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.
Sean Dahlberg, Star Wars: The Old Republic Community Manager, informs the community that tomorrow's update will be a late one:
Just wanted to let everyone know that tomorrow's update will be running late tomorrow. How late? Hard to say at this point but I should have some more info early tomorrow (that is, early my time). I'll update this thread (and the first post) with such information.
That all said, instead of camping the F5 key, I'd suggest following us on the social networks we are a part of since we post the updates there as soon as everything is ready.
UPDATE [11:20AM CDT]: Nothing really new to tell at this time; we do not have an eta on when today's update will be posted. We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your understanding.
FINAL UPDATE [6:05PM CDT]: Just to let everyone know, we will be putting up the latest issue of the Blood of the Empire within the hour. We thank you for your patience and understanding and definitely check back in next week.
Hey everyone, we're quickly approaching E3 Expo 2010! In fact, we have just about a week and a half until we're there! We have some great things we'll be sharing with you throughout the week and the team is working to make sure that everyone has a great experience (those who are attending E3 and those who will be following us here from the web that couldn't be there).
This week's update, though, will Blood of the Empire #4 which we will be publishing at our normal time tomorrow morning.
Head over to IGN for a preview of tomorrow's Star Wars: The Old Republic update and an interview with BioWare's James Ohlen on Companions.
IGNPC: Can you give us a few specific examples of how companions might impact a particular player's experience?
James Ohlen: Companion characters have a significant impact on the player's experience. They are integral to the player's storyline. They interject during conversation to give the player their view on things. They give commentary as the player explores the world. They are an important part of combat, providing extra DPS, healing, tanking abilities or even crowd control.
IGNPC: Companions play an important part in the story, but they also impact the player's gameplay options. What types of tactical contributions will companions be able to make?
James Ohlen: Companions add a lot to a player's combat capabilities. Each companion has a specific role, whether it be additional DPS, tanking, healing or crowd control. Companions also have special abilities that can be activated to significantly change what's going on during a battle. One companion might lay down suppressing fire, giving the player some breathing room to escape or turn the tide of the battle. Another companion might trap a tough enemy in an energy bubble, allowing the player to use a divide and conquer strategy in a battle. Players can also equip items to his companion character. This includes standard gear such as armor and weapons. Additionally, what a player equips to his companion can change the companion's behavior.
The screenshots included in the article feature a Trandoshan paired with what appears to be a Jedi Consular and a Jedi Knight paired with a Republic T-7 Astromech.
UPDATE: Earlier today Gamespot published another quick look at the Sith Warrior. The video included in the article reveals minor story spoilers and also shows multiple Sith Warrior abilities in action, all while enjoying the classic "Duel of Fates" music. We also appear to see the Sith Warrior operating a speeder bike at 1:14.
In addition to the new video, the article appears to reveal a few game play facts including a companion character name Vette who is a Twi'lek pirate, and possibly that Nar Shaddaa will be an included location. Highlights below.
One of the Sith Warrior's companions will be Vette, a wisecracking pirate of the Twi'lek race (the humanoids with those crazy tentacles growing out of their heads, like Bib Fortuna from Return of the Jedi) with a dark past.
...the young pirate found a new lease on life on the smuggler planet of Nar Shaddaa, where she meets your character and comes across as a character who has both a cynical side as well as a lighter side that comes out when people around her take themselves too seriously...
Sean Dahlberg on all of the 'Sith Love': Both the Allegiance and Class polls have shown things to be pretty even at this point. Granted, this is only a segment of the community but it's a good sampling.
We also plan on giving the Republic their moment to shine. I can't get into the exact reasons as to why some things are released before others (and there is a variety of reasons for different assets) but we also have a lot of "Republic" people on the team, too.
So, while the proof will be in the pudding (an expression, we're not actually giving out pudding. Sorry.), the Republic will definitely get their due. And Soon(TM)
Today, Sean Dahlberg confirmed that the next issue of Blood of the Empire will be released on Friday, May 7th, as well as a new blog on the 14th.
