Its not meant for everyone, its meant for kids under the age of 7. One more model option meant to serve a different market. If you don't like it, guess what - you don't have to buy it! Its a shocking concept, I know, the idea that a product made by some company may not be designed for every human on the planet.
SternOne's forum posts
I think this thing is over. Holy crap @graboids that is awesome. Love the Sears Tower (no I will not call it the Willis Tower) / Statue of Liberty touch.
As a laywer, I think its an interesting question whether or not the use of the likenesses of existing, real firearms would be a fair use or a trademark violation. At first glance, this seems like a pretty straightforward situation - EA likely cannot legally use actual trademarked names and likenesses of existing firearms without acquiring licensing rights from the license holders, as in, the gun manufacturers. The logic is exactly the same as to say, a car in a racing game.
Could EA put real cars in NFS or Burnout and do whatever they want with them (including full crash damage or the like) without reaching a licensing agreement with the car manufacturer? As best I can see it, theres no good, consistent legal argument for allowing a license free depiction of one trademarked name/likeness (guns) and disallowing the other (cars).
Before I start on SWTOR, I should give a little background first. I played WoW for almost 6 years straight, and my main character was a Tauren (formerly an Orc before the race change surgery) Warrior, protection spec (tanking). I hopped off that bandwagon around the middle of last year, as my guild essentially fell apart due to all sorts of drama I won't really get into.
For a time I was obsessively into raiding - the kind with a weekly schedule and a very organized (and fair, if I do say so myself!) loot distribution system. Generally I was the main tank, and over the course of a couple guilds I raided a bit of the 40 person raids at first, a lot of the 25 person raids in the middle, and ending (like most other guilds post-Cataclysm and pre-Looking For Raid) with almost exclusively 10 person raids. So I think it'd be fair to say that I'm probably coming at SWTOR from a very particular perspective that isn't indicative of the vast majority of gamers out there.
Currently my main SWTOR character is a level 45 Republic Commando, gunnery specced (dps) - Major Zes Sternone. She's a hard ass - the kind that shoots first and asks questions later, doesn't suffer fools and is always ready to kill some Imps, especially for sport. M1-4X is her trustworthy, super-patriotic and totally cool with violence assault droid companion. He and my character are really on the same page in terms of just about everything. Side Note: M1-4X is easily one of my new favorite Bioware characters ever I say that with full knowledge that few characters may ever top Shale from Dragon Age, Wrex and Mordin from Mass Effect, or HK-47 from KOTOR. M1-4X is that awesome. My character's accomplishments include tracking down and defeating a group of traitorious scum who defected to the Empire, destroying an imperial super weapon in a mission structured somewhat similarly to the final mission of Mass Effect 2, and slept with her second in command.
For me, the fact that I can write that last paragraph at all says more about what SWTOR does well than anything else. My character actually has character. I can tell you about what has happened to her, what choices she has made, and how she fits into an overall world of conflict between the Empire and the Republic. This, to me, is one of the most striking differences between SWTOR and most other MMOs, and it is the game's best quality. In WoW, you are an observer to the main events of the story - it revolves almost exclusively around the characters that Blizzard themselves has created. Thrall, Jaina, Garrosh, Illidan, Arthas, Bronn Bronzebeard, Deathwing. These guys are (or should be) recongizable characters to many people, and your character in WoW bears witness and participates in major events involving those characters, primarily through raiding.
But thats just it - the questions involving story in WoW aren't "What will my character do?" Its "What will happen to Thrall?" "What happens after you defeat Arthas?" "Will defeating Kael'thas merely be a set back... again?" It's never about "What will your character do?" More importantly, most of that story content occurs in high end raiding. You don't see what happens to Deathwing at the end of Cataclysm (spoiler - you win!) if you don't go complete the latest raid. They have dramatically lowered the barrier to accessing the best story content over time, and thats great. But that is a new development.
In SWTOR, my story is ALL about my character. What she does. What happens to her. What choices she makes. The relationship she builds with her companions. To me, this is a new and compelling way of providing a story within an MMO framework, and as best I can tell in that regard theres no other MMO quite like it.
The game itself plays like WoW with a different coat of paint. Tanking is tanking, dps is dps, and healing is healing. Every class and spec has an ideal ability rotation to maximize damage or healing output, and the skill in the combat comes from mastering this rotation and reacting in time to environmental threats. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, assuming you like that kind of combat system. I do, for the most part. Its entirely fair to complain about technical things like ability lag, unbalanced server populations heavily favoring Empire over Republic, broken PVP on Illum, and so on. But by and large I think that if you are sold on that kind of a combat system already, then you won't find SWTOR in that regard to be a big change at all.
The game is missing a lot of things that a player like me is used to heavily relying upon, like more advanced "Grid style" health bars (current raid frames don't cut it), a much more customizable UI, an "Omen" like threat meter, and so on. This can be frustrating, especially since it appears as though Bioware is going to be taking the approach of simply providing more built in UI customization rather than letting the community run wild with addons. Its a good start to add that stuff in, but ultimately its not going to be enough.
I've paid for my second month, and I'll likely play for a bit longer, if only to play some other classes and see their storylines. I do not suspect I will be playing for 6 years or so like I did with WoW, because ultimately, for me, its sort of been there, done that. I've seen what Blizzard can do from a fight design perspective in dungeons, and most of the encounters I've experienced in SWTOR (at least in flashpoints, I can't fairly judge the operations since I'm not max level yet) so far match that similar kind of formula.
But the main thing that would bring me back, and keep me playing, would be the promise of regular and consistent additions to my class story. Anything else... and I'm probably not gonna be too excited. If Act 4 (at the very least!) for each character class is not out by the end of this year, I think they are in major trouble for retaining most of their playerbase.
Do I think the game would be better if it were more like Guild Wars in terms of how you purchase it? Absolutely. I'd especially be in favor of that in terms of server structure as well. They're already instancing everything - just take it to its logical conclusion and do away with servers altogether. Let me play with anyone I want, all the time.
But for now, I am playing and enjoying myself. For how much longer? Keep my story going, and I'm there. Give me side stories that everyone experiences... and they better be really really great. Its up to Bioware to deliver on the promise they've started with.
Yesterday I put an order in on Amazon for an EVGA GeForce GTX 570 HD SC to replace my GTX 260 that I have had for a few years in anticipation of Rage. Last night, when the steam version unlocked at 11 CST, I started the game with the GTX 260 still in my machine to test how it would run, and sort of get a before/after comparison.
It ran beautifully. Flawlessly, even. Solid 60 fps. My jaw was on the floor.
Then this morning the whole internet has been losing their heads over how broken the PC version of Rage is. For everyone out there having issues, you certainly have my sympathy. But I cannot say the game is broken at all. If anything, it seems like it ran almost "too" well with my 3 year old hardware.
My understanding is there is no "if you only want a digital copy." After 3 days, the digital version of the game becomes completely useless, and you MUST go to the store and get a physical copy in order to continue playing the game. If you had the option to simply keep the digital version, this would be a much better deal. Like, instead of being 1 star out of 5, it would be 1.5 stars out of 5.
Sigh - frustrating for a 1st day purchaser like me, but I get it. 20 free GB/GBA games is nice, sure, but its still kinda an $80 hit to the gut.
If they coupled this with a price drop for the games (having them all start at $20-30) I think I'd feel much better about things.