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How to Play SWTOR – Star Wars The Old Republic – Part 1

by Bartender on December 6, 2011

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Jury Duty went well. A day waster… but did my civic duty.

I think what we’ll do is start at the beginning of SWTOR and kind of meander along from there. We’ll continue with parts of these till we’re done – this is part 1.

When you start up the client you’ll get a killer movie. I recommend the first time you play through you watch all of the movies and quest dialog. At least for the first time.

Bioware spent millions of bucks creating the ‘movies’. Some of the stories are more interesting than others, some I would even go as far as to say they are great.

After the video you’ll work on creating your first character. You will need to choose if you’re going to go Empire or Republic. I’ve played on both sides up / past Tat. You will go to your starter planet, and then your capital planet, and then you’ll share planetswith the other side to the end. My favorite starter  planet is probably the Sith Warrior and Inquisitor starter planet. The main reason is it isn’t huge. All the starter planets do their job which is to get you from level 1 to level 10. All of them take about the same

amount of time to complete.

The classes you can pick are actually mirrors of each other.
Trooper –> Bounty Hunter
Jedi Counsular –>Sith Inquisitor
Jedi Knight –> Sith Warrior
Smuggler –> Imperial Agent

The skills may look different but they are actually the same. The Bounty hunter has a skill (I call it death from above) in which the Bounty Hunter flies a few feet off the ground and does an AOE. The Trooper has the same skill / same level, same damage etc. He doesn’t fly to deliver it.

Here’s a link to the SWTOR site for more information on the Classes. We’ll work on putting up our own thoughts for most of the classes later this week.


So you’ve picked your side – another nice video – and your class, then you choose male or female and the race. The race choice has a very cosmetic emote you can use that varies by the race.

Then you’ll choose Male / Female and then your appearance.

For me this process of character creation takes a few minutes (I hit Random 4 times and go with it) – my daughter will take hours because she wants her characters to look just so.
You’ll choose a name and then play (and another cutscene).

All cutscenes you can get out of them by hitting escape. The story quests you can skip through dialog by pressing your space bar. Again first time through I would recommend  watching them.

Congratulations you’ve made it to the starting planet.

The starting planets are:
1. Hutta – Bounty Hunter / Imperial Agent
2.Korriban – Sith Warrior / Sith Inquisitor
3.Ord Mantell – Trooper / Smuggler
4.Tython – Jedi Knight / Jedi Counsular

For your starter planet or any planet you go to for that matter you’ll have:
Your story quests – Story quests are quests that advance your personal story. It is also how you get your companions, space ship, etc. So if you skip everything else you must do these.

Additional quests – also known as trash quests. These are quests that will take you to the same area as your story quests. These usually pop when you are doing a story quest and not at a general level. Since you’re going in the same area – these quests will help you level  faster.

Bonus quests – these quests complement the other two. You’re in an area and it will ask you to kill 20 of whatever mob you would be killing anyway. In later planets these will be tiered. For example you’ll get a kill 20, then a kill 40, then kill a BOSS. You WILL WANT to do these quests. In later planets the reward is a huge exp gain and 3+ commendations for that planet.

Tip: You will want to spend the commendations – in previous builds you could save these and trade them for the next planet. You can no longer do that, so you’ll want to spend them.

Also during your adventure you could choose Dark or Light choices. Whichever you choose make sure your consistent. You’ll be able to tell the difference. The reason you’ll want to be consistent is because of the loot you’ll be able to get later on in the game. Some of the choices to me are kind of skewed but just go with it. Some are really evil / dark.
Just be consistent. You’ll advance in levels and you’ll want to be level 2 (light or dark) by level 20… and that is very possible to do.

More tomorrow — 

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