Since its release in 2011, the massively multiplayer online role playing game Star Wars: The Old Republic has captivated thousands of gamers and Star Wars fans alike. Now comes the ultimate in-depth guide to the turbulent and fascinating world featured in the game — The Old Republic.
Created in full collaboration with LucasArts, this in-depth companion covers the spectrum of characters, weapons, vehicles, events, and planets of Star Wars: The Old Republic. More than just an encyclopedia, it is the ultimate guided tour of the dangerous and mysterious universe found in a galaxy far, far away.
The video can be found after the jump.
Speaking of SWTOR related books, it's worth noting that Drew Karpyshyn's novel, Revan, became available in paperback this week. The book has several tie-ins with events found in-game and is a must read for players interested in the lore surrounding Revan.
This week’s DevTracker highlights are all about bugs. Writer Charles Boyd helps a player who inadvertently woke up in bed next to Aric Jorgan. Writer Randy Begel explains how context-sensitive dialogue doesn’t always line up. Designer Austin Peckenpaugh helps a player test out his combat formulas. Senior Online Community Manager Stephen Reid assists James Ohlen collect ideas on what planet Star Wars: The Old Republic should visit next. Hit the jump to see all the highlights.
After you read this week's DevTracker Highlights, be sure to check out our coverage of Star Wars: The Old Republic at New York Comic-Con and BioWare's presence at this year's GDC Online. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller talks PvP incentives, the pitfalls of translations, and out of date gameplay. Community Coordinator Allison Berryman discusses iterative development and how feedback plays it's part. Writer Charles Boyd clarifies details about companions and their motivations. Hit the jump to see all the highlights.
RepublicTrooper recently spoke with Charles Boyd, BioWare's lead writer for the Trooper class. The interview reveals the identity of the previously nameless soldier depicted in both the Hope and Return trailers, and discusses the ongoing work already being done to continue the Trooper's storyline into the post-launch environment. Finally, Charles reveals the voice actor who brings the male Trooper to life.
I feel truly honored to have two exceptional actors voicing the Trooper: Jennifer Hale and Brian Bloom. The opportunity to have such talented people performing my work has been the high point of my career, and I'm very confident that Trooper players will really enjoy both performances.
The big Star Wars: The Old Republic buzz last week was Advanced Classes, Skill Sets, and a Developer Blog from Daniel Erickson, but we did get a real interesting opinion about skill-based leveling systems from BioWare's Damion Schubert that we all should pay attention to:
Not to go into the details of what advancement systems we will have or not have inside the game but... this doesn't always work out this rosily, without great designer care. I worked on Meridian 59, which was a wholly skill-based game, and learned a lot about the strengths and pitfalls of systems like it. One of my great pet peeves of pure skill-based systems is that they claim that they are more realistic, but they in fact can create extremely unrealistic situations inside the world.
In the original Everquest, it was not uncommon to see a player throwing himself off a cliff over and over again to improve his safe falling skill, or to see a person macroing some random text gibberish in order to improve his languages. In Meridian 59, players used to park themselves in front of low level monsters and leave the keyboard - they were unlikely to die, and could accumulate defense points in a slow, steady and totally risk-free manor. In Oblivion, the best way to build an assassin character is to hop through fields picking flowers. Jumping improves your Acrobatics (I believe), and the player needs enough flowers to grind up his Poisoning skill.
Sure, each of these could be destupidified with enough designer/programmer time and focus, but then you're coding, QAing and exploit-proofing a different advancement mechanism for every skill in the game. And you'll probably still end up with some silliness somewhere.
I know some people are offended by the idea of do stuff->gain experience->gain level->somehow get better at something completely unrelated. - I know I was too, young in my career when I designed M59. But one of the most important thing for advancement systems is that you get the behavior you incentivize. In a classic XP/Level based system, you are incentivizing your XP-granting behaviors (which in SWTOR is tilted strongly towards questing). In skill-based systems, it is trivially easy to accidentally incentivize really stupid and boring behaviors.
More from BioWare's Randy Begel, Charles Boyd, and Brian Arndt after the jump.
Yes, we do read the forums. Sometimes we even post.
Originally Posted by Redundant You ever wonder whether that members of Bioware come on the forums after they have released a update and check threads like these, just so they can revel in the torture of us crying to play this game. You know i think they have made a company activity out of it :P
Anyway back to the Inhabitants section. I think its fantastic, giving us some background info and some of the creatures we will fight (and maybe befriend). Brings the whole thing too life.
More from Daniel Erickson, Kyle Garner, Sean Dahlberg, and Charles Boyd after the jump.