BioWare offered a really packed Friday Update this week, and included several announcements. First up, they announced the premiere issue of Blood of the Empire, the new webcomic:
The first issue of Blood of the Empire takes us to a galaxy engaged in war. The Sith Empire strikes blow after blow against a Republic reeling from the return of its ancient enemies, and the Jedi scramble to defend their holdings. But Imperial victory is far from certain...
Teneb Kel, a fiercely clever young man apprenticed as a Sith, is selected by his masters for a secret mission--a mission concerning the Emperor himself and a threat to the Dark Lords thousand-year plan. Doomed if he fails, expendable if he succeeds, Teneb must unravel the schemes at work around him if he is to seize control of his destiny and alter the course of history.
Check out the first issue written by Alexander Freed, illustrated by Dave Ross, inked by Mark McKenna, colored by Michael Atiyeh, and lettered by Michael Heisler!
And the latest Video Documentary, Combat in The Old Republic, is now available on the official site:
Whether you dream of beating the odds with just your luck and a blaster, or imagine restoring order to the galaxy with Force powers and a Lightsaber, you'll have your chance in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Weve talked a lot about how The Old Republic is innovating on storytelling in MMOs, and now we want to share with you how combat in The Old Republic will deliver a new level of excitement for fans. Check out our latest Video Documentary that focuses on Combat to get an inside look at how were bringing dynamic Star Wars action to life in Star Wars: The Old Republic!
BioWare's Sean Dahlberg was also busy putting up some new polls on the official site, and announced a Fan Friday. This one included a ton of fan-created art, new forum avatars, a Developer Corner featuring a screenshot of a taxi and a video of Belsavis(?) focusing on environmental design with ZOMG WATER EFFECTS:
We're kicking off this Fan Friday by featuring some outstanding work by various members of the Star Wars: The Old Republic community. We also have some great stuff to show off in the Developer Corner, along with new polls and avatars! Make sure to catch it all!
Here is Darth Hater's dissection of the latest Video Documentary from Star Wars: The Old Republic, which focuses largely on Combat. As in our prior dissections, we will add new content in as we find it, so keep checking back. Feel free to let us know if you notice something we missed, and we will be happy to add it to our dissection with credit. Note: if something is mentioned in a prior dissection, then we do not reiterate it again here. Low bandwidth users should note there are numerous images contained in this article.
One of larger portions of BioWare Austin's Co-Studio Director Gordon Walton and consultant Scott Hartsman's GDC session, "MMO Retention -- Learning From The First 25 Years," highlighted some of the game change management issues MMO developers encountered trying to retain existing customers. Although we plan on issuing a more comprehensive article on how some of the topics discussed in this session may relate to Star Wars: The Old Republic, we decided to release this very telling quote about Walton's experience with introducing space combat in an expansion for Star Wars Galaxies.
Today is quite a Holiday Present We get another Developer Dispatch showing how BioWare came up with the Sith Warrior and Sith Inquisitor, and we also get to see some PvP
Inspired by notorious characters such as Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader, the Sith Inquisitor and Sith Warrior take different approaches to their rise to power. The Sith Warrior achieves victory through pure aggression and might while the Sith Inquisitor excels by cunning ambition and Force manipulation.
From storyline, to art style, to combat tactics, each design decision was made to support the dark side themes of power, domination, and destruction.
As the news coming out of Austin continues to pick up speed, mining information is becoming much more exciting. The response to our recent speculationarticles inspired us to delve deeper into what we were previously told about Star Wars: The Old Republic with surprising results. We used our recently acquired knowledge to give context to older news items, and realized BioWare was giving us hard facts all along.
During our time in San Francisco we gathered a lot of information that, while pertinent, was not deep enough to warrant an entire post. This article will deal with the general abilities and information that which does not pertain to any one class garnered during the hands-on demo. To keep the information separate this article utilizes a bullet-point format; discussing only the information being highlighted at the time. The bullet-points follow no particular order of importance.
The final class for the Galactic Republic is the Jedi Consular. Based off of Yoda and Obi-wan Kenobi, this force user is skilled in the use of a lightsaber, but focuses on force powers to help defeat his foes. The Jedi Consular is a master of telekinesis and telepathy, wielding the force like puppeteer strings attached to his enemies.
Character advancement and customization are integral parts of all RPGs and many titles have succeeded or failed solely because of their approach to these mechanics. For over a year now, we have waited patiently for the first hints of how we will customize our characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic and now the first official clues are being revealed. During our time at LucasArts we were able to see a small example of how advancement and customization will be handled in TOR.
