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SW: The Old Republic Part 3


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#401
Setzer

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Still playing and still having fun with my Operative. Slowly trying to get my valor up to 65(at 52 now). Also started playing an Assassin just to see what the differences were between the two stealth classes....other than one has a gun and the other a lightsaber. Definitely looking forward to 1.2 but I really wish they would put in the cross servers que for Warzones. My server is on "Light" all the time and ques for warzones take 15-20min. I think they also need to look into consolidating servers....123 is too many.

#402
Hassat Hunter

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Well, here's my impression. Know I went in it hating MMO's (still do), rather wanting KOTOR3 and with a great dislike of what they did with Revan and the Exile (or the entire KOTOR2 for that part. Seems they didn't mind stealing the OST though). So yeah, went in the demo pretty negative. The end result did positively suprise me. Enough that I would be willing to shell 50 bucks for it. Not enough to pay a subscription at 12 euro a month. So end result; No TOR for me. Large impression from a roleplaying MMO-Noob and the difficulties in getting into one now follows. Warning; Spoilers aplenty for the Sith Warrior storyline.

Sith Warrior. After getting an (IMO) cool skin the game started. Of course obviously first check the options (especially I wanted subtitles). So many stuff there. Don't even know what half does. With subtitles on the adventure could begin.
So first murdered some enemies. Easy enough. Wandered around a bit, looting, some minor questing. The respawning enemies already quickly annoyed me. Especially when on the second level of the first tomb I recovered something, then had to walk all the way back. Decided to just ignore enemies, got stunlocked, first dead. I got a bonus mission to kill bugs, but hey, could do at the entrance, right?
WRONG. I had to do that specifically on the second level... *sigh*. Afterwards had to run back again... What made it worse was later learning there was an exit to the academy if I just continued. Only dungeon I encountered in the entire demo who has 2 entrances though.
I wasn't all that fond of the combat system, and not really in the mood to really have dozens of skills to pick (which I do now), so I stuck to just basic attack and vicious slash. Worked fine for the first 5 levels or so. Later did invest in them, and if you can properly handle them that wouldn't be that bad.
Problem is (now having 2 bars enabled at lvl 15), it usually really isn't. The full bar got confusing, and now I have one bar dedicated to attacks and 1 to buffs. Still rather hard to properly do combat though. Firstly you have to handle the camera, which can be a pain. Second once a target is dead, you have to manually select the next. Which, with the amount of "enemies standing dead" seen isn't as easy as it sounds. Not to mention said camera can make selecting an enemy somewhat annoying too, especially in combat heavy instances. Third is distance. KOTOR you would just walk up to the enemy and whack him, here it's a red message easy to miss in the hectic fray. Walking up to enemies is also not as easy as I wish it to be, wish I could strafe without holding the scroll button, amongst other such tweaks.
It's the same with peacetime situations, I don't understand why the "too far away" message appears instead of just walking up to that person to talk. Far more userfriendly IMO, and personally it would really make my life easier, especially shopping, not have to walk into their face but just click and sit back to shop. Maybe just a nitpick on my side though, but it really annoys me.
Anyway, wasn't done yet with explaining why combat, to me, was clunky. 4; I am already starting to get sick of the message "Your target is dead." I suppose this is a lag issue, but it's really annoying the many times I finally select an oponent just to have that message appear, while I see them as like 50% health. Really tears you away in confusion just when you get on a roll using abilities and attacks.
And 5, which is probably me not being a MMO player, but those timer thingies are really hard to follow. You have to watch the oposition, HP, rage AND the timers. Global, individual, unique... aargh. Doesn't help it seems global and individual use the same run-down thing on the UI. I find I spend most my time watching my bar rather than the screen just seeing my rage level, which rage ability is available again, wheter revenge is available (that one is soooo annoying. And it's the most powerful attack one has so you can't really ignore it). Many a "not enough rage" appeared on the screen that I just miss. Heck, during one Heroic my entire team died, and I didn't notice since I was too busy looking at what to use on the boss.

