Now that BioWare has announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be going free to play, we can expect an influx of new players to the game. For some, it will be their first time playing. For others, this will be their first time playing an MMO. As it is a vast and complex title, playing can be daunting for any first timer. Therefore, instead of spending hours trying to explain the game’s various systems and intricacies and getting frustrated to the point of head butting your best friend, we have put together a primer for beginners detailing just that. If this is your first time traveling to a galaxy far, far away, hit the jump.
With the new HK-51 trailer hitting the web, we wanted to take this opportunity to poll the community on their thoughts of the companion and future options for legacy companions. Does the HK-51 companion appeal to you? How would you like him to behave and function (as his role) in combat? Are there any companions you would like to see in the future that exist in Star Wars Lore? Would you like to see BioWare continue to add future companions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments after the jump. Keep the opinions constructive and do not flame your peers. We will moderate accordingly.
Next week’s podcast will feature a few of the comments as well as a discussion around the area that received the most remarks.
During the Star Wars: The Old Republic companion panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, BioWare showed a new trailer for the upcoming HK-51 companion. Now with the panel over, BioWare would like to share the trailer with the rest of the world. While we were not in attendance to hear the crowd reaction live, we will assume the roar in the comments section is similar.
For the official posting of the trailer, head on over to the media section on the SWTOR page.
Players have plenty of freedom when leveling in The Old Republic. Solo levelers can mix quests with PvP and space battles, while more group-minded players can focus on Flashpoints and the numerous heroic quests provided on each planet.
If you so chose, you can even level with one partner exclusively. Pairs of friends and couples have been taking this approach ever since MMORPGs came into existence. It’s fun, efficient and creates the opportunity to tackle content that is inaccessible to the solo player, without forcing a player to work on finding a group.
Playing with someone you like will always be fun, but you can really make the most of the experience with a little planning ahead of time. Look below the jump for tips on leveling with a partner.
When BioWare first introduced fans of Star Wars: The Old Republic to the idea of companions, it was a shock to many. "Why would I bother grouping if I already have a helper?" some asked. "Won't this trivialize solo content and make group content mind numbingly boring?" others wondered. "Now idiots will have even more reason to be loot ninjas," even more exclaimed. The truth is that the companion system, despite all its flaws, brings so many benefits to the table that I truly don't think the game would be anything close to what it is now without them. That doesn't mean everything is perfect on the minion front, however.
As players progress closer and closer to the endgame of Star Wars: The Old Republic, Companion Affection and the gifts that modify it will become more important. While it is a good idea to plan your affection path beforehand, many will leave it alone until they reach 50. That is not to say that leaving it until endgame is a bad idea however, players should at least have an idea of what to expect along the way as companion affection becomes a larger focus. In an effort to facilitate this, an in-depth explanation and list of the various companions and their corresponding gifts after the jump.
For players who prefer to jump into a fight head first and with reckless abandon, then perhaps the Sith Warrior is the class for them. Quick, powerful and ruthless, the Sith Warrior is a flurry of lightsaber slashes and stabs, leaving a trail of bodies behind him. The Juggernaut advanced class can withstand any attack unleashed upon him. In this article, we will look into the Juggernaut advanced class and explore his various skill trees, abilities and everything in between.
Note: This article may contain spoilers.
The Trooper is a very tactical class, with an exceptional amount of tools available to take down opponents, mitigate damage and heal allies. The Commando advanced class makes use of the Assault Cannon, an over-sized blaster that requires two hands to wield, for both damage and healing. We have created a guide detailing this advanced class, its roles and how to play them most effectively after the jump.
Note: Audio quality on the following videos is not ideal. Companions list could possibly be deemed spoiler territory, if that's a problem, don't scroll down to the bottom of the post.
Smugglers have a reputation for relying more on finesse than sheer brawn. They use their wits and clever tactics to get the upper hand and usually try to avoid going toe to toe with enemies. In Star Wars: The Old Republic smugglers have the luxury of letting a companion character fill the role of attracting attention and absorbing damage. Corso Riggs is a loyal soldier who meets all challenges head on. Corso knows his job and does it well, allowing the smuggler to stealthily do what they do best.
In an impromptu Q&A started on the official Star Wars: The Old Republic Facebook page, Lead Writer Daniel Erickson answers the questions of fans unable to attend the Q&A Panel conducted on Friday. The Q&A is a rather lengthy one but instead of posting it in its entirety, we chose to select a few highlights from it and bring it to you here.
Hit the jump for the highlights.
Daniel Erickson, Lead Writer for BioWare on Star Wars: The Old Republic, was kind enough to grace us with a moment of his time for an interview. Along with stunning us with his striking personal appearance customization, the man of action gave us heaps details on writing for PvP, challenges when creating content around established characters, designing around story variables, and more.
Story telling in computer games seems to have a number of possibilities that more traditional story telling doesn't, like letting the player dictate the action. What new constraints does it have, if any?
Daniel Erickson: There are some constraints in an MMO specifically that we do not have in a single player RPG. The number one thing is I can't trap you. You might be off to play Hutt Ball or wanting to do the space game or whatever. I can't say, "Oh and now the evil Sith stuck you in prison, and until you figure out this puzzle, you can't go out." So you're like, "Oh yeah? Quick travel! Goodbye! Broke your game." So it actually challenges us a lot as writers to make sure that the content is appealing and players want to be going after it. And it makes us have to avoid some of the cheap outs we would use.
Is it hard not having those outs?
