I’m really enjoying The Old Republic.
Elite fucking quests. Blizzard didn’t just stop making these for WoW, they went out of their way to take the existing ones out. TOR gave me two right in the starting zone for my class. I died! While questing! In the starting zone! The game developers respect me enough to not assume that if I find a quest I can’t faceroll I will instantly stop having fun and quit the game!
I’m also really enjoying the solo RP aspect of the game. It’s not something I really do unless prompted, but been given constant opportunities to better define my character through his responses to different situations is a very welcome addition to the experience. I had a half-thought to aim to be just [light-side], but of course in the harsh realities of imperfect situations many of the light-side options just seemed completely unreasonable. Sometimes bad people just deserve to die.
Companions seem like a really interesting idea. At this point I’m unsure whether I like them or not. On the surface, they seem to make the game easier, which is not something I’m interested in. On the other hand, having a companion gave me the ability to complete the aforementioned elite quests “solo”, though one of them still got pretty hairy.
Giving every player a companion strikes me as a way to allow the game to be balanced for grouping [see above complaints about WoW’s lack of challenging questing] without leaving solo players out in the cold. Did I read somewhere that the companions were only available when ungrouped? Because that would make a lot of design sense. If questing with a partner turns out to be four characters faceraping everything in sight then we’re right back to WoW-style faceroll questing.
Though if that does turn out to be the case, maybe a five-man dungeon would be feasable…