Overall, the combat is not as fun to me as KOTOR. Luckily the overall difficulty isn't too high for regular gameplay so it's not really needed to become a pro in "watching the ability meter"... I can rage through the general game, and then get slaughtered all the time in Heroics. Always the one to go down first :(. Doesn't help I haven't really find a good way to bind medpacks to the quickbar. Right click doesn't work, and left usually puts the thing on my mouse instead of using a medpack. And then they heal barely and have 90 sec recharge. I stopped bothering with them long ago (maybe why I suck so much). Also during my first instances and actual Heroic (lvl 10/11, Sith Maurader) I noticed my obvious proneness to dying, and seemingly doing a lot less damage than all the other chars. Which I tied to being new to MMO, but at lvl 13 I finally found out the Sith Warrior skill trainer had this little "Sith Maurader" tab added, which had all kinds of cool new skills (shield of pain, 6 rage inducing standard attack with small recharge). After that Elites started dying to me rather than I to them. Overall, game's not really that new user friendly I think.
Also completely social unfriendly. Heroic's is hell (more so for demo users, which cannot use chat or whisper unless whispered to. Which *never* happens). I usually tried bowing and waving and stuff, still after all the time they finally ask me the first comment is usually "Wasn't sure you wanted to join, Hassat". Doesn't help that 'Join team' automatically rejects with 'does not accept invitations' rather than, I don't know, asking the party leader if they want that person in their group. Would be a small step towards more instance friendlyness, still a long way to go still after that though.
Also probably my newness that Heroics can just be confusing. Did one called "Saving face". Why did everyone need explosives? Do we need to place them all (backup arrives after 1 does, so, no? I didn't). Why could I just respawn at checkpoint, not by meddroid when I died? Why did my entire team finish it, disbanded the group and I was still left at 'defend from slaves' goal? Especially that last one sucked.

Back to Korriban though.
During my next few sidemissions I quickly learned that something really weird was going on with the DS/LS choices. As in, the LS was pretty much always the best. Though, being Sith, you would be punished for doing so. So instead of being smart, being an idiot was really promoted. Make a dangerous beast threatning all stronger or less? Less? LS! Ending a war quickly, so the sith resources can be used wisely or continue it on for mere pleasure? Being wise? LS! Kill a dangerous opponent you're after and end something once and for all, or rather kill his family, pissing him off further? End it? LS!
And so we could continue on. I usually picked DS just for getting DS points (and not all DS is gained in LS/DS choices, though rarely are there LS gained seperately), though I did not in several cases just because while my Sith Maurader is bloodthirsty, I atleast would make it so he's not a complete idiot.
During the later missions you did have to walk all the way back usually after doing something, which is a pain. Often I would just let myself die to respawn in base, skipping all the useless combat. You overleved fast doing just quests anyway, so having to do so much battle while just walking about gets pretty tiresome.

Then the story there ended, and I got to something Kaas. Can't remember the name. But first massive freaking wasted space ship. What's up with those docking bays? Also after finally warming up so to TOR it launches me to such a MMO-point. I hate the place. So many people loitering, so much walking, so many vendors spread out so far.
First went to the crew training. Since this is the demo, and no ship and I had no crew (just Mission Vao) I decided to skip them, just initiating convo with trainer for Codex entries (read: XP). Then came to the vendor stand.
Lvl 50 PVP gear, lvl 50 PVP gear, lvl 50 PVP gear, lvl 50 PVE gear, lvl 50 PVE gear, lvl 50 PVE gear, recommendation gear (by then I had a whooping 7 Korriban's, not enough for even 1 item), recommendation. Ugh. Thought to get some good stuff, only to find that it's pretty much all based on endgame players. All I got was a 200 credit necklace to grant to Mission, everything else was locked up tight with restrictions I couldn't meet.
Haven't even *tried* trading... can't recall right now what the 4th tab was about. In the end; I REALLY hate that place. Couldn't get rid of it fast enough. Fortunately ran into the Black Talon though, that was a fun romp with 3 people (did it twice to see differences, barely any. Also to train social. *That* little for 2 full runs? Forget it! And then later people in chat say it's the best place to get social points. Yikes!) even though as mentioned I suck. What was even more stupid was that if I died I got booted (long loading screen), then had to re-enter (yay, long loading screen). Can't I respawn inside there? After all all the running back to where you die is enough even without those ridicilous long loading screens.

