Hey everyone. So POTCO closed last Thursday, and it's left us wondering... where do we go next? I personally will be playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, or SWTOR for short. I wanted to recommend it to you guys, since a lot of Wiki users as well as people from POTCO have transferred over. We're keeping that friendly atmosphere POTCO had alive in a guild on SWTOR, making the experience the closest thing to POTCO for me. I hope you all will take a look. :)
SWTOR is an MMO like POTCO that is run by EA, one of the biggest video game companies in the world. I want to stress that Disney has absolutely no involvement in SWTOR, other than gaining a percentage of its profits. Also, SWTOR has a guarantee of being alive for the next 5 years (if not, longer), as Disney's contract with EA ensure's its long life.
SWTOR is very similar to POTCO, bringing out all of its best aspects, and improving on others. Rather than typing a large wall of information for you about the gameplay, I'll let you watch these two trailers:
This one features on the Story aspect of SWTOR, which is very prominent. The game runs on cutscenes that you can interact with, choose what your character does (much like the Raven's Cove quest), except completely voiced. Every character has their own unique voice, even the player.
This one focuses upon the gameplay. I.E. combat, locations, space ships, trading, etc.
SWTOR has basic access (dubbed Free-To-Play), as well as Membership. Free-To Play players can experience all 50 levels of SWTOR, with an additional 10 levels of gameplay available to members. The price of membership is 15 dollars a month, which is 5 more than POTCO, sadly. The game does live up to the pricy tag, however. The developers are interactive, and post on the site's forums daily. Also, there are weekly updates to the game that provide new bug fixes, clothing, weapons, and a variety of other items. Monthly, they also add new content such as a new planet or PvP location for free. Annually, there is mega-update called an expansion that all players have to pay for to gain access to its content. It is optional however, so if you don't want the content, you don't have to pay.
Here is a list of restrictions for the game if you do not have membership. Please note it is slightly outdated. PvP restrictions are being dropped in an upcoming patch: http://www.swtor.com/free/features
Note that if you are playing for free, there are ways to bypass the restrictions in-game. (And no, not illegally :P). If you want to know more about that, leave a comment as it is a pretty complicated process.
Here is a the main website, feel free to explore: http://www.swtor.com
The game is rated Teen by ESRB. It is more intense than POTCO in terms of violence. Players can torture NPCs in some cutscenes, and there can even be murder committed in the cutscenes. I don't mean like killing an enemy with an health bar, the character may beg for mercy, or scream when they die.
Also, there is some minor adult content. PM me if you want details on that.
The initial time for game download does take quite awhile, even if you have a fast internet connection. The download takes about 7-30 hours depending on your internet speed. You can also pause the download at any time if you want to wait for later. If you want to shorten the download time, you can buy SWTOR for 15 dollars (it is basically the game for free, but with 1 month membership included) at any common video game store, and that'll shorten download time as you have a good chunk of the content on the disk.
Game System Requirements
You will need AT LEAST the following system requirements in order to play the game. Also, SWTOR is PC only. If you have a Mac, there are ways around it, but its usually tricky. (Leave a comment or message me for details)
Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4000+ or better Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz or better Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3 or later RAM: Windows XP: 1.5GB RAM Windows Vista and Windows 7: 2GB RAM Note: PCs using a built-in graphical chipset are recommended to have 2GB of RAM. Star Wars: The Old Republic requires a video card that has a minimum of 256MB of on-board RAM as well as support for Shader 3.0 or better. Examples include: ATI X1800 or better nVidia 7800 or better Intel 4100 Integrated Graphics or better DVD-ROM drive – 8x speed or better (required for installation from physical editions only) Internet connection required to play.
Details About Characters, Planets, Etc.
Ok, so this is the more in-depth section for people who are actually interested. This is gonna get pretty lengthy.
Setting: The game is set over a thousand years before the Star Wars movies, and a century or so after the events of the Knights of the Old Republic solo-player games. The sith empire and the galatic republic have been at war, attacking each other for decades. A shaky peace treaty was formed, and that is when your character comes on the scene. Each side is trying to tick off the other enough to get them to restart the war, plunging the galaxy back into chaos.
Factions:There are 2 factions you can play as in the game. Empire or Republic.
