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The Tor Thread

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Since so many of us are playing ToR it seems natural to have a thread about it. Post what you love, what you hate, or any other opinions about ToR. I'll start it off.

What I love: Storylines are amazing. The crazy switch up they did on "normal" class roles. I'm a Tankasin and I love being a light-amour, stealthing, CCing, DPSing tank, almost as much as I enjoy playing my heavy-armoued glass cannon BH or heavy-armoured healer if I respec. The fact that finally the promise that a weapon will grow with me (where have we heard that before) as I level has been made true, oh, and your armour does too. Crafting that isn't grindy. In fact, where is the grind? C'mon Bioware, you can't have MMO's without grinds, can you? :P

What I dislike: GTN (AH) is a joke. The total lack of UI customization. No target of target function. No combat log. Open world PvP, I know its in its infantcy and will get better (very much like Rift at launch). No server forums, its no fun trolling people I can't actually troll in game too :D No in game voice chat, nit picking here because most MMO's don't have in game voice, one of the few things Turbine did well.....because they out sourced it :P

Most of the things I dislike, IMO, are because Bioware is new to MMO's and I trust will be refined/fixed eventually. For my part I'm loving ToR!!!

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Since so many of us are playing ToR it seems natural to have a thread about it. Post what you love, what you hate, or any other opinions about ToR. I'll start it off.

What I love: Storylines are amazing. The crazy switch up they did on "normal" class roles. I'm a Tankasin and I love being a light-amour, stealthing, CCing, DPSing tank, almost as much as I enjoy playing my heavy-armoued glass cannon BH or heavy-armoured healer if I respec. The fact that finally the promise that a weapon will grow with me (where have we heard that before) as I level has been made true, oh, and your armour does too. Crafting that isn't grindy. In fact, where is the grind? C'mon Bioware, you can't have MMO's without grinds, can you? :P

What I dislike: GTN (AH) is a joke. The total lack of UI customization. No target of target function. No combat log. Open world PvP, I know its in its infantcy and will get better (very much like Rift at launch). No server forums, its no fun trolling people I can't actually troll in game too :D No in game voice chat, nit picking here because most MMO's don't have in game voice, one of the few things Turbine did well.....because they out sourced it :P

Most of the things I dislike, IMO, are because Bioware is new to MMO's and I trust will be refined/fixed eventually. For my part I'm loving ToR!!!

I play a Shadow and I love it. I just like the class and it's really really fun. Personally, I like the open world PvP better than the WZs. Of course, as a Shadow in open world, I'm in a much better position to choose my fights than most. One thing I can assure you though, if you see a non-stealth Imp trying to draw you away from a base, he has a stealthy friend waiting for you (almost always). Send your Shadow friend out first to check things out. :)

Dislikes, I really don't like the limited functionality of the UI. They need to do some major work on that.

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It offers the best leveling experience bar none. I love my Sith Assasin but got bored once I hit cap and finished my story. I've since leveled a bounty hunter to 31 or so. The story hasn't been as compelling as the Sith Assassin was.

I'd really like to see them implement a Dungeon finder, preferably one that ports me to the instance. I'd like to be able to log in, queue for level 50 flashpoints and do dailies as I wait. I'd also like to see them implement premades versus premades only in PvP. Some people have grinded full sets of pvp gear and have premades with ventrillo. it would be nice to be on an even playing ground.

I'd also like to see them implement some X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter style space missions and have that be an alternate way to advance your character.

It's a great game, but I'm not quite ready to subscribe to it.

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playing on kellar's void only too so far is a sith juggy (going the immortal route)

loving the gameplay for the most part.

hate the lack of graphical tweaking options and the lack of high res textures.

here is what a dev had to say about that..not what i wanted to hear but at least its an answer.

Originally Posted by StephenReid

Hey everyone, thanks for bearing with us as we investigated the concerns raised here.

After investigation, it seems that the confusion here is a combination of a UI issue that's been resolved and a feature that's working as intended, but the reason why it's 'working as intended' needs explanation.

First, the UI issue. The preferences menu as it is seen on the Public Test Server for version 1.1 of the game is correct - there are only supposed to be two texture choices, 'Low' and 'High'. This replaces the original three-choice preference of Low/Medium/High because in reality, there was never supposed to be a 'Medium' choice - that was a bug.

Here's where we need to explain. As many of you have noted, your character in the game world is rendered using lower resolution textures than inside of cinematic conversation scenes. This was a deliberate decision by the development team. To understand why this was done, I have to briefly talk about MMOs and their engines.

