The recent announcement of this fall’s Legacy of the Sith expansion for Star Wars: The Old Republic has (as expansion announcements tend to do) reinvigorated the game with a lot of interest. One talking point that seems to be on many gamers’ lips is that of the new “combat styles” that allow players to mix-and-match class skills with class storylines.
Galactic Antics took some time to chew over the possibilities: “While thinking about this new system, part of my mind also turned – as it often does – to how I would have used styles had they been an inherent part of the game at the start, even if only just for class-specific advanced classes. With hindsight, I can say that I would have more than appreciated it, but I am simultaneously pleased that it is only becoming a thing ten years down the line.”
“For me, immersion in video games is something I find when I am on my own and free from interruptions. I can spend as much time as I like following the narrative, or reading the various lore books I find. It’s about stopping to take in a view and reflecting upon its beauty. It’s about watching the hustle and bustle of both NPCs and players in major cities. Immersion is the sense of satisfaction, achievement and joy I feel after beating a boss, completing a major quest arc or simply travelling round a virtual world.”
“Nonetheless we felt kind of exhausted and like we hadn’t actually achieved very much by the end of the quest chain. I find it hard to say why… I do find the current story interesting but… I guess not that emotionally engaging?”
“On the one hand, this is an long time veteran problem. No new player is going to have to juggle this much stuff on entering the game. On the other hand, I am going to guess that this is why other games I could mention… a couple of Norrath MMOs come to mind… have a redemption interface that lets you go and claim things when you need them.”
“It is of course understandable that the original ambitious plans of launching the game as a MMO(A)RPG was ambitious in the current climate: we’re not seeing many ‘AAA’ MMORPGs launching nowadays. Nevertheless the Magic IP has a lot of reach beyond the usual MMO audience, if the game had been good it could maybe have attracted a substantial audience.”
“It’s been really fun with the low level areas being very busy. Although this does have the downside of crafting nodes being swiped and occasionally having to wait for everything to respawn if you get to the area at just the wrong time. Lots of ad-hoc grouping though, which is really fun.”
“I’m all for good balance, but good balance doesn’t mean that every class needs to do the same amount of DPS. If it did, you could effectively put different graphics on the same set of abilities for every class and call it a day. Some classes should put out less damage because they provide other utility, and some classes should reward complex play with more damage output.”