Over the years, MMOs have replicated many aspects of single player RPGs, and BioWare is continuing that trend with the addition of companion characters. A hallmark of BioWares previous titles, these characters are designed to develop story lines and assist in combat. During the presentation in San Francisco we were given two examples of the type of companions we will see in The Old Republic.
A couple weeks ago we released the first part of our interview with Jake Neri and now we can finally bring you the second half. We used many different sections of this interview in our other articles, but this is the complete transcript for context.
One of the mantras of the marketing team behind Star Wars: The Old Republic has been "the four pillars" that make up an MMO: exploration, advancement, combat and story. TOR has made a splash in the MMO community with a marketing emphasis on story, however the recent change in direction, hinted at by Jake Neri, is what we should be paying attention to. With many months of narrative buzz words behind us, we may be entering a new phase in the news coming out of Austin. Could it be that we are finally approaching the second pillar?
Darth Hater was recently invited out to LucasArts' home base in San Francisco to get a look at the newest class in Star Wars: The Old Republic, the Imperial Agent. During our time at the studio we got to ask Jake Neri a few questions and we also saw a live demo focusing on some of the combat abilities utilized by this Sith sniper. Throughout the event we hastily scribbled notes, attempting to get a real understanding of how the Imperial Agent works, and we came away with some interesting discoveries.
As someone who traditionally plays the oft-pressured role of support in most MMOs, I've been watching news about those sorts of roles as they will pan out in Star Wars: The Old Republic. We've heard precious little about anything regarding healing, except for the fact that there will apparently be an out-of-combat healing ability that all classes will get. But does the lack of information regarding healing and support in the game point to an indicator of these types of classes not being ready for prime time, or is Bioware looking to go in a different direction when it comes to support with their new title?Let's play a little Sherlock Holmes and see if we can't examine some of the evidence that's out there, shall we boys and girls?
Just when I thought there was no way for BioWare to possibly design a class that will be more fun to play than a laser-sword wielding ninja-monk they release game play footage of the Republic Trooper. When BioWare stated each class would represent an iconic character from the movies they were not mistaken, however, the Trooper is not from either George Lucas trilogy. No, this guy is straight up Rambo
Sean posted a reply to toke, one of the users on the forum, explaining how the different saberwielding styles will have their own advantages and weaknesses like in Kotor:
Originally Posted by toke Awesome... quick question.. does the Sith always have to dual wield a weapon or can he use a single light-saber and second question if you dual wield a weapon do you lose your privilege of the force? Obviously if he always dual wields the force will still be an option. Just wondering.
Thanks for the update though While we are not to a point where we can give out specific information (because it is not done yet), there will be bonuses and weaknesses when either dual wielding or using a single lightsaber.
It's a small but important reveal nonetheless at this early date. It can be presumed that the same could apply to multi-blaster use as a smuggler.
A topic that is getting some attention on the forums now is the stun topic, and I want your opinions
Mostly all MMOs have them, some love them, some hate them, they are the stuns Either it gives you a chance to get that vital heal off, or it buys you some time for some quick blows, and then another stun, also known as stun locking But I would like to take a closer look at how the mechanic might be working, and how you can throw your thought at it.
So in the screenshot above, we see our beloved Bounty Hunter, Grell. Now Grell is level 5, and looks like he has two stuns already, the Flamethrower (Ability Three) and the Stun Dart (Ability Four). This could either be the GM has granted himself one or two stun abilities for demonstration purposes, or maybe Bounty Hunters just get lucky. After using the Flamethrower ability, the target has two debuffs, one is the stun debuff, and the other could possibly be the "burning" debuff icon. Also notice that the stun is not broken immediately after re-engaging the target, so it could be a "Cheapshot" WoW style, yes I am sorry for referring to WoW, stun, in which the target remains stunned. Also be sure to take note that the Bounty Hunters Flamethrower ability is a cone effect, for Area of Effect stuns.
Now in the above stun, is the Bounty Hunters "Stun Dart" ability, which well, fires a dart that stuns the target temporarily. Now the footage was cut off short so we could not see if it was a "WoW Gouge" ability, which is a short stun that is broken if you engage the target. My guess is that it will be the Bounty Hunters gouge. Looks like it will be very useful in pulling multiple mobs and acting as a crowd control.
Looks like the Smuggler will be getting his hands on a stun or two as well, the above shot being the "Kick to the Nads", and the debuff being shown with what looks like a counter going around. And by the looks of it, it does lead to the "Head Shot" ability. A second stun for the Smuggler might be the "Flash Grenade", but we do not know at this point
The Sith has the force choke which could be considered a damaging stun, that allows other players to keep engaging the target. On the rate it is currently at, I would expect at least all classes to have one stun, if not two.
