I had a different Impression then SWTOR Senior Environment Artist Mike Harnisch
And after reading this Interview I understand more and more that some or most Developers of PC Games do not read their own Forums. All in all I have the impression that they live in another World.
I want to elaborate on some Points of the Interview. I do not want to Quote everything.. I just found some answers of Mike Harnisch strange and those Points will be quoted as my Experience in the Star Wars The Old Republic Beta was completely different so far.
Q: The NDA has lifted, how has the response been so far?
what I’ve seen so far people have been very positive about it – they like a lot of the character customisation, the [cut scenes] reveals they have on each planet….
Honestly, the Character Customisation was one of the Points most People criticised apart from the User Interface. There is a Poll in the SWTOR Forum about Character Creation and how it should be and what People like. 7199 of 7946 People answered “I want to see detailed character creation which allows for unique character creation.” . So 90,60% wanted to have it detailed.
As I was very active in the Forums I found out that one of the most discussed Topic while Beta was the Character Creation and I really can tell you there was a huge amount of Thread and a huge Amount of People who complained about the Character Creation in SWTOR. And I can understand why.
The first seconds you see the Character Creation in SWTOR you will think it looks cool but after playing around with the Sliders you will notice it is not that good as it seemed to be. Those of you who played Star Wars Galaxies or other Games know that it would be possible to adjust every single Face-characteristic like cheekbone, chin and much more. How is it in SWTOR? Basically you can choose from round about 20 already finish designed Face-Templates. Yes you did listen right.. you basically just can choose between some finishes Templates. Sure you can still choose Eye´s Color or add a Tatoo but the Face is a Template and can’t change much. The Face will rather scale with the body size of your avatar.
So you defeneteley can say it is outdated compared to a 9 years older Game called SWG. While playing Beta we discussed this on our Teamspeak Voice Server. Most of us shared the opinion that the Character Creation in SWTOR is a complete Joke. If you did follow the Forum at this time you noticed many many People thought so. There is no innovation and this funny Character Creation Feature results to the fact that you rather find a lot of Clones of your avatar in game. Yes that means most Characters just look the same. Sure most MMO´s still have an outdated Character Creation Feature but you should know that there are a lot of Cut Scenes in the Game SWTOR and you will often see close up cut´s of your Character and therefore it is sad that there is no freedom to design the Character more detailed.
On the end I just want to say that I can´t believe that Mike Harnisch didn´t notice all the negative critic and I believe these Devs are still on the hype-train. Is any Forum Moderator ever reporting the overall Mood of the Community to the Dev´s? At the moment I really don’t believe it.
I think we’ve done a really good job of being cinematic, for a game that you’re kind of moving through in a non-linear fashion. And people seem to like the combat. Everything that BioWare does, we try to put an innovative twist on it. I think the combat feels very Star Wars; even behind the scenes, if things are working in a similar way to other MMOs visually, it just feels different. And I think people are responding to that.
I really just can agree to the Point with the Cinematic´s. Even if I did know these kind of cinematics already from other Games I must agree that the Cinematic´s and Cut Scene´s and the overall Setting seems to be pretty.
But I don’t understand what he means with “moving through in a non linear fashion”. My experience was that the Game rather feels linear instead of non linear. Compared to these huge worlds of SWG or World of Warcraft you felt that SWTOR Maps are so designed that you get claustrophobia. Sorry for these hard words but I would compare these Maps of SWTOR rather to Single Player Games. If you want to explore you will hate The Old Republic. It is rather Kotor or Mass Effects but I didn´t get the feeling of playing an MMO and I missed to go astray and just explore the World. It´s not inviting and you follow just a Storyline. So yea it feels rather restricted.
When we talk about Combat I also did feel rather bored but not excited. I had the feeling that all you need to do is just rolling you face over the Keyboard and the Effect was that lots of the Mobs in game were already dead then. I didn´t have the feeling it was challenging but maybe just because I leveled three Characters to just round about Level 15. If he says there is anything innovative I completely disagree and my Friends didn´t feel excited much as well.
Visually everything just feels different because you do not have to read Quest´s you rather see a lot of Animations with Voice. True.. this feels different but its not the main Point why I would buy a Game. The Gameplay must satisfy me and the SWTOR Gameplay just didn´t do this Job.
I don’t know if I really like to write a complete Review about the SWTOR Beta and no I think I do not want to. I also do not want to talk about each Point of the Interview with Mike Harnisch. For me it is just the usual try to hype this Game and I anyway disagree to many Points he answered so that the Blogpost here rather would be a rant. For me it is just clear that I dislike the Game and I rather go activate my World of Warcraft Account or what ever if I have the need to play an MMO. But sure… the Opinion about the Game is something completely subjective and everyone can have their own Opinion. If you liked the Game it is ok. For me this Story is closed.