Last night my Bounty Hunter, Shrat, made it to level 30. He left the iconic twin-suns of Tatooine behind, and headed to the snow-capped mountains of Alderaan. This voyage marked not only a time of transition in my Bounty Hunter’s legacy, but also signaled it’s time for another Old Republic update.
If you missed it from a few weeks ago, I talked about my Old Republic experience from Shrat’s origin up to level 20, and promised I would return once I hit 30 and talk PVP this time around.
My experience from 20 to 30 was pretty much all on Tatooine, and I earned a large amount of the experience required to progress through those ten levels in PVP matches. The PVP matches, called warzones, are for now, limited to three maps: Huttball, the Voidstar, and Alderaan. There is no option to favor one warzone over the other, so the selection is always random. This gets annoying at times, especially when you get 3 or 4 long Huttball matches in a row.
Since I called it out first, I’ll start this off with Huttball. This particular warzone is a capture-the-flag match disguised as a seedy underworld sport, hosted by Girrada the Hutt. Players are divided into two teams, with the objective of carrying the huttball through their opponent’s endzone. A labyrinth of platforms, fire traps, and acid pits are the obstacles one will have to tackle in order to make it to the other side. Even though the matches can get pretty long, especially in a game that never reaches the score cap (6) and runs out of time, Huttball is not my least favorite map. That honor falls on the Alderaan PVP warzone.
Alderaan, my least favorite warzone, plays out as a king-of-the-hill game. Players fight for control of giant laser cannons that, when controlled, will fire at the enemy ship. Each team has a ship that can sustain the same amount of damage before crashing. The more guns your team controls, the faster the enemy ship’s shields fail, and your team wins. The problem with this map is that once a team establishes itself on two guns, it is nearly impossible for the other team to recover. With their forces evenly split between the two guns, it would take a concentrated effort for the other team to overwhelm the controllers at one gun and spurn reinforcements. This will usually leave the only other gun vunerable, and when all three guns are in such close proximity, it is very easy for one opponent to sneak away and take control of the last gun available, and if their lucky the unlucky team might be able to gain control of the gun they initially assaulted. Probably not, though.
Voidstar, the final warzone to be discussed, is my favorite of the three. Voidstar functions as a rush map, where there is a defending and attacking team, that at the end of the round, flip-flop from defenders to attackers, and vice versa. The attackers have a series of objectives they must accomplish in a certain amount of time. Once the time runs out, or all the objectives are met, the round ends and it is up to the other team to complete the mission faster, in order to win. The level shifts through three distinct phases, which keeps things fresh and from stagnating as the other two warzones tend to become.
As for my single player experiences from 20 to 30…Bioware did a great job with Tatooine, by far my favorite planet I’ve encountered so far. I believe this is because of how open Tatooine is, as naturally a desert planet would be. It was a nice shift from the narrow one-way paths I’ve seen on all the other planets for the most part. I hoped that Tatooine marked a changing point in the planet layouts as the game finished “training” new players…but a few miles into Alderaan, and I’m already finding myself herded between canyons again. Oh well.
The space combat is worth mentioning, simply because it exists, and is a decent distraction from the single-player grind, and the repetitive PVP environments.
My opinion to try Old Republic still stands. While the environments have not opened up, as I wished…and there are only three PVP warzones available (besides planet-side PVP), Bioware has already unleashed new end-game content, and it looks pretty solid. So as I said in the earlier review, if you’re tired of World of Warcraft and fancy yourself a Republic or Empire fanboy/girl…give Old Republic a shot.
Opinion: Try it!