This week, we're going to be publishing Blood of the Empire #2. We have a few things in store for all of you before we head off to E3 2010 but this week's update will be the webcomic. And check back next week for our latest Developer Blog.
Sean Dahlberg sent word that next week's Star Wars: The Old Republic friday update will be a Fan Friday and commented on a tweet he made earlier:
Ahhhh, this is where the culprit came from Yes, I am at the EA studios this week for something unrelated to GDC. That said, we will have a presence at GDC this week and we plan on doing a wrap-up of it in our next Fan Friday article (this week is not a Fan Friday.
That said, that was tweeted on my personal account and not the official TOR twitter account so don't read too much into it. If it was something big, we'd definitely make mention of it in the latter and not just on my account.
Its that time of week again. Sean has given us a sneak peek of what will be happening tomorrow at the website:
Since this is a "Friday's Update" thread, I gather I should clue you into what this week's update is. Well, of course, we have Threat of Peace #17 going out tomorrow. Also, we have a special announce about Threat of Peace going out next week (more info then).
In addition, we have our next installment of the Developer Dispatch series. I am sure some of you can already guess the subject matter but if you're not sure, make sure to check back tomorrow
[Link] to the original thread. Sounds like the Dispatch will be nice, because the previous ones have offered quite a bit of insight (as well as new video clips). For all the Threat of Peace fans, it looks like a big reveal is next week.
As many of you folks who've been crazy enough to follow the game this far out know, Bioware's been releasing fairly regular updates on Star Wars: The Old Republic for quite some time now. These mostly take the form of Fan Fridays, which drop in little nuggets of info about things that are happening with the game's development, or present pieces of media such as the Threat of Peace comic.
Today Sean told us that this week we will receive the delayed Threat of Peace #15. We also will be getting #16 the week after:
Normally this post would include information about this Fridays update but Im going to go one step more and talk about the rest of the month. These next two weeks are going to fairly light as we prepare for some upcoming announcements and reveals for next month (and throughout the rest of the year). We will be publishing Threat of Peace #15 this Friday and #16 next week. Next weeks posting may also be accompanied with something else but well give you an update on that next week.
The entire quote can be found here. Lets hope the something else that may pop in next week is a goodie. Sean also wants us to be kind to the noobs, so play gentle in the forums.
We do actually have some great announcements and reveals in store for you but we want to ensure that everything is crafted with quality in mind. If something is not ready to be released, it's just not ready to be released. While we know that some people may become upset over a delay, we would rather postpone something a few weeks rather than put it out when it's not ready.
Lets hope this means there are some big reveals coming around the corner.
Sean posted his glorious Friday preview thread mentioning that this week's update will be a new holorecord:
It's Thursday so we definitely need a thread about what tomorrow's update will be. This Friday Master Gnost-Dural will be posting a new holorecord on what he discovered pertaining to the resurgence of the Mandalorians and the rise of the new Mandalore.
And, if you're going to be at the Penny Arcade Expo, makes sure to read this thread.
He also mentioned in another thread that the PAX demo is the essentially the same one that was shown at GamesCom:
Clean out those Ethernet tubes and put on your bandwidth hats. Erick Adams has let us know that tomorrow's video will be almost 20 minutes long And from the looks of it, we'll be seeing more of the Sith Warrior next week (Holonet/article perhaps?).
Hey Everybody With GamesCom 2009 in full swing, we wanted to give you some updates on the story so far.
Here's a running list of announcements and TOR related news from this year's GamesCom.
Game Play Demo. We showed a more complete version of the demo content showcased at this years E3 with confirmation of a new character class. As Sean has said several times - if you werent able to get to Germany for GamesCom this year, dont sweat We plan on making the full footage available for viewing.
