crafting, achievements, etc.
Cons: -Several absurd restrictions on free players. -Most low level planets are deserted. -Long load times and other optimization issues.

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Overview

Star Wars: The Old Republic Overview

Embark on an epic adventure and live your own story as you journey through the famous Star Wars universe in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Choose to defend the Galactic Republic or fight for the Sith Empire as a Jedi Knight, a Sith Warrior, or as one of the other iconic professions from the films. Follow the path to the Light or turn to the Dark side of the Force as you make life-changing decisions along the way. Jump into the cockpit of your very own starship and engage in spectacular space combat in true Star Wars style. SWTOR offers an expansive MMORPG experience that will prove immersive and entertaining whether you're a fan of the franchise or new to the scene.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Key Features: 

  • Journey Through Space – explore the world of Star Wars, with 21 different planets scattered throughout the last frontier.
  • Experience Star Wars – be a part of the epic, with the familiar music, story, and visuals of George Lucas' greatest work.
  • Balance Yourself – your actions affect your alignment with the Force, and too much negativity can tilt you toward the Dark Side.
  • Good Character Customization – create your own character, choosing hair, build, complexions, and more.
  • Tons of Extra Features – you'll never be bored, with the extensive amount of extra features available, such as space missions, achievements, crafting, etc.

See “Classes” tab for a detailed description of all the classes in SWTOR.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Screenshots

Star Wars: The Old Republic Featured Video

Classes

Star Wars: The Old Republic Classes and Races

Star Wars: The Old Republic features four basic classes for each faction. The classes in one faction are essentially identical to their counterparts in the opposing faction, although they do have different starting planets, class quests, as well as a few subtle differences in play styles. Players can choose one of two advanced classes when they reach Level 10.

Jedi Knight/Sith Warrior – these light-saber wielding warriors are the basic melee class of the SWTOR world. They can use the Force but don’t rely on it as much as Jedi Consulars or Sith Inquisitors do.

  • Advanced Classes:
    • Jedi Sentinel/Sith Marauder – masters of the lightsaber, these classes fight with two lightsabers and can unleash powerful attacks. They can specialize in aggressive head to head combat or go for swift and agile attacks. They take on the role of Melee DPS in the party.
    • Jedi Guardian/Sith Juggernaut – equipped with a lightsaber and heavy armor, this class can withstand a great deal of damage from enemies. They can take damage in place of an ally, which makes them the perfect Tanks.

Jedi Consular/Sith Inquisitor – adept at using the Force and wielding dual-bladed lightsabers, as popularized by Darth Maul in the movie. Lacking the heavier armor of the Knights and Warriors, they rely on the Force as well as their graceful movements in battle to defeat opponents.

  • Advanced Classes:
    • Jedi Sage/Sith Sorcerer – prefers to use the standard light saber, this class relies heavily on the Force to deliver powerful telekinetic attacks or to heal allies in battle. Depending on their specialization, they may either take on the role of Ranged DPS or Healer.
    • Jedi Shadow/Sith Assasin – experts in using their dual-bladed light sabers. This class can specialize in using stealth and dealing massive critical blows to opponents or they can use their lightsaber skills to protect themselves and their allies. Their skill tree allows them to either take on the role of Burst Melee DPS or Evasive Tank.

Trooper/Bounty Hunter – equipped with heavy armor and a variety of heavy weapons and ammunition. They are the frontline soldiers of both the Republic and the Empire. Their armor allows them to absorb damage while peppering opponents with laser fire from their blasters.

  • Advanced Classes:
    • Commando/Mercenary – blasts targets from a distance with massive assault cannons and grenades. They can also support allies on the battlefield if they specialize as a Combat Medic. May be played as Ranged DPS or Healer.
    • Vanguard/Powertech – loves to get up-close and personal with the enemy. Using technology, they can draw targets in with hooks and harpoons and decimate enemies with powerful short-range pulse cannons or flamethrowers. They can also use their shield generators to absorb damage. Fills in for Close Range DPS or Tank in the party.

Smuggler/Imperial Agent – stealth and cunning is the name of the game for this class. They prefer to stay hidden, but are quick on the draw and can take out enemies before they even come close with their arsenal of fast-firing blasters and shotguns.

  • Advanced Classes:
    • Scoundrel/Operative – makes use of tricks and surprises to gain advantages over the enemy. They take on enemies at close range with close-ranged rifles or energy blades. They can also specialize in healing party members. Takes on the role of Burst Ranged DPS or Healer.
    • Gunslinger/Sniper – experts in taking out enemies from a long range while remaining behind cover. They can inflict huge damage from long-range or use technology to weaken the enemy. Assumes the role of Ranged DPS in parties.

