Trial games and distractions

Recently the temptation to play Star Wars ToR for 7 days came up, and I happily took it. A free trial period is exactly what I need from a publisher so I can determine if their box is worth the money, or if the game is worth the subscription (see the later part of this post for the Star Wars thoughts). With no trial period I’m very unlikely to even try a game.

Overall my gaming philosophy at the moment is:

“I’m planning a short return plunge into WoW briefly before playing Diablo 3, and possibly SWToR. I’ll wait till Panda-randa is released, then decide if I pick it up.”

This is odd for me as I’m an avid fan of Warcraft and the games. I still enjoy WoW when I get to play it, but that is not often enough now. I have mixed feelings about Pandaria. I asked a long time ago to play a Monk in WOW, but the entire Panda expansion leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I didn’t think it was time to introduce “cute” into the game setting, and without much more information it still feels like a cute game trying to be Warcraft instead of just being Warcraft.

That said, the idea of killing Garrosh is appealing, and having a number of options on how to level in terms of zones is a flavour from Wrath that I liked. In fact if WoW wanted to get an easy $80+ from me they’d release an expansion very similar to Wrath. It has been my favourite so far. Some folks felt like the Death Knight was catering to the kiddies or was illogical, and I respect that view – but disagree. Death Knights are the coolest class in wow. Perhaps I’ll think Monks are that too eventually.

Given I’m an annual pass holder I am expecting to be able to make my assessment of the next expansion as a late Beat test. get in, decide or not if I buy it, and get out.

Diablo 3 is out in a month or so, and that means I’ll have a game to distract me for a fair while. I expect a very large amount of the WoW population (well 1,000,000 annual pass holders at least) to be playing, so the population should be good initially. From what I’ve seen and read it will be D3 in a way I like.

Looking forward to it. How many folks leave WoW for D3 and never return will be interesting.

Now onto Star Wars – The Old Republic.

Star Wars - The Old RepublicPlaying a game on trial account in SW-ToR was a blast. It was enough time to see that the story-telling basis of the leveling experience really is a great experience, and one that is well worth spending money on. Honestly it is that good.

I played a Trooper to level 10, a Sith Inquisitor to level 10, an Imperial Agent to level 7, and tortured a Jedi Warrior to level 3. Its a darn healthy game, which is in the most part exactly like Warcraft, except the Star Wars Universe. So honestly well done Bioware, excellent job.

Out of those four classes I think the Sith Inquisitor was the best to my taste, a bit of range damage, a solid melee call, and some nice knock-backs and buffs. The bloody Jedi felt like he was resource capped, and the “built your energy” approach felt just like why I hate Rogues in WoW – I’m not patent enough to build energy.

Conversely, you need a killer PC to run Star Wars as intended. I played with a lot of the settings on low and sometimes it looked like my character was cell animated on top of a moving backdrop. Almost a green screen add-on the the environment, rather than actually being “in” the environment. That is not the game’s fault at all – my cheap ass can’t afford a dedicated gaming PC and I’ve no room in the house to put it it. Laptops just don’t go fast enough.

I wish I had more time to play games.