Sith Warrior Confirmed. Finally the Lightsaber-wielding Sith from the E3 video has a name Check back tomorrow to see the Sith Warrior in action
Ever wonder how to say Star Wars in French and German? At the press conference we announced that www.swtor.com and the Community forums are now fully localized in French and German
Just to bring you up to speed on anything you may have missed, heres a running list of some of the press coverage (aka The Story So Far):
I wanted to give you guys a little heads up for those that have been asking when the Demo Walkthrough Video will be hitting the net. The best gauge we have to go on so far as to when it will be released is from a prior post by Sean:
Next week is pretty exciting; just the Developer Walkthrough video alone will be an eye catcher. We are looking to release that next Friday (on the website, demos will be going on every day at the convention) so if you happen to want to take a break for this Friday, definitely come back next week.
If it ends up hitting the net earlier or the ETA on the video is revised, we will post about it. If everything goes as planned the dissection should be up within a couple hours of the video being posted. Also, Episode 4 of our podcast should also be going up the day after the video does so look for that soon.
It's that time of the week again and Sean has told us that our update will be:
For those of you who missed it, last week we put up our latest Fan Friday which announced our presence at both GamesCom and the Penny Arcade Expo. If you happen to be a Facebook user and planning on attending either of these, check out our page on Facebook and mark your attendance.
Speaking of GamesCom and PAX, I wanted to go ahead and let all of you know things may be a little quiet around here for the next few weeks. For example, this week's update with be Threat of Peace #12.
After we get through these next few weeks, we have a lot of content in store for all of you. Our updates at the convention (and after them) will also include updates to the website for those of you who can't join us there. And yes, there will be some new reveals as well as the Gameplay Demo Walkthrough video.
Update: Sean responded to the backlash that came in response to the thread -
Understandably, some of you are not ecstatic with the original post on this thread (yes, they do call me Captain Obvious sometimes...). As I explained a few weeks ago, the convention season can (and will) be a little different than the other parts of the year. During this time of year, our announcements are planned around events such as E3, Comic-Con, GamesCom, PAX.
We also figured giving you a heads up now on the next few weeks would be better than just waiting for each Friday to come about and say "Here's Threat of Peace #12". There are other updates planned between now and then, for example we have a Developer's Blog coming up but as I said, things will be a little light. During and after GamesCom, things definitely pick up.
That said, we've kept to having at least one major announcement each month. June seemed different because most of our updates all happened in the first few days and the rest of the month basically reiterated those updates. This month we had Timeline #3 as well as Video Documentary #3. Next month we have the Gameplay Demo Walkthrough and other things and September also has some great updates.
One thing I'd like to point out is our updates aren't just geared towards the core community here but also for the wider community that follows The Old Republic. That is why we point out the updates in multiple places. I already know that all of you who are on the forums are going to see things even before I post them. But some of our fans wait till they see the update in the newsletter, on one of the social networks, or exists on the front page of the website. So we try to craft thing with all segments of our community in mind.
Update 2: Another response from Sean -
The danger in answering that is that the further out something is, the greater the chance it is going to change. So I can talk with much more confidence as to what is releasing this week as opposed to what is releasing three (3) months from now.
And this ties in to how we do release our information. We only want to release things we are confident in having little to no changes. As you saw in the interview with Dallas and Jake on IGN, we haven't talked much about the multiplayer dialogue system outside of confirming its existence. We are still testing and iterating on it and until we feel the design is not only solid but implemented and working the way we want it to, we won't be talking about the details of it much.
This is how we are with all of our information. And while I know waiting can seem to take an eternity, we feel it is much better for the community in the long run to release accurate information on how something does work instead of how we hope or plan on things to work.
The news is out. Sean says we get a Fan Friday this week.
I'll get straight to the point so you can plan your Friday appropriately; this week's update is currently planned to be a Fan Friday."-Sean "Ashen Temper" Dahlberg
While I know many people have mixed feelings towards Fan Fridays(one being hostility) there is one other thing to look forward to...Comic-Con. Rumors are spreading of some big news coming out of there so we will keep you updated.