Now to finish my story (did you get this far? You're crazy you know!), although I probably forgot a point or 3 I did want to make in this humongous post, teammates. Well, teammate. Mission. Good to have around, although it's somewhat strange you get a pure goody two-shoes as apprentice when Sith (she always gives - when I am being dark. -1 though compared to +15 though, so hardly that much a loss. Only twice had another negative, -30. That cut in...) She seems ridicilously stronger than me, killing peeps faster than I can do myself. And is a greater tank. Why the heck am I the hero here? The downside is the lack of conversations. Only had 1 so far (lvl 15 as mentioned before). I would have liked some more talking with them. And less repeatal battle lines. I heard her repetoire of "end of combat" lines too much *already*. Wonder how bad it would be if you got lvl 50. They really need to tone that down. Another thing that's really needed is comparing windows for your teammate (would 1.2 add this? Or did I imagine people saying that?). Equipping myself is easy (although I also made the mistake of selling my mod armor since it's boosts sucked). Even without the comparrison in the end, just having them next to each other is a great help. For Mission though I have to go back and forth between her item's popup and the one in the inventory. Annoying. Even more so when it's a quest reward (or worse, a loot option during teamgame), so you can't open your inventory to compare. More than once took an alternative reward just due to that. Should be a simple fix/addition, don't you think?

Oh, remembered one, still somewhat unsure on need/greed/X on a reward when with the team. First I just thought it was need or greed (get item, sell item?) till someone complained in my first flashpoint why I didn't pass up item X. So I learned you could X out if you don't want it. Which I do most of the times now (though I notice most people don't do this and just go for need of greed. Wheter just due to greed or not knowing like I, I don't know). Not exactly sure what greed does either. You all the money? Split in the team?

Anyway, since I hit level 15, and am somewhat tired of going on with my Sith Maurader as is, I probably when starting again tomorrow will choose a new Republic class. I do enjoy it enough to keep playing till the free demo's done, but as mentioned, not enough to pay a subscription. I probably would barely play, also seeing my huge backlog of Steam/GOG games (thanks x-mas sale), and of course work on TSLRCM. A SP game one could play on there own time, but with this MMORPG time is money, which would not really support my laidback approach to RPG's (I do notice I explore a lot less in TOR than most RPG's. And not just because most maps are filled with needless filler (rooms) and there is nothing interesting to discover going "off-path"... which is kind of a shame too really.

#403
Humanoid

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Decided to take up the trial too. From the experience of a WoW vet it's essentially the same mechanics aside from companions but that's been mentioned over and over anyway. The pleasant surprise is that I actually do get a few RP options even if the consequences are largely trivial. Yes yes, Dark/Light side binary options, plenty have been said about them too, but it just goes to remind me that no matter how much I take shots at Bioware writing, it's still an ocean ahead of Blizzard - WoW's choices being more linear than Super Mario Bros (warp tunnels!).

I don't think I'll continue with it though, but largely I'll say it's not due to the game's faults, but due to general burnout with MMOs. I remember with WoW it took about six months from first playing to being ready for the end-game - a matter of levelling, gearing, and back then, building a good reputation on the server as a competent player (rogue type characters being common as muck). Then in the expansion a constant struggle to assemble and keep together a team of about 30 people playing across all timezones. It's not something I think I ever want to repeat, so I think I'm done.

#404
Spider

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Those things are a tad easier in TOR though (at least compared to what you mkae it out to be, haven't played WoW so can't say). Levelling is fairly fast, and more significantly, not boring. You can reach level 50 fairly fast if you have the time. And it certainly won't take 6 months unless you have very little time to play.

End game content (as in raids) only requires 8 people to do and you can't have more than 16. So if you've joined a guild or have enough friends who play, coordinating those isn't that hard.

