Date: Oct 22, 2011  |  Written by Laura H  |  Posted Under: Article, Column, sidebararticlelist  |  DISQUS With Us: No comments yet

Laura Shot Third

There’s been a ton of nifty reading material available since the SWTOR Press Embargo was lifted last Thursday. I figured that since I was having so much fun with my Smuggler puns, I’d go ahead and say a few words on some of the Smuggler impressions that have been published so far. And fear not, I’ll shy away from spoilers!

One of the things I noticed after doing some reading was that most of the reviewers repeatedly praise the Smuggler storyline as being one of the most interesting and entertaining. In Larry Everett’s article over at Massively, he goes into some detail about the dialogue options that his Smuggler had:

“I found the majority of characters to be interesting and surprisingly unpredictable at times. The most unpredictable character was mine! Some of the best lines weren’t delivered by the “funny” NPC, as is the norm, but by the snarky, condescending mouth of my own Smuggler.”

What would a Smuggler be without the classic snarky attitude?

Bill Murphy, over at MMORPG, wrote an article in which he states:

“BioWare has done an excellent job of making the Smuggler storyline feel like it was ripped from Han Solo’s biography, and I mean this in a good way.”

Han fans unite! Smuggler players will even be able to flirt with NPCs. Oh, and kick guys in the nuts. I’m in!

Without getting into spoilers, I’ll just say that the Smuggler’s starting storyline is definitely on par with what you’d expect to see of the class and from BioWare. Although Smugglers start off on the same planet as Troopers, their stories take wildly different paths. Larry Everett’s Smuggler experience was so enjoyable, in fact, that he admitted he hadn’t even intended to play through much of it, but found himself unable to turn away from the engaging storyline. Now there’s a character I can get into.

The other big source of information is Smuggler gameplay. We already knew about the basic Smuggler moves, but we didn’t know what players really felt about the combat and its difficulty. Most of the reviewers admitted that the Smuggler has a bit of a learning curve attached, and that the class starts off a little slow combat-wise until some more moves are learned.

Bill Murphy compared the beginning levels of a Smuggler to the beginning levels of a World of Warcraft’s pre-Cata Rogue– stealthy, a little squishy, but deadly when played with a bit of precaution. The combat seems to pick up once players are able to choose an advanced class.

Smugglers have the ability to pop up a generated shield they can use for cover, which is both good and bad, it seems. It’s great because this makes them able to begin combat from any position, thus giving them the advantage, but it also means that they’re not as mobile as some of the other ranged classes. Larry Everett also wrote about how clunky the cover shield is with a certain “yank” companion ability. Thankfully, that ability can be toggled off.

Steve Butts, over at The Escapist, wrote the following regarding Smuggler gameplay:

“I have to say though, having started with a Jedi class, the smuggler and trooper are just not as dynamic. Sure, the cover system and ranged combat work as designed, but I didn’t feel that the combat for the ranged classes was as active or strategic as the combat for the Jedi.”

This is an interesting viewpoint. I’m not sure I agree with it, however. I would argue that a Smuggler’s playstyle is actually more strategic, due to the necessity of planning moves ahead of time. Granted, we all have our preferred playstyles, which is one reason why these first impression reviews are so interesting.

I’m admittedly more of a melee character gamer myself, but the Smuggler intrigues me. I love the “shoot first, ask questions later” approach, and that to me, is the very essence of a Smuggler.

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