Stun in my opinion would help immensely in PvE, as to act as CC (Crowd Control), but it might end up being abused in PvP, as a stunlock LOLIWIN combo. However if we see a return of diminishing returns, it could be phased in just for PvP, and allow you to stunlock in PvE. Looking for BioWare to come up with intelligent cooldowns, and no 10 second stun cooldowns. Now comes your part, I want to know what is your opinion on stuns, are they being overused? Are you afraid that the cooldowns will be to fast? To slow? What did you have for dinner? Stun locks? We need your feedback
Generally when I read the word "Choreographed" I think dancing...
But what does choreographed combat mean? It means, well, dancing more or less. You step, I react, I step, you react Translates over to I swing, you collide, you swing, I collide. The joy of seeing lightsabers clash adds to immersion of the game, because well, it's iconic, and don't know how else to explain it. The epic lightsaber fights of people dodging, hitting, and then jumping over an opponent WHILE hitting, or along those lines, when you think epic Star Wars combat, right? Well, from what previous interviews said the combat will be choreographed, and if done correctly can prove to make a more epic "Immersion-festive" game if I say so myself. But I do have my questions (And will try like hell at PAX to get them answered)
Is the combat going to be like some previous MMOs where you do an ability and you cannot move until the ability is completed? Or until you hit "ESCAPE" to cancel the ability and are able to move again? Or will it be a rework on WoW where you move and the ability is canceled? I am more concerned about Jedi vs Sith combat, and how stand still it might be. How does one clash when moving? Doesn't make much sense. I could only see Jedi vs Sith clashing when both are standing still. But if you are by chance locked standing still, it opens up my next question.
How would PvP work with choreographed combat? Jim the Jedi and Sado the Sith are fighting each other, locked in combat hoping to clash and dodge as many strikes as possible, then Sleeper the Bounty Hunter walks up and sees Jim fighting Sado. Am I then able to target and destroy Jim at ease knowing he is unable to move due to the fact he is in a stand still with Sado? What if ranged vs ranged happens? Is it locked in as well resulting in two more people standing still?
So my final question to our readers is, how do you, or how would you, like to see combat handled? Stand still? Mobility? Take into concideration the choreographed combat How do you think it will work?
We all know what armor is for in reality, but how will it function here? If you go by the Star Wars movies, the original Trilogy especially, you will find that it is more for looks than for function. After all, if a Stormtrooper's armor cant defend against a pointed rock tied to a stick, what good is it for? (I should watch Return of the Jedi more for fun rather than to poke at all the details, oh well)
This is one problem presented by Star Wars: The Old Republic. It has been stated many times that Bioware is trying to make our characters similar to iconic heroes (and villains) from the movies. Will we inherit the same weaknesses as the movies, or was the fact that the armor made the stormtroopers anonymous henchmen the thing that killed them, rather than the weakness of the armor itself?
Another problem I can see form with armor is the continuation of the trilogy with a "Tank" to get the most armor on and just stand still while a Rancor will crush him into the ground for ten minutes. Along with the extra mitigation it provides, it will also make balancing for pvp more difficult. Will it make the wearer slower than if he wore cloth, because it would be a huge burden on the classes that need armor to function while making an advantage for faster people. Who knows the answers to all of these, perhaps we may get answers next week from Germany. As far as where my bets are going, it will likely be similar to the armor classes in KotOR as well as WoW, yet with more focus on trying not to get hit in the first place.
This is an opportunity for you to vent out some frustration at Bioware and to help improve the game at the same time if they read it. Just say one thing(more if you want) you don't like so far, why you don't like it, and how you would fix it.
Kinda go with the swtor forum rules on this, I don't want to see "I hate stuff because it is stupid so get rid of it."
I don't like the Gumby cutouts seen in recent smuggler clipsbecause they are too blocky and too big. One remedy for this would be to smooth the edges and make it less opaque, or just leave the arrow markers seen for other forms of cover.
In the recent video we all saw troopers using swords against the Jedi. With the swords being able to resist the lightsaber, it appears cortosis has made a continuation in the series. The ore is a rare fibrous material that makes lightsabers short circuit and resists energy, including blaster fire. Purified ore is the strongest form of cortosis as it will deactivate lightsabers on contact.
The gathering of the ore was hazardous because it would kill people on touch and it was impossible to mine with lasers(due to its heat resistant properties and nature to kill think of it as space asbestos). Unfortunately for us it is very rare and expensive. Due to the rarity we likely are stuck with the more common alloy that just resists attacks(not to mention it would be tough to balance shorting out a lightsaber on contact all the time).
While cortosis makes weapons immune to lightsabers it also makes them more vulnerable to non energy attacks. So if you want a pure cortosis sword you will stop all lightsaber attacks, but someone with a metal pipe will smash your weapon to bits.