The Day Arrives: SWTOR Is Now

If that doesn’t get you pumped up, you must have a cold, dead heart.

That is right ladies and gentlemen, the day has finally arrived. Within a few hours, zero hour dawns: the launch day of Star Wars: The Old Republic.

After years of waiting, of anticipating. Months – for some of us – of being teased by short spoonfuls of weekend betas. Days of being tantalized by the promise of being able to progress a character you know won’t be wiped in a few days. Finally, our long journey comes to an end. At a time like this, there is only one thing to do, really…

Radio, video. Boogie with a suitcase.

In case you are wondering, that would be a screenshot of myself on the left, and my best bud on the right, doing our best Pop Muzik imitation (after several tries, we managed to get our moves synchronized).

To say that I’ve had a blast playing SWTOR since the beginning of early access would be an understatement — probably of the century. I have been having a fantastic fucking time. From running BT (Black Talon for the laypeople out there) more than a dozen times on different toons, to leveling my profs, to climbing all over the buildings of Mos Ila like a spider monkey, as well as riding through the deserts of Tatooine with a few good buddies like our own version of a Star Wars biker gang — it would take too long to relate all of the awesome things I’ve been a part of in just the past week. I even managed to co-raid lead my first SWTOR operation group to take down Trapjaw on Tatooine (big ups to all the guys and gals on Iron Citadel that were there to share in the joy with ol’ Balthezar that day – you rock, every one of you).

I have literally taken hundreds of screenshots since I hit early access last week. Because of the sheer volume, I couldn’t possibly post them all up — but I will post up the ones that hold some nostalgia for me. The one above is just the tip of the iceberg.

If you notice the chat in the top left corner, you can see just how amazed Vette was by my dancing.

On the same day I co-lead a raid on Trapjaw, here is a screen of myself and a few groupmates riding through the sands of Tatooine like bosses.

I didn't expect to like the "Segway" as much as I did, but I have to be honest: I dug it (and still do).

The pictures I have of this datacron on a rooftop above the Market District of Mos Ila will forever hold a special place in my heart. I managed to find a way to get this datacron without the help of guides -- just hours of careful deduction, meticulous climbing, as well as trial and error.

When I created my quasi-main Imperial Agent, Balthezar, I chose to make him more like Arnold in True Lies over a James Bond ripoff. Here, Balthezar shows off the benefits of Imperial Intelligence's rigorous fitness regimen.

I swear I must have stared at this NPC for more than ten minutes -- laughing my ass off the whole time. (For those who aren't familiar, this guy -- and another on Tatooine, I hear -- exists as an homage to one of the funniest SNL sketches ever.)

SWTOR has many landscapes that made my jaw drop. The first time I came upon the vastness of the Dune Sea, when I stepped out of the space port to the snow-capped mountains of Alderaan. However, I think Nar Shaddaa hit me the hardest. I have always been a sucker for city lights.

For sheer ambience - of the night life persuasion -, Nar Shaddaa really comes across like Vegas x1000. The Smuggler's Moon really does live up to its name. What freewheeling, double dealing smuggler wouldn't feel at home amid the neon painted cityscape of this Hutt jewel?

You meet the most interesting characters traversing the galaxy bringing down terrorist cells and criminal syndicates. This was taken from the scenic vista provided by the Jawa balloon above the Dune Sea. We were on our way to a few datacrons -- sadly, our ride glitched out before we reached them.

The funny thing is, I would probably not be writing this if it weren’t for the fact that the SWTOR servers are down for the night for maintenance. Writing about a game isn’t nearly as fun as playing

For one of a handful of times in the last few years, I am able to play the game instead of pine for it at a distance. That option makes the wait seem worth it. The game has been what I hoped it would be and much more — a story-driven MMO that has me hooked on the storyline like crack. Whether it is chasing after that fucking asshole Skavic, trying to forge my power while under the knuckle of the ruthless Darth Baras, hunting down terrorist cells across the galaxy in secret, or attempting to secure myself a position in the Great Hunt, SWTOR has me hooked.

This is the story-based MMO I was waiting for all along — and that it is Star Wars only makes this Christmas gift sweeter.

To those who will be getting their first taste of this amazing game tomorrow — live it up, drink it in, don’t rush through. Savor. Every. Flavor.

Think back on the long wait and rejoice.

Go back in time to the first time you heard that this game even existed. For some, it was before the game even had a title. For others (myself included), it was the first time Deceived melted your face off after E3 2009 (thanks D), etc.

Look back on all those Fridays you were waiting breathlessly for on the official site, just for the chance at even a scrap of information.

Think about all those Fan Fridays that sometimes seemed superfluous, even though they really were a great showcase for the talent of the SWTOR fanbase.

Recall all the conventions where you were hyped for the information coming, hoping against hope for a release date — or even a hint of one.

Think back on that time and remind yourself of one all-important fact:

Tomorrow, Star Wars: The Old Republic will be upon you.


2 thoughts on “The Day Arrives: SWTOR Is Now

  1. I’ve waited for specs, bought a new computer, will have internet tomorrow, and $50 soon enough and it shall be mine………i’ve been watching videos for the Agent, whom i found myself saying i would not play or play last, and as i watch spoiler after spoiler, and the magnificent story unwind, i find myself ACHING for the chance, in those critical moments to shamelessly let the Hive take over house Cortess, to kill, maim, and hurt people and trust who i want, etc, etc, etc, UGGGH this is madness!

  2. The IA story is wicked. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you like spy stories with twists and turns, lots of innuendo (Raina, you make my IA’s life sweeter), and one of the better voice actors in a cast of incredible voice actors, IA is for you.

    My IA is 45 right now. I am looking forward to cap, but I don’t want to rush anything.

    A couple of tips, though:

    *If you play Operative, learn to kite, and learn to LOS (line of sight = run behind the terrain to negate your enemies and their attacks). Especially toward the end of the game, enemies get phenomenally beefy and hit like trucks. You will not be able to take their damage straight up. Also, use the terrain weapons (explodable crates). They can save your life. Another tip, let your companion open up the encounter. The tendency is to open an attack from stealth, but that initial burst isn’t enough to negate the damage you suffer right away, imo, being face up with a big enemy. Keep the stealth in PvE flashpoints – for PvE world, let your companion open up the encounter so you can get several shots in while it is beating on them. Other than that, when the enemy inevitably gets in your face (it will happen), use your shield probe and evasion like a boss. Also, Sever Tendon should be a permanent part of your kiting rotation. Keep the enemy bleeding, and keep them slowed so you can kite them around the room. Do that and you’ll be disco.

    *If you play Sniper, just make sure to send in your companion first, Your range is much longer than an Op, so you can avoid enemies getting up on you if you play it intelligently. Sadly, Kaliyo gets worse and worse as a tank toward the end, so I eventually discarded her in favor of more damage. The way I figure it, few of your companions are going to survive long against elites and groups of strongs, so you might as well choose one that is going to hit as hard as possible while they are up. Also, come to terms with the fact that your companion, often enough, exists merely to die so you have a precious few moments to finish off a

    All in all, IA has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of SWTOR for me. So much so, in fact, I am considering rolling another one to level with a friend.

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