Full Review

Star Wars: The Old Republic Review

By Marc Marasigan

Star Wars: The Old Republic is a sci-fi themed 3D MMORPG based on the Star Wars franchise. The game was developed by Bioware and published be Electronic Arts, both big names in the gaming industry. It was also published in association with LucasArts who hold the rights to the Star Wars franchise. The game was released on December 20, 2011. However, customers who pre-ordered the game were given a one-week head start. The game was initially subscription-based, but later transitioned to a mixed subscription and free-to-play model on November 15, 2012. The development costs for the game were estimated to be around $200 million, making it the most expensive video game ever made before being overthrown by Grand Theft Auto V in 2013.

SWTOR is set in the fictional Star Wars universe 300 years after the events in the game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and more than 3000 years before the events in Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. Players are thrust into a world where the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic are struggling to maintain order after yet another war while the Sith strive to establish a new empire.

Create a Character, You Must

After a lengthy download, which seems to be the norm nowadays, players are treated to an action-packed intro movie showing the Sith’s return to their home planet. Although I’m not a big fan, I do like Star Wars and the awesome lightsaber fight scene in the movie had me hooked from the start. After the adrenaline-pumping intro movie, players then get to choose which faction they want to play for. They can choose to fight for either the Galactic Republic or the Sith Empire. The faction choice applies to all characters in the account, which is up to two characters for free players and three for subscribers.

After choosing sides, and yet another awesome cinematic cut scene, players may now create their characters. They have the option to play as one of four playable classes. Each faction has four basic classes which are basically mirrors of each other. They do, however, start off in different planets and follow different quest lines. Players then get to choose their character’s race. Unfortunately, only three out of the ten races are available for free players: Humans, Cyborgs, and Zabraks (think Darth Maul). For players who want to try other races, subscribing is the only option. The races are purely cosmetic, however, and will have no effect on gameplay besides looking cool.

Once players have picked their allegiance, class, and race, they can customize their characters. SWTOR’s customization feature, while not really ground-breaking, is definitely better than most MMORPGs. Players can choose from a variety of body builds, hairstyles, complexions, and more. The fact that you can choose your character's build is definitely a breath of fresh air from the typical muscle-bound or super slim character types. A handy name generator also makes naming that much easier.

The Star Wars Universe

Players enter the game world in one of the starting planets, determined by their chosen faction and class. Yes, planets. There are 4 starting planets and 17 others that players can visit along their journey, which just goes to show how much effort the developers put into the game to give players that ultimate Star Wars experience. Those who choose the path of the Jedi, like me, will be starting off in the planet Tython, where the first Jedi Council was formed.
SWTOR’s game world is incredibly rich and detailed and the environment is what you would expect from a Star Wars game. The graphics and effects are stunning and may require a decent machine to run in Ultra settings. The background music, sound effects, and the excellent voice acting, however, are what, in my opinion, makes the game epic. The iconic Star Wars theme, the distinct sound of light sabers and blasters, along with the background music, all work spectacularly to immerse players in the game world.

It’s Time To Begin Training, Young Padawan

SWTOR’s quest system is not that much different from most MMORPGs, and will have players killing mobs and collecting stuff yet again. A plus is that Star Wars, like RF Online, puts the game-world’s technology to good use by allowing players to complete quests and receive new ones while out on the field. Some quests still need to be turned in though, but most of the quests will come through the holocommunicator. Bonus quests can also be completed alongside the main quest lines. While optional, completing bonus quests rewards players with experience points, which makes leveling faster, especially for free players with EXP penalties. The quests also involve a lot of running around, with Sprinting locked until Level 10 for free players, and mounts unavailable until later. Getting from one area to the next can get a bit tedious at least early on.

The quest system, in my opinion, borrows heavily from World of Warcraft with instances and cutscenes thrown in to move the story along. During most cutscenes, players can choose their response to certain dialogue. Some of the responses, other than making conversations colorful, don’t have any real bearing on the story or your character, but some can affect your alignment with the Light or the Dark side.

Welcome to the Dark Side

SWTOR gives players the ability to not only choose their faction, but to choose their morality as well, through the games alignment system. Like Pathfinder Online, in-game decisions can affect your character's alignment and tilt them towards either the Light or Dark side. It’s entirely possible to play as a Jedi and go around terrorizing and blackmailing people, although doing so will gain players a lot of enemies and may make the game a bit more challenging. Some equipment also have alignment restrictions. An armor, for example, may require players to be Dark Level 2 to be equipped. Succumbing to the Dark side also changes the character's appearance. They turn pale and tend to have an evil look about them.

Mastering The Force

The skill system used in SWOTR is typical of most MMORPGs as well. Players unlock skills at certain levels. Unlocked skills can be learned and improved by visiting trainer NPCs found in almost every populated area. Upon reaching Level 10, advanced classes are opened to players. Players can pick from two advanced classes and specialize even further with three skill trees for each advanced class. Players can learn all the abilities of their starting class but are only given a limited number of points to spend on their advanced skill trees. For players who want to try a different build, they can “re-spec” or reset their skill points for free once per week. Additional re-specs can be done for a fee.

