Why the Hate for Taris?
So I’ve been fiddling with SW:TOR for a bit. I know I hate on the game with some regularity, and it’s mostly because of the way the company and the loudest portion of the community scream bloody murder about the need for MOAR PVP. Well congrats you got a lousy starfighter game. Enjoy.
I’m going to talk about something that actually really bugs me. The Republic gets a fantastic planet very early on in the story. Yeah, the story. You know, the thing that was marketed like CRAZY before release, was and is awesome and intriguing and has been neglected ever since. So you finish Coruscant which is a huge, high-tech world filled with pirates, aliens, humans, droids, and you go to Taris.
Taris was the setting of KOTOR a million years ago. 300 in the game. The once majestic mega-city, nearly as big and powerful as coruscant has literally collapsed to the stone age. If you look at it it’s a gorgeous, luscious jungle, draped over the fallen ruins of a truly epic city. The broken discs have shattered over the landscape, and toxic pools litter the area.
By way of comparison the Imperials get Balmorra. Balmorra looks like you dropped into World War I. Lots of big guns, troops, and brown terrain with craters. It’s a monotonous grind that I cannot wait to put behind me.
The main enemy is the ubiquitous Rakghoul. I love killing them, especially in the 16-20 range that you run through on the planet. This is still part of the level range where you can murder small groups with absolutely minimal effort. Seriously. Troopers can mortar barrage trash without blinking. Half the time you don’t even need the last shot. Jedi can force sweep and nearly wipe out groups. Ditto for Consulars. Smugglers can grenade the living hell out of the area, often without even slowing down. You seriously feel like an all-powerful machine rampaging through the hordes of weak monsters. You also have a fair number of critters roaming around. Nexu show up on the landscape, there’s a fair sized chain of pirate encampments.
And people are vocal about hating the hell out of this. “THERE’S ONLY ONE KIND OF ENEMY! IT’S SO MONOTONOUS! ” goes the refrain.
Really? Every other planet except Belsavis you are pretty much fighting against bipedal humanoids in various costumes. The overwhelming majority of enemies is bipeds in costumes. Sure you get the big droids some. You see some actual aliens, although most are indistinguishable from the other bipeds, and you get some critters, several of which are on Taris. Yeah by the end you are a bit sick of killing Rakghouls, then killing more Rakghouls, then killing a few more, but let’s face it, You just killed people pirates and droids all day on Coruscant, and you are heading to Nar Shadaa which takes pirates, droids and smugglers, and adds headache-inducing neon lights. Alternately you could roll imp and lose your mind trying to get off Balmorra. Kvit your Kvetching and enjoy the scenery. Oh and never forget to look up. The world designers for SWTOR did a magnificent job with the worlds, but you have to look up to get it.