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Star Wars: The Old Republic lets more info escape

There are few games that have tested the gamer’s patience as much as The Old Republic. Since 2008, we’ve gotten an excruciating drip-feed of classes, features, and a slowly inflated idea of what the game is going to be. Last year’s E3 saw an entire presentation made out of a hands-off demo of one class making a single decision: do you, a Sith Warrior, kill the ship’s captain?

But now, the information snowball is gaining momentum. The way the game will fit together is beginning to shape up, even if we’re still a world away from your journey through the universe becoming slightly clear. However, at every stage, there’s always BioWare’s reluctance to say anything that’s not on the officially known list. And why would it? This is a world of hardcore fans, where even the announcement that people will be able to play a Rattataki bounty hunter is considered hard currency.

BioWare’s official line dictates that it doesn’t say anything until it’s finalized, because it doesn’t want to disappoint people. The truth is probably closer to that it’s controlled by a coordinated strategy to keep the game in the news and fans desperately licking their dry lips. So, here are the recent reveals in full!


Wing commander

Every player gets to fly through space: just not at the beginning

The fans of Star Wars are more demanding than most, and one of the features that always felt non-negotiable was the inclusion of starships. Luke’s time on the Millennium Falcon, bonding with the new people, using the Force against the training remote, and learning to let Wookiees win at holochess – reproducing this will be essential to a game that asks you to live a life in the Star Wars universe.

Daniel Erickson, lead writer at BioWare Austin, explains: “Every player will get their own starship, and there are different starships for all the different types of class. So there’s a Trooper ship, a Smuggler ship, and a Jedi and Sith ship.” From this description, we can assume that the recently-announced advanced classes won’t be receiving unique ships when you pick a path at high levels.

Movable hubs
“The Jedi ship and the Sith ship evoke the Ebon Hawk from the Knights of the Old Republic series, although they are much larger and much more evolved.” But what part do they play in the game? Are they simply glorified mounts? Not at all: “They’re your base of operations, where your companions live, that take you from planet to planet. They’re everything the fans have been asking for, in terms of the fantasy of owning your own starship.” Basically, you can walk around in them. When we ask whether you’ll be able to play holochess, we’re not told no: the rules are out there, and a board has been seen in the artwork so far.

So, do the classes’ home worlds serve as tutorial worlds, a starting area from which you earn your wings and fly free? “Not exactly. There are other ways to get around, so you won’t feel restricted when you start out. We’re not talking too much about how these travel systems work, but eventually you get your ship and you can go wherever you like.” The ship grows with you, and more than just your companions can use it – you can invite other players aboard. It certainly sounds interesting, even if we’re not certain how it’ll work, yet.

What aren’t they talking about...
No one’s talking about where the ships can land and how traveling the universe will work. However, the artwork shows clearly marked docking platforms. Our guess is that you’ll land on one of a small number of instanced hubs, and be forced to explore the planets using other, less cool means. We say less cool, but local transit can be by Return of the Jedi-style speeder bikes. The only downside being you’re not in control of them. So there will be no racing through forests while Ewoks spring traps. A step backwards, if you ask us.

17 comments

  • JenosIdanian - July 18, 2010 1:55 a.m.

    They are referring to the Sith Empire. One thing I hope BioWare covers in this game is what ever happened to Reven and the Jedi Exile after their games. All they said in the first two games is that Reven flew off to fight some "Unknown Enemy" and that the Exile went and followed him. Very mysterious.
  • Doctalen - July 18, 2010 12:40 a.m.

    @JadenKOTOR: Actually it is set 500ish years after KOTOR. That said, what Empire are they talking about. Is this just some random Sith thing for something else, I keep thinking of Vader and Palpatine when I read Empire.
  • TheSilentPenguin - July 17, 2010 5:51 p.m.

    Thank god im getting a new laptop for christmas, only 3 months (I think, I dont quite remember) before the game comes out :D
  • Sickooo - July 16, 2010 7:33 p.m.

    holy crap i want this game... looks so killer
  • mubobi7593 - July 16, 2010 7:19 p.m.

    @lovinmyps3 Ditto Seriously, if I can't play this game, the local game stop will be burnt to the ground. God, this game looks epic!
  • JADENkOTOR - July 16, 2010 6:16 p.m.

    @MrGeppetto: Your first character has to be a Jedi its the only way. I see how the decision is tough and too be honest I don't actually know what I will do when the selection screen pops up... in my heart its Jedi though. @FNG: There is no separation from the movies in the KOTOR's other than the time period thats happening in the Star Wars story. The settings and everything else in the Star Wars universe is exactly the same... and seeing how this part of the story is set much closer to KOTOR (I believe within 200 years) it will be very much the same experience. And from the screenshots the art looks a little more polished but much the same. This game will beat all kinds of ass.
  • MrGeppetto - July 16, 2010 12:55 p.m.

    I'm pumped for this... It's going to be a tough pick between Jedi and Sith for me. I think I may have to go with Jedi, though. Generally, I like their storyline better. That, and the sith side is destined to be filled with "lul-screaming" twelve year olds.
  • JayBeat - July 16, 2010 9:39 a.m.

    This looks and sounds better and better at every info release.
  • Evil_AppleJuice - July 16, 2010 9:20 a.m.

    This game looks overall impressive, and it seems it will keep up with the Star Wars universe. I want a Twi'lek Sith :D or a Wookie Sith
  • lovinmyps3 - July 16, 2010 4:29 a.m.

    I hope my computer can play this...
  • Cwf2008 - July 16, 2010 12:33 a.m.

    MUST pLAY AS A SITH
  • ArcaneGhost - July 16, 2010 12:22 a.m.

    @ spideralex90: Pazzak was not terrible: you just had to learn how to cheat. Go to the highest stakes, save before every match, and if you lose, go back to your last save! So simple. Anyways, I'm dying to hear more about this game.
  • BazyLastard - July 16, 2010 12:10 a.m.

    This game appears to have it all, even Tony Dungy! (3rd pic, 2nd page)!
  • spideralex90 - July 15, 2010 10:58 p.m.

    @FNG: Pazzack was probably the worst part of kotor. The computer almost always won, udderly horrible. Anyhow this game looks epic.
  • AnonymouZ - July 15, 2010 9:39 p.m.

    FNG will definitely dissapoint? ya... you and the other 3 nerds who haven't played any other Bioware games.... and who love their star wars lore too much... but the rest of the world is ready to have an orgy of awesome in their eyes (and ear apparently) when we start playing this game. (that said... your argument reminded me that there might be tries of sabotage for this game... cuz it's so win right now it's scaring all the other mmo's out there atm)
  • FNG - July 15, 2010 9:12 p.m.

    It's obvious the writer never played the original Kotors. No one who had any experience would ask for anything other than pazzack. The art style for this game doesn't look anywhere near as the originals and one of the reasons the original games rocked was because of they're separation from the movies. They don't even have storm troopers; the most similar thing to storm troopers look twice as bad ass. This game will definitely disappoint me.
  • PhantomDave - July 15, 2010 8:54 p.m.

    I'm drooling again....

Showing 1-17 of 17 comments

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