One of my earliest Star Wars memories involves chasing my best friend around the house with an original X-wing toy, somehow managing to miss her TIE fighter no matter how fervently I shouted "I got you!" This was almost certainly the genesis of my love of Star Wars space combat. My desire to blow up snub fighters and capital ships persisted throughout my early childhood and melded nicely with my passion for video games. This is why the space combat Comic Con announcement for Star Wars: The Old Republic brought a smile to my face. With the recent PC Action information and PC Gamer leaks in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to look back at some of the ways we see Star Wars space combat represented in video games.
BioWare's Lead Combat Designer, Damion Schubert, authored another insightful piece for Game Developer Magazine, and this time he focused on a hot button topic Star Wars: The Old Republic fans debated long before the game itself was announced.
The following is a an excerpt from the August 2010 issue entitled The Casual/Hardcore Continuum:
Back in 1971, Nolan Bushnell of Atari said, "All the best games are easy to learn, and difficult to master," a design philosophy now treated as instinctual by nearly every designer in the industry. This describes a philosophy of smoothly escalating levels of investment. Casual to hardcore is not a binary option -- it's a sliding scale. We, as designers, want to find ways to smooth out that climb so that players increase their commitment level to our game. Good games convert casual players into hardcore ones, because these games are worth the investment.
Schubert also opines a bit about the misconception that casual doesn't necessarily mean easy difficulty. It is a good read for those who participate in these sorts of debates, so check it out if you can.
In addition to some space combat details, the latest issue of PC Gamer revealed the Advanced Classes for the Jedi Knight: the Jedi Sentinel and the Jedi Guardian. PC Gamer described the Sentinel as a dual wielding DPS, light armor wearer, while the Guardian is single wield "tankish" class, and can wear heavier armor. LucasArts confirmed these were indeed the names of the Advanced Classes, but couldn't provide any additional details.
We cannot reproduce the article due to copyright law, so please pick up the latest issue for the full article.
PC Action, a German Magazine, released new information today on Space Combat from a demo that was shown to the press leading up to GamesCom. To say that the information has blown up the Star Wars: The Old Republic Official Forum would be an understatement. Sean Dahlberg replied after stating:
As announced during Comic-Con International...
First, thank you to all of you who participated in our Comic-Con Reveal mission! While we didn't quite make the numbers, we definitely saw how excited the community is about this and how everyone came together. After all of that, there's no way we could hold back with our special reveal at Comic-Con!
If you've been following the news coming out of the Star Wars: The Old Republic panel at Comic-Con International, you've heard the announcement that we will indeed have Space Combat as part of the TOR experience! But what does that mean? Space combat is an alternative gameplay experience to the primary game of storytelling, questing, and ground-based combat. In space combat, you fly your personal ship to various hot spots on your galaxy map. From there, you will blast your way through asteroid fields, enemy fighters, frigates, destroyers, and a variety of other obstacles that will evoke memories of some of the great Star Wars space battles.
To learn more, pick up the October 2010 edition of PC Gamer which hits newsstands starting August 17th for screenshots and an exclusive interview or check back with us in the weeks to come.
There is an article about by the PC Action magazine that gives more details about Space Combat. There is a translation for this posted by a few users but I ask that everyone keep the discussion of the topic to this thread. Keeping the conversation within a (single) thread is easier for the team to look at consolidated constructive criticism and feedback instead of having to search all over and reading numerous short threads.
While discussing this, as always, be courteous to your fellow community members.
UPDATE: To clarify, Space Combat is not a Turret Shooter (this is probably obvious after seeing the screenshot but some people were mentioning it in the other thread).
UPDATE: Added the poll from a community member's thread.
For details on the information that was released today, check the community thread on the Official Forum linked below. Hat tip to Chris and Jamis on the heads up. You can find our community discussing the news on our forum.
Adding to the Twi'lek Smuggler, Rattataki Bounty Hunter, and the Chiss Imperial Agent, the classes are paired with the new species as follows:
Sith Pureblood - Sith Warrior
Miraluka - Jedi Knight
Mirialan - Jedi Consular
Zabrak - Sith Inquisitor
When questioned about the definition of the Zabrak's horns in the image above, BioWare's Sean Dahlberg responded with something interesting regarding character creation:
While we haven't gotten into Character Creation yet (publicly), there are a variety of things you can adjust and customize for each of the species.
Dahlberg later commented a bit vaguely about playable species restrictions:
There are combinations we haven't confirmed. James recently talked on this subject at Comic-Con International, though, and announced that there will be some restrictions. For the time being, the combinations we have announced you can count on. What other combinations will there be? That's an update for another day...
It is podcast time this week, and as always, we're looking for questions from the community. If you have any Star Wars: The Old Republic or website related questions you would like to have answered on the podcast, then feel free to ask them in the comment section of this post.
This week's community poll/discussion after the jump.
The Czerka Corporation is very well known to fans of Knights of the Old Republic. The company played large parts in both games, always serving as the epitome of corporate corruption. Thanks to the HoloNet, we know that Czerka left its mark under the sands of Tatooine, but what they worked on remains a mystery. We know from general lore that Czerka does not simply fade away after Knights of the Old Republic 2, and records of its actions and examples of its equipment in stories during and after the Galactic Empire tell us that it should certainly be alive and kicking during the Cold War. Read on for a little bit of history, and you'll see why we believe Czerka will play a large part in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
This week's Star Wars: The Old Republic update is a planet update in the form of Nar Shaddaa:
Circling the planet Hutta is its largest moon Nar Shaddaa, the ultimate corrupt city. Dominated by underworld concerns and owned by the Hutts, this sprawling mass of skyscrapers is considered one of the most dangerous and exciting places in the galaxy, where anything can be had for the right price.
Access the HoloNet to learn more about Nar Shaddaa. Check out this video to see the endless city that covers the moon's landscape. Also, don't forget to visit the media section for never-before-seen screenshots, concept art, and wallpapers showing this capital of illegal commerce.