So in the current patch (5.1) the SWTOR classes fall out more or less predictably, but there’s some fun discussions to be had. I’m not an elite endgamer but I’ve certainly played all the classes up on one faction or another enough to know how they feel, if not how good each and every one is.
Jedi Knight /Sith Warrior
The quintessential heavily armored warrior. It breaks down into the heavily armored Guardian/Juggernaut and the medium armored dual wielding Sentinel / Marauder.
Guardian is the cooldown tank. Want to just stop taking damage periodically? We’ve got you covered. It’s very much the Luke/Darth Vader, slow and steady tank, and the DPS specs are underwhelming. Lacking a second weapon just seems to make it feel like much less damage.
Sentinel / Marauder is a highly acrobatic style. Think Ashoka Tano. Dual wielding, fast moving, and very hard hitting. I’m not up to speed on which spec is best currently but I do know that it’s a class that can hit like trucks throughout a long fight. It’s also a lot of fun to watch, but it’s frantic to play at times.
Jedi Consular / Sith Inquisitor
No class changes as much between specs as this one. Shadow/Assassin is a crazy fun, but intricate tank spec, with probably the best damage specs for a tank class, while Sage/Sorcerer is a “standard” healer with a classic “mage” damage spec. I do want to talk a bit about the damage specs here. Sage is…. so underwhelming. The animations are just unexciting, and the damage output is equally disappointing. Sorcerer doesn’t do anything about the output, but you’re throwing huge bolts of lightning, lightning storms, or massive electrical blasts. It’s just much more satisfying to watch.
Trooper / Bounty Hunter
The other Heavy Armor class, Trooper/Bounty Hunter combines the super tanky Vanguard / Powertech with the healing Commando/Mercenary spec.
I do not like tanking as a Vanguard/Powertech. The damage feels absolutely anemic, partly due to the animations, and you don’t feel like you are DOING anything. There’s no buffs to maintain or many cooldowns, there isn’t much interesting to actually DO other than chip away at health bars and watch yours slowly tick down. Your passive mitigation tends to be fantastic but… it’s passive. Definitely my least favorite class. I also don’t like either story as much as some of the others which doesn’t help this group at all.
Commando/Mercenary is a bit more like it. A healing spec (Healing you with BULLETS!) which is neat. It isn’t the best healer, but it’s more than adequate, and visually Commando / Mercenary is SO much more appealing than the other specs. The huge assault cannon, and the mercs dual wielding just throws out more shots, which is a lot more fun to see. The story is, obviously, completely the same, but you have more fun getting through it. It definitely feels more like a damage class with a healing tree tacked on than the Sage/Sorcs healer with a DPS ability tacked on.
Smuggler / Agent
Best story in the game? Check. Most fun DPS spec in the game? Check. Weird, but interesting healing spec? Check. It always seems like the Dark Horse when I’m rolling a toon, but whenever I play it MAN it’s hard to put down.
Gunslinger / Sniper – but not the sniper SPEC. Sabotage/Engineering. It combines the ability to be a really good turret with crazy bursts of mobility and AOE that will cover the screen in explosions and fun. I cannot emphasize enough just how fun this spec really is I think it would be a great spec in any game, but it just feels great in Star Wars. Added to it you get to play one of the two AMAZING storylines, the really good Smuggler or the BEST story in the game with the Imperial Agent.
Operative / Scoundrel is a bit less fun for me. The healing class is actually really interesting, with some great heals over time. If you are good at planning you can sustain heals seemingly forever, as long as you can plan well enough to deal with the bursts your toolkit doesn’t handle well naturally. The DPS is sadly lacking, giving up the sniper rifle/second blaster drops your damage potential quite a bit and there’s nothing to really rescue it. Kind of sad, it feels a bit like the class is STILL being punished for being incredibly overpowered, especially in PvP, at release.
