Category: Star Wars: The Old Republic

Star Wars: The Old Republic - Signs of War

As we approach the impending end of year deluge of phenomenal games there are few that I am this excited for. I mean yes, Skyrim is a must and with Batman Arkham City having been released earlier in the week and Dark Souls two weeks ago video gamers have already begun their descent into a long season of epic gaming. But one stands out to me as more than just a video game.

I grew up a Star Wars fan. Watching the original trilogy reminds me of growing up and hanging out with my older sister. For me this MMORPG allows me to live in the world I always wanted to when I was younger. But as this trailer shows us, it’s not going to be an easy life. Before I give you the SWTOR trailer feel I should warn you that you may feel a sudden urge to start fist pumping, cheering, and punching Sith.

We appear to be at the onset of an online RPG that will redefine all those that come after it. At least I’m sure that is their aim. Their goals are lofty and all we can do is hope they hit them and then some. BioWare has definitely pushed on with a potentially genre defining offering with SWTOR. It is either going to be a resounding success or sputter out into an overwhelming display of average. But with the fan base and hope behind it I think what will ultimately make or break Star Wars: The Old Republic is how many users pick it up and start playing.

Star Wars: The Old Republic

I wonder if that condition is contagious

This gameplay trailer is, in a word, passionate. War is breaking out all across the galaxy and not all of it takes place right out in the open. There is subversion, political intrigue, and all out raging battles. Nothing appears to be as it seams and, in true Star Wars fashion, I think we can assume that there is going to be some losses. The Star Wars Universe has never been about “kicking back, take it easy, and relax”. It’s about uncovering plots, tactics, gaining the upper hand, and (when the need arises) kickin’ up a little dust. SWTOR is showing us that the universe is at a point of great unrest and it can not be won by one or two lone heroes. It is going to take a team effort to ultimately win the war.

This will not be a war won by men in suits alone. There are fights taking place behind the scenes. From Twi’lek dancers shooting soldiers in bars, to shady deals with politicians in Coruscant this war is going to go far beyond the pull of a blaster trigger or hum of a lightsaber. This will be a war on many fronts.

And now…I have goosebumps. Damn you Old Republic.

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star wars the old republic rogue and wookie

In a move that was a long time coming BioWare finally announced the release date of Star Wars: The Old Republic. For those of you who may be a tad curious as to what Star Wars: The Old Republic is (listen there’s bound to be one or two of you out there) let me  break it down for you.

SWTOR is an MMORPG from BioWare and LucasArts. It takes place in a time before the events of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and is a fully voiced story driven MMORPG. In this world you have various custom items like your very own star ship and companions. To get a better idea of everything that went into the game check out the gameplay trailer below:

Given that this is a full tilt boogie MMORPG you’re going to have to pay a little bit, but judging by what we’ve seen it appears to be worth the price of admission.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Release Date

star wars the old republic jedi consular

I could make a dirty joke here, but I will refrain.

Now when the release date was announced a thought struck me. The release date is December 20, 2011. This is just 5 days before Christmas. I can’t speak for everyone out there but if I get my hands on this my family isn’t going to really see that much of me. I’ll be in front of a flickering screen as I take my star ship through the galaxy with my Twi’lek companion kicking ass and taking names. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of SWTOR for a while now and with this release date the only thing I can think of is that Star Wars hates Christmas. Why else would they pick a December 20 release date. It’s not like it’s going to foster family togetherness.

Now this does not mean that everyone everywhere will taking this approach. In fact many video gamers will be spending lots of time with their families. I for one stated the above in jest however I can almost certainly guarantee that the majority of my conversations will consumed with all things SWTOR and galactic. This makes things tricky since my wife is not a Star Wars fan. In fact my wife hates Wookies. I don’t know how and I don’t know why. If you ask me that’s some BS but she really just can’t stand them. Looks like she’s in for a rough few days.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Subscription Rate

When you pick up SWTOR you’re going to be getting the first month free which is normal. From then out you’re going to be paying around $14.99 per month. Now like all good MMOs they would like to you to sign up for more than one month at a time. To help this they will offer discounts if you pay to play for 3 months and 6 months. The 3 month fee is around $42.00, or $13.99 per month of SWTOR or you could pop for the 6 month which is going to cost you around $78.00 or $12.99 per month. While the savings aren’t massive it’s still going to be interesting to see how SWTOR plays out in the future. If you haven’t put in a SWTOR pre-order already then I would I would do so quickly since EA is limiting the digital and physical copies.

The reason for this is to not bog down systems and create a poor offering. However this is not to say that this is going to be permanent. Once release is done and over they will work to upgrade their systems and make something a little more stable for fans and video gamers to sink their teeth into.

