Imo we have 2 distinct type of gamers in BoonControl, and some opinions I have read are imo quite harsh based on low level experiances, etc. Some comments on instancing have also made me baulk a little in thier harshness, especially as they are from people who played and loved Guild Wars, which was all about Instancing in a much bigger way than SW:TOR, yet those people loved GW with a passion. Anyway here is an unbiased report from a high level player in the Beta, it proves that there are good and bad points to this game, as tbh there will be to every game. However for those already looking forward to SWTOR, here is a description that holds no punches, but is fair and unbiased opinion of TOR. Please be aware there are spoilers in this post. Level 47 Tester's Feedback on SWTOR Disclaimer This is only my personal impressions of the game so fare and this post will contain a lot ofspoilers. To start off this long read I would like to say that I will not be focusing on bugs or other game errors in this post. I have not been asked to look for them, so I will not make a long post about how much bugs suck, because we all know they do. I have made over 40 bug reports while playing, ranging from small graphic bugs to very severe bugs, so do not think that I just ignore them. I just do not feel that I need to post them on this forum in order to get BioWare attention on them when there is a perfectly good tool to do so in the game. General impressions Generally speaking I enjoyed the game. It is Star wars, it is BioWere, no doubt about it. I have a few beefs with how the lower level game play is designed (too much on rails for my taste), but as the game progress it really shines as a whole, and I as a player was kept engaged and constantly wanted to know more, explore more and kill more the further I got. So well done on that part. I will now break down the game in some categories, starting with class story, side missions and bonus missions. After that I will add my impressions on each of the worlds I have visited, and sum up this saga of a post with a few minor suggestions. I will not suggest anything major at this point, because I think it is too late in the game development to change anything drastic. My Character I played this game from level 1 to 47 (as of this posting) as a Jedi Knight (Guardian spec, playing as tank). I picked almost all light side options in conversations expect for one time to see what would happen. (Dark side points subtracts from your light side score). Class story Starting off on my class story I was immediately engaged. I was a Padawan and off to save the world. Little did I know that I would literally be saving Tython from utterly destruction by the Sith before I was level 10, but as story goes that is ok. I actually saved Tython again later on making me wonder what all the other Jedi are up to. » Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... « The very ending e.g. killing the emperor needs to be looked at. Full of bugs and incomplete. But a nice culmination to my class quest.The good parts I progressed thought my story at an ever increasing speed, proving at least to myself, that story driving leveling is a huge motivation. I saved all the worlds I visited and bought peace and stability to the galaxy. Exactly what you would expect from a Jedi Knight story. The Bad parts Almost each of the Jedi Masters that I encountered during game play falls to the dark side at some point, and then I have to “save them” by beating them in light saber combat, afterwards they surrender. This happens 4 or 5 times as I recall. My problem with this is that it because repetitive, and therefore boring. You know that when you get to a new planet, one of your former masters is the bad guy and you redeem him or her. I have to say it becomes boring. Suggestions I would like to see more hard line moral choices in the class story. Places where you REALLY have to think about the choice you make. Right now it seems to me that it is too much Black & White and to little gray to be really good. Side Missions The side missions are where you get the bulk of your leveling xp. For the most part I was impressed at the variety of the side missions and my overall impressions is that they did a really god job with this. Sure I probably destroyed 10 communication relays on 10 different missions, but they all felt like I was doing something new. The VO for the NPC’s offering the side quests I skipped most of the time. You might say this is wrong and so on, but I really do not want to listen to 2 and a half minutes of conversation why I need to go fix something. Accept and move on, that was my play style here. Bonus Missions The bonus mission feature is something that I am very excited for -when it works-. I think it is nice that you get to a quest area start to kill monsters, and all of the sudden you get a bonus quest. I like it. There are however many bonus quests in the mid and high level game that gives the wrong amount of xp, you cannot complete because you run out of monsters, and in some places areas without bonus quests that “should” have them. I suspect that they have not gotten to this part of the game play in this build. Companions [Pets] My companions or pets as I call them are great. I do not think they are companions at all, but are more like pets that faithfully follow you around and bark at you from time to time. This is ok. I did not expect dragon age 1 companion, but to call those guys companions in a BioWere game is misleading. They are glorified pets, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. But I suspect a lot of people will be very disappointed when they realize this. The pet UI (Crewskills) broke for me, when I got my 6th pet (a sithlord called Lord Scourge of all things!), and it did not fix itself until I was done with my class story. That was the case for me at least. I only had 3 crew members from 39 to 47. Clearly a bug. As far as equipping your pets goes, that is good, no need to change anything. There are companion’s missions that you get when you get enough affection with one of your companions. I played mostly with Kira and I got a conversation at 25% and 75% and at 50% and 100% she and I went on two short (and very disappointing ) missions. The first was to Nar shaddaar and last was to Voss were we needed to rescue one of her friends from the Sith. Suggestions If you want companion missions to be in the game please make them a lot better, they are a real big disappointment at the moment (at least the few I tried) Worlds I will now go over my impressions of each of the worlds I visited. General I was a little mislead into thinking that this game would have full worlds that you could explore. This is not the case. You are limited to a part of the given world and in some case a very small part. Later on (with a few exceptions) the worlds become a lot bigger, but you cannot really go explore as I see it. Is this a problem? For me no, I rarely visit an area when I’m done leveling there anyways. Will it be an issue for some players, yes? They will feel trapped and that they are in a box with very visible walls. Now I will break down each world, and my impressions of them, and if anything good or bad springs to mind. Tython (1-10) Starting planets