In comparison to single player games and other genres of multiplayer online games, MMOs have much higher variability in the number of characters that can be potentially rendered on-screen at the same time. In MMOs, even though most of the time you'll see a relatively small number of characters on screen, there are certain situations in which many more characters will be seen. Some examples of these situations include popular gathering places in-game (in our case, the two fleets), Operations with large teams, and Warzones. In those scenarios the client (and your PC) has to work hard to show off a lot of characters on-screen.

During development and testing of The Old Republic, our priorities were to ensure the game looked great and performed well. In testing, we discovered that using our 'maximum resolution' textures on in-game characters during normal gameplay could cause severe performance issues, even on powerful PCs. There were a variety of possible options to help improve performance, but one that was explored and ultimately implemented used what is known as a 'texture atlas'.

To understand that I've got to get technical for a minute. When a character in the game is 'seen' by another character - ie, gets close to your field of view - the client has to 'draw' that character for you to see. As the character is 'drawn' for you there are a number of what are known as 'draw calls' where the client pulls information from the repository it has on your hard disk, including textures, and then renders the character. Every draw call that is made is a demand on your PC, so keeping that number of draw calls low per character is important. With our 'maximum resolution' textures a large number of draw calls are made per character, but that wasn't practical for normal gameplay, especially when a large number of characters were in one place; the number of draw calls made on your client would multiply very quickly. The solution was to 'texture atlas' - essentially to put a number of smaller textures together into one larger texture. This reduces the number of draw calls dramatically and allows the client to render characters quicker, which improves performance dramatically.

When it comes to cinematic scenes, however, characters are rendered using the higher number of draw calls and maximum resolution textures. This is because in those scenes, we have control over exactly how many characters are rendered and can ensure that the game performs well. The transition between 'atlas textured' characters (out of cinematics) and 'maximum resolution' textures (in cinematics) is mostly hidden by the transition between those two states (when the screen goes black), but obviously it's clear if you pay close attention.

In summary; yes, we had a small UI bug that unfortunately caused confusion over how the game is intended to work. The textures you're seeing in the course of normal gameplay are optimized for that mode of play. The textures you're seeing during cinematics are also optimized for that mode of play. They are higher resolution, but that's because we're able to control cinematic scenes to ensure good performance in a way we can't during normal gameplay.

We understand the passion and desire for people to see the same textures you see in our cinematic scenes in the main game. Because of the performance issues that would cause for the client, that's not an immediate and easy fix; we need to ensure we're making choices that the majority of our players will be able to benefit from. Having 'atlassed textures' helps performance overall, and that's a very important goal for us.

With that said, we've heard your feedback here loud and clear. The development team is exploring options to improve the fidelity of the game, particularly for those of you with high-spec PCs. It will be a significant piece of development work and it won't be an overnight change, but we're listening and we're committed to reacting to your feedback.

so...no proper high res in 2012 for a major AAA title.

kinda sad.

:'(

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Gotta say ive had more FUN in TOR the last month than I have in the last 2/3 years of Lotro.

I agree with all the downsides you mentioned, the UI really is appalling, but hopefully it will get better over time.

It makes me wonder if they never even considered implementing the things people come to expect in MMO's (like PvP Warzone banding)

Still, they have made an awesome start, if they can improve the various annoyances TOR could become very special indeed.

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It's a great game, fun to play.

Got one of each base class on the Sith Meditation Sphere server.

My main is a Jedi Guardian, Republic side, and a Sith Marauder, Imperial side.

Currently levelling my Trooper(who is a Vanguard)to finish Taris before going to the Marauder.

They are all fun classes to play!

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I'm loving my smuggler scoundrel and he's story so far, I'm also loving that our first new content update is coming next Tuesday :D

http://www.swtor.com/news/news-article/20120113-0

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Indeed. Having a blast with my smuggler scoundrel and my Sith Warrior.

I think the best part is basically my entire kin (including those who had quit previously over the store) have up and moved lock, stock and barrel to TOR. MMO's are far better when playing with friends.

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my friends and i are having an issue with a heroic on nar shadda.

it seems that for botched interrogation our maps all lead us to the alien outreach center where we get one-shotted by L50 droid champions.

anyone know another way to get to the imperial interrogation chamber then the way the maps is trying to lead?

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It's top notch entertainment, isn't it?

It's a strange beast to be sure. It has the best attributes of single player RPGs and of MMOs smashed together in a way that just works so damn well and feels so natural it's surprising nobody's done it before.

