Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SW:TOR Bounty Hunter

So, the first class has been announced, probably putting paid to the theories about a skill-based approach. And, somewhat surprisingly, it's the Bounty Hunter. This unexpected first player class for Star Wars: The Old Republic, well, it fills me with hope. For a start, it means that Bioware are not off chasing the lightsabres from day one; they're recognising the huge variety of other archetypes that exist in the Star Wars universe.

I'm wary of trying to draw too much information from this one class, but there are a few bits of information available. The main one I see is that the site says, "cutting-edge protective gear is standard equipment for most Bounty Hunters" and "powerful weaponry is necessary for any Bounty Hunter who might have to shoot his way out of a messy situation. It’s not unheard of for a Bounty Hunter to spend as many credits on an advanced blaster as others might spend to purchase an entire starship." From this, I'm guessing that the BH is going to need equipment - "gear", in the parlance of other MMOs.

Bioware are too smart to let something like that imbalance classes, so I reckon we can expect gear-dependencies of some kind for all classes, and therefore, I hope, some kind of player economy as such goods are won, bought, or made, and traded about.

Going from other text, the Bounty Hunter will be available on both sides, Jedi and Sith, and looks like it'll be available to a good few, if not all races. Given the normal egalitarian approach of the SW universe, I can't see many race/class restrictions cropping up.

For other classes, Syp has done some excellent speculatory work over on Bio Break, coming up with speculations including Scoundrels, Soldiers, Gray Jedi, and Scouts, alongside the more expected Force users. He also includes Droids there, although I'd reckon they're more race than class, myself.

Friday, February 27, 2009

SW:TOR Webcomic

The SW:TOR webcomic has just gone live! More sensible commentary when I've read it and thought about it a bit.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Drew Karpyshyn to work on SW:TOR

News has surfaced that Drew Karpyshyn will be working on SW:TOR. Karpyshyn is a game writer and novelist, and as well as writing in games for Bioware, has written novels for the Star Wars, Mass Effect, and Baldur's Gate settings. 

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Player Races

On the Star Wars: The Old Republic official forum, Tenacity has gathered together some information on what races are possible for inclusion as player races, based on what is known about the setting. He reckons that Bothans, Cathar, Devaronians, Droids, Duros, Iridonians/Zabrak, Ithorians, Kel Dor, Mon Cal, Nautolans, Quarren, Rodians, Selkath, Togruta, Trandoshans, Twileks and Wookies should be possible. 

Even if it's solely because of the number of planets that would need to be in the game at launch, I can't seen all of those making it in. I'd guess there will be about six races to start with. Now, Hutts are not in that list, because they're considered too powerful and too difficult to animate. I'm not convinced on either of those, but the Hutts are so unpleasant that I really can't see much likelihood of them as playable characters.

My guess would be that the most iconic races will be the starting ones: Humans, Wookies, Droids, Twileks, Mon Cal, and Rodians, say. Others might be added later, or appear only as NPCs. I would be very pleased to see some non-humanoid races as player characters, but I recognise that that might be too much development for something that won't necessarily be all that popular.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hutta, Planet of the Hutts

The newest planet to be unveiled by Bioware for SW:TOR is Hutta, the Hutt homeworld. It looks like the Hutts have a long and unsurprising history of oppression of other species; the details of the world include the "rebellious Evocii natives". So I wonder if these Evocii are going to be the player race, or if we actually get to play Hutts? I have to admit, I'd love to play a Hutt.

I'm also very pleased to see that places like Tython and Hutta are being developed first, rather than Alderaan, Tatooine and Dagobah. It's going to give it a different feel, rather than the seen-it-before effect that the better-known worlds would have.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Making of Tython

There's a video up on the the official site about the making of Tython. I'm not, to be honest, all that interested in the making-of stuff, but the advance footage of the game and the setting is really great to see. I know the developers are running on top-end machines, so we can't really draw much in the way of conclusions as to what the smoothness will be like on ordinary boxes - but I like the details of movement, particularly the way the lightsabres move.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

SW:TOR on Consoles?

The Rumor Feed has a post saying that "It is widely believed among Bioware staffers that EA is going to pimp SW: TOR to the consoles." Consoles in this case are the current generation: XBox360 and PS3, although it's reckoned the installation may be too large for the basic 360.

There's also the detail that, at launch, the game "will NOT have space combat or exploration". And, you know, I'm ok with that. I'd far prefer that they deliver a good planet-based Star Wars game, and get the space material in later, than try to do everything at once. Besides, at low levels (assuming there are levels; you know what I mean anyway) we'll be getting started on one planet, and using interstellar ferries to get around, not owning our own ships. That'll come later.

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