So, after playing the game off and on for somewhere between 4 and 6 years, I finally managed to finish all 8 class stories in “The Old Republic”, ending with one of my first characters, a Chiss Imperial Agent. The latest changes that allow you to pretty much keep your levels at the appropriate … er, level only doing the Class and Planet quests really helped, as it reduced the time it took me to complete a planet to 4 hours from somewhere around 12 hours.
In terms of stories, the Agent story was interesting enough and had an interesting ending, if it felt a bit rushed at the end, with everything getting resolved a bit too quickly. However, the Agent’s new role really worked for that storyline. And it may just be that it was the first storyline that I ever finished talking, but I really liked the Sith Warrior storyline. For the Inquisitor, Bounty Hunter, and Smuggler storylines, I enjoyed them, but most of that enjoyment, it seems to me, comes from how they really did let me act in-character in those storylines, as opposed to how interesting the storylines were themselves. The Inquisitor storyline was more interesting itself, the Smuggler storyline was more interesting for how the romance with Risha played into it and the ending, at least potentially, and the Bounty Hunter storyline really worked for my character while staying well out of the way most of the time. The Jedi Knight and Jedi Consular storylines are mostly unremarkable for me; I enjoyed them, but didn’t find them particularly memorable. In contrast, the Trooper storyline wasn’t particularly interesting — although it did kinda make sense for the character — and the choices interferred with my attempts to play as “The Sisko”, as I couldn’t react as he would a lot of the time, making it the least enjoyable of the storylines.
In terms of romances, my favourite was Vette from the Sith Warrior, and I keep getting tempted to replay as a Dark Side Warrior to see how things work out with Jaesa. I also liked Risha from the Smuggler storyline, especially since given her heritage there’s a chance of the character “going straight” afterwards. I didn’t do any romances in the Bounty Hunter and Agent lines, because there just weren’t interesting options. Again, I liked the options in the Jedi Knight and Jedi Consular lines, but didn’t find them that memorable, which this time also holds for the Inquisitor. Finally, again, Trooper fails to make the grade, as Dorne isn’t all that interesting an option. If I had remembered, I might have left the option open with that one woman that you can … ahem, interact with whom you break up with later.
In terms of companions, I again still feel good about the Warrior companions, as Vette, Quinn and Jaesa are all interesting, even if you can’t romance them. Inquisitor, though, may have the most interesting set, and Khem-Val, at the time, was both a great companion to have and kinda fun. Jedi Consular, however, has a similar and somewhat better one in Qyzen-Fess, and like the others have no companions that really irritate me. For Jedi Knight, the companions are all okay, although I did like Kira Carson, the romance option, as well as T7-01. And Scrouge and Doc have their moments. The same pretty much holds for Smuggler, except that Corso is more fun and Guss Tuno is more annoying. Akaavi Spar also inserted herself into the romance when I was doing everything I could to avoid romancing her at all, which was annoying. Bounty Hunter has the absolutely wonderful Blizz and Mako, and the romance between Mako and Torian if you don’t pursue her yourself is just so incredibly cute. However, my character wanted to shoot both Gault and Skadge. Repeatedly. And flush them out an airlock. Agent’s characters are mostly bland, but my character was annoyed by Kaliyo and had no real reason to listen to Scorpio’s rants, and instead really ought to have used the turbolasers on her. For Trooper, M1 4X’s over-the-top heroism was entertaining, but the rest were bland … except for Tanno Vik, whom I hated.
I’m torn on the new combat system/difficulty. TOR’s combat has never been all that much fun, but it’s been mostly innocuous for most of the time … except when the game sprung massive boss fights on you with characters that might out-level you and might have tricks that you don’t know how to dodge or counter when you hit them. Thus my strategy of success through massive over-leveling. Under this model, it’s both easier to over-level and over-leveling is less necessary to win the game. On the one hand, this is good because it makes it easier to complete the game without worrying about getting stuck, which is a problem for MMOs. On the other hand, it makes fighting things irrelevant, which means that if you are killing things just to get to the next mission or back to town it’s pointless since you don’t really need the XP, which makes the combat even more boring. That being said, it allowed me to turn the stealth on for my Agent in the later stages and pretty much bypass all the combat in favour of surgical strikes, which really worked for my character (and helped cut down on the time it took me to do things).
I’m glad that I finished all of the stories. I plan on going through Knights of the Fallen Empire at some point … later. I have other games to play [grin].