Hands On: Star Wars: The Old Republic

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Hands On: Star Wars: The Old Republic

LucasArts and BioWare showed off the Republic's Trooper class and told us that they hate the term, WoW-killer.

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Bounty hunter, shall be my name!

EDIT: I want to be a bounty hunter but I like the idea of being a simple Jedi.

Certainly loos like it will be intresting.

Although, I bet everyone who is everyone will want to be a Jedi, or something along the lines.

I think I wouldnt mind playing a simple soldier type

If it's merely going to feature the traditional MMO-type (thus dumbed down) combat mechanics and mob AI, I don't think I'm going to play this.

So far I've not been impressed with what I saw - only the smuggler seemed to fight a bit more dynamically (cover system), but I guess this would get old soon, too.

The effort of having any dialogue voice acted is admirable, but nothing that will sell me.

Choices ("choices, motherf*ing choices") are nice and all that, but it's still left to be seen how immersive their impact really is.

Either way, I'm still going to follow its development for now. Maybe they'll deliver on the questioned fronts after all.

MMORPGs always promise more than they can deliver. I'm sure certain features will be neat, but "meh" when you get used to them. However, this is BioWare we're dealing with. Bio...wait for it... Ware. It's like when Ferrari releases a new car or James Cameron comes out with a new movie: You pay attention.

It's admirable that they don't want to be known as "WoW-killer." I didn't want to be known as "Heavy D" but the label still stuck.

I am so damned envious of you at this moment in time.

Am looking forward to this game. Developers seem to be finally getting away from the High Fantasy of later years and moving into other areas. The Old Republic seems to be comming along well and I hope it is as good or even better than other Bioware games

I really hope I have enough time to play by the time the game finally comes out. :(

I want this game.

I also enjoy the prospect of being a good Sith.

Like, changing sides depending on choices you make, or vice versa with Jedi (Or Republic).

EnzoHonda:
MMORPGs always promise more than they can deliver. I'm sure certain features will be neat, but "meh" when you get used to them. However, this is BioWare we're dealing with. Bio...wait for it... Ware. It's like when Ferrari releases a new car or James Cameron comes out with a new movie: You pay attention.

It's admirable that they don't want to be known as "WoW-killer." I didn't want to be known as "Heavy D" but the label still stuck.

Wait wait wait, Heavy D. There was a guy I knew in high school that we called Heavy D.

What? Oh right the article I didn't really read it, uhh random generic not very interested in star wars response.

aion did mmo char voices first, you can hear your char talk in some cinematics

And the Beta starts when?

I liked the look of the trooper mainly because generic solders are going to be less generic than the jedis, thats going to be funny.

While my hopes are high for this game I can't help but get nervous at their description of the combat mechanics. Sounds very Champions Online and we all know how well that turned out...

I am SO excited for this game, I am a huge Bioware fan

Also, I don't want to be "that guy" but there were an alarming number of typos and/or grammatical mistakes in that OP, there was one spot where it didn't make any sense, and it was off enough that I couldn't even tell what it was supposed to say. I don't mean to be an ass, but you should probably give the proofread another go.

WoW-killer is a bit of an overstatement, sure, Bioware kicks ass, and this MMO might be totally spectacular, but lets face it, there is no way WoW is going anywhere.

"WoW COMPETITOR" is more like it, and with WoW's seemingly unbreakable vice grip on the MMO community, even that is a stretch.

Finally some new coverage. Thanks!

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Since it was first announced in 2008, BioWare's first MMOG has been the most hotly anticipated title in the genre. With the great RPG chops at the studio, it was the perfect choice to take over the Star Wars license and make the great MMOG that Galaxies never was. The plan was to concentrate on story, as BioWare games are wont (known?) to do. That's where all of the fully recorded dialogue came in; for the first time in an MMOG, we were going to be able to hear what our character sounded like. That was the feature I was most excited to try out when I was invited to the LucasArts facility at the Presidio in San Francisco last week. But instead, the demonstration build focused on showing me the Trooper class, a Republic military bad-ass with a big blaster and exploding bombs. At least the pre-built character at my station was a hot chick, that somehow made it all that much cooler.

My Trooper was a dark-skinned female human with a big gun and scarred, worn pieces of body-armor that were reminiscent of Boba Fett's costume. She was level 6, and her action bar was populated with around 6 different abilities. The Trooper's mechanics are based on "Action Points" which you accumulate by hitting a target with your basic attack, which in my case was a single shot of (from) my blaster. Once I had 5 or 6 points, which were displayed in the HUD by an increasing number of tiny blue lights below my health bar, I could use the more vicious abilities, such as a rapid fire barrage which used up all of your (my) action points over time.