Anyway, patch notes for 1.2 hit the test server on friday. They're shaking things up a bit balance wise (and adding more content, yay!). Everyone seems to think their class is now unplayable, except maybe marauders. So interesting times are ahead.

#405
Humanoid

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What it feels like to me is that it's a branched development from the end of WoW's first expansion - i.e. the shared functionality between the two is almost a perfect match between the two. Since then there have been the crappy legacy design things that WoW has dropped but TOR has maintained, while obviously adding its own features to that almost-common base.

Now since I'm a relentlessly negative person, I'll itemise some quibbles:
- A *lot* of group quests compared to WoW - I understand the intent of trying to get people to play together while levelling up but history shows this hasn't worked in the long run. Past the first month or so there's not enough population density to be able to find players with the same goal. I've also encountered "elite" enemies on supposedly solo missions which are a brick wall.
- The skill tree (WoW's talents) is very boring - most of the selections are uninspired simple "+x% to skill Y damage" things. Notably WoW is dropping the concept altogether shortly, no more trees.
- Peculiarly, enemies seem to spawn in stationary groups of three or four exclusively. There are no single-pulls, patrols or anything like that which makes the world feel much more static.
- Somewhat an unfair criticism, but I flat out don't like the Star Wars universe. Lightsabres, pewpew sounding blasters, the range of pointless alien species - none interest me and some particularly irritate me. The lightsabre sound is one of my pet hates.
- Alien voice acting forcing me to read the subtitles. Problem is even more exaggerated by the awkward pauses when the aliens end up very stop-start in their speech because they're waiting a pre-determined amount of time that the subtitles are meant to be up for (you can skip of course but it just doesn't flow and I like to sit back).

What I like:
- The "Loot All" function. A godsend.
- Surprisingly I like the voice acting of my character, I feared this when I first heard they would be fully voiced. (For the record most character voicework in WoW is a cringe-inducing atrocity)
- A thing that I not so much like, but believe is good design, is the companion system allowing players to experience support roles while levelling up - as opposed to essentially having to learn abilities you've totally ignored while levelling but find out later are crucial at max level.
- Inventory space concerns are somewhat lesser than WoW - mainly being able to autosell junk items and that quest items are stored separately.
- Characters have reasonable body proportions, mostly - though the really fat ones look unnatural.

#406
Spider

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What it feels like to me is that it's a branched development from the end of WoW's first expansion - i.e. the shared functionality between the two is almost a perfect match between the two. Since then there have been the crappy legacy design things that WoW has dropped but TOR has maintained, while obviously adding its own features to that almost-common base.

Now since I'm a relentlessly negative person, I'll itemise some quibbles:
- A *lot* of group quests compared to WoW - I understand the intent of trying to get people to play together while levelling up but history shows this hasn't worked in the long run. Past the first month or so there's not enough population density to be able to find players with the same goal. I've also encountered "elite" enemies on supposedly solo missions which are a brick wall.


This is true, however those quests are completely optional. If you go through the game not doing a single group quest, you'll still hit 50 before the end (at least if you do all bonus series quests). They're more a bonus for those times where you can get a group together. Also, if you're a couple of levels above you can typically solo 2-mans and do 4-mans with two people. If you have no crowd control this may not be true, but most classes do.

- Peculiarly, enemies seem to spawn in stationary groups of three or four exclusively. There are no single-pulls, patrols or anything like that which makes the world feel much more static.


Mobs do spawn like that, but there are patrolling ones in some places. Mostly in the heroic areas though (there they are always present), but in some cases elsewhere as well. tougher animals typically spawn by themselves and move around a little bit.

- Alien voice acting forcing me to read the subtitles. Problem is even more exaggerated by the awkward pauses when the aliens end up very stop-start in their speech because they're waiting a pre-determined amount of time that the subtitles are meant to be up for (you can skip of course but it just doesn't flow and I like to sit back).


