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Star Wars: The Old Republic lets more info escape

Huge relief: you can kill other people

One aspect of The Old Republic that has been utterly cloaked has been what PvP will be available to the player who’s not happy fighting just the AI. E3 saw the first hands-off demo of a Warzone: TOR’s PvP areas. Alderaan is one of the planets we knew would be featured – it was where the Empire staged phoney peace talks and used the diversion to sack Coruscant.

As Alderaan is in the middle of a big proxy war where people are fighting for the crown, Republic and Empire players are going to get together there and battle it out. Over to Daniel Erickson, for more: “Alderaan was a Republic world, and in fact the big trailer [released at E3] is from the battle of Alderaan that takes place back during the war. In the trailer we get to see when the Republic pushes the Empire off of the planet of Alderaan. Unfortunately Alderaan doesn’t take the signing of the treaty after the war very well, because they really were ill-used during it, and they break away from the Republic.

“Shortly after this happens both of the royal family members hoping to get the crown get knocked off, and the crown is up for grabs and a bunch of different people try to grab it at once, and then both the Empire and the Republic come in to support various factions. So it’s a big craziness with the noble houses. You get into the story side of it when you’re playing our giant world with your friends, and you’re actually going through learning about what’s actually happening historically. Then of course the Warzone is where you go and take place in the battles.”

What aren’t they talking about...
Every declaration leads to questions, and questions are what Daniel Erickson is best at not answering. So how does the PvP fit into the game world? We don’t know, but we do know it’ll be entirely opt-in. And what kind of game modes will be available? Will PvP bring unique and more powerful loot? Will you be able to play PvP in the outside world? They’re not saying.

Fan baby steps and boss battles

Opening moments and big scraps

Before E3 the only hands-on demos had been around the level six to nine mark. No one had seen the character creation process or the first missions every class would take. We know of two new playable races to go alongside the humans and Rattataki – you’ll also be able to play as a Twi’lek Smuggler, and a Chiss (blue-skinned humanoid) Imperial Agent.

More key to the gameplay was a chance to try out the innovative cover system the Smuggler uses: instead of simply hiding behind things, cover is activated like an ability, changing your hotbar to a special range of abilities that are only available when you’re hiding like a little girl. They also showed a movie of one of the higher-level boss fights at E3.

What aren’t they talking about...
Racial strengths and weaknesses aren’t currently being discussed, and nor are the facilities being offered to help people group up, or the mechanics of grouping up when everyone has two companions. Will it get busy? Will real people replace your companions? Only BioWare knows.

Jul 15, 2010