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Hands on with The Old Republic

Jake Neri, one of the producers on The Old Republic, faces down our interrogation droid.

When the floodgates open on The Old Republic, is there a worry that people will go directly to playing Jedi classes rather than the Republic Trooper or other "less cool" classes?

Jake Neri: I originally thought perhaps. But as time has gone on every class we reveal has generated support from a group of people. It seems to speak to them. With each class, whether it’s a Jedi, Bounty Hunter or Trooper, we’ve tried to deliver on what people love about them from the movies.

If it’s a Bounty Hunter for example, people want a jetpack and they want flamethrowers – cool gadgets. So we try to make sure that that’s there. We’ve got a compelling storyline, yes, but you need to feel like Boba Fett in the movies. So if we do that – I think that people will be drawn to those classes and not just the Jedi.

One of the things about our game is that each class has its own storyline, and I think that people are going to play a lot of these: they’re going to dabble around. They might try a Jedi, then they might try a Trooper... as they’re trying them they might find a playstyle that they like.

Just how customisable will characters be?

Right out of the gate there are a lot of different visual customisations, and there’ll be the option to be different species too. Then over the course of your gameplay you’ll have lots of options – items that you’ll pick up, lots of styles of clothing, multiple talent trees to go down and differentiate your combat style, the different companion characters.

Customisation, to us, isn’t just a visual thing – it’s really about your playstyle. How do you want to play? Do you want to solo? Do you want to play in large groups? What’s your role in those groups? These are all things we fit into the customisation bucket.

Will there be mounts for everyone to run around planets on?

There are certain things that are standard to MMOs that make a lot of sense, things like mounts. No details on that right now. We may have mounts, I’m not sure.

But if you went to Hoth you’d have a tauntaun?

Yeah, you may...

How about a rideable Rancor?

That would be pretty sweet. A gigantic Rancor pet that could just rip everybody to shreds. That would be pretty awesome.

Apr 13, 2010