So you want to play Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO? Of course you do! But how do you succeed at the game and tower over the other players? What are the tips and tricks of Star Wars: The Old Republic that will give you an advantage over the enemies you will encounter? What character should you play? Does Race make a difference in your final stats? How do you group and work as a team? Who does what, when, and why? These questions and many more will be answered as I begin my series of game guides for Star Wars: The Old Republic. We’ll start with the basics, moving up to the more advanced techniques, skills, and tricks you can use in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Everyone has to start somewhere, and you will never succeed as a quality, well rounded gamer without a solid foundation of MMO and gaming knowledge. Some of this will be a review for experienced gamers, but I hope I can help everyone from beginners to those who have been around the zone a few times!
Star Wars: The Old Republic puts the RPG in MMORPG
Everyone knows about Star Wars and most gamers should know about Bioware. Star Wars is an epic phenomenon spanning multiple generations many countries. Bioware could be considered one of the best game development companies to date. Combine these two giants into an MMO and you get what is sure to be the next big hit, Star Wars: The Old Republic.
For those of you who know Bioware’s games, it should come as no surprise that the game is heavy with roleplay. Role playing is assuming the identity of your fictional character. Your decisions and actions are based on what the fictional character would do, not what you as a gamer would do.
I mention this first, because the very first thing you do in any MMO is to create a character, and you need to remember that though you don’t have to have a detailed idea of who and what you will play, you must have an idea about your comfort level and what direction you want to take your character in. You’ll want to be happy with your character, and feel like you can play your character well. Like it or not, you WILL be role playing your character, and your actions will influence the story as it unfolds.
This game is not your standard “talk to the tailor and collect 20 bear pelts” kind of game. I will discuss more about the differences between this game and its predecessors later.
Your Character in Star Wars: The Old Republic
Now is the time to create your character. Before you begin, you’ll want to have an idea of what you want to create. I’ll cover the basics:
Lightside versus Darkside
Do you want to play an overall good character or an overall bad character? In other MMO’s, this decision is based on a desire to have access to a certain class. In Star Wars: The Old Republic, both good and evil characters have almost identical classes. So that needn’t be a consideration.
Do you want to be good or evil? This is really a choice. If you choose to play an evil character, you will be sent on evil, amoral missions which will test if your vileness. If you play a good character, you will go on good missions to thwart evil designs. Both sides will have both good and bad choices to make, resulting in Faction points, but you should pick the side you most would ENJOY playing in. If you choose the opposite side that you would naturally do, you will find the conversations and role play a little awkward and strange at times. You can be a Jedi Knight who picks all the Darkside options, but it is a bit weird, contrived, and you will not enjoy the game as much. So go with what fits your character best, and fine tune that as you play out your story.
Pick your Profession
Once you know which side of the coin you want to play, it is time to select what type of character you to fit into your chosen alignments. Star Wars: The Old Republic classes (aka professionals) are nearly identical on both sides. They may have different names and slightly different powers, but overall they are the same. Here are the four starting roles you can play.
Jedi Knight or Sith Warrior: Up Close and Personal
This is your tank class in Star Wars: The Old Republic. They like melee battle (fighting their enemies one-on-one with lightsabers) and should be the focus of big battles in groups. Once they hit 10th level or so, they can specialize into a more defensive or offensive type character.
Bounty Hunter or Trooper: Death from Afar
Bounty Hunters and Troopers are the ranged damage dealers. They also excel in area of effect (AE) damage, instead of the melee damage of the tank characters. They use more conventional weapons like blaster rifles, blaster pistols, flame throwers, and assault cannons. These characters can also choose a focus of more offensive or defensive styles later in their careers.
Jedi Consular or Sith Inquisitor: Masters of Wielding the Force
These classes use force powers to buff and heal themselves and other party members, as well as to control their enemies. They are similar to mages or clerics in other games. They are not as tough as the tank or ranged specialists, but their skills are essential. These characters will later choose whether to use their force powers for destruction or for buffing and healing.
Imperial Agent or Smuggler: Death from the Shadows
These would be considered your more rounded characters, such as rogues or bards in other games. They wear medium armor and weapons, and can heal and buff or occupy enemies for a short time. This class will eventually make a choice to lean towards damage dealing or healing and buffing the party. This class also has a special ability only available to them, called Cover. They are able to roll behind objects or outcroppings, considerably increasing their defenses.
Now you should have a basic idea of what kind of character would suit your style. Pick the class you want to play, and then it is on to the next step.
Note: You will be eligible for your advanced class at level 10. However, you will not be able to train that class until you reach a certain point in your class story. So just grinding out killing separatists until you hit 10 will not let you get that advanced class. Make sure you are working on your Class Quests.
Races in Star Wars: The Old Republic
Your race will have no factor in the power of your character, so don’t worry about racial modifications. All races are equally good at the classes they are allowed to be.
Races only differ in the area of social abilities. Different races in this game have fun role playing abilities that affect nearby PC’s and NPC’s. These abilities are solely for role play and are of no use in combat, so your choice of race is purely preference.
Available Races are: Chiss, Cyborg, Human, Mirialan, Miraluka, Rattataki, Twi’lek, Zabrak
Males and Females of Star Wars: The Old Republic
Pick the sex you would like to play. This is strictly for role playing purposes and will have no bearing on your stats or the paths you can take in the game. So what’s it going to be? Bad Boy or Good Girl?
Once you’ve decided on your character’s sex, you will be taken to a character customization screen to fine tune the look of your character. I would suggest spending a little time clicking on the Randomize button to get an idea of what kind of looks you can achieve before you start messing with the sliders. Once you have a look you want, pick a name and you are done.
Stats, Skills and Abilities in Star Wars: The Old Republic
What? Is that it? Where are my stats to tweak? Where are Skills to assign and abilities to pick out? You didn’t miss anything. Your ability points are predetermined by your class.
Skill trees do not kick in until you have picked your advanced class. So you don’t need to worry about those just yet.
You will get abilities automatically at level one. They you will have to visit your class trainer to purchase any new abilities that open up to you. I would suggest you purchase your new abilities as soon as you can after you level, since these new abilities and upgrades can really make a difference in how you fare against the dangers of Star Wars: The Old Republic.