So right now my Hard Drive is a bit crowded. I’m going to talk about the major MMOs that I at least have installed, why I have them, and why you should consider them (if you should)
Get ’em While They Last
These are games that I don’t think will last very long for whatever reason. These may or may not be bad games, but they are endangered for one reason or another.
Lord of the Rings Online
Where to start. Look. LotRO will be on my computer until they shut down the servers. I love the game, I love the community, and I loved many of the devs who have worked at Turbine over the years. But this game is heavily threatened on multiple fronts. First off they are going to lose their license. Right now I don’t think there is anyone as pissed off as Christopher Tolkien is with the licensing structure of his Tolkien estate. So there’s that. The player base continues to erode away under the winds of lackluster patches, no endgame content, buggy systems and overall disappointment. I’ll make the march into Mordor with all the rest, probably through Cirith Ungol, but if this game is going 2 years from now I’ll be surprised and if it’s going 4 years from now I’ll be stunned.
I would recommend playing though. You can see SO much detail and love for the world, and visit SO many famous locales that even if you are only a casual Tolkien fan you owe it to yourself to try it out for a couple months.
Star Wars The Old Republic
SWTOR has followed the development strategy of “Two steps forward, two steps back” ever since launch. It’s a good game, it’s a fun game and the stories should be played through by any fan of the Star Wars expanded universe. That being said the mouse is going to want a mint to extend the license and Bioware probably won’t see the value in doing that based on the money they are making. There’s still plenty of players out there but if the mouse takes his cheese and goes away there won’t be a game, just more disappointed Star Wars fans.
This is another “Log in while it lasts” game. Do you really want to miss the chance to force-choke people or steal an Imperial prototype out from under the nose of a Sith Lord? I didn’t think so.
Who makes this now? Daybreak? Who is that? Oh. Does anyone work for them? Ouch. This one will last longer than the rest but… Don’t invest a lot of time into it.
Notice how there’s a lot of big IPs involved? Yeah this thing has been a massive disappointment. I just patched it and while that was downloading I lost interest in actually playing.
I Should Log in More
World of tanks
WoT is offering a lot of bonuses right now so I actually am logging in every day. I should probably play more though. This is just a fun game to drop in and pew pew. If you like it and especially if you have people to play with it’s worth the time.
League of Legends
This is another game that I can log into for 20 minutes, play a game or two, or drop 6 hours on in a binge. It’s a fun game if you invest the time into it but my GOD is the community shit.
World of Warcraft
Not logging in a whole lot. The games in a great place, and it’ll be in a great place without me. The problem with this run through isn’t that the game isn’t fun. It is. The problem is that you can do everything you want to do pretty fast and just don’t feel like you have to do a lot more unless you put in the time on alts.
The Secret World
Every time there’s a story I get excited, patch, and try to remember my login. This game has SO much potential but whenever I play it feels janky and like there’s no plan for most of the fights. The story is fun, even better than SWTOR in a lot of ways but the gameplay feels poor by comparison.
Star Trek Online
Another one of those “It’s worth logging in to take the tour” games, STO sets the bar low and revels in fan service, acceptable, if mediocre-to-average gameplay and capitalizing on a community that wants to make the game MUCH better with its robust fleet and foundry systems. It would be nice to see more developer driven content, and there is some neat stuff on the horizon. I spend a fair amount of time in the Alpha quadrant these days, albeit not as much as I probably should.
Unsubbed right now, maybe even for good, although I doubt it. I just don’t ever feel like I’ve done anything when I log out.
The Time Sink
Final Fantasy XIV
FFXIV has become the time sink that EvE would be if I could get anything done these days. I always have made progress in something and now that I’ve set some goals for myself I’m actually enjoying working through all the stuff I want to get done. The game is a blast to play, visually stunning, the score is fantastic and the sound effects… the score is stunning! The community is great with far more helpful people than dickheads even if the dickheads retain the ability to be incredibly annoying from time to time.
So that’s what’s on my menu right now. How about you guys?