Star Wars: The Old Republic System Requirements

star wars the old republic jedi

This is what you call "A Bad Situation"

Operating System

Windows XP, Vista/7

CPU

AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4000+ or better · Intel Core 2 Duo Processor 2.0GHz or better

RAM

Windows XP: 1.5GB · Windows Vista and Windows 7: 2GB · PCs using a built-in graphical chipset, 2GB RAM recommended.

Video

ATI X1800 or better* · nVidia 7800 or better* · Intel 4100 Integrated Graphics or better*

DVD-ROM

8x or better *Minimum of 256MB of on-board RAM and Shader 3.0 or better support.

Now that’s about all the information we have on Star Wars: The Old Republic. But what more could you possibly want? I’m so excited I actually danced a little when I saw the release date. Thank the gods that nobody was home but me and the dogs. They didn’t judge. They just danced with me.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Jedi Shaddow

I’m just going to lay it out there. I feel funny talking about Star Wars: The Old Republic when it’s not Friday. It’s almost like I’m cheating on Friday. Sultry Thursday comes sauntering up waving it’s SWTOR news and I get weak in the knees.

Released the other day was a video detailing something quite interesting about Star Wars: The Old Republic. Are you the kind of video gamer who likes to play video games? Of course you are. But do you like to play them because of all of the minutia and grinding and farming and crafting and BS trading missions that you are sometimes forced to do in order to ultimately succeed? If you are then while you may still like SWTOR you may not like as much you originally thought.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Crew Gathering Skills

This is a piece of every MMORPG or just an RPG in general that becomes annoying from time to time. When you need to create the latest and greatest you have to go out into the world and find materials. While I’ve always viewed it as a necessary evil it was never that exciting. Farming for materials has never been a part of an MMORPG that people have stood up and said “Just wait until you see this farming mechanic. It’s awesome. You’ll spend all day farming. In fact you will say ‘Screw the actual questing and missions….I just wanna faaaaaaaaaarm.’ It’s just that good.” We do it because we actually want to create something great.

But with Star Wars: The Old Republic they’ve taken part of the work away from you. Yes yes, you can go gather materials yourself. Or you can send out a companion to do it for you. Yes you can take one of your unused SWTOR companions and say to them leave the ship where you’re not doing anything and go get me something we can use. In other words you can say “go be useful”.

The Gathering Skills include:

  • Archaeology – seek out imbued items like Lightsaber crystals and ancient artifacts
  • Bioanalysis – collecting genetic material from plants and animals
  • Scavenging – recovering useful materials and parts from old or damaged equipment
  • Slicing – accessing secured computer systems and lockboxes to acquire data and schematics

Star Wars: The Old Republic Crew Crafting Skills

Do you need something built but done want to take the time to build it yourself? Well well well. SWTOR has you covered with their Crafting skills. While you’re out and about on various adventures saving / enslaving the galaxy you can have your crew members who are on the ship still be put to work even though you’re not near them.

Using the materials you have gathered and forced your crew members to gather you can then have them combine them to create items based on your needs. Need new armor? Have your companion make new armor. Need a new awesome weapon? Have that lazy crew member make it for you. No more will your crew members just lollygag around the ship while you’re off doing all the work. This is no longer a free ride for you companions. Time to earn their keep.

The interesting thing about this is that you can have 5 companions work at the same crating station at one time. You don’t have to play an interminable waiting game. If your Star Wars: The Old Republic character needs 4 things made then you get them made.

You don’t even have to be there to tell them to start crafting. It’s nice that the Star Wars universe is letting us embrace the beauty of communication devices to say to one another “Hey my blaster is crap, can you make me a new one since you’re right there next to the crafting station?”

The crafting stills include:

  • Armormech – work with metals and electronic shielding to construct armor
  • Armstech – construct blasters, blaster rifles and upgrades
  • Artifice – construct Jedi and Sith artifacts
  • Biochem –engineer performance-enhancing serums and implants
  • Cybertech – construct gadgets and components for Droids and high-tech armors
  • Synthweaving – lighter outfits and armors that are imbued with supernatural qualities

Star Wars: The Old Republic Crew Mission Skills

But they’re not just stopping at gathering and making. Remember back in Assassins Creed: Brotherhood when you could send assassins out to get things done? Remember how fun that was? Star Wars: The Old Republic is pulling a similar trick and letting our companions engage in missions outside of the ship. The missions include:

  • Diplomacy – conduct and managing negotiations
  • Investigation – examine evidence and following clues to discover valuable secrets
  • Treasure Hunting – track down and recover valuable items by investigating clues (please have them find Carmen Sandiego)
  • Underworld Trading – trading of illegal goods and services

Now these missions all take time to do but there is always a payoff. When they come back they will have experience, items, and other goodies. So while you’re out taking care of the rabid Bantha infestation they can be out schmoozing the politicians negotiating a trade settlement or selling younglings into slavery on the black market.