Yes, that is annoying. It's also present in basically every bio game with voice acting ever made (or maybe not DA, honestly can't recall). It's a cost saving measure, but at least in Star Wars it follows how the movies work. They certainly could work on their timing though, having to wait a couple of seconds after the VO ends until the next one starts is just bad form. It can be helped a little by pressing space when the pause comes. It makes the flow a little better. Or you can just hit space when you're done reading, which is typically before they're done speaking (in my case anyway).

#407
Hassat Hunter

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Well, the demo is over, so here are my Jedi Consular thoughts (I try to make it smaller than last post :)) and that's it until another free weekend (though apparently one cannot use the same account then) or plain purely f2p. He made it to lvl 11 (never reached Coruscant though).

So far the story doesn't grasp me as much as the Sith Warrior's did. Walking around Tython is more fun exploring than Korriban though mostly. Another con is how long it takes for your teammate (I was level 10, but then again... well... read later), and I don't really like him. Mostly because of his alien VO. Mission is much better in that regard, although harder to influence since she's an LS char for a DS PC. This companion atleast has your alignment (though bit more bloodthirsty and warready). And the overly repetive combat banter can be more easily ignored since it's just a grunt instead of "better check for my parts" all the damn time!

This time I was made aware (through chat and browsing forums a bit) that there were apparently holocrons in the world which give permanent boosts. While my Sith Maurader found none, my Sith Consular found 4 (and there are only 3 on the starter planet and I never made Coruscant... I let you ponder on that for a while...). Although I did recover a "shard" in one instead of a permanent boost, not sure what to do with that since I wanted to find out tomorrow just to learn my trial ended.
That might make exploring a bit worthwhile, though still treading off the main path is mostly useless. Explored several islands on the border of the map, nothing special there, etc. Also the exploration still really gets hindered by those damn respawning enemies. And of course doing exploration like this makes you hugely overleveled due to more enemies killed. Although that was not just due to the many enemies.
Also interesting that Tython just had 1 Heroic compared to Korriban's 2. I actually was able to find a team now (experience!) compared to Korriban. Although that was purely waiting about...

About level 8 I suddenly took the shuttle. Didn't expect I could, and ended up on Ord Mantell. Damn, is that planet ugly. Crashed ships have such low-res textures, most of the enemies have blocks instead of rounds for head. So glad I didn't start there. Aimlessly wandered about though, since there's nothing to do there for Jedi. Got quite some puzzled people wondering what a lvl 8 Jedi did there :). It is kind of an immersion breaker too when pretty much all NPC's have plain "not eligable for this conversation" errors instead of a stop line. Some do... wonder why the other's can't. Also noticed one or two on Korriban and Tython and wondered the same there. If so many others have a single VO line why not them? Feels sloppy. I can understand for another planet, still... I don't like it.
The holocron on Ord where a lot easier to find than the other 2 planets. One was aim though, not that much use to a Jedi like me. Other was presence, which is always nice to have.
Also noticed there were a lot more "strong" enemies in the main path than in my Jedi starter planets. All the loot was heavy armor though (useless). Noticed on Tython most drops where medium armor too. Also useless. So finding anything new was extremely rare, compared to my Sith Warrior. Medium is so much more common than light and heavy. Little unbalanced if you ask me.

Of course finding all these new locations gave XP, killing all these new foes gave XP which made me overlevel over every other consular pretty fast.
Still the battle with the great beast was tough. Died cause I refused to use healing items, with it just a sliver left. Fully healed then. Though I did notice that the first match it kept spamming attacks that pushed me away, which harmed my ability to harm it. Second time after the revive, not a single cast. Which made the fight a lot easier, a simple breeze. Didn't even needed to use the healing item I put in my quickbar as I had 50%+ over when it died. Think that's a bug though... bit of an exploit.

I'll have to agree with Humanoid that the alien "pause" is annoying. If they thought we didn't have enough time to read, they could just lengthen the VO line instead of adding this annoying pause, no?

#408
Gfted1

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Though I did notice that the first match it kept spamming attacks that pushed me away, which harmed my ability to harm it. Second time after the revive, not a single cast. Which made the fight a lot easier, a simple breeze. Didn't even needed to use the healing item I put in my quickbar as I had 50%+ over when it died. Think that's a bug though... bit of an exploit.


