The last time we spoke to James Ohlen, Star Wars: The Old Republic Creative Director, it was back at last summer's Gamescom in Germany. He granted us an opportunity to catch up with him at PAX East, and we discussed a bunch of topics ranging from Game Testing and Space Combat to Advanced Classes... and blowing up Alderaan.
Live from PAX East 2011, BioWare announces this week's Friday Update - New In-game Trailer. The Trailer recaps the high level story -- Peace in the Republic, Empire Returned, War, all set to clips of in-game footage. We're bringing this content live so watch this post for the Friday Update news.
UPDATE 11a PT: We had a chance to chat with Stephen Reid and we will have the full interview up relatively soon, but we wanted to let you know about something you will see tomorrow:
Quote from Stephen Reid »
We're having a Saturday update; we got something going up tomorrow. I'm not going to spoil it but it is related to Taral V. I think people are going to like it; you're not going to have to work too hard to figure it out but it is something people have been asking for consistently for quite a long time.
No, it isn't a release date. But yeah, we're having an update tomorrow.
Working Dissection of the trailer is in the Media Gallery below. As with all dissections, we will not comment on stuff seen in prior videos. Make sure to keep checking out throughout the weekend for more content for the Dissection as we will add new content as we go. Official DevTracker post follows after the jump.
BioWare does not disappoint in their post count for this week's DevTracker Highlights. Lead Writer Daniel Erickson talks vague narrative timelines and how the Sith don't see themselves as evil, but everyone else does. Principal Lead Combat Designer Georg Zoeller dives into Flashpoints, weapon flourishes, the use of instancing on planets, misconceptions about base class and advanced class abilities, and the MMO design with concerns to testing and feedback. Lead Systems Designer Damion Schubert explores how real world economics translates to in-game economies. All this and more continued after the jump.
The Star Wars galaxy is filled with thousands of planets, from barren wastelands to thriving city-planets. The announced planets for Star Wars: The Old Republic are a well-chosen cross section of this diverse spectrum. While some planets are more politically important than others, each will play its role in terms of both gameplay and story. In this overview, you will find a listing of each planet, its faction allegiance, its terrain, relevant , and a brief look at its history and how the planet connects to the Old Republic timeline.
BioWare recently announced Hoth as the 13th planet in Star Wars: The Old Republic. This iconic planet is seen in multiple forms of media, including Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Galaxies, and many other Star Wars titles. Hoth is a long standing fan-favorite, and an appearance in The Old Republic offers players the opportunity to learn a great deal about this mysterious ice coated world.
Responding to a post on the Star Wars: The Old Republic Official Forums, writer Drew Karpyshyn addressed the connection, or lack thereof, between the planet Hoth and the Expanded Universe character known as General Hoth.
Hate to say it, but as far as I know there is no connection between the planet Hoth and General Hoth. Source material indicates that the planet was known and named thousands of years before the General was born, so it obviously wasn't named for him. I suppose he could have been named for the planet, but there is nothing in his history to indicate any kind of connection.
Of course, I didn't create the General Hoth character he first appeared in a series of Dark Horse comics. All I did was flesh him out a bit. However, I suspect the name was originally chosen to be symbolic of his demeanor: cold, grim and harsh.
Interestingly, there *is* a celestial body that was named after the heroic General. The central star in the Ruusan system was renamed Hoth's Brand in honor of his victories and sacrifices in the war against Lord Kaan's Brotherhood of Darkness. As to the planet that had its ecosystem changed, that was the world of Ruusan, which is a totally separate world from the famous ice planet of Hoth. And Ruusan's climate was altered, but it didn't become an uninhabitable ball of ice. And even though the central star in the Ruusan system was renamed, the planet itself was not.
I realize this doesn't do much to settle the question at hand, but it's a moderately relevant segue.
However, one thing I can confirm: the planet Hoth was already called Hoth during the timeline of SWTOR. Hope this helps.
As previewed yesterday, BioWare's Sean Dahlberg announced Hoth as the thirteenth playable planet for Star Wars: The Old Republic:
Along time ago in a galaxy far away...
Thirty years ago to the day, Star Wars: Episode IV The Empire Strikes Back opened in movie theaters, forever changing the cinematic landscape. Bursting with action-packed battles, fast paced dialogue, and characters faced with complex choices, the echoes of this landmark film are still felt today. From toys, to fashion, to punk rock, its influence is everywhere. The Empire Strikes Back has not only changed how we relate to our favorite movies, but has made a lasting contribution to our very culture.
To commemorate this monumental continuation of the Star Wars story, we are proud to reveal the ice world of Hoth -- the latest explorable planet in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Access the HoloNet to learn more about the pivotal battles in the history of Hoth -- and to understand why both the Galactic Republic and Sith Empire are interested in the planet. Check out this video to see Hoth's brutal blizzards and unique wildlife. Don't forget to visit the Media Section for never-before-seen screenshots, wallpaper, and concept art showing this barren, desolate landscape.
Plus, the third issue of Blood of the Empire webcomic is available, which contains a first glimpse of the Emperor (or possibly something else):
The third issue of Blood of the Empire chronicles two formidable confrontations--one between Teneb Kel and his former master, Lord Calypho, and another between Teneb Kel and the Dark Council! And what plans do the Emperor and his mysterious apprentice have in store for Teneb? The mission to determine the future of the galaxy begins here.
UPDATE: A late Fan Friday was added to this week's update. It includes the usual community artwork, as well as the Bounty Hunter screenshots from the recent European press event. This week's Developer Corner is a short dialogue video showing the depth-of-field effect in action. There are also a few new avatars to choose from on the official forums.
Welcome to Fan Friday! Today we're giving you a look at some inspiring creations from the Star Wars: The Old Republic community and sharing an inside look at some work-in-progress content from the Development Team.
In addition, we'll be following up on the Electronic Arts European Press Showcase held in London last week, as well as releasing the latest series of official polls and avatars.
Aurebesh translations for Hoth's HoloNet page after the jump.
Last week Bioware had a small glitch on the SWTOR website they had two Ord Mantells on the Holonet.In the brief amount of time that this clone planet existed, a firestorm of speculation was created. Was this a sneak-peak of the weeks big reveal? Did having two Ord Mantells mean that Bioware was preparing to unveil a new planet?
The theories on this new planet were endless. Would we be trudging through the remains of Taris, finding and helping protect the decedents of the Undercity? Or maybe we would meander through the hot deserts of Tatooine. I for one supported the theory that the second Ord Mantell was actually in the past, bringing a much needed dynamic to the Star Wars universe: time-travel. Sadly, as you all know by now, my time-traveling-delorean-dreams were brought to a crashing halt by the announcement of the weeks new update. We would have no new planet this week; instead we were given a new issue of Threat of Peace. This announcement was a blow to my hopes and dreams, but even though this weeks update was not a new planet, we must not lose hope We must keep on dreaming and speculating
So, what's your dream? What planet do youwant to travel to? Do you want to journey through the lush jungles of Kashykk? Traverse through the cold barren wasteland of Hoth? If I cant get my time traveling, Im all in favor for the KOTOR series finally introducing Ewoks and forus to go to Endor.