An opinion piece.

17 01 2012

Where do I begin?

I’m very much enjoying the Jedi Consular story. It had a slow ramp up but it got really good, and then it got better. It’s continuing to be very, very good. My Jedi liberated Balmora; from the single-player perspective, it was convincing and fun. I unlocked my top tier healing power – a lightwell that you need not click on, only stand on – just in time enough to use it on the group of npcs I ended up teamed with for one of the closing story battles on the planet.

The story is awesome. My character feels as complex and as convincing as Shepard, which is a pretty tall order.

I very much enjoy the way that my class handles. I have an AOE that does good damage and has a fair CC component to it, knocking around non-elite enemies. It’s very useful at handling the hordes that sometimes dash out at you during phase instances. My HOT buffs several healing spells if they’re used just after it; my favorite is the “flash” equivalent spell, Benevolence. It’s quick and expensive, however it costs significantly less mana in the wake of a HOT. Best part is that isn’t target-dependent (as I assumed it would be). I can HOT one target then cast my budget quick heal on another.

The channeled healing ability – Force Trance, if memory servers, is a short, three tick heal; each tick can crit. I have a talent that procs when Force Trance crits: making my next “Life Tap” (called Noble Sacrifice, I think) cost no life to cast. Free force power. I haven’t run any numbers  yet, but even under duress my sustain is very good. Couple that with my decent damage output and fantastic CC, and we have my favorite healing class to date.

On top of all of that cool stuff, my avatar has a light saber.

Let’s face it. Star Wars had surpassed Superman for Most Mishandled and Disrespected IP, right down to the “giant mechanical spider because it’s cool” bologna. (The one that ended up in Wild Wild West with Will “For the Ratings” Smith.) Who could bring it back from beyond the brink?

Bioware can.

You may not like Star Wars. You may not like theme park MMOs. You may even not have enjoyed Mass Effect, though honestly, I can’t see how that’s possible. (No, “I didn’t like the combat” is not an acceptable answer here.) Maybe you hated the X-wing vs. Tie Fighter. If you fall into one or more of these categories, The Old Republic is not for you.

If, however, you enjoyed KOTOR or Mass Effect, you should try it. If you’re looking for a WoW alternative, you should try it. If you’ll never get over your slow-burning rage at Lucas’s continued disrespect of his own creation,  you should try it.

And, if you’re like me and you loved the X-wing games, you should try it. More than once now I’ve burned entire afternoons away just flying the same space missions, again and again. The music, the sounds, that simple little mini game is – at least – the best model for a daily quest I’ve yet seen, by far. I’m not saying it’s the best thing ever. Directly.

The list of awesome little nice things in the game has gotten ludicrous; I have lost track. Pending abilities listed in your abilities list (those you have not yet trained but can at your level are listed).  At each level I have made armor for myself that fits each slot with pretty purple gear; that is, for the slots that don’t have orange gear. Orange gear is the kind you can strip out old mods and replace them with new mods; you know, so you can have a look. I decided recently I wanted a change (new chapter in the story, and all) so I pulled all the mods out of my old orange chest piece and plugged them into a new one. I like the crafting mini-game and I’ve gotten much more out of it than I ever did World of Warcraft.

I really like the game; I’m impressed with it on a daily basis. It’s stable; it’s fun; it’s pretty and appropriate. Just standing around and listening to the sounds, it reeks of Star Wars. It is spot on. And I like it.




7 responses

18 01 2012
Adventurer Historian

I have my own thoughts I want to write about the Empire vs. the Republic, and the “common wisdom” floating around the internet that “the Empire is more fun”, or stranger yet, “Bioware had more fun making the empire”.

That said: you’ve enjoyed the Consular story? In line with the above comments, I’ve heard repeated cries of “the consular’s story is boooorrrrinnnnggg.” But given the fact that the pursuit of historical knowledge is what I do for a living, I figured I’d be right at home with the class; I’m glad to hear a more positive outlook. Jedi Indiana Jones, here I come.

(For the point of full disclosure, I have dabbled with the Inquisitor. The pursuit of dark knowledge is pretty fun, except for the fact that I feel less like an historian and more like Rene Belloq.)

18 01 2012

I’ve had an obtuse amount of fun with the Consular story. Keep in mind I found playing a 100% good-guy Paragon Cmdr. Shepard was one of the best video game experiences of my life, so perhaps there is a tie in. The consular story has a steady ramp up and doesn’t really get intense until you close in on the end of Chapter 1. That’s 20 levels, so if you’re not into “subtle” you should probably play the Trooper. (That stuff gets real by level 10.)

18 01 2012
Adventurer Historian

I’m playing the trooper, and my mortar volleys are quite subtle, thank you very much.

But I’ll keep “slow simmer ’til 20” in mind.

18 01 2012

Don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed that simmer.

The consular story does a remarkably good job convincing the player (in this case, me specifically) that the character being played is not just “some Jedi” or even “some notable Jedi”. He is, in fact, “the go-to Jedi”. When I started, I knew they’d eventually give me a “Master” title; what I didn’t realize was that I would fully buy it, hook, line, and sinker, when I got it. It made sense that they promoted me to Master, that they gave me an additional special title…because I am THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN DEAL WITH THE CRAP THAT HAS HIT THE FAN.

And the best part is I got to see Bastila. Consular story for the Epic Win.

18 01 2012
Adventurer Historian

You have fully convinced me of the Consular’s awesomeness.

Then again, I too am a “Paragon Shepard” type. At least we know our type, amirite?

18 01 2012
Adventurer Historian

Okay, but there’s the million credit question: female!Consular or male!Consular?

18 01 2012

John Shepard. 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: