Thursday, December 11, 2014

Shadow of Revan

This post may contain spoilers for Shadow of Revan. I will try to avoid major ones though.

The Old Republic launched it's latest expansion, Shadow of Revan, last week. I've gone through the main story on my Imperial Agent. The servers were a little rocky and buggy, but overall the mechanical experience was decent. I did like the single player flashpoints that were part of the leveling experience.

However, the story was terrible.

First, the basic plot felt like something from the low level planets. Infiltrate a pirate gang, make nice with some natives. Really? The player is a Dark Council member, the Emperor's Wrath, the ghost of Intelligence, the Warden of the Jedi Order. And we're doing random pirate shenanigans? Then the standard "track down the big bad and kill him before he unleashes his superweapon" story to finish things.

It felt like a Chapter One story, not a Chapter Five.

This is further exacerbated by the fact that all the consequences are off-screen. In theory, Revan's plot has bad effects. In practice, they're happening somewhere out in space, while you are wandering around a paradise.

Compare to Makeb where the Imps are stealing valuable material from the Hutts, who are worthy villains. Then stabilizing and saving an entire planet. Meanwhile the consequences of not saving the planet are being visually demonstrated as the planet starts shaking apart with the ground quakes.

As well, every conversation in Shadow of Revan felt off to me. It was like they were each missing one or two lines, and overly abbreviated. The lines themselves were terribly cliche, especially anything Theron Shan said. To be honest, Darth Marr was the only character to redeem himself. I just don't think the dialogue was up to Bioware's previous standards.

The ending, while in theory should be exciting, didn't make much sense. The main villain was hoping for Event X to occur, and he has a plan to deal with it. Event X occurs anyways. The main villain does not execute his plan for Event X for no real reason that I could see.

Overall, I would hope that Shadow of Revan is an aberration for the TOR team, and that their future efforts return to their previous standards.

But then again, maybe the fate of F2P games is a spiral downwards as quality and effort slowly bleeds from real content to the fluff that people spend Cartel Coins on.


  1. Okay, I have to ask: how is this disconnect any different than any other MMO's new expac?

    "Heroes! You've defeated the Lich King and slain Deathwing! Now we have this greater problem, we have these harpies that need clearing out...."

  2. I don't know, I just expected better from TOR. I think they did a pretty good job of keeping the stakes high in Makeb. And just went too far back to basics in Revan.

  3. It'll be a while before I get around to taking care of the Revan expac, since I'm playing around with a low level Smuggler (again), but I'll post some thoughts on it when I get there.

  4. Hm, I have to disagree quite strongly with this.

    Firstly, Makeb is a terrible example of stakes and consequences, at least on Republic side. The planet being in danger of being destroyed isn't really believable for one second, considering it was only just introduced as a new area, and as for the consequences? All that effort you put into evacuating the population turns out to have been completely pointless as the planet stabilises itself for no discernible reason. (I know what happens on Imp side, but the Republic story pretty much ends with "gg wasting your time".)

    The thing you have to consider in regards to the pirate shenanigans is that it's literally down to your character and your handful of NPC friends, because you don't have the backing of the Empire or the Republic at this point. You're essentially a strike team that has to do all the dirty work themselves, regardless of what title you may hold elsewhere.

    And I'm simply not sure what you mean in regards to the ending, because the thing that the big bad has been planning for doesn't actually happen.

  5. Spoilers incoming.

    Regarding the ending, Revan is planning to trigger the Emperor's return. Presumably he has a plan to defeat the Emperor at that point. The Emperor returns. Revan is still alive-ish at that point, but makes zero move to put his plan into effect.

    It just struck me as not making a lot of sense. Now maybe you can argue that Revan's plan would not have worked. But that's debatable. After all, the less powerful Knight struck down the Emperor.

  6. The way I remember it, his plan required the Emperor to become corporeal. This didn't happen. Everyone just expressed confusion about what actually happened.

  7. After having seen the ending from both sides now, I just wanted to add that I understand your confusion now as it's not properly explained on Imperial side for some reason. On Republic side it makes complete sense however.