As the one year anniversary of the launch of Star Wars: The Old Republic approaches, new hints and indications about the direction the story will take are being revealed. A few weeks ago, a tidbit at the end of the Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia gave us a glimpse of what is to come. Now comes a short story found in the latest issue of Star Wars Insider magazine. Alexander Freed writes the story, author of The Lost Suns comic book series and the Imperial Agent storyline found in the game. Entitled The Last Battle of Colonel Jace Malcom, the story bridges the gap between the events that have occurred within SWTOR up until this point and the next chapter as it will be told in Drew Karphyshyn's next novel, Annihilation.
The 6-page story follows the final mission of Jace Malcom, the Republic trooper who battled against Darth Malgus in the Hope cinematic trailer and has the scars to prove it. Colonel Malcom accompanies a squad of soldiers on the planet Kalandis Seven as they attempt to take out Imperial forces remaining on the planet. Recent events have the Imperials withdrawing from several worlds across the galaxy and the Republic forces are there to help speed along the process by forcing them out. Original artwork by David Rabbitte accompanies the piece.
This week's Q&A Session from BioWare is out and covers a broad range of topics including classes, mechanics and design decisions. This time around rather than centering on speculation over future plans, the Q&A was tailored to address current aspects of the game and explanations for why things were done as they were. So let's go behind the Emerald Curtain, to see what this week's Q&A offers.
An important note - there will be no Q&A session next week in order to get as many questions as possible into the following post on May 25th. Head on over to the current Q&A Thread to submit any questions you may have for this month's final installment.
It’s been a week since launch, and though BioWare is still addressing launch issues as needed, they found time to provide feedback to players in this week’s DevTracker Highlights. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller covers skill respecs, the number of low-level abilities, and the thought behind Trauma. Community Coordinator Allison Berryman expands on the possibility of new forum sections in the future. BioWare co-founder Dr. Greg Zeschuk assures players that the BioWare Live team is working hard to reduce queue times to allow more people to play, and thanks the already over one million registered players for a successful launch. Senior Writer Alexander Freed shares glimpse into the process for creating new content with such a heavy focus on voice acting. European Community Manager Chris Collins affirms that shared maintenance times for both US and EU servers will create less downtime as the lifespan of the game grows. Hit the jump to dig in and see all the highlights.
After last week's notoriously light post count, BioWare returns for a full helping in this week's DevTracker Highlights. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller touches on speculation, cover for the Smuggler and Imperial Agent, Jedi Sages survivability in melee, and realism vs. gameplay. Senior Writer Alexander Freed talks about how Jedi and Sith correlate to ranks in military roles. Hit the jump to see all the highlights.
Alexander Freed is probably best known for his writing duties on the Imperial Agent class story, but he also authored the Blood of The Empire and The Lost Suns comics as well as Flashpoints, side quests, and other in-game experiences players will encounter in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Darth Hater caught up with him at Paris Games Week to delve a little deeper about what it takes to write engaging interactive dialogue for the game and across different media.
What advice would you give someone who actually wants to make interactive storytelling their career?
Alexander Freed: Obviously learning the basics of storytelling, and more than the basics, because that is the foundation you're working from. So if there isn't a way for you to work in a very strong, very critical environment on game writing, then work in prose, work in film, work in something else where you are going to get feedback and criticism. If you can get that sort of feedback and criticism in a game environment, fantastic! But honing the storytelling basics is huge. Learn how to write dialogue. It doesn't matter what medium you're in. If you can do snappy dialogue, then you can probably adjust to writing snappy dialogue in a different medium.
Why scour the official forums when you can get this week's DevTracker Highlights right here. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller talks about the Jedi Consular's Project ability, naming policies for roleplay servers, Force Leap tactics, global cooldowns, and class design. Senior Community Manager Stephen Reid announces RP-PvP servers for launch. Senior Writer Alexander Freed discusses planet locations in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Writer Drew Karpyshyn explains some decisions he made with the upcoming novel Revan. Hit the jump to see all the highlights.