I especially love how rather than ticking boxes on a straight and linear path, the story allows you to find your own way through it. It's introduced Role-Playing back into MMOs. I'm not playing my characters in the way that will max my stats or net me the best gear. I'm playing my characters in the way that feels best for them. If I want to make my Trooper a basically decent soldier-type who does the right thing, but has little patience or tolerance for fools and has no compunctions about killing defenceless people if it's in the aid of the greater good, then I can do that, and the game accommodates it.

All those who are criticising it for a supposed lack of innovation either don't understand or can't see what Bioware were intending to deliver from the start, and that's a revolution in MMO storytelling.

Yeah, it's a bit buggy in places. Yeah, there are some bits that could use a bit of work, like a more customisable UI, etc. Me? The only things I want them to introduce at present are the ability to hide hoods, hide the headgear of companions and to give me a few extra hotbars. Once I have that I'll be happy for a good while.. :)

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my friends and i are having an issue with a heroic on nar shadda.

it seems that for botched interrogation our maps all lead us to the alien outreach center where we get one-shotted by L50 droid champions.

anyone know another way to get to the imperial interrogation chamber then the way the maps is trying to lead?

never mind..we figured out that you cannot try to get there from network security but have to back track to the elevator that takes you to upper office.

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It's top notch entertainment, isn't it?

It's a strange beast to be sure. It has the best attributes of single player RPGs and of MMOs smashed together in a way that just works so damn well and feels so natural it's surprising nobody's done it before.

Age of Conan did it before. Unfortunately, they ran out of money before they could do it to the whole game. But the first 20 levels on the island of Tortage had individualized stories, voiced cutscenes, and all the Fourth Pillar features that everyone seems to love about TOR.

I especially love how rather than ticking boxes on a straight and linear path, the story allows you to find your own way through it. It's introduced Role-Playing back into MMOs. I'm not playing my characters in the way that will max my stats or net me the best gear. I'm playing my characters in the way that feels best for them. If I want to make my Trooper a basically decent soldier-type who does the right thing, but has little patience or tolerance for fools and has no compunctions about killing defenceless people if it's in the aid of the greater good, then I can do that, and the game accommodates it.

All those who are criticising it for a supposed lack of innovation either don't understand or can't see what Bioware were intending to deliver from the start, and that's a revolution in MMO storytelling.

Yeah, it's a bit buggy in places. Yeah, there are some bits that could use a bit of work, like a more customisable UI, etc. Me? The only things I want them to introduce at present are the ability to hide hoods, hide the headgear of companions and to give me a few extra hotbars. Once I have that I'll be happy for a good while.. :)

Glad people are enjoying it. Bioware has provided me with a great deal of enjoyment over the years: Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II, KOTOR, Jade Empire, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Mass Effect 2 are all among the best games I've ever played. Hopefully they're pulling out of the nosedive that started with Dragon Age 2 (and the last half hour of Mass Effect 2 before that, at least in my opinion).

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Age of Conan did it before. Unfortunately, they ran out of money before they could do it to the whole game. But the first 20 levels on the island of Tortage had individualized stories, voiced cutscenes, and all the Fourth Pillar features that everyone seems to love about TOR.

Not really.

AoC's quest dialogue system was a valiant early effort, but it didn't work as all the conversations were circular, even in Tortage. They were just an elaborate and unnecessarily long winded way of clicking the 'Accept Quest' button. They felt like dialogue trees that were written by people with no understanding of how the branches should work, so all choices ultimately yielded the same results.

Maybe AoC opened up in later areas, but by level 40 I was so sick of the pointless rambling I walked away from the game.

Still have it installed though, which is something I can't say about LOTRO, and I still occasionally pop in for a look. Only to realise that MMO amnesia has taken it away from me and I can no longer remember how it's wonderful combat system works. :)

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Not really.

AoC's quest dialogue system was a valiant early effort, but it didn't work as all the conversations were circular, even in Tortage. They were just an elaborate and unnecessarily long winded way of clicking the 'Accept Quest' button. They felt like dialogue trees that were written by people with no understanding of how the branches should work, so all choices ultimately yielded the same results.

Maybe AoC opened up in later areas, but by level 40 I was so sick of the pointless rambling I walked away from the game.

Still have it installed though, which is something I can't say about LOTRO, and I still occasionally pop in for a look. Only to realise that MMO amnesia has taken it away from me and I can no longer remember how it's wonderful combat system works. :)

Unfortunately, levels 40-60 were the absolute worst part of AoC until they added the new area (Ymir's Pass(?) I really don't remember the name) to offset the agony that was the Eiglophian Mountains(?). That being said, I really don't see any difference between the way AoC and TOR have implemented dialogue trees. After two beta test weekends, I came to the conclusion that TOR's cutscenes really amounted to exactly the same thing as AoC's: an elaborate way of clicking the Accept button. The only things that change in dialogues are NPC responses and your Light/Dark Points. Even the quests where you kill an NPC during the conversation really don't change the world, or the outcome, in any significant way. You still go back to the questgiver and get your reward.