Funny you should mention that. Ive noticed several times that after getting my ass handed to me by a boss the first time that the second attempt seems much easier even though I havent changed my strategy at all. Ive often wondered if there is a background counter on bosses that makes the encounter easier with each subsequent attempt. I dont really think its smart enough for that but it sure seems like it.

#409
Humanoid

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Didn't notice that on the final boss of the smuggler line - had to go away and get some new gear to kill it.

#410
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Though I did notice that the first match it kept spamming attacks that pushed me away, which harmed my ability to harm it. Second time after the revive, not a single cast. Which made the fight a lot easier, a simple breeze. Didn't even needed to use the healing item I put in my quickbar as I had 50%+ over when it died. Think that's a bug though... bit of an exploit.


Funny you should mention that. Ive noticed several times that after getting my ass handed to me by a boss the first time that the second attempt seems much easier even though I havent changed my strategy at all. Ive often wondered if there is a background counter on bosses that makes the encounter easier with each subsequent attempt. I dont really think its smart enough for that but it sure seems like it.

Never happened, generally just found myself paying more attention. Sometimes had to wait for 15 minutes for those SP boss buffs to come back, too. Act 1 ending was especially reloady. :p

#411
Hassat Hunter

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Funny you should mention that. Ive noticed several times that after getting my ass handed to me by a boss the first time that the second attempt seems much easier even though I havent changed my strategy at all. Ive often wondered if there is a background counter on bosses that makes the encounter easier with each subsequent attempt. I dont really think its smart enough for that but it sure seems like it.

I think it's more it has a health and "special attack" bar and while the first regenerates on dead, the second does not.
That atleast is the only explenation I can find for them using special attacks over and over at the start, and then not at all...

EDIT:
Heh, just got a mail from BioWare congratulating me on getting lvl 10. It's a day late, the trial is over... and I never gotten that for the Sith Warrior...
So... what? If it's an incentive mail to get me to keep playing with a subscription it's a pretty weird one at that...

Edited by Hassat Hunter, 19 March 2012 - 06:56 AM.


#412
Raithe

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Heh, just got a mail from BioWare congratulating me on getting lvl 10. It's a day late, the trial is over... and I never gotten that for the Sith Warrior...
So... what? If it's an incentive mail to get me to keep playing with a subscription it's a pretty weird one at that...


It's supposed to be an automatic thing whenever you reach 10th level. It's usually about 24 hours out of synch, but it's basically a "here's some more basics explained, just in case you hadn't learnt them in-game getting there".

Apparently they had a few people get confused about what was happening when they hit 10th and were supposed to head to fleet.

#413
Hassat Hunter

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It probably would have been better if I got it on my first char than my second though... ;)

#414
Calax

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I'll show up for 2/3 characters.

As to the boss thing, I think it (at least on my Guardian) is more that a lot of your damage is based off having a good start. 90% of your boss fights will begin with him looking you in the eye and you can't use your leap attack. Meaning that some of your abilities won't get the procs from that they normally would.

#415
Humanoid

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Random thing I forgot to mention - kids in the game have the exact same body as adults, only scaled down. It looks freakish.

#416
Raithe

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Hm, made it to Act 3 for my Smuggler. This time it was actually noticable that the war had broken out once more between the Republic and Imperials..

Seriously, it didn't seem to crop up as any announcement in the Sith Inquisitor story.. maybe I was too focused on the whole.. internal sith politics and one of the Dark Lords trying to killl me..

#417
Raithe

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And for the Developer Dispatch regarding the Legacy system..



#418
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So, did this end up being the WoW killer everyone said it would be? Will WoW now slip into the dustbin of MMORPG history with ToR standing over its corpse like a triumphant gladiator?

#419
Gfted1

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I unsubbed a few days ago. The endgame content and looking-for-group mechanic was killing me to death. Still have 25 days left on my subscription.

#420
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I'm cheerfully plugging away with a few characters.

Although the last week has seen me take a certain absence from games in general, but I'm still enjoying ToR when I'm in a gaming mood.




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