Each faction has a slew of unique interactions and locations. If you're a part of one faction, you cannot join the guild, or friend someone of the other faction. However, you can speak to them, and battle them in PvP.
Classes: Each Faction has 4 unique classes that you can play as. Each has their own unique storyline that you can play through. Republic has: Jedi Knight, Jedi Consular, Smuggler, and Republic Trooper. Empire has: Sith Warrior, Sith Inquisitor, Imperial Agent, and Bounty Hunter.
1. Jedi Knight - Focused on Lightsaber skills and protecting the people of the republic.
2. Jedi Consular - Mystic Jedi. Tends to find peaceful ways of getting things done, such as using diplomacy and meditation.
3. Trooper - Militaristic soldier. Storyline focuses on battling the empire in a very Battlefield like fashion.
4. Smuggler - Think Han Solo. Smart alec, streetsmart, and knows how to make a quick buck.
1. Sith Warrior - Focuses on brute force and bashing through anything to achieve their goal.
2. Sith Inquisitor - Very sly, cold, and calculating. Tends to manipulate people for their own personal gains.
3. Imperial Agent - Works in the shadows and is the go-t0 "fixer" if there's a problem that needs to be handled discreetly.
4. Bounty Hunter - Goes after the galaxy's top targets, and knows their way around the underworld.
Note that you can shape your character's personality through choices in the game's thousands of cutscenes. You can make your player sadistic, benevolent, or anything in-between.
Locations: The game has 17 unique planets a Basic member can access. If you're a member, you can unlock an additional 5 planets. Each planet is massive. One planet is larger than all of the locations in POTCO combined. Also, each planet only has one loading screen. So when you dock your ship at a planet, there's one loading screen, and that's it. Special caves, jungles, and other locations don't require you to have a separate loading screen, you just walk there as if it's a part of one giant, well... planet. :P
Flashpoints: Think of these as the equivalent to the Black Pearl Boss Battle in POTCO. There are 26 different flashpoints in the game, with many being added frequently. They require up to 4 players at once to play.
Operations: These are massive flashpoints. Gigantic bosses, giant locations, and a team of over 8-16 players are the norm for these. There are currently 9 of these in the game, with more also being added frequently.
PvP: PvP is quite diverse, and is honestly one of the highlights in the game for me. You can challenge players to a 1v1 duel just about anywhere in the game. Also, you can have massive battles with players of opposite factions if you encounter them on planets. There are also events in the game that recur monthly that revolve around players PvPing each other in specific areas. The main part of PvP is Warzones, though. These are like POTCO's lookout PvP system, but much bigger. Currently, you play as an 8v8 team. There are 5 (with one in development) in the game. Each warzone has a specific objective. For example, there's one that is like football, but deadlier. You work with your 7 teammates to pass the ball to the endzone without dying of hazards, or having the opposite team kill you. In addition to these 8v8 games, there's a smaller scale version of 4v4 called Arenas. These work almost exactly like POTCO' PvP system, where you go to a separate location and kill each other for points until there's one person standing. There are 4 of them in the game.
Character Creation: In character creation, you can basically go wild except for a few select things I want to let you know about. Last Names are unlocked at level 10. So make sure you only give your character a first name in character creation. Also, in character creation, the name must be one word only, or else "John Doe" will end up looking like "Johndoe". Also, when you unlock and choose a last name, it'll end up looking like "Johndoe Doe". This CAN be reversed if you do it, but this costs a bit of ingame money, and would be better if avoided.
Also, if you don't like the way your character looks, there is an in-game character editor, but it costs real money to make changes, sadly.
Guild: If you want to join the POTCO guild, here are some details on that:
We're based on the Jedi Covenant East Coast Server. In SWTOR, you can't hop servers like in POTCO. If you make a character on a specific server, you can't move them unless you want to pay a small fee, so make sure you make it on Jedi Covenant if you want in on the guild.
The POTCO group has two guilds: Umbra (Empire), Which is our primary guild. If you really want an experience with other POTCO players, I recommend making a character on the empire faction.
Antumbra (Republic), This is generally less active than the Empire counterpart. Most characters in this guild are alts of people who play on Empire with their main characters. If you REALLY want to play as a Jedi or something, you can join this one.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment. :)