So I've gotten my Republic Trooper out of the start zone, and she's level 11. I've chosen Commando as her Advanced Class, but haven't decided if I'm speccing her into healing (Combat Medic) or damage (
Actually assault specialist? Which sounds basically like being a fire mage, but with guns.) [note to self: possible healing spec
? couple points i'm not sure enough of mechanics yet to be 100% on, but seems largely what i'll be going for]. I'll probably go healing though, because shooting people with healing bullets sounds awesome. (No, this is true! Apparently you put healing ammo in your weapon and then Hammer - the free filler shot - becomes HEALING BULLETS.)
I'm not sure I like the voice-overed/cutscened quest givers/quest turn-ins. (Although apparently I can skip most of the VA with spacebar, which I did not know until just now.) It's really awesome as far as immersion goes, but it makes questing much more time consuming. Partially because I have to sit and mull over my responses constantly. Being able to see direct Light Side/Dark Side effects has helped, but now that I have my first companion I'm always sitting around fretting about if he approves of me. Even though all that does is make crafting faster.
The Trooper story is interesting. It's very military-y, which is not normally my thing, but I'm actually pretty invested in the story hook that gets you off Ord Mantell. That said, I'm sort of sad that my Dark Side toon is probably going to be my Consular and my Light Side toon is probably going to be my Trooper, since I think they would probably be somewhat less depressing the other way around.
Also, spoilers, whatever, but the... penultimate(?) quest for Troopers on Ord Mantell (when you're sent to deactivate the bomb in the Separatist Stronghold) was pretty brutal. As far as I can tell it seems to be intended as "You are possibly a tanking capable class. We will now kill you repeatedly until you learn how to pull this room and how to assess which of these types of mobs you need to kill first to minimize your damage." Pulling was always my least favorite part of tanking, so this clearly went over super well. (Hint: it involves having a lot of medpacks to survive the strong mobs who hit like trucks, a lot of line of sight pulling, and the patience to wait for one normal class mob to pat around by himself so you don't pull him with the five pack and kill yourself.)
Crafting in this game seems to be largely divorced from earning credits. (The best way to make a ton of credits is with the Slicing gathering profession, apparently, which is basically the "print money" profession.) So I decided to go with professions I actually wanted to have for my characters. I picked bioanalysis/biochem/diplomacy, but I haven't really played around with the professions system much yet.
As far as gameplay goes, I'm a bit worried that I'm level 11 and feel like I have too many buttons. I know there are some I will just take off my bars eventually because I don't use them ever. FTR My "rotation" has largely been Explosive Round > High Impact Bolt or Sticky Grenade that random mob over to the side > Explosive Round > High Impact Bolt. On Strong mobs it's Explosive > Hammer > High Impact if Plasma's procced, repeat. If a buncha dudes get in melee range I use Pulse Cannon, which hits HARD. I've been using Hammer as filler because it's cell-free and gives me lots of chances to proc Plasma, but I don't know if that will stay true now that I've got a lot of my Commando special abilities. I have been having moderate trouble with the targeting system, though, so I'll have to play around with that.
Other minor troubles I've been having: Party chat suddenly became invisible to me today, so I made a complete ass of myself with the guy I was partied with by completely ignoring him. :( He eventually just dropped group, and I feel bad. Apparently this is a known bug that is fixed by relogging, but it is sad!
I'm not sure how long I will remain entertained by this game, as it is sort of fiddly in ways that don't appeal to me, but has some fun parts that do. Will report back once I've gotten my ship and maybe once I've actually done a Flashpoint or two with some people.
I'll also try to take screenshots more in the future. And by "more" I mean "at all".