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The standard UI for most modern MMOGs is used for The Old Republic. You've got your minimap, your questlog and your target frames. While you get major story quests from a quest giver, you acquire the more simple "Kill 12 of these guys" quests once you actually start killing them. That one innovation may have more to do with not wasting computing cycles on quests that lack a significant story element (it gets hard to justify and (an) in-game story reason every time you wasn't (want?) your player to kill guys.) And it also means that less voice acting and scripting needs to occur to explain what is a comparatively simple task for the player.

I was disappointed that I didn't get to see very much story and dialogue, but I was pleased with what I did see. The first quest giver you speak to let's (lets) you in on the basic story that there's an uprising of separatists and you need to stop them, possibly by blowing up the base. You also get a side quest to track down a holograph reporter whose been taken hostage, which you can accept or not. This is all told through short conversation points to which you can choose from three responses in a radial menu. If you've played any BioWare game in the last ten years, then you can pretty much guess what those three break down into.

"With each decision you make, you can be good to bad, mean, snarky, whatever you want to be," Neri said(said Neri).

The good part is that these choices actually do matter beyond being a dick like Han shooting first (I don't know what to do with this, but it seems off). "You do have choices that have consequences in this game," said Neri. It seems that choosing to not accept a quest is just as important as dialogue choices. "It's not just about taking a meaningless quest, it's a quest that actually changes the story that you're participating in, which can also change your progression." Neri hinted that TOR might have some Fable-like changes as well. "You might go down the dark side as a player, and perhaps that affects the way you look from a physical perspective," he said.

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There's still a lot we don't know about The Old Republic. LucasArts is being incredibly tightlipped on PvP or endgame (content) other than that they are aware that players want those things (them) in the game. If you want any more proof that LucasArts loves a secret (secrets), look no further than the fact that their office in San Francisco is on an ex-military base and that we were "escorted" when going to the men's room. You can read about Russ Pitts' adventures at LucasArts here.

Ok, I probably look like a major dick at this point, but I thought you should take a look at this, I don't know if you can edit a news article after it is posted, and some of the things I noted are suggestions and not pure grammatical suggestions (although some actually are the latter), but in case you're interested, above this sentence you can find my quick fixes.

I'm a huge Star Wars fan (well, I used to be), but idk if I'd sit down and play an MMORPG

major28:
ok have video games not learned anything from cod NO GERNADES THAT 1HIT KILL IT SUCKES FOR THE CASUAL GAMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

COD is an FPS. This is a MMORPG.

Completly. Different. Mechanics.

TsunamiWombat:

major28:
ok have video games not learned anything from cod NO GERNADES THAT 1HIT KILL IT SUCKES FOR THE CASUAL GAMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

COD is an FPS. This is a MMORPG.

Completly. Different. Mechanics.

i understand that it is different regaurdless being able to kill people in one hit makes it unfun for us casual gamers

major28:
i understand that it is different regaurdless being able to kill people in one hit makes it unfun for us casual gamers

...

How much damage the grenade does obviously depends on the opponent's level, armor, class, and likely a bunch of other factors. It's a freaking RPG.

Worgen:
aion did mmo char voices first, you can hear your char talk in some cinematics

Wrong, it was actually done previous to that in other games. However, a year before Aion came out, Age of Conan came out with level's 1 through 20 mostly all voiced, actioned, cinematic, and very well scripted (the rest beyond that, kind of bland). They've since then filled the rest of the game with many voiced and cinematic quests.

On topic of the article, ya..you guys got to experience a demo part of an early build (probably a build a few months old) and by the sounds of it, it's still farther along than Star Trek Online ever was back in December (which was less than a month and a half from it's release).

My fears and slight hesitant approach about this game is that I've heard almost nothing about it's Massively Multiplayer Online parts. Your demo was of being by yourself and not with other players in a massive world; there was no grouping, there was no big boss to fight, there was no trade, no crafting, nothing that shows the MMORPG aspects of this game to be. And we still have yet to see this stuff, so it kind of scares me.

I agree with Tito's conclusion that the game could use some final touchups before being released. Yet with that in mind I offer this argument.

At its current state, the graphics and gameplay seem on par with WoW in regards to MMO fundamentals.

Now if the final edits and programming do nothing to undermine the gameplay, (or go so far as make improvements) then why shouldn't we call this the WoW-Killer (or WoW-Contender since Blizzard isn't likely to go under any time soon).

DarkLight523:
I agree with Tito's conclusion that the game could use some final touchups before being released. Yet with that in mind I offer this argument.

At its current state, the graphics and gameplay seem on par with WoW in regards to MMO fundamentals.

Now if the final edits and programming do nothing to undermine the gameplay, (or go so far as make improvements) then why shouldn't we call this the WoW-Killer (or WoW-Contender since Blizzard isn't likely to go under any time soon).

Because an MMO is a complex beast. There's alot more to WoW then combat and quests, infact most would argue this is only the entry level content.