The fourth issue of The Lost Suns, a five issue comic book mini-series based upon Star Wars: The Old Republic, was released this week. The story picks up where it left off in the last installment, with Theron Shan and Jedi Master Ngani Zho captured by Imperial forces while investigating suspicious activity in the Vesla system.
Editor's Note: The following dissection includes several plot spoilers.
The third issue of The Lost Suns, a five issue comic book mini-series based upon Star Wars: The Old Republic, was released this week. The story picks up where it left off in the last installment, with Theron Shan and Jedi Master Ngani Zho heading towards the Vesla system to investigate Imperial activity.
Editor's Note: The following dissection includes several plot spoilers.
San Diego Comic-Con is officially over but there is plenty of content rolling out over the next week. In one of those pieces that is now available for consumption, we had the pleasure to interview Alexander Freed, Senior Writer on Star Wars: The Old Republic and writer on The Lost Suns. In the interview, Alexander Freed discusses the differences in writing for games versus comics, writing character stories, developing worlds in an established property, where the comics fit in relation to the game's timeline, and more. Hit the jump for the interview in full.
The second issue of The Lost Suns, a five issue comic book mini-series based upon Star Wars: The Old Republic, was released last week. The story picks up where it left off in the first installment, with Theron Shan seeking out Jedi Master Ngani Zho, who has recently resurfaced after it was thought that he had been lost in the war.
Editor's Note: The following dissection includes several plot spoilers.
An exclusive six-page preview of part two of The Lost Suns comic appeared on Newsarama this morning. In the preview, the hunt for Ngani Zho continues.
Elite Republic spy Theron Shan has been assigned to find the old Jedi Master behind these rumors. Previously thought lost forever in Sith territory, Ngani Zho is back and more peculiar than before he left. Theron has his hands full with Zho, a troublesome thief, and the threatening Sith Knights who are also on Zho's trail!
To see the six-page preview, visit Newsarama. The Lost Suns part 2 hits comic book stores everywhere on July 20, 2011.
On June 8, Dark Horse Comics released the first issue of The Lost Suns, a five issue mini-series based upon Star Wars: The Old Republic. Like Threat of Peace and Blood of the Empire, this series promises to include hints regarding what players can look forward to in SWTOR. In the following article, we take a closer look at the first issue to discover what possible clues are buried within.
BioWare and Austin Books & Comics are once again collaborating for a comic book signing, this time with Alexander Freed on The Lost Suns. If you live in the Austin area and would like to meet BioWare's Alexander Freed, make your way to Austin Books & Comics this weekend on Saturday, June 18 at 4PM.
This week's Star Wars: The Old Republic Friday Update is E3 Details, new Advanced Classes Page, and on The Lost Suns with an interview Alexander Freed. As BioWare Austin's Community Manager Stephen Reid hinted at this morning, there are three updates today about SWTOR. This is all in preparation for the Electronic Entertainment Expo that starts June 6 and expectations are massive on the news coming out of the event. Stated in the E3 details post is a tidbit about what fans can expect from E3:
More to share regarding the stories from the CG trailers
Belsavis raid content
Alderaan political intrigue
Tatooine -- sandpeople and something unknown
As part of this week's Friday Update, MMORPG.com interviewed Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller about the Advanced Classes we will see in Star Wars: The Old Republic. He covers abilities from almost every class including the Jedi Knight's Force Leap, the different stances of the Sith Warrior, the Bounty Hunter's helpful Kolto Missile, and the Smuggler's explosive Shrapnel Bomb.
The Old Republic: The Lost Suns previewed earlier this week on StarWars.com, and today an interview with Senior Writer and Managing Editor Alexander Freed. He covers a brief overview of the comic that follows Theron Shan, a Republic spy set out to discover what the Sith Empire's plans are for the planets newly acquired in the Treaty of Coruscant. The comic canonically at the start of the game, about 10 years after Threat of Peace and 40 years after Blood of the Empire.
Included a bit after the rest of the updates went up was a new Advanced Classes page. The page is a newly redesigned page to fit the place of the older updates. It contains new information about the trees and abilities of the Advanced Classes.