Maybe it's different at higher levels, I don't know. I may buy the game if they lower the box price to $30, but otherwise, I will probably never know ; ^ )

I'm not saying this to try to dampen anyone's spirits for the game. Like I said, I wish Bioware success, in memory of all the fine games they've provided me over the years.

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I am a massive failure in seeing the point about the cutscene driven quest choice system.

I would at least have the option of simply having a dialog box.

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So whats everyones take on the patch 1.1 Ilum "exploiting"? I was there for couple of hours, enough to get my daily and weekly done and go from the end of rank 29 to mid rank 32. I, for one, didn't see any 10k valor turret kills, and Devs have confirmed that they didn't give any valor.

On my server (Warriors of the Shadow) it was about 1.5:1 in favor of Imps. It was basically a GV/Grams camp, if it wasn't for my, and others, ability to force pull we wouldn't get any kills. I died at least a dozen times so Rebels were getting kills also.

A quick read of the PvP flame fest thats happening on the forums will bring you up to speed on whats going on.

Now to get to my point. There's a lot of Bioware bashing going on right now, threats to cancel subs, etc. over what happened. The same sort of bashing that I observed in Aion and Rift. There always seems to be a small, but vocal minority that is always comparing the games to WoW, or that they stole this or that from WoW. I assume its just WoW fanbois run amok, but is it out of the question that Blizzard has something to do with it? Its something I have never experienced in LOTRO, but I have seen it in these 3 others games many times, usually starting in beta. Anyone else see this?

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Well all I can say is that I'll level my characters on the PvE servers first...

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All a big over reaction to be honest, yes they screwed up but I was actually impressed by how quick they got the patch out the next day

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The problem isn't that they screwed up: the problem is that they screwed up something that any developer or player with an ounce of common sense and a couple of months of gaming experience could have predicted. It's not their fallibility that's called into question, it's their judgment.

The overreaction is not only predictable, but completely understandable. When you spend $150-300 million on something, people expect you to have hired experienced people with good judgment. If you're going to make mistakes, people expect those mistakes to result from the "new" and "innovative" things you've done, not because you tripped over the same stones in the middle of the path that tripped Mythic in Warhammer (keep flipping and population imbalance).

MMOs are not some brand new phenomenon: they've been around for over a decade in their current form (and much longer in MOO/MUD/MUSH form). There are people out there who have ten or more years of experience with this medium; why aren't those people working on this project and preventing these fiascoes before they hit the live servers?

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The problem isn't that they screwed up: the problem is that they screwed up something that any developer or player with an ounce of common sense and a couple of months of gaming experience could have predicted. It's not their fallibility that's called into question, it's their judgment.

MMOs are not some brand new phenomenon: they've been around for over a decade in their current form (and much longer in MOO/MUD/MUSH form). There are people out there who have ten or more years of experience with this medium; why aren't those people working on this project and preventing these fiascoes before they hit the live servers?

You have to wonder WTH Bioware were thinking of when they designed some of the shiite game elements. I mean the UI is terrible, did they not even think of copying elements from Lotro or WoW?

PvP warzones with players from 1-50. Did they not look at Rifts to see level ranged banded warzones with server groups?

Space Combat. Im usre most Star Wars fans love the X-Wing Series ~ Freelancer free fligh combat? Why put in an on-rails shooter? (though it is fun tbh)

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PvP warzones with players from 1-50. Did they not look at Rifts to see level ranged banded warzones with server groups?

I agree about the UI and space missions could have been more inventive (although I do enjoy them a lot) but I can kind of see why they did this with warzones. It meant that those that rushed to 50 could still find enough people to queue for WZs. Now of course we have more level 50s and Bioware have already changed it to be 2 brackets, 10-49 and 50, I'm sure they will expand on this in the future as the population changes.

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I'll chalk it up to BW being new to MMO's. They did avoid the "goldrush" mentality at launch with some servers having way too many people and others not enough, Rift didn't. I'll give them plenty of time. Its not their faux pas that will drive me away, its how they correct them.

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EA released their quarterly report with some current subscription details regarding TOR.

Basically, as at 1 Feb they'd sold over 2 million copies and had 1.7 million active subscriptions.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/electronic-arts-reports-q3-fy12-financial-results-2012-02-01

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