Sometimes when you're doing the sheer amount of content that we do. We had to do more Star Wars stories than basically all other BioWare stories put together. Sometimes, yeah, you'd like to just stick somebody in a jail cell. But no can do.
Hit the jump to read the interview in full.
This week's Star Wars: The Old Republic Friday Update is a Developer Blog about companions from Senior Game Designer William Wallace. This feature will be presented in two parts, with this first part discussing companion customization. The piece explains the thought process and implementation behind customizing the physical appearance of companions. It also discusses how the abilities of companions evolve during progression within the game and includes some videos that demonstrate this in action.
As a side-bar to this update, Gamespot interviewed Game Director James Ohlen. Included with the interview was a Developer Dispatch video focusing on companions. A dissection of the video is available.
Official DevTracker post follows the jump.
Update: The developer dispatch is now online at the official site. Embed is available after the jump.
GameSpot posted an interview with Game Director James Ohlen about the role and function of companions in Star Wars: The Old Republic. Mr. Ohlen reveals that companions will function similar to other classes in the game, leveling up alongside the player and unlocking skills as they progress. Additionally, he talks about a new system that will allow players to set up companion behaviors in combat beforehand, managing which abilities they do and do not use.
Along with the exclusive interview comes a second one in the form of a Developer Dispatch video on companions with the team from BioWare. Lead Writer Daniel Erickson talks about hitting the cornerstones of Star Wars with companions such as droids and aliens. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller shows how companions level-up and unlock new abilities just like players. These features along with their unique storyline makes them effectively more than just pets. Art Director Jeff Dobson explains how the team carefully crafted each companion to evoke some element of their story and how those stories can change. Those changes are based upon the affection system, where gifts can be given to companions opening up new conversations and quests.
Dissection of the developer dispatch is in the media gallery below. As with all of our dissections, we do not note things mentioned in prior dissections. If you find something, feel free to let us know if the comments section below and if we decide to use it - we will credit you.
In an interview via Newsarama, James Ohlen discusses the reasons behind the lack of a Star Wars: The Old Republic release date, details companion customization, and gives a behind the scenes take on the early production of the game.
We don't want to give a specific release date until we're absolutely certain that when we launch the game it'll be a smooth launch and a bug-free experience. It would be terrible if we released and the servers fell down or there was a bug that detracted from the overall experience. It'd be terrible for Star Wars fans, they'd be really sad, cause they're excited about it as shown by the pre-order numbers, and it'd be disappointing for team members. People like myself, I've been on this project for six years. I want it to live up to the expectations.
For more be sure to check out the full interview at Newsarama.
Ever since BioWare first introduced the concept of companion characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic, there has been a very vocal population within the community that has decried the idea. Their reasons are varied: some believe companions will dumb down The Old Republic experience, others feel that companions are little more than glorified pets with a few witty one-liners, and yet more suggest that they simply don't need a sidekick. Despite this opposition, BioWare is sticking to their guns when it comes to the allies player characters will develop over the course of the game. The truth is, companion characters are far, far more than just humanoid DPS pets with voice overs. They'll fight for you, they'll craft for you. Some of them might even love you.
With most of BioWare down at San Diego this past weekend for Comic-Con 2011, Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller was left to brave the forums in this week's DevTracker Highlights. Georg talks about player housing, class population, changing Advanced Classes, and companion death. He also covers group sizes, testing, how bosses can react to players in cover, and his absence at this year's Gamescom. Hit the jump to see all the highlights.
It's back to full week of posts in this week's DevTracker Highlights with Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller taking the reins. He covers a myriad of topics including macros, sandbox gameplay and player-generated content, enemy behavior, and companion characters. Hit the jump to see all the highlights.
This week, Darth Hater attended the much talked about Fan Site Summit. Sado and Dover joined the rest of the fan sites down at BioWare Austin on April 24 through the 26th. The list that follows below is Darth Hater's up to date coverage of the event. Images of us at the event are contained in the media gallery at the bottom of this post. Update: New high quality images are now available in the media gallery below after image 45.
- General Things Learned
- Black Talon Flashpoint Impressions
- Bounty Hunter Impressions
- Imperial Agent Impressions
- Question and Answer Session Audio
- Gabe Amatangelo Interview
- PVP Information Learned
- Gabe Amatangelo Q&A
- PVP Impressions
Carefully examining and dissecting content for Star Wars: The Old Republic is the keystone of our work at Darth Hater. This meticulous approach is seen throughout our articles, but it becomes even more pronounced when we are actually playing the game.The following is our list of new general notes from our multiple hours of game play at the Fan Site Summit earlier this week.
- Crew Skills available for training in Kaas City: Cybertech (Reverse Engineering Tech which leads to creating Tech), Underworld Trading, Slicing, Bio Analysis, Bio Chem, Diplomacy, Investigation Mission, Treasure Hunting, Synthweaving, Archeology, and Artifice.
- Galactic Market Kiosk is the name of the Auction House, and encountered first on Dromund Kaas.
Hit the jump for more.
As many of you know, Darth Hater was invited to join a special fan summit this week at BioWare's Austin campus. In addition to presentations and live Q&As, we were able to get more solid hands-on with Star Wars: The Old Republic. While sado was traipsing through Nal Hutta with his Bounty Hunter, I was finally able to get some serious time with a class Ive followed closely since November of 2009: the Imperial Agent. After spending many hours bringing an Agent from level one to Advanced Class and beyond, I finally feel like I can report on this enigmatic, elusive class.
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