Official Dev Tracker posts follow the jump. Images from today's Friday Update are contained in the Media Gallery below. If higher resolution versions of the images become available, we will update them. Aurebesh Working translation follows the jump as well as in the Media Gallery.
After the Fan Site Summit at the BioWare Austin studio, this week's DevTracker Highlights are full to the brim of information and follow-up. I'd like to remind everyone that these are just highlights and encourage you to read them all on the official DevTracker. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller covers line of sight, character slots per server, skill distribution, companion characters, the meaning of the word immersion, and addons. He also humorously follows up on last week's question of what a day in the life of a BioWare developer is like. Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert expands on the usage of action bars and their placement in the user interface. Lead Writer Daniel Erickson discusses the role of companion characters and tries to illustrate how much story is in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Lead UI Artist Michael Voigt addresses specific questions and concerns about the newly revealed user interface. All of this and much more after the break.
Today Star Wars: The Old Republic announced Drew Karpyshyn is authoring a new novel titled Revan. An in-depth interview with Karpyshyn is also available on the official site.
Q: In what ways will readers who have read Revan benefit when playing Star Wars: The Old Republic?
A: I think the novel will give them a much better understanding of the Sith Emperor and the Empire, for one thing. The Old Republic Sith Empire is very different from what people know from the movies, or even from the Great Hyperspace War comics that focus on characters like Naga Sadow and Ludo Kressh.
The novel will also give them some very direct background and detailed information that ties in directly with key Flashpoints in the game. I can't say too much, of course, but like any great prequel the books will give you the details of what came before to add an extra layer of depth to the experiences in the game.
As you might expect from the title, the main character of the forthcoming novel is Revan of the Knights of The Old Republic series. While that sets the novel some 300 years before the time of the game, Karpyshyn let us know that there will be some significant characters [in the novel] who appear in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
The book will be available "later this year," which surely bears some relationship to "soon." Hit the jump for the official announcement.
In other news, if you are in the Austin, TX area tomorrow, Austin Books & Comics is hosting a Star Wars Day featuring autograph sessions with Star Wars: The Old Republic comic authors Rob Chestney and Alexander Freed. Details about appearances from film stars and schedules available here.
We have many topics to cover in this week's DevTracker Highlights so let us get right to it. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller talks about swimming, finding Datacrons, and the combat styles for pure damage Advanced Classes. Senior Writer Alexander Freed explores the viewpoint of the average Imperial citizen. Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert discusses the design philosophy of swimming in MMOs and it compares to Star Wars: The Old Republic. Writer Randy Begel points out that both the dark and light path can lead to romances. All of this and more after the break.
The enormous presence of Star Wars: The Old Republic at PAX East 2011 was like a convention of its own, as it kept Darth Hater and the BioWare staff moving the entire weekend. Between the 45 minute play sessions, developer meet and greet, Q&A opportunities, plus a host of other activities, some of the developers from BioWare found time to appear in a few panels. Darth Hater brings you the highlights from the panels after the jump.
BioWare winds down from PAX East 2011 in this week's DevTracker Highlights. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller discusses the color of blaster shots, the Taral V Developer Walkthrough video, day and night cycles, the extent of companion use, and the goal of heroic combat. Senior Writer Alexander Freed explains the evolution of Satele Shan in different Star Wars media. Lead Writer Daniel Erickson expands the classes that the Miraluka species can play as. Community Manager Stephen Reid talks pre-orders and Master Otegs voice according to LucasFilm. Hit the jump for the highlights.
The upcoming issue of Star Wars Insider Magazine features a preview panel of a new Star Wars: The Old Republic comic titled The Old Republic: The Lost Suns to release in June:
The Old Republic: The Lost Suns. A five-issue series set during the timeframe of the highly-anticipated MMO The Old Republic, The Lost Suns is set approximately 3,600 years before the movies. It stars Republic spy Theron Shan, son of Jedi Master Satele Shan, and packs explosive revelations relating to the events of the game. For this tale the games senior writer Alexander Freed reunites with the Blood of the Empire creative team of Dave Ross (pencils), Mark McKenna (inks), Michael Atiyeh (colors), and Benjamin Carre (covers).