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.
The second part of our interview with Star Wars: The Old Republic's Daniel Erickson on Crew Skills delves a bit deeper into companion integration and recipe mechanics. We also gained insight into how the system deals with avoiding intense grinding. We also include a video of Erickson's overview of the unique Crew Skills system after the jump.
Yesterday, Electronic Arts presented its annual Winter Showcase in London, and Darth Hater was there to watch for news on Star Wars: The Old Republic. BioWare revealed the Imperial Agent at last year's showcase, so our expectation bar raised a few notches. With information on both PvP Warzones and the eagerly anticipated crafting system, this European event did not disappoint.
Every Star Wars hero needs a companion. Han has Chewie, Luke has R2-D2 -- even Jabba has the cackling monkey lizard Salacious B. Crumb. These characters will compliment your strengths or weaknesses, and provide company for the epic journey you will inevitably undertake. Whether they're combative, friendly, flirtatious, or even just good for a laugh, they always contribute to your development and serve as a sounding board for your choices. In Star Wars: The Old Republic, a variety of these Companion Characters will join your cause.
Learn more about Companion Characters and how they can shape and enhance your game play by visiting the Game Systems section!
Read up on Vette, a female Twi'lek companion you might meet up with in game if you roll a Sith Warrior.
And speaking of the Sith Warrior, the class' HoloNet section is revamped with a new class icon, animations, a different layout, and expanded information: Wondering how you will be able to customize the Sith Warrior to fit your specific play style? We are excited to confirm the two Advanced Classes for the Sith Warrior: The Juggernaut and the Marauder! Whether you want to charge into the fray as a Juggernaut, punishing your adversaries while protecting your allies, or slice through enemy ranks with two Lightsabers and unmatched aggression, the Advanced Classes system in Star Wars: The Old Republic will give you the power to match your play style.
In conjunction with the Companion Character section released today, we present you with one of the Sith Warrior's Companions -- Vette! You can learn more about this known associate on the Sith Warrior page or by accessing Vette's biography.
Sean Dahlberg's response to the spoiling aspect of revealing companions: Solar is correct. As in the Companions section, each class has a completely unique set of Companions. That said, we will not be telling you about each of them right now. Some of them are surprises and might ruin the fun in learning who can and who can't be your companion. The ones we do highlight are generally the companions you will meet early on in your adventures.
And yes, Vette is indeed a companion available for the Sith Warrior.
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)