Recruiting Your Crew

Players can recruit a variety of Companions during their journey through the galaxies. Companions are NPCs that assist and accompany players on quests and in battles. They mostly serve the same function as pets in other MMORPGs. Players can recruit up to six companions at one time but only one companion can accompany the player outside of their starship. I don’t know why, but this setup reminds me of the reality show, “The Bachelor”. The “companions” lounge around inside the ship while the player spends some quality time with his, or her, chosen companion.

PvP

No MMORPG would be complete without a way for players to show-off their skills by beating the crap out of other players, and SWTOR is no different. Players can challenge other players to duels as early as Level 1. Players of opposing factions can also attack each other on sight in most planets. They can also participate in Warzones, SWTOR’s version of Battle Arenas, which are large-scale objective-based battles typically found in most MMORPGs.

Money Matters

I’m not one to complain since I get to play an awesome game for free, but compared to other MMORPGs, SWTOR’s nickel-and-dime F2P model seems a bit excessive. Sure, EA and Bioware need to make money, but charging players for something as simple as the ability to sprint, not to mention the experience penalty free players receive, can be a bit disappointing. Instead of implementing penalties here and there, why not just give subscriber’s a boost? It works the same way but doesn’t make F2P players feel second-rate. The Cartel Market (item mall) seems to only be useless for F2P players. Except for the handful of cosmetic items, it mostly contains access passes, EXP boosts, consumable bundles, etc. which must be purchased.

Final Verdict – Great

Star Wars: The Old Republic is an awesome game with impressive graphics, an engaging storyline, epic audio, and of course, light sabers! The main class quests alone had me hooked for hours. The reduced EXP can be forgiven - it just makes leveling a bit harder and I’m always up for a challenge. However, the other nickel-and-dime perks, such as the additional Hotbars, seems a bit too much. For Star Wars fans and players who are willing to subscribe, this game is definitely a winner. For the rest who like it free, the game is still great and, as one of the most expensive video games ever made, is definitely worth trying, even if it’s just for the class quests. Still, despite some of the F2P drawbacks, Star Wars: The Old Republic is easily one of the most polished MMORPGs on the market and is well worth checking out.

Screenshots

Star Wars: The Old Republic Screenshots

Videos

Star Wars: The Old Republic Videos

System Requirements

Star Wars: The Old Republic System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP  / Vista / 7
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6420 2.13 GHz / AMD Athlon x2 Dual Core 5000+
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX / ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 15 GB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows  7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium Dual Core G6960 2.93 GHz / AMD Phenom II X3 B75 or better
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 465 GTX / ATI Radeon HD 5850 or better
RAM: 4 GB or better
Hard Disk Space: 15 GB

Music

Star Wars: The Old Republic Music & Soundtrack

Additional Info

Star Wars: The Old Republic Additional Information

Developer: Bioware
Lead Designer: Daniel Erickson
Composers: Mark Griskey, Jesse Harlin, Lennie Moore

Game Engine: Hero Engine

Free to Play Date: November 15, 2012
Closed Beta Testing: July 9, 2010

Foreign Release Dates:

Europe: December 20, 2011
Australia: March 1, 2012
Middle East: April 26, 2012

Expansions:

Rise of the Hutt Cartel (April 14, 2013) - Raised level cap from 50 to 55 and added the planet Makeb.
Galactic Starfighter (February 4, 2014) - Added 12v12 spaceship based PvP arenas.
Galactic Strongholds (October 1, 2014) - Introduced player housing and guild flagships.
Shadow of Revan (December 9, 2014) - Level cap raised to 60. Added two new worlds: Rishi and Yavin 4.
Knights of the Fallen Empire (October 27, 2015) - Solo mode story content added. Level cap raised to 65.
Knights of the Eternal Throne (December 2, 2016) - Added Galactic Command and Uprisings. Level cap raised to 70.

Development History:

SWTOR is the first MMORPG by the legendary studio Bioware, best known for their PC RPG titles. It is the second MMORPG to use the Star Wars IP, with the first being Star Wars Galaxies, which was shut down in December 2011. Star Wars: The Old Republic was first announced back in October 21, 2008. At the time of release, SWTOR was the most expensive video game ever made with a development price tag between $150-$200 million. Star Wars: The Old Republic was one of the reasons the gaming giant Electronic Arts decided to acquire all of Bioware - to get its hands on a potentially huge MMORPG. With such a huge development budget, the game had everything going for it. One of the game's most impressive development feats was the inclusion of over 200,000 lines of recorded quest dialogue. Despite its huge spike in popularity and decline after release, the game still remains incredibly profitable for its parent company, Electronic Arts.