So far, it seems like WoW with a Star Wars skin and some more story. Meh.

Also, wasn't this supposed to be set in the Old Republic Era? Where'd the "separatists" come from? Sounds like LA is trying to do their "be like the movies"-thing again.

only way i am gonna play this game is that if it doesnt have any fetch quests.
i m not gonna do another kill 10 wolves quest or get 30 pelts quest.

i dont think thats gonna happen

Traditional kinds of quests are fine by me (unlike some people here). I'm more than willing to collect Womp Rat tails.

Truthfully though unless I am misreading this I am a little disappointed that there is only one voice actress for male and female options (from the way it sounds). Having differance voices for differant races would have been nice.

I'm sure Bioware will polish it up before it's ready, however it DOES sound a bit disappointing on some levels because it's one of those games I feel like I've been waiting forever to see released.

I am hoping we see better game balance than has been implied so far (seems like Sith mania is going to be a problem). Not to mention the fact that I do not like the fact that they are breaking the game down into purely good and evil factions without any real neutral parties which doesn't work well for Star Wars. For example I think both Smugglers and Bounty Hunters should be functionally neutral and able to play both sides. What's more I find it ironic that because Han Solo was a hero and Boba Fett was a villain they define the class roles that way. Conceptually it should be the opposite since Smugglers run things like slaves and drugs, Han Solo being a rare exception who did not run slaves (which is how he got in trouble with Jabba). Bounty Hunters hunt bounties (Duh) they will work for whomever pays them usually, in the movies "The Empire" was the goverment putting out bounties so they worked for the bad guys mostly. However in this game there is a "good" goverment. If you think about it, being a Smuggler inherantly implies breaking the law (by the name) where a Bounty Hunter implies working with it in most cases since the law puts out bounties. :P

So basically I think the game needs some conceptual work. I can understand Jedi and Sith being seperated along those lines along with military classes, but it would be cool if they could prevent making the game so you have to choose one side or the other and deal with 100% total seperation. One of those things I've been hoping Bioware would work around.

Arachon:
So far, it seems like WoW with a Star Wars skin and some more story. Meh.

Also, wasn't this supposed to be set in the Old Republic Era? Where'd the "separatists" come from? Sounds like LA is trying to do their "be like the movies"-thing again.

yep, cause wow had lasers, big ships, MANY planets to go to, oo and also the bloody force.

and the word separatists?

"Separatism is the advocacy of a state of cultural, ethnic, tribal, religious, racial, governmental or gender separation from the larger group, often with demands for greater political autonomy and even for full political secession and the formation of a new state".

trust me, this game is going to be nothing like WoW and is going to be nothing like the movies.

Arachon:
So far, it seems like WoW with a Star Wars skin and some more story. Meh.

You know, I've wanted a WoW-caliber Sci-Fi MMORPG since I first started playing WoW back in '04.

I just think it's funny how you're 'meh' about it, and I'm like, 'fawk yeah'.

Anyway, to the OP:

The article was O.K. I got the feeling that you almost wanted to dislike the game before giving it a fair shake. It might just be that you don't like MMOs (ie that grouping/pulling design on MOBs sounds par for MMOs). I am glad you chose to do the negative dialogue options, and to hear that it actually affects the story.

Now the real question...

Which class does Jennifer Hale do the female voice over work for?

Deathfish15:

Worgen:
aion did mmo char voices first, you can hear your char talk in some cinematics

Wrong, it was actually done previous to that in other games. However, a year before Aion came out, Age of Conan came out with level's 1 through 20 mostly all voiced, actioned, cinematic, and very well scripted (the rest beyond that, kind of bland). They've since then filled the rest of the game with many voiced and cinematic quests.

wrong you are, the artical talks about hearing your char talk, in conan you didnt talk, just all the npcs did during the early lvls, aion is the first one Ive seen where your char actualy talked that was more then grunting or saying "I dont have enough mana for such and such"

Worgen:

Deathfish15:

Worgen:
aion did mmo char voices first, you can hear your char talk in some cinematics

Wrong, it was actually done previous to that in other games. However, a year before Aion came out, Age of Conan came out with level's 1 through 20 mostly all voiced, actioned, cinematic, and very well scripted (the rest beyond that, kind of bland). They've since then filled the rest of the game with many voiced and cinematic quests.

wrong you are, the artical talks about hearing your char talk, in conan you didnt talk, just all the npcs did during the early lvls, aion is the first one Ive seen where your char actualy talked that was more then grunting or saying "I dont have enough mana for such and such"

Guild Wars is an even older game which has your characters talking through a lot of cinematics, and it's well over 4 years old. Actually made by the same people who made Aion if I'm not mistaken.
Edit: I messed up the quote a bit.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I do not want to play a Star Wars game with a million txt and leet-speaking jackholes. Make it single player and charge a single, one-time fee. Then I'll be interested.

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