Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling reports from the front lines* of the Massively Multiplayer Multiverse.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Class Warfare in the Old Republic

Last Tuesday, the MMO Gamer Chick consolidated the trailers for the different classes in Star Wars: The Old Republic and asked Which Class Will You Choose? (Much of this post is transcribed comments I made there.)



The most recent video of the Jedi Consular is awesome, but only swayed me a little. I’ll have the Sage (healer) as my third alt.



My second (solo) alt is definitely the Gunslinger, has been since the armor progression video, “long” before the trailer showcased him. Gunslinger would be my main if my beloved fiancée wanted to play on the Republic side.



However, since she has to be a Bounty Hunter, looks like I’m gonna go with Inquisitor, probably the Sorceror. It looks like she'll have a force-related stealth capability (see the video at 0:56) The AoE force lightning at 1:23 looks pretty bitchin', too. (Yes, I am a child of the '80s.) Did you see her suck the life-force out of those Geonosians at about 1:38 I was undecided until re-watching the video. Not anymore. Now I just have to convince my sweetheart to role a male BH. Of course, GeeCee says it shouldn't matter, we can both role females.

The Jedi Knight doesn't really appeal, despite the fact that (youngish) Obi-wan Kenobi is my favorite character. I love Ewan McGregor's performance in Eps. 2 and 3, the only redeeming part of 3, to be honest. But the Knight as an MMO class? Meh; same with the Sith Warrior. I wonder how many Knights and Warriors will be running around on launch day. Or will those classes seem too iconic/vanilla and be largely ignored?

GeeCee also commented on the Sith Inquisitor and Jedi Consular being very similar in playstyle. That may be, but I hope they are not mirrors of each other. If I have to compare, I'd say the Inquisitor will have a Warlock feel, tapping fel powers for personal gain. The Consular is a typical carebear priest. Which is fine, I enjoy that role. GeeCee, in her review of the Taral V Flashpoint from PAX East, mentioned that the Jedi Consular seems perfectly capable of tanking in a dungeon group, as well. If this is the case, it is pretty awesome.

I have long argued that the tank role is unnecessary, as it is created by a game mechanic (threat tables). Each class in a game should be formidable enough to absorb or mitigate significant damage, and the players should be smart enough to back off the DPS when they do. The healer should only generate threat by "stealing" it from the target of the heal. If they have too much threat, another healer/DPS can step in. It might be a little more complicated from a gameplay standpoint, but it brings the battle closer to reality, I think. In a real fight, would you go after the big dope that is mostly yelling at you, or the mage throwing nasty firebolts your way? In PvP (which I dislike, but for different reasons) there is no tank, because the opposite players are too smart for that. The pseudo-intelligence should be similar, IMHO.

As far as the classes having mirrors, some seem obvious at first, but I began to question that assumption. So Sith Inquisitor equals Jedi Consular, and Jedi Knight equals Sith Warrior. Seems obvious, but I also thought that Trooper might equal Warrior, because what else really does? I think possibly BH, but that seems like the obvious Smuggler analog. And Agent doesn’t seem like a Trooper analog either.

I was thinking/hoping they’d mix it up a bit so there wouldn’t be a straight mirror of the classes. That would keep it a little more interesting. They could still maintain some sort of PvP balance by having mirrors among the advanced classes, but those wouldn’t have to match class by class.

So, Dear Reader, assuming you're going to play SWTOR, which class do you intend to role first?

3 comments:

  1. Well when you aren't playing Empire, join me and the Multiplaying crew. I want to be a BH so bad, but for me I play MMOs for the human interaction. The MP crew wants to be Rebel scum so I'll join them as a friend

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  2. I believe BioWare has said that indeed it's the Trooper and BH that are mirrors (due to the BH spotlight highlighting the Trooper as the BH's "mortal enemy") and the fact that their advance classes cover similar roles, i.e. one tanks, and one heals. The IA and the Smuggler also make sense when looking at their advance class roles as well as accounting for the fact they are the two sneaky, "cover" classes. Just because they are "mirrors" though, I doubt they will play TOO similarly as Bioware has emphasized their goal to make each class' abilities feel iconic and unique. I wish I could say more, but the NDA gods have decreed my silence!

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  3. Ja, looking at some stuff on Wookiepedia (which I can reach from work) made it apparent they are straight analogs. I was thinking the BH seemed similar to the Trooper.

    And as I said in the post, I don't the feel of the classes will be the same even if the abilities are similar. Sith=power hungry. Jedi=alruistic. Usually

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