of the Jedi. Was nice and pretty, nothing much to comment here. Just getting used to the game. Questing was nice and fluent here. Old Mantell (1-10) As a Jedi knight you visit this place at around level 16 when you get your ship, nothing much to say about that. Just a quest class quest. Coruscant (10-16) Going from the freedom and densely populated (of mops and quests) planet of Tython to this planet was not nice. It felt empty and way too big. The run alone from the space station to your trainer was almost more running that I did anywhere on Tython. Finished up on Coruscant gave me my ship which was nice. Will not comment on the ship in this post but I’ll just say that there is to long loading screen and to many gates to get to and from your ship. Questing was good, no issues. Suggestion: Run speed at level 16 helped a lot with the distance issue; maybe move that to level 10. Nar Shaddaar (20-24) I hated this place. I was totally confined and the game started to feel like it was on rails, and that I have ZERO choice in where I quested. But I stuck with it, and said to myself it HAS to get better, and it did, but not before I finally left Nar shaddaar. Looking back Coruscant and Nar shaddaar was by far the most restrictive worlds in the game (except maybe for Quesh). Tatooine (24-28) Arriving on Tatooine I was again overwhelmed by the distance I needed to run to get from A to B. I had not yet gotten my mount (got that at 26), so just running around Ancorhead felt quite insane. The planet itself was nice. Looking back at the game Tatooine stands out as unique. When I got my mount the planet seemed very nice in size, and it was the first “real” planet I got to. It was huge compared to any of the other areas at this time. I visited the Pit of Sarlacc and was very disappointed (please revisit the graphics on that). But other than that Tatooine was a nice experience. (Would like to have killed a few jawas, but cannot have it all ). Alderaan (28-32) Stepping out of the Alderaan spaceport and seeing that would for the first time, with the Alderaan music playing is the one moment that stands out in this first week of playing. It was breathtaking, going from a desert to this lush and blue planet. It is my favorite place in the game so fare. Quests on Alderaan was nice and xp seamed well balanced. Balmorra (32-36) Balmorra is a world torn by the war, but you start in bugtown in a setting that reminded me more of Star troopers than star wars, and that is ok I guess. Nothing much more to say about this place. Questing was fluent and very well balanced. Quesh (36-37) This was the first planet that seamed generally incomplete. Few quests, few mops, no music and so forth. Did was were there and moved on. The place failed to move me. Hoth (37-41) Hoth stands out as the worst planet I visited, not because of the Art, but because of the bugs currently on this planet. My class quest broke here, and I spend over an hour just flying around looking for a class phase. But I finally found it and could move on. The xp is wrong here as well, bonus quests do not give what they should and so on. Looking passed the bugs I liked Hoth. The ice world felt a lot like Tatooine which I also liked. Somewhere around this time in the game my xp started to go wrong. All the content started being 1-2 levels above me, and I suspect this is due to me skipping most group quests, and the xp that needs adjusting. Whatever the case the rest of the game everything I fought was higher level than me and on Corellia I was only level 44 when I started. Belsavis (41-44) Entering Belsavis I thought please don’t have this place as bugged as Hoth and Quesh, and it wasn’t. Belsavis felt like it was done, and it was great fun to play. It is a prison world, and very well balanced overall. The operation area seems to be blocked off atm. Voss (44-47) The start of Voss was full of gamebugs (Art) and almost no quests, this changed later on as you progressed the area. I still think that there were too few quests here, but the story is good. I also found my first holocron on Voss that gave me a +10 presence bonus. Corellia (47-50) Very large city world. Only 4 hubs and it felt very empty even though that was the highpoint of the entire war.. I suspect that Corellia is not done. The vendor NPCs was also just standing in a huge pile. Underwhelming experience, but the art and buildings here was very nice, but questing was not. Illum (50-50) Ice world with grp content. Have to wait for a few people to level up before I can say something about this world. Overall game play The overall game play is nice. It isn’t revolutionary, but it is ok. I really like the lightsaber sounds. Questing There seemed to be a lack of quests in the mid to elder game. I suspect that this is due to several planets not done at this time. In general it surpasses any other mmo I ever played. Flashpoints Defiantly without a doubt, the coolest thing in the game. It is just a shame that they only put a sum total of 4 flashpoints in the game so fare (I think 4 for each side). This raises some concerns for me because flashpoints are where the MMO of the MMORPG comes in. I hope and pray that the retail version of the game will feature many MANY flashpoints and not just the 4 which is in the beta atm. I have tried 3 of them and they are all great. It is where I get the most caught up in the story, mostly because I am sharing it with others. (Add to that the fun part when someone says something in a conversation that is totally opposite of what you can and should say!) Combat Combat for the most part was fun as a Jedi knight. I enjoy tanking and I felt like I could level as a tank and still kill stuff. So that was very well balanced and fun. I would like to have flowing HP boxes on top of all the NPC’s I am fighting. I hope you add that in the final game. I would like that feature because it becomes much easier to correctly pick the target you want to kill instead of tabbing or retargeting every mop you are fighting. Currently biggest game issue Aside from the Xp issue, and the general bugs in the game I would say that the economy is an issue that annoys me. You get to little cash to level crews kills while questing and your skills from trainer is way too expensive compared to the cash you get from missions etc. But this is easily fixed. End notes That sums up my experience. I did not pay much attention to bugs, but simply reported them and moved on focusing on my game play and enjoying the game. I did not expect SWTOR beta to be perfect and fix each and every one of my dreams for an MMO. I try to keep my expectations of the game realistic. My take on this game is that is it may be around 85% done at this stage. There are some huge issues that do make the player frustrated and annoyed, but this is beta, and with all our help we can bring those issues to the devs attention and make the game better. I am looking forward to playing the last of 4 flashpoints currently in the game. It is a high level flashpoint called Directive 7, but that will have to wait a few days until the rest of the server levels up. It does not seem like operations is currently in the game. I came to an area blocked by a grey wall at some point on Belsavis and I suspect it is on the other side of that.