But there is one added bonus mentioned in the video that needs to be touched on. They will do this when you are not even logged on! This makes for a world of difference in how you can play Star Wars: The Old Republic. You don’t have to keep your game running to reap the rewards. Simply come back to it and suddenly…GOODIES!

I swear the more I hear about SWTOR the more I salivate.

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Star Wars The Old Republic The Esseles

Title pretty much says it all. Today Star Wars: The Old Republic sent out a developers walkthrough of The Esseles, a transport you take to Courescant after leaving your homeworld. While watching it see a little more about how SWTOR is going to play out.

What’s interesting is the group dynamic where you’re more or less bound to the decisions of a randomly selected leader. I’m interested to see how this plays out into the Light Side vs. Dark Side mechanic for each character. I mean lets just say that hypothetically you are met with one crap-tastic group after another that continually pushes you towards the Dark Side in spite of your frequent objections. Not many people would really enjoy playing that.

In the preview we see that the whole party makes the decision to go towards the dark side while the leader gets an added little bonus so it would appear that we have the ability to say “Hey now, what’s got two thumbs and is not cool with this decision? *This guy*!” But while you can’t outright switch sides in SWTOR you can be a very dark Jedi.

But what we get to see is a little more in game footage from SWTOR than we have previously seen. It’s always nice to see a little more information as to how all players will work together. It does a nice job of switching the views and showing what each character is capable of doing.

This seems to spend a big focus on the Smuggler’s talents as well as the Consular and Trooper classes, and while it’s interesting to see what they will be able to do they are not who I’m ultimately excited to become. However in regards to the Consular’s Project ability…yes please.

But really what this serves to do is elevate our excitement to a ridiculous level at this stage.

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star wars the old republic Stele Shan

With the deluge of fun information and releases coming out of Comic Con, I can’t help but feel I’m going all fanboy on Star Wars: The Old Republic. This will likely be the last update on this for a bit but when I saw the Join the Fight Trailer for SWTOR I just knew it was a glorious thing of beauty that had to be shared:

However this is not the only bit of news to come out of Comic Con. In a brief Q & A session (dutifully transcribed on Darth Hater) we learned some interesting bits of information about the game.

SWTOR Romances

When some fine fan after our own hearts asked about romance arcs we were informed that there will in fact be romance arcs. In fact it was stated that there will be a lot of different romances. One would imagine that in the vast Star Wars universe to pull from we will be seeing anything from jilted lovers to devoted partners.

But then one has to wonder how certain classes will be involved with relationships. Do you forge your own or are you merely a bystander watching the lives of the NPCs unfold.

SWTOR Ship Customization

SWTOR Ship

She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts

When asked if there would be customization there was an expected yes, however what struck us as most interesting is that you won’t have to wait until you are at a higher level to begin customizing your ship. You will be able to find new ways to tweak and adjust your ship right from the moment you get it.

However it was expressly stated that the upgrades and customizations were to the weapons and shields and general offensive and defensive capabilities to the ship. We have yet to see any visual customizations.

SWTOR Companion Customization

But they aren’t stopping at just your ship. You are also able to customize your companions. You can give them new clothes to wear, what weapons they use, what armor they use. You can upgrade their equipment in the same way that you can upgrade your own.

Additionally it seems that you will be able to adjust their facial features, skin color, and overall appearance. It’s not to know that you’re not stuck with someone that you won’t actually want to look at. They did not, however, touch upon any AI adjustments to make to the companion characters.

SWTOR Companion Death

In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic companion death was something that we had to deal with. It was a motivating factor. In the Star Wars universe loss is a rather common motivating factor for characters. However when asked about companion death in Star Wars: The Old Republic we learn that there is no permanent companion death.

While they originally looked into this aspect of the game and planned for it adopting a mindset of “If you’re dumb enough to kill your companion then you have to deal with it” they opted for a more simple approach. During tests the players viewed this as a little too severe.

We don’t want to take away your companion character forever because unfortunately what we found through testing was that players would make that choice just to see what happens and they would get really mad that their companion character is gone forever, you can’t reload the game. And if you’re used to having a healer as your companion because of their aspects of aiding combat and you lose your healer, that hurts a lot.

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